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Some Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Allysia Finley ably defends the decision by government officials in Florida to recommend against vaccinating healthy children against Covid. Three slices:

The Sunshine State is bucking the public-health consensus again. “The Florida Department of Health is going to be the first state to officially recommend against the Covid-19 vaccines for healthy children,” Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo announced March 7.

Cue the outrage. The American Academy of Pediatrics called the recommendation “irresponsible.” The Infectious Diseases Society of America accused Dr. Ladapo of putting “politics over the health and safety of children.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki jabbed: “It’s deeply disturbing that there are politicians peddling conspiracy theories out there and casting doubt on vaccinations.”

Dr. Ladapo is doing no such thing. He is merely acknowledging the abundant scientific evidence that Covid-19 poses a negligible risk to healthy children, which makes it impossible to know if the benefit of vaccination outweighs the risk.


But this makes vaccinating children even more senseless. The vast majority have already been infected. The CDC estimates that 58% of children under 18 had infection-induced antibodies as of January, based on commercial laboratory blood samples.

This is almost certainly an underestimate. Antibodies have probably faded in those who were infected earlier in the pandemic, and a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found 63% of children under 18 who tested positive for the virus on PCR tests didn’t generate antibodies in their blood. Unlike the current crop of vaccines, prior infection stimulates mucosal immunity—including antibodies in the saliva and nasal passages—that can provide a strong barrier to infection.


The public-health consensus has been wrong time and again during the pandemic. When it comes to vaccinating children, especially the youngest, Dr. Ladapo is right.

Here’s an excellent letter in today’s Wall Street Journal:

Each of us must decide which principled stands to take in life, and mask-querade mandates sometimes force us to choose between convenience and conviction. Even before mandates were lifted last month in California, I entered many retail establishments without harassment from staff or management, and only slight frowns from other customers. But other venues tested my principles: barefaced, I could not enter restaurants, theaters, libraries or museums. I am still barred from airports, public transit and doctors’ offices.

This virus era will be over when we, as a people, stand up and determine that it’s over. Ms. Sugar is correct that those who do not act on their principles are the reason that mask mandates still exist, since it’s now clear that “the science” offers no valid justification for these questionable, confusing edicts.

Jane Johnson
Ventura, Calif.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board is correct: Beijing’s deranged pursuit of zero Covid hurts not only the Chinese economy – it hurts all the global economy. A slice:

China’s domestic growth will take a hit. The Communist Party regime recently announced a GDP growth target of 5.5% for the year, but that will be impossible to achieve if major commercial centers are locked down. Another risk is consumer confidence, which already was under threat from the property-market slowdown President Xi Jinping has orchestrated over the past year. Beijing claims it’s pursuing a “shared prosperity” agenda in which ordinary households will earn—and then spend—a greater share of the country’s income. But first they need to be let out of their apartments.

Mr. Xi appears to be waking to the economic and political dangers. He instructed officials on Thursday to reduce the cost households bear for Covid controls. Vice Premier Liu He this week promised measures “that are favorable to the market” to stabilize equity prices roiled by Covid fears and worries that Beijing’s long-running regulatory crackdown on tech companies could stifle growth.

Even as the lockdowns become more contentious with the public, Beijing shows little sign of abandoning its zero-Covid fixation. That policy stubbornness, combined with Beijing’s apparent failure to devise an alternative in the two years since the pandemic began, is a danger to the health of Chinese citizens and the prosperity of China and the rest of the world.

Writing at City Journal, Nicholas Wade decries the credulity of many science reporters. A slice:

Why are science writers so little able to report objectively on the origin of the virus? Innocent of most journalists’ skepticism about human motives, science writers regard scientists, their authoritative sources, as too Olympian ever to be moved by trivial matters of self-interest. Their daily job is to relay claims of impressive new discoveries, such as advances toward curing cancer or making paralyzed rats walk. Most of these claims come to nothing—research is not an efficient process—but science writers and scientists alike benefit from creating a stream of pleasant illusions. The journalists get their stories, while media coverage helps researchers attract government grants.

