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A fatal conceit

A fatal conceit

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Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas

The on-again, off-again opening and closing of restaurants in Miami has angered restaurant owners. Recently, 30 of them gathered to protest the shutdown order by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, a Republican.

The owners say they have complied with previous dictates limiting them to 50% indoor capacity, hand washing and masks on servers, but still were ordered to close. If such measures are supposed to protect people from getting the virus, why does Mayor Gimenez now deem them insufficient? It makes one wonder if the “experts” and politicians can be fully trusted.

Mitchell Sanchez, co-owner of Latin House, told station WSVN, “It was a decision that was made in haste, definitely with no science backing it.” The owners are angry Gimenez’s decision was made without consulting area mayors, some of whom oppose his edict. After the protest, Gimenez reversed himself, saying outside dining, as well as takeout, would be “allowed,” which underscores for many the arbitrariness of it all.

Some restaurants in South Florida are closed and employees lost their jobs after the last shutdown. Owners in business believe many of them will not survive the current closure.

It is unfair to single out a single and prosperous industry for special treatment when there is no consensus or reason for doing so.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an eye doctor who contracted COVID-19 in March and recovered after self-quarantining, said at a Senate hearing: “It is a fatal conceit to believe any one person or small group of people has the knowledge necessary to direct an economy or dictate public health behavior. I think government health experts during this pandemic need to show caution in their prognostications. It’s important to realize that if society meekly submits to an expert, and that expert is wrong, a great deal of harm may occur ... when we allow one man’s policy or one group of small men or women to be foisted on an entire nation.”

That is a good model. One size doesn’t fit all, and neither should the opinions of a few “experts” dictate to everyone, especially when other scientists and political leaders have differing opinions. The economy and health of the country are at stake and decisions made now could harm or help America for decades.

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