With its new pick, will the White House favor hurling insults over open scientific debate?
By Jefferey Jaxen
The White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients will be replaced by Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Yet Dr. Jha is probably hoping you don’t look at his track record of calls during the COVID response.
The Biden Administration has announced a new pandemic roadmap and with it, a new response coordinator. Although the new plan claims to “Prevent Economic and Educational Shutdowns” by providing schools and businesses the supplies and guidance they need to remain open, its incoming response coordinator has been a proponent of lockdowns, school closures, masking kids, vaccine passports, businesses mandating vaccines on their employees and not communicating the science on natural immunity (calling for previously infected to get vaccinated). Due to his visibility in the press during the COVID response, Dr. Jha has appeared to be a Fauci in waiting.
The Great Barrington Declaration has been both a bellwether and teaching point during, and now after, the flawed government pandemic response is subsiding.
The Declaration’s three highly credentialed signatories promoted a policy called “focused protection” of high-risk populations. Its authors strongly cautioned to avoid lockdowns. They predicted it would lead to known, heavy burdens on the working class and younger members of society, bringing irreparable damage and disproportionate harm to society’s underprivileged.
Tragically, time has shown these authors were right.
Yet, Dr. Jha didn’t seem to understand the public health debate he was a part of. Which was fine as many health professionals fell for the fear play and became cheerleaders of lockdowns – only later to apologize for their errors.
Dr. Jha told lawmakers discussing the COVID response to ‘Stop talking about things they don’t know much about’ yet perhaps it was he who should have heeded such advice.
On October 15, 2020, less than two weeks after The Declaration was released publicly, Dr. Jha bashed the document calling it ‘junk science.’
Then deferred to an ABC News clip of ‘The great Dr. Fauci’ as Dr. Jha referred to him as, attacking The Declaration as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘total nonsense.’
Unfortunately for the boisterous Dr. Jha, ‘The great Dr. Fauci’ was acting on orders from his then superior Dr. Francis Collins to publicly attack The Declaration and everything it stands for.
A personal email from then-NIH director Francis Collins to Dr. Fauci during The Declaration’s public rollout in October of 2020 saw the pair scrambling to censor the three ‘fringe epidemiologists’ as Collins referred to them at the time.
”There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises,” Dr. Collins wrote. “Is it underway?” he asked on October 8, 2020 – four days after The Declaration was published publicly.
One of The Declaration’s signatories, epidemiologist and biostatistician Martin Kulldorff, said of Biden’s new pick on Twitter “ a clown would do a better job.”
Kulldoff was referring to Dr. Jha’s public message posted in September 2021. At the time, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order barring school districts from requiring that students and staff wear face masks.
To this Dr. Jha claimed the move was “because FL listening to @gbdeclaration “let it rip” clowns”
Yet time, history and data, when allowed to be written without censorship, political agendas or manipulation, can tell the truth.
A literature review and meta-analysis of the effects of lockdowns on COVID-19 mortality released in January 2022 by Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics and Global Health has now concluded:
“…lockdowns during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic have had devastating effects. They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy. These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best. Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.”
As the U.S. embarks on the next chapter of COVID policy with ‘Fauci-lite’ at the helm, will he seek to reinstate the lockdown restrictions he so vehemently favored now that the CDC has left the door open with its recent color-coded mask system?
Or will Dr. Jha, at the behest of the President’s commitment to make the U.S. the world’s ‘arsenal for vaccines,’ be the another media salesmen for boosters three, four, and five as all ages are being targeted?