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Some Covid Links

Summary:
GMU Econ alum Dan Mitchell supplies further evidence of the recklessness and irresponsibility of politicians – recklessness and irresponsibility that, clearly, are not necessarily tempered during times of crises. Here’s more wisdom and a wise warning from my GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan. A slice: When government explicitly admits that, “The probability of a severely bad outcome is low, but caution makes sense until we know more,” the natural response is to try to swiftly ascertain the truth. Mostly notable, if the world’s governments had responded to COVID with an earnest admission of ignorance, the impetus to apply the time-tested experimental method would have been far stronger. Voluntary Paid Human Experimentation wouldn’t merely have given us vaccines sooner; it would have

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GMU Econ alum Dan Mitchell supplies further evidence of the recklessness and irresponsibility of politicians – recklessness and irresponsibility that, clearly, are not necessarily tempered during times of crises.

Here’s more wisdom and a wise warning from my GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan. A slice:

When government explicitly admits that, “The probability of a severely bad outcome is low, but caution makes sense until we know more,” the natural response is to try to swiftly ascertain the truth. Mostly notable, if the world’s governments had responded to COVID with an earnest admission of ignorance, the impetus to apply the time-tested experimental method would have been far stronger. Voluntary Paid Human Experimentation wouldn’t merely have given us vaccines sooner; it would have allowed us to calmly cease a vast array of ineffective COVID precautions a year ago.

I’d like to assert that, “History will not be kind to the enemies of Human Challenge Trials,” but that’s wishful thinking. History is written by the victors, and the victors of COVID are unapologetic innumerates. Though we deserve a massive apology, we’ll be lucky to walk away with the freedoms we took for granted back in 2019.

Here’s Noah Carl on England:

The past three months have “cancelled out” more than 70% of the age-adjusted excess mortality observed in January and February. If June’s age-standardised mortality rate comes in as low as May’s, the overall level of mortality in the first five months of 2021 will be below the five-year average.

TANSTAFPFC (There Ain’t No Such Thing As Free Protection From Covid.) But… but… perhaps in this development there is a silver lining!

In Britain, ‘saving’ the NHS has come at the expense of the people whose health the NHS ostensibly is meant to save. (TANSTAFPFC)

Fraser Myers calls for Covid ‘models’ to be junked – for such should always be the fate of junk, which is what these ‘models’ were from the start…. Speaking of which, the atrocious Neil Ferguson simply will not quit his quest to cage humanity. (Why does anyone pay – indeed, why has anyone ever paid – attention to this quack-scientist Ferguson?)

Kathy Gyngell rightly praises Charles Walker.

The straw man visits Portugal.

Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya decry the “ill-advised push to vaccinate the young.” Two slices:

For younger adults and children, it is a different story, as their mortality risk is extremely low. Even a slight risk of a serious vaccine adverse reaction could tip the benefit-risk calculation, making the vaccine more harmful than beneficial. We have already observed rare problems with blood clots (J&J vaccine) and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle, Pfizer and Moderna) in younger people, and additional equally serious issues might still be found.

Under such uncertainty, vaccine mandates are unethical. University presidents or business leaders should not mandate a medical intervention that could have dire consequences for the health of even a few of the people in their charge.

Second, recovered COVID patients have strong longlasting protection against severe disease if reinfected, and evidence about protective immunity after natural infection is at least as good as from the vaccines. Hence, it makes no sense to require vaccines for recovered patients. For them, it simply adds a risk, however small, without any benefit.

…..

Universities used to be bastions of enlightenment. Now many of them ignore basic benefit-risk analyses, a staple of the toolbox of scientists; they deny immunity from natural infection; they abandon the global international perspective for narrow nationalism; and they replace trust with coercion and authoritarianism. Mandating the COVID-19 vaccine thus threatens not only public health but also the future of science.

Here’s spot-on humor from Babylon Bee. (HT Tim Townsend)

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Don Boudreaux
He is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, he was president of the Foundation for Economic Education.

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