Subways, Buses and Trains Still Running in Coronavirus Hot Spots. How Exactly Does That Help Fight the Virus?

It’s hard to think of a more opportune place for a contagious virus to spread than in subways and on buses. Yet, weeks into the shutdown of businesses that never engender large crowds and prohibition in some states for citizens to hike in wide-open state parks, mass transit is still running to some degree in almost every major hot spot. Let me guess: This is also scientifically sound policy built on the vaunted “models and projections,” right?

So many parts of America are now thankful they don’t live in Europe, where so many people don’t have cars and rely instead on public transportation for everything. Cars are the great beacon of freedom, movement, and individualism and the symbol of America’s wide-open expanse. Cars are extremely reliable and facilitate every level of personal liberty and economic movement, yet at the same time they are the perfect long-term and short-term vehicle for social distancing and the antidote against viral spreading. Mass transit, on the other hand, is to coronavirus what water and sunlight are to plants.

Here is a sample of some major city or state transit systems still operating either at full or at reduced capacity as of April 1:

New York City

Chicago

New Jersey

Atlanta

D.C. (reduced service)

New Orleans (weekend schedule)

Detroit (limited schedule)

San Francisco (buses, not trains)

Los Angeles

Miami

Seattle

Indianapolis

In some of these cities, you could be pulled over and questioned for simply traveling alone in your car, but the subways are still open! New York is the big shocker. Police have to patrol the cars to count how many people are in them.

Wouldn’t you expect mass transit to be the first thing shut down during this epidemic? National Review’s Dan McLaughlin observes how by tracing the zip code map of coronavirus cases in New York City, it is quite evident that the subway lines could have played an outsized role in transmission of the virus.

Yes, shutting it down would be disruptive, but not nearly as disruptive as a full nuclear winter on all businesses and even very important medical care, which is now causing the furloughing of vital health care providers.

I live right outside Baltimore, not exactly rural Wyoming. Everyone in my neighborhood has two cars, and it is by no means an upper-income neighborhood. Keeping most businesses open, facilitated through individual car travel and wearing masks and gloves, would result in exponentially better outcomes for our lives, economy, and yes, defeating the virus than shutting everything down but leaving open mass transit.

Whatever value added one can possibly see in keeping mass transit open in large cities, even under a weekend schedule, it would not get nearly as many people to work as lifting some of the more draconian bans on businesses. And with so many people working at home anyway, lots of friends and neighbors who don’t have cars would be able to borrow them. It wouldn’t work for everyone, but it would sure get more people to work than a mandatory lockdown.

According to payroll provider ADP, the entirety of the net job losses in March came from small businesses, which are the easiest venues to implement safe sanitation and distancing. With mass transit still running and criminals being released, this is exactly the time we should apply the Illinois Supreme Court’s exception to state quarantine powers – when “regulations adopted for the protection of the public health are arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable.” (People ex. rel. Barmore v. Robertson, 1922.)

Alas, the reality is that mass transit is a holy grail of the Left, just like jailbreak, which is why these authoritarian policies, not grounded in reality, are so arbitrary and political. Shockingly, rather than moving away from mass transit, $25 billion in transit funding was slipped into the coronavirus rescue bill that was signed into law last week. Nancy Pelosi is already calling for a “phase 4” coronavirus bill to fund mass transit, among other pet projects.

Again, at what point and after how much devastation are we the citizens going to start asking questions of the government and the media and why their supposed concern for science and regard for “science” always results in inconsistent outcomes benefiting their long-standing political beliefs? (For more from the author of “Subways, Buses and Trains Still Running in Coronavirus Hot Spots. How Exactly Does That Help Fight the Virus?” please click HERE)

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Biden, Seeking an Answer to Irrelevance, Walks Into Trump’s Trap

. . .Since releasing his plan, Biden has continued to attack Trump about the coronavirus, with limited success. In addition to the problems listed above, Biden’s appearances highlight that there’s something wrong with him. His blunders are not the usual gaffes of someone always under the spotlight. They’re the mistakes of someone who is a few cards short of a full deck. . .

Because the Trump team is intelligent, it’s so far opted to avoid attacking Biden’s obvious weaknesses. Instead, Kellyanne Conway chose to demand that Biden put his money where his mouth is if he has such great ideas. . .

Biden was unable to resist the bait, announcing that he would reach out to Trump. And Trump, seeing his fish on the hook, had the right answer:

When asked whether he would be receptive to a phone call with the Democrats’ primary frontrunner, the president said yes.

There’s no way Biden can come out of this conversation looking good. Trump will treat him with the utmost respect while making sure to highlight the fact that Biden was useless during the Obama presidency, that Biden’s plans are duplicative of what Trump has already done, and that Biden is mentally weak. The best thing of all would be to televise this meeting because it would highlight Trump’s vigor and acumen compared to Biden’s faded glory. (Read more from “Biden, Seeking an Answer to Irrelevance, Walks Into Trump’s Trap” HERE)

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While Americans Are Locked up Without Judicial Review, Courts Grant New Rights to Criminal Aliens!

Where are the ever-meddlesome courts when you need them?

As Americans are placed under house arrest, local governments are spying on citizens, and every clause of the Bill of Rights is violated, we are told that governments are simply exercising their enormous police power to preserve public health. As such, there is barely a peep about lawsuits against these draconian and often overbroad measures. Yet at the same time, criminals and illegal aliens continue to get standing in court to sue for their freedom of movement. Orwell could not have written a better plot.

We are moving closer to martial law in this country, as the president has taken over industries under the Defense Production Act, states are issuing travel restrictions on other states, and snitch lines are being posted to spy on fellow citizens. The ever-powerful courts, as the supposed guardians of civil liberties, are nowhere to be seen, except for allowing illegal aliens to violate our sovereignty and for criminals duly convicted of crimes to be set free.

