Testing Testing Testing

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The United States has been in a Federal national emergency that transitioned to a state-by-state lock down. This has been in place for several months and the American spirit is anxious to get the country back on a normal footing; an open economy.

We hear that the only way we can get America opened is to “test, test, test.” While testing is important to identify where we are with the virus and who could potentially pass the virus to others, it is not a panacea for controlling the virus. A person could get tested, obtain a negative result, walk outside the testing facility, encounter a sick person and has thus become infected. The test is only as good as the immediate time that the person received the results. Unfortunately, it is going to take a change in society norms and customs, our personal interactions, to keep the virus under control until a vaccine is developed. We learned this lesson in the 1980s when HIV/AIDS entered our vernacular. It has been 40 years since then and we still do not have a vaccine, but changes in how we interact with each other have kept that terrible virus at a controllable level.

Testing is important, but America should not be held hostage to reopening based solely on testing. Additionally, the testing results must be used as they are received and understood. Increased testing means that people that had the disease are now being identified as new cases. There may not be a spike in the number of cases, instead there is a spike in identified cases. Instead of sensationalizing the number of cases as compared to a week earlier, we need to look at the percentage of cases based on the number of people tested. That will give a more realistic view of where we are in relation to expanded or contracted cases of COVID 9.

Last week witnessed a new House of Representative spending bill associated to the Corona virus. Several weeks ago, at the time of the last economic aide bill signing for financial relief, I wrote that as soon as the bill reached the President’s desk the Democrats would be preparing a new bill and use the Corona Virus pandemic as a means to incorporate social engineering changes to our magnificent nation. It has now happened and the method to attempt to ram the House Bill down the throats of America has a common pattern. The Obama Care bill was first introduced and explained several years ago to the U.S. Congress by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. She said of the multi-thousand-page document that was being introduced that it is urgently needed and the House needs to pass it and it will be explained after approved. That had a lot of heads being scratched and fortunately there was a lot of discussion before the bill went to a vote. Then three weeks ago the same strategy took place for the financial bill number three. After the Senate had a bi-partisan bill prepared, the speaker flew in from California with her version of the bill, delayed the support to the needy and said her version needs to be passed immediately. It did not go that way and once again the same tactic is being deployed to get the new bill passed but with a slight twist. The speaker states the $3 trillion bill is only a starting point for negotiation.

We don’t need a bill introduced at a price tag that makes it easy to negotiate. This isn’t Pawn Stars. We need legislation that addresses the COVID-19 virus, provides relief to those that are in trouble due to the virus, and encourages the country to open up in a sensible and logical manner.

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy states the House Bill is “dead as fried chicken” when it reaches the Senate for its’ vote. The bill displays the dire consequences of using a much-needed bill as a catalyst to better position one party’s agenda. The final result is going to be a delay in the support as Congress negotiates what is important to the American citizen and throws out insignificant line items.

The bill will enormously increase a government deficit that our children and grand children will be burdened with for decades. Included manure is climate change funding, increasing a $600 boost to unemployment through January instead of a much shorter controllable period and funds to assist states to vote by mail instead of addressing this at a time closer to the presidential election. It is not even clear if these actions are required and won’t be for several months.

State bailouts are quite controversial. The bill would automatically provide federal funds to states based on an arbitrary formula. An illustration of how this is dysfunctional uses Minnesota as an example, a state with a projected shortfall of $2.8 billion, and a state that has a rainy day fund that would cover this. If the House bill passed, Minnesota would receive an additional $8 billion without need. This is only one example of this part of the bill that would be funded to the tune of $540 billion. We are a benevolent society and we help when needed but this is a travesty of liberal values that attempts to buy the country.

The postal system is ear marked for $75 billion. There needs to be support for a national trust such as the postal system, but that is not a part of the Corona Virus outbreak and needs to be addressed in its’ own legislative package.

Come on Washington, no game playing. Let’s address the issues at hand and get our country rolling again.

Tuffy Fields may be reached by emailing thelouisianaexplorer@yahoo.com.