Why Are There Toilet Paper Shortages around the World?

There are a few explanations for the run on toilet paper, but one basic economic lesson explains the shortage.


Americans have seen scarcity, bailouts, price fluctuations, and epidemics before, but one thing seems to set the coronavirus emergency apart:

The toilet paper.

Shelves where the product once was stored are bare—and not just in the US. The United Kingdom has experienced similar shortages, leading consumers to purchase toilet paper substitutes (at the risk of the sewage system), and an Australian newspaper went so far as to print eight blank pages in a recent issue to be used in case of emergency for, you guessed it, toilet paper.

The desire to hoard during a pandemic may be totally natural, but hoarding for some means scarcity for others.

What is a good solution for this problem? Many stores have instigated their own rationing devices (limits of X amount of toilet paper, hand sanitizers, etc., per customer), with others instituting hours of shopping reserved for the elderly or immunocompromised.

These are creative and compassionate ideas, and they may solve some of the problem of hoarding—but the market has another way.

The problem? It’s incredibly unpopular, and, of course, even illegal in many places.

Price gouging” has a particularly negative connotation. It refers to a phenomenon wherein customers at an especially vulnerable time are charged unusually high prices by “greedy” business owners taking advantage of their need.

But think about the incentives of business owners—do you know a single entrepreneur, business owner, or honest employee who wants to intentionally upset their customers? The incentive of business owners is always to provide great service and reasonable prices. To act otherwise is to eventually run out of business.

These incentives do not suddenly change during a crisis—business owners are still judged by the court of public opinion, and those who treat customers unfairly will not go unnoticed, at least not for long.

So why do prices rise during times of need? The answer is found in the basic economic principles of supply and demand.

When demand increases, it’s a signal that customers want to consume more of a certain product.

The graph below demonstrates these changes. The demand line shifts up from D1 to D2—increasing prices, but only temporarily. Prices are a rationing device and signal of scarcity, so this higher price naturally encourages customers to make do with less while simultaneously indicating to producers to expand production.

Though buyers have to pay more for each product, it reduces the risk of shortages by making it easier for suppliers to meet the increased demand for their goods. [See chart]

What’s perhaps more relevant to our current situation is that hoarders are indirectly discouraged from hoarding. A higher price makes consumers think twice before buying a cart-full of toilet paper, leaving more product on the shelves and limiting or delaying, perhaps indefinitely, any shortage.

But that’s not all, remember that the higher price is only temporary, since higher prices will spur production.

Sellers see product flying off the shelves and note that they need to ramp up production to meet the growing demand. Potential entrepreneurs also recognize that there may be room for extra business in this particular market, so they start production.

Once supply is able to catch up, the supply line shifts from S1 to S2, and prices normalize once again. [See chart 1 and chart 2]

Sure these are merely graphs, and it is difficult to appropriately convey the nuances of human behavior and the complexity of the economy in a single graph.

However, we’ve already seen these forces at work in the past few weeks. Distilleries have taken note of hand sanitizer shortages and are helping to meet the increased demand by producing their own—some even giving their product away for free. Last week Georgia-Pacific, a toilet paper supplier, increased production capacity by 120 percent.

Amplified production by existing companies, and the entrance of new business into markets, will lower prices to pre-crisis levels.

Referring to rising prices as “price gouging” will not change the economic fact: in a free economy, prices are a vital signal to producers and consumers alike. It’s incredible that a single number can do so much.

This is the miracle inherent in free markets—no solitary, all-knowing authority is dictating the direction of prices or production in a single market (let alone an entire economy). It happens naturally, as if led by an invisible hand.

So why was there a sudden run on toilet paper? Who knows.

Perhaps in anticipation of long periods of quarantine, shoppers are looking for any necessary household goods to stockpile. One consumer psychologist explained that it could simply be retail therapy; stressed consumers rushing for feelings of security during a pandemic. Others simply blame herd mentality—the idea that if everyone else is hoarding toilet paper, you might as well be too.

The ultimate lesson? Let prices rise and markets do their work. As long as economic freedom exists, ingenuity and innovation will never be in short supply—and neither will toilet paper.

COLUMN BY

Amanda Snell

Amanda Snell is an analytics associate at FEE. She grew up in small-town Idaho and is a recent graduate of BYU-Idaho in Economics. Prior to joining FEE, she completed the Charles Koch Internship Program and interned with The Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom. She enjoys working with entrepreneurs and is passionate about the potential for innovation in the private sector. Amanda was deeply impacted by FEE and the freedom philosophy as a high school student and is thrilled to be part of an organization committed to individual liberty and economic freedom.

RELATED ARTICLE: Flexibility Is Needed for Economies to Cope With COVID-19, Not $2,000 Checks

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Lysol Introduces Shoulder-Mounted Turret That Automatically Blasts Anyone Who Coughs Within Six Feet Of You

SLOUGH, BERKSHIRE—Lysol has unveiled a new shoulder-mounted turret that automatically blasts anyone who coughs, sneezes, or emits mouth droplets of any kind within six feet of you.

