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Some Covid Links

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Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor Marty Makary decries the “groupthink and politics” that fuel Covid-era ‘public health’ (so called) [2]. Two slices:

Another committee member, Cody Meissner, agrees. Dr. Meissner, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Tufts Children’s Hospital, told me last week that the fourth dose is “an unanswered scientific question for people with a normal immune system.”

A third member of the committee, Paul Offit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told [3] the Atlantic that he advised his 20-something son to forgo the third shot, which the FDA recommends for everyone 12 and over.

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But neither the CDC nor the National Institutes of Health has made a priority of studying vaccine complications. The CDC isn’t even transparent about its investigations into young people who have died after Covid vaccination. A Seattle Children’s Hospitals study [4] published in the Journal of Pediatrics March 25 found that 69% of children who presented with myocarditis after the vaccine had late gadolinium enhancement, a related abnormality, in an MRI three to eight months later.

Instead of investigating these complications further, health agencies rely on messy and incomplete data from their clunky website called Vaers, or Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, where some patients report their own possible vaccination complications. When citizens inquire about vaccine complication rates, public-health officials point to the significant limitations of their own method of tracking them.

While the FDA has approved fourth doses quickly and with little supporting data, it’s also been sitting for months on ample data supporting two new Covid vaccines. Novavax [5] and Covaxin use traditional vaccine technology, in contrast with the mRNA shots from Pfizer [6] and Moderna [7]. Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech and Ocugen [8], could yield broader protection against variants, and both shots could overcome some Americans’ hesitancy about a novel technology. But the FDA hasn’t acted on Novavax’s Jan. 31 application for emergency use, and it rejected Covaxin twice, once for adults and once for children. Both have been approved by the World Health Organization and other countries. “We don’t need another vaccine,” Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, told [9] India’s News Nation in December. “We have enough vaccines.”

Trust in public health is at an all-time low. When agencies bypass their own experts, it only reinforces the perception that health policy is driven by groupthink and politics.

Covid restrictions have left young children lacking social skills [10].” A slice from this Telegraph report:

A few providers said that wearing face masks is continuing to have a negative impact on young children’s language and communication skills.

Those turning two “will have been surrounded by adults wearing masks for their whole lives and have therefore been unable to see lip movements or mouth shapes as regularly”, the report said.

“Some providers have reported that delays to children’s speech and language development have led to them not socialising with other children [11] as readily as they would have expected previously,” it added.

Crucial conversations between teachers and parents had not taken place because parents were not allowed inside school buildings, and some whose children started attending after the start of the pandemic have not seen inside classrooms or met teachers.

Karol Markowicz calls for an end to NYC mayor Eric Adams’s mad, cruel, and wholly unscientific insistence on keeping mask on young NYC school children [12]. Two slices:

New York has done it again. The city has managed to find the most useless, but harmful, policy possible to impose on the safest segment of the population.

On Friday, Mayor Eric Adams and his health commissioner, Ashwin Vasan, announced that children aged 2 to 4 will have to remain masked [13] in day-care and pre-school settings. No other age group is forced to mask similarly.

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Michael Chessa, the parents’ attorney, told me, “These mandates are anti-science, anti-child, anti-parent and, according to last week’s court decision, against the law. Each day that goes by where Mayor Adams keeps these mandates in place is a stain on his legacy.”

In life, there are trade-offs. If the argument went, “Kids will mask, and we will risk them having speech and cognitive delays, because they are uniquely at risk from COVID and this is how we protect them,” that might be understandable.

Instead, toddlers will mask, they will risk speech and cognitive delays, and it will offer absolutely no protection from COVID.

Even if masks worked for the older set, which has never been proven by a study with a control group, the under-5s could never wear them correctly. This demographic is also not prioritized for vaccination because they simply don’t need it.

