Biblical and Constitutional Politics
Weekend Coronavirus Task Force Briefings Thoughts
By Gary F. Zeolla
While watching the Coronavirus (CV) task force briefings over this past weekend, several thoughts came to mind. I will articulate them in this article. These briefings occurred on Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22, 2020.
The President’s and Vice President Overview
At the start of each of these briefings, President Trump overviewed all that his administration and the federal government are doing to fight this epidemic, working in conjunction with state and local governments and private enterprise. It was quite a dizzying list of things that are happening and a very long list of needed supplies that are being distributed.
I couldn’t keep up with all that was being mentioned, but it is obvious the federal government, state government, local governments, and private enterprise are being mobilized in a way that has not been seen since World War Two. You would think that would be main takeaway for anyone wanting these briefings.
Then Vice President Mike Pence came forward and said he has been focused on ensuring the President’s three main priorities are being carried out. Those three priorities are: testing, mitigation, and supplies. He then outlined how each of these priorities are being met. It is clear the administration has a plan, and it is being carried out. That should have been the second main takeaway from the briefings.
But, of course, the media did not see it that way.
CNN Sucks and PPE Needs
During Saturday’s briefing, it struck me that the media has not changed. Back when there were still daily briefings with the President’s Press Secretary, I tried to watch the briefings as much as possible. And it was fun watching first Sean Spicer then Sarah Huckabee Sanders handle the dolts in the media. But the briefings degenerated into nothing but a series of “got ya” questions, so the President canceled them.
You would think that now that we are in a national crisis, the media would put aside its hatred for the President and try to work with him and his task force in getting out the information we the people need in dealing with this crisis. But no! That is too much to ask. The media is still in its “got ya” questions mode, trying to “trap” the President in some misstatement.
CNN is the worst. Their reporter on Saturday first asked about a two-month-old tweet by the President and why it contradicted something he was now saying. The President calmly explained the situation had changed in the past two months.
More on that question later. But here, then the CNN reporter asked about three doctors whom he had spoken to who did not have personal protection equipment (PPE, masks, goggles, gowns, gloves). He was trying to use that lack on the part of these three doctors to attack the President’s claims that such needed gear was begun distributed.
The President calmly pointed out that thousands of doctors could be interviewed who were thankful for the great job he and his administration were doing in getting them their needed equipment. He then had several different personal come to the microphone and explain once again about all the steps that were being taken to fulfill the incredible need for PPE and explain was it was so much in demand.
What people don’t realize is that it is not just a matter of getting a set of PPE for each medical personal. That PPE is often one-use, then it needs discarded. It was the President who realized how ridiculous that sounded and had the experts investigate how the PPE could be disinfected and reused, and that is now being put into practice when possible.
It was also explained that private industry is now being mobilized to manufacture such equipment. There were also regulations that had to be replaced that prevented industrial masks from being used by medical personal. Even though the former works just as well as specific medical masks, the manufacturer could be sued for such an unapproved use, so that needed changed. Just like with the virus tests, regulations were in the way of mass production. These are the types of regulations the President has been working hard to repeal throughout his presidency, as regulatory overreach often causes such problems.
But despite all of these obstacles, there are now 55 million masks being distributed. 55 million! That is quite mindboggling if you stop and think about it.
Not Fast Enough
But most of all, the questions on Saturday were along the lines of complaints that things were not being done fast enough or widespread enough. We want it all now! The reporters seemed to forget that we are a nation of about 331,000,000 people, and you cannot change over from peacetime to wartime production overnight.
From what I heard, I think the President’s task force and all the adjacent personal are doing a stellar job in the face of an unprecedented situation. It is in fact the media driven hysteria that is causing much of the problems. The empty shelves and the lack of PPE can be traced back to them.
On the latter, there is a reason the task force has emphasized that not everyone needs to be tested for the CV virus. Each time such a test is done, not only does it use up a test, but it also uses up a set of PPE. It simply is not possible to have tests and PPE available to test all 331 million of us.
