He looked like a deer in the headlights the whole time he was doing it, but Ohio Governor Mike DeWine nevertheless deferred to the fear mongering of the experts around him and became one of the first in the nation to impose draconian and dictatorial state-wide orders.
I was already frustrated with conservative media’s lockstep submission to academia’s notoriously wrong and persistently liberal fear-mongering, which was also and as usual being uncritically promoted by the U.S. political news media. So I’ll never forget when the Ohio Department of Health’s director, Amy Acton, along with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, went on Tucker Carlson’s show and were praised by Carlson for their wildly irresponsible comments and actions. Acton had just days earlier claimed that 100,000 Ohioans likely already have COVID-19. And at the time that terrified everyone because we were simultaneously being lied to about the morbidity and mortality of the virus by literally everyone in academia, government and media. Realizing she may have overstepped by floating an “estimate” from her position of power and authority, Acton soon began saying in subsequent interviews that she “was tired” when she made the claim. And she started to go down that road with Carlson, but a virtue signal-happy Tucker wouldn’t have it: he thanked her and praised her and said we need more people like her spouting off with irresponsible fear-mongering.
But since Acton’s estimate was largely what inspired confidence in and/or acceptance of DeWine’s dictatorial and unilateral closing of the entire state, they should both be held to that figure even now when it no longer suits their sensational and hyperbolic interests. (And not for nothing but the figure, while perhaps at the time exploited to incite fear, likely was accurate or even understated as tens of millions of as-of-yet uncounted Americans likely have been infected by the virus but never even knew it. Acton and DeWine of course didn’t know that at the time, but nevertheless they put that figure in the ethos and used it to pitch the total shutdown of all of Ohio. And there’s no good reason we should stop using it now, especially since the more informed the data becomes, the more likely it is that the virus has already spread much farther and wider than most of us realize.)
For his part, Governor DeWine never once looked like a sure-footed leader throughout this whole thing. He’s been afraid every step of the way and it doesn’t appear related to the virus’s potential to do harm, as much as his own. The media and healthcare academics like Amy Acton dragged DeWine by the ear and convinced him that only authoritarian state rule demanding that schools close and nobody leave their homes could save the people of Ohio from certain death.
They were wrong and he was wrong to submit to them, but it’s hard to imagine how any of us would have responded in a similar situation: You’re responsible for the lives of millions of people and all the experts agree that we’re facing a virus of biblical proportions, any of us might be inclined to at least try to take drastic steps like DeWine did. (I emphasize “try” because God willing no American will ever let our government trample our rights this way again.)
But DeWine took those steps. And just like all the other fear-mongering politicians, media and academics he will undoubtedly absolve his destructive, draconian measures in a giant Trojan horse marked “social distancing worked.”
So now as we begin our national walk of shame away from the panic attack and back toward normalcy, DeWine should be among the more courageous who accept the reality that they were wrong; who stand and lead rather than cower and follow.
And as part of my plea to DeWine to do just that, I’m going use his own Director of Public Health’s estimate to help bring some needed perspective to the Wuhan Virus conversation…
She said around 5 weeks ago that around 100,000 Ohioans had already contracted COVID-19 and were walking around with it. And DeWine used that as justification for closing all the schools and most of the businesses and putting hundreds of thousands of Ohioans out of work and making everyone prisoners in their homes.
Well as of this moment, Ohio is reporting a grand total of 389 deaths alleged to be from (or at least related to) the Wuhan Virus.
If we do the math on that, the death rate — a coveted figure used to identify and articulate the seriousness of a virus — that death rate for COVID-19 in Ohio is around 0.3%.
Put another way, statistically on par with the flu.
They’re your rules, Governor. And rather than be a deer in the headlights who’s doing things he knows are dangerously destructive and ill-informed, you should now become the first governor of a highly populated state who stands up and leads with courage; encouraging and eagerly anticipating rather than avoiding herd immunity, while also laying out suggestions for the most vulnerable to continue taking precautions.
Notably but also underappreciated or discussed in the media, I say “suggestions” instead of “guidelines” or “orders” because American individuals should 100% have the right to decide what risk they want to assume in their own lives. For the vast majority of us as individuals, the risk will be almost non-existent. But once we as individuals contract it, the benefit to the rest of the population is tremendous as we become immune and can thus no longer spread it.
DeWine’s suggestions should be wrapped in the number of cases his own Public Health director estimated were already established in Ohio, and the number of actual deaths that are alleged to have occurred because of the virus. He should note that the death rate is exceedingly lower than earlier anticipated, the network of beds and ventilators far more robust than earlier calculated, and the need to fear the virus or think we can “beat it” by simply killing our larger body (ie states and the nation itself) was a wild overshoot and needs to be walked back with a dutiful and unafraid vengeance.
You “led” other governors down the rabbit hole of dictatorial rule based on junk science and fear mongering that led to more social and economic carnage than any biological carnage the virus itself will leave in its wake. Now lead the other direction: stand up and fight your way out of this by pretending you understand that the American people are a free people and a good people and deserve not to be lied to so they can be controlled, but entrusted so they can keep growing the state and nation that we all love so much.
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