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Some Covid Links

John Tierney writes that “[a]gainst ethics and evidence, public officials push vaccine mandates for kids.” Three longer slices:

In a sane era, no ethics review board would allow doctors to bribe young children to undergo a treatment with unknown dangers and minuscule benefits. But medical ethics are just one more casualty of the Covid pandemic, as Bill de Blasio cheerfully demonstrated at a recent press conference. New York’s mayor announced that children aged five and older would get $100 for being vaccinated against Covid—and then he made a direct pitch to those too young to appreciate the size of the city’s bribe.

“It buys a whole lot of candy,” the mayor explained.

Norms of science and medicine have been flouted throughout the pandemic, but the campaign to vaccinate schoolchildren represents a new low. It’s being led by the Centers for Disease Control with the help of politicians, journalists, and Sesame Street’s Big Bird (who appeared in a CNN special proselytizing children).


Based on seroprevalence surveys, it appears that close to half of American schoolchildren have already had Covid. (The estimate was about 40 percent as of June and has undoubtedly risen during the spread of the Delta variant.) Children who’ve already had measles or chickenpox aren’t required to be vaccinated against those diseases. Why should tens of millions of kids with natural immunity against Covid be pressured to get a vaccine with known side effects? Federal officials have offered various answers, none convincing. The CDC continues to insist that infection is not proved to confer strong immunity and even published a study purporting to show that vaccinations offer better immunity. But as Martin Kulldorff of Harvard Medical School showed, that study was badly flawed and is contradicted by more rigorous research demonstrating that natural immunity is much stronger and longer-lasting than vaccine immunity.

For children without immunity, a vaccine would lessen the risk of being hospitalized or dying—but that risk for most children is already tiny, particularly for younger kids. (So is the risk of severe “long Covid,” and it’s questionable that vaccination would offer additional protection.)


The creepiest justification for vaccinating children is that it would “help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports,” in the CDC’s words. The United States has been singularly cruel to children throughout the pandemic, closing schools and masking students for extended periods despite extensive evidence that these measures were unnecessary and harmful. Sweden showed that keeping schools open throughout the pandemic—without masks, social distancing, smaller classes or strict quarantines—did little to endanger students, teachers, or the community. Other European countries have also kept schools open without forcing young students to wear masks. Today, with most American adults vaccinated, there’s less reason than ever to close schools. Yet instead of apologizing for their previous child abuse, officials are placating neurotic adults—and teachers’ unions—by threatening still more punishment unless students submit to vaccination.

The threat is a version of the mob’s old protection racket—Nice school you got here, be a shame if anything happened to it—but at least the mob’s extortionists didn’t target children. Mobsters were content with cash payoffs, which would be preferable to today’s demands for mass vaccination. The children would be better off if de Blasio and the other adult bullies settled for taking their candy money.

Brendan Patrick Purdy decries the now-towering intolerance toward speech deemed by elites and government officials to be “misinformation.” Two slices:

Restrictions of scientific free speech will inevitably lead to restriction of any speech deemed detrimental to freedom, as Murthy described it. David Rubin was banned from Twitter for a week in July for predicting that the Biden administration would impose a federal vaccine mandate. In September, Biden announced such a mandate and is now telling businesses to ignore the court-ordered pause to it. While Paul’s offending statement was a scientific one, Rubin’s was merely an opinion.


In a melancholy essay, John Ioannidis discusses how the Mertonian norms have come under further attack by the ideologization of the scientific method during the Covid-19 pandemic. These attacks didn’t start with the virus. One has only to look at discussions of climate change and biological sex to realize that even before Covid, our ability to speak freely about science has been narrowed. Murthy, Biden, Walensky, and Fauci, and others following what Thomas Sowell calls the vision of the anointed understand that science remains the standard of truth; thus, if they control what science says, they can control what is considered true. To rehabilitate the scientific method—and with it, our own freedom of speech—we need to stop participating in their deceptions.

Reason‘s Christian Britschgi reports on the return of the straw man to Austria.

Jonathan Adler uncovers some unfortunate sloppiness in the Fifth Circuit’s ruling, last Friday, against Biden’s abominable vaccine mandate.

I fear that el gato malo is correct about the ease with which government funding corrupts science.

Lloyd Billingsley criticizes the hypocrisy of California’s Covidocrats. Here’s his conclusion:

On November 9, Gov. Newsom said he skipped the climate conference, to spend Halloween with his four children, who staged an “intervention” to keep daddy home. While Californians assess that belated claim, Newsom has already made one reality perfectly clear. When it comes to pandemic restrictions, there is one standard for the ruling class and another for ordinary working people.

TANSTAFPFC (There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Protection From Covid.)

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

It is an evil, demagogic policy to deny the unvaccinated basic civil rights and render them into an underclass.

The vaccine does not stop disease transmission. Thus, the laptop class’s support for lockdown policies has nothing to do with the risk posed by unvaccinated.