On Dec. 10, 2020, Michael Osterholm, Joe Biden’s pick for COVID czar, took to CNN to declare the following: “I think we really just have to tell the American public in hard language what’s happening here, and far too often we’ve tried to, you might say, split the middle.”
Dr. Osterholm continued, “I mean … I have a real problem with the CDC’s recommendations regarding what to do for the holiday period. You know it’s nuanced. It’s basically saying, ‘don’t get together, but if you are going to get together, do these things …’ I don’t care if I’m accused of being the Grinch that stole Christmas … [but] we should be having a very, very hard discussion right now about why we can’t have Christmas 2020 like we had in 2019 …”
When asked what he would do if he were presently the head of the CDC, Dr. Osterholm responded, “At this point, no gatherings outside your immediate family that are in a sense podded together … Don’t get together with neighbors. No Christmas parties … Some of my colleagues are saying limit it to ten people, or whatever. That’s happy talk … [You can’t get together] with others …”
Here’s the problem. Tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of Americans no longer believe “experts” like the good Dr. Osterholm.
Well, for the past 10 months, we have been lied to over and over again by the likes of these people.
We were told that the suspension of our constitutional rights, such as freedom of religion and freedom of assembly, was a temporary measure, imposed solely to “flatten the curve” so as not to overwhelm our nation’s hospitals. That was not true. When the curve was flattened, calls for continued lockdowns became even more draconian, rather than less.
We were told that upwards of 2 million Americans would immediately die from this virus. That was not true. The target has been moved over and over again. And today, nearly a year into this mess, Dr. Osterholm’s own warnings focus on a “projection” of about 11% of that number.
We were told that there was a high risk of asymptomatic transmission. That was apparently not true. A major study now coming out of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, indicates that those who test positive for COVID-19 but who show no evidence of its symptoms are infecting almost no one else. In other words, the asymptomatic transmission is estimated to be about zero.
We were told that masks were ineffective and that the general public would gain no real benefit from wearing them. This was not true. Dr. Anthony Fauci himself, now, admits he was lying to us, and thereby putting millions of lives at risk, because he was more concerned about a compromised supply for health care workers than he was with telling us the truth.
We were told that wearing a mask did nothing to protect oneself but that it was the virtuous thing to do because it would protect others. That was not true. Everyone is now wearing a mask because they have been promised that it is the most efficacious thing we can do for self-preservation.
We were told that mass gatherings such as going to church were “super spreader” events that would result in the deaths of thousands. That was not true. No evidence presently exists showing church attendance results in any more transmissions of the disease than going to Walmart or marching in a BLM protest, both of which are curiously omitted from the list of potential “super spreading” activities.
We were told that if all this “just saves one life,” that it’s all worth it. That was not true. It is now known that hundreds of thousands of lives are being lost from drug abuse, bankruptcies, unemployment, child abuse, domestic violence, depression, suicide, cancer, heart disease, and forgone routine health checkups and consequent remedial care. Apparently, that “one life” deemed so precious doesn’t matter if it’s lost at the hands of government arrogance rather than the virus itself.
We were told that this pandemic would wipe out huge swaths of human civilization if we didn’t hand power over to our betters like Dr. Osterholm. That was not true. To date, less than .08% of the U.S. population has contracted the disease, and over 98% of those who’ve tested positive have recovered.
So, forgive us, Dr. Osterholm, but untold millions of us are suffering right now, not from COVID-19, but from the insufferable arrogance of people like you who actually presume to have the authority to tell us who we can or cannot have over for dinner.
Thanks for the advice, but if it’s all the same to you, many of us will celebrate one of the few good things we have left rather than let you spoil it with your arrogance and overreach.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).