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Some Covid Links

Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff detail key reasons why vaccine mandates are unethical. A slice:

Fourth, unlike the polio and measles vaccines, the covid vaccines do not stop the transmission of infection. They are excellent at reducing the risk of severe disease and death, but their ability to prevent infection wanes after a few months. Therefore, even if you are vaccinated, you will eventually be infected.

With milder symptoms, it could even be that the vaccinated are more likely to spread it to others, compared to the unvaccinated, who are more likely to be bedridden at home. Hence, when we urge people to get vaccinated, we do it mainly for their own sake, not for protecting others.

National Review‘s Charles Cooke reports on yesterday’s scathing smack-down by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals of Biden’s appalling vaccine mandate. A slice:

Summing up, the court savaged the move in every possible way. “The Mandate,” it wrote, “likely exceeds the federal government’s authority under the Commerce Clause because it regulates noneconomic inactivity that falls squarely within the States’ police power,” because “a person’s choice to remain unvaccinated and forgo regular testing is noneconomic inactivity.” “To mandate that a person receive a vaccine or undergo testing,” it added, “falls squarely within the States’ police power.” In addition, “concerns over separation of powers principles cast doubt over the Mandate’s assertion of virtually unlimited power to control individual conduct under the guise of a workplace regulation.”

Oh, and the whole thing relies upon “authority from an old statute employed in a novel manner, imposes nearly $3 billion in compliance costs, involves broad medical considerations that lie outside of OSHA’s core competencies, and purports to definitively resolve one of today’s most hotly debated political issues.”

I’m eager to read Scott Atlas’s new book, which will be released on November 23rd.

Writing in the Telegraph, Daniel Hannan laments the fact that “[i]t will take more than the retreat of Covid to cure our society’s lockdown obsession.” A slice:

What is going on? Why are so many people – including journalists, politicians and, not least, health officials – determined to cling to their pessimism? I have been cudgelling by brains for an explanation, and I have managed to come up with six possibilities.

First, human beings are drawn to ugly and frightening stories. They stick in our minds in a way that happy stories do not. For example, if someone is scrupulously truthful for many years, and then tells us a lie, it is the lie that we remember. Psychologists call the phenomenon “negativity bias”, and it explains why, when infection rates fluctuate, we tend to dwell on the upswings and ignore the downswings.

Second, this tendency has always been recognised by news editors. As the old Fleet Street adage goes, “if it bleeds, it leads”. You’ll never hear a news anchor announce that there have been a couple of weeks of steadily falling infections; but a couple of days the other way and it’s a big story. The casual viewer, hearing only the rising numbers, naturally assumes that they must by now have added up to a tsunami of cases.

Also from the Telegraph is this essay, by Camilla Tominey, on the damage done by lockdowns. A slice:

It came as an Oxford University study showed a 17 per cent fall in diagnoses of childhood cancers in the months following the first lockdown. Meanwhile, the latest NHS statistics show that the number of children waiting for treatment for eating disorders has doubled in the past year from 860 to more than 2,000. These are just a few examples of how repeatedly locking down for one vulnerable group – the elderly – has harmed another – the young.

Sadly, the full “non-Covid” consequences of the pandemic remain incalculable because the Government and health bosses continue to be fixated with Covid infections, hospitalisations and deaths – rather than all of the other far more important statistics.

Writing at UnHerd, the playwright David Mamet decries “[t]he horror of the last year’s slide into despotism” – and the associated abandonment of reason. A slice:

But just as the techniques of stage magic are identical with those of the confidence game, the understanding of the dramatist — that the mass can be suggested, and, so controlled —is the same as that of the Dictator. Here fear replaces happy anticipation; and, as we see, outrage at the indicted masks an unavowable fear.

At least some Australians are protesting Covidocratic tyranny.

The Spectator-Australia‘s editors rightly criticize Australian P.M. Scott Morrison’s ‘understanding’ of freedom. A slice:

And as such – and this is the disturbing bit – freedom [in Morrison’s view] is actually something the government manufactures, that the government owns and that the government will give you if you’ve been a good boy or a good girl. Indeed, in the Prime Minister’s mind, freedom is very much and very explicitly a bargaining chip. A token in a game of viral tiddlywinks. Freedom in exchange for being vaccinated.

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