“When you are going through hell, keep going.”
Churchill made clear that he had little to offer but blood, sweat, toil and tears. He certainly didn’t sugarcoat the gravity of the situation his countrymen were facing. But his plan was for victory. Victory at any cost. He didn’t dwell on the hell they were going through. He did not allow predictions of massive casualties alter plans for the Normandy invasion. Churchill understood that he had to buck up his British subjects. More than anything, they needed hope.
These White House briefings offer little of that.
Investment Guru Jim Cramer said a mouthful the other day when he observed that the daily briefings have become “almost unwatchable.” The doom and gloom emanating from these things is unbearable. They are too long. Experts daily pour cold water on any hope that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. They talk in medical terms that ignore the fact that over 25 million of our fellow Americans have lost their livelihoods.
It is difficult to see how any of the dower experts providing their daily updates are helpful. The amorphous “framework” that the White House produced can hardly be described as a clear path to victory. This only makes it easier for certain governors (who would like nothing more than to replace this administration) to keep moving the goalposts.
Second-guessing the courageous governor of Georgia for beginning to reopen his state was an unforced error. Is the White House unaware that the governor of South Dakota never shut down her state’s economy? Death rates have not spiraled and her hospitals are not overwhelmed. Please don’t let your experts try to explain that away!
Americans are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. Those millions who have lost their jobs are beginning to rightly wonder why. Is it simply to please some Washington experts? Haven’t we already flattened the curve? Our hospitals are mostly empty. Reports on numbers of ventilators ring hollow. The price of this murky, yet undefined victory is astronomical. Especially for those who can’t pay next month’s mortgage.
The experts claim that their recommendations are data driven. Somehow they ignore data that questions their preconceived conclusion. Anyone who challenges that conclusion (shutting down the economy) must be ignoring the data or wants millions of Americans to die. No further discussion.
They ignore reports from experts like Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. He reminded us that there are only two paths to victory; a vaccine or herd immunity. There is not now a vaccine and like the common cold, there may never be one. Dr. Katz argues that we need to focus on herd immunity. Hiding in our homes will assuredly slow the progress of the disease. It will also prevent the development of greater herd immunity, which is critical to victory.
Katz noted that several Asian nations who slowed the spread with shelter-in-place strategies saw increases in cases once those policies were relaxed. Without herd immunity, we may go back to where we started, after suffering staggering costs.
Congress looks hapless. They cannot borrow enough money to prop up our entire economy. Congratulating themselves for spending trillions that we do not have on programs that cannot work? All presumably to cut the number of deaths from this virus. Has anyone stopped to ask, by how many? And at what cost?
This is insanity.
The daily doom and gloom reports may have made sense three weeks ago. Today we need benchmarks and a realistic plan for victory. The Left thrives on doom. Hell works well for them.
We need hope.
This administration must pivot and start providing some hope. Bring some outside experts like Dr. Katz, Dr. Oz or Governor Noem into these briefings. People who are optimistic.
If millions of those blue-collar Americans (Trump voters) are still unemployed and losing hope in November, they may blame some of the people in those briefings. That will open the door for a hapless, confused candidate. One who will be totally dependent on the far Left.
Then all hope will indeed be lost.
Gil Gutknecht is a former Republican Congressman from Minnesota.