Tag: COVID19

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. COVID and Reflections on the Polio Pandemic


The Rotary Society is still actively fighting polio today.
On the Friday before the Labor Day weekend, Daughter 3 stayed after school for a few minutes to talk to the substitute teacher of her Bible class. Pastor Mike (not his real name) is the pastor of my in-laws’ church, his wife works in the school office, and they have a daughter in middle school there, so my daughter felt rather free to pepper him with some tricky questions. Over that long weekend, the teacher, who had been feeling a touch under the weather on Friday, progressed to definitively positive COVID-19 symptoms.

We were in the loop anyway through my in-laws, but my daughter received a notice on that Tuesday morning: because she stayed to talk to that teacher, she was considered “exposed” and had to quarantine for 14 days, just in case she got sick too. On Thursday, Daughter 2’s best friend, with whom she had spent most of Labor Day weekend, left school early – she had lost sense of taste and smell. On Friday of that week, due to these and other cases, the school announced that it would close for 2 weeks. Just due to mandatory rules regarding exposure, 1/3 of the staff (to say nothing of a significant number of students) had been ordered to stay home and quarantine. On Sunday, Daughter two said she thought she was having an asthma attack that she couldn’t kick (she has moderate asthma). On Monday it was worse and my wife took her to be tested. We did not get the test results for nearly 24 hours, but when they came they were positive. From that moment on, our entire household was considered exposed and ordered to quarantine.

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Scott Immergut of Ricochet and Avik Roy of FREOPP talk about Joe Biden’s claim that Trump is responsible for all 200,000 COVID deaths in America. Also, how should we think about COVID’s impact on different ethnic groups? And how would the rollout of a vaccine actually work?

The World Index of Healthcare Innovation: wihi.freopp.org

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Scott Immergut of Ricochet and Avik Roy of FREOPP talk about Los Angeles cancelling and then de-cancelling Halloween, and also the claim that a motorcycle rally in South Dakota led to a massive COVID outbreak. Also, why did Trump downplay the pandemic early on?

On today’s episode of COVD in 19, Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet talk about the California data debacle: why is it so hard for the tech capital of the world to accurately report its COVID statistics? Will encouraging news on the testing front solve all our problems?

Email covidin19@ricochet.com with your questions, and we’ll answer them on the air!

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet talk about Day 1 of the Republican National Convention. Joe Biden says that if cases rise again, he would support another shutdown. But what does the science really say about the value of lockdowns?

Have a question about the coronavirus or reopening plans? Email covidin19@ricochet.com and Avik will answer your question on air!

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet talk about Biden’s acceptance speech at the Democratic convention. can the federal government force every American to wear a mask? Should you go see Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster move in a theater? We discuss that and more in under 19 minutes.

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet talk about the latest COVID stats — why is California, a lockdown state, seeing a rise in cases while Texas declines?

Why are Democrats mad about President Trump tapping Scott Atlas for his Coronavirus Task Force?

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Scott Immergut of Ricochet and Avik Roy of FREOPP talk about Avik’s Saturday Essay in the Wall Street Journal on school reopenings, what can we learn from the European experience.

Also, can the college football season be saved? Will anyone listen to the players?

On today’s episode of COVID in 19, Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet ask: why does the media only focus on bad news? You wouldn’t know from the headlines that COVID-19 cases have been declining all over the country. Is it a relentless chase for clicks? Does Trump get a fair shake? Let’s discuss.

Melbourne, Australia has issued new lockdown restrictions for the next six weeks, including: a curfew between 8pm-5am, residents cannot travel further than 5km from their own home, are only permitted to be outside for one hour a day, cannot go to the supermarket in twos, cannot invite visitors to their home, and cannot go to someone else’s home unless they are giving or receiving care.

Are Australia and Europe experiencing a second wave of the virus? And how should we respond here in the U.S.? Avik Roy of FREOPP and Scott Immergut of Ricochet join today’s episode of COVID in 19 to discuss.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Death of the Social Contract


For eons, the social contract was the glue that held the fabric of society together. The social contract, that unspoken, unwritten set of rules that we adhered to for the actual common good and welfare, was a silent agreement most people entered into out of a sense of decency and deference to our fellow man. We were, for example, willing to grow victory gardens and ration sugar during World War II or give up our seat on the train to a pregnant woman or senior passenger or return our shopping carts to the parking lot corral. More often than not, the social contract demanded little more than a minor inconvenience. Laws are, at their core, part of the social contract. Sure, you can choose to ignore the laws and face the consequences, but most people abide by the law of the land because it is the right thing to do.

For a while, the social contract has been under duress; as groups and individuals who seek to “live their truth” or whatnot frown upon and shun traditional social mores, the social contract has been weakened, it’s fabric becoming threadbare.

Shadi Hamid joined host Ben Domenech to discuss what the past few months have revealed about our country and how they have shaped public opinion about our country’s leadership. Hamid is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, a contributing writer at The Atlantic, and author of several books, including his most recent, “Islamic Exceptionalism.”

Hamid argued that the reaction by so-called experts concerning quarantine and the recent protests following the death of George Floyd have revealed how untrustworthy they are. Their constantly changing opinion during quarantine, Hamid said, has caused him to lose faith in those in powerful positions. He added the experts have further undermined their position by putting politics above themselves in regards to the protests.

Author and Professor Wilfred Reilly joined host Ben Domenech to explore how Americans have felt in recent months during the lockdown and protests and how the media encourages their fears. Reilly is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Kentucky and has written multiple books, most recently “Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War,” and “Taboo: 10 Facts You Can’t Talk About.”

