The following is an excerpt from “Faucian Bargain: The Most Powerful and Dangerous Bureaucrat in American History” by Steve Deace and Todd Erzen, published by Post Hill Press.
Experts have expertise you and I don’t have, but they’re not necessarily wiser, nor are they any less sinful. Experts are also wrong all the time, because they’re human, too.
Experts told Admiral Nimitz he was dumb to listen to one Japanese code-breaker and risk much of our remaining Naval fleet on an ambush at Midway, which ended up turning the tide of the Pacific theater in World War II.
Experts told the apostles there’s no such thing as a resurrection. Experts differed mightily with Copernicus and Galileo. We could go on and on.
Plenty of “experts” right now think there are 57 genders, and human life happened because two amino acids formed a single-celled protein 600 million years ago for no reason whatsoever.
Plenty of “experts” also love them some of those open borders that allowed China to export its Wuhan virus to our shores.
Beware of easily handing your sovereignty over to the experts, especially without skeptical vetting. For sure, experts have done amazing things for humanity as well. But a critical time such as this requires more questions, not fewer.
Accountability never made any of us worse. But a lack of it sure does.
Toward the end of his administration, it became obvious President Donald Trump had finally had it with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s antics and exploits. Trump invited Dr. Scott Atlas from Stanford University to join the coronavirus task force, and Atlas took center stage in trying to reset the narrative.
We asked Atlas if he could quantify for us the cost of not seeking wisdom in a multitude of counsel. Of not pitting the best and brightest minds against each other in a zealous pursuit of the truth, no matter what, and instead investing all this power in the hands of one unelected bureaucrat whose will mostly goes unchallenged. Atlas replied:
This has gone on so long that people have lost track of why the original shutdowns were done in the early stages of the pandemic.
In the beginning no one was prepared for a potential case fatality rate of 3.4%, so a short-term shutdown was appropriate to flatten the curve to stop hospitals from being overcrowded so other medical care could go on. It was also appropriate to buy time for the ramping up and procuring of equipment. Though it was rare, there were some hospitals that were overcrowded.
But after the short-term shutdown it got out of hand. Its purpose was not to stop all cases, which isn’t a realistic goal. When you do a lockdown as we have seen all over the world, you do not eliminate the virus. All you do is delay the infection. Then we’re testing asymptomatic people who are in the workforce and shutting down low-risk environments
When you do that, all you are going to do is have these cases come later in the winter. And in the winter you do not have the ability to use social distance, eat outdoors, etc. We’re locking people down in their homes, and the most frequent place where cases are spread are in the home.
Atlas then ran down a potentially tragic list of unintended consequences:
The lockdown was a heinous abuse of government and misguided policy. Forty-six percent of the six most common cancers were not diagnosed. Eighty-five percent of living organ donor transplants were not done. Two-thirds of cancer screenings were not done. Half of the 650,000 people on chemotherapy did not come in for chemo. Half of our immunizations didn’t get done.
The United Nations says 1.3 million will die from starvation because we were shut down and couldn’t get them food. More than 200,000 cases of child abuse went unreported. Four hundred thousand more will die from tuberculosis because of a diversion of those resources.
When, if ever, have you heard Fauci wrestling with the trade-off of coronavirus lockdowns? When, if ever, have you ever seen him challenged on these grounds?
As we noted at the end of the previous chapter, we should mourn for all the lives taken by COVID-19. But where is the mourning for the lives that will be lost from other lethal maladies, as noted by Atlas?
Experts are now also warning of a looming “mental health pandemic” among our young people. Mental Health America is reporting an astounding 93% increase in anxiety screenings in the past year.
On Oct. 4, 2020, 44 global experts, representing some of the leading universities in the world, came together to issue “The Great Barrington Declaration.” It reads as follows:
As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.
Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.
Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.
Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.
As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all—including the vulnerable—falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity—i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable—and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.
The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.
Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.
Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sports, and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.
Once again, the authors of this book do not even pretend to be qualified to determine whether or not the experts who issued this declaration are more precise in their analysis of COVID-19 than is Fauci. However, we do believe the American people are constitutionally qualified to benefit from such a debate.
We got brief glimpses of how Fauci behaves when challenged not once, but twice, by Sen. Rand Paul, who is also a doctor (and who also contracted the coronavirus early on).
After participating in numerous debates over the years, we’ve always viewed the type of defensiveness displayed by Fauci at even surface-level pushback as being indicative of a weak argument that lacks substantive answers for its grandiose claims.
Still, let us not become guilty of the very same magical thinking and projection we’ve too often seen from Covidstan.
Just because the narrative of those who signed “The Great Barrington Declaration” is calling for a more preferable way of life than lockdowns doesn’t mean they’re right. But don’t we deserve to know what the truth is, either way?
Furthermore, whatever happened to a skeptical media? How come the media ignores, disregards, or humiliates anyone who dares defy Fauci’s view of things?
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