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Brownstone Institute

Ron DeSantis on Florida’s Covid Response

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16 minute read

BY Brownstone InstituteBROWNSTONE INSTITUTE

The crucial turning point in the career of Florida’s Ron DeSantis came with his handling of the coronavirus panic of 2020. Deploying a lighter touch than nearly all states from the beginning, Florida opened up completely, to the screams of horror from major media. He then eschewed mask and vaccine mandates, while keeping schools and beaches open.

His new book The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival explains the backstory to his response and reveals the intense pressures he faced at the time, including the scientific influences that drove his decision-making.

Chapter 10 opens with some quotations from President Eisenhower’s famous warning about the military-industrial complex. “Eisenhower cited the alarming risk that what he termed a “scientific-technological elite”—an elite that is neither interested in nor capable of harmonizing all the competing values and interests that are the hallmark of a free, dynamic society—could commandeer policy and, ultimately, erode our freedoms,” DeSantis writes. “The response to the COVID-19 pandemic vindicated President Eisenhower’s fears, to the detriment of the people of the United States, especially our nation’s children.”

The remainder of the chapter serves as a competent historical survey of the calamity: how it began, how pseudoscience took over, the media complicity, and the strange way common sense and normal liberty were all thrown out the window. As governor, he faced a choice to go along or go his own way. He chose the second path. The narrative in this book is revealing of the stress, the frenzy, and the difficulty of making a hard decision for freedom in the midst of every special interest demanding that you go the other way.

His summary statement of the period:

The elites that drove the response to the COVID-19 pandemic fomented hysteria when they should have promoted calm, produced shoddy modeling and analysis to try to justify destructive policies, asserted certainty when nuance was called for, and allowed political partisanship to trump evidence-based medicine. The cornerstone of the US COVID response—the so-called “15 Days to Slow the Spread” that evolved into boundless Faucist “mitigation”—was ill-conceived, crafted based on inaccurate assumptions, and blind to the harm that heavy-handed public health “interventions” inflict on society.

While doing little, if anything, to slow the course of disease spread, this response in much of our country curtailed freedom, destroyed livelihoods, hurt children, and harmed overall public health. It also exposed the partisanship and rot in public health and the scientific community writ large. In the weeks leading up to President Trump’s announcement of the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” on March 16, 2020, it didn’t seem to me like the US was going to shut down our country. Many of the key players on the then recently formed White House Coronavirus Task Force were urging calm. The pathogen was serious, we were told, but there was no need to panic.

Of course panic was exactly what happened, and this was despite the strange timing of Anthony Fauci’s February 28, 2020, article in the New England Journal of Medicine. He explained that it is most likely that this virus will prove to be about as severe as a bad season of flu. And that article was approved for publication several weeks earlier when he was still counseling calm. By the time it came out, he had already shifted to promoting panicked lockdowns.

The shift in tone was informed in part by epidemiological modeling from Imperial College London. “Drs. Fauci and Birx spearheaded the drive for coercive mitigation policies based largely on epidemiological modeling, not empirical data,” writes DeSantis. “In publicly characterizing the shutdown as a short-term measure, Fauci and Birx were, in reality, setting the country on a course of shutdown until eradication—a goal that was not possible to achieve, but would go on well into 2021, to the detriment of millions upon millions of Americans.” Indeed, “These flawed models drove some truly disastrous policy decisions.”

DeSantis further quotes from Deborah Birx’s own book in which she says that the 15 days bit was always a ruse.

A few days later, the president held a press conference with Fauci and Birx and other members of the task force to announce that he was extending the federal shutdown guidelines for thirty days. Congress had just passed, and the president had just signed, the CARES Act, a massive $2.2 trillion spending bill that appropriated money that could finance a lengthy shutdown by providing stimulus payments to individuals, increasing unemployment benefits, and forgiving loans for small businesses that closed. These two factors really changed the dynamic across the country. The initial call for fifteen days was viewed as a temporary measure but, based on a flawed hospitalizations model, the country was pushed into a lengthy period of mitigation. When asked when it would be appropriate to relax mitigation measures, Fauci broadly and irresponsibly said, “When it goes down to essentially no new cases, no deaths.” What started as a precautionary fifteen-day period of social distancing had transformed into a de facto shutdown until eradication. The consequences of this transformation proved to be devastating to America.

