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Some Covid Links

Tweet [1]

Barry Brownstein explores the reasons why good people enable totalitarians [2]. A slice:

When a totalitarian State demands “worship,” we understand why totalitarians must control the narrative. We know the Covidocracy demands allegiance to their one best way, first lockdowns and now vaccines. Dissenters must be silenced [3]. Government claims it must maintain lists of spreaders of “misinformation” [4] and then partner with Facebook to ensure only correct “narratives” are available. Health ambassadors must be sent door-to-door to share the good word about vaccines [5].

Those who disagree must be demonized, the impure separated [6] from society if they don’t accept a vaccine [7]. Those who make different choices than we do, we mentally condemn and righteously proclaim they threaten others. Although lockdowns have ended, as Ethan Yang writes [8] the intellectual war against them has not been won.

Noah Carl is understandably unimpressed by a new paper whose authors claim to find that lockdowns do not cause more health harms than they prevent [9].

Jonathan Sumption rightly opposes vaccine passports [10], for…

… as Madeline Grant argues, vaccine ‘passports’ are “a conspiracy against freedom.” [11] A slice:

How would such a scheme operate, and where would it end? History suggests that having snatched powers during an emergency, governments are reluctant to relinquish them. It seems highly unlikely that after assembling a vast certification infrastructure at great cost, it will simply be dismantled when the “crisis” is over. More likely it would be used for further data-sharing schemes; perhaps even ID cards, something Britain has always resisted.

What would stop it being extended to other health conditions? Once Covid status is relevant, why not other infectious diseases that kill thousands each year, like flu? Will the state, or whichever firms run the app, be able to track our movements?

Here’s a slice from the latest by Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins [12]:

If you haven’t had Covid yet, you will. If you’ve had it once, you’ll have it again. If you’re vaccinated or were infected previously—which will one day be most people except the very young—your symptoms will likely be mild or nonexistent, but it’s not guaranteed. Words the CDC says about the flu it will say about Covid: “Vaccination is especially important for people 65 years and older because they are at high risk of developing serious complications from flu. Flu vaccines are updated each season as needed to keep up with changing viruses.”

Nobody is surprised when they get the flu for the second, the third, the eighth time in their lives. This is what epidemiologists meant [13] when, for the last 15 months, they said the new coronavirus was likely to evolve and become endemic.

Well: “Cloth face masks are ‘comfort blankets’ that do little to curb Covid spread, Sage adviser warns. [14]” (HT my Mercatus Center colleague Jack Salmon).

Jay Bhattacharya rightly describes vaccine mandates as unethical [15]. A slice:

Bhattacharya re-emphasized that the vulnerable have been protected by the vaccine, causing him to believe there is no longer a need for masks. He said this especially extends to mask mandates for children, which “do not make any sense.”

Also from Jay Bhattacharya – here writing with Neeraj Sood – is an essay protesting the mandatory masking of children [16]. A slice:

COVID-19 is less of a threat to children than accidents or the common flu. The survival rate among American children with confirmed cases is approximately 99.99%; remarkably, recent studies find an even higher survival rate.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study estimated that mask mandates in schools are associated with a roughly 20% reduction in COVID-19 incidence though the effect estimate was statistically indistinguishable from zero. Let’s take the 20% effect at face value and do the math. Last month, about 5,000 school age children in California were diagnosed with COVID-19, which means 1,000 infections would have been prevented if all school kids wore masks. Given the survival rate among children, mask mandates might prevent one child death in the coming school year, a tiny fraction of the approximately 900 deaths of children 5 to 17 years old in 2019. If the aim is to save children’s lives, other interventions – like enhanced pool safety – would be much more effective.

Bravo for Rand Paul for speaking out against that scourge of public health Anthony Fauci [17]. (HT Martin Kulldorff [18]) A slice:

Scientists who are skeptical of chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci’s proclamations [19] about the coronavirus pandemic [20] don’t want to go public with their concerns for fear it will affect their funding, Sen. Rand Paul claimed Tuesday.

“He’s been there for 40 years, probably 39 years too long, but he controls all the funding, so people are deathly afraid of him,” Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, told “Fox News Primetime” of Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984.

“I get letters from scientists all the time. You can find them. They’re very distrustful of what he’s saying,” Paul added. “They don’t think he’s making sense. They don’t think he’s reading the science accurately, but they’re afraid to speak out because many of them are university scientists and they depend on NIH [National Institutes of Health] funds, and to cross him means it’s the last money you’ll ever get.”

And bravo too for Eric Clapton [21].