tv James Bovard CSPAN February 15, 2022 1:21pm-1:49pm EST
work, losing their jobs, economic incentives that were put in place not to work, having schools shut down, having places of worship shut down. just because those things start to open up again doesn't mean that the trauma goes away. we're going to be dealing with this for a long time and the administration, i would hope, should begin to focus on it and reach out to republicans for help and bipartisan solutions for us to move forward. >> joe grogan, thank you for the conversation this morning, appreciate it. >> thank you. it was a pleasure to be here. >> joining us this morning is james bovard, opinion columnist for "usa today" here to talk about the covid-19 response, the mandates, the testing, the politics. let's talk about those so-called freedom convoys along the u.s./canadian border. what do you think is behind the sentiment and the rationale for
blockaing the trade and the traffic? >> well, people have to recognize that the government of canada blockaded those people's lives first before they took action at the border and in at owe with a. you had the government, the prime minister basically trying to throw everybody out of work who refused to get a vaccination. and these people have responded, umm, umm, peacefully, mostly. and they're trying to make their point that the government cannot simply, umm, treat them like cattle. and that's a sentiment which used to be widely supported but for some reason the last couple of years people have forgotten that individuals should have some choice in their own lives. >> what do you think is happening right now at this stage of the pandemic? you see even blue state governors are saying it's time that we lift the mask mandates, that we have sort of an evolution where we get to the point where kids don't have to
wear masks in schools, you don't have to wear masks in public. >> well, i've been very impressed at how fast science has progressed in the past couple of weeks. the politicians have been saying for the last two years that the politicians follow the science and the data. what they didn't tell us was that it was polling data. because the polling data has shown that people have lost all patience with these government edicts, this command and control approach which has failed to prevent more than 70 million americans from getting covid but we're still supposed to act like the policymakers are wise and sacrosanct. people are fed up with this. people have sacrificed their lives, their freedom, in many cases their health. and the politicians misled them and the bureaucrats also misled them. >> what is your view of the mandates that were put in place for the vaccine? >> uh, i think that they're a travesty. i think they're a huge violation
of americans' freedom. if you look at how these mandates are actually working out, it shows the absurdity. for instance, president biden issued a mandate for all health care workers to get vaccinated. and so -- you know, the problem with these policymakers saying that they're following the science, what they have chosen to ignore is natural immunity. again, we've had over 70 million people who got covid, almost more than 69 million of those were covered. if you look at other cdc data which said that the -- uh, only about one out of four cases are reported or diagnosed, that would mean we had over 150 million americans who have had covid with over 149 million surviving. but the government has chosen to ignore natural immunity, the immunity people have after they have the infection and recover. what you have with this health care mandate is you had tens of
thousands of nurses and other health care workers fired because they were not willing to get the injection. the cdc said it was okay to bring in covid-infected nurses who had coughing and fevers and stuff like that as long as they were vaccinated. the vaccines didn't work, the vaccines did not keep those nurses safe but it's okay to have them treating patients. it's almost like the politicians want people to see vaccines as a type of holy water, as long as the holy water has been splashed around, it doesn't matter if people get sick. >> what should have been done then, if you disagree with mandating vaccines? >> umm, you know, basically -- honestly, it would have been a great help in this entire pandemic -- you had president bush, you had president trump, you had president biden, made a
lot of false statements. a lot of trouble goes back to the food and drug administration. the food and drug administration's motto is we have nothing to hide, for more than 75 years. the -- the -- the fda rushed through pfizer's vaccine application. there have been lawsuits trying to get access to what the data that pfizer submitted to the fda. and the fda has said it's going to take them 75 years to fully release the information which they used to rush through the authorization for the pfizer covid vaccine. i mean, this is a joke. but there are so many jokes at several -- at every level in this pandemic. for instance, i was -- you know, some folks my be offended by my views but i want to make it clear that i'm following this interview -- following the california covid safety guidelines. at the nfc playoffs a couple of weekends ago governor newsom was there. newsom has imposed one of the strictest lockdowns -- one of
the strictest mask mandates in the country. kids have got to wear them around the clock, practically, indoor places you have to have them. newsom and the mayors of l.a. and san francisco were photographed at that football game not wearing masks. and so newsom was challenged on it afterwards, newsom said, well, it wasn't a problem because i had my face mask in my left hand. so newsom didn't give us any studies that show that masks in your left hand prevent covid transmission. but this is the standard of evidence and the standard of nonsense that politicians have been getting away with. >> we want to take your calls and your thoughts on the politics of the pandemic response from the federal government over the last two years. james bobart is our guest, an opinion columnist with "usa today." start dialing now, 202-748-8001 for republicans, 202-748-8000
