Harold Hutchison / April 23, 2020

Fight Over Economic Shutdown Reveals a Lot

That’s especially true of out-of-touch elites in the Beltway and in Hollywood.

The Wuhan coronavirus and the economic shutdown that was done to “flatten the curve” have revealed a lot of things. Some of them are very good, others are things we need to fix, and some are extremely troubling.

But now, as the focus rightly turns to reopening the country — especially as it looks more and more likely that the models were far too pessimistic — it’s hard not to miss some people revealing their character. In some cases, it should be very troubling.

For instance, when Dr. Deborah Birx fails to acknowledge that some of the flawed models included social distancing in their calculations, people will ask questions about the integrity of those who are advising the president. All too often, experts will dodge questions and double down, even when the models are clearly not accurate — and this is something that will lead to doubting other models.

Americans have seen the suffering caused by what is arguably the largest regulatory taking in American history, despite efforts to minimize the perception of that damage. Nancy Pelosi showing off a $24,000 freezer stocked with $12 per-pint ice cream has already become a very potent ad. We can only hope her other antics cost Democrats the House of Representatives.

But Pelosi is not the only one of our elites who revealed how little they care for their fellow Americans. Patton Oswalt, an actor who made quite a living on big-budget Hollywood productions like “Agents of SHIELD,” invoked Anne Frank as he mocked the Patriots protesting the lockdown, and he faced responses that highlighted just how out of touch he is. The people protesting don’t want to have a burger at Fuddrucker’s (which, as an aside, makes outstanding burgers); they want to work and earn the money to keep their families fed and a roof over their heads.

Jimmy Kimmel unleashed a tirade against protesters, openly calling them “suicidal.” But even then, it just showed how out of touch Kimmel, with his multimillion-dollar income, really is.

Then you get to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently sneered to those who wanted to work, “Get an essential job.” But Cuomo’s dismissiveness toward those who lost good jobs shows he just doesn’t get it.

But while Amazon and Walmart are hiring, a lot of small businesses are dying. One restaurant owner passed on a bleak report that as many as 17 restaurants had closed for good — or would in the next two weeks. This isn’t just a loss of jobs, it’s a loss of dreams. Yeah, the restaurant owner could get a job at Papa John’s or Dominos, but it pales in comparison to a lost dream. That’s a recipe for despair.

This is something the media doesn’t talk about: The economic shutdown isn’t just costing people money. Multiple studies have shown that increased unemployment can cause suicide to rise. “Deaths of despair” leave people no less dead than deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus, yet elites in the Acela Corridor and Hollywood don’t seem to care.

Given the fact that the models used to justify the shutdown are apparently way off base, it’s fair to question if the cure was worse than the disease. Thankfully, some governors seem to be willing to take steps to reopen. We can only hope that America will bounce back sooner rather than later.

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