VIDEO OF THE DAY: America is winning together

President Trump didn’t wait to take action on Coronavirus, from imposing swift travel restrictions on China to organizing a White House Task Force in January.

These early moves—which at the time drew criticism from some in Washington as an “overreaction”—have allowed America to slow the spread of the deadly virus today.

“Every one of us has a role to play in winning this war.”

Together, America has mounted a full-scale response to the pandemic. In the Rose Garden yesterday, a number of CEOs joined the President to explain how they’ve transformed their own companies to help fight the virus:

As great American businesses step up, citizens across the country are doing their part to slow the spread, too. “The choices and sacrifices we make will determine the fate of this virus and, really, the fate of our victory,” President Trump says.

READ: “What we at the FDA are doing to fight Covid-19”

POLL: Americans want better from their news media

A majority of Americans—60 percent, according to Gallup—support the President’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. A slightly smaller majority, 59 percent, approve of Congress’ handling of the crisis. The poll was conducted before President Trump signed the bipartisan CARES Act, which is supported by 77 percent of U.S. adults.

In fact, nearly all of the institutions surveyed by Gallup earned high marks from the public. Americans approve of the efforts by hospitals, state governments, schools, daycares, Federal agencies, and employers to confront the global outbreak together.

There was one exception: the news media. A majority of Americans, 55 percent, disapprove of how the media has handled the Coronavirus response.

Facts and results matter, especially during a crisis. Leaders across the country are putting politics aside to get to work. President Trump and Congress have joined forces on several major emergency-relief bills. Governors are implementing crucial public safety measures. Businesses are repurposing factories to make more masks and other medical supplies available.

Many in the media, however, continue to put ratings before country. Last month, Politico and others spread the false story that President Trump called the Coronavirus “a hoax.” This misinformation came after the Administration had already taken crucial steps to combat the pandemic, including travel restrictions on China in January.

Other pundits have actively rooted for the American response to fail. “On Friday March 20, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said President Trump was lying when he said the U.S. Navy hospital ships would arrive in Los Angeles and New York City in the near future” to help treat patients, Chrissy Clark wrote for The Federalist yesterday.

“Exactly a week later, the USNS Mercy arrived in the Port of Los Angeles.” And yesterday, the USNS Comfort docked at Pier 90 in New York City.

Washington pundits and reporters must start listening to the American public more and to each other less. As the country fights this Coronavirus together, timely and trustworthy information is essential. The news media should prioritize facts and constructive debate—not obsessive attacks on this President based on false narratives.

Americans have had enough, and they’ve said so clearly. It’s time to hear them.\

PODCAST: ‘You Cry at the Window Knowing There’s Nothing You Can Do’

Staying home can be tough, but it’s nothing like the nightmare our health care workers are experiencing. For thousands of brave men and women across country, their office is no longer a hospital or ER — it’s a combat zone. “You spend hours in your [patient’s] room,” nurse Claudia Griffith wrote in an emotional post to the outside world, “gowned up head-to-toe, sweating and not able to breathe. Then you realize… this is it. I can’t save this patient anymore. You sit there and say your goodbyes while they pass without family or loved ones, because nobody is allowed in the hospital for everyone’s safety. You are their only contact and hope.” Nothing, she says soberly, can describe it.Even when they have a chance to sleep, the exhausted staff can’t. “My mind won’t shut off,” one New York City nurse tried to explain. She lays in bed and cries, her mind filled with the faces of patients she lost. The helplessness is brutal, Claudia admits. “You don’t even know how this virus works, but you watch as it kills your patient.” To anyone who hasn’t seen the suffering, she insists, it’s real. And she’s pleading with the country to act like it is. Stay inside, Claudia begs, “as if your life depended on it.”

Theirs already do. And if Americans can’t bring themselves to isolate for their own sakes, then they should do it for the medical teams risking everything. “Take it seriously,” Johns Hopkins’s Dr. Martin Makary told listeners on “Washington Watch, “and take it seriously for the sake of our most vulnerable.” Right now, “our number one at-risk group,” he explained, “the number one profession who is mostly likely to get this infection is health care workers. And what you do in your day-to-day life will actually impact the health of [those] workers you’ve never met.”

“Folks may be going outside right now, saying, ‘It’s a beautiful day… My kids are in the backyard playing. What’s the big deal? I don’t know anyone who’s dying that I’m friends with.'” But the big deal, he said somberly, is that “we’re gearing up for a tsunami that’s going to hit with a massive impact…” With projections topping 200,000 casualties now, Dr. Makary thinks the government was right to limit people’s movements through at the least the end of April. “We want our leaders to… give us spirit and hope. But the reality is, they are all closely following these numbers — not only in the preview that we’re seeing in some countries overseas like Spain, but also locally in New York City…”

The administration is doing the best it can to prepare for the worst. That’s no easy task, Dr. Makary explained, even with all of the metrics and experts they have. Because “when that peak happens, talk to any doctor or nurse. It’s going to be ugly. We are basically at full capacity in some U.S. hospitals with very little room to take care of people that come in from this point forward… We are on track right now to have hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more cases.”

So when can we expect that peak? “New York is about two weeks away,” Martin believes. “The rest of the United States is probably three to five weeks away depending on where you live. Now, one of the big concerns that many of us have is that some parts of the country were sort of slow to recognize that this is a real threat. Some places immediately took dramatic steps and others [went about] life as usual… even up until recently.” Those are the areas, experts believe, that may be hit hardest. Of course, a lot of things factor into that — like public transit and congestion. But the cities that have been in denial will pay, Dr. Makary warns, “because this infection is seeded everywhere in the United States. We need to abandon the idea that it’s somehow contained.”

Fortunately, there are still things you and your church can do to help. First, take the stay-at-home orders seriously. If not for you, then for someone on the front lines of the coronavirus war. Then, check out the creative ways you can meet the needs of the people in your community. Take a page from Midland, Texas and organize a car prayer chain or fill a truck with food for the hungry. See how you can get involved (from a safe distance!) on our special webpage, FRC.org/church.


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


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

PODCAST: Honest Elections Project, Philip Haney Assassinated, Trump’s Greatness in a Global Crisis

GUESTS AND TOPICS:

JASON SNEAD

Jason Snead is the executive director of the Honest Elections Project. Prior to heading the project, Jason spent 10 years at The Heritage Foundation, where he had the honor to work for former Attorney General Ed Meese. During his tenure at Heritage, Jason rose to become a senior policy analyst and a recognized expert on a wide range of subjects. He regularly studied, wrote, and spoke on topics ranging from criminal justice and civil asset forfeiture reform, to technology policy and the regulation of drones in American skies, to preserving the integrity of American elections. Jason also managed the development of the Heritage Election Fraud Database.

TOPIC: Honest Elections Project Files Brief in Minnesota Against Partisan Ballot Order Lawsuit.

JAMES SIMPSON

James Simpson is an economist, former White House budget analyst, businessman, and investigative journalist. His professional experience includes working as an economist, businessman, author, and journalist. Simpson is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Jim is also seeking the nomination to run for U.S. House Maryland District 2.

TOPIC: Phil Haney: My Friend and Colleague, Assassinated!

ROD THOMPSON

Rod Thomson, founder of The Revolutionary Act conservative commentary site and of The Thomson Group, a public relations and communications company based in Florida. Before launching his own business in 2012, he had 25 years of newspaper experience, from reporter to investigative reporter to columnist to executive editor. He has been published in national publications such as the New York Times, National Review, Newsmax, People Magazine and Focus on the Family. He has been a guest on the Michael Medved Show and the Hugh Hewitt Show, plus several regional programs.

TOPIC: Are We Seeing The Emergence Of Greatness In A Crisis?

© All rights reserved.

Sanders, Warren, other Democrat Senators call on US to give Palestinian Authority and Hamas $75 million

As the economic crisis created by the coronavirus deepens, it is astounding that these Senators think this is a good use of the taxpayers’ money. Once this money arrived in the PA and Gaza, it would be used almost exclusively to line the pockets of various officials and to pay expenses related to the ongoing jihad against Israel.

“As Americans go Broke, Sanders Demands Taxpayers Give Hamas $75 Million,” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, Breaking Israel News, March 29, 2020 (thanks to the Geller Report):

A group of Democratic senators called for the U.S. State Department to reverse its policy and give funding to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting that the government reverse its policy and resume giving monetary aid to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas-led government in Gaza.

“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” the letter read.

The Democratic politicians seek to squeeze $75 million in aid to the Hamas-led government in Gaza and the PA in Judea and Samaria under the guise of the FY 2020 Appropriations Act.

It should be noted that President Trump slashed funding to the PA in 2018 as per the Taylor Force Act, also known as the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), that cuts some aid to the Palestinians until they end stipends to terrorists and the families of slain attackers.

In 2016, the PA paid out about $303 million in stipends and other benefits to the families of so-called “martyrs”. The funds are disbursed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO/Fatah). The families of convicted Palestinians serving time in Israeli prisons receive $3,000 or higher per month, higher than the average Palestinian wage.

