President George W. Bush’s Powerful Message of Hope During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Published July 27, 2020
This article is a part of The Global Leadership Summit Faculty Spotlight series where we feature content from the upcoming #GLS20 speakers. This is a great opportunity to get a taste of what to expect from these amazing leaders!


We are honored to welcome this special guest to the #GLS20 faculty lineup!  

Join us at The Global Leadership Summit for Decision Points: One-on-One with President George W. Bush* where he’ll discuss his time in office and the leadership lessons he learned while serving as the 43rd president of the United States during one of the nation’s most difficult eras.   

President Bush recently shared a powerful message of hope and unity with the world. Although his interview during the Summit will not focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, the remarks he shared within the video below gives us a glimpse of the President’s perspective on leadership. 


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This is a challenging and solemn time in the life of our nation and world.  

A remorseless, invisible enemy threatenthe elderly and vulnerable among us—a disease that can quickly take breath and 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 for public health that protect us all. And we all need to do our part. 

The disease also threatens broader damageharm 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 the normal tools of compassiona hug, a touchcan bring the opposite of the good we intend.  

In this case, we serve our neighbor by separating from them. But 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 in the cause of solidarity.  

In this time of testing, we need to remember a few things: 

First, let us remember that we have faced times of testing before. Following 9/11, I saw a great nation rise 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 kindness are essential, powerful tools of national recovery. Even at an appropriate social distance, we can find ways to be present in the lives of others, to ease their anxieties and share their burdens.  

Third, let us 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 are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God.  

We rise or fall together. 

And we are determined to rise. 



Join President George W. Bush and 15 other world-class speakers for The Global Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday, August 6-7. Get ready for your two-day infusion of fresh ideas, actionable concepts, leadership principles and heartfelt inspiration from a world-class faculty online or at a location near you! 


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*Please note: This session is closed to the media and will only be available to attendees on August 6, 2020 within the U.S and Canada—it will not be available for viewing on August 7, 2020 or at any point during the 7 Day Video-on-Demand period. 

About the Author

President George W. Bush

43rd President of the United States; and Founder

George W. Bush Presidential Center

George W. Bush served as 43rd President of the United States of America from 2001-2009. As Commander in Chief, President Bush worked to expand freedom, opportunity, and security at home and abroad. His Administration reformed America’s education system, restored robust private-sector economic growth and job creation, protected our environment, and pursued a comprehensive strategy to keep America safe after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. After the Presidency, President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a nonpartisan public policy and leadership development. President Bush is the author of three bestselling books: Decision Points (2010), 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014), and Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (2017). He and Laura are the parents of twin daughters: Barbara, married to Craig Coyne, and Jenna, married to Henry Hager. The Bushes also are the proud grandparents of Margaret Laura “Mila”, Poppy Louise, and Henry Harold “Hal” Hager. *Please note: This session is closed to the media and will only be available to attendees on August 6, 2020 within the U.S. and Canada—it will not be available for viewing on August 7, 2020 or at any point during the seven-day video-on-demand period.

Years at GLS 2020