VP Candidate Spike Cohen Said The Libertarian Party Would Have Handled COVID-19 Much Differently
When people in Warren County cast their vote for President of the United States this year, there will be four choices. In addition to President Donald Trump being the nominee for the Republican party and Former Vice President Joe Biden being the nominee for the Democrat party, Dr. Jo Jorgensen is the nominee for the Libertarian party and Howie Hawkins is the nominee for the Green party.
If you were unaware that there were more than two candidates for President, you aren't alone. There is currently a rule that states a candidate can't participate in Presidential debates unless the poll numbers show that at least 15 percent of the people support them. The Libertarian and Green parties went to court earlier this year in an effort to get that rule changed, but they were unsuccessful. As a result, only Trump and Biden are featured in the debates.
Warren County Online News will publish articles over the next couple of weeks about the third-party candidates to help voters be more informed about their stance on many of the important issues. Warren County Online News does not endorse any candidate.
Jeremy "Spike" Cohen, vice-presidential candidate for the Libertarian party, would have liked to have participated in last week's debate alongside Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris. "I think the American people had an incredible disservice done to them by not having myself and other people that are running on that debate stage," he said. Cohen believes that if the American people saw candidates that were presenting common-sense solutions to problems that they would realize they needed to be voting Libertarian.
"We are the only viable alternative to the Republicrat machine," Cohen said, adding that the Republicans and Democrats have had the exclusive control of every level of power of government for over 160 years. "They have kept us divided by feeding us rhetoric to their voting bases and trying to convince us that one of them is the so-called lesser evil and we have to pick which lesser evil to vote for every single election cycle," he said. "It is time to break free from this abusive relationship that we have with the Republicrat party... It is time for us to forge a new path and we believe the Libertarian Party is that new path."
One of the big topics of this year's election is the COVID-19 pandemic. Cohen said the Libertarian party would have handled the pandemic much differently, something he believes would have resulted in less deaths and less economic devastation as a result of it. He said that the Center for Disease Control did not allow medical professionals to test COVID patients for the first six to eight weeks that the virus was in the United States. "There were American companies that were making COVID-19 tests and having to sell them overseas. It was illegal for them to sell them here and illegal for anyone to test," he said.
Cohen said they would remove the red tape so the medical professionals could do their jobs and actually allow them to do the work of trying to contain the virus. "The government does not test or treat, diagnose or cure anyone. In this case, they make it harder for those that actually do that to do their jobs," he said, adding that lives were lost as a result.
Cohen said the reason nurses and other health care professionals were so concerned after the pandemic started was because of the lack of protective equipment such as masks, gloves and ventilation equipment for the patients who needed it. Cohen said the barriers and regulatory red tape made it difficult for them to get the supplies they needed in a timely way. "We knew before the pandemic that our health care system and the supply chain that fed it was a complete and total mess," he said.
Jorgensen and Cohen are in favor of people being able to try experimental medications that haven't been approved by the FDA. "It's not really the government's business what someone puts in their body," Cohen said, adding that it's not just about unapproved treatments for COVID, but also other health conditions such as ALS and cancer. "These are people who are dying. They aren't concerned with the safety profile for five or ten years. They are worried about potentially taking something that might save their life," he said.
Cohen added that if we take Trump's doctors at face value, he took FDA unapproved drugs and he was back to normal levels of health and productivity in a few days, adding that Trump is a 74 year old man with chronic health conditions. He said if that is the case, it is another example of how the FDA is making things unnecessarily difficult for everyone else.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the response to it resulted in unemployment numbers that had not been seen in decades. Cohen said he believes that there would have been some unemployment anyway, but it was much worse because of the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "It's largely because of the government-imposed lockdown, which as we've seen have not slowed or stopped the spread of COVID-19 and it's caused massive human suffering," he said. "I've talked to people across this country who aren't able to get cancer screenings because they aren't able to go to hospitals because those hospitals are only allowed to treat COVID patients, even though the hospitals have said that they have the protocols in place to protect non-COVID patients from the COVID population. I have seen people that are not able to go and be able to get counseling for severe depression and for addiction because those services have been deemed non-essential even though...their life relies on being able to get those services."
Cohen said that we have all seen the massive, incalculable economic devastation that has happened as a result of it. He said some families who were previously enjoying a relatively middle-class existence had to rely on soup kitchens and food banks to get food to feed their families, adding that some people were facing eviction and/or foreclosure. "People who had small businesses that they spent years building up seen them destroyed in a matter of weeks," he said, adding that all of this has happened because the government has arbitrarily decided who should or should not be considered essential.
Cohen said we are facing the worst economic recession of our lives while stock market prices are at or above all-time highs. "This is the economy that the Republicrats want for us, one that serves only the most wealthy and powerful among us at the direct expense of everyone else," he said. "Libertarians propose completely dismantling that system and putting the money back in your hands, setting the American people free to make their own informed choices as to how they can safely and securely go about rebuilding their lives and their comunities..."
When asked if he would be in favor of health insurance covering pre-existing conditions, Cohen said he thinks we are asking the wrong question. "The reason that we are even asking a question as to whether health insurance should cover pre-existing conditions is because the cost of health care is so ridiculously expensive that even people who are getting government-subsidized health care plans still can't afford their health care...The only people that it serves are the incredibly wealthy pharmaceutical companies and health management companies and insurance companies," he said.
Cohen said there was a study done that showed 75 percent of health care costs are because of complying with burdensome red tape, taxes, mandates and other regulatory burdens. "This is not the cost of providing services," he said. "This is just the cost of proving that they are complying with various regulations, mandates and laws and taxes. It is completely absurd that three-quarters of a dollar of every penny that we are spending on health care is entirely just to prove that they are complying with some government order. " Cohen said doctors can't tell you what something is going to cost until it has run through the system that the government has created. "We would dismantle that entire thing. The cost of health care would drop by more than 75 percent. People would actually be able to afford their health care," he said. Cohen knows first-hand what it is like to have a pre-existing condition because he has Multiple Sclerosis. "As someone with MS, it is very important to me that I and everyone else in this country be able to afford the care that we are getting," he said.
Cohen said they would get rid of the regulations, and put the power of making health care decisions back in the hands of patients and medical professionals where it always belonged. "I support getting rid of the last several decades of health regulations, including the so-called Affordable Care Act, which is not affordable and does not provide care...I support actual free market health care, which is something we haven't had in this country for nearly 100 years," he said.
Something else Jorgensen and Cohen would do, if elected, is bring the troops home. "We achieve that goal by actually doing it," Cohen said. "They try to make it sound like it is this very difficult thing, but it actually isn't. There is no declared war right now. It is completely in the hands of the president to simply end the wars."
Cohen would like to see the United States act like a large Switzerland. Despite being surrounded by large countries, he said Switzerland hasn't ever been invaded. He said they have remained neutral, remained heavily armed and let the rest of the world know that they want peace, good relations and trade with anyone who wants it.
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