Will 'Lockdowns' Haunt Trump?

Monday, November 21, 2022

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Justin Hart reminds Americans of something many of them might have already forgotten: Donald Trump was for the Covid "lockdowns" before he was against them -- and he criticized governors from his own party for ending them "too soon."

Mass indefinite home detention was hardly the only part of Trump's pandemic response that he should be held accountable for. (Image by The White House, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.)
The White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, put the Constitution into an induced coma. Mr. Trump's decision to adopt Chinese Communist Party tactics and close down the country gave license to states to amplify and extend these terrible policies, to governors to wield unprecedented executive powers, and to school districts to shut students out for months or even years.

Mr. Trump did very little to constrain this overreach. His dramatic Covid order shut down your business, barred your kids from school, denied you access to your church, your gym and your coffee shop. It suppressed screenings and treatments for cancer and other illnesses and kept people from visiting loved ones in the hospital or attending their funerals.

Studies appear weekly confirming what almost everyone now acknowledges -- the lockdowns were futile as well as onerous. One set of researchers wrote: "Overall, we conclude that lockdowns are not an effective way of reducing mortality rates during a pandemic."

Mr. Trump paid lip service to the need to reopen the country but never rallied lawmakers or other officials to do anything about it. It was left to governors like Brian Kemp of Georgia and Ron DeSantis of Florida to do that on their own. [links omitted and bold added]
For the sake of completeness, and to avoid the understandable (but wrong) objection that Hart is writing from hindsight, the article should have also mentioned South Dakota's Kristi Noem, who correctly never adopted that policy, on the grounds that she did not have the authority to do so.

As in many other respects, Trump (who said nothing about the lockdowns during his campaign announcement) will hope to win as the "Not Democrat" in 2024. And he may well not pay for his authoritarian sins -- at least until the general election -- if someone from his own party never challenges him on that issue in the form af a strong primary challenge.

-- CAV

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