Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is a genuine hero. In 2009, he was the pilot of a US Airways flight from New York City’s Laguardia Airport to Charlotte, North Carolina. Two minutes after takeoff, the plane struck a flock of geese which knocked out both engines. The Tower instructed Sully to immediately land his plane at nearby Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. After a pause, Sully radioed that he could not do that. He instead landed his plane in the Hudson River between Weehawken and 50th Street of Manhattan. All 150 passengers and all five crew members, including Sully, survived. Two had serious injuries.
There was an investigation after the accident. Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) claimed that Sully was careless for not landing his plane at Teterboro as instructed. They claimed that flight simulators showed Sully could have safely landed the plane at Teterboro Airport had he acted immediately. The investigators argued that had Sully acted quickly and followed instructions, he could have avoided injuries and loss of his plane.
That investigation provided much of the drama for the 2016 movie “Sully” about the event. “Sully” was directed by Clint Eastwood. Tom Hanks played Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Spoiler Alert! Stop reading if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know how it ends!
Movie Ending: Sully did everything right. Had he followed instructions and tried to land at Teterboro, the plane would have crashed. Everyone in the plane and many more on the ground would have been killed.
The reason was simple. The investigators and the simulator were wrong in assuming pilots can instantly decide on a proper course of action as soon they know their engines were out.
Before they could take action, Sully and his co-pilot had to first “assess the situation”. First, they checked to see if the engines were really out of if the sensors were damaged. Then they tried to restart the engines. Then they had to check with air traffic control to clear a path to either LaGuardia or Teterboro. That “assessment” took 35 seconds. By then, Sully was correct in knowing his plane had lost too much altitude to reach any airport.
The final report of the National Transport Safety Board agreed that, “The immediate turn (to Teeterboro) made by the pilots during the simulations did not reflect or account for real-world considerations, such as the time delay required to recognize the bird strike and decide on a course of action. . . Simulations showing the plane might have just barely made it back to LaGuardia assumed an instant decision to do so, with no time allowed for assessing the situation”.
Last month, Sullenberger posted a series of tweets and was featured in a TV ad which attacked Trump. He urged voters to support Joe Biden and other Democrats.
Sully blamed President Trump for all 210,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States. He joined Democrats in claiming Trump failed to act “instantly” to prevent them.
This is ironic. Sullenberger knew from his own experience that it is not possible to respond instantly to a new and unexpected danger.
When President Trump was first briefed on the coronavirus last January, health experts around the world, including Dr. Fauci, were uncertain and divided on what to do.
Many urged Trump to “let the disease run its course” like in Sweden and Brazil until enough Americans developed immunity. Taiwan, or non-Communist China correctly urged immediate travel bans, mass testing, the use of masks and contact tracing.
However, Taiwan is hated by the Communist regime of Mainland China. We now know that Communist China effectively controls the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Fauci and most health experts in the U.S. and around the world rejected the Taiwan approach and followed WHO guidelines instead.
WHO at first rejected travel bans, mass testing, contact tracing, lockdowns, and even masks! Its guidelines called for “containment”. That is the isolation of coronavirus patients once they were diagnosed. The United States, like every country in the world except Taiwan had very few tests. That is because WHO recommended only “diagnostic testing” for patients with symptoms. Dr. Fauci admitted as late as March that he never even considered a need for mass “surveillance testing”.
The United States identified our first coronavirus case on January 20. He was an American citizen returning from Wuhan, China to Washington State. President Trump banned travel from China on January 30 when their were only four identified cases. All had travelled from from China. Trump did this against the advice of Dr. Fauci and most U.S. health experts. Democrats including Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked Trump’s travel ban as “hysterical xenophobia”.
On the following day, January 31, 2020, two Chinese tourists in Italy tested positive for coronavirus. Italy followed the same WHO policy of “containment” of identified cases. Italy had no quarantines or travel bans. There was even a campaign in Florence, urging Italians to “eradicate the prejudice” and “embrace people from China”!
Three weeks later, in late February, there were dozens of cases in Italy. Only then did WHO and health experts around the world recognize that their entire approach to the disease had been wrong. By then, Italy was the epicenter of coronavirus, and hundreds, if not thousands of travelers from Italy spread coronavirus throughout New York and North Jersey.
In short, just as “Sully” Sullenberger and his co-pilot needed “time for assessing the situation” before taking action, so did President Trump and public health experts around the world.
It is worth mentioning that the Chinese Communist Party regime had spent years studying the coronavirus at its lab in Wuhan. Yet it failed to provide any helpful information about the disease with us or any other country. Communists China also used its enormous money, power and influence to prevent any health official in the world from even mentioning Taiwan by name. Again, Taiwan was the only country in the world that did everything right with coronavirus.
Below is one of many examples of this:
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger is a genuine hero. However, it is puzzling why he is blaming President Trump for “taking time to assess the situation” before acting on coronavirus. That is exactly what Sully did when he delayed before landing his plane in the Hudson River.
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Seth Grossman, Executive Director