Jim Jordan Presses Dr. Fauci On COVID-19 Protest Hypocrisy

By Tyler Durden

Friday’s testimony before the House coronavirus subcommittee on Friday was supposed to be just another snoozefest with Dr. Fauci fielding the same questions from obsequious Democrats and hostile Republicans.

But viewers perked up roughly 2 hours into the hearing on Friday when Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, one of the good doctor’s most vocal critics, was called on to ask a question.

His initial question was simple enough: “Dr. Fauci,” Jordan asked. “Can protests spread the virus?”

Considering the straightforwardness of the question, Dr. Fauci seemed surprisingly startled. He took a few moments to gather his thoughts, then responded that all large gatherings where people aren’t complying with all social distancing recommendations are ill-advised – though, the good doctor insisted, he didn’t want to make a specific judgment about what types of activities are permissible, and which aren’t.

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CDC Director Says There are More Suicides and Overdoses than COVID Deaths

By Micaela Burrow

Center for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield testified in a Buck Institute webinar that suicides and drug overdoses have surpassed the death rate for COVID-19. Redfield argued that lockdowns and lack of public schooling constituted a disproportionally negative impact on young peoples’ mental health.

“We’re seeing, sadly, far greater suicides now than we are deaths from COVID. We’re seeing far greater deaths from drug overdose that are above excess that we had as background than we are seeing the deaths from COVID,” he said.

Roughly 146,000 people have died from COVID or COVID-related causes in the U.S., according to CDC data.

The most recent publicized federal data records 48,000 deaths from suicide and at least 1.4 million attempts in 2018. In 2019, almost 71,000 people died from drug overdoses.

Where Redfield obtained his data is unknown, although a doctor at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA claimed the facility has “seen a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.” He did not say how many deaths occurred, or whether the statement was exaggerated for emphasis.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen said. “I have never seen so much intentional injury,” said a nurse from the same hospital.

And while health authorities will not have verified data regarding suicides and drug overdoses in 2020 for two more years, local reporting indicates that suicide fatalities have increased year-on-year.

According to the American Medical Association, “More than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality as well as ongoing concerns for those with a mental illness or substance use disorder in counties and other areas within the state.”

In Eagle County, Colorado, six suicides have been recorded, just one below the yearly average. Colorado on the whole recorded a 40 percent decrease in suicides in March and April, but the number of calls to Colorado Crisis Services increased 48 percent.

The Chicago Sun-Times looked specifically at black populations. In Cook County, Illinois, the number of suicide deaths is already higher than for all of 2019.

In Yakima County, Washington, the suicide rate has risen 30 percent, according to the county coroner.

Between March 15 and April 29, as many people commited suicide in Queens, New York than did between January 1 and April 29 the year prior.

The Pima County Health Department in Arizona has recorded an uptick in suicide rates as well.

Historical trends give reason to believe the suicide rate may rise due to extenuating circumstances caused by COVID-19, including unemployment and social isolation. For example, in the year after the Great Recession in 2008, the rate in America was 6.4 percent higher than expected. While the rate didn’t’ “skyrocket,” as some have predicted it will this year, the coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown has dealt a worse blow to the U.S. psyche.

Thirty to 40 million jobs have been lost to the economic shutdown, compared to 2.6 million in 2008.

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A Tyranny of Health?

By Theodore Dalrymple


The dream of a society so perfect that no one will have to be good (as T.S. Eliot put it) is a beguiling one for intellectuals, perhaps because they think that they will be in charge of it, as a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “The Moral Determinants of Health” well illustrates.

In this article, which has the merit of being clear and logical, no single instance of individual conduct is mentioned as being necessary for, or conducive, to health. In the healthy society envisaged by the author, who is a public health doctor in Massachusetts, no one will have to try to behave well—not drink or eat too much, refrain from smoking or taking drugs, not indulge in hazardous pastimes, take recommended but safe exercise and so forth—because everything will come as a matter of course to him. Living in a perfect society, he will behave perfectly. The author’s means of achieving these ends are entirely political, and wildly impractical examples of progressivism without practical wisdom—and as such, unremarkable.

