Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste
I've been thinking a lot about the corona virus epidemic. Rahm Emanuel's credo "Never let a crisis go to waste," is clearly in operation by the Democrats. The Left media has hyped this thing to the point where it is virtually impossible to accurately assess. Of course, Democrats have hung every manner of bell and whistle on the Christmas tree "emergency appropriations" proposed to address this crisis. And just in case you retain a smidgen of hope they have any interest in actually protecting the American people, Democrats in Congress have now proposed the No Ban Act, to abolish President Trump's travel ban from terrorist nations. It never stops!
The latest is a Senate Democrat proposed $750 billion "stimulus" that will stimulate nothing but their political supporters. Not to be outdone, President Trump has now proposed an $850 billion plan. This is over and above the $8.3 billion plan enacted earlier this month. Good God! But wait a minute. There is a very fundamental difference between these two plans. The Democrats propose directed spending, mostly toward their beneficiary class. They always do it this way so that it benefits them politically. A big part of the Trump plan is a payroll tax holiday. The payroll tax would be suspended for the rest of the year, creating effectively a 15 percent tax cut: 7.5 percent for employees and 7.5 percent for businesses that employ them! I love it. It looks a lot like the proposal by Art Laffer's Committee to Unleash Prosperity. The bill could use some improvement, especially to address small businesses heavily impacted by the economic shutdown, but the payroll tax cut will help everyone. Yes it will increase the deficit temporarily, but will turbocharge the the economy, unlike the Democrat plan, which will only turbocharge the Democrat Party.
But regarding the whole corona virus issue, where are we really?
It does seem that the virus spreads quickly but there is a lot of conflicting information out there. For example, CNN's Sanjay Gupta predicted that 60% of the American public will be infected but 80% will recover. As though that's a good thing! Do the math. The implication he makes here is that 20 percent of that 60 percent infected, i.e. 12 percent of the U.S.population, will not recover. In other words, they will die. That is 39 million people!
I am very skeptical it will infect that many people and have that high of a death rate. The highest so far is in Italy (7% of those infected, not 7% of the population). I suspect Gupta is taking the experience of the H1N1 epidemic, which infected 60 million people in the U.S., and multiplying by 3, based on the estimate that Corona is 3 times more communicable . So 60M X 3 = 180M, which is about 55% of the U.S. population.
I doubt it.
In China where the virus started and infected the most, so far only 80,981 cases have been reported among China's 1.4 billion people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In Hubei province, the epicenter, of the disease, there have been 3,056 deaths out of a population of 5.9 million. Total infections are 67,781, so 4.5% of those infected died, and the overall infection rate is only 0.1% of the Hubei population. If they are telling the truth about the numbers and the new cases are declining as they claim, then the rate of infection of the overall Chinese population is 0.01%. As of March 12, In the previous 24 hours there had been 33 confirmed or suspected cases with 11 deaths. It is slowing down. Now China supposedly has lost 3,213 people in total, a death rate of about 4% of those infected. But how many cases are there in total that have not been diagnosed? Is this pretty much the end of the epidemic there? If so, then those deaths are a small component of China's overall annual deaths from all causes (about 102,000).
But even the high death rate in Italy -- which we are unlikely to experience -- doesn't come close to Gupta's ridiculous claim. Italy's big problem is that it came on quickly. Italy had 12,462 cases on March 12, with 2,313 new cases in the previous 24 hours, according to WHO. Five days later, Italy has 27,980 cases, with 1,851 being serious. That is a lot, especially considering Italy has about 12.5 ICU beds per 100,000 people -- 7,500 in total -- which must be provided for all kinds of serious illnesses and accidents in addition to serious corona cases. By comparison, the U.S.has 34.7 ICU beds per 100,000, which is about 113,000 beds, although Johns Hopkins estimates under 100,000. This too could create a crisis, if the virus spreads rapidly.
So far we have 5,072 cases and 96 deaths in the U.S. It does not really appear significant when compared to the overall population and the high exposure and death rates typical in the flu season. But in the White House briefing yesterday Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that we were "behind the curve" and so the time to slow down the infection rate is now.
I'm not willing at this point to question the advice they gave yesterday. Too many people we generally tend to trust, especially the president, seem genuinely concerned. I'm not personally afraid at all for myself, though would hate to inadvertently transmit it to someone else.
Whatever else we may say, the media/Democrat establishment has hyped this and are hoping to crash the economy and finally destroy President Trump after a three year failed effort that they dragged the entire country through. But If President Trump ignored the advice of medical experts, and was wrong about it, their daily attacks might give them the victory they have cynically sought.
We are actually in a tough spot and we can thank the Democrats for a lot of it. Never letting a crisis go to waste, they are taking every advantage to fatten their wallets on it while hoping that it crashes the economy and ruins Trump's chances. We really need to get them out of there!