Difference Between US and Italy in Terms of Fighting the Virus

Fauci Points Out Fundamental Difference Between US and Italy in Terms of Fighting the Virus

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health listens to a question during an AP Newsmaker interview in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Fauci says the National Institutes of Health is in a “scramble” to prepare for a potential government shutdown at midnight Friday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

If you’re checking the Worldometer for the latest stats with regard to the Wuhan coronavirus, you may have noticed a few things.

Italy has now allegedly passed China in number of deaths. But as we reported earlier, it’s tough to trust anything China is saying and unfortunately they may be exaggerating their “recovery.”

Ted Cruz

@tedcruz

I don’t believe this. Maybe, just maybe, the Chinese communist govt is lying about its total numbers. Reporters naively parrot the numbers the CCP releases. I’d bet any reporter $100 that any serious investigation would show the death toll is MUCH higher. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/19/coronavirus-death-toll-italys-is-now-higher-than-chinas.html 

Italy’s death toll from the coronavirus overtakes China’s

cnbc.com

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Italy’s mortality rate is about 8.3 percent. Ours, as of this writing, is 1.3. Now this may change, but our rate has been consistently dropping as testing has risen as we predicted it would likely do.

Italy starts out with a more elderly population, which means they’re starting out with a disadvantage for such a virus. They also already had a strained national health system. So this basically overwhelmed it almost immediately, as we reported.

But there may also another big difference between us and Italy. We could anticipate and we shut down traffic from China early and then subsequently Europe. They did not. The Mayor of Florence was even encouraging people to “hug Chinese people” in early February to fight “racism.”

Here’s Dr. Fauci explaining that fundamental difference in reaction to Lester Holt on MSNBC. Our reaction “has gone a long way” in the fight. “Unfortunately, Italy did not do that. They had an open border.” He praised the decisions to cut travel from China and from Europe.

Elizabeth Harrington

@LizRNC

Dr. Fauci responds to question about differences between U.S. and Italy, says @realDonaldTrump stopping travel very early from China “has gone a long way” in fight against coronavirus

“Unfortunately, Italy did not do that. They had an open border.”

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Remember at the time Trump did that back on Jan. 31, Democrats were more concerned about impeaching him and calling the ban “racist,” as we reported. Liberal media was upset about the fact that there were white men on the task force Trump formed in January. Joe Biden at that time suggested that the China travel ban was “xenophobic.”

Benny

@bennyjohnson

FLASHBACK: On January 31st,

President Trump announced restrictions on Travel to and from China in response to Coronavirus.

HHS Sec. Alex Azar declared a Public Health Emergency

Joe Biden called it “Hysterical Xenophobia” and “Fear Mongering”

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Here’s Biden, even on March 12, failing to understand the risk from Europe and that it had become an epicenter for new cases coming into the U.S.

Elizabeth Harrington

@LizRNC

Joe Biden today falsely said travel restrictions were “based on favoritism & politics, rather than risk”

Dr. Fauci recommended the Europe travel ban, says it’s a “prudent choice,” & “the right public health call.”

When will Biden be quiet and let the experts speak?

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Thank God that Biden wasn’t in charge.

Source:

Fauci Points Out Fundamental Difference Between US and Italy in Terms of Fighting the Virus

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House Dem Admits They Block Legislation Because ‘We Don’t Want to Give the President a Win’

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D., N.J.) expressed frustration with her Democratic colleagues at a recent town hall, admitting they block legislation because they “don’t want to give the president a win.”

Speaking at a Livingston, New Jersey, town hall on Thursday, Sherrill revealed the “shockingly different mindset” of congressional Democrats who prioritize resisting President Donald Trump over passing legislation that could help their constituents.

“When I go, you know, I’ve gone up to people and said, ‘I need to get this piece of legislation passed,’ and they say ‘Oh yeah, we just passed it,'” Sherrill said. “I said, ‘Yeah, we just passed it. I need the Senate to pass it and I need the president to sign it,’ and they said ‘Well, we don’t want to give the president a win.'”

Sherrill’s comments contrast with Democrats’ longstanding criticism of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) for blocking Democratic initiatives in the Senate. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) unveiled a visual representation of McConnell’s “legislative graveyard” in June, accusing the Kentucky Republican of blocking legislation for political gain.

“Leader McConnell seems to take great pride in calling himself ‘The Grim Reaper.’ It’s part of his political campaign, it’s part of the pride he takes as leader of the Senate,” Pelosi said. “The Senate will certainly be hearing from the public on issues, values really, that have bipartisan support across America.”

According to National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Michael McAdams, Sherrill’s admission contradicts Democrats’ push for bipartisanship in the Republican-held Senate.

“Mikie Sherrill’s comments confirm that House Democrats would rather block President Trump from getting a win than deliver solutions for their constituents,” McAdams said. “Voters deserve better than this partisan hackery.”

Sherrill in 2018 became the first Democrat elected to her suburban New Jersey district, which Trump won narrowly in 2016, in more than 30 years. She will likely face Republican challenger and tax policy attorney Rosemary Becchi in November.

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The Biden Gaffe Machine: A Running List Of Joe Biden’s Best Slip-Ups

Biden has done little to shake doubts about his sharpness and age after the first set of Democratic debates in June, during which he appeared forgetful and frail. Some things never change.
Tristan Justice

By 

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, 77, has done little to shake doubts about his sharpness and age in the race following the first round of Democratic debates in June in which the former vice president appeared forgetful and frail on stage.

Here’s a running list of Biden’s slip-ups that The Federalist will update throughout the campaign.

Updated March 3, 2020.

Biden Confuses Wife And Sister On Stage

While celebrating his Super Tuesday victories on stage in California, Biden mixed up his wife and sister on stage.

“By the way, this is my little sister Valerie!” Biden said as he grabbed his wife’s right hand. “And I’m Jill’s husband,” he added when reaching for his sister’s.

Steve Guest

@SteveGuest

WATCH: Joe Biden confuses who his wife is and who his sister is during Super Tuesday speech.

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Biden Forgets The Declaration Of Independence

During a March 2 campaign stop in Texas, Biden appeared to forget the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,” Biden began. “All men and women created by- go- you know- you know the thing.”

