Examples of this overnight turnaround have piled up quickly, in just a matter of days, starting with President Joe Biden telling state governors there is no “federal solution” to the pandemic after accusing them months ago of allowing people to die.
“There is no federal solution. This gets solved at the state level,” Biden told governors during a Dec. 27 conference call at the White House.
That statement is quite a flip-flop from then-candidate Joe Biden promising to “shut down” the virus after then-President Donald Trump failed to do so.
Biden's changed view of federalism also comes after he accused red-state governors in September of “undermining” the federal government’s efforts. Those governors, he said in the now-infamous White House speech, were ordering “mobile morgues” for the unvaccinated in their states instead of helping him. A month earlier, in August, Biden had lectured those same governors to “get out of the way” if they were unwilling to “save lives.”
Biden’s sudden pitch for state-level action this week conveniently came a day before the Centers for Disease Control announced a record-breaking, single-day total of new COVID cases in the U.S., 441,278, due to the rapidly-spreading omicron variant.
Many of those cases are so-called "breakthrough" cases of people who are not only vaccinated but have returned for a "booster" shot, too.
The president had predicted weeks ago America was facing a "winter of severe illness and death" for unvaccinated Americans from the omicron variant.
"It is interesting to me," Kristi Noem, North Dakota's GOP governor, told Fox News, "that the president is so bold in saying there is no federal solution, yet continuing to impose mandates on the country."
Another flip-flop this week came from the CDC. That federal agency announced it was recommending cutting the quarantine period of infected-but-recovering patients from 10 days to five days because of omicron’s mild symptoms.
For most people the worst symptoms occur in the first five days, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told CNN, who also told the news network there is also the issue of “behavioral science” involved in asking people to remain isolated.
“It really had a lot to do with what we thought people would be able to tolerate,” Walensky told CNN, which is quite a statement after Americans were told to tolerate closing their family businesses, shutting down their church, and allowing their loves ones to die alone in a hospital bed because “science” demanded it.
Biden's flip-flop and the CDC announcement predictably lit up social media, especially among right-leaning writers and media critics who have witnessed two years of politically-driven opinions, threats and warnings, and outright hysteria.
Responding to the new CDC guidelines, Commentary editor Noah Rothman called it a “welcome admission” that public policy is being decided by politics and not by objectively reviewing the data.
“Now that it’s politics, properly understood,” he stated in a Twitter post, “we can talk about it and vote on it like it’s politics.”
Mirroring that speculation, media critic Stephen Miller opined in a Twitter post that the fast-spreading omicron was finding the vaccinated who are unhappy with following the CDC rules.
“This is because the ‘good ones’ started catching it and couldn’t abide by what everyone else was put through,” Miller wrote. “Don’t ever forget this.”
In an eye-opening social media post, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin lit up Twitter by suggesting COVID-19 is “not a deadly or even severe disease” for most Americans. Americans, she wrote, should stop “agonizing” over cases and focus on hospitalization rates and those most a risk of dying.
“Remember when we were all called murderers for stating exactly this?” Erielle Davidson, of the Claremont Institute, responded. “They destroyed businesses, families, and lives. And not one person in our lousy, clownish ruling class will pay.”
“Jen,” Ricochet editor Bethany Mandel jokingly wrote, “is a grandma killer now.”
AFN has pointed out the survival rate for COVID-19 is 98% in Mississippi, for example, one of the poorest and unhealthiest states in the U.S. that has led the country in per-capita deaths.
Also on CNN, medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen this week likely shocked viewers when she suggested cloth masks should not be worn to stop the spread of the virus. She suggested wearing medical masks instead.
“Cloth masks are not appropriate for this pandemic,” she said. “It was not appropriate for omicron. It was not appropriate for delta or alpha, or any of the previous variants either, because we’re dealing with something that is airborne.”
That observation is likely considered heresy to many mask-wearers who believe otherwise.
Twila Brase, an R.N. who leads Citizens Council for Health Freedom, tells AFN that mask-wearing is a political tool.
"The mask is completely about an agenda to push vaccinations," she insists. "It's not about an agenda to protect people."
As of now, the CDC’s own guidelines for mask-wearing includes cloth masks. The agency’s website also encourages the public to leave the professional N95 masks for healthcare workers.
So what is happening in our country in, quite literally, the past few days?
"The tide has turned," comedian Rob Schneider, the SNL alum, summarized in a Twitter post. "The scurrying for cover has begun."