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Assault on America, Day 488: COVID-19 will come back in the fall. Tell us what we don’t know

Fauci on Testing
Experts say COVID-19 will come back in the fall. Will Trump be blamed?

I’ve said it before: You know what you know, and you don’t know what you don’t know.

Such is the case these days with the ongoing “saga” that is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus or Wuhan virus, more commonly referred to by the establishment media as the novel coronavirus. Days and weeks have passed since the pandemic began -- and lockdowns were ordered -- as more states ease restrictions on stay-at-home mandates. In some places at least, citizens are glimpsing what “normal” used to look like -- and might be again in the not-so-distant future.

Here in Virginia, thanks to Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam’s longest-in-the-country extension of shelter-in-place mandates until June 10th, it’s pretty much the same as it’s been for almost two months. But even here there’re noticeable signs of restlessness and gradual improvement. Heck, a Hallmark store in a local mall reopened last week, allowing a maximum of ten patrons in at any one time! And the visible number of masks is dropping dramatically (people are definitely still keeping their social distance, however).

Unfortunately, with the nature of the virus and the media’s inability (unwillingness?) to report on the facts relayed by the authorities without excess editorial commentary -- they would rather talk about disinfectant and sunlight -- it remains unclear what will happen next. One surmises that as Americans return to living lives again that virus transmissions will occur, coronavirus cases will increase along with hospitalizations and invariably, we’ll suffer more deaths. Yet many folks still believe it’s time to get moving again, all the while taking increased precautions to isolate the most vulnerable.

Throughout the crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has served as an “expert” in advising the citizenry on what to expect from the data, statistics and models. He’s been dramatically wrong about some things and, in fairness, quite accurate about others. So, it was curious -- and a bit scary -- when Fauci said last week that we haven’t seen the last of the medical issues from the mysterious Chinese bug. J. Edward Moreno reported at The Hill, “Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, reportedly said [last week] that a second wave of the coronavirus is ‘inevitable’ later this year.

“’If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well,’ Fauci told CNN in an interview. ‘If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.’

“The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that if states ease restrictions too quickly, the country could see a surge that would ‘get us right back in the same boat that we were [in] a few weeks ago,’ adding that widespread testing is needed to avoid such a path. ‘The truth is that we're going in the right direction,’ he said. ‘But we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states, we need to help them the same way they need to do the execution.’”

In essence, Fauci didn’t add anything we don’t already know. From the beginning there was much speculation that COVID-19 was somewhat “seasonal” in nature. Anecdotal evidence comes from warmer weather locales, which definitely haven’t been as hard-hit as colder, northern environs. California’s (a little less than 2200 total deaths out of a population of 40+ million as of yesterday, about half of its seasonal flu average) enjoyed a relatively cool winter and spring by Golden State standards, yet it’s still balmier than states above the Mason-Dixon line. And Florida, despite its large senior population and lighter-than-others restriction policies, still has less than 1400 deaths (in contrast, its 10-year seasonal flu average is over 1900 deaths per year).

So it sounds like the authorities expect a significant dip in infections, hospitalizations and fatalities in the near term, but also believe the virus will reappear when the hot weather recedes, to make a grand reentry and announce “I’m back!” like a guest that’s overstayed his welcome. Since there are as yet so many unknowns about the coronavirus, it’s impossible to say what the fall will entail -- in terms of numbers -- but based on recent events we can feel more confident forecasting how people will react to the expected uptick.

Politically speaking, it will supply the fuel for the anti-Trump rocket ship.

Democrats will welcome the relapse with open arms (and mouths?), presenting their candidates with perfect and timely opportunities to pin any and all blame on the administration’s initial response, months’ worth of press conferences and, most of all, the dearth of “testing” before states and localities permitted businesses to throw open their doors once again to encourage customers to participate in the flowing stream of commerce.

Particular focus will be on Georgia where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp jumped the curve and allowed certain classes of public establishments to return ahead of satisfying the federal guideline recommendations. Even President Trump indicated he wasn’t “happy” with Kemp’s decision. Here’s thinking if there’s even the slightest boost in COVID-19 infections that the Peach State will be front and center in the fall campaign. Grampa Joe Biden will refuse to campaign there, which will only intensify the negative news coverage. Undeterred, President Trump will hold Georgia out as a shining example of federalism.

Fauci says the coronavirus’s return is “inevitable,” but what’s even more foreseeable is Democrats, the media and certain #NeverTrumpers will use it as a means to bludgeon the president. Already there’s talk among establishment Republicans of GOP senators “standing up” to Trump and calling for suspicious oversight of the administration’s spending of the trillions appropriated by Congress. It’s the same thing we’ve heard for years from the stodgy swampy defenders of the status quo, namely telling candidates and incumbents alike to distance themselves from controversy.