Consider the following:

Last Monday, the Supreme Court allowed two criminal aliens deported decades ago to reopen their cases to potentially overturn their deportations. Despite the clear statutory bar on judicial review, Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh joined with the other liberals on the court to ignore both our nation’s sovereignty and Congress’ power to strip jurisdiction from the courts. Only Justices Thomas and Alito dissented. Thus, while Americans are confined within their homes or banned from traveling from certain states, criminal aliens can get standing to sue to travel back across our international border! This decision will open a Pandora’s box of countless terrible criminal aliens deported since 1996 to reopen their cases.

A federal judge in the Southern District of New York ordered the release of 10 criminal aliens from an ICE detention facility in New Jersey (outside her jurisdiction), contending that they were “medically compromised.” In addition, Judge Dolly Gee, the same woman who was so instrumental in spawning the public health crisis at the border last year, has ordered HHS to “make continuous efforts” to release children from custody who are currently being held at Office of Refugee Resettlement facilities. So, the same unilateral authority given to executives to confine Americans under the guise of public safety is now given to both the executives and courts to release people who don’t belong in this country. Something doesn’t add up.

The Montana Supreme Court ruled that local police cannot hold an illegal alien burglary suspect for 48 hours so ICE can pick him up on immigration charges. We are now told there is quite literally nothing a local government cannot do to restrict the movement of citizens and indiscriminately shut down businesses of Americans, even when they don’t engender large gatherings. Yet, somehow, they can’t assist in enforcement of federal immigration law, as they do so with many other federal laws.

On Friday, the Ninth Circuit ruled in a nationwide class action suit that all those bogus asylum seekers being held pending their credible fear determination must be given bond hearings for potential release. Again, while Americans are locked up, they get to be released. What is so shocking is that statute says (8 U.S. Code § 1225(B)(iii)(IV)) they SHALL be detained during the credible fear determination and cannot be released. Moreover, Congress in 1996 (8 U.S.C. § 1252(f)(1)) explicitly blocked all lower courts from issuing class action injunctions in this context.

Judges throughout the country are ruling that criminals must be released during the epidemic, even where the elected officials have opted not to do so.

We all understand the broad powers of a state to quarantine people to prevent the spread of diseases. But if that is true, then by a factor of a million, the federal government has the national security and sovereignty power to prevent the entry and release of aliens as well as the release of criminals without judicial intervention to protect public order. The courts can’t have it both ways – remain silent on overly broad quarantine laws against peaceful Americans, while restricting the executives of this nation from enforcing laws against illegal aliens and criminals.

Something is not right here. How can we take this national emergency seriously and believe the science behind lockdown policies (when they’ve failed in Europe and when Asia succeeded without them), when this same fascist federal and state juggernaut is somehow reduced to rubble when it comes to acting against illegal aliens and criminals?

Let’s review the outcomes from the COVID-19 crisis:

Most sweeping restrictions, surveillance, and confinement of Americans indefinitely without due process in the history of America? Check!

Endless welfare, debt, and spending? Check!

Mass release of criminals? Check!

More foreign workers as a time of record unemployment? Check!

More rights for illegal aliens to come and remain here? Check!

Why is it that every policy outcome from this crisis is a long-standing liberal priority, even when the several outcomes contradict the rationale underlying some of the others?

Something very dark is afoot here, and it’s time for the citizenry to begin asking questions. That begins with convening state legislatures to return the government to we the people. (For more from the author of “While Americans Are Locked up Without Judicial Review, Courts Grant New Rights to Criminal Aliens!” please click HERE)

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You Can’t Go to Church, but You Can Get an Abortion. Stop the Coronavirus Insanity!

At this rate, the only “constitutional rights” left that will be guarded by the courts are those of illegal aliens, violent criminals, and baby-killers at abortion facilities.

For the first time in American history, all churches and most businesses have been shut down indefinitely – even those following the CDC guidelines – all without sufficient evidence that it is necessary. Every mayor, county executive, or sheriff has become a medieval duke who can rule under the divine right of a king. Every clause of the Bill of Rights has been suspended in its most basic application without any desire to more narrowly tailor the severe infringements to clearly defined, evidence-based policy goals.

Where is that judicial supremacy juggernaut during this whole ordeal, the same juggernaut that spawned the worst border and health crisis from illegal aliens in 2018-2019?

Well, we’ve finally detected a pulse in the courts. Indeed, there are limitations on the power of a governor to shut down our lives and economy at any cost: A federal district judge in Texas ruled yesterday that Governor Greg Abbott has no power to violate the Bill of Rights and shut down abortion services for the duration of the epidemic!

“Regarding a woman’s right to a pre-fetal-viability abortion, the Supreme Court has spoken clearly,” U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas on Monday. There can be no outright ban on such a procedure.”

But you can ban opening your business outright? You can ban movements and travel between states outright? You can ban all assembly outright?

You see, there is one “religious” service that is evidently legally protected even during a pandemic. It just happens to be the religious service that involves killing babies and is of course not mentioned in the Constitution. A broken clock might be right twice a day, but the corrupt legal profession and court system are perfectly perverted without exception. They rule on the side of fake rights every time, and they ignore infringements on the most foundational natural rights every time.

Judge Karen Henderson noted this in 2018 in the context of illegal immigration. In a dissent in the Garza case, the federal appeals court judge in D.C. wrote that the majority had created a right for illegal aliens to access abortion when even legal immigrants are excluded from the Second Amendment right to own a gun and the First Amendment right to donate to political campaigns.

Abortion is a super-right invisibly inked into the Constitution by the judicial tyrants. Henderson observed sarcastically how settled case law dictates that most other major citizen rights “must yield to the ‘plenary authority’ of the Congress and the Executive, acting in concert, to regulate immigration; but the freedom to terminate one’s pregnancy is more fundamental than them all?”

