More than a third of Americans are feeling isolated and alone following the coronavirus pandemic. 

After the government shut down large swaths of society in early 2020, everyday Americans were feeling the brunt of Uncle Sam’s enforced isolation. More than a third of Americans struggled with “serious loneliness,” according to a Harvard survey conducted that fall. 

Now, the very same people who shamed others for going to parks or seeing their friends during the pandemic have a solution to fight the loneliness crisis: more government. 

“Today I’m introducing a groundbreaking bill – the National Strategy for Social Connection Act,” tweeted Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) last week. “It creates a federal office to combat the growing epidemic of American loneliness, develops anti-loneliness strategies, and fosters best practices to promote social connection.”

According to the infographic Murphy shared, the bill would create an Office of Social Connection Policy to advise the president and to “convene stakeholders and work across federal departments and agencies to develop effective strategies to improve social infrastructure, quality of life, and community engagement in the United States.” 

The plan even laughably calls for more funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government body most responsible for pushing endless lockdowns on the American people. The new funding would enable the CDC to research “social connection, loneliness, and social infrastructure.” No doubt the CDC will find myriad causes for the crisis of loneliness—without ever looking in the mirror. 

Bureaucrats can only envision social improvement through more government programs, but the truth is that people don’t need government meddling more in their lives; to fix the loneliness epidemic, we need the government to get out of the way. 

What about cutting red tape in zoning regulations and other housing policies so more people can afford to live in tight-knit communities with their neighbors? What about slowing runaway spending that spurs inflation and makes it more expensive to have friends over for dinner? Or maybe politicians should stop lying to their constituents about how evil the people across the aisle are? 

As the Washington Examiner editorial on the bill concluded, “Centralization of power, attention, and action is a chief cause of social disconnection. The New Deal and Great Society centralized our safety net. Stripping localities, churches, and nonprofit organizations of their role in serving their communities detached people from their neighbors.”

Loneliness is a real and growing problem. And while it’s good to see more people recognizing the need for community, if the government steps in with a supposed solution, the results will likely make the problem even worse.