It’s hard to overstate the novelty and folly of what happened worldwide in March of 2020. What descended upon us was not just a novel virus but a novel mode of social organization and control—the beginnings of a new biomedical security state that I describe in my book, The New Abnormal.
Why did I file a lawsuit in federal court against my own employer? I had nothing to gain personally by this and a lot to lose professionally. I decided I could not stand by and watch the ethical disaster unfold around me without attempting to do something. In my position as Director of Medical Ethics at UCI, I had a duty to represent those whose voices were silenced and to insist upon the right of informed consent and informed refusal.
Needless to say, we did not heed any of this advice in March of 2020. We instead forged ahead with lockdowns, masks, social distancing, and the rest. When faced with covid, we rejected time-tested principles of public health and embraced instead the untested biosecurity model. We are now living in the aftermath of this choice.