The polling firm that proudly served Joe Biden in 2020 has some advice for Democrats. Impact Research wrote a memo, which is circulating on Capitol Hill, alerting Democrats that no one likes their policies regarding COVID-19. Prepare for the most comprehensive attempt to retcon the last two years we have seen yet as Democrats now understand that their political fate depends on embracing reality.
Impact Research is advocating for Democrats to declare that their leadership has defeated the threat from COVID-19 and claim the win. The title of the memo is “Taking the Win Over COVID-19.” From the memo:
After two years that necessitated lockdowns, travel bans, school closures, mask mandates, and nearly a million deaths, nearly every American finally has the tools to protect themselves from this virus. It’s time for Democrats to take credit for ending the COVID crisis phase of the COVID war, point to important victories like vaccine distribution and providing economic stability to Americans, and fully enter the rebuilding phase that comes after any war.
There was no war. There were artificial economic and education shutdowns that many public health experts objected to from early in the pandemic. Once it became clear that the virus was a serious threat to people over the age of 65 who had other health issues and not the younger, healthier populations, thousands of health experts, researchers, and clinicians signed on to the Great Barrington Declaration in October 2020.
The document provided clear guidance to get low-risk younger adults back to work and children back to school. At the same time, it called for creativity and local action to protect the vulnerable until treatment or vaccines became available. Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci actively sought to discredit these ideas and maintain harsh restrictions. Vulnerable and elderly Americans died by the hundreds of thousands anyway.
The memo from Impact goes on from the introduction to make several strategic suggestions. The first is to “Declare the crisis phase of COVID over and push for feeling and acting more normal.” To support this idea, the consultants assert:
Democrats have a tremendous opportunity to claim an incredible, historic success – they vaccinated hundreds of millions of people, prevented the economy from going into freefall, kept small businesses from going under, and got people back to work safely.
Almost none of this is true. While hundreds of millions may have received vaccines, that achievement and the person leading the distribution began under President Trump. General Gus Perna was one of the few Trump administration holdovers, and he led the planning and distribution of vaccines under both presidents. And no one would have been vaccinated at all without Opearion Warp Speed, which was vaccinating one million Americans a day before Inauguration Day.
The economic recovery was tied to state policies more than anything else. States that opened earlier, largely under Republican governors, drove the recovery. Over 200,000 more businesses closed in the first year of the pandemic than historically shuttered per year. These percentages are worse in Democrat-run cities and states where crime is up, closures persist, and restrictions are cyclical. New business openings have been reduced by 40% from pre-pandemic levels in California, and the state lost 40,000 small businesses forever. As of June 2021, New York City was down half a million jobs from 2019, and white-collar workplaces remained empty, with remote work enduring as the new normal.
Further, even Bill Gates has said that the real hero of COVID-19 is COVID-19. At a recent conference in Munich, Gates acknowledged that the arrival of the Omicron variant did a better job putting an end to the emergency phase of the pandemic than any of the geniuses at the World Health Organization, CDC, or NIH. “Sadly, the virus itself, particularly the variant called Omicron, is a type of vaccine, creates both B cell and T cell immunity, and it’s done a better job of getting out to the world population than we have with vaccines,” Gates said. It is only sad for Bill Gates and others who thought the income stream from vaccines and boosters would further enrich them.
In reality, Omicron is a better vaccine. It provides long-term immune system reactions to more than just the spike protein, making it more difficult for future variants to evade all protection. Natural infection also provides mucosal immunity, which a vaccine cannot create. Omicron’s high transmission rate and reduced virulence have done more to protect vulnerable populations from hospitalization and death from COVID-19 going forward than Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson combined.
The other “strategic suggestions” from Impact Research are hysterical. The population in a few deep-blue areas may buy the narrative they are shopping, but it is a joke to large portions of the country. The consultants suggest that Democrats abandon “Zero COVID” as a condition of victory. This is an excellent suggestion, since more than two-thirds of Americans already have. Impact Research also notes that people are now more concerned with learning loss in children and the long-term harms of lockdowns. We should welcome them to the club, since many of us warned of this toll beginning in the summer of 2020.
Perhaps the most honest part of this memo is in the final paragraph. It is also the most infuriating. The summary makes clear what many of us have known for two years (emphasis added):
Stop talking about restrictions and the unknown future ahead. If we focus on how bad things still are and how much worse they could get, we set Democrats up as failures unable to navigate us through this. When 99% of Americans can get vaccinated, we cause more harm than we prevent with voters by going into our third year talking about restrictions. And, if Democrats continue to hold a posture that prioritizes COVID precautions over learning how to live in a world where COVID exists, but does not dominate, they risk paying dearly for it in November.
The COVID response was always about politics and not public health. The only reason Democrats are caving on their authoritarian restrictions-in-perpetuity strategy is that most Americans are done. They understand continuing to use the pandemic as a pretext will cost them at the ballot box, even in blue strongholds. The Virginia gubernatorial loss taught them they couldn’t ignore the will of voters forever.
If you lost a loved one or a business or if your child is struggling with school or emotional health, you should be furious. Democrat politicians and bureaucrats sacrificed their well-being on the altar of politics. The leaders who managed those responses must be held accountable. They can’t retcon the past using advice from a memo. And Democrats must not be allowed to claim victory over the pandemic when the evolution of the virus was what ended the emergency.