“Men of energy of character must have enemies; because there are two sides to every question, and taking one with decision, and acting on it with effect, those who take the other will of course be hostile in proportion as they feel that effect.” —Thomas Jefferson (1817)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- The Next Pelosi/Schiff Charade: Investigate Trump’s CV19 Cover-Up
- Don’t Trust China
- WHO Kowtows to China and the World Suffers
- How a Military Buildup Helps the Recovery
- College Professors Fear Transparency
- South Korea’s Successful Pandemic Strategy
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who distracted the nation with their impeachment charade while the CV19 pandemic was ramping up, now want to distract the nation with another investigation of President Donald Trump while we are idled and the body count surges.
According to Pelosi, “I don’t know what the scientists said to him. When did this president know about this, and what did he know? What did he know and when did he know it? … But as the president fiddles, people are dying.”
Regarding Pelosi’s knockoff Nixonian question, “What did he know and when did he know it?” that should be the focus of congressional inquiries into China’s communist dictator Xi Jinping, who, as I have detailed, directed his government to cover up the CV19 outbreak for two months.
How many lives, both here and worldwide, could’ve been spared if Xi had been forthcoming instead of deceiving the world? Pandemic researchers estimate that had Xi informed the world three weeks earlier than he did, that would have reduced the spread by 95%.
For his part, Schiff echoed Pelosi’s call for a congressional commission to investigate Trump. According to Schiff, “We will need to delay the work of the commission until the crisis has abated to ensure that it does not interfere with the agencies that are leading the response. But that should not prevent us from beginning to identify where we got it wrong and how we can be prepared for the next pandemic.”
In other words, set Trump up and then open the full investigation just before the 2020 election. That pattern seems somehow familiar!
Let’s be clear: While Pelosi and Schiff were busy fiddling their impeachment tune in January, they had access to all the CDC information the president relied on that month and every day since.
For context, consider this response timeline:
On 29 January, Donald Trump impaneled and empowered the White House Coronavirus Task Force, headed by Vice President Mike Pence, to “coordinate and oversee the administration’s efforts to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread” of COVID-19 disease. He appointed Dr. Deborah Birx as the response coordinator, and the working group includes Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli, Commissioner of Food and Drugs Stephen Hahn, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell, among others.
On that same day, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were haggling about what the Senate was doing with their impeachment distraction, sucking up all the Beltway political and media airtime, spending every waking moment directing all attention to their political agenda to take Trump down.
On 31 January, President Trump announced travel restrictions on U.S. entry from China and suspended entry by other foreign nationals who posed a risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2. An average of 8,200 Chinese were flying to the United States each day.
On that same day, condemning the administration’s travel restrictions, Pelosi re-issued a call for passage of the Demos’ No Ban Act to prevent Trump from imposing what she said was “such biased and bigoted restrictions.” Pelosi declared, “The Trump administration’s expansion of its un-American travel ban is a threat to our security, our values and the rule of law.” There were 219 House Democrat cosponsors. On 13 March, Pelosi quietly withdrew her legislation to prevent travel bans.
On 4 February, in his State of the Union Address, President Trump noted: “Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the coronavirus outbreak in China. My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.” That was before the administration confirmed that Xi Jinping had ordered his government to cover up the CV19 outbreak for two months before reporting it to the WHO at the end of December.
During that speech, Pelosi was busy preparing the official transcript of Trump’s SOTU so she could ceremonially tear it up after he concluded his remarks.
The next day, as anticipated, the Senate acquitted President Trump of the Pelosi/Schiff articles of impeachment — ending the saga that had consumed the attention of the administration and Congress for the previous four months.
Now Pelosi and Schiff have the unmitigated audacity to call for an investigation into what Trump knew and when he knew it?
Last September, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), who described the House inquisition as a “governmental shutdown,” declared: “It’s a long and unproductive road. Where does it go ultimately? Nowhere… The problem with that is it means nothing else is really going to get done of substance between now and then, and we have so many real issues to deal with.” How prophetic given that New York is now the epicenter of the CV19 epidemic.
As it turns out, you can’t trust the coronavirus numbers coming out of China. Of course, if you needed a U.S. intelligence report to learn this, you might be a Leftmedia reporter.
Bloomberg broke the dog-bites-man report Wednesday afternoon:
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials.
The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake.
President Donald Trump, in the tongue-in-cheek understatement of the year, then mused, “The numbers [coming out of China] seem to be a little bit on the light side — and I am being nice when I say that.”
