‘If cable news told data-driven stories of the pandemic, do you think we’d still be rushing to crowded grocery stores, fighting each other over toilet paper?’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) At the height of the Great Depression, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “The only we have to fear is fear itself.”
In a Washington Examiner op-ed, Buck and Biggs acknowledged that the Wuhan coronavirus is a serious disease and that Americans are making great sacrifices to keep it from spreading.
“But we also need to combat fear,” they said.
The congressmen blame the news media for stoking hysteria and inducing panic throughout the country: “If cable news told data-driven stories of the pandemic, do you think we’d still be rushing to crowded grocery stores, fighting each other over toilet paper?”
Buck and Biggs assert that government officials at all levels are responding with authoritarian limitations on basic constitutional rights.
Curfews, mass closures of “nonessential” businesses, halted political gatherings and suspended religious services are all either imposed by the government or strongly recommended.
“Now, government officials are issuing guidelines against congregating in groups larger than 10 people,” they warned.
Buck and Biggs said that the actual threat of the disease pales in comparison to the number of jobs lost, hundreds of billions—or trillions—spent, and the gigantic intrusions the government has taken into people’s private lives.
They cite the Diamond Princess cruise ship as an unintentional, yet instructive experiment. Everyone on board was tested for the coronavirus and 697 people, or 17 percent, tested positive. Of those, seven people died.
“What makes the Diamond Princess situation so important is that it indicates that in a closed environment, among thousands of people, approximately 1 percent of those who caught the virus succumbed to it. That is a rate consistent with recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flu reports,” they wrote.
What’s more, the average age of all passengers was 58 years old, and 33 percent were 70 or older.
“We need to focus our resources on the most vulnerable, which means prioritizing elderly and sick populations,” Buck and Biggs concluded.
Economically, that means not bailing out big banks over mom-and-pop businesses or writing $1,000 taxpayer-funded checks over incentivizing people to go back to work, they said.
“We can’t let fear cripple our economy and push our nation over the brink.”