This past week, a stir was created about the following tweet of this photo:
Mike Pence and his coronavirus emergency team praying for a solution. We are so screwed. pic.twitter.com/p020FBIK9J
— Thomas Chatterton Williams 🌍 🎧 (@thomaschattwill) March 1, 2020
I’m not interested in either supporting or attacking the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak in the context of this post. Similarly, though photo-ops of politicians praying is always a little dicey (though see David French’s take on this), I’m also not interested here in the question of why the photo was taken.
For me the real issue of interest is why a photo of politicians and others tasked to respond to the outbreak bowed in prayer should mean we are “screwed.” To be fair, it’s not a secret that the GOP doesn’t have the greatest track record on issues of science policy. If that’s your beef then I cannot argue otherwise.
But here the issue seems to be that they were praying in the first place. The implication is that there would be no science-based medical response, only prayers. Again, maybe the administration’s response will turn out to be flawed—or maybe it already is—but prayer isn’t the reason.