We live in a time when many people are so partisan that their views are easy to predict based solely on their political persuasion. If you're a hardcore Republican, you're pretty sure hydroxychloroquine is a solid treatment for COVID-19, and if you're a big-time Democrat, you know hydroxychloroquine is ineffective and even dangerous. Our system is so partisan that nothing is beyond politics -- even our choice of medicines.

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s2smodern

John Jacob Astor, the richest man on board the Titanic, famously gave up a seat in the final lifeboat when he saw two young children still on the ship's deck. "Women and children first" was the order from the ship's captain, and the final numbers show just how much the men on board -- even the rich and powerful -- adhered to that call. Women on the Titanic had a 75% survival rate, compared with just 17% for men. Besides some crazed radical feminists, most of us view the chivalry displayed on that sinking ship with a sense of awe and admiration. Hard to imagine many California tech billionaires behaving today the way Astor did the night he died.

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s2smodern

For the business community and those at the very top of America's economic ladder, China has been a godsend. They've made and saved billions and billions of dollars by outsourcing American manufacturing to China and offering goods and services to China's booming consumer market. For many top American companies, growth in China has been seen as essential for success. This is why so many American companies and upper-income American citizens are so thoroughly uninterested in hearing about Chinese atrocities. Remember last year when an NBA general manager made the mistake of tweeting something sympathetic to the freedom (and pro-American) protestors in Hong Kong? He was absolutely crushed by his league and the players, who all knew that China was where their future riches were to be made.

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s2smodern

The amazing thing about COVID-19 is how much we still don't know. Even the experts don't quite understand the nature of the virus or how we should respond. Due to their evolving understanding, we have seen quite a bit of change in the guidance they give to the public -- which is fine, as long as they remain transparent. More than anything else, we need more explanation and more honesty from our authorities.

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s2smodern

Things are getting real. We are at over 47,000 deaths worldwide and over 5,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Our top experts are modeling between 100,000 and 240,000 American deaths by the end of this crisis. Those are massive numbers. We lost nearly 3,000 on 9/11; we suffered 7,000 (so far) U.S. military deaths in the "war on terror" and 58,000 after 20 years in Vietnam. Early hopes that COVID-19 could be overblown have more than dwindled. If anything, we are learning more every day about how China has understated the deaths they have seen -- drastically understated, according to some reports.

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s2smodern

This week's dumb national debate has been about when to reopen our economy. To date, our strategy on the coronavirus has been to shut down pretty much everything and stay home. President Donald Trump said he hopes to reopen our economy by Easter. Those who oppose anything the president says are therefore adamantly opposed to reopening our economy. What about the 80% of Americans who are tired of the battles dominating our politics between those who defend Trump at all costs and those who attack Trump at all costs?

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s2smodern

As members of Congress debate the terms of the trillion-dollar-plus coronavirus relief package for businesses and individuals, they would do well to remember our recent history.

Most people in professional Washington hate the populist era we are going through. The populist period exists because Americans already feel like their elected officials are more responsive to large corporate interests than to the individuals who elected them. This played out big-time after the Wall Street bailouts fueled the tea party on the right and Occupy Wall Street on the left.

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s2smodern