Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National
Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21


Featuring the Work and Ideas of the National Center for Public Policy Research & Project 21

COVID-19 Exposes Failing Medical Regulation

COVID-19 Exposes Failing Medical Regulation
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Government intervention has led to an increased mortality rate.

That’s the key finding of a new study that National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen Ph.D. profiles in an article published by the Heartland Daily News. Put simply, bureaucrats were not ready for the COVID-19 pandemic. And those states that have developed workarounds to these laws are now experiencing an increased mortality among sick residents.

Certificate of Need (CON) laws exist in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Because they give government bureaucrats the ability to control spending in certain health care institutions, Bonner notes that these laws “artificially restrict the expansion of medical facilities, equipment (including hospital beds) and services.” This power comes from a 1974 law – the “National Health Planning and Resources Development Act” – designed to ensure an equitable balance of resources and therefore improve access for the poor.

But the study, conducted by university economists for the research platform SSRN, found that “these laws were not designed to prepare for health care demand surges such as what we have seen with the recent pandemic.”

Bonner explains that the study – “Certificate-of-Need Laws and Healthcare Utilization During COVID-19 Pandemic” – found that “CON laws limit access to beds, respirators, ambulatory services, and CT/MRI imaging – resources crucial to the care of COVID and non-COVID patients,” and that it “sheds light on how scarce resources are distributed during a time of increased demand by patients” due to CON constraints.

In a further description of the study’s findings, Bonner writes:

The study found that when comparing states that have reformed their CON laws with states that have not, mortality in states with a high hospital or ICU bed utilization for non-COVID related illnesses was “substantial and significant.”…

Additionally, the researchers found that, in states with high ICU bed utilization that subsequently reformed their CON laws in order to increase acquisitions of medical equipment, 11 lives per 100,000 residents were saved weekly from COVID.

One of the researchers, Sriparna Ghosh of the University of Cincinnati Blue Ash, said that this study shows how “[i]nefficient and burdensome regulations are costing American lives.” By reforming or repealing CON laws altogether, “we can allow providers to stockpile crucial equipment they need for unexpected surges in demand for health care, minimizing additional lives lost through stressed markets and inefficient purchasing systems that require government permission to proceed.”

Click here to read all of Bonner’s article – “Certificate of Need Laws Kill People, Study Finds” – at the Heartland Institute’s Health Care News website.

Anti-Science Liberals Play Risky COVID Politics

Anti-Science Liberals Play Risky COVID Politics
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Things are looking up in the fight against COVID-19. But you wouldn’t think so from the rhetoric coming from liberal politicians and their establishment media cheering section.

Throughout the pandemic, efforts to find a vaccine to bring the virus under control and to mitigate overall harm have been highly politicized. As National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., points out in a commentary for The Epoch Times, this is coming at a large, unnecessary and tragic human cost.

At the moment, and announced shortly after the presidential election, two vaccines exist that offer a high rate of effectiveness in treating COVID-19. And the vaccine that is made by Pfizer, Bonner notes, would “vindicate the Trump Administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed,’ which mobilized the federal public-health bureaucracy to approve vaccines and other treatments in record time.”

But prior to the election, possible vice president-elect Kamala Harris and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo both made clear they were in the anti-vax camp if a vaccine came out of a Trump Administration. It’s a pathetic example of how liberals seem unwilling to let science escape the grip of politics. Bonner notes:

The prospect of a vaccine just around the corner comes at a time when the public discussion over how to deal with the pandemic has become politicized to the point that dissident opinions, however well-argued and supported by real-world data, are being attacked. Just as the moniker “climate deniers” is routinely hurled at scientists questioning the theory of human-caused global warming, those recommending therapies and other measures out of step with received opinion are met with a barrage of slings and arrows.

As an example, Bonner cites the Great Barrington Declaration. This document “recommend[s] concentrating efforts on the most vulnerable – the elderly with underlying conditions – while allowing others to lead more or less normal lives until, either through vaccines or other therapies, herd immunity is reached.” It has been signed by tens of thousands of scientists and medical practitioners worldwide.

The Great Barrington Declaration seeks to end the collateral damage of COVID-19 lockdowns while also reducing virus-related mortality “includ[ing] 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.” Yet the document, Bonner writes, was “quickly met with derision in certain quarters” like the World Health Organization bureaucracy, the liberal establishment and the media elite.

