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Jeffrey Tucker: How the US Adopted CCP-Inspired COVID-19 Control Policies, a Timeline

“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.”


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: I want to start off with a statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Speaker 3: Dr. Fauci, U.S. 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 said in response to a Florida judge striking down the mask mandates that it was a CDC decision and that the courts had no authority to do it. You have some thoughts on this. Frankly, isn’t this a bigger question?

Mr. Tucker: It’s a big question. Are courts allowed to restrain government? Are governments subject to law? Keep in mind, we’re not talking here about elected politicians or legislatures. We’re talking about the administrative state appointed to these offices. Fauci served, I don’t know, four or five or six presidents. He works for the NIH, but technically has some oversight on the CDC. He’s announcing that there should be no restraints on the administrative power of deep state bureaucracies at all, not by legislatures, and certainly not by courts.

Now, to me, this shows what kind of bubble they live in. You have a judge that says, “Look, this transportation mandate that you passed is just not working for us, because you cited the 1944 Public Health Services Act, which is designed to prevent the importation of infectious disease in one form or another. It doesn’t allow you to pick clothing choices on the airplanes for Americans.” The administration even cited that there is a passage in that law having to do with sanitation. 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 that’s the way the system is supposed to work. It’s 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, and we need to think what that deeper belief is. It really represents a fundamental challenge to the whole of modernity itself, and what has been a key tenant of modern life. The thing that gave birth to the idea of human freedom itself is that government should be restrained. 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 an important document in history. For the first time in the West 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’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.

If that is true for public health, why isn’t it also true for labor? Then why can’t the Department of Labor just pass any law? This would unleash a truly pre-modern form of government on the world. 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 government or human freedom should alarm us. I think it’s alarming.

Mr. Jekielek: What you’re saying is really interesting. We’re seeing this trend in many areas, like this whole Twitter saga with Elon Musk launching a hostile takeover of Twitter. The opposite argument back is that free speech actually undermines democracy. 

Mr. Tucker: Yes, and it’s startling, Jan. At this point, we shouldn’t be surprised, but actually, we should be surprised. We have lived through two years of this kind of despotic rule. Suddenly, all of our social media platforms were taken over by the CDC and the World Health Organization to decide what we can and cannot say. It’s not really even about the truth or falsehood of what you’re saying. It’s only about what the administrative state on any given day, and any given hour allows you to say. This can change the next day, and the next week, because we’ve seen the CDC constantly changing. Fauci’s statements are always changing, just wait a minute. Last week he said, “Of course, the science has changed.” The science? I’ve got the science here. Don’t show me a piece of paper.

So really, it’s starting to feel like a dystopian movie in some ways. These lockdowns were really a fundamental challenge to everything we are as Americans. 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, and to what extent you can cross a state line without being forced into a quarantine. And by the way, you’re going to be tracked by an app. All of this happened to us all at once and nobody voted on it. “We’ve got a network and operation here.” They have tasted power and they have seen what’s possible. They don’t want to let it go. They want it to last and last and last.

Mr. Jekielek: The most interesting thing that we’re talking about are 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 long been associated with subjection and servitude. There is a long history associated with those two things; covering the mouth, silencing the speech, and making breath impossible. So all of that is true about masks. They become such a flash point because they represent a very highly personalized imposition of a much broader problem—the arbitrary dictates, the impositions, the mandates, the forced shots on penalty of losing your jobs, the travel restrictions, and the shutdowns. 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 is still all around us. 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 strange, unscientific things that are born of panic on one hand, but also 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 enacted by a permanent unelected bureaucracy.

The last two years have been such a nightmare, such a blur of catastrophe. It seems incredible that it happened in the United States. People are still in 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 it straight and have commissions and investigations and figure this out because something went very, very wrong.

Mr. Jekielek: You are someone who is celebrating modernity, for lack of a better term, celebrating the enlightenment. When you saw two weeks to stop the spread go into effect, you immediately realized that civilization as we knew it was 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.”

Mr. Tucker: Reasonable? It was never reasonable. I actually got alarmed at least a week before that with the shutdown of the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. It was a conference that about 250,000 people were planning to come to. On his own, our Mayor said, “No. We can’t hold the conference.” What? When that happened I thought, “Oh, God! There’s going to be years of lawsuits about this. This is absolutely un-American.” I wrote against it, but there was silence, just absolute silence. I believe I was the only person who wrote against it. It was unbelievable.

Mr. Jekielek: This was a time when we didn’t know much. 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. I can see you’re going to say something. 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. There was the Imperial College model. Presumably, the mayor wasn’t interested in having a superspreader event.

