Anthony Fauci is “surprised and disappointed” with this week’s federal court ruling that overturned the mask mandate on planes, trains, and public transportation.
That’s not because the president’s chief medical advisor disagrees with the substance of Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s ruling. No: Fauci thinks the problem is that the courts have any power over public health edicts at all.
“Those types of things really are the purview of the [Centers for Disease Control]. This is a public health issue,” Fauci told CNN’s Kasie Hunt on Thursday. “We are concerned about that—about courts getting involved in things that are unequivocally public health decisions. I mean, this is a CDC issue; it should not be a court issue.”
Considering how much of his life he has spent working within or alongside the federal government, Fauci’s belief that the CDC ought to exist outside of the constitutional limitations applied to government actions is stunning. This is either a complete misunderstanding of the American system’s basic functions or an expression of disdain toward the rule of law.
Not getting your way in court is not grounds for discarding the very concept of the rule of law. Neither, for that matter, is a once-in-a-generation pandemic.
Democrats are lambasting Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s well-reasoned ruling this week striking down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mask mandate on public transportation. But few, if any, have argued like Dr. Fauci that federal courts shouldn’t be allowed to review CDC diktats. Mull over the implications of this one.
The mask mandate “is a CDC issue. It should not have been a court issue,” Dr. Fauci told CNN, adding that “we are concerned” about “courts getting involved in things that are unequivocally public-health decisions.” Ah, yes, the royal “we.” Does the Covid czar think the Supreme Court should have been precluded from reviewing the CDC’s rental eviction moratorium too?
Governments at all levels have abused their emergency powers during the pandemic. Some deference to public-health officials might have been warranted amid the uncertainty early in the pandemic. But as Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in November 2020, “even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.”
The emergency has now stretched more than two years. While the Covid virus is becoming endemic, and vaccines and therapies have greatly reduced deaths, the Administration continues to assert that government officials should have sweeping power to take emergency actions in the name of protecting people even if there’s little evidence that they actually do.
Not all harms from covidian policy are reversible but some are:
1. Rehire those fired because of vax mandates with back pay
2. Vacate fines for business & churches that stayed open
3. Remove mask scofflaws from no fly lists
4. Investigate & prosecute fraud in govt covid spending
In what way, we should now ask these figures and institutions, would their vision of a hard lockdown differ from the biomedical security state that has emerged in Shanghai? Do they believe our governments would do a more humane job of enforcing mass house arrest? If American families went hungry, would it comfort the Covidians to know that this was the price of a communal effort to “stop the spread”? And if the government took the lockdown fanatics themselves to an isolation facility that had no running water, as has happened in Shanghai, would they be happy to make the sacrifice? If the state demanded the removal of a 3-month-old baby from its breastfeeding mother, would the Covidians willingly hand him over? What if it “saves one life”?
Although many proponents of Zero Covid may deny that what’s happening in Shanghai is an approximation of their own vision, Shanghai is the logical conclusion of the lockdown mindset, in which no sacrifice is ever too great. This was the mindset of journalists, public-health officials, social-media doctors, and academics who repeatedly demanded the most stringent mitigation measures possible.
The brutality of Shanghai’s lockdown is an indictment of the entire lockdown ideology, which is incompatible with basic human rights.