“How come HHS [Health and Human Services] released its lockdown blueprint on March 13 when Trump hadn’t even given his approval to anything remotely resembling lockdowns until two days later? There’s a lot that we need to know.”
Why did the United States and much of the rest of the world throw out standard pandemic protocols and instead adopt a radical new approach?
In this episode, Jeffrey Tucker, founder and president of the Brownstone Institute, breaks down the timeline of events that saw the United States adopt policies inspired by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
He also breaks down the root causes of inflation in America and how COVID-19 policies created, in effect, a caste system in America.
“We’ve got a network, an operation here. They’ve tasted power, and they’ve seen what’s possible. They don’t want to let it go. They want it to last and last and last.”
Below is a rush transcript of this American Thought Leaders episode from May 7, 2022. This transcript may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Jan Jekielek: Jeffrey Tucker, so good to have you back on American Thought Leaders.
Jeffrey Tucker: Of course. It’s great to be here.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, I want to start off with something, a statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Speaker 3: Dr. Fauci, US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle tossed out the mask mandate as you know. Do you personally agree or disagree with her interpretation of public health law?
Dr. Anthony Fauci: Well, I clearly disagree. I mean, those types of things should be decided as a public health issue by the public health organizations, in this case, the CDC.
Mr. Jekielek: Dr. Fauci basically said in response to Florida Judge basically striking down the mask mandates, he said it was a CDC decision and that the courts were in no place to do that. You have some thoughts on this. Frankly, it’s a bigger question, isn’t it?
Mr. Tucker: It’s a big question. I mean, are courts allowed to restrain government? Are government subject to law? Keep in mind, we’re not talking about elected politicians here or legislatures. We’re talking about the administrative state appointed to these offices. Fauci served, I don’t know, what, four or five, six presidents. I don’t know. So now, here you have, and he works for the NIH, but I guess technically has some oversight to the CDC, he’s announcing that there should be no restraints, no restraints on the administrative power of deep state bureaucracies at all, not legislatures, and certainly not courts.
Now, to me, this shows what kind of bubble they live in, right? So here you have a judge that says, “Look, this mandate, this transportation mandate that you passed is just not working for us because you cited in 1944 Public Health Services Act, which is designed to prevent the importation of infectious disease in one form or another, it doesn’t seem to allow you to pick clothing choices on the airplanes for Americans.” This is not what we’re doing, and the administration even cited that there’s some passage in that law of having to do with sanitation, and the judge said, “This is crazy. This is not your purview.”
People are not breaking the law when they didn’t want to comply. The administrative state was breaking the law by making people comply. So that was really an interesting thing and a great moment of hope for Americans because, wow, that’s the way the system is supposed to work, a little late, but still, the courts finally moved against the overreach of a bureaucracy.
Now, what’s striking to me is this was not a gaffe, as they say, a mistaken statement. This is what they decided to say because it really does reflect their deeper belief, but I think we need to think what that deeper belief is. It really represents a fundamental challenge to the whole of modernity itself, which has been a key tenant of modern life, and the thing that gave birth to the idea of human freedom itself is that government should be restrained, and we should have rules in place that say to the king, “You can do this, but you can’t do that.”
You can go back to the Magna Carta, which is a pretty important document in history, and the first time in the West, in any case, where there were really strict rules on what government can and cannot do. So what Fauci says in the statement that he makes and, again, echoed by everybody else in the administration is that that’s not for us. We need unmitigated power to do whatever we want so long as our scientists say that’s consistent with public health, but it’s not limited to public health.
I mean, if that’s true for public health, why isn’t it also true for labor? Why can’t the Department of Labor then just pass any law? This would unleash on the world a truly, I would say pre-modern form of government, and the fact that Fauci could say this with such confidence and no awareness at all of how radically opposed this is to any standard of what government’s supposed to be or human freedom is, should alarm us. I think it’s alarming.
Mr. Jekielek: I think what you’re saying is really interesting because we’re seeing this trend in let’s say many areas. I can’t help but think about this whole Twitter saga with Elon Musk launching this hostile takeover of Twitter. The argument back is it’s almost like this free speech actually undermines democracy. I think I’ve seen a variance of that.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah, and it’s startling. Jan, we shouldn’t be surprised by now, but actually, we should be surprised. We’ve lived through two years of this, of this kind of despotic rule. Suddenly, all of our social media platforms were taken over by basically the CDC and the World Health Organization to decide what it is we can and cannot say. It’s not really even about the truth or falsehood of what you’re saying, right? I mean, it’s only what the administrative state on that day, that hour says you can say, and they can change the next day, the next week because we’ve seen the CDC constantly changing, and Fauci statements are changing. Well, wait a minute. Last week he said, “Well, of course, science changed.” The science? I’ve got science here. Don’t show me a piece of paper.
So really, it’s starting to feel like a dystopian movie in some ways. The lockdowns of two years ago now were really a fundamental challenge to everything we are as Americans. Okay. Now, the scientists are in charge of everything, whether your church can stay open, whether you can celebrate Easter, whether your small business can stay open, whether you can go grab a beer at the bar, whether your kids can play at a playground, how many people you can have in your home, whether and to what extent you can actually cross a state line without being forced into a quarantine, and you’re going to be tracked by an app, by the way, and all of this happened to us all at once and voted on it. We’ve got a network and operation here. They’ve tasted power and they’ve seen what’s possible. They don’t want to let it go. They want it to last and last and last.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and it’s also very interesting that of all the things that we’re talking about is this mask. It’s these transportation mask mandates.
Mr. Tucker: I know. So here’s the thing, Jan. Why the mask? Why the mask? Now, it’s true that the mask itself has a long history of its association with subjection and servitude. I mean, there is a long association with those two things, covering the mouth, silencing the speech, making breath impossible. So all of that is true about masks, but they become such a flash point because they represent a very highly personalized imposition of something that’s a much broader problem, which was the rule of the administrative strike where the arbitrary dictates, the impositions, the mandates, the forced shots on penalty of losing your jobs, the travel restrictions, the shutdowns. I mean, this sudden weird way in the land of the free and home of the brave, we were ruled by these wild arbitrary dictates for the better part of two years.
The evidence of this is still all around us. I mean, the plexiglass is still in all the businesses, maybe not in Florida, but it’s certainly in the Northeast. It’s still everywhere. The stickers, the limits on the elevator, all these weirdly, strangely unscientific things that are born of panic on one hand, but also I would say despotic aspiration on the other. The bureaucrats really had a field day and they don’t want to give up that power. They don’t want to subject it to democratic mandates. It wasn’t democracy that did this to us, anyway. Voters didn’t vote on all this stuff. It was unelected, permanent bureaucracy.
The last two years have been such a nightmare, such a flurry and a blur of catastrophe, but it seems incredible that it happened in the United States. I think people are still in a little bit of a denial about it. The whole world just went crazy, but we shouldn’t be in denial about it. We should talk about it and we should investigate it. We should organize it in our heads and get straight and have commissions and investigations and figure this out because something went very, very wrong.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, you were always someone who’s, I guess, celebrating modernity, for lack of a better term, celebrating the enlightenment. You’ve told me that very immediately when you saw the two weeks to stop the spread, go into effect, you realize that, I mean, I’m perhaps embellishing, but civilization as we know it is over.
