What are the “authorities” so afraid of?
Why are Canadian truckers protesting vaccine mandates considered a threat? The Freedom Convoy has garnered enormous popular support but is condemned by the liberal media and dismissed by Canada’s unpopular Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a “small fringe minority.”
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Prodded by Canadian authorities, GoFundMe moved to confiscate and redistribute $10 million raised to support the drivers, prompting such outrage that they pivoted to returning the money to the original donors. A like-minded U.S. group, “Convoy to DC 2022,” attracted 130,000 members to its Facebook page before it was taken down by the social media giant.
Meanwhile, Joe Rogan has come under blistering attack for hosting on his podcast a cardiologist and infectious disease expert who questions the efficacy and safety of the COVID vaccines. Rogan is viewed as such a threat that the White House – in effect, the president of the United States – is trying to shut him down.
You have to wonder, why is the establishment in full panic mode every time someone challenges their COVID orthodoxy?
When historians review how our nation dealt with this pandemic, our political leaders will be excused for mistakes made. In responding to a fast-moving once-in-a-lifetime virus that threatened wholesale death, our mayors and governors – and two presidents – made quick decisions based on inadequate information but recommended by health experts who did the best they could. Those will be forgiven.
What is not forgivable and should never be excused is that those same political leaders and medical authorities brooked no dissent, allowed no debate, and by pretending they had unassailable “truths” on their side, undoubtedly caused the deaths of many Americans.
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Discussions about possible therapies and treatments have been forbidden, even though creditable doctors have attested to the value of drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, based on their own experience.
When Dr. Simone Gold and her colleagues attested to the success they had treating COVID patients with hydroxychloroquine, she was banned from every major social media site and smeared by the press. But a team at Henry Ford Health System in southeast Michigan announced in July 2020 that a study of 2,541 hospitalized patients found that those given hydroxychloroquine were much less likely to die.When a Pennsylvania doctor prescribed ivermectin for a patient she was fired. Just recently, clinical trials in Japan suggest the drug inspires an anti-viral reaction and could be a useful remedy for COVID patients.
Similarly, challenges to lockdowns and mask mandates have been viewed as undermining society and those voicing dissent viewed as heretics.
It is not as though the “authorities” have gotten it right. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been pilloried by the intelligentsia for refusing to impose lockdowns or mask or vaccine mandates, but his state has witnessed fewer deaths per capita from the latest omicron surge than New York, which has required all those supposed preventatives.
A recent Johns Hopkins study concluded that locking down our economy only reduced the COVID death toll by 0.2%, while inflicting grave injury on our country; the authors said the approach should be “rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument.”
Joe Rogan’s great offense was to interview Dr. Robert Malone, who challenged the efficacy of the vaccines, points he reiterated in a recent speech in D.C.
“Regarding the genetic COVID vaccines, the science is settled, they are not working.”
The Washington Post, reviewing his remarks, thundered that Malone was promulgating “falsehoods” and “misinformation.” The Post writers noted that the doctor’s comments came on the heels of a CDC study showing that the vaccines protect against hospitalization from omicron.
That seems true, and incredibly valuable, but it is also true that the vaccines failed to meet their original promise, which was to prevent infection from and transmission of COVID-19. The surge in delta and then omicron cases grew to record numbers in the U.S. even as a growing number of people were vaccinated.
Joe Biden’s White House was reluctant to acknowledge the vaccines’ shortcomings and slow to admit that their efficacy declined rapidly over time. Skepticism over the shots grew; confusion led to the U.S. falling way behind in booster shots, costing many lives.
In issuing an apology about his podcast, Rogan pointed out that “Eight months ago, if you said if you get vaccinated you can still catch COVID and you can still spread COVID – you will be removed from social media … Now, that’s accepted as fact.” He is right.
One of the most popular articles at The Hill recently described the CDC’s “finally recognizing ‘natural immunity,”” something that the health agency had previously refused to do. A report from the CDC concluded, based on a review of people in California and New York, that being vaccinated prevented the worst effects of COVID-19, but so did surviving the disease. In fact, the researchers note that “after delta became prevalent, natural immunity was more protective against infection than vaccination.”
The Hill author notes that, “Many European countries recognize that immunity due to prior infection is equal to vaccination” and summarizes that, “Not exempting those with prior infection was always unfair; now it is unscientific as well.”
Hundreds of thousands of workers have protested the vaccine mandates ordered by Biden; many have argued that because they have already survived the virus, they have natural immunities and need no further protection. The authorities refused to consider their argument, just as they have refused to admit that masks provide minimal benefits to children and in fact could be harmful.
Biden campaigned on the promise that he had a plan to “shut down the virus.” The United States now has a higher per capita death rate than any other developed country, which was not the case when Biden took office. Clearly his administration is doing something wrong. But heaven forbid you ask what that is.
Liz Peek is a former partner of major bracket Wall Street firm Wertheim & Company. Follow her on Twitter @lizpeek.