Michael Rectenwald is the author of eleven books, including Thought Criminal (2020), Beyond Woke (2020), Google Archipelago (2019), Springtime for Snowflakes (2018), Nineteenth-Century British Secularism (2016), and others.
It is neither Red Scare hyperbole nor misplaced attribution to say that the covid regime established in the Western world is primarily a product of the Chinese regime. I refer not strictly to the claim that covid-19 originated in a Wuhan lab but also to the fact that the propaganda campaign that “informs” the covid response is directly attributable to Beijing. As Michael P. Senger has brilliantly demonstrated, the entirety of the covid response is an export of Xi Jinping’s regime.
Out of a perverse admiration for China’s draconian lockdown measures, due to financial conflicts of interest deriving from Chinese money and the strange fear of failing to evince sufficiently totalitarian impulses, Western health agencies, governments, scientists, media, and citizens have adopted and promoted Beijing’s supposedly successful methods for controlling a viral pandemic, thereby transforming Western democracies, to varying degrees, into budding totalitarian states. Australia represents the most egregious example, while other countries, such as Lithuania, are not far behind. It remains to be seen what the US and many other nations will do as the covid narrative crumbles in the face of the mounting evidence of mistakes and apparent malfeasance. Likely, they will double down.
The utter illogic of the covid regime is based on a false syllogism: China contained the virus with the lockdown of Wuhan. The virus simultaneously escaped Wuhan. Thus, the rest of the world must emulate China’s lockdown measures.
The devastating covid regime was established under this pretense and has relied on a series of self-contradictory measures. First, masks were useless and thus unnecessary. Then, masks were necessary. Then, two weeks of lockdowns were needed to flatten the curve. Then, the lockdowns continued for months. Then, two or more masks were needed. Then, vaccinations made masks unnecessary for the vaccinated; with the vaccines, masks and lockdowns would be obviated. Then, the vaccinated should wear masks, because they too are vulnerable to infection (and may spread covid). Then, lockdowns should be reinstated. These are but a few of the policy statements and reversals that have constituted the covid regime response.
The lockdowns, masking, and vaccine mandates have been instituted to address a virus with an average infection fatality rate (IFR) of under 0.2400 per cent across all age groups, with median IFRs of 0.0027 per cent, 0.0140 per cent, 0.0310 per cent, 0.0820 per cent, 0.2700 per cent, and 0.5900 per cent for 0–19-year-olds, 20–29-year-olds, 30–39-year-olds, 40–49-year-olds, 50–59-year-olds, and 60–69-year-olds, respectively. Deaths from the lockdown measures, meanwhile, may have outstripped the “deaths from covid,” while causing yet incalculable suffering, including the financial ruin of hundreds of millions.
Furthermore, “deaths from covid” have been grossly inflated by the inclusion of those who had either tested positive or been in contact with anyone who had within several weeks prior to their death. And the PCR tests for covid, set at cycle thresholds from 37 to 40, and sometimes as high as 45, yield approximately 85 to 90 per cent false positives, as confirmed by the New York Times. Given these issues, it is almost impossible to know how many of the excess deaths of 2020 over 2019 were due to covid-19 and how many were due to the lockdowns.
Meanwhile, the institution of vaccine passports represents a differential and discriminatory extension of the lockdowns. Despite the fact that the vaccinated can both contract and spread covid-19 and its variants, the vaccine passport rollout proceeds apace.
Vaccine mandates and calls for mandates have increased in volume, despite an Israeli study demonstrating that the natural immunity of the previously infected is thirteen times more efficacious in preventing infection from the delta variant, currently the most prevalent strain, than double doses of the Pfizer vaccine. And the double vaccinated are six times more likely to suffer serious illness than the unvaccinated previously infected by the wild virus or earlier variants.
In the US alone, deaths subsequent to the vaccine, according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), have reached thirteen thousand, while injuries exceed five hundred thousand. And these are conservative numbers, given that many vaccine deaths and other vaccine-related “events” do not make the VAERS, thanks to their suppression by covid regime medical professionals. Yet, former President Barack Obama’s secretary of education recently compared antimaskers and vaccine resisters to Kabul suicide bombers, and a Democratic candidate for Congress has called for the right to shoot “those who do not take covid seriously enough.”
Neither the faulty science nor the lunacy of covid fanatics represents the ultimate justification for opposing the covid regime, however. To oppose the covid regime, one need not be an “antivaxxer.” One must merely assert one’s rights. Lockdowns and vaccine mandates represent the abrogation of property rights—first and foremost the right of bodily autonomy—or the right to do what one deems proper with one’s own body. This right cannot be superseded by the supposed right of others not to be infected. Such a right is not only scientifically spurious in the current context; it is indefensible in principle, regardless of context. It is about time to state this clearly and directly: the onus is on those who fear infection to protect themselves from the virus and its variants, and not on others—whether they are vaccinated or not.
The covid regime brings despotism not only because it is destroying the property of small business owners, landlords, and workers, while increasing the power of the state. It also infringes on the fundamental right over one’s person—which is to say that it makes otherwise free individuals into slaves.
Senger’s final paragraph is apropos in this regard:
For Xi Jinping, lockdown was never about a virus. It was about sending a message: that stripped of all disguise, the illusion of virtue, competence, and commitment to human rights among the Western political class is nothing more than conformity with easily subvertible norms and institutions passed down by prior generations.
Xi’s covid communism does not represent, first and foremost, a challenge to Western governmental integrity or scientific competence. Rather, it is a challenge to what’s left of Western regimes’ recognition of individual rights. These rights have not been given to us by the government, but governments, including their judicial branches, have arrogated to themselves the right to infringe and abolish them at will. This should be the hill that libertarians stake their lives on.
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