Any monies that go to Gaza must necessarily go through the government which is run by Hamas. Hamas, recognized by the U.S. as a terrorist organization, was elected as the ruling party in Gaza in 2006. Gaza receives billions of dollars of humanitarian aid, much of which is usurped by the Hamas government for use in terrorist infrastructures….

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

White House Projects 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. Deaths From COVID-19

Even if Americans follow mitigation guidelines, the United States could see 100,000 to 200,000 deaths as a result of the coronavirus, according to projections explained by health officials Tuesday evening at the White House.

“This is going to be a very, very painful two weeks,” President Donald Trump told reporters of the days to come.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had mentioned before the possibility of more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

But the number now is the government’s formal projections.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, explained the numbers in a slide show, noting pronounced increases in the states of New York and New Jersey.

“It’s a projection based on using what’s in Italy and then looking at all the [computer] models,” Birx said, adding:

As you saw on that slide, that was our real number, 100,000 to 200,000 [deaths]. We really believe and hope every day we can do a lot better than that [by saving lives], because that’s not assuming 100% of every American does everything they are supposed to be doing. But I think that’s possible.

Trump announced Sunday that the administration was extending social distancing and related government guidelines to “slow the spread” until April 30.

The computer models suggest the number of deaths will peak over the next two weeks, then begin to slowly decline. But deaths will continue into June.

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” Trump said, adding:

We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks. And then hopefully, as the experts are predicting, as I think a lot of us are predicting, after having studied it so hard, you’re going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel. But, this is going to be a very, very painful two weeks.

“They’re shocking numbers,” the president later said. “Even at the low end, they’re shocking.”

Trump explained that he wanted to be positive.

“It’s easy to be negative,” he said. “I’m a cheerleader for this country.”

The president noted models showing that if officials took no mitigation actions, COVID-19 would have killed 2.2 million Americans.

Asked later if it is likely the United States will have 100,000 coronavirus deaths, Fauci said, “The answer is yes.”

“As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,” Fauci said. “Is it going to be that much? I hope not, and I think the more we push on the mitigation, the less likelihood it would be that number. But to be realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that that is a possibility.”

Fauci also explained that COVID-19 deaths will continue to occur into June.

“Deaths always lag,” he said. “So you will be seeing deaths at a time when, as an epidemic, we are doing really, really well. Because the deaths will lag.”

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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Political Reporters Fail Miserably at White House Coronavirus Briefings

RELATED VIDEO: MyPillow founder responds to media critique of his faith-based speech.


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

Emergency! Now Is The Time To Narrow The Economic Recovery Curve

There are three key letters everyone needs to focus on. They are V, U, and L.  These are the common shapes economic recoveries take.

A V shaped recovery is ideal.  It means bounce right back.  This is where we should aim, but if we don’t get the economy functioning fast, the opportunity will be lost.

A U shaped recovery means a reasonable period of loss, followed by growth.  This is more common, but second best.  If we let this scenario slip from our grasp… heaven help us.

An L shaped recovery is the wolf now stalking us.  It means drop down and stay down, with suffering over a prolonged period.  We’re talking stagnation — Japan’s lost decade — if we’re lucky.  It means long-term bread lines, brother can you spare a dime, shanty town, 1930s great depression, if we’re not.

We’ve worked together to flatten the virus transmission curve and enable our medical system to cope.

Well done.

We hope these efforts stem the loss of life and the burden on our nurses, hospitals, and doctors.  To all those who have lost someone, or are concerned about their health, or the well-being of a loved one, our prayers are with you.

We must work together now to narrow the economic recovery curve.

With huge portions of our economy shut down, markets are crashing.

How could they not?

If we don’t get the economy functioning we will all learn a terrible lesson in what “unsustainable” actually means.

Trillions of dollars in bailouts and stimulants will quickly be consumed, vanish and be  wasted, unless markets are permitted to function and the economic motor to run.

The good news is that if we’re smart, we are better equipped to harness the productive power of our free market, and safely phase economic activity back on, than we’ve ever been before.

  • The CODVID-19 crisis is not an opportunity for partisan advantage.  STOP IT!
  • One-size-fits-all edicts are what we issue at the first moment of emergency.  We must do better moving forward.
  • We’re in the digital age.  Information is power.  Use it.
  • Not all activities operate at the same level of risk.  Assess them individually and phase them back on as quickly as reasonable.
  • State-wide orders are inefficient.  Rural and desert counties in California with little exposure, for instance, shouldn’t receive the same mandates as dense urban areas.  Fine tune.
  • Slash bureaucratic red tape and remove unnecessary obstacles to working in novel ways.
  • Remove disincentives and create no new disincentives to hiring Americans and producing goods here.
  • Make remote working incredibly productive.
  • Tailor safety procedures to allow businesses to resume functioning.
  • Set aside unneeded regulations.
  • Keep emergency programs temporary.  Make long-term policy changes through normal due process.
  • Phase activity back on as the virus threat diminishes.
  • Phase activity back on if, sadly, the virus becomes widespread and social distancing is no longer effective.
  • Government is vital, but inefficient.  Enable the private sector to provide solutions.
  • Harness today’s data-driven economy to replace blanket shutdowns with a mosaic of safe activity.
  • Be kind, caring, compassionate, appreciative, polite and helpful to others.
  • Plan a COVID-19 endgame.

If we don’t enable economic recovery to get moving, the resulting harm will exceed the harm from the virus.

Time to be smart.  Fast.

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

Netflix Series ‘Messiah’ Canceled after Charges of ‘Subtextual Anti-Islamic Sentiment’

“After the first season debuted in January, there were complaints that the series contained subtextual anti-Islamic sentiment…”

“Subtextual.” That means you won’t notice them unless you’re a paranoid Leftist or Muslim authoritarian who wants to use claims of victimhood to gain total control over the public discourse.

Would Netflix cancel a series over charges of “subtextual anti-Christian sentiment”? Not on your life.

“Messiah: Netflix series cancelled after allegations of anti-Islamic sentiment,” by Louis Chilton, Independent, March 29, 2020:

TV thriller Messiah has been cancelled by Netflix after just one season.

The series starred Michelle Monaghan as a CIA agent investigating an enigmatic figure known as Al-Masih, who builds a legion of followers after claiming to be sent to Earth by a higher power. In Islamic eschatology, Al-Masih ad-Dajjal is an evil figure comparable to the Antichrist – whose name translates to “the false messiah, liar, the deceiver” in Arabic.

One of the series’ stars, Wil Traval, confirmed on Instagram that the series would not be returning to the streaming service….

After the first season debuted in January, there were complaints that the series contained subtextual anti-Islamic sentiment, with the Royal Film Commission of Jordan (where parts of the series were shot), even calling on Netflix to ban the series from its country….

While the allegations of religious insensitivity may have played a part in the series’ cancellation, it has also been suggested that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made international filming schedules much harder to co-ordinate – which may be the key factor in the streaming service’s decision not to renew .

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

Will the Supremes Hear Ultimate States Rights Case?

Editor:  Sorry I haven’t been posting much here lately, I’ve been busy at RRW (as well as being distracted as I assume many of you are as well by of demands of just living these days!), but this is very important and I’m not sure how many of you read RRW.

Cross-posted this morning in an effort to find groups that could support the Thomas More Law Center’s legal petition to the Supreme Court.

I know it’s a little hard to believe that there are other things going on in America besides the virus crisis, but here is important news I should have mentioned sooner.

The Thomas Moore Law Center has filed a petition to attempt to get the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Amendment case that has been working its way through the legal system.

The heart of the case is the Tenth Amendment argument that the federal government has no Constitutional power to shift the cost of refugee resettlement onto state governments as it has been doing for decades.

TMLC is looking for other like-minded organizations to file amicus briefs in support of their argument which has far-reaching implications beyond just the refugee program!

Here is their press release from earlier this month.

Thomas More Law Center Petitions U.S. Supreme Court to Review Tennessee’s Challenge to Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

ANN ARBOR, MI – In what could have far reaching implications for all states seeking to withdraw from the federal refugee resettlement program, the Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”) collaborating with attorney John Bursch, filed a certiorari petition Monday, March 16 in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The petition asks the Court to hold that the Tennessee General Assembly has standing to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government’s forced state funding of the federal refugee resettlement program. ​

The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”) is a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Both TMLC and Mr. Bursch are representing Tennessee without charge.

John Bursch, a former Michigan state solicitor general, nationally prominent appellate lawyer and past chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers, authored the petition for certiorari.

The petition argues that the issues presented in the Tennessee case cut to the core of the Constitution’s protection of states against overreach by the federal government. The Constitution does not give Congress the authority to appropriate state funds, contrary to the wishes of the state, to fund a federal program.

According to the petition: “If a state legislature cannot vindicate its rights in court when the federal government picks the state’s pocket and threatens the state if it dare stop providing funds, then federalism is a dead letter.”

The petition seeks to overturn a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which ruled that the General Assembly does not have institutional standing to challenge the constitutionality of the resettlement program. The cert petition does not challenge the federal government’s right to resettle refugees in Tennessee. What it objects to is forcing Tennessee taxpayers to pay the costs of the resettlement.

Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of TMLC, noted: “From the beginning, opposition to the federal refugee resettlement program has been about protecting Tennessee’s state sovereignty from impermissible federal interference. The federal government cannot simply commandeer state tax dollars to fund a purely federal program to extend benefits to noncitizens.”

Tennessee initially agreed to participate in the federal resettlement program because the federal government promised to reimburse 100 percent of the cost. In fact, Congress crafted the 1980 Refugee Act specifically intending that states not be taxed for programs they did not initiate and for which they were not responsible. As is often the case, however, the federal government began shrinking its financial support to the states and by 1991 eliminated it entirely. Due to the mounting costs the federal government was not covering as promised, Tennessee withdrew from the program effective June 30, 2008. But that didn’t stop the federal financial burden on Tennessee taxpayers. The federal government simply designated Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a non-governmental private organization, to continue the program with state dollars.

Between 2007 and the end of 2019, resettlement agencies pumped more than 15,000 refugees into Tennessee cities and towns. They came from Afghanistan, Bosnia, Burma, Central African Republic, Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan 3 and many other countries. They often arrive from United Nations camps in poor health, with no job skills or English-language abilities.

The resulting cost to state taxpayers amounted to tens of millions of dollars. In 2015 alone, the refugee-related Medicaid costs paid by Tennessee tax dollars topped $30 million.

Instead of resolving the merits of Tennessee’s claim, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped the pivotal constitutional issue concerning federalism by ruling that the Tennessee General Assembly lacked standing to bring its lawsuit.

The petition filed on March 16, 2020, argues that this was in error:

“The General Assembly is an institutional plaintiff asserting an institutional injury; the federal government has co-opted the General Assembly’s appropriation power and impaired its obligation to enact a balanced state budget. That is because the federal government can siphon state funds—to help pay for a federal program from which Tennessee has withdrawn.”

TMLC originally filed the federal lawsuit in March 2017 on behalf of the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee General Assembly, and state legislators Terri Lynn Weaver and John Stevens challenging the commandeering of millions in state taxpayer dollars for a purely federal program.

A U.S. district court judge dismissed the case on the federal government’s motion. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s dismissal on the sole grounds that the General Assembly lacked standing. It never reached the merits of the case.

The Supreme Court now has a chance to shed light on the proper role of the states relative to the federal government—which is the bedrock constitutional principle of federalism.

The petition states: “The (Tennessee) General Assembly does not object to the federal resettlement program. It does not even object to the federal government resettling 4 refugees in Tennessee. The General Assembly does object to the federal government reaching its hand into Tennessee’s pocket to pay for the cost of such a program, particularly when the enabling legislation was enacted with the promise to reimburse states for all expenses incurred in this program.”

The federal government mandates that states provide Medicaid to otherwise eligible refugees, or face termination of federal benefits.

Accordingly, the federal government forces Tennessee to continue funding the refugee program by threatening to pull $7 billion in federal Medicaid funding, which represents 20 percent of the state’s total budget.

The argument in favor of the General Assembly’s standing is bolstered by the fact that both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in 2016 in favor of filing a civil lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program. The State Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 467, by a vote of 27-5 while the House voted 69-25 to pass the same resolution.

And without any waiting period they can automatically apply for all welfare programs provided by the State of Tennessee.

Read TMLC’s Petition for Certiorari here. 

If you know any organization that is in agreement with the broad-reaching tenets of the case, please have them contact the Thomas Moore Law Center immediately.  Time is short!

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Feminists’ ‘Equal Pay Day’ Compares Apples and Oranges

Both men and women are gravely affected by the surge in unemployment due to measures aimed at containing the spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States.

Pitting men and women against each other with simplistic statistics about a gender wage gap needlessly adds to the real pain.

Tuesday, March 31, is a fairly random day selected as “Equal Pay Day” by the National Committee on Pay Equity to draw attention to the difference in the median annual earnings of all men and women working full time for wages or a salary.

According to the committee, the date “symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.”


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 >>


To the extent that implies that women get paid less than men for doing the same work, that representation is just plain wrong.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of 81% compared with men.

That’s a simple statistic that does not allow us to draw any conclusions beyond stating that if you take all men and women working full time in the economy, and take the person in the middle of each distribution, the woman in the middle earns 81% of what the man in the middle earns.

It provides no answers to the question of whether men and women receive equal pay for equal work.

To answer that question, we need to dig deeper and consider a number of factors that determine pay, including the number of hours worked, occupations and industries, education, experience, and tenure, and the distribution of benefits-to-cash compensation.

Once we account for relevant factors for which we have available and reliable data, the wage gap all but disappears.

To the extent that we observe differences between men and women in the workplace, many of those differences come down to the different preferences and choices individuals make—with the starkest differences observed for working mothers, compared with both working men (fathers included) and women.

Some of those differences include:

  • Men are more likely than women to take on higher-risk jobs in exchange for higher pay: 93% of civilian workplace fatalities occur to men, who are far more likely to work in riskier industries, such as construction and natural resource extraction.
  • Among full-time workers, women worked 10% fewer hours, on average, than men.
  • Women are more likely than men to choose jobs for reasons other than pay, showing preferences for workplace benefits and more flexible hours, with women who have children showing the greatest preference. According to a Pew survey, 70% of working mothers consider a flexible schedule extremely important, versus 48% of working fathers.

And yet, we observe differences in compensation even when men and women work in the same job and under completely identical compensation structures.

A study examining the earnings of male and female bus and train operators for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority identified that women earned 89% of what men earned, concluding that “while having the same choice sets in the workplace, women and men make different choices.”

As my heritage Foundation colleague Rachel Greszler elaborated:

[W]omen chose to work only half as many overtime hours—80 hours per year, compared with 160 hours for men. Women also took an average of 17.5 days of unpaid leave (often to avoid undesirable schedules) … compared with 10 days of leave for men.

Women and men have different earnings in large part because of the choices they make about how much to work, in which jobs and industries to work, and which aspects of a job are important to them.

Some of those choices are likely influenced by social and cultural factors and the opportunities we encounter, based on the environments in which we are born and raised.

The good news is that in the United States today, men and women are paid based on the contributions they make and the wages and working conditions they are able to negotiate, rather than based on their sex.

As the nation confronts the novel coronavirus threat, we should remember that we are all in this together. Both men and women are best served by a strong economy that provides them with opportunities to work and provide for their families, in accordance with their own values and abilities.

The economic disruptions experienced by millions of workers due to necessary measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus know no sex.

COMMENTARY BY

Romina Boccia focuses on federal spending and the national debt as director of the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: America’s National Pastime: Remembering the Role of Women


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.

1 Million Americans Tested for Coronavirus; Rate Now 100,000 Per Day

A total of 1 million tests for the coronavirus now have been administered, President Donald Trump announced Monday evening during a Rose Garden press conference.

On a table outside the White House, Trump demonstrated two COVID-19 tests that can be completed within five to 15 minutes.

“Today we reached a historic milestone in our war against the coronavirus. Over 1 million Americans have now been tested, more than any other country by far. Not even close, and tested accurately,” Trump said.

The news comes a day after Trump announced that social distancing and sanitary guidelines that originally were set to lapse today would be extended until April 30 and that the government expects U.S. deaths from the contagious disease to peak in two weeks before declining.


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 >>


“By very vigorously following these guidelines, we could save more than 1 million American lives,” Trump said Monday. “Our future is in our own hands, and the choices and sacrifices we make will determine the fate of this virus and, really, the fate of our victory.”

“We will have a great victory,” he added. “We have no other choice. Every one of us has a role to play in winning this war.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has 140,904 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 2,405 total deaths.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar thanked the “many American companies, entrepreneurs, and scientists” who made the boost in testing possible.

“We are now testing nearly 100,000 samples a day, also a level that no other country has reached,” Azar said.

Trump asked several corporate CEOs to speak, including from Honeywell International Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., and MyPillow.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell said his company has deployed 75% of its employees to produce cotton face masks.

Lindell went on to read remarks that he said he wrote “off the cuff,” lauding Trump’s leadership and calling for the country to use this time of crisis to return to God.

“God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God,” Lindell said. “I encourage you, use this time at home to get back in the word. Read our Bibles and spend time with our families.”

During the press conference, Trump chose to duel with a longtime antagonist, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta.

“What do you say to Americans who are upset with you over the way you downplayed this crisis over the last couple of months?” Acosta asked, then read a series of Trump quotes from February and early March suggesting that the coronavirus was under control.

Trump said the statements were true and that Acosta was trying to cause panic.

“It will go away. I do want them to stay calm. If you look at those individual statements, they’re all true. Stay calm,” Trump said. “It will go away. You know it is going away. It will go away and we are going to have a great victory.”

Trump continued:

It’s people like you and CNN that say things like that, it’s why people just don’t want to listen to CNN. You could ask a normal question. The statements I made are that I want to keep the country calm. I don’t want panic in the country. I could cause panic, much better than even you. It would make you look like a minor league player.

