The following individuals and groups, who have historically focused on denying or downplaying the risk of man-made global warming, have turned their attention to the COVID-19 crisis.
This set of examples looks at the groups and individuals who pushed for the economy to reopen, attacked shutdowns and fomented pressure against responsible governors or leaders, encouraged people not to wear masks and to ignore social distancing. It is taken out of a larger body of evidence DeSmog has gathered on COVID science denial.
Table of Contents
- Donald Trump
- Save Our Country Coalition
- Alex Epstein
- American Conservative Union
- America’s Frontline Doctors (Tea Party Patriots)
- American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
- American Commitment
- Art Laffer
- Buckeye Institute
- Bjorn Lomborg
- Charlie Kirk
- Committee to Unleash Prosperity
- Heritage Foundation
- Hoover Institution
- Independent Women’s Forum
- Job Creators Network Foundation
- Manhattan Institute
- Marc Morano/James Taylor
- Media Research Center
- State Policy Network (SPN)
- Tea Party Patriots
- Young Americans for Liberty
“19 Times Trump Said the Coronavirus Would Go Away” via Washington Post:
Feb 10, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:00] Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do, you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat. As the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. [00:00:10]
Feb 25, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:10] I’ve spoken to President Xi. They’re getting it more and more under control. So I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away. [00:00:18]
February 26, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:18] When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done. [00:00:26]
February 27, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:26] It’s going to disappear one day. It’s like a miracle. It will disappear. And from our shores, we’ve, you know it could get worse before it gets better. Could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. [00:00:36][9.7]
March 30, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:46] It will go away. You know it. You know, it is going away. And it will go away. And we’re gonna have a great victory. [00:00:51]
March 6, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:36] You have to be calm. It’ll go away. [00:00:38]
March 10, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:39] It will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away. [00:00:40]
March 12, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:41] We need a little separation until such time as this goes away. It’s going to go away. It’s going to go away. [00:00:46]
March 30, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:46] It will go away. You know it. You know, it is going away. And it will go away. And we’re gonna have a great victory. [00:00:51]
March 31, 2020
Donald Trump: [00:00:51] It’s going to go away. Hopefully at the end of the month and, if not, it hopefully will be soon after that. [00:00:56]
Many of the individuals and groups mentioned in this document are members of the “Save Our Country Coalition,” a group launched with key support from FreedomWorks Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council, Tea Party Patriots and Committee to Unleash Prosperity “in partnership with a coalition of conservative organizations and prominent individuals.” It was launched on April 27, 2020.
Many individuals including Stephen Moore have announced their affiliation with the Save Our Country Coalition while advocating for swift reopening of the economy in various media outlets.
Stephen Moore, Co-Founder of The Committee To Unleash Prosperity, commented:
“30 million Americans are now out of work as a result of the ongoing economic shutdown sweeping the country. This number will rise considerably in the coming days and risks causing greater damage than the coronavirus pandemic itself. We have formed the Save Our Country Coalition because it is our responsibility to get Americans back to work and put our economy back on track.”
Adam Brandon, President of FreedomWorks Foundation, commented:
“This coalition is a call to action to Americans to get in touch with their elected officials at all levels of government. If we fail to demand action now from our politicians, we risk putting the livelihoods of millions more hardworking Americans in jeopardy.”
Lisa Nelson, CEO of American Legislative Exchange Council commented:
“For the first time in American history, a national crisis is being addressed through decentralization—with a focus on federalism. One size does not fit all, and America’s state legislators are looking to each other and celebrating ALEC’s role in policy formulation and legislator education as part of the Save Our Country Coalition. As they should, every state will have a different solution and approach to reopening, and ALEC will support legislators in these efforts.”
Jenny Beth Martin, President of Tea Party Patriots Foundation, commented:
“The long-term consequences of a prolonged societal shutdown outweigh the damage done by the coronavirus itself. Five hundred Americans are losing their livelihoods every minute in America. The cost in human suffering includes more crime, more drug abuse, more physical abuse, and even more suicides. We must immediately reopen the economy, while implementing the best workplace practices to protect the health of our citizens.”
The Save Our Country Coalition has “outlined five key principles to abide by in order to reopen US society and preserve the American way of life:”
I. Immediately reopen the economy, while implementing the best workplace practices to protect the health of our citizens
II. Restore the essential principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility by stopping the trillions of dollars of federal spending that is imperiling America’s economic future and dangerously escalating our national debt.
III. Incentivize the rapid rebuilding of our economy through proven formulas: tax cuts, deregulation, and lawsuit reform
IV. Preserve federalism within the rule of law and respect the rights of the states in dealing with crises such as the coronavirus pandemic
V. Protect the individual liberties of our citizens from unconstitutional power grabs by the federal, state and local governments
National Leadership Council
|Art Laffer||Laffer Associates (also see Committee to Unleash Prosperity, co-founded with Stephen Moore)|
|Steve Moore||Committee to Unleash Prosperity|
|Jenny Beth Martin||Tea Party Patriots|
|Newt Gingrich||Gingrich Productions|
|Dave Brat||Liberty University School of Business|
|Ed Meese||The Heritage Foundation|
|Victor Davis Hanson||Stanford University, Hoover Institute|
|Bill Walton||The Bill Walton Show|
|Simone Gold||Medical Doctor|
|Andy McCarthy||National Review|
|John Catsimatdis||Gristedes Foods|
|Brent Bozell||Media Research Center|
|Kenneth Blackwell||Constitutional Congress, Inc.|
|Mary Kiffmeyer||State Senator|
|Linda Upmeyer||Former Speaker of Iowa House of Rep.|
|Jim DeMint||Conservative Partnership Institute|
|Bill Bennett||The Bill Bennett Show|
|Clare Gray||Physicians for Reform|
|Ken Blackwell||Constitutional Congress, Inc.|
|Brent Bozell||Media Research Center|
|Floyd Brown||America Fighting Back PAC|
|Anne Schlafly Cori||Eagle Forum|
|Myron Ebell||Competitive Enterprise Institute|
|Frank Gaffney||Center for Security Policy|
|Becky Gerritson||Eagle Forum of Alabama|
|William Grace||Medical Doctor|
|Kirsten Haslerz||Eagle Forum|
|Jake Hoffman||Rally Forge|
|Mary Kiffmeyer||MN State Senator|
|Clare M. Lopez||Lopez Liberty LLC|
|Rick Manning||Americans for Limited Government|
|James L. Martin||60 Plus Association|
|Gary Marx||Madison Strategies LLC|
|Bob McEwen||Former Member of Congress|
|Timothy G. Nash||McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Northwood University|
|Richard Norman||The Richard Norman Company|
|Alfredo Ortiz||Job Creators Network|
|Kathleen Patten||American Target Advertising|
|Phil Kerpen||American Commitment|
|Sandy Rios||American Family Association|
|David Roberts||Defiance Press & Publishing, LLC|
|Matt Schlapp||American Conservative Union|
|Daniel Schneider||American Conservative Union|
|Gary M. Selvy||NFIB|
|Kelly Shackelford||First Liberty|
|Eunie Smith||Eagle Forum|
|Ginni Thomas||Groundswell (coalition) and CrowdSourcers (coalition)|
|Bill Walton||Council for National Policy|
|Jim Smith||Gov Ricketts Economic Plan for the State|
|William W. Pascoe, III||Tea Party Patriots Action|
May 19, 2020
Dr. Simone Gold, a member of the Save our Country Coalition’s National Leadership Council, wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump about the “growing health consequences” of shutdowns. Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin has said she helped Gold to spearhead the letter. A portion below:
It is impossible to overstate the short, medium, and long-term harm to people’s health with a continued shutdown. Losing a job is one of life’s most stressful events, and the effect on a person’s health is not lessened because it also has happened to 30 million other people. Keeping schools and universities closed is incalculably detrimental for children, teenagers, and young adults for decades to come.
The millions of casualties of a continued shutdown will be hiding in plain sight, but they will be called alcoholism, homelessness, suicide, heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure. In youths it will be called financial instability, unemployment, despair, drug addiction, unplanned pregnancies, poverty and abuse.
Because the harm is diffuse, there are those who hold that it does not exist. We, the undersigned, know otherwise.
“Power Hour: Ray Niles on How a freer market can help us protect ourselves from COVID-19,” ImproveThePlanet on YouTube, May 20
Alex Epstein: [00:29:04] I definitely think there’s just no respect for the rights of individuals, for the judgment of individuals. And you see this, that the level of people locked inside their homes. But you also see is on the level of the hospitals, just oh, well we’re going to just, we just decided that all the hospitals, what they should do is they should be infinitely ready for one virus. That’s it. And no matter where they are, no matter how much it’s spread. You said one size fits all, which is a total description, like if something bad is happening in Italy, if something bad is happening in New York City, then it must be everywhere and so we’re going to order the whole country to stop everything so that it has infinite, the maximum possibility of dealing with this virus regardless of any other circumstance. It’s just an incredible example of…it’s almost fascism, you could call it, in terms of like supposedly we own our lives and we own our property, but we’re not allowed to use it when the government decides that the virus is a significant enough threat.
Alex Epstein, via Facebook, May 6
Alex Epstein [6:18] I think the purpose of the government is to protect our freedom. And that’s different from saying the purpose of the government is to prevent early death from any given cause.
I think ultimately, if you really believe that, then you just believe the government should control your life for anything. And you’re even seeing with locking people down, it’s decreasing the death rate, whether it decreases the death rate from Coronavirus. It’s definitely decreasing the death rate from say car crashes. Is that justified? Because the government can say, well, we want to save lives. And I think most people would think, no, there’s something wrong with that.
And the thing is, the government’s purpose is to protect our freedom. And then with our freedom, we decide how to sustain our lives, including how to make different kinds of risk, reward trade offs. So that’s one thing I think is lost when people think, oh, it’s the government’s job to quote, save lives. I think it’s to protect freedom.
“A Conversation with Matt Schlapp and special guests Sec. Ben Carson and Larry Kudlow,” American Conservative Union on YouTube, July 22, 2020
Matt Schlapp: [00:11:25] You know, on the question of masking, there’s all kinds of opinions and health care experts that say things. But my view is, is that especially if you’re a store owner, I always ask the store owner, you want, you know, you feel more comfortable if people wear masks here? [00:11:39]
[00:11:41] If the baker has the right to make the cake or not make the cake, we all respect the person that owns the business. So when you read about these big chains saying you have to wear masks in their store, my view is, is that that’s their right as the owner of that store to say that. And I also feel like when it comes to schools, we’re fortunate, at least with our younger kids, that it looks like their schools are going to open, which for all of us working parents is just a desperately needed thing. You know, they’re going to have mask policies in their schools and our kids want to go back to school. And that, as I told one of my friends, if I have to put myself in a Ziploc bag to get this economy started, I don’t care. We’ve got to get this economy started. [00:12:19]
Matt Schlapp (ACU Chairman): I’ve got five kids, you know. We teach them math and science, actually Mercy and I literally teach them math and science now. And here’s what the scientists are saying. The CDC says to Governor Wittmer, “There is no evidence that there’s any risk to health by opening up these schools.”
Here’s what Denmark and the Scandinavian countries have done: they’ve opened up their schools, even though they were a little nervous in the beginning and they’ve seen no outbreak of the virus.
Why? Because all the science shows us exactly what Madison just said, that kids are the least risky pool. And if they closed down the schools, Maria, is the next step is they’re going to close down this economy again. If they shut down this economy one more time, not for health reasons, but for political reasons, it’s only blue states and socialist governors trying to say they want to do this. It’s all about stopping Trump, the president. Exactly right. He should encourage and incentivize every school to open safely in the fall.
“A Conversation with Matt Schlapp and special guests Brandon Straka, Rep. Doug Collins, & Jesse Kelly,” American Conservative Union via YouTube, May 27, 2020
Matt Schlapp: [00:03:23] Yeah. And, you know, the thing is, what I have noticed is the health care professionals. I know 90 percent of the mean well, and they’re not trying to be political and they’re just trying to keep us safe. I do understand that. I think Dr. Fauci is a very decent human being. But, you know, you get such conflicting advice. You know, when we had the one patient at CPAC, I asked very prominent people in the health care community, what what are the precautions we should take? [00:03:50]
[00:03:51] And they’re like, well, don’t go out and buy a bunch of masks and think that that’s going to protect you because what you had to do with masks as you fidget with them constantly and you’re transferring germs onto your face. People actually touch their face less when they don’t wear a mask. [00:04:04]
[00:04:05] Now we’re being told in Virginia you can’t do anything without a mask, maybe mask and gloves. [00:04:10]
[00:04:11] I’m a Catholic. They said that you can only have 250 people in your church and you have to wear a mask. Well, there’s no way to take Holy Communion if you’ve got a mask on. And then I read that they might mandate that church services be outside. In the beginning, they said, stay in your house, don’t go outside. [00:04:30]
[00:04:31] It’s like you get done with all of this and you’re like, you know what? I’m just going to use my own common sense. If I’m sick, I’m going to stay home. If I have a cold and I’m just coughing and sneezing I’m going to stay away from people in that situation. I probably would wear a mask just to be polite. [00:04:45][13.7]
[00:04:46] And but other than that, I realize that the best way to beat Corona is probably in a healthy state to be exposed to it and to build up the antibodies. [00:04:56]
Brandon Straka: [00:04:57] One hundred percent. And this is you know, I’ve actually been traveling around the country as much as I possibly can, going to as many of these reopen rallies as I can to help lend my voice, because a lot of these…In the last two weeks, I went to Michigan, Illinois, Maryland. I’m going to be going to Connecticut. Next week, I’m going to be going to New Jersey. And on and on and on and on. And so I’ve been getting on lots of airplanes and standing in lots of large crowds of people. But I wanted to stand up and use my voice in my platform to help elevate the message of these people who are really suffering. [00:05:28]
Because just as you know, back when people were voting for Donald Trump and the media was trying to spin it as though, you know, nobody’s going to vote for Donald Trump and the very small percentage of people who are a bunch of stupid, moronic rednecks. Well, now they’re doing the same thing with these poor people who many of them are losing their homes, their jobs, their bills. They can’t put food on the table. And so they need someone to kind of stand up and be their voice. And that’s what I wanted to do. [00:05:51]
Matt Schlapp: [00:07:20] Yeah, I. Look, I think that my theology and all this is that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And unfortunately, a lot of people have died of Chinese Corona. And that’s a tragedy. I talked last night with someone who battled Corona for about two months and he survived, thank God. I think there are blessings from struggles. And you do find parts of you that you didn’t know you had. And and I think God does give you the strike you need to survive challenges. That being said, I see a lot of evil here. I see China acting very irresponsibly. I don’t think that’s the hand of God. I think that’s the hand of a despot that didn’t want transparency and wasn’t decent. And if they didn’t do it on purpose, they sure created havoc with their irresponsible behavior. [00:08:13]
Matt Schlapp: [00:00:40] As much of the nation is still fighting these overly expansive lockdown orders. And the most recent tragedy is what’s happening with this poor barber in Michigan who has been told that he can’t open up his shop and he’s lost his license from the crusading socialist governor of Michigan because he has the audacity of wanting to pay his bills and give haircuts in a safe and responsible way. We all know that America is ready to get back to work and we can do it in a way we don’t make each other unhealthy. [00:01:18]
This show is an outgrowth of the frustrations we had with the coverage of CPAC and this unending criticism of what our great team at CPAC did at CPAC. Some somehow could have a spread of Corona. I was accused personally of giving Chinese Corona to the president, to Ivanka, to Jared, fill in the rest of the names. It’s been quite an ordeal for a couple of months for the whole country. And although there’s great tragedy associated with Chinese Corona, there’s great mischaracterizations and power grabs associated with the aftermath of all of our knowledge that this virus was going to take hold. [00:02:05]
Maj Toure: [00:06:19] it’s just been as the data, the actual facts, math, science and doctors across the country have started to state, you know, like this looks like a perfect storm of overreach, financial gain. And this does not mean that this virus doesn’t exist, as some people try to say. But there’s there’s some financial lying involved in this. And people just don’t want to own that. So it is a way to say, hey, we jumped the gun because we didn’t want people to get super sick based on these projections. Now as the fear has subsided a bit. Now let’s approach and do what’s best for our nation. And the best thing right now is since we haven’t seen millions of people dying. We haven’t seen…we magically have seen, you know, flu cases… [00:07:06]
Maj Toure: [00:12:33] It’s attacking starting at your respiratory system. It’s becoming bacterial. And then that bacterial problems get into your bloodstream and then you go into organ failure. That is operating too fast forward to generally be something that is a naturally occurring virus. So I agree with that based on me speaking to medical professionals. So I do think that this was manufactured. That’s my opinion and my view. With that being the case, if you have pre existing issues of bad health in any community—respiratory issues, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity—you have a preexisting condition that makes you much more susceptible to this virus. [00:13:22]
[00:13:21] The super contradiction is how some leftist places have said, like California, hey, we don’t want you to be outside in the sun, the light, actual life giver of like everything on the planet. We don’t want you to involve in wind and go to the beaches where there’s an abundance of natural things that strengthen your immune system. So, no, the Coronavirus isn’t racist unless what you happen to be watching some leftist media, some fake news of that nature. What it is exposing and this is another thing that I call a beautiful ugly. This is something that’s exposing that, if you of any ethnicity in America of any melanin content or lack thereof, you should be thinking about your health choices. You shouldn’t be, you know, laughing at…because we eating organic fruits and veggies and trying to limit GMO. You should be thinking about that. [00:14:10]
Matt Schlapp: [00:14:38] you know, as I’ve said on the show, my 80 year old mother hung out with the patient that got so much notoriety at CPAC. She hung out with him every day. But she had been on a real health kick and had dropped a significant amount of weight herself and thank God she was shielded from getting Corona or getting sick for sure. So this is all great news. And so I really agree. I echo what you’re saying, and I don’t mean to make light of the fact that people have died. And if you get it in the wrong health situations, it can be you know, you can pay the ultimate price. So we want to make sure that we pray for people in that we respect the struggle people have gone through. [00:15:21]
Matt Schlapp: [00:28:04] But you have a lot of people and my wife and I were very worried that the school systems in Northern Virginia will not open again in the fall. And maybe that’s politics. Maybe that’s panic. But I know it’s unwise. The thing that really has us worried is this mantra of you can’t leave your house until there’s, I said cur, that’s really inaccurate. Some type of inoculation like a flu shot. Until we have that, we really can’t open things back up. Please tell folks watching CPAC live why that is not a balanced approach. [00:28:35]
Peter Pitts: [00:28:37] You can’t wait for a miracle to happen. We need to send our kids back to school responsibly, understanding hygiene and social distancing and masks and things that we can do ourselves to mitigate COVID 19. But keeping our kids home isn’t helpful. It’s not going necessarily keep them much healthier. People still get sick staying in at home. Plus, as far as kids are concerned, they tend to be carriers rather than suffering from the disease itself. You know, you can’t live with fear. You have to deal with reality. And the reality is we can open our schools responsibly and we can open them sooner rather than later. [00:29:09]
Peter Pitts: [00:29:41] I mean, obviously, there are issues with kids. But, you know, the very, very small minority of kids that suffer from problems don’t represent the vast majority. And you can’t live your life with fear. And when you pick up The New York Times, it sounds as though every day the sun is going to explode. We’re going to enter into a new ice age. You know, we have to recognize what’s actually happening on the ground, balance the risks and benefits and proceed forward, whether it’s going back to school or going back to work. [00:30:05]
Matt Schlapp: [00:30:06] Yeah. And this is the I guess the if you could say one thing to everybody who’s really concerned about this virus, and really concerned they’re going to get sick, what would be the what would be the most optimistic characteristic of this pandemic?Is it the fact that even if you get sick and, God forbid, go to the hospital, you have a high percentage chance of walking out with your health intact? [00:30:31]
Peter Pitts: [00:30:32] Well, I tell people is, first of all, relax. You know, if at worst you get Coronavirus 19, you’ll ride it out at home and then you’ll be fine. If you’re very ill, you have to go to the hospital. We’re dealing with those folks better, better every day. Fewer and fewer people are having serious issues that we are actually winning this battle, despite what you might hear on the media. [00:30:52]
Matt Schlapp: [00:30:53] Yeah. So maybe what you’re also saying is getting stressed out can make you sick and watching television coverage that is panicky, hyperventilating and not accurate can make you sick. [00:31:04]
Matt Schlapp [00:01:10] As far as the American Conservative Union is concerned, we believe that we should, in a responsible way that protects people’s health and safety, reopen the economy as fast as we can. Let individuals decide if they’re ready to go back to work. I think millions and millions and millions of Americans want to. [00:01:32]
A group identifying themselves as America’s Frontline Doctors created a video that was removed from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after going viral on July 27. One version of the video was published by Breitbart News. It features a group in white lab coats staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin, a member of the Open our Country Coalition, introduced the segment. America’s Frontline Doctors seems closely affiliated with another Tea Party Patriots group titled the Second Opinion Project profiled later in this report. Simone Gold, a prominent voice in the Frontline Doctors video, is also an Open our Country Coalition member. Her name appears on the Second Opinion Project’s letter to Dr. Fauci urging to end shutdowns due to COVID.
