By David Stockman
If you don’t think the fix is in, please take note of the big news of the morning. Namely, that the allegedly ultra-busy Dr. Fauci had time last evening to ping Sheryl Gay Stolberg, correspondent for the “failing New York Times”, in order to dump a VLCC size tanker- load of cold water on the urgent need to end Lockdown Nation, now.
In a nanosecond, of course, Stolberg was on Twitter and on-line with Fauci’s stern admonition to the restless natives of Flyover America to shut-up and stay put. That way the entire MSM had plenty of time to crank-up a feverish barrage of messaging during Fauci’s actual Senate appearance as to how Red State governors are jumping the gun and putting life and limp in danger throughout the country:
“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote in the email, which Stolberg posted on Twitter.
“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal,” wrote Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
For god’s sake, WAKE UP, Donald!
The mad doctor’s plot against you (and the American people) is being played out right in public by a camarilla of wanna be public health rulers and their compliant media megaphones, who presume to control all that moves and all that stands still in America.
But for crying out loud, where does this supercilious old geezer come up with “needless suffering and death” if American workers, students, shoppers and consumers are let out of house arrest?
Were not Friday’s catastrophic employment numbers a sufficient wake-up call?
The chart below shows 70 years of monthly change in total US employment. How damn stupid does someone have to be to not recognize that Lockdown Nation has caused the US economy to plunge into such unfathomably deep waters that they have never before even been imagined.
The deepest monthly drop we can find over seven decades is the 1.2 million job loss at the very darkest bottom of the Great Recession in January 2009. But what the Donald’s malpracticing doctors triggered last month was 19X deeper at 22. 4 million.
And they caused this to happen in the context of a wizened business cycle that is off-the- charts 130 months old, and barnacled with debt, malinvestment and speculative excess like never before.
For instance, the current $75 trillion of debt weighing down the US economy is up from an already crushing $52 trillion on the eve of the 2008 finical crisis, and now the butcher’s bill is coming due.
|Source: Guggenheim Investments, Haver Analytics. Data as of 12.31.2019.|
So what Fauci and the Virus Patrol have decided to stop dead in the water is a badly crippled, hand-to-mouth economy in which the overwhelming share of households and small businesses have no material rainy day funds, no cash reserves and no balance sheet resilience.
In medical terms, the US economy has virtually no antibodies to fight back. Infect it with a massive, sudden loss of incomes and cash flow and you are virtually inviting a pandemic of cancelled orders, ballooning payables, missed rents, credit delinquencies and soaring defaults that will surely ravage America’s body economic in the weeks and months ahead.
So, perforce, we must ask again, for what?
But at least at today’s Senate hearing, the one man in Washington who still has his head screwed on right, Senator Rand Paul, put it right in Fauci semi-quarantined face.
In a word, said the intrepid Senator from Kentucky, where’s the Bubonic Plague?
“The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction…
As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end all, I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision,” said Paul – who added that we need to “observe with an open eye what happened in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school.”
“The mortality per capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as Switzerland. But basically I don’t think there’s anybody arguing that what happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued by it, and we should be.”
“I don’t think any of us are certain when we do all these modelings – there have been more people wrong with modeling than right. We’re opening up a lot of economies around the US, and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying ‘oh, we can’t do this, there’s going to be a surge’ – will admit when there isn’t a surge.”
Yet with what mendacious malarkey did Fauci counter Senator Paul’s truth?
Why, with an absolute red herring about an ultra-rare childhood disease called Kawasaki Syndrome, which been around since 1968 and that has been mooted as potentially present in a handful of Covid cases in, well, New York (where else?).
For example, right now children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are not immune to the deleterious effects.
If your purpose is to scare the sh*t out of the the American public and spread hysteria like its Salem, MA circa 1692, you couldn’t have given Senator Paul a more loaded answer.
So here are the actual facts about Covid and kids from the CDC own inflated body counts.
To wit, there are 60.9 million children under 15 years in America, and unfortunately, during the period between February 1 and May 2, about 5,880 of them suffered an untimely death. Yet by the CDC’s own expansive definitions, only 13 of these deaths were WITH Covid-19.
That’s right. During the past three months of national Covid Hysteria, the deaths WITH Covid among children amounted to just 0.22% of all child mortalities, and, well, 0.00002% of the under 15-years population.
And if you want to be expansive and count all the school-age “kids” through 24 years in America, there are 103.9 million, which would otherwise make them the 15th largest nation on planet earth.
Yet there have been only 79 WITH Covid deaths through May 2nd, which, again, amounts to just 0.62% of all deaths under age 25 and 0.0001% of the total population.
Moreover, Dr. Fauci’s waving the Kawasaki Syndrome red flag is outrageously inexcusable because it is a well recognized and studied affliction, albeit exceedingly rare, among children 5 years and younger, which according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), presents almost exactly like flu or Covid-19 among adults:
In many affected children, the initial symptom associated with Kawasaki disease is a high fever that typically rises and falls (remittent fever) and lasts for approximately one to two weeks without treatment…I.n many cases, affected children may have additional symptoms and findings, such as irritability, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or joint inflammation (arthritis), pain, and swelling.
Although the exact cause of Kawasaki disease is not known, evidence indicates an infection or an inappropriate immune response to infection. However, despite much research in this area, a specific infectious cause has not been identified….
Kawasaki disease most frequently affects children five years of age or younger. In extremely rare cases, Kawasaki disease may occur during adolescence or adulthood. First reported in Japanese children in the 1960s, the disease is now recognized worldwide and occurs in individuals in all racial and ethnic groups. However, Kawasaki disease appears to affect Asian children most frequently. Estimates indicate that at least 3,000 cases of Kawasaki disease are diagnosed each year in the United States.
