David Krouse submits pieces to The Iowa Standard from where lives — Los Angeles, California. It is important for readers to understand he has a different perspective of this pandemic than what we have here in Iowa. To start, here is a note David wrote for readers. Following the note is his article:
I feel it is important that Americans in Iowa have an understanding between the difference in approach from their Governor and California Officials.
We still have food, toilet paper and sanitizer shortages in stores here and it has now been three and a half weeks since they first started.
The EDD Unemployment claims are backed up and many still haven’t been paid. Landlords are circulating ugly demand letters to tenants, some even demanding tenants turn over 100% of their stimulus checks.
One of my places of employment terminated myself and eighty employees who had been unpaid furlough since March 16, via email on April 1, citing payroll problems. In applying to multiple essential businesses for even a temporary job, I have been unable to secure even an interview. When I spoke to one store on the phone they told me they had received hundreds of applications in a few hours.
The last time I saw this level of an economic crisis in job-seeking was 2009.
At this moment there is no word about when Los Angeles or California will re-open. The more I read the news, the more concerned I am about the men who are in office in California, especially our own Mayor Eric Garcetti whose multiple statements and even discussion of his own mental health are alarming.
Seeing Governor Kim Reynolds push-back and calm statements in the news gave me some confidence that there are still capable elected officials in office.
I am more optimistic about the future as one of the benefits of all this appears to be less pollution, re-prioritization in personal life, detox from the hurried lifestyles in the world. In some ways, it appears that we are seeing a global reset and will come out better on the other side.
It’s raining here at the moment (a rare occurrence in Los Angeles) and is supposed to rain for the next four days. While this is the time of the year that it rains, it has been pouring for most of three weeks. On the other hand, it also may help with people that are stir crazy here having a psychological justification for people to stay-in.
So as not to leave your Iowa (and other) readers on a negative note, I also encourage them to watch this televised address from Queen Elizabeth II. At this time in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been hospitalized with COVID-19 and her son and heir Charles, has also been diagnosed with it. Elizabeth II is the last surviving head of state and world leader who is a WWII veteran.
I think her words of reassurance are welcome world-wide.
Governor Kim Reynolds’ u-turn on shuttering Iowa enforced by police, after pressure from the Iowa Board of Medicine, while falling short of a full Stay-At-Home Directive is disappointing. Reynolds’s initial announcement that she will not issue a Stay-At-Home Order amid the COVID-19 panic that has swept the nation took some aback, but she was absolutely right in both her logic and actions. There are multiple considerations, including mental health concerns, that must be factored into any response and it is not appropriate for un-elected bureaucrats in Washington DC to issue sweeping proclamations, edicts and denunciations against elected public servants. Iowans should be reassured by their Governor’s decline to make a power grab and contrast it with the recent and alarming behavior of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Last year Garcetti was the focus of a recall movement in Los Angeles over the ever-growing homeless-crisis, including the outbreak of typhus and typhoid fever from rats infested City Hall. That was only the beginning; the Los Angeles City Government was served with multiple search warrants by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including arrests of council-members, the city attorneys and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for bribery, extortion, corruption . . .
Then there was the 2019 report that during the deadly 2018 Woolsey Fire:
“a significant number of requests by political figures to check on specific addresses of homes to ensure their protection distracted from Department leadership to accomplish priority objectives.”
More expansive reporting on the misuse, among other things, of $1.2 billion dollar bond approved by the voters in 2016 was listed at the movement’s website https://www.recallthelamayor.com/the-problem.html. The movement, however, failed to obtain the necessary signatures to force a recall election and Eric Garcetti remained in office.
This year in a few short weeks, Garcetti’s response to COVID-19 has put his real character on public display as a ruthless, power-grabbing aspiring dictator. Americans that think this is hyperbole need should review his public comments so far;
March 30, 2020, KCRW:
“KCRW: Is there evidence that LA’s “Safer at Home” policy is working? We’re embarking on our second week.
Garcetti: “We have the data from people’s cell phone movements that show that people are staying in place. … We send folks to make sure that we can tighten the screws even a little bit more, close down the beaches and the trails this weekend.”
April 4, 2020, Associated Press:
“The mayor’s office said more than two dozen businesses have been referred to the city attorney for possible prosecution.
“We will find you, we will come after you,” Garcetti said.
March 24, 2020, KTLA:
“He said the Department of Water and Power will shut off services for the businesses that don’t comply with the “safer at home” ordinance.
Neighborhood prosecutors will implement safety measures and will contact the businesses before issuing further action, according to Garcetti.
“The easiest way to avoid a visit is to follow the rules,” he said.”
April 2, 2020, LAist.com:
“With Los Angeles and the nation in economic crisis and our streets eerily empty, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new measures tonight:
- To slow drivers tempted to speed, traffic signals will be set to a “late-night schedule,” meaning red lights will cycle through more frequently.”
March 31, 2020, The Palisades News:
“Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is suspending farmers’ markets in Los Angeles due to overcrowding concerns as COVID-19 cases in the county continue to rise.
