On Sunday evening, just hours before Memorial Day officially began, MSNBC host Kasie Hunt showed a cover of The New York Times which listed the names of 1,000 Americans who have died as a result of coronavirus. Those 1,000 are merely 1 percent of the nearly 100,000 who have perished so far. Hunt noted that the Times cover was especially poignant since the country is honoring those who have died in service of the United States over the centuries:

“This hits especially hard coming as our country pauses to reflect on Memorial Day, when we honor the thousands of Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Why did they make that sacrifice? It was so America could remain a beacon of freedom for the entire world. So, all of us could live our lives as we saw fit. And now nearly 100,000 people — people they died to protect — have perished in the pandemic.”

After she read off some of the names from the Times, Hunt looked into the camera and continued her commentary:

“This makes me so angry. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. The America that I grew up in was supposed to do better. We are supposed to be the leader of the free world, not the leader in illness, in death, but the leader in competence, setting the standard. We’re supposed to do it so well that we can lift the rest of the world up along with us.”

What Hunt said next should be a reminder to every American and our elected officials that we have a higher calling beyond ourselves. We need to think of others:

“But now our nation, our government has failed the Americans who gave their lives fighting our nation’s wars. They protected us. They gave everything for us. Only to have our leaders fail us now. We as people are not living up to their example if we aren’t wearing masks to protect others or if we’re packing bars this weekend because we’re tired of being cooped up.”

Hunt concluded her remarks with a clear call to action for every single American citizen:

“What were they elected for, if not to make sure that America was the best-prepared nation on the face of the Earth to beat back a deadly disease and protect her people? They have failed us, and we need to demand better.”

President Donald Trump played golf all weekend and never once mentioned the significance of today’s national holiday or offered condolences to the families of those who have died from COVID-19. We can hold him to account in November, and we need to make sure we register our disgust in numbers that will make it clear this country is ready for significant change.

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