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Some Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes that Canada is “no longer a liberal constitutional state. A coercive Ottawa rules over daily life.” Here are three more slices:

When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared last month that truckers protesting his Covid-19 vaccine mandates in Ottawa hold “unacceptable views,” he accentuated the real reason the drivers decided they had no choice but to go to the streets. Their government, headed by the Liberal Party, has become decidedly illiberal.


Note that Mr. Trudeau didn’t say that blocking the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, is unacceptable. Rather, he declared truckers’ ideals beyond the pale.

Intolerance is ugly. But for Mr. Trudeau, who proudly backs Black Lives Matter, it’s OK in this case because it’s the politically correct variety: He’s denouncing the opinions of a bunch of yahoos.


Mr. Trudeau likes to invoke “science.” Yet the virulence of the virus is waning, natural immunity is up, and by the prime minister’s own estimates some 90% of Canadian truck drivers are vaccinated. If there were ever any reasons for extraordinary government measures to protect public health, they too have faded.

On Tuesday Alberta Premier Jason Kenney lifted his province’s proof-of-vaccination requirements. “Now is the time to begin learning to live with Covid,” he said. “These restrictions have led to terrible division.” Saskatchewan did the same earlier last week, and Ontario has said it would move in a similar direction.

Meantime, Mr. Trudeau is claiming police powers as if the nation were in the grip of catastrophe. No wonder already simmering resentments about federal overreach have boiled over.

Canada is advertised as a modern democracy that respects pluralism. This implies differences of opinion peacefully coexisting on a variety of subjects from assessing health risks to raising and educating children to political philosophy. Individuals, even when in the minority, retain rights to free speech and assembly.

Yet in practice Canadians who oppose big government increasingly find they are living under a woke, progressive majoritarianism that believes it owns the truth. Dissidents are hounded out of the public square and even the prime minister cancels contrarians without batting an eye.

The reach of Canada’s administrative state rivals that of its southern neighbor. Ottawa and the provinces have their own versions of health departments and agencies staffed with “experts” who wield enormous power yet don’t answer to the electorate. On both sides of the border, chief medical authorities are referred to as “top doctors,” but that’s a misnomer. They’re more likely to be top bureaucrats, people like Anthony Fauci, who has been at the helm of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

Sean Collins reveals the propaganda war on Canadian truckers. Two slices:

Almost every story in the US media about the Canadian truckers comes with a now-obligatory reference to ‘swastikas’ and ‘Confederate flags’. NPR’s lead stories in recent days have claimed that the protests are ‘rooted’ in extremism, and that its organisers have expressed ‘anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and conspiratorial worldviews’. A CNN reporter said the protests were reminiscent of the 6 January riot at the US Capitol: ‘And just think of the language. I know it sounds familiar to you. A threat to democracy. An insurrection, sedition.’ Politico warns that the truckers’ convoy has become ‘a magnet for far-right grievances’ in the US and globally.

In playing up a supposed threat of swastikas and Nazis on the rampage in Canada, the US media have allied themselves with Justin Trudeau’s propaganda war. Canada’s prime minister has denigrated the truckers as ‘a few people shouting and waving swastikas’. The people of Ottawa ‘don’t deserve to be confronted with the inherent violence of a swastika flying on a street corner or a Confederate flag’, Trudeau said during a debate in the House of Commons on Monday night. But, as anyone who has watched the videos coming out of Canada can see, truckers and their supporters along the highways and in city streets have been waving red Maple Leafs, the Canadian national flag. Protesters in Ottawa wear them as capes. Against this sea of Canadian flags, the New York Times reports ‘at least two’ swastikas have been sighted.

Thankfully, there have been some reports on the ground in Canada that are not just repeating Trudeau’s slanders. An excellent one comes from Rupa Subramanya, Ottawa-based columnist for the National Post. ‘I have spoken to close to 100 protesters, truckers and other folks’, says Subramanya, ‘and not one of them sounded like an insurrectionist, white supremacist, racist or misogynist’.

Indeed, from Subramanya’s reporting, or simply from watching some video interviews with truckers you can find online, you can tell right away that these are people with legitimate complaints. The truckers are understandably upset about how Trudeau’s vaccine mandates and other Covid-related restrictions have threatened their jobs and have made their everyday lives miserable. If there is one word that is repeated by the truckers and their supporters it is ‘freedom’ – freedom from mandates, freedom to live their lives and make their own decisions about their health. It’s an uncomplicated demand, one that people have called for over centuries.


The Biden administration has thrown its support behind the hapless Trudeau. Earlier this week US Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg urged their Canadian counterparts to crack down on protesters and ‘resolve this situation’. The Biden team is also raising fears that the Canadian truckers could inspire a US copycat. The Department of Homeland Security has warned that a convoy of protesting truckers was planning to travel from California to Washington, DC, potentially disrupting the Super Bowl this weekend and President Biden’s State of the Union address on 1 March.

