The facile answer to the question above is Dr. Fauci–or perhaps the one he is being manipulated by. The harder question, actually, is: why are we still on a COVID ride? For many U.S. states, the COVID crisis ended a year ago as they ended restrictions, but several other states refuse to admit we have little or no control over COVID, just as (many of us believe) we have little or no control over the spread of the flu or a changing climate or a variety of other natural phenomenon. Several European countries have also ended all COVID restrictions recently. Were they right or wrong in doing so? Have the lockdowns and all the rest saved lives or have they cost lives via collateral damage? Are there measures which could save more lives in the future? Let’s dig into these questions deeper below.
Are We in Control or Not?
Australia was a country that banked heavily on vaccines, lockdowns, curfews, and all the other measures introduced at some point during the last two years, perhaps to an extreme more than any other country around the world. It appeared they were successful for a time– successful in the sense of stopping the spread of the virus and limiting deaths in their country–but Omicron exposed the weakness in their strategy. COVID deaths in the last couple weeks rose to four times the level they had ever reached in Australia. Before January 2022, the 7-day moving average had never exceeded 22 deaths per day (reached on September 4, 2020). Almost a year-and-a-half later, in late January 2022, the 7-day average was at 88, four times that level. Omicron has been the least potent of all the COVID variants to this point. Why did it hit Australia so hard?
By 2022, they knew in Australia that the COVID vaccine efficacy was limited; the vaccines in the last six months have failed to stop transmission and they have recently waned in stopping death and hospitalization after a relatively short period of effectiveness in 2021. Nonetheless, Australia continued to mandate vaccines, to isolate the unvaccinated, and ignore the benefits of natural immunity. This was to no avail when they were struck by a COVID strain which was far more contagious than any seen to this point. The Omicron variant spread without bound because Australia relied almost solely on the inferior vaccine immunity instead of natural immunity which Australia deliberately tamped down. So, 2022 starts off as a bad year for Australia. In virtually every other country around the world, Omicron has been less impactful than the years prior because of a reliance (at least partially) on the more effective natural immunity.
At the end of August 2021, more than eighteen months into the pandemic, Australia had limited their deaths to 1,000. Now, five months later, they have exceeded 4,000 deaths. In other words, more than three quarters of their total deaths have occurred in that short time period. Slightly more than half their deaths have been realized in the last two months with the Omicron wave. Something is wrong with their policies and the Australian people should be asking questions and holding leaders to account, not only for the failed COVID strategy but for the cost to individual liberty and freedom.
Total deaths in Australia are still relatively look at the duration of the pandemic, but one has to ask still: were all the restrictions really worth it in the long run? Further below, I highlight another country (Israel) which has also banked heavily on vaccines and has seen similar poor results.
Australians should take note of Benjamin Franklin’s quote from long ago which still rings true today.
In January 2022, Australia moved up a dozen spots on the world’s deaths per capita rankings. The current ranking is still good, but for an island nation sparsely populated (and one which also implemented draconian COVID measures as well), you might expect such results. Maybe they were on the right track for a while, but Dr. Robert Malone (the one who has been in such controversy for daring to speak to Joe Rogan), said in August 2021, the vaccines effectiveness lasted only six months. Should Australians have taken note then or some time during the interim? Six months ago, Dr. Malone’s statement was deemed misinformation and would have many de-platformed for saying it, but this fact is widely acknowledged now. Maybe more should have listened to his counsel back then? Dr. Malone’s interview by Steve Deace in August was the “reason for pause” I discussed in this old post: https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/08/03/covid-two-questions-answered-some-good-news-and-a-reason-for-pause/.
By the way, Candace Owen conducted another 3-hour interview of Dr. Malone this week (on the subscription service Daily Wire). Does Dr. Malone have something to say that is worth hearing? Do we really want to shut up folks like him, folks that know a lot more about medicine than most of the rest of us, because he said something controversial six months ago, something which ultimately proved correct?
