The pandemic is dead — long live the pandemic
On Sunday, September 18, 2022, President Joe Biden declared the COVID pandemic over.
He managed to be — for him — relatively coherent, though making this momentous announcement while walking through an empty car show with a 60 Minutes reporter seemed to ratchet down the importance of the statement.
Ending something that caused so many deaths and massive societal, economic, political, and personal disruption for two and a half years (as long as the Crimean War) with essentially a throwaway line jumbled in with other Biden gems — inflation is not so bad, unemployment down, Trump is evil, I may or may not run for re-election, we will send troops to defend Taiwan, and something about pudding — is as surprising as it is belittling to the suffering inflicted.
One would think the administration would want to shout the end of the pandemic from the rooftops, claim it as a huge victory, and bask in the glow of the return to normalcy — so why the "oh, by the way..." approach?
A few reasons — first, by this point, the overwhelming majority of Americans personally declared the pandemic over months, if not years, ago, so maybe a period makes more sense than an exclamation point. That is a generous interpretation and assumes that Biden knew what he was doing and that his administration was on board with the idea prior to the announcement of facts that are, at best, in dispute.
Another "soft landing" reason may be that those who remain obsessed by COVID — the vast majority of whom are Biden-supporters — may not want to loudly hear that their raison d'être may no longer be valid. Just as a person would rather be told to lose weight quietly than have it broadcast over the loudspeaker at a football game, this move may soften the blow a bit, allowing for extra processing and transition time. It also helped these people that Biden did mention that work still needs to be done, etc.
An example of this possibility could be found in the reaction of University of California, San Francisco's Dr. Bob Wachter, a physician who has pushed the hardest of hard COVID lines and as recently as three weeks ago compared people who go maskless in public to reckless drivers. Wachter said yesterday — after the announcement — that he is now ready to dine indoors again. Follow the science, indeed.
That being said, many people who have built their lives around COVID and trusting the experts and the science are not pleased with the announcement from the man they voted for. In other words, cult members get rather irked when they are told the date they were promised the world was going to end has been changed.
Whether or not this announcement — pending it being modified, massaged, and muddied by White House staff and the ever vigilant and utterly trusted CDC and NIH — will actually change anything on the ground is unclear. Will Governor Gavin Newsom finally end California's state of emergency; will other overly empowered politicians — politicians for the most part of the blue persuasion — do so as well?
The declaration also brings up other questions. Will the New York City teachers fired less than two weeks ago — or anyone else fired over the past 30 months — for not getting vaccinated get their jobs back? Or was the vaccination demand made upon millions of Americans more about control than public health? In other words, demanding vaccinations was a simple way to determine which employees were the most willing to be obedient and follow orders — any orders, not just COVID-related strictures — and was used as a justifiable way to get rid of people who cannot be counted upon to automatically toe the line in any circumstance.
One thing that will never be over is the lesson learned by the nation's power structure — pandemics are extremely convenient ways to impose societal restrictions that would be typically unthinkable.
So, the pandemic is dead, but long live the pandemic!
Note — not to be all "I told you so," but I would like to draw your attention to a previous American Thinker article from January: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2022/01/the_political_timing_of_the_end_of_the_pandemic.html. Not exactly, detail for detail accurate — and I really wish he had said "felericans" — but good enough for government work.
Thomas Buckley is the former mayor of Lake Elsinore, Cal. and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more of his work at: https://thomas699.substack.com.
Image: Chad Davis.