The Corner

Politics & Policy

Ezekiel Emanuel Wants to Shut Down the Country Again

Back when the country was going off the economic cliff because most states “shut down,” Ezekiel Emanuel, the bioethicist and Obamacare architect, urged that we be kept in that artificially induced societal coma for 18 months, until a COVID-19 vaccine was found.

Now, the country is slowly getting back on its feet and millions are returning to work — but the disease is also spiking in some areas, such as Texas, California, and Florida. So, of course Emanuel again is calling for a shut down as the lead signatory of an open letter to “Decision Makers” signed by 150 other “experts” in health care. From the letter:

Non-essential businesses should be closed. Restaurant service should be limited to take-out. People should stay home, going out only to get food and medicine or to exercise and get fresh air. Masks should be mandatory in all situations, indoors and outdoors, where we interact with others.

We need that protocol in place until case numbers recede to a level at which we have the capacity to effectively test and trace. Then, and only then, we can try a little more opening, one small step at a time.

You should bar non-essential interstate travel. When people travel freely between states, the good numbers in one state can go bad quickly.

If you don’t take these actions, the consequences will be measured in widespread suffering and death.

Bar most interstate travel? That’s never been done in our history. Like I have written here before, some see this pandemic as the opportunity to establish a technocracy — rule by experts. Emanuel is a technocrat’s technocrat.

Never mind that some states have never had to close down and some that did are being hit again. Never mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics has urged that schools be reopened because of the incredible harm being caused to children from not being able to attend. Never mind that Dr. Anthony Fauci has not advocated shutting down the country. Never mind that the COVID isn’t exactly smallpox for those not in vulnerable groups. And, never mind that we are being told maximum uses of masking and social distancing can significantly blunt the resurgence. Emanuel wants apocalypse now!

It is also worth noting here that Emanuel is a chief adviser on health care to Joe Biden and that another shutdown would cause catastrophic economic dislocation beyond anything we have experienced to date, not to mention a meltdown of the stock market, erasing many people’s retirement accounts. Another national shutdown would inflict unquantifiable pain and suffering for the tens of millions who — unlike the letter’s signers — would be unable to earn a living staying at home.

Of course, the ultimate impact of such a course would almost surely be the election of — no coincidence — Joe Biden. So, one suspects this is a letter more steeped in political machinations than epidemiological analysis.

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