Giving Up Control
The liberal country, Denmark, has recently lifted all COVID restrictions: Denmark has lifted all COVID-19 restrictions – Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News
Denmark has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions within the country, with coronavirus no longer considered a “socially critical sickness,” according to the government.
Asked about vaccine mandates, Heunicke said: “Luckily we don’t need that in Denmark … I’m really happy that we don’t need it because it’s a very troubling path to move that way.”
Other Scandanavian countries have followed Denmark in lifting restrictions as well:
The big picture: Several other European countries, including the United Kingdom, have announced the end to some restrictions.
Dr. Campbell discusses Denmark as well in the video below. Campbell starts the video below by saying that Denmark has perhaps been the best in its handling of the COVID pandemic (he also compares Denmark’s excellent results to the paranoid New Zealand whose strategy makes little sense to him):
Denmark’s director said something which would have been deemed controversial by many of the supposed fact-checkers in the US: “let Omicron run through the population.” What? Does she have no feelings? The goal, of course, is not to make everyone sick, but rather to immunize the population in a natural (and very rapid) fashion, leading to herd immunity and better long-term results.
Herd immunity appeared out-of-reach in 2021 but because of the highly contagious and less serious nature of Omicron, herd immunity is now once again the desired goal, and letting it run through the population is how that goal is achieved. Of course, it should also be noted, that governments around the world have no control over stopping COVID from running through the population, as ought to be clear two years into this.
Various U.S. states are on-board with looser restrictions as well. Florida, Texas, and a fair number of other states put COVID in the rear view mirror last year (and have taken a great deal of heat from political opponents on account of it). As I mentioned a while back, even the blue state of Colorado is done with COVID now (they took less heat than Florida, for sure). We have a Democrat Governor in my state of North Carolina, so we still have a few restrictions, but there are not many and our life returned to normal a year ago. Our governor is up for re-election in 2022, so that’s probably one reason he has laid low on COVID after following the lock down crowd in 2020.
Ask yourself: do all these countries and states know what they are doing or are they just smart enough to realize they have reached the limit of their control over the pandemic and continued restrictions will only have additional negative unintended consequences? If those in the vanguard don’t convince you the diminution of COVID is near, maybe the words of the greatest doctor of all time might convince you:
During a White House press briefing on Feb. 2, top COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, said that the “best case scenario” to the end of the pandemic now is to have a level of community protection through immunity that is high enough to prevent the coronavirus from dominating our lives.
“In other words, it will be similar to the assimilation of this virus, in the group of viruses that we have learned to live with, without disruption of our society,” he explained, adding that it would hopefully be similar to other respiratory viruses and parainfluenzas. “You know … the influenzas where it’s there, it’s present, it hasn’t been eradicated, it hasn’t been eliminated, but it isn’t at a level that it essentially dominates what we do and dramatically influences our lives,” Fauci said.
Finally, Dr. Fauci is recognizing the potential value of the Omicron spread after warning about its potentially disastrous effect for the last two months. I suppose this is as close to an “I told you so” moment as I have had since I began posting on COVID. There has not been a better chance for a (relative) end to COVID, and finally, the greatest of all doctors, the ever-cautious, ever-careful, Dr. Fauci seems to be getting on board as well–at least for now.
Omicron has now infected hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, world-wide. The U.S. recorded 27 million COVID cases, more than a third of all recorded infections, in just the last two months–and that number is surely much lower than the actual number of cases. How many more now have a natural immunity, bolstered by vaccine immunity (let’s hope it is still offering some level of protection)? The number of people with natural immunity, the kind that offers the most protection (and also the most risk), may now be at a level that can subdue this virus. Omicron has been so contagious that it has pushed aside all the other variants. Vast numbers are getting the one strain, so the other variants will have a hard time breaking through its stranglehold. It should be clear that even if we reached 200% of people vaccinated, herd immunity was not coming. However, a large percentage now with natural immunity will make herd immunity a definite possibility.
