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In 1956, John Kennedy (with ghost writer Ted Sorensen) wrote "Profiles in Courage," a Pulitzer-winning book describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight U.S. senators. In light of the leadership failures surrounding COVID, I suggest the following "Profiles in Cowardice:"

President Trump, who crippled the CDC leading up to the pandemic, ignored expert scientific advice, failed to properly disburse emergency supplies, encouraged militias to force ill-advised reopenings, and pitched quack cures, including mainlining bleach.

Sen. Steve Daines, whose sole contribution to the COVID crisis is a series of campaign ads trying to blame it all on China, without offering even a hint of how to get us out of this mess.

Rep. Gianforte, who has missed more congressional votes than 93% of his peers and only sits on a single House committee. As a congressman, he's literally been AWOL on his job, let alone on anything COVID-related.

Gov. Bullock, who initially acted courageously and responsibly but has done nothing since the end of May. Since reopening, Montana went from zero cases to record daily infection rates. The governor's response: crickets.

County Health Officer Matt Kelley, whose job is literally to protect Gallatin County residents from public health concerns but has done little more than contact tracing. Gallatin County has had more COVID cases than any other county in the state, by far. The state's reopening plan allows local jurisdictions to be more stringent than the state, yet Mr. Kelley's leadership style is that of a shy intern on his first day. Seniors in our county may die because Mr. Kelley won't insist, or even recommend, that people use masks or that out-of-staters should quarantine.

Montana State University, which has decided to not require masks on campus, unlike dozens of other top-tier state universities.

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Lane Kleinfeldt