Politicians heading all governments – from the most authoritarian to the most democratic – like to paint a rosy picture of life under their governance. Whether the rosy picture is true or not, in their eyes, pretending all is good is how they stay in power.
What the public often forgets, however, is that very few people who draw a government pay check are politicians. The vast majority of public sector workers are non-partisan, career officials whose job it is to ensure the basics of everyday life work. Their job is to make sure that the lights stay on, that your drinking water isn’t contaminated, that roads get plowed after a snow storm, that the building code is enforced so buildings don’t collapse on a windy day, and that passenger jets don’t fall out of the sky (think the Boeing 737 Max).
Career public officials are experts in what they do and real problems can arise when politicians try to tell them how to do their job. This is especially true when politicians interfere with public officials for purely self-interested political reasons.
Unfortunately, this is happening in spades with the coronavirus pandemic.