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Some Covid Links

My GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan argues that, properly reckoned, “Covid has arguably been the greatest overreaction in U.S. history.”

Prompted by an egregiously mistaken tweet by Jimmy Kimmel, el gato malo decries today’s appalling disregard for facts, truth, and reason. A slice:

these smears on [Florida governor Ron] desantis are wild. the need to attack the control group for succeeding and revealing the blue bastion’s mitigations and prevarications for the pseudoscience and fraud that they are is an unforgivable sin to this mind and social set.

that their arguments have been reduced to this sort of hallucinatory hand waving is, in and of itself, extremely telling with regard to both the strength of their case and the weakness of their morals.

i hope they keep it up. it can only discredit them further in the eyes of the center. there is always room for reasonable people to disagree on complex issues, but nobody trusts a liar.

the more soviet our media goes, the less credibility it will carry.

more potent still is the obvious and inescapable fact that anyone who would lie to you like this cannot possibly have any respect for you.

Prompted by this accurate statement in the New York Times

Omicron — like earlier variants — presents only a very small risk of serious illness to most vaccinated people. It is the kind of risk that people accept every day without reordering their lives, not so different from the chances of hospitalization or death from the flu or a car crash.

… el gato malo sensibly asks:

if people who are vaccinated face only a tiny risk from omicron, then how can these same people face such a huge risk from the unvaccinated?

because it seems like maybe they wouldn’t.

well, i guess unless the unvaxxed people were sneaking up behind them and bopping them on the head like little bunny foo foo or something…

but it seems like that’s probably not a real thing, is it?

Here’s Eric Boehm on how the NFL and other American professional sports leagues are dealing with Covid.

Phil Magness on Facebook:

Other than putting on masks in places where doing so was legally mandated (e.g. airplanes), I haven’t really obeyed any NPIs since ca. March 2020.

During that time I’ve been to over 20 states, driven long cross-country distances several times, taken about 100 flights, and regularly dined out whenever I was able to do so.

I’m pretty certain that my health outcomes would be no different today if I had stayed put and gone through all the silly theatrics that the lockdowners imposed, but my quality of life would be much lower.

Fauci is an authoritarian. (HT Phil Magness)

In response to panic-porn “reporting” on CNN by Anderson Cooper, Alexander Nazaryan tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

There is a feeling among members of mainstream media that they can fearmonger without any cost, b/c no one will fact check them or call them out.

And Newman Nahas tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Behold, another Covidian koan:

If we don’t lock down indefinitely, we are going to be in lock down for ever.

New York Post columnist Steve Cuozzo predicts that “[i]f Hochul pushes the lockdown panic button, NYC is dead.” A slice:

A lockdown encore in the city will doom the entire state, where unelected Hochul hopes to win election in 2022. More than 40 percent of state income-tax revenue alone comes from New York City.

You’d think that such fiscal truths would deter [Gov. Kathy] Hochul from repeating Cuomo’s blunder.

But Jane Fonda was on to something when she said in October 2020 that the pandemic was “God’s gift to the left.” She meant that the viral toll would focus hatred on then-President Donald Trump, but it applies in a much larger context: that fear of uncontrolled disease spread empowered government at every level to seize control of workplaces, the overall economy and the social order.

Most of the media feed the fear, with 24/7 loops of scare talk from publicity-craving doomsayers and photos of near-death COVID victims suffering alone in lonely, dark rooms.

The whiff of power that came with shutting down an entire state of 20 million people intoxicated privileged-at-birth Cuomo and threatens to consume Hochul as well.

Glenn Reynolds calls for an end to Covid emergency powers. Two slices:

COVID is over. Oh, not with Anthony Fauci. Not with the media. Not with the sour-faced Karens who have enjoyed the sense of meaning — and power — it’s given them. But with normal people, especially outside the big urban areas, it’s over.

The Atlantic scandalized its readers by reporting that this week. In an article titled “Where I Live, No One Cares About COVID,” Matthew Walther wrote: “No one cares. Literally speaking, I know that isn’t true, because if it were, the articles wouldn’t be commissioned. But outside the world inhabited by the professional and managerial classes in a handful of major metropolitan areas, many, if not most, Americans are leading their lives as if COVID is over, and they have been for a long while.”

And with good reason. I confess that in the early days, I was a COVID hawk. With China reporting a 4 to 5 percent mortality rate, there seemed reason. (In fact, I should have reflected more on the untrustworthiness of information from China, especially after the experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship suggested that COVID was a lot less scary than we were told.)

But science, and rationality in general, is about changing your opinions when you learn new facts. And what we’ve learned is that COVID is somewhat worse than the flu but not nearly bad enough to justify the enormous, expensive and disruptive changes we’ve endured.


Meanwhile, the powers that be have revealed themselves to be dishonest and inept. Fauci lied about masks at the beginning. Andrew Cuomo sent COVID patients into nursing homes (it made money for his contributors), which caused thousands of elderly people to die. Scarcely a day goes by without some bigshot — California Gov. Gavin Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Anthony Fauci himself — being found breaking his or her own rules on masking, social distancing, etc.

School kids are forced to eat their lunches outdoors and wear masks while adults gather in bars, restaurants and sporting events. The entire COVID apparatus is collapsing under the weight of its own absurdity.

(DBx: I fervently hope that Reynolds is correct in his observation that “the entire COVID apparatus is collapsing.” But I’d not be surprised to see the straw man come back in full force in many parts of the U.S.)

Nicholas Farrell is no fan of vaccine passports. A slice:

I think we can safely conclude that vaccine passports offer little but a creeping tyranny over people’s lives. They do not persuade that many unvaccinated people to get jabbed, and there is little evidence to suggest that they lead to fewer infections.

Telegraph Science Editor Sarah Knapton believes that the omicron surge will likely “make data on Covid deaths very unreliable.” A slice:

Deaths [in Britain] are reported as Covid if they occur within 28 days of a positive test. The January death rate is around 0.09 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). So on a day of one million infections, we would expect 908 of those people to die naturally over the next month, yet currently all would end up in the Covid data.

Under worst case scenarios from the LSHTM, some 34.2 million would be infected up to April – which could see nearly 30,000 natural deaths wrongly reported in the daily Covid figures during that period.