Mr. Tucker: Yes, but look, we’ve had pandemics in the past, ’69, ’68, ’58, ’57, ’43, ’42, ’29. There have been pandemics, but we didn’t ever arbitrarily shut down things for that kind of stuff. In 1918, there were some closures in San Francisco and Chicago, but in New York, everybody just went about their business, and that was a deadly pandemic. We just don’t do those kinds of things— 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 they want, and we’ve known this.

Now, to be sure, Jan, it’s been slipping away for a very long time. The quarantine power on this point, if the CDC is correct, was passed in 1944 with the Public Health Services Act. Now, I’ve read the act. It seems innocuous in some ways, but the CDC seized on it 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, and figure out why it was passed in war time. 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 the legislative history of this thing. I can’t really understand it.

So lockdown ideology was born not of epidemiology, virology or immunology, much less the medical profession or the scientific profession. It was born in 2005 out of political paranoia in the White House. They had 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. Epidemiologists 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. This is 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 for the Avian bird flu of 2006, but that bird flu never went from birds to humans. The birds had some aches and some sniffles, but they never passed it on to humans. So, that was a missed opportunity, and thank goodness for that. In the meantime, people like Bill Gates got interested in this whole subject of how do you deal with the next pandemic. That was really a disaster, because you got these computer scientists involved. They almost to a person got confused between computer viruses and human viruses. It sounds like a preposterous mistake, but I promise you, it’s absolutely real.

They don’t know the difference. 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 is, but he had the big soapbox. He started funding the epidemiological departments all over the country, as well as journals and conferences. So, yes, the lockdown ideology became the real virus. We barely escaped locking down in 2009. That was a bad one, H1N1, which was the same flu as in 1918. 

Mr. Jekielek: How is it that we just barely escaped in 2009?

Mr. Tucker: Because it was H1N1. You could imagine there could have been a frenzy about that one, too. Oh, my God!

Mr. Jekielek: There could have been. But here’s the question.There’s something that changed. In the UK, for example, I know for a fact that lockdowns got written into the policy. But they were not specifically advocated for, because of the inherent problems with them.

Mr. Tucker: That’s true. That’s true.

Mr. Jekielek: So, somehow something changed. Was it already being contemplated in 2009? 

Mr. Tucker: Yes. If you look at Bush’s 2005 pandemic plan, it is included. There is plenty of language in there that you could interpret as being lockdown, but even still, people thought it was crazy. Then 2009 came and now Obama is president. People are screaming, “H1N1 is coming to kill us all.” He said, “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. I’m not going to worry about your flu right now.”

So, that just came and went, and all told it was a pretty good way of dealing with the flu. Of course, we had the MERS virus, and by the way, in 2003, we had SARS-CoV-1. We can get back to that in a moment, because the dealing with that one served as the template for what happened in 2022. But yes, we still had to wait until SARS-CoV-2.

Jan, it will still take a lot of work to piece together what happened between January 15th and March 20th, 2020. That’s where things get really murky. Jeremy Farrar, of the Welcome Trust in the UK, wrote about it himself in his book Spike, which came out in the fall 2021. As they say these days, he said the quiet part out loud. By the end of January, they weren’t sleeping at night. They were panicked. They were talking to each other on burner phones. We know that the very first paper denying that it was a lab leak came out on February 4th.  Several authors that were on those secret phone calls banged out that paper on February 4th. It didn’t appear in the journal Nature until March 16th. That was the same day the Birx-Fauci-Trump press conference announced the American lockdowns.

So what happened between February 4th and March 12th? We know that Fauci gave a lot of interviews. He had a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine where he said, “This is not going to be that bad. They say it’s going to be a bad flu year, but it’s not as bad as people say.” Okay. That paper came out on 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. I’m just going to speculate. I’m not saying this is absolutely true.

What 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, the only question in their minds is whether it was deliberate or accidental.

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. For some reason, right or wrong, the World Health Organization was 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. There’s always a trade-off between severity and prevalence subject to latency in all of epidemiology, so that’s probably why. It probably didn’t have anything to do with the World Health Organization, but there you have the WHO taking credit for stopping it.

Now, everyone says, “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, around February 16th to the 20th, the World Health Organization sent a delegation to China that included some employees from the National Institutes of Health, including Clifford Lane, who is the deputy assistant to Fauci. They go over there to this Potemkin village, and I hope your viewers understand what that is. It’s like a fake city that used to be set up in Russia to show Westerners the glorious prosperity of a Potemkin village. Then they said,  “Look, it was brutal, it was bad, but now look, the virus is gone.”

