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The most difficult decision President Trump is facing now is whether to lift some pandemic restrictions and risk accelerating infections and deaths, or wait longer than necessary and risk killing the economy. We all hope and pray that faster, accurate tests will be developed and manufactured and a cure/vaccine found in record time, and there are surprisingly positive indications of both. But until we’re certain, if Trump tries to sound hopeful about the pandemic being not as devastating or long-lasting as feared, his political opponents accuse him of spreading false hope and wanting to sacrifice American lives for the economy – and never mind the devastation to people’s lives that would be caused by shutting down the economy until the November elections, which is likely the dream dancing in their twisted heads.

The media keep attacking Trump for allegedly spreading false information. KUOW, the Seattle NPR radio affiliate, even announced that it will no longer carry his daily press briefings “due to a pattern of false or misleading information.” Because when you want reliable, unbiased news, you can always rely on a Seattle NPR affiliate. You know, one of those taxpayer-supported NPR stations whose programming is so vital that Democrats demanded $75 million for them in the emergency economic rescue bill.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/seattle-npr-affiliate-to-stop-airing-live-coronavirus-briefings-over-pattern-of-false-information

Seattle conservative radio host Jason Rantz, who is familiar with KUOW’s programming, isn’t surprised. He says he suspects their staff is triggered by Trump’s 60% Gallop approval rating for his handling of the crisis and that they’re hearing from angry listeners who still can’t get over the 2016 election. Rantz told the Washington Examiner:


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"Their staff is full of progressive activists masquerading as honest journalists. It's not so much that I care they're progressive and have an agenda; it's that they pretend not to. And this exposes them for what they are. But, hey, it's Seattle. They'll probably be called brave for keeping important information from the public."

For the record, I’ll offer again this list of the "Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus," all from media outlets such as the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post, that routinely accuse Trump of spreading lies and misinformation.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/the-top-10-lies-about-president-trumps-response-to-the-coronavirus/

In order to make such a difficult choice between acting too soon or waiting too long, government officials on all levels need reliable information. It’s ironic that while liberals attack Trump for allegedly spreading misleading information to further a political agenda, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing since the earliest days of the pandemic, when they accused Trump of being an immigrant-hating xenophobe for shutting down travel from China in January. (Now some liberal news outlets accuse him of not doing it soon enough.)

But it isn’t just the obvious opportunists. One of the most relied-upon sources for predicting the potential spread of the infection and the hospitalization rate is under fire for allegedly being a propaganda tool cooked up by Democratic activists to frighten policymakers into making rash and drastic decisions.

Madeleine Osbourne at The Federalist reports that an online pandemic modeling site called COVID Act Now is being cited by the media and used by officials across America as justification for closing businesses and ordering people to stay home, and even as an argument for shutting down entire states. But so far, its predictions have proven as exaggerated as most radical climate groups’ computer model predictions about the temperature.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/25/inaccurate-virus-models-are-panicking-officials-into-ill-advised-lockdowns/

For instance, the COVID Act Now model predicted that by March 19, Tennessee would have 190 confirmed, hospitalized coronavirus patients. It actually had 15. By the same date, it predicted 400 hospitalizations in Florida. The real number was 90. Similar dire predictions have also been wildly overestimated, at least thus far.

National security writer Jordan Schachtel reveals that the modeling comes entirely from one team at Imperial College UK that has a track record of bad predictions and criticism from the scientific community, that refuses to release its code that makes the estimates, and that claimed the virus would kill up to 2.2 million Americans.

Osbourne reveals that there are multiple problems with their data, including using early numbers that are likely to be wrong, using outdated demographic numbers, assessing the US as a whole instead of by state, assuming that everyone spreads the disease at the same rate, and not adjusting for “population density, culturally-determined interaction frequency and closeness, humidity, temperature, etc.”

She also reports that the founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers/Democratic activists; and the caveats on it include an admission that “this model is designed to drive fast action, not predict the future.”

To be clear: none of this is meant to downplay the severity of the disease or the importance of preventing its spread. But it does suggest that if someone questions the apocalyptic predictions of unreliable sources that see an opportunity to exploit a health crisis to advance a leftist agenda, then the media shouldn’t automatically assume that the skeptic is the one spreading misinformation.

