Deborah Birx– not Anthony Fauci – Was the Covid Ringleader

 

When I decided to read Scott Atlas’ book, A Plague Upon Our House, I had no idea how shocked and disillusioned I would become. I already knew from the excellent posts on Ricochet that our government’s strategies for understanding and managing the virus were a disaster, but I have every reason to believe that Dr. Atlas’ descriptions of the events during his service at the White House are true.

And it was a tragedy.

So why was Atlas brought on board to advise the president? His credentials are substantial, although in its usual frenzy to discount anyone associated with President Trump, the media harped on his long-ago work as a radiologist and that he wasn’t an epidemiologist. He was also a highly respected colleague of Dr. Jay Battacharya from Stanford, who has appeared many times in Ricochet forums and also been tarred and feathered by the media (which earns him high esteem from me).

Dr. Atlas did not initially want to go to the White House to be a senior advisor, but felt an obligation to help the President and the country with this viral crisis. He wasn’t politically motivated, but sought to bring the truth to all parties who would be affected. After a comprehensive and ongoing review of the data, Dr. Atlas repeatedly emphasized the implementation of certain key points:

My main points were that targeted protection made sense, not broad lockdowns, especially given that the elderly harbored a far higher risk than younger, healthier people; that children had an extremely low risk; and that the lockdowns and school closures were already enormously harmful.

And although nearly everyone ignored or refused to implement his advice, he was consistent in sharing it. And he was right.

Atlas determined early on that Deborah Birx was the person who was leading the Task Force. Quite simply, no one was willing to challenge her approaches, her ideas, or her data, including Fauci and Redfield. Except for Atlas. And when he did challenge her, she would interrupt him, argue with him and discount him. Everyone else fell in line at his example (since many had seen her similar behavior in other situations and knew better than to challenge her). In particular, Atlas was alarmed at her simplistic approach to the data:

I chose to avoid explaining her second serious mistake, which derived from a naive reliance on correlation—i.e., believing that a chosen correlation proved causation. This kind of unsophisticated reasoning was frequently demonstrated by the Task Force medical troika as they voiced similarly invalid conclusions about masks and lockdowns in subsequent meetings, conclusions that were so obviously unsound that they were questioned even by the nonscientists around the room.

Atlas finally realized the most important contribution he could make:

While Birx, Fauci, and Redfield focused solely on stopping cases at all costs, in media interviews and in their advice to governors, pushing their brain-numbing message of ‘wash your hands, stay away from others, wear your masks,’ I was the only doctor representing the White House who also explained to the public, providing data in written pieces, in interviews, and through the president’s remarks, that the lockdowns were destroying people. Now I more fully understood the importance of my being there, exactly why I was brought into the White House.

There were several appalling episodes that Atlas experienced: the refusal of participants to engage in open discussion and the lack of studying the data by most of the other medical experts, for two. But I have to admit that my own reaction duplicated Atlas’ with an exchange he had with Fauci, questioning a comment Fauci had made:

I challenged him to clarify his point, because I couldn’t believe my ears. ‘So you think people aren’t frightened enough?’ He said, ‘Yes, they need to be more afraid.’ To me, this was another moment of Kafkaesque absurdity. I replied, ‘I totally disagree. People are paralyzed with fear. Fear is one of the main problems at this point.’ Inside, I was also shocked at his thought process, as such an influential face of the pandemic. Instilling fear in the public is absolutely counter to what a leader in public health should do. To me, it is frankly immoral, although I kept that to myself.

Atlas was continually in a state of perplexity, trying to figure out the motivations and strategies of his colleagues on the COVID Task Force. Why did Jared Kushner keep sending him to Mike Pence when he had concerns? Why didn’t the contradictory information from the President’s speeches and the Task Force representatives cause Mike Pence concern? What were people so afraid of when it came to disagreeing with Deborah Birx? He finally reached some clarity regarding these questions and I found his conclusions credible:

Eventually I figured out the dynamic. Birx obviously was very knowledgeable about two things, regardless of her expertise on the pandemic itself. First, she knew that the VP had her back, often echoing her words. Clearly, he was conscious that the Task Force—which he directed—was the most visible evidence of his own work in the administration. That meant that its perceived positives must be protected—nothing about it that the public viewed as positive would be minimized or criticized. Pence had zero intention of ‘rocking the boat’ with Birx or Fauci, even though he was very receptive to my thoughts and readily agreed with the data I presented. Second, Birx, having been in Washington for decades, understood something else that I certainly did not—how politicians worked. She was fully aware, unlike me, that there was no one who really had the guts to tell the truth to her or to the public. After all, an election was approaching.

