A Pandemic of Socialism

In mid-March of 2020, the United States of America became a socialist country, despite President Trump's promise in his State of the Union address one year prior.  To those who lost their non-essential jobs, those who met empty shelves, those who discovered that their "free" education was too costly, those driven insane by incessant fear-mongering, and those faced with capricious and nonsensical restrictions — welcome to socialism.  Deceived by the arrogance of science and appeal to authority, or perhaps with false science to mask nefarious motives, public health and safety were used as a contrivance to replace liberty, freedom, and democracy with the Game of Socialism, in which (elected) tyrants play with our lives.  Do health and safety trump liberty and freedom, and must we sacrifice one for the other?

The Constitution of the United States provides for no limitation of our liberty, freedom, or democracy in an emergency.  Is this because our Founding Fathers had never heard of the Black Death (1347, multiple) or the Great Plague of Marseille (1720) or the Yellow Fever from the Caribbean (1793) or smallpox (vaccine 1770)?  Why, then, did they limit powers in the face of such great calamities?

Absent such powers, the federal government cannot take advantage of panic, real or contrived, to tyrannize the states or the people, and with the 9th and 14th Amendments, neither can the states (or cities) tyrannize their people.  The protections of our Constitution have been eroded over the last century by a crisis culture that has people abandoning liberty for (illusory) safety, as notes Robert Higgs,

But if the dominant ideology does not give strong support to the Normal Constitution, it will eventually be overwhelmed by the Crisis Constitution.  Step by step, a ratcheting loss of rights will attend each episode of national emergency.  And we may as well admit that such emergencies are inevitable.

But without that "Crisis Constitution," how can government keep us safe from disease?  There is no scientific study demonstrating that liberty and freedom are required to spread disease, although there are works of assumptions masquerading as such.  To the contrary, a 2001 study published by George Washington University and Johns Hopkins University recommends against large-scale quarantine, isolation, and other liberty-infringing actions in favor of informed individual action.  One finding is particularly interesting:

During the past century in the United States, professional medical and public health familiarity with the practice of quarantine has faded.  A review of the medical literature found no largescale human quarantine implemented within US borders during the past 8 decades.

The 1918 "flu" pandemic has been largely compared to COVID-19.  Just like with COVID-19, wide-spread quarantine and isolation were implemented.  While many modern public health experts credit the quarantine with saving lives, one article noted:

Despite high mortality rates and the need for increased appropriations, the 1918 pandemic failed to stimulate extensive influenza research or a dramatic increase in permanent funds for PHS. ... [Surgeon General] Blue's appeal for a permanent mechanism to prevent and control diseases such as influenza was quickly forgotten as postwar America sought to heal its war wounds and seek a return to "normalcy."

During experiments with the 1918 influenza virus in 1931, Shope showed that it was a mild infection; indeed, its progeny are still with us.  "Flu" often appears in quotes among medical writings, indicating it as an incorrect term.  Shope showed that the 1918 disease was likely two separate infections: viral influenza followed by bacterial pneumonia caused by Haemophilus influenzae (the "flu").  Modern research has shown that oxidative stress and immune depletion after a viral respiratory infection open the way for bacterial pneumonia.  Perhaps you have noticed increased sensitivity to allergens or irritants after a cold?  There is nothing novel about 2019-nCoV; many common viruses do the exact same thing.

So how did a mild influenza turn into a "flu" pandemic, and why did the country abandon mass quarantine and isolation?

The National Archives hosts documents related to the 1918 pandemic, including letters from nurses and doctors.  A letter from Dr. D.A. Richardson describes the two distinct stages.  The first is "influenza proper," from which the patient recovers in four days.  While convalescing during the required (and unnecessary) ten-day quarantine in hospitals filled with pneumoniacs, the victims caught pneumonia and died of the "flu."  The 1918 pandemic was secondary, hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia spread in quarantine.  They made the (healthy) patients wear masks, which probably caused something akin to ventilator-associated pneumonia.  If patients recovering from influenza proper were instead sent home to recuperate in fresh air, sans mask, they probably would have lived, and 1918 would have been unremarkable.

The quarantine, isolation, and mask-wearing failed to diminish the spread of the influenza.  Instead, the practices likely increased fatality and had disastrous economic consequences.  The medical policy of 1918 was contrary to the medical science of 1918, and the destructive practices of quarantine, isolation, and mask-wearing were largely abandoned.  The United States embraced socialism in the first half of the 20th century, and the pain sent us running back to freedom and liberty in the 1950s and 1960s, until 100 years later, when socialists once again abandoned medical science in favor of panic and socialist policy.

The parallels between 1918 and 2020 are extreme.  The mass isolation and quarantine had no effect on 2019-nCoV and ruined our economy.  The mass quarantine of the most vulnerable into nursing homes and the use of mechanical ventilators with their high occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (1.5% per day) led to over 60% of the deaths, otherwise 2019-nCoV is far from the mass murderer it was hyped to be.  Why quarantine and intubation?  Medicare cut reimbursement for non-invasive ventilators, and Congress rewarded the use of ventilators on (presumed) COVID patients and their deaths.  Socialist medicine transforms doctors into highly paid executioners of the elderly, weak, and infirm.

You say these were just mistakes of science and implementation?  Under "ideal" socialism, the restriction of liberty is still valid?  Perhaps mistakes, but an argument over science trumping liberty is a red herring.  Lives versus lives is part of the Game of Socialism, which ignores the possibility that liberty is necessary for the public good — rather, dismisses it.

Social media trolling and unethical reporting exaggerated a cold into a plague, and socialist health and safety advocates panicked the world into surrendering liberty and implementing socialism.  All of the damage attributed to COVID-19 was instead caused by the socialism meant to protect us.  COVID-19 is a pandemic of socialism.

America has always favored strong political leaders and rejected the weak.  We need ballsy politicians to confront the socialist nonsense masquerading as health and safety.  Elect Biden, who embraces health and safety, and the socialists pulling his strings will abuse the "Crisis Constitution" to give us COVID-19 every day.

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