Here is George Landrith’s written statement for today’s Senate HSGAC hearing on how government officials misrepresented the known science and the origins of COVID-19. Thanks to Dr. and Senator Rand Paul making sure that the truth is discovered and revealed to the public!

Statement of George Landrith, President, of Frontiers of Freedom:

Edmund Burke, the great British statesman, economist, and political philosopher, described how intemperate emotionalism and a lack of a sound civic moral foundation endanger a society, its freedom, and its health:

“Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

During the COVID pandemic from 2020 through 2022, we saw a microcosm of what Burke warned us about. Our nation engaged in a long series of fear-based decisions that rejected established fact, science, and governing principles and abandoned civic decency. And it wasn’t just because those in power made in good faith what we now recognize as mistakes. Virtually none of the errors that were made were honest attempts made in good faith to solve a national health-care crisis.

It is now clear that it was the extreme Left using the crisis and fear that they helped foment to advance their power and accomplish political goals that would otherwise have taken decades to accomplish, if they could ever be accomplished. Simply stated, as Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, famously said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” And the leftists in government jumped into action to use the pandemic, not to save lives, not to preserve freedom, not to ensure opportunity, not to promote public health—but rather to consolidate their power and gain greater control.

As a result, a pandemic was made much worse, and more people suffered and more people died. Children were harmed. Families lost their homes and life savings, and countless small businesses were destroyed. The fear-based policies that were brutally imposed by the Left turned out to fuel one of the largest wealth transfers from the poor and middle class to the uber wealthy that our nation has ever seen.

The average American saw their income decline, their savings reduced, their financial prospects diminished, but the world’s ten richest individuals saw their wealth doubled. This is what happens when government is given the power to tell people that their employment isn’t important enough to allow them to work—they lose their home, their business, their financial stability, and the economic opportunity that those things make possible. But if you’re uber wealthy, you can avoid the consequences of the government’s overreaching mandates and even profit from them.

Let’s discuss how we know that the Left’s goals were not to save lives or do good but rather to control, manipulate, and consolidate power. First, if people are doing good, if people are well-intentioned, they don’t lie, they don’t hide what they’re doing, they don’t engage in cover-ups, they don’t try to silence those who might reveal their good works, and so on. That is your first clue. And it provides conclusive proof of what their intentions really are.

For example, a criminal’s behavior after having committed a crime is often proof of their guilt. If you saw someone running out of a bank with a large sack of money, a mask, and a gun, and jumping in a car and speeding away as alarms from within the bank blared, you would rationally believe you had witnessed a bank robbery even though you didn’t see the robber hand the teller a robbery note or see him flash his gun to intimidate everyone into cooperation. Moreover, if the persons who robbed the bank made their escape but were later caught and questioned, the fact that they may lie about where they were the morning of the bank robbery and then they lie about how they got the million dollars of cash that is stuffed in their mattress, that would also be strong evidence that you’d caught the robbers. That legal doctrine is called “consciousness of guilt.” Guilty people tend to behave like, well, guilty people.

Likewise, if Dr. Fauci and Governors Andrew Cuomo, Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom, and others are: (i) caught in misrepresentations and lies about what they were doing, (ii) caught in cover-ups, (iii) found to have made public statements that are contradicted by their own letters and emails that they attempted to hide, (iv) caught changing definitions of medical terms to suit their latest argument, or (v) caught mandating public behavior that they themselves do not follow—it is a pretty safe bet that they were not acting in good faith but were acting to accomplish political goals and using the pandemic as their cover. Simply stated, such underhanded behavior is powerful evidence that they are “not letting a serious crisis go to waste.”

And, of course, the pandemic became the rationale for many states violating the law and changing voting procedures, which interestingly made voter fraud much easier to commit and made it much harder to reasonably believe that the election results could be trusted. But, of course, if you noticed this illegal behavior and pointed it out, you are smeared and labeled an election denier. That is also compelling evidence of the bad faith of the extreme Left.

