RUSH: So, I spent considerable time on yesterday’s program describing why there’s no reason we cannot return to a new normal. I spent considerable time on this program. In fact, I went and checked RushLimbaugh.com, my website, I wanted to see the way I spoke, how it appeared in print, how it looked. It was awesome, folks. It’s worth reconsulting at RushLimbaugh.com, both if you missed the program yesterday or if you heard it but haven’t yet been to the website. You don’t have to be a subscriber. It’s on the free side. You’ll be able to see the monologue on the return to normal.
The reason I bring this up is because it must have been heard because there is added energy today quelling this idea that we can return to normal and they’re using the fact that there’s gonna be a second wave, there’s gonna be a second wave, it’s gonna be bad. Even the CDC guy says there’s gonna be a second wave in the fall. It’s gonna be really bad. You know why it’s gonna be really bad? Because the flu is gonna happen at the same time as the second wave. Folks, they’re portraying us as having no chance. It’s hopeless to even think about returning to normal.
Anybody that doesn’t want to return to normal needs to be really, really looked at. That is highly suspicious, I mean, to make such a strident case about not wanting to return to normal. All you have to do to answer the question, why would somebody want that? Why would somebody be so actively eager and involved to promote the idea that we can’t go back to new normal? Well, to answer the question, go back and look at what it was. What was the normal just two months ago? And then by extension, six months ago and a year ago.
The new normal was a revitalized U.S. economy, an economy that the Obama administration, the Democrats told us for eight years could not happen again. It was record employment, record low unemployment, rising wages. This is just the economic side of the ledger. There were a number of things improving all over the country, getting a handle on a number of things including controlling the border and immigration, illegal. So it’s obvious that if you don’t want to go back to that then you might think, why, that would be harmful to me politically.
In other words, it’s the Democrats and the left that doesn’t want to go back or don’t want to go back to normal. And they’re doing what they always do. They’re using scare tactics to try to convince everybody that it isn’t possible and that we shouldn’t even want to. There’s even some upsides to this. You know the airlines — I know many of you people who may not have heard this yet are gonna be really happy about it — the airlines are thinking of eliminating the middle seat in coach. That, to a lot of people, that might be the biggest benefit of this whole thing.
(interruption) No they’re gonna have to. They’re gonna have to initially or else they’re gonna have to put up plastic barriers so that everybody’s in a tiny little see-through cocoon. (interruption) You think they would do that before eliminating the middle seat? Anyway, I’m gonna spend some more time on this as the program unfolds. It ought to be the objective. There was nothing wrong with this country six weeks ago, six months ago. The idea that we shouldn’t expect to return to normal? Balderdash.
I’m so fed up with this pessimism. I’m so fed up with people taking the advantage, the opportunity of this dreaded disease to implement a political agenda that would be, by definition, harmful to the American people. It’s already bad enough as it is. Well, we’ll get to this in a moment.
I want to talk about the governor of Georgia to start here. The Republican governor of Georgia’s name is Brian Kemp. And Brian Kemp has looked at the circumstances in his state. He doesn’t think he can continue this lockdown and shutdown very much longer. To him it doesn’t make any sense. To him, the cost-benefit analysis of continuing this lockdown and shutdown equals the economic destruction of his state, the economic destruction of people who live in his state, his constituents, the people who in some respects elected him, but the people that he serves as governor.
And he has taken advantage of the new federal guidelines, which have pretty much left it to the governors, I mean, after they satisfy conditions of Phase One and Phase Two then Phase Three, they can then do what they want to do. And I think it’s great what he wants to do. I think it’s time we put this to the test. How many of you have heard the old adage that one of the great things about our country is we have 50 laboratories, 50 states. We can test things, we can see what works and what doesn’t work. And it’s nothing but helpful in the long run.
And I think as we’ve all learned now, the idea that we have a one-size-fits-all policy for dealing with this is ridiculous when the vast majority of deaths have occurred in one city — New York — and then one region, the metro New York area. And then if you want to get even more specific, nursing homes is the primary location of other death centers, which is, by definition, the elderly, the infirm, the sick, people who have pre-existing conditions that might make them more susceptible to both acquiring the virus and then suffering horribly from it.