When Trump lost the election, Atlas had already decided to return to California. He had gone through quite enough of the media attacks, lies, and distortions. He despised the political environment, and returned home for Thanksgiving without going back to the White House. Since the Task Force was not interested in his expertise and contributions, there was no reason to stick around.

I’ll end my observations about Atlas with one of his most powerful conclusions about COVID-19, the pandemic, and the Task Force:

In the end, the most egregious failure of the Task Force was its complete and utter disregard for the harmful impact of its recommended policies. This was outright immoral, an inexplicable betrayal of their most fundamental duty. I have no doubt it will go down as one of the greatest public health failures in history.

Published in Politics
Tags:
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 82 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Flicker (View Comment):

    President Donald J. Trump (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    The “deep state,” “swamp,” or whatever you want to call it will not clean up its act willingly. Trump merely reflected the mood of his voters. They liked how someone finally would fight back.

    There are effectively 4 branches of government now: legislative, executive, judicial, + administrative. The unofficial (extra-Constitutional) one has no checks and balances–it is self-governing, self-financing, and self-perpetuating. It is a cancer that grows all the time. In the proposed “Whip Inflation Now” plan, there is a provision which will undo “EPA v. West Virginia” and give the EPA power to regulate all electrical generation, distribution and use. The Trump team is preparing now with with an army of new de-administrators that will fill the 4000 appointed leaders of the administrative state and restore our government to constitutional 3 branches.

    I disagree. The Fourth Branch is the Intelligence Services “community” (IC). It has already been labeled as such by those who have been in it and punished by it. I’m specifically thinking of Flynn, who corrected Tucker Carlson on this point, and said that the Fourth Branch is the most powerful branch, and that the CIA actively spies on, infiltrates, and controls people in all other offices in the so-called Three Branches of Government. The Swamp, if you like is the administrative state which doesn’t serve the interests of the citizenry but serves their own purposes. But de facto it is ultimately subordinate to the IC.

    You’re going to let the rest of the administrative state off that easily?  

    • #61
  2. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Marci, I don’t think we are that far apart in our assessment. Key people had responsibility. We could argue about percentages of blame, but I don’t think either of us wants to do that! I think part of our back-and-forth is about the frustration and disappointment we share about the whole thing, and how we wish it had gone better. What do you think?

    Impeachments are rare occurrences.  And yet they impeached Trump twice.  And remember the flack Trump was getting in 2020 with all the reporters blaming Trump for the rising death count?  Can you imagine what they would have done if Trump had ignored the so-called experts within government medical agencies?  What would they not have done?

    • #62
  3. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Stad (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think Trump did an amazing job. He emerged as a real hero to me during the pandemic.

    I’m sure Atlas’s insights are valuable, but he was not taking fire.

    I agree. I’d say Trump’s only mistake was putting too much trust in the experts . . .

    But did he really have choice?

    • #63
  4. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD in front of his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

    And what would you suggest that Atlas do? What power did he have to change anything? It wasn’t that Atlas didn’t “listen to Trump”; he did listen to him and repeatedly pointed out the problems. They both agreed that they should stop the lockdowns, let kids back in school and protect the elderly. But Atlas had no power to make that happen. Only Trump did. And he didn’t act.

    I’m saying the doctors at the CDC etc. would not have listened to Trump. They would never listen to someone who was not a doctor. That’s why Trump brought in Atlas to begin with, and wisely so.

    Marci, I have the highest regard for your experience and wisdom, but the CDC doesn’t listen to anything but money and power. It is a corrupt organization and I would wager was quite ready for the spread of the virus when it came, but not in the way that we would like. At a time when the governors needed medical leadership, the CDC made it very difficult for anyone to disagree with their direction.

    Trump failed, and bigly, but given the corruption in the medical system, e.g., impossibly bad medical statistics and inaccurate testing, I’m not sure he could have managed to persuade even his own followers to do what the Swedes did. Can you picture the outrage with every ventilator/Remdesevir death? Medical tyranny is as powerful as any tyranny, and like any tyranny operates by fear, and I suspect that in this case Trump did not have the confidence to go against the “experts.”