for democrats. james bobart, testing, it's something you've been critical about, the biden administration and trump administration. you wrote, at the start of the covid-19 pandemic in march of 2020 president donald trump ludicrously proclaimed that anybody that wants a test can get a test. that was baloney then and it is still malarky today. germany permits sales of more than 60 rapid covid-19 tests. germans can easily buy tests for a dollar while many americans can't find and purchase a test at any price. james bobart, what happened? >> it was the fda that blocked the development and sale of rapid diagnosis tests in this country. it is a good example of the
failure of the command and control approach to this entire pandemic. this was something brought home to me, i got a call from my dermatologist, he said, okay, but before coming in, you've got to have a negative covid test. so i say, where am i supposed to get a negative covid test? and they say, the postal service will be sending them out. i'm thinking, oh, that's great, i have an appointment in three days, i'm going to trust the postal service? the county government here was very proud to be passing out free covid tests. i went down to rockville public library and i figured i would step in, step out, okay, here's my stupid test, but it turned out there was a line that wrapped twice around the corners of the building. it was an endless line. it was a bitter cold day on the friday afternoon. and you had all these maybe sick people waiting online to get a free covid test. and it was something which brought to memory when i would travel to the east bloc and see
long lines of east germans waiting to get their potato and sauerkraut rations. what struck me was that the people online had no idea they were stuck out there in line, squeezing through a small room to get their covid test, with a bunch of other people that might be contagious. people did not realize that the reason they couldn't go to cvs and buy a test for a dollar is because of the fda, which is located only a few miles away from where they were waiting in line. there have been so many government failures and snafus and thus far, the politicians and the bureaucrats have not been held to account at all, and it's like all these false statements and misrepresentations have been swept under the rug. there has been so much collateral damage from this pandemic. freedom has been devastated. there was attorney general bill barr who i disagreed with on
many issues, barr had a great line about the effect of these lockdowns, he said it was comparable to the biggest violation of civil liberties since the end of slavery in this country. people should not forget the lives and the businesses that were destroyed in 2020 when the politicians shot down everything promising that they would somehow achieve zero covid. well, okay, 70 million plus cases later, zero covid, for what did they destroy all that? >> we'll go to humbolt, texas. thomas, you're first, an independent. good morning. welcome to the conversation. >> caller: good morning, everybody. james, you said you had to stand in line for hours and hours, now you know how it feels when you have to vote like that. but you guys have a blockade up there in canada. don't you know it's food and groceries that's stuck on those trucks? what happens, is somebody going to pay the farmers and stores? as far as the masking in
schools, you know, in school shootings, parents never show up for that but when it comes to masks, oh, lordy. have a good day, james. >> your response? >> yeah, you know, it's understandable that parents are raising holy hell about these mask mandates in school. it's amazing to see how the teacher unions have come out as basically enemies of parents if not enemies of the kids by insisting that the kids -- well, my understanding is in california, the teacher unions were insisting that the kids get vaccinated but the teachers didn't have to. this is, you know, umm, there has been such a huge loss in education opportunities the last couple of years. but it has woken a lot of people up that they can't cross the local school boards or the teacher unions or the entire political system. that's been a big increase in private schooling and home
schooling. and maybe that's the only solution, when the system has such contempt for the children and for education. >> sheldon, forest hills, new york, democratic caller. >> caller: good morning. a lot of things that mr. bovard has said i would take issue with. the principal reason for the mandate, i'm sure he knows this as well as i do, is to prevent the proliferation of mutations. and the only way you can do that is to have as many people as possible vaccinated. any gaps, any lacunae in that overall fabric, permits variations, mutations to arise. that's the problem. mr. bovard and the other anti-vaxxers, and the other anti-vaxx mandators, don't have
any answer for that. thank you. >> mr. bovard? >> yeah, well, i'm not anti-vaxx. i am antimandate. but the gentleman makes a point about the danger of variants. but what we've had with the pfizer and the other approved vax, what's called leaky vaccines. a leaky vaccine is one that promises to prevent the virus but it fails. and to see -- it's a great example of how the bureaucratic coverups have proliferated throughout this epidemic because the biden administration, biden bet his presidency on the efficacy of those vaccines and in may of last year, the cdc decided to stop counting almost all the breakthrough infections, that is, infection that occurred after a person had had both vaccine shots, and so there was -- you know, it was like the cdc intentionally blindfolded
americans to how these vaccines were performing, not nearly as effective as the cdc said. back in july you had biden go on the cnn town hall and promise that if people got the vaccine, they would not get covid. well, that was complete bs. and in the following month, you had the cdc admit, well, there are some breakthrough infections, now there's torrents, and a number of states, you've had more people dying of covid who are fully vaxed than who were unvaxed. and yet, yet you still have politicians acting like chief vaccine salesmen and pretending the vaxes are going to be a pan panacea to keep everybody safe. there's also questions on the some of the data on the adverse effects of the vaccines. >> miriammiriam, a republican.
