Stop Vaccinating Children: It’s Neither Medically Justified Nor Ethical
As time passes, Covid policy is proving to be a bigger threat than Covid disease. Promoted as an initial protection measure to buy much-needed time against a once-in-a-century pandemic, it became a way of life to which health bureaucrats and autocratically-inclined leaders became addicted and are having trouble letting go.
Yet in the UK: “The effects of lockdown may now be killing more people than are dying of Covid.” An editorial in the Telegraph emphasized the importance of establishing why a meaningful cost-benefit analysis of Covid policy was not carried out. Former UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption describes lockdown as “an experiment in authoritarian government unmatched in our history even in wartime.” Australia’s vaunted success in controlling the pandemic in 2020–21, meanwhile, looks increasingly hollow in 2022 (Figure 1).
The instinct to protect offspring is one of the most powerful in nature across all species, with examples only too common of parents, especially mothers, sacrificing themselves in a desperate effort to save their young. On September 4, on the edge of the Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve in central India, Archana Choudhary was working in the fields with her 15-month toddler when a tiger appeared and sunk its teeth into the baby’s head. Choudhary grappled the tiger with her bare handstrying to free the baby from its jaws until, hearing her screams, villagers came to her assistance with sticks and stones and the tiger fled. Both Mum and Bub were taken to hospital, with the mother’s wounds being the more serious. A real-life Tiger Mom!
The hardwired instinct to protect children might explain why in jurisdictions where vaccines have been approved for children, the takeup, especially for young children, has lagged well behind the adult vaccination rates. The effort to psychologically nudge and politically coerce children’s vaccination is abhorrent, distressing and puzzling in equal measures.
Children Are at Very Low Risk
Abhorrent, because it’s an acute manifestation of the evil that has taken hold following the fear induced in peoples by deliberate psychological campaigns of terror propaganda, aided and abetted by mainstream and social media. Large numbers of people in Western societies have actively colluded with governments in imposing harms on children. Debbie Lerman wrote an excellent account on this site of how instilling and sustaining mass fear was the one unifying theme that explains all the otherwise crazy edicts and policy interventions by the US government.
In almost all Western countries, the average age of Covid deaths has been higher than the average life expectancy and the mortality risk to children is lower by a thousandfold. This is the first occasion in history where children have been made to bear the heaviest costs, with futures mortgaged to massive debts, educational opportunities drastically curtailed and exposure to potentially harmful and even lethal medical interventions, just so the old can cling on to life for a few more months and years. Take two telling examples.
In January UNICEF reported on the devastating setbacks to children’s education. Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Chief of Education, said “we are looking at a nearly insurmountable scale of loss to children’s schooling.” Large-scale independent studies published in early September documented a two-decade reversal in children’s educational progress in the US. Japan experienced a jump in suicides by more than 8,000 between March 2020 and June 2022 compared to pre-pandemic numbers, mostly among women in their teens and 20s.
Unlike the flu, which tends not to discriminate between different age cohorts, coronavirus is very age-specific. The exceptional and extreme age-segregation of Covid deaths was known very early in the pandemic. On April 30, 2020, the Daily Mail reported that children under 10 are not transmitters of the disease. Despite more than 26,000 Covid-related deaths in the UK, experts who reviewed the data failed to find a single case of an infected under-10 who had passed on the disease to an adult.
The BBC reported on May 7, 2020 that in England and Wales, there were only around 300 deaths in under-45s compared to around 24,000 in over-65s. Older people with pre-existing health conditions were the most at risk, as shown in a visually striking age-adjusted graph from the BBC (Figure 2). For those under 20, the risk is negligible. In October 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration – with 932,500 signatories currently, including 63,100 doctors and medical and public health scientists – noted that the mortality risk of Covid in the young was a thousand-fold less than in the old and infirm.
On June 30, 2021, Prof. Robert Dingwall, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that advises the UK government, said letting children catch Covid would be better than vaccinating them. Their intrinsically low risk from Covid means they may be “better protected by natural immunity generated through infection than by asking them to take the ‘possible’ risk of a vaccine.”
