The COVID-19 (Chinese) virus numbers are getting grimmer by the day. Wednesday, the total death toll in the US topped 5,000, and for the first time, more than 1,000 deaths were recorded in a single day. We are quickly closing in on double the death toll from the 9/11 attack, and it will only get worse. Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada and Pennsylvania all added or expanded their stay-at-home orders. Let’s all continue observing safety guidelines, and pray that the efforts being taken to prevent its spread start showing results quickly.
Here’s video of President Trump’s daily briefing for Wednesday, April 1. Aside from warning Americans to brace for more “horrific” days to come, Trump made news on two other fronts. First, he announced a major offensive against Mexican drug cartels, to insure they don’t attempt to exploit the current crisis.
Second, he made it clear, as much as diplomatic niceties would allow, that we can’t trust disease data released by China. With obvious sarcastic understatement, Trump said the infection and death numbers being reported by Beijing “seem to be a little on the light side,” later adding, “As far as the numbers, I’m not an accountant from China.”
It’s obvious he doesn’t want to get into a fight with China right now (particularly when we’ve foolishly allowed so much of our medicine manufacturing to move there), but the subtext is clear: nobody in their right mind believes the communist Chinese government’s propaganda, the lowball numbers they’re putting out, or the nonsense about the disease being contained.
Of course, when I refer to people in their right minds, I’m not talking about politicians and reporters in the grip of Trump Derangement Syndrome, who have been parroting the most absurd Chinese talking points as long as they make Trump look bad.
As Andrew Stiles at the Washington Free Beacon notes, a lot of these people not only cited the transparently bogus numbers from China to bash Trump, they did it in a way that made it appear they were gloating and celebrating the suffering and deaths of their fellow Americans as long as it promoted their political agenda. Stiles writes that looking back on their recent snarky tweets makes them look like idiots in retrospect, but I beg to differ: they looked like idiots the very second they pressed “Send.”
Now that we have passed the first of the month (rent due!) with no end yet in sight, I sense that Americans have reached their fed-up point with people trying to use this crisis to play political gotcha games.
There’s an old saying associated with many leaders, particularly Gen. George S. Patton: “Lead, follow or get out of the way!” We have a lot of people in the public eye now who think they should be leading this effort, yet everything they’ve done up to now, from pushing open borders and globalization, to passing endless regulations, to trying to hamstring and distract the President to urging people to ignore warnings and go to public events, have all done nothing but make matters worse. Even now, in the midst of one of the worst crises the nation has ever faced, some of them are so small-minded and tunnel-visioned, they still cling to their pathetic dreams of impeaching Trump again.
Meanwhile, even as Trump and his team move mountains to try to help the nation, they refuse to follow. The bureaucrats have hampered urgently-needed action, and the press has constantly sniped at and harassed Trump, contradicted what he says and blocked viewers from hearing it.
So having proved that they can’t lead, and they can’t follow, and with the death toll mounting, I sense that most people are ready to scream at them to pack up their TDS and “Get out of the way!”
And for those who prefer their opinion pieces delivered by flamethrower, here is the always blunt but never unamusing Kurt Schlicter…
There’s no update yet on legendary songwriter John Prine, who was reported to be in critical care on a respirator with the COVID-19 coronavirus. But the disease has now claimed the lives of two other highly-respected musicians.
Jazz pianist and teacher Ellis Marsalis Jr. has died in New Orleans at 85 after being hospitalized with symptoms of the disease, although it has yet to be confirmed. Marsalis was not only a legendary New Orleans jazz man in his own right, he was the teacher and mentor to generations of star players, such as Harry Connick Jr. and Irvin Mayfield, as well as his famous sons, Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis. To show how much he helped advance the art of jazz, his sons now play with symphony orchestras. But he once recalled that during his youth studying classical piano at Dillard University, "you could get expelled for playing jazz. The dean would get a report that we were over there ruining pianos playing jazz on them.”
And the deadliness of the virus is not limited to the elderly, the sick or those with poor health care. The rock music world was shocked Wednesday at news that singer/songwriter Adam Schlesinger had died of COVID-19 complications at 52. Schlesinger was one of the rare talents who nearly earned “EGOT” status: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony. He was an Emmy winner for his music for the TV show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend;” a Grammy winner with his ‘90s pop/rock band Fountains of Wayne; Tony nominee for his score for the musical “Cry-Baby;” and Oscar nominee for the early Beatles-style theme song of Tom Hanks’ 1997 directorial debut, “That Thing You Do.”
