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There’s big breaking news on the hydroxychloroquine front, which I’m sure will please my reader “Reacherfan.” Here’s what he had to say about vaccines, and then I’ll report the results of a promising new study.

From “Reacherfan”:

You are right on about Fauci. I worked with vaccine researchers in a multinational pharmaceutical and biological company, and researchers have profound tunnel vision. Fauci needs to remember that vaccines, especially killed vaccines, only provide immunity in the 70-80 percent range. Live-attenuated usually goes into the 90's, but neither is 100 percent. You end up relying on herd immunity, which needs around 90-94% to actually work. You can have vaccines, but you better have a treatment, too. because not everyone will tolerate the vaccine, not everyone's immune system will build sufficient antibodies, the life of the antibodies will be unknown, and groups of people will refuse the vaccine for medical or religious reasons. Fauci is fixated, and that is a VERY bad attitude.

From the Gov:

Vaccines have virtually eliminated certain tragic diseases, but when it comes to flu –- well, notice that people still get it; we still have about 60,000 deaths each year from seasonal flu. (To put this in perspective, that’s about what the revised computer models are predicting for COVID-19 this year.) Every fall, we’re told to be sure to get the flu vaccine to provide protection going into winter, but typically the vaccine will provide only "iffy" protection.

Of course, with flu, that’s largely because they can’t be sure the strain going around will be the strain they planned for. In the case of this coronavirus, we know the strain (unless it mutates, which they seem to think is unlikely), but even then, it’s not necessarily a sure thing. We won’t know until they complete their trials. Dr. Fauci and many in media have been talking as if the vaccine were the Holy Grail –- a 100 percent solution to the problem of COVID-19 when at last it is perfected, sometime within the next 12 to 18 months.

So why is there such resistance, even from the Centers for Disease Control, to a drug that can be used RIGHT NOW as opposed to the promise of a future vaccine? There is now a tremendous amount of “anecdotal” evidence that hydroxychloroquine combined with azithromycin (or doxycycline for those for whom “zith” is unsafe) is keeping people out of the hospital and helping them recover quickly. On this, we have breaking news that French President Emmanuel Macron has visited the Mediterranean Institute of Infection in Marseille, France, of renowned epidemiologist Professor Didier Raoult, where he received the extremely positive results of a larger follow-up study of 1,061 COVID-19 patients. In 973 patients, healing from the virus took place in 10 days or less; that’s an efficacy rate of 91 percent. No patients had cardiac complications.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Stephen Smith, appearing on Laura Ingraham's Thursday night show, said the head of the CDC, who has been dismissive, is “a Beltway guy” who “hasn’t seen anybody with COVID.” Dr. Smith has treated 115 COVID-19 patients with HCQ/zith and says “this drug works.” He says this is “not a Democrat thing, it’s not a Republican thing.” (If only.) He is convinced it works. They're working now on the optimum dose, he said, because the French have used a much higher dose than American doctors have. American patients have been getting a total dose of 2,400 milligrams, while the French get 6,000 milligrams. “The drug builds up,” he explained, “so it’s the total dose that matters.”

As Dr. Ramin Oskoui, CEO of Foxhall Cardiology, told Ingraham, “I think that any real solution has to be cheap, effective, safe, and scalable. Vaccines are not going to be any of those things.” He pointed out that it would be lucrative for those trying to invent one, but that we’ll be lucky to get it in 18 months. We’ve tried to make vaccines for coronaviruses for years, he said –- I would add that "the common cold" is a coronavirus about 20 percent of the time –- but that the closest we’ve come was a feline vaccine that caused a lethal response. There was never a vaccine developed for SARS or MERS.

There was no vaccine for Sars or Mers. Will there be one this time?

Rather than focusing on a vaccine, he concluded, “we need to think about herd immunity, we need to think about hydroxychloroquine, continue these studies...and I think it’s also important to start this [drug] earlier in therapy,” not when they’re already headed into the ICU. There’s much more of a benefit with mild-to-moderate disease, he said.

I get the impression that in spite of what Dr. Fauci says, there might not ever be a really effective vaccine for COVID-19, meaning that as long as it’s in the population, some will get it. That’s why we need to focus on effective treatments NOW. There's also emerging evidence that hydroxycloroquine might work as a preventative, just as it does with malaria. Someday, if there are more outbreaks, we may all have to take our hydroxychloroquine pills the way we take our daily vitamin, before we go off to work or school or wherever we want to go. Dismissing safe and possibly lifesaving treatments simply because Trump encourages their use is...I’ve said it before...evil.

It’ll be interesting when people start getting tested for immunity, and we can find out 1) how deeply into the population this virus has spread, and 2) how many people can (with some safeguards, just in case) start back to work. We're flying blind right now. The genetic code of this virus was cracked back in January and put online; some other countries have already been doing testing, but the FDA bureaucracy held up approval on a test for the U.S. One was finally approved last Wednesday, but the company making it reportedly has operations in...you guessed it...China. At the risk of sounding like Joe Biden, come on, guys!

Here’s another thought-provoking letter

From Doris:

It has been reported that these so-called "markets," which all [have] the same disgusting uses of animals of all types, are all over China. Yet, all of these epidemics, [such as] SARS and now the coronavirus, are identified with coming from one location –- Wuhan, and none of the others –- and that is where China has a biological warfare lab. It makes me think that the origin of the Corona Virus is NOT from the market but from the lab. Accidental or deliberate? We may never know. However one of the female lab doctors from that lab who wanted to notify the world about this virus has disappeared…

From the Gov:

Thanks, Doris. We’ve been covering this; it is not “conspiracy theory” to look at the evidence and consider the possibility that the first transmission of this virus to a human being happened not in that market but in a lab where they were researching coronaviruses in bats. (In fact, there are two labs in the area that reportedly study coronaviruses). We can’t rule out biowarfare, but there are other, legitimate reasons to be studying these illnesses; the jury is still out. But the ChiComms go to great lengths to keep their secrets, don’t they? I think someday we’ll have a clear idea of how this happened.

What I like is that you bring up something we’re not really hearing about: that this isn’t the first virus to come from THAT AREA though the “wet markets” are an unfortunate cultural phenomenon that occurs in many parts of China. Why does the contagion keep happening there, and not, say, in Beijing? Sharp observation; if you brought that up in China, you’d likely end up in a prison camp.

There’s a meme going around that reads, “How are you enjoying your 30-day free trial of socialism?” But I never thought that would be true in a place like Greenville, Mississippi.

Mississippi’s Governor encouraged churches not to hold services in person to combat the coronavirus, but he refused to ban them from doing so, saying, “Mississippi is not China, and never will be.” But someone needs to get that message to Greenville’s Democrat Mayor Errick Simmons, who not only ordered churches closed, he even banned drive-in services.

Last Sunday, members of Temple Baptist Church gathered in about 25 cars in the church parking lot to listen to pastor Arthur Scott preaching over the radio. Police came and handed $500 tickets to each driver, even though they were all inside separate closed cars. The only time they violated “social distancing” was when they had to roll down their windows to take the tickets from the cops.

Scott said police told him he might go to jail, and he said if that’s what it takes to keep preaching, he’ll gladly go to jail, and he will see them at the church next Sunday.

The religious freedom law firm First Liberty sent a letter to Simmons demanding that the ban be lifted, and stating that “religious liberty is not suspended during a pandemic” and Americans should not “tolerate churchgoers being ticketed by the police for following CDC guidelines at church.”

Once again, it’s very instructive to see how quickly tolerant, compassionate liberals turn into ironfisted authoritarians when given just a little power. It’s yet another reason why you should never believe the claim that socialism would work great, it’s just that the “right people” have never been in charge of it. If you even want to be in charge of a socialist government, then you’re the wrong people to be in charge of the government.

The lying I spoke of in yesterday’s installment was just the tip of the iceberg. It’s hard enough to assess the danger of this pandemic without people deliberately lying. Here are just a few more examples, not from China but from right here in the U.S.A.

The health care workers risking their own health to fight this virus deserve nothing but praise. But in New York, a nurse who claimed in an apparently phony video that she had quit her job after being made to work in a coronavirus ICU without a face mask fooled CBS News into posting it, complete with background music and captions added to highlight the supposed danger.

In the video, this Instagram “influencer” gets emotional and says, “America is not prepared, and nurses are not being protected.” But on Facebook, she had admitted she left her job at the hospital over a year ago and wasn’t sure she was ready to return to work, as she has anxiety and bi-polar depression and was “triggered” by the growing volume of information on COVID-19.

Note the irony in what she posted: “The information overload can be hard for me to sift through as far as what is credible and what is not, it triggers me.” This, when her own words blur the line between truth and fiction.

Not only CBS, but now-former-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was misled by the video. He retweeted the fraudulent CBS NEWS story, adding, “It is insane that our nurses are being forced to care for the sick without masks and respirators. The Department of Labor must immediately issue emergency workplace standards to protect our health workers, their families, and their patients.”

https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/06/cbs-news-posts-fraudulent-video-icu-nurse-crying-over-poor-working-conditions/

Finding out how New York hospitals are currently doing regarding PPE (personal protective equipment) is challenging. We went back to CBS NEWS to see what they’re saying right now. For one thing, they’re still maintaining the fiction that Trump “dissolved” the White House pandemic response office in 2018; my understanding is that Trump did not get rid of it but consolidated it with other offices. Beth Cameron, who ran it under Obama (and then under Trump until he reorganized), is quoted at length about what keeps her up at night right now –- mostly competition between states for supplies. She says that “without a unified federal plan, states don’t have any choice but to be prepared for their constituents.” She’d like to see a federal-level “logistics czar.”

Recall that just this week, I complimented President Trump on his ability to delegate, to give governors the very responsibility Cameron is worried about them having. When I was governor of Arkansas and dealing with emergencies, I saw that being closer to my constituents made me better able to determine my state’s unique needs, as opposed to having to depend on a “one-size-fits-all” federal bureaucracy. As she is one of those bureaucrats herself, she might not get that.

Yes, we've had challenges getting supplies to hospitals, notably because so many of them have been made in China for years. The CBS story does acknowledge this problem, with Prashant Yardav, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and “an expert on supply chain management,” saying that of all the N95 respirators we might use, half or more come from China. The same goes for protective gear such as masks, gloves and gowns. So, given the startling number of cases predicted, the Department of Health and Human Services warned there wouldn't be enough.

But the CBS story never says that medical professionals caring for coronavirus patients in New York hospitals are going without respirators. I have read elsewhere that in their uncertainty about the supply chain, they have been re-using them, but that’s very different.

The problem as I see it, whether supplies are allocated at the federal level or not, is that most of this stuff is coming from China. That has to change NOW, and Trump has been coordinating with private companies to make it happen. Still, it doesn’t help us determine the severity of the problem when CBS NEWS, Bernie Sanders and others post a fake video by someone who doesn’t even work at a hospital.

https://news.yahoo.com/why-links-ppe-supply-chain-153800387.html

Much of the anxiety about demand is based on computer models that turned out to be wildly wrong, dramatically inflating the numbers of people who would require hospitalization. In other words, computer models can “lie,” too, at least in the sense that the predictions they’ve given us to work with are false. Though Tuesday was, nationwide, the deadliest day we’ve had, “the curve” of new cases seems to be flattening in places where infection has been worst, such as New York, New Jersey and the Seattle area, and the need for beds and ventilators is not nearly what was anticipated, thank God. Projections are being revised downward.

https://q13fox.com/2020/04/08/army-field-hospital-at-centurylink-field-event-center-moving-to-another-state/

Of course, some of the most damaging lies are those told “by omission.” For example, we had the story a couple of days ago about Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett and her swift recovery after literally begging the medical bureaucracy to let her have a prescription for hydroxychloroquine. (Recall that Michigan is the state in which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer temporarily called for doctors in her state not to prescribe the drug for coronavirus.) Over just a few hours, Whitsett's condition had deteriorated greatly, with shortness of breath and fluid-filled lungs, and she was terrified. But later that night after taking the medication, she was already on the mend. And even though she’s a Democrat politician, she credited President Trump’s publicizing of the drug with her treatment and amazing recovery.

On Tuesday night, she and her doctor appeared on Tucker Carlson’s FOX NEWS show. Carlson has been an outspoken critic of Democrat politicians, fanatical anti-Trump media people and some government bureaucrats who are trying to get between patients and their doctors by discouraging the use of this therapy, in most cases only because President Trump has been touting it as a possible remedy. You’d think that to offer their audience hope for a treatment in the coming weeks, some other media outlets might pick up Rep. Whitsett’s story, right?

Wrong. No other major media outlet has picked it up. Nothing about Rep. Whitsett’s recovery was seen on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, PBS or NPR. The DETROIT FREE PRESS had the story on Tuesday, but even though USA TODAY is under ownership of the same publisher, Gannett, the story did not “go national."  Except for the people who watch FOX NEWS –- and perhaps listen to Hannity and other conservative radio hosts –- the story was effectively buried. This is a textbook example of “lying by omission.”

That’s why, when a witness is sworn in to testify, the person is required to tell not just the truth, but the WHOLE truth. With anything concerning President Trump, the mainstream media can never be trusted to get it right.

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tim-graham/2020/04/08/spiked-only-fox-talks-democrat-saying-she-was-saved-trump-and-his

As I've said before, in the news business it used to be, "If if bleeds it leads," but now, it's "If it makes Trump bleed, it leads."  Here’s how ridiculous the lying about Trump and hydroxychloroquine has gotten.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/04/08/snopes-new-york-times-hydroxychloroquine-trump-finances-stake-investment/

If you doubt what I’m saying, I’ll let Attorney General William Barr have the last word.

William Barr: Media on ‘jihad’ to discredit hydroxychloroquine

From Robin:

I speak a little Arabic (Iraqi), and my Iraqi friend has a funny way of speaking his thoughts on the Chinese government. (I hope this isn't too offensive.)

"May the fleas from a thousand camels infest their armpits."

On that thought, have a good evening!

From the Gov:

Thanks, Robin! Is your friend by any chance named Carnac the Magnificent? That sounds like something Johnny Carson would have used in the act, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. Though flea-infested armpits might be too good for the ChiComms, I will respond with an appropriate limerick, courtesy of Huckabee staff writer/researcher Laura Ainsworth:

There once were some Commie Chinese

Who spread a pandemic disease

They lied while it spread

Now thousands are dead

So, YES, may their armpits have fleas!

I said a few days ago that China’s attempt to swoop in and save the day for other countries infected with the Wuhan virus is like an arsonist who runs into the building he set on fire to make himself look like the hero. It seems that this analogy may be even more descriptive than I thought.

Obviously, we can’t trust numbers coming out of China. On April 7, NBC NEWS tweeted that in a 24-hour period, the U.S. reported 1,264 deaths from coronavirus while China reported “not a single new coronavirus death.” Technically, that’s correct: China REPORTED not a single new death. But why is NBC willingly serving as China’s propaganda microphone? That’s not to pick on NBC; they’re not the only ones doing this.

Steven W. Mosher, author of the extremely timely book “BULLY OF ASIA: Why China’s Dream Is The New Threat To World Order,” appeared Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s show to talk about this. He opened by saying what we already know: that from the beginning, China has lied outrageously. “They don’t just fudge the numbers,” he said; “they make them up out of whole cloth.”

Mosher thinks at least 50,000 have died in Wuhan since the beginning of the outbreak. To get that number, he noted that the Wuhan crematoria that were going full-on for 60 days, and they process about 1,000 bodies per day. After that, they began handing out funeral urns to grieving relatives, 500 of them a day, from 7 crematoria, times 14 days. Do the math.

He reminds us that this is the same Communist Party that told us no one died in Tienanmen Square when we later found out that around 10,000 lost their lives. It’s the same Communist Party that said no one died after The Great Leap Forward famine, when it turned out that 42.5 million perished. I’d say their numbers were a little off.

"So, I don’t know why anyone would take numbers out of China seriously,” he said. “I mean, why would anyone try to make China look good in this way –- it couldn’t just be just to make America look bad.”

Or...could it?

According to a March 26 story in PROPUBLICA, China has been using thousands of fake Twitter accounts to coordinate a disinformation campaign “about the coronavirus outbreak, the Hong Kong protests and other topics of state interest.” While Democrats were crying “Russia Russia Russia,” it appears China was gearing up for some serious “meddling” of its own. They’ve spent $10 billion on their campaign; this is much more massive than anything the Russians, with their few Twitter accounts, did. Most media ignored this story.

When you have time, take a look at it –- pretty scary.

And if you saw Monday’s press briefing with President Trump, you saw a young woman representing Phoenix TV of Hong Kong, which Trump called out as being owned by the Chinese (good for you, Mr. President!). Obviously, the Chinese media are here, putting together their own narratives for their own propaganda pieces. The Chinese embassies and media outlets are touting their success in controlling the virus, when they did nothing of the sort. Thousands of Chinese died, and the virus spread around the world.

The latest thing China is lying about is the reliability of coronavirus tests they’ve sent around the world. If anything needs to be accurate, it’s a test for this virus, but according to Mosher, the tests are “junk” that will “kill people.” The Department of Health had said that coronavirus test kits sent by China were only 40 percent accurate, but apparently Beijing bullied them into recanting that statement. On April 1, Mosher said that China is providing Europe with defective tests, masks that leak and protective gear that doesn’t protect. Some of the supplies have actually been sent back. (It occurs to me that if the workers in the Wuhan biolab weren’t protected by their gear, that alone doesn’t say much for the label “Made In China.”)

Mosher calls the World Health Organization “the Chinese Health Organization” and rightly criticizes them for not holding up Taiwan as an example for how to handle the pandemic. Taiwan was the first country to close its borders to Wuhan and as a result of this quick action had very few infections and deaths. But Taiwan isn’t even recognized as a country by China, so W.H.O. was intimidated into not recognizing their efforts. President Trump said Tuesday that he’s going to be looking into the World Health Organization, noting that the U.S. is their major source of funds. I have a feeling their funding from America may be drying up soon.

