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Some Covid Links

Tweet [1]

James Bovard explains that government power weaves no effective safety net that protects well against Covid [2]. Three slices:

There is no “science” to justify prohibiting Australians from going more than 2 miles from their home. But New Zealand and Australia presume that no one will be safe unless government officials have jurisdiction over every breath that citizens take.

In the United States, many of the same pundits and activists who howled about the evils of “microaggressions” are now cheering for the government to forcibly inject everyone with a Covid vaccine. Biden publicly declared that he is checking to see if he has the power to force everyone to get injected.

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Politicians’ anti-Covid recommendations increasingly resemble frightened soldiers shooting at any noise they hear in the dark. NIH Director Francis Collins recently condemned the “epidemic of misinformation [3], disinformation, distrust that is tearing us apart.” But much of the misinformation has stemmed directly from the Biden administration’s flip-flops and fearmongering. On August 3, Collins announced during a CNN interview that “parents of unvaccinated kids should… wear masks” in their own homes. He conceded: “I know that’s uncomfortable, I know it seems weird, but it is the best way to protect [4] your kids.” A few hours later, Collins recanted on Twitter, perhaps after other political appointees persuaded him to stop sounding like a blithering idiot.

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Faith in absolute power is not “science” – regardless of how many scientists pledge allegiance to Washington in return for federal funding. As historian John M. Barry, author of The Great Influenza [5], observed, “When you mix politics and science, [6] you get politics.” There is no safety in submission to damn fools, regardless of their pompous titles.

The entire federal workforce is required to be vaccinated. So why is the federal bureaucracy still operating as if routine public interactions are a public health threat?” – a great question asked by Reason‘s Eric Boehm [7].

While I dislike el gato malo’s refusal to capitalize, he more than makes up for this distracting tic by consistently offering excellent insights [8]. (HT Dan Klein) A slice:

sweden did very little to try to stop covid. they did not lock down, they did not wear masks, they closed few businesses, they left most schools open, undistanced, in person, and unmaksed.

many have endlessly screamed that “well look at the covid deaths! it was a disaster!” but here’s the thing: it wasn’t.

sweden has one of the most aggressive covid counting methodologies in the world. they tested a lot and then called any death for any reason within 30 days of a positive covid test a covid death.

get sick, recover, get hit by a bus? covid death

test positive, have no symptoms, die of a drug overdose? covid death.

die of cancer in hospital, test positive for trace covid? covid death.

you get the picture.

this definitional issue has made it very hard to compare to other places.

but even with this huge definitional issue, they outperformed the US, especially since last summer.

Meanwhile, in the once-free country but now dystopian Gehenna that is Australia…. [9] (HT Todd Zywicki)

Guy de la Bédoyère decries the disaster now unfolding in Australia [10]. A slice:

The individual states are asserting their autonomy and doing so with ever more strident bio-authoritarian measures, some buying deeper into zero-Covid. The destruction of individual freedoms in Australia and the epic speed with which that has happened has no parallel in the modern world in a modern democratic state. Yes, I know these have been hitherto widely welcomed by Australians, but you’d have to be spectacularly naïve to think that such support will necessarily be sustained. In 1943, Germany was full of people who fanatically supported the Nazis. Two years later the country was full of people shaking their heads and wondering what on Earth they’d been thinking.

Reporting from the Covidocracy-run Australia is the Institute of Public Afffairs’s Gideon Rozner [11]. Three slices:

Yes, everything you’ve heard about Australia and coronavirus is true.

Yes, the entire city of Greater Sydney has been in full lockdown since late June [12], at which time there were 82 cases in the entire state of New South Wales. Not 82 deaths, not 82 hospitalisations – 82 cases. At the time the latest lockdown was announced here in Melbourne, the total active case count was six. And no, the lockdowns aren’t working – cases are rising steadily in both states.

Yes, the premier of Victoria used a press conference to admonish people for watching the sunset on the beach and has put rules in place that mean you can take your mask off to sip your coffee but not your beer.

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Yes, police in Melbourne forced a hunger relief charity to shut its doors three hours early because they thought the traffic into the warehouse was creating a “risk to public safety”. Yes, this week a rural town council decided that a planned transfer of dogs from its animal shelter to another town wasn’t worth the potential health hazard and had the dogs shot instead.

Yes, we Australians know you don’t understand it. We don’t either, if we’re being honest with ourselves. But collectively, we can’t quite bring ourselves to say out loud what a growing number of us are thinking – that our de facto national goal of zero Covid [13] is not only impossible, but that it is also destroying us.

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When Australia – thank goodness – made it through 2020 with the lowest per capita Covid deaths of almost any country in the developed world, our opportunistic political class took all the credit, and confected a kind of Australian Covid exceptionalism. For all the pain, inconvenience and misery of lockdowns, we had succeeded in keeping coronavirus out of the country. That’s how our leaders can keep a straight face as they persist with the political fiction that Australia is “the envy of the world” at a time when those overseas are increasingly looking to us as a cautionary tale.

I’m very pleased and proud – as reason for which this essay serves as evidence – that the faculty at GMU Econ now counts in its ranks Vincent Geloso [14]. A slice:

Well, let’s take the data most frequently used on vaccination rates at the county level, which has been heavily publicized in outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post. For the sake of comparison, let’s use the dataset of Tom Pepinsky at Cornell University [15] which has been assembled from multiple sources to properly match county vaccination rates with demographic data for these counties (his analysis is here [16]). That data does indeed show that counties with larger Trump margins have lower vaccination rates. However, not all counties are the same. For example, Loving County (TX) voted 90% for Trump. It also has 64 people as of the 2020 census. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County (the most populous in America) voted 75% for Biden. Would we be crazy enough to say the vaccination rate in both places speak to the same thing? Few would!

The latest essay from Philippe Lemoine is titled “Why COVID-19 Is Here to Stay, and Why You Shouldn’t Worry About It. [17]

Even the BBC, long a cheerleader for Covidocratic tyranny, is starting to admit that lockdowns’ collateral damages were not sufficiently taken into account [18]. A slice:

A report by the National Children’s Bureau previously said that families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) felt they were “forgotten” in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic [19].

Many therapies and essential services they relied on were withdrawn and have not fully returned [20].

The NICCY report draws attention to the widespread suspension of services and their effect on children.

Many face-to-face services in early years, for children aged 0-3 and their families, were suspended.

Ross Clark reports on the new study out of Israel that finds that natural immunity against Covid-19 is stronger than vaccination [21].