For my friends on the left wondering why everything they were told and believed RE Covid turned out to be wrong....

pa108

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Oct 10, 2018
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...This article is a fantastic retrospective of how you were duped by those who you thought you could trust. I know there will be some resistance to actually reading it, because people don't like to read stuff seemingly rehashing something they were so wrong about it. Here is why you should read it though: Regardless of how much it may hurt, THE FUTURE PAIN FROM NOT UNDERSTANDING THIS WILL BE MUCH WORSE THAN THE SMALL HIT TO THE EGO RIGHT NOW. There is nothing wrong with being duped and wrong, but there is something very wrong with letting it happen again because you chose to remain naive as to why/how you were duped and wrong. There's an old saying in Texas, "Fool me once, shame... a fool... umm... shame on the fool... ummm... and don't do it again."

Selfishly, I particularly like this article because it covers and articulates well how everything I was explaining from the beginning turned out to be exactly 100% true. :cool:

The Panic Pandemic​

Fearmongering from journalists, scientists, and politicians did more harm than the virus.
John Tierney
Summer 2021

Covid-19
Economy, finance, and budgets

The United States suffered through two lethal waves of contagion in the past year and a half. The first was a viral pandemic that killed about one in 500 Americans—typically, a person over 75 suffering from other serious conditions. The second, and far more catastrophic, was a moral panic that swept the nation’s guiding institutions.


Instead of keeping calm and carrying on, the American elite flouted the norms of governance, journalism, academic freedom—and, worst of all, science. They misled the public about the origins of the virus and the true risk that it posed. Ignoring their own carefully prepared plans for a pandemic, they claimed unprecedented powers to impose untested strategies, with terrible collateral damage. As evidence of their mistakes mounted, they stifled debate by vilifying dissenters, censoring criticism, and suppressing scientific research.


If, as seems increasingly plausible, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, it is the costliest blunder ever committed by scientists. Whatever the pandemic’s origin, the response to it is the worst mistake in the history of the public-health profession. We still have no convincing evidence that the lockdowns saved lives, but lots of evidence that they have already cost lives and will prove deadlier in the long run than the virus itself.


One in three people worldwide lost a job or a business during the lockdowns, and half saw their earnings drop, according to a Gallup poll. Children, never at risk from the virus, in many places essentially lost a year of school. The economic and health consequences were felt most acutely among the less affluent in America and in the rest of the world, where the World Bank estimates that more than 100 million have been pushed into extreme poverty.


The leaders responsible for these disasters continue to pretend that their policies worked and assume that they can keep fooling the public. They’ve promised to deploy these strategies again in the future, and they might even succeed in doing so—unless we begin to understand what went wrong.


The panic was started, as usual, by journalists. As the virus spread early last year, they highlighted the most alarming statistics and the scariest images: the estimates of a fatality rate ten to 50 times higher than the flu, the chaotic scenes at hospitals in Italy and New York City, the predictions that national health-care systems were about to collapse. The full-scale panic was set off by the release in March 2020 of a computer model at the Imperial College in London, which projected that—unless drastic measures were taken—intensive-care units would have 30 Covid patients for every available bed and that America would see 2.2 million deaths by the end of the summer. The British researchers announced that the “only viable strategy” was to impose draconian restrictions on businesses, schools, and social gatherings until a vaccine arrived.


This extraordinary project was swiftly declared the “consensus” among public-health officials, politicians, journalists, and academics. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed it and became the unassailable authority for those purporting to “follow the science.” What had originally been a limited lockdown—“15 days to slow the spread”—became long-term policy across much of the United States and the world. A few scientists and public-health experts objected, noting that an extended lockdown was a novel strategy of unknown effectiveness that had been rejected in previous plans for a pandemic. It was a dangerous experiment being conducted without knowing the answer to the most basic question: Just how lethal is this virus?


The most prominent early critic was John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford, who published an essay for STAT headlined “A Fiasco in the Making? As the Coronavirus Pandemic Takes Hold, We Are Making Decisions Without Reliable Data.” While a short-term lockdown made sense, he argued, an extended lockdown could prove worse than the disease, and scientists needed to do more intensive testing to determine the risk. The article offered common-sense advice from one of the world’s most frequently cited authorities on the credibility of medical research, but it provoked a furious backlash on Twitter from scientists and journalists.


The fury intensified in April 2020, when Ioannidis followed his own advice by joining with Jay Bhattacharya and other colleagues from Stanford to gauge the spread of Covid in the surrounding area, Santa Clara County. After testing for Covid antibodies in the blood of several thousand volunteers, they estimated that the fatality rate among the infected in the county was about 0.2 percent, twice as high as for the flu but considerably lower than the assumptions of public-health officials and computer modelers. The researchers acknowledged that the fatality rate could be substantially higher in other places where the virus spread extensively in nursing homes (which hadn’t yet occurred in the Santa Clara area). But merely by reporting data that didn’t fit the official panic narrative, they became targets.


Other scientists lambasted the researchers and claimed that methodological weaknesses in the study made the results meaningless. A statistician at Columbia wrote that the researchers “owe us all an apology.” A biologist at the University of North Carolina said that the study was “horrible science.” A Rutgers chemist called Ioannidis a “mediocrity” who “cannot even formulate a simulacrum of a coherent, rational argument.” A year later, Ioannidis still marvels at the attacks on the study (which was eventually published in a leading epidemiology journal). “Scientists whom I respect started acting like warriors who had to subvert the enemy,” he says. “Every paper I’ve written has errors—I’m a scientist, not the pope—but the main conclusions of this one were correct and have withstood the criticism.”


Mainstream journalists piled on with hit pieces quoting critics and accusing the researchers of endangering lives by questioning lockdowns. The Nation called the research a “black mark” for Stanford. The cheapest shots came from BuzzFeed, which devoted thousands of words to a series of trivial objections and baseless accusations. The article that got the most attention was BuzzFeed’s breathless revelation that an airline executive opposed to lockdowns had contributed $5,000—yes, five thousand dollars!—to an anonymized fund at Stanford that had helped finance the Santa Clara fieldwork.


The notion that a team of prominent academics, who were not paid for their work in the study, would risk their reputations by skewing results for the sake of a $5,000 donation was absurd on its face—and even more ludicrous, given that Ioannidis, Bhattacharya, and the lead investigator, Eran Bendavid, said that they weren’t even aware of the donation while conducting the study. But Stanford University was so cowed by the online uproar that it subjected the researchers to a two-month fact-finding inquiry by an outside legal firm. The inquiry found no evidence of conflict of interest, but the smear campaign succeeded in sending a clear message to scientists everywhere: Don’t question the lockdown narrative.


In a brief interlude of journalistic competence, two veteran science writers, Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee, published an article in Scientific American decrying the politicization of Covid research. They defended the integrity and methodology of the Stanford researchers, noting that some subsequent studies had found similar rates of fatality among the infected. (In his latest review of the literature, Ioannidis now estimates that the average fatality rate in Europe and the Americas is 0.3 to 0.4 percent and about 0.2 percent among people not living in institutions.) Lenzer and Brownlee lamented that the unjust criticism and ad hominem vitriol had suppressed a legitimate debate by intimidating the scientific community. Their editors then proceeded to prove their point. Responding to more online fury, Scientific American repented by publishing an editor’s note that essentially repudiated its own article. The editors printed BuzzFeed’s accusations as the final word on the matter, refusing to publish a rebuttal from the article’s authors or a supporting letter from Jeffrey Flier, former dean of Harvard Medical School. Scientific American, long the most venerable publication in its field, now bowed to the scientific authority of BuzzFeed.


Editors of research journals fell into line, too. When Thomas Benfield, one of the researchers in Denmark conducting the first large randomized controlled trial of mask efficacy against Covid, was asked why they were taking so long to publish the much-anticipated findings, he promised them as “as soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper.” After being rejected by The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA, the study finally appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the reason for the editors’ reluctance became clear: the study showed that a mask did not protect the wearer, which contradicted claims by the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities.


Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins with 350 publications to his name, submitted a critique of lockdowns to more than ten journals and finally gave up—the “first time in my career that I could not get a piece placed anywhere,” he said. Martin Kulldorff, an epidemiologist at Harvard, had a similar experience with his article, early in the pandemic, arguing that resources should be focused on protecting the elderly. “Just as in war,” Kulldorff wrote, “we must exploit the characteristics of the enemy in order to defeat it with the minimum number of casualties. Since Covid-19 operates in a highly age specific manner, mandated counter measures must also be age specific. If not, lives will be unnecessarily lost.” It was a tragically accurate prophecy from one of the leading experts on infectious disease, but Kulldorff couldn’t find a scientific journal or media outlet to accept the article, so he ended up posting it on his own LinkedIn page. “There’s always a certain amount of herd thinking in science,” Kulldorff says, “but I’ve never seen it reach this level. Most of the epidemiologists and other scientists I’ve spoken to in private are against lockdowns, but they’re afraid to speak up.”


To break the silence, Kulldorff joined with Stanford’s Bhattacharya and Sunetra Gupta of Oxford to issue a plea for “focused protection,” called the Great Barrington Declaration. They urged officials to divert more resources to shield the elderly, such as doing more tests of the staff at nursing homes and hospitals, while reopening business and schools for younger people, which would ultimately protect the vulnerable as herd immunity grew among the low-risk population.


They managed to attract attention but not the kind they hoped for. Though tens of thousands of other scientists and doctors went on to sign the declaration, the press caricatured it as a deadly “let it rip” strategy and an “ethical nightmare” from “Covid deniers” and “agents of misinformation.” Google initially shadow-banned it so that the first page of search results for “Great Barrington Declaration” showed only criticism of it (like an article calling it “the work of a climate denial network”) but not the declaration itself. Facebook shut down the scientists’ page for a week for violating unspecified “community standards.”


The most reviled heretic was Scott Atlas, a medical doctor and health-policy analyst at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He, too, urged focused protection on nursing homes and calculated that the medical, social, and economic disruptions of the lockdowns would cost more years of life than the coronavirus. When he joined the White House coronavirus task force, Bill Gates derided him as “this Stanford guy with no background” promoting “crackpot theories.” Nearly 100 members of Stanford’s faculty signed a letter denouncing his “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science,” and an editorial in the Stanford Daily urged the university to sever its ties to Hoover.


The Stanford faculty senate overwhelmingly voted to condemn Atlas’s actions as “anathema to our community, our values and our belief that we should use knowledge for good.” Several professors from Stanford’s medical school demanded further punishment in a JAMA article, “When Physicians Engage in Practices That Threaten the Nation’s Health.” The article, which misrepresented Atlas’s views as well as the evidence on the efficacy of lockdowns, urged professional medical societies and medical-licensing boards to take action against Atlas on the grounds that it was “ethically inappropriate for physicians to publicly recommend behaviors or interventions that are not scientifically well grounded.”


But if it was unethical to recommend “interventions that are not scientifically well grounded,” how could anyone condone the lockdowns? “It was utterly immoral to conduct this society-wide intervention without the evidence to justify it,” Bhattacharya says. “The immediate results have been disastrous, especially for the poor, and the long-term effect will be to fundamentally undermine trust in public health and science.” The traditional strategy for dealing with pandemics was to isolate the infected and protect the most vulnerable, just as Atlas and the Great Barrington scientists recommended. The CDC’s pre-pandemic planning scenarios didn’t recommend extended school closures or any shutdown of businesses even during a plague as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu. Yet Fauci dismissed the focused-protection strategy as “total nonsense” to “anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases,” and his verdict became “the science” to leaders in America and elsewhere.


Fortunately, a few leaders followed the science in a different way. Instead of blindly trusting Fauci, they listened to his critics and adopted the focused-protection strategy—most notably, in Florida. Its governor, Ron DeSantis, began to doubt the public-health establishment early in the pandemic, when computer models projected that Covid patients would greatly outnumber hospital beds in many states. Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were so alarmed and so determined to free up hospital beds that they directed nursing homes and other facilities to admit or readmit Covid patients—with deadly results.


