A RUNDOWN OF COVID-19 NEWS
Here is the link to Thursday’s full White House press briefing on the coronavirus:
The most important point to come out of it was that the virus is vulnerable to increased temperatures, humidity and sunlight, which could be good news as summer approaches, especially in sunny Southern states. There was a recommendation that activities be moved outdoors into the sunlight, which I’m sure will come as welcome news to Americans who are sick of being cooped up inside until they’re as pale as Morticia Addams.
And then there was this incident, which has a good chance at going down in history as the Stupidest Media Controversy of 2020, although I suspect there will be a lot of competition.
I’ll add that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” is a message I’d like to see taken to heart across all the shadowy nooks and crannies of the federal government, not just the virus briefings.
The biggest real news of the day involving the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus is that it might not be as deadly as we were led to believe when we shut down the economy based on computer models that predicted millions of deaths, and have since been adjusted steadily downward. There’s always a temptation when dealing with a disease scare to look back with 20/20 hindsight and say, “It wasn’t that bad! We didn’t need to take all those precautions!” when it’s possible that if we hadn’t taken the precautions, it might’ve been much worse. It was certainly necessary to take drastic action upfront to “flatten the curve” and keep the disease from spreading and overwhelming the medical system.
But we’ve done that. While we don’t want a second wave to bring it roaring back, we can’t keep the economy shut down forever. Due to the shutdown, another 4.4 million Americans just applied for unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 26 million. Indeed, there are estimates that keeping it shut much longer will lead to so much despair, depression, drug abuse and suicide that more people will die than would have died of the virus.
We were also told that we needed to take drastic measures until we knew more about the threat. Well, now we know more, and some of it is good news, but the people lobbying to keep the economy shut down don’t want to hear it.
For instance, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who not that long ago was worried about millions of deaths and a shortage of ventilators and hospital beds (none of which came to pass) announced that a test of 3,000 people across 19 New York counties found that 13.9% of them had coronavirus antibodies. Extrapolated to the entire state population, that would be 2.7 million people who contracted the virus but had no symptoms or sickness too mild to go to the hospital. That would mean the death rate per infection isn’t 6%, as previously stated, but 0.5%. We still don’t know if antibodies provide long-lasting immunity, but it is proof that many people can catch the virus and not even get sick enough to need a doctor.
We also now know that 94% of coronavirus patients who were hospitalized in New York City had another underlying condition, and 88% had two or more. The most common was hypertension, followed by obesity, diabetes, morbid obesity, and coronary artery disease.
But the most important MUST-READ article of the day is by Dr. Scott W. Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center. It’s titled, “The Data is In; Stop the Panic and End the Total Isolation.”
Dr. Atlas lists five facts that all point to the need to end the economic lockdown while continuing to proceed with reasonable caution. These facts, which he explains in much more detail, are:
The overwhelming majority of people have little risk of dying from COVID-19 (those over 75 are at greatest risk; the current death rate for those 18 and under is zero)…Protecting older, high-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding…Our total isolation policy is prolonging the problem by preventing the development of “herd immunity”…People are dying because hypothetical projections of the need for care for COVID-19 patients caused states to cancel other medical procedures, from cancer screenings and biopsies to chemotherapy and brain surgeries…We now have a clearly-defined at-risk population who can be protected with targeted measures, so we don’t have to shut down the entire country.
This isn’t to say that we can immediately go back to life as it was two months ago. We’ll still need to follow reasonable precautions. Even if you’re not at greatest risk, why take unnecessary chances? But we now know a lot more about how dangerous the disease is, and about how damaging the response has been. We now have to consider whether the cure is on the verge of becoming worse than the disease.
LIBERAL TROLLS AND POLITICIANS SHOW THEIR TRUE COLORS
One relative upside of the pandemic shutdown is that it has made a lot of people who like to wrap themselves in the mantle of “compassionate liberals” show their true colors. For instance, we’ve seen some truly wretched comments, ranging from anonymous Twitter trolls wishing death on the President and his supporters to clueless, bubble-dwelling celebrities and politicians mocking people who are desperate to get back to work so they don’t lose their homes and businesses and so they can pay their bills and feed their families.
We’ve also seen in stark terms the ugly selfishness of the left's “never let a good crisis go to waste” mentality, as Nancy Pelosi held up desperately-needed aid to small businesses to try to extort her “progressive” wish list into the bill. She’s now boasting that if we need another bill to keep the economy alive, she will force a national vote-by-mail law into it, creating a tsunami of vote fraud that will keep Democrats in power forever.
