Covid Report Card

Now that America is apparently inching towards the end of the pandemic, it might be worthwhile to critically consider what has happened since the Spring of 2020. Who has done a good job and who has not?

Let’s begin with some negative observations.

Frankly, the US and the world were not prepared to battle the Covid flu. One hundred years passed since the last major outbreak of a deadly virus, and it seems like doctors and researchers learned little since then and were caught by surprise by this new outbreak.

Billions of dollars were spent on research pertaining to various types of diseases including cancer and other maladies over the years. But comparatively speaking, far less was spent investigating deadly viruses. This strategy is questionable considering that Covid-like viruses could literally wipe out mankind. Donors were misled into directing their charity towards far less existential medical threats.

For the most part, the battle against Covid has been led by Anthony Fauci, the Center for Disease Control, state governors and the president of the United States. Differences of opinion have resulted in questionable actions that ultimately led to more infections and deaths in certain situations, and overreaction at other times.

For instance, the initial response time when Covid first appeared was not commensurate with the danger of the disease. Borders should have been closed immediately and masks and distancing should have been mandatory by law.

The disease is not as deadly to young people as it is to older people. Therefore, government mandated actions should have been calibrated accordingly. For instance, our children, perhaps, should not have been kept out of school for so long. Some say the danger of contracting the disease is less than the damage to their educational advancement by being taught offsite. The politicization of the issue by teachers has been disgraceful. In hindsight, very few children die from Covid, so the restrictions need not have been so harsh for them.

Conversely, elderly people were/are very vulnerable and need to be protected by government action. It’s horrendous that so many seniors in nursing homes were killed by the virus. The actions of governor Cuomo, if deemed to be true, were negligent at best, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Many countries, in particular China and members of the European Union, were overly concern with the optics of the disease and not so much the effect of it. It makes no difference who ignited the Covid flame. All nations should have been working together on day one to stop the its spread. National reputation is not more important than saving lives.

It’s unclear what actions should be taken by federal and state governments at this time. This is causing confusion and hesitancy on the part of Americans. Is it safe to fly commercial? Should every traveler be vaccinated before taking a flight? Should kids be back in school? Can you get the disease more than one time? There are scores of other questions in the minds of Americans. The answers have been slow to arrive.

Politicians never stopped being political during Covid. It’s shameful that these people have not been able to work together to help fight the pandemic for the common good of all mankind.

Here are some positive perspectives.

The end is near. Americans are being vaccinated in droves. Assuming most people get vaccinated, Covid will dissipate in the near future, experts believe.

First responders should be beatified. Our nation would have really had a big problem without all the brave doctors, nurses and medical personnel who risk their lives every day.

The vaccine was developed in record time. If this had been delayed, millions more Americans would have perished. Kudos to the pharma companies.

In this age of tele-schooling, moms and other caregivers should be recognized for their sacrifices.

Restaurants and all food suppliers should be complemented for keeping us fed safely.

It’s not over yet. There is a chance of another wave of the disease. The vaccine should make this contingency less likely. All nations should be working together to finally stamp out this menace.

How Is Biden Doing?

Joe Biden has no shortage of major issues to contend with. The animosity between Democrats and Republicans has not decreased since he was elected making progress partisan. Covid is still rampant although deaths have been have declined materially. But there are very different perspectives regarding the continuing strength of the pandemic. The Biden administration is ramping up entitlement spending and accomplishing some of it by adding on to aid that was originally earmarked for individuals and small businesses. And finally, Iran, Russia, China and North Korea are stirring up trouble and testing the new president and his yet unannounced diplomatic objectives.

The far left in Congress and many among the administration corps are encouraging actions that could have a lasting and destructive impact on any number of situations. For instance, Biden has begun to negotiate with Iran, even though it is through backdoor mediation.

The problem is that Iran’s leaders are not truthful. The country is dedicated to building weapons of mass destruction with which it will create havoc with its neighbors. Its goal is to dominate the Arab world by increasing the reach of the Shia sect of Islam. The destruction of the Sunni sect is high on the list of objectives as well. Moreover, Iran intends to increase its influence in the region by playing a major role in expanding terrorism cells in peaceful countries that will encourage regime changes.

There is no upside to negotiating with Iran. We would be dealing with liars and religious zealots. Why aren’t Biden’s aides pointing out the situation to the president? Why aren’t they identifying the downsides of dealing with Iran to the commander in chief. Surely, his enthusiasm for negotiating with the ayatollahs would ebb if he had a complete assessment of the dangers involved in doing so.

Covid is not ended. Many people still need to be vaccinated. Many people are ignoring strong advisories to wear masks and distance themselves from others. We don’t know whether there will be another surge of even stronger versions of the flu. We don’t know if vaccinated individuals can become sick a second time. We don’t know how long the vaccine will protect us before we need to receive another dose. There are many hotspots in other countries that could re-infect us. We are going to be tempted to attend indoor and outdoor sporting events. Restaurants are being allowed to feed more and more people indoors. And there are many nations throughout the world that need the vaccine desperately. They make international travel dangerous to say the least. Finally, our leaders have not been able to come to terms with teachers about the return of children to school.

In spite of a booming stock market and capital market, the Biden administration is proposing more and more aid, and entitlements. The long-term impact of this strategy is dubious, especially since the programs are funding social programs, and not entirely dedicated to creating well paid jobs. The welfare system is growing. More and more people are being paid to stay home during an improved job market and low unemployment. Is it political correctness at its worst and an effort to re-distribute wealth? I think yes to both. They will be funded by increasing taxes and printing money, both of which will hurt our economy.

The constant barrage of bad behavior has been stoked in Russia, China and North Korea. These countries are our enemies. They want to destroy our capital system and our society. Biden should proceed carefully before making any long-term deals with them.

It feels like America is making some progress. Everyone wants to return to normalcy, but it would be a disaster to move too quickly and risk further suffering and death.