The Debate Isn’t Lives vs. Money, It’s Lives vs. Lives

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RUSH: I’ve been chomping at the bit to get here ever since last night, folks, and we’re finally here. EIB, Open Line Friday. Let us get started.

JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny South Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!

RUSH: And for those of you new to the program, Open Line Friday in the normal course of events was an opportunity for people to talk about whatever they wanted to talk about. Didn’t have to be anything that interested me. It’s kind of out the window now because there’s really one topic with a bunch of offshoots that everybody wants to talk about; so the rule is, whatever you want to talk about, whatever observation you have, any questions, comments, let’s hear them — 800-282-2882 is the phone number. The email address, ElRushbo@eibnet.us.

So I was just watching Fox here, their Outnumbered show, and David Asman, who I really admire, one of the people on the show. And, by the way, folks, I’m very happy, there are a lot of people — well, not a lot. There are an increasing number of people beginning to pick up my refrain: When is this gonna end? This is not sustainable. This uncertainty cannot go on. What is the future? Where are we looking? When are we looking at reopening?

And David Asman just said that he wants to hear from Dr. Fauci when we’re gonna be able to. Dr. Fauci? Folks, if it’s left up to Dr. Fauci, we’re not gonna reopen ’til a year from September. We’re not gonna open until we get a vaccine, if it’s left up to Dr. Fauci. We didn’t elect Dr. Fauci. Everybody has a lot of admiration for Dr. Fauci. He’s 79 years old, he’s been at the National Institutes of Health, he was instrumental in overcoming the medical blockade that was killing so many people from AIDS and HIV. He’s done great work, don’t misunderstand. But we didn’t elect Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Fauci’s not the guy that ought to be the one determining when we reopen the economy. And we are going to have to do this.

The jobs report is in. The U.S. economy lost a total of 701,000 jobs in March. And I hate to tell you, the Drive-By Media is crowing about it. You watch them report it, and you almost get the impression they’re happy about it. And it just burns me. I’m gonna have to go a long way in exercising some discipline and self-control today, because there’s just a lot of stuff that is beginning to really trouble me.

For example, these briefings. The briefings are great. They have been great. But you know what? There’s a sense of permanence setting in on these briefings. And it is obvious that the people in these briefings love the process of the briefings. And we’re not hearing anything about the end of any of this in the briefings. The briefings continue to be focused on the apocalyptic nature of the virus. Apocalyptic nature of the virus. Governor Cuomo’s briefing just concluded. His was wide-ranging, but it also was a focus on the apocalyptic nature.

So you want some facts? Here’s some facts. We’ve now surpassed 6,000 deaths. The ballpark number right now, because it’s a moving number, 6,550 deaths; 700,000 jobs lost. That’s as of now, about 100 jobs lost for every death nationwide from the virus. Now, most of the deaths, not all, most of the deaths are of elderly people, people that have underlying health issues or a combination of both. I don’t know how many of the deaths are people, say, working at grocery stores or gas station attendants, liquor store clerks, people working for essential businesses. I don’t know what the death rate is among people working at essential businesses. But it doesn’t seem to be reported to be very high.

So 6,550 deaths; 700,000 jobs lost. Here’s NBC News and the way they’ve reported it. And literally, folks, they are crowing about this, because it’s bad for Trump. In their minds, anything bad for Trump is good. Now, by the way, these unemployment numbers are not as bad as most of them were hoping. They were hoping for worse. In fact, unemployment only went up to 4.4%. Do you realize how much worse off we’d be if there had not been the three years of a roaring economy from 2017 to the present, that cushion? I’m not kidding.

There were media people reporting/hoping that the unemployment rate would reach 15% to 20%. But despite that, despite the percentage number, the economy lost 700,000 jobs. And NBC is saying that this number only represents the tip of the iceberg, and they added that the worst is yet to come. And I swear, I think they were excited. As journalists get excited by bad news, by doom and gloom, the worst is yet to come.

Let me read to you from the NBC article. “Economists and market participants are in agreement that the April jobs report will better illustrate the havoc wreaked by the coronavirus on the workforce. Some economists are predicting the employment number could be as high as 20 million.” Okay. When I came back to this program on Monday, one of the things that I immediately zeroed in on was the models and how I was made nervous by them, the models that were projecting 2.2 million dead if we didn’t do anything. Then they projected between a hundred thousand and 200,000 dead. And then they upped it to 240,000. We’ve never met the modelers. We’ve heard their names in some case, but the modelers have never shown up at a briefing to explain their work.

On Wednesday after the dire death models were touted at the White House briefing, I again commented that all we keep getting is this modeling data and wouldn’t it be great if the people doing the modeling actually showed up to explain it. Well, guess what? I have two stories today.