If you want to defend the crazy and illegal election law changes, do so. But make real arguments and explain why those changes despite being illegal were still made in good faith. The fact that the Left has not even bothered to do that and simply went straight to demonizing and canceling anyone who noticed what they were doing is powerful evidence that they knew exactly what they were doing and that they simply want to bully and shame the public into not examining the facts and thinking about what they mean and what impact they had.

When independent and respected health-care institutions review the effects of the 2020 and 2021 COVID lockdowns, they find that it did not help save lives but that it did have tremendous costs to society.  But you might say, sure, we know that now, but we didn’t know that in early 2020 when the pandemic first struck. They were doing the best they could, and it just turned out in hindsight that they were wrong—hindsight is twenty-twenty. Actually, if you thought that, you’d be wrong. We did know. They knew. There were plenty of studies looking back at previous pandemics and healthcare crises, and what they found was that long-term lockdowns and government mandates had little positive impact but had huge costs.

For example, one of the numerous studies that concluded that longterm, broad-based lockdowns were unhelpful in combating pandemics was one from 2006 entitled “Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza.”  This study reviewed the data from a number of pandemics across wide populations and concluded that isolating those who are symptomatic “is probably the most important measure.” Yet Governor Andrew Cuomo placed COVID symptomatic patients in elder-care facilities resulting in the deaths of thousands of senior citizens as they were at the highest risk from COVID. Cuomo also engaged in an extensive cover-up. People hiding what they’ve done are showing “consciousness of guilt.”

The 2006 study concluded that “there are no historical observations or scientific studies that support” large-scale quarantine measures. The study even observed that the World Health Organization also concluded that “forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.”

The study also pointed out that the interest in these sorts of lockdowns harkens back to more than fifty years earlier when:

much less was known about the epidemiology of infectious diseases and when there was far less international and domestic travel in a less densely populated world. It is difficult to identify circumstances in the past half-century when large-scale quarantine has been effectively used in control of any disease. The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme (forced confinement of sick people with the well; complete restriction of movement of large populations; difficulty in getting critical supplies, medicines, and food to people inside the quarantine zone) that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.

What is interesting is that some folks act like Dr. Fauci and the CDC were just following the best available science and information. This is absurdly false and self-evidently untrue. What they were actually doing was following the misconceptions and mistakes that were made more than fifty years ago, and that were widely understood to be mistakes more than a decade ago and perhaps earlier.

Dr. Fauci also denied the reality of natural immunity, and there was no science supporting his position. Today, the science unmistakably proves that he was wrong. But he continues to act like he’s an authoritative voice that can be trusted. I knew from very early on that Dr. Fauci was an entirely unreliable voice. I simply read a great deal of scientific studies and was puzzled why he seemed to know nothing about them and almost everything he said was in conflict with the scientific studies.

Plus when he was asked questions about why he was recommending things that didn’t align well with the known science, he didn’t bother to explain the science, he attacked the person asking the question. And he pretended that he was science incarnate and that even asking him questions was an act of silly superstition and anti-science. And he worked with the high-tech community to silence anyone—even real scientists and treating physicians—who asked questions or explained why he was mistaken. This is something that no serious scientist would do. But it is absolutely 100 percent what a politically motivated person in power who seeks more power and who has totalitarian instincts would do.

So I knew Fauci was a bad actor with bad motives from the get-go. The next two years, he provided more and more evidence of being more of a political scientist than a medical scientist. He is not a scientist. He’s a bureaucrat who works to protect his power and influence. But he proved over and over that he didn’t care about science or the scientific process. Under oath, when asked about the studies that proved he was dead wrong, he claimed he was too busy running a large government bureaucracy to be bothered with reading such studies. Here’s the translation: “I’m a bureaucrat, not a doctor, and not a scientist!”

