As the Covid-Hysteria morphs into a whirling dervish of contradictory messaging from both the opposites sides and the same sides of the partisan divide, the next health crisis in America might well be an outbreak of mass vertigo.
For instance, one day after the Donald’s lead doctor, Saint Anthony Fauci, urged states to go slow on lifting the quarantines and to not re-open schools this fall, the Donald blasted out a tweet praising the Supreme Court of Wisconsin for doing the very opposite—striking down with immediate effect the entire house arrest scheme of its Democratic Governor and state health officials:
The Great State of Wisconsin, home to Tom Tiffany’s big Congressional Victory on Tuesday, was just given another win. Its Democrat Governor was forced by the courts to let the State Open. The people want to get on with their lives. The place is bustling!
The Donald got that right in his 8:11 AM tweet. The state of Wisconsin should never have been locked down in the first place.
Its count of WITH Covid deaths as of May 13 was just 7.2 per 100,000. That compares to 194 per 100,000 in the Bronx, for instance, and amounted to just 0.7% of the state’s annual total mortality rate of 914 per 100,000.
At the same time, since mid-March more than 1.8 million Wisconsin workers have filed for unemployment benefits. So if you want to talk about the real “fatality” rate, it’s damn near 60%.
We are speaking of job fatalities, of course. According to the BLS, there were 3.00 million employed workers in Wisconsin during February, and now three-fifths of them are under house arrest owing to the Donald’s Lockdown Nation regime.
Moreover, notwithstanding the Donald’s tweet, the action of the state’s supreme court in striking down the quarantines was in direct violation of Dr. Fauci’s stern admonition to the US Senate yesterday. To wit,
“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death.
As it happens, Wisconsin is not close to complying with Dr. Fauci’s writ. Instead of trending down for 14 days as he and the Donald’s doctors have instructed, the number of infected cases in Wisconsin rose from 6,520 on April 29 to 10,902 on May 13 (Wednesday). That’s a gain of 313 per day over the last 14 days, and amounts to no cigar from the Virus Patrol.
Then again, Wisconsin is actually doing exactly what Fauci et. al. have demanded, and has stepped up its testing game substantially. Thus, during the last 5 days it has averaged 4,230 new tests per day, a figure which is 60% higher than the 2,645 daily average during the five days ending on April 29.
By now, of course, even the dolts have figured out the more you test, the more cases you get, and therefore, the more you fail Dr. Fauci’s re-opening guidelines. You could call that a catch-22 and be done with it, except the reality is even more absurd.
To wit, during the last five days there have been 21,150 tests and 1,312 new positive cases of Covid infection in Wisconsin, yielding a 6.2% infection rate/test. And that compares extremely favorably with the 13,320 tests conducted during the five days ending on April 29, which tests yielded 1,468 positives and an infection rate of 11.0%.
Needless to day, common sense is striking hard in these figures. When you get a pandemic of virus infections, symptoms, sickness and mortalities like we have had since February, the weakest, sickest cases come to the doctors and hospitals and get tested first; and then as you push testing out to the healthier parts of the population, the rate of infections per test (and subsequent illnesses) falls steadily.
This is happening in virtually every state, but that powerful evidence that the worst is long ago over—exemplified by the cutting in half of Wisconsin’s infection rate/test—-makes no never mind to Dr. Fauci’s totally arbitrary and seat-of-the pants “guidelines”.
The latter are actually the furthest thing from “science” imaginable, notwithstanding Anderson Cooper’s endless genuflecting to a god of “science” that does not even exist in the matter of Covid-19.
Instead, what you have at best is junk science, a worthless pastiche of one-size fits all “guidelines” confected during the heat of the White House focused struggle with the media, the Dems and the coronavirus, respectively, and which is cut from the same fundamentally defective cloth as the universal stay-at-home orders in the first place.
So as we said, what’s coming down the pike is mass vertigo. With the coronavirus having already infected—mostly asymptomatically or with mild illness—upwards of 15 to 60 million Americans, the whole rigamarole of testing and tracing is just another exercise in state driven social regimentation that threatens to quash economic recovery for months and years to come.
Nevertheless, just 56 minutes after his Bravo Wisconsin Tweet condemning his own Doctors’ guidelines, the Donald was back at the keyboard, lost in la-la land once again, claiming today’s disastrous unemployment claims report was a ray of sunshine:
Good numbers coming out of States that are opening. America is getting its life back!
Say again, Donald?
At the end of the day, it was you—owing to your lazy, impetuous self-absorption—that triggered Lockdown Nation and the catastrophic 36.5 million new unemployment claims during the last eight weeks reported again this morning. In fact, at this point you don’t even need to know how to spell catastrophe to see it in the charts.