Mr. Tucker: I know. That’s funny.
Mr. Jekielek: I don’t think most people had that response. I certainly didn’t. I thought, “Okay. This sounds reasonable, two weeks to slow the spread,” right?
Mr. Tucker: Reasonable, it was never reasonable. When I got alarmed is actually at least a week before that with the shutdown of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas because that was a conference that something like 250,000 people were planning to come to and our mayor on his own said, “No. We can’t hold the conference.” Well, what? When that happened I thought, “Oh, God! There’s going to be years of lawsuits about this. This is absolutely unAmerican,” and I wrote against it, and there was silence, just absolute silence. I think I was the only person who wrote that. It was unbelievable.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, I mean, this was a time when everybody was, we didn’t know much. I don’t know. I can’t remember. When was South by Southwest?
Mr. Tucker: March 8th.
Mr. Jekielek: March 8th. Okay. So we didn’t know a lot about the virus. Okay? Okay. You’re going to say something I could see. We didn’t know a lot about the virus. A lot of people were really afraid. The media were saying it’s going to be two million dead. I don’t know if it was or something like this. This was the imperial model. Presumably, the mayor wasn’t interested in having a super spreader event of something that could cause-
Mr. Tucker: Yeah, but look, we’ve had pandemics in the past, ’69, ’68, ’57, ’58, ’42, ’43, ’29. There’ve been pandemics, but we didn’t arbitrarily shut down things ever for that kind of stuff. In 1918, there were some closures in San Francisco and Chicago, but New York, everybody just went about their business, and that was a deadly pandemic. We just don’t do those kinds of things, and for reasons of epidemiology because we know they don’t work, for reasons of ethics because we know they’re wrong, and for reasons of American law. We believe in things like liberty and the right of people to choose whatever level of risk, and we’ve known this.
Now, to be sure, Jan, it’s been slipping for a very long time. The quarantine power on this point if the CDC’s correct was passed in 1944 with the Public Health Services Act. Now, I’ve read the act. It seems innocuous in some way, but CDC seized on that and just went wild and wrecked the country based on this thing. My personal view is if the Republicans had any real intelligence, they would revisit that act, figure out why it was passed in war time, which I can’t even tell you the story because I don’t know it. I think it’s weird. I’ve tried to look up legislative history of this thing. I can’t really understand.
So lockdown ideology was born not of epidemiology, virology or immunology, much less medical profession or the scientific profession, it was born of political paranoia in 2005 in the office of the White House, a bioterrorism unit that tapped computer scientists around the country to figure out what to do if there’s a new pathogen that shows up. That was the birth of lockdown ideology, and epidemiology at the time decided, “This is crazy stuff. This is not how viruses spread. You can’t just lock people into solitary confinement and expect the virus to go away. That’s crazy.”
So it didn’t really gain any traction. George Bush was the first president who imagined he might engage in things like business closures and school closures and capacity limits and that sort of thing for the avian bird flu of 2006, but that bird flu never went from birds to humans. I mean, the birds had some few aches and some sniffles and things, but they never passed on to humans. So that was a missed opportunity, and thank goodness for that, but in the meantime, people like Bill Gates got interested in this whole subject of how do you deal with the next pandemic, and that was really a disaster because you got these computer scientists involved and they just almost to a person got confused between computer viruses and human viruses, and that sounds like a preposterous mistake, but I promise you, it’s absolutely real.
They don’t know the difference, and they think of vaccines is nothing other than an antivirus program you install on your computer. This is true, and this is how dumb the world we live in is, but he had the big box. He started funding the epidemiological departments all over the country, and journals and conferences and so on. So yeah, the real virus became locked on ideology. We barely escaped locking down in 2009. That was a bad one, H1N1, which was the same flu of 1918. So potentially-
Mr. Jekielek: How is it that we just barely escaped in-
Mr. Tucker: Well, because it was H1N1. You could have imagined that there could have been a frenzy about that one, too. Oh, my God!
Mr. Jekielek: Well, there could have been, right? Here’s the question, right?
Mr. Tucker: Well, wasn’t there?
Mr. Jekielek: There’s something that changed. There’s something that changed because we know, for example, in the UK I know as a fact that lockdowns were in the policy, something that specifically was not advocated for because of the inherent problems with them and so forth.
Mr. Tucker: That’s true. That’s true.
Mr. Jekielek: So somehow something changed. Was it already in 2009 that it would be something that would be contemplated all of a sudden?
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. So if you look at Bush’s 2005 pandemic plan, it included, there’s plenty of language in there that you could interpret as being lockdown, but still people thought it was crazy. 2009 came and now, Obama’s president and people are screaming about H1N1 is coming to kill us all, but he was like, “I’m sorry. We’re in the middle of a financial crisis. Americans are concerned that if they go to the ATMs, they’re not going to be able to get cash out of them. I’m not going to worry about your flu right now.”
So that just came and went, and it was all told a pretty good way of dealing with the flu, and then, of course, we had the mirrors of virus and, by the way, in 2003, we had SARS-CoV-1. We can get back to that in a moment because that I think served the template, the dealing with that one served for the template of what happened in 2022, but yeah, we still had to wait until SARS-CoV-2.
Jan, there is a lot of work to do to piece together what happened somewhere between say January 15th and March 20th, and that’s where things get really murky. You know who wrote about it is Farrar himself, Jeremy Farrar, at the Welcome Trust in the UK in his book called Spike, which came out in the fall, which as they say these days said the quiet part out loud, and that by the end of January, they weren’t sleeping at night. They were panicked. They were talking on burner phones. We know that on February 4th came out the very first paper denying that it was a lab leak. Several authors that were on those secret phone calls banged out that paper February 4th. It didn’t appear in a journal until March 16th, I believe. It appeared in Nature, and that was the same day as the Birx-Fauci-Trump press conference announcing the American lockdowns.
So what happened between February 4th and say March 12th? We know that Fauci gave a lot of interviews. He had a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine in which he said, “This is not going to be that bad. They’ll say it’s going to be a bad flu year, but it’s not as bad as people say.” Okay. That paper came out, I guess, February 26th, but you have to assume it’s being edited a week or two earlier. So they developed a strategy, and here it gets speculative and said, “I’m just going to speculate. I’m not saying this is absolutely true.”
What I think might have happened is that they’re worried that a virus is going to spread throughout the whole world, and they’re going to get the blame for it because it’s a product of lab leak that they funded with American tax dollars. They couldn’t allow that to happen. Now, their only question in their minds is whether it was deliberate or accidental.
So I think that they set out, and here’s my speculation. They set out to somehow suppress this virus. Somehow they had to reduce the cases, and the model was SARS-CoV-1 because for some reason, rightly or wrongly, the World Health Organization has given credit for the fact that SARS-CoV-1 never spread out of the Asian regions. It was a very severe virus and it stopped probably because it was so severe. I mean, because there’s always a trade off between severity and prevalence subject to latency and all of epidemiology. So that’s probably why. It probably didn’t have anything to do with the World Health Organization, where the WHO was taking credit for having stopped it.
