March 23, 2020

“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.

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Anyway, Adams predicts that neither of these extreme scenarios will play out. (It’s not, to use “progressive” terminology, a binary choice.) To anticipate how it will go, he first consults the medical professionals. But he keeps in mind that they’re concerned not just with treating the patient but with availability of supplies and also with “crowd psychology,” what I’d call managing expectations and fears. Normally, Adams says, we can trust doctors and scientists to give us “a straight fact,” but in this situation, we might not.

They have good intentions and the best information, he says, but we may need to look through what is being said to know what’s really going on.

Adams cites the studies we’ve been discussing on the use of hydroxychlorophine and the “Z-pack” to treat COVID-19. Adams finds himself, like me, “more optimistic” than Dr. Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control have been, at least publicly, about the usefulness of these therapies. He thinks doctors are downplaying our hopes as a way to help keep us home, at least for now, and because they don’t yet have a large enough supply to meet the incredible demand there will be.

If there were a panic over getting the drugs, some people would stop at nothing. (Look at what they do to have toilet paper.) They also might be too optimistic about the difference the drugs will make. But Adams’ hunch, based on all he knows, is that doctors think this treatment is better than they’re currently letting on. “All of the evidence so far is that it’s a pretty good kill shot,” he says.

He predicts, based on studies going on now around the world, that we’ll find out in a week or two that with these treatments, we can take the death rate for healthy people under, say, 60, very close to zero. (I would add that this would be comparable to that of the usual seasonal flu.) They might get sick and miserable with the virus, but they’re highly unlikely to end up in the ICU. That will be the time to let many people go back to work, but not older and otherwise high-risk people, of course.

We’ll be able to turn the economy back on, he says, but “not like a light switch.” It’ll be more like a “dimmer.” But first, the health care system can’t be overloaded (as it currently is in New York), and there has to be a good supply of the medications.

Adams also asked some healthcare professionals how practical it would be to give drugs to those who were non-critical or even just presenting early symptoms that might or might not be coronavirus. Would they bother testing first, knowing that doing so would use up the supply of tests, which are probably more time-consuming to make and administer than just giving meds?

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Based on what they told him, he thinks medical professionals will be dispensing the medication fairly soon –- in places such as California, with nice weather, even in “pop-up tents” outside hospitals --- to people who aren’t sick enough that they need to be admitted. “Our ability to deliver it to people who are not critically ill will be very high,” he says. (I disagree on the advisability of “pop-up tents” if it means doctors will just be handing out drugs; hydroxychloroquine occasionally has serious side effects.)

Adams uses the restaurant business as an example of how the “dimmer” might be gradually turned up. Restaurants in a particular city may open for business, it might be determined, but only if nobody under 60 goes inside them. That would still cut out a lot of business, but it might get the restaurant back to covering salaries and rent. (I would assume people OVER 60 would still at least be able to get take-out!) He envisions a fairly rapid phase-in, assessing results as we go.

What we need to know now from our media: 1) What is the survival rate of people who have received these drugs?, and 2) What is the availability pipeline for the drugs? The media are letting us down here. The answers are likely encouraging.

Adams laments how the media ARE talking about this, vilifying Trump for telling “fairy tales.” Here’s what Rachel Maddow said: “But the President loves saying things like, you know, ‘There’s a drug we’ve got and it’s very effective. It’s approved already. Everybody’s gonna get it.’ He loves saying things like that, because that would be a lovely thing to tell people –- unless, of course, THAT’S NOT TRUE!” Maddow accuses the President of lying, when Adams can personally confirm through the experience of a friend of his with the virus –- sorry for the “anecdotal evidence” –- that medical professionals are giving patients this therapy. “Do you think they’re giving it to people because they don’t think it works?” he asks. Doctors are giving these drugs, FDA-approved but used off-label, because they believe them to be effective and not harmful, at least not harmful enough to outweigh the benefits.

In other words, it’s Maddow who is lying. (Talk about deplorable.) The President talks to all the experts and knows what he’s saying is true, and he’s working to get this treatment out as soon as possible.