A version of the video is still available at the Tea Party Patriots Action website, where it is now promoted for being “censored” by social media.
President Trump shared the video to his Twitter followers despite the claims running counter to those of public health experts including “you don’t need masks” to prevent spread of the coronavirus, and that recent studies showing hydroxychloroquine is ineffective for the treatment of Covid-19 are “fake science” sponsored by “fake pharma companies.”
The video was taken down by social media sites, but Trump later defended his sharing of the video.
The Daily Beast was the first to note that one of the most prominent voices in the video, Stella Immanuel, has a history of “making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues” including “that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches” and that “alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious” and that “the government is run in part not by humans but by ‘reptilians’ and other aliens.”
According to an archive of the now-defunct America’s Frontline Doctors website, the following were among the group’s “physician leadership”:
- Simone Gold, MD, JD, Founder @drsimonegold
- Teryn Clark, MD, Communications Director @MdTeryn
- Richard Urso, MD, Science Liason @richardursomd
- James M. Todaro, MD, Science Liason @JamesTodaroMD
- Jeff Barke, MD, Schools Liason @RX_forLiberty
- Robert Hamilton, MD, Schools Liason pacificoceanpediatrics.com
- Scott A. Barbour, MD, Business Liason @drscott_atlanta
- Kristin S. Held, MD, Physician Liason @kksheld
- Joseph A. Ladapo, MD, PhD Policy Liason, JL[email protected]
- Mark McDonald, MD, Mental Health Liason, [email protected]
- Susanna Dokupil, Of Counsel, [email protected]
- Steve Mitby, Of Counsel seilermitby.com
- @Fleccas, Social Media Coordinator
Some speakers in the viral video included:
- Simone Gold
- Robert Hamilton
- Stella Immanuel
- Dan Erickson
- Jenny Beth Martin (Tea Party Patriots)
- James Todaro
- Richard Urso
Some notable quotes from the video, taken from the Breitbart version, below:
Robert Hamilton: [00:03:31] yes, we can send the kids back to school, I think, without fear. And this is the big issue right now is Congressman Norman alluded to this is the really important thing we need to do. We need to normalize the lives of our children. How do we do that? We do that by getting them back in the classroom. And the good news is they’re not driving this infection at all. [00:03:54]
Robert Hamilton: [00:04:10] The barrier to getting our kids back in school is not going to be the science. It’s going to be the national unions, the teachers union, the National Education Association, other groups who are going to demand money. And listen, I think that is fine to give people money for PPE and different things in the classroom. But some of their demands are really ridiculous. [00:04:35]
Stella Immanuel: [00:08:00] So if some fake science, some person sponsored by all these fake pharma companies comes out, say, oh, we’ve done studies on to find out that it doesn’t work. I can tell you categorically it’s fake science. [00:08:11][11.2]
Stella Immanuel: [00:09:34] I tell all of you doctors that are sitting down and watching Americans die. You’re like the good Nazi… The good Germans that watch Jews get killed and do not speak up. [00:09:48]
Stella Immanuel: [00:10:09] today, I’m here to say that America, there is a cure for COVID. All this foolishness, it does not need to happen. There is a cure for it. There is a cure for COVID. It’s called Hydroxychloroquine. It’s called zinc. It’s called Zithromax. It is time for the grassroots to wake up. [00:10:28]
Stella Immanuel: [00:10:57] Guys, we don’t need to die. There is a cure for COVID. [00:11:00]
Dan Erikson: [00:13:54] A sustainable approach is slowing things down, opening up schools, opening up businesses. And then we can allow that people to have their independence and their personal responsibility to choose to wear masks and socially distance as opposed to putting edicts on them, you know, kind of controlling them. Let’s empower them with data and let them study what other countries have done and make their own decision. [00:14:20]
Simone Gold: [00:18:13] So the case number, which you see rising all the time in the news, is basically irrelevant. And if you told us a few months ago that that was the number that the media is gonna go crazy over. We all would have just laughed at that. I mean, that’s essentially herd immunity. There’s lots of people out there who have tested positive without symptoms or with very mild symptoms. So the only number that’s worth paying attention to is mortality. When you look at the mortality, this is a disease that takes that unfortunately kills our most frail members of society, people with multiple comorbid conditions, specifically diabetes. Obesity is a big one. We don’t talk about that. But it is. It’s a fact. Coronary artery disease, severe coronary artery disease. People like that. And also, if you’re older, it’s a risk factor. But the biggest risk factor is if you have comorbid conditions. If you’re young and healthy. This is not… You’re going to recover if you’re under 60 with no comorbid conditions it’s less deadly than influenza. [00:19:03]
Robert Hamilton: [00:24:00] When you think about your experience in junior high and high school, what do you think about the thing about parties and you think about football games, socializing? Those are the things we think about. Those are all being shut down, folks. Nobody is nobody is having fun anymore. And I will tell you that these are critical years of life to be out mixing with other kids, other people, and that is being shut down. So, yes, there are lots of comorbidities that go along with shutting down. [00:24:28]
Stella Immanuel: [00:26:32] So this is the answer to this question. You want to open schools. Everybody get on Hydroxychloroquine. That is the prevention for COVID. One tablet every other week is good enough. And that is what we need to get across to the American people. There is prevention and it is cure. We don’t have to lock down schools would lock down our businesses. There is prevention and there is cure. So instead of talking about masks, instead of talking about lockdowns let’s start talking about all these things. Put our teachers on Hydroxychloroquine. Put those that are high risk on Hydroxychloroquine. Those that want it. If you want to catch COVID, that’s cool, but you should be given the right to take it and be prevented. So that’s the message. [00:27:08]
Jonathan Hauenschild (Director, Communications and Technology Task Force, ALEC): [00:30:53] A lot of the Model Emergency Management Acts have a provision in there that allows governors to control, quote, ingress and egress, unquote, to disaster areas and, quote, the movement within the disaster area, unquote. And when you’re talking about shutting down non-essential businesses, when you’re talking, stay at home orders. That’s the specific provision governors cite for the authority to do it.
They completely ignore the communicable disease laws, which often have language to the effect or not just to the effect, but that state that only quote an individual end quote that’s confirmed to have the disease may be quarantined or isolated or quote an individual or individuals that are reasonably suspected of having come in contact with an individual confirmed to have the disease, unquote. So just based off the statutory language, you have an individual. We do not have groups of people. You do not have society.
And the second part is there has to be a reasonable belief that they have the disease or been exposed. So you can’t just quarantine or isolate healthy people. If governors were following their state quarantine laws, their state communicable disease laws, they wouldn’t be allowed to issue these stay at home orders.
So that’s when I go back and say that state emergency management should be very clear about the authority of the governor and very clear about what the laws they can ignore or suspend. And very specifically, state, for example, in a pandemic that the state must follow the communicable disease law. [00:32:44]
Joel Griffith: [00:44:33] Jonathan, Alec has quite a bit of a model policy on many different issues. Is this an area that there’s already some models that you could provide? Or is this something that that you’re working on for the future?
Jonathan Hauenschild: [00:44:53] So we’re working on it right now. We have our annual meeting next week. And thanks to the virus, it will also be a virtual format. There are a number of policies that have been introduced by state legislators on this topic. We have a statement of principles to inform Emergency Management Act reform. We have a draft, and these are all draft, draft, Emergency Power Reform Act. Other task forces are taking a look at this, very specifically a resolution on over-criminalization and pandemics.
So this is a topic that is of great interest to state legislators. State legislators, encouragingly, are trying to come up with solutions and they’re trying to come up with the solutions that are balanced, recognizing that the governor does, in fact, have a role and that the governor can do certain things better than the state legislature can and should have certain authorities.
But that also that there should be certain limits. And I think what you’re going to see, based on some of these kinds of sick conversations, some states will go the legislative route and maybe work with governors, will put pressure on governors. Other states will go the state constitutional amendment route. And what we will see in the coming year and years is a host of solutions coming from state legislatures, all of which are at least a step forward, many of which are really good thought out, measured approaches. [00:46:28]
Jonathan Hauenschild: [00:46:28]
So the short answer to your question is yes, ALEC is considering it. [00:46:33]
ALEC Model Bill: “Liability Protection for Employers in a Declared Disaster or Public Emergency Act”
As part of its efforts to push for reopening of the economy, ALEC introduced a model bill that “would limit liability for businesses following health and safety regulations or guidelines designed to protect employees and customers against the virus,” Bloomberg Law reported.
ALEC representative Ronnie Lampard told Bloomberg Law:
“There needs to be a measured approach, and there needs to be protection from certain liability. We want to say if the organizations and employers are complying with certain rules and regulations, those companies should be immune from certain liability.”
ALEC Model Bill: “Emergency Power Reform Act”
Another ALEC model bill seeks to limit the number of days the executive branch’s emergency order can remain in effect and bars the reissuing of similar orders. According to the ALEC summary:
“The model requires that any exercise of emergency powers by the executive branch be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public health or safety purpose, with judicial review of these requirements. It also provides that all emergency orders infringing constitutional rights will expire automatically after a short period of time unless the legislature ratifies them in existing or special sessions.”
“Empower States to Safely Open the Economy,” ALEC open letter to President Donald Trump and state leaders, April 30, 2020
Additionally, federalism – the proper balance of power between states and the federal government – must be preserved. A heavy-handed approach by Washington would inhibit the ability of states to deal with the pandemic. Thankfully, the Trump Administration has shared that disaster response is locally executed, state managed and federally supported. The federal government can be helpful by sharing expertise and developing guidelines to safely reopen the economy, just as the Trump Administration has done with its “Opening Up America Again” plan.
To protect Americans’ civil liberties, state and local governments must ensure that any government orders or restrictions are narrowly tailored to address specific risks.
Sadly, even when complying with social distancing orders and finding creative ways to continue operations, Americans are still being arrested, fined or harassed by some authorities even for attending church services. Additionally, federal, state and local governments should not surveil or use geolocation data to track Americans’ movements. Any coronavirus testing programs must strictly adhere to constitutional protections.
To save our country and protect the American people, we are calling for the economy to be safely reopened. In doing so, we have a duty to restore principles of limited government while remaining vigilant against threats to our constitutional rights. As we utilize best practices to protect the health of all Americans, we can bring the economy back to life through a free market approach that gets big government out of the way and, most importantly, Americans back to work.
“Stakeholders” listed in the above letter included the following:
- Adam Brandon-FreedomWorks
- Katie Buchmann
- Carol Davis-T.OL. Signs & Graphics
- Sherri Francescon-Council for National Policy
- Merlin Guilbeau-Electronic Security Association
- Joel Heaton-Electronic Security Association
- Talmadge Heflin-Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Ron Hooper-U.S. Term Limits
- Gordon Isbell-Leidos
- John Kay-Pelican Institute
- Kent Lawrence
- Stuart MacPhail
- Virginia MacPhail
- Jenny Beth Martin-Tea Party Patriots
- James Martin-60 Plus
- Sal Anuzis-60 Plus
- Tom McCabe-Freedom Foundation
- Steve Moore-Economist
- Richard Norman
- Sal Nuzzo-James Madison Institute
- Barry Poulson-University of Colorado
- Alan Smith-R Street Institute
- Carla Sonntag-New Mexico Business Coalition
- Angelina Spencer-Empowerment Enterprises, Inc.
- Clay Stubbs
- David Trabert-Kansas Policy Institute
- Kerry Welsh
- Timothy Jones-First Rule
- Carl Bearden-United for Missouri’s Future
“CEO Update” ALEC document, April 28, 2020
For the last 2 months we have looked to the future with the uneasiness that comes in the wake of a global setback. But this is no defeat. The curve is flattening, the determination is strong, the states are ready and at ALEC, we are prepared to act as an ally guided by the principles of free enterprise and individual liberty. Because after a public health crisis, state legislators will need to make decisions to preserve and protect these principles.
And now more than ever, your ALEC team has been value-pushing your ideas and solutions into the mainstream. Just in the last month we’ve released 9 Across the States podcast episodes with guests such as Newt Gingrich, released 30 policy prescriptions and hosted 9 calls with top government officials and policy experts.
tomorrow , we are hosting a call with the Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalie on reopening [sic] American. RSVP here for tomorrow’s 2:00 PM EST call with the Secretary of Labor. And on Tuesday May 5 at 3:00 PM EST, we are hosting a call with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos – RSVP Here.
And just last week we hosted a call with Vice President Pence to discuss the locally executed, state managed and federally supported response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 300 members of the ALEC family joined the call to discuss reopening the economy and ask questions, and you had one thing to say: we are ready.
Well, your ALEC team heard you. Immediately following the call, we circulated a letter to the President and state leaders calling for a safe reopening of the economy. As we utilize best practices to protect the health of all Americans, we can bring the economy back to life through a free market approach that gets big government out of the way and, most importantly, Americans back to work. Share your voice – sign it here.
On our call, Vice President Pence said with the current trajectory of phased reopening in the states, our country will look much different – and much better – by Memorial Day. In May we will be working to increase freedom across states with a continued focus on ensuring safety, building our communities and strengthening our society for a safe reopening of America.
March 30, 2020 conference call on Small Business
According to documents obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC hosted a conference call with partners including the National Federation of Independent Business and Job Creators Network to discuss how to help “businesses in their communities access capital and restart their businesses.”
“Newt Gingrich on Getting America Back to Work,” ALEC ‘Across the States’ podcast, March 26, 2020.
Lisa B. Nelson: [00:00:37] Our future is bright. And while we are mindful that we are just halfway through the fifteen day period of isolation to stop the spread, we believe that preparations need to be made for a clarion call to get Americans back to work and so that the economy can start to rebound. [00:00:55]
Newt Gingrich: [00:22:45] This is a genuine pandemic. This is not just a minor problem. And in responding to the pandemic, we have taken very strong public health steps which have truly screwed up the economy. And so now I’m the middle of trying to get people to understand. You want to have sound public health and a sound economy simultaneously. It can’t be either-or. And you need to think of both of them as kind of like rheostats. It’s not an on off switch. Even in a worst case on the public health side, you want parts of the economy to work because, for example, you need electricity. You don’t have electricity.
The whole thing collapses and lots of people die. So even in a worst case, public health has to take into account the economy. At the same time, if you can build a booming economy, you would like not to have people dying in it. So there’s a mutual interest. And I’m hoping that the White House will create a task force on renewing the economy and getting back to growth and prosperity of jobs that will work parallel to the public health task force.
“Steve Moore, Founder of the Committee To Unleash Prosperity, Discusses Response to COVID-19,” ALEC_states via SoundCloud, March 21
We can actually keep the American Academy shutdown for another three weeks if it’s a day beyond three weeks. I think we get to a situation where the literally the cure is worse than the disease.
The idea that we should have a policy like what’s going on in California right now to me is completely outrageous. It is a violation, it is an abuse of governmental power. The idea that people can’t go out of their homes is just outrageous to me. And I’m worried that that’s going to come to many other States as well.
July 8, 2020
“Phil Kerpen challenges ‘experts’ pushing to keep America’s schools closed,” Fox News, July 8, 2020
Laura Ingraham: [00:00:33] My next guest says what you just heard is the most disgraceful lie yet from Gottlieb. Joining me now is Phil Kerpen, president of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. Phil, given the data, given other countries experience, as you see what France is doing, Germany, obviously Sweden never took the younger kids out of school. How uninformed—purposely, because he’s not a dumb person, he’s a smart guy—was that statement?
Phil Kerpen: [00:00:58] Well, I mean, he knows it’s not true. He knows that sending your children does not place them at risk. He was one of the earliest and strongest cheerleaders and proponents for school closures. And when he was demanding them, he said we needed them to prevent community transmission. The idea that children, even though they’re not at any risk themselves, would pass around the infection, then give it to others and those people would be in danger.
We now have a lot of data that that doesn’t happen very much. Children of very poor transmitters as well. But we’ve always known that children themselves are at vanishingly small risk from this disease. In fact, much, much lower risk of hospitalization and death than even seasonal flu. So if you think that the risk to your children is too great from COVID, logically, you could never go send them to school ever again. Because the flu risk is greater than the COVID risk.
“EXCLUSIVE: How Trump’s Extended Coronavirus Guidelines Could Tank The US Economy,” The Daily Caller, April 5, 2020
“I am the biggest fan of President Trump there is,” Laffer said before adding that he believes the president has been “ill-informed” and “ill-advised.”
Laffer argues that the government has a limited amount of resources and can only prop up the economy for so long, making a prolonged shutdown untenable.
“Government spending is taxation. There’s no tooth fairy in this world,” he said. “Government does not create resources. Government redistributes resources.”
VIRTUAL EVENT: “How Can State Legislatures Curtail Governors’ Shutdown Powers”
Robert Alt (President and CEO of the Buckeye Institute): [00:23:16] I think you’ve seen a lot more angry response in states where the governors have taken these kinds of irrational steps of closing churches and constitutionally violative steps of closing churches, closing gun stores, discriminating more blatantly. I mean, I still, don’t get me wrong. I think, you know, there were some serious mistakes [in Ohio] that were made with regard to, you know, they certainly did keep early on to the essential non-essential distinction which we had encouraged the administration to jettison, and they ultimately did. But I think that did some substantial damage to businesses that could have operated safely during the shutdown, but were not permitted to do so. [00:24:02]
“View: Shutdown is unsustainable,” The Economic Times/India Times, April 5
The potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is enormous. But draconian policies to tackle the virus also have colossal costs. Ignoring the trade-offs could land us with one of the worst possible outcomes.
This middle ground is more like what Sweden has been doing – recommending people to work from home if possible, and asking those who are sick and over-70 to avoid social contacts. But most people still work, children go to school, most of society is still running. This is long-term sustainable. Shutting everything down is not.
“Growing concerns over coronavirus,” Fox News via Youtube, March 23
Charlie Kirk: [00:00:28] And so what I’d like to see is an even heavier focus and more national unity about assisting those areas and also relieving some of the quarantine and allowing the American entrepreneur to be liberated. Day fifteen comes some of the other parts of the country that have not been as impacted because you talked about there are real economic consequences to these sorts of quarantines that have been going on.
