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Harold Hutchison / August 10, 2021

Shifting Goalposts Is Never a Good Sign

Leftists routinely change their rules when it suits their political purposes.

News that lockdowns and mask mandates are coming back as the COVID-19 Delta variant hits the United States had a lot of people up in arms. After all, wasn’t the point of the vaccine to ensure a return to normal life? The fact is, many people feel that they are being jerked around again by politicians and public health officials who keep moving the goalposts. That feeling is quite reasonable at this point, given that we are over 500 days past “15 days to slow the spread.”

Aside from the suffering the various variants have inflicted, we need to understand that the measures taken to slow the spread of that virus were the largest regulatory taking in American history. But that taking wasn’t just in terms of money. There were other costs inflicted as well.

For instance, how many people died because “elective” procedures like cancer treatments were delayed or canceled due to anti-COVID measures? How many people went through more pain and suffering with issues like hernias or other injuries? How many people struggling with addiction who were cut off from support groups relapsed? And how many of those relapses culminated in fatal overdoses or suicides? Will we ever really know?

It wasn’t just those whose physical and mental/emotional health needs were shunted to the side. Many who saw their small businesses shuttered faced a tough task of rebuilding — if that was even possible. Jobs were lost. Careers were ruined. Some ended up in a spiral from the loss of a dream that ended in a mental health crisis — or worse, a death of despair. Whether a death of despair or a death from the delayed addressing of health needs, those people were no less dead than those who died from the coronavirus.

Yet, when the victims of the lockdown’s collateral damage cried out, they were despised. Contrast that to the treatment received by Black Lives Matter. Many of the politicians and health officials who condemned the small business owners who protested lockdowns gave the protests (and riots) a pass. It was almost as if scientists wanted America to believe the virus could consciously decide not to spread at a Black Lives Matter protest.

It was a blatantly political double standard. For people who saw a long train of other abuses, it was a betrayal.

We don’t need to go into the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that the Biden-Harris campaign (and others) spread about COVID vaccines during the 2020 election cycle. Or how Silicon Valley relied on the same World Health Organization that aided and abetted communist China’s cover-up of the virus in the early stages of the pandemic to justify censorship.

But the coronavirus wasn’t the first time. Second Amendment supporters recalled the perversion and prostitution of “public health” to attack gun ownership, something making a comeback in Andrew Cuomo’s New York. Others recalled the way some hid behind “science” to silence critics of certain environmental policy proposals.

It’s one thing when people can believe that changes in policy rightly come from observations of data, or from a persuasive argument that a new approach is necessary or that priorities need to shift. But we’re not seeing any evidence that this is the case at present. If anything, the actions of certain politicians and public health officials made it seem like the “virus” they really wanted to eliminate was Donald Trump and those who supported him.

The fact is that public health officials and politicians have lost a lot of trust on the coronavirus. To see the biggest reason, though, all they have to do is look in a mirror. Sadly, while they’ll see a reflection, they won’t be doing any reflection on how and why they lost the trust of so many Americans.

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