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Posts Tagged ‘Covid-19 Vaccinations

Failed solutions, Moral Cruelty and Advertising

“the perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging. Without a vaccine, psychology is your main weapon.You have to restrict ways in which people mix and the virus can spread… You need to frighten people.”

Those words were part of the response from the SPI-B (Scientific Pandemic Insights) group that was advising the British government on dealing with the C-19 pandemic, and that response was a specific answer to the government’s question, “What are the options for increasing adherence to the social distancing measures?” 

As the Great Chinese Xi Snot pandemic finally grinds to an end after two years there are a lot of people digging back into the measures that were taken to combat it, and one of those people is  Laura Dodsworth, who has written a book about SPI-B and the larger science group they advised, SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies). The book is A State of Fear, and her essay is The Moral Cruelty of the Pandemic Response, which examines the tensions between the individual and the collective that bubbled up during the pandemic. She has many examples of this played out in light of the government’s decision to follow the advice of SPI-B and terrify people, but none better than this:

As she points out about that Labour Party tweet:

The intention was to shame the Conservative party for ‘Partygate’, but instead it revealed how morally adrift and lacking in compassion people became. Jenny followed the rules, but maybe she shouldn’t have.

But that was merely the fear created in the individual vs. collective struggle over just one tactic, lockdowns, whereas the same thing happened for masks and ultimately the vaccines.

This and other solidarity-based messaging stemmed from the advice of behavioural scientists that appeals made to the collective conscience are more effective than appeals based on the threat to ourselves.

Science in general took the lead, and still does as countless people (many of whom dumped science at the age of 14 in high school because it was too tough) continue to scream “But The ScienceTM, when in fact decisions were made everyday that were not connected to the science. Here in NZ, the sudden reduction in weeks between the first and second shot was a classic example, done not because of a change in science but because the government found itself well behind on vaccinations when C-19 Delta hit in 2021.

Dodsworth points to Carl Jung’s famous book, The Undiscovered Self, and his take on science in our society:

“…one of the chief factors responsible for psychological mass-mindedness is scientific rationalism, which robs the individual of his foundations and his dignity. As a social unit he has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of statistics.”

The whole essay is as much about philosophy as anything else (hence Jung) but, like him, she points to the weak spots of our modern society that will enable this to happen again:

Religion did not save us. Churches closed their doors at Easter, when Jesus Christ’s resurrection is remembered. Some of the faithful died without last rites…. Going further, the Archbishop of Canterbury told Christians it was immoral not to be vaccinated. “Vaccine Saves” was emblazoned on Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. People sat spaced 2 metres apart in cathedrals awaiting vaccination, both medical miracle and ritual act of biomedical transubstantiation. Masks were more than totems in the latest culture war, they became the vestiture of the faithful, signalling belief and obedience. They emblemised a moral code based upon extending life, not securing your place in the afterlife.

I found the attitude of priests and pastors on that last point particularly evil given the overwhelming reason for the existence of their Christian faith, of which the last rites are supposed to be more than just a symbol. What must those dying people have thought awaited them, given their beliefs about the need for last rites? You can laugh at them as being insane to believe in such a thing, but would you be happy to torture an insane dying person precisely on the point of their belief?

Our societies not only did but got religious leaders to do it for them, enabling the rest of society to create the required social pariahs, when the Christian church was built upon the rock of appealing to social outcasts. This was perhaps the most obvious marker of how the secular world has triumphed over the religious in the West; the Church’s reason for existence was to save souls, not bodies.

I am not confident that her final call will be met either:

Lockdowns and restrictions squashed exactly what we need to flourish as human beings in order to counteract a psychic epidemic. As that crisis recedes, other dangers endure. Bad actors and paternalistic libertarians alike lack humility when they brazenly exploit our nature. We are buffeted by nudge, propaganda, and our passions. For the good of the collective, we must recapture meaning and values as individuals. 

Aside from re-thinking the morality involved it seems that some scientists who were in the middle of dealing with it have also begin to question their scientific analysis and conclusions, starting with Professor Mark Woolhouse, a member of SPI-M, the modelling group on SAGE, who has also written a book, The Year the World Went Mad. As he describes things in The Telegraph:

“We knew from February [2020], never mind March, that the lockdown would not solve the problem. It would simply delay it,” Woolhouse says, a note of enduring disbelief in his voice. And yet in government, “there was no attention paid to that rather obvious drawback of the strategy”.

