Via Economic Policy Journal

At the post, Why is President Trump Bailing Out His Dishonest, Power Freak, Democratic Rivals?, The Lab Manager asks:

So what would you have him do RW? If he did nothing and people died, he would be criticized. He did some things like restrict travel in late January while being called a racist. Libertardians would have the left the borders open I would guess.

RW response:

There is a lot of confusion in this question.

First, it assumes that travel restrictions and a quarantine, somehow work. It is not clear how they “work.”

Readers will recall that the first claim of policymakers was that the goal was to “flatten the curve,” that is to stretch out the time period over which people would be infected by COVID-19, to ensure that hospitals would not be overrun.

One problem with this thinking, among many, is that  it ignores how free markets adapt to changes in demand. It is absolutely absurd to think the number of hospital beds is static. This is shallow central planner type thinking.

The only thing Trump should have done is remove regulations that make it difficult for hospitals to adapt to changes in situations.

This would have eliminated the need for “flattening of the curve.”

The only thing this attempt did is slow the spread of the virus over a longer period.

The world-renowned epidemiologist Dr. Knut Wittkowski points out that viruses of the COVID-19 variety tend to have an intense period of only two weeks, then the peak and two weeks on the downside from peak.

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All the “flattening of the curve” lockdown has done is extend the period over which the virus continues to infect. And since somehow, the goal of the “flattening of the curve” has shifted from the weakly thought out desire to provide hospitals with time to deal with a rush of patients to the elimination of infections, the lockdowns continue with the bizarre notion that somehow, before we have a safe vaccine, the virus can be prevented from infecting people if we only keep people in a state of semi-lockdown.

Lab Manager also says that if Trump didn’t do anything people would die, but Trump and government power freaks throughout the nation have done much and people have died and continue to die. It is clear that with over 35% of the deaths occurring in nursing homes and similar facilities, government authorities failed, if we are talking about government doing anything, in terms of securing such facilities rather than using the lockdown sledgehammer which was used by such power freaks as Lori Lightfoot, Gretchen Whitmer, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Eric Garcetti, London Breed and Libby Schaaf. And this speaks not at all about those psychologically frail who have taken their own lives because of the lockdown.

History will record the lockdown government officials as shallow thinking policymakers who ended up being destroyers of economies and killers of people.

As limited removal of restrictions does occur, the number of infected may increase but this is only because of the earlier more aggressive lockdown period which prevented what would have been a much shorter period of infection. Deaths as a percentage of infected will be lower, but no thanks to government officials, but because we learned early on that the infection was a virus that killed mostly the elderly and so once this was understood, those that are elderly and take care of the elderly took precautions. This is basic, the idea that deaths would occur at the same level as the early days of the infection is more shallow thinking.

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As for the borders question and COVID-19, once the virus hit the United States, which was probably in January if not earlier, closing the borders made no sense. The Lab Manager with that statement simply indicates he fails to understand the compounding nature of COVID-19. Once it is in the country, it will spread. If anything, infected foreigners would do nothing but help spread the virus much more quickly so that herd immunity would have been reached much sooner and saved the lives of many elderly.

In short, The Lab Manager’s central planning, anti-foreigner thinking, is as shallow as any random person you could pick out of the masses. It is advocacy for a policy that would prolong the devastating impact on the economy and result in many more deaths. It is a policy prescription for killing. He should run for office in California.

RW