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Steve Deace: COVID-19 Narratives, Politicization of Science, and the Republic’s Willing Subjugation

How robust is the data behind COVID-19 policies such as mask-wearing?

Are we really getting the full picture from the experts?

And how did the science surrounding COVID-19 become so politicized?

In an interview with Steve Deace, co-author of “Faucian Bargain,” he makes the case that the coronavirus pandemic put unprecedented power in the hands of an unelected bureaucrat, which is symptomatic of broader problems facing the U.S. Republic.

“If the average American knew that almost half of the deaths in America occurred in a nursing home where less than 1% of Americans live, we would have never ever gone along with this level of subjugation,” said Deace.

Jan Jekielek: Steve Deace, such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.

Steve Deace: Pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

Mr. Jekielek: So, just moments ago, I actually finished reading “Faucian Bargain.” Excellent read, by the way. I have to say, I laughed out loud multiple times along the way. You have a lot of great ways to keep things light, even though the topic matter is frankly deadly serious, and I mean that literally. Tell me about your motivation for writing the book.

Mr. Deace: We wanted to write a book that empowered the average American to get back control of their lives. There’s been a couple of things that are the most concerning. We have essentially violated the two core tenets of our entire healthcare system here in the United States. Informed consent, number one, and then the ability to get a second opinion, number two.

But let’s start with informed consent, the idea that your pulmonologist knows more about lungs than you do. If he tells you you’ve got stage four lung cancer and it’s terminal or stage two lung cancer and it requires an aggressive form of chemotherapy, you are permitted to go get a second opinion. He can’t order you right away to engage in this treatment, even if he deems it to be emergency status. You are still permitted to get a second opinion. You’re still permitted to consent to be informed of what the risks of the treatment are—is the cure worse than the disease?

We’ve abandoned both of those hallmarks in the last year with COVID. The American people, much of the data they’re going to get in this book will be data they’ve never heard before, seen before, and that has not been communicated to them by our leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci.

For example, if the average American knew that almost half of the deaths in America with COVID occurred in a nursing home where less than 1 percent of Americans live, we would have never, ever gone along with this level of subjugation.

These are the sorts of data points that have been kept from the American people. So they have not been given the right to informed consent, and then where is the opportunity for a second opinion?

When we first started questioning things, when I studied the Imperial College model last March and the IHME models, and then compared what they were projecting with the actual data and pointing out how wrong they were, I really thought that this might be another version of the global warming debate, where the same people are on both sides of that issue with a lot of the same missiles aimed at each other.

What really surprised me from the very beginning, the day after the Imperial College model came out, Sunetra Gupta, one of Oxford’s leading epidemiologists, was in the pages of the left-leaning Economist talking about, “It’s a garbage model. It’s not any good. Why are we doing this?”

Stanford is one of the top five medical schools in the United States. Numerous experts, even before people knew who Scott Atlas was, were coming forward from Stanford to question this. Oxford University is the number one rated university in the world according to U.S. News & World Report. Its Center for Evidence-Based Medicine has been skeptical of this all along. Martin Kulldorff at Harvard, who helped design the VAERS site for CDC has been skeptical of this approach. Tony Katz, Harvey Risch at Yale university.

These are not right-wing think tanks. These are places of elite, academic excellence in America, and they have been pushing back on this narrative all along. Yet somehow, because they didn’t line up with one narrative—we were told to trust the experts. These experts got kicked to the curb.

The final example of this is the nation that gave us Greta Thunberg in 2018 and 2019, Sweden. It has been the one national control group in the West against all of this in 2020 and 2021. So why weren’t we permitted to get second opinions from counter-experts before we decided to risk a huge drop in cancer screenings, 40 million unemployed, 20 percent of American small businesses that are never going to return on average across the country?

The fact is that we’re sitting here now on a mental health cliff. How come we weren’t ever given what the alternatives to this could be so that we could get a second opinion? The two main objectives of our health care system, informed consent and second opinions, were denied us during COVID.

