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Rachel Marsden: Biden’s desire to spread democracy should start with opposition to COVID-19 passports

Tribune Content Agency logoTribune Content Agency 8/3/2021 Rachel Marsden, Tribune Content Agency
a group of people walking down the street: Thousands of people gathered to demonstrate against government-issued health passes in Paris, France, on July 31. There were clashes with police. Photo by Kelly Linsale/ BePress/ ABACAPRESS.COM. © Linsale Kelly/BePress/ABACA Thousands of people gathered to demonstrate against government-issued health passes in Paris, France, on July 31. There were clashes with police. Photo by Kelly Linsale/ BePress/ ABACAPRESS.COM.

PARIS — U.S. President Joe Biden is on a roll, lecturing other countries about their democratic deficits. The current Oval Office occupant campaigned on the promise to “bring together the world’s democracies to strengthen our democratic institutions” during his first year in office. Hey, Joe, there’s some creeping authoritarianism right under your nose. What’s blocking your view?

Some leaders have been pushing for the implementation of COVID-19 passports that would monitor the movement of people worldwide under the guise of zero-risk sanitary idealism. The ruling class in some countries — like those in Europe and most notably France — have been the most eager to rush headlong into the implementation of Covid passports.

This is happening at a time when official information regarding the effectiveness of the Covid jab is rapidly evolving. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently issued a report noting that 74% of the 469 COVID-19 cases in a Massachusetts town last month involved people who had been fully vaccinated. The result was a CDC recommendation that masks be worn in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 rates are high. So much for the idea that the fully vaccinated can’t catch or spread the virus.

Rachel Marsden wearing a dress shirt and tie: Rachel Marsden. © Provided by Tribune Content Agency Rachel Marsden.

This revelation should set off alarm bells at a time when jab-dependent instruments of control like Covid passports are being rolled out in some countries, creating a potentially enduring segregationist system based on unreliable, ever-changing health criteria. Egos dictate that politicians want to be proven right at all costs, which could outweigh the need to follow the data or the science when their “conventional wisdom” is proven wrong.

The worldwide harmonization of countries’ health pass systems to control the movement of all citizens under sanitary pretext — using whatever criteria governments decide to cite amid the Covid fiasco or beyond — would be tantamount to a global panopticon.

The U.S. has often been blind to such undemocratic acts committed by “Team Democracy” in the same way that some parents consider their own little hellions to be angels while complaining about other people’s unruly kids.

One foe perennially cited by U.S. administrations as an enfant terrible in need of a spanking is Cuba. The U.S. Treasury Department recently issued new sanctions against Cuban authorities, citing the Latin American nation’s “actions to suppress peaceful, pro-democratic protests in Cuba that began on July 11.”

OK. So then why hasn’t there been a peep out of Biden about the pro-democracy protests in France, which have taken place every weekend for the past month in cities across the country? People from all walks of life have been taking to the streets in swelling opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s introduction of a Covid “health pass” that limits access to transportation and most everyday venues with a capacity of at least 50 people to people who have either taken the full set of government-approved Covid jabs or who have had a nose swab test within 48 hours.

Last weekend, people around the world saw scenes from Paris with French authorities cracking down on protesters with tear gas, while the French government dismissed the movement’s concerns. Estimates of the number of protesters that were issued by the French interior ministry smacked of a propagandistic attempt to minimize the size and importance of the protests.

One might excuse American leadership for having remained silent when French “yellow vest” protesters were losing eyes to rubber bullets fired by police every weekend before COVID-19 shoved the anti-tax movement from center stage. To be fair, Biden wasn’t president of the free world at the time. But now that he is, why isn’t he standing up for oppressed freedom fighters? Because that’s exactly what these pro-liberty protesters opposing creeping sanitary authoritarianism in France, Germany, the UK, Australia and elsewhere really are.

Biden spoke of the “deteriorating” situation in Hong Kong last month, expressing concern about what the administration views as creeping Chinese control over the once business-friendly entity.

Why does China’s behavior toward its labor market warrant attention but not the working class in G-7 countries who are being threatened with the need to get a Covid jab as a condition of continued employment? Why is Biden tolerating the abuse of workers’ rights and freedoms under this sanitary pretext?

If Biden isn’t opposing Covid passports as stringently as he speaks out about other affronts to democracy, then he’s complicit in the erosion of freedom worldwide. The big question is why he’s turning a blind eye.

(Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of an independently produced French-language program that airs on Sputnik France. Her website can be found at http://www.rachelmarsden.com.)

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