“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.” —George Washington (1796)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
- Trump Working to Cut China From Supply Chain
- Newsom’s $1B Shady Mask Deal With China
- British Modeler Cheats, Breaks Lockdown
- Republican Governors Get High Marks for Handling Pandemic
- Is India a COVID-19 Anomaly?
- The Faithful Response to Soft Tyranny
- Daily Features: News Executive Summary, Videos, Best of Right Opinion, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
Way back in August 2019 BC (Before Coronavirus), President Donald Trump called on U.S. companies to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China” for their supply chains. At the time, it was only the latest of Trump’s efforts to combat the Chinese communist regime’s long-running abuse of American companies via China’s unfair trade policies. Trump was really pointing to the fact that China remains one of our nation’s biggest enemies and therefore can’t be trusted. Naturally, his message was widely panned by the mainstream media, though following Beijing’s unleashing of the COVID-19 pandemic onto the world, and the ChiComs’ subsequent propaganda campaign to cover it up and deflect guilt, Trump has been proven correct yet again.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that it is “turbocharging” efforts to spur American businesses to redirect their supply chains out of China and back to the U.S. or to other more friendly and trustworthy nations. As a top U.S. official noted, “This moment is a perfect storm; the pandemic has crystallized all the worries that people have had about doing business with China. All the money that people think they made by making deals with China before, now they’ve been eclipsed many fold by the economic damage [from the pandemic].”
The administration’s “turbocharging” is an effort to create an alliance of “trusted partners” dubbed the “Economic Prosperity Network.” Reuters reports that this alliance “would include companies and civil society groups operating under the same set of standards on everything from digital business, energy and infrastructure to research, trade, education and commerce.”
As officials explained to Reuters, “The U.S. Commerce Department, State and other agencies are looking for ways to push companies to move both sourcing and manufacturing out of China. Tax incentives and potential re-shoring subsidies are among measures being considered to spur changes.”
In light of China’s aggressive and ongoing underhanded tactics of shifting the blame, lying about its knowledge of the virus, and hoarding or producing substandard medical supplies, it’s a welcome development for Trump and the U.S. to lead the world in holding Beijing accountable. This was part of the reason Trump was elected in the first place, and now a majority of Americans are in agreement with the president on China.
Americans generally hold the opinion that “Made in China” is essentially shorthand for cheaply made unreliable products. Therefore it comes as little surprise to learn that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that upwards of 60% of the 67 different types of masks, including the popular N95 masks, imported from China failed to meet U.S. standards. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “One mask that Niosh tested, sold in packaging bearing unauthorized Food and Drug Administration logos, filtered out as little as 35% of particles. Another, marked KN95, a Chinese standard similar to N95, had one sample test below 15%, far short of the 95% it advertised, Niosh said. KN95 and N95 both refer to standards that call for masks to block 95% of very small particles.”
In light of this reality and the fact that the Chinese communist government’s deceitful actions directly led to the current global China Virus pandemic costing a quarter million lives and massively damaged economies worldwide, one would have thought that even a Democrat governor would be wary of doing any business with Beijing — especially any business that involved medical supplies.
But leave it to California Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom to foolishly go where no reasonably minded individual would. It was recently learned that Newsom inked a “murky” $1 billion mask deal with a Chinese company. Naturally, Newsom doesn’t want anyone looking into it. When The Los Angeles Times sought information on the deal, the paper received the following ridiculous response from Ryan Gronsky, an attorney from the governor’s Office of Emergency Services: “Publishing the agreement now — before performance under the contract is complete — would introduce substantial and unnecessary risk to the State’s ability to secure necessary supplies.” Furthermore, Newsom’s office told the Times that it didn’t need to make the contract public because “all responsive records are exempt from disclosure, including exemptions for records reflecting attorney work product, attorney-client privileged information, or other information exempt from disclosure under federal or state law.” Spoken like a true authoritarian tyrant.
Here’s hoping the Times refuses to quit digging into this obviously shady deal, no matter how loudly Newsom may claim to be simply looking out for the “health” needs of his constituents.
A recent analysis of state responses to the China Virus pandemic offers an insightful look at what has gone right, what has gone wrong, and the brilliance of the Founders’ creation of a federalist system of government.
The report from the Committee to Unleash Prosperity reviewed the severity and duration of state lockdowns, stay-at-home requirements, enforcement penalties, and treatment of hospitals, schools, factories, and stores. The committee factored in the severity of the outbreak in each state, categorizing them into high, medium, and low risk, so that Montana, for example, is not graded on the same basis as New York.
