Coronavirus

No, COVID-19 Isn't Like the Vietnam War. It Isn't Like Any War.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed roughly as many Americans as died in Vietnam. But the war metaphor serves mostly to sweep aside skepticism and dodge difficult questions.

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After weeks of downplaying the threat posed by COVID-19 as it spread across the world and into the United States, President Donald Trump was finally taking it seriously on March 18.

"I view it as, in a sense, as a wartime president," he told reporters in the White House's briefing room that day. "I mean, that's what we're fighting," he said, before invoking a now-oft-repeated metaphor about the virus as "an invisible enemy."

Framing the pandemic as a war serves mostly as a way for the president—and the government more generally—to sweep aside skepticism and dodge difficult questions about handling the crisis. Should we think twice before imposing export restrictions that will weaken global resilience to the virus? No time, this is a war! Should the government be able to order workers to stay home, then order them back to work against their will? Generally no, but this is war! Can we protect privacy while building a massive surveillance apparatus to track the spread of the disease? That might be nice, but this is war!

Some of that might make sense during an actual war—you don't want your domestic manufacturers selling goods to your enemies, for one—but it misses the point in our current crisis. There is no us-versus-them happening here. A virus cannot be cowed. It doesn't want our land or to change our regime, and it cannot be forced to surrender by throwing bodies at it.

As Daniel Larison noted in an excellent piece for The American Conservative earlier this month, "declaring war on abstractions and inanimate objects has become a bad habit" for the American government.

Indeed, America has spent 20 years fighting an amorphous "war on terror" that's outlived all of our initial enemies, consumed trillions of taxpayer dollars, and actually created new enemies by destabilizing the Middle East and North Africa. The federal government's "wars" on poverty and drugs have been equally unsuccessful and now serve mostly as federal jobs programs for bureaucrats and cops.

Less than three months after the first American died of COVID-19, and six weeks after Trump declared himself a wartime president, the disease has now claimed more than 58,318 American lives—the number that perished in the Vietnam War. Passing that symbolic threshold provides a useful way to comprehend the severity of the disease, but it doesn't make the war analogy useful.

Writing at The Bulwark, Jonathan Last notes that both the Vietnam War and the COVID-19 pandemic were made worse by incompetent government officials who lied to the American people. That's a worthwhile observation. Both crises undermined Americans' trust in institutions and presidents, and both overlapped and amplified existing cultural faultlines.

But the metaphor's usefulness ends there. For starters, Vietnam killed mostly young Americans, while COVID-19 is mostly killing the old—a distinction that might seem callous, but one that nevertheless changes how the crisis effects the national psyche. In many other senses, the war metaphor actually primes Americans to expect more bad government. Unlike an actual war, we shouldn't be calling for the government to do whatever it takes to keep us safe. Not only can it not actually do that, but its record of trying to is also rather bad.

"Comparing the pandemic to war is also somewhat demoralizing when we reflect on our government's record of waging war over the last half-century. There are scarcely any true successes in that record that we can point to that would give us confidence that the government can 'win' now," Larison writes. "Unfortunately, the only things that the government's response has in common with previous war efforts is that the U.S. was badly unprepared for what came next and the president had an unrealistic expectation of how quickly the problem would be taken care of."

NEXT: FDA To Announce Emergency Use Authorization for Antiviral Remdesivir as COVID-19 Treatment

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  1. Ok, the 1918 flu killed more people than WWI. And?

    1. Ok, and car crashes killed more people than COVID. And?

      1. Obviously, we need to go into lockdown, forbid any travelling, and destroy the economy. If only one life is saved, it’s worth it!

        1. Your comment rightly addresses the irrationality of our current response to SARS-CoV-19. It is a political response not a medical one.

          The power-hungry politicians and self-serving bureaucrats are pandering to the enfeebled but voting old, the chronically but voting ill, the constitutionally but voting weak at the expense of the young, the healthy, and the strong as well as their respective families. No nation that sets a higher priority on the needs of the so-called vulnerable minority than on the welfare of the productive majority long can retain its power and vitality.

          See “Let The Old Die?” at …
          https://www.nationonfire.com/covid-19-and-the-elderly/ .

      2. Heart disease has killed more than Covid. And?

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    2. Hong Kong Flu killed more people than the Vietnam War in 1968. Just sayin’.

