Richard Feynman wrote “science is the belief in the ignorance of experts,” and nothing could demonstrate that point more readily than the public’s growing disaffection with the experts of the public health apparatus -- the WHO, the CDC, and Dr. Anthony Fauci. Their proscriptions (often conflicting) respecting the handling of Covid-19 were simply not “scientific.” They were, in fact, nothing more than guesses which did not work out. Not that that stopped them from silencing those whose experience, both medical and non-medical, contradicted their guesswork.
Ignoring cost-benefit analysis and utterly discounting the contradictory experience of thousands of medical doctors who were actually treating patients with the dreaded Covid, they’ve wreaked havoc and hardship throughout the world and doubtless contributed to many more deaths than necessary. Unfortunately, much of the media still insist that their actions were based on pure science, and many of our fellow citizens -- driven to neurosis by it all -- have been propagandized to thinking this is akin to the Black Death.
It’s hard to know where to even begin answering this.
Let’s start with masks -- virtue signalers and tyrants alike love them, since they broadcast submission and compliance to the world. Of course, the masked Karens of the world also enjoy hounding the noncompliant. In the beginning of the Covid spread here Dr. Fauci said masks weren’t needed. Later he said they were, and that his earlier statement was based on a fear there would be too few available to medical personnel. In fact, they are useless as presently designed and worn by the general public, as Dan Formosa explains:
A coronavirus virion (particle) is spherical, averaging around 125 nanometers in diameter. Compare that to bacteria’s 1,000-nm size. It’s a grape compared to a grapefruit. A surgical mask whose purpose is to block bacteria will do little to prevent passage of the smaller coronavirus particle. That’s why N95 masks, which block 95% of all airborne particles, are the gold standard in hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. They have a much more selective filter.
But even N95 masks are flawed. Before coronavirus, my team and I investigated whether N95 masks could be a viable alternative to standard surgical masks. Interviews with doctors and nurses at several hospitals at the time revealed that N95 masks were rarely used or supplied. The overwhelming majority of healthcare workers I spoke with had never worn one. They are more expensive than surgical masks, they’re harder to breathe in, and medical workers deemed them unnecessary for most procedures. (Keep in mind that masks protect in both directions. They protect the wearer from airborne particles or splash, and protect the patient from contamination by the surgical staff—the latter is especially important in procedures that require deep incisions.)
I have some, purchased when it was feared after 9/11 we would be hit with an anthrax attack and we were encouraged to get them. Everyone else I see wears masks virtually useless for the purpose of preventing viral infections. Recently released evidence from CDC bears this out.
A Centers for Disease Control report released in September shows that masks and face coverings are not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, even for those people who consistently wear them. A study conducted in the United States in July found that when they compared 154 “case-patients,” who tested positive for COVID-19, to a control group of 160 participants from the same health care facility who were symptomatic but tested negative, over 70 percent of the case-patients were contaminated with the virus and fell ill despite “always” wearing a mask.
“In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control participants reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public,” the report stated. In addition, over 14 percent of the case-patients said they “often” wore a face covering and were still infected with the virus. The study also demonstrates that under 4 percent of the case-patients became sick with the virus even though they “never” wore a mask or face covering.
With the mask requirements and much else Covid related, another Richard Feynman admonition comes to mind, "If you thought that science was certain -- well, that is just an error on your part."
On to Lockdowns.
The most absurd move was to lock down states and countries in the belief that would stop the spread of Covid-19.
President Trump never urged more than a temporary lockdown in order to manage scarce resources, such as ventilators, and protect health workers from an illness the experts warned would otherwise overwhelm existing health services. State governors and other countries, however, made these restrictions long term and only recently did the WHO advise against this -- long after irreparable economic was wreaked harm around the world.
WHO envoy Dr. David Nabarro said such restrictive measures should only be treated as a last resort, the British magazine the Spectator reported in a video interview. “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said. “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.” Nabarro said tight restrictions cause significant harm, particularly on the global economy. “Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer,” he said.
Public health services are demanding we close non-essential businesses and keep six feet apart at all times. On what basis? None that I can see. Michael Thau cites some scientific studies that refute any basis for these commands, and maintain that there is no “solid basis for ANY social distancing measures.”
We have cases where the viruses traveled across oceans, infecting people in Antarctica while they were in their 17th week of isolation; and those aboard an Argentinian naval ship “after 35 days at sea which had been preceded by 14 days of isolation for everyone on board.” This make-believe perimeter was set at the same time most U.S. jurisdictions kept only megastores open which to my (and Thau's) mind only increased the possibility of viral transmission. In smaller neighborhood shops it would seem there would be fewer opportunities to come in contact with the virus.
And then to seal our belief that the CDC social distancing dictates were partisan-inspired bunk, they simply abandoned them for mass social protests. No social distancing there!
Why are so little of these conflicting reports making it to public attention? Thau reminds us that Harvey Risch, a professor epidemiology at Yale University with a distinguished career in the field, has accused Dr. Fauci of lying about the effectiveness of hydroxychlorquine and influencing the suppression of its use because he, and others in the public health bureaucracy, are “in bed with other forces that are causing them to make decisions that are not based on the science and are killing Americans.”
