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Some Covid Links

The Stanford Review reviews Scott Atlas’s 2021 book, A Plague Upon Our House. (HT Jay Bhattacharya) Here’s the review’s conclusion:

Readers will find A Plague Upon Our House shocking. [Anthony] Fauci, [Deborah] Birx, and [Robert] Redfield caused irreparable harm to the country with their irrational rhetoric and wielded their authority shamelessly. Unelected public health officials should never be responsible for deciding the futures of millions of Americans, but that is exactly what the troika did. And Dr. Atlas’s warnings must be heeded for the next public health emergency. Otherwise, the country will once again pursue overly restrictive policies that do more harm than good and the public’s faith in science will be further undermined.

Jon Sanders pleads: “Mr. Employer, tear down these masks!” A slice:

Whenever we could, we let the servers, clerks, attendants, small business owners, and others we encountered in our mutually beneficial transactions know that they were welcome to doff the cloth. We wanted no part in the charade, either as participants or patrons. Furthermore, the spectacle of people smiling normally being catered to by people whose mouths and noses were covered like silenced servants struck us as offensive to the core.

Here’s a welcome headline from two days ago: “British Airways and Virgin Atlantic scrap face mask rule: Airlines say passengers won’t be forced to wear one on some routes from tomorrow as government ends remaining Covid travel curbs.”

David Henderson likes a great deal of what Alex Tabarrok said in a speech last month.

Reason‘s Eric Boehm reports that “Congress used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to throw money around in ways that would be comedic if the results weren’t so tragic.” A slice:

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a nonprofit that advocates for smaller deficits, put together a useful website for tracking the unprecedented levels of borrowing, spending, and printing that went on during the first two years of the pandemic. Out of more than $5.7 trillion in COVID-related spending authorized by Congress (which doesn’t include actions taken by the Federal Reserve or executive branch agencies to respond to the pandemic), the group classifies a scant $682 billion—less than 12 percent—as “health spending.”

Of that amount, only $53 billion—that’s less than 1 percent of all COVID aid authorized by Congress—was spent on vaccines and other treatments.

Aaron Kheriaty calls on Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra “to immediately revoke his declaration that a Covid-19 public health emergency exists.”

“Thwarted by the arrival of omicron, Jacinda Ardern’s zero-Covid ambitions will effectively come to an end.” (DBx: Reality is not and never will be optional, despite government “leaders'” incessant insistence that they possess the power to work miracles.)