What's a Little Mass Death Between Friends?
Emily Oster wants to let COVID bygones be bygones. No thanks.
There is garden-variety audacity, and then there is the Everest-level peak of audacity that Brown University economist and, sigh, top Substacker Emily Oster has hit in her latest article for the Atlantic.
The piece is called “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty.” In it, Oster—whom you may be familiar with thanks to her years-long campaign to push children back into school during COVID—reaches out a benevolent hand to propose that it’s time for everyone to forget about what happened during the height of the pandemic. From the piece (emphasis mine):
The people who got it right, for whatever reason, may want to gloat. [Ed. note: no prizes for guessing whether or not Oster counts herself among the people who got it right.] Those who got it wrong, for whatever reason, may feel defensive and retrench into a position that doesn’t accord with the facts. All of this gloating and defensiveness continues to gobble up a lot of social energy and to drive the culture wars, especially on the internet.
[…]We have to put these fights aside and declare a pandemic amnesty. We can leave out the willful purveyors of actual misinformation while forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge.
Let’s let bygones be bygones, folks! Over a million people have died. But what’s a little mass death between friends? Surely we can all put that behind us.
The disingenuousness involved here is truly epic.
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