The Other McCain

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

Non-Essential Worker Update: #Coronavirus Crisis Boomerang Edition

Posted on | April 1, 2020 | Comments Off on Non-Essential Worker Update: #Coronavirus Crisis Boomerang Edition


Florida is now under a statewide “stay-at-home” order because journalists kept whining about the Republican governor not doing it:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday ordered his 21 million residents across the state to stay home for 30 days because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the “national pause” dictated by the White House pushed him to limit movements to essential activities like grocery shopping.
The Republican governor had resisted such an order even as Florida’s COVID-19 cases doubled in recent days, reaching about 7,000. He said Broward and Miami-Dade counties accounted for the majority of Florida cases, while other parts of the state saw very low transmission.
He changed his mind after President Trump decided to extend social-distancing guidelines until April 30. While the guidelines didn’t mandate a stay-at-home order, it signaled that things wouldn’t return to normal anytime soon.

DeSantis is a Republican, Florida is a swing state with a lot of elderly residents who are worried about the virus, and so the media in Florida kept interviewing “experts” (eye roll) who urged the importance of a statewide shutdown order. All the while, of course, municipal and county governments (including the Democrat-controlled cities and counties where the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak is worst) always had the power to order local shutdowns, and most of communities did. But the screeching hysteria from the media continued, because how dare Republican-voting people in rural parts of Florida be allowed to go about their normal lives while there was an EMERGENCY HEALTH CRISIS underway.

Let’s talk about the “crisis”: Statewide, the known COVID-19 infection rate in Florida is 32 cases per 100,000 residents, and the death rate so far is below 1 per 100,000 residents. Florida’s risk level is about 90% lower than in New York (430 cases per 100,000 residents).


Right, in a state of 21 million people where, every day for the past week, thousands of people have been tested for COVID-19 — March 24-30, more than 45,000 Florida residents were tested for the coronavirus, and more than 80% of those tests were negative. Thanks to the panic-mongering media, every fear-stricken hypochondriac with a case of the sniffles is demanding a COVID-19 test, wasting precious time and resources. The escalating number of cases was a predictable result of the advent of widespread testing, but fewer than 900 of those testing positive for coronavirus (about 12% of the total) have been hospitalized.

And, yes, exactly as Ron DeSantis kept saying, most of Florida has scarcely been affected by coronavirus: Of the 6,741 cases in Florida as of Tuesday, 3,893 cases (58% of the statewide total) were in three counties on the state’s southeast coast: Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. If you’re in Polk County — Lakeland, Winter Haven, etc. — you’ve got 73 cases in a population of more than 600,000. There has been exactly one coronavirus death in Polk County, a 60-year-old man who died March 21. The greatest risk for Polk County residents is that the next county over, Hillsborough (Tampa/St. Petersburg) has had more than 300 cases with four deaths so far. But Hillsborough County approved a “state-at-home” order March 26, so as long as people in that urban center had obeyed the local order, they wouldn’t have been traveling to Lakeland to put residents of Polk County at risk. If there was any political pressure from Polk County for DeSantis to issue a statewide order, I imagine, it was only because those damn city folks in Tampa wouldn’t stay home.

Well, that’s all over now. Statewide lockdown, because of the media, and maybe it will save some lives, but the media will blame DeSantis for the whole thing, because demonizing Republicans is their job. The good news is, the pandemic is causing layoffs at media companies, because it turns out their jobs are not essential. Here’s some more good news:

Trump Was Right: Coronavirus Death Rate
Much Lower Than Previous Estimates, Study Says

The media mocked Trump for saying he had a “hunch” the mortality rate was lower than the 3.4% widely cited three weeks ago, and now it turns out the rate is less than 1%. (Hat-tip: Instapundit.)

Here’s a March 6 headline from CNBC:

People are stealing masks and other
medical equipment from hospitals,
New York Gov. Cuomo says

Here’s a March 30 headline from ABC:

Cuomo and New York hospitals
reject Trump’s claim masks
‘going out the back door’

Do these “journalists” know anything about actually reporting facts? Three weeks after Cuomo said medical equipment was being stolen from New York hospitals, suddenly he pretends to have amnesia when Trump makes the same point, and “journalists” can’t be bothered to check?

Let me offer a prediction: Some time in the next month or so, the FBI will arrest people in New York and New Jersey who have made hundreds of thousands of dollars by stealing medical equipment and re-selling it. Some of these people might have Italian names, IYKWIMAITYD.

Speaking of Italian-named people in New York:


Why didn’t the city at least stock up on masks and hand sanitizer, which are cheap—or were cheap, before global demand created a shortage? It isn’t as though Mayor de Blasio is unconcerned about emergencies—he talks obsessively about climate change and its “existential” threat to the city. He has initiated major lawsuits against energy companies, attempted to prohibit glass buildings, banned plastic bags, and plans to extend the shoreline of Manhattan into the East River in order to protect New York City against the possibility of rising ocean levels over the next century.
Yet at the same time, de Blasio—and New York’s governors—closed hospitals and care centers, turning their sites over to well-connected developers, without replacing capacity or building in redundancy. He signed six bulging budgets that increased spending by tens of billions of dollars, and he lavished money on anything that advanced his political agenda or benefitted his allies. But he clearly didn’t allocate enough money to buy the necessary staples of emergency preparedness. Now that disaster has arrived at the city’s door, the mayor is blaming everyone but himself.

(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) Today, for the second day this week, I’m watching MSNBC (so you don’t have to) and what amazes me is how much news they simply ignore. Like, the bungling of Mayor de Blasio? Didn’t happen, as far as MSNBC is concerned. They entirety of their coverage — hour after hour, 24/7 — is about blaming Donald Trump for coronavirus. And because their coverage is completely devoted to this political blame-game, MSNBC’s viewers are missing out on coronavirus news that’s far more important than politics. For example:

Carroll County, Maryland, is largely rural and, like the rest of rural America, had little reason to fear the coronavirus pandemic — until last week. Eighteen residents of a nursing home in Mount Airy were hospitalized, 77 of the facility’s 95 residents tested positive for COVID-19, and five have already died. This single-site outbreak dramatically increased Carroll County’s total number of coronavirus cases from 15 to 92 and was a key factor in Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issuing a statewide stay-at-home order Monday.
It’s about 7,000 miles from rural Maryland to Wuhan, China, where this worldwide pandemic began late last year, but more importantly, Mount Airy is just 40 miles away from two major urban centers: Baltimore to the east and Washington, D.C., to the south. This proximity almost certainly played a role in the deadly viral outbreak at the Carroll County nursing home. The spread of COVID-19 across the United States has been very uneven, heavily concentrated in urban areas, leaving most Americans outside the danger zones, at least so far. Protecting the “safe” parts of the country from the contagion may require strict measures that many conservatives would normally oppose, and disparities in the impact of this pandemic are likely to exacerbate America’s partisan divide. . . .

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



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