“We have seen images of dangerously crowded farmers markets –– so I’m announcing the temporary suspension of farmers markets pending City review of physical distancing plans needed to keep communities safe. We will review plans immediately so markets can stay open this week,” Garcetti wrote in a tweet Monday.”
April 4, 2020, Fox News:
“The mayor’s office said that city officials, with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, had visited more than 500 businesses that had not complied with his order. His office said four businesses have already been referred for misdemeanor filings.
“You know the old expression about snitches,” Garcetti said this week. “Well, in this case, snitches get rewards.”
He added: “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe,” he said.”
Garcetti’s clearly aware of his power over a population of four million. He also has demonstrated a willingness to use that power to try and bend them to his will in pursuit of his policy objectives. Even more troubling were comments Garcetti made indicating his policymaking matches his own mental health – Fatalistic and Egotistical.
April 3, 2020 CBS Local Reported:
“LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday said that handling the coronavirus pandemic has been the most intense experience of his career.
“I’m strong, I’m steeled and I’m scared,” he said. “When people ask me how I’m feeling it’s all three. I’m scared for all of us for what’s ahead, but I feel very strong.”
He said he was making sure that he was getting enough sleep and that spending time with his wife and daughter at the beginning and end of each day improved his mental health.”
Governor Reynolds Refuses to Lockdown
By contrast, Governor Kim Reynolds’s first statement is far more reasoned and balanced. In her response to Dr. Fauci’s demands, Reynolds issued a far more thought out understanding of the situation than Garcetti seems capable of.
April 3, 2020, KTTC Reported Reynolds statements:
“If you did a side by side comparison about what we’re doing in Iowa and what other states are doing, they are much the same,” said Reynolds. “This has become a divisive issue at a time when we must be united in our response to this crisis.”
She also says forcing people to stay home could lead to other problems.
“Suicides and domestic abuse,” the governor cited. “There are a lot of downsides to it as well.”
“Take advantage of these nice days of spring. Get some exercise,” advises Reynolds. “Take care of yourself.”
From my perspective, Governor Reynolds sounded a lot calmer, cooler and collected. While there is doubtless pressures of office, Reynolds statements do not have the same fearful fatalistic ring that Garcetti and Dr. Fauci’s statements have. And Reynolds was correct. There is more health considerations than just COVID-19. There is a multitude of health and public safety considerations that Fauci, Garcetti and others have failed to even consider in their policymaking.
April 1, 2020, News Channel Five in Tennessee reported:
“Suicide concerns mount as COVID-19 affects mental health
Nine cases of suicide in Knox County in 48 hours”
April 3, 2020, ABC News reported:
“French women use code words at pharmacies to escape domestic violence during coronavirus lockdown
Domestic violence increased by “36% in one week” in Paris.”
April 3, 2020, ABC News in Fresno California further warned:
“Valley domestic abuse calls spiking during COVID-19 pandemic”
April 3, 2020, Reuters Magazine:
“Researchers warn the COVID-19 lockdown will take its own toll on health”
April 5, 2020, News Channel WGN in Chicago:
“Police: Will County man’s worries about COVID-19 prompts murder-suicide”
In the last week of March, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo begrudgingly admitted his lockdown may have actually spread infections further.
March 26, 2020, New York Post:
“I don’t even know that that was the best public health policy. Young people then quarantined with older people, [it] was probably not the best public health strategy,” he said. “The younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.”
While the economic impact has been discussed, the narrative has become money versus lives. In reality, poverty is a major cause of diseases. The mass death toll from the disease is not just the disease itself but environmental factors that impact each case. In 2018, The Huffington Post published “Why The World Ignores Diseases Of Poverty, Over 1 billion of the world’s poorest people have at least one of these illnesses.”
The article warned:
“More than 1 billion people worldwide are infected with diseases of poverty. These conditions disproportionately afflict the world’s poorest, either in the developing world, or in developed countries with extreme inequality.
Though well-known conditions such as HIV/AIDS and malaria are considered diseases of poverty, many of the other illnesses that primarily strike the world’s poorest are lesser-known and frequently misunderstood. The World Health Organization has designated about 20 of these conditions as “neglected tropical diseases.” This diverse array of conditions ― such as leprosy, dengue, Chagas, and elephantiasis, to name a few ― don’t attract the global media attention or funding that certain wide-ranging tropical diseases, such as malaria, have garnered in recent years.
Neglected diseases cost developing economies billions of dollars annually and lock sufferers into a cycle of poverty that is nearly impossible to escape.”
In other words, shuttered economies are some of the biggest transmitters of disease in the world. Fauci and others pushing their fallacy that we must choose between saving lives or making money are obscuring the obvious that making money saves lives.
While the 1918 Spanish Flu has been cited time and time again, few people have also brought up the extreme poverty that made people vulnerable to it and spread it. But Feb 6, 2018, the National Center for Biotechnology Information published online “1918 pandemic morbidity: The first wave hits the poor, the second wave hits the rich.” Among its findings were:
Socioeconomic status was negatively associated with ILI in the first wave but positively associated with the second wave. At all SES levels, men had the highest ILI in the summer, while women had the highest ILI in the fall. There were no SES or gender differences in ILI in the winter of 1919.