Charlie Kirk: [00:02:34] Look, the president has done a phenomenal job. And I can tell you the president is been he’s adapted quick into quick leadership form, almost like wartime form quicker than any other president we could possibly imagine. He has brought the country together against an invisible enemy. And I’m telling you, the president will make the right decisions to get this economy back and roaring in quick order. And he will be able to allocate the resources needed in these parts of the country, need them, and he will liberate the American off.
^^ Phil Kerpen: “It’s Not Safe to Keep Schools Closed,” July 2020
According to the report:
“Children are at far lower risk of hospitalization or death with COVID than they are with lab-confirmed influenza, a risk we accept without any extraordinary measures. Therefore if any modifications of school operations are justified based on risks to children, they should logically have been made historically and should be permanent.
“It is immoral [sic] deny children education and social interaction on account of a disease which does notpresent a significant risk to them”
“If children do contribute meaningfully to community spread – contrary to most available evidence – then it is especially critical that they be in school five days a week with the same consistent group of students.”
^^See report by Laffer Associates, republished at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity
“Every day that states keep their economies closed leads to a cascading negative impact on not only their own economies, but also the national economy. We are a 50-state free-trade zone. A strong national economic recovery will be inhibited if California, Illinois, Michigan and New York keep their economies shuttered into the summer months.These four states alone account for about one-third of the national output. ALL states would benefit mightily ifCalifornia, Illinois, Michigan and New York open sooner rather than later.”
^^Links to Phil Kerpen’s article, “Stop Fear-Mongering: Kids Are Safer From Covid-19 Than Everyone Else,” The Federalist, May 21, 2020
Speaking of Kawasaki disease, which some have suggested may be linked to COVID infection in children, Kerpen wrote:
“Don’t let politicians like Cuomo use dozens of kids with a treatable condition tenuously connected to COVID-19 to justify lockdowns and school closures for millions—and to distract from their failure to protect the truly vulnerable, particularly seniors in nursing homes.”
^^ Links to: “The Lockdown Rebellion,” Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2020
^^Links to: “Debriefing the COVID-19 Briefing,” CBS Audio, April 16
Major Garrett: [00:02:47] We are recording this, ladies and gentlemen, on the day that the Labor Department announced that another five million Americans applied for unemployment insurance. And moments after that, my guest, Stephen Moore, put out a statement that said, starting tomorrow, and I’m quoting this directly, We need to let American business open up their doors and allow tens of millions of workers back earning a paycheck. If we do not act soon, again I’m directly quoting, hundreds of thousands of Americans could die from economic deprivation and hopelessness. True? You really believe that? [00:03:20]
Stephen Moore: [00:03:20] Yeah, I do. I sure hope it doesn’t happen. Look, we know this, that when you have a really calamitous economic situation, as we have now, we can go a couple of months like this. But I really don’t think it can go much past that. Every day I get calls from businessmen and women who run small businesses who are saying, if I don’t get revenues in and customers in in the next couple of weeks, I’m out of business. And all these loan programs in the world aren’t going to prevent a lot of that from happening. We’re seeing, every day, you’ve seen the pictures, Major, of the mile long lines that some of the food banks around the country. People are feeling real harm from this. There are millions and millions, tens of millions Americans who live paycheck to paycheck. Or people like you and me. I mean, I would estimate my incomes could be about down about 60 percent this year. But I have an income where it’s not going to cause me real hardship. It’s the people at the very bottom who are really facing hardship. We know that prolonged unemployment can cause all sorts of problems from, you know, from alcoholism to drug abuse to suicide, depression. So, you know, there’s a rule of thumb, Major, that every one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with about 10,000 additional deaths. So when you add that to the trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars that we’re spending and printing, you know, we’re making some major decisions that are going to affect Americans not just now, but for years and maybe decades to come. [00:04:51]
Major Garrett: [00:04:52] You mentioned that statistic. If those who remember the movie The Big Short. Remember, there was a line from Brad Pitt in which he says that in the middle of the movie, the one percentage point increase in joblessness equates to a ten percent increase. [00:05:05][12.7]
Stephen Moore: [00:05:06] Is that where that comes from? [00:05:06]
Major Garrett [00:05:08] Yes. Yes. It’s in the book and it’s in the movie. Yes. [00:05:09]
Stephen Moore: [00:05:10] OK, well, good. I’m glad you told me that. [00:05:11]
Major Garrett: [00:05:13] It’s a pop culture reference, but it speaks to something that is a larger dynamic when people are facing economic then personal events, then sometimes psychological or other deprivation. [00:05:23]
Stephen Moore: [00:05:24] And look, I’m frankly, I’m happy to have this debate with people about, you know, what is the appropriate time for us to open our economy, what steps we have to take. But I frankly, I’m tired of people trying to take the moral high ground and saying, oh, Steve Moore is trying to put greed or profits ahead of people’s lives. Look. You know, I’m sorry, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, but the people you’re hurting the most with the shutdown are the people at the very bottom, the people. I just I don’t want it to continue. I think we’ve got to be very smart. About a new strategy that is not either or, but takes the best public health measures available to get our economy open, because at some point a society with an unknown economy can’t function. [00:06:05]
Major Garrett: [00:09:22] Were you whispering or saying to the president the cure can’t be worse than the virus? [00:09:26]
Stephen Moore: [00:09:31] No I wasn’t saying that, but that’s the way I do feel. I feel at this point the cure is worse than the virus itself. And again, I’m not minimizing this [00:09:39]
^^”Republican pressure on Trump to reopen the economy grows,” Washington Examiner, April 10, 2020
On Thursday, the Republican-friendly group Committee to Unleash Prosperity held a private conference call with GOP insiders to advocate that policymakers start giving the economic challenges posed by the coronavirus the same level of attention as health concerns. The call was led by conservative economists Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore, who is a Washington Examiner columnist, plus Republican businessman and donor John Catsimatidis and one-time GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes, according to a copy of the invitation.
“People want the economy to reopen soon. That’s the bottom line,” said a Republican executive who joined the conference call. Trump has heard directly from many who share this view. This week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, floated the possibility of reopening the economy in May, with the White House announcing the creation of a working group that will focus exclusively on that task.
“Stephen Moore to Newsmax TV: ‘Catastrophic’ Cost If Shutdown Continues Past April,” Newsmax, March 30, 2020
^^Ed Feulner and Stephen Moore. “Trump Is Right: We Need to Get Our $20 Trillion Economy Back Up and Running,” The American Spectator, March 29, 2020
The latest labor market report showed 3.3 million Americans signing up for unemployment benefits — almost five times higher than any other month in history. Without a smart and medically responsible reopening of the U.S. economy soon, that number could soar to 30 million unemployed. There isn’t enough gold in Fort Knox to pay prolonged unemployment benefits to that many workers and for the associated economic damage.
This is why President Trump was right when he said last Monday “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.” The public seems to approve of that strategy as Trump’s approval rating has soared to near 60 percent — the highest of his presidency. He has given Americans a sense of optimism that this lockdown can end in many parts of the country in weeks, not months, with the right, smart public health safeguards in place.
The extraordinary lockdown measures pushed by governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California may be necessary in these heavily hit states. About half the infections have happened in New York, which has become ground zero for the virus in America.
But other areas in the country, such as Idaho, Iowa, and Utah, have fairly low caseloads. But, if imposed on a national basis and continued for an extended period, a lockdown would be a catastrophe for public health, the economy, and the American people.
Why not let businesses and workers make their own informed decisions if they want to get back to work — especially in areas with few cases? No plan is perfect, and there are risks and tradeoffs with any strategy.
Instead of imposing a blanket-wide shelter-in-place on a national scale, Trump continues to reiterate that any decision regarding the reopening of the U.S. economy would be “based on hard facts and data” and be “grounded solely in the health, well-being and safety of our good citizens,” as any decision impacting the safety of Americans should.
There is no getting around it: the health, well-being, and security of America’s 320 million citizens depends on a functioning economy. We have a $20 trillion highly tuned economic engine — the envy of the world. That engine can’t be shut down for months and then with the switch of an ignition switch powered back up.
Getting America back to work soon while taking all necessary measures to contain the coronavirus is a balanced and wise solution.
^^Charles Koch and Brian Hooks. “An American approach to the coronavirus crisis: Find innovative ways to contribute,” USA Today, March 28, 2020
Policymakers also have a critical role to play in a crisis like this. By acting to empower those in a position to help, their decisions have undoubtedly saved lives. Many acted fast to break down barriers standing in the way of an effective medical response. At least 18 states and D.C. have removed restrictions on telemedicine. Others are relaxing licensing laws that prevent qualified medical professionals from assisting patients. These are examples of the right response in this difficult time: Creating an environment in which people can help solve the problems in their communities, in cooperation with others.
Contrast that with the control-approach: open-ended business shutdowns that can prevent critical supply chains from getting products and services to those who need them most. Better to empower people who can responsibly operate businesses with effective social distancing and without endangering public health, as some governors have. Not only does this keep people employed but it ensures everyone has what they need to do their part — something that will be even more critical in the weeks and months ahead.
After a slow start, and as the challenges ahead intensify, we must embrace the best of our country. That means resisting the temptation to close off avenues for individuals and organizations who can find new and creative ways to do more to help others. It means relying on the ingenuity of every American to help make it through.
All of these negative effects of stress will have a major impact on the American economy once the nation reopens fully and people can return to work as usual. Many may remain unmotivated as they return to work, leading to a major increase in the unemployment rate as people don’t wish to do their job. In other words, as lockdowns continue, our unemployment problems may turn from cyclical to voluntary. Increases in voluntary unemployment also have the adverse effect of straining the welfare system as people fall back on government safety nets that have already been depleted due to the pandemic.
If things don’t get back to normal soon, there will be dire consequences for the U.S. economy as a whole. Studies have shown that the longer one is without employment, the less likely they are to attain gainful employment in the future.. With times changing, many workers will need to be retrained for their jobs, both because of major regulatory changes due to COVID-19 and because they’ve spent months now off the job. This will leave the workforce much less skilled, causing the behemoth of the American economy to crumble.
In order for the government to safely reopen as quickly as possible, there needs to be some major legislative action to get workers back on their feet and to work. The government needs to do more in promoting honest education on the virus and let people know how to be safe when reentering the workplace. It can also enact a business liability shield, offering immunity from frivolous lawsuits to businesses that make good faith efforts to protect their employees and customers from contracting the coronavirus upon reopening. Many workers are scared to go back and employers are scared to reopen due to fears of the virus and the associated potential consequences, and government reassurance would do a lot to calm the panic.
Most of all, the government needs to ensure that it is doing everything it can do to reopen the nation as fast as possible, to get the economy back on track. This is still the biggest reason workers are having large economic and otherwise stressful burdens placed upon them. The only true way to solve all of the problems plaguing the American workers is not more stimulus packages, rather, a return to normalcy for the American workforce to get America back on its feet.
This pandemic has taught us many lessons as it caught us completely unprepared, making future preparations all the more necessary. Some of the regulatory restrictions that were lifted on drug companies and others in the private sector would have helped the nation recover much faster if they were implemented much earlier. With future pandemics potentially on the horizon, it is pivotal that these deregulatory actions stay in place to allow for faster recovery when the nation is forced into quarantine again.
Cleon Lewis Bryant: Americans, I’m not a physician, nor am I a scientist, but I am a very concerned American, as all of you should be.
And I certainly hope you are, because at this point in time, America, we’re living with the type of fear that we cannot afford to continue entertaining. What will it be? Dangerous freedom, or will we yield to peaceful slavery?
Too many of us might want to yield to the peaceful slavery.
I can tell you this, I won’t. And I won’t bow down to the Ilan Omars or the virus Nazis that are seemingly invading the terrain these days.
We have to ward them off. You do know that!
And we must. We will.
But it’s going to take men and women of courage to say these words: open up the nation again! Citizens of this nation, remember that you are still in charge of this country. What will it be? Dangerous freedom or peaceful slavery?
Not my words, but the words of that old man, Thomas Jefferson, whose statue, by the way, some idiots want to tear down. I’m C.L. That’s real talk. I’ll speak to you next time.
^^Links to: “Modelers Were ‘Astronomically Wrong’ in COVID-19 Predictions, Says Leading Epidemiologist—and the World Is Paying the Price,” Foundation for Economic Education, July 2, 2020
There’s little question that the lockdowns have caused widespread economic, social, and emotional carnage. Evidence that US states that locked down fared better than states that did not is hard to find.
Though not yet certain, the COVID-19 pandemic may well turn out to be another example of central planning gone wrong.
As I previously noted, it’s a sad irony that many of the greatest disasters in modern history—from Stalin’s “kolkhoz” collective farming system to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and beyond—are the result of central planners trying to improve the lot of humanity through coercive action.
During the coronavirus pandemic, experts may have unintentionally brought about one of the most serious human disasters in modern history by removing choice from individuals with superior local knowledge.
“This is not a dispute about whether planning is to be done or not,” Hayek wrote in The Use of Knowledge in Society. “It is a dispute as to whether planning is to be done centrally, by one authority for the whole economic system, or is to be divided among many individuals.”
“Reopen America Strategy Session with Stephen Moore and Scott Rasmussen,” FreedomWorks video, May 6
Scott Rasmussen [00:15:17] Seventy six percent of voters know that the number of people who had this virus now is much higher than we initially thought because we’ve seen all of those news reports. A lot of people don’t have symptoms, but they are having it.
So people are aware of that increase. But when we ask if they are aware that the fatality rates, the number of people who get it die, is lower than we initially thought – and quite frankly, it’s significantly lower – only 44 percent are aware of that.
The people who know the latest data, who know that it’s not you walk outside and you catch the virus and you die, they are much more supportive of reopening society. Those who mistakenly believe that the fatality rate is as high as we thought it was back, you know, when this was just in Kirkland, Washington. They’re the ones who are saying, no, we can’t possibly reopen. So, the more people understand the realities of this, the more support there will be for reopening society.
Adam Brandon [00:17:45] But I’m also just curious what it’s like in the House of Representatives under Nancy Pelosi at the moment, and it just seems like legislation is being driven, driven by panic and not fact.
Congressman Chip Roy [00:21:19] But I’m also going to fly right into this and say that 30 million unemployed is unconscionable and that the leadership of this country should be ashamed. They should be ashamed for letting this happen, for allowing this to become two weeks of, you know, flattening the curve in order to give our hospitals the chance to catch up is now turning into months on end shutdown of our American way of life. To hell with these leaders.
I want more Americans to go in and open up their barbershops. I want more Americans to go open up their bars and restaurants. I want more Americans to go use those services. You tell these local tyrants to pound sand.
I’m sick of it. We’re watching our American way of life getting absolutely decimated because we’ve got elected leaders who are walking around like they’ve been anointed to tell us how to live our lives.
You got Governor Hogan saying, oh, now you’re not going to be to leave Maryland to go on vacation now – to hell with you. I’m going to go wherever the hell I want to go. And look, I’m proud of Governor Abbott for leaning into this but Texas needs to go farther, faster, and we need to restart because every day that goes by is the day that this freight train of the American economy slows down. Thirty million unemployed. Compare that to the less than three million that were unemployed as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.
This is real. And we need to get busy getting it started so that our kids and grandkids don’t inherit a mess instead of inheriting the greatest economy in the history mankind.
Adam Brandon [00:50:31] And what we’ve lost in a lot of this is who is at most at risk in this country. We’re trying to compile some stats right now of who is dying in the United States. And frankly, it’s, it’s it tends to be older folks with certain pre-existing conditions. My father’s probably in that category, 80 years old, and his heart’s not as strong as it was a few years ago. So absolutely everything, every precaution necessary needs to be able to take… to help him.
But when we were looking at statistics on how many people below 30 and below 40 were dying, it’s not it’s… it’s… I’m not saying that this is not a bad disease, but I am saying that we do know who is the most affected. And I believe we have to start educating – going back to something we opened up with, with 62 percent of Americans still nervous to walk outside their door. We need to make – that actually hurts because you don’t understand who is at – we should be spending more time educating who is the most at risk and what we should do to keep those people safe and healthy.
And we’re wasting too much resources trying to keep college kids safe. Look. College kids statistically – that’s not a high probability that this is really going to affect them. So we’re going to have to do a more and a better job. And unfortunately, the media is not going to help us get that message out. And that’s why we’re going to rely on our activist community to be forwarding information to folks, family members. And I think as we start to see Georgia and other states start to open up, we’re going to have to get into a discussion about numbers and who’s really at risk.
And I’ll end with this: is that you remember we were told this is how – this is the capacity for a hospital and as long as you kept the cases under that capacity, that is our goal. Well we’ve done that and what I fear is the media has moved the goalposts now to trying to say prevention, prevention. I was told at the beginning of this crisis that everyone’s going to get this eventually, that eventually there’s nothing you can do to stop a pandemic. It’s all about preventing hitting that line. Well, we’ve done that and we’ve done our part. And now it’s time to prevent the next economic crisis that could find the next American generation.
^^ Links to the FreedomWorks and Committee to Unleash Prosperity report: Grading Our Governors: A Report Card on Reopening States’ Economies.
VIRTUAL EVENT: “How Can State Legislatures Curtail Governors’ Shutdown Powers” – July 9, 2020
Guests on the Heritage Foundation’s event on how to curtain the shutdown powers of governors included:
- Carrie Ann Donnell—President and Founder, American Juris Link
- Robert Alt—President and Chief Executive Officer, The Buckeye Institute
- John Malcolm—Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government
- Jonathon Hauenschild—Director, Communications and Technology Task Force, American Legislative Exchange Council
- Joel Griffith—Heritage Foundation Research Fellow, Financial Regulations (host of event)
The event description was as follows;
In an effort to contain COVID-19, many governors have used emergency powers to limit business activity, social gatherings, and mobility. Without action by state legislators these emergency powers will remain in place. Further economic damage and constitutional concerns can be allayed by replacing vague statutory language with clear parameters for emergency powers. Such powers should expire without affirmative legislative renewal, and targeted litigation may be required to ensure governors adhere to statutory limitations. Join us for a panel discussion on how legislators can navigate these legal waters.
John Malcolm: [00:11:52] I guess I would add some of these things seem bizarre and probably have to do a lot to do with the politics of the individual states. So you’ve got landscape architects and medical marijuana dispensaries are essential businesses in some places. But, you know, as I said, you know, gun stores are not. Attending church services are not. I actually. Look…the first COVID-19 patient in Washington, D.C. was the pastor of my church, so I have some sympathy for this. But nonetheless, you know, people have a right to congregate.
They have a First Amendment right to freely exercise. And that includes, you know, in congregation together. And I see no reason why you would take something that has fundamental rights implicated and apply more stringent conditions to church attendance than you would to, you know, going to a department store. So some of these distinctions strike me as being arbitrary. And lawsuits have been filed trying to get rulings on them. With the courthouses closed in anything like a timely fashion has been difficult. And, of course, the Supreme Court, as I mentioned, weighed in on a church case, a Pentecostal church out in California. And it was very obvious that the chief justice basically said, hey, I’m a judge, I’m not a doctor. And, you know, we’re very, very reluctant to weigh in and second guess these emergency orders. [00:13:20]
Robert Alt (President and CEO of the Buckeye Institute): [00:23:16] I think you’ve seen a lot more angry response in states where the governors have taken these kinds of irrational steps of closing churches and constitutionally violative steps of closing churches, closing gun stores, discriminating more blatantly. I mean, I still, don’t get me wrong. I think, you know, there were some serious mistakes [in Ohio] that were made with regard to, you know, they certainly did keep early on to the essential non-essential distinction which we had encouraged the administration to jettison, and they ultimately did. But I think that did some substantial damage to businesses that could have operated safely during the shutdown, but were not permitted to do so. [00:24:02]
Joel Griffith: [00:58:13] But are we at the point with any of these orders where civil disobedience, nonviolent civil disobedience has been warranted, in your opinion?
