Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck Update, Part 1

[There’s almost no traffic here on Saturday if I don’t get a post up before 10:30am; I guess I’m going to find out what kind of traffic there is if nothing gets posted before 4 pm. Ugh. I’m sorry. Sitting down at my desk is still very painful, more so, in fact, today than yesterday. I also don’t understand why an 18 inch bruise on one leg makes the rest of me feel so terrible. I feel like a weenie, and I’m sorry.]

1. Biden again extended the Wuhan pandemic public health emergency, which was set to expire last week. Now it will remain in place past the midterm elections. This keeps millions of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries who might lose their coverage enrolled for several more months, and allows allowed vaccines, testing, and treatments to be offered for free. It also requires states to offer continuous enrollment for Medicaid and CHIP, public health insurance programs for low-income individuals, in order to receive additional federal funding.

That’s nice, except that there is no emergency, and Biden’s previous public statements admitted as much. This is an abuse of Presidential power, no more ethical nor legal than a leader’s extending a curfew or martial law to seize dictatorial powers—it’s the same principle, and the same tactic. Congress should throw a fit, but it won’t, because Congress has no principles or guts: the measures benefit voting blocs, and though the President is abusing his emergency powers to bypass the requirements of legislation and rule-making, the public can’t comprehend such details like due process and the separation of powers, nor, apparently, basic honesty. If the President can declare an emergency (extending an emergency is not different from declaring one) when there is none and get away with it, why not martial law?

The Wuhan gravy train has benefited so many (while wrecking the economy, whole sectors of the economy and the education and social progress of our children, just to mention a few of the self-inflicted wounds) that ending it will undoubtedly cause many considerable pain. HHS estimates that as many as 15 million people will lose their Medicaid coverage—but then, they aren’t supposed to have medicaid coverage. 

Many families will also lose supplemental money they received through the federal government’s nutrition program. But the only reason they were getting such funds was because of an emergency that no longer exists. Biden has already used the non-emergency to justify student loan forgiveness (we’ll see if he gets away with that) and make landlords continue to do without rent. HHS overrode state laws regarding which vaccines pharmacists could administer to certain age groups.  Whether the nationalization of pharmacy vaccine rules will expire when the “emergency” is lifted is still open to question. Essentially, this is a scheme to spend more taxpayer money and extend nanny state benefits and ratchet up big government control, using the pandemic as the tool. It is both an abuse of power and a cynical exercise in bypassing democracy.2. I defy anyone to make sense out of PolitiFact’s latest desperate and absurd foray into covering the Left’s derriere. A Pfizer executive admitted to the European Parliament that it had not tested the ability of its Wuhan virus vaccine to prevent transmission of the virus, saying that Pfizer did not know whether its  vaccine “prevented transmission” of the virus before it was released in December 2020. Conservative media “pounced” on the admission, saying that this proved skepticism about the vaccines were justified and not “conspiracy theories.” Naturally, the Left’s “factcheckers” defended Pfizer, but if this is a defense, I’m a walnut, Here are some quotes:

“Pfizer did not claim that a clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine was testing whether the vaccine prevented transmission of the coronavirus to other people. The aim of the drug trial was to study whether the vaccine was safe and if it prevented disease from SARS-CoV-2.”

Oh. What? If the vaccine was going to “prevent” the disease, then it had to prevent transmission. What else does transmission mean?

“When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced in December 2020 its emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine, the agency said there was no data available on whether the shot prevented transmission from person to person.”

How were people being infected if not from “person to person”? I don’t recall the CDC making that clear, do you?

“Some may have been surprised at Small’s answer, given public officials’ comments about vaccines and transmission. Both Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have said that vaccination can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The CDC in May 2021 changed its guidance on masking, with Fauci saying on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that vaccinated people’s chances of transmitting the virus to others was low. “

Some may have been surprised, given the statements of the self-declared Voices of Science”?

“The phase 3 clinical trial was “designed and powered” to evaluate the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy in preventing disease caused by SARS-CoV2, including severe disease, Widger said. “Stopping transmission was not a study endpoint,” he said, which means it wasn’t an outcome being studied.”

Again, how does a vaccine prevent disease without stopping transmission?

“We were hopeful in spring/early summer 2021 that vaccines would be effective against transmission. Delta did change that a bit, making it clear that while vaccines did, and still do, help to reduce one’s risk of infection, they alone are not enough to stop transmission,” Smith said in an email to PolitiFact. “That’s why many of us were and remain frustrated at CDC’s messaging around masks, suggesting the vaccinated could stop masking.” Before the delta and omicron variants came along, studies suggested that the vaccines were somewhat effective in slowing transmission of the coronavirus.”