good morning you to. >> caller: i'm so glad you're having this. i'll be real quick. i was not an anti-vaxxer. i went a year ago to get a moderna shot and within 15 minutes i had a severe reaction to the first dose. they had to put two epipens in me and three shots of benadryl and they sent me to the hospital and i was told i could not take my second shot. so i am someone who wanted to get the vaccination but had an adverse reaction but on my shot card i am not a complete person so that the anti-vaxxers are against me because i was willing to take the vaccine and the vaxers say that i have not fulfilled my duty. and i just think all of the misinformation that has been sent out there, starting with fauci saying that masks do not work early on, to now suggesting we practically wear two plus
layers, has created a cloud of mistrust over this administration. i agree with everything that your person on the show today has been saying. i just don't think we're getting the truth out there. >> okay. we'll take your point, miriam. >> thanks for the comment. i'm sorry you had the adverse reaction. i think there have been a lot of people who have had adverse reactions to those shots. a fundamental question here is, if someone has had the virus and recovered, they have natural immunity, and it doesn't make sense to force them to get the same shot. i think there was -- there have been a number of studies that showed that people who had covid and recovered had better protection than people who had gotten vaccines. and yet you have the federal policymakers including biden who simply have chosen to ignore natural immunity that the people who recovered have.
it's almost like -- and, you know, it was clear early on that biden kept talking about the number of shots and the number of arms, he kept saying we've had 100 million shots in 100 million arms, we've had this, we've had that, it sounded like the soviet union bragging about the increase in steel output. it wasn't a good measure of public health. there have been so many key issues that have been swept under the rug and the fda and cdc don't really seem to be that interested in any facts which would undercut the official narrative. >> what about her comments about distrust? take a look at this poll by ap. it found that 48% overall have a great deal of confidence in the scientific community while 64% of those were democrats, 34% republicans, and 30-point gap, up 9 points since 2018, what do you make of that? >> it's not a surprise, because the federal agencies have made a
lot of false statements and they've swept a lot of evidence under the rug. you have the cdc that started out this pandemic by sending out contaminated, misleading tests to diagnose covid. if tests had been widely available, they would have saved lives, especially with the omicron variant because people couldn't find tests. the biden white house was warned about this repeatedly last year but they chose to ignore the warnings. and there is a huge question too as far as where did this virus come from. you've had folks like fauci who were in the forefront of pulling strings to cover up any investigation into whether it came from the lab. instead you have this almost like, well, it was a fluke of nature, and so -- and it's an important not to look too deeply. there are a lot of federal records on the virus and on the
virus response which i think would be incriminating to quite a few federal officials and politicians. >> judy is in baltimore, democratic caller. judy, good morning. >> caller: hi. no, i just wanted to say, this was always a new phenomenon, a new virus. i thought dr. fauci, who has been amazing throughout, if you listen very carefully to him, he pretty much always said, based on the information i have in front of me now, this is what i'm saying, this may change. and, you know, i hear that mask comment all the time, that he said masks don't work. what i heard, in that press conference, was, we need to reserve the masks for the hospitals and the health care workers. and my husband, who is a hypochondriac, went out and purchased his n95 masks right away. so i wasn't hearing that masks don't work.
