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The lockdown party still holds sway

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IN THE old Soviet Union, citizens were not required to be a member of the Communist Party, but you could never expect to rise far professionally or socially unless you were. You would never be the head of a university department, a factory manager, much less the General Secretary. They were always recruited out of the party. 

Party membership was proof of loyalty. It was a demonstration that you were willing to put loyalty over morality. Rising high in the party also meant that others in the ruling class likely had something on you. No one gained power without other powerful people knowing of your grim deeds. That way there was mutual trust, or, to put it another way, mutual blackmail. 

Honour among thieves holds true only for those who are guilty of thievery. 

The system was the same in Nazi Germany. You didn’t have to join the party but if you refused, you could not rise in academia, the military or government. Everyone knew the rules. The party controlled the state, and members of the party controlled you. Only the members of the party were trusted with responsibility and rewarded with emoluments. 

We are headed this way in the US today. The party in question is the lockdown party. Far from having repudiated this brutal, rights-violating, and ineffective method of pandemic management, the ruling class is doubling down. Even more than that, those who participated in the fiasco are being rewarded. Indeed, participation is seen as proof of loyalty and that one can be trusted by the people who matter. 

That’s my best read on why Mandy Cohen is being pulled away from her perch in North Carolina, where she led a catastrophic pandemic response, to replace Rochelle Walensky as head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a faithful member of the lockdown party and thus demonstrates her willingness to do it again should the occasion arise. This is not going to help the CDC recover from its terrible reputation. 

Going through Cohen’s timeline is a strange blast from the past of heartbreaking fear-mongering, pseudo-science and propaganda. She passed with flying colours all three tests of compliance: closures, masking, and vaccine mandates. 

If you believed there was ever any science behind any of this, Mandy inadvertently revealed otherwise. They made decisions based on some weird club of lockdowners who gained a feeling of power and control simply by chit-chatting on the phone with each other. It was all arbitrary and completely disregarding of human rights. 

She also took the lead in broadcasting bad information from the CDC that has since been repeatedly debunked. 

Of course she was also nuts for masks despite no evidence that they achieved anything in mitigating virus spread. To show what a faithful party member she is, she even wore a mask with Fauci’s picture on it. 

There is no mystery about why Biden tapped her. Politico spills the beans: ‘The CDC is also in the midst of a strategic overhaul launched by Walensky last year; a longer-term project that Cohen would be tasked with managing in an effort to better prepare the agency for the next public health emergency.

‘Biden officials involved in the search came away from discussions with Cohen impressed by her broad range of health experience at the federal and state levels, two of the people said, and convinced she had the ability to manage the nearly 11,000-person agency and the broader political dynamics of an administration gearing up for Biden’s re-election run.’

The same is true for the National Institutes of Health. Biden has tapped ​​Monica Bertagnolli, who has deep ties to Big Pharma and a public record of obsequious deference to her boss. 

We are all hoping for a clean repudiation of these policies, and even a flip of the narrative such that participating in this disaster would be a mark against people in terms of career development. We are nowhere near that point yet. 

It’s the opposite. The regime is still hiring and promoting out of the lockdown party for the future. They cannot admit error and are working to make sure they never have to do so. 

That’s how Khrushchev became Brezhnev who became Andropov who became Chernenko who became Gorbachev. Finally, it all fell apart. Let us hope we don’t have to wait 50 years this time. 

This article appeared in Brownstone Institute on June 2, 2023, and is republished by kind permission.

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Jeffrey Tucker
Jeffrey Tucker
Jeffrey A Tucker is an economist and founder of the Brownstone Institute.

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