"I fear that many Americans will resist getting vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus," Dr. Lauren S. Grossman writes at Stat. "To put this scourge behind us, I believe that our nation should, for the first time ever, require all Americans — or at least schoolchildren and workers in direct-contact jobs — to be vaccinated against this coronavirus."

One laudable side effect of the COVID-19 panic is a nationwide effort to promote "vote by mail" as a universal alternative to standing in line at polling places. One reason that effort is laudable is that it would likely decrease vote-fraud. Yes, I said "decrease." And Republicans were saying the same thing until recently.

On May 3, a group of around 60 mercenaries attempted an amphibious landing at Macuto, on Venezuela's Caribbean coast. They were quickly defeated and 13 of them — including two Americans, Airan Berry and Luke Denman — captured. US president Donald Trump has denied any association with, knowledge of, or involvement in the affair on the part of the US government.

Writing at Reason magazine, Eric Boehm notes two trends revealed in data released by Apple and Foursquare. Trend One: Americans began reducing their outings and social interactions before, not because of, "shelter in place" orders issued by grandstanding, opportunistic politicians. Trend  Two: Americans started coming back out and resuming something like normal life before, not because, those politicians started lifting those orders.

"Remember $2 gas?" former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asked in 2012 as he sought the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Politicians love to remind us of low gas-prices in the past and promise their return in the future. But in early April, Reuters reports, US President Donald Trump threatened to severely curtail the US government's military relationship with Saudi Arabia unless the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reduced oil output to drive prices back UP.

On April 28, US Representative Justin Amash (?-MI) launched a presidential "exploratory committee."  He wants to take on Republican incumbent Donald Trump and Democratic nominee-apparent Joe Biden this November as the nominee of the Libertarian Party. If this was a "straight news" story instead of an op-ed, the first paragraph above would be known as the "lede" — an introductory paragraph summarizing the most important facts the story covers.

On April 25, 2020, US president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin issued a joint statement commemorating the 75th anniversary of "Elbe Day" — the day, presaging the end of World War 2 in Europe, when Russian and US troops met near the German towns of Strehla and Torgau. The Wall Street Journal reports that this congenial interaction between the two presidents "stirs concern among" members of Congress and officials at the US Departments of State and Defense.

Are you an "essential worker" who needs to be on the job? Do you run a "non-essential" business" that's required to close and isn't eligible for a government bailout? When you leave your home is it for "essential travel" or are you engaging in "non-essential activity?" "Essential" versus "non-essential" may be the single most significant word-pairing that's come out of the COVID-19 panic and its associated shutdowns, lockdowns, and shakedowns.

The precautionary principle, per Wikipedia, is "a strategy for approaching issues of potential harm when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. It emphasizes caution, pausing, and review before leaping into new innovations that may prove disastrous."

"The costs of the pandemic keep piling up," writes Marc Thiessen at the Washington Post. "Somebody has to pay for this unprecedented damage. That somebody should be the government of China." And why, pray tell, should China's government be punished? For "intentionally lying to the world about the danger of the virus, and proactively impeding a global response that might have prevented a worldwide contagion."

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