Last Sunday, President Trump declared a National Day of Prayer for those affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The president proclaimed: “We are a country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.” Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson said, especially in times of crisis, “There's nothing wrong with godly principles, no matter what your faith is: loving your neighbor, caring about the people around you, developing your God-given talents to the utmost so that you become valuable to the people around you, having values and principles that govern your life."
As the coronavirus spreads both globally and inside the United States, it can wear on folks physically and mentally. Being at home and constantly watching the crisis unfold on television can dampen our spirit. Times of trial and hardship call for proactive actions, but they also demand of us commitment to faith, to be our brothers’ keeper, to care for our neighbors. The strength of faith, friends, and family are critical during these difficult times.
We must also never forget that we live in a country where anything is possible and no challenge is too great for us to overcome. We can be grateful for the world-class medical practitioners, scientists, first responders, and technological experts this nation has produced, who will now be on the front lines battling this pandemic.
In the wake of threats to our physical health, we have to keep in mind that our spiritual health will remain strong, and that strength will be the foundation for beating back this virus. America is blessed with loving families and resilient people who are prepared to meet even the toughest moments with faith and tenacity.
While some mainstream media outlets might shy away from talking about prayer, I think we should all be praying for our elderly citizens, individuals who are most at risk, and those who currently have the virus, as well as our leaders both globally and here at home. This is one of the most serious public health crises of this generation, and we must not turn away from our responsibilities to one another.
Of course, there are tangible actions that each and every one of us can take right now to stop the spread of COVID-19. Medical experts on the Vice President’s task force have told us that the next few weeks will be the most important in determining how long and severe this crisis will be for our country. Every citizen can do their part by staying at home, washing your hands regularly, socially distancing, and closely following the precautionary guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I would urge folks to continue to pray. I strongly believe it can help us pull through these hard times. Pray for our children and educators, as well. In North Carolina, many parents are concerned about how children will be impacted during school closings. Learning is a pillar of the American Dream, and our children are being especially impacted. I know many schools are moving towards various methods of virtual learning, which is something we should all support. North Carolina, along with other states, has made great strides over the past few years to promote technology inside the classroom.
Like all Members of Congress, I continue to receive regular briefings from medical experts in Washington and in my local community. As public officials, we have a unique responsibility to use our platform to inform and educate the public on best practices during this coronavirus pandemic. It is my hope that through our words and deeds, we can beat this virus and keep our country safe and healthy.
Ted Budd is a Member of Congress representing North Carolina’s 13th Congressional District and has a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.