So they came back and within three days, they wrote a report that the World Health Organization published. 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. We have seen the future. It is Wuhan.”

This is the turning point. This is the moment in which the administrative state and the public health bureaucracy decided to follow the CCP’s example. They did it because they thought that this kind of power was capable of suppressing the virus.

In effect, the U.S. came under a Zero-COVID policy. This was late February. Now, they have to work fast at this point because they’re pretty concerned. The New York Times was the first institution tasked with the job of broadcasting a message to the American public, “It’s time to panic. All the old rules, they’re gone. You have to forget about the Constitution for a little while. Bill of Rights, that’s for then. This is now. Bad things are going to happen.”

That was February 27th. The New York Times ran a podcast with their science reporter, Donald G. McNeil, who has since been fired. He whipped the public into a panic. The podcast began with his walking into the studio and spraying everything down with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.

Anyway, that was the day I knew night was falling. The next day, they ran a lead op-ed by the same Donald G. McNeil, “To take on the coronavirus, we have to go medieval on it just like China.” That was the 28th of February, 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 well-being 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 is 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, “all people, but not goods from Europe.” So, he made a mistake there. He also made a number of little slip-ups. 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 have been on March 13th. It was marked top secret. We didn’t know about it until two months later, but the date is interesting. Trump gave his order to block travel from Europe on the 12th, and 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 of his friends convinced Trump about “two weeks to flatten the curve,” and Trump agreed to it. But think about it, HHS had already decided. Who’s in charge? Who’s really in charge around here? Was it really Trump? I don’t know. It’s very strange. Did Trump even know about that HHS order? I don’t know.

What you had developing over the course of the previous 30 days was a real plot to do to America what actually did happen over the coming two years. Maybe they didn’t intend it to last two years. They certainly knew that it wasn’t going to be two weeks. They could convince Trump about the two weeks. So he agreed to it and went ahead with that press conference on March 16th, where Fauci and Birx had free rein. They were up at the microphone the entire time and telling everybody to distance, and businesses to close. A reporter raised his hand and spoke.

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. Why is it seen as being 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, Trump says, “Yes. I’m really tired of this lockdown thing.” They said to him, “You should really do it another two weeks, because we’ve made a lot of gains over the last two weeks. If you open up now, it’s going to be a real mess.” It just went on like this. Within that two weeks Congress got busy with its spending plan. That’s when we got the CARES Act, which 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: This is a great place to segue into the topic of inflation, because this is something that you know quite a bit about, and have been quite interested in for a long time.

Mr. Tucker: That’s right.

Mr. Jekielek: Broadly speaking, what does inflation really mean?

Mr. Tucker: Right.

Mr. Jekielek: Why don’t you give us the big picture for starters?

Mr. Tucker: Okay.

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s start first with very basic principles.

Mr. Tucker: It’s so interesting. Inflation has been used as a tool by governments 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. 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 coin out of it. So, that’s reducing the value of the coinage. 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 an 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. I had a friend of mine who went to jail, and people have the greatest stories when they get out of jail. In this particular jail, the money was cans of mackerel. So you would gather the mackerel cans, and then spend a mackerel can to get a haircut or whatever. They had developed a whole system. It’s all spontaneous, but it works.

Then one day, some guy misbehaved, so they took him into solitary confinement. They raided his cell, and 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 them.

They all grabbed them 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. Also, with inflation goods become more expensive. That’s also a kind of inflation, isn’t it?

Mr. Tucker: There are many reasons why goods might become more expensive. Leaving the money aside, supply chain breakages can do this.

Mr. Jekielek: Which we are experiencing now, correct?

Mr. Tucker: Yes. With inflation, there are usually other factors going along with it, aside from the monetary ones. When we had the big inflation of 1979-1980, we were at the end of oil price controls, so that’s what led to the long lines. It wasn’t so high then, but now you have this inflation piled on top of all these other breakages. Usually, when you have an inflation, you have other structural issues going on, and this one is 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 (Federal Reserve System.) In 2008, we had our financial crisis, and the Fed started doing QE1, (Quantitative easing) QE2, and QE3. A lot of people were predicting tremendous inflation, but it never came.

The reason it didn’t happen was because the new money never became hot money on the streets. It never landed in people’s pockets, because what they were doing was filling up the bank coffers, and recapitalizing the banks that were suddenly sitting on these MBS products that were now actually completely worthless. What the Fed did was buy all the MBS products with newly printed money given to the banks, and then they paid the banks to keep their deposits at the Fed, so that the banks wouldn’t reloan them out. Therefore, you 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, it was. Yes. They recapitalized the banks with a bunch of newly printed money, but it didn’t have the effects on consumer prices one would have expected. That created an arrogance on the part of the Fed. Do you see what I mean? They got away with it at the time. There wasn’t any inflation after QE1, QE2,  or QE3. Now, the lockdowns are here, “Let’s do it again.” But this time was different, because it took a different form.

