On Saturday morning, my daughter in college texted me: “I got sent home two years ago today. Feels like a dream.” After I responded, she sent an uncharacteristically brief reply:
To say the least. In March 2020, once-free citizens around the world surrendered their liberty and livelihoods in a futile attempt to “stop” a virus. The most technologically advanced civilization in the history of mankind quickly adopted medieval fixes that bordered on quackery, sold by snake oil salesmen in the credentialied class and news media, codified through executive fiat by elected leaders of both parties.
“Just 15 days,” we were told on March 16, 2020, “to slow the spread.” Do your part to promote the “common good”—the historical rallying cry of every wannabe despot—or be branded a heartless heretic. And it worked, far better than the original architects probably anticipated.
On the same day my daughter left her college dormitory in upstate New York, not to return to a normal campus life for two years, I posted this on Twitter:
This is what the Left wants. They want people stripped of wealth, isolated, and terrified. They want sources of joy—church, sporting events, vacations, large social gatherings—eliminated. This is how they get control. And it’s far scarier than any virus.
To say that was a very unpopular view at the time would be an understatement. But having covered the climate change movement for years, I recognized a familiar approach to the spread of COVID-19 hysteria: use flawed data to whip up a public frenzy and shut down all debate in fealty to “science!”
Any disagreement over the data, no matter how unreliable or untested the data happened to be—and in the early months, the only available data came from China—made you a “science denier,” or worse.
This time around, sadly, the hysteria wasn’t pushed solely by lefty environmental activists but also by President Donald Trump, Republican governors, and “conservative” influencers throughout the media. Once that buy-in was made, all hope was lost.
Trump’s catastrophic decision to acquiesce to the demands of Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx—the former a charlatan, the latter a dunce—and shut down the country two years ago this week was by far the worst moment in his presidency and rivals the worst moment in any presidency. As usual, however, Trump’s first instinct (the one he suppressed to appease those demanding we honor The Science™) was the right one. The cure should not be worse than the disease, he fretted. He knew it, but he listened to the quacks anyway.
The cure, of course, got worse. Emboldened by their success in forcing Trump to authorize the first 15-day shutdown, the then-adored Fauci and Birx took it a step further. With two dubious projection models in hand, the pair went to the White House at the end of March 2020 and convinced Trump to extend the lockdowns another month.
The decision sealed his electoral fate; the booming economy he helped build entered a death spiral.
Which is why the Left will try this again. Pandemic lockdowns produced all sorts of benefits for Democrats, including outcomes the environmental movement had been dreaming about for five decades: fossil fuel use plummeted as airline and vehicle traffic screeched to a halt; meat prices soared; commercial buildings in large energy-consuming cities sat vacant.
Lockdowns, one international energy group cheered, resulted in a new worldwide low of CO2 emissions in 2020. “The decline in emissions . . . is without precedent in human history—broadly speaking, this is the equivalent of removing all of the European Union’s emissions from the global total.”
And just as those figures started to rebound, the Russia-Ukraine war presented an ideal opportunity to institute a soft form of lockdowns; with gas prices rapidly rising to historical highs, Americans are voluntarily limiting their own energy use.
The Biden regime fully admits the conflict will accelerate plans to move the country’s energy independence from gas and oil to wind and solar, achieving Biden’s pledge to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. The Build Back Better plan, intended to “reset” U.S. priorities post-pandemic, devotes at least $550 billion for “a once-in-a-generation investments in clean energy and infrastructure that can help tackle the climate crisis.”
Aside from advancing long-time climate goals, the lockdowns contributed to an even bigger score for Biden and the Democrats in 2020: stealing the presidential election.
In May 2020, the CDC issued guidance that gave a scientific imprimatur to Democrats’ long-desired changes to voting laws including lax use of absentee ballots. A record number of mail-in ballots, millions of which were unlawfully handled before Election Day, resulted in Trump’s purported defeat.
With heavy losses expected in November, Democrats will try election-related lockdowns again. The weeks leading up to Election Day happen to coincide with the annual flu season, so Democrats, including incumbent governors in tight races, will likely attempt the winning 2020 formula once more.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the only leader to express regret for authorizing shutdowns in his state—under pressure at the time by the Trump White House—questioned whether “the science [will] change because you have a midterm election coming up,” noting that Democrats didn’t reverse their COVID panic until they saw dismal polling results.
But will the public fall for it? Given what we’ve witnessed over the past two years, unfortunately, the answer might be “yes.” Millions of our countrymen have revealed themselves to be miserable sociopaths gratified by human suffering, especially that of children. These ghouls still rage at the sight of unmasked kindergarteners and college football stadiums filled with joyous students.
A healthy, or rather, unhealthy, portion of the American public will gladly do this all over again. They now mourn the fact that life is slowly returning to normal, continuing to wear two face masks in a sign of defiance and solidarity with their fellow nutcases. For its part, the Biden regime is keeping the re-entry door to lockdowns open just enough to blow it wide open again months from now if necessary; the useless face mask mandate on airplanes and mass transit, for example, has been extended until at least April 18.
Pfizer just announced a fourth shot will be necessary for vaccinated people and an annual booster will be recommended for all Americans as we “learn to live with it,” CEO Albert Bourla (a veterinarian by training) said in a weekend interview. The executive who delayed release of positive news about the vaccine until after the 2020 election also boasted about Big Pharma’s newfound popularity. “What we see now after we were able to step up and provide solutions, a significant uplift on the reputation of the industry,” Bourla told Margaret Brennan on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “That’s a fact, we can see it with polls.”
It’s only a matter of time until these power-hungry frauds are back at the lockdown trough.
Our children, on the other hand, will live with some form of post-traumatic stress. Mid-March will roll around every year, and they, like my daughters, will be reminded of all that was needlessly and irrevocably lost because the adults morally responsible for protecting them instead abandoned them.
Despite how rich or popular the lockdowns made Albert Bourla or how pleased millions of Americans were at the sight of mass misery, the reality is that lockdowns did immense damage across the globe that may never be fully calculated. The date of March 16, 2020 isn’t just a day that will live in infamy—it marked the beginning of the largest crime against humanity since the last world war.
And the perpetrators aren’t finished yet.