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Epoch TV Review: The Empire Strikes Back

Commentary

Call me crazy, but the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to feel a little bit like the “Star Wars” franchise, and not in a good way. At first, we didn’t know what to expect because it was a whole new thing, then everyone became obsessed with it, then we thought it was over, and now it just keeps going and going with no end in sight. Every time a new mask mandate or push for boosters is rolled out, it’s like finding out they’re going to make another movie no one asked for. No matter how loudly the masses scream that they don’t want it, or how widely it’s panned by critics, there are still enough mindless devotees willing to keep the franchise shuffling forward like something out of “Night of the Living Dead.” It’s the same with COVID-19, which we were only going to have to worry about for two weeks, and is now widely acknowledged as a virus that will become endemic; one we will need to learn to live with forever.

Adding their own voices to the chorus on the neverending pandemic, Kash Patel and Jan Jekielek use the fourth episode of this season’s “Kash’s Corner” to discuss COVID-19 and are successful in bringing something new to the table. In “Full COVID-19 Origins IC Report and Intelligence Should Be Declassified,” they touch on all of the recent developments in moving us beyond the pandemic, from the vaccine mandates to the release of the Intelligence Committee report on exactly how COVID-19 originated (spoiler alert: they don’t know). Patel has quite a lot to say on the matter, as he should since he was chief of staff at the Department of Defense when COVID-19 hit our shores, and was therefore heavily involved with Operation Warp Speed.

Operation Warp Speed was not just the development of the vaccine as we often think of it, but also included implementation plans to distribute the vaccine to the states once it was ready. Since he is well versed on the topic, Patel doesn’t waste any time in diving right into the meat and potatoes of the current state of vaccine mandates, with Jekielek pointing out just how unpopular Biden’s new mandate is, especially with Independents and Republicans. For a guy who promised to unify the country, Biden sure is playing only to his base when it comes to handling COVID-19, meaning he’s spending most of his time ginning up fear about the dreaded unvaccinated. And for someone who has claimed in the past that vaccine mandates are unconstitutional and he can’t just impose one through executive action, Joe Biden is now starting to sound less like a president and more like an emperor.

It’s clear from the discussion that neither Patel nor Jekielek have any problem with vaccines in general, or COVID-19 vaccines in particular, which makes sense since Patel was part of the effort to develop them in record time. That of course won’t be enough to fend off accusations that Patel is an anti-vaxxer, as he also says he thinks getting vaccinated should be a choice left up to the individual. The president’s party used to be big on individual choice, and Patel’s instincts tell him that the harder the administration pushes, the more negatively people will view the mandates. We’re already seeing this, with the anti-mandate movement growing in strength every time a media pundit opens their mouth to shame the “Trump Republicans” who are supposedly keeping us from reaching herd immunity. Ordinary Americans, as well as plenty of high profile individuals from politicians to celebrities, who are themselves vaccinated, are increasingly saying that vaccines are great but they shouldn’t be forced on anyone.

Because Patel is both a former federal prosecutor as well as a former federal public defender, he is able to dive into the legality of the mandate, who is and is not mandated to get the vaccine, and the legal challenges that we’ll likely start seeing very soon once the mandate really goes into effect. The list Patel outlines of who has to get the jab to keep their job versus who is exempt sounds very much like who has the best lobbyists and unions to court favor with the Biden administration. Police and firefighters have to get the shot because they work with the public, but we all know teachers remain exempt. The people at the FBI, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and even the Department of Agriculture have to abide by the mandate, but not the Post Office. Businesses in the private sector with over 100 employees are required to vaccinate or fire their staff, but Congress, of course, is exempt, because when has Congress ever had to follow the rules imposed on the little people? Some employers seem to be rewarded by escaping the mandate, while others appear to be punished.

These are, of course, only the requirements imposed by the federal vaccine mandate. Patel and Jekielek also discuss the various state and local mandates that are forcing people to get vaccinated or find other employment. The great pillars of home-grown socialism, California and New York, are issuing their own vaccine mandates at both the state and city levels. New York City’s vaccine mandates just went into effect, and we should see soon how many NYPD officers walk off the force rather than giving up their rights to personal autonomy. Patel sees plenty of avenues for people to band together to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of these mandates, and while the courts don’t move very quickly, he’s optimistic that a federal judge can order an injunction on the mandates while the lawsuits make their way through the court system, with the likelihood they will eventually end up before the Supreme Court.

In bringing up the different levels of government jumping on the mandate bandwagon, Jekielek easily segues the conversation into a discussion of state versus federal rights. Our bloated Washington bureaucracy has increasingly ignored the concept of state’s rights despite those rights being enshrined in the Tenth Amendment, usurping as much as they can at the federal level for years. With this pandemic, states have begun to push back mightily. Patel mentions both Florida and South Dakota when discussing this issue, states that so famously held their ground in the face of pressure from places like Illinois and New York to panic and shut everything down, and who are now telling the federal government to go pound sand with their mandates. Patel thinks if it comes down to state versus federal rights in a court of law, Biden will exit the courtroom with another loss to add to his growing pile.

Full COVID-19 Origins IC Report and Intelligence Should Be Declassified | Kash’s Corner [Full Episode]

Watch the full episode here.

After covering the legal angles of the vaccine mandates, the co-hosts turn to the ways the unvaccinated are being labeled as somehow unclean by the Biden administration. Both Patel and Jekielek express their concern at this continued narrative, since it’s becoming more expected that COVID-19 will never really go away, but will always need a seasonal vaccine the way the flu does. With the way the administration is demonizing the unvaccinated, it isn’t difficult to imagine a world where the unvaccinated are always blamed for a COVID-19 outbreak from here until the end of time, with total disregard for why someone might choose to remain unvaccinated. The idea that a doctor may have advised a person to skip the vaccine doesn’t even occur to the Don Lemons and Chris Cuomos of the world, even though Patel gives an excellent example from the broadcasting world of exactly why someone may have been told not to get the vaccine. The story he relays is a common one, involving a woman with some fertility issues who is currently trying to get pregnant and was told by her doctor that the vaccine could hurt her chances of conceiving. Her employer, ESPN, was unwilling to bend even in the face of a medical professional telling her not to get the shot, so she walked away. Patel and Jekielek agree there is something very wrong with this outcome when employers are demanding an individual ignore medical advice from their personal physician because a government that knows nothing about their health told them to get a vaccine. It is even more wrong when the same government is ignoring natural immunity.

While neither Jekielek nor Patel claim to be a doctor, they are on the same page with how natural immunity is being ignored by the people in charge of setting public policy. Jekielek references the Israeli study that is well known to anyone not trapped in the mainstream media bubble. The study had a huge sample size and showed natural immunity is up to 27 times more effective than the vaccine after six months, but no one in the government or mainstream media wants to even acknowledge let alone discuss it. Patel puts this down to COVID-19 having been completely politicized, and how it is continuing to be politicized so it can be used during the 2022 midterm elections.

Patel also believes this politicization is the reason China has been able to escape any kind of blame for unleashing this pandemic on the world. Jekielek finds it curious that the CCP so easily danced away from being held accountable for the damage COVID-19 has done worldwide, which Patel likens to the adage of the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. The CCP are such experts at propaganda and so swiftly moved into helper mode, providing PPE and medical equipment to poorer countries, that it was easier for world governments to laud them for their humanitarian efforts than hold their feet to the fire the way the international community would when dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

The Biden administration is no exception to letting China off without so much as a slap on the wrist, despite the recently released COVID-19 Intelligence Community Assessment that Patel and Jekielek discuss at the close of the episode. While an ICA may sound on the surface like a serious inquiry meant to really get to the bottom of something, Patel explains that they’re not always useful and can easily dilute the outcome. An ICA report takes input from all intelligence communities, not just the ones already monitoring the topic under investigation. This means a number of agencies who know virtually nothing about the subject have the chance to throw their two cents into the discussion, and their opinions are given equal weight as those from the agencies that know what they’re talking about. This increases the likelihood that any conclusion reached will have a low level of confidence, a concept that isn’t difficult to understand. If maybe two out of ten agencies weighing in on COVID’s origins actually have hard data while the other eight have little more to contribute than, “Meh,” it would be impossible for them to reach any conclusion that didn’t have a low level of confidence. According to Patel, unless a conclusion has at least a moderate level of confidence, it’s considered no better than a guess.

Patel also explains why this ICA was completely unnecessary, as the Trump administration left behind plenty of data that would have allowed the Biden administration to reach their own conclusions on the origins of COVID if only they’d bothered to look. The idea that they’d bother to look is almost laughable with the current administration’s history of ignoring anything Trump left behind, whether it’s data, intelligence, or policies. It’s almost like the Biden administration wanted to look like it was trying to get to the bottom of things without ever getting to the bottom of things, and because of this Patel thinks the entire ICA ought to be declassified immediately. Leaving it for the media to interpret will allow them to continue running with the narrative that we can’t possibly know whether COVID-19 came from a lab or a wet market, when there may be communications within the report from agencies specifically tasked with finding the origins that paint a much clearer picture.

As we continue to slog our way through the pandemic, episodes like this are important to watch for a sense that there may be a light at the end of a very long tunnel. Patel’s belief that the courts are likely to strike down Biden’s vaccine mandate won’t help within the next week or two, but it definitely gives the viewer hope that this will be yet another tyrannical power grab that is ultimately struck down by the judicial branch. His insider’s perspective on the way an ICA can be used to obscure the truth rather than reveal it is also incredibly helpful in contradicting the media narrative that there’s no way to find out the truth on where COVID-19 came from and how it was developed. “Kash’s Corner” always provides eye-opening insight into the inner workings of the government in relation to current events, and this episode is no exception. Watch it now and share it with everyone you know—even the ones who are sick of hearing about COVID-19.

“Kash’s Corner” premiers every Friday at 8 p.m.—exclusive on EpochTV.

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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Meredith Carroll

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