    Yes, I hate to say it because Trump didn’t have much of any choices, but yes, I think covid was one of Trump’s two major failings.

    • #64
  5. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Susan : “The problem began with giving the feds too much power at the start. They were the ones who insisted on the lockdowns. Yes, I know the states were ultimately in charge of many of these decisions. But the initiation of them started with the feds. If the feds started it, maybe they should have withdrawn their decisions and then turned to the states.SNIP

    Yep.

    President T: “There are effectively 4 branches of government now: legislative, executive, judicial, + administrative. The unofficial (extra-Constitutional) one has no checks and balances–it is self-governing, self-financing, and self-perpetuating. It is a cancer that grows all the time.”

    This is perhaps the greatest issue facing the nation- one that few are aware of. It’s a good question whether Trump could have over-ruled Fauci and Brix because of the power given them by the Supreme Court. That is why Birx thought she could lie to the President at will; because she thought she was protected and above the law as do many Washington bureaucrats.

    I think Trump did some good things, SNIP he always preferred to work within the system – and in Washington the “system” is irrevocably broken, and that was Trump’s big problem. More than half of cabinet betrayed him horribly during his Presidency, yet he stayed with them when he should have had them indicted instead . Trump never really faced the fact that Washington is thoroughly corrupt and to really “drain the swamp” you need to confront head on the pervasive corruption. President T above was correct – there are now no “checks and Balances” on the power of the Adminstrative State and that is why corruption is so pervasive.

    Trump should have never put forward Fauci and Birx as renowned health authorities and make them the face of the Pandemic Response, which allowed the Media to deify them. With his wealth, he should have hired for himself outside consultants that were not beholden to the bureaucracy, and who were outside the bureaucracies’ control that would have given him reliable and good alternative advice from the get go. He should have realized he would be conned like he had by Sessions, Barr, McConnell and the rest of UniParty apparatus. He did do some really good things like bring in Peter Navarro who was exemplary, but Trump never seemed to grasp the pressure points of power in Washington and how to use them effectively. SNIP

    I agree with you whole heartedly. Although I have always wondered about the power that the Troika held. Can you spell out the details of “the power that was given to them by the Supreme Court”?

    Agencies hold so much power & with 79,000 new IRS auditors abt to be unleashed on the public, many people are going to find out that most of the civil rights we “are guaranteed” should we ever be apprehended as criminals by the police immediately vanish if it is an agency official doing the apprehending.

    • #65
  6. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Yep.

    President T: “There are effectively 4 branches of government now: legislative, executive, judicial, + administrative. The unofficial (extra-Constitutional) one has no checks and balances–it is self-governing, self-financing, and self-perpetuating. It is a cancer that grows all the time.”

    This is perhaps the greatest issue facing the nation- one that few are aware of. It’s a good question whether Trump could have over-ruled Fauci and Brix because of the power given them by the Supreme Court. That is why Birx thought she could lie to the President at will; because she thought she was protected and above the law as do many Washington bureaucrats.

    I think Trump did some good things, but despite his reputation for being a tough guy, I think he always preferred to work within the system – and in Washington the “system” is irrevocably broken, and that was Trump’s big problem. More than half of cabinet betrayed him horribly during his Presidency, yet he stayed with them when he should have had them indicted instead . Trump never really faced the fact that Washington is thoroughly corrupt and to really “drain the swamp” you need to confront head on the pervasive corruption. President T above was correct – there are now no “checks and Balances” on the power of the Adminstrative State and that is why corruption is so pervasive.

    Trump should have never put forward Fauci and Birx as renowned health authorities and make them the face of the Pandemic Response, which allowed the Media to deify them. With his wealth, he should have hired for himself outside consultants that were not beholden to the bureaucracy, and who were outside the bureaucracies’ control that would have given him reliable and good alternative advice from the get go. He should have realized he would be conned like he had by Sessions, Barr, McConnell and the rest of UniParty apparatus. He did do some really good things like bring in Peter Navarro who was exemplary, but Trump never seemed to grasp the pressure points of power in Washington and how to use them effectively. Washington is a mean, low down dangerous place full of people who will betray their country at the drop of a hat, like Pence, Fauci, Birx, Bill Barr and others. The next President’s job one is to drain the swamp, which Trump didn’t do.

