The Questions Crying Out for Answers

by | Aug 23, 2023


The conspiracy of silence is obvious. Both political parties like it. The media likes it too because it was a main participant. Academia is compromised as much as the social media companies. Government bureaucrats want the entire fiasco to be a thing of the past, except to the extent it can serve as a template for the future. That leaves only independent voices to raise ever louder questions of the entire establishment. 

We are of course speaking about the calamity commonly called Covid that robbed us all of liberty and rights, and kicked off this national and global crisis. All the major national problems the US faces today – inflation, learning loss, ill-health, cultural confusion, demographic disruption, professional instability, tech censorship, widespread substance abuse, and the loss of all trust in the commanding heights including the whole of government and every connected institution – trace to the lockdowns that began that fateful day of March 16, 2020 (oddly, the day following the Ides of March, when Caesar was killed). 

It was a decision for the ages. Shouldn’t we know more about what led to it and why all of this happened? The person who wants all questions to go away the most is the person who hopes to reinhabit the White House, namely Donald Trump. Whether or not you support his return to power, the reality is that he presided over the largest and fastest loss of liberty in the history of this country. 

No other president can compare, not Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Carter, or Obama. His administration, particularly in the last year, embarked on a new age of censorship, administrative state control over all our lives, astonishing levels of spending and redistribution, and massive invasion of our communities and homes. It attacked small business on a scale we’ve never seen, and seriously compromised even our basic rights to associate. The Biden administration was more of the same with new mandates.

Incredibly, Trump has somehow avoided questions about this. His supporters don’t want it discussed. This is likely why he is skipping the debate: fear that DeSantis will call him out. Neither do his opponents on the Democratic side want this discussed because they fully approve of what he did. His opponents in the primary are compromised too, particularly Mike Pence who led the charge within the Trump administration for lockdowns, mass purchases of PPE from China, nationwide distribution and deployment of killer ventilators, and being the biggest champion of Fauci/Birx, which we know because he wrote this in his book

There are a whole host of questions about those fateful days leading to lockdowns. We are not getting answers because no one is asking the questions. All the people who are in a position to end the silence have a strong interest in perpetuating it for as long as possible, in hopes that mass amnesia takes hold and grants them all amnesty. Fauci is the model here: in his deposition in Missouri v. Biden, he testified that he could hardly remember anything. His hope is that everyone else will follow. 

We have a small window in which to get answers during the primary season. Perhaps there will be a breakout at some point. There simply must be. Until there is some honesty and truth about what happened and why, we risk perpetrating all the crises of our times. And let’s be clear: there is not one credible study from anywhere in the world that demonstrates that lockdowns, and everything associated with them, were worth the astronomical cost. Indeed, every bit of evidence shows that the entire Covid response was a disaster. It will be repeated if there is no accountability and radical reform. 

We know about the “germ games” of Event 201 and Crimson Contagion. The plans for locking down were already in the works. Covid was the excuse but did they seriously believe that this was the killer bioweapon for which they had prepared? We have documented proof that everyone knew that this virus was not massively deadly. We knew this from January 2020. If that wasn’t enough, we have data from the Diamond Princess that suggested that the infection fatality rate was nowhere near the 3-4 percent that the World Health Organization predicted. 

What unleashed all this mania to end liberty as we know it? Tucker Carlson visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago on March 7, 2020. His message to Trump was to take the coronavirus seriously because it could be a bioweapon export from China. Tucker had heard this from a trusted source within the intelligence community whom he has yet to name. Tucker has since said that he very much regrets his role. 

Trump listened and yet seemed unpersuaded. On March 9th, Trump tweeted out his intuition that this bug was flu-like and did not require extraordinary efforts by government. Two days later, however, Trump evidently changed his mind. “I am fully prepared to use the full power of the Federal Government to deal with our current challenge of the CoronaVirus,” he wrote in a complete about-face. 

Whatever changed his mind likely happened on March 10, 2020. What was that? To whom did he speak and what did they say? By chance, was he told that this was indeed a bioweapon from China and yet the pharmaceutical companies were working on the antidote and all he needed to do was lock down until it arrived and then he could be the hero? Was that his thinking? 

If that was not his thinking, what precisely did he hope to achieve by locking down the entire country by executive edict? How did he imagine that he was personally going to stop the spread of a virus in the US that was already everywhere on both coasts and likely had been for the prior six months? Did it ever occur to him to call up some independent experts on infectious disease? If not, why not?

Two days later, he ordered a stop to all flights to and from Europe, the UK, and Australia. He announced this in a televised address that evening. When he was giving this address – which looked like a hostage video – did it ever occur to Trump that he was embarking on an exercise of government power never before seen? Millions of families and travel plans were shredded and panic ensued throughout the world. What led him to believe that it was within his legal rights as president to do that? 

On March 13, Trump’s own Health and Human Services issued a document on the pandemic plans. It was marked confidential but came to be released months later. Incredibly, this policy document not only declared a national emergency but made it very clear that the rule-making power for pandemic management would rest with the National Security Council. That’s the intelligence community. The public health agencies of the CDC and NIH were reduced in power to deal with implementation and operations but they were not in charge. 


Did Trump know what was happening around him? Did anyone come to him and tell him of this large document, which, to this day, is the only blueprint we have for what government was trying to do with its Covid response? Had he ever seen this before publishing? If so, did it not strike him as odd that the National Security Council would be given primacy over the public health agencies themselves?

