By John F Di Leo -
There are politicians, media figures, and pop-culture influencers, too, jumping on the coronavirus scare, warning of its dangers, and perhaps, using it to demonstrate their bona fides as caring individuals, dedicated to the protection of human life.
Largely due to the western world’s foolish dependence on mainland China as a source for both finished goods and components for manufacturing elsewhere, the coronavirus is currently causing a global short-term economic downturn. There should be no reason for this trouble to be lasting – if we keep our heads -but it is almost certain to be destructive if an economic panic gains traction due to these inflated health-related fears.
Over just a couple of weeks’ time, we have seen major conventions and trade shows canceled, and both personal and business travel plummet. Now, even local activities like sporting events and concerts, some that don’t even attract international travel, are being threatened with cancellation as well, threatening the viability of the always-fragile hospitality and retail industries.
Certainly, the new coronavirus… COVID-19… is real, and can be dangerous, even fatal, to some. There are people who have died from it outside mainland China… but very few. So few, in fact, that statistics about its killing potential are frankly untrustworthy at this time. It could be anywhere from 0.5% to 3 percent, among those who catch a severe enough case for it to be noticed. So it is not “nothing”… It certainly can be severe.
But the way to judge a health epidemic, and the policy discussions around it – like most other public policy questions – is not in a vacuum, but in context.
How does our society react to other severe illnesses and other fatal dangers today? And specifically, how do the people calling for extreme measures in response to COVID-19 respond to the plethora of other dangers confronting our country and the world today?
Well, virtually every winter, there are seasonal variants of the flu that kill thousands of people. We wash our hands, we stay home if we have it so that we don’t spread it, and we get each year‘s flu shot to reduce the odds. From a public policy perspective, we hardly ever mention it; it’s just accepted as part of life.
Then there is cancer… There are hundreds of kinds of cancer, affecting almost every part of the body, from skin to bone, from blood to organs. There are a few cancers that are usually avoidable, and far more cancers that strike at random. It’s awful, but we have learned to deal with it. Our society he has built a healthcare system, a pharmaceutical industry, a medical manufacturing system, and a host of research directions to target the tragic arena of cancer. We make progress every year, and fear of such things doesn’t keep us at home; it doesn’t cause our society to live in fear.
Cancer is not alone… There are tons of other illnesses, from MD to ALS, from syphilis to AIDS, from Parkinson’s to neuropathy… Awful, debilitating, severe dangers to human life, but they don’t cause us to live in fear. We direct our healthcare system and other industries to respond; they do what they can, and we make great strides.
That being said, however, we have also seen, often from the very same politicians and media figures sounding an alarm about COVID-19, an effort to bring down this wonderful healthcare system that has made such great strides.
We see Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s inexplicable front-runners for President in 2020, championing either partial or complete federal takeovers of the various industries that have made these advances. They call for nationalization of hospitals, elimination of health insurance, the crippling of pharmaceutical research, and the further outsourcing of manufacturing, all the areas that have improved quality of life and life expectancy so greatly in recent generations. Why?
And what about the numerous other dangers to life and health in American society? For illness isn’t the only thing that kills.
Even as technology and human resources have made it easier for our criminal justice system to identify and convict the thugs and killers who endanger our communities, the American Left has made it their quest to set those criminals free – either by hamstringing the prosecutors and police, or outlawing strict sentencing, even throwing open the prison gates and unleashing convicted killers back into the community – in a direct renunciation of government’s very purpose, to keep the citizenry safe from known criminals. Why?
The American Left has spent generations fighting the rational immigration controls we once enjoyed. A century ago, immigrants at Ellis Island and other entry points were subjected to background checks and health checks, and were quarantined or turned back if they were determined to be a danger. Today, the Left shrieks that such a sensible concern for those already here constitutes racism; they fight tooth and nail at any attempt to build a border wall, to institute background checks for visas, or to control the spread of infectious diseases at our borders.
So it is that we have seen a huge resurgence in diseases long-ago controlled by American vaccines and healthcare. And so it is that traffic fatalities, too, have spiked, as immigrants who never learned to respect the Rules of the Road now flood our streets and highways. Both many legal immigrants and illegal immigrants alike bring these illnesses and other dangers with them from the third world, and the American Left couldn’t care less. It appears that their interest in growing a voting base outranks their interest in protecting human lives.
And, speaking of immigration, it’s not just disease and reckless driving that accompany the millions of unchecked newcomers from the Third World. Unsatisfied with the overwhelming amount of organized crime already terrorizing our big cities, the Open Borders crowd turns a blind eye to the knowledge that this onslaught includes countless gang members and terrorists. From MS-13 to ISIS, our borders have become a porous path through which the world’s most vicious killers, both known and unknown, enter on a daily basis.
Whether it’s terrorists shooting up a military base, a government office Christmas party, a DC highway, or the Boston Marathon, or just the small-time gangland drug dealing and drive-by shootings that result in daily fatalities in our inner cities, the concern for these kinds of fatalities don’t seem to affect the Left’s public policy considerations in the least. Why?
On top of all this, among our nation’s most severe plagues these past fifty years is the taking of innocent human life through abortion. Over a million innocent children are killed each year, by a measure that the Left first said should be safe, legal, and rare… a measure that was quickly transformed into a billion-dollar business – one that is now invariably fatal, reprehensible, and commonplace.
It has grown from being “a choice between a woman and her doctor” to being an imagined "right," one that must be funded by government and employer alike, and which must be given such unprecedented legal supremacy that in some states, they will even kill a newborn child, if only the mother says that she had intended to do an abortion, but just didn’t get around to it in time.
The people who take these anti-safety, frankly anti-life, positions now want us to stop our economy, overturning the most successful, functioning economic system in human history, in hysteric overreaction to what is by all accounts just another seasonal illness, remarkable only in its origin at a Chinese weapons lab and in the fact that its name has become well-known.
Sorry, politicians… and sorry, talking heads… if you are draping yourselves in a mantle of concern over COVID-19, trying to convince us, all of a sudden, that you care about human life, despite this half-century record proving the opposite… it is far too little, far too late, for anyone to believe you.
The verdict is in, and the American Left cannot redeem itself by pretending to care about one cause of death, while encouraging so many millions of others.
Copyright 2020 John F Di Leo
John F Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, writer and actor. His columns have been found in Illinois Review for 11 years now.
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