Commentary: Life Is Risky

Perhaps the most unserious response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the facile assertion that lockdowns, the destruction of the economy, and the suppression of our historic freedoms are all justified if they “save just one life.” As Joe Biden put it on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: No one is expendable. No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.”

While every person is unique and has an immortal soul, we do not do anything and everything to save lives from all hazards, nor should we. Adults know that there are no easy solutions to most problems, and real life consists of tradeoffs.  

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Michigan Reports Lowest Daily Death Toll from Coronavirus Since March 22

Michigan reported its lowest single-day death count from the coronavirus since March over the weekend, with just five deaths in Sunday’s report.

The lowest daily report before Sunday was on March 22, shortly after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the state, according to data analysis from the Detroit Free Press.

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Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

On Wednesday, students sued Harvard University for not refunding tuition and fees after the coronavirus pandemic forced classes online.

This makes Harvard at least the fourth Ivy League school to be targeted for failing to reimburse educational costs, following Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. The school is facing a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit.  Students chose to pursue legal action as a result of not having “received the benefit of in-person instruction or equivalent access to university facilities and services.” 

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National Security Adviser ‘Wouldn’t Be Surprised’ if China Steals US Coronavirus Vaccine

by Jason Hopkins   White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday suggested that the Chinese Community Party would very likely try to steal American developments on a coronavirus vaccine. During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” O’Brien predicted that the United States would be the first country…

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Commentary: Conservatives and Liberals Are Responding to COVID-19 in Such Different Ways

In a 2008 TED Talk, psychologist Jonathan Haidt said the worst idea in psychology is the notion that humans are born as a “blank slate.”

Like the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, Haidt was rejecting the notion that the human mind is a blank slate at birth, an idea that can be traced to thinkers from Aristotle, to John Locke, to B.F. Skinner and beyond.

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Illegal Aliens Can Begin Applying for Cash Assistance in California

by Jason Hopkins   Illegal aliens can apply for direct cash assistance from the California state government as of Monday, marking the implementation of the first relief program of its kind. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced in April the launch of The Disaster Relief Fund, a $125 million coronavirus relief program…

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Scientists, Economists Urge Trump to Bring on Statistician to Avoid Getting Duped by Bad Health Models

Dozens of scientists, economists and medical experts are urging President Donald Trump to add a professional statistician to his coronavirus task team because they worry the models his administration are relying upon could potentially lead his administration astray.

A slate of academics provided the Trump administration with a letter Tuesday listing several ideas the president could use to help boost his team’s pandemic response. They believe adding an expert statistician to the COVID-19 task team could help Trump avoid relying on poor models that don’t reflect the real world.

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Michigan Facing Estimated $3 Billion in Revenue Losses this Fiscal Year

Michigan is facing a grim outlook for the state’s economic future.

Legislators are divided over whether the crisis requires severe budget cuts or a federal bailout to fix.

Lawmakers are facing a projected $6.2 billion drop in revenue over the next two fiscal years.

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Democrats’ $3 Trillion ‘Relief’ Package Declared Dead-on-Arrival, Republicans Say

A new Democratic bill proposed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), without input from Republicans or the Trump administration is “dead on arrival,” top Republican leaders say.

The White House has said it wants to wait and see how the $3 trillion Congress already allocated will impact the economy and help Americans suffering from the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus.

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Commentary: Power-Hungry Democrats Are Using COVID-19 as an Excuse to Pursue Radical Policies

Give them credit. At least the Democrats admit they view the deadly coronavirus pandemic as just another opportunity to advance their ideological game plan for America. That doesn’t make it any less nauseating, though.

During a recent “town hall” event for presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden, twice-failed presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, urged her fellow Democrats to exploit the panic and fear caused by COVID-19 to pursue far-left policy goals that would never stand a chance of being enacted in normal times. 

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Eighteen Attorneys General Call for Congressional Probe into China’s Efforts to Mislead the World About Coronavirus

Eighteen Republican attorneys general called for a congressional probe on Friday into China’s deliberate concealment of the severity of the coronavirus outbreak at its onset.

“Recent reports suggest that the communist Chinese government willfully and knowingly concealed information about the severity of the virus while simultaneously stockpiling personal protective equipment,” stated the letter from South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, which 17 other state attorneys general cosigned.

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Cuomo Reverses, Says Nursing Homes Can Refuse COVID-Positive Patients

Gov. Andrew Cuomo partially reversed a March executive order Sunday that prevented nursing homes from denying admission of patients who tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Patients must now test negative for the virus before hospitals can admit them to assisted living facilities, Cuomo said during an Albany press briefing Sunday.