The Big Lysol Turret 9000 is especially useful during epidemics and flu season, though many who are fearful of germs and disease say they plan to use the product year-round, just in case.

“COUGH DETECTED. DEPLOYING COUNTERMEASURES,” the system blares as it activates, coating the offender with an entire can of Lysol spray. “DESTROY ALL GERMS. DESTROY ALL GERMS.”

Target, Walmart, and other big box retailers are stocking the device now for the low price of $99.99, though they immediately sold out. Customers mobbed the stores as soon as they opened this morning, gathering in a big crowd to be the first ones to get the turret guaranteed to stop germs and prevent infection. They also bought a bunch of toilet paper for reasons unknown.

“Rest assured, we are working to get more BLT-9000s to customers as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson. “In the meantime, consider just pushing people away with a pool cue.”

For extreme germophobes, the turret can be reprogrammed to blast anyone who simply gets within a certain distance, cough or no.

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EDITOR NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

White House Coronavirus Task Force Updates and Important Links.

President Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force announced additional actions today as part of the ongoing, government-wide response to the global pandemic:

  • To help American families and businesses, the Treasury Department announced that Tax Day will be moved from April 15 to July 15. No interest or penalties will be charged for filing during this extended window, but any American expecting refunds or credits may claim now to get their money sooner.
  • To minimize impact on our nation’s students, the Department of Education is temporarily waiving all interest on federally held student loans. Secretary Betsy DeVos has also directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.
  • Early, decisive travel restrictions helped slow the spread of Coronavirus to our country. Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States and Mexico have agreed to restrict non-essential travel across their border.
  • More help is on the way. The Trump Administration worked with Congress last week on a bipartisan deal to deliver economic relief and support for American families, which the President signed into law on Wednesday. More legislative action is expected in the coming days.
  • As a reminder, this week, President Trump issued a nationwide call to action for every American to help slow the spread of Coronavirus over the next 15 days. We encourage you all to continue to put these guidelines into practice and share them with your communities to help save lives.

Share with us:

  • Know of an inspirational story? We know that Americans have gone above and beyond to serve their communities during this time. If you would like to share with us any inspirational stories in your communities, let us know and send them our way.
  • Who else needs this information? Please send us any names with organizations and e-mails for other faith leaders that would benefit from receiving these updates.

Important Links:

© All rights reserved.

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MINNESOTA: Muslim migrant, former Mayo Clinic researcher, pledged allegiance to ISIS, plotted jihad massacres in U.S.

What’s that? A doctor? Why, how can that be? Everyone knows that poverty causes terrorism, right?

In reality, the idea that poverty causes terrorism, and that showering Muslim countries with money will end it, has been shown to be false again and again — although it is still a core assumption of U.S. foreign policy.

The New York Times reported in March 2016 that “not long after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001…Alan B. Krueger, the Princeton economist, tested the widespread assumption that poverty was a key factor in the making of a terrorist. Mr. Krueger’s analysis of economic figures, polls, and data on suicide bombers and hate groups found no link between economic distress and terrorism.”

CNS News noted in September 2013 that “according to a Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009, ‘Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.’ One of the authors of the RAND report, Darcy Noricks, also found that according to a number of academic studies, ‘Terrorists turn out to be more rather than less educated than the general population.’”

“Pakistani doctor arrested in Minnesota on terrorism charge,” by Amy Forliti, Associated Press, March 19, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

MINNEAPOLIS — A Pakistani doctor and former Mayo Clinic research coordinator was arrested Thursday in Minnesota on a terrorism charge, after prosecutors say he told paid FBI informants that he had pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State group and wanted to carry out lone wolf attacks in the United States.

Muhammad Masood, 28, was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday by FBI agents and was charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Prosecutors say Masood was in the U.S. on a work visa. They allege that starting in January, Masood made several statements to paid informants — whom he believed were members of the Islamic State group — pledging his allegiance to the group and its leader. He also allegedly expressed his desire to travel to Syria to fight for ISIS and a desire to carry out lone wolf attacks in the U.S.

At one point, Masood messaged an informant “there is so much I wanted to do here .. .lon wulf stuff you know … but I realized I should be on the ground helping brothers sisters kids,” according to an FBI affidavit.

Prosecutors say Masood bought a plane ticket on Feb. 21 to travel from Chicago to Amman, Jordan, and then planned to go to Syria from there. He had planned to leave at the end of March. But on March 16, he had to change his travel plans because Jordan closed its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic. Masood and one of the informants then developed a plan for him to fly from Minneapolis to Los Angeles to meet with that informant, whom Masood believed would help him travel in a cargo ship into Islamic State territory….

Court documents do not name the clinic where Masood worked, but a LinkedIn page for a man with the same name and work history says Masood has worked at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, since February of 2018, first as a research trainee, but has been a clinical research coordinator since May. A profile on researchgate.net says he has done research in cardiology; he was scheduled to present his research for the Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development in October 2018, according to an online calendar of the event.

