Trump Pandemic response should it matter?

What happened in 2020 in particular dealing with pandemic and who did what? In April, my friend Dr. Larry Fedewa observed when Donald Trump went along with the lockdown, he was gambling away his election chances.  Fedewa was proven right as Trump ceded not just the overall pandemic response to Anthony Fauci and Debbie Birx, but he ceded to them the control of the economy to them.

The lockdown was a complete failure but none of those who presided over it and supported it have yet to pay a political price for their failures.  Trump, who decided to make this a talking point against DeSantis, has his own record to defend. 

Here is what Trump got right, he allowed federalism to proceed and not interfere with governors decisions and that nearly bailed him out.  States like Georgia and Florida opening up their economy led to significant growth over the last six months of the year.  Unemployment went from 14.4 percent to 6.7 percent with 1.5 million jobs a month being returned to the workforce from May 2020 to December 2020.  Nearly 55 percent of those jobs were returned at the end of 2020.  Joe Biden inherited a growing economy.  As I have mention in previous posts, Republican states created more jobs and returned more jobs than their Democratic counterpart.  Without these states reducing their lockdown mandates, the economy would have been in dire straits.

Trump biggest failures however was that he never had the back of his Republican governors who was doing what they could to bail out the economy and Trump re-election chances.  When Brian Kemp at the end of April begin to reopen, Trump joined Fauci in criticizing him and never did he have DeSantis back when he begin to reopen Florida.   Fauci even praised Cuomo for his disastrous response and recently so did Trump as a move to attack DeSantis. 

Scott Atlas in his book, “A Plague on Our House”, details the inner struggle dealing with Covid from his own perch within the administration.  Atlas details the failure of the lockdowns including missed cancer screenings, missed surgeries, nearly two years of educational losses, bankrupted small business, depression and drug overdoses, overall citizen demoralization, violations of religious freedom, this while public health officials ignored those at-risk population in nursing homes and the elderly plus immunocompromised.  Scott Atlas observed, Yes, the president initially had gone along with the lockdowns proposed by Fauci and Birx, the “fifteen days to slow the spread,” even though he had serious misgivings. But I still believe the reason that he kept repeating his one question— “Do you agree with the initial shutdown?”—whenever he asked questions about the pandemic was precisely because he still had misgivings about it…to disregard his own common sense and allow grossly incorrect policy advice to prevail…. This president, widely known for his signature “You’re fired!” declaration, was misled by his closest political intimates. All for fear of what was inevitable anyway—skewering from an already hostile media. And on top of that tragic misjudgment, the election was lost anyway. So much for political strategists.

Altas view was that Trump had his doubts about the policies, but Trump also did nothing about those doubts and thus his biggest failures.  DeSantis decided to ignore conventional wisdom and seek outside experts to explain what was really happening.  In the winter of 2020, many states continued their lockdown or reinstated lockdown, but Florida and ten other states refuse to do so and as we now know, these governors prove to be correct.

If Atlas is correct and Trump had doubts, he refused to act on them.  Kemp and DeSantis did act on their doubts and proved to be correct.   Trump efforts to criticize DeSantis on this only expose Trump own failures on this as he may have allowed governors to do their thing, he refused to move those around him to discard obviously failing policies and instead allowed Fauci and others to promote these policies to governor, many of whom were perfectly willing to take advantage of the pandemic to use their newly found powers to restrict their citizens freedom.

What voters need to ask is the progress that Trump made on the economic front going into 2020 and his foreign policies successes make up for the complete failure of the Pandemic governing.  Trump ceded his power to the DC health care insiders and if he is not willing to admit his failures here, then voters need to ask can he be trusted again in a similar crisis?

Much of the solutions that was used to shut down the economy for Covid is now being considered for climate emergency and the next Republican President has to put complete stop to this stupidity. On this issue, Trump has been solid on climate policies and removing us from the Paris accord showed that what he will do but his failure to rein in the bureaucracy during the pandemic has to be consider as well. 

DeSantis was right and when you look at the full picture of the economy, education and even deaths based on variables including age showed that Florida performance was superior to Cuomo’s New York that Trump recently praised. 