A few hours after the ruling in Texas yesterday, U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett issued a similar temporary restraining order in Ohio, accusing the governor of creating “a substantial obstacle in the path of patients seeking pre-viability abortions, thus creating an undue burden on abortion access.”

What about an undue burden on just about every other medical service and nearly every other service known to man during this pandemic?

My father needed emergency surgery last week after a bone fragment chipped off his lumbar spine and lodged itself in the sciatic nerve. He was experiencing excruciating pain that even the oxycontin didn’t ease much, but he had a great deal of trouble trouble finding a doctor to even perform the surgery. Finally, thanks to an extended family connection, he found a surgeon willing to perform the operation, but even then, the medical director of the hospital had to sign off on the procedure as “essential.” When he arrived at the Baltimore hospital, personnel were standing around with almost no patients – coronavirus or otherwise. It was a close call and made me wonder how many others will wind up missing out for weeks on end on what should be considered essential procedures.

No, none of those people will get their day in court. But abortion is a sacred religious service to our court system, and “freedom of religion” is protected at all costs.

Or is it?

Yesterday, Florida Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of the River Church of Tampa was arrested by local police for violating a county order banning services with more than 10 people. While obviously we all want to be careful with public gatherings at this point, we have to be even more careful before we set the precedent of arresting pastors for holding services.

According to his lawyer at Liberty Counsel, Browne was following the CDC guidelines. The church held services in a large auditorium, abiding by the six-foot distancing rule. “The church spent $100,000 on a hospital-grade purification system set up throughout the church that provide[s] continuous infectious microbial reduction that is rated to kill microbes, including those in the coronavirus family,” wrote Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel.

Staver notes that the Tampa order “has 42 paragraphs of exceptions, and another paragraph that further exempts any business that can comply with a six-foot separation.”

“No other secular business has done what this church has done to protect its people. Yet, Hillsborough County and Sheriff Chronister want to openly discriminate against church gatherings.”

At some point, we must recognize that this has gone too far. We have the most inalienable rights on the one side, not to mention zero violations of federal or state law in this case. How can a city or county ordinance written up by an executive, not a legislative body, categorically ban the most foundational rights indefinitely, arbitrarily, and without providing evidence that this is necessary to this extreme extent?

The Supreme Court made it clear in the landmark Jacobson v. Massachusetts case that while the state has the right to mandate vaccinations, state actions to protect public health must “be so limited in their application as not to lead to injustice, oppression or absurd consequence.

As the entire premise for some of these policies is rigorously debated, the American people need to rise up and throw the red flag.

This is the worst mix of tyranny and anarchy. You would think these fascist jurisdictions have zero tolerance for any law-breaking if they are going to “make examples” of people violating made-up edicts against inalienable rights. Not so! We are destroying every foundation of this country and declaring full martial law in order to stop a virus, but on the other hand, the same government officials are releasing violent criminals and allowing abortion to continue. Mind you, these very same jurisdictions acting as if they mean business on law-and-order with lawless edicts are continuing to violate federal immigration law and harboring other countries’ criminals.

One thing we’ve learned through this process is that the ACLU is a fraud through and through. They are absolutists in the context of defending criminal liberties, but never the civil liberties of peaceful Americans exercising their God-given rights. At some point, the enduring words uttered by Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death,” should mean something to us. (For more from the author of “You Can’t Go to Church, but You Can Get an Abortion. Stop the Coronavirus Insanity!” please click HERE)

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If Money From the Feds Is Free, Why Not Give Everyone $100,000?

Most politicians in both parties adamantly disagree with President Trump on the need to achieve proper balance between quarantine and our livelihoods. They want an economic and liberty nuclear winter, and they want it indefinitely – without investigating any of the science and data behind it. At the same time, they want to spend trillions upon trillions of dollars “stimulating” a dead body with nothing to stimulate and don’t appear to see any downside to accruing all this debt and risking market distortions. So if that’s the case, why not just give every American a year’s worth of income?

Like all Kabuki theater in Washington, where Republicans agree with Democrats on 99 percent of an issue but fight truculently over the last 1 percent, both parties shook hands (I mean elbow-bumped!) on a $2 trillion stimulus today plus $4 trillion in Federal Reserve shenanigans.

The bill indiscriminately throws too much money in a black hole without better defining and studying the scope of the problem to come up with a better solution. It solves nothing, bankrupts our nation forever, and still brilliantly manages to leave many people behind at the same time!

“In effect, this is a wartime level of investment into our nation. The men and women of the greatest country on Earth are going to defeat this coronavirus and reclaim our future,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell when announcing the deal this morning. “The Senate’s going to make sure that they have the ammunition they need to do it.”

The problem is that this is not an investment at all. There is nothing to invest in or stimulate, with both parties pushing an indefinite lockdown. Yes, there were some good and necessary provisions enounced in the bill, such as unemployment benefits for those forced out of work by government (12% of the bill) and more funding for critical health care supplies (5% of the bill). But the rest of the bill is throwing money in a black hole when everyone knows they will pass numerous other bills that will need to double down on more payouts if they don’t address the root of the problem.

We should have a united agenda to get healthy people back to work with a mix of better-targeted geographic and demographic quarantines, supply Americans with masks and gloves to go outside like the Asian countries did, and get a more accurate projection of this virus than the flawed study that has been relied on. Without that, no amount of money in the world will help.

This bill sends a $1,200 check to every adult and an extra $500 for each additional child. The checks are phased out in a graduated scale for individuals earning over $75,000 and families earning more than $150,000 until they are completely eliminated at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for couples. It also funds loans and subsidies for corporations and large industries ($500 billion), such as the airline industry. Boeing got a $17 billion carve-out. There is no provision ensuring that those who get funding don’t take the money to China. The cost of the small business loans is $367 billion, along with $150 billion for state governments and $130 billion for hospitals.