Back in 2008, there was the financial crisis. The banks were in trouble. In 2020, they created an artificial instantaneous depression by shutting down the economy. Then Congress got busy with the CARES Act. These lockdowns would not have lasted very long at all if not for the CARES Act. Nobody benefits from a lockdown economy. It’s bad news, unless the government is sending you vast amount of cash for the first time in your life.

So, the CARES Act passed, Suddenly, individuals and businesses all over the country, and especially state, county, and city governments are seeing their coffers filled with money from Congress. It was glorious. It was like, “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 to $3 trillion, to $5 trillion, to $6 trillion.

Mr. Jekielek: To your point, I had another guest on, Luke Rosiak, and we were talking about this exactly. The teachers unions got tens of billions of dollars for not being in school.

Mr. Tucker: Yes. They didn’t have any reason to open up. We would have opened up very quickly. It would have been two weeks to flatten the curve, if the Cares Act had not passed. How does Congress do this, by the way? If you, Jan Jekielek, suddenly decide to spend $6 trillion, your bank is not going to like it.  Your credit cards are going to start ringing your phone off the hook.  They will be calling you up, “This isn’t really working for us.” But somehow Congress can get away with this.

How do they do it? Because it’s Congress, and the Treasury just issues more debt. They issue more debt. What was the market for that debt? The Federal Reserve. They suddenly bought it all and stuck it in its balance sheet. What did they buy it with? They bought it with their checkbook, which doesn’t bounce because it’s the central bank. They’ve got printers in the basement. That’s what happened, and it’s incredible.

Let’s run the numbers. Let’s say Congress allocated a total of $6 trillion, roughly. 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, for the benefit of us who aren’t  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. 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: It’s not exactly on the streets, in a lot of cases. It’s going into big accounts.

Mr. Tucker: It’s going into Amazon, Netflix, and all the digital media companies who benefited enormously from the lockdowns. You’re right. Actually, my metaphor “on the streets” is not right. It wasn’t on the streets, because the streets were all closed. It was a massive transfer of wealth from small business to big digital media companies. Flush with money, Google, Amazon, and Facebook fell in love with lockdowns. They loved them. A third of the workforce was forced to stay home just staring at their screens, while the big digital companies raked in the big bucks, newly printed money.

Think about what a strange thing it was. In my lifetime there has never been a time when you wake up one day and you find that the U.S. Treasury has sent you $4,000. “Thanks. This is very nice. I’ve always hated the government. Now, I kind of like it.” Now, 18 months later, what happened to that money? It’s gone. Where did it go? It went into higher prices.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s actually very interesting. You always have to pay somehow.

Mr. Tucker: Yes. We paid. Now, the money is gone, and this inflation could be very serious. I was running some numbers the other day, and people talk about 8.5 per cent at CPI. We’re at 12 per cent or 13 per cent in PPI, but it can’t be accurate. There are better ways to measure these things. There’s a new app out there called Truflation that actually has APIs running all the time to check real time prices. They’re calculating much closer to 13 per cent, 14 per cent right now, but let’s say it’s 8.5 per cent. That means in 2030, a dollar is going to be worth 50 cents. It’s very serious.

In other words, let’s steal half your income. It’s a hidden tax, and very brutal. Also, there are other effects from inflation. They’re not just entirely economic. They’re also cultural. If you come to believe that there is no advantage in 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, and it reduces your time horizons as a culture.

Inflationary societies are short-term thinking societies. Sound money is much more important than people realize. 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, then pass on money to your kids. Money has to be good. If it’s not, everything blows up. You would start thinking about your inheritance, and you would realize, “Why save? It’s worth ever less.”

We’re going through a little bit of that right now. Right now, it’s hard to find return on your money. Inflation is running 15 per cent, you’re making 5 per cent in the financial markets, you’re losing money. You have to make 20 per cent 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 of all of this. We’re right at this in-between stage. This is one of the reasons the Fed kept saying, “It’s transitory. Yes, we have a little inflation problem now, but wait until the fall. Okay. It’s lasting a little longer because of supply chains. Just wait until the winter. Oh, it’s still with us because of Putin.” They keep manufacturing these other excuses, like the greed of business, for example.