But DeSantis was skeptical of the hospital projections—for good reason, as no state actually ran out of beds—and more worried about the risk of Covid spreading in nursing homes. He forbade long-term-care centers to admit anyone infected with Covid and ordered frequent testing of the staff at senior-care centers. After locking down last spring, he reopened businesses, schools, and restaurants early, rejected mask mandates, and ignored protests from the press and the state’s Democratic leaders. Fauci warned that Florida was “asking for trouble,” but DeSantis went on seeking and heeding advice from Atlas and the Great Barrington scientists, who were astonished to speak with a politician already familiar with just about every study they mentioned to him.


“DeSantis was an incredible outlier,” Atlas says. “He dug up the data and read the scientific papers and analyzed it all himself. In our discussions, he’d bounce ideas off me, but he was already on top of the details of everything. He always had the perspective to see the larger harms of lockdowns and the need to concentrate testing and other resources on the elderly. And he has been proven correct.”


If Florida had simply done no worse than the rest of the country during the pandemic, that would have been enough to discredit the lockdown strategy. The state effectively served as the control group in a natural experiment, and no medical treatment with dangerous side effects would be approved if the control group fared no differently from the treatment group. But the outcome of this experiment was even more damning.


Florida’s mortality rate from Covid is lower than the national average among those over 65 and also among younger people, so that the state’s age-adjusted Covid mortality rate is lower than that of all but ten other states. And by the most important measure, the overall rate of “excess mortality” (the number of deaths above normal), Florida has also done better than the national average. Its rate of excess mortality is significantly lower than that of the most restrictive state, California, particularly among younger adults, many of whom died not from Covid but from causes related to the lockdowns: cancer screenings and treatments were delayed, and there were sharp increases in deaths from drug overdoses and from heart attacks not treated promptly.




Chart by Jamie Meggas
Chart by Jamie Meggas



If the treatment group in a clinical trial were dying off faster than the control group, an ethical researcher would halt the experiment. But the lockdown proponents were undeterred by the numbers in Florida, or by similar results elsewhere, including a comparable natural experiment involving European countries with the least restrictive policies. Sweden, Finland, and Norway rejected mask mandates and extended lockdowns, and they have each suffered significantly less excess mortality than most other European countries during the pandemic.


A nationwide analysis in Sweden showed that keeping schools open throughout the pandemic, without masks or social distancing, had little effect on the spread of Covid, but school closures and mask mandates for students continued elsewhere. Another Swedish researcher, Jonas Ludvigsson, reported that not a single schoolchild in the country died from Covid in Sweden and that their teachers’ risk of serious illness was lower than for the rest of the workforce—but these findings provoked so many online attacks and threats that Ludvigsson decided to stop researching or discussing Covid.


Social-media platforms continued censoring scientists and journalists who questioned lockdowns and mask mandates. YouTube removed a video discussion between DeSantis and the Great Barrington scientists, on the grounds that it “contradicts the consensus” on the efficacy of masks, and also took down the Hoover Institution’s interview with Atlas. Twitter locked out Atlas and Kulldorff for scientifically accurate challenges to mask orthodoxy. A peer-reviewed German study reporting harms to children from mask-wearing was suppressed on Facebook (which labeled my City Journal article “Partly False” because it cited the study) and also at ResearchGate, one of the most widely used websites for scientists to post their papers. ResearchGate refused to explain the censorship to the German scientists, telling them only that the paper was removed from the website in response to “reports from the community about the subject-matter.”


The social-media censors and scientific establishment, aided by the Chinese government, succeeded for a year in suppressing the lab-leak theory, depriving vaccine developers of potentially valuable insights into the virus’s evolution. It’s understandable, if deplorable, that the researchers and officials involved in supporting the Wuhan lab research would cover up the possibility that they’d unleashed a Frankenstein on the world. What’s harder to explain is why journalists and the rest of the scientific community so eagerly bought that story, along with the rest of the Covid narrative.


Why the elite panic? Why did so many go so wrong for so long? When journalists and scientists finally faced up to their mistake in ruling out the lab-leak theory, they blamed their favorite villain: Donald Trump. He had espoused the theory, so they assumed it must be wrong. And since he disagreed at times with Fauci about the danger of the virus and the need for lockdowns, then Fauci must be right, and this was such a deadly plague that the norms of journalism and science must be suspended. Millions would die unless Fauci was obeyed and dissenters were silenced.


But neither the plague nor Trump explains the panic. Yes, the virus was deadly, and Trump’s erratic pronouncements contributed to the confusion and partisanship, but the panic was due to two preexisting pathologies that afflicted other countries, too. The first is what I have called the Crisis Crisis, the incessant state of alarm fomented by journalists and politicians. It’s a longstanding problem—humanity was supposedly doomed in the last century by the “population crisis” and the “energy crisis”—that has dramatically worsened with the cable and digital competition for ratings, clicks, and retweets. To keep audiences frightened around the clock, journalists seek out Cassandras with their own incentives for fearmongering: politicians, bureaucrats, activists, academics, and assorted experts who gain publicity, prestige, funding, and power during a crisis.


Unlike many proclaimed crises, an epidemic is a genuine threat, but the crisis industry can’t resist exaggerating the danger, and doomsaying is rarely penalized. Early in the 1980s AIDS epidemic, the New York Times reported the terrifying possibility that the virus could spread to children through “routine close contact”—quoting from a study by Anthony Fauci. Life magazine wildly exaggerated the number of infections in a cover story, headlined “Now No One Is Safe from AIDS.” It cited a study by Robert Redfield, the future leader of the CDC during the Covid pandemic, predicting that AIDS would soon spread as rapidly among heterosexuals as among homosexuals. Both scientists were absolutely wrong, of course, but the false alarms didn’t harm their careers or their credibility.


Journalists and politicians extend professional courtesy to fellow crisis-mongers by ignoring their mistakes, such as the previous predictions by Neil Ferguson. His team at Imperial College projected up to 65,000 deaths in the United Kingdom from swine flu and 200 million deaths worldwide from bird flu. The death toll each time was in the hundreds, but never mind: when Ferguson’s team projected millions of American deaths from Covid, that was considered reason enough to follow its recommendation for extended lockdowns. And when the modelers’ assumption about the fatality rate proved too high, that mistake was ignored, too.


Journalists kept highlighting the most alarming warnings, presented without context. They needed to keep their audience scared, and they succeeded. For Americans under 70, the probability of surviving a Covid infection was about 99.9 percent, but fear of the virus was higher among the young than among the elderly, and polls showed that people of all ages vastly overestimated the risk of being hospitalized or dying.


The second pathology underlying the elite’s Covid panic is the politicization of research—what I have termed the Left’s war on science, another long-standing problem that has gotten much worse. Just as the progressives a century ago yearned for a nation directed by “expert social engineers”—scientific high priests unconstrained by voters and public opinion—today’s progressives want sweeping new powers for politicians and bureaucrats who “believe in science,” meaning that they use the Left’s version of science to justify their edicts. Now that so many elite institutions are political monocultures, progressives have more power than ever to enforce groupthink and suppress debate. Well before the pandemic, they had mastered the tactics for demonizing and silencing scientists whose findings challenged progressive orthodoxy on issues such as IQ, sex differences, race, family structure, transgenderism, and climate change.




And then along came Covid—“God’s gift to the Left,” in Jane Fonda’s words. Exaggerating the danger and deflecting blame from China to Trump offered not only short-term political benefits, damaging his reelection prospects, but also an extraordinary opportunity to empower social engineers in Washington and state capitals. Early in the pandemic, Fauci expressed doubt that it was politically possible to lock down American cities, but he underestimated the effectiveness of the crisis industry’s scaremongering. Americans were so frightened that they surrendered their freedoms to work, study, worship, dine, play, socialize, or even leave their homes. Progressives celebrated this “paradigm shift,” calling it a “blueprint” for dealing with climate change.


This experience should be a lesson in what not to do, and whom not to trust. Do not assume that the media’s version of a crisis resembles reality. Do not count on mainstream journalists and their favorite doomsayers to put risks in perspective. Do not expect those who follow “the science” to know what they’re talking about. Science is a process of discovery and debate, not a faith to profess or a dogma to live by. It provides a description of the world, not a prescription for public policy, and specialists in one discipline do not have the knowledge or perspective to guide society. They’re biased by their own narrow focus and self-interest. Fauci and Deborah Birx, the physician who allied with him against Atlas on the White House task force, had to answer for the daily Covid death toll—that ever-present chyron at the bottom of the television screen—so they focused on one disease instead of the collateral damage of their panic-driven policies.


“The Fauci-Birx lockdowns were a sinful, unconscionable, heinous mistake, and they will never admit they were wrong,” Atlas says. Neither will the journalists and politicians who panicked along with them. They’re still portraying lockdowns as not just a success but also a precedent—proof that Americans can sacrifice for the common good when directed by wise scientists and benevolent autocrats. But the sacrifice did far more harm than good, and the burden was not shared equally. The brunt was borne by the most vulnerable in America and the poorest countries of the world. Students from disadvantaged families suffered the most from school closures, and children everywhere spent a year wearing masks solely to assuage the neurotic fears of adults. The less educated lost jobs so that professionals at minimal risk could feel safer as they kept working at home on their laptops. Silicon Valley (and its censors) prospered from lockdowns that bankrupted local businesses.


Luminaries united on Zoom and YouTube to assure the public that “we’re all in this together.” But we weren’t. When the panic infected the nation’s elite—the modern gentry who profess such concern for the downtrodden—it turned out that they weren’t so different from aristocrats of the past. They were in it for themselves.

Link to article: Here

[BoulderFish Note: I'm sure some of you will feel the urge to reply with some shot at the source of the article, but before you do that, please know that in doing so, all you're doing is proving the article to be spot on (which it is). If you feel something in the article is not accurate, I challenge you to debate the specific claim with your own data and/or scientific support.]

I didnt read the article.
Skimmed it.
Its bullshit.
Bunch of non-scientists pretending that they know how to interpret the data better than epidemiologists who have spent their lives working on this.

Trying to say that physical distancing and masks dont prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.

Lets think this through. Covid 19 is a difficult virus to evaluate, because its new and evolving, and there is no track record.

But influenza, para-influenza, and RSV are well characterized respiratory viruses. We've got decades of knowledge on transmission of these viruses.

And guess what? The case number of ALL of these respiratory viruses is down 10-100 fold.

Huh. Who would have thunk it? Masks prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.

I'm guessing that all the thumbs up for the initial post are from our anti-vax hoax crowd. You know, the fools who are keeping this pandemic going.

Morons.
 
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BoulderFish

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Oct 31, 2016
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I didnt read the article.
Skimmed it.
Its bullshit.
Bunch of non-scientists pretending that they know how to interpret the data better than epidemiologists who have spent their lives working on this.

Trying to say that physical distancing and masks dont prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.

Lets think this through. Covid 19 is a difficult virus to evaluate, because its new and evolving, and there is no track record.

But influenza, para-influenza, and RSV are well characterized respiratory viruses. We've got decades of knowledge on transmission of these viruses.

And guess what? The case number of ALL of these respiratory viruses is down 10-100 fold.

Huh. Who would have thunk it? Masks prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.

I'm guessing that all the thumbs up for the initial post are from our anti-vax hoax crowd. You know, the fools who are keeping this pandemic going.

Morons.

Ugh. Have you just come up from under a rock? I didn't know anyone was still buying that conspiracy theory. Before you repeat it again, type "viral interference" into google, and hit enter. You're welcome.

giphy.gif
 

pa108

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Oct 10, 2018
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You cant be seriously suggesting that people arent getting influenza, paraflu, RSV, and other respiratory viruses because they have Covid. Flu/resp virus season last about 6 months. Are you suggesting that the vast majority of the US population had active Covid for 6 months? Thats the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard.

Can you cite a single peer-reviewed blinded study that demonstrates Covid prevents influenza infections?

Simple things are simple. Masks and physical distance decrease transmission of virus by decreasing exposure to infectious aerosols and droplets.

Here is a summary with relevant links.


Here is an interactive flu map.


Choose the 2021-21 season. Drag the red weekly bar on top. Notice how the map is predominantly green.

Choose any other season. Drag the red weekly bar. Notice how now there is a ton of red and yellow.