Bonner explains that this opposition was based on false pretenses:

What these critics of the declaration have in common is portraying herd immunity as a costly strategy to suppress the virus when, in fact, it is the goal. Herd immunity, also known as “public Immunity,” denotes the point at which the rate of new infections is stable. The declaration’s authors are simply arguing that the measures taken to suppress COVID-19 have not only failed but have themselves undermined public health and destroyed livelihoods. As the authors put it: “Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.”

On an alarming note, this anti-science, pro-lockdown mindset may already have a foothold in the White House. Should Joe Biden be certified the winner of the election, the COVID-19 transition team he’s already selected contains at least two strong lockdown advocates. Dr. Michael Osterholm has called for a draconian lockdown to last four to six weeks. And Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who previously suggested people over 75 should deny themselves lifesaving care, has pushed for a similar scenario in which businesses are closed and people remain at home.

To read all of Bonner’s Epoch Times commentary – “Suppressing Medical Debate Over COVID-19 Will Only Prolong the Disease” – click here.

Horace Cooper Roasts Hypocritical Liberal Politicians: “Caviar for Me, Limits for Thee”

Horace Cooper Roasts Hypocritical Liberal Politicians: "Caviar for Me, Limits for Thee”
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When elected leaders like California Governor Gavin Newsom issue draconian restrictions that will effectively cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans for many families, it’s extremely hypocritical when he is found celebrating the birthday of a political crony at one of the most expensive and exclusive restaurants in the world.

“Caviar for me, limits for thee,” declared Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper on the Fox News Channel program “Fox News @ Night.”

Host Shannon Bream said that it is “hard for people to swallow” the prospect of no Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations due to COVID-19 restrictions when there are many examples like Newsom’s out there.

Liberal PAC leader Ethan Bearman responded by claiming that there is “no leadership out of Washington” on the pandemic. He suggested that the Trump Administration has hindered the promotion of recommendations such as wearing masks, social distancing and the washing of hands, and by doing so forced the imposition of these lockdowns.

But Bream asked, “Who’s mocking and making fun of [preparedness] if [politicians] go out and do things that they’re telling us not to do?”

One instance of liberal politicians saying one thing and doing another is Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who sought a lockdown of the Windy City after openly rallying for Joe Biden after the election because she said people “need to have relief.” Another is Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who broke her own travel ban and quarantine rules, calling it “essential travel” to go to Biden’s victory party.

In rebutting Bearman, Horace explained:

If you’re going to make the kind of demands that we’re seeing,…  you [need to] lead by example.

That’s far worse – this hypocrisy – than any undermining of the overall effort that we’re attributing this this administration.

And speaking of crowds, Horace gave his firsthand observations of both the size and the good behavior of the recent D.C. rally supporting President Trump, contrasting it with major liberal gatherings of the past:

I actually was in law school here in Washington, D.C. when the [Louis Farrakhan] Million Man March came to town. This was bigger.

When you look at what happened during the inauguration week during 2016 – with the people wearing the pink hats – this was multiple times bigger.

The thing about it is – like you have seen in some other settings like when the Tea Party held some of their marches – the places looked better when they left than when they arrived. You don’t see a mess. And, most importantly, you didn’t see fires. You don’t see looting. And it wasn’t until dark that these elements that have been terrorizing our cities all summer showed up and began to act out.

This is quite telling.

With regard to behavior, Seattle talk radio host Jason Rantz added that he was “not shocked” when Bream showed video of Antifa/Black Lives Matter militants throwing lit fireworks into the outdoor seating area of a D.C. restaurant in an effort to harass Trump supporters after the rally.

Obama Says Do Better at What We Didn’t Do at All

Obama Says Do Better at What We Didn’t Do at All
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As part of the press tour promoting his latest memoir, former President Barack Obama sat down with “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley to talk about – among other things – America’s alleged systemic racism.

After Obama called American history a “legacy of discrimination and Jim Crow and segregation that we’re all responsible for,” Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington deemed his declaration “disappointing.”

In the interview, Obama said that “we can all do better on this front than we’ve been doing.”

Responding to this on the Newsmax program “Wake Up America,” Stacy simply asked host Rob Schmitt:

First of all, how can you – Rob – or me – Stacy – do better in stopping criminals from having improper interactions with the police?

Good question!

