By Jeffrey A. Tucker
Dr. Anthony Fauci is finally gone from his government perch. Let us recall that it was he who set this calamity in motion, squandering his credibility, while taking down public health and much else with it.
More than anyone, he bears responsibility, even if he was acting on others’ behalf. That is especially true if he was carrying out a hidden agenda (take your pick of theories).
There was already growing political and societal panic on March 11, 2020, when the House Oversight and Reform Committee convened a hearing on the new virus circulating. Fauci was the key witness. The only question on everyone’s mind came down to the most primal fear: Am I going to die from this thing, like in the movies?
This was one day before Trump’s announcement of the travel ban from Europe, the U.K. and Australia, essentially sealing the borders of the U.S. to an extent never before attempted, thus separating families and loved ones and trapping billions of people in their nation-states.
It was five days before the evil declaration by all health authorities to immediately shut down all places where people could congregate.
These few days will remain a case study in irrationality and crowd madness. Fauci, on the day of his testimony, however, seemed like a paragon of stability. He was calm and clear, nearly bloodless in his tone.
The substance of what he said, at the same time, was clearly designed to generate panic and create the conditions for a full lockdown.
He had the countenance of a doctor who was telling the family that a beloved father was terminally ill with 30 days to live.
In particular, and in contrast to the testimony prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institutes of Health, Fauci spoke to the severity of the virus.
To the average member of Congress, the answer here was crucial because it addressed the only two serious issues: “Am I going to die?” and “Will I be blamed and politically punished if my constituents die?”
To this, he responded with what seemed like science but was actually completely wrong, dreadfully wrong, catastrophically wrong. He claimed that we knew for sure that at best COVID-19 was 10 times deadlier than the flu.
In fact, he threw around so much data confetti that a person could have easily believed that he was downplaying the severity to promote calm. His intention was the opposite.
Here is what he said, and please read carefully to catch the implications:
“SARS was also a Coronavirus in 2002. It infected 8,000 people and it killed about 775. It had a mortality of about 9 to 10 percent. So, that is only 8,000 people in about a year. In the two-and-a-half months that we have had this Coronavirus, as you know, we now have multiple multiples of that.
“So, it clearly is not as lethal, and I will get to the lethality in a moment, but it certainly spreads better. Probably for the practical understanding of the American people, the seasonal flu that we deal with every year has a mortality of 0.1 percent.
“The stated mortality over all of this when you look at all the data including China is about three percent. It first started off as two and now three.
“I think if you count all the cases of minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic infection, that probably brings the mortality rate down to somewhere around one percent, which means it is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu. I think that is something that people can get their arms around and understand. …
“I think the gauge is that this is a really serious problem that we have to take seriously. I mean people always say, well the flu, you know, the flu does this, the does that.
“The flu has immortality of 0.1 percent. This has mortality of ten times that, and that is the reason why I want to emphasize, we have to stay ahead of the game in preventing this.”
So what do we do? Fauci here was quick with the answer:
“How much worse it will get will depend on our ability to do two things, to contain the influx in people who are infected coming from the outside and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country.”
In other words: lockdown.
Thus was the stage set. To be sure, there is some mental connection between severity and policy response but there probably should not be. Even if this virus had a 10% fatality rate, what does locking down achieve? It was never even clear what the point was.
The “spread” could not be stopped forever. The hospitals weren’t really overcrowded, as we’ve seen. There was never a chance for “zero-COVID,” as the catastrophic experience of China and New Zealand has shown.