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Drew Allen: Covidnam, An Essay

In his first televised teleprompter address to the Nation, intended to “commemorate the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown,” Biden harrowingly and lethargically related our COVID casualties to those suffered in American wars.

“Total deaths in America, 527,726,” Biden read before continuing, “That’s more deaths than in World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War and 9/11 combined.”  But our Nation’s efforts to combat COVID-19 have frequently been likened to a war. As recently as February 2021, Forbes ran an article with the headline, “How the Biden Administration Can Win the War Against COVID-19.”

On the one year anniversary of our mobilization to defeat COVID-19, I think we can affirm that we have been engaged in a war, but not one we can be proud of, or even claim to have won. I believe it is clear today that our so-called COVID war can and should be compared to Vietnam — futile and without end. Let’s call it Covidnam.

The Decision

Both President Johnson’s decision to intervene in Vietnam in March of 1965 and President Trump’s decision to intervene with COVID in March of 2020 were made with great reticence. As Johnson prepared to publicly announce his intent to commit ground troops in Vietnam, in private he acknowledged “it’s just the biggest damned mess that I saw,” and “this is a terrible thing that we’re getting ready to do.”

Trump too expressed his reservations, publicly recalling in March 2020 how, “They came in — experts — and they said, 'We are going to have to close the country.' I said, 'We have never closed the country before. This has never happened before.' I said, 'Are you serious about this?”

Both Johnson and Trump found themselves between a rock and a hard place. But the dark and apocalyptic circumstances painted for Johnson and Trump by their military and COVID advisors, respectively, persuaded Johnson and Trump to intervene.

The intelligence community warned Johnson that if he failed to take action, the edifice erected after WWII to prevent the spread of Communism would fall. The “medical” community warned Trump that if he failed to take unprecedented action to endorse strict and draconian nation-wide lockdowns, as many as 2.2 million Americans would die.

In each case the “hawks” prevailed — on March 8, 1965, 3,500 American marines waded ashore at China Beach and on March 16, 2020 Trump announced strict Fauci-endorsed lockdown and social distancing guidelines.

False Pretense as Justification for War

Both the escalation of the Vietnam War and the escalation of our Covidnam War were made under false pretense.

Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam War began on August 4, 1964. On that night, Johnson interrupted tv broadcasts to inform the American people that aerial bombings of strategic Vietnam facilities were underway. This escalation was justified by the earlier revelation that the Maddox, a US Destroyer stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, had come under an unprovoked attack from Northern Vietnamese vessels. The only problem was that the attack never occurred.

The 2.2 million death projection cited by Trump’s COVID council as the justification for shutting down the United States was taken from the now discredited Imperial College Study in the UK, which was inaccurate, misleading, and thoroughly insincere. This dishonest report was our modern Gulf of Tonkin incident, or rather non incident. Both were acts of deceit used to accomplish a political ambition.

The Credibility Gap and Public Approval - Vietnam

While today the Vietnam War is remembered as one of the great American mistakes, for a brief time it was popular and supported by a majority of Americans. Support for the Vietnam War peaked at 60% approval in late August of 1967 but plummeted to 49% by the end of the year.

The dramatic drop in approval can be attributed to what came to be called the “Credibility Gap” in the late 60’s, which explained the disconnect between what the bureaucrats in Washington told the American people and what the American people actually believed.

Johnson repeatedly assured the American people that the U.S. was winning the war in Vietnam. But images captured and shown to the American people of brutal street fighting taking place in Saigon in 1968 portrayed a different story. Americans could sense Johnson was lying, but CBS anchor Walter Cronkite confirmed it.

After returning home after visiting Vietnam to witness the war first hand, Cronkite went on his news program and confirmed, “To say we are closer to victory today is to believe in the face of evidence the optimists who have been wrong in the past.” The credibility gap was blown wide open.

The Credibility Gap and Public Approval - Covidnam

Support for the Covidnam war experienced similar peak approval followed by a steep drop. A Gallup poll published in November 2020 showed that in March of 2020, when the lockdowns were first implemented throughout the country, a high of 67% of Americans were in favor. But by November of 2020, only 49% said they would be “very likely to stay home for a month if public health officials recommended it.”

To Trump’s credit, he quickly recognized the disaster of our Covidnam war, reversed course, and urged Governors to abandon the lockdown strategy, announcing only a week into the initial 15 day lockdown, “Our country wasn’t built to be shutdown.”