By the way, I'm a physician, and most of my practice involves care of immunocompromised patients. I dont mean to be condescending, but I think I might understand a little about infectious diseases.
 

jjw165

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Jan 18, 2005
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You cant be seriously suggesting that people arent getting influenza, paraflu, RSV, and other respiratory viruses because they have Covid. Flu/resp virus season last about 6 months. Are you suggesting that the vast majority of the US population had active Covid for 6 months? Thats the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard.

Can you cite a single peer-reviewed blinded study that demonstrates Covid prevents influenza infections?

Simple things are simple. Masks and physical distance decrease transmission of virus by decreasing exposure to infectious aerosols and droplets.

Here is a summary with relevant links.


Here is an interactive flu map.


Choose the 2021-21 season. Drag the red weekly bar on top. Notice how the map is predominantly green.

Choose any other season. Drag the red weekly bar. Notice how now there is a ton of red and yellow.

By the way, I'm a physician, and most of my practice involves care of immunocompromised patients. I dont mean to be condescending, but I think I might understand a little about infectious diseases.
I had lymphoma cancer last year. In an effort to be proactive in my self care, I bought disposable masks and planned to wear them when I went out in public. So, the next time I went to my oncologist appointment I asked him if I should wear the mask. He told me they don’t work. Plus, people don’t usually know how to wear them. I find it interesting that I’ve heard from both sides about the effectiveness or lack there of, even from physicians.
 
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Hotshoe

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Feb 15, 2012
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You cant be seriously suggesting that people arent getting influenza, paraflu, RSV, and other respiratory viruses because they have Covid. Flu/resp virus season last about 6 months. Are you suggesting that the vast majority of the US population had active Covid for 6 months? Thats the most ridiculous argument I've ever heard.

Can you cite a single peer-reviewed blinded study that demonstrates Covid prevents influenza infections?

Simple things are simple. Masks and physical distance decrease transmission of virus by decreasing exposure to infectious aerosols and droplets.

Here is a summary with relevant links.


Here is an interactive flu map.


Choose the 2021-21 season. Drag the red weekly bar on top. Notice how the map is predominantly green.

Choose any other season. Drag the red weekly bar. Notice how now there is a ton of red and yellow.

By the way, I'm a physician, and most of my practice involves care of immunocompromised patients. I dont mean to be condescending, but I think I might understand a little about infectious diseases.
So, btw, my doc is a Cornell grad, cardiologist, ran TJ ER for years, then Duke ER, now UNC. But hey, everyone has an opinion. That's why folks get a second opinion from other doctors. My wife's cousin would have died from cancer at MUSC, if he wouldn't have been sent to Duke 20 years ago. So, let's not pull the doc card. It was my contact, that I got him in touch with at Duke. He's 100% fine to this day.

Here's the deal, and I absolutely appreciate you, your experience, your expertise, and your career. That said, that's not the end all be all regarding a pandemic. For every doc that says one thing, I can find another that says the opposite. And those docs? They range from Harvard to Stanford and UPenn.
 

pa108

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Oct 10, 2018
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So, your cardiologist's alma mater has little impact on the current pandemic.

Most people, I think, would agree that this pandemic is now overlaid with politics.

At least 5 major Covid issues with political overtones.

1) Predictions of Covid deaths were overestimated. Maybe, maybe not. It surprises me that people would use "only" 600,000+ deaths in the face of estimates of 2 million US deaths if no mitigation as evidence that the predictions stoked panic. But the number of US deaths if no mitigation is completley unknowable. I'm not here to debate that.

2) Closing schools to prevent Covid deaths was a bad idea. I can see arguments on both sides. I'm not here to debate that.

3) The WHO didnt investigate Covid origin intensely enough. I agree, but I'm not here to debate that.

4) Masks and social distancing don't prevent Covid. I think they do, and common sense would say they do, but I'm not here to debate that.

5) Vaccines prevent Covid. This is vitally important. And it very well may impact football season.

--All US public health officials recommend Covid vaccines. These are individuals, Republican and Democrat, who have spent their lives studying infections. Just like a football coach might who has studied football for 15+ years might have a better idea how to run practice than some dude sitting on his couch.

--95+% of current Covid Deaths are unvaccinated individuals. 95%. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness. I cannot stress this enough. 95%. This can be, literally, life or death.



--Of people in your community, the people you might expect to know the most about illness are physicians. I'm not saying all physicians, and I'm not saying that all physicians are smart. But I am saying that physicians have received a zillion years of schooling on health and disease.

96 % of physicians have chosen to be vaccinated.


So please.

Put politics, and Covid politics aside.

Get vaccinated.

So I can watch PSU games this fall.
 
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roswelllion

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Aug 18, 2003
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First off i agree on the vaccines. however, based on your points 1-5 , it is hard to see both side on point 2. There were lot's of schools in 2020 that stayed open with almost no effect.

Point 4. It actually did seem you were here to debate that.

I agree with Hotshoe. It seems you can find arguments on both sides. I did think I read where many of the tests last year couldn't differentiate between flu and Covid. Dis I hear that right?
 
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pa108

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Oct 10, 2018
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First off i agree on the vaccines. however, based on your points 1-5 , it is hard to see both side on point 2. There were lot's of schools in 2020 that stayed open with almost no effect.

Point 4. It actually did seem you were here to debate that.

I agree with Hotshoe. It seems you can find arguments on both sides. I did think I read where many of the tests last year couldn't differentiate between flu and Covid. Dis I hear that right?
No.

Its crystal clear.

Tests for Covid are different than tests for influenza.

I'm happy to debate the efficacy of masks as well, but thats really a minor point.

The importance of masks vs the importance of vaccines is night and day.

As a general principle in medicine, an efficient treatment/prophylaxis is orders of magnitude more efficient than non-specific approaches.

1) Blood letting can be an effective treatment for pneumococcal pneumonia. the stress caused by anemia kicks your immune system into gear. But once you find a specific treatment (penicillin), it is far more effective than blood letting.

2) Cytotoxic chemotherapy is an effective, temporary treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). But when the root cause of CML was identified (a mutant BCR-ABL1 fusion), a specific therapy (imatinib) which inhibited the BCR-ABL1 fusion was developed. A game changer. A universally fatal disease became treatable with a simple pill. Just like Covid vaccines are game changers.

If you dont have a game changer, yes, go with the temporizing, non-specific methods (ie masks). They are far better than nothing.

But when you have a game changer (vaccines) you go with that.
 
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Alphalion75

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Oct 24, 2001
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So what lessons were you teaching your son my friend? First, that he can curse at his Dad. Second, his Dad will not hold him accountable for his actions. There are more, but I will stop there.
 

interrobang

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2016
19,624
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A universally fatal disease became treatable with a simple pill. Just like Covid vaccines are game changers.

Covid is not a universally fatal disease though. The treatment for most people who get covid is at worst tylenol
 

Fayette_LION

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Jan 28, 2004
10,307
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...This article is a fantastic retrospective of how you were duped by those who you thought you could trust. I know there will be some resistance to actually reading it, because people don't like to read stuff seemingly rehashing something they were so wrong about it. Here is why you should read it though: Regardless of how much it may hurt, THE FUTURE PAIN FROM NOT UNDERSTANDING THIS WILL BE MUCH WORSE THAN THE SMALL HIT TO THE EGO RIGHT NOW. There is nothing wrong with being duped and wrong, but there is something very wrong with letting it happen again because you chose to remain naive as to why/how you were duped and wrong. There's an old saying in Texas, "Fool me once, shame... a fool... umm... shame on the fool... ummm... and don't do it again."

Selfishly, I particularly like this article because it covers and articulates well how everything I was explaining from the beginning turned out to be exactly 100% true. :cool:

The Panic Pandemic​

Fearmongering from journalists, scientists, and politicians did more harm than the virus.
John Tierney
Summer 2021

Covid-19
Economy, finance, and budgets

The United States suffered through two lethal waves of contagion in the past year and a half. The first was a viral pandemic that killed about one in 500 Americans—typically, a person over 75 suffering from other serious conditions. The second, and far more catastrophic, was a moral panic that swept the nation’s guiding institutions.


Instead of keeping calm and carrying on, the American elite flouted the norms of governance, journalism, academic freedom—and, worst of all, science. They misled the public about the origins of the virus and the true risk that it posed. Ignoring their own carefully prepared plans for a pandemic, they claimed unprecedented powers to impose untested strategies, with terrible collateral damage. As evidence of their mistakes mounted, they stifled debate by vilifying dissenters, censoring criticism, and suppressing scientific research.


If, as seems increasingly plausible, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, it is the costliest blunder ever committed by scientists. Whatever the pandemic’s origin, the response to it is the worst mistake in the history of the public-health profession. We still have no convincing evidence that the lockdowns saved lives, but lots of evidence that they have already cost lives and will prove deadlier in the long run than the virus itself.


One in three people worldwide lost a job or a business during the lockdowns, and half saw their earnings drop, according to a Gallup poll. Children, never at risk from the virus, in many places essentially lost a year of school. The economic and health consequences were felt most acutely among the less affluent in America and in the rest of the world, where the World Bank estimates that more than 100 million have been pushed into extreme poverty.


The leaders responsible for these disasters continue to pretend that their policies worked and assume that they can keep fooling the public. They’ve promised to deploy these strategies again in the future, and they might even succeed in doing so—unless we begin to understand what went wrong.


The panic was started, as usual, by journalists. As the virus spread early last year, they highlighted the most alarming statistics and the scariest images: the estimates of a fatality rate ten to 50 times higher than the flu, the chaotic scenes at hospitals in Italy and New York City, the predictions that national health-care systems were about to collapse. The full-scale panic was set off by the release in March 2020 of a computer model at the Imperial College in London, which projected that—unless drastic measures were taken—intensive-care units would have 30 Covid patients for every available bed and that America would see 2.2 million deaths by the end of the summer. The British researchers announced that the “only viable strategy” was to impose draconian restrictions on businesses, schools, and social gatherings until a vaccine arrived.


This extraordinary project was swiftly declared the “consensus” among public-health officials, politicians, journalists, and academics. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed it and became the unassailable authority for those purporting to “follow the science.” What had originally been a limited lockdown—“15 days to slow the spread”—became long-term policy across much of the United States and the world. A few scientists and public-health experts objected, noting that an extended lockdown was a novel strategy of unknown effectiveness that had been rejected in previous plans for a pandemic. It was a dangerous experiment being conducted without knowing the answer to the most basic question: Just how lethal is this virus?


The most prominent early critic was John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford, who published an essay for STAT headlined “A Fiasco in the Making? As the Coronavirus Pandemic Takes Hold, We Are Making Decisions Without Reliable Data.” While a short-term lockdown made sense, he argued, an extended lockdown could prove worse than the disease, and scientists needed to do more intensive testing to determine the risk. The article offered common-sense advice from one of the world’s most frequently cited authorities on the credibility of medical research, but it provoked a furious backlash on Twitter from scientists and journalists.


The fury intensified in April 2020, when Ioannidis followed his own advice by joining with Jay Bhattacharya and other colleagues from Stanford to gauge the spread of Covid in the surrounding area, Santa Clara County. After testing for Covid antibodies in the blood of several thousand volunteers, they estimated that the fatality rate among the infected in the county was about 0.2 percent, twice as high as for the flu but considerably lower than the assumptions of public-health officials and computer modelers. The researchers acknowledged that the fatality rate could be substantially higher in other places where the virus spread extensively in nursing homes (which hadn’t yet occurred in the Santa Clara area). But merely by reporting data that didn’t fit the official panic narrative, they became targets.


Other scientists lambasted the researchers and claimed that methodological weaknesses in the study made the results meaningless. A statistician at Columbia wrote that the researchers “owe us all an apology.” A biologist at the University of North Carolina said that the study was “horrible science.” A Rutgers chemist called Ioannidis a “mediocrity” who “cannot even formulate a simulacrum of a coherent, rational argument.” A year later, Ioannidis still marvels at the attacks on the study (which was eventually published in a leading epidemiology journal). “Scientists whom I respect started acting like warriors who had to subvert the enemy,” he says. “Every paper I’ve written has errors—I’m a scientist, not the pope—but the main conclusions of this one were correct and have withstood the criticism.”