 Red State writer Bonchie noted, “Yet, the biggest issue with Trump backing Cuomo at the expense of DeSantis is that it shows he doesn’t take the suffering that happened throughout 2020 and 2021 seriously. If he’s willing to praise a guy who instituted lockdowns for two years just for a cheap, false political attack, what other basic principle is he willing to throw aside? Why wouldn’t he recommend another regime of lockdowns if he thinks it will benefit him? Trump may end up the nominee, and I’d like to be able to vote for him with confidence that he’s going to do the right thing on policy. To be honest, I don’t have that confidence anymore. What happened with the nation’s COVID response was not a game. It was horrible, and it can never be repeated. Trump’s fluidity on the issue is not good enough.”  Is he right?

Two Stories

A couple of stories caught my eyes dealing with Climate Science and energy production. The first story, the Artic Ocean was ice free 10,000 years ago during the summer as NoTrickZone observed, “Researchers from Aarhus University, in collaboration with Stockholm University and the United States Geological Survey, analyzed samples from the previously inaccessible region north of Greenland. The sediment samples were collected from the seabed in the Lincoln Sea. They showed that the sea ice in this region melted away during summer months around 10,000 years ago.”  Nor is there any guarantee that Artic Ocean will be ice free in the future even though the authors view this as a possibility within this century.  NoTrickZone quoted the authors, ““Climate models have suggested that summer sea ice in this region will melt in the coming decades, but it’s uncertain if it will happen in 20, 30, 40 years, or more. This project has demonstrated that we’re very close to this scenario, and that temperatures only have to increase a little before the ice will melt,” says Christof Pearce, Assistant Professor at the Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University.” 

The researchers used data from the Early Holocene to predict future possible thawing of the Artic ocean, but they had to acknowledge that the summer temperature were higher than today, nor can you blame human intervention or higher CO2 since CO2 levels were actually lower.  The authors cannot judge if this will be good or bad for the climate, but they take the negative perspective since that is how one gets published today.  Even if the study puts in question the narrative that human activity is the main driving force behind present climate changes since it is obvious that past melting of the Artic was driven by natural variability.

NoTrickZone, P Gosselin noted, “Despite the undisputed powerful natural factors and cycles at play in the Arctic, some researchers take a more alarmist or even hysterical view of what the future holds. For example, warning that greenhouse gas emissions are heating up the planet, Christof Pearce said, citing dubious model results: “The study is a wake-up call, because we know that it will happen. This news is not making the situation more depressing, just more urgent. We have to act now so we can change it.”  If this study shows that natural variability is responsible for this past change, what can humans truly do?

The second story makes the case the demise of fossil fuels in particular natural gas may be exaggerated.  The author Terry Etam noted, “Here’s a 2023 headline from an anti-hydrocarbons website: “China, India lead US$534 billion global gas pipeline build out.” The article notes that globally, over 59,000 kilometres of transmission pipeline are under construction and an additional 151,000 kms are proposed (for reference, the earth’s circumference is 40,000 kms).”

Throughout the world, new natural gas pipelines are being developed, estimated to be five times the earth circumference.  While many have predicted the end of fossil fuel, but the world is acting otherwise as natural pipeline are increasing and coal plants are being built in China and India. 

Etam observed about Africa, “This is from the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, of which many members are African: “Unfortunately, the issue of African energy access has rarely been reported or prioritized, despite African energy consumption per capita being the lowest globally. In light of the need for a secure, affordable, and sustainable energy source to fuel economic growth and alleviate poverty in Africa, all the available energy options will continue to be relevant…the abundance of natural gas and the proven efficiency of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) in power generation make it a suitable complement to renewables in Africa’s just transition plan.”  Africa dependence on wind and solar will not work without fossil fuels.  The era of fossil fuels are far from finished.

