- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Americans generally assume they live among people of goodwill — until proved otherwise. As the third anniversary of “15 days to slow the spread” approaches, the still-fresh history of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrates that ascribing the best of intentions to key decision-makers and influence peddlers is a mistake. Sadly, there is now every reason to conclude that the disease was a product of scientific mischief, and the battle to defeat it was conducted by schemers who saw in human fear a tool for political advantage.

It is cynically laughable that some U.S. intelligence officials — including Department of Energy investigators — now lend begrudging credence to the previously “discredited” theory that the deadly pathogen escaped from a Chinese laboratory. DOE’s supposed “bombshell,” first reported Sunday by The Wall Street Journal, betrays the feckless conniving of a middle schooler slipping a late homework assignment into the proper pile while the teacher’s back is turned. Even the ethically unmoored FBI managed to reach the same assessment — nearly two years ago. 

It was March 16, 2020, when then-President Donald Trump announced a nationwide shutdown of virtually every office, school and store so that citizens would remain isolated from one another just long enough for the highly infectious virus to crest and recede.

The strategy didn’t work as the president’s health officialdom assured him it would, and 15 days became 15 months, and more. All the while, mass paranoia set in as Americans donned masks and gaped suspiciously at one another across the recommended “social distance.” Still, Americans died on droves.

In the meantime, disturbing accounts surfaced pointing to risky “gain of function” research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology as the source of the deadly pathogen. Great pains were taken to discredit the notion, even more so when evidence emerged that the U.S. government, through the auspices of its top doc, Anthony Fauci, had provided funding for the lethal form of bioengineering.

Scientific mischief led to political machination as election officials across the nation seized upon pandemic fears to implement mail-in voting procedures that circumvented commonsense voter ID rules.

Concerns about vote integrity gave Americans a suspect 2020 presidential election outcome, leading to the ground-shaking Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot and a dismally regarded President Biden.

Consequently, Biden Democrats and their media sycophants have painted legitimate concerns about pandemic-triggered election reform as fronts in a benighted campaign to overthrow the republic. But congressional investigations meant to root out the unvarnished truth about the pestilence that killed more than 1 million Americans and handed Democrats unalloyed control of the U.S. government? No way.

Thankfully, Republicans have plans to delve into these sensitive subjects that have remained untouchable thus far. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky on Monday called on the administration to declassify new intelligence that led the Energy Department to conclude — after three years — that COVID-19 likely leaked from a Chinese lab.

As the ways are revealed in which pandemic-era science and politics reaped gain from human fear, many a disillusioned American may find fresh relevance in the words of songster Bob Seger when, in “Against the Wind,” he intoned: “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

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