Trillions for defense, a million here and a million there for pandemic preparedness. From Gareth Porter at antiwar.com:
Responsibility for pandemic preparation was privatized under the Obama and Trump administrations. It·s time to face down the national security state that wasted trillions on imperial wars and abandoned Americans to fight coronavirus alone.
Donald Trump’s failure to act decisively to control the coronavirus pandemic has likely made the Covid-19 pandemic far more lethal than it should have been. But the reasons behind failure to get protective and life-saving equipment like masks and ventilators into the hands of health workers and hospitals run deeper than Trump’s self-centered recklessness.
Both the Obama and Trump administrations quietly delegated state and local authorities with the essential national security responsibility for obtaining and distributing these vital items. The failure of leadership was compounded the lack of any federal power center that embraced the idea that guarding for a pandemic was at least as important to national security as preparing for war.
For decades, the military-industrial-congressional complex has force-fed the American public a warped conception of US national security focused entirely around perpetuating warfare. The cynical conflation of national security with waging war on designated enemies around the globe effectively stifled public awareness of the clear and present danger posed to its survival by global pandemic. As a result, Congress was simply not called upon to fund the vitally important equipment that doctors and nurses needed for the Covid-19 crisis.
Why should we believe government and why should we comply with its dictates? From Jeff Harris at ronpaulinstitute.org:
We’re told by government and media talking heads that we’re in a war with the Covid-19 virus. The threat from said virus is supposedly so potent that famine, poverty, suicide and utter dependence on government is preferable to contracting the illness. We’re told to huddle in our homes and social distance ourselves from other humans at least six feet. Now we’re told it’s advisable to wear a mask when one is shopping for necessities like food and medicine.
Every day the news media appears to revel in upping the fear index by showing pictures of mobile clinics and morgues being erected in cities like New York. We’re shown “leaked” pictures of body bags with what appears to be corpses inside stacked up in said morgues.
I think it’s important to bear in mind that the government and media have been lying to the American people for many decades. This is a fact, not a conspiracy theory. To drive the point home our current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently joked about the fact that government agents are indoctrinated in techniques to lie, cheat and steal.
The supposed “leaked” pictures of stacked body bags serves a very useful purpose for the elites. “See there, if you don’t obey us unquestioningly you could wind up in one of those bags!” Isn’t it amazing that you NEVER see leaked pictures of dead American service men and women returning from never ending wars overseas?
The medical consequences of the coming depression will outweigh those of the coronavirus. The depression will exacerbate the effects of the coronavirus itself, unemployed and depressed people are more susceptible to all diseases, and this time that will include the coronavirus. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:
As we previously warned, this pandemic will bankrupt and kill more people from suicide than the virus will. When you sacrifice people’s livelihoods, you create a difficult situation of desperation for many who will see no other way out.
TRUMP: Suicides From The Coming Economic Depression Will FAR SURPASS Those From The Virus
Coronavirus Crisis: The Virus Will Bankrupt More People Than It Kills
We are about to have a mental health crisis during an economic depression that will be tough to live through. The virus is no longer the problem. The government’s reaction has been the problem and even some politicians have figured it out. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs revealed in a weekly update that our solution to this pandemic has not been a good one. “Thus far, our reaction to COVID-19 has been to sacrifice the global economy,” said Jacobs. “The truth is: a sick economy produces sick people.”
Most people don’t want to hear the truth, unfortunately, and the longer state governments insist on businesses being closed and an economy shut down to combat what’s looking like a fairly insignificant virus for most of the population, the aftermath will worsen. Each day that drags on will make the next few years more difficult.
The potentates are not satisfied with the power to declare whose jobs are essential and whose are not. Now they want to decide which purchases are essential and which are not. From Daisy Luther at theorganicprepper.com:
Living under lockdown restrictions, prevalent in nearly every state, is about to get a whole lot worse. The government in the United States and Canada has decided to take away the guesswork in the stores that are still open and decide for you what’s “essential” and what’s not.
