I think we’re at the point where it is safe to say that the entire Wuhan virus scare was nothing more or less than a massive fraud perpetrated upon the American people by ‘experts’ who were determined to fundamentally change the way the country lives and is organized and governed.
Not long ago, just a couple of months back, we were promised that Chinese Lung Aids would kill over a million Americans. We were told that it was highly infectious. We were told that our hospitals would be overwhelmed. We were told that hundreds of thousands of ventilators would be needed. None of this, not a single projection has turned out to be true. We were forced to wear face masks to guard against…f***, I don’t even know what they guard against because they are exactly as effective against a virus as a chain-link fence is against a mosquito. And we were informed that we were very, very bad people if we didn’t wear them. Even people on the right hopped on the virtue-signaling bandwagon; they advocated a complete shutdown of economic activity and hectored us about how it was important to get with the face mask fetish because it made some other people ‘feel safer.’ When the worst-case scenarios didn’t pan out, health departments have seemingly made a sport of coding homicides, heroin overdoses, and basically any non-hospital death from natural causes as Wuhan-related.
To say the ‘science’ driving this shameful episode was akin to necromancy is an understatement. We saw the mutation of ‘professionals’ like Dr. Anthony Fauci from saying on 60 Minutes that everyone wearing a mask was not only unwise but counter-productive to being a mask nazi. All of this without any additional credible research saying the opposite. We were told by CDC that Wuhan virus could, unlike other members of the coronavirus family, survive for days, weeks, maybe forever, on some surfaces, that clothes needed to be sterilized and groceries wiped down or washed, only to later be told by the same organization, ‘my bad, that can’t happen.’
The projections would have been farcical had they not destroyed lives and businesses. Stay-at-home orders emptied hospitals and killed droves of people who were too terrorized to seek treatment for heart attacks and strokes and who were unable to get scheduled cancer treatments. We were told asymptomatic carriers were highly contagious, presumably to justify the demand that everyone wear a mask, only to find that no, that isn’t the case. Actual doctors reported that people who had survived Wuhan virus were, again unlike any other virus of that family, able to be immediately reinfected. This, fortunately, was another false alarm. And no discussion of the ‘science’ would be complete without the observation that there is zero evidence, other than bald assertions, that the lockdowns, and face masks, and hysteria had any more effect than sacrificing a chicken to the Moon God. The infection rate in those states which did not go along with the insanity is better than those with the most Draconian measures. When Texas and Georgia and Florida released the totalitarian controls the ‘scientists’ predicted a huge spike in infections and deaths. This, to say the least, did not happen.
Underlying this rabid attack on the economy, there was the unmistakable stench of Rahm Emanuel’s ‘never let a crisis go to waste.’ In the name of ‘public health,’ big conglomerates like Walmart were allowed to continue operations while small operators were shut down. Activities that were run by sole proprietors, like nail salons and barber shops, were targeted in particular. Churches, often with the connivance of clergy, were shuttered. Even assembling in cars in church parking lots was prohibited. Visiting the sick and elderly was forbidden. Police forces were used to disperse mourners at funerals. The nation was quickly divided into those with jobs that allowed them to ‘work from home’ and those who couldn’t. The so-called relief bills for the virus contained the beginnings of a Universal Basic Income scheme by setting unemployment payments above what some of the unemployed workers were getting on the job. Under the guise of ‘contact tracing,’ tech companies, like Google and Apple, were enlisted to map our the movements of customers. At least one state governor, Washington’s Jay Inslee, threatened to essentially starve people out of their homes if they did not collaborate…sorry, I mean cooperate…with contact tracers. Parents were arrested in front of their kids for allowing them to play outside. People were insanely told that they could swim in the ocean but not use the beach. As the virus wound down, we saw the goalposts for reopening shift from a finite number of infections to the development of a vaccine.
And, of course, there was also the left’s infatuation with killing the most vulnerable in society. Across the country, the left went to court to have abortion declared an essential service (it isn’t, it is the elective murder of a child). In at least two states, New York and Michigan, we saw a concerted effort to force nursing homes to house people recovering from Wuhan who were still infectious, making the most vulnerable veritable sitting ducks for slaughter. And in New York, we saw a beneath-the-radar change in how nursing home deaths were coded as hospital deaths to cover up the carnage taking place. To be clear, I don’t know if this was mere callousness or a cold-blooded effort to kill people perceived as a drain on society, my point is that it doesn’t make any difference as the result is exactly the same.
All of this was necessary, we were told, because otherwise, Granny was going to die because you didn’t stay home and wear a mask.
In reality, it was a calculated assault upon capitalism and individual freedom that was aided and abetted by members of the federal government who, one can only hope, knew what they were saying was utter bullsh**–I say that because I understand that these people are partisans and, for the most part, militant progressives who loathe America and individual freedom but to think that they actually believed the crap that they were peddling would mean they were incompetent buffoons. If someone is going to destroy our country I really want them to understand and appreciate what they are doing.
Over the past week, with the protests/riots associated somewhat loosely with the death of George Floyd while some Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck, the true agenda behind the Wuhan virus became much more evident. We’ve seen alleged ‘public health experts’ proclaim that the danger posed by not rioting is greater than the danger from Wuhan virus BUT the danger from going to church or work or protesting the utter thrashing of the US Constitution is unconscionable because of Wuhan.
Healthcare Workers Sign Letter Supporting Protests, Call Others Breaking Lock Downs White Nationalists
Media Figures Return to Freaking Out Over Social Distancing After Failing to Condemn Massive Protests
This, for instance, is an actual announcement:
Yes, it's a real quote. pic.twitter.com/dSiFfJqWfR
— Austin Open The Economy Petersen (@AP4Liberty) June 6, 2020
As a scientific or medical or policy statement it is utterly bonkers. The George Floyd protests, while obviously important to some, are, to me, of much less significance than the government arrogating to itself the right to tell you your business can’t open or that you can’t go to church. The virus, obviously, can’t tell the difference. If congregating together is dangerous in one activity, it is dangerous in all. And ‘public health experts’ don’t get the right or authority to decide what activities are important, they don’t even have a right to have an opinion on the subject that carries more weight than that of any other citizen. They. Just. Don’t.
But it isn’t only the bullsh** science that is called into question; it is even how we are dealing with it. This is the actual guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health on what to do if you have been to a riot:
Those who were at or near a protest should:
Get tested for COVID-19 seven days after having been in a crowd; those getting tested do NOT need to mention the protests, but instead say they were near someone who may have had COVID-19. For testing info.: https://t.co/FOOCrwkO5f pic.twitter.com/j9FeOuWQyF
— Philadelphia Public Health (@PHLPublicHealth) June 5, 2020
No 14-day self-quarantine as if you were some rube church-goer in Louisville, KY. No contact tracing. Nothing. Wait 7 days and get a test. If Granny dies, well she was old and sh** and she was going to die anyway and rioting to end racism is much more important than her continuing to live.
And you get ridiculous, imbecilic apologia like this one from — double whammy — an academic who used to be a government ‘public health expert’:
I'll say up front: I think there's a chance these protests will amplify transmission. But I also think there are steps that can be taken (and visibly are being taken, frequently) to mitigate that risk.
— Jeremy BLACK LIVES MATTER Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) June 4, 2020
OK, let’s address these “why did we lock down if BLM protests are ok” takes.
There are lots of pundits arguing this means public health advice is all relative to ideological sympathies.
That’s not it. It’s about balance of risks.
I’ll say up front: I think there’s a chance these protests will amplify transmission. But I also think there are steps that can be taken (and visibly are being taken, frequently) to mitigate that risk. [I’ll take it even one step further. I’m willing to bet that there is no noticeable increase in Wuhan cases after this nonsense ends just as there has been no noticeable increase in states that have ended lock down.]