But it didn’t matter. State governors — both Democrats and spineless RINOs alike — channeled the obstinate Johnson, and doubled down on the reckless lockdown strategy. Dr. Fauci took on the mantle of Johnson and became the official propagandist of the Covidnam War, repeatedly contradicting himself and ushering in a new era of Government distrust and disdain.

“I don’t think we can win in Vietnam and I don’t think we can get out,” Johnson stated in 1964. But after sending 3,500 Marines into Vietnam in April 1965, Johnson declared, “We will not be defeated.”

“You don’t want to make the pronouncement that no one should go to a restaurant.” Dr. Fauci stated in March 2020. But in September, after restaurants had been shut down, Fauci declared, “I totally agree,” when asked if restaurants and bars should remain closed.

In March 2020 Fauci said in a 60 minutes interview, “people should not be walking around with masks.” But in January 2021, Fauci said, “it makes common sense,” to wear two masks.

These contradictions combined with the censorship of contrary medical opinions exposed our own credibility gap. But unlike the Vietnam War, which was fought more than 8,000 miles away, our Covidnam war was being waged right here at home. We didn’t need Cronkite to confirm what we could see with our own eyes, nor could we rely on anyone at CBS today to tell the truth.

Our credibility gap was blown wide open by the devastation we witnessed everyday firsthand — soaring unemployment, which rose from 6.5 million in February to 20.5 million by May, an explosion in “adverse medical or behavioral health” conditions, suicide rates, and alcohol and drug abuse.

Our Cronkite moment of truth occurred after Florida lifted all mandates and restrictions and proved what the AP recently reconfirmed — the lockdowns didn’t work. The free state of Florida suffered nearly identical COVID tolls to the slave state of California, which was not only the first state to enact draconian statewide restrictions, but religiously kept them in place over the course of nearly the entire year.

The Endless, Futile, and Political War

Covidnam, like Vietnam, was a political war. Victory wasn’t the objective. The more apparent it became that the Vietnam War was a debacle, the more determined the Hawks were to continue the war. By 1968 troop totals in Vietnam had ballooned from 3,500 Marines in March of 1965 to nearly 550,000 by 1969. American deaths likewise soared — from nearly 23,000 in April of 1968 to nearly 63,000 by the end of the war on March 29, 1973.

In 1975 our enemy, the North Vietnamese took Saigon and Ho Chi Minh, their leader, was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine with the heading, “The Victor.” In the end, more than 3 million Americans had served in Vietnam, nearly 60,000 had died, 150,000 were wounded, 1,000 were missing in action, and for what purpose? We had nothing to show for their sacrifices — only dead, sick, limbless, and psychologically damaged Americans.

The same can be said of Covidnam. The more apparent it became that the lockdowns and mask mandates were not only ineffective, but were actually inflicting great harm, the more determined Democrats were to keep them in place.

While Biden eagerly announces the casualties suffered from the disease itself, he refuses to acknowledge the still untold and unknown number of casualties suffered from the shutdown — more dead, economically ruined, drug addicted, and psychologically abused Americans. These are not the victims of the COVID virus, but the victims of the Democrat’s asinine war against the virus. Truthfully, we may never know the extent of this damage.

In the end this Covidnam War has been as ill-conceived, futile, politically motivated, and shameful as the Vietnam War — built on lie after lie. The 15 day plan to flatten the curve became 30. One month became 6 months. 6 months became a year. This was never a war we could win. We have learned two things from this anti-American experiment. One — men die who are both free and slave, alike. Two — there is a schism in America.

The Great Schism

The combatants of our Covidnam War live in red and blue states, alike. Some wear their masks, hide in their homes, and applaud the lockdowns and mandates with a sense of Patriotic duty. They are eager and obedient conscripts.

Others are reluctant, compelled by their conscription in states like California, ruled by liars and hacks like Gavin Newsom, who demand obedience. Regardless, these Americans comply, doubtless fearful of retribution and the consequences of “dodging.”

Then there are the so called “draft dodgers” of our Covidnam War, who affirm the fears of the reluctant conscripts. They avoid and refuse to join the fearful ranks of Gavin Newsom’s masked army and are willing to accept the consequences — Like the paddle boarder in Malibu, CA, who was arrested in April 2020 for committing the crime of leaving his home and paddling in the Pacific Ocean. Or the woman who was arrested on an American Airlines flight in January 2021 for committing the crime of wearing her mask below her nose.

