Former President George W. Bush shared a moving video on Saturday that premiered during The Call to Unite‘s 24+ hour global stream-a-thon the night before, issuing a call for the people of the U.S. to unite. As the latest information from the CDC revealed that the country has 1,062,446 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which rose 30,787 over the past 24 hours, and 62,406 total deaths, Bush reminded the bitterly divided country of its past.
The former president, who served from 2000 to 2008, began by describing the invisible threat the country faces amid the coronavirus pandemic. He noted that medical professionals are risking their lives, and he thanked them for what they’re doing to keep Americans safe. The black-and-white video flashed to different scenes of people living life throughout the U.S., and of health care professionals serving others.
Then he noted that the U.S. had faced trying times that tested it in the past. Bush reminded viewers of the way the country came together following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Bush described the spirit that the American people exhibited after that national tragedy, coming together to help and grieve. He said that he knew that the U.S. could rally together again.
“Empathy and simple kindness are essential, powerful tools of national recovery.”
President Bush implored people not to allow the social distance that is necessary for reducing the spread of COVID-19 to become emotional isolation. However, he also reiterated that staying apart physically is part of what will help the country recover from the virus. He advised citizens to extend kindness and empathy to their fellow Americans.
“The suffering we experience as a nation does not fall evenly,” he reminded.
While some are at home enjoying a break, others are forced to work in unsafe conditions, and then some people cannot pay rent and bills or afford to feed themselves and their families.
Although both Democrats and Republicans have fought over what assistance to provide to large and small businesses, as well as individuals, the former leader asked people to recall that they are more alike than different.
“Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat.”
As some states start to reopen businesses and try to slowly establish a new reality, there are many ideas on how to do that safely. Last week, armed protestors gathered in Michigan to let lawmakers know that they wanted the state to reopen. However, the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, ended up extending her state-at-home order. Despite the extreme pictures of such a difference of opinion, Bush said that citizens should not be so divided against each other.
“We are not partisan combatants. We are human beings. Equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise and fall together, and we are determined to rise,” said Bush.