Thursday, March 26, 2020
Related to my last post, understand that the government and culture of China have been frantically arrogant for the last several centuries. They call their country "the middle kingdom", which means they see themselves as far above all other people on Earth as the gods are above them. One result of this almost-desperate arrogance has been an addiction to playing Economic Warfare with their trade partners, no matter how much damage it does them, which accounts for the Opium Wars of the 1800s. Another result has been their tendency to make war on neighbors who were no threat to them, which explains why China is thoroughly hated by its neighbors; this explains why, during the Vietnam war, the government of North Vietnam went for help to Russia to help fight the Americans rather than having anything to do with China. Another result is that the Chinese govt. would rather lose thousands -- if not millions -- of its enormous population than lose "face" before the rest of the world.
Thanks to the wonders of modern communications, China has been furiously embarrassed before the rest of the world thanks to the Corona virus. This explains why the Chinese govt. made the amazing claim that "US soldiers" brought the virus to China. Anybody can ask just when the US last had troops in China, and everybody knows that the virus came from Wuhan, China, regardless of what any politician says. China has done better at claiming its numbers of Covid-19 infected have "peaked" and its people are going back to work -- with no evidence except the govt.'s own word.
Not that this stops any politician, religious leader, or media flack from throwing ridiculous claims and accusations around.
The govts. and assorted mullahs/imams/ayatollahs of the Arab countries, from Iran on down, have blamed the virus on the US, Israel, and the Jews in general. Interestingly enough, their orders to their subjects vary wildly. Some command the Faithful to go out and infect as many infidels as they can reach. Others ignore the WHO's safety protocols and hold mass prayer-meetings on the assumption that the virus will spare the Faithful, despite the reported growing number of mass graves in Iran.
From the rest of Asia we hear either silence or brags, such as South Korea, which boasts that it has now given its entire population virus tests, or North Korea, which is saying nothing.
In Europe the politics are more volatile and complex. Italy, after begging for help from anyone who could give it, has closed its borders and is going into complete lockdown; there are rumors, nothing proven, that the govt. is planning to start deporting all those "migrants" who overstrained its public services in the first place. France has tried to instate the WHO's protocols only to face riots from its "migrant" population, and is considering using its military to clean out the migrant enclaves. Other European countries have shut down their borders completely, in defiance of EU regulations and despite howls from the media/academia about a "political shift to the Right". In fact, a lot of countries are pulling toward autonomy again, away from the EU in general. The whole "globalism" trend is in danger of falling apart.
It's in the US that the politics of the plague-panic become really visible. The Democrats, in their near-frenzy to Get Trump, first denounced him for his earlier actions of thinning out the CDC bureaucracy, sneered at his vague and weakly optimistic speeches, and demanded that he use the powers of the fed. govt. to doooo something. In fact, what Trump was dooooing was quietly going around to the pharmaceutical and medical-supply corporations, and others, and flogging them into pulling their manufacturing out of China and back into the US -- and stepping up production fast. (Another thing most Americans don't realize is that during the Obama administration China gained an enormous share -- at least 70% -- of the American pharmaceutical and medical-supply business. Trump has been working to reverse that.) For this he used the stick of the Wartime Production Act and the carrot of "stimulus" rewards. What else could have persuaded Ford, of all companies, to go into the ventilator-manufacturing business? This is also why the Republican "stimulus" bill included payoffs to certain corporations as well as small businesses.
After the WHO declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic, Trump was obliged to declare a national emergency, which included outlining the WHO's protocols for curtailing the spread of the virus. He certainly knew what this would do to the economy, so he left implementation of the protocols up to local state and city govts. -- which responded with widely varying tactics.
Interestingly enough, states with Democrat governors instituted the most draconian regulations, including attempts at -- of all things -- gun-control laws, not to mention damaging the local economies. For example, Mayor Garcetti of Los Angeles threatened to cut off water and power to any "non-essential" business that refused to close. This seriously annoyed the more libertarian voters, and won the Democrats no friends. Nonetheless, the Democrats insisted that Trump show "more leadership", and use the various federal govt. powers to enforce uniform compliance. The stock-market took a precipitous nosedive, bounced back, dived again, and cautiously edged back up. Trump started enacting the War Production Act but held off enforcing it until he got word of the various medical researchers around the world finding workable treatments for Covid-19. When he announced the treatments -- variations on a theme of hydrochloroquine with something else -- his medical adviser, Fauco, expressed the usual caution about the need for testing (doctors who promise cures tend to get sued). Various Democrats used that excuse to denounce Trump's claims of hope; the governor of Nevada went so far as to pass a law forbidding the medical use of hydrochloroquine as treatment for Covid-19. Other Democrat politicians have loudly denounced Trump's efforts to get businesses open and running again by Easter, even as those companies that Trump flogged into emergency production have sent some 9 million doses of chloroquine to New York's public health services to be tried on those 15,000 New Yorkers who have tested positive for Covid-19. The testing started last Monday, and the first trials should be finished in ten days.
