Michael Ginsberg (45), a Republican from Centerville, VA is an attorney and aerospace engineer. He is vice president and deputy general counsel for CACI International, an information technology company that contracts with federal defense and intelligence agencies. He is a leader of the Suburban Virginia Coalition, which aims to improve Republican standing in suburban communities that have “taken a hit over the last several cycles.”
We are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. Those views are based on their understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.
What do you think about the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic?
I think it got off to a confused and slow start and I think we spent too much time early on downplaying the severity of the coming pandemic. I think the failure to be prepared to test people led to more dislocation than we might otherwise have experienced. But I think once the government understood the gravity of the crisis, it has been working reasonably effectively on the medical and economic fronts, relaxing regulations, passing stimulus, and taking monetary and fiscal policy measures to stem the crisis.
What do you think about the response in your state/community?
It has been as effective as could be expected–the social distancing measures, communication and key programs, such as school lunches, have continued.
Has the threat from the virus been overblown?
I don’t believe so. There is much we don’t know about the virus, and without any pharmaceutical tools to combat its spread we’re forced to work from the worst-case scenario. Judging by events in Italy and Iran, as well as China, this is a serious illness and should be taken extremely seriously. There is real risk to overwhelming the health care system, and mitigating that in advance is absolutely the right thing to do.
Has the threat from the virus not been taken seriously enough?
Perhaps in the early going, when not much was known about it and the Chinese government was actively suppressing information about it. But I think everyone has woken up to the threat.
What measures have you taken in your own life to protect yourself and others from the virus?
Social distancing, staying at home unless absolutely necessary to go out, working from home.
If you are a Trump supporter or leaning toward voting for Trump, has his administration’s response to the pandemic affected your support for the president?
No, it has not changed. I don’t think the response was perfect but crises like these are challenging, and I think the administration has found its footing once the parameters of the challenge became clearer.
During the most recent debate, who do you think was strongest in responding to questions about the pandemic–Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders? Who do you think won the debate?
I did not watch the debate, but I thinkBernie Sanders’s answers that the pandemic proves we need Medicare-for-All and more federal intervention in healthcare are ridiculous. If anything, the biggest glimmers of hope have come from private pharmaceutical companies–the ones Sanders regularly demonizes–who have been unleashed to fight the virus by relaxation of regulations and federal encouragement. The crisis has made the case for more private sector freedom in healthcare, not less.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I just hope people keep things in perspective. Government is not all-powerful, it cannot react immediately, and allowing the thousands of academic labs and private pharmaceutical companies to do their magic is how we’re going to get out of this. We shouldn’t pick at every little failure and condemn the government when the situation is evolving rapidly and there are enormous numbers of unknowns.