by Conrad Black
There is some natural justice in the shambles of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 policy.
This administration benefited miraculously from the onset of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus—all polls prior to the arrival of the pandemic had indicated that President Donald Trump would be reelected.
The Democrats and their almost airtight phalanx of social and national political media support immediately saw the coronavirus as their key to victory. They created a “War of the Worlds” state of public hysteria. Almost overnight, the United States was enshrouded in a compulsive fear of all other people as spreaders of a virus that was implicitly given powers almost on par with the bubonic plague of medieval times.
They preemptively mocked then-President Trump as “anti-science” and demanded a complete economic shutdown of the country, which they could then blame on him and frame him as the Herbert Hoover of the 21st century.
Scarcely before Trump had opened his mouth on the subject in public, he was being denounced by his wall-to-wall media enemies for being a racist for shutting down direct flights from China and identifying China as the source of the virus, as well as for being a heartless slave to filthy lucre for not shutting down practically everything in order to ensure the survival of everybody, even if the United States became a nation of socio-phobic moles and sloths living on posted benefit payments.
The most prominent and alarmist scientists were immediately enthroned as oracles. The Democratic strategists no doubt recognized that they could be relied upon, as subjects of immense media and public scrutiny, to occupy the last millimeter of the limelight with Alfred Hitchcock-like tales of impending doom if the most draconian measures weren’t taken. The president astutely assembled a committee of eminent scientists and public health experts presided over by Vice President Mike Pence.
For approximately a week, there was the usual coming together of the nation in the face of an emergency, an approximate five-day abatement in the more frenzied attacks on Trump, and a general comradeship along the lines of the endlessly repeated television news signoff: “We are all in this together.”
This was judged by the Democratic strategists to be an adequately decent interval before holding the president to blame for every conceivable COVID-related shortcoming. He was a bigot in opposing the Chinese, a laggard in proposing shutdowns, and a short-sighted sluggard in assisting all of the states to have the equipment and hospital capacities they would need, even as governors Newsom of California and Cuomo of New York—both strenuously vocal political opponents of Trump and his administration—acknowledged that the president had promptly delivered everything that they had asked of him.
The scientists, hugely publicized and deferred to by a scientifically illiterate media and public, became pontifical. The now-infamous Dr. Anthony Fauci, articulate and persuasive, had much of the United States believing that they would never shake hands again and couldn’t touch any surface with their bare hands for fear of the evil “droplets” that might strike them down, while the proposed remedies varied radically almost from week to week.
Masking, which was useless in March, was obligatory even when outdoors in April. Biden’s medical advisor, Zeke Emanuel (brother of the failed former mayor of Chicago), declared that the country would need to be shut down for years. After the first month of immense unemployment increases, the Democratic media propaganda machine began hanging the poor economic status of the country, for which they had been clamoring, around the president’s neck like a giant booby prize.
As he was producing an economic depression, he was also squandering lives by his unspecified incompetence. This particular fraud has persisted: Its latest espouser was the egregious Carl Bernstein, who recently designated Trump “a war criminal within his own country” on CNN because of the “thousands of Covid deaths due to his [unspecified] criminal negligence.”
Trump’s principal contribution to the struggle with the coronavirus was his ingenious collaboration with the major drug companies in the fast-track development of vaccines two or more years ahead of expert expectations.
The initial response from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was that they wouldn’t trust any vaccine sponsored by Trump. Once in office, they pinned their entire anti-COVID-19 program on the swiftest possible dissemination of vaccines developed under Trump’s auspices.
To be fair, Trump did do considerable damage to his own credibility by shouldering Pence aside and taking the daily press briefings on the virus himself. His answers were normally cogent and indicative of his grasp and management of the issues.
But he enabled his media enemies to pack the briefings with insolent baiting questions: “Mr. President, do you regret your lies?”
There were endless debates about the value of therapies as the Democratic media insisted on declaring absolutely everything to be useless and hopeless except indefinite lockdowns, accompanied by fierce denunciations of Trump for producing an economic depression even as he was a slacker in pursuing a solution to the crisis.
The president also waxed hot and cold about how soon the recovery would come and the shutdown would end, and he allowed himself to be drawn into sterile debates about the value of hydroxychloroquine and other therapies. He managed the pandemic well as an executive, but poorly in terms of public relations.
As all the world knows, the coronavirus pandemic was used as the excuse to modify voting and vote-counting rules in ways that may quite possibly have altered the election result. Biden and Harris limped into office after a tainted election and took great credit for distributing the vaccine their predecessor had developed—the credibility of which they had scorned because of Trump’s role in the astoundingly rapid development and deployment of the vaccines.
The media, with Trump’s partial inadvertent cooperation, had succeeded in making the pandemic a serious political deadweight to Trump. Biden’s absurd masking, distancing, and pandering to fears of the pandemic and to those who were irrationally fearful of it made his COVID-19 management a principal source of support for him and of his honeymoon approval rating.
With the arrival of COVID-19 variants and an uptick in the incidence of the CCP virus, the administration and its star scientists have fallen about in contradictory suggestions about what to do.
The entire COVID-19 effort has been beset by the reluctance of the Democratic media to give adequate emphasis to the statistical facts: The fatality rate among healthy people beneath the age of 65 is less than 1 percent, and even among those with other problems who are older than 65, the recovery rate is approximately 95 percent.
These new variants spread quickly, but are generally less dangerous than the initial strain of COVID-19.
Masks appear to be virtually useless and are an absurd placebo and fashion piece, such as bell-bottom trousers from the early 1970s.
The vulnerable categories of people must be segregated, and it would be permissible to require them to be vaccinated. For the rest, people should decide for themselves. A total of 97 percent of hospitalized COVID cases are unvaccinated people.
The facts necessary for making the appropriate executive decisions are available, and the failure of this administration to be clear or sensible is particularly telling, given the massive disinformation campaign they inflicted on Trump, which, along with the electoral skulduggery in the swing states, won them the election.
Trump gave them the vaccine and the winning strategy, and they’re bobbling it. All that’s needed is a little leadership.
First published in the Epoch Times.