Mr. Jekielek: Yes, absolutely. There certainly wasn’t any sort of public form of debate that ever happened or was allowed to happen, frankly, and that’s very interesting. So one thing that really jumps to mind is something that comes up repeatedly in the book. You actually have a whistleblower that you call “Veritas” in there who talks about this as well—the idea that there was a very short time period very early on where Dr. Fauci, in a very prestigious journal, The New England Journal of Medicine, published that he believed that this was nothing worse than a bad flu—that’s a rough paraphrase.

Mr. Deace: A pandemic level of flu. Yes.

Mr. Jekielek: A pandemic level of flu, exactly. That’s where that phraseology originally comes from. And 10 days later, Veritas, the whistleblower from the White House that you’re keeping a deep, deep secret is saying that no new data apparently appeared. However, the messaging turned dramatically, and suddenly, it was 10 times worse. So what happened there? Tell me about this.

Mr. Deace: Anthony Fauci is not stupid. He’s actually really good at his job, so we see things here in the United States like what we saw just this past weekend. Last Sunday, he went on NBC’s Meet the Press, and he said that vaccinated people still have to wear masks and still have to be “lepers in Covidstan,” because they still might get the virus and spread it to others. In other words, he basically said that he’s not sure the vaccines work.

Later that exact same day, he went on CNN Live and said to that audience that these Republicans—of course, all public health experts single out partisans, what a great bedside manner—he said these Republicans want to be eased off of restrictions, but yet, they don’t want to take the vaccine that would get them off the restrictions. It seems like paradoxical thinking.

So he told one audience that the vaccines will do nothing to get their lives back, even if they take it. He then told another audience that they can’t get their lives back unless they take the vaccine. So, which is it?

This has gone on all along, except for the very beginning. In the very beginning, in January and when COVID first appeared on the radar, Anthony Fauci said that asymptomatic spread has never been a main carrier of respiratory virus outbreaks and it won’t be of this one either. He has turned out to be correct about that. Worldwide, the estimates are 3 percent to 8 percent of cases are asymptomatically spread.

Our CDC estimates it’s as high as 15 percent, which is one of the highest in the world. So he’s right. Respiratory viruses are not spread out like a zombie apocalypse, people that don’t know they have it, and they just give it to waves, and waves, and waves of people like Captain Trips. [“The Stand,” by Stephen King] That’s not the way respiratory viruses are spread. So he was right about that. Yet, he’s gone back on his concern over asymptomatic spread over, and over, and over again ever since.

On March 8th, 2020, he went on 60 Minutes and said, “Masks are unnecessary. They don’t work. People don’t need to be wearing masks.” All the real-time data we now have shows that masks don’t work, which verifies every study we had ever done about masks ever, until about June of last year, when this whole thing became politicized. So he was right about that.

On February 28th, 2020, which you referenced in your question, he wrote in The New England Journal of Medicine that he viewed the fatality ratios for this would be somewhere around a pandemic-level flu. At the time that you and I are discussing this, the current case fatality rate for COVID in America is 1.8 percent. 1.8 percent is the case fatality rate for COVID.

Our CDC projects eight to ten times more cases have happened than we have identified with testing. So people got it asymptomatically, didn’t know, didn’t get tested. That would put an IFR [infection fatality ratio] somewhere around 2 percent. So that would be right around a pandemic level flu. He was right about that too.

So he gave very stern, but modest warnings about this for the first couple of months. But then he changed radically. On March 11th, 2020, he went to the Congress. He went full Denethor in Lord of the Rings, “Run for your lives. It’s over. Minas Tirith is on fire.” Congress panicked. That night, the college and pro basketball shut down, concerts shut down.

By the end of the week, we were in a nationwide lockdown. What changed? What new data point did he receive that so radically altered his perspective from, “Hey, we can handle this. We know what we’re doing,” to, “This is way out of control, and it could be the end of the world. It’s Captain Trips?” We don’t know the answer to that. We consulted sources we had in the White House that created our composite Veritas character who met and talked to him directly about this in the last year.