In the days to come, we can expect to hear more about unruly, violent, racist protesters promoting ‘hate’ – not only in Canada, but in the US and Europe, too. But in this growing conflict between the elites and masses there’s only one side promoting ‘hate’. That’s the political class in the West, who hates it when working-class people express their own opinions. The propaganda war is just beginning.

el gato malo reports on the CDC’s stubborn insistence on endorsing what amounts to child abuse.

My old friend Robert Blumen decries the lies, the half-truths, the ignorance, the hubris, and the irrationality that over the past two years have battered humanity. Two slices:

We started out with “Two weeks to flatten the curve.” If nothing else can be said in favor of this plan, credit must be given for how well it was explained. Pictures like this were clear enough. With my university-level education in math and physics, I understood that the area under the curve was expected to remain equal under both alternatives: the one with and the other without “precautions” (as the label in the diagram euphemistically refers to life under communism). The peak of the curve would be lower, at the cost of the epidemic being extended in duration.

While the plan might or might not work, it is possible to state the premise without contradicting laws of logic or common sense. The flattening plan does accept that nearly everyone will eventually be exposed and the contagion will exhaust itself. If the plan enables some people to delay their exposure, up to a point, that could buy doctors some time to better learn how to treat them. Or perhaps a miraculous vaccine will be introduced that would create sterilizing immunity and halt the outbreak in its tracks enabling those who had delayed to avoid infection entirely.

And doctors did learn how to treat the disease, but treatment is actively fought by the medical establishment. The FDA – the drug regulator in the US – tweeted you should only get treated for covid if you are a horse. Even today, you can get banned from social media for suggesting that it is possible to treat the disease. So any possible advantage in developing a treatment was wasted.

While the plan was clear, it was not guaranteed to work. Subtle effects could undermine the simple story told by the picture. Perhaps everyone staying at home will not help because people will get infected at home. Or perhaps too many people must leave home because essential critical infrastructure workers such as marijuana dispensaries must remain open to keep society running.


Do we then spend the rest of our lives acting out Covid theater? Dr. Fauci said that he would never shake hands again. Blue check marks fret about quarantining their children. Jenin Younes reflected on a survey in which hypochondriac epidemiologists who are afraid to open their mail explain that they now consider a normal life to be dangerously reckless. Substack author Eugyppius writes about a medical journal editor who “can’t work out what we’re even doing here, but he wants us to keep doing it.”

Fraser Nelson praises Sweden. Two slices:

The problem with lockdowns is that no one looks at whole-society pictures. Professor Neil Ferguson’s team from Imperial College London admitted this, once, as a breezy aside. “We do not consider the wider social and economic costs of suppression,” they wrote in a supposed assessment of lockdown, “which will be high.” But just how high? And were they a price worth paying?

As Sweden abolishes all domestic Covid restrictions, it emerges with one of Europe’s lower Covid death tolls: the rate is 1,614 per million people, just over half the amount of Britain (2,335). Given that our [Britain’s] death tolls were comparable at first (both among the worst anywhere), it’s hard to argue that there’s some demographic force which meant Covid was never going to spread in Sweden.


Swedish schools kept going throughout, with no face masks. Sixth-formers and undergraduates switched to home learning, but the rest of Swedish children went to school as normal. That’s not to say there weren’t absences as the virus spread: it was common to see a third, at times even half of the class absent due to sniffles or suspected Covid. But there were no full-scale closures and, aside from some suspicions about minor grade inflation (the average maths grade sneaked up to 10.1, from 9.3), there is no talk in Sweden about educational devastation.

Jordan Peterson tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

We’ll be paying the bills for a two year lockdown for twenty years

(DBx: Peterson is correct that we’ll be paying the bills for this manmade devastation of society for a long time, but I believe that he’s far too optimistic about the amount of time that such repayment will require.)

Jay Bhattacharya describes the ‘public-health’ (so-called) measures of the past two years as “trickle down epidemiology.”

Martin Kulldorff tweets:

When writing the @gbdeclaration in Oct 2020, we knew that politicians and media might be hostile, but we wanted the public to know that many public health scientists disagreed with school closures and other Covid restrictions. Thank you all for listening!

Those of you who doubt the reality of Covid Derangement Syndrome might wish to consult this report in the Guardian about ‘leading’ British ‘scientists’ warning of possible future devastation from new Covid strains, and using this possibility as reason to urge caution on the easing of Covid restrictions. Here’s the report’s opening:

A future variant of Covid-19 could be much more dangerous and cause far higher numbers of deaths and cases of serious illness than Omicron, leading UK scientists have warned.

As a result, many of them say that caution needs to be taken in lifting the last Covid restrictions in England, as Boris Johnson plans to do next week.