The grisly Shanghai lockdown, now entering its eighth week, has forced a reckoning among members of Democratic America’s expert class—even if very few are willing to publicly admit it. Liberal media outlets like the New York Times, which depicted China’s draconian Zero Covid strategy as commendable in early 2021, are now rightly identifying the collateral damage that results when a government prioritizes Covid prevention above all else.
Democratic leaders and their accomplices in media and the academy, however, have yet to concede that non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) were tremendously damaging to our society and ineffective in terms of quelling the virus. Instead, they are trying to save face and maintain the legitimacy of the isolate-vaccinate paradigm, while adroitly distancing themselves from Xi Jinping’s brand of containment.
This tactical retreat is especially conspicuous among the scholars affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an American think tank with locations in New York and Washington DC. …