The Pandemic Post I Never Wrote

[This post is dedicated to Michael Ejercito.]

For months, veteran prolific Ethics Alarms commenter Michael Ejercito peppered the blog with various versions of the same question: “When are you going to finish “The Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict…”? He was referring to this post, which went up way back in May of 2020. The rest of the title was “…But The Resolution Is Clear.” It was designated as Part I, with a Part II supposedly coming soon that would explain what that resolution was and why. It never arrived.

Stalling, I posted a Prelude to Part II. It was so long and covered so much territory that I doubt anyone read it all the way to the end (except Michael). It didn’t inspire a single comment. Here’s a precis...

No, I am not satisfied with the current draft of Part II, but I trust it’s obvious what the resolution referred to is. The lock-down has to end, and before vaccines, cures, or adequate medicine are available….It is quite striking: the arguments for continuing the lockdown indefinitely are almost entirely authored by progressives, and are without exception characterized by bad logic, emotionalism, manipulated facts, biased analysis, fearmongering, and suspect motives. The majority of the arguments for opening up the economy soon are markedly more logical, unemotional, and based on sound statistics and analysis…

It is not “plausible” that the pandemic will continue forever; pandemics don’t. And indeed, if they did, it would be an irrefutable reason to open up now. Freedom has always had a price…

…As I discussed in Part I, health experts focus almost exclusively on health. Health is not the only priority involved in the policy trade-offs involving the lockdown. The health experts don’t care about the other issues—literally, they don’t care—because it isn’t their job to care about the economy, or unemployment, or ruined careers and diminished quality of life. They should care about increased suicides during depressions, and inadequate preventative health care, and the deaths those and other consequences of the lockdown will cause, [or]…the U.S. having a catastrophic expansion of its national debt… !

…Right: nobody knows how it will play out. We do know, however, how it will play out if we lock down the economy much longer, never mind until there’s a vaccine…On this 75th Anniversary of V-E Day, it shouldn’t be hard to understand that lost lives can be acceptable when the most rational, responsible policies involve unavoidable risk.

But “Part II,” when it arrived six months later, still didn’t deliver the promised resolution. Except for the (again, long) introduction, in fact, it was a dud, but a dud that illustrated the problem with the topic. I wrote about the non-media coverage of a Johns Hopkins study that seemed to indicate that the despite the daily lists of pandemic deaths, the total deaths had not varied significantly from the previous year. As it turned out, the study was flawed, and its conclusions were not supported, though the Ethics Alarms indictment of the bias and partisan agenda indicated by the news media’s lack of coverage still applies.

So what was going to be Part II was then going to be Part III, and again stalling, I wrote a prelude to that as well. This one was mercifully short, and endorsed a statement by then President Trump as the Ethics Quote of the Century. He had said via Twitter in October, “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” The post concluded,

“President Trump is among the Americans I would view most unlikely to utter an ethical statement, much less a great one, but this was a great statement, essential, inspirational, and right. I assume this is sufficient notice of what the conclusion of Part III will be.”

But there was no Part III, much to Michael’s disappointment and annoyance.

In May of 2020, my conclusion regarding what we should have done about the pandemic is exactly the same as it is today. The only difference is that my resolution was politically and logically impossible in May of 2020, and thus not ethical. (What is impossible isn’t ethical, it’s just ethics static).

We should not have closed the schools. We should not have shut down the economy. We should not have been subjected to the relentless fearmongering by the media in its efforts to ensure slavish obedience to the panicky edicts of power-mad governors, mayors, and CDC officials. The fact that these measures also had the tertiary salutary side effect of making it easier to push Donald Trump out of office by blaming him for the economic and social secondary side effect of them was, no doubt, considered a bonus.

The United States of America allowed its health experts who had, we now know, no idea what they were dealing with then and little more now, and who were driven as much by politics as “science,” force perhaps permanent damage on all levels of society because it proved impossible to do otherwise. What made this worse is that it was done in the name of priorities that reversed those that made the existence of the United States possible, and that sustained its excellence and success for centuries.

In my first draft of the Post I Never Wrote, I looked at the risks undertaken by the founders of the nation—not The Founders but the ordinary, courageous, sometimes desperate people who settled the land between the continents. If they had begun with the fearfulness and aversion to risk of their perpetually terrified descendants who now wear cloth mask talismans alone in their automobiles, they would have stayed in Europe. They would have never rebelled against England. They would have definitely never moved West, an adventure that cost the lives of 20-25% of the families that tried. They would not have fought to keep the south from seceding. They would not have fought Hitler and Japan; they would have negotiated for concessions and to Hell with Europe. They would definitely not have risked nuclear war with the USSR: Better Red than Dead after all.

