The Eight Worst Media Lies About Trump’s COVID-19 Response

8. Trump turned down testing kits from WHO

7. Trump told governors they were “on their own”

6. Trump “dissolved” the WH pandemic response office

5. Trump ignored early intel briefings on a possible pandemic

4. There was a ventilator shortage

3. Trump “muzzled” Dr. Fauci

2. Trump called the COVID-19 virus “a hoax”

1. Claiming hydroxychloroquine was dangerous

There are currently over a hundred studies on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 (most of them peer-reviewed) that overwhelmingly show positive results, particularly when administered early. For example, a study published a month ago out of Saudi Arabia found that “Early intervention with HCQ-based therapy in patients with mild to moderate symptoms at presentation is associated with lower adverse clinical outcomes among COVID-19 patients, including hospital admissions, ICU admission, and/or death.”

Another study published in early September of nursing home patients found that patients not treated with hydroxychloroquine had a mortality rate more than five times higher than those who were treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. Back in July, a large-scale, peer-reviewed study conducted by the Henry Ford Health System concluded that hydroxychloroquine successfully lowered mortality rates for hospitalized COVID patients.

Source: The Eight Worst Media Lies About Trump’s COVID-19 Response

Why mRNA vaccines could revolutionise medicine

My article for Spectator:

Almost 60 years ago, in February 1961, two teams of scientists stumbled on a discovery at the same time. Sydney Brenner in Cambridge and Jim Watson at Harvard independently spotted that genes send short-lived RNA copies of themselves to little machines called ribosomes where they are translated into proteins. ‘Sydney got most of the credit, but I don’t mind,’ Watson sighed last week when I asked him about it.

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The message tells the cell to make part of one of the virus’s proteins which then alerts the body’s immune system. Once invented, the thing is like a general-purpose vaccine. You simply rewrite the message between the same opening and closing sequences, put it in the same kind of bubble, and fire it off — almost as easy for genetic engineers these days as writing a text is for teenagers. It is faster, cheaper, safer and simpler than the old ways of making vaccines.

More conventional vaccine designs may still make a vital contribution to defeating the pandemic, Oxford’s included. And the messenger method has its drawbacks, such as the need for extreme cold storage. But in the long run, messengers probably represent the future of vaccines. Now the principle has been approved by regulators, there may be no need to go through the same laborious and expensive three-phase clinical trials every time. Faced with a truly lethal pandemic — with a 10 per cent mortality rate, say — the vanishingly small likelihood that a new messenger vaccine would be unsafe pales into insignificance. You could deploy it in weeks or days.

What is more, at the cost of a few billion dollars, the world may now be able to build a library of messenger vaccines for every plausible coronavirus and influenza virus with pandemic potential we can find, test them in animals and store the recipes on a hard disk, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Moderna’s vaccine was first synthesised in mid-January, before we even knew the coronavirus was coming out of China.

I’m on a drug which is a monoclonal antibody designed to attack a specific antigen on my cancer. Other treatments involve taking T cells and modifying them so they’ll attack cancer. Why not program a mRNA vaccine to attack those same antigens?

Source: Why mRNA vaccines could revolutionise medicine

Doing the math on battery storage

Here is the reality when it comes to the scale needed to reliably back up intermittent renewables. For simplicity let us suppose New York City is 100% wind powered. Including solar in the generating mix makes it more complicated but does not change the unhappy outcome very much.

NYC presently peaks at around 32,000 MW needed to keep the lights on. If Mr. Biden makes all the cars and trucks electric it might be closer to 50,000 MW but let’s stick to reality.

So for reliability we need, say, seven days of backup, which is 168 hours. Here’s the math:

32,000 MW x 168 hours = 5,376,000 MWh of stored juice needed to just make it. Mind you for normal reliability we usually add 20% or so. Did I mention electric cars?

It is easy to see that a trivial 400 MWh is not “significant scale.” It is infinitesimal scale. Nothing. Nada. Might as well not exist.

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So what would it cost to reliably back up wind power, at this MWh cost and NYC’s scale? Just over $8,000,000,000,000 or EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS. I have not seen this stupendous sum mentioned in the media. Perhaps Con Ed has not mentioned it.

New York can’t buy its way out of blackouts

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 4 Things That Would Happen If We Eliminated Compulsory Schooling: Eliminati…

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 4 Things That Would Happen If We Eliminated Compulsory Schooling: Eliminating compulsory schooling laws would break the century-and-a-half stranglehold of schooling on education.

History books detailing the “common school movement” and the push for universal, compulsory schooling perpetuate the myths that Americans were illiterate prior to mass schooling, that there were limited education options available, and that mandating school attendance under a legal threat of force was the surest way toward equality.

Source: K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 4 Things That Would Happen If We Eliminated Compulsory Schooling: Eliminati…

When Being Woke Becomes Criminal — and Deadly

Those government entities that have prioritized giving the Covid-19 virus to groups other than the elderly for racist reasons should be prosecuted under our civil rights laws. The wokeratti in local, state, and federal government are all for prioritizing distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to non-white populations in order to achieve ‘racial justice.

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If we are going to honor the Constitution and the laws of our nation, then we should be deciding likewise, that the sole criteria for distribution should be minimizing mortality of American citizens.  But, if we are not going to do that — if we are now a post-Constitutional tribal society where members of the white tribe are valued below other tribes, then we all need to be playing by tribal rules. (The quotations below are from Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.)

