The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Coronavirus: Not Dead, Not Scared

Posted on | March 9, 2020 | Comments Off on Coronavirus: Not Dead, Not Scared




After the news broke that a CPAC attendee had tested positive for coronavirus, liberals began their usual death-wishing — because liberals are sensitive and tolerant like that — and even some conservatives succumbed to the panic. Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 2,000 points and the travel industry appears on the verge of complete collapse. Members of Congress are in “self-quarantine.” In a climate of fear, why am I the least worried man in America?

At times like this, it’s helpful to remember the last words of Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick. The veteran general led the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac in Gen. U. S. Grant’s spring 1864 offensive in Virginia. After the Battle of the Wilderness, Grant’s army made a flank march to Spotsylvania Court House, where Sedgwick’s corps formed the center of the Union position. On the morning of May 9, the general went to inspect his front line, and some of his troops warned him not to expose himself to the incoming fire from Confederate sharpshooters. Because the Rebel line was about a half-mile away, Sedgwick scoffed at this caution: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at that distance.” He was wrong — a Southern rifleman put a bullet through his eye, and Sedgwick died instantly.
That’s an apt metaphor for my attitude about the coronavirus outbreak. Because liberals in the media are doing everything they can to incite panic over the disease, I consider it my duty as a conservative not to panic. This is like Gen. Sedgwick, who sought to give his troops an example of heroic fearlessness by his disdain of Confederate marksmanship. But my refusal to panic is not merely a political pose; I sincerely doubt the impact of coronavirus in the United States will approach anything like the worst-case scenarios being discussed on TV news. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



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