In the quest for liberty, which included, they believed, great economic opportunity, better lives for their children, and strong, unique nation that celebrated what its citizens could do if left alone to do it, they took far worse risks than braving a China-bred virus that had a death rate of less than 1% for those infected beneath the age of 35, and that, when it did kill, overwhelmingly killed the old, obese and unhealthy.

In 2020 I started listing all of the ways the fear of the Wuhan virus was ruining almost everything, just as our enemies foreign and domestic would have wished. I makes me sick to have to feature Bill Maher approvingly in the video above: he’s the same toxic creep who said on the same show three years ago that it would be worth destroying the economy to get rid of Trump. The economy, I guess, but not the supply chain, art, sports, movies, theater, education, the mental and emotional health of children, law enforcement, trust in each other, the national spirit, what remained of the credibility of journalism, support for due process and the rule of law, and everything else, right, Bill?

There were various studies by economists of the “value” of each human life in terms of realistic costs that society could responsibly bear, but in an era when Obama’s “if it saves one life” nonsense is applauded as compassionate and profound, I decided they were futile to mention.

The course we were taking nauseated me in May, 2020, and I was certain that it was a tragic, disastrous mistake. I was also certain that my position would be characterized by many readers as a brutal “let the old and sick people die” shrug. Would I be willing to set that fate for myself to avoid the consequences the lockdown has had?, I expected many to ask, eyebrow raised in skepticism.

And my answer would be “Absolutely.” Of course absolutely. I never had the opportunity to fight for my country and its values, but my father did. He and his whole generation put their lives at risk so that his unborn children and whole unborn generations could experience and improve upon what our brave ancestors built for us. If I had to die in the last third of my life so that children could see each other smile and have the chances I did to grow up learning from face to face encounters rather than a damn Zoom screen, not to mention feeling that I had the freedom to succeed or fail without being hobbled by the government, I would regard it as a price gladly paid. I would shuffle off this second, if it would undo all the damage cowardice, ignorance, flawed expertise and abusive power has done to the nation I love.

You don’t believe that? Bite me. It’s true.

Donald Trump doesn’t understand much, but I think he understood how disastrous the reaction to the virus was and would be. He also knew, I feel sure, that this was a situation where, in the words of my father’s favorite obituary,

“He was right, dead right, as he sped along
But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong.”

The news media and Democrats were going to blame every death on him, no matter what the President did. If he did nothing, if he fought a lock-down, and impeded the efforts to close schools, which anyone should have been able to see would cause a chain reaction of unemployment, the accusation would be that he deliberately let people die. Joe Biden and others repeatedly claimed that Trump had had the power to stop the pandemic at our borders, and had “blood on his hands” even while he was capitulating to Dr, Fauci’s “let’s see what the dart hits” orders and advice base on “science.” Now Joe Biden, by his own standards, has more blood on his hands than Trump did.

Condign justice.

And here we are. I’m not a gloom and doom guy, so I’m not inclined to say all has been lost. But nearly all will be lost if there isn’t a national realization that we screwed ourselves, our children and future generations in 2020 far more certainly and unnecessarily than an our non-response to climate change speculation has or perhaps even will. When I read that New York’s Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul compared children wearing face masks in schools to the requirement that they wear shoes, I felt like I had seen the Grim Reaper smile

“My daughter had a meltdown about having to put sneakers on to go to kindergarten,” the governor said yesterday during a press conference after being asked about a timeline for removing mask mandates in schools. “She got used to wearing sneakers in school. They adapt better than adults do.”

This is what we let the virus do to us. I knew that it was the wrong course, but I also knew, given the erosion and rot in the American spirit, that no other course was possible.

That’s why I never finished the post, Michael.

I’m sorry.

21 thoughts on “The Pandemic Post I Never Wrote

  1. Wow.
    So good.
    So much to say….

    But you’re right, the deaths were Not Higher during the pandemic year though they have just changed the records to imply they were… why?

    To hide when they did go up…

    Second quarter of last year…. In proportion to the jabs… and sadly VAERS reflects it as well though on a smaller percentage confirming less than 10% are reported.