But you know what, I don’t want to do that. I want to have our country be calm and strong and fight and win. And it will go away. And it is incredible the job that all of these people … are doing. I am very proud of the job they’re doing. …

It’s almost a miracle, and it is, the way it has all come together. Instead of asking a nasty, snarky question like that, you should ask a real question.

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.

RELATED ARTICLES:

How Many Americans Could Die From COVID-19? What the Latest Data, Projections Show

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Anti-Malaria Drugs Receive Emergency Authorization for Coronavirus Patients


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: The Vortex — A Virus by Any Other Name — Still comes from the Commies.

TRANSCRIPT

It’s pay-up time for the commies in China — seriously.

You need to look at the association — the relationships — between all these various Marxist outfits, including the U.S. media and various departments at the Vatican, in addition to the killers in the Forbidden Palace.

This virus began in Wuhan, period. And after a mid-level commie bureaucrat tried to pin that on the U.S. Army, a higher-ranking Chinese Communist Party official finally denied the claim a couple days ago. It began in Wuhan, period. Sorry commies, but that’s the reality. Calling it the Wuhan virus — like CNN and other Marxist media outfits did originally — is no more racist than calling enchiladas Mexican food.

But there is a disinformation game being played here. And it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that it all began in the Vatican — not specifically about the Wuhan virus, but the presentation to the world that the commie killers who run China and terrorize their own citizens, are perfectly normal. More on that in a moment.

First, there’s this insanity that identifying the killer virus with China, but more specifically Wuhan, is racist. It’s not racist in the slightest, any more than President Trump was being racist getting out ahead of the whole scene by closing the U.S. borders to Chinese travelers. Funny how when Trudeau in Canada, as well as Mexico and Spain and Italy and so on, all closed their borders, the idiots on CNN and MSNBC didn’t call them racists. Virtually every major disease outbreak is named after either the person who first died of it, the scientists who discovered it or the geographic location where it first appeared.

But in the case of the Wuhan virus, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, announced on Tuesday, Feb. 11, that the name would be COVID-19. His reason? Naming it after a location would be “stigmatizing.” Give me a break. No, it would be truthful and accurate. But of course, in this case, it is much more than PC, even PC on steroids. It’s deflection. This virus has engulfed the world and killed thousands precisely because of where it came from — a communist regime which attacks and brutalizes its own people, routinely, as a matter of state policy.

There’s a lot of debate whether the virus originated in a lab as part of a larger bioweapon strategy or in the so-called wet markets where raw, exotic animals are eaten, often still-living. In either case, this nightmare scenario was brought to you by the Chinese Communist Party — emphasis on communists — either engineering a killer virus to control populations, or creating an environment where people are so deprived that eating raw, sometimes live animals, is a necessity.

Then, the commie killers lied to the world about it and murdered people in an attempt to keep it quiet. But the enormity of their crimes cannot be called out without at the same time pointing out their enablers — political and religious.

In the political world, phony Catholic Joe Biden has been the leading enabler of making the communists in China seem respectable. Biden was perhaps the leading force behind getting and maintaining the “most favored nation” trade status for China during his time in the U.S. Senate. The commies used that status to suck millions of jobs out of America, luring greedy corporate chieftains to the never-ending supply of cheap labor in communist sweatshops. The United States’ as well as other countries’ corporations have to pay a hefty sum to the commies to gain access to those slave laborers. And there was Joe, every step of the way, leading the charge.

The Chinese communists grew rich. The nation became an economic world power and created trillions of dollars in trade imbalance between us and them — the so-called unlevel playing field that Trump has gone about leveling, no thanks to Joe and the Dems. But Joe couldn’t care less. No wonder the commies in Beijing were happy to fork over a billion bucks to his son Hunter when Biden was faking his way through the U.S. vice presidency under sellout Obama. What’s a billion dollars here or there when you’ve unfairly ripped off trillions over the years?

But for Catholics, perhaps the greatest betrayal has been the Vatican elevating China to some vaunted position on the world stage of respectability — being depicted as the most caring nation. And no, that’s not a joke. Two years ago, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences praised the commie government in China — actually praised them — for demonstrating moral leadership on a global level in defense of human dignity. Precisely, he stated: “At this moment, those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese.”

Well, if the social doctrine of the Church calls for aborting female babies, aborting the second conceived child regardless of sex, having a concentration camp system that is the envy of dictators all over the world, running sweatshops for global corporate fatcats to get rich, brutalizing the populace and pouring vasts sums of money into biolgocal weapons to kill innocent civilians, then, yes — score!

The unbelievable comments came from Bp. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, an Argentinian, who went on to say, the communist Chinese have “defended the dignity of the human person.” Has pot been legalized in the Vatican? He added that “China is evolving very well” and that China is not the same as it once was. They care about climate change. Well, thank goodness for things evolving, right?

Sorondo last month gave Holy Communion in the Vatican to Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández, a rabid abortion supporter. And if that wasn’t enough, Fernández — again, the nation’s president — is shacked up with a concubine, and of course the first — ahem, “lady” received as well, at the hands of Sorondo.

So if someone ever tells you the Church isn’t with the times, you laugh at them and say, “Not only are we with the times, we are actually leading the charge.” We praise communist torturers who unleash pandemics on humanity, distribute the body and blood of Jesus Christ to child-killing presidents and their whores, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to prevent the leading Democrat in the race for the White House from preventing sacrilege.

What could possibly go wrong?

Yes, the communists in China are bad — real bad — but hats off to those who vaulted them into their world leadership role — the Marxists in America joined by the Marxists in the Vatican. And did we mention pervert Ted McCarrick? Remember him? He crafted the deal for the Vatican and China which has led to the selling-out of Chinese Catholics.

But of course, in the face of all that, let’s keep our priorities. No matter what you do, never, ever call it “the Wuhan virus.” That would be “stigmatizing.”

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

What Is Wrong with Biden––Jill Biden, That Is?

Several months ago, my husband Steve had a bad cold. I plied him with tea and honey and chicken soup (aka Jewish penicillin), bought over-the-counter bromides that promised relief, kept him away from people and people away from him, and even insisted that he try a folk remedy I was told was very effective and proved to be––smearing Vicks VapoRub on the bottoms of his feet (with socks over them) at nighttime, the better to wake up with clear nasal passages and lungs.

And that was for the common cold!

And Steve wasn’t running for anything, much less President of the United States!

What I did takes place millions of times a day not only across the United States but the entire world––women taking care of their husbands, doing everything possible to protect them from harm or hurt.

No doubt, that was Jill Biden’s intention when she married the senator from Delaware in 1977, and raised not only the daughter they had together, but his young sons, Beau and Hunter, after the senator’s first wife and baby daughter were killed in a horrific car accident in 1972.

As the years elapsed, Senator Biden became Vice President Biden––for eight years––and the power couple Jill and Joe gained worldwide fame and huge wealth.

But before that, Jill juggled raising their three children with earning a doctoral degree in education and then teaching for years in a psychiatric hospital where her students were emotionally disturbed children and adolescents.

Surely, in both her education and clinical work, she was aware of, sensitive to, knowledgeable about––and protective of––the students whose limitations rendered them incapable of higher function. Surely she became capable of detecting, even diagnosing, thought and speech disorders, dissociative thinking, and incoherent ramblings.

The following examples are sad to witness and once again raise the very serious question: What is wrong with Jill Biden?

WHERE DID THAT INSIGHT GO?

Why is Jill’s understanding, empathy, take-charge persona missing in action when it comes to protecting her clearly diminished husband, who even a casual observer can see is suffering either from early––or not-so-early––dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? If Joe and Jill Biden were sitting in the office of any neurologist in America, the doctor would immediately put the VP candidate on medication to alleviate his obviously florid symptoms of dementia.

The Bidens are practicing Catholics. Jill certainly must have taken her wedding vows seriously: “I, Jill Stevenson, take thee, Joseph Biden, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…”

We believe the cherish thing, but what happened to the “in sickness and in health” vow? Does Jill Biden really believe that it means to “support” her clinically compromised husband in continuing the painful process of slogging it out till November, by propping him up, by letting him read telepromter words others have written but he can’t get through?

Does she believe her role is to plaster on a perpetual Cheshire Cat grin before a media that are collaborating with her in the “everything is great” hoax, rescuing her husband when appropriate behavior fails him, and pretending that his disjointed, confused, indeed bizarre utterances somehow, magically make sense.

At this point, every Joe Biden appearance is the Emperor’s New Clothes, with the entire Democrat establishment––including everyone on NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, the NY Times, the Washington Post, et al––going along with this pitiful charade, while ignoring or forgetting the fact that the American people they hold in such contempt have eyes and ears!

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON?

Jill Biden is now 68 and she and Joe are the very wealthy owners of several lavish homes and who knows how many other sources of affluence.

By appearances, I’m guessing that Jill is also quite healthy. That is why it stretches the imagination that either she or her husband––who is pushing a doddering 78––want to spend the next four years of their lives glad-handing foreign potentates, fielding the conflicting and contentious demands of the American electorate, or generally weathering the ferocious slings and arrows aimed relentlessly at the highest office in the land.

