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Gary Bauer / Feb. 25, 2021

A Grim Milestone

There were two historic public policy mistakes, and they were not Trump’s fault.

A few days ago, America hit the grim and undesired milestone of 500,000 COVID-19-related deaths. Our hearts and prayers are with all the families who lost loved ones.

As is often the case, politicians rushed to exploit the suffering. The Biden administration used the news as a cudgel to once again attack Donald Trump, while its social media allies have shut him down so he cannot respond. Sounds fair, right? No!

A common theme in much of the left-wing and Big Media commentary was that nobody thought the death toll would be so bad, and it was all Donald Trump’s fault. Well, that’s not exactly true.

A year ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top medical experts asked to see the president. They told him about a novel virus that could potentially kill up to 2.2 million Americans unless he acted quickly. And Trump did act.

He imposed travel bans on various nations, including China. He launched Operation Warp Speed to produce new vaccines in record time. He pressured drug companies to speed the development of other therapeutics. Those actions likely saved a million lives or more.

Power Grabs & Policy Disasters

Having said that, there were two historic public policy mistakes, and they were not Trump’s fault.

Fauci and the CDC insisted that we had to shut down the economy to “flatten the curve,” meaning slow down the infection rate. The president reluctantly accepted their advice, but he thankfully left it up to the states to determine the extent of the shutdowns.

Fifteen days to flatten the curve turned into 30 days. And 30 days has now become a year of left-wing mayors and governors crushing their economies, while putting out their hands for taxpayer bailouts.

Florida and other states fought hard to remain as open as possible. Their results are the same, if not better, than New York, and their economies are much better off.

Sadly, it is now easier for an illegal alien to walk into America than it is for a New Yorker to walk into a restaurant or for your child to walk into a school.

The second decision disaster was not Trump’s fault or even the CDC’s, and that was the shutdown of our schools. The responsibility for that catastrophe lies with the media. Instead of bringing truth to the American people, they spread fear.

The second culprit is the teacher unions, which are holding our children hostage with demands for billions of dollars in bailouts. Incalculable damage has been done to our children.

Again, we know from states like Florida that the public schools didn’t have to close. We know from Catholic and other private schools around the country that the public schools didn’t have to close.

It is a national scandal that half of our children are still not in school and that Joe Biden is too afraid of the teacher unions that helped elect him to demand that they open!

Suppressing Good News

As nightmarish as this has been, the COVID news now is extraordinarily good.

Every day, approximately 1.5 million Americans are being vaccinated, thanks to the Trump vaccines. New weekly cases are down 26%, hospitalizations are down 18%, and deaths are down 21%. These declines have been occurring for several weeks.

In fact, the consistently declining numbers are so good that some people are suggesting we may be reaching herd immunity.

Yet there seems to be a concerted effort by the left to suppress the good news. What could possibly explain that?

Well, once we realize that the virus is essentially over, there will be no further justification for all the power seized by left-wing mayors, governors, and the Biden administration. (Even some liberals are warning that things have gone way too far.)

But I fear there is an even more sinister political reason.

If the left acknowledges how good things are now, it would be obvious that this great improvement has nothing to do with Joe Biden. He’s only been in office for 30 days. (By the way, 100,000 Americans have died in those 30 days. So 20% of the entire death toll has occurred during Biden’s short presidency.)

The left can’t share this good news because it can’t take credit for the good news. That’s why it keeps saying we won’t be able to return to normal until the end of year or next year. Democrats want to be able to say that they defeated the virus in 2022, which conveniently just happens to be an election year.

Redefining Equality

The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on the so-called “Equality Act.” This should be called the “Anti-Religious Liberty Bill,” not the “Equality Act.” It should be called the “Anti-Feminist Bill,” not the “Equality Act.”

The legislation is a direct attack on religious liberty. As one Catholic leader put it, the bill is “the most comprehensive assault on Christianity ever written into law.” Reverend Franklin Graham blasted the bill as “very dangerous,” adding that it will create lot of “inequality for all people of faith.”

It specifically guts legal protections provided under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. So, churches, religious schools, and other faith-based ministries will be subject to endless discrimination lawsuits from men claiming to be women.

The “Equality Act” undermines the rights of parents and medical professionals, forcing them to deny reality. It also threatens to erase women by “making it illegal to distinguish ‘identity’ from biology and thereby [prioritizes] transgender people over women.”

As Inez Stepman of the Independent Women’s Forum warns:

“The Equality Act would threaten the existence of women’s prisons, public-school girls’ locker rooms, and women’s and girls’ sports teams. It would limit freedom of speech, freedom of association, accurate data collection, and scientific inquiry… The Equality Act isn’t about protecting people from discrimination; it’s about compelling adherence to gender ideology.”

Confirmation Update

As we reported yesterday, Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget is in trouble. Scheduled Senate hearings yesterday to advance her nomination were abruptly called off, and the Biden White House is scrambling to save her.

Meanwhile, Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, is running into growing opposition. For one thing, he’s a lawyer with no background in medicine. He is currently attorney general of California and has spent decades in public office.

Tuesday, several senators grilled Becerra about his pro-abortion extremism, noting that he even opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions. He also tried to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. It’s hard to imagine how any moderate senator could support such an extreme nominee.

Here’s another example of Becerra’s extremism: He supports providing healthcare to illegal immigrants, something the public strongly rejects. But if he’s confirmed, Politico writes that Becerra “will have the power to make public benefits for undocumented workers a reality.”

Good News

Federal Judge Drew Tipton issued a nationwide injunction Tuesday night blocking President Biden’s ban on illegal alien deportations. The Biden administration will likely appeal Tipton’s order, but for now common sense has prevailed.

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