Federal agencies don’t count what politicians don’t want to know. President Biden and other Democrats continuously invoke “science and data” to sanctify all their Covid-19 mandates and policies, but the same shenanigans and willful omissions have characterized Covid data.
During his update on his Winter Covid Campaign on Tuesday, President Biden declared, “Almost everyone who has died from COVID-19 in the past many months has been unvaccinated.” This was true from the start of the pandemic in early 2020, until the vaccines’ efficacy began failing badly in recent months. Oregon officially classifies roughly a quarter of its Covid fatalities since August as “vaccine breakthrough deaths.” In Illinois, roughly 30 percent of Covid fatalities have occurred among fully vaccinated individuals. According to the Vermont Department of Health, “Half of the [Covid] deaths in August were breakthrough cases. Almost three-quarters of them in September were,” as well, according to Burlington, Vermont TV station WCAX.
The Biden administration guaranteed that the vast majority of “breakthrough” infections would not be counted when the Centers for Disease Control in May ceased keeping track of “breakthrough” infections unless they resulted in hospitalization or death. Ignoring that data permitted Biden to go on CNN in July and make the ludicrously false assertion: “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.” But federal data on fully vaxxed Covid fatalities is far flimsier and less reliable than the numbers compiled by some states. Honestly recognizing the limits of vaccines could be fatal to Biden’s push for compulsory vaccinations.
The same policymakers who claim to be guided by data have little or no idea how many Americans have been hit by Covid. According to the CDC, there have been 51,115,304 Covid cases in America. But a different CDC web page estimates that there had been 146.6 million Covid infections in the US as of October 2, 2021. That CDC analysis estimated that only one in four Covid infections have been reported, which would mean that based on the latest official case numbers, more than 200 million Americans have contracted Covid. For Biden and his fellow policymakers, a potential error of 150 million Covid infections is “close enough for government work.” Relying on the lower number is convenient for policymakers who want to continue ignoring the natural immunity acquired by 199 million Americans who survived Covid infections.
Deceptive federal Covid data is not an anomaly. The same charades permeate the official data guiding both domestic and foreign policies.
Federal education policy has perennially been exempt from the fraud penalties that the Federal Trade Commission inflicts on private corporations. The No Child Left Behind Act, passed in 2002, promised that federal mandates would make all students proficient in reading and math by the year 2014. Almost half the states responded to the law’s perverse incentives by “dumbing down” academic standards, lowering passing scores on tests to avoid harsh federal sanctions. It was obvious within the first year that the law was backfiring, but the feds covered up the catastrophe to permit President George W. Bush and other politicians to continue lying about saving America’s children.
Food stamps have been one of the most popular ways for politicians to prove their love of downtrodden Americans. Liberals perennially claim that the food stamp program has a fraud rate of only one percent. But that is based solely on the number of violators who get caught, and federal rules discourage states (which administer the program) from vigorously pursuing violators. New Mexico Human Services Secretary Sidonie Squier complained in 2013 that the biggest fraud issue in her state was recipients selling their food-stamp Electronic Benefit (EBT) Cards and claiming that they were lost or stolen. Roughly 70 percent of all the EBT cards issued in New Mexico in 2012 were replacement cards. Squier told Albuquerque’s KOB-TV, “We know that there are some people who lose them four, six, or eight times, and it’s pretty suspicious, but you can’t do anything about it based on the federal rules. They want people to have the cards — they want the cards replaced.”
The Peace Corps, one of the most sainted federal agencies, is also guilty of perennially covering up deadly risks to its recruits. The Peace Corps has long acted as if its volunteers’ good intentions are body armor that shield them against all perils. But its basic model – sending inexperienced young college graduates to live and work alone in many of the world’s most dangerous nations – is failing mightily. The Peace Corps routinely buries evidence of rapes suffered by its volunteers. Michael O’Neill, the Peace Corps’ security director from 1995 to 2002, commented, “Nobody wanted to talk about security [for volunteers]. It suppresses the recruitment numbers.” After a 29-year-old volunteer was gang-raped in Bangladesh, Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tx) condemned the agency’s reaction: “For political reasons, the Peace Corps did everything it could to ignore and cover up the dastardly deed, blaming the crime on the victim.” A 2021 USA Today investigation found that the agency continues suppressing evidence even though almost half of the female Peace Corps recruits “who finished service in 2019 were sexually assaulted in some way.” But this horrendous failure rarely shows up in the agency’s endless press release victory proclamations.
Federal statistics cannot raise the dead, but they can make troublesome corpses vanish. The Obama administration vastly increased drone killings of terrorist suspects in many nations and claimed that almost all the victims were bad guys. A Salon analysis, summarizing an NBC News report, noted, “Even while admitting that the identities of many killed by drones were not known, the CIA documents asserted that all those dead were enemy combatants. The logic is twisted: If we kill you, then you were an enemy combatant.” Daniel Hale, a former Air Force intelligence analyst, leaked information revealing that nearly 90% of people who were killed in drone strikes were not the intended targets. Biden’s Justice Department responded by coercing Hale into pleading guilty to “retention and transmission of national security information.”
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the media has portrayed federal officials like Tony Fauci as America’s “best and brightest.” But Washington is full of Towers of Paternalist Babel built on statistical quicksand. Bureaucracies conspire against admitting their failures, and politicians often rig reporting requirements to hide the damage their laws inflict. Anyone who has blind faith in federal data is unfit to judge public policy in the real world.