For Joe Biden, this would be a lot of been-there/done-that, so what is his race for the presidency all about? Even more curious, what’s in it for Jill?

I believe that Joe Biden was selected as Barack Obama’s VP because of his inherent malleability and weakness. The powers-that-be had no doubt that they could plant any idea, policy, pet project, et al, in Joe’s ear and trust that he would echo their sentiments verbatim. This trust, of course, was based on Joe’s long history of echoing––actually stealing––the words of other people in a series of plagiarism scandals.

And he delivered––whether it was leveling poisonous threats to Israel that emanated from the Oval Office or executing two massive money laundering and bribery schemes in the Ukraine, or helping himself and Obama and their cronies to make billions off China trade deals and regulatory policies, on and on.

AHA! THE RIGHT GUY TO DEFEAT TRUMP!

Again, I suspect that the powers-that-be––among them brainiacs like David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett, and especially George Soros, who appears, through his massive contributions, to own the Democrat Party, the Democratic National Committee, and most if not all Democrat fund-raising committees––got together and decided to back Joe Biden because they knew with absolute surety they could control him once in office. In the same way, I believe, Mr. Soros and Ms. Jarrett ran the country during Mr. Obama’s regime.

And when it became clear to them––as it has to the rest of America––that this faltering man will be lucky to make it till November, they simply whispered in Jill’s ear:

  • Stay in the game,
  • We’ve rigged this election so it will work this time,
  • We’ll take care of the judiciary so Joe (and you) are not indicted,
  • We’ll run the country just as we did for Obama,
  • Just smile and fake it till you make it to November!

While Joe may have understood the imperative of him running when these offers were initially made, it’s doubtful that he understands them now, or that by November it will matter to him at all. But if my theory is correct, you can bet that Jill gets it 100%!

ENTER THE X FACTOR

All of a sudden, here comes the corona virus from China, spreading exponentially throughout the world into a genuine pandemic. Predictably, President Trump takes control and within days:

  • Assembles a world-class panel of experts,
  • Shuts down travel from China and then Europe,
  • Closes our borders,
  • Brings all warring factions in Congress together to enact a multi-TRILLION-dollar Save-America package,
  • Promises to get America back to work, hopefully by Easter or maybe a week or two later.

But instead of becoming depressed by the president’s rising popularity, all of a sudden Democrats start smiling again, as New York is deemed the epicenter of the corona virus–– according to the CDC––and Governor Andrew Cuomo steps up to offer the Donkey Party an alternative to the pitiful, cognitively failing Joe Biden.

But “Cuomo is No Hero,” says John Hinderaker of Powerline.com: “The fact that New York is the epicenter of the COVID crisis in the U.S. is no coincidence. It flows from the policies of Governor Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, as well as New York City’s nature as an international hub and a closely-packed city.”

Hinderaker cites the work of Julie Kelly at American Greatness: “[N]either Cuomo nor New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio deserve attaboys. A toxic combination of Big Apple hubris, devotion to open borders regardless of the imminent threat, and Trump-hating obstinacy fueled a stubborn strategy that left their citizens vulnerable for months.”

Even by late February,” Kelly continued, “Cuomo boasted about his state’s accessibility to foreign travelers…And the outcry about ventilators? State officials were informed several years ago that the stockpile of ventilators was woefully inadequate to handle a severe pandemic. But instead of preparing for a looming crisis and buying 16,000 ventilators, the state’s health commissioner formed a task force to develop a system to ration the life-saving equipment.”

Facts be damned, Governor Cuomo has been auditioning for the top spot for the last two weeks, and writer John Fund suggests that a ‘Draft Cuomo’ Movement could lie in the Democrats’ future.

Meanwhile, it all seems to depend on the current Democrat candidate’s wife, who seems incapable of reading the tea leaves, deciphering the signals, smelling the coffee. Which brings me to ask once again: What is wrong with Jill Biden?

© All rights reserved.

Linda Sarsour touts coronavirus fundraiser for Hamas-linked organization

No reason to be surprised.

On September 22, 2011, Sarsour tweeted: “shariah law is reasonable and once u read into the details it makes a lot of sense. People just know the basics.” Her position didn’t change over time. On May 12, 2015, she tweeted: “If you are still paying interest than Sharia Law hasn’t taken over America. #justsaying.” And on April 10, 2016, Sarsour tweeted about Sharia again: “Sharia Law is misunderstood & has been pushed as some evil Muslim agenda.”

Sarsour tweeted on March 8, 2011: “Brigitte Gabriel = Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She’s asking 4 an a$$ whippin’. I wish I could take their vaginas away – they don’t deserve to be women.” This call for physical violence against someone she hates received no notice among her sycophants on the Left.

Linda Sarsour is an energetic purveyor of the “Islamophobia” myth, and has hysterically claimed that “Muslim kids” are being “executed” in the United States. She was instrumental in prevailing upon de Blasio to end legal and necessary surveillance in Muslim communities in New York. She is also a frequent visitor to the Obama White House, and has claimed that the jihad underwear bomber was a CIA agent — part of what she claims is a U.S. war against Islam. She is a practiced exploiter of the ‘hate’ smear against foes of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, and has never apologized for using the Islamic honor murder of Shaima Alawadi to spread lies about the prevalence of hate crimes against Muslims in America. She is also an enthusiastic supporter of the “Palestinian” jihad against Israel, and has even claimed that feminists cannot and must not support Israel.

“Linda Sarsour Touts Corona Fundraiser for Terror-Tied Org,” by Alex VanNess, Clarion Project, March 26, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Islamist activistsharia apologist and co-founder of the Women’s March Linda Sarsour is holding a coronavirus fundraiser to benefit the people of Gaza through Baitulmaal USA, an organization with ties to the Islamist terror group Hamas.

Folks, as Americans we are experiencing shortages of life saving medical supplies and I can’t stop thinking about the…

Posted by Linda Sarsour on Monday, March 23, 2020

Baitulmaal is listed as a partnering organization with Unlimited Friends Association for Social Development (UFA).

The Middle East Forum notes UFA’s ties to Hamas:

“UFA has never been shy about its affiliations. It advertises in the prominent Hamas daily newspaper, Felesteen, in which it mentions its support from Baitulmaal. And on UFA’s Facebook page, its officials have written: “We ask God to drive away the anguish of the heroic prisoners in the Nazi Zionist jails and to free Al-Aqsa Al-Sharif [the Noble Al-Aqsa] from the filth of the most dirty Jews.”

“In the West Bank, Baitulmaal’s partners are just as concerning. Baitulmaal fundraises for the Yazour Charitable Association. In 2008, the Israelis accused Yazour Charitable Association of being a Hamas organization, which Hamas media subsequently confirmed. One Palestinian newspaper reports that Baitulmaal and this Hamas front have been working together “for years.”

In 2017, documents  in a federal civil suit noted that Baitulmaal is a member of the Union of Good, a charity sponsored by radical Islamist and Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi. Union of Good was tagged in 2008 by the U.S. Treasury as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist Group.

The lawsuit also noted that UFA and Baitumaal share staff, that UFA “is closely aligned with senior Hamas leaders” and that UFA openly “channels funds from Baitulmaal to the ‘families of martyrs of the Palestinian people.’”

This is not the first time Sarsour has worked with terror-tied charities. Last year, she was the keynote speaker at several Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) fundraisers across the country.

IRUSA is the American affiliate of UK-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which has been banned in several countries due to its ties to international terrorist organizations….

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India Muslim software engineer: “Let’s join hands, go out and sneeze with open mouth in public. Spread the virus.”

Pakistan: Muslims crowd into mosques, “We don’t believe in coronavirus, we believe in Allah”

Mozambique: Muslims attack two towns, ransack government buildings, say “We only want Islamic law”

Sudan: Muslim Brotherhood planned jihad attacks, strengthening case for terrorist designation

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

15 Religious Leaders Share How to Hope During the Pandemic

The coronavirus has drastically changed our world. But the uniqueness of this situation is that we are all facing the same thing together, while being apart.

The physical distance we are experiencing can be a great challenge. Schools, business, and churches have closed their doors for an indefinite period of time. But faith leaders from across America have a message of hope for you.

The Daily Signal asked a number of pastors, priests, and Christian leaders to share their insight on how we can all use this time of uncertainty well and how we can keep hope alive.

We hope that you are encouraged as you read the words of these faith leaders.


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 >>


Jason Peaks, associate pastor, NewSong Church, Vienna, Virginia

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

What shall we as Christians say amidst such difficulty and troubling times? How can we find hope and encouragement? The diverse voices of news and media are loud and contradictory and confusion abounds. We are consumed by hearing anyone and everyone’s opinion of what to do and how to think in the COVID-19 crisis. And yet the Psalmist describes an uncommon posture, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.” Silence is undoubtedly a forgotten practice in this generation.

For many of us, silence is merely the act of not speaking; but the Desert Fathers, a collection of 3rd century monks, indicated silence was about listening to God. In our prayers, are we speaking more or listening more? What can be found in listening prayer? The Psalmist indicates hope and rest! The word hope in this verse means “cord, rope.” As we listen to God, we find He is throwing us a rope of hope to pull us into the future. If we embrace slowing down and stepping into silence with God, we will grow in our confidence of tomorrow’s reality and take hold of hope. Furthermore it is not just hope we find; we find God, the source of all hope, in our silence.

