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Some Covid Links

Jay Bhattacharya talks straight about the precautionary principle. A slice:

Had policymakers assumed the worst about lockdowns as the precautionary principle dictated, they would have concluded that the principle is not particularly useful to help decide on the wisdom of lockdown.  There was the potential for catastrophic harm on both sides of the lockdown policy and no way to compare the risks and consequences provided by the precautionary principle. Instead, policymakers might have looked to other, wiser risk management practices that have helped the world cope with previous epidemics much more successfully than we have with this one.

Influential scientists, journalists, and public health officials compounded the problem by militarizing the precautionary principle.  On inappropriate moral grounds, they viciously attacked scientists who called for more investigation about epidemiological facts about the virus and economists who raised the possibility of economic collateral harm.

To their great shame, some scientists called for the censorship of scientific discussion about COVID and the de-platforming of prominent scientists who had reservations about the rush to lockdown or dared to question the assumptions underlying lockdown policies. This call to end scientific debate has helped undermine people’s trust in scientific institutions, scientific journalism, and public health agencies.

The damage will take years to repair.

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

Joakim Book reviews David Spiegelhalter’s and Anthony Masters’s Covid by the Numbers. A slice:

The duo carefully explains the many issues in testing, how cycle thresholds, false positives, and testing regimes might distort the interpretation of case numbers and positive results. Britain didn’t suffer from a “case-demic” and another oft-repeated scare, that of hospital capacity, doesn’t hold much water either. They illustrate how as large numbers of non-Covid treatments (surgeries, cancer screenings, minor injuries) were cancelled, resources freed up for other areas of the hospital. Like so many stories from Sweden, Italy or New York City, many of the express hospital facilities erected were superfluous….

The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal is justifiably pleased that the courts are ruling against Biden’s unlawful (and abominable) vaccine mandates. A slice:

What legal sage advised President Biden to impose vaccine mandates? The adviser needs to have his law licence pulled because the courts are repudiating the Administration’s mandates at an astonishing pace. A federal judge in Georgia was the latest on Tuesday when he blocked its vaccine requirement for employees of federal contractors—the fifth judicial rebuke in less than a month.

Also writing on the growing legal troubles for Biden’s abominable vaccine mandates is Reason‘s Eric Boehm.

The Covid caste system takes firmer root in Canada.

About Britain’s latest round of Covid diktats, Andrew Lilico argues that “[t]here is no rationale for imposing these restrictions. The Government simply wants to be seen to be doing something”. A slice:

The Government wants to say imposing restrictions is legitimate just in case hospitalisations ended up being very high (and just in case Plan B made any difference to that). But “just in case” is not a legitimate basis for restricting people’s lives. There needs to be a high likelihood that some disaster will follow if restrictions are not imposed and a good chance that the restrictions would avert or at least mitigate that disaster.

The Government does not appear to believe it needs such a rationale. It seems to think that it’s legitimate to restrict millions of people’s lives on bases such as “on balance, that’s wise” or “to reduce pressure on the NHS” (not to avoid its collapse – just to make life a bit easier). That is a serious departure that MPs of good conscience should vote against. Otherwise it would be legitimate to introduce a curfew every evening to “reduce pressure on the police” or restrictions every time a new flu strain is identified “just in case” it might lead to a pandemic.

Spiked‘s Tom Slater argues that Boris Johnson has become “a menace to liberty” as the P.M. “is stuck in a cycle of Covid panic and authoritarianism”.

Fergus Butler-Gallie says that “[i]t’s time to confront the immorality of lockdowns.” A slice:

We have a duty to contemplate the effect of repeated lockdowns on the young, particularly on the development and the nutrition of the poorest children. They have carried an extraordinary burden.

And while restrictions may be tolerable for the comfortable middle classes, our leaders seem to have forgotten those for whom staying at home is a type of hell, and those for whom work, which tends to be essential, cannot be conducted from the spare bedroom.

el gato malo describes the mainstream media as a source of “explanatory antibodies that cling to the truth and neutralize it, preventing it from binding to the perception receptors of the society as a whole.” And thus is the reality of the harms of lockdowns kept hidden from public view.

Hillsdale College opens a new Academy for Science and Freedom – about which Martin Kulldorff tweets:

To repair, invigorate and restore science after a disastrous pandemic response partly caused by the silencing and censoring of scientists, we have founded the Academy for Science and Freedom. Together with @ScottWAtlas, @DrJBhattacharya and @Hillsdale.