Stacy noted that there are often perfectly justifiable explanations for police-involved shootings that are being overlooked by Black Lives Matter activists and their media enablers:

Look, there have been a couple of unauthorized or unjustified police-involved shootings. But, for the most part, we’re talking about individuals who were interacting with the police because they have committed a crime or are suspected of committing a crime. And then, after that, things go wrong when they fail to follow police orders.

So how are you – Rob – and me – Stacy – responsible for that?

How indeed. Stacy also pointed out that Obama is talking down to the American people when he heaps racial guilt on them when, as she previously explained, actual responsibility for perceived offenses is tenuous:

Every time [Obama] comes back to peddle a new thing he’s selling, [remember] he’s in the most elite part of America…

This is not you and me talking. This is an elite individual lecturing us about what we can do to make things better for criminals. I’m not accepting it.

Another thing that came up in the “60 Minutes” segment was that this almost might not have been. Obama almost didn’t run. That would have been preferable to Stacy:

Every time he comes out, I’m more disappointed.

I wish he’d followed Michelle’s advice. She told him not to run.

Think of how great America would be if he had taken that advice!

Profits Imperiled by Youthful Politics

Profits Imperiled by Youthful Politics
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In his quest for a home in an area devoid of virtue-signaling signs, Free Enterprise Project Deputy Director Scott Shepard is also looking for someplace where the kids will keep off his lawn.

He wasn’t always this way. He grew into it. Just like the kids he wants off his property now will follow his lead and similarly want their lawns clear of future generations.

But what is really bugging Scott is that this common evolution of personal priorities and preferences seems to be lost on today’s corporate leaders. Their desire to placate the woke generation, he warns, could pose dire consequences to the American economy and future opportunity and prosperity.

In a Townhall commentary, Scott calls out CEOs for succumbing to the will of “agitators” within the company rank-and-file who “don’t give a hoot about corporate profits” and who will “send their customers stomping” away as they hector management into helping them pursue their “woke” agendas. Scott says the assumption that millennials are “irreparably woke” and will never change is just plain dumb; if history is any judge, this is hardly ever the case:

Only a moron in a hurry could swallow this argument for even a moment. Who has not heard the old saw, usually ascribed to Winston Churchill (but that he may have adapted from Disraeli), that “any man under thirty who is not a liberal has no heart, and any man over thirty who is not a conservative has no brains?”

But we need not look back so far. The evidence is all around us.

The hippies of the Age of Aquarius, most of whom are still amongst us, transformed by 1982 into the yuppies of the Reagan Renaissance. Fourteen years of living with the consequences of their own youthful beliefs – the civil decay and economic deterioration that resulted from the ever-encroaching statism of the late ‘60s and ‘70s – ended that generation’s naïve fancies of youth and left them supporting smaller government, less regulation and more liberty.

The case will be the same again.

Yet the “performative wokeness [that] hamstrings corporations” is currently on full display. Citing the worlds of entertainment and professional sports “because the wokeness in these industries has been so obvious,” Scott notes the disastrous ratings declines for the Emmys, the NBA and the NFL. These ratings injuries are self-inflicted by misguided leaders who embrace political messages because they feel they must in order to cater to the youth and their workforce.

“It would be folly of the firing sort,” Scott writes, “to make long-term corporate decisions on the presumption that this generation will be the first never to shift across the political spectrum as it ages and learns.”

Before jumping feet-first into a sea of uncertainty by catering to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda of the left, Scott suggests that CEOs remember instances of their own misspent youth:

Remember, corporations: the millennials are only beginning their earning and spending power, because they’re only beginning their careers.

By the time the massive wealth transfer the ESGers keep touting has occurred, the scales will have fallen from their eyes. And they, like their elders today, will have little time for companies that let themselves be discommoded by the underinformed radical poses of youth.

And stay off Scott’s lawn!

To read all of Scott’s commentary – “Woke Companies, Stop Pandering to Millennials’ Socialism Phase” – at the Townhall website, click here.

Colleges Cash in on Chinese Cooperation

Colleges Cash in on Chinese Cooperation
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American colleges and universities have been raking in billions from foreign governments such as China, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But they haven’t been reporting these donations like they are required to do by law.

Now that Trump Administration Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has shown an interest in finding out just how much foreign influence may be affecting American higher learning, institutions that were once lax in their methods are now rushing to comply and disclose their international benefactors.