Of the nine governors receiving “A” grades, eight are Republicans — Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), Kim Reyonalds (IA), Pete Ricketts (NE), Kevin Stitt (OK), Kristi Noem (SD), Bill Lee (TN), and Mark Gordon (WY). Colorado’s Jared Polis was the lone Democrat. Of the four receiving “F” grades — Phil Murphy (NJ), Tom Wolf (PA), Ralph Northam (VA), and Tony Evers (WI) — all are Democrats.
This may seem counterintuitive to many, considering the relentless criticism unleashed on Kemp, DeSantis, and Noem in particular. But these governors, bucking the media narrative, have focused not only on the health impact of the virus, but of the economic impact of the shutdown as well.
For every day hospitals are essentially closed to all but COVID-19 and emergency patients, it delays a cancer diagnosis, or treatments for diabetes and hypertension, each of which could result in an unnecessary death.
And for every day the forced shutdowns continue, more people lose their jobs and life savings, which not only has a devastating economic impact but human repercussions as well. Studies show that for every 1% increase in the unemployment rate, there is an 0.8% increase in the suicide rate. With the unemployment rate projected to be between 16%-20% for April, that means a projected 12% more suicides, resulting in thousands of needless deaths.
Democrats and the media have relentlessly criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic (except when forced to admit Trump has done a good job), but in reality most criticism has less to do with Trump’s supposed failures than the inevitable incompetence and sluggishness of a massive federal bureaucracy.
President Trump was excoriated for the slow ramp-up of testing, as well as for shortages of masks and ventilators. Yet it was a decades-old, Byzantine maze of bureaucratic regulations that prevented rapid deployment of tests and medical supplies. The CDC banned development of alternate tests, and the FDA prevented companies from rapidly converting production to masks and respirators until President Trump intervened.
But where the federal government stumbled, states took the initiative.
In the case of many Republican governors, restrictions on businesses remaining open and directives to shelter at home were made as minimally burdensome as possible. Georgia Gov. Kemp and his public health advisers delayed shutting down the state as long as possible while still protecting the ability to treat the infected, reopening as quickly as possible once it was safe to do so.
By contrast Democrat-run New York, California, and Michigan instituted draconian lockdown measures, threatening citizens with fines and imprisonment for violating stay-at-home orders or being in public without face masks, threatening to permanently shut down churches and synagogues, and encouraging citizens to snitch on their neighbors, like something out of Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.
Meanwhile, despite states like Georgia and Texas having a fraction of the Wuhan virus cases as New York (which has over half the cases in the U.S.), the media continues to criticize Republican governors and praise the civil-rights violations of Democrat governors.
This global pandemic is an unprecedented situation in American history, and we should all show a little grace and acknowledge that neither the state governments nor the federal government were prepared for a widespread virus and the forced shutdown of the U.S. economy.
At the same time, watching the responses of the various governors has been enlightening. South Dakota’s Kristi Noem decided to treat her citizens like adults, giving them accurate information about the virus and letting them take responsibility for their own actions (with the added benefit of not repeatedly violating constitutional rights). The result has been life as relatively normal, with isolated flare-ups of the virus.
What the Republican governors seem to understand (and Democrats do not) is that COVID-related public health is only one facet of the crisis. There are severe, long-term consequences to extending the lockdowns, and for insufficient reward. Remember, the shutdowns were never about reducing the number of infections; they were about spacing out the infections to prevent overloading the healthcare system. We’ve done that, and continuing to shut down the economy gains us nothing.
In the coming months, we suspect we will see Republican-led states begin to recover much faster than Democrat-run states, both in managing the virus and restarting their economies.
Neil Ferguson may not be a household name, but he’s the British epidemiologist and Imperial College professor whose model projecting widespread coronavirus deaths were a leading driver of hard lockdowns in the UK and America. Early on, Ferguson projected that, without extreme measures to mitigate its spread, COVID-19 could kill 2.2 million Americans, and he became known in Great Britain as “Professor Lockdown.”
On Tuesday, Ferguson abruptly resigned his post on the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies due to an “error of judgment.” That’s putting it mildly. According to the UK Guardian, he “quit … after flouting the rules by receiving visits from his lover at his home.” His married mistress, that is.
That mistress — Antonia Staats — reportedly told friends she “did not believe their actions to be hypocritical because she considered the households to be one.” By any sane definition, hers and Fergusons are not “one household.” Yet Ferguson confessed, “I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus, and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms. … I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing to control this devastating epidemic.”
