Columns

The 'COVID Collaborative': More Proof Our Smug Ruling Class Is Real

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Among President Trump’s accomplishments is demonstrating to conservatives just how little the people we elected previously were concerned with what we wanted. The COVID Collaborative is the latest example. John Bridgeland, George W. Bush’s Domestic Policy Council director, and Ray Chambers, who currently serves as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ambassador for global strategy, co-founded the group.

The World Health Organization, of course, covered for the Chinese Communist Party during the initial outbreak. And Bridgeland was an advisor for the former president who recently said the current Republican Party is “isolationist, protectionist and, to a certain extent, nativist.” If you look at the entirety of the membership in the COVID Collaborative, you may heave a little sigh.

Sadly, the COVID Collaborative includes former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and General Stanley McChrystal are also members. For those who don’t remember, the latter gave Democrat-allied groups anti-terror technology to combat President Trump’s campaign messages in 2020. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is also among the faces of the COVID Collaborative, along with other people who might surprise you.

Recommended: NO IT’S NOT: HHS Secretary Says It Is ‘Absolutely the Government’s Business’ to Know if You’re Vaccinated

One of the institutions the COVID Collaborative has partnered with is the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, better known as the IMHE. You may remember them from the graphs used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to convince America to engage in “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” For some of you, that turned into more than a year of misery. It may not surprise you that the COVID Collaborative also received $279 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The IMHE’s contribution to the COVID Collaborative is the map the Biden administration will likely use to figure out where they need to engage “trusted messengers” to knock on doors. They have taken “vaccine hesitancy” down to the county level with the help of Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook. Folks in the dark orange and red should expect the vaccine evangelists if they are prone to making a bet:

Image from Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

How do we know? Bridgeland told Politico the following when the outlet broke the news that allies of the Biden administration were going to ask cell phone companies to help crack down on “misinformation”:

One of those groups the administration has teamed up with on the ground is the COVID Collaborative, co-founded by George W. Bush alum John Bridgeland.

Bridgeland said his group had already seen a shift on the ground with people shutting doors “in their faces because they don’t want to get vaccinated.” His biggest concern is that these lies convince communities [who] are already wary of the vaccines, creating sects of the country where the virus just bounces among the unvaccinated.”

“It’s completely illogical and it’s potentially a death sentence,” Bridgeland said, adding that he’s watched the rhetoric ramp up in recent weeks. “It’s being coordinated by people who have platforms and have an interest in bringing down the current administration.”

That’s some hyperbole. Last I checked, either Biden or Harris will be in the Oval Office until 2024. None of this will matter unless there are some delayed vaccine side effects that no one can predict. The only thing that will relieve them of those duties is an election. It is fair to say there has not been nearly the level of weaponization of institutions to “bring down” this president as there was with the previous president. No, a text from Turning Point USA and statements from Republican governors are hardly a comparison.

 Related: Dr. Fauci’s Latest Comments on Vaccine Hesitancy Are Disingenuous and Wrong

Maybe people shutting doors on the COVID Collaborative means they have made up their minds based on information not included in Mr. Bridgeland’s know-it-all group of elites. Many Americans have seen either repeated reversals on public health recommendations or a year’s worth of censorship of the lab-leak-theory, which looks increasingly likely. Many have recovered from COVID-19 and remained free from reinfection. Bridgewater has no idea why they are not engaging. It is also doubtful people from the Collaborative will ask them.

The COVID Collaborative also links to the Turn the Page Project. This page contains people talking about how children should re-enter school after a year off. It includes many references to social-emotional learning, which teaches children to fight for justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. The project is currently collecting voices, so it would be great if Christopher Rufo or Asra Nomani piped in, though I am not sure the project would include their perspectives.

Related: Objections to Critical Theories Are Not Merely a ‘Right-Wing’ or ‘White’ Phenomenon

The cover of the COVID Collaborative’s video on safe in-person learning shows a child in a mask, which parents across the nation object to based on the science. Even the CDC had to relent after the outcry regarding its mask recommendations for summer camp:

Image from COVID Collaborative

In light of every teacher in America being able to take what Dr. Fauci tells us is a very safe and effective vaccine, the continued use of masks on children seems anti-science.

Not surprisingly, the former president PSAs don’t include the president who executed Operation Warp Speed, which produced the freaking vaccines the COVID Collaborative is championing. One president who is included is Jimmy Carter, who was once considered America’s worst president and is undoubtedly the worst one to serve out his term in my lifetime. The jury is out on where President Biden will stack up.

A collaboration usually brings together people with diverse ideas and perspectives. While some of its members come from the Republican Party, the COVID Collaborative does not appear to include dissenting opinions about COVID-19 at all. The list of expert contributors contains no expert who publicly disagreed with the narrative on lockdowns, masking, or vaccinating children. The COVID Collaborative has expended no resources looking for effective outpatient treatment. Their sole focus seems to be restrictions and vaccines.

Related: Trump Was Right: The Cost of Lockdowns Will Persist for a Generation or More

Scrolling through the ancillary materials, the number of groups aligned behind the initiative, and the certainty with which they are proceeding, I couldn’t help but recall the last tweet in a viral thread by Darryl Cooper:

They [Trump supporters] were led down some rabbit holes, but they are absolutely right that their gov’t is monopolized by a Regime that believes they are beneath representation, and will observe no limits to keep them getting it.

You could insert almost any group that dissents from the views of our ruling class within the brackets. The COVID Collaborative is just another example of the ruling class deciding what the rest of us need without their prescriptions ever being meaningfully challenged.