Editor’s note: David Krouse writes for us from a distance. David lives in Los Angeles. He wants to share this note to ensure proper context for his following article:
As I’m writing this there have been new developments in Los Angeles. In response to a Twitter Demand from Katherine Schwarzenegger, Eric Garretti has now shut-down ALL Farmer’s Markets – one of the few places to get fresh produce based on pictures she tweeted not an actual investigation.
In other words, due process no longer exists and orders are being applied broadly, indiscriminately with or without cause based on social media hearsay from celebrities. Despite it being two weeks many store shelves remain empty. Myself and others have not been able to purchase hand sanitizer and others have said they aren’t able to get toilet paper (I was lucky).
Eric Garrett and Gavin Newsom have still not announced a rent freeze, only non-eviction, no rent increases or late penalties. You still have to pay months of back rent.
The Los Angeles City Council had a single remote meeting which was hacked by pranksters that uploaded pornography and the California State Assembly has abandoned their jobs for the next several weeks.
The entire situation in California is turning into basically an Authoritarian Dictatorship and requires some form of outside intervention. State and local governments no longer consider themselves bound by rule of law, due process or constitutional freedoms.
This isn’t hyperbole — the closure of the Farmers Markets (an essential business) by decree without even evidence that had been reviewed and investigated was Defacto proof.
In the words of Alfred Tennyson “Out flew the web and floated wide—The mirror crack’d from side to side; “The curse is come upon me,” cried, The Lady of Shalott.”
It was not even two weeks when the first cracks of reality started appearing in the Covid-19 mirage revealing the humbug behind the curtain, that multiple policymakers on the advice of these humbugs were like Don Quixote seeing giants and tilting at windmills and worse the Emperor had no clothes while parading naked in front of the world.
Like Humpty Dumpty, it couldn’t be put back together again.
Public Statements and News
It was Governor Andrew Cuomo who came forward with the first public official announcement stating the obvious — that mass detention of healthy populations and command economy measures were ill-advised in confronting Covid-19. It was reported in multiple news media outlets on March 26, 2020, that Cuomo had acknowledged he had shut down New York without fully considering the ramifications of his actions — including their impact on the spread of disease.
Cuomo reportedly said:
“If you rethought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don’t know that you would say, quarantine everyone,” Cuomo continued. “I don’t even know that that was the best public health policy. Young people then quarantined with older people was probably not the best public health strategy because the younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.”
This was followed March 27, 2020, by Barbara Ferrer, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health raising skepticism over the percentage of deaths and acknowledging that there was not enough information to accurately assess that percentage.
She was quoted by KTLA:
“At a daily news briefing Friday, Ferrer noted that the percentage of people in the county who have died from the novel coronavirus is 1.8%.
That’s higher than hard-hit New York City, where the mortality rate is 1.4%, as well as the rest of the U.S.
“They have a lot more testing capacity and therefore they’ve been able to identify many more people who are positive with COVID-19,” she said.”
If only the people who are seriously ill are being tested, then those with mild symptoms are not being counted in the overall total, Ferrer explained.
The county’s limited amount of testing “would have an impact on whether or not this mortality rate actually reflects a reality,” she said.”
Not to be outdone, March 29, 2020, Anthony Fauci, publicly announced that he had backed President Donald Trump down from imposing a quarantine on New York as unnecessary.
“After discussions with the President we made it clear and he agreed, it would be much better to do what’s called a strong advisory. The reason for that is you don’t want to get to the point that you’re enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise when you could probably accomplish the same goal,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Fauci said about 56% of the country’s new infections are coming from the New York City area.”
A suggestion that had drawn outrage from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who told CNN who used Confederate Civil War Language in his emotional response :
“Washington, DC (CNN) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday in an interview with CNN that he didn’t believe a possible New York quarantine was legal and that it would be a “federal declaration of war” after President Donald Trump said he was considering such a tactic for the New York metro area as US coronavirus cases increase.
“It would be chaos and mayhem,” Cuomo told CNN’s Ana Cabrera. “It’s totally opposite everything he’s been saying. I don’t think it is plausible. I don’t think it is legal.”
At the same time Fauci revealed both how muddled his thinking is regarding the matter and how overblown the issue has become by announcing he anticipated a high death toll while giving himself an out:
“I mean, looking at what we’re seeing now, you know, I would say between 100 and 200,000 (deaths). But I don’t want to be held to that,” he said, adding that the US is going to have “millions of cases.”
In doing so, Fauci dramatically undercuts his own contradictions regarding measures to block the spread of infection from the epicenter that as of this writing has 56% of cases, that President Trump had considered undertaking to save lives. It also exposed the predictions of Obama Administration official Andy Slavitt who claimed on Twitter it would be a minimum of 1 million deaths.
