By Stuart J. Moskovitz, Esq.
I always wondered whether the intent of the Great Flood was for Noah to start a new world or whether it was really a test of those already living here − a test that everyone else managed to fail. When confronted with the flood, Noah chose to save the animals and act in a positive manner. Others ignored the warnings, did nothing to protect themselves or the earth, mocked Noah, and perished. Remember that the prime innate characteristic mankind is free will. For good. For bad.
Now we are faced with a pandemic obviously not as pervasive as the Great Flood, but an equal test of who each of us actually is individually.
There are those who use their free will to act responsibly focused on ending the pandemic, focused on helping, focused on exploring ways to establish a modern day “ark” to bring us through this disaster. Others are using this opportunity to forward their hate, to obsess with their hate, to concentrate not on anything positive, but to feed the real disease within them.
In the ultra−orthodox communities there are some who have not followed the social distancing obligations. Some. There are some around the world who are not ultra−orthodox or even Jewish who are also ignoring the social distancing obligations. But logic has entered into the thought processes of haters. The fact that the leaders of the ultra−orthodox communities have condemned these breaches and directed that social distancing be taken seriously is irrelevant to haters such as Rise Up Ocean County and others who seek out every opportunity to feed their hatred.
Those who would criticize these haters had best look inward first. There is a large contingent of obsessed haters of our current President − you’ve seen them on Facebook, on CNN, in Congress, in useless blogs like the Daily Kos and HuffPost. Facts don’t matter to them. Reality is an inconvenient interference with their message. Let’s take a look at some examples.
First, there is the myth that South Korea has done so much better a job than the United States in dealing with the crisis. The haters point to the level of testing and the number of people infected. Let’s look at the real numbers, the numbers ignored by opportunistic haters like Bill Maher and Steve Colbert.
As everyone knows by now, the virus spreads regionally. You can see the pattern where it first hit China, then Europe and is only now spreading to other areas in the Eastern Hemisphere. In the Western Hemisphere, there is a similar pattern. That’s an important fact that can’t be ignored. South Korea is located in Southeast Asia. Ignoring China, which is separated from Southeast Asia by North Korea − and trust me no one travels from China through North Korea to South Korea − South Korea actually has the WORST infestation in all of Southeast Asia. The worst, not the best.
South Korea has four known deaths per 1 million population. True, that is a low number relatively. But no other country in Southeast Asia has more than two − half as much.
Total cases in South Korea are the worst per capita in all of Southeast Asia with the exception of New Zealand and Singapore, which are only slightly more. Every other nation in Southeast Asia is fewer cases per capita. New Zealand has a total of one death from the disease, Singapore a total of 6. South Korea has a total of 192 deaths. By comparison, Japan has 31 cases per million population and a total of 92. Liberals want to point to South Korea to attack Trump. The attacks simply aren’t supported by the facts.
Another popular myth is that Trump waited two months to begin reacting to the pandemic. Up until January 21, 2020, WHO had declared that human to human contact was unlikely. Only on January 21, 2020 did they admit the possibility of such transmission. They didn’t declare it a pandemic until nearly two months later, on March 11. Yet, Trump acted long before WHO recognized a problem. On January 6, 2020, while WHO was still saying nothing was wrong, the CDC issued a travel warning for Wuhan, China. By January 17, again, before WHO acknowledged a problem, we were already screening for Covid−19 at our airports. By January 20, Dr. Fauci announced we were already working on a vaccine. On January 29, Trump announced the formation of a task force to deal with the issue − just nine days after WHO recognized a problem and more than a month before it declared a pandemic.
The idea that Trump didn’t act is absurd. It is merely a creature of irrational hate, hate that does great harm at any time, let alone during a crisis.
As for the lack of equipment, that is also a flat out lie. There are still ventilators sitting unused because they are not yet needed, while Trump has mobilized private industry to produce more. Masks are being made by the tens of millions. That there was a temporary shortage is caused by two factors. First, when the masks in federal storage were depleted by the Swine Flu during Obama’s tenure, he never acted to replace them. Yet, the media is silent as to that fact and also the fact that Obama waited three months − three months − before he did anything to deal with the Swine Flu.
But here is where myths kill. We have anecdotal evidence that Chloroquine may effectively kill the virus or reduce its impact. Currently it is being tested around the world. Use of the drug for several other diseases for many years have shown that if used properly, there is relatively little danger to its use. Yet, because Trump suggested its use, the left has gone hysterical over such a suggestion, calling him a killer for suggesting something that may well save lives. See the problem? Just like when Trump closed the border to China at the outset of the infestation from China, and Schumer and others called him a racist − driven by their hate, a priority far greater than the welfare of the nation. Remember when Trump suggested too many critical products used in this country are made in China, which poses a danger to this country? Well, now China has control over a number of items we need to fight this pandemic. Hate, which prevented Congress from acting to bring manufacturing back to this country, will have killed countless people, a killing, of course, they will blame on Trump.
In New York right now, there is substantial testing being done on patients with chloroquine. We are awaiting the results. This, while Cuomo denounced Trump’s suggestion that this might be a possible benefit to patients. And all of those beds he claimed Trump wasn’t providing? More than three quarters of the beds created for the pandemic in the United States remain empty. Undoubtedly many will be used as the number of cases increase, but the federal government was not behind in setting them up.
When the Great Flood happened, one man stood up and saved the world. One man took a crisis and reacted to it with positivity, determination to overcome the crisis. Others, who scorned that man, who chose to ridicule rather than act positively, died.
They failed the test. This year, some will pass the test. Others will fail. You will know who fails. You will know who did nothing to advance the well−being of our citizens. You can see them on late night, on certain cable networks, and on Facebook. Driven by hate, they were precisely those who were not worthy of the great gift of life. There are those who are taking steps to fight the pandemic. There are those who prefer to criticize and complain and whine, every day, sometimes every hour. The doers are to be thanked, not hated. The critics are a bane to humanity and this nation in this time of crisis.
Stuart J. Moskovitz, Esq, is a fomer mayor of Manalapan