Conservatives on social media excoriated the author of an article in The Atlantic this week who called for a “pandemic amnesty” where opponents of coronavirus lockdown measures would forgive those who pushed masking, shutdowns, and vaccines during the pandemic.
“Kids missed out on their education,” California Republican State Sen. Melissa Melendez posted on Twitter. “Mom & Pops went out of business. Military members were kicked out. The list goes on and on. Those responsible deserve every bit of scorn cast their way.”
The Atlantic article, titled “Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty” and published on Monday, was written by Brown University Economics Professor Emily Oster and attempted to make the case that supporters of lockdown measures “didn’t know” that cloth masks were not effective, outdoor transmission of the virus was nonexistent, and were motivated by “deep uncertainty.”
Conservatives on social media blasted the article and overwhelmingly “ratioed” the post giving it far more negative replies than retweets and likes.
Students play outside at recess as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 8, 2021.
“Most enraging thing I’ve read in a long time,” Fox News Contributor Katie Pavlich tweeted. “You ppl destroyed lives, had people fired, set back kids for a generation, promoted an anti-American vilification/social passport system for ‘the unvaccinated,’ censored, etc. We had the data in May 2020. These ppl ignored. No”
“Funny how the calls for amnesty come right before Republicans take charge,” Fox News Contributor Lisa Boothe tweeted.
“Oh no, @ProfEmilyOster,” Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean, who lost both her in-laws to the coronavirus while they were housed in New York nursing facilities, tweeted. “Many of us won’t ever forgive or forget. Especially when it comes to the seniors who died in nursing homes after leaders flooded their residences with covid patients and never told us or protected them. They knew better. We deserve justice first.”
Professor Emily Oster poses for a portrait at her office at Brown University May 21, 2018, in Providence, Rhode Island.
(Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images))
“Hell no,” the popular conservative Twitter account LibsofTikTok posted. “I’ll never forget what the Democrats did- how they destroyed thousands of lives by forcing school/business closures, people died alone in hospitals while nurses danced because they didn’t allow visitors, thousands lost their jobs for refusing a vax, list goes on and on.”
“Forgiveness usually comes after an apology,” conservative commentator Lauren Chen posted. “I see no apology in this piece. Remember how you encouraged family members to pressure each other and the unvaxxed to be fired? Perhaps a little I’m sorry for that’ would be a good place to start.”
“In April 2020, no one got the coronavirus from passing someone else hiking. Outdoor transmission was vanishingly rare,” Oster wrote in the article. “Our cloth masks made out of old bandanas wouldn’t have done anything, anyway. But the thing is: We didn’t know.”
The article added, “The standard saying is that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. But dwelling on the mistakes of history can lead to a repetitive doom loop as well. Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward.”
A protestor carries a sign reading "We Will Not Comply" during a demonstration outside the Virginia State Capitol to protest Virginia’s stay-at-home order
In an emailed statement to Fox News Digital, Professor Oster said that the coronavirus pandemic “created many problems that we still need to solve and rehashing what we got right or got wrong during an uncertain time is not going to move us forward.”
“Student test scores have shown historic declines,”Oster continued. “Routine vaccination rates for children (for measles, pertussis, etc.) are way down. We need to collect data, experiment, and invest. We need to move forward, because we are losing daylight on getting this generation of kids back on track.”
Several studies have been released following the government imposed coronavirus shutdowns showing the detrimental effects of lockdowns including a study showing they only reduced the coronavirus death rate by 0.2%.
Additionally, a study conducted by the conservative think tank Just Facts outlined multiple areas where they reported studies showing the ineffectiveness of several lockdown measures, including wearing masks, months before the mainstream media followed suit.
A Monmouth University poll released in March asked respondents whether they “support or oppose instituting, or reinstituting, face mask and social distancing guidelines” in their state at the current time. Sixty percent of Democrats said they support it, compared with 12% of Republicans.
The vast majority of Americans, 73%, said they agreed with the sentiment that “it’s time we accept that COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives.”