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Tag Archives: Current Affairs

“Malign Psychological Changes”

In this seven-and-a-half-minute-long speech, Dan Hannan tells the House of Lords that fear of Covid-19 caused many people to resort to their “paleolithic heuristics,” and that “the world into which we emerge from lockdowns will be poorer, colder, more pinched, more authoritarian.” Indeed. Hannan’s warning of what David Hart calls “hygiene socialism” is underscored by the plastic enclosures in which he and each person in the room is seated. Comments

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Some Covid Links

Phil Magness exposes the gross inaccuracies, and the deceits, committed by Neil Ferguson and his fellow reckless Imperial College ‘modelers.’ Two slices: As it turns out though, Ferguson and the Imperial College team were being less than truthful in their attempts to dissociate themselves from Sweden’s observed outcomes. In the weeks following the release of their well-known US and UK projections, Ferguson and his team did in fact produce a trimmed-down version of their own modeling...

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On the Relevance of the Age Profile of Covid’s Fatalities

Here’s an e-mail that I sent to my colleague Bryan Caplan: Bryan: You’re correct that the steep age profile of Covid-19 fatalities matters greatly for assessing the reasonableness of policy responses to the disease. And I applaud your eloquence and care at explaining the problems with Jeremy Horpedahl’s and others’ resistance to what truly does seem to be an irresistible conclusion. To avoid the many challenges with calculating the value of a statistical life, think of the matter in the...

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Some Covid Links

Here’s the text of Scott Atlas’s February 2021 speech at Hillsdale College. A slice: I have been shocked at the unprecedented exertion of power by the government since last March—issuing unilateral decrees, ordering the closure of businesses, churches, and schools, restricting personal movement, mandating behavior, and suspending indefinitely basic freedoms. Second, I was and remain stunned—almost frightened—at the acquiescence of the American people to such destructive, arbitrary, and...

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“The Tyranny of Tiny Risks”

In response to my letter today to the Wall Street Journal, Washington University economist Ian Fillmore sent to me the following e-mail, which I share with his kind permission: Hi Don, Like you, I find the whole blood clot thing incredibly frustrating. But there is something comical about the sequence of events. For most of 2020 we fixated on the low probability risk of dying from Covid (very low if you are under 65 years old) to the exclusion of all other risks. No price was too high...

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J&J Vaccine Derangement Syndrome?

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal: Editor: Government’s halting of J&J’s vaccine reflects a problem far deeper than the CDC’s and FDA’s seeking guidance from outside ‘experts’ (“Inoculating the Government,” April 21). This far-deeper problem is the obsessive focus on a single risk. For the past 14 months the fixation was on Covid-19. Ignoring countless other risks – health and non-health – that confront humanity, we treated Covid as the only relevant risk. As such, no cost,...

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Some Covid Links

Richard Atkinson, M.D., writes this letter to the Wall Street Journal: Your editorial “The J&J Covid Vaccine Pause” (April 14) doesn’t make the necessary inferences. Six people in 6.8 million vaccinated have had cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). The “natural” annual incidence of these brain blood clots ranges from two to 16 per million. Using these figures, we would expect between 13 and 109 clots annually in 6.8 million people. Since the vaccine has been available for around...

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Some Covid Links

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, UCLA medical-school professor Joseph Ladapo rightly laments the “epidemic of ‘Covid Mania’,” correctly noting that “[t]he problem isn’t only the overreaction to the virus but the diminution of every other problem.” Two other slices: The novel coronavirus has caused suffering and heartbreak, particularly for older adults and their loved ones. But it also has a low mortality rate among most people and especially the young—estimated at 0.01% for people...

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