We need our soldiers to do what they do best: mobilize the troops. Think of our traditional disaster relief efforts, those that focus on one area after a hurricane or flood. It’s fundamentally different.
We are going to have several cities and states in crisis at a time. We need our troops to organize the supplies and personnel that each site needs. When cases flock to a different city the following week? The military can move them if necessary – a traveling band of heroes who will save lives from New York to Alabama, California.
Here is the difficult truth: we will lose more New Yorkers. We will lose more Americans. But the question is: how many people in danger can we record?
There is only one way to save as many lives as possible. It is by involving all doctors, nurses and health workers in this fight – and moving them, precisely, to the right place, at the right time.
It cannot be done perfectly. But it can be done well.
Many of us have grown up hearing stories from our parents and grandparents about America in its most difficult times. It is hard to believe that our generation would face a challenge of the same magnitude. But that’s exactly where we are. The next few days and weeks will decide how we remember. Will we be heroes, like the older generation? Or will our legacy be a generation that could have done more, saved more lives – if only we had found a way?
There is only one way to go. We don’t have a day to waste.
Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) is mayor of New York.