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LATEST COVID-19 NEWS

Here is our link to the most recent, complete White House press briefing on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus. On Wednesday, President Trump was joined by CDC Director Robert Redfield…

Trump asked Redfield to speak and correct what he called “fake news,” headlines suggesting that Redfield said there could be an explosion of new cases in the fall. Redfield said that he just meant it would be more complicated to deal with a second wave in the fall because it would hit simultaneously with flu season, so there would be two viruses circulating at the same time. He said that doesn’t mean COVID-19 would be worse or impossible to handle, just difficult. But he’s confident that our mitigation strategies can keep it in containment mode and it will not overwhelm the medical system.

Trump also announced “Operation America Strong,” which he said was suggested by military officials. The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels will do flyover air shows in major cities, as tributes to the heroism of frontline health care workers who, like soldiers, have run toward the danger.

GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY

Fresh off of deleting her tweet about how great it is to have all those people unemployed and forced into their homes while the economy languishes and the fossil fuel industry craters (“How are you enjoying your 30-day free trial of socialism?”), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once again inadvertently told us what “Democratic socialists” really believe. She said that even after the virus lockdown ends, people should “just say no” to going back to work. She wants Americans to say, “We’re not going back to working 70-hour weeks just so that we could put food on the table and not even feel any sort of semblance of security in our lives.”

Get the impression that she doesn’t grasp the importance of “putting food on the table”? Or that not everyone has a job that pays over $170,000 a year for doing nothing? But to be fair, if she wants to stage a boycott and not return to Congress, she has my blessing.


IN CASE YOU MISSED ITEvening Edition - April 22


TRUMP DISAGREES WITH GEORGIA GOVERNOR

In one surprising twist, Trump undercut the claim that he’s pushing too hard to reopen America by saying he disagrees strongly with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan to reopen some Georgia businesses. Trump said the time isn’t right yet under the guidelines, but that “at the same time, he must do what is right.” Boy, he really doesn’t have this “Hitler-like authoritarian dictator” thing down very well, does he?

In addition to Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Colorado have announced plans to begin reopening. More details about each state’s plans are here.

PROBLEMS WITH THE MEDIA'S FAVORITE STUDY

Yesterday, I wrote about a study of coronavirus patients at VA hospitals that found that the drug hydroxchloroquine did not help and was even associated with a higher death rate. As I expected, the mainstream media gave massive play to this study, since it gave them a chance to make President Trump look wrong (and even responsible for MORE DEATHS!!) for suggesting patients try it.

I saw none of these breathless accounts point out what I did: that the footnotes to the study made it clear that the drug was given to severely ill patients who were more likely to die anyway. Since then, other problems with the study have come up that will probably be ignored, since they don’t advance the “Trump is a dumb liar who wants people to DIE!” narrative.

Laura Ingraham has more

…As does Matt Margolis at PJ Media, who lists five serious problems with the study…

These are the same people who demand rigorous standards of proof from any study that shows the benefits of hydroxychoroquine. Is it too much to expect them to demand the same standards from studies that purport to refute those benefits?

Again, I’m not a doctor and I’m not qualified to recommend any particular treatment. But I am capable of recognizing media malpractice when I see it. Discouraging sick people from trying a promising treatment just because if it works, it might make your political opponent look better, is journalistic quackery at its worst.

MOVING FAST

A potential COVID-19 vaccine is already entering the first phase of human trials. Developing a vaccine can take years to decades, but there are ways to speed testing and invoke emergency use authorizations to get it to high-risk areas faster. There’s much more info at this link.

"SARS 2"

Here’s yet another way in which the World Health Organization ran defense for China: It turns out that in the early days of the coronavirus, it was being referred to as “Sars 2.” That was the devastating disease that came out of China in 2003 and has escaped from a Beijing biolab four times since. The WHO decided that, “From a risk communications perspective, using the name SARS can have unintended consequences in terms of creating unnecessary fear for some populations…” In other words, bad PR for China. So they called it COVID-19 instead.

I can certainly see their point. We wouldn’t want to frighten and confuse anyone by calling it Sars 2. So I’ll continue calling it by a clear and accurate name: either the “COVID-19 (Chinese) virus,” or, most clear and accurate of all, “the Wuhan virus.”

