URLs du Jour

2020-03-28

[Amazon Link]

  • At the Josiah Bartlett Center, the question is asked: How many New England governors really issued "stay home" orders? And answered:

    Here’s a surprise. In New England, only the Republican governors of New Hampshire and Vermont have issued COVID-19 executive orders that direct all individuals to stay home unless otherwise allowed to go out.

    JBC goes on to note that New Hampshire's "order" has piles of exceptions. As noted yesterday, including florists.


  • In his column, Jonah Goldberg says Pandemics Are a Terrible Time for a Frivolous Spending Spree. And he's right!

    During the debate over the economic rescue package last week, House Majority Whip James Clyburn said this crisis offers a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.” The House version of the bill was full of gratuitous nonessentials such as regulations for forced diversity hiring. (The bill included 32 instance of the word “diversity.”) The final version has $25 million in funding for the Kennedy Center.

    If you want to convince normal Americans to take a crisis seriously, you have a moral obligation to act as if you take it seriously too. Using it as an opportunity to get things you couldn’t successfully argue for before the crisis tells people you’re not as serious as you expect them to be. And that is a surefire way to sow precisely the sort of partisan distrust you decry.

    As with past crises, Jonah notes, "a lot of the stuff progressives propose to fight it are things they want to do anyway."

    Also see: the Patriot Act, way back when.


  • At National Review, David Harsanyi has shocking news: Political Media Are Failing America.

    Here are some of the public figures and institutions that Americans hold in higher esteem than the media according to Gallup:

    • Hospitals
    • Their child’s school and daycare centers
    • State governments
    • Their employer
    • CDC and NIH
    • Mike Pence
    • Donald Trump
    • Congress

    Only one institution that Gallup asked about, the media, had negative approval rating — sitting 19 points behind its archenemy Donald Trump. And there are likely many other people and places that the public has more trust in than journalists.

    I'll go against the grain somewhat and opine that my local TV station and the Wall Street Journal have been pretty good. But I haven't bothered with CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC, …


  • At Reason, Paul Detrick: The Coronavirus Testing Debacle Stems From Decades of Bad FDA Policy. One example:

    Take the case of Alex Greninger, a doctor and researcher at the University of Washington, who, according to a report in GQ, submitted his application to create a coronavirus test via email. Then he learned that he also needed to submit a paper copy, and then another version burned to a compact disk or loaded onto a drive and delivered to the FDA's Maryland headquarters.

    After he complied, the FDA did not approve his test right away, according to a report in ProPublica. They asked him to make sure his test didn't cross-diagnose with SARS and MERS, other coronaviruses which hadn't been seen in the U.S. in years. His test was finally certified on February 29, at which point the fatal outbreak in his home state of Washington was already underway. 

    As the crisis worsened and the testing shortage drew headlines, the FDA simplified the process. But then on March 20, it shut down efforts to rapidly make available at-home testing kits on the grounds that they were unvetted and could be fraudulent.

    As they say, the country's in the very best of hands.


  • And the Google LFOD News Alert rang for Matt Simon: Coronavirus threatens medical cannabis program, endangers patients. Specifically, those who use it to alleviate pain, manage nausea from chemotherapy, etc.

    Patients living in neighboring states are much more fortunate in this regard than those in New Hampshire. Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine all allow dispensaries to deliver medical cannabis to patients, and they also allow individuals to grow their own plants at home.

    Sadly, patients in New Hampshire do not have either of those alternatives. Here, patients’ only in-state option is to drive or send a designated caregiver to one of five dispensary locations. And home cultivation, which is now legal for adults in all three neighboring states, remains a felony for patients in the “Live Free or Die” state.

    How about it, Governor Sununu? As long as you're issuing decrees…