A year of our lives ruined by dead wrong COVID-19 experts, pols and media

Face masks while playing soccer? How stupid is that? (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

The lockdowns have wrecked a generation of children, impoverished families, shut down businesses and downed America in an ocean of depression, anger and fear

They’ve engineered a first-of-its-kind assault on our liberties. Never in American history has the entire population been treated like criminals under house arrest. Freedom of association has disappeared. Whom we can visit, where and when we can travel? When can we again make those every-day decisions that flow from our God-given freedoms? They’ve been axed by autocrats–the high-bound politicians who have blindly followed the often-wrong demands of epidemiologists. And by an historically compliant media.

By now, their trail of misery, despair and insolvency is so well trod that it needs no repeating here. Millions of Americans have suffered, some fatally, because of the monstrous lockdowns. And because of “experts'” shifting, erroneous and outrageous demands. Many Americans will never recover from the lost year, or, God forbid, years.

They’ve been wrong, at the outset, about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once its deadliness became apparent, they grossly overreacted with sledgehammer blows instead of targeted action.

Just how wrong is detailed David Catron‘s The American Spectator article: “Lockdowns: Which ‘Experts’ Were Right? A year later it’s clear that most media and government experts were dead wrong.”

Start with the data. He quotes Dr. John P. A. Ioannidis of the Stanford University School of Medicine:

The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed.… In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work.… [w]e don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health.

They’ve been wrong about when the vaccine would become available, grossly missing the fact that we’d have it at the end of last year. Their predictions about the number of deaths have been outlandish and constantly changing, typically hanging too high.

The evidence of their failures are seen in the schools that have been long open and in states like Florida that quickly ended the lockdowns. Despite the ridicule from distant (shutdown) platforms, as Carton notes:

Specifically, Florida’s COVID-19 death rate of 144 per 100,000 residents is lower than New York’s 243 per 100,000residents. Likewise, Georgia has a larger population than New Jersey, yet its COVID-19 death rate of 159 per 100,000 residents is lower than New Jersey’s 262 per 100,000 residents.

No, I’m not advocating complete abandonment of safety protocols. Nor am I trying to downplay the pandemic’s seriousness or the tragic loss of loved ones.

But that does not require that we step pleading for a more targeted, reasonable approach. Instead of what seems like educated guesswork. Start by opening all the schools, now.

Sadly, the epidemiologists have damaged the credibility of science. It will be a long time before the public again takes the experts’ warning words as dogma.

Americans have become captives of a culture of fear. As an American trait, taking risks has been somewhat erased. Too many people who, in this Republic, are entrusted with caring for the common good, have handed over their responsibilities to non-elected people whose guidance sometimes seem to be hunches.

A long time ago, America as we have known and loved it, must be restored.

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Tags: COVID-19

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  • This is an interesting piece of propaganda journalism. The substance of your argument is taken from one published by David Catron in American Spectator, a conservative publication. Catron has earned attention for his November 30, 2020 article in AS "proving" that Biden lost the election. In his current article, Catron relies heavily on an article published by John Ioannides in the publication STAT March 17, 2020, nearly a year ago.

    Ioannides, who is on the Stanford medical faculty, is not an epidemiologist, but he is a controversial writer. His defenders published an error-filled defense of him in Scientific American on November 3, 2020. The online version of that story is now a hodge-podge of caveats and corrections.

    Regardless of Ioannides' bona fides, a year has now passed since he published the article Catron and Dennis find so persuasive. If he was correct, the evidence should now be plentiful. Where is it? Dennis attempts to prove something by comparing overall death rates for Florida with New York and of Georgia with New Jersey, but this is very small and selective. Surely, after more than 500,000 deaths, there is convincing scientific evidence supporting what the nay-sayers are telling us.

    Can't you come up with better evidence than this, Dennis?