Mayo Clinic spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said Masood formerly worked at the medical center, but “was not employed by Mayo Clinic at the time of his arrest.”…

On Jan. 24, Masood contacted one of the informants on the encrypted platform and said he was a medical doctor with a Pakistani passport and wanted to travel to Syria, Iraq or the northern region of Iran stretching to Afghanistan “to fight on the frontline as well as help the wounded brothers,” the affidavit said.

He explained that he wanted to make the trip because he “hates smiling at the passing kuffar just to not make them suspicios.” The affidavit said kuffar is an Arabic term meaning nonbeliever or non-Muslim. Masood also allegedly told the informant he wanted help getting to the front lines. When the informant said Masood might have to kill people, Masood replied, “i want to kill and get killed … and kill and get killed.”…

Roughly three dozen Minnesotans — mostly men from the state’s large Somali community — have left Minnesota since 2007 to join al-Shabab in Somalia or militant groups in Syria, including the Islamic State group….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

School Closures—and Accidental Homeschooling—Continue. Here Are More Resources for Families

As of today, 91,000 public and private schools in 39 states with more than 41 million students collectively, have closed because of the coronavirus, according to Education Week

As parents continue to navigate their new role as homeschool instructors, resources are being made available online to meet the needs of families.

Some schools have begun live-streaming PE classes. Others are delivering virtual content to students, and at some—such as Success Academy in New York—teachers begin the day with phone calls to each of their students and hold virtual office hours later in the day. Families, schools, and free markets are rising to the challenge of schooling during a worldwide pandemic.

Here are 10 resources to check out for your own family:

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

  1. Project Gutenberg is an online library of more than 60,000 free eBooks of the world’s great literature. These great works are available in full online for free because they are older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.
  2. The Ashbrook Center’s Teaching American History Project is a treasure trove of history resources that “explore themes in American history and self-government through the study of original historical documents.”
  3. Mike McShane of EdChoice recommends Brain Pop, which offers online resources, interactive activities, quizzes, and lessons in everything from science and social studies to art and engineering.  He also recommends the Cincinnati Zoo’s page, which offers a Facebook Live safari every day at 3 p.m. Eastern.
  4. The entire Core Knowledge Foundation curriculum is now online for free.
  5. Get a crash course in homeschooling through the Home School Legal Defense Association’s homeschooling through high school page.
  6. The Space Foundation partnered with Peanuts to create 10 free lesson plans, in its “ongoing quest to catalyze the next generation of space explorers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.”
  7. Beginning next Wednesday, Code Break will offer a live, weekly webcast to teach students computer science at home, even offering learning options for students without computers.
  8. The Bill of Rights Institute has a wealth of history curriculum resources.
  9. More advanced students can check-out the University of Dallas’ Arts in Liberty courses in LogicRhetoricGeometry and Arithmetic, and Astronomy.
  10. Open Culture provides access to free online courses from universities worldwide as well as audiobooks and documentaries, and EdX offers free online courses from universities on topics such as language, business management, and engineering.

COMMENTARY BY

Lindsey M. Burke researches and writes on federal and state education issues as the Will Skillman fellow in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Coronavirus Is the Chinese Government’s Curse Upon the World

The World Health Organization and other sensitive souls have instructed us to stop referring to the new strain of the coronavirus as the “Wuhan” or “Chinese” flu because of the racist connotations.

I’m disinclined to curb my speech to placate Chinese propagandists, and it seems to me the aversion to those terms is less about racism than about averting blame. But in the spirit of comity, and avoiding disparaging an entire nation, I’m happy to call it the ChiCom Flu moving forward.

There are many traditional naming conventions that don’t really make that much sense. Somewhat weirdly, for example, we often name diseases after the people who “discover” them—Hodgkin’s disease after Thomas Hodgkin, Parkinson’s disease after James Parkinson, and so on.

But naming viral diseases after places—Guinea worm, West Nile virus, Ebola, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, etc.—is probably just intuitive. Viruses “come” from someplace, after all, and thus people gravitate to those names. I doubt we came up with “Lyme disease” because of some deep enmity toward Connecticut.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Anyway, “COVID-19” or “H1N1” don’t exactly roll off the tongue.

The latter was, until very recently, widely referred to as the “Spanish flu,” a virus that killed around 675,000 Americans and tens of millions of others around the world in the early 1900s.

“Spanish flu” has now retroactively fallen into disfavor as well. And to be fair, there is some historical evidence that the virus may actually have originated in China or France, so if we must call it the French flu moving forward, so be it.

But while the Spanish have a good case to be annoyed, the Chinese government does not.

As Jim Geraghty notes, the communist Chinese have been far more effective in stopping the spread of information about the coronavirus than in stopping the spread of the coronavirus itself. Today, for example, China expelled most American journalists from the country.

Early on, the communists destroyed samples and suppressed vital information that could have helped mitigate the damage of this new strain of the coronavirus.

The government also silenced doctors who warned about the disease. Some were censured for “spreading rumors” or sharing test results with colleagues, and some were forced to write self-critical public letters—a Marxist mainstay—admitting that the warning “had a negative impact.”

