The USNS Comfort was rushed to New York City Harbor to help care for the tens of thousands of coronavirus patients that were expected to fill the city’s hospital beds. The floating military hospital added a full 1,000 beds to the system’s capacity.
The ship is now leaving, having been barely used. In New York City, the much-feared collapse of the health system never happened. Extra ventilators, like the hospital ship, are available for other places.
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The ship’s stay in the hot zone and its departure are highly symbolic.
Across the country, hospitals prepared for Armageddon by clearing out space to deal with the expected waves of COVID-19 victims. Then, everywhere the health system was underwhelmed by an Armageddon that never came. Now, hospitals are laying off medical staff or even going bankrupt. The lack of patients and the canceling of elective surgeries seriously harmed them financially. People are dying because they postponed vital operations.
Something went seriously wrong with the models used to project the threat to public health. These models were not even close to reality. The most cited was released by a team from the Imperial College London led by Prof. Neil Ferguson. It was used by a large number of governments to impose extreme confinement measures on their citizens. These political leaders showed more faith and reverence for this model’s skewed projections than they accord to the Four Gospels. These London experts estimated 2.2 million Americans would die. Only a fraction of that number succumbed. The study’s principal author later admitted that the wild estimates were based on thousands of lines of undocumented code written 13 years ago to model flu pandemics. These initial models were not just miscalculations but guesstimates based on a poor application of science. A politicized media then ran with them.
No one has yet been called to accounts over this massive mistake. These scientists still have their jobs. The government leaders who rashly and unquestionably accepted and acted on their inflated numbers are still in office. Irresponsible media continues to whip up hysteria.
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At the same time, political leaders smugly ignored doctors and scientists like Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University. Their studies and insights were quite close to accurate and estimated the lethality rate was close to that of the seasonal flu. Had they been given favorable hearing, it could have saved the hospital system a great deal of time and money. Their politically incorrect yet epidemiologically correct insights could have saved lives and trouble.
Not satisfied with their disastrous handling of the crisis in the medical field, government leaders doubled down and went for an encore in the economy and society-at-large. The wheels of industry and commerce came to a screeching halt in anticipation of the pandemic that would kill millions. A good portion of the world is still in some phase of lockdown. These decisions too were based on the same faulty models. They are triggering a meltdown.
Government actions should be based on real data and sound science. The continued implementation of extreme confinement measures based on these flawed guesstimate models is nothing but socio-political and economic suicide.
Vast stretches of America with few or no cases of the virus were treated with the same drastic rigor as New York City, the national hot spot. Vibrant businesses and operations were simplistically divided into just two groups: “essential” or “non-essential.” Who knows what questionable criteria informed this un-Solomonic decision seeing that in many states abortion mills, marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores were deemed “essential,” but not so churches and religious gatherings.
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When integrated modern economies stop, whole supply chains also halt. Components of the process often cannot be repurposed. Massive amounts of goods and foodstuffs must be donated or thrown away.
The sheer scope of economic destruction is mind-boggling. In March and April, markets shed trillions of dollars in value. Important industries like hospitality and travel ground to a halt. Debt skyrocketed. Government spending ballooned out of all control. Tens of millions no longer have jobs and are collecting unemployment aid.
Worst of all, the business world, eager to reopen, is subject to the slow and cruel vagaries of the same politicians who landed them in their current fate. Many government leaders now extend the lockdowns in a vacuous attempt to save face and “prove” the closings were indeed needed. Other government officials are ideologues and care nothing for the economic calamity. They see the crisis as an opportunity to ram through their socialist and green agendas.
The great danger is not the virus but rather the bungling of its handling. It led to measures that are destroying the social and economic order. A do-whatever-it-takes attitude is burning the house down when a flashlight would have been sufficient to illuminate and find a solution to the problem.
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One day, history will judge with great severity the guilt of all involved in creating the panic and hysteria informing this crisis. It will condemn harshly those who have openly and unashamedly used the crisis to pursue their subversive ideological goals. To varying degrees, each must bear some responsibility for this medical and economic calamity. They will share in the blame for those who will perish by illness, suicide, anxiety and other indirect causes of death wrought by the worldwide panic and everything it triggered.
The only way out of the crisis is to pull out of this suicidal course. Now. Immediately. No one can be obliged to commit suicide. Like the USNS Comfort, it is time to leave the New York harbor behind.