The Washington Post has a story where the modelers now think these numbers are too high. The modelers have gone to the Washington Post to say that they don’t think these numbers are accurate, meaning the 240,000. We know the 2.2 million number is not accurate because that was if we hadn’t done anything, no social distancing, no mitigation. But they’re saying now that the 200,000 to 240,000 death number is not accurate, the very modelers who gave us these – (interruption) Oh, you don’t believe me? Well, let me share with you a couple of headlines here. “Experts and Trump’s Advisers Doubt White House’s 240,000 Coronavirus Deaths Estimate.” White House? White House? See how this is working? Experts, Trump Advisers Doubt.

So they put out this number — 200,000, 240,000 deaths — earlier in the week. Now they come along and say, “The Trump White House is wrong!” Well, the Trump White House relied — along with Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci — on the models, which I had a bad feeling about from the get-go. I could play you the audio sound bites of me from Monday and Tuesday if you want.

A second story: “Trump Officials Privately Question White House Coronavirus Death Toll Estimate.” The Washington Post and TheHill.com. Two stories — and I’ll tell you what I think this is. I think the media may be trying to set the table to deny Trump credit for lower fatalities. Look, everybody knows how bureaucrats work. You give us a worst-case scenario, 2.2 million but it ain’t gonna be there — a hundred thousand, 240,000.

Then the deaths come in at, say, 60,000 to 80,000, they say, “Oh, my goodness. We were so wonderful! Look at it! Look at it! We lowered the death toll with our social distancing” or whatever. But in the same time here, I think they’re trying to deny Trump credit for the lower failures and all bureaucrats are gonna try to claim here.

The computer models predicted… The media, you know, the worse it is, the better for the news, for ratings and what have you — and the worse it is, they think, the worse it is for Trump. I mean, they’re out there wanting a Category 6 hurricane with this stuff. Good for business; bad for Trump. So when the projections of a hundred thousand to 240,000 deaths were announced, CNN Jim Acosta says, “Trump gets it.

“Trump gets it. Trump looks scared.” The media was happy. We had a catastrophe. But now, now the very people that gave us these numbers through the models are now suggesting that maybe they’re not right, maybe the death toll isn’t gonna be that high. I told you on Monday. When this is all over, we’re gonna have a big debate in this country about whether this shutdown was ever even necessary.

It’s gonna be a knock-down, drag-out debate — and remember: The doomsayers, because of psychology, are never wrong. I also want to share with you, before we get too deep into things… By the way, a far-left media group now, Free Press, is actually asking the FCC to censor Trump’s briefings every day. More on that. I got an email from a guy that I met.

He lives in Chicago; I met him years and years and years ago. When I met him, his family was very Chicago liberal. He was apolitical, but he followed along with the family. He knew who I was. We became friends. I got two emails from him last night. Normally, I would keep this to myself, but this really profoundly affected me, and it reminded me why I do what I do.

“Rush, you are the only person nationally who is really questioning what is going on. So many of us are gonna be financially ruined from this. And no one on a national level is focusing on that. Rush, please, even if the mainstream media takes snippets of what you say out of context, sensationalize it to make you seem like a creep, screw them!

“Keep it up. Keep going. Keep talking. Your take on all of this calms me down. In over 16 years, I haven’t wanted to throw it all away more than I do right now. But it’s helping me knowing that somebody actually cares, and I really appreciate that you do not have a death countdown on your website.

“You ought to have a live ticker of all the people who have recovered from the virus and survived it. All these media companies are salivating over reporting the devastation of our lives that we have worked endless hours and made immeasurable sacrifices to build. This is the greatest country in the world. You are the only person who seems to be fighting for our way of life.

“I’m gonna continue to write these emails to you because it’s therapeutic for me, and if my emails are annoying, feel free to say, ‘Chill out,’ and I’ll go away. On the positive side, I’ve become a hell of a teacher for my kids. I’ve loved being able to be around them lately. Stay healthy. Keep fighting.”

So I replied — I thanked him — and he sent back another email. This was the follow-up: “Rush, it’s insane. I could go on for hours. It’s driving me crazy. If I end up having to sell my house in a horrible market or if I can’t pay my taxes because of this, I’m gonna have to tell my kids it was because Americans were shamed into becoming Europeans.

“During the blitzkrieg on London, Londoners were less fearful and shameful than we are now, and they were being bombed. Actual bombs could drop from the sky and kill ’em at any moment. People like Don Lemon have this permanent, I-told-you-so smirk on their faces. They don’t offer anything substitute or positive. That’s why what you’re doing is important to the average person like me.