K. Lloyd Billingsley wonders if Fauci will get the downsizing that he deserves. A slice:

Senator Rand Paul will introduce an amendment to eliminate Dr. Anthony Fauci’s position as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and establish three new institutes headed by presidential appointees, confirmed by the Senate, and serving a term of five years.

“We’ve learned a lot over the past two years, but one lesson in particular is that no one person should be deemed ‘dictator in chief,’” Paul wrote in a Fox News commentary. “No one person should have unilateral authority to make decisions for millions of Americans.”

Paul, a physician for more than 33 years, says he “never encountered someone with the gall to proclaim himself ‘the science’ and portray anyone opposing him as ‘attacking science.’ That is until Dr. Fauci became the COVID dictator-in-chief.” Paul mourns “those we lost to the crushing and overbearing lockdowns and mandates that were based on junk science.”

Anthony Fauci earned a medical degree in 1966 but if he ever practiced medicine it was only for a short time. In 1968, Dr. Fauci was hired on with the National Institutes of Health and he has headed NIAID since 1984. Dr. Fauci’s bio shows no advanced degrees in molecular biology or biochemistry.

The government of New South Wales, Australia, admits that it lied in order to do Covid health theater. A slice:

By far the more disturbing insight offered by [New South Wales premier Dominic] Perrottet was the abuse of the state’s children to make the Education sector ‘feel better’.

‘When we announced schools going back, the media would rush to find the scariest epidemiologist who was out there saying “every child across New South Wales would die”. And that was a problem, because we had to instil confidence. So what did we do? Together we agreed we would go and get all these Rapid Antigen Tests – which was a massive fee,’ said the Premier.

Instead of standing his ground and defending the much-lauded ‘science’ of NSW Health – something that citizens were told that they could not question when it was destroying their businesses and holding them hostage in their homes – Perrottet implemented measures to keep the media quiet.

Here’s a report from last week’s gathering, at Hillsdale College’s DC campus, of some of the relatively few scientists, academics, and journalists who wisely counseled caution against Covid hysteria and warned of Covidocratic tyranny. (HT Jay Bhattacharya, who was among the participants in this event) Three slices:

Johns Hopkins medical professor Marty Makary, a National Academy of Medicine member, said the New York Times functionally blacklisted him after he went on Fox News, and his department “started to squash” critics like him early in the pandemic. He compared Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, and former NIH Director Francis Collins to “African presidents” who rule for decades.

Epidemiologist Sheila Weiss said her company, which has close Stanford ties, wouldn’t let her publish a commentary on “booster mandate madness” because it was “too much of a political or corporate risk.” An investigative journalist declined her offer to run with the story because “Fauci’s goons” already targeted him, Weiss said.

Cal Poly microbiologist Pat Fidopiastis, who leads its COVID wastewater testing lab, explained how he became the campus villain for refusing to wear masks “unless required,” challenging mask efficacy and referring to COVID’s origin in Wuhan, which drew student accusations of racism. He voted for Barack Obama twice and Hillary Clinton, but “they made me” a Trump supporter.


Bioethicist Aaron Kheriaty, fired by UC for refusing COVID vaccination, said public health has morphed into seeking “behavioral outcomes” through moralistic framing and frowns on objective data that could give “false reassurance.” To Kheriaty, “that’s the definition of propaganda.”


Former NYT science columnist John Tierney blamed the “crisis crisis” on Fauci, who first rose to prominence in the AIDS crisis. The media have perverse incentives to indulge alarmism on scientific issues, from overpopulation to energy shortages and now COVID, because it increases readership.

“You have to do counter-scares” such as the Great Barrington Declaration, which emphasized collateral damage from lockdowns, he said.

“Add 12 months or so” to right-wing COVID coverage and Leonhardt’s daily NYT newsletter will validate it, giving liberals permission to acknowledge reality, according to Maxwell Meyer, former editor of The Stanford Review. He pointed to a “series of very conspicuous coincidences” in which the CDC revised guidance following a Leonhardt column.

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