Mainstream journalists piled on with hit pieces quoting critics and accusing the researchers of endangering lives by questioning lockdowns. The Nation called the research a “black mark” for Stanford. The cheapest shots came from BuzzFeed, which devoted thousands of words to a series of trivial objections and baseless accusations. The article that got the most attention was BuzzFeed’s breathless revelation that an airline executive opposed to lockdowns had contributed $5,000—yes, five thousand dollars!—to an anonymized fund at Stanford that had helped finance the Santa Clara fieldwork.


The notion that a team of prominent academics, who were not paid for their work in the study, would risk their reputations by skewing results for the sake of a $5,000 donation was absurd on its face—and even more ludicrous, given that Ioannidis, Bhattacharya, and the lead investigator, Eran Bendavid, said that they weren’t even aware of the donation while conducting the study. But Stanford University was so cowed by the online uproar that it subjected the researchers to a two-month fact-finding inquiry by an outside legal firm. The inquiry found no evidence of conflict of interest, but the smear campaign succeeded in sending a clear message to scientists everywhere: Don’t question the lockdown narrative.


In a brief interlude of journalistic competence, two veteran science writers, Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee, published an article in Scientific American decrying the politicization of Covid research. They defended the integrity and methodology of the Stanford researchers, noting that some subsequent studies had found similar rates of fatality among the infected. (In his latest review of the literature, Ioannidis now estimates that the average fatality rate in Europe and the Americas is 0.3 to 0.4 percent and about 0.2 percent among people not living in institutions.) Lenzer and Brownlee lamented that the unjust criticism and ad hominem vitriol had suppressed a legitimate debate by intimidating the scientific community. Their editors then proceeded to prove their point. Responding to more online fury, Scientific American repented by publishing an editor’s note that essentially repudiated its own article. The editors printed BuzzFeed’s accusations as the final word on the matter, refusing to publish a rebuttal from the article’s authors or a supporting letter from Jeffrey Flier, former dean of Harvard Medical School. Scientific American, long the most venerable publication in its field, now bowed to the scientific authority of BuzzFeed.


Editors of research journals fell into line, too. When Thomas Benfield, one of the researchers in Denmark conducting the first large randomized controlled trial of mask efficacy against Covid, was asked why they were taking so long to publish the much-anticipated findings, he promised them as “as soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper.” After being rejected by The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA, the study finally appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the reason for the editors’ reluctance became clear: the study showed that a mask did not protect the wearer, which contradicted claims by the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities.


Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins with 350 publications to his name, submitted a critique of lockdowns to more than ten journals and finally gave up—the “first time in my career that I could not get a piece placed anywhere,” he said. Martin Kulldorff, an epidemiologist at Harvard, had a similar experience with his article, early in the pandemic, arguing that resources should be focused on protecting the elderly. “Just as in war,” Kulldorff wrote, “we must exploit the characteristics of the enemy in order to defeat it with the minimum number of casualties. Since Covid-19 operates in a highly age specific manner, mandated counter measures must also be age specific. If not, lives will be unnecessarily lost.” It was a tragically accurate prophecy from one of the leading experts on infectious disease, but Kulldorff couldn’t find a scientific journal or media outlet to accept the article, so he ended up posting it on his own LinkedIn page. “There’s always a certain amount of herd thinking in science,” Kulldorff says, “but I’ve never seen it reach this level. Most of the epidemiologists and other scientists I’ve spoken to in private are against lockdowns, but they’re afraid to speak up.”


To break the silence, Kulldorff joined with Stanford’s Bhattacharya and Sunetra Gupta of Oxford to issue a plea for “focused protection,” called the Great Barrington Declaration. They urged officials to divert more resources to shield the elderly, such as doing more tests of the staff at nursing homes and hospitals, while reopening business and schools for younger people, which would ultimately protect the vulnerable as herd immunity grew among the low-risk population.


They managed to attract attention but not the kind they hoped for. Though tens of thousands of other scientists and doctors went on to sign the declaration, the press caricatured it as a deadly “let it rip” strategy and an “ethical nightmare” from “Covid deniers” and “agents of misinformation.” Google initially shadow-banned it so that the first page of search results for “Great Barrington Declaration” showed only criticism of it (like an article calling it “the work of a climate denial network”) but not the declaration itself. Facebook shut down the scientists’ page for a week for violating unspecified “community standards.”


The most reviled heretic was Scott Atlas, a medical doctor and health-policy analyst at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He, too, urged focused protection on nursing homes and calculated that the medical, social, and economic disruptions of the lockdowns would cost more years of life than the coronavirus. When he joined the White House coronavirus task force, Bill Gates derided him as “this Stanford guy with no background” promoting “crackpot theories.” Nearly 100 members of Stanford’s faculty signed a letter denouncing his “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science,” and an editorial in the Stanford Daily urged the university to sever its ties to Hoover.


The Stanford faculty senate overwhelmingly voted to condemn Atlas’s actions as “anathema to our community, our values and our belief that we should use knowledge for good.” Several professors from Stanford’s medical school demanded further punishment in a JAMA article, “When Physicians Engage in Practices That Threaten the Nation’s Health.” The article, which misrepresented Atlas’s views as well as the evidence on the efficacy of lockdowns, urged professional medical societies and medical-licensing boards to take action against Atlas on the grounds that it was “ethically inappropriate for physicians to publicly recommend behaviors or interventions that are not scientifically well grounded.”


But if it was unethical to recommend “interventions that are not scientifically well grounded,” how could anyone condone the lockdowns? “It was utterly immoral to conduct this society-wide intervention without the evidence to justify it,” Bhattacharya says. “The immediate results have been disastrous, especially for the poor, and the long-term effect will be to fundamentally undermine trust in public health and science.” The traditional strategy for dealing with pandemics was to isolate the infected and protect the most vulnerable, just as Atlas and the Great Barrington scientists recommended. The CDC’s pre-pandemic planning scenarios didn’t recommend extended school closures or any shutdown of businesses even during a plague as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu. Yet Fauci dismissed the focused-protection strategy as “total nonsense” to “anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases,” and his verdict became “the science” to leaders in America and elsewhere.


Fortunately, a few leaders followed the science in a different way. Instead of blindly trusting Fauci, they listened to his critics and adopted the focused-protection strategy—most notably, in Florida. Its governor, Ron DeSantis, began to doubt the public-health establishment early in the pandemic, when computer models projected that Covid patients would greatly outnumber hospital beds in many states. Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were so alarmed and so determined to free up hospital beds that they directed nursing homes and other facilities to admit or readmit Covid patients—with deadly results.


But DeSantis was skeptical of the hospital projections—for good reason, as no state actually ran out of beds—and more worried about the risk of Covid spreading in nursing homes. He forbade long-term-care centers to admit anyone infected with Covid and ordered frequent testing of the staff at senior-care centers. After locking down last spring, he reopened businesses, schools, and restaurants early, rejected mask mandates, and ignored protests from the press and the state’s Democratic leaders. Fauci warned that Florida was “asking for trouble,” but DeSantis went on seeking and heeding advice from Atlas and the Great Barrington scientists, who were astonished to speak with a politician already familiar with just about every study they mentioned to him.


“DeSantis was an incredible outlier,” Atlas says. “He dug up the data and read the scientific papers and analyzed it all himself. In our discussions, he’d bounce ideas off me, but he was already on top of the details of everything. He always had the perspective to see the larger harms of lockdowns and the need to concentrate testing and other resources on the elderly. And he has been proven correct.”


If Florida had simply done no worse than the rest of the country during the pandemic, that would have been enough to discredit the lockdown strategy. The state effectively served as the control group in a natural experiment, and no medical treatment with dangerous side effects would be approved if the control group fared no differently from the treatment group. But the outcome of this experiment was even more damning.


Florida’s mortality rate from Covid is lower than the national average among those over 65 and also among younger people, so that the state’s age-adjusted Covid mortality rate is lower than that of all but ten other states. And by the most important measure, the overall rate of “excess mortality” (the number of deaths above normal), Florida has also done better than the national average. Its rate of excess mortality is significantly lower than that of the most restrictive state, California, particularly among younger adults, many of whom died not from Covid but from causes related to the lockdowns: cancer screenings and treatments were delayed, and there were sharp increases in deaths from drug overdoses and from heart attacks not treated promptly.




Chart by Jamie Meggas
Chart by Jamie Meggas



If the treatment group in a clinical trial were dying off faster than the control group, an ethical researcher would halt the experiment. But the lockdown proponents were undeterred by the numbers in Florida, or by similar results elsewhere, including a comparable natural experiment involving European countries with the least restrictive policies. Sweden, Finland, and Norway rejected mask mandates and extended lockdowns, and they have each suffered significantly less excess mortality than most other European countries during the pandemic.


A nationwide analysis in Sweden showed that keeping schools open throughout the pandemic, without masks or social distancing, had little effect on the spread of Covid, but school closures and mask mandates for students continued elsewhere. Another Swedish researcher, Jonas Ludvigsson, reported that not a single schoolchild in the country died from Covid in Sweden and that their teachers’ risk of serious illness was lower than for the rest of the workforce—but these findings provoked so many online attacks and threats that Ludvigsson decided to stop researching or discussing Covid.


Social-media platforms continued censoring scientists and journalists who questioned lockdowns and mask mandates. YouTube removed a video discussion between DeSantis and the Great Barrington scientists, on the grounds that it “contradicts the consensus” on the efficacy of masks, and also took down the Hoover Institution’s interview with Atlas. Twitter locked out Atlas and Kulldorff for scientifically accurate challenges to mask orthodoxy. A peer-reviewed German study reporting harms to children from mask-wearing was suppressed on Facebook (which labeled my City Journal article “Partly False” because it cited the study) and also at ResearchGate, one of the most widely used websites for scientists to post their papers. ResearchGate refused to explain the censorship to the German scientists, telling them only that the paper was removed from the website in response to “reports from the community about the subject-matter.”


The social-media censors and scientific establishment, aided by the Chinese government, succeeded for a year in suppressing the lab-leak theory, depriving vaccine developers of potentially valuable insights into the virus’s evolution. It’s understandable, if deplorable, that the researchers and officials involved in supporting the Wuhan lab research would cover up the possibility that they’d unleashed a Frankenstein on the world. What’s harder to explain is why journalists and the rest of the scientific community so eagerly bought that story, along with the rest of the Covid narrative.


Why the elite panic? Why did so many go so wrong for so long? When journalists and scientists finally faced up to their mistake in ruling out the lab-leak theory, they blamed their favorite villain: Donald Trump. He had espoused the theory, so they assumed it must be wrong. And since he disagreed at times with Fauci about the danger of the virus and the need for lockdowns, then Fauci must be right, and this was such a deadly plague that the norms of journalism and science must be suspended. Millions would die unless Fauci was obeyed and dissenters were silenced.


But neither the plague nor Trump explains the panic. Yes, the virus was deadly, and Trump’s erratic pronouncements contributed to the confusion and partisanship, but the panic was due to two preexisting pathologies that afflicted other countries, too. The first is what I have called the Crisis Crisis, the incessant state of alarm fomented by journalists and politicians. It’s a longstanding problem—humanity was supposedly doomed in the last century by the “population crisis” and the “energy crisis”—that has dramatically worsened with the cable and digital competition for ratings, clicks, and retweets. To keep audiences frightened around the clock, journalists seek out Cassandras with their own incentives for fearmongering: politicians, bureaucrats, activists, academics, and assorted experts who gain publicity, prestige, funding, and power during a crisis.


Unlike many proclaimed crises, an epidemic is a genuine threat, but the crisis industry can’t resist exaggerating the danger, and doomsaying is rarely penalized. Early in the 1980s AIDS epidemic, the New York Times reported the terrifying possibility that the virus could spread to children through “routine close contact”—quoting from a study by Anthony Fauci. Life magazine wildly exaggerated the number of infections in a cover story, headlined “Now No One Is Safe from AIDS.” It cited a study by Robert Redfield, the future leader of the CDC during the Covid pandemic, predicting that AIDS would soon spread as rapidly among heterosexuals as among homosexuals. Both scientists were absolutely wrong, of course, but the false alarms didn’t harm their careers or their credibility.


