The Nobel Prize in medicine in 2015 went to two scientists whose experiments on a type of bacteria and subsequent modifications produced a compound that led to “a new class of drugs with extraordinary efficacy against parasitic diseases,” in the words of the Nobel Prize committee.
That compound is ivermectin, which “turned out to be highly effective in both animals and humans against a variety of parasites, including those that cause River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis.” The FDA approved the drug in 1996.
That’s why U.S. doctors wrote more than 100,000 prescriptions a year for ivermectin, which comes in tablets but also in a lotion. In 2020, the FDA approved one ivermectin lotion as an over-the-counter lice treatment.
So why does the major media want you to believe that ivermectin is simply a “horse paste”?
The answer is probably because the media are more interested in scoring cheap points in the game of culture-wars by mocking rednecks and conservatives than they are in informing their readers.
Media narrative right now: “The only reason Covid isn’t over is because a bunch of dumb anti-vaxxer Trumpian hicks from rural America refuse to get vaccinated, and instead are taking horse dewormer that they read about on the internet!”
Complex realities of why Covid isn’t over:
1. The vaccines, though effective, are not nearly as effective as they were initially depicted last winter, meaning there are and will continue to be breakthrough cases (albeit fortunately milder).
2. Vaccination does lag, but it is not primarily where the media claims. Rather, the biggest gaps in vaccination are in lower income and minority communities (stats here: https://www.kff.org/…/latest-data-on-covid-19…/). The reasons for this lag are complicated, but mainly amount to the transaction costs of access, including the free time needed to get vaccinated. If the media and political class focused their attention on positive messaging and improving access in these communities, they could potentially make a sizable dent in the gap. Instead, they’ve chosen to ridicule and blame it all on a tiny fringe of anti-vaxxers.
3. The horse dewormer thing is at most a side-show that the media has pounced upon because it allows them to ridicule people they don’t like, as we saw yesterday with the fake ivermectin overdose story. It has next to zero bearing on ending the pandemic, and the only response it warrants is caveat emptor.
4. The public health messaging from Fauci et al continues to be atrocious, and is likely doing more harm than good because of all the deserved distrust it has accumulated. Insofar as public health officials have a role in ending this thing, the best thing they could do right now is shut up and contemplate how they destroyed their credibility over the last 18 months. Anything else they say at this point is counterproductive.
5. At the end of the day, Covid is becoming endemic so it will technically never “end.” Instead it will just enter the realm of the common cold. Unfortunately much of society and almost all of the political class continue to treat any Covid case it as if it’s still March 2020, which means absurd overreactions and policy driven by alarmist hype are still the dominant narrative. This will likely remain the case as long as mandatory testing regimes aimed at “discovering” covid among non-symptomatic people in the general public are common.
9/9/21 Knoxville News article lists all the last year seemingly authoritative reasons to not trust the vaccines, many of which boil down to Trump Derangement Syndrome. “This is Trump’s witchcraft so I’m against it.” The Left needs to introspect a little and stop assuming this is all ignorant deplorables.
Throughout the summer of 2020, President Donald Trump predicted that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready by year-end. Trump’s expectation was met with a wall of skeptical political, medical, and media reaction. One wonders especially about the effect on Americans predisposed to vaccine hesitancy, regardless of race, age, gender, or political party.
For example, a Sept. 16, 2020 Associated Press story quotes then-candidate Joe Biden saying, ’I trust vaccines. I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can’t, either.” As Trump told Americans a vaccine would be ready by year-end, Biden was telling American to not believe him – and that’s what dominated the headlines.
The publication Scientific American weighed in with a June 22, 2020, commentary headlined, “The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine, Telescoping testing time lines and approvals may expose all of us to unnecessary dangers.”
Speaking of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, his changing comments on masks and other subjects, including Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines, did little to build confidence.
An August 2020 Newsweek article on EUAs for COVID-19 vaccine began: “Dr. Anthony Fauci has said experimental coronavirus vaccines should not be given emergency use authorization (EUA) — especially if their effectiveness has not been proven — as it could undermine the development of others.” In Dec. 2020, the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were issued EUAs from the Food and Drug Administration.
Every American can’t be expected to have turned on a dime when the trumpeted warnings of too-quickly created vaccines were replaced – particularly post-presidential election – with the trumpeted announcements that there was now a safe and effective vaccine.
