British anti-aircraft shells whistled harmlessly past German bombers only to fall back to the streets and homes of London to kill as many citizens as the actual German bombs. This historical example might come to mind as we begin to emerge from a comparable reaction to the threat of COVID-19. States and countries that strangled their economies generally reported no better and sometimes worse casualties. In the panic, our tech overlords censored doctors with studies that dared question the panic narrative. The lockdowns increased drug overdoses and domestic violence. They delayed cancer screenings. Depression, potentially deadly in itself, skyrocketed.
Conservatives already know all of this. It’s been agonizing watching the panic mongers smother freedom for no legitimate reason. We’ve howled as abortion clinics continued their dark arts while churches and schools were closed. We endured lectures about our “anti-science” conspiracy theories. We were censored, canceled, fired, and harassed for questioning the panic heralds.
But as the spring thaws Biden’s cold COVID winter, the icy grip of fear is beginning to loosen. What’s changed is that COVID-19, for better or worse, is being driven out of the United States by the brute force of mass vaccinations. With the urgency abating, the fog of politicized science is beginning to lift.
Last Friday, a known and influential liberal launched a scathing rebuke at the Left for COVID-19 propaganda and misinformation. I cannot think of another example in the last year of a left-leaning public figure breaking ranks from the scolding and screaming mob that kept us under house arrest for so long. Bill Maher amazingly managed to complete this bombshell monologue without censorship or interruption.
“Don’t spin me when it comes to my health,” he quipped to his studio audience that sat in shocked silence as Maher opened with these heretical words. “Over the past year of the COVID pandemic, the medical establishment, the media, and the government have taken a scared-straight approach to getting the public to comply with their recommendations. Well, I’m from a different school . . . give it to me straight, doc. Because in the long run that always works better than, ‘you can’t handle the truth.’”
The audience, hearing permission to acknowledge the undeniable truth of these words, suddenly began cheering and clapping. If he had stopped here, getting an undoubtedly liberal audience to cheer for this point would have been sufficiently stunning.
But he wasn’t finished.
Now I get it. Doctors tell people lies because they don’t trust you to finish your antibiotics after your [expletive] starts feeling better. And media? Well, I think we all know that if it bleeds, it leads. The more they can get you to stay inside and watch their panic porn, the higher their ratings. . . . But when all of our sources for medical information have an agenda to spin us . . . yeah, you wind up with a badly misinformed population, including on the Left. Liberals often mock Republicans’ misinformation bubble which, of course, is very real. Ask anyone who works at Hillary’s pizza parlor . . .
But what about liberals? You know, the high information, ‘by the science’ people? In a recent . . . survey, Democrats did much worse than Republicans in getting the right answer to the fundamental question, ‘what are the chances that somebody who gets COVID will need to be hospitalized?’ The answer is between one and five percent. Forty-one percent of Democrats thought it was over 50 percent. Another 28 percent put the chances at between 20 percent and 49 percent. So almost 70 percent of Democrats are wildly off on this key question and also have a greatly exaggerated view of the danger of COVID and the mortality rate among children.
All which explains why today the states with the highest share of schools which are still closed are all blue states. So if the right-wing media bubble has to own things like climate change denial, shouldn’t liberal media have to answer for, ‘How did your audience wind up believing such a bunch of crap about COVID?’
Maher added that the media continued peddling stories about the dangers of going to a beach when the science shows sunlight and fresh air actually hinder the spread of COVID. He also pointed to an improvement in public health in Texas after it loosened COVID lockdown restrictions. “Let the sun and the wind do their thing!” Maher said. “But to many liberals, ‘that can’t be right, because Texas and beach-loving Florida have Republican governors.”
Maher then praised the Florida governor for protecting the elderly “way better than the governor of New York. Those are just facts. I know it’s irresponsible of me to say them.”
“I don’t want politics mixed in with my medical decisions. And now that everything is politics, that’s all we do. If their side [Republicans] says COVID is nothing, our side has to say it’s everything. Trump said it would go away like a miracle. And we said it was World War Z.”
Maher pointed out that liberals mocked Trump for suggesting we ingest household disinfectants (a distortion of what Trump actually said), “and then it turned out, 19 percent of America were literally drenching the fruit in Clorox. And now of course we find out that all that paranoia about surfaces was bullshit, anyway.”
He then added, “If you lie to people, even for a very good cause, you lose their trust.”
Maher pointed out that obesity is the greatest contributing factor to deaths of people with COVID-19 and that the media and doctors could have saved countless lives by encouraging people to fight obesity as an anti-COVID measure. But in the current Left orthodoxy climate, criticizing obesity is so forbidden, “we would literally rather die.”
Real truth to real power looks like this. Maher said something that was true but other people have been canceled for saying. That took guts. And it was heroic. The next honest liberal won’t have to be as courageous.