The U.S. Numbers
The U.S. numbers, both cases and deaths, declined this week. U.S. cases since January 13, have declined from more than 800K per day to just over 300K per day. The remarkable decline in cases is readily apparent in this graph:
Deaths in the U.S. also dropped last week, declining a modest 4% through the first six days (that rate of decline will increase dramatically the next few weeks). This is the first significant downward slide since Thanksgiving. The rate of decline will continue to pick up throughout the month of February. There is no doubt of that given the massive decline in cases preceding weeks.
There is the reason for hope as I mentioned earlier and summarize again below:
- Almost everyone now has had (or will soon have) COVID and is protected with some form of natural immunity (even if you don’t know you’ve had it).
- Omicron is dominating the COVID scene, so we don’t need any other COVID immunity at the moment.
- Omicron also protects against the prior strain of COVID, delta, which is one reason it was able to dominate the scene.
- Omicron is more on par with the flu than earlier versions of COVID.
- Vaccine immunity (let’s hope) still offers some additional level of protection.
Together, all of this brings us ever closer to the holy grail of herd immunity. It is the best chance we have had in two years. Thank God and mother nature for bringing it to us. In addition, as we head into Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, we will see a very nice slowdown which should allow everyone to return to normal. The only question that remains is will all our politicians seize this opportunity to declare victory? They may be afraid that such claim will open them up to questions of “why didn’t you do this sooner” or that it will mean their political opponent had it right all along. We will see how this drama plays out in the next few months.
What is Happening In Israel?
Let’s check-in with Dr. Fauci again and do another fact-check regarding an earlier statement on Omicron.
According to Fauci, unvaccinated individuals are still going to “get the brunt of the severe aspect” of the Omicron variant, although this version of the virus is said to be less severe overall than previous strains. Per the infectious disease expert, unvaccinated people have a 10 times greater chance of getting infected, a 17 times greater chance of getting hospitalized, and a 20 times greater chance of dying from COVID compared to those who have been inoculated.
I have to ask then how can this statement be true if Israel, the vaccine trailblazer, one of the most heavily vaccinated countries in the world, has seen such a significant rise in COVID deaths with Omicron? Israel not only pushed to have all citizens vaccinated early, but also pushed for not only one, but two, boosters for all its citizens.
Israel was clearly an early world leader, so why did deaths rise so steeply this past January? Just as in Australia, Omicron brought new highs in deaths to Israel, a trend which is not true for most other countries, including many lesser vaccinated countries. How do we square this empirical fact with Dr. Fauci’s statement above? Why is Omicron more deadly in these two countries which put so much stock in their vaccine strategy but less deadly almost everywhere else?
Deaths in Israel are now averaging 73 per day, 33% higher than the previous peak a year ago.
Last summer, I posted on deaths in Israel which had reached the low single digits for an extended period. It appeared they had beaten COVID and were setting the standard of early and aggressive intervention. Now, the story is very different. Nevertheless, all this may still end well for Israel, Australia, and others as natural immunity will finally offer the sure protection we have been seeking. This highlights the fact that all the human measures employed by our experts the last two years have done little to eliminate the threat.
Here is another interesting story that makes you think twice about Dr. Fauci’s assertion above. He has lied before, so how can we be sure he is not lying again? This claim from a liberal bastion is what I had found in my own analysis of the numbers in the last two months (see prior posts for tables on this):
Forgetting the Mask–Yet Again
During this past weekend’s NFL playoff game, California Governor Newsome, LA Mayor Garcetti, and San Francisco Mayor Brie all posed with photos of Magic Johnson, violating their own mask standards. Yet again.
Mayor Garcetti says this action is okay because he held his breathe during the photo. Right. I am very glad he is following the science in this instance. Governor Newsome also mentioned having his mask in his right hand during the photo. He appears to be following the science as well.
Governor Newsome also responded when confronted by reporters that he was mask-less for just a short period during the photo, but it is clear from the news clip that it was not just for a moment that he had the mask off. He lied. Clearly, the mask is not quite so effective when dangling from one ear, but I may have the science wrong on that one as was shown in the news clip.