So now it’s like, “Well, maybe these lockdowns work. Maybe we can stop the spread. Is there anybody else out there who did this?” Well, there’s a convenient example out there in Wuhan and many other cities where the CCP advertised that they had successfully achieved this.
Now, in the middle of February, we’re talking about February something like 16th to the 20th, the World Health Organization sent a delegation to China that included some employees from the National Institutes of Health, and especially Clifford Lane, who is the deputy assistant to Fauci. They go over there to this Potemkin village, which I hope your viewers understand what that is. It’s like a fake city that used to be set up in Russia that show Westerners had the glorious prosperity of a Potemkin village, “Look, it was brutal, it was bad, but now look, the virus is gone.”
So they came back and within about three days, they wrote a report that the World Health Organization published and you can still see it on their website, “China knows what they’re doing. It was tough, tough, tough policies, but they got rid of the virus. Clearly, this is the model. This is the model. I’ve seen the future. It is Wuhan.”
This is I think the turning point. This is the moment in which the administrative state is represented most intensely at that time with the new pathogen by the public health bureaucracy decided to follow the CCP’s example. They did it I believe because they thought that this kind of power was capable of suppressing the virus.
So the US became, in effect, COVID zero. Now, this was late February. Now, they have to work fast at this point because they’re pretty concerned. The New York Times, I think, was the first institution tasked with the job of broadcasting to the American public that, “It’s time to panic. All the old rules, they’re gone. Constitution, got to forget about that for a little while. Bill of rights, that’s for then. This is now. Bad things are going to happen.”
So that was February 27th. New York Times ran a podcast with their lead reporter, Daniel G. McNeil, since fired, but he whipped up the public into a panic, and the podcast began with his walking into the studio and spraying everything down with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. Wow.
Anyway, that was the day that I knew that the night was falling. The next day, they ran the lead oped. It was by Donald. I think I said Daniel earlier, Donald G. McNeil, “To take on the coronavirus, we have to go medieval on it just like China.” That was the 28th of February, just two weeks later, not even two weeks later. We got the announcement from Trump at a presidential address. It looked like a hostage video in which he announced the stopping of all travel from Europe-
Donald Trump: After consulting with our top government health professionals, I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans. To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days, and these prohibitions will not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade in cargo, but various other things as we get approval. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing.
Mr. Tucker: Here’s what’s interesting about this, and what we need to look into. That was on March 12th, and he slipped up in his language a little bit. He said, “We’re blocking all people and goods from Europe.” Okay. He meant to say but not goods from Europe. He said but goods. So he made the mistake there. He also made a number of little slipups. He wasn’t ready for that press conference. It was really like a hostage video.
The next day, Health and Human Services laid out a very carefully prepared, beautifully presented lockdown blueprint for the United States. That would’ve been on March 13th, lockdowns. It was marked top secret. We didn’t know about it until say two months later, but the date is interesting. Trump gave his order to block travel from Europe on the 12th, HHS sends out a lockdown blueprint on the 13th. On the 14th and 15th, Trump huddled with Birx, Fauci, and his son-in-law.
Mr. Jekielek: Jared.
Mr. Tucker: Jared, and two friends of Jared’s, and they convinced Trump two weeks to flatten the curve, and Trump agreed, but think about it. HHS had already decided. Who’s in charge? Who’s in charge around here? Was it really Trump? I don’t know. It’s strange. Did Trump even know about that HHS order? I don’t know.
So what you have here developing over the course of the previous 30 days was a real, I mean, a real advance, a real, I guess I’d just say it, a plot to do to America what happened to us the over the coming two years. Maybe they didn’t intend it to last two years. Maybe they really only did intend … They certainly knew that it wasn’t going to be two weeks. They could convince Trump of two weeks. So he agreed to it and went ahead with that press conference on March the 16th, where Fauci and Birx had free rein. They were up at the microphone the entire time and telling everybody to separate, businesses to close. A reporter raised his hand and said-
Speaker 6: A question about the underlying public health strategy behind some of these guidelines, telling people to avoid restaurants and bars is a different thing than saying that bars and restaurants should shut down over the next 15 days. So why was it seen as being improved or not necessary to take that additional step, offer that additional guidance?
Tony: Well, you want to answer that?
Speaker 8: Well, I think we have to say the data that has been coming out and I’m sure you’re all up-to-date on how long the virus lives on hard surfaces, and that has been our concern over the last two weeks.
Tony: No, I’m sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead. I just wanted to read. There’s an answer to this.
Speaker 8: Go ahead, Tony. He was my mentor. So I’m going to have to let him speak.
Tony: The small print here, it’s really small print, “In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.”
Speaker 9: So Mr. President, are you telling governors in those states then to close all their restaurants?
Donald Trump: Well, we haven’t said that yet.
Speaker 9: Why not? Do you see this would work?
Donald Trump: We’re recommending, but we’re recommending things.
Mr. Tucker: Then two weeks later, of course, they said to Trump, “Mr. President.” Well, he says, “Yeah. I’m really tired of this lockdown thing,” and they said to him, “Well, you know what you should really do is do it another two weeks because we’ve made a lot of gains over the last two weeks, but if you open up now, it’s going to be a real mess,” and it just went on like this. Within that two weeks, of course, Congress got busy with its spending plan, and that’s when we get the Cares Act, and that unleashed the fiscal monetary catastrophe that we’re experiencing right now. It’s all directly related to lockdowns.
So if you don’t like the price of gas, if you don’t like what’s happening to your rent, if you’re frustrated at how much your grocery bills have gone up, you need to care about this history I’m talking about right now because it’s all linked.
Mr. Jekielek: So this is a great place to segue because this is actually something that you know quite a bit about and have been quite interested in for a long time, inflation.
Mr. Tucker: You’re right.
Mr. Jekielek: The economy, how this all works. I mean, broadly speaking, again, I’ve never before, let’s say the past few months, sat down and really thought to myself, “What does inflation really mean?” Right?
Mr. Tucker: Right.
Mr. Jekielek: I think a lot of people are doing that. It happens in different ways. Why don’t you give us a picture for starters?
Mr. Tucker: Okay.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay? Maybe let’s just start at very basic first principles.
Mr. Tucker: It’s so interesting. Well, inflation has been used for a tool for government since the ancient world as a way of getting revenue without having to tax people. For example, the mint would mint the coins and the king would bring the coins in and clip them a little bit around the edges or anybody could do this, clip the coins and then make a new coin. Okay. That’s depreciating the value of one coin and then making another coins out of it. So that’s reducing the value of the coinage, right? That’s why coins have edges around them to prevent that. It’s an old tradition.
Anyway, governments have always printed up money when they don’t think that people are up to being taxed. Inflation can take many forms, but it is about creating excess quantity of money. If you think about money, it’s got certain properties. It’s got to be scarce. You need to have a predictable quantity of it.
