President Donald Trump is entirely correct to offer Americans hope that there’s an end in sight: that America could “reopen” by Easter.
It probably won’t happen that soon, but without some hope, American society and the lives of Americans will begin to fray and disintegrate in tragic and dangerous ways.
Here’s why the president has a reason to offer this hope.
To date, there’s been no cure for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as coronavirus*, that most likely originated in the Wuhan Level-4 biological lab.
Hospital treatments for serious cases have been limited to relieving symptoms and using ventilators until patients recover on their own. Without a cure, some of the most serious cases die, even when on a ventilator—and there’s a current shortage of ventilators.
However, extremely promising drugs are now being tested and used by doctors around the world, such as chloroquine, remdesivir, and hydroxychloroquine, as well as plasma from recovered patients. The results are looking successful. You could call them the “cure.”
So it’s time for Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other medical authorities to broadly announce the fact, and recommend these as the first treatment for all patients.
These treatments have the promise to make infection by the CCP virus far less risky for everyone, and coupled with increased testing, slow and eventually halt the spread, long before a vaccine is ready.
What’s the best moment to reopen the United States? As soon as there’re sufficient quantities of these drugs distributed around the country and doctors are educated to use them as a primary treatment. Then infections can be cured rapidly and patients on ventilators will be a thing of the past. The president should call for mass production of these life-saving drugs.
President Trump broke the good news about chloroquine and a possible early reopening, but many doctors may be reluctant to prescribe the drugs for “off-label” uses.
Dr. Fauci has the unique stature to specifically recommend that these be used as the standard treatment. After all, in a radio interview, Fauci said “of course” he would prescribe chloroquine, and mildly suggested doctors could prescribe it, too. So he knows it works, but may be too cautious to declare it as a cure. In this national emergency, delaying such a declaration can result in thousands more deaths and a continued national quarantine for perhaps many more months.
Some may wish to perpetuate the emergency for political gain. Democrats, statists, and others have a stake in perpetuating the economic damage, establishing Chinese-style social control, and packing future congressional relief bills with their socialist dreams.
A target of Easter or sometime in May might actually be achievable, because a “war-time” production-level of these drugs and test kits could result in every hospital and pharmacy having sufficient quantities to start to eradicate the disease within weeks.
The wrong things to do would be to require these FDA-approved drugs to undergo time-and-life-consuming randomized controlled trials specific to coronavirus, or turn a short period of “flattening the curve” social distancing into a permanent police-state quarantine until a vaccine is ready.
The standard in this emergency for the use of existing FDA-approved drugs should simply be this: Do patients recover without worse side-effects? That’s it, period.
Americans need hope. And work. Without a hope of a near-term end to the shutdown and a return to work, could the United States survive on lockdown for months or perhaps a year when a vaccine would be ready?
Imagine more than half of all small businesses, farms, and entrepreneurs bankrupt, or most hourly workers without means of support other than bailouts and welfare. Stock market and real estate values collapsed. Recovery could take a decade or longer because bankrupt people won’t buy products and services if reopening takes many months or a year.
Mass unemployment, even with regular “stimulus” checks, creates the conditions for starvation, crime, despair, suicides, riots, and even revolution.
While the United States is shutdown, our totalitarian enemies won’t be. Count on that. China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, terrorist groups, and every Third World country with designs on their neighbors will take terrifying advantage of the United States and our allies being crippled.
As an epidemiologist, Fauci’s cautious medical instincts may be to keep everyone in the United States self-quarantined for many months or until a vaccine is ready for mass distribution. He’s a doctor and wants to entirely halt infections, and while that’s admirable, there’s a balance, as President Trump expressed: “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
Hope. That’s what Americans need in this crisis. And a cure. And both are what President Trump offered with his hint of an “Easter miracle,” and support for potential cures like chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Rollout of these drugs can make the president’s hope of a reopened, healthy, and thriving America into a reality.
*The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
Art Harman is the president of the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration. He was the legislative director and foreign policy adviser for Rep. Stockman (R-Texas) in the 113th Congress, and is a veteran policy analyst and grassroots political expert.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.