It’s Friday and my family and I have now been down in Florida for two full weeks. And we’ve been out to eat in Florida restaurants for 13 straight days.
Including spending yesterday evening at Dave & Buster’s and letting the kids play video games. Yep, Dave & Buster’s is now open in Florida. I’m living the advice I’m giving to all of you — get back to normal in your lives. We can’t cower in fear forever, it’s time for young and healthy people to get this economy rolling again.
I also want to say this at the top of the Friday mailbag: I have never gotten more positivity in my life for what I’ve done than over the past several months from you guys. I’ve been deluged with supportive emails, DMs, you name it; I’ve been writing online for 16 years and nothing I’ve ever done has produced more positive feedback from you guys than the coronavirus coverage on the radio, on here, on Periscope and Facebook, and on my Twitter feed.
I can’t possibly respond to all of you, but just know that I read it and it means a ton.
And one of the groups that has written to me an absolute ton is doctors. There’s a huge community of doctors who feel like our response to the coronavirus has been nonsensical and that their voices aren’t being heard.
I’m going to start the Friday mailbag with one of those emails. Here we go:
What data cuts through the noise and what data doesn’t cut through the noise astounds me.
If anything, the 40% of deaths from nursing homes is actually too low of a number. But what it pretty clearly shows us is this virus is a real threat to the old and sick — that is, those in nursing homes — and is almost no threat at all to the young and healthy.
If you are under the age of 24 years old you are just as likely to be struck by lightning as are to die of the coronavirus.
Let me repeat that — you are just as likely to be struck by lightning as you are to die of the coronavirus.
Yet we are talking about shutting down schools and colleges for the fall. This is absolute madness. The only thing young and healthy people should be doing differently is trying to limit their exposure to nursing homes and to the very elderly.
And if you’re under 65 years old and in relatively good health you also have very minimal risk of dying from the coronavirus. We shut down the entire country when a tiny, tiny percentage of people are actually in danger of death from this virus.
It’s pure insanity.
Worse, we allowed the justification for shutting down the country to shift from trying to keep the hospitals from overloading — which didn’t come close to happening anywhere — to we have to stay inside until there’s a vaccine. It’s pure madness.
And I think reasonable people out there need to recognize this for what it is — the triumph of fear porn over logic.
The data that goes viral on social media often isn’t data at all, it’s outlier anecdotal fear porn, not the true data.
“Thank you for pointing out some of the madness going on in our country right now. I am so glad to know I am not the only one who feels like he is taking crazy pills. The world is going nuts right now.
Would you please use your legal knowledge to talk about what, I believe, is maybe the craziest abuse of power yet. Governor Inslee from Washington is going to put people under house arrest (not even able to go to the grocery store but they would be “kind” enough to deliver them for you) if they refuse contact tracing. It’s insane.
I can not believe that in the United States of America people would think it is a good idea to put someone under house arrest without a trial and without a legislative body passing a law because they had the nerve to eat at a restaurant and didn’t want to have their privacy violated over going out to eat. Besides the gross moral and legal implications, is this also a HIPAA violation? Would love to hear you your thoughts on this, and please shine a national light on this absurdity. Keep fighting the good fight!”
Despite the fact that I have a law degree, I don’t claim to be an expert on all matters of legality. Especially when, as here, we’re talking about a bevy of different city and state statutes at play all over our country and when there isn’t a recent federal court precedent directly dealing with these issues either.
In all of these cases the individual facts would matter a great deal and so would the individual city and state regulations.
But I agree with the reasoning of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which recently struck down the governor’s stay at home order. Just because there’s a virus doesn’t mean the Constitution doesn’t still exist. Our Constitutional rights are even more important in times of crisis, not less. Just because some people are willing to give away their freedoms the moment the government requests they do so doesn’t mean all of us are legally bound to do the same.
Leaving aside the fact that the medical basis for many of these directives is unsound, I believe many of these orders being issued by governors and mayors seem entirely without support under the framework of our state and federal constitutions.
I’ll give you an example, the city of Los Angeles’s mayor just issued an order that everyone who goes outside has to have a mask on. How in the world is this within his power as the mayor? I mean, he can give a health recommendation for sure, but mandating that every single person who is jogging, surfing, gardening or throwing a football with their kids has to wear a mask outside while doing so is absolute insanity.
Furthermore, what’s the penalty going to be for a violation? Are you going to be put in jail if you refuse to wear a mask in LA while you’re out jogging? Are the police going to arrest surfers out in the ocean if they don’t have masks on? It’s madness.
I’m terrified by how many people just blindly comply with rules like these But I’m even more terrified by the people who don’t just follow the rules themselves they TAKE PICTURES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE JOGGING WITHOUT A MASK AND TELL ON THEM!
It’s absolute balderdash.
Dr. Chris writes:
“The police broke up a neighbor’s outdoor gathering for a graduation due to “lack of social distancing,” which is a clear violation of the freedom of assembly. How do we deal with these situations respectfully when police are clearly in the wrong?”
First, I wouldn’t blame the police here. They are being instructed to enforce new rules or regulations in their cities and states. They didn’t implement the policy and they aren’t constitutional law experts. They are just doing what they are being instructed to do by their bosses.
Second, I don’t know all the details here. Facts matter a great deal. Was the gathering in a public park or a private individual’s yard? This impacts the outcome. If you’re in a public park you have fewer legal protections than if you’re in your backyard, for instance.
But let’s say you are in this situation and you want to make a statement. Well, if the police showed up at your house and said the private graduation party you were having for your family in your own backyard violated social distancing rules and you had to break it up, I’d suggest calmly informing the police that you weren’t going to do that and they were welcome to arrest you. If they decided to arrest you, you should have that arrest filmed on a cell phone and calmly state for the camera exactly what you were being arrested for so there was clear evidence of the arrest. Then you could fight the arrest in the courts.
