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Follow the Science? How COVID Authoritarians Get It Wrong


Muda69
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At Least 5 Justices Seem To Think the CDC's Eviction Moratorium Is Illegal. SCOTUS Left It in Place Anyway.

https://reason.com/2021/06/30/at-least-5-justices-seem-to-think-the-cdcs-eviction-moratorium-is-illegal-scotus-left-it-in-place-anyway/

Quote

The Supreme Court yesterday declined to remove a stay on a decision against the nationwide eviction moratorium that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A concurring statement by Justice Brett Kavanaugh nevertheless indicates that a majority of the Court thinks the CDC's order, which was recently extended and is now scheduled to expire at the end of July, exceeds its statutory authority.

On May 5, Dabney Friedrich, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that the moratorium, which applies to tenants who claim financial hardship, is not authorized by the Public Health Service Act, the statute that the CDC cited as the basis for its order. "Because the plain language of the Public Health Service Act…unambiguously forecloses the nationwide eviction moratorium," Friedrich wrote, "the Court must set aside the CDC Order, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act…and D.C. Circuit precedent."

Friedrich granted a stay of her order pending the government's appeal, and on June 2 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit declined to lift that stay. The plaintiffs—landlords, real estate companies, and trade associations—appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

Four justices—Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett—thought the stay should be lifted, meaning that Friedrich's decision against the CDC would take effect immediately. Chief Justice John Roberts and four of his colleagues—Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh—disagreed. But Kavanaugh, whose vote against lifting the stay was crucial, said he thought Friedrich was right.

"I agree with the District Court and the applicants that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exceeded its existing statutory authority by issuing a nationwide eviction moratorium," Kavanaugh wrote. "Because the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks, on July 31, and because those few weeks will allow for additional and more orderly distribution of the congressionally appropriated rental assistance funds, I vote at this time to deny the application to vacate the District Court's stay of its order….In my view, clear and specific congressional authorization (via new legislation) would be necessary for the CDC to extend the moratorium past July 31."

Since the CDC says it does not plan to further extend the moratorium, it is not clear whether the order's legality will ever be definitively resolved. The D.C. Circuit differed with Friedrich, saying "the CDC's eviction moratorium falls within the plain text" of the Public Health Service Act. But three other federal judges and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit have agreed that the moratorium is legally invalid.

The Public Health Service Act authorizes the secretary of health and human services to issue regulations that "in his judgment are necessary" to prevent the interstate spread of "communicable diseases." One of those regulations delegates a similar authority to the CDC's director.

The statute mentions these examples of disease control measures: "inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation, pest extermination," and destruction of infected or contaminated "animals or articles." It then refers to "other measures" deemed "necessary," which according to the CDC encompasses pretty much anything.

Friedrich, two other federal judges, and the 6th Circuit concluded that the CDC was wrong about that, saying "other measures" must be similar in kind to the specific examples. Another federal judge ruled that even Congress does not have the authority to impose a moratorium like the CDC's, because forcing landlords to continue housing tenants who fail to pay their rent exceeds the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce.

The CDC's justification for the moratorium, which it first imposed in September, is that evicted tenants might become homeless or move in with other people, thereby increasing the risk of virus transmission. That malleable rationale, coupled with the CDC's broad reading of the Public Health Service Act, implies that the agency has boundless authority to dictate how Americans can behave and interact with each other, provided it thinks the edicts are "reasonably necessary" to prevent the interstate spread of "any" communicable disease.

South Texas College of Law professor Josh Blackman is not impressed by Kavanaugh's explanation for leaving the CDC's order in place. "The application [to remove the stay] was filed on June 3," he writes in a Volokh Conspiracy post. "The response was due on June 10. The application has been pending for 19 days. It did not take 19 days to write a one-paragraph concurrence. No one wrote a dissent in response. The Court was no doubt hoping Biden would decline to extend the moratorium so the case would go away. But the administration did extend it. And with 31 days remaining on the order,  Justice Kavanaugh now says there are only a 'few weeks' left….Therefore, he will decline to grant relief. If the Court moved with alacrity, the rule of law would have already been restored."

 

 

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One of the bedrock principles of Supreme Court jurisprudence is that the Court does not declare a statute or regulation illegal unless that is the only way to afford relief. In this case, the only issue before the Court was the stay order issued, which prevented the lower court’s ruling from taking effect immediately. Since the challenged regulation will expire before the Court could hear the case on the merits, the Court simply refused to lift the stay and is allowing the regulation to die a natural death, without the controversy that would attend a full blown opinion on the merits of the case.

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  • 2 weeks later...

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/22/covid-vaccine-passports-everything-we-know-so-far.html

Serious question(s) here relative to requiring carrying a vaccine card or having a negative Covid test document.

1)  If you are vaccinated, what is your concern about someone who is not vaccinated? 

2)  Everyone still carry the virus, vaccinated or not.  (FACT)

3)  Even IF you test negative for the virus one day, can't you still come in contact with it anytime and be carrying it even after receiving a negative test?  Yes - ANYONE can vaccinated or not.

4)  With the newest variants that are discovered (everyday almost) and are supposed to be more contagious and deadlier (even though actual data is disproving that narrative) than before how then are we to trust the current vaccines?

I'm not disapproving of anyone who has had the vaccine, it's your personal choice, and if you have had it, good for you.  But if you have been vaccinated, what is your worry about someone else not getting it?  FYI - The vaccine isn't going to eradicate the virus, contrary to the popular narrative being ran right now.

https://nbc-2.com/news/2021/05/14/can-the-world-eradicate-covid-19/

 

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18 hours ago, swordfish said:

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/22/covid-vaccine-passports-everything-we-know-so-far.html

Serious question(s) here relative to requiring carrying a vaccine card or having a negative Covid test document.

1)  If you are vaccinated, what is your concern about someone who is not vaccinated? 

2)  Everyone still carry the virus, vaccinated or not.  (FACT)

3)  Even IF you test negative for the virus one day, can't you still come in contact with it anytime and be carrying it even after receiving a negative test?  Yes - ANYONE can vaccinated or not.

4)  With the newest variants that are discovered (everyday almost) and are supposed to be more contagious and deadlier (even though actual data is disproving that narrative) than before how then are we to trust the current vaccines?

I'm not disapproving of anyone who has had the vaccine, it's your personal choice, and if you have had it, good for you.  But if you have been vaccinated, what is your worry about someone else not getting it?  FYI - The vaccine isn't going to eradicate the virus, contrary to the popular narrative being ran right now.

https://nbc-2.com/news/2021/05/14/can-the-world-eradicate-covid-19/

 

Good questions.  I'm of the opinion that covid-19 and it's variants are here to stay, just like the good 'ole seasonal flu.  And in the future medical science will develop a seasonal vaccine to handle both.

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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

Good questions.  I'm of the opinion that covid-19 and it's variants are here to stay, just like the good 'ole seasonal flu.  And in the future medical science will develop a seasonal vaccine to handle both.

I agree.  BUT - there isn't (currently) a vaccine requirement for the flu like is being considered for Covid, especially for international air travel.