The “thing” Biden was referring to of course, is the Declaration of Independence.

Here is the full line that Biden forgot:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Eddie Zipperer

@EddieZipperer

Joe Biden quoting the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: all men and women created by- go- you know- you know the thing.”

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Biden Gets Excited For ‘Super Thursday’

In the same speech, Biden tried to get supporters excited for “Super Thursday” before correcting himself to “Tuesday.”

Super Tuesday, scheduled for March 3 is the biggest day of the Democratic primary where 16 states and territories will cast their votes in the Democratic contest consisting of more than a third of the total pledged delegates.

Steve Guest

@SteveGuest

Joe Biden: “Tomorrow is Super Thursday.”

Fact Check: Tomorrow is Super Tuesday.

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Biden Says He’s Running For The Senate

At the South Carolina Democratic Party’s First in the South Dinner on Feb. 24, Biden forgot which office he was running for.

“My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate,” Biden said, who is actually running for president. Prior to being sworn in as vice president in 2009, Biden served as a senator from Delaware for more than 30 years.

Jessica Fletcher

@heckyessica

Joe Biden: “My name is Joe Biden. I’m a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate…if you don’t like me, you can vote for the other Biden.”

Joe Biden is running for… Senate?

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Biden Says Bolivia Is Bordering Venezuela. It’s Not.

In a December meeting with the Des Moines Register, Biden stressed that millions of Venezuelans were fleeing for neighboring Bolivia. Bolivia however, is on the opposite side of the continent located south of Brazil, far from Venezuela in the north.

Washington Examiner

@dcexaminer

“Look what’s going on in Venezuela right now…

Millions of people are crossing the border destabilizing Bolivia.”

@JoeBiden

Bolivia does not share a border with Venezuela, the two are separated by 700 miles of the Amazon rainforest.

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Here’s a map of South America with Venezuela and Bolivia both colored in red:

Biden likely meant to refer to Colombia, where the United Nations estimates more than 1.3 million Venezuelans have sought refuge from the collapsing socialist state in their home country.

Biden Forgets About Kamala Harris On Stage

During the Nov. 20 Democratic debate held in Atlanta, Georgia, Biden forgot about California Sen. Kamala Harris on stage and bragged about being endorsed by the only African American woman elected to the Senate.

“The other one is here!” Harris awkwardly chimed in.

Caleb Hull

@CalebJHull

Biden says only one African-American woman has been elected to the Senate.

Both Cory Booker and Kamala Harris fact check him immediately and humiliate him on live TV.

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Harris is of mixed ancestry as the daughter of Jamaican and Indian parents.

Biden Mixes Up Iowa For Ohio

At a fish-fry fundraiser on Nov. 2 hosted by Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Biden confused Iowa for Ohio when talking about infrastructure.

“How many unsafe bridges do you still have here in the state of Ohio?” Biden asked a group of Iowa voters. “I mean Iowa, and I was just in Ohio because they have more.”

Steve Guest

@SteveGuest

This is a pattern with Joe Biden.

While in IOWA, Biden says he is in “OHIO.”

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Biden Claims to Have Gone to an HBCU. He Didn’t.

At an Oct. 26 South Carolina town hall, Biden claimed to have started out at Delaware State University, a historically black college in his home state as opposed to the University of Delaware where he actually went to school.

“I got started out at an HBCU, Delaware State. Now I don’t want to hear anything negative about Delaware State here. They’re my folks,” Biden said during a South Carolina town hall.

Tommy Pigott@TCPigott

Biden claims he “got started out of an HBCU, Delaware State” when he did not attend the university

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Biden Forgets the Name of Merrick Garland

In a Sept. 25 appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Biden stumbled when talking about the Supreme Court and seemed to have forgotten the name of the last Supreme Court nominee under President Barack Obama.

“Back when, when they were holding up before Trump got elected, they were holding up, uh, um, the nomination of the president put forward for the Supreme Court,” Biden rambled before Jimmy Kimmel jumped in to provide the name.

“Merrick Garland,” Kimmel interjected.

“Merrick Garland, a really fine man,” Biden said.

Tom Elliott@tomselliott

Joe Biden forgets Merrick Garland’s name, peace be upon him.

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Biden Refers to Stop & Shop Strike as ‘Rite Aid Strike’

During a Sept. 17 speech at an AFL-CIO event in Philadelphia, Biden spoke about his April visit to Boston to address the Stop & Shop workers strike after contract negotiations broke down, prompting 30,000 workers to walk off their jobs for 11 days. Biden, however, called it the “Rite Aid strike.”

“When I went up to the — there was the Rite Aid strike. I looked out in that parking lot when I was talking with the folks, and I was walking a picket line up in Boston,” Biden said, according to the Boston Herald.

Rite Aid was founded in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

‘Make Sure You Have the Record Player On at Night’

Responding to a question about his opposition to reparations for slavery during the third Democratic primary debate in September, Biden pivoted to discussing gaps in education and encouraged teachers and parents to “have the record player on at night.”

“They don’t — they don’t know quite what to do,” Biden said, referring to parents not knowing how to raise their children and then offered some advice. “Play the radio, make sure the television — excuse me, make sure you have the record player on at night. … Make sure that kids hear words.”

Biden Confuses Iraq and Afghanistan

Biden appeared to mix up Iraq and Afghanistan in September’s Democratic debate when talking about his opposition to President Barack Obama’s decision to send an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan in 2009.

“The whole purpose of going to Afghanistan was to not have a counterinsurgency, meaning that we’re going to put that country together,” Biden said. “It will not be put together. It’s three different countries. Pakistan owns the three counties — the three provinces in the east. They’re not any part of — the Haqqanis run it.”

Biden’s answer was confusing not only because he used the terms “country,” “county,” and “provinces” interchangeably, but because he was confusing the situation in Afghanistan with Iraq.

Steve Saideman, an expert on Afghanistan at Carleton University, told Vox he found Biden’s answer baffling.

“When talking about Afghanistan and reaching an agreement, I have never heard anyone refer to three regions,” Saideman said. “While federalism will probably play a role, the numbers there are around 30 or so for all of the provinces, not three.”

