On Saturday, Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis officially lifted all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars in the Sunshine State, allowing them to operate at full capacity.
It’s difficult to describe the media apoplexy that followed, but if you need a concentrated version of it — say, the espresso version of apoplexy — a few minutes of “The View” will always do nicely.
Monday, as it so happens, Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz was appearing on the show to discuss his new book, “One Vote Away: How a Single Supreme Court Seat Can Change History.” Timely stuff, that.
Unusually, the viral clip from the show didn’t involve a certain single Supreme Court seat recently vacated. Instead, it came from co-host Joy Behar pressing Cruz about the lifting of COVID restrictions in Florida.
Behar began by reminding Cruz that “just a few minutes ago you said — and correctly — the country is suffering. There are many people out of work, but you would like to open safely, follow the science, protect small business and all of that.”
Other shoe: “But Republican Florida Gov. DeSantis, for example, recently lifted all coronavirus restrictions on businesses, allowing bars and restaurants to open at full capacity without a mask mandate. He said they won’t be closing anything going forward. Now, what’s your response to Gov. DeSantis’s policy, one, and would you do the same thing in Texas if you could?”
Yes, DeSantis “for example.” Totally random sample, even though — in the reopening debate — DeSantis represents for liberals a prime example of what pro-wrestling fans would term a “heel.”
Before we get to Sen. Cruz’s response, let me explain what a “heel” is to the uninitiated — along with a related phrase, a “heel turn.” It’s pretty straightforward stuff.
A “heel” is a villain. Not just your average villain, but something akin to Michael Avenatti on PEDs.
The hero of a pro-wrestling bout, on the other hand, is known in the trade as the “face.”
A “heel turn,” meanwhile, is when the hero (or “face”) either reveals himself as, or is suddenly revealed to be, a villain.
A third term — “face turn” — involves a “heel” revealing he’s turned good guy (or was one of the good guys all along).
This isn’t just digressive, because one of the great faces of the coronavirus pandemic did a heel turn long ago, one that few liberals have seemed to notice.
Back to Cruz’s answer: “So yes, we should reopen, and I actually think if you look at Florida, and if you look at Texas, the death rates have been much, much lower there than for example, states like New York, New Jersey, states with Democratic governors, where the death rates have been enormously through the roof,” Cruz said.
Check it out here:
“New York, in particular, has led the country in death rate, and I think it had a lot to do with the Democratic governor there — Gov. Cuomo — sending people who had COVID into nursing homes,” he continued.
“That’s not true,” Behar interrupted.
Behar is right only by the most technical of technicalities. New York doesn’t have the most COVID deaths per capita in the nation, it has the second most. According to Worldmeters, New Jersey has 1,828 deaths per 1 million, compared to 1,708 for New York.
Florida has the 12th most at 659 per million, significantly less than half the death toll per capita of either state. Texas, at 553 per million, is 18th.
When Cruz brought this up, Behar wasn’t interested in nuance: “I asked you about DeSantis. Answer me about DeSantis, please,” she said. “I’m talking about — I’m talking about Florida right now, not New York. New York got hit very early, and a lot of people were coming in without any kind of sanctions on it.”
Unmentioned was the outflow of people from New York “without any kind of sanctions on it” in the early days of the virus — and when other states announced quarantine measures on New Yorkers, Gov. Cuomo threatened to sue them.
Cruz tried to call attention to the fact Cuomo’s policy of sending COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes “made a difference” in the state’s death rate, but Behar didn’t want to talk about that.
“Tell me about Florida. Let’s get what you think about DeSantis,” she said.
“The policy of the governors of New York and New Jersey of sending people who were COVID positive into nursing homes–” Cruz continued
“Deflection,” Behar said.
“– was catastrophic, and –“
“You are deflecting, sir,” she continued.
Because Cruz didn’t want to answer the flawed question Joy Behar wanted him to answer?
At The Daily Beast, senior writer Matt Wilstein described that as “Cruz tried to place all of the blame on Democratic governors” in the exchange. What was interesting is that, inasmuch as the blame is being placed, it was originally being placed on DeSantis. He’s the “heel” to liberals, because he’s tried to keep as much open as he could and has made it clear he would “never” lock down the state again.
Cuomo, meanwhile, forced nursing homes to accept COVID-positive seniors to prepare for an influx of hospital patients that never materialized. The death toll in those homes was over 6,000 as of last month, according to The Associated Press.
However, the real number is unknown — since, among other factors, New York didn’t count as nursing home deaths patients who became infected in nursing homes but died in hospitals
The state’s also been notably reluctant to conduct a serious independent investigation into the matter, even after the AP reported the state was undercounting the already massive number of deaths.
In short, Cuomo — the liberals’ ostensible hero — did what pro wrestling would call a “heel turn” months ago. He was revealed to be the villain, not the hero he was being portrayed. If Joy Behar didn’t notice, that blind spot would seem to have arisen from personal issues. The problem is that so many in her position, and in the mainstream news media, share it.
But to liberals, Gov. DeSantis and Sen. Cruz — those are the real heels. Welcome to the world of “The View.”
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