One significant day for this crisis will be April 3, 2020. That’s the day that two distinct leadership styles were exposed. Ned Lamont was shown to be a weak and whiney leader while Bob Stefanowski was shown to be a quiet, accomplished leader.
In Wednesday’s press briefing Lamont stated that Connecticut now has the distinction of having the youngest victim of COVID-19 in the country and some foreign press calling it the youngest in the world. It was shocking and injected a fresh, new fear into every parent around the globe. Compounding this fear is the fact that these months historically have the highest birthrates. I can’t imagine the dread any mother about to give birth right now is experiencing.
As it turns out, the baby tested positive for COVID-19 but reportedly died of other causes not related to the virus. Lamont couldn’t even bring himself to say this as he deferred the question to a Department of Public Health official. The explanation was awkward to say the least – The DPH doesn’t determine cause of death this is tasked to the State Coroner’s office.
Also, in that first week of April, we kept hearing about an anonymous donor providing Personal Protective Equipment to first responders across the state. A true benefactor that seemed to have no political bias just a deep concern for the heroes fighting this scourge. The numbers of donated items were so large that it drew the attention of the Connecticut press corps who uncovered the angel donor’s identity, former gubernatorial candidate Bob Stefanowski and his wife Amy.
What made this so striking is Lamont has been going on national cable shows since the beginning of the crisis. His main theme has been to berate others for his lack of preparedness and ability to acquire the medical tools necessary to save lives across the state. It was either President Donald Trump’s fault, the fault of “surge pricing” or the fault of slow testing. He has been calling out the President and manufacturers primarily for ventilators. Saying we need thousands yet a week ago he went to a Connecticut manufacturer and only purchased 100 in another grand photo op. A coronavirus media spectacle attended by a few media and several Democrat legislators.
Stefanowski on the other hand, quietly and resourcefully hunted down, paid for and distributed much needed equipment. Away from the limelight. He used connections he made across the state, who in turn used their connections to get this done. In a hysterical irony the very trucks Lamont fought unsuccessfully to toll, provided by Patrick Sasser of the NoTolls.org movement, were used to complete this mission of mercy.
What’s more is Stefanowski’s knowledge of leadership. He knows in crisis situations it is never good practice to try to upstage or discredit the leader who happens to be in place at the time. It is never a good idea to make a leader trying to navigate a crisis look bad and create a panic among the governed. He knows it is better to have an ineffectual leader than it is to have chaos. So he acted and delivered. Quietly and without trying to upstage Lamont.
If Lamont wants ventilators, he ought to give Stefanowski the state’s credit card and let him go to work.
If the present leadership he has demonstrated is any indication, history will not be kind to Ned Lamont after this crisis has passed.