Linda Boyle: Four years after Covid, the words of warning from Ronald Reagan ring truer than ever



Years ago, the late President Ronald Reagan famously said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”   

Those words ring true when we look at the government’s past Covid response and its continued response.

Glenn H. Reynolds authored an article for the New York Post where he acknowledged he had been a covidian at the beginning of this pandemic and now realizes he made a mistake.  (For context, Reynolds is a distinguished professor of law at the University of Tennessee).  

Reynolds stated the initial death rates announced in the news were in a range of 4% to 10% which was the reason for his concern. 

But then he learned the mortality rate was much lower and deaths were mostly seen in those who were obese, had heart failure or diabetes, or were elderly — or had a combination of these conditions. He added these deaths were probably accentuated by the over-aggressive use of ventilators. 

Reynolds also realized that neither the lockdowns nor maskings did any good—although “they caused a lot of trauma, inconvenience and colossal economic destruction”.  

He also cited how New York Gov. Mario Cuomo moved contagious people back into nursing homes where there were a lot of vulnerable people. Reynolds’ conclusion was how the government responded to Covid was probably worse than the disease itself.  

The public health bureaucrats didn’t consider that all their draconian actions would cause a horrible effect on society, jobs, education, and mental health, to name a few.  Their only focus was to “stop the spread” —not that anything they did really accomplished that. Four years later Covid is still alive and well; and the government is continuing to peddle the same old solutions that didn’t work the last time around. 

And they wonder why we don’t trust them.  

Four years later the damage is remarkable and the people responsible for that damage haven’t been held accountable. To make it worse, many of them flouted the rules they forced on us by going to dinner parties, fund raisers, ignoring social distancing and those dang mask mandates that were good for the peons, but somehow not needed for the elite unless being used for virtue signaling.  

Scott W. Atlas, Steve H. Hanke, Philip G. Kerpen, and Casey B. Mulligan published a four-year post Covid retrospective review. These researchers wrote this report “from a balanced perspective that includes health, economic, educational, and civil liberty considerations.” 

Perhaps you remember Dr. Atlas. He had been an advisor to then-President Donald Trump and was on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx did not agree with him and said he was passing out “dangerous” misinformation. They said they could not work with him.

Dr. Atlas was against lockdowns, questioned mask wearing, and pushed for kids to be able to return to school.  He resigned from his position. In retrospect, looks like he might have been right. At the time his thoughts were considered heresy. 

The 10 key lessons Atlas and others came up with look very similar to other lists we have recently seen. They are as follows:  

Lesson #1: Leaders Should Calm Public Fears, Not Stoke Them.  This should be number one as all others that followed were based purely on this idea of making people afraid. Sadly, what would have been more helpful would be to calm fears and allow normal social functioning as much as possible.  

Lesson #2: Lockdowns Do Not Work to Substantially Reduce Death or to Stop Viral Circulation.  There are non-covid excess deaths caused by these lockdowns and panic of about 100,000 per year in the United States—with zero seen in the non-lockdown country of Sweden.

In a peer-reviewed literature review concerning lockdowns by Herby, Jonung, and Hanke, they found “lockdowns in the spring of 2020 had a negligible effect on COVID-19 mortality.”  Social distancing, however, may have helped.  

So, it would seem a better strategy would have been to tell us the truth, let us know about the real risks and allow us to make our own decision. That was not an option. 

Lesson #3: Lockdowns and Social Isolation Had Negative Consequences that Far Outweighed Benefits. According to the World Bank, “Mobility restrictions, lockdowns, and other public health measures…produced the largest global economic crisis in more than a century.” Besides all the ones previously identified, the impact on employment was huge.  Over 49 million Americans were put out of work with two million still out of work in July 2022 according to Bureau of Labor Statistics survey data.  

The National Bureau of Economic Research looked at the long-term impact of Covid on unemployment and its effects on life expectancy and mortality rates.  

Covid effects were two to five times higher than other unemployment episodes—and will lead to “8 million additional deaths over the next fifteen years”. They believe the effect will be higher in women and in Afro-Americans.

Lesson #4: Government Should Not Pay People More Not to Work. Once it forced people out of work and created a crisis, Congress decided to give $600 per week unemployment bonuses early in the pandemic, even though they were warned the consequence of that decision would lead to “prolonged unemployment and associated economic underperformance.”

Once that bonus ended, unemployment rates plunged.  

Lesson #5: Shutting Down Schools Was a Major Policy Mistake With Tragic Effects on Children, Especially the Poor. It was known as early as spring/summer of 2020 we should have left schools open. Children weren’t that affected by Covid and didn’t seem to be spreading it.  “But teacher unions pressured authorities to close schools.”