John Malcolm: [00:58:26] Well, you know, I never like to tell anybody to violate a law, but, you know, sometimes civil disobedience, if you’re prepared to pay the consequences of being civilly disobedient, can be an effective political tool. And you are seeing certain church services, for instance, that are saying, you know, look, I understand that I’m gonna be violating this by gathering at a church service with my my fellow parishioners. And if you want to haul me off to jail, OK. You can haul me off to jail. I’ll pay the consequences of that.
You know. So long as you’re prepared to pay the consequences of it and it’s nonviolent, then you can end up having potentially an effective political message as a way of getting your your word out there in the same way that people are in the streets now who are peacefully protesting or having their voices heard and so long as they’re not rioting and looting. That presents a whole different kettle of fish. [00:59:21]
Amy Anderson and Kevin Pham. “Paused COVID-19 Reopenings Reflect Setbacks, Not a Failure of Protocols,” The Heritage Foundation, July 2, 2020
As expected with reopening, we have begun to see incidences of COVID-19 begin to rise again. That’s no surprise. From the beginning, we knew reopening could result in rising case numbers and that there may be hot spots where a governor or mayor might need to target mitigation measures to stop and slow the spread of the disease.
States are in various stages of reopening, with many officials implementing a phased approach. The purpose of the phased plan was for a more predictable and manageable pattern of cases.
In fact, the incidence of COVID-19 had been fairly stable in the month of May, when Texas began its first phases of slowly reopening and returning to a modicum of normalcy.
Critically, it’s important to take a measured assessment of who is getting sick, and how likely they are to die if they get sick.
Public health measures are focused on protecting the most vulnerable from dying of COVID-19, so those who are elderly or have preexisting conditions such as obesity or diabetes get the care they need.
Flattening the curve was never about ensuring that no one gets sick from COVID-19, but rather an attempt to prevent increased deaths due to an overwhelmed health care system.
Kevin Pham. “Why In-Person Schooling Would Be One of the Safest Activities to Reopen,” The Heritage Foundation, June 12, 2020
Now, the data increasingly suggests that reopening schools entails the least risks and should be a goal of every level of government.
Reopening the schools may be one of the safest activities the nation can restart with tremendous benefit for Americans, and governments should make it their goal to do so.
The average age of schoolteachers in America is about 42 years old, with 81% of them below 55 years of age. That means that most of America’s teachers are outside of the high-risk group for both mortality and for ICU admission.
Those figures should be at least somewhat reassuring to teachers, but regardless, it’s reasonable to implement precautions to prevent the spread of disease. After all, teachers still interact with other adults, and students are resistant—but not impervious—to the virus.
Children are at low risk themselves and present low risk to others, even if they have trouble following all the mitigation rules. At the same time, keeping children at home might expose them to considerable risks to their educational progress, their mental health, their nutrition, and alarmingly, even their safety and welfare.
One of the most important goals of reopening the country is resuming some degree of regular school life for the nation’s children.
Considering the low risks of COVID-19 for schoolchildren, in-person schooling this fall may be one of the safest activities we can restart. Considering the risks of isolating children at home, it may be negligent of us not to.
Jonathan Butcher. “School Reopenings—Parents, Students Don’t Need National Consensus, They Need This Strategy,” The Heritage Foundation, June 10, 2020
Parents looking for a national consensus on whether schools should open in the fall won’t find one. But that’s okay. We don’t need one.
Even if relatively few schools have thus far decided to have students return to the classrooms, that fact that some states have done so should change parents’ question from if schools will open in the fall to how quickly the process can happen.
Washington should not force schools to reopen. But national officials can remind state lawmakers and parents there are alternatives. Short of a consensus on opening schools in August, that is the best news for everyone.
“Businesses Should be Open to the Public: Jessica Anderson,” One News Now via YouTube/The Heritage Foundation
Stefan Kleinhenz: [00:00:01] As many people across the nation grow anxious about an economy that remains shut down, one group has made some headway with a petition that is asking governors to reopen their states. Late last week, Heritage Action delivered their petition with more than 100,000 signatures to the National Governors Association. Jessica Anderson, the executive director, said the petition or just governors to open both safely and on a data driven basis in order to meet the needs of their state. [00:00:25]
Jessica Anderson: [00:00:26] The petition is very clear. It asks for governors to open. And it asks that each of us, as Americans take a certain level of personal responsibility amidst this crisis, that we do our part if we’re in a vulnerable population or otherwise, to make sure that we’re not getting others sick. The petition launched just over two weeks ago across the country. Coast to coast. And I’m excited to to announce that we just had one hundred thousand signatures. [00:00:49]
Stefan Kleinhenz: [00:00:50] Anderson said the petition’s aim is to put pressure on governors who are lagging behind and using stay-at-home orders as partisan weapons against their citizens. [00:00:57]
Jessica Anderson: [00:00:58] People should be free to travel. Governors should only implement these stay at home orders if it’s in a targeted or specific local need. Businesses should be open to the public. Governors can apply restrictions where the Coronavirus impact is the most high. And then finally, as I said, Americans are responsible. We’re responsible citizens and we can get ourselves tested and we can ensure that we don’t go to work if we know that we’re sick. [00:01:23]
Stefan Kleinhenz: [00:01:23] Anderson said the petition is a grassroots milestone that highlights the importance of governors reopening their economies. [00:01:28]
Jessica Anderson: [00:01:29] Not only does it matter in terms of giving the American people a voice and a vehicle to express their frustrations to their elected officials, but we’re going to deliver these petitions directly to the National Governors Association and directly to the White House. They need to see exactly where the American people are on this issue and realize that we are ready to open back up, ready to let people travel businesses open and have personal responsibility amidst this crisis. [00:01:55]
Doug Badger. “Putting the COVID-19 Surge in Florida in Context,” The Heritage Foundation, July 4, 2020
Florida is melting down. Or is it?
While the state has shown a big increase in the number of daily new COVID-19 cases, there also are signs that those increases might not lead to a spike in hospitalizations and deaths.
Daily hospitalizations have risen throughout the month of June, but remain only slightly above previous peaks reached in April and May. Daily fatalities remain substantially below the peaks hit during May. If new cases are trending younger, there’s reason to hope that these rates won’t spike, although it’s far too soon to tell.
The potential good news should be met with caution. The volume of cases reported over the past several weeks is much higher than it was earlier in the pandemic. Even if seniors make up only 10% of new cases, as the sample suggests, that percentage must be applied to very large numbers of new cases.
“Vice President Mike Pence Thanks Heritage’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission,” Heritage Foundation, June 20, 2020
The Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission released its final report June 15 with a strong endorsement from Vice President Mike Pence and praise from Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.
Pence, who is leading the White House Coronavirus Task Force, joined Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James on a conference call with more than 8,000 Heritage members and Heritage Action supporters.
“Let me give a particular thanks to members of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission that you organized,” Pence told James. “Because of the strong partnership that we’ve forged with governors and states across the country, [we are] implementing the president’s vision of a whole-of-government approach. That, echoed with the great tradition and The Heritage Foundation’s belief in federalism.”
“Failed COVID-19 Models Show We Need a More Targeted Approach: Rob Bluey on Newsmax,” YouTube, June 16, 2020
(Rob Bluey is vice president of The Heritage Foundation.)
Rob Bluey: [00:00:54] A lot of models obviously got this wrong and got it wrong big time. I mean, so this was one of the most notable examples, because the Imperial College model, as you said, was relied on by people across the world, including those in the United States. And yet when we looked into this and asked for more details and asked for the underlying assumptions that the modelers were using, they refused to provide them to us. So we started to raise questions ourselves and begin to wonder what is going on. And as it turns out, as you indicated, that the assumptions were wildly wrong and nowhere near what the dire circumstances originally predicted were. [00:01:29]
Rob Bluey: [00:01:50] Many states obviously had stay at home orders and shut down businesses pretty far and wide. So there’s no doubt that we did our part in steps to combat COVID-19. Yet I wonder if it was not all that necessary. For instance, there were certain populations or older people, people who had preexisting health conditions were more susceptible and vulnerable to COVID-9. And yet there were some counties in the country and in fact over half of the county is really not impacted at all. And so we advocated having more targeted and temporary measures as opposed to statewide stay at home orders. [00:02:23]
Greg Kelly: [00:02:24] Well, back to this guy, [Neil] Ferguson. We’re giving him a hard time tonight. And he got a hard time from the press because, you know, he freaked out the entire world. He and his colleagues and a lot of folks around the world locked down. But he was apparently seeing his girlfriend and violating quarantine restrictions. And it made huge news over there in London. You saw that, right? [00:02:46]
Rob Bluey: [00:02:47] I certainly did. And I think it just goes to show the hypocrisy of some individuals who are insisting on these measures that really impeded the life of so many American people, so many people around the world, their livelihoods destroyed as a result of what they were imposing and then they themselves not even adhering to it. [00:03:05]
Rob Bluey: [00:03:22] I think that the underlying issue is that we all need to be skeptical of some of the assumptions that these modelers, these epidemiologists are putting into their work. This is why we need to take a broad look at all of the models that are being produced, not rely on one like this Imperial College model.
And this is something that we warned about at the Heritage Foundation and through our National Coronavirus Recovery Commission. And I think that hopefully we all learn a lesson about this. And then if we face a pandemic in the future, we’ll make smarter decisions about how to respond to it. [00:03:49]
June 15, 2020 – Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission final report is released.
A project of The Heritage Foundation, the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission recommends an all-of-society approach to America’s recovery, recognizing that good public health policy is good economic policy.
“From the moment the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission began its work in early April, we have pursued solutions that focus on saving both lives and livelihoods,” said James, president of The Heritage Foundation. “Our recommendations are designed to help governors, local leaders, federal officials, and the American people make the best decisions possible as our country recovers from one of the most significant health and economic crises it has ever faced. This report offers a measure of hope for the great things already happening in America and serves as a guide to prepare for future pandemics.”
The full 122-page report, is titled “Saving Lives and Livelihoods: Recommendations for Recovery.” Below is from the introductory “Chairman’s Letter”:
If the economy fails, there will be severe, long-term health consequences; and if the health care system fails, there will be severe, long-term economic consequences. A nation decimated by disease can’t have a functioning economy, and a catastrophic loss of jobs brings horrific damage to both mental and physical health.
Thus, we prioritized getting people back to their families, back to their communities, and back to work, but only as soon as it’s safe enough to do so. This understanding led the commission to declaring that its mission is to “protect both the lives and livelihoods of the American people”—a mantra that would be adopted by the White House and others.
The commission created a framework for recovery that includes returning to a more normal level of business activity on a region-by-region basis where the data show infection rates slowing; slowing the spread of the virus by expanding testing and reporting; supporting the accelerated introduction of therapeutics and vaccines; and reducing the risk of future pandemics.
Additionally, one of the biggest lessons learned from this experience is the need for American civics education on the proper role of government. The American people witnessed governors and local leaders who assumed excessive authority and wielded it to the detriment—rather than to the aid—of their citizens. We also saw governors who blamed the federal government for not doing enough when many of the responsibilities actually rested with the governors themselves. These instances only served to slow the response, cause conflict, and further divide the nation.
^^Links to “Potential Long-Term Economic Consequences of the Federal Response to the COVID-19 Lockdowns,” Heritage Foundation, June 4.
The scope and duration of the contraction remain unknown. They both depend in large part on the trajectory of the pandemic and on the willingness of policymakers to modify their response to it. If lockdowns remain widespread and persist into the summer, the economic damage will be large and likely will take years to repair.57 If, as we have recommended elsewhere, policymakers adapt their strategies to new information about COVID-19, the economic downturn could be less severe.58 In most communities, schools and businesses can be re-opened. In places with high incidence of infection, lockdown orders may have to be retained, but should be coupled with more traditional public health interventions like isolation, contact tracing, and, in some instances, travel restrictions.
^^Links to report: Norbert Michel and Doug Badger. “Policymakers Should Adapt COVID-19 Responses to the Evidence,” Heritage Foundation, May 23, 2020
Widespread lockdowns were instituted when little was known about COVID-19, largely to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. While much about the virus remains unknown, it is now clear that the disease is not evenly dispersed geographically; that death rates are highest among the elderly, uncommon among young adults, and extremely rare among children; that nearly 90 percent of COVID-19 deaths are among people with comorbidities; that as many as half the deaths are nursing-home-related; and that hospital acute care and intensive care capacity is robust. Policymakers should adapt their interventions to these facts—which suggest that broad-based lockdowns are counterproductive in most areas among the non-elderly population. Public policy should evolve with these facts, relying less on lockdowns where infection rates are low, and relying more heavily on traditional public health interventions (isolation, contact tracing, and targeted travel restrictions) where infection rates are high. Except in hotspots, policymakers should not place healthy Americans under age 55 on restrictive lockdowns. Separate interventions are required to protect nursing home residents.
It is now clear that younger adults and children with no comorbidities have a very low risk of falling seriously ill from COVID-19. On the other hand, older adults—especially those with underlying health conditions—do face a relatively high risk of serious illness and even death. The country’s most urgent policy imperative is to use this information to move beyond the widespread lockdown approach to the pandemic. Lockdowns are an expedient. Sound public policy requires solutions.
^^ Links to “National Coronavirus Recovery Commission Releases New Recommendations to Build the Science, Establish U.S. as Global Recovery Leader,” Heritage Foundation, May 5, 2020
The newest recommendations focus on the importance of continuing to build the science to combat COVID-19 and establishing U.S. leadership to drive the free world in economic recovery. They were developed by the commissioners in consultation with Heritage Foundation scholars and leading policy experts. Hundreds of Americans submitted their own ideas at CoronavirusCommission.com.
According to its website:
The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is bringing together some of the nation’s top experts and thinkers to offer their specialized experience and expertise to chart the path ahead.
Our mission is to save both lives and livelihoods, helping to navigate our nation through this crisis and toward recovery. Specifically, we will address when and how to begin to get Americans’ lives “back to normal” again
The full list of commissioners is as follows:
The Honorable Kay C. James, Chairman
President, The Heritage Foundation
The Honorable George Allen
Former Governor and U.S. Senator, Commonwealth of Virginia
John A. Allison IV
Retired Chairman and CEO, BB&TCEO, Cato Institute
Lawrence J. Blanford
President & CEO, Green Mountain Coffee (Retired); Member, Board of Directors, Steelcase Inc.
Kevin P. Chavous
President of Academics, Policy, and Schools, at K12.com; Former Education Committee Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia
Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D.
Founder and Former President of The Heritage Foundation
The Honorable Timothy E. Flanigan
Chief Legal Officer, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
The Honorable William H. Frist, M.D.
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader; Chairman of the Executive Council of Cressey & Company
Managing Director and CEO, Rex Management
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
The Honorable Nelson J. Sabatini
Managing Director, Berkeley Research Group; Former Secretary of Health, State of Maryland
Joni Eareckson Tada
Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
The Honorable Frances F. Townsend
Executive Vice President, MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, LLC
Brig. Gen. Richard J. Tubb, M.D.
Retired Brigadier General; White House Physician Emeritus
The Honorable J.C. Watts
Former Member of U.S. House of Representatives; Founder & Chairman, J.C. Watts Companies
The Honorable Gail Wilensky, Ph.D.
Economist and Senior Fellow, Project HOPE
Robert L. Woodson Sr.
Founder and President, Woodson Center
Paul Winfree, Executive Director
Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D., Executive Director
Rob Bluey, Spokesman
^^Jessica Anderson: What we’ve seen is exactly probably what you’ve heard, which is that there’s a fever pitch among Americans across the country urging the government to reopen. The economic effects of the Coronavirus are very real. And we see our role at Heritage Action to urge governors to get going. And so we need to see governors, mayors begin to reopen at the state level. That includes businesses, places of worship, facilities all across their state.
That’s what’s going to bring an economic return to this country. Not more government spending, not more government handouts, but actually opening up. So our petition is pretty clear. It says, governors, please open American society.
It has seven principles that we’re asking Americans to pledge their agreement to. And then once we get a critical mass of signatures, we’re over twenty five thousand signatures right now, in just the first two days, we’re going to deliver these directly to the National Governors Association, to the president and to those governors that are lagging behind in some of these states that are that are just taking too long to open.
Doug Badger and Norbert J. Michel. “Keeping Our Distance in the New Normal of Coronavirus,” The Heritage Foundation, April 23, 2020
The seasonal flu killed an average of 37,000 Americans a year between 2010 and 2019, according to the CDC, with 24,000 deaths so far in the current season. The 2017-18 flu strain was especially virulent, claiming 61,000 lives.
This last figure is similar to the number of deaths that the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, or IHME, was projecting to occur by August from COVID-19.
The hospitalization rate for both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu are similarly highest for seniors. The highest hospitalization rates for both are among those aged 85 and older. The COVID-19 hospitalization rate for this group is more than five times the overall rate and well over 300 times as high as for the school-age population.
And yet, although most jurisdictions have closed schools, few have taken the steps necessary to protect the elderly, particularly those in nursing homes.
That is not to equate COVID-19 with the seasonal flu. It is caused by a novel coronavirus for which there is neither a cure nor a vaccine. Its transmissibility, lethality, and prevalence remain unknown.
The comparison does show, however, that perfection in the battle against infectious diseases is not a reasonable, or even attainable, goal.
Tragically, tens of thousands still die from the seasonal flu because it is impossible to completely protect the population—from influenza, COVID-19, or any other natural disaster. It would be foolish to ignore the measures that can protect us, but it also is unrealistic to think that we can protect everyone from getting sick.
Norbert J. Michel and David R. Burton. “The Cost of Coronavirus Shutdown Orders” (Backgrounder/report), The Heritage Foundation, April 20, 2020
Lockdown orders lasting eight weeks could reduce economic output by as much as $2 trillion (about 9 percent). Under an eight-week shutdown, employment is likely to decline by around 9.5 percent. The unemployment rate is likely to reach 16 percent and may reach as high as 23 percent. Less restrictive orders will have substantially less impact. A longer shutdown would have a substantially greater adverse impact. The economic losses from shutdown orders accelerate over time because employers exhaust their financial reserves and fail. Workers will not have jobs to which they can return.
Policymakers need to consider these costs and the public health costs of severe economic reverses when determining the breadth and duration of public health–motivated shutdown orders or lesser restrictions.
Peter Brookes. “The 2019 Coronavirus: How to Think About It and How to Respond,” (Issue Brief), The Heritage Foundation, February 3, 2020
While the seriousness of this virus should not be dismissed, especially in its early stages, the 2019–nCoV is still not even close to the scale of the annual flu numbers experienced by the American people and the United States health care system. So far, as of this writing, the United States has 11 cases of 2019-nCoV and zero fatalities two months after the virus reportedly appeared in Wuhan on or about December 8, 2019.
^^Lanhee Chen, Preston Cooper, Bob Kocher, Dan Lips, and Avik Roy. “Reopening America’s Schools and Colleges During COVID-19,” FREOPP, July 16, 2020
To reduce economic and health disparities, we must reopen schools, colleges, and child care facilities, even as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
With the pandemic expected to endure until 2021, and perhaps longer, permanent school and child care center closures are unsustainable. Policymakers must prepare to make difficult decisions about how to reopen American schools while managing serious public health risks.