Obviously, we all agree that with people forced by government to shut down, they need to be compensated; however, this bill achieves the worst of all worlds. The cost is crushing, but it fails to come anywhere near reimbursing businesses and many individuals for the losses. It indiscriminately mails out checks as high as $3,000-$4,000 for families under the $150,000 income level threshold who have not lost a penny and are still working. On the other hand, those earning over the threshold but who are still not wealthy, especially in high-cost areas, are left with no compensation, even if they are 100% out of work.

Furthermore, this bill calculates income pursuant to last year’s tax filing. That means if you were a small business that earned $200,000 last year but then were completely shut down this year, you are out of luck. Means-testing the rebates rather than situationally testing them as compensation only for those out of work makes no sense.

It’s true that lawmakers expanded and expedited unemployment benefits to cover those people, adding $600 of additional weekly benefits at a cost of $250 billion. But once they have that provision, which will bring weekly unemployment benefits up to $1,000 for most people and as much as $1,200-$1,400 in some states, why did they need the rebates too? Moreover, as Sens. Sasse and Scott are pointing out, it will further incentivize beleaguered employers to lay off more workers. Let’s wait to get the economy moving again, and the income will come back.

This legislation also doubles down on the first rescue bill’s mandated 12 weeks of paid leave and ensures that the cash is advanced to the businesses to cover the mandate.

“Well, government shut these people down, so they deserved to be paid,” some might suggest.

In that case, $1,200 won’t cut it for a once-successful small businesses. So why bankrupt the nation for a half-baked measure that literally cannot stimulate anything at this point, when they will have to spend another $2 trillion in two weeks?

And if our policymakers clearly see no downside to this because they seem to believe the feds can print an unlimited amount of money with limited consequences, then why not give every individual $50,000 and every family $100,000 to make them feel comfortable and quell the anxiety? I’m dead serious. What is the limit, and why is this so arbitrary? At what point do we become like Venezuela? If lawmakers believe there is no risk of that happening, why not fully compensate people for the long-term shutdown these same politicians are pushing?

Given that once the parties agree on something, they pass the bills with lightning speed anyway, why not just separate out the different components and hold individual votes? We need a rule of one issue at a time per bill.

In reality, this is not a WWII-style investment. Here’s what a WWII-style investment would look like:

Congress would immediately convene to debate and study the critical questions that they are taking for granted about the virus itself : When did it begin, how many have already had it, what is the best evidence to properly balance quarantine with work? And then make decisions that flow from that reality.

Congress should push a massive surge in deregulation that is commensurate with the spending surge so that entrepreneurs can know with certitude that they will operate under a pro-business climate in the long run. This will help us decrease our dependency on China, because businesses would be able to operate here without draconian and costly rules.

If we are going to bankrupt ourselves, why not actually invest the money in the form of slashing taxes across the board for several years so we can rebuild by incentivizing employment, not unemployment?

Abolish all foreign worker visas to make sure no American worker is left behind. We need a national plan to rebuild our economy with American labor on American soil and permanently socially distance ourselves from China.

Spawn a revolution in health care competition and freedom by removing all the barriers to starting new hospitals that are now controlled by the incumbent powers.

No member of Congress or high-ranking executive official should be paid until the economy meets a certain benchmark.

That is what a real investment looks like. What Republicans are achieving now is the worst of all policy outcomes and the worst of all political liabilities. Thus, if they are going to accept the premise of the Left that we need an indefinite shutdown and indefinite spending and focus on no other area of how we got to this point and how to get out of it, then why not just mail everyone a $100,000 check? It’s free anyway! (For more from the author of “If Money From the Feds Is Free, Why Not Give Everyone $100,000?” please click HERE)

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WHEN Did Coronavirus Begin in the U.S.? and Why It Matters

The entire political focus of yesterday’s news cycle was the legislative imbroglio between Republicans and Democrats over the coronavirus rescue package. Republicans believe we should presuppose and even continue encouraging an indefinite shutdown while spending trillions to treat it. Democrats believe the same thing and also want to add all their other extraneous progressive policies too. But nobody is asking: Do we really need to intensify the shutdown before we understand the data and projections of the actual virus itself?

Given that the virus was discovered in Wuhan on November 17 (at the latest), when did coronavirus really begin in this country? Roughly how many cases do we think occurred before we began testing during the first week in March, and how many fatalities occurred? How many of the presumed flu deaths, and particularly the presumed pneumonia deaths during what was thought of as a bad flu season, were really due to coronavirus?

These are not mere academic questions. They should determine our public policy response. Knowing when the virus began and what we think occurred in January and February (and perhaps even December) will help determine not only how severe this virus is, but how far along we are into the epidemic. If we really had hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cases, along with several thousand more fatalities prior to testing, that would mean that the mortality rate is even lower than the 1.2% post-testing average so far. It would also mean we are farther along in the epidemic and that many have already been exposed to it, thereby making a categorical and nationwide lockdown counterintuitive at this point.

What led our government and the governments of many other countries into panic was a single Imperial College of U.K. study, funded by global warming activists, that predicted 2.2 million deaths if we didn’t lock down the country. In addition, the reported 8-9% death rate in Italy scared us into thinking there was some other mutation of this virus that they got, which might have come here. Together with the fact that we were finally testing and had the ability to actually report new cases, we thought we were headed for a death spiral. But again, as my colleague Steve Deace pointed out, we can’t flatten a curve if we don’t know when the curve started. . .

You see an insanely dangerous trajectory of cases taking off in March. But what exactly happened in March? The virus was introduced in Wuhan in November. And even without testing, we did detect a handful of cases here, the first known case being on January 21. So why would we suddenly experience the outbreak in March? It’s quite evident that the culprit for the spike in the chart is simply because that is when the testing began because Trump dropped the FDA regulation barring private testing after the government testing didn’t work.