Bloomberg adds, “The outbreak began in China’s Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That compares to more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S., which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.”
In reality, China’s death toll is many times higher than reported. As Mark Alexander said back on January 31, “Officially, the communist Chinese government claims about 220 deaths and 10,000 infections. Our sources indicate that the actual rates of infection and deaths in China are much higher, and, in fact, official reports may only represent 5-7% of the actual dead and infected.”
Evidence includes China’s so-called “pop-up hospitals” that were actually isolation morgues, as well as the recent massive shipment of urns to Wuhan.
Asian culture values “saving face” as a chief moral imperative. If that means brazenly lying, so be it. Typical of oppressive authoritarian regimes, the ChiComs have taken that to a whole new level.
Why does this matter? “The medical community interpreted the Chinese data as ‘This was serious, but smaller than anyone expected,’” said Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “We were missing a significant amount of the data.” That incomplete picture informed the West’s response. But if Chinese dictator Xi Jinping had honestly informed the world just three weeks earlier, it could have reduced the contagion’s spread by 95%. Instead, Chinese doctors who try to tell the truth suddenly disappear.
Rather than treat Beijing’s lies with even a fraction of the skepticism devoted to the White House, American Leftmedia outlets have been running Chinese propaganda as news, including parroting obviously fake numbers — primarily in an effort to smear President Trump for not learning from China’s “example.” And organizations like the United Nations and the World Health Organization have likewise made the deadly choice to take Chinese disinformation at face value.
Using Leftmedia logic, the model for the world is apparently Beijing’s puppet regime in North Korea, which still hasn’t reported a single case of COVID-19.
Instead of believing the ChiComs, the U.S. should be sending them the bill.
The China Virus pandemic has exposed the fact that leadership at the World Health Organization (WHO) has become far more concerned with placating tyrants than advancing healthcare. Organized in 1948 as part of the then-recently formed United Nations, the WHO’s goal was “the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health.” Right from its start, the WHO’s focus was predominantly epidemiological, addressing infectious diseases that have plagued the world. If only it had remained true to its mission.
Just as the UN has drifted away from the American and European values it was founded upon, the WHO has steadily moved away from its original founding values and has been caught carrying water for dictatorial regimes such as Beijing. But how did this happen? How did the WHO become so beholden to the ChiComs?
The Washington Examiner’s Tiana Lowe answers that question: “The WHO’s dictatorial sycophancy long predates the coronavirus. Beijing’s stranglehold over the organization began in earnest in 2006, when its hand-picked candidate won the election to become the WHO’s director-general. When Margaret Chan, herself a Chinese national, took charge of the organization, so did the interests of the communist party.”
And the response to this current pandemic only further demonstrates just how beholden the WHO has become to Beijing. As Mark Alexander noted, “It is now believed that World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was elected to his position with China’s backing, is now running interference for Xi Jinping’s communist government propaganda campaign to deny responsibility for the outbreak. According to analysts Dr. Bradley Thayer and Lianchao Han, ‘Tedros apparently turned a blind eye to what happened in Wuhan and the rest of China and, after meeting with Xi in January, has helped China to play down the severity, prevalence and scope of the COVID-19 outbreak.’”
Meanwhile, it will be left to responsible nations like the U.S. to clean up China’s mess — a mess that could have been avoided if the WHO had followed its founding principles and properly alerted the world rather than concern itself with placating the geopolitical concerns of Chinese communists.
Note From the Editor
We know all too well how difficult this time has been for our fellow Americans. Millions have lost jobs and hard-earned wealth, parents have suddenly become homeschoolers, and we’re isolated and without any idea of how long this will last or how deep the economic pain might be. Our friends and family have been affected, as have yours.
But all of us in our humble shop have remained on the frontlines, wading through the barrage of stories and information to distill it each day for you with essential context. We aim to be your one-stop shop, because we know all too well how the panic and the bias within the mainstream media can overwhelm and dishearten us.
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When it comes to helping the economy recover from the damage done by fighting the Wuhan coronavirus, one of the best options for a Phase 4 stimulus would be a military buildup. While some Patriots would rightly worry about expanding government spending, this is not akin to some of the pork-laden bills of the past. Indeed, national defense is one of the few authorized expenditures listed in the Constitution.
While there is a need for major infrastructure spending, the military has also needed a boost for a long time. We’ve discussed how the force structures of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard need expansion. Even the new Space Force will have a lot of needs.
