Even with 24/7 virus coverage, I’ll bet you haven’t heard much about what it’s like here in Dallas, Texas. We’re not making much national news, which surprises me a little, as we’ve definitely got some issues going on that relate to the larger discussion: control of the virus vs. control of Americans. As someone who lives in a suburb inside Dallas County –- only in the most technical sense am I not a Native Texan –- it seemed like a good idea to bring them up.
First, it should be said that I agree with the theory expressed in the Gov's earlier commentary that some of the resistance to the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin treatment is not out of concern that it won’t work, but that it WILL. Absolutely, there are those who want to use this pandemic to introduce all sorts of societal controls; I’ll get to that in a bit. First, let’s look at the front page of Sunday's DALLAS MORNING NEWS, specifically the unenthusiastic headline: “D-FW hospitals sent unproven drug.” I realize writer Allie Morris of the DSM’s Austin Bureau probably didn’t come up with that headline, but it certainly shows the mindset of whoever did.
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The good news is, North Texas hospitals are getting at least some HCQ; Medical City locations reportedly received a total of 5,000 tablets, but one gets the impression they’re being held onto very tightly. A spokesperson said they’re being used only for “certain” COVID-19 patients “with appropriate informed consent." The approach throughout the article is extremely cautious; you won’t see any accounts of miraculous cures or enthusiastic endorsements like the one linked to in our earlier commentary –- only the message that 1) the drug is not FDA-approved for this use (actually, that’s misleading; it’s approved for “emergency” use, and off-label use is up to the doctor), 2) there are worrisome side effects (many doctors would say these are overblown and that the drug is one of the safest), and 3) that it might make some patients feel better but they don’t know until they have more data.
Contrast this dismissiveness with the slant of the adjacent article (if you’re looking at the actual printed edition): “Managing crisis with experience,” a softball piece about Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. It's not widely known that a county judge in Texas has sweeping powers during an emergency; he can pretty much take over and run the show, and that’s what Jenkins has done, to the point where the county commissioners stepped in to limit his power. Jenkins has clamped down hard on the local economy, harder than Gov. Greg Abbott.
As the piece says, “He has knowingly sacrificed a booming economy in the state’s second-most populous county to save people’s lives. Each urgent step he has taken –- often ahead of the rest of the state –- has been informed by his faith, science and experience gleaned from a decade of managing complex public health crises such as West Nile and Ebola, say those who know him. Jenkins, a Democrat first elected to the role in 2010, has emerged as a decisive leader whose restrictions –- including a stay-in-place order –- have led the regional response to the pandemic.”
I swear, this piece could have been written by a public relations firm. Jenkins has been “championed” by health care experts and hospital CEOs for “his proactive response to the pandemic.” The praise goes on and on, saying that “speculation has swirled about Jenkins’ political future...his growing fan base on social media regularly encourages him to run for governor.”
Full disclosure: I strongly disagreed with Judge Jenkins a few years ago when the issue of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border affected our own community; Jenkins was determined to wave them on into Dallas County and house them in a vacant middle school building smack in the middle of a residential area near my own neighborhood. (He certainly didn’t seem concerned about contagion then.) He was quoted in THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS as saying there was no neighborhood opposition, which I know was not the case because I was vocally opposed to it myself, along with many others. It looked as though this was just going to happen, but then for some reason I’ll never know, it didn’t. Maybe since we weren’t in an emergency then, he didn’t get to use dictatorial powers.
Anyway, the juxtaposition of these two articles communicates very clearly the mindset of the left: A promising drug therapy that Trump advocates in the hope it will save lives: “unproven.” The economy-destroying lock-down of an entire county that a local official imposes in the hope it will save lives: “proactive.”
Speaking of dictatorial powers, Daniel Horowitz at CONSERVATIVE REVIEW has a great piece on the growing police state surrounding this contagion. “As the Supreme Court has said many times,” he writes, “there are times when life, liberty and property can be infringed upon, but it must be narrowly tailored to the least invasive means needed to achieve the compelling state interest. What is happening now is anything but narrow.”
He goes on to list numerous examples of ridiculous law-enforcement overreach, some of which we’ve covered here, involving such horrible sins as going for a drive alone, paddleboarding alone in the ocean, sitting alone in a car at the beach, violating a 10 p.m. curfew (the virus spreads much faster after dark, you know), and more. He mentions the research Google is doing to develop the means to track people. And he credits Florida Gov. Ron deSantis as being that rare governor who says “we can’t start ripping up the Constitution.”
We all know there are people who can’t wait to rip up the Constitution, and who have even put some little tears into the edges of the paper so they can rip it more dramatically, the way Nancy Pelosi did with Trump’s State Of The Union speech.
I’m not saying your average “progressive” voter literally wants thousands more people to die so we can have the all-controlling police state leftists dream of (with them in charge). But a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, and the longer this virus sticks around, the more “emergency” controls officials can put in place forever. If some cheap, widely-used little pills have the power to interfere with that, they're fine with dismissing them as “unproven.”