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Call for bad pandemic policy 'amnesty' ripped by lockdown critics

“We can’t even start a conversation about reckoning until liberals stop buying Fauci bobble head dolls.”

November 1, 2022 1:35pm

Updated: November 21, 2022 4:38pm

A call to forgive those who promoted “misguided” policies during the COVID-19 pandemic has been blasted across social media by those hurt by or ostracized by those who pushed for them.

Emily Oster, an economist at Brown University, wrote a piece for The Atlantic Monday titled “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty” in which she argued that decisions made in the early months of COVID deserve forgiveness because they were made with imperfect, incomplete knowledge.

Her main point was that energy should be focused on repairing the damage done by the policies, like learning loss.

It seems the majority disagreed. Oster’s tweet sharing the article was brutally ratioed, with almost 29,000 replies to about 2,100 likes as of Tuesday.

“The gaslighting will continue until morale improves,” tweeted one user, sharing a highlight from the article about how “getting something right [about COVID] had a hefty element of luck.”

Many of the 7,000 or so quote replies included stories of what pandemic lockdowns and school closures had taken from them. Others pointed out that no one had yet admit fault and objected specifically to the use of powerful institutions to enforce those views.

“I see a lot of people mad at this because they don't want to give those who were wrong about covid a pass,” tweeted podcaster Noam Blum.

“But the main reason this take is bad as that the people who were wrong about covid haven't admitted it, still think they're right, and continue to push for bad policy.”

“We can’t even start a conversation about reckoning until liberals stop buying Fauci bobble head dolls,” wrote Matt Stoller, head of the American Economic Liberties Project.

“No one has admitted error.”

An early advocate of school reopening and author of books on evidence-based parenting, Oster had some step up in her defense.

Charles Fain Lehman, a fellow at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute, responded to a skeptic saying, “Okay but the author of this piece got a lot of things right?”

“I know everyone has already made this point, but it is extremely silly to make Emily Oster the emblem of COVID insanity.”