Do you think we need a Pentagon for public health to wage war on new pathogens? Not likely, and that is based on recent experience. The pandemic planners wrecked our lives. We have yet to recover.
Cities are still suffering from business closures, learning losses and school absenteeism, and rampant crime. Trust in once-revered institutions is at an all-time low, as is public health generally (depression, obesity, and substance abuse). We could go on and on.
One man thinks the problem is that we didn’t go far enough. Next time, he says, we should go much farther in locking down. No travel. Jail doctors for dissenting. Force everyone to accept whatever pharma dishes out. Censor all critics. Nonprofits who object should be targeted by the IRS. All dissenters should face “severe consequences.”
That’s because “the Western focus on personal liberty above all else can kill.” You might say that sounds fascistic. He admits it too: “The longer I cover disease, the more of a public health fascist I become.”
And that sentence is what is weirdly wonderful (if chilling) about the book The Wisdom of Plagues by Donald G. McNeil. As outrageously wrong as the book is about nearly everything, it is brilliantly written, engaging, gripping, and frank. It’s his way, and it is probably why he was fired from the New York Times. This is his apologia pro vita sua.
You see, McNeil was the very first English-language voice who on February 27, 2020, in a NYT podcast, alerted the whole of the Western media as to what was coming: lockdown.
It was not so much a warning but a promise. The public health wisdom of one hundred years was about to be tossed in the fire. In its place would come a new experiment in totalitarian control of our lives.
It was McNeil who penned the February 28, 2020, article “To Take on the Coronavirus, Go Medieval On It.” Suffice it to say that he bears a great deal of responsibility for what happened, given his status and position.
Now of course he repudiates everything the US did on grounds that we only had a soft lockdown. China did it the right way with its “airtight lockdown” but even they later sold out the great cause, for which our author criticizes the CCP.
To his mind, when there is a virus on the loose, we need a full end to human volition until government can “roll out a vaccine or find a cure. In the meantime, you must educate your populace, gain their trust, and get as much support as you can for measures that will save lives—even if you ultimately have to impose them by fiat.”
If you want the short version of the book, he has written it in a New York Post article: “The US needs a ‘Pentagon’ for diseases.” “I generally back ironfisted responses to epidemics,” he writes.
Here is a man who very nearly tasted the power that comes with running the world. He was extremely close to all of it, pen pals with Anthony Fauci and the Walter Duranty of virus control at the New York Times, the world’s most influential media voice. The experience has plainly made him crazy.
It’s true that everybody wants to rule the world, but he is an unusual person who came very close. We notice that his book nowhere mentions Sweden, which went on with daily life while eschewing the global virus control machinery at every turn, and with excellent results. He cannot stand to think of that so it has disappeared from his mind.