More troublingly, in the author’s view, at least implicitly, health is the goal of goals to which all other considerations ought to be subordinate. It is perhaps natural for a doctor to think this, concerned as he is, day in, day out, with the health of others, but nevertheless this is a very reductive view of life.

It goes almost without saying that health is desirable; no one would actually prefer to be unhealthy than healthy, though a considerable number do prefer to claim to be unhealthy, or unhealthier than they are. But we should remember that a life is not well- or badly-lived according only to its length. Mozart died at thirty-six, but would anyone say that his life would have been better-lived had he survived to seventy-two but without having composed any of his music? People, moreover, sacrifice their lives for any number of reasons, from the noblest to the most ignoble. Would anyone say that Martin Luther King lived badly because he exposed himself to assassination, which a nice quiet life would not have done? As is known, assassination is bad for the health; we do not say, therefore, that people who tell the truth despite threats are bad because they betray the cause of health and thereby lower (albeit infinitesimally) life expectancy in their society.

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Money-Supply Growth Hits New High for Third Month in a Row

By Ryan McMaken

n June, for the third month in a row, money supply growth surged to an all-time high, following new all-time highs in both April and May that came in the wake of unprecedented quantitative easing, central bank asset purchases, and various stimulus packages.

The growth rate has never been higher, with the 1970s the only period that comes close. It was expected that money supply growth would surge in recent months. This usually happens in the wake of the early months of a recession or financial crisis. The magnitude of the growth rate, however, was unexpected.

During June 2020, year-over-year (YOY) growth in the money supply was at 34.5 percent. That’s up from May’s rate of 29.5 percent, and up from June 2019’s rate of 2.04 percent. Historically, this is a very large surge in growth, both month over month and year over year. It is also quite a reversal from the trend that only just ended in August of last year, when growth rates were nearly bottoming out around 2 percent. In August, the growth rate hit a 120-month low, falling to the lowest growth rates we’d seen since 2007.

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A Picture is Worse than a Thousand Words

By Ramon P. DeGennaro, Phd

popular link circulating on the internet shows the results of a demonstration. Dr. Richard Davis sneezed, sang, talked, and coughed into agar cultures wearing a standard surgical mask, and again using no mask. The result is a powerful image: The cultures without the mask clearly show more microorganism growth.

The strongly worded conclusion from the post’s author? Wear a mask. That way, “Lives will be saved.”

A picture is worth a thousand words, but a picture is not a good substitute for thoughtful analysis. Does the image actually support the conclusion? Or even worse, is the image misleading, steering you to an incorrect conclusion?

Indeed, Dr. Davis’ own conclusion of his demonstration is considerably less emphatic than the author’s: “A mask preventing your spit & breath from flying out of your mouth, even if doesn’t catch it all, will stop some spread of bacteria (see [in this demonstration]) AND LIKELY VIRUS (not seen [in this demonstration]).” ~ Rich Davis, PhD, D(ABMM), MLS June 27, 2020, emphasis in the original.

That’s far less powerful. First, as Dr. Davis is careful to say, the cultures show bacterial growth, not viral growth. Bacteria are much larger than viruses, so a test showing that a mask blocks bacteria gives us no direct evidence that masks help block COVID-19 and other viral infections, such as the flu.

This doesn’t mean the demonstration is necessarily irrelevant for viral infections. But to inject a dramatic photo of bacterial cultures into the COVID-19 conversation is at best misleading. Masks may or may not be a good idea for you, but Captain Michael Doyle, the commanding officer of a coronavirus testing site, says, “The only mask that the CDC considers safe from you getting the coronavirus, the only way to actually prevent you from inhaling it, is the N95 mask.”

So, based on Captain Doyle’s statement, should we not bother to wear a mask? Again, masks may or may not be a good idea for you, but his statement is also potentially misleading: Although Captain Doyle is absolutely correct, he is discussing whether the mask protects the wearer. Perhaps we should consider those around us.

The rest of the article continues here….

The Metaphysics of Lockdown, According to Albert Camus

or many people, it was their first experience in a full denial of freedom. Locked in their homes. Prevented from traveling. Separated from loved ones. Forced to spend day after day wondering about big things previously unconsidered: why am I here, what are my goals, what is the purpose of my life?