It’s all like this: read the whole infuriating, huminahumina thing. The truth is that the vaccines were a Hail Mary, they were over-hyped, the CDC lied, and now the Left’s propagandists are trying to rewrite history. Science! Unfortunately, we should learn that these agencies and experts cannot and should not be trusted.

Now let’s do climate change…

9 thoughts on “Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck Update, Part 1

  1. Yet another Hail Mary by Biden. But it won’t earn his team a single extra vote – in fact, he’d probably be better off if he DIDN’T extend the “emergency” and figured out a clever way to pin that on the Republicans. THAT would motivate Dem voters.

    Biden will be the lamest of ducks in early January – assuming that we’re not all reduced to small piles of radioactive ash first.

  2. I had my own interaction with extended Covid lunacy today.

    I’ve mentioned my daughter is non-verbal autistic. She’s doing well in many areas (learning to read and type) but still has a serious anxiety disorder that can lead to self harming behavior, as is common in non-verbal autistics.

    Well, today she was not having a good day, and I noticed that what I thought was a corn on her foot had turned a nasty green color. So, trip to the local urgent care. A few months ago we had a very successful (thankfully false alarm) trip to the ER, so we knew how to do this. Took our son to my mother’s house, my husband would be helping her stay calm while I filled out paperwork, spoke to doctors, and basically did the things normal children need their parents there for.

    When we got there, a sign informed us that not only did we have to mask (not a huge deal. It’s even more obviously security theater for her than everyone else, but if they want us to pretend she’ll keep it on we can play along) but the real problem was that they were still enforcing a one adult per minor rule.

    We informed the woman at the desk of our situation, that our daughter is non-verbal and the visit was likely to be a bad experience for everyone involved unless both parents were there to manage the situation, but they refused to allow us both. So I stayed with her, trying to calm and reassure her, let her know what she could and couldn’t do to regulate herself, keep her mask on, and fill out paperwork as she gets more and more agitated. We were there less than 10 minutes and I was less than halfway through the paperwork before she had a total meltdown, complete with banging her head on the floor. I told them we couldn’t do this and left.

    Later, we called the (unaffiliated) urgent care office across town. No masks required, both parents allowed. She cuddled and played with her father, I did the paperwork and talked to the doctor, a prescription was called in for topical antibiotics, and she didn’t make a bit of fuss. That is how the ER visit went over the summer, and how the first visit should have gone.

    I am livid at the first office, and obviously never going there again. My husband filed an ADA complaint, something we’ve never done before. (We are not people who go around demanding accomodations frequently, and never ones we think would inconvenience anyone else.) I don’t know how places like this can keep up the security theater even in the face of the obvious damage their policy was doing, but it feels like a microcosm of the entire situation with children and covid policies: pointless and annoying for typical children, a disaster for any kids who started out with extra burdens.

  3. This reminds me of the scene in World War Z (the book, not the movie) where the author is interviewing the pharmaceutical CEO (scientist, developer? not sure) who is now living in self-exile in Antarctica.

    This is the guy who created the “vaccine” (named Phalanx) against the zombie-virus as it was first appearing. He admits that the reports were saying that the victims were exhibiting rabies-like symptoms, and so they took a rabies vaccine and beefed-up marketing. Governments, media, etc., took that ball and ran with it, amplifying the marketing and making stuff up in order to quell panic. Everyone saw it as a vaccine against the zombie plague and sales soared until of course the truth came out and he fled the country to Antarctica with his billions.

  4. Re: Executive Order Extensions.

    I work for a firm in the landlord-tenant area. Covid19 basically gave the federal and state governments carte blanche to nationalize residential leases. Voluntary rent relief programs are interpreted as mandatory, resulting in 60 day abatement of cases pending decisions on rental assistance. The courts are also holding that a landlord’s decision not to participate in rent relief is a waiver of past-due rent balances owed, regardless of whether rent relief is paid.

    jvb

  5. It seems to me that the Democrats miscalculated bigly when they flipped 180 degrees on the vaccine the instant that Biden won the election. They should have stuck with the “Trump’s vaccine” line and let Trump own the failure of the vaccines. That failure was always a likely outcome, as deploying experimental vaccine technology (that had failed to produce any working medicines in more than a decade of attempts before COVID) in the middle of a pandemic outbreak of a fast-mutating virus was clearly a strategy with an extremely high level of uncertainty.

