The Atlantic is Asking for "Pandemic Amnesty" and Forgiveness
A new Shift in Public Discourse
Wow. The Atlantic has a front-page article (archive link) by Prof. Emily Oster, asking for “Pandemic Amnesty”.
How interesting. The Atlantic is one of the most forward-looking and yet curated publications and they do not publish rubbish and random musings. And now they have a prominent author asking for “amnesty” and forgiveness.
Nobody is asking for amnesty for good deeds, right?
The article rambles and weaves to avoid mentioning anything specific as to who and what the amnesty would be FOR. What are the specific misdeeds that The Atlantic wants to be forgiven? Emily’s article is NOT clear.
It talks, strangely, about people voluntarily wearing masks in foreign preserves:
In April 2020, with nothing else to do, my family took an enormous number of hikes. We all wore cloth masks that I had made myself. We had a family hand signal, which the person in the front would use if someone was approaching on the trail and we needed to put on our masks. Once, when another child got too close to my then-4-year-old son on a bridge, he yelled at her “SOCIAL DISTANCING!”
These precautions were totally misguided. In April 2020, no one got the coronavirus from passing someone else hiking. Outdoor transmission was vanishingly rare. Our cloth masks made out of old bandanas wouldn’t have done anything, anyway. But the thing is: We didn’t know.
Then it puzzlingly mentions “not knowing relative efficacies of Johnson and Johnson vs mRNA shots”, as if someone needs an amnesty for not knowing such relative efficacies.
Another example: When the vaccines came out, we lacked definitive data on the relative efficacies of the Johnson & Johnson shot versus the mRNA options from Pfizer and Moderna. The mRNA vaccines have won out. But at the time, many people in public health were either neutral or expressed a J&J preference. This misstep wasn’t nefarious. It was the result of uncertainty.
The article gets weirder, seriously talking about suggestions to “inject bleach” as if anyone actually contemplated that:
Obviously some people intended to mislead and made wildly irresponsible claims. Remember when the public-health community had to spend a lot of time and resources urging Americans not to inject themselves with bleach? That was bad. Misinformation was, and remains, a huge problem. But most errors were made by people who were working in earnest for the good of society.
Prof. Oster is a very intelligent person and, no doubt understands that suggestions to inject bleach were fake and a part of “inoculations against misinformation”, a psyop campaign intended to make Covid skeptics look stupid.
That is a narcissistic non-apology.
The author surely did not publish this Atlantic article out of honest-to-goodness concern for the nebulous advocates of “bleach injections”. She wants some other acts — and some other players — to be forgiven instead. Prof. Oster is coy about who those people are. I am sure that she is asking for amnesty for our “Covid response leaders”.
She published her article, before the midterms, because she is concerned about disappointed people starting to ask questions. Questions, such as
Why is my vaccine not working for me?
Why was I/my friend/my coworker injured by the vaccine and ignored by the medical community?
Why am I sicker than before?
Why am I having multiple Covid infections after being vaccinated?
I was told that my vaccines “stop transmission”, whereas the authorities knew they don’t
Why did unaccountable private interests take over the entirety of public response?
Why did the above private interests make billions of dollars, while my business went bankrupt?
Why was I lied to by the TV and media, while the truth was suppressed by Internet giants profiting from the pandemic?
Emily surely does not address such questions, but she is no doubt aware that they are being asked publicly and even brought up during the elections.
She is probably worried because she understands that these questions if asked and investigated, may lead to serious consequences. Hence, her call for amnesty.
Can We Have an “Amnesty” if we do not know the Crime?
Suggestions to provide an “amnesty” to wrongdoers without identifying them and their misdeeds are like putting the cart before the horse.
Amnesty for which wrongdoers? Amnesty for what? Prof. Oster is not clear on this and even I, someone interested in the Covid pandemic, am not yet certain as to the exact list of Covid wrongdoers. All I know is that they need to be investigated — and only then we can decide if amnesty is appropriate.
It Should Never Happen Again
We intuitively know that something went very wrong.
A lab-made virus was released
The fact of its lab origin was suppressed as “right-wing anti-Asian hate”
We were told that mysterious vaccines were instantly “developed in 2 days”, using a novel technology with a history of total failure, against a pathogen (coronavirus) against which no vaccines ever worked
The misery of lockdowns, business closures, mask abuse of children, and so on, was presented to us as a “pathway to getting vaccinated”
We were falsely told that we must take vaccines because they “stop transmission” and will “end the pandemic”
We were lied to about vaccine safety
Alternative opinions were suppressed and the public was gaslit with industrial-grade psychological tricks and faked “expert consensus”
The poisoned population now suffers from an unusually high rate of cancers, excess mortality, dramatically lowered birth rates, overwhelmed hospitals, and so on
I am sure that I am missing many more sinister angles to the Covid-19 story
I hope that you, my reader, will agree that such things should never happen again. If so, then our “Covid response” needs to be fully and publicly investigated by impartial tribunals.
We need to make sure this never happens again to the subsequent generations. Somehow, we need to create a deterrent against future schemers. We cannot achieve that deterrence by giving everyone an “amnesty” without even knowing who did what.
Is it possible that everyone acted in our best interests and that the mistakes were unintentional? Are the people asking for amnesty confused well-wishers, or are they Covid Criminals who poisoned millions through malice, greed, and reckless disregard for safety? We’d need to know what happened, first, to have the answer!
Only after an investigation that uncovers what transpired, will we be able to judge whether an “amnesty” is appropriate and if so, for whom. Not before.
If such an investigation uncovers crimes, such as violation of national laws or crimes against humanity, then I hope that legally convened courts will be able to assess legally appropriate sanctions against individuals involved.
Should some of those people be amnestied? It is a legitimate question that needs to be addressed — but only after we know what happened.
What do you think? Why this call for amnesty now, from The Atlantic, no less?
Forgiveness and prison time can go together. That would be appropriate. Forgiveness does not mean there will be no consequences for criminals.
There's also a legal concept called "Criminal negligence." That happens when a person is so profoundly ignorant that it causes harm in others due to their inactions. I.e. being very stupid has a cost. Their lack of doing their own research is criminal. Thus criminal negligence.
Most of the studies are free. I have some of them. Cost of acquiring the study is not the problem here.
I'll never forget there was survey conducted last year in which a majority of Democratic respondents indicated they support taking children away from their parents if the parents do not vaccinate them against covid. There are a hundred other examples of demonization that we were subjected to, but that one always stood out to me.