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Yes, American Leaders Can Transcend Hypocrisy

© REUTERS / STEPHEN LAMA masked customer ascends a flight of stairs inside Japan Center in Japantown ahead of the new stay-at-home order in attempts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in San Francisco, California, U.S., December 6, 2020
A masked customer ascends a flight of stairs inside Japan Center in Japantown ahead of the new stay-at-home order in attempts to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in San Francisco, California, U.S., December 6, 2020 - Sputnik International
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Appearing on TV with nearly daily health department updates, our city’s mayors, county health officers and state governors alike plead with residents to do as they say, to curtail the spread of Covid-19 - as levels are once again spiking.

Repeating this dubious mantra for nearly 10 months, we are emphatically cautioned to adhere to a slew of edicts; stop the travel, refrain from attending gatherings, close the retail shops, restaurants, gyms and such -- and do our part for the better of our community.

Supporters and critics alike were rightfully shocked to learn how many civic leaders themselves have potentially violated coronavirus health orders, by attending outlawed birthday gatherings and meetings. San Francisco, San Jose and Austin TX’s mayors, the California governor and congressional leaders have received condemnation over their obvious hypocrisy.

Across the country, these leaders emphatically proclaim the quarantine’s terms -- and residents reluctantly comply -- while our precious small businesses burn through their last bits of cash. Beyond the swift condemnation of the mayors and governors’ indiscretions, for which they got caught, there exists a ray of hope, a chance for redemption, if they so choose.

We disgruntled, weary residents can and should turn the tables and rightfully demand our civic leaders be bold, to inspire ingenuity and hope.

The localities’ Department of Health issue Covid-19 guidelines and orders. Yes, we are legally mandated to adhere to them. Rather than simply throwing in the towel and enforcing a lockdown of our livelihoods and our children’s childhoods, city mayors, governors and congressional leaders should be bold and call for a concerted effort on ingenuity, inventive workarounds to the coronavirus restrictions.

Many cities like San Francisco have for decades been known for such creativity and innovation. A convening of the brilliant minds and innovators is a must, to rebuild our businesses and public trust, without violating health orders.

A few days ago, we learned that Elon Musk (of Tesla, SpaceX) has left California (and then Oracle has announced it is moving its headquarters as well) over economic and business turbulence. Cities' tax bases are being decimated, and reports say hundreds of thousands of residents are fleeing urban areas where mom-and-pop business failure rates are astounding. Our leaders can rise above their mistakes and meaningfully give back to the cities they’ve betrayed, in a truly bold manner.

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