by Aliza BasMenachem
Tucker Carlson is a popular television host with a wide-reaching audience. On October 5, 2020, in response to Governor Cuomo threatening to “…Close the religious institutions. Period”, Tucker responded, “Who do you think you are, G-d?”
Then he continued, “Many of the services being shut down, by the way, are the Orthodox Jewish communities. They haven’t been playing along, TO THEIR GREAT CREDIT.” [The words are Tuckers, the emphasis is mine.]
I am concerned that members of the Chabad community are overly, and in many cases mistakenly, worried about what impression Crown Heights is making, when seemingly, other communities are abiding dutifully to Covid-inspired rules.
In addition to Tucker’s praise, supportive comments were made on Twitter under the video of the Sukkos dancers. The video was retweeted by US Congressman Dan Crenshaw, among others, with approval and praise.
Today, October 7, 2020, Ben Shapio’s news website, The Daily Wire, posted an article entitled “Thousands Of Health Experts Sign Declaration Calling For End To Lockdown, Warn Of ‘Irreparable Damage’”, by Tim Pearce. As of this morning 73,100 medical practitioners have signed on to the Declaration.
Pearce quotes from the declaration. “’As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection,’ the declaration begins.
“’Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice,’ it continues.” [End of quote.]
Greater understanding of Covid19 and the development of remedies, have changed the circumstances from when the first shut down was initiated. At first, there was, understandably, widespread shock and widespread death. According to reports I read, the death rate was projected to be 3 or 4 percent. Now we know the death rate is different according to age group and that even the elderly are expected to have less than a one percent death rate, depending on existing health issues. It is telling that the Mayor and Governor are basing their rules on rates of new cases. The vast majority of new cases do not carry severe risk, because the risk is lowered due to new treatments. They cannot use numbers that reflect the actual risk of Covid19, because those numbers are too low to instill fear and compliance.
Dr. Scott Altas, neuroradiologist, professor, and health care policy advisor, addresses the topic of Deaths of Despair in numerous articles and interviews. He calculates not just loss of life, but loss of life expectancy, thereby putting a value to causes of reduced life expectancy, even if life is not immediately terminated. The shutdown is known to cause depression, alcohol use, abuse and other issues that reduce wellbeing and shorten life spans. The virus is deadly and the lockdown is deadly. By some measures, the lockdown is more deadly. And now, we have a good chance of rescuing our vulnerable loved ones through improved medical treatment of the virus.
Some doctors recommend shutdown, others do not. Some people will be horrified that Chassidim are dancing on Sukkos. Tucker Carlson and his audience think it’s to our ‘great credit’!
Years ago, when I was introduced to Chabad, I was horrified when we celebrated Yud Tes Kislev. What? A Rabbi in jail? I calmed down when I learned the history… And I can’t help but question if the spirit of Our Rebbes, who defied authorities, would want us being complacent today. Tucker went on to question the legality of the shutdowns. We have had to fight in court to put up giant Menorahs. We may have to fight so we can dance on Sukkos. SIMCHA BREAKS ALL BARRIERS! MOSHIACH 2020!