The 2006 study also concluded that prohibiting social gatherings was ineffective—“a policy calling for community-wide cancellation of public events seems inadvisable.” The study also concluded that school closures for a week or two might be reasonable but that “to close schools for longer periods is not only impractical but carries the possibility of a serious adverse outcome.” We saw that come to pass, and it was all predictable and known before it was done. So anyone who dares claim that these extremists on the left were following the best available science at the time is simply revealing their own profound failure to think and analyze. It is time to wake up and hold bureaucrats with totalitarian instincts accountable, and it is time to stop defending them and making absurd excuses for them. Just look at what they did to America because of their avarice!

A Harvard University study found that in the AIDS crisis, the most effective measure that helped stem the spread was what they called the “rational behavioral response,” which simply means that humans take reasonable actions to avoid having bad things happen to them. The Harvard study pointed out that too often government policymakers ignore this important factor but focus solely on their various government programs.  Of course, AIDS and COVID are different, but the lessons learned by examining medical science still have some application.

The idea that “rational behavior response” is a powerful element of any successful strategy remains important. Simply stated, humans tend to act in ways that will benefit them and keep them alive. We, for example, don’t have laws that require people to dress warmly in cold weather. Why? Because people do it naturally. It is an example of “rational behavior response.” But Fauci entirely ignored rational behavioral response. For it to work, reliable and truthful information would have had to be provided to the public. But Fauci admitted lying to us about things to encourage compliance with his anti-science edicts.

Back to the 2006 study that concluded that as an “overriding principle” policymakers need to remember that “[e]xperience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted. Strong political and public health leadership to provide reassurance and to ensure that needed medical care services are provided are critical elements. If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.”

Sadly, this is exactly what happened—the pandemic leadership was far less than optimal, far less than honest, far less than focused on good health-care outcomes—and that moved the pandemic toward catastrophe. You can thank the extreme Left for all this! The disastrous health-care outcomes, the catastrophic economic outcomes, the awful educational outcomes, the grievous mental healthcare outcomes, and the overall increase of misery and depression as well as the growth in the distrust of government and the weakening of our nation’s confidence in its election integrity can all be laid at the feet of the extreme Left.

The bottom line is that freedom works. The vast majority of people make rational decisions when they are given reliable and accurate information, and they will use their freedom to protect themselves, their families, and their friends and associates from undue risk. But when government officials lie to the public and provide false and unreliable information, that is a recipe for disaster. That is what Dr. Fauci brought to America. Let this sink in—he presided over one of the most disastrous public health crises in our nation’s history. Some might blame Trump because that is the Left’s mindless go-to. But Fauci continued to be unreliable and untrustworthy under Joe Biden. He was the one constant throughout the process, and he and the federal healthcare bureaucracy advocated for all the anti-science insanity that our nation engaged in.

For example, Fauci lied under oath repeatedly to Congress about a number of things, and his emails later proved his lies. He also lied about gain-of-function research and the funding that he provided for it. Later, Fauci changed the definition of gain of function on his department’s website so that he could “cure” his repeated lies. This is proof that even he knew he had lied and was using his power to change accepted definitions to avoid claims of perjury—more evidence of criminality and consciousness of guilt.

Another fact that is important to point out is that the extreme Left worked overtime to blame the Right for every single COVID death. We got daily counts of deaths, and they were falsely blamed on the conservatives who held public office—mostly President Trump. But also Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and others were blamed for deaths, and the extreme Left warned that they would be responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. This was all a complete and damnable lie; yet it was told over and over almost every day on the news.

But Dr. Fauci and a number of leftist governors and their allies in government and the lame stream media were never blamed, even though they were the actual source of the most dire effects and aftershocks of the pandemic. While there would have been many deaths attributable to COVID no matter what, their totalitarian instincts led to more deaths, more poverty, less education, more bankruptcy, more mental health crises, more lost jobs and businesses, and more distrust in government and the integrity of our elections.

When the Left achieved its goal of a change in the White House and in the House and Senate, the daily death count stopped. And then the mantra became that the pandemic was the fault of the unvaccinated and the GOP governors who were not engaged in oppressive lockdowns. This too was a lie—not a small lie, but a lie of overwhelming proportions. But if you are more interested in using the pandemic to achieve political outcomes than you are in helping the nation get through the pandemic with as little societal cost—in other words, if you don’t want to let a good crisis go to waste—this is exactly what you’d expect.

