George W. Bush calls for unity amid coronavirus pandemic

George W. Bush,
Posted at 12:17 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 13:17:29-04

A video posted by the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Saturday featured a message from the former president urging compassion and empathy during a "challenging and solemn time in the life of our nation and world."

The message was originally shared during the "Call to Unite" 24-hour livestream event.

This is a challenging and solemn time in the life of our nation and world. A remorseless invisible enemy threatens the elderly and vulnerable among us. A disease that can quickly take breath in life. Medical professionals are risking their own health for the health of others, and we're deeply grateful. Officials at every level are setting out the requirements of public health that protect us all. And we all need to do our part. The disease also threatens broader damage harm to our sense of safety, security and community. The larger challenge we share is to confront an outbreak of fear and loneliness. And it is frustrating that many of the normal tools of compassion. A hug a touch can bring the opposite of the good we intend. In this case, we serve our neighbor by separating from them. We cannot allow physical separation to become emotional isolation. This requires us to be not only compassionate but creative in our outreach and people across the nation are using the tools of technology and the cause of solidarity. In this time of testing, we need to remember a few things. First let us remember, we have faced times of testing before. Following 911 I saw a great nation rises as one to honor the brave to grieve with the grieving and to embrace unavoidable new duties. And I have no doubt, none at all, that this spirit of service and sacrifice is alive and well in america. Second, let us remember that empathy and simple kindness are essential powerful tools of national recovery. Even at an inappropriate social distance. We can find ways to be present in the lives of others to ease their anxiety, and share their burdens. Third, 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. Finally, let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat. 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 or fall together. And we're determined to rise. God bless you all.

Former President Bill Clinton also joined the event, along with other prominent figures like Oprah.