    Yep.  This is why I think no one but Trump among those who are possibly running for president in 2024 realizes the extent to which the Intelligence Community will go to corrupt and control, and kill everything to further their purposes.

    • #66
  7. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    President Donald J. Trump (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    The “deep state,” “swamp,” or whatever you want to call it will not clean up its act willingly. Trump merely reflected the mood of his voters. They liked how someone finally would fight back.

    There are effectively 4 branches of government now: legislative, executive, judicial, + administrative. The unofficial (extra-Constitutional) one has no checks and balances–it is self-governing, self-financing, and self-perpetuating. It is a cancer that grows all the time. In the proposed “Whip Inflation Now” plan, there is a provision which will undo “EPA v. West Virginia” and give the EPA power to regulate all electrical generation, distribution and use. The Trump team is preparing now with with an army of new de-administrators that will fill the 4000 appointed leaders of the administrative state and restore our government to constitutional 3 branches.

    I disagree. The Fourth Branch is the Intelligence Services “community” (IC). It has already been labeled as such by those who have been in it and punished by it. I’m specifically thinking of Flynn, who corrected Tucker Carlson on this point, and said that the Fourth Branch is the most powerful branch, and that the CIA actively spies on, infiltrates, and controls people in all other offices in the so-called Three Branches of Government. The Swamp, if you like is the administrative state which doesn’t serve the interests of the citizenry but serves their own purposes. But de facto it is ultimately subordinate to the IC.

    You’re going to let the rest of the administrative state off that easily?

    The CIA sets up the mind framework by which “the news” via our Talking Heads  present various events.  A narrative is formed such that the public responds in a certain way. Panic and fear are useful tools.

    They micro manage information that they have shielded from public knowledge in various interesting ways. For instance, a person will be set up to be a “whistle blower” so that some dirty fact about a VIP comes to light before it would be discovered  on its own. Then after that “fact” is written up, blown up  and discussed across media platforms, it is suddenly revealed that the “fact” is meaningless as the whistle blower is actually a former convict who deserves only discredit. (Remember Hatfield as “whistle blower” against George W’s blemished military record?)

    The CIA also simply sees to it that a troublesome individual is mysteriously rendered lifeless. Such was the New Years’ 2010 death of John Wheeler, an individual  about to expose the phosgen gas release that killed thousands of cattle across US southeastern farms. In some cases, like Wheeler’s, the individual’s body is found. In other cases, a debilitating illness descends.

    Two such  cases, which affected me as the individuals were friends of mine, involved  an introduction of a pathogen leading to a severe illness resulting in death.

     

    • #67
  8. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Red Herring (View Comment):
    Trump didn’t fail but was better than any of the other choices he beat out in the primary.

    And certainly better than what we have in the Oval Office now – yet some people still refuse to admit that . . .

    • #68
  9. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):
    I think Trump did some good things, but despite his reputation for being a tough guy, I think he always preferred to work within the system – and in Washington the “system” is irrevocably broken, and that was Trump’s big problem.

    I think it is possible he didn’t realize the extent of the corruption in the administrative bureaucracy itself until late in his term. He knew this about the politicians. Then, with the pandemic he was faced with an area where he personally had no knowledge and he thought he was dependent on the medical expertise and that expertise was as corrupt as all the rest, maybe worse.

    And the agencies hadn’t had an opportunity to expose their corruption. Even the American people were unaware, and some have willingly worked hard to stay unaware.

    • #69
  10. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Marci, I don’t think we are that far apart in our assessment. Key people had responsibility. We could argue about percentages of blame, but I don’t think either of us wants to do that! I think part of our back-and-forth is about the frustration and disappointment we share about the whole thing, and how we wish it had gone better. What do you think?

    Impeachments are rare occurrences. And yet they impeached Trump twice. And remember the flack Trump was getting in 2020 with all the reporters blaming Trump for the rising death count? Can you imagine what they would have done if Trump had ignored the so-called experts within government medical agencies? What would they not have done?

    They knew they couldn’t remove him but used impeachment to tie the hands of his staff and limit Trump’s ability to govern

    • #70
  11. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD in front of his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

    And what would you suggest that Atlas do? What power did he have to change anything? It wasn’t that Atlas didn’t “listen to Trump”; he did listen to him and repeatedly pointed out the problems. They both agreed that they should stop the lockdowns, let kids back in school and protect the elderly. But Atlas had no power to make that happen. Only Trump did. And he didn’t act.