At this point in the narrative, the governor backs up in time to discuss what an unprecedented policy response this truly was. It was never recommended, much less deployed in the past. He tells how he revisited pandemic plans from the past and found the 2006 treatise by Donald A. Henderson, which concluded that coercive mitigation strategies would turn “a manageable epidemic” into “catastrophe.”

What is crucial about this section is just how deeply the governor was reading in the real science at the time. He figured out, for example, that it was crucial to discover just how prevalent this virus really was in the population. Here he relied on Jay Bhattacharya’s April 2020 study of seroprevalence in Santa Clara, California.

He further noted Jay’s public stance against lockdowns. Here was when the governor stopped trusting anything coming from Washington and started leaning even on Florida’s county governments to open everything up. The media howled in horror and dubbed him DeathSantis. The same happened on the mask and vaccine mandates, which the governor effectively outlawed in the state, based not only on his desire to protect the people’s freedoms but also the actual science appearing in the journals.

Particularly fascinating here is the author’s discussion of how he came to realize the seasonality of the virus, a point that was nearly completely lost on major media and the CDC. His realization came from the work of Stanford professor Michael Levitt in his empirical discoveries concerning the trajectory of the disease. This confirmed for him that his number one job was to focus on the vulnerable while protecting the freedoms of everyone else.

Here we have a fascinating narrative of a governor who initially was willing to follow federal guidance until he, nearly on his own, came to discover that it was actually full of holes. At this point, he had to go his own way. We can look back and observe that this took him too long and he surely agrees. What’s notable was his willingness to look at data and facts and apply them in light of his responsibilities as governor.

At the very start of the pandemic, I did not appreciate how the so-called public health experts were such a stridently partisan, highly ideological mess. This became clear a couple of months later when the same public health experts who had been sharply critical of Americans for leaving their homes because of COVID-19 suddenly endorsed the mass protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis…. For two months, these so-called experts lambasted anyone for making a cost-benefit analysis when it came to COVID-19 mitigation policies. Then, the moment it suited their political interests, they reversed course by endorsing the protests as passing their cost-benefit analysis over COVID-19 lockdowns. That they specifically rejected protesting for other causes they did not support told me all I needed to know about what partisans these people were.

At this point, he was done and even suspended the bit of guidance he had previously implemented from the CDC.

After several weeks of consuming data and measuring it against policies implemented around the country, I decided that I would not blindly follow Fauci and other elite experts. To this end, I revoked my order suspending elective procedures at hospitals. The predicted April surge in coronavirus patients never materialized, leaving Florida with one of the lowest patient censuses on record. I also abandoned the federal government’s framework of essential versus nonessential businesses. Every job and every business are essential for the people who need employment or who own the business. It is wrong to characterize any job or business as nonessential, and this entire framework needs to be discarded in pandemic preparedness literature.

As for the idea of vaccine passports, which were embraced by New York and many local governments, DeSantis is very tough in this book, explaining his decision to make them completely illegal in his state.

My view was simple: no Floridian should have to choose between a job that they need and a shot they don’t want. It was especially galling to me that Biden and his ilk were prepared to see policemen, firefighters, and nurses lose their jobs over the shots. These are people who were working on the front lines throughout the entire pandemic—many of them had already had COVID—and now Biden wanted to cast them aside because they wouldn’t bend the knee.

The entire chapter is worth a read, particularly his discussion of the Great Barrington Declaration and the difficulties he faced at each stage in fighting off both federal bureaucrats and media hounds. It’s truly difficult to appreciate the full extent of the pressures at the time but the author does a great job recreating the setting at the time. These days, more people know that he was right, especially given the excellent health, educational, and economic data in Florida, and how it stands in sharp contrast to lockdowns states.

A major decision he took was to appoint the brilliant Joseph Ladapo as his surgeon general. It was not just his scientific excellence that attracted the governor. It was also Ladapo’s willingness and ability to stand up to the intense pressure:

Joe Ladapo is a good example of what it takes to succeed in an administration that bucks elite narratives. Key personnel need to view media smears as a form of positive feedback—the operatives for corporate outlets would not bother attacking someone unless that person is effective and is over the target. Not everyone is cut out to take the arrows, but being able to do so is essential to effectively navigating the political battlefield.