Of course, my goal here is not to pressure these leaders to wear their masks, but rather to remind you and them that, yet again, they can’t live up to their own standards, so why do we tolerate them forcing others, including our kids, to be subject to their silly standards?
President Biden is another one who failed to live up to his own standards. I have lost track of how many times he has been caught with his mask down.
Following a speech announcing plans to relaunch the White House’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative on Wednesday, President Joe Biden seemed to lose his way as he left the podium, first wandering in the wrong direction, then turning back to shake hands with several officials before apparently being reminded by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to put on his mask. Ultimately, Biden was led off the stage with a little help from first lady Jill Biden.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson too was caught in the same manner.
Of course, PM Johnson, who is now in political trouble, figures he can get out of it out by ending the mask mandate. Or maybe he is simply following the science now? You decide for yourself.
These are the people we should listen to? The ones who tell us to follow the science? They are the authorities on misinformation? Please, give us a bit more credit for having some sense. I am not for censoring anyone with an opinion, not even these folks who I disagree with. Let all the information be disseminated, even the opinions we do not like. The people we disagree might be right from time to time. We will all be better off in the long run.
Polls and Other Opinions
Politicians like to follow the polls. How about we listen to what the people think? Maybe that would be a good marker for what policies should be adopted? First, in the U.S. , a Monmouth poll on vaccines indicates that 70% of Americans want to lift restrictions, even a very large number of Democrats. Am I just a guy spreading misinformation or am I line with the overwhelming majority of Americans?
As the coronavirus pandemic enters its third year, most Americans said in a new poll that they’re ready to live with the virus and move on, in part because so many people refuse to be vaccinated.
In a Monmouth University Poll, 70% of Americans agreed that it was “we accept that COVID is here to stay and we just need to get on with our lives,” with just 28% disagreeing. In addition, only 34% said they believed U.S. would get the virus under control and return to normal by the end of 2022, with 60% saying it would take longer than that or never happen.
The end of COVID question is a bit vague because most of what I gather from research is not that we are at an absolute COVID end, but that it is now part of the background, like the flu or other ailments we have grown used to. We can live with that–or at least 70% of us can.
We must be making progress when even the weak-kneed Republican leaders (the majority of them are of the weak-kneed variety) are standing up: Republicans challenge CDC guidelines: ‘Children are paying the price’ | Washington Examiner
In the letter, the House Republicans called on the agency to provide scientific evidence for continuing its guidelines, arguing its quarantine guidance forces students to undergo virtual learning unnecessarily.
🚨NEW🚨@SteveScalise, @RepJamesComer & Select Subcommittee Republicans call on @CDCgov to provide the scientific evidence for the agency’s COVID-19 guidelines and policies that are harming children’s social, emotional, and educational development.https://t.co/3nmk6MMYRf
Even CNN contributor, Dr. Leanna Wenn, who is normally not on my side of the political aisle is urging caution before vaccinating your youngest children. She makes the eminently reasonable suggestion to hold off vaccinating our youngest until we know more about vaccine safety:
Contrast Dr. Wenn’s words with those of Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel who in an NBC interview first makes the statement: “fewer than 50% of kids are vaccinated and that’s a problem” and then goes on to make the very suspect statement: “kids are either going to get a vaccine or a serious condition of Omicron”. What evidence does he have that kids are getting a serious condition of Omicron? As I’ve stated throughout this ordeal, the number of kids dying from COVID in general is very minute. Omicron is the less potent variant, so how is it a “serious” threat to kids? This is seems like misinformation, the kind of misinformation that would get someone else, someone other than the Obamacare architect, censored. I think he is lying to us as well.
Study That Says It All
I suppose some people will continue to justify all the COVID mitigation measures by making the claim that they have saved so many lives. A large percentage of U.S. electorate have bought into this argument, presented by our political leaders, even though, as shown above (and repeated countless times over the last two years), these political leaders themselves are not committed to these measures. In fact, these political leaders have created a large coterie of followers who are convinced all the talking points are true (a political problem for them if they start scaling back before COVID is wiped out). They have created a monster they can no longer control.