I know you remember President Trump early on suggesting that this drug , long used safely to treat other ailments like Lupus, might be effective in combating Covid. Maybe you even remember the claim by Dr. Fauci that it was proven ineffective. Actually, it wasn't established to be so at all. Physicians (hundreds in the U.S. and thousands worldwide) were using it successfully when administered along with zinc and azithromycin. The public was led astray by Dr. Fauci who appeared to rely on trials where the HCL was not administered within the 5-7 days after symptoms first appeared (the effective window) or where it was administered alone without the rest of the drugs necessary for the cocktail.
Interesting that the media ignores not only the work of Dr. Risch and the hundreds of doctors with extensive hands-on experience, but also Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Michael Levitt. These people describe Fauci’s lockdown advice as a “mass casualty incident.” There is now a large-scale pushback on Fauci’s policies known as The Great Barrington Declaration. It was authored and signed earlier this month by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Oxford epidemiologist and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford Medical school. More than 13,000 medical professionals have also signed it, along with more than 176,000 members of the public by mid-September -- and the number keeps growing. They call for an end of the lockdowns; removing quarantines from all but the sick; isolation only of the vulnerable and allowing the young and healthy to proceed with caution.
Does the quackery at the top and the suppression of empirical evidence remind you of the global warming/climate change saga? It does me.
Meanwhile, publications like the Washington Post have started to take a sick pleasure in highlighting the Covid neuroses which they themselves have inspired with their coverage.
Because the demographics of those terrorized by the virus and fearful of re-opening the country and returning to normal would appear at first glance to be the very same people who watch CNN, MSNBC and read the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times.
There are, however, signs that this Fauci-engendered nightmare may soon be over. New York Times science reporter, Donald G. McNeil Jr., reports that treatments are improving every day, and vaccine development is moving along much faster than was previously expected, both helped along by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed. Moreover, economists are predicting a rapid recovery.
The press will have to find something else to keep the populace in a state of full-blown hysteria when that happens. In the meantime it is probably a good idea for healthy people to do some common sense stuff, such as avoiding crowds, washing your hands more frequently, and taking dietary supplements (especially zinc and Vitamins C and D). But don't pay attention to Dr. Fauci. Listen to the president instead, specifically the phrase which drove so many leftists insane: "Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life."
And for heaven's sake, calm down.
That was a GREAT piece. One of my hobbies is debating people online and this topic is one that I have done a fair amount of research on and have tried to tell the left wingers that society has been duped by what I term the Goebbelsian Assassins in the press. People have been wearing masks everywhere I go and see and are still catching COVID. Reason is that the particles are airborne is small droplets tiny enough to go through the masks. When I ask them why those who wear masks all the time and are ever around those who don't STILL get COVID, I get silence.
Good comments, but I am concerned about the current test for COVID-19, which appears to be so sensitive that it detects fragments of the virus which may be the result of previous non-COVID-19 corona type infections such as SARS and even the seasonal flu, rather than COVID-19. If this is true, then the real incidence of COVID-19 may be several times lower than that being reported, skewing the results and overstating the risk of transmission. More testing will simply create more false 'positive' results, leading to more unjustified hospital admissions and more lockdowns. Has the test been verified, or even benchmarked against any other type of test? If not, why not?
And regarding your reference to lockdowns in the Middle ages, there are plenty of first-hand reports of how long these infectious disease outbreaks lasted despite a total lack of treatment other than quarantine. Obviously they all subsided, otherwise most of us would not be here now.
A few points I'd like to make. First, coronaviruses have been around longer than man. The current one is only the 7th one discovered by man so far. Second, the so called science of 6 feet social distancing is based upon the science project of a 14 year girl back in 2006. It was a computer model. We know how unreliable those are. Third, lockdowns are from the Middle Ages. They are not meant for quarantining healthy people. I don't understand why acquired immunity has become such a dangerous scientific principle when we have used if forever to fight infectious diseases.
Heh, Clarice, more shades of climate alarm: ‘as soon as a journal is brave enough’.
But science is brave and always has been, so truth will prevail. My response to the cant of ‘Science is real’ is often ‘Yeah, real political’.
Latterly, many activists have perverted science for political purposes. They are sinister cowards who will quail at the light of truth. Just you wait ‘Enry ‘Iggins, just you wait.
On the question of masks, this tweet from Alex Berenson may be of interest:“A lead investigator on the Danish mask study - the ONLY (as far as I know) randomized trial to see if masks protect from #COVID - was asked when it would be published.
His answer: “as soon as a journal is brave enough.”
If you think that means the study shows masks work...”
The prevention was worse than the disease. What is obvious now was not obvious at the beginning which is the usual course of panic. Jonathan, it is time for you to get over the panic, and over yourself. The only persuasive part of your screed is your fear.
Dr. Anthony Psycho hardest hit:
“A pharmaceutical giant’s antiviral medication, which has been frequently touted by Dr. Anthony Fauci as the “standard of care” for COVID-19 treatments, does not work whatsoever, according to the biggest and most comprehensive study to date on the super expensive drug.”
