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By Joshua Arnold

“It’s time we accept COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives,” said 70 percent of Americans in a recent Monmouth University poll. Echelon Insights reported 55 percent of voters believe COVID-19 should be treated as “endemic,” while 38 percent believe it should be “treated as a public health emergency.” Why are attitudes shifting away from a pandemic mindset? Perhaps its because, as a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found, 75 percent and 73 percent of adults are “tired” or “frustrated,” respectively.

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Public opinion has shifted so far that even Democratic governors in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Oregon, New Jersey, and New York have set timelines to move beyond at least some masking mandates, and Democrats in the U.S. House, where everyone has long been vaccinated, are clamoring to end the chamber’s mask rules. Governors from both parties told President Biden on Monday it was time to “move away from the pandemic.” Even the administration’s chief scaremonger, Dr. Fauci, who has admitted to saying whatever he believes the public will accept, has said the U.S. has almost moved past a “full-blown” pandemic, and mask mandates could end “soon.”

While Democrats from New York to California roll back mandates, the federal government has not. “We’re not there yet,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky yesterday. Neither the science nor the polls are behind that decision, so “obviously it’s politics,” said Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) on “Washington Watch.” He said it’s rooted in an attitude of fear. “If you’re a socialist, if you’re a person who thinks that you are God, that you’re in control, there has to be something you can do. So they’ve come up with this mask thing.”

While “this fear started in the bowels” of Washington’s health-related agencies, wrote Marshall, “the national media of course gulped all this up, became obsessed, and in turn we as a nation are living in fear.” The “if it saves just one life” rationale for lockdowns triggered “an explosion of mental health issues, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide attempts, and more.” Since early in the pandemic, Marshall said, “anyone who didn’t agree with [the media’s] narrative, they stunned and censored.” Just this week, LinkedIn censored a Johns Hopkins professor of medicine for tweeting a study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found natural immunity lasted up to 20 months. Somehow, “follow the science” has been corrupted into obviously non-experts on medicine arbitrating approved speech from obviously credible medical experts.

Washington decisionmakers could stand to grow in humility. “It’s very humbling to think that we can’t control everything in the world,” said Marshall. We can’t approach traffic fatalities with the same “zero risk” attitude used for COVID-19, or no one would be allowed to drive. If we approached homicides this way (when Washington, D.C. briefly suspended its mask mandate between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there were more murders than COVID deaths), no one would be allowed to leave their homes. “Government has placed itself in a position of God,” continued Marshall. Therefore, jealous for his own glory, God is showing the government they can’t control everything.

“We need to turn to God,” Marshall concluded. “Stop the obsession with COVID, stop living in fear, and move forward.” It’s time to “read the room,” as a Virginia shopper told Governor Glenn Youngkin. But if we “read the room” correctly, we’ll understand, as Youngkin does, the urgent need to return to normal life, restore treasured freedom, and see our neighbors’ faces again. This is no longer a partisan issue, but an American one.

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