In July, Stanford University’s Cathrine Axfors and John Ioannidis published their estimate that survivability of infected under-20s is 99.999%, falling to 99.958% for the under-50s..
The persistence of the drive to vaccinate children is puzzling because the lockdown and vaccine narratives are falling apart. One driver of this is the growing realization that excess death counts from all-cause mortality have risen in many countries, including Australia, Netherlands and the UK.
Death is the one statistic that cannot be fudged or subjected to definitional spin. In their analysis of the 50 US states, John Johnson and Denis Raincourt show that if anything, lockdown states have higher all-cause mortality rates than contiguous non-lockdown states. In many cases deaths also seem to track vaccination campaigns in successive doses.
In part the situation reflects the monomaniacal obsession with Covid to the exclusion of other leading killer diseases. The Telegraph pointed out that the UK National Health Service is once again on the verge of collapse, this time from “a tsunami of non-Covid patients who were denied treatment during the pandemic.”
Lockdown Back Pedalling
As noted by Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson of Oxford University, prominent practitioners of evidence-based medicine rather than modelling-based projections, the “lockdown back-pedalling race” has begun. In late August, former UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it had been a mistake to empower the government’s scientific advisory committee SAGE, whose analyses and forecasts were dominated by gloom and doom unless stringent restrictions were put in place yesterday.
He added that insufficient attention had been paid to the knock-on effects of lockdowns on health, education and the economy. The fear messaging had also been wrong and harmful in destroying trust in public institutions. Critics attributed his Damascene conversion to a desperate effort to revive his faltering campaign for leadership of the Conservative Party and hence becoming prime minister of the UK.
I believe this is wrong. By then the writing was clearly on the wall and Sunak, by all accounts a fundamentally decent man, wanted to go on the public record, inwardly accepting that he had already lost, in order to put obstacles in the path of future lockdowns. In that sense Sunak’s Spectator interview is more accurately read as the start of the unravelling of the great Covid narrative. Sure enough, he was soon followed by former cabinet colleagues and parliamentarians.
Former Transport Secretary Grant Shapps revealed he brought along his own spreadsheets on international data to cabinet discussions to counter SAGE analysis and advice. Even Sunak’s leadership rival, and now PM, Liz Truss claims she too was opposed to lockdowns. Unfortunately, this is contradicted by her public record but no matter, she has boxed herself in as regards returning to lockdown in the future.
Meanwhile, Denmark has banned vaccines for under-18s and under-50s can get a booster only with a doctor’s prescription. The CDC’s new guidance acknowledges the “transient” protection from vaccination against infection and transmission and the reality of naturally-acquired immunity through infection.
It therefore recommended against any further discrimination by vaccination status for most settings. Yet, again demonstrating bureaucrats’ infinite capacity for idiocy, the ban on unvaccinated visitors to the US was maintained and stopped Novak Djokovic from competing in athe US Open that was denuded of serious star power in the men’s semis and finals.
Vaccines for Australian Children
In Israel, as succinctly summarized by Will Jones, public health authorities and the government deliberately covered up serious vaccine side-effects. In September we learnt that several Australian health officials were on a government- sponsored visit as guests of Israel’s Ministry of Health.
On July 19, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Moderna for administering Spikevax vaccines to children aged 0.5–5 years. Provisional because they are still undergoing clinical trials to assess full safety. The decision is especially strange in light of concerning reports of deaths, adverse events and long-term side-effects accompanying vaccines. The Therapeutic Goods Regulation (1990) restricts provisional approvals to medicines for “the treatment, prevention or diagnosis of a life-threatening or seriously debilitating condition.”
This would appear to rule out provisional vaccine approval for children below five, as shown in the empirical data from New South Wales (NSW). The resilience of the under-50s can be seen in Figure 3. In the 14-week period May 22–August 27, they made up 27.3% of Covid-related hospitalization and 19.7% of ICU admissions, but only 1.4% of deaths. In the same period, just 0.11% of all Covid-related deaths in NSW were children and young people up to the age of 19 (Figure 4).
