Recently, Brown University professor Emily Oster penned an article in The Atlantic that comes straight out of the ‘Are you joking?’ file. That this request comes on the pages of The Atlantic is especially amusing considering the publication spent years as the mouthpiece for Big Government and Big Pharma by demonizing those who dared to question the wisdom of America’s COVID response and vaccine efficacy.
Past articles on its pages have included: ‘The Anti-Vaccine Right Brought Human Sacrifice To America’ (January 2022) ‘Unvaccinated People Need To Bear The Burden’ (August 2021) and ‘Some Americans No Longer Believe In The Common Good’ (August 2021) among others.
Now, however, the magazine has suddenly decided to appeal to the better angels of the nature in those it attacked by asking for a ‘COVID amnesty.’ It is hard not to view this olive branch as a tacit admission that they are coming to realize how catastrophically wrong they were in supporting the now self-evidently destructive COVID protocols.
Says professor Oster:
The people who got it right, for whatever reason, may want to gloat. Those who got it wrong, for whatever reason, may feel defensive and retrench into a position that doesn’t accord with the facts. All of this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to drive the culture wars, especially on the internet.
First off, no one wants to ‘gloat’ any more than someone who tried to warn the Titanic was steaming straight for an iceberg felt like gloating when the vessel went under and 1,514 lost their lives. Vicious moralizing is the purview of the hard left these days, no matter how wrong they are proven to be. As for the rest of the article? Why am I reminded of the old Monty Python And The Holy Grail bit: “Please! Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.”
It doesn’t take a CDC official, or even a Brown economics professor, to understand the implications behind basic statistics and thus realize who is in danger and who is not from this or that pathogen.
Anyway, I’ve thought about your desire for an amnesty. I think what you really mean is forgiveness. Well, here is my answer:
You ask forgiveness for throwing a generation of kids’ learning back decades courtesy of your inane school lockdown policies? Policies that appear to be less about “the science” and more about placating radical, entitled teachers’ unions using COVID as a pretext for paid vacations?
You ask forgiveness for my high schooler being relegated to a screen isolated in his bedroom as a substitute for classroom instruction and interaction?
You ask forgiveness for the last year-and-a-half of college my daughter will never get back — even though we’re still required to pay full tuition?
You ask forgiveness for the inconsistent, arbitrary, utterly nonsensical COVID restrictions that branded biker rallies as ‘superspreader events’ and prevented one from walking alone on the seashore — while giving BLM and Antifa ‘rallies’ a free pass?
You ask forgiveness for the eight-month dirge of violence that resulted in $2 billion in property damage, the arson, looting, vandalism in dozens of cities while over 1,000 police were assaulted and over two dozen innocents were murdered?
You ask forgiveness for forcing my father-in-law to die alone in a hospital bed, denied the comfort of having his family around him?
You ask forgiveness for my 90 year-old mother’s COVID funeral restrictions, preventing a proper celebration of her life?
You ask forgiveness for your blind obedience to the State, sacrificing all journalistic integrity in favor of your role as a post-modern incarnation of Pravda?
You ask forgiveness from those you once labeled as “racist” or “xenophobic” because they weren’t buying the CCP-proffered story that COVID emerged from a “wet market” and not the Wuhan Institute of Virology right down the road?
You ask forgiveness for those on social media who were labeled “science deniers” even “accomplices to murder” and promptly de-platformed, defamed, demonetized for speaking what we now know is the truth?
You ask forgiveness for your brazen, chilling, and continued calls for censorship?
You ask forgiveness for those hundreds of thousands who were forced to shut down their small businesses, losing their entire livelihoods while large retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and even liquor stores remained open?
You ask forgiveness for derailing a booming economy and sending unemployment surging from 3.5% to almost 15% in two months?
You ask forgiveness for forcing a nascent vaccine on mass populations — many of whom we knew faced little statistical risk from catching COVID? Including children as young as six-months-old? A vaccine that we now know neither prevents infection or spreads the virus?
You ask forgiveness for my four trips to the hospital for a sudden series of heart issues — from cardiomyopathy to afib and rapid heartbeat — that were non-existent before my second shot?
You ask forgiveness for the irreparable damage done to the integrity of the always-fragile electoral process — and thus the health of the Republic itself — by injecting uncertainty and outright mistrust in elections with your easily defrauded mail-in ballots…using a disease you never really feared based on your private conduct as a pretext for stacking the deck in your party’s favor and sowing discord among millions who feel disenfranchised?
You ask forgiveness for the destruction of the credibility of what should be vital health institutions like the CDC and NIH?
You ask us to forgive our tax dollars going to fund a government that acted as a sales force for Big Pharma, thus delivering over $60 billion in profits to vaccine-manufacturers…even as you demonize Big Oil, for making half so much in their best years? What will people want more this winter? Boosters or affordable heating oil?
Finally, and most mind-boggling of all, you ask forgiveness because you claim that we didn’t know any better? Maybe you all didn’t, but many of us did. We’ve been saying it for years in fact. Those who did know better did try to speak up. But instead of engaging in healthy fact-finding discussions with us, you actively sought instead to silence, demonize, ostracize, and even wish death upon anyone who didn’t toe the accepted line…even as it kept changing.
To all who attacked those who stepped outside the dictated narrative coming from on high for so long, your mea culpas come late in the game. Professor Oster, at least in your defense you seemed to have had an epiphany at the beginning of 2021, if your most recent articles question COVID policies that lead up to this are any guide. In fact, you wrote these words way back in March 2021, on the very same pages you now ask forgiveness:
Children are not at high risk for COVID-19. We’ve known since early in the pandemic that they are much less likely to fall ill, especially seriously ill. Although scientists don’t quite understand why, kids seem to be naturally protected.
So, yes, you knew.
The people for whom The Atlantic shilled were wrong and they know it. Historians will condemn their actions in the decades to come. The article is at its core a plea for mercy from those about to lose power, assuming the polls are right. They are coming to realize that those who do take over will have a mandate to look very closely at the pandemic and responses, including what was done, by whom, and who benefited, and why.
As Obama famously said, elections have consequences. So Instead all I will say to you is this: I will see you on Tuesday. No, I cannot forgive you, but can you at least forgive yourselves?
Brad Schaeffer is a commodities trader, columnist, and author of the best-selling novel The Extraordinary, which deals with autism and PTSD and the critically acclaimed World War II novel, Of Another Time And Place.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.