Journalists and politicians extend professional courtesy to fellow crisis-mongers by ignoring their mistakes, such as the previous predictions by Neil Ferguson. His team at Imperial College projected up to 65,000 deaths in the United Kingdom from swine flu and 200 million deaths worldwide from bird flu. The death toll each time was in the hundreds, but never mind: when Ferguson’s team projected millions of American deaths from Covid, that was considered reason enough to follow its recommendation for extended lockdowns. And when the modelers’ assumption about the fatality rate proved too high, that mistake was ignored, too.


Journalists kept highlighting the most alarming warnings, presented without context. They needed to keep their audience scared, and they succeeded. For Americans under 70, the probability of surviving a Covid infection was about 99.9 percent, but fear of the virus was higher among the young than among the elderly, and polls showed that people of all ages vastly overestimated the risk of being hospitalized or dying.


The second pathology underlying the elite’s Covid panic is the politicization of research—what I have termed the Left’s war on science, another long-standing problem that has gotten much worse. Just as the progressives a century ago yearned for a nation directed by “expert social engineers”—scientific high priests unconstrained by voters and public opinion—today’s progressives want sweeping new powers for politicians and bureaucrats who “believe in science,” meaning that they use the Left’s version of science to justify their edicts. Now that so many elite institutions are political monocultures, progressives have more power than ever to enforce groupthink and suppress debate. Well before the pandemic, they had mastered the tactics for demonizing and silencing scientists whose findings challenged progressive orthodoxy on issues such as IQ, sex differences, race, family structure, transgenderism, and climate change.




And then along came Covid—“God’s gift to the Left,” in Jane Fonda’s words. Exaggerating the danger and deflecting blame from China to Trump offered not only short-term political benefits, damaging his reelection prospects, but also an extraordinary opportunity to empower social engineers in Washington and state capitals. Early in the pandemic, Fauci expressed doubt that it was politically possible to lock down American cities, but he underestimated the effectiveness of the crisis industry’s scaremongering. Americans were so frightened that they surrendered their freedoms to work, study, worship, dine, play, socialize, or even leave their homes. Progressives celebrated this “paradigm shift,” calling it a “blueprint” for dealing with climate change.


This experience should be a lesson in what not to do, and whom not to trust. Do not assume that the media’s version of a crisis resembles reality. Do not count on mainstream journalists and their favorite doomsayers to put risks in perspective. Do not expect those who follow “the science” to know what they’re talking about. Science is a process of discovery and debate, not a faith to profess or a dogma to live by. It provides a description of the world, not a prescription for public policy, and specialists in one discipline do not have the knowledge or perspective to guide society. They’re biased by their own narrow focus and self-interest. Fauci and Deborah Birx, the physician who allied with him against Atlas on the White House task force, had to answer for the daily Covid death toll—that ever-present chyron at the bottom of the television screen—so they focused on one disease instead of the collateral damage of their panic-driven policies.


“The Fauci-Birx lockdowns were a sinful, unconscionable, heinous mistake, and they will never admit they were wrong,” Atlas says. Neither will the journalists and politicians who panicked along with them. They’re still portraying lockdowns as not just a success but also a precedent—proof that Americans can sacrifice for the common good when directed by wise scientists and benevolent autocrats. But the sacrifice did far more harm than good, and the burden was not shared equally. The brunt was borne by the most vulnerable in America and the poorest countries of the world. Students from disadvantaged families suffered the most from school closures, and children everywhere spent a year wearing masks solely to assuage the neurotic fears of adults. The less educated lost jobs so that professionals at minimal risk could feel safer as they kept working at home on their laptops. Silicon Valley (and its censors) prospered from lockdowns that bankrupted local businesses.


Luminaries united on Zoom and YouTube to assure the public that “we’re all in this together.” But we weren’t. When the panic infected the nation’s elite—the modern gentry who profess such concern for the downtrodden—it turned out that they weren’t so different from aristocrats of the past. They were in it for themselves.

Link to article: Here

[BoulderFish Note: I'm sure some of you will feel the urge to reply with some shot at the source of the article, but before you do that, please know that in doing so, all you're doing is proving the article to be spot on (which it is). If you feel something in the article is not accurate, I challenge you to debate the specific claim with your own data and/or scientific support.]
The Media has become the enemy of liberty and the values established in the USA. TDS drove the media crazy.
 

83wuzme

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2005
13,276
12,449
1
Ugh. Have you just come up from under a rock? I didn't know anyone was still buying that conspiracy theory. Before you repeat it again, type "viral interference" into google, and hit enter. You're welcome.

giphy.gif
Viral interference doesn’t really explain all of it. If you look at what happened in Australia during their first COVID winter, they had almost no influenza or RSV. They also had essentially no COVID.
The best analogy for COVID mitigation efforts can be found on Z Dogg MD’s YouTube channel. He compares creating a barrier against COVID to building a wall composed of successive layers of Swiss cheese. Each layer has holes, but as you add successive layers, the holes become smaller and less numerous. The layers of the cheese can represent social distancing, masking, disinfection, ventilation, weather conditions, vaccines, etc.
People seem to fall into an “ all or nothing “ mode of thinking when it comes to expectations about viral mitigation.
 

LionDeNittany

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
43,993
17,251
1
DFW, TX
Viral interference doesn’t really explain all of it. If you look at what happened in Australia during their first COVID winter, they had almost no influenza or RSV. They also had essentially no COVID.
The best analogy for COVID mitigation efforts can be found on Z Dogg MD’s YouTube channel. He compares creating a barrier against COVID to building a wall composed of successive layers of Swiss cheese. Each layer has holes, but as you add successive layers, the holes become smaller and less numerous. The layers of the cheese can represent social distancing, masking, disinfection, ventilation, weather conditions, vaccines, etc.
People seem to fall into an “ all or nothing “ mode of thinking when it comes to expectations about viral mitigation.

Much of the left lives in some fantasy world where people are social distancing and wearing masks.

In the real world none of this is happening. Visit the inner city, or where all of your goods are produced before someone contactless delivers them to you.

The only thing we have done is to destroy many small businesses and the livelihoods of millions.

Thankfully we have people like DeSantis who are willing to take some negative press to protect the poor.

LdN
 

interrobang

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2016
19,624
26,907
1
Viral interference doesn’t really explain all of it. If you look at what happened in Australia during their first COVID winter, they had almost no influenza or RSV. They also had essentially no COVID.
The best analogy for COVID mitigation efforts can be found on Z Dogg MD’s YouTube channel. He compares creating a barrier against COVID to building a wall composed of successive layers of Swiss cheese. Each layer has holes, but as you add successive layers, the holes become smaller and less numerous. The layers of the cheese can represent social distancing, masking, disinfection, ventilation, weather conditions, vaccines, etc.
People seem to fall into an “ all or nothing “ mode of thinking when it comes to expectations about viral mitigation.

No RSV in Australia?

 

PaoliLion

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2003
10,632
5,203
1
...This article is a fantastic retrospective of how you were duped by those who you thought you could trust. I know there will be some resistance to actually reading it, because people don't like to read stuff seemingly rehashing something they were so wrong about it. Here is why you should read it though: Regardless of how much it may hurt, THE FUTURE PAIN FROM NOT UNDERSTANDING THIS WILL BE MUCH WORSE THAN THE SMALL HIT TO THE EGO RIGHT NOW. There is nothing wrong with being duped and wrong, but there is something very wrong with letting it happen again because you chose to remain naive as to why/how you were duped and wrong. There's an old saying in Texas, "Fool me once, shame... a fool... umm... shame on the fool... ummm... and don't do it again."

Selfishly, I particularly like this article because it covers and articulates well how everything I was explaining from the beginning turned out to be exactly 100% true. :cool:

The Panic Pandemic​

Fearmongering from journalists, scientists, and politicians did more harm than the virus.
John Tierney
Summer 2021

Covid-19
Economy, finance, and budgets

The United States suffered through two lethal waves of contagion in the past year and a half. The first was a viral pandemic that killed about one in 500 Americans—typically, a person over 75 suffering from other serious conditions. The second, and far more catastrophic, was a moral panic that swept the nation’s guiding institutions.


Instead of keeping calm and carrying on, the American elite flouted the norms of governance, journalism, academic freedom—and, worst of all, science. They misled the public about the origins of the virus and the true risk that it posed. Ignoring their own carefully prepared plans for a pandemic, they claimed unprecedented powers to impose untested strategies, with terrible collateral damage. As evidence of their mistakes mounted, they stifled debate by vilifying dissenters, censoring criticism, and suppressing scientific research.


If, as seems increasingly plausible, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, it is the costliest blunder ever committed by scientists. Whatever the pandemic’s origin, the response to it is the worst mistake in the history of the public-health profession. We still have no convincing evidence that the lockdowns saved lives, but lots of evidence that they have already cost lives and will prove deadlier in the long run than the virus itself.


One in three people worldwide lost a job or a business during the lockdowns, and half saw their earnings drop, according to a Gallup poll. Children, never at risk from the virus, in many places essentially lost a year of school. The economic and health consequences were felt most acutely among the less affluent in America and in the rest of the world, where the World Bank estimates that more than 100 million have been pushed into extreme poverty.


The leaders responsible for these disasters continue to pretend that their policies worked and assume that they can keep fooling the public. They’ve promised to deploy these strategies again in the future, and they might even succeed in doing so—unless we begin to understand what went wrong.


The panic was started, as usual, by journalists. As the virus spread early last year, they highlighted the most alarming statistics and the scariest images: the estimates of a fatality rate ten to 50 times higher than the flu, the chaotic scenes at hospitals in Italy and New York City, the predictions that national health-care systems were about to collapse. The full-scale panic was set off by the release in March 2020 of a computer model at the Imperial College in London, which projected that—unless drastic measures were taken—intensive-care units would have 30 Covid patients for every available bed and that America would see 2.2 million deaths by the end of the summer. The British researchers announced that the “only viable strategy” was to impose draconian restrictions on businesses, schools, and social gatherings until a vaccine arrived.


This extraordinary project was swiftly declared the “consensus” among public-health officials, politicians, journalists, and academics. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, endorsed it and became the unassailable authority for those purporting to “follow the science.” What had originally been a limited lockdown—“15 days to slow the spread”—became long-term policy across much of the United States and the world. A few scientists and public-health experts objected, noting that an extended lockdown was a novel strategy of unknown effectiveness that had been rejected in previous plans for a pandemic. It was a dangerous experiment being conducted without knowing the answer to the most basic question: Just how lethal is this virus?


The most prominent early critic was John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford, who published an essay for STAT headlined “A Fiasco in the Making? As the Coronavirus Pandemic Takes Hold, We Are Making Decisions Without Reliable Data.” While a short-term lockdown made sense, he argued, an extended lockdown could prove worse than the disease, and scientists needed to do more intensive testing to determine the risk. The article offered common-sense advice from one of the world’s most frequently cited authorities on the credibility of medical research, but it provoked a furious backlash on Twitter from scientists and journalists.


The fury intensified in April 2020, when Ioannidis followed his own advice by joining with Jay Bhattacharya and other colleagues from Stanford to gauge the spread of Covid in the surrounding area, Santa Clara County. After testing for Covid antibodies in the blood of several thousand volunteers, they estimated that the fatality rate among the infected in the county was about 0.2 percent, twice as high as for the flu but considerably lower than the assumptions of public-health officials and computer modelers. The researchers acknowledged that the fatality rate could be substantially higher in other places where the virus spread extensively in nursing homes (which hadn’t yet occurred in the Santa Clara area). But merely by reporting data that didn’t fit the official panic narrative, they became targets.


Other scientists lambasted the researchers and claimed that methodological weaknesses in the study made the results meaningless. A statistician at Columbia wrote that the researchers “owe us all an apology.” A biologist at the University of North Carolina said that the study was “horrible science.” A Rutgers chemist called Ioannidis a “mediocrity” who “cannot even formulate a simulacrum of a coherent, rational argument.” A year later, Ioannidis still marvels at the attacks on the study (which was eventually published in a leading epidemiology journal). “Scientists whom I respect started acting like warriors who had to subvert the enemy,” he says. “Every paper I’ve written has errors—I’m a scientist, not the pope—but the main conclusions of this one were correct and have withstood the criticism.”