Derryck Green

As the U.S. Department of Education investigates a dozen elite universities for previously-unmentioned links to other governments, Project 21 member Derryck Green welcomed the newfound transparency – seeing it as a warning about how much academia may be beholden to potentially hostile foreign powers.

In an interview for American Family Radio’s OneNewsNow, Derryck told correspondent Bob Kellogg:

These foreign countries are able to pay off, in essence, top-tier universities. We have to question what our students are learning while they’re there and what they’re taking out into the world once they graduate.

Reporting on the findings, DeVos said: “We found pervasive noncompliance by higher ed institutions and significant foreign entanglement with America’s colleges and universities.” And the majority of these funds went to the most prestigious schools.

Under the terms of the Higher Education Act, administrators must report all foreign donations of over $250,000 received from foreign governments. Findings so far show schools have taken in a total of $19.6 billion in foreign donations and contracts – including $3.1 billion from Qatar, $1.5 billion from China and $1.1 billion from Saudi Arabia.

Investigators from the Department of Education found the donations – oftentimes listed in school records as having been made anonymously – “extremely troubling.” Criticizing the irregularities, Derryck added:

I also think that some of these colleges that have deliberately underreported and deliberately not reported the amount that they receive be fined in a way that they cannot accept for a certain amount of years federal money for student loans.

To read the entire OneNewsNow article, click here.

Biden’s Paris Pledge Provides Chinese Advantage Over America

Biden’s Paris Pledge Provides Chinese Advantage Over America
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While the United States formally left the Paris Agreement on climate change on November 4, a victory for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign would lead to a quick reversal. This is just what the Chinese government wants. And it would be getting this victory on the cheap.

Abiding by the demands of the agreement has wasted taxpayers’ money and threatened the nation’s gains in energy independence. In a report published by the Capital Research Center (CRC), National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., notes that there are many pitfalls with Biden’s commitment to obligate Americans to the agreement yet again:

Like the Soviets before them, Chinese communists seek to use international agreements and treaties as a conduit for constraining American military and economic power. The Paris Climate Agreement heavily restricts U.S. energy development, which is what Beijing wants. This has both national security and economic implications.

The CRC report alleges that American environmental groups have assisted the Chinese government in pushing the Paris Climate Agreement – with the Chinese seeking American compliance as a means of gaining a strategic advantage. During the Obama Administration (where Biden served as vice president), groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) are said to have worked with the State Department to find ways to enforce the treaty even though treaties require the “advice and consent” of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate in order to be officially enacted.

Bonner says:

NRDC’s opposition to America’s fossil-fuel development aligns with China’s goal of crippling its primary global rival. The Paris Agreement constrains American energy development, which is exactly what the NRDC and Beijing want.

To read Kevin Mooney’s entire article about China, the United States and the Paris Agreement, click here.

Union and Black Lives Matter Unite to Support… Themselves

Union and Black Lives Matter Unite to Support… Themselves
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Organized labor and supporters of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) agenda appear to be “teaming up to allegedly promote the interest of working class blacks.”

But who exactly benefits from this alliance?

Council Nedd

Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II calls this pairing the “height of irony” because neither group has been all that protective of the communities they have already charged themselves with protecting. Both groups, however, could use some support right now because they are similarly suffering – BLM from its radicalism, and unions from their scandals involving their mismanagement.

In a commentary featured on the website, Council notes that an issue that should unite Big Labor and BLM – and which also shows off their callous disregard for their constituencies – is China. Neither has done well in addressing the problems that Chinese encroachment has had on American prosperity:

[A]s jobs in the manufacturing sector left America for China – jobs that paid well and provided great benefits to blacks and whites alike – many union bosses looked the other way. What’s strange is that union leaders opposed China’s ascension into the World Trade Organization under the Clinton Administration and issued stern warnings about the consequences. But that was then, and this is now.

Apparently, what’s done is done…

Where is BLM on this issue? Totally AWOL. The systematic destruction of high-paying jobs held by blacks is apparently a non-issue for them. BLM has yet to engage in any conversation about these job losses – whether to praise Trump Administration policies that have disproportionately benefited blacks or criticize unions for not making a bigger issue out of earlier trade policies that catered to China.

BLM supporters have instead put a higher priority on pushing conspiracy theories that the higher presence of obesity and diabetes in the black community is more consequential than black job losses caused by acquiescence to China undermining the U.S. labor market.

