BIG Question: If NO Huge CV19 Spikes in Opening States, Then What?
After tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, what if there are not significant increases of infections as states reopen?
“Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it might cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst, and to provide for it.” —Patrick Henry (1775)
My research for this column began in March under the original title, “The Coming Great CV19 Debate: Under- or Over-Reaction?” That title related to the polar political sides that mainstream-media outlets have been relentlessly churning to keep their consumers tuned in and their ad revenue flowing.
According to the MSM, everyone on the Right advocates unmitigated reopening: It’s all a conspiracy, disregard the CDC, and let’s party! Meanwhile, everyone on the Left advocates unmitigated total lockdown: Reopening is akin to “human sacrifice” and we should all stay hunkered down while receiving government checks for a couple years.
These two positions constitute a false dichotomy of extremes. However, leftists are quietly hoping for more deaths, knowing that this would enable Joe Biden and Democrat Party Senate candidates to claim that President Donald Trump and his fellow money-grubbing Republicans placed economic interests above American lives. That’s a BIG Lie, of course, but one that will be repeated frequently ahead of the November elections in order to hang every death like a Haitian necklace around Trump’s neck.
If the body count isn’t mounting after reopening, then the Demo claims about Trump’s “slow and inept” response to the CV19 outbreak will fizzle. And their “nightmare scenario,” as an Obama economic adviser recently lamented, would be that the nation is on a path to strong economic recovery by the November elections.
In mid April, the White House Coronavirus Task Force released its guidance for restarting our economy as the nation’s idled workforce blew through Great Depression levels and kept on sinking — headline unemployment is now more than 14.7% with real unemployment nearing 18%.
Seeing state economies on life support early in May, several Republican governors asserted their authority to reopen. This group included, most notably, Texas and Georgia. These two governors, Greg Abbott and Brian Kemp, respectively, joined other Republican governors (Asa Hutchinson — Arkansas; Pete Ricketts — Nebraska; Doug Burgum — North Dakota; Kristi Noem — South Dakota) who never shuttered their state economies in the first place.
Ahead of those openings, I warned in “America Must Prepare for the Consequences of Economic Restoration” that “President Trump and Republican governors, who get high marks for how they have handled the pandemic thus far, need to make clear that the consequences of having a functional society and economy will include more disease and death.”
I declared then: “It is important that Americans understand that nothing about the SARS-CoV-2 virus has changed — it is still out there claiming casualties, and it will continue to do so until an effective vaccine, combined with effective treatments and herd immunity, can slow it. And … it will reemerge again next fall.”
In fact, Trump began to manage the nation’s expectations in early May by saying that, as the economy reopens, the deaths will exceed the current estimates and could be as high as 135,000 or more.
For his part now as the nation’s advocate of economic recovery, Trump says, “States should open up ASAP. The transition to greatness has started, ahead of schedule. There will be ups and downs, but next year will be one of the best ever!”
But, as there have been 100,000 deaths from CV19 disease (or at least associated with the disease), we are now confronted by a critical question, one that is the most consequential of all in the debate about our national pandemic response, which few dare to ask.
For the record, we heard a lot about “flattening the curve” during the initial stages of the pandemic, and to that end we can say both the infection and economy were flattened. But the unspoken reason for the disastrous partial economic shutdown over the last two months was to protect the nation’s most vulnerable citizens from the “idiot factor” — those of all ages who would not abide by the basic CDC guidelines to help contain the contagion. Had governors been confident that the idiots among us would follow the CDC guidelines — especially people in densely populated urban areas — the guidelines alone would have provided adequate protection, and far less damaging economic and social restrictions would have been required.
That notwithstanding, here’s the question: After tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, hundreds of thousands of businesses have closed (many forever), and Congress has saddled future generations with another $3 trillion in debt (and counting), what if there are not significant increases of CV19 infections and deaths as states reopen economies? As I noted previously, “nothing about the SARS-CoV-2 virus has changed,” so what if there are not significant infection spikes now?
As I asked in March, “Is the cure right-sized for the disease?” We are about to find out the answer to that question.
I still believe that there will be spikes in the number of CV19 infections over the next eight weeks — I hope not, but that will be the case if what we’ve been led to believe about the virus in the timeline since its discovery last December is reasonably accurate. Even at best, CV19 has proven highly transmittable and deadly for certain demographic groups — more so than a bad flu year.
Thus, unless warmer weather slows the viral spread until herd immunity sets in, infection surges must be the outcome of reopening our economy.
However, if that dire consequence is not the outcome, then what we’ve been led to believe is disastrously flawed. If that’s the case, then the handful of “medical experts” we trusted — those Beltway bureaucrats who’ve led us down this path of enormous human and economic suffering and associated national-security risks — should live in eternal infamy.
On Tuesday, our analyst Thomas Gallatin noted that the CDC has, once again, revised its modeling. The current “best estimate” is that the CV19 fatality rate will fall below 0.3%, far lower than the previous estimate. Garbage in. Garbage out.
The CDC’s latest modeling also includes five “Pandemic Planning Scenarios” — which is to say that CDC bureaucrats have covered their epidemiological butts with a wide range of potential outcomes moving forward.
In a recent meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx told CDC Director Robert Redfield, “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust.”
Think about that for a moment.
Moreover, there is emerging evidence that the CV19 virus wormed its way through many of the dramatic lockdown measures, such as those in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo recently reported that 66% of those newly infected had been locked down.
As for the efficacy of economic shutdowns in other countries, in a recent study in the European medical journal The Lancet, the researcher concluded that the “full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic.” He added, “I expect that when we count the number of deaths from COVID-19 in each country in one year from now, the figures will be similar, regardless of measures taken.”
And what about Third World nations? Nobody should believe anything China reports given that Xi Jinping orchestrated the CV19 cover-up. But if the virus is as deadly as it’s estimated to be — and indeed it proved deadly to aging populations in Italy and some other nations — we should be hearing tragic reports of mass burials in India and other impoverished nations where we have thousands of American mission and aid workers on the ground. But as of yet there are no such reports.
Even the primary medical adviser to the White House Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, declared last Friday, “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health.” He added, “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”
He has also toned down his projections about a second wave this fall: “We often talk about the possibility of a second wave, or of an outbreak when you’re reopening. We don’t have to accept that as an inevitability,” he explained, adding, “When people start thinking about the fall, I want people to really appreciate that it could happen, but it is not inevitable.”
Frankly, these constitute the first words I’ve heard from Fauci that indicate he has any empathic or public-health concern for those who’ve had their lives turned upside down by his policy recommendations downstream.
What has tempered Fauci’s tone-deaf pandemic tune may have been a letter from 600 physicians nationwide to the White House insisting that the “national shutdown” end. The letter warned: “Millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youth it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty, and abuse.”
And, of course, these policies have destroyed large swaths of the healthcare sector it was allegedly designed to save.
So let me reiterate: I still believe there will be spikes in the number of CV19 infections over the next eight weeks. Of course, we must account for a spike in cases due to more tests administered. To be statistically significant, the percentage change of infections discovered must substantially exceed the percentage change of tests administered. Unfortunately, that’s a distinction the MSM has so far been too dullard to make.
If in eight weeks we’re asking, “Where are the spikes?” then we’ll know that the global lockdown was one of the worst mistakes in human history, and there will be political hell to pay for those who continue to foist it upon us.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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