The Atlantic Magazine Floats Covid Amnesty

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Perhaps sensing a groundswell of a political backlash against politicians and officials, the Atlantic magazine, long a purveyor of progressive politics, has run a major article suggesting “amnesty” for people that abused their power, and abused other people, because of Covid. Interestingly, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers (the teacher’s union) is making a similar call.

The thrust of the article and similar arguments is that as a society, we didn’t know what was happening, and therefore misbehavior should be forgiven. Covid was new and we just didn’t know enough. That this was written by a female economics professor is all the more astounding.

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While it is true officials did not fully understand Covid and were bullied by bogus “computer models”, contemporaneous contrary evidence was available,  yet the decision to lockdown was a policy made at the highest levels of government, and then mimicked at the state level. 

Rather than locking in the vulnerable, the healthy were locked in their homes.

Moreover, it seems odd that a professor of economics cannot figure out that if you close down the national (and world) economy, force people to stay home, and arbitrarily allow some people to work, and not others, this would screw up the economy. Some decisions don’t require reams of contemporaneous data, just logic, and understanding.

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The government went way too far. While shutting down production (supply), it ginned up demand by massive deficit spending, culminating by simply handing out newly minted dollars directly to citizens (demand), regardless of financial condition, in the form of direct stimulus checks. One simply needs to understand supply and demand to know that lockdown would cause a disaster.

We will give her credit, however, for noting that what was done to people was wrong. Much of what was done was done under the name of “science”. Yet social distancing was not effective, nor were most masks, and nor were forced vaccination. There are those who won’t admit that – just witness the attempt by the government to force infants and children to receive Covid vaccines. This cohort of the population has demonstrated that they rarely die of the virus but may suffer negative long-term health issues from taking it. Yet some officials remain unrelenting even today, suggesting it become part of the normal childhood immunization protocols.

However, it was clear early on, it was the elderly with co-morbidities that were in jeopardy, not the general population.  It was also known very early, that the virus was smaller than most masks and therefore was about as effective as putting up a chain link fence to stop mosquitoes.  Yet, officials went ahead and created a mask panic that had people wearing them outdoors and even alone in their cars.

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As mentioned, at least she seems to recognize that the lockdown was wrong, and therefore, she suggests amnesty because officials were working with the best information they had. You can’t ask for forgiveness unless you have done something that needs forgiveness.

But we argue contrary information was available. There was a choice made to ignore it and further, to punish those that disagreed. For example, the Great Barrington Declaration came early in the process and was not only ridiculed by the legacy government press but actions were taken by CDC officials to suppress alternative opinions. Further, they colluded with social media companies that de-platformed scientists, doctors, and citizens that might disagree with the government’s interpretation of things.

The irony is, the lack of information she decries,  was mostly because the government suppressed research and doctors who had a different point of view.  In short, they were the cause of their own lack of information and thus the harmful decisions that followed as a consequence.

Moreover, one could agree for example, that vaccinations work (subsequently disproven) but still take the position that forcing people to take it, and firing them for not doing so, was wrong. While Covid may have been new, what government can and can’t do is written into our Constitution. Simply because authorities are concerned, or have an opinion, does not give them the right to suspend the Constitution and ride roughshod over our liberties.

As far as the information problem. we at The Prickly Pear also had to work with the available information at the time period, and we responded by defending liberty and publishing the Great Barrington Declaration.  That is because he read other than government edicts and read our Constitution.

Officials could have done that as well. They chose not to.

As mentioned before, while this “amnesty movement” is starting to roll, there are many officials that simply don’t acknowledge they did anything wrong, either on the medical or legal front. Many continue to double down on failed policies. Even today, with what we know, California has moved to hurt doctors that may have disagreed by pulling their medical licenses.

Internationally, we got to watch the difference between Sweden’s response and those of China.  The difference in approach was clearly evident and we ran numerous articles on Sweden. The contention of the Atlantic that we just did not know, is blatantly disingenuous. The information was not only ignored, but it was also suppressed, and anyone who brought the contrary information to light felt the full weight of government and social stigma.

At the state level, some states had harsh regimes (typically Democrat-dominated states) while more conservative states like Florida had a light hand. Some like Arizona tried to thread the needle and go midway on policies. Information soon became available that states with the light touch had no worse results than states with a heavy hand. We reported that at the time. Yet left-leaning states persisted in their policies and in some cases, doubled down even in the face of contrary information.

So, the central thesis of the Atlantic article is simply wrong. Officials were not working with the best and latest information they had. They did not follow the Constitution. Therefore, they should be forgiven? Really? Rather, the government actively suppressed information they did not like and became even more draconian. Further, you might remember the Governor of New Jersey when asked about the legality of his measures said he had not consulted the Bill of Rights.

Last time we checked, elected officials swear to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is still the first ten amendments to that document.

The government may well have funded the research which set this plague loose on the world, then they covered it up, covered up the results of vaccine tests, and worked to censure dissidents and punish them. This needs to be investigated, not swept under the rug by amnesty.

Sorry, the abuse of power is not forgivable. You can’t ride roughshod over the Constitution, put small businesses into bankruptcy, fire people from their jobs, have the elderly die alone in depression, cause a wave of teenage suicides, ruin the education of children, and scare the hell out of people without consequences.

Those officials that abused their power should be, at the least, be relieved of their jobs.

As to the reactions citizens had to other citizens, it got pretty nasty, even within families. It ruined holidays and severed friendships. But it generally broke down to those that chose to follow government guidelines and those that were skeptical of those recommendations. Therefore, the source of the strife among people can still be traced directly back to our elected and unelected government officials. On a personal level, a case for amnesty might be made. But among officials, no way. They must be held accountable.

Further, the role of “science”, the collapse of medical integrity, and the dominant funding of research from the government are all fertile areas to criticize. Scientists should know better and so should doctors, as they took an oath to do no harm. They too should be held accountable.

The same can be said of the media, which fanned the flames of panic and government overreach. Like in so many other areas, journalism failed to do the job of an independent investigator and just became the mouthpiece for government officials. They simply could not get enough of Dr. Fauci.

Holding officials to account is an important part of our democratic civic duty. We do not want to make the same mistakes again, and if there is no punishment, there is no barrier to repeating the same mistakes.

You can see many of the same scientific and attitudinal problems surfacing with the Green New Deal, and the forced conversion of the world to their chosen energy choices. Therefore, to avoid government overreach in areas unrelated to Covid, it is right and proper to call to account those government officials that abused their power during Covid.

Amnesty no. A fair trial, yes.

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