      1. You including the Vietnamese in that number?

        1. I count Vietnamese deaths are seriously as leftists do.

          You know, eggs, omelettes…

      2. Hong Kong Phooey killed even more. As he is # 1 super guy!

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      4. It is rather arrogant that the US always ignores the total amount of people killed in the Vietnam war. Some estimate as many as 3 million Vietnamese were killed. The amount of US soldiers is rather deminuative compared to the amount of Vietnamese killed. But then, they weren’t real people, they were commie gooks and chinks.
        The bombing went around the clock, 24/7. The US dropped more bombs on that little country than both theaters of war in world war two.

  2. Did Reason get a new senior editor to slap the staff in the face? reasonable takes the last 3 days for the most part. Still biased to the big city politics of the NE. But not merely repeating Vox analysis.

    1. No, more like you’ve stepped off your fucking “unreason” high horse for a few days.

      1. Awww you’re upset!

      2. Yeap, you’re retarded. I dont use the unreason term dummy. I call put their dishonesty when they provide a dishonest viewpoint. You happily slurp their dicks because thinking on your own gives you migraines.

      3. He’s right though, there’s been a marked change.
        Also, fuck off Jeff.

      4. Nah, I think there has been a bit of a shift. Could also be that there is more and more data which backs up what most of the comment section has suspected all along.

    2. They finally got their Amazon shipments of clean underwear. Their old ones were…soiled.

      Keep calm and carry on? Piffle.

      It’s an object lesson in public panics contra all reason and logic. Learn what it looks like, and pay attention going forward.

    3. Not just not being Vox, they’ve been actively disputing bullshit spewed by left wing media! I’ll gladly take 2 Amash fluff pieces a day if the rest of the reporting is honest.

      Maybe someone besides Ron has been reading some of the comments and felt embarrassed?

      1. I’ll still call out the Amash hypocrisy even of it is twice daily.

        1. Well me too. But I’ll still take it.

    4. Nothing has changed. Reason has always done this. You have all been whining so much anytime they say anything critical of Trump, you haven’t noticed.

      1. I’m sorry I couldn’t hear him over your whining about other people.

      2. You really came back to whine twice with your idiotic take?

    5. The next test? Will Reason cover the new FBI docs regarding Flynn tomorrow?

  3. But still not as many as the 2017-2018 Flu season:
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

  4. //A virus cannot be cowed. It doesn’t want our land or to change our regime, and it cannot be forced to surrender by throwing bodies at it.//

    Correct. But we can be cowed and forced to surrender, and that’s exactly what we did.

    1. Big time.

      Hockey Quebec is saying on 3 on 3 hockey now and no contact.

      It’s hysteria.

      1. Why do Canadians prefer sex doggy style?

        1. So they can both watch the hockey game (badumtss).

      2. Is curling OK then?

  5. “declaring war on abstractions and inanimate objects has become a bad habit” for the American government.

    “Oh, very well. We’re declaring war on declaring war on abstractions and inanimate objects!”


    1. *Head Explodes*

  6. A virus cannot be cowed. It doesn’t want our land or to change our regime, and it cannot be forced to surrender by throwing bodies at it.

    “Listen. And understand. That virus is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are … most likely mildly ill or possibly hospitalized if you have a pre-existing condition and in an unknown but probably very small number of cases maybe dead if you’re also really old.”

    Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as the original quote.

    1. hilarious.

    2. Nicely done

  7. It’s a war, but one on the country’s citizens by the elite rulers in their ivory towers.

    I don’t know how this will end. The deaths will be smaller than the 1968 flu, but seeing how many people are easily cowed I am fearful that the left now sees what it will take to get full on collectivist ideologies implemented.

    And our enemies saw exactly what to do to help make our economy crumble even further.

    1. The deaths will be smaller than the 1968 flu

      Which they’ll pat themselves on the back and take credit for “Social distancing worked! We flattened the curve successfully! Blah, blah, blah…” and if the number of deaths ends up being more, they’ll just claim that they obviously didn’t go authoritarian enough. Heads they win, tails we lose.

      1. That’s the problem.

        They will claim the shut down was necessary.

        Hope someone studies and researches this. My hunch is the cost/benefit and trade offs will prove to be enormous in terms of the unintended consequences both socially and economically.

