It seems like only yesterday… Americans were denied the right to go to their churches. They were denied the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. They were denied the right to open their businesses and go to work to provide for themselves and their families. They were denied the right to go to restaurants, bars, and hair salons.
No laws were passed denying these rights. Even that would be illegal and immoral. But what happened was worse.
They stole power that was not theirs to take and wielded it at all levels to force America into three months of house arrest.
They were denied these basic rights by governors, county judges, and even local mayors who used the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to rule by decree. They stole power that was not theirs to take and wielded it at all levels to force America into three months of house arrest.
Then, in the midst of stay-at-home orders across the country, the same governors and local officials who locked Americans in their homes suddenly came around with their keys and threw open the doors. Suddenly, not only was it OK to go out into the street, it was required to go out into the street!
What happened? A cure? A miraculous vaccine? No.
The officials who locked Americans up found a cause they felt required Americans in the streets to protest. Police had killed a black man, George Floyd, in their custody in Minneapolis, and suddenly the need to protest trumped the need to “stay home, save lives.”
Suddenly the same health “experts” who told us we must not gather in crowds or there will be death in the millions from coronavirus issued statements supporting gathering in crowds. An open letter on the George Floyd protests signed by more than 1,200 doctors and other health professionals clarified that they “do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission.” However, they wrote, “this should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-at-home orders.”
What has happened from the beginning of this shameful coronavirus episode is the politicization of public health at the hands of authoritarians.
Did the coronavirus develop some kind of superior intelligence enabling it to distinguish between those who were congregating for a “good cause” and those who were congregating for a “bad cause”? Of course not. What has happened from the beginning of this shameful coronavirus episode is the politicization of public health at the hands of authoritarians.
Two prestigious medical journals, the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, were forced to retract studies they had published concluding that hydroxychloroquine was harmful to COVID-19 patients. The rush to print the studies looks very much like a political move rather than one based on scientific principles. Once President Donald Trump revealed that he was taking hydroxychloroquine, the mainstream media and even “expert” journals began attacking the drug.
This is what happens when medicine merges with the state. We get the worst of both.
We get career bureaucrat Dr. Anthony Fauci telling us we can never shake hands again and that we must stay home until a vaccine is found. Meanwhile, doctors across the globe are reporting that this variation of the coronavirus is disappearing on its own.
We have a tradition of separation of church and state in the United States for good reason. The merger of state and church invites oppression and corruption. We need to adopt this same approach to medicine and the state. We now see how this merger has produced the same kind of widespread tyranny and corruption.
Dr. Ron Paul is a 12-term member of Congress and three-time presidential candidate. While in Washington, D.C., he was one of the few voices advocating for limited government, individual liberty, and sound fiscal principles. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestselling books The Revolution: A Manifesto and End the Fed.
This article originally appeared at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. Copyright © 2020 by Ron Paul Institute.