The biggest news of the last week is that the Delta variant is now in decline in the U.S. Even though we knew this was coming, it is still nice to see. The rising and falling of COVID cases is the one COVID related feature as certain as death and taxes. The 7-day moving average peaked on Wednesday, September 1 at around 165,000 cases per day. Since then, we have seen a drop of more than 12% . We should see a continued drop in cases (and eventually deaths) for a period of time, but that vague promise is about all that can be said. For how long and how low the cases will drop and if they will turn around again (for a fifth wave) nobody knows.
COVID Deaths in the U.S. are at relatively high level as well, averaging about 1,400 per day as of September 10. The only good thing that can be said about that number is that it is vastly lower than the peak reached earlier this year (around 3500 per day during COVID wave 3). But unfortunately, it slightly higher than the peak we had last summer (around 1200 per day, COVID wave 2) when nobody was vaccinated and fewer people had been infected.
The promise of earlier this summer, when it appeared the vaccines might just crush the virus and COVID would settle into the background, has been dimmed a bit. In my last post, I wrote about what appears to be growing concerns among medical experts: our vaccination strategy is flawed and our public health experts have failed to adjust to a dynamic situation COVID Retrospective (vaccines, masks, treatments, natural immunity, herd immunity, and more) – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com). The truth is we have made some progress; we have saved lives, and we have learned a lot in the past eighteen months, but the reverse is true as well; some policies have cost lives and we have failed to learn many important lessons.
Our media and our politicians are only exacerbating a difficult situation; they are a major impediment to truth and progress on COVID. They tell us anyone who won’t follow their precise prescriptions should be scorned, mocked, or ostracized, as if they alone have a lock on the truth. They divide the American people into two camps on every issue: the pro-vaxers and anti-vaxers; the pro-science and the anti-science; the maskers and the non-maskers. They tell us anyone who raises even the slightest doubt about the effectiveness of vaccines, masks, lockdowns, or any of the rest of their often facile solutions is denying reality and doesn’t care who lives and dies. Late night TV host (and supposed comedian) Jimmy Kimmel epitomizes this point of view: if you are unvaccinated and you get COVID, well you should be on your own:
This is a man who often talks about compassion and empathy and has cried on national TV for the victims in other cases, but he couldn’t care less about you if you are someone he labels an anti-vaxer, whether the label fits or not. He is not alone. CNN’s Don Lemon said basically the same thing:
Do these two (and the many others who agree with them) think this is how we should determine medical treatment from now on? Should we turn away the diabetic and the obese who are in the hospital because they couldn’t control their diet and didn’t listen to their doctor’s advice the last twenty years? Should we turn away AIDS patients because they engaged in risky sexual behavior with multiple partners? Should we turn away the cancer patients because they smoked for a time? Should we turn away the car accident victims who didn’t wear their seat belts? Kimmel and Lemon probably don’t see the double standard. But they should at least ask themselves why are they so passionate when it comes to this one risky behavior but not all the rest? These two dummies and public figures like them who make similar statements are the reason we can’t have a real debate about our COVID strategy.
I would love to hear what Kimmel and Lemon have to say to this woman, five months pregnant with complications, who was denied medical care because of her vaccination status. The clip is less than a minute long and concisely sums up how our COVID policies have created many victims:
Do you two dummies understand this woman probably didn’t get the vaccine because she is concerned about the potential, mostly unknown, side effects a vaccine might have on her unborn child? Can you stop with your own phony maudlin displays and and use your God-given intelligence for just five minutes to realize that there are multiple reasons why some people don’t get the vaccine and folks do not deserve to be treated as this woman has been? Do you think she is to blame for whatever terrible fate may befall her, all so you can be seen by your national TV audience as taking a morally righteous stand on this most important issue of our time?
