Special Notice 33

·       AMERICA, START YOUR ENGINES.  END COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS NOW

 

By William J. Dodwell    May 11, 2020

Liberal delay tactics

The left is trying to prolong COVID-19 lockdowns as much as possible to hurt President Trump in the November election.  Leftist celebrities en masse promote staying indoors. Democrats and the liberal media ignore studies that challenge the efficacy of lockdowns.  They also vigorously oppose the very promising prospects of hydroxychloroquine that might inconveniently end the pathogen quickly.  Mysteriously, even Dr. Fauci is a naysayer, despite his past praises for the drug as a treatment for corona viruses.  Governors move the goalposts for reopening the economy from bending the curve, to fourteen days of consecutive declines in deaths, to maximum testing for infection, to completion of contact tracing, to waiting for a supposedly imminent vaccine. Lockdown advocates emphasize the danger of a second outbreak which inhibits austerity relaxation. With no scientific basis liberals even speak of a “new normal” to condition the citizenry to a permanent pall over social and economic life that lends itself to ongoing government control.  This socialist mindset underlies the Democrat craving for evermore government stimulus to further the left’s agenda, virus related or not.

Liberals carp about President Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic, particularly the testing programs.  In fact, impracticable universal testing and associated contact tracing as a condition for restarting the economy conveniently deter a return to normality.  The media promote fear mongering about the danger of prematurely reopening the economy, even saying Trump will kill people by taking that risk.  Anything to delay economic recovery before the election and otherwise tarnish Trump to influence the vote. Fortunately, continued lockdowns are producing a growing backlash to the detriment of Democrat governors.

Inflated death counts

Death tolls are inflated by expanded definitional criteria, including co-morbidity factors, which exaggerate the impact of the disease.  Media mislead the public by reporting a mortality rate of about 7% of infections, ignoring valid extrapolations to account for the untested that suggest a real rate of just a fraction of 1%, comparable to seasonal flu.  Media rarely report about inflated deaths caused by deliberate misclassifications by hospitals induced by extra Medicare payments that slow the flattening of the curve and the reopening of the economy.  Hospitals get $13,000 for each COVID-19 related death and an additional $39,000 for use of a ventilator, which sports an 80% fatality rate.

The cure is worse than the disease

The economic and social costs of lockdown far exceed the dubious benefit of risk mitigation, especially considering exaggerated death rates.  At this point the virus is waning on its own and probably becoming less potent.  What’s more, it may have been resistant to mitigation all along.  Nonetheless, the most vulnerable population must be protected, i.e.,  the elderly, especially those in nursing homes.  In addition, certain precautions are still warranted in the New York metropolitan epicenter.  Officials can closely monitor signs of a second wave of infections and act upon it immediately given appropriate preparations.

With that caveat, largely politically motivated restrictions should be lifted now and everyone should be allowed to act according to his risk appetite. People will continue to die, albeit at a declining rate, as the virus is powerful to be sure.  But now we know the price of the disease is consistent with past scourges and that expectations of Armageddon are unfounded.  America, start your engines. 

©2020 William J. Dodwell
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