"Andrew B. Chung, MD/PhD" wrote in message
>> Wuhan Virus Ethic Train Wreck Update
>> JULY 31, 2020 / JACK MARSHALL
>> 1. Dr. Fauci told ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer
>> yesterday, “If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it…You
>> mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the
>> eye. Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So if
>> have goggles or an eye shield you should use it.”
>> Now you tell us!
>Actually, the vlogging of front-line medical workers, both nurses and
>doctors, in full PPE-gear have been telling everyone this from the
>outset of the pandemic.
>> Though Fauci is in a high-risk demographic, he has never been shown
>Dr. Fauci has not been shown working on the front-line taking care of
Dr. Fauci did not qualify his statement as applying only to front-line
health care workers.
There is low public confidence in the public health establishment.
Here is Dr. Fauci himself.
This is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is
not something that the citizens of the United States should be worried about
right now,” Dr. Fauci told Newsmax’s Greg Kelly on January 21.
“It isn’t something the American public needs to worry about or be
frightened about, because we have ways of preparing and screening of people
coming in [from China],” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci told “The Cats Roundtable” on 970
AM-N.Y., per The Hill, January 26.
Fauci doesn’t want people to worry about coronavirus, the danger of which is
“just minuscule.” But he does want them to take precautions against the
“influenza outbreak, which is having its second wave.” February 17- USA
then there were completely asinine health regulations by state governors.
There are many ironies and contradictions in the various government
reactions to the Wuhan virus, some quite yummy, like the municipalities that
had banned plastic bags that are now forced to ban the re-usable kind, and
demand the use of the plastic once again. Some day, when this is all over,
we can sit around and laugh about it all.
This development, however, is not funny: a frightening number of governors,
mayors and police officers have demonstrated how much of our democracy is
currently entrusted to nascent totalitarians. I know, I know: to protect the
public in a unique crisis, extraordinary measures must be taken, and because
so many in our democracy don’t really possess the intelligence and sense of
social responsibility that the Founders, in their idealistic fervor, decided
to pretend they had (much less the common sense of the average meerkat),
sometimes those measures must be accompanied by the force of law. However,
because it is a democracy and one that begins with wariness of governments
infringing on personal liberties, and will end with our governments being
supported when they decided those liberties can be ignored on a whim and a
hunch, the recent gusto with which elected officials and their police forces
have felt justified in crushing those liberties are warnings that
responsible citizens must not let go unpunished. I wrote about one example
here, regarding Vermont’s governor’s move to stop the big box stores from
selling items Maple Syrup big Brother considers “non-essential.” There are
Ethics Alarms already covered the father taken away in handcuffs for playing
T-ball on on otherwise empty field with his wife and 6-year-old child, but
the Philadephia police pulling people off buses for not wearing masks, or
the aspiring fascist officer who tried to chase down single jogger on an
empty beach initially escaped my attention. There are so many examples, you
Occasionally the courts have stepped in, though not nearly occasionally
enough, (I think I’ll inject my “Where is the ACLU?” line now.) Louisville
Mayor Greg Fischer—Guess what party?—issued an order last week prohibiting
churches from gathering for Easter services even if congregants remained in
their cars for a “drive-in” service.
“We’re saying no church worshiping,” the mayor decreed. Before Easter,
however, U.S. District Judge Justin Walker rebuked the mayor, and granted a
local Louisville church, On Fire Christian Center, a temporary restraining
order allowing the church and presumably others to hold modified Easter
“On Holy Thursday, an American mayor criminalized the communal celebration
of Easter. That sentence is one that this Court never expected to see
outside the pages of a dystopian novel, or perhaps the pages of The Onion,”
Walker wrote. “But two days ago, citing the need for social distancing
during the current pandemic, Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer ordered
Christians not to attend Sunday services, even if they remained in their
cars to worship — and even though it’s Easter. The Mayor’s decision is
stunning. And it is, ‘beyond all reason,’ unconstitutional.”