The irony, of course, is that being arrested for “draft dodging” during the Vietnam War was a badge of honor for many Democrats in the late 60’s and 70’s. But fifty years later, many of those who justifiably opposed the Vietnam War, objected to conscription, and condoned an all volunteer-military, today accuse those who object to mask mandates and other Government imposed lockdowns of being un-Patriotic — ridiculing, attacking, and mocking them.

Today there is a deep schism in America. The Covidnam War has exposed it. Half of America reveres the Constitution and demands the Government respect their unalienable Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. The other half rejects the Constitution and demands those who value freedom give up their unalienable Rights to the Government.

In this regard our current schism bears greater resemblance to the Civil War than the Vietnam War, when half of America condoned slavery and half condemned it.

Agent Orange and the Vaccine

Agent Orange was a powerful herbicide used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam war to clear dense forests, which provided enemy cover. More than 11.4 million gallons were used between 1962 and 1970 for the obvious purpose of helping American soldiers in their effort to win the Vietnam War. The chemical was deadly, but it didn’t claim only the lives of trees.

In 1977 a young Vietnam War veteran named Paul Reutershan learned that he had stomach cancer. Before he died in 1978, he filed a class-action lawsuit against the chemical companies that produced “agent orange.” Today Agent Orange is banned. Millions were exposed to it and hundreds of thousands have died or been maimed because of its use.

The deadly chemical was tested in 1961, and used in 1962. In 1988, Dr. James Clary, one of the researchers associated with the project stated, “When we initiated the herbicide program in the 1960s, we were aware of the potential for damage due to dioxin contamination in the herbicide. However, because the material was to be used on the enemy, none of us were overly concerned.”

Many have similarly expressed little concern for the potentially harmful effects of our numerous vaccines developed to combat the Coronavirus. While the intentions are good, the results have yet to be proven.

A 39 year old single mom in Utah recently died four days after receiving her second dose of the Moderna-19 Vaccine. She had no known health problems.

A 56 year old Florida OB-GYN in Miami Beach recently died from a hemorrhagic stroke several weeks after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Tom Zook, a 60 year old X-ray technologist in Santa Ana, CA experienced trouble breathing and suffered from an upset stomach hours after receiving his second Pfizer dose. Four days later he died.

Perhaps these instances and many others prove nothing — mere coincidences. But as Biden and Fauci demand that every American, even those who don’t need it, take the vaccine I would exercise caution.

Stomach cancer and death certainly pre-existed the invention of “Agent Orange,” but I’d sure hate to repeat the words of Paul Reutershan, who before dying from stomach cancer because of exposure said, “I died in Vietnam and I didn’t even know it.”

Final Thoughts

Snowflakes, liberal robots, and other Americans who remain eager to accept our Goverment’s new role as master and their own as servant will predictably denounce these comparisons and continue to argue that shutdowns work, Trump is Hitler, and that gender is a social construct of man.

But the simple truth remains that Covidnam was predicated on a lie and waged for political purposes. It was futile from conception, corrupt in its implementation, and is the shame of our Nation.

Worse, the full impact and toll of the war has yet to be felt. The subsequent inflation and economic havoc wreaked by the blank check awarded to Johnson and Nixon to wage the Vietnam War, which is all but guaranteed again by the blank check awarded to Biden to combat the Covidnam War.

Nor can be understand the legacy of poverty, damaged human capital, and decreased productivity that will assuredly haunt a generation as a result of our Government’s incompetence, corruption, and deceit.

Fauci, Biden, and other hawks seem determined to continue their quest to render the American people servants and themselves Masters. But every American should look on the past year with disdain on those who have deceived.

600,000 Americans painted this fertile land red with their blood in the Civil War to ensure that we would inherit a country that honored the American ideals of freedom and ensured our unalienable Rights were extended to all Americans. We must not be the generation, which allows their sacrifices, and others, to have been in vain.

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Drew Allen

Drew Allen is a Texas-bred, California-based conservative author and speaker, who writes a weekly blog promoting conservative ideals at drewallen.substack.com. Fluent in Italian, Drew has lived and worked in Italy in the fashion industry and in New York City and Los Angeles as an actor, screenwriter, and independent film producer.

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