By AJ Rice:
Hillary couldn’t manage it. A tsunami of smears about “collusion” with nefarious Russians wasn’t sufficient. Not even a hysterical impeachment circus led by bug-eyed ringmaster Adam Schiff did the job.
All hopes of a Trump removal are now pinned on coronavirus fever.
Indeed China, Liberalism and germs are all more preferable than Trump's second term to the mainstream media.
Until recently, President Trump has weathered everything hurled at him in part because he has presided over the best economy Americans have known since the 1960s. Millions of Americans have never known times this good. A booming stock market. Unemployment almost nonexistent - especially among groups who’ve often benefitted less from previous economic recoveries, such as black Americans and those working in service sector jobs.
America energy-independent. The cost of gasoline about half what it was during the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the diminished expectations presidency of Trump's predecessor, who lectured Americans that slow-to-no-growth of about 2 percent annually was the "new normal" - and they'd better just get used to it.
Trump almost doubled it - in less than three years.
He accomplished what was considered impossible by undoing things his predecessor did. He reduced the tax burden on Americans, who suddenly had more of their money back in their pockets - rather than the pockets of the government.
Businesses could do business again, the president having greatly reduced federal regulations that had made it hard to be in business. The best case in point being the president's lifting of stifling restrictions on oil exploration and discovery within the United States, which led to America becoming the world's single greatest producer of oil - even more so than Saudi Arabia.
And now it's all coming undone - but not for economic reasons.
Nothing has changed about the economic fundamentals over the past two weeks. But Americans are terrified by what they’ve been hearing and reading over the past two weeks.
Which raises the question: Should Americans believe the Worst Case Scenarios being peddled by the same media that has so blatantly been out for President Trump’s blood since he was elected president? Can they be trusted to give Americans the straight dope about the Coronavirus - or are they trying to play the people for dopes, again?
In order to achieve what they have obviously been after for the past three years but - so far - haven’t been able to achieve: The political - and electoral- destruction of a president they despise, at the expense of the American people, who will pay the price?
Consider the facts:
As of mid-March, about 50,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Coronavirus; of this cohort, about 700 have died. This is not pleasant - but is it catastrophic? The same CNN which posts almost hourly Corona Fever updates - often accompanied by snarky anti-Trump “news analysis” such as Trump Unwilling to Accept Full, Sobering reality of Coronavirus - took a much less alarmist line back in December, when it reported on the 2.6 million cases of flu during the 2019 season, the 23,000 hospitalizations and the 1,300 people who had died from the flu.
Businesses weren’t closed. The stock market didn’t tank. Arguably, because the media didn’t hype.
Perhaps because people are used to the flu. But Corona is all new. Exotic and scary. Did it come from a lab or from bat-eaters? No one seems to know what it is, exactly - nor what to expect, precisely. Will they die if they contract it? Or just feel bad for a week or two?
Few seem to realize that it’s proved to be far less of a threat to Americans than the flu - or even driving, which results in about 35,000 deaths each year.
But terror about the Coronavirus and the “solutions” it triggers could prove extremely lethal to their jobs, their businesses - and their 401ks. The harm being caused to Americans’ financial security has already been catastrophic. The roughly 20 percent loss in value the market has suffered over the past week translates into tens of thousands of dollars vaporized from the retirement funds of millions of Americans, many of whom counted on the value of their retirement funds to enable them to retire over the next few years - as opposed to waiting (and working) for another decade for their balance sheets to recover.
Small businesses are losing business; some of them all of their business - due to government closure decrees, as in Ohio, New York and Virginia and a growing number of others that prevent them from doing business. Hardest hit will be restaurants and bars, which always operate on the razor’s edge of viability. They cannot afford to be even partially closed for weeks or months.
Many will go out of business for good.
This will have a cascading effect as the weeks go by; the people who lose their jobs - or even fear they will lose their jobs - close their wallets and purses, buying nothing more than they have to. This hurts other businesses - including even online businesses such as Amazon. Unemployed people - and people terrified they soon will be unemployed - stop being customers.
The media hopes the president will get the blame for all of this. But it's not the president who is hyping this. In fact they want him to stop holding daily press conferences.
If it turns out the Coronavirus is not a catastrophe that justifies one - the cratering the economy and with it, the economic lives of millions of Americans - then heads should roll.
But not the president's.