In a simpler, less jaundiced time, the average American actually believed what “experts” said. That’s because their comments were based on their expertise, not their political views. Alas, those days are a faded memory.
Today’s authorities are nearly uniformly shills for their political views regardless, it seems, of the question; be it Covid response guidance, economic guidance, which car to drive, how to speak so as to avoid offending someone, how to effectively educate children, etc.
Covid information is probably the poster child for this current phenomenon.
What’s Going On With the Covid Testing?
The news outlets are full of angst-laden, breathless reports of a surge in Covid “Delta variant” cases here and around the world. How does one get tested for Covid so that you “know” you have it or don’t have it? In the vast majority of cases it is through something called a PCR (for Polymerase chain reaction) test (other types are antigen/”rapid” and serology tests which look for pieces of proteins associated with Covid in the test swab or a blood sample).
The health establishment has labelled PCR testing the “Gold Standard” of testing for the virus. Unfortunately, it’s accuracy depends on many factors, and is no where near 100% This paper by a doctor documents his experience with false negatives (20->50%). (Antigen tests give even higher false negatives.) And, in truth, you can make the test generate a positive for even uninfected people by simply dialing up the number of cycles over which DNA samples are replicated.)
So, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, this “Gold Standard” has been terminated for use in the US after 12/31/2021 by the CDC, and was warned about by the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this year. Seems they’re going to replace it with something else, which also seems to imply they’re not happy with the results it has been producing…too high?, too low?
Skeptics might surmise that with congressional elections due next November, it wouldn’t be good for the powers that be to be seeing spiking cases again in the late winter, early spring like this year. Who knows?
But the fundamental point is: these tests are not highly accurate. Yet a result of negative is becoming and about to be something like a hall pass for life in the US, especially in the absence of (widely counterfeited) vaccine records.
What’s Going On With Wearing Masks?
This is an even more troublesome topic. On the one hand, we have characterizations of hardware/pharmacy/grocery store-sold masks as completely ineffective at filtering 1 micron viruses – something like throwing sand through a chain link fence. The most common type of paper mask in use says so right in the manufacturer’s statement on their box.
Now there are masks available that can filter some viruses (N95, k95). But they are much less widely used mainly because they cost between $1.00 and $2.60 each, while the common particulate filter masks range in price from $0.04 to maybe $0.25.
But we hear no differentiation from our “leaders”. To them it’s just: “Wear a mask!” Why? Perhaps, if their goal is actually to constrain the spread of a virus, they should tell people which type of mask should be worn to accomplish that purpose. But, perhaps that’s not their goal.
Meanwhile we have the CDC issue “guidance” that all school children and school staff (whether or not they have antibodies from vaccination or prior illness) should be masked whenever in the school setting. Nothing about which mask.
What’s so illogical about this on its face is that children, even those in high Delta variant infection areas, are so moderately affected, whether they’ve been vaccinated or not. This study says the hospitalization rate for children (i.e. < 12 years old) is 0.1% to 1.9% of all such cases in that cohort. In other words 98.1%-99.9% of kids, when they get it, get sick and then get better. So this mandate isn’t about the health of children. Kids get sick, some every year, from all kinds of things. And then they return to normal health.
So why this “guidance”? Well, teachers of course, and their unions. Teacher’s unions, according to reports, actually helped craft the CDC guidance. No one can blame a teacher for wanting to remain healthy in his/her job. But this isn’t really about health. It’s about lifestyle.
Since the beginning of school closures last spring, a huge percentage of teachers have been Zoomers – not stepping foot back in their classrooms, but sitting in front of their screens for a few hours a day. They’ve had more than a year to get used to this new lifestyle, and they kind of like it: no commuting; no standing in front of the class for hours on end; freedom to call for breaks during their sessions, reduced class time (here they’ve had every Friday off), etc. With full pay. People I talk to in education in my community are quick to admit that the vast majority of teachers they’ve talked to would be quite happy if they never saw the inside of a classroom again. For them it’s all about “remote learning” at home.
So much for health concerns. So, the unions are going to stifle the social and psychological development of kids for at least another year by forcing them to wear masks not for their health, but for the perceived health advantages to teachers and staff (see the mask effectiveness discussion, above). Something is really broken here. And maybe we shouldn’t expect anything different from an institution committed to teaching kids their own and their country’s unforgivable sins.
So is there a conspiracy theory-worthy agenda at work here? Well, probably yes and no. Certainly, the teacher’s unions have an agenda – to make life as easy and well-paying for their members as possible. That’s what they exist to do. So it’s not surprising when they take steps to do that.
What about the larger masking issue? Who benefits from that? Well, mask manufacturers, certainly. If you’ve been vaccinated but still (by the CDC’s “high infection area” guidance) can be forced by merchants to don a facemask while in their establishments (citing “CDC guidance”), it’s hard to see how those retail merchants actually benefit. 3M seems to be a winner (though they have been majority donors to the party not in power), restaurants seem to be losers (though they have been mainly donors to the party in power). So maybe there’s no dark plan here. Just the normal incompetence we’ve grown to expect.
At the end of the day, all of this restrictive “guidance” could be nothing more than the government droning on about what you should or shouldn’t do so that you become used to it. So that you become used to being told by them what to do, and how to think. Of course they will always wrap it in some unassailable “good” – health, safety, prosperity, whatever. But the hook is once you uncritically take it once, you’re much more likely to take it the next and all of the rest of the times they put it out there. And the consequences of those future acceptances might not be as benign as putting on a face mask.
But perhaps we’re touching the trunk but not perceiving the elephant in the room. What if all of this is really about taking absolute power. Today’s CDC edict (in the face of the recent Supreme Court ruling that states unequivocally its lawlessness) proclaiming an extension to the eviction moratorium might just be one key piece of the endgame. If they (the Centers for Disease Control?!!) can take your rights to your property, what other rights can they relieve you of?
One of the things we know from the behavior of the current administration is that they disdain the law, and the processes that created them, from the border disaster to the suspension of property rights to the suspension of basic human freedoms. You are forgiven if you’re gravely concerned about the survival of your country.
Recently it has come to light that the government laboratory run by Anthony Fauci, the National Insitute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH), negotiated an ownership stake in the Moderna MRNA vaccine. Page 105 of a “Transfer Agreement” between the NIH (and other government agencies) and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, for the transfer of candidate Coronavirus mRNA vaccine candidates, identifies the vaccines as “jointly owned” by NIAID and Moderna.
Now there’s all kinds of other intrigue associated with the relationship between NIH and Moderna (like why is it that this agreement was entered into two weeks before anyone in the West had even heard about Covid-19, what’s really going on with NIH’s complaint about Moderna’s patent application, etc.?)
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to the issue at hand, which is that if NIH/NIAID think they jointly own the Moderna vaccine, then they’ll want their share of the revenue from sales of that vaccine (virtually all of which are to the US government as they reimburse those dispensing the drug) as their royalty. So one could reasonably conclude that NIH’s/NIAID’s continual use of their public voice to promote vaccine and booster shot consumption is compromised by their actual (not just perceived) conflict of interest.
 Hopefully it’s not the Chinese assay: they use anal swabs, as they’re apparently more accurate and less sensitive to the timing of the test relative to the infection.