Stone Age tribes were exceptionally deadly, opting for unending stealth warfare with an appallingly high attrition rate:

A party of men will slink into an enemy village before dawn, fire arrows into the first men who emerge from their huts in the morning to pee, and then shooting the others as they rush out of their huts to see what the commotion is about. They may thrust their spears through walls, shoot arrows through doorways or chimneys, and set the huts on fire. They can kill a lot of drowsy people before the villagers organize themselves in defense, by which time the attackers have melted back into the forest.

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Pinker notes that a society with a rate of 100 homicides per 100,000 would mean that “violence would start to affect you personally: assuming you have a hundred relatives, friends, and close acquaintances, then over the course of a decade one of them would probably be killed.”

With the above numbers in  mind, what does Pinker was happening in non-state tribal societies, i.e., tribal societies? “The average annual rate of death in warfare for the nonstate societies is 524 per 100,000….” Oh, my!

So, if we are now a tribal society . . . FUCK YOU. It’s tit for tat.   Just like virtually every member of every tribe in history, I will see you see you dead before any member of my tribe.

Source: When Being Woke Becomes Criminal — and Deadly

Be careful what you wish for.

More on Lockdowns and the Presumption of Liberty

(Don Boudreaux) Tweet Here’s a letter to a personal friend: Mr. P____ P____: Thanks for your e-mail in which you dissent in part from the position I take in my letter to Matt Zwolinski . You write that “Closing bars, for e.g., does impair freedom, but appears to be effective.

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What is ironclad for me is starting with this presumption, one that imposes the burden of persuasion always on those who would restrict liberty.

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These three additional conditions are:

(1) Lockdowns are likely to reduce total premature deaths, and not only during the lockdown period but after lockdowns are ended. On this matter, as I said in my letter to Matt, the evidence is murky. A large number of studies show that lockdowns actually don’t work. Of course pro-lockdowners dismiss these studies as being flawed, preferring those studies that show that lockdowns save lives. But many of the ‘anti-lockdown’ studies are done by prominent researchers with no obvious ideological axes to grind. I believe that these studies deserve attention.

(2) There are no less-restrictive plausible means of achieving the same or similar reductions of mortality and morbidity as are achieved by lockdowns. In the case of Covid-19, because the risks fall overwhelmingly on the very elderly and ill, it seems to me that responsibility for remaining isolated falls on them, as opposed to compelling everyone to stay home and out of public places.

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(3) A third bit of additional persuasion that pro-lockdowners must achieve in order to overcome the presumption of liberty is that the means of lockdowns are unlikely to create precedents for the abuse of power in the future.

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As an empirical matter, I don’t deny that humanity might one day be struck by a disease so contagious, so insidious, so indiscriminate, and so lethal that measures as draconian as we’ve suffered in 2020 might be justified even from a pro-liberty perspective. But I’m now convinced that Covid-19 doesn’t remotely come close to being such a disease.

Governments’ responses to Covid-19 have been, and continue to be, massively out of proportion to this danger. And apologists for the lockdowns continue to ignore the strongest arguments against their position. These lockdown apologists repeatedly slay straw men – theatrical feats falsely portrayed by the media as decisive victories against quacks and goofy clowns. None of this gives me even small confidence that lockdown policies come from a rational and well-considered place.

Source: More on Lockdowns and the Presumption of Liberty

2020 Did Bring Some Good News

Was 2020 the worst year ever? The media keep saying that. We did have the pandemic, a bitter election, unemployment, riots, and a soaring national debt. But wait, look at the good news, says historian Johan Norberg . His new book, Open: The Story of Human Progress , points out how life keeps getting better, even if people just don’t realize it. 2020 was “the best year in human history to face a pandemic,” he says.

Had the pandemic happened in 2005, “You wouldn’t have the technology to create mRNA vaccines.”

“In 1990,” he continues, “we wouldn’t have a worldwide web. If we had had this pandemic in 1976, we wouldn’t have been able to read the genome of the virus. And…in 1950, we wouldn’t have had a single ventilator.”

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“If you look at specifics like global poverty, child mortality, chronic undernourishment, and illiteracy,” Norberg replies, “they all declined faster than ever.”

Those things are pretty good measures of quality of life.

“Literacy might be the most important skill,” says Norberg. “It’s the skill that makes it possible to acquire other skills. We’ve never seen literacy at these high levels ever before. [Even] in the most problematic countries around the world, it’s better than it was in the richest countries 50, 60 years ago. That’s most important for those who have the least.”

Source: 2020 Did Bring Some Good News

Some Covid Links

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins – one of the few prominent American journalists to avoid Covid Derangement Syndrome – writes again wisely on Covid-19, officials’ and media’s misleading statements about it, and the resulting calamitous response. A slice:

Inexplicably, authorities, including the World Health Organization, insisted on promoting a fatality rate they knew was exaggerated because of the failure to account for mild infections. To this day, U.S. officialdom and the media dwell on a nearly meaningless “confirmed” case count, knowing full well that doing so is innumerate and unstatistical. It’s a mystery and my only explanation is that they are afraid to stop because it portrays the disease as more deadly than it is (supporting the case for urgency) and also less prevalent than it is (supporting the case that it can somehow be contained).

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Rob Slane describes 2020 as “the year we sold our liberties for a medical tyranny.”A slice:

And here’s US President Dwight Eisenhower saying much the same thing in his farewell address in 1961: ‘Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.’

Sound familiar?

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Finally, for those of you still clinging to the ridiculous notion that government officials can be trusted to “follow” the very science that they insist must be followed, Phil Magness has some information that you might wish to consult.

Source: Some Covid Links