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Perhaps you can offer some opposing evidence other than saying there were 500,000 deaths?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    500,000 deaths. That's pretty good evidence that the virus is extremely dangerous and that we have to continue doing what is necessary to contain it until the vaccine finally counters its spread. This is no time to let down our guard. Opening the economy is happening but we shouldn't thrown caution to the winds.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    See, the problem, Jerry, is that I can understand what you are saying, but the trolls on here want everything to be sourced. So, you would have to become St. Thomas, Ace Reporter, to make the trolls dance on the heads of their pins.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    They don't need "everything" sourced. When you are concerned, we just want "something"... No, "anything" to be sourced. When your history here is of repeatedly commenting things that are obviously made up and then expressing anger when anyone asks you to verify anything... yeah, this is pretty basic stuff. Kids in high school learn to write papers and cite their sources. Honestly, you are the only person I know who actually publicly expresses their disbelief in being asked to provide any sort of proof. It is common on the right to ignore those requirements, but they usually do so silently, as to avoid the obvious hits to their credibility that explicitly refusing to provide a source triggers.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    It has been well documented that cancer deaths, shooting deaths, car accident deaths, have been listed as covid deaths just because the victims were positive, not because covid was the cause of death. Add in the thousands of preventable deaths resulting from Cuomo and Whitmer policies, how solid is the 500,000 number?

  • In reply to Get out of IL now!:

    Is this why the life expectancy in the United States dropped a staggering one year during the first half of 2020--the worst since WWII?
    https://apnews.com/article/us-life-expectancy-huge-decline-f4caaf4555563d09e927f1798136a869

  • As a stand-alone statistic, which has no political slant, I want to offer the following. A very large US vacation packager, who operates in Mexico and the Caribbean has stated that since the January 26 CDC rule ordering that all returning pax to the US must be tested, they have had only 25 positive cases out of 30,000 pax. Just something to ponder while the "experts" try to keep people penned in their homes.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    That's interesting, Richard, but I need a little bit of jargon help. What's a pax?

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    It seems Richard is too busy to answer you, but my guess is that "pax" means "passengers." Beyond this, I don't understand his point.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Think hard, norto, old boy. It's a stat of random people and the number of current infections per thousand.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    Margaret, "pax" is a passenger.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    For the BillDKatz types, how does a vacation packager have access to medical histories? They don't. As usual, he is too clever by half. See, Bill, it works this way: the vacation packager gets notification of the negative test results because it has to organize the continued stay at the destination. Capich?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    I'm curious, who gives a vacation packager the results? Hippa is a thing in the US. So, who is giving out this medical information? You are saying that close to 30,000 people who got COVID tests bothered to call their vacation packager and tell them their test results? Who is this vacation packager? Telling us that will go a long way to demonstrating that you haven't made this up. Because, you still sound like you made this up. What does "it has to organize the continued stay at the destination" even mean? These results are from people who have returned from the destination. What does "continued stay at the destination" mean?

    So, who is this packager and what proof is there that any of this actually happened? Or, don't answer and leave us all continuing to believe that this is another example of you continuing to just come here and make up things. Or, to give you some credit, you didn't make it up, you just read something ridiculous and since it made you feel good about what you already believe, you just believed this additional ridiculous thing. It makes you less evil, just more gullible.

  • In reply to dave77:

    You are quite spiteful and antagonistic and vile. And those are your better attributes. Why? YOU demand proof from everybody posting yet you can spread your rancid bombast with no "proof" of anything. You are displaying your utter ignorance on this topic, but what else is new? Here is how it works, BillDK. As I splained to you previously, the tests are arranged for by the vacation packager, and the packager is responsible for the pax for the duration of their trip. If the pax tests positive for C-19 the packager has to arrange for their quarantine stay and for their return trip home. Take your index finger and read the previous aloud to yourself. As for the vacation packager, they are a private company and do not have to disclose results to the public, but for the interest of clarity, it is the Apple Leisure Group. And how do I happen to know this? Because I am involved in the travel industry and this information has been shared with the industry. So, now that I've shown you mine, how about you grow a set and tell us your real identity?

