E.W. Jackson: Coronavirus Panic Could Be Worse Than the Pandemic
The crowd that panics in a building fire can block the means of escape and cause far more death than the fire itself. The pilot who panics in a systems failure or weather emergency can kill every passenger on the plane. A stock market and financial panic can collapse an economy.
Worst of all, when we panic as a nation, we can lose something as precious as life itself — liberty.
Only a few have dared to say it, but many are thinking it. There is a gross overreaction happening in America that threatens the economy and sets a very dangerous precedent on government power over our private lives.
First, let’s have some perspective on the Wuhan virus as compared to other dangers Americans face. Between 100 and 110 people die daily in automobile accidents. In 2019, car accidents killed 38,800 people. Cardiovascular disease kills over 600,000 people a year.
In 2009, up to 575,000 people died of Swine Flu. We had 61 million of the disease in America, claiming the lives of 12,469 Americans. Somehow we weathered that viral storm without shutdowns, curfews, closings, banning funerals, “social distancing” or the equivalent of house arrests or raising the specter of martial law.
The president is trying desperately to stay ahead of the curve, but he is operating in an environment of hysteria set by the mainstream media and medical talking heads. We may decry the hoax texts and voicemails warning of total lockdown or martial law, but those exaggerations were made credible by the pundits and experts.
Prominent doctors on television are peddling fear. No wonder Americans are buying up toilet paper, firearms and ammunition.
It is time to ask this question: Is there a less drastic means of containing the virus while preserving our economy and respecting the constitutional liberties of the American people?
Some suspect China of intentionally unleashing this virus. Wuhan is the location of one of its bio-military facilities. Even if that is not what happened here, the communist dictators are undoubtedly taking careful measure of how we address this crisis and the extent to which our economy and military preparedness are weakened.
Is this pandemic so different than the SARS and H1N1 viruses that it justifies the near-total disregard of the economy? What if another virus strikes us? Could our economy absorb a similar hit next year or at any time in the near future? More importantly, will our reaction prove worse than the disease itself?
The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal recently raised this question.
“If this government-ordered shutdown continues for much more than another week or two, the human cost of job losses and bankruptcies will exceed what most Americans imagine. This won’t be popular to read in some quarters, but federal and state officials need to start adjusting their anti-virus strategy now to avoid an economic recession that will dwarf the harm from 2008-2009.”
The editorial concludes with this warning:
“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. America urgently needs a pandemic strategy that is more economically and socially sustainable than the current national lockdown.”
It is difficult to make rational decisions when the media creates an atmosphere of hysteria and the president is beset by attacks on his character and intelligence.
Had he not given great weight to the advice of medical experts, he would have been accused of murdering Americans. We have to remember that some on the left were openly hoping for a recession to diminish President Trump’s support and drive him from office.
Rahm Emanuel famously said “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a recent news conference, “If you want to establish a framework of martial law, which is ultimate authority and enforcement, we have the capacity to do that.”
The suggestion of martial law is shocking, even for California. It is fair to say that coronavirus has shaken capitalists and emboldened socialists and communists.
In a national crisis, all Americans, especially politicians, should keep our eyes on the Constitution. Information from Medical experts should be taken seriously. However, the common sense of the American people is always more trustworthy than the conventional wisdom of the professional pundits. That is why Donald J. Trump is president at such a time as this.
The Constitution is not a suicide pact. However, it remains a sacred compact that must never be discarded.
America has thrived for over two centuries because our national character as a land of liberty has survived every crisis. Through the gravest of times, we have leaned on our faith, protected our freedom and preserved our economy. We have done it before. We can do it again.
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