For further reading, here are some more scientists pointing out the flaws in the media’s favorite fear-generating website. Some even have a theory that millions of people may have already developed a “herd immunity” to the virus and we just don’t know it yet.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/oxford-epidemiologist-heres-why-that-doomsday-model-is-likely-way-off

Joe Biden is struggling

March 26, 2020

Joe Biden, still struggling to appear relevant despite being about as easily overlooked as the star of that new “Invisible Man” movie, is continuing his embarrassing and barely coherent “competing coronavirus briefings” against President Trump from his house. In his latest dispatch from Cloud Cuckooland, Biden said Trump should “stop talking” and let medical experts speak. He mocked Trump’s hopes of getting the economy reopened by Easter and said, “This curve is going up and up and up because we did not act when we should have acted.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/biden-blasts-trumps-coronavirus-response-sidelines-stop-talking/

Boy, where to begin? Obviously, with the fact that when Trump cut off travel from China back in January, acting quickly when he should have, Biden attacked him as a fearmonger and xenophobe. When Biden released a “plan” for dealing better with the crisis than Trump, most of it was stuff Trump had already done. In case Biden hasn’t noticed, Trump has assembled a team of the best doctors in America, and they are present and speak at all his press conferences. The leading voice among them, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has debunked the idea that Trump isn’t listening to them (apparently, Joe doesn’t keep up with the news; he’s also still repeating the debunked “fake news” that Trump called the virus a “hoax.” He was talking about the false media narrative parroted by Biden that he didn't take it seriously.)

And as for Trump’s Easter comment, it was just an expressed hope, not an ironclad policy directive. You’d think Biden would recognize what a “hope” is, since that’s what he and Obama got elected on. Maybe that’s why he assumes all hopes are meaningless.

Incidentally, Biden has also called for another “stimulus” bill that would somehow save us from the coronavirus by including the “Green New Deal,” thereby accomplishing the neat trick of saving the economy by passing a law that most sane economists believe would kill the economy.

Instead of telling Trump to stop talking, Joe should trying to talk. He’s become the living embodiment of Mark Twain’s rule that “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool than open it and remove all doubt.”

Just before midnight Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, the biggest in US history. Details of who gets what are here:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/final-vote-coronavirus-stimulus-bill-now-imminent-amid-tensions-over-provisions

It’s a compromise bill, meaning that it removed most of the leftist goodies Democrats tried to stuff into it, but not all. Republican did remove the demands for CO2 limits on airlines that can’t even fly at the moment, diversity hiring quotas and other irrelevant “progressive” pipe dreams. But here’s what survives: in addition to banning large companies that take out loans from fighting union organizing efforts (a boost to the Democrats’ electoral base), it contains such “emergency” funding as $75 million for the notoriously liberal Corporation for Public Broadcasting, $25 million for House staff and salaries, $350 million to resettle more immigrants and migrants at a time when millions of Americans are losing their jobs, and $150 million to the National Endowment for the Arts.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/senate-coronavirus-bill-75m-corporation-for-public-broadcasting-npr-big-bird

As I said last night on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News, it’s as if President Trump were a fireman, rushing around to put out fires at every business in America, and instead of helping, the Democrats are backing trucks up to the back doors and looting them. This irresponsible and unconscionable opportunism in exploiting the pain of American workers and businesses to promote their own political interests is one more reason why this November, voters must show up at the polls and remove them from power in the House, reduce their power in the Senate, and keep them far, far away from the White House.

The bill now goes to the House, where Nancy Pelosi and Republican leaders say they hope also to get a unanimous vote to fast-track it so they don’t have to delay it with more debate, especially with some members absent due to the coronavirus.

Oh, but wait: look who’s talking about delaying all that desperately-needed help for American workers because she cares so much about American workers!

https://www.westernjournal.com/ocasio-cortez-warns-open-single-handedly-delaying-coronavirus-bill-necessary/

This news is especially ironic, considering AOC’s own former chief of staff who helped write the “Green New Deal” called Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to block aid to working people while she tried to stuff the Senate relief bill with leftist political issues such as carbon emission limits “ridiculous.”

https://www.dailywire.com/news/this-is-ridiculous-aocs-ex-top-aide-torches-pelosi-for-coronavirus-stimulus-games/

FYI, this is the aide who was often referred to as “AOC’s brain.” You’ll notice that he no longer holds that position.

"Reopening America"

March 25, 2020

President Trump is hoping for a target date of “reopening America” on Easter Sunday, which is April 12th. He hopes that by that time, the emergency measures will have flattened the spread of the virus, that we’ll have enough supplies to deal with it and Americans will have adopted safe practices to avoid contracting it (and will keep them up as the weather warms and the virus abates.) Naturally, the media attacked him for spreading “false hope” (he’s only supposed to spread gloom-and-doom, so they can attack him for that.) But he didn’t say Easter was definite, only that he hoped it would be an achievable target date. And I think Easter Sunday is certainly the best date you could possibly set for renewing everyone’s hope.

https://www.westernjournal.com/trump-sets-target-date-re-open-america-love-open-easter/

I appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show last night to talk about the delicate balancing act that Trump has to perform between the hard facts of science and the art of politics, which determines what it’s possible to do with those scientific knowns and unknowns, and all the decisions an executive has to make to insure that the “cure” isn’t worse than the disease. You can see it here:

