DEADLIER THAN COVID: The Panic Pandemic. The worst plague to hit America last year, I argue in City Journal, was the moral panic that swept the nation’s guiding institutions — and the laptop class that prospered at the expense of the most vulnerable members of society.
Instead of keeping calm and carrying on, the American elite flouted the norms of governance, journalism, academic freedom—and, worst of all, science. They misled the public about the origins of the virus and the true risk that it posed. Ignoring their own carefully prepared plans for a pandemic, they claimed unprecedented powers to impose untested strategies, with terrible collateral damage. As evidence of their mistakes mounted, they stifled debate by vilifying dissenters, censoring criticism, and suppressing scientific research.
If, as seems increasingly plausible, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, it is the costliest blunder ever committed by scientists. Whatever the pandemic’s origin, the response to it is the worst mistake in the history of the public-health profession.
While the journalistic and scientific establishments panicked (et tu, Scientific American?), a few scientists and leaders kept calm. Instead of blindly following Anthony Fauci’s version of “the science,” Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, consulted with Scott Atlas of the Hoover Institution and the scientists behind the Great Barrington Declaration, who were astonished to speak with a politician already familiar with just about every study they mentioned to him.
“DeSantis was an incredible outlier,” Atlas says. “He dug up the data and read the scientific papers and analyzed it all himself. In our discussions, he’d bounce ideas off me, but he was already on top of the details of everything. He always had the perspective to see the larger harms of lockdowns and the need to concentrate testing and other resources on the elderly. And he has been proven correct.”
Yes, he has, but Fauci and his followers will never admit it. Now they’re calling for even stricter social-media censorship of their critics — and threatening even greater power grabs in the future.
Read the whole thing here,