  • Are you saying that a vacation packager has access to health information for 10s of thousands of Americans? That's rich. As usual, any sort of proof at all that this isn't just completely made up?

  • jnorto's rebuttal is right on the money. Dennis, were is the evidence that the mitigating measures are not effective and that opening everything up again is not going to result in more cases of Covid-19?
    The vaccines are effective and more and more people are being vaccinated.

    Your post is a bit like yellow journalism, stoking fear to discredit the epidemiologists, like Dr. Fauci,, just to advance your partisan point of view.

    Your piece from its top to 8 paragraphs down is ultra-alarmist and could have been in scareheads. Then you add your usual disclaimer:

    "No, I'm not advocating complete abandonment of safety protocols. Nor am I trying to downplay the pandemic's seriousness or the tragic loss of loved ones."

    Palpable disingenuousness. That's exactly what you are trying to do.

  • Funny how we constantly focus on how warm climates have lower incidents of death from a disease that is commonly known to have less of an impact on warm climates

  • In reply to dave77:

    Can you please cite your sources on this area of focus, or is it entirely made up?

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    Here's an article that quotes microbiologists and epidemiologists saying that cold weather will make things worse: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02972-4

    A study that suggests the same: https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/covid-19-more-severe-in-cold-weather-study-suggests/

    Another story that links to studies about this: https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/89495

    When it gets cold, people stay inside. Cold, dry air lends itself to transmission of the virus and makes humans more susceptible to airborne viruses. When it is cold, people can't open their windows to increase ventilation. Social gatherings happen inside, instead of outside on a patio.

    Oh my God, is this your idea of being clever? That you would ask me for a source for this? Did you think to yourself "He won't be able to back any of this up. This will get 'em"? Seriously, is this what you think grownups do? Do you think making the remark about "entirely made up" was something that a smart person would do? How could you have possibly imagined that making this comment would do anything other than make you (if possible) less credible?

    This is common knowledge. This isn't some secret. The leftists haven't been hiding any of this. All last fall, we were warned that as it got cold, we should expect a ramp up in infections. Guess what happened.

    And the worst part is, you think this distracts everyone from the senseless remarks you made about some vacation planner having the test results from 30k people who took vacations outside the country. Like I said, I no longer believe that you made this up. That would require far too much creativity and original though. You probably read this in a comment on Drudge or some travel blog and just instantly believed it. Just like you believed all this nonsense about known medications possibly saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans. You believe it because it makes you feel good. Even when even the most cursory fact checking would show it to be nonsense, you believe and, even worse, repeat it.

    I would think you would start to be embarrassed by all of this.

  • To all the above trolls: Gentlemen, you are good at carping, but go out on a limb and lay out your plans for reopening. When do you think it is safe to reopen? Are schools safe and should they be open now? When should the mask requirement imposed by government be lifted? What are your standards for reopening? Herd immunity + vaccinations? How do you determine herd immunity? Should we continue to have lockdowns or even stricter shutdown orders? How do you explain the dramatic drop in infection, hospitalization and death rates? If you say lockdowns, then how do you explain that states that have used different strategies are all experiencing those improvements?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I'll "go out on a limb" with this. I believe that the most reliable scientific information we currently have available is coming from the CDC. I think we should presumptively follow their recommendations, at least until you present satisfactory scientific evidence showing that they are wrong.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    The CDC has been inconsistent. However, do you agree with the CDC that the schools should be open? How would you define open: hybrid or fully open five days a week? Should they be open right now? What do you think about CPS not opening high schools? CTU says that it shouldn't return until teachers are safe? How do you define safe?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You say the CDC in inconsistent. Yes, in the sense that they change their advice in light of emerging scientific knowledge. And on some things they cannot give you the precise prediction you would like. When and where will the next coronavirus mutation evolve? When will we experience herd immunity when we have never yet experienced it with Covid-19? Will we need booster shots? How free will Texas school districts be of community infection in three weeks if Texans return to standing belly-to-belly in their bars, singing in one another's face?

