But likely to double down on what hasn’t worked.
Last week, I began pondering why a spate of articles from progressive publications questioning the need for pandemic policies they have cherished for nearly two years.
The New York Times brought up a salient and critical point I noted back in early 2020 about the need for enhanced ventilation
The influx of such analyses makes sense: Biden is reportedly eyeing a pandemic exit strategy.
… Biden and his team have all but ruled out new lockdowns, and behind the scenes, administration officials have been debating how to shift public attention from the total number of cases — which appear likely to surge, even if many are mild — toward the number of severe infections that are overloading health systems and causing interruptions to normal life.
Some of Biden’s advisers are encouraging the administration to begin discussing publicly how to live alongside a virus that shows no signs of disappearing, a potentially stark shift in messaging for a White House that once touted “freedom from the virus.”
Steering public attention away from the total number of infections and toward serious cases only — as some Biden advisers have encouraged — could prove a challenge after nearly two years of intense focus on the pandemic’s every up and down. It is a part of a growing conundrum that Biden faces as the Covid-19 pandemic refuses to abate.
“We’re getting to the point now where … it’s about severity,” said Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a meeting with reporters this week. “It’s not about cases. It’s about severity.”
Along with many other biosafety professionals, I have often cited the need to focus on the infection fatality rate. While it is difficult to calculate with COVID19, as many asymptomatic people and deaths should be attributed to another cause are listed as COVID19 fatalities, it is reasonable to assume that in the worst case, it is on par with severe flu.
There are also other signs that the pandemic panic that has been imposed upon us is about to subside. The Wall Street Journal just published a piece entitled “The Fickle Science of Lockdowns.”
In it, authors Phillip W. Magness and Peter C. Earle of the American Institute for Economic Research assert that “experts foresaw before COVID that the current pandemic-response strategy would fail,” but “the authorities embraced it anyway.” They reviewed the lessons learned from the Spanish Flu and the Imperial College model used to press for lockdowns and came to a scathing conclusion.
…[L]ockdown stringency is a poor predictor of Covid-related mortality. Our examination of the 50 U.S. states and 26 countries found no discernible pattern connecting the two—a basic expectation if lockdowns performed as “the science” often insists.
So why did public-health authorities abandon their opposition to lockdowns? Why did they rush to embrace the untested claims of flawed epidemiological modeling? One answer appears in the Johns Hopkins study from 2019: “Some NPIs, such as travel restrictions and quarantine, might be pursued for social or political purposes by political leaders, rather than pursued because of public health evidence.”
Yes. There were elections to win and Trump to smear…so sacrifices had to be made.
The Atlantic continued its recent trend of pandemic policy questioning by publishing a piece that analyzed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s assertion that schools without mask mandates have triple the risk of COVID outbreaks. It appears that that claim is based on poor science.
How did research with so many obvious flaws make its way through all the layers of internal technical review? And why was it promoted so aggressively by the agency’s director? I reached out to Walensky’s office to ask about the study, noting its evident limitations and outlier result. How, if at all, does this research figure into the agency’s continuing guidance for schools around the country? The CDC did not respond to my inquiries.
With Biden in the White House, the CDC has promised to “follow the science” in its COVID policies. Yet the circumstances around the Arizona study seem to show the opposite. Dubious research has been cited after the fact, without transparency, in support of existing agency guidance. “Research requires trust and the ability to verify work,” Ketcham, the ASU public-health economist, told me. “That’s the heart of science. The saddest part of this is the erosion of trust.”
Given the continuing projections that 2022 will be a robust year of victory for the Republican Party, the Democrats and their bureaucratic supporters are going to regret all their decisions…both on the president and the pandemic.
Personally, I find it fascinating that articles in leading publications are now questioning lockdown effectiveness and school mask mandates, which would have got them booted from social media six months ago.DONATE
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