Instead, lockdowns – which “only made sense in the context of eradication” – became the tool of choice to control Covid. The die was cast in China, which instituted ultra-strict measures and, unforgivably in Woolhouse’s book, was praised by the World Health Organisation for its “bold approach”. “The WHO,” he suggests, “got the biggest calls completely wrong in 2020. The early global response to the pandemic was woefully inadequate.”

Watching on, the rest of the world found itself following the same template, even though no work had been done to assess the costs of lockdowns. After swine flu, modellers had studied the knock-on consequences of many elements of infection control, but they had never envisaged “an instruction for most of the population to stay at home”.

But a big part of why they got it wrong was that they felt that organic fear of the disease was not enough. Back to Dodsworth:

The doom-mongering modelling which catalysed lockdowns does, by its nature, treat humans as social units. But by depriving us of individuality the modelling also deprives itself of accuracy. Professor Graham Medley who chairs the modelling group SPI-M reported to MPs that it is impossible to predict human behaviour and therefore the most pessimistic outcomes were offered to government….

According to Professor Woolhouse the doom analysis was only on one side of the lockdowns:

What he does know is that while extremely detailed modelling was being done “on what the epidemic itself might look like and the harms that novel coronavirus would cause… on the other side of the scales, we had pretty much nothing at all. There was never at any stage, even by the following year, any form of analysis of the harms caused by lockdowns. Were they even considered? I haven’t seen any evidence that they were and that is very, very troubling.”

But the article points out that the SAGE itself got a report in April 2020 that assessed how many years of quality life would be lost to lockdowns. The best guess was that suppressing the virus would cost three times more years than the disease itself. At the same time similar calculations were done here in NZ by Economics Professor John Gibson from Waikato. In addition the Swedish epidemiologists had already made clear that lockdowns were not an option for the same reasons. Even by late April there was analysis of the specific lockdowns used in France, Italy and Spain that showed they didn’t work.

Feeding into the doom models was, as Woolhouse says, a “fact” about the virus that was already known to be wrong:

Woolhouse, from his position on the inside as government policy was formed, saw something very different: the disease being described as a universal killer, when it was clear from the beginning some were very much more at risk than others.

“The first good data on this started to emerge in late February 2020,” he says. And as Britain endured the first Covid wave, this data was borne out in the facts. Those over 70 had at least 10,000 times the risk of dying as those under 15 years old. “This is a highly discriminatory virus,” Woolhouse says, still exasperated today. “It’s ageist, it’s sexist, it’s racist. And we certainly knew [that] before we went into lockdown.”

Yes. Known. So why did the government’s go for lockdown and the other harsh measures? Dodsworth’s analysis echos again:

Yet the Government decided that telling half the population that they were at extremely low risk would dilute adherence to the harsh rules it was imposing, and instead ramped up the threat warnings. “We are all at risk,” noted Michael Gove in March 2020. “The virus does not discriminate.” But it did then, and it does now.

Exactly. Science got trashed, even as we were being screamed at every day that politicians were following the science. I almost feel sorry for Woolhouse and I will read his book, but frankly I’m in no mood yet to forgive sinners, even deeply repentant ones.

Finally there’s this article looking at another aspect: the massive advertising campaign launched by the US government to promote the vaccines:

So, the federal government decided to market vaccine acceptance, but not by distributing information through the official pathway of public health departments.  Instead, the U.S. government hired the media to become their marketing agencies to sell vaccine acceptance to the US population.

According to Blaze Media’s Chris Pandolfo’s report on March 3rd, “The federal government paid hundreds of media companies to advertise the COVID-19 vaccines while those same outlets provided positive coverage of the vaccines.”

That advertising was spread across a huge range of media companies: ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as cable TV news stations Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC, legacy media publications including the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, digital media companies like BuzzFeed News and Newsmax, and hundreds of local newspapers and TV stations.

As the article bluntly states:

The entire media apparatus of the United States became the Voice of America to sell a positive, COVID-19 vaccine image to Americans. Congress appropriated $1 billion to buy the ads and obtain the placements of “influencer” personalities to appear in the media to sell the program.

Under this arrangement, the questioning of whether vaccines were effective or safe disappeared from the official narrative seen by Americans. Only the outlets that were not part of the marketing effort continued to cover the reservations of the academics; and these were then almost universally labeled as “fake news” by social media censors.

Most of these outfits never informed their viewers of this bought-and-paid-for work. For the average consumer of the MSM – for the average consumer of Fox News – it all would have seemed like normal news coverage or at worst “Public Service Announcements”.

It takes a crisis…

… to finally put a stop to another crisis.