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https://nypost.com/2021/07/18/media-silence-on-kamala-harris-meeting-with-infected-texas-dems/

Imagine if three Republican lawmakers who fled a state, flying maskless in a private jet rather than voting on a bill they didn’t like, caught COVID. And they met with a Republican vice president who then refused to even be tested for the virus.

The media would lose their minds. Reckless lawmakers subverting democracy, spreading the Delta variant, and an administration trying to hide the truth!

Of course, you don’t need to imagine the scenario. Three Texas lawmakers did flee the state, did come down with COVIDdid meet with Vice President Kamala Harris, and she refuses to get tested. But because there are “Ds” next to their names, there’s barely an outcry.

But they’re all vaccinated, you say. True. Which means they probably will exhibit few symptoms and be just fine.

The problem, as it has been this entire pandemic, is the hypocrisy. Like the George Floyd protesters last year, it’s OK for the liberal lawmakers to fly in a superspreader flight — because their cause is just. Meanwhile, in California, Los Angeles County is making everyone — vaccinated or not — mask again. Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the schools completely masked, even though everyone over 12 can get a vaccine.

How about a little common sense? Flare-ups among the vaccinated are not a big deal, as this incident shows. They should be treated that way.

Meanwhile, Harris needs to follow the protocols just like everyone else. Get tested, and see if she’s spreading the virus even if she’s not suffering from it.

President Biden is blaming everyone — Facebook, ex-Prez Donald Trump, the GOP — for his failure to hit his vaccination targets. Perhaps he should take a look at Democratic hypocrisy.

Again - apparently this incredibly smart virus knows not to target "real" democrats standing against voter reform. 

ALSO - this incredibly smart virus was certainly able to cure the flu in 2020.......

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https://www.tmnews.com/story/sports/2021/07/19/donnie-lambrecht-passes-covid-19-bnl-track-field/8014257002/

 

From the article:

Quote

BEDFORD — Donnie Lambrecht loved to throw things.

In no way is that meant to insinuate that Lambrecht, the lovable BNL assistant track coach who passed away from COVID-19 last week, liked to throw his weight around for social or personal gain. He was definitely not that that kind of pretentious person. In fact, Donnie was as nice and humble a man as you'd ever meet, always greeting friends with a huge smile and hello in his unassuming, aw-shucks drawl.

No, he loved to throw things. 

In high school, as a football lineman, he liked to throw shoulder pads out of the way. The fact that the opposing player happened to be inside those pads made it all the better. He also loved throwing the shot put and discus in track and field before graduating in 1981.

Next, as a U.S. Army soldier for three years active duty at Fort Hood and 17 more with the Indiana National Guard, he liked to throw an occasional grenade and a fellow troop member or two in the hand-to-hand combat pit.

Donnie then came back home, bought a farm, and had to start throwing hay and horseshoes and all kinda critters. They probably were not the things he loved to throw, but had to throw in order to live the country life with the heavy involvement in 4-H that he and his family adored.

He married his sweetheart Stefanie Vaught in 1985, and before long, Donnie had kids that he loved throwing up in the air in the gentle way all good dads do; always catching Sarah and Schuyler lightly on their descent, the way good dads do.

He soon got back to pursuing one of his true passions, and that was teaching Bedford North Lawrence's kids the right way to throw things, specifically the shot put and discus. 

His children grew up strong and athletic, and he coached them to standout track and field careers in high school and college.

Sarah is BNL's record holder in the discus with a toss of 144-10 in 2005, and went on to a standout career in the discus and hammer throw at Western Kentucky University. Schuyler was a stout pole vaulter and runner, who later became a decathlete.

Donnie also helped his niece, Megan Lambrecht, to a 2017 regional championship in the shot put and a school-record throw of 44-10, and then a fourth-place finish with a heave of 43-0-3/4 at the IHSAA State Finals. Donnie also helped guide his nephews, Jeremy and Jan, to becoming members of BNL's all-time best in the discus and shot.

But Donnie coached everybody's kids, any of them, girls or boys, willing to come out and give an honest, hard-working effort to try and improve. Donnie did this, essentially as a volunteer with a minor stipend, for 34 years, until he finally encountered something he couldn't throw.

He couldn't cast aside COVID-19.

Lambrecht contracted the vile virus earlier this month, and it was a nasty version that embedded itself in his lungs and never left. His system was weakened by the diabetes he had battled for years, and he succumbed to COVID complications late last week at the age of 57.

His loss will leave a huge void for his family, the competitors and the head coaches that he helped for more than three decades.

Deckard friendship goes way back

BNL boys track and field head coach Brett Deckard has the all-around perspective of knowing Lambrecht not only as his assistant, but far longer with both of them being lifelong Lawrence County 4-H members. The sudden setback has been heartbreaking for Deckard.

"I have known Donnie, it seems like, forever," he said. "We grew up milking cows and so did his family. He was in 4-H and then his kids were in 4-H as well as mine.

"Then he was a coach at BNL when I was coaching at Mitchell. We both were coaching throwers and we used to talk a lot about how to make kids better. His love for the kids was very evident. He was usually the first coach there and one of the last to leave because he just loved to stay around and talk about how we could make them better."

New pit dream a reality

Lambrecht was greatly looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics because the U.S. has one of its best throwing contingents of all time. And while his loss would have been sad and tragic at any time, it hurts so knowing that he was finally going to get the new discus area he had long coveted.

The current BNL discus area for practice or meets was a long walk across the parking lot to the practice football field above the softball field. Now, with the new football turf field installed and track renovations being made, discus throwers were going to have their own area in place with all the other competitors.

"He was so looking forward to this upcoming year with all the improvements to the track area. He has wanted for so long to move the discus around by the track and he won't get to see it come to fruition," Deckard said. "But we will never forget all the time and work and love he has put into BNL athletics."

Lewis remembers friend

BNL girls head track coach Jim Lewis shared similar sentiments.

"I knew Donnie first as an athlete's parent, then as coaching partner, and most importantly as a friend," he said. "I never questioned Donnie's dedication or coaching knowledge. He was always looking to find the best in each athlete both in competition and as a person.

"He spent his entire coaching career helping countless young athletes reach their potential. He will be truly missed."

Fondly remembered outside of BNL

His generosity and kindness was felt by opposing coaches as well. Springs Valley boys and girls head track coach Derek Freeman took mental notes when Donnie spoke with him about methods.

"Coaching throwers in the same sectional as Don over the years has been a blessing," he said. "I could always count on conversations with him like we were life-long friends. He was always so supportive of me building a program. He was willing to teach me as a coach and friend. He was a great mentor."

Zollman thankful for influence

Obviously, his athletes were impacted by his patience, knowledge and heartfelt attention when he was coaching them. Lambrecht led Jeremiah Zollman out of a sometimes testy upbringing to within inches of becoming a state champion. Zollman finished second in the shot put at the 2010 IHSAA State Finals with a school-record throw of 59-10-3/4.

"I'm sending prayers up to my old track coach Don Lambrecht," Zollman said in a Facebook tribute. "You were one hell of a man. I respected you so much. You're the only reason I was anything in high school, so  thank you so much for all you did for me and how you believed in me.

"I wish we could have one more time at the old shot put ring. Love ya buddy. R.I.P."

