by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some of us, it seems, are positively going to miss the Covid-19 epidemic.
If there is a sense of impending post-pandemic lamentation from some of our progressive friends, it is because they believe that, contrary to the advice of bottom-feeding Chicago demagogue Rahm Emanuel, they have let a good crisis go to waste.
The other Emanuel brother prominent in our public life, former Obama administration adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of the University of Pennsylvania, seems ready to let the Covid crisis go. In a conversation hosted by the Journal of the American Medical Association in January, he argued that while there remained work to be done in reducing Covid incidence and transmission, the emergency is coming to a close. “Covid should begin looking like a flu,” he said. “You get it, and you stay home so you don’t infect other people. When you’re feeling better, you can go into work, probably wearing a mask for a few days to reduce the chance of infection. We’re simply going to get back to the life that we’ve known, with some modifications.”
Congressional Republicans have called on the Biden administration to declare an end to the official designation of Covid-19 as a public-health emergency, and, while the Republican argument is not entirely correct in every jot and tittle, the statement spearheaded by Republican Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), Brett Guthrie (Ky.), and Morgan Griffith (Va.) is in its general thrust both true and useful: The emergency is over, but the Biden administration is hesitant to give up its emergency powers. Some Democratic governors and mayors also are looking for a return to normalcy (not “normality”) and would like to see an end to crisis measures and crisis rhetoric.