When I have gone to the store to pick up groceries (I’m still getting fresh produce while I can), I also like to pick up a couple of things that are pleasant diversions: magazines, a crossword puzzle book, coloring pencils, some craft supplies. It’s nice to have some things that are enjoyable on hand to keep lockdown from feeling so grim and torturous. If the store is already open, getting a sunny yellow pillow for the living room is a pick-me-up, not a frivolous jaunt to a place I wasn’t already going. When we had a birthday in the family, we even picked up a few small gifts on our regular trip to the grocery store to provide a sense of normalcy.
But the days of getting a random item to brighten a family member’s day may be numbered. The government (at least in some places) wants to make this already unpleasant time as dismal as possible for us all.
Vermont has started a worrisome trend.
Vermont has decided to choose for you what is essential and what is not, banning the sale of non-essential items at stores like Target, Walmart, and Costco.
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) is directing large “big box” retailers, such as Walmart, Target and Costco, with in-store sales of food, beverage and pharmacy, as well as electronics, toys, clothing, and the like to cease in-person sales of non-essential items in order to reduce the number of people coming into the stores.
Looks like SLL isn’t the only one out there who thinks the coronavirus cure will be far worse than the disease. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Infamous for his painful but ultimately profitable “big short” bet against mortgage-backed securities during the 2008 financial crisis, Michael Burry, the doctor-turned-hedge-fund-manager has been on a multi-day Twitter rant claiming that the lockdowns intended to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are worse than the disease itself.
Echoing the thoughts of many, Burry opined in a series of tweets over the past two weeks that the government-enforced lockdowns and business shutdowns across America may trigger one of the country’s deepest-ever economic contractions, and further still, are not necessary to contain the epidemic (on March 22nd).
COVID-19 policy cannot be settled by CYA politicians career ID docs. Too much hammer/nail and too little common sense.
POTUS must reflect the interests of the working class and small business here – the economy cannot crash 30% to save the 0.2%.
Set America Free!
If COVID-19 testing were universal, the fatality rate would be less than 0.2%.
This is no justication for sweeping government policies, lacking any and all nuance, that destroy the lives, jobs, and businesses of the other 99.8%.
It looks like the US is going to have to live with the consequences of its myriad stupidities. From Jim Kunstler at kunstler.com:
You understand, there will be no meaningful resuscitation of the dear, departed, so-called greatest boom in history. Ponzi schemes don’t “bounce back,” they collapse for the simple reason that the pieces holding them up were not really there. Such are the unanticipated consequences of a media over-saturated culture that we were so easily deceived by appearances.
The emotions entrained by this implacable disaster have barely expressed themselves in the social arena. The public is still too shell-shocked by the prospect of losing everything – jobs, incomes, status, chattels, a future – to commence what the shrinks call “acting out.” Anyway, half the country is still acting out over the election of Mr. Trump three years ago.
But, for the moment, an interesting debate rages internationally as to whether the Covid-19 virus was some kind of engineered event designed to bring about various political outcomes. One thread declares that the Democratic Party, its media handmaidens, and a helpful Chinese leadership used the virus to blow up the US economy and finally, after several botched attempts, get rid of the vexing Mr. Trump. It’s a tidy story, but I don’t buy it, for the simple reason that the entire global economy has blown up, including China’s, so you can file that meme in the Wile E. Coyote folder.
Nothing about the coronavirus outbreak passes the smell test, other than the voices pointing out its many contradictions. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:
Last week, I read an online article in my local paper telling of a 68-year-old gentleman who died from COVID-19. In the article, it described how the man had retired in the last year because of cancer. Then, two days later, my wife asked me if I had read the article. When I said that I had, she responded: “Scary, huh? He was healthy.”
I replied: “What do you mean? He had underlying issues“.
And when we logged-on to read the article again, it was tagged as “updated 7 hours ago” and many of the words I’d read two nights before were…. gone. In the paragraph where it said he retired, it mentioned nothing of his cancer and instead described how the man was “active and enjoyed riding his bike”.
Of course, even a tin-foil-hat-wearing blogger like me would have a hard time believing that any conspiratorial pressure could be applied to my local paper. Perhaps the family requested the change or the original article was in error. It’s hard to say.