Personal reflection

In a personal note from the sports writer side of things, it was always fun and interesting to talk with Donnie at track meets, and his love of the sport and his athletes was always evident. He was never in a bad mood. Whether one of his proteges had won, lost or scratched out, one thing Donnie never threw was a temper tantrum. They had tried their best, and that's what mattered.

Long-time Times-Mail sports writer Bill Keane was the main track and field guy in his stint at the newspaper, and he summed up Donnie Lambrecht perfectly.

"Donnie was one of the most genuinely nice guys you could ever meet," Keane said. "And it didn’t matter if you just met him or had known him your entire life, it was readily apparent that he loved coaching and relished the opportunity to make a difference in a young athlete’s life.

"No one was more passionate about coaching, and his sport in general, than Donnie was. Whether I was talking to him after a meet or we bumped into each other somewhere, his face would always light up when he started talking about a kid who he felt had potential."

Rest in peace, Donnie Lambrecht.

Contact Times-Mail Sports Writer Jeff Bartlett at jeffb@tmnews.com, or on Twitter @jeffbtmnews.

 

RIP Coach Lambrecht. I went to school with both of his kids- his son is a year younger than me, and his daughter is a year older than me. Coach Lambrecht was one of the best. 

My father is over 10 years older than Coach Lambrecht. 

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https://www.dailywire.com/news/rand-paul-im-making-criminal-referral-to-doj-for-anthony-fauci-because-he-has-lied-to-congress?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=benshapiro&fbclid=IwAR33NY5yUcZS0WMhBSBnnuN0_DZVs9tB6I9QcH22l3qUqpddNDrIkxnSH7k

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on Tuesday night that he is referring Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to the president, to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation because Fauci has allegedly lied to Congress.

“You kicked off your questioning of Dr. Fauci emphasizing federal law makes lying to Congress a felony punishable by up to five years in prison,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said to Paul during an interview on Tuesday night. “Is it your belief based on the evidence, senator, that he lied before Congress and broke the law?”

“Yes, and I will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress,” Paul answered.

The remarks from Paul came after the two got into an explosive exchange during a Senate hearing that appeared to leave Fauci literally shaking in anger.

FactCheck.org, which has covered the funding controversy in the past, previously reported that the answer to whether or not NIH funding was directed to the Wuhan lab and used to further gain-of-function research “depends on whom you ask and their definition of gain-of-function.” (Read the full report here.) The funding claim revolves around a six-figure grant that NIH provided to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which in turn, directed money toward a Wuhan Institute of Virology project.

Josh Rogin, a columnist at The Washington Post, summarized the exchange between Fauci and Paul by writing on Twitter: “Hey guys, @RandPaul was right and Fauci was wrong. The NIH was funding gain of function research in Wuhan but NIH pretended it didn’t meet their ‘gain of function’ definition to avoid their own oversight mechanism. SorryNotSorry if that doesn’t fit your favorite narrative.”

Transcript and video of the exchange featured below:

PAUL: Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress. Section 1.0.0.1 of the US Criminal Code creates a felony and a five-year penalty for lying to Congress. On your last trip to our committee on May 11th, you stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And yet, gain of function research was done entirely in the Wuhan Institute by Dr. Shi and was funded by the NIH. I’d like to ask unanimous consent insert into the record the Wuhan virology paper entitled Discovery of a Rich Gene Pool of Bat SARS Related Coronaviruses. Please deliver a copy of the journal article to Dr. Fauci.

In this paper, Dr. Shi credits the NIH and lists the actual number of the grant that she was given by the NIH. In this paper, she took two bat coronavirus genes, spike genes, and combined them with a SARS related backbone to create new viruses that are not found in nature. These lab created viruses were then to shown to replicate in humans. These experiments combined genetic information from different coronaviruses that infect animals, but not humans, to create novel artificial viruses able to infect human cells. Viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans. This research fits the definition of the research that the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014 to 2017, a pause in funding on gain of function, but the NIH failed to recognize this, defines it away, and it never came under any scrutiny. Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist from Rutgers, described this research in Wuhan as the Wuhan lab used NIH funding to construct novel chimeric SARS related to coronaviruses able to infect human cells and laboratory animals. This is high risk research that creates new potential pandemic pathogens, potential pandemic pathogens that exist only in the lab, not in nature. This research matches … these are Dr. Ebright’s words. This research matches, indeed epitomizes the definition of gain of function research, done entirely in Wuhan, for which there was supposed to be a federal pause. Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th, where you claimed that the NIH never funded gains of function research in Wuhan.

FAUCI: Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you were referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function. What was … let me finish!

PAUL: You take an animal virus and you increase its transmissibility to humans. You’re saying that’s not gain of function?

FAUCI: Yeah, that is correct. And Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly. And I want to say that officially, you do not know what you are talking about, okay? You get one person … can I answer?

PAUL: This is your definition that you guys wrote. It says that scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain of function. They took animal viruses that only occur in animals, and they increased their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain of function –

FAUCI: It is not.

PAUL: It’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): Let’s let Dr. Fauci –

FAUCI: I have to … well, now you’re getting into something. If the point that you are making is that the grant that was funded as a sub award from EcoHealth to Wuhan created SARS- CoV-2, that’s where you were getting. Let me finish.

PAUL: We don’t know.

FAUCI: Wait a minute.

PAUL: We don’t know that it didn’t come from the lab, but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab, and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself.

FAUCI: I totally resent –

MURRAY: This committee will allow the witness to respond.

FAUCI: I totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, senator, because if you look at the viruses that were used in the experiments that were given in the annual reports that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible.

PAUL: No one’s saying those viruses caused it. No one is –

FAUCI: It is molecularly –

PAUL: – saying that those viruses caused the pandemic. What we’re alleging is the gain of function research was going on in that lab and NIH funded it.

FAUCI: That is not –

PAUL: You can’t get away from it. It meets your definition and you are obfuscating the truth.

FAUCI: I am not obfuscating the truth. You are the one –

MURRAY: Senator Paul, your time has expired, but I will allow the witness to –

FAUCI: Let me just finish. I want everyone to understand that if you look at those viruses, and that’s judged by qualified virologists and evolutionary biologists, those viruses are molecularly impossible to result –

PAUL: No one’s saying they are. No one’s saying those viruses caused the pandemic.

MURRAY: Senator Paul –

PAUL: We’re saying they are gain of function viruses, because they were animal viruses that became more transmissible in human and you funded it. And you won’t admit the truth.

FAUCI: And you implying –

MURRAY: Senator Paul, your time has expired, and I will allow witnesses who come before this committee to respond.

FAUCI: And you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individual. I totally resent that.

PAUL: It could have been. It could have been.

FAUCI: And if anybody is lying here, senator it is you.

 

SF has opined since last March that Dr. Fauci is a brilliant bureaucrat who has the ability to spin both sides of the argument as the truth depending on the question or topic at hand.  I have felt sooner or later he would get caught up in a situation like this where he was attempting to justify something questionable.  (IMHO) In this situation before the Senate he realized he overplayed his hand relative to the funding Senator Paul is questioning, and his answer was a definite denial and a brazen rebuke of the Senator by telling him he doesn't know what he is talking about.  

