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They Don’t Want This to End

2,950 words

If any further proof were needed that our “experts” and “leaders” know nothing, the coronavirus crisis provides an abundance of it. While the media and certain public figures keep ladling on the doom and gloom with a trowel, projecting many more months of death and economic shutdown, all signs indicate that death and hospitalization rates in the US may have peaked and are now declining. As usual, the elites are living in disconnection from reality — and there is reason to think that this disconnection may, in some cases, be conscious and willful.

According to the numbers reported by New York City [1], there were 1,634 new coronavirus hospitalizations in the city on April 3rd. By April 6th, the number of new hospitalizations had dipped slightly to 1,560. A day later it was 1,280. By April 8th it was 934. So far, only 307 hospitalizations have been reported for April 9th. The city’s COVID-19 “data page” states “due to delays in reporting, recent data are incomplete” — but the numbers are unlikely to tick back up to over a thousand a day. Clearly, there is now a downward trend. [1] [2]

Deaths have followed a similar pattern in America’s largest city. Those numbers peaked on April 7th with 459. The following day the report was 364, then 291 on April 9th. Only 199 deaths were reported on April 10th. Since New York is unquestionably the pandemic’s “epicenter” in the US, this is very good news. And other localities around the country are reporting a similar decline in hospitalizations and deaths.

This isn’t what was “supposed” to happen.

The most widely cited model for how the pandemic was supposed to progress was created by something called the IHME, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, based at the University of Washington. This model has been quoted now for weeks as gospel truth by the media and public health officials. In fact, it has been wrong in virtually all of its projections, as was first exposed by Tucker Carlson [3], who ranks, in my book, as the most courageous man on television.

To take one example, the IHME projected that by April 4th, New York State could need as many as 65,000 hospital beds for virus victims. The lowball number was 48,000. Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared on television screaming about how the state would need at least 30,000 more ventilators. In fact, by April 4th there were fewer than 16,000 hospitalizations statewide. In other words, just a third of what the model had predicted. As for those ventilators, it turns out New York already has more than it needs — much more. And the IHME got it wrong, very wrong elsewhere in the country. In Virginia, they projected that 3,073 people would die by August; now they have been forced to revise that prediction down to 891.

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Indeed, the IHME seems to have got it wrong everywhere. On March 25th, just eighteen days ago, the organization was projecting that 245,000 people in the US would die from coronavirus. On April 8th, that number was revised down to 60,000 — one-fourth of what was originally predicted. Similar revisions are happening elsewhere in the world. The Imperial College London has revised its prediction of coronavirus deaths from 250,000 to under 20,000, which is about the same number of people who die from the flu each year in the UK.

How could these allegedly unimpeachable sources have got things so spectacularly wrong? The truth is that almost no one in public life, in the US at least, is asking that question. Instead, they are claiming that the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths are lower than projected because shutdowns and “social distancing” have been extremely effective. In other words, closing schools, closing almost all stores and all restaurants, shutting down church services, ordering people not to leave their homes except to buy food, etc., has cut the number of projected deaths, nationally, by three-fourths.

But this is just absurd. Social distancing obviously can reduce the impact, but not by that much. Further, as Tucker has pointed out, the IHME actually took social distancing and a nationwide commercial shutdown into account when arriving at their original figures. In other words, we were told that around 245,000 people were going to die if all of us practiced social distancing, and if the economy were virtually shut down. So, something else has to explain the dramatic overestimation of everything concerned with this virus — infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. The explanation is not going to be flattering to the IHME, or to the pundits and government authorities who tirelessly repeated their wildly wrong numbers.

I feel like I’ve reached a point in my life where it’s, at last, dawned on me that nobody in charge really knows anything, and that half of them (at least) are certifiably insane. It’s like suddenly realizing that nobody on board knows how to fly the plane, least of all the pilots. As a case in point, let’s consider Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been Trump’s right-hand man in all of this, and has won the trust and affection of the nation. Fauci’s original position on coronavirus, which he made clear in January, was that it didn’t constitute a threat to the US at all [5]. Now he has swung to the opposite extreme and is coming across like he is Trump’s answer to Dr. Strangelove [6].

