- - Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I normally don’t agree with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, but he is absolutely correct in invoking World War II/Great Depression rhetoric, arguing that it will take a federal response to mobilize the nation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic (“Bill de Blasio wants ‘literally a nationalization’ of some private companies over coronavirus,” Web, March 16).

State and local efforts, no matter how aggressive and thorough, cannot possibly accomplish this enormous undertaking. States and cities don’t and can’t fight wars. It will take an FDR-type New Deal, along with the military, to produce the medical products and build the infrastructure needed to minimize the projected fatalities and suffering. It will also require federally administered programs and initiatives to feed, provide jobs to and meet the financial needs of those in need. Unemployment is already predicted by the U.S. Treasury secretary to be around 20 percent. No doubt this federal recovery will cost trillions of dollars. But the survival of the country demands it.

Sadly, we don’t currently have an FDR in the White House — and it is hard to imagine President Trump understanding and doing what is necessary.


Ernest A. Sharpe Centennial professor emeritus, Moody College of Communication

The University of Texas


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