Rather than being introspective on their deficiencies, Council notes their decision to begin “joining forces to bolter each other” instead tends to enhance their weaknesses:

Union members rely on their leadership to protect their rights and fight for their best interests. BLM claims that it’s doing the same for blacks.

Yet when corruption and greed are the agenda for these groups, it seems the average American worker and their families – black and white – suffer.

Among Council’s examples is a scandal-plagued Teamsters organizer in Georgia who is now embracing BLM rhetoric despite no apparent interest in the past for black politicians or their campaigns.

Click here to read all of Council’s piece – “Unions and BLM Activists Feign Support for Blacks” – at the website.

Post-Election Politics of Personal Destruction

Post-Election Politics of Personal Destruction
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Despite currently holding the lead and believing that they have prevailed in the recent presidential election, there is little magnanimity on the part of the left. So much for Abraham Lincoln’s post-election aspiration of “malice toward none, with charity for all.”

Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper called this current behavior “really, really sad.”

In an appearance on the Fox News Channel program “Fox News @Night,” Horace and liberal podcaster Tezlyn Figaro discussed the post-election political climate and the continued – and possibly amplified – anger of the leftist mob, which is now demanding groveling apologies and apparently desiring to punish conservatives for the views they hold.

Host Shannon Bream presented examples of the politics of personal destruction being practiced by the left. This includes “enemies lists” aimed at minimizing Trump supporters’ ability to work and their ability to participate in future policymaking, and Maoist denunciations of past views and opinions.

Figaro tried to justify liberals’ pre- and post-election behavior, claiming that they have “tried to take the high road.” Now the left is choosing to “fight fire with fire,” she said.

“Fire” might be the most appropriate term to use – unfortunately for her, since it exposes the boorishness of the left. Having just gone through the experience of Washington, D.C. and many other metropolitan areas boarding up in anticipation of leftist violence after the election, Horace mused about this alleged parity in right-left behavior: “I’m just waiting to see – where are all the riots?”

Putting it into more perspective, Horace added:

I watched what happened this summer. I watched looting. I watched rioting. I watched – even – a DNC convention where nobody stood up to denounce this behavior…

But when the left won… [A]pparently it’s the right – the red part of the country – that needs to apologize.


Project 21 Co-Sponsors Black-Jewish Relations Discussion

Project 21 Co-Sponsors Black-Jewish Relations Discussion
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Join Project 21 for an interactive online discussion aimed at reestablishing ties between black Americans and Jewish communities – a once strong and productive relationship that increased the freedoms and opportunities of both groups.

Marie Fischer

Moderated by Project 21 member Marie Fischer, “Black and Jewish Relations in America: How Do We Begin to Mend the Rift?” will be held via Zoom on Sunday, November 15 at 7:00pm Eastern. Registration information is available by clicking here.

Project 21 is cosponsoring the event with the JEXIT organization.

Marie describes her reasons for putting together this discussion:

As a woman who straddles the worlds of black and Jewish, I look with disappointment at the very fractured relationship between blacks and Jews in America.

I sit and wonder: How did we get here? How do two groups that had a working relationship from the early to mid-20th century, now seem like a couple going through a vicious and contentious divorce?

Putting blame on one another will not mend the rift, but coming together and truthfully communicating with each other will hopefully begin the healing. Both groups have faced – and continue to face – discrimination and hatred in some form. Personally belonging to both groups, I have dealt with both racism and anti-Semitism. In an ironic twist, I have dealt with more anti-Semitism because many do not expect me to be Jewish.

And, yes, I have heard “you do not look Jewish” too many times to count!

This nonpartisan event is designed to be a discussion and not a presentation. All participants are welcome to engage in the conversation. Special guests already confirmed to participate include Reverend Dean Nelson of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, Rabbi Yaakov Menken of the Coalition of Jewish Values and JEXIT movement founder Michelle Terris.

Marie adds:

The upcoming discussion is something I’ve felt has been needed for some time. After this past year of rising anti-Semitism – 30 acts in the New York City metro area in a 30-day period in December and January, culminating in the death of four Jews – and the death of George Floyd while in police custody, Black Lives Matter being embraced by corporate America and the blatant targeting of religious Jews by many government officials, I felt the time had come.

I am hoping this will be the beginning of mending the rift and restoring the black-Jewish relationship to at least the level of a working relationship.

I feel both groups have overcome so many hardships and have too much in common to let this opportunity pass.

To participate in this important discussion, click here.


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