The city of San Francisco has just declared a state of emergency in response to coronavirus, and yet, you'll remember that for a month Western leaders told us that the virus was under control and was unlikely to cause serious problems for anyone in our hemisphere.
None of that was true. But saying it was less painful than rethinking the failed theology of globalism, so they went with it.
Meanwhile, in China, an aggressively nationalist country that, if nothing else, definitely doesn't hate itself, authorities acted immediately and with force. With military-grade discipline, they shut down the city of Wuhan, home to 11 million people. The rest of the world watched this happen in real-time but yet assured themselves that everything was fine.
It wasn't fine, we know that now. At least 35 countries have confirmed cases of coronavirus. Last Friday, Italy reported six, yet at midday Tuesday, they had 283. And then by Wednesday night, that number had risen to 322. That is a steep trajectory.
So far, 11 people have died in Italy and parts of the country are shutting down. Iran has confirmed 15 deaths, plus 95 cases, although the real number is believed to be higher than that. One of those infected is the country's own deputy health minister, who was seen sweating profusely on Monday at a press conference downplaying the outbreak. He later appeared on an Iranian news program to reassure the country that everything was under control, and then he coughed on the woman interviewing him.
In this country, there are more than 50 confirmed cases. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that a generalized outbreak is inevitable here: "It's not a question of if this will happen, but when." Officials warned Americans to be ready for severe disruptions to their lives. Thanks to the CDC's flawed rollout of coronavirus testing, few locations in this country are even prepared to monitor coronavirus.
Thanks to the CDC's flawed rollout of coronavirus testing, few locations in this country are even prepared to monitor coronavirus.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC's director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: For schools, options include dividing students into smaller groups or in a severe pandemic, closing schools and using internet-based teleschooling to continue education.
For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options.
On a larger scale, communities and cities may need to modify, postpone or cancel mass gatherings.
Disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things that people need to start thinking about now.
People are concerned about the situation, I would say rightfully so. I'm concerned about the situation. CDC is concerned about the situation.
So what exactly will a coronavirus pandemic mean for this country? Well, of course, you can't really say -- it's impossible to predict with precision.
But here's one forecast that caught our eyes from The Atlantic. It is titled, "You're Likely to Get the Coronavirus." That piece quotes extensively a Harvard epidemiologist. The article describes him as a cautious professional, the kind of person who carefully considers every word and then backs it with data.
What the professor told the magazine is this: "I think the likely outcome is the coronavirus will ultimately not be containable." He went on to predict that in the next year 40 to 70 percent of the people on Earth will be infected with coronavirus.
No, not all of them will become ill. Many, he says will be asymptomatic or feel no worse than they do with a cold. But nevertheless, 70 percent of the world's population -- that is a big number. In fact, it's 5.4 billion people.
Currently, the coronavirus appears to kill about 2 percent of the people who have it. So let's be generous for a moment and imagine that asymptomatic carriers are not detected, and the real death rate is only, say, half a percent. That would be one-quarter of the current estimates. Even under that scenario, there would still be 27 million deaths from coronavirus globally. In this country, more than a million would die.
And according to The Atlantic, many experts fear this may not be a one-off epidemic. Cold and flu season could become cold, flu and coronavirus season for the foreseeable future.
Will that happen? Well, obviously we're praying that it doesn't. But we know one thing: Right now, America is not ready for this or for any major epidemic. Thanks to the CDC's flawed rollout of coronavirus testing, few locations in this country are even prepared to monitor coronavirus.
And the economy, of course, isn't prepared, either. The Dow Jones just fell close to 900 points on Tuesday. That's on top of Monday's 1,000 point drop. Overall, U.S. markets are down 8 to 9 percent compared to earlier this month. If that continues, it's not good.
Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Feb. 25, 2020.