    But life insurance confirmed the excess deaths in 2021 and funny my Friend who works in this area said in early 2021, “we know there were not more deaths because the LIFE INSURANCE payouts do not follow that and they always do!!

    Crazy huh!!???

    But you wrote a good article.

    When the info about the patents filed AND grated on this virus BEFORE it was allegedly discovered… we will all know more about all this… along with the new records proving gain of function research founded by Fauci.

    I hope these people end up in jail.

    • Well… Careful. The average age of a Covid death is still well over 70, and most life insurance companies just won’t cover you after a certain age. They won’t say it out loud, but the average lifespan of an American is 72, and they usually like to insure against things that probably aren’t going to happen, the rates for geriatric life insurance, if you can find a carrier, are high enough that it makes more economic sense to start planning your own funeral privately. It would not particularly surprise me if an increase in Covid mortality was not accompanied by an increase in life insurance claims.

      Second… On VAERS, I think you’re massively overamplifying the importance of the reports. VAERS and anti-vax narratives have never been particularly concerned with the truth so much as VAERS is just a third party reporting tool and anti-vaxxers will glom onto any datapoint that conforms to their narrative.

      The reality is that a certain number of deaths in proximity to a vaccine jab happened in any given year. But the majority of people receiving a vaccine were children. You give an average of about 40 vaccine doses to children before they’re 10, another few before they’re 18, and almost none past then. That translated to about 4 million vaccine doses being given out annually in America.

      The Covid vaccine was different in both scale and type: America has administered 535 million doses over the last two years, representing an average of 67 times as many doses, and it was administered to a fundamentally different age group than normal… Namely: Old people. So when you give 67 times as many doses to a group more likely to die from natural causes, feigning surprise when the raw number of VAERS reports goes up hits me as performative. Of course they went up.

      • A typical vaccine will be pulled off the market for as little as 50 deaths being associated with it. I like how everyone just dismisses VAERS because science suddenly demands everyone ignore all data that conflicts with the hypothesis that vaccine are safe. Very scientific. VAERS is only how we tracked vaccine safety for the last 50 years or so. It’s not relevant to anything at all.

        Plenty of vaccines are given to old people. Shingles. Tetanus. They even give old people updates on their childhood vaccines such as MMR these days, because they tend to stop working in the elderly once their immune systems wane. It’s pretty standard. The meningitis vaccine is typically given to teenagers before they go to college. HPV and Hepatitis vaccines typically aren’t administered to babies either.

        Vaccine are not all administered before the age of 10. The VAERS database has never looked like this before.

        Why don’t pro-vaxxers just admit they don’t care how many people are permanently injured or die from the vaccine? Then you could have a real discussion. Ok, it doesn’t matter to you. Why? What is your reasoning? Why do you think it’s ok to kill a certain number of people to combat this disease? What number do you think is ethically justifiable? What would be the point at which you decide the vaccine needs to be pulled off the market? Does it vary by age group? How many children under 10 is it ok to kill before we decide the vaccine is worse than the virus for kids under 10? How many people under 20? 30? Is there a number? Or will it always be more ethical to leave it on the market? Is there a death toll where we decide forced vaccination is wrong? Is it ethical to force people with allergies to take it? Is forced anaphylaxis justifiable? How about neurological issues? Is it ok to leave children permanently crippled by seizures in order to protect them from covid? That happened during the pharmaceutical trials on children, yet children are still being injected, so I guess the FDA thought it was fine. Does everyone else? Right now there is NO stopping condition in these experiments. Is that ethical?

        • “A typical vaccine will be pulled off the market for as little as 50 deaths being associated with it.”

          I’m not sure whether you just made this up, or it’s missing a whole lot of context. Remember, this is in the context of VAERS, and there were upwards of 600 deaths listed as adverse effects in VAERS annually previous to the Covid vaccine. If we’re supposed to believe 1) that VAERS cases are legitimate and 2) that 50 vaccine associated deaths are enough to pull a vaccine then 12 of the vaccines that we administer on an annual basis should be pulled, give or take, no? That doesn’t happen.

          “I like how everyone just dismisses VAERS because science suddenly demands everyone ignore all data that conflicts with the hypothesis that vaccine are safe. Very scientific. VAERS is only how we tracked vaccine safety for the last 50 years or so. It’s not relevant to anything at all.”

          This is also not true. The VAERS disclaimer found at https://vaers.hhs.gov/data.html specifically says that:

          VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.