The Chinese communists probably let 5 million people leave Wuhan without screening, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Chinese communists, like all communists, hide societal problems. There is no crime, disease, or addiction in the collectivist state. This kind of secrecy and dishonesty can be disastrous, especially in a highly interconnected world.

Though millions of Chinese have been lifted out of extreme poverty through free trade, with modernity comes some basic responsibilities—for instance, not killing everyone in the world with preventable zoonotic diseases.

The Chinese regime is perfectly capable of administering an array of authoritarian policies to suppress the rights of its own people. But it’s apparently unable to exert even mild cultural pressure warning them that their eating habits can be extraordinarily dangerous and hold the potential of creating massive socioeconomic problems.

If reports are correct, it was in Wuhan’s popular “wet markets” that vendors were selling the bats—and possibly snakes—that may have caused the COVID-19 outbreak. “Wet” because the meat sold in its unsanitary stalls was only recently slaughtered.

This kind of thing happens quite often. And not always in China, of course. But the avian influenza was likely transmitted to humans from chickens in a “wet” market.

Scientists have been warning for years that the eating of exotic animals in southern China “is a time bomb.” Acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) also originated in China, and probably jumped to humans through bats. Other coronavirus strains are also likely connected to bats.

I hate to thrust my Western cultural values on anyone, but maybe it’s time to stop eating bats.

It’s important to stress that it’s not the Chinese people who are the problem. Just look at their success in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United States. The ChiComs are the problem.

If the Chinese government spent as much time working on educating its people and regulating dangerous markets as it does on secrecy and propaganda efforts, maybe it wouldn’t have to worry as much about diseases being named after it—or about the catastrophic death and economic pain their negligence helps cause.

COPYRIGHT 2020 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

David Harsanyi is a senior writer at National Review and the author of “First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History With the Gun, From the Revolution to Today.” Twitter: .

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Trump Clears Way to Use Malaria Drug Against COVID-19

VIDEO: Tucker Carlson discusses Chloroquine with Dr. Greg Rigano.


In what he called a “game-changer or maybe not,” President Donald Trump on Thursday directed the Food and Drug Administration to clear regulatory hurdles and move toward expanding use of a malaria drug to battle the coronavirus.

The drug chloroquine has shown “very, very encouraging early results,” Trump said during the daily press conference on the coronavirus disease, which health officials call COVID-19. The drug has been used to treat malaria since 1944.

“If treatments … in Europe, Japan, or other nations are known to be safe against the virus, we’ll use that information to protect the health and safety of the American people,” Trump said, later adding:

This is a common malaria drug. It’s also a drug used for strong arthritis. If somebody has pretty serious arthritis, [he] also uses this in a somewhat different form. But it is known as a malaria drug. It has been around for a long time, and it’s very powerful.

The nice part is it has been around for a long time. So we know if things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to kill anybody. When you go with a brand new drug, you don’t know. You have to see and you have to get a long test. But this has been used in different forms, a very powerful drug, and it has shown very encouraging, very, very encouraging, early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.

That’s where the FDA is so great. They’ve gone through the approval process. It has been approved, and they took it down [in availability] from many, many months to immediate. So, we are going to be able to make that drug available.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


As of noon Thursday, there were 10,442 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States and 150 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 97 deaths reported on the site the day before.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency is providing American innovators “regulatory flexibility with scientific oversight” to expedite development of other safe drugs that could be a bridge until a vaccine for COVID-19 is fully developed.

Hahn, a physician, noted that phase one of vaccine trials are happening.

“We expect that to take 12 months to get to completion, to get to a time when we can actually approve a vaccine. These are all things to bridge to the prevention part of this with the vaccine,” Hahn said of medicines. “It’s exciting work, and the president is right. This is record-breaking time for the development of a vaccine and impressive public-private partnership.”

Hahn said the FDA will continue to explore whether “experimental or an off-the-shelf drug that is used for something else can safely and effectively treat patients” infected with the coronavirus.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Senate Bill Would Give $1,200 to Many Americans as COVID-19 Relief

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that the Senate will not leave Washington before approving an aid package to ease financial problems during the coronavirus pandemic through direct payments to individual Americans.

Other provisions of the package, which has a total cost estimated at up to $1 trillion, would provide loans to airlines and other struggling industries.

Under the proposal, couples earning up to $150,000 a year would get checks for $2,400 in the mail and individuals earning up to $75,000 would get $1,200 checks.

After reaching those income thresholds, relief would scale downward to as low as $600 for some Americans.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Individuals earning more than $99,000 a year and couples earning more than $198,000 would not get anything from the government under the current bill.

The Democrat-controlled House would have to pass a version of the bill. The Trump administration already has signaled support for many of the initiatives.

“Senate Republicans want to put cash into the hands of the American people,” McConnell said in a Senate floor speech.

McConnell said the goal of the bill—called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act—is to “get assistance to individuals and families as rapidly as possible.”

“No tangled Washington process with a thousand cooks in the kitchen, no piles of forms for laid-off workers or busy families to fill out,” the top Senate Republican said. “Money for people, from the middle class on down.”

The bill also includes a $500 payment for each child in a household, depending on family income.

