The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Compare and Contrast

The Democrat frontrunners for the presidential nomination, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have been VERY critical of the Trump administration's response to COVID-19 as have other Democrat leaders. They claim that Trump has "allowed" the virus to spread by not doing enough testing early enough. Trump has "minimized the threat" and "cares only about politics." Trump has demonstrated a distinct "lack of leadership."

Given that, we have an opportunity to compare and contrast. I recommend that during the upcoming 'debate' between Biden and Sanders, responsible moderators should probe the candidates' understanding of COVID-19 in-depth, so that we can all see how they would do so, so much better at handling this pandemic.

The moderators would ask Biden specifically how he would have acted differently than Trump (not accepting vacuous Biden platitudes as an answer). They would probe how he would improve the government's existing plans for handling an epidemic, and ask why the Obama-Biden administration "allowed" tens of thousands of cases of H1N1 (swine flu) virus in the US to occur in 2009 and why about 12,000 people died. They would demand that he cite exact statistics to demonstrate how much better his grasp of the problem is when compared to Trump. They would as him why an epidemic response team he would appoint would be more qualified than the team that Trump has created. They would demand that Biden offer a cost-benefit analysis that would demonstrate how his proposed actions would save lives but at the same time not ruin the economy.

Then the moderators would ask Sanders (and Biden who supports a variant) how his Medicare-for-All plan (a policy that would likely gut private sector investment in medical care) would result in faster development of vaccines or a more robust response to the next pandemic. They would ask him how his proposed policy advocating open borders (because ... "racism") would stop the flow of potentially COVID-19 infected individuals from entering the country.

They would reject Sanders' leftist jibberish about "free" stuff and demand hard answers about how socialized medicine* would reduce the spread and mortality of the next COVID-19. And if Sanders fulminated about the slow response for the distribution of tests kits for COVID-19, the moderators would ask how government agencies (e.g., the CDC and the FDA) would magically become efficient and timely under socialized medicine but are currently inefficient and slow. Exactly how does that happen?

Yeah, that's what they should ask. Too bad they won't.


* Andrea Widburg provides a few comments on the harsh realities of socialized medicine:
... socialized medicine doesn't offer care; it offers access. Access without good outcomes is not medical care ...

... Single payer also means single buyer. That means the dynamics of the market get eliminated. One of the natural checks-and-balances of finding a hot-shot surgeon willing to do the risky procedure or even just seek a second opinion, get chopped away little by little. Because now we're answering to the government. It isn't answering to us. After all, where are we gonna go? They've got us. And our cancer treatment or skin graft surgery or kidney stone blast is up to their red tape. Sure, we can get in the door for free. But we might die in there, waiting on someone with no incentive and who faces no recourse, to change our plasma bag ...

... the only way to control prices under socialized medicine is to deny care to society's "dead weight" — the old and sick. You see that with Britain's Liverpool Care Pathway, which sent thousands of elderly patients to an early death.

... Democrats are ignoring a salient point about the coronavirus: it started in a country with socialized medicine (China) and is having its worst effects in two other countries with socialized medicine: Iran and Italy. There's a bright, flashing message in that that American leftists refuse to read.

Socialized medicine is not better medicine. It's a chimera that American leftists like because they are completely ignorant about its brutal realities.
Harsh, but true.