They noticed the same change and couldn’t pinpoint one piece of data that he gave to them that showed his mood swing either. I think we need to get the answer to that because what we’ve done here is we’ve told half the country that this is far worse than it is. Then we’ve conditioned the other half of the country that should we actually get a contagion that is a catastrophic event like other plagues in human history. They’ve now been conditioned to not believe it, because they just think they’re getting gas-lighted again. That’s a dangerous place for any culture to be.

Mr. Jekielek: Absolutely. Why is it that half the country (went) in one direction and half the country in the other?

Mr. Deace: Because it became pretty obvious. It became pretty obvious somewhere in the middle of “30 days to slow the spread,” that this thing was getting hyper-politicized. Our CDC didn’t wait very long at all to come out and suggest we needed to have a mail-in voting about six months before the election was going to take place. That’s been a highly contentious issue in the United States for at least a couple of decades.

It was very clear that it was “lockdown for thee, but not for me.” You even saw this with Neil Ferguson, the author of the Imperial College model in the UK. He made sure that he got out of his home to meet up with his friend with benefits, but he said the rest of us should pretty much be locked down for the next two years in waves until we have a fully efficacious vaccine.

It became very clear around that process that this was getting highly politicized and that it was being used to expand government power in ways that is really unprecedented in Western civilization, and specifically here in the United States. This has gotten increasingly and more abundantly clear in the last seven to eight months. Now that we have our own data, we don’t have to rely on the data from China, which is unreliable.

If you were to ask me what may have caused Anthony Fauci’s about-face, I would guess in that period of time, he realized the data he was getting and the diagnoses he was getting from China and the WHO were not reliable. But if he sounded the alarm on that, it would draws attention to his cozy relationship with those two entities and the fact that his department was directly funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

That would be highly controversial. In fact, the Obama administration ordered him to stop doing that the last couple of years that they were in power. His department just suddenly decided to refund it again after Trump was elected, during the transition, maybe to avoid those connections coming to light and maybe to avoid talk of where is the true origin of the virus. He has been caught in multiple duplicities, because this is the missing data point that he does not want to disclose.

Mr. Jekielek: Certainly it’s unarguable that a lot of basic liberties in the United States and certainly around the world have been compromised. You actually go to great lengths to paint that picture. Paint it for me here.

Mr. Deace: Essentially, everybody watching this, if you’re an American; whether you can leave your house when you get up in the morning, whether you can go to a place of work, whether you can go to a place of worship, whether your kids can go to school, whether your family business is essential and non-essential, can be open or not, whether you can go outside and breathe free air without a mask—all of those things to some degree have been under the direct control of one, Anthony Fauci, one singular person without one single vote being cast. Now, if that’s not the most powerful and dangerous bureaucrat in American history, I shudder to think what worse thing could come along than that.

Mr. Jekielek: You also say that it doesn’t necessarily need to be Dr. Fauci here. You’re saying that the circumstances or the scenario we’re in is one that facilitates this type of concentration of power.

Mr. Deace: Yes. I don’t think this is some Nicolae Carpathia, [“Left Behind” series] an anti-christ character who negotiated his way and sinisterly navigated his way through the shadows and brought these moments to a head where he could then emerge in the light as a messianic figure. I just think he’s a creature from the Black Lagoon. He’s eighty-years-old. If he had retired at 75, 70 like most Americans do, we just would have gotten another creature from the Black Lagoon. Maybe it would have been Debbie “bedazzle your face shield” Birx, where she gets to have Thanksgiving with her family, but urge you to stay home.

Maybe it would have been her. It would have been somebody else whose name we largely were unfamiliar with and did not know until a year ago, because the American bureaucratic state is full of these sorts of constructs. They are legion. So while he is the singular face of the spectrum that we’ve been up against, he’s not singular in terms of his own capabilities or position. It would have just been somebody else if it wasn’t him.

