Commentary / Coronavirus / Opinion / Politics

The ‘Experts’ Plot Another Shutdown

shutdownThe spring economic shutdown “to slow the spread” of COVID-19 almost destroyed us. But the United States is resilient, and the country is slowly—if sometimes shakily—getting back on its feet. Millions have returned to work and the unemployment rate is ticking back down. The stock market has regained much of its lost value. It isn’t a straight road back, to be sure, but there seems good cause for optimism.

But not everyone is cheering.

Because COVID-19 cases have also increased as the country opened, as we knew they would, some of the nation’s health care and other “experts” want to shut us back down again. And this time, they want to impose a harder, and perhaps longer, societal lockdown.

Obamacare architect, bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel is the most influential voice urging a return to the bad old days of April. We shouldn’t be surprised. Back when the country was closed for business, Emanuel—who, it’s worth noting, is now Joe Biden’s lead COVID-19 health care adviser—urged that the country be kept in that artificially induced coma for 18 months, the time it was expected then for a COVID-19 vaccine to be found. Thankfully, President Donald Trump paid no heed.

Now, Emanuel is back, again calling for a shutdown as the lead signatory of an open letter to “Decision Makers” signed by some 150 other “experts” in health care. From the letter:

“Non-essential businesses should be closed. Restaurant service should be limited to take-out. People should stay home, going out only to get food and medicine or to exercise and get fresh air. Masks should be mandatory in all situations, indoors and outdoors, where we interact with others.

“You should bar non-essential interstate travel. … If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death.”

Bar most interstate travel? That’s never been done in our history; not during the Civil War, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic—which was much worse than COVID-19 because it primarily killed the young—or during periodic polio epidemics.

Media Campaign

Emanuel and his fellow letter signers aren’t alone. Infectious disease expert Dr. Michael T. Osterholm of the University of Minnesota, along with the head of the Minnesota Federal Bank and former Obama administration member Neel Kashkari, have launched a joint media campaign to convince America to return into societal hibernation.

Their most recent call for panicked self-destruction came in the form of a New York Times op-ed, in which they write:

“To successfully drive down our case rate to less than one per 100,000 people per day, we should mandate sheltering in place for everyone but the truly essential workers. By that, we mean people must stay at home and leave only for essential reasons: food shopping and visits to doctors and pharmacies while wearing masks and washing hands frequently.”

Didn’t we already do that at great economic cost to tens of millions of Americans—but not, it is worth noting, the technocratic and chattering classes? According to Oserhgolm and Kashkari, the former lockdown failed because it wasn’t nearly harsh enough:

“According to the Economic Policy Institute, 39 percent of workers in the United States are in essential categories. The problem with the March-to-May lockdown was that it was not uniformly stringent across the country. For example, Minnesota deemed 78 percent of its workers essential. To be effective, the lockdown has to be as comprehensive and strict as possible.”

Funny, Sweden didn’t impose a hard lock down. Its economy certainly took a hit, but not as bad as many EU countries. And while its mortality rate has been worse than some of its European neighbors that did shut down, it’s also better than others.

Besides, we’ve been told that universal masking holds the key! One study found that 80 percent mask compliance would do more to stop the spread than another lockdown.

Oh, pshaw, write Osterholm and Kashkari:

“Some have claimed that the widespread use of masks is enough to control the pandemic, but let us face reality: Gov. Gavin Newsom of California issued a public masking mandate on June 18, a day when 3,700 cases were reported in the state. On July 25, the seven-day daily case average was 10,231. We support the wearing of masks by all Americans, but masking mandates and soft limitations on indoor crowds in places such as bars and restaurants are not enough to control this pandemic.”

Good grief, our nation’s “experts” need to get their stories straight.

Second Great Depression

Snark aside, consider the consequences of reimposing another Draconian lockdown: The country would plummet into a second Great Depression (just in time for the election) that could take a decade or more to overcome. Millions of restaurants and shops would be shuttered, never to reopen. Life savings would be lost. The real estate market would plummet. We would add many trillions more to the national debt than we are already are incurring now, as half the country would become totally dependent on government checks. Millions of children would be kept out of school, forever stunting their education.