Dr. Fauci, originally told folks that masking wasn’t helpful. That was in line with the best data and science available. Then he abruptly changed his position claiming that his earlier statement was given simply because he wanted to preserve masks for health-care workers. That might be plausible if the science suggested that masks worked. But the 2006 study and many others concluded otherwise:

In Asia during the SARS period, many people in the affected communities wore surgical masks when in public. But studies have shown that the ordinary surgical mask does little to prevent inhalation of small droplets bearing influenza virus. The pores in the mask become blocked by moisture from breathing, and the air stream simply diverts around the mask. There are few data available to support the efficacy of N95 or surgical masks outside a healthcare setting. N95 masks need to be fit-tested to be efficacious….

Of course, the efficacy of cloth masks is even worse. And yet as a nation, the moral bullies and busybodies used the power of government to mandate cloth masks when they did virtually nothing to protect anyone from infection. The science on this point is quite clear. And it was clear from the get-go.

Dr. Fauci at the very beginning told the truth about masks. But then when he realized the political and power gains that could be achieved through fear-mongering, he changed his tune and disregarded the known science. So it is not accurate to say that he was providing information based on the best-known and current science and that it was only later when we learned these things. That’s a lie. They knew from day one. His emails prove it. And once they saw an opportunity to expand and consolidate government power, they went with whatever helped them, and in most instances, they made the pandemic worse and the societal costs far more catastrophic. This will be Dr. Fauci’s legacy.

It is also interesting that early during the COVID pandemic, there were ample studies looking at the first few months of data, and they concluded that further lockdowns were a bad idea. It was at least, in part, why Governor Ron DeSantis committed to keeping Florida open and why Governors Brian Kemp of Georgia and Kristi Noem of South Dakota opened their states very early and were subjected to harsh and hyperbolic criticism from the Left.

The extreme Left and the mainstream media (but again, I repeat myself) told us with certainty that these horrible governors were putting dollars over lives and ignoring the science and that untold thousands would die because of their irresponsible actions. This was all a lie—not just one lie but hundreds, if not thousands, of damnable lies that were told not because of any interest in human life—those on the extreme left who are upset when anyone chooses life over abortion can hardly be considered to be primarily focused on preserving human life—but because there was a political agenda that had to be achieved, and these renegades had to be silenced, or at least dismissed and diminished, so that the power grab and power consolidation could go on unabated.

The science before the pandemic clearly showed that long-term, widespread lockdowns were not effective and that widespread public masking was not effective. But it was pursued so as to whip the public up into a frenzy and engage in illegal power grabs and illegal consolidations of power. An additional goal was to allow election laws in key states to be changed—in many instances outside the proper legal and constitutional avenues—so as to make voter fraud easy and very difficult to prevent or even prove after the fact.

For example, we saw infection numbers that even liberal governors and President Biden admitted showed that the pandemic was over, but they all continued to exercise so-called emergency powers, and the leftists in Congress worked hard to make sure that the so-called emergency powers created during the pandemic lasted as long as possible. And the voting changes that were supposedly necessitated because of the pandemic and the Left’s much ballyhooed interest in saving lives continue unabated, and there is no evidence that they ever intend to go back to normal. This is proof that they were making sure to not let a good crisis go to waste and that they now hope to consolidate their political gains made possible by the fomented crisis.

This is further proof that it was never a temporary emergency measure to save lives because they have been so resistant to returning to pre-pandemic laws and norms. It was always intended to make permanent changes in our nation to advance the power of the extreme Left. And while there may come a day when the Left will be forced by the Right to allow a return to the laws and norms that existed before the pandemic, it won’t be done because the Left wants to. If it happens, it will be because Americans rise up and use their electoral might to say, “Enough! This insanity must end!” To this day, the extreme Left defends all the abuses that occurred during the pandemic. There have been no actual apologies.

