Reject “Pandemic Amnesty”


“Let’s declare a pandemic amnesty,” writes Emily Oster, in a new piece for The Atlantic magazine. “We need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID,” she says.

Oster is an economist at Brown, a member of the smart set who spent 2020 and 2021 cheerleading the most draconian policies. Now, she’s one of many founding members of the Anthony Fauci Fan Club issuing a half-hearted mea culpa.

She now understands schools were closed too long, social distancing and masking was bogus, and data on vaccines were total deficient.

Great for her.

For the rest of us, it’s too little, too late.

Nonetheless, Oster’s acknowledgement that almost every government policy around COVID-19 was misinformed and misguided is more contrition than Mainers have gotten from any state official.

Not a single Maine government official involved in shutting down the economy, ruining livelihoods, driving up rates of suicide and drug addiction, and stealing two years of young children’s educations has apologized.

Gov. Janet Mills hasn’t apologized. CDC Director Nirav Shah hasn’t apologized. None of the town officials, police officers, and bureaucrats who enforced with zeal the many pointless tyrannies of the state have apologized.

And they won’t. They’re too busy patting themselves on the back.

So, no, we should not offer up “pandemic amnesty” — whatever that means — for the totalitarian role playing witnessed over the past two years from Mills, her sordid band of Covidian thugs and spies, or any other government official whose panicky misjudgments and hysterical statism wreaked so much havoc.

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After all, a similar kindness will never be paid to Rick Savage, erstwhile owner of Sunday River Brewing Company. He had his liquor license confiscated, his business destroyed, for having the temerity to think he could criticize Gov. Mills on Fox News. The Mills administration even conspired to send “undercover agents” into his restaurant to catch him violating some stupid rule they made up under the guise of “following the science.” I guess the Assistant Director of Putting Up Plexiglass found some worthless panels were a few centimeters too short, or something like that.

Even today, the Mills administration continues to persecute its critics. Right now, the state is trying to ruin Dr. Meryl Nass of Ellsworth for the crime of criticizing the insane, unscientific things done in the name of COVID-19. Nass, an expert in vaccines, was critical of how state officials were regulating COVID-19 related drug prescribing and new mRNA injections. So now, the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine, a gang of only the most devout Faucians, is trying to take away her medical license forever based on some picayune record keeping errors. Dora Mills, sister to Gov. Mills, even emailed a member of that august board with a list of supposed “misinformation” Nass uttered on the radio, a subtle wink and nod for the board to find some reason, any reason, to silence a medical expert. Following the science, indeed.

And how about the thousands of health care workers who ended up jobless because they refused Mills’ demand that they take an experimental injection that wouldn’t have stopped them from catching or spreading the virus anyways? How many of them fled the health care industry — or the state — rather than subject themselves to state-mandated experimental injections? Whatever happened to my body, my choice? I suspect those nurses and doctors would take a rather dim view of this pandemic amnesty unless it involves reinstatement and backpay.

The biggest crime, though, was the one committed against Maine school children by Mills, the teachers unions, and everyone in charge of school closures. Throughout all of COVID-19, only four people under the age of 20 died while testing positive for the virus. Four people. Four. Yet even though the science told us very early on that young people were not dying from the virus, the state ordered schools closed and trapped students at home, glued to computer screens for ineffective remote education. And, as if this punishment wasn’t enough, Mills is quite clearly waiting until after the election to mandate that school children receive the mRNA injections as a pre-condition for attending a government-run school. The cost of Mills’ school closures has been paid in learning loss, as evidenced by new test score results out last week, which pointed up declines in reading and math abilities at all grade levels. But the test scores are only part of the story. At the end of 2021, as the socially isolating school lockdowns dragged on, Maine saw an all-time high number of Emergency Department visits for Mainers under the age of 19 experiencing suicide ideation.

The litany of horrors these statist lockdowns unleashed on Maine is too long to list completely. Kudos to Prof. Oster for her willingness to admit that she was wrong, very wrong. But we ought to reject her call for pandemic amnesty. Because what pandemic amnesty really amounts to is a forgetting, a forgetting of the utter madness society descended into for several months, a forgetting of those who, like Gov. Mills and Dr. Shah, stoked that madness and used it as a pretext to place the jackboot of state power on Mainers’ necks. What we really need is pandemic accountability, a broad and comprehensive effort to identify and expose every politician, “expert,” and bureaucrat responsible for all of the terrible decisions for which this amnesty might apply. Those who restricted the liberty and economic freedom of Mainers while fancying themselves heroic saviors of science should be held accountable. Never again should they be allowed to sniff the levers of government power.

Thankfully, Maine has an opportunity to bring about a little pandemic accountability next week.

Let us reject pandemic amnesty.


  1. Well done. Mills and her co-conspirators should face prosecution because they had the data and proceeded with their control measures anyway. If not prosecution we would expect to see them receive treatment for Mass Formation Syndrome. Our association can lead that effort.

  2. Great Piece. Don’t forget to condemn what they did to healthy young people who wanted to start or continue their education at Maine’s Public Universities.


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