          VAERS’ own disclaimer basically says “take this data for what it is” which includes public reports. You could die in a car accident following a vaccination and your spouse could identify that as a vaccine adverse effect and VAERS is not equipped to weed that report out, despite the absurdity of it.. VAERS is definitionally not good data. And I can’t stress this enough: Even if it were, it does not make your point, because there are not 67 times as many vaccine associated deaths now as there was before, while we’re doing 67 times as many vaccinations. Even by your exceptionally flawed metric, you’re still wrong.

          “Plenty of vaccines are given to old people. Shingles. Tetanus. They even give old people updates on their childhood vaccines such as MMR these days, because they tend to stop working in the elderly once their immune systems wane. It’s pretty standard. The meningitis vaccine is typically given to teenagers before they go to college. HPV and Hepatitis vaccines typically aren’t administered to babies either.”

          Sure. What’s your point? Almost every American child gets 40 vaccines throughout their formative years and that represents the vast majority of all vaccines given. The fact that grandpa gets Twinrix right before a Mexico trip or gets a tetanus booster every now and again doesn’t change the facts that the recipient demographics for Covid vaccines is materially different than the recipient demographics of vaccines prior to 2020.

          “Vaccine are not all administered before the age of 10.”

          I didn’t say that all vaccines were administered before age 10, I said “You give an average of about 40 vaccine doses to children before they’re 10, another few before they’re 18, and almost none past then.

          “The VAERS database has never looked like this before.”

          I also said “So when you give 67 times as many doses to a group more likely to die from natural causes, feigning surprise when the raw number of VAERS reports goes up hits me as performative. Of course they went up.“.

          I also want to comment on the absurdity of this point. Not only are we administering hundreds of millions more vaccines than usual, but the vaccine mandates are highly politicized and people have a political incentive to lie to VAERS. Of course it looks different. How the everloving hell could you possibly expect different?

          “Why don’t pro-vaxxers just admit they don’t care how many people are permanently injured or die from the vaccine? Then you could have a real discussion.”

          I can’t admit what I don’t know, and I’m going to go out on a limb that you have no idea either. Do you have a citation? I’m very aware that there were a slew of temporary adverse effects, and there was definitely records of myocarditis causing death, sio I’m not going to pretend that the vaccine is perfectly safe, but… and I can’t stress this enough… If you want me to believe that there is a significant amount of permanent injury or death associated with the Covid vaccine: 1) The burden of proof is on you. And 2) Part of that burden includes the acceptance of a per-capita number. When you’re talking about Almost a billion doses administered in the US, having even ten thousand proven deaths approaches a 0.001% chance of death. Meanwhile the 2100 average SIDS deaths in America represents a 0.06% mortality rate among infants. “Significant” is almost certainly higher than you think it is.

          “Ok, it doesn’t matter to you. Why? What is your reasoning? Why do you think it’s ok to kill a certain number of people to combat this disease? What number do you think is ethically justifiable? What would be the point at which you decide the vaccine needs to be pulled off the market? Does it vary by age group? How many children under 10 is it ok to kill before we decide the vaccine is worse than the virus for kids under 10? How many people under 20? 30? Is there a number? Or will it always be more ethical to leave it on the market? Is there a death toll where we decide forced vaccination is wrong? Is it ethical to force people with allergies to take it? Is forced anaphylaxis justifiable? How about neurological issues? Is it ok to leave children permanently crippled by seizures in order to protect them from covid? That happened during the pharmaceutical trials on children, yet children are still being injected, so I guess the FDA thought it was fine. Does everyone else? Right now there is NO stopping condition in these experiments. Is that ethical?”

          Meaningless strawmannery. I question the mathematical ability and critical thinking skills of anyone who did a personal risk calculation for them and their families and came up with “the vaccine is too dangerous”. But I am 100% on record that that is a personal choice. I think it’s a very stupid personal choice, but we all have the right to make stupid choices. And literally none of that interacts in any meaningful way with what I actually wrote.

          • Dr. Peter McCullough discussed the failure criteria that usually apply to vaccine trials when he appeared on Joe Rogan.

            You don’t like VAERS. Ok. What system for tracking vaccine injuries would you find more accurate? You cannot even have a rational conversation about the vaccines with anyone because the media has demonized every data source that would have been used historically.

