LATEST COVID-19 NEWS
Here’s Saturday’s White House briefing on the coronavirus…
…And Sunday’s briefing…
Some major points: The US has now completed 4.18 million virus tests, more than France, the UK, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Austria, Australia, India, Sweden and Canada combined, and testing is expanding rapidly. Saturday’s briefing included some charts showing the rise and fall of cases in different metro areas (and no, media claims aside, we do not lead the world in coronavirus deaths.)
Trump also referred to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Christopher DeMuth called “Trump Rewrites the Book on Emergencies.” It argues that while all other Presidents have dealt with emergencies by expanding federal power and control, Trump has gone the opposite way by letting state and local authorities deal with the disease on their levels while he sticks to things that are federal duties, like allocating resources to the states and restricting foreign travel. For this, his critics have alternately attacked him for not doing enough, then turned on a dime and accused him of being a dictator when they thought he was doing too much. The article is behind a paywall, but Instapundit has a lengthy excerpt.
Trump said in his Sunday briefing that a deal was close with Democrats to stop holding up a bill to provide more funding for loans to struggling small businesses. Late Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he hoped the bill would be voted on in the Senate today and pass the House on Tuesday (a personal note to Nancy Pelosi: your two refrigerators will preserve all your $13-a-pint artisanal ice cream just fine until you get back from doing your job; that’s why they cost $12,000 apiece.)
Here is a list of all 50 states and the latest plans for reopening businesses in each state:
TIRED OF THE LEFT
On that subject, I’m getting awfully tired of hearing leftists mock and attack people who are demanding easing of restrictions so they can go back to work. Their frustration is perfectly understandable. First, some of the restrictions imposed, especially in blue states and cities, are ridiculous, unconstitutional, and have no impact at all on reducing the spread of the virus. For instance, refusing to let people buy needed items that are available in stores that are open because the Governor doesn’t deem them “essential.” Or shutting down safe drive-in church services while allowing drive-through liquor sales. Or cancelling all “elective” surgeries, including cancer biopsies, while allowing abortion clinics to continue operating. That’s not public health and safety, it’s tyranny and idiocy.
Second, aren’t the leftists always claiming that many Americans are “just one paycheck away from disaster”? Yet when Americans get desperate after losing three paychecks, or even their jobs, the same leftists mock and belittle them.
They can’t comprehend, or else simply don’t want to, just how devastating to people’s lives this business shutdown is, or how angry people get at having government arbitrarily trample their Constitutional rights. Scott Morefield at Townhall.com makes the argument that the left actually wants to keep the lockdown in place indefinitely (keeping everyone else from working advances their work of destroying the American system), and he lists the reasons why.
One other point worth noting: most of the liberal talking heads live in deep blue cities with dense populations (no offense intended), and are notorious for being bubble dwellers who neither know nor care about how people live outside of their own social circles. Maybe this will help give them a little perspective on Americans who don’t understand why they’re expected to endure the same draconian quarantine measures as, say, New Yorkers.
Matt Margolis at PJ Media, who understands that people in Wyoming or Arkansas live very different lifestyles than New Yorkers, decided to see what the coronavirus statistics would look like if you separated out downstate New York (just eight counties: Kings, Queens, New York, Suffolk, Bronx, Nassau, Westchester and Richmond) and treated that small, densely-populated (about 12 million people) and hard-hit area as a separate nation from the US. The results were stunning.
If those eight counties in downstate New York were a separate nation, it would lead the world in confirmed coronavirus cases (16,230.65 per million people.) Meanwhile, without Downstate New York, the US would drop out of the top 10 entirely, from 7th place all the way to 13th. Also, despite the fake news about the US leading the world in coronavirus deaths, as I already mentioned, we actually rank 8th in deaths per million in population (less than a fourth of first-place Belgium.) But if Downstate New York were a separate nation, it would rank #1 in deaths per million, and the rest of the US would drop to #11.
If you’d like an easy illustration of how much New York is skewing the infection and death figures, click the link above to PJ Media to see a chart comparing the growth of cases in the top 25 metro areas in the US. That red line that looks like a jet taking off over the heads of all the others is New York City/Newark.
Of course, none of this means that Americans anywhere should stop taking sensible precautions to avoid catching or spreading this disease. But it’s time we recognized that someone in Arizona or Alabama who drives his pickup alone from his ranch house to work at Home Depot is not as likely to contract the disease as New Yorkers who pour out of apartment buildings to cram shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers in a subway car on their way to work in crowded Times Square restaurants or the New York Stock Exchange. That’s the problem with “one-size-fits-all” solutions: they don’t fit most people.
Kudos to the burger chain Shake Shack, which became the first major company to give money back to the government. The chain said it was able to raise additional capital in an equity offering, so it will immediately return its $10 million emergency small business loan so the money could go to independent restaurants that need it most.
Signs That We’re All Going a Little Stir-Crazy: Families under self-isolation are engaging in an Internet challenge to recreate famous paintings by posing for photos in their homes.
The last photo is especially impressive, with the wife using rolls of toilet paper to stand in for the ruffled collar in a 1621 Van Dyck portrait. I don’t know which is more impressive: her creativity or the fact that she actually has that many rolls of toilet paper.
The current stay-at-home orders have left many parents struggling to learn how to homeschool their kids. But what they’re actually doing is known as “crisis schooling,” not homeschooling. Most real homeschoolers put in a great deal of time, research and effort to plan their schooling programs, select curricula, etc. They didn’t just have it suddenly thrust upon them. That’s why, home school students typically rank well above public school students in most metrics, from college admissions and SATs to social development to community service, and score up to 30 points higher on standardized tests.
I suspect that having so many kids at home, where parents are being forced to school them (and they’re not getting their leftist/anti-American/eco-warrior indoctrination) has leftist “educators” panicked that parents might decide they prefer homeschooling. And so we get garbage like this, from Harvard Magazine.
It’s about a Harvard law professor who’s demanding a ban on homeschooling. She calls for a "radical transformation in the homeschooling regime and a related rethinking of child rights" that "recommends a presumptive ban on homeschooling, with the burden on parents to demonstrate justification for permission to homeschool."
She claims that homeschooling allows parents to spend too much time with their own children (parents can’t be trusted not to abuse their kids), and that some parents have “extreme religious” beliefs that they might pass on to children instead of “ideas and values central to our democracy” (you know what that means, I assume). She says that many homeschoolers "promote racial segregation and female subservience." I know a lot of homeschooling parents and kids and have never seen that. I also don’t know how that she'd explain all the female students and kids of all races who’ve excelled at academics because they’re home schooled, but she’s a Harvard professor, so she’s obviously better than the rest of us.
Or maybe not. Maybe she’d be a bit smarter, a bit less brainwashed by the leftist education machine, and a bit less prejudiced toward people she knows nothing about if her own parents had homeschooled her. In fact, if all the people who run Harvard had been “indoctrinated” with Christian values by their parents, maybe we wouldn’t have stories like this.