Dear editor,

What has happened to our country?

Early this year we were all alarmed by a “global pandemic” coming out of China.  Without hard facts the federal government took prompt and decisive action to slow it’s spread into the US.  Something they were roundly criticized for at the time.

Realizing that it was a highly contagious virus that they acknowledged would eventually spread throughout the country, the call from politicians and health experts at the time was to “flatten the curve” so our hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed with the initial impact.  We did that.  Actually, far more successfully than anyone anticipated.  But then certain folks in political office and the media decided to move the goalposts.  There was an “opportunity” here, and they weren’t going to waste it. Funny how they aren’t even talking about “flattening the curve” anymore.

Months later, state governments, who are the entities legally responsible for dealing with most of these health issues, realized they had been derelict in their duties, then decided to spring into action.  But by that time it was actually too late.  You see, now we have hard facts and data that shows very clearly that the number of deaths “attributed” to Covid 19 have declined sharply since the week of April 18.

But you say: “How can that be?  We see every time we turn on the TV or listen to the radio that the number of “cases” is on the rise, and the “death count” is going up.”  What they don’t or won’t say is that as we test many times more folks than we did at first, there are obviously more “cases” being detected – many of which have long since had the virus, quite a few of which never even realized they had it.

But now, some state, county and local government entities and even some businesses are jumping on the bandwagon almost trying to outdo each other in how they can “protect” us from something that even the esteemed Dr. Fauci acknowledged we would all eventually be exposed to.  And worse yet, many of the edicts now coming out have proven to do little or nothing to control the spread of the virus, while they cripple or destroy businesses, jobs, and drive our country into a recession or depression. 

Why? 

The answers are many and varied; some political, some ego driven, some driven by political correctness and some that are sincere, but very few are based on facts. 

So, what are the facts?

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The CDC has a division called The Center for Health Statistics.  It has kept records on the deaths attributed to COVID-19 since the first of the year.  The graph and data of COVID-19 deaths now on their website shows a picture far different than you will see on the evening news.  In fact, it shows COVID-19 attributed deaths have declined sharply since the week of April 18, when 16,909 deaths were attributed to COVID-19, with the vast majority of those for folks over 75 years old.  To compound that, the CHS notes that only 6 percent of COVID-19 deaths were attributed solely to COVID-19, with 94 percent of them having an “average of 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.”  Since then the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 has declined each and every week, for every age group, to a total of 338 for the week of July 11, the last week they have reported.  That current death rate is similar or slightly less than that of the seasonal flu in an average year;  far less than the death rate for pneumonia, heart disease, drug overdoses, suicides or several other serious causes of death.   The difference is: you don’t see a daily “body count” for those causes, and we certainly don’t try to shut down the country because of them.

The simple fact is, what started as a legitimate concern, the data now shows has evolved into what amounts to a giant, misrepresented hoax.  That’s not to say that COVID-19 isn’t serious.  Like the other causes I mentioned, it is serious and real, but in perspective, there is no longer any justification for hindering normal commerce because of it any more than there would be for other serious causes of death, many of which are more preventable.

The news outlets that we once relied on for unbiased facts aren’t all to blame.  The reality is that most are struggling and underfunded due to online competition.  They are cutting corners, cutting budgets and in many cases they are just lazy.  Understand that they have 20 to 30 minutes to fill each evening and COVID-19 has been a Godsend to them.  They don’t need many reporters finding real stories because they can fill much of their broadcast each day for free with all the COVID numbers coming down the newswires from a few folks with clear agendas.

But the good news is: Americans aren’t stupid, and we value our freedom enough to demand changes and hold accountable those who are perpetuating or taking advantage of this “opportunity.”

The facts are coming out, and once they do, I hope every American remembers those that were more than willing to drive citizens in their country, state, county or municipality out of business, a job or into recession, in order to copy others, perpetuate an agenda, or simply because “they could.”

Mike Brust of town of Stettin

Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.