            I’m not making straw man arguments, I’m sincerely asking what criteria would you use to determine a cutoff point, if any, for these experimental drugs?
            What data source? What scientific data set do you find trustworthy that could give you the data necessary to establish that the cutoff has been reached?

            How do you ethically decide what the criteria are and what datasets are ethically maintained in order to make that decision? Why hasn’t the government stated what criteria they are using to make these decisions?

            • “Dr. Peter McCullough discussed the failure criteria that usually apply to vaccine trials when he appeared on Joe Rogan.”

              So… Just to be clear…. Your source was an offhand comment on a podcast. Let’s pretend, for the sake of argument, that that’s true. The operative word that you’re either ignoring or missing is that 50 deaths, was enough to deem a trial a failure. Phase 1-3 trials involve less than 10,000 people. You can’t scale that up to a billion doses and expect 50 deaths to derail the vaccine, particularly when the connection between vaccine and death is tenuous.

              “You don’t like VAERS. Ok. What system for tracking vaccine injuries would you find more accurate? You cannot even have a rational conversation about the vaccines with anyone because the media has demonized every data source that would have been used historically.”

              What data source that has been used historically? What have they been used for? VAERS was a government response to anti-vaxxer concerns. The government has never used it for anything other than idiot appeasement. We don’t have side effect reporting tools for anything else. And frankly, we don’t have a side effect reporting tool for vaccines either, we have a government run bitching and moaning portal. What system would I find more accurate? One that didn’t allow non-licensed medical professionals to report to it, for starters. Maybe one that actually looked at the facts of the report and determined that the car accident wasn’t a vaccine side effect.

              “I’m not making straw man arguments, I’m sincerely asking what criteria would you use to determine a cutoff point, if any, for these experimental drugs?”

              Two things:

              1) Yes you were, and now you’re changing the goalposts. My original point was that of course VAERS reports post pandemic are fundamentally different from VAERS reports pre-pandemic. You’re administering 67 times as many vaccines to physically less firm people. That doesn’t mean that the vaccine is less safe, it means that you’re giving 67 times as many doses to physically less firm people. You followed that up with a screed about how I don’t care if people die, implying that I was in favor of mandates. Who were you responding to?

              2) I have no patience for the “experimental” narrative. What’s the point, do you think, when an experimental vaccine graduates to real vaccine? I’m of the opinion that the Trump led push to cut away red tape and run the trials concurrently probably did a decent job of balancing urgency with care, but it wasn’t perfect, and people will disagree with me on that. But if there was a time where we could refer to the vaccine as “experimental” it is, by definition, closing. How many billions of doses over how many years need to be administered before we finally do away with calling it an experiment? And really… Aren’t we past it yet? Give me a standard, tell me the metric: How many doses, how many years? And should we hold all drugs to this standard, or just vaccines?

              “What data source? What scientific data set do you find trustworthy that could give you the data necessary to establish that the cutoff has been reached? How do you ethically decide what the criteria are and what datasets are ethically maintained in order to make that decision? Why hasn’t the government stated what criteria they are using to make these decisions?”

              Why are vaccines special? Why are vaccines the only things that need that dataset? Where is the dataset for Asprin? Asprin isn’t all that likely to do harm? Sure. Where’s the dataset on Chemotherapy? Where’s the dataset on Ivermectin? Where’s the dataset on all the crackpottery in the Health and Wellness sections? This has never been the standard for anything. You’re pretending like there’s some missing piece to the puzzle, when in reality, you’re just floundering for an excuse.

                • I’m sure you did.

                  Mary, that article is 15,000 words long and utter garbage. I am not reading it. This will be the fourth time you’ve linked some random grab bag of dumbassery and said a variation of “oh yeah, how about this, have I found the science this time?”, meanwhile, the very first point he made about consilience both misrepresented the term, and misused his misrepresentation. I can’t think of anything more backwardsly activist than “if you get enough anecdotes together, you’ve made science.” It’s indicative of something not worth my time, and it’s what he chose to open with. No, I have more self respect than that.

                  If you want to parse that gargantuan pile of garbage for a nugget of truth that you’d like me to respond to, then sure. Pick something. Put it into your own words, none of this “I’m going to paste the internet at you nonsense”, and I’ll answer it.

                  • Oh. My. God.

                    “According to the VAERS data, the number of deaths is the highest it’s been since we started recording data in 1990. As of today, there are over over 21,000 COVID vaccine reported deaths, and 1.8 million reports of vaccine adverse events.”

