“We’ll have a national mandate to wear a mask — not as a burden but as a patriotic duty to protect one another,” declared Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden at last week’s Democratic National Convention. Biden’s plan to impose a federal gag order on all Americans symbolizes the Democratic Party’s embrace of failed pandemic policies that could inflict far more damage on Americans’ prosperity and freedom.
Nobody has asked Biden why the same mask rules should apply to New York City subway riders and to Iowa farmers. Imposing the same muzzle on all of America’s 3,000+ counties – most of which now have very few COVID cases – makes no sense. But Biden apparently believes that this “security theater” mandate would comfort Americans still waiting for a rescue from Washington. (RELATED: One Nation, Under Lockdown, Divided By Pandemic)
In an ABC News interview last Friday, Biden was asked, “Are you going to force [everyone] to wear a mask?” Biden replied: “This isn’t about freedom, it’s about freedom for your, your neighbors … This is … the first time I’ve ever heard people say that doing something patriotic you can save other people’s lives, impacts on their freedom. Come on. Give me a break.”
For Biden, any presumed benefit from government edicts to curb COVID infections makes freedom irrelevant. This is why Biden endorsed a national “stay-at-home” dictate in March, declaring “Why would we not err on the side of making sure that we are not going to have a repeat?” The fact that placing most of the nation under house arrest inflicted vast collateral damage was irrelevant. Biden also called for suspending rent payments for three months: “Freeze it and forgive it so you’re able to stay in that place.” Biden neglected to cite which provision of the Constitution empowers the federal government to suspend rent in tens of millions of rental dwellings.
ABC News’ David Muir asked Biden last Friday how he would respond if scientists urged him to repeat the lockdowns that most states imposed earlier this year. Biden replied, “I would shut [America] down, I would listen to the scientists.” Biden justified that heavy-handed policy: “In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.” Biden did not reconcile prohibiting economic activity and getting “the economy growing and people employed.”
Biden learned nothing from the disastrous shutdowns earlier this year, when millions of Americans were effectively placed under house arrest. Those lockdowns were far more effective at destroying 14 million jobs than preventing the spread of COVID-19 to more than five million Americans. As a Wall Street Journal analysis published on Monday noted, “Many governments deployed draconian tactics never used in modern times: severe and broad restrictions on daily activity that helped send the world into its deepest peacetime slump since the Great Depression.” As a result of the lockdowns and other restrictions, “We’re on the cusp of an economic catastrophe,” warned Harvard University economist James Stock.
The “stay-at-home” decrees earlier this year were justified by mortality predictions on COVID-19 from the World Health Organization that were 50 times higher than the rate experienced in the United States. But most of the media still presumes that the lockdown dictates were legitimate because they were based on “science and data” – regardless that the epidemiological forecasts were even more inaccurate than the 2016 election predictions. (RELATED: WHO Director General Responds To Pompeo’s Comments That He Was ‘Bought’ By China)
States with Democratic governors have been more aggressive in imposing and perpetuating COVID lockdowns. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who was rumored to be Biden’s personal pick for vice president, imposed some of the most severe restrictions, prohibiting anyone from leaving their home to visit family or friends. Whitmer prohibited “all public and private gatherings of any size” and also prohibited purchasing seeds for spring planting in stores after she decreed that a “nonessential” activity. (Purchasing state lottery tickets was still an “essential” activity.) COVID-19 infections were concentrated in the Detroit metropolitan area, but Whitmer shut down the entire state – including northern counties with near-zero infections and zero fatalities, boosting unemployment to 24% statewide.