Joe Biden’s campaign announced that he would name a task force of prominent Democratic public health experts to a coronavirus task force that will supposedly act in concert with the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Biden’s announcement comes as European nations were revealing record-breaking numbers of coronavirus cases. It raises the question about why any coronavirus “experts” who advocate for lockdowns and business closings should be believed.
Europe “listened to the scientists” and, for a while, the number of coronavirus cases dropped. But as European nations reopened their economies, the virus came back with a vengeance.
The list of task force members released by Biden will no doubt cheer public health officials. But what about the rest of us?
The task force would include former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, New York University’s Dr. Celine Gounder, Yale’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, former Obama White House aide Dr. Zeke Emanuel and former Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Julie Morita, who is now an executive vice president at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In line with Biden’s repeated campaign pledges to “listen to the scientists” if elected, the team features well-respected, veteran public health experts, some of whom ran agencies under the Obama and Clinton administrations.
I’m taking odds on their first two recommendations being a mask mandate and another nationwide lockdown.
The team is expected to advise transition officials on managing the latest spike of Covid-19 cases, ensuring vaccines are safe, and protecting at risk populations, according to an official close to the Biden team with knowledge of the plans, which are still evolving.
One of the more intriguing choices is Dr. Zeke Emanuel, brother of former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and someone who is on the record saying he wants to die before the age of 75 so he’s not a “burden” on society. Maybe Biden will put him in charge of “protecting at-risk populations” to make sure that old people aren’t a burden on the rest of us.
But the big question is what are they going to do differently? Europe has done everything — massive testing, contact-tracing, enforcing mask mandates — and they’re still dealing with a virus out of control.
But the national disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 23,399 new cases between Friday and Saturday, a daily record for the country.
It brought the total number of recorded cases in Germany to over 600,000. A total of 11,226 deaths have been reported in the country.
This increase came despite bars, gyms and theaters being shut since Monday, under measures agreed between Merkel and the heads of regional governments. However, schools will stay open and shops will be allowed to operate with limits.
It’s not as bad in Germany as it is in other countries, where hospitals are filling so quickly that the Netherlands and Belgium are sending acute cases to Germany.
France, Great Britain, and Greece have all initiated lockdowns to one degree or another. But they’ve tried that already. It didn’t work the first time, why should it work now?
It’s being tried because it’s all the public health “experts” know how to do. In the absence of a vaccine or a surefire treatment that would cure people, all they know to combat the virus is to keep people apart.
This is our fate until a sizable number of people receive a vaccine. We’re condemned to go through these cycles of shutdown/reopen, shutdown/reopen. It’s not curing anyone. It’s protecting a precious few of us. But it gives the politicians who hire the public health officials the ability to tell voters they’re “doing something about the problem.” What they’re doing is useless, even dangerous, but it’s better than being seen as not doing anything.
Joe Biden was successful in portraying Trump as a failure in his response to the virus. Once Biden initiates his first lockdown, it will be his response to defend. Keep that in mind when the next round of shutdown/reopen begins.