I found striking this past week the statement by Pres. Biden that there is no “federal solution” to the pandemic, making the point that a balance must now be struck between public health/social and economic considerations.
The statement was remarkable to me both for its candor and for what it really reflects: 1) that one of the central purported rationales for Pres. Biden’s presidential candidacy—defeating Covid—was offered as much for political expediency as for any substantive reason, and 2) as well as the fact that most of the measures the federal government has taken regarding the virus still have the nation and American economy reeling—as much from Covid itself, as from the clumsy and error-filled governmental response to it.
First, let’s honestly recall what then-candidate Biden emphatically stated in the October 2020 presidential debate. Biden blamed President Trump personally for the 220,000 lives that had then been lost due to the pandemic caused by the virus which CDC has determined originated in China. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/about-covid-19/basics-covid-19.html).
“If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this,” Biden said. “Anyone that is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.” “I will take care of this,” he promised. “I will end this. I’m going to shut down the virus, not the country.”
Fast forward to December 30, 2021: according to CDC’s COVID Tracker, as of this date, there were 820,355 deaths from the China Virus—a number nearly four times higher than the tragic number of American deaths recorded as the Trump Administration worked literally at warp speed to create in an historically short time three vaccines which it perfected, tested, and then gifted to the Biden Administration. 820,355 deaths. This coming from a man who essentially swore he would “take care of” and “shut down the virus, not the country.” What a falsehood. President Biden and his administration have done just the opposite—they have not shut down the virus—in fact, they’ve surrendered—but they have shut down the country. Thus, based upon his own pledge and promise, Pres. Biden should resign.
Fast forwarding to today, according to the latest CDC isolation guidelines regarding the Omicron variant, the incubation period is shorter and so should be the isolation period. What a relief! Even “Dr. Lockdown” Anthony Fauci is quoted as saying “there is a danger that there will be so many people who are being isolated who are asymptomatic for the full 10 days, that you could have a major negative impact on our ability to keep society running.” (Wall Street Journal). That’s, no doubt, true and has been for the entire period of the pandemic.
Further, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky also stated that her agency had altered its guidelines because “there were starting to be limitations in society…” and concluded with her observation that CDC’s “guidance is only as good as society’s willingness to follow it.” (Washington Post).
I think what these statements by Drs. Fauci and Walensky really reflect is that CDC’s smothering guidelines have become so burdensome and damaging—because they are doing real harm to society and the national economy—that Americans have largely stopped abiding by them.
What’s stunning is that none of these conclusions by Fauci or Walensky are either new or were unknown prior to Omicron. Government will never be able to remove all health risks any more than it can control the blowing of the wind. However, its handling of Covid is an egregious example of not ever honestly balancing the interests at stake—public health versus individual freedoms and economic strength—seriously considering only the health aspect, however speculative or farfetched it may have been.
What the ruling elite and the national media have either missed or ignored from the beginning is that Americans are fair-minded and open to being persuaded but not coerced. When coerced, resistance is immediate and widespread. The Biden Administration’s apparent rejection of new lockdowns is an acknowledgement of that fact as well as of the great tangible and intangible economic and social harm that has been inflicted on the country by lockdowns already.
The Wall Street Journal recently noted that, regarding the end of lockdowns even by most Democrat governors, “… we can thank public insistence more than the most quoted public-health experts, who appear all too willing to force the public back into isolation even two years into the pandemic. The people are wiser than the experts.”
Thank God for that.
Royal Alexander is a Shreveport attorney