Thus, we know with certainty that people were clearly contracting coronavirus and were likely dying some time before March, but we’re still not sure how long before or how many people. Given the overlap with the general flu and pneumonia season, we really have no way of knowing that the January 21 case of the individual flying from Wuhan to Spokane, Washington, was the first active case – patient zero.

It’s truly inconceivable that it would take so long for the virus to come here after it broke out in China in November. We likely had hundreds of thousands of travelers coming here and countless tens of thousands of Chinese nationals flying back even before Customs and Border Protection introduced any health care screening per CDC guidance on January 17. There are roughly 3.4 million Chinese admissions every year, not counting the numerous Americans who fly there and back. If we divide that by six to account for a two-month period before Trump shut off travel but after the virus had developed in Wuhan, that would be nearly 600,000 Chinese nationals.

It’s safe to say that as January wore on, the numbers likely dropped a lot from the Chinese side, but it’s still a statistical improbability that the virus wasn’t brought in earlier and in greater numbers than CDC has thus far detected and documented. Moreover, Chinese students in particular, including those from Wuhan, traveled back in mid-January for the new semester.

As Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of Trump’s coronavirus response task force, said yesterday of the spread in New York City, “Clearly the virus had to have been circulating for a number of weeks in order to have this level of penetrance in the community.”

If some of the pneumonia cases and deaths earlier this year were from coronavirus, that would mean that the death rate is much lower than predicted. Even the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was the ultimate petri dish of recycled air circulating an infection, with an elderly population, experienced a 1.25% fatality rate. New York, which seems to be, by far, the worst hot spot now, has a mortality rate hovering between 0.75% and 0.80%, and it is going down as they test more cases. That compares to 1.2% nationwide, which helps show that wherever we test and identify the virus, the numbers go way up, but the mortality goes down.

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York accounts for 25 percent of the nation’s testing. That means if every other state tested a larger sample of those who actually have the virus, their death rates would likely be as low as New York’s. This is what we are seeing in Germany, which tested more people than any other Western country, but has a mortality rate of 0.3%, despite having almost as large a proportion of seniors as Italy.

A mortality rate of 0.75% would still be three times higher than H1N1, which is very serious, but does it warrant a nationwide shutdown indefinitely, with governors closing school for the remainder of the year and others, like Gov. Cuomo, taking about this going on for nine months? Given the evidence in front of us on the mortality rate, the fact that so many more likely have had it or were exposed to it, and the fact that the Asian countries are already getting over the worst of it, why would we continue destroying our economy without studying more data? Why pass bankrupting legislation presupposing such a long-term shutdown? Even in Italy, the virus is showing signs of peaking after four weeks.

Shouldn’t this be the top debate item in Congress, given that the truth behind these questions will determine our needed fiscal response? Let’s face it, either way, Congress’ proposals will bankrupt us, but if our governments continue demanding indefinite lockdown, no amount of money in the world could solve this problem.

What about Italy? Why is its mortality rate so high? Some have suggested that it’s due to the high elderly population, but that doesn’t explain why the Diamond Princess had elderly mortality rates in line with the rest of the world. I don’t have the answer to that, but a plausible theory has been offered by Prof. Walter Ricciardi, scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health, that Italy is overcounting deaths. “On re-evaluation by the National Institute of Health, only 12 per cent of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus, while 88 per cent of patients who have died have at least one pre-morbidity – many had two or three,” said Ricciardi, according to the U.K. Telegraph.

Remember, Germany has just a 0.3% fatality rate, and Israel has just 1 death out of nearly 1,700 cases. Germany’s demographic is almost as old as Italy’s, while Israel’s demographic is young. Thus, other factors are at play here.

Clearly, we need answers before we destroy our way of life and our economy indefinitely. Yet these are the only answers the bipartisan cabal in Washington is uninterested in discovering.

Here’s the ultimate question they need to answer: What would be the value added for locking down all Americans rather than allowing most healthy Americans in most parts of the country to go back to work by next week with proper precautionary measures? Where is their evidence that, given the virus has already been in the country for months, further lockdown will save more lives and that the economic depression won’t cost more lives? In order to answer those questions, we need more information on how we got here. (For more from the author of “When Did Coronavirus Begin in the U.S.? and Why It Matters” please click HERE)

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With so Many Americans Hurting, Trump Must Cancel the H-1B Visa Lottery

Nothing demonstrates the darkness of the liberal agenda in the shutting down of America’s economy than the push for more foreign labor. If they are saying we need to spend trillions of dollars to help hurting Americans who are out of jobs, you’d think it would be a no-brainer to cancel foreign worker visas, not talk about increasing them.

This week, President Trump has an opportunity to draw a bold contrast on rebuilding the country with American labor. The H-1B visa program and its lawless sister program, Optional Practical Training (OPT) work permits, have gerrymandered Americans out of entry-level white-collar jobs – from programming and engineering to pharmacy and nursing. They are also responsible for creating a brain gain for countries like China at our expense, leading to the offshoring that is exacerbating our crisis in the medical supply chain. Now is the time for Trump to finally end these visas, and next week he has the perfect mechanism to do so.

Every year, the government holds an H-1B lottery on April 1, in which USCIS randomly selects 85,000 foreign visa applicants to take basic white-collar jobs from Americans. Along with those visa winners are their spouses, who are given H-4 visas. Through a lawless administrative loophole, every year roughly 50,000 of the spouses wind up also receiving employment authorization documents enabling them to compete with American workers.

With everything being canceled for Americans, isn’t it prudent to cancel the lottery to bring in more foreign workers? Even before the crisis, 71 percent of jobs in Silicon Valley went to foreign workers, and 74% of American STEM graduates overall failed to land jobs in STEM fields. “Let’s be clear – these workers were never needed, and the law has never required employers asking for white-collar contract workers to show that they couldn’t find U.S. workers,” said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies in an interview with CR. “Most of these workers are brought in because they are cheaper, not because of a labor shortage or skills gap. They have already directly displaced hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers over the years.”

