Here is video of Thursday’s White House briefing on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus.
President Trump said that the massive response from the public, government and the military had helped flatten the spread of the virus, and he unveiled a set of guidelines called “Opening Up America Again” to reopen the economy in phases while focusing on sheltering the most vulnerable people from infection.
Under the guidelines, Governors and local officials would make the decisions on when it is safe to reopen, either statewide or on a county-by-count basis. Which is odd, since I was assured by the media just a few days ago that Trump was a dictator who was demanding total authority over that decision. Guess it’s a good thing that I’ve learned to ignore all overheated accusations about Trump until I actually see him do whatever it is they’re accusing him of wanting to do. But that’s the TDS virus, so it’s a subject for another day.
RED AND BLUE STATES
If nothing else, over the past month, Americans have gotten a hard lesson in the difference between blue and red-state governance.
Leftwing Governors and local officials used the pandemic lockdown as an excuse to impose draconian restrictions on the public, stirring angry protests that have undermined public trust and cooperation in the anti-virus efforts. The worst offender is Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose inexplicable restrictions on personal freedom sparked a traffic jam protest and a federal lawsuit, and a refusal to comply by four county sheriffs who accuse her of issuing vague orders that overstep her authority and infringe on civil liberties. The state attorney general threatened the sheriffs that "by statute, the governor's executive orders are law." But that’s questionable, especially if the orders violate people’s constitutional rights.
Of course, some on the left would like to use this crisis to complete their “fundamental transformation” of America. No thanks, one deadly communist infestation is enough.
Meanwhile, in Republican-led states, officials have tended to trust the people to act responsibly (and they have), and infection rates have stayed low and fallen. As a result, Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine, for instance, announced that his state will begin reopening on May 1st. Guidelines will remain in place for a while – social distancing, limited numbers of people in stores, etc. – but business will soon recommence.
Interestingly, South Dakota has never imposed a draconian lockdown, and because of that, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has been assailed by the leftwing media, who have declared her state a virus “hot spot.” In fact, out of a population of over 884,000 people, there have been only 1,311 cases and 7 deaths. As Gov. Noem notes in this interview with Laura Ingraham, aside from an outbreak at a pork processing plant in Sioux Falls that’s being dealt with, two-thirds of the state’s counties have no cases at all and some have only one.
The popular Internet meme makes a valid point: “How do you like your 30-day free trial of socialism?” How do you like officials, both elected and appointed, refusing to accept that you are a responsible adult and taking it upon themselves to disregard your rights and tell you where you’re allowed to go and what you’re allowed to do or else, even to the point of ticketing you for attending a drive-in church service inside your own car?
This is the fundamental difference between the right and the left: conservatives go into government because someone has to represent their principles and protect freedom and private enterprise. Leftists go into government because they really like having as much power as possible to tell people how to live. People who love power that much should never be allowed anywhere near the levers of power.
In short, both the infection rate and the toilet paper shortage are easing, so there’s no need to let politicians use the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as toilet paper.
HONEST NUMBERS PLEASE
If we’re going to make policy decisions that balance preventing a pandemic with preventing a depression, we need the most reliable numbers we can get to inform that decision. So it would help if the people in charge of counting coronavirus deaths would make sure that the deceased actually died from the coronavirus.
And just in case it wasn’t already obvious, any virus figures coming out of China are about as reliable as the winning lottery numbers on the back of a fortune cookie fortune.
There are countless examples of selflessness and heroism in the face of the current pandemic. Unfortunately, there are also always people who are low enough to try to cheat others for their own profit, even in the worst of times. Some criminals, like leftist politicians, see the virus not as a bug but as an opportunity. Like the attempted fraud involving a promise to deliver 39 million surgical masks to hospitals…
But the FBI warns that there are also scams aimed at individuals that are popping up “at breathtaking speed,” everything from sham treatments and vaccines to impersonating doctors and demanding payments, from investment scams in bogus medical companies to using COVID-19-related emails to implant viruses and ransomware on computers. Criminals are also salivating at the thought of swindling people out of all those $1200 stimulus payments.
It’s important that we all stay on our guard against the coronavirus, but sadly, it’s also necessary to stay on guard against people who would use our fear of the virus to swindle and rob us. Click for more details from the FBI on how to protect yourself from these human viruses.
SHE DOESN'T GET IT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is railing against President Trump’s decision to hold up funding for the World Health Organization while we investigate its echoing of Chinese propaganda that worsened the pandemic. But before swallowing her claims about how unconscionable it is to block funding to a vital organization in dire need, recall that she was the prime instigator of the Democrats blocking desperately-needed loan funding for America’s small businesses to try to extort money for their pet projects. Maybe if the owner of your local tire store or coffee shop started repeating Chinese propaganda, she’d be more sympathetic.
If you want to know how the Speaker can possibly be so cold to the needs of American workers and business owners, this week, she displayed how out-of-touch with everyday Americans she is by appearing on James Corden’s TV show to reveal how she’s getting through self-isolating in her San Francisco mansion. She stood in front of her two $12,000 luxury refrigerators to show off her stockpile of $13-a-pint artisan ice cream. She might want to try it over cake, since so many people are comparing her to Marie Antoinette.
IN OTHER NEWS
Condolences to “Saturday Night Live” star and writer Michael Che, whose grandmother has died of the COVID-19 coronavirus. And a salute to him for honoring her by paying one month’s rent for all 160 families in her public housing apartment building. Of course, this raises the issue of why New York’s liberal government is demanding rent on its public housing units while banning the residents from leaving them to go to work, while elsewhere, liberals are demanding that private property landlords stop collecting rent. Mr. Che is also wondering about that.
And now, because we’ve all had a long, trying week and need something to take our minds off all this, here’s video of a groundhog really enjoying a slice of pizza.