“Something clearly went wrong. And I don’t know exactly what it was,” Dr. Fauci claimed on the latest and perhaps last leg of his publicity tour.
The man who used to have all the answers now has none. Once there were votive candles and t-shirts being sold with his smug face on it. Now his formerly authoritative answers are all in the passive voice. “Things could have been done differently,” he concedes.
Fauci unintentionally echoes Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comment on 9/11. “Some people did something.” And some people locked down something. But it certainly wasn’t him.
“I’m not an economist,” he protests in a New York Times interview and passes the buck to elected officials for the shutdown. “It was for other people to make broader assessments.”
“But when people say, ‘Fauci shut down the economy’ — it wasn’t Fauci,” Fauci says, falling into the third person. “The C.D.C. was the organization that made those recommendations. I happened to be perceived as the personification of the recommendations. But show me a school that I shut down and show me a factory that I shut down. Never. I never did.”
After spending over a year yelling at anyone who wanted to open schools, Fauci knows nothing.
Three years ago, Fauci responded to the DeSantis push to reopen Florida schools by warning that kids will be infected at a White House briefing. In August, he claimed that images of kids in Georgia schools were “disturbing”. Show me a school, indeed.
Teachers’ union boss Randi Weingarten, who called reopening schools, “reckless, callous, cruel” has gone on her own media tour falsely claiming that she wanted schools open. Deep into 2021, Weingarten was still doing everything possible to sabotage school reopenings, this time using the CDC as a hand puppet with the complicity of the Biden administration.
Now the teachers’ union protest rallies, the parades of union members bearing coffins, claiming that they would die if they had to get back to work, the years of learning loss, are all forgotten.
“We know that kids learn best in person, so opening schools safely—even as the pandemic surged—guided the AFT’s every action,” Weingarten told a House hearing.
Like Weingarten’s threat of “safety strikes” to keep schools from reopening.
Locally, unions fought ruthlessly and mercilessly to keep from having to do their jobs and at least pretend to give kids an education.
“After Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed a hybrid in-person learning plan, the Chicago Teachers Union threatened a strike, and then claimed victory when she backed down and agreed to retain online-only learning. Teachers unions in Florida, California, and elsewhere have sued to block in-person instruction. In Detroit, union activists ‘stood outside one of the district’s bus terminals beginning at 5 a.m., blocking buses from leaving to pick up students to take them to school.’ The Los Angeles teachers union insisted ‘going back to normal is not an option,'” Jonathan Chait at the New Yorker summed up.
The unions, like most of the lockdowners, have emerged from the disaster they caused stronger than ever. The latest series of negotiations has only further fattened their bulging pockets.
United Teachers Los Angeles, which had fought to keep schools closed longer than most of the country, walked away from its latest three-day strike with a 21% pay hike and lower class sizes.
“There is no such thing as learning loss.” UTLA boss Cecily Myart-Cruz had sneered. “Our kids didn’t lose anything.”
The kids lost, but UTLA only gained.
It’s not just Fauci or the teachers. Not a single national or local elected official of any note paid the price for the lockdowns. Gov. Newsom in California emerged from all the lockdown abuses as the next in line for the presidential nomination. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer survived her reelection battle in Michigan. So did Gov. Murphy in New Jersey and Gov. Pritzker in Illinois.
Forget holding Fauci or Randi accountable when voters wouldn’t even hold incumbent elected officials accountable by simply voting against them even with the damage in front of their eyes.
Gov. Cuomo of New York’s downfall did not come from the lockdowns, the lies, the thousands of nursing home deaths or the illegal discrimination campaign against Orthodox Jews, but an unrelated #MeToo issue whipped up to keep him from becoming a White House competitor.
And few governors who did the right thing are likely to see any political rewards from it.
Proponents of lockdowns rewrote the past and moved on. The lockdowns have become someone else’s fault. The buck gets passed around and never ends up anywhere. Elected officials blame unelected officials. Unelected officials blame elected officials. Randi Weingarten blames everyone else. And then they all get together afterward and have some drinks.
Despite the catastrophic damage inflicted on small businesses, children and public trust, there has been no accountability even among the demographics that were most outraged about the lockdowns. The lockdowners gambled that the outrage would fade and they were right.
All of this has dangerous implications beyond COVID-19 and its aftermath.
To understand why Democrats have become so brazen about sexualizing children or legalizing crime, lockdowns were a test case in public outrage. And the public failed. If voters failed to hold elected officials (never mind unelected officials) accountable for wrecking the lives of their children by shutting down schools, what’s left to prevent them from pushing even harder?
The Biden administration has become even more radical than its Obama predecessor because its party has survived everything. The secret of its success, which included sailing through midterms in a time of rising economic outrage and misery, can be found in the lockdowns, in Fauci and Randi denying that they did anything to shut down a single school.
Between the media, the entertainment industry, social media and and the internet’s monopolies, the Left controls the high ground of communications and can saturate it with a single consistent message. That message may be and often is a complete lie, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that there’s no organized conservative opposition that has an equally clear message.
The Left is ushering in a country with no past. A year later the lockdowns had become ancient history in the national debate. Two years later most people had already moved on to the next battleground. Without being able to focus on anything, victory becomes impossible.
As the rate of radical change accelerates, issues become virtually meaningless as anything except momentary clickbait. The Left knows that the faster it goes, the less focused outrage there will be. Incremental changes that took a decade generated successful resistance movements, but those that happen over the course of a year or two are success stories. By the time outrage germinates into serious pushback, the issue is already in the rearview mirror.
The lockdowns may be behind us, but their legacy is also in front of us. They demonstrated conclusively that elected and unelected officials do not have to worry about the public no matter how much harm they inflict on them because there will always be another distraction tomorrow.
In a recent interview, Fauci suggested that he might have tried to implement lockdowns even earlier beginning in February instead. While he may not be in a position, others will, and they will do it without any hypothetical fears that, Democrats or Republicans, lockdown supporters will pay any price for it. If you can destroy America and walk away from it, why not do it again?