This stage marks “phase three” of economic relief packages during the coronavirus pandemic that have gained bipartisan support in Congress.

Congress passed an initial $830 billion relief package in early March focused on medical and emergency relief.

On Wednesday, Trump signed another, $100 billion bill that includes unemployment benefits and free testing for the new coronavirus disease, which health officials call COVID-19.

The proposed CARES Act includes direct payments to Americans, as well as delays in employer payroll taxes and estimated tax payments for businesses.

The proposal also would provide $208 billion in loan guarantees, including $50 billion for the airline industry and $8 billion for air cargo carriers.

The total confirmed U.S. cases of COVID-19 reached 10,442 as of noon Thursday, with 150 confirmed deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some conservatives, including Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, showed reluctance to support too much spending or large bailouts for industries.

McConnell likely will need support from Democrats to pass the legislation.

In a joint statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., the Democrats made other demands. It said, in part:

The number one priority is addressing this health crisis, which requires a Marshall Plan to rebuild our health care infrastructure on a continental scale and ensure the resources are there to test and treat everyone who needs it. To earn Democratic support in the Congress, any economic stimulus proposal must include new, strong and strict provisions that prioritize and protect workers, such as banning the recipient companies from buying back stock, rewarding executives and laying off workers.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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Coronavirus Aid for Travel Industry: Prepayments, Tax Relief, Not Bailouts

Ukraine’s Coronavirus Lockdown Invokes Memories of Life in the Soviet Union


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Brit Hume Describes A Coronavirus Scenario That Could Be ‘Quite Good News’ For President Trump

Fox News contributor Brit Hume described a scenario that could end up being “quite good news” for President Donald Trump as he leads the nation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

WATCH:

Appearing on Tuesday night’s edition of “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” Hume first acknowledged that the sinking economic conditions certainly “spells trouble for the incumbent.”

“If, on the other hand, we are able to blunt the force of this,” he told Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum, “and we are able to helicopter, drop money out of helicopters, as the saying goes – to get money to people – an economic downturn, and people are able to weather it, and it comes to be felt by the country that this administration, after maybe some halting steps at the beginning, did a good job mobilizing the country and mobilizing the government and seeing us through it, that could be quite good news for the president.”

Hume also gave credit to Democrats for voting for former Vice President Joe Biden, someone “believed at least by many of them to be a moderate.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Vortex — The Last Chance

TRANSCRIPT

No one in America who really, deeply cares about the future of the United States misses the point that what people on both sides are actually voting on is the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For decades, and largely while political conservatives — including a hefty number of Catholics — were asleep at the switch, the Marxist Left was implementing a takeover of the country through judicial fiat. The Left resorted to the courts because they could not get done what they wanted through state legislatures. So, in an effort to usurp the will of the people, they populated the nation’s elite law schools with social radicals, some of whom, after decades, were able to rise high in positions within the federal judiciary.

By the time political conservatives caught on to the plan, it was too late. The Left sufficiently controlled the courts, including the Supreme Court, to force its will on the people. Once something becomes legal, in people’s minds, it tends to be more readily viewed as acceptable, even moral. Even formerly controversial issues take on an air of respectability, and opposition to them now becomes seen as narrow-mindedness.

But the composition of the High Court — the ages of various justices — brought the issue to a head in the 2016 presidential election. It was almost a certainty that the court could shift to the right, even marginally, if Trump was elected. So while the Left was alarmed, the Right was ecstatic at the possibility. After decades and decades of hard, grinding, thankless work, the possibility was coming into focus that Donald Trump in the White House might finally hand the brass ring to the cause of political conservatism.

And the issue was abortion. If Hillary were to win, it would be game over, potentially forever. And recall, during the 2016 race, there was already one vacancy on the court — the seat of Antonin Scalia — a conservative seat. Securing that seat with a liberal, as Obama had nominated in the person of Merrick Garland, would have been the death-knell.

Fast forward to 2020 and a rapidly aging, in-poor-health Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. As one expert told Church Militant, “The old gal will last one year. She isn’t going to last five.” If Trump wins re-election it is virtually guaranteed that he will replace Ginsburg, one of the most Marxist-minded, pro-abortion, anti-God justices ever to sit on the bench.

But here’s a question — something to consider: If the court tips from its current 5–4 to 6–3 conservative bent — or even possibly 7–2 — before Trump’s second term is over, and then would overturn Roe v. Wade, what would happen?

Pondering that possibility, and even planning for it to some degree, the Left is arming itself and speaking openly of rebellion. It seems not that far-fetched that the same crowd that starts fires on college campuses when conservative speakers arrive and violently riots in the streets under the banner of Antifa would have little compunction about making blood run in those same streets if the Court toppled abortion. Current whispers of civil war might become louder than just whispers.

If that happens, if something like that — even on a somewhat limited scale — were to occur, it would, by definition, become a noble cause: the defense of innocent life.

There is not an honest man or woman walking who does not know that the Left supports child-murder. That is the central motivating issue around which all of American politics have evolved since the days of Ronald Reagan. That has been the central issue of the attempt to unseat Donald Trump for going on three years now, even up to the relative Marxist-media hype surrounding the coronavirus scare.

