Consult the protesters

People in charge during a crisis like the current one need resiliency; they need to be able to change course and adapt, to be willing to try new things, to get creative.

Trump does not need to reach back in history for an example of a leadership style that doesn’t require a dubious pose of perfection to convey strength. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, who regularly shares the podium with Trump at coronavirus briefings, has described often in interviews the vitriol targeted at him during the early days of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Protesters were storming the National Institutes of Health campus and burning Fauci in effigy, because of frustrations with the pace of research on a cure.The activist Larry Kramer, whom Fauci now counts as a friend, was calling him a murderer. Fauci decided the protesters were right on some key points and urged they be integrated closely into the government’s response.

“The best thing I’ve done from a sociological and community standpoint was to embrace the activists,” Fauci said in an interview with Science Speaks in 2011. “Instead of rejecting them, I listened to them.”

Close your eyes and imagine Trump saying that.

Can’t be done, can it.

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