Fauci has declared that we may all be in lockdown for the next eighteen months. But it gets better: he has said that things may “never” go back to normal [7], that we should never shake hands again [8], and that American citizens may need to carry certificates of immunity to the virus [9], to present on demand to law enforcement (“papers, please!”). In short, this guy is kind of a nut. Yet the President of the United States won’t make a move without him.

Meanwhile, Denmark, which suffered an outbreak similar to ours (adjusted for population) is re-opening schools this week. Same thing in Austria, where smaller stores are re-opening on April 15th, larger stores the beginning of May. Sweden has hardly practiced social distancing at all [10]. It has closed high schools and universities, but preschools, grade schools, shops, restaurants, bars, and parks remain open. Sweden has taken the arguably much more sensible approach of isolating only those most vulnerable to infection, which is the elderly and those with certain preexisting conditions. And as of April 7th, there have been only 591 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the entire country. [2] [11] Yet the US must stay shut down for eighteen months. This is surely the nuttiest form “American exceptionalism” has ever taken.

As usual, Trump is all over the place. Addressing Sweden’s approach, he actually claimed that the country “gave it a shot, and they saw things that were really frightening, and they went immediately to shutting down the country.” But this is completely and totally false. Trump wasn’t lying; this is evidently what he was told by the “experts” he consults with. More recently, however, Trump has signaled that he might like to “open up” the US again by May. And the response has been predictable. Trump is insane! He’s putting profits over human lives! He’ll kill us all!

It’s not just Fauci who has floated the eighteen-month figure. Other “experts” have also insisted that the US must remain on lockdown almost indefinitely. Appearing on MSNBC [12] (and very obviously reading a prepared statement from a teleprompter), Dr. Zeke Emanuel, brother of Obama’s White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, also endorsed the eighteen-month figure, stating that “we have no choice.” Indeed, that we must hunker down and prepare for months and months of isolation, compulsory mask-wearing (which “experts” declared less than a month ago to be “ineffective”), joblessness, no gyms, and no haircuts, is the general consensus of the liberal media and establishment elites. Well, folks, as Ayn Rand said years ago, “Don’t bother to examine a folly. Ask yourself only what it accomplishes.”

It’s obvious that the corona crisis is now being manipulated for political ends, and that the agenda may be to sustain public hysteria for as long as possible. Once in a while, Ron Paul gets it right, and last month he wrote [13]: “people should ask themselves whether this coronavirus ‘pandemic’ could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit — financially or politically — from the ensuing panic.” Yes, folks, we really are dealing with people so twisted they would happily see the country plunged into another Great Depression if it meant removing Donald Trump from office. Months ago HBO host Bill Maher stated [14]: “One way you get rid of Trump is by crashing the economy. So please, bring on the recession.” Well, hell, why not go the whole hog and make it a depression?

You know, it’s hard to pick the most loathsome thing the media have done in the five years since Trump announced his candidacy, but here’s my suggestion: it was when they immediately turned against hydroxychloroquine, a potentially life-saving drug, just because Donald Trump suggested it might be worth looking at. The nadir was reached when CNN reported that a man in Arizona had been killed by the drug [15], but conveniently omitted to mention that this fruitcake had actually consumed an aquarium cleaner containing chloroquine phosphate.

And yet, hard though it may be to believe, there are those among us whose motives are even darker, and who are aiming at much more than winning an election.

While the media reports virtually nothing about possible treatments for the virus (indeed, as I’ve noted, it has actively tried to discredit them), it promotes instead ever more authoritarian government controls as the only solution. Individuals who suggest that things are not as bad as predicted and that we might be able to get back to work in a few weeks are passionately denounced as “irresponsible.” The politically correct position is now that we must put “people over profits” and stay locked down basically until the entire society descends into post-apocalyptic, Mad Maxish savagery. Then the people will beg for “really, really competent and technocratic” leaders, as Andrew Yang has put it [16].

It was really former British PM Gordon Brown [17] who let the cat out of the bag when he called on world leaders to create a “temporary form of global government” to deal with the pandemic. As my readers know, it is axiomatic that when governments claim new powers for themselves in emergency situations, they seldom relinquish them. Is it plausible that there would be anything “temporary” about Brown’s “global government”?