The governor concludes:

We can never let this happen in our country again. Congress must conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation of all aspects of the pandemic—the origins of the virus, the conduct of bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci, the damage done by locking kids out of school, the harm caused by shutting down the economy, the failures of so-called public health experts, the role played by pharmaceutical companies, and the actions of the Chinese Communist Party. For once, Congress must put out the unvarnished truth. President Eisenhower was right about the perils of turning policy over to a scientific-technological elite. As the iron curtain of Faucism descended across our continent, the State of Florida stood resolutely in the way. We helped to preserve freedom and to pull the country back from the abyss. Without Florida’s leadership and courage, I fear that Dr. Fauci and his lockdowners would have won. Our country never would have been the same.

Most political biographies are canned, conventional, and obviously manipulative (example A and B). This one is not. It is honest, frank, exciting, accurate, and an overall excellent read, especially on the topics that truly matter to the future.

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  • Brownstone Institute

    The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research is a nonprofit organization conceived of in May 2021 in support of a society that minimizes the role of violence in public life.

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Brownstone Institute

During the Crisis, Free Speech Worked Brilliantly

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

The free platform proved itself capable of quick course correction alongside maximum agility in processing the floods of constant new information. Meanwhile, the venues in which “misformation” has been anathematized ended up being the major source of exactly that.

There is only one major social media platform that is relatively free of censorship. That is X, once known as Twitter, and owned by Elon Musk, who has preached free speech for years and sacrificed billions in advertising dollars in order to protect it. If we don’t have that, he says, we lose freedom itself. He also maintains that it is the best path to finding the truth.

The crisis that broke out after the attempt on Donald Trump’s life put the principle in motion. I was posting regular updates and never censored. I’m not aware of anyone who was. We were getting second-by-second updates in real time. The videos were flying along with every conceivable rumor, many false and then corrected, alongside free speech “spaces” in which everyone was sharing their views.

During this time, Facebook and its suite of services fell silent, consistent with the new ethos of all these platforms. The idea is to censor all speech until it is absolutely confirmed by officials and then permit only that which is consistent with the press releases.

This is the habit born of the Covid years, and it stuck. Now all the platforms avoid any news that is fast in motion, except to broadcast precisely what they are supposed to broadcast. Maybe that works in most times when people are not paying attention. Readers do not know what they are missing. The trouble was that during these post-shooting hours when nearly everyone on the planet wanted updates, there were no press releases forthcoming.

By habit, I reached for what was once called television. The networks had plenty of talking heads and newscasters with their usual eloquence. What was missing from all the broadcasts that I saw in these hours were any factual updates. They too were waiting for confirmation of this or that before putting out any information at all beyond the basics. They let their “experts” speak as long as possible just to waste time before rolling out new advertisements.

Over time, I realized something. X was driving the whole of the news, while the newscasters had to wait for permission before reading scripted lines.

Meanwhile, on X, the situation was utterly wild. Posts were flying fast and furious. New rumors would circulate (the shooter’s name and affiliations, stories about a second shooting, claims that Trump was hit in the chest, and so on). But shortly after the rumor circulated, so did the debunking. The feature called “Community Notes” kept the faulty news in check, while the truth gradually circulated to the top. This happened on topic after topic.

The wildest theories ever were permitted to appear, while others would debunk them with reasoned arguments. The readers could decide for themselves. You could see how the seeming chaos gradually organized itself into communities seeking verification. Posters grew ever more careful about posting claims that could not be verified, or at least explaining what they were.

X was single-handedly holding the whole of the corporate media to account, and reporters and editors very obviously came to depend on their X feeds to figure out what to say next. It was the same with newspapers. When NYT, CNN, WaPo, and so on would make major missteps, posters on X would call them out, the word would reach the editors, and the headline or story would change.

In the end, X became the one place where you could find the fullness of truth. All the while, the old-world media was dishing out the most ridiculous headlines one could imagine. For many hours, the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, and other such venues refused to say it was an assassination attempt on Trump. The headline led people to believe that this was a MAGA rally with some random shooters that got carried away and so Trump had to be ushered out. This really did happen, and readers were outraged.

CNN was probably the worst offender, with the following headline: “Secret Service Rushes Trump Offstage As He Falls at Rally.”

It took many hours and repeated attempts but eventually the mainstream media finally said that the incident was “being investigated” as an assassination attempt, even though it was very obvious that it was an attempt on his life that he barely survived with the slight turn of his head.

It was the kind of flurry of nonsense that further discredited the old corporate media right there in front of an entire planet that was no longer believing anything they said.

