Three weeks ago, Rhode Island Women for Freedom and Prosperity conducted a survey of its Members and Supporters about COVID-19 and Rhode Island’s response. The fifth and last question of the survey was the option to offer a comment on the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
With a reasoned approach to reducing the state budget and freeing businesses from unnecessary constraints, Rhode Island can recover from our virus-induced economic malady.
RI’s curve is approaching ZERO! States across America are opening without problem, protesters are allowed large gatherings, jobs and the economy are booming nationally… yet, our RI summer remains locked down. Why?
The Governor has just extended the “state of emergency” and the General Assembly has failed to act on its authority to end this madness, sitting idly by while the wreckage continues to mount.
The shock of employment data in the latest Jobs & Opportunity Index report is big enough… and then one realizes most of the data in the index doesn’t even reflect COVID-19, yet.
The global pandemic has thrust women and men into a new professional world, and RI Women for Freedom & Prosperity Executive Committee member Judith Bowman has some valuable advice.
With about one-billion dollars in anticipated revenue shortfalls, and with recent statements from leading Rhode Island lawmakers indicating a general feeling of helplessness, the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity published a new report this week with proven budget strategies that can help put the state on a long-term trajectory towards prosperity.
The CDC’s current best estimate of the survival rate of COVID-19 is 99.6%. This is a new high for the reported survival rate which has been climbing for weeks.
A short new report from the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity suggests that Rhode Island can take its current setback as an opportunity to plan for a better future.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 27, included talk about:
- Justice Flanders still protecting rights
- Trump v. Gina
- General Assembly… still out
- Mail ballots
- Money for insiders
- No jobs for Rhode Islanders
Employment and labor force are among the first hard data we have of the effects of our state and nation’s response to COVID-19, and they aren’t pretty.
With the governor saying we should have shut down the state sooner and the unemployment rate having skyrocketed to its highest recorded number, daily COVID-19 numbers continue to improve.
Reviewing updated COVID-19 data by age group, especially in light of recent findings about how many people have already had the disease without reporting it, suggests that we can move more quickly to open up and salvage our summer.
The (possibly related) stories about disproportionate COVID-19 cases among Hispanics and COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes fall in a range of topics about which we’re not allowed to have straightforward discussions, and that’s a dangerous problem.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 18, included talk about:
- Providence College kids rebel
- The Catholic bishop sends the governor a message
- Narragansett Town Council considers resistance
- Justice Flanders signals a challenge
- Rally-goers take up the call
- A delay of Phase 2 reopening
- The teachers’ union flexes in Tiverton
Despite a week’s passing since RI entered Phase 1 of reopening, the numbers continue to improve at an accelerating rate, raising questions about the governor’s decision to slow down.
For many Rhode Islanders, summer is our defining time of year; it’s the plug that recharges our batteries and motivates us to make it through another year in our challenging state. The governor needs to know what that is worth to you.
The IFR-S in the US was estimated to be 1.3% …. The overall IFR for COVID-19 should be lower when we account for cases that remain and recover without symptoms.
The inability of Newport hotel owners to make plans points to a failure of Rhode Island’s political system, especially the General Assembly, to make decisions in the correct way.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 11, included talk about:
- The governor’s New Order
- Cops push back
- Protesters push back
- The press pushes back
- Will businesses push back?
- Will the General Assembly push back?
- Elorza gets push-back and stumbles
Perhaps a commerce communications director could craft a better message for anxious business owners, but that wouldn’t be the tone his boss is promoting.
I applaud the decision makers, at all levels of government, that quickly responded to the medical crisis. But health issues only represent one component of the challenges in front of us. We all hunkered down for weeks to ‘flatten the curve.’ Our common goal was to ensure that, as a community, we had enough hospital beds for those most vulnerable. Well, we’ve flattened the curve. (And we know now that the survival rate of COVID-19 in the United States is almost 95%.) Why then are governments having a hard time moving to the next stage during this time of testing? I can only believe that most people were more familiar with the fears and responses to the medical side of the crisis.
Let’s explore the impact on small businesses. Almost half of all employees in the United States work for a small business. In fact, 96% of Rhode Island businesses are small businesses. They are the engine of our economy. Business owners can feel in their bones, the impact of this shutdown on Rhode Island. We owe it to the rest of the citizens of Rhode Island to communicate this feeling.
As COVID-19 numbers in Rhode Island continue to improve, we should note that those at risk from the disease are different from those at risk from an economic shutdown and realize that we may have made a terrible mistake in our response.
My weekly call-in on John DePetro’s WNRI 1380 AM/95.1 FM show, for May 4, included talk about:
- The governor and reopening
- Hospitalization counts
- The General Assembly peeks its head out
- Mattiello and the AG
- Achorn drops from the Providence Journal editorial branch
- A big budget hole