Democrat: Let’s Get Back to Work
The Trump administration needs to “stop the uncertainty gripping America by adopting a responsible 60-day-plan for both retarding the coronavirus and saving our economy,” Mark Penn urges at Fox News. But the “back-to-work plan” would have to include the following: a “timeline” that ends with “90 percent or more of the workforce back on the job in 60 days”; government-backed furlough programs; federal loan guarantees; and provisions for manufacturing “5 million suitable masks” and developing “a working multimillion testing regime.” If President Trump does that now, he will see even more “rising poll ratings” and “increased trust,” as Americans savor what they have “been waiting for” — a temporary end to “extreme and partisan vitriol.”
Foreign desk: The Japanese Corona Mystery
“Japan was one of the first countries outside of China hit by the coronavirus,” reports Bloomberg News’ Gearoid Reidy — yet, puzzlingly, it remains one of the “least-affected” developed countries, with “no lockdown” and life continuing “as normal for much of the population.” One possible reason: “Japan’s proximity to China may have helped in raising the alarm when the disease was in a more controllable phase.” Culturally, too, “handshakes and hugs are less common” in Japan than in “other G-7 countries,” and “rates of hand-washing” are greater than in Europe. Critics, though, have claimed that the country has “been lax in testing” — and that a surge may still hit. Still, for now, new infections are “tapering off.”
Media critic: Why the Anti-Americanism?
If you believe The New York Times, “the United States, and the West, are now the real problem in the fight against coronavirus,” eyerolls National Review’s David Harsanyi. That “destructive strain of cynicism” is “infecting so much of our media” — but “none of it aligns with reality.” Sure, we can be “critical of our government’s reaction to the crisis,” but it’s “journalistic malpractice” to “talk about the United States as if it were some kind of third-world nation,” as an Atlantic article did. In reality, watchdog Global Health Security “ranked the United States first for health-emergency preparedness,” though of course no country can be “fully prepared.” Fact is, America is the best country in which “to ride it out.”
Libertarian: What Health Cuts?
Democrats and their media allies have been flooding the airwaves with claims about alleged recent cuts to funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. But as the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards shows, “real NIH spending was . . . cut under President Obama but has rebounded under President Trump,” while “real CDC spending “has been roughly flat since” 2010.
Corona watch: Killing the Economy Kills People
The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman has an urgent question about COVID-19: “Can we more surgically minimize the threat of this virus to those most vulnerable while we maximize the chances for as many Americans as possible to safely go back to work as soon as possible?” A smarter approach “would focus on protecting and sequestering” the “elderly, people with chronic diseases and the immunologically compromised” while “treating the rest of society the way we have always dealt with familiar threats like the flu.” We have two options: “Let many of us get the coronavirus, recover and get back to work” while protecting the most vulnerable — or “shut down for months to try to save everyone everywhere from this virus — no matter their risk profile — and kill many people by other means, kill our economy and maybe kill our future.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board
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