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Some Covid Links

Tweet [1]

Phil Magness recalls Anthony Fauci’s reckless fear-mongering, nearly 40 years ago, on AIDS [2]. A slice:

The damage was already done though, as the media went to work stoking alarm about AIDS transmission through simple routine contacts. Hundreds of newspapers disseminated the distressing theory from Fauci’s article. Writing a few weeks later, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan enlisted Fauci as the centerpiece of a rebuttal against Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, who told him “there is no evidence…that the general population is threatened by [AIDS].”

On July 14, both Buchanan’s column and its excerpt of Fauci’s article were entered into the congressional record [3] along with moralizing commentary that assigned blame for the disease to homosexual establishments and gatherings. Unfounded fears of transmission risk through simple contact, and accompanying social ostracization [4] of the disease’s victims, became one of the most notorious and harmful missteps of the entire AIDS crisis.

It might be tempting to chalk Fauci’s error up to the scientific uncertainties of a novel disease. Medicine advances by investigating all plausible theories, subjecting them to testing, and ruling out those that lack evidence. In this case however, the more likely candidate was scientific negligence and unwarranted alarmist speculation.

Journalist Randy Shilts documented the incident in his classic early history of the AIDS crisis, And the Band Played On [5]. Immunologist Arye Rubinstein had already offered a more plausible explanation for the infant case, which even cursory examination would verify: the disease transmitted from the mother to the baby during pregnancy. As Shilts explains, “Upon investigation, Rubinstein learned that Anthony Fauci had not bothered to read his paper.” The NIH scientist instead relied on second-hand information from another researcher to indulge in open-ended speculation (for a longer excerpt of Shilts, see David Henderson [6]’s post on Fauci’s early career).

And here’s David Harsanyi on Fauci [7]. Three slices:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief pandemic adviser to President Joe Biden, is a bureaucrat. He’s not our parent, or our personal physician, or a shaman, or our life coach.
…..

This story of American ineptitude in the face of a pandemic, popular among statists, pessimists, and left-wingers pining for federalized control over states, is a myth. The United States has performed just as well as most Western nations, where fatality rates are between 100 and 190 per 100,000, with variations most likely due to density, climate, inherent social behavior, or, one imagines, reasons yet to be figured out. This is true before we even begin taking into consideration the disparity in ways nations count fatalities, the meticulousness with which they count them, or the transparency with which they report them.

…..

I’m sorry the Constitution is inhibiting Fauci’s work, but he is a public-health official. His job is to relay information to the public, not to threaten doom, or coax or trick us into doing things. Yet even now, despite the immensely promising results of the vaccination program (the United States, incidentally, easily [8] outperforms the European Union’s “unified approach”), Fauci is underplaying the effectiveness of the vaccine for the same reasons, one suspects, that he misled us about herd immunity. Even when most American are immunized, Fauci says [9], we won’t be back to “normal” until new infections drop “to a baseline that’s so low, it is virtually no threat.”

This is a disqualifying statement — an insane standard that no free society would ever indulge. For Fauci, herd immunity is effectively 99 percent.

Perhaps it’s understandable that an immunologist such as Fauci, who will continue to make more money [10] than any other official in the United States government through all of this, isn’t very alarmed about the economic, social, and constitutional tradeoffs that accompany his approach. For a year, any criticism of Fauci was immediately slotted into the alleged debate between Donald Trump vs. “science.” But it’s Fauci’s technocratic instincts, not science, that makes him more likely to praise Chicom’s lackeys at the World Health Organization than the resilience of the United States.

Here’s the Babylon Bee trying to satirize Fauci – but it’s ultimately impossible, as this man (like so much else about Covid Derangement Syndrome) has become self-satirizing [11]. (Relatedly, see this tweet from Derek Thompson [12], and also this short piece by Ron Bailey [13].)

Speaking of impossible-to-satirize, here’s Alexander McKibbin on Lord Protector Boris’s new scheme to somewhat loosen the thumbscrews that his subjects have worn for so long now [14].

Maria McFadden Maffucci reports, in National Review, on New York strongman Andrew Cuomo’s other coronavirus victims [15].

Glen Bishop wonders why the British ignore Florida [16].

My, my, but isn’t the mysteriously admired-by-many Neil Ferguson tetchy [17].

How can any people with even the slightest pretense to being freedom-loving have ever tolerated a government issuing such totalitarian diktats? [18] A slice:

I’m not sure how to break this to those clever chaps in the bunker at No 10, but allowing us to have a walk or even a coffee on a bench “with one person outside your household” from March 8 will not strike many as a hugely exciting relaxation of this interminable lockdown.

A quick shufty in any park, wood or country lane over the weekend would have revealed that millions of Britons had already weighed up the risk of breaching the guidelines and decided that, on balance, they’d rather have an illicit dog walk with “one person outside your household” (which used to be called “a friend”) than go mad.

I applaud this new encouragement of peaceful violations of the U.K.’s tyrannical lockdown diktats [19]. A slice:

Here at Lockdown? What Lockdown? we know all too well what the mental and societal costs of these nonsensical lockdowns have amounted to and, therefore, we want to celebrate those enterprising individuals who have done anything from found the courage to have dinner with their “bubble”, or identified little loopholes in the regulations, right through to having hosted a massive party, or an illegal rave, all in the name of attempting to reclaim a sense of normality and because you, like us, believe that waiting for June 21st is the true definition of covidiocy.

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