American Elephants


Staying At Home And Looking for Some Sunshine by The Elephant's Child

Our “stay at home” order here in Washington State has been extended to May 4.  We have increased the number of tests (2,656) since yesterday by +175. There have been 11 more deaths since yesterday.

The Boston Globe Editorial Board Claims that Trump Has “Blood on His Hands.” They relied on a combination of Left-wing talking points and Chinese propaganda in the Boston Globe, as Matt Margolis reported  at PJ Media. The Globe claimed that the number of confirmed cases surpassed that of any other nation, without mentioning that the United States is a larger country with a larger population.

The number of known deaths from the virus, so far the only reliable data, says that a fatality rate of 7 – 8 is one of the lowest in the world among larger nations.

It’s pretty clear that China is not accurately reporting the number of cases, nor the number of deaths, according to the U.S. intelligence community. The number of urns being delivered to Chinese funeral homes is far, far larger than the number of deaths reported. Communist governments are disinclined to report statistics that do not reflect favorably on the government, so we just don’t know how many deaths they have had, nor the extent of their testing, nor much of anything else.

Democrats are disinclined to report anything favorable to the Trump administration, but really! On CNN on Sunday, Pelosi charged that President Trump’s management of the coronavirus pandemic is costing American lives, and talking up an eventual congressional probe.

You surely will not be surprised to learn that Adam Shiff is eager to turn his Intelligence Committee to investigating President Trump’s response to the coronavirus. Of course he will.

And Nancy Pelosi compared Trump to Nero, the corrupt first century emperor who allowed Rome to burn – if he didn’t actually instigate the fire – then blamed Christians: “As the president fiddles, people are dying,” she charged.

So, shortly after orchestrating a failed, entirely partisan attempt to remove this president from office, Washington’s highest-ranking Democrat is once again speaking the language of impeachment. Except for dyed-in-the-wool grassroots party loyalists and, to their left, full-on Trump haters, this is sure to be received as the crassest brand of political opportunism.

Nice going, Nancy. While you are playing partisan politics, a lot of Americans are dying, or huddled down at home, fearful of running out of food. People are noticing. The New York Post plaintively asked in a headline “Does Nancy Pelosi know about the coronavirus outbreak?” and added “someone ought to tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…because her laser focus on pushing her political agenda suggests she’s unaware of it. The latest evidence: She wants to “retroactively” roll back Congress’ 2017 cap on tax deductions for state and local taxes (SALT), the New York Times reports. ”

She claims lifting the cap would address the economic fallout of COVID-19. She wants her “fix” to be part of Congress’ next rescue plan.

But her idea has nothing to do with boosting the economy and everything to do with helping Dems in blue states, like California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. More than half the benefits of a repeal would go to folks making more than $1 million. Don’t Dems oppose tax breaks for the rich?

No, here’s Pelosi’s real problem: Heavily liberal states, with Democratic leaders, generally impose the highest local levies. The SALT deduction let high-income taxpayers recoup part of those high costs by paying less federal tax.

President Trump is doing a remarkable job in the face of all the unknowns and unknowables. A cruise ship stuck off the coast of Florida for 12 days with a number of critically ill Coronavirus patients with no ports willing to let it dock, has pulled into Fort Lauderdale to the cheers of port workers. Four people had died onboard as the ship had been turned away from 11 countries. President Trump indicated in his press conference that the Canadian and British people on board would be evacuated to their home countries immediately, and that we really had to help the people on board. A little intervention got things moving.

Doctors at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center say they have developed a vaccine against developing COVID-19 and they want federal permission for human trials. They based the vaccine on work previously done at UPMC that  sought to create vaccines against SARS and MERS, which they said are similar to the new coronavirus. They also say the vaccine is easily deliverable in large quantities.

Some bright rays of sunshine in a long dreary spell of rain.



And About the American Media: by The Elephant's Child

President Donald Trump calls on a reporter during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House.

from Michael Goodwin at the New York Post:

The coronavirus epidemic is shaking humanity and turning the world upside down. Quick, somebody alert the media.