Does this mean news outlets or officials should have self-censored any stories questioning vaccine development? No. People needed to hear the full story and its possibilities. But instead of demonization and condemnation, people reluctant to get the vaccine should be given a bit of grace. They have justifiable reasons to wonder what to believe, and when they should believe it. And the organizations that for so long warned them should spend an equivalent amount of time explaining how, and why, the stories proved inaccurate.
I’ve held off writing about the hostages stranded by Biden in Afghanistan while the facts are sorted out. I’ve gone from Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt yesterday “Secretary of State Blinken: This Is Not a Hostage Crisis” to Michael Goodwin’s New York Post column “Plane truth of Biden’s Afghanistan botch” to Peter Hasson’s FOX News story “State Department obstruction of private rescue flights from Afghanistan revealed in leaked email.” Joe Concha brings it all home nicely in the tweet below.
Source: Whole lotta lyin’ goin’ on
When someone sets aside their first-hand experience, statisticians are hoping – perhaps even assuming – that they rely on random sampling instead. In the real world, however, almost no one does this. For the vast majority of human beings, the alternative to first-hand experience is not statistics, but news. And compared to news, first-hand experience is ultra-reliable, for a long list of reasons.
1. Random error. Since the news is a vast industry, this might seem like a minor problem. Due to severe media herding, however, the problem remains severe. Journalists are not independent draws, but echoes in a vast echo chamber.
2. Selection bias. Journalists are far from average humans. They are highly-educated and highly-left-wing. Even more importantly, they are desperately trying to grab people’s attention with shocking anecdotes and images. What’s more, they have impressive resources to hunt down these shocking anecdotes and images. The upshot is that media selection bias is literally off the charts. What they choose to show is outside the first-hand experience all humans on Earth. By which I mean that zero humans have personally experienced all – or even a tiny sliver – of the horrors on the news.
3. Availability bias. After filtering reality through the biases of their ideology and need to grab people’s attention, journalists take the distillate and run it through yet another filter: their own memories. So when they bring up old stories, or provide context for new stories, they are piling bias on bias.
As you may have heard, when you see moonshine marked “XXX,” this means that the liquid has been filtered three times. Each filtration raises the alcohol content. This is a fine metaphor for the media. Journalists filter their experience over and over until they have a final product strong enough to make you blind.
By comparison, then, first-hand experience is a fountain of truth. If statisticians tell you to fear something you’ve never experienced during decades of life, you may want to consider the possibility that you’ve led a charmed life. If the media tells you the same thing, however, the wise response is to roll your eyes and rely on your first-hand experience. While you’re not an average human, your first-hand experience almost certainty tells you that racism is rare, serious crime is ultra-rare, that terrorism is basically non-existent, and that the vast majority of people in rich countries are materially prosperous. The media are in no position to “correct” you – or anyone, really. Politics aside, they are practically the most biased source on Earth.
Dennis Prager likes to tell of the time he was due to give a talk some distance away from where he had spent the night in a hotel.
The news was full of warnings of a horrible blizzard on its way. The weather looked fine. He decided to drive to the location.
The weather stayed fine, and there was hardly any traffic. The blizzard never materialized, but everyone was staying off the road because of the news of the horrible blizzard. People were putting more faith in the news reports than their own eyes.
Hat tip: Some Non-Covid Links
I hope this will not be the last in this series, since I still am in expectation of the massive voter fraud of 2020 to be corrected, but by what means, even the wise cannot foresee.
EIGHT VINDICATIONS: Or, Eight time Trump Derangement News Stories the Fake News Finally Admits were Fake All Along.
Please note that in preparation for this column, none — I say again, not one — of the debunked stories could be found using the Google search engine’s first page or two of results. I had to use Duck Duck Go.
Trump ordered peaceful protesters be tear-gassed for a photo-op
The ‘lab leak’ was a ‘conspiracy theory’
Trump ignored Russian bounties on US soldiers
Trump told Georgia officials to ‘find the fraud’
Trump said white supremacists were ‘fine people’
Trump referred to illegal immigrants as ‘animals’
Trump ‘flat-out lied’ when he said his campaign was wiretapped
Trump removed MLK Jr. bust
Trump mocked Dead Soldiers as ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’
Source: Not Tired of Winning Yet CLV
I THINK I KNOW THE ANSWER: Are Activists Protecting Asians from Hate–Or Protecting Their Narrative of White Supremacy from Criticism?