        I can’t see how they can claim this is, say, domestic violence and suicides, bankruptcies, child molestation, divorce, people denied medical care etc. increased.

        ‘Yeh but we saved granny!’

        The same granny in normal times they couldn’t less about and consider to costly to keep alive.

        I’m pushing 50. I know two things. People never gave a shit about the elderly and Veterans in both Canada and the USA. Ever.

        They always talked a ‘I can’t believe we treat them this way’ mean game during the elections but immediately fucked them over when it was safe to.

        Which is why people who throw in my face ‘I lack humanity for granny’ are pieces of hypocritical shits.

      2. I imagine it will be hard with Sweden and states like South Dakota. They didn’t do anything so draconian yet came out ahead as well.

        1. People I know want Sweden to fail.

          And even if they succeed they already have an out: It’s an outlier.

          An outlier that will show everyone else panicked unnecessarily.

          1. Sweden is always an outlier.

            For some reason the Lord always smiles upon Sweden. And Denmark.

            1. Both are really, really white. As white as Bernie’s Vermont.

  8. A few days ago there were the usual suspect Hollywood celebrities trying to make a direct comparison between Covid-19 and Vietnam.

    https://twitter.com/MarkRuffalo/status/1252617975334567936

    The absolute stupidity of trying to rehabilitate someone as wretched as LBJ as somehow emotionally troubled by the deaths in Vietnam and then to compare him favorably to Trump was breathtaking. How idiotic do you have to be to think that that is a reasonable take?

    1. Holy shit. He said LBJ had humility.

      1. No one who runs for President these days has even a passing familiarity with a concept like “humility”

        1. At least they aren’t picking up dogs by the ears ala LB.J.

    2. I noticed Glenn Greenwald and tried to set the record straight. Not that it’ll mean anything to a mental midget like Mark Ruffalo.

    3. Holy moly the ignorance is spectacular. I know Ruffalo is a dips hit lefty who took jobs away from people but man, that’s retarded.

  9. we caved. short war.

    1. Short, but not even close to the shortest. The Anglo-Zanzibar War

      1. bin Barghash was jobbed.

  10. No, COVID-19 Isn’t Like the Vietnam War.

    It’s true – Back during the Vietnam war, the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels both flew the F-4 Phantom, instead of F-16s and F-18s.

    1. F-4s were pretty

  11. We are at war.

    Whose side are you on? The side that doesn’t want people to die, or the side that doesn’t care?

    1. I’m on the side that doesn’t want people to die, accepts that some will, doesn’t want their rights violated, and fuck you.

      1. We are of like mind in every respect.

      2. come on .. he is earnestly concerned. only in another language

    2. Which side do you think you’re on?

    3. “Whose side are you on?”

      The other side from fucking, cowardly, lying pieces of shit like you.

    4. Jesus, Sevo, calm down. The dude was clearly joking.

      1. Calm down man you really don’t have to whine about people constantly.

      2. Sarcasmic cant even figure out the correct reply button.

        1. Ooh, scathing. That’s the issue here, not Sevo’s anger issues.

          1. ‘Sevo’s anger issues’ is you latest reason for being?
            My ‘anger issues’ are quite clearly understood: Show me a fucking lefty thug trying to run my life and I get angry with them.

      3. lovewhining1789
        April.29.2020 at 8:07 pm
        “Jesus, Sevo, calm down. The dude was clearly joking.”

        No, he wasn’t. Try to keep up.

  12. So will people spit on survivors of COVID-19 infections as they emerge from hospital and call them baby killers?

    And those people who are staying home to avoid infection are draft dodgers, right?

    Man, is this a dumb analogy the pols and media have come up with.

    1. It’s a spurious correlation.

  13. Ignore the stupidity of the comparison for a moment – comparing it directly to the numerical death toll from Vietnam is stupid. The population is at least 1.5x larger. You need to compare it to the death *rate* of the Vietnam, or adjust the death toll to 2020 population numbers (it’ll be somewhere north around 80k, probably).

    Also, Vietnam was never a war. It was an undeclared conflict. Calling it a war is tacitly lending it more legitimacy than it deserves.

  14. “Jonathan Last notes that both the Vietnam War and the COVID-19 pandemic were made worse by incompetent government officials who lied to the American people.”