These two do not think at all; they want so badly to show how empathetic and caring they are, so they let emotions drive their thoughts. They believe if you get a vaccine you are empathetic and caring just like them, and if you don’t get a vaccine then you are a heartless bastard and deserve your fate. This is what passes for critical thinking. This kind of facile, emotionally driven, thinking is rampant today. When not emotionally driven, their thinking is defined in political terms; we are still in this COVID mess, they tell us, so it must be the fault of those dastardly anti-vax conservatives. If you had just locked down when we told you, if you had just masked when we told you, if you had just vaccinated when we told you, then all this would be gone by now. It’s anything to avoid blame and to take a closer look at what might have been your own failed prescriptions.
In reality, there are not actually two distinct camps on vaccines: pro-vax and anti-vax. Vaccination policy is not a black-and-white issue; there is a ton of gray between the two most extreme views. Most of the folks who are concerned about vaccine strategy or simply pointing out the limitations of the vaccines are generally vaccine advocates. Mainly, they want to use the vaccine to maximum impact, which does not mean vaccinate everyone right now or else. Kimmel, Lemon, Fauci, Biden, and the rest who cannot see past their vaccine blinders want to demonize those who don’t fully agree with them because they do not seem to have the faculty to understand the subtleties of what critically thinking people are saying about vaccines. Below is a five-minute clip of Joe Rogan interviewing Brett Weinstein; it nicely summarizes those subtleties and highlights, making some of the points I have made in my last few posts:
To summarize the thoughts expressed in this clip:
- We need a re-thinking of our COVID strategy.
- We need to ask ourselves: have we learned anything from this experience?
- Vaccines were a modern miracle, but the vaccines have failed to produce lasting immunity and vaccine immunity does not compare well to natural immunity.
- We have the tools at our disposal to manage this crisis, but our interests are not being served by the public health apparatus who is looking for their own interest apparently.
Another very interesting point made during this interview is that we are vaccinating “into the pandemic” itself. Vaccines are certainly not new and most of us have likely obtained many, but what is different today than ever before is that this one was developed and distributed during height of the pandemic. That’s never happened before. For instance, we developed a small pox vaccine hundreds of years after the virus had made its biggest impact. If we had vaccinated people after the height of the COVID pandemic, the likelihood of a resurgence would be almost zero, but since we are vaccinating “into the pandemic” the vaccines may not be as effective. We don’t know how well the vaccines will continue to perform because we actually have no experience with this type of strategy. Maybe we ought to ask ourselves a few more questions about how this unique situation impacted the effectiveness of the vaccines? Maybe we ought to stop relying so much on Dr. Fauci and listen to a few more voices.
COVID Tyranny and Employer Mandates
Of course, now that the delta variant is subsiding, the Biden administration reveals its delta plan, which is basically the same as it has always been: https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/biden-covid-19-vaccine-mandates-announcement/
- First, yell at the 25% of adults who are unvaccinated and blame them for this mess as you blamed the un-masked and the governors who opened up their states last year.
- Second, issue several unconstitutional mandates forcing your will upon the rest of us.
As I said above, COVID deaths are higher now than they were at the peak last summer when nobody was vaccinated, so you cannot blame all the recent increase on deaths on the unvaccinated.
Four weeks ago, I wrote about my employer, the federal government, who had issued a mandate for all federal employees to be vaccinated. A couple weeks later, all employees were then asked to attest to our status on a shared site. We were provided three options: Yes, No, and “decline to answer”. I declined to answer and I certainly hope many others, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, declined to answer as well. I also refused to follow-up with any of my direct reports to enforce this mandate. Happily , managers were never asked to follow-up, so I wasn’t put in a situation where I refused to carry out an order put to me. Letter to My Employer: I won’t do it – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com)
It has been a month since this mandate was issued, but I think it has had little impact to date. For starters, it is totally impracticable and it also has no real teeth, at least not yet. The mandate says you must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, but government agencies have no way of ensuring employees are getting vaccinated or that they are telling the truth about their reported status. Our agency, one of the largest in the government, has no facilities or any of the other means needed for testing; they have no tracking system to ensure that test results are reported and verified timely. Even a rudimentary system for checking would take months to put in place. There are 4.2 million federal employees and so it is likely that at least one million have not been vaccinated, not to mention those who chose: “decline to answer”. Every government agency has a whole lot of people to follow-up with on a weekly basis. As someone inside the system, I can tell you the U.S. government can’t pull this off with any efficiency. We are almost always bad at such things.