Update on economics

When few GOP governors ignored the advice of Tony “I am Science” Fauci and his sidekick Debbie Birks, GOP states have outperformed Democratic states when it came to unemployment. In August of 2020, the GOP governors had an average of 6.4 percent to Democratic governors 8.4 percent. Wilfred Reilly own research showed similar data in favor of GOP states 6.4 percent to 8.2 percent. In the winter of 2020, eleven Republican states did not reinstate lockdown as there was increase in covid infection and after two years, their unemployment was only 2.9 percent vs. 3.9 percent for those lockdown states,

After numerous studies for Americas Majority Foundation over a period of two years and based on Department of Labor data, we have seen consistently, Republican states outperformed Democratic states no matter if the state had a Republican governor or if the state has state government controlled by one party. Republican states with control of both the legislative and executive had unemployment of 3 percent in December of 2022 to Democrats controlled states of 4 percent. States that had mixed government 3.5 percent unemployment
After the 2022 midterms changes were made as four states, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada and Arizona saw changes in the governor race. Both Massachusetts and Maryland are now under complete Democratic control whereas Karen Hobbs is constrained by Republican legislature in Arizona. Nevada, the state with the highest unemployment has a new Republican governor and we will see if he has similar results than other Republican governors in lowering Nevada unemployment.

Over the first third of the year, GOP governors led states have unemployment 2.9 percent and Democrats governor led states have unemployment of 3.5 percent. States with Republican in complete of all aspect of governor unemployment of 2.8 percent versus 3.2 percent for Democrat complete controlled all aspect of government.

The advantages that Republicans with reducing unemployment continues into the first third of 2023 and when you look at top four most populous states with GOP governors outperformed their Democratic counterparts.

In December of 2022, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas averaged 3.4 percent unemployment and California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and New York average 4.25 percent unemployment. April of 2023, the four Republican averaged 3.35 percent unemployment and Democratic states averaged 4.2 percent unemployment.

In another study saw larger GOP states averaged 312,000 jobs created from February 2022 to February 2023 for a 3.4 percent increase whereas the four Democratic states averaged only 266,000 jobs created for only a 2.7 percent increase.

From August 2020, GOP governors have dropped from 6.4 to 2.9 percent unemployment versus Democratic governors dropping 8.4 to 3.4 in April of 2023.

Conclusion is that for the past nearly three years, GOP governors and state have outperformed their Democratic counterpart and first reason is that they opened their economy sooner during the pandemic and this gave them advantages. Open the economy and you can produce goods, services, and jobs. Governor Kemp, Noem, Reynolds, and DeSantis understood this and realized quickly the virus was not as lethal as originally predicted.

What the GOP candidates can’t forget

There are aspects of how to win a nomination and how not to win.  Trump strategy was to go after DeSantis before he entered the race and taking of advantage of the prosecution that aided in his popularity. 

Maybe Trump views his 30 plus points ahead in the polls not as safe as the pundits do or he would change his strategy and he has basically ignored the other candidates like Nikki Haley and Tim Scott as no threats. The real issue is how far do you go to go after DeSantis and risk tearing the party asunder? 

Trump advantages, he ran a successful foreign policy that made the world safer with no war in Ukraine, the Abraham accord with unified Sunni Arabs and Israel against Iran and changed our view of China to a more realistic view. 

Trump’s criticism of NATO included his view that NATO member states should contribute more toward their own defenses.  This may have seen results.  As Michael Barone noted, “Finance ministers, stung by Trump’s campaign criticisms, are ponying up more money to meet their NATO defense-spending commitments.”

Brexit was the first break in the European Union’s dominance of the continent. While Obama threatened Britain with being sent to the “back of the queue” if they voted to leave the EU, Trump supported Brexit and a possible future U.S-U.K. free trade agreement.  Brexit could be the first step toward the formation of the Anglosphere an alliance of English-speaking nations that would support Trump’s “America First” view of the world and should be part of any GOP talking point.

In the Middle East, Trump ditched Iranian deal and boosted the Sunni-Israeli alliance against increasing Iranian influence through various peace agreements between Sunni states and Israel.   These success can be contrasted with Biden approaches which abandoned the Abraham Accord and created a more chaotic Middle East, his w withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster and led Putin to think he could invade Ukraine with no real objection from the Biden’s administration.  Biden’s weakness led to the Ukraine invasion and now we are supplying Ukraine in an endless war that has no real endgame.