In this case the Russian invasion of Ukraine looks like it will be the final push needed to shove the Great Chinese Lung Rot Pandemic into history after more than two years of hysteria.

That and shitty polls (USA, more on that in a bit) – or banking problems (Canada), that caused Trudeau to dump the emergency powers about twenty four hours after Parliament granted them, clearly seeing a run on the banks as people feared they might be next to have accounts frozen for crossing him.

Like a lot of other things about the Pandemic, the damage to Canadian banks could be long-term; after all, why would you now risk having a Canadian bank account unless you have no choice?

Over in perhaps the worst European nation, Austria, the politicians went from a dark night of pushing through laws demanding 100% vaccine mandates, plus fines, in mid-February – to dumping them by March 5th. Even in NZ some cracks started to appear, as with this article about Ardern from a former fangirl, From saint to sinner:

No wonder I voted for her – twice. But times have changed.

Once saintly, Jacinda now appears merely silly, having led New Zealand to a place that looks more like a smug cul-de-sac than a nation wholly reliant on overseas tourism and trade. Then again, long-term strategic thinking was never a feature of her government’s Covid response, with “elimination” taking precedence over vaccination for much of 2021.  

Incidentally in the comments of that article I see that eternal Labour bootlicker, Russell Brown, had crawled out from whatever obscure rock he lives under nowadays, to fight for his beloved Wonder Girl who must be supported 100%, 24/7/365, and with the usual accusations of racism, natch.

But as usual it’s the USA I’m most interested in and, as I pointed out here, here, here and here, governments around the world would only start slacking off on their Chinese Lung Rot restrictions when polls began to turn against them. Back on February 11, one of the D.C. insiders, Politico, saw that the Mid-Term elections were coming hard and nasty – and for once was willing to call the bullshit of The ScienceTM that would be attached:

Democrats are making a U-turn on mask mandates, just in time for the midterms.

It’s happening among the party’s governors, several of whom are easing up their masking rules as Covid’s Omicron wave fades. And it’s happening on the Hill, where Democrats are suddenly lining up to call for rollbacks of the nation’s most noticeable pandemic-era rule.

People had fun with this:

Things became even more fun when Brandon’s very own pollster found out that his Covid Zero policy was hated by Americans and advised that it was time to declare victory and move on. See part of the pollster’s memo below:

That’s why President Oatmeal Brain went from this…

… to all that unity mush in his sad little SOTU the other day.

Even some factual stuff was permitted to see the light of day in more public media areas, starting with RealClearInvestigations:

Correction, Mr. President: This Is a Deadly Pandemic of the Vaccinated Too
Despite promises from President Biden and top health officials that COVID-19 vaccines would prevent severe illness, death, and perhaps even transmission of the virus, data indicate that thousands of Americans are dying from the disease even after having been vaccinated.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla made the same point more bluntly in an interview with Yahoo News on January 10, 2022. “We know that two dose[s] of the vaccine offer very limited protection, if any,” he said. “The three doses with a booster … offer reasonable protection against hospitalization and deaths, and against deaths I think very good.”

That’s a very solid article, especially as it also takes the CDC to task for not releasing vast amounts of data lest it “be misinterpreted as the vaccines being ineffective.”  Yes, even at this stage we can’t have that.

Meanwhile CNN’s favourite TV doctor, Leena Wen, came out and started talking about the damage being done to kids with all the Zoom learning and mask-wearing, especially among pre-schoolers, citing a new study about major developmental delays in schoolchildren.

You.

Don’t.

Say.

But I thought kids were resilient? At least that’s what the American school teacher unions and their Democrat Party servants assured us. Moreover Wen should know about the outer limits of resiliency in children as she used to run Planned Parenthood. She’s got hands-on experience testing their physical resiliency.

But aside from polling, political and “new” medical analysis, the best example of how bad things are for the Democrats and how their supporters are gagging to get them turned away from General Tso’s Sickness mandates, there’s always Saturday Night Live.

SNL has been shit for two decades and I’ll warn you now that this one is cringe-worthy, even though it has the very funny John Mulaney in it (VPN may be needed to view it). It’s a dinner party skit about six left wingers discussing whether …. masks and vaccines were actually necessary, and the social reactions associated with raising such topics in the land of the smug and certain. Amazing how quickly the pivot has happened.

But that skit showcases one of the big problems the Democrats are going to have with this pivot, their own base can’t go back to normal – and not just on masks.

The question for New Zealand is when the same thing will happen here, especially given the steady slide of Labour in the polls to the point where the seats are Labour/Green 54/120, National/ACT 63/120.