They’re trying to convince people that this is a short-term problem, and it’s unrelated to their own policies. They are worried people will develop a fear that we’re not going to go back to the old prices. Which we are not going to, 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 we’ve got another year of 15 per cent, or that it’s going to go to 20 per cent, then people are going to start adjusting their behaviors. 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 begin to add fuel to the inflationary fire. At that point, whatever the Fed does is irrelevant, because the Fed doesn’t control velocity. Velocity is controlled by the money you and I spend.

Mr. Jekielek: This is where this term runaway inflation comes from, when you enter this vicious cycle.

Mr. Tucker: Yes, because the expectations start to catch on. I’m seeing a problem right now when I look at the data. I’m open to correction on any of these things. Monetary policy can be a very complicated area, but I’m looking at the data and I know that price x output = money x 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. If that velocity trigger turns the other way, it’s going to superpower this Fed printing they have 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 sopping up this liquidity at that point. You cannot. There’s no federal reserve policy that acts fast enough to deal with something like this.

Mr. Jekielek: This is also coming in the midst of some severe supply chain issues, correct?

Mr. Tucker: Yes, and incredibly, once again, it’s related to lockdowns. We had a system in this country which most businesses developed by watching the magic of Japan in the 1980s, called just-in-time inventory. 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. That’s great system in an economy that’s globalized and everything’s working and there’s no crisis, there’s no war, everything’s fine, and everything’s good. You don’t want to waste resources on having a bunch of things on the shelf that you’re not using.

So, just-in time-inventory became the way of doing business. When the 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 when it came time to order them eight months later, the chip manufacturers had moved on. They’d moved on to doing other things. Taiwan, and other places around China had already started serving other markets, so they weren’t available. That happened across the board. Just-in-time inventory contributed to this, and also 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 U.S. and around the world. Why is postal mail 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 life is supposed to work. You demoralized people. You took away their will to get up in the morning, get showered, get dressed and go to work. You do that for long enough, and after a while, it’s hard to put back together what you’ve broken.

Mr. Jekielek: You’re saying there’s a tight relationship between this lockdown policy and all these things that have happened subsequently, especially inflation. 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. It’s having a huge impact on that society, but it’s also having a huge impact on supply chains. 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 something else happening? Is this an attempt to impact the global economy?

Mr. Tucker: Yes. There are a lot of theories about this, and maybe they’re all correct. Maybe there’s only one correct, and it’s one that is pretty obvious to me. The Wuhan lockdowns were the greatest thing that ever happened to Xi Jinping’s political career. It was great because he chose to use the so-called power, might, wisdom, and brilliance of the communist party to overcome this virus. And he did it. How do we know he did it? The World Health Organization ratified it. The U.S. copied it. It was broadcast around the world. All but four countries in the world did what China did. That’s proof. Xi Jinping is leading China to become a global leader for a truly great policy.

Mr. Jekielek: So it’s basically a massive propaganda victory.

Mr. Tucker: Immense. It goes along with this whole manifest destiny thing. Beijing has a lot going for it right now.  “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 where it never stopped. You can’t stop a virus. It’s ridiculous.

In Shanghai, when the virus broke out there, what are you going to do if you’re Xi Jinping? If you’ve got a communist party election coming up, and 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, either good governments or bad governments, they don’t like to admit when they’re wrong.

Mr. Jekielek: If there is one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, that admission is extremely rare.

Mr. Tucker: Extremely rare. So that’s my theory on Shanghai. It’s about the political pride of the CCP. They’ve got to drive the cases down, but it’s not going to work. 

Mr. Jekielek: Again, the human cost doesn’t matter.

Mr. Tucker: That’s what is chilling. In this country, we started off with the Zero-COVID policy, more or less. Even then, we were unable to achieve it. Now, it’s true that we used some brutal methods in this country. There were SWAT teams being sent in to rural Texas bars to arrest people for drinking beer. There were drones flying over the towns, cities, and even rural areas of Massachusetts to ferret out people who were holding wedding parties. 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.”

These things did happen, and the media participated in it. 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 it and say, “You should have stayed home and stayed safe.”

There was a little bit of that. It didn’t last that long and they were not able to get away with it to a great extent. So, it was gradually dialed back and dialed back. Then of course, fast-forward 18 months later, and you had the great COVID wave of November-December 2021, when even the zoom-classers finally caught this stupid bug, and it’s a nasty wicked bug. The cases just went through the roof, and forever discredited every one of these lockdowns, control freaks and Zero-COVID public health epidemiologists in the United States who believed you could control a virus by controlling people. 