    Now we’re seeing data start to come in that indicates the vaccinated are more likely, not less, to suffer severe disease or death than the unvaccinated at this point in the global experiment. The faith-based mRNA religion, though dwindling rapidly in numbers, is now trying to get everybody to take a new version of the vaccine that has had no human trials, which I’m sure will end well for all involved. Demand for these faulty products has cratered so badly that they’re destroying expired, unused doses almost as rapidly as they’re making new ones.

    The whole thing has been a colossal failure, as many predicted it would be (and were promptly kicked off of social media for saying so in 2021). Now we’re finding out that it was never tested for stopping infection and transmission, which is far and away the main purpose of a vaccine for a communicable disease. I find that difficult to believe, and suspect that they either knew the technology they were using was insufficient to produce a proper sterilizing vaccine, or they did test it against disease transmission, and those results were unfavorable, and therefore concealed. But either way, that revelation feels like the final nail in the coffin of a vaccine that the public seems to have rejected en masse (probably because everybody who took it later caught COVID anyway).

    The hilarious irony is, the Democrats spent four years reflexively opposing anything that Trump endorsed, to the point that they embraced insanity like the elimination of police departments from cities with sky-high crime rates, defending rioters attempting to burn down courthouses, and forcing toddlers to wear useless masks all day. But on the one issue that it turns out they were mostly right in their blind Trump opposition, “Operation Warp Speed”, they reversed course instantly once they got their sweaty hands on the steering wheel. Had they played their cards right, they would have had a political weapon with far more power to end Trump’s 2024 ambitions than the silly January 6th nonsense they’ve hung all their hopes on. Instead, they’ve got around their necks an albatross composed of the rotting remains of a vaccine that doesn’t work, lingering bitterness over mandates, an unknown future of possible side effects, and a fair bit of hypocrisy for having switched so transparently politically on the issue. Well done, folks. Just top notch work all around.

  6. … I also don’t understand why an 18 inch bruise on one leg makes the rest of me feel so terrible…

    As someone who has had a number of injuries over the years, I can speak to that, not simply from experience but also from the researches that that experience prompted me to make:-

    – A major effect of injury isn’t simple pain but rather fatigue. Some of that is a bodily response to conserve energy for recovery, the way some part of depression operates, but some of that is from coping with the metabolic products of tissue repair that are hitting your kidneys and liver in particular. Sometimes doctors recommend protein restriction to help with this load on other organs, but sometimes they recommend protein for the repair to use; so, ask.

    – Mechanically, your frame responds by throwing loads onto different supporting structures, which themselves load yet others further on, and so on. The new, unaccustomed loads can be hard to bear. When I (or rather, a driver) broke my right collar bone many years ago, I found I could not readily move any part of my trunk or arms, other than lifting up with my legs.

    – Too much focus on the original issue can lead to self-neglect in other respects.

    – And there’s a thing called referred pain, which arises from nerve pathways interacting. Famously, heart attacks can cause left arm pain, for instance.

    Oh. What? If the vaccine was going to “prevent” the disease, then it had to prevent transmission. What else does transmission mean?

    And so on.

    Actually, there are some rather important technical issues here, which I researched for my own edification at the start of all this. Briefly:-

    – So-called “leaky vaccines” do indeed prevent and/or mitigate disease in the vaccinated, but do little or nothing to prevent infection or transmission; they make loads of Typhoid Marys, so to speak.

    – Leaky vaccines for Marek’s Disease, say, are worth giving to chickens because the numbers add up in a utilitarian analysis.

    – Studies (analysis as well as observation) show that that sort of vaccination drives the evolution of disease types towards hitting the unvaccinated very, very hard – even when the numbers add up to make the approach work for the vaccinated (think Tragedy of the Commons). With chickens, that does not matter much.

    So, the spokesman could well have been answering a narrow technical point correctly in technical terms, without actually informing and educating a lay audience. This does not get anyone off the hook, though, because that would only work as a cover for the first two points above; the answer is not “true and fair” for all the points. If this really is a thing where the vaccines work like that, by making Typhoid Marys, the problem is that it is likely to lead to worse strains that hit the unvaccinated – and it could lead to strains that don’t go that easy on the vaccinated either (it depends on what parameters observation tells you fit the models; you use models this way to test, not to predict as such).

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