WEST: “We must understand that this is not the new normal for our country.”

The following is the statement of Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), candidate for United States Senate.

As a State Senator, I was on the front lines of the battle against HIV/AIDS in the Dallas area and across Texas in the 1990s, and involved in Dallas County’s battle against the Ebola virus epidemic in 2014. 

Tonight, we are faced with a much greater problem as we join together to fight the Coronavirus disease.

I know this is not only a frightening time for all Texans, but for all Americans.  Texans have not been faced with an epidemiological crisis of such vast proportions since the Polio epidemic’s peak in 1952-1953. However, we must supplant fear with knowledge, and replace disinformation with facts and sound science.

We must understand that this is not the new normal for our country. 

Yes, our nation is beginning to see some signs of economic and social disruption. American institutions across all walks of life are being impacted. American institutions from schools, to churches, synagogues, and mosques are suspending regular activities or rapidly changing the way they function in response to this deadly disease. The way we interact in our daily lives is changing at a rapid pace. We are no longer gathering to celebrate at sporting events, conferences, special occasions, community meetings, rallies, or in public places. 

Our greatest concern, and our greatest point of action as a government and a nation during this difficult time must be the least among us. We are our brother’s keeper. 

This is not the new normal for Texas, or for America. Like we have done many times as a country, we will emerge from this crisis stronger, and with a greater understanding of the needs of our fellow countrymen. 

As Texans and as Americans, as have been shown by World War II, 9/11, and other national emergencies, we are doers. We–the people and the government–will not sit idly by. As leaders, we must step up and make sure the health and safety of every American is paramount as we navigate our way through this crisis.