I must have missed that part of the Constitution that grants to government special emergency powers whenever those in office believe it appropriate. Here’s the truth—even a legitimate emergency does not grant either the federal government or any state governments the right to give themselves new powers that are not authorized by their respective constitutions. Likewise, government may not impose emergency measures that are in conflict with duly passed legislation that is in alignment with the US Constitution and the relevant state constitutions.

If there is an actual emergency and if the public wishes to grant government new emergency powers, there is a constitutional process that can be followed to provide such powers. Our federal government is a government of “enumerated powers,” or “limited powers”—meaning that the federal government only has those powers that the US Constitution specifically authorizes. Federal statutes cannot grant the federal government more power than it has under the Constitution. The same thing is true at the state level. And it is obvious to anyone with a brain that a government official cannot merely declare that they have new, special emergency powers. In America, we do not have kings or emperors with unlimited powers. But this is the direction that the extreme Left would like to take us.

America was founded with an important goal in mind—to prevent totalitarian dictatorships, which have no limits on their powers. So it cannot be that every time someone can articulate an emergency that we toss our various constitutions in the trash and give our leaders totalitarian powers. That simply is not how it works! And those who act as if that is an acceptable model for the exercise of political power must be removed from office as they are a grave danger to our republic. They must never be trusted with even an ounce of political power because they’ve already proven their totalitarian instincts and such instincts are not remotely compatible with being a free people governed in accordance with the limited powers that we, the people, have granted them.

When we look back on what was done, it is now clear that the power grabs and attempts to consolidate power did not spare lives or make the pandemic less costly or less harmful. The science is now clear. If stringent lockdowns saved lives, we should see that in those jurisdictions with the most stringent lockdowns that they had far lower death rates from COVID. But the data show that whether you’re comparing states in the US or nations in Europe and around the globe, what you do not find is any strong evidence that lockdowns saved lives.

For example, Florida was open after the original “two weeks to flatten the curve” time period. Many suggested that Governor DeSantis was going to have blood on his hands and that millions would die because of his decision. And because Florida is disproportionately elderly due to all the retirement communities, Florida’s population was disproportionately at risk. So if lockdowns saved lives and lifting lockdowns cost lives, we would see that in the data in Florida. But we don’t see any of that in the data. All that fear-mongering was just mindless blather designed to whip the public up into supporting a totalitarian approach.

The fear-mongering wasn’t based in fact, and it wasn’t based in science. It never was. It was always about power consolidation and power grabs. It was obvious. You didn’t need to be a scientist to grasp what was going on. You just needed to pay attention and engage in a modest level of critical thinking. Those who were fooled need to commit to being a little more savvy the next time around. Because having achieved so much political power and political gains, the extremists on the left will try this game plan again. America cannot afford to fall for that ploy the next time around. We have to be smarter and more vigilant.

It takes a truly evil person to use a pandemic and personal tragedy to gain more power and more control over society. But that is what the extreme Left did. And once they had the country mostly on board with their power grabs, they moved to consolidate their power by changing election laws to allow voting in ways that would make voter fraud both easy to commit and almost impossible to prevent or detect.

We went from a system where the vast majority of Americans vote in person to a system where the majority of Americans vote by mail—a system that has few protections against fraud and gives few reasons to be confident that ballots are secure and the votes legitimate.

One might argue that given the pandemic this was necessary. But it is instructive that in many instances the voting changes were done outside the law and by officials who did not have the constitutional authority to make such changes. Moreover, if the rationale for a system that has so many security risks and so much potential for voter fraud was justified because of an emergency during a pandemic, why haven’t the emergency voting measures returned to the norm? Why is the emergency system of voting being used even after the “emergency” is over? And why is the extreme Left trying to expand those so-called emergency voting procedures to be the norm?

The answer is clear—the extreme Left is seeking to create a system that makes them our overlords while maintaining the outward appearance of a republic that holds occasional mock elections. This game is played in virtually every totalitarian regime. Most of the world’s evil dictators won elections of some sort. And once they got power, they changed the rules to consolidate and ensure their perpetual power. That’s how those with totalitarian instincts operate. So you’d better wake up and pay attention. We saw this on full display in 2020 and since.