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6144521360001

(On the topic of getting America back to normal as quickly as possible, Ronald Bailey at Reason.com has an interesting suggestion: immediate, universal testing for the virus, so we can identify those who are carrying it and should self-quarantine, those who are healthy and safe to go back to work, those who have had it and are immune so they can work in hospitals, and those at high risk such as the elderly, so they can be isolated for their safety.)

https://reason.com/2020/03/24/massive-coronavirus-testing-is-the-way-to-help-save-the-economy/

I think Trump is doing an extraordinary job (and for no pay!), and it shows how valuable having high-level, international executive and management experience is for a President. It’s why we used to elect Governors to the White House: because Governors deal with almost every issue Presidents do, only on a smaller scale. Lately, we’ve started electing Senators, who are one of 100 DC insiders who can build decades-long careers without ever running anything other than their mouths (Looking at you, Bernie.)

If you really want to know what an incredible job Trump is doing, imagine if we had (Heaven forbid!) Hillary “Put the phone on hold during the Benghazi raid” Clinton in the White House when millions of Americans need swift, decisive action to save them.

Senate reaches deal

March 25, 2020

It took until after midnight, but the Senate finally agreed early this morning on an unprecedented $2 trillion (!) economic rescue plan that’s been dubbed “unemployment insurance on steroids.”

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/white-house-senate-strike-deal-on-historic-2t-coronavirus-relief-bill-but-house-support-remains-uncertain

The bill includes direct payments to most Americans and support for unemployment funds so that no workers will lose their salaries during the shutdown, $367 billion to help keep small businesses afloat while their workers are stuck at home, and a $500 billion guaranteed, subsidized loan program for larger businesses and hospitals. Chuck Schumer said Democrats were ready to give unanimous consent so that if no Republicans objected, it could be sped through without a formal roll call vote. The Senate will meet today for debate and (many hope) will quickly send it to the House for a hoped-for unanimous passage as-is.

Don’t count your chickens yet, though, because there could still be objections in the House. Some Democrats made it obvious that they saw the bill as a big piñata that could be stuffed with leftist “transforming America” wish list items, from national same-day voter registration and voting by mail (i.e., the “Voter Fraud Made Easy” program) to various diversity hiring and CO2 emission mandates on businesses, to money for Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. As Bryan Preston at PJ Media put it in this terrific analysis, the Pelosi Democrats treated the coronavirus bill “like it’s a genie that jumped out of a Christmas tree.”

https://pjmedia.com/trending/pelosi-dems-treat-coronavirus-bill-like-its-a-genie-that-jumped-out-of-a-christmas-tree/

Luckily, when faced with a furious backlash from the public (they’re now about as popular as the skunk that ate the picnic lunch) and from even the most liberal Republicans in the Senate, Pelosi and the Dems backed down. The sledgehammer fell when President Trump declared that he would not sign a bill that was filled with “Green New Deal stuff.” I think it’s a sign of admirable growth in his role as a wartime President that he showed enough dignity and restraint not to use the word I’m sure he was thinking of instead of “stuff.”

Now, the Speaker just has to keep her notoriously headstrong members in line and the House could rush it through on unanimous consent, too. However, that might be quashed by the threatened opposition of one non-Democratic member, notoriously headstrong Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, whose Trump Derangement Syndrome led him to quit the GOP and become an Independent. I have a feeling this might be his last shot at playing fly-in-the-Jello-mold before the November election returns him to the private sector and the inevitable commentator deal with MSNBC or CNN.

Personally, I hate seeing this level of federal intervention and added debt, too, but we are facing an unprecedented emergency. The bill is far from ideal, but as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put it, you go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. And if this is the equivalent of war, this the best weapon Trump is able to get out of this bitterly divided Congress. Just be grateful that Trump had the backbone to refuse to be blackmailed and to keep so much of that leftist…”stuff”…out of it.

Warning to everyone with a scientific background: We’re going to be talking about “anecdotal” evidence here. I realize that researchers tend not to count that and instead hang their hats on large double-blind peer-reviewed studies, but considering the Wuhan coronavirus has been in the population for only a few months (that we know of), there hasn’t been time to run those studies. We’ll get there; in fact –- thanks to the anecdotal evidence –- the kind of studies they need to generate the data they want are in the works right now. Those will guide us in the future. In the meantime, though, we’ve got to look at what a growing number of cases is telling us. And the picture that’s emerging is very positive.

