The contrast between New York and Florida in dealing with the coronavirus threat is striking.
April 30, 2020
ITEM #1: Throughout the coronavirus crisis, individual states have largely been allowed to craft their own approaches to keeping people safe, determining whether and how to limit economic activity, and a whole host of other policy decisions and challenges. We’ve now got several weeks of results by which to gauge the various states’ effectiveness in dealing with this crisis.
A couple of states in particular have received outsized media attention — New York, governed by Democrat Andrew Cuomo, and Florida, whose governor is a Republican, Ron DeSantis. Cuomo’s approach to closing private businesses has been especially heavy-handed; DeSantis’, much more permissible. And the national news media being how they are, they’ve lavished praise on the former while directing endless derision at the latter.
But unfortunately for the press — and even more so for New Yorkers — the numbers don’t lie.
William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn have authored an absolute must-read at Fox News that obliterates the conventional wisdom the media have tried to establish. Simply put, the difference between how things have shaken out in New York and Florida could not be more stark, nor more damaging to the media narrative that the stricter the shutdown, the better. Here are Bennett and Leibsohn on this illuminating story:
“There’s one state in America that has a larger elderly population than New York, that is more ethnically diverse than New York, and that has two million more people than New York. Yet its death rate from COVID-19 is 5 percent that of New York. That state is Florida.
“The tale of these two states, New York and Florida, illustrates that perhaps the media should have been less adulatory of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and given Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis more attention. Instead, the facts and statistics reveal the media got this backward.
“In March, Florida was projected to be the second-worst state for COVID-19 deaths, with predictions of 174 per day and a total of nearly 7,000 by the end of the summer. Nothing like this has transpired and it will not come to pass.
“Meanwhile, Cuomo’s daily press briefings have been covered in full, and he has been lauded as everything from 'The Golden Governor' to 'The Politician of the Moment.' DeSantis, however, receives headlines such as 'Florida Governor Issues Coronavirus Stay at Home Order After Heavy Criticism' and 'Florida Governor Keeps Hitting New Lows In the Battle Against Coronavirus.'
"Yet while New York kept chalking up bigger and bigger infection rates and deaths, Florida contained its problems early and without the heavy hand so many urged."
It’s worth repeating a key point here. Florida has seen a far lower death rate than New York even though it has a larger elderly population — meaning it’s over-represented among those who are most at risk from the virus. And this has occurred even as Florida’s shutdown of activity has been far less extensive.
The explanation, Bennett and Leibsohn reveal, is that DeSantis has taken a far more precise and targeted — and thus smarter and more effective — approach than his New York counterpart:
"What DeSantis did do was take a much more vertical approach to the virus than others, like Cuomo. In early March, DeSantis put out targeted and preventative messaging to his elder population, advising them to stay at home. ... DeSantis was being criticized for being late in his 'shutdown.' Wrong: It wasn’t late, it was targeted to the vulnerable population, and was less restrictive overall."
While the one-size-fits-all, across-the-board approach to shutting down business has been implemented in many states (and has been urged by the media), the comparison between New York and Florida suggests that dealing with this crisis more strategically can be (and in at least one case, has been) more effective.
It’s a story that’s so important you just knew the vast majority of the press would ignore it. Good for Bennett and Leibsohn for bringing it to light. Check out their whole piece here.
Speaking of DeSantis, the Florida governor visited President Trump at the White House this week, bringing his message of the Sunshine State’s success story to the national stage. As the Tampa Bay Times reports, DeSantis “took aim at [other] governors for what he called their ‘draconian orders’ and at the national media that projected Florida would fare worse than most anywhere in the country.”
“You name (the state), Florida’s done better,” DeSantis said.
C-Span has full video of the meeting, here, and right off the bat, President Trump remarks that DeSantis “has done a spectacular job in Florida.”
ITEM #2: Right here in Nevada, of course, things remain closed. Even as the data show that our state has passed the peak of our death rate, and our hospital-bed situation is well under control, businesses deemed “non-essential” are still forced to stay shut.
A prolonged shutdown would be devastating for Nevada, more so than any other state. And we at Morning in Nevada PAC are taking a stand on this crucial issue.
In recent days, we’ve been conducting a robust online campaign calling for officials to begin to reopen Nevada’s economy — responsibly and safely.
As part of this campaign, we are stressing a crucial point: that this is not a binary choice between saving lives and saving our economy. Indeed, getting people back to work will itself save lives.
It’s time for us to do exactly that. The response to our campaign thus far has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s clear that many, many citizens all across our state hold the same view.
We’re proud to be leading on this extremely important issue. And if you’d like to pitch in and contribute to help our campaign continue, and sign our petition to reopen Nevada, you can do so here.
Our work on this front has just begun, and we’ll be sure to keep you posted.
ITEM #3: In the wake of Tara Reade’s sexual-assault allegations against Joe Biden, many on the left have discovered a new appreciation for the concept of due process. The same gang that was insisting we must automatically “believe all women” way back when it was now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh facing accusations are suddenly insisting that we mustn’t be too hasty to condemn the accused.
