Dr. Irwin Redlener “directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and is a pediatrician, a professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and president emeritus of Children’s Health Fund. He is a member of the Biden Campaign’s Public Health Advisory Committee.” In this CNN op-ed, Dr. Redlener wrote “even if we assume that sometime this summer, maybe June, perhaps as late as August, the first wave of Covid-19 will have tapered down, the world will likely see a second wave of the deadly virus in the fall or winter, perhaps extending into the early months of 2021.”

That’s fearmongering of the worst kind. I don’t care what alphabet he has behind his name. I wouldn’t trust this jackass if my life depended on it. First, COVID-19 is deadly if you’re in difficult health or living in a nursing home. Here in Minnesota, that’s literally where 90% of Minnesota’s deaths have come from. Healthy people 60-years-old and younger have had little difficulty with COVID-19. Calling COVID-19 deadly is technically accurate but it’s a little misleading.

Next, we know from Dr. Fauci’s briefings that we’ll be in much better shape if a second wave hits. Here’s what Dr. Fauci said about a week ago on this subject:

Third, waiting until August to start reopening the US economy is stupid. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that he’ll start reopening Ohio’s economy on May 1. Dr. Redlener didn’t pay attention to the fact that some states are already in far better shape than the hotspot states. Treating Nebraska the same way you treat NYC is downright foolish. That’s like treating nuclear waste the same way as you treat recyclables.

We may well see a significant drop in hospitalizations and fatalities by sometime in May or June. But we cannot let up on the only effective tools we have to fight Covid-19: First, we must continue to shut down the venues where we used to gather, including schools, nonessential workplaces, sporting events, theaters and business meetings. And second, we must remain sheltered in our homes, using social distancing and face masks when we do venture out to buy groceries or essential medications.

According to the plan put together by Drs. Fauci, Birx, Adams and Redfield, everything is conditions- and data-driven. Saying that “we must remain sheltered in our homes” is an absolute order. There are tons of activities that people can safely engage in. While it’s foolish to think that we can start baseball season to packed stadiums, it isn’t foolish to think that it’s possible to start with televised games without fans. While it’s foolish to open stores without practicing good mitigation practices, it’s perfectly fine to open lots of businesses where contact with other humans is infrequent.

Finally, if we wait until the virus has disappeared, there won’t be an economy to return to. Let doctors deal with the medical issues. Let economists consult with doctors in putting together a plan for reopening the economy safely.

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