America just put itself through a two year-plus hazing ritual.
More than a century ago, Mark Twain identified two fundamental problems that would prove relevant to the Covid pandemic. “How easy it is to make people believe a lie,” he wrote, “and how hard it is to undo that work again!” No convincing evidence existed at the start of the pandemic that lockdowns, school closures, and mask mandates would protect people against the virus, but it was remarkably easy to make the public believe that these policies were “the science.” Today, thanks to two years of actual scientific evidence, it’s clearer than ever that these were terrible mistakes; yet most people still believe that the measures were worthwhile—and many are eager to maintain some mandates even longer.
The mental mistakes were not made by citizens who dutifully sacrificed for two years. They assumed that the Centers for Disease Control knew how to control disease and that scientists and public-health officials would provide sound scientific guidance about public health. Those were reasonable assumptions. They just turned out to be wrong.
After a great disaster, the traditional response is to appoint a blue-ribbon panel to investigate it, and a bill has already been introduced in Congress to create a Covid commission. In theory, this could be a worthy public service, allowing experts to sift the evidence impartially and determine which strategies worked, which ones failed, how much needless damage was done—and whom to blame for it. But in practice, which experts would the current Democratic administration or Congress appoint? Presumably, the pillars of the public-health establishment—the same luminaries whose advice was followed so calamitously the past two years.
Before Covid, the United States drew up plans for a pandemic and maintained the world’s most lavishly funded scientific and medical institutions to deal with one. When the coronavirus arrived, the leaders of those institutions should have identified who was at serious risk and who wasn’t and adopted proven strategies to protect the vulnerable while doing the least harm to everyone else. They should have monitored the effects of their policies and adjusted them based on what they learned. By honestly communicating the risks and considering the overall public good, they could have tamped down needless fear and united the country behind their efforts.
Instead, they proceeded to ignore their own plans as well as the basic principles of science and public health. Leaders of the CDC terrified the public with worst-case scenarios based on computer models—and then used those blatantly unrealistic projections to claim unprecedented powers and experiment with untested strategies. Their pre-Covid planning scenarios had rejected business and school closures even for a pandemic as deadly as the Spanish flu of 1918, but when the Covid-19 pandemic came, they imposed lockdowns without even pretending to weigh the hypothetical benefits against the tangible economic, medical, and social costs—not to mention the intangible costs in emotional hardship and lost liberty. Randomized clinical trials conducted before the pandemic had repeatedly shown that masks did little or no good at preventing viral spread, but the CDC proclaimed them effective against Covid and promoted mask mandates nationwide. As the pandemic wore on, federal health officials looked for excuses to justify the lockdowns and mandates, hyping flawed studies and cherry-picked data, while failing to sponsor rigorous research testing their strategies.
They stubbornly ignored the hundreds of studies around the world showing that, except in a few isolated places, lockdowns did not reduce Covid mortality and that mask mandates were generally ineffective and senselessly cruel in classrooms. The most glaring evidence came from places with the least restrictive policies, like Florida, along with the Nordic countries Sweden, Finland, and Norway, which avoided lockdowns and mask mandates—yet did as well as, or better than, the average in preventing both Covid deaths and overall mortality during the course of the pandemic.
Instead of heeding all this evidence of their mistakes, federal officials did their best to suppress it and silence dissenters.
And that right there, all by itself, tells you everything you’ll ever need to know about not only the Fauxvid disaster specifically, but about tyranny more broadly. US government leaders, as well as those of most of the States, were intent on one thing only: POWER. The tinhorn megalomaniacs saw their opportunity and seized it, using what they saw as a chance of a lifetime to their greatest advantage.
HONEST men—true scientists, healers, and statesmen, would have looked carefully at the ever-mounting evidence that upheld their previous studies and long-standing official views on the failings of masks, lockdowns, “social distancing,” school closures, and other such balderdash right away. They would have put the good of the people over their own petty ambitions, focused their energy and attention on doing their fucking jobs instead of stroking their own egos and feathering their own nests (Fauci was the ne plus ultra example of this preening and strutting, but he was hardly the only one), and went back to the original, long-established plan.
Instead, these FederalGovCo bureau-rats lied, swept the truth under the rug as best they could, and enlisted their partners in academia and Establishment Media in their campaign to destroy the lives and careers of the many actual scientists and health care professionals who were doing the research, crunching the numbers, and working tirelessly to get the truth out there.
Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, wrote to Anthony Fauci in October 2020 urging “a quick and devastating published takedown” of the “three fringe epidemiologists” responsible for the Great Barrington Declaration. These three researchers—from the “fringe” institutions of Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford—criticized the deadly harms of the lockdowns and urged an alternative strategy of focusing protection on the high-risk elderly, allowing natural immunity to grow among the younger population at low risk. Fauci and Collins went on a media offensive, dismissing the focused-protection strategy as “very dangerous” and “not mainstream science.” Other scientists quickly joined the attack on the Great Barrington Declaration by signing a rebuttal, the John Snow Memorandum, which asserted that lockdowns were effective and dismissed the idea of natural immunity, claiming that “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection.”