That’s right. This is an unfortunate childhood disease with 3,000 annual cases, which has long been on the radar screen of the NORD, and which, now also has numerous effective treatment protocols, and is almost never fatal.
Yet the sainted Dr. Fauci found it necessary to ignore all of this and duck Rand Paul’s succinct evisceration of his entire Lockdown Nation fiasco by resort to rank demagoguery.
Unfortunately, the doctors plot against freedom and sanity in America has generated such an acute Covid-Hysteria, per Fauci’s deplorable performance today, that it is turning much of America into a flock of supine, mask-wearing sheeples.
After all, when you have a governor solemnly pronouncing on his daily Covid-cast (virtually every Dem governor in America has a daily Covid Realty TV show), as did the idiotic governor of Illinois, Jay Pritzker, that no more than two-people may ride in one boat, no matter how large the boat and how extended the family, then where is the tar and feathering party?
That’s what should have happened to Pritzker in a heartbeat when he recently extended Illinois’ brutal Lockdown to the end of June.
Here’s why. As of May 8, fully 48% of all WITH Covid deaths reported in Illinois have been among nursing home and long-term care facility residents. That is, the very old and frail, who more often than not have life-threatening comorbidities of the very type the coronavirus pounces upon.
Indeed, in many counties in Illinois per the adjacent map, 60%, 80% and even 100% of the deaths have been in nursing/retirement homes.
So why lockdown the entire state? In fact, when you remove the long-term care cases from the total, the statistics could not be more dispositive.
To wit, there are about 100,000 residents of long-terms care facilities in the state and there have been 1,553 WITH Covid deaths among them.
The implied IFR (Infected fatality rate) is thus 1500 per 100,000; and just one more proof as to why the war on Covid should have been concentrated on the nursing homes.
By contrast, there have been just 1,688 WITH Covid deaths in Illinois outside of long- term care facilities among an non-institutionalized population of 12.570 million.
Needless to say, the implied IFR of 13 per 100,000 in no way, shape or form justifies ordering no more than 2 people per boat on Lake Michigan, the shuttering of almost all businesses involved in social congregation, and the continued house arrest of most of the state’s population.
In fact, the utter irrationality of the Pritzker Lockdown, which is similar to that being still imposed in most Blue States in America, is underscored by the map above, as well as the state’s basic mortality statistics.
The entire state remains in Lockdown per the governor’s order, but it is self evident that outside of Chicago and so-called “collar counties” which surround it, there have been virtually no WITH Covid deaths at all outside of long-term care homes.
Likewise, the 13 per 100,000 IFR among the states population at large is a tiny rounding error compared to the state’s normal annual mortality rate of 870 per 100,000.
That’s right. In response to a death factor equal to just 1.5% of normal mortalities, the governor has essentially incarcerated the state’s economy and thrown away the key.
But this is surely the Demagoguery of Death gone haywire. After all, every year in the state of Illinois, there are more than 110,000 deaths with fatality rates per 100,000 as follows:
• Heart disease: 203;
• Cancer: 188;
• Accidents: 47;
• Strokes: 46;
• Lower respiratory: 45;
• Alzheimer: 32;
• Diabetes: 23;
• Kidney diseases: 21;
• Influenza/pneumonia: 20;
• COVID-19: 13
There you have it. By any stretch of even public health considerations viewed in splendid isolation, Lockdown Nation is an exercise in sheer irrationality and hysteria.
Moreover, what has made the economic calamity even minimally tolerable to date is the even more calamitous Fiscal Eruption which has been unleashed in Washington, and which we will essay in greater detail in Part 3.
So far, it has helped to make-up a high percentage of lost income and cash flow in the household and business sectors, respectively, but at a long-run price that is frightening to consider; and which cannot possibly be sustained even a few months longer.
Suffice it here to say that Uncle Sam already plans to issue $5 trillion of debt during the current fiscal year alone, which is rank insanity.
Yet the Dems this very day tabled a third Everything Bailout with a price tag of $3 trillion—on top of the $3 trillion that has already been dropped into every nook and cranny of both Wall Street and main street alike.
Of course, all of this is being made possible by the red hot printing presses at the Fed.
But, really, why in the world does anyone think that you can go from a balance sheet of $3.76 trillion last September 4, to $4.24 trillion by March 4, and then to $6.72 trillion in the week ended on May 6, and do so with impunity?
Yes, these fools have printed $3 trillion of fiat credit in the last eight months!
Needless to say, there is now brewing a speculative bubble like never, ever before, and when it blows the fallout will be horrible to behold.
To be sure, the Fed’s abject lunacy has kept the robo-machines and day-traders in the business of buying-the-dips, even as the US economy slides into a veritable conflagration that may chop-off more than 30% of the GDP at an annual rate during the current quarter.
So what we have is the S&P 500 up nearly 33% from the March 19 low, while marching in lockstep with the greatest and most rapid explosion of unemployment and economic collapse in recorded history during the last two months.
During today’s market hours, the averages finally rolled-over and went into nearly a bidless collapse in the final minutes. Perhaps even the robo-machines have had enough.
Oh, yes, when and as Lockdown Nation is finally lifted, what lies in store is the next quasi-Orwellian phase of this madness—-massive testing, contact tracing, immunity passports and forced quarantine of the allegedly infected.
We can surely hope that human nature and pro-liberty lawyers from both the left and right will eventually secure from the courts a constitutional kabash on the Virus Patrols. But in the interim, the very economic foundation upon which American liberty and self- government rests is being imperiled like never before.
As we said at the beginning, WAKE-UP, Donald!
Your malpracticing doctors are plotting your and our demise.
David Stockman was Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street.