Fr. Theodore Trinko, National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and National Shrine Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

How can you use this time wisely?

In a culture which is accustomed to running 100 mph all day every day, the very idea of staying indoors for weeks or even months on end with limited interaction with those around us can be daunting to say the least. However, in the Catholic tradition, there have been individuals who have willingly withdrawn from the world to the solitude of the cloister for their entire lives. We call them monks and nuns; and we call their way of life, contemplative life. Considering what they do to “pass the time” can help many of us as we go through this time of unwilling withdrawal.

One central down-to-earth aspect of contemplative life is the schedule. In varying degrees, it regulates the activities of the monks or nuns living in a particular community so that they are always aware of what activity they ought to be dedicating themselves to.

It would be helpful to make a schedule for oneself and or one’s family. It need not be an all encompassing affair with every last minute planned out. But perhaps some key undertakings which we should be doing on a daily basis. If you are working from home, plan out what time you will begin, take breaks, and end the day’s work. What time of the day is your recreational time? What days will you go out to exercise or get some fresh air at a park or other natural environment? When will you wake up (actually wake up, and not begin to hit the snooze button)? These will help bring some order to a life which, under other circumstances, might be a little chaotic.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

Remember that God is in control! He is the Lord of history and Creator of everything which exists. There is nothing which escapes Him. Not a drop of rain falls nor a blade of grass buds without Him knowing it. His power and knowledge know no limit; and He has promised to use that omnipotence for us.

The very nature of God is love. And love always seeks the good of the other. So God, who loves us, isn’t even capable of doing evil to us. It’s against His nature. All things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

He is the Good Shepherd, our rock of refuge, a stronghold for us. Although we walk in the valley of darkness, he is at our side; so what have we to fear?

Even in the worst case, if we were to catch this coronavirus and die, so what? Is not death just a return to the House of the Father? We did not come into this world to stay forever any more than a person goes to a skyscraper to ride the elevator. Sooner or later we will leave it and, by His grace, go back to Him who made us. So trust in Him and “do not fear him (or that) which can kill the body.” (Matthew 10:28)

Hannah King, associate rector, Village Church, Greenville, South Carolina:

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

We do not like to feel powerless. And yet, situations like this help us come to terms with our limitations. We do not ultimately control the health and wellbeing of our loved ones, and we cannot fully predict the future of this virus or its impact on society. From a Christian perspective, there is an opportunity in this. When we come to the end of ourselves and our power, we encounter the mercy of God. We find permission to be afraid, dependent, and uncertain, because He is infinite, dependable and sure.

The Christian story allows us to access our vulnerability in the face of the unknown, but it also provides us with a source of true courage. Because God dignified humanity by taking on flesh in the person of Jesus, we can be confident that our physical bodies are of utmost importance to Him. And because God raised Jesus from the dead, we can be sure that our own suffering will not be the final word. He is the Lord of History, and He has already given Himself for the life of the world. We are now called to follow His example in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado:

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

The COVID-19 global pandemic has understandably elicited anxiety and uncertainty. We’re sailing in unchartered waters but our ship is neither rudderless nor without a desired destination in mind. God remains in full and complete control. For perspective, I’m reminded of the dire predicament the early Christian Church found itself in. At the time, plagues and disease indiscriminately ravaged populations. One of the deadliest pandemics occurred between AD 249 and 262, where up to 5,000 people in Rome died – per day. While many non-Christians concentrated on saving only themselves, it was the Christians who remained and served those who were suffering. They made a tremendous impact. In fact, some believe their heroism was rewarded in the form of building up personal immunity to the disease. That story reminds us that strife and struggle need not slow us down – nor impede the mission to keep working towards a more perfect union. We must model the courageous and sacrificial attitude of those who have preceded us.

Devon Earle, associate pastor at Fairlington United Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia:

One Wednesday, a group of people from Fairlington United Methodist Church where I serve as the associate pastor, gathered together virtually for a short worship service, a time to check-in with each other, and for prayer. We began by each answering the question, “How is it with your spirit?” a Christian way of asking how each person is doing. Expected words like anxious and uncertain were shared, along with words and phrases like hopeful and “Reclaiming Hallelujah.”

As Christians, we are in a 40-day season called Lent, which spans from Ash Wednesday to Easter. Lent invites us to focus on other periods of 40 days or years that appear in the Christian Bible. The 40 days and 40 nights that rain fell, flooding the earth, while Noah, his family, and many animals took refuge on the ark. The 40 years that the Israelites spent in the wilderness after fleeing from Egypt. The 40 days, Jesus spent in the desert being tempted by Satan. All periods of uncertainty which we can relate to during this year’s season of Lent that is plagued with fear and anxiety around COVID-19.

In each of these accounts, those floating with no sight of solid ground or wandering through barren land, persisted by trusting in God. These stories also give us people who we can relate to during this time of physical distancing; Noah, crammed into a small space with his family, the Israelites wandering through the unknown, Jesus all alone.

These stories also give me hope. Hope, in the way that each group made it through. Hope, in the way that the Israelites leaned on each other as a community, something that we have been invited to do as we learn to love each other well from a distance. Hope in Jesus whose beginning of ministry was marked by this time of trial and isolation.

This season of physical distancing and self-quarantine offers challenges that differ depending on our situations; teleworking and homeschooling children; loneliness from not physically being with others, practicing patience while spending more time than usual in small spaces with family.

This season also offers new opportunities. The common response, “sorry, I am too busy,” is taking a hiatus from most of our lives. Instead, we are invited to embrace slowing down.

My advice is to embrace this gift of time many of us have been given. Find ways to embrace community. I have been amazed by the opportunities via zoom to come together with members of our congregation I don’t normally get to spend this much time with because we are too busy with the tasks of our jobs, extracurricular activities, and to-do lists. I’ve enjoyed learning about the creative ways people are using this virtual gathering space for podcast studies, art lessons, storytimes, and coffee hours.

In scripture, it is often in the silence when we encounter God, so I also hope that during this stillness, people will find spiritual solace and ways to connect with something greater than themselves.

I have seen more people taking long walks, embracing new hobbies that involve creativity, calling and writing letters to loved ones, all ways to connect with something greater. I have also been encouraged by the way those in my faith community are sharing hope, using chalk to write encouraging messages on the sidewalk, taking time to clean streams, and finding ways to continue to volunteer and give to those who are most vulnerable, especially during this time.

Rev. Monsignor Charles Pope, Holy Comforter – St. Cyprian Parish, Washington, D.C.:

How can you use this time wisely?

People often ask if this is a punishment from God. We cannot really know this or if it is just one of the aspects of living in a fallen world; in paradise lost. However, the people of biblical times always used these sorts of moments as a time to repent, reflect on the passing qualities of worldly glories and refocus on God as the true source of our blessings. Thus, for all of us we should humbly ponder that this life is filled with vicissitudes, with unpredictable things. It is not our foundation or ultimate hope, only God is.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

Go to God and say, “I am not in control.  Give me the humility to realize this and the paradoxical freedom and peace that comes from realizing that I am not in control, but you O Lord are in control.” I would also encourage them to pray, as St. Paul directs, to pray especially for those in authority that we may live in a peaceable and godly way.” (see 1 Tim 2:2)

Paul D. Wolfe, senior pastor, New Hope Presbyterian Church, Fairfax, Virginia:

How can you use this time wisely?

The old saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In a variation on that theme, we might say, “One man’s wisdom is another man’s folly.” By that I mean, not that fundamental principles of right and wrong vary from one person to the next, but that the precise application of those principles in one person’s life and another’s will vary (to some degree, at least) depending upon their different circumstances, skills, responsibilities, needs, etc. (Which is what wisdom amounts to, after all.) For example, one person might spend time in the kitchen, preparing meals for those in need. Whereas, if I were to do that, with my, uh, dearth of kitchen acumen (ask my family), well, that wouldn’t be quite so much of a service. What that means is that we shouldn’t be judging ourselves in the mirror of everyone else’s Instagram and Facebook posts about how they’re spending this time. (Including the fact that they’re posting on Instagram and Facebook.)

Still, there are certain common principles that we can all come back to, and be guided by. Like, take care of yourself. Body and soul. And open your eyes to the needs of those around you. And keep in touch with those who are important to you. And don’t obsess over the current crisis, whichever your cable news network of preference happens to be. And look over the list you’ve been keeping (whether mental or written) of “things I’d do if I had more time”—because now it could be that you’ve got it.