It was a remarkably irresponsible claim, given already-existing evidence at the time (the fall of 2020) that people’s immune systems developed defenses after a Covid infection. It would have been surprising if an infection didn’t produce durable protection. Yet this denial of natural immunity appeared in The Lancet and was signed by thousands of scientists and doctors, including Rochelle Walensky, who enshrined this unscientific notion as CDC policy when she became the agency’s leader during the Biden administration. It didn’t matter that natural immunity was repeatedly shown to be stronger and longer-lasting than vaccine immunity, or that other countries exempted people with natural immunity from vaccine mandates. The Biden administration insisted on vaccinating everyone—and firing workers who refused, including hospital staff and other essential workers whose prior Covid infections gave them stronger immunity than their vaccinated colleagues. Instead of uniting Americans against the virus, public-health officials chose painful policies that divided the faithful from the disobedient.
The public needs to learn what went wrong during the pandemic, but they’re not going to hear it from the Biden administration. It rewarded Fauci for his failures by giving him a new title, Chief Medical Advisor to the President, and would surely resist any serious investigation of its Covid strategies. Republicans could start the process if they win control of Congress in November and establish a Covid commission, but they’d be taking on the federal bureaucracy as well as the public-health establishment.
Waste of time. Or did we so quickly forget all those endless Repugnican promises to “end Obamacare,” which rapidly softened into a pledge to “repeal and replace” it with some other government health-care scheme, before they all just closed the door in our faces, sat down to talk the whole thing over, and quietly agreed among themselves to just pretend none of it had ever happened.
The public—we fully-paid-up members of the Disobedient Class who have long understood the true nature of government and its personnel, at any rate—already KNOWS what “went wrong” during the pandemic, or close enough. The lies, reversals, and shifty maneuvering of Fauci and his fellow scuttling homunculi gave the game away; the more perceptive of us had begun to smell a rat from the earliest stages of this shitshow. As I’ve told a few women I’d caught cheating: You just looked me in the face and told me a lie. Everything else is just details, which aren’t really worth bothering about anymore. I know everything that matters.
We know a few other important things about the Fauxvid grift, too. For instance, we know what the odds are that parasitical malefactors like Fauci, Collins, Walinski, and enough of their co-conspirators to populate an entire Supermax wing will ever be brought to justice for the irrepairable damage they caused. We know that the great mass of putative “Americans” are in fact AINOs, Americans In Name Only: cowards, sheep, ratfinks, and knob-polishers who must never be trusted or relied on in any effort more important than a neighborhood grill-out. We know, or we ought to, that Heritage Americans no longer have any representation in the seat of national government—that the so-called “two-party system” we’ve been sold our whole lives as the ideal arrangement for the governance of a free and independent citizenry, explicitly urged on us by the Founders (although, strangely enough, I can’t recall ever seeing any mention of this “two-party system” in the Constitution) is in reality a sour, piss-poor joke; what we actually have is a Uniparty whose two faces have far more in common with each other than they ever will with the average Heartland Joe. Scott Atlas, for one, has seen enough of it to know what’s up.
Atlas, the health-policy analyst from the Hoover Institution who joined the Trump administration’s Covid task force and fought unsuccessfully against Fauci’s pandemic policies, says that his experience in Washington has convinced him that any government-run commission would be a mistake.
“It’s massively naïve to think that our government will do anything objective,” Atlas says. “Any U.S. government panel would be viewed as, or be in reality, 100 percent partisan. It could be smarter to have an international organization do it, looking at the overall questions of management, because if it’s only an assessment of the U.S., then it naturally becomes a political blame game.” But which international organization could be trusted to do a fair investigation? The obvious candidates, like the World Health Organization or the World Bank, would presumably rely on establishment figures loath to admit their mistakes. And even if they honestly evaluated the pandemic strategies, how much impact would the report have? The mainstream press would probably either ignore it, as it ignored a recent meta-analysis concluding that lockdowns had “little to no effect” on Covid mortality, or attack it with the same tactics used to smear the Great Barrington Declaration as “not mainstream.”
Actually, it wouldn’t so much be a mistake as it would just a complete waste of time. The mistake would be to place an ounce of faith in this or any other “commission,” “panel,” or “investigation” charged with “getting to the bottom” of some government misdeed or other. The real purpose of such commissions is to throw the rubes a bone, distract the slack-jawed yokels for a short while until the whole thing starts to bog down, gets supplanted in the news cycle by fresher material, and just sort of quietly peters out, with maybe some obscure lawyer or staffer nobody knows or cares about getting sentenced to twelve minutes’ unsupervised probation and 18 holes of golf with his legal team upon his “release” to make it look good.
As for “international organizations,” I’d posit that, if this nation has reached the point where we think it necessary to submit ourselves to investigation and juridication such as that, then our government is well beyond salvage, and we must look elsewhere for solutions.
The fundamental character of Amerika v2.0’s federal goobermint, at every level and in all contexts, is this: it is a charade. Nothing about it is real; there is no truth in it, no solidity, nothing you can take hold of and think, Gotcha! The speechifying, the press conferences, the committees and glandhanding and logrolling and paperwork—all of it as flimsy as gossamer, undulating and wispy like smoke on a gentle breeze. It may seem real enough when you look at the thing just right, but blink your eyes and POOF! It’s gone.
Well, except for the FBI. Now, THOSE people you definitely need to stay way the heck away from. They’re as real as a pitbull with your calf clamped between its jaws, only a lot less amenable to reason. Tierney closes this way:
After the pandemic, Americans should never let public-health authorities deprive them of their liberties.
Sorry, but they’re lost now. Before we can see to not repeating the error, we’ll first have to take ’em back again. And I do mean take, too; you can be damned sure that The Power isn’t going to just hand ’em back over simply because we asked them nicely to.