But that’s not the case all over the country. There are many parts of the country where the virus is nowhere near as impactful as it has been in the peak areas such as the population centers, the dense population centers of the country. So it makes sense that a governor sitting around watching the people of his state be ruined might want to take steps to reverse it.
And this guy is being destroyed. Governor Kemp, Brian Kemp, is being destroyed. He’s being destroyed by mayors in Georgia. He’s been destroyed by other governors in some other states. He’s being destroyed by the health and medical experts in the administrative state. He’s being destroyed by the Drive-By Media.
Brian Kemp seeks a return to normalcy. He wants the people of his state to be able to reopen their businesses. He wants the people of his state to be able to frequent those businesses. But it’s important to point out that he’s not requiring anybody to do anything. If you own a nail salon, you want to open it Friday, you can. If you want to go that nail salon on Friday or the bowling alley, you can do it. But he’s not requiring these businesses to open. And he’s certainly not requiring customers to patronize them. He’s simply getting a head start on this.
And folks, the number of people losing their jobs, the number of people whose dreams are now destroyed and up in smoke, the number of people that don’t have a dime because they haven’t earned anything in a couple of months is getting to the point — it’s long been unsustainable — but it’s getting to the point here where something has to be done about it. And listening to people who want this degree of suffering to continue and multiply is not a solution for Governor Kemp. He doesn’t look at it as a solution for the problems that exist in his state.
So I have a story. This is the New York Times, and they are just savaging the guy. Fox News savaged the guy. I mean, he’s being savaged everywhere. I’m, frankly, a little surprised — pleasantly so — that he hasn’t caved to some of it, and his policies don’t go into effect until Friday. So the pressure is going to be intense on this guy, ’cause I’m gonna tell you this.
Much as I hate to say it, the very people who are arguing against a return to normal — the way it was before the virus hit — are the same people that don’t want these policies associated with reopening Georgia to work. Do you realize if they work — if he’s able to open the state and nail salons, beauty salons, barbershops, bowling alleys, restaurants…?
If they open and if people frequent them, and if there’s no uptick in the spread of people who get the virus, do you realize there are gonna be people that will not be happy about that? Now, what does that tell you? But I’m not making this up. There’ll be people who are very unhappy, particularly ones that are urging him not to do it.
The headline for the New York Times piece: “‘I Am Beyond Disturbed’: Internal Dissent as States Reopen Despite Virus,” and, by the way, Kemp in Georgia is not the only person reopening. It’s just that his policies on reopening extend to a lot more businesses than other states are contemplating now. The sub-headline to this story:
“Several mayors and employers have asked residents to ignore the Georgia governor’s declaration that some businesses can resume operation while the coronavirus lingers.” Nobody has to reopen. Just because they can doesn’t mean they have to, and nobody has to patronize them. The governor’s not ordering these places to open.
He’s saying if you want to, go ahead. “The decision by Gov. Brian Kemp to begin restarting Georgia’s economy drew swift rebukes on Tuesday from mayors, public health experts and some business owners, with skeptics arguing that the plan might amplify another wave of coronavirus outbreaks.
“‘That could be setting us back,’ Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview on Tuesday… ‘It certainly isn’t going to be helpful.’” Well, what if it is? What if some of these places open up, what if customers show up and patronize them, and there’s not an uptick in people that get the virus?
What if Governor Kemp thinks that there’s been a significant number of people who already had the virus like maybe is happening in California, whatever? Who knows what his thinking is, but “It certainly isn’t going to be helpful”? I can think of any number of ways it might be helpful.
“Mr. Kemp’s decision allows for what he described as a measured return, starting on Friday with the reopening of gyms, hair and nail salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors. On Monday, restaurants can resume dine-in service,” not just takeout, “and movie theaters and other entertainment venues can reopen. He also lifted limitations on houses of worship.”
That’d be church, for those of you in Rio Linda.
So he has allowed the reopening, not mandated, of gyms, hair and nail salons… You know, you can socially distance in a gym. It’s not really hard. Hair and nail salons are a little tougher, everybody wearing a mask. I mean, whatever happened to that? Bowling allies, tattoo parlors, restaurants, dine-in service.
“But the mayors of Atlanta and other large cities in the state expressed outrage over not having the authority to adjust the governor’s order to the needs of their residents.” In other words, they’re mad that they can’t tell these businesses they can’t open up. They want to be able to tell these businesses they can’t open up after the governor says they can.
