≡ Menu

Some Links

Kyle Smith, writing at National Review, decries the CDC’s peddling of fake news about covid child mortality. A slice:

The CDC displayed a slide at a conference that falsely claimed Covid-19 was the fourth or fifth leading cause of death for all pediatric age groups. A writer who is publicly known only by the name Kelley immediately saw that the claim was “completely and utterly false.” Among several errors, which are so blatant as to seem like intentional massaging of the numbers, Kelley discovered that all data from a 26-month period were being crammed into one year, and that deaths were attributed to Covid, regardless of whether the death was caused by Covid, if the disease was mentioned on the death certificate. The CDC slide, which cited a pre-publication British study that is now being re-examined, also bumped up the numbers by altering the definition of pediatric (ordinarily understood to mean under 18) to include 18- and 19-year-olds.

The danger to children from Covid is very, very low. For instance, babies and toddlers are 25 times likelier to die of an accident than of Covid. And all-cause pediatric mortality in the pandemic era for young children (up to 12) is 30 percent lower than it was a generation ago, in 1999. All-cause mortality for children over 12 has spiked in the pandemic era because of accidents, drug abuse, and other factors unrelated to disease. Covid barely registers as a cause of death for teens or small children.

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger writes that “[t]he Covid pandemic revealed how complicated the private economy is — and how easy it is to wreck it.” A slice:

The current global discontent with economic life is overwhelmingly a function of one other word: lockdown. Lockdowns are normally associated with prison riots, not the world’s economies. One may admit that the first months with the mysterious Covid-19 virus were a time of generalized panic, and governments defaulted to the epidemiologists’ standard fix of social quarantining. But then leadership essentially let the public-health bureaucracies take over their countries’ economic life.

What’s impossible not to notice is how the lockdowns exposed the intricacies of the world’s market economy. We are hearing a lot now about long Covid, the physical aftermath of the virus. As debilitating is long economic Covid.

Long economic Covid is why anyone you sit next to at dinner can dilate on the arcana of interrupted global supply chains. We’re now coming to realize how the market economy’s performance and benefits are taken for granted. All those goods—made, purchased, packed and shipped—were as reliably available as turning on a light. Actually, one of the things we’ve learned during this time is that even turning on a light isn’t like turning on a light. Disrupt the always-on but complex power grid, as in Texas and California, and the lights stop coming on.

This persistent post-pandemic disruption is the result of government choices. In 2020, the public sector told the private sector simply to stand down. When the pandemic lockdowns were extended deep into 2021—in the U.S., France, U.K. and elsewhere—the global economy’s extraordinarily complex grid of relationships fractured at every level.

Layoffs were widespread, ending paychecks overnight. Trucking hasn’t recovered. Airlines are struggling with flight-canceling staff shortages. Manufacturers can’t fill orders for lack of basic parts, workers or a reliable transport system.

We have arrived at stupid.

David Stockman describes “the spasmodic chaos of the post-lockdown US economy.” Two slices:

Accordingly, the business sector is flying blind: It can’t forecast what’s coming down the pike in the normal manner based on tried and true rules of cause and effect. In many cases, the normal market signals have gone kerflooey as exemplified by the recent big box retailers’ warnings that they are loaded with the wrong inventory and will be taking painful discounts to clear the decks.

Yet it is no wonder that they stocked up on apparel and durables, among others, after a period in which the Virus Patrol shutdown the normal social congregation venues such as movies, restaurants, bars, gyms, air travel and the like. And than Washington added fuel to the fire by pilling on trillions of spending power derived from unemployment benefits that reached to a $55,000 annual rate in some cases and the repeated stimmie checks that for larger families added up to $10,000 to $20,000.

Employed workers didn’t need the multiple $2,000 stimmie checks because in its (dubious) “wisdom” the Virus Patrol forced them to save on social congregation based spending.


When it comes to Washington-induced whipsaws, however, there are few sectors that have been as battered as the air travel system. During April 2020, for instance, passenger boardings were down a staggering 96% from the corresponding pre-pandemic month, as in dead and gone. Moreover, this deep reduction pattern prevailed well into the spring of 2021.

The airline shutdowns were not necessitated by public health considerations: Frequent cabin air exchanges probably made them safer than most indoor environments.

But between the misbegotten guidelines of the CDC and the scare-mongering of the Virus Patrol, even as late as January 2022 loadings were still down 34% from pre-pandemic levels.

The industry’s infrastructure got clobbered by these kinds of operating levels. Baggage handlers, flight attendants, pilots and every function in-between suffered huge disruptions in incomes and livelihoods—-even after Washington’s generous subsidies to the airlines and their employees.

And then, insult was added to injury when pilots and other employees were threatened with termination owing to unwillingness to take the jab. The result was an industry to turmoil and sometimes even ruin.

Jay Bhattacharya tweets:

The people who constitute “World Health Network” are repackaged zero-covid zealots, many in the discredited iSAGE group. I guess since they could not scare the world into perpetual Shanghai style lockdowns with covid, so they are trying again with monkey pox.

Here’s some good news reported by Will Jones: “South Africa Ends All Remaining Covid Restrictions Including Vaccine and Testing Entry Requirements.”

Phil Magness, writing on his Facebook page, is correct:

It turns out that the reason plagiarism is such a widespread problem in academia…is that an alarming number of academics will excuse or even defend plagiarism when one of their friends does it.

Damon Root argues that “Alito’s leaked abortion opinion misunderstands unenumerated rights.”

Jeffrey Singer laments this unfortunate reality: “The FDA is on a quest to snuff out tobacco harm‐​reduction.”

GMU Econ alum Nathan Goodman compares Austrians and Marxists on imperialism.