Another Outlandish Overreach by the CDC

Another Outlandish Overreach by the CDC
A general view of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., on Sept. 30, 2014. (Tami Chappell/Reuters)
Jeffrey A. Tucker

Easter weekend was lovely in every way.

And yet I could not stop thinking about the strange manner in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has had such an outsized role in the ruination of American rights and liberties. This agency is supposed to be tracking infectious disease and finding ways out. This mandate became the leverage to allow them to impose nationwide mask mandates, a rental moratorium, a shutdown of the cruise industry, and otherwise send the whole country into fits of hysterics for two years and more.

So it occurred to make an inquiry into how the CDC handles questions of election processes. This is rather important in a democracy. This is how we select our leaders and the central way in which we can claim that the people have some influence over the regime that rules us. It is because of elections that we can claim to be better than ancient despotisms or medieval feudalism. We rule ourselves through the vote. That’s the whole idea.

As it turns out, the CDC had quite a large role in guiding election processes. Not that you can find the evidence on their website now. Nope, it’s all been scrubbed. However, if you look at the Wayback Machine, you can find an interesting little point. The CDC strongly recommended mail-in, absentee, and early voting as a means of disease control.

The theory was that people gathering in a polling place would be a super-spreader event. What science did they cite to demonstrate this? None at all. So far as I know, and I’ve looked far and wide, there is not a single study anywhere that purports to show some relationship between disease spread and in-person voting. The CDC just made that up... for whatever reason.

The day was March 12, 2020. This was the same day that President Trump went on national television in the evening to announce that there would be no more travel from the United States to Europe, the UK, and, later, Australia and New Zealand. He further said that all Americans living abroad needed to come home right away or be stuck.

That was a pretty shocking announcement. Nothing like this had ever happened in American history, not even this broadly in wartime. It seemed to come out of nowhere, our rights to travel suddenly deleted.

It seems that President Trump was following the advice of his scientific advisors who later turned out to be snake oil salesmen. Indeed, he seemed extremely uncomfortable making this announcement, almost like he knew that it was weird and probably unwarranted. Strange night.

As it turns out, earlier that day, the CDC decided that the whole country really ought to be voting by mail. They went into the website and edited the page that very day and produced the following checklist.

You can see for yourself at the Archive link. So far, the CDC has not proven itself powerful enough to scrub also its bread crumbs from the archive source, not yet in any case. The time might come. If they succeed, their role in creating the biggest voting scandal in a hundred years might never have been known by future generations.

There is simply no way that the CDC could not have known about the uncertainties and vagaries created by absentee ballots. They are banned by half the countries in the world for that reason. Those that do allow them govern them very strictly. You have to request a ballot. They are sent to your home. You have to provide extensive identity verification. You have to have a darn good excuse. It’s only for hardship cases and never the norm.

It was the CDC that decided to throw all that in the trash. Who even cares about the whole history of democracy, because, after all, there is a virus floating around! It’s amazing that this happened. But just as amazing is the idea of throwing out property rights, which they also did. But there it is.

To be sure, they could not actually force this result. But they sure could grant some scientific heft behind the idea. It also helped that only 10 days later, the U.S. Congress voted $2 trillion in payments to the states, a portion of which was to implement CDC recommendations. Most states were happy to do so, again, with full knowledge that this strategy would yield results that were sketchy at best.

As it turns out, of course, it was the mail-in ballots that might have made the difference in the election, or seemed to in any case. Everything got so much mixed up that it’s hard to say. And it’s not like people did not have warning signs of trouble. The primary season of that spring and summer yielded a slew of controversies about what was and was not true. There were more than enough controversies swirling about by the time of the general election.

The crucial point here is that the CDC massively overstepped the bounds of its mandate by intervening in the processes by which Americans select its leaders, strongly pushing a method that was a known source of fraud. Nor has the CDC ever been held to account for this, not to my knowledge in any case.

They were sued over the rent moratorium and the evil nationwide mask mandate. They lost both cases. But there has been no litigation against the CDC for disrupting the whole system by which we regulate elections. One might suppose that if an executive agency were to do something like this, they would have needed some permission from somebody. Surely such a gigantic change would and should require more than a low-level employee with logins to change a website text.

Speaking of which, who actually did this and why? Aren’t these interesting questions? Why is no one asking them? Where are the investigations? Where is the outrage?

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute, and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press, as well as 10 books in five languages, most recently “Liberty or Lockdown.” He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics for The Epoch Times and speaks widely on the topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.