NY Post Op-Ed: Liberate New York City Now

Posted: May 21, 2020 4:40 AM

We had a lockdown to curb the spread and prevent the health care system from being overrun. No one wanted chaos, especially politicians, who rightfully worried about their constituencies having hospital scenes akin to the ones we saw in Italy. Whether they cared about their voters’ welfare in this regard is up for debate. In April, things staring to slow towards the end of April regarding COVID cases. Now, the evidence is clear. The curve has flattened. Hospitalizations have stabilized. Hospitals are discharging more people who were infected than they are admitting. It’s a good thing. In the backdrop are the scores of small businesses that have been decimated by the lockdowns. Tens of millions are now out of work. And Democrats want to keep this going until a vaccine is developed. No, that’s a bridge too far. It always was and it was never the initial goal of the stay-at-home orders. It’s time to re-open. In three weeks, there’s been nothing but positive news. 

We’ve had a successful initial test of a vaccine from Moderna, which expects to have a clinical trial by July. Gilead Sciences had excellent results from an antiviral test. The cases are down, the death rate has dipped. In Virginia, which has halted re-opening its counties in the northern part because the officials here said they weren’t ready, 60 percent of the deaths are from nursing homes. Yes, the Old Dominion has 32,908 cases, but only 3,979 hospitalizations. The system is fine. The seven-day average is going down.  Even in the Big Apple, the mecca of the US-based outbreak and the cause of it, the death rate has dipped. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had declared the worst is behind the Empire State. The mission has been accomplished, but Democratic governors and unelected health commissioners are pushing the envelope. It’s a byproduct entrusting government with such a task, especially those from a party that has adopted a rather authoritarian ethos—looking at you, Democrats. Church services are being shut down, old people are being arrested at waffle houses, and it’s spawned a legion of “Karens” acting as if they’re the health police. 

The New York Post has an op-ed out demanding that New York City re-open and end the lockdown that forced tens of thousands of people into poverty. David Marcus of The Federalist penned the piece:

In mid-March, we were told we have to endure a lockdown to ensure that hospitals didn’t get overrun. We did. The hospitals were not overwhelmed. We turned the Javits Center into a hospital. We didn’t need it. We brought in a giant Navy ship to treat New Yorkers. We didn’t need it.

We were told we were moments away from running out of ventilators. We weren’t, and now the United States has built so many, we are giving them away to other countries.

Meanwhile, the Big Apple is ­dying. Its streets are empty. The bars and jazz clubs, restaurants and coffeehouses sit barren. Beloved haunts, storied rooms, perfect-slice joints are shuttered, many for good. The sweat equity of countless small-business owners is evaporating. ­Instead of getting people back to work providing for their families, our mayor talks about a fantasyland New Deal for the post-coronavirus era.

Open the city. All of it. Right now. Broadway shows, beaches, Yankees games, the schools, the top of the freakin’ Empire State building. Everything. New Yorkers have already learned to socially distance. Businesses can adjust. The elderly and infirm can continue to be isolated.

For two months, we have waited for Cuomo and de Blasio to tell us how this ends. Where is ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg with his alleged army of tracers that the governor told us was the key to reopening? And why did he hand that responsibility over to Bloomberg, whom ­nobody elected anyway?

What the hell is going on? Is anybody in charge of this situation? Or are we just left with the governor and his talking-head brother ­arguing on CNN about which of the two Ma loves best? (Who cares?)

In late April, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp defied experts by opening his state. The Atlantic magazine, once a serious publication that should now come with a stick of stale bubblegum, accused him of engaging in “human sacrifice.”

You want to guess what happened? Guess, come on, take a guess. Instead of the predicted spike in deaths, the number of cases of coronavirus and associated deaths declined.

As many of you know, I supported the lockdowns to prevent the hospitals from being overrun which was accomplished. It’s time to re-open, but I also think there was an overreaction. In hindsight, maybe not every state needed to issue a stay-at-home order. There is a vast difference in COVID cases and deaths concerning New York and Idaho. The Acela Corridor adopting this was probably unavoidable, but we still don’t know enough about this virus. The death rate is definitely going to be revised down, as Dr. Deborah Birx, one of Trump’s top officials on the Wuhan coronavirus ask force, admitted that the net cast to collect COVID-related fatalities would be overly expansive. Still, tens of thousands of people were killed by this virus, and we still don’t have a vaccine, but perhaps a modified economy could have been achieved in states, of which the majority were not subject to bad outbreaks. Restaurants, spas, and gyms operating at reduced capacities, social distancing markers in supermarkets, haircuts by-appointment-only, etc. There still would have been an economic pinch, but possibly not as devastating. Preliminary anti-body tests show the infection rate could be anywhere from 20-50 percent higher, with more people recovering. It is quite possible that more people have recovered from the virus than have contracted it in the US. And these are people who weren’t hospitalized. Yes, there is still fear about the asymptomatic, but new data is showing that one of the main ways these people supposedly spread the virus without them knowing it via surfaces is not as easy as originally reported. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course yesterday:

There was no COVID spike in Wisconsin after their primary election. Germany hasn’t seen any spikes either. And patients who have contracted the virus, recovered, and got re-infected aren’t contagious either. Florida was supposed to be the next graveyard. I was worried about that too, though not with the sick sense of hope and anticipated glee that was infused in many pieces from the liberal media about Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the crisis. It’s been eight weeks since the Florida doomsday. No such thing occurred, and that’s great news. 

We’re flying blind on major aspects of this virus’ genome. We’re behind on antibody testing and a whole host of data that could give us a clearer picture, especially on a definitive mortality rate. What is clear is that Democratic politicians are using this disease for power grabs, millions are out of work, small businesses have been decimated, and the overreaction to this virus is partially responsible for the economic meltdown. 

I’m comfortable will admitting I overreacted, but I'm also aware that 'better safe than sorry' will always prevail here. When this virus was crawling all over, there was a 50 percent chance that it could be something out of the film Contagion and then again, maybe not. We didn’t know. We still don’t know a lot about this virus. Does anyone think a politician, whose sole concern is re-election, will roll the dice on that? Will Trump have rolled the dice on that? He obviously erred on the side of caution, supporting social distancing, creating a task force, and shutting down travel from Europe and China which bought us time. He also wanted to get us back open safely as possible, issuing the phased-in guidelines to re-opening. 

We can be angry about the overreach from the Left and how they’ve exploited this outbreak--and we should-- but all of this would have never happened if China didn’t allow this thing to leave the Wuhan virology lab. China knew this would become a pandemic. They could have taken measures to contain it. Instead, they did nothing for six days. China will have a reckoning, but that is a battle for another time. 

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