Here’s one suggestion you might consider in the midst of COVID-19 in 2020: pick up an old book, or a book about something old, and start reading, and find your gaze lifted from our current moment. Yes, I’m reading the news these days (in print and online), and I’m looking over friends’ Facebook posts. But I’m also reading the Bible, and I’m also reading David Howarth’s brilliant little history of the Battle of Hastings (1066: The Year of the Conquest). Why? Because it’s a great book, that’s why. (I mean, Viking warships and Norman knights. What’s not to love?) And even a brief glimpse each day of the eleventh century helps me to put this century, this year, this day—and yes, even this virus—in perspective. And as for the Bible, well, that gives me more than perspective. It gives me Truth.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

This one turns, it seems to me, on that million-dollar word “hope.” If hope is just a pious-sounding word for future-oriented desires—I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow; I hope the economy rebounds quickly; I hope [Univeristy of Virginia] wins the men’s basketball championship again next year (which desire is the height of true piety, by the way)—then people have hope in uncertain times by merely clinging to the possibility that tomorrow will be better than today. Or at least, not so bad. And that possibility might be realized. But, alas, it might not be. (Let’s face it: every time, and not just our current time, is a time of uncertainty. We’re just acutely aware of it now.)

From a biblical perspective, however, hope is more than the thought that our earthly fortunes might improve. Instead, hope is the rock-solid conviction that the God who is Maker and Redeemer will certainly hold on to his children throughout this life, and then welcome them into his presence at the end of this life, and then usher in a new world when this present age draws to a close. That’s the stuff of real hope and hopefulness. Not maybe-s and might-be-s and possibly-s, but certainly-s and definitely-s and bank-your whole-life-on-it-s. The Bible calls that hope “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” And the Christian can say that he has that hope by faith in Jesus Christ.

Now, it’s perfectly natural to desire for brighter tomorrows (no rain, better economy, UVa wins again, and again, and again, etc.). And it’s right to work toward those ends. Which is why it’s right for us, right now, as a nation, made up of communities, made up of families, made up of individuals, to work and work hard, and think and think hard, about how to navigate this current fearful crisis. And not only that, but we ought to be grateful for the wisdom and determination and compassion (those most precious national resources) that we can draw upon to do just that. But if we’re going to talk about real hope, then we’ve got to have something deep and steadfast that underlies all of our skills and successes—and which comforts us in our flaws and failures too. And in the gospel of Jesus Christ, that something is there to be had.

Dr. Wayne Braudrick, lead pastor, Frisco Bible Church, Frisco, Texas  and teacher, All The Difference

How can you use this time wisely?

Made in the image of the caring Creator, humans are fulfilled when caring creatively. Nearly every note from a Christian embodies this reality. For example, one young married couple wrote, ‘We have time and want to help with the body’s needs. We also have saved some money, so let us know if that is needed.’ To focus this creative caring, we chose three main avenues where our congregation can be most effective. These are based on existing ministry relationships and address real needs in our community. Every church and community are different, but the concept is universal. In our case, we are channeling our members to serve lunches for displaced school students, run errands for those shut in, and drive for our county’s Meals on Wheels. Of course, we also encourage prayer for our efforts to bring light to darkness. Last week we saw three people trust Jesus as Savior during our livestream worship, and many others of our neighbors turned to our church for encouragement.

Jesse Johnson, pastor of Immanuel Bible Church, Springfield, Virginia

How can you use this time wisely?

Church may be closed, but the work of the church has never been in the building though professionals—it has always been Christians loving the Lord above all else, and their neighbors above themselves.  Jesus commands believers to make the most of their time, because the days are fleeting. We make the most of our time by working with integrity at our jobs (even when our boss can’t see us), and using our increased free time to love our neighbors. Be intentional about emailing or messaging friends. Start a prayer group through Zoom. Take five or six friends, and read a book like Ephesians every day for two weeks. Talk every day about what you are learning and how it affects your worship. While churches are closed, encourage one another to godliness as much as you are able.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

People are by nature anxious. The Bible refers to us as sheep—we are skittish and easily frightened under the best of circumstances, to say nothing of the natural response of fear in the face of a global pandemic. But the analogy of sheep goes beyond our own frailty and points us to the nature of our shepherd. Sheep are calmed by the strong presence of a shepherd, whom they assume is in control, leading them to food, and warding off danger. For people, the only true source of hope comes from looking to our true shepherd. Christians understand that God is sovereign and in control of all things, and that all things includes disease and death. We also understand that God is not detached and ruling from a distance, but rather is immanent, at hand. He is near to the broken hearted, he comforts the afflicted through his word, and he leads us through a dark world for our good and his glory. We find hope during this time by remembering that God is in control, and that he is a shepherd who loves us and cares for us.

It’s no coincidence that in his incarnation, the Son of God comes to us as a shepherd. He describes himself as a good shepherd, who lays his life down for his sheep. By God coming to us in the person of Jesus, who was crucified and resurrected, we too can have hope through trials because we know that our shepherd is with us, and he has already died for us, and he still lives to lead us through the valley of the shadow of death.

Stephen Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College, Orlando, Florida and chief academic officer,  Ligonier Ministries:

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

Jerome was a brilliant scholar, but he spent the last year of his life living in a cave outside Bethlehem, convinced the world was coming to an end. That was in A.D. 420. The Visigoths had sacked Rome. Jerome despaired, “The World sinks into ruin!” Then he retreated to his cave and he died. When things felt out of control to him, he lost control, hid out, and gave up.

Augustine responded rather differently. He realized that God is in control of all things, and that realization gave Augustine confidence to stand strong, to love God and to love [his] neighbor. He put his trust in God. It must be noted, however, that it was an active faith. Augustine orchestrated the last defense of Hippo, his city, as he lay dying and as the barbarians were at the gates. This tale of two ancient Christians can offer much instruction to us facing uncertainty and upheaval in this moment. Even as we practice appropriate social distancing—which is perhaps a way we can love our neighbor—we need not despair, not give up, not declare that all is in ruins. Instead, we can face this uncertainty with confidence and action.

This is adapted from Nichols’ book, “A Time for Confidence.

Larry Taylor, president and CEO of the Association of Christian Schools International, Colorado Springs, Colorado:

You know as we heed the sound wisdom and advice of our local health and medical officials to distance ourselves and take all the other precautions, sometimes even to quarantine ourselves, may we never quarantine our faith.

What an opportunity we have to let our light shine at this time. You know there are many children in our local public schools, private and Christian, who rely heavily on this time for the school to provide food. We can help with this. There are many local food pantries that are being stretched at this time and are having a hard time keeping up with demand. We can help with this. There are so many other ways that we can let our light shine and to be ambassadors for Jesus Christ. … let’s look beyond ourselves. What an opportunity we have to be the aroma of Christ. As it says in 2 Corinthians 2:15.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, Orlando, Florida:

o   “We do not fear because we serve the Creator and our Redeemer. “Fear not, little flock.”

o   We will not add to the panic.

o   We will speak peace to all we encounter.

o   We will minister to the world the Light of the world.

o   We will be the church that Jesus called us to be and run to, not from, danger to save souls.

o   We will remember that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church.

o   We will pray that this virus is crushed.

o   We will pray for our elected leaders for wisdom.

o   We will spend more time in the Word of God than we spend chasing media stories.”

Louis Brown Jr., executive director, Christ Medicus Foundation, Troy, Michigan:

How can you use this time wisely?

Above all, I believe folks should use this time to be more centered on Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him. Where the suffering from this pandemic can cause despair, anxiety or panic, it is vital to pray especially for others who are sick and suffering, to take time to meditate and contemplate God, to do spiritual reading, and to regularly connect with our spiritual community by phone, video call, or social media. On a case-by-case basis and being sure to obey federal, state, and local laws and guidance, such as taking appropriate precautions like social/physical distancing, it could be appropriate to spend time alone with God in church to receive His light and wisdom and love during this time of crisis. In doing these things, we become grounded in the one foundation that is eternal. Being spiritually centered in God is not something that should be thrown out in times of challenge. Right now, being centered in God is the one thing we absolutely must do because it is the only true anchor we have. I have personally benefited greatly from watching live the celebration of the Holy Mass the last few days, viewing a brief talk on the spiritual realities of this moment from renowned theologian Dr. Ralph Martin of Renewal Ministries, and listening to the podcast of Father Mike Schmitz of Ascension Presents. We should all take advantage of these kinds of opportunities online for spiritual growth.

From this place of spiritual strength, we should then use this time to support our families, friends, and work colleagues (past or present).  Many of us are effectively sheltering in place or self-quarantining at home consistent with the guidance of our government and public health officials. However, we can still give the gift of a kind of ‘virtual’ accompaniment to family and friends through phone calls, text messages, facetime, and video chat etc. The gift of life is a glorious gift of God and simultaneously includes incredible joys and incredible suffering. During this time many of us are reminded, often painfully, that this side of life will indeed end and that one day we will stand before God. This reality can drive us to turn our hearts more fully toward God who is ultimately the fulfillment of all our desires as Dr. Ralph Martin says. While we have an opportunity to renew and deepen our relationship with God, we also have an opportunity to call friends and family to ask forgiveness from those we have hurt and who have hurt us.

Finally, I think it is vital that we ask God prayerfully how we can combat this virus and aid our local community, the state we live in, and even the country in our professional work.  If we previously worked as caregivers or health care professionals, is there some way we can contribute? If we are business entrepreneurs or executives, is there a service or resource we can provide to directly or indirectly combat this pandemic and serve those suffering either because of their medical condition or because of unemployment? If we work as teachers, social workers, or counselors, is there some way we can support parents in our community who may be working as first responders or medical professionals and are struggling to meet the demands of their job and of their family?