The good news is that children are at very low risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. Indeed, children aged 5–14 are seven times more likely to die of influenza than of COVID-19. Children aged 1–4 are 20 times more likely to die of influenza. Overall, Americans under the age of 25 represent 0.15 percent of all COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S.
In addition, hospitalization rates among school-aged children associated with COVID-19 are sufficiently low to justify the reopening of schools. There have been reports of a significant but extremely rare Kawasaki-like inflammatory syndrome in children, but the syndrome appears to be manageable with medical intervention. Influenza pandemics carry significantly greater risks for children, and yet, the U.S. has not closed schools for influenza pandemics in generations.
There also appears to be very low risk of transmission of COVID-19 from children to adults. As we detail below, population-wide studies in Europe have found little to no evidence of children-to-adult transmission; indeed, children have generally received the virus from adults.
^^See Fox News Video: “Dr. Scott Atlas: Too much hysteria over school reopenings,” July 15, 2020
Sandra Smith: [00:00:32] Thank you for being here. Because we’re trying to have a real conversation about how we get this done. It’s in the best interest of everyone to have our kids get back into the classroom safely. So the first question is, can we do it? [00:00:46]
Scott Atlas: [00:00:48] Good morning, Sandra. Well, thanks for having me. Yes, of course we can do it. Everyone else in the world, in the Western world, our peer nations are doing it. We are the outlier here. And why are they doing it? Because the same reasons we should. Number one, we know at this point, if you believe in the science, the science says that the ninety nine point nine seven percent of deaths in the US are in people over 15. Ninety nine point nine percent are in people over 24. The hospitalization rate for influenza according to the CDC is much greater. Quote unquote. Then from COVID-19 for children. The JAMA Pediatrics study 46 hospitals in North America. Pediatric hospitals, quote, The risk of a critical illness from COVID-19, is far less than from seasonal influenza. Unquote. There is zero, virtually zero risk to children for getting something serious or dying from this disease. Anyone who thinks schools should be closed is not talking about the risk to children. That’s factually true. And they should say that it has nothing to do with the children’s risk. Now, let’s talk about the risks to teachers. The teachers are. Yeah, because this is probably the big fear here, obviously. The teachers, first of all, are a young population in the United States, K through 12th teachers, half of them are under 41. Eighty two percent are under 55. These are not high risk age groups. We know this by now. And it’s true that there are high risk teachers and those teachers should be able to believe in their social distancing and masks like they do for every other essential business, when they go to the grocery store, for instance. They can teach using social distancing. And if they’re still afraid, they can stay at home. There’s no reason to lock up the children. I’d like to talk about the harms to the children. The harms to the children are never in the discussion for some bizarre reason. [00:02:42]
Sandra Smith: [00:02:43] You mean the harms if we don’t send them back to school? [00:02:45]
Scott Atlas: [00:02:46] The harms to the children for closing schools, excuse me. Thanks for correcting me. Yes. I mean, this is the biggest problem of all. Yet again, we’re going to commit some severe public policy without regard for the harms of the policy. Children are not just learning from, first of all, long distance learning’s a failure. 50 percent drop in math, reading, math ability, 30 percent drop in reading ability. Half the kids or 20 to 50 percent of kids don’t even log on. Distance learning is not going to work. But besides that, the most important things that kids learn are other things like social interactions, like maturation, like learning to deal with groups, group conflict. You can’t learn that on a computer. Moreover, the schools are where we learn that kids need a hearing aid… [00:03:33]
Sandra Smith: [00:03:34] I can at least get to be clear while you are saying how important it is to get kids back into school and do so safely. You are encouraging that CDC guidance be followed, that there is mask wearing, social distancing and all of the precautions that they’re recommending? [00:03:49]
Scott Atlas: [00:03:51] Not for children. That would be irrational. Children. It doesn’t matter if children get the disease. They don’t get sick from this. And the data shows that they do not significantly transmit to adults. And this is data. [00:04:05]
Scott Atlas: [00:05:32] I believe that there is zero reason, in fact, zero excuse to not have the schools open in-person. The hospital for sick kids in Toronto, one of the world’s best hospitals just delineated this. Schools must be in person. No masks, no spacing, because children are not at risk. [00:05:50][18.2]
Scott Atlas [00:06:17] Let me put it this way. Seasonal influenza is more risky for children. More than COVID-19. Seasonal influenza is transmitted from children to the high risk adults who are teachers every year. Seasonal influenza in California, the percent of deaths in children was five point four percent. Zero kids have died from COVID-19. If teachers think that they can’t work during this, then they absolutely must say that we have to close schools from November through April. [00:06:48]
Sandra Smith: [00:07:13] So, Dr. Atlas, how do you respond to that? We don’t know what an entire flu season looks like, combined with COVID-19. And as Dr. Fauci continually warns, there’s so much that we still don’t know about this disease and the spread of the disease. Doesn’t that concern you putting all these kids back into the classroom together? [00:07:31][18.2]
Scott Atlas: [00:07:33] I find it bizarre that people focus on some kind of statement, ‘”we don’t know everything.’ We don’t know everything about any single disease. We know a massive amount. It is proven that children have no significant risk. It is proven that influenza is worse than this for children. It is proven that children don’t transmit significantly to adults. That’s proven. Why do we keep saying. “But we don’t know ‘x’?” People again, people insist it’s all about the science. And then we go in irrationally endanger, destroy our children because it’s not about the science it’s about fear. [00:08:07]
[00:08:41] I’m saying look at the science. I’m saying use critical thinking and logic. You’d think certain things are known. If you don’t believe that that in the science then stops saying you believe in the science. The science says open the schools. The science says there’s no risk to children. The science says teachers are not at risk if they go to school, listen, either schools are an essential business in this country or they’re not. I don’t understand why people don’t take into account the severe harms of not having schools. Isn’t that what public policy is all about? To weigh what you’re doing, not just stopping COVID-9 at all costs? If we start acting out of fear and are an outlier in this country, this country is finished. [00:09:26]
Stephanie Hamill: [00:00:30] I know that you’re really passionate about schools reopening in August, but there are folks out there who would like to see schools stay closed. This for the safety of teachers and and people who work in the schools. Also, there’s fear that children might bring home the virus to their parents. Why should schools reopen? [00:00:51]
Scott Atlas: [00:00:52] I think this is a critical issue and it’s inexplicable to not open the schools. It is completely contrary to the data to keep the schools closed. It is counter to science. It is almost on the border of absurd to require a limit in the schools. And here’s why: I already mentioned the risk for death is infinitesimally small for children. Much, much lower than seasonal influenza. The risk of hospitalization much, much lower than seasonal influenza. The risk of spread of the disease much, much lower than seasonal influenza. [00:01:24]
^^Bjorn Lomborg. “The Lockdown’s Lessons for Climate Activism,” Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2020.
The lockdown economy of recent months has made consumption less discretionary, more a matter of basic needs. We should expect old habits to return as economies revive. But this unexpected experiment with less consumption and lower emissions does put the challenge in perspective. Even with the dramatic drop in economic activity in recent months, the world will still emit about 35 billion tons of carbon in 2020. Achieving global “net zero” emissions in three decades, as a growing number of activists and politicians advocate, would require the equivalent of a series of ongoing and ever-tightening lockdowns until 2050.
Scott Atlas: [00:01:41] So, for instance, in New York City, which was the hotbed for the world, we see that there were twenty one percent of people tested positive for antibodies. And if there are another 40 percent of people with t cell immunity, that that is about the number of 60 percent that people talked about for conferring herd immunity. And it’s sort of interesting if you look at the cases that are rising in parts of the US, most of which actually correlates more to the protest marches than to any reopening. But you have to wonder why in New York then, are there no real rises in cases? And I believe there’s a good chance it’s due to the fact that they’re not going to have it, because ultimately, ironically, it will have it would become the safest place because it may already have herd immunity. [00:02:26]
Laura Ingraham: [00:02:27] Yeah. And with a T cell immunity, another member of our medical cabinet has has basically said the government, U.S. government should be testing for T cell immunity. And it’s not as complicated as the Karolinska study indicated that it could be done with QuantiFERON. Am I getting that right? That the test would not be as complicated as it’s made out to be? But it’s critical for the reopening and for confidence, Dr. Atlas, inspiring confidence. [00:02:54]
Scott Atlas: [00:02:56] I think confidence, that’s true, but I think that there’s more value in inspiring confidence by knowing and stating the facts very succinctly. Because the risk of this has been grossly overblown. We know now the fatality rate is zero point zero four percent for people under 70, which is less than or equal to seasonal flu for people under 70 years old. And I saw your earlier segment, virtually zero for schoolchildren. When you confer. When you give the facts and state them succinctly, I think that the public understands the logic. And so I really hate to tie opening to some sort of testing. I think that’s a big that would be a big mistake. There’s no reason for that. [00:03:37]
“Dr. Scott Atlas pushes for reopening and asks, ‘aren’t schools an essential business?’” KUSI News, July 8, 2020.
Scott Atlas: “The data is clear. Whether it’s from Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Spain, the United States, Asia, all over the world, children do not have any serious disease. Children almost never transmit the disease. In fact, Switzerland is contemplating stopping even testing children because it’s irrelevant.”
Continuing, “there is not serious risk of even getting the illness. But that’s not even the point here, I want to go even further. By now, we know who is at risk. K-12 teachers in the United States, half of them are under 41 years of age, they’re not at risk. 82% are under 55-years-old, if there is a handful, which there are, teachers in the high-risk category, don’t they know how to protect themselves with their so called 6-feet spacing and mask rules? And if they’re still afraid, even if they don’t want to do that, then they can teach from home. I don’t understand why they have to lock up schools.”
“Dr. Scott Atlas says new surge of coronavirus cases is not a reason to panic,” Fox News, July 6, 2020
Trace Gallagher: [00:00:10] I’m curious, when you come out and you say that there is no reason to panic. What what’s the premise for that, sir? [00:00:16]
Scott Atlas: [00:00:18] Well, first of all, there’s no reason to panic by any public official or they’re disqualifying themselves from their position. But the data is what I want to talk about. And when we see this focus on more cases, it doesn’t really matter how many cases. It only matters who gets the cases, because we know the infection fatality rate for people under 70 is zero point zero four percent on the latest analysis. That’s less than or equal to seasonal flu.
The cases themselves should not be and were never the focus. It’s only the tragic consequences of the cases. So when we look at these new cases in every state, the overwhelming majority are younger, healthier people, I think in Florida. The median age is thirty six.
In Texas, it’s something similar or maybe 40. And that’s really what we’re thinking about here is that it only matters if we cannot protect the high risk people, which we are protecting. How do I know? Because the death rates are not going up. We realize we have to wait to have the story play out here. But right now, the cases have been going up for three weeks. We have no increase, in fact. We have a decrease in death rates.
So, you know, it doesn’t matter if you get the illness, if you’re going to fully recover and be fine from it. And that is what people must understand. For younger, healthier people, there’s not a high risk from this disease at all. [00:01:40]
“Dr. Scott Atlas disputes COVID-19 fear mongering tactics from our health officials,” KUSI News, July 2, 2020
Scott Atlas: When you look all over at the states who are seeing a lot of new cases, you have to look at who is getting infected because we should know by now, that the goal is not to eliminate all cases, that’s not rational, it’s not necessary, if we just protect the people who are going to have serious complications. We look at the cases, yes there’s a lot more cases, by the way they do not correlate in a time sense to any kind of reopening of states. If you look at the timing, that’s just a misstatement, a false narrative. The reality is they may correlate to the new protests and massive demonstrations, but it’s safe to say the majority of new cases are among younger, healthier people.
90+% of ICU beds are occupied [in Texas], but only 15% are COVID patients. 85% of the occupied beds are not COVID patients. I think we have to look at the data and be aware that it doesn’t matter if younger, healthier people get infected, I don’t know how often that has to be said, they have nearly zero risk of a problem from this. The only thing that counts are the older, more vulnerable people getting infected. And there’s no evidence that they really are.
^^”Burning Questions: What is Bespoke Parenting? And Will My Kids EVER Go Back to School?” Bespoke Parenting Hour via SoundCloud
Julie Gunlock: [00:14:48] Several states have reversed reopening plans and are now shutting down businesses for a second time. There has been an uptick of cases due to the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as many of the large gatherings, the Black Lives Matter gatherings. So we have seen an uptick in that. [00:15:10]
Julie Gunlock: [00:15:09] What nobody seems to be talking about is, are we seeing an uptick among young people? It’s clear that we are not. We are seeing an uptick in the same demographic that are vulnerable to this disease. The decision of whether to open the schools has also become quite political. We’ve seen, you know, President Trump and Secretary of Education. Betsy Davos urging schools to open. But that is not popular with the Democrats who seem to just react opposite to what Trump says. [00:15:44]
Julie Gunlock: [00:15:44] I, in fact, wish Trump had said, let’s close down, because maybe then the Democrats and the teachers unions would have said, hey, now let’s open up. It’s like opposite day with Trump, whatever he says. They say the opposite. [00:15:53]
Jennifer Braceras: [00:23:39] And, well, you know, I shared it with you and and you said, well, you should really publish as a blog post because other people could use this information too, which was a great idea. So we put it up at IWF. And hopefully it’s helped other parents find some of the resources as well, because they thought there are a lot of long form articles about it that, you know, take a position one way or the other. But it’s hard to just find the bullet points that tell you what you need to know about specific things.
The risk to kids of getting COVID, the risk to kids of getting seriously ill from COVID, the risk of them spreading it to each other, the risk of them spreading it to teachers. So I sort of went through each of these points and provide the information that shows that, you know, they are very low risk of getting it there at very low risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID. They are not super spreaders. They rarely spread it to each other or to adults. If anything, adults spread it to them, but usually only within the same household. And at the time, I felt like this was information that just wasn’t really getting out. And there was a lot of fear amongst the parent community. And I wanted to try to dispel some of that fear. [00:24:59]
Julie Gunlock: [00:25:45] You also go into the area of super spreaders, as you mention, you know, and you give several links to Wall Street Journal articles. Dr. Scott Atlas at the Hoover Institute saying that children rarely transmit the disease to adults. [00:26:01]
Jennifer Braceras: [00:26:01] We have a clip of him actually talking about that. Let’s listen to that. [00:26:05][3.7]
Scott Atlas (recording) [00:26:06] There is zero, virtually zero risk to children forgetting something serious or dying from this disease. Anyone who thinks schools should be closed is not talking about the risk to children. That’s factually true. And they should say that. […] [00:26:19]
Jennifer Braceras: [00:27:05] There’s just a tremendous amount of good news out there of good data out there that should be reassuring people. But. The closer we get, the closer we get to school openings, we’re seeing more of the alarmism out there. [00:27:18]
^^Jennifer C. Braceras. “The Impact On Kids And Teens Of School Closures Due To COVID-19,” Independent Women’s Forum, June 25, 2020
A growing body of evidence indicates that school closures place children and teens at considerable risk for a wide array of physical, emotional, and social harms that far outweigh the risk that they will catch or spread COVID-19.
[…] Kids are not super-spreaders […] School [sic] are not likely to be settings for outbreak clusters and are not likely to be significant sources of transmission […] It is doubtful whether school closures this spring helped save lives or even slowed the spread of the virus. […] Daycare centers and schools that are open have not seen a spike in cases […] Virtual learning has significant drawbacks […] School closures exacerbate educational disparities […] Kids are suffering emotionally and physically from school closures […]
^^”Social distancing, masks should be enforced at local level: Hadley Heath Manning,” Making Money with Charles Payne on Fox Business, June 24, 2020
Hadley Heath Manning: [00:00:59] You know, I think when it comes to social distancing and mask wearing, I think governments at all levels probably have to acknowledge that there’s only so much that they can do, Charles. I think a lot of this is cultural. I think it depends on individuals and the choices that they make. But when it comes to government action, I think the most effective means is pushing these rules and requirements to the most local level so that those local governments can see what the case numbers, what the death numbers, what the hospitalization rates are in their local communities and respond most effectively to all of the shareholders, there. I mean, stakeholders. [00:01:31]
Amber Schwartz and Marlene Mieske. “COVID-19: Keeping Perspective,” IWF Podcast, June 1, 2020.
Amber Schwartz: Because honestly, to get America back, we’ve got to start working again. And we’ve got to get back. And so we’ve been working on ways to learn from this pandemic, and create more prepared, resilient, and an innovative society. And we have some recommendations for that, that we just released on our website, if people want to take a look.
Marlene Mieske: I think that’s what I’m really trying to say. We need to become strong individuals, in charge of our own lives and our families.
Marlene: And move out and help this country take over again.
June 8, 2020
The Job Creators Network Foundation ran a full-page ad in The New York Times as part of its “Flatten the Fear” campaign “ to encourage Americans to reengage with society as the economy starts to open up from the pandemic.”
The ad features an open letter by Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of the Job Creators Network:
Together we flattened the Covid-19 curve, but we now face a new challenge: flattening the fear. Our nation is slowly opening up, but more than half of the country is paralyzed by fear of the virus. If we let that fear continue, the consequences could be just as dire as the disease. It’s time to get back to living and reengaging with society.
This isn’t just an emotional plea, it’s one based on the facts. The data clearly demonstrate that younger and otherwise healthy Americans face little risk of dying from this disease. In fact, 42 percent of all Covid-19 deaths nationwide have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living centers.1
While the virus has been deadly to many over the age of 65 and those with underlying conditions, the CDC has recently revised its death rate estimate down to just 0.4 percent.2 And for many demographics, it is far less than that. If you are 34 years or younger, your probability of dying from Covid-19 as of June 3, 2020 is 0.0005 percent.3
If you are outside of a large metropolitan hotspot, it’s even safer. Nearly half of the counties in the country have zero Covid-19 deaths. And less than one percent of counties in the country account for more than half of all Covid-19 deaths.4
With social distancing and common sense precautions most people can immediately get back to living their daily lives without fear, boosting our beleaguered economy, and our family incomes.
Depending on where you are and your situation, extending stay-at-home orders too long could cause “irreparable damage,” siad Dr. Anthony Facui, the lead member of the White House coronavirus task force, on May 22. “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that saying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”5
We can, and must, isolate the vulnerable to protect the many instead of isolating the many to protect the few.
Small business owners around the country are struggling to keep the businesses they created afloat, and millions of people are out of work or are dealing with pay cuts and wondering how they will make rent or put food on the table. That anxiety itself can contribute to a variety of mental health and stress related issues, from drug and alcohol abuse to domestic violence, and from depression and hopelessness to suicides.
It’s time for us to care for those in need, using safety protocols to maintaining the most vulnerable among us. But we also need to get back to living and reengaging with society.
Together, we can rebuild America and get back to work. Together, using facts, data, and common sense, we can and must flatten the fear.
President & CEO
Job Creators Network
June 4, 2020
The Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF) announced it was launching a “Flatten the Fear” campaign on June 5 “to tell Americans who are frightened of Covid-19 that they can safely reengage society.”
Via the press release:
The campaign puts a microphone in front of prominent physicians who are warning of the negative health consequences of the extended lockdown and the importance of reopening society and reengaging. The campaign’s first phase consists of a billboard in New York’s Times Square (see images below), a commercial on social media (click here to watch) and a website (FlattenTheFear.com), all of which are launching tomorrow. The campaign is continuing into next week and will use multiple media platforms. The billboard can be found at Broadway and 43rd Street.
