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Today the screengrab is featuring a different data site: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus. I am also focusing on the death count because, to the first order, the fear of catastrophic death counts is what is driving the politicians to restrict liberty for their various populations. While politicians seek praise, they fear blame.
The President at the virus press briefing yesterday squarely addressed the issue of trade-offs between fighting the virus and killing the economy. Of course, the press wants to act incredulous that he would even consider “money” versus lives. But the reality is that impoverishment kills. I don’t know that the President is the most articulate spokesman for the economic arguments. But if you were watching and have concerns about trashing the economy in the process of fighting the virus, you took comfort in his words. The press wants to believe that Trump just wants to preserve his economic record, is just throwing a tantrum over what the necessities of fighting the virus have done to his singular achievement.
Maybe Sen. John Kennedy put it better when he highlighted that we love our children and our grandchildren and are concerned about what kind of America we are leaving to them. That, as a senior himself, he would far rather take the risk of death than to destroy the country in the name of preserving older citizens. If that is the trade-off what is the question? Why would we condemn our young to a life of impoverishment to add a few days, months, years to us who are superannuated?
And this assumes that the projections for the pandemic are true. If, as Richard Epstein has capably argued, the virus is not as deadly as supposed by those who are tanking the economy, we are making a mistake of incredible proportions if we persist in shuttering Main Street for an extended period. President Trump accepted a 15-day period of extreme measures, but he is clearly worried about letting it go on much longer. Never bet against this man’s instincts.
The press wants to lock him into following the most conservative medical advice he is getting. The press wants to portray him as cavalier about the lives of so many. The press are idiots, ideological idiots. And the climbing numbers will support them in the short run. If we wait for an undisputed “all clear” signal, we will emerge only to see desolation. The call needs to be made while the risks still remain. President Trump will do that, but we need to have his back.
[Note: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]Published in