On April 3rd, the real-life Dr. Strangelove, Henry Kissinger, published an editorial in The Wall Street Journal [18]. It begins with Kissinger reminding us that he survived the Battle of the Bulge. This took place, in case you don’t know, about 350 years ago, which makes Kissinger a very, very old Ferengi at this point — a fact which should be held squarely in mind. He describes the corona crisis in terms that were already dated at the time he was writing: “The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. . . Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed.” In fact, as noted, supplies such as ventilators are not in short supply, and makeshift intensive care units meant to handle overflow from hospitals stand largely empty [19] or have been shut down entirely [20].

Kissinger continues: “The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.” Translation: Treating the sick and preventing further spread is only part of what needs to be done; we must also shore up the New World Order and make sure it remains intact once the virus is a bitter memory. “Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus’s society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders.” True, especially when those borders remain porous and unprotected. Henry, you old romantic, haven’t you heard? It was your New World Order that made it so easy for the virus to spread.

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And now here it comes: “No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program.” Yet it was precisely when countries engaged in “purely national efforts” that they began to take control of the situation: when, for example, countries like Hungary closed their borders (Hungary now has about 1000 coronavirus cases total [3] [22]). And the fight against the virus has led to calls for national self-reliance, as opposed to dependence on what Kissinger calls “the world economy,” whose “wounds” he says we must “heal” when this crisis has passed.

But the biggest whoppers are still to come. Kissinger enjoins us to “safeguard the principles of the liberal world order.” And he warns us about the dangerous revival of an old “legend”:

The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.

One hardly knows where to begin, so I’ll let Pat Buchanan speak for me [23]:

Is the idea of the nation-state, whose principal duty is the defense of the health, safety and security of the unique people who created it, the ‘legend’? Or is the real legend, the myth, the idea of some New World Order of countries traveling and trading happily with one another in a federation of the world?

Amen.

Kissinger imagines he is on the right side of history; indeed, he imagines he stands at history’s End. The truth is that the only thing he stands at the end of is the globalist ideal he and others like him have championed for decades. Following the advice of Kissinger and the globalists, the US and the nations of Europe have abdicated their responsibility to provide for the “fundamental needs” of their own people: their “security, order, economic well-being, and justice.” Is Kissinger blind to this obvious fact?  Yes, actually. Kissinger is a very old man with a moribund ideology that, like so many other ideologies of “unity” and “brotherhood,” has proved incredibly destructive.

As an editorialist for RT puts it [24]:

Listening to Kissinger, it must be said, is what got the US into its current situation — believing itself exceptional, distrusting all world powers who do not swear abject fealty to it, repeating the same failed policies to the point of parody. . . The US’s first step, post-pandemic, should be to put out the fires set by Kissinger and those like him who seek to cloak empire in the rhetoric of liberal democracy.

The future is the revival of the “walled city.” One which protects the people from external enemies (including invisible ones) and which provides “for the fundamental needs of the people” precisely by putting its own people first, and becoming self-reliant. In short, the future belongs to nationalism. And how can Kissinger claim with a straight face that that “walled city” was a “legend” when this was the model followed by every nation in the past, until what Greg Johnson calls the “globalvirus” [25] infected the brains of the elite leadership class? Our future, dear friends, is our past. Globalism was already threatened by the rise of national populism in the West, but coronavirus may well have dealt it a deathblow.

At least we hope so. But this is no time to get cocky. No time to posit something like the “historical inevitability” of nationalism. Our enemies are in trouble, and they are worried — hence Kissinger’s essay (if the “federation of the world” really was strong, and really did represent history’s endpoint, why fret?). This is, therefore, a very critical, and very dangerous moment. It’s sometimes said that the most dangerous animal is a wounded one, and so we should expect that our enemies may try almost anything to secure their power — to seize this crisis as an opportunity to push back against national populism in ways that could affect us for decades to come.

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Notes

[1] [27] At the time of publication, all relevant epidemiological metrics — daily new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths — were on a downward trend in New York. The 9th saw 352 hospitalizations, while the 10th saw 117. Daily case numbers have also been declining by the hundreds. From the NYC Department of Health [1].

[2] [28] At the time of publication, Sweden has had 919 deaths. It has also seen a steady downward trend in daily new cases following what appears to be the “peak” of infection. From the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Resource Center [29].

[3] [30] At the time of publication, Hungary has confirmed 1,458 infections. From the Hungarian government’s official COVID-19 information site [31] (in Hungarian). Hungary’s “curve” has also remained relatively “flat,” with one major spike in cases on the 10th. From the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Resource Center [29].