I’ll tell you a quick story. So I had a friend of mine, he went to jail, and people have the greatest stories out of jail, but in his particular jail, the money was cans of mackerel. So you would gather the mackerel cans and spend a mackerel can to get a haircut or whatever. I mean, they’ve developed a whole system. It’s all spontaneous, but it works.
Then one day, some guy misbehaved or something so they took him into solitary confinement and raided his cell, and they found his mattress entirely stuffed with mackerel cans. So the warden grabbed the mattress and dumped all the mackerel cans on the table in the dining hall and let everybody grab it.
Well, they all grabbed it and my friend reports that immediately all the prices of haircuts and everything else immediately adjusted to the new quantity of mackerel cans in the prison. That’s just monetary economics.
Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating. Well, also, but with inflation, this is the other piece. I mean, for whatever reason, goods become more expensive. That’s also a kind of inflation, isn’t it?
Mr. Tucker: Well, there’s many reasons why a good might become more expensive, right? I mean, just the supply considerations, leaving the money aside, supply chain breakages can do this.
Mr. Jekielek: Which we’re experiencing, right?
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. With inflations, there’s usually other factors going along with them aside from the monetary ones. When we had the big inflation of 1979-1980, we were coming out at the end of oil price controls. So that’s what led to the long lines. It wasn’t so much then, but you have the inflation piled on top of these other breakages. Usually, when you have an inflation, you have other structural issues going on and this one’s really no different.
What’s remarkable about this one, and here’s an analogy, like I told you earlier, the perception was they controlled SARS-CoV-1 by somehow containing it through magic, and they thought they could do it again with SARS-CoV-2. It was the same way with the fed. So in 2008, we had our financial crisis, and the fed started doing QE1, QE2, QE3, and a lot of people were predicting tremendous inflation that never came.
Now, the reason it didn’t happen is because the new money never became hot money on the streets. It never landed in people’s pockets because what they were doing is filling up the bank coffers, recapitalizing the banks that were suddenly sitting on these MBS products that were now actually completely worthless. So what the fed did was buy all the MBS products with newly printed money to give to the banks, and then they paid the banks to keep their deposits at the fed so that they wouldn’t reloan them out so it wouldn’t increase the supply of money that people actually use. Nice trick if you can pull it off, and it worked back then.
Mr. Jekielek: Speaking of shells, it feels a bit like a shell game.
Mr. Tucker: Oh, that was. Yeah. They recapitalized the banks with a bunch of newly printed money, but it didn’t have the effects on the consumer prices one would’ve expected, but what that did is it created an arrogance on the part of the Fed. You see what I mean? Right? So they got away with it at that time. There wasn’t any inflation after QE one, two or three. So now the lockdowns are here, let’s do it again, but this time was different because it took a different form.
Back in 2008, it was the financial crisis. The banks were in trouble. 2020, they created an artificial instantaneous depression by shutting down the economy, and then Congress got busy with the Cares Act. Now, I don’t think these lockdowns would’ve lasted very long at all if not for the Cares Act because, well, nobody benefits from a lockdown economy. It’s bad news unless the government’s sending you vast amount of cash for the first time in your life.
So the Cares Act passed, and now suddenly, businesses and individuals all over the country are seeing, and especially state governments and county governments, city governments are seeing their coffers filled with money from Congress, and it was glorious. It was like, “Well, these lockdowns aren’t so bad. It’s the first time we’ve ever gotten anything from the federal government. Maybe we should keep this up for a while.” So it went $3 trillion, $5 trillion, $6 trillion.
Mr. Jekielek: To your point, I had another guest on, Luke Rosiak, we were talking about this exactly that the teachers unions got untoned by tens of billions of dollars for not being in school.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. They didn’t have any reason to open up. I mean, we would’ve opened up very quickly. It would’ve been two weeks to flatten the curve if the Cares Act hadn’t passed. So now, how does Congress do this, by the way? I mean, if you suddenly decide, Jan Jekielek, to spend $6 trillion, I think your bank’s not going to like it, right? Credit cards going to start ringing off … They’re going to be calling up going, “This isn’t really working for us,” but Congress somehow gets away with this.
Well, how do they do it? Well, because it’s Congress, and the treasury just issues more debt. They issue more debt. Well, what was the market for that debt? Federal Reserve suddenly bought it all and stuck it in its balance sheet with what did they buy it with their checkbook, which doesn’t bounce because it’s the central bank, and they’ve got printers in the basement, and that’s what happened, and it’s incredible.
Depending on how you want to run the numbers, let’s say Congress allocated a total of $6 trillion, roughly correctly. If you look at the money aggregate called M2 and look at how much they increased in raw terms over the course of two years, $6 trillion. That’s it.
Mr. Jekielek: What is M2 just for the benefits of all of us who aren’t as familiar?
Mr. Tucker: It’s a money aggregate. It’s a way of measuring how much money there is. Now, you might say, “Jeffrey, why aren’t you talking about M1?” I’ll tell you, because they ruined M1 in May 2020 by changing its definition, and they’ve never backdated the aggregate. So M1 is now useless to us. So we have to use M2, but this was hot money on the streets because it was dumped into bank accounts all over the country, very unlike 2008 where it stayed in vaults. Now, you’ve got it on the streets. It’s hot.
Mr. Jekielek: It’s $6 trillion.
Mr. Tucker: $6 trillion.
Mr. Jekielek: I mean, it’s not exactly on the streets in a lot of cases. It’s going into the big accounts of-
Mr. Tucker: Amazon, Netflix accounts in the old days.
Mr. Jekielek: … and different. Yeah.
Mr. Tucker: For all the digital media companies, all of whom benefited enormously from the lockdowns. So you’re right, I mean, since my metaphor’s not right on the streets, it wasn’t on the streets because the streets were all closed. So it was a massive transfer of wealth from small business to big digital media companies. So they fell in love with lockdowns, flushed with money, Google, Amazon, Facebook. They loved it. The entire third of their workforce forced to stay home just staring at their screens while they raked in the big bucks, newly printed money.
If you think about what a strange thing it was, I mean, I’m not sure in my lifetime there’s ever been a time when you wake up one day and you find that the US Treasury has sent you $4,000, “Thanks. This is very nice. I’ve always hated the government. Now, I kind of like it.” 18 months later, that money, what happened to it? It’s gone. Where did it go? Higher prices.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s actually very interesting because you always have to pay somehow.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. We paid. It was gone, and inflation could be very serious. I mean, I was running some numbers the other day and, I mean, people talk about 8.5% at CPI. I think we’re at 12 or 13 in PPI, but it can’t be accurate. I mean, there’s better ways to measure these things, and there’s a new app out there called Truflation that actually has APIs running all the time to check realtime prices, and they’re calculating much closer to 13%, 14% right now, but let’s say it’s 8.5. What that means is in 2030, a dollar today in 2030 is going to be worth 50 cents. It’s very serious.
In other words, it’s still half your income. Hidden tax, very brutal. Also, there are other effects from inflation. They’re not just entirely economic. They’re also cultural because if you come to believe that there’s no advantage to you to saving your money because it’s only going to go down in value, you now have a new incentive to spend, not to save, not to invest, but to spend and get rid of it in favor of hard things. Then what does that do? That reduces your planning for the future, reduces your time horizons as a culture.