Inflation has reduced the average worker living standard and energy independence policy ended with Biden’s administration.

Trump biggest failure was his handling of the pandemic and the panic that ensued as result of lockdown.  The position of allowing federalism allowed states to decide their fate in dealing with the pandemic. He failed to change the policy openly but allowed Fauci and Birks to run the policy. 

DeSantis along with Governor Kemp of Georgia, Reynolds of Iowa and Kristi Noem of South Dakota move away from the lockdown and they along with seven other GOP governors did not redo lockdowns in their states during the winter of 2020.

DeSantis record of governor dealing with the pandemic and challenging the left in his state has shown a pathway to dealing with the administrative state in DC.

For DeSantis, he has to show how he will build upon the Trump legacy the first three years and how his record will translate.  For Trump, he has to show what he learned from his failure in 2020 and how it will shape his administration. Both men have their challenges.

The biggest challenge is not to forget who the real enemy is.  It is the Democrats.

The race now

The election is just beginning, and we have long way to go. DeSantis twitter introduction was hardly a winning one, but it will be long forgotten months down the road, but Trump has all the advantages for now as the polls shows.

His lead in the poll began with the Bragg indictment in New York for yet another fake crime and for many Republicans, it was nothing more than a political attack. Trump is under legal siege from the special prosecutors and in Atlanta for interfering with 2020 election. As I wrote in America at the Abyss, Will America Survive, “The battle to see Trump punished will continue a state level and New York City and Biden’s Justice Department will certainly carry on their own jihad against Trump and his family.  There is a precedence for this as Franklin Roosevelt pursued members of the Hoover administration—and. in particular Andrew Mellon– legally and modern-day Democratic Party is even more nasty, and Joe Biden will not lose sleep over his DOJ or some state attorney general pursuing the Trump family until they find something to jail him or members of his family or bankrupt them. For many Democrats, Trump was an affront to them, and it is their attention to wipe out any aspect of Trumpism.”

The reality is that for many in GOP, DeSantis before 2024 was the heir to Trump conservatism. For many he was supposed to wait his turn and allow Trump to be coronated, but DeSantis decided it was the right time now. Let be blunt, Trump legal troubles, no matter how deserved, will take a toll on his popularity and ability to reach beyond his base.

The good news if Trump becomes radioactive due to his legal issues, the good news that many of Trump supporters would be willing to support DeSantis. For many right now, Trump is the number one guy, but DeSantis is their alternative.

DeSantis showed his proficiency in a serious crisis, managing to keep his state’s economy afloat while outperforming Democrat governors Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsom throughout the pandemic. DeSantis’s goal of returning Florida to normal succeeded because he understood the virus and how best to deal with its aftermath by first concentrating on protecting the most vulnerable. His ability to vaccinate his citizens quickly compared favorably to many of his governor counterparts.

DeSantis combined competence with a drive and vision of how to tame the virus and get people back to work and children back to school. While many governors chose control and economic restrictions, DeSantis moved toward a freer economy. The one lesson for Republicans and conservatives that DeSantis teaches is not to depend upon the experts. DeSantis realized quickly that Dr. Anthony Fauci and others overestimated the lethality of the virus and underestimated the economic devastation of the lockdown. Others like Dr. Scott Atlas, Dr. John Ioannidis, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and Martin Kulldorff felt the lockdowns beyond the initial fifteen days in March and April 2020 would produce more deaths over the long term and damage the fabric of society. The price of lockdown would be too high, they contended, and DeSantis joined the lockdown skeptics. As it turned out, much of the criticism the lockdown skeptics made early in the pandemic proved valid and DeSantis demonstrated that the strategy they recommended was more effective than the punitive lockdown strategy. He also showed the politicization of the scientific class and the need to go beyond them to get better science to base policy on.