The article at the link includes more details as well as a Mosher’s historical perspective on China’s totalitarianism. Highly recommended…

As for our own media lying about coronavirus, what makes me the maddest right now is their insistence that Trump is wrong about the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin/zinc drug therapy, when all signs point to a success here.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci raises my blood pressure (an especially bad thing right now) when he says we may not ever get back to normal. For him, a vaccine is the Holy Grail, and until we find that, there are no long-term studies to give him confidence in any treatment. Never mind that an approved vaccine is likely 12-18 months away. I’m not accusing Dr. Fauci of bad intentions, just of thinking like a single-minded researcher and perhaps not seeing the big picture.

Zeke Emanuel, brother of Rahm “NEVER LET A SERIOUS CRISIS GO TO WASTE” Emanuel, said on MSNBC Monday night that America will probably be shut down for at least 18 months. Amplifying Dr. Fauci, he said, “We will not be able to return to normalcy...I know that’s dreadful news to hear...Conferences, concerts, sporting events, religious services, dinner at a restaurant, none of that will resume until we find a vaccine, a treatment or a cure.” What a lovely “serious crisis” this would create for leftists.

The vaccine won't come till later, but we may be on the verge of a treatment or cure, possibly a preventative, plus the very important antibody test. New studies are encouraging, but the mainstream media aren’t about to let Trump have a win on this, even if it means the end of the American economy as we know it, and that’s just plain evil. They seem to be actively rooting for him to be wrong. Trump’s optimism about hydroxychloroquine has been called “false hope,” “lies,” and “fake science.” Some have even speculated that Trump is touting this drug because he has a financial interest in it.

Mainstream media have definitely noticed the conservative critics of naysayers such as Dr. Fauci. Here’s what THE GUARDIAN had to say about us. Not super-slanted until the last several paragraphs…

This issue needs to be about health, not politics. I’ll leave you with a powerful “anecdote” about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine from Dr. Marc Siegel. Anecdotal evidence has its place. And so does any treatment that’s known to be safe and that might very well do some good.

MORNING EDITION

April 8, 2020 

By Mike Huckabee

 

ALONG WITH THE WUHAN PANDEMIC, THERE'S A HUGE OUTBREAK OF LYING

I said a few days ago that China’s attempt to swoop in and save the day for other countries infected with the Wuhan virus is like an arsonist who runs into the building he set on fire to make himself look like the hero. It seems that this analogy may be even more descriptive than I thought.

Obviously, we can’t trust numbers coming out of China. On April 7, NBC NEWS tweeted that in a 24-hour period, the U.S. reported 1,264 deaths from coronavirus while China reported “not a single new coronavirus death.” Technically, that’s correct: China REPORTED not a single new death. But why is NBC willingly serving as China’s propaganda microphone? That’s not to pick on NBC; they’re not the only ones doing this.

Steven W. Mosher, author of the extremely timely book “BULLY OF ASIA: Why China’s Dream Is The New Threat To World Order,” appeared Tuesday on Laura Ingraham’s show to talk about this. He opened by saying what we already know: that from the beginning, China has lied outrageously. “They don’t just fudge the numbers,” he said; “they make them up out of whole cloth.”

CONTINUE READING AND PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT HERE>>>


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COVID-19 News

For those who prefer to watch the White House briefings on the COVID-19 (Wuhan/Chinese) coronavirus without Don Lemon crying lemonade all over their TV screens, here is Tuesday’s full briefing on YouTube.

Also, last night on Fox News, Sean Hannity had an exclusive interview with President Trump. If you missed it, you can catch it here.

And here are some highlight quotes:

The major news of the day was Trump’s slam of the World Health Organization. He pointed out that while the US financial contribution to the WHO ($513 million in 2017) dwarfs that of China, the WHO has been parroting Chinese propaganda, which has caused them to repeatedly be wrong about the coronavirus pandemic. Trump said he was taking a “strong look” at freezing that funding, but later said now maybe isn’t the time.

Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) had the predictable meltdown, since they still don’t understand the difference between “sending crazy, capricious, confusing messages” and “putting someone on notice that they’re on thin ice and had better shape up or else.” That’s because working in politics and the media, they don’t comprehend the idea of there being a connection between being incompetent or insubordinate and losing your paycheck.

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CLOWN CAR

Blogger Lawrence Person, who’s spent the past year working overtime to compile his “Democratic Presidential Clown Car” updates, turns his attention to a subject that could prove even harder than keeping track of all the Democrats who ran for President. He’s now trying to chronicle all the lies China has told about the coronavirus. This blog could eventually end up being longer than Wikipedia.

"DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM"

The pushers of the old poison of socialism under the snazzy new label of “Democratic Socialism” want people to believe their version is different from the old tyrannical dictatorships because it will be implemented by caring, compassionate people like them. You know the old saying: Socialism works great, it’s just that the right people have never been in charge of implementing it.

Well, if there’s any upside to the current coronavirus lockdown, maybe it’s opening the eyes of a lot of misled young people. They’re getting a firsthand lesson in one of the biggest problems with socialism: it doesn’t take human nature into account. Specifically, that power corrupts, and that the people who really want a lot of government power (leftists) are the last people who should be trusted with it, because they’ll use any excuse to expand it.

And so, we’ve seen stories about a surfer being arrested for surfing on a deserted beach, a teenage girl fined for taking a drive by herself in a closed car, and now, a Colorado man being handcuffed by police for playing catch with his wife and daughter in a deserted park. How any of these people were spreading the coronavirus is beyond me, but their real “crime” was in not abiding by a one-size-fits-all government encroachment on their personal freedom.

Meanwhile, liberal elites, as always, carve out exceptions for themselves, such as New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio continuing to go to the gym (he needs the exercise because his job is so much more important than yours) and now, Chicago’s Mayor violating her own strict stay-at-home order to get a haircut. She even became indignant when questioned on it because she’s the “public face of the city” and is on national media and in the public eye. Naturally, her hair needs to look good while you can look like a llama with bed head.

So, kids, if you want to know what a “Democratic socialist” America would really be like, take a good hard look. The government using heavy-handed enforcement to tell you what you’re allowed to do and what’s banned because they deem it “non-essential,” while the politicians exempt and indulge themselves because they’re more important than you.

Oh, and all those empty toilet paper shelves at the supermarket? Imagine them being empty permanently.

That’s socialism.


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REFER A FRIEND

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NAVY SECRETARY RESIGNS

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has resigned after apologizing for infuriating sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt by dropping in just to tell them that their recently-relieved commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was either naïve or stupid or deliberately insubordinate in his handling of a coronavirus outbreak on board the ship. Ironically, Crozier was removed for circulating a memo to Navy leaders about the problems on the ship that was obtained by the media. So Modly lost his job because he spoke out of turn about Capt. Crozier speaking out of turn. Modly could have kept his position if President Trump had declined his resignation, but obviously, he did not.

The current Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson will become acting Secretary of the Navy. Let’s hope he quickly restores discipline, particularly discipline over one’s mouth. It’s easy to forget this after Hillary Clinton, but blabbing sensitive government communications that are supposed to remain private really is a serious offense.

1. U.S. # CONFIRMED CASES (As of 7:34 AM): 399,929   DEATHS: 12,911  RECOVERIES: 22,539 (Reported recoveries)

Source:  Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

TESTS GIVEN:  2,064,146

Source: The Covid Tracking Project

2.  CDC RECOMMENDATIONS: How to protect yourself  |  What to do if you are sick

3.  WHO IS TO BLAME?:  Here's an idea: send China the bill.

$4 TRILLION IN DAMAGES

The Henry Jackson Society, a British think tank, has compiled a detailed report recommending that the G7 nations (the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain) sue China for at least $4 trillion in damages for causing the coronavirus pandemic. Here are details on the many ways China violated international law and various ways in which they could be held to account legally.

Good idea. They sent their plague to us, I say we sic our plague – lawyers – on them.

WHY THINGS WILL IMPROVE

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been one of the more pessimistic voices about restarting the economy, but he seemed to backtrack a bit yesterday, saying he expects that by fall, kids will be return to school and we’ll be back to gathering safely in public again. He cautions that the virus isn’t just going to go away and it’s impossible to predict accurately, but click the link for details on why he thinks things will improve fairly quickly.

And here are some hopeful comments about the coronavirus and the economy from HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who, unlike every one of the reporters attacking the President and spreading gloom and doom, actually is a brain surgeon.

Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us."

1 John 5:14 (KJV)

 




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Yesterday, I said that one way for China to be held accountable for the WUHAN virus from WUHAN, CHINA, was for us to tally up the astronomical financial hit we’re taking and simply subtract it from the amount of U.S. debt held by the Chinese. I see I am not the only one to be thinking along these lines.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham, appearing on Monday’s SEAN HANNITY show, said, “If it were up to me, the whole world should send China a bill for the pandemic.” He went on to say that this is the third pandemic to come out of China, that they come out of “these wet markets” that sell bats, monkeys and many more species of exotic animals “intermingled with the food supply.”

Of course, in this case, it’s not just the food supply we have to worry about –- it’s very likely the “Level 4” biolab and another infectious disease lab near the market, both of which study coronaviruses. (I use quotation marks because the actual level of containment in these labs seems to be much lower.)


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"Yeah, I’d make China pay, big-time,” Sen. Graham said. Then, he asked the big question: Who would you rather have taking on China next year, President Trump or Joe Biden? “I don’t think that would be a hard decision for most people,” he said.

I think that, deep down, in all his confusion, even Joe Biden might agree with us.

It’s not just that China deceived the world about the virus, most notably about its human-to-human spread, but that it very likely came from their own laboratories. Surely President Trump is thinking about financial resolutions such as this to the economic devastation being caused by the virus. This is far from over, and there's going to be a very big price tag.

I have every confidence in President Trump to handle this situation well. As I said to Hannity later in the same show, he’s doing what a good executive does: he’s delegating, surrounding himself with smart people, and turning decisions over to those at the state and local levels who are closer to those directly being affected. Democrats always want to cram everyone into a one-size-fits-all solution whether it works for them or not, and Trump is trying to avoid doing that, in favor of giving governors the resources they need and let them determine how best to use them.

One thing I really appreciate is that Trump hasn’t tried to second-guess every decision the governors make. (I would also think that maybe he’s sensitive to that because every decision HE makes, as President, is constantly second-guessed.) As I’ve been in the governor’s role myself, I know how much Trump's approach would help me do the job of managing my state. (In fact, some states, such as Washington and Oregon, are reportedly taking the initiative to send their surplus supplies, including ventilators, to locations that are being hit harder now, such as New York.) Even Democrat governors such as Gavin Newsom of Los Angeles and Andrew Cuomo of New York have publicly complimented President Trump on his leadership style, even though they’re not exactly political allies.

Anyway, if anyone can deal with China in the aftermath of this almost unimaginable disruption, it’s Trump. And that includes financially. I’m glad I’m not the only one to be suggesting this solution.

Even though the Wuhan virus pandemic continues to suck up virtually all the news coverage, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) got distracted long enough to slam President Trump for something different: the firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson.

If you’ve followed ICIG Atkinson’s story in my newsletter and have read the linked-to reports from Sean Davis, John Solomon, Sara Carter and Margot Cleveland, among others, you know Atkinson richly deserved the boot. Of course, Democrats described his unceremonious canning as Trump’s payback for Atkinson passing along the bogus report of “whistleblower” ERIC CIARAMELLA to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s office and kicking off the impeachment. What they don’t mention is all the reasons his actions were flagrantly wrong and termination-worthy.

Margot Cleveland has another great piece in THE FEDERALIST that will refresh your memory on the details, which I’m sure have been fresh in President Trump’s mind for a long time. Recall that when Atkinson received the complaint from CIA official CIARAMELLA concerning a phone conversation Trump had had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he accepted the nine unsubstantiated pages as worthy of forwarding to the then-acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Joseph Maguire, maintaining to the DNI that this complaint fell within the statutory provisions of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.


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Under the act, the complaint was supposed to be forwarded within seven days to the House and Senate Intel committees and the complainant was supposed to have whistleblower protection. But this complaint doesn't fall under the act, and that’s why I refuse to pretend it does and will specify the name ERIC CIARAMELLA any time I want, typically using capital letters just to make the point. CIARAMELLA was “outed” long ago; everyone knows his identity and I won’t play the we-don’t-know-who-the-whistleblower-is game.

When Maguire received the complaint from Atkinson, he didn’t think it fit the whistleblower statute and consulted the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. They issued a detailed opinion stating that the complaint indeed did not fit the statute. To fit, the complaint needed to accuse the President of misconduct relating “to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity,” and that’s not what this was at all. Also, the Director of National Intelligence does not have “responsibility and authority” over Trump. The DOJ lawyers ruled that the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Act did not apply.

They also said that Atkinson should refer his complaint to the Department of Justice, not give it to the intelligence committees. Atkinson ignored this, went around Maguire and the DOJ and sent a letter to Adam Schiff telling him about the complaint. Schiff responded by going to Maguire and demanding he provide the House Intel Committee with the complaint, though doing so would violate executive privilege because it involved presidential communications. Maguire said he couldn’t do that.

Schiff had a big schiff-fit about that and implied that the President was behind Maguire’s refusal to turn over the complaint. Trump responded by declassifying not only the complaint but the transcript of the phone call that prompted it, showing the complaint to be a huge pack of lies.

But they impeached him, anyway.

Oh, there’s much more. To cite just one more example, recall that it was discovered there had been some “stealth editing” of the whistleblower complaint form by someone in Atkinson’s office to delete the stated requirement that for a complaint to be considered “credible,” the whistleblower must possess “first-hand information.” CIARAMELLA had not one speck of first-hand information, as he was not even on the phone call he was complaining about. But the altered complaint form paved the way for him to submit his complaint anyhow. Atkinson knew the rules; unless he were in on the scheme, how could he not determine that a hearsay complaint such as this one would not be considered credible?

Perhaps we could find out more about what Atkinson was doing to coordinate with Schiff’s office and otherwise set up Trump for a phony impeachment, but according to Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton he was “evasive to the point of being insolent and obstructive” in front of the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee. And in the House, Schiff continues to block release of the transcript for “Witness 18,” who is Atkinson. That’s right, even after all this time and the release of all 17 of the other transcripts, this one is still being held back. (And, of course, CIARAMELLA, with his bogus “whistleblower” protection, never had to come forward and testify at all.)

It seems that President Trump could declassify Atkinson’s testimony and call for it to be released. Perhaps he will, but that will probably come later. I understand he’s got a lot on his plate right now.

In George Orwell’s ever-timelier masterpiece “1984,” what’s true today has ALWAYS been true. Oceania is at peace with Eurasia and at war with East Asia; it has always been so. It would be “thoughtcrime” to believe otherwise, even if way back in the recesses of one’s memory, one can dimly recall a time when Oceania was at war with Eurasia and at peace with East Asia.

So it is with many things in America in 2020, particularly critiques of President Trump’s response to the Wuhan virus. Oops, it’s also thoughtcrime to think of it as the Wuhan virus, or Chinese virus, even though it’s from Wuhan, China. And it has been thoughtcrime to believe the virus might have originated not in the wet market but in one of two biolabs in Wuhan studying infectious disease. One of these is a mere 900 feet from the wet market. We are supposed to believe that it first “jumped” into a human at the market. Better yet, accept the newer Chinese line that U.S. soldiers brought the virus to China.


RELATED READING: What if we had listened to the Trump-hating media?

As time goes on, mainstream media coverage is getting worse; the narrative has done a full-180 when it comes to who did what, when. It increasingly mischaracterizes conservative media’s response to the virus, insisting that Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh minimized the threat. Questioning untested computer models or thinking twice about shutting down the entire American economy does NOT make one a pollyanna about an unknown virus.

But it’s only now, the narrative goes, with thousands infected, that Trump and conservative media can see the true impact of the virus. Trump’s effort is too little, too late, and he’s responsible for people dying, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

This is the same Nancy Pelosi who on February 24 said “Come to Chinatown...come join us.”

Uh-oh, that’s thoughtcrime. Watch out for the Thought Police. Even worse, I just wrote it for you to read, and linked to the video so you could see it for yourself, instead of dropping it down the memory hole like a good Winston Smith.

Remember when President Trump first introduced the idea of closing the United States to air traffic from mainland China? He boldly called for that at the end of January, saving untold Americans from infection and possible death. Remember the reaction at the time? Why, Trump was xenophobic (the word of the year); he was a racist. This virus was just an excuse to shut down the borders, they said, just as he’s always wanted to do; the threat was mild. We’ve all seen the montages created by Sean Hannity and others of Democrats underplaying the danger of social contact. Democrats did this not because it was true but because Trump was articulating the danger, and he couldn’t be allowed to be right.

Then there’s Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, who was smeared by the media in mid-February for daring to to ask questions about the Level 4 biolab and another nearby facility and their coronavirus studies. The nerve –- pointing out the lack of transparency from the Chinese. Democrats and the media (I repeat myself) called him a right-wing conspiracy theorist.

But he never did accuse the biolabs –- he just raised the question and wanted answers. As we’ve said here, and as reported by A. G. Hamilton in NATIONAL REVIEW, “Cotton specifically said that ‘we don’t have evidence that the disease originated there, but because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says.”


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There’s nothing conspiratorial or paranoid or false or even political about this statement, so the media had to twist his words, just as they deliberately twist and/or misinterpret much of what the President says. Once they’ve twisted it to say something different, it’s easy to debunk. In this case, they debunked the claim that there was evidence China was making bioweapons, which Cotton never said. Hamilton points out that they repeatedly quoted one of the leading biosecurity experts in the world, Richard Ebright from Rutgers University, to debunk that fake claim, even though he is known to AGREE with Cotton’s ACTUAL claim that COVID-19 could possibly have spread from the Wuhan lab. The media didn’t quote him on that part!

This story is evolving as we obtain more evidence that a Wuhan biolab might have been responsible. So the media have to play tricks to avoid retracting their earlier false accusastions. They’ll ease into the new story, as the WASHINGTON POST did when it finally said that “scientists don’t rule out that an accident at a research laboratory in Wuhan might have spread a deadly bat virus that had been collected for scientific study.” That statement is consistent with what Cotton was saying and continues to say. But to my knowledge, no one has retracted any misquotations attributed to him, let alone apologized to him.