Vaughan noted that now is the perfect time to end the racket. “Now, the case for them is even thinner, with forecasts of double-digit unemployment rates due to the response to the pandemic,” said Vaughan, who has been studying this issue for decades. “How can anyone argue with a straight face that we need [foreign] workers of any kind right now, with so many American businesses shutting down?”

Shockingly, page 64 of Nancy Pelosi’s 1,100-page pandemic panic bill contains a provision extending H-1B work permits for 100,000 foreign workers for three years. You read that right. The very same people who are now going overboard and mandating unconstitutional shutdowns of all businesses, even those that don’t engender public gatherings, are now replacing us with foreign workers. It’s rooted in the same perverted ideology as placing Americans under house arrest, but releasing criminals from prison.

The combination of these actions taken by the Left demonstrates that this is not being done out of prudence to contain the spread of an epidemic, but as a means of putting law-abiding American taxpayers and workers last at every turn.

Trump can end this racket by simply canceling the lottery this year and preventing the importation of 85,000 new foreign workers at a time when every job will matter to Americans. Moreover, he should cancel the unauthorized OPT program, which allows hundreds of thousands of foreign students who graduate in American universities to take American jobs without costing employers payroll taxes.

The need to further incentivize companies to hire Americans comes out of news reported by investigative journalist Paul Sperry last week that Wells Fargo and Bank of America are facing severe worker shortages. Why? Because India shut down its offices, and Indian workers don’t have the telecommuting capabilities that most Americans do. This problem will spread, because India just announced a nationwide lockdown for three weeks. Now would be a perfect time to cut off the foreign worker visa-to-outsourcing pipeline and rebuild these companies with American workers – and protect our supply chains to boot.

At the same time, the politicians are pushing for more H-2B low-skilled visas as well. DHS Secretary Chad Wolf announced a 35,000 expansion of H-2B visas on March 5, pursuant to unlimited authorization DHS was granted by Congress to raise the caps. But it’s not too late to pull them back. Republicans must shut off these visas in whatever bill they wind up passing the Senate.

One thing is clear: liberals can’t have it both ways. They can’t push endless redistribution of wealth during a potential great depression under the guise of helping workers and then bring in more foreign workers to take jobs. It’s time for Trump to call them out on it and use his authority to end the sellout of the American worker once and for all. (For more from the author of “With so Many Americans Hurting, Trump Must Cancel the H-1B Visa Lottery” please click HERE)

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It Took Chinese Coronavirus to Finally Make Illegal Immigration ILLEGAL

Over 21,000 were flooding small-town American hospitals and stretching their resources to the limit. Agents were getting sick. They were also coming for surgeries, and we were paying for it. No, I’m not talking about Chinese coronavirus. I’m describing the public health crisis at our border thanks to what was essentially a court-driven invasion exactly this time last year. Yet our government refused to simply enforce our sovereignty, no matter how bad it got. It’s only now due to coronavirus that the DHS is finally enforcing our sovereignty.

Let’s face it: Most of our public policy is not directed by the rule of law but by the signaling of the media’s lack of virtue. The media, with their excessive panic-driven narrative, have driven governors to near-martial-law actions restricting movement of citizens. Thus, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) finally feels it has the ability to at least enforce our border laws against people who have no right to be here.

On Friday, the White House announced that all unauthorized aliens caught crossing illegally or coming without proper documentation will face immediate return to their home countries. No processing, no endless court cases, no detention, no games. Straight-up enforcement of our sovereignty. Why exactly can’t we expect our government to do that all the time?

Last year, I must have written several dozen articles detailing the president’s inherent constitutional and delegated authority to turn away those who seek entry to this country under any circumstance. Yet no matter how bad the situation got for America’s security, including the straining of our hospitals and the concern of communicable diseases (4,200 exposed to mumps), one excuse after another was given as to why we somehow had to indulge bogus asylum claims.

It’s truly hard to understate the degree of public health crisis when you have 1 million people coming from third-world countries in Central America and elsewhere around the world, with hundreds of thousands of them being released into our country immediately without quarantine and incubation. We will never know how much of the resurgence in measles, mumps, whooping cough, and TB in this country is due to this and prior influxes. Yet the CDC never seemed to be concerned.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last March, former acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said during his testimony, “Migrants travel north from countries where poverty and disease are rampant,” and large numbers of them “may have never seen a doctor, received immunizations, or lived in sanitary conditions.” Randy Howe, head of operations for CBP’s Office of Field Operations, testified that “their health can be aggravated by the physical toll of the journey.” He elaborated:

In many cases, they arrive at our southern border already exhibiting symptoms of a health issue. … Close quarters on trains and buses that smugglers procure for moving them through Mexico can hasten the spread of communicable diseases. All of these factors leave migrants vulnerable to serious medical complications.

Shockingly, we went another half a year through this massive influx without enforcing our sovereignty. It wasn’t until last week that Trump finally turned them back. The administration invoked 42 U.S. Code § 265 authority “to prohibit, in whole or in part, the introduction of persons and property from such countries or places as he shall designate in order to avert such danger” as communicable diseases.

A Washington Examiner report claimed CBP officers were continuing to let in nonessential persons at ports of entry despite the order to the contrary. Is this the deep state sabotaging the order?

I spoke with a senior DHS official and a White House policy official, and they both confirmed that, in general, the order is indeed being implemented. Illegal aliens without documentation are all being turned around immediately, and that includes the so-called unaccompanied alien minors. The only ones who are not being turned back immediately, according to my sources, are those who are not from Mexico or Central America. But even those are being flown back by ICE immediately to their home countries.

