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OPINION

There Should Be No Covid Amnesty

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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On Monday of this week, Brown University economist Emily Oster had an essay published by The Atlantic in which she begged, "Let's declare a pandemic amnesty" because "we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID."

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In her essay, it's clear that Oster is seeking to skirt accountability for the Democrats, liberals, so-called experts, and media personalities who engaged in the nonsense that has been proven foolhardy or wrong — despite once being presented as indisputable "science" — over the last two years.

She mentions the emerging "consensus" that "schools in the U.S. were closed for too long" — you think? — and "uncertainty" about the effectiveness of single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines versus the two-dose mRNA vaccines as two areas in which she wants there to be "amnesty" for those who kept kids locked down and pushed mandates when the full picture of vaccine efficacy and side effects were not fully known. 

Oster also points to closed beaches in California and mask mandates for those outdoors with members of their own household in her piece that is transparently seeking to have Americans forgive and forget what the COVID authoritarians did in the name of "science" and "public health." 

But it's too late for that — it's time for COVID accountability, not amnesty. 

Where are the answers from the leaders who ordered skate parks in California to be filled in with sand? Who demanded basketball hoops on outdoor courts be dismantled? Who tied up playground swings with police tape or removed them altogether? 

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Who will have to answer for why people were prevented from getting outside in the fresh air to exercise and instead were forced to languish inside? Will there be any admission of responsibility by those who implemented such policies and subsequently triggered a spike in mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, and domestic violence issues among Americans who were told to hunker down and stay alone?

What about justice for the families of nursing home residents who died from COVID after governors such as New York's Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey's Phil Murphy, and Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer ordered them filled with COVID-positive patients? 

Who will answer to the families who didn't get to visit or say goodbye to loved ones who were hospitalized with non-COVID illnesses? The fathers who weren't allowed to be in the delivery room to witness the birth of their child? The families who weren't even allowed to hold a funeral to mourn a lost relative?

Are we all to just forgive the COVID hypocrites who put businesses under and destroyed livelihoods while continuing to live their lives as normal? To pretend the spate of "masks for thee but not for me" leaders who never seemed to follow their own edicts are upstanding exemplars?

Who's going to take responsibility for the massive learning loss that occurred and face the music for the hypocrisy of individuals like California Governor Gavin Newsom, who kept the Golden State's schools shut down while sending his kids to a reopened private school? 

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Will President Biden ever offer an apology for his divisive claims that COVID-19 was a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" and smears of Americans who chose not to get the vaccine? Will he be forced to answer for his administration's unconstitutional use of executive power to cost American workers their jobs for choosing not to follow his edict?

No serious person can argue Americans are just to forget the carnage and division that happened at the hands of power-tripping Democrats. Not now. Not after everything that was done under a razor-thin veneer of moral superiority based on "following the science" that was often not followed by the same people when their rules proved inconvenient to their comfortable lives.

Oster's timing is mighty convenient, just about one week before the midterm elections are held in which control of Congress is set to switch into Republican hands in at least one chamber, if not both. In a GOP-run Congress, there's sure to be plenty of oversight for those who preached adherence to their edicts but hypocritically ignored them when they proved inconvenient, who labeled those seeking the truth about COVID's origins conspiracy theorists or xenophobes, whose policies led to unnecessary death and economic destruction for their constituents, and a long list of supporting characters yet to be compiled by those leading congressional committees in the new year. 

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Despite Oster's pleading, the answer should be a flat "no." Full stop. No amnesty. It's time for accountability — through congressional and state investigations, at the ballot box on November 8, and into the future when authoritarian policies are attempted again. 

Editor's Note: While the radical left and "experts" beg for amnesty after destroying millions of lives with their draconian, anti-science Covid policies, we will never forget. Help us give these Big Government authoritarians what they deserve: accountability. 

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