Commentary

What to be thankful for in this dreadful year of 2020

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If you like individual liberty, economic freedom and self-determination, 2020 probably wasn’t the year for you. Chief executives across the country (and the globe) used the coronavirus pandemic as a means for expanding their individual power far beyond its constitutional restraints, micromanaging every aspect of our daily lives in the name of “science.”

Businesses were ordered to close for being “nonessential” and people were ordered to stay inside their homes. Medical treatments and screenings were cancelled or delayed. Schools were shuttered and gatherings of any kind were restricted.

The result? Millions of people found themselves jobless. Those who did not lose their job likely still could not go to work with their children’s schools closed. Healthcare providers laid off tens of thousands of employees, in the midst of a pandemic, as chemotherapy treatments, cancer screenings and so-called “elective” procedures went unperformed, as did life-saving organ transplants and childhood vaccinations.

Our society saw sharp increases in drug and alcohol abuse, including opioid overdose deaths and domestic abuse. Millions were plunged into poverty and hunger. In short, lockdowns absolutely devastated the working class.

This type of public policy is antithetical to American values and, more importantly, our Constitution.

Unfortunately, the scenario described above was reality in most U.S. states, save the few where their governor’s acknowledge the constitutional limits on their authority and do not believe they should be making one-size-fits-all healthcare decisions for autonomous human beings. Since most of 2020 has been spent hunkered down hiding from germs instead of exercising our inherent, inalienable rights, it seems there’s not much to be thankful for this year.

That is not true, however. The coronavirus pandemic has revealed what true courage looks like.

In October, Drs. Martin Kulldorff, Sunetra Gupta and Jay Bhattacharya met in the stone house at the American Institute for Economic Research’s headquarters in Great Barrington, Mass. to sign the Great Barrington Declaration.

Kulldorff, Gupta and Bhattacharya put their professional lives on the line to stand up to the injustices committed against people across the globe. They stuck their necks out for the most vulnerable among us who saw their entire lives destroyed by heavy-handed government intervention in all aspects of society and the economy.

One week later, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally warned against lockdowns as a primary means of trying to control the virus. Interestingly, chief executives have been far more hesitant to reinstitute lockdowns since the WHO changed its tune, even in the face of rising case numbers as we approach the colder winter months and traditional flu season.

What a transformational impact these three doctors had on the world this year. If it wasn’t for their courage and outright heroism, millions more people might find themselves under government imposed lockdown at this very moment.  

That’s what I’m most thankful for in 2020: the brilliant scientists who were not scared off by the threats and smears of the media, establishment politicians and their so-called “public health experts.” They took a huge risk, for no perceivable benefit, purely because they are concerned for the truth.

That is a cause always worth celebrating, but it leaves me particularly thankful and enthused in this dreadful year of 2020.

About Jacob Posik

Jacob Posik, of Turner, is the director of communications at Maine Policy Institute and the editor of The Maine Wire. He formerly served as a policy analyst at Maine Policy. Posik can be reached at jposik@mainepolicy.org.

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