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Some Covid Links

Martin Kulldorff decries the shoddy ‘science’ behind some research on the effectiveness of masks.

Jeffrey Anderson takes a careful look at the evidence on the efficacy of masks. Two slices:

In truth, the CDC’s, U.K.’s, and WHO’s earlier guidance was much more consistent with the best medical research on masks’ effectiveness in preventing the spread of viruses. That research suggests that Americans’ many months of mask-wearing has likely provided little to no health benefit and might even have been counterproductive in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Hiram Powers, the nineteenth-century neoclassical sculptor, keenly observed, “The eye is the window to the soul, the mouth the door. The intellect, the will, are seen in the eye; the emotions, sensibilities, and affections, in the mouth.” The best available scientific evidence suggests that the American people, credulously trusting their public-health officials, have been blocking the door to the soul without blocking the transmission of the novel coronavirus.

See also this other essay by Jeffrey Anderson on masks. A slice:

The day after the CDC endorsed nationwide mask-wearing, President Trump announced, “I won’t be doing it personally.” From that instant, the mask quickly became a symbol of civic virtue—a sort of Black Lives Matter flag that could be hung from one’s face. For many it conveyed a trio of virtues: I’m unselfish; I’m pro-science; I’m anti-Trump. What it also conveyed, incidentally, was rejection of longstanding Western norms, unhealthy risk-aversion, credulous willingness to embrace unsupported health claims, and a pallid view of human interaction.

Elizabeth Nolan Brown reports that the “CDC Took Mistaken Data on Delta Variant Transmissibility From a New York Times Infographic.” A slice:

Apparently, the federal agency charged with disseminating COVID-19 data and setting public health policy is taking its cues from a newspaper infographic. Oh my.

Using more accurate data, the delta variant proves more transmissible than O.G. COVID but less transmissible than the virus behind the chickenpox.

Jon Miltimore puts into perspective the danger that Covid-19 poses to children.

Phil Magness points to yet further evidence of the reality Covid Derangement Syndrome – and of the evil notions that this Syndrome unleashes.

Joel Zinberg calls for individual choices rather than lockdowns. Two slices:

The influential Imperial College of London model was typical. In March 2020, it predicted exponential growth of Covid cases that would overwhelm ICU bed capacity by early April and cause 2.2 million U.S. deaths by July. The authors recommended prolonged lockdowns until vaccines became available.

The model grossly overpredicted deaths because of critical errors, including an unrealistically high infection-fatality rate. Most important, its predictions were based on the “unlikely” scenario that there would be no changes in individual behaviors. The model used a reproduction number, or Rt—the average number of secondary infections that each infected person produces in a susceptible population—that was too high and, contrary to standard epidemiological practice, did not vary over time. In fact, Rt declines as people voluntarily avoid contact with others and as the number of recovered people no longer susceptible to infection grows.
Lockdowns are an indiscriminate tool that can undermine more effective, particularized, private responses. Government mandates affect everyone—from high-risk individuals who would have taken precautions anyway to low-risk individuals who might not need the same level of protection. Stay-at-home orders short-circuit the discovery and implementation of innovative measures to limit workplace transmission and force workers from safer employment settings into households, where Covid transmission rates are higher.

New Civil Liberties Alliance attorney Jenin Younes discusses GMU law professor Todd Zywicki’s lawsuit challenging GMU’s policy of mandatory vaccination.