                    What did I just finish saying about VAERS? America has administered just shy of 600 million doses. Let’s do some napkin math. America used to administer about 4 million vaccines, mostly to children. Those vaccines, through whatever voodoo causation, led to about 600 deaths per year reported to VAERS. in 2021 America administered approximately (lets round down just to give your point the most strength possible) 500 million vaccines, mostly to older people, and that generated 21,000 deaths.

                    600/4,000,000 = 0.00015
                    21,000/500,000,000 = 0.000042

                    Even biasing the data towards your point, according to your very flawed sacred cow that is VAERS, the vaccine is HALF as likely to cause death per dose than the vaccine cocktails you were giving to kids, despite having a more fragile population.

                    You morons need to stop pretending VAERS makes your point. It makes mine, but I’m not stupid enough to use it, because it’s junk data.

    • There are many.

      I’ll point you directly to my friend who actually found them while on a job for our government looking for patent fraud.

      Not sure which interview to give you so… I’ll do a search and pick one.

      This one he shares right up front his background etc.

      The interviewer is a German lawyer I think.

      Enjoy.

      He goes into the first, how it was denied, and just more history than I knew was possible. Totally reminds of the movie “the big short” where the guy just looked at what no one else did and predicted the crash.

      David actually predicted the pandemic based on these findings. I think he gets into that.

      Honestly, never met a sharper intellect (started government work at age 6. Yes, 6) and he has the utmost integrity. I think watching you will see that.

      Enjoy!

      • Mary, I’m sorry, but we talked about that interview a while back, you linked the same interview and I watched it and commented on it: https://ethicsalarms.com/2021/08/09/comment-of-the-day-theater-ethics-meets-pandemic-ethics/comment-page-1/#comment-771347

        I’m skeptical that you did a random search and came up with the exact same interview we talked about six months ago, but maybe it’s the only source for your point…. Which is wrong. Six months ago, my point was that taking the vaccine was the right thing to do, and how even if we took everything that Martin was saying as gospel truth, and that Covid had been baked up out of 73 patented packets, and deliberately released by pharmaceutical companies for a profit motive… The right thing to do would still be to take the vaccine, get hold of the pandemic, and then sort the bad actors out. Now… The conversation has shifted to the patents on SARS-COV. I specifically mentioned this in my response to you, as a refresher:

        “I also think he’s being exceptionally loose with his language, and I’m not sure whether that’s because he didn’t take into account a conspiracy theorist minded audience, or because he’s playing to them. Martin: “So ask yourself a simple question: How would one have a patent on a treatment for a thing that had been invented three days earlier?” (Referring to a Sequoia patent filed on April 28th, 2003) […] “The Sequoia patent has another problem: It was issued and published before the CDC patent on coronavirus was actually allowed. So the degree to which any of this information could have been known other than insider information between those two parties is zero”.

        This seems to be a bitterment over the fact that the CDC tried to patent SARS COV, as opposed to a statement of fact, the reality is that the CDC issued a press release on the 16th of April that attributed SARS to a coronavirus, and people had been looking at the outbreak in Asia for months at the time. It *obviously* wasn’t “invented” on April 25th. Martin had earlier said that the reason the CDC patent had originally failed is because the patent office had said that the information was already readily available, and you can’t patent something already in the public domain. Again…. This is snarky insider pool on patent law.”

        There’s a couple of parts that your narrative just can’t get past.

        First: Yes, the CDC did try to patent SARS-COV. This is absolutely public knowledge, and their stated goal was to prevent other people from patenting SARS-COV so that everyone could continue to work on it. It was a novel excuse, perhaps not honest, but the point is moot because the ruling was that you couldn’t patent something that was already in the public domain. (More info here:
        https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna3076748#.Xz1-pChKhPY)

        Second… Like I said in the previous comment, humans share 98.2% of our DNA with chimpanzees, and that other 1.8% does some very heavy lifting. A coronavirus is a coronavirus, and coronaviruses will share the vast majority of their makeup with eachother, it’s what makes them a coronavirus. Having a patent on a portion of a coronavirus that bears similarity to a part of Covid-19 cannot possibly be used as evidence that Covid was cooked up in a lab.

        And on that last point, either Dr. Martin knows that, or he doesn’t. Either is damning.

        • “Having a patent on a portion of a coronavirus that bears similarity to a part of Covid-19 cannot possibly be used as evidence that Covid was cooked up in a lab.”

