Over the past three years, the public has seen first-hand the tremendous power the public health establishment wields. Using emergency power that most people never realized an American government possessed, public health violated Americans’ most fundamental civil rights in the name of infection control.
We endured three years of useless and divisive policies, including lockdowns, church and business closures, Zoom schools, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates and discrimination. Now that the WHO has declared the end of the covid pandemic and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has announced her resignation, it is time for states to take action to limit the power of public health so that a repeat never happens again.
Contrary to what you hear these days from those making poor decisions throughout the pandemic, many of the errors were not honest mistakes. Public health embraced positions at odds with the scientific evidence throughout the pandemic, for instance, by pretending that immunity after COVID recovery does not exist, and by overstating the ability of the vaccine to stop COVID infection and transmission. Despite many getting vaccinated, COVID spread and people died anyway, with tremendous collateral harm—both economic and in terms of public health—deriving from the favoured policies of our public health institutions.
It is time to adopt laws to limit the powers of public health.
Because public health used two tactics to enact its will on the public, the restrictions on public health power must address both. First, it promulgated direct mandates and binding “guidances” that were enforced by the police power of the government. For example, in the spring of 2020, the police arrested a paddle boarder for the crime of enjoying an empty Southern California beach on a sunny day.
Second, public health authorities induced fear by exaggerating the mortality risk of covid infection. This tactic also worked: Surveys show that people vastly overestimate the risk of dying if infected. It’s no coincidence that large corporations, small businesses, and regular people “voluntarily” enforced public health guidance even beyond the letter of the recommendations. The “guidance” issued by the CDC and the WHO, which was not subject to prior public comment or cost-benefit analysis, took on the force of law.