Asia Society, the global NGO dedicated to “forging closer ties between Asia and the West through arts, education, policy and business,” recently shared a video in which activist Manjusha P. Kulkarni spoke about anti-Asian attacks in the United States. Kulkarni, whose own group self-describes as a “national coalition addressing anti-Asian hate amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” emphasised that anti-black bigotry was causing people to falsely attribute these anti-Asian attacks to African American perpetrators:
And I will tell you that while we don’t collect ethnic specific data on perpetrators … we know that it is a very small minority that are African-American. And in fact, when we look at these broader types of discrimination, the ones that involve civil-rights violations, of course, we know that those are institutional actors, heads of businesses, et cetera, and that these are the folks who often, because of positions of power that they are in, are actually white.
The United States has witnessed some truly shocking anti-Asian attacks in recent months. On January 28th, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was out for a walk in San Francisco when he was violently shoved to the ground. He never regained consciousness after the assault. On January 31, in Oakland, a 91-year-old Asian man was shoved from behind, unprovoked. The same assailant later pushed a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman to the ground, resulting in the woman losing consciousness. In March, an Asian woman in Bronx was struck on the head with an umbrella by four teenage girls who accused her of spreading COVID-19. On March 21st, in Manhattan, a woman was on her way to an anti-Asian violence protest when a man tore up her sign, and hit her twice in the face. During the same month, also in Manhattan, an Asian woman was knocked to the ground and kicked when she was on her way to church—footage shows some security guards looking on and doing nothing. On April 23rd, a 61-year-old Asian man in New York was struck in the back and knocked down; the suspect then stomped on his head repeatedly. On May 2nd, two Asian women were walking on the sidewalk in New York when an individual demanded they remove their masks and then struck one of the women on the head with a hammer. On May 4th, 85-year-old Chui Fong Eng and another woman were stabbed in broad daylight in San Francisco while they waited for a bus; Eng was left with a blade in her torso, which had to be removed surgically. Also in May, a 36-year-old Asian man was pushing his baby in a stroller outside a San Francisco supermarket when he was attacked; footage shows that he was trying to block blows to the head and back as his stroller rolled away.
If you have been following the news about such anti-Asian attacks in the United States over the past few months, you may have noticed that certain narratives have become prominent. The first—promoted by CNN, the Guardian, NPR, BBC, USA Today, the Cut, and NBC News, to name just a few representative examples—is that the attacks are related to COVID-19. And it is true that there has been a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic. In some cases, the attackers have even made explicit mention of the “Chinese virus,” or accused the victim of bringing the disease to the United States. In most cases, however, it is difficult to prove that any given attack is related to the pandemic.
A second theme has been the idea that Donald Trump is to blame for anti-Asian hate. Examples here include “‘No question’ Trump’s racist rhetoric fuelled anti-Asian hate, says White House” (the Independent), “Trump’s ‘Chinese Virus’ Tweet Helped Fuel Anti-Asian Hate On Twitter, Study Finds” (Forbes), and “U.S. outrage over Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric took a new turn this week after shootings at spas near Atlanta” (ABC News).
It certainly wasn’t helpful for the then-US president to describe COVID-19 as “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu,” especially when there are so many people who cannot seem to understand the distinction between the Chinese government and Asian Americans. There also seems to be a link between his expressions of bigotry and the appearance of copycat anti-Asian memes online. However, it was not until the beginning of 2021—nearly a year after the pandemic began, and a time when Trump was already out of office—when the surge in senseless attacks on Asian Americans began to be widely reported. The timing here is not consistent with the idea that Trump played a major role.
A third media narrative has been that anti-Asian violence is caused by white supremacy. At CNN, the headline was “White supremacy and hate are haunting Asian Americans.” At the State Press in Arizona, “Anti-Asian racism is a product of white supremacist norms that must be eliminated.” At the Conversation, “White supremacy is the root of all race-related violence in the US.”
Paradoxically, the backdrop to these articles is that in many cases—including every one of the examples I mentioned earlier in this essay—the suspects were found to be black. Explaining why black attacks on Asian victims is really the fault of white supremacy may seem difficult, but a surprisingly large number of writers and scholars have shown themselves eager to take up the challenge.
This brings us to the issue of crime statistics. Pandika bases her claims on a University of Michigan Virulent Hate Project study of news articles that describe incidents of anti-Asian racism. “In the 4,337 news articles that we reviewed, we identified 1,023 unique incidents of anti-Asian racism that occurred in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2020,” the authors reported. And while “only a small fraction of news articles explicitly identified the race of the individuals who harassed or discriminated against Asian and Asian American people … in the few harassment incidents for which the news media explicitly stated the race of the offender, the majority of perpetrators of anti-Asian harassment were reported to be male and white.”
On page 14 of the study, we learn that the race of offenders was explicitly identified in only 57 anti-Asian harassment incidents. Of these 57 incidents, white individuals were reported as perpetrators in 44, Blacks in six, Hispanics in four, Chinese in three, Vietnamese in one. “The information that we have,” the authors conclude, “while limited and imperfect, does not support the common claim that Black hostility is driving the current epidemic of anti-Asian racism and violence.”
There are a few problems here, however. The first is that the data isn’t comprised of actual crime statistics, but just information gleaned from news articles. And even within those news article, only a tiny minority mention the perpetrator’s race. As the authors themselves note, “reporting practices might differ by the race of the perpetrator, and it is not clear how news outlets and individual reporters chose to navigate the complex issue of racial identification in its coverage of specific incidents discussed in the articles we reviewed.”
In regard to actual hate crimes, as that term is defined by the FBI, Voice of America has reported that “only two of the 20 people arrested last year in connection with [New York City anti-Asian hate crime] attacks were white, according to New York Police Department data analyzed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Eleven were African Americans, six were white Hispanics and one was a Black Hispanic.” According to the reporter, Masood Farivar, “most police departments do not publish this kind of data, but anecdotal evidence suggests the pattern seen in New York has emerged in other cities, as well.”
For the past twelve months, the mainstream media has been peddling the view that President Trump had the U.S. Park Police use tear gas to disperse protesters in Lafayette Park so that he could have a photo-op in front of a church on the other side of the park. I never accepted this version of events because I never accept on faith the truth of anything the mainstream media says about Trump.
At the same time, the MSM version, even if true, didn’t bother me. Presidents should be permitted to cross Lafayette Park for any purpose. The protesters had had their say, and not always peaceably. They had no right to limit Trump’s movement indefinitely.
It turns out, however, that the media’s narrative was false. After an extensive investigation, the independent Inspector General of the Interior Department, Mark Lee Greenblatt, has concluded that the protesters weren’t dispersed to facilitate a Trump photo-op.
They were dispersed, instead, to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that the “mostly peaceful protesters” had recently inflicted. Greenblatt found that “the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day.” (Emphasis added)
Greenblatt, by the way, held important positions in the Obama administration. He was investigative counsel at the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at Obama’s Commerce Department. He is not a GOP or Trump partisan.
Glenn Greenwald does a great job of cataloguing the mainstream media’s falsehoods about this matter. Among the offenders (let’s call them fabulists to be polite) he calls out are NPR, the New York Times, CNN, George Stephanopoulos, the Intercept, and Washington Post “fact checker” Philip Bump.
In short, a rogues’ gallery of dishonest anti-Trumpers.
And speaking of rogues, let’s not forget Kamala Harris. She said:
Last night I watched as President Trump, having gassed peaceful protesters just so he could do this photo op, then he went on to teargas priests who were helping protesters in Lafayette Park.
How did all of these outlets and individuals get it so wrong? That’s an easy one. They had no interest in getting it right. Their only interest was to trash the U.S. president because they hate him. The truth was of no concern to them.
Greenwald concludes his piece by pounding home the reality that, at least for me, has been the main theme of Power Line for 19 years:
Over and over we see the central truth: the corporate outlets that most loudly and shrilly denounce “disinformation” — to the point of demanding online censorship and de-platforming in the name of combating it — are, in fact, the ones who spread disinformation most frequently and destructively. It is hard to count how many times they have spread major fake stories in the Trump years.
For that reason, they have nobody but themselves to blame for the utter collapse in trust and faith on the part of the public, which has rightfully concluded they cannot and should not be believed.
UPDATE: The Post’s Phillip Bump says there are still “lingering questions” about this matter. He clings to the view that Attorney General William Barr is to blame.
John Sexton shows that Bump’s salvage effort is in vain.
The fake media narrative became a big election issue. Per the report, “the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31.” The post first appeared on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion.
Here we are a year later, and an IG report released just today confirms Trump and Barr were telling the truth the entire time:
We found that the USPP had the authority and discretion to clear Lafayette Park and the surrounding areas on June 1. The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John’s Church. Instead, the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31. Further, the evidence showed that the USPP did not know about the President’s potential movement until mid- to late afternoon on June 1—hours after it had begun developing its operational plan and the fencing contractor had arrived in the park.
A new study shows that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), the antimalarial drug, combined with azithromycin (AZM), could increase the rate of survival by nearly three times for severely ill COVID-19 patients. The observation study analyzed 255 mechanically ventilated patients at the Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey.
“We found that when the cumulative doses of two drugs, HCQ and AZM, were above a certain level, patients had a survival rate 2.9 times the other patients,” the study, published by medRxiv. says in its conclusion.
By using causal analysis and considering of weight-adjusted cumulative dose, we prove the combined therapy, >3 g HCQ and > 1g AZM greatly increases survival in Covid patients on IMV and that HCQ cumulative dose > 80 mg/kg works substantially better. These data do not yet apply to hospitalized patients not on IMV. Since those with higher doses of HCQ had higher doses of AZM, we cannot solely attribute the causal effect to HCQ/AZM combination therapy. However, it is likely AZM does contribute significantly to this increase in survival rate. Since higher dose HCQ/AZM therapy improves survival by nearly 200% in this population, the safety data are moot.
An analysis of hospitalized COVID patients from last year in New York State’s largest health system found that the death rate of COVID-19 patients on mechanical ventilation was 88 percent, compared to 21 percent overall, when treated with the HCQ/AZM combination.
There have now been over 250 studies into hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness in treating COVID-19, the overwhelming majority of them showing positive results. Studies on early treatment with the drug showed a 66% improvement in mortality rates. But the media chose to ignore those studies, instead deciding to report on a few heavily flawed studies that allegedly showed the drug was either ineffective or increased mortality.
Dr. Fauci also dismissed the drug’s potential for treating COVID patients, claiming that “valid” scientific data showed hydroxychloroquine wasn’t effective in treating COVID-19.
Last year, as data continued to show that hydroxychloroquine was actually effective in treating COVID-19, doctors who spoke out in support of the drug were censored.
And the human cost of this media assault on hydroxychloroquine was catastrophic. One analysis suggests that over 2.4 million lives worldwide have been unnecessarily lost because hydroxychloroquine was not being widely used as a COVID therapeutic. That’s a lot of people who may have died unnecessarily just because the media hated Trump.
Every good prosecutor will tell you that the best case is a strong circumstantial case — and that’s exactly what we have.
What NR’s Jim Geraghty has chronicled for months is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the coronavirus pandemic was generated by an accident — a lab leak, a not-uncommon mishap in medical research conducted by fallible human beings — at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Ditto the important work of Nicholas Wade, Vanity Fair’s Katherine Eban, our own Michael Brendan Dougherty, and a few intrepid others.
Lab accidents are common, and have been known to spawn infectious diseases (including the escape of SARS1 from the Chinese National Virology Institute in Beijing “no less than four times,” according to Wade). WIV scientists were conducting gain-of-function research on bat-based coronaviruses, in particular their capacity to infect humans. The bats in which are found closely related (but, importantly, not identical) viruses do not inhabit the vicinity of Wuhan — they are nearly a thousand miles away from that densely populated city and have limited flight range. The likelihood of naturally occurring interspecies transmission (outside a lab setting) is infinitesimal. The lab conditions in Wuhan were insufficiently safe — grossly so, it appears. Several of the lab’s researchers fell ill (at least three severely enough to be hospitalized) right at the critical time, in autumn of 2019, before the first identified case of infection with SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Here, two additional points are salient. First, those implausibly claiming that the circumstantial case is weak always skip past the inconvenient fact that the circumstantial case for their preferred theory of natural transmission (from bat to human, directly or through an intermediary species) is so weak as to be negligible — there being, most tellingly, no known existence of a bat (or pangolin, etc.) in which a virus matching SARS-CoV2 has been found.
Over at “Starts With a Bang”, we have a dissenting view:
Despite the enormous scientific knowledge humanity has gained, however, an unfounded conspiracy theory about the virus’s origin has gained a lot of traction: that it was genetically engineered with the purpose of infecting humans, that it was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and that’s where it came from. Most recently, disgraced journalist Nicholas Wade has penned an error-filled, misleading piece promoting this nonsense, but the science tells a different story.Starts With a Bang
Essentially, we don’t have the technology to engineer a virus without lots of human testing, which would have been noticed.
Nothing, though, that I’ve seen disproving the notion that a naturally occurring virus might have been accidentally released from the lab in Wuhan.