Former US president George W Bush has called on the Americans to keep the virtues of empathy, compassion and kindness intact amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that these are the powerful tools that would help combat the deadly disease. In the nearly 3-minute video message tweeted on Saturday, Bush encouraged people to be their best during the pandemic.
The tweet was posted by Bush's presidential centre. It was part of The Call to Unite event that featured well-known celebrities and public figures making encouraging videos to inspire people to overcome the challenges posed by the global health crisis. The 24-hour event, which was livestreamed on various online platforms, including Facebook, Youtube and Twitter, was organised by the Chairman of Special Olympics, Tim Shriver.
Besides Bush, former US president Bill Clinton, American media executive and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, Hollywood actress Julia Roberts and Indian-American author Deepak Chopra were among those who took part in the event.
"We serve our neighbour by separating from them. We cannot allow physical separation to become emotional isolation. This requires us to not only be compassionate but creative in our outreach," Bush said in his message.
"Let us remember empathy and simple kindness are essential, powerful tools of national recovery. Even at an appropriate social distance, we can find the way to be present in the lives of others. "In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We're human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God, we rise and fall together," he said.
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 said 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.
According to the Johns Hopkins University data, the pandemic, which originated in China, has infected over 3. 3 million people and claimed over 240,000 lives across the globe. The US is the worst-affected country from the virus with over 1. 1 million COVID-19 cases and more than 66,000 deaths.