    Maybe but let’s keep the focus on who lied where it firmly belongs. On China and the WHO. Never forget that.

    As far as I’m concerned, the angst I’m feeling about all this Kubuki social distancing theatre bull shit and how easy it is to scare people and the threat to my business, I directly blame China.

    1. Wow, those the GOP talking points. Fuck China but they aren’t responsible for the Trump administration’s incompetence and evil scheming to cover up the deaths.

      1. Talking point?

        They didn’t inform the world. We know that Taiwan informed the WHO and they sat on it until China weighed in.

        By the time they did, leaders in the West had one hand tied behind their back. Most countries were a bit slow off the bat. Canada refused to close air travel from China claiming it was ‘racist’ to do so. NYC played identity politics too.

        So spare this horseshit it’s all on Trump. In the beginning he was following precisely what Fauci (and even what our idiot up here Tam) were saying which was ‘nothing to worry about’.

        So yes. China is the ROOT of all this because we could have avoided this.

        Is this how the idiot left are gonna leave China off the hook? By being useful idiots again? I know they’re type cast but you’d think they’d want something other than playing gonorrhoea.

  15. Indeed, America has spent 20 years fighting an amorphous “war on terror” that’s outlived all of our initial enemies, consumed trillions of taxpayer dollars, and actually created new enemies by destabilizing the Middle East and North Africa. The federal government’s “wars” on poverty and drugs have been equally unsuccessful and now serve mostly as federal jobs programs for bureaucrats and cops.

    Exactly. Now you’re getting it.

    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was getting people to think he didn’t know what he was doing.

  16. The Vietnam War came about because of France’s post-colonial failure and I’m not sure why the US even got involved…The “domino theory” maybe?

    So, to extend the analogy, COVID-19 came about because of China’s failure and the US must get involved because if we succumb to the Coronavirus, we will also fall prey to other viruses, like herpes, rhinovirus, HIV, and hantavirus, —like one domino falling and taking down others. Right?

    1. Upvote.

  17. The coronavirus isn’t like Vietnam but the war on coronavirus sure as hell is like the Vietnam War. I keep saying it – the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Terrorism, these are not metaphorical wars but real wars. During wartime, “for the duration”, the government is allowed some leeway to suspend certain parts of the Constitution because this is an existential threat, this is no time to be quibbling over the legal technicalities, we’re all in this together, the Constitution is not a suicide pact, why do you hate America? Eternal warfare is exactly what they want and what they’ve given us, we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

    Have you all already forgotten Rep. Thomas Massie standing up in Congress and demanding a recorded vote on the bailout bill passage on the minor quibble that the Constitution requires a quorum for passage when the reality is he’s just a virtue-signaling stupid evil traitorous asshole motherfucker who wants us all to die and needs to have his ass kicked out of the GOP, if not office, if not out of the country? You remember that? There’s a coronavirus on the loose out there, we ain’t got time for no goddamn Constitution! That’s the real aim of war, for war is the health of the state.

    1. ^ Exactly this. Where can I subscribe to your newsletter?

    2. Man the economy was closing on its own before govt did anything. Businesses were the ones leading on this because they understood that they would be liable for the deaths of their employees and patrons. That coercion shit works more than one way. Big Republican government now wants to suspend ordinary legal rules of liability to protect reckless businesses. That’s not libertarian. Libertarian isn’t granting immunity to big money to fuck over the little guy. Places of business and every responsible person owes a duty of care to take care to not commit negligence that injures another.

      1. Fuck off and die; make your family proud and the world relieved.

      2. You got any cites for this steaming pile of bullshit?

      3. The Crash came Feb 20 during FATF Week in Paris, with FATF under Bank of Communist China control. Everything in our platform says to hand FATF a match and a gas can, let it torch itself–and jump back. But the looter parties need FATF to tell them raiding and confiscating homes, cars, bank accounts because plant leaves is scientific and wise like it was in 1929 , 1987 and 2008. You can see the graphs with dates at S&P 500 online. Thank the looter parties for helping the Reds pull it off. Better yet, waste another vote on them…

  18. (Government responses to) the virus have this in common with wars:

    They are enormously destructive and of absolutely no value in solving the problem (if any) at hand.

