Jennifer Sey was on track to become CEO of multi-billion-dollar corporation Levi Strauss & Co., until she refused to shut up about COVID madness.
The well-liked liberal executive was pushed out at Levi’s in February 2022, after her vetting for CEO was derailed by social media posts and activism pushing back against school closures and mask policies for children.
Sey spoke to The Daily Wire about the ouster and more in Part One of our interview. In Part Two, the business woman and author opens up about her politics and discusses the aftermath of the disastrous COVID policies she fought against.
Here’s Part Two (emphasis added):
DW: Some Left-wing officials are now denying they had anything to do with prolonged school closures, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. We also had CNN’s Jake Tapper last week say he was surprised we haven’t had a “national conversation” about the damage done to kids by closing schools. Who did help shutter our schools and what do you make of this denial?
SEY: Governors shut down the schools. By March 25, 2020, all U.S. public school buildings were closed – every single one, even in South Dakota and Florida. So although we never had a national lockdown in America, we did have what amounted to a national school shutdown in the spring of 2020.
Then, in the fall of 2020, public schools in red states, and private schools everywhere, mostly opened up, while public schools in blue states and school districts, by and large, remained closed. The direct responsibility for this devastating additional year of missed school lies with national, state, and local leaders of the Democratic Party.
Ultimately, however, the person who is most responsible for the extended closure of America’s schools is Anthony Fauci. He was both the face and the voice of America’s covid response from the beginning. If he had wanted the public schools to be open, they would have opened. Fauci wanted schools closed. He stoked fears about children being both disease vectors and at significant risk themselves, rather than allay fears. And he was obeyed by everyone at the beginning, and then he was obeyed mostly only by Democrats.
Claims by left-wing government and health officials, including Fauci, that they are not responsible for school shutdowns are lies. But everyone now wants to distance themselves from this catastrophic policy choice, so they’re all pretending that they didn’t do it and had no role in it.
Despite the strenuous objections, and sometimes active resistance, of the Democrats, Governor Ron DeSantis forced Florida’s schools to open in the fall of 2020. But now, Florida’s Democratic candidate for governor, Charlie Crist, has gone so far as to accuse Governor DeSantis of doing a terrible thing by CLOSING schools earlier that year. The fact that no one is willing to take responsibility for closed schools is proof of how catastrophically wrong the policy was.
Many parents, including myself, tried for two years to have a national conversation about the damage that would be caused by prolonged school closures. But journalists, education leaders, and public health officials furthered the narrative that anyone challenging school closures was a racist and wanted teachers to die. The threat of being called a racist – which was ostracizing and potentially even reason for dismissal from one’s job – kept many silent. This silencing of dissent created a kind of manufactured consensus. And now, given the unfolding catastrophe, everyone wants to distance themselves from the horrible decisions that were made. And they pretend that the coercion and silencing never happened.
It’s beyond maddening. Especially for those of who risked a great deal to speak out. I’d like an apology, but I’m not holding my breath.
DW: Do you think these people will ever be held responsible?
SEY: No. Short answer. No. In some instances, at the local level, they will be. They’ll be voted out. In San Francisco, three members of the board of education were recalled. But I don’t believe there will be a national consensus or a hearing of any kind that holds the key decision makers accountable.
DW: Do you at all feel vindicated now that we see all the damage lockdowns have done, primarily to children?
SEY: In a sense, sure. But even now, the sense of vindication is pretty limited. One: the kids were harmed. We open-schools parents actually failed to influence sufficiently, to get schools open in a reasonable amount of time. We were up against a machine that was pretty crushing, we tried, but it didn’t happen.
Two: Even now, there is a huge percentage of people who say, “it was all necessary, millions of lives were saved” – a completely unprovable, and, in fact, factually incorrect statement. But oft-said, nonetheless.
Three: Even for those willing to acknowledge that the extended school closures were not necessary and produced grave educational and mental health impacts, the sentiment is often: “Government and health officials meant well and did the best they could in difficult circumstances.”
So, not feeling so vindicated. But I was right. And I do believe that how right I was will become more and more apparent over time. But it won’t change the fact that I lost my job or that children were harmed. So my feelings of vindication will always be somewhat muted.
DW: You were an early opponent of lockdown policy. What was the first thing that made you skeptical of our collective reaction? Was there anything in “the science” or recommended policy that first oriented you toward skepticism?
SEY: The data was available early on that the risk was significantly age stratified — median age of death coming out of Italy was in the 80s; and early data also suggested that the infection fatality rate overall was on par with flu for anyone under 70, and even less than that for children. So it always seemed like shutting down the world was inefficient at best. Extremely harmful in terms of adverse impacts, at worst.
Outside of school closures, which caused enormous harm to children globally, you can’t shut down the world’s economy and think there won’t be horrific adverse consequences — which, of course, we are now seeing with inflation, businesses going under, supply chain interruptions etc. These impacts are not “just economic” for many around the world. They affect mental health, access to food and medicine, ability to provide for one’s family, life expectancy and more. But the lockdown lovers from the beginning shouted “all you care about is money!” at those of us who said the harms would be consequential. Their self-righteous egocentricity is enraging.
DW: When you did start to speak out, it seems the Right quickly embraced you. How did that feel, as someone who leans Left politically?
SEY: I started very early, March 2020. No one at Levi’s noticed for a time. Nor did anyone on the Right, really. It wasn’t until March 2021, going on (Fox News Host Laura) Ingraham(‘s show), that anyone REALLY noticed. But the Right didn’t fully embrace me until after I resigned, in February 2022, which was 2 years after I started. My main cohort until then seemed to be angry moms across the country, fighting for normalcy for their kids. They were from all political backgrounds.
As far as how it feels, my experience has been that the right-wing media has been willing to engage with me and to respect my outspokenness, despite the fact that they know we might disagree on other issues.
I’ve found the people I’ve gotten to know on the Right – friends now – to be tolerant and accepting of my views that differ from theirs. They don’t assume that if we disagree on some things, that makes me a terrible person. I’ve had intense and very interesting conversations on the issue of abortion/choice, for instance. Always respectful. While, what I have gotten from the Left, including friends and former colleagues has been: you’re racist, anti-trans, fat-phobic, anti-everything. Oh, and a liar and a grifter and a fascist. All because of open-schools advocacy. And thinking it’s cruel and ineffective to mask toddlers.
Ultimately, I’m willing to talk to almost anyone who is willing to discuss these issues – how children have been harmed and what we are going to do about it; the illiberalism taking over America’s institutions – namely censorship and lack of due process; the general denial of reality, like how it was always obvious school closures and lockdowns were harmful.
I will say that the Left’s betrayal of what I thought were core principles – free speech, right to an education, right to bodily autonomy, equal treatment under the law, due process – has been shocking and upsetting.
DW: How would you describe your politics, now?
SEY: Unaffiliated. In favor of communication, compromise and common sense. For individual rights and liberties. I’ll vote based on supporting kids/families, and sanity. Lockdowns were insanity. And authoritarian. Talk about a threat to democracy. It’s governors assuming emergency powers and locking down citizens – telling us we can’t leave our homes, while they do whatever they want – that scares me. And mayors mandating vaccines to participate in society. I won’t vote for anyone who even vaguely supports that.