On the heels of this, Andy Slavitt declared an all-out war on an elected official and doctor for daring to speak on the basis of his medical experience to his constituents and not towing the States official talking points. In a series of Tweets he detailed his Geek heroics of confronting Minnesota State Senator Scott M Jensen:
“I’m listening now to a State Senator in Minnesota do a town hall tell his constituents that the flu is worth than COVID-19. He speaks with authority as a family doctor.
I appreciate his effort to be positive. I would appreciate it more if he understood basic facts.
I am tracking down his phone number. His constituents can impact everyone’s family.
Tell people to listen to their HEALTH COMMISSIONERS, not their politicians.”
The fact that an elected official, who is also an MD would disagree with the official State line outraged him. What Slavitt apparently didn’t know is that State Senator Scott M Jensen is not the type to put up with political bullying. Last year in an interview with the Minnesota Post he described his own frustration with putting politics about a learned experience when making policy:
“Our two big driving forces down here … should be what’s good policy and what’s good information. But instead, we default to anecdotal stories, which frequently have no real pertinence other than being an anecdotal, flukish story. It really shouldn’t drive our agenda. But it does.”
He said he once got into a debate with another GOP senator about how prescriptions are issued and filled. As a physician, Jensen has written tens of thousands of prescriptions, but his colleague said he knew better — because he had spoken with a pharmacist in his district. “This person’s telling me, ‘No, that’s not how it works.’ And I thought, I can’t be having this conversation,” Jensen said.
Also March 29, 2020, notorious columnist and author Ann Coulter Tweeted a Yahoo Finance Article “Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Is an ‘Almost Meaningless’ Metric.”
“It doesn’t matter that the United States surpassed China this week in reported Covid-19 cases because those numbers (83,507 and 81,782 respectively as of March 26) don’t tell us how many people actually became infected in either country. Nor do they tell us how fast the disease is spreading, since only a tiny portion of the population in the United States has been tested.
“The numbers are almost meaningless,” says Steve Goodman, a professor of epidemiology at Stanford University. There’s a huge reservoir of people who have mild cases, and would not likely seek testing, he says. The rate of increase in positive results reflects a mixed-up combination of increased testing rates and spread of the virus.”
Also March 29, 2020, multiple outlets attempted to identify Wei Guixian as the mysterious patient zero, who first contracted the virus on December 10, 2019.
Giuxian, however, may not be the first confirmed case of the virus, even if she is indeed Patient Zero.
March 13, 2020, South China Morning Post reported:
“The first case of someone in China suffering from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, can be traced back to November 17, according to government data seen by the South China Morning Post . . . According to the government data seen by the Post, a 55-year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17.”
The South China Morning Post is not alone these claims. Reuters reports that Italian scientists are also exploring the possibility that Covid-19 could have spread from China to Italy as early as October 2019:
“MILAN (Reuters) – Italian researchers are looking at whether a higher than usual number of cases of severe pneumonia and flu in Lombardy in the last quarter of 2019 may be a signal that the new coronavirus might have spread beyond China earlier than previously thought.”
And finally, while Italian scientists and Chinese authorities and world media outlets have been hunting down “patient zero,” West Virginia’s Governor was publicly embarrassed by a misreported confirmation of the first death in his state. Sundale Rehabilitation and Long Term Care made the following statement:
“Last night Sundale Long Term Care home reported that a resident from our facility died. We have since learned that this individual did not pass away, as we originally believed. The individual has COVID-19 and is currently hospitalized in critical condition at a local hospital.
We sincerely apologize for the confusion and the erroneous reporting that was relayed to the local health department, Monongalia County Health Department, and ultimately to the state Department of Health and Human Resources, which reported the death in an official capacity.”
This wasn’t the first time officials had engaged in misreporting. Los Angeles County Health Department walked back claims of having the first death of a teenager from Covid-19 after it came to light that there may be other causes of death. This, of course, did not come to light till after Governor Gavin Newsom likewise reported it and the world news media had publicized.
Journalistic mistakes and public embarrassment in manufacturing the image of a crisis, without end, or solution, may have caused news outlets to be more precise. CNN reported two high profile deaths but was more careful with their descriptions. The deaths of Country music star Joe Diffie and Jefferies Group LLC, Peregrine Broadbent were both described as “coronavirus complications.”
The Los Angeles Times ran its own article titled “Celebrities who died from coronavirus and Covid-19 complications” differentiating in public awareness between actual Covid-19 death and a patient who had other health conditions that Covid-19 complicated.
Researchers in Italy have stated that so far 99% of victims had suffered from preexisting medical conditions and that the median age of those dying was among people near the end of their life expectancy.
The latest disaster for the mirage came March 30, 2020, when CBS was forced to admit to plagiarizing footage from Italian hospitals that it included without disclaimer in their reporting on New York City Covid-19 hospital situation.
