≡ Menu

Some Links

Congratulations to John P.A. Ioannidis!

The Telegraph‘s Jeremy Warner decries “the catastrophic consequences of lockdown.” A slice:

The intention of lockdown, which was to save as many lives as possible, was a noble one, but even in terms of mortality, the policies adopted appear to have done a great deal more harm than good.

Data last week from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that in the past six months there have been more excess deaths from causes other than Covid, than deaths from coronavirus for the entire year.

All Covid restrictions ended last March, but excess deaths – that is, mortalities over and above what would normally be expected – are once again mounting. Health experts widely attribute the phenomenon to medical conditions that were left untreated during the months of lockdown. The hiatus in provision has since been compounded by a growing sense of crisis in the NHS as it struggles to cope with the consequent backlog and a similar problem with staff shortages as that afflicting the hospitality sector.

Alex Gutentag sets the record straight about the record of people making claims about covid vaccinations preventing the vaccinated from spreading the virus. Two slices:

Vaccine mandates were mainly rationalized through the belief that the higher the rate of vaccination, the less the virus would spread. For example, during oral arguments for Biden’s health care worker mandate, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Elena Kagan claimed that health care workers had to get vaccinated “so that you’re not transmitting the disease.” But recently, on Oct. 10, 2022, a Pfizer spokesperson told the European Parliament that the vaccines had never actually been tested for preventing transmission. While this was presented on social media as “breaking news,” the fact that the vaccines were not tested for this purpose has been documented extensively ever since Pfizer and Moderna received their original Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

During the Dec. 10, 2020, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meeting when the first mRNA vaccines were authorized, FDA adviser Dr. Patrick Moore stated, “Pfizer has presented no evidence in its data today that the vaccine has any effect on virus carriage or shedding, which is the fundamental basis for herd immunity.” Despite the data presented for individual efficacy, he continued, “we really, as of right now, do not have any evidence that it will have an impact, social-wide, on the epidemic.” The FDA EUA press release from December 2020 also confirms that there was no “evidence that the vaccine prevents transmission of SARS-COV-2 from person to person.”

Simply put, the reason many people believed the vaccines stopped transmission was because government officials and media outlets across the Western world were either careless with their words or did not tell the truth. In 2021, for instance, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Rochelle Walensky claimed that vaccinated people “do not carry the virus,” and Dr. Anthony Fauci said they would become “dead ends” for the virus. Any speculation that the vaccines significantly reduced transmission was based on limited results from independent studies and the false assumption that the vaccine would prevent infection. Without adequate evidence, vaccination campaigns called on people to get vaccinated not just for their own protection, but to help “protect others” and “save lives.”


In the case of COVID, while claiming that it was the dissenters who caused harm, it was in fact the censors and enforcers of speech restrictions who caused immense damage to the social fabric and to the lives of individuals. The excuse that medical segregation was once necessary but is no longer necessary because “the facts changed” or “the science changed” is demonstrably false. The facts didn’t change. They were just banned.

Natalya Murakhver is not about to forgive Randi Weingarten….

…. and Maud Maron is not impressed by an award to a pro-lockdown, pro-mask NYC school teacher.

Reason‘s Eric Boehm writes insightfully about American election-outcome deniers.

Emma Camp writes insightfully about an already infamous – and already deleted – tweet in which the Biden White House takes credit for a large increase in Social Security benefits. A slice:

On Monday, the White House Twitter account announced that “seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership.” However, the account quickly deleted the tweet after commenters pointed out the obvious: the increase wasn’t due to Biden’s leadership, but the rapid inflation occurring under his watch—which is massively increasing the cost of goods and services for American seniors, thus requiring under federal law that they receive larger checks.

George Will argues that Biden and Harris should – for the good of the country – remove themselves from the ballot in 2024.

GMU Econ alum Rosolino Candela and I recently chatted about the history of antitrust policy and economics.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague has some good advice for what looks increasingly likely, starting in January 2023, to be a Republican U.S. Congress.

My Mercatus Center colleagues Brian Knight and Tom Hoenig decry “the unchecked powers of federal bank regulators.”

The Cato Institute’s Jim Dorn – inspired by the work of, among others, my former teacher Leland Yeager – offers a nice tutorial on basic monetary policy. A slice:

In sum, interest rates are best left to free markets. They are relative prices that reflect tradeoffs between present and future consumption, and thus depend on consumers’ time preferences as well as on the productivity of capital. A central bank that tries to use interest rates, rather than the quantity of money, to guide monetary policy is prone to create monetary disequilibrium and distort interest rates away from their natural, market‐​determined levels—misallocating capital in the process.

According to Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, “‘Jim Crow 2.0’ was the lie of the year.” Here’s his conclusion:

“Jim Crow 2.0” was a lie. So was “Jim Crow on steroids.” Democracy is alive and well in Georgia, as throngs of early voters, white and Black alike, are proving. The state’s governor and lawmakers are entitled to an apology. They probably shouldn’t hold their breath waiting.

Aeon Skoble reminds us of the deep wisdom of John Adams.