This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
There's no doubt that COVID-19, in its first form, was a catastrophe, killing some seven million people around the world after having come out, as most experts now believe, of a research lab in Wuhan, China, where bat viruses were being studied by scientists who wanted to know how to make them for lethal.
The death toll in the U.S. alone was about one million.
But subsequent variations all have since proven to be far, far less lethal.
Many people infected with a variant have reported nothing more than sniffles or brief cold-like symptoms.
It was the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021, fourth in 2022, and so far in 2023, No. 7.
So why are headlines now insisting that mask mandates, those infamous shots, and business-killing lockdowns coming back?
And do they have to?
A commentary by John Daniel Davidson, senior editor at The Federalist, charged that the precautions actually had nothing to do with anyone's health.
"Having gotten a taste of what unlimited power and authority they could wield under the pretext of pandemic management, the American public health bureaucracy — aided and encouraged by Democrats at every level of government — is gearing up to reassert control over our lives, dictating what we can and can’t do, where we can and can’t go, and what counts, or doesn’t count, as an 'essential business.' The re-emergence of mask mandates is simply the first sign of what’s to come," he said.
"And it doesn’t matter at all to them that masks have been more or less conclusively shown not to work. Over the weekend, CNN’s Michael Smerconish confronted Anthony Fauci with a study from earlier this year, the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the efficacy of masking during Covid, which found that masking made no difference."
Davidson explained the lead author of that study, Tom Jefferson from Oxford, found there's no evidence that masks – any masks – had any effect.
Handwashing? Social distancing?
The same impact, Jefferson found.
"This wasn’t some woefully flawed, nonrandomized study of the sort that too often informed slapdash policymaking during the pandemic. It was conducted by a dozen experts for a British nonprofit called Cochrane, which is considered the gold standard for healthcare data review and analysis. The study’s conclusions were based on the results of 78 randomized controlled trials involving more than 610,000 people in multiple countries. Areas with mask mandates, the authors found, fared no better than areas without them. As the pandemic ran its course in the U.S., this became obvious, as different states (and often cities) had different masking rules. The mandates made no difference," Danielson explained.
The signs of the power grab already are evident, he said. After all, this week, Jill Biden "tested positive" and reported "mild symptoms. So Joe Biden said he'd immediately begin wearing a mask, except when he didn't want to, as during a medal-awarding ceremony.
Bureaucrats in New York and Los Angeles also are agitating for masks, and some schools and colleges are demanding submission to their mandates.
Davidson explained, "An elementary school near Washington, D.C., on Tuesday imposed a mask mandate — stressing that it would be passing out KN95s, no less — on third graders after a handful of kids tested positive for Covid."
He warned, "Whatever benefits masking might offer to a specific person, there is absolutely no scientific case for masking as a matter of public policy, let alone as a coercive tactic with penalties attached to it. The same goes for lockdowns, Covid shots, and the entire slew of pandemic-related policies that were foisted on us by a self-righteous rabble of pundits and so-called experts.
"They were all wrong, and those who questioned and resisted draconian Covid measures were right. Time and data analysis have left little doubt of that."
The evidence, he wrote, means the campaigns aren't needed for health and likely there will be COVID strains, like flu strains, every year. But the mandates are for some bureaucracies to build their power.
He suggested a response to those who use COVID "as a pretext to exert control and trample the rights" of Americans."
"Don't let them," he said.
Mask mandate? Do the "minimum." Ordered to take shots? "Violation of basic civil rights."
He explained, "Don’t ever give these people the benefit of the doubt. They aren’t interested in keeping you healthy, they’re interested in controlling you. It’s not more complicated than that."