The Washington press corps is covering one of the largest, continuing stories in recent history the same way it has covered the Trump administration since Day One.

The formula is simple: Whatever the president does is not just wrong, it’s borderline evil. Details at 11.

In the real world, events are unfolding at a pace and scale impossible to comprehend. But at too many news outlets, the aim is not to inform. It’s to render the harshest possible judgment on the man journalists love to hate.

Hollywood celebrities used to have to hire press agents to get their names and faces in the news (for after all, that is how they become and remain “celebrities.)” Now they just have to say something nasty about the president publicly, or to a reporter.  Interesting to see how many “journalists” have become simply press agents for the Hollywood people that nobody wants to hear from anyway.

Americans are stepping up and doing what they can to help, whether it’s giving blood, sewing masks, turning their skills to producing what is needed, or just helping out their neighbors. Pity about the press.

ADDENDUM: Matt Margolis has an excellent column at PJMedia entitled “The Top 10 Lies About President Trump’s Response to the Coronavirus” Extremely useful in the current media climate.



The Elephant’s Guidelines for Today! by The Elephant's Child

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Looking at the news, listening to the radio. We are sequestered at home, avoiding going out in King County, Washington, ground zero for COVID-19. Confirmed cases have increased to 793 — 131 new cases today. That suggests that more testing  of those who have flu symptoms is catching more people in the early stages. This is a good thing. If you have no symptoms, you probably won’t get tested yet. You have been told over and over what precautions you should take. Do it.

There are people broadcasting who are anxiously demanding that “We need answers.” Well, there aren’t any. At this late date, pharmacists are still warning people to get their flu shots. Do you know how many people died from the flu this year? I don’t either, but it is apparently a significant number. We haven’t ever experienced anything like the current virus. It is related to previous corona viruses, which is why this is called COVID-19. There were, I assume, a previous 18. There are shortages of masks, gloves, ventilators, and whatever supplies the hospital staffs require. Companies are gearing up to produce larger quantities.  Some auto companies are reported to be gearing up to produce ventilators. Americans and American industry try to respond to the nation’s needs.

There is apparently plenty of toilet paper, and the stores are getting stocked up again, but there are complications. Truckers are finding closed rest stops, closed restaurants. Someone here had their car broken into to steal the toilet paper left in the back seat. Toilet paper companies are hard at work producing more.

President Trump has been aware that bad regulations can cause bigger problems, and is trying to lift those regulations that are not helpful in the current environment. Governors are not experts in contagious viruses and what is needed. A lot of businesses are being put out of business—dine in restaurants are hard hit. Those suddenly unemployed will find other industries hiring. Amazon is hiring large numbers, and there is a clear need for more delivery services for those sequestered at home, but needing food and medicine.

So if you are confined to your home, what do you do? Read those unread books on the shelf, learn a new language online. Do all those little jobs around the house that you have been putting off.  Do some research online and learn a new skill. It’s amazing what you can learn online if you try. Start writing that family history, or start researching it. Where did you come from and when, and what do you know about your family?

CNN staffers have admitted that their obsessive Anti-Trump coverage will not stop until Trump dies. Do read that link! Revealing! Just what we thought.

Hot Air reports that Red and Blue America aren’t experiencing the same pandemic. Democrats are expressing more concerns.  States with Republican governors have been slower or less likely to impose restrictions on their residents. So far, the greater clusters of the disease, and the most aggressive responses to it have been centered in a few large, Democrat-leaning metropolitan areas, including Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Boston.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated flatly that if China was more transparent, we could have contained the corona virus in China. It is common to communist countries that they are always frightened of overthrow, or allowing their subjects to doubt. Had they notified the world that they had a problem when they discovered they had a problem, they could have gotten help and the virus might have been contained in China. Instead, Italy, Iran, Spain and other countries are fighting off the disease. Iran  A lot of death could have been avoided.

