Trump unleashes the China haws and other commentary

Foreign desk: Trump Unleashes His China Hawks

Team Trump officials tell The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin that the president “has evolved on China” after seeing “how Beijing handled the COVID-19 crisis,” which “has easily cost the US economy several trillion dollars” and “could have been avoided if China had contained the virus or, at least, been honest about it.” His “attitude shift has freed the China hawks on his team to launch a new, widespread campaign against the Chinese Communist Party and its ideology.” Robert O’Brien, the national-security adviser, recently delivered a Cold War-style speech; the secretary of state, attorney general and FBI director will soon follow, and their agencies will “push back on various Chinese bad actions throughout the summer.” Some may see it as an election-year ploy, but “these moves to call out the Chinese Communist Party for what it is and protect ourselves . . . are important and overdue.”

Pandemic journal: The Spike That Wasn’t

“Coronavirus doomsayers” just couldn’t wait to make “apocalyptic announcements,” Heather Mac Donald quips at The Spectator USA: Establishment media are claiming “a dangerous spike in coronavirus cases.” In reality, the highest number of new daily cases came on April 24 — and while we are facing rising cases, we’re also seeing “steadily dropping daily death numbers.” For the media, alas, that’s “no news”: Instead, they’re blasting reopened Texas and Arizona — but have “gone silent” on Georgia, whose death toll has decreased since reopening. Meanwhile, we have “no crises in hospital capacity,” and many states “are seeing cases decline or hold steady.” Americans have to reject the media’s call to “halt the still far-too-tentative reopenings” — or we’ll risk destroying “any ­remaining hope of restoring our economy.”

Iconoclast: The Wokest ‘Reactionary’

Just because “the past was unlike the present,” says The Week’s Matthew Walther, doesn’t mean “we should never denounce historical evils, much less fail to celebrate those who had the good sense to see them clearly at the time.” Case in point: the 18th-century English literary genius Samuel Johnson — “a reactionary crank” even by the standards of his own time, who nevertheless radically opposed slavery. Johnson ­denounced English plantations in Jamaica, and his abolitionism wasn’t just a matter of words: “Johnson’s valet Francis Barber was a freed black Jamaican who eventually became his heir, an astonishing bequest that was widely ­reported in the English press at the time.” What drove his views was “his deep religious faith.” Simply put, “Johnson could not stand to see ‘black men . . . repining under English cruelty’ for the simple reason that he ­believed human beings are made lovingly in the image of God.”

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History lesson: Yes, Lincoln Freed the Slaves

According to The New York Times’ Jamelle Bouie, “neither Abraham Lincoln nor the Republican Party freed the slaves” — a “falsehood” so egregious, National Review’s Dan McLaughlin seethes, that it’s “a species of gaslighting.” Yes, “black Americans played a significant role” in abolition. “Had Lincoln lost the 1860 election,” though, we “could not possibly have” abolished slavery by 1865: As president, he made the “epochal decision” to confirm that the Union Army, under the command of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was fighting for emancipation, and his fellow Republicans pushed through the 13th Amendment. Bouie really just wants to “topple Lincoln and Grant from their pedestals” and deny them “all credit for their successes and failures.” But “history matters,” and truth matters — and “we need not play along” with such attempts to “rewrite it.”

Science Desk: A Black-Hole Collision Like No Other

Detecting colliding black holes has become so routine, The Atlantic’s Marina Koren reports, astronomers usually “go back to sleep” when they receive alerts about them. But last week, researchers “announced they have spotted what might be a spark from the collision of two faraway black holes” — a discovery that could “mark the first time that astronomers have captured light produced by the joining of the darkest objects in the universe.” As one scientist told Koren, “the flare ‘is illuminating the invisible’ [and] ‘providing light in a region where something fascinating has happened’ ” — something usually shrouded in the darkness of objects whose gravity is so intense, not even light can escape them.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

Source: New York Post

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