Mr. Jekielek: We were filming last night, and we actually just published my interview with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who’s one of the authors of the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which, of course, is featured in your book as well. One of the things that he talked about, and this seems pretty obvious, is that if you’re a public health official, a public health expert, you have to look at the whole picture.

You have to look at the cost of the virus and you have to look at, as you mentioned earlier, the cost of the cure or the cost of trying to mitigate what the virus is going to do. His big concern, of course, and part of the Barrington Declaration, is that those kinds of questions aren’t being addressed. If I’m not mistaken, Dr. Fauci was on record fairly recently saying that his focus was specifically on the cost of people having the virus itself.

Mr. Deace: Yes. He was asked about balancing constitutional liberties with the pandemic in Congress last week and said that he didn’t consider constitutional liberties at all. Let me say this. This might be the only time I’m going to defend Dr. Fauci in this conversation. I actually agree with him on that. If I’m facing a serious illness, I don’t want my doctor to be concerned about balancing the treatment he thinks will help me to get better with what he thinks my insurance will cost.

Do you know what I’m saying? I want him focused on getting me better. I don’t necessarily need Dr. Fauci to be focused on constitutional liberties. Frankly, that’s the job of our politicians who then take a wide-angle-lens view at balancing the full public interest of the virus, what will happen if we shut down, and then what happens to maladies that go undetected and untreated.

I just had a friend of mine find out that one of his best friends is diagnosed with stage four brain cancer, and if they would have caught it six months ago, he would have had a chance at recovery. Now, he’s got 12 to 18 months to live. Those are the things that we need our political class that’s directly accountable to us to be considering—the broader and the constitutional scope of these things—and not just handing over the authority given to them by voters to unelected bureaucrats. So I would actually agree with Fauci on that.

Where I would agree with Jay, though, is the full epidemiological impact of fixating and focusing on just one virus, the one disease of COVID. For example, this is the fastest we’ve ever come up with any form of vaccination program in all of human history. Let’s say they all work, and let’s say we do the research. We have a year’s worth of data and the side-effects we were concerned about don’t turn out to be that big of a thing.

Keep in mind, what did it take? It took trillions of dollars in funding to make this effort happen. I would also venture a guess, and I’m guessing it’s an educated one, that a lot of the R&D departments at places like Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, a lot of their R&D departments, once that instant funding became available, why did they stop working on the SARS-1 virus and vaccine? Because the funding dried up and because it took too darn long.

I’m guessing a lot of the R&D departments in a lot of these major corporations went full bore, focusing everything on COVID, which means we didn’t just lose a year of cancer screenings. We lost maybe a year of cancer technologies and advancements and cutting-edge treatments as well. Then, you can take that with heart disease, the number one killer in America—over 600,000 dead every year. How much of our R&D did we lose in a year because all of that went into the investment of the COVID vaccines?

The law of unintended consequences here applies constitutionally to our political class, but medically, it applies to somebody like a Dr. Anthony Fauci. It doesn’t seem like that’s been considered at all. When have you have ever heard him talk about, “Hey, make sure now that everything’s back open medically, get back in with your cancer screenings?”

Do you ever hear him talk about any of that stuff at all? When was the last time he said, “Hey, are you taking enough vitamin D?” When was the last time he said, “Hey, 80 percent of our hospitalizations, we found, were people that could be cataloged as morbidly obese. You know what? Man, here’s a fitness program. Drop some lbs?” Any of that? Have you heard any of that? No. Why? All the answers to that question are bad.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s also very interesting, because as we mentioned before, Dr. Fauci has a lot of influence as we speak. His words carry a lot of influence over many people in this country. You’ve just mentioned some things that you would like him to share with the populace, what else would you like him to say?

Mr. Deace: I’d like him to tell us what’s the real CFR for COVID-19. What’s the real IFR?

Mr. Jekielek: Please clarify what those are, for the benefit of our audience.