Bottom line - Senator Paul may be splitting hairs on terminology, but based on the wording of both the definition and Dr. Fauci's previous testimony, he is correct, and Dr. Fauci knows it.

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40 minutes ago, swordfish said:

https://www.dailywire.com/news/rand-paul-im-making-criminal-referral-to-doj-for-anthony-fauci-because-he-has-lied-to-congress?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=benshapiro&fbclid=IwAR33NY5yUcZS0WMhBSBnnuN0_DZVs9tB6I9QcH22l3qUqpddNDrIkxnSH7k

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced on Tuesday night that he is referring Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to the president, to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation because Fauci has allegedly lied to Congress.

“You kicked off your questioning of Dr. Fauci emphasizing federal law makes lying to Congress a felony punishable by up to five years in prison,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said to Paul during an interview on Tuesday night. “Is it your belief based on the evidence, senator, that he lied before Congress and broke the law?”

“Yes, and I will be sending a letter to the Department of Justice asking for a criminal referral because he has lied to Congress,” Paul answered.

The remarks from Paul came after the two got into an explosive exchange during a Senate hearing that appeared to leave Fauci literally shaking in anger.

FactCheck.org, which has covered the funding controversy in the past, previously reported that the answer to whether or not NIH funding was directed to the Wuhan lab and used to further gain-of-function research “depends on whom you ask and their definition of gain-of-function.” (Read the full report here.) The funding claim revolves around a six-figure grant that NIH provided to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which in turn, directed money toward a Wuhan Institute of Virology project.

Josh Rogin, a columnist at The Washington Post, summarized the exchange between Fauci and Paul by writing on Twitter: “Hey guys, @RandPaul was right and Fauci was wrong. The NIH was funding gain of function research in Wuhan but NIH pretended it didn’t meet their ‘gain of function’ definition to avoid their own oversight mechanism. SorryNotSorry if that doesn’t fit your favorite narrative.”

Transcript and video of the exchange featured below:

PAUL: Dr. Fauci, as you are aware, it is a crime to lie to Congress. Section 1.0.0.1 of the US Criminal Code creates a felony and a five-year penalty for lying to Congress. On your last trip to our committee on May 11th, you stated that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. And yet, gain of function research was done entirely in the Wuhan Institute by Dr. Shi and was funded by the NIH. I’d like to ask unanimous consent insert into the record the Wuhan virology paper entitled Discovery of a Rich Gene Pool of Bat SARS Related Coronaviruses. Please deliver a copy of the journal article to Dr. Fauci.

In this paper, Dr. Shi credits the NIH and lists the actual number of the grant that she was given by the NIH. In this paper, she took two bat coronavirus genes, spike genes, and combined them with a SARS related backbone to create new viruses that are not found in nature. These lab created viruses were then to shown to replicate in humans. These experiments combined genetic information from different coronaviruses that infect animals, but not humans, to create novel artificial viruses able to infect human cells. Viruses that in nature only infect animals were manipulated in the Wuhan lab to gain the function of infecting humans. This research fits the definition of the research that the NIH said was subject to the pause in 2014 to 2017, a pause in funding on gain of function, but the NIH failed to recognize this, defines it away, and it never came under any scrutiny. Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist from Rutgers, described this research in Wuhan as the Wuhan lab used NIH funding to construct novel chimeric SARS related to coronaviruses able to infect human cells and laboratory animals. This is high risk research that creates new potential pandemic pathogens, potential pandemic pathogens that exist only in the lab, not in nature. This research matches … these are Dr. Ebright’s words. This research matches, indeed epitomizes the definition of gain of function research, done entirely in Wuhan, for which there was supposed to be a federal pause. Dr. Fauci, knowing that it is a crime to lie to Congress, do you wish to retract your statement of May 11th, where you claimed that the NIH never funded gains of function research in Wuhan.

FAUCI: Senator Paul, I have never lied before the Congress, and I do not retract that statement. This paper that you were referring to was judged by qualified staff up and down the chain as not being gain of function. What was … let me finish!

PAUL: You take an animal virus and you increase its transmissibility to humans. You’re saying that’s not gain of function?

FAUCI: Yeah, that is correct. And Senator Paul, you do not know what you are talking about, quite frankly. And I want to say that officially, you do not know what you are talking about, okay? You get one person … can I answer?

PAUL: This is your definition that you guys wrote. It says that scientific research that increases the transmissibility among animals is gain of function. They took animal viruses that only occur in animals, and they increased their transmissibility to humans. How you can say that is not gain of function –

FAUCI: It is not.

PAUL: It’s a dance, and you’re dancing around this because you’re trying to obscure responsibility for 4 million people dying around the world from a pandemic.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): Let’s let Dr. Fauci –

FAUCI: I have to … well, now you’re getting into something. If the point that you are making is that the grant that was funded as a sub award from EcoHealth to Wuhan created SARS- CoV-2, that’s where you were getting. Let me finish.

PAUL: We don’t know.

FAUCI: Wait a minute.

PAUL: We don’t know that it didn’t come from the lab, but all the evidence is pointing that it came from the lab, and there will be responsibility for those who funded the lab, including yourself.

FAUCI: I totally resent –

MURRAY: This committee will allow the witness to respond.

FAUCI: I totally resent the lie that you are now propagating, senator, because if you look at the viruses that were used in the experiments that were given in the annual reports that were published in the literature, it is molecularly impossible.

PAUL: No one’s saying those viruses caused it. No one is –

FAUCI: It is molecularly –

PAUL: – saying that those viruses caused the pandemic. What we’re alleging is the gain of function research was going on in that lab and NIH funded it.

FAUCI: That is not –

PAUL: You can’t get away from it. It meets your definition and you are obfuscating the truth.

FAUCI: I am not obfuscating the truth. You are the one –

MURRAY: Senator Paul, your time has expired, but I will allow the witness to –

FAUCI: Let me just finish. I want everyone to understand that if you look at those viruses, and that’s judged by qualified virologists and evolutionary biologists, those viruses are molecularly impossible to result –

PAUL: No one’s saying they are. No one’s saying those viruses caused the pandemic.

MURRAY: Senator Paul –

PAUL: We’re saying they are gain of function viruses, because they were animal viruses that became more transmissible in human and you funded it. And you won’t admit the truth.

FAUCI: And you implying –

MURRAY: Senator Paul, your time has expired, and I will allow witnesses who come before this committee to respond.

FAUCI: And you are implying that what we did was responsible for the deaths of individual. I totally resent that.

PAUL: It could have been. It could have been.

FAUCI: And if anybody is lying here, senator it is you.

 

SF has opined since last March that Dr. Fauci is a brilliant bureaucrat who has the ability to spin both sides of the argument as the truth depending on the question or topic at hand.  I have felt sooner or later he would get caught up in a situation like this where he was attempting to justify something questionable.  (IMHO) In this situation before the Senate he realized he overplayed his hand relative to the funding Senator Paul is questioning, and his answer was a definite denial and a brazen rebuke of the Senator by telling him he doesn't know what he is talking about.  

Bottom line - Senator Paul may be splitting hairs on terminology, but based on the wording of both the definition and Dr. Fauci's previous testimony, he is correct, and Dr. Fauci knows it.

 

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9818503/FORTY-percent-new-COVID-cases-Missouri-Texas-Florida.html

  • Alabama Governor Kay Ivey hit out at Americans who have refused to get vaccinated on Thursday 
  • 'It's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,' Ivey, a Republican, told reporters 
  • It came as cases have nearly tripled across the nation in the past three weeks as the Delta variant spreads
  • Alabama and other states in the South have been hit hardest due to their lower vaccination rates  
  • Florida, Missouri and Texas accounted for 40 percent of active COVID-19 cases in the US as of Thursday
  • In Florida, cases have increased by around 500 percent in the past two weeks   
  • White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients on Thursday said several states with the highest proportion of new cases are now seeing vaccination rates rise faster than the nation as a whole

 

So now (according to the Alabama Governor) there are regular folks and there are unvaccinated folks........

Again - why in the world would someone who is vaccinated give a rat's patooty about someone who is not vaccinated?  Why would they care?  They've been vaccinated and are immune and "can't catch the virus" (according to the current President - look it up, he said it https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jul/22/joe-biden/biden-exaggerates-efficacy-covid-19-vaccines/ )  I say let em live with the consequences of their (in)actions if that's their choice.  (Unless the vaccinated don't really trust the vaccine)

 

 

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2 hours ago, swordfish said:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-9818503/FORTY-percent-new-COVID-cases-Missouri-Texas-Florida.html

  • Alabama Governor Kay Ivey hit out at Americans who have refused to get vaccinated on Thursday 
  • 'It's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down,' Ivey, a Republican, told reporters 
  • It came as cases have nearly tripled across the nation in the past three weeks as the Delta variant spreads
  • Alabama and other states in the South have been hit hardest due to their lower vaccination rates  
  • Florida, Missouri and Texas accounted for 40 percent of active COVID-19 cases in the US as of Thursday
  • In Florida, cases have increased by around 500 percent in the past two weeks   
  • White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients on Thursday said several states with the highest proportion of new cases are now seeing vaccination rates rise faster than the nation as a whole

 

So now (according to the Alabama Governor) there are regular folks and there are unvaccinated folks........

Again - why in the world would someone who is vaccinated give a rat's patooty about someone who is not vaccinated?  Why would they care?  They've been vaccinated and are immune and "can't catch the virus" (according to the current President - look it up, he said it https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jul/22/joe-biden/biden-exaggerates-efficacy-covid-19-vaccines/ )  I say let em live with the consequences of their (in)actions if that's their choice.  (Unless the vaccinated don't really trust the vaccine)

Wait until this plays out in the NFL, and someone has to forfeit a game because of COVID protocol originating with an unvaccinated player. All his teammates will lose their game check, too. How do you think that will go down in the locker room?

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Bringing Back Mask Mandates Is Pointless Signaling

https://reason.com/2021/07/22/mask-mandates-joe-biden-covid-19-virtue-signaling/

Quote

Brace yourselves: Mask mandates are coming back.

The Biden administration is already preparing the public for the return of COVID-19 mitigation efforts, given concerns about the more contagious delta variant of the disease. The president is reportedly in talks with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reintroduce mask mandates and social distancing requirements—and on Wednesday, Biden said that health officials are likely to recommend masks for all kids younger than 12 when school resumes in the fall. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County has reintroduced its mask mandate. Other Democratic-controlled municipalities may follow.

It's far from clear that this will do any good. The most effective COVID-19 mitigation strategy is the vaccines, which are now widely availably to everyone 12 or older. Virtually all people in serious risk of a negative coronavirus health outcome can take a vaccine that reduces their risk of death to almost nothing. (It's not absolutely nothing, but it's close.) If public health officials are worried about delta, they should put all their efforts into vaccination.

Mask mandates, on the other hand, largely function as a form of signaling. Vaccinated people who wear masks are communicating that they take the pandemic seriously, and policy makers who insist on mask requirements are associating themselves with a specific political tribe. If you've had your COVID shots, the mask is basically Team Blue's version of the Make America Great Again hat.

If officials are more concerned with health than with partisan signals—and they should be—then the era of the mask mandate must come to and end. When vaccines were unavailable and even medical experts did not understand the circumstances under which the infected were most likely to transmit the disease, widespread mask usage was likely useful in certain indoor settings, though even then it was probably driven "by factors other than mandates." But the vaccines change the calculation. If you're a fully vaccinated adult, you don't need the mask. And if you're an unvaccinated adult, you also don't need the mask—you need to get vaccinated. (If you're a kid, COVID-19 poses very, very little risk to your health.)

Theoretically, if there are places in the country where vaccine rates are very low, people who obstinately refuse to become vaccinated might get some small benefit out of widespread mask usage. But in practice, people who don't want to get the vaccine are unlikely to follow the other, more annoying mitigation strategies. On the contrary, the places that are most likely to reintroduce mask mandates and see widespread compliance are places where vaccination rates are very high.

Vaccination should not be thought of as just one tool among many: It is the tool. The masks are an insult to this life-saving, pandemic-crushing medical innovation.

 

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On 7/23/2021 at 5:47 PM, Bobref said:

Wait until this plays out in the NFL, and someone has to forfeit a game because of COVID protocol originating with an unvaccinated player. All his teammates will lose their game check, too. How do you think that will go down in the locker room?

Wouldn't the end result be the same if COVID originated from a vaccinated player (who can just as easily carry/transmit the same virus - kinda like the flu, common cold, etc.)?

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Why Is The CDC Quietly Abandoning The PCR Test For COVID?

https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/why-cdc-quietly-abandoning-pcr-test-covid

Quote

We have detailed (most recently here and here) the controversy surrounding America's COVID "casedemic" and the misleading results of the PCR test and its amplification procedure in great detail over the past few months.

2021-01-04_12-36-13_0.jpg?itok=7qspacK_

As a reminder, "cycle thresholds" (Ct) are the level at which widely used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can detect a sample of the COVID-19 virus. The higher the number of cycles, the lower the amount of viral load in the sample; the lower the cycles, the more prevalent the virus was in the original sample.

 

rt-pcr-tes-768x1008_0.png?itok=NTdJdqoz

Numerous epidemiological experts have argued that cycle thresholds are an important metric by which patients, the public, and policymakers can make more informed decisions about how infectious and/or sick an individual with a positive COVID-19 test might be. However, as JustTheNews reports, health departments across the country are failing to collect that data.

Here are a few headlines from those experts and scientific studies:

1. Experts compiled three datasets with officials from the states of Massachusetts, New York and Nevada that conclude:“Up to 90% of the people who tested positive did not carry a virus."

2. The Wadworth Center, a New York State laboratory, analyzed the results of its July tests at the request of the NYT: 794 positive tests with a Ct of 40: “With a Ct threshold of 35, approximately half of these PCR tests would no longer be considered positive,” said the NYT. “And about 70% would no longer be considered positive with a Ct of 30! “

3. An appeals court in Portugal has ruled that the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2, and therefore any enforced quarantine based on those test results is unlawful.

4. A new study from the Infectious Diseases Society of America, found that at 25 cycles of amplification, 70% of PCR test "positives" are not "cases" since the virus cannot be cultured, it's dead. And by 35: 97% of the positives are non-clinical.