“Biden might have confused Afghanistan with Iraq,” Saideman added.

In the 2000s, Biden proposed splitting up Iraq into three regions divided among the Sunnis, Shias, and the Kurdish.

Biden Says It’s ‘Absolutely Mindless’ Magazines with Multiple Rounds Have Not Been Banned

Speaking to reporters at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Biden criticized Trump following another mass shooting in Texas that occurred over Labor Day weekend 2019, killing seven people. Biden called it “absolutely mindless” that firearm magazines with more than one round have not been banned.

“The idea that we don’t have elimination of assault type weapons, magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them, it’s absolutely mindless,” Biden said, going on to argue that such a ban would not violate the Second Amendment.

Julio Rosas

@Julio_Rosas11

Biden says it’s “absolutely mindless” we haven’t banned “magazines that can hold multiple bullets in them,” bc it would not violate the 2A.

This reminds me of the time he said “number of clips in a gun, banned” during the first DNC debates.https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-absolutely-mindless-we-havent-banned-magazines-that-can-hold-multiple-bullets-in-them 

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Biden Makes Up War Story

On Aug. 29, the Washington Post exposed Biden for fabricating a war story told repeatedly over the course of his tenure as vice president and on the 2020 campaign trail. On the stump, Biden often recounts a trip he made to Afghanistan while serving as vice president, frequently shifting the details of the trip, which the Post reported were demonstrably false. According to the Post, Biden visited the Middle Eastern country in 2008 when he was a senator, not vice president, and got nearly every other major detail of the trip wrong several times.

Biden doubled-down on the story however, rejecting the claims by the Washington Post and standing by his statements regarding the fabricated trip.

‘I’m Not Going Nuts

Biden forgot which building he was speaking in during a stop at Dartmouth College on Aug. 24, in New Hampshire.

“I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts,” Biden told the crowd Friday after stuttering. “I’m not sure whether it was the medical school or where the hell I spoke. But it was on the campus.”

Ryan Saavedra

@RealSaavedra

Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden yesterday on not being sure where he previously spoke: “I wanna be clear, I’m not going nuts.”

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Biden Confuses New Hampshire for Vermont

While speaking to reporters in Keene, New Hampshire on Aug. 24, Biden praised the beauty of Vermont when asked about his impression of the New Hampshire town.

“I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it? And what a neat town,” Biden said. This is like a scenic, beautiful town. They mayor’s been a good guy. Everybody has been really friendly. I like Keene a lot.”

Bo Erickson CBS

@BoKnowsNews

Biden talks w/press in Keene, NH: “I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it? And what a neat town…everybody has been really friendly. I like Keene a lot.”

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Biden Says He Was Vice President During Parkland Massacre

On Aug. 10, Biden claimed he was still vice president during the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which happened on Feb. 14, 2018. Biden, however, had been out of office for more than a year at that point.

“Those kids in Parkland came up to see me when I was vice president,” Biden told reporters in Iowa, according to Bloomberg News.

A campaign official told Bloomberg that Biden meant to refer to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, which occurred in December 2012 and killed 26 people, 20 of whom were children between the ages of 6 and 7.

‘There Are at Least Three’ Genders

A Turning Point USA field staffer confronted Biden in Iowa on Aug. 9, asking him, “How many genders are there?”

“There are at least three,” Biden said, trying to appease the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that has been pushing society to abandon two-gender biology.

The staffer pressed Biden on the question. “What are they?” she inquired.

“Don’t play games with me, kid,” Biden said before grabbing the young staffer’s arm to explain his previous support for gay marriage. “By the way, the first one to come out for marriage was me.”

‘Poor Kids Are Just as Bright as White Kids’

The former vice president said he misspoke when he told the Asian and Latino Coalition in Des Moines, Iowa, on Aug. 8 that “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

“We should challenge students in these schools to have advanced placement programs in these schools,” Biden said. “We have this notion that if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

As the audience reluctantly began to applaud during the silence, Biden tried to fix his remarks. “Wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids — no, I really mean it,” Biden said.

‘We Believe in Truth over Facts.’

Biden adopted freshman New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s philosophy on disregarding facts in the name of feelings on Aug. 8 at the opening day of the Iowa State Fair.

“We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts,” Biden told the receptive crowd at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox.

Ryan Saavedra

@RealSaavedra

Joe Biden: “we choose truth over facts”

The crowd cheers

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Biden’s new ideas regarding facts are in line with the beliefs of Ocasio-Cortez, who has been on record saying facts don’t matter as long as people are morally right.

“There’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” the New York congresswoman said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” with Anderson Cooper in January.

Biden Misses Locations of Back-to-Back Shootings, Refers to Michigan and Houston

At a California fundraiser on Aug. 4, Biden offered sympathy for victims of back-to-back shootings that occurred earlier in the month. He referred to the shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, as “tragic events in Houston today and also in Michigan the day before.”

He delivered the remarks at a San Diego fundraiser to a gathering of 75 attendees. San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Lyndsay Winkley, who was a pool reporter for the event, confirmed the mishap.

‘Joe 30330’

During CNN’s prime time presidential debate on July 31, Biden directed voters to “go to Joe 30330,” in what sounded like an attempt to plug his own campaign website during his closing statement, leaving viewers confused.

“This is the United States of America. When we’ve acted together, we have never, never, never been unable to overcome whatever the problem was,” Biden said. “If you agree with me, go to Joe 30330 and help me in this fight.”

When asked the next day what he would have done differently in the debate, Biden addressed the gaffe.

“Instead of saying ‘Joe’ I would have said ‘text,’” Biden told reporters in Detroit. “I was so focused on making the case for Joe, I said ‘Joe,’ and I gave the number. It was text so, you know, I would have changed that.”

Biden Touts Relationships with Segregationist Senators as Examples of Civility

In June, Biden touted his friendly relationships with segregationist senators during his time in the senate as examples of his “civility” and ability to work with others.

“At least there was some civility,” Biden told donors at a fundraiser. “We got things done. We didn’t agree on much of anything. We got things done. We got it finished.”

Biden specifically referenced Sens. James Eastland, D-Miss., and Herman Talmadge, D-Ga., to supporters.

The remarks drew immediate backlash from several Democratic rivals who seized on the comments to attack Biden, putting the former senator from Delaware on defense to protect his record on civil rights.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., used the comments to go after Biden on race during the Miami debate in what became one of the hallmark moments of the night.

“Vice President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist,” Harris said, standing right next to him. “I also believe — and it’s personal, and it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States senators who built their reputations and career on the segregation of race in this country. It was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.”

Harris’ support doubled in post-debate polls while Biden’s sank. Biden, however, comfortably maintained his front-runner status in the race.

Biden Tells Paraplegic State Senator To Stand Up

At a fall 2008 campaign rally in Missouri, Biden told state Sen. Chuck Graham to stand up for the entire audience. Graham, however, is paralyzed from a car accident and sits in a wheelchair.

“I’m told Chuck Graham, state senator, is here. Stand up, Chuck, let ’em see you,” Biden said before realizing Graham was confined to a chair. “Oh, God love you. What am I talking about? I’ll tell you what, you’re making everybody else stand up, though, pal.”

Biden then urged the audience to “stand up for Chuck.”

Biden Calls Obama First Mainstream African American Who Is ‘Articulate’ and ‘Clean’

On the same day Biden filed official paperwork for his 2008 presidential campaign, he raised eyebrows when he called then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., the first mainstream African American that is “articulate” and “clean.”

“You got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” Biden told The New York Observer. “I mean, that’s a storybook.”

Biden immediately apologized for his remarks. “I deeply regret any offense my remark in the New York Observer might have caused anyone. That was not my intent and I expressed that to Sen. Obama,” Biden said in a statement, later telling reporters that his comments were being taken out of context.

‘You Can’t Go to a 7-11 or Dunkin’ Donuts Unless You Have an Indian Accent’

In the summer of 2006, then-Sen. Biden of Delaware remarked about the growing Indian population in the state on C-SPAN’s “Road to the White House,” when speaking with an Indian supporter.

“In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent,” Biden said. “I’m not joking.”

A Biden spokesperson told the Associated Press that “the point Senator Biden was making is that there has been a vibrant Indian-American community in Delaware for decades.”

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at Tristan@thefederalist.com.
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America Doesn’t Have Enough Hospital Beds To Fight the Coronavirus. Protectionist Health Care Regulations Are One Reason Why.

Federal bureaucracy slowed America’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak. Now state-level red tape is now poised to cause more problems.

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By now, it’s fairly obvious that federal bureaucrats slowed America’s response to the new coronavirus outbreak. As university researchers and private-sector labs tried to develop tests that might have given health care providers a jump start on containing the virus, they were repeatedly stymied by the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration.

As the focus shifts from testing to treating, yet more red tape is poised to cause yet more problems.

The most acute of those problems: America simply doesn’t have enough hospital beds to handle the expected influx of patients suffering from COVID-19. In many places, that shortage of beds is the result of state-level regulations—known as “certificate of need” laws, or CON laws—that artificially limit the supply of medical equipment. Those laws help politically powerful hospital chains limit regional competition and inflate health care costs, but they also create shortages of medical equipment that could prove disastrous during a pandemic.

Certificate of need laws are on the books in 35 states, but they differ from place to place. Their stated purpose is to keep hospitals from overspending, and thus from having to charge higher prices to make up for unnecessary outlays of capital costs. But in practice, they mean hospitals must get a state agency’s permission before offering new services or installing a new medical technology. Depending on the state, everything from the number of hospital beds to the installation of a new MRI machine could be subject to CON review.

“There have been artificially imposed restrictions on the number of beds, ventilators, and facilities in general that can exist. Some states might find themselves having a real problem,” says Jeffrey Singer, a medical doctor and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. (Singer is also a contributor to Reason Foundation, which publishes this website.)

In 28 states, hospitals must get state regulators’ permission before adding beds, according to data collected by researchers at the Mercatus Center, a think tank at George Mason University. Bed space in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are subject to CON regulations in 34 states. CON laws limit long-term acute care services—the sort of thing that many coronavirus victims may need as they recover—in 30 states. Specific medical equipment, such as ventilators, could be subject to CON laws covering the purchases of new devices.

Those laws are one reason why America has fewer hospital beds than most other developed countries.

The United States has only 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That’s even less than the 3.2 hospital beds per 1,000 people in Italy, where the COVID-19 outbreak has been particularly devastating. In China, the figure is 4.3 beds per thousand people, and South Korea (whose response to the virus seems to have been the most effective so far) has a whopping 12.3 beds for every thousand people.

After the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, a new hospital with 1,000 beds was built in less than two weeks. It would be nearly impossible to duplicate that feat in America, says Singer—not because America lacks China’s top-down authoritarian structure, but because regulations (including CON laws) routinely prioritize protectionism over health. In recent years, a CON board in Virginia has blocked a hospital from building a needed neonatal intensive care unit because a nearby hospital complained about unwanted competition. A similar board in Michigan tried to restrict cancer treatments for reasons that had nothing to do with medical efficacy or patient safety.

Even when there isn’t a dangerous virus on the loose, CON laws are bad for patients. In 2016, researchers at the Mercatus Center found that hospitals in states with CON laws have higher mortality rates than hospitals in non-CON states. The average 30-day mortality rate for patients with pneumonia, heart failure, and heart attacks in states with CON laws is 2.5 to 5 percent higher even after demographic factors are taken out of the equation.

Singer says governors and state lawmakers should suspend any CON laws that might limit hospitals’ ability to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s likely too late to quickly expand the number of hospital beds available in the United States, but removing these impediments to expanding medical facilities should be a no-brainer.

After the coronavirus crisis has passed, those suspensions should be made permanent, so the market can adequately prepare for future pandemics without running up against protectionist rules.

“Let’s learn from this,” Singer says, “and not make this mistake again.”

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Covid-19, your community, and you — a data science perspective

We are data scientists—that is, our job is to understand how to analyze and interpret data. When we analyze the data around covid-19, we are very concerned. The most vulnerable parts of society, the elderly and the poor, are most at risk, but controlling the spread and impact of the disease requires us all to change our behavior. Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, avoid groups and crowds, cancel events, and don’t touch your face. In this post, we explain why we are concerned, and you should be too. For an excellent summary of the key information you need to know, read Corona in Brief by Ethan Alley (the president of a non-profit that develops technologies to reduce risks from pandemics).

Translations

Anyone is welcome to translate this article, to help their local communities understand these issues. Please link back to here with appropriate credit. Let us know on Twitter so we can add your translation to this list.

Contents

We need a working medical system

Just over 2 years ago one of us (Rachel) got a brain infection which kills around 1/4 of people who get it, and leaves 1/3 with permanent cognitive impairment. Many others end up with permanent vision and hearing damage. Rachel was delirious by the time she crawled across the hospital parking lot. She was lucky enough to receive prompt care, diagnosis, and treatment. Up until shortly before this event Rachel was in great health. Having prompt access to the emergency room almost certainly saved her life.

Now, let’s talk about covid-19, and what might happen to people in Rachel’s situation in the coming weeks and months. The number of people found to be infected with covid-19 doubles every 3 to 6 days. With a doubling rate of three days, that means the number of people found to be infected can increase 100 times in three weeks (it’s not actually quite this simple, but let’s not get distracted by technical details). One in 10 infected people requires hospitalization for many weeks, and most of these require oxygen. Although it is very early days for this virus, there are already regions where hospitals are entirely overrun, and people are no longer able to get the treatment that they require (not only for covid-19, but also for anything else, such as the life-saving care that Rachel needed). For instance, in Italy, where just a week ago officials were saying that everything was fine, now sixteen million people have been put on lock-down (update: 6 hours after posting this, Italy put the entire country on lock-down), and tents like this are being set up to help handle the influx of patients:

A medical tent used in Italy
A medical tent used in Italy

Dr. Antonio Pesenti, head of the regional crisis response unit in a hard-hit area of Italy, said, “We’re now being forced to set up intensive care treatment in corridors, in operating theaters, in recovery rooms… One of the best health systems in the world, in Lombardy is a step away from collapse.”

This is not like the flu

The flu has a death rate of around 0.1% of infections. Marc Lipsitch, the director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard, estimates that for covid-19 it is 1-2%. The latest epedemiological modeling found a 1.6% rate in China in February, sixteen times higher than the flu1 (this might be quite a conservative number however, because rates go up a lot when the medical system can’t cope). Current best estimates expect that covid-19 will kill 10 times more people this year than the flu (and modeling by Elena Grewal, former director of data science at Airbnb, shows it could be 100 times more, in the worst case). This is before taking into consideration the huge impact on the medical system, such as that described above. It is understandable that some people are trying to convince themselves that this is nothing new, an illness much like the flu, because it is very uncomfortable to accept the reality that this is not familiar at all.

Trying to understand intuitively an exponentially increasing growth in the number of infected people is not something that our brains are designed to handle. So we have to analyze this as scientists, not using our intuition.

Where will this be in 2 weeks? 2 months?
Where will this be in 2 weeks? 2 months?

For each person that has the flu, on average, they infect 1.3 other people. That’s called the “R0” for flu. If R0 is less than 1.0, then an infection stops spreading and dies out. If it’s over 1.0, it spreads. R0 currently is 2-3 for covid-19 outside China. The difference may sound small, but after 20 “generations” of infected people passing on their infection, an R0 of 1.3 would result in 146 infections, but an R0 of 2.5 would result in 36 million infections! (This is, of course, very hand-wavy and ignores many real-world impacts, but it’s a reasonable illustration of the relative difference between covid-19 and flu, all other things being equal).

Note that R0 is not some fundamental property of a disease. It depends greatly on the response, and it can change over time2. Most notably, in China R0 for covid-19 has come down greatly, and is now approaching 1.0! How, you ask? By putting in place measures at a scale that would be hard to imagine in a country such as the US—for instance, entirely locking down many giant cities, and developing a testing process that allows more than a million people a week to be tested.

One thing which comes up a lot on social media (including from highly-followed accounts such as Elon Musk) is a misunderstanding of the difference between logistic and exponential growth. “Logistic” growth refers to the “s-shaped” growth pattern of epidemic spread in practice. Obviously exponential growth can’t go on forever, since otherwise there would be more people infected than people in the world! Therefore, eventually, infection rates must always decreasing, resulting in an s-shaped (known as sigmoid) growth rate over time. However, the decreasing growth only occurs for a reason–it’s not magic. The main reasons are:

  • Massive and effective community response, or
  • Such a large percentage of people are infected that there’s fewer uninfected people to spread to.

Therefore, it makes no logical sense to rely on the logistic growth pattern as a way to “control” a pandemic.

Another thing which makes it hard to intuitively understand the impact of covid-19 in your local community is that there is a very significant delay between infection and hospitalization — generally around 11 days. This may not seem like a long time, but when you compare it to the number of people infected during that time, it means that by the time you notice that the hospital beds are full, community infection is already at a level that there will be 5-10 times more people to deal with.

Note that there are some early signs that the impact in your local area may be at least somewhat dependent on climate. The paper Temperature and latitude analysis to predict potential spread and seasonality for COVID-19 points out that the disease has so far been spreading in mild climates (unfortunately for us, the temperature range in San Francisco, where we live, is right in that range; it also covers the main population centers of Europe, including London.)

“Don’t panic. Keep calm.” is not helpful

One common response we’ve seen on social media to people that are pointing out the reasons to be concerned, is “don’t panic” or “keep calm”. This is, to say the least, not helpful. No-one is suggesting that panic is an appropriate response. For some reason, however, “keep calm” is a very popular reaction in certain circles (but not amongst any epidemiologists, whose job it is to track these things). Perhaps “keep calm” helps some people feel better about their own inaction, or makes them feel somehow superior to people who they imagine are running around like a headless chicken.

But “keep calm” can easily lead to a failure to prepare and respond. In China, tens of millions were put on lock-down and two new hospitals were built by the time they reached the statistics that the US has now. Italy waited too long, and just today (Sunday March 8) they reported 1492 new cases and 133 new deaths, despite locking down 16 million people. Based on the best information we’re able to ascertain at this stage, just 2-3 weeks ago Italy was in the same position that the US and UK are in today (in terms of infection statistics).

Note that nearly everything about covid-19 at this stage is up in the air. We don’t really know it’s infection speed or mortality, we don’t know how long it remains active on surfaces, we don’t know whether it survives and spreads in warm conditions. Everything we have is current best guesses based on the best information people are able to put together. And remember, the vast majority of this information is in China, in Chinese. Currently, the best way to understand the Chinese experience so far is to read the excellent Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019, based on a joint mission of 25 national and international experts from China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, the United States of America and the World Health Organization (WHO).

When there’s some uncertainty, that perhaps this won’t be a global pandemic, and perhaps everything just might pass by without the hospital system collapsing, that doesn’t mean that the right response is to do nothing. That would be enormously speculative and not an optimal response under any threat modeling scenario. It also seems extremely unlikely that countries like Italy and China would effectively shut down large parts of their economy for no good reason. It’s also not consistent with the actual impacts we’re seeing on the ground in infected areas, where the medical system is unable to cope (for instance, Italy is using 462 tents for “pre-triage”, and still has to move ICU patients from infected areas).

Instead, the thoughtful, reasonable response is to follow the steps that are recommended by experts to avoid spreading infections:

  • Avoid large groups and crowds
  • Cancel events
  • Work from home, if at all possible
  • Wash hands when coming and going from home, and frequently when out
  • Avoid touching your face, especially when outside your home (not easy!)
  • Disinfect surfaces and packages (it’s possible the virus may remain active for 9 days on surfaces, although this still isn’t known for sure either way).

It’s not just about you

If you are under 50, and do not have risk factors such as a compromised immune system, cardiovascular disease, a history of previous smoking, or other chronic illnesses, then you can have some comfort that covid-19 is unlikely to kill you. But how you respond still matters very much. You still have just as much chance of getting infected, and if you do, just as much chance of infecting others. On average, each infected person is infecting over two more people, and they become infectious before they show symptoms. If you have parents that you care about, or grandparents, and plan to spend time with them, and later discover that you are responsible for infecting them with covid-19, that would be a heavy burden to live with.

Even if you are not in contact with people over 50, it is likely that you have more coworkers and acquaintances with chronic illnesses than you realize. Research shows that few people disclose their health conditions in the workplace if they can avoid it, for fear of discrimination. Both of us are in high risk categories, but many people who we interact with regularly may not have known this.

And of course, it is not just about the people immediately around you. This is a highly significant ethical issue. Each person who does their best to contribute to controlling the spread of the virus is helping their whole community to slow down the rate of infection. As Zeynep Tufekci wrote in Scientific Amercian: “Preparing for the almost inevitable global spread of this virus… is one of the most pro-social, altruistic things you can do”. She continues:

We should prepare, not because we may feel personally at risk, but so that we can help lessen the risk for everyone. We should prepare not because we are facing a doomsday scenario out of our control, but because we can alter every aspect of this risk we face as a society. That’s right, you should prepare because your neighbors need you to prepare—especially your elderly neighbors, your neighbors who work at hospitals, your neighbors with chronic illnesses, and your neighbors who may not have the means or the time to prepare because of lack of resources or time.

This has impacted us personally. The biggest and most important course we’ve ever created at fast.ai, which represents the culmination of years of work for us, was scheduled to start at the University of San Francisco in a week. Last Wednesday (March 4), we made the decision to move the whole thing online. We were one of the first large courses to move online. Why did we do it? Because we realized early last week that if we ran this course, we were implicitly encouraging hundreds of people to get together in an enclosed space, multiple times over a multi-week period. Bringing groups together in enclosed spaces is the single worst thing that can be done. We felt ethically obliged to ensure that, at least in this case, this didn’t happen. It was a heart-breaking decision. Our time spent working directly with our students has been one of the great pleasures and most productive periods every year. And we had students planning to fly in from all over the world, who we really didn’t want to let down3.

But we knew it was the right thing to do, because otherwise we’d be likely to be increasing the spread of the disease in our community4.

We need to flatten the curve

This is extremely important, because if we can slow down the rate of infection in a community, then we give hospitals in that community time to deal with both the infected patients, and with the regular patient load that they need to handle. This is described as “flattening the curve”, and is clearly shown in this illustrative chart:

Staying under that dotted line means everything
Staying under that dotted line means everything

Farzad Mostashari, the former National Coordinator for Health IT, explained: “New cases are being identified every day that do not have a travel history or connection to a known case, and we know that these are just the tip of the iceberg because of the delays in testing. That means that in the next two weeks the number of diagnosed cases will explode… Trying to do containment when there is exponential community spread is like focusing on putting out sparks when the house is on fire. When that happens, we need to switch strategies to mitigation–taking protective measures to slow spread & reduce peak impact on healthcare.” If we can keep the spread of disease low enough that our hospitals can handle the load, then people can access treatment. But if the cases come too quickly, then those that need hospitalization won’t get it.

Here’s what the math might look like, according to Liz Specht:

The US has about 2.8 hospital beds per 1000 people. With a population of 330M, this is ~1M beds. At any given time, 65% of those beds are already occupied. That leaves about 330k beds available nationwide (perhaps a bit fewer this time of year with regular flu season, etc). Let’s trust Italy’s numbers and assume that about 10% of cases are serious enough to require hospitalization. (Keep in mind that for many patients, hospitalization lasts for weeks — in other words, turnover will be very slow as beds fill with COVID19 patients). By this estimate, by about May 8th, all open hospital beds in the US will be filled. (This says nothing, of course, about whether these beds are suitable for isolation of patients with a highly infectious virus.) If we’re wrong by a factor of two regarding the fraction of severe cases, that only changes the timeline of bed saturation by 6 days in either direction. If 20% of cases require hospitalization, we run out of beds by ~May 2nd If only 5% of cases require it, we can make it until ~May 14th. 2.5% gets us to May 20th. This, of course, assumes that there is no uptick in demand for beds from other (non-COVID19) causes, which seems like a dubious assumption. As healthcare system becomes increasingly burdened, Rx shortages, etc, people w/ chronic conditions that are normally well-managed may find themselves slipping into severe states of medical distress requiring intensive care & hospitalization.