We talk about not being able to trust the narrative from China, but it sure would be nice to have reason to trust the one being spun by our own media. Sadly, when it comes to the truth, many in American media have little more in common with it than the ChiComms do. They’d parrot a line straight from President Xi if it meant another chance to slam the leader they REALLY hate, President Trump.

By the way, the World Health Organization has made it easy for the ChiComms to lie. Highly recommended reading...

5 Keys to Unlocking WHO’s Ties to China and Its Response to COVID-19

Cotton was on Sunday’s LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN, saying we need to look at “the reasons why it is gonna be necessary to fundamentally take stock and reassess our relationship with China at the end of this pandemic, because China has to be held accountable, and there must be a reckoning for their behavior.” Indeed. I think one interesting way would be to tally up our astronomical financial hit from this and subtract it from the amount of our debt they hold.

Cotton understands all too well why the media are trying to tune out President Trump’s daily press briefings. As one of the best-informed on this issue you’ll find, he considers these briefings to be quite valuable. “The President has really taken charge,” he says, “over this last couple of weeks.” He still gives Trump high marks for going against a lot of advice he got at the time and shutting down flights from China.

I’ll leave you with the positive words of Senator Cotton, which will be ignored if not ridiculed by the hysterical media: “I commend the President. I know that we’ve got many tough days ahead of us, as he said, but I, like so many other Americans, are praying for him and praying for all the brave men and women who are working on his task force, or working in hospitals, growing our food, getting [it] into grocery stores, helping care for our communities. Again, that shows the true spirit of America and why, when this pandemic is behind us, we’ll be stronger than ever before.”

That was true yesterday, it’s true today, and, God willing, it’ll be true tomorrow.

Sunday is coming!

April 5, 2020

A week from now, we’ll celebrate Easter—to commemorate the Resurrection of Christ. One of the best Easter sermons I ever heard was titled, “It’s Friday, But Don’t Worry, Because Sunday is Coming!” It was a reminder that on the day Jesus was crucified, everything was dark, evil, and appeared hopeless. Those closest to Jesus were in fear for their own lives, and felt that all they had devoted themselves to for 3 years died on that cross. They saw their Master and their hopes and faith buried in a borrowed tomb. That was Friday. But then came Sunday. It was the day that 3 women went to the tomb to honor a man who was dead. Instead they were the first to know that what they had witnessed on Friday WASN’T the last chapter. We all have a lot of Fridays in our lives. Bad doctor reports; financial problems just to pay rent or buy groceries; a sick child; broken relationships. Yes, it’s Friday, but don’t worry because Sunday is coming. The coronavirus and what it’s done to us individually and as a nation is truly a Friday. Even if you’re never afflicted with the VIRUS, you HAVE been affected by complete shutdown of our economy, culture, and even our recreational activities. It’s definitely Friday. But don’t worry, because Sunday is coming. As we observe Palm Sunday this weekend, remember that the same crowd who screamed “crucify him!” was shouting his praise and screaming “Hosannah!” the week before. Let’s not get lost in our Fridays, because Sunday is coming. God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good. From all of us here at the Huckabee Show, thanks for joining us, stay safe, and remember that Sunday IS coming!

Welcome to our 3rd Coronavirus Edition of the Huckabee Show, where we practice safe social distancing by keeping our theater empty and our minimal crew and team safely separated. I’m operating from my remote studio 460 miles from our theater. Like you, we are all ready to be back to normal, if there will ever be such a thing, but we also take the virus seriously and you should too. I’ve had friends and acquaintances who have been infected, and know personally a few people who have died from it. Those who scoff at the seriousness need to think about this-do you really think the NBA, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the NCAA, the Masters and all other sports would shut down and lose billions of dollars if not for a real pandemic threat? Would entire nations impose absolute quarantines? Would major corporations close their doors? And would the President urge a virtual shutdown of our nation’s economy during an election year if this weren’t deadly serious?

I know there are some conspiracy theorists who say the scope of the danger is overblown, but few who say such things are public health experts. Perhaps we will find that there was an over-abundance of caution and some things could have been tempered, but in major cities, like NY, Chicago, LA, Detroit, New Orleans, Miami, and yes, Nashville, the cases have multiplied from both a densely populated area with lots of tourists coming in/out, but also because many people just didn’t take it seriously. Most churches in the nation have closed their on-campus services to conduct services online. A few kept open, but took extraordinary measures to try and protect the attenders.


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One such church is The River at Tampa Bay Church. It required attendees to separate 6-10 feet from others, supplied hand sanitizer at every door for every attendee, spent $100,000 for a hospital quality air-flow system, and had every staff member wearing gloves. This week, Sheriff Chad Chronister of Hillsborough County, FL actually arrested Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne for having conducted church services. Think about that. A pastor was arrested for having a church service. He didn’t sneeze or cough on people. He didn’t deny the virus was real and in fact, took great precautions to maintain social distancing. But he was arrested and taken to jail for opening his church. No one was forced to attend. The attendees arrived on their own and one wonders why those who attended weren’t arrested? This case will set up a colossal legal battle as to whether the government at any level can tell a church, synagogue or mosque it cannot provide religious services to its members.

My own church is doing services online and not on any of its 5 campuses. Personally, I think that’s the prudent choice. If my church did have services at any of the locations, I’d opt to still be involved online just to protect myself and more importantly my family who is quarantined with me. But should the government actually arrest a pastor for having church? And if government can shut down a church now, when will some government decide that a church is dangerous because it believes what the government deems wrong. If a church who believes the Biblical pattern of marriage of one man/one woman is considered discriminatory, will the pastor be arrested? If a church believes that men and women should have separate restrooms and dressing rooms and gender-separate dorms and showers at youth camp, will the pastor be arrested and jailed for not following what the government deems right?

Mat Staver and our friends at Liberty Counsel are representing Pastor Browne and we will follow the case closely. But while I believe the risks to public safety and life are real from the coronavirus, I also believe that we cannot and must not sacrifice our 1st amendment guarantees of freedom of religion, free speech, and freedom to assemble. I urge you to protect your family during these times, but be equally vigilant that government doesn’t become a deadly virus to kill our liberties and turn us into a police state.

Here is the link to Friday’s daily press briefing on the coronavirus by President Trump and the Task Force.

Just FYI: If you want to avoid blood pressure spikes, you can safely skip over the part when Jim Acosta of CNN tries to act like a bullying sexist jerk.

Speaking of Jim Acosta, an argument could be made that Trump Derangement Syndrome is nearly as dangerous to the public health as the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Because much of the media hate the fact that Donald Trump is President with the raging heat of a thousand suns, they have decided that their job is not to report what he says accurately or objectively, but to take every word and examine it like a bug under a microscope, trying to find any way to declare it wrong, false, racist, etc.

But now, when we’re facing a national health emergency and the public needs the latest and best information from the White House to protect themselves and their families, the anti-Trump press just cannot rein in their rageaholism and admit that maybe the President of the United States knows more about what’s going on than they do. And that stubborn refusal to put the good of the nation before their personal political grudges may be increasing infection rates and deaths.

Think that’s an unfair accusation? When Trump shut down travel from China back in January, he was called a racist and xenophobe. Where would America be now if the kneejerk Trump haters had prevailed and thousands of people from China had been allowed to keep coming into the US? For the answer, look at Italy, where many people from Wuhan work in the fashion industry and kept coming and going for weeks.

Another example: when President Trump said there had been encouraging results treating the virus with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, the media reflexively launched into attack mode. The Bad Orange Man was pushing “false hope.” No, worse, he was peddling “unsubstantiated hope in dark times.” He was even to blame somehow when a man died after eating fish tank cleaner with an ingredient that sounded like the drug Trump mentioned.

So after doing everything in their power to convince the public that the drug Trump mentioned was useless, dangerous quackery, the media are now having to backtrack amid all the reports of doctors having success with it.

Of course, it reportedly works best early on in the disease, so I hope you didn’t refuse treatment early on because you actually listened to reporters who got a bigger thrill out of attacking Trump than out of looking into the possibility of a cure for the pandemic.

Just wondering: if it had been Trump who discouraged people from trying a drug that it later turned out might have cured them of a potentially deadly disease, what are the chances these same reporters would savage him and say he has “blood on his hands”? I put them at 100%.

My most recent commentary on COVID-19 drew many reader comments. Here are a few of the more thought-provoking ones...

From Dale:

We need to put the death rate from this virus in perspective with all causes of death. The National Center for Health Statistics (Table B) shows that in 2017 (latest available year) 2,813,503 people died from all causes, the highest being heart disease & cancer, 647,457 & 599,108 respectively.

Suicide was over 47,000! Flu/pneumonia was almost 56,000. So, not to belittle COVID-19, but we are all going to die from something and old folks like me (84), while still enjoying good health, need to be prepared for when the Good Lord calls us home, regardless of the cause of death!

From the Gov:

Thanks for your perspective. You sound a little like that great philosopher Joycelyn Elders, MD, who once said, “We all will probably die of something sooner or later.”


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From Regis:

...My suggestion is this: During this time when most of us can only sit back and observe what is going on, can we show our support of this country and all who are called to duty as first responders, the medical staffs, and also support of the ones affected by layoffs and job loss? We support them all by flying our flag at the front door until this event is over. It's the least we can do. Maybe this is an idea you can promote if you think it's worthy to do so.

From the Gov:

Good idea, Regis. Consider it promoted!

From Linda:

The COVID-19 task force is bragging about the multitude of test kits going out. Why not use these test kits to bring people back to work? Test negative? Back to work you go. Test positive? Stay at home for some more time.

Continue frequent sanitizing of surfaces, door knobs, cabinet handles, light switches...Continue frequent hand washing and refraining from facial touching and hand shaking.

People who deem themselves vulnerable –- the elderly; cancer survivors; those with immunosuppressive diseases, cardiac and respiratory conditions, etc. –- can surely self- quarantine...But for Pete’s sake, get our healthy Americans back to work and save this economy!

It has taken a mere month (or less) to crash the excellent economy that took President Trump three years to build. We’ve made it through other epidemics and pandemics before without shutting down the economy. We can do this too.

From the Gov:

Your last paragraph says it all. In general, what you describe is the way Sweden has responded to the virus. I should mention that their death rate is starting to inch up, but it’s still relatively low. We need the antibody test.

From Judi:

I have thought from the beginning that shutting down a country's economy makes no sense, including not being supported by any scientific data. This is clear infringement of our rights...way over the top in terms of the responsibility of government. I hope President Trump will recognize this since he is a business man and call a halt to this nonsense. Do we need to keep distance, stay home if sick, not gather in groups? Of course. But taking away people's livelihood and forcing them into welfare is just another push for government control of everything.

From the Gov:

You know it!

From Alan (excerpt):

Hi Mike, really love the truth you share –- you are a patriot and our "Paul Revere" to warn us. I was intrigued by your reference to William L. Gensert's article in the AMERICAN THINKER. I believe this COVID pandemic was a dress rehearsal for the invasion & conquering of Taiwan, without a shot being fired by the PRC...Tom Clancy wrote about such a scenario in REDSTORM RISING and in EXECUTIVE ORDERS –- life imitates fiction. Deception, viral pandemic and invasion. I am sure some up-and-coming ChiComm Naval Officer is preparing the plan. Simple, nefarious and swift. (The Wuhan Level 4 Bio Lab will have both the bioweapons prepared and vaccine for their forces available.). Sorry for the length, but i wanted to share this with you, as you have the influence to engage in some discussions with the right people. Thank you and God Bless you and your family.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Alan. We absolutely can’t discount the possibility of such a thing happening. I think most of us take way too much for granted (certainly our freedom) and are naive about how quickly everything can change. But I would imagine that if anyone has already wrapped his head around this kind of scenario, it’s Mike Pompeo. I could send him some Tom Clancy, perhaps, but I’ll bet he’s already read it.

From Janet:

Berenson is right about the possibility that domestic abuse and even suicide may increase if this "lock down" continues too long. There's something else that could happen –- something that I've already had a taste of in my own neighborhood –- and that's people unleashing their frustrations and hostility on vulnerable people in society. After a really bizarre interaction last week, where a couple of neighbors suddenly became quite angry toward me over something they say I did three years ago, it hit me full-force how truly ugly people can get if this goes on too long.

From Lupe:

I've read some Instagram comments on people who stated that back in early January have had a real bad flu and recently got checked and have the coronavirus antibodies. We need to check asap who has the antibodies so we can get back to work. I think it is very political.

From the Gov:

It would be interesting to know where they got the antibody test. We’re reportedly still a week or two away from the one researchers seem to have settled on. Once people can easily get this test, it WILL be a game-changer.


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From Jeffrey (an MD):

It is pretty obvious, from a large amount of empirical evidence and some controlled trials, that HCQ and azithromycin is effective if given early enough. Therefore, if we have enough supply, we should all wear masks, go on about our daily lives, and anybody that is exhibiting symptoms should be treated immediately, which means outpatient treatment. I am sure this pandemic will diminish quickly if we do so. President Trump needs to stick his neck out and call for this now before our economy is needlessly harmed further.

From the Gov:

Thank you, doctor, for a voice of reason.

From Joseph:

I was a missionary linguist working with South American Indian people in the tropics. We used chloroquine, (predecessor to hydroxychloroquine), sometimes donated by the state secretary of health, for malaria and for amoebic abscess (liver) successfully. It saved lives! Bureaucracy is killing people!

From Roberta:

Early treatment would be ideal. But where I live, you can have many symptoms that could be COVID-19, but if cough and shortness of breath are absent, they screen you negative and send you home to fend for yourself. This was the case with me, a 67-year-old retired RN...Thankfully, I am still above ground! My point is, how can you be treated early if they won't test until the symptoms are fully in gear? Thanks for letting me vent! Thank you, Governor Huckabee, for being a beacon of common sense in an insane world!!!

From the Gov:

Excellent question. That will have to change, with automatic testing (as symptoms vary so much) and treatment BEFORE respiratory symptoms get severe. Thanks for writing; so glad you’re “still above ground” after that experience.

Coronavirus Deaths

April 3, 2020

There’s no update yet on legendary songwriter John Prine, who was reported to be in critical care on a respirator with the COVID-19 coronavirus. But the disease has now claimed the lives of two other highly-respected musicians.

Jazz pianist and teacher Ellis Marsalis Jr. has died in New Orleans at 85 after being hospitalized with symptoms of the disease, although it has yet to be confirmed. Marsalis was not only a legendary New Orleans jazz man in his own right, he was the teacher and mentor to generations of star players, such as Harry Connick Jr. and Irvin Mayfield, as well as his famous sons, Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis. To show how much he helped advance the art of jazz, his sons now play with symphony orchestras. But he once recalled that during his youth studying classical piano at Dillard University, "you could get expelled for playing jazz. The dean would get a report that we were over there ruining pianos playing jazz on them.”

And the deadliness of the virus is not limited to the elderly, the sick or those with poor health care. The rock music world was shocked Wednesday at news that singer/songwriter Adam Schlesinger had died of COVID-19 complications at 52. Schlesinger was one of the rare talents who nearly earned “EGOT” status: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony. He was an Emmy winner for his music for the TV show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend;” a Grammy winner with his ‘90s pop/rock band Fountains of Wayne; Tony nominee for his score for the musical “Cry-Baby;” and Oscar nominee for the early Beatles-style theme song of Tom Hanks’ 1997 directorial debut, “That Thing You Do.”

Our prayers for their families and condolences to their many fans.

1. U.S. # CONFIRMED CASES (As of 6:30 AM): 245,573   DEATHS: 6,058  RECOVERIES: 9,228

TESTS GIVEN:  1,288,013

2.  CDC RECOMMENDATIONS: How to protect yourself  |  What to do if you are sick

3.  CORONAVIRUS DEATHS:  They are mounting everywhere, these are a few names you might recognize. 

4.  WHAT DO YOU THINK: Share your thoughts on President Trump's handling of this crisis

5.  DATA:  We see data emerging NOW, and it may be a "game-changer"

6. A CURE?: Some potential good news on a possible cure for COVID-19.

Yesterday, I wrote about the pressing need for data --- not the long-term data some medical researchers insist on seeing before they advise us to start returning to some semblance of normal, but what we can learn NOW to help us know how to respond. Today, we have more of that.

Of course, we have this piece of data to consider: 6.6 million unemployment claims. In a flash, we’ve gone from virtually full employment in the last year of Trump’s first term to this staggering statistic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, coming from the point of view of a researcher, has said the fight will continue until there is absolutely no new case of COVID-19; of course, he’s looking ahead to a vaccine. Well, a vaccine will be just super, but a proven-safe and effective vaccine for the population at large could be 12 to 18 months away –- though one trial with mice at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is already looking promising –- and we cannot shut America down that long. We can’t shut America down for 12 to 18 more WEEKS. So let’s look at what we can reasonably do in the meantime.


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Alex Berenson, a former NEW YORK TIMES reporter who has been looking hard at available numbers, said as a guest on Tucker Carlson’s show Thursday that the computer models predicting apocalyptic effects of this virus in terms of serious illness and death are turning out to be wildly wrong. “In some cases,” Berenson said, “these epidemiological models are extremely new. They’ve gone extremely ‘south’ in a matter of days." He’s daring to ask if there might be some other strategy that would do just as well and might be less damaging to the economy. “We’ve done it [put millions out of work] on the basis of models that don’t seem to line up with reality in real time.”

He cited the University of Washington model, “which was created and released only a week ago.” In other words, its accuracy has never been tested. It predicted that as of now, about 50,000 people in the state of New York would be hospitalized with COVID-19. The real number is about 12-13,000. It’s as I said yesterday, these models really have no predictive value. Garbage in, garbage out.

Berenson contrasted this with the prediction of another model, from the Oregon state government, that was revised on Monday to show that “if Oregon did nothing, ended the lockdown...there would be 90 people in ICU beds at the beginning of May...If the lockdown continued, there would be 30 people.” And so the question becomes, are we going to lock the state of Oregon down, with all the societal disruption that will cause? He’s concerned about other serious problems such as escalating domestic abuse and other deaths, by suicide.

"Do these massive lockdowns make sense,” he asks, “when we can’t even necessarily figure out how they’re working?”