So these mayors “vowed to urge Georgians to ignore [Governor] Kemp’s directive.” Don’t open. Don’t patronize. Ignore the governor! “‘I am beyond disturbed,’ Savannah’s mayor, Van R. Johnson, said on CNN,” and here comes obligatory paragraph:
“Projections show that Georgia has not seen the worst of the coronavirus, with deaths not forecast to level off until early May…” Forecast by who? The models, who haven’t been right yet. We continue to rely on model projections which have yet to be right. So this paragraph is irrelevant to me: “Projections show that Georgia has not seen the worst of the coronavirus, with deaths not forecast to level off until early May, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.”
Why don’t you add here that this group has yet to be right in any of their model projections? The state of Georgia “has recorded about 19,000 confirmed cases of the virus, with nearly 800 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to state public health data.” There are 800 dead from the coronavirus, and there are people intent on the state staying shut down.
Now, let me tell you what Governor Kemp knows. Let me give you his reality, and this reality… I’m not sure how you pronounce this woman’s name. She’s a Fox analyst. She’s a doctor. She’s an MD. Nicole Saphier. It’s S-a-p-h-i-e-r. I’ve not heard her name pronounced; so maybe she pronounces it “safer.” It looks to me like it’d be pronounced “sapphire,” but regardless.
She tweeted yet the following. “As unemployment approaches 20%, each 1% rise in unemployment can result in a 3.3% spike in drug overdoses, a 1% increase in suicides.” These are numbers from the National Bureau of Economic Research. “If unemployment hits 32%,” and it will if the lockdown crowd remains in force. If the lockdown crowd maintains its dominance here, unemployment’s gonna hit 32%.
Then we’re in a great depression, and “77,000 Americans may die as a result of being wiped out financially, turning to drugs, turning to suicide.” These are the projections, not from the models that have not been right, and so the question that needs to be asked: Will economic fallout mortality be greater than the number of people that die…?
I guarantee you that 77,000 Americans may die if the economy continues worsen, and it can only worsen as the lockdown remains in place. It can only get worse! There’s no way the economy can improve if this shutdown continues. This is what Governor Kemp knows. There’s literally no way the circumstances on the ground get any better — and they have to, because the current set of circumstances are not sustainable.
RUSH: Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, last night was being interrogated on Fox News. (impression) “What data…? What data do you have? What data do you have? Deaths are still rising in Georgia! What data are you using to open things up?”
KEMP: We poured over this data. We’re lookin’ at all kind of different models. We’re talkin’ about a few businesses that I closed down to help flatten the curve, which we have done in our state. But for us to continue to ask them to do that while they lose everything, quite honestly, there are a lot of civil repercussions of that, mental health issues.
This is going to take some common sense. The reason we did this to start with is so we had time to build up hospital capacity. We are having record vacancies in our hospitals right now because we were getting ready for the surge. They are bleeding money, and they need help as well as, you know, our local business owners.
RUSH: Let me parse this here for you, let me break this down, ’cause this makes imminent common sense. He said, “We’re looking at all kinds of different models. We’re not just relying on the models that have yet to be right. We have our own models that we’re looking at. We’re talking about businesses that I closed down to help flatten the curve, which we have done.
“We have flattened the curve in our state. That’s what they asked us to do, and we’ve done it, and they asked us to do that — and while we did it, these businesses have been wiped out. For us to continue to ask people to stay closed and shut down while they lose everything, you know, there are consequences to that, too, like mental health issues, like people getting depressed, being wiped out, being ruined.”
This is the equivalent of the stock market crash to these business owners, and the governor is saying, “We did everything they said. We flattened the curve, and the reason we flattened the curve was to build up hospital capacity. We flattened the curve so that hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. Well, now we’ve got empty hospitals too.
“Now we’ve got hospitals losing money, because this massive surge of COVID-19 patients in Georgia did not happen,” and while we were doing all this, hospitals refused to take patients that wanted elective surgery. They refused to take hospitalizations for other things ’cause they were told they had to keep beds open for COVID-19 patients.