Well, of course it was. The question would be too easy for a 5th grade
civics test, so why didn’t the mayor’s ethics alarms, never mind his First
Amendment alarms, ring before he made such an offensive decision? What about
his aides? What about law enforcement, none of whom appears to have
cautioned him, “Sir, we can’t ticket people who stay in their cars”?
Think about why.
I should also mention that Walker is one of those horrible conservative
judges that President Trump appointed and Kentucky’s own Mitch McConnell has
fast-tracked to the bench. We have been told that these judges are part of
the plot to take away Americans’ rights. More irony.
Nevertheless, two churches in Greenville, Mississippi were holding drive-in
services for Holy Week when police showed up and ordered churchgoers to
leave or face a $500 fine. The city’s mayor, Erick Simmons, defended the ban
by arguing that people might get out of their cars to use the bathroom. Yes,
he really did. Also banning drive-in worship services were the 10-county
area in south central Georgia (south and east of Macon), and Riverside
County in southern California, though that one allowed an exception for
Easter weekend–which makes no sense whatsoever. Democratic Nevada Governor
Steve Sisolak issued a stay-at-home order on the Wednesday of Holy Week
that specifically banned drive-in services.
Then we have Michigan governor Gretchen Witmer, who has been prominently
mentioned as a possible running mate for Joe Biden.
As part of her ongoing impression of the revolutionary leader in Wood Allen’s
“Bananas,” who declares upon seizing the presidency that the language of the
small South American country is officially Swedish, Whitmer has decreed
what items are and are not “essential” and what stores can and cannot sell
as part of her totalitarian order issued last week.
Among the banned products are fruit and vegetable plants and seeds. Lottery
tickets, on the other hand, are still permitted, because addicting citizens
to gambling for the benefit of the state is essential. Paint, flooring,
garden centers and furniture are also considered non-essential, so you can’t
buy them either in Michigan. Nor can you buy car seats for children. Why?
Because the Governor says so, that’s why!
Governor Whitmer also banned Michiganders from traveling “between
residences” if they own a cottage or a summer home. For some reason, the ban
only applies to Michigan residents, so an out-of-stater with a cottage could
presumably still visit. The ban also still allows travel between states, so
if a Michigander has a cottage in Wisconsin he can travel there without
being arrested or fined by state police.
The officials who show their true colors in this crisis—and I’m not the only
one taking down names—have signaled that they can’t be trusted, and neither
can their enablers and apologists. As David Harsanyi wrote today,
“[A]uthoritarianism isn’t defined as ‘strict obedience to authority at the
expense of personal freedom except when there is a pandemic.’ Your
declarative sentences and forceful feelings do not transform the meaning of
either authoritarianism or freedom. Though if we dump our principles every
time there’s a crisis, they might as well.”
Finally, the public health establishment discredited itself much more than
Dr. Fauci, President Trump, or these state officials.
"However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as
risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national
public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in
the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest
protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators' ability to
gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive
stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders.
Those actions not only oppose public health interventions, but are also
rooted in white nationalism and run contrary to respect for Black lives.
Protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden
of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must
After saying no to so many things, a significant number of public health
experts have determined that massive protests of police brutality are an
exception to the rules of COVID-19 mitigation. Yes, these protests are
outdoors, and yes, these experts have encouraged protesters to wear masks
and observe six feet of social distance. But if you watch actual footage of
protests—even the ones where cops are behaving badly themselves—you will see
crowds that are larger and more densely packed than the public beaches and
parks that many mayors and governors have heavily restricted. Every
signatory to the letter above may not have called for those restrictions,
but they also didn't take to a public forum to declare them relatively safe
under certain conditions.
"For many public health experts who have spent weeks advising policymakers
and the public on how to reduce their risk of getting or inadvertently
spreading the coronavirus, the mass demonstrations have forced a shift in
perspective," The New York Times tells us.
But they could have easily kept the same perspective: Going out is
dangerous, here's how to best protect yourself. The added well, this cause
is important, though, makes the previous guidance look rather suspect. It
also makes it seem like the righteousness of the cause is somehow a
mitigating factor for spreading the disease.
