TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Once again, we ought to celebrate all of this. Fewer hospitalizations are a godsend for this country and as awful as this epidemic has been and will be, at least so far it hasn't been the disaster that we feared. Our health care system hasn't collapsed. That was the key concern. Except in a handful of places, really, it hasn't come very close.
Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them. That was the concern. It happens in other countries, it's not happening here. Thank God for that.
All of this means that the short-term crisis, the ones that we worried about so fervently in which pressure on hospitals grew so exponentially day by day, with no end in sight -- that short-term crisis may have passed. We'll see, but it looks like it may have.
Now it's time to look ahead. If the virus is doing less systemic damage to our system than expected, then presumably we can begin to consider how to improve the lives of the rest, the countless Americans who have been grievously hurt by this, by our response to this. How do we get 17 million of our most vulnerable citizens back to work? That's our task.
Other countries are already hard at work doing it. Adjusted for population, Denmark's coronavirus outbreak has been almost precisely as severe as ours has been here in the U.S. In Denmark, schools and day care centers are scheduled to open next week. The government plans to roll back more restrictions on May 10th. The outbreak in Austria has also been similar in scope to America, per capita. There, the government plans to let small stores reopen April 14 followed by large stores on May 1st and then potentially restaurants and schools in the middle of May.
So, that's what they're doing. We're not doing that here. We are not even talking about doing it because we're not allowed to. Any discussion of how we might transition out of the shutdown back into normal life, for some reason, has become taboo in this country.
Go ahead and raise the question, you'll find yourself denounced as a tool of Wall Street who doesn't care about human life, often denounced by pro-choice activists who are happy cash to accept cash from corporate America -- but the layers of irony are, of course, bottomless.
But we shouldn't be surprised by any of this. This is what happens when public debate, healthy public debate is replaced by memes and mindless partisans on social media define the terms of allowable conversation, as they have.
And so we plowed forward as if the flawed models weren't flawed at all, as if the reality of what is actually happening in our hospitals should play no role at all in the decisions we make going forward. Dr. Anthony Fauci has announced, for example, that Americans must brace for 18 months of shutdowns at the absolute minimum, and if a vaccine isn't found, it could go on forever.
You can't go to church until we have a vaccine. The truth is, we have no choice. Heard that before?
That's a familiar phrase in Washington and it ought to make you nervous. Do what I say, follow my orders without question or complaint, or a million people will die. The oceans will rise, the polar bears will perish, the human race itself will go extinct.
Okay, maybe. These are smart people, we should hear them out, but these are also big decisions. History-changing decisions with consequences we can't even begin to anticipate this far out.
Before we go ahead and alter our lives and our country forever, it is fair to ask about the numbers, their numbers, the ones we acted on the first time, that turned out to be completely wrong. How did they screw that up so thoroughly? That is a fair question.
If they can answer that question, answer it slowly, rationally, in a way that makes sense and suggests a deeper humility going forward as they make more decisions, then that's adequate, that's enough. They are allowed to make more public policy decisions.
But if they can't answer that question, if they dissemble or dodge or attack the people who ask it, then you know they are disqualified forever from influencing our lives. Let's see if they can do it. They should.