Seattle is showing some signs of slowing down, but it is too early to be sure. Other Good News: The tax deadline has been extended to July 15.



COVID-19 Update by The Elephant's Child


Yes, the Corona virus is scary. Here in Washington state, we learn that we are the leader in the center of the virus in the U.S.  Governor Inslee has closed the schools starting Tuesday, for at least a month. Nationally, the media is still trying to blame it all on President Trump — who is handling the outbreak very, very well indeed. When that becomes fairly clear ( He declared a national emergency today, which frees up more government money and more government action) the media turn their attention to his calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” or the Chinese virus” as “racist” and “xenophobic”, ignoring the obvious point that it arose in Wuhan, China, and was spread from there.

Now there is constant talk about the “shortage” of testing kits, as the president is arranging for “drive by” testing at cooperative popular retailers who have drive by windows. Mostly left out of the conversation is the fact that you shouldn’t request a test unless you have some symptoms. If you seem perfectly healthy, you probably are. Stay home, wash your hands a lot, wipe down packages that are delivered with antiseptic, and try not to hoard and unnecessarily stock up as if for the duration of a war.

Here are some articles that you may find useful. The first is from Heather Mac Donald, who does correct math, and researches facts carefully. The second is from John Hinderaker on “The Politics of Coronavirus.” The third from Paul Mirengoff also from Powerline about “The Coronavirus in Iran.” Here’s David Harsanyi from National Review on “COVID-19:Scary Enough without the Scaremongering.” And from City Journal, Clark Whelton recalls the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic.  I was around then, but have no memory of that one. Obviously I didn’t get it or I would remember. All good articles, and good common sense as opposed to all the Media hype and hysteria. The American media has a lot to answer for these days. They are partisan and forgetting, shamefully, what journalism is all about, or what it is supposed to be.

King County WA cases: up slightly from Wednesday: 328 confirmed cases, 30 deaths. Washington state has 568 cases,most in adjacent counties.

Italy has had 1,266 deaths, and we are reminded that the population of Italy is the oldest in Europe. They are not even treating the oldest people, but saving resources for the younger. France has 3,661 cases and 70 deaths, Spain  4,209 cases and 120 dead. The UK has only 798 cases. Helps to be an Island.



The WHO Has Now Designated it as a Pandemic by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are beside themselves. Here is this dreadful virus arriving in the country and they want to blame President Trump for it, but so far it just isn’t working. They tried claiming that to blame the virus on China or to call it the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus” was “racist”, but that was absurd.

The virus clearly emerged in China’s Wuhan province, apparently connected to a Chinese fondness for eating bats. (different strokes for different folks as they say), but the Chinese connection and Wuhan are just simple facts. Now they are trying to effectively strip President Trump of his authority to impose the travel bans that protect American citizens.  At least the Democrats are making clear just what their goals and interests really are.

The “No Ban Act,” introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 219 House Democrats, would have prevented Trump from immediately implementing a travel ban on China once the outbreak of the coronavirus spread past its origins of Wuhan. That sounds helpful.

Instead, the No Ban Act would have allowed travelers from Wuhan to continue to arrive in the U.S. while the president received guidance from Congress.

“This bill imposes limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions,” a summary of the legislation reads.

The legislation would mandate Trump “only issue a restriction when required to address a compelling government interest,” though that interest is not defined. Before imposing a travel ban, Trump would have to “consult with Congress,” the legislation dictates.

Oh please. Trump has expanded a travel ban on some legal immigration from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyztan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. It is not a permanent ban, but until the virus pandemic passes, we would not like it extended to America more than it already has been.

The number of coronavirus cases has hit 1,107 nationwide including 32 deaths, so Democrats want to end America’s ability to restrict travel?  Bernie Sanders (I-VT) explicitly said this week that he would not close American borders to protect Americans from the pandemic. Would you put Bernie in charge of protecting the country? Or Biden for that matter? Trump is doing a very good job with it, according to the scientists most familiar with pandemics.