For a case study in how a less-strict approach to containing the virus would work, we can look at Sweden. (Surprising, isn’t it, that a safety-net country like Sweden would decide to take their chances?) People are being trusted to take basic precautions –- keep a distance, wash hands, etc. –- and use their own judgment on the rest. They didn’t take what they consider drastic measures such as closing all schools (they did close high schools and universities) and restaurants. Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, but many are choosing to avoid crowds and work from home if they can. Only people over age 70 are specifically being asked to stay isolated.

Sweden’s death rate from coronavirus has been compared to that caused by “a bad winter flu.” Out of a population of 10 million, 308 have died according to Johns Hopkins University. Of course, Swedish society has some differences that might contribute to the relatively low number; for example, many more people in Sweden live alone, so it’s easier to isolate. Still, this gives us something to think about as we contemplate months of a shut-down economy.

It seems to me that the only way a “lockdown” is even feasible for more than a few more weeks is if there could just be a “pause” button everyone could hit. No one pays anyone. Your business doesn’t pay the rent, say, and the mortgage-holder on the building doesn’t pay the bank, either. It would be like a “holiday” for everyone up and down the line. (This might leave the huge financial institutions holding the bag, but considering how they cleaned up during the bailouts of 2008-2009, it’s hard to cry too much.) Of course, this sort of cooperative effort has never happened; Melissa Francis of FOX BUSINESS NEWS actually brought up the possibility of doing it but noted that it would take “the best financial minds” to figure out exactly how it could be achieved.

Barring something like that, it’s hard to imagine how we can keep so much activity shut down. And some of the rules are getting downright crazy. As I reported yesterday, the state of Vermont has put in place new rules that “non-essential” items can’t be bought in big-box stories, even by people who are already there to buy essentials. This is reportedly happening in some other states as well, such as Massachusetts. (If social media reports are correct, even vegetable seeds can’t be sold --- at a time when people are trying to stay home and be more self-sufficient --- because the garden section is considered “non-essential.”)

The idea is to discourage “wandering” in the store. This is idiocy. It’s definitely the leftist mindset at work: the reflexive micromanaging of every aspect of life.

Some other bureaucratic restrictions absolutely defy common sense. For example, in New York, at least at this writing, a patient can’t be prescribed hydroxychloroquine without being admitted to a hospital. Again, insanity. I understand that the intention is to make sure patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can still get their medication. But New York hospitals are reportedly overwhelmed; if a coronavirus patient can be helped without going to one, it needs to happen. (Plus, it's better to get the treatment before becoming that sick.) Doctors around the world are increasingly using the hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin combination drug therapy with good results.

It’s downright criminal that people might be denied such a promising treatment, for whatever reason. One reason, of course, is shameless politics, with some like the WASHINGTON POST accusing the President of offering “false hope” and peddling “snake oil.” But the President has been right. Some in the anti-Trump media have finally, reluctantly, had to admit that there’s something to it.

If we’re going to survive this mess and get back on track, it won’t be through months of government-imposed quarantine but through identifying those who have immunity --- the definitive antibody test is reportedly 1-2 weeks away --- and the quick, effective treatment of those who contract the virus. This drug therapy, if given early enough, seems to be doing a very effective job of keeping people off ventilators (and only about half of patients, once they’re put on a ventilator, will recover). As has been said, you go to war with the army you have. So praise the Lord and pass the hydroxychloroquine.

From Bonnie:

Just thought you might enjoy a little history - I remember my great aunt, Amelia Johnson, who was a head nurse at Cincinnati General Hospital during the 1918 flu pandemic, telling me about the 18-hour shifts, the patients lined out in the hallways and the fact that they could only make them comfortable, NOT do anything to really help them. She contracted the virus herself and nearly died. Her fever went up to 107 degrees and she lost all her hair. Both she and I found it incredible that she survived that.

She said she was one of the "lucky ones" because she lived, even though she was basically bald for the rest of her life. I was 16-18 when I knew her, and some of the girls at our college made fun of the fact that she wore a hairpiece. I would never have asked her about it, but one day when I was staying with her, she volunteered the information about how she lost her hair. I was incredulous!

The 1918 pandemic has never been just another story for me since then. I was a history and English major, and firsthand stories make it so much more than just an event. When I see the pictures of the crowded wards, I can picture her working there and paying a terrible price for her dedication. Her attitude was one of blessing though, as one of the "lucky ones."

When we are just asked to stay home a while, it's not so much by comparison. One of my sons works in an ER and I pray for him and them every day. God bless our healthcare workers and keep them safe.

From the Gov:

Thank you so much, Bonnie, for offering this perspective. Your great aunt truly was great, courageously offering comfort at a time when she knew little could be done to help her if she herself became ill. How wonderful that she chose to share her story with you...and ultimately with us.

1. U.S. # CONFIRMED CASES (As of 6:30 AM): 216,722   DEATHS: 5,137  RECOVERIES: 8,672

TESTS GIVEN:  1,168,997

2.  CDC RECOMMENDATIONS: How to protect yourself  |  What to do if you are sick

3.  POLITICAL FALLOUT:  Cancel the Democrat and Republican conventions?  Maybe.  

4.  MEDIA BIAS:  Hume: TDS Media can't be trusted.

5.  CHINA LIES:  The Australian Media isn't buying them.

I wrote yesterday about the frustration of hearing scientists in charge of the COVID-19 response call incessantly for DATA, no matter how long it takes to get it. Well, Americans sitting at home with no work for the foreseeable future want data, too –- but a lot sooner.

For example, we want to know the real infection rates, recovery rates and “negative outcome” rates. (Everybody knows what doctors mean when they employ the euphemism “negative outcome.”) We need these to assess how necessary it is for us to grind the U.S. economy to a halt for months and possibly create global economic collapse, with all the disaster and hopelessness that would bring.

For many, the seriousness of this –- the full impact –- is just now really starting to hit. We hear it in President Trump’s voice, now that he’s had to extend the stay-at-home guidelines. The kids want to go outside and visit friends. People worry if they’ll have jobs to go back to. The rent was due on the 1st. Speaking of that, one way we know it’s bad is because April Fool’s Day came and went with precious few April Fool’s jokes.

Anyway, right now it’s impossible to know what the reality is, because we have no idea how many have been infected. That means “experts” are flying blind, too. An undetermined number of those who pick up the virus are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that mimic some little respiratory thing and they don’t even get tested. That’s why estimates and predictions have been all over the map. Fancy charts and graphs mean NOTHING. You know how it is with computer models (including those for predicting “climate change”): garbage in, garbage out. Any infection rate we plug into these models is guesswork. Garbage.


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The way to get more people back to living their lives is to let them have the blood test for COVID-19 antibodies. That’s especially true, of course, for healthcare workers, who could benefit incredibly from knowing they have immunity. As of last week, an antibody test considered reliable by researchers has become available. But, as Laura Ingraham pointed out on her Wednesday FOX NEWS show, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that antibodies testing is not a priority right now. It will be important, “ultimately,” to “get a feel” for how far the virus penetrated society, to have an idea of “the herd immunity,” but that this is not their “immediate problem.”

Say what? I’m sorry, but that makes no sense. We need data on this NOW. Dr. Birx gets the importance of this test, at least for health care workers. She’s calling on universities to help and says they’ll be ready by this Friday. She says the test is fast and easy --- fantastic news for health care workers and all those on the front lines, but we also need this done on a larger scale to get the true picture of what this virus does. If the infection rate turns out to be a lot higher than we thought, then the “bad outcome” rate is far smaller than current guesses suggest.

On a positive note, six pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, are working on a vaccine. The company Moderna has already started human testing. Even big tobacco has joined the effort, with Lucky Strike saying they can quickly grow tobacco containing antigens to the virus. That is incredible. Still, the vaccine is a long-term answer; even an optimistic estimate for this to be ready is 12-18 months.

The President wants us all to be able SOON to go back to work and get back to normal. The old normal, the good normal. But be warned: there are many who aren’t focused so much on that. Researchers want their data. Doctors want a high percentage of “good outcomes.” China wants us weak. And leftist politicians in our own country want a “new normal” of limitless spending and control over our lives, forever and ever amen. If we’re not vigilant, the threat of contagion could easily become a permanent excuse for tracking us all with GPS, monitoring social activities and confiscating guns. Fun times.

Oh, and now Adam Schiff wants to investigate President Trump’s response to the pandemic.

But let's get back to talking about the legitimate, worthwhile pursuit of data. Here’s the biggest one of all: We sitting at home desperately want to see data on the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, both as a protective measure and, in combination with azithromycin and zinc, as a treatment for respiratory symptoms. I don’t mean the large controlled studies that take months or years, because we don’t have that kind of time, but smaller studies that reinforce the “anecdotal” reports we’ve been getting. Some doctors now are routinely treating coronavirus patients with the combination hydroxychloroquine therapy, though they have to monitor closely for possible adverse cardiological effects. (Note: this is why I advised against using “pop-up tents” outside hospitals to hand out mass quantities of the drugs.) In fact, eminent infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Smith reports that of all his patients, no one receiving at least five days of the drug therapy has had to go on a ventilator. This supports the results of that early French study that some “experts” were dismissing. The odds of these results happening by chance are, in effect, zero.

He called this “a game-changer.” In fact, he told Laura Ingraham, “I think this is the beginning of the end. Of the pandemic. I’m very serious.

Here’s another preliminary report of a different treatment that also looks very promising.

If that weren’t enough, here’s another piece of useful data: The more patients they treat, the more doctors are seeing that the ones far more likely to experience “negative outcomes” are those who are overweight or obese and/or diabetic or pre-diabetic. Sure, the gyms are closed for now, but I can’t think of a better reason to start some kind of diet and fitness program at home. Step it up when the gyms re-open. And toss away the cigarettes for good! Save the tobacco for antigen-growing.

Finally, again, we want data from China. And China is actually giving us some, in spite of its leaders’ efforts to keep the lid on. I’ve been commenting this week on the possibility that the COVID-19 virus originated not in the Wuhan live animal market but inside a nearby biotech lab. That’s not just speculation: scientists from the South China University of Technology have put together a compelling case that one of two labs in Wuhan Province researching coronavirus in the “intermediate Horseshoe Bat” is the likely source of the contagion.

Their paper has been online for two months but our media have virtually ignored it. (That Australian 60 MINUTES report I linked to yesterday talks about it.) Tucker Carlson and a few others have reported on it. But the director of the National Institutes of Health has, inadvertently or not, run interference for the Chinese government by dismissing the idea as “outrageous.” No, it isn’t.

Maria Bartiromo brought up the subject, with Ted Cruz.

And Jim Treacher at PJ Media has an excellent commentary on this.

It’s frustrating to listen to the “official” scientists when it comes to treating COVID-19 with promising drugs. Researchers want data –- YES, WE KNOW –- and they typically answer any question on the need for new treatments with the same spiel about controlled, double-blind, long-term studies.

Those studies take time. (Aside: in the meantime, we simply must go ahead and treat with medications that are safe and show promise.) And much of the data we need will have to come from far-flung places around the world. A few controlled studies are already going on, but we must wait for the results. Of course, in an ideal world, we would be getting solid data from China, everything they have, which would be especially useful because Wuhan Province is Ground Zero for this infection. But this is not an ideal world, and that is NOT happening and will never happen.


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Over the past couple of days, I’ve written about the lack of truthful information from Chinese leaders. It’s worse than that: they’ve created a bogus narrative about their effective handling of the spread of the disease that many in the American media love to perpetuate because it makes President Trump look bad by comparison. They hate him so much that I’m not sure it matters to them that the story out of China is a big lie.

One big eye-opener is a recent report from the Australian version of 60 MINUTES. Australia, being much closer geographically to China and the Asian Pacific, takes a warier approach than the American media do to anything China does or says, and this report is no exception. When the Chinese government claimed that only about 2500 people died, Australians weren’t buying it, in part because of the huge increase in the number of cremations. That’s right; it seems that if you want to “earn” money in China right now, you should definitely go into the urn business. There was also a corresponding decrease in the number of cell phones

According to “emerging diseases” expert Laurie Garrett, who has witnessed outbreaks of Ebola and SARS, the virus “festered” in the live animal market in Wuhan for at least a month and a half before the world was told. At least at the time of this interview, she believed the virus “jumped” from some animal species, such as a bat, to human as has happened with other viruses (Note: as we’ve discussed, at least one study has suggested the market was not the original source of infection, and a Level 4 biolab is suspiciously close by; so is the Wuhan Institute of Virology.)

Garrett takes us through the timeline that started in mid-November, when cases of “a strange new flu” began to surface. In early December, they determined that it wasn’t SARS or anything like it, and that it had been spread from that market. Anyone who suggested otherwise was “suppressed,” she says. An official announcement didn’t come until New Year’s Eve; they said they had closed the market and stopped the spread, and also that there was no human-to-human transmission. She says this was a deliberate lie, that by then they were seeing cases they knew had no connection with the market.

Garrett goes on to talk about the physician who tried to warn the world and has since died of the virus. He was among a group of eight doctors who were called in and forced to sign statements declaring themselves liars. Isn’t totalitarianism great?

The report also features an interview with Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, ranking Republican on the Foreign Affairs Committee. He has been outspoken in accusing China of a criminal act, “the worst cover-up in human history.” From reports out of Beijing, we know that a lab had sequenced the new coronavirus by December 27 but was ordered to hand over or destroy its samples.

McCaul says that if the Chinese had done the right thing and notified the World Health Organization, an estimated 95 percent of the worldwide contagion could have been stopped. I would add that it’s ironic, in light of this, how much the World Health Organization is going along with China’s narrative now. Tucker Carlson had a good segment on WHO Tuesday night; he also references the Australian 60 MINUTES report.

The report goes on with the shocking timeline, contrasting China’s official statements with what they really knew about the virus. The culmination was the Chinese president’s decision to allow 5 million people, with no health screening, to leave Wuhan for points unknown around the world. Since then, another doctor, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, who tried to expose the deception has “disappeared.”

I’m linking to this piece with one caveat: the interviewee (a New Yorker) interjects politics and engages in some extremely undeserved Trump-bashing towards the end. Unbelievably, she blames both President Xi AND President Trump, “the two most powerful men on earth,” for the pandemic. She wrongly accuses Trump of “downplaying the significance” of COVID-19, never mentioning his early efforts to contain it by stopping travel from China. She notes instead his tweets praising China, not understanding the “big picture” and the diplomatic and practical reasons why he might do so. Anyway, if that part sickens you as it did me, you can skip over to the rest of the interview with McCaul, whose defense of the President –- believe it or not –- actually made it in.

Whistleblowers silenced by China could have stopped global coronavirus spread | 60 Minutes Australia

According to Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party in the UK, Radio Free Asia says the number of deaths in China from COVID-19 is more like 40,000. “But the one thing I do know,” he told Martha MacCallum on Monday evening, “absolutely for certain, is we cannot believe a word that Communist China says.”

He said that from the beginning, they hid the truth. “The doctor that exposed what was really happening was written off as a mad conspiracy theorist...and now we see China using its influence, using its money; we particularly see Huawei, the telecoms company, donating face masks, hand gel, donations in some cases, and even the state offering to sell ventilators to countries like Italy that are having serious problems. The country that caused this problem is now trying to present itself to much of the Western world as being its savior, and is trying to make a massive, massive power grab.”

Reminds me of the arsonist who plays “hero” and rushes in to save the family.

Farage says it’s time the Chinese government “owned up” and took some responsibility. Fat chance. I’d say it’s time our own media got a reality check and realized this is a totalitarian state, one that keeps people in line with prison camps and executions and will use the pandemic they caused to hurt us in any way possible, short-term and long-term, so they can eventually replace us as the leading world power. THAT is what President Trump has to deal with. Is there anything to convince our partisan media that the Chinese state is America’s enemy, and the one person they spend all their energy hating and abusing, President Trump, is really America’s dearest friend?

Farage, for one, understands Trump having to pay lip service to the Chinese president right now. “The truth of it is, we’ve become much too dependent on China for much of our supply chains in manufacturing...this needs a radical rethink. It is globalization that has caused this crisis.”

Cancel the conventions?

April 1, 2020

Tokyo has already postponed the summer Olympics to next year, but there’s still some question whether America’s big summer spectator sport events – the major party political conventions – will still go on. Both parties use those conventions to boost enthusiasm and turnout, something Joe Biden particularly will need. Although some might argue that having him walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls would be less risky than putting him onstage in front of the nation for a high-pressure convention speech on live TV. (Just look at how many gaffes he got into a brief interview on MSNBC, from calling Wuhan, China, “Luhan” to confusing the CDC with CVS pharmacy.

https://nypost.com/2020/03/31/joe-biden-has-yet-another-gaffe-filled-media-appearance/

Some top Democrats are pushing to cancel the convention in Milwaukee, while others are suggesting at least postponing it. President Trump wants to go on with the GOP Convention in Charlotte. Both might not be feasible, but the Republicans have a better shot, since their convention isn’t until August 24th, while the Democrats were set for July 13.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/dnc-convention-coronavirus-canceled

If the conventions have to be canceled, it would be a shame, since they are great spectacles and a traditional part of the American electoral process. But in light of what we’re dealing with now, having to forego hearing Maxine Waters screech about Trump to an arena full of people in donkey-shaped hats and Greta Thunberg T-shirts seems like a small sacrifice to make.

Sadly, we cannot depend on media outlets that are the victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome to alter their behavior at this late date. Astoundingly, CNN cut away from what was perhaps the most important daily briefing Trump has given yet. This came a day after one of their resident TDS patients, Don Lemon, declared that CNN should stop airing them because Trump causes public harm by misinforming TV viewers (if that were true, Trump could be a CNN commentator himself.)

Lemon idiotically compared the daily virus White House press briefings to Trump campaign rallies, which brought this appropriate response from Brit Hume.

Hume said people are hungry for information and the briefings “have been an absolute fountain of information about that subject.” But the reporters mostly ask divisive, unrelated (and I would add, “negative,” “hostile” and “accusatory”) questions, showing more interest in making Trump look bad than in eliciting vital information to help the public.

