“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve.”
— H. L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956
As of May 13, 2020, 70 percent of Pennsylvania’s 3,806 COVID-19 “related” deaths have occurred in assisted living facilities. We have known since the onset of the pandemic that persons age 65 or older and/or with comorbidities such as diabetes and heart disease are overwhelmingly at risk of death should they be exposed to the virus. In this regard, Pennsylvania health officials have just reported that 79 is the average age in the Commonwealth for persons suffering COVID-19 “related” deaths and that 11.7 percent of the deceased had four comorbidities, 22.7 percent had three, 27.2 percent had two, 22.6 percent had one, and 11 percent had none.
To reduce the risk of infection, state officials prohibited visits to nursing homes by friends and families. At the same time, Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine issued a witless and ill-conceived directive requiring those facilities to readmit residents who have been hospitalized for COVID-19. This was done regardless of the clear increased risk of harm that this posed to the health and safety of the facilities’ aged and infirm patients.
If you pulled a reckless, boneheaded stunt like Rachel Levine, you would be buried under the courthouse.
The nursing home deaths were entirely predictable. So why did Dr. Levine issue her mandate? Was she simply unaware of the risk involved? Apparently not. You see, after requiring the assisted living facilities to admit COVID-19 patients, Levine moved her 95-year-old mother out of her nursing home to a hotel.
“My mother requested, and my sister and I as her children complied to move her to another location during the COVID-19 outbreak,” Levine said. “My mother is 95 years old. She is very intelligent and more than competent to make her own decisions.”
Well, I’m glad that Levine’s mother is doing well. But the fact that Levine moved her out of the facility certainly indicates that the Secretary of Health well understood the potentially dangerous ramifications of her order.
So, should Levine resign in disgrace? Should she be fired? Should she be prosecuted on 2,611 counts of negligent homicide? Should she be sued in court for money damages?
Answer: none of the above. She has refused to resign, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has praised her for doing a great job. Criminally charging her for negligent homicide would be a questionable move as a matter of law and for the practical reason that no prosecutor in the state would have the courage to even investigate much less prosecute such a charge against a high government official. And, even if she could be sued in court, the state treasury would undoubtedly indemnify her for any money damages assessed.
No, it definitely pays to be part of the government team. You see, they have the power and you don’t. If you pulled a reckless, boneheaded stunt like Levine, you would be buried under the courthouse. But Madame Secretary? She gets a pat on the back from the governor and a nod of approval from the fawning media.
The same scenario has played out in New York, where media hero Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients despite the desperate warnings, pleas, and protests by the homes’ owners and operators that to do so would risk or cause a disaster. As in Pennsylvania, the result has been mass infections of the old and infirm in assisted living facilities, which account for two-thirds of New York’s COVID-19 “related” deaths. And, just like Pennsylvania, when challenged, the government has responded with a shrug of its collective shoulders as it continues to lock down the state and the media turns up their praise of Cuomo to 11.
In Pandamerica, being a progressive ruling over the freshly hatched serfs means never having to say you’re sorry.
As idiotic, hypocritical, and outrageous as all of that has been, when it comes to pure, wild-eyed, drooling craziness, it pales in comparison to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recent announcement that his city will “never be completely open until we have a cure.” Obviously Garcetti doesn’t credit the readily available and inexpensive cure afforded by the use of hydroxychloroquine and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Consequently, it is impossible to know when, if ever, he will allow Los Angeles to return to its pre-pandemic status.
Even though the infection curve has been flattened in California, major elements of its economy remain shut down with a devastating loss of jobs, livelihoods, and businesses. But not to worry. We are assured that the lockdown is being sensibly applied according to the dictates of “the science.”
So it is that, being guided by the data, Garcetti the Most Merciful has granted his subjects leave to go to the beach provided — and I am not making this up — that they do not lounge and sunbathe on the dry sand. “But the wet sand area,” Garcetti said, “if you need to get in there to swim, to surf … that is something I hope we can earn again.” (Emphasis added.)
This kind of neurotic megalomania is all too symptomatic of the egocentric, self-declared petty tyrants who have seized power and are imposing their illogical and contradictory patchwork of useless, mindlessly restrictive, and destructive rules, regulations, and decrees across the country.
Garcetti’s wet-sand-versus-dry-sand decree reminds me of a scene from Woody Allen’s comic film Bananas, in which Allen plays a nebbish who gets caught up in a Central American revolution. After Allen and the revolutionaries take over the country, their leader, El Presidente, addresses the people. That video can be played below.
As you watch the scene unfold, I think you will agree that El Presidente gives a prescient portrayal of the irrational, power-mad state and local officials who are using their police and regulatory powers to economically vandalize vast swaths of our suffering nation.