Doctors say he has saved a lot of people from getting sick with his prompt border closings, refusing to let cruise ships disembark their passengers until they can be tested, and getting help from manufacturers and businessmen in getting needed supplies to the spots where they are needed on time.

The Coronavirus has hit Italy hard. There are 7,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll is rising. The majority were in the south of the Lombardy region, but it is spreading. Public schools and offices have been closed in the affected regions.

Health systems and state governments are working in a much more coordinated effort. The handling of infected patients is getting incredibly better. Vaccine production is being analyzed, and labs are making breakthroughs.

Too much of the medical supply chain has relied on China, and President Trump has signed an executive order to end the reliance on foreign-made medical supplies.  We will diversify our supply chain in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

It is a nasty disease, and we are taking every step we can to keep our people safe.



A Perpetual Motion Machine called Innovation by The Elephant's Child

British columnist Matt Ridley is always worth reading, but yesterday’s column was special.  He wrote:

When you think about it, what has happened to human society in the last 300 years is pretty weird. After trundling along with horses and sailboats, slaves and swords, for millennia, we suddenly got steam engines and search engines, and planes and cars and electricity and computers and social media and DNA sequences. We gave ourselves a perpetual motion machine called innovation. The more we innovated, the more innovation became possible.

It’s by far the biggest story of the last three centuries—the main cause of the decline of extreme poverty to unprecedented levels—yet we know curiously little about why it happened, let alone when and where and how it can be made to continue. It certainly did not start as a result of deliberate policy. Even today, beyond throwing money at scientists in the hope they might start businesses, and subsidies at businesses in the hope they might deliver products, we don’t have much of an idea how to encourage innovation at the political level.

What’s more, free-market economists have been in a special muddle about innovation for a long time. The economics profession spent a couple of centuries assuming that markets tend towards equilibria, through the invisible hand. Hence John Stuart Mill and John Maynard Keynes and pretty well everybody else in between assumed that we would see diminishing returns come to dominate human endeavour. But instead we experienced increasing returns, accelerating invention. As the author David Warsh put it in his book Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations (2006) some years ago, economists obsessed about Adam Smith’s invisible hand but forgot about his pin factory, where specialisation led to innovation.

One of my favorite histories is by John Steele Gordon, who deals with just that: the “Epic History of American Economic Power” in An Empire of Wealth. It’s a great read, and I recommend it enthusiastically. We are seeing all sorts of articles about the horrors of Socialism in the wake of Bernie Sanders, but this one deals with the other part: why Capitalism works and that a state that advances and encourages innovation is a result of a free people and an open society.

How some people can fail to understand those simple facts is apparently due to the failure of our schools and our colleges and universities. Many of our states do not require basic civics and history for graduation, a situation that drastically needs attention. Our colleges and universities are staffed to a significant extent with those who went for graduate degrees as a way to escape the draft for the Vietnamese War. You can hear that echo in banned or protested speakers on campus, and campus demonstrations.



Coronavirus: What You Need to Know And Where to Find It by The Elephant's Child

Of course we should have expected it, but it’s hard to attribute such lowlife characteristics to your fellow Americans. Democrats are now blaming President Trump for failing to prepare enough or even adequately for the advent of the Coronavirus. Trump Derangement Syndrome knows no limits. Nancy Pelosi is leading the charge. Seeking political advantage out of any occurrence in the world just comes naturally, I guess. The president’s quick action to prevent travelers coming from China, closing the border made a good start. People at real risk have been quarantined.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday, January 20, 2020 in order to support public health partners in responding to the outbreak caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China.

Here is the website for the CDC with what you should know: How it spreads, the symptoms, prevention, and treatment, testing and constant situation updates. There is information for communities, schools and businesses, healthcare professionals, health departments and travelers. Go to the most authoritative source for correct information, read it all twice, and refer back often for updates.




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