Most Americans have suffered economic damage. Many who do not enjoy protected status have had careers ended and been reduced to penury. Social strains and suicides multiplied. Forcibly deferring all manner of medical care is sure to impose needless suffering and death. In sum, the lockdowns’ medical and economic dysfunctions make for multiples of the deaths and miseries of the COVID-19 virus itself.
Bad judgments and usurpations—the scam, not the germs—define this disaster’s dimensions. The COVID-19’s devastating effect on the U.S. body politic is analogous to what diseases do to persons whom age (senectus ipsa est morbus) and various debilities and corruptions had already placed on death’s slippery slope.
Outside of the few who have gained (and are still gaining) power and wealth from the panic, Americans are asking what it will take to end this outrage—not to modify it with any “new normal” decided by who knows whom, on who knows what authority. Since no one in authority is leading those who want to end it, Americans also wonder who may lead that cause. What follows suggests answers.
What history will record as the great COVID scam of 2020 is based on 1) a set of untruths and baseless assertions—often outright lies—about the novel coronavirus and its effects; 2) the production and maintenance of physical fear through a near-monopoly of communications to forestall challenges to the U.S.. ruling class, led by the Democratic Party, 3) defaulted opposition on the part of most Republicans, thus confirming their status as the ruling class’s junior partner. No default has been greater than that of America’s Christian churches—supposedly society’s guardians of truth.
Since obfuscation, pretense, and lies concerning the COVID-19 are the effective agents of the panic and of the seizure of arbitrary power, truth and clarity about it are the foundational requirements for escaping its effects. Here is a dose.
From early March 2020 on, the best-known authorities on epidemics—the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control—presented the COVID-19 respiratory disease to the Western world as a danger equivalent to the plague. But China’s experience, which its government obfuscated, had already shown that the COVID-19 virus is much less like the plague and more like the flu. All that has happened since followed from falsifying this basic truth.
Our “best and brightest,” at first having minimized fears of person-to person contagion during January and February, during which the disease spread from China to the West, then declared that the virus is unusually contagious, and posited—on zero factual basis—that it would kill up to one in twenty persons it infected—5% infection/fatality rate (IFR). Based on that imagined fatality rate, they adopted mathematical models from Britain and the University of Washington that predicted that up to two million Americans would die of it.
The U.S. Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) modeled the authoritative predictions on which the U.S. lockdowns were based. Its model also predicted COVID deaths for un-locked-down Sweden. On May 3 it wrote that, as of May 14, Sweden would suffer up to 2800 daily deaths. The actual number was below 40. Whether magnifying this falsehood was reckless or willful, it amounted to shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater. What justifies listening to, and paying, people who do that kind of science?
Establishing any infectious disease’s true lethality is characteristically straightforward: test a large sample of the population proportionately representative of location, age, sex, race, socioeconomic categories. Follow up with the subjects a month later to add up the rate of infections and learn the results thereof. Period. Today, we still lack this definitive, direct knowledge of COVID’s true lethality because bureaucrats have prevented widespread testing for the purpose of firmly establishing the one figure that matters most. That is because that figure’s absence allows them to continue fear mongering.
In May the Centers for Disease Control, by then discredited professionally (though not, alas, in the mass media), was forced to conclude that the lethality rate, far from being circa 5% was 0.26%. Double a typical flu. The CDC was able to keep the estimate that high only by factoring in an unrealistically low figure for asymptomatic infections—never mind inflated figures for deaths. But the U.S. government, instead of amending its recommendations in the face of reality, tried to hide reality by playing a shell game with the definition and number of COVID “cases.”
During March and April, the authorities had defined as “cases” people sick enough to be hospitalized, who also tested positive. Whoever divided the number of reported deaths (a number inflated by a CDC directive to count deaths due to other causes as being due to COVID) by the number of cases thus defined, was predictably scared and willing to heed “the best advice”—namely societal lockdowns—on how to stay safe. That turned out to be ruinous in and of itself. At the time, they defined the number of these “cases” as the “curve” which we were supposed to sacrifice so much to “flatten,” lest the wave of hospitalizations overwhelm our health care system. Because their premises were wrong, that wave never came.
