A Meditation on Clean Air, the Coronavirus Pandemic, and What to Do About It

The coronavirus pandemic is endangering everyone (except for Maverick and Levi, two wonderful guygoats who live next door to your solitary reporter), and Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned today that these here United States could soon be like Italy; and in New York City, all hell has broken loose, with hospitals woefully unprepared (https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/25/health/coronavirus-covid-hospitals/index.html).


Here in the Centennial State, Colorado’s Governor, Democrat Jared Polis, today made a very eloquent and articulate statement as he issued a state-wide Stay at Home Order, after Denver’s Mayor, Michael Hancock, also a Democrat, issued a Stay at Home Order, on Monday, for the Mile High City.


Gov. Polis began with Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Pete Seeger’s classic, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” which is based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.


Gov. Polis is Jewish, and he appropriately quoted Ecclesiastes 3 (“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance…). 


Ecclesiastes is part of the Wisdom Literature in the Hebrew Bible; but Donald Trump has very little wisdom.


Since the coronavirus (a subject concerning which Trump has very little understanding) is transmitted through droplets, it’s virulent. And those droplets are in the air, and on surfaces, flat and otherwise, for up to 72 hours.


So, for some historical perspective, we called on associate solitary reporter Keith Coleman to look back in time at the Clean Air Act, signed by Richard Nixon way back in 1970.


Coleman — who is more than a little familiar with Psalm 51:10 (“Create in me a clean heart, O God”...) — was a leading advocate for the Clean Air Act and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, when he was a member of the Democratic National Committee as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club. Coleman was also one of the founders of the Natural Resources Defense Council.


The Clean Air Act did considerable good, and President Obama supported the EPA, especially with regard to coal, a major pollutant.


But all that changed on January 21, 2017, when Trump launched a major offensive against regulations protecting our air and water. In this, he was strongly supported by a certain senator from Coal Country, Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky — only, if the good voters in the Bluegrass State do the right thing, McConnell will go home in January, to be succeeded by Democrat Amy McGrath).


To run the EPA, Trump appointed Oklahoma’s attorney general, Republican Scott Pruitt, who, as Oklahoma’s highest law enforcement officer, sued the EPA no less than 14 times.


Pruitt was tasked with taking the EPA apart, piece by piece; and after Pruitt was sacked, that job continues under Administrator Andrew Wheeler, also a Republican.


“When you don’t have good, clean air,” ASR Coleman said, “it’s no wonder that a Republican administration doesn’t know what to do about an insidious airborne virus.”


Trump does not support sustainable, renewable energy such as windmills, so Coleman was astonished when, earlier today, he visited EPA Administrator Wheeler and Wyoming governor Mark Gordon, in Cheyenne.


Wyoming, the Cowboy State, is well known for its very high winds, which is why there are hundreds of windmills there, especially along the I-80 Corridor in southern Wyoming.


Wheeler was holding a press briefing in which he begged Governor Gordon to lend him hundreds of Wyoming’s windmills to send to Washington State, California, New York, and Colorado, to clear the air of the COVID-19 coronavirus.


But Gordon’s a Republican, so we’re not expecting much coronavirus relief from him.