          This was too harsh. The likelihood is that this Virus was cooked up in a lab. But the idea that it was cooked up in a lab by a collaboration of SARS patent holders and released with a profit motive is tin foil hattery.

  2. My grandparents arrived here in 1907 from Germany primarily because my grandfather saw what the Kaiser was planning. So they braved the trip and it was not easy going from a grueling 10 day ocean voyage and then a 7 day train trip. They spoke no English, had no job prospects (except an earthquake demolished city that needed rebuilding) and no family relationships. The years that followed rewarded them with the American dream. Their children advanced; their grandchildren went to college to pursue professional careers; and their great grandchildren continued on the same path.
    In the space of 24 months, our “land of the free; home of the brave” is more of a corny notion than a shared value. I can’t blame that only on the greedy, professional politicians because it’s always been each citizen’s responsibility to be involved and insure “a government of the people”. As MermaidMary99 says, I hope these people (at the top of the food chain) end up in jail. Whether that happens or not will be a sign of what’s to come. With a government that refuses to pursue accountability, none of us will be free or brave but those of us that cling to “old” values will necessarily be paranoid as we try to keep our heads down and our beliefs to ourselves.

    • I hope these people (at the top of the food chain) end up in jail. Whether that happens or not will be a sign of what’s to come.
      Don’t count on it. They’ve had their hands full hunting down the tiny percentage of random loonies who got out of hand at a mostly peaceful protest in DC about a year ago. They killed a bunch of cops, you know.

  3. The biggest crime by our so-called “leaders” has been the ever-changing, exhausting mask/no mask debate instead of putting all efforts behind creating and making available monoclonal antibodies to tackle the viruses at their earliest. Remember the “science”?

  4. “Would I be willing to set that fate for myself to avoid the consequences the lockdown has had?, I expected many to ask, eyebrow raised in skepticism.”

    I had not thought about that but your answer was very much along the same line as my thinking. Sure, I got the “Trump” vaccine initially, but I refused to lock myself away out of fear of catching the virus even before I became eligible to get my first dose. I went on with my life as I had been. I would find reasons to go to the store just to go out. To me, I would rather live and die free instead of being incarcerated by instilled fear.

    In retrospect, I wish I had challenged the mask orders more than I did. I cannot claim that I was bucking the health advisories for “patriotic” reasons because I was simply doing what pleased me and not some bunch of unknown people I was told to protect. I suppose there is just as much of an “invisible hand” at work to promote liberty as there is in economies which leads us to maximum levels of satisfaction. And equally so, when government starts intervening, it usually mucks up the system.

  5. “In May of 2020, my conclusion regarding what we should have done about the pandemic is exactly the same as it is today.”

    I differed. Back in May of 2020, I was on record that humanity had never created a vaccine for a coronavirus, and the prospects of getting one were dim because of the nature of Coronaviruses. My impression was at the time, that we were putting all of humanity on hold on the hopes of developing a vaccine that might never exist, and if it was ever developed, was probably five years out. So if we needed “15 days to slow the spread” while hospitals adjusted for an influx of Covid patients, we should probably do that and then let the cord rip, because regardless of which curve we were looking at, the number of people infected remained the same: Everyone. The difference was the stress to the system and the possibility of people dying for lack of available care.

    Once the vaccine was available, my position shifted; Vulnerable people could get a vaccine, and it would probably save lives. My position was different than many here, but we were hoping for the same thing: Normalcy. My position was that we should tranche out the vaccine to the elderly and infirm first, because 1) that would save lives, and 2) the sooner we could beat down the deaths curve, the sooner we could return to something approximating normalcy, because deaths were the most important metric. The position I think I was engaging with at the time was that we should vaccinate frontline workers first because that would reduce the spread of the virus and that would bring us back to normal faster. I think at this point, I still supported some level of lockdown, because I believed it would save lives.

    Oh how naïve we all were.

    Then the vaccine was commonly available, and everyone who wanted to get the vaccine had been given more than ample opportunity to get it. At that point, I was done. The vaccines are this generation’s moon landing, a testament to human ingenuity, complete with a cadre of modern day moon-landing deniers. Everyone was as protected as they were going to get, the virus was as prolific as ever, seasonal spikes were still occurring and everything pointed towards an ongoing endemic nature, I was back to letting it all hang out. I think that this is, in fact, the majority opinion now.

