Here is Chapter Two of Gone Viral by Justin Hart
Thanksgiving weekend came and went in 2021. The soothsayers of Team Apocalypse were wrong again—the sky didn’t fall. Whole populations of families who dared to get together to celebrate were not wiped out. But that didn’t stop NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. The Covid fatality rate doesn’t hold a candle to the risk of standing between Dr. Fauci and a camera. After a few softball questions the television host of CBS’s Face the Nation asked Dr. Fauci about recent criticism of him from various corners. He replied:
So, it’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous. To me, that’s more dangerous than the slings and the arrows that get thrown at me. I’m not going to be around here forever, but science is going to be here forever. And if you damage science, you are doing something very detrimental to society long after I leave. And that’s what I worry about.
It is indeed dangerous to claim to represent science. Science doesn’t need sales reps, since it is the conceptualization of physical reality itself as determined by experiment and data. What Fauci truly represented is the authoritarian State with a capital “S.”
Emails released through the Freedom of Information Act show Fauci to be a manipulative man of politics, deftly brushing off lengthy diatribes against him or mustering forces to push back on Team Reality. It really is quite the position to be in as the highest paid federal employee in history to call upon the systematic enterprise of knowledge known as “science” to shield you from criticism.
The damage wrought upon our science as an actual institution is incalculable. As Dr. Jay Bhattacharya noted: “The current generation of top public health leaders will need to step down before trust is restored.”
The science is not what they say it is and you are not required to acquiesce to anyone’s determinations but your own. Indeed, when someone declares themselves to be the voice of authority in all things—run.
Science and the Application of Science Are Not the Same Thing
One keen realization our society must grapple with is separating the science from the application of that science. The science may indeed dictate that we experienced the spread of a highly transmissible deadly viral aerosolized respiratory pathogen, but it does not follow that you need to lose your job after that. Or that we ought to destroy the economy of a country. Or deprive a generation of children of proper learning.
Dr. Scott Atlas was lambasted by Team Apocalypse again and again for not being a virologist, but he was not sent to the White House to fix “the science”—he was there to fix the policy. Indeed, Dr. Atlas had keen and deep expertise in the application of science to public policy, something Dr. Fauci has failed at again and again in his career.
Our Constitution affords US citizens many enumerated rights and protections in our pursuit of happiness. Many of these endowed freedoms are couched in language specifically protecting us from the government writ large. While courts might attest to some extreme event placing some of these rights into dormancy, it did not give Dr. Fauci the right to put our rights, indeed our whole Constitution, into a coma.
The Institutions Lie. And Lie. And Lie.
Myriad once-trusted institutions have suffered greatly under the boom which Dr. Fauci and company lowered onto the American people and, frankly, the world.
The CDC has lost immense trust on all sides. From Dr. Redfield’s declaration that masks are better than vaccines to Dr. Walensky selling you a non-sterilizing sterilizing vaccine—this institution has wreaked the greatest havoc over the entire pandemic. They manipulated data, hid data, ignored data, invented data, deleted data, dismissed data, and all around succumbed to political pressure. Whether it was from teachers’ unions or a meddling White House, the CDC failed to provide any real leadership. With a budget of billions and over twenty thousand employees the amount of work they produced was puny and questionable at every step.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) is another behemoth that needs a thorough cleaning. Their (now) former director, Francis Collins, penned the infamous email calling out the signers of the Great Barrington Declaration.
“This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists . . . seems to be getting a lot of attention—and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises,” Collins ends the email: “Is it underway?”
If it wasn’t, the establishment institutional heads got in gear and made sure to jumpstart the process of attempting to destroy the reputations of the signers, all manifestly qualified and fantastically credentialled scientists and doctors.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Fauci is one of the key culprits stalling any real progress on trust and communication around these vital topics. Fauci and Collins are keenly involved with all areas of research in this federal healthcare monstrosity and influence millions of dollars in grants given every year. No wonder the spectrum of literature produced here did little to further any alternate views on lockdowns, masking, vaccines, and other COVID-19 implementations. The folks setting the policy also hold the purse strings.
It was obvious from the get-go that the structure of our county-centric administration of health policy was going to be problematic. These local health directors and advisors have little if any accountability. They are unelected bureaucrats and were given immense powers over the lives of citizens in their areas. The replete inconsistency with how federal health policy and information was conveyed to the public is an embarrassment. These county entities were given massive outlays of taxpayer dollars for the fruitless effort of contact tracing. The impact was not just on our wallets. As Jay Bhattacharya noted: “Hospital staffing shortages are at least in part due to rigidly enforced vaccine mandates and to mass asymptomatic testing and contact tracing. How many more people must suffer because of the monomaniacal focus on COVID at the expense of public health?” Contact tracing at the county level became a de facto quarantine machine, especially for students.
Most did it, many of us knowing it was pointless. But the pointlessness became the point. Comply, or you are a bad person. Comply or it’s no more school for you.
And comply many people did, thinking they would weather the madness, counting the cost on their hearts and spirits as worth the sacrifice for their children’s education. One more stricture, and the schools will open. Follow one more edict and the playground tape will come off. And so it went for two plus years. So it still goes in many places. We were duped, but we also duped ourselves.
Public Trust Was Destroyed
The impact on the public trust is massive. Curiously, after the 2009 H1N1 debacle, an article was published on the NIH website entitled: “’Listen to the People:’ Public Deliberation About Social Distancing Measures in a Pandemic” The article notes the vital need for good and honest communication to the public about measures being taken the protect the citizenry. It notes: “Public engagement in ethically laden pandemic planning decisions may be important for transparency, creating public trust, improving compliance with public health orders, and ultimately, contributing to just outcomes.”
Ya’ think? This is something at which Fauci and company dramatically failed. At one point, early in the pandemic, Fauci advised against face masks but later admitted he was telling this “noble lie” to slow the impact on material needs and hospital settings. Honesty was a not a key feature of this pandemic.
The report continues: “We conducted focus groups with members of the public to characterize public perceptions about social distancing measures likely to be implemented during a pandemic. Participants expressed concerns about job security and economic strain on families if businesses or school closures are prolonged. They shared opposition to closure of religious organizations, citing the need for shared support and worship during times of crises.”
It was all right there. It is on the website of the National Institute of Health.
They ignored all of it.
The report concludes: “Social distancing measures may be challenging to implement and sustain due to strains on family resources and lack of trust in government.”
What a stark and terrible reminder that the institutions which prized themselves on public health damaged the public more than anything else. Your trust should be in the bedrock of our Constitution, not in some self-endowed title of “Science.”
As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.