Fears of a virus from China had been rising for two months in the spring of 2020. The White House under Donald Trump had already weathered two impeachment crises and was turning its attention toward reelection in November, which seemed assured. The virus was an enormously complicating factor.
Trump surrounded himself with a small team of people among whom included supposed infectious disease experts such as Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health and Deborah Birx of the Centers for Disease Control. On the recommendation of his vice president and son-in-law, Trump trusted them.
Trump had already closed travel from China but now his scientific advisers were urging him to do more: stop travel from Europe, UK, and Australia. That was March 12. He made the announcement in a prime-time address. In that brief speech, he misread the teleprompter and said that the travel ban would include goods. He meant to say that it would not. The stock market tanked and the White House had to issue a clarification the next day.
Already there was chaos in the air. Over the weekend, Trump spent most of his time in huddles with close advisors. The main influence over that period became Deborah Birx, whose job it was to convince Trump of the need for a two-week lockdown of the entire American economy.
Trump agreed to do the deed. He would appear with Fauci and Birx at a press conference on Monday, and preside over the call for a lockdown. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration together.”
Later Birx admitted that she knew that two weeks “was a start, but I knew it would be just that. I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them.”
Meanwhile, the CDC prepared an unusual flyer to hand out to reporters that day and send around the country. It was only two pages. It is posted below. It is the flyer that began the disaster as month moved to month and then one year became two. It groomed the American public for an unprecedented explosion in the power and reach of government at all levels.
What began as two weeks turned to a presidential election decided by mail-in ballots (safer that way, they said), closed schools, Grandma locked in a retirement community alone, no weddings or funerals, ruined small businesses, destroyed educations, the rise of massive substance abuse, some $10 trillion in government spending and $6 trillion in money creation that generated historic inflation, vaccine mandates that cost millions of jobs and still didn’t end the pandemic, and legal chaos in which judges and legislators themselves seemed powerless as the administrative bureaucracy of the country ruled every town.
There is something deeply suspicious about the order that began it all. It had a loud part and a quiet part. The loud part talked about washing hands and staying home from work. The quiet part was in very small print on the bottom of page two. Here was the shocking material that wrecked American freedom.
“Governors should close schools in communities that are near areas of community transmission,” said the small print, “even if those areas are in neighboring states.” That effectively means the entire country. The federal government was right here calling for all schools to be closed. What would happen to the kids? No one knew but of course that meant working moms and dads would need to stay home too, while children in poorer communities just got lost.
“States and localities that close schools need to address childcare needs of critical responders,” said the fine print, “as well as the nutritional needs of children.” Did that happen? No.
In addition, the document called for all elderly people in “nursing homes and retirement and long-term care facilities” to be forbidden from seeing family members. That situation persisted for one to two years.
Finally, the fine print had these astonishing words: “bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.”
This was one of the most egregious attacks on free enterprise and property rights in the history of humanity.
Trump at the press conference denied that he was issuing a closure order. He was merely making a recommendation that people refrain from eating out. He was twice pressed on the point and twice denied that he was issuing an order for full lockdown. Clearly, he had not read the fine print.
It was at this point in the press conference that Fauci stepped up to the microphone. “The small print here,” he said, pointing to the flier. “It’s really small print.” Then he read word for word from the third point in the tiny print in the document.
Once the document got to state health officials, the small print became large print and the entire country seized up. The Bill of Rights was overnight reduced to refuse. Only one state resisted the order, and that was South Dakota. Governor Kristi Noem was pilloried in the press for that and still is today.
Today, Fauci frequently denies that he ever issued a lockdown recommendation. But clearly he did.
FAUCI YESTERDAY: "I didn't recommend locking anything down."— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 26, 2022
FAUCI IN OCTOBER 2020: "I recommended to the president that we shut the country down." pic.twitter.com/lvw59IBndA
More than that, Fauci demonstrated at that press conference special knowledge of a fine print that not even the president of the United States had seen. He was itching to read it. Did he have a hand in its creation? Most certainly. And what about the typesetting? Are we really supposed to believe that it was an accident that the text with the devastating material was so small as to be barely visible whereas the large text featured mostly common hygiene tips?
Clearly this was a plot, a sadistic caper to pull the wool over the eyes of the president, right there in public for the whole world to see. It worked. It worked so well that Trump himself later came to embrace it and even brag, repeatedly, about how he had shut down the economy and then started it back up again. It is very likely the case that even now, he is unaware of just how badly he was sandbagged in a way that ultimately doomed his presidency.
Fauci today denies that he had anything to do with it. But we have the receipts.
Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics at The Epoch Times, and speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. Reproduced with permission. Original here.
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