Inflationary societies are short-term thinking societies. Sound money is much more important than people realize. I mean, you need sound money to have a vibrant, bourgeois commercial society where you can plan long-term projects, five years, 10 years, 30 years, 50 years, 100 years, passing on money to your kids. Money has to be good. If it’s not, everything blows up. You’d start thinking about your inheritance and you realize, “Why save? It’s worth ever less.”
We’re going through a little bit of that right now. I mean, right now, it’s hard to find return. Inflation funding 15%, you’re making 5% in the financial markets, you’re losing money. You have to make 20% in financial markets to make money. It’s being taxed away, not directly, but indirectly in this hidden way.
Mr. Jekielek: So I should be going out and spending everything. That’s basically what you’re saying.
Mr. Tucker: I don’t recommend that, but this is what happens once people get conscious. We’re right at this in-between stage because I think for a long time, this is one of the reasons the fed kept saying, It’s transitory. Yeah, we got a little inflation problem now, but wait to the fall. Okay. It’s lasting a little longer because of supply chains. Just wait to the winter. Oh, it’s still with us because of Putin.” They keep manufacturing these other excuses, the greed of business or whatever.
What they’re trying to convince people is that this is a short-term problem, that’s unrelated to their own policies because once people develop an expectation that we’re not going to go back, which we are not going to go back, I’m sorry to say, we will not go back to the old prices. We will not. We’re done. That was then. This is now, but if you believe that in the future that we’ve got another year of 15% or that it’s going to go to 20%, then people are going to start adjusting their behaviors, and then that’s when you get changes in the velocity of money, which is the pace at which it changes hands.
When that starts increasing, you start really adding fuel to the inflationary fire. So then at that point, whatever the Fed does doesn’t matter because the Fed doesn’t control velocity. Velocity is controlled by things you and I do.
Mr. Jekielek: This is where this term runaway inflation comes from, when you get this vicious cycle.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, because the expectations start to catch on. The problem I’m seeing right now when I look at the data and, again, I’m open to correction on any of these things. Monetary policy can be a very complicated area, but I’m just looking at the data and I’m knowing that price times output equals money times velocity. I’m seeing a vast amount of money and a relatively low velocity, which is what you expect in the middle of an economic crisis, and if that trigger, if that velocity trigger turns the other way, it’s going to superpower this fed printing that they’ve done over the last two years and turn it into hyperinflation.
At that point, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care what you do to the discount rate. There is no stopping up this liquidity at that point. You cannot. There’s no federal reserve policy that acts fast enough to deal with something like that.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and this is also coming in the midst of some severe supply chain issues that we’re facing, right?
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. Incredibly once again related to lockdowns because we had in this country a system which we developed, most businesses developed by watching the magic of Japan in the 1980s called just in time inventory. So we only wanted to get things just in time. That’s the economic way to do it. You don’t want to have things sitting on the shelf. You only wanted to just, and that’s great in an economy that’s globalized and everything’s working and there’s no crisis, there’s no war, everything’s fine, everything’s good. You don’t want to waste resources on having a bunch of things on the shelf you’re not using.
So just in time inventory became the way of doing business. So when lockdowns happened, everybody was cut short. A classic example here is chip manufacturers. The car companies didn’t order any new chips because they didn’t need them. So it came time to order them eight months later, chip manufacturers move on. They’d moved on to doing other things, and Taiwan, and other places around China, they had already started serving other markets. So they weren’t available, but that happened across the board. Just in time inventory contributed to this, but then also, the delays in shipping and the clogged ports.
There were other breakages that were just weird. There’s a loss of the commercial spirit in the US and around the world. I mean, why are mails three weeks, four weeks late? Lockdowns are so demoralizing for so many people in this country. You had some six million people leave the workforce. Only half of whom have come back. You just shattered people’s expectations about what they were supposed to do and the way their life is supposed to work. You demoralize people. You take away their will to get up in the morning, get showered, get dressed and go to work, and you do that for long enough, and after a while, it’s hard to put back together what you’ve broken.
Mr. Jekielek: I want to talk about, you’re saying there’s this tight relationship between this lockdown policy and all these things that have happened subsequently, inflation especially. I want to look at Shanghai and some of these other cities. There’s hundreds of millions of people in China locked down by the Chinese regime at the moment, which is having, obviously, a huge impact on that society, but not just that, right? It’s having a huge impact on supply chains, but bottom line, what do you think is actually happening over there? Are they actually committed to zero COVID policy? Are they trying to recreate what they did in 2020 or is there something else happening or is this some, as people have suggested, an attempt to impact, again, economies globally and so forth?
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. There’s a lot of theories about this, and maybe they’re all correct. Maybe there’s only one correct, but the one I think seems pretty obvious to me, the Wuhan lockdowns were the greatest thing that ever happened to Xi Jinping’s political career. That was great because he chose to use the power, and might, and wisdom, brilliance of the communist party to overcome this virus, and he did it, and how do we know he did it? The World Health Organization ratified it. The US copied it. It was broadcasted. All but four countries in the world did what China does. That’s proof. Xi Jinping is leading China to become the global leader for truly great policy.
Mr. Jekielek: So massive propaganda victory, basically.
Mr. Tucker: Immense. I mean, it goes along with this whole manifest destiny thing. Beijing’s got it going on right now. It works. We’re not only the most productive, the most wonderful, the most stable society in history with the perfect intelligent party running everything, but we’ve outsmarted a millennia of epidemiology. We’ve outsmarted a virus. Of course, we know none of this is true. It’s all a lie. There were cases all over the place that never stopped. I mean, you can’t stop a virus. It’s ridiculous.
So when Shanghai or when the virus broke out there, what are you going to do if you’re Xi Jinping? If your greatest achievement in life, and you’ve got a communist party election coming up, if your greatest achievement life is crushing a virus, you’ve got to go hard. You’ve got to go extreme. You’ve got to take it on. You’ve got to show the world that they copied you for a reason, and you can do it again and again and again. You will always win over this virus. One thing you learn about governments is good governments, bad governments, they don’t like to admit when they’re wrong.
Mr. Jekielek: If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, that’s something that is extremely rare.
Mr. Tucker: Extremely rare. So that’s my theory on Shanghai. I just think it’s a political pride for the CCP. They’ve got to drive the cases down, but it’s not going to work. It’s just not going … I mean, we noticed-
Mr. Jekielek: It doesn’t matter the human cost again. It doesn’t matter the human cost.
Mr. Tucker: Well, that’s what’s chilling about it. I think in this country, we started off with the zero COVID policy more or less, but even then, we were unable to achieve it. Now, it’s true that we used some brutal methods in this country. I mean, there were SWAT teams being sent in to rural Texas bars to arrest people for drinking beer. There were drones flying over towns and cities, even rural areas of Massachusetts to fared out people who were holding wedding parties, and police were stopping people on the roads, “Why are you on the road? Are you an essential worker because if you’re not, you need to get home?”