5. PCR is not testing for disease, it's testing for a specific RNA pattern and this is the key pivot. When you crank it up to 25, 70% of the positive results are not really "positives" in any clinical sense, since it cannot make you or anyone else sick

So, in summary, with regard to our current "casedemic", positive tests as they are counted today do not indicate a “case” of anything. They indicate that viral RNA was found in a nasal swab. It may be enough to make you sick, but according to the New York Times and their experts, probably won’t. And certainly not sufficient replication of the virus to make anyone else sick. But you will be sent home for ten days anyway, even if you never have a sniffle. And this is the number the media breathlessly reports... and is used to fearmonger mask mandates and lockdowns nationwide...

GettyImages-1229761756.jpg?itok=whG3ht2h

In October we first exposed how PCR Tests have misled officials worldwide into insanely authoritative reactions.

As PJMedia's Stacey Lennox wrote, the “casedemic" is the elevated number of cases we see nationwide because of a flaw in the PCR test. The number of times the sample is amplified, also called the cycle threshold (Ct), is too high.

It identifies people who do not have a viral load capable of making them ill or transmitting the disease to someone else as positive for COVID-19.

The New York Times reported this flaw on August 29 and said that in the samples they reviewed from three states where labs use a Ct of 37-40, up to 90% of tests are essentially false positives. The experts in that article said a Ct of around 30 would be more appropriate for indicating that someone could be contagious - those for whom contact tracing would make sense.

Just a few days earlier, the CDC had updated its guidelines to discourage testing for asymptomatic individuals. It can only be assumed that the rationale for this was that some honest bureaucrat figured out the testing was needlessly sensitive. He or she has probably been demoted.

This change was preceded by a July update that discouraged retesting for recovered patients. The rationale for the update was that viral debris could be detected using the PCR test for 90 days after recovery. The same would be true for some period of time if an individual had an effective immune response and never got sick. Existing immunity from exposure to other coronaviruses has been well documented. These are many of your “asymptomatic” cases.

However, due to political pressure and corporate media tantrums, the new guidance on testing was scrapped, and testing for asymptomatic individuals is now recommended again. Doctors do not receive the Ct information from the labs to make a diagnostic judgment. Neither the CDC nor the FDA has put out guidelines for an accurate Ct to diagnose a contagious illness accurately.

Hence, our current “casedemic.” Positive tests as they are counted today do not indicate a “case” of anything. They indicate that viral RNA was found in a nasal swab. It may be enough to make you sick, but according to the New York Times and their experts, probably won’t. And certainly not sufficient replication of the virus to make anyone else sick. But you will be sent home for ten days anyway, even if you never have a sniffle. And this is the number the media breathlessly reports.

A month later, Dr. Pascal Sacré, explained in great detail how all current propaganda on the COVID-19 pandemic is based on an assumption that is considered obvious, true and no longer questioned: Positive RT-PCR test means being sick with COVID.

This assumption is misleading.  Very few people, including doctors, understand how a PCR test works.

2020-11-10_5-34-45_0.jpg?itok=AKtRSeyl

In mid-November, none other than he who should not be questioned - Dr. Anthony Fauci - admitted that the PCR Test's high Ct is misleading:

“What is now sort of evolving into a bit of a standard,” Fauci said, is that “if you get a cycle threshold of 35 or more … the chances of it being replication-confident are minuscule.”

“It’s very frustrating for the patients as well as for the physicians,” he continued, when “somebody comes in, and they repeat their PCR, and it’s like [a] 37 cycle threshold, but you almost never can culture virus from a 37 threshold cycle.”

So, I think if somebody does come in with 37, 38, even 36, you got to say, you know, it’s just dead nucleotides, period.”

So, if anyone raises this discussion as a "conspiracy", refer them to Dr.Fauci.

In response to this and the actual "science", Florida's Department of Health (and signed off on by Florida's Republican Governor Ron deSantis), decided that for the first time in the history of the pandemic, a state will require that all labs in the state report the critical “cycle threshold” level of every COVID-19 test they perform.

Then, in January,  as Biden takes office, The FDA publicly admits it...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting patients and health care providers of the risk of false results... with the Curative SARS-Cov-2 test.

First Fauci, then WHO, and then FDA all admit there is malarkey in the PCR Tests, but have - until now, done nothing about it... allowing the daily fearmongering of soaring "cases" to enable their most twisted 1984-esque controls.

All of which brings us to today's announcement from The FDA, that it will be abandoning the PCR Test for COVID at the end of the year.

Audience: Individuals Performing COVID-19 Testing

Level: Laboratory Alert

After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only. CDC is providing this advance notice for clinical laboratories to have adequate time to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives.

Visit the FDA website for a list of authorized COVID-19 diagnostic methods. For a summary of the performance of FDA-authorized molecular methods with an FDA reference panel, visit this page.

In preparation for this change, CDC recommends clinical laboratories and testing sites that have been using the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR assay select and begin their transition to another FDA-authorized COVID-19 test. CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Such assays can facilitate continued testing for both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 and can save both time and resources as we head into influenza season. Laboratories and testing sites should validate and verify their selected assay within their facility before beginning clinical testing.

The question one is forced to ask is simple - as with everything else that happens in the Healthcare-Industrial-Complex - cui bono?

Is another provider of testing about to be enrichened?

Or is it even more sinister than standard crony capitalism? Given the traditional winter spike in 'flu' cases and the PCR-Test-driven "casedemic" we experienced into the election and through the start of the Biden administration, one could be forgiven for suggesting that the last thing an already weakened Democratic Party, desperate to cling to control in DC, would be a dramatic re-emergence of the "deadly" virus (driven by the numerous false positives of the PCR Test as described in detail above) ahead of the Midterms?

Killing off the PCR Test would go a long way to "solving" the "casedemic" and offer Biden and his pals a positive talking point for voters.

Bingo.  All politics.

 

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According to the news of today - we are SO on the VERGE of falling off the cliff thanks to the Delta variant and all the unvaccinated........and ....Yet deaths by COVID (IMHO) are pretty dagum low.......but - Panic Button Netflix GIF by NailedIt

May be an image of text that says '9:10 Overview Statistics Testing Symptoms Û All regions Prevention News All time Deaths United States 6,00 4,000 ↑ 2,000 Coping Treatments GO 26, 2021 Deaths: 273 7-day avg: 275 0 Jun 18 Sep 24 Dec 31 Apr8 5'

I MEAN,TO BRAG BUT, THIS IS THE TENTH END OF THE WORLD I'VE SURVIVED - )

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Let's deny masks work, then mandate masks, then never differentiate between medical grade n95 masks & pieces of cloth, then mask only children for a bit, then reimpose universal mask mandates on vaccinated people and then ask why trust in institutions is crumbling.

— Zach Weissmueller (@TheAbridgedZach) July 23, 2021

 

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https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-new-mask-guidelines-politics-control

DOOCY: If it’s a pandemic of the unvaccinated still, then why vaccinated people need to put the masks back on?

JEN PSAKI: …If you are vaccinated, it can save your life. And I think the clear data shows that this pandemic is killing, is hospitalizing, is making people very sick who are not vaccinated. Does that still continue to be the case regardless of what the mask guidance looks like? 