We know far more about COVID transmission than three months ago when US social distancing started. Guidance at that time was based on emerging evidence from China and on diseases thought to be similar, e.g. SARS and influenza.
We now have growing evidence on COVID itself.
The evidence tells us a few things (this all predates the protests):
– Outdoor/full sun activities
– Brief (<10 minutes) or distant contact
– Limiting group size
– Prolonged close contact
– Large crowds
– Enclosed spaces
The highest risk of super-spreading events (which we now suspect drive the bulk of transmission) are those that combine multiple risk amplifiers without the risk reducers.
So something like packed bars (as in WI after their stay-home order was annulled) fall in that category. [Actually, there has been an inconsequential change in Wisconsin’s Wuhan rate, but let’s go on to the the next trope.]
The protests are less clear cut.
They have some of the risk amplifiers:
– large crowds
As well as some of the risk reducers:
– masking, which has been pretty widespread from what I’ve observed
– outdoors in sun
– some movement to reduce prolonged contact
So risks probably higher than grocery shopping, lower than going to church or a bar. Important to actively mitigate risks as much as possible.
– stay masked
– practice hand hygiene
– avoid prolonged contacts in crowd
– pre-emptively self-isolate for 2 weeks
That last bit is important. Pre-emptive self-isolation can block those who might be exposed in these protests from infecting others in their lives.
ALSO REALLY IMPORTANT: police behavior can undermine the mitigation measures and elevate transmission risk.
– tear gas & pepper spray can cause coughing, force people to remove masks
– obstructing movement (like NYPD cordoning protesters on a bridge for hours) prolongs exposure
– detention tactics can also worsen things – holding detainees for prolonged periods in enclosed spaces like paddy wagons or mass cells elevates risk
So then the question becomes – if the risk can be mitigated to an extent, how does the remaining risk relate to the importance of the activity itself?
From a public health perspective, many experts are saying it merits the remaining risk.
Racial bias in policing is a direct and unresolved threat to the lives of black and brown Americans. As we have seen over and over. And racial bias in society more generally underpins why COVID has hit communities of color so much harder than white Americans. [Factually, about 200 people per year are killed in police-involved shootings and black Americans are killed by police in nearly identical proportions to their representation in the population.]
So a mass public mobilization to address such deep and longstanding societal problems has important public health relevance, even if the timing is less than ideal.
Unfortunately, spontaneous mass political awakenings do not happen on a pre-planned itinerary.
This is why public health advocates aren’t criticizing the protests.
Their advice doesn’t suddenly evaporate depending on a political cause. Instead they assess relative public health risks of these protests vs continuing to accept a status quo that kills many people of color.
So, a plea to the contrarians out there: do your homework. Most of the takes I’ve seen on this (and I’ve quote-tweeted a few previously) are reacting to their own caricatures of public health advice, and failing to grapple with the actual dilemmas at play here.
The risks of protesting in the age of COVID are not totally clear cut. But that doesn’t mean this should be treated as a punditry Rorschach test that inevitably ends up reaffirming everyone’s priors.
And here’s the point that renders all of this into a liberal circle jerk rather than an argument. This has always been about risk assessment for most of us. For this clown and his posse, it has been exclusively about power — that is, the ability to tell the rest of us what risks are acceptable — and politics, to ensure that their desired political outcomes benefit from the policy decisions.
This whole thing has been a total fraud, insofar as the policy response to Wuhan virus, from day one. There has never been a need for a lockdown. There has never been a need for wearing masks. There has never been a need to shutter churches and forbid public funerals and weddings and baptisms and graduations. There has never been a need for elderly people to die alone because their children are forbidden to visit. There has never been a need for any of the pain and hardship these frauds and charlatans have inflicted upon the nation. The very least we can do is ignore them going forward. If there were justice we’d send and few dozen of these fascists to the gallows and gibbet their tarred bodies in chains until they fall apart.