Instead, in May, as various non-official surveys were published showing that the majority of those who tested positive for COVID either barely knew that they had been infected or had not known at all, these very authorities doubled down their dishonesty. They began labeling mere infections as “cases.” They divorced reporting of these “cases” from reporting of the number of deaths, and warned the inattentive public about “spiking COVID cases” as if infection carried a serious risk. They also promoted widespread testing of wholly asymptomatic persons for current and past infections, the results of which tests were sure to produce a surging number of new “cases” thus defined.
And they toyed with reporting deaths by attributing to COVID any that “involved” or looked as if they might have involved it. They then included pneumonia, influenza, and COVID into the category PIC. That is how the death figure came to exceed 100,000. But if the CDC had used the same criterion that it did with the SARS virus, namely “severe acute respiratory distress syndrome,” the figure by the end of June would have been some 16,000.
Such naked ploys could succeed only because the media colluded in them. The New York Times’ May 27 lead story ominously blared: “California is the fourth state with more than 100,000 known cases.” Meanwhile, the number of deaths attributed to COVID continued dropping from ever-lower bases. By the July 1, even using the CDC’s inflated figures for COVID-responsible deaths, COVID-19’s Infection Fatality Rate for people under 70 was 0.04%. But rather than ask how clarion calls of danger comport with decreasing reports of deaths that may somehow be associated with it, the ruling class agitated to reverse returning to normal life. Be afraid, be very afraid. Heads the House wins, tails you lose.
Irrefutable if indirect indication that COVID is no plague also comes from comparison between the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 during any given period with the number of deaths due to all causes for the same period—despite official inflation in the number of deaths attributed to the virus.
The Imperial College, London’s tally for Great Britain, broken down by age of death, shows that the chances of dying from COVID-19 infection roughly track the chances of death from all causes at any given age, except for the very young. For men, the chances of death co-incident with the virus don’t exceed 1%, or the average death rate, until age 70. For women, they don’t exceed the average death rate until close to age 90. In Spain, the death rate for infected persons over 90 years old was 10%.
The measure of “excess deaths” tells a similar story. During the six-week peak of the COVID event in 2020, deaths in the U.S. exceeded deaths during the same period in the previous year by 82,000. Considering that, concurrently, the 2020 flu season was one of the worst on record (typically the flu is responsible for some 50,000 deaths during the season) and given the CDC-mandated conflation of COVID numbers with others, the COVID-19 pandemic in and of itself did not amount to much—except in New York City, for reasons only partly known. By June 20, 2020 the CDC reported ZERO excess deaths—meaning that the figure for weekly deaths was within the long-term normal curve for that time of the year.
Not incidentally, in 1957 some 116,000 Americans (out of a population two thirds of today’s size) died of the flu. Ten years later, the toll was 100,000 and in 2019 it was 61,000. By June 2020 the (inflated) toll from COVID-19 stood at 100,000.
In short, COVID-19 is not America’s plague. It did not shake America. The ruling class shook it. They have not done it ignorantly or by mistake. They have done it to extort the general public’s compliance with their agendas. Their claim to speak on behalf of “science” is an attempt to avoid being held accountable for the enormous harm they are doing. They continue doing it because they want to hang on to the power the panic has brought them.
BTW: Whenever you hear someone claiming to speak on science’s behalf, referring to authorities rather than to facts and logic, you may be sure that person is a fraud.
Falsehood extorted shutdowns, which caused deaths and ruined lives.
“Lockdowns” of the general population had to be based on the premise that everyone is, if not equally vulnerable, then equally responsible, and hence that everyone must stay cooped up to contribute to everyone else’s safety. But because every word of that is contrary to reality, false, a lie, applying the lockdowns’ force to society has caused needless deaths and suffering.
Prefatory to considering the lockdowns’ specific effects, we must be clear about what separation of infected or possibly infected persons from presumably un-infected ones can and cannot do. This has been known to whomever wished to know it since the Middle Ages, and repeated even in the humble 1956 study guide for the Boy Scout Public Health merit badge: protecting the un-infected from infection by limiting their contact with those who may be infected depends on knowing that the people to be protected really are un-infected.