A community’s reaction makes all the difference

As we’ve discussed, this math isn’t a certainty—China has already shown that it’s possible to reduce the spread by taking extreme steps. Another great example of a successful response is Vietnam, where, amongst other things, a nationwide advertising campaign (including a catchy song!) quickly mobilized community response and ensured that people adjusted their behavior appropriately.

This is not just a hypothetical situation — it was clearly displayed in the 1918 flu pandemic. In the United States two cities displayed very different reactions to the pandemic: Philadelphia went ahead with a giant parade of 200,000 people to help raise money for the war. But St Louis put in place carefully designed processes to minimize social contacts so as to decrease the spread of the virus, along with cancelling all large events. Here is what the number of deaths looked like in each city, as shown in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences:

Impact of differing responses to the 1918 Flu pandemic
Impact of differing responses to the 1918 Flu pandemic

The situation in Philadelphia became extremely dire, even getting to a point where there were not enough funeral caskets or morgues to handle the huge number of dead from the flu.

Richard Besser, who was acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, says that in the US “the risk of exposure and the ability to protect oneself and one’s family depends on income, access to health care, and immigration status, among other factors.” He points out that:

The elderly and disabled are at particular risk when their daily lives and support systems are disrupted. Those without easy access to health care, including rural and Native communities, might face daunting distances at times of need. People living in close quarters — whether in public housing, nursing homes, jails, shelters or even the homeless on the streets — might suffer in waves, as we have already seen in Washington state. And the vulnerabilities of the low-wage gig economy, with non-salaried workers and precarious work schedules, will be exposed for all to see during this crisis. Ask the 60 percent of the U.S. labor force that is paid hourly how easy it is to take time off in a moment of need.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that less than a third of those in the lowest income band have access to paid sick leave:

Most poor Americans do not have sick leave, so have to go to work.
Most poor Americans do not have sick leave, so have to go to work.

We don’t have good information in the US

One of the big issues in the US is that very little testing is being done, and testing results aren’t being properly shared, which means we don’t know what’s actually happening. Scott Gottlieb, the previous FDA commissioner, explained that in Seattle there has been better testing, and we are seeing infection there: “The reason why we knew early about Seattle outbreak of covid-19 was because of sentinel surveillance work by independent scientists. Such surveillance never got totally underway in other cities. So other U.S. hot spots may not be fully detected yet.” According to The Atlantic, Vice President Mike Pence promised that “roughly 1.5 million tests” would be available this week, but less than 2,000 people have been tested throughout the US at this point. Drawing on work from The COVID Tracking Project, Robinson Meyer and Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic, said:

The figures we gathered suggest that the American response to the covid-19 and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has been shockingly sluggish, especially compared with that of other developed countries. The CDC confirmed eight days ago that the virus was in community transmission in the United States—that it was infecting Americans who had neither traveled abroad nor were in contact with others who had. In South Korea, more than 66,650 people were tested within a week of its first case of community transmission, and it quickly became able to test 10,000 people a day.

Part of the problem is that this has become a political issue. In particular, President Donald Trump has made it clear that he wants to see “the numbers” (that as, the number of people infected in the US) kept low. This is an example of where optimizing metrics interferes with getting good results in practice. (For more on this issue, see the Ethics of Data Science paper The Problem with Metrics is a Fundamental Problem for AI). Google’s Head of AI Jeff Dean, tweeted his concern about the problems of politicized disinformation:

When I worked at WHO, I was part of the Global Programme on AIDS (now UNAIDS), created to help the world tackle the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The staff there were dedicated doctors and scientists intensely focused on helping address that crisis. In times of crisis, clear and accurate information is vital to helping everyone make proper and informed decisions about how to respond (country, state, and local governments, companies, NGOs, schools, families, and individuals). With the right information and policies in place for listening to the best medical and scientific experts, we will all come through challenges like the ones presented by HIV/AIDS or by COVID-19. With disinformation driven by political interests, there’s a real risk of making things way, way worse by not acting quickly and decisively in the face of a growing pandemic, and by actively encouraging behaviors that will actually spread the disease more quickly. This whole situation is incredibly painful to watch unfold.

It doesn’t look like there is the political will to turn things around, when it comes to transparency. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, according to Wired, “started talking about the tests health care workers use to determine if someone is infected with the new coronavirus. The lack of those kits has meant a dangerous lack of epidemiological information about the spread and severity of the disease in the US, exacerbated by opacity on the part of the government. Azar tried to say that more tests were on the way, pending quality control.” But, they continued:

Then Trump cut Azar off. “But I think, importantly, anybody, right now and yesterday, that needs a test gets a test. They’re there, they have the tests, and the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test gets a test,” Trump said. This is untrue. Vice President Pence told reporters Thursday that the US didn’t have enough test kits to meet demand.

Other countries are reacting much more quickly and significantly than the US. Many countries in SE Asia are showing great results, including Taiwan, where R0 is down to 0.3 now, and Singapore, which is being proposed as The Model for COVID-19 Response. It’s not just in Asia though; in France, for instance, any gathering of >1000 people is forbidden, and schools are now closed in three districts.

In conclusion

Covid-19 is a significant societal issue, and we can, and should, all work to decrease the spread of the disease. This means:

  • Avoiding large groups and crowds
  • Canceling events
  • Working from home, if at all possible
  • Washing hands when coming and going from home, and frequently when out
  • Avoiding touching your face, especially when outside your home.

Note: due to the urgency of getting this out, we haven’t been as careful as we normally like to be about citing and crediting the work we’re relying on. Please let us know if we’ve missed anything.

Thanks to Sylvain Gugger and Alexis Gallagher for feedback and comments.

Footnotes

(Click ↩ on a footnote to go back to where you were.)

