COVID-19 — Block ‘Emergency’ to ‘New Normal’ Pipeline – Delco Times
COVID-19 — Block ‘Emergency’ to ‘New Normal’ Pipeline – Delco Times

COVID-19 — Block ‘Emergency’ to ‘New Normal’ Pipeline – Delco Times

In mid-July, the Biden administration extended a January 2020 COVID-19 “public health emergency” declaration until mid-October of this year. An administration official justifies the renewal of the “emergency” declaration because it “continues to give us the tools and authorities necessary to respond” to the virus.

But COVID-19 is no longer a “pandemic.” It has become “endemic”, like the flu or the common cold. The latest variant of “concern”, BA.5, continues to follow the usual path of viral evolution, becoming more infectious but less lethal. While cases are on the rise, hospitalizations and deaths remain near lows since this thing began.

And yet we see around the country, at all levels of government, what “tools and authorities” are still in vogue: Mask mandates and “consultations” sprout up again.

At this point, however, our masters are fresh out of genuine “public health” excuses for such mandates.

The state of the “science” of masking as of the beginning of the pandemic was summarized by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci: “[T]here there is no need to walk around with a mask …. wearing a mask can make people feel a little better and it can even block a drop. But it doesn’t provide the perfect protection that people think it is.”

Despite great efforts by “public health” advocates to make the science fit the politically motivated desire to mandate masking over the past two years, the actual science remains the same. There was no good evidence that masking reduces the spread of viral diseases as of early 2020. Such evidence does not exist now.

So why the continued fascination with mask mandates?

Hanlon’s razor – “never ascribe to malice that which is sufficiently explained by stupidity” – tempting as an explanation, but it is unsatisfactory. Government “experts” have access to the same peer-reviewed scientific studies that the rest of us do. In fact, they largely funded these very studies. They know that the evidence for masking is about as good as the evidence for lucky rabbit feet or St. Christopher Medals.

The second best explanation is that for any issue, politicians and bureaucrats always feel the need to “do something”, regardless of whether something works or not. Mask mandates are “something”.

But now that the COVID-19 “problem” is fading into just another endemic condition that kills a few and produces little, if any, disease in most, a third explanation makes the most sense:

It’s about power. Our rulers seized a lot of it, using the pandemic as an excuse, and they don’t want to give it up.

We still take our shoes off in airport lines on command more than 20 years after Richard Reid’s failed attempt to blow up a plane.

If the political class has its way, we’ll still be donning ceremonial headdresses on command in 20 years.

If the Biden administration won’t shut down this “emergency” nonsense in law, Americans should shut it down in action. It’s time to take back the powers we let government seize, and then some. Resist the “new normal” they are trying to impose on us.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).

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