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Assault on America, Day 545: No retreating on reopening the economy despite COVID-19 spike

COVID 19 Spike
We can’t afford to panic with reports of dramatic increases in coronavirus cases

“We can get through this thing alright, but we’ve got to stick together, though, and have faith in each other.” -- George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart in the all-time Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

This snippet from one of the most universally loved films of Hollywood’s golden era reminded me a little of what’s going on in America today with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus. In the scene, George Bailey was trying to calm the fears of his fellow townspeople at the onset of the stock market crash and Great Depression in the late 1920’s. People panicked. Things looked dire -- and why not? Liquid cash had dried up and citizens needed funds to live. There weren’t any big government programs to act as a safety net for those folks back then. And no credit cards to charge necessities on a temporary basis. Lives could’ve been lost.

The scenario was fictional but one could imagine it easily happening in real life. And a similar form of alarm is occurring these days with the recent spike in positive coronavirus cases in the past couple weeks. Just when it looked like America (and the world?) had gotten over the hump with a wave of phased-in business re-openings, the drastically swelled number of confirmed infections revealed that the threat is still out there. Or is it?

The “experts” have their own explanations for the sudden spike after the curve had been thoroughly flattened -- and many of them are blaming a “rushed” reopening of the economy for the outbreak. But simple common sense -- and a glance at the calendar -- shows the most recent round of confirmed cases comes curiously close to two weeks after the breakout of nationwide “protests” and social unrest after the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And then there’s the reality of widespread testing… so it only makes sense there would be a boost in totals since lots more folks are being checked for contraction.

At the same time, death rates haven’t gone up accordingly. But hospitals are starting to fill again… something needed to be done.

The state of Texas announced last week that it was pausing or slowing down re-openings due to the upward trend. Reid Wilson reported at The Hill, “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Thursday the state will pause its efforts to reopen the economy as the number of confirmed coronavirus infections spikes and hospitals begin to fill. Abbott has been warning of a mounting catastrophe for days, as new cases rise precipitously in Houston, the Dallas metroplex and in cities like Austin, San Antonio and El Paso.

“Abbott said businesses that are already allowed to operate under the current reopening phase will continue to be able to do so…

“’The outlook is not good,’ Rebecca Fischer, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health, told the newspaper. ‘We are in a super dire situation.’”

Sounds just like that scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” doesn’t it? Average people hear the news of something pervasive and scary and their visceral reaction is to freak out and do whatever is necessary for self-preservation. Everyone in the Bailey Building and Loan that day in 1929 was scared witless, but George Bailey wasn’t about to let the circumstances beat him. He was the calm voice in the storm, along with his new bride Mary and the other employees at his business.

At such times, leadership is essential. The quality comes naturally to President Donald Trump, but the question is whether the terrified present-day “sheep” will be in any mood to follow the “shepherd.” Politics injects itself into every discussion these days but now it’s unavoidable. The more the political class and media fan the flames of anxiety among the people, the more difficult it becomes to offer a message of hope and optimism about the future.

Of course the “protests” go on and the mob doesn’t appear to be the slightest bit apprehensive about the invisible coronavirus. Sure, the revolutionaries do their part by wearing masks as they march and shout and carry signs -- and when able, wrap chains and straps around historical monuments to haul them down -- but one can’t help but conclude this is all part of a grand design to influence the big election in November. Why? Because getting rid of Donald Trump is all his enemies care about.

The anti-Trumpers are heartened by the fact Trump’s poll numbers have sunk to a point where even his biggest fans acknowledge he’s behind Grampa Joe Biden in the quadrennial horserace. The voter surveys reflect the heightened degree of dread overtaking the American public as newscasts show more and more video coverage of leftist goons running amok on the nation’s streets with very little stopping them from ripping to shreds what remains of the country’s social fabric.

Some folks appeared to put their worries about the coronavirus on hold after Memorial Day with focus and unease shifting to the George Floyd “protests” and riots. But now that cases have gone up again, the fright returns. The temptation is to simply admit the doomsayers were correct all along and agree to go back to extreme social distancing while shutting business down to the level they were in late March. Then support will build for Nancy Pelosi’s and the House Democrats’ crackpot all-inclusive $3 trillion “relief” bill complete with extended unemployment benefits, money for states and cities and, of course, a federally mandated mail-in ballot election.

There’s no going back now. Months of experience dealing with COVID-19 revealed that it’s basically a super flu that preys on the most vulnerable in society. The young and healthy individual does occasionally get sick from it, but we can’t inflict further damage to the rest of society by ordering small business owners to close their doors once again. As I’ve argued a lot lately, where is the call for assumption of risk? No amount of lockdowns stopped the virus (and the CDC also said that the actual number of cases could be ten times what’s been verified through testing). What to do? There isn’t an easy answer, but revisiting full-on sequester isn’t a viable solution.

What about the presidential campaign? Grampa Joe Biden seems more than content to stay holed-up in his basement doing the occasional interview and (probably) watching reruns of Bonanza, Gunsmoke and Death Valley Days (except the season Ronald Reagan hosted it) while his campaign team commissions new polls to prove their out-of-sight-out-of-mind strategy is hitting paydirt. Last week Sean Hannity revealed that Biden hadn’t held a press conference in almost three months, which means he hasn’t taken live questioning or respond to the fiercest of interrogations in real-time.

