Biden, Birx and COVID Lockdowns in Virginia

by DJ Rippert

Sine wave. The third wave of COVID-19 has been spreading across the world and has come to America.  As should have been expected it has also come to Virginia. Many European countries have enacted lockdowns that would be considered draconian by most Americans. Several U.S. governors have also dramatically reversed the re-opening of their states’ economies in order to thwart the spread of the virus. Federal infectious disease experts are sounding the alarm. “We are entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic . . . leading to increasing mortality,” said the Monday report from Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. Birx predicts that the US will see more than 100,000 new cases per day this week.

In the Old Dominion, as WAVY reported yesterday, “Virginia’s [7-day] daily average of 1,306 cases per day is more than 100 cases per day above previous highs in August and May, mostly spurred by spikes in Southwest Virginia, and a notable increase in Northern Virginia. Virginia’s case incidence rate per 100,000 residents is now 15.3, which is considered especially high.” WAVY further reports that Virginia’s case per day total will reach 2,000 by the end of January per UVa’s COVID-19 model. Meanwhile, our governor is unconcerned, citing historical statistics that prove (to him) that Virginia has no real need for concern.

It seems that the stage is set in Virginia for a set of knee-jerk proclamations that will send our state’s economy back into the tail spin we experienced this spring.

U.K. The United Kingdom reported 18,950 new cases of coronavirus and 136 deaths on November 2, 2020. At a population of 67 million that equates to 28.3 new cases per 100,000 and 0.2 new deaths per 100,000. The equivalent number for the U.S. are 93,581 new cases and 540 new deaths. At a population of 330 million that equates to 28.4 new cases and 0.16 new deaths per 100,000. In other words, the U.S. is experiencing a slightly higher per capita case rate and a somewhat lower per capita death rate. The difference in reactions by the two modern western democracies is staggering. Starting Thursday England will enter a new lockdown. Pubs and restaurants will be closed (to-go allowed), non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues closed, no household mixing indoors, stay home orders -= only leave for specific reasons including education and work. Schools, nurseries, colleges and universities remain open.

France.  Seventy-nine and four-tenths new cases and 0.62 new deaths per 100,000. Much sicker and more lethal than the U.S. (as of 2 Nov). The death toll is France’s highest since April 15. People are allowed to leave their home only to go to work (if they cannot work from home), to buy essential goods, seek medical help or to exercise for one hour a day. Everyone found outside has to carry a written statement justifying their journey, as happened in the first lockdown in March. Social gatherings are banned.

Germany. Through what can be assumed to be a statistical anomaly, Nov. 2 was a particularly low day for cases and deaths vs. the prior three days: 14.4 cases and 0.06 deaths per 100,000. Considerably less sick and less lethal than the U.S. Restaurants, bars, theaters, cinemas, gyms and other leisure facilities closed in a four-week “wave-breaker” shutdown. In a warning shot across the bow of Biden’s plan to hire 100,000 new contact tracers, German officials say they can’t track the source of three-quarters of new coronavirus cases. This despite the fact that Germany was praised for its effective testing and tracing efforts in the spring.

Italy. Forty-seven new cases and 0.59 deaths per 100,000. Sicker and more deadly than the U.S. (as of Nov 2). New measures coming this week will include further business closures and travel restrictions between regions deemed “at risk.”. A 9p.m. curfew is under consideration. Prime Minister Conte has resisted pressure for a new national lockdown preferring regional measures instead. A red, yellow green system will be implemented. Three regions are already in red status. In those regions, most shops will be closed. Schools will remain open for students up to sixth grade. Older students will learn over the internet.

U.S. Despite the bad news from Europe and surging cases at home very few new COVID-19 mitigation measures have been implemented. Examples: New York (COVID incidence rate per 100k = 8.4) has required travelers from non-neighboring states to test for COVID-19 before and after visiting the state. Massachusetts (COVID incidence rate per 100k = 12.6) has reimplemented quarantine rules for travelers who visit the state from Connecticut and New Jersey. A stay-at-home order, with exceptions, has been issued for residents between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Limits on gatherings at private residences have been reduced from 25 to 10.

Where is the liberal outcry? Over and over again for month after month liberals decried President Trump’s lack of effectiveness in combating COVID-19 in the U.S. They endlessly pointed to Europe as an example of efficient and effective government intervention. Now the second wave has broken and the Europeans are locking down their countries and their economies. Where is the demand from Democrats for the U.S. to do the same? Where are the Democratic politicians in Virginia excoriating Ralph Northam for his laissez-faire attitude toward the second wave? Virginia’s COVID incidence rate is higher than Germany, New York and Massachusetts. Yet Germany acts while Northam dithers. Cuomo acts while Northam dithers. Massachusetts acts while Northam dithers.

The final shoe to drop. Eventually, sleepy Ralph Northam will awaken from his prolonged slumber and leap into a full-blown panic. The time for measured approaches to contain the surge will have passed. It will be close this, close that. Ban this, ban that. In other words, chaos. But by the time Virginia is expected to hit 2,000 cases per day there will (almost certainly) be a new president in the White House. A president with a COVID plan that is not materially different than what is being done now. Then who will Virginia’s liberals blame for the catastrophe in our state?

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12 responses to “Biden, Birx and COVID Lockdowns in Virginia

  1. Well, as usual, I would compare Northam to other States governors especially with regard to lockdowns (which few want). Is he really different from many other governors? Even some Red states have more restrictions than Virginia and so maybe DJ is playing the old “Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t game again.”

    It’s abundantly clear that critics are just waiting to hammer Northam and the man is justifiably keeping his head down but like I said – he’s got LOTs of company these days with other governors!

    It’s true Europe fell off the wagon but there are quite a few other countries that have not yet… with varying degrees of lockdowns and masks, testing, etc.

    Many folks both Conservtive and Liberal don’t want lockdowns but some want to use masks, social distancing, want testing and contract tracings while others don’t see as much a need to do that and therein lies a problem. If half do not want to do those things but also don’t want lockdowns, the virus WILL run amok but treatments have reduced deaths.

    Some of this is just denial of realities. Take the DMVs – does anyone think they are overreacting and instead they should be fully back open like before? How about government meetings, or movie theatres, or sports venues? Are they “locked down” by govt dictate or the virus?

    • Nobody wants lockdowns, Larry. Nobody. However, lockdowns were what separated the springtime European response from the springtime American response. It wasn’t mask mandates or social distancing. It was lockdowns. Now, Democrats have spent a lot of time and money criticizing Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus outbreak back in March. They routinely compare the US to Europe. Fine. Maybe that’s right. But Europe locked down a lot harder than the US. Now we have a resurgence. Europe is locking down hard. What do the Democrats propose that we do about the resurgence? Repeat what we did in the spring or emulate Europe, take our economic medicine and lock down hard?

      This should not be a hard question for Democrats. Last spring there were a lot more unknowns then there are now. The resurgence is coming. What should we do?

      • What should we do?

        We should do what we originally set out to do when the pandemic started. That is, ensure that hospitals and first responders are adequalty equipped, protect the most vulnerable and manage the situation so that we don’t run out of hospital beds – flatten the curve.

        Draconian measures imposed with blinders to their unintended consequences may actually result in more loss of life in the long term.

        Keep the public informed and to the degree possible, allow individuals to asses for themselves how much risk they are comfortable with, while also encouraging everyone to be considerate of others. Where masks and socially distance when in public.

        Stop demonizing “Operation Warp Speed.” Trump was right to cut red tape without sacrificing safety. The anti-vaccine rhetoric by Democrat partisans should stop.

        Much of the rhetoric about how to properly deal with the Coronavirus was fueled by partisans with TDS who saw the pandemic as an opportunity to make Trump look bad and win the 2020 election. With the voting over, I hope we can now focus on what’s actually best for the country and Virginia.

        Even leftist Snopes had to admit this was correct.

        Claim
        In October 2020, actress Jane Fonda said the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic was “God’s gift to the Left.”

        Rating
        Correct Attribution

        https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/jane-fonda-covid-gods-gift/

  2. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    If Mr. Northam wakes up we will see signs such as this one to keep us safe and sound.

