Want to beat the coronavirus? Reopen America now

Contrarian and compelling voices are rising to warn that the lockdown of the American economy is overdone, not sustainable — from the Wall Street Journal editorial pages to a standalone blog entry from a Hoover Institution economist highlighted by the Power Line blog to the Cato Institute.

In fact, the economic lockdown itself is unfolding into a catastrophe, needlessly devastating the engine of American exceptionalism itself.

The economic shutdown by government fiat, driven by public health authorities' overreach — led by the CDC, whose recent preoccupations have been focused on the phantom enemies of racism, global warming, and gender dysphoria, rather than communicable diseases — is looking like the Vietnam war cliché: "we had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Yes, the CCP Wuhan COVID-19 virus is serious stuff, but not exactly an unknown.  We know that it is a super-contagion, but its ravages can be confined to identifiable clusters, and the disease duration in any person is on average short-lived, more virulent than the flu, less virulent than SARS.

Let's understand what the CCP Wuhan virus is not: it is not a bio-terror weapon infecting the water supply; it is not an electromagnetic cluster bomb shutting down communications and transmission of electrical power; it is not a thermonuclear event covering the globe with radiation.  This is not pestilence wiping out food supplies, nor Vesuvius-Pompeii-style volcanic eruptions.

Since the lockdown of the U.S. economy began the week of March 9, with a fifteen-day initial phase announced by President Trump on March 16, several therapeutic solutions are in the works.  Even some have been deployed, notably a decades-old quinine compound — chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — used for malaria and lupus, which  apparently has been successful in reversing the CCP Wuhan virus within six days in small but promising sample populations.  It is also odds-on that the increasing sunlight UV duration in the northern hemisphere — increasing by some 30% from March 15 to March 30 — will knock down the virus's chemical bonds.

The death rate, unwelcome for sure, is nowhere near the catastrophic projections.  The overall infection rate is a fraction of SARS.  It is likely that the CCP Wuhan virus has been floating around since November, maybe late October.  The vast majority of infections are relatively mild, in some cases asymptomatic, with recoveries on par with the flu. 

In the meantime, we also know that the economic shutdown is costing us between one and two trillion dollars per month, a government-induced depression that, if prolonged beyond a few weeks, may be impossible to overcome.  The social-cultural dislocation will be immeasurable, indeed cataclysmic.

And we have top-level public officials ranging from the CDC's Dr. Anthony Fouci to N.Y. State governor Andrew Cuomo speculating about sheltering in place lasting from 45 days to a few months.  That's the sort of reckless talk that, if enacted, would destroy the nation.

Why are we willing to spend untold trillions on economic resuscitation plans that may not work, no better than "peeing on the ashes"?  Why not keep the economy driving while directing emergency funds and other resources to the front-line health care workers, hospitals, clinics, and researchers? 

Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan seem to be coping while not completely scorching their economies.  What are we missing?

Maybe we will we be rescued by mass disobedience from everyday Americans, who soon enough will say " hell, no" to enduring prolonged madness, nullifying hysterical and misguided governance.

Who shall soothe the unbridled rage of everyday Americans when they lose their livelihoods, their homes, their savings, and their communities, realizing they were betrayed by the terrified governing clan?

President Trump's fifteen-day protocol says the shutdown of American life and its economic engine will be evaluated by March 31.  That is too late.

The American engine needs to be restarted now.  Suffocating the economy has been easy; reviving an economic corpse will be the stuff of hopeless heroics, fit only for Disney happy endings or the Hallmark channel.  Simple commonsense leadership is the cure.  Let's get back to work — today.

Image: Jeff Turner via Flickr.

Contrarian and compelling voices are rising to warn that the lockdown of the American economy is overdone, not sustainable — from the Wall Street Journal editorial pages to a standalone blog entry from a Hoover Institution economist highlighted by the Power Line blog to the Cato Institute.

In fact, the economic lockdown itself is unfolding into a catastrophe, needlessly devastating the engine of American exceptionalism itself.

The economic shutdown by government fiat, driven by public health authorities' overreach — led by the CDC, whose recent preoccupations have been focused on the phantom enemies of racism, global warming, and gender dysphoria, rather than communicable diseases — is looking like the Vietnam war cliché: "we had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Yes, the CCP Wuhan COVID-19 virus is serious stuff, but not exactly an unknown.  We know that it is a super-contagion, but its ravages can be confined to identifiable clusters, and the disease duration in any person is on average short-lived, more virulent than the flu, less virulent than SARS.

Let's understand what the CCP Wuhan virus is not: it is not a bio-terror weapon infecting the water supply; it is not an electromagnetic cluster bomb shutting down communications and transmission of electrical power; it is not a thermonuclear event covering the globe with radiation.  This is not pestilence wiping out food supplies, nor Vesuvius-Pompeii-style volcanic eruptions.

Since the lockdown of the U.S. economy began the week of March 9, with a fifteen-day initial phase announced by President Trump on March 16, several therapeutic solutions are in the works.  Even some have been deployed, notably a decades-old quinine compound — chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — used for malaria and lupus, which  apparently has been successful in reversing the CCP Wuhan virus within six days in small but promising sample populations.  It is also odds-on that the increasing sunlight UV duration in the northern hemisphere — increasing by some 30% from March 15 to March 30 — will knock down the virus's chemical bonds.

The death rate, unwelcome for sure, is nowhere near the catastrophic projections.  The overall infection rate is a fraction of SARS.  It is likely that the CCP Wuhan virus has been floating around since November, maybe late October.  The vast majority of infections are relatively mild, in some cases asymptomatic, with recoveries on par with the flu. 

In the meantime, we also know that the economic shutdown is costing us between one and two trillion dollars per month, a government-induced depression that, if prolonged beyond a few weeks, may be impossible to overcome.  The social-cultural dislocation will be immeasurable, indeed cataclysmic.

And we have top-level public officials ranging from the CDC's Dr. Anthony Fouci to N.Y. State governor Andrew Cuomo speculating about sheltering in place lasting from 45 days to a few months.  That's the sort of reckless talk that, if enacted, would destroy the nation.

Why are we willing to spend untold trillions on economic resuscitation plans that may not work, no better than "peeing on the ashes"?  Why not keep the economy driving while directing emergency funds and other resources to the front-line health care workers, hospitals, clinics, and researchers? 

Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan seem to be coping while not completely scorching their economies.  What are we missing?

Maybe we will we be rescued by mass disobedience from everyday Americans, who soon enough will say " hell, no" to enduring prolonged madness, nullifying hysterical and misguided governance.

Who shall soothe the unbridled rage of everyday Americans when they lose their livelihoods, their homes, their savings, and their communities, realizing they were betrayed by the terrified governing clan?

President Trump's fifteen-day protocol says the shutdown of American life and its economic engine will be evaluated by March 31.  That is too late.

The American engine needs to be restarted now.  Suffocating the economy has been easy; reviving an economic corpse will be the stuff of hopeless heroics, fit only for Disney happy endings or the Hallmark channel.  Simple commonsense leadership is the cure.  Let's get back to work — today.

Image: Jeff Turner via Flickr.