Former President George W. Bush called on Americans to put aside their political differences, reminding them that in the face of the "shared threat" of the coronavirus pandemic, “we are not partisan combatants.”
The a video released Saturday, Bush, who rarely speaks out on current events, came as Democratic governors clash with President Donald Trump over the White House's coronavirus response.
"Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat," Bush said. "In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together."
In the nearly 3-minute video, Bush said he saw the nation "embrace unavoidable new duties" after the 9/11 terror attacks, and that "spirit is alive and well in America." The former president also issued a warning that the impact of the pandemic will not be felt equally.
"Let's remember that the suffering we experience as a nation does not fall evenly. In the days to come, it will be especially important to care in practical ways for the elderly, the ill and the unemployed," Bush said.
The message was part of a series of videos aired online as part of a 24-hour live-streamed project that also featured Oprah Winfrey, Tim Shriver, Julia Roberts, Martin Luther King III, Sean Combs, Quincy Jones, Naomi Judd, Andrew Yang and others, the New York Times reported.
Though Bush recruited his father, former President George Bush, and former President Bill Clinton to respond to a tsunami in Asia and then to Hurricane Katrina, and President Barack Obama asked both the younger Bush and Clinton to respond to an earthquake in Haiti, President Donald Trump hasn't reached out to his predecessors in the coronavirus crisis.
When asked about the idea to do that in March, responded: “I don’t think I’m going to learn much. I guess you could say that there’s probably a natural inclination not to call.”
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