PETER DOOCY: If vaccines work…why do people who’ve had the vaccine need to wear masks the same as people who have not had it. 

PSAKI: Because the public health leaders in our administration have made the determination, based on data, that is a way to make sure they are protected, their loved ones are protected, and that’s an extra step given the transmissibility of the virus.

So the vaccines work, the only people getting sick are the unvaccinated, but the vaccinated still have to wear masks. Why is that?                                  

You just read it. Quote: "public health leaders in our administration have made the determination." In other words, because we said so. That’s the medical justification for suffocating your third grader with a paper mask forever. "Public health leaders in the administration have made the determination." They issue the rule, without explaining it. You then obey it. If you question it, CNN calls you a murderer. That’s how our government works.  

"Because we said so"

 

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Should Taxpayers Be on the Hook for All Rental Debt Accrued During the Pandemic?

https://reason.com/2021/07/29/should-taxpayers-be-on-the-hook-for-all-rental-debt-accrued-during-the-pandemic/

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Landlords are arguing in a new lawsuit that the federal government's eviction moratorium is an uncompensated taking of their property. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision might see them succeed.

On Tuesday, a group of large rental housing owners and the National Apartment Association (NAA), a trade association, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims demanding compensation for the rental income they've lost during the pandemic.

Their lawsuit says that the eviction moratorium imposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—which bars the removal of nonpaying tenants who sign declarations of financial hardship—forced them to house delinquent renters in lieu of tenants who could pay their bills.

That, they say, represents a seizure of their property under the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause, and that they are therefore entitled to just compensation.

"Plaintiffs seek just compensation for the deprivation of their property rights and the value of the property taken or illegally exacted by the Government," reads the complaint. "This includes the amount of rental income Plaintiffs would have received in the absence of the physical occupation and taking or exaction of their property and property rights under and as a direct result of the CDC [eviction moratorium]."

"Even with the amount of money that Congress has authorized, it's not enough to cover the rent debt that is out there," says Bob Pinnegar, president of the NAA. "It's obvious that the federal government does not have the political will to authorize more dollars."

The COVID-19 relief bills passed in December 2020 and March 2021 included $46 billion in funding for emergency rental relief—the rollout of which has been painstakingly slow in some states. The NAA estimates on its website that there's another $26 billion in rental debt not covered by those funds.

"Ultimately we want to see this industry made whole for the burden that's been imposed upon us," says Pinnegar.

Thus far, most lawsuits challenging the federal government's eviction moratorium have focused on whether the CDC overstepped its authority by imposing it. The takings claim made by the NAA and its fellow plaintiffs, and the demands for compensation, are more novel.

That's partly a result of timing, says Ethan Blevins, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation.

"One of the reasons there hasn't been a takings claim to date is that the moratorium isn't over. Damages are accruing as we speak," says Blevins. With the CDC's moratorium set to expire at the end of the month, however, a lawsuit on those grounds now makes more sense.

Helping the NAA's case is a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Cedar Point Nursery case handed down in June. That decision found that a California law requiring employers to give union organizers access to their property was a taking, and thus entitled those employers to compensation.

"The Supreme Court gave a big boon to challenges to these moratoria on Takings Clause  grounds," said Blevins. "All you have to show is that the government has authorized a temporary invasion of private property and this really does look like that. The CDC moratorium, even though it's temporary, requires landlords to allow a tenant who's in breach of the lease agreement because of nonpayment  to occupy the premises."

The much stickier question is how much compensation the government might actually owe landlords for this taking, as well as how much is fair to ask taxpayers to cover.

The NAA is asking for the government to cover all rent landlords would have been paid in the absence of the CDC's eviction order, which it claims is in excess of the $46 billion already appropriated for rent relief. The lawsuit notes that the CDC has justified its moratorium on the grounds that 30–40 million renters would be at risk of eviction without the agency's protection.

That estimate, published by the Aspen Institute in August 2020, is quite likely overblown. Despite the warnings of advocates, evictions have been below historic averages most everywhere during the pandemic, even in places covered only by the much more limited moratorium imposed by the March 2020–passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. (That policy expired in July 2020. The CDC's eviction moratorium went into effect in September.)

That suggests that, in the absence of a federal eviction moratorium, many landlords would still have kept on delinquent tenants who've accumulated thousands in rental arrears. Even if they didn't, their chances of recovering thousands in back rent from former tenants via small claims lawsuits is unlikely.

This is one of the reasons that some state-level landlord groups have been accepting of various state rent relief programs that only cover a portion of rent debt. When California passed a law in January 2020 extending eviction protections while promising to cover 80 percent of the rental debt owed to landlords, housing providers in the state shrugged.

It's "an option that most owners will find acceptable because I think they understand going forward that it will be extremely difficult for a tenant to pay any of that past rent, because in some cases, it's a pretty high bill," Debra Carlton of the California Apartment Association told Reason in February.

The federal eviction moratorium is thus putting taxpayers in a position of potentially having to cover the losses of the rental housing industry that housing providers would have otherwise had to absorb; regardless of what limits on eviction were in place.

That doesn't mean eviction moratoriums are costless.

Pinnegar says that landlords and hard-pressed tenants have generally been able to work out deals during the pandemic, but that eviction moratoriums have enabled some renters to "ghost" landlords trying to figure out an arrangement.

Had we not had a blanket ban on evictions, property owners would have had a lot more discretion to cut deals with good-faith renters and evict bad actors.

As a legal matter, the fact that the eviction moratorium doesn't forgive tenants' obligation to pay rent will also complicate things when determining what compensation the government might owe landlords.

"Technically, tenants are still on the hook [for rent]. One of the government's major arguments [will be] is that where is there's a third party here who still owes this debt, the government is not the correct party to be on the hook for that money," says Blevins.

The NAA filed its lawsuit yesterday. Pinnegar says his organization is prepared to take it all the way up to the Supreme Court.

A knee-jerk government reaction may cost U.S. taxpayers billions.  Again.

 

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The Biden Administration Continues to Exaggerate the Risk Posed by COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections While Slamming the Press for Doing the Same Thing

https://reason.com/2021/08/01/the-biden-administration-continues-to-exaggerate-the-risk-posed-by-covid-19-breakthrough-infections-while-slamming-the-press-for-doing-the-same-thing/

Quote

The Biden administration is concerned about the alarm it predictably generated by emphasizing the danger of COVID-19 cases in people vaccinated against the disease. But even as the administration pushes back against overwrought news coverage of its justification for recommending that vaccinated Americans resume wearing face masks in public places, it continues to exaggerate the risk of "breakthrough" infections.

"The White House is frustrated with what it views as alarmist, and in some instances flat-out misleading, news coverage about the Delta variant," CNN's Oliver Darcy reports. "The media's coverage doesn't match the moment," an unnamed "senior Biden administration official" told Darcy. "It has been hyperbolic and frankly irresponsible in a way that hardens vaccine hesitancy. The biggest problem we have is unvaccinated people getting and spreading the virus."

