The Coronavirus And Similar Global Issues: How To Address Them

30 05 2020

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

This is the title of my newest law review article that discusses the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and by other names.[2]

Seemingly out of the blue, emanating from China, came the Coronavirus. The world will never be the same. Like earlier pandemics in recorded history such as the Spanish flu—which killed as many as 100 million globally right after World War I—the effects of the Coronavirus may change humankind forever.

Countless numbers may die; the mass suffering may be indescribable; businesses will disappear; lawlessness may reign; and the social, economic and military order of the planet may be altered decisively and irretrievably.  Banks and other financial institutions, and the very fabric of America, may be affected in ways not seen since the Great Depression.

Governmental controls are being imposed and will be implemented in the United States, not experienced since the dark days of World War II.  China launched the Coronavirus, intentionally (as a bioweapon) or inadvertently; and many would argue that it must pay reparations or restitution to the world for having done so, which would likely run into trillions of dollars.

Also, a global boycott of anything and everything from China may ensue, as Americans and their counterparts abroad “vote” with their pocketbooks against the suffering that China unleashed.

 

Xi Jinping and Coronavirus


© 2020, Timothy D. Naegele

 


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-20-5-11). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See Timothy D. Naegele, The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them, 137 BANKING L. J. 285 (June 2020) (Naegele June 2020) (Timothy D. Naegele) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]  


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3 06 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

GOP Convention Will Not Be Held In North Carolina Because Of The Coronavirus

Newsmax.com has reported:

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the Republican convention due to be held in North Carolina in August will have to be held in another state because of social distancing restrictions ordered by the state’s Democratic governor.

In a tweet, Trump said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper “is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised.”

“We are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention,” Trump said.

The squabbling between the GOP and Cooper has reached a fevered pitch this week, with The New York Times reporting earlier Tuesday that the Republican National Committee had begun actively looking at alternative sites for its nominating convention in August.

According to the Times report, officials planned to visit Nashville this week. Other cities under consideration, according to a Republican official cited by the news organization, include Las Vegas, Orlando, Jacksonville and sites in Georgia.

Trump and other Republican officials had been pressing North Carolina for reassurances that they could stage a large-scale, traditional convention, without the burdens imposed by masks and social distancing.

But with virus cases growing in North Carolina and hospitalizations still climbing, Democrat Cooper sent a letter to Republican officials on Tuesday that “the people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity.”

Even before the president’s tweet about pulling the event from North Carolina, there were signs that things would go that way. Earlier in the day, The Times had reported, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the RNC, let North Carolina officials know there was a strong possibility the event would be moved.

The event is scheduled for Aug. 24-27. It is not known if relocating it will affect the scheduling.

Democrats’ convention is set for Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee, but there has been discussion of a scaled-back or virtual event because of the pandemic.

See https://www.newsmax.com/us/convention-gop/2020/06/02/id/970253/ (“Trump Says Republican Convention Will Not Be in North Carolina“) (emphasis added)

A careful review of my new law review article about the Coronavirus is warranted.

See Timothy D. Naegele, The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them, 137 BANKING L. J. 285, 303-305 (June 2020) (https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/timothy-d.-naegele.pdf) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]

The decision of when to reopen and how fast should be a medical decision, not a political decision. Obviously, President Trump and Americans of both political parties are chomping at the bit to get moving again, especially in light of the lockdowns and the riots—which is totally understandable.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/02/history-repeats-itself-thugs-riot-in-america/ (“History Repeats Itself: Thugs Riot In America“)

But the political and medical consensus—which is summarized in my article—concludes as follows:

• China launched the Coronavirus intentionally (as a bioweapon) or inadvertently— this much is indisputable—and it must be held responsible. Clearly, it must pay reparations and/or restitution to Americans; U.S. businesses and other organizations, both large and small; our federal, state and local governments; and to the world for the coronavirus—which will likely run into many trillions of dollars. Nothing less will suffice. Or a global boycott of China must be instituted and implemented.

• There’s a reasonable hope for an effective vaccine by fall 2021—at the earliest. The grim reality is that until a vaccine is found, tested and determined to be safe and effective—and it is administered domestically and globally—no American or anyone else will be totally safe. It is naïve and an illusion to believe otherwise.

