“Increases in Coronavirus Cases Are Happening Mainly in States With Stricter COVID-19 Rules” – so reports Jacob Sullum. Two slices: The [Washington] Post nevertheless says “experts…agree” that rising infection numbers are largely due to “a broad loosening of public health measures, such as mask mandates and limits on indoor dining,” along with “increased spread of the more transmissible [virus] variants.” The evidence so far does not seem to support that theory. Mask mandates and stricter restaurant rules manifestly did not prevent daily cases from rising in five of the six states that the Post mentions. Other states that still require masks, including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington, likewise have seen increases in new
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The [Washington] Post nevertheless says “experts…agree” that rising infection numbers are largely due to “a broad loosening of public health measures, such as mask mandates and limits on indoor dining,” along with “increased spread of the more transmissible [virus] variants.” The evidence so far does not seem to support that theory.
Mask mandates and stricter restaurant rules manifestly did not prevent daily cases from rising in five of the six states that the Post mentions. Other states that still require masks, including Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington, likewise have seen increases in new cases, some of them sizable, since March 1. In the 18 states that do not require face masks, cases are falling or flat everywhere except Florida, which has seen an uptick since mid-March.
If you believe that government-imposed restrictions play a crucial role in reducing the spread of COVID-19, you will be inclined to blame relaxed restrictions for case increases, as the Post does. But when that assumption does not match what is happening, maybe it should be reconsidered.
A 60 Minutes story on Florida’s vaccine rollout accused Ron DeSantis, the state’s Republican governor, of making a corrupt deal with Publix to distribute the vaccine. CBS reporter Sharyn Alfonsi noted that the grocery chain donated $100,000 to DeSantis’ election campaign and suggested the lucrative vaccination contract was a “pay-to-play” scheme.
It’s an accusation that doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny: For one thing, Publix—like many large corporations—gives money to both Republicans and Democrats. But more importantly, the decision to have Publix coordinate vaccination was not even made by the governor’s office. According to Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, it was his offices that recommended Publix. Moskowitz, a Democrat, has said that Publix was the best store for the job, since it has more than 800 locations across the state.
Indeed, when Alfonsi cornered DeSantis at a press conference and asked him about Publix, he gave a lengthy explanation that largely undercut her claims. He pointed out, for instance, that it wasn’t true that Publix got the vaccines first: CVS and Walgreens had already been contracted to coordinate vaccination for long-term care facilities. Here’s a transcript of what the governor said….
Remarkably, CBS cut this portion of DeSantis’ response.
Omar S. Khan details the price of perpetual panic. Two slices:
And yet there has seemed an immunity to evidence since the onset of this malarkey (the hyping of a serious virus into an existential panic), and a disquieting appetite for economic suicide that has malingered too long, as if economic and social suicide will somehow appease the insatiable “Virus Gods”.
How is locking down a planet justified for, at worst, a relatively tame risk primarily to those at or past normal lifespan, and how does it justify destroying the lives of hundreds of millions if not billions of adults and children at virtually no risk? This question has to swell to a catechism. It is unanswerable. No one in over a year, on the “anti-life” (orthodoxy, “go with the science” and listen to Big Brother and Uncle Tech and Aunt Pharma, brigade), has ever come close to even confronting it. It is Easter weekend as I write, and this reminds us that it is time, to at least be open to resurrecting plain thinking and deferring to data over dogma.
What’s striking is not just the overwhelmingly negative response but the genuine rage on display from this normally phlegmatic readership. And it’s not just Tories – from the growing revolt across the political spectrum it seems that, whatever your leanings, there’s something in the concept of government-issued health certificates that viscerally offends.
Human rights experts like Adam Wagner have been vocal about the tendency of “temporary” powers to stick around long after promised “sunset clauses” (many of the emergency powers brought in after 9/11 are still there). The new technology and efficient databases entailed by vaccine passports make it even less likely that they would simply vanish after a year.
More alarming is this part in their summary: “Whilst the impact of Test Trace Isolate (TTI), mask wearing, hand hygiene, and Covid security on R is difficult to quantify, it will be vital to emphasise the importance of normalising and ensuring adherence to all measures even after ‘full lifting’ is achieved.” In other words, they have no idea if masks, TTI and the Orwellian-named “COVID security” (which I assume is social distancing and all the niggly little rules that busybody managerial types love) actually have any effect, but they are going to insist they become part of everyday life anyway.
The models assume – and the Imperial group advocates – that masks, TTI and “COVID security” remain indefinitely after June. They mention no end date. They seem to want to make this a new normal that lasts forever. This is typical out-of-touch, irrational and neurotic behaviour from SAGE. As we know, if everything returns to real normal, SAGE members lose their celebrity status as advisers and all that comes with it. An advisor will always advise that you need more advice and keeping masks, TTI and “Covid security” allow them to do just that.
Kate Dunlop endorses Dr. Kamran Abbasi’s proposal – published in the BMJ – for a Nuremberg-style trial for the ‘leaders’ and their top advisors who, in the name of protecting humanity from Covid-19, subjected humanity to Covidocratic tyranny. A from Dunlop’s piece:
Any such investigation is highly unlikely, given the stranglehold that the elites have on our lives, but if such a miracle were to occur, investigators would want to look closely at Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock,and other ministers in the Cabinet. Members of Sage, led by Professors Whitty and Vallance and their communist pals, would certainly be in the frame, as would Neil Ferguson.
(DBx: I actually do not favor such a trial. The theatrics would overwhelm any substance, and the precedent set would be dangerous. But I confess that it’s gratifying to imagine such an opportunity for reckoning. At least in the English-speaking world, key defendants would include Neil Ferguson, a ‘scientist’ whose reckless and wildly mistaken predictions are responsible for deranged panic and untold depredations. Also in the dock would be Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Anthony Fauci, Andrew Cuomo, Gretchen Whitmer, Gavin Newsom, Jacinda Ardern, Daniel Andrews, Bill Gates, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.)