  1. Epidemiologists are people who study the spread of disease. It turns out that estimating things like mortality and R0 are actually pretty challenging, so there is a whole field that specializes in doing this well. Be wary of people who use simple ratios and statistics to tell you how covid-19 is behaving. Instead, look at modeling done by epidemiologists. 
  2. Well, not technically true. “R0” strictly speaking refers to the infection rate in the absence of response. But since that’s not really ever the thing that we care about, we’ll let ourselves be a bit sloppy on our definitions here. 
  3. Since that decision, we’ve worked hard to find a way to run a virtual course which we hope will be even better than the in-person version would have been. We’ve been able to open it up to anyone in the world, and will be running virtual study and project groups every day. 
  4. We’ve made many other smaller changes to our lifestyle too, including exercising at home instead of going to the gym, moving all our meetings to video-conference, and skipping night events that we’d been looking forward to. 
Posted in medical, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

South Texas Republican Voters Not allowed to Vote Republican at Polling Places, Given Democrat Ballots Instead

Starr County, Texas, including the cities of Rio Grande City and Roma in south Texas along the Texas/Mexico border, is refusing to allow Republicans to vote at polling places, and even trying to give them a Democrat Ballot to vote with instead!

I was contacted by a Hispanic family trying to vote in Rio Grande City, TX late last week. Four different family members had gone to vote at their polling places. They unfortunately found that the county elections administration has not even supplied polling places with Republican ballots. The only place that someone can vote Republican is at the County Courthouse, instead of all the polling places where the County supplies democrat ballots for voting.

It gets worse. When these Republican voters went to vote at their polling place and asked for a Republican ballot, they were not told to go to the County Courthouse, but rather they were given a Democrat ballot and told just to vote with the Democrat ballot and the election officials told them all that Trump and everyone else will be on the November ballot.

This is shocking corruption and severe voting rights violations. This is nothing less than a scheme to alter or interfere with fair and free elections.

While it might have been a county party decision to not have voting anywhere other than the county courthouse, the problem is the Republican voters showing up to the polling places are NOT being told to go to the courthouse for a consolidated election to vote; they are just given a Democrat ballot and said just vote Democrat and wait for the November election to vote for Trump and other Republicans. That is wrong and illegal and something should be done about it

This 2020 Presidential election cycle has already been marred by election scandals. The Iowa Democrat Caucus saw the results being delayed and recounted due to irregularities and technology glitches. It is hard to imagine that in Texas, a county can suppress and interfere with voting like what has occurred this election in Starr County, TX.

South Texas has a long history of government and political corruption. One of my first articles ever written was a breaking story about a battle on the border near Roma, TX where gunfire and explosions were heard throughout the night.

Posted in crime, Uncategorized, Vote Fraud | Tagged , | 1 Comment

How Decades Of Democratic Rule Ruined Some Of Our Finest Cities

Urban Blight: A few days ago, filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted, “Flint has voted for Dems for 84 straight yrs” and wanted to know, “What did it get us?” He’s actually on to something.

Don’t drink the water in Flint, Mich. Federal and state officials botched a water supply switch there and ended up contaminating the city’s drinking water with lead. It’s a sad and infuriating story that has gone on far too long. It’s not quite a humanitarian crisis — blessedly, we don’t see many of those in this country — but it is a mess.

Of course blame has been liberally tossed around. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has been sued. Moore wants him arrested. (Obviously there’s a limit to Moore’s ability to think clearly, and he reached it with his Flint tweet.) Some are convinced that the private sector is the villain, because, after all, isn’t it always? The loopy left even says that the Koch brothers are at fault.

But let’s backtrack to Moore’s tweet. Flint is indeed a Democratic Party bastion. Don’t its decades of Democratic dominance deserve some of the blame? It’s the city’s “Democratic rulers,” Reason magazine’s Robby Soave reminds us, who have “robbed city residents blind to pad the pockets of public sector unions.” They’ve also been in charge as Flint has become one the country’s poorest cities (the second poorest, says the Census Bureau, for a city of its size), and a haven for criminals — it’s the most dangerous city in America, according to Business Insider.

Flint is not alone, though. America is awash with troubled, dysfunctional cities that have been electing Democratic mayors for decades.

  • Detroit last elected a Republican mayor in 1957. It is now the model of urban failure — it’s recognized more for its poverty, crime, rot and bankruptcy than the great cars that it turned out into the early 1970s. It is the poorest big city in the nation, with almost 40% of the population living below the poverty line. The website Law Street actually ranks Detroit ahead of Flint as the country’s most dangerous city. Either way, it’s clear that both cities have institutionalized crime problems.

Detroit is also a pit of political corruption. Just in recent years, one mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, was convicted of corruption and sent to federal prison for 28 years, while building inspectors have been indicted on federal felony bribery charges and a former city council member was investigated in a bribery and kickback scandal.

  • Chicago’s last GOP mayor was elected in 1927. The nation’s third-largest city is home to some of the worst inner-city violence imaginable. More than 2,300 people were shot there last year, and nearly 400 lost their lives to homicides.

Its finances are just as grim. “Chicago is so broke,” IBD contributor Stephen Moore explained months ago, “that its bonds are junk status, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel had to go hat in hand last week to the state capital, Springfield, for bailout money to pay the bills.” Things have been rotten enough, Moore said, to send “a record number of people … fleeing Cook County, home to Chicago.” Only a little more than half of the city’s pension liabilities are funded.

  • St. Louis has been electing Democratic mayors since 1949. The Gateway to the West has become the gateway for crime. Law Street says that it’s the fourth most dangerous city in the country, Forbes says it’s the second. It had the sixth-highest poverty rate among big cities in 2014.
  • The last GOP mayor of Philadelphia left office in 1952. A few years ago, Moore identified it as a favorite to follow Detroit into bankruptcy.
  • Both Baltimore and Oakland had Republican mayors as late as the 1960s. In the era of Democratic rule, both are now more well known for their crime and poverty problems than for their charm and character.
  • Newark, N.J., hasn’t had a GOP mayor in more than a century. It was ranked as the fifth-worst city to live in in 2015. Detroit, of course, was first.

When Democrats are in control, cities tend to go soft on crime, reward cronies with public funds, establish hostile business environments, heavily tax the most productive citizens and set up fat pensions for their union friends. Simply put, theirs is a Blue State blueprint for disaster.

 

source: https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/how-decades-of-democratic-rule-ruined-some-of-our-finest-cities/

Posted in corruption, Government related, liberals, neoliberals, Politics, Socialism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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