    1. Ridiculous.
      Some wars do solve problems.
      Man the fuck up

      1. The problems they were MEANT to solve (which were never real in the first place)?

        Without bring about OTHER, NEW, WORSE problems?

        And of course, never mind what they COST.

  19. Now the WHO is recommending the Sweden model. What the fuck is going on?

    1. https://nypost.com/2020/04/29/who-lauds-sweden-as-model-for-resisting-coronavirus-lockdown/

      “We must establish control over the situation, we cannot head into a situation where we get complete chaos. No one has tried this route, so why should we test it first in Sweden, without informed consent?” said Cecilia Soderberg-Naucler, a professor at the Karolinska Institute.

      Er, this whole social distancing lockdown bullshit was never tried before, professor. I fucking hate pinhead academics who think they have the answer and shit all over everyone who disagrees.

  20. “Should the government be able to order workers to stay home, then order them back to work against their will?”
    Then links to a Reason article that says that’s not what happened. Try harder Eric.

    1. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this. I wasn’t sure if it was an attempt to use hyperbole to make the case that the whole reaction has been silly, but that seemed like a disingenuous criticism.

      It seems like there’s plenty of fuck-ups and ridiculous authoritarianism we can criticize. We don’t need to invent or stretch the truth, the truth is bad enough. I mean, in my state, people are claiming the governor is trying to murder black people by simply saying some businesses can re-open if they choose. Apparently they think African Americans are too stupid to make choices for themselves.

      1. Black viruses matter.

      2. Problem is most of the authoritarianism doesn’t originate from Trump (except the anti-federalist threat Trump made about forcing states to give us lowly citizens freedom from our state governors /eyeroll/)

        Gots to grasp at the random acts of authoritarianism that make him look bad. Travel ban doesn’t work anymore.

  21. “‘I view it as, in a sense, as a wartime president,’ he told reporters in the White House’s briefing room that day. ‘I mean, that’s what we’re fighting,’ he said, before invoking a now-oft-repeated metaphor about the virus as ‘an invisible enemy.’

    Framing the pandemic as a war serves mostly as a way for the president—and the government more generally—to sweep aside skepticism and dodge difficult questions about handling the crisis.”

    Cadet Bone Spurs is going to use any cowardly dodge available. Trump’s been proving that longer than most of us have been alive. If he’d not been allowed to dodge debates in the primary; we’d, likely, not be suffering his buffoonish failures, now.

    While the war analogy is less than perfect, Trump chose it himself, as a form of stolen valor and dodge twofer. That he’s now hoisted on his own petard is very fair and just. Trump has lost more Americans in the weeks C-19, than did all of the president over all of the decades of the Vietnam War. Trump chose the yardstick, and Trump failed miserably by his own yardstick.

    1. “Cadet Bone Spurs is going to use any cowardly dodge available. Trump’s been proving that longer than most of us have been alive. If he’d not been allowed to dodge debates in the primary; we’d, likely, not be suffering his buffoonish failures, now.”

      Why do lefty tards spend half their lives making up nicknames which embarrass 1st grade kids?
      Fuck off and die, asshole.

    2. And yet he’s president, and you’re a whiny bitch.

      But that won’t win elections, Karen.

    3. Dodged debates in the primary?

      Low energy Jeb! might disagree, if he had the energy.

  22. Certain corporate employers and certain renegade political subdivisions of certain states who are defying state stay at home orders should be sued into the fucking dirt by anyone who dies after being coerced into returning to a dangerous work environment. I hope no ones dies. I hope the Republican gamble against the best medical and practical advise pays off but if it doesn’t these complicit businesses should pay for their part in this dangerous political scheme. It makes me sick to see money pouring into the stock market with so many regular people unemployed and damn near bankrupt. God damn you mfers.

    1. Axeblood
      April.29.2020 at 8:56 pm
      “Certain corporate employers and certain renegade political subdivisions of certain states who are defying state stay at home orders should be sued into the fucking dirt by anyone who dies after being coerced into returning to a dangerous work environment.”

      Fucking cowardly lefty pieces of shit should have their PANIC!!! flags jammed up their ass, stick first.
      Wanna keep from catching a cold, shitstain? Lock yourself in your house and stay there until you die so the rest of us don’t have to listen to your whining.