Judicial Crisis Network Founder Carrie Severino recently weighed in on this double standard, and she didn’t hold back on the Democrats over their duplicity. Here’s Severino:
“I don’t think any of us know where the facts would lead on this. I do believe in due process, so I don’t think we can come to conclusions yet. ...
“The problem is no one has looked into it, from the same Democrats who during the Kavanaugh hearings were going crazy about immediately jumping to conclusions with evidence that was far, far flimsier than we’re seeing here. ...
"All these Democrats are refusing to talk about this. They don’t want to know the evidence, they don’t want to know whether or not Joe Biden abused someone because they’ll do whatever it takes to try to win back the White House. ...
“I think we should just remember that next time we have a Supreme Court nominee that they’re telling lies about, the way they did about Supreme Court candidate Robert Bork, about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, about Kavanaugh, this is an absolute double standard."
ITEM #4: Indeed, it’s hard to keep track of all the hypocrisy present in the vastly different treatment of the Kavanaugh and Biden sexual-assault-allegation stories. And in a blistering editorial, National Review shows how the hypocrite label applies directly to Biden himself:
“Though he has not deigned to address it directly, Joe Biden insists that he is innocent of the charge that he digitally penetrated an intern back in 1993. ‘It is untrue,’ his communications director says. ‘This absolutely did not happen.’ If so, we hope that this incident has taught Biden that his previous approach toward accusations of sexual assault was dangerous, illiberal, and ultimately untenable. During the summer of 2018, with Brett Kavanaugh under the national spotlight, Biden was unequivocal in his demand that Americans must believe women as a matter of unwavering reflex. ‘For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally,’ Biden argued, ‘you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time.’”
Of course, it wasn’t just Democrat politicians who were so eager to apply differing standards of credibility, depending on the political affiliation of the allegation’s target. The media were even worse. We all remember how the press pounced on the Kavanaugh story and covered it relentlessly. And we’ve seen how they’ve largely ignored this one involving the presumptive Democrat nominee for President.
It’s not the first time the left has jettisoned a supposedly core principle as soon as it becomes politically inconvenient. We have a feeling it won’t be the last.
ITEM #5: In the pantheon of villains in the progressive worldview, homeschoolers rank pretty high. Anything that limits government’s access to the minds of our country’s youth is immediately seen as suspect. Who knows what horrible things our children might be learning from their parents away from the watchful eye of the state!
Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet wrote a piece recently that epitomizes this mindset, in which she called for abolishing homeschooling. Her piece offers a pretense of concern over children’s safety and well-being, but National Review’s Kyle Smith gets at the gist of what truly animates Bartholet and her ilk:
“Bartholet makes some half-hearted noises about opposing homeschooling because it supposedly leads to child abuse, or because homeschool parents are unlettered troglodytes who don’t know which end of the pencil the ink comes out of. ('People can homeschool who’ve never gone to school themselves, who don’t read or write themselves,' she claims.) These are just warmup arguments, though. Even Bartholet doesn’t really seem to believe them. The crux of her case against homeschoolers is that they might grow up thinking thoughts Bartholet does not agree with. That’s the 'risk' of homeschooling.”
Smith notes a few of Bartholet’s specific concerns, including that “the conservative Christian wing” makes up the majority of homeschoolers, and that many homeschoolers oppose “exposing their children to ideas such as secularism, atheism, feminism, and value relativism.” Bartholet also frets that “Homeschoolers were more likely than public schoolers to feel that the dominant U.S. culture was hostile to their moral values.” Gee, ya think?
Bartholet is entitled to her views, of course. But let’s call this for what it is. The left’s opposition to homeschooling is little more than opposition to parents’ rights to teach their kids traditional values. They shouldn’t be allowed to succeed in stamping out this important freedom.
ITEM #6: The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the latest on Democrats’ attempts to propagate voter fraud here in Nevada. Of a recent lawsuit against the Secretary of State, the Review-Journal’s editors write:
“[T]the Nevada Democratic Party seeks substantial changes to Nevada’s election laws by judicial fiat. Their agenda includes allowing ballot harvesting, banning signature verification and mailing ballots to inactive voters. These measures would undermine the integrity of Nevada’s election. …
“Legislative Democrats rewrote large sections of Nevada’s election laws last session. But even they maintained the prohibition on harvesting ballots. It’s a class E felony to return someone else’s ballot unless they’re a family member and they requested you return it.
“This is common sense. The secret ballot is a fundamental part of maintaining election integrity. Allowing third parties to collect ballots is an invitation for unscrupulous operators to manipulate those ballots.
“Democrats propose to compound that problem by ordering election officials not to perform signature verifications. That requirement, which is also in state law, provides a minimal level of assurance that the voter, not a third party, filled out the ballot. Legislative Democrats revised provisions relating to signature verification last year. Now they want a court to order election officials to ignore the law put in place by their own party.”
The Democrats’ shamelessness in manipulating the coronavirus crisis to advance their narrow political agenda seemingly has no limit.
Of course, mail-in ballots are a bad idea in general, as they threaten the accuracy and integrity of our elections. Fortunately, President Trump and Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel have taken the lead on voicing concerns over this issue.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ― Benjamin Franklin
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” ― Thomas Jefferson