This article originally appeared on WND.com
Guest by post by Peter LaBarbera
‘The populace can be kept in a state of repeated anxiety.’
As Brandon and liberal corporate and social media ramp up their talk about masking up and a new COVID booster-shot campaign, conservatives and those who no longer “trust the science,” to quote a widely ridiculed narrative, are bracing for a new wave of COVID hysteria.
Many speculate the resurgence of COVID fearmongering is timed for election season – as there is near unanimity among Republicans that restrictive COVID policies were used to “rig” or tilt the 2020 election rules in Brandon’s and the Democrats’ favor.
But with the benefit of hindsight and lessons learned from disastrous and oppressive COVID policies during the initial pandemic, the difference today is that an army of highly informed skeptics skilled at debunking establishment narratives is at the ready to mobilize against a rebirth of government and corporate coercion and misinformation.
Just the News reported Tuesday: “Even President Brandon acknowledged current COVID vaccines, which include original and Omicron variant strains, are not performing as hoped. He said at a press gaggle Friday he’s planning to ask Congress for additional funding for a new vaccine ‘that works’ and will ‘tentatively’ be recommended for everyone, regardless of prior infection, vaccination history or risk level.”
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who tormented ex-Trump adviser Anthony Fauci, the now-retired former head of a federal infectious diseases agency, at Senate hearings with tough questions about his contradictory pandemic pronouncements, responded to a Republican National Committee Research post on X about Brandon signing off on a funding request for “a new [COVID] vaccine that is necessary that works.” Paul commented: “So to recap: 1. @POTUS is saying the vaccine they’re currently promoting and they mandated DOES NOT work 2. He wants more funding for another one … That’s a NO from me.”
So to recap:
1. @POTUS is saying the vaccine they’re currently promoting and they mandated DOES NOT work
2. He wants more funding for another one
That’s a NO from me. https://t.co/biBqPYMJ2C
— Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 27, 2023
The JTN article, titled, “‘Total lack of critical thinking’: Experts question COVID vax, mask mandates amid ‘surge,’” highlights a science writer critical of COVID fearmongers as well as new study that shows natural immunity against COVID grew considerably among Americans from December 2021 to November 2022.
The study in the August journal Clinical Infectious Disease concludes: “Effective protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe disease in November 2022 was substantially higher than in December 2021. Despite this high level of protection, a more transmissible or immune evading (sub)variant, changes in behavior, or ongoing waning of immunity could lead to a new SARS-CoV-2 wave.”
“In the absence of non-pharmaceutical interventions, partial immunity afforded by previous infection and vaccination is the main protection against future infections,” the study states. “Population protection against severe disease was estimated to have increased over the study period, both nationally … and within every state … Nationally, protection against severe disease resulting from a new Omicron infection rose from 61% (59%–64%) on 2 December 2021, to 84% (79%–90%) on 3 March 2022, to 89% (83%–91%) by 9 November 2022.”
Nevertheless, even that study is being read two ways in a divided nation, with conservatives pointing to widespread natural immunity while liberals hang on to the possibility of a “new SARS-CovV-2 wave.” Here are the study’s last two sentences: “Despite the high level of protection at the beginning of the 2022-2023 winter, risk of reinfection and subsequent severe disease remained. A more transmissible or immune evading (sub)variant, changes in behavior, or ongoing waning of immunity could lead to a new SARS-CoV-2 wave, as was observed at the end of 2021.”
Science writer exposes ‘cottage industry’ of COVID fearmongers
JTN linked to Substack science writer David Zweig, who writes that “A recent rise in Covid prevalence highlights an ongoing problem of hypocrisy around public health misinformation.” Zweig is author of the forthcoming book, “An Abundance of Caution,” which he writes is “about the schools debacle in America during the pandemic. The book, in essence, will be a case study of how and why bad decisions are made.”
Highlighting a CDC graph (above) that puts the current COVID “surge” into perspective, Zweig writes: “If a tiny bump in the rate of new weekly Covid hospital admissions – that still is among the lowest rates over the last three years – relates to a surge, then what is an actual large rise called? The use of this hyperbolic language by so many media outlets that over-dramatizes risk skirts very close to misinformation.”
Zweig focuses on Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, as an example of social-media-savvy COVID “experts” who, he says, are widely followed but regularly traffic in faulty interpretation of data or outright “misinformation.”
“Between that audience and his frequent appearances in major media outlets, Wachter’s statements carry a lot of influence. When he makes misleading claims, it matters,” he writes, noting that Wachter is more measured than “Twitter-famous alarmists like Eric Feigl-Ding.”
“With that said, the mere existence of [Wachter’s ongoing] “Covid Chronicles” gives an indication of how much this virus consumes Wachter’s life. Wachter often describes in exquisite detail the elaborate calculations he makes to decide whether and how to venture into various social situation,” writes Zweig.
He hones in on an Aug. 18 X thread by Wachter on the recent “uptick” in COVID, in which Wachter writes: “This curve of hospitalizations (a reasonable proxy for the amount of Covid in the community) shows a definite, but relatively mild, upward trend.”
Zweig quotes Wachter’s X post: “‘Why the uptick?’ Wachter writes. It’s not the new variant, he says. Rather, ‘more likely, it’s the same reason we’ve seen this roller coaster for two years: after a 6-12 month lull in Covid, most folks have let down their guard.’…’The virus lurks, waiting to find less immune & more unmasked hosts. It’s now finding them,’ [Wachter] writes. ‘This pattern will likely repeat 2-3 times yearly for the foreseeable future.’”
‘This is complete nonsense’
Zweig responds to Wachter’s claim: “Let me be candid: this is complete nonsense. And, as I’ll explain later, this type of misinformation causes harm. … There is no evidence that the recent uptick is because people ‘have let down their guard.’ Nor is there any quality evidence that the roller coaster of Covid prevalence to which he refers, and that is visible in the graph that he tweeted, is a result of people letting their guard down. Nor is there evidence that this pattern, which he expects will be repeated 2-3 times yearly, will be due to people letting their guard down.”
He writes that “one needn’t be an infectious diseases expert to see the absurdity of Wachter’s claim. The empirical reality is that pretty much every major facet of society has been operating without restrictions for a year or more. Schools have run normally and at capacity since at least fall 2022. Stadiums and arenas have been packed with sports and music fans, parties have been thrown, kids have slept over friends’ houses, and so on – this all has been happening for a long, long time, through the various ups and downs of Covid prevalence.”
Meanwhile, popular conservative podcast host Dan Bongino titled his programMonday, “Get Ready for Lockdowns,” and linked to coverage of a new NIH study that examines the health risks of N-95 COVID masks. An Aug. 27 Daily Mail headline reads: “Mask study published by NIH suggests N95 Covid masks may expose wearers to dangerous level of toxic compounds linked to seizures and cancer.”
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