In addition, the agency I work for has no doctors or medical personnel on staff. How in the world can our agency or the federal government in general even begin to commence to start to get ready to test millions of employees weekly? They don’t have the people or the funding to pay for millions of weekly tests, and even if they did how much time and effort is this going to consume, taking away from an already unproductive work force? I have to believe the administration must have known all along that the mandate is not only an overreach of power, but it is totally unenforceable (or maybe I give them too much credit for actually thinking this through).
The federal employee mandate covers a few million, but that unworkable mandate has now been expanded to include another 80 million, employees of large to mid-size business, those with 100 or more employees. How in the world are they going to make this one work? To enforce this mandate they would need a new government agency to police businesses, some agency along the lines of the TSA, only much bigger and broader. There is nothing in place and, as far as I can tell, nothing in the works.
Instead, I believe the Biden administration is trying to appeal to individuals; they need voluntary compliance. Their real strategy is to scare people into getting vaccinated by threatening their jobs; they just aren’t telling us that it won’t be enforced. They want you to believe you have just three choices: get vaccinated, get tested once a week, or get fired. I think the other option is to get lawyered up. My hope is that the courts will strike down this massive government intrusion and deliver a telling blow for restoring freedom in America. My other hope is that governors and local officials in freedom loving states will not comply with enforcement. Sorry, New York and California, you’re screwed again.
Governors on COIVD policy: https://www.dailywire.com/news/governors-immediately-push-back-on-unconstitutional-biden-plan-will-fight-them-to-the-gates-of-hell?itm_source=parsely-api&utm_campaign=daily_shapiro&utm_medium=email&utm_source=housefile&utm_content=news
Jeremy Boring, co-CEO of the news outlet, Daily Wire issued a strongly worded statement saying they would not comply with the new employer mandate. It’s a model statement for every American business. They are going to fight it and they have the means to do so, unlike most of us. Boring’s business partner, Ben Shapiro, a Harvard-educated lawyer himself, believes this will ultimately wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
This mandate has some potentially significant financial impact on businesses. Ask yourself how all these businesses are supposed to absorb the cost of testing or for that matter the fines for employees who don’t comply? In addition, the government has no means of collecting the $14,000 fines it says it will impose, at least not yet. Will a new tax form be required, one which tells the government how much money is owed due to vaccine non-compliance? People are going to love this new system once they figure out how it actually works (or doesn’t work).
All of this is just what we need to spur a sputtering economy: more costs imposed via government regulation, more taxes, and more disincentives for people to spend their money. I assure you we wouldn’t have gotten this crappy system with a second Trump administration.
Do We Really Mean it?
Biden says this new mandate covers ALL employees for ALL businesses of the appropriate size. Right. Actually, it covers ALL employees, except for those it does not. The post office is one business exempted. Your business of 100 people must comply or be fined out of existence, but the postal service with its 650,000 employees is exempted. You would think if they were serious about this they wouldn’t create such a big exception for the postal workers. After all, you would think workers that interact with the public so frequently in virtually every corner of the nation would be at the top of the priority list. Biden also said in his speech to the nation that we should vaccinate all public school teachers as well, but didn’t call for mandatory vaccines for teachers. Why not? Again, we have a large body of workers who have millions of interactions with the public daily, and they too are exempt from mandates.
If you are confused about these massive exceptions, don’t be. The mandate covers ALL employees except those represented by labor unions who are large donors to the Democratic party. Standing on principle, are we? Trying to save every life we can with these absolutely essential regulations?
I should like to point out as well that even Dr. Fauci was against mandates. Last year, he said this:
If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there’s nothing you can do about that. You cannot force someone to take a vaccine,” he said at the time.
But the power has gone to his head. Now vaccine mandates are good and he even wants to vaccinate your kids. What are you going to do when face the dilemma of vaccinating your kids or moving to another school district? This COVID tyranny cannot be escaped.