TRUE COLORS

During an Arbor Day/Earth Day tree-planting ceremony at the White House Wednesday, President Trump announced that over the next few weeks, national parks will begin reopening. Maybe this will help discourage the harassment and arrests of people who dare to walk through public parks. Some local officials seem to believe that the coronavirus can be spread over a hundred yards of open territory, or maybe that it came from Smokey the Bear, not Chinese bats.

Meanwhile, as Trump was planting a tree, renowned eco-warrior Al Gore and Joe Biden provided the fertilizer. In a dual video appearance for Earth Day, Gore endorsed Biden for President and Joe responded with some organic word salad that must’ve had Al immediately regretting his endorsement.

I’m sure Gore would have preferred to take a private jet and a fleet of SUVs to some big gathering of fellow environmentalists at a five-star resort to tell the rest of us to live in caves, which is how celebrity environmentalists normally mark Earth Day. But this year, he was forced to use Skype, something I’ve been suggesting to them for years with no response.

Meanwhile, CBS and other media outlets showed their true colors on Earth Day by celebrating how wonderful it is that the air is cleaner, what with all those people being locked in their homes, forced to be wards of the government and having their freedom to travel taken away. They showed their love of the Earth by celebrating how great it would be if there were no people on it.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard someone in the media declare, “I love mankind, it’s people I can’t stand!” But that used to just be Linus in the “Peanuts” comic strip, not the environmental reporters.

NEW KURT SCHLICHTER 

As always, Kurt Schlichter dares to say what the mainstream media never will...but we’re all thinking it.

BRING BACK DRIVE-IN MOVIES

John Nolte serves up a nostalgic tribute to drive-in movies, and urges Hollywood to counter the coronavirus by bringing back drive-ins, good movies and hot dogs heated on engine blocks.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

O Lord, thou art my God;

I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name;

for thou hast done wonderful things;

thy counsels of old

are faithfulness and truth.

Isaiah 25:1

In welcome news, Attorney General Bill Barr said the Department of Justice may side with citizens who sue local governments for trampling their Constitutional rights in the name of preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Barr made it clear that he’s not talking about justifiable restrictions to protect public health, but “onerous” crackdowns that go too far and become “burdensome impingements on liberty.” And proving that sometimes, lawyers and courts are useful to people on the right, too, the Mayor of Greenville, Mississippi, announced that the $500 tickets handed to church members for attending a drive-in service in their own cars will not be enforced.

The American people are speaking up against government overreach in the name of public health, and they’re not always doing it politely. Like the Idaho mom who demanded to be arrested, and whose arrest sparked protests, when she was threatened with arrest for entering a closed public park to protest the government’s clampdown policies.

But Idahoans are downright polite compared to New Yorkers. When Mayor Bill DeBlasio set up a snitch hotline for people to turn in their neighbors for allegedly violating his stay-at-home orders, he got a lot of calls – but not the kind he was hoping for. Some of the nicer ones ratted on him for going to the gym when he banned it for other people. Some of the more New York-y responses included words I can’t repeat and photos of various finger gestures and parts of their anatomy that should definitely be kept behind closed doors. It’s funny how New Yorkers will elect liberals who love telling people what to do, but nobody better dare tell them what to do!

Maybe Mayor DeBlasio was under the delusion that New Yorkers were like the Australians who reported a couple to authorities and got them fined for violating the ban on non-essential travel after they posted some vacation photos on Facebook – from last year’s vacation. Who do those snitches think they are, Mark Zuckerberg?

Every now and then, when new developments pointed to Michelle Obama being on the ticket for 2020, I’ve written to sound the alarm once more. The last time was March 6, which seems like a thousand years ago. At that time, I said that she would be installed, “either as a last-minute substitute for him [Biden] or as #2 on the ticket, as he quietly fades away.” Since then, we’ve entered a whole new era, with a pandemic that has devoured all our attention, caused us to do the unthinkable and shut down the entire economy, and also completely changed the process of running for President (and all elective offices) this time around.

RELATED READING:  Ainsworth: Michelle O follow-up; answers to readers

At least a couple of years ago, I was sure Michelle Obama would somehow end up on the Democrat ticket --- for President. It was in February of 2019 that I felt it was necessary to start putting out the warning that she would be the nominee, that this was a foregone conclusion no matter what kind of make-believe show the Democrats put on. I won’t go back over the myriad reasons this seemed inevitable, but I will tell you why it seems like even more of a given today.