Hume said, "Reporters are like people who have one tool. You've heard the famous saying, 'If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.' If the only thing you've ever been is a political reporter and you are covering the White House briefings on a major worldwide pandemic, you might be tempted to ask a lot of political questions, which is what they've done."

I think Brit hit the nail on the head with that observation, although I admit that when I look at the White House Press Corps these days, I see more than just one tool.

Trampling Rights

April 1, 2020

I wrote briefly yesterday about the Tampa-area pastor who was arrested for holding a Sunday church service in defiance of an order against large gatherings, and asked for your responses. Since then, that story has exploded into other very important areas. Last night, I was on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News to discuss this story…

…which has taken on new meaning in light of rising infringements on Constitutional rights. Local authorities say they support freedom of religion, but the church service endangered the public health in violation of quarantine. However, the church claims the service was conducted with great care, including social distancing of attendees and other strict health precautions. My friends at the Liberty Counsel are defending the pastor. And a Pennsylvania pastor wants by holding an "outdoor Easter blowout service" a la Woodstock to show solidarity.

Both the defiance of the lockdown orders and the draconian measures some political office holders are using to enforce them have given rise to a serious debate about whether we are in danger of losing our Constitutional rights, not just during the current health emergency, but from now on. Personally, I believe that for the safety of me, my family and my community, it’s best to do whatever is necessary to stop the spread of this disease, and that can include innovative ways to worship, such as streaming services online or even this.

The bigger issue, though, is the swiftness with which our elected leaders, particularly mayors and governors of deep blue areas, have rushed right past “leadership” directly to “dictatorship.” While it might or might not be within their powers to curtail some freedoms during a deadly pandemic, their lack of concern for how that impacts individual rights is a warning sign that either they don’t understand those rights or hold them in contempt. Neither quality is acceptable in someone who holds powerful office.

For instance, it is one thing to order people to stay inside during an emergency. You might even justify arresting someone for defying that order. But in New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio threatened to “permanently” close any church or synagogue that violated it (tellingly, he didn’t threaten mosques, but that’s another issue.) By what possible right does he claim power to take away people’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of assembly “permanently”?

Some of these officials seem to be winging it without even thinking about it. For example, they’ll release all the criminals from jail, because they might catch the virus there. Then they try to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment right to defend themselves from the criminals they released by closing gun stores. The Mayor of Washington, DC, even threatened to arrest and jail people who go outside. So to recap: they’d empty the jails to protect criminals from getting the virus, then put citizens into the virus-ridden jails they just let the criminals out of, just for leaving their homes, because that might give someone the virus. If you can follow that circuitous reasoning, please send me the directions.

This is a time when it’s important for our officials to keep the public informed and alert, to show leadership and lead by example, and to impress on everyone the importance of voluntary compliance with guidelines to save lives. Draconian enforcement should be a last resort, not a first resort, and never should it be allowed to become commonplace after this passes.

Just as the public needs stern, sober reminders of why their cooperation is a matter of life and death, so do some political figures need a remedial lesson in Constitutional rights. Lesson one: the Bill of Rights is not a list of things that the state allows us to do, if we’re good and use them only the way they want. It’s a list of rights granted to us by God that the state cannot take away, except by tyranny.

Not that her comments are actually worth mentioning, but since some poor deluded souls on the left continue to think of MSNBC Russian Collusion conspiracy monger Rachel Maddow as an actual journalist, I should include this: Maddow, who recently (and hilariously) suggested that networks shouldn’t air the President’s daily updates because HE dispenses misinformation (!), said this to her viewers exactly one week before the USNS Comfort arrived in New York harbor:

“In terms of the happy talk we’ve had on this front from the federal government, there is no sign that the Navy hospital ships that the president made such a big deal of, the Comfort and the Mercy, there’s no sign that they`ll be anywhere on-site helping out anywhere in the country for weeks yet. The President said when he announced that those ships would be put into action against the COVID-19 epidemic. He said one of those ships would be operational in New York harbor by next week. That`s nonsense. It will not be there next week.”

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/363149/

In fact, President Trump made good on his promise to dispatch the 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort to New York harbor, and it could be ready to start taking in patients as soon as today. Here are some photos of it arriving under the watchful eye of the Statue of Liberty that will send a patriotic thrill up your spine, if you're not an MSNBC viewer. I can assure Ms. Maddow that these pictures were not created in Photoshop by Russians.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/30/iconic-photos-of-the-usns-comfort-arriving-in-new-york-provides-a-glimmer-of-hope.html

From Robin:

On the [Wuhan] BSL-4 lab. I have a little experience with bio and chemical stuff in the military.

Based on the photos I've seen from China, the researchers were not properly attired with protective gear for this environment. They should be completely covered with all seams sealed. No openings to the body at all. Second problem is you cannot take off the protective gear without first decontaminating the gear, then secondly yourself. I did not see anything for decontamination. There should also be available emergency decontamination stations for accidental incidents.

Without the above you're just a human guinea pig. Go home to your family and friends after that and there you go! An epidemic because of poor training, fear of questioning your supervisors, politicians and government. And everything done in closed secrecy so you can't get knowledge or advice from any scientists in the outside world.

Welcome to Socialism!

From the Gov:

You bring up some very interesting points. I’m reminded of Chernobyl; in the aftermath, we we were shocked about the poor safety standards. Again, welcome to socialism; I’ve always been mystified by those who say a socialist/authoritarian form of government would be better for the environment. We have only to look at the lung-clogging pollution in (yes) China to see the reality. There are no studies we can cite on this --- how could there be? --- but it stands to reason that Chinese urban dwellers already have enough lung damage to make them vulnerable to a respiratory virus.

Jennifer Griffin for FOX NEWS had an outstanding report on Bret Baier’s SPECIAL REPORT Monday night from the U.S. Army base at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which houses one of the nation’s Level 4 biolabs, to show what they’re doing to create a COVID-19 vaccine. She says these are the same Army scientists who found vaccines for anthrax, plague and Ebola viruses. They’ve got special equipment that allows them to assess results of the “fast-track” drug testing that’s currently underway.

Safety protocols are rigid. There’s an airlock into a decontamination area that’s kind of like a car wash, where researchers shower in their protective gear after their shifts to decontaminate it before taking if off. The gear has its own oxygen supply.

"These men and women have been here before,” said U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, “and they prevailed. And we’re going to find this vaccine, and we’re gonna win in the end.”

Much more at the link:

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6145877013001#sp=show-clips

Abbott Labs, after getting emergency FDA approval, has announced it’s launching a 5-minute COVID-19 virus test that can be used just about anywhere. Every state will get at least 15 of these testing machines, which can perform up to 50,000 tests per day.

Also, GREAT NEWS (and thanks to Sean Hannity for this story): the drug hydroxychloroquine has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA after the promising results we’ve reported. The pharmaceutical company Novartis has committed to donating –- repeat, donating –- up to 130 million doses of the drug. Likewise, the Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals has supplied U.S. hospitals with 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets,with another 4 million on the way. Also, the Phase 1 testing of a vaccine has commenced; the speed of this truly is miraculous.

By the way, I'm sure you'd agree with me, Robin, that we should discount anything we hear from the World Health Organization. It appears to be Chinese propaganda, one step removed. Check out Tucker Carlson’s Monday interview with Gordon Chang, author of THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA, about the World Health Organization’s denial to address anything concerning the nation of Taiwan. Why, it’s just as if Taiwan didn’t even exist! (Steve Mosher, author of the book BULLY OF ASIA, calls them “the China Health Organization.”)

As reported by Chang, the director general of the World Health Organization gave an interview in late January to China’s state media saying that Beijing’s response was “admirable, should be emulated by the rest of the world,” and that “it all showed the superiority of China’s socialist system.” (I am not kidding.)

Chang commented, “Well, China has a totalitarian system, and, really, what he was doing was attacking democracy on behalf of Beijing. So this is really despicable across the board.” He went on: “...This is dangerous, because for the last 10 days of January, and for the first 10-15 days of February, the World Health Organization was parroting Beijing’s line that no country should enact travel restrictions on China. And that’s –- because there were no travel restrictions, or very few of them, the United States being an exception, what happened was, this virus spread even farther...around China’s borders, and so, what’s the WHO has done, it’s actually helped spread the coronavirus around the world, and it did it on behalf of Beijing.”

Democrat Congressman Seth Molton of Massachusetts has also submitted to the power of Beijing, by withdrawing his support for a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist government. He talked about this on (where else?) MSNBC, and apparently chose to speak up to counter the implication that the Chinese government might be worse than the danger of the “racist” Trump administration. I think we can tell this idiot he needs to quarantine his mouth.

Thanks for writing, Robin, and for your perspective on China’s role in the spread of this virus.


RELATED READINGThe challenge of getting truth on origin of Chinese virus


From Dobbin:

Good article, Governor, but I don't think there is a level 5. Pretty sure level 4 (BSL 4) is as high as it goes, and if BSL 4 protocol were followed, this wouldn't have happened. If!

From the Gov:

Hi, Dobbin. Um, that line about “Level 5”? As the great ol’ cartoon rooster Foghorn Leghorn used to say, “That’s a joke, ah say, that’s a joke, son.”

From Julianne:

I recall some information coming out of China in late December about mass graves. The links I had to those are gone, missing, removed....something. Since this virus hit the elderly and sickly, those people were just considered collateral damage and expendable. We will never know how many died in China from this virus. The truth will not be told by those in power, and all those that know are dead or missing.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Julianne. My researchers have encountered similar online brick walls. Also, they find that certain well-documented, credible stories from here in America are avoided by the mainstream media like –- pardon the expression –- the plague. (Always ask yourself about a story that seems to just go away, “Why am I not hearing more about this?”)

But to your point, you are correct about the value of life in that country being essentially on par with that of an 8-month-old fetus in the eyes of Planned Parenthood. As far as those in power are concerned, lives are expendable and certainly considered collateral damage if there is a larger goal to be achieved. Unfortunately, some in our own media, particularly social media, have been quite cooperative in their effort to –- again, pardon the expression –- “bury” stories and commentary. We’ll continue to look into the mass-graves story, but you’re right: many details about this will likely never be known.

From Jeanine (excerpt):

I listened to NPR and OPB the other day after the Task Force had given their faithful, intelligent update on the coronavirus and could not believe what I was hearing. Everything that was said on NPR and OPB was the opposite of what was reported by the Task Force. It was lying. And then hateful commentary.

From the Gov:

It’s as I said, Jeanine. One might as well be listening to Nancy Pelosi...or the Chinese Communist Party. And if Congress is looking for places in the budget to cut so they can more easily help shuttered businesses and Americans out of work...they might start with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Switching gears

March 31, 2020

At his Monday press briefing, President Trump introduced another leading business person who is joining the government in the coronavirus response. Mike Lindell, founder of the phenomenally successful American company My Pillow, praised Trump’s actions and encouraged Americans to use their enforced home stays to spend time with their families, pray, read the Bible and reconnect with God.

Lindell has refocused 75% of his pillow factory output for the time being on making much-needed N95 surgical face masks for health care workers, with plans to produce 50,000 masks a day. You can see video and read more here:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mypillow-founder-mike-lindell-at-white-house-coronavirus-briefing-tells-people-to-pray-during-crisis

I’m not at all surprised to see Mike Lindell putting public service over profit, and speaking out about his religious faith in a place where that’s often mocked and scorned. Indeed, some snarkers on the Internet tried it, but I sense that we have entered a more serious new era, and Americans are fresh out of patience for juvenile partisan sniping from people who would rather criticize and attack than pitch in and help.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2020/03/30/lefties-are-triggered-because-american-businesses-are-taking-part-in-the-coronavirus-briefings-n2566013

Here’s a specific example of an attempt at adolescent eye-rolling at Trump and Lindell that brought a perfect response. It suggests that these leftists’ 15 minutes as the self-proclaimed “cool kids” of social media (that stretched into three annoying years) are at long last over:

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/363220/

Mike Lindell is one of the great American success stories, and so popular with Americans that when he appeared on my TBN show in 2018, the studio audience was more excited about seeing him live and getting his autograph than any other celebrity or politician on the show (certainly more than about seeing me!) And that success is well-deserved. If you don’t know the story of how his life was nearly destroyed by drugs and alcohol, and how his faith in God not only saved him but led him to undreamed-of success that he now uses to help countless others in similar peril, then you need to see my interview with him. Trust me, you will be inspired:

https://youtu.be/rwB3EPgDZZU

Let’s also throw a grateful thank-you to the suit maker Brooks Brothers, which is stepping up to start making 150,000 face masks a day. Brooks Brothers is one of the last remaining companies that still makes clothes in the USA instead of in foreign cheap labor markets. Wow, whoever imagined that there might someday be a reason America would want to encourage manufacturers to keep those jobs in America?

https://www.gq.com/story/brooks-brothers-medical-masks

Fake News Tuesday, COVID-19 Edition, Part 2

As part of the media’s tireless (and ever-more-tiresome) attempts to gin up as much divisive rage and fear over President Trump as possible, on Monday, “CBS This Morning” aired footage of an overcrowded hospital room in coronavirus-raged Italy and claimed it was a hospital in New York City.

https://www.westernjournal.com/cbs-used-fake-covid-video-ny-hospital-footage-italys-hardest-hit-city/

When called on it, CBS News removed the video from all its shows and web platforms, and blamed it on an “editing mistake.”

It’s nice to know that with so many things we take for granted uprooted due to the CHINESE coronavirus pandemic, there are still some reliable touchstones that remain as solid and unchanging as Mount Rushmore:

1. Never believe anything you hear on Rachel Maddow’s show.

2. When Trump makes a mistake, he’s a LYING LIAR WHO LIES, but when the media lie, it’s always just a mistake.

One day, we’re going to know not just how the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) came to be a pandemic but how it came to "be" in the first place. Right now, though, it’s tough to find reliable information. Politics, not science, informs (infects?) most media commentary, and that applies not just to what’s being said but what is not said. (Aside: This is especially true with the promise of hydroxychloroquine/zithromycin/zinc therapy that we've been staying on top of.)

It’s amazing how, with 24/7 coronavirus coverage, so much information can be ignored in favor of the same fake stories over and over. CNN, MSNBC and other outlets are so loaded with misinformation --- which we often debunk here --- that one might as well be listening to Nancy Pelosi. Or the Chinese Communist Party.

We see that when public officials contradict President Trump or say things that otherwise further the anti-Trump narrative, they get love and kisses from the media. But as soon as they find reason to temper their comments or even (yikes!) agree with him, the media turn on them and try to shut them down, sometimes not bothering to air their reports.


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"Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are not political people,” former Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz said Sunday evening on Steve Hilton’s show. “They worked in the administration when it was the Obama administration. These are serious scientists who have the lead; there’s a reason why the President, time after time, brings them out...and for the American people not to see these...health care professionals giving advice, telling them what needs to be done, advising the President, does a total disservice to the American public. But I think the American public, fortunately, figures that out.”

I would add that just as these researchers aren’t politicians, neither is President Trump, really. It’s refreshing to have someone in office who doesn’t just talk in focus-grouped politi-speak and is candid with us. On the rare occasions when something he says doesn’t ring true --- such as a positive word he might say about Chinese leadership --- we know he has solid diplomatic reasons for putting it out there.

Anyway, certain scientists and elected representatives have been trying for months to uncover the real source of the virus and what China did in the early weeks of their epidemic that allowed it to become a raging pandemic that has killed over 2,000 Americans. The Chinese Communist regime has been very cloak-and-dagger about it by hiding evidence, refusing to admit American scientists from the Centers of Disease Control, “disappearing” doctors and researchers, and expelling American journalists who might sneak the truth out to the rest of the world.

Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton, appearing on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES with Maria Bartiromo, referred to a study published in THE LANCET that concluded the virus did not originally come from the “wet market” in Wuhan. Cotton was really the first elected official to express serious concern about the emerging virus; he nailed it back on January 30, when he called it “the biggest and most important story in the world” and asserted that China was lying about it. He could see it didn’t make sense that China was downplaying the virus while “locking 75 million people into their homes and apartment buildings,” he told Maria.

And they’re still lying. “You see it again today,” Cotton said. China announced they had no new cases, no more deaths, but they've just re-closed the movie theaters nationwide after having them open for a few days. Certainly they wouldn’t do that unless what they’re telling us about the end of the contagion is false. Cotton also noted that a single mortuary in Wuhan has just ordered more than 5,000 urns. The Chinese Communist Party lies because it’s the Chinese Communist Party, just as a scorpion stings because it’s a scorpion. They’re behaving exactly as one would expect the Chi-Coms to behave when trying to cover up the biggest story in the world.

You can bet that when Trump says something gracious about the president of China, he’s well aware of that deception. There are many elements at play, such as the reality that much of our basic productive capacity for making medicines was outsourced to China long ago. As Cotton said, “I think most Americans have been shocked to learn that we depend upon China for things like penicillin, antibiotics, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, to say nothing of dozens of basic pharmaceutical ingredients.” That will have to change, but it can’t happen overnight. Cotton is sponsoring legislation to use tax incentives and the government’s purchasing power to bring this manufacturing back to the U.S. and eventually halt the importation of all Chinese drugs.

A month ago, Cotton was saying we didn’t know where the virus originated but that we had to get to the bottom of it. He pointed out that just a few miles from the wild-animal “food” market where they’d said the virus broke out is China’s one-and-only biosafety Level 4 superlaboratory that researches human infectious diseases. “Now, we don’t have evidence that this disease originated there,” he said at the time, “[but] because of China’s duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question, to see what the evidence says, and China right now is not giving any evidence on that question at all.”