“For crying out loud, Rush, you have lung cancer. You of all people could hide. You have every right to hide or go away; cash it in. But instead, you’re actually trying to promote the American way of life. It drives me crazy, especially because I live where I live. How do all these people think America was built, by being complacent and scared and fearful? It’s crazy. Sorry for rambling. I’m just really worried and angry.”

And I totally, totally understand it. I literally… I mentioned this yesterday. I’ve experienced every economic circumstance you can in this country except for pure, abject poverty and uber-billionaire/multimillionaire kind of wealth. I have had nothing. I’ve been broke. I have been fired a whole bunch of times and so forth. I know what this feels like. I know the abject fear, and it frustrates me to no end.

It’s unsustainable, and I am worried for everybody in this circumstance. I know we have got these bailout and aid packages, but the money is not gonna get to the people as fast they’re trying to get it to people, and there’s some really great work being done in that area. Mnuchin opened the briefing yesterday and was great. He’s gonna try to maintain viability for small businesses, keep payrolls open even when the businesses are closed.

It’s a tremendous objective, and it’s a great effort It’s gonna require a lot of logistical coordination, and I really hope they pull it off. But it still is a really scary thing, and I’ve been through it when the economy was roaring. I’ve been through it in the 1980s, when I was the only one not doing well or one of few not doing well. I’ve experienced it all. I can relate to it.

I know how frightening it is. I know how it’ll tax your self-esteem. I know how it makes you feel worthlessness. I’ve been through all of it. And I despise it, I hate it — and when it’s not necessary, it frustrates me even more. As I say, there are a couple of people now writing, “Hey,” one in New York, “Governor Cuomo, can you start talking about when this is gonna end instead of just the daily apocalypse?

“Can somebody give us some hope? Can somebody give us…?” It’s exactly the theme that I had on the program yesterday. This is starting to effervesce and bubble up out there. It’s going to have to happen. The debate is not lives versus money. The debate is lives versus lives.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Hey, take a look at this, folks. Somebody is joining me in my chorus. This is from the Washington Examiner: “Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs…” The Freedom Caucus is a conservative group in the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives. “Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs: Get America Back to Work.” Amen!

Let me give a couple pull quotes. “We are crippling our economy and witnessing the destruction of the life savings of entrepreneurs and investors who have created small and medium-sized businesses. At least 10 million workers have lost their jobs over the past two weeks. Friday’s jobs report showed that the unemployment rate worsened by almost a full percentage point in March, and it’s only likely to get worse.

“A quarter of small businesses say they’re close to closing, so millions more workers are expected to be unemployed in the weeks and months ahead. … Currently, state and local governments are attempting to determine what businesses are essential. In the process, they are wiping out the soul of the American economy.” Congressman Biggs says, “It’s time for a new approach, one that values and protects all life.”

Folks, this is not a debate about life versus money, lives versus money. This is lives versus lives. The debate we are having in this country… Don’t let anybody tell you this is about money versus lives. It’s not. It’s about lives versus lives. We’re telling people, “Your work is essential; yours isn’t. Yours is essential; yours isn’t. Yours is essential; yours isn’t. You get to go to work; you get to get paid. You don’t.”

That’s lives versus lives, and that is not good. “We must give hope to the public and set forth a plan to reopen the economy…” Exactly! Get rid of this uncertainty. There needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel. We must announce “a plan to reopen the economy and remove oppressive government restrictions. Right now, the cure is proving worse than the disease itself.”

Thank you, Congressman Biggs. I know I’m not alone in this. Don’t misunderstand. Even John Podhoretz, a Never Trumper extraordinaire, is writing today about Andrew Cuomo. The headline: “Please, Andrew Cuomo — Give Us Some Reason to Hope During Coronavirus Isolation … By which I mean: We better be flattening the curve. …

“So far,” Governor Cuomo, “we are cooperative and uncomplaining, because we understand that we are part of an effort to keep our health system from collapsing under the weight of excessive numbers of COVID-19 sufferers — which matters to us far more, by the way, than the fear we might catch it.

“But here’s the problem, and it’s something our newly and nationally celebrated governor, and others … need to be aware of. They have to give us reason to believe that this period … has been of value.” They need to give us reason that this is gonna end. “That isn’t coming through during the governor’s daily news conferences.”

What’s coming through is love of process. People are falling in love with the permanence of this. People are not necessary falling in love; people are starting to accept the permanence of this. This ought not be permanent in anybody’s mind. Everybody involved in this ought to have as their primary objective ending this and putting this country back to work. Why isn’t that at the forefront? We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

We can have the same concern for the health aspects. We can have that and still have the same concern for the economy, and putting people back to work. Thank you, Congressman Biggs.

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