First with the obvious: In the past few months, even though the 77-year-old Biden stumbled his way to the top spot on the ticket, his mental decline has been even more marked. True, the coronavirus has made it easier for the Democrat Party to keep this confused, rambling, apparently senile man under wraps, as there will be no personal appearances, no town halls, apparently not even a convention. I doubt most Democrats seriously think that if he wins, decisions of any consequence will actually be made by him. But they’ll vote for him anyway, because 1) they hate Trump with the fire of a thousand suns, and 2) he’ll be bringing back the Democrat power structure, which is this time even farther to the left.

The real attention now is going to be on the choice for VP, who one way or another will have the real power if they win.

In January, an Iowa man asked Biden if he might consider former President Obama for the Supreme Court. “Yeah, I would, but I don’t think he’d do it,” Biden answered. “He’d be a great Supreme Court justice.” The man then asked, “The question is, which Obama?” The room predictably exploded with applause and various other warm expressions of approval.

"Well, I sure would like Michelle to be the Vice President,” Biden said with a laugh. “They’re both incredibly qualified people, I mean, and they’re such decent, honorable people.”

The buzz started immediately, with the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES writing that “Michelle Obama recently sparked rumors that she could become the next Vice President of the United States.”

Just a week ago, a report in the WASHINGTON EXAMINER said, “Former first lady Michelle Obama is back in play big-time as a favorite to be Joe Biden’s running mate.” It went on to say that according to OddsChecker.com, gambling markets have seen a surge for Obama.

"Michelle Obama has been the most backed person in the market, accounting for almost 32 percent of all bets,” the firm reports. (On the other hand, I don’t know how much weight should be given to that, as another name “surging” a bit recently has been the extremely frightening and power-mad Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.)

On March 8, John Fund at NATIONAL REVIEW broke down the reasons she might or might not do it. “Stranger things have happened in politics,” he said, “and in the age of Trump, they often do.” He pointed out some of the inducements: She wouldn’t have to endure the marathon campaign for President (and since he wrote that, it’s become clear there won’t be much campaigning at all). She reportedly doesn’t like mingling, but there will be no hand-shaking now; she could just “appear” at events before the adoring crowds. (I would add it looks now as if there will be no events and no crowds.) She wouldn’t have to do fundraising. Malia and Sasha are college-age now, and the media would continue to treat them with deference.

RELATED READINGAinsworth: With Biden winning, watch what Michelle O does now

There’s also the inducement of Biden appointing Barack Obama to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, we have precedent for this: William Howard Taft in the 1920s.

Cut to yesterday (Tuesday), when CNN.com reported that in an interview with Pittsburgh’s Jon Delano, Biden said of Michelle, “I’d take her in a heartbeat. She’s brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends.”

The article goes on to say there’s no one who could help Biden’s ticket more than Michelle O. “Period.” But it expresses major doubt as to whether she would agree, citing what she has said previously about running for office, which I will say means exactly nothing. As the article muses, “...it’s impossible to totally rule out the possibility of Michelle Obama agreeing to be the Vice Presidential nominee. Why? Because if Biden asked her and told her that if she said ‘yes’ they would have a greatly increased chance of ending Trump’s time as President, it is theoretically possible that she might be swayed by that argument.”

CNN also cites her criticism of Trump in a 2019 interview with Gayle King: “...what saddens me is what it’s doing to the country as a whole. What we have to be really conscientious of is what kind of country we’ve leaving for our children and grandchildren.” That, of course, would be the media-reinforced theme of her candidacy:  bringing the nation together after this time of great conflict (which, of course, is all because of Trump, not the irrational hatred the left has for him).

Here’s another story from yesterday, at Yahoo News, in which we learn from Obama “family adviser” Valerie Jarrett that Michelle “really kind of transcends politics. “Obviously, she supports Vice President Biden bur doesn’t see herself as a political figure.” That’s what Jarrett told POLITICO, but don’t be fooled. It is not a denial.

The POLITICO article is what sparked me to write on this topic again.

About the only other real possibility was New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but my Magic 8 Ball says IT IS NOT TO BE. Cuomo did a radio interview with Sean Hannity a few days ago in which Sean really put him on the spot about running. The way that conversation went, I actually believed Cuomo (yes, seriously) when he said he is absolutely not leaving New York. Besides, Biden has committed to picking a woman, preferably a black woman, and I’ll bet Cuomo already knows Michelle is it. While we’ve been talking about infection rates and “flattening the curve,” they’ve been moving the chess pieces around.