So beds and hospital rooms remained empty. He said, “The hospitals are hurting too.” He’s essentially saying, “We’ve got other sick people that we need to get back in the hospitals now because they’re not being overrun with COVID-19. We did what they said. We flattened the curve. What they told us was gonna happen, as a result, didn’t happen.
“There wasn’t this massive surge of COVID-19 patients. The hospitals are not overrun. In addition to these businesses that we’ve closed continuing to be wiped out, the hospitals are losing money,” and, by the way, that’s not just the case in Georgia. That’s why what this one-size-fits-all policy has been not the best, because there are hospitals all over this country that are losing a lot of money.
Now, you might say, “Well, that’s good! That’s good! They’ve been ripping us off for years, these health care people…” No, no, it’s not good, folks. It’s not good when anybody’s losing money like this, particularly in a necessary industry like health care and hospitals. You don’t want these people to suffer.
I know you in this audience don’t have that attitude. I’m talking about these idiot locos on the left who hate capitalism and think that they’ve achieved victory when capitalist enterprises and the people that own them are hurting or suffering, which also ticks me off and makes me sick.
But the governor’s point here is right on the money. “We did everything they said. We flattened the curve. We prepared for the hospitals to be overrun with COVID-19 patients; they weren’t. So we got empty hospitals. We got empty hospital beds. Our hospitals need help, too. They’re losing money. We got record vacancies in the hospitals.
“We were getting ready for the surge they told us was coming. The hospitals are bleeding money. The industries I shut down are continually shut down. They’re losing everything, and I just… I can’t continue to ask them to do that. Our local business owners have done everything we asked them to do. They shut down. They have lost everything.
“Many of them are not gonna be able to reopen.” He didn’t say this, but this is also a factor. “Many of them are not gonna be able to reopen. Reopen with what?” He’s the governor of a state who’s looking at the people he governs, his constituents, as being wiped out and the things that he was told by all the experts that he had to do to prevent all this didn’t happen.
His hospitals weren’t overrun with COVID-19 patients.
So, to me, it makes perfect sense that somebody somewhere would want to say, “You know what? We’re gonna try it our way.” As I say, he’s being… He’s just being creamed. Here’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta last night on CNN’s Prime Time. Fredo Cuomo back now out of quarantine, said, “Is anything changing in Georgia to help boost your confidence of what’s about to come when the state reopens in 72 hours?”
GUPTA: Uh, no, Chris, and I don’t want to equivocate or waffle on this. I just find it hard to be charitable ’cause I understand the governor has pressure on him from small businesses, although who’s gonna be going to these small businesses? This is a proposition before you’re starting to run into almost all risk and almost no reward. It’s a bad idea. Every public health official in the country has said so. People could get infected who otherwise wouldn’t. People may be hospitalized that otherwise wouldn’t, and sadly people may die that otherwise wouldn’t.
RUSH: Yeah, well, that’s what the governor heard months ago. None of it happened in his state. It didn’t happen in his state. But, you see, “Chris, I don’t want to equivocate or waffle. I find it hard to be charitable…” Why do I not find it hard to be charitable? Why? I’m pulling for Governor Kemp. I hope this works. I hope this is resoundingly successful.
I hope the people who decide to reopen their businesses have success doing so. I hope it works. Now, it’s easy to be part of the crowd saying, “Aw, this guy’s an idiot! Oh, my God. Oh, my God. The virus is gonna swell. Oh, my God. The hospitals are gonna be. Oh, my God. This is stupid. More people are gonna get sick. Oh, my God. This guy’s an idiot!”
It’s easy to do that, and then, “Every public health official the country has said that it’s almost all risk and no reward.” (chuckles) Doesn’t that more aptly describe people who have lost everything? There is no reward in staying ruined. There’s no reward in staying shut down. Now, some of you cynics say, “Well, Rush, this is public service. They owe it to all of us to stay shut down so that we don’t get the virus.
“They owe it to everybody to stay disclosed so that the numbers of people who get…” So certain people have to lose everything. Certain people have to give up everything. Certain people take the brunt of this. And we simply have a governor here saying, “It’s not sustainable. We can’t continue to ask people to sit idly by and be destroyed when we have data that shows these horror predictions are not gonna happen in Georgia.”