“Gilead’s Remdesivir, which costs Americans over $3,000 per treatment course after private insurance, is a total dud, according to a World Health Organization study that tracked over 11,000 COVID-19 patients in 30 different countries.
“The study concluded that Remdesivir (and several other COVID-19 “treatments”) has no positive effects for COVID-19 patients whatsoever. In fact, there was no demonstrable difference between patients in the control group and the treatment group.”
Just one or two additional quick thoughts - sorta putting things in perspective, rationalizing if you will.
"In context, Spanish Influenza carried off about 100,000,000 souls, of a world population about 1/4 that of today. That would mean that for the China-virus to be in the same league, about 400,000,000 would have to perish. No "expert", to date, no matter how anti-republican, has predicted such a possibility.
"The CCP-virus has been a useful meme by which to undermine the freedoms painstakingly consolidated by the people of the West, and destroy the economies upon which those freedoms relied for sustenance. If history is written in a century, this catastrophic episode will be judged as the most universally destructive in the history of mankind."
When you feel the urge to chastise someone who has gone to the trouble of garnering and then publishing sources and sourced material, do at least give one source of your own. By the way, using information as Clarice Feldman has done is the very stuff of science. On the other hand, hysterical hyperbole and gratuitous ad hominem are logical fallacies, the stuff of witchcraft.
Ahem, social distancing has been around for longer than this pandemic so that’s one point of yours that fails.
Clarice cited three probably reliable organizations. You got nothin’ with your points.
That said, social distancing may have some utility. It has been practiced upon sick people since the beginning of time. Is it worth the costs?
Show me the science that it works worth the cost in Covid. There is so little reliable data about this virus that no one knows the answer to that question, especially don’t you.
So why be so abusive in the midst of your ignorance? Have you been propagandized by all the falsity?
Or are you just an ignorant member of the troll tribe?
Concentrate on improving the conservative response to this madness. You could improve your style and your credibility; c’mon, get with it, you know, that thing.
Surely, CDC has had time to issue a follow up since 2017 if they had an empirical evidence to change their view that distancing was ineffective. I have seen none. As for Germany, it is seeing a rise in Covid cases.https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-germany-sees-record-daily-increase-in-new-cases/a-55281550
You know who hasn't seen a rise? Sweden:https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/no-lockdowns-but-sweden-seems-to-have-controlled-the-covid-19-pandemic-895509.html
I did read them. The story about the pathetic Dr. Risch. You cite a supposed source on social distancing from 2017. That was before covid, this particular virus, even existed! You are crazy if you think 6 ft. isn't safer than 2. It is 2020 now, in case you don't know. Want some proof that masks, distancing, ventilation work? Look at countries that have handled this much better than we have. Japan, Norway, Germany come to mind. We have been pathetic. You wack jobs including Trump have devised a death cult. Here comes Biden, then Harris. Way to go!
Jonathan If BS was electricity you would be a walking power plant
Also Jonathan, I too am disapointed by the conservative response to this authoritarian coup de social pain.
Personally I respond to a mask challenge with”I’m wearing socks, they do as much good”. Then I mask up and ask them to ponder the fact that nearly everyone who has caught the ‘Rona’ has worn a mask.
Oh what tangled webs they weave
When they first practice to deceive;
But how how we improve our guile,
Once we have suffered for a while.
Jonathan, you just got depth charged by a socially close petard.
Hoist up research before it hoists you up.
Read the links at "scientific" and "studies"..I'm sure you did not. If you had you'd see that the CDC (2017), the European Centre for Disease Control and the European Center for Disease Prevention --all of these reveal there are as the EUCDC said "there are few, if any, empirical data underpinning these assumptions[respecting social distancing] "
Good grief, this is idiotic. Clarice Feldman is completely out of her depth. Best example: the nonsense about distancing not working. There has been a lot of research that shows that it does. The experience of a number of countries shows so. No, it's not perfect. If perfection is the criterion, then no, nothing works. But again, that is idiotic.
This kind of appalling nonsense is what is going to get Biden elected. Thanks, "conservatives"! I used to count myself as one; now, the catastrophe of the conservative response to covid has me questioning everything.
I'm afraid the next shoe to drop will be a "national I.D. card," a certificate showing that you have been vaccinated against COVID before you're allowed to visit public places. Just as businesses have been coerced into enforcing mask mandates, they will surely enforce vaccine mandates just as willingly. If Biden wins, this will not just be restricted to blue states. "Show me your papers!"
Kim, nice to see you again. I've missed your postings and insights.
Yes, Dear Clarice; this is the global warming charade in a more immediate application. Instead of death and disorder in an indeterminate future, it is death and disorder here and now, brought by, and threatening, your near and dear.
It is very clever, deliberate, and highly destructive. But it is wrong, and therefore, evil.
The human race has a long and largely successful campaign against evil and we will prevail. When we will prevail even kim doesn’t know.
We’ll soon be able to tell the sheep by their muzzles.
Terrific article Clarice Feldman.
The Fauci Charade is fading, despite his clinging on. He's far past his 'use by' date.