Societal crises – like the current COVID-19 pandemic – historically have revealed the heart of a culture and its people. Sometimes it reveals a heart of flesh, sometimes a heart of stone.
Robert Knight is a conservative activist, a columnist for The Washington Times, and a contributor to OneNewsNow. In his latest column, he argues that the coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the best in people – but also the bad and the ugly. He writes that the "best" during the pandemic is coming from front-line responders, medical personnel, and many others who put themselves at risk to save lives.
He also praises President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and the government officials and experts working tirelessly around the clock to blunt the impact of the virus, as well as the many corporations pitching in to find a vaccine.
But he says the "bad" is topped by Communist China because, as he says, "they lied about the epidemic."
"They punished doctors who were trying to warn us; they didn't tell the World Health Organization for at least a month that they were having an epidemic in Wuhan," Knight continues. "Of course, the World Health Organization then peddled the Chinese Communist propaganda and didn't warn the rest of the world for a long time – so they're both culpable."
And then, he says, there is the "ugly": elected officials who are overreaching in their authority.
"New York Mayor Bill de Blasio comes to mind," Knight shares with OneNewsNow. "He warned churches and synagogues to stay locked down due to his lockdown order. He said I might lock you down quote permanently.
"Nobody has the authority to do that in a free country with a First Amendment," the columnist exclaims. "That's what they did in the Soviet Union. That's what they still do in Communist China. How dare he do that!"
De Blasio's 'doc draft'
Following up on his threat to permanently close down houses of worship, Mayor de Blasio not only indicated he was suspicious of the Samaritan's Purse field hospital set up in Central Park – now he wants a national draft for doctors. He stated on Friday that unless the country institutes "some kind of national enlistment of medical personnel moved to the most urgent needs in the country," hospitals will be unable to handle many people who could be saved.
It could happen, according to Dr. David Stevens of Christian Medical Association – but he points out it wouldn't be de Blasio pulling the trigger. "Drafting [of] physicians and other health care personnel is possible under the War Powers Act – [and] that would have to come from the federal level," he explains.
President Trump recently applied the Defense Production Act of 1950 to get General Motors to start making ventilators, but so far he hasn't talked about using the broader War Powers Act. Stevens contends it would be a mistake to do so.
"Though New York City and [the] state [are] on the head of the curve of the surge of patients, it's happening everywhere; it's just a little bit behind," he describes. "So how can you draft doctors from one part of the country to have to go to New York City when their own communities are facing this in unknown quantities?"
Gary Bauer of American Values says leave it to a Democrat to come up with the idea about "drafting" doctors. "I guess I'm not surprised at this point to hear far-left politicians fall back on their first instinct, which is to restrict liberty [and] to give government more power," he offers.
Besides, he says, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has already asked for assistance.
"I don't believe a draft is necessary at all for this crisis," Bauer continues. "The governor of New York the other day actually asked for volunteer medical personnel to come [there]. The last figure I heard is that 23 [thousand to] 24,000 big-hearted Americans quickly sent word that they were willing to come to New York."
Meanwhile, another corporate "best" is coming to light during the worldwide health crisis. According to a Fox Business report, General Motors has also started to produce face masks for medical personnel – and is on track to deliver its first 20,000 on Wednesday.