The predictable results: increased suicides, increased opioid deaths, increased domestic violence, increased political divisions, and increased loss of trust in our political institutions. In short, another lockdown would cause a cultural catastrophe.

No, no, the authors write. Totally shutting down will be better for the economy. If we don’t shut down, they write, “the path of the virus will determine the path of the economy. There won’t be a robust economic recovery until we get control of the virus.”

I find this abject terror among our technocratic class very odd. The Wuhan virus isn’t smallpox, after all. Most people who contract the infection experience relatively mild symptoms and fully recover.

Yes, of course, it can also be a wicked, and sometimes unpredictable disease. But we know who are most acutely in danger of serious illness and death (people like me), and we can take strong steps to protect them. Surely, we can accomplish that important public health goal without destroying the country to save it.

Which leads us to the one intractable problem that Emanuel, Osterholm, Kashkari, and their ilk fail to consider. If the government did again order a total lockdown, I believe that millions of Americans would simply refuse to obey. Indeed, it would take tyrannical measures of the kind imposed by China on its imprisoned people—perhaps even soldiers in the streets—to effectively impose house arrest on us all.

I cannot imagine that happening. Trump and most governors would surely never go along. But if they did, it would tear the country apart.

Award-winning author Wesley J. Smith is the chairman of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism and author of “Culture of Death: The Age of ‘Do Harm’ Medicine.”

Reprinted with Permission from - Epoch Times by - Wesley J. Smith

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1 month ago

The amount of deaths caused by this Pandemic is very low and now somewhat predictable as to being more dangerous to anybody with preexisting conditions especially the Senior population. To shutdown the economy is so stupid many states run by these Progressively Communist Democrats will suffer the most and will take much longer to recover. And of course, they will try to put the blame on President Trump when anybody with half a brain knows better! I live in sunny CaliMexico and I expect the worst! Please people, influence everyone you know to vote and re-elect President Trump or this… Read more »

Paul W
1 month ago

Notice all of the “experts” that are tied to the b.o. regime? This has morphed into the most ludicrous kabuki theater imaginable. This is nothing more than a leftist attempt to re-cripple the economy and thus influence the 2020 election…period.

1 month ago

I have had it with these so-called experts. These new faces that want us to stay in, I notice, are obama people. Tells me where all this is originating. If they want to stay home for 18 months, do it, but enough of forcing the rest of the country to comply. All they want is control.
Forced to wear mask even outside is stupid Everything they are doing is nothing but a way to control we, the people. It’s time we tell these “experts” to back off.

Jon Kirsch
1 month ago

Everyone will have to wear a mask the rest of their lives because there will be many whom will not get vaccinated, plus vaccinations are not always effective – Is that really what we want? NO to any more shutdowns, NO to masks, NO to vaccines. Yes to America First, Yes to Buy American, Yes to Hire American(USA), Yes to Trump/Pence. AND Yes to get this place opened back up and stop being afraid of everything—

1 month ago

When you say experts an expert is a has-been that never was. If you believe these lying asses that are being funded and supported by the communist Democrats and the communist government in China then you’re dumber than the idiot that’s never been educated. Masks do not work because if they did why would they released all these prisoners they could have just given them all mass but no the Communist Democrats in this country wanted to make sure that could cause as much havoc and division is a can. Seattle and Minneapolis are two of the prime examples of… Read more »

paul e vanleeuwen
1 month ago

not surprized the commies want to destroy the country and make a paradise only they can live why dont they just go to china or north korea or better still russia like bernie did on his honeymoon!!!!

Bob L.
1 month ago

If Ezekiel Emanuel is related to Rahm, then it makes sense that “you never let a good tragedy go to waste”.
The blue state governors and mayors would love to see our economy close down again. They don’t worry about their budgets being busted, because they turn to the ATM in Washington DC for more money.
They also love the clean air and water when we aren’t out driving our cars and living our lives.