It’s hard to know why the corporate press did this. Were they just cautious and worried about misinformation? If so, how come so many of their headlines were of the same sort, that which refused to say that someone just tried to kill Trump? Were they just in the habit of waiting for officials to tell them what to say? Was it raw TDS that was driving this? It’s hard to know but the failure was conspicuous and obvious to all.

What stood out above all else was the way free speech on X worked to ferret out the real story, while actually driving forward the mainstream press to correct its errors and get the story right. One shudders to think how it would have all taken place in absence of this one platform, which became the go-to place for everyone. The most important lesson: free speech worked. And beautifully.

All Western societies are currently struggling with the question of just how much speech to allow on the Internet. The trajectory for years now has not been a good one. Once-free platforms have become more frozen, more propagandistic, more staid, and duller, even as this one platform has created a culture of freedom combined with community-driven accountability.

This freedom accomplished exactly what it was supposed to accomplish, while the censored platforms held onto misinformation much longer than they should have been.

Which makes the point. Too often, the battle over free speech is framed as misinformation/freedom vs. facts/truth/restriction. The very opposite has proven to be the case. The free platform proved itself capable of quick course correction alongside maximum agility in processing the floods of constant new information. Meanwhile, the venues in which “misformation” has been anathematized ended up being the major source of exactly that.

Freedom works. As messy as it is, it works better than any other system. Meanwhile, governments of the world have targeted X for destruction. Advertisers continue to boycott and regulators continue to threaten.

So far, it has not worked and thank goodness. But for X, the last 24 hours would have looked very different: nothing but propaganda, apart from a few marginal places here and there. Therein lies another irony: the way X is managed is increasing trust rather than reducing it.

The lesson should be obvious. The answer to the problems of free speech is more of it.

Author

Jeffrey Tucker is Founder, Author, and President at Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Life After Lockdown, and many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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Brownstone Institute

The Pandemic Excuse for a Corporatist Coup

Published on

From the Brownstone Institute

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

We’ve just come across a document hosted by the Department of Homeland Security, posted March 2023, but written in 2007, that amounts to a full-blown corporatist imposition on the US, abolishing anything remotely resembling the Bill of Rights and Constitutional law. It is right there in plain sight for anyone curious enough to dig.

There is nothing in it that you haven’t already experienced with lockdowns. What makes it interesting are the participants in the forging of the plan, which is pretty much the whole of corporate America as it stood in 2007. It was a George W. Bush initiative. The conclusions are startling.

“Quarantine is a legally enforceable declaration that a government body may institute over individuals potentially exposed to a disease, but who are not symptomatic. If enacted, Federal quarantine laws will be coordinated between CDC and State and local public health officials, and, if necessary, law enforcement personnel…The government may also enact travel restrictions to limit the movement of people and products between geographic areas in an effort to limit disease transmission and spread. Authorities are currently reviewing possible plans to curtail international travel upon a pandemic’s emergence overseas.

“Limiting public assembly opportunities also helps limit the spread of disease. Concert halls, movie theaters, sports arenas, shopping malls, and other large public gathering places might close indefinitely during a pandemic—whether because of voluntary closures or government-imposed closures. Similarly, officials may close schools and non-essential businesses during pandemic waves in an effort to significantly slow disease transmission rates. These strategies aim to prevent the close interaction of individuals, the primary conduit of spreading the influenza virus. Even taking steps such as limiting person-to-person interactions within a distance of three feet or avoiding instances of casual close contact, such as shaking hands, will help limit disease spread.”

There we have it: the pandemic plans. They once seemed abstract. In 2020, they became very real. Your rights were deleted. No more freedom even to have house guests. In those days, the rule was to enforce only three feet of distance rather than six feet of distance, neither of which had any basis in science. Indeed, the actual scientific literature even at that time recommended against any physical interventions designed to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. They were known not to work. The entire profession of public health accepted that.

Therefore, for many years before lockdowns wrecked economic functioning, there had been two parallel tracks in operation, one intellectual/academic and one imposed by state/corporate managers. They had nothing to do with each other. This situation persisted for the better part of 15 years. Suddenly in 2020, there was a reckoning, and the state/corporate managers won it. Seemingly out of nowhere, liberty as we have long known it was gone.

Back in 2005, I first came across a Bush administration scheme, an early draft of the above, that would have ended freedom as we know it. It was a scheme for combating the bird flu, which officials back then imagined would involve universal quarantines, business and event closures, travel restrictions, and more.

wrote: “Even if the flu does come, and taxpayers have coughed up, the government will surely have a ball imposing travel restrictions, shutting down schools and businesses, quarantining cities, and banning public gatherings…It is a serious matter when the government purports to plan to abolish all liberty and nationalize all economic life and put every business under the control of the military, especially in the name of a bug that seems largely restricted to the bird population. Perhaps we should pay more attention. Perhaps such plans for the total state ought to even ruffle our feathers a bit.”

