I’m going to keep pounding away at the fact our public health authorities were wrong about everything regarding COVID. I’m doing so because they assumed an awful lot of power over our lives and ultimately proved to be destructive. This should never be allowed to happen again.
They were wrong about masks. A review of 78 studies shows there is no evidence masks are effective in a pandemic. There is also no evidence removal of mask mandates caused COVID deaths to go up. In fact, in Kansas, counties with a mask mandate experienced significantly higher case fatality rates than counties that did not. So, masks not only did not help, they hurt. But what did the public health industrial complex do? Suppress the truth, that’s what.
Public health authorities were wrong about the lab leak theory. It remains a perfectly good theory, now found credible by the Energy Department and the FBI. But what did Fauci do? Government records show he dismissed the lab leak hypothesis as a “conspiracy theory”, gave government grants to proponents of the theory to shut them up, and commissioned a report to publicly discredit the theory. Fauci rules? I don’t think so. CNN and Facebook helped Fauci cover up the truth.
Public health officials were wrong about ivermectin. The aggregate of studies continues to weigh in favor of ivermectin’s efficacy in COVID cases on mortality and lesser questions. But public officials deliberately trashed ivermectin – calling it just a ‘horse de-wormer’ – and conspired to keep it from being prescribed. A group of doctors is now suing to hold officials at the FDA and HHS accountable for their actions. I hope all the hospitals that threw doctors out for prescribing or advocating for the use of ivermectin get sued, too.
The public health industrial complex was also wrong about the impact of COVID on kids, falsely claiming it was a leading cause of death among young people. Accidents, drug overdoses, and drownings were far more prevalent. The truth is only one out of a 100,000 kids and teens died from COVID. The numbers were never high enough to justify school lockdowns and the self-inflicted ravages of learning loss from closing school doors are now common knowledge.
Public health authorities were also wrong about natural immunity, falsely claiming COVID vaccine immunity was better, as late as in March in congressional testimony. Fauci is in this story, too, meeting in secret with other U.S. health officials, to get their story straight about how natural immunity was no good despite the scientific evidence showing it was. Their effort was ultimately futile, though, because evidence keeps piling up that natural immunity is better.
Evidence is also piling up the vaccines were not very effective. A recent study shows the immune system gets tired and doesn’t produce much of a response after a third dose. Another study shows the effect of bivalent boosters wears off after two months. These studies are in addition to the pile of other studies I mentioned in previous commentaries casting doubt on COVID vaccine efficacy.
So many lies, so many cover-ups. We deserve better from our government officials and politicians. They’re supposed to be working for us, not lording over us. I, for one, will never trust them again. But the Moral of the Story is we need to put up more of a fight when public health authorities and politicians try to steal our liberty for no good reason. One of the very first things I read about pandemic legal theory is that public health authorities have to make their case in court before taking emergency measures. That never happened. They were never put to their proof under oath and cross-examination. Let’s make sure a full examination of their argument happens the next time these political animals go off the rails.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00The Daily Skirmish - Liberato.UShttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngThe Daily Skirmish - Liberato.US2023-05-10 14:43:572023-05-10 15:50:18Public Health Tyrants Need to Be Quarantined
The White House has extended the national emergency in response to the COVID pandemic “beyond March 1, 2022.” President Biden, who promised to “shut down the virus,” will celebrate the second birthday of “two weeks to slow the spread” by pretending most people haven’t resumed business as usual. Meanwhile, the disease is screeching to a halt, as every available metric — cases, hospitalizations, deaths — plummets. Washington, D.C. may also screech to a halt, as the U.S. Freedom Convoy piles in next week to protest ongoing, unwarranted restrictions. “I don’t understand why he’s doing it,” exclaimed Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) on “Washington Watch.”
Even some of the strictest Democratic governors have recognized the impending end of the pandemic and are rolling back restrictions and inching towards normalcy. But not the White House. “Two years [ago], there was so much we didn’t know about the coronavirus, but we’ve earned an awful lot,” Johnson noted. “One of the things we’ve learned is this isn’t going to go away.” We also know who is most at risk, how the illness progresses, and how to treat it — not to mention developing and widely distributing three vaccines in record time. Yet the Biden administration refuses to suggest a possible condition to end the emergency.
