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Some Covid Links

Simon Evans rightly praises the courage and eloquence of Jonathan Sumption, who steadfastly defended freedom in face of Covid hysteria. A slice:

[Sumption] was an extraordinarily important figure to those who were alarmed by the speed with which the Maginot Line of traditional Britannic liberty collapsed in spring of 2020, yet were equally aware that the resistance seemed to be comprised chiefly of a motley, often dispiriting assembly of professional provocateurs, recidivist attention junkies and outright cranks. I had a number of friends who shared my serious concern as ‘three weeks to flatten the curve’ became an ever-more comprehensive constraint of ancient individual rights. Yet we felt little inclination to join forces with Piers Corbyn, David Icke nor even to be honest Desmond Swayne, even to do battle with an elected government which had literally stood on the issues of independence and sovereignty at almost any cost.

Sumption was able to articulate our concerns without recourse to words like ‘plandemic’ and ‘pre-conditioning’. He eschewed talk of the New World Order, of 6uild 6ack 6etter, and as comedian Rich Hall put it, of the idea that the vaccine was a ‘liquid sim card’ developed by Bill Gates to track your every move. The vocabulary of conspiracy in other words – and a scenario our digital Cassandras shared urgently on their location-enabled smartphones behind the enemy lines of Facebook and Twitter whenever they could get a signal.

Instead, he reminded us forcefully of the stickiness of authoritarian measures, and the illusion that a bath plug can and will be pulled when the emergency has passed and the filthy waters of the state will simply drain away. He reminded us that, as well as corrupting, power ratchets, and measures once granted in extremis are rarely shrugged off in tranquillity.

He was one of a few, if not a happy few – among the others I would include Peter Hitchens, whom no one would accuse of being happy nor indeed activated by any thought of banding with brothers. But Sumption and Hitchens seemed to see something distinctly unwelcome in the clouds that were massing on our horizon. Massing over our rights to freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of passage. All these have seemed at one time or another, to many millions of people, natural laws, too big and too fundamental to repeal even should the state deem it necessary. Until one day, suddenly, they weren’t.

Quoting extensively from Yasmeen Abutaleb’s and Damian Paletta’s 2021 book, Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History, Jeffrey Tucker describes Deborah Birx’s reckless role in persuading Trump to lockdown. (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

About this new study from the CDC, Martin Kulldorff tweets:

This @CDCgov study in @CDCMMWR has a major statistical flaw, and the 5x conclusion is wrong. It implicitly assumes that hospitalized respiratory patients are representative of the population, which they are not. Trying to connect with authors.

Writing in Reason, Robert Jackman reports that Britain is finally (hopefully) ending its mandatory hotel quarantines. Two slices:

Having originally criminalized all “non-essential” foreign travel in January, the U.K. government hoped that hotel quarantine would form part of a traffic light system intended to ease the borders open. Countries would be designed either green (quarantine-free), amber (home quarantine required), or red (hotel quarantine). In practice, the scheme was confusing, with changes often announced at short notice—leaving travelers scrambling to get back to avoid quarantine restrictions.

The government was unapologetic about any disruption or confusion. As Britain entered its summer vacation season, Boris Johnson was warning that he would not hesitate to move a country from green to red. Anyone who lied about visiting a red list country after traveling back indirectly could face 10 years in prison.

Through late September, about 200,000 people were forced to endure hotel quarantines.

What were the quarantines like? Within weeks of coming online, the system faced routine complaints from residents who blasted the poor quality of food, the lack of fresh air, and the uncomfortable rooms. In August, the BBC broadcast footage recorded by quarantine residents showing slugs and mold in their room.


The end of this miserable policy will be welcomed by many critics of COVID authoritarianism. But don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet: Even as he announced the change, Transport Secretary Shapps stressed that the scheme would remain on ice, ready to be reenacted if another COVID variant of concern emerges.

Andrew Orlowski reports on the enormous cost, impracticality, and (shock!) failure of Britain’s “test and trace” effort.

Andrew Lilico is correct: “Lockdown fanatics should be ashamed of themselves.” Here’s his conclusion:

Maybe other things might threaten our health soon. A new flu epidemic is a possibility. Covid will become endemic, after a bumpy transition over the next year or so. Tens of thousands of people will catch it every day, for ever. All of us will get it many times. But the epidemic is over and it’s time for those whose predictions have been so wrong to lick their intellectual wounds and learn some badly needed lessons in humility.

But the important thing – the only thing of any importance, as we now know – is that these people will not die of Covid-19. That’s all that matters!