Biden's Surgeon General Declares an Epidemic That the Left's Own Pandemic Policies Caused


How deadly is COVID-19?

It’s hard to get an exact fatality rate because of the nature of the virus and of asymptomatic carriers — but if, at the beginning of the pandemic, conservatives told liberals that two years of “two weeks to slow the spread” lockdowns would be as deadly as smoking 12 cigarettes a day, would they still be touting them?

Because that is what President Joe Biden’s surgeon general is now admitting, quietly.

Dr. Vivek Murthy’s office issued a report Tuesday that found “widespread” loneliness is as deadly as smoking more than a half-a-pack a day, with The Associated Press characterizing loneliness as “the latest public health epidemic.”

“We now know that loneliness is a common feeling that many people experience. It’s like hunger or thirst. It’s a feeling the body sends us when something we need for survival is missing,” Murthy said in an AP interview.

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“Millions of people in America are struggling in the shadows, and that’s not right,” he said. “That’s why I issued this advisory to pull back the curtain on a struggle that too many people are experiencing.”

The loneliness isn’t solely pandemic-induced. As the AP noted, Americans “have become less engaged with worship houses, community organizations and even their own family members in recent decades,” with about half of U.S. adults saying they’ve experienced episodes of loneliness.

However, who decided that worship houses and community organizations should be locked down during the interminable “two weeks to slow the spread”? The government did, with the harshest lockdowns in Democrat-run states.

Where were family members often not permitted to congregate during the holidays? Usually in liberal locales such as California and the city of Chicago, which attempted to stop Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings even as Democratic leaders were caught breaking their own rules.

And it showed, with the AP reporting Americans “culled their friend groups during the coronavirus pandemic and reduced time spent with those friends, the surgeon general’s report finds. Americans spent about 20 minutes a day in person with friends in 2020, down from 60 minutes daily nearly two decades earlier.”

Surgeon General Loneliness by The Western Journal

“The loneliness epidemic is hitting young people, ages 15 to 24, especially hard,” the outlet reported. “The age group reported a 70% drop in time spent with friends during the same period.”

Indeed, one of the most alarming trends of the pandemic was a rise in “deaths of despair” — drug and alcohol overdoses and suicides — among the young.

In a 2021 study, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that emergency room visits by girls ages 12 to 17 who were feeling suicidal rose by over 50 percent from 2019 to the annus horribilis of 2020.

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In July 2020, then-CDC head Dr. Robert Redfield said, regarding the continuing closure of schools, that “there has been another cost that we’ve seen, particularly in high schools. We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID.”

Meanwhile, regarding working-from-home arrangements — a commonality during the pandemic that the left wants to see continue indefinitely, pandemic or not — a 2023 study from the University College of London found that those who commuted over 15 miles from home for work had significantly better mental and physical well-being, particularly for those over the age of 55.

And, so, what does the surgeon general prescribe now?

According to the AP, he’s “calling on workplaces, schools, technology companies, community organizations, parents and other people to make changes that will boost the country’s connectedness. He advises people to join community groups and put down their phones when they’re catching up with friends; employers to think carefully about their remote work policies; and health systems to provide training for doctors to recognize the health risks of loneliness.”

In other words, the diametrical opposite of the work-from-home, Zoom-happy-hour, Netflix-binging, school-shutting, doom-scrolling, masked-up lifestyle almost everybody on the left was supporting in some way, shape or form well into 2022 — or even as recently as this year.

Were you against COVID-19 lockdowns?

In fact, it was only just Tuesday that the White House announced it was formally ending vaccine requirements for international travelers — one of the last remaining vestiges of pandemic-era footing on which the Democrats were still standing firm — on May 11.

Meanwhile, it’s not as if the effects of isolation weren’t known. Redfield’s testimony about deaths of despair came in the summer of 2020, and a February 2021 study out of Britain found that long-term social isolation was as deadly as 15 cigarettes a day. I guess when loneliness crosses the Atlantic, it loses three cigarettes of deadliness in the process. Who knew?

Despite this, the left clung to notions that social isolation was the cure, not the problem; we could deal with the ancillary issues later.

Well, it turns out that, yes, the cure was likely worse than the disease itself. It didn’t just wreck the economy or wreck education, it wrecked lives, period.

Even if you were able to Door Dash your way through the pandemic from home, binge-watching “Tiger King” alone under two masks and a full-body film of hand sanitizer, your health still suffered.

Funny how the same people responsible for this state of affairs are now the ones clamoring most loudly for a “pandemic amnesty,” or something like it.

They’ll pivot to mental health and loneliness, all the while pretending they haven’t hollowed out religious institutions, workplace relationships, community organizations, family ties and overall connectedness.

They won’t have learned a thing.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture