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The COVID-19 pandemic is the latest crisis that the Left in America, its experts in Academia, and enthusiasts in the Press cannot waste. And it is also yet one more opportunity to serially skewer DJT, Republicans, and conservative Americans. Let’s face it: when you are President, there is no causation required in this calculus; you hold the office, you get the credit, or bear the blame. There is only the Obama exception to this; if you are Obama, the previous president is responsible for all ills that occur on your watch. Likewise, if things improve subsequent to your presidency, you can justifiably take credit because, well, your positive influence was sustaining.
Forget the noble idea that ex-presidents rise above retail politics when they leave office. Barack Obama stepped back into the political spotlight yesterday. Perhaps he must preserve his legacy. It is obvious that Barr and Durham are tarnishing and even threatening that legacy. So he tossed a massive Obama stink bomb at Trump for his alleged mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, alleging that it has been chaotic, ineffective, and incompetent. The fact that Trump has led an unprecedented response to a deadly, unknown pathogen thrust upon us by an irresponsible, totalitarian adversary, is completely lost in this criticism. The object here is not to help determine the next course of action, or to critique the possible missteps taken over the last few months to bring clarity to an otherwise untenable situation. The object here is not to help. Far from it. The object is to vilify and to sever Trump from his support.
Obama and the Democrats are perfectly willing to step away at this point and simply toss bombs at the Trump administration. Whatever the Trump administration does will result in another rocket directed over the wall. Facts be damned, Trump bears responsibility. Boom. BOOM. BOOM!
To his credit, Trump has been incredibly transparent during this crisis; even blue state governors took lessons from him in this regard. A federal task force was enlisted, including both political and expert members. Daily briefings were held. The data was released as compiled. Models were released, modified, and exposed for all to see, even as they turned out to be completely wrong or foolishly pessimistic. As Trump learned and the crisis unfolded, we were invited to watch; it was not pretty, but Trump trusted us to pay attention and sort it all out. Trump even pointed out the federal government’s limitations in this response. He rallied the governors and helped them, but let them take their constitutional responsibility. They even lauded him for it, even those from the hardest-hit blue states.
Was this all chaotic? Yes, but that is an apt description of war, which is what this is, a war against an unseen foe which we still, and may never, truly understand. Keep in mind, 20% of all common colds are caused by coronaviruses and to date, we have no answer for those pathogens either.
So what is really going on? With respect to COVID-19, no one really knows. We shut down the economy and sent everyone home. The expectation, according to the experts, was that our health care system would be overwhelmed and perhaps as many as two million citizens would die. We would run out of hospital beds and ventilators. Then we learned that ventilators were not really that effective, even, dare we say, harmful. Our hospitals were not overwhelmed. Ventilator requirements were vastly overestimated. In fact, our health care system likely contributed negatively to the spread of the disease among the most vulnerable by concentrating infection. Now we learn that an overwhelming number of newly infected patients in NY were sheltering at home. What does one make of this information? Florida, on the other hand, a state with a very high concentration of “vulnerable” citizens, took a different approach to the virus, one centered on limiting exposure among the elderly, and this has resulted in far fewer infections and deaths. What does this mean? Could it point to sunlight, vitamin D or warm temperatures as protective?
No one knows the answer to that question. The only thing that we have learned from this ordeal is that SARS Cov 2 is a nasty contagion and can be fatal to those with other severe, underlying health problems. This is really all we need to know in dealing with this disease. We need to protect the most vulnerable and the rest of the population can make their own judgments regarding movement, work, masks, homeschooling, etc. COVID-19 is not a threat to healthy citizens. Unemployment and destitution are a threat to healthy citizens. I think President Trump has come to this conclusion as well, but he cannot order governors to open their states. He can, and should, however, refuse to bail out states whose financial failure was largely written in policy long before COVID-19 arrived.
In the meantime, I expect that Obama will continue to step further into the limelight, but not because of COVID-19. He hears the footsteps of Barr and Durham. He can only stop them if the Democrats take control in November. Expect the bombings to accelerate as we get closer and closer to indictments. The corruption did not end with the IRS scandal, with Fast and Furious, with Ukraine’s prosecutor, with Benghazi, with Uranium One, with Hillary’s emails or with Weiner’s Laptop. Those were just warm-ups to the insurance policy that was operation Crossfire Hurricane. This one will punctuate Obama’s legacy and its effect will be sustaining.Published in