Polls show congressional Democrats face an historic drubbing in the 2022 midterm elections as voters inspect the COVID wreckage of the economy and civil society after just a year of Democrat control. So it should be no surprise that Democratic politicians across the nation are discovering the wisdom of ending their wildly unpopular and draconian COVID lockdowns and masking regimes.
According to the Washington Examiner, eight very blue states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Oregon — have suddenly reversed course and are now busy dismantling their COVID police states as they face a growing political backlash from average Americans, including members of their own party.
It’s about time. As NBC News observed Wednesday, before scheduled remarks by the White House, “The era of big mandates is over.” We’re sure the fact that President Joe Biden has a measly 40% approval rate for his handling of COVID has something to do with that.
2020’s “Fifteen days to stop the spread” has turned into almost two years. And for what?
Lockdowns were a failure. One recent study, conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers and including results of 34 other studies, showed that lockdowns reduced COVID mortality by an average of just 0.2%, a negligible amount and hardly worth the trillions in costs incurred, both by government and the private sector..
Evidence for masking’s effectiveness has been mixed, at best. A number of studies show few or no advantages. A recent “study” released by the CDC touted huge advantages for masking to protect from infection by COVID, only to note in a tiny asterisked footnote that the study was “not statistically significant.”
Turning the nation into a national healthcare police state for a virus only a little more deadly than the seasonal flu — and even less so for kids — was bound to anger many people. After all, it has cost the economy trillions of dollars in future economic output by pushing the nation’s debt to over $30 trillion after repeated COVID “stimulus” spending.
Americans were terrified by media stories of overflowing hospitals and dead bodies filling hospital hallways into giving up their rights to go about their business each day.
Now, with rates of crime, suicide, cancer and other dread diseases soaring, and kids suffering from inferior online schooling and social isolation, Americans are saying “enough.” Seventy-percent say they want the restrictions to end; they just “want to get on with their lives.”
There’s little doubt that all this hoo-ha is politics-driven. Just weeks ago, Democratic Party leaders were still screeching about “masking up” and the need for possible lockdowns should a new variant emerge.
Now that’s all gone.
Even the New York Times, big media’s main cheerleader for the left’s national lockdown culture, as much as admits the basis for the blue state flip-flop on masking and lockdowns is political.
“The easing of New York’s pandemic restrictions on businesses comes as Democratic-led states from New Jersey to California have announced similar moves this week, in a loosely coordinated effort that is the result of months of public-health planning, back-channel discussions and political focus groups that began in the weeks after the November election,” the Times wrote.
Translation: Democrats are running scared. Seems the only thing that frightens them more than COVID is an election that they might lose.
As ABC News noted, “there’s no doubt President Joe Biden is now under serious pressure from members of his own party to steer the nation into a sense of normalcy. It may be that he and a range of friendly governors in nearby states are seeing both the science and the political realities in winding down some of the most controversial restrictions of the COVID era.”
So, again, contrary to Democrats’ claim to be the “party of science,” this is raw politics.
And the left media, which have done all they can to promote the Democrats’ lockdown culture, are now running scared themselves, away from lockdowns and toward sanity.
A recent Atlantic Monthly headline tells the tale: “Open Everything: The time to end pandemic restrictions is now.”
Even on rabidly pro-lockdown CNN, that network’s resident doctor, Leana Wen, recently abruptly changed her previous advice, saying “the science has changed,” so it’s time to get rid of all restrictions.
Count the totally politicized bureaucrat Anthony Fauci, Biden’s main COVID adviser, as a convert. He now admits the U.S. is exiting “the full-blown pandemic phase of COVID-19,” which means that we will all get to choose what’s best for us.
As for Biden, expect an announcement any day now that he will be removing federal COVID restrictions, or reducing them to a minimum. Why? Again, not science. He’s catching Hell from blue state governors on the issue.
Sure, he’ll say, as the others have, the “science has changed.” It hasn’t. But the political winds sure have.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board