In what sense has the coverage been hyperbolic and irresponsible? "At the heart of the matter is the news media's focus on breakthrough infections, which the CDC has said are rare," Darcy explains. "In some instances, poorly framed headlines and cable news chyrons wrongly suggested that vaccinated Americans are just as likely to spread the disease as unvaccinated Americans." But as Darcy notes, "vaccinated Americans still have a far lower chance of becoming infected with the coronavirus" than unvaccinated Americans and therefore "are responsible for far less spread of the disease."

Where did reporters get the idea that vaccinated carriers account for a much larger share of virus transmission than they actually do? Possibly from Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For "every 20 vaccinated people," Walensky told CNN's John Berman last Wednesday, "one or two of them could get a breakthrough infection." Based on studies conducted before and after vaccines were approved by the Food and Drug Administration, that estimate is off by at least an order of magnitude. In fact, it implies that vaccinated people face a higher risk of infection than unvaccinated people do.

Ben Wakana, deputy director of strategic communications and engagement at the White Office and a member of the administration's COVID-19 Response Team, offered a similar risk estimate on Friday. "Let's be clear," he tweeted. "If 10 vaccinated people walk into a room full of COVID, about 9 of them would walk out of the room WITH NO COVID. Nine of them."

Both of these estimates seem to be based on a misconception about the effectiveness rates reported in vaccine studies. When a vaccine is described as 90 percent effective against infection, that does not mean 10 percent of vaccinated subjects were infected. Rather, it means the risk of infection among vaccinated people was 90 percent lower than the risk among unvaccinated people.

What does that mean in terms of absolute risk? In one U.S. study of adults who had received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, the incidence of positive COVID-19 tests among fully vaccinated subjects was 0.048 per 1,000 person-days, compared to 0.43 per 1,000 person-days among the unvaccinated controls, yielding an effectiveness rate of 89 percent. A study of U.S. health care workers put the incidence of infection at 1.38 per 1,000 person-days when the subjects were unvaccinated, compared to 0.04 per 1,000 person-days when they were fully vaccinated, yielding an effectiveness rate of 97 percent.

Wakana, by contrast, is saying vaccinated people face a 10 percent risk of infection every time they "walk into a room full of COVID." Although he thinks that is reassuring, it is actually quite alarming, suggesting that vaccination somehow makes people more vulnerable to infection. Even in studies where the delta variant accounts for most cases, infection rates among unvaccinated people over an extended period of time are far lower than Wakana's estimate of the risk for vaccinated people from a single visit to an indoor space where carriers are present.

Given Wakana's gross exaggeration of the breakthrough infection risk, his criticism of news outlets he charges with undermining public confidence in vaccines is hard to take seriously. "VACCINATED PEOPLE DO NOT TRANSMIT THE VIRUS AT THE SAME RATE AS UNVACCINATED PEOPLE," he tweeted a few hours before claiming that one in 10 vaccinated people will be infected if they enter a COVID-tainted room. "IF YOU FAIL TO INCLUDE THAT CONTEXT YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG."

Wakana was responding to this New York Times tweet: "The Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be spread by vaccinated people as easily as the unvaccinated, an internal C.D.C. report said." Wakana is right that the missing context—the fact that vaccinated people are highly unlikely to be infected in the first place, even by the especially contagious delta variant—made that tweet potentially misleading. But it's true that the CDC has suggested the delta variant "may be spread by vaccinated people," assuming they defy the odds by becoming infected, "as easily as the unvaccinated."

When it published a study of a COVID-19 outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Friday, the CDC reported that it found "similarly high SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in vaccinated and unvaccinated people," which it said "raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with Delta can transmit the virus." It remains unclear whether that finding means vaccinated people infected by the delta variant are as likely to spread it as unvaccinated people.

The CDC cautions that the indicator of viral loads used in the study may be misleading. Assuming that the viral loads in nasal samples from vaccinated people were indeed similar to the viral loads in nasal samples from unvaccinated people, that does not necessarily mean the two groups were equally likely to transmit the virus. Researchers are still trying to figure out how many of the Provincetown cases (if any) were caused by vaccinated carriers. And given that three-quarters of the 469 cases described by the CDC involved "symptoms consistent with COVID-19," the similarity of viral loads in nasal samples may not apply to asymptomatic infections, which easily could have been missed.

Still, the misleading impression left by the New York Times tweet pales in comparison with the blatant misinformation that the Biden administration is disseminating about the risk of breakthrough infections. The CDC and Walensky herself have repeatedly noted that breakthrough infections remain "rare," notwithstanding the delta variant, and that unvaccinated people account for "the vast majority" of transmission. Those observations cannot be reconciled with the notion that one in 10 vaccinated people who enter a room where COVID-19 carriers are present will emerge with an infection.

Wakana also faulted The Washington Post for this tweet: "Vaccinated people made up three-quarters of those infected in a massive Massachusetts covid-19 outbreak, pivotal CDC study finds." That gloss was "completely irresponsible," he said, because "the CDC made clear that vaccinated individuals represent a VERY SMALL amount of transmission occurring around the country." He added that "virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated," which confirms that vaccines still provide excellent protection against serious cases. Wakana also could have noted a caveat that the CDC study mentions: Even though their risk of infection is very low, vaccinated people are bound to represent a growing share of infections as vaccination rates rise, and the vaccination rates in both Massachusetts and Provincetown are especially high.

But at least the Post accurately reported what the CDC's Provincetown study said. Wakana's statement about the probability of a breakthrough infection, by contrast, egregiously misrepresents what vaccine studies tell us.

Furthermore, the CDC's rationale for resuming universal masking itself implies that vaccinated people are playing a significant role in spreading the delta variant. As Darcy notes, "the CDC said it was changing its mask guidance because of the new data regarding rare instances in which a vaccinated person becomes infected and can then spread the virus." Former Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen, now a CNN medical analyst, suggests that explanation was misleading, if not disingenuous.

"They got it wrong," Wen told Darcy. "The reason why the guidance is changing is that COVID-19 is spreading really quickly, delta is a big problem, and the reason for the spread is because of the unvaccinated." In Wen's view, blanket mask mandates are appropriate because it is not feasible to exempt vaccinated people. But the CDC made no reference to that issue when it issued its new guidance, which recommends voluntary precautions that it thinks vaccinated people should take, regardless of whether state or local governments decide to require masks.

The CDC, in short, said vaccinated people should wear masks because of the danger they pose to others, which depends on the still very low probability that they will be infected as well as the still uncertain probability that they will transmit the virus if they are infected. Walensky defended that new position by grossly exaggerating the risk of breakthrough infections, and Wakana followed suit, even while attempting to reassure the public about the effectiveness of vaccines. Now the Biden administration is dismayed at the alarmist reporting it invited, which it rightly worries will deter people from being vaccinated. One need not give news outlets a pass for misleading the public to recognize that they were taking their cues from federal officials.

This "information" is just a huge *hitshow.  No wonder a significant number of the U.S. populace doesn't trust it.

 

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Don't forget the reality that has existed for a long time.  A virus can be carried by ANYONE, regardless of vaccination or not.  The symptoms are experienced greater in ANY unvaccinated group.  (ie: flu, strep, etc)  It seems everyone has forgotten this after last year.  A "case" of COVID is just that.  A case. 

 

BTW - Here's another thought......

Political-Cartoon-7.30.21.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Edited by swordfish
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