Lessons we are learning.
- Models are all over the place, mostly inaccurate and undependable for policies. The original models from British Modeler Neil Ferguson who was talking about 2 million dead Americans and 500,000 British before he revised them downward to 80,000 Americans death and 20,000 British death. This model was revised within two weeks and Ferguson was off by a factor at least 20-fold. That is not even good for government work.
- What is the true morality rate? We have seen 3% bandied around but those data are based on those who have been tested but we have missed many mild and asymptomatic cases, so we don’t know the true morality rate. I have argued that this virus was more virulent than the flu and certainly that appears to be case, but I have also argued that this virus was less virulent than the Spanish Flu. I have even noted that this virus mortality rate will prove to be less than 1%. We have seen studies done that has tried to answer that question. The data is now showing in these most recent studies, that the mortality rate is ranging from .1% to .8% which means at best scenario, the mortality rate is within the flu and worse case significantly more lethal than the flu but far lower than originally projected and the Spanish flu. Do we begin the process of opening the economy based on this?
- Travel ban do have a role but more important is that we have to trust nations to deal with viral infection outbreaks and we need accountability and verification from other nations. We need accountability from international health organization such as WHO (World Health Organization), which we didn’t see at all. China lied about the virus and WHO parroted Chinese propaganda. Chinese are probably still lying and WHO is still in the hip pocket of the Chinese.
- We need to better prepare from future pandemics. Government agencies like CDC in the beginning of the pandemic, in particular dealing diagnosis and testing. The next pandemic may be a more lethal virus and we need to understand than pandemics in this day and age can happen quickly and doesn’t help if you have nations who can’t be trusted.
- In reopening the economy, we need to understand that a one size fit all is not appropriate and that New York is an outlier. South Dakota has shown you can keep things moving while protecting your citizens while getting their cooperation without dictatorial power,
- Governors and mayors are important and while we don’t elect our state and local officials expecting that they will be involved in crisis like what we are witnessing, maybe we should. We have seen governors like Heidi Heitkamp perform well and governors like Gretchen Witmer who acted like dictators and have shown unable to be consistent in their proclamations, but they have sowed confusion and caused discontent in their citizens they govern. Federalism is the best way to deal with this crisis with the Federal government working with state governments, you have to have competent state officials. Some states do and some don’t.
- Some politicians have attempted to use this crisis to advance causes that not only have any thing to do with the crisis but also will suffocate any future recovery. (example Green New Deal).
- Private sectors can produce results as the ability of companies to change gears to produce what is needed like My Pillow who went from making pillows to mask and the quickness of companies to start testing vaccines.
There are other lessons but one more point is that in a post virus world we need to learn the lesson of dealing with economic downturn. You need a private sector to grow to reignite the economy growth and one example was Reagan approach which unleashed the private sector and led two-decade growth. Democrats idea of raising minimum wages, and green new deals will not only suffocate the recovery but ensure a long economic downturn. This will be explored in future posts.