Signs of Hope
Two studies regarding COVID-19 mutations have made headlines in recent days. One got significantly more coverage because the press release noted the researchers’ “urgent concern” that the mutating virus could be more contagious, potentially complicating the search for treatments.
This news was used to justify calls for more “social isolation” and to attack the president and Republican governors who supported efforts to reopen our economy. But the spin on this mutation report was terribly inaccurate.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the headlines were “very misleading,” adding that the study “doesn’t really prove anything.”
He said that similar research regarding Ebola mutations did not result in that virus becoming more contagious. Moreover, when viruses become more contagious that often means they are weakening and dying off. That’s good news, not bad news.
Meanwhile, researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) reported results of a study that also found a significant mutation in the coronavirus. Their study found that one particular sample of the virus was “missing a significant chunk of its genome,” indicating that it was becoming weaker.
The deletion that the ASU researchers discovered in the COVID-19 sample was exactly what happened in the SARS virus when it essentially disappeared in 2003.
A few weeks ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was getting such rave reviews for his daily coronavirus briefings that many people speculated Democrats might nominate him if Joe Biden faltered. Well, that was then.
Tuesday, New York officials adjusted the death toll in the state’s nursing homes and added more than 1,700 deaths. That means roughly 25% of all COVID deaths in New York have occurred in the state’s nursing homes.
If you are tempted to cut the governor a break given that the elderly are at the greatest risk, think again. On March 25, the state Health Department issued an order declaring that no resident could be denied “readmission or admission solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”
In other words, New York hospitals that had treated elderly patients with coronavirus sent those patients to the state’s nursing homes, where they predictably spread the virus to other residents. Four weeks later, Cuomo was still defending that order.
Ironically, during this same period of time, nursing home residents who were dying of the virus were banned from seeing their relatives because they might bring the virus in from the outside. So family members were banned, while infected people were brought in.
Cuomo’s nursing home crisis borders on criminal and should be the new textbook definition of “stupid public policy.”
It is infuriating to see progressive politicians, including Cuomo, arguing against opening up our economy. We are learning more about the negative health effects associated with “social isolation” and the ongoing shutdown, and it’s not good.
But it is even more infuriating to hear left-wing politicians argue that such risks can’t be taken when “every life is priceless.” It seems that the progressive politicians most vehemently making that case are the same politicians who support abortion on demand!
No reporter ever points out this blatant hypocrisy. It must be wonderful to be a liberal, knowing you will get a free pass from the press no matter how many times you contradict yourself.
Freedom Is Essential
As regular readers of this report know, I am not a libertarian. But what is happening to Shelley Luther, a small-business owner in Texas, really brings out my libertarian impulses.
Luther owns a salon, which was declared a nonessential business and shut down as a result of the pandemic. She could have gone on unemployment, food stamps, and welfare. Like so many Americans who cherish freedom and the dignity of work, she opened up her salon last week and went back to work.
Luther didn’t force anyone to come in, but come in they did. But for the crime of engaging in commerce, she is now threatened with devastating fines and jail time.
Judge Eric Moye told Luther she could be spared jail if she groveled before the court by apologizing to “the elected officials who you disrespected” and confessed to being “selfish.” Luther refused. She told the judge:
I have much respect for this court and laws… I’ve never been in this position before, and it’s not someplace that I want to be.
But, I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids.
So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.
So while violent criminals are being released from prison, this hard-working small businesswoman is going to jail. This is beyond disgusting and yet another example of government run amok.
Thankfully, Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton are calling for Luther to be released.
National Day of Prayer
Today is the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme is “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth,” and the verse is Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
The coronavirus pandemic has shut down much of our economic life, but it cannot shut down our prayer life! Click here to find a list of events in your area, many of which will be virtual.
The national observance, featuring Rick Warren, Will Graham, Bishop Harry Jackson, and many others, will take place tonight at 8:00 PM ET. Click here to watch it live online.
Coronavirus isn’t the only virulent disease we’re facing right now. Sadly, anti-Semitism continues to spread throughout the world.
I was interviewed by CBN News Tuesday about this disturbing trend. You can watch the interview below. The segment with my comments begins at the 15:05 mark.