by Roger Kimball
A new populist spirit, represented by Donald Trump, among others, has led to a reshuffling of seemingly settled ideological alliances.
The reshuffling is ongoing.
I know this because I find myself approving of at least parts of “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” the new bestseller book by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It is odd indeed that I find myself in nodding agreement with an anti-vax, climate warrior named Kennedy, but there you are—or, rather, here we are.
Towards the end of a long and riveting interview with Tucker Carlson about his book, Kennedy reflects on the extraordinary—indeed, “totalitarian” is not too strong a word—government impositions upon individual liberty in the name of battling the COVID pandemic and issues a critical admonition that we forget at our peril.
“We have to love our freedom,” he said, “more than we fear a germ.”
Can we pause for a round of applause?
The risks of COVID to the general population were and are wildly exaggerated.
Everyone knows that now, though not everyone is yet ready to admit it.
But even if the disease was as dangerous as some alarmists at first predicted, Kennedy’s point still stands.
“Even if this was the deadly disease that they say it is,” he told Carlson, “there are worse things than death.”
Indeed, he continued, “We’re lucky that there was a whole generation of Americans in 1776 that said ‘it would be better to die than not have these rights written down.’”
Noting the extraordinary assault on our Constitutional liberties—a phenomenon that has echoes in other democracies around the world—Kennedy asks us to remember the smallpox epidemic that ravaged Washington’s army during the Revolution and the “malaria contagion that culled the Army of Virginia.”
The Founders were well acquainted with “the deadly and disruptive potential of infectious disease epidemics.”
Nevertheless, they included no references to pandemics in the Constitution.
Over the last couple of years, however, “public health” is wheeled out to rationalize “a string of new exceptions to our Constitution. We are given just one rationale to explain everything that is happening: COVID.”
In other words, Kennedy opposes the spirit of “safetyism” that pervades our culture and gives license to the many corporate and government actors who are only too happy to exploit our abhorrence of risk in order to control us.
Kennedy’s book is full of alarming things.
In some ways, it reads like a 1960s leftist tract against militarized government and “transnational corporations.”
The fact that I find myself nodding in agreement with much of his analysis is part of that ideological reshuffling I mentioned.
It reminds me once again that the categories of “Right” and “Left” are no longer reliable guides to political filiation.
I also note with some amusement the hysterical (I do not mean “funny”) vituperation directed at the book by the Left.
Isn’t there some mistake?
After all, we’re talking about a paid-up eco-warrior here, the son of liberal icon Robert F. Kennedy, for heaven’s sake!
How is it that he has attracted the ire of Elizabeth Warren, who actually asked Amazon and other online emporia to alter their search algorithms so that people looking for books about the CCP virus would not be directed to Kennedy’s book?
Fauci and ‘Endemic Corruption’
A large part of Kennedy’s book, as its title suggests, is an attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who emerges as one of the most malevolent and destructive characters on the public scene in the last five decades. How is it possible that he emerged as “America’s Doctor,” showered with adulation from a terrified but grateful public?
As Kennedy shows in meticulous detail, Fauci’s career has been a litany of greed, incompetence, cruelty, and a callous and unquenchable thirst for power.
He is joined by a rogues’ gallery of supporting actors, including Microsoft busybody Bill Gates and bioweapons expert Robert Kadlec, a Dr. Strangelove wannabe.
Even former MI6 spook Christopher Steele, he of the Trump-Russia “dossier” makes a cameo appearance here.
But the focus is mostly on Fauci and “the carefully planned militarization and monetization of medicine that has left American health ailing and its democracy shattered.”
Last June, Fauci told a reporter that “Attacks on me quite frankly, are attacks on science.”
But what was this “science” of which Fauci spoke?
“As the world watched,” Kennedy notes, “Tony Fauci dictated a series of policies that resulted in by far the most deaths, and one of the highest percentage COVID-19 body counts of any nation on the planet.”
That’s not all.
“Anthony Fauci,” Kennedy writes, “seems to have not considered that his unprecedented quarantine of the healthy would kill far more people than COVID, obliterate the global economy, plunge millions into poverty and bankruptcy, and grievously wound constitutional democracy globally.”
It gets worse.
“We have no way of knowing how many people died from isolation, unemployment, deferred medical care, depression, mental illness, obesity, stress, overdoses, suicide, addiction, alcoholism, and the accidents that so often accompany despair. We cannot dismiss the accusations that his lockdowns proved more deadly than the contagion.”
Consider these facts:
- “Between 2018 and 2020, the average Hispanic American lost around 3.9 years in longevity, while the average lifespan of a Black American dropped by 3.25 years.”
- Fauci’s lockdown “shattered the nation’s once-booming economic engine, putting 58 million Americans out of work, and permanently bankrupting small businesses, including 41 percent of Black-owned businesses, some of which took generations of investment to build.”
- “Dr. Fauci’s business closures pulverized America’s middle class and engineered the largest upward transfer of wealth in human history. In 2020, workers lost $3.7 trillion while billionaires gained $3.9 trillion.
- “Some 493 individuals became new billionaires, and an additional 8 million Americans dropped below the poverty line.”
Who won in the COVID Wars?
- “The biggest winners were the robber barons—the very companies that were cheerleading Dr. Fauci’s lockdown and censoring his critics: Big Technology, Big Data, Big Telecom, Big Finance, Big Media behemoths (Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, Viacom, and Disney), and Silicon Valley Internet titans like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Larry Ellison, and Jack Dorsey.”
All this sounds bad, but I have barely scratched the surface of Kennedy’s indictment.
As he notes, while COVID is certainly a problem, it is “not the problem. … The problem is endemic corruption in the medical-industrial complex, currently supported at every turn by mass-media companies.”
Doubtless it is possible to take exception to parts of Kennedy’s analysis and some of his political causes.
But his book is exhaustively researched and every assertion is supported by publicly available evidence.
His analysis of the formation of the “bio-security” state in the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union makes for chilling reading. What if the security apparatus set up to deal with Islamic terrorism has mutated into a “track and trace” intelligence state whose object are the citizens of the United States?
But perhaps his biggest contribution, which comes in the course of his discussion of Anthony Fauci’s chillingly corrupt and incompetent handling of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, is this pellucid observation about the nature of science.
“While consensus may be an admirable political objective,” he observes, “it is the enemy of science and truth.”
This is exactly right. As Kennedy observes, “the term ‘settled science’ is an oxymoron.”
Moreover, “the admonishment that we should ‘trust the experts’ is a trope of authoritarianism.”
Those few sentences are worth the price of “The Real Anthony Fauci.”
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Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Who Rules? Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the 21st Century.”
Photo “President Joe Biden Participates in a Q&A Townhall with Chief Medical Adviser to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday, May 17, 2021, in the Blue Room of the White House” by The White House.