Mr. Deace: Sure. Case Fatality Rate. [CFR] So if you go to a doctor and they diagnosed you with something serious. From a patient-to-physician relationship, you’re concerned about the Case Fatality Rate, the number of cases that are confirmed cases, to those that end up dying. That’s what you’re concerned about.

The Infection Fatality Rate [IFR] is what we’re concerned about when we’re looking at a broader public policy perspective. There’s going to be all kinds of people that get infected that don’t know it or are asymptomatic, or they don’t require hospitalization or anything serious. So that gets into a broader scope of what kind of societal solutions and mitigations that we go with.

For example, look at this past year in Sweden. Sweden late last year did do some minor mitigations when they had a second wave. They did have restaurants and bars close at 10:00 PM. They did stop holding mass public events, and that was it. They did that temporarily late last year. That was the only mitigation they have done (during) the entire process of COVID. They have the lowest mask compliance in all of the European Union.

So at the end of 2020, they saw a 7 percent increase, over the four-year average that they had, of excess deaths. The rest of the European Union that did all of these mitigation efforts and have much higher mask compliance saw 12 percent to 18 percent higher excess deaths than their previous four-year average. There was a study that just came out last week that showed Sweden’s total mortality grew 1.5 percent last year.

The UK’s grew 10 percent. Meaning, that the UK saw 10 times more total mortality than Sweden did with one of the worst lockdowns in all of Western civilization, and Sweden was the most lax.

Those are the kinds of real data points I’d actually like to hear him discuss. How about the fact the median age for death with COVID in America is 78, which is the actual lifespan in America? These are the things our people need to know, but notice that he never unveils any information that might empower you. Any information that might empower or encourage you, he never unveils that.

Then, when he’s confronted with that information as Senator Rand Paul did—who endorsed our book, by the way—as Senator Rand Paul did a few weeks ago in the Senate, he comes up with, “Well, the new variants, the new variants.” Translation: “Every time a virus mutates, we have to totally reset the laws of virology, immunology, biology.” That’s bunk, that’s flat earth voodoo, and that’s just not science.”

Now, there’s one way that would be true without it being BS, but I doubt he wants to be honest about that. The only way that would be true without it being just complete flat earth voodoo, is if Dr. Fauci wants to admit that the virus is not entirely a natural phenomenon, that either its origins are synthetic or it was synthetically altered or adapted somewhere in a lab.

If that is the case, then yes, we should be concerned that the previous precedents of virology, immunology, and biology may not apply to a synthetic as it would to a natural phenomenon. But unless he’s willing to admit that, then what he’s spouting out is just complete and total malevolent BS.

Mr. Jekielek: That’s interesting. From reading the book I don’t get the sense that you believe the virus is fully synthetic, but you certainly do put a lot of attention on the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is something we’ve covered in a pretty popular documentary about a year ago. So where are things at with this lab escape theory?

Mr. Deace: That is a story that is evolving in real time. It was Newsweek, and then you guys last year were two of the first entities I saw come forth with what goes on there—the association between Anthony Fauci’s department and NIH directly with that Wuhan Institute of Virology, the funding that comes from his department to them, the partnering with gain-of-function research, which even a lot of scientists at places like Johns Hopkins, for example, have been very public about condemning and saying it’s a dangerous form.

For people that don’t know what gain-of-function research is, it’s a little bit like deciding to drop an atom bomb in your backyard to study fallout. That’s essentially what gain-of-function research is. It basically is, “Let’s let the virus loose, so we can see how it behaves.” Which is what I really believe is probably the true manifestation of the virus getting out, and I don’t believe it was a bioweapon.

Mr. Jekielek: Let’s just clarify. What do you mean by let it loose? It doesn’t mean like let it out into the general population. You mean something else here.

Mr. Deace: Right.

Mr. Jekielek: Yes.

Mr. Deace: It means to let it out into a controlled laboratory setting, to study it, to see if you can catch it in its natural habitat, to see how it behaves so that you can treat it or come up with a way to mitigate against it later on. But that can be very dangerous research, obviously. It’s a little bit like playing with fire, “Let me put my hand on the stove to see how truly hot it is.”

