Sam Hanna Jr.

There seems to be some confusion in the governor's office in Baton Rouge.

On the one hand, Gov. John Bel Edwards says we must wait a couple of weeks before he determines whether Louisiana is faring well enough in the battle with the COVID-19 pandemic before the smallest first step can be taken to allow us to return to our jobs, our businesses and perhaps, our way of life.

On the other hand, one of the governor's “czars” on COVID-19, Dr. Ghali Ghali, a dental surgeon at the LSU medical school in Shreveport, says the Louisiana economy must remain dormant through May. Why? Because a flawed and discredited model conjured up by a couple of “experts” at the University of Washington is still being used by the Edwards administration, including Ghali, in arriving at their collective decision to order us to remain locked up.

Remember, it was the University of Washington model that predicted two million people would die from COVID-19, but in a matter of days the model lowered the death projection to 500,000 and then to 250,000 and then to 100,000 and then to 85,000 and finally, the model arrived at projecting 60,000 deaths. At no time did anyone, including Ghali or the “experts” at the University of Washington, offer any explanation about why the model altered its projections.

What's at stake in all of this madness?

Our right to work, our right to support our families and bluntly put, our right to attempt to survive a self-made economic crisis.

Both Edwards and his protegé, Ghali, tell us we must remain buttoned up in our homes for the foreseeable future, but study after study says the safest place to avoid COVID-19 is outside our homes in open air while practicing moderate social distancing. In fact, the greatest potential for contracting COVID-19 is inside our own homes as well as in using public transportation, which we don't have much of in Louisiana except for in New Orleans but that's another topic to discuss at a later date.

So, what's behind this policy of relying on flawed models and political posturing in determining when Louisianians might be allowed to resume their lives in a somewhat acceptable fashion?

Is it because Edwards and Ghali have fallen in love with using the excessive powers of government to control the smallest details of people's lives? That seems to be the mantra of the national Democrat Party. After all, it's painfully clear to even a casual observer of politics that the Democrats wish to see the U.S. economy collapse to set the stage for this November's presidential election.

No doubt, Edwards must be aware of the demonstrations in parts of the country where working people have taken to the streets to protest heavy-handed tactics employed by numerous Democrat governors to keep the economies shut down in their states. And certainly Edwards has noticed Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who now is on course to reopen the vibrant Texas economy.

That frames a few questions. Is Edwards going follow the lead of the Democrat governors in New York, Michigan and California in doing all they can to tank the economy? Or perhaps Edwards will continue down the road of relying on a flawed model propounded by a bureaucrat like Ghali?

Or will Edwards do the right thing and allow the people of Louisiana to return to work so they can possibly pay some bills and save their businesses?

Unfortunately, the decision belongs to the Edwards-Ghali crowd. If it were up to working people and small business owners, we'd get back to work.

For those who are most concerned about this virus, by all means they should stay home. At least they would have the choice to do so.

Sam Hanna Jr. can be reached by phone at 318-805-8158 or e-mail at

(1) comment


I guess you have not had any family who has died of Covid -19. I had a cousin who died a horrible death alone and I think another month sure would not hurt. She sure would have liked another month to live.

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