Democrats know that putting Michelle on the ticket and winning with that is the one way to keep the Obama legacy from being entirely dismantled during a second Trump term. She could end up sliding neatly into the Oval Office without even having to campaign. If anything poses more long-term danger to America than the damn coronavirus does, this just might be it.

The abuse of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by larger chains that used loopholes to get federal money ahead of desperate small businesses has not gone unnoticed.

In fact, it might be a good idea for such corporations to follow the example of Shake Shack and give the money back. If they don’t, they’ll face likely investigation in the fall by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, according to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who is chairman of that committee.

RELATED READING: The Gov. answers important reader concern about "Paycheck Protection

The other senator from Florida has noticed, too. “I am concerned that many businesses with thousands of employees have found loopholes to qualify for those loans meant for small businesses,” Sen. Rick Scott said. “Right now, companies that have not been harmed at all by the coronavirus crisis have the ability to receive taxpayer-funded loans that can be forgiven.”

At this writing, lawmakers finally seem close to a deal on re-funding the program, which was out of money faster than you can say “Wuhan coronavirus.” While they’re at it, how about closing those loopholes, too? How about it, Sen. Rubio?

Rubio Warns of Subpoenas for Companies Abusing PPP

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKEJust stop with the class warfare rhetoric on "CARES" Act and PPP

Saturday, a federal judge in Kansas blocked Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order restricting church services in the name of stopping the coronavirus. As the state attorney general, who opposed Kelly’s order, put it, the government can tell churches that they shouldn’t hold services during this time, but it doesn’t have the power to ban them. This is the latest of several cases across America where judges have had to remind liberal officials that they don’t have the power to rescind the First Amendment.

While it is certainly prudent for churches to protect their members by holding online services or drive-in services (although even those have been targeted for no good reason), the judge in this case pointed out that the Governor’s ban on large public gatherings includes 26 secular exceptions, including bars, libraries and shopping malls. Her order seems to specifically, and unconstitutionally, target religion. For instance, the judge noted that a large group could meet in an office building to conduct a real estate deal, but not to hold a Bible study.

Gov. Kelly vowed to fight the judge’s order, saying, “This is not about religion. This is about a public health crisis.” I’d say it’s about more than that. It’s about a public health crisis and about how some public officials will use a crisis to advance a political agenda. We all want to stamp out the coronavirus, but let’s make sure that in the process, we don’t succumb to an even worse virus that kills off our Constitutional rights.

Garbage from Harvard

April 21, 2020

The current stay-at-home orders have left many parents struggling to learn how to homeschool their kids. But what they’re actually doing is known as “crisis schooling,” not homeschooling. Most real homeschoolers put in a great deal of time, research and effort to plan their schooling programs, select curricula, etc. They didn’t just have it suddenly thrust upon them. That’s why, home school students typically rank well above public school students in most metrics, from college admissions and SATs to social development to community service, and score up to 30 points higher on standardized tests.

I suspect that having so many kids at home, where parents are being forced to school them (and they’re not getting their leftist/anti-American/eco-warrior indoctrination) has leftist “educators” panicked that parents might decide they prefer homeschooling. And so we get garbage like this, from Harvard Magazine.

It’s about a Harvard law professor who’s demanding a ban on homeschooling. She calls for a "radical transformation in the homeschooling regime and a related rethinking of child rights" that "recommends a presumptive ban on homeschooling, with the burden on parents to demonstrate justification for permission to homeschool."

She claims that homeschooling allows parents to spend too much time with their own children (parents can’t be trusted not to abuse their kids), and that some parents have “extreme religious” beliefs that they might pass on to children instead of “ideas and values central to our democracy” (you know what that means, I assume). She says that many homeschoolers "promote racial segregation and female subservience." I know a lot of homeschooling parents and kids and have never seen that. I also don’t know how that she'd explain all the female students and kids of all races who’ve excelled at academics because they’re home schooled, but she’s a Harvard professor, so she’s obviously better than the rest of us.

Or maybe not. Maybe she’d be a bit smarter, a bit less brainwashed by the leftist education machine, and a bit less prejudiced toward people she knows nothing about if her own parents had homeschooled her. In fact, if all the people who run Harvard had been “indoctrinated” with Christian values by their parents, maybe we wouldn’t have stories like this.