I would imagine someone at some point in human history decided to put their hand on a stove just to test its heat, and then we’ve been warning people. That was a form of gain-of-function research. We’ve been warning people ever since, “Don’t put your hand on the hot stove.” We all know it’s hot.

That’s likely what transpired here with the virus getting out and spreading across the world. But since it’s China and they lie to their citizens as much as they do the rest of us, maybe we’ll never know the answer to that, but that is a still evolving story. The Daily Caller and Judicial Watch have several FOIA lawsuits going up against the National Institute of Health right now, just recently, right before we published our book, and we included a reference to it at the last minute.

They had just come upon over 300 emails between Fauci’s department and China and the WHO, which showed they had a fairly cozy relationship prior to the knowledge of coronavirus. That is a story I would urge people watching us right now to keep an eye on in the future.

Mr. Jekielek: This is something I actually really like about your book. First of all, a gazillion footnotes of actual research, which I think is incredibly valuable for someone that’s interested in the topic and actually wants to be a little more empowered. You do offer your opinion quite a bit, but your opinion is not about the science.

You let the scientists do the opinions around that, which is great. Something that struck me as very interesting here—I didn’t even fully realize that until this moment, and it seems to check out—is that there really is no research, basically good research showing that masks stop transmission.

Mr. Deace: No.

Mr. Jekielek: Did I read that correctly? That’s astounding given everything we’ve seen.

Mr. Deace: Yes. Zip, zilch, nada. They got all these studies. First of all, all these studies either don’t have a control group. Why is that important? Let’s say I studied a thousand people. I live in Iowa, so my show goes out all over the country through BlazeTV, but I live in Iowa. If you look at Iowa’s epidemiological curve, last year, when the East Coast was raging with COVID, we were not. Right now, the East Coast is mini-raging again. We’re not. It’s not our seasonal curve for COVID-like or flu-like illnesses in Iowa.

So let’s say I go and study a thousand people in Iowa right now, and they’re all wearing masks, and I do it at a time period where maybe it’s just not their seasonal time to get it. I study them for 30 days, and they all tested negative at the end of 30 days. I can say, “Well, they all wore masks, so that must be why. The masks work.” I would actually need to know, how many worked out? How many did vitamin D? How many maybe tested positive, but then got a prophylaxis of Hydroxychloroquine, or Ivermectin, or Regeneron?

I don’t know. I don’t know any of those things. I have no control group of people not wearing masks, so I can’t specifically attribute the success to masks. All these domestic studies we’ve done, none of them, none of them, not one of them have a random controlled sample of unmasked people. So they’re all bunk.

Secondly, in the most recent example of study that our CDC came out with earlier this year, they literally used dummies. Dummies that don’t inhale, exhale, that don’t move. Other than that, it’s a perfect simulation of how the human cardiovascular system conducts its affairs.

It was just so laughable that even their own media wouldn’t cover it the day that the study came out, because they knew it was even indefensible. In the book, we cite several countries that have done studies of this. Norway, for example, found that they were going to have to forcibly mask 200,000 people to stop one infection. Denmark actually did do a random control group study and found at best, it does nothing—nothing. They couldn’t find anywhere where it worked. Why?

It’s funny, because Michael Osterholm, who works in the Biden administration, last June, he spoke. We have this in our book, Faucian Bargain. Last June, he spoke to the Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota, where he lives. He runs the Center for Infectious Disease at the University of Minnesota. He’s now worked for six U.S.presidents, including this one.

He was asked by these businessmen who want to reopen things, want to get back to making money, meeting pay

rolls, and they’re thinking, “Maybe the masks are the key for us to do this,” So they asked him about it, and he says, “Putting a mask on people to stop an airborne contagion is like putting a screen door on a submarine.” That was the specific metaphor that he used. They don’t work. That’s why we haven’t been masking up every flu season our entire lives. They tried this with the Spanish flu in 1918. They didn’t work then either.