Two years is too long to struggle with remote or hybrid work, virtual “school,” perpetual masking, constant health screening, and rapidly evolving restrictions. America’s social fabric has unraveled before our eyes as we’ve experienced a breakdown in social trust, unruly airline passengers, fiery protests, a mob at the capitol, two partisan impeachments, and an unbearable regime of online censorship. “Does the president expect to keep America in a perpetual state of emergency?” Johnson asked. America needs a break.
America also needs to return healthcare to the hands of doctors. Johnson suggested “the biggest blunder” in America’s COVID response was how “the administration, the agencies, big pharma, the legacy media, big tech, social media giants — the COVID cartel — has prevented and sabotaged early treatment,” potentially costing “hundreds of thousands of… lives.”
Instead, the Biden administration seems to be pursuing the increasingly unrealistic and absurd objective of 100 percent vaccination. And it chose to pursue that strategy by deceiving the public, deriding reasonable objections, and punishing anyone who distrusted the brand-new drugs. Even the progressive opinion-setter New York Timesreported that the CDC hid vaccination data, because, an official said, “they might be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.” In other words, a reasonable person would interpret the data as showing that vaccines are ineffective, but the prefix “mis-” dismisses that conclusion because it would violate their preferred (that is, the only permitted) narrative.
There may be cases where the vaccine does more harm than good, although by now we all know that suggesting such an obvious possibility would provoke instinctive outrage in many friends and relatives. A January study found unexpectedly high rates of the heart condition myocarditis reported in vaccinated teenage boys, who are at practically no risk of severe infection from COVID. And yet the COVID cartel is ramping up the pressure to force all children to be vaccinated, with one outlet insisting “vaccine refusal is child abuse.”
Johnson insists doctors, not bureaucrats, must have the final say. “I’m personally affected,” he said, “by doctors practicing medicine,” who saved his daughter’s life with an experimental procedure 38 years ago. That’s why he introduced the Right to Treat Act, which would provide doctors latitude in prescribing any fully FDA-approved drug, even off-label. “Twenty to 25 percent of all prescriptions are prescribed off-label…. The federal government should not interfere.”
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00Family Research Councilhttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngFamily Research Council2022-02-23 14:28:142022-02-23 14:39:34VIDEO: Biden’s One-Pandemic-Fits-All Approach
Eight months into this pandemic, we sometimes seem to be no nearer to knowing what’s going on than we were at the beginning.
Lockdowns vs. no lockdowns; masks vs. no masks; hydroxychloroquine vs. remdesivir; opening schools vs. closing schools, etc., etc. Every day, top-level experts express significantly divergent viewpoints on each of these questions. One study published one day concludes one thing; another study published the next concludes the opposite, and critics attack both. One newspaper analyzes the latest data and claims that things are getting better; another newspaper, looking at the same data, laments they have never been worse. Meanwhile, fundamental and simple questions, such as how this virus is transmitted, or where it originated, are still the subject of ongoing research and intense debate.
All of which is to say, science is operating exactly as it always has.
Preaching Orthodoxies Prematurely
If the history of science proves anything, it’s that attaining certainty even on relatively narrow questions is an arduous process. It requires huge investments of time and is often preceded by false starts, dead ends, and premature claims of success. Science is often muddied by haste, ineptness, researcher bias, and conflicting personal, financial, political, and ideological interests.
Given the additional, staggering complexity of a global pandemic, the surprising thing about our present uncertainty is not the uncertainty itself, but how distraught or even scandalized many people are by it. An excessive desire for certainty is leading to counter-productive responses — and to a breakdown of communication and trust, precisely when we most need both.
