One of New York Yankees legend Yogi Berra’s sayings comes to mind in the midst of all this Chinese virus panic: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”
This disease and the response to it are terrifying, unpredictable and infuriating all at once. President Trump is trying to be a calming presence for the American people in the midst of all this, while the media is doing everything it can to provoke a panic.
The tiny village that I live in has a population of about 900,000 people. We have zero confirmed cases of coronavirus within a 75-mile radius of my home. That’s not an exaggeration. I was chatting with an ER doctor at the gas station yesterday, as we stayed a respectable social distance of 6 feet away from each other. Not a single person has been admitted into his ER or into the network of three local hospitals he works at.
No one is sick and yet we’re under a total “shelter in place” lockdown. Which is why we all go to the grocery store or the gas station at the same time when we get bored. “Hey kids! Want to go through the car wash again?”
If you watch the news, it looks like hospitals are overwhelmed. Refrigerated dead-body trucks are lined up outside the hospitals in New York. There’s no bodies in the trucks and no one working around them… but they’re there.
The insides of the hospitals look like hell on earth. Except where they’re not. CBS News, for example, was caught using footage from a crowded coronavirus hospital in Italy while claiming it was footage from New York.
Projections from epidemiologists have the death toll from coronavirus in the US as high as 11 million. Even the really official federal folks on the TV have given wild swings in their projections. They’ve gone from 500,000 dead to a “Meh, probably a bad flu season” and now back up to 200,000. We don’t have any data.
We don’t know how bad this bug really is for several reasons. The main one is that we don’t have a test to show who has already had the virus and is now potentially immune. There’s still no widespread test for that. The casualty rate could be far, far lower than we believe it is, because we still don’t how widespread the bug is.
A secondary reason why we don’t have good data is that China is a big fat liar.
A third reason is because San Francisco is refusing to publish any data about patients who are dying from the bug, because that would be racist.
One thing that is certain is that the FDA has been a tremendous hindrance in President Trump’s efforts to contain the virus. A lot of manufacturing companies have offered to step up and start producing medical equipment, from masks to gloves to ventilators. Gun manufacturing plants, auto plants and others have offered their facilities to help out with the response. It would be great for the plants, because their employees could go back to work and make some money, and it would be great for the country as well. We are critically short on supplies.
But no. FDA approval for a new facility to manufacture medical equipment takes several months. Trump is slashing red tape as fast as he can. But when this is all over, there needs to be a reckoning at several federal agencies that have failed us at their most basic function. The FDA needs to be at the top of the list.
Democrats playing politics while Americans are getting sick and some are dying has been eye-opening. A lot of people figured that liberals would be able to push that aside for a few weeks for the good of the country. They can’t.
Two Democrat governors (in Nevada and Michigan) have now banned the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for treating Chinese virus patients. Why? Because Trump says it might work.
That doctor in New York that’s been using it to treat people says 699 patients have now made a full recovery from the virus using those drugs – a 100% success rate.
How bad is this disease, really? No one knows. How long will the shutdowns last? No one knows. Did you already have this disease when you thought you had the “flu” earlier this winter? No one knows. Be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.