‘The entire political focus of yesterday’s news cycle was the legislative imbroglio between Republicans and Democrats over the coronavirus rescue package. Republicans believe we should presuppose and even continue encouraging an indefinite shutdown while spending trillions to treat it. Democrats believe the same thing and also want to add all their other extraneous progressive policies too. But nobody is asking: Do we really need to intensify the shutdown before we understand the data and projections of the actual virus itself?
Given that the virus was discovered in Wuhan on November 17 (at the latest), when did coronavirus really begin in this country? Roughly how many cases do we think occurred before we began testing during the first week in March, and how many fatalities occurred? How many of the presumed flu deaths, and particularly the presumed pneumonia deaths during what was thought of as a bad flu season, were really due to coronavirus?
These are not mere academic questions. They should determine our public policy response. Knowing when the virus began and what we think occurred in January and February (and perhaps even December) will help determine not only how severe this virus is, but how far along we are into the epidemic. If we really had hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cases, along with several thousand more fatalities prior to testing, that would mean that the mortality rate is even lower than the 1.2% post-testing average so far. It would also mean we are farther along in the epidemic and that many have already been exposed to it, thereby making a categorical and nationwide lockdown counterintuitive at this point.
What led our government and the governments of many other countries into panic was a single Imperial College of U.K. study, funded by global warming activists, that predicted 2.2 million deaths if we didn’t lock down the country. In addition, the reported 8-9% death rate in Italy scared us into thinking there was some other mutation of this virus that they got, which might have come here. Together with the fact that we were finally testing and had the ability to actually report new cases, we thought we were headed for a death spiral. But again, as my colleague Steve Deace pointed out, we can’t flatten a curve if we don’t know when the curve started.’