I have discussed much about the collateral COVID damage in the past and it seems to me clear that the lives saved by these measures are far fewer than the lives cost. Below is a study from Johns Hopkins University that adds some very solid evidence to that argument:
“Lockdowns” for purposes of controlling the spread of covid have always been morally reprehensible. During 2020, police in American communities were actively assisting politicians in essentially confiscating the private property of business owners who refused to close down their businesses. Police in Idaho arrested a mother for daring to let her children play on a playground. And then, of course, there were countless cases of threatened arrest and other threatened sanctions which gained compliance because many of the victims—i.e., the taxpayers—lacked the resources or fortitude to resist.
All such acts by governments should be condemned as repugnant acts of runaway regimes.
In a new report from Steve Hanke, Jonas Herby, and Lars Jonung at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, a meta-analysis of thirty-four studies from the past two years shows that “lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average.”
So, to put the number in context, a 0.2% of reduction in deaths means we would have had 943,000 U.S. deaths instead of the current value of 925,000. Sure, saving 18,000 lives is a significant thing, but how many lives have been lost or damaged due to excessive restrictions, delaying of medical procedures, lost jobs, etc.? In a country of 330 million that second number is a lot higher than 18,000 for sure.
It has been a while since I mentioned Canada in a post, but there are some remarkable events there with the trucker convoy which traveled the breadth of that cold nation in the middle of winter as a protest to government mandates. I admire the resolve, grit, and determination of these folks. Their PM is a bit suspect however.
- Trudeau had called the truckers headed for the city a ‘small fringe minority’ before the convoy of hundreds of vehicles grew up to 45 miles long
- Said at a press conference Monday he would not meet protesting truckers because of their ‘hateful rhetoric’
- Tensions are high in the Canadian capital on Monday as protesting truckers brought the city to a standstill
- The angry truckers are demanding Trudeau end vaccine mandates in Canada
As far as I can tell this is a garden variety protest, like a protest over a variety of other political issues. It is easy for the Canadian PM to call a protest directed against himself “hateful rhetoric” in order to discredit what is clearly a massive (and clearly effective) demonstration. How about instead he recognize the fact that a majority of Canadians want COVID restrictions ended there as well? Poll finds over half of Canadians want to end COVID restrictions – LifeSite (lifesitenews.com)
Why is it that we should believe PM Trudeau in any case? His judgment seems to be a little be off with regard to this matter.
- Trudeau had called the truckers headed for the city a ‘small fringe minority’ before the convoy of hundreds of vehicles grew up to 45 miles long
More than half his citizens wants COVID restrictions ended and the convoy protest over restrictions grew to 45 miles in length during mid-winter, not something I would call a “small fringe minority”.
The Other Big Problem: Whoopi and Rogan and censorship
Whoopi Goldberg chastised podcaster Joe Rogan for his interviews of Dr. McCullough and Dr. Malone, two very distinguished and highly credentialed doctors. How ironic it was then when Whoopi herself then came under fire this week and was eventually suspended from The View for two weeks for statements she made regarding the Jewish Holocaust. She and her co-hosts were upset with this punishment. It appears, they want to cancel Rogan who they claim is spreading misinformation while getting mercy for any mistake they make themselves. Following, the standards of the ladies on The View, Goldberg should be fired. Goldberg and friends should be happy she was not fired and look again at the outrageous nature of their own cancel culture views.
CNN’s Brian Stelter asked recently: why do so many people trust Joe Rogan but disdain a legitimate news organization like CNN (Rogan’s numbers are actually far better than CNN’s). Does he have no self-awareness? He asked this question shortly after CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was fired for a conflict of interest in his brother’s affairs as governor. There was also CNN legal guru Jeffrey Toobin who less than a year ago was suspended from CNN for inappropriate on-air behavior. This week, yet another shoe dropped, as the head of CNN, Jeffrey Zucker, was fired, for a similar conflict of interest with Governor Andrew Cuomo as well as an inappropriate sexual relationship. Maybe Stelter needs to look a little closer at his own organization to answer his own question?