Another way that opportunistic leftists have tried to use this crisis to impose their agenda on America was by making it more lucrative to stay unemployed than to go back to work. They insisted that this wouldn’t incentivize unemployment. But it already is…
Some analysts say the lucrative unemployment benefits are a stealth way of forcing small businesses to raise wages without having to pass a new national minimum wage law. If so, then it’s a stealth way to put small businesses out of business nationwide, just as they have in cities and states that raised the minimum wage above market rates. Small businesses are drowning, and the Democrats want to throw them an anvil.
To sum up, Americans have gotten a good, hard look at what life under “Democratic socialism” and the Green New Deal would look like, as some prominent leftist politicians have celebrated the blows to the fossil fuel industry, all the lost jobs in industries they don’t like, and the expansion of dependence and government power, with people being ordered to stay inside, not drive, live off handouts, etc. If you like the current despair, impoverishment, lack of freedom and official disregard for constitutional rights, elect more AOCs and they’ll make it permanent.
OBAMA BREAKS WITH TRADITION
Former President Barack Obama broke the tradition of Presidents not attacking their successors (especially during a national emergency) by criticizing President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. At this link, Matt Margolis of PJ Media reminds us of why Obama has no room to talk, having botched the response to two pandemics during his term, Ebola and H1N1 (swine flu.)
Speaking of violating long-established protocols, Bob Ehrlich has a good piece at Western Journal about six ways in which Donald Trump has changed old rules that everyone used to follow.
It’s an interesting read, but to put in my two cents: I’m constantly hearing about how Trump has upended all the agreed-upon rules and previously-revered niceties of politics, media relations, diplomacy, etc. In some ways, he has (usually by telling us what he honestly thinks, which ironically gets him branded as a “liar” by people who think he should have been honest enough to keep telling the same lies they’ve all agreed to mouth for years.) But the charge that Trump is responsible for inventing personal attacks on opponents and “lowering the tone of political discourse” is laughable. And I ought to know.
If you recall, I stood on the debate stage with Trump, competing with him for the nomination at a time when he was being assailed for giving mocking nicknames to his opponents. Do you know what he called me? “Governor Huckabee,” or “Mike.” Do you know why? Because I said I knew that Hillary Clinton would be far worse for America than any Republican, so I was going to observe Reagan’s 11th Commandment and not attack my fellow Republicans. I didn’t call Trump names, and he didn’t call me names. Imagine that!
In virtually every case where Trump has been accused of attacking people, breaking the rules and “lowering the tone,” he was attacked first. He was called a phony, a con man, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe, a liar, a crook and someone who was only running to enrich himself, surely the most hilarious of all the false charges. And a media that had just spent eight years giving Obama shoeshines with their tongues declared themselves to be open advocates for Hillary and threw any pretense of journalistic standards out the window as they attacked Trump like a pack of baying hounds.
But he didn’t do what Republicans are supposed to do when they’re unfairly maligned, which is to roll over and apologize for their shortcomings. No, he punched back. And for that unforgivable act of self-defense, he’s the one who’s blamed for “lowering the tone of public discourse.” Maybe he should point out that he’s just following the Obama principle of “if they hit you, punch back twice as hard.” Or would it be uncouth to remind the Democrats and the media (pardon my redundancy) that he’s not the first President to disregard the niceties of polite discourse when attacked?
TIME TO REIN WHITMER IN
So many people are furious and protesting Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s arbitrary rules in the name of fighting the coronavirus that the state legislature plans to meet today to discuss reining in her powers.
FYI: Republicans hold the majorities in both houses in Michigan. You didn’t seriously think that a Democratic legislature would consider reining in the powers of a Democratic Governor just because the people were up in arms, did you?
COURT CASE TO WATCH
A five-year-old girl’s biological father is fighting in the Texas State Supreme Court for his parental rights against the fiance of his late ex-wife, who died in a car crash. Believe it or not, lower courts sided with the non-relative, holding that anyone who claims to have had a parental-like supervisory role in a child’s life has the right to challenge a biological parent for custody. Incidentally, there is no question of the biological father being an unfit parent.
The attorney for the dad says that if they lose, it could set a legal precedent that nannies, live-in boyfriends, roommates or anyone who lives in the same house as a child and has a minimal role in his or her life can sue the parent for custody and get rights and time with your child. This is definitely a case to watch and pray over, and be thankful it’s in Texas and not California.
FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS CALIFORNIA GUN LAW
A federal judge in San Diego blocked a California law requiring people to undergo a background check to buy ammunition, calling it “onerous and convoluted” and in violation of the Second Amendment.
Might I add that since people already have to undergo a background check to buy guns, why would they need to do it, again and again, every time they buy bullets? Unless the California legislature thinks that ammo buyers who don’t own guns plan to throw the bullets at people.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
1 Chronicles 29:14 (KJV)