Check out Scott Adams’ podcast, Episode 863, “PART 1: LET ME TELL YOU HOW WE BEAT THE VIRUS AND GET BACK TO WORK SOON.”

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Comments 1-25 of 97

  • Darline Brundage

    03/31/2020 12:26 AM

    I Already see prices going up on everything. Toilet paper is small rolls and cost $1 each. I guess we can't do anything about it. Also went to grocery store and there is a dispute over fruits and vegetables. So what will the money help with if everyone is getting greedy already and we have to pay higher prices for everything because of the greed. (Recorded in the bible the Laodecian church.)

  • Jill Karell

    03/25/2020 01:16 PM

    I like Stuart Varney's suggestion to sequester & protect those vulnerable to a danger from it, & let the rest go back to work. This is not a dangerous disease. It is classified as a "Cold Virus" by the cdc. If I go into the local school & swipe the desks I will find strep, ecoli, several cold viruses, Flus etc....It is ridiculous that someone capitalized on this & ran with it. I've sent many kids to the hospital with breathing issues from a cold because they had asthma, but I did not close the entire medical office, school, or Camp down to protect those with asthma because someone had a cold. Check the numbers of people who are hospitalized & die every year from catching a cold because they had an underlying medical issue. It is much more than these current numbers.

  • Larry S. Grubbs

    03/24/2020 07:28 PM

    It was true that we have an enemy that we cannot see - except through a microscope.
    It is also true that we have a FRIEND that we cannot see - presently.

  • R Reedy

    03/24/2020 07:11 PM

    Masks and continuation of Social Distancing might help, in addition to the availability of meds.

  • Steve Maley

    03/24/2020 06:49 PM

    New campaign slogan "Remember in November " the worthless Democrats that did not work in the best interedt of the citizens

  • Judy Radley

    03/24/2020 04:46 PM

    The so-called overwhelmed healthcare system in New York State is precisely due to Andrew Cuomo himself! He has closed down hospitals and MANDATED 12-hour shifts for nurses, and not increasing money to pay raises to the healthcare workers who are mandated. Which also means they don't get paid over-time if it is mandated to work 12-hour shifts. So the problem with lack of testing facilities, is a direct cause of Andrew Cuomo himself and NOT THE FEDERAL GOVT. For years now, Cuomo has been making hospitals shut down.... now look at what has happened from yet again another one of his stupid policies, policies that liberals always think are grand, but in actuality, they are stupid, stupid, stupid! Plus, the cost to run a business, whether it be hospitals or health care clinics, etc., is impossible to actual keep open because of the huge taxes that Cuomo always raises every year and add to that all the illegal aliens he allows into NYC and other large NY cities as 'sanctuary cities' also has made this crisis even worse than it may have been if he kept all those people out of NYC and also if he relaxed policies and allowed hospitals to stay open.... they closed actually because of the OBAMA CARE RESTRICTIONS AND STUPID POLICIES AND RIDICULOUS PRICING, BY NOT ALLOWING BETTER HEALTH CARE by private companies to keep up the good competition..... so all this virus chaos can be directly contributed to obamacare and the liberals in the states who control from socialized medicine and not marketplace competition. So if anyone is going to blame how come this has become worse than SARS and H1N1, it is because of the liberals and their socialized healthcare! It is proof in New York State as Cuomo has been ruining this state since he got into office..... it was much better when Gov. Pataki was governor! I do agree that yes, people need to get back to work and yes, take the risks as it would be less deaths from the virus than suicides. Look at what happened in Texas in the 70's & 80's when the oil crisis hit? So many suicides! The flu does kill more people EVERY YEAR than this virus has so far...and Cuomo NEVER worried about that, it is only because THIS YEAR IS AN ELECTION YEAR AND THOSE LIKE CUOMO DO NOT WANT ANOTHER 4 YEARS OF GREAT LEADERSHIP THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS DONE FOR AMERICA.... I firmly believe that is why Cuomo and the other liberal governors are making the panic worse than the virus. They are of course, the gloom and doom, and always the 'negative and nasty Nancys'.... They don't know what optimism looks like except when they are stealing other peoples money for their own selfish political agendas!