We don’t know much more than we did a month ago, Cotton said on Sunday, and that is very little. But we now KNOW the virus did not originate in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market as China claimed. That’s right: It didn’t “jump” from one of the live delicacies they sell there such as badgers and koala bears (kid you not) to a human host, and even the Chi-Coms can’t continue to claim that it did. They had to ‘fess up in February. But as early as December, this was known; THE LANCET published a study showing that of the first 40 cases of coronavirus, 14 of them had no contact with that infamous market.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/02/22/beijing-admits-coronavirus-didnt-start-in-wuhan-food-market-senator-cotton-tweets-vindication/

So, the virus had to have been brought by someone into that market, which became an “accelerant” for its spread. The market is crowded and dirty, with animals crammed into filthy cages to await their fate. Customers reportedly prefer to watch their future meal being slaughtered. Isn’t multiculturalism great?

https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2020/02/24/study-china-lied-wuhan-virus-did-not-originate-in-meat-market/

Rep. Cotton said we still don’t know what they do in this lab. It sure would be interesting to know if even one of those first 14 cases not having any connection to the market did have a connection to the LAB. Is it possible that any of these infections can somehow be traced back there? Inquiring minds want to know.

It should be said that the study of this particular virus wasn’t necessarily sinister. It’s their failure to contain the outbreak and then lying about it that led to many thousands dying around the world –- THAT’S sinister. This Level 4 biolab has apparently researched coronaviruses before, and there are legitimate reasons for doing so. I would strongly suggest, however, that in the future they might want to think about doing it at Level 5.

……………….

A postcript: China has taken the “highly unusual move” of exonerating 33-year-old Dr. Li Wenliang, whom they “reprimanded” for spreading the word about the outbreak and who later died of the disease himself. In other words, he was exonerated posthumously. Wasn’t that nice of them?

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/china-outbreak-doctor-vindicated/2020/03/19/id/959141/

God is with us

March 30, 2020

I know you’re all under a lot of stress, having to self-quarantine, social distance and other things that have upended our lives that were unheard of only a month ago. Some of you are only dealing with the stress of trying to avoid the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus, while others have actually suffered it, or seen loved ones contract it and even die from it. But before I start getting into the grim updates, I want to say something to help you keep a positive outlook.

I said this at the end of this weekend’s “Huckabee” on TBN, and I want to share it with you here, too:

“I want to offer you some encouragement. All the talk about the virus and the upheaval it’s brought to our jobs, our schools, our sports, our daily routines, is unsettling. And we really don’t know yet what’s to happen, or if we’ll ever be the same financially or emotionally.

But when things in this world become more uncertain, I’m comforted by the certainty of God’s love and purpose. The virus may indeed separate me from my events or my friends or my travels. But it won’t separate me from God or His love. And He’s got a bigger purpose for you, me and the world than for us to live in fear. I’m going to keep my sense of humor. Keep my faith. And keep believing that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.

We’re going to be back next week, and I hope you will, too. In the meantime, keep smiling, keep believing, and keep looking up. God is with us!”

Welcome to a very special edition of the Huckabee Show here on TBN. Special because we are now in our 2nd week of the Coronavirus version, without our studio audience, our guests coming to us mostly from their homes via Skype, and your host actually in government-imposed exile, some 461 miles from our theater and coming by way of a fiber-fed transmission line from a virus-free studio.

The Coronavirus and the resulting shut-down of our nation is proving to be a genuine hardship for all Americans, especially those in the service sector whose jobs virtually disappeared overnight, and for many, may not return. The travel and tourism industry is decimated. The stock market imploded, and of all things, toilet paper became a more precious commodity (or should I say commode-ity) than dollar bills. If you are from the rural south and grew up several decades ago, you weren’t worried about the toilet paper shortage—you knew just to eat more corn on the cob…and save the cobs. When I mentioned that on Twitter, I was excoriated for my lack of sophistication. But I ask my snobby critics, so what is YOUR solution when there’s no Charmin to squeeze? I don’t think I even want to know.

Are there any positive things to come from this pandemic and the economic and social disaster it’s caused? You bet. For one, maybe we’ve finally learned that globalism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and we ought be thinking more about America being strong, self-sufficient, and independent of countries like China, whose communist government kept hidden the blunt force of the virus until they finally slammed their fist on the population of Wuhan, China and turned it into a gulag. But by then, it was too late, and the virus had already started to spread throughout the world. President Trump immediately put a halt to travel from China and of course was promptly labeled a racist by Nancy Pelosi, other Democrats, and their co-conspirators in the media. Interestingly, even publications like the Washington ComPost and the NY Slimes themselves demanded a travel ban in the early days on what even they then called the Chinese virus. Now the use of that term is of course racist, which means all those years we’ve dealt with the Spanish Flu, German measles, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), and I never knew we were ALL racists for calling it a disease from its point of origin.

We’ve learned to appreciate some real heroes we take for granted. Like truck drivers. As bad as this has been, it’s the truckers who have kept this country moving and stocked with food and supplies. When you see a trucker on the highway, say a prayer of thanks for him or her. They’ve been your lifeline. We should be more grateful for health care workers, and not just the doctors who get the attention, but the nurses, front office staff, nursing home workers, technicians, and even the people who clean the buildings where all those folks work. They have been exposed to more germs in a week than most of us will be in a lifetime. And our policemen, fire-fighters, and 1st responders. They don’t get to stay home and wait it out. They are on call 24-7, to clean up the messes humans make. And be grateful for those who deliver mail and packages—whether Post Office, UPS, Fedex, or whoever. I’m getting stuff shipped to my house to keep from venturing out. And those folks in the warehouses, shipping platforms and the drivers getting it to my neighborhood are real heroes to help the rest of us practice social distancing. And grocery clerks and stockers, and pharmacy workers also deserve our deep thanks.

Finally, we are shaken to our roots to realize that with March Madness, the NBA, Major League Baseball, and every sporting event canceled, athletes can’t save us. With the theaters closed, and movie sets shut down, Hollywood and actors can’t save us. And with the financial meltdown, money can’t save us. And with the Congressional bungling of a rescue bill and Pelosi trying to add money for non-virus nonsense like funding abortions and NPR and the Green New Deal, politicians sure can’t save us—in fact, they may end up killing us! But when human institutions fail, God never does. His comfort, His healing, His promises bring us peace when nothing or no one else does or even can. And that’s something we’ve learned from all this.

President Trump and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer are exchanging accusations over who is responsible for problems her state is having in obtaining supplies to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. You can read the details here if you want, but frankly, I think most Americans aren’t in the mood for partisan fingerpointing. If there are problems, they need to be solved now, and you can argue over blame later.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-fires-back-at-michigans-whitmer-claims-dem-governor-doesnt-have-a-clue

On a related subject, Gov. Whitmer is not filling her constituents with confidence that she’s putting their best interests ahead of politics by following Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in playing doctor without a license. Both Governors have issued orders banning doctors from the off-label use of hydroxychloroquine, particularly in combination with the drug Azithromycin, which has shown promise in early use in several nations, but which has been under attack by the left as a “fake cure” because President Trump spoke of it positively.


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Whitmer’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued a letter threatening action against the medical licenses of any doctors who prescribe it for the coronavirus, requiring health care providers who learn of a doctor prescribing it to report them to the state, and banning pharmacists from filling prescriptions for it.

Yes, it’s true that we haven’t had years of clinical trials of this drug, but when you’re in a situation where nothing else is working, death may be near and you don’t have years to spend on clinical trials, the decision about what last-ditch drug to try should rest with the doctor and patient, not state or federal bureaucrats. This is why Trump pushed for and signed the “Right To Try Law,” to stop the FDA from “protecting” terminal patients into the grave by denying them experimental treatments until after they’re long dead.

At this link is a first-hand account by a Michigan COVID-19 patient, Jim Santilli, who believes he was hours just away from death when his doctor gave him this treatment, and he began a rapid recovery. You can imagine how he feels about his Governor banning doctors from even trying it:

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/michigan-man-with-coronavirus-has-near-death-experience-is-saved-by-hydroxychloroquine-z-pak-then-unloads-on-liberal-gov-for-denying-life-saving-drug/

Santilli writes, “This is unacceptable and I’m confident Governor Whitmer, and her administration, will be responsible for many deaths and much suffering. I highly recommend she stop the politics, and not discourage doctors from using treatment they believe may work.”

While some early studies of the drug have shown great promise, there’s no proof that it’s a magic bullet. There are flaws in the studies, conflicting results, and potential side effects. You can read more about them in this article:

https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/27/we-dont-know-hydroxychloroquine/

And here’s the latest, released just last night: French professor Dr. Didier Reoult released the results of a second study that repeated the positive findings of his first trial use of Hydroxychloroquine (plaquenil) and Azithromycin on 36 COVID-19 patients. The latest study of 80 patients found “significant” clinical improvement in all but one 74-year-old still in intensive care and one patient who died who had an advanced, irreversible case and was 86 years old.

https://techstartups.com/2020/03/27/coronavirus-cure-new-results-french-study-shows-combination-hydroxychloroquine-plaquenil-azithromycin-successfully-treated-80-coronavirus-patients-significant-dr/

The bottom line, as that story states in its headline, is, “What if hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work? What if it does? Right now, we don’t know.” It quotes a health data analyst as saying, “When dealing with a pandemic, listen to experts who are used to grappling with these problems.”

I assume that would mean doctors, not Governors.

Going Rogue

March 27, 2020

Today could be a high drama day in the House, as Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky is reportedly threatening to “go rogue” and hold up passage of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. He and some other conservatives are angry that the Democrats managed to stuff so much irrelevant leftwing pork and government expansion into what is supposed to be a rescue bill for idled American workers and businesses. There are worries on both sides that Massie will prevent a quick voice vote and demand a full vote that would require members who are absent to travel back to Washington to form a quorum and cast votes.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/extreme-precautions-ordered-in-house-ahead-of-historic-vote-on-largest-stimulus-package-in-us-history

Democrats are furious over the tactics and many Republicans are upset that their golden issue of Pelosi holding up the bill for a week while Americans suffered will now be overshadowed by one lone Republican holding it up. Look, I agree that there are many things in this bill that shouldn’t be there. Democrats tried to stuff it as full of leftist goodies as a piñata. Here’s just one example of the kind of irrelevant issues it lavishes money on that we’ll be discovering for months:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/coronavirus-relief-package-contains-over-11-billion-international-development

It’s precisely the type of bill that makes you lament that the President doesn’t have a line-item veto. But if there were ever an example of letting the perfect become the enemy of the good, the rumored Massie stall may be it. It’s time for Washington to end the political games and help the rest of the country, which is already acting heroically without their help under incredibly difficult conditions.

Speaking of that, check out this lengthy Facebook comment by Bart Hall, reeling off all the ways that Americans are stepping up to deal with the crisis, help each other and create innovative solutions to problems in record time, either without Washington’s help or in direct defiance of pointless federal regulations. He also speculates on the possible positive effects of so many people learning just how useless, and even obstructive of progress and innovation, all those nanny state regulations are. Warning: a bit of profanity, forgivable under the circumstances.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/362781

And as always, the Christian conservative site The Babylon Bee nailed the useless grandstanding of Washington politicians perfectly with this headline: “Government Accidentally Shuts Itself Down With Ban On Non-Essential Businesses.”

https://babylonbee.com/news/government-accidentally-shuts-itself-down-with-ban-on-non-essential-businesses

While you’re at that site, you should read some more stories for great laughs to help ease your homebound boredom and anxiety. This may be my recent favorite: “Quarantined Journalist Really Starting To Annoy Family By Calling Them Racists All Day.”

https://babylonbee.com/news/quarantined-journalist-reduced-to-only-calling-their-household-members-racist

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.

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.”

What a pleasant surprise to see one of my favorite medical experts as a guest on THE INGRAHAM ANGLE Tuesday night. Most of all, it was gratifying to see he thinks the same way I do about hydroxychloroquine/zithromycin therapy, even though he is a world-famous physician and entrepreneur and I am not.

Oh, by the way, Gov. Huckabee was on the show, too. More about that below.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, is widely known for his groundbreaking series of books on nutrition and aging, starting with THE WRINKLE CURE and THE PERRICONE PRESCRIPTION. I think I’ve read every one of them. He also developed a line of skin care that I have used over the years as my budget would allow. But perhaps he is best known for “the Perricone Diet,” a regimen based mostly on wild salmon and vegetables, designed to provide the right nutrients for skin (and brain) and to avoid the damaging blood sugar spikes that high-carb diets cause. I’ve followed it for a long time –- no endless pasta bowl and breadsticks for me –- and even wrote and performed an operatic song parody about it in a one-person comedy show about the pursuit of beauty called MY SHIP HAS SAILED. The song: “O Worship Dr. Perricone.”

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/CtSWkUscZ74 

When I performed this in larger venues, he appeared behind me on screen in a stained glass window…

Anyway, I’ve always considered Dr. Perricone to be way ahead of his time, so it doesn’t surprise me that he would be looking into this experimental treatment for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Apparently, he’s been prescribing hydroxychloroquine for his patients with autoimmune diseases and getting results. And though as a physician he considers himself “risk-averse,” he said he's very surprised at the reluctance of the medical community to move forward with the off-label use of this FDA-approved medication to treat COVID-19.

He advised looking at the “risk-benefit ratio.” This antimalarial drug came out in 1945 (!), he explained, and there are about a million patients every year taking it for autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. “There’s nothing better, as far as I’m concerned, in terms of safety of a drug [than] to have it being used a long time,” he said, “and 70 years is a very long time.”

Ideally, he said, we’d love to have some really compelling studies, lots of data, “but we don’t have time for that.” We have to move fast. And this is a short, five-to-seven-day regimen, for which “the side-effect profile is extremely, extremely low.” So, looking at the risk-benefit ratio, we have a drug that’s been “tried and true” for 70 years (low risk), combined with good data coming in (high benefit).

Given the severity of the disease, “it makes no sense to me whatsoever,” he said, “to hesitate distributing this drug.” Of course, it’s important to be under a doctor’s care, he added, to make sure it won’t interact badly with some other drug the patient is taking or if there are “any underlying problems.”

We need to move very quickly on this, he concluded. Every day counts in terms of saving lives. He went even further, to say that anyone hesitating now is doing this country “a huge disservice.”

I completely agree with Dr. Perricone (dare I say, “worship” him?), and would add that my main concern is that much of the reluctance to go all-in on this drug therapy is because if it worked, it would prove President Trump right and help him win re-election. That decision should be based not on any political considerations whatsoever but on the kind of analysis Dr. Perricone has offered. I don’t know how he votes; perhaps he’s apolitical. Anyway, the discussion should be shaped not by pro- and anti-Trump forces but by what has been shown to help people get well. There are some who hate Trump so irrationally that they would actually deny him this accomplishment.

Personally, as someone who is in the “red zone” on the risk scale (due to previous lung damage as a complication from H1N1 flu in 2009), if I somehow get sick with this in spite of working from home and careful “social distancing,” I have looked at costs and benefits just as Dr. Perricone has and have made up my mind...I am getting that treatment.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6144520387001

As mentioned, Gov. Huckabee was on Laura Ingraham’s show as well, with Byron York, to discuss the chatter surrounding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a possible bid for the White House.

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

Obviously, this is happening because the Democrats have to find SOMEBODY more on-the-ball mentally than Joe Biden, who is showing himself to be less than worthless in a crisis. Byron York pointed out --- though he hardly had to --- that Democrats are looking at Biden and see someone who’s really struggling.

The Governor noted that Biden, in doing those bizarre shadow-commentaries following the President’s press briefings, is doing a lot of damage, not only to his own prospects but to the country by trying to pretend that “he’s really gonna be the President.” The more Biden talks, the less confident people are in his ability to handle something like the current situation. In contrast, Huckabee gave Gov. Cuomo credit for the way he’s been handling the role of a governor in managing such a crisis.

"Governors tend to be good presidential candidates most of the time,” Huckabee said, “because, frankly, they’ve managed a microcosm of the federal government. Every single thing you have at the federal level you have at the state level, just with fewer zeroes on the end of your budget.” But, having been in those shoes himself, he really doesn’t think Cuomo is thinking about the presidency. “When you’re dealing with a major crisis,” he told Laura, “you’re trying to stay ahead of it and manage it and deal with it, and the thought that you’re gonna try to figure out how this is gonna advantage you politically, to be honest with you, you just don’t have time for that.

"There WILL be time for that, and I’m sure he’ll, maybe, consider it, because of the way he’s managed [this], but right now, I’d cut him some slack, give him a break and say I think he’s legitimately trying to lead his state through a very difficult crisis, and, frankly, I’d give him a passing grade in the way he’s doing it.”

The Gov. also praised President Trump for trying to strike a balance between the “science” of medicine and the “art” of politics. Decisions have to be made with the understanding of what’s possible in the political environment. Democrats in Congress are interested in scoring “political points,” not in helping their enemy get the American people back to work and earning paychecks. Trump’s also got Wall Street concerns, and –- mostly –- he’s got millions of Americans who are scared.

"I think this President is handling it in exactly the executive way that he was hired to do,” the Governor said. “Thank God he’s in that chair right now and not Hillary Clinton, as could have happened.”

Now THAT would’ve been something to be scared about.

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

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.

"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.

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.

Joe Biden has receded into the background so fast, he’s desperate to get back into the headlines, especially now that Democrats whose eyes are glazed over about him as their candidate are now talking about drafting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. So Biden announced that he will begin competing with President Trump by holding his own daily press conferences on the COVID-19 (Chinese) coronavirus.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-coronavirus-briefings

This announcement was accompanied by the usual attacks on how Trump is dealing with the crisis, ending with the tagline, “This moment calls for a President.” Okay, I try to be a nice guy, but I’m about to hit a 77-year-old man with a hard bag of truth:

This moment HAS a President, Joe, and it ain’t you. All you will do by holding daily news conferences to contradict what the President says is confuse and mislead Americans at a time when getting the best-sourced information is literally a matter of life and death, both for people and the US economy. You have already demonstrated that you do not have access to the type of information that Trump does when you blasted him as xenophobic for shutting down travel from China early on, a move that bought us weeks of time and likely saved thousands of American lives. You would have let infected people just come pouring in. This either shows you have terrible judgement, or no access to the kind of information the President has, or (and this is my guess) both.

America has a President. What it needs now are statesmen. Those are people who put petty political squabbles aside during a crisis, rally around America’s elected leader, and do whatever they can to bring Americans together so that we can overcome this danger.

With this latest reprehensibly selfish, divisive and irresponsible move, you have not only embarrassed yourself, you have proved you are no statesman, and you are certainly not worthy of ever being President.

