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Some Covid Links

el gato malo asks if hospitals really have been overrun because of Covid-19. (But do keep in mind that vaccination mandates might well leave some hospitals short-staffed.)

Jeffrey Singer and Michael Cannon explain that vaccination is best promoted through persuasion rather than by mandates.

Max Borders reports on another Declaration by sensible physicians. A slice:

The physicians and medical scientists who have signed the Declaration are also frustrated with the authoritarian measures supported by career bureaucrats such as Anthony Fauci.

Harvard Epidemiologist Censored by LinkedIn for Defending Healthcare Jobs.”

Laura Dodsworth unearths more proposed tyranny by the Covidocracy.

Jeffrey Tucker wonders why Biden’s vaccine mandate hasn’t actually been issued.

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan is always wise. A slice:

The same naturally goes for Covid regulations.  Social Desirability Bias yields absurdly strict laws: “If it saves just one life.”  Yet Social Desirability Bias also prevents the merciless enforcement necessary to achieve compliance with these absurd laws.  Recently at the airport I saw ample unmasked faces.  If the government had picked out a random scofflaw and hauled him off to prison, the whole airport would have kept their masks on.  If the government arrested a hundred such people nationwide and held a press conference vowing to hand out a thousand years of prison time to these “mask criminals,” every airport in America would approach 100% compliance.  But that ain’t gonna happen.

And don’t miss this excellent comment on Bryan’s post by my student Jon Murphy:

This is interesting analysis.  I wonder if it helps explain certain enforcement mechanisms.  If we take your masking within the airport anecdote as given (my own experience has been a little different, but that’s irrelevant to the point I am making) then let’s consider the following:

Mask mandates are not too strictly enforced in the airport, an area that falls under the jurisdiction of the TSA and other federal agencies.  If the mandates were enforced there, blame (or praise) for the enforcement would fall on the Federal government.

However, masking is strictly, and often draconically, enforced on the airplanes themselves.  People have been arrested, banned from flying, etc., for not wearing masks.  Additionally, the enforcement has often gotten violent.

However, in the skies the enforcement falls on the airlines.  My understanding from my brother (who is a commercial pilot) is that the FAA is threatening the airlines and the individual crewmembers with massive fines, jail, or revoking their licenses if they do not enforce the mandates.  Thus, they face prohibitively high penalties, and thus they enforce the policies draconically.

Following Bryan’s comment, I offer the following hypothesis: the Federal agents know how unpopular these rules are.  Thus, to shield themselves from blame, they require non-governmental agencies (in this case, the airlines) to enforce their rules by threatening their livelihoods.  Second-hand enforcement.