Bill Maher, despite his liberalism, does occasionally stick the landing. Take Friday, when he called out those in the media just now talking about the collateral damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.
His message was something America needed to hear back in 2020: The right term isn’t “collateral damage,” it’s suicide.
In a clip from his HBO show, “Real Time,” that the comedian shared on Twitter, Maher discussed the dire stats we’re just beginning to wake up to.
First off, he read a headline that said, “‘The pandemic erased two decades of progress in math and reading.'”
“See, right away, I’ve gotta say, this pisses me off. I see these headlines all the time,” Maher said.
“The pandemic didn’t do that. The way we handled the pandemic did that.”
“The pandemic certainly was a thing, but let’s not just say ‘the pandemic,'” he continued. “Because it was not written in stone that we had to handle it the way we did.”
And just so we’re clear how deep that self-inflicted damage went, Maher checked off the boxes:
“ACT scores are the lowest in 30 years, anxiety and depression way up. The body mass index increased, doubled for kids 2-to-19,” he said. “Drug overdose deaths, murders way up, inflation at a 40-year high, domestic violence increased. Oh, and my favorite, car crashes.”
Car crashes? With fewer cars on the road? Well, as Maher noted, the “experts” finally figured it out.
“People just went f***ing mental. They went just nuts,” he said. “They’re like, ‘I’m home, the f***ing kids are here all the time, my stupid husband is here all the time, I’m just going to take it out on the highway,’ and they did.”
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
We’re now learning just how bad the “collateral damage” is post-pandemic. pic.twitter.com/ECw649U7do
— Bill Maher (@billmaher) October 18, 2022
However, as panelist Michael Smerconish, a CNN and talk-radio host, noted, people sounded the alarm early. There were the signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration, a petition by academics that urged public officials to avoid lockdowns because they did more harm than good in the long run.
“I had them on CNN, I put them on regularly on radio, and there was always enormous blowback, because they were saying many of the things you’re saying now,” Smerconish said.
These days, of course, those who vehemently opposed anyone who wanted to open America back up are trying to make people forget exactly what they did to the country.
Take Tina Kotek, the Democratic candidate for governor in Oregon. Her party affiliation ordinarily would make her a lock to win, although polling averages have shown Republican challenger Christine Drazan with a slight lead.
One of the reasons: Even in deep-blue Oregon, residents were fed up with the state’s harsh lockdowns, which took a big toll on schoolchildren.
The Oregonian reported last month that “Oregon students’ reading, writing and math skills plummeted due to pandemic-induced disruptions to schooling, and students who were already trailing far behind grade level experienced the most harm, somber Oregon Department of Education officials announced.”
“The staggering blows to students’ academic skills, as measured by the first reliable statewide test scores since spring 2019, could take years to repair and may in some cases never be made up for, they acknowledged,” the report said.
Kotek was shocked — shocked! — at this news, demanding answers:
These numbers are unacceptable. As Governor, I will push to make sure all kids are reading by 3rd grade, schools are expanding career technical education, and we’re all working together to help every student succeed. #orpol https://t.co/iCLngEiVL1
— Tina Kotek (@TinaKotek) September 22, 2022
If she wanted to hold the responsible parties accountable, National Review’s Nate Hochman argued, she should just look in the mirror.
“Well, yes. Those numbers are unacceptable. But they are, in no small part, Kotek’s fault,” he said in a Sept. 23 piece.
“As the leader of the Oregon House, Kotek — a close ally of the powerful teachers’ unions in the state — repeatedly led votes along party lines to block Republican-led efforts to reopen the state’s schools,” Hochman wrote.
“And when pressed by Willamette Week early this year, she declined to condemn — unlike other top Democrats — the re-closure of many of Portland’s public schools that sent one-third of the city’s high-school students back to virtual learning. ‘Everybody is trying to do what is best for students,’ she told the publication.”
Except they didn’t — especially Kotek — and the numbers tell the story. This was perfectly predictable and perfectly avoidable.
Now, the left is fond of referring to what happened after we put the country in lockdown “collateral damage.”
At least Bill Maher knows it well enough to call it what it really is.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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