Gary Bauer / April 23, 2020

Trump Warns Iran

Lost in all the pandemic news lately was a shocking report that nearly a dozen Iranian gunboats recently harassed U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Lost in all the pandemic news lately was a shocking report that nearly a dozen Iranian gunboats recently harassed U.S. vessels in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian boats came within 10 yards of one of our ships. They repeatedly refused to respond to radio calls and blasts from the ships’ horns. 

Yesterday, President Trump responded to the provocation, tweeting, “I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.”

This latest flareup comes as the Iranian regime announced yesterday that it successfully launched a military satellite into orbit. This is a disturbing development because the technology used to launch satellites into space is very similar to the technology used to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Trump Takes on Harvard

Yesterday we told you that Shake Shack was returning $10 million it received from the small-business paycheck protection program. Today we have a very different example. 

Harvard University reportedly received $8.7 million in emergency taxpayer funding. There’s some confusion as to exactly which government program gave Harvard the money — the payroll protection program or a different program intended to help educational institutions. 

Regardless of where the funds came from, Harvard should give the money back. It is sitting on a huge endowment, estimated last year to be more than $40 billion. The $8.7 million that Harvard received could have gone to struggling small businesses or other colleges that aren’t so well off. 

By the way, Harvard isn’t alone. The eight Ivy League colleges and universities combined netted more than $61 million dollars in spite of each institution having a multibillion-dollar endowment.

So far, Harvard is refusing to return the money, and the issue came up at Tuesday’s White House press briefing. President Trump said he would take steps to force the university to return the money and later suggested that its entire endowment system should be investigated.

Putting Americans First

Yesterday, President Trump signed his order suspending immigration into the United States for 60 days. There are some exceptions, particularly for seasonal agricultural workers. It is absolutely vital that we maintain our food supplies.

But I cringed when I heard a Fox News host express her anxiety over the president’s order, fearing that it could interfere with her plans to hire an au pair from Mexico to care for her children.

This commentator is a fine lady, as far as I can tell. But it was so sad to hear her say that. There are 22 million Americans suddenly unemployed. Is there not a single young American woman in the area who could do this job? 

We must start thinking like Americans with an obligation to our fellow citizens first.

Speaking of putting our citizens first, a new poll finds that 74% of Americans are worried that pandemic restrictions are endangering our civil liberties. I share those concerns, and I am pleased to report that Attorney General William Barr is keeping a close watch on state governments that unnecessarily impinge on civil liberties and commerce.

De Blasio’s Blunders

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is among those leading the charge against the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He should be the last person complaining. 

When the CDC issued its initial warnings, and after President Trump banned travel from China, Mayor de Blasio and his top aides ignored the warnings.

  • On February 2nd, New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot encouraged New Yorkers to attend Lunar New Year celebrations, tweeting, “There is no reason for anyone to change their holiday plans, avoid the subway, or certain parts of the city because of #coronavirus.”

  • Two weeks later, de Blaiso told New Yorkers, “[Coronavirus] should not stop you from going about your life. It should not stop you from going to Chinatown and going out to eat.”

  • On March 4th, Dr. Barbot said, “There’s no indication that being in a car, being in the subways with someone who’s potentially sick is a risk factor.”

That turned out to be terrible advice, and de Blasio delayed shutting down the city’s subway system because public mass transportation is such a progressive priority.

Well, it seems that the city’s subway system was a major distributor of the coronavirus. When they eventually restricted metro service, the result was that more people packed into fewer, more crowded cars, and transmission of the virus was even worse. This is one reason why New York City has half of all the coronavirus deaths in the country.

And before the pandemic even began, it was Mayor de Blasio who sold the city’s excess ventilators because he didn’t want to pay to store them. But now even as de Blasio is demanding more ventilators, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is giving them away to other states.

But wait… De Blasio’s losing streak continues.

While he wanted to confine New Yorkers in crowded subway cars and eventually imprisoned them in their homes, his liberalism moved him to release more than a thousand New Yorkers from the prison system.

The criminals got a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, and in a development that no one could have predicted, some are now being rearrested because they are committing crimes.

Poll Position

  • Recent surveys by the Pew Research Center find that 91% of Americans say that China’s power and influence is a threat to the United States. In addition, 81% say that mass migration is a threat to the country. So on two of the biggest issues facing the country, President Trump is right and Joe Biden and the left are wrong. We must stop “Beijing Biden” and “Open-Borders Biden.”

  • A new poll by The Hill finds that 56% of voters approve of President Trump’s handling of the economy, and 58% approve of his ability to stimulate jobs. Those two factors will be critical for the country, and the president’s reelection chances, in the days and weeks ahead.

  • A new CNBC poll finds that voters in the battleground states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin narrowly favor President Trump over Joe Biden by 48% to 47%. While the poll is encouraging, it shows just how narrowly divided the country is and how much work we have to do to ensure a conservative victory this November.

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