Americans cry out: Quarantine the most vulnerable and let the rest get back to work!

A growing contingent of right-wing and left-wing voices are warning of the genuine doom that awaits America if state and local lawmakers continue shutting down “non-essential businesses” and robbing Americans of the right to earn a living.

While these critics all acknowledge the risks posed by the global coronavirus pandemic itself, they argue that more precise “surgical strikes” are needed versus the carpet-bomb quarantines, lockdowns and shutdowns currently being pursued. For instance, imagine just those infected by the coronavirus or at higher risk of contracting it being quarantined versus entire cities and states.

“We routinely differentiate between two kinds of military action: the inevitable carnage and collateral damage of diffuse hostilities, and the precision of a ‘surgical strike,’ methodically targeted to the sources of our particular peril. The latter, when executed well, minimizes resources and unintended consequences alike,” David L. Katz, the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, wrote last Friday for The New York Times.

FYI, the Times is anything but right-wing …

“As we battle the coronavirus pandemic, and heads of state declare that we are ‘at war’ with this contagion, the same dichotomy applies,” he continued. “This can be open war, with all the fallout that portends, or it could be something more surgical. The United States and much of the world so far have gone in for the former. I write now with a sense of urgency to make sure we consider the surgical approach, while there is still time.”

Because otherwise, he and others have warned, the “social, economic and public health consequences” could be permanently debilitating, with countless businesses being shuttered for good, and impoverishment and despair climbing to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

Cue Republican National Committee member Harmeet Dhillon:

In a piece published last Thursday, The Wall Street Journal’s entire editorial board warned that these shutdowns and lockdowns could trigger “a tsunami of economic destruction that will cause tens of millions to lose their jobs as commerce and production simply cease.”

“Many large companies can withstand a few weeks without revenue but that isn’t true of millions of small and mid-sized firms. … Even America’s resources to fight a viral plague aren’t limitless—and they will become more limited by the day as individuals lose jobs, businesses close, and American prosperity gives way to poverty.”

FYI, the Journal is anything but left-wing …

With so many voices on the right and left pushing for a halt to these shutdowns, why do lawmakers keep implementing them?

One reason might be because of members of Congress like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who claim that socialist schemes like paid leave and cash payouts will fix everything:

Except that, as noted by Chip Roy of National Review, “You cannot get paid leave from a business that does not exist” because it’s had to close up because of lost revenue and climbing bills.

And so not only will paid leave and cash payouts be required but so will business grants:

But how long can the government afford to pay everybody’s bills?

Another reason so many lawmakers are pursuing shutdowns despite growing criticism is likely because media-driven panic has provoked an untold number of presumably wealthy liberal Democrats into haranguing their local and state legislators on social media to shut down their respective economies, never mind the consequences to others.

Just consider all the pressure that’s currently being faced by North  Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who as of Sunday had not yet caved:

These people presumably possess enough money and resources that the thought of being out of business for weeks on end doesn’t scare them.

And the third and final reason may be because of pure ignorance of the facts, including that, according to New Jersey State health commissioner Judith Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A., everybody is eventually going to contract the coronavirus.

“I’m definitely going to get it. We all are. I’m just waiting,” she said in the interview below that was published Saturday:

But there’s more.

Reason magazine reported last week about a new study of coronavirus cases in Wuhan that found that “the death rate among people who were infected and developed symptoms was 1.4 percent.”

“That is far lower than the crude case fatality rate (CFR) produced by dividing total deaths into total confirmed cases (4.5 percent) and far lower than the global CFR initially calculated by the World Health Organization (3.4 percent),” the outlet noted.

“The study, reported yesterday in Nature Medicine, suggests that the overall CFR—including people who are infected but do not develop symptoms—will prove to be much lower in the United States than many people feared.”

All these facts raise the following pivotal question: “[H]ow do we know we aren’t doing ourselves more harm with the measures we take to slow or halt Covid-19 than the disease would do to us on its own?

We don’t, Justin Fox wrote last week for Bloomberg, which like the Times is anything but a right-wing paper.

All we know for certain, he continued, is this:

As Stanford medicine and statistics professor John Ioannidis … put it in an essay for the science news site Stat this week, after acknowledging that the coronavirus could kill tens of millions worldwide if simply allowed to run its course: With lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.”


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Vivek Saxena


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