I’ve said for some time that as useful to the government as this fear factor has been, driven both by them and our hysterical media, it would actually start to bite them in the ass when the inevitable return to normality began.

I reckon about 20% of our population continue to be scared shitless by this virus, despite Omicron’s well-established mildness, them being triple-vaxxed and so forth. I see it in people’s behaviour every day; you still see people wearing masks outdoors or while driving alone, scanning in (when the government has dumped the people who were tracking and tracing), and so forth.

I also look at examples like Chris Trotter’s petting zoo at his blog; they’re still pissed about Jacinda lifting the Level 4 lockdown late last year, convinced that it could have worked a second trick and obtained “Covid-Zero” with the Delta variant. If they still believe that in the face of their own political heroes giving up on it then what else will they have a hard time letting go of?

I just received a phone call

Here’s how it went:

Him: “Mate, is that testing station down the road from you still open”?

Me: “Dunno, why? You feeling crook?”

Him: “Yeah. Got diarrhea, sniffly nose and sore throat. F*** it! Think I’ve got *it*”.

Me: “I thought you were double vaxxed”?

Him: “Mate, I’ve had three shots”!

I’ve never known a vaccine where you have three doses within six months, as my friend has had, and this still happens. Covid must be one hell of a virus to beat this defence system.

Written by Nick K

March 1, 2022 at 6:51 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with

Sadly?

Talk about letting the cat out of the bag!

As one of the world’s richest men and one held to be one of the smartest, Bill Gates loves talking. He attends countless interviews. He’s hot on Global Warming and public healthcare, but to the dismay of his comrades in those areas he sometimes steps off the reservation – as when he said several years ago that renewable energy sources like wind and solar just weren’t going to be sufficient and nuclear power was the way to go.

Now he’s done the same thing with the C-19 vaccines.

That idea might actually spread faster than the virus, let alone the vaccines.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 20, 2022 at 8:32 am

Public Service Announcement

If you have a vaccination pass, it will expire sometime before 28 May.

The vax pass confirms a person is vaccinated under the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020.

In that legislation, the term “vaccinated” is defined thus:

vaccinated, in relation to a person, means the person has received all the required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or combination of COVID-19 vaccines that—

(a) the Minister or Director-General specifies in a COVID-19 order:

(b) the Director-General specifies in a notice made under subsection (3)(b)

The Order referred to in subclause (a) came into effect on 30 April 2021. In that Order, the relevant required doses were:

The administrative requirements are slightly irrelevant, because they relate to mandated workplaces. But for the purposes of whether someone is vaccinated, and has got their “papers”, there is no change. This is the definition – 2 doses of the ineffective, unsafe and experimental Comirnaty “vaccine”.

But the Order referred to in subclause (a) has been amended, by the stroke of Minister Hipkins pen. That was done on 23 January 2022. The Amendment Order did a number of things, and most importantly it amended the doses required of the “vaccine” (snigger) to include a booster so that the person cannot be considered “vaccinated” (snigger) until and unless said person has had a booster.

So the message to all you dirty, virus-ridden, unclean, filthy maggots spreading Covid throughout the country, is that when your vax pass expires, you’re not considered vaccinated unless you have a booster shot of the “vaccine” (snigger).

Written by Nick K

February 19, 2022 at 8:27 pm

Curia polls the vaccinated

Over at Kiwiblog it seems that DPF has had his polling company, Curia, conduct a poll on the reasons why people say they got vaccinated.

The results are interesting:

  • Protect personal health, 70% said it was a large or the main factor
  • Protect health of others, 76% large/main
  • Due to vaccine pass, 36% large/main
  • Due to vaccine mandate 31% large/main

The 76% of people who say they did it in order to protect the health of others must be feeling a bit silly now as they watch Omicron rip through the vaccinated populations of other nations, and now us.

The comments over there are worth reading also because there’s a lot of vaccinated people in those last two categories who are very much opposed to vaccine mandates as well as getting booster shots. They’re done. The following is a good example from one CJames:

I am triple vaccinated -3rd shot was done before it was allowed to be called a booster. I am quite prepared to have the flu shots every year. All my other shots are up to date…I am very unlikely to have a 4th shot – if the first three don’t work, why should this one?

I am very opposed to the mandate, especially as it has not much success in preventing you catching or spreading the Wuflu. This is because I despise a society where we officially sanction two classes of people. According to the party line, I am an anti-vaxxer. So be it. But don’t ever expect my support or for me ever to trust you again. That respect you want has long since evaporated.
The true anti-vaxxers might well be tinfoil hat wearing conspiracists, but they are not white supremacists or racists or whatever other name the authoritarian (il)liberals want to label them.