Reilly argued that the media often focuses on the worst and least likely of situations to gain more views and clicks on their stories, which results in a needlessly terrified public. He also blamed the media for fostering the current widespread tension between Americans. This is most clear in the the media’s handling of Covid19 and the protests and riots following the death of George Floyd.

Join Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer’s Mary Connaughton as they talk with MIT Professor Charles Stewart on how states in general, and Massachusetts in particular, are adapting their voting process to keep elections safe, transparent, and fair during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles Stewart III is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT, where he has taught since 1985, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research and teaching areas include congressional politics, elections, and American political development. Since 2001, Professor Stewart has been a member of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, a leading research efforts that applies scientific analysis to questions about election technology, election administration, and election reform. He is currently the MIT director of the project. Professor Stewart is an established leader in the analysis of the performance of election systems and the quantitative assessment of election performance. Professor Stewart has been recognized at MIT for his undergraduate teaching, being named to the second class of MacVicar Fellows in 1994, awarded the Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the recipient of the Class of 1960 Fellowship. Since 1992, he has served as Housemaster of McCormick Hall, along with his spouse, Kathryn M. Hess. Professor Stewart received his B.A. in political science from Emory University, and S.M. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer Healthcare Senior Fellow Josh Archambault are joined by Hoover Institution’s Dr. Lanhee Chen to discuss the role that the World Health Organization (WHO) plays, what dysfunction may have contributed to the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what steps can be taken to bring back transparency and trust.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A ‘Patchwork’ Approach to Normalcy


Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck a fatal blow to Governor Tony Evers and his “Safer at Home” plans. Evers, and secretary-designee of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Andrea Palm, first issued an Emergency Declaration in March, followed by the “Safer at Home” orders that were set to expire on April 24. Shortly before that expiration, Evers and Palm extended the “Safer at Home” orders until May 26. Republicans in the state legislature sued, in part because Palm — not an elected official, but a political appointee — did not have the authority to impose criminal penalties through that order. The 4-3 decision called Palm’s order “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

The Evers administration was, unsurprisingly, displeased with the state Supreme Court’s ruling. In a call to reporters, Evers accused the state Republicans of being “unconcerned about…massive confusion that will exist without a statewide approach” with the media calling it a “patchwork approach.”

Member Post


My husband was raising the alarm early in the 1990s. Even wrote a booklet about it, which he distributed to friends and family. Our government was overspending—there was a hockey-stick graph that showed the federal budget shooting up in the stratosphere (a billion-dollar deficit!!), with certain consequences for the near future. We were in our […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Pennsylvania, Meet Florida: Startling Facts About COVID-Related Nursing Home Deaths


Pennsylvania, meet Florida.

You’re smaller than Florida, with a population of 12.8 million compared to some 21 million in Florida. And Florida’s population is proportionately older; 20.5 percent of Florida’s residents are over age 65, compared to 18.2 percent in the Keystone State.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Health, Privacy, and Shin Bet Surveillance


Israel is re-opening the economy, and the world is watching our success story against COVID-19. Many parameters probably played a role in reducing the health impact of the virus. Still, it seems that closing the borders early and the outstanding behavior of the population are the main factors. The overwhelming majority of Israelis agreed to make drastic changes to save lives. This behavior isn’t unusual, Israelis live permanently in a state of emergency, almost instinctively, we come together in solidarity and unity at times of danger. But, the citizens also dictated the end of the strict lockdowns when the economic and emotional cost became unbearable. As days passed, and the virus felt less devastating than previously thought citizens demanded an end of the restrictions, leaving no choice to our government than to relax the most coercive legislation.

However, there is a tool that our government used during this crisis: military-grade surveillance on private citizens, and even as we return to our “normal” life, this monitoring persists. The use of such surveillance was defended as a tool for saving lives through contact tracing of the infection. It turns out that this system, operated by the Shin Bet, only helped reveal a minuscule number of cases. Despite those poor results, we are still under full surveillance even after the containment of the virus and return to “normal” activities. Detailed information about every single aspect of our life is being watched and stored by government agencies. They know who we meet, how long we spend with our friends, where we shop, where we walk. They trace every action we take during the day. It’s often described as one of the most intrusive surveillance systems in the world and with the exception of China, no other countries have deployed such monitoring in their fight against COVID-19.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Harden Not Their Hearts (or Minds)


As states and localities figure out how to proceed on COVID-19, I’ve noticed a framing of the argument that I think is a mistake, at least at this point on this particular issue. The framing I’m seeing is one of liberty vs. tyranny. Stay at home, wear a mask, follow the arrows in the grocery store aisles, and so on. As someone who largely agrees with those who think the benefit of staying home is far outweighed by the economic damage, those skeptical that wearing a mask will do much, and those disdainful of traffic signs for stores, are using framing will harden the hearts and minds of the people on the other side.

Immigration restriction comes to mind. When someone tells me that I hold my positions because of racism, despite my having laid out my actual reasons, then my heart and my mind closes. There is no conversation anymore, there is no compromise, there is only strife. War. Pick your issue — abortion, same-sex marriage, gun control, whatever. When my interlocutor insists that I want to impose racism, control women’s wombs, or see people die, I stop caring what they say because they obviously don’t care what I’m saying. I stop listening to them because they’re obviously not listening to me. When that happens, there is no way we can have any sort of exchange or even come away with a mutually agreeable plan. On the other hand, people can and do change minds when we’re actually talking about the same things and not mischaracterizing others. At least we understand each other and can continue with love and trust.