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News of Otsego County

Money Matter

MORGAN: Bad Numbers, Good News

MONEY MATTERS

Bad Numbers,

Good News

By TOM MORGAN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Let us call it The Finger-Pointers’ Dilemma.

The toll of the virus has been less than what we were promised. The WuFlu medical experts assured us the sky was definitely falling this time. Maybe 2 million of us would croak.

Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta investment counselor and national syndicated columnist, resides in Franklin.

These experts convinced themselves of this. They convinced our public health officials. They convinced Big Media. All of them teamed up to convince our leaders.

And so, our leaders shut down our economy. They turfed over 17 million Americans from their jobs. And we are still counting. Upward. They cut the legs from under hundreds of thousands of small businesses. They sentenced many of them to bankruptcy. They pushed us into, likely, a recession. And, perhaps, into a depression. They saddled the country with trillions in new debt, to try to buffer the damage to workers and businesses.

Our leaders did this because experts demanded they do so. There was no alternative, they and the experts insisted. The prospect of 2 million deaths makes it imperative, they said.

After a few weeks the experts lowered their estimates. They now proclaimed that only 1 million or so Americans would die from WuFlu. Still a pretty daunting figure.

Then the experts lowered their estimates again. Only 240,000 of us would die from the virus. They were really serious about this number, they said. Pay attention to this number.

Then the experts lowered their estimates to 100,000 or so. Then 80,000. Then 60,000.  And they admitted that lots of people who were tagged as virus deaths were actually victims of such diseases as pneumonia.  They concluded this because far fewer folks were dying this year from pneumonia than die normally. Given that, maybe the WuFlu deaths would be in the 50,000 range.

Well now, this presents a lot of critics with a predicament.

This is because the President will probably claim that he and his crisis team must be miracle workers. After all, the experts told us 2 million would die. But after his crisis team went to work on the problem only 50,000 died. If that. He will suggest we toast his success. With a cocktail of that drug he touted. You know, the one the experts said nobody should take.

All hail to the conquering Trump. He and his team saved way over a million and a half lives.

WAIT! We can’t have that. No, no. We absolutely cannot give these guys such credit. Remember, half the country hates Trump. Thinks him an idiot.

Big Media cannot possibly give him or them credit. Not after declaring Trump’s every move was wrong. His every utterance a lie. His optimism unfounded. They claimed he had blood on his hands. They wailed that thousands of people were dying because of his decisions.

Trump was wrong on allocating supplies. On suggesting medicos look at that hydry-cholor, whatever, drug. He closed down travel from China too soon. No, he was too late. He was too late shutting down European travel. No, he was absolutely wrong to do it at all.

Given that mountain of vitriol and criticism Big Media cannot now give the sod credit. His political opponents, who called him racist and xenophobic and idiotic – for starters – they cannot afford to give him any credit. No. Absolutely not. Trump successful? Impossible!

So the question begs: If he and his team did everything wrong…if their efforts were not successful… how do we account for the much lower numbers? Oh dear.

It must be the experts. Let’s attack those experts! Yes, yes, good plan. But, but, but…those experts who were wrong include Dr. Fauci, who is now sainted. Canonized. Headed for a Nobel. They include the venerable World Health Organization. These experts told us, and advised the President, that the virus was no big deal. Travel bans were not necessary.

A dilemma. That is what the critics face. They assure us Trump & Co. screwed up everything. Trump was wrong about everything, everything! Until, that is, the unthinkable happened: We got a good result. Compared with the predictions of the experts, we got a miraculous result. To go from 2 million deaths to 50,000 is like a reverse Loaves and Fishes.

In the musical “The King And I”, the king declares he is confounded. “There are times I almost think nobody sure of what he absolutely know,” he sings. “Everybody find confusion in conclusion he concluded long ago.  And it puzzle me to learn that tho’ a man may be in doubt of what he know. Very quickly he will fight.  He’ll fight to prove that what he does not know is so!  Is a puzzlement.”

Indeed.

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