On this basis, a group of lawyers is aiming to file a crowd-funded case in the High Court (Australia’s equivalent of the US Supreme Court) against the decision. But so far Australian courts have been disappointingly supine toward health edicts.
The TGA’s website states that its “regulatory costs are mostly recovered through annual fees and charges levied on the sponsors and manufacturers of therapeutic goods.” An article in the British Medical Journal by Maryannne Demasi, published on June 29, documented that a compromising 96% of the TGA’s A $170mn 2020–21 budget came from industry sources, higher than the rates (in descending order) for the European, UK, Japanese, US and Canadian counterparts.
This is beyond regulatory capture and closer to the regulator being in the pocket of the regulated. Should we be surprised that the TGA approved nine of every ten applications from drug companies that year? The TGA “firmly denies that its almost exclusive reliance on pharmaceutical industry funding is a conflict of interest,” and the TGA is an honourable regulator. Yet the sad reality is the global drug industry has a particularly scandal-ridden record in influencing regulatory decisions via funding with regard, for example, to opioids, Alzheimer’s drugs, influenza antivirals, pelvic mesh, joint prostheses, breast and contraceptive implants, cardiac stents, etc.
In the Declaration for the Protection of Children and Young People from the Covid-19 Response in May 2021, the Pandemics Data and Analytics (PANDA) group said that Covid-19 is “a disease for which they [the young] carry essentially no risk.” Therefore vaccinating children is “all risk, no benefit.” Are we really going to engage in child sacrifice on the altar of Big Pharma?
Directing attention and resources without age-stratified discrimination – because “everyone is equally at risk” – made no medical or policy sense, unless, as Lerman postulates, the primary goal was to inculcate a self-sustaining state of mass panic. So even the children had to be routinely tested, isolated, deschooled, masked and vaccinated as part of what Swedish Dr. Sebastian Rushworth called the “Covid mania” and “collective state of hysteria.”. Universal vaccines is like the drunk looking for car keys near the light from the street lamp instead of where he lost them.
Against the extremely low serious risk from Covid with a survival rate of 99.99% for 0-19 year olds, the likely greater risk from vaccines, and the completely unknown long-term effects of the new-technology vaccines, if I had young children, I’d resist attempts to jab them, to the death if necessary.
Ordinarily, it would be best to put the whole Covid nightmare behind us and move on. This might be one of the rare exceptions, for accountability for the pain and harms inflicted on individuals and society is the best, and likely the only effective insurance against a repeat.
On July 23 the World Health Organization declared monkeypox, which so far has affected few people in a handful of countries, a public health emergency of international concern.
David Bell and Emma McArthur warn that the global pandemic industry has no plans for a return to normal. This is why the chief architects of population-wide lockdown and vaccine policies must be identified, put in the dock and made to answer and pay for their misdeeds.
Lest we forget.
How Major Media Suppressed My COVID Journalism
From the Brownstone Institute
The COVID-19 emergency has at last come to an end as even the most restrictive countries — the United States, most recently — have lifted draconian Covid mandates. Freedom has been restored, but the pandemic has left an indelible mark on the bedrock institutions of our society. The corruption of the FDA, CDC, the White House, and Big Pharma has been undeniably exposed — a topic I have exhaustively covered for over a year.
Notably, journalism — the filter through which ordinary people living busy lives come to understand the complex matrix of power, money, and influence — has also been exposed for its bizarre servility to public health decrees and pharmaceutical companies. Writing for the most prominent journalistic outlets since 2020, I saw the decay from the inside. Though I have been hesitant to share my experiences of colliding with the inner machinery of media — for my reputational and financial security — I now feel galvanized to lay it on the table after starting a new Substack with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.
One of the reasons I unexpectedly found myself in the journalism industry was the real possibility of speaking truth to power, presenting radically novel perspectives, and challenging institutional orthodoxy.
My first major forays into the industry were on topics such as how my experiences with racism from childhood inform my view of race relations, how white guilt and identity politics corrupts our discourse, and how 2020 Black Lives Matter riots wreaked havoc in poor, minority communities.
