In one New York Times In an editorial full of reflections on how to “build a better, different and humane future”, Pope Francis praised world governments for putting “the well-being of their people above all else” while ridiculing criticism of the lockdowns. of covid-19.
Juxtaposed with the condemnation of the skeptics by Francis in the prestigious newspaper, Tom Woods’ anti-blocking speech “Covid Cult” was deleted by YouTube two days earlier. This video, which had already gone viral, addressed the “common good” argument that the Pope would do.
Given how much legacy and new media have been wrong on covid and lockdowns from the start, it’s no wonder that platforms like YouTube have a personal issue with Woods or his understated post calling for the pseudoscience that has been used to destroy people’s lives and livelihoods.
With the support of Times and other establishment media, Francis urged readers to view the “common good” as a demand for sacrifice. Covid, a flu-like respiratory illness that affects only a tiny fraction of the population and is usually not fatal, is the perfect excuse for a mass sacrifice.
Francis wrote that governments “are acting decisively to protect health and save lives” by “imposing stringent measures to contain the epidemic”. But if you were to base your understanding of what the lockdowns accomplished on what Francis had to say alone, you would think we were living, or dying, in 1347 under the Black Death.
“Governments that have ignored the painful evidence of growing deaths” have caused a great deal of pain, the Sovereign Pontiff wrote.
While the jury is still out on what should even be considered a death from covid, there is, indeed, enough evidence to suggest that the “strict measures to contain the epidemic” he made the praise just didn’t work.
The wrong approach
During his speech, Woods argued that the response to covid has been and remains completely disproportionate, especially as we become more aware of how the virus works. He also shared how the almost universal lockouts have caused more pain and suffering than the disease itself.
“There are other concerns in the world besides covid,” said Woods, a fact completely ignored by Francis in his editorial.
Woods further argued that countries like Spain and Italy, which [early] and hard ”saw no benefit in doing so. Countries like Sweden, which have never locked down, have seen a fraction of the deaths estimated by the “listen to the science” crowd without seeing the excessive suffering and deaths associated with the lockdown.
In fact, even medical researchers believe the locks were wrong.
In what has come to be known as the Great Barrington Declaration, reputable infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists explained that the death toll from the lockdowns will far exceed anything rushed by the covid.
Current foreclosure policies are having devastating effects on public health in the short and long term. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood immunization rates, worsening cardiovascular disease, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in the years. ahead, the working class and young members of society bearing the heaviest burden. .
Allowing forced closures to remain in place, the group of scientists added, “will cause irreparable damage, with disproportionate damage to the underprivileged.”
Despite their warnings, which first appeared online on October 4, 2020, Francis did not hesitate to mock critics of the lockouts for their alleged overreliance on “personal freedom” to justify their opinion. They go against the common good, wrote the pontiff, and they serve as “idols.”
After governments imposed “responsible” lockdowns, Francois said, “some groups have protested, refusing to keep their distance, marching against travel restrictions – as if measures governments must impose for the sake of their people constituted a kind of political aggression against autonomy or freedom! “
They are wrong, he snapped.
Looking to the common good is more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having respect for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the poorest.
So why isn’t it?
The seen and the invisible
In his now famous essay “What is seen and what is not seen”, the economist of the French liberal school Claude-Frédéric Bastiat wrote that in matters of economy, an act or a law instituted by the government “does not only create an effect, but a series of effects. “
Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause – we see it. The others unfold successively – we do not see them.
What many critics of the lockout have consistently argued is that it is the effect that is not immediately observed that would be more costly to society than the covid itself. It is precisely this concern that prompted medical professionals associated with the Barrington Declaration to speak out, as well as countless working-class Americans and Europeans who found no other way to express their frustration. than to wear it in the street, as Les bois points out:
In Italy and the UK, at least some people are fighting back. The last lockdown took everything they had.
A video, which has gone viral, shows an Italian woman crying that she has lost everything and has nothing to feed her child. Guess she better listen to science, right?
Yet for Francis, the common good dictates that we lock down the world, jeopardizing the future of young people, the livelihoods of the working class, and condemning countless children to a life of mental distress.
If concern for the “less fortunate” is what drives François, chasing a straw man on the New York Times is not how he wins.
If he’s honest in calling for more solidarity in the age of covid, he should start by being charitable with those praying for an end to lockdowns. As countless people suffer both physical and emotional pain from draconian restrictions on fundamental freedoms, the number of lives lost to what Woods calls the “cult of covides” will only increase.
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