This is relative to what, you may ask? It’s relative to the swine flu epidemic that went on for more than a year under Obama and killed thousands of Americans. Nothing was done by the media giants in that case like is being done now. They have seized on a serious issue and are perfectly happy to use it to try and destabilize Trump — they’ll try anything to destabilize him — and it’s all because abortion is always playing in the background.

Abortion is and has been the topic that has been responsible for shaping the national debate for more than 40 years. It caused the bedlam surrounding the Brett Kavanaugh hearings — even the pounding on the doors of the High Court once he was confirmed. It was the admitted issue when New York Sen. Chuck Schumer hurled his invective and threats against both Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch — actually threatening them —for which he never apologized. The case he was talking about? Abortion.

But this is what pro-lifers need to note, and note hard: Given the rapidly changing demographics of the country — an essentially morally rudderless young population, opposed to religion and unfamiliar with natural law, this election is the last chance to secure and lock down a pro-life court. Pro-life voters will simply be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of the socialist-loving lefties by 2024.

In the midst of all this — with everything on the table — do not look to the U.S. bishops to make this point. Too many of them are registered Democrats themselves and do not possess supernatural faith. They are enamored with the Party of Death — even child-killers who are baptized Catholics they love schmoozing with.

The marriage between political conservatives and theologically orthodox Catholics has brought this moment to reality. It has been a gigantic, uphill struggle — a fight for the ages — and is now the last great clash over the future direction of the nation we will see in our lifetime. The Right has arrived at a point of equal footing, or at least as equal as it’s ever going to get. The victory must be secured and it must be secured now, because the moment will never arrive again as long as any of us are breathing.

In 233 days, we will know our future.

Pray, fast and act like you’ve never done before.

It is your solemn duty before the Lord of Life.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: H1N1 Response VS COVID-19 Response, Why So Different? We Asked Rep. Roger Marshall, M.D.

Dr. Roger Marshall, who representing Kansas’ first district spoke with the Daily Caller’s Stephanie Hamill about the the latest regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

He also discussed the differences between the 2009 H1N1 pandemic response and coronavirus response.

“First of all it has been sensationalized, so from day one the press has, they really have, the left socialist media has blown it out of proportion, they’ve used this as an attack tool on the president, but unfortunately it is a real virus and it has a higher mortality rate on our senior citizens especially those people with underlying medical problems” said Marshall.  

Marshall went on to discuss what Congress can do to help Americans suffering from COVID-19’s economic impact.

VIDEO BY

Stephanie Hamill

Video Columnist

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The Media’s Appalling Fixation on Trump’s Use of ‘Chinese Virus’ [Video]

America is in a state of lockdown, the stock market is plummeting, and countless people around the world could get sick and die as the result of a deadly pandemic, but still many in the American press will use their time to give cover to the People’s Republic of China.

At a press conference Wednesday, President Donald Trump was asked why he used the phrase “Chinese virus” to describe the new coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19.

Cecilia Vega of ABC News asked: “Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus, there are reports of dozens of incidents of bias against Chinese Americans in this country. Your own aide, [HHS] Secretary [Alex] Azar, says he does not use this term. He says ethnicity does not cause the virus. Why do you keep using this? A lot of people think it’s racist.”

Other reporters asked essentially the same question.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


“Because it comes from China,” Trump responded to Vega. “It’s not racist at all. No, not at all. It comes from China, that’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”

Trump doubled down, explaining that he chose to use the “Chinese virus” phrase to push back on the idea, spread by Chinese officials, that the virus was started by the U.S. military.

Again, in this time of crisis, our esteemed press is asking the questions most on the minds of the American people, right?

Just unbelievable. What’s worse than the knee-jerk speech-policing in such a serious time is how it’s clearly being used for the purposes of China’s propaganda.

Trump is right about his rhetoric. The virus originated in Wuhan, China, and it’s appropriate to label it by where it came from, as we do with many other viruses.

Just a few months ago, most American media outlets had no problem identifying COVID-19 with China, unless they think they were peddling racism and xenophobia as many now claim.

What changed?

As Trump noted, Chinese officials and various state-backed media outlets have stepped up their campaign to lay this disaster at the feet of the United States.

They are using the idea that calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus,” “China coronavirus,” “Wuhan virus,” or anything else that may direct attention toward their government’s misbehavior is racist and must be silenced.

It’s a message that’s well-tailored to suck in the social justice warrior journalists and left-wing commentariat to carry out the goals of the communist Chinese regime.

It’s important to keep a focus on the origin of the pandemic in light of the fact that the actions of the Chinese communist government to suppress information in the early stages of the outbreak have deeply exacerbated this catastrophe.

It’s incredible that in the face of the Chinese government’s expulsion of American journalists and refusal to provide reliable information about the outbreak in China, our own press is most troubled by the president’s attempt to draw attention to this with a simple phrase of identification.

And if American journalists are so concerned about racism and government mistreatment of minorities, why not get more worked up about China’s current treatment of Muslim Uighurs who’ve been detained in concentration camps and, according to reports, are being used as essentially slave laborers to make up for labor shortages.