No one can argue the negative effect this had on our children in school districts that succumbed to the teacher unions’ demands.  No in-person learning led to a serious decrease in children’s test scores, kids dropping out of school, drug abuse, mental illness, suicide thoughts and unfortunately “300,000 cases of child abuse unreported in spring 2020.”  The greatest harm was done to lower income and minority students. 

Lesson #6: Masks Were of Little or No Value and Possibly Harmful. No high-quality information existed in the spring of 2020 to support masking.  Randomized trials of masking for the flu showed masks were ineffective for protecting you and stopping the spread.  Rather than doing studies to determine the effectiveness of masking, the government overstated the benefits even when data to the contrary was produced. The mindset that you need to mask still exists today and is already starting to make its rounds again. 

Lesson #7: Government Should Not Suppress Dissent or Police the Boundaries of Science. Boy is this a big one!  No dissent was allowed. No difference of opinion was tolerated. There was a horrible interplay among the MSM, Big Tech, so-called trust the science and public health community.  There was censorship on opposing ideas at every level of society. This was totally anti-science.

Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made it impossible to get a different message out other than the one “they” had agreed to. And to make it worse, they failed to “run high-quality trials of repurposed drugs and non-pharmaceutical interventions.”  This would include repurposed drugs such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine.

Lesson #8: The Real Hospital Story Was Underutilization. What the authors meant by this is with very few exceptions medical procedures during this time frame were canceled and people canceled potentially lifesaving medical care out of fear of going to the hospital. This was viewed by the authors as a probably significant contributor to non-COVID excessive deaths in the US.  

Lesson #9: Protect the Most Vulnerable. The main goal should have been to protect the most vulnerable instead of a broad brush that included the entire population.  This could have led to prioritization of limited resources. And I believe there would have been much less fear in the general population. 

Lesson #10: Warp Speed: Deregulate But Don’t Mandate. Yes, we developed multiple monoclonal antibody treatments and vaccines in record time, but there were multiple failures. The government only had one solution and NIH failed to look at randomized trials of low-cost repurposed drugs.  Then the government got involved in deciding who would get the monoclonal antibodies and that “created chronic shortages and politicized distribution decisions”.  

Nor was the safety of the new vaccines thoroughly evaluated–with an overstatement of the benefits being the driving force for deployment. We had an all-out “vax everyone” campaign including mandates that undermined informed consent.

Conclusion: Limit Government Emergency Powers and Earn Back Public Trust. Many possible solutions were suggested by the authors that included action from Congress concerning future pandemics. However, the bottom line was this: “Unless and until key institutions openly acknowledge that lockdowns, school closures, and mask/vaccine mandates were catastrophic errors that will not be repeated in the future, the American people will – and should – withhold their trust.”  

I’m not sensing that’s the direction our government is taking now or in the future. Nor do I trust it to do so. Trust must be earned. And for me, it’s not happening any time soon. 

Linda Boyle, RN, MSN, DM, was formerly the chief nurse for the 3rd Medical Group, JBER, and was the interim director of the Alaska VA. Most recently, she served as Director for Central Alabama VA Healthcare System. She is the director of the Alaska Covid Alliance.


  1. I think he also said freedom was never more than one generation away from extinction.

    He’s proven right there, too.

    • Clearly, you can neither read, examine evidence critically, or think for yourself, Greg.
      Because government action TOOK lives during the Covidian hysteria, not saved them!

      And their experimental and often poisonous clot shots continue to take lives to this day, and will continue to do so for years to come. But like a good little sheep and quisling, you uncritically and unthinkingly accept the word of , and put your trust in, corrupt and self-serving authority. Your uwarranted and blind faith in government puts you in common with the naivete and gullibility of children who still believe in Santa Claus. The fact that you and the other Covidian lemmings have not yet figured this out after four years of ALL the evidence refuting the lies of the establishment is astounding and pathetic.

    • Don’t you have some alligators or Burmese pythons to go deal with “greg”…? It is ironic.. A blue suiter living in a deep red state.

  2. Is it true US has been under military law since FDR declared it in 1933? Giving himself massive powers? So all presidents to date had these powers?

  3. Concerning #10, the Government didn’t want to use the low cost drugs because the people in the NIAID and teh NIH were probably receiving “kickbacks” from the drug companies if they directed doctors to use the expensive drugs (poison?) and not use the cheap drugs because there were no “kickbacks”.

    • True. In the Event 201 summary video posted in Nov 2019, the rep from Johnson and Johnson can be heard expressing concern about making a [“vaccine”] no one buys. He’s reassured it will be subsidized.