Here are all the major recessions of the last 50 years including the allegedly deep ones of 1973-1974, 1981-1982 and 2008-2009.
But during even the worst 8-week stretch of the Great Recession—held to be a near Armageddon event at the time—the cumulative initial claims totaled 5.2 million between February 14 and April 4, 2009, meaning the Lockdown Nation blow of the last two months has been 7X more severe.
Needless to say, anyone who was actually trying to make MAGA and had at least a clue about what they were doing, would have sent the Donald’s camarilla of doctors packing when they proposed the stay-at-home guidelines of March 15. That’s because, among other reasons, we have had periodic virus outbreaks—most of them weaker and some stronger— for the last 70 years, but no other President has even considered shutting down the US economy.
Was Trump even aware of these earlier US pandemics, or the massive errors that had been made over and over again by the Neil Ferguson/Imperial College modelers going all the way back to the British hoof and mouth disease scandal of 2002 that lead to the slaughter of millions of cattle for no good reason?
Did anyone even whisper to him that Scarf Lady’s friends at the Gates funded IHME, which was the go to data and modeling source for the Donald’s doctors, was a hotbed of globalist and statist who abhor not only the Donald’s America First notions, but the very idea of truly free markets, personal liberty and sharply circumscribed limits on state intervention?
As to the purely historical context of the true novel contagion here—the nationwide stay-at-home orders—did anyone tell the Donald about the Hong Kong flu of 1968-1969?
During that pandemic virus, the US suffered 135,000 deaths by the CDC’s own reckoning. That amounted to 65 per 100,000 population or 3X the 20 per 100,000 currently attributed to the coronvirus, again by the CDC’s own lately expanded method of death counting.
Still, if there ever was a Big Government man in the highest office in the land, it was the New Dealer from West Texas, President Lydon Johnson, who had already renounced a re-election bid owing to the Vietnam fiasco months before the Hong Kong virus hit in the fall of 1968.
So LBJ had both the temperament and political running room to order a nationwide Lockdown, and then throw away the key until it was vanquished. That he didn’t do, of course, nor was the possibility even discussed in the White House or anywhere else in the Imperial City.
Instead, American households and businesses worked their way through the Hong Kong flu pandemic based on common sense precautions, enhanced hygiene and masks in the most infected areas of the country and venues, and then it passed, as do all viruses.
That the Donald fell for the doctors plot, therefore, is on him. He simply failed to marshall the common sense, focus and fortitude that would have been necessary to send Dr. Fauci and his crew packing.
In any event, today’s Jobless Thursday report is not remotely about America getting its economic life back because in medical terms this tsunami of layoffs is just the “first wave”.
The second wave will be the the cascading roll of missed rents, vendor payments, debt service, insurance premiums etc. that will unleash losses and economic disruptions on a far great scale than during the Great Recession, as we will address tomorrow.
In the meanwhile, here is what happened, and why the Donald is fundamentally culpable for the catastrophe at hand.
After the initial national emergency declaration of March 13, did he even ask about alternatives, trade-offs, or what would happen after the initial 15 days of social distancing and stay-at-home orders?
Apparently not because the Donald has admitted as much himself. After describing the mid-March decision to issue the guidelines as “one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made” and acknowledging that he was skeptical when his medical experts came to him with the Lockdown Plan, he later told Fox News that,
“I wasn’t happy about it….. They came in — experts — and they said, ‘We are going to have to close the country.’ I said, ‘We have never closed the country before. This has never happened before.’ I said, ‘Are you serious about this?’ “
And yet in a heartbeat, that’s exactly what he did, while pivoting on a dime to cheerleading the shutdown and claiming it would be over in a jiffy:
“We’re getting rid of the virus,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing. That’s the best thing we can do. By the way, for the markets. For everything. It’s very simple. It’s a very simple solution. We want to get rid of it.”
“The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” Trump said.
Hardly a day after the stay-at-home guidelines were issued, however, the Donald had a second and completely contradictory message:
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” he said.
“I’m not looking at months, I can tell you right now. We’re going to be opening up our country, and we’re going to be watching certain areas,” he said, suggesting that parts of the country with fewer cases of the virus could resume normal economic activity. “We can do two things at one time.”
Then, last Tuesday, Trump came out with what he called “a beautiful timeline.”
“I’d love to have it open by Easter,” he announced during a Fox News Channel virtual town hall. “Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full? You know, the churches aren’t allowed essentially to have much of a congregation there.”
Needless to say, Easter came and went and the massive error of Lockdown Nation became a full-on national calamity.