Thus, unless there is “social distancing” and other measures taken, holding the GOP and Democrats’ convention in North Carolina or anywhere else is a risky decision.

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6 06 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

Chinese Soccer Superstar Calls For Ouster Of Communist Party, Stunning Nation

This is the title of an important article in the Washington Post, written by Gerry Shih:

Chinese sports stars usually express thanks and offer platitudes about their government — if they address politics and power at all.

Not Hao Haidong.

The retired soccer forward — the Chinese national team’s all-time top goal scorer and an idol in the 1990s and early 2000s — stunned his country this week after he called for the downfall of the ruling Communist Party and the formation of a new government.

In a highly unusual YouTube appearance as part of an apparent publicity campaign by the fugitive billionaire Guo Wengui, one of the Chinese government’s most reviled opponents, Hao read an 18-point manifesto for a vision of a “New Federal State of China.” Sitting for an accompanying hour-long interview alongside his wife, the badminton champion Ye Zhaoying, Hao launched into lengthy criticisms of the government’s handling of almost every domestically sensitive subject: Hong Kong, Tibet, the coronavirus pandemic.

“This Communist Party should be kicked out of humanity,” Hao declared in videos released Thursday, on the politically sensitive ­anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

Coming from an international athlete, Hao’s comments would be fiercely criticized by the Chinese government. Coming from a Chinese soccer legend, they were unthinkable, almost disorienting.

By Thursday afternoon, Hao’s videos had caused a sensation in China even though they appeared on YouTube, a blocked platform. They seemed to confound Internet users and authorities alike. Was the entire episode fake? Should it be condemned or ignored?

Titan, a leading state-run sports website, quickly issued a statement that said: “Hao Haidong has made a speech that subverts the government and harms national sovereignty and uses the coronavirus epidemic to smear the Chinese government and spread falsehoods about Hong Kong. . . . We strongly condemn this behavior.”

Shortly after, the statement was edited to replace Hao’s name, which had become sensitive, with the Roman letter “H.” Hours after that, the statement was removed outright as the government opted to erase all mention of the incident on the domestic Internet, as if it had never happened.

Hao’s Weibo social media account, which had close to 8 million followers, vanished. Hupu, a leading online hangout for Chinese sports fans, warned users against all discussion of Hao’s “harmful remarks.” Then the warning disappeared, too.

Within 24 hours, according to the Internet monitor freeweibo.­com, Hao’s name had become the most heavily censored term on ­Weibo — topping even “6-4,” the perennially censored reference to the Tiananmen crackdown on June 4, 1989.

On Friday, the government addressed the videos for the first time, dismissing Hao’s statements as farce. “I don’t have any interest in commenting,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

Hao, who is believed to live in Spain after retiring as China’s greatest striker, has been known for sharply criticizing Chinese soccer authorities, but not the ruling party itself. At one point in his videos, he says his disillusionment with the corrupt sports system morphed into a deeper discontent. He also lambasted the prevalence of fraud and a lack of social welfare.

His salvo couldn’t be seen as a gauge of popular sentiment toward the party, but Hao is probably the highest-profile Chinese national to speak out so forcefully against the country’s political leadership under the rule of President Xi Jinping.

Hao’s videos amounted to a minor publicity coup for Guo, the New York-based businessman who has been sought by Chinese authorities on a string of charges, including fraud, blackmail and bribery.

After fleeing China, Guo, who once worked closely with top Chinese intelligence officials, refashioned himself in 2017 as an anti-government crusader who promised to topple the Communist Party by revealing its secrets on his YouTube channel. Despite dominating Chinese political chatter in 2017, many of Guo’s disclosures emerged to be unsubstantiated or fake, and his profile waned.

The former real estate developer hired Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and China critic, in 2018 on a multimillion-dollar deal to promote him in the United States, according to Axios.

As Guo’s YouTube channel aired Hao’s videos this week, it also showed Guo and Bannon in a boat in the New York Bay floating in front of the Statue of Liberty, from where Bannon read an English version of a manifesto calling for the creation of a new China.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinese-soccer-superstar-hao-haidong-calls-for-ouster-of-communist-party-stunning-nation/2020/06/05/9ae91df2-a6ec-11ea-898e-b21b9a83f792_story.html (emphasis added)

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18 07 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

It’s Not Safe [UPDATED]

The thoroughly-evil regime of Xi Jinping in China launched the deadly Coronavirus on the world—as a bioweapon or inadvertently—and it must pay with its very existence, just as Adolf Hitler and his “Thousand-Year” Third Reich and Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union ended ignominiously. The same will be true of Russia’s killer and brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/china-must-be-crushed/#comment-25029 (“AG Barr: Chinese Communist Party Seeks To Destroy USA“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“)

As my article above states emphatically, the Coronavirus will not run its course until late in 2021 at the earliest; and between now and then, Americans and others globally will suffer and die from the virus.