So, given that one very important responsibility the Constitution lays out for the federal government is national defense, a military buildup after some of the strains we are seeing from fighting the Global War on Terror is arguably a necessity. But it will also help our economic recovery.
First of all, a big part of this buildup is actually building things. Building the items to protect our national security — the planes, ships, tanks, and even a humble rifle — takes people in factories. This is an economic win-win. We obtain the gear needed for our national security, people secure good jobs, and when those workers are spending money, it helps the economy by making other businesses (stores, restaurants, etc.) profitable. Replacing the old carriers we foolishly scrapped is of paramount importance. Right now, when it comes to facing China, we should not be cutting Marine Corps helicopters and tanks for a fight against China; we should be building a lot more of them for the Marines.
Second, a larger military will mean a lot less unemployed as well. Someone will have to man the new planes, ships, tanks, and carry the rifles. That doesn’t include all the support personnel, either. When they finish their service, they will have ample skills for the civilian world to make their way in life and to enjoy the things they value the most.
Third, if you want to make China pay for its cover-up, a stronger military is one way to go. In fact, a stronger military is part of a one-two-three punch when combined with returning manufacturing to America (especially from China) and with openly pursuing closer ties with Taiwan.
Fourth, a stronger military will help the recovery by providing world stability. If the United States doesn’t need to break a sweat to smack around a local tinpot who is acting like a rogue state, then others might decide to just keep their nefarious behavior within their own borders. Peace always makes creating prosperity even better.
The fact is, when Phase 4 of our response to COVID-19 takes place, infrastructure is a big part of it, but the military should also get a huge helping of support. After all, when the world changes, we may not be able to predict every response accurately. But if potential adversaries know we can decisively respond, a strong military may prove to be a huge bargain, in addition to helping us recover from the present ordeal.
Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is the largest conservative group on America’s college campuses, which have closed and moved their courses online due to the coronavirus. TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk views this as an opportunity to expose the political bias that exists at many of these institutions. On Sunday, March 22, he issued a tweet addressing the issue: “To all college students who have their professors switching to online classes: Please share any and ALL videos of blatant indoctrination with [TPUSA]. Now is the time to document & expose the radicalism that has been infecting our schools. Transparency!”
Judging by the blowback, transparency is the last thing many of America’s professors want.
In fact, the Chronicle of Higher Education insisted transparency was akin to weaponization. “The coronavirus-prompted shift to remote teaching was stressful enough for faculty members before Charlie Kirk weaponized online learning,” it complained. And though the Chronicle admitted that research reveals “faculty members skew left politically, and conservative students can feel marginalized, there’s no evidence of a siege on conservative thought in the classroom.” Moreover, it asserts that accusations of indoctrination are a “common right-wing talking point.”
Asserting that professors skew left politically understates reality. A study published by the National Association of Scholars of 8,688 tenure-track professors at 51 of the 66 top-ranked colleges in the nation revealed the ratio of Democrat-registered faculty members versus Republican-registered faculty members was 10.4 to 1. If one removes two military colleges, West Point and Annapolis, technically described as “liberal arts colleges,” from the calculations, the ratio is 12.7 to 1. Mitchell Langbert, an Associate Professor of Business at Brooklyn College who conducted the research, also discovered that 39% of the colleges in his sample had zero faculty members who were registered Republicans.
Dylan Bugden, an assistant professor of sociology at Washington State University, is worried about that transparency. He has decided not to record his lectures and instead post presentation slides, short quizzes, activities, and an exam, while remaining available for office hours. “I find it difficult to teach without referring to important events and issues in the world,” Bugden explained in an email. “Doing so is a powerful way to help students see that what we learn in class is not just abstract or a mere intellectual exercise, but matters for the things they and their peers care about.”
He further asserted that such an approach leaves faculty members — especially women and people of color — vulnerable to attacks, even as he admits some students have given him course evaluation asking him to keep his personal politics out of his teaching material. Ultimately he decided that even if the risk of an online campaign against him is low, it is still “so severe that it’s simply not worth it.”
Rachel Michelle Gunter, a professor at a community college in North Texas who teaches American history, is equally concerned. Thus she will send her students to her video lectures on YouTube, where those videos will be “unlisted,” meaning they can’t be found by conducting a YouTube search or going to her faculty page. After two weeks, the videos will be made private.