Jeffrey Tucker rightly applauds the pulling-back of the curtain that for so long has hidden the machinations of the mad scientist Anthony Fauci [14]. A slice:

This strategy of information suppression and intimidation of dissent, along with the manufacturing of a fake consensus that in fact did not exist, continued through 2020 and arguably to the present. Among the other victims of such propaganda and smears were the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration [15]. We know from emails that Fauci and Collins collaborated in a deliberate attempt to drum up a “quick and devastating” [16] takedown.

It was a rather bizarre thing to do. The GBD was a rather conventional statement of public health principles along with a warning against the devastating consequences of extreme measures of coercion. Today it reads almost like a summary of what most people have come to believe after long and terrible experiences. Why did the Fauci cabal believe it was so very important to stop this statement?

The New York Post‘s Editorial Board wisely advises people to ignore the advice offered on the new federal government website, Covid.gov [17]. Two slices:

The White House just unveiled a brand-new Web site — COVID.gov [18] — to help people “find COVID guidance.” Problem is, the feds’ atrocious advice all through the pandemic makes Uncle Sam the last place to go for guidance.

Look at the latest big news from the CDC: its move to a “community levels” metric to govern indoor-masking rules [19]. That shift — correct but long, long overdue — was prompted not by any change in the science around COVID but by the fact that mask mandates had become a politically disastrous issue for Democrats.

And the agency still hasn’t updated its absurd guidance that kids in pre-K, [20] literally the lowest-risk group for COVID on the planet, should have to mask “regardless of vaccination status.”

Speaking of schools, consider the dismal CDC record on closures. Even after months of data showed that 1) COVID was never a real risk to school-age kids unless they have serious comorbidities and 2) schools are not major vectors of transmission, the agency still slow-walked its re-opening guidance, largely at the behest of teachers unions [21] (another Dem powerhouse). New reporting even reveals [22] that the United Federation of Teachers actually had “line-by-line” influence on the language of the guidance itself.

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When it comes to COVID rules — and the science behind them — the federal government has displayed a mixture of brute incompetence and political opportunism that has hurt millions in ways that may prove irreparable.

Anyone who takes suggestions from COVID.gov does so at his own peril.

I honestly cannot tell if I should applaud or decry this action by British police [23].

Writing at Spiked, David Livermore describes “the catastrophe of Zero Covid.” [24] (HT Martin Kulldorff [25]) A slice:

China, however, remains aggressively wedded to Zero Covid, with Hong Kong dragged along with it. And the strategy isn’t going well. Hong Kong’s recent Omicron outbreak is estimated to have infected up to half of the population [26], though official figures indicate far fewer. Hospitals have been overloaded, and deaths are spiking, which reflects the authorities’ failure to vaccinate many care-home residents. Whereas South Korea and Hong Kong recorded similarly high Omicron infection peaks, the peak death rate was disproportionately higher in Hong Kong, at 285 deaths a day versus 350 a day in South Korea, despite Hong Kong having a population that’s seven times smaller.

China, too, now has multiple Covid outbreaks. It is responding to these with larger and more numerous local lockdowns, including in Xi’an [27], Beijing [28] and Shenzhen [29]. The Chinese authorities are now conducting a bizarre experiment [30] on Shanghai, after it recorded 6,000 cases a day, most of them asymptomatic. First, one half of the city will be locked down for five days while mass testing is done, and then cases will be identified and isolated. Then the exercise will be repeated on the other half of the city. It is hard to see how this will stop viral circulation, so further lockdowns are to be anticipated. The fact China has built large quarantine facilities suggests it is in for the Zero Covid long haul.

Dr. Joseph Fraiman, an ER physician in Louisiana, admits that he was wrong earlier to support Covid lockdowns [31]. (HT Jay Bhattacharya [32])

Anthony LaMesa quotes from a New York Times report [33]: (HT Jay Bhattacharya [32])

“Over the past two years, doctors have also reported a sharp rise in young people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, an increase that many believe is tied to the drastic spike in childhood obesity during the pandemic.”