Pandemic Note #16: “Don’t Be A Cutie-Pie, Okay?”

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

“Look,” the leader said to White House Correspondent Jon Karl, “don’t be a cutie-pie, okay?”

During the leader’s daily press briefing/campaign rally on March 27, 2020, Karl pressed the leader, “Look, can everyone who needs a ventilator get one?” Karl asked a fair question, given the nature of the administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The leader dodged the question cutely.

“Everyone who needs one- nobody’s ever done what we’ve done. Nobody’s done anything like we’ve been able to do. Everything I took over was a mess. It was a broken country.”

These are just the reassuring words a nervous and frightened country wanted to hear from their leader.

Then the leader admitted he had ordered his administration not to call the governors of the states of Washington and Michigan. Both state governors have pressed the leader for supplies. Supplies needed in their battle to contain the effects of the Coronavirus within their political sub-divisions.

Michigan’s governor confirmed yesterday that vendors had stopped delivering supplies to her state since she was called out by the leader during a meeting of the governors at the White House on March 26.

She later noted on twitter she was not interested in a fight with the White House.

“Right now, we all need to be focused on fighting the virus, not each other. I’m willing to work with anyone as long as we get the personal protective equipment we need for the people of Michigan,” she tweeted.

The leader countered, “I want them[governors] to be appreciative…we have done a lot.”

He suggested that otherwise, their states would not receive any help from the federal government.

This type of shakedown mirrors one of the impeachment charges leveled at the leader at the close of 2019, that he withheld critical financial aid to Ukraine if they would not help him get reelected in 2020.

The November General Election may be behind the leader’s approach to handing out congressionally approved aid. This funding is needed to combat the Coronavirus killing Americans indiscriminately. If all 50 governors say the leader is doing a good job handling this crisis, he can tell his supporters that everyone agrees he is a good crisis manager. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

Meanwhile, in a non-Coronavirus related death, my neighbor, and one of the last remaining architects of the civil rights movement, Rev. Dr. Joesph E. Lowry, transitioned from here to eternity. Lowery was 98 years old.

Harold Michael Harvey is the author of Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. He is a Past President of the Gate City Bar Association. He is the recipient of Gate City’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award, which he received for his pro bono representation of Black college students arrested during Freaknik celebrations in the mid to late 1990s. An avid public speaker, contact him at


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Published by Michael

Harold Michael Harvey is a Past President of The Gate City Bar Association and is the recipient of the Association’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award. He is the author of Paper Puzzle and Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, and a two-time winner of Allvoices’ Political Pundit Prize. His work has appeared in Facing South, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Black Colleges Nines, and Medium.