|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The Left is coming for you and COVID-19 is the
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Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The Left is coming for you and COVID-19 is the
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Joe Biden Is Refusing the Alternatives to Mass Deaths Across America
Not long after his inauguration, where he assured Americans that they
"can overcome this deadly virus," Joe Biden announced that as many as
hundreds of thousands of coronavirus deaths are unavoidable in the
coming months. But there=92s only one reason for that =97 Biden preemptively
ruled out pursuing a national stay-at-home order two months ago.
US President Joe Biden in the State Dining Room of the White House,
2021. (Doug Mills-Pool / Getty Images)
Our new issue, =93Biden Our Time,=94 will be out soon. We=92ll discuss the
last four chaotic years of US politics, what happened in November, and
what to expect from the incoming Biden administration. Get a $20
discounted print subscription today!
Toward the end of his apotheosis last week, President Joe Biden told the
nation, as he=92s insisted since before he even ran, that =93there isn=92t
anything we can=92t do if we do it together.=94
Anything, it seems, except doing the main thing that would save tens, if
not hundreds of thousands of lives from the pandemic in the coming months.
Let=92s recap: for months, while the Bad Man was still president, the
United States and world consensus among scientists and liberals was that
the only way to stop the rampaging coronavirus =97 particularly when it is
surging out of control, as it has been for months in the United States,
and in a globally unprecedented way =97 was a temporary national
stay-at-home order. That approach is still the global consensus, but has
simply ceased to exist in US political discourse since November.
This measure would, like anything currently being pursued by Biden and
the Democrats (such as successfully impeaching Trump), face obstacles,
including a handful of conservative Democrats, a recalcitrant GOP, legal
challenges, and the byzantine US federalist system of government. But
it=92s far from impossible: the idea that Congress could legislate a
temporary stay-at-home order was not out of the question during the
Trump era, even among constitutional scholars, some of whom argued that
the Commerce Clause gave the federal government that power. And of
course, Democrats now control the White House, the House, and the
Senate, albeit by the slimmest of margins in the latter.
To get it done, a president would need to use the bully pulpit, his
electoral mandate, his position at the head of one of the country=92s two
major parties, and the full power and influence of the Oval Office to
build political pressure and an overwhelming public consensus for such
an action, a task in which Biden would be fully supported by the
science-believing and mawkishly partisan national press.
Think the aftermath of September 11, where the Bush administration took
advantage of that tragedy and the jingoistic media landscape it produced
to create public support for and push through an array of radical,
constitutionally dubious, and sometimes even outright illegal government
measures. With more people currently dying per day from the pandemic
than died on September 11, this is eminently possible.
No one thinks it would be easy. But given that this was the one
overriding issue Biden was arguably elected to deal with =97 and given the
scale of the loss of life expected in the near future =97 it=92s surely
But that=92s not going to happen. Only two days after assuring the public
in his inaugural speech that =93we can overcome this deadly virus,=94 Biden
informed them this was, strictly speaking, not totally true.
=93There=92s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in
the next several months,=94 he said last Friday. =93The virus is surging.
We=92re 400,000 dead, expected to reach well over 600,000.=94 A day earlier,
Biden had similarly assured the public that half a million Americans
would be dead by February alone.
This is, to put it mildly, stunning. The figure of four hundred thousand
dead under Trump was already a near-incomprehensible number, one the
former president was deservedly and widely pilloried and eventually
thrown out of office over. The news in May that Trump=92s inaction early
on in the pandemic caused at least 36,000 needless deaths alone was
widely and rightly pointed to as a prime example of his recklessness,
incompetence, and lack of leadership, by everyone from Hillary Clinton
and Biden ally Chris Coons, to Biden himself.
Now, Biden is blithely admitting that within the first few months of his
presidency, Americans can expect half of Trump=92s coronavirus body count
to pile up, or roughly five times that thirty-six thousand figure. It
would seem an ideal time to take urgent, bold action not taken by his
predecessor. But as Biden assured a worried nation, there=92s
unfortunately =93nothing we can do.=94
This was not always his position. Last year, he had initially said he
would =93listen to the scientists=94 and =93shut it down,=94 before repeate=
ruling out pursuit of a national stay-at-home order, even saying there
was =93no circumstance=94 under which he would do so =97 including,
presumably, the two hundred thousand deaths he=92s predicting will come in
the next few months.