Interestingly enough, Biden and Psaki also recently said there would be no vaccine mandates, but now that they have given their imprimatur to mandates, others are following. The Los Angeles school district has already gone down this route. When vaccine mandates come to my town, we’ll be looking at home school or private school again. Where is the science in this, Dr. Fauci? Science tells me that my unvaccinated teenagers are safer from COIVD than I am as a double-vaxed old fogie. Did the science change, or are we just catering to the political bosses yet again?
Even More COVID Tyranny
Biden didn’t stop with mandates to your employer, he also asked the businesses you patron to check your vaccine status, check your status before you go to the movies, out to eat, to the ballgame, or whatever. You can’t just live your life and hope the government just leaves you alone. If it is actually implemented, we’ll have a new black market in fake vax cards. I suppose that’s another positive side effect–a new jobs program.
Do you think perhaps all these businesses impacted might lose some customers or that it might significantly increase the cost of doing business? Maybe Wal-Mart and CostCo can absorb the cost, but can your local shop on main street? This is the problem with every government regulation; there is a hidden cost to every new regulation. It is the same mistake that our government has been making since the 1930’s; they never calculate the cost or lost business. One of the reasons the Trump economy boomed is because of all the cuts in government regulations. The Biden economy struggles to gain traction for the opposite reason–and now we are seeing it in real time.
We can debate the constitutionality of these mandates, but we shouldn’t debate the fact that they are unenforceable without a massive state apparatus which intrudes on our daily lives to check up on our every action, something like China has today or the Soviet Union had in its day, or something like what is happening in Australia, a Democratic western civilization which has so focused all its energy on defeating COVID that they have destroyed the lives of their entire citizenry:
Australia was a thriving western-type Democracy until two years ago, a country with a unique culture and a place so many thought of some day visiting. It appears COVID policies have turned it into a hell-hole. I will cross off Australia as one of those places I might like to visit one day. From the article above:
Our lockdowns are also among the world’s harshest. Here in Melbourne, you’re permitted to leave your home for no longer than two hours a day for exercise and once more to go to the shops. A curfew is in place between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Travel farther than three miles from your home is prohibited. Fines for breaching these and sundry subsidiary restrictions range from $1,300 to $15,000 (U.S. dollars).
The rest of the country is technically “open,” but many places are subject to various restrictions, including mask mandates — even outdoors — and occupancy limits so stringent that they render many businesses unprofitable. And lockdowns are never far away anyway, as state leaders tend to trigger stay-at-home orders after absurdly low case numbers. Sydney’s lockdown was declared in June when the state had just 82 active cases. Melbourne’s lockdown needed only six.
Freedom of movement within Australia has been more or less extinguished. Each state government has — probably unconstitutionally — imposed convoluted entry requirements for interstate visitors, and borders between states are often closed altogether.
Entry requirements are sometimes so strict that returning residents cannot even get into their own state, a problem that has recently seen encampments sprout up along the border between Victoria and New South Wales — effectively, Australia now has a class of internally displaced people.
Going overseas is also prohibited, even for dual citizens and permanent residents, which in any other situation would trigger a small diplomatic incident. It is possible to get an exemption, but more often than not exemptions are refused.
In most cases, these restrictions have been made not by the legislature but by unelected health bureaucrats who have extraordinary powers under open-ended emergency legislation. In fact, parliaments themselves have often been suspended under the pretext of preventing infections. Just last month, for example, an upcoming session of the Victorian parliament in Melbourne was quietly canceled, pursuant to orders by an opaque government body known only as the “COVID-19 Response Division.”
In France, police are stopping people on the street to check their vaccine cards. Don’t have your papers, you better not be ought on the street. I remember watching old war movies in which the Nazis always asked people for their papers before allowing them to pass. What have we come to today?
In Australia, they have the COVID-19 Response Division, an unelected, unaccountable government agency. The name sounds a bit shadowy to me, something Orwellian, in fact. In the U.S. we now have another government agency getting into the COVID policy game: OSHA. We were told COVID policy was driven by science, that we were following the advice of our medical experts. It was bad enough with Fauci and the CDC determining policy, but now we have OSHA, an agency under the Department of Labor, telling 80 million people that they need to be vaccinated or face severe fines or loss of job.