Examples of this new framing abound. The Times interviewed Tiffany
Rodriguez, an epidemiologist "who has rarely left her home since mid-March,"
but felt compelled to attend a protest in Boston because "police brutality
is a public health epidemic." NPR joined in with a headline warning readers
not to consider the two crises—racism and coronavirus—separately. Another
recent New York Times article began: "They are parallel plagues ravaging
America: The coronavirus. And police killings of black men and women."
Police violence, white supremacy, and systemic racism are very serious
problems. They produce disparate harms for marginalized communities:
politically, economically, and also from a medical standpoint. They
exacerbate health inequities. But they are not epidemics in the same way
that the coronavirus is an epidemic, and it's an abuse of the English
language to pretend otherwise. Police violence is a metaphorical plague.
COVID-19 is a literal plague.
These differences matter. You cannot contract racism if someone coughs on
you. You cannot unknowingly spread racism to a grandparent or roommate with
an underlying health condition, threatening their very lives. Protesting is
not a prescription for combatting police violence in the same way that
penicillin is a prescription for a bacterial infection. Doctors know what
sorts of treatments cure various sicknesses. They don't know what sorts of
protests, policy responses, or social phenomena will necessarily produce a
less racist society, and they shouldn't leverage their expertise in a manner
that suggests they know the answers.
It's clear that we've come to the point where people can no longer be
expected to stay at home no matter what. Individuals should feel empowered
to make choices about which activities are important enough to incur some
exposure to COVID-19 and possibly spreading it to someone else, whether that
activity is reopening a business, going back to work, socializing with
friends, or joining a protest against police brutality. Health experts can
help inform these choices. But they can't declare there's just one activity
that's worth the risk."- Robby Soave
"It's not that public health folks are wrong that racism and police
brutality have significant public health consequences; while coronavirus has
the potential to kill hundreds of thousands in a short period of time, over
the long-term racism and state violence can cause even greater harm.
But here's the thing: while it's understandable that people want to take to
the streets to protest racism and state violence, there is no
epidemiological or other scientific evidence that such protests will have
positive public health effects by spurring positive social and political
change. Any scientist or public health expert who suggests otherwise is
engaging in political and sociological speculation that is not only beyond
their expertise, but that really beyond anyone's expertise. But it's worse
when such speculation purports to be scientific, from experts whose
credibility is crucial for containing the current and future pandemics."-
Some of my social media friends have been insisting for some time that many
of the hardcore lockdown/social distancing advocates were less concerned
about public health and more about imposing their own value system against
what they considered an unenlightened public, and some subset of those
people actually welcomed the lockdown because they prefer people to live on
the government dole that to allow "capitalist exploitation." I'm not, to say
the least, a big fan of the political and public health establishment, but I
nevertheless thought this was too cynical, and I did (and still do) think
that many aspects of the lockdown were justified by public health needs.
Yet today we see Mayor DeBlasio arguing that protesting racism is more
important than being banned from attending religious services indefinitely,
and Governor Murphy of New Jersey stating that protests against racism may
flout social distancing rules, but he's going to continue to enforce them
against lockdown opponents.
Worse yet, Slate reports that:
Facing a slew of media requests asking about how protests might be a risk
for COVID-19 transmission, a group of infectious disease experts at the
University of Washington, with input from other colleagues, drafted a
collective response. In an open letter published Sunday, they write that
"protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden
of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must
be supported."… By Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,000 epidemiologists,
doctors, social workers, medical students, and other health experts had
signed the letter.
So much for the "expert public health community."
I don't think anyone who knows me would describe me as at all credulous, but
I think I need to get even more cynical.
A final thought: For many of the left, anti-racism is basically a religion,
and they don't want the Covid crisis to interfere with an important
anti-racism ritual, protest. But when it comes to accommodating actual
religion, like having a religious quorum at a funeral? Feh, that's not
important."- David Bernstein
>In the interim, I am simply wonderfully hungry (
) and hope you, Michael, also have a
>healthy appetite too.
>So how are you ?
I am wonderfully hungry!