Nate Jackson / February 10, 2022

Here Comes Democrats’ COVID Pivot

They have sucked all the power they could out of this pandemic, and to stay in power they have to back off.

“US inflation jumped 7.5% in the past year, a 40-year high,” blared the Associated Press headline this morning. That’s terrible news, and it confirms what every American — but particularly lower- and middle-class folks — has experienced over Joe Biden’s first year: Everything is much more expensive. So that must mean it’s time for what Mark Alexander declared three weeks ago was just ahead: “Biden’s Big COVID Pivot.”

There is a midterm election to win, after all, and Democrats need to create a new narrative of having finally defeated COVID under the steady leadership of Joe Biden and his party. That, not any devotion to science, is why several Democrat governors have finally yielded on mask mandates.

First it was Glenn Youngkin of Virginia. Oh, wait, he’s a Republican, so lifting mask mandates was bad when he did it three weeks ago.

Over the last few days, though, Youngkin was joined by Phil Murphy of New Jersey and Ned Lamont of Connecticut and John Carney of Delaware and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois and Kate Brown of Oregon and Gavin Newsom of California. The difference is that they’re all Democrats, so lifting restrictions is great. Announcing an end to mask mandates in these states is “driven by science, not politics,” the Leftmedia informs us, and shows that bold Democrat statesmen are leading the way “back to normal.”

Even New York Governor Kathy Hochul is lifting the “mask-or-vaccine” mandate for businesses in the state effective today. She’s not really following the science, mind you, because she’s still leaving in place the requirement that even young kids wear masks in school. But hey, it’s still a pivot for one of the most dogmatic of the Branch Covidians.

Here are a few examples of other Democrats touting the election pivot we all knew was coming:

“Under President Biden’s leadership, a public health infrastructure was put into place … to ensure that we can do everything possible to crush the virus, and that is what has been happening.” —Congressman Hakeem Jeffries

“Democrats’ plan to fight COVID is working — cases are down & vaccines are widely available. Now, it’s time to give people their lives back. With science as our guide, we’re ready to start getting back to normal.” —Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

“With the rapid decline of Omicron, pandemic restrictions will be lifted sooner rather than later. In considering when to do so, health officials must factor in natural immunity, not just vaccination rates.” —Congressman Ted Lieu

(Notice the nod to natural immunity, which some of us have been talking about for two years.)

Leftmedia talkingheads likewise got the memo. Yascha Mounk at The Atlantic declared, “Open Everything.” Mounk was once a vocal proponent of shutting everything down and says, “I remain convinced that this was the right thing to do.” But now (with Democrats facing dismal election prospects) we’re “in danger of prolonging the status quo more than is justifiable” if we don’t reopen.

CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen has suddenly rediscovered individual liberty, saying of governors lifting mask mandates: “This is the right step, and marks a needed shift from government-imposed requirement to individual decision. It helps to preserve public health authority for when it’s needed again.”

That last bit gives the game away. Commentator Bill Whittle hit the nail on the head: “Prior to this change in opinion about the masks, they said, ‘Everybody must wear masks,’ in order to gain more power. Now, they’re saying, ‘It’s probably okay if you don’t wear masks,’ in order to gain more power. … [They’re] now switching their position so they have a chance of being reelected so that they can tell people what to do in the future. That’s the reason why ‘the science has changed.’”

This isn’t about science or data. In fact, death rates are higher in many of these states than when governors issued the mask mandates. It’s about politics, plain and simple. It was always about politics, which is revealed in part because the experts used to be pretty unified in saying that masks are not very useful for containing viral outbreaks. That was until Democrat politicians needed to show they were “doing something.”

Now it’s time for them to show that they’ve done something and saved you from the virus. Reopening is the right move, but Democrats are almost two years late to the game. That doesn’t recommend them for election this fall.

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