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Some Covid Links

Christian Britschgi understandably decries politicians’ and bureaucrats’ addiction to imposing arbitrary Covid-19 restrictions. A slice:

The power to make people wear masks even when it’s safe not to has been tough for pols and bureaucrats to give up. Consider Brookline, Massachusetts. The city of 60,000 made a point in early May of retaining its outdoor mask mandate, even as Republican Gov. Charlie Baker lifted an identical state-level restriction in response to federal public health guidance saying it was no longer necessary.

Eric Boehm understandably bemoans the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s mission-creep – which now has this agency warning of the potential dangers posed by people who complain about public-health measures.

Barry Brownstein warns of the tyranny lurking in those who abandon the scientific method and mindset in order to impose what they arrogantly believe to be their scientific ‘Truths.’ Two slices:

Dr. Fauci is not a superforecaster. There is little evidence that he works in “perpetual beta,” gathering and synthesizing perspectives. On the contrary, he attacks those he disagrees with, such as the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration. Real leaders listen to others; they don’t dominate others.
During this pandemic, open-mindedness, self-criticism, and the gathering and synthesizing of perspectives have been actively resisted. The “official” version on lockdowns, masks, and vaccines cannot be questioned. The news and social media actively censor opinions contrary to the “official” version, calling it misinformation. Treating Covid patients with ivermectin has been made very difficult.

And now the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is setting a policy to keep doctors in line with the “official” versions of health authorities. The FSMB has stated, due “to a dramatic increase in the dissemination of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and disinformation by physicians and other health care professionals on social media platforms, online and in the media,” strict action is needed. They warn, “Physicians who willfully generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license.”

President and CEO Humayun Chaudhry of the FSMB ominously added, “I hope that physicians and other licensees get the message.”

Paul Collits writes about the “Covid Commonwealth of Australia” – and the hard tyranny there on the loose against even free expression.

Evan Mulholland reports, from Australia, on the media’s addiction to panic porn. Two slices:

COVID-19 in Australia has a survivability rate of over 99%, and it’s hard to justify the same fears now that we experienced at the beginning of the pandemic.

Yet our mainstream media have continued to engage in irresponsible catastrophism.

The people of New South Wales understand this too. According to new Institute of Public Affairs polling of over 1,000 NSW residents undertaken between 24-28 July, 59% of respondents believe the media have been alarmist in its reporting on the COVID-19 situation in Sydney, only 21% disagree.

And yet, the media’s hunger for clicks has driven them to become even more irresponsible and alarmist in their reporting of COVID-19.

Take for example, this article by 7 News from the 20th of July, which featured the headline “AMA President says Sydney could be locked down ‘indefinitely’ as outbreak continues” accompanying the article was an alarmist image of a gloomy Sydney harbour and CBD being swarmed from the air by giant COVID-19 cells, depicting some sort of War of the Worlds scenario.
But part of the blame must be borne by Australia’s media class, who in the chase for revenue, clicks and attention have absolutely terrified the Australian people into submission.

It’s the encouragement of politicians and endless fearmongering from the media that means a vaccinated mother can’t visit her daughter going through chemotherapy or healthy aunts can’t attend the funeral of their 5-month-old niece.

Madeline Grant – who, although partially vaccinated, recently contracted Covid-19 – wonders why so many people refuse to put this disease into proper perspective. Two slices:

As a hale and hearty 28 year old, I suffered only a few days of flu symptoms. This is overwhelmingly what the young – and older vaccinated people – can expect.
Pre-Covid, adverts for cold and flu remedies often prided themselves on offering sufferers a swift return to normality. Yet official guidance now warns us to avoid society for long periods, often well after symptoms have passed. Covid fearmongering, such as the cautionary tales of anti-vaxxers who later died of the virus, is still a feature of the media coverage. There is a perverse, almost gloating interest that you would never see with, for example, an obese person dying of heart disease.

Phil Magness:

The CDC traced 86 cases out of 400k attendees to the Sturgis rally last year. Our garbage news media immediately deemed it a superspreader event and blamed it, in part, for the fall 2020 surge nationwide, after a junk epidemiology model speculated that those cases could have spread to hundreds of thousands of people.
This year, some 203 cases out of 385K attendees have been linked to Lollapalooza. The same garbage news media is currently hailing it as a “success” for vaccine passports because the number is so low.

Martin Kulldorff:

On natural immunity, @NIHDirector Francis Collins is misleading the public. Kentucky study shows less reinfections after COVID disease plus vaccine than COVID only (both very low). He falsely claims less reinfections after vaccine than after COVID disease.

David Henderson explains that eviction moratoria are both unfair and unproductive. A slice:

The main economic problem, in short, is that the government gets in the way of the landlord/tenant relationship. That’s bad in itself, but it also has bad economic consequences: (1) landlords receive less rent than they had planned on; (2) some tenants whose pay has fallen only a little will still take advantage of the new power the government has given them; and (3) if potential landlords come to expect that there will be more such moratoria in the future, their incentive to build rental housing is lessened. This latter factor will cause the supply of rental housing to be less than otherwise and will, therefore, drive up rental prices, hurting tenants in general.

My George Mason University colleague Todd Zywicki – who has recovered from Covid – appeared on CNN to explain and defend his quest to prevent GMU officials from requiring him to be vaccinated.