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What is Pandemic amnesty? Emily Oster controversy explained as The Atlantic article sparks controversy online

Image via Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images
People are calling out an article in The Atlantic for calling for "pandemic amnesty" (Image via Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images)

An article calling for a "pandemic amnesty," urging people to "move forward" and "forgive one another" for the words said and actions committed during Covid-19 has sparked controversy online.

On October 31, 2022, The Atlantic published a column written by the economist Emily Oster of Brown University titled, "Let's declare a pandemic amnesty."

In the article, she argued that people need to move past and mend social divisions caused by pandemic-related health measures taken to ensure safety over the past two years. This included things like mandatory masks, lockdowns, and shutting down of schools, among other things.

it's official: according to the CDC's own tracking data, which is recorded by doctors and hospitals, more people have been killed by the COVID vaccines in the last 20 months, than all the other vaccines in the world over the last thirty years, COMBINED. https://t.co/gec2GivYfF

As for the Covid-19 response, Oster suggested that the errors made during the coronavirus were made by people "who were working in earnest for the good of society.” She said that with the uncertainty around the topic, nearly every position was "taken on every topic," and that on every topic, while someone was proven right, someone was proved wrong.

She noted that in some of the instances, people who were right were right for the wrong reasons. However, she said that people had a "prescient understanding" of the available information. According to Oster, people need to put these fights aside and declare "a pandemic amnesty."


Twitterati was not happy with the concept of "pandemic amnesty"

After Emily Oster's piece, "Let's declare a pandemic amnesty," went viral, Twitterati refused to side with her, and bashed the government for their "forced" past actions. Several users shared videos and pictures from the time of the crisis justifying their point. One user even stated that they would "never forgive" the culprits for degrading the economy and unemployment.

These are the people now calling for “pandemic amnesty”HELL NO twitter.com/EndWokeness/st…
They now want pandemic "amnesty" after this.https://t.co/dHeTEYicpA
Remember, they fired you, fined you, closed your business, closed your school, forced you to get vaccinated, forced you wear a mask, caused record inflation, a recession, sent billions to pharma and testing companies.They didn’t forgive you. theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/…
The people who did this want “pandemic amnesty” now. Hard no https://t.co/5AGg2XrMlb
"Let's declare a pandemic amnesty" https://t.co/SFVttNkvkC
There will be no “pandemic amnesty” until #Nuremberg2 takes place. Everything is documented and justice is coming. twitter.com/themilkbartv/s…
There will be no "pandemic amnesty" for the school board members who did this to our children.They will be removed from office, one at a time. https://t.co/rfHlxwPgNy
Pandemic Amnesty!! Sent old people to rest homes to die! Died alone and scared, when nurses blocked their loved ones from seeing them. No treatment, diagnoses, how many died from that? Lockdowns, lost jobs, businesses, mental health, suicides! All for fük all! I'll never forgive!
Emily Oster is the exact perfect representation of everything banal and evil about U.S. pandemic propaganda. You couldn’t have invented her. “Cost-benefit analysis,” “sunk costs,” “pandemic amnesty” when children, their caregivers, their teachers, were sacrificed for the economy
You want "pandemic amnesty?" Watch this video, and guess whether or not you'll get it. https://t.co/E9ymnULQpP
🧵 "Oh, There Will Be No Pandemic Amnesty" - A Reminder for the Compliant & Easily Manipulated, Dedicated to @ProfEmilyOster Page 1... https://t.co/IHSve5HSMr

The op-ed piece specifically ticked off some Conservatives who refused to let Dr. Anthony Fauci "off the hook." The New York Times reported that Dr. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, became a bogeyman for several right-wing supporters. This happened as Republicans targeted Dr. Fauci in an attempt to court Donald Trump voters.

They made you cancel funerals and say goodbye to loved ones over Skype. No pandemic amnesty. Accountability is coming. https://t.co/S3cfGL2pqm
And let Fauci off the hook? No way. https://t.co/xy81PQb4GF
The concept of “pandemic amnesty” doesn’t work when a generation of children have been irreparably damaged by the evil & draconian policies of the Left.Now that we’ll be subpoenaing them in a few months, they want to forgive & forget.Not on my watch.
HELL NO. Accountability is coming. Soon. https://t.co/enJjKi1pVC
Absolutely no Amnesty. Some of us did not lose our minds, did not force vaccines or lockdowns, and instead fought for freedom the entire time.It’s one thing to have gotten some things wrong over the past few years, it’s another to have led the charge to destroy human freedom. twitter.com/raheemkassam/s…
They made you cancel funerals and say goodbye to loved ones over Skype. No pandemic amnesty. Accountability is coming. https://t.co/S3cfGL2pqm

Reports suggest Republicans suffering more than the Democrats during the pandemic

A study, titled, "Partisan differences are common in the lessons Americans take away from COVID-19," was released on September 6 by the Pew Research Center.

The study revealed that more Republicans died from the Covid-19 than the Democrats. The reason suggested was their ability to trust the advice from the public health authorities.

“Skepticism toward vaccines is the top response among Republicans, and mentions of distrust of the pharmaceutical industry and government officials are also relatively frequent."

In another study, "The Association Between COVID-19 Mortality And The County-Level Partisan Divide In The United States," the results seen were quite similar. This study showed that the countries with majority Republicans saw more deaths from Covid than those with majority Democrats.

I don't want another round of #COVID, nor the weight of someone's preventable death or disability on my conscience. Masks are how we have the most normalcy during a pandemic. The very fact that I need to explain this REPEATEDLY means public health messaging has failed hard. https://t.co/iI46AaOGbk

Jacob Wallace, an assistant professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health, spoke to NBC News. He suggested that the gap between the two could be due to vaccine hesitancy. He added that the countries that have a larger population get vaccinated see a much smaller gap between Republicans and Democrats.”

He further said that Florida and Ohio, which saw excess deaths during Covid, did not really have a big divide until vaccines became available for all.

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Edited by Madhur Dave
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