Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/28/20

The Politics of Panic are Far Deadlier Than the Coronavirus

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   6 comments
Author 76576
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp

Swine Flu Masked Train Passengers in Mexico City.
Swine Flu Masked Train Passengers in Mexico City.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Details   DMCA

US president Donald Trump "Has a Problem as the Coronavirus Threatens the US," assert the authors of a New York Times analysis: "His Credibility."

In the tagline and elsewhere in the article, the authors imply that the spread of COVID-19, aka "the coronavirus," constitutes a "public health crisis" and a "national emergency" which Trump's "history of issuing false claims" handicaps him in selling plans to address.

If they're right about Trump's credibility, they're pointing to a feature, not a bug. The last thing we need is an impetuous political response to COVID-19.

The coronavirus is neither a national emergency nor a public health crisis in the US. Absent heavy-handed government involvement it's unlikely to become either.

What is COVID-19?

It's a regional epidemic in China, with a fairly low -- and continuously falling as more and more asymptomatic cases are discovered -- mortality rate even there.

It's likely to be far less deadly in the US, which has better air quality than, and about 1/5th the percentage of smokers as, China. Like other "common cold" type viruses, it's more likely to kill those with compromised lungs and/or immune systems.

Yes, COVID-19 is coming to America. In fact, it's already here, and it's going to spread.

It will spread whether Trump appoints vice-president Mike Pence to stop it or not.

It will spread whether federal government and state governments impose draconian but ineffectual measures like travel restrictions and large-scale quarantines or not.

Political grandstanding over the coronavirus and "emergency measures" versus the coronavirus will almost certainly kill more people -- in the US and abroad -- than the coronavirus itself.

Every "emergency measure" imposes costs in the form of drag on economic activity.

We've already seen what happens to the stock market when business gets nervous about the Chinese nodes in its supply chains.

Travel and trade restrictions mean higher prices and lost jobs, both of which discourage Americans from seeing doctors when they get sick.

Treating COVID-19 as a genuine American public health emergency instead of as an understandable but unjustified panic means medical resources get mal-invested in fighting COVID-19 instead of the other real, existing health problems they're needed to fight.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Well Said 5   Valuable 4   Must Read 3  
Rate It | View Ratings

Thomas Knapp Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago

Finally, Evidence of Russian Election Meddling ... Oh, Wait

Chickenhawk Donald: A Complete and Total Disgrace

The Nunes Memo Only Partially "Vindicates" Trump, But it Fully Indicts the FBI and the FISA Court

Aircraft Carriers: Give Truman and Ford a Burial at Sea

Political Parties Should Say What They Mean. The Libertarian Party Does.

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: