Clearly responding to bipartisan pushback against his orders to shut down businesses indefinitely throughout the state, Governor Chris Sununu Tweeted “Public Health First. Always”. The Tweet was made on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after a group of Democratic legislators filed a lawsuit against Sununu for control of the $1.25 billion ‘relief funds’ from the US government (US taxpayers).
Democratic opposition to Sununu’s indefinite shutdown of businesses and schools in the state should not be a surprise, but he has been harshly criticized by many conservatives, as well. Attorney and former State Representative, Dan Hynes has been very vocal about Sununu’s overblown and borderline tyrannical shutdown of the state economy, a cure which could kill more people than the actual virus. A large & influential conservative blog, GraniteGrok.com has grown more critical of Sununu’s decision as the shutdown extends from weeks to months. Of course, the governor must be under tremendous pressure from many sides to lock down the state indefinitely.
Another former legislator and entrepreneur, Keith Murphy has suffered massively from the Governor’s executive order. A day before the Governor’s Tweet, Murphy announced that he was forced to fire his last employees and shut down the last of his businesses, which included ‘Murphy’s Taproom’ and ‘Murphy’s Diner’ in Manchester and ‘Murphy’s Taproom & Carriage House’ in Bedford. One needs to consider that the tremendous psychological toll of the enormous financial strain this has caused could result in a severe blow to the mental health of New Hampshire residents, even to the extent of resorting to alcohol, illicit drugs, or other dangerous and damaging means to handle the unprecedented hardships now legally imposed upon them. We have already seen domestic abuse rising throughout the US from the increased stress and forced isolation of families. Combine that with the stress of the virus caused by the media and the Governor. And then combine that with gyms throughout NH being forced to close by threat of violence at the hands of the Governor’s enforcers and local police.
These strong-handed measures by the state government are in response to the virus that has spread throughout the world, killing thousands of mostly sick and old people, much like the flu does each year. The grand majority of deaths also occurred in super-dense areas where people live in extremely close proximity to one another, like China, NYC, LA, and Italy. In New Hampshire, a total of 27 deaths have been ‘attributed to COVID-19’, according to the state government’s April 14th report.
In an exceptionally odd rule by decree, Governor Sununu joined Democratic governors in New York and Michigan in banning the prescription of hydroxychloroquine for the Coronavirus, and limiting lupus and rheumatoid arthritis prescriptions to a 30 day supply. The treatment of choice of a plurality of doctors surveyed, the DHHS ruling prohibits the use of the drug for COVID-19 except for those admitted to a hospital or taking part in a clinical study.
The growing desperation among New Hampshire workers and employers to be allowed by their rulers to resume work has caused #ReopenNH to grow into a real Facebook and Twitter presence over the past few days. Within 6 hours, a petition launched by ReopenNH.com gathered over 1,000 signatures and is now nearing 2,000. Local activists are also planning a rally at the State House on Saturday April 18th to strongly ask that Sununu not punish them for resuming work. Many believe that NH’s unemployment increasing from 2.6% to over 15% and rising is a sign of imminent collapse of the economy if nothing is done to stop the momentum. In response to the petition and the movement to reopen NH, Sununu replied via Tweet that he believes that “Public health trumps everything”.
If public health is more important than freedom, Governor Sununu should consider saving millions of lives by working to decrease the #1, #2, #4, #5, and #7 causes of death. He could accomplish this by banning cheeseburgers, soda, alcohol, and cigarettes. According to the CDC, nearly every single one of the top causes of death involves poor nutrition, smoking, and lack of exercise.
Speaking about tyranny and the government’s standard justification for controlling the populace, Thomas Jefferson said “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery”.
In the same vein, John Stark famously said “Live free or die. Death is not the worst of evils.” Of course, he was implying that living under a tyrant is an even worse sentence than death. New Hampshire adopted this quote as the state motto and places it on every license plate, at least for the time being.
Students of history throughout the world understand too well that ‘safety’, ‘health’, and ‘security’ are the perennial justifications of tyrants when they seek to take more money, power, or control from the people. You need only to open a book on history or politics to see examples of this fact. From Obamacare giving DC control over our healthcare for ‘public health’ to the TSA and domestic super-surveillance being justified by ‘public security’, many such examples can be found all around us. The COVID-19 virus presents our rulers with an opportunity they cannot resist; an opportunity to take another massive grab of power from the people.
Should we choose freedom and self-ownership or safety and ‘public health’?
Governor Sununu has already made his choice.