Toby Green and Thomas Fazi, writing at UnHerd, decry “the return of covid fearmongering.” Three slices:

None of this is surprising: there never really was a scientific case for universal masking. This was obvious based on the pre-pandemic literature, which is why the WHO (alongside the CDC and high-profile public health experts such as Anthony Fauci) initially advised against mass masking; subsequent studies have confirmed that “existing data do not support universal, often improper, face mask use in the general population as a protective measure against Covid-19”. Even the New York Times has at least partially accepted this, running a piece on 31 May entitled “Why Masks Work, but Mandates Haven’t”. As for contact tracing, the pre-2020 consensus was even more trenchant, with the WHO’s 2019 report on “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza” claiming that “under no circumstances” should it be adopted, due to its limited effectiveness. (There is also no evidence that lockdowns had any enduring influence on the spread of Covid-19. In fact, they may have worsened it.)

…..

Still, many argue that previous infection confers practically no immunity against BA.5 — and that, therefore, we should all be ready for another round of vaccination. In fact, the data shows no such thing; population-level data shows us unequivocally that prior infection confers immunity. In fact, the most recent study on the subject, published in the world-leading New England Journal of Medicine, shows that prior Covid infection conferred better protection against symptomatic Omicron (BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants) more than a year after infection than three doses of vaccine more than one month after the final dose.

…..

Of course, vaccines are key in preventing serious illness and death in those at great risk from Covid — but this was always, in truth, a comparatively small section of the population, as study after study has shown. Now that it is clear that vaccines do not prevent infection, it’s time to shift the focus to the kind of early-stage treatments that are vital in preventing potential LC [long covid] from developing. Insisting on the same restrictions and vaccine-centric strategy of the past few years and expecting a different result is, as Einstein might have said, simply insane.

While I disagree with a few of the points made here by Mark Oshinskie, I agree with his thrust that “coronomania” has stirred up or exposed a great many unsavory realities about human beings.

Noah Carl identifies a flaw in the W.H.O.’s means of measuring excess deaths.

el gato malo explains that “generating a sense of crisis so people will demand ‘solutions’ is not a basis for government.”

Jordan Schachtel tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Birx engaged in relentless deceit. Instead of doing the honorable thing & resigning, she abused power, lied when confronted, and then bragged about it in her book.

GMU Econ alum Caleb Fuller explains that Google has no monopoly power. A slice:

Google (excuse me, Alphabet) doesn’t have a monopoly.

Not by any sensible definition of the word. Is Google the only way to “search” to find information? No, there are libraries full of books, and there are other people, many of whom know things.

Is Google the only way to communicate with a distant person? Again no, there are other email providers (Outlook, Proton, etc.), cell phones, landlines, regular face-to-face interaction (if you can imagine that), hand-written snail mail, shouting, and smoke signals.

Is Google the only way to navigate? Nope, Garmin still exists (just checked), as do the stars (just checked), which guided navigation for millennia.

Is Google the only browser? No, it’s just the preferred browser.

What about advertising—is there any other way? Of course, as evidenced by the billions of dollars spent on non-digital advertising each year (nor is Google the sole conduit for all digital advertising).

Try this logic on any of the other myriad services (i.e., YouTube) Google offers. The results are the same—substitutes, though generally perceived as inferior, abound.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board explains that “[u]topian energy dreams are doing great economic and security damage.” Two slices:

Soaring oil and natural gas prices. Electricity grids on the brink of failure. Energy shortages in Europe, with worse to come. The free world’s growing strategic vulnerability to Vladimir Putin and other dictators.

These are some of the unfolding results in the last year caused by the West’s utopian dream to punish fossil fuels and sprint to a world driven solely by renewable energy. It’s time for political leaders to recognize this manifest debacle and admit that, short of a technological breakthrough, the world will need an ample supply of carbon fuel for decades to remain prosperous and free.

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Do Western leaders recognize or care that their climate monomania is endangering living standards in democracies and empowering authoritarians? Historian Arnold Toynbee argued that civilizations die from suicide, not murder. The West’s climate self-destruction may prove him right.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Institute for Justice lawyers Alexa Gervasi and Anya Bidwell rightly criticize Arizona’s prohibition of recording “law-enforcement officers from within 8 feet of police activity.” Here’s their conclusion:

Peacefully recording police in a public space without interfering with their activity can’t be subject to any restrictions. The law, which takes effect in September, will eliminate access to information, make government less accountable, sweep police wrongdoing under the rug, and penalize civic engagement.

David Henderson presents yet more evidence of unheralded economic growth for the middle class.

Tim Worstall captures economist Mariana Mazzucato exposing her inexplicable ignorance of basic economics. (DBx: The commission of this error by Mazzucato is alone sufficient reason to distrust any and all advice that she offers for economic policy.)

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