As for the travel between the ports of entry, my DHS source confirmed that nobody without documentation is being let through. “Yes, we are obviously trying to keep our commerce open, so if there is someone who works at a local McDonald’s, we definitely want to keep them working here. We use the same inspection standards that airports are using, no more, no less.”

Thus, conservatives should be pretty happy with the results at the border now. The issue is how long it took us to get here and whether this will continue. While Democrats are using coronavirus to remake America, this administration should at least use it to make illegal immigration illegal permanently. No more lawfare. (For more from the author of “It Took Chinese Coronavirus to Finally Make Illegal Immigration Illegal” please click HERE)

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15 Things Conservatives Must Demand in Return for Coronavirus Bailout Package

One thing is certain: Nearly every Republican is going to join with the Democrats and the liberal elements of the administration to push numerous spending packages that could cost trillions of dollars when this is all done. They will not debate the merits of the provisions, try to better target them, or limit the cost. But conservatives should at least secure some policy victories for the American people that actually address the source of this health crisis in return for bankrupting us.

Congress already passed an $8.3 billion bill and is in the process of passing 12 weeks of tax credits for paid leave worth $105 billion, along with numerous increases in welfare programs. Democrats and Secretary Mnuchin already secured support for a third package that will bail out the airline industry among others and send $1,000 checks to every American, at a cost of $1 trillion. The administration is also asking for a discretionary spending package of $45.8 billion.

Well, if the bipartisan liberals are using this crisis to clinch their priorities, shouldn’t we at least widen the discussion to the actual policies that bring in viruses, stress our health system, and make us vulnerable to China while they are making us pay for the rope to hang ourselves?

The few remaining conservatives in Washington need to seize control of the narrative and should demand the following in return for support of the bailouts:

Immigration Policy

1. A limitation on Chinese visas and foreign students until benchmarks of transparency and cooperation are met by the communist Chinese government.

2. A permanent provision of law mandating the suspension of travel from source countries and secondary countries the moment our government becomes aware of the spreading of a dangerous virus.

3. A permanent provision of law stating that all immigration, refugee, and asylum processing must cease when there are restrictions on movement and commerce domestically. If it’s bad enough to restrict movement of Americans domestically, it should be severe enough to suspend immigration, which is more likely to transmit global epidemics across borders. With this epidemic, it took way too long to shut that down.

4. A provision addressing how China is using immigration to suck out all our research and development, a problem recognized in a recent bipartisan Senate committee report.

Maintain Order

5. More funding for federal prosecutors: There is a growing epidemic of major cities ordering police to stand down and not arrest criminals or for jails and prisons to begin releasing criminals. The mix of businesses remaining vacant with criminals roaming the streets has the potential to create a second order crisis. Once we are spending endless sums anyway, we should beef up the federal prosecutors’ offices for the next few months to serve as a backstop against the local jailbreak. If we are federalizing every aspect of our lives, we as may as well have the feds contribute to maintaining order, the core job of government.

Regulatory Policy

6. End ban on physician-owned hospitals: The biggest concern of our health care system, which is largely driving the push to restrict movement, is a lack of available bed space in hospitals. In general, we face a shortage in hospitals and affordable care due to the monopolies, mergers, and acquisitions of big health care conglomerates created under
Obamacare. One of the most onerous, yet forgotten provisions of Obamacare was the ban on physician-owned hospitals. That provision needs to end immediately so physicians can compete with the conglomerates while extending access to care. Doing so would immediately spawn a revolution in health care and stimulate the economy.

7. Make telehealth great: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have temporarily suspended regulations on telehealth as well as some of the draconian privacy restrictions under HIPAA. The laws should be changed permanently to accommodate the better use of technology and communications to expand access to health care.

8. End FDA bans on private testing: Everyone is talking about how government failed to deliver workable testing kits, which could have detected the virus earlier and flattened the curve of the spread quicker. What is less known is that government banned private labs from testing them. The minute Trump suspended that regulation, we had a boon of effective testing kits sprout up throughout the health care supply chain. It’s time this and similar regulations be permanently repealed.

9. End all unnecessary regulations that stifle the supply chain of vital goods and services, whether they are environmental or labor in nature. We need to keep supplies of all sorts flowing.

10. Medical Supply Chain Security Act: Pass Sen. Josh Hawley’s Medical Supply Chain Security Act, which would ensure that the FDA monitors and sources shortages of ingredients and materials needed for critical medical devices and drugs, while expedited approval of those items to go to market. Hawley is right to suggest that if we are going to bail out industries, we should demand answers about where they are going to make their products.

Fiscal Policy

11. Loans instead of bailouts: If we are going to bail out industries because of a lack of cash flow, then make it temporary and targeted, not permanent and indiscriminate. Ditto for small business loans from the Small Business Administration.

12. Offsets: While we will obviously not pay for the entire cost, conservatives should demand at least a veneer of pay-fors. Sen. Rand Paul’s idea of cutting foreign aid makes a lot of sense when our own country is experiencing such a crisis.

13. Refocus the mandate of NIH and CDC: The lead organizations dealing with public health crises have record cash, yet we are told they lack resources. Congress must reorient their mission away from fighting obesity and racism and make them strictly focused on public health management of crises that are too large for the states to deal with.

14. Index capital gains taxes to inflation and temporarily suspend other income taxes: As much as possible, the focus should be on cutting taxes, not handouts. Rather than bailing out Wall Street, we should borrow an idea Sen. Ted Cruz has pushed in the past to index the capital gains tax to inflation. This will inject more capital into the market. As much as possible, we should be encouraging work for those who can or must work or who can telecommute. Let’s face it, a $1,000 or $2,000 check for every American is enough to bankrupt our Treasury but is a paltry sum if it’s designed to replace several months of lost household income. Clearly, unless we are prepared to cut $50,000 checks to every American family, we have no choice but to balance encouragement of work with social distancing. The best way to do that, once we are going to suffer revenue losses anyway, is to slash taxes. We need a live economy to actually stimulate. You can’t stimulate a nuclear winter.