If Democrats play up the latest coronavirus scare, here’s thinking they’ll milk at least two more months’ worth of home-confinement for Joe out of it. As of now the party conventions are scheduled for back-to-back weeks in August, though Democrats are keeping coy about their plans to possibly hold a “virtual” meeting instead of the typical four days and nights of confetti, stump speeches and incessant media slobber.

If Democrats go “virtual”, it will serve to save the liberal party from the inevitable embarrassing demonstrations perpetrated by many of their own voters. Everyone knows Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her followers won’t settle for watered-down liberalism when they’re defeating longtime incumbents in primaries while demanding America be fully converted into a “woke” socialist utopia. No convention? Sounds good to Grampa Joe!

Trump-hating Carly Fiorina destroyed what’s left of her reputation last week

Who needs that traditional politics stuff when you’ve got the friendly media already reporting on oh-so-important happenings like former Trump 2016 rival Carly Fiorina announcing she intends to vote for Joe Biden. For those who might’ve forgotten, Fiorina was Ted Cruz’s running mate for about a week in the final stage of the GOP primary campaign, a desperate move the Texas senator made to try and generate momentum and enthusiasm vis-à-vis Trump. It didn’t work.

In an interview that bordered on laughable, Fiorina explained, “As citizens, our vote is more than a check on a box. You know, it’s a statement about where we want to go, and I think what we need now actually is real leadership that can unify the country. I am encouraged that Joe Biden is a person of humility and empathy and character. I think he’s demonstrated that through his life. And I think we need humility and empathy everywhere in public life right now. And I think character counts.”

Humility? Empathy? Character? Did Carly watch any of the Democrat presidential campaign last year? Didn’t Grampa Joe call a young girl a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” and insult an 83-year old Iowa farmer (saying he was a “damn liar”) for asking a question about son Hunter’s extremely questionable financial deals with foreign governments? Biden always lashes out at anyone who dares ask him a tough question or to explain his corrupted record.

Do you think Clarence Thomas would agree with Fiorina that Biden has humility, empathy and character?

Could Carly help us out by articulating what Biden’s platform might be? You can’t (or shouldn’t be able to) win without policies to implement once you step into the Oval Office. Fiorina may believe the back slappin’, hairdo sniffin’, nude swimmin’, shoulders massagin’, child repellin’ and sexual assault denyin’ former vice president is a nicer guy than Trump, but how is that going to “unite” people when the man is obviously bordering on senility and is afraid to show his mug lest he commit another damaging gaffe?

If character counts so much, why isn’t Biden out in public demonstrating his purported leadership qualities during the worst of times rather than hiding from view while the media pecks at every word and deed of the current president? If he were elected commander in chief, Grampa Joe will be at the center of the storm from the first moment and he won’t get away with offering lofty and substance-free rhetoric instead of policies and orders that accomplish something.

Who knows, maybe Fiorina is vying to be a late entrant to Grampa Joe’s running mate short list. She’s already got one of Biden’s main qualifications -- she’s female -- and if chosen, could be marketed as a “unity” candidate since she’s technically from the opposition party. But try as they might, Democrats couldn’t make her into a woman of color, and there’s no way Biden can select a white woman now.

Biden is definitely rooting on the coronavirus and supporting the lockdowns. But his “prison” cell offers little comforting reprieve from the troubles that await him once the real campaign starts.

How can the economy go back to normal if schools don’t reopen in the fall?

There’s been plenty of discussion on the best ways to reopen businesses with stepped-up coronavirus considerations, but how about schools? Anyone with school-aged kids -- or younger -- knows there’s no such thing as “normal” daily routine with youngsters confined to the house while trying to do his or her assignments (obviously, home schoolers not included here). And working parents are impacted heavily by the closures.

Some schools are already hinting of quirky schedules later this year. The answer? According to some, parents should pull their kids out of the system. Bethany Mandel reported at The Washington Examiner, “The most effective form of protest is to unenroll their students from public school. We now know that they will not be receiving anything resembling an education from the public school system, and as such, they should not be paid tax dollars in order to provide it. Money talks, and parents should walk…

“Pushing for full school reopenings is a winning position with working parents for any politician in a district making announcements such as those in Fairfax County (Virginia). Parents should be able to take the money the public school district would have been paid had they not abdicated their responsibility and take it to a private school that will actually do the job of educating children.

“In the meantime, parents need to make clear to their districts: If you won’t educate my children, I will not allow you to be paid for their enrollment. If parents will be homeschooling anyway, make the decision official and bleed the public school system dry.”

Parents would send a heck of a message by doing so. States and cities will already be hard-hit by a lack of tax revenue from shuttered businesses and burned-out cities. Somewhere along the line the actual citizens’ views need to be taken into account. If a parent is okay with his or her kid being in a school environment, why should the government tell them otherwise?

News of a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases last week was seemingly greeted with relief by elements of the media. If true, the naysayers argue, the economy can’t be reopened, people will still be out of work and government will need to act -- again -- to take care of the unemployed. Then there’s the alternative, which is full speed ahead. Which way should we go?

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