The tests are also quite uncomfortable. As the President describes it, they have to put the swab all the up your nose as far as possible. Ugh. The close proximity needed to do that is why the PPE is needed and why it needs to be changed, as that close proximity potentially exposes the medical person to the virus. However, a self-test is in the works that is not quite so intrusive. If that can be mass produced, then that would be great, and it would be an example of American ingenuity at work.
On that last point, yes, as always, and as I predicted, it is America that is in the forefront of stopping this virus. It will be here in America that the vaccine will be discovered. It is here in American that the antivirals that might prove effective against this virus were invented.
I truly wish the media would realize all of this, that the President and his task force are doing the best that could be expected in an unprecedented situation, and that America as a whole is joining together to fight this virus. But instead, the media continues its Trump-hating efforts, just to feed the Trump hatred of their tiny viewership. That tiny viewership then rears its ugly head in all of the hate-Trump comments seen on social media and on the comments sections of news articles. I am truly getting tired of all such posts. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again—rather than trying to use this crisis to make unjustified attacks against the President, how about joining in with the rest of us in fighting against it?
The Emoluments Clause Revisited
The media and the Washington swamp never liked that a non-politician businessman became President. As such, they have been after Trump for his taxes since the day he began to run for the office. They have also tried to use the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution against him. Both attacks have one goal in mind—to keep another non-politician businessman from ever again wanting to became President.
During Sunday’s press conference, there were multiple questions about Trump’s businesses and if they would benefit from the bailouts Congress was passing. These questions were in the same mode as the preceding, an effort to attack a non-politician businessman for becoming President. But Trump calmly explained that he “has lost billions” by having become President. He also divested himself of control of his businesses, so he does not know what is happening with them. He also mentioned about donating his $450,000 salary.
When asked if he would be going to Mar-a-Lago anytime soon, Trump said he didn’t even know if it was still open, showing he really did have no idea what was happening with his businesses, even the one he frequents.
Personally, I really couldn’t care less what happens with Trump’s businesses. They might be included in any bailout Congress passes, as hotels and such are among the hardest hit industries by this crisis. But note, that is it Congress that is drawing up the legislation. Trump is not writing the bill. Thus, if that does happen, it would not be because Trump targeted his own businesses for relief.
But I should mention, things were not as rambunctious on Sunday as on Saturday. That is probably because that CNN reporter was not there on Sunday. In fact, there were far fewer reporters on Sunday than Saturday. I’m not sure why. Maybe there were practicing social distancing like the rest of us and didn’t want to pack into the briefing room like they did on Saturday.
Defense Production Act
The President mentioned on both days about invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA). That allows the federal government to require companies to produce whatever items the government deems to be needed in a time of crisis. However, he has not had to enforce it with any US company, as all of them have been voluntarily producing whatever is needed.
All of the different companies together are contracted to produce 600 million medical masks. Otherwise, distillers are retooling their equipment to produce hand sanitizer. Auto makers are retooling their plants to produce ventilators. Other companies are making similar adjustments to produce needed supplies. Even toilet paper companies are ramping up production due to the ridiculous run on toilet paper. While all companies are ramping up production to meet the increased needs of essentials, due to the hoarding and panic buying.
The point here is, good ol’ capitalism is stepping up to deal with this crisis. Socialism is not needed, as Bernie Sanders has been trying to claim. For that matter, none of the government overreach would have been necessary if it had not been for the media-induced hysteria. Just advise us what needs to be done, and most of us would have voluntarily complied, without all of the draconian enforced measures.
A few important numbers came out of these two briefings. First, on Sunday, Vice President Pence mentioned that 254,000 Americans had been tested and received their results. Of those, 30,000 tested positive. But that does not include tests conducted by local hospitals.
Altogether, only one out of ten, or 10% of people who were tested were testing positive for CV. That confirms what I said previously, that if you are having symptoms, you are far more likely to have a common cold or the seasonal flu than the CV.
Add that to a couple of numbers Dr. Marc Siegal mentioned on FNC on Sunday. He said there is “a 1-5% risk of contracting the virus from casual contact.” He also said that a person is contagious for only ten days from the time of exposure.
What that means is, the risk of contracting the CV is actually quite low. It had been mentioned in previous CV briefings that the CV is three times more contagious than the seasonal flu. But with these numbers, I really wonder if that is correct or not.
