To the editor:

On Jan. 24 the Senate was informed by the top medical professionals in the U.S. there was going to be a pandemic comparable to the Spanish flu epidemic.

Shortly thereafter several senators began dumping their stocks and others bought stock in the medical supplies field. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana witheld this life or death information from the rest of us, betraying the trust of his office and the American public. Over a month later, Feb. 28, Trump held a campaign rally calling the threat a hoax, the same day the first case was detected here.

Sen. Tom Cotton was telling Fox News and Trump as far back as the Senate impeachment trial to ban travel from China. Trump on Feb. 2 issued travel restrictions from China, but not a ban. It is estimated over 300,000 persons traveled to and from China in this period. Yet, Indiana Congressman Jim Banks tells us now he was on top of the pandemic threat back in January. If he was, and he wasn't, why not take action and prepare the 3rd District? Instead Banks and Braun were on Fox News downplaying the danger and bragging how well prepared we were. They now spend their days complaining that our medical supplies are produced by the same people who manufacture all of Trump's hats, toys, cups, pens and ties ... China.

Jim Banks has spent more time trying to protect the Chinese whistleblower from the Chinese government than helping us. However, the American Trump whistleblower he has stated should be exposed and brought before the Justice Department.

President Obama as a result of the Ebola outbreak set up a pandemic response team in the White House to be prepared for future biological threats at the same time limiting cases in the U.S. to just a handful.

Trump took a different approach ... He decided to lie along with Pence, Banks and Braun to us and cost the U.S. valuable time. Meanwhile, China was hoarding medical supplies and buying every respirator in the world for months. Trump, Pence, Banks and Braun during this period with knowledge of the threat made no attempt to purchase test kids, masks, respirators or any other items needed to combat a pandemic. This is sad as Mr. Banks is supposed to be an officer of the Navy Supply Corps. This is the definition of dereliction of duty by an elected official.

House leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer fought for the American workers and small businesses in the relief package, while Braun and Trump fought for a $500 billion bailout for corporate America and Wall Street. A bailout with no Congressional oversight. Jim Banks fought for nothing; he voted no help due to his claim that saving lives would be too costly for generations to come.

Our governors and the medical professionals are still begging for help from our federal government and Trump calls them complainers. Our military should have taken over the entire operation from day No. 1.

Instead our lives were put at risk by a group of tea party-endorsed politicians looking to drain the swamp and build a wall, leaving nothing but a defenseless and broken down government when they were done.

They wanted a smaller government, however as a result of their hate-filled rhetoric and lack of conscience, instead all we will end up with is a smaller population.

Michael Gillespie


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