Over the past eight months, people of every political stripe have prematurely seized on scientific claims and preached them as though they were orthodoxies, with a zeal out of proportion to our actual knowledge. Rather than explore and attempt diverse approaches, or carve out space for conversation, creativity, and experimentation, we too often assume “the other side” is malicious. We call even mild nonconformism or risk-taking a moral failing rather than a necessary prerequisite for advancing our knowledge. Often, the public “debate” has been little more productive than a pie fight
Not long ago, as Allan Bloom pointed out in The Closing of the American Mind, some form of skepticism or relativism was the default epistemological position of the overwhelming majority of people. Every day college freshmen repeated some version of the claim that “truth is relative” as though it were a platitude. But today we expect and demand absolute certainty on extraordinarily complex matters, at the snap of our fingers.
Scientism, Superstition, and Dogmatism
Most people seem to agree that the pandemic is a scientific problem that needs a scientific solution. This is true, but only partially. To view the plague as purely a scientific problem is reductive. As Andrew Sullivan noted in a recent essay, a plague is not just a medical event. It is also a “social and cultural and political” event. Plagues “insinuate themselves into every nook and cranny of our lives and psyches — from sex to shopping, from work to religion, from politics to journalism — and thereby alter them.”
After all, even if our scientific understanding of the virus were complete, we still wouldn’t all agree on the right response, and for good reason. Many medical experts presume that our goal should be to save as many lives as possible from the virus — but there are limits to that goal. Saving more lives in the short term at the expense of fundamental rights and freedoms, or of social order, or of the long-term viability of the economy, may be too high a price to pay. How to balance these concerns cannot be answered by science alone.
Talking heads on TV exhort the public to “trust the science” as if “the science” were some monolith, unaffected by human fallibility and constraints, that could answer all the political, ethical, and social questions that the pandemic raises. Many seem to believe that, if scientists just work harder, at some point “the science” will tell us what to do, down to the minutest detail.
This is scientism, and it is a form of superstition. Like all superstitions, it stems from a desire to escape the discomfort of uncertainty; the painful duties of investigation, debate, and decision-making; and the risk of being wrong.
Rather than stretch our minds to fit the problem, superstition reduces the problem to fit the limitations of our minds. It replaces reason with dogma, and thanks to the spread of scientism today, dogmatism is ubiquitous. Even those who criticize the dogmatism of others who demand fealty to “the science” often adhere to their own scientific dogmatism — only they find their dogmas in far-flung and seedy corners of science and the media. Moreover, both sides often insist that their favored scientist, or group of scientists, or publication, or journalist, is the only one who has “figured it out.” If we would just listen to them, everything would be all right.
The dogmatist is scandalized by the difficulty of how humans come to know — bit by bit, at the expenditure of enormous energy, and in many matters reaching only probable conclusions. He prefers to seize on a simplistic explanation and call it a solution. One can see why such people often become conspiracy theorists. Perplexed by a vast confusion of data points, the conspiracy theorist does not patiently investigate the data to discover their objective connection (which is hard). Rather, he presumes an explanation, investigates how to fit the various data points to it, and simply discards the data that will not fit (which is easy).
How to Debate About a Plague
But maybe there is no one correct solution to this pandemic — no one strategy that we know with certainty (based on irrefutable scientific data) will save more lives than the alternatives; or that won’t come with its own unacceptable, long-term costs. Or if there is any such answer, perhaps we cannot possibly know what it is until well after this pandemic is over, when there are no more decisions to make. There are simply too many factors at play and too many unknowns; and we have no idea how the coming days, months, and years will unfold.
Should we throw up our hands in despair? Are there no solutions that are clearly better, or supported by better evidence, than others? Is the science so hopelessly complex that we can’t possibly look to it for any guidance? Should we not advocate our favored solutions, based on the best available evidence, or not oppose the solutions we believe to be harmful or misguided?
Of course not. Doing nothing is not an option. We may not know everything we would like to know about this virus, but we do know much more than we did before, and certainly more than the human race has ever known when facing a similar crisis. We have to move, and in order to move, we must select a starting point. We must make decisions based on the limited information we have, and then execute those decisions with conviction, hoping that they turn out as planned.