    I’m saying the doctors at the CDC etc. would not have listened to Trump. They would never listen to someone who was not a doctor. That’s why Trump brought in Atlas to begin with, and wisely so.

    Marci, I have the highest regard for your experience and wisdom, but the CDC doesn’t listen to anything but money and power. It is a corrupt organization and I would wager was quite ready for the spread of the virus when it came, but not in the way that we would like. At a time when the governors needed medical leadership, the CDC made it very difficult for anyone to disagree with their direction.

    Trump failed, and bigly, but given the corruption in the medical system, e.g., impossibly bad medical statistics and inaccurate testing, I’m not sure he could have managed to persuade even his own followers to do what the Swedes did. Can you picture the outrage with every ventilator/Remdesevir death? Medical tyranny is as powerful as any tyranny, and like any tyranny operates by fear, and I suspect that in this case Trump did not have the confidence to go against the “experts.”

    Yes, I hate to say it because Trump didn’t have much of any choices, but yes, I think covid was one of Trump’s two major failings.

    Which begs the question, which candidate in the primary would have done better- answer – none of them.

    • #71
  12. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    Excellent! Thank you, Susan.

    • #72
  13. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):
    I think Trump did some good things, but despite his reputation for being a tough guy, I think he always preferred to work within the system – and in Washington the “system” is irrevocably broken, and that was Trump’s big problem.

    I think it is possible he didn’t realize the extent of the corruption in the administrative bureaucracy itself until late in his term. He knew this about the politicians. Then, with the pandemic he was faced with an area where he personally had no knowledge and he thought he was dependent on the medical expertise and that expertise was as corrupt as all the rest, maybe worse.

    And the agencies hadn’t had an opportunity to expose their corruption. Even the American people were unaware, and some have willingly worked hard to stay unaware.

    Americans are busy people and it takes a lot of attention to keep up with the level of corruption developed over the decades by these federal agency bureaucrats. The long-standing relationships between professional organizations representing teachers, including university academics, lawyers, doctors, the various types of insurance businesses, have grown to dominate government actions to an extent the people could not have detected in their daily lives. I now see the damage inflicted by the teachers’ unions and leftists higher education academics using federal tax dollars but it took me a long time to get here. So we and President Trump got slammed by these federal medical infrastructure bureaucrats. I would like to change this direction.

    • #73
  14. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):
    I think Trump did some good things, but despite his reputation for being a tough guy, I think he always preferred to work within the system – and in Washington the “system” is irrevocably broken, and that was Trump’s big problem.

    I think it is possible he didn’t realize the extent of the corruption in the administrative bureaucracy itself until late in his term. He knew this about the politicians. Then, with the pandemic he was faced with an area where he personally had no knowledge and he thought he was dependent on the medical expertise and that expertise was as corrupt as all the rest, maybe worse.

    And the agencies hadn’t had an opportunity to expose their corruption. Even the American people were unaware, and some have willingly worked hard to stay unaware.

    Americans are busy people and it takes a lot of attention to keep up with the level of corruption developed over the decades by these federal agency bureaucrats. The long-standing relationships between professional organizations representing teachers, including university academics, lawyers, doctors, the various types of insurance businesses, have grown to dominate government actions to an extent the people could not have detected in their daily lives. I now see the damage inflicted by the teachers’ unions and leftists higher education academics using federal tax dollars but it took me a long time to get here. So we and President Trump got slammed by these federal medical infrastructure bureaucrats. I would like to change this direction.

    It is a behemoth with many employees who would lose jobs • this monster will not willingly and peacefully cede power and go on unemployment.

    • #74
  15. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Marci, I don’t think we are that far apart in our assessment. Key people had responsibility. We could argue about percentages of blame, but I don’t think either of us wants to do that! I think part of our back-and-forth is about the frustration and disappointment we share about the whole thing, and how we wish it had gone better. What do you think?

    Impeachments are rare occurrences. And yet they impeached Trump twice. And remember the flack Trump was getting in 2020 with all the reporters blaming Trump for the rising death count? Can you imagine what they would have done if Trump had ignored the so-called experts within government medical agencies? What would they not have done?

    They knew they couldn’t remove him but used impeachment to tie the hands of his staff and limit Trump’s ability to govern

    That makes impeachment even more egregious.