    2. How will anyone prove they got the virus from any one place?

      Even if this made sense it would be impossible. Yours was a stupid comment on several levels.

    3. Certain corporate employers and certain renegade political subdivisions of certain states who are defying state stay at home orders should be sued into the fucking dirt by anyone who dies after being coerced into returning to a dangerous work environment.

      The dead have a tough time filing suit in my experience.

  23. The federal government’s “wars” on poverty and drugs have been equally unsuccessful and now serve mostly as federal jobs programs for bureaucrats and cops.

    I never thought about it that way. Yeah, the war on drugs is indeed a jobs program for cops.

    Take drug laws away and what would cops do? There certainly isn’t enough actual crime with actual victims to keep cops busy. They could cut the average force in half and still be unable to reasonably justify their employment.

    So yeah. The drug war is totally a jobs program for thugs. Sad.

  24. Hannibal ad portas. Same old song, works every time.
    Except during the Vietnam war, as the enemy went domino effect, our youth wasted no time protesting in the streets, uprooting the campuses and giving the finger to “the man.“

    LBJ and McNamara stood on borrowed time. Their fabrications and fictions couldn’t long restrain the sanity of the peaceniks, the hippies and the counter-culture. Revolution was in the air, pungent as it was. Hell, even Walter Cronkite saw through the bullshit.

    But history doesn’t always repeat itself.

    In today’s war, when the latest, greatest, worstest enemy of all-time kills granny a moment before Mother Nature does, we again get to watch the might, fury and pulse of our youth.

    They’re home as gamers. As always. Enjoying the tele-plague while Rome burns.

  25. Actually it is like a war designed by a communist. Back in 1907, comade Jack London wrote The Unparalleled Invasion. In it “the other countries” attack a relatively peaceful China with germ warfare agents. The story was written as sci-fi predicting the distant future year 1976. So if the Chinese took over FATF to wreck the banking system as bioweapons kicked in, they got the idea from our own Wild Dog looter. Go to gutenberg.org and find The Strength of The Strong, where the story starts on page 60. Enjoy.

  26. We are told that we are at war with an invisible enemy, but to be successful in war soldiers need clearly defined objectives and a definition of winning, yet we are still arguing about what to even call the virus. Just like in the Vietnam and Afganistan Wars where many soldiers asked themselves “how did we get here, and what is the end?”, some draftees in this virus war are beginning to question the contradictory battle plans and the ever-moving goalposts of victory. Two-weeks, one-month, now months. Masks don’t work, masks only work in hospitals, now everyone must wear a mask. When the troops lose trust in their leaders the war is lost.

    The generals must tell the conscripts under house arrest why they are at war, and not just because the virus sickens and kills people. I often hear that if the quarantine measures save just one life then they are worth any unintended consequences, but Americans have always sacrificed their lives for liberty and prosperity. How many lives are too many, and are we going to wage war against any unknown threat in the future? In this jet age, these diseases will only become more prevalent, and if we go to battle against every new unknown infection we may be in a perpetual quarantine quagmire. We can start with 80,000 deaths which occur during a severe influenza season, but how many more before we declare war and shut everything down? None of our generals have told us how few deaths to end this war or a projection of how many to start the next.

    The soldiers seem to be split not just down political lines, but also economic. Many have income from essential jobs, work at home positions, retirement benefits, or unemployment, while others like small business owners do not. These entrepreneurs have watched big banks and corporations steal most of the funds from boondoggled government programs meant to rescue small businesses. Unable to qualify for unemployment they are left sinking with no lifeline. Now, mom and pop’s are starting to pushback and protest to be allowed to return to work, but the have’s are angrily proclaiming the have-not’s as “unpatriotic” and “endangering people”.

    The generals seem to follow the recommendations of medical experts. The advice of doctors is critical but myopic. Of course, they focus on saving lives, but they often fail to see the ramifications of their recommendations. When the generals bring out the medical experts to brief us, they should also include objective economists and civil libertarians to discuss the inadvertent impact of the medical recommendations. Joblessness is near 20%, businesses are going bankrupt, markets volatile, civil rights eroded, and the government is creating massive amounts of debt and currency desperately trying to keep the economy afloat. The longer this war goes on the more we risk an economic and civil meltdown. Worldwide, 17 million people die each year from infectious diseases, 18 million die from poverty. Poverty kills!