Like others who have done a 180 degree turn on this question, Biden
isn=92t citing legal limitations or other obstacles, which would give his
administration an easy out. Nor is that what prompted his shift. He
first walked back the idea under a barrage of GOP attacks, and has since
justified it on distinctly Trumpian grounds (=93I am not going to shut
down the economy=94).
It=92s not all Biden, of course. The once-pervasive idea has abruptly
vanished from the mouths of the supposedly science-venerating press or
public health experts who once loudly demanded it when Trump was in
power, including some of those currently advising Biden on his COVID policy.
The legacy print and television media is still the most powerful
reality-shaping tool in our world and could do much to build up momentum
for the idea, especially now that the =93party of science=94 controls the
entire federal government. With a concerted media campaign behind it,
even a nonbinding order from the federal government giving states
specific guidelines for closing and re-opening could have an impact. At
the very least, they could bring Russiagate-like attention to the
institutional roadblocks in US government that have made it so hard to
deal with a crisis like this.
But these entities are, in large part, following Biden=92s lead. The
sudden onset of their deafening silence coincided with Biden=92s ruling
out of the idea, with his own staff and science advisors rushing to
admonish one of their colleagues for suggesting the US government fully
underwrite a four-to-six-week national lockdown for people and businesses.
In many ways, the idea already has broad legitimacy with the public.
Despite a loud, right-wing minority in the United States swearing
furious opposition to any such measure, a national stay-at-home order
has broad public support across the country, as shown by this recent
four-university study of more than twenty-five thousand Americans, which
found support for such restrictions hadn=92t changed from when the survey
was last conducted in November.
In fact, the only measure that has lost a significant chunk of support
between then and now was restricting international travel, which,
ironically, happens to be the only one of the seven restrictions polled
that Biden has, quite sensibly, imposed since entering office.
Other measures with broad public support include restricting interstate
travel =97 which Congress has the power to do =97 and keeping in-person
schooling closed, making Biden=92s current push to reopen them against
both scientific findings and the wishes of teachers unions particularly
inexplicable. But the most important thing he could do, at the very,
very least, is work with Congress to pass a comprehensive and generous
relief package that would, if nothing else, allow densely populated and
Democrat-governed states like California to grit their teeth and endure
some months more of lockdown, instead of reopening prematurely due to
Unfortunately, Biden isn=92t offering this kind of leadership. Six senior
Democrats told Politico the new president hadn=92t outlined an agenda for
the incoming Congress, and according to multiple reports, Biden is
delaying urgent action on any bill because of his insistence on
weeks-long negotiations with eight =93moderate=94 Republicans, a number that
is two short of the GOP support he=92d need to actually pass anything.
Meanwhile, the pointless impeachment trial of Trump threatens to take up
the precious time the Senate needs to move any such legislation along.
It=92s striking to compare this reality with the celebratory, almost
religiously ecstatic spectacle of last week=92s inauguration. The world of
limitless hope and possibility described then bears little resemblance
to the US political landscape that exists now, one in which its entire
liberal political spectrum =97 from its politicians and its press to its
scientists =97 has declared the clearest solution to the deadly virus
running rampant through the country simply off-limits, and decided
there=92s no alternative to letting potentially hundreds of thousands more
In a rational world, failure this dreadful would spur serious, concerted
overhaul of a political system and culture that have made it
near-impossible to respond properly to such a crisis. Far more likely,
the establishment will simply eat these deaths and claim success with a
weary heart. It was all Trump=92s fault, after all. What was anyone to do?
So many immigrant groups have swept through our town
that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological
proportions in the mind of the world - RI Safir 1998
DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software
Being so tracked is for FARM ANIMALS and extermination camps,
but incompatible with living as a free human being. -RI Safir 2013
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