They were intellectually shot at that point. December was the month of death for their reputations forever. They may not admit it, but it’s true. In China, things are a lot easier to cover up. There’s no deaths. The reason there’s no deaths is because dying of COVID is illegal. It’s pretty simple.

Mr. Jekielek: There is so much credence being given to the COVID statistics coming out of communist China, when we know that every other statistic of theirs is basically false, except the odd ones that are audited in some way.

Mr. Tucker: It’s a problem, Jan, and 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. On one hand, you’ve got China where dying of COVID is illegal. The cases are up. They went down for two years and now suddenly their cases are back up again, but still, deaths are 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 were doing in the early days were actually registering people who are sick, versus the people who just have some fragment in their nose. We don’t know. Then you’ve got a second-level problem with the classification of deaths. There’s no question that all the CARES money and all the money that Congress was spending was giving out massive subsidies to hospitals for every COVID case they had.

Mr. Jekielek: Then there is the overarching issue of an obsession with narrative control over reality. This is the part that concerns me most, because this is the last lesson you want to be learning from the Chinese communist party. Their narrative controlled Trump’s reality, and there was a cost from that. 

Mr. Tucker: Right. It’s a disaster, really. Actually, it’s going to be years before we figure out the truth, whether it’s in the United States or China. The data out of Israel seems a little more solid. The Scandinavian countries have been much more open source and rational about things like that. In the end, those are going to be the reports that we rely on to finally settle on important numbers like the infection-fatality rate or the case-fatality rate. We’re going to find out a lot more about COVID. We’re going to find out it’s just a really wicked flu that was particularly severe on the aged and infirm populations, but 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 of this by late January. That has not changed. It’s really tragic how public health in general has been so discredited in so many of the countries that pursued these lockdown policies. You touched on that earlier. Once you pursue an extreme policy like this, you suddenly have a really strong incentive to build a story around the policy to justify what you did, given the immense collateral damage. You have two years of lost education, missed medical screening, and missed vaccinations. You have depression, unemployment, demoralization, and the loss of religious faith. All these things that have happened to us under lockdowns are so bad that governments have a strong incentive to make up a story that justifies what happened. The story is that it was all worth it, somehow, because it could have been worse if they hadn’t done the lockdowns.

We’re looking at the biggest challenge to the credibility of not just public health, but of the public sector that has happened in our lifetimes. This 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: Donald Henderson was the great epidemiologist who was primarily credited with the eradication of smallpox. He worked for the World Health Organization. His book is so brilliant. He went all over the world inoculating people, just a really fascinating guy. But in 2006 these computer scientists came up with this idea of a lockdown where you could control a virus by shutting down schools, social distancing, putting on plexiglass, and making everybody live in a box. This is similar to what Carter Mecher told the journalist, Michael Lewis, in the book Premonition. This guy is the main reason your children weren’t able to go to school for two years. This is the guy. His name is Carter Mecher. He told the journalist, Michael Lewis, 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 the journalist. That’s what these people believe. They’re crazy, and there’s nothing real about that.

Anyway, Carter Mecher was active in 2006 when Donald Henderson was nearing the end of his life. He had a big career and he was a big man on the block in the world of epidemiology. He wrote an epic article in 2006 slamming all these lockdown ideas—mask mandates, vaccine mandates, social distancing, travel restrictions, quarantines, business closures, and domestic capacity restrictions. He took everything that we went through with the lockdowns and went through each one of them and said, “This is not going to work, and this is not going to work, and this is not going to work.” 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 is what he said.

He died in 2016. I talked to a good friend of his, who is a professor of epidemiology at a university that I won’t name. Early in the lockdowns, I was speaking to her on the phone and we were both weeping together, “Look what they’re doing. These are just crazy people.” She said to me, “If Professor Henderson had been around, this never would have happened.” She said, “Unfortunately, after his death, there was nobody to fill his shoes.”

I can’t help thinking this article should be reprinted.

Mr. Tucker: Yes. 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. Yes, we made mistakes along the way. But we pretty much knew after 1918, when we saw that the masks didn’t work in San Francisco, and 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, and it 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. In 1957-1958, you can read in the New York Times about what was recommended for 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”.

In 1968-1969, it was same advice. Polio in the early 1940s 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. He went to the polio foundation and said, “Listen, I want to help you raise money so we can do something about polio, get a good vaccine, and get everybody vaccinated so we can get this disease.” They said, “Thank you very much, Mr. President, but no thanks. We cannot afford for our desire to eradicate polio to be perceived as a political campaign.” The polio foundation, which later became the March of Dimes, said, “This has to be about public health, and cannot ever be about political loyalties. So, we don’t ever want politicians involved. That will ruin it all.” My God! Right?

Mr. Jekielek: It’s incredible to hear that given what we know about the last few years.

Mr. Tucker: Well, it is. You would only need to think back to the summer of 2021 with the vaccination campaign. Somehow, the Biden administration got in its head that we wanted 70 per cent 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, who has not been a friend of public health for a while, discovered the rate of vaccination was much lower in red states than in blue states. In those days, hospitalizations were higher among the unvaccinated than the vaccinated.

Now, we know the statistics are all over the place, but in that little period of time, they discovered state by state that red states had a greater percentage of unvaccinated people and they were getting sicker. This was on the front page of the New York Times. By the way, we don’t need to go into it, but almost everything about their analysis is false. Why are you drawing these state lines? It doesn’t actually make any sense. They’re doing that for political reasons, right? Concerning the demographics of those vaccinations, there are 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, how to blame Trump and create a psychological association between Trump support and sickness. Trump is the virus. You’re not getting vaccinated, and 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.” Again, this was in the summer of 2021 when the seasonal virus is blowing around the country, this way and that way, and this was true during that period of time. But of course, over the coming months, you know what happened. The red states got well and the blue states got sick. 

Mr. Jekielek: 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. It’s something that I had studied in the past about the stages of genocide. Genocide doesn’t start with people killing each other, it starts with people dehumanizing one group, then dehumanizing another group.

Mr. Tucker: You’re so right.

Mr. Jekielek: Watching all this stuff unfold is very problematic. I’m not saying that that’s where it will go. I’m saying that that’s how it has gone in the past, and we should always try to avoid it.

Mr. Tucker: No, 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.

Mr. Jekielek: How so? Maybe just spell that out, if you will.

Mr. Tucker: Every state government created a sheet on who is essential and who is in unessential, and they sent it to all the HR departments. Can you imagine? This is not the United States. This really happened, “Am I essential? Am I not essential?” They listed all the classifications and tried to figure out whether you could go to work or not. In effect, what it amounted to was that some people were forced to work and other people were forced to stay home and pretend to work.

Mr. Jekielek: I am embarrassed to say this, but I remember looking at that sheet myself and thinking, “Am I essential?”

Mr. Tucker: Oh, really?

Mr. Jekielek: “Oh, thank goodness I’m essential because otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to work.” 

Mr. Tucker: The term is a little bit funny, because in those days what did essential mean?

Mr. Jekielek: It meant I was not subject to the restrictions and I was very happy.

Mr. Tucker: Yes, 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 Netflix. This went on for a very long time. Sorry if I’ve told this too many times, but 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 virus in your community. You could type in your zip code and then, pop, up would come the instructions. During the height of the pandemic, one set of instructions was always that you should not travel, you should stay at home, and you should have your groceries delivered to you.

Mr. Jekielek: Yes. This is Dr. Jay Bhattacharya’s trickle-down epidemiology, what he calls trickle-down epidemiology.

Mr. Tucker: Yes. The New York Times never told anybody to deliver groceries to anybody else. 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, and to bear the primary burden of herd immunity. It was a grim creation of a caste system that became very obvious by the time when the restaurants actually opened. You suddenly found 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 in.

A vibrant commercial culture is about all of us serving each other as equals, and we know this. The waiter comes up and says, “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.”

With your colleagues and friends, there’s not a barrier separating you. There’s not a caste. You don’t have servers that serve. So, the pandemic response really did create a caste system that, of course, got worse and worse and worse, and culminated in the vaccine mandates. I just cannot believe it, Jan. It’s such a scandal to me that New York City created these mandates that barred the unvaccinated from public accommodations, restaurants, museums, libraries, and theaters, just barred them. One click over the tab on the spreadsheet—who was unvaccinated? It was the primary demographic of the unvaccinated. For decades, we’ve worried about the disparate impact of policies, and rightly so. Then we came to those mandates, and nobody cared.

I read one article about this problem, and it was in your newspaper. It’s a scandal to me. We have been fighting racial segregation in this country for the better part of 80 years. Then in one day we imposed it in the three greatest cities in this country, New York, Boston, and 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.

