Conceit, Lies, Greed, and the Covid Debacle

If you haven’t seen the CDC map of Covid “Community Transmission in the US by County,” it’s practically all red, meaning transmission is at its highest level.  The U.S. is awash in Covid infections.  After nearly two years – and heaven knows how much money and resources spent and how much wreckage – Covid hasn’t been whipped, as laughable old Joe Biden vowed.  In fact, as viruses do, Covid is spawning variants.

The saving grace is that the omicron strain appears to be milder, signaling a wind-down.  Hospitalizations and deaths from omicron appear lower.

Per the virology, viruses “shift” or “drift.” Drifted viruses change gradually, allowing your immune system to provide “cross-protection.” Shifted viruses – Covid – represent an “abrupt, major change” and can trigger epidemics or pandemics.  Viruses typically drift, because killing off hosts isn’t much of a survival strategy.  Nature, not man, is resolving the contagion, as was the case with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-19.  For sensible people, that should be a sobering realization.  

Yet, sensibleness isn’t so common.  The critical question is: Will enough of us draw the right lessons from the pandemic or are we doomed to repeat our mistakes again and again?  And not just mistakes in the public health sphere.     

In the name of safeguarding public health, we’ve granted elites blank checks.  Americans have been compliant with Covid edicts – all too compliant, for the most part, in that our fundamental rights – supposedly protected by the Constitution – were suspended.  Our businesses, schools, and churches were closed, while liquor stores, strip clubs, and abortion mills were deemed essential.  All for what?  To, again, see the CDC map bathed in red?  Isn’t that a wee bit like Groundhog Day?  Haven’t our leaders and experts manufactured an epic failure?

What the current sea-to-sea infection outbreak tells us is that the remedies to Covid that our governmental and public health elites have imposed on us – and that have been pushed by social and legacy media – are, first and foremost, the products of conceits.  The attendant costs of those conceits – levied on individuals and society – won’t be paid off for many years, if at all.        

As Dan Bongino has formulated, if masks work, why aren’t they working?  If lockdowns work, why haven’t they “stopped the spread?”  What about vaccines?  They were billed as preventatives, not therapeutics.  If vaccinations are really preventative, why haven’t they stopped breakthrough infections?  Why are many of the vaccinated acquiring and shedding the variants?  In fact, why didn’t it occur to the leading lights in infectious disease, epidemiology, and public health that Covid would spin-off variants?  Or did it occur to them but the information was suppressed?  Many elites are more invested in narratives than truth. 

Elites and media are trying to memory-hole that they pitched vaccines as silver bullets.  Covid vaccines are experimental.  Vaccines may well have utility, but they’ve been oversold.  But, hey, Big Pharma is making a bundle off jabs, regardless of faltering efficacy.  Big Pharma spreads money around, too.  Politicians in both parties get healthy contributions.  And elites just can’t be wrong; they’re too smart to be wrong.

The conceit that fuels this debacle can’t be overemphasized.  Certainly, there’s plenty of greed and political opportunism that’s fueling suspect public health policies and harmful government edicts and profligacy.  But those are subsets and they’re possible because elites are given over to exaggerated estimates of their powers. 

This crème de la crème is persuaded that their educations, credentials, affluence, and statuses make them gods, of sorts.  They’re the most sophisticated, knowledgeable, and capable assemblage in history, they believe.  How about Tony Fauci’s “I am science” declaration?  That idiocy typifies the thinking of the ilk that Fauci runs with.  Such vanity isn’t only found in the medical, public health, and scientific communities, but in government, corporate suites, academia, nonprofits, social media outfits, and, as always, the establishment media.  Hubris, not Covid, presents the greater existential threat to America.

How badly misled have we been by elites?

In 2020, Biden’s cynical campaign, equally cynical Democrats, and media propagandists daily browbeat Donald Trump for not defeating the virus.  Plenty of people, driven by fear, not reason, bought this demagoguery.  Right.  Defeat the virus – a highly transmissible upper respiratory infection akin to the common cold.  

Covid, a novel virus, no less, in that it’s reasonably certain to have been engineered at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, underwritten indirectly with monies controlled by Fauci, likely released through a blunder but then weaponized by Xi Jinping because attempts at early containment (a longshot but public health’s best chance) meant that only China would suffer the consequences.  Communists, like progressives, don’t let crises go to waste.  

But where’s the American establishment in calling out Xi and his Leninist party for loosing this deadly virus on the world?  Too many of them are making too much money off the PRC.  Others are cowards.  Still others regard the PRC as a model for the U.S.  And reputations, like Fauci’s, are on the line. To date, an estimated 5.4 million deaths globally from or with Covid (actual deaths are disputable).  Nonetheless, millions have died.  But Xi’s crime against humanity gets a pass.

Two years-plus after the pandemic began, the spread of delta and omicron proves the elite’s impotence.  Yet, like Biden, they drone on.  They push the same ineffective protocols and policies.  They insist on vax mandates.  Like Biden, they scapegoat the unvaccinated.  They defy facts and demand open-ended compliance from us… obedience from us… and, finally, really, servility.     

Whatever happened to real science?  Science that was guided by discovery, facts, and hard realities?  Real science is about open inquiry, trial and error, debate, and dissent.  Science undertaken with integrity engenders humility.  Humility – a healthy sense of limits – is requisite not only in science, but in public health and in the practice of government – at least government that respects rights, is civil, and truly public-spirited.

The Great Barrington Declaration attests to the existence of “medical and public health scientists” and “medical practitioners” dedicated to the pursuit of science as intended: 61,468 strong across the planet.  Conscientious men and women, thorough professionals, who’ve courageously stood up to propose and support constructive alternatives to failed Covid public health policies pressed on Americans and others across the globe.   

Many of the declaration’s professional signers have been subject to attacks, particularly the founders, Doctors Martin Kulldorff, Sunetra Gupta, and Jay Bhattacharya.  Francis Collins (now retired NIH head) and Tony Fauci, who’s more ubiquitous than Covid, went after them early on.

Wrote Bhattacharya and Kulldorff for the Brownstone Institute, January 2:

Collins and Fauci played critical roles in designing and advocating for the pandemic lockdown strategy adopted by the United States and many other countries. In emails written four days after the Great Barrington Declaration and disclosed recently after a FOIA request, it was revealed that the two conspired to undermine the Declaration. Rather than engaging in scientific discourse, they authorized “a quick and devastating published takedown” of this proposal, which they characterized as by “three fringe epidemiologists” from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford.

If we fail to learn the right lessons from the Covid debacle, we’re bound to repeat them.  We must never again let fear triumph over reason.  We mustn’t yield broad powers over our lives to politicians, bureaucrats, and experts, who are as fallible as any human beings.

If you don’t think hubristic elites are capable of even greater overreach, capable of imposing a bigger scope of ruinous policies, worse governance, and disaster on a historic scale, we’d like you to meet yet another conceit, “manmade” climate change.    

J. Robert Smith can be found regularly at Gab @JRobertSmith and occasionally on Parler, again @JRobertSmith.  He also blogs at Flyover.

If you experience technical problems, please write to