For Republicans, DeSantis showed that when given advice from experts, verify what they are saying is actually true and the policy recommendations they propose will not prove disastrous. The second lesson DeSantis provides is that. if the leadership class is wrong on an issue, challenge their advice and do not give in. DeSantis’s success in the pandemic like other Republican governors, including Kristi Noem, points the way for a new Republican Party that will combine conservative and free market principles and anchor those free market conservative principles to the new populism to build upon the Trump coalition. 

The original key to winning 2016 was for Republicans and conservatives to create an alliance that combines the concerns of diverse groups, including those who are concerned for gun rights, privacy rights, and those who fear the loss of religious freedom, in stopping expanding government while increasing economic freedom and economic opportunity. This coalition appeared threatened by Donald Trump’s national populism but as the 2016 election proceeded, Trump adopted many of the Republican Party’s ideas about reforming government spending and tax policies that promoted growth and opportunity. The Republican candidates who articulated a message of A Fair Opportunity to Succeed put themselves in the best position to win whether nationally, statewide, or in Congressional districts.

Trump showed that his populism can be combined with traditional free market ideas. His ideas on foreign policy was actually a return to what George W Bush campaigned in 2000, a more modest policy before 9/11. Trump view was not to expand conflict but to avoid them and reduce the present commitments. DeSantis is moving in the same direction.

Polls are not conclusive at this point. More recent polls show Trump taking a small lead over Biden but since the 2022 midterm, Biden is essentially tied with both Trump and DeSantis. In spite of Biden’s unfavorable rating, he is still within striking distance of both. This is one of those races that will change America and GOP must be right with their choices. Trump legal issues will impact his own standing as we move into 2024 and is there a time when one more indictment is one indictment too far?

Haney wins a close one

Haney by Decision over Lomachenko

LightweightsRecent FightsTom Donelsonadmin

By Tom Donelson (BWAA) Member Boxing Writers Association of America

Devin Haney engaged in his toughest fight as he faced Vasiliy Lomachenko for the undisputed light weight title and the fight went as I thought as Haney used his size to jab and Lomachenko was the more aggressive fighter.

The fight was close most of the way and when reviewing the various scorecards, there were many close rounds which made it difficult to score . The only two rounds that were easy to score was the 10th and 11th in which Lomachenko dominated with 31 punches landed versus 7 punches landed for Haney. These two rounds impacted how many boxing fans and pundits viewed this fight as these two rounds were near the end of fight.

ESPN had the fight 115-113 for Haney and MMA had the fight 115-113 for Lomachenko . (My good friend David Martinez / agreed with MMA with a 115-113 score).  The first round was a close round as Haney tried to land couple of good jabs, but Lomachenko ended the round with a flurry but interesting, it was Haney who landed more effective power shots, landing 45 percent of his shots but only landed 1 jab out of 21 attempts. Close round, I gave it to Haney by a whisker, but it could easily gone to Lomachenko.

In the second round, Haney was the more accurate puncher as his jab won the round, but the third round belonged to Lomachenko as he pressed the action and landed 40 percent more power shots . First round that he found a rhythm. After three rounds it was 29-28 in favor of Haney, but it could easily have been 29-28 in favor of Lomachenko.

The fourth was Haney best at that point as he landed nearly double punches but in the fifth round, Lomachenko nailed Haney with a solid right that shook Haney. Haney landed 13 punches to Lomachenko 12 punches, but the best punch of the round belonged to Lomachenko. After five rounds I had 48 to 47 for Haney.

In the sixth round, Haney landed some solid rights and Lomachenko left side has some redness, but Lomachenko landed some good head shots . Halfway through the fight, I had Haney up by 58 to 56 but depending on how you scored the first round, it could easily be 57 to 57.

Haney opened the seventh round with an uppercut partially blocked while Lomachenko landed two solid rights and after tying up Lomachenko, Haney landed a solid right plus he landed a jab and left hooks while Lomachenko landed a combination. Close round but I gave it to Lomachenko but could easily gone for Haney. 67-66 for Haney after seven rounds, Compubox noted that Haney landed 70 punches to 62 punches at this point of the fight and Lomachenko only landed 20 percent of his punches when he normally land close to 40 percent . Haney defense frustrated Lomachenko.

