One might have imagined that fighting a deadly global pandemic would transcend political differences in America, but instead it has only sharpened them. A friend who plays in a weekly poker game that features high stakes and nine players says the ones who get their news from Fox want to re-open everything, while the CNN/MSNCB guys want to keep the quarantine tightly in place more or less indefinitely. This comes as no surprise to me personally. Several weeks ago I emailed a brother who lives in San Francisco a YouTube video in which a noted epidemiologist explained the futility of trying to defeat the new coronavirus with lockdowns, however strict. My brother took the email as a political affront and we haven’t spoken since.
Although the civil rights dimension of the lockdown is the big story now, the ACLU unsurprisingly has sided not with you and me, but with state and local enforcers. On the far left of the pandemic divide is the New York Times, which has buried its head in the sand on the matter of whether the virus originated in a Wuhan lab. Neither the Times nor anyone without top security clearance has seen a report that Trump and a few others are saying makes a compelling case for the lab theory. Evidence aside, the Times has scoffed at this claim rather than graciously acknowledging we should simply wait for the facts. If they come, however voluminously, expect the Gray Lady to reject them as either inaccurate or poorly supported.
Since I don’t read the Times, I have no idea whether it has picked up on reports of a ‘murder hornet’ with well-documented origins in Japan turning up in the U.S. Mother nature’s heavily-pincered, two-inch version of an attack drone has been savaging the hives of honeybees, and its venom is known to cause liver, kidney and heart problems in humans. Beekeepers in the Pacific Northwest have been fighting this scourge as best they can. Let’s hope their efforts and enthusiasm are not hobbled by Portland and Seattle newspapers when they sink to the defense of the Japanese murder hornet with editorials decrying racist beekeepers seeking only to rid themselves of a dangerous pest.