Monday, April 13, 2020
The Covid Panic
Some things are becoming clear in the midst of this crisis. For example, I think it is clear that two things are really hurting the country. One is Covid-19. We've been reporting on the challenges faced by hospitals, healthcare workers and those in places like New York City.
But there is growing evidence that the "coronavirus panic," stoked by the left, their media allies and the advocates of big government, is also hurting the country, perhaps even more than the disease itself.
I have no doubt that there is a growing epidemic of despair -- drug addiction, depression, domestic violence and suicide -- caused by the economic ruin that is occurring right now. I fear the grim toll from this panic is going to be much greater than the toll from this virus.
According to Johns Hopkins University, we passed 22,000 deaths in the United States today. That's close to the toll from an average flu season. I want to remind you again that just two years ago, the U.S. flu season resulted in 60,000 deaths, which at this point we may not hit with the coronavirus.
So how worried are you about getting the virus? I know my anxiety level is up. But when we look at reality, should the average American be as afraid as most appear to be?
My old friend and colleague Bill Bennett said this morning that he reviewed the statistics and they showed that the average American has a two-tenths of one percent chance of getting the virus. And if you do, you have 98% chance of recovering. For this we shut down the entire country?!
But wait. . . It gets worse.
Fighting For Faith
On Good Friday, Governor Andy Beshear ordered Kentucky's churches to close. Beshear added that the state would record the license plates of anyone at a large gathering over Easter weekend and report individuals to local health departments so they could be quarantined for 14 days – akin to being sentenced to home arrest.
When one church got creative, announcing it would hold an Easter service in its parking lot with worshippers staying in their cars, Greg Fischer, the mayor of Louisville, went a step further. He banned all gatherings of any kind in churches, public places and even in homes.
So, the church went to court and got an injunction against Fischer's order banning drive-in services. U.S. District Judge Justin Walker blasted the mayor's order as "stunning" and "beyond all reason [and] unconstitutional." Walker wrote:
"On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration of Easter. That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of [the satirical publication] The Onion.'"
In other places, Easter worshippers were hit with $500 fines.
It's very revealing to see how quickly and almost enthusiastically some left-wing politicians have decided that churches and synagogues are non-essential and must be shut down, while abortion clinics, liquor stores and lottery retailers can stay open.
I'm pleased to report that Attorney General William Barr warned over the weekend that the Justice Department will be taking action against local officials who violated the First Amendment. But this is also an example of just how thin the line is against those who want to take away religious liberty.
If we hadn't had groups like Focus on the Family, Family Research Council and American Values fighting for faith, family and freedom for the past 20 years, we would have lost this battle a long time ago.
Fighting For Life
Last week, former Clinton adviser James Carville said that conservatives "will kill people to stay in power, literally." Carville was upset that Wisconsin's primary election took place as scheduled. Presumably, he would have been happier if democracy had been suspended.
Left-wing commentator John Heilemann said that tens of thousands of Americans are going to die from the coronavirus "because of Donald Trump's incompetence and lack of leadership."
This is beyond disgusting. It is pure demagoguery coming from a movement that is absolutely committed to increasing the number of abortions every year. They have even insisted that the "choice" to kill an unborn baby is enshrined in the Constitution. It is not. Many so-called "progressives" even want you to subsidize abortion-on-demand with your hard-earned tax dollars.
Liberals like Carville and Heilemann have no right to accuse anyone of being too cavalier about human life when the progressive movement prizes above all else the "right" to kill the innocent. And that one issue is why the left will do anything to smear conservative judges like Brett Kavanaugh.