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Pennsylvania Counties Go Rogue, Ignore State Shutdown Orders

Officials from several counties across central Pennsylvania said over the weekend they likely will lift pandemic restrictions against Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders.

The news follows the governor’s decision Friday to transition 13 counties in the southwestern region of the state – including the Pittsburgh metro area – to the yellow phase of his economic reopening plan after showing signs of slowing community spread and ramped up testing and contact tracing abilities.

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Commentary: The Unbearable Truths About Our Current Political Moment

Sometimes the truth is like mythical kryptonite. It radiates power and yet promises great destruction. And so reality is to be left alone, encased in lead, and kept at bay.

Take the Chinese genesis of the COVID-19 epidemic. We started in February with the usual Chinese deceptions about their role in the birth, transmission, and worldwide spread of the virus.

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Industry Leaders Warn Hundreds of Businesses Won’t Survive Reopening Plan, Extended Stay-Home Order

Michigan business leaders are concerned some businesses won’t survive Michigan’s mandated closures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which she extended yesterday through at least May 28.

Whitmer announced a plan to reopen the economy Thursday but provided no dates, other than for manufacturing, for when additional businesses could reopen.

Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the order “may be a foreclosure notice” for many small and seasonal businesses.

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The European Union Let China Censor Ambassador’s Op-Ed by Removing Reference to Coronavirus Originating in China

The European Union allowed the Chinese government to censor part of an op-ed by the EU ambassador to China that was published in a state newspaper, China Daily.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) insisted on censoring an op-ed by the EU ambassador to China to remove a reference to COVID-19 originating in China, an EU spokesman said Wednesday, adding that the EU acquiesced to the censorship rather than withdrawing the op-ed.

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Over Half of US Counties Have Had No COVID-19 Deaths

With many state and local governments starting to relax stay-at-home orders, it’s instructive to examine just how concentrated the spread of COVID-19 has been in the U.S.

Although all U.S. states have reported cases of COVID-19, the distribution of the cases and deaths has remained heavily concentrated in a small number of states, and among a small number of counties within all states.

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Nearly 3.2 Million New Jobless Claims Across U.S. Drives Tally During Outbreak to 33.5 Million

Even as a handful of states have made tentative steps back to normalcy in recent days, new jobless claims continue to flood in across all 50 states, driving the number of unemployment claims to 33.5 million over the past seven weeks.

According to data released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor, 3.17 million Americans filed for new unemployment benefits for the week ending May 2. That was down 677,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 3.85 million but still well above the numbers seen before the coronavirus outbreak led to the shutdown of most of the national economy.

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CBS News Accused of Staging COVID-19 Testing Line in Michigan

A CBS News crew pulled medical professionals off the floor at the Cherry Medical Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and asked them to line up their vehicles outside a COVID-19 drive-through testing site, a new report from Project Veritas claims.

James O’Keefe, the founder and CEO of Project Veritas, said an insider “witnessed the whole thing and came to Project Veritas because he knew we would protect him.”

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Trump: ‘I Just Want to Get a Vaccine That Works,’ Touts Vaccine by End of Year; Trump Moves Signal Maduro Regime Now on the Clock

  Trump at the Lincoln Memorial President Donald Trump told Fox News anchor Brett Baier and Martha McCollum he expects a COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year at Sunday night’s virtual town hall held at the Lincoln Memorial. “Look, a vaccine has never gone like it’s gone now,”…

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STUDY: Anxiety From Reactions to COVID-19 Will Destroy at Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns

One of the most important principles of epidemiology is weighing benefits and harms. A failure to do this can make virtually any medical treatment seem helpful or destructive. In the words of Ronald C. Kessler of the Harvard Medical School and healthcare economist Paul E. Greenberg, “medical interventions are appropriate only if their expected benefits clearly exceed the sum of their direct costs and their expected risks.”

Likewise, a 2020 paper about quarantines published in The Lancet states: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”

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Daily Caller News Foundation Sues for Documents Regarding China and the WHO

The Daily Caller News Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit on Monday through government watchdog group Judicial Watch against the Department of Health and Human Services for communications regarding the World Health Organization, the Chinese government, and the novel coronavirus. 

The lawsuit seeks the communications of Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane, the director and deputy director, respectively, of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci is the top scientist on the White House coronavirus task force. Lane was the U.S. government’s top official on a WHO-sponsored fact-finding mission to China in February. World health officials investigated the origins of the coronavirus outbreak and monitored the Chinese government’s response to the pandemic.

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Internal Chinese Report Warns Beijing to Prepare for Armed Conflict with US Over COVID-19 Backlash, Sources Say

An internal Chinese report warns Beijing officials that backlash from the coronavirus pandemic risks tilting China into a full bore armed conflict with the United States, Reuters reported Monday.

