Issues & Insights
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Standing Athwart Abusive COVID Policies

The media are worried about the low COVID vaccination rate as winter approaches. The lockdown lovers and mandate militants of the press are doing their best to gin up yet another round of COVID hysteria. A robust resistance is called for.

The government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, cheered on by a legacy media that is clearly dominated by neurotics, violated fundamental liberties and caused more health problems than it solved. We were encouraged last week by a long article in New York magazine topped with the headline: “COVID Lockdowns Were a Giant Experiment. It Was a Failure.” Finally, some responsible media coverage on a matter that has been almost entirely presented through the lens of a cult.

The article was written by Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean, and was excerpted from their book, “​​The Big Fail: What the Pandemic Revealed About Who America Protects and Who It Leaves Behind.” It should be infuriating to every inhabitant of this planet that humans were the subjects of a supremely unethical clinical trial, as if we were lab rats. “There was never any science behind lockdowns,” say the pair, and “not a single study had ever been undertaken to measure their efficacy in stopping a pandemic.” So, they continued, “when you got right down to it, lockdowns were little more than a giant experiment.”

For all its public service in exposing the dark heart of abusive lockdown policies, the article had one flaw. It did not mention government mask or vaccine mandates, both gross violations of basic freedom.

But the lockdowns alone inflicted a heavy toll. One way to ensure they don’t happen again is to utilize the legal system. Steve Kirsch, a tech entrepreneur and health policy freedom fighter, believes “the solutions to the various health and freedom crises of the COVID policies would come through litigation and not politics.”

“We need to increase the number of COVID lawsuits wherever we can,” says Kirsch.

Forget amnesty. Hold the pandemic tormentors accountable for the injustices done and make the punishment harsh enough to dissuade future tyrants from violating human rights.

Another path to freedom is through the executive orders of a president who is not part of the problem (which rules out the current occupant of the White House). In a compelling commentary written for The Daily Signal, Dr. Scott Atlas, a Hoover Institution fellow, co-director of the Global Liberty Institute, and an adviser on President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, suggests:

  • Clearly defining public health emergencies “with strict time limits (e.g., two weeks),” and “requiring legislation to extend” them.
  • Firing “the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Food and Drug Administration,” then term-limiting “all health agency positions, including top- and midlevel posts.”
  • Requiring that all FDA, CDC, and NIH discussions be fully transparent and their content posted immediately on public forums.
  • “Limiting health agencies’ power” by emphatically stating “that the CDC and other federal health agencies are strictly advisory and don’t have power to set laws or mandates.” 
  • A decentralization of “today’s cartel of NIH funding that controls all academic science careers and university medical centers.”
  • Immediately halting “all binding agreements or pledges to the World Health Organization.”

The same New York Magazine that published Nocera and McLean labeled Atlas a “kook” in a 2020 rant written by Jonathan Chait. Atlas was also maligned and undermined by the troika of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, presidential task force coordinator Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield while advising Trump. It must be of some consolation to him that time has showed the tyrants and hysterics were wrong and the guardians of liberty were right.

The better prize, though, is a world in which humans are not unwittingly used as test subjects in some entirely mad experiment, and are free make their own health decisions.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • > Clearly defining public health emergencies “with strict time limits
    > (e.g., two weeks),” and “requiring legislation to extend” them.
    After suffering though a year of “public health emergencies” imposed by a Democrat Governor, which the Republican state legislature unsuccessfully tried to cancel, Pennsylvania voters enshrined this in the State Constitution in the Spring of 2021. Such “emergencies” can now only last three weeks without the explicit consent of the legislature, and can be cancelled by a simply majority vote of the legislature at any time.

  • All of the above may be true but the primary motivation behind the hysterical COVID policies, including mandates and lockdowns, was to frighten people into NOT voting for Donald Trump. This was 100% an election interference operation. I have very close friends from college who happened to be top-level researchers who were told to stop working on everything else (including cancer) to focus on the COVID money train. Each of them said, as did their colleagues, that NONE of the policies – lockdowns, masking, social distancing – had any basis in science at all, but they were all told in varying ways both direct and indirect, that if they said anything their careers would be in grave peril.

    One of my close friends even pointed me to CDC’s own data – buried deeply in public websites – that showed that the government knew all along that none of this was necessary, and that COVID actually had a 99.98% survival rate. Furthermore, that same gov data showed that only 6% of the reported fatalities were from COVID alone and that basically anyone who died was tagged as a COVID death including vehicle accident victims, stage 4 cancer patients, suicides, hospice patients, etc. And of those, people who died had an average of 2.5 serious comorbidities.

    Why would the government do this? TO grab power to be sure, but what better way to grab power than to ensure that Donald Trump not be elected?

  • Why did normally normal people (within or on the periphery of the medical profession, usually called “experts”, (without the quotes)), shout that “science” demands we do, WHAT? Well, do whatever they say.
    They did prove a point: People will generally favor anything that increases (or not diminishes) their power (financial or otherwise) and/or expands their status.
    So what should we learn? That many of the health bureaucracies (or their departments) should be eliminated. The higher bureaucrats (of government or educational institutions) have been shown to take money from Big Pharm.
    The lower ones, may not take the bribes, but their jobs are dependent on those above them. So-of course-they agree with them.
    So is it a puzzle why the bureaucracies and their beneficiaries agree with every declaration that comes out of the elephantine bureaucracy that has hired or appointed them?
    The only thing to do to limit them is to cut that teat of governmental power. Then private organizations will be able to give competing information and the populace will be able to decide what they should do. No one will have the power to command people to believe their point of view.
    Unfortunately, I think this may be to democratic to ever put into effect. It’s a pipe dream, but, hey, so was I&I before it got up and running. So who knows?

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