It’s past time to start opening our country.

Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel of Tel Aviv University, who also serves on the research and development advisory board for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, plotted the rates of new coronavirus infections of the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, France, Germany, and Spain. The numbers told a shocking story: irrespective of whether the country quarantined like Israel, or went about business as usual like Sweden, coronavirus peaked and subsided in the exact same way. In the exact, same, way. His graphs show that all countries experienced seemingly identical coronavirus infection patterns, with the number of infected peaking in the sixth week and rapidly subsiding by the eighth week.

“The Wuhan Virus follows its own pattern”, he told Mako, an Israeli news agency. “It is a fixed pattern that is not dependent on freedom or quarantine. There is a decline in the number of infections even [in countries] without closures, and it is similar to the countries with closures,” he wrote in his paper. But what about Italy and their staggering 12% mortality rate? “The health system in Italy has its own problems. It has nothing to do with coronavirus. In 2017 it also collapsed because of the flu,” Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel told the news agency. Indeed, Italy’s exceptionally high coronavirus mortality rate is eerily reminiscent of their unusually high flu mortality rates. Supportive of this theory, Germany, has low flu infection and mortality rates and similarly low coronavirus rates.

It’s been one month since our country declared a national coronavirus emergency and life as we knew it had ceased. Americans have been growing agitated, unwilling to continue in this way, knowing something is wrong. Trump has sensed that his constituency is displeased with the authoritarian power grab by our Governors and has repeatedly stated that he wishes to reopen the country, but that he needs more information to make the right decision. Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel’s data analysis provides Trump with the assurance that he needs to reopen America. 

Several states have banded together to oppose President Trump’s framework for getting America back to work, while other states have shown a willingness to protect individual liberty and the livelihoods of Americans. No two states demonstrate this stark contrast better than Texas and Washington. On the same day, Gov. Inslee (D-Wash.) and Gov. Abbott (R-Texas) issued statements that display the fundamental question facing America. Shall the United States remain a nation founded on liberty, or shall we capriciously remove those rights as an exercise to increase the power of the state?

Abbott’s office issued this statement: Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference where he issued three new Executive Orders to begin the process of reopening the state of Texas while revising hospital capacity and certain social distancing guidelines. Within the orders, select activities and services that pose minimal to no threat of spreading COVID-19 are allowed to reopen using a “Retail-To-Go” model, certain restrictions on surgeries have been loosened, and schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Within these orders, the Governor has established the Strike Force to Open Texas—a team of nationally recognized medical experts and private and public leaders who will advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas. “Texans are battling a colossal challenge—an invisible enemy that has tested our lives and our livelihoods—but overcoming challenges is part of who we are as Texans,” said Governor Abbott. “We have shown that Texas can continue our efforts to contain COVID-19 while also adopting safe standards that will allow us to begin the process of reopening Texas. The Strike Force to Open Texas brings together nationally recognized medical experts with public and private sector leaders to achieve this mission. By coming together, we can get Texans back to work, practice safe standards that will prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we can overcome this pandemic.

It appears Inslee doesn’t share Abbott’s belief in self-governance and would prefer that Washington remain shut down. Might he prefer more draconian measures to keep Washingtonians from their basic activities, even when those measures don’t make sense in fighting a pandemic? Inslee followed the example of New Jersey’s Democrat governor by banning private construction while declaring construction on government projects essential. He has also ordered a ban on fishing and hunting, closed parks to camping and hiking, and ordered boat launches closed, among many other restrictions that will have little effect on slowing the virus. He seems to think individuals can’t be trusted to practice social distancing while wandering in the wilderness. Inslee stated earlier this week, along with the governors of Oregon and California, that he is still months away from allowing citizens to resume their normal lives. Not weeks, months. One of the biggest conditions he placed on allowing folks to go back to work is widespread testing capability to be able to track sick people. He knows that testing is a long ways off, so that gives him all the moral authority he needs to continue to order people home. Meanwhile, more and more liberties are stripped away every day in Washington.

Is this the battle for freedom that Ronald Reagan warned us about when he said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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