Also let’s not forget this survey from the USA:

Written by Tom Hunter

February 19, 2022 at 7:33 pm

Israel: fifth wave, fifth jab?

Israel famously led the world in getting its population vaccinated, largely due to some solid connections between the Israeli government and Pfizer executives enabling Israel to be first in the queue for millions of doses of that particular C-19 vaccine.

The same goes for their race to “double-vax” status, then the booster shot, and now the second booster shot for four jabs in all.

And the winner is…

… Covid-19 (Omicron).

Ok, so the vaccine isn’t helping with numbers of Omicron cases and hospitalisations, but let’s at least give credit to the Pfizer drug for saving the lives of most of the vulnerable (the elderly and obese) who caught the Delta variant: it may not be much of a vaccine but it seems it is a fairly effective therapeutic drug for those people in the case of Delta.

Of course what those graphs don’t tell us is what proportion of of lives were saved from the Omicron variant (which has been the dominant one for months now) due to the Pfizer drug and how much is due to Omicron just not being very lethal. There may not be enough of an unvaxxed control group in Israel to be able to tell, unlike South Africa with only some 30% of the population fully vaccinated and already on the other side of the Omicron wave. These numbers simply reinforce what’s been known for some months; that the vaccines just don’t protect against Omicron transmission.

Personally I’d go for monoclonal antibody treatments if I caught the virus, assuming I showed any symptoms at all, which most people don’t.

The only question now is whether Israel keeps on boosting, especially in light of this:

“European Union regulators warned that frequent Covid-19 booster shots could adversely affect the immune response and may not be feasible.  Repeat booster doses every four months could eventually weaken the immune response and tire out people, according to the European Medicines Agency.”

Meh! The Euros probably aren’t very good scientists anyway.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 4, 2022 at 11:42 am

Vaccine injuries and deaths

I read the other day that ACC is accepting vaccine injury claims arising from the Comirnaty vaccine, so being the Nosey Parker I am, had a look at the data. To ACC’s credit, they are very thorough with the reporting of the claims – those accepted, those declined, and those awaiting a decision. You can get a summary of ACC’s analysis here in response to an OIA request.

Digging a little, an intrepid enquirer asked ACC what the number of claims was, both accepted and declined, for vaccine injury after 2005, which was the year ACC decided that vaccine injury was a personal injury that fell under its regime.

I thought the raw data was interesting, and is produced below in comparable tables without comment. I make this point though in relation to Medsafe’s analysis of the death rate from the vaccine: Medsafe is quick to dismiss at least one death related to the vaccine (because of the delay between vaccination and death being four weeks, and so apparently not causative) and for another (a 13 year old girl) saying the cause is not yet determined. On the other hand, the Ministry of Health reports 52 deaths *with* Covid-19, with a qualification (not repeated by the Media Party):

DeceasedIncludes all cases that died who were classified as an active case of COVID-19 at the time of death. In some of these cases, the underlying cause of death may have been unrelated to COVID-19.

So the reporting on deaths is essentially, “report the worst, hope for the best”.

Vaccine Injury tables

2005-2019 – all vaccines

Comirnaty vaccine from February 2021 (i.e. less than a year)

Written by Nick K

January 30, 2022 at 3:35 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with

Hey Kids! It’s your Covid Jab Day

I already wrote about the nonsense of vaccinating kids aged less then 12 against the “deadly” C-19 virus, in the post The kids are alright.

That article noted some of the horrendous reporting that has happened on this specific issue via places like the New York Times, where claims of 900,000 kids hospitalised with C-19 since early 2020 were so wrong even that publication had to correct its “facts”.

Scanning Newshub the other day I noticed that the trick is now simply not to mention at all the extraordinarily low numbers of kids getting sick and dying from Chinese Xi Snot virus. Charts like the following from the CDC in the USA will not be seen in our local MSM.

That’s basically the Delta virus at work, but the statistics for Alpha in 2020 were no different for young kids (and young adults).

Such a chart won’t be seen in our MSM for good reason; it might increase “vaccine hesitancy” and the government can’t have that. There’s also this from my previous post:

“Then for other children in the 5-11-year-old age group, you really have to put a high premium on ensuring safety. Because we know that once you’ve excluded that probably 2 or 3 per cent of children with severe other problems, then the rest of the children, the chance of them getting even more than a cold or something they may not even notice, is really very small.” 
– Peter McIntyre. Otago University professor of women’s and children’s health,

To be fair that quote actually did come from Stuff.co.nz, which had an entire article on the question of vaccinating kids for C-19. But it’s the only such article I’ve seen, and it’s hard to find even on Stuff unless you have the link.

