“No country can be called free which is governed by an absolute power,” Thomas Painewrote in 1776. The Founders realized the danger of vesting absolute power in one branch of government, and so they divided power into three branches. Legislation is passed in Congress, where a large and diverse nation’s elected representatives weigh in. This process may slow (or even stop) policies favored by Republican or Democratic administrations, but it provides a clear avenue for change: Persuade more people; win more elections.
That hasn’t stopped the Biden administration from usurping Congress’s authority. The administration has repeatedly used the pandemic as an excuse to justify acting without congressional authority, but the Supreme Court stopped many of these efforts. In 2021 the high court ended a moratorium on the eviction of renters imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2022 the justices blocked a vaccine mandate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration forced on employers.
The market forces so derided by protectionist supporters like President Biden are the very features that generate economic growth. Without markets free from government meddling, there’s simply no way individuals, let alone enlightened trade officials, can allocate resources to industries with the highest potential to satisfy consumer needs.
At 2:00pm EST today, Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Marty Makary will testify before a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives on “Preparing For the Future By Learning From the Past: Examining COVID Policy Decisions.”
Misinformation #5: Young people benefit from a vaccine booster
Boosters reduced hospitalizations in older, high-risk Americans. But the evidence was never there that they lower COVID mortality in young healthy people. That’s probably why the CDC chose not to publish their data on hospitalization rates among boosted Americans under 50, when they published the same rates for those over 50.
Ultimately, White House pressure to recommend boosters for all was so intense, that the FDA’s two top vaccine experts left the agency in protest, writing scathing articles on how the data did not support boosters for young people.
Misinformation #10: One in five people get long COVID
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that 20% of COVID infections can result in long COVID. But a U.K. study found that only 3% of COVID patients had residual symptoms lasting 12 weeks. What explains the disparity?
It’s often normal to experience mild fatigue or weakness for weeks after being sick and inactive and not eating well. Calling these cases long COVID is the medicalization of ordinary life.
What’s most amazing about all the misinformation conveyed by CDC and public health officials, is that there has been no apologies for holding on to their recommendations for so long after the data became apparent that they were dead wrong. Public health officials said “you must” when the correct answer should have been “we’re not sure.”
Early on, in the absence of good data, public health officials chose a path of stern paternalism. Today, they are in denial of a mountain of strong studies showing that they were wrong.