Grand jury: Government response to COVID really about one thing

Once-thriving businesses at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida, are boarded up and deserted amid the coronavirus pandemic on Jan. 30, 2021. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

Once-thriving businesses at CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida, are boarded up and deserted amid the coronavirus pandemic on Jan. 30, 2021. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

A grand jury in Florida that reviewed the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which killed millions around the globe after it emerged from a Chinese lab experimenting on bat viruses, found it was all about “control.”

“This first report from the grand jury only confirms what we knew from the beginning of the COVID crisis,” explained Liberty Counsel chief Mat Staver, whose organization has battled the unconstitutional actions taken by the government against private and religious individuals and organizations because of COVID.

“It is no surprise that the government’s response inflicted [devastating] collateral damage on Floridians and the nation. Common sense tells us that extended use of masks, lockdowns, social distancing, and school closures harm people and result in severe social distress.

“The government’s response to the crisis had nothing to do with science, rather it was about control. We must never allow this again.”

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(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

(Photo by Joe Kovacs)

Staver’s comments were in response to the release of an initial report from Florida’s 22nd statewide grand jury.

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Its itnerim report found that “masks, social distancing, and lockdowns were ineffective and ‘did not significantly change the overall risk’ from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

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The report stems from a request in 2022 by Gov. Ron DeSantis for the Florida Supreme Court to call a grand jury to “investigate pharmaceutical manufacturers and other medical associations or organizations for crimes and wrongdoing committed against Floridians related to the COVID-19 shot.”

Members called to convene were “apolitical” and were not public officials, having “no specific agenda” regarding COVID and those shots, Liberty Counsel reported.

Grand jurors were picked at random, with a requirement being their impartiality and their ability to commit large amounts of time, over months, to the task at hand.

“Our main uniting feature is that each of us believes the citizens of the state of Florida deserve unbiased answers to the important questions raised by the petition…Moreover, we concur that if violations of Florida criminal law occurred with respect to COVID-19 vaccines, they must be addressed by the appropriate authorities,” the report said.

On the issue of masks, the jurors charged, “We have never had sound evidence of their effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

Jurors confirmed masks do help prevent spread of aerosols, but noted it would require the correct kind of mask, and then found, ‘it would still be virtually impossible for us to conduct our affairs with the rigidity necessary to receive the full measure of benefits the mask would provide … ”

Further, the jurors said that very small particles of 400 nanometers or smaller can hang in the air for hours, meaning masks have limited application.

A sign of the times at many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

A sign of the times at many businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. (Photo by Joe Kovacs)

“People should have been told that masks, like any protective device, have limitations,” said the report. “Public health agencies failed to adequately explain this important distinction to the American public in favor of a broad mask recommendation that did not make nearly enough distinction between the types of masks available and put at risk those it sought to help. Well-financed federal agencies chose to fill the discourse with flawed observational and laboratory studies.”

Jurors found on the dispute over social distancing, “In enclosed interior spaces for extended periods of time, a distance of six feet or sixty feet is not going to make any difference.”

They found, according to Liberty Counsel, that “public policy should have focused on the data showing how certain filtration systems work effectively indoors to prevent aerosol clouds containing enough of an infectious viral load from accumulating, all while also taking advantage of outdoor spaces which help accomplish the same thing.”

They wrote, “Instead, many states and municipalities did the opposite, closing parks, taping up playgrounds and confining people to interior spaces—where viral transmission was more likely.”

The distancing demands, they said, “bore only a cursory resemblance to the contrary scientific evidence presented in the emerging data.”

And about those lockdowns, which the government demanded to “stop the spread.”

Liberty Counsel said, “The report noted that lockdowns were a ‘luxury of the laptop class’ and those who could afford to stay home. ‘Essential workers’ who were needed to keep essential services and supply lines running, as well as those among lower income families who could not afford to stay home showed a disparate infection rate much higher than other income classes. In addition, studies showed that city or state governments that held stricter lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, and school closures resulted with higher overall mortality rate over the long-term.”

The report charged that lockdowns “traded the immediate welfare of a smaller, affluent, well-represented group of older Americans who could afford to stay home for the longer-term welfare of a larger, less-affluent, poorly-represented group of children, teens, twenty-, thirty- and forty-somethings who could not. If anything, the result of this was a modest benefit to the former group at the expense of the latter.”

Then, too, they found the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have claimed COVID contributed to a surge in mental health problems, but that more likely was from the lockdowns, not COVID.

Jurors wrote, “Is this Grand Jury really supposed to believe…that all the mental health symptoms described therein are attributable to the virus, while none of them are attributable to the fact that heavy-handed, government-mandated lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and school closures turned people’s lives upside down for the better part of three years? That surmise not only offends common sense, it is also contradicted by CDC data from June of 2020 where a cross-section of Americans reported dramatically increased levels of anxiety, depression and PTSD at a time when—at the most—1 out of 20 of them had contracted the SARS CoV-2 virus, but when [lockdowns] across the nation had already been in place for months.

“A government mandated lockdown is like a credit card: It allows leaders to buy a period of depressed case growth, but that benefit is temporary and ends when the lockdown is lifted. The ‘interest’ of this benefit written in the language of excess mortality—is paid for in future months and years of economic hardship, mental and physical health consequences, and loss of educational attainment.”

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