One of the funniest moments we had compiling our book was when we went and looked at a study that Michael Osterholm’s Center for Infectious Disease published on its website in April of last year from experts pointing out that masks don’t work. Now, there’s a disclaimer where they basically apologize to the mob for the fact that they even tried to do actual science and they actually told you that your totem, your shibboleth doesn’t actually have any power. It doesn’t do anything.

So that’s what the mask has really become. It has gone beyond virtue signaling. It is idolatry. It is “I’m better than you. I’m smarter than you. I care about other people more than you,” when really, it’s a tool of ignorance. It doesn’t work. They don’t work anywhere.

If they did, we’d be having a separate conversation about, “How much am I permitted to be inconvenienced when someone else’s life is at stake?” In a free society, you have to have conversations like that. We don’t even have to have that conversation. They don’t work. Anywhere we’ve ever tried these in real time, the epidemiological curve is the same. Masks don’t work, and haven’t worked anywhere in the world.

Finally, look at Michigan. Michigan has had an emergency mask mandate since October 5th of last year. [2020] Today, it is currently the worst. It’s the capital of Covidstan. It’s the worst place in the union for COVID, despite mask compliance and an emergency mask mandate.

What is their governor’s answer? “Well, golly, maybe we should mask toddlers. You know, the beings who really can’t leave the home on their own, and jump in a car, and travel, and spread it around.” Like the governor of Michigan did when she visited Florida recently. This is insanity. We threw our babies into the fire for Moloch last year and it didn’t help our crops. Maybe if we throw both of our babies into the fire for Moloch this year, he’ll finally listen. That’s what this is.

Mr. Jekielek: Recently, I was speaking again with Dr. Bhattacharya about this specifically. He mentioned in a round table with Governor DeSantis that basically youth or children don’t need to be masked. It’s something very close to that, essentially. It got the whole round table censored by YouTube.

Mr. Deace: Yes, which tells you all you need to know. Trust the experts, but unless they step on your shibboleth, then listen to some avocado-toast-obsessed, skinny-jean-wearing millennial running the algorithms at Facebook over a guy that freaking teaches at Stanford where 99.8 percent of the American population couldn’t get admitted. That was, to me, one of the funniest moments of last year.

If you know anything about university rankings in America, University of Washington is where you go when you can’t get into Stanford. Yet, our government decided, “Let’s go with the models at the University of Washington over with people like Jay at Stanford University.”

Who decides to go with the lesser-credentialed academic? No one does that. No one. No one decides, “The number one doctor at Mayo told me I need chemo, but let me go find out what the schlep out here in the middle of Nowheresville, Montana thinks.” No one does that.

We did it last year over, and over, and over again. Why? Because unless you speak to one particular narrative, then suddenly, you’re some Podunk juco, and that… Again, there’s a lot of reasons and answers to why that is. Again, I would say all of those answers and reasons would be bad.

Mr. Jekielek: You mentioned this a little bit earlier, and we talked about this. What I call the legacy media is playing a very, very large role in keeping people afraid. That’s the argument that you make, and certainly there’s a lot of evidence to support that.

Mr. Deace: In the end, I don’t even think this is conservative/liberal. I’ve become pen pals in the last couple of weeks with feminist thinker and author Naomi Wolf, of all people. She’s sharing my work. She was live-tweeting my book as she was reading it over the weekend.

Bill Maher, the atheist left-winger on HBO who hosts a popular show over there, his final commentary last week—I could have written every word of it about COVID. It’s literally a summation of our book. I really think that this goes outside of our traditional political paradigm.

We’re up against a spirit of the age here where if you’re any kind of critical thinker at all, if you use your critical thinking to come to different conclusions than somebody like me who puts the fun in fundamentalist—any form of critical thinking and any form of dissent [is not allowed].

Case in point. If I would have gone on my Twitter account and insisted three weeks ago that the J&J vaccine should be pulled because it’s not safe for people that are blood clotting, I would have been banned from Twitter. At least suspended, if not outright banned. Then the federal government did it.