See Timothy D. Naegele, The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them, 137 BANKING L. J. 285 (June 2020) (Naegele June 2020) (Timothy D. Naegele) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]; see also https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/507905-young-people-are-increasingly-driving-covid-19s-spread (“Young people are increasingly driving COVID-19’s spread“) and https://apnews.com/b41b3eae4574d3630d6904261ad88871 (“As virus surges in some US states, emergency rooms swamped“) and https://uk.news.yahoo.com/scientists-identify-six-different-types-185531392.html (“Scientists identify six different types of coronavirus with increasing severity levels“) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/its-not-only-coronavirus-cases-that-are-rising-now-covid-deaths-are-too/2020/07/17/193006e8-c868-11ea-8ffe-372be8d82298_story.html (“Virus deaths rise, with records set in hard-hit states“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8538333/Woman-pregnant-twins-intensive-care-ventilator-COVID-19-death-toll-set-soar.html (“Woman pregnant with twins in intensive care on ventilator with COVID-19 as death toll is set to soar“) and https://apnews.com/2fe63502311b576573c791740c3166ce (“Texas coronavirus cases include more than 80 infants“) and https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/07/17/claremont-13-year-old-dies-covid-19-symptoms-maxx-cheng/ (CBS Los Angeles: “Claremont 13-Year-Old Dies After Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms”) and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/21/employment-recovery-going-backward-in-states-hit-hard-by-virus-small-business-data-shows.html (“Employment recovery going backward in states hit hard by virus, small business data shows“) and https://finance.yahoo.com/news/glimpse-fiscal-gloom-bearing-down-100011417.html (“A Glimpse Into the Fiscal Gloom Bearing Down on America’s Cities“) and https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/real-unemployment-rate-21-and-heading-higher (“The Real Unemployment Rate Is 21%… And Heading Higher“)

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13 08 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

Famed Sports Columnist Bill Plaschke Writes About His Bout With China’s Deadly Coronavirus

Plaschke—with whom I used to communicate by e-mail when he covered my alma mater, the UCLA Bruins football team—has written:

It hit me in an inspired bit of irony, at the exact moment I filed my column on the NBA restart opening game between the Lakers and Clippers.

After marveling about the return of the intensity of a live sports event, I literally curled up with the chills.

After celebrating how our local teams renewed their rivalry with exhausted passion, I was so fatigued I could barely walk from my office chair to my bed.

It was a night filled with hope that this country’s long-stalled sports machine was finally chugging its way out of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It was also the night I began showing symptoms that later resulted in a positive test for COVID-19.

Yeah, I’ve got the ‘Rona. Who’d have guessed? After I spent four months writing about how this nasty incurable coronavirus should shut down the sports world, it laughingly shut me down too. It didn’t care that I respected it. It didn’t matter that I used noted scientists to warn sports fans of its perils.

It was as if my ominous words were lifted from the page and injected directly into my veins. In an instant, my fears for others became prayers for myself.

I picked up COVID-19 at the end of July, tested positive a few days later, suffered through it for about a week, and now am quarantining for the rest of this week while waiting for the danger to pass.

I would occasionally hear acquaintances wonder if [the coronavirus] was truly that awful. I can now offer indisputable confirmation. Yes, it really sucks.

I am lucky. I am blessed. According to the latest numbers, I am one of the around 212,000 confirmed cases in Los Angeles County, but I am not among the around 5,000 deaths, and I had the incredibly good fortune to avoid hospitalization.

I basically lived through a really strange and bad flu. You’ve heard the stories, and mine is actually one of the better ones. Many victims would love to be alive to tell such a relatively benign tale. The depth of their nightmare resonates deeply in me now. This column honors their struggle and commemorates their spirit. May we never forget that behind every coronavirus statistic there is unquantifiable human suffering.

