The Other McCain

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

The Absurdity of the Wuhan Virus Panic

Posted on | March 13, 2020 | Comments Off on The Absurdity of the Wuhan Virus Panic


Students at John Hopkins University have created a COVID-19 (Wuhan coronavirus) outbreak map, from which we may learn that, as of this morning, the disease has caused nearly 5,000 deaths worldwide, of which more than 4,000 were either in China or Italy. Likewise, of the 134,700 COVID-19 cases identified worldwide, four nations (China, Italy, Iran and South Korea) account for approximately 114,000 cases, about 85%. What percentage of COVID-19 cases are in the United States? A tiny fraction. We’ve had about 1,700 cases identified, with 41 deaths.

EVERYTHING IS CLOSED! No more NBA games, major league baseball has proposed postponing Opening Day, and my college-age kids have had their campuses closed down for the rest of the term. In New York, the governor has banned any gathering of more than 500 people, and the debate scheduled for Sunday between Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will take place without a live audience. Nine members of Congress have declared themselves in “self-quarantine” because they may have been exposed to the virus, and Democrats are trying to wedge all their pet projects into an emergency legislative package to deal with the outbreak. All this because of a contagion that has, so far, killed fewer Americans than gunfire in Chicago.

Did I mention that about three-quarters of U.S. coronavirus deaths have occurred in Washington State? Or that nearly all U.S. cases can be traced to those who have traveled abroad? President Trump banned travel to China six weeks ago, and this week banned travel from continental Europe. So between those travel bans and the shutting down of everything — no school! no sports! — we might reasonably expect the spread of the virus to soon begin dwindling. Yet as the actual risk to Americans is decreasing, it seems panic is conversely increasing.

Roger Kimball says this panic “is a textbook case of the Rahm Emanuel principle that you never want a good crisis to go to waste.” Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) are deliberately inciting panic in order to justify implementation of “reforms” that expand government power. All we have to do is calm down for a few weeks, and the COVID-19 threat will be over by mid-April at the latest. Meanwhile . . .


The Babylon Bee treats this panic with the seriousness it deserves.



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