I believe we must all ask how we can use our prayer life, our personal lives, and our professional lives to serve God and our neighbor. And then, after listening, we must decisively act.

How do people have hope in a time of uncertainty?

This pandemic reminds us that on this side of heaven, all is passing away and only God remains. And yet, God is love, beauty, truth and freedom itself. God is the one power that gives us the courage to be signs of hope and love for those around us. Even in this time of uncertainty, as many of us are stripped of great gifts in our lives, we suffer greatly but we also realize there is only one thing we truly need: the love of God. In this realization, we discover a new freedom and a liberation that cannot be taken away. We discover that the deepest desire of our hearts is to love God and neighbor. As so many individuals across the country are risking their lives, especially first responders and medical professionals, we see the truth of the human heart’s overwhelming desire to love and give oneself over for the good of the other. During this time, as we realize that love is really all we need, we find our hope and we find our peace. If we keep faith, we know that whatever may happen, love Himself awaits us on the other side.

David Stevens, CEO – emeritus of Christian Medical & Dental Associations

I wish coronavirus was my first epidemic. As a medical missionary and a relief team leader in war zones around the world I’ve risked my life trying to save lives in more epidemics than I can count. There is nothing special about that. It has been the normal Christian life throughout history. Christians don’t run from a crisis. They run to them.

My anchor when there were two or three patients to a bed, little personal protective equipment, inadequate treatment options and not enough trained staff has been 2 Timothy 1:6, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I prayed God would give me as sound mind with wisdom to protect those not ill and to treat those that are knowing that I could only treat, Jesus heals. I would pray that God’s love and compassion would be evident in me. Patients need to know I cared even when I might not be able to cure. As Jesus demonstrated, compassion is the best medicine. Most importantly, I didn’t need to fear because God was with me. I had given myself completely to Him and because of that He provided a “peace that passed all understanding.”

I learned that God does his best work in and through me the midst of crisis. He can do the same for you. Remember, faith is a spiritual muscle. It only gets stronger when you exercise it.

Gavin Brand, assistant pastor, City Church Presbyterian, Baltimore, Maryland:

How can we use this time wisely?

Perhaps the best use of time right now is, as Jesus said, to love one another. In times like these, words like his come alive to us. Love requires more of us than we are want to give. Love often takes more from us than we expect. Love also heals something in us we often didn’t know was broken. For these reasons, we should practice love right now so that when there comes a time when it requires of us more than we want to give, we are ready to give more than is required and, at the same time, are ready to be healed in a place we didn’t know we needed. The best thing we can do right now is practice giving and receiving love.

How do we have hope in times of uncertainty?

In times of uncertainty we need a hope that is unshakeable. All the things we have been putting our hope in, be it a growing economy, longer life expectancy, or increasing personal freedom and self-understanding, are suddenly revealed as a glass castle. What we need is an unshakable hope.

Surprisingly for some, this hope is offered to us in the person of Jesus. Even if one does not believe in Jesus, the message that God loves the world enough to send his only Son to conquer death and offer us eternal bodily existence in a world of love called Heaven, suggests that, despite the worst of circumstances, our future is incredibly bright. If we believe this message to be true, we have a hope greater than death. Jesus’ own hopeless life (he came to earth to die) offers us a death conquering hope. That is exactly what we need right now.

COLUMN BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.


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!

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

Why the Feds Should Social Distance Themselves From an Election Process Takeover

COVID-19—is there anything the coronavirus can’t do? Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., seem to think it should make the feds tell the states how to run their elections.

They’ve introduced a bill that would do just that.

S. 3529, the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, is aptly named because it could bring an electoral disaster in November. Not only is it unnecessary, but it would also make it easier to fiddle with election results.

Under our Constitution, Congress sets the time, place, and manner of federal elections, but it is the states and particularly county governments that actually administer the elections.


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 >>


Our Founders designed this structure because they understood that giving the federal government authority to run elections would also give that government—including the incumbents controlling Congress and the incumbent in the White House—the ability to manipulate election rules to ensure their desired election outcomes.

Since Democrats took over the House in 2018, they have been pushing bills to increase federal control of our elections. They started with H.R. 1, which was dead on arrival the minute it hit the Senate. Now, amid the coronavirus crisis, they seem to think the time is ripe to take another stab at it.

According to Klobuchar’s March 18 press release (the text of the bill was still not available at Congress.gov as this was being written), the “disaster” bill would require every state to offer at least 20 days of early voting and “no-excuse” absentee balloting. Talk about gilding the lily!

Every state already allows absentee balloting, and two-thirds don’t require you to have an “excuse”—such as sickness, disability, or being out of town on Election Day—for using them.

As a former county election official in two different states, I can guarantee that every election official in the country would consider the current threat posed by COVID-19 to be more than sufficient reason for citizens to avoid the polls and vote absentee instead.

But the problem with the bill goes beyond the fact that there is no need to impose a federal mandate on top of already existing state requirements. The larger problem is that it would require changes in how absentee ballots are handled and processed—and the prescribed changes would increase the risk of election fraud.

While the health crisis may necessitate greater use of absentee ballots, no one should be happy about it. That’s because absentee ballot fraud is one of the most common—and easiest—methods used to cheat and intimidate voters.

Just look at what happened in the (ultimately overturned) 2018 9th Congressional District race in North Carolina. There, political operatives took absentee ballots from voters, then altered or filled them out before submitting them.

(You can find many more cases involving absentee ballot abuses in The Heritage Foundation’s election fraud database.)

So, what are some of the changes the new bill would mandate? Well, currently, states require absentee ballots to be postmarked by Election Day. This is to prevent people from seeing voting results and then organizing an after-the-fact, get-out-the-(absentee) vote campaign to try to change those results.

Yet S. 3529 would force states to accept absentee ballots as long as they have been supposedly “signed” by the voter before the polls close. Obviously, there is no way to verify that.

This is very different from election officials accepting the official postmark of the U.S. Postal Service as evidence that an absentee ballot was cast before the polls closed. This change would give individual voters (or vote harvesters who collect their ballots) the ability to easily cheat by waiting until they see the results before voting.

The bill also orders states to begin processing votes cast during early voting or by mail 14 days before Election Day to “avoid delays” in the counting of votes on Election Day.

Most states don’t allow early votes to be processed and tabulated before Election Day for a very commonsense reason: to obviate the possibility of early results being leaked.

If leaked to the media, early results could discourage some voters from casting ballots. If leaked to candidates or political parties that are trailing, it could give them information they can use to modify or refocus their strategy to change the results.

As for the provision to force states to allow 20 days of in-person early voting, how does that make sense at a time of social distancing, when we are limiting—even banning—public gatherings?

Even if it were desirable, a federal mandate is hardly necessary. Fewer than a dozen states don’t already allow some degree of early voting, and those that don’t could surely change that on their own, should health concerns somehow make that advisable.

While the health advantages of early voting are dubious, at best, the electoral aspect has some shortcomings, as well.

This month, Klobuchar herself exposed one of those shortcomings in ending her presidential run. She withdrew from the race on March 2, just one day before the Super Tuesday primaries. Pete Buttigieg dropped out a day earlier.

As a result, hundreds of thousands of early voters in those states—including 455,000 in Texas and California—wound up wasting their votes on withdrawn candidates, effectively disenfranchising themselves by voting early.

Something similar can also happen during general elections.

We all know that information about candidates, sometimes scandalous information, often comes out just before Election Day. If that information is relevant to a voter’s choice and that voter has already early voted, there is nothing she can do to recall or change her vote.

Moreover, studies have shown that early voting actually hurts turnout; it does not increase it.

Yet another bad provision in the Klobuchar/Wyden bill would “guarantee” that all voter registrations submitted 21 days before the election must be “deemed valid.”

States have varying registration deadlines, ranging from 30 days before an election to registration on Election Day.  Those deadlines reflect the varying amounts of time it takes for states to check the validity and accuracy of voter registration information. (Typically, the larger the jurisdiction, the longer this process takes.)

But this bill apparently takes away the right of states to do any verification at all. Rather, it says states must consider as “valid” any voter registrations they receive—even if officials know the individual is ineligible to vote because he is a felon, an alien, or doesn’t actually live where he claims to reside.

Hopefully, given all of the measures being put in place by the federal, state, and local governments, this health threat will have peaked and subsided long before the Nov. 3 election.

spokesman for the National Association of Secretaries of State says that the secretaries—who are in charge of administering elections in their respective states—are “closely monitoring COVID-19 public health alerts, working with their state public health departments, and assessing their state emergency preparedness plans.”

State election officials already have all of the legal authority they need, as well as the detailed knowledge and experience to administer their elections even under extraordinary conditions.

The last thing we need is federal interference from Washington bureaucrats and political know-it-alls who think they can do it better.

Originally published by PJ Media

COMMENTARY BY

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. Read his 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.