I wonder how many of those who are vulnerable to the virus, clearly shown in the chart, feel any guilt or shame about this at all? My read is few.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 17, 2022 at 10:47 am

The suicide of expertise

This was the title of an article written by Law Professor Glenn Reynolds for USA Today back in 2017. But what it has to say seems even more powerful as the years have passed.

According to Foreign Affairs magazine, Americans reject the advice of experts so as “to insulate their fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong.” That’s in support of a book by Tom Nichols called The Death of Expertise, which essentially advances that thesis.

Well, it’s certainly true that the “experts” don’t have the kind of authority that they possessed in the decade or two following World War II. Back then, the experts had given us vaccines, antibiotics, jet airplanes, nuclear power and space flight. The idea that they might really know best seemed pretty plausible.

But as Reynolds points out, the last fifty years contains a rather large number of big mistakes by experts:

  • The Vietnam war and “The Best and The Brightest”.
  • The War on Poverty (still being lost the last I heard).
  • Government nutritional advice from the 1960s on.
  • Failing to foresee the fall of the USSR.
  • Failing to foresee the rise in Islamic extremism.
  • Iraq and other “democracy building” projects gone awry. (2022 added Afghanistan to that ilist)
  • The Housing and Subprime mortgage bubbles of the 2000’s, leading to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008; a failure in both forecasting and handling.

There are a whole lot more smaller ones scattered in there as well, including Brexit and the botched launch of Obamacare. Reynolds quotes Nassim Taleb, a mathematical statistician (best known for his book The Black Swan):

“With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers.”

Reynolds also points out that this class of “experts” has done pretty well for itself in this same time period, even as many of the ordinary people they tell what to do, have not. Reynolds has a suggestion on that:

If experts want to reclaim a position of authority, they need to make a few changes. First, they should make sure they know what they’re talking about, and they shouldn’t talk about things where their knowledge isn’t solid. Second, they should be appropriately modest in their claims of authority. And, third, they should check their egos.

In the last two years of the C-19 pandemic I’ve seen no sign of any of this from the “experts”, where ego has been combined with an MSM that loves “experts” (as long as they agree with the Narrative and/or “Settled Science”).

On that last I appreciated these end-of-year musings about it all in Science and Chainsaws. There’s some throat clearing at first:

I’m no virologist or geneticist, but experts I respect persuaded me of the vaccines’ safety and efficacy. I got jabbed as soon as possible and regret that others chose not to. I wear masks in some situations, and not others. I see people socially but avoid large crowds. I favored lockdowns and school closings in early 2020 but think they lingered too long.

As grateful as he is to these scientists however, he sounds some warning notes:

The history of medicine offers ample reasons to avoid smug certitude which, unfortunately, is abundant on social and traditional media. Science is always about likelihood and never about certainty, though word apparently hasn’t reached Twitter and TV news. Then there is the flagrantly political demeanor of so many COVID experts.

He makes particular mention of the way that ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was lionised, and the feedback of the man to that praise with comments like, “Look at the data. Follow the science. Listen to the experts. … Be smart.”

How many times have we heard that from others? But as the writer says:

Here’s why they shouldn’t. Science, like a chainsaw, is an exceedingly powerful and useful tool. But “follow the science” makes no more sense than “follow the chainsaw.” The chainsaw doesn’t know the safest way to cut a tree, and science—let alone some anthropomorphic vision of it—can’t weigh the tradeoffs between slowing COVID and shutting down schools and cancer surgeries.

He finishes by quoting from a woman Ann Bauer, who has an autistic son and in the 1990’s was hammered as the cause of autisim; a “refrigerator mother” according to the theories of Psychologist Bruno Bettelheim, who is now regarded as a charlatan but for a time was held as the holder of a gospel truth:

In October, novelist and essayist Ann Bauer wrote a poignant column, “I Have Been Through This Before,” on her discomfort with the parade of cocksure COVID experts issuing ever-changing diktats and pronouncements. When vaccines didn’t end the pandemic, she wrote, “doctors and officials blamed their audience of 3 billion for the disease. The more the cures failed, the greater the fault of the public.”

Science is ultimately about learning. I see little evidence of that at present.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 11, 2022 at 9:56 am