≡ Menu

Some Covid Links

Here’s an in-depth interview of Phil Magness on lockdowns.

And here’s an interview with A State of Fear author Laura Dodsworth.

James Bovard understandably worries about the precedents that were set by the lockdowns. A slice:

One year ago writing for AIER, I asked, “Will the Political Class Be Held Liable For What They’ve Done?” Lockdowns at that point had already destroyed more than ten million jobs without thwarting the virus – a debacle that “should be a permanent black mark against the political class and the experts who sanctified each and every sacrifice.” No such luck. The article warned that “sovereign immunity… almost guarantees that no politician will face any personal liability for their shutdown dictates.”

The political class is coming out of the pandemic with far more power and prerogatives. Biden’s stimulus windfalls for lockdown governors is like giving $100,000 bounties to drunk drivers who crashed their cars. Government employees have been the ultimate privileged class during Covid-19, collecting full paychecks almost everywhere while many of them stayed home and did little or no work.

Ethan Yang challenges Michael Hiltzik’s assertion that lockdowns “saved lives without harming economies.” A slice:

This is congruent with a study published by a team of Stanford researchers that compared 8 lockdown countries with two counterfactuals, South Korea and Sweden. The study found that there are certainly benefits to implementing policy interventions but the benefits of aggressive policies such as lockdowns compared to less intrusive policies undertaken by South Korea and Sweden are minimal. This is without factoring in the collateral damage and the fact that in some contexts, lockdown policies may actually increase caseloads because they force people to gather in private residences, which are often less well-ventilated and more cramped.

This brings us to what is hopefully an emerging consensus that lockdowns, for whatever isolated marginal benefits they provide, are essentially swinging a sledgehammer to kill a spider.

(DBx: Hiltzik, by the way, has long displayed a remarkable inability to understand economics and to interpret facts reasonably. See, for example, here and here.)

And here’s Noah Carl on Hiltizik’s case for lockdowns. A slice:

He begins by claiming that “lockdowns played a significant role in reducing infection rates” and that “they had a very modest role in producing economic damage”. He then argues that “evidence for both propositions has been expertly compiled by Noah Smith”, linking to a recent article by Smith.

However, as I noted in a previous post, Smith doesn’t discuss any of the evidence contradicting his thesis, of which there is plenty. See here, here, here, here, herehere and here.

The author moves on to the comparison between California and Florida, noting that “California now boasts among the lowest case, hospitalisation and death rates in the nation, as well as a recovering economy”. However, the fact that its case and death numbers are currently “among the lowest” is more-or-less irrelevant, given that the virus is in retreat across the entire country.

Jonathan Sumption is buying none of former Boris Johnson advisor Dominic Cummings’s arguments that British lockdowns came too late and were too mild. A slice:

There is a moral dimension to all of this, to which Cummings turns a tin ear. He criticises ministers for not following the Chinese example faster than they did. He forgets that there were moral and not just pragmatic reasons for that. China is one of the most oppressive totalitarian states in the world. It treats people as mere instruments of state policy. We should have higher values. Interaction with other people is basic to human nature and to the functioning of our societies. Criminalising it impoverishes everything that makes life precious.

That brings us to the heart of the Cummings problem and the Johnson problem.

The Cummings problem is his contempt for democracy and liberal values. He is at heart a ruthless totalitarian. What we needed, he told us, was “a kind of dictator with kingly power”, who would “push out the boundaries of legality”. “This is war,” he said. “Any rules – forget it.”

The Johnson problem is the opposite one. He is weak. Cummings reveals that the Prime Minister really was concerned about the collateral effects of the lockdown, and at one point regretted ever having ordered one. Cummings said this with a curl of the lip and a rasp of contempt. But was Johnson not right to be concerned? And was he not wrong to allow himself to be pressed into the shape of the last backside that sat on him?

CJ Hopkins reports on Germany’s despicable covidocracy.

Mild COVID-19 induces lasting antibody protection.

A straw man appears set to again stomp through a part of Australia.

Ramesh Thakur reports:

Americans’ trust in public health institutions has slipped from over 80 to 52 per cent since the start of the pandemic. A big reason for the fall is the constantly mutating variants of the official narrative on the do’s and don’ts of the pandemic, with no better example than Dr Anthony Fauci. In the bestseller Faucian Bargain, Steven Deace and Todd Erzen describe the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and senior adviser to President Joe Biden as ‘the most powerful and dangerous bureaucrat in American history’. Fauci has been a health bureaucrat his entire professional life and never practised medicine. He joined the NIAID on completing his medical residency in 1968 and became its director in 1984. The long tenure as CEO is a violation of a core tenet of institutional good governance. The spirit of Washington is so deeply infused in him that he’s learnt to duck, weave, evade and deflect like the most skilful politicians in swamp city.


Next post:

Previous post: