Some Covid Links

Phil Magness recalls Anthony Fauci’s reckless fear-mongering, nearly 40 years ago, on AIDS. A slice:

The damage was already done though, as the media went to work stoking alarm about AIDS transmission through simple routine contacts. Hundreds of newspapers disseminated the distressing theory from Fauci’s article. Writing a few weeks later, conservative columnist Pat Buchanan enlisted Fauci as the centerpiece of a rebuttal against Health and Human Services Secretary Margaret Heckler, who told him “there is no evidence…that the general population is threatened by [AIDS].”

On July 14, both Buchanan’s column and its excerpt of Fauci’s article were entered into the congressional record along with moralizing commentary that assigned blame for the disease to homosexual establishments and gatherings. Unfounded fears of transmission risk through simple contact, and accompanying social ostracization of the disease’s victims, became one of the most notorious and harmful missteps of the entire AIDS crisis.

….

And here’s David Harsanyi on Fauci.

…..

This story of American ineptitude in the face of a pandemic, popular among statists, pessimists, and left-wingers pining for federalized control over states, is a myth. The United States has performed just as well as most Western nations, where fatality rates are between 100 and 190 per 100,000, with variations most likely due to density, climate, inherent social behavior, or, one imagines, reasons yet to be figured out. This is true before we even begin taking into consideration the disparity in ways nations count fatalities, the meticulousness with which they count them, or the transparency with which they report them.

 

Source: Some Covid Links

Are lockdowns one of the most catastrophic policy errors of the century?

Dennis Prager has arguedyes“.

When respected scientific experts sitting on prestigious governmental advisory committees warned citizens early last year that the only way to protect themselves against Covid-19 was to shut down their businesses and stay at home until public health officials deemed it safe to come out again, most complied, even at great personal and economic cost.

The result has been one of the most far-reaching and unprecedented social experiments of modern times: the systematic and mandatory paralysis of a large swathe of normal social activity, including schooling, work, leisure, and mobility. If this giant experiment had been run on a one-off basis for a few weeks, the impact might have been moderate; but as it morphed into “rolling” lockdowns, the cure became far worse than the disease.

….

The question is, what have been the fruits of this giant public policy experiment? Have lockdowns actually been vindicated by their net benefits?

In order to adequately address this question, we must be clear on one thing: the appropriate benchmark for assessing the merits of lockdown policies is not just their capacity to reduce Covid infections or deaths, but their capacity to advance the overall health and well-being of affected populations.

….

The predictable harms of lockdowns, which will have to be carefully documented and tallied over the coming months and years, are extensive.

They include the worst global recession, according to World Bank analysts, since World War II, and dramatic increases in poverty and unemployment (currently at 25% in Ireland, including recipients of Covid payments according to the Central Office of Statistics), which are known to bring in their train declines in mental and physical health. This is also resulting in reduced public funding for healthcare due to a depressed economy; and an increase in social inequality, as day labourers and contract workers are uniquely vulnerable to the economic shock of lockdowns.

….

AOC Blamed Trump for Assaults on Elderly Asians; The Attacker was Muslim

When a video of an assault on a 91-year-old Asian man went viral, the media and civil rights groups were quick to blame President Trump for using the term, “Chinese Virus”.

“We stand with our Asian American & Pacific Islander community against the rising tide of racism and hate crimes that have been stoked to a fever pitch, much of amplified by the actions of our last president,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tweeted another false accusation.

But when the perpetrator was arrested, he turned out to be Muslim.

Yahya Muslim had allegedly attacked a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman the same day. His arrest told a larger story about why Asian people are really being attacked in Oakland.

Source: AOC Blamed Trump for Assaults on Elderly Asians; The Attacker was Muslim

“The Possibility of a [Wuhan] Laboratory Accident or Leak” “Must Be Investigated”

So wrote the Washington Post editorial board Friday:

Many scientists have speculated that the virus leaped from animals, such as bats, to humans, perhaps with an intermediate stop in another animal. This kind of zoonotic spillover has occurred before, such as in the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014.

But there is another pathway, also plausible, that must be investigated. That is the possibility of a laboratory accident or leak. It could have involved a virus that was improperly disposed of or perhaps infected a laboratory worker who then passed it to others.

Source: [Eugene Volokh] “The Possibility of a [Wuhan] Laboratory Accident or Leak” “Must Be Investigated”

Toby Young replies again to Christopher Snowdon.

Toby Young replies again to Christopher Snowdon.

Christopher Snowdon has now done what he failed to do in his original attack on lockdown sceptics in Quillette: he has engaged with the main plank of the sceptics’ case. Our central argument, as I explained in my reply to his article, is that lockdowns cause more harm than they prevent. I cited the wealth of evidence that lockdowns are largely ineffective, as well as the equally voluminous evidence that they cause social and economic damage. And I did my best to show that while some of this harm might be a ‘pandemic effect’ rather than a ‘lockdown effect’, the non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that governments have made across the world have exacerbated this damage.

….

The idea that the alternative to lockdown is to do nothing – that sceptics’ just want to “let it rip” – is a familiar straw man in this debate, and not just when Piers Morgan gets on a tear. In one of the most influential papers produced by the modelling team at Imperial College – known colloquially as Flaxman et al and published on June 11th – the researchers argued that the lockdowns in 11 European countries, including the UK, saved 3.1 million lives. But that claim was based on the assumption that 95% of the populations of those countries would have been infected with COVID-19 in the absence of any NPIs. Setting aside the fact that pre-existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is almost certainly higher than 5%, it’s absurd to claim that people would have just carried on as normal in the face of a global pandemic if they hadn’t been ordered to change their behaviour by their governments. Indeed, this conception of democratic citizens – as mouth-breathing troglodytes who will march towards their own destruction without a benign state forcing them to act in their own best interests – is one Chris has objected to many times before.

No doubt Chris thinks this is a fatal concession on our part since if we acknowledge that voluntary social distancing measures work, how can we deny that involuntary measures work? Here, I think, Chris has misunderstood our argument. When we say that lockdowns are largely ineffective – largely, but not completely – we are not questioning the basic logic of germ theory. Rather, our contention is that the illiberal things governments across the world have done in an attempt to control the virus have not resulted in fewer people dying than if they’d taken a more liberal approach, i.e., one that respected our individual rights and our status as rational beings capable of carrying out our own risk assessments.

Source: Some Covid Links

The Virus Lessons We’re Getting Wrong

In the New Yorker’s recent Covid opus, which took up an entire edition of the magazine, these lessons don’t appear. It cites two “missed opportunities” to defeat the virus: China’s failure to fess up about human-to-human transmission and the early U.S. testing fiascoes.

It’s wrong about both. Covid was out of the bag globally before Beijing even knew it existed. And U.S. testing could hardly have isolated early Covid sufferers when 59% of spreaders have no symptoms and most of the sick have symptoms indistinguishable from the colds and flus millions suffer every day.

The new coronavirus was an efficient spreader and was not going to be stopped, as much as politics resists the idea of realities that can’t be changed by politics.

A third “missed opportunity” was mask adoption, but masks are only one element of social distancing. Research by the Covid States Project shows that, starting early last summer, Americans donned masks but curtailed their physical separation, contributing to the year-end surge.

We can intelligently say only that America’s social distancing could have been better. It also could have been worse.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Covid: A Rich Man’s Virus

What if the coronavirus had spread, but had never been diagnosed or detected? Would life have been any different absent the discovery of what has caused a massive global panic among politicians?

It’s not an unreasonable question. Really, ask yourself what politicians and nail-biting media members would have done 100 years ago if the virus had revealed itself. Since work was a destination for realistically everyone, there’s no way there could have been lockdowns. People would have revolted.

….

As this column has long stated, the coronavirus is a rich man’s virus. It’s not just that the rich and generally well-to-do had portable jobs that mostly survived the mindless lockdowns, it’s not just that the break from reality we were forced to endure could have only happened in a rich country, it’s also the case that only in a country and world in which the elderly are truly old would the virus have any notable association with death. People live longer today, and they do because major healthcare advances born of wealth creation made living longer possible. We wouldn’t have noticed this virus 100 years ago. We weren’t rich enough.

….

Considering how connected China was and still is to the rest of the world, logic dictates that the virus was infecting people globally long before politicians panicked. In that case, it’s not surprising that estimates made about the number of infected Americans were always way too low. The virus is said to spread easily, even easier than the flu, and it once again started working its way around the world sometime in 2019.

Notable about its rapid spread is that life went on as it made its way around the world. As the closing months of 2019 make plain, people lived with the virus. What is most lethal to older people isn’t much noticed by those who aren’t old. A rapidly spreading virus was seemingly not much of a factor until politicians needlessly made it one.

Indeed, a virus most lethal to the very old has meek qualities when met by younger people. If they’re infected with it, all-too-many don’t find the symptoms worrisome enough that they actually get tested.

 

Source: American Institute for Economic Research

THE NEW YORK TIMES, A YEAR AGO: New York Braces for Coronavirus: ‘It’s Inevitable.’ In Queens,…

THE NEW YORK TIMES, A YEAR AGO: New York Braces for Coronavirus: ‘It’s Inevitable.’ In Queens, some who recently returned from China have even self-quarantined. But officials have urged calm.

The London Independent, a year ago: ‘If it happens, it happens’: In New York City’s Chinatown, it’s business as usual despite coronavirus fears.

And BuzzFeed, a year ago:

Source: THE NEW YORK TIMES, A YEAR AGO: New York Braces for Coronavirus: ‘It’s Inevitable.’ In Queens,…

Trump hatred cost lives in pandemic

Roger L. Simon: You don’t have to be Emile Zola to say “ J’accuse! ”

I accuse—in no particular order—Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ nominee and frequent Wuhan, China visitor/collaborator Dr. Anthony Fauci; the Democrat Party (aka the “party of science”) and their nauseating, self-congratulatory leadership; the mainstream media and all their pompous, even more self-congratulatory “ships at sea” from the New York Times to CNN; Dr. Birx and whatever bureaucrat from the CDC was showing his/her face this week; the endless echo chamber in practically every health department in all fifty states; the foreign health departments that largely echoed that echo chamber; Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York (more of him in a moment); Governor Whitmer of Michigan; that atrocious governor of Nevada whose name I can’t remember or bother to look up…. I could go on… all of whom participated in what has emerged to be what is indisputably the greatest national, no, international, health disaster of our time—the Hydroxychloroquine Scandal.

….

And yet hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) apparently did and does work in many instances, if taken early in the illness.

This was known way back in June 2020 when the esteemed British medical journal Lancet retracted its support of a dubious study it had published opposing the use of HCQ.

“We all entered this collaboration to contribute in good faith and at a time of great need during the COVID-19 pandemic. We deeply apologise to you, the editors, and the journal readership for any embarrassment or inconvenience that this may have caused.”

This apology, made eight months ago, was largely ignored by the mainstream media because it didn’t fit their narrative. And, worse yet, it might have benefited the nefarious Trump.

Source: Trump hatred cost lives in pandemic

HCQ science is settled.

Remember when science said HCQ was useless against Covid-19? Now science says it’s an effective early medical treatment that helped 67 percent of the people to whom it was prescribed. And yes, taking zinc will help stave it off.

Source:

Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection – American Journal of Medicine

VOLUME 134, ISSUE 1P16-22, JANUARY 01, 2021

The currently completed retrospective studies and randomized trials have generally shown these findings: 1) when started late in the hospital course and for short durations of time, antimalarials appear to be ineffective, 2) when started earlier in the hospital course, for progressively longer durations and in outpatients, antimalarials may reduce the progression of disease, prevent hospitalization, and are associated with reduced mortality.

In a retrospective inpatient study of 2541 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, therapy associated with an adjusted reduction in mortality was HCQ alone (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.46, P <0.001) and HCQ with azithromycin (HR = 0.29, 95% CI 0.22-0.40, P <0.001).