  4. It may be worth adding, COVID vaccinations aren’t really vaccinations at all. The definition of a vaccination was changed in order to call the Pfizer jab a vaccination. Until the declared pandemic, vaccines were developed to prevent infection. And for the most part they were legitimately successful in doing so. COVID “vaccinations” did not prevent infection, and pandemic commanders were requiring the “vaccination” even after one had tested positive (testing is an entirely different can of worms). This may make me doubt the credibility of anyone recommending a vaccination for the rest of my life.

    • You wrote “Until the declared pandemic, vaccines were developed to prevent infection.”
      I think you need to do a little reading. Start with the flu vaccine. Ideally it prevents infection, but because of the constantly mutating flu viruses, sometimes it does not prevent infection but it does reduce severity of the illness.
      Very similar to the Covid vaccines, because Covid mutates as well.
      There was NO definition change at all. I suggest you question your source where they came up with that.

  5. Anybody with individual thinking skills saw COVID for what it was, the rest are sheep ready for the slaughter

  6. “New York Gov. Mario Cuomo moved contagious people back into nursing homes where there were a lot of vulnerable people.”

    Sometime in the past, white traders sold wool blankets infected with small pox to the indians. Same concept, different vehicle of transport.

    When are the Nuremberg Trials starting? They should, kamp doktor fauci and his associates lied.

  7. This columnist recites essential facts and lessons that are still being blithely ignored by the Branch Covidians of our federal government. And has Brandon yet apologized for even one of his incoherent vaccine tirades? No, and don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology for any of his other gross policy failures – too many to list here.

    Still, for ‘we the people,’ the primary lesson of Covid is that the deep DC state protects its own functionaries, in this case from criminal investigations and prosecution. The intentionally circuitous routing of US Treasury funds to the incompetent Wuhan virus lab for its gain-of-function coronavirus research was, at the very least, a crime of negligent homicide – of mass homicide. One might point out, too, that the federal government was grotesquely wrong for many decades to allow the hostile nation of Red China to enroll its science students in US universities. Would any dare call it treason?

  8. OBSERVATION #1 … “The truth has no defense against a fool determined to believe a lie.” (Mark Twain)

  9. Back in 1981, when Ronald Reagan was sworn in and implicitly promised to destroy our government because it was “the problem,” many of us who strongly opposed him wondered what the final stage of Reaganism would look like.

    Now we know. We’re there.

    Violence toward women and minorities has exploded.

    Armed militias tried to assassinate the Vice President and Speaker of the House in an attempted coup directed by the Republican President of the United States.

    Right wing extremists tried to kidnap and murder the Democratic governor of Michigan.

    They’re blowing up power substations from Oregon to the Carolinas.

    They’ve embedded themselves in DHS, police departments, and our military.

    They’re coordinating with fascists overseas.

    Leading up to this moment was a 41-year political war that splattered the American Dream like gut-shot blood across a dystopian Republican hellscape mural.

    Reaganism brought us:

    The collapse of the middle class;
    Student and medical debt that’s impossible to climb out of;
    An explosion of predation from health insurance companies and for-profit hospitals;
    Political manipulation by corporations and billionaires;
    An explosion of homelessness and untreated mental illness;
    And turned our elementary schools into killing fields.

    The question today is whether we as a nation and a people will recover from it, or if it will, as Reagan promised on January 20, 1981, end the American experiment of pluralistic liberal democracy.

    The seeds of Reaganism were planted in 1972 when President Nixon put tobacco lawyer Lewis Powell on the US Supreme Court.

    Powell had written his infamous “Memo” a year earlier, arguing that corporate America and the morbidly rich needed to join forces to wrest back control of America after forty years of FDR’s New Deal had empowered middle class union workers, consumers, and environmentalists.

    • You are so right.
      I’m still amazed at how many people are unaware that Reagan’s voodoo trickle down economics was the start of our growing national debt. I think many of these folks don’t understand x-y charts.
      So by the numbers, Reagan grew the national debt by 160%, for no reason other than reducing tax rates on the super-rich and corporations. The only two presidents ahead of him by percent are FDR and Woodrow Wilson, and they had WWI and WWII to fight.
      Reagan succeeded in making it free for the super wealthy and corporations to exploit us, and make the middle class disappear. And he succeeded, and the damage goes on.
      And you know who was 4th in growing the national debt percent? W. Bush with starting his quagmire wars, and trying to deal with the recession that started on his watch.

      • I’m still amazed that Reagan never peed on Russian hookers. Did Maureen or Patti ever say if he showered with them?

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