It was a transformation. We are not the first to go through this. It is something experienced by prisoners, and by previous populations under lockdown.

I’m reading – over and over – Albert Camus’s classic and astonishingly brilliant book The Plague from 1947. There is a chapter that describes the inner life of people who have experienced lockdown for the first time. It came suddenly in the presence of a deadly disease. The entire town of 200,000 closed. No one in or out.

It’s fiction but all-too-real. I’m astonished at Camus’s perceptive insight here. Reading it slowly and nearly out loud is an experience. The poetry of the prose is incredible, but more so the depth of knowledge of the inner workings of the mind.

One interesting feature of the narrative is the difference in communication. They could only communicate via telegraph with the outside world, and with limited vocabulary. There were also letters outgoing but one had no idea whether the intended recipient would see it. Today of course we have vast opportunities for digital communication in audio and video, which is glorious, but no real substitute for the freedom to assemble and meet.

Here I am quoting this one chapter. I hope it helps you understand yourself as much as it did help me gain awareness of my own experience. The entire book is compelling. You can download it or read it for free at Archive.org.

Read the rest of the article here.

HG Wells on the Partnership Between Viruses and Humans

By Peter Earle

The tension between man and nature is always, everywhere, taut. It is particularly easy to forget that, particularly in urban environs — given the preponderance of concrete, steel, and glass amid commerce and social engagement. But even in midtown Manhattan, one of the most heavily trod places on earth: isolate a small area of pavement for a few days and sprigs soon appear from the edges. In just a few months, frail plants with leaves thinner than paper have wrest modernity back to the primordial: splitting asphalt, invading neighboring areas, and inexorably pushing toward the sky.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic has come so differently than most other collisions between human beings and the natural world — natural disasters and extreme weather, usually — that it seems to have leapt to an existential status.

At AIER we have written at length about historical analogues to the pandemic, about the need to maintain our humanity. Not so much the need as the requirement to not sacrifice the things that make us human — commerce, social interaction, creative association — in the wake of a new microbe.

HG Wells’ “War of the Worlds” (1898) carries a bevy of allegories, from colonialism and militarism to primitivism, Social Darwinism, and war. The nameless narrator (“Narrator”) survives the onslaught of a brutal Martian invasion. Amid the invasion, as he makes his way from Woking, England to London, he finds that many of his formerly rational countrymen have descended into bizarre behaviors and views. With citizens creeping around to avoid detection, a clergyman begins bellowing about the Apocalypse, leading to his death. Another suggests abandoning the surface of earth to restart civilization in subterranean caverns. Hysteria leads to the demise of untold numbers of people.

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Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas: ’80-85%’ Of Texas Hospital Patients ‘Have Nothing To Do With COVID-19

By SCOTT MOREFIELD

Dr. Scott Atlas told Fox News’ “The Story” that a significant percentage of the surge in Texas hospital beds “have nothing to do with COVID-19.”

Atlas, former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, urged viewers not to panic at the spike in coronavirus cases before explaining that it “doesn’t really matter how many cases” there are, only “who gets the cases.”

For those under 70, Atlas said, the death rate is actually lower than the seasonal flu.

“We realize we have to wait to have the story play out here, but right now, the cases have been going up for three weeks and we have no increase,” he told guest host Trace Gallagher. “In fact, we have a decrease in death rates. You know, it doesn’t matter if you get the illness if you’re going to fully recover and be fine from it. That is what people must understand. For younger healthier people, there’s not a higher risk from this disease at all.”

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Coronavirus Qualified Plan Relief: 401(k) withdrawal penalties waived due to Coronavirus

The 401(k) plan has many benefits and restrictions. Currently, due to the crisis from the coronavirus, Congress has waived some of the penalties, and increased the loan amount— along with altering other provisions.

Read more here:
https://fortune.com/2020/03/27/401k-withdrawal-penalties-waived-retirement-accounts-loans-retirees-coronavirus-stimulus-package-cares-act-relief-bill/?fbclid=IwAR2_x6jmPGN5fiYcMSZR6ae-II6WJzd9wnbLeYmRQ3bKeTbsFyC0CFEEKcc