For the first time, it is documented a crossover in the role of socioeconomic status in 1918 pandemic morbidity. The poor came down with influenza first, while the rich with less exposure in the first wave had the highest morbidity in the second wave. The study suggests that the socioeconomically disadvantaged should be prioritized if vaccines are of limited availability in a future pandemic.”
The lockdowns related to COVID-19 have resulted in soaring unemployment rates breaking records.
On March 19, 2020, The Orange County Register reported:
“Coronavirus pushes California unemployment claims to 80,000 in a day” California Governor Gavin Newsom :
“We average about 2,000 unemployment insurance claims a day,” Newsom said. “Two days ago or three days, we saw about 40,000 applications. After that 70,000 applications. Yesterday, 80,000 unemployment applications.”
On April 2, 2020, Patch.com reported: “CA Unemployment Explodes; More Than 1M Claims Filed In 2 Weeks.
Numbers from the Labor Department indicate nearly 879,000 of those unemployment claims were filed in the week ending March 28 alone.”
Smash the Crystal Balls
The shuttering of the economies was the work of Dr. Fauci and Governors and Mayors in the U.S. Democrat Party eager to make a national name for themselves. They relied on crystal balls to predict the future rather than lived experience or a realistic approach. Unfortunately, they failed to hire an accredited psychic and polish before using it. It appears at the very least they should have used some Windex before issuing predictions.
March 25, 2020, Madeline Osborn at The Federalist published public policy piece:
“Inaccurate Virus Models Are Panicking Officials into Ill-Advised Lockdowns. How a handful of Democratic activists created alarming, but bogus data sets to scare local and state officials into making rash, economy-killing mandates.”
“An interactive map provides users a catastrophic forecast for each state, should they wait to implement COVID Act Now’s suggested strict measures to “flatten the curve.” But a closer look at how many of COVID Act Now’s predictions have already fallen short, and how they became a ubiquitous resource across the country overnight, suggests something more sinister. . .
Founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers and Democratic activists — Zachary Rosen, Max Henderson, and Igor Kofman — who are all also donors to various Democratic campaigns and political organizations since 2016.
They generated this model under the guise of protecting communities from overrun hospitals, a trend that is not on track to happen as they predicted. Not only is the data false, and looking more incorrect with each passing day, but the website is optimized for a disinformation campaign.
A social media share button prompts users to share their models and alarming graphs on Facebook and Twitter with the auto-fill text, “This is the point of no return for intervention to prevent X’s hospital system from being overloaded by Coronavirus.”
Around the same time, former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson began a Twitter stream of research showing inaccuracies failures, etc . . . with models and policy initiatives @AlexBerenson
I myself noticed discrepancies in reporting and actual figures and information.
On April 1, 2020, WoldoMeter reported over 5,110 Americans had died from COVID-19, a figure widely circulated through multiple news media outlets. However, on April 2, 2020, the Center for Disease Control reported only 4513 deaths, leaving a drastic discrepancy of 597 reported deaths.
This wasn’t the only discrepancies noticed.
There was the case of the Los Angeles County Teenager widely cited to have died from Coronavirus, only to have those claims retracted. The claim of the first death in West Virginia turned out to be premature when the supposed victim turned out to be still alive. The discrepancies between people’s behavior and actual appropriate behavior in a pandemic, after all dairy section was bought out but orange juice was still on the shelf in stores.
Dictatorships always rise to power in response to a perceived crisis and on the strength of supposed mystical knowledge and the ability to censor doubters. In the middle-east this mysticism is called “Islam” in the West it called “Science.” And in the COVID-19 situation it has already elevated mere public officials into aspiring dictators with public support. As former Democrat Nominee candidate Marianne Williamson commented at the Iowa State Fair during her campaign “The part of the brain that rationally analyzes an issue is not the part of the brain that decides who to vote for.”
Throughout the Twentieth Century, totalitarian dictatorships rose to power on again and again due to populations that didn’t think and brutal silencing of those that did.
In 1917 it was Soviet Russia on the theory of Marxism.
In 1922 it was Fascist Italy on the basis of Fascism.
In 1932 it was Nazi Germany on the theory of National Socialism.
In 1964 it was Maoist China on the faith in Chairman Mao.
In 1979 it was the Revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran and Theocracy.
These dictatorships didn’t just happen to come to power and their countries were not tranquil paradises overthrown by raw violence. They were nations racked with war, disease, poverty, hunger, shortages and mismanagement. But unlike other nations that developed or maintained democracy during the same crises — they were nations that above all placed blind trust in supposed saviors and promised both mass obedience and attacked anyone that chose not to participate.
Already we have seen both the exaggeration of COVID-19 by news media and public officials and the simultaneous attacks on those who decline to drink the cool-aid. Governor Reynolds is correct to take the stance she has already taken. Her actions will in a few months’ time be heralded as an example of what a Governor should be. They may even jettison her career as a public servant from Iowa to the 2024 Presidential election either as the Republican Nominee or a Running Mate.