Government Overreach Is Not the Answer to the COVID Pandemic
The past year and a half has shown us the disastrous consequences of ill-advised government overreach. From Governors Andrew Cuomo and Tom Wolf forcing infected COVID patients into nursing homes, to Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Gavin Newsom violating their own COVID guidelines on numerous occasions, to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi temporarily having a hair salon reopen so she could have her hair done (all while violating her guidance further by not wearing a mask), or governments using the pandemic to remove basic freedoms like freedom of religion, this pandemic has done much to erode public confidence in our leaders and institutions.
Perhaps the worst performance has been that of our nation’s top health “expert,” Dr. Anthony Fauci. His inconsistent public messaging regarding COVID precautions and his selfish, irresponsible refusal to adjust his thinking on whether to fund the sort of research being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology should be grounds for his removal, not for making him the highest-paid employee of the entire federal government.
The number of times our health officials have gotten it wrong is shocking. In the spring of 2020, Dr. Fauci and the CDC advised against wearing masks, with Fauci himself saying on 60 Minutes, “There's no reason to be walking around with a mask.” Just two weeks after that program aired, they executed a complete reversal in policy, not only advocating mask-wearing nationwide but also recommending stringent, draconian lockdowns which crippled small businesses and isolated Americans everywhere. Churches were closed, cutting off a vital source of community and worship for the faithful at a time when they needed it most. Schools closed as well, meaning children lost a year of educational and social development that can’t be recovered. The tenure of these lockdowns was advertised as just a few weeks; it lasted for over a year, with the CDC’s stamp of approval throughout.
Most recently, the CDC and Fauci have rightly pushed for Americans everywhere to get vaccinated and get on with their lives. Good – except now with the arrival of the Delta variant, the pattern they established back in March 2020 is starting to show itself again. In May, Fauci said those who are vaccinated did not need to worry about wearing masks. By late July, that guidance changed, recommending vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors. And most recently, you could find Fauci claiming he was in favor of nationwide mask and vaccine mandates.
This flip-flopping is anything but scientific – it is political and absolutely un-American. The purpose of the CDC, as well as Dr. Fauci, is to inform the American people so that they can make the best choices for their own health and for that of their families. Instead, what Americans have received is an ever-vacillating collection of theoretical statements and outright fearmongering, with imperious derision cast upon them when they dare to question the “experts.” Dr. Fauci has enabled politics to infect our public health science. The decisions concerning vaccines and masks should be made at the personal level—between individual Americans and their doctors. Politicians and governments should not be imposing mandates or using the pandemic as an excuse to expand their power.
Just as damaging has been Fauci’s refusal to change his commitment to funding bat coronavirus research in Chinese labs. Evidence continues to mount in support of this virus having escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology due to the Chinese government’s negligent attitude toward safety precautions, yet Fauci is undeterred. He has responded to the legitimate concerns of our Congress, to which he is accountable, with obfuscation. He prefers to split hairs over the definition of “gain of function research” instead of considering the extremely dangerous consequences of continuing to fund such research.
With so many lives lost, with so many businesses destroyed, and with such great hardships having been suffered due to the pandemic, prudent leaders should at the very least suspend funding this research until we know more. Unfortunately, Fauci is doing just the opposite – he plans to authorize $1.2 billion in funding for the Global Virome Project, which will identify even more dangerous viruses and experiment with them in labs.
This includes labs in China, even though the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to prohibit any investigation into these labs. The CCP takes U.S. funding for these labs and uses it to fund secret projects with China’s military, as noted in a State Department report issued while I was Secretary of State. If we cannot hold the CCP accountable for the irresponsible security protocols in its labs and its use of U.S. funding to fuel military research for the People’s Liberation Army, how can American officials in good conscience continue to give taxpayer dollars to the CCP?
Fortunately, our system of government allows the American people to hold its leaders accountable. This is something the ACLJ has been dedicated to, including a big win in our lawsuit against the shutdown of our churches. We’ve also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Biden Administration over its lackluster response to the growing evidence that the COVID pandemic originated in a Chinese lab.
We need to think hard about the scattershot response of our public health officials to the pandemic, about Dr. Fauci’s stubborn refusal to reassess the funding of dangerous research at unsafe labs which we have no control over, and about the fundamental liberties which state, local, and federal officials violated with impunity throughout the pandemic. If current leaders – be they Members of Congress, Governors of states, or highly paid public officials – fail to meet the high standard of excellence the American people should rightly expect them to meet, then perhaps it is time for Americans to choose new leadership.