For years I wrote about this topic, trying to get others interested. It was all there in black and white. At the drop of a hat, under the guise of a pandemic that only state managers can declare, real or drummed up, freedom itself could be abolished. These plans were never legislated, debated, or publicly discussed. They were simply posted as the result of various consultations with experts, who worked out their totalitarian fantasies as if scripting a Hollywood film.

The 2007 blueprint is more explicit than anything I’ve seen. It comes from the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which “includes executive leaders from the private sector and state/local government who advise the White House on how to reduce physical and cyber risks and improve the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure sectors. The NIAC is administered on behalf of the President in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act under the authority of the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.”

And who sat on this committee in 2007 that decided that governments “may close schools and non-essential businesses”? Let us see.

  • Mr. Edmund G. Archuleta, General Manager, El Paso Water Utilities
  • Mr. Alfred R. Berkeley III, Chairman and CEO, Pipeline Trading Group, LLC, and former President and Vice Chairman of NASDAQ
  • Chief Rebecca F. Denlinger, Fire Chief, Cobb County (Ga.) Fire and Emergency Services
  • Chief Gilbert G. Gallegos, Police Chief (ret.), City of Albuquerque, N.M. Police Department
  • Ms. Martha H. Marsh, President and CEO, Stanford Hospital and Clinics
  • Mr. James B. Nicholson, President and CEO, PVS Chemical, Inc.
  • Mr. Erle A. Nye, Chairman Emeritus, TXU Corp., NIAC Chairman
  • Mr. Bruce A. Rohde, Chairman and CEO Emeritus, ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Mr. John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Brent Baglien, ConAgra Foods, Inc.
  • Mr. David Barron, Bell South
  • Mr. Dan Bart, TIA
  • Mr. Scott Blanchette, Healthways
  • Ms. Donna Burns, Georgia Emergency Management Agency
  • Mr. Rob Clyde, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Scott Culp, Microsoft
  • Mr. Clay Detlefsen, International Dairy Foods Association
  • Mr. Dave Engaldo, The Options Clearing Corporation
  • Ms. Courtenay Enright, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Gary Gardner, American Gas Association
  • Mr. Bob Garfield, American Frozen Foods Institute
  • Ms. Joan Gehrke, PVS Chemical, Inc.
  • Ms. Sarah Gordon, Symantec
  • Mr. Mike Hickey, Verizon
  • Mr. Ron Hicks, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
  • Mr. George Hender, The Options Clearing Corporation
  • Mr. James Hunter, City of Albuquerque, NM Emergency Management
  • Mr. Stan Johnson, North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)
  • Mr. David Jones, El Paso Corporation
  • Inspector Jay Kopstein, Operations Division, New York City Police Department (NYPD)
  • Ms. Tiffany Jones, Symantec Corporation
  • Mr. Bruce Larson, American Water
  • Mr. Charlie Lathram, Business Executives for National Security (BENS)/BellSouth
  • Mr. Turner Madden, Madden & Patton
  • Chief Mary Beth Michos, Prince William County (Va.) Fire and Rescue
  • Mr. Bill Muston, TXU Corp.
  • Mr. Vijay Nilekani, Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Mr. Phil Reitinger, Microsoft
  • Mr. Rob Rolfsen, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Mr. Tim Roxey, Constellation
  • Ms. Charyl Sarber, Symantec
  • Mr. Lyman Shaffer, Pacific Gas and Electric,
  • Ms. Diane VanDeHei, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Ms. Susan Vismor, Mellon Financial Corporation
  • Mr. Ken Watson, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Mr. Greg Wells, Southwest Airlines
  • Mr. Gino Zucca, Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Resources
  • Dr. Bruce Gellin, Rockefeller Foundation
  • Dr. Mary Mazanec
  • Dr. Stuart Nightingale, CDC
  • Ms. Julie Schafer
  • Dr. Ben Schwartz, CDC
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Resources
  • Mr. James Caverly, Director, Infrastructure Partnerships Division
  • Ms. Nancy Wong, NIAC Designated Federal Officer (DFO)
  • Ms. Jenny Menna, NIAC Designated Federal Officer (DFO)
  • Dr. Til Jolly
  • Mr. Jon MacLaren
  • Ms. Laverne Madison
  • Ms. Kathie McCracken
  • Mr. Bucky Owens
  • Mr. Dale Brown, Contractor
  • Mr. John Dragseth, IP attorney, Contractor
  • Mr. Jeff Green, Contractor
  • Mr. Tim McCabe, Contractor
  • Mr. William B. Anderson, ITS America
  • Mr. Michael Arceneaux, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA)
  • Mr. Chad Callaghan, Marriott Corporation
  • Mr. Ted Cromwell, American Chemistry Council (ACC)
  • Ms. Jeanne Dumas, American Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Ms. Joan Harris, US Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary
  • Mr. Greg Hull, American Public Transportation Association
  • Mr. Joe LaRocca, National Retail Federation
  • Mr. Jack McKlveen, United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • Ms. Beth Montgomery, Wal-Mart
  • Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal, Georgia Office of EMS/Trauma/EP
  • Mr. Roger Platt, The Real Estate Roundtable
  • Mr. Martin Rojas, American Trucking Association (ATA)
  • Mr. Timothy Sargent, Senior Chief, Economic Analysis and Forecasting Division, Economic and Fiscal Policy Branch, Finance Canada