So these things did happen, and the media participated in it, right? So if you had a church choir in Dallas going to a choir rehearsal and somebody got sick and died, then the media would be all over and say, “Ah, see, you should have stayed home and stayed safe.”
So there was a little bit of that. It didn’t last that long and they weren’t able to get away with it nearly to the extent. So it was gradually dialed back and dialed back. Then of course, fast forward in 18 months later, you had the great COVID wave of November-December 2021, when even the zoom classes finally caught this stupid bug, and that’s a nasty wicked bug, but the cases just went through the roof, and discredited forever every one of these lockdowns and control freaks and zero COVID public health epidemiologists in the United States who believed you could control a virus by controlling people. Okay?
So they were intellectually shot at that point. I mean, December was the month of death for their reputations forever. They may not admit it, but it’s just true, but in China, things are a lot easier to cover up, but there’s no deaths, and the reason there’s no deaths because dying of COVID is illegal. It’s pretty simple.
Mr. Jekielek: Right. Right. Well, anyway, so that was another issue that drove me a little bit crazy over the last years is credence being given to the statistics coming out of communist China when we know that every other statistic is false, basically, except the odd ones that are audited in some way.
Mr. Tucker: Well, it’s a problem, Jan, because, again, this goes back to the theme I keep preaching. We don’t know really much about what happened to us over the last two years because on one hand, you’ve got in China where dying of COVID is illegal and the flat lines is cases up. They went down for two years and now suddenly their cases are back up again, but still, death’s flat. So we know that’s not true, but in the United States, we have our own problems.
We don’t know how many of these PCR tests that we are doing so much of in the early days were actually registering people who are sick versus people the virus that just detect some fragment in your nose or something. We don’t know. Then you’ve got a second level problem of the classifications of death. There’s no question that all the Cares money and all the money that Congress is spending was giving out massive subsidies to hospitals for every COVID case they had.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and then the overarching issue, perhaps, I’ll just jump in basically here, of an obsession with narrative control over reality, frankly. This is the part that concerns me most because this is the last lesson you want to be learning from the Chinese communist party, the narrative control trump’s reality because of the cost of that.
Mr. Tucker: Right. It’s a disaster, really. So actually, it’s going to be years before we figure out the truth, I mean, whether it’s in the United States or China. I think maybe we’re going to get some of the … The data out of Israel seems a little more solid, and then some Scandinavian countries have been much more open source and rational about things like that. I think those, in the end, are going to be the reports that we rely on to finally settle on important things like what is the infection fatality rate or the case fatality rate. We’re going to find out a lot more about COVID, and what I think we’re going to find out is that it’s just a really, really wicked flu that was particularly severe on the aged and infirm populations, and almost harmless to children. We never should have closed the schools.
To go back to what you said at the beginning of the interview, on March 8th, we didn’t know much about that. We knew all this by late January that that has not changed. It’s really tragic how public health in general has been so discredited in so many countries that pursued these lockdown policies. Yeah. I think you touched on it earlier. It’s like once you pursue an extreme policy like this, you suddenly have a really strong incentive to build in the story, a story around the policy to justify what you did given the immense collateral damage, two years of lost education, missed scans or screening, missed vaccination, so you have depression, unemployment, demoralization, the loss of religious faith. I mean, all these things that have happened to us under the course of lockdowns is so bad that you have governments have a strong incentive to make up a story that justifies what happens, that somehow it was all worth it because it would’ve been worse if they hadn’t done that.
We’re looking at the biggest challenge to the credibility of not just public health, but of the public sector that’s happened in our lifetimes, which is exactly what Donald Henderson predicted in 2006. He said, “If you do this, you will discredit public health for a generation.” He was right.
What was the context of this again?
Mr. Jekielek: Well, so Donald Henderson was the great epidemiologist who was primarily credited with the eradication of small pox, and he worked for the World Health Organization. His book is so brilliant. I mean, he went all over the world inoculating people and just a really fascinating guy, but once these computer scientists came up with a lockdown idea in 2006 and the idea that you could control a virus by shutting down schools, social distancing, putting on plexiglass, making everybody live in a box or as Carter Mecher told a journalist, Michael Lewis, in the book Premonition … Just to give you a sense of who these people are, this guy is the main influence or the reason your children weren’t able to go to school for two years. This is it. This is the guy. His name is Carter Mecher. He told the journalist, Michael Lewis, that if we could shut everybody in a room alone and didn’t let them speak, we would eradicate all disease. That’s what he told them. That’s what these people believe. They’re crazy, and there’s nothing real about that.
Anyway, Carter Mecher was active in 2006. So Donald Henderson is nearing the end of his life. I mean, he’s had a big career and he’s a big man on the block over here in the world of epidemiology. He wrote an epic article in 2006 slamming everything, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, social distancing, travel restrictions, quarantines, business closures, domestic capacity restrictions, everything that we went through, and he went through them, each one of them, each one, and said, “This is not going to work. This is not going to work. This is not going to work,” and he ended the article by saying, “If you pursue this, you will discredit public health for a generation. You will take a manageable pathogen and turn it into a catastrophe.” That’s what he said.
He died in I think 2016, and I had a good friend of his, who’s a professor of epidemiology at a university I won’t name. Early in the lockdowns, I was talking to her on the phone and we were both weeping together like, “Look what they’re doing. These are just crazy people.” She said to me, she said, “If Professor Henderson had been around, this never would’ve happened.” She said, “Unfortunately after his death, there was nobody to fill his shoes.”
I can’t help thinking this feels like an article that should be reprinted.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. It’s great.
Mr. Jekielek: Some time.
Mr. Tucker: It’s great. It’s a great article. It’s so sad we should have to say this because we learned over the course of the 20th century what to do and what not to do. We did. Yeah, we made mistakes along the way, but pretty much we knew after 1918, when we saw that the masks didn’t work in San Francisco, the closures didn’t work in Chicago, it just made everything worse, it created conflicts between people, it caused segregation, it caused demonization of the sick, didn’t bring about good public health at all.
So after that point, public health agencies were mainly interested in depoliticizing disease, number one, keeping the public calm, and focusing on therapeutics. Those are the three key principles of pandemic policy throughout the whole course of the 20th century. That was it. So if you read the New York Times in 1957-1958, what are you going to do about the Asian flu? Stay calm. If you get sick, call your doctor. No reason to panic. We’ve been through here before. Your immune system’s strong. We’re going to get through this. Everything’s going to be fine.
’68-’69, same advice. Polio in early ’40 was a big problem for a lot of us. There was a lot of fear, and the president at the time was a victim of polio, and went to the polio foundation later, the March of Dimes, and said, “Listen, I want to help you raise money so we can do something about polio, get a good vaccine, get everybody vaccinated so we can get this disease,” and they said, “Thank you very much, Mr. President, but no thanks. We cannot afford for our desire to eradicate polio, to control polio to be perceived as a political campaign.” The March of Dimes,” well, later became the March of Dimes, “has to be about public health, which is not and cannot ever be about political loyalties. So we don’t want politicians involved ever. That will ruin it all.” My God! Right?
Mr. Jekielek: It’s incredible to hear that given what we know of the last few years, isn’t it?
Mr. Tucker: Well, it is. I mean, you’d only need to think back to the summer of 2021 with the vaccination campaign because somehow, the Biden administration got in its head that we wanted 70% of the population vaccinated. Why? I don’t know. Pharmacy definition of herd immunity or something like that. We don’t know. Also, it turns out the vaccine doesn’t stop infection. It doesn’t stop the spread. In fact, it has no public health benefit whatsoever. It has a private benefit, although that’s still being investigated as we know, but the New York Times, they’ve not been the friends of public health for a while, discovered the rate of vaccination was much lower in red states than in blue states, and in those days, hospitalizations were higher among the unvaccinated than the vaccinated.
Now, we know the status is all over the place, but in that little period of time, they discovered state by state that red states had a greater percentage of vaccinated people and they were getting sicker. So this was on the front page of the New York Times, and my first thought was, and by the way, we don’t need to go into it, but almost everything is false about this analysis. So why are you drawing these state lines? It doesn’t actually make any sense. They’re doing that for political reasons, right? The demographics of the vaccinations, much lower rates among primarily democratic voters within those red states, but we don’t need to go into all that.
The point is New York Times is coaching the Biden administration on how to further politicize this disease, how to further stigmatize the sick, and how to blame Trump and, therefore, create a psychological association between Trump support and sickness. Trump’s the virus. You’re not getting vaccinated. Now, you’re sick. If you support Trump, you’re probably going to die. This is it, right? This is powerful propaganda.
The Biden administration seized on this within a matter of weeks. Incredible. Then you had Biden saying all this stuff, “This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. It’s mostly the red states. It’s those red states,” and this was in the, again, the summer of 2021 when the seasonal virus is blowing around the country this way and that way, and that was true during that period of time, but of course, over the coming months, you know what happened, right? The red states got well and the blue states got sick. That’s just-
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and what really concerned me about this is this is exactly the kind of language you see in societies that are about to go through some very serious upheaval. I mean, it’s something that I had studied in the past where the stages of genocide, genocide doesn’t start with people killing each other, it starts with people dehumanizing one group, dehumanizing another group.
Mr. Tucker: You’re so right.
Mr. Jekielek: So watching all this stuff unfold is very problematic. I’m not saying that that’s where it’ll go. I’m saying that that’s how it has gone in the past, and we should always try to avoid it, I think.
Mr. Tucker: No, I think you’re saying something that’s really profound. Lockdowns were never democratic. They were never egalitarian. They were never about rights. They were about division, segregation, and creating caste systems and-
Mr. Jekielek: How so? Maybe just spell that out, if you will.
Mr. Tucker: Every state government was passed on by whom? Again, more questions, a sheet on who is essential and who is in unessential, and they sent it to all the HR departments. They’ve written it off, “Am I essential?” Can you imagine? This is not the United States. This really happened, “Am I essential? Am I not essential?” and they listed all the classification and tried to figure out whether you could go to work or not, but what did it in effect amounted to was that some people were forced to work and other people were forced to stay home and pretend to work, right?
Mr. Jekielek: Well, no, it’s funny. I am embarrassed to say this, but I remember looking at that sheet myself and thinking-
Mr. Tucker: Oh, really?
Mr. Jekielek: “Oh, thank goodness I’m essential because otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to work,” right?
Mr. Tucker: I know, but the term is a little bit funny because essential in those days meant-
Mr. Jekielek: It meant I’m not subject to the restrictions at the level that there are and I was very happy.
Mr. Tucker: Right, but it became very strange because you had a whole class of people that were running around delivering groceries to the other class of people that are sitting around in their pajamas watching in Netflix. This went on for a very long time, and sorry if I’ve told this too many times, but I mean, the New York Times, every day you could look up the New York Times and find out what you were supposed to be doing in light of the presence of the buyers in your community, and you could type in your zip code and then pop up would come as instructions, and one of the instructions was always during the height of the pandemic, you should not travel, you should stay at home, and you should have your groceries delivered to you.
Mr. Jekielek: Yeah. This is Dr. Jay Bhattacharya’s trickled down epidemiology, what he calls trickled down epidemiology.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. I mean the New York Times never told anybody to deliver groceries to anybody else and they didn’t do that because they know that’s not their readership. They wanted you to stay home and stay well. While we used the workers and peasants as sandbags to absorb the virus for us, to bear the primary burden of herd immunity, I mean, it was a grim creation of a caste system that became very obvious by the time the restaurants actually opened, and you suddenly find yourself wining and dining with your friends without masks on while being served by faceless people. That’s not the kind of country we live.
A commercial culture or a vibrant commercial culture is about all of us serving each other as equals, and we know this. Waiter comes up, “Hey, I’m Jim. How you all doing today?”
“It’s great to see you, Jim.”
“What’s good tonight?”
“Well, I think I like Veal Parmigiana.”
“Really? You like that? That’s good.”
Your colleagues, your friends, there’s not a barrier separating you. There’s not a caste. You don’t have servers that served. So the pandemic response really did create a caste system that, of course, got worse, got worse, got worse, and culminated in the vaccine mandates, which I tell you, I just cannot believe it, Jan. It’s such a scandal to me that New York City would have created these mandates that barred the unvaccinated from public accommodations, meaning restaurants, museums, libraries, theaters, barred them. One click over the tab on the spreadsheet who was unvaccinated was the primary demographics of the unvaccinated. For decades, we’ve worried about the disparate impact of policies, rightly so. We came to those mandates. Nobody cared.
I think I read one article about this problem, and it was in your newspaper. That’s a scandal to me. We’ve been fighting racial segregation in this country for the better part of 80 years, and then in one day, one day the next, we imposed it in the three greatest cities in this country, New York, Boston, Washington, DC. Unbelievable. Where’s the outrage? Where’s the concern? Where’s the awareness? Do people even know? Do people care? I don’t understand.
I think it’s proof of how the lockdowns just blunted our moral consciences. It took away our natural sense of right and wrong, settled expectations about what kind of people we are and what we’re willing to do to each other. That’s a very delicate thing. Every society needs that. It’s not something we arrive at rationally necessarily or even consciously. It’s something that we absorb into our daily sense by virtue of the routines, the lived routines, how to get along with others, how to treat others with respect, how to have a default position where every person we meet we aspire to treat them with dignity and expect them to treat us the same way.
That sense is fragile. It’s delicate. It’s beautiful, and it’s born of stability, of fulfilled expectations about a liturgy of life, a routine, rituals that we go through where we’re always affirmed, “If I treat others well, then they will treat me well.” The whole society gets imbued with this sense, and if then one day there’s some switch turned, where what is wrong is now law, where the things we once thought were morally egregious are now required, we are typecast in a certain class or a caste, we are not enabled or entitled to do something normal like travel across the state lines to go to a job or if you go to your father’s funeral in Texas, even though you live in Oklahoma or whatever, I mean, when you can’t visit your mother in the hospital, when things like this happen to you, when your child can’t go to school, when you can’t work because you have to stay home with your child, when these things happen to you, and so much of life is just fundamentally shattered or to use another term, reset, it’s hard to put back together again, and I think we’re seeing the cost of this.