Another close round but Haney landed solid jabs and more efficient with his punches as he won the eight round and after eight rounds, Haney was winning on my scorecard 77 to 75. In the ninth round Haney beat Lomachenko to the punch and Lomachenko could sustain a consistent attack, and with three rounds left I had Haney up by three points, 87 to 84. After nine rounds, Haney landed 92 punches to 80 for Lomachenko.

Lomachenko dominated the tenth and eleventh round as he landed clean shots, easy for judges to score. (these two rounds were the easiest to score.) He appeared to get the upper hand and Haney suddenly looked confuse and after round tenth, Haney face showed concern. Concern were well founded as Lomachenko buckled Haney with a left hand from his southpaw position in the eleventh round. He landed punches in bunches as Haney only landed 2 punches to Lomachenko 20. Over these two rounds, Lomachenko landed 24 more punches. With one round left, it was 105 to 104 on my scorecard but Lomachenko had the momentum.

Haney made his last stand as his corner had to assume this was a close fight on the scorecard. Lomachenko closed out the fight as he consistently beat Haney to the punch and swarming style gave Haney fits. Lomachenko won the final three rounds as he landed 44 punches to 18 for Haney. I had this a draw but there were several rounds over the first nine rounds that were close and could easily have gone for either fighters.

Lomachenko landed 124 punches compared to 110 punches for Haney, but he landed only 22 percent of his punches, lower than his normal output but then Haney only landed nearly 28 percent. Lomachenko higher punch landed output came over the final three rounds and these last three rounds is what most fans will remember and not how close it was for the first nine rounds.

This was intriguing fight, but Lomachenko won the last three rounds on my score card and leaves me wondering if Lomachenko had started earlier with his more aggressive stance, if he could have easily won.

The lightweight division is loaded but Haney should give Lomachenko a rematch to see if he truly the better fighter. This fight was close and not a definite win for either fighter, so a rematch is in order.

There are several intriguing fights involving Shakur Stevenson and Gervonta Davis that could be made. Haney, Davis, and Stevenson are undefeated but as Lomachenko showed, he is as good as the top three.

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The Real Big Lie

In 2017, I was on a talk show as the conservative guest and I stated then that Russian collusion would be proven that a hoax, that we will find FBI abused the FISA courts and the Trump campaign was spied on.  I was proven 100 percent correct.  What Durham report showed that there was a concerted effort by Democratic Party, the FBI and CIA to first prevent Trump to win the 2016 election and using fake information to continue an investigation well into the Trump presidency.

Our law enforcement essentially became part of a partisan movement to stop a specific candidate and what we saw our FBI not only give up an investigation into Hillary Clinton pay to play scheme known as the Clinton Foundation, foreign donations, and her email server in which classified documents were stored.  Hillary Clinton originated the Steele Dossier to draw attention from her own legal problems. 

There have been congressional report, FISA reports on FBI’s abuses, Inspector reports, released documents, the infamous Mueller report and now the Durham report that all says the same thing, there was no evidence that there was any collusion between the Russians and Trump. 

What we now know is that Hillary Clinton campaign instigated the original Steele Dossier, and the FBI used this dossier as the basis for an investigation even though they were aware that the Dossier was bunk.  President Obama and Vice President Biden were briefed on this and many key players in the Obama administration know the dossier was fake, but it didn’t stop many of them like John Brennan from lying on various news broadcast for the next four years.

The Media cooperated with the FBI, to cover up the truth and for years, kept the lies alive while impeachment proceeded.  Obama and Biden could have short circuited by telling Democrats that Trump did not cooperate with the Russians and won the 2016 election honestly.  They did not and allowed the lies to continue. 

In 2020, there was a continued cooperation with media and law enforcements to censor news unfriendly to Democrats and the Biden campaign.  There was successful attempts to use the Covid to loosen election laws to eliminate guard rails for election security and why wouldn’t many Americans not believe that there were not massive attempts to rig the 2020 elections?

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