But whatever the case there, calm down. If you are not in direct contact with someone who has the CV, you are unlikely to contract it. And if you do get it, it was mentioned at these briefings that you have over a 80% chance of only having minor symptoms. I’m not saying to stop practicing social distancing, but all of the panic is not necessary.
Another number is 80 million. That is the number of Americans who are now under a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” order. And that was before Ohio and parts of my state of PA were issued such orders. Worldwide, it is about 1.5 billion. There is no doubt, that is going to crash the world and US economy.
The President said on Sunday that the virus has now reached 142 countries. That makes it a truly worldwide phenomenon. However, the latest numbers (as of Monday March 23 at 8:00 am) on the outbreak are:
Recovered: 178 (WorldOMeter)
Meanwhile, the world population was 7,777,810,900 at the same movement (WorldOMeter). Doing some quick math, that means 0.0045% of the world’s population has been infected and 0.00019% has died from the CV. What that means is, for a pandemic, the CV is not really having that great of an effect on the world population. Compare this tiny percentage to the 33-50% of Europeans that died in the Middle Ages during the Black Death, and it can be seen that the hysteria is way overblown.
Please note, I am not minimizing any single death. Each and every one is tragic. I am just trying to put things in perspective. And granted, the number of cases and deaths will continue to rise, but I would bet the number of births will continue to outpace the number of deaths, so that tiny death percentage will actually drop as time goes on. In fact, it is being predicted there will be a population boom in nine months, with couples being bored as they self-isolate in their homes with nothing other than that to do.
Government Regulations Standing in the Way
Currently, it can take up to 48 hours to get test results. But a California company, Cepheid, has invented a test that can produce results in 45 minutes. But it took the FDA to relax some of its regulations to allow the test to go forward into production. But now that it has, Cepheid expects to produce millions of these faster tests in the coming days.
The FDA also granted emergency approval for the cocktail of antivirals that appear promising in fighting the CV to be prescribed “off-label” for those with the CV or even to protect against it. It is not certain that these drugs will work just as yet, but they are worth a try, as the side effects are known to be mild, at least for those at high risk of serious consequences from the CV.
Do not miss that government regulations slowed the process on these two vital steps in fighting this pandemic. As such, it really must be asked, why were those regulations in place in the first place? Again, it is just such regulations that Trump has been tying to rescind. He has been doing a good job in that regard, but obviously, more work needs to be done.
Sarcasm About Romney?
Rand Paul has been diagnosed with the CV. He is now in self-isolation. There is concern about his condition due to the lung problems he now has as a result of the attack against him by his neighbor a while back. That attack was politically motivated. The neighbor said he attacked him due to Rand’s support of President Trump. Several Senators who had close contact with Rand are now also in self-isolation, even though none of them have symptoms.
The President knew about the situation about Rand, but the reporters had to tell him about the other Senators. He expressed his sorrow for each of them. Then one of the reporters told him that Mitt Romney was among the Senators who were in self-isolation. Trump responded, “Mitt too. Geez, that’s too bad.” The tone of his voice in that answer was exactly the same as it had been when he expressed sorrow for the other Senators. But that did not keep the reporter from then asking, “Did I hear a hint of sarcasm in that answer?” Trump replied, “Not at all.” And that was the end of the exchange. But the reporter’s comment struck me as quite strange, as it was clear there was no “hint of sarcasm” in Trump’s response.
In the mornings, I always listen to NBC Radio on iHeart. Monday morning, it reported, “President Trump seemed sarcastic when commenting about Mitt Romney being in self-isolation.” That is simply not true. But I guess the media is so set in its hatred of the President, that they hear what they want to hear.
In case the reader has forgotten, Mitt was the only Republican to vote to convict President Trump during the Senate impeachment trial, but only on Article One. He voted to acquit on Article Two. But the media had a field day with his one “guilty” vote. I discuss this situation at length in my forthcoming three volume set on the impeachment fiasco. And this point leads to the final point to be addressed in this article.
