#Pandemic, riots threaten to kill our cities and other commentary

Pandemic, riots threaten to kill our cities and other commentary

June 3, 2020 | 7:27pm

Urban beat: Pandemic and Pandemonium

“The rage ignited by the death of George Floyd is symptomatic of a profound sense of alienation that has been building for years” and was “worsened” by the coronavirus crisis, Joel Kotkin argues at Quillette. COVID-19 and progressive city governments’ response to it have “devasted poorer communities,” creating “urban malaise.” Hence the return of a “riot ideology,” in which “radical activists” — and even some more mainstream left-wing politicians — applaud “random looting and even killings” as “part of a glorious ‘rebellion’ or uprising.” In response, our cities need a “laser-like focus on economic opportunity” to “repair the social safety net broken by COVID-19” and “promote self-sufficiency and not dependency.” The alternative is “watching them burn when minority and working-class resentment inevitably erupts.”

Culture critic: The Unforgivable Sin

Treating whiteness as an “original sin, an inherited moral defect one must atone for” has “gone uber-mainstream” since George Floyd’s “brutal execution,” Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill sighs. But such “collective guilt on the basis of racial origin” is “wicked” — and, ironically, racist. It also distracts us from “the real problems facing the US,” including the “police brutality” and “structural disarray” that resulted in Floyd’s death. That’s why “corporate America and the new political elites” have embraced “the woke ideology of pathologized whiteness”: It “takes the heat off the powers-that-be.”

Science desk: Politicized Meds in the Trump Era

With President Trump having taken hydroxychloroquine to guard against the coronavirus, his “critics in the press seem to be on a mission to discredit the therapy,” The Wall Street Journal’s Allysia Finley observes. And “a prestigious medical journal may be joining in.” A study by The Lancet found a 30 percent “increased risk of death for hospitalized COVID-19 patients” treated with that drug or a related one. But “some 120 doctors, statisticians and epidemiologists” write in an open letter that they have “both methodological and data integrity concerns.” For instance, “more deaths were reported from five Australian hospitals collectively than had occurred in the entire country during the study period,” and the average reported dose of the drug “was 100 milligrams higher than FDA guidelines.” With headlines such as “Study says drug hailed by Trump is harmful,” experts worry trials of what could be a life-saving treatment won’t go ahead as planned.

From the right: How Urban ‘Forests’ Die

Elites “excusing the destruction of our cities” have clearly “never built a business themselves,” bemoans National Review’s David Harsanyi, whose parents “would never see a penny for the years of preparation, exertion and sacrifice” after thieves looted their business. Alas, many American small-business owners may “end up in similar circumstances” because of our elected officials’ unwillingness to stop “criminals and cosplay revolutionaries.” The worst example: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who said, “Yes, America is burning, but that’s how forests grow,” even as rioters and arsonists are “destroying poor and minority neighborhoods.” Small businesses in those neighborhoods may never recover, and even big stores may leave for good when they start “paying higher insurance rates.” The forest, in fact, “doesn’t always grow back.”

Lockdown watch: Dems Push Cuomo To Reopen

“Withering before our eyes is the pulse that once made New York great,” Democratic Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein and City Councilman Kalman Yeger write in a letter urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reopen the state. “Three months of difficult lockdown” came “at immeasurable cost.” “Unemployment is at record highs,” “children’s skills and knowledge are regressing at unknowable rates” and “unrest is growing at exponential levels.” Business owners “are aware of the need to be safe, even while going about their business.” And let’s face it: “The calls for mass peaceful marching without any regard for social-distancing have rendered a continued lockdown at this point ludicrous.” It’s time to heal: “New Yorkers are unemployed, broke, anxious and emotionally drained. We need an infusion of hope, a burst of energy, a restoration of normalcy.” And the only thing that can bring it is an immediate, “unmitigated reopening.”

— Compiled by Karl Salzmann & Kelly Jane Torrance

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