The Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering data from April 12.

Irresponsible statements made by some of our Republican elected officials, in essence echoing Donald Trump’s big sweat to open up the country, are dangerous to Connecticut’s citizens.

They create unnecessary political theater at a time when our leaders need to be giving serious bipartisan thought to the science of slowing and eventually stopping the disease. They also present possible false hope to many citizens who need to weigh their ultimate health (or life) with the need to earn a living.

House Minority  Leader Themis Klarides, and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano took the opportunity to unnecessarily politicize the pandemic after Gov. Ned Lamont, in consultation with scientists, opted to extend the present stay-at-home (ie: no school, or opening of non-essential business) orders until May 20.

Rep. Vincent Candelora, a deputy GOP leader, went one step further in the absurdity spectrum by suggesting that schools in Eastern Connecticut should be opening up because the level of the pandemic isn’t as bad as it is in Fairfield County.

Follow the science, not the man who has abrogated his responsibility to the citizens of the United States.

Anyone with the ability to read has seen that the disease has been marching east out of the New York City metropolitan area in the past several weeks. The statistics of just this past week in New London County show a 290% increase in cases with a 133.3% increase in deaths. Open schools? I don’t think so! I have yet to hear a single scientist or physician say that we will be safe to start opening up our country for increased business without adequate testing for both active disease and antibodies proving safety from spreading further disease.

Mr. Trump evidently chooses not to believe this.

It is extremely frustrating to watch Republican after Republican, whom in the past have given thoughtful consideration to the governing and welfare of this state and its citizens, fall in line behind a president who self-admittedly has no interest or faith in science, and shows no empathy for human life. As a narcissist and reality TV star his primary focus is his ratings as he has stated openly in his afternoon “briefings.”

What should be occurring now is bipartisan discussions to begin planning for the phased-in opening up of commerce and possibly schools in Connecticut. All of this with business leaders, epidemiologists and other physicians and scientists, as well as hospital administrators at the table.

This is a pandemic and people continue to die. Hopefully we will turn a significant corner sooner rather than later. Now is not the time to prematurely try to score points with constituents by offering falsehoods about the severity of our present condition. Follow the science, not the man who has abrogated his responsibility to the citizens of the United States.

Elwin G. Schwartz M.D. is a retired physician from New London.

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