Anti-China sentiment hasn’t been this white-hot since the Tiananmen Square crackdown more than three decades ago, sources familiar with the paper told Reuters. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the report, which the sources say was presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials in April.

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Commentary: Liberals Seek to Use Coronavirus to Bail Out Reckless Spending for State and Local Governments

Americans have come together in the fight against the invisible enemy, but this situation has been made worse by some politicians who seek to take advantage of this pandemic and our recovery while so many are suffering. President Trump has been working around the clock to slow the spread of the Wuhan virus and get the economy going again, but Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have used this crisis to push their radical socialist agenda and grow the size of government. Twice now, Nancy Pelosi held American families, workers, and businesses hostage for days by delaying relief funding in the name of securing tens of millions of dollars for the Kennedy Center, pushing her Green New Deal, changing voting laws, and growing government to advance her radical socialist agenda.

Even more recently, there have been calls to give handouts to failing state and local governments, not because of the coronavirus, but because these states have been mismanaged and run irresponsibly. The American taxpayer should not bail out state and local governments for the reckless fiscal decisions made before the coronavirus.

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ICE Detainees Refuse Coronavirus Tests, Rush Officers and Trash Detention Center

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in Massachusetts rushed officers, barricaded themselves inside the facility and caused more than $25,000 worth of damage after being told they would be transferred to a medical wing of the facility and tested for coronavirus, authorities said.

Roughly 10 inmates at an immigration detention center in Dartmouth, Massachusetts reported symptoms of COVID-19 to medical personnel, according to a press release from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

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University of Texas Under Investigation for Possible Ties to Wuhan Biolab

The Department of Education sent a letter to the University of Texas requesting all records pertaining to its dealings with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The Department of Education’s Office of the General Counsel sent a letter to University of Texas Chancellor James Milliken on April 24 requesting records related to the University’s dealings with Chinese state-owned companies and universities.

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ICE Detainees Refuse Coronavirus Tests, Rush Officers and Trash Detention Center

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in Massachusetts rushed officers, barricaded themselves inside the facility and caused more than $25,000 worth of damage after being told they would be transferred to a medical wing of the facility and tested for coronavirus, authorities said.

Roughly 10 inmates at an immigration detention center in Dartmouth, Massachusetts reported symptoms of COVID-19 to medical personnel, according to a press release from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

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Americans Are Ending the Lockdown, Despite Orders from Elected Officials

by Chris White   Americans are venturing out more to fast food restaurants, gas stations and public places even as health experts and government officials demand extending economic lockdowns, location data show. People are back to visiting gas stations and fast food restaurants at pre-COVID-19 levels, according to location data…

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Commentary: COVID-19 Lockdowns May Destroy Our Immune Systems

What happens when trees are planted in a “perfect” growing environment? Give the trees rich soil, just the right amount of water and no wind, and they grow rapidly, but topple over before they reach maturation. Wind stimulates the tree to grow stress wood, which “helps a tree position itself for optimal sun absorption, and it also helps trees grow more solidly.”

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Vice President Pence Addresses Criticism for Not Wearing Mask at Mayo

Vice President Mike Pence visited the world-renowned Mayo Clinic Tuesday to discuss its fight against the coronavirus, but the media obsessed over the fact that he wasn’t wearing a mask.

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Audacious: Chinese Government Claims to be Victim of Coronavirus Disinformation, Accuses US of ‘Hiding Something’

The Chinese government’s foreign ministry portrayed China as the victim of coronavirus disinformation on Monday, before suggesting minutes later that the U.S. government is “hiding something” regarding the pandemic.

“China always stands against disinformation campaign. We are victim rather than producer of disinformation,” the Chinese foreign ministry wrote from its Twitter account.

The account then suggested without evidence that the U.S. government has lied about the extent of the coronavirus pandemic here.

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Commentary: If You’re Going to Dance on Someone’s Constitutional Rights, You’d Better Have a Good Reason

Curves are flattening worldwide thanks to stringent lockdown efforts.” That bulletin from one of my favorite magazines made me sit up. “Really?” I thought, “Is it because of the stringent lockdown that the ‘curves’ are flattening?”

For that is what “thanks to” means here, right? Because, “propter” in Latin.

No one needs to ask what sort of curves we are talking about here. There is only one subject that is being discussed now towards the end of April 2020: coronavirus, the insidious cold bug brought to the world by the Chinese Communist Party.

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All New Hampshire Residents Will Be Able to Vote Absentee in Upcoming Elections

Election officials recently determined all New Hampshire residents are eligible to cast absentee ballots for municipal, primary, and general elections to keep themselves and poll workers safe from COVID-19.

