Lockdown Leaders Scramble To Rewrite History

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Some of the leading voices behind coronavirus pandemic lockdowns are looking to memory-hole the role they played in bringing American life to a screeching halt.

For months, various journalists, politicians and scientists have softened their positions on COVID-19 lockdowns, either admitting that the measures they advocated for were excessive or downplaying the actions they actually did take to “stop the spread” of the virus. Two names in particular, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Randi Weingarten, stand out for their attempts to deceive the public on just what role they played in shutdowns during the pandemic.

Fauci served as the top coronavirus advisor to both Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden. He led the most influential agency in the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) when it comes to infectious diseases. He was quite possible the most visible man in media for commentary on the COVID-19 pandemic.

From those perches, he took very clear stances for the vast majority of the pandemic. People should wear masks, and politicians should be wary of lifting mask mandates. People should get vaccinated, and requirements to get vaccinated make sense in many contexts. Businesses and schools should be restricted in certain situations where COVID-19 cases and deaths are at certain levels.

Last week, Fauci said, in a sit-down with The New York Times, that he bore no direct responsibility for COVID-19 lockdowns. “Show me a school that I shut down and show me a factory that I shut down,” he said. “Never. I never did.”

Fauci did not have the power to literally shut things down in most cases. However, in the early days of the pandemic, many political leaders and institutions that did have the power to shut things down began relying on the recommendations of Fauci and agencies like the CDC to do just that. In essence, the word of Fauci and the CDC became the guiding principal for lockdowns.

Fauci acknowledges as much in the same NYT interview, saying, “I gave a public-health recommendation that echoed the C.D.C.’s recommendation, and people made a decision based on that.”

“So we looked at it from a purely public-health standpoint. It was for other people to make broader assessments — people whose positions include but aren’t exclusively about public health,” he added.

In many cases, those broader assessments were foregone to make way for the word of the public health establishment. For example, then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki once excoriated leaders of eight states that did not require masking of all individuals in schools when CDC guidance called for it.

As for Weingarten, her role in shutdowns was far more direct than even Fauci’s in shutting down schools in particular. As the head of America’s second-largest teachers union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), she directly led fights against school re-openings that kept millions of kids at home. (RELATED: ‘New Evidence Suggests’ Dr. Fauci Was Primary Source Of Covid Disinformation Campaign, House Subcommittee Says)

Even after working directly with the CDC to develop re-opening guidelines for schools during the pandemic, Weingarten called re-openings “reckless and unsafe.” She said in 2021 that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s insistence on re-opening would kill “millions” of people.

Weingarten’s teachers refused to work in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago until COVID-19 measures were satisfied, to the point that even Democrats like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot directed their ire toward her. “The union needed to work with us and they never did that,” Lightfoot said.

Weingarten simultaneously said last week that parents not only supported what her and her union did in keeping schools closed, but also that they did everything possible to get schools reopened as soon as possible. As Lightfoot responded, that wasn’t “reality” in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.

Increasing scientific evidence has emerged showing the detrimental mental health effects lockdowns caused, and the learning loss sustained by students during remote learning. That may be one reason the inviduals at the tip of the spear of lockdowns are seeking to backtrack.

“The effort to re-write the history is as frantic as it is desperate. They are trying to give themselves a passing grade and avoid being held accountable,” Brownstone Institute President and co-founder Jeffrey Tucker told the Daily Caller, regarding the comments from Fauci and Weingarten. “The big problem they face is with the facts and the lived experience of everyone who went through these three years of hell.”