If everyone listened to the Republican consultants in 2016, Hillary Clinton would be president now and “Chucky” Schumer would preside over the senate. The grassroots knew better, inspired by Trump’s anti-establishment message and vows to do things differently if he was elected president. (For those who need a refresher on how powerful Trump’s pitch was, watch this video of his 2016 closing arguments.)

Worries over Trump’s coronavirus authority is a typical intra-branch power struggle

Moreno’s article (cited above) contained quotes from several Republican senate committee heads worrying about being excluded from the spending conversation. They’re concerned that Congress’s role as overseer of the executive branch is being ignored by the Trump White House and about the possible political fallout from being too closely associated with the president’s decision-makers if things go dramatically wrong.

Not true. Congress has a legitimate role in ensuring the trillions of dollars are spent in the manner they were intended. But if you scratch below the surface, it appears there’s more than a little jealousy at hand here. Like a child whining, “You’re not going to the park without me,” or “Mom said I get to play too!” Or, if you prefer, it’s akin to the Broadway showtune (from Annie Get Your Gun) “Anything you can do, I can do better, I can do anything better than you”, which amply sums up the attitudes among Trump’s critics.

As with most of the paranoia spread by otherwise useless Republican consultants, this bellyaching is unfounded. Senators won’t lose their seats because the Trump administration is running the show. We’re in uncharted waters here, and it boils down to who the people trust more to manage the cash distributions and accountability. It doesn’t take a pollster to prove citizens don’t have much faith in Congress -- but Trump’s base has every bit of reason to believe there’s capable leadership in the White House.

Trump isn’t a dictator, and has never tried to be one, but there’s no question he sees himself and his team as the foremost authorities on getting things accomplished quickly and to actually improve the local situations (if they abide by the guidelines). The deep partisan animosity and establishment-dominated Congress has slowed the institution to a virtual standstill. Government is always late to recognize problems and then overreacts once the true issues reveal themselves. The Wuhan virus conundrum is a shining example.  

If the GOP’s electoral fortunes truly coincide with Trump’s ability to manage the coronavirus crisis, it’s not beneficial to join with Democrats and the media now in nitpicking his responses. Party unity and support for Trump are in order, with constructive criticisms on spending welcomed by grassroots conservatives.

There is simply no way to know (we don’t know what we don’t know) what the fall campaign season will entail. As long as Trump continues to be open and transparent in his handling of the health scare, he’ll be given credit for his competence by the voters. The last thing any Republican needs is to run to the media and join with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in digging at Trump.

We’ll know what we know when we know it. The moment will arrive soon enough.

Reopening the economy is likely more popular than it’s given credit for by the media

Additional proof that the reopen-America movement isn’t just populated by Trump-loving anti-blue state governor “deplorables” tea partiers, comes from none other than ultra-liberal California. Spencer Neale reported at The Washington Examiner, “Tesla CEO Elon Musk said it is time to ‘free’ the United States. As some states are beginning to reopen, the billionaire sent tweets protesting shelter-in-place orders, business closures, and any other restrictions meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus. ‘FREE AMERICA NOW,’ Musk tweeted [last week]....

“In California, where Musk lives, coronavirus hospitalizations have not escalated to the numbers predicted, inflaming calls to reopen the state for business and recreation.

“’The scariest thing about this pandemic is not the virus itself, it’s seeing American so easily bow down & give up their blood bought freedom to corrupt politicians who promise them safety,’ wrote one Twitter user in response to Musk’s message. The Tesla CEO replied: ‘True.’”

Lest Democrats and Trump-haters jump all over Musk for being a closeted Republican, the Tesla founder publicly backed Andrew Yang in the Democrat presidential primary race and is a known proponent of all things “climate change.” Musk donates to both parties and appears to hold “moderate” views on a number of issues, though by no stretch of the imagination is he a conservative (he even says so, like it’s a badge of dishonor).

Thanks to media distortions, many people think Joe Biden is “moderate.” He’s not. Musk might qualify for the designation, though he’s certainly a lot closer to the left-hand extreme on the ideological scale. But he’s right in this instance -- America is ready to go back to work and deal with the contingencies of virus-reappearance when they arrive.

Fear of what might happen four or five months from now cannot govern what we do today, or no one will ever come out of their safehouses to go to restaurants, attend ballgames or take in a movie or two. Life without freedom isn’t quite the same. Haven’t we learned this in the past two months?

The most vulnerable must still be extremely cautious with social distancing and other virus-proofing measures. For the rest? Life goes on, with increased knowledge of the need to limit the spread.

The experts think they’re being helpful by predicting a new round of coronavirus infections after the summer season, but it’s not telling us anything we don’t already know. Debate will continue as to the wisdom of shutting down the economy in the first place. For most of us, it’s time to relearn what it was like to enjoy basic liberties.

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