HHS Assistant Secretary: Everything on the table regarding coronavirus

It appears all options will be considered by the federal government, including lockdowns, when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir did not necessarily endorse completely re-shutting down the economy to ABC News this morning but said some restrictions are wise.

“You know, everything should be on the table,” Giroir told George Stephanopolous on ABC’s This Week when directly asked about lockdowns. “What we model are the most important interactions, are closing bars. If you’re in a red state, I mean like a red state — red meaning you have a lot of transmission, closing bars is an important thing, limiting the capacity of restaurants is an important thing, these are two measures that really do need to be done. They really do need to be done.”

Another shutdown likely dooms President Donald Trump’s re-election bid although former Vice President Joe Biden’s so-called coronavirus plan leaves plenty to be desired from an economic and personal freedom standpoint. Libertarian presidential nominee Dr. Jo Jorgensen’s coronavirus plan appears similar to the Swedish model of minimal shutdowns and few restrictions.

Polling on lockdowns appears favorable at the moment, however, the human cost of cannot be forgotten. How quick we are to forget stories from the spring detailing rising domestic violence and child abuse cases, along with suicides due to long periods of isolation. Another round of lockdowns likely garners more of the same.

Other options remain, including allowing personal responsibility and trusting individuals and businesses to make the best decisions to protect the health of themselves and others, however, politicians are wont to allow this.

One thing under consideration is the decreasing death rate, as pointed out by Giroir on This Week and Nick Gillespie on the June 29th Reason Roundtable podcast. The U.S. mortality rate is 4.2%, according to Johns Hopkins University, and while not quite the lowest in the world, still a positive. Part of the reason why the death rate is down, although deaths are up, is due to the ability of doctors to the treat coronavirus with various pharmaceuticals.

Not everyone believes the lowered death rate is proof coronavirus isn’t that bad. Dr. Anthony Fauci called it a “false narrative” this past week while encouraging people to not get into a state of complacency. Fauci is why to encourage personal responsibility and caution despite evidence a vast majority of those who catch coronavirus will be fine.

Unfortunately, Giroir’s portrait of the rest of 2020 stayed bleak.

“[W]e know 90 percent of our population is still at risk for the coronavirus,” the pediatrician said while also noting the predictions of a summer lull in coronavirus cases were merely hope they didn’t necessarily count on. “[T]here’s possibility it could be worse in the fall and we are all continuing to increase everything we do. I do think in the fall, we’re going to need tens of millions of more tests a month and we’re planning for that, because we have a lot of respiratory viruses like flu circulating. Very critical that people their flu vaccines because we don’t want flu circulating with COVID. And, yes, there are some data that you can get both at the same time. And that’s not really good.”

Those Mayans may have been off by eight years or those who studied them miscalculated.