We’ll find out soon enough. Again, folks, it’s incumbent on everybody to know that Governor Kemp is not ordering a single business to open, and he is not mandating a single citizen to patronize any of these businesses. This is entirely optional — and there will be businesses that don’t open. They’ll stay shut down because they will conclude that it’s riskier to open than to stay shut down.
You’ll have businesses that will open. (chuckling) In fact, they’re gonna have not much choice. Dr. Birx was asked about this at the task force briefing yesterday. A reporter said to the Scarf Queen, “How do you safely have hair salons and nail salons and tattoo parlors opening in Georgia?”
BIRX: It will have to be on a community-by-community opening, because there are different communities in different places even in Georgia. If there’s a way that people can social distance and do those things, then they can do those things. I don’t know how, but people are very creative. So I’m not gonna prejudge.
But we have told people very clearly — and the president’s guidelines made it very clear — about the expectations of Phase One. Remember Phase One also included social distancing in restaurants, social distancing in every place that was entertainment, and keeping your own individual social groups to less than 10.
RUSH: So Dr. Birx says she doesn’t know how they’re gonna pull this off, but she’s not gonna prejudge it. Remember, it was the Dr. Birx who praised the mayor of Jacksonville. You know why she did that? She went to their website. She went to the Duval County Health Services website, and she was blown away by how good it was.
She was blown away by how comprehensive it was. She says, “Any group of that are able to put together a health services website like this, if they think it’s safe to open their beaches, I gotta rely on ’em.” So she is maintaining loyalty with people in her business. It’s just that they’re not at the CDC or the NIH.
They happen to be in the Florida Department of Health, and she was looking at the Duval County, Florida, health website. Whoa, it blew her away. So she concluded they know what they’re doing, opening the beaches in Jacksonville.
RUSH: I guarantee you this. Whenever some governor claims he’s gonna reopen businesses, I don’t care when it is, you’re gonna have the same people saying, “No, don’t do it, you can’t do it.” We gotta do it sometime. May as well start now.
RUSH: Also, the governor of Colorado is planning on gradually reopening the state and the economy there. “Colorado will let its statewide stay-at-home order expire next week, allow a gradual reopening of non-essential businesses and permit non-elective surgical procedures and other activity suspended by the coronavirus fight” to resume “as long as strict social distancing and other protective measures continue…”
RUSH: Grab sound bite number 25. This is John Ernst. He is the mayor of Brookhaven, Georgia. And he was on CNN today. Of course it was CNN. And the question came from Anderson Cooper. “Many mayors including yourself say they were caught off guard by the governor’s decision to reopen for business. Now we have this new model suggesting that Georgia should wait until June 19th to safely reopen.”
Isn’t it amazing, we have a new model, we have to wait ’til June the 19th. We just went past April the 19th. They’re still saying wait two more months, a new model, no doubt from an outfit that hasn’t been right yet. We have a new model, right here at CNN suggesting Georgia should wait ’til June 19th. “How concerned are you about this?”
ERNST: I’m very concerned. Our mayors are very perplexed. I just assumed it was gonna be in the May 10th, May 15th time frame. And then when he dropped this press conference, it surprised all of us. My citizenry and my business owners, most of ’em who contacted me, aren’t gonna open this week. They’re gonna wait a whole ‘nother week at least, if not longer.
RUSH: Fine, don’t open. Nobody is requiring you to open. Governor Kemp is not mandating that anybody open. He’s saying if you want to, go ahead, and he’s not mandating that any customers go in to any of these stores or businesses. So what’s the problem? If you don’t want to open, don’t open. If you don’t want to go in, don’t go in. What’s wrong with having the option if it is your business? Do you notice how these deadlines keep getting further and further, these peaks, further and further out? June 19th.
We have a new model suggesting Georgia should wait until June 19th. Isn’t it amazing this new model comes in right after Governor Kemp announces that he’s opening businesses on Friday and Monday. “Gee, Rush, you sound very suspicious.” I am. “Gee, Rush, you sound very cynical.” Well, there’s part of that too. I’m just examining where all this stuff is coming from, who is saying it.
And it’s the people that have been running the Trump-Russia collusion story that was a total hoax and lie. The same people tried to get rid of Brett Kavanaugh. The same people are now running this campaign here to keep in the country shut down. Same people, folks. Why in the world all of a sudden should I think they’re telling the truth when they have been lying to us for four years running now?