Since the threat of 2.2 million deaths crossed to the U.S. shores in the form of COVID-19, Americans took the seemingly necessary steps to shut down the national economy. The high mortality numbers were based on predictive models constructed by the Imperial College London COVID-19 Response Team, led by professor Neil Ferguson.
COVID-19 was to be the most serious respiratory threat since the 1918 influenza pandemic, and “suppression” methods would be needed to mitigate the infection and death numbers. These methods would need to remain in place for “18 months or longer,” until a vaccine could be created.
It bears repeating: 2.2 million deaths and 18 months of suppression methods. It’s interesting, infuriating, and alarming that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and many other medical organizations and professionals openly confessed (and still confess) to knowing little about the disease, and yet boldly stood by these outrageous claims as if they were absolute certainties.
Not only did they stand by these claims, but they also stood by the man who produced them. These projections come from the same person—Ferguson—who suggested in 2005 that the bird flu could kill up to 200 million; from 2003 to 2015, 440 had died from the avian illness. He also predicted that somewhere between 50 to 150,000 (quite a range) could die from the 2002 mad cow disease outbreak.
But Ferguson isn’t alone. David Nabarro of the WHO warned that between 5 million and 150 million could die from the 2005 bird flu. In 1992, the mad cow disease scare in England led to 4.4 million cows being slaughtered, after it was estimated that approximately 180,000 were infected. The CDC predicted that Liberia and Sierra Leone would suffer 550,000 to 1.4 million deaths during the 2014 Ebola outbreak; fewer than 12,000 died.
The statistics that should have been adhered to were the ones produced by the CDC in October 1999 regarding a potential influenza pandemic, before this pandemic ever began. Its predictions were highly accurate with what has transpired in the United States. It predicted between 314,000 to 734,000 hospitalizations, 89,000 to 207,000 deaths, and high-risk patients would account for 84 percent of all deaths.
Should Bad Information Introduce a ‘New Normal’
The term “new normal” has been continuously propagated by health organizations and health specialists in academia through the means of mass media. Without question, talking heads have fully embraced this recommendation.
This is the new normal. Gloves and masks. Don’t touch anything. Social distancing. Isolation of the elderly. No more handshakes. Hugs? Don’t be preposterous! Church gatherings? Only in the parking lot, in separate cars, with the windows rolled up. Dining in restaurants? To-go orders will have to suffice. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the new normal.
Isn’t it wonderful?
Some things seem outright ridiculous, but that hasn’t kept people from going above and beyond the ridiculous to avoid transmission. The question is how much of the information coming out is reliable?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has now become a household name, went on “60 Minutes” on March 8 and said, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” On May 12, on PBS NewsHour, he recommended people wear masks. The CDC recommended cloth face covers in April, but mainly when in “areas of significant community-based transmission.”
That hasn’t stopped people from wearing masks in their vehicles or in isolated areas.
On May 12, Fauci testified before the Senate that there could be serious consequences if the country reopened too soon. On May 22, he stated that “irreparable damage” could be done if the lockdown lasted too long.
The conflict of views is obvious, but in regard to his May 22 interview, the question arises: How long is too long, according to Fauci? In mid-March, most states began their lockdowns. The American people were promised a 14-day lockdown, and even that felt like a very long time. These lockdowns have lingered over two months, with some governors and mayors resisting reopening.
The “irreparable damage” has already begun. When President Donald Trump warned of depression and increased suicide rates, the media scoffed and “fact-checked” their way into oblivion. It was an expected media response. But Trump was spot-on. History shows the direct correlation between a poor job market and depression and suicide rates. Between 1920 and 1928, the suicide rate was 12.1 per 100,000 people. It jumped to 18.1 in 1929. The poor job market in the 1980s created a surge of suicides. Most recently, suicides increased by 10,000 in Europe and the United States between the beginning recession years of 2007 to 2009.
Who and What Do We Protect?
The alarm bells were ringing to protect the elderly and those with immunodeficiency; this was the obvious step to take. But something idiotic took place. The idea of fairness took over.