Mainstream journalists piled on with hit pieces quoting critics and accusing the researchers of endangering lives by questioning lockdowns. The Nation called the research a “black mark” for Stanford. The cheapest shots came from BuzzFeed, which devoted thousands of words to a series of trivial objections and baseless accusations. The article that got the most attention was BuzzFeed’s breathless revelation that an airline executive opposed to lockdowns had contributed $5,000—yes, five thousand dollars!—to an anonymized fund at Stanford that had helped finance the Santa Clara fieldwork.


The notion that a team of prominent academics, who were not paid for their work in the study, would risk their reputations by skewing results for the sake of a $5,000 donation was absurd on its face—and even more ludicrous, given that Ioannidis, Bhattacharya, and the lead investigator, Eran Bendavid, said that they weren’t even aware of the donation while conducting the study. But Stanford University was so cowed by the online uproar that it subjected the researchers to a two-month fact-finding inquiry by an outside legal firm. The inquiry found no evidence of conflict of interest, but the smear campaign succeeded in sending a clear message to scientists everywhere: Don’t question the lockdown narrative.


In a brief interlude of journalistic competence, two veteran science writers, Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee, published an article in Scientific American decrying the politicization of Covid research. They defended the integrity and methodology of the Stanford researchers, noting that some subsequent studies had found similar rates of fatality among the infected. (In his latest review of the literature, Ioannidis now estimates that the average fatality rate in Europe and the Americas is 0.3 to 0.4 percent and about 0.2 percent among people not living in institutions.) Lenzer and Brownlee lamented that the unjust criticism and ad hominem vitriol had suppressed a legitimate debate by intimidating the scientific community. Their editors then proceeded to prove their point. Responding to more online fury, Scientific American repented by publishing an editor’s note that essentially repudiated its own article. The editors printed BuzzFeed’s accusations as the final word on the matter, refusing to publish a rebuttal from the article’s authors or a supporting letter from Jeffrey Flier, former dean of Harvard Medical School. Scientific American, long the most venerable publication in its field, now bowed to the scientific authority of BuzzFeed.


Editors of research journals fell into line, too. When Thomas Benfield, one of the researchers in Denmark conducting the first large randomized controlled trial of mask efficacy against Covid, was asked why they were taking so long to publish the much-anticipated findings, he promised them as “as soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper.” After being rejected by The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, and JAMA, the study finally appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and the reason for the editors’ reluctance became clear: the study showed that a mask did not protect the wearer, which contradicted claims by the Centers for Disease Control and other health authorities.


Stefan Baral, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins with 350 publications to his name, submitted a critique of lockdowns to more than ten journals and finally gave up—the “first time in my career that I could not get a piece placed anywhere,” he said. Martin Kulldorff, an epidemiologist at Harvard, had a similar experience with his article, early in the pandemic, arguing that resources should be focused on protecting the elderly. “Just as in war,” Kulldorff wrote, “we must exploit the characteristics of the enemy in order to defeat it with the minimum number of casualties. Since Covid-19 operates in a highly age specific manner, mandated counter measures must also be age specific. If not, lives will be unnecessarily lost.” It was a tragically accurate prophecy from one of the leading experts on infectious disease, but Kulldorff couldn’t find a scientific journal or media outlet to accept the article, so he ended up posting it on his own LinkedIn page. “There’s always a certain amount of herd thinking in science,” Kulldorff says, “but I’ve never seen it reach this level. Most of the epidemiologists and other scientists I’ve spoken to in private are against lockdowns, but they’re afraid to speak up.”


To break the silence, Kulldorff joined with Stanford’s Bhattacharya and Sunetra Gupta of Oxford to issue a plea for “focused protection,” called the Great Barrington Declaration. They urged officials to divert more resources to shield the elderly, such as doing more tests of the staff at nursing homes and hospitals, while reopening business and schools for younger people, which would ultimately protect the vulnerable as herd immunity grew among the low-risk population.


They managed to attract attention but not the kind they hoped for. Though tens of thousands of other scientists and doctors went on to sign the declaration, the press caricatured it as a deadly “let it rip” strategy and an “ethical nightmare” from “Covid deniers” and “agents of misinformation.” Google initially shadow-banned it so that the first page of search results for “Great Barrington Declaration” showed only criticism of it (like an article calling it “the work of a climate denial network”) but not the declaration itself. Facebook shut down the scientists’ page for a week for violating unspecified “community standards.”


The most reviled heretic was Scott Atlas, a medical doctor and health-policy analyst at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. He, too, urged focused protection on nursing homes and calculated that the medical, social, and economic disruptions of the lockdowns would cost more years of life than the coronavirus. When he joined the White House coronavirus task force, Bill Gates derided him as “this Stanford guy with no background” promoting “crackpot theories.” Nearly 100 members of Stanford’s faculty signed a letter denouncing his “falsehoods and misrepresentations of science,” and an editorial in the Stanford Daily urged the university to sever its ties to Hoover.


The Stanford faculty senate overwhelmingly voted to condemn Atlas’s actions as “anathema to our community, our values and our belief that we should use knowledge for good.” Several professors from Stanford’s medical school demanded further punishment in a JAMA article, “When Physicians Engage in Practices That Threaten the Nation’s Health.” The article, which misrepresented Atlas’s views as well as the evidence on the efficacy of lockdowns, urged professional medical societies and medical-licensing boards to take action against Atlas on the grounds that it was “ethically inappropriate for physicians to publicly recommend behaviors or interventions that are not scientifically well grounded.”


But if it was unethical to recommend “interventions that are not scientifically well grounded,” how could anyone condone the lockdowns? “It was utterly immoral to conduct this society-wide intervention without the evidence to justify it,” Bhattacharya says. “The immediate results have been disastrous, especially for the poor, and the long-term effect will be to fundamentally undermine trust in public health and science.” The traditional strategy for dealing with pandemics was to isolate the infected and protect the most vulnerable, just as Atlas and the Great Barrington scientists recommended. The CDC’s pre-pandemic planning scenarios didn’t recommend extended school closures or any shutdown of businesses even during a plague as deadly as the 1918 Spanish flu. Yet Fauci dismissed the focused-protection strategy as “total nonsense” to “anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases,” and his verdict became “the science” to leaders in America and elsewhere.


Fortunately, a few leaders followed the science in a different way. Instead of blindly trusting Fauci, they listened to his critics and adopted the focused-protection strategy—most notably, in Florida. Its governor, Ron DeSantis, began to doubt the public-health establishment early in the pandemic, when computer models projected that Covid patients would greatly outnumber hospital beds in many states. Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan were so alarmed and so determined to free up hospital beds that they directed nursing homes and other facilities to admit or readmit Covid patients—with deadly results.


But DeSantis was skeptical of the hospital projections—for good reason, as no state actually ran out of beds—and more worried about the risk of Covid spreading in nursing homes. He forbade long-term-care centers to admit anyone infected with Covid and ordered frequent testing of the staff at senior-care centers. After locking down last spring, he reopened businesses, schools, and restaurants early, rejected mask mandates, and ignored protests from the press and the state’s Democratic leaders. Fauci warned that Florida was “asking for trouble,” but DeSantis went on seeking and heeding advice from Atlas and the Great Barrington scientists, who were astonished to speak with a politician already familiar with just about every study they mentioned to him.


“DeSantis was an incredible outlier,” Atlas says. “He dug up the data and read the scientific papers and analyzed it all himself. In our discussions, he’d bounce ideas off me, but he was already on top of the details of everything. He always had the perspective to see the larger harms of lockdowns and the need to concentrate testing and other resources on the elderly. And he has been proven correct.”


If Florida had simply done no worse than the rest of the country during the pandemic, that would have been enough to discredit the lockdown strategy. The state effectively served as the control group in a natural experiment, and no medical treatment with dangerous side effects would be approved if the control group fared no differently from the treatment group. But the outcome of this experiment was even more damning.


Florida’s mortality rate from Covid is lower than the national average among those over 65 and also among younger people, so that the state’s age-adjusted Covid mortality rate is lower than that of all but ten other states. And by the most important measure, the overall rate of “excess mortality” (the number of deaths above normal), Florida has also done better than the national average. Its rate of excess mortality is significantly lower than that of the most restrictive state, California, particularly among younger adults, many of whom died not from Covid but from causes related to the lockdowns: cancer screenings and treatments were delayed, and there were sharp increases in deaths from drug overdoses and from heart attacks not treated promptly.




Chart by Jamie Meggas
Chart by Jamie Meggas



If the treatment group in a clinical trial were dying off faster than the control group, an ethical researcher would halt the experiment. But the lockdown proponents were undeterred by the numbers in Florida, or by similar results elsewhere, including a comparable natural experiment involving European countries with the least restrictive policies. Sweden, Finland, and Norway rejected mask mandates and extended lockdowns, and they have each suffered significantly less excess mortality than most other European countries during the pandemic.


A nationwide analysis in Sweden showed that keeping schools open throughout the pandemic, without masks or social distancing, had little effect on the spread of Covid, but school closures and mask mandates for students continued elsewhere. Another Swedish researcher, Jonas Ludvigsson, reported that not a single schoolchild in the country died from Covid in Sweden and that their teachers’ risk of serious illness was lower than for the rest of the workforce—but these findings provoked so many online attacks and threats that Ludvigsson decided to stop researching or discussing Covid.


Social-media platforms continued censoring scientists and journalists who questioned lockdowns and mask mandates. YouTube removed a video discussion between DeSantis and the Great Barrington scientists, on the grounds that it “contradicts the consensus” on the efficacy of masks, and also took down the Hoover Institution’s interview with Atlas. Twitter locked out Atlas and Kulldorff for scientifically accurate challenges to mask orthodoxy. A peer-reviewed German study reporting harms to children from mask-wearing was suppressed on Facebook (which labeled my City Journal article “Partly False” because it cited the study) and also at ResearchGate, one of the most widely used websites for scientists to post their papers. ResearchGate refused to explain the censorship to the German scientists, telling them only that the paper was removed from the website in response to “reports from the community about the subject-matter.”


The social-media censors and scientific establishment, aided by the Chinese government, succeeded for a year in suppressing the lab-leak theory, depriving vaccine developers of potentially valuable insights into the virus’s evolution. It’s understandable, if deplorable, that the researchers and officials involved in supporting the Wuhan lab research would cover up the possibility that they’d unleashed a Frankenstein on the world. What’s harder to explain is why journalists and the rest of the scientific community so eagerly bought that story, along with the rest of the Covid narrative.


Why the elite panic? Why did so many go so wrong for so long? When journalists and scientists finally faced up to their mistake in ruling out the lab-leak theory, they blamed their favorite villain: Donald Trump. He had espoused the theory, so they assumed it must be wrong. And since he disagreed at times with Fauci about the danger of the virus and the need for lockdowns, then Fauci must be right, and this was such a deadly plague that the norms of journalism and science must be suspended. Millions would die unless Fauci was obeyed and dissenters were silenced.


But neither the plague nor Trump explains the panic. Yes, the virus was deadly, and Trump’s erratic pronouncements contributed to the confusion and partisanship, but the panic was due to two preexisting pathologies that afflicted other countries, too. The first is what I have called the Crisis Crisis, the incessant state of alarm fomented by journalists and politicians. It’s a longstanding problem—humanity was supposedly doomed in the last century by the “population crisis” and the “energy crisis”—that has dramatically worsened with the cable and digital competition for ratings, clicks, and retweets. To keep audiences frightened around the clock, journalists seek out Cassandras with their own incentives for fearmongering: politicians, bureaucrats, activists, academics, and assorted experts who gain publicity, prestige, funding, and power during a crisis.


Unlike many proclaimed crises, an epidemic is a genuine threat, but the crisis industry can’t resist exaggerating the danger, and doomsaying is rarely penalized. Early in the 1980s AIDS epidemic, the New York Times reported the terrifying possibility that the virus could spread to children through “routine close contact”—quoting from a study by Anthony Fauci. Life magazine wildly exaggerated the number of infections in a cover story, headlined “Now No One Is Safe from AIDS.” It cited a study by Robert Redfield, the future leader of the CDC during the Covid pandemic, predicting that AIDS would soon spread as rapidly among heterosexuals as among homosexuals. Both scientists were absolutely wrong, of course, but the false alarms didn’t harm their careers or their credibility.