Pieces that I’m perhaps most proud of are the explosion of inner-city violence in Minneapolis in the aftermath of George Floyd and the new phenomenon of Asian women out-earning white men in the US.
My heterodoxy and unwavering commitment to the truth — whether that made me look right-wing, left-wing, or just an artsy weirdo (at times) — didn’t land me a weekly New York Times column, but it did grant me spots in a number of top liberal and conservative-leaning outlets, such as the New York Post, the Globe and Mail, Foreign Policy Magazine, the Grammys (yes, the music awards — their online vertical), and others.
Until it didn’t.
Having taken the heretical line on race, gender, policing, I thought I was immunized from editorial censorship. But, as the pandemic became increasingly politicized through 2021 and 2022 with the rollout of vaccines and public mandates, our society seemed to plunge into further collective psychosis, as spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle has persipaciously observed.
For the first year-and-a-half of the pandemic, I didn’t take any public stance on what was a complex epidemiological issue requiring legitimate expertise to navigate. Besides, I was regularly writing about race, BLM, and policing in the summer of 2020. Then, in the summer of 2021 Justin Trudeau and provincial leaders announced vaccine mandates across the country. Suddenly, going to the gym, restaurants, and large gatherings was conditional on taking a novel mRNA vaccine for a virus that posed less than a 0.003 percent mortality risk for people my age.
I started to examine whether this was the right medical decision for my health. Upon close scrutiny of the best available data, I came away thinking it was not. I didn’t think the Covid vaccine would be an instant death sentence for me, but I didn’t see clear evidence of benefit for healthy people in their 20s. It also just happened to be the case that I fell in the very demographic that was most at-risk of developing a serious vaccine side effect — myocarditis or pericarditis (cardiac inflammation).
Among the most rigorous, comprehensive data we have on vaccine myocarditis is from Dr. Katie Sharff who analyzed a database from Kaiser Permanente. She found a 1/1,862 rate of myocarditis after the second dose in young men ages 18 – 24. For boys ages 12 – 17, the rate was 1/2,650. Active surveillance monitoring in Hong Kong shows virtually identical figures.
Confused and looking for clarity, I reached out to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya — who was among the most sensible public health policy advocates throughout the pandemic — and he validated my serious concerns of vaccine safety and draconian public health policy more broadly.
Frustrated by the government coercing me into taking a medical procedure that was not in my best interest, I resolved to write about this injustice in the several outlets which had previously published my work.
Right away, I faced tremendous resistance of the kind that I never expected. The rejection I experienced when pitching a wide variety of pieces on Covid mandates — reported, opinionated, based on the views of credentialed scientific experts etc.— was unprecedented. Even editors who I deemed as allies — publishing polarizing pieces such as the “fallacies of white privilege” or why Robin DiAngelo’s last popular racism guidebook promotes a “dehumanizing form of condescension towards racial minorities” — were averse to my work questioning scientifically dubious vaccine mandate policies on the grounds of bodily autonomy and medical freedom.
Many editors explicitly stated their outlets were “pro-vaccine” and didn’t want to run anything that may promote an iota of “vaccine hesitancy” — even in young, healthy groups for which we still have no data on reduction in severe disease or death. One editor responded to my pitch on the lack of epidemiological basis for vaccine mandates with the following:
This paper has been encouraging Covid vaccination for everyone. We don’t want to promote vaccine hesitancy that will get people seriously ill and killed.
Journalists need to be responsible in not sowing distrust in public health guidelines that are meant to keep us safe.
Another editor made it painfully clear after a handful of unsuccessful pitches that the publication as a whole was not keen on publishing anything that deviated from the CDC and FDA’s universal vaccine advisory (vigorously critiqued by the likes of Vinay Prasad and Tracy Beth Høeg MD, PhD.).
I’m going to pass.
As I’ve said many times before, we are a pro-vaccination newspaper, and personally I just wish everyone would get vaccinated already. While I respect your decision not to do so (and I agree jail time for those who don’t is overkill), I’m not keen on op-eds that even appear like they’re arguing against vaccination for Covid or anything else.