The biggest threat we will face in coming months isn’t racism, it’s the potential for a massive pandemic worse than any we’ve seen in a century.

It’s especially important that as we first manage the very serious health crisis, we also remember how a ruthless authoritarian regime turned a limited catastrophe into a global one.

Hopefully this message will get through to the press. Maybe now is the time to restore some of their lost credibility rather than further damaging it.

COMMENTARY BY

Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the new book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.”Twitter: .

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Don’ts and Dos on Wuhan Flu Virus

Some of the views expressed here are controversial. So, do ask your doctor. I hope you have one—not just the HMO or retail clinic “provider.”

Don’t panic. That is always good advice. If you, like the world’s economy, operate on just-in-time inventories, and did not take advice to stock up 3 weeks ago, do not join a mob at a big-box store. Somebody there is no doubt infected. Plus, there’s the risk of getting trampled or injured in a fist fight over the last roll of toilet paper. Most of the world survives without that luxury good. If you have no rice or beans or pasta in the pantry, that is more serious, but you should still avoid mobs if at all possible. Take-out and drive-through places are booming.

Don’t treat fever without a doctor’s advice. Fever is not a disease. It is an important defense mechanism. Very high fevers (say 105 degrees) can cause brain damage, and children can have seizures. But don’t pop Tylenol or ibuprofen at the first sign of fever. Many of the casualties in the 1918 pandemic might have been caused by heavy use of aspirin. Like aspirin, popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) such ibuprofen also have detrimental effects on blood clotting. Try lukewarm sponge baths for comfort.

Don’t rush out and get a flu shot. I know, a lot of doctors and public health authorities urge everybody to do this. Influenza can kill you, and the flu shot decreases that risk by 30% to 60%—but there is evidence that it can make COVID-19 worse, both from the earlier SARS epidemic and lab research. Like with so many things in medicine, we have to play the odds.

  • Don’t go to the emergency room or urgent care unless you are severely ill. There will be sick people there, and you might catch something. You also might end up with a big bill, say for a CT scan you didn’t really need. And if you have the flu or a cold or COVID-19, and don’t need IV fluids or oxygen, they can’t do anything for you. Telephone advice lines could help greatly.
  • Don’t go to events that are crowded, especially indoors in poorly ventilated rooms. Staying home is good.
  • Don’t demand to be tested and rely on the results. The tests are still in short supply and not very accurate. If you are at low risk, a positive test is likely to be a false positive. And if you are infected, the test may be negative at first. We need much more testing—mainly for public health monitoring.
  • Don’t waste. Expired medications are probably still good. Most drugs or essential ingredients are made in China, and supplies are running out. Masks (also mostly made in China) are meant to be disposable, but likely can’t be replaced (see below).
  • Don’t touch your face or your eyes. That is very hard—preventing that is one function of a mask and eye protection.
  • Don’t fall for internet scams, or malware. Hucksters will always be around to try to profit from panics. A new type of malicious virus is embedded malware in sites that come up on a search for information. (If you want to find the Johns Hopkins University dashboard of cases and deaths, go to the university’s website, don’t Google “coronavirus map.”)

Now for some dos:

  • Do prepare to take care of yourself and your family. Be sure you have a fever thermometer, disposable gloves, plastic garbage bags, and cleaning supplies. A pulse oximeter, available in many places for around $40, is good to have to check oxygen levels.
  • Do clean and disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs, telephones, computer keyboards, toilets, and countertops often. Virus can persist there for days.
  • Do remember that sunlight is the best disinfectant. If you don’t have a pocket ultraviolet lamp (they are or were available on amazon), try putting things like masks or paper currency out in the sun. The idea should be rigorously tested, but in times of need, you may have to guess.
  • Do wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer. With SARS-CoV-2, most disinfectants work, including 70-percent-alcohol-based sanitizers.
  • Do put a mask on sick people if you can. For protecting yourself you need a minimum of an N95 mask and eye protection.
  • Do take your vitamins. Most people may be vitamin D deficient. Your need for vitamin C escalates with infection. Some 50 tons of vitamin C was shipped to Wuhan, and studies of effectiveness are underway.
  • Do get your essential prescriptions refilled for 90 days—the supply chain depends on China. If your managed-care plan won’t pay, consider paying cash. You may be able to get a good price with a coupon from goodrx.com.
  • Do protect your immune system, with adequate sleep, exercise, fresh air, and diet, especially avoiding sugar if you feel ill.
  • Do help your neighbors, and be responsible about protecting others as well as yourself from contagion.

© All rights reserved.

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PODCAST: Trump Quarantines Abortion Money in Virus Bill

While lots of Americans are hunkered down at home, the U.S. Senate is holed up in its offices — waiting for a crack at the House’s coronavirus bill. And while there’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s actually in the package, Republican leaders won’t have to contend with at least one thing: abortion funding.

