Rethinking Trump’s performance and other commentary



Pandemic journal: Rethinking Don’s Performance

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York sees “the beginning of a sense of perspective about the way the Trump administration battled the virus. The bottom line is: Of course, the crisis was awful, but on balance, overall, the United States handled it as well or better than many of the world’s most advanced countries.” Exhibit A is Nate Silver noting that “with some exceptions . . . the EU’s pandemic handling has been worse than the US’s on balance.” And Matt Yglesias saying of the EU’s vaccine rollout, “What a disaster.” Meanwhile, York points out, a graph of US jabs shows steady, “continuing progress” from late December onward, while the American death rate from the virus is in line with those of other developed nations. In short, “the frenzied, hysterical and hostile media coverage of the Trump administration during the virus’ worst days . . . gave Americans an unbalanced picture of what was happening.”

Disorder watch: Gotham Picks Crime

Twenty years of growing success in driving down crime rates under Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg, observes Heather Mac Donald ­at City Journal, “set a benchmark for what was possible, preemptively discrediting any future mayor’s excuse that crime was beyond his capacity to overcome.” Yet the citywide rise in crime in 2020 was “worse than the annual numbers suggest,” since the lockdown had street crime dropping from March to late May. And the spike has extended into 2021. What happened? In the wake of George Floyd’s death, city elites felt compelled “to signal a commitment to fighting white supremacy” and so moved “to stop penalizing criminal behavior.” Prosecutors grew even more forgiving, while the NYPD closed its prime anti-gun unit; arrests plummeted. If city leadership doesn’t reverse course, “New York may be heading back not just to the early 1990s, but to the even grimmer 1970s.”

Physician: Accept Good Vax News

“Despite the amazing solution of vaccines,” sighs infectious-disease prof Monica Gandhi at The Atlantic, “many educators, government officials and media commentators cannot seem to permit themselves any optimism yet about when school closures and other emergency restrictions might be eased.” All the approved vaccines “provide nearly 100 percent protection from severe COVID-19,” including variants. “Powerful data” also show vaccinations reduce spread, even from “asymptomatic infection.” Yet predictions of “deadly” new waves of infection “are generating anxiety among the public, including teachers,” and “distorting the discussion about schools.”

Conservative: A Brave Gov’s Fight for Kids

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed into law a bill requiring “every public and accredited private school in her state to offer in-person learning, five days a week,” cheers The Washington Post’s Marc A. Thiessen, proving that there is at least one “chief executive with the courage to take on the teachers unions.” Reynolds had been sitting in on local school-board meetings and “was shocked to see the contempt with which parents were treated” for wanting to reopen schools. Union workers in Des Moines voted to not be considered essential workers to avoid returning to the classroom. Reynolds believes that “the pandemic has created a ­moment of clarity, when frustrated parents across the country have finally had enough and are ready to take back control of their children’s education.” If “more Americans learn about Reynolds’ leadership,” concludes Thiessen, perhaps one day” we will be able to take advantage of this grim moment.

Campus beat: So Much for Free Inquiry

Woke academia’s apologists brush off all criticism of censorship on campus as cherry-picked and anecdotal — yet, counters Eric Kaufmann at The Wall Street Journal, new data “give the lie to these claims.” His survey found that “4 in 10 American academics” wouldn’t hire Trump supporters, “while in Britain, 1 in 3 academics wouldn’t hire a Brexit supporter.” Plus, “only 28 percent of American academics say they would be comfortable sitting with a gender-critical scholar over lunch, less even than the 41 percent who would sit with a Trump-voting colleague.” Bottom line: Conservative opinions don’t get a “fair hearing.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board


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