By: Travis Naughton

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” –President John F. Kennedy One thing many of us can do to help our country during the coronavirus pandemic is to simply stay at home. I’ve done just that, leaving my house only once a week, on average, since shelter-in-place orders were given by Boone County authorities in mid-March. But I still feel like I could do more to help my country during this difficult time. While watching the president struggle to speak succinctly, accurately, and effectively at his daily Covid-19 news briefings, I realized something: Mr. Trump needs some help. The president needs a speech writer. And wouldn’t you know it, I just happen to be available. Setting aside their political affiliations, one striking difference between Donald Trump and his predecessor Barack Obama is the way they communicate to the American people. Mr. Obama was an eloquent speaker who utilized his teleprompter better than possibly any other president in history. Mr. Trump, on the other hand, tends to speak “off the cuff”, preferring to “wing it” as he stands before the assembled members of the press. Trump’s tendency to freestyle often results in a fair amount of backtracking or denials. “I was misquoted” or “I was being sarcastic” or “That’s fake news” are his oft-repeated responses to journalists’ demands for clarification. A good speechwriter would help prevent the president from accidently giving out misinformation or causing confusion while speaking to the media and the American people. Mr. President, I want to do something for you—and for my country. I would like to be your official speechwriter. And I would love for you to deliver the following speech as soon as possible: “My fellow Americans, I am speaking to you today from the Oval Office, where I have been meeting with the nation’s top medical professionals and scientists as they work tirelessly to end the coronavirus crisis. Let me begin my remarks by making one thing perfectly clear: When I said I take no responsibility for our country’s initial response to this threat, I was wrong. Harry Truman was right: The buck stops here. At this desk. With me. Back in January, when I was first made aware of the novel coronavirus, I did not think that it posed a danger to the American people. I believed, after consulting with my advisors, that the Chinese government had things well under control. That was a mistake. As the virus spread and the reality of the situation became clear, I felt it was important to prevent a widespread panic from occurring. My staff and I publicly downplayed the threat the virus posed while diligently working behind the scenes to mitigate its impact on our people and our way of life. In an attempt to deflect attention from the mounting casualties, I portrayed the press as the enemy. I blamed the media for sensationalizing and politicizing the virus when in reality, they were simply doing their job—which is to expose the truth. The truth is that I have mishandled this crisis, and for that I sincerely apologize. I apologize to the members of the press for vilifying them. I apologize to the medical community for disregarding their advice, and I apologize to you, the American people, for failing to keep you safe. In 2016, you placed your trust in me to lead this great nation of ours. I hope you will trust me again now when I say that from this moment on, I will do everything in my power to navigate us safely through to the end of this frightening ordeal. The road ahead will be difficult. There will be painful economic challenges along the way. And there will be more precious lives lost before this pandemic is over. But if we come together as Americans have done since the Colonists joined forces to fight for the cause of Liberty, we will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. President Kennedy famously challenged us to ask what we could do for our country. Here are some things you can do right now, to help our country get through these tough times. First, stay home and avoid being in close proximity to other people as much as possible. Second, if you are in need of assistance, ask for help, but if you are in a position to aid others, please do whatever you can for them. Rich or poor, black or white, healthy or sick, we are all in this together. Finally, do not blame the people of China for the situation in which we find ourselves. Regardless of the Chinese government’s culpability in this crisis, the average man, woman, and child in China are not to blame. They are victims in all of this, too. Make no mistake; racism will not be tolerated in this country. Misdirected anger and frustration in the form of attacks on Asians and Asian Americans will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Above all else, always remember that ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’. If we stick together, we will get through this. So, stay home, stay safe, and stay positive. God bless you all, and God bless America.”