Hypocrisy is a regular character trait for elitists like this. The actions of this adulterous pair — as well as those of several Democrat mayors here in America who couldn’t abide by their own lockdown policies — are a good indicator that those policies were overkill. Yet rather than admit it, many of these authoritarians are doubling down on criticizing and even punishing the commoners.
As of this writing, the total number of confirmed cases of China Virus in India sits at less than 50,000 with about 1,700 deaths attributed to the COVID-19 virus. With the second-most populous nation on the planet still classified as a developing country, many are wondering why India’s pandemic numbers are so low.
One would think that, in a nation that struggles with high poverty rates and low levels of healthcare access, the spread of the virus would be rampant and widespread. However, that does not appear to be the case.
Some claim that India’s rapid social distancing and stay-at-home mandates are the reason. Yet in a country as densely populated as India, with notoriously massive poverty slums, such massive lockdown measures are near impossible. If anything, one would expect to see deadly virus hotspots in these slums. Even so, the numbers suggest otherwise.
Could it be that many COVID-19 deaths have simply gone unreported? That’s a plausible theory, as roughly only 22% of all deaths in India are ever certified by a doctor. However, the trouble with this theory is that if it were so, one would expect to see a sudden spike in the number of overall deaths across the country — but that has not occurred. So, even if there has been underreporting of COVID-19 deaths, the overall number of deaths has not seen any significant increase.
Maybe India’s hot weather can be attributed with slowing the spread of the virus, though many experts note there is no evidence yet supporting such a conclusion. Can this apparent anomaly be attributed to environmental, genetic, or cultural differences, or a combination of all three? Whatever the reason(s), what this anomaly does show is that there is much yet to be learned about this novel virus.
Grassroots perspective by Roger Helle
America is at a critical junction right now with the slow erosion of our liberties. The media’s focus on COVID-19 has most citizens unaware of the problem. However, we’re seeing pushback in various places across the country to the abuse of power by both local and state officials.
Today, government officials are essentially telling us how to live our lives, where or when we can work, eat or travel. If we listen to them, we will be fine. If we don’t, we’re all going to die! Okay, that was a little dramatic, but not by much. The fear of dying from COVID-19 is a steady drumbeat each day on every network. More than this is the threat to our rights under the Constitution.
Ben Franklin was concerned about this and in 1755 he wrote, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
America has gone through extreme challenges before. I want to focus on two of them: the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. The first was to obtain our freedom from a tyrannical king, taking on the greatest military power in the world. The second was even deadlier, to fight and put an end to the scourge of slavery in our nation. Before each of these, America went through a period of incredible spiritual renewal. They were referred to as the Great Awakenings.
Each spiritual move of God swept the nation existing at the time. The first swept the country from the East Coast to the Mississippi River. Great preachers rose up, including Jonathan Edwards, David Whitfield, Charles and John Wesley, and David Brainerd. The second move of God swept the nation from the East Coast all the way to the West Coast. Charles Finney was the most well-known evangelist of this move of the Holy Spirit.
The result was the transformation of the moral fabric of the nation. Crime went down, churches exploded, freedom from Great Britain was obtained, and slavery was purged from our nation. These revivals came about because of the moral climate of our nation. I doubt there are many Liberty-loving Patriots today who don’t feel our nation is morally bankrupt. We have lost our moral compass.
In that sense, the current situation is no different than anything we have experienced in the past. But the changes came when God’s people could not bear to see what was happening to their country. They fell on their knees and stormed the gates of Heaven asking God for mercy.
Tomorrow, all across the nation, thousands of prayer groups with millions of Christians will be praying for the next move of God to fall on our country. They’re praying for God’s promise to Solomon for His response to the prayers of His people.
God said, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14)
If we draw breath, we are never without hope! It is never too late to call upon Him, asking for mercy on our nation and to heal our land. To do nothing is not an option!
Something to pray about?
Above the Fold
The federal government’s Coronavirus Task Force was rumored to start winding down within a month, NPR reported. This morning, however, President Trump elucidated: “The Task Force will continue on indefinitely with its focus on SAFETY & OPENING UP OUR COUNTRY AGAIN. We may add or subtract people to it, as appropriate. The Task Force will also be very focused on Vaccines & Therapeutics.”
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump yesterday remarked: “It’s sort of a combination of safety and reopening, so we’ll have something in a different form.” He continued, “We can’t keep our country closed for the next five years. I’m not saying anything is perfect. Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be badly affected? Yes.” He also cautioned, “It’s possible there will be some [deaths] because you won’t be locked into an apartment or house or whatever it is. But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing, we’re going to be washing hands, we’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.”