Moreover, why is it that when people ask registrars or secretaries of state to remove dead people from the voter rolls, Democrats who occupy those offices refuse? And they even fight in court to keep dead people on the rolls. Why would anyone fight to keep known dead people on the voter rolls? Are they worried that dead people might be disenfranchised?

In Michigan a group used the federal government’s Social Security database to prove that more than 25,000 dead people were on the voting rolls. Democrat officials refused to remove the dead people and have fought in court any attempt to remove them.

This story is not isolated to Michigan. This is actually how most Democrat-run jurisdictions respond. They want a large pool of people on the voter rolls—people who are known to be dead, people who are known to have moved to another state and registered to vote in another state, and so forth—so that votes can be fraudulently cast in their names to ensure that extremists can maintain their power. There is no rational reason to keep tens of thousands of dead people or people who have moved out of state on the voter rolls—unless you hope to be able to have votes fraudulently cast in their names.

This is also why the extreme Left argues that requiring a photo ID to vote or proof of citizenship when registering is just a not-so-clever attempt to suppress the vote. Virtually every other legitimate democracy in Europe has in-person voting and requires that voters be citizens and be able to provide ID. So if you use the logic of extremist leftists in America, every other nation in Europe—particularly the ones that the Left always tells us we should be more like when they are promoting a larger welfare state—is actually engaging in voter suppression.

The lie to this was proven in Georgia where Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams argued that Georgia’s voting laws were “Jim Crow on steroids.” We saw voter participation increase in 2022 among all voting demographics—minorities included. So if the goal was to suppress any voter demographic, they failed miserably! Obviously, that wasn’t the goal, and those who claimed it was are purveyors of rank falsehoods. And those who knowingly made these false claims were merely shills for those with totalitarian instincts.

To be blunt, to argue that having to present your ID to vote is somehow a racist attempt to suppress minority votes is itself an entirely racist argument—made almost exclusively by raving racists or by people who make their living as race hustlers. You must have an ID to get a job, cash a check, have a bank account, drive a car, buy many medicines and prescriptions, travel by plane, receive government benefits, and so on. So how many adults don’t have to do at least one of the above activities? The answer is virtually no one. So having an ID isn’t difficult. It is simply part of life in a modern world.

To argue that minorities cannot obtain an ID—particularly when states that require them have made it possible to obtain them without cost and if the person is disabled to make the process far easier—is simply beyond racist. Are we to believe that minorities or people of color are not smart enough or sophisticated enough to obtain an ID card? This is what some would have us believe. Yet, they are the actual racists. And those same racist lunatics call everyone who wants voter ID a racist to disguise their own racism.

The Left saw the pandemic as a godsend (as Jane Fonda said) because it allowed them to grow government, consolidate power, change election laws so that voter fraud would be easy, and get rid of the man they hated more than any other—Donald Trump.

During the early days of the pandemic, we saw a daily report of all the people that Donald Trump was killing as if he was personally responsible for each and every COVID death. Interestingly, Governor Andrew Cuomo wasn’t held personally responsible for the seniors that he actually did kill with his insane policies. He was given an Emmy and praised by the extreme Left. But Trump, who followed every recommendation by Dr. Fauci and his team, was somehow the great danger to America’s recovery from the pandemic.

It is clear that Fauci and his group of totalitarian bureaucrats were not actually acting on behalf of the American public or trying to protect Americans from COVID. I was able to figure that out early on. So if I could figure that out, why were so many Americans fooled for so long? I think this gets us back to the price of freedom being eternal vigilance. As a nation, we need to be more vigilant.

Let’s make sure that we do not ever again allow those with totalitarian instincts to use raw emotions and fear to replace sound judgment as we witnessed during the COVID pandemic. We cannot allow ourselves to become overrun by fear and emotion so that we become intemperate minds. Once that happens, our passions will, as Burke warned, forge the very chains that will bind us down. 

George Landrith


Frontiers of Freedom 

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