  • Barbara Giroir

    03/24/2020 03:44 PM

    There is Always HOPE in Jesus! My thoughts are to stay focused on the positive, Jesus. God is all knowing & is still on His Throne. It's like the song says, Trust & Obey, But are we really? The words to this song speaks volumes.
    When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word what a glory He sheds on our way! Let us do His good will, He abides with us still, and with all who will trust & obey.
    Not a burden we hear, not a sorrow we share, but our toil He does richly repay; not a grief or a loss, not a frown are a cross, but is best if we trust & obey.
    We don't live in a perfect world, yet. We can't heal or fix all the wrongs or even stop the evil. ALL we are asked to do is Believe in the One who can, our Lord & Savoir Jesus Christ! Believe, Trust in Him, Pray & Repent, Father God forgive us for our sins, we are all so undone. In Jesus Mighty Name, Help us Not to listen to the foolish, prideful, boastful, fleshy, evil spirits of this world who want nothing more than to kill & destroy BUT that we will open our ears & hearts to what Your Holy Spirit is saying & heed to God's voice of Wisdom & Understanding.

  • Allan Carroll

    03/24/2020 03:41 PM


    I think you are right on track!

  • BKW

    03/24/2020 06:54 AM

    Thank you for this wonderful newsletter that keeps me informed. It is one of my main go to's next to Fox. Keep up the good work.

    Would you let President Trump know that we don't want him to give in to the Dems blackmailing attempts through the rescue package. Thanks!

  • Sharon Caruthers

    03/24/2020 04:40 AM

    Mr Huckabee
    Thank you for your newsletter to keep us informed.
    Please help me understand this proposed stimulus package. The checks that will be sent out will be treated as an advancement against your tax credit or added back on your next year tax filing?
    How is it they we give millions and millions to other countries and they never pay it back. Never mind the fact of how much money the government waste. So when we are in a crisis, that seems more fear promoted than it should be, again it’s the American people that seem to always be the ones that get the raw end of the deal from government that is suppose to be for the people.

  • Janice Richards

    03/23/2020 11:59 PM

    Yes, after a lockdown where EVERYBODY takes it seriously, then isolating 60+ makes sense

  • judith jakub

    03/23/2020 10:59 PM

    I believe our POTUS has a very difficult job, and he's doing a superb job of a very difficult situation. I pray for him every day, for his good health, his strength and most of all, his safety. I thank God we do not live in Italy because they are refusing medical help to anyone 60 and up. That is barbaric and I pray the Pope stays well. The world needed this catastrophe (I feel) because we've all been losing focus on our Lord and I can understand his anger, but he's giving us all a chance to straighten up and fly right. Let's hope we can.

  • Dale P. Ferguson

    03/23/2020 10:55 PM

    A few years ago Scott Adams also said through one of his characters, "If evolution is true, you are nothing but a temporary arrangement of matter sliding toward oblivion in a cold, uncaring universe."

    "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1.

  • Larry Mundt

    03/23/2020 10:18 PM

    I think do the presidents two week stay at home and then use our best ideas to as quickly as possible get everyone back to work. The hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin protocol then should have been used in enough cases to ask anyone who wants it to use it. Then I would make up 6 or 10 day daily packets by the thousands. Help businesses distance their workers at work and everyone wears gloves masks and that they have people at every business cleaning surfaces, buttons, door handles. We need to think stay open and stay safe.

  • Jeanne Lilroy

    03/23/2020 09:33 PM

    I like what Adams has to say & I luv reading anything Mike
    Huckabee has to say !!
    Thanks ! For calling out Maddow - a winner for fake news!

  • Sarah J Berkley

    03/23/2020 09:06 PM

    Very interesting. I hope he's right.

  • Dean VanOort

    03/23/2020 08:25 PM

    I also think we have to be careful that the cure isn't worse than the problem.
    I am thankful that Donald Trump is President.