Government & Politics
“House Democrats are forging ahead with another massive coronavirus relief package without the input of Republicans. … ‘Think big,’ Pelosi instructed lawmakers on a Democratic caucus call. … Democrats want to lay down a marker in the talks and ramp up pressure on Republicans, who are still reluctant to commit to passing another bill right now.” (Politico)
Ousted HHS official Dr. Rick Bright files whistleblower complaint on coronavirus response (NBC News)
Federal judge orders officials to restore New York primary, drawing cheers from Sanders camp (The Washington Post)
Michael Flynn bombshells cast doubt on Mueller prosecutor Brandon Van Grack’s compliance with court order (Fox News)
For the record: “Pee tapes,” Deutsche Bank, COVID-19 “hoax”… The eight worst fake news stories of the Trump years (NewsBusters)
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office refuses records request on “murky” $1 billion mask deal with Chinese company (Fox News)
In 1991, Joe Biden voted to block creation of Senate office that handles sexual-harassment complaints (The Washington Free Beacon)
Nothing to see here — move along! Obama’s office condemns Senate investigation into Ukraine, Biden (The Washington Post)
New York reports 1,700 more coronavirus deaths at nursing homes (National Review)
San Francisco police chief bans “thin blue line” face masks (PoliceOne)
Policy: Tom Cotton is right about restricting Chinese student visas (The Federalist)
Policy: Washington must preclude a flood of tort claims that threaten to kneecap the economy even further (City Journal)
Humor: Newsom reminds Californians to only go outside to defecate on the sidewalk (Genesius Times)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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Video: Samaritan’s Purse Booted From NYC — You are only welcome if you grovel before the progressive social agenda.
Video: Coronavirus Cans the Bag Ban — Single-use plastic bags are more hygienic. Ninety-seven percent of people never wash their reusable bags.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Political futures: “[Americans have] been conditioned for a few decades to expect every issue to be settled by a Team Red pundit and a Team Blue pundit going at it like a pair of Rock ‘Em Sock 'Em Robots.” —Jim Geraghty
Friendly fire: “How many Pulitzer prizes have gone to essays that have had to subsequently publicly correct one of their core claims? Or been challenged by every major historian in the field, right and center and left?” —leftist columnist Andrew Sullivan on The New York Times winning a Pulitzer for its historically revisionist 1619 Project
The BIG Lie: “[The 1619 Project’s] fresh political perspective, provocativeness of the argument, and engaging writing is what we are [sic] awarded. … The piece provoked useful public debate and conversation about an important matter — the very identity of our nation. This is what we want commentary to do.” —Pulitzer Prizes Administrator Dana Canedy
Never let a crisis go to waste: “I truly think that, if we do this right, we have an incredible opportunity to not just dig out of this crisis but to fundamentally transform the country.” —Joe Biden
If not for double standards… “I am proud to support Joe Biden for president. I believe him when he says it didn’t happen. … But I’m not going to answer this question again.” —Nancy “Kavanaugh Should Withdraw” Pelosi
Braying jackass: “I want a coronation of Joe Biden. Would he make a great president? Unlikely. … Would he make a better president than the present occupant? Absolutely. I don’t want justice, whatever that may be. I want a win, the removal of Donald Trump from office, and Mr. Biden is our best chance.” —Martin Tolchin, a 40-year veteran of The New York Times who helped found Politico and The Hill
Demo-gogues: “I think what they’re clearly trying to do is deflect attention away from the administration’s terrible mishandling of this virus and all of the false narrative that the president was putting out early on about this going away on its own, being no worse than the flu, that we’re going to contain it down to zero. And so, they’ve chosen to go after China.” —Rep. Adam Schiff, setting up his coronavirus inquisition to take down Trump
Non compos mentis: “A lot of these [nursing homes] are for-profit organizations. I think there’s going to be a lot of questions about whether they put their residents first or whether they put profit first.” —Mayor Bill de Blasio (“This has nothing to do with 'for-profit organizations.’ New York FORCED nursing homes to take coronavirus patients. That happened right after De Blasio encouraged New Yorkers to go to the movies during a pandemic.” —Matt Walsh)
And last… “Another way of looking at this is that Betsy DeVos is changing the Title IX rules from the ones that Joe Biden liked before he was accused of sexual assault to the ones that Joe Biden demands now that he has been accused of sexual assault.” —Charles C.W. Cooke
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