Trying to figure out a way to capitalize on a hot news story — as every freelancer learns how to do — I started sending pitches on viral stories of athletes being barred from competition due to their personal choice not to get vaccinated. In response to my proposal on tennis star Novak Djokovic’s debacle, one editor expressed his utter contempt for Djokovic:
In no way do I want a piece supporting people who refuse to get vaccinated. In my opinion, people such as Djokovic, who refuse to get vaxxed, make their own beds and should lie in it.
They are not heroes.
On my pitch about NBA star Kyrie Irving, who had to sit out several games for the Brooklyn Nets because of some undefined risk he posed to society as an unvaccinated player, an editor I was very close with made her profound disagreement undoubtedly clear:
Sorry Rav, but I vehemently disagree with you on this issue. Feel free to pitch elsewhere.
Kyrie Irving refused to help the public get out of the pandemic and now he’s suffering the consequences. It’s on him.
On a couple of occasions, I attempted to cover the perpetually escalating Joe Rogan Covid controversy. In my several pitches, I took various angles such as how many credentialed scientific experts — such as Bhattacharya, Makary, Prasad, and others — were more in line with Rogan’s anti-mandate views than the government and public health agencies were. Here are two editor responses I received when pitching a story on the bizarre controversy of Rogan’s comments that young people in their 20s didn’t need to take the Covid vaccine (May 2021):
Rav, we are not interested in running stories like this.
I think Rogan is actively endangering the lives of children and young adults with his anti-vaccine propaganda — and you need to be more responsible in your coverage as a journalist.
I’m not interested in the Rogan story. It could too easily be construed as anti-vaccine and we want to steer well clear of that.
I don’t want any ambiguity on the issue.
One publication, whose whole mission has been from the start to expose and dismantle institutional orthodoxy, uncritically took the mainstream view on vaccine recommendations as gospel. This editor, who had “platformed” my work explaining the oft-justifiability of police shootings of highly violent, threatening suspects — which, again, was in line with their anti-mainstream view —opposed any view critical of vaccine mandates. In response to one of my pitches on the downplayed risk of vaccine-induced myocarditis in young men, he responded:
Rav, sorry but we’re not going to run any anti-vaccine pieces.
I think the risk is totally overblown and amplified by right-wing pundits who have no concern for public health. These are the safest vaccines we’ve ever had and virtually everyone seeks to benefit.
None of this was based on rigorous scientific analysis — it was all premised on a naive trust in public health authorities and pharmaceutical companies.
As it turns out, the mRNA vaccines are, by all current accounts, the most dangerous government-promoted pharmaceutical products in history. Fraiman and colleagues’ independent analysis of Pfizer and Moderna’s safety data in the medical journal Vaccine shows that mRNA covid vaccines are associated with a 1 in 800 adverse event rate — substantially higher than other vaccines on the market (typically in the range of 1 in a million adverse event rates).
[Note: this study does not negate the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines in reducing death and severe disease in elderly populations (for which we have good data). I personally recommended my grandparents to get vaccinated and was happy they followed through.]
Due to the increasing censorship I faced, I ended up self-publishing my vaccine-myocarditis investigations, including one story on how a 38-year-old law enforcement member in my area almost died from acute vaccine-induced myocarditis after he was forced to get double-jabbed against his will.
At a time when government officials and public health bureaucrats are actively misleading the public, it is the media’s crucial responsibility to hold them accountable. Unchecked power — when unrecognized by the masses — metastasizes and devolves into tyrannical control. This is how you get the FDA approving and recommending the new “bivalent” booster shot to all Americans — as young as 6 months old — based on lab-testing in eight mice (with the White House recklessly advertising on their behalf).
When the media fails, civilization begins to unwind. The powerful get away with more corruption and media homogeneity solidifies, congeals, and becomes increasingly treacherous to question.
This has been my experience over the past two years.