    Anecdotally, there were a few months last year where there was no public mask mandate, but businesses could require masks to enter premises. I encouraged my company not to mandate masks for a couple of reasons; I thought it would alienate some customers, I did not believe that out competitors would either, and there’s a difference between “the mandate made me do it” and “this is something we’re doing on our own”. There was also the question of how hard and who we wanted to enforce it when someone came in irate. My company eventually settled on not mandating masks for either the public or employees. My experience isn’t dispositive, I know, but I think this is at least indicative of what the population is experiencing:

    Three people called in, very concerned that we weren’t requiring our employees to mask. One of them pointed out that she was the wife of a doctor and I’ve never been more tempted in my life to say: “Well, ma’am, that means that you aren’t a doctor, you just have a little bit of one in you every now and again.” but I persevered. That self-preservation thing worked for once! About 10-15% of people continued to mask. The other 85-90% went around with a naked face, myself included, and it was glorious.

    I think the reason that the mandates persist is partially explained by those three calls. People don’t call you when you’re doing something they like, and so every time a politician signals a willingness to lax restrictions, my impression is that they’re going to be inundated with shrill calls from terrified people, and they just don’t hear the “yeah! We’re good with this”s as a function of the nature of politics.

    Regardless.

    My long and meandering point is that hindsight being 20/20, I think there were a couple positions I took that ended up being just wrong once we had more data, but were still the best positions at the time with the data we had. The last two years have been a rollercoaster, but I feel on balance I’ve been more right than not, and it hasn’t been particularly hard to do.

    I don’t understand how someone’s position could remain steadfast the entire pandemic. I feel like whether that point ends up being right in the end amounts to moral luck, because there were just too many moving pieces for anyone to have remained intellectually curious and not changed their opinions on something throughout the process.

  6. When a true crisis strikes, such as in early March 2020 when the appearance of the Wuhan virus introduced the country to a potential, truly global crisis, it often exposures faults and vulnerabilities in the system it strikes. A system presumably designed to mitigate such a crisis. Our elected representatives could choose to put aside their petty political differences and aspirations and acknowledge the threat to the people of this country (and the world) and unite to address it … or not.
    They chose poorly.
    From day one, the Progressive Left and the media (one and the same) made this just another political issue with which they could use to attack their political enemies. The Progressive wing of the Democratic Party never approached the virus as a threat to the country, but rather as an opportunity to remove their political enemies and regain power. It remains the same to this day.
    In terms of deaths, the disasters of the past, Pearl Harbor, D-Day, 9-11, and January 6th (what a joke), pale in comparison to the Wuhan pandemic. Unfortunately, where the past disasters help galvanize the country toward a common goal (dare I say, an American goal), the pandemic, thanks to the Progressive Left and the media (one and the same), spawned the weaponization of our differences for political expediency, not for the betterment of the country.
    Our elected representatives could not care less about whom they represent. They see them only as a conduit to their power. This is the great fault in our system that the pandemic helped expose. America is a nation governed by elected representatives who do not care about the wellbeing of the people they were elected to represent, but rather their lust for power OVER WHOM they were elected to represent.
    If this is not corrected soon, it will not bode well for the future of the country.
    That is the Ethics Train Wreck of the Century. The pandemic be damned.

  7. “If I had to die in the second half of my life so that children could see each other smile and have the chances I did to grow up learning from face to face encounters rather than a damn Zoom screen, not to mention feeling that I had the freedom to succeed or fail without being hobbled by the government, I would regard it as a price gladly paid. I would shuffle off this second, if it would undo all the damage cowardice, ignorance, flawed expertise and abusive power has done to the nation I love.”

    I completely agree with this sentiment and with the rest of your post. I have had a good run, and like our founders I know that there are worse things than death, and definitely things worth dying for. Sadly, I am not so sure that sentiment is prevalent in our society today.

    One of my favorite poems, learned in high school English Literature class, was Macauley’s “Horatius at the Bridge,” with its familiar passage:
    “Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
    “To every man upon this earth, death cometh soon or late;
    And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
    For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods”

    I fear many will have to emulate Horatius before our nation and its heritage of freedom can be rescued from the current scenario of decline. The “plandemic” and the AUC are definitely on the hook for a lot of the damage.

    • A quote, you may know, much favored by Winston Churchill, and quoted by him at a key moment in the film, “The Darkest Hour.”

      My sister, believe it or not, memorized that whole poem just to top me. It was a loooong wait between highlights.

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