You asked about crime earlier. It’s related. The prevalence of crime in a community is not just about police. It’s also about our sense of right and wrong. What’s doable? What’s not doable? What does our conscience tell us? If there’s a sense in a community that’s taking things that’s not a good thing to do, you’re not going to have a lot of theft, but when the public sector engages in these kinds of egregious policies that just violate everything we thought was right, everything we thought was true, everything we thought was possible, you unleash all kinds of terrible things. Many communities in America today, and it’s terrible to say, the expectations that you can steal whatever you want as long as it doesn’t exceed $1,000, and petty theft is going crazy in this country right now. I just have to believe, and I’m not a philosopher, but I think it’s related.
Mr. Jekielek: Well. Okay. So that’s very interesting. You said the word, reset, well, because we know that Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum has written a book about how to use COVID-19 to affect a great reset, so to speak. We hear about the fourth industrial revolution.
Mr. Tucker: That’s weird.
Mr. Jekielek: I guess the question is, again, you said the word, how much do you see this actually being a kind of intentional reset of sorts?
Mr. Tucker: I don’t know the answer to that question because you can be Darth Vader or you can put on a costume as Darth Vader, and so maybe that’s who Klaus is. Who’s this guy Klaus or something? Maybe that’s who he is. Maybe he’s just a pretend kind of guy, “I’m the man who manufactured the inflation to give everybody short-term prime preferences and get you on subscription models on digital media, and we’re going to get rid of fossil fuels and make you buy all electric cars and abolish your cities and make you move out into the countryside,” which is the kind of nonsense this ridiculous book on Amazon says, and it just so happens that the World Economic Forum includes, I don’t know, hundreds of the world’s most powerful people, these top fellows. There is that, too. So I don’t think it’s as innocuous as a Darth Vader Halloween costume, but I just don’t know.
Jan, you’re asking the question, which is why, and I have been asked that question a thousand times over two years. I have yet to come up with a good answer to it. For me, the answer is that a small group of people began to believe crazy things and somehow got the reins of power and got their way, overcame all of our traditions, ran Russia out over the courts, disoriented people to such an extent that they couldn’t fight back, and this went on and on and on for far too long until we finally gradually woke up one person at a time. So to me, it was the madness of crowds inspired by the insanity of ideology. I think that’s the best explanation.
Mr. Jekielek: The thing that I can’t entirely wrap my head around or at least I have many theories about is how is it that effectively, minus perhaps the four countries that you mentioned earlier, the whole world reacted in this extremely improper way.
Mr. Tucker: Right. This is a difficult problem, but one is we live in a world of global communication now. We didn’t in the past. It was not so easy for governments to just copy each other. In this case, there was a copycat routine going on. So once the US locked down, Latin America locked down, Canada locked down, UK, which had adopted a great Barrington style, traditional public health thing, switched to lockdowns, too. So the US had a big influence over many countries in the world not doing this, but I don’t think anything like this would’ve ever happened where it not for that Fauci-sponsored delegation to Beijing and to Wuhan, to five cities in China, where they came back and the World Health Organization, and they drafted a document and American was the drafter, by the way. You can look at the properties or the PDF and see that it’s American working for the World Health Organization, who wrote the document herself, graduate of Stanford Medical School. I always remind Jay Bhattacharya of that.
Mr. Tucker: So you have this document coming out that basically you have the World Health Organization telling the world to copy China. That happened, February 26th, about just a few days later Italy locked down. US lockdown, it seemed to give them green light to everybody in the planet. Sweden’s essentially an exception. Sweden was having some grave diplomatic conflicts with China at the time, and might have been a little skeptical. So it’s interesting.
Mr. Jekielek: That’s very interesting because I hadn’t thought of that angle.
Mr. Tucker: Yeah, but that’s it, and just global collective amnesia. About 100 years of public health experience that said, “Don’t lockdown,” was suddenly gone and we all just copied Wuhan. It’s one of the more bizarre episodes in the history of humanity. I don’t know how else to describe it. Well, bizarre, evil. I mean, the amount of damage that’s caused, the amount of trauma, and the amount of collateral damage that’s happening all over the world, the hunger, the collapse in public health, the declining lifespans, the increase in excess deaths of non-COVID in 2021 is a shock. It really shows up in the data, an egregious thing. We can’t just make it go away and pretend like it didn’t happen because we want to move on with our lives and have our drinks and our parties. We can’t do that.
Mr. Jekielek: So let’s discuss the requisite thing. I mean, we really have to think about how to make things better, right?
Mr. Tucker: Yeah. I’m so glad you asked the question because I don’t have all the answers, but I have a first step, and the first step is we need to know more. Why did these things happen to us? At the Brownstone Institute, I’ve been working with several of our top scholars to develop a list. We have 12 general categories within which under each one we have probably 10, 12 other things have to be investigated. Within each of those, there’s other things have to be investigated. There’s so much we need to know.
Why didn’t they investigate therapeutics? Why did they not investigate how the virus was spread? Why has now for two years the CDC not told the truth about masking? Who issued the orders to close the schools? Why did they all close down at once? Who drew out these sheets between essential and nonessential workers? Who was responsible for that? How come the HHS released a lockdown blueprint on March the 13th when Trump hadn’t even given his approval to anything remotely resembling lockdowns until two days later?
There’s a lot that we need to know, and then we have to start asking of ourselves fundamental questions. What do we believe as a society about ourselves and our relationship to each other and our relationship to the state and to our communities and our families? What are the fundamental values that we accept as a society, and what do we used to believe and how do we so easily dispense with all those principles in favor of this lockdown ideology? We can never do this again. We’ve traumatized a whole generation of students in so many ways.
So the health problems we’re going to be facing for decades as a result of this, and we still have not looked thoroughly into the issues of the safety of what we mandated for the medicines, we mandated for the whole population. I mean, that’s going to be something we’re going to have to deal with. So the fallout from this is going to last years, but we have to get brave, and we have to get bold, and we have to get truthful, and we have to start asking questions and getting the answers.
There were several commissions that were planned about a year ago, mostly populated by the people who enacted lockdowns and defended mandates and did all this nonsense to us, right? Those commissions were well-funded by the Ford Foundation and many of the Rockefeller and all the rest. They quietly went away. They stopped meeting. There will be no reports. They decided that this is not anything that they want to report on. Why? Because it was such a catastrophic failure.
Okay. Well, how about a report on that? How about a commission on that? How about a commission that’s willing to tell, to ask the right questions, get the right people to tell what happened and provide a thorough accounting. That’s a job, I think, for many of us, but it falls mainly to legislatures, to the Senate, to the house, but to every state house, to every city, every county government. Everybody needs a commission to figure this out, and we need private commissions, we need public commissions, we need them all. We need the truth. We need the truth. We know about five percent of it. We need to find out. That’s I think step one.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, Jeffrey Tucker, it’s such a pleasure to have you on again.
Mr. Tucker: Thank you, Jan.
Thank you, everyone, for joining Jeffrey Tucker and me on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host, Jan Jekielek.
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