    Like a good physician, the CDC cannot tell us exactly what will happen and when, but it can and does put science to work to help us make the best decisions. That is certainly more than I can say for those who search for the "science" that fits most agreeably with their prejudices.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Both sides search for the "science" that supports their positions. The CDC's vacillation would be acceptable, if it were not presented with such certainty. Not all scientists do, but we saw enough of it politicized by both sides. Not all sides act as if scientific knowledge is "emerging." You will recall that Pelosi and others at first firmly advised against getting vaccinated by anything developed by the Trump administration. Now that Biden is running the show, I guess it's okay.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    > You will recall that Pelosi and others at first firmly advised against getting vaccinated by anything developed by the Trump administration.

    No. That isn't what happened. Pelosi firmly advised that the FDA follow their own guidelines: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/63020-1

    Does someone help you invent this stuff? Or do you just make it up all by yourself? I mean, she publicly got a vaccination in December. This is just funny. Aren't you at all interested in trying to be honest with what you represent?

  • In reply to dave77:

    Do you not read the news, or do you just deny or alter whatever is inconvenient to your argument? Pelosi early on cast doubt on the safety of Trump-developed vaccine.

    "Nancy Pelosi Says Public Will Doubt Quick Arrival Of COVID-19 Vaccine," according to this story, because she questions whether it can be developed, tested and delivered as quickly as Trump promised. (By the end of 2020). See: https://www.ibtimes.com/nancy-pelosi-says-public-will-doubt-quick-arrival-covid-19-vaccine-3048271

    It was part of her attempt to trash the Trump program, expressing doubts that it could be safely be delivered until mid-2021. It was widely believed that the vaccine development was going too quickly, with Democrats expressing the greater fear. Pelosi and Democrats were anxious to stoke that fear, especially to warn that anything that came out before the election likely would be unsafe because Trump would force it on the public in order to win the election.

    Of course, Pelosi and the "fear mongering" Democrats were wrong. But that matters not to Biden who now is taking credit for getting America vaccinated. I suppose you are too.

    Of course she got vaccinated after the election. But it is, as you say, funny. Your obvious attempt to ignore the facts speaks to your own level of dishonesty. Keep it up and you're gone.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    The 9/18/20 IBT article you cited does not support your argument. Nancy Pelosi was replying to reports such as one from Pew Research Center that "78% of Americans say their greater concern is that the COVID-19 vaccine approval will move too fast." In fact, it was Donald Trump who politicized the immunization program.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You didn't read that article, did you? Or, are you just hoping that others will be dismayed by your wall of text and will not.

    The article clearly says that Americans will not trust the vaccine unless it is clear that it was not fast-tracked in a way that violates standard safety procedures. This is consistent with her announcement from June. She did not cast doubt on the vaccine. She said that people will have doubts unless they can be confident that corners were not cut.

    These seem like reasonable words, given that we know that the right leaning media had been painting the pandemic as a left wing hoax while President Trump was secretly admitting how serious it was. You know, at some point, it has to look like there are some grown ups running the country.

    This is a pretty basic reading comprehension question for you and you aren't doing yourself any favors by making it so clear that you clearly missed it on this one. This reminds me of when you supported Epstein in his remarks about how Jill Biden was demanding that she be called "Dr." and when asked to provide a single example of this happening you grew strangely silent.

    You made the remark "Now that Biden is running the show, I guess it's okay." as though "Now" refers to her getting the shot 4 months ago. You also made the remark "Pelosi and others at first firmly advised against getting vaccinated by anything developed by the Trump administration.". I'm guessing if I asked you to provide any sort of support for that, I'd get nothing but silence. Or, are you asserting that somehow requesting that the FDA follow their own procedures is somehow equivalent to advising against anyone getting the vaccine? That doesn't say much about what you think of Trumps meddling with the FDA.