An industry already compromised in the age of Trump and wokeism completely fell apart during a global pandemic. My collisions with this inner machinery are not merely a story of left-wing media bias (a given fact for decades), but — as I alluded to several times — people working in even alternative and right-leaning media spaces refusing to air any form of refutation of authoritarian public health mandates.
This is why traditional left-versus-right paradigms are obsolete. Many “conservatives” bought the public health propaganda wholesale while a number of traditionally progressive thinkers — such as Russell Brand, Matt Taibbi, Jimmy Dore, and Glenn Greenwald (regardless of their personal medical decisions) — vigorously objected to Covid mandates on the basis of foundational, societal principles.
I have largely abstained from sharing my visceral feelings on the demoralizing rejection (and financial loss) I faced for two years as a previously welcomed journalist in major outlets, but suffice it to say I felt incredibly trapped, helpless, vexed, and lost. Some of the aforementioned editors recommended I stick to stories on “cancel culture,” “identity politics,” “race,” and the rest. While all those issues remain deeply concerning, the proposition of being pigeonholed in one specific topic while being censored in another that is far more alarming on a societal level (“Take the jab, or lose your job”) was repugnant to me.
I refuse to be censored.
I won’t perpetually write stories about wokeism spiralling out of control in liberal sectors of society in order to gain clicks and a steady paycheck on conservative websites who want to feed their readers only one narrative.
Today, I am no longer indignant and hopeless, waiting for one of my previous editors to offer me an opportunity again. I have now started my new, independent venture on this platform — The Illusion of Consensus — and am looking forward to bringing new, exciting content to my readers.
Thank you to those who helped share and amplify the several stories I independently wrote on my personal Substack (with a small audience and minimal financial gain) such as Jordan Peterson, Joe Rogan, and Glenn Greenwald.
As I progress in my ever-evolving journalistic path to expose the truth, I hope you will continue to support my work.
Republished from the author’s Substack
Sorry, This Is Not Going Away
From the Brownstone Institute
The kids are two years behind in education. Inflation still rages. White-collar jobs are disappearing thanks to the reversal of Fed policy. Household finances are a wreck. The medical industry is in upheaval. Trust in government has never been lower.
Major media too is discredited. Young people are dying at levels never seen. Populations are still on the move from lockdown states to where it is less likely. Surveillance is everywhere, and so is political persecution. Public health is in a disastrous state, with substance abuse and obesity all at new records.
Each one of these, and many more besides, are continued fallout from the pandemic response that began in March 2020. And yet here we are 38 months later and we still don’t have honesty or truth about the experience. Officials have resigned, politicians have tumbled out of office, and lifetime civil servants have departed their posts, but they don’t cite the great disaster as the excuse. There is always some other reason.
This is the period of the great silence. We’ve all noticed it. The stories in the press recounting all the above are conventionally scrupulous about naming the pandemic response much less naming the individuals responsible. Maybe there is a Freudian explanation: things so obviously terrible and in such recent memory are too painful to mentally process, so we just pretend it didn’t happen. Plenty in power like this solution.
Everyone in a position of influence knows the rules. Don’t talk about the lockdowns. Don’t talk about the mask mandates. Don’t talk about the vaccine mandates that proved useless and damaging and led to millions of professional upheavals. Don’t talk about the economics of it. Don’t talk about collateral damage. When the topic comes up, just say “We did the best we could with the knowledge we had,” even if that is an obvious lie. Above all, don’t seek justice.
There is this document intended to be the “Warren Commission” of Covid slapped together by the old gangsters who advocated for lockdowns. It is called Lessons from the Covid War: An Assessment. The authors are people like Michael Callahan (Massachusetts General Hospital), Gary Edson (former Deputy National Security Advisor), Richard Hatchett, (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), Marc Lipsitch (Harvard University), Carter Mecher (Veterans Affairs), and Rajeev Venkayya (former Gates Foundation and now Aerium Therapeutics).
If you have been following this disaster, you know at least some of the names. Years before 2020, they were pushing lockdowns as the solution for infectious disease. Some claim credit for having invented pandemic planning. The years 2020-2022 was their experiment. As it was ongoing, they became media stars, pushing compliance, condemning as disinformation and misinformation anyone who disagreed with them. They were at the heart of the coup d’etat, as engineers or champions of it, that replaced representative democracy quasi-martial law run by the administrative state.