MONOLOGUE March 21 2020

Tonight, our show won’t be like any we’ve ever done. But across America we are all doing things in ways we’ve never done. I’m doing my part of the show remotely because travel to our Nashville theater has become difficult at best, and with government at all levels urging us to stay where we are, we want to model the best practices to keep the horrific Coronavirus pandemic from getting even worse.

We will be giving some vital information about coping with the impact of being quarantined including some creative and safe ways to cook good meals, and even some entertaining comedy because we need to laugh in the midst of all of the gloom and doom that we hear and find ourselves living.

I take this pandemic seriously and you should as well. But statistically, your risk of getting the virus is still remote and the risk of dying from it is minimal, but there is a virus that we hear almost nothing about these days and it is absolutely going to touch you and in fact the death rate from it is 100%. I speak of the virus of sin; an infection that has been passed on since the beginning of human existence. It’s a virus that we all have and are born with. The Bible says it this way—ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. And sadly, every single one of us will actually die from it. Again, the message of the Bible is that “The wages of sin is death…”

That’s pretty dismal and sounds hopeless. But while we can’t stop the earthly consequences of the sin virus, the rest of that verse tells us there is a cure….for the wages of sin may be death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The cure is blood-based; the blood of a Savior that cures the sin virus for its eternal effect.

I say this not to be preachy, but to remind you that even in the midst of some of the most frightening days of our nation’s history and while understanding that many will have a hard time of paying bills, holding a job, or finishing school, or visiting elderly relatives, there is hope; there is light in the midst of the darkness, and even if you avoid coronavirus, you need to take steps to protect yourself from an even more deadly virus, but one that already has a cure and a cure that costs you nothing but your willingness to accept it.

But tonight we employ the old adage, “The show must go on!” and so we are taking extraordinary steps to bring you the Huckabee Show in a unique way. My partner in this show and our ever-talented announcer, Keith Bilbrey joins me, but at a safe distance of several hundred miles….

Many media outlets and Twitter twits went on a rage against President Trump, accusing him of pushing false hope by declaring a combination of drugs including hydroxychlorophine to be a miracle cure for the Wuhan flu (see what I did there?) Or as Mediaite put it, “Trump Touts Unproven Coronavirus Drug Cocktail As 'One Of The Biggest Game Changers In The History Of Medicine.'”

https://twitter.com/BuckSexton/status/1241380476222418944

No, he did not say that. They left out his preceding qualifiers, including saying that “if it works,” it could be a game-changer, “and maybe not.”

What does it tell us about the mindset of our current “news” media that they can hear the President say there’s a possibility we might have a cure for a deadly pandemic that’s shut down the US economy, and they think that the most newsworthy part of that statement is that if you edit and twist it enough, you can use it to make the President sound like a liar?

It’s incredible that something so serious and frightening still hasn’t been able to penetrate the media’s terminal case of Trump Derangement Syndrome and shock or shame them into acting like responsible professionals. They have seemingly learned nothing, certainly not humility or the limits of their expertise, since the earliest days of this crisis, when they attacked Trump as a racist and xenophobe for shutting down travel from China.

https://www.westernjournal.com/list-medias-original-take-travel-bans-abandoned-common-sense-trump-hate/

I assume they would prefer Trump had reacted the way the PC mayor of Florence, Italy, did, by showing defiance of “xenophobia” by encouraging Italians to “hug a stranger.” That worked out well, didn’t it?

https://pjmedia.com/trending/dr-fauci-trumps-travel-bans-may-prevent-u-s-from-becoming-another-italy/

And as recently as February 8th, the chairman of the New York City Council Health Committee was tweeting for everyone to turn out for the Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown, to show “defiance of (the) coronavirus scare.”

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/362309/

So when any of these people attack the way Trump is dealing with this unprecedented crisis, ask them: “Why should we listen to anything you have to say? Have you gotten ANYTHING right so far?”

On that subject, here are “10 Ways the Left Has Politicized the Coronavirus Pandemic.” But this article is a week old, so there are a lot more by now.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/10-ways-the-left-has-politicized-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

And on a similar subject, as tough as it is to choose who should be Miss Universe out of all those contenders, or which movie out of a whole year’s worth of releases is the “Best Picture,” imagine how hard it must be to narrow it down to only the “Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus.”

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

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

That’s how Scott Adams, creator of DILBERT and an expert on the science of persuasion, started a recent podcast. He noted that this is especially true if your enemy is something you literally can’t even see. I’ve been thinking about that in light of recent conflicting reports on the Wuhan virus (COVID-19) and promising therapies.

Adams decided to go on record, based on a lifetime of experience, with what he thinks the next several weeks are going to be like. Later we’ll know how close he got.

We’re seeing a huge conflict between two schools of thought. Some think that closing down the economy and all self-quarantining is much too extreme, that people need to get back to work now even if the virus spreads and some lose their lives (as happens with the flu every year). Adams says this is a very “adult” opinion that he respects; at least it shows an understanding of the costs and benefits, though we can only speculate how large or small either of those are. Others say we need a complete shut-down to get the virus under control and only then can we let people go back to work. Again, we can only speculate how long that will be.

It occurs to me that many Americans get their underwear in a bunch at the thought of a GOVERNMENT shut-down, during which “non-essential” government employees stay home for maybe a few weeks. For this, some are talking cavalierly about a TOTAL economic shut-down, for maybe a few months or even longer. That would inevitably lead to a crashed economy, perhaps the very soul of our nation in ruins and, yes, much death (suicide). That “cure” is unacceptable, worse than this disease.


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Anyway, Adams predicts that neither of these extreme scenarios will play out. (It’s not, to use “progressive” terminology, a binary choice.) To anticipate how it will go, he first consults the medical professionals. But he keeps in mind that they’re concerned not just with treating the patient but with availability of supplies and also with “crowd psychology,” what I’d call managing expectations and fears. Normally, Adams says, we can trust doctors and scientists to give us “a straight fact,” but in this situation, we might not.

They have good intentions and the best information, he says, but we may need to look through what is being said to know what’s really going on.

Adams cites the studies we’ve been discussing on the use of hydroxychlorophine and the “Z-pack” to treat COVID-19. Adams finds himself, like me, “more optimistic” than Dr. Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control have been, at least publicly, about the usefulness of these therapies. He thinks doctors are downplaying our hopes as a way to help keep us home, at least for now, and because they don’t yet have a large enough supply to meet the incredible demand there will be.

If there were a panic over getting the drugs, some people would stop at nothing. (Look at what they do to have toilet paper.) They also might be too optimistic about the difference the drugs will make. But Adams’ hunch, based on all he knows, is that doctors think this treatment is better than they’re currently letting on. “All of the evidence so far is that it’s a pretty good kill shot,” he says.

He predicts, based on studies going on now around the world, that we’ll find out in a week or two that with these treatments, we can take the death rate for healthy people under, say, 60, very close to zero. (I would add that this would be comparable to that of the usual seasonal flu.) They might get sick and miserable with the virus, but they’re highly unlikely to end up in the ICU. That will be the time to let many people go back to work, but not older and otherwise high-risk people, of course.

We’ll be able to turn the economy back on, he says, but “not like a light switch.” It’ll be more like a “dimmer.” But first, the health care system can’t be overloaded (as it currently is in New York), and there has to be a good supply of the medications.

Adams also asked some healthcare professionals how practical it would be to give drugs to those who were non-critical or even just presenting early symptoms that might or might not be coronavirus. Would they bother testing first, knowing that doing so would use up the supply of tests, which are probably more time-consuming to make and administer than just giving meds?


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Based on what they told him, he thinks medical professionals will be dispensing the medication fairly soon –- in places such as California, with nice weather, even in “pop-up tents” outside hospitals --- to people who aren’t sick enough that they need to be admitted. “Our ability to deliver it to people who are not critically ill will be very high,” he says. (I disagree on the advisability of “pop-up tents” if it means doctors will just be handing out drugs; hydroxychloroquine occasionally has serious side effects.)

Adams uses the restaurant business as an example of how the “dimmer” might be gradually turned up. Restaurants in a particular city may open for business, it might be determined, but only if nobody under 60 goes inside them. That would still cut out a lot of business, but it might get the restaurant back to covering salaries and rent. (I would assume people OVER 60 would still at least be able to get take-out!) He envisions a fairly rapid phase-in, assessing results as we go.

What we need to know now from our media: 1) What is the survival rate of people who have received these drugs?, and 2) What is the availability pipeline for the drugs? The media are letting us down here. The answers are likely encouraging.

Adams laments how the media ARE talking about this, vilifying Trump for telling “fairy tales.” Here’s what Rachel Maddow said: “But the President loves saying things like, you know, ‘There’s a drug we’ve got and it’s very effective. It’s approved already. Everybody’s gonna get it.’ He loves saying things like that, because that would be a lovely thing to tell people –- unless, of course, THAT’S NOT TRUE!” Maddow accuses the President of lying, when Adams can personally confirm through the experience of a friend of his with the virus –- sorry for the “anecdotal evidence” –- that medical professionals are giving patients this therapy. “Do you think they’re giving it to people because they don’t think it works?” he asks. Doctors are giving these drugs, FDA-approved but used off-label, because they believe them to be effective and not harmful, at least not harmful enough to outweigh the benefits.

In other words, it’s Maddow who is lying. (Talk about deplorable.) The President talks to all the experts and knows what he’s saying is true, and he’s working to get this treatment out as soon as possible.

Check out Scott Adams’ podcast, Episode 863, “PART 1: LET ME TELL YOU HOW WE BEAT THE VIRUS AND GET BACK TO WORK SOON.”

https://www.scottadamssays.com/2020/03/22/episode-866-scott-adams-wrapped-in-a-blanket-and-answering-your-questions/

For those who are panicking about the disease without knowing its real effects, this is a good article to check out.

https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/1252365/Coronavirus-treatment-How-many-people-have-recovered-from-coronavirus-news-latest

It notes that the risk of death is considerably lower than with SARS or MERS. The greatest danger is to the elderly and those with preexisting conditions that weaken their immune systems, and for most people who get it, it’s like a heavy cold. Also, while you’ve heard about the terrible death toll in Italy, less reported is the fact that Italy has one of the oldest populations in Europe, and the majority of fatalities have been among people in their 80s and 90s. Also, their socialized medical system doesn’t have the equipment to handle it, and other European nations have refused to help, keeping it for themselves. Thanks, EU!

In a related story: it’s said that everyone is conservative about the things he knows best. So it’s been very instructive to see all the other nations closing their borders. When President Trump shut down travel from China in January, he was denounced as a racist, a xenophobe and a liar. Chuck Schumer accused him of a “war on immigrants.” We now know that that move slowed the spread of the virus, bought us time and likely saved many lives. Of course, Trump is still being called a racist, a xenophobe and a liar, just as he was when he tried to stop migrants with Central American diseases from flooding across the border.

But now that reality can no longer be denied, look at all the liberal leaders, from Germany to Canada’s virtual-signaling Prime Minister, Justin “Canada is open to everyone” Trudeau, closing their borders. Even Mexico is considering shutting its US border to Americans to keep the coronavirus out.

https://nypost.com/2020/03/14/us-mexico-border-could-be-shut-down-to-contain-coronavirus-officials/

Have they all suddenly become xenophones? Or is it just that once talk stopped being cheap, they had to clam up about fake “xenophobia” because they now have a real disease to deal with.

President Trump told Americans that there’s nothing wrong with the supply chain and they need to “just relax" and stop hoarding supplies. I might add, “especially toilet paper.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/ap-trump-calls-americans-cease-hoarding-food-supplies/

Judging by the runs (sorry!) on toilet paper, you’d think people believe the #1 symptom of coronavirus is explosive diarrhea. Americans are so terrified of running out of TP while hunkering down (sorry again!) that they’ve denuded store shelves of it. I’ll bet they’re thinking back on all the houses they TP’ed on Halloweens past and kicking themselves. Or recalling how they laughed at Sheryl Crowe for suggesting using only one sheet. Now, they ruefully think that if they’d only done that, imagine how many rolls they’d have left. It would also serve a double function by insuring that no other people would come within six feet of them. Your friends would do the “social distancing” for you!

I wanted to see if it was really that bad, so I put on my hazmat suit and visited a few big stores: a Kroger supermarket, an Aldi, a WalMart supercenter and neighborhood store, and two CVS pharmacies. Sure enough, not a single roll of Charmin to squeeze in any of them. Photo one here is an example: the bare toilet paper aisle at a CVS in a northern Dallas suburb.

But then I noticed something odd that suggests people may be so panicked that they’re not thinking clearly. Right next to the empty TP shelves were shelves with plenty of boxes of Kleenex for sale.

Am I the only one who realizes that Kleenex can be used for…ahem…”multi-tasking”? Speaking of that, I should also note that the magazine rack still had plenty of copies of Time and Rolling Stone.

Finally, as ironclad proof that all this toilet paper hoarding is being fueled not by need but by irrational panic buying, I offer this shot from just two aisles over: shelves of Depends, filled to bursting (the shelves, I mean.) If people really needed toilet paper and all the stores were out, you'd think this would be the obvious solution.

The Gov. felt compelled to answer this letter from Tavane:

Governor, I was with you right up until you said "Goodness knows, that’s a more productive use of funds than just passing out money to everyone." Though it may not make a difference to you, I know many, many families who are in dire straights right now because, like many Americans, they live from paycheck to paycheck and have no reserve funds set aside to buy extras to get them through the shutdown of this country. If they do have a 401k or other savings/retirement accounts you can't just get money out of them when you want to as they have special governing rules to them highly inaccessible and also bear steep penalties if withdrawals are made. These citizens also have children who are not going to school now and they also have jobs that need them there so now have to pay for daycare of some sort so they can keep their jobs. I usually find your comments uplifting but to negate the fact that American's need financial help right now to make it through is very negative and unworthy of a man of your stature.

From the Gov:

Good heavens, Tavane, I never said or even meant to imply that the government shouldn’t offer financial assistance to people who are hurting. I said “JUST passing out money to everyone.” People in many industries are devastated right now and need help. To cite just one example, my staff and I know many in the music business (most of whom struggle to stay afloat during normal conditions) who have lost ALL their work for the foreseeable future and are at a complete loss as to what to do and how to survive. I share all of your concerns. You are right about all of this --- except the part where you say I “negate” the fact that people need help.

What I was saying is that we have to find a medical solution to this because we can’t JUST pass out money forever. That alone is a terrible long-term plan, because if we just print billions and even trillions of dollars while everyone stays home indefinitely, we surely will end up like Venezuela. But, yes, of course, we must help Americans who are hurting right now.

Still, we have to find a cure and/or a vaccine that will allow us to get back to work --- and to stay at work with no threat of a "second wave." The longer that takes, the bigger the pit we'll have to dig out of. In the meantime, though, we certainly have to help each other get through this and come out the other side.

For those who like to keep track of things in handy list form, here are “10 Ways the Left has Poliiticized the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

https://pjmedia.com/trending/10-ways-the-left-has-politicized-the-coronavirus-pandemic/

There are a lot of stories encapsulated here, from Biden plagiarizing Trump’s plan (plagiarism seems to be Joe’s virus) to Nancy Pelosi trying to sneak a lot of liberal wish list items like taxpayer-paid abortion into the emergency relief bill.

To expand on that, the phrase “40 Republicans” started trending on Twitter when 40 House Republicans voted against the initial coronavirus emergency relief bill. Naturally, they were vilified as heartless monsters. One commenter even asked what they would do next, vote to kill Santa Claus? Well, in a manner of speaking, that’s sort of what this bill was: liberals trying to use a disease like Santa Claus.

As Texas Rep. Louis Gohmert (who is taking tremendous heat for his opposition) explained it, this bill didn’t just cynically get loaded with leftist pork spending. It also contained the type of measures leftists love who’ve spent their lives in politics and academia but have never run a business or met a payroll. For instance, instead of providing shorterm, immediate relief to workers who can't work, it created an endless mandate for small businesses to provide unaffordable paid medical leave to all employees. They got a tax credit in return, but by the time they collected the refund, many of them would be out of business. I've never understood why liberals think they're helping workers by waging war on the people who create their jobs.

As is her wont, Nancy Pelosi made sure House members got the 89-page bill with only 15 minutes to read it, in a ploy to use a health emergency to demand that Congress pass a massive bill first, and then find out what was in it. Fortunately, this time around, we have a GOP Senate that refused to fall for that scam. At this writing, a replacement bill is still being hammered out. Let’s hope it passes quickly, it deals with the current problem, and it gets help to those who need it fast without causing more problems than it solves.

On a side note, I doubt that it will include Mitt Romney’s proposal just to give everyone $1,000, although that will probably help complete his transition to being an honorary Democrat.

Huck's Hero Kurt Kruczek

March 22, 2020

I wrote recently that I seem to live in a very different America from the dog-eat-dog Zombie Apocalypse described by the media. In the America where I live, people are dealing with the current pandemic scare by trying their best to stay calm, keep on keeping on, and helping each other as much as possible.

One great example of a Huck’s Hero in this situation is Kurt Kruczek, owner of Naples Pizza in West Hartford, Connecticut. His business is down 50%, he had to close one location, and he’s struggling to keep paying all his workers. But when he saw the doctors at the local hospital on TV in their “space suits,” working so hard to deal with the coronavirus, he knew he had to help. So he called and asked if they’d like some free pizzas. The gift was greatly appreciated by the overworked staffers and worried patient family members. So he’s now making a weekly delivery of free pizzas to the hospital, one during the daytime and another at night, for the night shift people who tend to be forgotten.

Kruczek appeared Wednesday on “Fox & Friends,” where he urged people to please support their local restaurants that are struggling to survive by ordering good to go or to be delivered. And here’s a great idea: he said if you can afford it, consider buying gift cards and either using them when the pandemic is over, or else donate them as thank-you gifts to your local hospital, police or firefighters.

There’s even a website now that can help you find a restaurant near you that’s offering gift cards, to help your local businesses survive. To learn more, go to www.RallyForRestaurants.com.

