By Susan Estrich

October 8, 2020 5 min read

Is it too much to ask?

Not a cure. Not yet.

Not a vaccine. Not until it's safe.

Just the truth.

Let's fight: He knew and didn't tell us. He played politics, warm weather, cold weather. President Donald Trump is strutting around, and he's "not out of the woods.

Let's fight back: The rally was outside. It's a personal choice. Masks were there for those who wanted them.

Let's not.

Here we are. Masks are actually optional at the White House. This is hard.

Two hundred thousand have died in the U.S. Can anyone explain how playing childish blame games and pronouncing victory from a helicopter solves anything? There are tens of millions of kids who blame a handful of greedy ol' men for taking control of this planet for their own ends.

It's not just the stock market that's on fire; it's also the western U.S.

It's not fake news when it's true. We need to hear the truth from the president. He must find his voice to save what is left of the tattered trust between the leaders and his people.

There is not a soul who is HIV-positive who is not a little scared: that the combination of pills might stop working, that the next combo won't work either, and the next step after that is too terrible to talk about.

Let's go back to the nightly scientific news conferences hosted by Dr. Anthony Fauci. Better to learn something than nothing, even if it's bad news.

We have all seen the letter from President George H.W. Bush to President Bill Clinton wishing him well. Bush is remembered for the most graceful transition of power. Is it so crazy to imagine we might work together?

I have always found, in times of trouble, that the only comfort is the truth. Not because it's happy talk but because the unthinkable has become the new normal. We'll ride the ups and downs with him. We will not ride that half-truth and those careful leaks. This is an election, yes. But he is still the president.

The most powerful man in the world is flying back and forth from the hospital when he is yet to be out of the woods. Why? The oxygen tank was hidden.

Why? Everyone we know has had COVID-19. We all know the ups and downs. Why pretend that he is Superman? Yes, he gets Super treatment, but in the eyes of the Lord, we are one.

How sick is Trump?

Do we even know yet?

Would we trust anyone who told us?

No one trusts anyone but Fauci.

Seems about right.

These silly games about whether he did or did not have oxygen are an insult. Playing back and forth with helicopter pilots and mechanics and limo drivers and advance people, risking their lives — why can't he stay in bed and keep others safe? Have you ever heard of a 74-year-old obese man who needs oxygen being out of the woods after 24 hours?

Did they think they were above the disease, like kings and princes, safe from the plague? Did they think Fauci a fool? Was the close-up shot on the plane worth so much? What about the senators who flew home on a commercial plane after a Trump fundraiser?

It doesn't matter now. Pulitzer Prizes will come. It's time to just stop pandemic politics — to just tell the truth.

First, about our leadership: Like him or not, Donald Trump is president. We deserve to know the state of his health and that of those around him. This morning, I counted three Republican senators with COVID and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell screaming for Supreme Court confirmation hearings, making a mockery of the process, making a fool of Donald Trump. We are in a national crisis, not a horse race.

Second, for God's sake, put the scientists in charge. The president talking to Jonson & Johnson is exactly what we're all afraid of. You won't need the vaccine, God willing. But we will. Our lives depend on it.

We need the truth — the scientific truth. It isn't your fault if it doesn't work. It is your fault if you lie about it.

Third, get well. Respect the Constitution. Act with dignity. The legacies of presidents live on.

Just tell us the truth, twice a day. The gossip will stop. The prayers will ring out.

To find out more about Susan Estrich and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: PDPics at Pixabay

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