Our prayers for their families and condolences to their many fans.
VERMONT WARNING SIGN
I wrote yesterday about guarding against letting government officials use the coronavirus lockdown to start infringing on Americans’ Constitutional rights. You’ve heard the saying that if you scratch a socialist, you’ll find a totalitarian underneath. Some of these politicians, particularly in deep blue states, are going far beyond their power in trying to dictate public behavior in ways that has nothing to do with public safety.
A good example comes to us from Vermont, the same political culture that gave the Senate its only open socialist, Bernie Sanders. State officials there have decreed that it’s not bad enough that people are locked up in their homes, only allowed to venture out to big box stores for supplies. But they’re buying too many “non-essential” items, so that has to stop. Sure, the items are just sitting there on the shelf, but don’t you DARE buy them!
Take a look at some of what they consider “non-essential” to families cooped up at home. Home and garden supplies, arts and crafts, books, movies, consumer electronics, paint, furniture, clothes, toys, beauty products (which includes soap and hand sanitizer, by the way) and more. So you’re supposed to keep your kids at home, but you can’t garden, bathe, read, watch movies, replace the clothes they’ve outgrown, buy an extra chair or two, or do anything else, apparently, except sit on the floor naked staring at the walls.
I get that some people in Vermont like socialism. Well, this should give them an idea of what life is like under it. The only difference is that rather than being empty, the stores will actually have all the things you need, you’re just not allowed to buy them.
If Vermont citizens put up with this, then they should get a new state slogan. “Freedom and Unity” seems to be at least half wrong.
WISHING CHRIS CUOMO A SWIFT RECOVERY
I mentioned yesterday that CNN’s Chris Cuomo has contracted the coronavirus and is reporting remotely from self-quarantine in his basement at home. All politics aside, as it should be at this time (take note, CNN), I hope you’ll join me in saying a prayer for his swift and complete recovery (and say thanks for some very good news: his wife and children tested negative.) In fact, he is doing Americans a great service now, just by describing firsthand what it’s like.
Cuomo says that he’s never experienced anything like it, with the chills, fever, body aches and tremors that accompany it. He says he was shivering so severely Tuesday night that he chipped his tooth.
If he can convince CNN viewers that this is not just a bad flu – indeed, that there really is a threat in the land even more serious than Donald Trump being President, so that people will listen to what Trump’s trying to tell them and take the government guidelines very seriously – then Cuomo will have done more to help America than anyone else I’ve seen on CNN in a long time.
TRUMP REFORM OF GOVERNMENT IS VISIBLE IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
If you listen to the media (and why would you anymore?), you would think that President Trump is just running around flailing aimlessly, with no plans or preparations for such an emergency. But in fact, as this in-depth article from the Daily Signal explains, we’re seeing the results of a massive reform effort that’s been going on since Trump was elected.
Many of the things that are helping, like being able to consult a doctor over the Internet, are results of reforms Trump has made. All would be helpful in dealing with the coronavirus, and if they’re not fully in place yet, it’s because the government has been blocking and slow-walking them, often for no discernible reason.
The problem isn’t that what Trump has done is wrong. The authors note that we’re much better off than we would have been under the previous Administration. The real problem is that the pandemic arrived before Trump was able to get government out of the way of his reforms so they’d be ready when we needed them.
We’re lucky that Trump was making these reforms, and when this is over, we should demand that they be made more quickly. In the meantime, if Trump seems to be in constant motion, it’s not because he’s lost to know what to do. It’s because he has to constantly keep swinging a machete at red tape and removing government roadblocks to common-sense reforms.
1. U.S. # CONFIRMED CASES (As of 2:15 PM): 234,462 DEATHS: 5,607 RECOVERIES: 8,849
TESTS GIVEN: 1,179,587
3. POLITICAL FALLOUT: Cancel the Democrat and Republican conventions? Maybe.
4. MEDIA BIAS: Hume: TDS Media can't be trusted.
5. CHINA LIES: The Australian Media isn't buying them.