Thursday, from his self-quarantined location in Washington after having come in contact with a COVID-19 patient from Colorado, Sen. Cory Gardner asked a question no doubt many other Americans have voiced in the past few days:
So why in the world are we wasting valuable tests on star athletes while veterans, senior citizens, and especially vulnerable people in Colorado and across the nation are waiting?https://t.co/GH8TRW8pLv
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) March 19, 2020
Indeed, there does appear to be a channel for obtaining coronavirus tests by the rich and powerful, naturally including sports celebrities, that ordinary Americans do not have. It’s hardly the first time the privilege of wealth in America has resulted in unequal access to a life-saving intervention, but it’s certainly upsetting to all of us who can’t reasonably expect to get a test even with all the symptoms.
The problem, as NBC News reported Wednesday, is that Cory Gardner appears to have asked this question the day after President Donald Trump answered it.
“How are nonsymptomatic professional athletes getting tests while others are waiting in line and can’t get them?” NBC News’ Peter Alexander asked Trump. “Do the well-connected go to the front of the line?”
“No, I wouldn’t say so,” the president said. “But perhaps that’s the story of life. [Pols emphasis] That does happen on occasion, and I’ve noticed where people have been tested fairly quickly.”
Trump’s “that’s the story of life” quote is included in the Washington Post story that Cory Gardner cited in his angry Tweet. Are we to take this to mean that Gardner is actually being critical of President Trump’s dismissal of the problem? This crucial detail, in what’s become a signature move for Gardner, is left unresolved. If Gardner is upset with Trump over blowing off this “class warfare” concern, he has an obligation to be specific on that point–lest the only thing anyone remembers about this kerfluffle is that Gardner has already endorsed Trump’s re-election.
We take Gardner at his word that he’s genuinely worried about what’s happening. We wish him good health.
But even now, Gardner seems unable or unwilling to acknowledge the politically inconvenient truth.