Now this would be expensive, but if you’re wealthy enough to have the resources to fight an arrest like this I’m confident you would ultimately win your court case. But it might take a while. (Most likely the city or state would drop this arrest case and not prosecute because their top lawyers would know they were going to lose this case as well.)
The truth of the matter is this, we need regular citizens to stand up to these rules and regulations and defeat them in court. The reality is most of these cases would be decided long after the “emergency” of the coronavirus outbreak passes, but I think we need to get as many precedents on the books to limit the draconian overreach of mayors and governors in many of the cities and the states across this country.
There is no recent legal precedent for vast overreaches of authorities like these, but there can be one for the next time a situation like this arises.
“Hope all is well, man. The past two weeks I have turned on the notifications when you tweet cause you seem to be the only guy in media that isn’t telling the rest of us that the world is ending and we are never going to be able to go outside again.
Lately, as the testing increases and the number of daily cases go down, the “doom and gloom” crowd has been saying things like “The second wave is coming this fall.”
In the beginning of this whole spread of the virus, all of the scientific experts said that weather has zero impact on the virus. If the “second wave” isn’t going to come this summer when we begin to open up and come in the fall instead wouldn’t that be acknowledging that the virus would be slowed down immensely during the hot days of summer and return during the cooler fall days?
Just something that has been bothering me the last couple of days.”
This is a great point.
By arguing there will be a second wave of the virus in the fall or winter, you’re effectively acknowledging the summer weather will diminish the virus substantially.
To be fair, however, most medical experts appear to have expected the virus will wane during the summer. That’s because most viruses similar to this coronavirus do this. (We don’t know for sure because the virus has never been present in America during the summer before).
Most in the media have refused to discuss the likely seasonality of the virus because President Trump opined as much several months ago. And they hate Trump so much they don’t want to admit he’s correct about anything.
That’s why I believe by late summer this virus will be mostly stamped out.
“What are your thoughts on the MLB season? I feel like even if there are safe solutions in place, the owners/union will not be able to come to an agreement on how to work out the financials.”
“If the MLB has to cancel its season over a money dispute, is that the biggest failure by an entire league in sports history? IMO, both players and owners look really bad right now.”
Here’s a big part of my thoughts that I shared yesterday on this issue.
“Major League Baseball lost me in 1994. If baseball players do not come back because they want too much money — and a 50/50 split seems legitimate to me — then why should I buy a MLB ticket when the economy is roaring again?” — @ClayTravis pic.twitter.com/S5bdxfE52H
— Outkick the Coverage (@Outkick) May 15, 2020
“I don’t know Blake Snell but he’s an idiot. You’re not risking your life by playing baseball, ‘bro.’ You are more in danger of dying from driving to the grocery store or getting struck by lightning than dying from the coronavirus. This guy is an imbecile.” — @ClayTravis pic.twitter.com/aIdcKdWfNt
— Outkick the Coverage (@Outkick) May 15, 2020
My big takeaway is this — we are in unprecedented times for sports. There are over 36 million people who have lost their jobs and many of the people left with jobs have taken substantial pay cuts. So baseball players, who are millionaires, fighting with owners, who are all billionaires, over how much money they will be making is a really bad look right now.
You’re not going to find much sympathy out there.
I haven’t talked about it publicly at all until this week, but I took pay cuts for both radio and TV because the advertising market has completely disappeared in this country. I mean, it just went away completely in April.
My pay cuts in radio and TV were both voluntary — I have contracts that guarantee my pay so I didn’t have to take them — but I wanted to do my part to help keep the number of people who lose their jobs at my companies to a minimum. I know that I’m relatively fortunate and I want to try and keep the misfortune from spreading to as many others I work with as I possibly can. The point here is, I took less than I was contractually obligated to receive in order to try and help in a time of economic crisis.
And you expect me to be sympathetic for athletes who aren’t willing to do the same?
There are tens of thousands of team and league employees who don’t make much money, guys and girls who owe their jobs to the athletes playing. I’m sorry, I have zero sympathy for the athletes right now.
I’ve continued to do my daily radio show for two months despite there being no sports. I’ve gotten up at 4:30 every morning and done the show because I think it’s important for people with audiences, people like me, to help maintain a sense of normalcy for our audiences out there, people struggling with unprecedented challenges in their lives. It may sound hokey, but I think it’s important right now for people like me to be on the radio so when people put on their radios or check their podcast downloads, I’m there talking to them like I always am.
I think the same thing is true of major league baseball teams and players. Fans want games back to watch. But fans won’t be in the stadiums, at least not at first. That means teams are going to make far less money than in a normal season. In these uncertain times what’s the best way to handle this? Given that owners have no idea how many games will be played or whether the season will finish, it seems eminently reasonable and fair to split revenues between the owners and the players for this year and this year alone.
If MLB players don’t consider that to be a good enough deal for them, they don’t have to work. I’m sure there are thousands of minor leaguers who would be ecstatic to get called up to play a shortened major league season.
If players are afraid of death, like this idiot Blake Snell, who said, “Bro, I’m risking my life,” then he’s entitled not to play. But he should also be ridiculed to the high heavens for not realizing basic probabilities. He’s more likely to die driving to work than he is from the coronavirus. Hell, he’s probably more statistically likely to die playing the sport and having a line drive hit him in the head while he pitches.
If baseball doesn’t come back, I’ll definitely choose not to buy tickets for the next couple of years. If you weren’t willing to be there for me in the bad times, why should I support you in the good times?
Are there many other people like me out there? Yeah, I think there are.
Baseball better come back.