WHY DEMOCRATS WANT A SHUTDOWN AND WHY THEY'RE WRONG.
Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.
The call is pretty clear throughout Democrat-run jurisdictions and from the party's presidential nominee. We want a shutdown, and we want it now! In New York City, Mayor De Blasio is intent on shutting down public schools as early as Monday. New Mexico is implementing its statewide shutdown for nonessential businesses, and Washington has invoked a stay-at-home order. In Minnesota, health leaders are claiming that a shutdown will be necessary through the holiday season. In California, gatherings of more than three households are prohibited for Thanksgiving, and the host is being asked by the government to "collect names of all attendees and contact information." In Oregon, Democrat Governor Kate Brown has implemented a rule for Thanksgiving prohibiting gatherings of more than six people from no more than two households and is planning on employing the police to enforce the mandate's $1,250.00 fine and potential jail time. For its part, the CDC is asking those who will be celebrating the holiday to "wear a mask with two or more layers," and to "wear the mask over [one's] nose and mouth." And, of course, the Democrat presidential nominee is busy studying how to implement a national mandatory mask mandate in the unlikely event that he should become president.
There are many reasons that could explain this rise in the number of daily cases. First, we could be seeing a new surge like the one being experienced in Europe. Additionally, the increased number could be due to the higher frequency of testing. More likely, the real reason is some combination of the two.
The obvious question is why do the Democrats insist on implementing these destructive, draconian measures even after the election is over? Ostensibly, the answer lies in Figure 1 showing the dramatic increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the United States over the past month to over 150,000 new cases nationwide per day. Compare this to the prior peak of the pandemic of about 65,000 cases per day in June.
It is natural for a surge of this magnitude to instigate an aggressive response on the part of public health and government officials, but consider this. Figure 2 shows the number of death in the United States per day. Presently this is hovering at just under 1500, significantly less than the over 2,000 cases-per-day mark reached in April, and slightly lower than a smaller peak reached in August. It is this combination of skyrocketing new cases and the absence of an associated increase in the number of daily deaths that explains the statistical finding of a lower mortality rate from the disease, which presently stands at 0.84%. Compare this to the originally reported death rate from COVID-19 of somewhere between 6% and 12% back in March.
Why is COVID-19 less deadly now than in March? First, treatments have improved. Our medical community understands the disease process better and there are better medications with which the infection can be treated. And although there has been no biochemical support for the claim, it is possible that the virus is weakening. Regardless, a condition with a less than 1% mortality rate demands greater restraint from government officials than one with a mortality rate that is more than ten times greater.
On the flip side, as demonstrated in the extensive examination of the world's early experience with SARS-Cov-2, shutdowns are ineffective except in those rare cases where the policies are instituted prior to the arrival of the virus. Thus, as demonstrated in my book Coronalessons, only countries like New Zealand, Australia, non-Wuhan China (amazingly), and Hong Kong were able to avert the pandemic's entry, and they did so only because they implemented strict, oppressive measures that would have never been tolerated by the American public. Meanwhile, in countries where the virus had already arrived such as in Europe and the United States, the shutdowns proved useless. Thus, at a time when the SARS-Cov-2 has deeply infiltrated itself within our borders coupled with the dramatic improvement in survivability, shutdowns of the type Democrat government officials are calling for simply will not help.
So, why are the Democrats pushing this destructive agenda? Only by viewing non-scientific considerations do their actions make any sense. First, continued enforcement of shutdowns and economically destabilizing interventions weaken the power and resolve of the American people. Thus, the people become more dependent on government interventions such as financial bailouts. Additionally, continuing the crisis allows Democrats to argue that fiscally distressed states, which tend to be exclusively Democrat, should be funded out of their chronic deficits. The presence of a shutdown also allows for collateral opportunities. Remember, the only reason Democrats were able to implement mail-in balloting as a viable alternative to in-person voting and to extend the amount of time allotted for those ballots to arrive was because of the alleged threats to the general public from the presence of COVID-19. No doubt the Democrats hope to capitalize on future opportunities stemming from their artificially protracted crisis. Additionally, they can continue to suppress religious worship, the archenemy of socialism, and they can exert expanded power over their constituents veiled under the cover of a medical emergency. And of course, politically, the longer Democrats can sell this crisis, the longer they can sell the illusion of being the saviors of the people.
There really is no scientific reason for the Democrats to pursue a shutdown at this point, as it will inevitably not help the American people. In fact, all indications are that it will harm them instead. But for Democrats, the prime consideration is not what benefits Americans, but rather, what benefits the Democrats. And this is the overarching reason why they will continue to pursue shutdowns, whether we benefit from them or not.
Reference: Both Figures are reproductions of worldometer.com graphs from Friday, November 13, 2020.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He served in the Florida House of Representatives. He is the author of numerous books including The Federalist Pages, The Case for Free Market Healthcare, and Coronalessons. He is available for appearances and book signings, and can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com.
Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopedic surgeon living in Florida. He is a lawyer, author, and former member of the Florida House of Representatives. He is available for speaking engagements at email@example.com