That weekend, March 14-15, 2020, every report we have says that Trump huddled in the White House with son-in-law Jared Kushner, two of Jared’s college buddies, Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, and Mike Pence. Whom else did he consult on this weekend? At this point, national security had already been given primacy in policy, so surely the military and intelligence community were represented at the White House. Who and what did they say? 

According to Kushner, the decisive voice in putting together the lockdown plans was Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb, who had previously headed Trump’s own FDA. He is said to have been on the phone with Trump. According to Kushner, Gottlieb told him: “They should go a little bit further than you are comfortable with… When you feel like you are doing more than you should, that is a sign that you are doing them right.”

How much did Gottlieb’s opinion matter to Trump and did Trump ever consider perhaps that Gottlieb, as the voice of Pfizer, might have had a conflict of interest? What else does Trump remember about this weekend? 

All of this really matters because on Monday, March 16, Trump held a national press conference together with Fauci and Birx. At this event, they handed out a PDF to the press which in turn was issued to every public health agency in the country. It read in part: “Bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.”

That sounds like a federal edict to close churches, schools, and essentially put the entire country under house arrest. Indeed, the restrictions on human association also pertained to houses, which in many states were restricted in the number of people who could gather inside them. Only one state, South Dakota, refused to go along.

During the press conference, Trump waffled a bit on whether he was shutting everything down but Fauci stepped in to clarify that, yes, the Trump administration was in fact shutting down the whole country, Bill of Rights be damned. 

At the very moment when Fauci was reading these sentences from the microphone, Trump was standing to his side but was suddenly distracted by someone or something in the audience. He waved and smiled, almost as if he either did not want to hear what Fauci was saying or did not care. To whom was he waving and why?

Did Trump even know about the edict that was being issued that day, that he was effectively using his power as president to close churches and impose universal quarantine on the population? If so, how was this consistent with his promise to make America great again?

The next day, the Trump team got busy on hospital protocols, which amounted to the mass production and distribution of ventilators plus giving out the deadly drug Remdesivir. Who was it that told Trump that intubating people was the best way to deal with this virus? Why did they believe that, given that people who are intubated are very likely to die either from the procedure or the secondary bacterial infection that likely followed?

Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to force companies to make more ventilators, which they did. Today these are mostly scrap metal, of course, and most hospitals and doctors abandoned the practice once it became clear that it was killing thousands. Why did Trump seize on this whole idea to begin with? Who was advising him and why did it not occur to him to call any one of thousands of people with hands-on specializations in respiratory viruses for a second opinion?

As late as April 30, 2020, Trump was still pushing lockdowns as the solution. He even criticized Sweden for not locking down. As the summer approached and many people violated lockdown orders to protest the George Floyd killing, it seems like Trump began to wonder if he had been hoodwinked. 

If Fauci and Birx tricked him into wrecking his presidency and the country, why not just admit that? If he swears that he was right to greenlight lockdowns, why should voters trust that he would not do it again? What does he believe the limits to government power are? 

Even as late as July 20, 2020, Trump was still claiming that he would “defeat” the virus, this time with facemasks. “It is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance,” he wrote. 

Moving to the fall, Trump wisely allowed himself to be schooled in medical realities by Scott Atlas, who arrived at the White House to talk some sense into the crazy people who were running the show. Trump seems to have been convinced. But meanwhile, the whole country was in ruins with millions of businesses closed, the kids not in school, and the whole population in a state of trauma at the loss of liberty. 

There were two months remaining before the November 2020 election. During his campaign stops, he dropped the lockdowns, called for openings, but largely left the subject off the stump speech entirely, as if nothing had ever happened. Going into the election, Covid was largely off the agenda but for the media and Democrats who urged further lockdowns, which they implemented once in power. 

Trump should explain what was going through his head during these months. Did he know what was actually going on in the country, how many businesses had been boarded up, how many kids denied in-person education, how many churches were closed, how many families had been broken up with travel restrictions? Further, did he worry that his spending and money-printing policies, plus trillions in stimulus payments, would fuel inflation after he left office?

We still cannot get a fix on how it came to be that the shots were widely mandated on people who never needed them. Nor is there an honest discussion of the resulting job losses, injuries, and deaths that resulted. Did these mandates come about simply because too many Americans thought better than allowing a stranger to inject them with a mystery potion ginned up in a lab and deployed ten times faster than any vaccine in history? Was there an industrial interest in forcing compliance? If so, that’s next-level corruption. 

As for masking that all science knew for certain would be ineffective for stopping the spread of a respiratory pathogen, were they merely symbols imposed to scare the public? This is truly dystopian. 

This is just the start of the unanswered questions. The Norfolk Group has raised many more. 

Some independent journalists with access to the candidates, and this includes even Biden but certainly also every Republican who expects to earn votes, must get up to speed on the details of this calamity. It is simply unthinkable that this country, born of the ideal of freedom, would have undergone a quiet coup against liberty and the Constitution, and yet there be no serious discussion of what happened, much less reform efforts to restore what we lost. 

All of this is more important than January 6, election doubting, or tribal partisan bickering. As curious as these topics are, they are distractions from that which should interest us all: the status of freedom in America and the enforcement of the Bill of Rights. Every day, the censorship continues and every day the plots against the common good are ongoing. The kids are suffering as never before. The economic crisis still surrounds us and can get much worse. All the agencies that did this enjoy more funding than ever before. 

We are supposed to live in an age of information. It takes herculean efforts to bring about silence on the most important questions of our time. But thus far, all the major institutions are managing to pull it off. This cannot be allowed to continue. 

Reprinted with permission from Brownstone Institute.


  • Jeffrey A. Tucker

    Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises.

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