“One of the scariest things in the world is called ‘the unknown.’”
That’s how Scott Adams, creator of DILBERT and an expert on the science of persuasion, started a recent podcast. He noted that this is especially true if your enemy is something you literally can’t even see. I’ve been thinking about that in light of recent conflicting reports on the Wuhan virus (COVID-19) and promising therapies.
Adams decided to go on record, based on a lifetime of experience, with what he thinks the next several weeks are going to be like. Later we’ll know how close he got.
We’re seeing a huge conflict between two schools of thought. Some think that closing down the economy and all self-quarantining is much too extreme, that people need to get back to work now even if the virus spreads and some lose their lives (as happens with the flu every year). Adams says this is a very “adult” opinion that he respects; at least it shows an understanding of the costs and benefits, though we can only speculate how large or small either of those are. Others say we need a complete shut-down to get the virus under control and only then can we let people go back to work. Again, we can only speculate how long that will be.
It occurs to me that many Americans get their underwear in a bunch at the thought of a GOVERNMENT shut-down, during which “non-essential” government employees stay home for maybe a few weeks. For this, some are talking cavalierly about a TOTAL economic shut-down, for maybe a few months or even longer. That would inevitably lead to a crashed economy, perhaps the very soul of our nation in ruins and, yes, much death (suicide). That “cure” is unacceptable, worse than this disease.
COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus update
By Mike Huckabee
Traders braced for another brutal Monday on Wall Street after Congress failed to pass the third phase of an emergency support bill last night. It was blocked in the Senate by Democrats. They claim it gives too much leeway to big corporations, apparently not understanding that not even some big corporations have enough money to keep paying their entire work forces indefinitely while shut down.
There are also questions about whether they’re holding hostage a bill designed to save businesses that employ Americans in order to score funding for leftist non-profits such as Planned Parenthood.
Even Susan Collins, one of the most moderate Republicans in Washington, called the Democrats’ decision to block the emergency aid bill “irresponsible and unwise” and said they’re “playing with fire.” Except all the rest of us are going to end up getting burned.
It appears that some Democrats still think that Trump is a much bigger threat than the coronavirus, so they’d rather attack him than it.
It’s harder for Republicans to push anything through over united Democrat opposition because five Republican Senators are self-quarantining after possibly being exposed to the virus. Sen. Rand Paul is under heavy fire for allegedly coming to the Senate gym after being diagnosed. Paul claims that’s a lie and that he left the Senate immediately after learning he had tested positive.
But Paul’s critics say that as a doctor, he should have known to self-quarantine the minute he suspected he might have been exposed. It’s not clear yet whether he did that. Either way, Congress needs to act fast, not only to pass an emergency support bill but to shake the dust off its traditions and allow for remote voting, before there are so many members self-quarantining that they don’t have enough present to pass an emergency bill.
Once again, this suggests that the biggest danger to America’s health might not be pandemics but political paralysis.
I wanted to make sure you also read these comments:
Kurt Schlichter points out that the current pandemic is making it abundantly clear that while we can get along just fine without globalist elites, snarky Buzzfeed writers, Twitter-ranting celebrities, leftist late night hosts, gender studies majors and third-generation Yale-legacy poli-sci grads, the people who are saving America and keeping everyone safe are everyday heroes such as soldiers, nurses, cops, truckers, farmers and people who stock our grocery shelves.
As of Monday morning, the number of coronavirus cases in the US has surpassed 35,000, with 17,000 being in New York alone. New York has joined California, New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut in ordering residents to stay at home. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided not to that, at least not yet, since many Texas counties have yet to see even one positive test. But a judge issued a two-week stay-at-home order for residents of Dallas County.
President Trump has dispatched a US Navy hospital ship to New York harbor to help handle the cases, and he’s activated the National Guard in New York, California and Washington to help Governors carry out missions to stop the virus. (Note that New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio told “Meet The Press” Sunday, "The president of the United States is from New York City and he will not lift a finger to help his hometown.” I wouldn’t blame Trump for lifting a finger to DeBlasio. If this is how he deals with a crisis, maybe he should go lift weights in that gym he visits while banning everyone else from going, and let someone more qualified deal with it. Like one of those squeegee guys who have come back.)
Some on the left are criticizing Trump for not taking even more drastic measures, such as invoking a nationwide lockdown instead of letting state Governors set policy. So after three years of telling us that Trump is an autocratic dictator who wants to be another Hitler, they’re now criticizing him for not being an autocratic dictator. If your head is swimming and you feel confused, those are not symptoms of coronavirus, just of watching the news.
There are now five nations reporting positive results in treating the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus with a drug cocktail that includes the antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine. Here’s the latest report from researchers in France.
Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)
"And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
- Colossians 3:23-24
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