Rogan, who appears to be on track to be censored by Spotify, spoke out in his own defense. His words are very reasonable and his argument makes sense, much more so than the emotional pleas from those on The View.
The standard should be you can say whatever dumb things you want on TV and the internet. This is what was envisioned in our Constitution; its authors understood human nature which hasn’t changed, even though they knew nothing of TV or the internet. We should be accustomed to dumb, ignorant, wrong, and all other types of information being propagated via media sources. Yet, the standard for those in media now is to cancel (i.e. censor) the people they don’t like and do something far less severe for those they do like. Either Goldberg should be fired or Rogan should be allowed to talk to whoever he wants whenever he wants to without fear or censorship.
Folks, here is one simple question: who, other than God, is the authority on misinformation? Do we really want to give someone, anyone, any group, any government agency, any social media outlet, the authority to decide what is misinformation and what is not? I don’t want that job. I offer my opinions, but I realize, I am not always right. Nobody given that mantle will always be right.
Perhaps some of what Dr. McCullough or Dr. Malone said is wrong, but who are we to decide that they should be shut up for a mistake they made? Who are Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Jen Psaki to decide? The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, define much of our beliefs for the last 240+ years. In the last few years, folks are turning that notion of freedom on its head ( they have been since President Wilson more than 100 years ago, but now the effort is truly gaining momentum).
President Biden’s Team is now openly violating the First Amendment by using government power to pressure private industry to censor:
Again I ask: who is the authority on COVID misinformation? Jen Psaki? President Biden? I want to hear what Dr. Malone and Dr. McCullough have to say, but Jen Psaki thinks she knows more about COVID than them? She has a lot of gall. Please see through this.
One final clip I recommend is Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan interviewing Alan Dershowitz. The two are on different sides of the aisle, but they agree on the importance on free speech. This is a great listen:
Are you kidding me?
Put this in the category of our politicians refuse to admit the landscape has changed and are willing to do anything, including jeopardizing our national security:
Even after vaccine mandates have been shut down by the courts, the current administration still appears to be ignoring the directive in some instances:
The Army said soldiers who receive denials of their exemption requests will have seven calendar days to begin vaccination, or to submit an appeal to the final appeal authority. If that appeal is denied, the soldier has seven days to begin vaccination or be separated.
The Army has so far fired six active duty Army leaders, including two battalion commanders, and has issued 3,073 general officer written reprimands to those who have declined to be vaccinated.
The youngest, healthiest, and some of the most critical folks in our country are still being targeted by the administration. Why? What good is going to come of this?
I still believe somehow, some way, the truth is finding a way to be disseminated. The game too often seems to be to win, whether that is by telling the truth or not. It is so frustrating to see. Yet, there are still enough folks with enough of a following to spread the truth. I recently found this highly watched video (more than 1 million views) from Dr. Campbell. In this, he debunks the debunking of Ivermectin. The BBC took the side of the “drug is a horse de-wormer” and Dr. Campbell did not spare them for their lack of rigor and scientific fact. It is a worthwhile video. I have watched numerous videos from this man to know he is genuine and honest, although probably not always right either.
In our own country, more people should get behind Senators Paul and Johnson who are doing yeoman’s work to promote therapeutics and dispels the ridiculous myths that have been promulgated by those seeking only political goals:
Government officials and medical experts should be promoting COVID-19 therapeutics and focus less on vaccines and mandates, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Newsmax on Thursday morning.
Paul, a physician, said the U.S. has reached a level of resistance to COVID-19 that will allow the country to cope with the disease. Now, messaging should be toward the few at-risk people who remain unvaccinated.
“The main thing we need to do, and that Dr. [Anthony] Fauci’s still not doing, is promote the idea that there are therapeutics and people need to come in [to the hospital] early,” Paul told host Rob Finnerty on “Wake Up America.”
“If you wait, and you wait, and you get so sick that you can barely breathe when you go to the hospital, those treatments don’t work.”