June 1, 2020
JCN ran a commercial on national cable news to “tell Americans that most of us can ‘get back to work’ and start living again.”
Dr. Scott Barbour: [00:00:00] I know how hard this shutdown has been on families and our society.
Dr. Chris Stansbury: [00:00:04] I’m confident that the time has come for us to start opening up our communities.
Dr. Kristin Held: [00:00:09] Because we know who is at low risk, we can let these individuals get back to work.
Dr. CL Gray: [00:00:14] We also know which groups are at highest risk and can focus our resources on protecting them.
Dr. Nicole Johnson: [00:00:20] It’s time for Main Street to reopen.
Narrator: [00:00:26] For more information, go to FlattenTheFear.com.
June 1, 2020
Dear Dr. Fauci,
You are the nation’s leading medical voice on how and when society reopens from the pandemic-induced shutdown. And while Americans appreciate your service, your voice represents one of many important perspectives in the medical field. Just as Americans routinely seek a second opinion regarding any serious medical procedure, we need a second opinion on this urgent issue before us,
Dr. Scott Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University recently wrote: “Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter.” He went on to make the case that, “with sensible precautions and sanitization standards, most workplaces and businesses should reopen.”
We’re not just concerned about the 30 million small business owners and the 60 million people they employ. The economy is certainly a concern, but so is the health of all Americans not threatened by the virus. The shutdown has broad health, economic, and societal impacts that have been largely overlooked in the official reopening debate.
While Covid-19 can be deadly, so can delaying needed healthcare procedures because hospitals are closed to non-Covid patients. Delaying treatments for cancer or other chronic diseases can dramatically worsen treatment outcomes. There are thousands of hospitals across the nation that do not have a serious problem with Covid patients but are banned from treating ordinary patients.
New York emergency physician Daniel Murphy calls for reopening, warning that “the growing numbers dying at home during this crisis must include fatal myocardial infarctions, asthma exacerbations, bacterial infections, and strokes.”
As a result of bans on non-Covid care, healthcare workers are being rewarded for their hard work with pay cuts and pink slips. Opening up hospitals and surgical centers for elective surgeries and other procedures will not only help treat patients early when intervention can have the most impact but also bring back the healthcare sector that represents 18 percent of the economy.
The economic consequences of the shutdown go far beyond just the healthcare sector. The unemployment rate is currently 14.7 percent, the highest level since the Great Depression. Across the country, small businesses have been either forced to close up shop or have seen their customers disappear because of the pandemic-induced crisis. According to one survey, about one-third of small businesses won’t be able to reopen. Those businesses represent real lives. Real life savings. Real jobs that may never come back.
Poor economic prospects lead to increased suicides. The national Disaster Distress Helpline saw a 338 percent increase in call volume in March compared with February. Suicide rates generally rise by about one percent for every one percetage point increase in unemployment.
The mental health of millions of Amerricans was best summarized by Jamie Stewart, a 37-year-old from Bonita Springs, who lost her job as a shift manager and bartender in a local Florida resort. She recently rented a room in her home to make ends meet and signed up for food stamps to cover her weekly grocery bills. “My mental health has deteriorated to a point that I don’t recognize myself anymore,” she told a reporter from the Associated Press.
Millions of us, Dr. Fauci, don’t recognize our lives anymore. And the desire to work and normal life is not driven by greed. It is driven by biological need. Human beings are hardwired for work, and derive meaning from work. But it wasn’t just work that was stripped from life. The social aspects of our life that give itm meaning and purpose were stripped too. As a Newsweek columnist recently wrote, “Sports like baseball, softball and all the leagues we form as Americans—and poker, bridge, and bingo, too—were taken from uss. Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion halls were closed. Public schools and private schools were closed, which also put an end to after-school activities like band and theater. Restaurants and bars, places we congregate with friends and family, were closed. So were Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Al-Anon meetings across the nation.”
This is not a question of life v. the economy. The real choice is Life v. Life. Shutting down society was intended to flatten the curve and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. It has achieved these goals at immense economic and social cost. The shutdown was not intended to continue until there is a cure or zero deaths. By using strategic testing, tracing, and smart business innovations, we can isolate the few to protect the many instead of isolating the many to protect the few.
We know that you have America’s interests at heart but fear your limited view is causing too much unneeded pain. In view of the serious economic and medical consequences of not re-opening our economy immediately, we need a second opinion!
President and CEO
Job Creators Network
The ad also includes a note:
If you are a health care professional with a different position than Dr. Fauci on opening the economy, we want to hear your second opinion. Go to FauciSecondOpinion.com and fill out the form.
Brian Riedl, Senior Fellow: “Necessary Intervention,” City Journal (Manhattan Institute Publication), March 23
We must acknowledge the unsustainability of shutting down much of the United States economy, and financing family and business incomes through unprecedented government borrowing. Just a few months of an economic lockdown will cost the government and the economy trillions of dollars. At some point, Washington’s borrowing capacity will become constrained, possibly leading to the Federal Reserve monetizing more of the additional borrowing. Business bankruptcies will continue to escalate, and a prolonged depression may become a real possibility. Depleted inventories and constrained supply lines could lead to production shortages of basic goods. It is incumbent on public officials to devise a strategy that will allow schools and businesses to reopen before this crisis extends into the summer.
“The Virus and the Economy,” City Journal, March 8
We still don’t know enough about the virus because we lack adequate information, including about such crucial factors as how deadly it really is and who it affects. Even the experts have disagreed. In recent days, growing evidence suggests that our approach should be surgical, rather than broad-based. Widespread quarantines and wholesale shutdowns of communities, for example, inevitably suppress the economy. Instead, we should focus our efforts on helping those overwhelmingly more vulnerable to the virus
“Is the coronavirus lockdown the future environmentalists want?” CFACT video featuring Marc Morano and Heartland Institute president James Taylor, April 30
James Taylor [00:13:03] It’s a time that’s very concerning. This is a very perilous time for freedom. Back 7 months ago we were told that we could expect up to 2 million deaths from coronavirus, and fortunately those models appear to have been greatly overstated, because now we are being told perhaps 60,000, maybe 100,000. Still quite a tragedy, but nowhere near the 2 million deaths. When those models made those predictions, it really gave me pause because I know how in the climate change debate, people program models, and the models are only as good, the outcome and predictions are only as accurate as the assumptions that go into the programming. And for climate change we have seen that the models predicted for example, the United Nations First Assessment Report, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, they said we could expect 0.3 degrees Celsius of warming per decade, that was in 1990. Here we are 30 years later and we’ve seen less than half of that warming. So when we saw the models predicting such a great death toll, I was hoping that the models would be just as wrong as they are for climate change and fortunately they have been.
James Taylor: [00:15:54] If we’re looking at sixty, seventy thousand deaths, heck let’s say eighty thousand deaths. That is just for equivalence. That’s about two flu seasons. Approximately forty thousand people each year die from the flu in the United States. And the question is, is it worth shutting down all of our freedoms, shutting down society, likely putting us into a Great Depression if we continue this to basically avoid two flu seasons? Now, that is it. That is a very serious consequence, those deaths that occur. But again, the tradeoff is something that we need to consider. [00:16:29]
[00:17:44] It’s very concerning to hear what some folks from the climate establishment, and even outside the climate establishment but for example from the World Health Organization, are saying regarding the COVID-19 response and climate change.
[00:20:06] These people are looking at an opportunity to cement, permanently, these restrictions on our freedom, these death knells to our economy, all in the name of gaining more control for their international organizations and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This is a very perilous time for freedom in our country and around the world.
Marc Morano: [00:59:41] I think we have to acknowledge at a national level that lockdowns, there’s no science to support essentially that they work. Especially, I can understand a flattening the curve or at least some kind of limited. Very limited. But you don’t lockdown… We need to acknowledge that they were wrong and not allow future lockdowns. That’s number one. [00:59:58]
Marc Morano: [01:00:20] I’m going to advocate absolute breaking of the law tonight. If you have people going to the beach and getting arrested, it’s easy for police to show up, arrest a few people or go to a park and arrest someone. But if people start showing up en mass to the beach, the police can’t arrest everyone.
And if you start having owners of businesses start, and we’re seeing this now, artists and other shops declaring themselves—tailor shops—declaring themselves nonessential, they’re opening up. More of them do it, the police can’t arrest everyone. This is my key thought. The Berlin Wall was not taken down because the East German government passed a law that said, let’s remove the law. It came down because the people no longer gave their consent for a wall to be up. So when the people no longer give their consent through locked down, through this kind of mass civil disobedience, that’s how you fight it. Not through calling your congressman or senator and complaining into a voicemail. You’ve got to act. And I think that’s what has to happen here. Sorry. I’m calling for lawbreaking tonight. [01:01:18]
Stephen Moore: [00:00:43] the terrible toll this virus has taken on our economy cannot be neglected any longer. Keeping our economy locked down is destroying our businesses and impoverishing our citizens and doing great damage to the health of the American people.
[00:01:00] We need to immediately find a way to open the economy safely and smartly. Not in the months to come. Not next week. We need to do so immediately. [00:01:12]
[00:02:19] We have seen politicians trample on our First Amendment rights of free speech, right to peacefully assemble, and our religious freedoms that make America, well, America we are. It’s not surprising that the left and their cronies in the media are advocating for a statist approach that denies Americans these fundamental rights. We even see some governors advising people to snitch on their neighbors if they dare go outside or dare take their kids to the park. That’s not America. A socialist big government approach will not work. It never has. The solution to the crisis is obvious. We need to rely on our free enterprise system and protect our individual liberties. It means letting individuals and businesses operate without intervention from the federal and state governments. It means erring on the side of more freedom and not more restraint. It means reducing regulations and taxes on businesses and individuals to the greatest extent possible. And the best way to open up the economy while using these free market principles? Let the states, not Washington, take the lead. [00:03:30
[00:03:53] I was proud to serve as an economic adviser to President Trump. We accomplished the rebuilding of the American economy through tax cuts, deregulation and smart trade deals. We can do that again. [00:04:06]
[00:04:17] Liberals and the media have presented America with a false choice. They say we either must destroy our economy and allow 30 to 50 million of our fellow Americans lose their jobs and millions of small business men and women lose their livelihoods. Or we have to let tens of thousands of Americans die. No, we can keep Americans safe and healthy and restart our 20 trillion dollar American economic engine, which is the envy of the world. Let’s keep America healthy and preserve our free enterprise system. For the Media Research Center. I am Stephen Moore for Save Our Country. [00:04:17]
Jacob Sullum. “Were COVID-19 Lockdowns Worth the Cost?” Reason Foundation, June 29, 2020
Now that we have emerged from lockdowns with no real confidence that they actually reduced the ultimate death toll, many people are understandably asking what the point was. “Many Americans started in the pandemic with a strong feeling of solidarity, not unlike the days after Sept. 11, 2001,” the Times observes. “They closed their businesses, stayed inside, made masks and wiped down their groceries. In a country often riven by politics, polls showed broad agreement that shutting down was the right thing to do. But months of mixed messages have left many exhausted and wondering how much of what they did was worth it.”
They are right to wonder.
Robby Soave. “Reopen the Schools!” Reason Foundation, June 29, 2020
As educators across the country begin to plan how classes will function in the fall, many proposals to make schools safer from the virus involve heavy degrees of unreality: children in masks throughout the day, classrooms half empty to accommodate social distancing, playgrounds closed, heavy reliance on virtual instruction, and so on. These precautions are largely unworkable—it’s no more reasonable to expect children to wear masks and avoid interacting with each other all day than it is to make the bus wait hours if somebody fails a temperature check.
They are also at odds with the current scientific consensus about the coronavirus: that the risk to young people is minimal, and that they do not seem to spread the virus easily.
There is much that we don’t know for certain about COVID-19. But the available evidence suggests that reopening schools as close to normal as possible is the most pragmatic approach.
Wherever possible, district officials should make it possible for at-risk employees to work from home, or even to take the semester off. But they should not force kids to stay at home, clinging to the delusion that distance learning under these circumstances is anything other than [sic] an horrible burden on parents, and they should not force kids to hermetically seal themselves in bubbles when they do return to class.
Matt Welch. “Stop It With the Coronavirus Curfews Already,” Reason Foundation, March 17
How do these curfews and mandatory quarantines end? No really, how do they? What does success look like? When is the “emergency” over? We see very little acknowledgment that these questions are even relevant, let alone attempts to answer them amid the cascade of competitive shutdowns.
I, too, urgently hope that people mostly stay the hell away from each other over the coming weeks. But not at gunpoint, and not in such a way that creates new and perhaps even worse pathways for unhealthy behavior. Let’s be careful out there both personally and governmentally.
SPN‘s finalists for “Best Issue Campaigns” in 2020 are all anti-shutdown campaigns and include entries from the following (with SPN‘s descriptions below):
Back 2 Work Minnesota
Minnesota enacted strict economic lockdown measures to combat COVID-19, but the state still had a relatively high contraction and mortality rate, along with crippling economic and social consequences. Center of the American Experiment launched a campaign to highlight the consequences of the shutdown and call for looser restrictions and return to the right to earn a living. To spread the message far and wide, the campaign deployed everything from billboards and videos to newspaper and social media ads. Legislators contacted the CAE to report they were being inundated by anti-shutdown emails from their constituents that originated with Back2WorkMN.com. Through the campaign, Minnesota citizens sent 51,957 emails to their governor and legislators. The Center’s efforts led to a loosening of restrictions and a better understanding of those restrictions’ consequences among those who mean to govern.
Owning the Narrative – Exposing the Economic and Human Costs of Illinois’ Lockdown
Storytelling is crucial to sharing and understanding the human experience. That’s why Illinois Policy Institute focused on storytelling to shed light on the personal struggles being caused by the pandemic-driven economic shutdown. IPI highlighted the climbing unemployment rate and backed up the numbers with stories of real people struggling to survive the shutdown. With these stories and clever cartoons, IPI reframed the narrative about what closure really costs. Their stories were featured in multiple media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal. Their website attracted 1.5 million people, and it has maintained its impact with over a million steady users. Without spending any money and instead relying on the organization’s existing infrastructure, IPI also generated a grassroots campaign of over 37,000 citizen emails to policymakers.
Michigan’s Arbitrary Lockdown Rules, as Cartoonish as They Sound
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Mackinac Center was quick to realize the arbitrary and absurd nature of Michigan’s extensive lockdown. Mackinac created a cartoon series to illustrate the drastic range of restrictions across similar occupations or activities. Coincidentally, the release of each new cartoon was soon followed by a change to the restriction being highlighted. Through the campaign, Mackinac nearly tripled its regular audience for its “Opportunity Michigan” newsletter.
Jenny Beth Martin: Mr. President, I’m Jenny Beth Martin with Tea Party Patriots. Thank you, and thank you, Mrs. Trump and Mr. Vice President and Mrs. Pence, for having me here today. While I am with Tea Party Patriots, I’m also a mom and my children are sitting right over there. So thank you for having having us here today
Mr. President, you are right. And I hope you will trust your instincts. America is not meant to be shut down and we have to reopen schools this fall.
I’ve been in touch with almost a thousand doctors from around the country. I helped Dr. Simone Gold spearhead a letter to you signed by 800 physicians and surgeons who talked about the side effects of the lockdowns. I’ve done a second letter with over 150 doctors, 240 nurses, 330 educators, 70 national groups and thousands of parents and concerned Americans who want to see schools reopened.
Reopening schools is going to stabilize our society. I think it’s the number one most important thing we can do to stabilize our society from top to bottom, whether it is in a local community just reestablishing calendars, which churches, nonprofit groups, traffic patterns, people who don’t have children care about the calendar for schools.
Kindergartners and elementary school students simply cannot learn looking at a Zoom screen. If they could, we wouldn’t need schools in the first place. We could just plop them in front of a television. The last place in the world a middle school student needs to be is online, unsupervised by adults. They bully each other when they’re in front of teachers. You can’t even imagine what’s going on with social media right now.
Carley Shimkus: [00:00:26] Well a mom from Georgia joins me live to share what she wants to see done before sending her kids back to school. Chair of the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund, Jenny Beth Martin. Hey, good morning, Jenny Beth. [00:00:38]
Jenny Beth Martin: [00:00:39] Good morning, Carley. [00:00:39]
Carley Shimkus: [00:00:40] All right. So you attended the president’s discussion yesterday. Tell us about what you learned about how schools are going to try and reopen safely. [00:00:46]
Jenny Beth Martin: [00:00:48] It was a great discussion. The three big things, well there are four big things that I learned. One: the president is completely committed to reopening schools. I totally appreciate that about him. Two: the vice president said that you don’t want the administration to be a reason that a school does not reopen. And, three, three and four, the CDC director Robert Redfield said that the CDC never recommended that all schools close. And then the thing fourth thing is that the CDC guidance for reopening schools is guidance, and that it should not be used to prevent a school from reopening. Those are all very encouraging things. It’s safe to reopen schools. [00:01:29]
Carley Shimkus: [00:01:30] Well, thirty nine states already have plans to reopen. And so it seems like, you know, there’s a big push to get kids back in the classroom come August and September. But people who are concerned about kids going back to class say that it may not affect the children, but they could get the virus and then send it to grandparents or older people or even put teachers at risk. What do you say to to those concerns? [00:01:54]
Jenny Beth Martin: [00:01:56] I can understand why people would be concerned about that. The media makes it seem like the that would be a problem. The fact is, twenty two European countries have gone back to school and there they have not seen a significant increase in the spread of Coronavirus from children to parents, adults or staff. So that just what we know about the virus now shows that we don’t have to worry of the spread going from children to adults. Adults spread it to children, but children don’t spread it to adults. [00:02:25]
Carley Shimkus: [00:02:26] You know, I am going to push back. I’m going to push back on that a little bit, because we do know that in France they tried to reopen schools and some did have to close down because of the spread. But you are right in the fact that a lot of doctors do feel like the push to go back to school, the need to go back to school is more important than the drawback of possibly spreading this virus in any sort of way. And the first lady really highlighted the mental health element of this. [00:02:53]
Jenny Beth Martin: [00:02:55] Yes. The thing is, it is safe to go back to school. There may be an outbreak in a school or a situation where some students wind up having to be quarantined. And we’re gonna have to to work through those issues. But the thing is, more children are harmed by not being in so than being in school. The American Academy for Pediatrics urges that policies are created to put the children back in the classroom. They say that not being in the classroom has led to social isolation, which has led to depression and suicide ideation. Not every single family in this country can afford to have one computer for every person in the house, much less to have the Wi-Fi for them to be all on video at the exact same time. So not all children are getting a good education right now by not being in school. [00:03:45]
Carley Shimkus: [00:03:46] Yeah, I know that a lot of parents out there also they would love to see their kids back to school so it could free them up to go back to work. And, you know, that’s the normalcy is so important. Jenny Beth, thank you so much for. [00:03:46]
As of July 2020, the website had over 100 videos. Videos reviewed included statements from chiropractors, plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and others. No virologists or immunologists appeared in the samples reviewed by DeSmog Some examples below:
Joel Singer: [00:00:00] You don’t lock up people in quarantine that are healthy. Quarantine means you take sick people, separate them from healthy people so they don’t continue to spread disease. I’m Dr. Joel Singer. I’m a plastic surgeon in New York City. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:15]
[00:00:21] Hi, I’m Joel Singer. Dr. Joel Singer, I am a plastic surgeon, board certified. I practice in New York City. In addition to being a plastic surgeon, I do a specialized treatment for addiction. [00:00:34]
[00:00:35] We’ve had over the years pandemics and epidemics that have been significant. In 1958, we had a pandemic in the United States that killed over one hundred and sixteen thousand people. But it was across the board. It was from children to old people. It was the influenza epidemic, OK. [00:00:53]
[00:00:53] And if you equate that to the population of the United States today, it’s probably equivalent to over two hundred and twenty thousand people dying. We also happen to have a flu epidemic in 1968 that killed about one hundred thousand people. And there was a large percentage in the elderly group over 65. [00:01:16]
[00:01:18] Here we are in 2020, we get a virus, and all of a sudden we decide that the only way to deal with this thing is to lock everything down. That’s not based on science. That’s not based on reason. It’s not based on anything. There was fear. OK. And the fear was the result of lack of knowing what to expect. And also, the fear was promulgated by various scientists who said, oh, we were going to have up to two and a half million people dying in the United States. The bottom line is we now have data.