The Impeachment Virus
The first question of the CNN reporter I referred to at the beginning of this article was about how “transparent” China has been about this virus. Back on January 22, the President had tweeted thanking China for being transparent about the “China virus.” But now he has been saying they had hid things from us. “Why the contradiction?” the CNN reporter asked. The President calmly explained that since January we have learned that the Chinese government knew about the CV earlier than we originally thought.
Originally, it was thought that it was back in late December 2019 that the first case surfaced. But there is now evidence the virus first surfaced as early as November. But China hid it for over a month before telling anyone about it. If they had told the world sooner, China could have been cut off, help could have given to them, and this entire worldwide mess avoided.
Do not forget what was happening back in November. All of Washington and the media were focused on the impeachment proceedings in the House. Maybe, just maybe, if had not been for that incredible distraction, someone in Washington or in the press would have noticed what was brewing in China, and again, this whole worldwide mess could have been avoided.
Then in December, when the House was debating about the articles of impeachment, the first case was being reported in China. But still, little notice was paid to it by Congress or the news media, as they were all still focused on the impeachment proceedings.
Many warned back then, as I will be repeating in my forthcoming books on that fiasco, that nothing was getting done in Washington because of the impeachment. But the hatred for the President burned too hot for anyone to care about anything other than trying to give him a black eye for the 2020 election, which is all that fiasco was ever about, as I will explain in my books.
Then come January of this year (2020), while the Senate trial was occurring and all of Washington and the media were still focused on that, what was the President doing? He was monitoring the situation in China. That led to him to institute his travel ban from China on January 31, 2020, the same day as the House Managers were presenting their case as to why he should be removed from office. At that time, Dems and the news media said that move was racist or xenophobic. That includes Joe Biden, who specifically called the travel ban “hysterical xenophobia” and “fearmongering.”
Then in early February, the President began putting together his Coronavirus task force, while the Senate was bickering about new witnesses for the Senate trial. The media’s reaction to the task force was to call Trump a racist, as the task force was “too white” and “not diverse enough.” If Joe were President, he probably would have been more concerned about the “diversity” of the task force than each member’s qualifications as Trump was.
To all of this, I say thank God we have a President who could ignore the incredible distraction of the impeachment fiasco and the constant lies that he is a racist or xenophobe and still focus on his job. If it were not for those two steps, the travel ban and an early jump on getting together the very best personal to deal with this crisis, we would be in a much worse place than we are today. We would be looking like Italy, with its hundreds of deaths a day and complete countrywide shutdown.
Do not forget all of this. The impeachment might seem like a distant memory, but its effects have not left us. We might not be in this mess today if it were not for that fiasco. There are other possible long-term negative effects of the impeachment that I will be explaining in my books. And I will be adding this CV crisis to that list.
Also do not forget that if Joe Biden had been President, he would not have made either of these steps, and again, we would be in a much worse place today. It has been said Joe has been wrong on every policy decision he has ever made. You can add these ones to that long list.
Bottom line is, the President was doing his job, while Dems and the media fiddled with nonsense and lies.
I said my article Sadness, Predictions, and More on the Coronavirus would be my only full-length article on this outbreak. But after watching the CV briefings over the weekend, I just had to write about them, and I ended up writing more than I originally planned. But I hope this information is helpful to the reader.
I am planning on redesigning my politics website so as to have a section devoted to the CV. I will move all of my articles and commentaries on the CV to that section. In that way, if anyone finds my thoughts helpful in this crisis, you will have a one-stop place to get all of my thoughts. I hope to have that ready within the few days.
Weekend Coronavirus Task Force Briefings Thoughts. Copyright © 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Tearing the USA Apart
From Kavanaugh, to Incivility, to Caravans, to Violence, to the 2018 Midterm Elections, and Beyond
The United States of American is being torn about by political differences more than any time since the 1960s and maybe since the Civil War of the 1860s. This division was amplified by political events in the summer to fall of 2018. This time period could prove to be seminal in the history of the United States. This tearing apart came to the forefront and was amplified during the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This book overviews the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings in detail. It then overviews these additional major events that occurred up to the end of November 2018.
The above article was posted on this website March 23, 2020.
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