Priests laud Trump's response to COVID-19 pandemic

Matt C. Abbott
April 8, 2020
© Matt C. Abbott
Reproduced with Permission

I asked two Catholic priests whose work I greatly respect to comment on President Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, wrote in an email to me (lightly edited):

The first responsibility of government is to maintain order and the rule of law so that the dignity of the vulnerable are never compromised to favor the interests of the strong. In taking measures to protect Americans from the effects of a pandemic, I am heartened to see President Trump remaining consistent in his concern for protecting innocent human life.

At the heart of this willingness is an acknowledgement that every person is precious; that people are more important than things; and that the measure of every person, institution, and society is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person.

I only wish the president's critics were themselves more consistent in their concern for defending human life. Imagine if these same individuals, who think nothing of plunging the nation into a deep economic crisis that has left millions unemployed and at risk of poverty, would do anything in their power to safeguard every human person, born and preborn.

Though many speak of defending the lives of the at-risk, they remain willfully blind to the growing evil of a euthanasia ethic that preys upon the weak, sick, and elderly – or to the longstanding evil of abortion to which millions of our most vulnerable are lost every year.

Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, wrote in an email to me (lightly edited):

Thank God we have President Trump at the helm during the crisis. In fact, he has been protecting America from this pandemic before there was a pandemic.

Through his leadership over the last three years, he made the U.S. economy the strongest in our history – and the strongest in the world – and has implemented an America-first policy that has increased our respect and standing in the international arena. He has, moreover, strengthened our military, our borders, our businesses, our healthcare and our churches.

We therefore entered this pandemic from a position of strength, not weakness, which has made a tremendous difference in our ability to respond to it – and in the confidence we can have that we will bounce back from it once it passes.

Along with watching the daily briefings from the White House and the Coronavirus Task Force, which I hope everyone is doing, I am privileged to be able to participate in special briefings that top government officials provide regularly to leaders. I can say it is the consensus of these leaders that they have never seen a more impressive coordination of efforts of the government and the private sector combined to deal with any tragedy.

It is impossible to even keep up with all the steps the president and his team are taking each day to effectively curb and defeat this virus. The Washington Examiner published an impressive list of what the president has done. That was from a couple of weeks ago, and now there are twice as many accomplishments. He is dealing with this on every front.

Our system, of course, is one of federalism. We are the United States. The federal government assists the states but does not replace them. The response in each state is led by that state and its governor.

The president has been networking with and helping the governors. He has been addressing the health dimensions of this crisis along with the educational, military, economic, employment, housing, and international dimensions, and also the spiritual dimensions – proclaiming a National Day of Prayer early in this crisis, and working with faith leaders, including myself and my ministry, to help us tend to the spiritual needs of Americans at this time.

The president realizes that along with food and medicine, the American people need confidence and hope. He gives us that – by his words, his actions, and his can-do attitude.

By contrast, while the president is uniting America and creating an unprecedented response involving all the agencies of government together with the private sector, some leading Democrats and voices on the left can only criticize him, sow doubt and division, and try to score partisan political points. This is both harmful and shameful.