Jeff Barke: [00:00:00] So socially distancing, wearing masks, especially with the young, make no sense at all. My name is Dr. Jeff Barke. I’m a board certified primary care physician and this is my second opinion. [00:00:11]
[00:00:18] The CDC recently came out with recommendations suggesting that we should put face coverings on all elementary children and socially distance and cut down the school census in half. [00:00:29]
[00:00:30] There’s no scientific evidence to support that. I think it does more harm than good to put masks on children. It interferes with learning. It interferes with socialization. It’s going to create more behavioral problems, more learning disorders, more anxiety and depression. And I think it’s wrong to do so. [00:00:49]
[00:00:50] One thing I’m grateful about to the CDC is they are guidelines. They’re not mandates. Unfortunately, many of the traditional school districts are driven by teachers unions and the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association has also come out with some guidelines that basically mimic the CDC‘s guidelines, and that is children should wear face coverings and the census and classrooms should be split and divided in half. And that makes no sense at all, especially since, in Orange County we literally have had zero children die of Covid- 19. And the World Health Organization has just told us definitively that there is little, if no evidence that there’s asymptomatic spread of this virus. [00:01:38]
[00:01:39] So socially distancing, wearing masks, especially with the young, make no sense at all and I hope that school districts will see that and and heed the recommendation of the World Health Organization, combined with commonsense recommendations that I’ve put out that the county board of Education will be putting out shortly and hopefully will influence their decision as to how to open. [00:01:39]
Andrew Zak [00:00:00] We already know that more than a third of people who test positive for the Coronavirus are asymptomatic. And so the mortality rate is extremely low. I am doctor Andrew Zak. I am an anesthesiologist. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:21]
[00:00:27] Unless you are of a certain age category with other coexisting medical conditions. If you’re in a high risk and of course, that’s definitely going to limit what you can do. But if you’re not in a high risk category and especially children, normal life should resume. [00:00:47]
[00:00:48] The other conditions that go along with this isolation are causing far more disability, depression, suicide, etc. And I think it’s vital that people get back to normal. And we already know that more than a third of people who test positive for the Coronavirus are asymptomatic. And so the mortality rate is extremely low. And many of the people who are, in fact, they don’t even know they’re infected. Many more may have just a very mild symptomatology or something like a common cold or flu. And unless you’re in a high risk category, there’s no reason to continue being isolated. And as time goes by, the virus will attenuate itself and become less severe. So the isolation is the enemy at this point. [00:01:41]
[00:01:42] And I think the evidence is overwhelming that for young people, this disease is not a major concern for a person’s life. And instances where young people have become severely ill or have died from this disease are vanishingly small. And certainly when you start to compare it to other diseases, even the influenza and the statistics bear out that the Coronavirus is less lethal, than those diseases. [00:01:42]
Jane Hughes: [00:00:00] I think there are plenty of links that show that it’s safe for children to return to school and by returning to school, I mean normal school. [00:00:06]
[00:00:12] I’m Dr. Jane Hughes. I’m an ophthalmologist, ophthalmic surgeon in practice in San Antonio, Texas. I also had the privilege of serving two terms as a trustee for Northside Independent School District. I would say that since this whole thing broke out, one of my main jobs, which it always is is educational. I think there are plenty of links that show that it’s safe for children to return to school and by returning to school, I mean, normal school. Obviously, it will be up to each individual school board and the superintendent to decide how best to do that. What parents can do, and it really has a huge impact from my experience, being a trustee in a large school district, is they can come and they can address the board. [00:00:54]
[00:00:54] And it’s really helpful if they bring supportive information, which I think is hugely reassuring to parents because there is nothing more important to a parent or grandparent than the safety of their children and their grandchildren. So it’s going to be a huge job to overcome the mainstream media and some of the hysteria that’s been stirred up regarding this virus. We don’t have to rely on projections anymore. We now can take a look. We understand the virus. We understand quite well how it is spread. [00:01:25]
[00:01:26] People have come in so frightened, have so little knowledge of the Coronavirus or viral epidemics, and had no idea of the number of people that we lose to influenza every year, even though we do have a vaccine for it. They also have no idea of how to protect themselves reasonably because they had no idea how the virus was spread. So a lot of my job, not only just seing them for their eye problem, was answering questions they had about the virus itself, about who was vulnerable, about what were safe activities. A lot of people thought that it was, you know, dangerous to go out their front door, even to be in their yard. And, of course, as we know outside is great for you. The sunshine and the odds of your spreading it to somebody else outdoors are greatly, greatly, greatly reduced. [00:02:15]
[00:02:16] I’m Dr. Jane Hughes, and this is my second opinion. [00:02:16]
Vladimir Sinkov: [00:00:00] I want all the patients, all Americans, to be well-informed and understand that there is not just one point of view out there. [00:00:05]
[00:00:10] My name is Dr. Vladimir Sinkov. I am located in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am an orthopedic spine surgeon and have been in practice for about 10 years now. [00:00:19]
[00:00:19] Everybody should have a right and access to any information they can find so they can form their own opinion. I want to reassure patients that it is safe to go to doctor’s office. And if you truly have a condition that needs to be seen by a doctor, delaying it out of fear of this infection by itself may be actually more dangerous than the infection. Keep in mind, there is always the risk to everything we do, we can never avoid risk. We can only manage risk. If you avoid one thing that is risky, you may create another risk that is actually far greater. Going to a doctor’s office may create a little bit of a risk of getting infection. Not going to the doctor’s office and having your diabetes not properly controlled, you can have a kidney failure and die from that. That by itself is a very dangerous thing. So I just want people to understand that at this point we can mitigate a lot of these risks and to hear from physicians like me that, you know, it is safe to start and regain normal life because you do need that for overall properly functioning society, economically, health wise, psychologically wise and everything. [00:00:19]
Joel Singer: [00:00:00] By the time we locked down, it was already too late, didn’t matter. And not only that, there’s no scientific evidence that it stops the virus spread. I’m Dr. Joel Singer. I’m a plastic surgeon in New York City. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:14]
[00:00:20] This was probably here in the United States a month before it was ever detected. At the same time, we were in the midst of a very serious influenza epidemic. So how did we know the difference between someone who was having a respiratory infection with a viral source that was from influenza or Covid-19? By the time we figured out that this was Covid-19. The virus is already here. The virus was already in New York. The virus was already in California, was all over the country, all all over the world. So locking down any country after it’s spread doesn’t make any sense. [00:00:59]
[00:01:00] There was fear. OK. And the fear was the result of lack of knowing what to expect. And also, the fear was promulgated by various scientists who said, oh, we were going to have up to two and a half million people dying here in the United States. That instilled a tremendous amount of fear. And then we started having cases in New York and New Jersey and in the Northeast. Now, we also started having cases in other states. [00:01:27]
[00:01:28] The bottom line is, by the time we locked down, it was already too late, didn’t matter. And now knowing that there’s no scientific evidence that it stops the virus spread. I mean, it slows it down maybe, but it doesn’t stop it. [00:01:42]
[00:01:42] Instead of trusting these models, these mathematical models, that really didn’t work. We now have actual data. What’s the infection rate? What’s the mortality rate, et cetera. Almost 50 percent of all the deaths in the United States occurred in nursing homes. And then we also find out that children below the age of 18 is practically zero. The mortality rate. So why are we keeping kids home instead of letting them go to school? And then what are the consequences of locking everybody up and not being able to earn a living and not be able to do business? The consequences of the lockup are going to be far worse than any of the consequences of Covid-19. [00:01:42]
Jane Hughes: [00:00:00] I am hopeful we’ll learn from this. We can never shut the country down again. [00:00:04]
[00:00:10] I think the CDC, the National Institute of Health and even the FDA were caught entirely flat footed. In my opinion. They need a total look-see and a revamping where it’s necessary. They were warned in 08 and 09 with the H1N1 flu that we should have had masks and personal protective equipment stockpiled. We should have a full knowledge of how many ventilators and ICU beds we have, and we should have a 24 hour actionable plan in place for viral epidemics of this sort. [00:00:44]
[00:00:45] There’s no reason in the United States that we couldn’t get resources wherever they’re needed, wherever there are hotspots within 24 hours by air. So I am hopeful we’ll learn from this. We can never shut the country down again for a viral epidemic because there are going to be more. We need to be smart about how we target. If you’re sick, you are quarantined. If you’re vulnerable, you need to self quarantine. If you’re healthy, you need to upscale your public hygiene actions and continue on. [00:01:16]
[00:01:17] Because in my opinion, now we’re facing the psychological, the social and the economic devastated conditions that we find ourselves in. And I think it’s gonna be a long time before we recover. So instead of looking backward, let’s look forward. Let’s start planning for how we get back to normal. Let’s have reassurance to the public that our public institutions like the CDC and NIH are prepared and that each state also has an emergency preparedness health plan. [00:01:49]
[00:01:50] Right now, we can tell people we have treatment for Covid. We can take care of you. Our hospitals are not going to be overrun. We’re on the downside and we are going to learn from this. And next time we’re all going to work together through whatever viral epidemic we have to face. I’m Dr. Jane Hughes. [00:02:08]
[00:02:09] I’m an ophthalmologist and not ophthalmic surgeon from San Antonio, Texas. And this is my second opinion. [00:02:09]
Jeff Barke: [00:00:00] There is little, if any, evidence that asymptomatic spread is occurring. My name is Dr. Jeff Barke. I’m a board certified primary care physician and this is my second opinion. [00:00:12]
[00:00:19] The World Health Organization just said there is little, if any, evidence that asymptomatic spread is occurring. And yet we’ve been fear mongered, too, for many, many months now that somehow there are asymptomatic people crop dusting the population and spreading the disease, where there is little, if any, evidence that there is a significant asymptomatic spread of this disease. [00:00:44]
[00:00:45] So patients are fearful of coming into the office, thinking that they’re more likely to get the disease, that they come in to a medical office or a hospital or an emergency department, etc. I don’t want anybody who’s listening to this video, watching this video to believe me based on my word. I want you to go research it yourself. Pull up the CDC website. They’ve got a great graphic where they break down the number of deaths based on age. [00:01:09]
[00:01:10] And the CDC reports quite clearly that this virus is a huge risk for older Americans, especially those that are in nursing homes and extended care facilities. But little risk for the healthy and the young. So this notion that somehow we should cancel school, socially distance children and put masks on them, make no scientific sense whatsoever. And the idea that somehow it’s OK for thousands of people to gather in protest, but it’s not OK to host a Fourth of July parade or go to a sporting event, just makes no sense at all. [00:01:10]
Robert Hamilton: [00:00:00] We’re talking about a really a handful, two handfuls of children in the entire world, that have actually died of Covid. [00:00:08]
[00:00:09] My name is Dr. Robert Hamilton. I am a pediatrician in Santa Monica, California. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:14]
[00:00:19] The kids do get it. I mean, they get the infection. I can tell you that in our office here in Santa Monica. We have swabbed probably around 150 kids. Of the 150 kids we have swabbed, we’ve had two positives. One of the children had a fever for one day. So we went ahead and swabbed her and her older brother, who happened to be completely asymptomatic. Turned out they were both positive these were the only two we’ve had who had been positive. [00:00:47]
[00:00:48] The young girl who had the fever got better within 24 hours. The young boy who had no symptoms, had no symptoms. OK. So children are minimally affected by this infection. The number of deaths that they’ve had and I’m talking about worldwide deaths has been probably in the single digits. You know, maybe maybe low double digits. But we’re talking about a really a handful, two handfuls of children in the entire world that have actually died of Covid. That being said, there are a couple kids who have been having this multisystem inflammatory syndrome occurring in children. MISC is what we’re calling it. Again, these are children who had Covid infection and then seemed to be having this secondary phenomenon. [00:01:38]
[00:01:39] This is worrisome, but the number of children who have been affected by this has likewise been very, very small. [00:01:39]
Lee Merritt: [00:00:00] There is nothing you cannot restrict on the basis of safety. And that’s a scary thing. [00:00:05]
[00:00:10] My name is Dr. Lee Merritt. I’m an orthopedic surgeon and I’m mostly in Omaha, Nebraska. I think testing is a distraction. To figure out what else you know and just, you know, you can say distracting from what? Distracting from the real liberty loss of not opening up the country again. [00:00:26]
[00:00:27] You know, there’s nothing you cannot restrict on the basis of safety. And that’s a scary thing. Flu mandates, vaccine mandates. If you’re worried about safety, you can always come up with an argument for public safety. We’re going to mandate inspections of your basement or whatever. And this is the ultimate. [00:00:44]
[00:00:45] We’ve accepted this very slowly, though. And it started with little things. It’s different when the government says, I’m going to give you a ticket and charge you eighty dollars because you didn’t wear a seatbelt. When we stepped over that constitutional line and we said, well, smoking’s bad. We’re going to outlaw it in private businesses. That was a that was a constitutional moment. And then the next step has been, let’s mandate that all schoolchildren have to take vaccines. You’re not going to save lives with this. What you’re going to do is give six point five million dollars a year to the drug company for this one vaccine. And how many children might be injured? So that’s the kind of problem they argue about safety. [00:01:23]
[00:01:23] Not only does it not even make you safer, it probably makes you less safe. You’re accepting a risk to do something. But at what basis do they have to mandate this? You know, we had the Nuremberg Principles written so we could convict the doctors in Nazi Germany. [00:01:38]
[00:01:38] And what were they convicted of? Basically of treating people against their will, of forcing people to undergo experimentation without informed consent and against and under duress. We’re not there yet. But the next step in all this is they’re going to mandate a Covid vaccine. I don’t have the right to force you to have my surgery. You don’t have the right to force me to have your medical treatment. It’s just that simple. There comes a time in a real pandemic where quarantine is constitutionally justified and constitutionally admissible. [00:02:10]
[00:02:11] But putting people in jail just for refusing to take a vaccine when they’re not spreading a disease, when they’re not sick on the theory they might get sick. That’s the line we’ve crossed. [00:02:11]
Paul Fronapfel: [00:00:00] What we’re doing now might take decades or generations to recover from or we might not ever completely recover from the economic cost and the ripple effect of these shutdowns. [00:00:10]
Paul Fronapfel: [00:00:17] My name is Paul Fronapfel. I’m a pediatric anesthesiologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:23]
[00:00:24] I think the threat of the virus is highly overrated over-reported, and I think there’s a lot of fearmongering going on by especially by liberal media. Fear is just such a powerful emotion that can really paralyze people. There was a story out just the other day from California that they had in the headline of the story was that in one month they reached their typical annual number of suicides. [00:00:56]
[00:00:57] And there was an interesting study in the last recession out of Brazil that they found that for every one percent increase in unemployment rate, thhe suicide rate went up by half a percent. [00:01:10]
[00:01:11] So, you know, potentially we’re looking at an increase in tens or hundreds of thousands of just suicides alone. From the increased unemployment. And, you know, we’re so we’re looking at one hundred thousand deaths from Coronavirus and that’s being plastered all over the screens every day. You know, corner of every news screen you turn on has the active cases, the number of illnesses and the number of deaths. And we’re forgetting about the number of deaths from other things.[00:01:41]
[00:01:42] You know, ten times as many people die from other things on any given day. We have this tunnel vision that thinks that the only important number is how many people have Coronavirus. And we’re forgetting those other important numbers about how many people have jobs, how many people can pay their bills, how many people can put food on their table, how many people are suffering from other conditions that are not able to be seen for it. How many conditions are worsening the risk of death from suicide? [00:02:07]
[00:02:08] I just think we’ve been terribly short sighted. You’re going to have a dramatic increase in substance abuse deaths. [00:02:15]
[00:02:16] You’re going to have a dramatic increase in addiction rates. You’re going to have a dramatic increase in suicides. You’re going to have a huge toll on psychological disease, anxiety, depression. And more and more stories are coming out every day in the news now that people, other people, economists and other people are analyzing this and saying this might be one of the greatest mistakes politically and from the governmental standpoint in history. [00:02:16]
Jane Hughes: [00:00:00] The idea of wearing a surgical mask, especially outdoors, is not of any help. I’m Dr. Jane Hughes. I’m an ophthalmologist and an ophthalmic surgeon from San Antonio, Texas. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:13]
[00:00:20] The issue of masks come up over and over and actually there’s some very, very good studies that show the size particle that goes through a cloth mask, a surgical mask. And almost everybody now knows that is the in N95 masks that are properly fit that give the person who’s wearing it the most protection. And those are what we give to people who have to work in like Covid ICU units and things like that, which again should be stockpiled so that we do not run short for our medical people. The idea that the mask is going to actually protect you 100 percent from getting the virus, corona or other viruses is false. [00:01:01]
[00:01:03] Unfortunately, when you watch people who are wearing masks and they have by the way, if a cough or sneeze and you’re wearing a mask happens, they’ve recovered virus on the outside of that mask. [00:01:13]
[00:01:14] And if you watch people who are wearing masks, they really touch their face. They touch around the mask more than usual. So they touch a doorknob. You immediately touch it afterwards. Then you touch your face and there we go. It’s also droplets spread. So the idea of wearing a surgical mask, especially outdoors, is not of any help. And indoors. The idea that you’re protecting somebody else from it is marginally, marginally effective. [00:01:43]
[00:01:44] In my opinion. It’s also very socially destructive because it’s impossible to read somebody’s facial expressions, their tone, or even in some cases recognize people. And we’re humans. We’re always going to be vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, fungal infections. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. So we have to learn to be a little bit better about public hygiene, about washing our hands, about being respectful of not going out when we’re ill. But beyond that, we’re always going to have illness and we have got to learn to live with it. Wearing masks at this point, in my opinion, with what I’ve read about the transmission of the virus through the mask both ways is more harmful in terms of our society and getting back to normal than it is protective. [00:01:44]
“CA Lockdown Doing Far More Harm Than Good”
Lionel H Lee: [00:00:00] I would ask the governor that he please rapidly open up the state of California, because this is not helping anybody anymore. I think it’s doing far more harm at this point. [00:00:11]
[00:00:16] My name is Lionel Lee, my field of medicine as emergency medicine. [00:00:19]
[00:00:21] I think my first message would be to our governor. And that is he really needs to open the state up. We are seeing people who are losing their insurance. People who are losing businesses and jobs. All the numbers that every study came about Covid was off, way off. And so we were wrong about the numbers. And then to make it worse, we were wrong about the backlash of people delaying care. [00:00:49]
[00:00:50] I’ve been seeing people who are on what we call 5150s and psych holds going up, depression, people overdosing, going up. I think that when you have people locked up, you’re not allowing them to go outside and get vitamin D, which is so important for your health. They’re not allowing people to go outside and get exercise, which is very key to your health. We have to get back to living our lives. We have to go back to a sense of normalcy because, again, the backlash of this lockdown, at least in California, I think is causing far more damage than good. Where we’re having kids, not in school. We’re not having business is not running. It’s it’s becoming a humongous problem. [00:00:50]
