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It [Sen. Josh Hawley’s bill to ban federal mask mandates] would hamstring public health experts who guided our nation out of the pandemic.” –Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA)
A guy walks into a bar wearing a necklace with an absurdly large amulet. The bartender asks why he is wearing it. The guy responds that it keeps elephants away. The bartender says there are no elephants anywhere near here. The guy then says “See, it’s working.” –Ancient bad joke.
We knew at the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak from existing studies about past respiratory pandemics (including some studies cited in email exchanges between Anthony Fauci and senior NIAD colleagues) that mask mandates, closures, and lockdowns would have a very minimal effect on viral spread and would instead impose serious costs. Instead of being honest about the state of the science, a collective decision was made (or drifted into) to impose costly interventions to create an impression of Doing Something. Once the pandemic inevitably receded into an endemic annoyance, the perpetrators could then claim to have won a great victory and to have saved countless lives.
Christopher Columbus pulled off a similar trick in 1504, claiming to control a lunar eclipse to dupe the local tribe. Taking credit for outcomes not under one’s control is a very old con.
No jurisdiction on the planet found a policy combination that affected a departure from its larger regional seasonality COVID case curve. No curves were flattened. COVID rose and fell on its own terms regardless of policy variations. Sweden and Germany had the same COVID fatality rate, rising and falling at the exact same time despite wildly different policy approaches. In the end, the only difference was that Sweden had less collateral damage than mandate-heavy jurisdictions.
“The experts who guided our nation out of the pandemic” is a preposterous phrase by a ridiculous man. But we need to be alert to the depressing truth that not only will such “experts” (and their enablers) make every effort to congratulate themselves for what they did not do while ducking responsibility for the harm they did cause, but they will attempt to mandate enough public amnesia so they can pull off similar cons in the near future. And that’s not funny.Published in