In Friday’s developments around the COVID-19 coronavirus (or more accurately, “Wuhan virus”) pandemic, cases continued to rise, with New York City experiencing an average of one death per hour from it. But efforts to combat it are moving swiftly, such as making ventilators from 3D printers...

https://techcrunch.com/2020/03/19/open-source-project-spins-up-3d-printed-ventilator-validation-prototype-in-just-one-week/

...And some treatments are showing early positive results.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/malaria-drugs-touted-by-trump-can-work-against-coronavirus-top-doc-tells-laura-ingraham

Both the federal government and New York State are taking actions to prevent people from having their homes foreclosed due to inability to make mortgage payments during the virus shutdown.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/some-homeowners-and-renters-will-get-a-break-from-the-coronavirus-financial-fallout-2020-03-18

https://www.crainsnewyork.com/coronavirus/banks-waive-mortgage-payments-90-days

President Trump announced that our southern border is being closed to nonessential trade. Also, he dismissed talk of a national lockdown and said that he’s suspended certain federal student loan payments for the next 60 days, and the Department of Education won’t enforce standardized test requirements for the current year. Also, the deadline for filing income taxes is being moved from April 15 to July 15.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/government-response-updates-white-house-briefing-expected-amid/story?id=69706088

I’m linking to that ABC News story because it actually contains info on all these important points and more. It wasn’t easy to find. When I Googled for news on this subject, the stories from other news outlets such as the New York Times, CNN and Vanity Fair were obsessed with calling Trump a “sociopath” who went on a “vicious rant” and dispensed “propaganda” because he lost patience with disrespectful reporters and dressed one down for asking a “question” that was a thinly-disguised accusation of giving people false hope.

To these anti-Trump media outlets, even in the middle of a worldwide deadly pandemic, the story is all about their feelings. Maybe that’s why the latest ABC/Ipsos poll shows that Americans’ approval of how Trump is handling the crisis has jumped 12 points in a week, from 43% to 55%. There was no similar jump in trust in the media.

Naturally, the media response to that was not introspection or reassessment of their own attitudes, but to attack Trump again, and list all the ways in which they think he’s handled this all wrong. They attack him for downplaying the threat if he tries to reassure Americans, and they attack him for frightening the nation and scaring stock markets if he delivers bad news frankly. They accuse him of racism for accurately calling it a “Chinese virus” while repeating bogus and vile talking points dispensed by the communist government of China. They badgered him to take a virus test, and when it came back negative, they assailed him for wasting a test. And now they’re baffled why the public is starting to trust Trump more than their reporting?

A reminder: Trump limited travel from China over this issue back in January, and the media called him xenophobic and racist, as did the Democrats when they weren't busy trying to impeach him. After he was proven correct, both later accused him of not acting soon enough to restrict travel from China.

Richard Fernandez at PJ Media made a good point: the media are lashing out in tantrums because not only have they been wrong about Trump’s handling of the virus, but the virus is exposing that they have been wrong about virtually everything they’ve been smugly preaching for years, from open borders to globalization to trusting China.

So, their pretense for an investigation was all fake. And now, for the “coup de gras,” we find that the Justice Department can’t even make a case against the Russian “bot farms” they made a great show of charging with crimes. All charges were dropped with prejudice (that means they can’t ever be brought up again) on Monday. Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Andrew Weissmann and the rest can thank the coronavirus for keeping this embarrassment out of the news.

Rosenstein was the one who announced the indictments in February of 2018, with great fanfare. The media, predictably, went crazy: Wow, so there really were RUSSIANS trying to influence our election! And one of them was an acquaintance of Vladimir Putin! And the Russians were trying to help Trump! Wow, the Trump campaign must have been working with Russians! It was quite a show.


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But our Justice Department never dreamed those Russians would show up to fight the charges in our courts. It was assumed they’d just ignore the whole thing and let the DOJ use the charges against them to further the “Russia” narrative. Rosenstein and his colleagues never dreamed that one Russian company would actually fight back.

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, called their bluff. They also called for...discovery. Lots of discovery. So the Mueller attorneys had to fight motion after motion, argue for delays, and protest giving “classified” information to Russians. Delightful.

Concord attorney Robert Barnes tweeted, “The only case #Mueller brought to prove ‘Russian interference’ w/any defense is now being dismissed by DOJ [because] prosecutors knew they couldn’t win at trial. Repeat: the DOJ could not find a single case they could successfully prosecute to prove any act of ‘Russian interference.’”

At the link is a piece by Victoria Taft that includes the ten-page motion to dismiss the charges against Concord. It took ten pages to say, “Never mind.”

The phony “Russia” investigation into the Trump campaign is really over now, an absolute fiasco, and the one laughing the hardest is probably Vladimir Putin. For three years, Trump’s enemies wrecked the nation’s confidence in its institutions and “meddled” with a presidency more than Putin ever could have. And they hindered us from dealing with more important things. Like China.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/first-no-collusion-now-no-actual-russians-in-muellers-disastrous-russian-collusion-illusion/

President Trump gave another briefing on the handling of the COVID-19 coronavirus (which he very pointedly called the “Chinese virus” to the reporters’ faces, after remarking how nice it was to have fewer of them there, and at a “social distance” from him):

https://youtu.be/7Q2pj_tOJ0k

Here’s a transcript:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-6/

And here are some of the highlights, including his decision to invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950, giving him war President-like powers to direct the fight, just in case it’s needed. Also, he announced that the FDA will make experimental drugs available to COVID-19 patients, as well as the long-established malaria drug chloroquine, which has shown effectiveness in early studies (see my article in more depth elsewhere in the newsletter/MikeHuckabee.com website.)

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-fda-experimental-drugs-coronavirus

One of the good developments we might see longterm from this crisis (aside from bringing our drug manufacturing back from China) is that it’s demonstrated how many federal regulations don’t “protect” the public so much as create extra costs, red tape and pointless delays. For instance, it’s good that the FDA demands stringent testing of drugs. But when it’s a drug that’s needed right away that offers even a chance at life to a terminal patient, you aren’t helping by refusing them, then later on saying, “The good news is that the drug is now proven safe and effective! In fact, it’s so safe and effective that if we’d let you try it a year ago, you might still be alive!”

On a personal note, one of my favorite highlights was watching the liberal reporters squirm when a reporter for the conservative OAN news channel asked Trump why so many media members were so eager to attack him that they would be willing to team up with the communist Chinese government to repeat their phony narrative that he’s a racist for saying the virus came from China. Of course, liberal sites absolutely roasted the reporter for daring to say that. Guess they don't know what we're all already saying about them. I'd file that question that under, “Obviously True Things You Aren’t Allowed To Say, But Nobody Ever Asked Me If You Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Say Them.”

https://pjmedia.com/trending/watch-lefty-reporters-squirm-as-journalist-asks-trump-why-media-echo-chinese-communist-propaganda/

On that subject, here’s the latest article from the hilariously blunt Kurt Schichter, and it’s about the media siding with communist China and a virus rather than with Trump and the American people. He usually doesn’t pull any punches, but this time, he pounds his opponent into the canvas and delivers a rhetorical kick in the groin for good measure.

https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2020/03/19/the-media-is-even-more-garbage-than-usual-n2565172

Since pharmaceutical attorney Gregory Rigano appeared on FOX NEWS, others (real MDs) have come forward with more information on recent studies of hydrochloroquine, a newer version of the commonly used antimalarial drug chloroquine, and also remdesivir, which was created to fight the ebola virus. The French study referenced by Rigano is real, and there’s one out of Australia and another out of China.

Rigano had called on President Trump to cut as much red tape as possible to hasten the approval process on new therapies. And on Thursday, the President did just that, calling on the FDA to “eliminate outdated rules and bureaucracy so this work can proceed rapidly, quickly, and I mean...fast.”

He means...FAST. And all the other words that mean fast.


RELATED READING: Is it a cure? Pharmaceutical attorney pushes for off-label use of hydroxychloroquine


"We have to remove every barrier,” the President said, “and they’ve done that, to get to the rapid deployment of safe, effective treatments.”

According to Tennessee Republican Rep. Mark Green, a former Army flight surgeon who appeared with Shannon Bream on FOX NEWS Thursday night, the French study touted by Rigano earlier this week showed that when mixed in a “cocktail” with the antibiotic azithromycin (the familiar “Z-pack” often given to patients who have bronchitis and/or bacterial pneumonia), hydroxychloroquine can completely clear COVID-19 --- it happened in all patients who were in the study --- in as little as three days. The sample size in the study he referenced was small, Green said, “so it’s kind of hard to extrapolate...to the whole population, but it’s very promising. One hundred percent of the virus gone in six days.”

He said that in the French study, hydroxychloroquine and azithromax were tested against hydroxychloroquine alone and also against a control group, and the hydroxychloroquine-alone patients did better than the control group, but the patients who did best were the ones who had received both chloroquine and azithromax. The anti-inflammatory effect of the antibiotic helps not only with bacterial infections but also with the symptoms of viral illness.

All of these drugs are already FDA approved for other uses and would just need to be manufactured in large quantities. (Please don’t tell me that all the manufacturing is currently being done in China!) Hydroxychloroquine is a generic [cheap] drug, Green said, “so the question will be, who’s going to stand up and manufacture it?” In this case, surely some American company would take that on. If there’s no financial incentive, our government might have to do some subsidizing to get this going NOW. Goodness knows, that’s a more productive use of funds than just passing out money to everyone. We need to defeat this virus so people can recover economically by getting back to work.

"I think that the FDA has joined forces in eliminating red tape to ensure that that product could be available to physicians to prescribe to their patients,” said White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Debbie Birx on Thursday. “But we want to be able to study at the same time --- not limit use but actually study it at the same time to see if it does have he impact that others have reported.”

In other words, the FDA wants to be able to collect data on all patients receiving treatment with these drugs so they can scientifically answer questions of safety and effectiveness. But, as Rep. Green pointed out, a physician doesn’t have to wait for a study –- the doctor can write prescriptions right now for hydroxychloroquine (off-label use) and azithromax, with no restrictions. As I mentioned yesterday, the FDA doesn’t really have a problem with off-label use once a drug has been approved.

"[Hydroxychloroquine] is a drug that we’ve had around for decades,” Dr. Birx said. “So, it’s a pretty straightforward drug to make; there’s a lot of companies who already make it because it’s very important in our malaria fights around the world. And so, we have [the] drug available, and we really just have to see, does it actually work? We know it’s probably safe --- I think the question really is, does it have a therapeutic effect, and that’s going to be studied. It looks promising. We just want to make sure that at the same time that we’re giving this option to physicians, that we’re actually studying its impact.”

You know, if researchers and bureaucrats think it’s safe but want to see if it works, doctors can really help them with that by PRESCRIBING IT, especially for those who are very sick and going downhill.

Even with the President cutting red tape, the FDA is still a bureaucracy and moves slowly. Remdesivir, another antiviral, hasn’t yet completed the approval process, according to Rep. Green, but it’s already in Phase III studies with the FDA, so if it makes it, perhaps it will be available fairly soon.

My researchers turned up something very interesting: a study that compared two maps: one showing the pattern of COVID-19 infection and the other showing malaria. In countries where malaria flourishes, people often take antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine routinely as a preventative, and that may be why those those countries aren’t reporting COVID-19 cases. “This is amazing...” said Dr. Roy Spencer on Facebook. “In all my years of data analysis I have never seen such a stark and strong relationship: Countries with malaria basically have no COVID-19 cases (at least not yet).”

We’re not sure if there’s anything to this, but it certainly is consistent with the theory that antimalarial drugs also fight this coronavirus. Here are the two maps:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12YDytbAsZaruGlhFO7eTTgxSH_BuxJtwFmbhqpkPPSk/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR2wXhG5woobpV5DAuHxnf7YOxalQiCkPMX-rUL2z6SIa0AJGovbJ9ATq7A

Our commentary on Gregory Rigano and his claims about hydroxychloroquine drew letters expressing a variety of points of view. Most fell into the “it’s worth a try!” catgegory. Some readers shared anecdotal evidence that the drug is safe, but a few others noted that it can cause retinal problems and other side effects, particularly serious among those with inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. That’s why we can’t just hand out pills. They have to be carefully prescribed by a physician who knows the patient’s condition and medical history and who will be closely monitoring the effects, both intended and unintended. But that should be the case with every prescribed medication.


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Antimalarial drugs are very commonly used in other parts of the world –- if you’ve traveled abroad to India or Africa, you likely have taken them –- and might be completely harmless for most people, but there’s hardly any drug that is safe for everyone. There’s also the matter of how much to take for this particular illness, when to take it, how often and for how long. A medication that might be fine at a low dose or in the short term to treat or head off coronavirus might be harmful if taken at a high dose or for months at a time. And, of course, there might be bad interactions with other medications a patient is already taking. That’s why the FDA wants as much data as it can get. If we start giving these medications to patients, we’re essentially initiating a very large-scale human trial. But that appears to be just what we need to do.

Today's Edition

 

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Gregory Rigano, an attorney who says he is an adviser at Stanford University Medical School, appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show Wednesday night to discuss the potential for a widely-used antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat the novel coronavirus. He had already appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show Monday night, where he claimed a study he’d co-authored showed that coronavirus patients who’d taken hydroxychloroquine were testing negative after six days.

On Tucker’s show, he said that President Trump, after having “cut more red tape at the FDA than any other President in history,” has the authority to green-light the use of this drug immediately against coronavirus. He said Trump has expedited drug approval before, in 2017, with a new drug for muscular dystrophy being approved after a very small clinical trial (fewer than 15 patients) that was “generally uncontrolled, in an open setting.”

Being a lawyer himself, I guess Rigano is concerned about liability if doctors prescribe the drug off-label and it causes harm. But doctors do prescribe drugs off-label quite often. The FDA takes a pretty lax attitude about that once it has approved a drug as "safe and effective."

READ MORE AND COMMENT HERE>>>

With gratitude,

Mike Huckabee


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FEATURED COMMENTARY

Landmark day

By Mike Huckabee

Wednesday was a landmark day in Washington, as the Senate passed a second, revamped bill to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 coronavirus and President Trump signed it. Eight Republican Senators voted no because they say the provision requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave will bankrupt many small businesses that are already struggling to stay afloat. They will get a credit at tax time, but by then it will be too late for many of them. That’s a valid point, and one that should be quickly addressed with follow-up legislation.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/senate-passes-houses-coronavirus-response-bill-sends-to-trump

The first bill provided $8.3 billion to beef up the health-care system, while this latest bill provides funds to help workers who lost their jobs, and families stuck at home due to illnesses, quarantines or caring for kids whose schools have closed. Trump is also seeking further funding to help the airline industry, small businesses and other sectors hammered by the pandemic shutdown. He has said that he considers this the equivalent of being a wartime President, and he will bring all the resources at his disposal to defeat this invisible enemy.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/senate-passes-houses-coronavirus-response-bill-sends-to-trump

I’m also pleased to see that some of the unlikeliest people are finally recognizing how hard Trump has been working to deal with this crisis and praising his swift, effective leadership, despite the media’s efforts to question, demean and undermine everything he does. You might want to sit down before reading this one:

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ilhan-omar-praises-trumps-incredible-response-to-coronavirus-pandemic

If even Ilhan Omar can acknowledge that Trump is doing a good job under near-impossible circumstances, is it too much to expect the press to at least stop pestering him with idiotic gotcha questions, like repeatedly asking whether the term “Wuhan virus” is racist or who was rumored to have referred to it as “Kung-flu”? You see, to the left, wishing the virus on the First Lady is just a joke, but calling it “Kung-flu” is an OUTRAGE!!

I think what’s happened is that they have gone so long without any real problems, having to inflate “micro-aggressions” into big honking deals to create controversy, that now that a really big, serious threat has arisen, they don’t know how to stop. They have so lost perspective that they don’t even realize how small their petty nitpicking now looks in comparison to what the President (and everyone watching) is dealing with.

They’ve shrunken into Lilliputians without realizing it, and can’t understand why we’re all looking down on them.

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I wanted to make sure you also read these comments:

It appears that this is one time when being rated “A+” may not be a good thing.

https://www.westernjournal.com/new-research-coronavirus-vulnerability-partially-determined-blood-type

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Thursday Coronavirus Fake News: No, Joe Biden, President Trump did NOT refuse to accept virus testing kits from the World Health Organization. A spokesman for the WHO told CNN that there were never any discussions about that because the US has the capacity to create its own diagnostics and never relies on the WHO for them. The assistant director for health at HHS also said the test was never offered to us, and besides, it was an unapproved research grade test that we’ve already surpassed.

https://www.westernjournal.com/spokesman-shuts-claims-left-trump-rejected-coronavirus-tests/

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The most reprehensible part of this bit of fake news is that the man pushing it, Joe Biden, has been in Washington for decades and surely knows all that, but made the false charge away. It’s bad enough that the media and lower-level politicians are trying to sow distrust in the President while he’s dealing with a pandemic that threatens millions of Americans, all for cheap political advantage. But if you’re running for President yourself, based entirely on the argument that you’re going to bring character back to the White House, then don’t try to stir up fear, division and distrust by telling unconscionable lies about the incumbent and the public's health.

Asked about Biden’s bogus claim, Trump replied, “I assume he’ll apologize.” I am not giving you advice on how to avoid catching a virus when I say: “Don’t hold your breath.”

In a related story, if you are a “journalist” who is cheering the big drop in the stock market due to the pandemic because you can falsely blame it on Trump to harm his reelection chances, then remember that the Dow has not fallen nearly so low as some of you have.

https://www.westernjournal.com/leftist-journalist-doubles-attacking-trump-stock-market-chaos-shapiro-sets-straight/

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This won’t surprise you, but the same chowderhead who was chuckling it up with Don Lemon recently over what a bunch of “credulous rubes” Trump supporters are is now using social media to wish that the First Lady would contract the coronavirus. All he proved is that not all noxious, nausea-inducing infections come in the form of viruses.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/rick-wilson-melania-trump-be-infected-coronavirus

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Reminder: Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are being hurt by all the coronavirus shutdowns. If you’d like to help your local businesses survive, remember that many of them have online stores where you can purchase products for delivery. Or you can buy gift cards from local businesses and restaurants now and use them once this is over.

Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)

"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

- Acts 16:31

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