THE LIBERTARIAN REACTION
Ten days earlier, however, it was the leaders of the Libertarian Movement that first warned Totalitarian Reaction would not solve the situation but worsen the Covid-19 situation.
Former Congressman, Dr. Ron Paul, MD who was the 1988 Libertarian Nominee for President and a Republican candidate for the nomination in 2008 and 2012, sounded the first call in his column “The Coronavirus Hoax” published March 16, 2020. Paul warned not only about the dangers to liberty but also health:
“If anything, what people like Fauci and the other fear-mongers are demanding will likely make the disease worse. The martial law they dream about will leave people hunkered down inside their homes instead of going outdoors or to the beach where the sunshine and fresh air would help boost immunity. The panic produced by these fearmongers is likely helping spread the disease, as massive crowds rush into Walmart and Costco for that last roll of toilet paper.”
Reason Magazine an American monthly Libertarian Magazine published in Los Angeles quickly followed, publishing on March 17, 2020, “Stop It With the Coronavirus Curfews Already”:
“1) Shutting most everything down creates real shortages, not just the no-toilet-paper-at-Whole-Foods kind. The more people and industries you order locked down, the more supply chains get broken, the more stores shutter, the fewer goods are available. We all still need stuff, even if we’re sitting indoors all day. And in cramped, big cities like New York, where living space is at a premium, there is frequently neither storage space nor predilection for stocking up on weeks’ worth of food at a time.
2) Compressing the commercial day will mean more people shopping together in close quarters. The smart play until now among germaphobes has been hitting up the local Rite Aid in the wee small hours. Mayors, county executives, and governors are increasingly foreclosing that option.”
Per Bylund of The Mises Institute pointed out the dangers of centralized authorities in responding to a crisis on March 13, 2020.
“Neither are the bits and pieces of local information are put together and condensed properly. Nobody in such hierarchies has an incentive to do “the right thing,” especially for common people. The incentive is to watch their own backs. As in all bureaucracies, especially political ones, the number one priority is to avoid getting caught with responsibility for something that turns out bad. Keep your head down and follow the rules; make sure the higher-ups are satisfied, on whatever ground, and keep your subjects in check. If you don’t play it safe, you’ll be sacrificed at the stake if something goes wrong.
Those calling for swift action and pointing to China’s quarantining multimillion-people cities as a “success recipe” to stop the contagion must believe either that the hierarchy properly transmits the right information and filters out irrelevant data (which is simply impossible) or that information does not matter (the horrific “we must do something” view, which will be deadlier than the virus).”
Finally, The Libertarian Party itself issued a statement March 3, 2020, condemning and warning that Statist regulations including the CDC were preventing action from being taken:
“Across the United States, COVID-19 testing supplies are being rationed, resulting in patients being refused testing or experiencing long delays for test results. The result is that we have a diminished understanding of the extent and characteristics of the current pandemic, an impaired ability to slow the spread of the disease with contact tracing, and delayed diagnosis of the disease.
Because the CDC declared coronavirus to be a public health emergency, regulations were triggered that prevented hospitals and private lab companies from developing their own tests. Then, the CDC botched the rollout of the test that they developed, leaving doctors unable to properly diagnose and treat their patients.
“As a practicing hospitalist, I’m furious that my ability to test patients for this disease is curtailed due to CDC-imposed red tape,” said Dr. Kyle Varner, a physician from the state of Washington. “The result is that patients are waiting for extended periods of time for their testing results and experiencing isolation and discomfort, while doctors can only guess at the true extent of the pandemic in their communities.”
While normally Third-Party Statements carry little weight, in this era of new politics, the Libertarian Party currently commands 511,277 members nationwide, State Party affiliates in every state, 168 officeholders nation-wide and 4,489,233 votes in the 2016 Presidential election (or 3.29%) which threw the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, despite Donald Trump winning the election. It is entirely possible that frustration with both Republican and Democrat Party may see an unprecedented turn-out and election of Libertarians in Local, State and Federal races.
Libertarians have always struggled to prove themselves relevant in mainstream American politics and for good reason. Even with the insights, they have made regarding the current situation, Libertarians still resort to their narrow-minded and unthinking party-line, including embracing price gouging as a means of preventing shortages and panic buying. Actually “the free hand of the market” would have been wiser in not killing the goose that laid the golden egg, by implementing their own marketplace restrictions. Businesses that allowed panic buying to make short term profits over long term consumer relationships quickly discovered customer trust dissolving like smoke. When images hit social media and news outlets, especially of weeping elderly customers and health care workers unable to obtain food, the marketplace quickly started implementing senior hours, restricting the number of packages of toilet paper you could buy, etc . . . trying to earn back community trust. The best Libertarians could offer was their defense of price gouging as market self-regulation.
Still, the Libertarian Reaction raised both valid criticisms of the current acceptability of Totalitarian reaction in American Society. American voters need only look at how the current officials claiming sweeping power behaved in the past as an indicator of how successful these men will be in confronting Covid-19, or any crisis.
Last year Los Angeles attorney Elizabeth Greenwood filed a $5 million suit against the city after she contracted typhus due to city negligence. She wasn’t alone, multiple LAPD officers and their spouses contracted typhoid fever, again from city negligence.
May 30, 2019, US News and World Report published “Union: LA Officer Gets Typhoid Fever, 5 Others Show Symptoms”
“LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles police detective has been diagnosed with typhoid fever, a rare illness typically spread through contaminated food or water, and at least five other officers who work in the same station are showing symptoms, union officials said Thursday.”
KTLA5 further reported that the situation had been due to negligence by the Mayor and City Government who had pre-existing knowledge of the situation:
“A recently uncovered report to City Council warned that people experiencing homelessness and “poor sanitary conditions” were contributing to a rat infestation at Garcetti’s workplace, L.A. City Hall, the Los Angeles Times reported.
And two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Police Department was fined by state regulators for filthy conditions and rats at a downtown L.A. station where a detective contracted typhoid fever.”
NBC LA reported March 3, 2020:
“The encampments of the homeless population within the Central Division are unsanitary … rat-infested and flea-infested,” the suit says. “There are no toilets or bathing facilities and the homeless population routinely use city property to relieve themselves.”
The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, which protects California workers from health and safety hazards on the job, has deemed the Central Community Police Station to be unsafe for many of the same unsanitary reasons and ordered the city to abate the conditions, according to the suit. However, the city has failed to take the actions ordered by Cal/OSHA, the suit alleges.”
June 18, 2019, A group of over 7,000 Los Angeleno’s announced their intention to remove Garrett from office over his handling of the homeless crisis, describing it as:
“This city has become a death camp for the homeless.”
As late as February 19, 2020, NBC New York was horrified to report “Homeless People Are Without Toilets and Going in LA’s Streets. Mayor Garrett Acknowledges It’s a Crisis.”
The year before that on May 25, 2018, Capital and Main reported “Living Homeless in California: Public Bathrooms and Other Mirages”:
“A 2017 audit found that in Los Angeles, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., there were only nine public toilets available for Skid Row’s estimated 1,777 unsheltered homeless people.”
Typhus and Typhoid Fever are not the only diseases Los Angeles was battling before Covid-19, Hepatitis was another one and Los Angeles was the sixth-worst city in the nation for bed bug infestation. If Covid-19 is a reminder of Eric Garcetti and Gavin Newsom’s years of failed governance.
It’s also a reminder that those who don’t learn their history are doomed to repeat it.
In 1918, Lenin declared a policy of War Communism in the name of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat to “liberate” Russia’s populace, only to produce the Russian Famine of 1921-1922, killing 5 million people. Mao Zedong upped this disaster when he declared his Great Leap Forward plan to turn China from an agrarian economy into a communist one. Directed from the comfort of his Beijing palace, enforced by both his centralized state and “patriotic” Chinese citizens spying on each other, Mao created the largest famine documented in human history, with the Great Chinese Famine killing between 18 and 45 million people. The Totalitarian Reaction has always come with a much higher price that has been involuntarily paid by others with their lives in the name of the public good.
Command Economies, Authoritarian Dictatorship and failed safety nets operated by men with a documented history of apathy to actual diseases and disregard for the welfare of their fellow man is a recipe for disaster. Pandemic “experts” that claim simultaneously Covid-19 will cost a minimum of 100,000 – 200,000 lives while lobbying against quarantining the epicenter with 56% of the infections are not credible. News agencies that manipulate their presentation to drive clicks and ratings through panic are not News Agencies – their horror fiction writers. Governors and Mayor’s that assume sweeping powers in the name of confronting a crisis but have tolerated typhoid fever and the transformation of their metropolis into homeless death camps should be questioned and challenged on their fitness to continue serving in office. People that claim to be fellow Americans or servants of the American Public should act like it.
Finally, Liberty is not an inconvenience to “taking action” or “getting things done,” it is a restraint on the irrational, insane and often wicked nature of men. Liberty is the means that free men of sound mind and ethical character are able to produce solutions to their problems, without being censored according to the agendas of others bent on obtaining power. History has demonstrated that thousands of years of autocracy and all-powerful governments failed to produce effective solutions for disease and plague. Indeed it has only been since the development of a free society that we have seen leaps and bounds in medical advancement and progress. The Totalitarian Reaction has never produced anything except slavery and death.
As John Milton noted in Paradise Lost “Long is the way and hard, that out of Hell leads up to light.” And as learned experience has demonstrated such a feat can only be accomplished by free men.