The version that passed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) chamber in the wee hours of Saturday morning wasn’t what the House majority was hoping for. After word leaked out that Democrats had tried to tack on a secret slush fund for abortion, even MSNBC couldn’t hide its shock. “What does that have to do with COVID-19?” host Joy Reid asked. What indeed, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) argued. With schools closing and most every gathering postponed, he couldn’t believe that Pelosi’s priority was getting more money in the hands of people who take life, not treat it. “Speaker Pelosi should be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, not politicizing emergency funding by fighting against the bipartisan Hyde Amendment,” he insisted. “We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood. Good grief.”

When the White House got wind of the Democrats’ plan, President Trump wasted no time warning House leaders what would happen to the bill if it got to him with that language: Absolutely nothing. Keeping a promise he made at the March for Life in 2019, the administration made it crystal clear that he wouldn’t allow Pelosi to hijack the crisis with her radical plans to overthrow the Hyde amendment. Emergency or no emergency. “As the House conducts its business,” the president wrote in a shot across the bow last January, “I urge that it respect and continue these other important pro-life protections… I will veto any legislation that weakens current pro-life federal policies or laws — or that encourages the destruction of innocent human life at any stage.”

The pressure worked. By the time the House voted, the language that would have compromised the Hyde amendment was gone. In an interview on “Washington Watch” last Friday, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) cheered the administration’s stand but warned that Congress still isn’t out of the woods yet. “They removed the anti-Hyde amendment provision. So we got that back and protected the unborn, at least… [But] we have to be vigilant — that’s for sure… [There are] provisions that have nothing to do with the coronavirus basically being thrown into this thing. And that’s just par for the course for the activist Left.”

Like a lot of Republicans, he also urged caution on a bill of this magnitude. “It’s a far-reaching and expansive and bill on spending,” Congressman Biggs explained, and although both chambers are doing their best to work quickly, there are still very serious legislative landmines. “Panic is no friend to sound policymaking,” NRO pointed out. As important as it is to combat the virus, it’s just as important to make sure America isn’t ravaged by Congress’s solutions. Right now, neither side of the aisle can even put a price tag on the bill — because no one can predict how widespread the pandemic will be.

“Most of the measures in this [plan] are something that the senators support,” Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) agreed. But there are concerns just the same — for small businesses, certainly, and the U.S. deficit. “Many of the 40 House Republicans who opposed the measure Saturday morning complained that they only had a few minutes to read the bill text,” Fox News’s Chad Pegram writes. “And, to this point, no one truly knows the cost of the measure. It’s anywhere from tens of billions of dollars to the hundreds of billions of dollars.” For Congress, it’s a delicate balance. As much as everyone wants to help the economy, conservatives understand: we can’t afford to create more permanent spending programs and entitlements.

Hopefully, a number of these concerns will be sorted out by the Republican Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised to work quickly but thoughtfully. In the end, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) advised, Congress needs to “approach this with a level head and pass a bill that does more good than harm.” It would be better to pass nothing, he said, than to rush through anything that could haunt us later on.


Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action podcast and column are republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEOS: President Trump Secures No-Cost Virus Testing for Americans

The Trump Administration is leading an “all-of-America” approach, as Vice President Mike Pence calls it, to protect Americans during the global Coronavirus outbreak.

“Last week, at this table, the President met with pharmaceutical leaders, we met with nursing home leaders, leaders of commercial labs, airline industries,” Vice President Pence said. “We’re bringing all of the businesses of the country to bear to protect the health of the American people.”

Earlier today, President Trump and the Vice President met with executives from America’s largest health insurance companies, where they announced a major deal.


Please visit Coronavirus.com to learn more.


Vice President Pence: We are defending all patients against surprise billing

“I’m pleased to report, as you requested, Mr. President, that all the insurance companies here—either today or before today—have agreed to waive all copays on coronavirus testing and extend coverage for coronavirus treatment in all of their benefit plans,” the Vice President said.

Medicare and Medicaid announced recently that beneficiaries will have Coronavirus testing and treatment covered. Now, private insurers have made that commitment, as well.

Insurers also agreed to cover telemedicine services, which will allow all patients—particularly among the vulnerable senior population—to be treated without feeling the need to go to a hospital or doctor’s office.

After sitting down with insurance leaders at the White House, the President traveled to Capitol Hill this afternoon, where he and Vice President Pence met with lawmakers. “We just had a meeting on stimulus, and you’ll be hearing about it soon. But it was a great meeting,” President Trump said.

He also had one important message for Americans during this time: We’re prepared.

“Everybody has to be vigilant and has to be careful. But be calm,” the President said. Thanks to early preventative measures by the Administration, as well as the strong fundamentals in our economy and job market, America is in great shape to weather any storm.

Watch today’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing live at 5:30 p.m. ET.

President TrumpBe vigilant, careful, and calm in response to Coronavirus


MUST READ: President Trumps’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 Days to Slow the Spread.


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Copyright © 2019 DrRichSwier.com LLC. A Florida Cooperation. All rights reserved. The DrRichSwier.com is a not-for-profit news forum for intelligent Conservative commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. Republishing of columns on this website requires the permission of both the author and editor. For more information contact: drswier@gmail.com.