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

Friday, July 31, 2020


Those of us who suggested, way back in March, that the idea of an economic shutdown was a panicked overreaction based on already known scientific data about SARS-Cov-2 have sadly been proven correct. Even worse, we argued that any virus, including this one is like any other natural phenomenon and cannot be effectively controlled in the manner suggested by so-called public health experts. Their recommendations were myopic, did little to reduce the spread of the virus over the long term, and probably caused more non-virus related health problems (and deaths) across the population.

The few voices who tried to assess the risks objectively warned that we were headed toward an economic catastrophe. Sadly, that's what has occurred.

Democrats and their media allies have trapped themselves in a contradiction. They are deploring Thursday’s grim second-quarter GDP report even as they demand a repeat of the lockdown that caused the economic catastrophe. What do they expect when government orders Americans to sit in their homes for weeks?

That’s the main message from the 32.9% decline in GDP, the worst ever recorded. The damage extended across the private economy—from business investment to manufacturing and housing. But the greatest harm was from the collapse of consumer spending as the shutdown crushed the service economy.

Consumer spending fell 34.6% and accounted for some 25 percentage points of the GDP decline. The fall in transportation, recreation, food services and hotels was brutal. But the biggest surprise was the plunge in health-care spending during a health-care crisis. Health care represents about 12% of the U.S. economy and its collapse subtracted 9.5 percentage points from GDP.

How does that happen in a pandemic? The answer, as our friend Don Luskin points out, is that politicians panicked in March and waited for a surge of Covid-19 patients that the pandemic modelers told them would arrive. Blessedly, the modelers were wrong, and far fewer hospital and intensive-care beds were needed. But the economic harm from stopping all elective surgeries and barring visits to doctors was severe and unnecessary.

It was also a terrible public-health blunder. That harm will play out for years as Americans discover cancer, heart-disease and other diagnoses that were missed or delayed.
I take absolutely no pleasure in saying, "... told ya so."

One can only wonder whether the Democrats and their trained hamsters in the media would have played things differently had a Democrat been president. Whether the ubiquitous death scoreboards would have been updated daily and with such covert glee; whether the nation would have been shutdown; whether petty Democrat tyrants at the local and state levels would have criminalized public gatherings; whether schools would have been closed and whether teachers unions would refuse to go back to work, even now; whether "cases" (a majority asymptomatic) would become the new scoreboard number; whether any of this "covidiocy" would have happened. 

I think we all know the answer to that, and it's not just a guess. In 2009-2010, the H1N1 pandemic swept the globe. Millions were infected and hundreds of thousands died, and yet, the media was sanguine about the outbreak—no shutdown, no school closures, no social distancing, no masks, no canceled events, no scoreboards—NOTHING.  Oh ... by the way, Barack Obama—a Democrat—was president.

But remember, all of the wreckage we see today had nothing to do with politics, right?