    • #75
  16. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Sandy (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Atlas failed more spectacularly than Trump. Atlas has an MD in front of his name. There’s no doctor on the planet who would have listened to Trump. I don’t hold it against Atlas. It was a tough crowd in Washington. But Atlas had a far better shot than Trump of actually changing things.

    And what would you suggest that Atlas do? What power did he have to change anything? It wasn’t that Atlas didn’t “listen to Trump”; he did listen to him and repeatedly pointed out the problems. They both agreed that they should stop the lockdowns, let kids back in school and protect the elderly. But Atlas had no power to make that happen. Only Trump did. And he didn’t act.

    I’m saying the doctors at the CDC etc. would not have listened to Trump. They would never listen to someone who was not a doctor. That’s why Trump brought in Atlas to begin with, and wisely so.

    Marci, I have the highest regard for your experience and wisdom, but the CDC doesn’t listen to anything but money and power. It is a corrupt organization and I would wager was quite ready for the spread of the virus when it came, but not in the way that we would like. At a time when the governors needed medical leadership, the CDC made it very difficult for anyone to disagree with their direction.

    Trump failed, and bigly, but given the corruption in the medical system, e.g., impossibly bad medical statistics and inaccurate testing, I’m not sure he could have managed to persuade even his own followers to do what the Swedes did. Can you picture the outrage with every ventilator/Remdesevir death? Medical tyranny is as powerful as any tyranny, and like any tyranny operates by fear, and I suspect that in this case Trump did not have the confidence to go against the “experts.”

    Yes, I hate to say it because Trump didn’t have much of any choices, but yes, I think covid was one of Trump’s two major failings.

    Which begs the question, which candidate in the primary would have done better- answer – none of them.

    I think most of the criticism of Trump from the Right is that he wasn’t absolutely perfect, and that every imperfection was a fatal flaw — or stoopid, or unpardonably gauche.

    • #76
  17. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Marci, I don’t think we are that far apart in our assessment. Key people had responsibility. We could argue about percentages of blame, but I don’t think either of us wants to do that! I think part of our back-and-forth is about the frustration and disappointment we share about the whole thing, and how we wish it had gone better. What do you think?

    Impeachments are rare occurrences. And yet they impeached Trump twice. And remember the flack Trump was getting in 2020 with all the reporters blaming Trump for the rising death count? Can you imagine what they would have done if Trump had ignored the so-called experts within government medical agencies? What would they not have done?

    They knew they couldn’t remove him but used impeachment to tie the hands of his staff and limit Trump’s ability to govern

    That makes impeachment even more egregious.

    It was the real coup.

    • #77
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    One Amazon reviewer who gave the book one star says this:

    The first thing that struck me about this book is the absence of footnotes or citations of any kind. For someone who claims to have a complete understanding of the scientific literature, he doesn’t feel the need to give the reader easy-to-follow links to any of it. Sometimes he will mention the author of a publication and I can google it and maybe find the work he’s talking about, but why would he not simply provide a citation? As someone who likes to look at the source material, I found this extremely frustrating.

    I favor citations, too, but I don’t know if their absence matters if the book is about the political interactions in the White House (as the title indicates). I’ve added it to my Kindle queue. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I haven’t gotten too far into the book yet.  So far it’s turning out to be more of a polemic than a report on what happened, but it’s not so bad that I’ve given up on it.

    As far as citations go, there is discussion of an essay article early in the pandemic that is identified in the text by author and title.  A proper footnote citation would also tell us the publication in which it appeared.  But searching on the author and title brought it up quickly.  That’s better than a lot of news articles I read early in the pandemic that didn’t give enough information to make it that easy to find the publication they were referring to, and it’s also better than a lot of the articles by covid-vax opponents who make it extremely hard to find out what study they are referring to. 

    • #78
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    One Amazon reviewer who gave the book one star says this:

    The first thing that struck me about this book is the absence of footnotes or citations of any kind. For someone who claims to have a complete understanding of the scientific literature, he doesn’t feel the need to give the reader easy-to-follow links to any of it. Sometimes he will mention the author of a publication and I can google it and maybe find the work he’s talking about, but why would he not simply provide a citation? As someone who likes to look at the source material, I found this extremely frustrating.