15. Sanction China: Finally, it’s time to divest and decouple from China. This begins by working with allies to sanction China until its government become more transparent about the source and timing of this disease. According to a study from Southampton University, there would have been a 95 percent reduction in coronavirus cases had China taken action and alerted the world three weeks earlier. Focusing a congressional response to this virus without dealing with China would be like focusing on 9/11 without studying the hijackers and al Qaeda.

Clearly, substantial sums of money will be spent in the coming weeks. But most of public policy is about finding the right policy solutions, not throwing money at a problem. If we are going to throw an unlimited amount of money at the problem, someone needs to be guarding the gates to ensure that we actually solve the policy problems and prevent this from happening in the future, while limiting the pain in the short run.

Finally, through all of this, we must remember that all the debt we pile up on top of the unfathomable debt we accrued during a time of prosperity will be owned by … China! (For more from the author of “15 Things Conservatives Must Demand in Return for Coronavirus Bailout Package” please click HERE)

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Schumer Is Right About SCOTUS and Abortion – Just Not the Way He Meant

“To say that the departments of our government are co-ordinate is to say that the judgment of one of them is not binding upon the other two, as to the arguments and principles involved in the judgment. It binds only the parties to the case decided.” ~Edward Bates, attorney general under President Lincoln

Sen. Chuck Schumer might not realize it, but he inadvertently stumbled across the truth about the Supreme Court. Rather than focusing on the catfight of his war of words against Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, Republicans would be wise to call his bluff on concern over the power of the court and challenge him to join in a bipartisan effort to reduce the runaway powers of the judiciary.

Obviously, if Schumer had a gracious bone in his body, he would simply apologize for his remarks yesterday outside the Supreme Court building saying that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh “will pay the price” for any potential decision they make on abortion cases. In today’s political tinderbox, whether he meant it or not, his comments certainly sounded like a direct threat against the justices.

However, we should all take a step back and ponder why the atmosphere around Supreme Court politics has become so charged in recent years and what can be done to reverse the trend. Democrats are now providing us with the perfect opportunity.

Given how politics has become a blood sport, it’s no surprise that Supreme Court nominations, and now the lead-up to big court decisions, have become such a blood fest. Both parties have wrongly elevated the judiciary to the status of a tribunal super-legislature that can decide every single political and social question with finality. Schumer is 100 percent correct that courts should not decide the abortion issue. Conservatives should call his bluff and offer to take all abortion questions away from the judiciary, a power Congress can use over the courts any day of the week, and let state legislatures decide the issue.

Schumer is forgetting how this latest abortion case even got to the courts. It’s not a potential 5-4 “conservative majority” on the Supreme Court that is wading into the abortion issue. It’s lower courts that continue getting involved in this and other political issues that should be left to the political branches of states or the federal government. How about we keep federal judges out of overtly political issues altogether, and then Schumer won’t have to worry about the coming apocalypse of a supposedly conservative Supreme Court?

Here’s another irony lost on Schumer, one that conservatives should easily recognize. The Louisiana case before the Supreme Court right now, June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, actually demonstrates that Republican-appointed justices, aside from Clarence Thomas and maybe one other, will never overturn even recent expansions for abortion “rights,” much less the foundation of Roe and Casey.

The current case deals with Louisiana’s law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. If you listened to the premise debated throughout the oral arguments on Wednesday, it was clear that the majority of the justices won’t even reverse the 2016 Hellerstedt decision, the ruling that states can’t “burden” abortion “rights” with certain health care regulations. The entire question they appeared to be debating was whether the Louisiana law could be justified under the Hellerstedt precedent.

As we’ve seen time and again, Roberts and Kavanaugh worship precedent, including even recent cases where Roberts dissented and Kennedy provided the fifth vote, as was the case in Hellerstedt. Once there is a majority behind an opinion, those two will almost always stick with the liberal precedent. Gorsuch and Alito are up in the air depending on the issue. Thomas is the only one who has made it clear he is always willing to reverse cases he believes were wrongly decided, even if they are 150 years old.

Here we are practically engaging in a civil war over the direction of the Supreme Court, when the only question is whether it will continue moving even further to the left or just maintain all of the liberal decisions it has promulgated until now. If Schumer is really concerned about this supposed right-wing court, let’s call his bluff and agree to limit the power of the judiciary altogether and stop it wielding such broad power over political issues.

Conservatives would be short-sighted not to turn the Democrats’ fear of a potential right-wing court into broad judicial reform. We only stand to benefit from keeping our political fights within the political branches.

For example, just yesterday, the Ninth Circuit finalized an injunction against Trump’s border policies, essentially demanding we bring in endless unvetted caravans during a time of global pandemic. Are we really to believe the courts have this power? If Democrats want to chant, “Keep your policies off my body,” shouldn’t we all chant to the Ninth Circuit, “Keep your policies off our sovereign borders”? It is our right to have a sovereign nation. What about a hashtag: “#OurRightOurDecision”?

Rather than spending the rest of the week feigning outrage over the attack on the much-vaunted “independent” judiciary, how about Republicans use this as the impetus for de-escalating the problem by de-emphasizing the power of the courts over the other branches?

Again, there is a kernel of truth to what the Democrats are saying. Republican judges shouldn’t have the final say over the most vital national questions. But neither should Democrat judges. In a republic, unelected courts don’t get to decide with finality broad political questions, stealing the sovereignty of the people, as Abraham Lincoln rightfully believed. That’s exactly why we need to make the courts boring again and keep both the lower courts and the Supreme Court out of political decisions. (For more from the author of “Schumer Is Right About SCOTUS and Abortion – Just Not the Way He Meant” please click HERE)

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