Wake up everyone. This is how tyranny and authoritarian states come to power. Don’t let the U.S. government create a COVID-19 Response Division of our own. If a new government agency is created to enforce COVID policy, it won’t go away when COVID finally fades into the background. They’ll keep it around because it can be useful in cramming down other unpopular measures which they can’t get done any other way. Don’t let the government get away with imposing fines on businesses either. Once a system for collecting fines is imposed an implemented, it also won’t go away and we will have that system for other activities the government wants to compel. Perhaps, we will eventually develop a “social credit” system like they have in China, the better you comply with government dictates the more points you get and the more freedom you are allowed. Make no mistake the authoritarians in our government admire the ability of the Chinese to get things done and they don’t care so much that it is done at the expense of liberty.
Biden said also this past week: “I will get governors out of the way.” Does he know anything about federalism? States have rights and the federal government’s power over states is limited. Biden specifically threatens Governor DeSantis, a political rival, and mischaracterizes his stance on stopping public mandates. DeSantis is looking out for individual rights, not the rights of local governments to impose mandates. Biden’s real goal is seeking to consolidate power in Washington while DeSantis wants to devolve power. Biden also claims DeSantis is bullying Florida citizens and school districts, but who is the one threatening the jobs of federal employees like me, who is the one trying to impose punishing fines on businesses they have even one unvaccinated employee? The media claimed Trump was a tyrant who was shredding the Constitution, but Biden is the one actually acting like a dictator (and they say hardly a word about it).
The folks in New York City have their own little tyrant, Mayor Bill DeBlasio. A month or so ago DeBlasio said the time for voluntary vaccinations is over: De Blasio on Vaccines: ‘We Tried Voluntary … The Voluntary Phase is Over’ | TIMCAST IRL
Technically, NYC has not required that all residents be vaccinated. They have not yet rounded up the unvaccinated and made them wear yellow stars, but DeBlasio has instituted a series of mandates since then. He is doing everything he can to twist your arm. It’s like when your dad said this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you, but really the pain is all on you:
The problem with such mandates is in how you enforce them. In France, the police are stopping people on the street asking for their papers. In Australia, they are arresting fugitives from COVID justice. How long before New York does the same? This madness will stop only will people rise and demand that it stop. If politicians like Biden and DeBlasio believe they can get away with these things, they will try. For them, it is a battle of wills. If we don’t object, they keep pushing the envelope further and further.
Who would have thought an American citizen would be arrested for simply not wearing a mask? Well, someone wanted to make an example of radio talk show host, Shannon Joy who didn’t wear her mask properly at her local school board meeting:
Others were not wearing masks, but she was singled out; they wanted to silence her specifically by discrediting her and embarrassing her. When exactly did it become a crime to not wear a mask? There is no statute that they can point to. Even one of the officers who arrested her had no mask while she was put in handcuffs. We should all be appalled at this bullying of law-abiding folks, yet, there are those at the meeting who cheered her arrest. They don’t like her because of ideas she stands for, not anything she did.
The dividing of Americans against each other by our politicians is working. Shannon Joy doesn’t support lockdowns, masking, and forced vaccinations, so she must want everyone to die and must be shut up. It is too dangerous to let her speak because she might convince others to accept what is clearly misinformation.
Later, Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the scene, who took Joy outside the premises and handcuffed her. She shared a picture of her arrest on Twitter and captioned it as, “The irony. I was arrested for wearing my mask improperly. By a barefaced police officer and another with the mask under her chin. How is this America?”
In another tweet, she wrote, “Ok let me amend this. I was told to leave a public meeting because my mask was on the tip of my nose and not the BRIDGE of my nose. When I declined to leave for such a stupid reason they declared I was TRESPASSING and had me arrested and charged with criminal trespass.”
