COVID-19 – I have questions?


COVID-19 – I have questions?

I am extremely dismayed and concerned at the turn of events regarding our government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead of developing a plan to get people back to work and back to ‘normal’ it seems that the plan is to continue the same measures we have been using for the last 30 days into the future with no end date in view. Given this I decided to put down some of my concerns in writing. I want to begin a discussion with my family and friends about these matters. Hopefully in dialogue with each other we can come up with some insight as to how we should be conducting ourselves in these very challenging days.

Today (Thursday April 16th ), in my state some towns are now getting into the ‘mitigation mandate mode’ and issuing directives regarding what we can and cannot do.

In a quote from the article: “BROCKTON — The mayor and executive health officer have signed an executive order implementing a curfew and restricting nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size in the city beginning Friday night. Mayor Robert Sullivan and Interim Executive Health Officer John McGarry signed the order, which goes into effect at 9 p.m. Friday, on Thursday afternoon. The order does not provide an end date, stating it “shall remain in effect until notice is given” that the public health emergency no longer exists, at the discretion of the mayor and Board of Health. “We signed an executive order to implement a curfew in the city, effective tomorrow night, to further protect the residents of the city,” Sullivan said Thursday afternoon.” (emphasis mine)

Our leaders are saying that they are doing this “to protect the residents of the city

On March 13th Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker banned gatherings of over 250 people in the state as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

On March 15th Baker ordered a more restrictive public gathering plan. Reduced the number to 25 including churches, gyms, clubs etc. He also closed schools

On March 15th Mayor Robert Sullivan of the City of Brockton declared a state of emergency and directed residents of the city to stay home and avoid group activities.

We were told originally that these measures were needed to prevent the overwhelming of our health systems. The information we were given for shutting down in this matter was about “flattening the curve”. The “flattening the curve” as a policy, was outlined as social distancing, locking down, staying at home, in hopes that we could avoid contracting the virus. This is consistent with the guidelines from the CDC (see link) in section entitled “Personal Protective Measures for Everyday Use” ( Reading this section, you will see that the “mitigation measures” being undertaken by our government is right out of the CDC handbook. Please read the section noted above where it says this “Personal protective measures are preventive actions that can be used daily to slow the spread of respiratory viruses “

Question: What measures are being taken that will protect us from COVID-19?

What measures are being taken that will protect us from COVID-19? The only known measure of protecting us from this virus is a vaccine. Development of a vaccine takes time and even with a vaccine, our ‘protection’ is not guaranteed. We have had the flu vaccine for years, and still thousands of people in the country die from the flu every year. According to one article citing the CDC in the 2017 – 2018 winter flu season about 80,000 died from the flu or flu related conditions in the US.

Yes 80,000 deaths from the flu in one season. I have seen other numbers saying 60,000+ in the US. ( Even if we go with the CDC posted ‘estimate’ we are looking at a troubling number of deaths from the flu even with a vaccine available. From these numbers it doesn’t seem likely that we can actually ‘protect’ people from contracting the flu or COVID-19. From these numbers it is clear that some people are going to get the flu and unfortunately despite our best efforts they will succumb to it and die.

In reality the government cannot protect us from getting the virus. They can only slow the rate of infection by these current measures. The truth of the matter is, social distancing, “flattening the curve” was designed for one thing: to prevent overruns at hospitals, by preventing massive numbers of infections it would prevent very sick people from having to go to the hospital. The idea is if too many people get sick at once this would put pressure on hospitals, ICU’s, emergency rooms, staffs that the hospitals couldn’t handle. That’s why we have been doing what we’ve been doing, to avoid stress, to avoid overcrowding, to avoid chaos at the hospitals. These measures were undertaken to protect the resources we will all need if we get COVID-19. Please don’t misunderstand, it is important that we keep in our eyes on the potential to overwhelm this very critical resource.

But is that not what they are telling us now. Now the “flattening the curve” means defeating, stopping, the virus“Keeping us safe”,  “Saving Lives” etc.

Now we are hearing that these measures are needed to “protect’ people from contracting COVID-19. Can anyone in charge tell us how current ‘mitigation measures will defeat, or stop the virus?

Question: Why are we continuing/expanding the same‘mitigation measures’ at this time?

Since these ‘mitigation measures cannot protect us from COVID-19, and only delay the inevitable, what is the justification for expanding the measures further? Now we are being told that we have to keep these things in place until “the public health emergency no longer exists, at the discretion of the mayor and Board of Health”. We are being told that this will ‘save lives’. Shutting people up in their homes, shuttering businesses, throwing society into an economic free fall is an unprecedented and unnecessary reaction to this pandemic. We did not shut down our economy and society over the thousands of flu deaths every year. We did not shut down the society due to the other risks of death we all face every day in our society. Why are we doing that now?

People die every day from many different things. A few numbers to illustrate:

According to the CDC (
Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
• Heart disease: 647,457
• Cancer: 599,108
• Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
• Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
• Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
• Diabetes: 83,564
Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
• Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,633
• Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173

If we just deal with the respiratory related causes on the list, we are looking at a number in the range of 215,873 deaths a year. (keep in mind that these are just estimates) Can anyone recall any time before now that we took such draconian measures in the name of a “public health emergency” ? In my lifetime on this planet the answer is this NEVER. To make matters worse, instead of cutting back on the measures, and getting people back into society we are extending the measures to keep people shut out in an uneasy state of insecurity and anxiety. Unless I am missing something here, why are we continuing/extending the ‘mitigation measures’ at this time? How does this help us to successfully overcome the virus, the pandemic (and panic) which has infected our society physically and mentally. It doesn’t.

Question: Should we be concerned about the amount of power we are conceding to our leaders?

Are we willing to trade an open and free society for some sort of assurance that the government will/can keep us safe? I am beginning to hear from some of our leaders that things will never get back to ‘normal’. If by ‘normal’ they mean none of us will come out of this unaffected, then I agree. If by ‘normal’ they mean we will have to learn to accept some infringements, ‘reductions’, ‘adjustments’ concerning our unalienable rights as citizens in order to ‘ensure’ the safety of everyone, I disagree vehemently. That ‘new normal’ is at odds with the American way of life and the Constitution upon which this great nation was founded. We would do well to remember a statement sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin “ He who would give liberty for the sake of security, will have neither” (paraphrased). For those who would argue that I am being overly pessimistic in this matter I point you to a recent example.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of NY has made it very clear what this ‘new normal’ looks like to him. Keep in mind that NY has more than about a third of all the ‘confirmed’ COVID-19 cases in the country. Because of this and other factors, what NY does will make a big impact on upon what the rest of the nation thinks and does. Let’s examine for a moment what the ‘new normal ‘ looks like according to Governor Cuomo.

If you read the article or watch the video, he is very clear on what he sees is the path to the ‘new normal’. (emphasis mine)

• “Where we’re going, it’s not a reopening in that we’re going to reopen what was. We’re going to a different place,”
• “The economy won’t be able to make a full comeback until there’s a vaccine, which scientists have said will take up to a year and a half, he said.”
• “It’s over when people know I’m 100% safe and I don’t have to worry about this. When does that happen? When we have a vaccine,
• Cuomo said the state will determine which groups of businesses are essential to the economy and which companies are able to protect employees and the public from further spreading the virus.
• Cuomo said that reopening commerce in his state, and the rest of the country, in the absence of a vaccine for the coronavirus would hinge on testing people for Covid-19 and tracing the contacts of those people who test positive.
• The governor repeatedly said that the federal government needs to help expand the capacity for testing, noting that there are not currently enough tests available to do the level of screening that will be needed.”
• “We cannot do it without federal support, and I’ve been saying it for days,”
• “In addition to increasing test capacity, he said the federal government also would have to help states fund what would be “an army” of tracers to identify people who have had interactions with infected people.

I understand ‘going to a different place’. He then describes the place as being a place where the State determines which businesses are essential to the economy, and what businesses are able (approved) to open. The State needs to be satisfied that the (approved) business can protect employees and the public from further spreading the virus. So, the State is going to direct the economy, (at least for now)? The State is going to approve or disapprove what and how businesses can operate? The State is going to monitor the efficacy of businesses to protect employees and the public from COVD-19. ????

That is a lot of power just usurped by the State and the Governor. The justification for this seizure of power is that this is an ‘emergency’ this is a ‘pandemic’ so therefore we should be OK with the State having this kind of power over us. Governor Cuomo also makes clear that we the taxpayers via the federal government are expected to pay for the implementation of his ‘new normal’ plans. Lastly, he advocates for “an army” of tracers to identify people who have had interactions with infected. (his words not mine!) What are they going to do go house to house, testing and force quarantining individuals who test positive, and individuals who came in contact with the infected?

All this without any ‘due process’? All of this without any legislative or judicial action or review? Based on what he said, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom from random search and seizure, and possibly freedom of speech, all suspended just like that? And for what reason? To protect us from COVID-19? To keep us safe?

Just so you don’t think that this is only Governor Cuomo’s vision on the way forward, check out California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan.


Newsom laid out a “road map to recovery” with six factors that he said must be met before restrictions on going to school, doing business and gathering in public can be lifted. They include starting widespread testing that would allow the state to isolate people exposed to the virus and trace people with whom they have come in contact.

• The ability for the state to care for older and medically vulnerable Californians, who are most at risk of suffering severe effects from the virus, as they continue to isolate at home.
• The capacity for hospitals to handle a potential surge in patients, plus resume normal preventive and other medical care.
• The identification of promising treatments.
• The development of guidelines for businesses and schools to allow physical distancing even as they reopen.
• The creation of a data-tracking system that provides an early warning if the state needs to reinstate a stay-at-home order.
• “We need to have a clear system in place so we know not only when we are making great progress, but also when we need to take a step back,” said Sonia Angell, director of the state Department of Public Health.

But even when the lock-down measures are modified, Newsom warned, life will be “anything but” normal. People might need to wear face coverings in public for months, he said, and mass gatherings could be canceled for the foreseeable future, until the state reaches “herd immunity” — the point at which enough people have been exposed to the virus to prevent its transmission — and scientists develop a vaccine.

Governor’s Newsom’s roadmap has some elements that make good sense (focus on testing, looking out for older and medical vulnerable citizens, focus on having proper medical resources, working towards herd immunity).

He also has some elements that are highly questionable. Guidelines for businesses and schools to ‘allow’ (mandate?) physical distancing sounds eerily similar to NY’s ‘determining’ what businesses open, and how they operate. He also advocates for a tracking system to trace and track people and infections. I could be wrong about the extent of the ‘guidelines’ but my experience with government shows me that there is a very thin line between ‘guidelines and ‘mandates’. What starts out as ‘guidelines’ eventually become ‘mandates’ with the power of the law and enforcement to ensure ‘compliance’. Should we be concerned about the amount of power we are conceding to our leaders? I say yes! What do you say?

Question: What practical measures should we be implementing to combat COVID-19?

First and foremost, I would like our ‘leaders’ to level with us about their ability to keep us safe. (they can’t). I realized that many of them have good intentions. But given the current crisis it is not enough to ‘mean well’, they have a responsibility to ‘do well’. How we come out of this will be determined on ‘doing the right things’, not about ‘saying the right things’. If they want us to continue to cooperate then it is past time to stop treating us like children and involve us in the conversation and the solution that affects all of our lives.

Stop with the scare tactics that are being used to mollify the populace!
• Stop with the edicts and mandates that are based on imperfect models and flawed statistics, foisted upon us as ‘science’
• No one expects them to get everything right. But when they get it wrong, they need to acknowledge and change the measures based upon current information.
• They have been wrong about the extent of COVID-19 infection rate, impact upon health systems, death rate, to name a few.
• But the policies that were based on that ‘inaccurate’ information continues?
• We need our national media to do their job also.
• They need to help us hold our leaders accountable for their decisions and become the voice of the people instead of the voice of their own political ideologies.
• Now is the time for the media to step up to the important responsibility they have to be the eyes, ears and the voice of the American people.

Governor Newsom mentioned this thing called ‘herd immunity’. So apparently, he is aware that there comes point in which enough people who have been exposed to the virus greatly reduces or eliminates the impact of the contagion upon the ‘herd’ (us).

I think a case can be made that you actually slow the development of ‘herd immunity’ by the mitigation measures we are currently employing. Perhaps, ‘herd immunity’ holds out a better prospect of saving lives than does continued separation and waiting on a vaccine. If, so why are we not promoting policies that help develop ‘herd immunity’?

We could have used the last 30 days to request those most vulnerable take needed precautions to minimize their exposure to COVID-19. For the rest we would do the same but not lock down the society from functioning. Yes, this approach would involve allowing people to potentially becoming infected ( they may or may not). It would also create an environment in which the body’s immune system could do its job. While doing this  we would also ensure that we have measures in place for testing and early detection and treatment. We would need to have drugs, and hospitals in place to care and treat those who do get sick and need help. But we needed to do those things anyway.  In fact, this is the very thing we have been doing for all of the other flu related pandemics until now.  What is different about this virus that warrants such a different and radical approach?

I believe that Sweden took a similar approach (herd immunity) and did not shut down their economy. Last time I checked they are doing better than many of our States. They certainly are not doing any worse than we are after having implemented social distancing, and a lock-down of our populace.

While there is ‘Science’ behind this approach, apparently for our politicians this measure is not politically feasible.   Why? Why push further and further in the opposite direction under the guise of saving lives and protecting us from COVID-19.

These are my questions, and I really would like to get some answers at this point.

G.W. Manigault

Getting Back to Basics


Here is a clip that expresses my sentiments on the critical issues facing the Black community as it relates to violence and lawlessness.

Please be advised, some of her language may be a bit ‘coarse’  but please listen to the points that she is trying to make.

Unlike the speaker,  I was born and raised in the inner city (Roxbury MA) and have spent almost most of my adult life ministering with and to the people of our community.  Despite this difference, I concur with Sister Stacey’s assessment of the nature of our problems and on her recommendations for what we need to do to address the problems we continue to face as a people.  In fact the week before this was posted I spoke to our Church family about some of these very things she mentions in her post.

She mentions many things in her post.  I would like to highlight just a few.

1. We need to come back to God (Church)

Get back to God, (go back to church) is an appeal for us as a people to turn back to the one thing we know worked and somehow have now forgotten.  We believed and Trusted in Jesus Christ.   His Word and His will were central to our lives.   We need to find our moral compass. For apparently we have certainly lost our way morally (spiritually).

2.  The purpose of the ‘Civil Rights’ movement

The Civil Rights movement was not just a political movement but it was a movement based on solid ‘moral’ principles.  Christian principles of right and wrong.   It was a movement birthed out of our Christian Faith, nurtured by the Word of God and our willingness to obey God rather than man!

We were marching, protesting, and fighting for the rights that other Americans were already enjoying.   We were willing to endure indignities, insults for God’s sake, and risked life, and liberty for the same.  Our struggle was not for new rights, not for spite, not for political advantage, not just to vent our feelings and emotions, and certainly not to incite and encourage others to respond with violence against those who treated us in violent and demeaning ways.   There were some who called for that type of response, but that was not our fight.  We were ridiculed and scorned by many of our own because we responded to hate with forgiveness, and hurt, with kindness and patience.  Our Faith taught us that if we would endure these things that our God would vindicate us and He would fight for us.   “We shall overcome some day” was not a song of empty hope and wishing things would be better,  it was a song that encouraged us to keep the faith, and keep on fighting the good fight of Faith until we achieve the victory that God had promised.

3.  The Police who do bad things should be brought to justice

Because of the nature of their responsibilities the police have to operate at a very high standard of behavior.   When they fail to do so,  they should not be given a pass, but should bear the brunt of the judicial system and process to full extent that the law allows.  We have plenty of laws already in place to address this problem and there is no reason not to enforce these laws against  Police personnel who commit crimes against the citizenry.

4.  As a people we are not being honest with our “Black Lives Matter” mantras and marches, pontificating and protesting.

If “Black Lives Matter”  Why do so many of our people refuse to take any responsibility for the killing, maiming of black people that goes on everyday in our communities.  Why is there a ‘no snitching’ code among us that allows the killers, and rapists, drug dealers and other criminals to operate open in our communities with impunity?

A person can be shot down in the street right in front of us, but when we are asked to identify them,  we suddenly get ‘amnesia’ and can’t remember,  or refuse to cooperate with the authorities to are simply trying to do the job we asked them to do.

If “Black Lives Matter” why are we killing millions of our own children in the name of the God called ‘Abortion on Demand’, or “The Woman’s Right to Choose”?  Sister Stacey gave the statistics for the average number killed per day ($4300).  According to her account 43% of that number are Black babies!  In some parts of NY we are aborting more black babies than are being born in the same area.

If “Black Lives Matter” why are so many black families leaving the rearing of their children to the ‘system’.   Why are there so many black men who are unwilling, or unable to be a father to the children that they create?  Why are there so many black women allowing men to use them, leave them, to fend for themselves and their children?   If we don’t care and respect ourselves,  how and why do we demand that others respect us?

The word reminds us in 2 Peter 2:20-22   New International Version (NIV)

20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”[a] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Though this scripture is speaking of false leaders and teachers it all reminds me about the condition of us as a people who once knew and followed the truth.  This Truth we learned from God’s word about who we are and why we were created, allowed us to escape the corruption of the world by our knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   But we as a people seem to have forgotten the God who brought us out.  It would have been better off to not have known freedom, than to be in the place now were we freely surrender our freedom for the sake of political and/or ideological correctness.  We need to get back to basics!


As always your comments are welcome and appreciated.





Sitting-in vs Standing up?

Open Letter to Congressman John Lewis (D-GA-5)

June 23, 2016

Representative John Lewis 343
Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3801
Fax: (202) 225-0351

It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter to you.   Having grown up during the Civil Rights Era and seeing first hand and participating first hand in that epic struggle, I have a real clear sense of what we were fighting for.   We were fighting for the right to be full participants in the American society.   We were fighting to ensure that the rights that the Constitution enumerated would be enjoyed by all American regardless of their race.   As you well know despite what the Constitution said there were many, many laws that had been passed by the legislature that for all practical purposes made null and void these Constitutionally protected rights.   Representative Lewis, we fought and marched so that any and all laws that infringed upon these rights would be changed and or abolished. I admired greatly your principled stand back in those days and took great note of the courage and passion you showed in the actions you took to address the inequality you saw in our Country.   That is why it bothered me greatly to see you on the floor of the Congress the other day using the ‘Civil Rights card’ as a justification for what can only be called shameful and irresponsible behavior.   What ‘injustice’ are you protesting?  Is it ‘unjust’ for the Congress to refuse to take up a vote on a law that had already been defeated because they ‘believed’ it violates or ignores the Constitutional right of ‘due process’? Isn’t that your job as a lawmaker?   Isn’t it job one to make sure that whatever laws are made, that they are in agreement with the Constitution of the United States of America?

From the rhetoric I hear coming from those who are pushing for ‘more gun control’ you would think that the problem is ‘guns’ and that we need ‘more laws to control access to guns’.   On June 22, 2016 Congresswoman Pingree (D-ME) laid out the case (that I believe you subscribe to) that we need more laws to ‘keep guns out of the hands of terrorists’.   (Congressional Record article 8) She said, “…the NRA has taken control over the debate on guns to such an extent that we cannot even vote in this Chamber on whether we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists.” (emphasis added) Mr. Lewis, you and I both know that the issue is not whether or not we should keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but more importantly what is the best lawful way to do that! Furthermore, Ms. Pingree goes on to say, “Over the last 10 years, people on the terrorist watch list tried to buy explosives or firearms 2,233 times. Over 90 percent of the time, they were successful. This is wrong. The American people know it is wrong, public health officials know it is wrong, and nearly every single law enforcement association in America knows it is wrong, which is why they are all in favor of closing the terrorist gun loophole.” (emphasis added)

“Terrorists gun loophole”? Am I the only one who finds it unacceptable that our government knows people who are on ‘terrorist watch list’ that were successful 90% of the time in their attempts to purchase firearms/explosives yet to my knowledge we have no record of them being arrested, jailed or deported? What kind of watch list is this? Are they just on the list so we can WATCH them buy firearms/explosives?   What is this loophole she is speaking of?   Why aren’t these suspected terrorists dealt with by the laws we currently have on the books?   Why aren’t they prosecuted to the full extent of the current laws?   Why after 2,233 times is there still NO remedial ACTION by our government officials?   Why do we have so many people on the Terrorist watch list?   Who are these people? What is being done about them?   Are there that many terrorists lurking about in this country that we have to resort to keeping multiple lists?   What are we doing about that? How does a person get on such a list? How do they get off such a list?

These are the questions that we the American people need to get answered and fixed! Before we debate whether or not we need more/better gun control laws, we need to debate, and resolve the issues on why our current laws (guns, immigration, etc.) are not be enforced. If we are not willing or able to enforce our current laws how does creating more laws fix anything?

Speaking of lists, why are there so many people on the ‘No-Fly’ list? I believe you have personal experience about how arbitrary, ineffective and borderline Constitutional this list is in a free society. What is Congress doing to address this very serious encroachment upon our free access to ‘public accommodations’? How is it lawful, to block someone’s access to a public accommodation (flying), without due process?

Lastly, I find it sad and troubling that you Mr. Lewis who ‘used to be’ a noted fighter for ‘Civil Rights’, by your actions appear to be completely co-opted and compromised by your allegiance to the Democrat party and its ideology.  I hope that I am wrong about this.   Need I remind you that the very ‘freedoms’ you marched in Selma for are the ones you are now seeking to ‘legislate away’ for the supposed purpose of keeping ‘us’ safe.??   A wise man once said, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”   I realize that there are those who debate the meaning of this statement, but for me the meaning is clear. When presented with the option of giving up our Constitutional freedoms for the purpose safety/security, we should say no, never EVER!  History has shown that if we fail to hold the line that freedom must be first, over safety/security,  the end result is we end up having neither safety or liberty.   I know that you understand this, hence my consternation with your position and actions in these matters.

Mr. Lewis, you more than anyone there in Congress should know that to allow the Government to make laws that are in direct violation or in open disregard of our Constitutional freedoms is to pave the road for oppression and slavery. What has happened to you? How can you so blindly go along with this attempt to subvert the Constitutional freedoms that you once Championed?   How can you betray the very principles that you once fought and risked your life for? I don’t get it? Don’t you realize that you are paving the way for the day we all will be returned to the government plantation?  Why are you helping to enslave us again by a system that promises freedom but never actually delivers on that promise?   Why are you and your fellow lawmakers working so hard to undermine our fundamental freedoms?  Didn’t we already have a time in this country when that was done?  I don’t know about, you but I never want to see those days again!   Congressman Lewis, you should know better. I believe you are better than this!   It is time to do better than this!  Now is not the time to ‘sit-in’, it is time to ‘STAND-UP!’


Bishop George W. Manigault, II
Presiding Prelate
Judah Ministries, International