Dr. Fauci’s ‘frustration’ regarding the exercising of ‘rights’ and ‘liberties’ is worrying, but not surprising.
“When do Americans get their freedoms back? Give us some objective standards. What are the numbers?” These were the questions asked by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) when addressing Dr. Anthony Fauci at a hearing held by the House Coronavirus Crisis subcommittee on Thursday. To many, this may sound like nothing more than political fodder from an unhinged Republican Congressman, who according to the subcommittee’s Chairwoman, Maxine Waters (D-CA), should just shut his mouth.
Rep. Jordan’s question has merit, though. The coronavirus pandemic began with just 15 days to slow the spread, which then evolved into what has now been more than a year of mandatory mask-wearing, lockdowns, and virtual zoom classes. Not to mention the millions of businesses shuttered and jobs lost, many of which will most likely never return. Americans have been prohibited from going to church and protesting, not to mention arrested for refusing to submit to draconian state executive orders that threaten to ruin their livelihoods.
Jordan’s question garners even more merit when the selective outrage is factored into the equation. Those who peacefully stood outside their state capitols to protest lockdown orders were routinely mocked and labeled as “super-spreaders” and “conspiracy theorists” by public figures on social media as well as by mainstream news networks. Such outrage was largely unfounded when Black Lives Matter protests— which were far larger in number— ensued following George Floyd’s death. All of a sudden, America’s establishmentarian social media elite were no longer concerned about mass-gatherings. You would think that a group of people, who all might as well worship Dr. Fauci as their de-facto ‘Pandemic Commander-in-Chief,’ might feel obligated to heed his warnings regarding large in-person gatherings in all instances, regardless of potential political motivations.
Nonetheless, on MSNBC’s The ReidOut, Dr. Fauci stated that he finds it “very frustrating” to talk about the “infringement of liberties” when “talking about public health”. The same “we’re in a crisis” message is repeated over and over. This is not to say that Fauci is necessarily incorrect about the ongoing health concern, but the “crisis” part of this pandemic is essentially over. Infection rates across the country have decreased significantly and have largely leveled off, vaccinations are underway, and our hospitals have long since been free from being overwhelmed by a rush of COVID positive patients.
So, when Americans are told that the COVID-19 vaccines are perfectly safe and effective, only to then be told by the CDC that wearing a mask (or sometimes two masks) and social distancing are still here to stay indefinitely, with the looming possibility of another lockdown, such outrage is to be expected.
And nevertheless, he still doesn’t provide any objective standard, measure, or number on what safe looks like when Americans can get their freedoms back.
Since the start of this pandemic, Dr. Fauci has been gifted with seemingly unlimited airtime, giving the same finger-wagging lecture to the American public over and over: Once the pandemic is over, everything will go back to normal. Until then, you need to behave. Of course, Dr. Fauci, and every other government official for that matter, cannot seem to give a definitive answer as to when that would be.
The federal government telling Americans when they can enjoy the full extent of their freedoms, and the worrying number of Americans who seem content with such reality, is a telling sign of a country that is growing increasingly disconnected with the principles of the American Founding. The government does not tell you when or if you can enjoy your freedoms, they are given to you by God. They are inherent. The Constitution does not grant the American people their rights, it merely affirms their existence and forbids the government from trampling them.
The opponents of this argument have of course retaliated, branding conservatives and other Americans concerned with our current predicament as conspiracy theorists. Just two months ago, New York’s vaccine passports were also a conspiracy theory. Moreover, the Pentagon’s recent development of a microchip that detects COVID-19 underneath your skin was a concept smeared with virtually the same amount of criticism. This is not to pander to the absurd notion that the government is somehow disseminating these chips through COVID-19 vaccines, but pondering such a reality no longer seems so far-out.
However, we shouldn’t be so surprised that Dr. Fauci is frustrated. The American Constitution, and the checks and balances it ordains, can be quite frustrating to those who emphasize blind faith in government benevolence in the name of “public health.”
There will always be public health concerns, and the coronavirus pandemic is certainly not the last pandemic we will ever face. This means we must decide: Do we accept the inherently flawed notion that the government will willingly reinstate our freedoms after partially or fully suspending them indefinitely? Or do we reaffirm that age-old belief that we are born with the rights we enjoy, and that no public health crisis should ever serve as an excuse for the government to grow beyond the consent of the governed.
I am admittedly apprehensive regarding which path our nation will choose.
Luke Lattanzi, Staff Writer and Contributor at American Pigeon