Journalists and politicians extend professional courtesy to fellow crisis-mongers by ignoring their mistakes, such as the previous predictions by Neil Ferguson. His team at Imperial College projected up to 65,000 deaths in the United Kingdom from swine flu and 200 million deaths worldwide from bird flu. The death toll each time was in the hundreds, but never mind: when Ferguson’s team projected millions of American deaths from Covid, that was considered reason enough to follow its recommendation for extended lockdowns. And when the modelers’ assumption about the fatality rate proved too high, that mistake was ignored, too.


Journalists kept highlighting the most alarming warnings, presented without context. They needed to keep their audience scared, and they succeeded. For Americans under 70, the probability of surviving a Covid infection was about 99.9 percent, but fear of the virus was higher among the young than among the elderly, and polls showed that people of all ages vastly overestimated the risk of being hospitalized or dying.


The second pathology underlying the elite’s Covid panic is the politicization of research—what I have termed the Left’s war on science, another long-standing problem that has gotten much worse. Just as the progressives a century ago yearned for a nation directed by “expert social engineers”—scientific high priests unconstrained by voters and public opinion—today’s progressives want sweeping new powers for politicians and bureaucrats who “believe in science,” meaning that they use the Left’s version of science to justify their edicts. Now that so many elite institutions are political monocultures, progressives have more power than ever to enforce groupthink and suppress debate. Well before the pandemic, they had mastered the tactics for demonizing and silencing scientists whose findings challenged progressive orthodoxy on issues such as IQ, sex differences, race, family structure, transgenderism, and climate change.




And then along came Covid—“God’s gift to the Left,” in Jane Fonda’s words. Exaggerating the danger and deflecting blame from China to Trump offered not only short-term political benefits, damaging his reelection prospects, but also an extraordinary opportunity to empower social engineers in Washington and state capitals. Early in the pandemic, Fauci expressed doubt that it was politically possible to lock down American cities, but he underestimated the effectiveness of the crisis industry’s scaremongering. Americans were so frightened that they surrendered their freedoms to work, study, worship, dine, play, socialize, or even leave their homes. Progressives celebrated this “paradigm shift,” calling it a “blueprint” for dealing with climate change.


This experience should be a lesson in what not to do, and whom not to trust. Do not assume that the media’s version of a crisis resembles reality. Do not count on mainstream journalists and their favorite doomsayers to put risks in perspective. Do not expect those who follow “the science” to know what they’re talking about. Science is a process of discovery and debate, not a faith to profess or a dogma to live by. It provides a description of the world, not a prescription for public policy, and specialists in one discipline do not have the knowledge or perspective to guide society. They’re biased by their own narrow focus and self-interest. Fauci and Deborah Birx, the physician who allied with him against Atlas on the White House task force, had to answer for the daily Covid death toll—that ever-present chyron at the bottom of the television screen—so they focused on one disease instead of the collateral damage of their panic-driven policies.


“The Fauci-Birx lockdowns were a sinful, unconscionable, heinous mistake, and they will never admit they were wrong,” Atlas says. Neither will the journalists and politicians who panicked along with them. They’re still portraying lockdowns as not just a success but also a precedent—proof that Americans can sacrifice for the common good when directed by wise scientists and benevolent autocrats. But the sacrifice did far more harm than good, and the burden was not shared equally. The brunt was borne by the most vulnerable in America and the poorest countries of the world. Students from disadvantaged families suffered the most from school closures, and children everywhere spent a year wearing masks solely to assuage the neurotic fears of adults. The less educated lost jobs so that professionals at minimal risk could feel safer as they kept working at home on their laptops. Silicon Valley (and its censors) prospered from lockdowns that bankrupted local businesses.


Luminaries united on Zoom and YouTube to assure the public that “we’re all in this together.” But we weren’t. When the panic infected the nation’s elite—the modern gentry who profess such concern for the downtrodden—it turned out that they weren’t so different from aristocrats of the past. They were in it for themselves.

Link to article: Here

[BoulderFish Note: I'm sure some of you will feel the urge to reply with some shot at the source of the article, but before you do that, please know that in doing so, all you're doing is proving the article to be spot on (which it is). If you feel something in the article is not accurate, I challenge you to debate the specific claim with your own data and/or scientific support.]

We Democrats got together and debated whether we should ban Republicans, being the little virus incubators that they are, from public spaces. We considered the virus to be a threat to our liberty and pursuit of happiness. After much debate, we decided that we were being draconian, so we agreed that you all should just wear bags over your head. This would prevent your spit from showering the people around you. We ran an experiment and the Republicans involved struggled to shop and spend money. While we weren't comfortable with you being out in public, we like taking your money. as a last resort, we agreed that masks were the solution. Admittedly, we knew that simply banning you from going out was better, but there's a trade off. Unfortunately, the Republicans have started killing each other and it's defeating the purpose of the masks. I'm ok to go back to the all up ban and you can return to society and spending your cash when the Democrats have stopped the virus.
 

WeR0206

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2014
18,359
23,329
1
2020evidence.org
So, your cardiologist's alma mater has little impact on the current pandemic.

Most people, I think, would agree that this pandemic is now overlaid with politics.

At least 5 major Covid issues with political overtones.

1) Predictions of Covid deaths were overestimated. Maybe, maybe not. It surprises me that people would use "only" 600,000+ deaths in the face of estimates of 2 million US deaths if no mitigation as evidence that the predictions stoked panic. But the number of US deaths if no mitigation is completley unknowable. I'm not here to debate that.

2) Closing schools to prevent Covid deaths was a bad idea. I can see arguments on both sides. I'm not here to debate that.

3) The WHO didnt investigate Covid origin intensely enough. I agree, but I'm not here to debate that.

4) Masks and social distancing don't prevent Covid. I think they do, and common sense would say they do, but I'm not here to debate that.

5) Vaccines prevent Covid. This is vitally important. And it very well may impact football season.

--All US public health officials recommend Covid vaccines. These are individuals, Republican and Democrat, who have spent their lives studying infections. Just like a football coach might who has studied football for 15+ years might have a better idea how to run practice than some dude sitting on his couch.

--95+% of current Covid Deaths are unvaccinated individuals. 95%. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness. I cannot stress this enough. 95%. This can be, literally, life or death.



--Of people in your community, the people you might expect to know the most about illness are physicians. I'm not saying all physicians, and I'm not saying that all physicians are smart. But I am saying that physicians have received a zillion years of schooling on health and disease.

96 % of physicians have chosen to be vaccinated.


So please.

Put politics, and Covid politics aside.

Get vaccinated.

So I can watch PSU games this fall.
This message ^^^ was brought to you by big pharma, who’s in bed with many of the public health officials. Especially with the current variants The vaccines are worthless in preventing infection and actually make it more likely for people to unknowingly spread the virus since they reduce symptoms (they can have no symptoms but a high viral load).

proxy.php


The best approach that works regardless of variant or vaccination status is early sequential multi drug treatment using fda approved drugs off label. This has been done in thousands of patients and reduced hospitalization and death by 85-90%. Increasing awareness and making these drugs available in care kits would be the focus if all the “experts” you laud actually wanted to calm fear and end the pandemic. But nope. They advocate for measures and products that only help big pharma…fancy that!

Ov9AqM8.jpeg
(Pathophysiological Basis and Rationale for Early Outpatient Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Infection)

Masks and social distancing for an aerosolized virus are worthless and do more harm than good (physiological and physiological damage).
 
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roswelllion

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Aug 18, 2003
9,276
7,868
1
You are crass idiot but to play your little game I would bet you $1,000 more D's have died than R's. Let's take the state % vote for Biden and Trump and apply that % to state deaths.
 

Hotshoe

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Feb 15, 2012
24,145
38,970
1
So, your cardiologist's alma mater has little impact on the current pandemic.

Most people, I think, would agree that this pandemic is now overlaid with politics.

At least 5 major Covid issues with political overtones.

1) Predictions of Covid deaths were overestimated. Maybe, maybe not. It surprises me that people would use "only" 600,000+ deaths in the face of estimates of 2 million US deaths if no mitigation as evidence that the predictions stoked panic. But the number of US deaths if no mitigation is completley unknowable. I'm not here to debate that.

2) Closing schools to prevent Covid deaths was a bad idea. I can see arguments on both sides. I'm not here to debate that.

3) The WHO didnt investigate Covid origin intensely enough. I agree, but I'm not here to debate that.

4) Masks and social distancing don't prevent Covid. I think they do, and common sense would say they do, but I'm not here to debate that.

5) Vaccines prevent Covid. This is vitally important. And it very well may impact football season.

--All US public health officials recommend Covid vaccines. These are individuals, Republican and Democrat, who have spent their lives studying infections. Just like a football coach might who has studied football for 15+ years might have a better idea how to run practice than some dude sitting on his couch.

--95+% of current Covid Deaths are unvaccinated individuals. 95%. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness. I cannot stress this enough. 95%. This can be, literally, life or death.



--Of people in your community, the people you might expect to know the most about illness are physicians. I'm not saying all physicians, and I'm not saying that all physicians are smart. But I am saying that physicians have received a zillion years of schooling on health and disease.

96 % of physicians have chosen to be vaccinated.


So please.

Put politics, and Covid politics aside.

Get vaccinated.

So I can watch PSU games this fall.
Well actually, she matters, she's the one on the front line in the ER. She's also taught all over the world. That said, and this isn't against you, she knows what the "God complex" is regarding docs. I deal with it everyday with vets. I'm a vet. Yeah, so what? I have far more experience and have been trained by the best in the world at what I do. You? You got what, 2-3 weeks in podiatry at best? Then you have that gall to try to instruct me in what I've spent my life doing? Get real. Just like vets, that have literally written state laws requiring chiropractors to work under them. Vets have virtually zero instruction in chiropractic. It's as dumb as a lawyer stating, I'm a lawyer. Yeah, so what? You're a dime a dozen. I can find one on a corner with a different opinion.

The part you missed, wasn't her education, but her background, her experience. Just like me, 26 years under a horse, yet some wet behind the ear vet believes they know more than I do. Not a single client of mine defers to a vet, not one. They demand, the vet makes sure we talk and I come up with the game plan. Unlike the new vets, that think they know everything, they don't have a clue. I work with the best vets in the world, from UPenn to Myerscough in Lancashire England. Now partnering for a new vet school. I've worked with vets from Cornell, to U Penn, to UC Davis. None have egos, whatsoever. The horse comes first, no matter what. We all get along and have amazing discussions. I've worked with vets in Australia. One of the best in the world, Dr. Christopher Pollitt. When the shit hit the fan in Texas and Louisiana regarding hurricanes, I spearheaded relief among farriers, vets, suppliers, and caretakers for thousands of horses trapped in flooded waters. We got millions of dollars of products, food, and medicine sent to both states. No vet took the lead, farriers did. Horses were in such bad conditions, they had skin, so saturated, it was peeling down to their bones. They were standing in 3-4 feet of water. The most devastating times of my life to witness such horror.

Here's the deal. No one is a God, no one has all the answers. To not question anything, is beyond ridiculous to me. I've seen too much from the very best, not work. Good folks drop their ego, round everyone up and say, what's next? What can we do? They don't say, I'm a vet, I'm a doctor, and I have all the answers. Having a degree does not make one an expert, experience does, and not all experience is the same. I'm excellent at what I do. My clients know that. What they know most. I'll always listen to them, I'll always take in another opinion, and I believe in science. They also know, I'm not just going to be dictated to by anyone, and I'm always professional. It's a team effort, not a bowing down to anyone. I've just listened to too many vets at conferences, like docs, it's a serious ego problem. And let's also have a bit of honesty, like vets, docs are specialized. They give shots, do some stitches, maybe, maybe, set a bone, beyond rate, then send patients off to the specialist. And that, that is what has destroyed docs and veterinarians. Hell, today's vets can't even palpate an animal. They need an ultrasound. And to do that, they need to drug the horse. They need a machine to float teeth. No different than the local doc. 3 appointments later, oh, you blew your mcl. I appreciate all you do, I also know the industry and it sucks and is not serving the people very well.
 

jjw165

Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2005
2,528
2,091
1
During their previous winter. Jun - Sept, 2020.
The article backs up what I was reporting from other sources.
If we close Daycare’s and schools down where children aren’t interacting you can expect a decline in RSV. However, that method of mitigation completely ignores the social, educational, and psychological effects to children. If we want to greatly reduce flu, RSV illness to children it’s possible. The question is at what cost and what are the unforeseen consequences of taking those approaches for such a low death rate in that population.
 