  • In reply to dave77:

    So, on my blog, I'm required to answer every question you ask? When you don't answer all my questions. As for the substance of your response: Yes, it is reasonable to question the safety when Trump initiated an unprecedented program to produce a vaccine(s) in record time. I don't expect you to acknowledge that partisans used that caution as a reason to attack Trump politically. It clearly was. But here's the bottom line: The vaccines arrived much sooner than usual or expected. The warnings that were issued politically by progressives/liberals/Democrats turned out--so far--not to be correct.

    Sorry that I can't understand your point in the last graph.

    Meanwhile, here's Harris reflecting the general attitude toward the "Trump vaccine." https://twitter.com/CNNSotu/status/1302280854199308288?s=20

  • "Moving too fast" was exactly the rhetoric that she and others used to discredit what--even you have to admit--was the successful development of the vaccine. My view is that both sides politicized the immunization program. Yours seems to be that only one side did.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    You are taking all of this out of context. You should remember that days before the IBT article and Pelosi's comments, Russia announced its Sputnik V vaccine. This led to criticism in the mass media and discussions in the scientific community whether this decision was justified in the absence of robust scientific research. There was real concern that we might be pushed into releasing a vaccine prematurely.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    It is very much in context.

    This from the AP:"But across America, Democrats, independents and even some Republicans do not trust his administration to produce a safe and effective vaccine on such an aggressive timeline. Such hesitancy threatens to exacerbate the public health risk for millions of Americans whenever a vaccine is released."

    This from Reuters: "WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday rejected President Donald Trump’s charge that he is spreading fear about the safety of a potential coronavirus vaccine, urging Trump to defer to scientists and not rush its rollout."

    This from CNN: "CNN)Congressional Democrats -- citing concerns over the possibility of political interference in the rush to develop a coronavirus vaccine -- say they will look to scientists, not President Donald Trump, to ensure that if one becomes available it is both safe and effective.

    In more than a dozen interviews with Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, most members of Congress said they stand ready and willing to take any potential Food and Drug Administration-approved coronavirus vaccine. But Democrats insist that they will need more than a promise from Trump that it will work, and argue that the President does not have credibility on the issue at a time when his administration has stumbled to contain the pandemic and has made sweeping promises about the timeline for a vaccine and treatments.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/15/politics/democratic-reaction-covid-vaccine/index.html

    This from Statnews: "ASHINGTON — To Joe Biden and his campaign allies, it’s a straightforward distinction: They trust vaccines. They just don’t trust President Trump, who has undercut the expertise of U.S. scientific agencies since Covid-19 first arrived." https://www.statnews.com/2020/09/22/biden-challenge-vaccine-messaging/

    Etc., etc., etc.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Your quotes support my point precisely. Many people, both Democrats and Republicans, mistrusted Trump's willingness to let science take its course in developing a vaccine. Given his volatile and competitive character, many were concerned that he would rush the development, even over the advice of his science advisors. This concern was accelerated when the Russians registered Sputnick V on August 11, 2020. That is when Pew Research reported that 78% of Americans were concerned about the safety of the vaccine.

    Nancy Pelosi did not create this concern. Donald Trump did.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    We’re not talking about who “created” the concern. We’re talking about how it was politicized. Do you still argue that only one side did?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Weird that if your view is that both sides politicized the immunization program, your only remarks seem to be lies accusing Pelosi of doing something she never did.

    Perhaps "both sides politicized" doesn't mean what you think it means?

  • In reply to dave77:

    It's not often that I've been criticized for criticizing both sides.

  • By the way, I’m still waiting for you gentlemen to reveal your plans for reopening. Saying you would follow the guidelines is a cop out.

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