In this Jan. 22, 2020, photo released on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, by China’s Xinhua News Agency, medical workers of the Union Hospital with the Tongji Medical College of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan participate in a ceremony to form an “assault team” to battle against a coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Jan. 23, 2020. China closed off a city of more than 11 million people Thursday in an unprecedented effort to try to contain a deadly new viral illness that has sickened hundreds and spread to other cities and countries in the Lunar New Year travel rush. (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)
The Wuhan virus has certainly had its day in the media sun. Although we do not know many things until this is all over, we do know a few things now. In no particular order, here are some things this writer has noticed.
No person has been more strident and consistent in his criticism of China than Donald Trump. Although they have their detractors and apologists in Congress and the media, they are being exposed as self-aggrandizing liars and cheaters which is what Trump has been saying all along. It is fine that some are calling on investigations of China and some demanding they pay for economic losses here. They are great soundbites and they grab some headlines, but they are worthless. Actions speak louder than congressional words.
2. Domestic Manufacturing
The response to the virus has proven Trump correct on another matter- the decline of the manufacturing sector in this country. We cannot be a strictly isolationist country, but neither can we be a free trade advocate on steroids. This pandemic proved one vital fact when it comes to “free trade:” in the face of a global emergency, it is every country for itself. Especially when it comes to critical medical equipment and supplies, we must listen less to the global trade advocacy cabal.
3. Failures of the Regulatory State
Whether talking about the CDC, FDA or FEMA, a bloated bureaucracy beholden to “experts” has proven a disaster. Red tape and bureaucratic hurdles- mostly insisted upon by Democrats- was proven worthless when Trump ordered many of the roadblocks removed to speed up development of accurate tests, study the possible treatments, and get needed supplies where they were most needed the quickest. It is amazing what American labs and companies can do when regulations go away or are relaxed. The TSA will not allow more than 3.4 ounces of liquid, but will allow 12 ounces of sanitizer now. And San Francisco, one of the first cities to ban plastic grocery bags, must have been stockpiling them better than New York stockpiled ventilators because plastic bags are back.
4. Open Borders
Another point proven by Trump: open border policies are an invitation to disaster. It is not only the fiscal strain placed on governments through welfare programs and education, but the possibility of border-jumpers bringing disease into this country. Who is to say that the next coronavirus will not emerge in Mexico or Honduras? If for no other reason than health concerns and screenings, open borders make no sense. Ask Italy, Spain- hell, all of Europe- how great open borders are now.
5. Democrat Authoritarianism
The actions of many Democrat state governors and mayors have unleashed their inner Mussolini. Attempts to ban gun sales in California, Virginia, and New Jersey are one example. The governor of Rhode Island using the National Guard and state police to track down out-of-state license plates is another example. Using the threat of fines and jail against violators of “the lockdown” is a third example. Comrade de Blasio threatened houses of worship with permanent shutdowns. The hit parade marches on.
6. Democrat Dithering
Because de Blasio was too busy suing oil companies over climate change and Cuomo was too busy attracting failing “green energy” companies to the state, they let their supply of critical supplies become depleted and never replaced. Gretchen Whitmer threatens doctors and pharmacists over chloroquine one week, and begs the government to send more the next week. de Blasio and Cuomo, while accusing the President of being in denial, were encouraging people to celebrate Chinese New Year, go about their business, and ride the subways.
7. Home Schooling
No, there will not be a renewed interest in home schooling when this is all over. It is possible now because there are likely one or two parents home to school their children. BUT, all that liberal vitriol against home schooling is a little jaded now that they actually had to possibly engage in it to some degree. Funny how when parents are actually involved in the schooling of their children they also actually start to take notice of what their kids are being taught and how.
8. Higher Education
Remote learning in college has now taken hold and has been proven it can work with success. That makes fancy dormitories, dining halls, and student centers less “needed” for the college experience. Could we see more of this in the future? Could this be a means to drive down the cost of higher education and, by extension, student debt?
9. Surplus Goods
One thing is glaringly obvious: when Wuhan has receded, there are going to be a lot of ventilators, masks, and PPEs out there. Will governors stock up on them when the cost drops, or will they sue oil companies and build solar panel factories that fail?
10. Abortion is Not Essential
Many states deemed abortion clinics “non-essential.” And guess what? Life went on. When many other elective surgical and medical procedures- and abortion is in most cases an elective procedure- were being curtailed or stopped altogether, the Left wanted one left alone- abortion. And with the closure of abortion centers in many states, the sale of wire hangars did not increase.
11. Phrases Sure to Enter the Lexicon
There are so many to choose from here. Should we go with “flatten the curve?” Most likely this will be used to describe anything that can be quantified in any manner. Andrew Cuomo demanded 40,000 ventilators (yesterday, damn it) but when it was revealed they were sitting in a warehouse, they are “there” until coronavirus hit its “apex.” With Joe Biden, we have not yet seen the “apex” of his senility. Or how about “N95 mask?” Most people never knew such a thing existed. From now on whenever a Democrat talks, we should don our rhetorical “N95 mask.”
12. One Phrase Sure to Exit the Lexicon
This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest side effects of Wuhan virus: maybe we will hear less of something on social media “going viral.”