Flattening the Curve or Flattening Trump?

Flattening the curve is a new term for most of us not steeped in the world of public health or epidemiology. Prior to the Chinese Coronavirus making a mess of lives and economies, this term might have featured in a Saturday morning infomercial on the latest weight loss fad. Now it has become the holy grail of fighting this viral pandemic.

The New York Times, in a rare moment not bashing President Trump, explains flattening the curve. There are two curves, a steep one and a flat one, as we have seen endlessly on the news.

One had a steep peak indicating a surge of coronavirus outbreak in the near term; the other had a flatter slope, indicating a more gradual rate of infection over a longer period of time.

The gentler curve results in fewer people infected at this critical moment in time — preventing a surge that would inundate the healthcare system and ultimately, one hopes, resulting in fewer deaths.

The basketball player wholeheartedly agrees. “What we need to do is flatten that down,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

But the area under the curve, the number of cases, and potentially deaths, is about the same. It is like ripping off a bandage quickly, which may hurt at the moment, versus peeling it off slowly and painlessly but taking longer to accomplish. As the NY Times notes, fewer deaths is what “one hopes” for but not necessarily what one expects.

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If the medical system is overwhelmed, there may not be enough ventilators or ICU beds to meet demand. Fortunately, this never occurred, even in the epicenter of New York City. In fact, the curve was so flat that makeshift hospitals in Seattle, Denver, and New York, as well as two massive hospital ships, were largely unnecessary.

The models predicting shortages were wrong, despite certain state governors screaming, with backup vocals from the media, for ventilators and ICU beds that they never needed or used.

As the curve flattens, more and more individuals are exposed to the virus, bringing the population closer to herd immunity. At that point there are not enough viable hosts for the virus, and it burns itself out like a Chinese firework.

As new case numbers and fatalities are on the decline, it is time to think about reopening the shuttered economy before the socio-economic toll of the shutdown exceeds the toll from the virus.

Los Angeles plans on maintaining stay-at-home orders for three more months, essentially writing off summer. This despite their cases and deaths appearing to have peaked at the time of this writing. Oregon plans to stay shut down until July 6, almost two months from now. Interestingly the states and cities wanting to extend their shutdowns are primarily run by Democrats. Is that a coincidence?

Meanwhile, Georgia reopened two weeks ago, against the recommendations of Trump, the basketball player and scarf queen, and virtually every media outlet in the country. Has the disease surged as the smart set predicted? Actually it’s the opposite with the lowest number of COVID patients hospitalized and lowest ventilator use in over a month, as Governor Kemp tweeted.

Right on schedule, the basketball player is pouring water on the smoldering economy. In testimony this week to the Senate, CNN reports, “Fauci tells Congress that states face serious consequences if they reopen too quickly.” Fauci is skeptical about kids returning to school this fall. With kids at home all year, and parents unable to work if their kids are not in school, how can the economy rebound? Or is that the point?

It seems the political and medical deep state want the economy to stay closed for as long as possible. At least until November 4. Is their goal to flatten the curve or to flatten President Trump, and his bid for reelection in six months?

How convenient it is to keep the economy closed as long as possible, hopefully into fall, so Trump can run for reelection with 20 to 30 percent unemployment and double-digit GDP decline. So what if suicides, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and depression increase by a commensurate amount. In the world of the DC elites, this is all acceptable collateral damage in the war against the Orange Man.

Forget the numbers and the wildly inaccurate models. The US reports 82,000 deaths currently. The scarf queen believes that the CDC has inflated Wuhan virus deaths “by as much as 25 percent.”  Meaning the current number could be around 60,000 deaths, similar to a bad flu season.

Even that number may be exaggerated as COVID deaths are “presumed,” but not all respiratory disease is COVID. But the numbers are all the excuse the basketball player and state governors need to keep their economies staying at home, in bed with the lights off. Who benefits?

How does this hurt President Trump? Aside from having to run for reelection on economic numbers not seen since the Great Depression, it provides the perfect foil for Sleepy Joe Biden.

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Trump rallies, famous for jazzing up his base, will be indefinitely on hold. Biden couldn’t fill a rally in school lunchroom, much less in an arena, and will be given a pass. He can babble incoherently during 5-minute interviews he gives to fawning media fanboys, hiding in his basement, reading from a script or repeating the words his wife or advisors tell him just off camera.

Democrat primaries were cancelled over virus concerns, handing the nomination to Biden, kicking Bernie Sanders and his supporters to the curb, just as they did four years ago.

The Chinese virus also provides an excuse for the Democrats to push mail-in ballots, providing ample opportunity to cheat. Even if they can’t win the White House, they might be able to flip a few Senate seats and neuter Trump’s second term.

Democrat mayors and governors have run their locales into a fiscal abyss. Perhaps they want to crush economies to death with an expectation of a federal bailout to rescue their insolvent union pension funds, sanctuary city promises to illegals, and trains to nowhere.

Will any of this work? Perhaps, as there is a full court press by Democrats and the media. Most Republicans are sitting on their hands doing nothing to support their president and party. How many Republican House members heard live testimony several years ago of #ObamaGate conspirators testifying under oath that they saw no evidence of Trump Russia collusion but said nothing, allowing the story to fester until this past week when this testimony was finally released?

Presidential opinion polls at this point are all but worthless. Remember the endless predictions of a Clinton landslide, persisting through election day? A better barometer is the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll showing Trump with 46 percent approval on May 12, compared to 44 percent approval for Obama exactly eight years ago. There was no virus or economic shutdown eight years ago, only a fawning media and a hapless Republican opponent for the fall, yet Trump’s current support is solid.

The curve has been flattened successfully, meaning next on the agenda is flattening President Trump and his reelection hopes. Is this about the virus or the election? Has it ever been really about the virus or simply the latest chapter of #ObamaGate. Stormy and Avenatti failed. Mueller failed. Schiff and impeachment failed. Right on schedule came the Chinese virus destroying the economy and possibly Trump too.

Is this a coincidence? Was the goal to flatten the curve or to flatten Trump’s reelection? Decide for yourself.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, Rasmussen Reports, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum

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