Vladimir Sinkov: [00:00:00] My name is Dr. Vladimir Sinkov. I am located in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am an orthopedic spine surgeon and have been in practice for about 10 years now. [00:00:08]
[00:00:13] The basic premise was, you know, fairly early on, even in February and March, we realized that is a highly infectious disease, meaning it is very easy to transmit. A problem with diseases like that, they’re extremely difficult to contain. So the way at least I understood the initial lockdown, it was not to prevent the spread of disease because we, fairly early on logically realized that preventing the spread of it will basically be impossible. So the goal was to slow down the spread of it so that people are getting sick at a slower rate at a time. So we do not overwhelm the health care system. We have seen that infections continue to spread. The number of infected people continue to increase even during a lockdown, which indicates once again, it’s highly infectious disease and our attempts to prevent infection basically are not going to work. [00:01:04]
[00:01:05] We can only it slow down, but at some point it will just get infected, like to do with a lot of other respiratory communicable diseases, our common colds, flu etc.. At this point, I think the attempt to prevent disease transmission is simply not going to work. We have succeeded flattening the curve and in most places, health care systems have not been overwhelmed and are not overwhelmed right now. That’s why they’re allowing elective cases. [00:01:29]
[00:01:30] Basically, I think we achieved what we needed to achieve and now basically, so to speak, move on with our lives, realizing there is a risk. But there’s also the risk of keeping everything locked, in my opinion now that risk is becoming greater than the risk from Covid. [00:01:30]
Scott Barbour: [00:00:00] There are a super majority of people that are either minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic with the Coronavirus. That means that we know that there are people out in the population who are positive for the Coronavirus, who are not having any symptoms. And this is fantastic news. [00:00:16]
[00:00:21] My name is Scott Barbour and I’m an orthopedic surgeon practicing in Atlanta, Georgia. And this is my second opinion. Our estimates of mortality are far, far lower than what has been presented to us. When the World Health Organization first came out, they said that the mortality rate from this disease was three point four percent. And I immediately knew that that was ridiculous because they were only counting the people that they knew were gravely ill. But they were not counting people who were sick, you know, who I should say were positive for the disease, but not sick. [00:00:52]
[00:00:53] So now we have those numbers through testing that have been done in prisons, in nursing homes, on cruise ships and military ships, where we could see that super majorities of people were positive for the Coronavirus, but were either not sick at all or just very, very minimally sick. And this is a good thing. The CDC is now reporting on its own website that the mortality rate for the Coronavirus is commensurate with flu. And it is now clear that the vulnerable population are patients in their 70s and 80s with comorbid conditions. This is fantastic news. [00:01:26]
[00:01:28] It’s great information. And we should realize that the things that are going to help the spread of the disease are just common sense things that we would do every day. Wash your hands, try to avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily. These are things I’ve always done as a doctor my whole life and protect the vulnerable, mainly people who are older with comorbid conditions. Otherwise, it’s time to start opening the country back and getting back to normal. [00:01:28]
Alina Sholar: [00:00:00] Already, so many local Austin icons have shut down. And you have to wonder is, is it worth it? I’m Dr. Alina Scholar. I’m a plastic surgeon and this is my second opinion. [00:00:10]
[00:00:17] Hi, I’m Dr. Lena Scholer. I’m a plastic surgeon in private practice, but I’m also the owner and CEO of a multi location physical therapy and PM&R clinic and regenerative medicine clinic in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [00:00:29]
[00:00:29] The CDC has implemented some suggested guidelines for reopening schools. And, reading through it, I started to ask myself, when do we ask ourselves when policies are put in a place like this, at what point do we stop implementing these kinds of efforts? When SARS covid is eradicated? Well, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon. When the seasonal influenza goes away. Well, that’s not going to happen either. So do we keep schools shut down forever? Of course, the answer is no. But who gets to decide when, if, and to what extent that would be appropriate? Our kids need the opportunity, one, to be kids and two to develop an immunity to these viruses like this that are relatively low risk for them. I don’t think people should take this pandemic lightly. However, we do need to start getting back to normal life. It is affecting businesses beyond just the initial lockdown. [00:01:27]
[00:01:28] As we got closer to understanding when the epidemic curve was going to hit its peak and then when we’re on the backside, you know, I myself kind of had a sigh of relief. This should be over. But instead, our mayor actually implemented a tighter lockdown. That itself instilled a sense of panic and fear. And people well, gosh, if our public officials are making a stay at home, this must really be a disaster. But the thing is, it wasn’t. [00:01:53]
[00:01:54] Nobody’s looking at this long term impact where we have patients that aren’t seeking care for critical things like heart attacks and strokes. All of this is due to the fear mongering that we’ve been subjected to and also the social isolation. That’s just not normal for humans. Already, so many local Auston icons have shut down. And you have to wonder is, is it worth it? Is it worth the lockdown? Because this is not a money for lives situation, this is a lives for life situation, because there are real owners, these businesses who, like I said, have put their lives on the line, put their life savings on the line, and now they’re just gone up in smoke. It’s just a shame. It breaks my heart seeing these these local businesses have been here forever in Austin, these icons go away. For what? For what? In the long run? What long term gain? [00:01:54]
Joel Singer: [00:00:00] Viruses, they go up in a curve like this, they hit the peak, and then they go down. [00:00:04]
[00:00:05] Every single virus we’ve ever studied does the same thing. This one is no different. I’m Dr. Joel Singer. I’m a plastic surgeon in New York City. And this is my second opinion. [00:00:16]
[00:00:22] I just saw two comparison charts, and it was the death rate in two countries and the person who wrote the article didn’t say which country was which. The death rate was exactly the same. And then he told he said he said this one is Sweden, where they kept the country open most of the time. And, you know, practice social distancing. Wash your hands, all of those things. And this one is the United States where they locked us up. Is it was there any difference? Zero. No difference. If you look at the chart, it looks exactly the same. So what the point is. Viruses, they go up in a curve like this, they hit the peak and then they go down. Every single virus we’ve ever studied does the same thing. This one is no different. [00:01:09]
[00:01:09] And by the way, they scare us by saying, oh, we don’t know if you have antibodies, whether you’re new. Well, if this is a virus that produces antibodies and you’re not immune, it’s gonna be a very unusual virus because every other virus we know of that produces antibodies, you’re immune. OK. [00:01:26]
[00:01:26] What they’ve accomplished with this lockdown is they’ve ruined the economy and and may never come back in certain areas. Number one. Number two, they’ve produced a situation where by locking us up, they’ve lowered our immune response. So sure. The second time this thing comes around, there’s going to be a lot of people getting sick. [00:01:46]
[00:01:46] The only scientific evidence we have about preventing getting getting a virus, the only evidence we have is washing your hands. And don’t touch your face. Masks, for this virus, don’t make any sense. OK. Why? Because it’s not an aerosolized virus. It doesn’t go through the air. It’s droplets. So the droplets land on a surface. We touch it with your hands and then you touch your face and gets into your body that way. And that’s how it spreads. It doesn’t spread through the air. [00:01:46]
CL Gray: [00:00:00] I’m Dr. C.L. Gray and I have 20 years of experience in hospital medicine and taking care of patients that are critically ill. This is my second opinion. [00:00:07]
[00:00:12] We need to encourage the people that are younger, healthier, live in lower risk areas of the country, to have a limited exposure to the Coronavirus. To start to move back, thoughtfully and with appropriate precautions, to normal everyday life. We have to get people back to work. [00:00:28]
[00:00:29] We can’t sustain as a nation the kind of devastation that this ongoing lockdown has
caused. So I would like to just encourage patients and their physicians to start to move back to where we were prior to the Coronavirus. It’s going to take us months and likely years to recover from this. [00:00:47]
[00:00:48] By working together, I believe we can do this and we can do it the way that we don’t surrender the patient physician relationship to government. [00:00:48]
Tony Dale: [00:00:00] Everything I see says that the fear of this illness has become more of a serious problem than the actual illness itself. [00:00:09
[00:00:14] My name is Dr. Tony Dale. I live in Austin, Texas at this point in time. I immigrated here 30 years ago from the United Kingdom. My specialty is family practice. I’m involved in a couple of companies that deal with medical cost containment and providing people with alternative to classic insurance models. And in watching the impact on the staff, it’s been very interesting to me, even though we were fully technologically ready and had no trouble moving everybody home. What’s been interesting is watching what’s happened since they’ve gone. The loneliness. Now, after effectively two months of not working from the office. [00:00:59]
[00:00:59] The fears of going back to the office. Most of those fears are unfounded. The almost sense of duty. [00:01:10]
[00:01:10] Do we trust being with our colleagues? [00:01:12]
[00:01:13] And that lack of confidence in close personal friends, I think is a serious challenge to ongoing normal life that we need to address alone and help people overcome these fears and move back into a much more rational approach to what’s going on. [00:01:13]
Alfonso DiCarlo: [00:00:00] I don’t see one health expert. Not one official in the United States of America and a matter of fact, the entire world has gotten up in front of the public and actually told them that, you know what, you have to have a healthy immune system. [00:00:11]
[00:00:11] Hello. I’m Dr. Alfonso Di Carlo and I’m a doctor of chiropractic and exercise physiologist. I’m certified in this discipline. I just want to let you know, this is my second opinion. [00:00:20]
[00:00:25] That’s all we talk about, is washing your hands, wearing a mask and staying away from people. I mean, don’t people realize that we have an immune system? I don’t see one health expert. Not one official in the United of States, America, in a matter of fact, an entire world, no one has gotten up in front of the public and actually told them that, you know what? You have to have a healthy immune system. [00:00:47]
[00:00:47] We don’t talk about having a healthy diet. We don’t talk about how to live a healthy, strong life. We just try to talk about how to stay away from the virus. And that’s the variable that you can’t change. So what you want to make sure is you doing all the healthy things. You’re getting good clean air, you’re getting sunlight, you’re having fresh fruits and vegetables, all those things that allow you to have a healthy immune system to allow you to stay in harmony. [00:01:10]
[00:01:11] So what I wish the governor would do is, yes, not only give guidelines to help yourself and protecty ourself, but actually the other side of that coin. They’re not talking about anything to help your immune system. All right. There’s whole branch of medicine called neuroimmunology, and they don’t even talk about that. Neuroimmunology just means if you’re a healthy, strong posture and you actually have healthy, a strong immune system. So people should be working on those type of things. And there’s many people in the world that actually got Covid-19 and they’re totally fine. Why? Because their immune system is functioning properly? So I really want to talk to the public is they should talk about this other side. Look at or study neuroimmunology and how posture directly controls your immune system. [00:01:11]
Joel E Yeager: [00:00:17] I’m Dr. Joel Yeager, board certified family physician and my wife, Dr. Lou Ann Yeager, is also a board certified family physician together with me. We made the choice to keep our office open throughout this entire pandemic. I had a phone call after hours. He said, Dr. Joel. He said, I am finally back to work. After a long, many weeks of not being at work and now one of my coworkers has tested positive. I don’t think the coworker had really many symptoms. He said. I don’t have any symptoms at all. He said, what should I do? And I said, well, I can give you the CDC recommendation, which would basically be to go home and isolate yourself from the next seven to 14 days, which means you’re out of work. [00:01:02]
[00:01:03] Or I can give you my recommendation. You’re not symptomatic. You’re finally back to work. Even if you do become symptomatic, we now know that most people fight this virus and do absolutely fine with little to no effects. So we had about a 10 minute conversation. And at the end he said, well, Dr. Joel, I’m so glad to hear this. He said, this just puts my mind at ease.
Because he said, all I hear is what I hear on the news media. And it makes me really frightened. [00:01:26]
[00:02:56] I think my biggest message would be it’s time to get healthy Americans back out circulating in the public. The way to develop an immunity is to get healthy people out, circulating, doing what healthy people normally do. And that’s backed up actually by the facts. The way to get an immunity in the population to a disease that’s relatively as benign as this is to get healthy people circulating. And worst case scenario is do pass it around at school. Well, they’ll develop an immunity to it. I can’t imagine a first grader kindergartner with a mask on eight hours a day at school, you know, not being allowed to participate in in field trips. I mean, all of the I mean, certainly schools are about education, but there’s also a huge social component. And all these restrictions will have huge social implications on children. [00:02:56]
Some Other Examples:
- “[sic] Ouside Spreading of Disease is Practically ZERO”
- “It Doesn’t Make Sense”
- “Effects of Lockdown on Students”
- “More Cases Doesn’t Mean More Danger”
- “COVID 19 Lockdown Was a Mistake!”
- “Covid Mortality Rates are Lower Than Media Portrays”
- “Schools May Be Safest Place for Children”
- “Get outside!”
- “Cannot Lock Up Our Kids!”
- “Not As Contagious As People Think”
- “COVID response mass hysteria”
- “There is More Than One Opinion on COVID-19”
- “Mortality Rate Not As High As They Thought”
- “We Need to Build Our Immunity”
- “Covid Lockdown Traumatizes Children”
- “Get Our Kids Back Into School”
- “The School Guidelines are ‘Over the Top!’”
- “CDC School Guidelines Are Not Reasonable”
- “Nothing is Without Risks”
- “So Much Misinformation”
- “What’s Really Going On With This?”
^^ “Jenny Beth Martin: A Communication Strategy to Reopen the Country,” Breitbart, May 13, 2020
The fact is, we don’t have to wait for a vaccine to live our lives. We can continue to work toward that end, but we do not have to cower in fear, sheltered inside our homes, while waiting for the scientists to do their thing. To that end, here are seven suggestions for strengthening and expanding upon President Trump’s positive communications efforts. He should:
- Talk about the successes of some of the state-by-state reopenings. Across the country, states are beginning to reopen to various degrees. President Trump could easily use his Twitter feed to promote success stories from around the country. Read about a small business that reopened and put dozens of people back to work? He should promote it and link to it, so 80 million followers can learn about it and share it with their own social media followers and friends.
- Thank the American people for everything they’ve done to flatten the curve already, and for their continued attention to commonsense social distancing. Just because we’re reopening does not mean we don’t care about being prudent.
- Use the president’s social media presence to highlight the good stories that are happening – stories about Americans being their typically generous selves, helping other Americans. A Twitter feed in particular is perfectly made for this kind of feel-good story-spreading.
- Conduct a briefing, with charts and graphs, about how difficult it is actually to contract the virus. We know from our research that the virus is not transmitted through casual contact. The doom and gloom “we are all going to die” format is old. He could share with us some facts that will give us hope.
- Tell us what he plans to do to help bring manufacturing back to the continental United States.
- Tell us how we can simultaneously create jobs here in the United States and reduce dependence on China.
- Tell us what the plan to get us back to work looks like. We’ve got more than 35 million of our fellow citizens who have lost their jobs in the last eight weeks – and with their jobs, they’ve lost a measure of dignity as well as a great deal of hope. He should share with us concrete plans to create jobs, so we can look forward with hope.
Note: Cliff Maloney is president of Young Americans for Liberty.
YAL announced on Facebook it would be moving its event, Mobilize 2020, to Dallas, Texas, after the event of more than 1,000 students and legislators was denied the right to assemble in Austin. The description read:
BREAKING: Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s authoritarian threats and draconian policies force YAL to move our premier training event, Mobilize 2020.
But it’s not a question of who’s going to let YAL train 1,000+ students to Make Liberty Win…
It’s who’s going to stop YAL.
And the answer is NOBODY.
See you in Dallas August 6-8.
Kristin Tate: [00:00:00] Quick message here from Young Americans for Liberty about the Coronavirus shutdowns. [00:00:04]
Emma Meshell: [00:00:05] When we say it’s time to reopen America, a lot of people immediately respond with “So you just want people to die?” [00:00:11]
Cliff Maloney: [00:00:12] That’s not what we’re saying at all. [00:00:13]
Kristin Tate: [00:00:14] In fact, we want people to thrive. But in a government shutdown, the American spirit is crushed. [00:00:19]
Emma Meshell: [00:00:20] Many small business owners are living paycheck to paycheck. And if they’re being forced to close… [00:00:25]
Cliff Maloney: [00:00:25] They can’t pay their employees. And if they can’t pay their employees… [00:00:29]
Kristin Tate: [00:00:29] People can’t eat. And it’s only getting worse. Forty three percent of small businesses may have to close permanently because of these shutdowns. [00:00:38]
Emma Meshell: [00:00:39] And we can’t rely on the government to save us here. The Small Business Administration just ran out of money for loans. [00:00:45]
Cliff Maloney: [00:00:46] And Washington is more concerned about helping the politically connected than everyday working Americans. [00:00:52]
Kristin Tate: [00:00:53] Seventy percent of Americans have less than one thousand dollars in savings. [00:00:57]
Emma Meshell: [00:00:58] Forty percent have nothing in savings. [00:01:00][2.1
Cliff Maloney: [00:01:00] And listen: fewer than one in three Americans have a job that they can work remotely. The politicians, they don’t seem to care. And by the way, the notion of arresting people for violating stay at home orders? Complete insanity. [00:01:15]
Kristin Tate: [00:01:16] We don’t need these kinds of unjust laws. People act out of self-preservation and shouldn’t be forced to act through an authoritarian state. [00:01:24]
Emma Meshell: [00:01:25] You should be free to wear a mask and social distance. And most people will, because we don’t want this virus to spread. But we don’t have to destroy our criminal justice system in the process. [00:01:34]
Cliff Maloney: [00:01:35] It’s time to recognize the facts. Quarantine is when you lock up sick people. Tyranny is when you lock up free people. [00:01:44]
Emma Meshell: [00:01:44] It’s time to acknowledge that any job that puts food on the table for your family is essential. [00:01:49]
Kristin Tate: [00:01:50] It’s time to end these shutdowns and give the American people the choice to go back to work. [00:01:55]
Cliff Maloney: [00:01:56] It’s time to make…. [00:01:57]
Kristin Tate: [00:01:57] Liberty. [00:01:57]
Emma Meshell: [00:01:58] Win. [00:01:58]
Shane Hazel: [00:00:01] Hey everybody this is Shane Hazel. We are down here at the Georgia Senate. Or actually I should say, Georgia capital here behind me. We’ve got a very great crowd out here. It is. It’s just one of those liberty-loving fight for your rights type of crowd that is out here for all the right reasons. You guys say hello. We’ve got Rothbart shirts. You’ve got Make Orwell Fiction Again. COVID 1984. Let’s Work. We got Our Rights Don’t End where Fear Begins, Liberty or Death and Don’t Tread on Me flags and and YAL showing up big down here today. Young Americans for Liberty. I’ll tell you what, they are changing America one state seat at a time. And big, big shout out to Diego and the rest of these guys for getting them down here. [00:00:49]
Shane Hazel: [00:00:50] We really appreciate it. But hey, here’s the message, ladies and gents. So don’t hurt people don’t take her stuff. Here’s the other messages. People have rights that precede government. They have the right to work. And this government, boy, I’ll tell you what I think: I think the framers of this country would be real sad to hear. And maybe even our ancestors. Just back to nineteen.. I don’t know..forty five that just got through with World War II would be really, really sad to hear that this government has classified some people as nonessential. We need to inspire passion in people. We need to grow the genius. It lifts everybody. We agree. Ladies and gents, that is this virus is dangerous. We know it is. We agree on totalitarian overreach and the growth of the state is a problem. And we agree, ladies and gents, that people have the right to work. Thank you guys for all coming out. I’m going to be beating feet here very soon. Like I always say. We love you. We need you. Peace. [00:00:50]