COVID has taught us what all of us knew but have too often forgotten: if you give petty bureaucrats a taste of unrestricted power, there’s a good chance that they will become morally corrupt and abusive. Exhibit A for today is what happened to Lynn Savage. Her disabled, non-verbal daughter was frightened and near death after brain surgery — and the hospital had Ms. Savage arrested for insisting on staying with her child.

Lynn Savage is a retired deputy sheriff whose daughter was hospitalized at the University of Florida Health North hospital in Jacksonville. Her daughter, Amber, had suffered a massive stroke some years before, becoming partially paralyzed and non-verbal. Ms. Savage is her caretaker.

Amber had several surgeries to help deal with fallout from the stroke. She was in the hospital for yet another surgery, and Ms. Savage, who is 70 years old, had been at the hospital since 6:30 A.M., helping her daughter communicate. After the surgery, Amber was terrified, and a doctor asked Ms. Savage to go into the ICU to see if she could calm her — and indeed, she could.

However, at 7 P.M., a nurse told Ms. Savage that, thanks to COVID regulations, all visitors had to leave. Ms. Savage refused, pointing out that she was essential to her daughter’s care. Nurse Ratched (because we don’t know her real name) called security on Ms. Savage, and someone eventually called the Jacksonville sheriff.

The arresting officer apologized profusely but arrested her anyway. Have you ever seen anything sadder than this booking photo from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office?

Ms. Savage’s night in jail was horrifying — not because she was treated badly, but because she was worried that her daughter would die, alone and afraid.

Tucker Carlson had Ms. Savage on, and it’s just wrenching to hear what she has to say:


I am not calling anyone at the hospital a Nazi for what that institution’s employees did to Ms. Savage. Nevertheless, I want to discuss an important conclusion Hannah Arendt reached after witnessing Adolf Eichmann’s trial in 1961.

What Arendt realized is that, for the most part, evil people aren’t the Hitlers and Charles Mansons of the world. They are petty bureaucrats, ostensibly normal people, who got power and justified their unutterably immoral actions as “doing their job” or “following orders.” In this context, Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil.”

We have been seeing a lot of that lately. Mostly, the mindless pettiness of power-crazed bureaucrats is an inconvenience (masks, social distancing, etc.). At least last year, everyone had the excuse of ignorance about COVID. This year, though, Biden seems to have greenlighted an escalation. Even as we have both affordable and expensive treatments for COVID, and even though we know it’s not a high-risk disease for most people, the establishment, from the president down to Nurse Ratched in Jacksonville, Florida, is becoming evil in its demands.

By the way, your children, none of whom are at risk any more than the sad few who inevitably succumb to the annual flu, must wear masks and be socially isolated. And in California, if you want to send them away to school, they’d better take an unnecessary and, especially for them, dangerous shot.

And of course, we’re going to continue to make sure that your loved ones suffer and die alone. If you fight back, our banal, petty, evil little bureaucrats will destroy you.

I’ve never seen the movie Network, but I have seen the “mad as Hell” scene, which seems especially pertinent during an era of masks and lockdowns:

We Americans are mostly nice, agreeable people. We’ll follow rules and want to stay out of trouble. But it’s time for us to get mad as Hell — but please, do a lot more than just yell.

We’re not going to be like leftists, who burn cities, loot stores, and beat and kill people. But we’re going to say, “Stop.” We’re going to be the Southwest pilots and Lynn Savage, and the parents at the Loudoun School Board meetings. We need to be mad as Hell and stop taking this anymore.

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