In other words, big everything: food, energy, retail, computers, water, and you name it. It’s a corporatist dream team.

Consider ConAgra itself. What is that? It is Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher’s, Reddi-Wip, Slim Jim, Hunt’s Peter Pan Egg Beaters, Hebrew National, Marie Callender’s, P.F. Chang’s, Ranch Style Beans, Ro*Tel, Wolf Brand Chili, Angie’s, Duke’s, Gardein, Frontera, Bertolli, among many other seemingly independent brands that are all actually one company.

Now, ask yourself: why might all these companies favor a plan for lockdowns? Why might WalMart, for example? It stands to reason. Lockdowns are a massive interference with competitive capitalism. They provide the best possible subsidy to big business while shutting down independent small businesses and putting them at a huge disadvantage once the opening up happens.

In other words, it is an industrial racket, very much akin to interwar-style fascism, a corporatist combination of big business and big government. Throw pharma into the mix and you see exactly what came to pass in 2020, which amounted to the largest transfer of wealth from small and medium-sized business plus the middle class to wealthy industrialists in the history of humanity.

The document is open even about managing information flows: “The public and private sectors should align their communications, exercises, investments, and support activities absolutely with both the plan and priorities during a pandemic influenza event. Continue data gathering, analysis, reporting, and open review.”

There is nothing in any of this that fits with any Western tradition of law and liberty. Nothing. It was never approved by any democratic means. It was never part of any political campaign. It has never been the subject of any serious media examination. No think tank has ever pushed back on such plans in any systematic way.

The last serious attempt to debunk this whole apparatus was from D.H. Henderson in 2006. His two co-authors on that paper eventually came around to going along with lockdowns of 2020. Henderson died in 2016. One of the co-authors of the original article told me that if Dr. Henderson had been around, instead of Dr. Fauci, the lockdowns would never have taken place.

Here we are four years following the deployment of this lockdown machinery, and we are witness to what it destroys. It would be nice to say that the entire apparatus and theory behind it have been fully discredited.

But that is not correct. All the plans are still in place. There have been no changes in federal law. Not one effort has been made to dismantle the corporatist/biosecurity planning state that made all this possible. Every bit of it is in place for the next go-around.

Much of the authority for this whole coup traces to the Public Health Services Act of 1944, which was passed in wartime. For the first time in US history, it gave the federal government the power to quarantine. Even when the Biden administration was looking for some basis to justify its transportation mask mandate, it fell back to this one piece of legislation.

If anyone really wants to get to the root of this problem, there are decisive steps that need to be taken. The indemnification of pharma from liability for harm needs to be repealed. The court precedent of forced shots in Jacobson needs to be overthrown. But even more fundamentally, the quarantine power itself has to go, and that means the full repeal of the Public Health Services Act of 1944. That is the root of the problem. Freedom will not be safe until it is uprooted.

As it stands right now, everything that unfolded in 2020 and 2021 can happen again. Indeed, the plans are in place for exactly that.

Author

Jeffrey Tucker is Founder, Author, and President at Brownstone Institute. He is also Senior Economics Columnist for Epoch Times, author of 10 books, including Life After Lockdown, and many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.

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