    1. Where can I follow your newsletter? Wow! Well said.

    2. I also agree. And the media similarly need to present a balanced view.

  27. “The coronavirus pandemic has killed roughly as many Americans as died in Vietnam.”
    Has it? They’ve admitted that anyone who dies with COVID but not from COVID is listed as a COVID death. Birx said so on national tv. Dr. Ezike from Illinios said so. The numbers are fake! No one knows the real ones. Suddenly no one is dying from the seasonal flu in NYC. Don’t drink the koolaid Reason.

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  29. More people attended the Super Bowl this year (63k) than have died so far from the bug.

    Time to let the young develop herd immunity to protect us oldsters. They are sheep anyway.

  30. “But the metaphor’s usefulness ends there. For starters, Vietnam killed mostly young Americans, while COVID-19 is mostly killing the old—a distinction that might seem callous, but one that nevertheless changes how the crisis effects the national psyche.”

    Yep. It makes my 70-year-old psyche want to invite Mr. Boehm over and crank up the woodchipper.

  31. You know Mr. Boehm, if it is a ‘war’, who is responsible for attacking us with a viral weapon?

    And should be done about that?

    1. Australians call it the CCP virus and are heartened that Missouri had the cojones to sue for reparations. America’s First Great Depression came when China decided to deport resellers of British Indian Opium late in 1837. American muni bonds, etc were dumped for funds to equip the British Navy to attack China. After Germany attacked other European Big Pharma the U.S. Alien Property Custodian held German assets as collateral. China hoards U.S. debt securities “we” could cancel as reparations–for openers.

      1. Whom/what did Missouri sue?

  32. Should the government be able to order workers to stay home, then order them back to work against their will?

    /doubletake/ what?

    You can’t even accurately represent another Reason article! What is wrong with you?

  33. “For starters, Vietnam killed mostly young Americans,”

    For starters that is incorrect. The Vietnam war killed mostly Vietnamese, of all ages. American victims were a small fraction.

  34. I disagree that this is not like any war. This is like a proxy war. Those on the blind right are for the most part in the it’s no big deal anymore, hoax, overblown, and get back to work camp. The left are for the most part saying: not too quick, we are all going to die, we love this control your life stuff and it is Trump’s fault. And it does boil down to that, it is more than clear that a sizable percentage on the left want the economy to tank, short term, so they can try to pin this on Trump. And the right isn’t innocent either. They put up with the President saying idiotic stuff because they are scarred that people will realize he’s a nut and elect the senile rapist. It’s a proxy war. I have Facebook friends on both sides and it sounds pretty much like what I posted above.

    1. Only an idiot would vote for either half of the looter gerontocracy. Past voting figures show that whenever the economy tanks, 3rd party spoiler votes increase sharply. Back in the 1920s there were nothing but communist and prohibition 3rd parties pushing for worse laws. Today only the LP is growing; the mummified NSDAP and CPUSA clones are withering along with the economy they suffocate.

  35. Covid-19 IS like a war, if that war was fought by 80 year olds with lung cancer and heart failure.

  36. Yeah, they have to back off the war analogy because otherwise the casualty figures would seem normal, and we can’t have that.

  37. It would be more rational to compare total years of life lost (YLL) by Americans in the Vietnam War to those lost due to COVID-19.

    By that metric, COVID-19 isn’t even close to winning the race yet.

    The average age of American military personnel who died in the Vietnam War was under 25 so the average YLL per death would be around 60. COVID-19 is mostly taking its toll on older folks and some estimates place YLL for each COVID-19 death in the 10 to 15 range.

  38. An argument can be made that the Chinese Communist Party unleashed a weapon of mass destruction on the rest of the world in that they locked down Wuhan but allowed their citizens to fly to international locations from there for weeks after the lockdown. There is precedent:

    At one point, Mao confided to Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru: “If the worst came to the worst and half of mankind died, the other half would remain while imperialism would be razed to the ground and the whole world would become socialist; in a number of years there would be 2,700 million people again and definitely more.

    Nixon and Mao, Margaret MacMillan (2008)

  39. No, you shouldn’t begin a headline with “No, “. It’s a cheap trick that attempts to boost the author’s perceived authority.

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