At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, big-government acolytes and globalists planted the seeds of authoritarianism. Now that the sun is shining and the severity of the COVID-19 public health crisis is subsiding, will the statist tendencies remain in full bloom? It has been a protracted, exhausting, and costly 16 months for the more than 300 million Americans accused of wanting to murder their grandmothers because they desired a haircut. Nationwide house arrests, hypocritical politicians, mini-Maos running amok, and lectures from sententious celebrities – the public has either discovered new elements of the political landscape or skeptical Americans’ views of the Swamp were confirmed. What did America learn from this ordeal?
Equality – For Some
Stay home. Save lives.
This was the message that politicians, bureaucrats, and the scientific community delivered ad nauseam throughout the pandemic. The idea was that if everyone was confined to their humble abodes, potentially asymptomatic carriers of the respiratory illness would not be able to spread the infectious disease. But who knew that this directive was meant for the plebes and proletariat, not the politicians and progressives?
During the course of the once-in-a-century event, countless reports highlighted elected officials and civil servants violating public health protocols and rules to go on vacation or see their families.
Liberty Nation reported on a few of these instances. Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) violated a couple of tenets of COVID orthodoxy: He hopped on a private jet to Mexico for a vacation and hosted his daughter’s wedding. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) urged his constituents to “pass the potatoes, not COVID” and stay home before boarding a plane to visit his wife and daughter in Mississippi. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was going to host his 89-year-old mother for Thanksgiving, but he was forced to change his plans after outrage ensued. When President Joe Biden won the election, esteemed Democrats took to the streets, removed their masks, and celebrated.
When they were caught, it was a pity party, filled with crocodile tears. Despite the repetition of “we’re all in this together,” it was evident that some are more equal than others.
Listen to the Science (TM) Is Not What It Means
In the early days of COVID-19, the smartest men and women in Washington discouraged the population from wearing masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE). Then, out of the blue, every person was nudged to sport a face mask to protect others, resulting in mask mandates across the country – blue and red states. Most people have complied with these orders in the name of Listening to the Science (TM). Those who refused were chastised by many on the left, being labeled everything from “covidiots” to “science deniers.”
While the efficacy of masks can be debated, the data suggest that the mask mandates did not accomplish what they set out to achieve. Let’s examine a few states and cities with these directives and the results.
In April 2020, the state of New York imposed a mask mandate, requiring all New Yorkers to wear masks. Did this curb new infections? Cases flatlined over the summer, but the seven-day average hit a record high of nearly 16,000 in January 2021. In June 2020, the Golden State adopted mask mandates, but there were still approximately three million more confirmed cases. Illinois instituted mask requirements in April 2020, only for the state to report more than one million cases 12 months later. And the same trends can be found worldwide, from Spain to the United Kingdom and Sweden.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, various talking heads submitted their doom-and-gloom “give it two weeks” prognostications. Whether it was after the Super Bowl in Tampa, FL, or the first Texas Rangers home game in Globe Life Stadium, there was supposed to be an explosion in new cases. In February, Iowa lifted its mask mandate, and the media declared that the state was indifferent to the fact that people might die. What happened in these places? New infections tumbled, although there was a slight and temporary bump in The Sunshine State in March.
Does this mean masks are useless? It is hoped the scientific community will be the judge of that in the future when the hysteria and political profiteering fade into the trash receptacles of history. That said, masks were not serious enough to prevent President Biden from pulling down his covering and cough into his hand during a rally or Dr. Anthony Fauci from turning his mask into a chin strap at a Washington Nationals ballgame in July 2020.
Any Excuse to Spend Money
All three levels of government made drunken sailors look like amateurs. In addition to Washington spending and printing trillions of dollars in a year, state and local apparatuses approved deficit-financed outlays. But what was initially funding to shield businesses and workers from financial ruin quickly metastasized into efforts to transform the nation’s landscape. Biden has unveiled his two-part multi-trillion-dollar New Deal-esque infrastructure plan that includes everything from child care to free college to a guaranteed income for households with children. What does this have to do with roads and highways? Well, infrastructure spending is anything the government says it is.
Free Markets and Karens
There was one bright spot in all of this: The free market delivered a coronavirus vaccine in less than a year. The consensus was that a vaccine would not come to market for at least a couple of years. Whatever the public’s view of these inoculations may be, the pharmaceutical giants sprang into action and defied all predictions. Even without the vaccine, the private sector still proved effective in the infancy period of the pandemic, manufacturing at tremendous speeds volumes of masks, gloves, ventilators, and anything else critical for hospitals, staff, and the people.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic triggered the very worst in politicians and even the public. Many officials abused their powers, Karens swarmed the streets to confront maskless strangers, and the mainstream media gave progressives a pass on mass gatherings and riots because they demonstrated for a cause the Fourth Estate endorsed. The United States was already highly partisan and split before the crisis, and COVID exacerbated the two-movie hypothesis. In many ways, the pandemic brought the United States and the world to the age before enlightenment, where reason and liberty are abandoned. It might take years for the planet to recover its little gray cells.
Read more from Andrew Moran.