On the other hand, we should be aware of the sorts of errors that may cloud our judgment.
Dogmatism closes questions that ought to remain open and blinds us to any truths that go against our own prejudices and political loyalties. It precludes fruitful conversation and compromise by treating as moral those questions that are merely practical and therefore debatable. We should be rigid only on moral absolutes and be flexible in everything else. We need to bear courageously the burden of uncertainty in matters that are uncertain. We ought not cast aspersions on the motives of others, when a plausible case can be made that they are simply reading the data differently.
Another common error is the “sunk cost” fallacy: when we continue down a path — even in the face of evidence that it is the wrong way — merely because we have already gone so far down it, or because we staked so much of our reputations on it. Then there is confirmation bias, the error by which we ask how new data support our preferred conclusion, rather than whether they do so in fact.
Wisdom lies not in having a great deal of knowledge, but in honestly identifying the limits of our knowledge. Socrates was the wisest man in Athens precisely because he believed himself to be ignorant. We ought to be suspicious of politicians, media talking heads, conspiracy theorists, and social media warriors who profess to be wise. Their alluring reductions and ideologies are leading us astray and tearing us apart.
Above all, let us have the humility to admit when we are wrong. If anything is certain in a global pandemic, it is that every one of us will be wrong some of the time.
http://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.png00MercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexitieshttp://drrich.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/logo_264x69.pngMercatorNet - Navigating Modern Complexities2020-09-21 06:24:532020-09-21 06:24:53In a Pandemic, Dogmatism is the Real Enemy
How is Ebola spread? Two ways; one, by letting anyone exposed to it in West Africa into America when they fly here and, two, by assuming that medical professionals and others who have been exposed to it would quarantine themselves from contact with others once they are here.
The latest case is Dr. Craig Spencer, an American to whom the travel ban would not apply, identified as potentially having Ebola after treating victims in Africa and who totally ignored the potential of spreading it to others as he made his way around New York on subways, went bowling, and likely had dinner at a restaurant.
Earlier a NBC news crew that had been exposed to Ebola was issued a mandatory quarantine by the New Jersey Health Department, but its chief medical editor and correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, while symptom-free, decided to break the quarantine. One of the crew, Ashoko Mokpo, did fall ill and is being treated at the Nebraska Medical Center.
What does it tell you when two medical professional behave in this manner? It tells you that even those who know they can infect others were indifferent to the risk. It tells you that airport staff armed with thermometers are no defense against anyone coming in from the Ebola hot zone in Africa.
It tells you that the failure to impose a ban on all flights from West Africa should have been imposed weeks ago.
It tells you that sending three thousand active duty soldiers and another thousand reservists into the Ebola hot zone is a senseless act that exposes them to the disease and countless others on their return unless they are all held in quarantine until no signs of the disease are detected. The risk still remains even after the twenty-one days that the Center for Disease Control cites as the time in which victims would show signs of the disease.
The two Dallas nurses who acquired the disease have been treated and one has been released. As of October 23, there were eighteen cases of Ebola in Europe and the U.S. Unlike Africa, Western nations have responded quite well to the threat.
In New York, the Mayor, Bill de Blasio, was joined by the Governor Andrew Cuomo to hold a
press conference that seemed to this observer intended to exonerate them of any charge they were not taking Dr. Spencer’s foolishness lightly and to avoid public panic among a public that is clearly not panicking.
Given the continued news coverage of Ebola, it is amazing that Americans have absorbed the fundamental message that the disease has not affected those outside the healthcare community with the exception of the NBC crew and that steps have been put in place to identify and isolate those who had it. Moreover, while a deadly virus in Africa, it has been treated and cured here in America.
So far, so good.
The real challenge will be the flu season when lots of people will show up at hospitals with flu symptoms that resemble Ebola symptoms. If you haven’t been vaccinated, get one! How hospitals deal with this is going to be a real test of their judgment and skills.
I am hopeful we may be spared more press conferences that don’t tell us anything more than what we already know. I surely don’t want to hear President Obama tell me that everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about.