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OPINION

The COVID Chicken Littles Are At It Once Again

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Erin Scott/Pool via AP

A bureaucrat with an ego and an authoritarian streak is bad. A bureaucrat with these traits and a Chicken Little complex is downright dangerous, as we have seen most clearly since early last year when COVID-19 first reared its ugly head.

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Now, nearly two years in, these Chicken Littles are at it again, thanks to the emergence of a slightly new “strain” of the virus; the so-called “Omicron” variety. Leading the charge is the Chicken-Little-in-Chief, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

In recent interviews, Fauci’s irrepressible ego and lust for control proves yet again why the man has no business being allowed anywhere near any levers of power.

In an interview last weekend with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” for example, Fauci bragged about “representing science” and his job of “saving lives”; all the while denouncing individuals who, unlike himself, have actually been elected to represent and speak for American citizens. 

Fauci -- whose career as science’s one true “expert” on COVID was unfortunately launched by former President Trump but elevated to sainthood by Trump’s successor -- accused his critics, most pointedly Sen. Rand Paul, of intentionally “lying” to the American people because they have had the audacity to question the good doctor’s pronouncements (which have often turned out to be wrong).

Always eager to grab the spotlight for himself, Fauci has lost no time in declaring what must be done for Planet Earth to survive the Omicron strain of the COVID virus.

In the real world, however, what he and his COVID comrades across the globe are doing can barely be described as “science” – with a straight face, that is. 

Following preliminary reports of the new strain of COVID in South Africa, world leaders, egged on by their “science” and “health” advisors, nearly jumped out of their skin to shut down borders, implement new lockdowns, and beat the drum of “Pandemic 2.0.” Just a few days later, a doctor treating patients in South Africa doused their alarmist cries with cold water, when she reported that symptoms of this new strain were odd, but actually quite “mild.” Mild.

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In other words, the entire global panic over Omicron is based not on any solid research or confirmed threat, but the paranoia of the spread of a new COVID variant that appears to be demonstrably less severe than what we have endured already. Nobody – not Joe Biden, Dr. Fauci, the WHO, or anyone else – has any idea just how significant the Omicron variant is now or will be later, though early analysis indicates it is less so. The dearth of information, however, has not stopped these officials from charging ahead with plans to implement a new round of economic and security mandates, based on nothing more than fear of “what could happen” if they do not act immediately.

This is not science. It is, at best, informed speculation – and that is being generous. In any event, such knee-jerk policies certainly provide no true justification for more restrictions and mandates than we have been forced to endure for nearly two years. 

Unfortunately, in an age when virtually every problem – real or imagined – serves to justify government action (always at the expense of individual liberty), few of those government officials who have served as overseers of the COVID response have been willing or able to relinquish the powers that fell into their laps early in 2020. Clearly, neither Biden nor Fauci have evidenced any inclination to do so, and no one considering the situation with any degree of objectivity expects them to change their predisposition to sow fear and reap control.

As I have written, the dramatic shift in agency mission from research to policy-making at Fauci’s bureaucratic home, the Centers for Disease Control, is deeply dangerous, if not ruinous for the health of our democracy and of our citizenry. If elected officials, tasked by the U.S. Constitution (not some made up “emergency” powers) to make public policy decisions for our country, cannot reasonably trust the information provided to them is objective and free from agenda-driven spin, the decisions they make are flawed from the get-go. 

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In this Chicken Little world in which we unfortunately live, however, flawed public policies are all we realistically can expect.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.

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