  • Linda Kirk

    03/23/2020 07:22 PM

    I’m praying that Trump can keep his cool until these Negative Nellies run out of foul language to call him. I would have already punched someone’s lights out. I think he is doing the best he can do with the knowledge we have to work with. My heart goes out to him and the tough decisions he has to make but I pray for that hedge of protection to surround him and VP Prince.

  • Joan Chambers

    03/23/2020 07:07 PM

    If shut down Congress should not get paid. They spend enough of tax payers money.
    Pelosi and Schumer must retire they are of no use to America.

  • Theresa Stone

    03/23/2020 06:41 PM

    I like reading this and getting a picture of both positions. Thanks for this.

    I am most concerned that the President and our key task force are not practicing social distancing. If you have any pull, could you PLEASE tell him to spread apart and not be close together in their briefings and meetings? We need Trump and all the others healthy so they really should spread out. We don't need to see them all in the camera. We would feel better if they spread out. :-)

  • Gil Bellamy

    03/23/2020 06:18 PM

    An item on Fox News revealed that approximately TWO-THIRDS OF DEATHS in China due to the Wuhan virus (covid-19) WERE MALES. And, three-fourths or so of the deaths in Italy were males. If true, why would this be? Is it related to something such as smoking? For instance, do male smokers in China represent two-thirds of the smokers population? Three-fourths in Italy? We know that long time smokers have damaged lungs. Is it smoking and not longevity that is the harbinger of being invaded by the China Wuhan Virus? Potential victims want to know.

  • Deborah McCallum

    03/23/2020 05:23 PM

    It's time to freeze Congressional salaries, travel and staff by 1/2. If they cannot respond to a national emergency including financial crisis, they demonstrate further ineffective gridlock. Isolate with no pay like many thousand Americans.

  • janis contway

    03/23/2020 05:21 PM

    My question in each of the "government shutdowns" has always been, "Why do we have Non-Essential employees?"
    I own a couple of businesses and we have NO non-essential employees. And if we did, they would NOT go on paid furlough when times get tough, they would be fired. If government employees are non-essential and we the people are their employer, I say we fire them and carry on. Non-essential employees endanger the entire business and the jobs of every other employee, so eliminating the non-essentials is the only option.
    In the current situation where we seem to be shutting down essential businesses for little or no reason, but we are still paying non-essentials in government.

    On a whole other note, there IS an existing corona virus. I remembered it from when there was an out break of corona virus at a local race track. The owners of the horses identified the sick animals, determined what organism was causing their illness, isolated them from the healthy horses, treated the sick horses symptomatically while VACCINATING the healthy horses with a VACCINE originally developed to treat corona virus in cattle. And it worked.
    All recovered except one who was likely the first to catch the disease, was very ill before the organism was identified and was euthanized. Google "corona virus vaccine for horses."
    I know there is a difference between vaccines for animals and vaccines for humans and there are many strains of the virus. But an existing vaccine seems the likeliest basis for researching a human vaccine.
    If anyone is looking into it, they certainly do not seem to be publicizing it at all.
    Thanks to Huck for keeping us informed.

  • Kathleen Alkema

    03/23/2020 05:13 PM

    The mainstream media is nothing but liars and are partially responsible for the hate that’s thrown at our President,it’s such a shame that this is even allowed

  • Michael

    03/23/2020 04:59 PM

    The Democrats and the mainstream media WANT TO sabotage our economy. They don't care if our country goes into a recession or depression. If they thought for a minute that a bad economy would destroy Trump's chances of re-election. They probably don't want to rely on their cheating alone to try to win the November election. All what Nancy Pelosi and the Dems want to include in the Coronovirus relief bill just shows that they absolutely don't care about Americans, you know us "deplorables"!! I hope that Americans will not forget and remember all of this the next seven months before we go to the polls. Vote against the party of evil and destruction- all Democrats!!! This Nation is truly at a tipping point of whether we save or lose this Nation. A vote for any Democrat will be a vote to lose or have destroyed our Nation. VOTE REPUBLICAN !!!!