June 11, 2020
Here in Washington D.C., the violence and looting seem to have passed. For now, at least.
Nearly 4,000 out-of-district National Guard members have been sent home.
Local businesses are taking down the plywood from their windows. Of course, some are hedging their bets, too… “black-owned business” placards still hang prominently, as if to request potential rioters to skip their storefront.
We respect and support the protestors’ rights of free speech. Every day for two weeks now, they have turned up by the thousands to crowd together, chant slogans, and march through the streets.
As we mentioned, the prior tensions are relaxed. Now, instead of eggs and water bottles being thrown at police – and flash bangs and pepper spray returned… we hear music and see dancing. Reporters from Politico called it a “festive atmosphere.”
Yet… officially, all gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
You can’t join with fellow worshipers inside your local church. You can’t kick a soccer ball around on a local sports field. Playgrounds are closed. You can’t even walk into a library.
We are not medical experts, of course. But we suspect that singing in a church choir and chanting “defund the police” have similar rates of viral transmission.
Our sympathy lies with individuals – Main Street folks who have suffered the most from police brutality and the COVID-19 closures. The lower your income and the more “blue collar” your job, the more likely you are to have lost your job in recent months… and the more likely you are to be in a violent interaction with police.
In this case, the state is on both sides of wrong. It gained power with the lockdowns… and now it is gaining power with the protests.
For many, the double standard is clear: Certain politics outweigh others. And power trumps all.
Singing in your church choir may be banned by government edict… but joining a crowd chanting “silence is violence” is encouraged by your local liberal public official.
Either a ban on gatherings is necessary for reasons of public health… or it is not. But it is the highest level of hypocrisy to say that one person’s right to free speech is less important than another’s.
Today, Dr. Ron Paul shows what this politicization of health care will lead to. And if you haven’t yet listened to his urgent 2020 warning, you should. Because what you’ve seen so far pales in comparison to what’s coming this fall…
Coronavirus Shows Why We Need Separation of Medicine and State
By Dr. Ron Paul
It seems like only yesterday… Americans were denied the right to go to their churches. They were denied the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. They were denied the right to open their businesses and go to work to provide for themselves and their families. They were denied the right to go to restaurants, bars, and hair salons.
No laws were passed denying these rights. Even that would be illegal and immoral. But what happened was worse.
They were denied these basic rights by governors, county judges, and even local mayors who used the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to rule by decree. They stole power that was not theirs to take and wielded it at all levels to force America into three months of house arrest.
Then, in the midst of stay-at-home orders across the country, the same governors and local officials who locked Americans in their homes suddenly came around with their keys and threw open the doors. Suddenly, not only was it OK to go out into the street, it was required to go out into the street!
What happened? A cure? A miraculous vaccine? No.
The officials who locked Americans up found a cause they felt required Americans in the streets to protest. Police had killed a black man, George Floyd, in their custody in Minneapolis, and suddenly the need to protest trumped the need to “stay home, save lives.”
Suddenly the same health “experts” who told us we must not gather in crowds or there will be death in the millions from coronavirus issued statements supporting gathering in crowds. An open letter on the George Floyd protests signed by more than 1,200 doctors and other health professionals clarified that they “do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission.” However, they wrote, “this should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-at-home orders.”
Did the coronavirus develop some kind of superior intelligence enabling it to distinguish between those who were congregating for a “good cause” and those who were congregating for a “bad cause”? Of course not. What has happened from the beginning of this shameful coronavirus episode is the politicization of public health at the hands of authoritarians.
Two prestigious medical journals, the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, were forced to retract studies they had published concluding that hydroxychloroquine was harmful to COVID-19 patients. The rush to print the studies looks very much like a political move rather than one based on scientific principles. Once President Donald Trump revealed that he was taking hydroxychloroquine, the mainstream media and even “expert” journals began attacking the drug.
This is what happens when medicine merges with the state. We get the worst of both.
We get career bureaucrat Dr. Anthony Fauci telling us we can never shake hands again and that we must stay home until a vaccine is found. Meanwhile, doctors across the globe are reporting that this variation of the coronavirus is disappearing on its own.
We have a tradition of separation of church and state in the United States for good reason. The merger of state and church invites oppression and corruption. We need to adopt this same approach to medicine and the state. We now see how this merger has produced the same kind of widespread tyranny and corruption.
Dr. Ron Paul is a 12-term member of Congress and three-time presidential candidate. While in Washington, D.C., he was one of the few voices advocating for limited government, individual liberty, and sound fiscal principles. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling books The Revolution: A Manifesto and End the Fed.
This article originally appeared at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Copyright © 2020 by Ron Paul Institute.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
‘Where Are Libertarians on Police Reform?’ Right Where We’ve Always Been.
Real change requires not just dropping the word “police” but reducing the opportunity for government agents to use violence against the public. That means fewer laws to be enforced and less intrusive enforcement of those laws. That’s a hard pill to swallow for ideologues who are committed to forcing people to do what they don’t want to do, or to forcibly stopping them from exercising their own preferences.
As Many as 25,000 U.S. Stores May Close in 2020, Mostly in Malls
The number would shatter the record set in 2019, when more than 9,800 stores closed their doors for good, according to a report from retail and tech data firm Coresight Research. Most of the closures are expected to occur in malls, with department stores and clothing shops predicted to be among the hardest hit.
World Health Organization Walks Back Claim About Asymptomatic Spread
There is nothing in the world wrong with uncertain science. The trouble is that lockdowns were based on a certain application of unknowns: better lock down and ruin people’s lives just in case. So normal life functioning and even basic postulates about free association and ownership had to be thrown out to serve the cause of a mythical safety which we didn’t know if we were even getting in the first place.
Second Pandemic Wave Would Inflict Big Economic Cost, Says OECD
“By the end of 2021, the loss of income exceeds that of any previous recession over the last 100 years outside wartime, with dire and long-lasting consequences for people, firms and governments,” Ms. Boone said.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Publisher, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
June 11, 2020