i was hearing, they were reserving them for the health workers. and all throughout this pandemic, people have just been so volatile. and i don't understand it. i don't understand what the big deal is about wearing a mask unless you're asthmatic or wear glasses, it can be uncomfortable, but sometimes i even forget to take my mask off when i get in my car, it's not that big of a deal. little kids, they're going to have trouble wearing it. and i don't like the comment about, you know, teachers, i can't exactly remember your words, but it was that teachers don't care about children. teachers are there because they care about children. so i just think everybody needs to take everything down a notch and not use such volatile language and, you know, work through this. we're not -- we're fighting each other. we should be fighting this virus. there are going to be missteps, there are going to be
miscommunications. you know, take a pill. >> james bovard. >> yeah, so the caller is calling from baltimore, i wondered if she works for cdc there or some other agency that's tied to cdc. several points. she's talking about fauci's credibility. fauci made a lot of false statements about the federal grants to that wuhan lab. he made those in congressional testimony. senator rand paul was talking about investigating him for perjury, i think perjury was the offense he was talking about, that should happen. you know, the -- the -- the caller said to take it down a notch. it was the politicians and the bureaucrats who destroyed everybody's freedom and for people to be -- you know, for the people defending the politicians and bureaucrats, saying, private citizens should take it down a notch, you should have thought about that before you destroyed people's freedom. as far as the idea that the masks aren't that big of a problem, umm, you know, i've
only had one day since the pandemic started where i had to wear a mask the entire day. and that was when i was in court for jury selection. and it was a complete farce because you had the federal government pouring all this money into county governments and, you know, to improve ventilation systems to decrease covid risk. 100 people stuck in a courtroom, almost no air ventilation. the thing that made it bigger for us was at the start of the day, the judge says is there anybody here who might have trouble trusting the testimony of police in this murder trial. and if so, raise your hand. i raised my hand. i've written about how the montgomery county covered up a brutal killing, i wrote about that for "usa today," i raised my hand. i still had to sit there wearing a mask for eight hours before i was dismissed. i don't want to sound bitter, though. >> steve, san jose, california, republican. >> caller: there is so many
questions and so little time. i have been very skeptical, umm, of fauci from the very beginning of this. why was he doing research and funding the wuhan lab? they are our enemies, they want to destroy the united states. they're shipping fentanyl precursors over into mexico. they -- they -- i -- i tell you, they, uh -- fauci is -- is -- is no good. umm, let me pose a question to you. i think that we should switch our concern about the mra -- mrna vaccine destroying our immune system.
and there's been no talk about this. umm, israel has -- has some of the highest vaccine rates, umm, in the -- in the world, and yet they, umm, uh, they're having a lot of big time problems over there with deaths. >> all right, steve. james bovard. >> yeah, thanks. you know, fauci is interesting, it's fascinating how the media turns him into the saint, the saint for the war on covid. fauci a few months ago was -- uh, was very hissy, he said, if someone criticizes me, they are attacking science because i am science incarnate or whatever he said. so -- but going back on this question on the data for the vaxes, you have fauci and others who are pushing for covid vaccines for babies, for kids under the age of 5.
the fda, umm, had some data from that, i've forgotten whether it's from pfizer or which company, and it was tested, and it showed that two shots failed to give protection against covid. but the fda appears to be moving forward to approve this for babies. and 1-year-olds and 2-year-olds, based on the idea that pfizer or whoever will add a third shot. they don't have any data on its effectiveness and they have absolutely no data on the safety. and yet they are rushing through, they are rubber stamping these vaccines for children whose -- who is -- you know, the pattern elsewhere is that kids have a very, very high survival rate from this, from covid, and yet -- and we -- we have no idea how much damage, how much long term damage these vaccines might have for the younger profile. there are stories out there how it's throwing off menstrual cycles for young women. i mean, and it's like, well, it's not too bad, it's only a
few days difference in your period cycle. but like, what the heck else is it doing? if it's throwing in that wrench, what other wrenches are we going to find down the road? >> we'll go to haynesfield, pennsylvania. raymond is an independent. good morning. >> caller: good morning. can you hear me? >> we can. >> caller: okay, thank you. mr. bovard, i want to congratulate you, it is so wonderful to hear someone speak about the truth as opposed to some kind of political agenda. i appreciate it very, very much. and my question is, what is the latest information that we have or is given us on the fact of how many americans died of covid as opposed to those who died with covid? because i can't seem to find any information. >> uh, that's an excellent question. uh, i think the government numbers are saying 900,000 covid
deaths. you had the cdc chief a few weeks ago saying, well, actually a lot of those cases were people who died with covid but not from covid. but this is typical of -- of how the numbers in this pandemic are -- you know, often just totally bogus. maybe it's not intentional because the government doesn't get accurate data for a lot of things. there are so many fundamental questions we could have had better information on. as far as the health data, a number of foreign nations like britain and israel have much better health data as far as the exposure. and something which the media here doesn't report is that a number of states in the u.s., you've had more covid fatalities among the fully vaxed in the last month or two, three months, then among the unvaxed. but you've got biden out there saying it's a pandemic of the unvaxed. this is complete bs. >>am
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