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File, The New York Times / This masked replica of the Statue of Liberty was seen on the front porch of a Brooklyn home in early April.

Two minutes and 47 seconds. That's the duration of former President George W. Bush's "call to unite" message.

It won't take that long for your eyes to moisten as you listen to it and watch it on Twitter @TheBushCenter.

Likewise it didn't take very long — less than 24 hours — for our current president to hear about it on Fox and Friends and tap out his usual insult.

Bush's message was a universal pep talk, and it never named Donald Trump, Republicans, Democrats or anything in between. It was a call to end pandemic partisanship.

"Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat," Bush says in the professionally made video while a slide show flashes photos of Americans in masks and medical workers helping victims of the novel coronavirus. Bush continues: "In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants. We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise."

In Trump's slamming tweet, he paraphrases a Fox pundit saying he appreciated the Bush message, but where was his message for putting partisanship aside during impeachment. Trump added: "He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!"

The New York Times on Sunday noted that Bush's message was part of a series of videos aired online in a 24-hour livestreamed project, "The Call to Unite." Others featured included former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Shriver, Julia Roberts, Martin Luther King III, Sean Combs, Quincy Jones, Naomi Judd and Andrew Yang.

Clinton, filmed in what looked like a video chat from his home, said: "We need each other, and we do better when we work together. That's never been more clear to me as I have seen the courage and dignity of the first responders, the health care workers, all the people who are helping them to provide our food, our transportation, our basic services to the other essential workers."

Did Trump call on his predecessors to bring the country together during the pandemic that has sickened nearly 1.2 million Americans and killed more than 69,000? No.

Has Trump called for unity himself? No.

But he's given himself a 10 for handling the public health crisis. In reality, he deserves a 10 for mishandling it.

And no, this is not a partisan response. This is an opinion of one man's smallness. The man just happens to be calling himself a Republican at the moment. But even if he still called himself a Democrat, his presidential response to this crisis has been terrible, and we would still believe and opine about his smallness.

A reader took the editor of this page to task Tuesday morning for what she called "lumping all Republicans in one group." She said, "I don't know one person who wears a MAGA hat. As a matter of fact, none of us thinks it's OK to wear a baseball type hat unless one is outside, in the sun, and it's the only head-covering you can find."

She was referring to an editorial here that morning about the protesters disparaging Maryland Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's decision to extend that state's stay-at-home order until mid-May.

We had written: "What's Whitmer going to say to the protesters? Is she going to say: "Hey, guys. Knock yourselves out getting a highly contagious virus that you may or may not survive, but in the meantime you'll take it home to you kids, your spouse, your siblings, your parents, other MAGA hat significant others?" The editorial and that comment was specifically aimed at the protesters. The words "Republican" or "GOP" were nowhere to be found in the piece.

But the reader — and we — are right. And wrong. It goes to show how loaded words like "MAGA" are. How loaded words like "Republicans" and "Democrats" have become.

The protesters — egged on by Trump — are tapping a vile side of the country. Republicans, too, are speaking out about them. GOP Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio on Tuesday called them "obnoxious" and told them to "come after me," not the state's health chief or the news media.

"I'm the elected official. I'm the one who ran for office. I'm the one who makes the policy decisions. So when you don't like the policy, you can demonstrate against me," DeWine said, after protesters went to the health chief's home and one unmasked protester bullied a masked reporter, repeatedly pressing closer than six feet despite requests to stay back.

That bullying came even after DeWine on April 28 reversed his previous day's order that people wear face masks in the state's reopening stores: "It became clear to me that that was just a bridge too far," he later told ABC News. "People were not going to accept the government telling them what to do."

And on May 1 a security guard at a Michigan Family Dollar store was shot to death after trying to enforce the state's policy that everyone wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces.

CNN.com wrote Tuesday: "Face masks, it seems, have become a new fault line in America," indicating that now masks — and the wearing or not wearing of them — have become loaded with the symbolism of ideology.

It would seem there is more than one highly contagious virus among us right now, and Bush is certainly right about one thing: We rise or fall together.

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