There’s a world-shaking event taking place right now, but getting very little media coverage. While other nations are preoccupied with the coronavirus China unleased on us all, the communist government of Beijing is launching a crackdown that many fear will spell the end of Hong Kong’s “semi-autonomous” status. Some of us have been expecting and dreading this day from the moment the UK handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997. China remained hands-off for a while, as it enjoyed the wealth generated by Hong Kong, but there was no way communists would ever allow people under their rule to remain that free for the long haul.
Some say China won’t take away too much of Hong Kong’s autonomy because it will harm business, chase away foreign investors and ultimately hurt China. But to anyone who knows how communism works, what’s happening now is no more surprising than the fable about the scorpion that stung the frog that was carrying it across the river on its back. What we’re seeing in Hong Kong – the repression, arrests, intimidation, tear-gassing of protesters, etc. – is just in their nature.
In a related story, anyone who thinks that shifting blame for the coronavirus from China to Trump will help win elections might want to check out a stunning new poll by FTI Consulting. It found that in the wake of the pandemic, up to 94% of American voters want more nationalistic economic policies. 94% want labels on goods telling where they are from; 76% are willing to pay more for goods made in America; and (hang on to your hats, anti-Trumpers) 66% want more tariffs placed on foreign imports.
My advice to the Democrats: tell those 94% of voters that they’re racist and xenophobic.
Lt. Col. Allen West has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home after suffering a motorcycle accident in Texas Saturday. Details at the link. He says he thanks God and he thanks everyone who sent their prayers for him. Please keep them coming.
Before I write about this story, a few caveats:
1. We are learning more about the COVID-19 (Chinese – that NEVER changes!) coronavirus all the time, so there’s nothing particularly nefarious about changing mistaken policies based on new data, it’s just how the learning curve works. However, sticking with bad policies after you know they aren’t working or are making matters worse is not defensible.
2. Of course, any deaths are tragedies by definition, and terrible for the victim and their loved ones. But that’s a risk with any disease. In a nation of 328 million people, a pandemic is likely to kill many people, especially the old and already health-compromised, and there is nothing that any political leader can do to stop it. The job titles are President and Governor, not “God.” Bad decisions by leaders can make things worse, but I refer you back to #1 above.
3. I’ve written about this before but will say it again: whenever a health crisis passes, there’s always second-guessing and finger-pointing. If it was really bad, someone must be blamed. If it wasn’t that bad, someone must be accused of overreacting to a non-threat. In truth, it’s usually a chicken-or-egg situation: we don’t know if the precautions weren’t needed because it wasn’t that bad or it wasn’t that bad because we took the precautions. But that doesn’t stop people from claiming they know when they pretend to be experts on TV.
Okay, with all of that out of the way, here are the latest CDC numbers on the dangers of the coronavirus:
The CDC’s current “best estimates” are that 35% of Americans who contract the coronavirus are asymptomatic – that is, they don’t get sick at all. Among those who do suffer symptoms, 3.4% get sick enough to need hospitalization, and 0.4% die.
This is not meant to downplay the importance of continuing to take precautions to avoid catching and spreading the coronavirus. But 0.4% is a far cry from the original WHO estimate of a 3.4% fatality rate that was cited to justify shutting down the economy. Remember when President Trump said he suspected the fatality rate was actually less than 1%, and he was ripped by the media for his irresponsible science-denying? Well, it appears he was right.
It should also be pointed out that much of the nationwide lockdown panic was based on heavy cases in the New York area skewing the numbers.
I’m sure these latest CDC numbers will be either ignored or attacked by people who want to continue the lockdowns until after the election. But I’d love to hear their justification for continuing based on a 0.4% fatality rate. After that, they could explain why liquor stores should be allowed to stay open but churches can’t. Or they could explain why a Democratic Governor can ban everyone else from going to their vacation homes, but she can not only go to hers but her husband can try to cut in line at the boat ramp. News flash: that didn’t go well.
They could also explain why the Governor of Virginia is able to lecture everyone else to wear a mask, then immediately afterward mingle with people without a mask. Oh well, it’s not as offensive as some of the things he actually has put on his face.
Or why it’s okay to order the peasants to lock down and social distance, then invite dozens of your friends to a party at your mansion?
Finally, I always make it a point when I criticize the never-ending lockdowns to note that I am not a doctor or scientist. So here’s a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who blasted the fatality estimates as wildly exaggerated back in March, and who claims that the lockdowns might have cost more lives than they saved.
The news media have tilted liberal for decades, but they've let their animosity toward President Trump push them so far to the left (with their lack of fairness and objectivity also being reflected in upscale magazines, Hollywood and even late night comedy shows) that they have passed their “tipping point” of ever being able to come back to responsible, trustworthy journalism – at least not without losing the leftist audience they are now dependent on.
None of that is in any way surprising to you or me, but you’ve got to admit, it’s interesting to see reality finally dawning on the former president of CBS News.
NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE DEPT
Proving it’s truly “blue” Hawaii, the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, which is part of the state government, has written a proposal to deal with the coronavirus through a “feminist economic recovery plan.” This mostly involves throwing tax money at favored female identity groups and a lot of blatant, and likely illegal, sex discrimination against men.
Like every other leftist “economic plan” ever devised, it’s virtually guaranteed to backfire in an explosion of unintended consequences and hurt everyone, particularly the people it claims to help. For instance, it includes an extra-high $24.80/hour minimum wage for single mothers. How long will it take employers to figure out that they shouldn’t hire any single mothers because it will cost them so much more to get the same job done than it would if they just hired men?
I used to think that “jumbo shrimp” was the best example of an oxymoron, but now I’m leaning toward “feminist economic recovery plan.” Thanks, Hawaii!
Are you suffering from “maskne?” That’s the cutesy new name invented for acne, pimples, etc. that people develop on their faces from wearing masks too long. Here are some tips on what to do about it.
By the way, while health care workers and others who are forced to wear a mask at work have no choice, the best way to avoid getting “maskne” from wearing a mask too long is to not wear a mask for so long. That’s better for your bloodstream, lungs and sinuses, too.