Hotshoe

Well-Known Member
Gold Member
Feb 15, 2012
24,145
38,970
1
Let's be real. We have the pediatric body of the U.S. recommending masks on children over two years of age. Get real if anyone believes that's remotely based in science. It's complete bullsh%t. A 2 year old with a mask on. Lmao.
 

LionDeNittany

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
43,993
17,251
1
DFW, TX
Let's be real. We have the pediatric body of the U.S. recommending masks on children over two years of age. Get real if anyone believes that's remotely based in science. It's complete bullsh%t. A 2 year old with a mask on. Lmao.

A 3 year old with a mask on is a kid who is going to get very very sick from their own snot.

It's criminal to even ask it.

LdN
 

83wuzme

Well-Known Member
Apr 27, 2005
13,276
12,449
1
If we close Daycare’s and schools down where children aren’t interacting you can expect a decline in RSV. However, that method of mitigation completely ignores the social, educational, and psychological effects to children. If we want to greatly reduce flu, RSV illness to children it’s possible. The question is at what cost and what are the unforeseen consequences of taking those approaches for such a low death rate in that population.
RSV is endemic, so blocking it’s transmission could be expected to cause a bounce back once the mitigation that was inhibiting the virus ends or fails.
It’s always a risk / benefit tradeoff.
 
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MontereyLion

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
19,976
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And here I thought you were a Lefty who was like so many Lefties, driven by ideology. Accept my apology.
 

Conemaugh

Well-Known Member
May 8, 2020
864
961
1
A 3 year old with a mask on is a kid who is going to get very very sick from their own snot.

It's criminal to even ask it.

LdN
Just a few years ago, If you let your child walk around in a wet diaper for 8 hours you would go to jail for neglect. Now you are supposed to force that same child to wear a mask for 8 hours, and if you don't these same people would like to put you in jail.
 

Monlion

Well-Known Member
Jul 9, 2001
1,147
1,163
1
Just a few years ago, If you let your child walk around in a wet diaper for 8 hours you would go to jail for neglect. Now you are supposed to force that same child to wear a mask for 8 hours, and if you don't these same people would like to put you in jail.
We have declined so much as a civilization that we are requiring children to make sacrifices to protect adults. We should do what a lot of countries in Europe are doing, require teachers and administrators to wear masks but allow young children to go mask free. Young children should be allowed to live fearless lives with in person learning without masks.
 

WPTLION

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2002
2,531
1,871
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Tests for Covid are different than tests for influenza.
You are 100% WRONG on this....hence why the FDA is pulling the EUA for a test that couldn't tell the difference between Covid and the FLu. But not until the end of the year. It's been widely used since last April...that is April 2020
 
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WPTLION

Well-Known Member
Jan 7, 2002
2,531
1,871
1
Let's be real. We have the pediatric body of the U.S. recommending masks on children over two years of age. Get real if anyone believes that's remotely based in science. It's complete bullsh%t. A 2 year old with a mask on. Lmao.
If they truely beleive masks work then there should be no need to quarentine anyone. Again IF(which they don't) they work then none of you scared silly people would have a problem with someone positive for Covid coming to your house.
 
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SLUPSU

Well-Known Member
Aug 5, 2018
4,268
2,430
1
You are 100% WRONG on this....hence why the FDA is pulling the EUA for a test that couldn't tell the difference between Covid and the FLu. But not until the end of the year. It's been widely used since last April...that is April 2020
No, you are 100% wrong. This is a CDC notification to tell labs to use "multiplex" tests because they are now available, ones that combine flu/covid tests into one test rather than two separate tests.
 
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N&B4PSU

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2009
8,192
2,999
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Florida
60% of all Covid hospitalizations in England already had their Covid shots.
Now at 77+% for deaths. But hey...

Just a brief update on a guy who battled and beat covid and then enjoyed 15 months of bliss... at 65 virtually perfect health....

and then, because he thought he was going to greece (oops, sedona/santa fe) got the absolutely unnecessary vax and has not had one healthy day in 8 weeks... can't clear my lungs and it sounds as ugly as it feels. lost 10 pounds to boot. Wife says i sound like death. Feel it, too. I'm sure it's just a coincidence...

But hey... gotta sing with the choir

And where oh where is darling rachel maddow who 6 months ago said this was all we needed to do.. just take the vax and you have no fing worries. You can't get covid, you can't give covid, you are just a swell human being and alllllllll is welllllll.

Right. Go look it up before the commies re-write some more history. Rachel the wonder dog does her kevin bacon best...

 
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Dzapper

Well-Known Member
May 5, 2019
2,817
4,250
1
Mr Fish, I have to admit I stopped reading your posts for a while when you appeared to be just another lib bobble head repeating the Dem/Soc narrative on just about every subject. Lately I noticed your posts starting threads were more balanced, or may I say it, actually recognizing some of the fundamental problems with the Dem/Soc party and the way they have attempted to steer the country into a socialist sinkhole.

Am I reading too much into this? Are you still "woke" or are you now willing to think for yourself and realize the garden path you and other young people have been led down? I hope you have come to realize that a bad man (Trump) doesn't necessarily equate to his party having bad policies and that a (so-called) "good" man (Biden) can be the front for some very evil policies that will destroy the country. We don't have too much time left for this board so I want to just say I hope if you aren't there now, you will be at some point in the future.

Good luck and have a long and successful life, my friend.
 
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dailybuck777

Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2018
10,282
13,983
1
Michael Crichton is most certainly one who left us far too soon.
He and another person debated climate change with warmists. (One of whom was Gavin Schmidt) Cleaned the warmists clock. Since that time, warmists have generally been afraid of debate. Tried to find a quick link to it, but apparently it has been scrubbed by Youtube & the search engines. If you could find it, you would undoubtedly enjoy it.

Later edition. Found link to debate here. Used to be on Youtube and was scrubbed. https://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/global-warming-not-crisis
 
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bourbon n blues

Well-Known Member
Nov 20, 2019
17,073
19,288
1
So, your cardiologist's alma mater has little impact on the current pandemic.

Most people, I think, would agree that this pandemic is now overlaid with politics.

At least 5 major Covid issues with political overtones.

1) Predictions of Covid deaths were overestimated. Maybe, maybe not. It surprises me that people would use "only" 600,000+ deaths in the face of estimates of 2 million US deaths if no mitigation as evidence that the predictions stoked panic. But the number of US deaths if no mitigation is completley unknowable. I'm not here to debate that.

2) Closing schools to prevent Covid deaths was a bad idea. I can see arguments on both sides. I'm not here to debate that.

3) The WHO didnt investigate Covid origin intensely enough. I agree, but I'm not here to debate that.

4) Masks and social distancing don't prevent Covid. I think they do, and common sense would say they do, but I'm not here to debate that.

5) Vaccines prevent Covid. This is vitally important. And it very well may impact football season.

--All US public health officials recommend Covid vaccines. These are individuals, Republican and Democrat, who have spent their lives studying infections. Just like a football coach might who has studied football for 15+ years might have a better idea how to run practice than some dude sitting on his couch.

--95+% of current Covid Deaths are unvaccinated individuals. 95%. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness. I cannot stress this enough. 95%. This can be, literally, life or death.



--Of people in your community, the people you might expect to know the most about illness are physicians. I'm not saying all physicians, and I'm not saying that all physicians are smart. But I am saying that physicians have received a zillion years of schooling on health and disease.

96 % of physicians have chosen to be vaccinated.


So please.

Put politics, and Covid politics aside.

Get vaccinated.

So I can watch PSU games this fall.
96% of 301 physicians who responded to a web md survey were vaccinated . Not 96 m% of all physicians.
 

ChiTownLion

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2001
29,869
34,096
1
He and another person debated climate change with warmists. (One of whom was Gavin Schmidt) Cleaned the warmists clock. Since that time, warmists have generally been afraid of debate. Tried to find a quick link to it, but apparently it has been scrubbed by Youtube & the search engines. If you could find it, you would undoubtedly enjoy it.

Later edition. Found link to debate here. Used to be on Youtube and was scrubbed. https://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/global-warming-not-crisis
Funny you should mention this debate as I just bumped into it the other night. Fantastic, indeed.

 
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tototootsi

Well-Known Member
Aug 2, 2003
134
82
1
Wow! I can't believe I just read all of that. Quite a civil discussion, comprehensive (seemed to be well balanced and credible) covering all points of view. Where are all the lefties who should be scrambling to cancel every other poster that they don't agree with? If I have one take-away, it is that we have a government that we can't trust, and no foreseeable way to fix it. Elections you say...not if no one is held accountable for the fraudulent 2020 election activities, whether or not they affected the results. If the clock runs out, we can look forward to a repeat performance in 2022.
 

PSUEngineer89

Well-Known Member
Aug 14, 2021
3,957
6,206
1
I didnt read the article.
Skimmed it.
Its bullshit.
Bunch of non-scientists pretending that they know how to interpret the data better than epidemiologists who have spent their lives working on this.

Trying to say that physical distancing and masks dont prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.

Lets think this through. Covid 19 is a difficult virus to evaluate, because its new and evolving, and there is no track record.

But influenza, para-influenza, and RSV are well characterized respiratory viruses. We've got decades of knowledge on transmission of these viruses.

And guess what? The case number of ALL of these respiratory viruses is down 10-100 fold.

Huh. Who would have thunk it? Masks prevent transmission of respiratory viruses.

I'm guessing that all the thumbs up for the initial post are from our anti-vax hoax crowd. You know, the fools who are keeping this pandemic going.

Morons.
Still think you understand how masks work?
 

john4psu

Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2003
10,673
6,577
1
It's very true the saying that it is much easier to fool people than convince them they've been fooled. The flu numbers magically dropped while the Covid numbers were vastly inflated.

4JP76VX.jpg
 

john4psu

Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2003
10,673
6,577
1
So, your cardiologist's alma mater has little impact on the current pandemic.

Most people, I think, would agree that this pandemic is now overlaid with politics.

At least 5 major Covid issues with political overtones.

1) Predictions of Covid deaths were overestimated. Maybe, maybe not. It surprises me that people would use "only" 600,000+ deaths in the face of estimates of 2 million US deaths if no mitigation as evidence that the predictions stoked panic. But the number of US deaths if no mitigation is completley unknowable. I'm not here to debate that.

2) Closing schools to prevent Covid deaths was a bad idea. I can see arguments on both sides. I'm not here to debate that.

3) The WHO didnt investigate Covid origin intensely enough. I agree, but I'm not here to debate that.

4) Masks and social distancing don't prevent Covid. I think they do, and common sense would say they do, but I'm not here to debate that.

5) Vaccines prevent Covid. This is vitally important. And it very well may impact football season.

--All US public health officials recommend Covid vaccines. These are individuals, Republican and Democrat, who have spent their lives studying infections. Just like a football coach might who has studied football for 15+ years might have a better idea how to run practice than some dude sitting on his couch.

--95+% of current Covid Deaths are unvaccinated individuals. 95%. Getting vaccinated protects you from severe illness. I cannot stress this enough. 95%. This can be, literally, life or death.



--Of people in your community, the people you might expect to know the most about illness are physicians. I'm not saying all physicians, and I'm not saying that all physicians are smart. But I am saying that physicians have received a zillion years of schooling on health and disease.

96 % of physicians have chosen to be vaccinated.


So please.

Put politics, and Covid politics aside.

Get vaccinated.

So I can watch PSU games this fall.
 

john4psu

Well-Known Member
Sep 7, 2003
10,673
6,577
1
You are 100% WRONG on this....hence why the FDA is pulling the EUA for a test that couldn't tell the difference between Covid and the FLu. But not until the end of the year. It's been widely used since last April...that is April 2020
 
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