Patriot Will
1 month ago

Let’s be honest. The Obama/Biden supporters will do anything to increase the chances of Biden winning. Their hatred for President Trump is so extreme, that they’ll destroy our country. They can not stand the idea of a businessman making them look like fools. I think that the Communist Democrats are overplaying their hands. The President is going to win by a much larger margin than last election. In fact, more and more citizens are so disgusted that President Trump and both Houses of Congress are going to hand the Socialists/Communists a resounding defeat.

1 month ago

Enough already. I am sick and tired of so called experts telling me what is best for me. The real doctors who have the facts are conveniently censored by social media and silenced by the mainstream talking idiots. This is total insanity. I am fed up with hearing about how many new cases of coronavirus are being identified daily. I wonder if the numbers would be much different if they were to report the number of new rhinovirus (common cold) cases every day. We have a flu vaccine, yet thousands die of the flu every year. We will never come… Read more »

Marilyn B
1 month ago

We’re talking Minnesota here, folks. Consider the source!
How long must we tolerate these anarchists and these treasonous activities? Since when are those elected to represent “We, the people” above the law? Round them up and throw away the key!

V G Beaver
1 month ago

Yes, Indeed!!! Many, most of us would NOT “obey!!!” We’ve had enough!!! Force the troublemakers on the streets to get lost. They are probably a large part of the problem, in addition to all their destruction!!!

Wayne Peterkin
1 month ago

And then we see morons online posting comments blaming the president for the unemployment and the virus itself. This is all political, a tactic to be used by dishonest people against a very effective president intended to affect the election outcome. The Democrats don’t give a rip who they hurt or how much damage is done to the nation because they, along with their comrades in the media, will blame the opposition for all of it. I do my best to prevent them from succeeding but it’s only one tiny voice in the wilderness.

Stephen Russell
1 month ago

We cant do another lockdown, NO.
Everyone who has sense says its Bad for Health & Bad Econ wise.
All politics like wearing masks.
Note do the elite wear masks?
Only on TV , NO celebs do.
Fair for YOU & me or=?
Tired of random lockdowns for NO reason unless show tie to virus, otherwise No

Joe McHugh
1 month ago

I have to believe that the shutdown of our economy reduced the number of COVID-19 deaths. However, it’s beginning to look like “they” used a shotgun against a mosquito. Some state governments mandated strict measures to limit the spread of this disease, while others were more lenient. Nobody wants the elderly, and those with an existing morbidity to die from this Chinese flu, but badly damaging the economy is becoming too high a price to pay. Viruses will always threaten human beings, but those with strong immune systems can fight them off. Let the people who might severely suffer from… Read more »

Alicia Seger
1 month ago

Are we going to continue to not live? Are freedoms are under attach the beginning to how far they will and can take us. The Democrats want control and power and to take our country in a direction of socialism and control. There is no point to hiding and watch our livelihood taken jobs, health, family, investments, and freedoms of choice. Wake up and fight!

Ralph S
1 month ago

After bunco Biden loses in November… he, Hunter, Pelosi, Shummer, Feinstein, Schiff, Nadler, Hirono, Bernie Sanders, AOC and the Squad and all their Commie Socialist comrades should be given one-way tickets to China and charge the bill to George Soros. I would have added Obamboozle to the list but his term in Leavenworth with Comey and the cabal clique will delay their departure. That leaves Bill & Killary… but their connections to the Epstein trial and appeals will probably take decades to resolve. Hopefully, we can then drain the swamp without polluting the ocean.

Sandra L Sands
1 month ago

To even think about shutting down the country again is absurb. Hasn’t the economy suffered enough? Businesses and familes cannot recover if this is done. So many small business owners have already had to close their doors because of the stupidity of some of the governors and mayors in some cities. Families need to get back to life as much like before as possible, children need to go to school and parents need to go to work. Praying that people will get out and vote and reelect Trump to get back on track.

Rick J.
1 month ago

Another Emanuel, who is practicing the theory of never letting a crisis go to waste. Need I say more.

1 month ago

Marxists pushing the path of death for the mostly clueless masses. History just keeps repeating.

Michael l Javick
1 month ago

The sheeple of murika had better wake up fast !

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