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Some Covid Links

Eric Boehm warns of the dangers of vaccine nationalism. A slice:

The New York Times reports that the Biden administration is refusing to allow America’s unused doses of the vaccine to be shipped overseas, despite requests from foreign governments and AstraZeneca itself. The company has pledged to replace any donated doses of the vaccine once FDA approval has been granted, according to the Times.

This is nearly indefensible. On the long list of ways that the government has screwed up the COVID-19 response, hoarding lifesaving vaccines that it won’t allow to be used deserves a place at or near the very top.

Since AstraZeneca has not even finalized its application for FDA approval and doesn’t expect to be done for several more weeks, there’s only one rational and ethical option available: Send those doses of the company’s vaccine to places where they can legally be injected into human beings as quickly as possible. Every day that they languish in a warehouse, unused, adds to the pandemic’s length and unnecessarily increases the final death toll.

Paul Alexander and co-authors contrast the CDC with common sense. Here’s their conclusion:

To close, the entire Covid-19 pandemic response in Western nations and perhaps the entire world, has led to disastrous outcomes. We argue that most have taken the lead from Western nations like the UK, US, and Canada. It has been a complete disaster and the irony is that we had strong reasonable pandemic plans in place prior to the advance of SARS-CoV-2 that for inexplicable reasons were shelved by the WHO, with no apparent or at least scientifically defensible rationale. As an example, we argue that after constant lockdown, by the time Australia emerges, they will likely discover as other nations did, that all they have done is delayed the inevitable, and while at it, destroying people’s lives, their economies, and eviscerating civil liberties and law. We also feel that ad hoc remarks made by ‘media’ medical experts and authorities promoting fear is reprehensible, and we suggest a more science-based approach, with rational and validated evidence, that educates the public and will yield more benefit to a healthier free, and compliant society. The currency of credit is lost with illogical and haphazard statements when borne without relevant facts. Our governmental agencies are bestowed with certain powers to safeguard the lives of individuals and not to harass and subjugate them to the whims of a few narrow field “experts” who have no idea about the well-being of the society as a whole. We are allowing government agencies and inept government bureaucrats and technocrats to destroy our lives and futures. Stopping Covid ‘at all costs’ will destroy us societally and globally!

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins riffs on New York strongman Andrew Cuomo and Covid. A slice:

The highest-cost deaths, it follows, were likely those not directly caused by the illness. In separate studies, U.S. government and Virginia Commonwealth University researchers say a third of “excess deaths” might fall into this category—delayed medical care, unemployment stress, substance abuse, suicide, depression, etc. One study looked at the effect of unemployment and predicted 30,231 additional deaths over a 12-month period.

Also writing about New York’s strongman is Liz Wolfe.

Molly Kingsley is appalled by many adults’ cruelty to children. A slice:

There is a long list of adults and organisations with a duty to children – be that legal, fiduciary, professional or simply moral – and in some cases who are paid to carry out that duty. Some have spoken, but many more have acquiesced. Their failure, however, should come as no surprise: the Milgram experiment of the Sixties shows how enormous the weight of pressure to conform is. In that now infamous experiment ordinary citizens were ordered to inflict increasing degrees of pain on volunteers. Almost all did and the majority were willing to take the experiment to an extreme. The central idea is that when confronted with a persuasive authority, individuals focus on the task they are given by that authority rather than the morality of the action. They become an agent of the authority so as to abdicate responsibility for the outcome of their activity.

I never expected to live through a real-time re-enactment of this experiment; less still one where the subjects were children. Over the last year, we have, in the name of protecting the elderly and vulnerable, somehow managed to reverse one of the key tenets of medical ethics: first do no harm. We’ve introduced, and we continue to introduce, interventions not only without proper, or indeed any, evaluation as to harms; but worse, we do so in the knowing presence of potentially serious, and escalating, harm. Yet, it has fallen on those of us challenging this madness to explain ourselves: “prove the harm”. When we do prove the harm we’re told we’re being hysterical, or we’re vilified and smeared for being “Covid deniers”. I don’t understand this – that I care about children does not mean I care less about the elderly and vulnerable – the two have never before been mutually exclusive.

I believe that what is happening to children in schools goes beyond anything that any reasonable person could consider fair or proportionate.

You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma!

There’s much wisdom in this unsigned editorial in The Spectator. Here’s some of it:

In a democracy, police cannot ultimately enforce laws for which there is no public consent. To do so risks damaging the public co-operation on which the police depend. Say a mother is recovering from a serious illness in lockdown and her friends club together to help her with childcare: all involved would be breaking the law. Three friends taking a walk together could be stopped by police.

This is clearly nonsensical. And the public know it. They are also aware that lockdown rules have affected people in very different ways. If you live in a large house with a large garden, and you have a professional career, with secure pay and pension, lockdown has not been a great hardship. It is a very different matter if you are poor and live alone in a small flat in a densely packed and highly policed urban area.