The first sentence of the report is a complaint:
“We were supposed to lay the groundwork for a National Covid Commission. The Covid Crisis Group formed at the beginning of 2021, one year into the pandemic. We thought the U.S. government would soon create or facilitate a commission to study the biggest global crisis so far in the twenty-first century. It has not.”
That is true. There is no National Covid Commission. You know why? Because they could never get away with it, not with legions of experts and passionate citizens who wouldn’t tolerate a coverup.
The public anger is too intense. Lawmakers would be flooded with emails, phone calls, and daily expressions of disgust. It would be a disaster. An honest commission would demand answers that the ruling class is not prepared to give. An “official commission” perpetuating a bunch of baloney would be dead on arrival.
This by itself is a huge victory and a tribute to indefatigable critics.
Instead, the “Covid Crisis Group” met with funding from the Rockefeller and Charles Koch Foundation and slapped together this report. Despite being celebrated as definitive by the New York Times and Washington Post, it has mostly had no impact at all. It is far from obtaining the status of being some kind of canonical assessment. It reads like they were on deadline, fed up, typed lots of words, and called it a day.
Of course it is whitewash.
It begins with a bang to denounce the US policy response: “Our institutions did not meet the moment. They did not have adequate practical strategies or capabilities to prevent, to warn, to defend their communities, or fight back in a coordinated way, in the United States and globally.”
Mistakes were made, as they say.
Of course the upshot of this kvetching is not to criticize what Justice Neil Gorsuch calls “the greatest intrusions on civil liberties in the peacetime history of this country.” They hardly mention those at all.
Instead they conclude that the US should have surveilled more, locked down sooner (“We believe that on January 28 the U.S. government should have started mobilizing for a possible Covid war”), directed more funds to this agency rather than that, and centralized the response so that rogue states like South Dakota and Florida could not evade centralized authoritarian diktats next time.
The authors propose a series of lessons that are anodyne, bloodless, and carefully crafted to be more-or-less true but ultimately structured to minimize the sheer radicalism and destructiveness of what they favored and did. The lessons are cliches such as we need “not just goals but roadmaps,” and next time we need more “situation awareness.”
There is no new information in the book that I could find, unless something is hidden herein that escaped my notice. It’s more interesting for what it does not say. Some words that never appear in the text: Sweden, Ivermectin, Ventilators, Remdesivir, and Myocarditis.
Perhaps this gives you a sense of the book and its mission. And on matters of the lockdowns, readers are forced to endure claims such as “all of New England — Massachusetts, the city of Boston, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine — seem to us to have done relatively well, including their ad hoc crisis management setups.”
Oh really! Boston destroyed thousands of small businesses and imposed vaccine passports, closed churches, persecuted people for holding house parties, and imposed travel restrictions. There is a reason why the authors don’t elaborate on such preposterous claims. They are simply unsustainable.
One amusing feature seems to me to be a foreshadowing of what is coming. They throw Anthony Fauci under the bus with sniffy dismissals: “Fauci was vulnerable to some attacks because he tried to cover the waterfront in briefing the press and public, stretching beyond his core expertise—and sometimes it showed.”
This is very likely the future. At some point, Fauci will be scapegoated for the whole disaster. He will be assigned to take the fall for what is really the failure of the national security arm of the administrative bureaucracy, which in fact took charge of all rule-making from March 13, 2020, onward, along with their intellectual cheerleaders. The public health people were just there to provide cover.
Curious about the political bias of the book? It is summed up in this passing statement: “Trump was a comorbidity.”
Oh how highbrow! How clever!
Maybe this book by the Covid Crisis Group hopes to be the last word. This will never happen. We are only at the beginning of this. As the economic, social, cultural, and political problems mount, it will become impossible to ignore the incredibly obvious. The masters of lockdowns are influential and well-connected but not even they can invent their own reality.
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