If some had to go into lockdown, then everyone had to go into lockdown. The young and the healthy were reduced to the elderly and infirm. Those with everyday jobs joined those who were living off their Social Security checks. The insult of $1,200 checks were distributed to the masses as a gesture of goodwill; and those were distributed nearly a month after the lockdown began. The promise of increased unemployment checks were doled out as if U.S. workers had been gagging for a chance to stay at home for weeks on end.
Small businesses were forced to close with the threat of fines and jail time—some followed through on those anti-American threats—while large businesses, such as Walmart, Target, and Home Depot, were allowed to remain open. Places of worship and their parishioners were stripped of their First Amendment rights, as politicians deemed the basis of American life as “not essential.”
Not only was common sense sacrificed in the process but also human decency. While Americans scrambled to gather what was left of their existence, the most vulnerable were targeted by the cruelest form of euthanasia, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced long-term care facilities to open their doors to the infected, which led to thousands of deaths within the older adult community.
New York isn’t alone. Data for 14 states shows that deaths in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities made up 52 to 80 percent of the death rate. It’s a question of morality that can’t be ignored; that must not be ignored. It’s a travesty that can’t go without recompense.
Atop the mass deaths in these facilities, families across the nation have been kept from their parents and grandparents by law for the safety of all. This supposed protective measure, however, hasn’t protected those thousands of older adults in substandard care who are being shunned and at times abused by their nurses and staff.
While many clamor for more restrictions, longer lockdowns, and trillions of more dollars to be spent so that more can stay home, the worst of everything is happening. While the mainstream media champions the tyranny of governors such as Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, J.B. Pritzker, Jay Inslee, and Cuomo, they disregard the true troubles that are taking place among the American people.
Whitmer called her own constituents “racist and misogynistic” for demanding the state economy be reopened. Pritzker called it “reprehensible” that a journalist would report the fact that his wife broke quarantine to go to Florida while the rest of the state had to stay home. Newsom has shown his disdain for state citizens by promising to have them pay $75 million more in taxes to pay for unemployment insurance for illegal immigrants. Inslee has ignored the deadly results of placing the infected in long-term care facilities by recently opening COVID-19 units within some of them.
It’s become painfully obvious that the elderly, the economic fallout, the mental health repercussions, and the liberties secured by the Constitution matter very little.
What Could Have Been Avoided
When COVID-19 first emerged, it was near blasphemy to compare it to the flu. And yet, when we look at it, we can’t help but see the numerical similarities.
Had America treated this pandemic like the flu, the fallout would have been manageable. Common sense would have set in for everyone. Those who were sick would have quarantined themselves. The elderly and immunodeficient would have remained protected, but without the pandemonium that led to grossly negligent orders detrimental to long-term care facilities. People would have become more cautious about washing their hands.
Chances are the stock prices on hand sanitizer, rubber gloves, and masks would have gone up, but those are prices we can handle. There’s a chance people would have still acted as if the world of toilet paper was settling for single-ply.
We could have left matters in the hands of responsible adults when it came to social distancing and sneezing into our elbows, instead of pretending as if the only responsible Americans are those holding political office.
There are great questions before us. Who will be held responsible? Ferguson caustically said, “We will be paying for this year for decades to come.” But what will he pay? His resignation from Imperial College after breaking lockdown rules to meet his married lover isn’t recompense; it’s a self-inflicted slap on the wrist for displaying the most intolerable arrogance.
Can the CDC and the WHO ever be trusted fully? Has science become nothing more than ongoing experiments in ways to tragically destroy people’s lives? What will be the price to pay for those governors who, either purposely or inadvertently, caused the death of thousands because of illogical and cruel policies? What will be the outcome for an increasingly destructive mainstream media that cares not about the truth or the people for whom it is supposed to be the watchdog?
And, finally, can the people have the courage to resist a tyrannical government, a misleading media, and bridge the gap between ideological differences on the basis that it’s we who suffer and suffer together?
Will this moment in U.S. history, when everyone became obsessed with hysterics, finally bring us to our senses? Or will this—this absolute insanity—become our new normal to which we fully surrender our common sense and our human decency?
Dustin Bass is the co-founder of The Sons of History, a YouTube series and weekly podcast about all things history. He is a former-journalist-turned-entrepreneur. He is also an author.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.