It is proof of how the lockdowns blunted our moral conscience. It took away our natural sense of right and wrong, overturned 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 necessarily arrive at rationally or even consciously. It’s something that we absorb into our daily sense by virtue of the lived routines; how to get along with others, how to treat others with respect, and how to have a default position where with 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. It’s born of stability, of fulfilled expectations about a liturgy of life, the routine and rituals that we have always affirmed, “If I treat others well, then they will treat me well.” The whole society gets imbued with this sense. Then one day there’s a switch turned on, where what is wrong is now law, where the things we once thought were morally egregious are now required, where we are typecast into a certain class or a caste, and where we are not allowed to do something normal like travel across the state lines to go to a job or go to your father’s funeral in Texas, even though you live in Oklahoma. When you can’t visit your mother in the hospital, 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 fundamentally shattered, or to use another term, “reset,” it’s hard to put it back together again. We are now 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 stealing things is 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 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 expectation is that you can steal whatever you want as long as it doesn’t exceed $1,000. Petty theft is going crazy in this country right now. I just have to believe, and I’m not a philosopher, but I believe it is related.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s very interesting. You mentioned the word reset. 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: How much do you see this as actually being an intentional reset?

Mr. Tucker: I don’t know the answer to that question. You can be Darth Vader or you can put on a costume like Darth Vader, and so maybe that’s who Klaus is. Who is this guy Klaus? 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. 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.” That is the kind of nonsense his ridiculous book on Amazon says. It just so happens that the World Economic Forum includes 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, “Why?” 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, and disoriented people to such an extent that they couldn’t fight back. 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. That’s the best explanation.

Mr. Jekielek: The thing that I can’t entirely wrap my head around, or at least that I have many theories about is how, minus the four countries that you mentioned earlier, the whole world reacted in this extremely improper way.

Mr. Tucker: Right. This is a difficult problem. One; 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 U.S. locked down, Latin America locked down, and Canada locked down. The UK, which had initially adopted a Great Barrington-style, traditional public health approach, switched to lockdowns, too. So the U.S. had a big influence over many countries in the world. But I don’t think anything like this would’ve ever happened were it not for that Fauci-sponsored delegation to Beijing and Wuhan, to the five cities in China. They came back and the World Health Organization drafted a document. An American was the drafter, by the way. You can look at the properties of the PDF and see that it’s an American working for the World Health Organization who wrote the document herself, a graduate of Stanford Medical School. I always remind Jay Bhattacharya of that.

Mr. Tucker: So you have this document coming out where the World Health Organization is telling the world to copy China. That happened on February 26th, 2020. Just about a few days later, Italy locked down. The U.S. locked down. It seemed to give a green light to everybody in the planet. Sweden is 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: Yes, but that’s it. It’s just a collective global 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. Call it bizarre, or call it evil. The amount of damage that it has caused, the amount of trauma, the amount of collateral damage all over the world, the hunger, the collapse in public health, the declining lifespans, and the increase in excess deaths of non-COVID in 2021 is a shock. It really shows up in the data, it’s an egregious thing. We can’t just make it go away and pretend like it didn’t happen, just because we want to move on with our lives and have our drinks and our parties. We can’t do that.

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s discuss the requisite thing. We really have to think about how to make things better.

Mr. Tucker: Yes. I’m so glad you asked the question, because I don’t have all the answers. 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. Under each one we have probably 10 to 12 other things have to be investigated. And 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 the CDC not told the truth about masking for two years now? Who issued the orders to close the schools? Why did they all close down at once? Who created these sheets on 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. Then we have to start asking 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? How did 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.

There are health problems we will be be facing for decades as a result of this. We have still not thoroughly looked into the issues of the safety of the medicines that we mandated for a whole population. That’s something we have to deal with. The fallout from this is going to last for years. We have to get brave, we have to get bold, 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 the lockdowns and defended mandates and did all this nonsense to us. Those commissions were well-funded by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefellers 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. How about a report on that? How about a commission on that? How about a commission that’s willing to ask the right questions, get the right people to tell what happened and provide a thorough accounting? That’s a job for many of us, but it falls mainly to legislatures, to the Senate, to the House, but mostly to every state house, to every city government, and every county government. Everybody needs a commission to figure this out. We need private commissions, we need public commissions, we need them all. We need the truth. We need the truth. We know about five per cent of it. We need to find out. That is step one.

Mr. Jekielek: Jeffrey Tucker, it’s such a pleasure to have you on again.

Mr. Tucker: Thank you, Jan.

Mr. Jekielek: Thank you, everyone, for joining Jeffrey Tucker and I on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I’m your host, Jan Jekielek.

Hey, everyone. I’ve got some exciting news to share for American Thought Leaders and Kash’s Corner. We’re actually going to be expanding our production team and hiring an associate producer. You can actually see the job description at That’s all one word. If you know anyone who might be interested in this job, who has the qualifications or you yourself might be interested, we’d love to hear from you. Again, that’s, all one word.

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