Time To Get Back - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1698068

Time To Get Back

Never letting a crisis go to waste, Andrew Cuomo has been auditioning for his eventual presidential debut.

It has been his go-to response to take aim at the federal government and the Trump administration whenever he was confronted with shortages of supplies, meanwhile never acknowledging his own failings in this regard.

Every governor, president and lawmaker should have been aware of our woeful lack of preparedness in the event of a pandemic. Since 2008, numerous studies have been written warning of exactly this, yet nothing was done. Now, doing what politicians do best, they kick the can down the road and blame the opposing party for their own inaction.

The world had a big heads-up in 2009-2010 after the H1N1 virus, when more studies came out — again, they were ignored.

Our response has been a one-size-fits-all solution of economic suicide. In the four weeks from mid-March to mid-April, we experienced job losses that were 10 times worse than the worst four weeks of the 2008-2009 recession.

In New York State, the data available as of April 19 show there were 11,500 deaths attributed to the virus, but for people under 30 years of age, there were only 56 deaths. In a state of 19 million people, that makes the fatality rate less than 1 person in every 100,000 people. Yet for people over the age of 80, there were 3,100 deaths, or 630 per 100,000 people. The risk of dying for people over 80 is 850 times greater than for people under 30 years of age.

There are 13 million people in New York State under 50 years old, and their fatality rate was only 6 per 100,000 people. We have, perhaps, 10 percent of these 19 million people who are the most vulnerable — but almost 100 percent of the people are suffering from severe economic misfortune because of this draconian policy.

Undoubtedly, the social distancing policy has been effective in flattening the curve and easing the burden on our first responders. But now it is time to get back to work, and there is certainly a workforce available under the age of 50 years old.

The media has us on a 24/7 death watch, and every politician is petrified of seeming to be lax in the fight against the virus. Los Angeles has a “snitch line” that rewards people for ratting out their neighbors not following directed policy. Police are reported to be standing watch outside stores, monitoring patrons’ behavior and issuing summonses if deemed improper. People are being fined for exercising their right to assemble in public or even playing catch while wearing masks.

This has all the makings of totalitarianism in its infancy. Wake up, America!

John Porta



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