COVID-19: Leo’s Letter: Facing Down the Path of Least Resistance

Often the “path of least resistance” (PLR) governs our behavior. Unfortunately, this may be true of decision-makers during times of crisis.

The most remarkable example is the President’s delay to invoke the “Defense Production Act.” As late as April, the President had not invoked. The New York Times reported on March 31: “Yet as governors and members of Congress plead with the president to use the law to force the production of ventilators and other medical equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic, he has for weeks treated it like a ‘break the glass’ last resort, to be invoked only when all else fails.”

The delay in invoking the act was costly. But what will we face tomorrow as uncertainty and our crisis continues?

Much of our health care, services, and supports are dependent on public funds. We have succeeded on building a system of support due to decisions of lawmakers and public recognition of the need. The continued budget deficits and turmoil in local communities and cities stress even the best of our public leaders.

This crisis is layered upon years of federal deficit spending combined with tax cuts. Our public health capacity has been reduced as witnessed in a 2019 article on “rising antibiotic resistance.”

By advocating together, and by raising our voices, we can achieve better outcomes for each other: a society in crisis which is responsive to people with disabilities. It affords them triage in illness, it is creative in the delivery of support services, and planning continues despite facing a health crisis.

Let’s use our hope for a better world to re-route the path of least resistance.

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