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Tag Archives: health

A Sober Look at Covid Claims

Here’s a letter to a regular and much-respected correspondent: Mr. K___: Thanks for this e-mail: Los Angeles is running out of oxygen for patients as covid hospitalizations hit record highs nationwide. States in West and South have highest shares of residents hospitalized as Los Angeles hospitals turn away ambulances. Even if we overlook the relevant reality that being hospitalized with covid differs from being hospitalized for covid – and that hospitals have a financial interest in...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 587 of the 5th edition (2015) of the great Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics: Few things have saved as many lives as simply the growth of wealth. DBx: Yes – and, hence, few things are as responsible for taking as many lives as simply those interventions that stymie the growth of wealth. The world has no shortage of such interventions. High taxes, protectionism, industrial policy, minimum-wage legislation, immigration restrictions – the list is long. But in 2020 there was...

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Some Links

Yevdokiya Zagumenova understands that everyone should stay home, except…. US News & World Report reports on one of the many maladies caused by Covid Derangement Syndrome. (HT my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague, Veronique de Rugy) My Mercatus Center colleague Bobbi Herzberg moderated the discussion between Jeffrey Singer and Kristian Niemietz on Covid-19 and the policy responses to it. David Henderson gives two thumbs down to the movie The Social Dilemma. Here’s his conclusion:...

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Some Links

George Will and the Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal each writes on the sheer lunacy of some of Seattle’s political “leaders.” Mark Perry asks a question that ought to be put to every protectionist. David Henderson Says what should be, but isn’t, obvious to every adult. Juliette Sellgren talks with the Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome. Writing at Reason, Max Gulker exposes the foolishness of Joe Biden’s scheme for a national “supply commander.” Tory MP Mark Harper, writing...

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Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 59 of Ronald Bailey’s and Marian Tupy’s beautiful, important, and new (2020) volume, Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: The Four Horsemen of Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death usher in the Apocalypse in Christian tradition…. [D]eaths from infectious diseases are way down; wars are rarer and kill fewer people; and malnutrition has steeply declined. Finally, the crude annual death rate is a common way to benchmark the toll of mortality. And by that measure, it...

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Expert Failure to Know

Phil Magness reports on a new paper co-authored by Anthony Fauci, M.D. In this paper, Dr. Fauci and his co-author (Dr. David Morens) write: It is a useful ‘‘thought experiment’’ to note that until recent decades and centuries, many deadly pandemic diseases either did not exist or were not significant problems. Cholera, for example, was not known in the West until the late 1700s and became pandemic only because of human crowding and international travel, which allowed new access of the...

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Some Links

J.D. Tuccille warns of the dangers of government mandates. Alan Reynolds writes sensibly about covid-19 numbers. A slice: Mining the same vein for the USA, the CDC finds the number in the New York City metro area who have been infected and recovered is at least six times larger than the known tally of “confirmed” cases – making it tougher for the virus to jump to new hosts. This also means the true infection death rate (after uncounted mild and asymptomatic cases are included) is much,...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy warns again of our so-called “leaders'” fiscal incontinence. A slice: Yet nobody in Washington seems to care about this disease of chronic profligacy, and COVID-19 has only made things worse. As economist John Cochrane of Stanford University’s Hoover Institution rightly notes, the pandemic response “resembles a sequence of million-dollar bets by non-socially distanced drunks at a secretly reopened bar: I’ll spend a trillion dollars!...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 528 of Will & Ariel Durant’s 1963 volume, The Age of Louis XIV: As wealth rose, men built sturdier houses that could keep rats at a respectable distance and so reduce the spread of plague. DBx: As we grow more materially prosperous, we grow cleaner. Also, we become ever-less exposed to the perils and hazards and horrors that afflicted nearly all of our pre-modern ancestors. Most of these dangers, take note, are made by nature as opposed to by humans. And we grow more...

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Material Benefits Aren’t Necessarily ‘Materialistic’

In my latest column for AIER I argue that the non-material benefits made possible by material goods and services are underestimated by Oren Cass. A slice: A noteworthy instance of this blindness is Cass’s description of the Covid pandemic as causing us Americans to die “in unprecedented numbers.” His claim is untrue. To see why, start by taking the upper end of Virginia Tech professor Ronald Fricker’s unusually high estimate of the number of excess deaths caused through July 2020 by...

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