Phil Magness and James Harrigan commemorate the one-year anniversary of the release of the deeply important and eminently sensible – yet mindlessly dismissed and tragically neglected – Great Barrington Declaration. A slice:
More pro-lockdown epidemiologists seemed inclined to grasp the central theme of the badly misnamed John Snow Memorandum in the Lancet – drafted in direct response to the GBD. This petition, co-organized by [Deepti] Gurdasani and other pro-lockdown scientists, predictably claimed that drastic nonpharmaceutical measures such as business closures and shelter-in-place orders had a large effect on reducing Covid transmission in the spring and summer of 2020. Recent data indicate that this statement is overblown, and common sense should have researchers looking for the tradeoffs that have to be made in these sorts of large-scale public policies. Be that as it may, the Snow Memorandum was built upon unreliable pro-lockdown studies out of Imperial College-London that have since been discredited.
Another major claim of the Snow Memorandum – that naturally acquired immunity was not robust and Covid-19 reinfections among recovered patients could become widespread – turned out to be incorrect. The best evidence we now have suggests that naturally acquired immunity is very robust. To date, neither the Snow Memorandum authors nor the Lancet have issued an appropriate correction to their erroneous claim.
It’s also not clear that such a mandate would do much for public safety given the low risk of COVID transmission aboard flights. That low risk was detailed in an October 2020 article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Cabin air, the article’s authors note, is recycled through HEPA filters which filter out virus particles. The way air flows within the cabin—from ceiling to floor, with little flow between rows—also reduces the odds of in-flight COVID transmission, they said.
“An airplane cabin is probably one of the most secure conditions you can be in,” Sebastian Hoehl, a researcher at the Institute for Medical Virology at Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany, told Scientific American in November 2020.
Clemson University’s Brad Thompson wastes no words in criticizing the dismissal of an Oklahoma State University student from a position on the school newspaper over the student’s expressed objections to the school’s absurd mandatory-masking policy.
An investigation has found that the Canadian military used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to turn on the Canadian people propaganda techniques intended to be used against foreign enemies. The plan was developed by Canadian Joint Operations Command without the direction of civilian leadership. Military officials said the project was aimed at bolstering government messages about the disease and at stopping civil disobedience to pandemic restrictions.
Australia extends its ban on foreign tourists. (HT Phil Magness)
Australia never gained its independence through war and has nothing resembling the Declaration of Independence. Notwithstanding our convict history, we are more like jailers than the miners at the Eureka Stockade or a sheep stealer who jumps into the billabong to avoid capture. Our larrikin image is not based on a deep-rooted respect for freedom.
That explains why so many Australians, fearful of catching the disease, accepted without protest the loss of freedom of speech, of assembly, of religion, of movement, and of the right to protest, because they expected the government to protect them. They even tolerated the separation of children from their parents, welcomed the use of the military to promote compliance, and looked away when the police engaged in violent thuggery
Only a minority, quite small at first, questioned the measures. Are these losses of liberties proportionate to the risks, they asked? Why aren’t you even trying to convince us? Have all aspects, not just health, been taken into account? If jobs, careers, education and businesses are also important, why have they been disregarded in the pursuit of minimising the Covid health risk?