Another warning: You will not get this view from the anti-Trump media, who are a complete waste of airtime and not worth anyone’s attention. They have thoroughly disgraced themselves and don’t have the sense to know it. From them, you will get stories designed to make you anxious and frustrated with President Trump and to make you think he’s being deceptive. To accomplish this, they go much further than expressing skepticism and mistrust –- they flat-out falsely accuse him of repeatedly lying about everything. These “journalists” must be working overtime to slant their stories, even with the help they get from Chinese propaganda.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/22/no-cnn-humanity-is-not-responsible-for-wuhan-virus-china-is/


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Meanwhile, Trump, day by day, has been “the rock” we’ve needed, absolutely tireless, refreshingly agenda-free (unlike congressional Democrats, who never let a crisis go to waste), and single-mindedly devoted to steering the country through this with as little long-term damage to our way of life as possible. I doubt that anyone has ever seen energy like that in the White House. And much of Trump’s focus has to do with looking into medical treatments that can lessen the risk of being out and about and, especially, going to work.

Sara Carter, on Monday’s HANNITY show, related that she had talked with American intelligence and other Western intelligence officials, who told her they were “scrambling as much as they can to find out what happened in China and in Wuhan,” which was shut down by the Chinese government on January 23, seven weeks after the first known human transmission. By January 23, 5 million people (!) had left Wuhan for parts unknown. Perhaps the media would be looking at this if they weren’t trying so hard to give the President a bad rap and second-guess everything he says and does. They don’t even seem that concerned about the Chinese government’s treatment of journalists who have been trying to report this story. If we ever find out what really happened, it will be no thanks to them.

On Monday, I related Scott Adams’ view that doctors are more optimistic about treatments with existing, FDA-approved drugs than they've let on, and the reasons why they might be keeping that opinion close to the vest for now. Later that day, Sean Hannity (on both radio and TV) featured the story of New York family practitioner Vladimir Zelenko, MD, who's had a success rate of 100 percent (success defined as not needing hospital admission) with an aggressive treatment consisting of 200 mg of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, twice a day for 5 days, combined with azithromycin, 500 mg once a day for 5 days, and zinc sulfate, 220 mg once a day for 5 days. One major symptom, shortness of breath, typically resolves in four to six hours, he said. “Since last Thursday,” he wrote, “my team has treated approximately 350 patients in Kiryas Joel and another 150 patients...we have had ZERO deaths, ZERO hospitalizations, and ZERO intubations.”


RELATED READING“One of the scariest things in the world is called ‘the unknown.’”


We’ve already seen the results of the preliminary French study that showed a combination of hydroxychloroquine and zythromycin relieved symptoms and shortened the course of the virus. As for the critical supply chain, Israel has already stepped up by donating 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine.

In Trump’s Monday press briefing, the way forward that he endorsed sounded much like Scott Adams’ “prescription” for dealing with the virus and the economic fallout from a prolonged nationwide quarantine. The President is optimistic about this drug regimen. While bigger studies are underway, doctors will be able to prescribe these medications as needed.

"Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” he said. “We’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.” When the 15-day “shutdown” ends next week, he’ll assess how we move forward, but he’s not looking to keep the country stuck in neutral. “America will be again and soon be open for business, very soon,” he stressed. “This is a medical problem. We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.” He called the emerging drug therapy “a gift from God, a real game-changer.” And he talked about gradually getting people back out and in their jobs, just as Adams described.

https://www.newsmax.com/politics/pandemic-economy-doctors-white-house/2020/03/23/id/959605/

As long as we’re talking about anecdotal evidence, here’s a look at one pattern a reader has noticed, and my response.

From Gil:

An item on Fox News revealed that approximately TWO-THIRDS OF DEATHS in China due to the Wuhan virus (covid-19) WERE MALES. And three-fourths or so of the deaths in Italy were males. If true, why would this be? Is it related to something such as smoking? For instance, do male smokers in China represent two-thirds of the smokers population? Three-fourths in Italy? We know that long time smokers have damaged lungs. Is it smoking and not longevity that is the harbinger of being invaded by the China Wuhan Virus? Potential victims want to know.

From the Gov:

It’s hard to know the reliability of the numbers coming out of China regarding this virus. But nearly 30 percent of all Chinese adults smoke, including 53 percent of men. So, yes, presumably many more Chinese men than women have lung damage from smoking. But ALL Chinese people who dwell in large cities have lung damage from the severe air pollution, which is the worst in the world. Perhaps you’ve seen pictures of the soupy, mustard-colored sludge hanging over Shanghai. (Whoever thinks communists and other authoritarian regimes take care of the environment better than capitalist countries do has apparently never seen it.)

In Italy, more men than women smoke, but smoking is popular among both men and women, particularly young adults. The virus has really been killing older people. I don’t have the stats but would imagine older Italians smoke, too. Inconclusive!

To my knowledge, there are no stats about smoking and COVID-19 in America; perhaps a study will be done. But any disease that hits the respiratory system is going to be harder on lungs that are already damaged, from whatever cause. It might be smoking, air particles, or previous damage from pneumonia or another illness. I’m not a doctor, but surely “potential victims” (everybody) should be aware that taking care of your lungs will help you recover no matter what respiratory illness you get. I think you know what I’m very strongly suggesting you do.