Are we really in a good place?
Dr. Anthony Fauci lamented that states opened too soon. He is pretty much being muzzled right now by the White House as he is an inconvenient truth they do not want to be reminded of. He is a testament to those that made the poor decisions when they blew off his advice when reopening. That was a choice that was made by Governors who were under pressure to do so. The business community was understandably in pain from being closed down and there were urgent emotional pleas of “we have to open the economy!” As in immediately. There was also public pressure from those cooped up, tired of pushing buttons on their remotes, who wanted their “normal” back. These pleas drowned out the advice of health experts who had laid out a path to reopening that was for all intent and purpose ignored. I do not know what those who demanded that Governors reopen immediately expected but the current result of another upward resumption in the wave of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths doesn’t surprise the health officials. It is what they were afraid of. It is what the science said would happen. My take is that these political leaders are weak, succumbing to public opinion and pressure that is uninformed and ignorant. Many other countries experienced the pandemic as we did but they better followed the science from their health officials with their political leaders in partnership with them. They have crushed the virus and we have not. Germany now has 35 new cases per one million people and by contrast the U.S. is at 1,100 new cases per million. Had we instead followed the health recommendations and guidelines it would have required states to lock down another week or two but if our result would be what they have seen in German, Korea or even in China the economic result would have been a far better outcome than the one that we are having. I knew that the choice of our political leaders was wrong but I also knew that under the current political environment that it was the choice that they would make. I also knew that the choice to reopen too quickly would cost us dearly in the long run (more on that coming in subsequent reports). What result that they were seeking would not be achieved by the path chosen to get there. What we will get is another stall in the economy, additional burdensome costs to sustain the economy and a health crisis that is out of control.
Many in the public claim to be confused by the mixed messaging. They are told by their political leaders that the pandemic is exaggerated by the media and medical experts. They have been told that educated people cannot be trusted and the media is fake. This misdirection will cost this nation much treasure and loss of lives. The only reason that the messaging seems mixed to some is that they take the word of political leaders over the health experts. All those medical degrees account for nothing in the ideological push and pull disrupting reason. The president lead with arrogant ignorance, disparaging testing while being ambiguous over wearing masks while congregating rallies together with no social distancing and no masks for his perceived political benefit. There was never any concerted plan as to how to address, “this is the problem and this is how we are going to fix it” kind of presidential leadership. It has been the blind leading the blind hoping to find a stray acorn leading with our chin. If some get hit that is just their bad luck. It is all China’s fault. By arrogant, I mean that we have a local here with a Trump 2020 flag draped on the side of his house that says “Trump 2020- Eff Your Feelings!” Of course, it doesn’t say eff. He obviously doesn’t care what others think.
Having gone the wrong way once on reopening the economy, it appears that they are getting into line to make another just as bad or worse choice. DJT says to open schools or else get no government funding. Like that is a plan that will work. They need more funding for teachers, more desks and equipment and lots of PPE. By failing to crush the virus there is community spread. Family spread had become one of the greatest pathways to spread. There may be a better after way to reopen schools but it doesn’t appear that will be required by government. The administration is watering down CDC restrictions for reopening schools as being too restrictive. There was a better way to reopen the state economies that was blown offboiling down to “just reopen!”. They appear to be ready to do the same with schools. It will not work and result in a disaster but who cares what the health experts think. “Eff your Feelings!” Ultimately it is the parents, children, teachers and administrators who will determine how or if the schools are reopened. It will not be a political decision. Unless they outline a very tightened down plan as to how the kids and faculty can be safe no one is going to comply with the president’s edict. Our family has been very careful and one result of that is that our family has been able to interact together. When the grandkids go to school that ends. We will have to distance within the family from both our children and grandchildren and those three families from each other. If there was a way to keep the kids safe in school then it may be worth it. This is an extremely high-risk exercise and one that would have to be very closely monitored with testing. There will be failures.
Government officials said that they expected that there would be local surges of the virus from the reopening of the economy but vowed that they would jump on them and snuff them right out. THAT WAS A LIE. If you cannot open the larger economy without blowing everything uplet me tell you that reopening schools is a far more complicated task. As it is deals with our kids it cannot be dropped on its head like we have just seen done with the general economy. DJT’s proclamation that “we are in a good place” is insane.
David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.
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