…When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, spreading panic, superstition, false information, and rumor, we at least had “the science”—American science, the disinterested expertise that created the modern affluent and sophisticated world we take for granted.
But shortly thereafter “the science” started to baffle Americans. We were told to listen to the World Health Organization that assured us the virus was not transmissible, that travel bans were superfluous, that China was blameless, that the virus was static. All were not just lies, but Chinese-fed lies that scientists—scientists of all people—swallowed or aided.
Our iconic Dr. Anthony Fauci, rather than collating current research and hosting medical symposia, became a TV junkie and spin doctor. His narratives about our daily regimens kept changing to accommodate the political agenda deemed most influential at the moment. What followed was a pandemic version of Alice Through The Looking-Glass surrealism. For Fauci, masks were useless, then essential, then even better when two were worn. Vaccines alone would save us—but not until mid- or late 2021.
But then they mysteriously were ready in November 2020 and even mysteriously so announced, but only a few days after the election. Herd immunity would follow, or not—given that 60, 70, or maybe even 90 percent of the population needed to be vaccinated or to have had previously acquired immunity. The ancient trope of the “noble lie” resurfaced, as an increasingly desperate Fauci spun his prior politicized policies in terms of misleading the clueless public for its own good.
Fauci taught us vaccinations were our salvation and would free us from the virus tyranny—but only if we were almost all vaccinated. But then he insisted that even if we were vaccinated, we would still have to social distance. We would wear masks, even outdoors. And we would still face reinfection. So millions mused, “Is Fauci running a PR campaign to convince us that getting vaxxed is superfluous?”
Fauci first insisted that China was not culpable and that it was conspiratorial to suggest such a thing, only to concede that it was sort of, kind of, remotely possible that the virus was engineered in a Wuhan level 4 virus laboratory—despite the consensus of the “experts” that a bat gave us the virus. Anyone who even suggested that Dr. Fauci might have approved U.S. grants for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab was considered a dangerous crank—until it was conceded that he had done this and the conflict-of-interest Fauci went mute for a few hours.
Fauci is only a totem of the decline in public health expertise. When we were told the science mandated national quarantines, state and local officials on that prompt began arresting dissenting pastors, hair stylists, and gym owners—any who reopened their livelihoods in violation of the “science.” Except there was no science at all when 1,200 of our “health care professionals” swore to us that protesters, both violent and peaceful, could with impunity violate the quarantines, because their “science” dictated that exposure to the virus was less harmful than the mental anguish of not being able to demonstrate, scream, congregate, and march en masse against social injustice and police brutality.
When other scientists said the damage from lockdowns might well eventually outweigh the toll of the virus, they were cancelled as the “bad” (who will probably be proven right) by the “good” scientists who were proven wrong.
In the end, all Americans wanted from science was disinterested, humble, fact-based advice—how, why, and when could one become infected, what was the most likely treatment protocol to recover, and when exactly would the vaccination appear.
Instead, they got an ideological war reminiscent of something out of the 17th century when Galileo was put on trial by the “good” faux-scientific consensus of geocentrism for advocating the “bad” correct science of heliocentrism.
Finally, in 2021 it was not so much that Americans lost respect for the law as they were bewildered by it. Or rather they wondered whether it still even existed….