Earlier this week, the United Kingdom (UK) shared information that a new strain of the covid virus had been found in a patient there. As a precautionary measure, several countries banned flights from the UK until they could understand what that might mean for controlling an outbreak (as an aside, it appears that the new strain should not affect new vaccines and, hopefully, all of the concern is from an abundance of caution).
Contrast that behavior with China, where the Communist Party-led government covered up the initial outbreak early on, and actually arrested and imprisoned a doctor who talked about it publicly last December. We now know that China denied the problem, long after the outbreak in their country, and when word did leak out, they denied that the virus could be transmitted to humans. As a result, the world was months behind in preparing to meet the threat that China hid from the world. Tens of millions of infected people, over a million deaths and tens of trillions in economic devastation worldwide later, and we are still battling.
What would have happened if China had acted like the United Kingdom, and shared all the information they had as soon as they knew it, even if it meant they might suffer economically as a result. We probably won’t ever know but we do know that the UK is a responsible member of the world community and China is willing to risk everyone and everything else to save face.
At the end of the day, the world must make China pay. Not only for its cover-up, but for its negligence. Covid-19 is not the first time, or the second time that a deadly virus has been unleashed on the world from within its borders. Remember the bird flu, swine flu and SARs? All from China. Even if we don’t think there was any deliberate intention, at a very minimum it is gross negligence on its health and food safety rules. What if that negligence came from a company instead of China? The federal government would go after them in an unrelenting fashion for gross negligence. Why should China be any different? We should start negotiating on a settlement between China and the rest of the world, including the US. If they don’t agree after a reasonable time, we should seize assets in this country as compensation. Such deadly and repeated negligence and cover-up cannot be allowed to happen.
(Communism is evil and China is still dangerous)
After what was hopefully a good (covid) Christmas for everyone, here is the holiday weekend edition of quick takes. A wide range of items in the news, some of which are particularly unusual and interesting. A question worth asking on the pandemic relief bill, money in politics and the Chinese military in Canada?!
Continue reading “Weekend Quick Takes”
As we were preparing for our Thanksgiving celebrations, you may have missed a Supreme Court ruling in a case out of New York. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions on attendance at churches and synagogues was unconstitutional.
That is the simple, and immediate issue, at hand. But the ruling was far more significant.
Continue reading “Supreme Court Rules That New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Discriminates Against Religion”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is among several state governors who have issued new restrictions on gatherings for the upcoming holiday. Among those guidelines, he has limited the number of people that should be in any home to celebrate the holiday.
Later, when doing a public interest story, a reporter asked what his plans were for the holidays. Gov. Cuomo shared that he was having a bunch of extended family over for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. But…oops, the plans he shared with reporters exceeded the restrictions that he said everyone else should follow. Bad move to tell that publicly, huh? Well, like so many other governors that ignored their own restrictions for everyone else, Cuomo apologized and said he would change his plans.
Not to worry, though, because the FDA is reviewing approval for vaccines that hopefully will allow things to get back to normal soon.
But…no, no wait….after Cuomo repeatedly criticized the Federal government for not having a coordinated national strategy for the pandemic, Cuomo has decided that individual states should take more control after all and said he wouldn’t trust anything coming out of a Trump Administration. So he’s going to have New York state health officials look at the vaccine and review the FDA’s review of medical data before he allows it to be used in his state. So, New Yorkers, you will have to wait a bit longer. Sorry.
But have some more turkey. Cuomo says you can be thankful that he’s your governor.
As the radicalism of California’s politics has grown, so has the reaction in the rest of the nation to the sometimes bizarre nature of life in the state. From scheduling power outages in the state because the infrastructure hasn’t been allowed to grow to handle the load, to some of the more outlandish social laws that leave the rest of the country scratching their heads, California is becoming the state that everyone loves to laugh at.
This week, the joke…or the travesty, is California’s political elites and their refusal to follow the rules that they pass.
Continue reading “Another Reason Why California Is Now The Joke Of The Nation”
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently ordered new lockdown guidelines as coronavirus cases rise again. But the guidelines are meant for others, not for him.
Continue reading “Political Elites Rarely Change–‘The Rules Are For You’”
When the pandemic hit and began to devastate the economy, Congress passed a bill to supplement unemployment benefits for people who lost jobs, give aid to business so they could keep meeting payrolls and aid to the airline and travel industries that were most hard hit. Supplemental unemployment benefits ended July 30 and aid for the travel industries expired on Sept. 30. Since that time, Democrats and Republicans have had plenty of time to campaign but haven’t been able to come up with a new relief bill for the largest health crisis in 100 years and the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. Why?
Continue reading “Here Is Why We Don’t Have A Covid Relief Bill”
Nancy Pelosi just showed us that we are in dire need of term limits on politicians. She demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that she has forgotten that she works for the people, and that the people she is supposed to serve are more important than anything else.
Continue reading “Pelosi Shows Why We Need Term Limits”
As we move into fall of 2020, we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
As we do, the basic question remains unanswered: what is the ‘end game’? What are we trying to achieve? It seems like a basic question and yet we don’t have an answer. And until we do, we will continue to stumble along with no clear idea of where we are headed. Continue reading “What Is The ‘End Game’ For Dealing With The Pandemic?”
One of the crazy things in the crazy year that is 2020 is how a health issue has become so politicized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world. It is unprecedented in our lifetime and, indeed, in the last one hundred years. How to deal with this new virus was totally unknown at the outset and even now we don’t completely understand it and are still finding data that is seemingly inconsistent. How to react and address it was always a judgment call and Thinking Man can completely understand widely different perspectives, from concerns about health and deaths to concerns about economic devastation and the lives of millions of people thrown into crisis by unemployment and a crashing economy, and everything in between. Simple organizational behavior tells us that people speak from their perspectives and so it’s not surprising that medical people will always tend to err on the side of health and preventing even one death if they can. Business people and economists will tend to err on the side of concern about a contracting economy, high unemployment and the impact of job losses on individual households. Notice the background of the person giving an opinion and more times than not you know their perspective without even knowing what they are going to say.
Any action, anywhere on the spectrum of choices is a judgment and an attempt to strike a balance between a number of bad choices: health, economic and individual financial outcomes. What I can’t understand is people who view anyone with an opinion other than their opinion being bad or evil or unconcerned. In a problem with so many unknowns, to take that view is, frankly, purely emotional and simply doesn’t make much sense. Unfortunately, however, that is the world where we find ourselves.
Below is a link to an article by the Chief Investment Officer at Franklin Templeton Fixed Income. A PhD, she worked with the Gallup polling organization to compare actual medical data on the pandemic with people’s perception of the pandemic. That research group then took the demographic data of the people polled to show how perceptions are very different from reality in many cases by various segments of the country. And, as would be important for an investment firm, she draws some conclusions on how all that may impact the economic recovery. An important note: she does not debate the data, but uses the data to project some possible outcomes. For example, people are willing to pay for increased safety measures. How much they are willing to pay has implications for inflation.
The article’s sub- title “They Blinded Us From Science” speaks to how far from the medical are perceptions about the actual medical situation.