Signs Of Hope
There are many "green shoots" in the battle being waged by President Trump and Vice President Pence against the Chinese coronavirus. All over the country, hospitalizations and deaths are well below what multiple experts and their models had predicted even a week ago.
Don't get me wrong – we're not out of the woods yet. But consider these developments:
- Four days ago, there were 1,427 new hospitalizations in New York. On Sunday there were 358 hospitalizations. That's a 75% drop.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said repeatedly that New York needed at least 100,000 new hospital beds. One of his aides reported yesterday that they may need just 20,000 to 30,000 beds.
- Four days ago, Gov. Cuomo warned that he would order the National Guard to seize ventilators anywhere they could find them in New York. Yesterday, Cuomo suggested that the situation isn't quite so drastic now. "There is no hospital that needs ventilators that doesn't have ventilators," Cuomo said. "There is no hospital that needs PPE (personal protective equipment) that doesn't have it."
- Three weeks ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California sent a shockwave through the country when he announced that 56% of his state – more than 25 million people – would be infected in eight weeks. We're nearly half way through that time period and, so far, there are just over 15,000 cases, slightly less than the 12 million Newsom predicted at this point.
- In fact, Gov. Newsom is so confident that the outbreak has been contained that he is now sharing excess ventilators with other states.
- In Italy and Spain, two of the hardest hit nations, there are clear signs that the worst may well be over.
- Two U.S. companies are now clinically testing possible Covid-19 vaccines. If the tests go well, we will be able to prevent people from getting sick if the virus reemerges next winter.
- While the media are emphasizing the problems in the rollout of the small business loan program, as of yesterday afternoon the Small Business Administration had assigned loan numbers to 130,000 applications, representing more than $38 billion.
- Remember the controversy surrounding 3M? The president was furious when he heard it was not selling an adequate number of face masks to states and hospital systems in the U.S. 3M is, after all, a U.S.-based company. Trump berated them publicly and ordered them to change course. The president of 3M went on CNBC and complained about the criticism. Well, yesterday he entered into a contractual agreement to provide 55 million new masks every month for the next three months. Thank you, President Trump!
All of which is to say that those predicting nothing but gloom and doom appear to have overestimated the severity of the outbreak, while simultaneously attacking the president for not magically knowing last December what was about to hit us.
By the way, folks, you had better buckle up. We're going to have this debate all over again. The president continues to say we need to get the country back to work as soon as possible. America can't remain closed for much longer.
But the left is setting impossible standards, insisting that we can't reopen the country as long as there is one person getting the virus. If that mentality prevails, it will cause the economic collapse of the country, which I suspect some on the left would welcome.
Some experts are saying that for the foreseeable future we may have outbreaks in various "hotspots." If that happens, put those "hotspots" on lockdown.
But we cannot keep the whole country shut down for multiple months, which is what the left and some commentators still drawing their multimillion-dollar salaries (including on the financial network CNBC) are demanding.
Watching these nightly press briefings as the president takes an hour of questions from Democrats masquerading as journalists leads any fair observer to only one conclusion: The left is viciously fighting the president 24/7 while he works 24/7 fighting the virus.
If a Democrat were president right now, every media outlet and every commentator would be saying to any critics, "This is the time for unity in America. This president is trying to save lives and his critics are just making his job harder."
Sadly, there are no such calls for unity. In fact, the talking heads are increasingly unhinged in their criticism of President Trump, as evidenced by Anderson Cooper's outrageous rant on CNN last night.
Cooper accused the president of "hijacking" the press briefing, and he blasted Trump's alleged "reprehensibly irresponsible response to this virus." He accused the president of using the press briefings "to lie, to deflect, to attack, to bully and cover-up" for his administration.
Exactly how is Trump doing that? By subjecting himself to a barrage of questions from reporters day after day after day?
Anderson Cooper should be fired for his editorializing. If he wants to be a partisan hack, he should go work for the DNC!
Sometimes I wish the president would not subject himself to this "gotcha game." But I know in these unprecedented times that millions of Americans are glad our president speaks regularly to the public and makes himself available to the media in order to explain what is going on, unlike the previous president. (Politico once got excited when Obama allowed two unscripted questions!)
A free press is essential to our republic. But it would be nice if we also had a fair press for a change.