Deep Breath, Everyone

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March 15, 2020

Yes, the coronavirus – or COVID-19 – pandemic, now affecting more than 150 countries worldwide, is a serious health challenge. U.S. confirmed cases are climbing upwards of 3,000, but thanks to the Trump administration’s aggressive, early, and sensible counter measures plus a world class health care system, deaths here have been held to around 60 as of 15 March 2020.

So, we all need to take a deep breath, follow the advice of health officials regarding hygiene and preventive measures like avoiding large public gatherings and travel for a while. But to the madcap left-wing media and assorted Democrats: stop the feeding frenzy, stop the panic-mongering. It’s pretty clear you’d like to see the U.S. economy go into the tank this election year of 2020, as it’s also pretty clear the Democratic candidates vying for their party’s presidential nomination otherwise have no chance of defeating President Donald Trump in November. None of that helps America. Coronavirus is not a campaign tool for partisan politics. And none of that will stop Trump from a landslide re-election victory anyway.

This is not to suggest that ill-informed complacency is in order either. COVID-19 threatens us with a deadly combination of infectiousness and lethality, according to Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, who is currently working on a vaccine in the UK. We, the public, still do not know how or exactly where this virus began its rampage—although it’s clear it was somewhere in Hubei Province, in the city of Wuhan, China. We also know that Wuhan is the site of the Wuhan Virology Institute, a BSL-4 (Bio-Safety Level 4) laboratory where the Chinese communist regime conducts offensive biological warfare research. Other major unknowns include how the COVID-19 virus may have been genetically modified inside that lab or how it may be mutating on its own, now that it is set loose in the world. How might the virus react to countermeasures like quarantine, therapeutic remedies, or an eventual vaccine? Right now, we simply don’t know, but what we do know is that the best medical minds in the world are working around the clock to beat this thing.

In the meantime, we Americans can take encouragement from the top notch medical team that the Trump administration has assembled: Vice President Mike Pence is the designated lead for the overall administration effort; and Health and Human Services Department Secretary Alex Azar; Robert Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health Anthony Fauci are the best of the best. Critically important for the American public is the way they and the President have all made themselves daily available for briefings and updates. Staying in touch with the American people, speaking truth to us always, and maintaining transparency about the developing situation, whether positive or negative, is the best way to ensure a calm, effective, and methodical response to countering this virus. One suggestion that would help take some of the load off these top admin and health officials and also improve public awareness would be the broadcasting of more public health messaging on radio, TV, and social media.

Think of this, too: even as the global supply chain for goods from China and elsewhere inevitably is going to be disrupted due to the decrease in commerce, production, and travel worldwide, U.S. businesses may find opportunity. We, like other economically advanced societies, have allowed too much of our manufacturing, especially in areas like medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, to be outsourced to places like China. It is time to bring that manufacturing back home again. Once again, the Trump administration’s quick steps to partner government agencies with private industry will help enable exactly that outcome.

On a final note: the roller coaster ride of the U.S. stock market has more to do with an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia than the COVID-19 virus. More on that in forthcoming blog posts.

Let’s end here for now with some very good recent advice from Steve Bannon: “keep informed and carry on.” 

Clare M. Lopez is the Founder/President of Lopez Liberty LLC. She was a career CIA operations officer and served as Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy from 2014-2020.

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Clare M. Lopez
Clare M. Lopez is the President of Lopez Liberty LLC. From 2014-2020, she served as VP for Research & Analysis at the Center for Security Policy and was a career CIA operations officer from 1980-2000.

Contact: Clare@theunitedwest.org