. . .

My temperature hovered in the upper reaches of 102. It felt like my head was on fire. One night I sweated through five shirts. I shook so much from the chills I thought I chipped a tooth. My chest felt like LeBron James was sitting on it. My fatigue made it feel as if I was dressed in the chains of Jacob Marley’s ghost. I coughed so hard it felt like I broke a rib.

I would fall asleep in a chair and wake up terrified from a hallucinatory dream where I was chased through a playground by old women with giant heads. During phone calls I would get confused and just stop talking. I would begin crying for no reason. I lost my sense of taste, smell, and five pounds in the first four days.

None of this is probably news to anyone who has read about these cases. Everyone knows what happens, even if they never believe it will happen to them.

But still, there are things about this insidious illness that nobody tells you. There are things that surprised me, things that stick with you long after the fever has spiked and the headaches have stopped.

Nobody tells you about the dread. From the moment my doctor phoned me with the test results, to the moment I am writing this column, I have been scared out of my mind.

I know the minuscule overall fatality percentages. I know the overwhelming odds of survival for a 61-year-old male in good health with no preexisting conditions. It doesn’t matter. Once you realize you have a virus that could kill you and there’s nothing anybody can do about it, you live in constant fear.

. . .

With every trickle of sweat off your forehead, you worry. With every deep cough, you wonder. You check your temperature 53 times every day, and every single time that thermometer is in your mouth, you close your eyes and pray. You stick your finger in the pulse oximeter every hour, and beg for the number to rise.

Then there are the late nights, when your quarantine feels most acute — when you are the most alone. You start coughing into a wet pillow and you can’t stop and your breath becomes ragged and your bed is soaking and you wonder, is now the time? Do you try to drive yourself to the hospital? Do you call an ambulance? Are you just being a baby? You can’t call any friends or family for help because they can’t be exposed. You can’t call your doctor because he’s already told you there’s nothing he can do. You don’t know what to do, so you simmer alone in the darkness doing nothing, paralyzed by fear and chasing your breath and praying that 102.1 does not become 103.1.

The other emotion nobody tells you about is the anger. You followed all the rules, you wore countless masks, you never strayed far from home, you spent four months battling this thing, and still it hits you with a sucker punch.

In my social circles, I was considered among the least likely person to contract the disease because, basically, I abandoned the circles. For four months I avoided all crowded driveway happy hours and cul-de-sac cocktail parties. I didn’t set foot inside my church even during the brief time it was open. I didn’t set foot inside a grocery store as my youngest daughter Mary Clare, who was quarantined with me for most of the summer, did all the shopping.

I wore a mask everywhere. I followed all the rules, but a couple of weeks ago I didn’t follow my instincts. I briefly let my guard down. The coronavirus came out swinging.

The weekend before my symptoms appeared, for the first time in four months, I met friends for two dinners at two socially distanced patio tables. Nobody is required to wear masks at the tables, so I removed my mask when I sat, as did my dining partners, and we left them off during the entire time we were at the table.

I didn’t do anything that was prohibited, right? I was just following the rules, right?

My guess is that I caught it there.

I’m angry not at the coronavirus, but at myself, because I should have known it doesn’t fight fair, because I was stupid enough to relax around it for even a second, and now my mistake could fester in my system forever.

Framed against the sports world of which I write, my illness has further convinced me that organized team sports played outside an NBA or NHL-style bubble don’t have a chance this fall.

This is why all of college football should follow the smart Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences and cancel their seasons. This is why the NFL should shut down training camps before they begin practicing in earnest. This is why baseball needs to get into a postseason bubble if it has any chance of crowning a champion.

I’ve written all this before, and so I write it again with feeling. It didn’t take much for COVID-19 to make my unexciting life hell. Imagine the increased risk for someone who actually hits and hugs and huddles and hangs out with other people?

The novel coronavirus is not a statistic. It’s not an agenda. It’s not a debate. COVID-19 is real enough to rise up and beat me senseless. We need to stop giving it license to do the same to others.

See https://www.latimes.com/sports/story/2020-08-12/column-bill-plaschke-covid-19-experience (“I had COVID-19, and these are the things nobody tells you“) (emphasis added) [Note: I believe the once-venerable Los Angeles Times will follow the path of other newspapers nationally, and go out of business in the future]

Scary . . .

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