Medieval Venetians, to make sure that no one coming from places infected by the plague would bring it into the city, prevented debarking from ships coming from such places for forty days (quarantine). By the same token, quickly finding the few infected among the many un-infected, and removing them even faster along with those with whom they had been in contact (known these days as contact tracing), is effective only to the extent of the bulk of the population’s near-virginity.
But, once an infectious disease has spread within a population, quarantines and associated measures are a waste at best. Personal hygiene and minimizing contact (what we now call social distancing) retain all their natural importance for reducing any given individual’s chances of infection to some extent—perhaps even delaying chances of exposure until the disease has run its course. But, once a contagion is rooted in a population, these measures make no difference to general public health. The disease running its course means, in part, that enough people have been infected and hence will have developed immunity, that they can no longer transmit it to others (herd immunity).
That is how human communities have lived with and through history’s countless epidemics. We have seen this once again in how COVID-19 affected Sweden and U.S. states (e.g. South Dakota and Arkansas) that never did shut down. When COVID-19 hit Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that, regardless of what anyone did, some 70% of Germans would eventually become infected. And that would be that.
Isolation makes the biggest of differences, however, to sub-categories of the population that may be especially vulnerable to the disease. The Bubonic Plague was an equal-opportunity killer, as was Smallpox. COVID-19, however, seems to discriminate a lot. Yes, all diseases are most noxious to those already most debilitated. But this one seems to have done so more than most.
In Italy, 99.1% of those who died with or of COVID-19 also suffered from other diseases. But this virus obviously has a special predilection for those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, compromised lungs, and most of all for the very old—to the point that a study by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior asked whether it made any sense to ascribe to any cause the deaths of persons whose bodies were in the process of shutting down anyhow. By contrast, COVID-19’s effect on ordinary healthy persons is considerably milder than those of ordinary respiratory diseases. What sense, then, could general isolation ever have made in the context of COVID-19?
It made some sense in the context of the U.S. ruling class’s (tragically wrong) assumptions/pretenses/convictions (take your pick) that the COVID-19 is so infectious as well as plague-like in its lethal danger to the general population, that a wave of desperately ill and dying patients would submerge American hospitals unless its natural course were slowed. Hence all medical decks had to be cleared of all other activities, emergency hospitals had to be constructed in the parks, and the Navy’s hospital ships had to be brought in.
As we have seen, there was never the slightest evidence that the COVID-19 virus could produce mass casualties. From the first, all evidence pointed in the opposite direction. Even in New York, where Governor Cuomo hyperventilated panic, the hospitals in the park and the Navy’s hospital ship were virtually empty.
But the ruling class’s attachment to its assumptions/pretenses/convictions overrode the obvious truth that the elderly and infirm should have special isolation from contact with persons possibly infected with the virus and that the rest of the population should go about its business.
The U.S. authorities, the “experts,” the ruling class, chose to do precisely the opposite. They “locked down” a general population that is at virtually no risk, thereby delaying the virus’s spread to people it could not harm and whose infection would build herd immunity. Keeping millions of people indoors also worsened their health. Keeping people from interacting and working normally wrecked economic and social life.
Worst of all, these authorities, these experts, transferred elderly persons known to be infected with the virus into nursing homes. In Michigan, the authorities even assigned to a nursing home an aide known to be infected with the virus. As a result, the as-yet fully uncounted deaths in these facilities, which house about 1.3 million people (about 0.39% of the population) come to about half of the total U.S. death toll. That is what happened, and it is perverse. It deserves punishment.
Doubly so because of the cruelty with which it was done. As known virus carriers and unscreened persons were moved in, as the contagion raged, the debilitated, powerless inmates were prohibited visits from their families. These, being nearly all uninfected, would have posed no danger. Had the families been allowed to visit, they might have become aware of what was happening. As it was, they were powerless to save these innocents who, without advocates, were effectively condemned. One New York nurse was fired for objecting. Triply perverse, because some of the officials responsible—e.g. Pennsylvania’s Secretary of health—knew what they were doing enough to pull their own relatives out of danger. ✪
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