    I favor citations, too, but I don’t know if their absence matters if the book is about the political interactions in the White House (as the title indicates). I’ve added it to my Kindle queue. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I haven’t gotten too far into the book yet. So far it’s turning out to be more of a polemic than a report on what happened, but it’s not so bad that I’ve given up on it.

    As far as citations go, there is discussion of an essay article early in the pandemic that is identified in the text by author and title. A proper footnote citation would also tell us the publication in which it appeared. But searching on the author and title brought it up quickly. That’s better than a lot of news articles I read early in the pandemic that didn’t give enough information to make it that easy to find the publication they were referring to, and it’s also better than a lot of the articles by covid-vax opponents who make it extremely hard to find out what study they are referring to.

    I’ve read about 25% of the book so far, and am finding it increasingly informative.  Dr. Atlas does tend towards polemics, but that isn’t getting in the way where he reports on his time advising President Trump, and his interactions with Dr Birx, etc.  Reading the book also helps me understand some of the reaction people here on Ricochet had to Dr. Fauci, which I never completely understood, partly because I can’t stand to watch the news and never understood why he was the person people blamed for some of the disastrous policies that were being implemented around the country.  His role is becoming a little clearer to me now.  

    I don’t regret my method of following the news, and even wish more people would do as I do.  But my method does mean that this is the way I sometimes catch up on things. 

    • #79
  20. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    One Amazon reviewer who gave the book one star says this:

    The first thing that struck me about this book is the absence of footnotes or citations of any kind. For someone who claims to have a complete understanding of the scientific literature, he doesn’t feel the need to give the reader easy-to-follow links to any of it. Sometimes he will mention the author of a publication and I can google it and maybe find the work he’s talking about, but why would he not simply provide a citation? As someone who likes to look at the source material, I found this extremely frustrating.

    I favor citations, too, but I don’t know if their absence matters if the book is about the political interactions in the White House (as the title indicates). I’ve added it to my Kindle queue. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    I haven’t gotten too far into the book yet. So far it’s turning out to be more of a polemic than a report on what happened, but it’s not so bad that I’ve given up on it.

    As far as citations go, there is discussion of an essay article early in the pandemic that is identified in the text by author and title. A proper footnote citation would also tell us the publication in which it appeared. But searching on the author and title brought it up quickly. That’s better than a lot of news articles I read early in the pandemic that didn’t give enough information to make it that easy to find the publication they were referring to, and it’s also better than a lot of the articles by covid-vax opponents who make it extremely hard to find out what study they are referring to.

    I’ve read about 25% of the book so far, and am finding it increasingly informative. Dr. Atlas does tend towards polemics, but that isn’t getting in the way where he reports on his time advising President Trump, and his interactions with Dr Birx, etc. Reading the book also helps me understand some of the reaction people here on Ricochet had to Dr. Fauci, which I never completely understood, partly because I can’t stand to watch the news and never understood why he was the person people blamed for some of  disastrous policies that were being implemented around the country. His role is becoming … clearer to me now.

    I don’t regret my method of following the news, and even wish more people would do as I do. But my method does mean that this is the way I sometimes catch up on things.

    I follow national news thru various “social influencers” on my social networks.

    But locally I am often clueless. The progressive CCP-aligned newspapers are so atrocious that I simply refuse to  purchase their products.

    • #80
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I don’t regret my method of following the news, and even wish more people would do as I do.  But my method does mean that this is the way I sometimes catch up on things. 

    Sounds good to me, Ret. I had the same reaction to Atlas regarding his seeming to be over the top at times (particularly since he made some of the same points repeatedly), but under the circumstances, it made sense. I can’t even imagine spending four months, with excellent credentials, being ignored. And frankly, as long as you get your news, and you trust your sources, you should get it wherever you wish.

    • #81
  22. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I’ve read about 25% of the book so far, and am finding it increasingly informative.  Dr. Atlas does tend towards polemics, but that isn’t getting in the way where he reports on his time advising President Trump, and his interactions with Dr Birx, etc.  Reading the book also helps me understand some of the reaction people here on Ricochet had to Dr. Fauci, which I never completely understood, partly because I can’t stand to watch the news and never understood why he was the person people blamed for some of the disastrous policies that were being implemented around the country.  His role is becoming a little clearer to me now.  

    It keeps getting better and better, and helps explain my frustration with the Trump administration’s approach to covid testing. Scott Atlas was on top of the issue, but Birx was a problem.  

    • #82
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.