That’s not any form of freedom, folks. That’s not any form of a free flow of information whatsoever. So it’s not true unless the government says so. Every tyrant that ever existed on planet earth agrees. Nothing is true unless the government says so. That’s a dangerous place for us to be, and if you want to know what the spirit of the age that’s propelling all of this is about—it’s always about two things, power and control.

Anything that will give it more power and more control is what it is for. Anything or anyone. No matter if you hated Donald Trump like Bill Maher and Naomi Wolf did, or you loved them like I’m sure a lot of people that watch and read Epoch Times do, it doesn’t matter.

If you dare to think for yourself, if you dare to believe you have a right, a God-given right, even if you’re a God-rejecter like Bill Maher is, if you believe you have any right at all to form your own conscience, you must be silenced. You must be shunned. You must be condemned, because you are a threat to the power and control that the spirit of the age is using this circumstance for.

That’s something that is very, very dangerous. We need to understand that this playbook, once we get through these COVID mitigations—they’re dying out now as we speak—once we get through this they’re going to run this exact same playbook back at us on everything.

You’ve already got Anthony Fauci last week talking about guns. Gun rights now are a public health menace. The new CDC director said last week that insufficient wokeism is a public health problem. They’re going to use this playbook on virtually everything now, because we showed that there was a willingness to be subjugated if they told us our health was at stake, [a willingness] that we’ve never practiced before. So we better be ready to confront this again.

Mr. Jekielek: Steve, given all of this, you actually have a section in the book about, “Where do we go from here?” It is an unprecedented time in U.S. and frankly, world history. Power structures are shifting. There are these shibboleths which many people believe in. Where do we go from here as a society?

Mr. Deace: There are three things that we have to engage in on a grassroots level right away. The amount of people that have bought five, six, seven copies of this book send them to family members, things of that nature, that are scared and afraid. Information is the weapon of mass destruction, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction in any society. Whoever controls the free flow of information is going to have control. So get this information in the hands of as many people as you possibly can. That’s the first stage of the battle, it is number one.

Number two, once that information is out there, now you begin to take it to your elected officials, your congressmen, your school boards, your city councils, your county board of supervisors, your boards of health and your governors. You take it to them and say, “Counter this data. Why are we still doing these things?” Masking children. Children are not vectors for the virus.”

Therefore, they are not the ones that transmit it to the teachers. Also, blessedly, unlike a polio or a Spanish flu, they’re not nearly as susceptible to this pandemic as they were to those, and so masking children is anywhere from stupid to satanic in the schools. It doesn’t do anything. So you will have this status. Start challenging those power authorities and reassert the fact that you are the power, you are the people. Then, third, it is time to start shaming the shamers.

Mr. Jekielek: Steve, any final thoughts before we finish up?

Mr. Deace: This information is not beyond your capabilities. There’s a reason the founding fathers began the country. The constitution begins with the words “we the people” and not “them the experts.” It is one thing to rely on expertise to solve specific situations. But when it comes to broad-based public policy, we were given that authority for a reason. Take back that authority.

I’m not here to challenge the expertise of Anthony Fauci. I’m here to challenge the public policies that he has instituted and inspired and whether they stand up to scrutiny, because the data shows that they don’t. You have every bit the right and the freedom, and I would argue also the obligation as an American to start questioning the specific policies that you consent to. Remember what it says in the founding document, the declaration, “Government by the consent of the governed.” Stop giving your consent to things that simply aren’t true.

Mr. Jekielek: Steve Deace, such a pleasure to have you on.

Mr. Deace: You bet. I really enjoyed it. Thank you very much.

Mr. Jekielek: We reached out to Dr. Anthony Fauci about some of Steve Deace’s allegations in Faucian Bargain and in this interview. A National Institutes of Health spokesperson responded, “Dr. Fauci is unable to accommodate this request and must respectfully decline.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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