    • Mr Whitehead – life is hard when you run for governor and promise to keep your state safe, to the best of your abilities. Opinions are as plentiful as pollen in the spring. But you’re the governor. As Harry Truman has written on a plaque on his desk, “The buck stops here”. Sage words from a real politician. Perhaps the last of our time. The buck stops at Northam’s desk. If he didn’t want that he shouldn’t have run for governor.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        I bought a copy of that sign at the “Little White House” in Key West Florida. Truman’s getaway place on a navy base. Harry was special. My Uncle Ed Lockett covered Truman for the old Washington Star and enjoyed a few stiff shots of “Old Granddad” with the President. Uncle Ed always remarked that the only time he would interview was during his famous brisk walks that the Secret Service struggled to keep up with.
        There were a number of admirable qualities for President Truman. One being his command of swear words. Two, he was able to make up his mind and plow straight ahead.

  3. So what’s the real “skinny” on Northam among ordinary Virginias: ?

    Poll: Virginia voters approve of Northam’s handling of pandemic, think restrictions ‘about right’

    That’s according to a new Washington Post-Schar School poll released this week.

    Overall, Northam garners 2-to-1 approval from Virginia voters for his handling of the pandemic: 64% approve, 32% disapprove and 4% offered no opinion, in the poll.

    The governor’s approval rating for dealing with COVID-19 is higher than his overall job approval rating of 56%.

    In general, a majority of Virginians support Northam’s approach to dealing with the pandemic, including the coronavirus restrictions that limited capacity at businesses and shuttered others.

    According to the poll, more than half of those surveyed — 53% — said they felt Virginia’s coronavirus restrictions were “about right.” A quarter of respondents said they felt the restrictions were not strict enough, and fewer than a quarter — 21% — said they felt they were too strict.

    Sounds like the folks who voted against him and the critics disagree , eh?

    😉

    • Larry, you are testing my patience. Once again you are off topic. My article never asked what the average Virginian thought about Ralph Northam. Once upon a time the average Virginian thought slavery, segregation and massive resistance were good ideas. The question is whether Northam is right with his “what, me worry?” approach to the resurgence. You can say “yes” or “no”. I say “no”. He is missing opportunities to take modest actions now that could prevent drastic actions later.

      Please stay on topic. As I said, you are testing my patience.

      • Here’s the deal. You ask what Northam should do and blathered about liberals but I was looking at all Virginians and what they might want him to do and the polls show how they feel AND what they want:

        ” According to the poll, more than half of those surveyed — 53% — said they felt Virginia’s coronavirus restrictions were “about right.” A quarter of respondents said they felt the restrictions were not strict enough, ”

        So, in other words, 78% think he is doing about right OR want stricter rules.

        And you got it wrong on the lockdowns – What Europe , and Asia, and other countries like New Zealand, South Africa and Austrailia did was a combination of lockdown and masks AND testing and contact tracing and Europe fell back but these other countries did not and stayed the course and have kept their numbers down.

        NOW, if you ask what Northam should do – he should stay the course and increase testing and contact tracing like those other sucessful countries.are doing – NOT fall back like Europe did.

        What else will Virginian’s support? With or without the Govenor, many are not going to return to sit-down restaurants – for the same reason they are not going to go to movie theatres, museums, and most indoor venues where people congregate.

        A reasonable approach – keep the masks, keep the social distancing, stay out of congregae venues, more testing and contact tracing – and keep the rest of the economy open as much as possible without taking all or nothing approaches.

        got that?

        • You and your ilk have lambasted Trump for his lack of an effective response. Now you mollycoddle Northam when he does nothing more than tell people to wear masks, socially distance and wash their hands regularly.

          If the resurgence really does result in 2,000 new cases per day in Virginias will you criticize Northam’s lack of action or join the other useful idiots who insist that there was nothing the governor could have done/

          • And you and your ilk will hammer him if he does or if he doesn’t.

            As time has gone by, it’s clear that the critics are more about blaming than they are about supporting something and Northam and others are now not about to stray too far from what most people will accept.

            Ya’ll were all over him when he did restrictions before… hammered him for one-size fits all then hammered him from letting school districts decide instead of state edict.

            Here’s the question for you. What did Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Africa and Canada do – to keep their numbers down and why can’t we do what they did?

            I know, I know… you’ll have to go find out so you can then oppose it!

            😉

  4. Baconator with extra cheese

    I say lock it all down… Everything.
    When people don’t have power, sewer, water, food, EBT, fire, police, schools, interwebs, etc… we’ll find out if they value their liberty.
    Plus we’ll have Equity… and that’s the measure of everything good.

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