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Michael Reagan: To spook…or not to spook the public?

The other day it was 121 degrees here.

There’s so much smoke in the air from all the wildfires the sun looks like the moon.

Everything’s closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

People can’t go to work. School kids are struggling to learn on Zoom.

Parents are going nuts. Some are hiring teachers, wannabe teachers or former teachers to come in and tutor their kids.

And now the Los Angeles County Health Department has tried to wreck Halloween.

At first, the county announced a ban on trick-or-treaters going door-to-door for candy, saying it was too difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches, ensure mask rules, etc. etc.

The public outcry was so great the ban was rescinded, but Halloween parties, carnivals, festivals and haunted houses are still prohibited.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit Los Angeles County especially hard.

It’s the most-populated county in America with 10 million residents. So I guess it makes sense that it has more positive cases of COVID-19 (over 249,000) and more deaths from COVID-19 (more than 6,000) than any other county.

Daily new infections and deaths in the state are in decline, but no one knows when Gov. Gavin Newsom and Mayor Eric Garcetti will allow life in L.A. to return to normal, whatever that’s going to be.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden and the Democrats are busy blaming President Trump for the country’s 190,000 COVID-19 deaths and the crushed economy, as if he brought the coronavirus from China himself.

Trump got slammed this week by Democrats who claim that back in January and February he knowingly and willfully lied to the American public about the serious danger posed by the virus.

The Democrats and the liberal media say the president downplayed the threat of the virus to the public at the same time he was privately telling author Bob Woodward in interviews that the virus was very dangerous.

The president was right to be calm and optimistic in public about the fight against the coronavirus.

No good leader would deliberately scare the people of his country about the threat posed by a new, unknown virus — especially while the country was still trying to figure out how dangerous it was or how to deal with it.

But in any case, Trump didn’t lie.

What he told Woodward in private was essentially what he had already said in public.

What’s more, while Trump was being interviewed by Woodward, he was proving with his executive actions that he took the threat of the virus very seriously.

He had already closed off travel from China and Europe, and by mid-March he had shut down the entire economy and ordered up thousands of ventilators and millions of masks from the private sector.

He’s criticized now by his political enemies and the deranged Monday morning quarterbacks of the media for not having done enough – as if Joe Biden could have done more or done anything different or better.

But we know that no matter what the president had or hadn’t done, the Democrats still would have said he was just as wrong.

Imagine how Biden and Pelosi or the liberal media would have reacted if ,in January, Trump had spooked the whole country with predictions of millions of COVID-19 deaths – before there was a single fatality in the U.S.

Or what if he had ordered a national shutdown in early February when Dr. Fauci was still downplaying the coronavirus threat and Biden and Pelosi were accusing Trump of overplaying it and spreading panic.

Trump has done a good job of fighting the pandemic. Now he’s trying to reopen the economy and schools and speed a safe vaccine to the public.

But Democrats like Biden and Pelosi, and governors like Newsom, are in no hurry to see it end.

For them the coronavirus has been a political weapon to use against Donald Trump and a perfect excuse to grab even more control over our economic and social lives – including preventing us from celebrating Halloween.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and author. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com.