One has to wonder just what the Democrats are trying to accomplish -- especially that Nevada governor. Certainly the stock-market dive and partial shutdown of the economy work in their favor, since Trump's main appeal to the voters is the previously booming economy. But would they really go so far as to hold off on treatments for the virus, and to keep the economy depressed, just to discourage potential Trump voters?
Judging from the political craziness we've seen in other countries, I couldn't swear it's impossible.
Saturday, March 21, 2020
First, here's what we now know about China's involvement in the Coronavirus spread. Note that one thing not mentioned here is that the city of Wuhan contains Wuhan University, which hosts the Wuhan Virology Institute. Yes, "virology" means just what you think it means. Draw your own conclusions. More to follow.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
One of my predictions in my last blog has come true already. Note:
Yep, Iran is blaming Israel for creating the virus -- maybe with help from the US. You heard it here first, folks! No doubt the other Arab countries will fall in line with the same story. Once those Israeli scientists at the Migal lab are turning out vaccines in job lots, we'll see if those same countries are willing to take the vaccine or if they refuse to be "contaminated" by "Jewish" medicine. Nobody is mentioning the fact that Iran, even with its spotty history of medical testing, has an unusually large number of Covid-19 infected people -- and this is because the country has had a very poor record of public health ever since the ayatollahs took over. The Iranian government really has nobody but itself to blame -- not that it ever will. Other countries, including Italy, Israel and now the US, have taken measures -- like banning travel and large public gatherings -- to slow down the spread of the virus and increase testing for it, but you won't see the Arab countries following suit.
Since Covid-19 is an airborne (more specifically an "aerosol") virus, there's really no way to stop its spread. The best we can do is slow down its progress while the medical companies scramble to produce tests, vaccines, and treatments. Yes, avoiding crowds can do that. So can other tactics already used to avoid other virus infections; treat this like a dangerous flu: keep away from other people as much as possible, keep warm, keep your nose and mouth covered, wash your hands often, take lots of Vitamin C, and also eat lots of fresh raw onions, fresh raw garlic, fresh raw cabbage, fresh lime juice and fresh lemon juice. All of those foods are virus-fighters and immune-system boosters, and until the medical researchers can come up with a real cure, boosting your immune system is really the best thing you can do. Everything else is politics.
As further examples of the politics, note how the major US news media have been fanning panic and of course blaming Trump for the spread of the virus. Italy has banned all travel into the country, which helps with its no-more-immigration policy. Other countries are likewise using the "global pandemic" excuse to cut off unwanted immigration. China has used the outbreak as an excuse to lock down the entire country, which has effectively stopped the public protests that were becoming a serious annoyance before the outbreak. And of course Iran and other Arab countries are using the epidemic as an excuse to blame and attack Israel.
Essential to these political maneuverings is the fear that Covid-19 is especially lethal. Chris O'Connell on MSNBC actually said: "More Americans are dead and dying tonight because Donald Trump is president." A dutiful Health Department official said, likewise on MSNBC, that: "Covid-19 is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu." Never mind that the common or seasonal flu has a death-rate of one-tenth of 1% of everyone who catches it. This gives Covid-19 a lethality rate of 1% -- and remember that this includes all known cases in the world, and the world includes some places with very poor health care.
One thing this manufactured panic has done is to damage everybody's economy. Particularly, the US stock market has dropped, then bounced, then dropped again. Who benefits from this? I can think of nobody except the Democratic Party, which previously had no answer to the fact that the US economy has grown considerably under Trump's administration. Perhaps the DNC is hoping that the economy will stay depressed until November, so they'll have a better chance of winning. I suspect it won't. The problem with convenient panics is that they don't last very long. Once the US has enough testing-kits to cover the whole population, once enough people have gotten Covid-19 and recovered, once people see that the danger isn't nearly as great as they've been told, the shut-downs will end, people will go back to work, and the economy will get back up again. That should happen by summer, let alone by election day.
It will be interesting to see how assorted politicians, political committees and their media-flacks try to keep fanning the panic, and whom they keep blaming for the virus.
Meanwhile, treat Covid-19 like a particularly nasty flu, and get your information from real medical websites.