Other Threats, What To Know, What We Can Learn

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Other Threats

While the coronavirus remains our primary domestic threat, the world remains a very dangerous place, and America's enemies have not stopped plotting against us.

At yesterday's White House press briefing, President Trump was joined by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

They announced that more troops were being deployed to the border because we have learned that drug cartels were attempting to exploit the coronavirus crisis in order to pour more poison into the country, causing even more death and despair. 

In addition, the president also announced yesterday that intelligence reports indicate that Iran's Islamist leaders are plotting more attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq. Trump warned Iran that it would "pay a very heavy price" if our forces are attacked.

Once again, this shows how the administration is working not only to defeat the coronavirus, but to fulfill the major responsibility of government. That responsibility is not, as the progressive left seems to believe, to convince us that there are more than two sexes but to keep the public safe from foreign enemies.



Signs Of Hope

Lost in all the news about infections and deaths is the continued advance in potential medical solutions to this crisis. It's hard to know yet whether they will shorten the crisis in the near term, but they will be important if the virus becomes a seasonal hazard like the flu. 

For example, those who have survived coronavirus infections are donating blood, which has antibodies that can fight the virus. Their blood is being given to patients who are currently struggling, and is being used in other research for potential cures.

In addition, pharmaceutical companies are speeding up work on tests to determine not just if you have the virus, but if you have had the virus. People who have had Covid-19 are unlikely to get it again, and may be able to safely return to work.

Lastly, there's new research suggesting that the death rate may in fact be much lower than originally believed. It is still high (0.66%) compared to the flu, and it is especially dangerous to particular segments of society. (See next item.) But the more we understand, the better.



What To Know

Acting on the advice of medical experts, President Trump recently extended the period of time for social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Read the guidelines.) More and more states are also adopting additional measures. It is important to understand why.

As you have heard, those most at risk are people over 60, and the risk increases with age. Other risk factors include pre-existing health conditions. So the older you are and the more pre-existing conditions you have, the greater your risk of developing serious complications from the coronavirus. 

It is also a fact that people with pre-existing medical conditions are more likely to die whenever they get ill. That's why there is such concern about keeping the flu out of nursing homes every year. Sadly, the major cause of death is not necessarily the coronavirus itself, but the underlying medical conditions that would likely lead to death anyway. 

So I want to repeat again what the medical community is telling us about the kinds of conditions they are most concerned about.   

  • Diabetes appears to have a high correlation to serious complications with the coronavirus. 
  • Heart disease and any kind of lung disease is another major risk factor. Smokers are especially at risk.
  • Obesity may be related to poor outcomes. 
  • And while it is not emphasized in the media, those with AIDS, drug users and others with compromised immune systems appear to be at higher risk. 

People who are younger and don't fall into any of these categories often have such mild symptoms that they don't even know they have Covid-19. Others have experienced what they describe as a bad flu. 

Of course, it goes without saying that younger people who don't know they have Covid-19 or have very mild symptoms are, sadly, very capable of spreading the virus to those in high risk groups. 



What We Can Learn

Psychologists will tell you that people grow the most when they make mistakes and learn from them. The same can be said of countries.  So what will we have learned when this coronavirus emergency finally ends? I can think of three important lessons.

On international affairs, we must understand that the major villain in all of this is the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP oppresses its people, lies to them and has lied to the rest of the world, costing countless lives. President Trump is already taking steps to end our dependence on China.

The second lesson has to do with faith. I saw today that Google searches for "prayer" have skyrocketed in recent weeks. But for decades, the radical left has done its best to force Christians out of the public square, treating men and women of faith as if we're the ones with a disease who must be quarantined. 

Just look at how Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials are treating Franklin Graham and the Samaritan's Purse hospital staff in New York City right now.

Men and women of faith must redouble their efforts to defend religious liberty and call America back to God. There will be other crises, and unless we are grounded in God, we won't have the strength and fortitude needed to overcome them.

The third lesson has to do with family. Families are coming together now whether they want to or not. More time at home provides us with a chance to put our smartphones down and reconnect with spouses and children, to heal wounds and to reconsider our priorities as we balance work and family life.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if one thing that came out of this emergency was stronger families, more dinners together, more prayers together, and more recognition of how much we need and love another?  What a wonderful lesson that would be!



Another Terrible Record

This week's unemployment claims doubled over last week's shocking record. Ten million Americans have filed unemployment claims over the past two weeks.

While I am grateful that Senate leaders and the White House worked quickly to pass a historic emergency relief bill, I am furious that some left-wing politicians held it up over pork barrel projects and ideological extremism, including abortion funding and climate change regulations. 

That means every American is going to get those relief funds a week later than they otherwise would have.