How does not wearing a mask properly, not on the bridge of the nose equate to trespass? The ironic thing is all these loose fitting clothe and paper masks are basically useless and only for show.
How about this incident of individual tyranny? We have a true believer of the Biden and DeBlasio way who took it upon herself to impose her own mask mandate:
More of this craziness is coming unless we push back and say no more.
On the other hand, now that the standard is set, how about we arrest this guy for not wearing his mask? He appears to be irresponsibly endangering our children.
Here’s one final bit of craziness I can fit into this post. We have separate lines for vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers, yet when they get to the gate or on the plane they are mingled together again. This may make some people feel better, but does this make any sense?
I talked about treatments in my last post ( https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/09/05/covid-retrospective-vaccines-masks-treatments-natural-immunity-herd-immunity-and-more/). Our strategy these days is to use the vaccine as a treatment. The vaccines are not stopping spread and infection; their primary value is in limiting the impact of the virus once infected, but that is the very definition of a treatment. Furthermore, when someone tests positive for COVID, they are sent home with no treatment. Every front-line doctor I’ve heard says the key is to treat COVID early, but instead many get no treatment until they get really sick, and then they wind up in the emergency. Why are we waiting until someone gets seriously ill before treating them for COVID?
There are actual treatments for COVID, many of which are being attacked, but not for good reason. I talked about ivermectin in my last post, a drug which won the Nobel prize for medicine in 2015 and has been prescribed nearly 4 billion times. In the interview below, this doctor with the organization FrontLine Critical Care (FLCC) says it is as safe as aspirin and that it is one of the top ten drugs we have for whatever ails you. Frontline doctors have been prescribing ivermectin to COVID patients with good results. How many times in the last two years has Dr. Fauci treated a patient for COVID or treated a patient for anything else in the last forty years?
This is a very enlightening easy-to-follow interview. Dr. Joseph Varon touches on the problem of ivermectin and HCQ being attacked by politically motivated media, and then provides evidence to show that ivermectin is, in fact, quite effective and quite safe (he also says HCQ is effective but not quite as safe as ivermectin, so ivermectin has become the drug of choice). Dr. Varon is originally from Mexico and he talks about one Mexican state which is distributing ivermectin widely. That state, he says, has better results than the rest of the country. Not bad for a horse drug. I suppose it is upsetting news to those who want us to rely only on the vaccine for treatment.
This second interview is also quite good. Dr. Mary Bowen talks about various over-the-counter vitamins and supplements (Vitamin C, Vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, melatonin, and more) which can keep us healthier and better able to fight off COVID (or other ailments). She also touches on monoclonal antibodies, another treatment that is proving to be effective, and she says is the one treatment she recommends above all else.
Also, at the 20:35 mark of this podcast, Michael Berry reads a letter from a 29-year-old female. This woman is wise beyond her years and provides a fantastic counter as to why she should be exempted from vaccination. The vaccines appear to be helping and are a modern miracle, but they are not for everyone. Please stand up for liberty and allow individuals to make their own decisions regarding their own health.
A Little More on Masks:
Every week, I find more reasons to doubt our masking policy, but most folks who believe in them just will never let go of the belief masks are helping.
Whenever I have a medical appointment, I seek to bring up masks as a topic of discussion. Just in the course of regular appointments I have received a number of frank assessments from my various doctors. Lat week, I spoke to yet another doctor who told me the cloth and paper masks that are so ubiquitous are totally useless and only for show. He wears a KN-95 which are tighter fitting and not so oppressive. If you insist on wearing a mask, at least get yourself a KN-95 and remember to change it daily.
My doctor also indicated that the N-95 is the best mask to use because of its tight fit, but he doesn’t use one because he cannot tolerate wearing it all day. So, perhaps an N-95 might protect some, but it is not accessible to most of us, not something that kids could master or for that matter, not a mask most of us could tolerate. So instead, we settle for the useless cloth and paper masks, which Dr. Osterholm said are as helpful as a screen door on a submarine. So, the charade continues and the resistance to points of view like mine remain immense, but then as the great representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: facts don’t matter when you’re morally right.