“New Hampshire is working to make sure a voter will not have to choose between their personal safety and exercising their right to vote,” David Scanlan, deputy secretary of state, told The Center Square.

Under the law, voters can cast absentee ballots due to a disability.

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Trump Administration Extends Travel Ban on Mexican Border for Another Month

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the ban on all non-essential travel along the Mexican and Canadian borders will be extended for an additional 30 days.

The governments of Mexico, Canada and the United States mutually agreed to keep their borders closed off to non-essential traffic for another month as they continue to fight the spread of coronavirus, acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf said Monday. The announcement came just two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the U.S.-Canada border ban would be extended.

“In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days,” Wolf said in a prepared statement.

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Commentary: Progressive Woke Orthodoxy Obscures the Truth About the Virus

Americans are acquainted with predictable but ultimately failed progressive efforts to suppress free expression by preemptive invective and politically correct finger-pointing.

To believe that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers revealed too many contradictions, too many lacunae, too many episodes of timely amnesia, and too many unsubstantiated accusations in their testimonies was chauvinistically to attack/smear/silence all women’s voices – at least until the same sort of memory-repressed accusations focused on handsy Joe Biden.

To express skepticism that current global temperatures are uniformly rising almost entirely due to human carbon emissions, that this state of affairs poses catastrophic dangers that may end civilization as we know it, and that this emergency can only be addressed by the radical restructuring of global economies is to be rendered a denialist, a crank, a fool.

But these parameters of censorship have a logic and predictability, given their race/class/gender/environmental orthodoxy.

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Commentary: Trump Will Win the Post-Pandemic Election

It is by now obvious that the Democrats are determined to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic in a last desperate attempt to get the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has launched yet another Trump investigation, said his call to reopen the economy is “sinful,” and colluded with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to block the GOP effort to pass financial aid without which even more Americans will lose their jobs. Meanwhile, the nation’s Democratic governors refuse to ease their job-killing lockdowns, despite indications that the spread of COVID-19 has already passed its peak. The Democrats clearly hope that the resultant recession will cause Trump to lose in November.

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Two Million Americans Missing Mortgage Payments as Coronavirus Shutdown Takes Its Toll

Roughly 2 million homeowners in the United States have skipped their monthly mortgage payments as the coronavirus pandemic takes a heavy economic toll on the country, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

As more Americans are losing their jobs, being furloughed, or experiencing reduced income, a growing number of home loans are being left unpaid. The latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that many borrowers are choosing to go into forbearance, an agreement with a lender that allows them to momentarily forgo payments.

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Commentary: Wisdom In a Time of Botched Models, Bad Advice, and Deadly Illness

The virus will teach us many things, but one lesson has already been relearned by the American people: there are two, quite different, types of wisdom.

One, and the most renowned, is a specialization in education that results in titled degrees and presumed authority. That ensuing prestige, in turn, dictates the decisions of most politicians, the media, and public officials – who for the most part share the values and confidence of the credentialed elite.

The other wisdom is not, as commonly caricatured, know-nothingism. Indeed, Americans have always believed in self-improvement and the advantages of higher education, a trust that explained broad public 19th-century support for mandatory elementary and secondary schooling and, during the postwar era, the G.I. Bill.

But the other wisdom also puts a much higher premium on pragmatism and experience, values instilled by fighting nature daily and mixing it up with those who must master the physical world.

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Twitter Suspended Account for Steve Bannon Show Critical of Chinese Communist Party

Steve Bannon

Twitter suspended and then reinstated without explanation the account for “War Room: Pandemic,” a radio program founded by Steve Bannon and one of the first shows in the country to warn about the dangers of COVID-19.

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Cuomo: Coalition of Six Northeast States Set to Announce Regional Reopening Plan

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday morning that he feels “the worst is over” when it comes to the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has enveloped his state and the nation, and he suggested that a coalition of six Northeast states would be making a joint announcement at 2 p.m. on plans to reopen the economy in the weeks and months to come.

Speaking at his daily briefing on the pandemic, Cuomo said he had been in contact with the governors of Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island about a regional approach to returning to normalcy.

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An American Instinct for Civil Society Powers an Ohio Assisted Living Facility

Amy Lynn Twyman Smith is the executive director of an assisted living network in Newark, Ohio. Her father died when she was 10 years old. Growing up, she was close with her father’s mother, who eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease. Amy saw first-hand just how important quality care was for her grandmother and her family. Her connection with her grandmother cultivated a passion in Amy that led her to work in assisted living for the entirety of her career.

“It can be hard on families,” she expressed. “I want our care to be the most wonderful experience anyone could have. And especially for our residents, I want every day to be wonderful, as if it was their last.”

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