Yale University professor Jason Stanley offered advice to professors on how they should prepare for ostensibly being outed by conservatives. “If one of your colleagues gets hit, support them,” he tweeted. “It is not a time to lecture them about [what] you think they did wrong. They need your support, not your moralizing and sanctimoniousness. We’re all in this together. This is an attack on academic freedom, not a time for Schadenfreude.”
Transparency is an attack on academic freedom? Shouldn’t one not only be proud of what one what teaches but willing to see it disseminated as widely as possible?
That professors would be fearful of being “exposed,” coupled with the fallback excuse of being “taken out of context,” is telling. Jeffrey A. Sachs, a lecturer in history and politics at Acadia University in Canada, insists there is a “vast and highly successful” right-wing apparatus ready to destroy a professor who says the wrong thing, assigns the wrong reading, or submits the wrong grade. “Simply put,” he huffed, “faculty are alarmed because they are paying attention.”
To emphasize the point, the Chronicle notes Mr. Sachs has compiled a database of professors “who have been fired for political speech.”
Not exactly. Some professors were fired, but some resigned, some were suspended or demoted, and some were denied promotion or had their course canceled. Moreover, the notion that any type of free speech insulates one from the consequences of that speech is absurd. Many of these educators said outrageous things for which they should have been held accountable.
That it was all the doing of a vast right-wing conspiracy? One of those professors, Erika Christakis, taught at Yale before she resigned in 2015 for what Sachs described as her criticism of “safe spaces” at the Ivy League School.
Hardly. As Christakis herself revealed in a Washington Post op-ed, an email she sent urging students to think critically about an official set of Yale guidelines on costumes to avoid at Halloween — one in which she wondered if there was “no room anymore for a child or young person to be a little bit obnoxious” — precipitated a firestorm whereby nearly “a thousand students, faculty and deans called for my and my husband’s immediate removal from our jobs and campus home.”
Precipitated by right-wing students? “I am a registered Democrat, and I applaud Yale’s mission to better support underrepresented students,” she added. “But I also recognize the dizzying irrationality of some supposedly liberal discourse in academia these days.”
Perhaps the widespread exposure of “dizzying irrationality” is what the current controversy is really all about, especially when one considers the skyrocketing costs of college that has left America’s students mired in a collective $1.6 trillion in student debt. Perhaps if future consumers got firsthand information on what some professors are saying, they might think twice about enrolling.
“For those that are using the classroom to intimidate conservatives or otherwise lie to, bully, or indoctrinate students to hate America, we will highlight those cases so parents, students, administrations and donors can make better, more informed decisions moving forward,” a TPUSA spokesperson explained. “Knowing the truth shouldn’t be controversial.”
That it is speaks volumes.
South Korea only just now passed 9,000 total positive tests for the China Virus, and yet the East Asian nation was one of the earliest outside of China to report infections. Furthermore, South Korea did not engage in a nationwide shutdown to slow the virus’s spread, which has many wondering how it has been able to so successfully keep COVID-19 at bay.
The head of the World Health Organization’s Emergency Program, Mike Ryan, noted, “We’ve seen examples in places like Singapore and [South] Korea, where governments haven’t had to shut everything down. They’ve been able to make tactical decisions regarding schools, tactical decisions regarding movements, and been able to move forward without some of the draconian measures.”
The key, Ryan believes, has to do with widespread testing. South Korea quickly engaged in a vast testing regimen, which allowed it to essentially locate and then target those infected areas for isolation and quarantine, thereby slowing and limiting the spread of the virus to other areas of the country. Thus, those regions of the country free of the virus are able to operate more normally. As explained by South Korea’s foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, “Testing is central because that leads to early detection. It minimizes further spread.”
National Public Radio also reports, “Japan is another Asian country notable for its response. Although Japan has more than twice the population of South Korea and also has strong ties to China, it has recorded only a fraction of the cases that South Korea has. … Japan hasn’t been testing nearly as widely as South Korea, but appears to have fended off significant community transmission by quickly investigating any flare-ups of cases, identifying who exactly is infected and then monitoring their contacts.”
Finally, nothing helps like learning from past experiences. Back in 2015, South Korea was hit hard by a MERS outbreak that brought the nation to a near standstill. Lessons learned from dealing with that outbreak have proven pivotal in guiding its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
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Above the Fold
Affirming what we already knew: China concealed extent of virus outbreak, U.S. intelligence says (Bloomberg)
The Latest on Coronavirus
So about those declining numbers… Chinese county goes into lockdown amid fear of second wave (South China Morning Post)
In typical communistic fashion, Chinese doctor disappears after blowing the whistle on threat (National Review)
Coast Guard tells cruise ships with cases to stay away from U.S. ports (TPR)
Dr. Anthony Fauci given security detail after receiving threats (Washington Examiner)
For the record: Tom Cotton — the senator who saw the coronavirus coming (National Review)
California engineer ran train “off the end of rail tracks” in attempted attack on USNS Mercy in Los Angeles (USA Today)
Trump, in preemptive maneuver, says Iran planning “sneak attack” on U.S. troops, assets in Iraq (Fox News)
“There is a growing threat that … malign actors will try to exploit the situation”: Trump launches massive military offensive on drug cartels (The Daily Wire)
Government & Politics
Rep. Adam Schiff drafting legislation to set up 9/11-style commission so Democrats can exploit coronavirus response (The Hill)
Rep. Matt Gaetz proposes commonsense bill blocking funds from Congress to China-owned businesses (Washington Examiner)
America’s civilian arsenal grows by some 2.5 million firearms after record-shattering gun sales in March (The Washington Free Beacon)
Massachusetts governor infringes on the Second Amendment by closing gun stores (NRA-ILA)
Florida issues statewide stay-at-home order (Fox News)
Pennsylvania placed under stay-at-home order (NBC Philadelphia)
Policy: We can fight pandemics without the communist-allied World Health Organization (The Federalist)
Policy: Statewide lockdowns and the law (Hoover Institution)
Satire: Teachers urge government to reopen schools before students learn to think for themselves (The Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: FBI Botches Every FISA Application — Watchdog finds many blunders in surveillance paperwork.
Video: Hope Is So 2008! — Obama’s entire presidency was built around hope, but Trump gets pilloried for peddling “unsubstantiated hope in dark times.”
Humor Video: Quarantined Golf Practice — Practice makes perfect!
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many people can successfully resist. What is its seat? The inborn requirement of self-approval.” —Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Upright: “Recent weeks have seen families spending lots of time together, even if under stressful conditions. COVID-19 aside, the majority of that stress is because the American family has forgotten how to be together. Sadly, the reality is that most have never known togetherness in the first place, so there was really nothing to forget. … The fact is that we live in an era where more jobs can be done at home. I’m not sure when we developed the idea that ‘real work’ only occurs within the four walls of an office building, but our nation has suffered from that mindset because our families have suffered.” —Rebecca Hagelin
Food for thought: “Our COVID-19 policy is akin to dealing with the road fatalities problem by shutting down every highway in America and calling it a day.” —Jordan Schachtel
For the record: “The claim that the United States has more coronavirus deaths than China is false. Without commenting on any classified information, this much is painfully obvious: The Chinese Communist Party has lied, is lying, and will continue to lie about coronavirus to protect the regime.” —Sen. Ben Sasse
Political futures: “Can Donald Trump win Wisconsin? Can he win Michigan? Can he win Pennsylvania? Can he win Florida? Sure, because his base is so solid. And I think he’s going to turn out voters almost at a historical level on his behalf, so that makes him very dangerous if you’re Joe Biden.” —former Obama adviser David Plouffe (“More Than Twice as Many Voters Are Enthusiastic About Voting for Trump Compared to Biden.” —PJ Media)
The BIG Lie: “With ten million people having applied for [unemployment benefits] over the past two weeks it is an absolute mind boggling scandal that the Trump administration is not reopening the health care exchanges.” —The Daily Beast’s Sam Stein (As The New York Times reports [in the fourth paragraph, by the way], “The decision will not prevent Americans who recently lost their jobs from obtaining health insurance if they want it.”)
Braying jackass: “These press conferences are disturbing to watch. It’s not only the lies and spins that are disturbing, but the millions of people who watch this and actually believe this insane stuff. It’s like watching train wreck happen and not knowing to what to do.” —Rep. Ilhan Omar
Alpha jackass: “A bigger problem for society is information inequality. Like, why did [Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis] do what he did? Why did Georgia wait so long? It’s because they were listening to President Trump up until the last five or six days. They were watching Fox News. They were listening to Rush Limbo [sic]. And they were following conservatives on Twitter or social media, all of whom were downplaying this.” —Axios CEO Jim VandeHei
And last… “If you are not on Twitter, now is not the time to start. You’ll live a happier life learning to juggle knives and grenades.” —Erick Erickson
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
Join us in prayer for our Patriots in uniform and their families — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way, and for our nation’s First Responders. We also ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the Spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis