Staying a Republic

Republic in Crisis

The Roman republic was on the ropes in 458 BC. A slave rebellion had captured Capitoline Hill itself, and gangsters were calling the tune in the Temple of Jupiter. Foreign raiders brought trade and supply to a standstill, and negotiated with compromised rich merchants to fund the invasion. A neighboring rival, Aequi, had broken its truce with Rome, and was running roughshod over Rome’s demoralized army.

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus had already washed his hands of the political hardball in Rome that had taken his son’s life, and retired to family property west of the Tiber River. He was at the plow when a delegation from the Roman Senate came out to speak to him.

“Is everything all right?” he asked the worried visitors. They requested he dress in his ceremonial Senate toga, to receive an official communication from the supreme council of the Roman state. Cincinnatus sent his wife to their house to bring back his toga, then received the unwelcome news that the Senate had appointed him Dictator of the crumbling republic.

He moved quickly. Step one was universal conscription. On the morning after he crossed the river back into Rome, he ordered all men of military age to assemble on the Field of Mars that very day. The draftees were ordered to pack five days’ rations, although many felt they were marching to their death far sooner than five days.

Roman soldiers customarily brought a vallum, a sharpened pole or stake used to fortify camps during campaigns in hostile territory. But Cincinnatus told his cavalry commander to order the men to bring 12 stakes apiece instead of one.

There was grumbling, and despair. But they came. While other Roman generals dithered and procrastinated, Cincinnatus marched hard, directly at the Aequi invaders on Mount Algidus where they had cornered a desperate Roman army. After his forces located the Aequi army and evening came, their work was just beginning.

Cincinnatus besieged the besiegers. He ordered his men to drive in their 12 stakes overnight to constrict the enemy’s movement and prevent their escape. The Aequi invaders would have to fight for their lives, or surrender. They tried to break out, but the drafted Romans repeatedly beat them back.

With the surrendered Aequi men at their mercy, the Romans plundered their belongings but there was no mass slaughter. As a condition of amnesty, Cincinnatus required that they execute three of their worst instigators, and that they surrender their leaders to the Romans. These surely wished they had been fortunate enough to be be executed with the others.

The vanquished Aequi invaders were required to march under a long row of crossed swords held by the triumphant Roman draftees, held low enough that the warlike Aequi men had to stoop in unmistakable submission to the shopkeepers and laborers who had defeated them against all odds.

There were triumphal parades through Rome, with captured Aequi leaders on display before their penalties were executed. And I like to think the Romans had something special for those rich merchants who were willing to help the invaders destroy their republic.

Fifteen days after the unsmiling Senate delegation waved to Cincinnatus across his field, he disbanded his army, sent his men home to their families and resigned as Dictator. On the 16th day, he was back at his plow.

It goes without saying that there are revisionist scholars who dispute some of the specifics of this story. Some deny it in its entirety. It’s the nature of social science scholarship, especially history, that you need to make bold claims contradicting conventional beliefs. It’s how you get job stability (academic tenure), how you avoid academic oblivion.

I don’t pretend to have any special expertise on ancient Rome, and so I offer no opinion on any of the revisionism. All I can say is that it’s a very hopeful story 2,478 years later. It suggests that even when the cause appears to be lost, purposeful citizens in a republic can mobilize under the right plan to reclaim their sovereignty, repel their invaders and overcome the sloth of their allies to subdue evil-doers. That’s great news in 2020.

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Lost common sense: How America lived through the Asian flu of 1957

“Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate.” ~New York Times editorial, Sept. 17, 1957

“So, what was it like to live through the Asian flu of 1957?” I recently asked my father.

“What’s the Asian flu?” replied my father, who was in second grade at the time.

“Well, do you remember the Hong Kong flu of 1968?” I followed up, thinking that surely he’d remember something that killed around 100,000 people (the equivalent of 160,000 today) when he was in college and very news-savvy.

“I remember the riots in ’68 and the oil crisis in the ’70s, but don’t recall anything about flus.”

Try this social experiment on anyone who lived through the 1950s and 1960s, or try it on yourself if you are a Baby Boomer or older. You likely don’t recall any disruption in your life nor any trauma-induced fear and panic. That is because there wasn’t any disruption.

The 1957 Asian flu, a form of H2N2 influenza that is believed to have originated in China, is estimated to have killed 116,000 Americans, the equivalent of roughly 200,000 in today’s larger America. Given that an estimated 25 percent of the entire country contracted that flu and a much larger share suffered from strong symptoms, one has to wonder what the recorded death toll would have been had we tested everyone and counted those deaths as liberally as we do today.

For even greater context, keep in mind that there were only about 4.9 million people over the age of 75 back then, as compared to 23 million today. So, while the general population was slightly more than half of what it is today, the over-75 population was approximately one-fifth of what it is today. The over-90 population was 1/12 of today’s advanced senior population. Accordingly, the death toll in 1957 was even more severe than with COVID-19 when one considers how many more seniors we have today. After all, the median age of death from COVID-19 is 78, roughly around life expectancy, with roughly half of all deaths occurring among sicker seniors in nursing homes.

Another more dangerous aspect of the Asian flu as compared to COVID-19 is that it seemed to be more dangerous to pregnant women and to cause birth defects, similar to what was observed during the Spanish flu. A study published in Minnesota in 1959 found that nearly 20% of deaths that occurred during pregnancy were due to the 1957-58 epidemic, making it the leading cause of death for pregnant women during those months. One-half of all women of child-bearing age who died during the epidemic were pregnant. Imagine the panic that would have induced today!

It’s not that our government wasn’t concerned at all about the Asian flu. After the virus raged on through the summer of 1957, a vaccine was produced, and by September 11, 1.8 million doses were delivered to the military and 3.6 million to the general population. The vaccine, like all flu vaccines, was partially successful, but people continued to die for several more months and, on a smaller scale, for years to come until the Asian flu mutated into the H3N2 Hong Kong flu in 1968. The government and the people understood that medical care and vaccines work, but there was never a thought to shut down people’s lives, and nobody ever thought that humans could stop the spread of the actual virus. Hence, few remember living through it.

During the onset of the H1N1 pandemic (swine flu) in 2009, D.A. Henderson, the former dean of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, who is widely credited with helping to eradicate smallpox, co-authored an analysis of the public response to the 1957 flu in an attempt to draw parallels and glean some lessons in preparing a response to the swine flu. He noted that the 1957 epidemic began early in the year in Asia, particularly targeting those with pre-existing conditions for the most deadly cases, and eventually infected 25 percent of the U.S. population in the fall.

The virus seemed to spread widely, but much as with COVID-19, the attack rate on naval ships was 18%-45%, implying some people had some degree of inherent immunity, as indicated by the fact that “family members of patients returning from infected camps or conference centers seldom were infected despite their close contact with the cases.” Thus, much as with COVID-19, it seemed to be very contagious but also inexplicably hit a brick wall with some people. He also observed, “Serological surveys revealed that half of those reporting no influenza illness showed serological evidence of infection.” That sounds very similar to our asymptomatic phenomenon, although it seems that many more young adults and children suffered acute flu-like symptoms with the Asian flu than they do with this virus.

As the summer wore on, policymakers, many of whom had lived through the Spanish flu as children, understood the need to focus on vaccines and medical care. With a greater capacity to develop vaccines and with the advent of antibiotics, they realized that the proper targeted treatment to the vulnerable was key to mitigating deaths, because for most people, this was just like a seasonal flu. In a gathering of public health officials in Washington in late August, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) resolved to focus on “prevention, which in the absence of effective means to stop the spread of infection[,] resolves itself into an immunization program.”

Also, rather than panicking everyone and counting every last case in the country, they “recommended that ‘hospital admissions be limited as far as possible to those cases of influenza with complications, or to those with other diseases which might be aggravated by influenza.’”

Health officials understood what our leaders today clearly don’t, which is that for a virus that targets only certain people with serious complications or death and is broadly mild (and today, downright asymptomatic) in most others, the worst thing you can do is treat every case like a serious case, needlessly stressing medical care, and risk spreading the virus in hospitals to vulnerable people who are already there, often for other ailments and chronic conditions. It was all about treatment where it was needed and developing a vaccine for the vulnerable.

What about the ability to arrest the virus through superstitious Middle Ages rituals like virtue-signaling mask-wearing and social isolation of the healthy with the sick?

As Henderson et al. observed: “At the meeting, ASTHO also stated that ‘there is no practical advantage in the closing of schools or the curtailment of public gatherings as it relates to the spread of this disease [emphasis added].’ This was in recognition that they saw no practical means for limiting the spread of infection.”

The epidemic spread through the country throughout the fall until the excess deaths leveled off in mid-December and then seemed to jump slightly later in the winter. Unlike with COVID-19, although children rarely died from the Asian flu, they appeared to get sick and contribute to mass spreading. “It was estimated that over 60% of students had clinical illnesses during the autumn,” writes Henderson et al. In fact, he notes that there was a “complete absence of protective antibody among children and young and middle-aged adults,” unlike today, where older people seem to have less immunity to the virus.

Yet, despite the high percentage of absenteeism in a lot of city schools, the schools were never shut. The surgeon general said the epidemic was “not alarming” and estimated that the fatality rate was no more than two-thirds of 1%. By contrast, in most areas of the country today, the fatality rate from COVID-19 appears to be closer to 0.2%-0.3%, and in some places, significantly lower.

Henderson’s paper further observes that hospitals were often crowded but there was always enough surge capacity to deal with the patients. “The Maryland State Department of Health, which appointed an Influenza Advisory Committee in June 1957, referred to pandemic cases as being ‘mild diseases,’ noting that the virus ‘does not cause more serious illness than other types of flu—it simply affects more people.’”

In a dynamic related to today’s predicament, Henderson notes that no efforts were made to close down the economy and quarantine people. “Quarantine was not considered to be an effective mitigation strategy and was ‘obviously useless because of the large number of travelers and the frequency of mild or inapparent cases.’”

Sound familiar? Except today, we are doing the opposite.

“Closing schools and limiting public gatherings were not recommended as strategies to mitigate the pandemic’s impact, except for administrative reasons due to high levels of absenteeism…In early October, the Nassau County Health Commissioner in New York stated that ‘public schools should stay open even in an epidemic’ and that ‘children would get sick just as easily out of school.’”

Sound familiar? Most of the transmission occurring at home? And again, back then, kids got sicker from the Asian flu and transmitted it more than they do SARS-CoV-2.

When I bring up the 1957 example, some have challenged me by suggesting the situation back then wasn’t so dire as to warrant lockdown because they produced a vaccine early on. However, Henderson contends that it was “too little, too late” because it was only available to 17% of the population, was only 60% effective, and wound up circulating after the virus had already peaked. “Given the limited amount of vaccine available and the fact that it was not more than 60% effective, it is apparent that vaccine had no appreciable effect on the trend of the pandemic.”

The paper closes with the following 30,000-foot overview of the Asian flu response:

The 1957-58 pandemic was such a rapidly spreading disease that it became quickly apparent to U.S. health officials that efforts to stop or slow its spread were futile. Thus, no efforts were made to quarantine individuals or groups, and a deliberate decision was made not to cancel or postpone large meetings such as conferences, church gatherings, or athletic events for the purpose of reducing transmission. No attempt was made to limit travel or to otherwise screen travelers. Emphasis was placed on providing medical care to those who were afflicted and on sustaining the continued functioning of community and health services. The febrile, respiratory illness brought large numbers of patients to clinics, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms, but a relatively small percentage of those infected required hospitalization.

Remember, this is with 25% of the population getting the virus within just a few months (equivalent to 110 million today) and a larger share of those people suffering a serious, if not deadly, case of the flu, including children and young adults. While the health system was certainly much better than it was during the pre-antibiotics era of the 1918 Spanish flu, it was primitive compared to today’s standards. Yet, we managed and thrived. “The overall impact on GDP was negligible and likely within the range of normal economic variation,” notes Henderson.

What we didn’t have back then were mass media, social media, and the incurable virus of evidence-free panic propagation to induce an epidemic of fear and paranoia. While this current virus is worse than recent flu-like epidemics this generation, it is much more in line with the 1957 Asian flu and its sister, the 1968 Hong Kong flu. If you lived during the time, you most assuredly remember Woodstock, which occurred during the peak of the Hong Kong flu, but you are unlikely to remember the epidemic.

In 2006, three years prior to writing his analysis on the 1957 epidemic, Henderson co-authored a paper in which he observed, “There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread of influenza.” Thus, from 1957 until fairly recently – before the medical profession was politicized – they all understood that we lack the ability to stop the spread of a flu-like virus. The best we can do is treat it without sowing panic. As Henderson warned, “Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted.”

What a shame that Henderson and the common sense that defined America until recently are no longer living. (For more from the author of “Lost Common Sense: How America Lived Through the Asian Flu of 1957” please click HERE)

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Lockdown of Children Is Harming Immune Systems and Our Best Shot at Herd Immunity

It turns out there is something very deep behind the reason why children rarely get clinically ill from SARS-CoV-2. God’s intelligent design gave them an even greater degree of cross-immunity through common coronavirus colds than many adults have. Ignoring that fact and treating kids as if they are in danger from the virus, more than in our response to the flu, will likely harm them in the long run, ironically, blocking their ability to obtain the very immunity that makes SARS-CoV-2 a statistical non-issue with them.

A group of immunologists and medical researchers published a preprint study (prior to peer review) late last week showing that roughly 60% of blood samples from children who never had SARS-CoV-2 had antibodies from other coronaviruses that were cross-reactive to SARS-CoV-2. This study is a giant step in understanding why children appear to be so unaffected.

While several studies have shown that at least half of adults have cross-reactive T cells from other coronaviruses, this study demonstrates that children likely have an even greater degree of protection, which explains why even more children than adults are asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic. Only 6% of adult blood samples had cross-reactive antibodies among the blood samples.

This demonstrates that allowing kids to be kids and come home every other day with a cold ensured that they were fortified against a coronavirus that could potentially be more deadly for some. Now, by turning kids into bubble babies and by overstating the threat of this virus to them by a factor of 100, we are ensuring that a generation of kids will be shielded from some of the more mild or common forms of coronavirus that they typically get over time.

This is the broader problem with the panicked response and how it will get more people killed by forestalling herd immunity. God created a world in which the majority of the population has a functioning immune system, particularly children. The entire premise of the national response to this virus is to treat all cases equally and all people equally – sick and healthy. By doing so, they will turn the healthy into the sick, destroy their immune systems in the long run, delay herd immunity to this virus, and expose vulnerable people to a lurking epidemic for longer than it needs to be around – not to mention the risk of atrophy in having so many seniors locked down indefinitely.

As the authors of this study conclude, “Public health measures intended to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will also prevent the spread of and, consequently, maintenance of herd immunity to HCoVs [common cold coronaviruses], particularly in children. It is, therefore, imperative that any effect, positive or negative, of pre-existing H-CoV-elicited immunity on the natural course of SARS-CoV-2 infection is fully delineated.”

In other words, don’t mess with God’s natural design, especially when fewer kids die from this than from the flu. Not only will endless distancing of children playing together harm kids, but it forecloses on the best shot of achieving herd immunity with the lowest-risk population, thereby shielding the more vulnerable. Imagine how many other viruses will now percolate longer in society and endanger the vulnerable because we’ve tampered with God’s intelligent immunological ecosystem and prevented kids from passing it around.

Like any ecosystem, if children are the beginning of transmitting common colds (unlike COVID-19), then parents and teachers who are around these children are the next rung on the ladder. While this theory still needs further study with clinical trials, a new biomedical study from German researchers found that adults in their 30s and 40s with children have a lower ICU rate than those without children. They assert that the discrepancy in outcomes is “not well explained only by age, gender or BMI distribution for this subgroup” and may possibly be the result of these adults picking up common colds from their children that could fortify them against a more severe form of COVID-19.

What is also striking about these studies showing or implying cross-immunity from other coronaviruses is that it is yet another piece of evidence that this virus is not that novel and is similar to other coronaviruses, which we’ve dealt with for years. Hong Kong researchers found the same principle in 2003 with SARS-1 – that it did not harm children. Thus, this theory of cross-immunity from the common colds has been known already.

After researchers were finding false positives for SARS-1 in British Columbia in 2003, they found that a lot of nursing home patients they assumed to have died from SARS really died from HCoV-OC43, which is thought to be the most common coronavirus cold. A 2006 study by the University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control concluded two things from the 2003 SARS outbreak in nursing homes: “The virulence of human CoV-OC43 in elderly populations” and also that there is cross-reactivity from these other coronaviruses to SARS that conflated some of the testing.

Thus, there is nothing new under the sun. We’ve been dealing with coronaviruses for a while, and they are dangerous to those who are immunodeficient, but healthy people tend to be partially immune and most children appear to be nearly fully immune precisely because of these other coronaviruses. Indeed, because we didn’t use that reality as a pretext to create bubble boys because of common cold is, ironically, why COVID-19 turns out to be a cold or less for the overwhelming majority of people. Now that we panic over a cold because, for some people, it might be deadly, which has been the case with many other viruses, we will make it much worse than a cold in the long run and harm everyone, most importantly our children.

Obviously, the best outcome would be a magic vaccine that eradicates it 100 percent. But until then, the best hope is to achieve enough herd immunity through the low-risk population that it will essentially turn SARS-CoV-2 into the fifth coronavirus cold. Learning from past history to treat a new strain of coronavirus is much better than employing novel tactics to upend tried and tested immunology. (For more from the author of “Lockdown of Children Is Harming Immune Systems and Our Best Shot at Herd Immunity” please click HERE)

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My White Privilege Complaint

There was a ritual when we came in from the boondocks to visit my grandma in her adopted Midwestern city. Before we got out of the driveway and entered the house, weather permitting, she took my dad on a walk to show him all the improvements she’d made since his last visit. She described the projects in detail as her youngest son dutifully complimented all her handiwork.

She was in the habit of using the first-person singular, as in “I built this fence” or “I moved this tree because it was starting to shade my garden.” She had a husband and, believe you me, she got a day’s work out of him. So we all understood that she meant “we” built this or that.

But Grandpa couldn’t resist hamming it up, staring in fake amazement at his outstretched hands and telling us for the umpteenth time that he couldn’t figure out how she did all the work, and he got all the callouses.

The time has come to add my voice to the chorus of recent complaints against white privilege. You might have noticed that most of the complaints thus far have been vague and theoretical, even speculative. But mine is practical, immediate and vivid: white privilege is killing my back!

As a cisgendered patriarchal white male, I’m so privileged that sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. (Note to privileged white males: Absorbine helps some.) I don’t really have a choice, so I still get up and go to work. But if I weren’t so dang privileged, I’d stay home and binge-watch Hulu re-runs.

Sometimes it’s the little bones in my hands, but usually it’s my back. When I get in a hurry or I forget to put on my work gloves, sometimes I tear my fingernails. White privilege is sneaky. It comes at you from a dozen different directions.

When I first entered the workforce nearly 50 years ago, we didn’t know about white privilege. But there was talk of “economic justice” and “redistribution of income.” I was an ultra-liberal George McGovern supporter, and that all sounded pretty good to me.

Like other people of my generation, I thought it was self-evident that I deserved more money. I hadn’t heard the apocryphal Willie Sutton quote that banks are where the money is, and I assumed money comes from the government. Where and how the government gets its money was a matter of supreme indifference to me.

They should tax the dickens out of the greedy exploiters and overpaid bourgeois, and cut checks to us, the deserving. It’s not that complicated. If a government can’t do that, what good is it?

Then I went to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline construction project: 12-15 hours per day, seven days per week, sleeping in camps, eating on our work buses. We went weeks at a time without seeing a town or a television. I thought the Bee Gees singing falsetto on my eight-track were a Black female trio because I’d never seen them on TV or in a magazine.

I was a local-hire Alaskan laborer supporting itinerant welders, mostly from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The pay was lavish by the standards of that decade, and word got out via news stories and word of mouth. Seattle and Vancouver young women perked right up and paid attention when you mentioned you were working on the Alaska pipeline project.

The Internal Revenue Service was on top of the situation, too. Alaska has no state income tax, but the stiff federal tax deductions from my pipeline paychecks in those pre-Reagan years, when I filed single with zero dependents and minimal deductions, were a weekly discouragement. Still, I was pulling down the biggest money I would ever make, barely old enough to enter a bar.

It was great to be making that kind of money at the beginning of my working life, but it was still the Alaskan wilderness and the Arctic climate. I worked mostly in the Brooks Range, which is the northernmost mountain range before the Arctic Ocean.

While we were working on the line one morning, a grizzly bear got on our work bus and tore open our lunches and donuts. The Texans and Okies were trying to get snapshots of the beast when it came off the bus. The Alaskans, who know their grizzlies, were climbing on top of the other buses, and locking themselves in truck cabs.

In winter, the welders went home or to warmer out-of-state pipeline projects to wait out Alaskan temperatures of 50 and 60 degrees below zero, round-the-clock darkness and occasional knifelike wind. I will say this: they missed some truly spectacular Northern Lights in the winter. Most of the laborers went back to town after the welders left, but I worked camp security 11.5 hours per day through the winter.

This was shortly after Richard Nixon left office. Because the pipeline crossed federal lands, Affirmative Action was in force. There were two job lines at the union hall: the long one, sometimes stretching out the door and onto the sidewalk, and the short one.

The short line was for racial minorities and (very rare) women, legally entitled to hiring preference. I seldom saw the number of workers in that line amount to double digits. For them, hiring was almost instantaneous and they had first pick of the choicest assignments.

The long line was for us, the white males whom Professor Anita Hill would later call “the lowest form of life on the evolutionary scale.” Sometimes our line was so long that we couldn’t get a job after wasting our day at the hiring hall, and we had to come back the next day and the next. Minority union members could quit a job in the morning and be back on a job that afternoon.

Even in town, most of the pipeline laborers were alone, without family, unconnected to the community. We tended to run with fellow unemployed workers until we could get dispatched to a remote pipeline camp. We’d usually see our friends at the union hall, and either go our separate ways for work or continue socializing in town.

Two middle-aged pals there were inseparable. One was Black, and the other was a white guy with a German name. They were loud and profane, apparently hit the bottle pretty good, and they were a lot of fun in the union hall. But they couldn’t stand in the same line because one was a racial minority and the other wasn’t.

They didn’t want to split up to ship out to different pipeline camps, but the Black friend didn’t want to accept the inferior jobs that would remain after the minority job dispatch. So he loudly told his white friend to tell the union that his mother was Mexican. We all laughed because this guy looked like a pedigreed Scandinavian.

But he went inside the office, and when he came back out, he got in the minority line and took a prime job dispatch with his Black buddy. Good for him, I say. We owe no loyalty to that corrupt racist system. But I never got to stand in that line.

I visited my lamentably white grandparents, who were wintering in Florida. St. Petersburg was well known for its large population of elderly retirees, but I didn’t know there was also a large youthful lower-class community with all the usual pathologies. I saw large numbers of young men my age standing around, “smoking and joking” on weekday afternoons. Employment was apparently not on the agenda.

On the first day of the month, welfare checks came out and young men found their way to women who were able to bankroll their frolics for a few days thereafter. I learned that the slang for that first day, the welfare day, was “Mothers’ Day.” Liquor flowed, sirens whooped, and skirts and music volume were elevated for a few days, until the government money for that month ran out.

I don’t remember a strong feeling of moral censure, but I was acutely aware that all this fun was literally at my expense, and the expense of other hapless working men and women. I was single and ready to mingle, but I opted instead for deferred gratification, to work in remote isolation, to make that money while I could. Why did I have to go in my pocket to fund uproarious living by frivolous and idle people?

Talk of redistribution of income began to ring hollow. Economic justice, it seemed to me, ought to consist of more than redistribution of my income. How about redistributing some of that 60-below-zero? They [were] welcome to frozen fingertips. How could we redistribute my solitude, my social isolation, my sleep deprivation?

The truth, of course, is that all the risks, costs, sacrifices and rewards are distributed efficiently, which is to say perfectly, by a free market. Freedom begets freedom. What a privilege to turn 21 in a relatively free country before parasites and race hustlers zeroed in on productive, innovative, risk-taking, hard-working opportunity seekers. I wish I could privilege my grandchildren with such a country.

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Exposing the Maskerade: The Questions Every American Should Be Asking About Indefinite Mask Mandates

The trope of “just shut up and wear a mask” is not science, ordered liberty, or constitutional governance. It’s what they do in North Korea. We need real debate on the effectiveness of masks, the type of masks, the situations in which they are worn, the duration of time, the benchmarks that need to be met to measure effectiveness, and the process for promulgating these rules. We are no longer 24 hours into an emergency. We are four months into this virus, and it’s time to function like the representative republic that we are.

There are numerous political and scientific questions any thinking person should be asking at this point:

Why did the CDC, World Health Organization, and such luminaries as Fauci and Surgeon General Jerome Adams so emphatically dismiss the effectiveness of masks, then flip 180 degrees to the point where they shame people who don’t wear them, without ever explaining what changed? While we learn more about the virus every day, the micro-biology of the particles hasn’t changed, and the premise that non-professional masks worn by non-trained professionals run the risk of counterproductive cross-contamination did not change.

The suggestion that this is needed to protect others raises the obvious question: If me not wearing a mask transmits the virus to others who are wearing a mask, then is that not an admission that masks do not work to stop a respiratory virus that is microscopic and gets through the mask? Garbage in, garbage out. It makes no sense to suggest it doesn’t penetrate the transmitter’s mask from inside-out, especially with the air pressure of a cough or sneeze, but can penetrate the mask of the receiver through suspended molecules that are stagnant without pressure pushing those molecules outside-in to the receiver. If anything, the opposite should be true – it should be more effective for protection of yourself.

How can mask-wearing work when everyone just stores them in their pockets to collect bacteria, as our government officials predicted from day one?

How could kids ever keep it clean and not collect more bacteria, and where is the evidence that children are even a vector for viral transmission? My home county is mandating that even two-year-olds wear masks. How can anyone suggest that children can keep them clean, and where is the evidence that young children are a vector for transmitting the virus, when numerous studies from other countries have shown the opposite?

Mask-wearing in all of the major cities – from Los Angeles to Miami – has been in place and followed by pressure and community shaming for months. Compliance in most of these places has been off the charts, according to the NYT. Yet the virus is still spreading more than before the mandate. The virus is now spreading in Japan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, which have near universal mask-wearing. At what point does the mask cult have to provide evidence of the effectiveness of these unconstitutional mandates, and at what point do benchmarks have to be met to maintain such a draconian and life-altering requirement?

Do masks that are continuously reused, cross-contaminated, and not properly disposed of become a trap to further transmit the virus or become retainers for other pathogens – or at the very least for bacteria, which are larger than viruses – that can harm the mask-wearer and others alike?

What are the known side effects to one’s health after wearing these masks for hours on end in the heat, especially for children in school? Does long-term mask-wearing lower oxygen levels and compromise our immune systems?

Do masks cause people to touch their faces more often, the exact opposite of what was originally the desired result?

To suggest that individuals be forced into something so personal as covering their own faces indefinitely under the guise of protecting other people is a huge, dramatic change in the relationship between the government and the citizen. We should at minimum get clarity on these questions before allowing any executive authority to unilaterally decree it. Doesn’t the near-universal opposition to widespread mask-wearing from these very same “experts” before the issue became political hold any weight? Doesn’t their reversal demand explanation?

To this day, there has never been a clinical study with randomized controlled trials in non-health-care settings that vouch for the effectiveness of universal mask-wearing in public. All we have so far are anecdotes and laboratory filtration studies, not real human-to-human studies. When asked about conducting one, Dr. Fauci said there is no intention to do so. In fact, he went from resolutely dismissing the idea of wearing masks in March to now telling a group of Georgetown University students that he couldn’t even conduct a study because he was so scared of having even a study group go without masks!

Thus, we are told we are not allowed to breathe free air without a mask – no studies allowed. Fauci’s view? No votes, no hearings, no debate, no studies, no time limits, no performance benchmarks. Shut up and cover your mouth indefinitely and don’t you dare express the view he used to espouse … or else.

Until now, the only time mask use has ever been a studied in a non-health-care setting showed the opposite of what the political class is saying. As Dr. Andrew Bostom of Brown University wrote earlier this month:

Moreover, a subsequent pooled (so-called “meta-”) analysis of ten controlled trials assessing extended, real-world, non-health-care-setting mask usage revealed that masking did not reduce the rate of laboratory-proven infections with the respiratory virus influenza. The findings from this unique report — published May 2020 by the CDC’s own “house journal” “Emerging Infectious Diseases” — are directly germane to the question of masking to prevent COVID-19 infection and merit some elaboration.

One study evaluated mask usage by Hajj pilgrims to Mecca, two university-setting studies assessed the efficacy of face masks for prevention of confirmed influenza among student campus residents over five months of surveillance, and seven household studies examined the impact of masking infected persons only (one), household contacts of infected persons only (one), or both groups (five). None of these studies, individually, or their aggregated, pooled analysis, which enhanced the overall “statistical power” to detect smaller effects, demonstrated a significant benefit of masking for the reduction of confirmed influenza infection (also see tabulation). The authors further concluded with a caution that using face masks improperly might “increase the risk for (viral) transmission.”

As doctors from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia, concluded in arguing against even health care workers wearing surgical masks when treating low‐risk patients, “There is no good evidence that facemasks protect the public against infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID‐19.”

They explain how the way most people use masks could actually become counterproductive:

One danger of doing this is the illusion of protection. Surgical facemasks are designed to be discarded after single use. As they become moist they become porous and no longer protect. Indeed, experiments have shown that surgical and cotton masks do not trap the SARS‐CoV‐2 (COVID‐19) virus, which can be detected on the outer surface of the masks for up to 7 days. Thus, a pre‐symptomatic or mildly infected person wearing a facemask for hours without changing it and without washing hands every time they touched the mask could paradoxically increase the risk of infecting others.

They cite a “desperate situation” in the U.S. as the impetus for the CDC’s reversal on masks and note that it is based on “scant” evidence. Which is why, “In contrast, the World Health Organization currently recommends against the public routinely wearing facemasks.”

Even N95s, which certainly cause people to get headaches by stifling fresh air, don’t necessarily show conclusively positive outcomes. A 2019 study of 2,862 randomized participants (Radonovich, L.J. et al. (2019)) published in JAMA found, “Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

There’s a reason why as late as May, the CDC was citing the 10 randomized controlled trials that showed “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.” Containing the virions that are emitted from the aerosols in a mask, much less a cloth that so many wear, is like locking up a bee in a jail cell. As the CDC notes, masks were not designed to protect against microbiological particles 0.1 micron in size — or one hundred-thousandth of a centimeter — but from visible contamination.

Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.

How does such a grounded observation built on 10 unrefuted clinical studies change in just a matter of weeks if not for politics? If anything, COVID-19 is more of a dry cough than the flu, which would likely produce more atomized particles that are certainly not larger than the wetter flu emissions. Yet the CDC has gone from vehemently opposing masks to promoting even cloth coverings, which everyone agrees do not filter out most particles.

And these people have the nerve to call conservatives anti-science?

The question we must ask ourselves is this: if our government can now mandate such a personal and disruptive lifestyle change to our bodies with assertions that contradict their own long-standing evidence from just weeks ago and with so many unanswered questions, what else can they do to us without presenting evidence or a transparent and democratic debate? It appears that “my body, my choice” only applies to murdering babies.

We deserve hearings and we deserve answers. We are citizens, not subjects. Just because this virus came from China doesn’t mean the politicians can use it as a pretext to turn us into China. (For more from the author of “Exposing the Maskerade: The Questions Every American Should Be Asking About Indefinite Mask Mandates” please click HERE)

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Young Americans’ Ignorance of Socialism Threatens Our Freedom and Vitality

Vice President Mike Pence last week powerfully described the stark choice facing America as it recovers from the effects of the coronavirus. In a speech, Pence said:

Before us are two paths: one based on the dignity of every individual, and the other on the growing control of the state. Our road leads to greater freedom and opportunity. Their road leads to socialism and decline.

In times of crisis, it is natural that people will look to the government for answers. Yet the damage to our society and our economy from new government controls and regulations will be real.

Indeed, 2020 has become a critical year in the history of the United States, with the nation polarized and divided on a number of issues. In almost every case, however, the political divide rests squarely on the extent to which we want, or will accept, government direction or control.

According to Merriam-Webster, socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

Yet the adherents of “socialism” typically claim to want something different, specifically a large, cradle-to-grave welfare state. Often forgotten or ignored is that such a welfare state must be financed, and that resources only will be available if the economic system is functioning efficiently and with a high degree of productivity. Government control is typically the enemy of both.

As a matter of fact, history unmistakably shows that “power for the ruling class” in any of its forms never has really worked anywhere. Everywhere it has been tried, socialism has done harm. It’s a cautionary tale that should be taught to every new generation.

Socialism is a failed economic and social arrangement. In many cases, socialists have ended up being forced to adopt capitalist measures for their survival.

Free-market capitalism does not, of course, guarantee happiness and success. However, it does enable the quest for them. It is this freedom to pursue a self-determined, better life that brings real meaning to the lives of individuals and collective benefits to our society.

Arguing forcefully that America must never become a socialist country, Pence said in his July 17 speech:

You know, it’s not so much whether America will be more conservative or more liberal, more Republican or Democrat, more red or blue. It’s whether America remains America. It’s whether we will leave to our children and our grandchildren a country grounded in our highest ideals of freedom, free markets, and the unalienable right to life and liberty—or whether we will leave to our children and grandchildren a country that is fundamentally transformed into something else.

As Kay C. James, president of The Heritage Foundation, noted last year in a commentary: “We who cherish freedom must take on the false prophets of socialism and spread the truth that limited government, free markets, and a nation based on the rule of law are the surest ways to ensure freedom, prosperity, and opportunity for all.”

Those are words of wisdom for those who will listen.

The deceptively false glamour of socialism is a mirage that each new generation will be tempted to run toward—unless they are told the truth about socialism’s true legacy. (For more from the author of “Young Americans’ Ignorance of Socialism Threatens Our Freedom and Vitality” please click HERE)

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The Silent Majority Won’t Be So Silent Come November

. . .The culture that has been fostered and empowered by intersectional academic elites protected by tenure at well-endowed (and government-funded) universities as well as the arbiters of acceptable behavior who sit behind plexiglass desks in cable news studios high above the streets of Manhattan, the lessons have been carefully and painfully taught to all Americans. If you’re not in-line with the woke minority with the loudest voices, better stay quiet if you know what’s good for you.

. . .You see, we don’t have to win arguments on Twitter. We don’t need to dominate someone’s Facebook page. We don’t need to prove our point in the lunchroom at work. We don’t have to one-up our liberal brother-in-law at the dinner table.

We just need to keep our heads down, smile as they scream and rant, and try to burn down their own failed Democrat-run cities, and vote.

We don’t need to constantly argue for funding our cops; we just need to elect representatives who are paid to make that argument for us. . .

We don’t need to convince anyone about the dangers of a Biden administration populated by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Ilhan Omar; we just need to re-elect Donald Trump, who is not afraid to make these arguments for us. (Read more from “The Silent Majority Won’t Be So Silent Come November” HERE)

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The Chicago Funeral Shooting Shows Yet Again How Black Lives Don’t Matter to Politicians

Where are all the frantic press releases from every corporation in America amid the worst mass shooting of black people in Chicago’s recent memory? Where are the protests? The demands for more prison time? More cops? Or, if you only get your news from superficial corporate media sources, perhaps you don’t know what I’m talking about.

While most people bring flowers and tissues to funerals, that is not the Chicago way. There, they bring guns. According to CBS Chicago, mourners were attending the funeral of Donnie Weathersby, himself a black life cut down at age 31 by gang violence, when a car full of gunmen drove by and sprayed 60 bullets into Rhodes Funeral Services funeral home, wounding as many as 15, some of whom are in serious condition. One of the victims was reportedly a bystander who was not a target of the assailants.

Some of the attendees reportedly shot back at the drive-by shooters, which is in itself peculiar given how hard it is for ordinary people to get a concealed carry license in Chicago. But Chicago is the Sodom and Gomorrah of America, where peaceful citizens can’t exercise their rights while gang members carry openly and never face serious consequences for committing violent crimes, including gun crimes. . .

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 70 percent of all black victims of violent crime in 2018 were victimized by black criminals.

A huge focus of the BLM movement is to abolish police and abolish incarceration. But once again, who are the victims of jailbreak policies almost every time? Yes, the black lives that absolutely do not matter to the political elites.

This year, the numbers of shootings and homicide victims in Chicago are eclipsing the numbers from last year by approximately 50 percent and are approaching record numbers year-to-date. Rather than spending the past three years fighting against criminal release and weak deterrent against gun felons, Republicans have joined in on the Jared Kushner jailbreak agenda, suggesting that we somehow have an over-incarceration problem. At the same time, when in control of all three branches, Republicans failed to pass a single self-defense or pro-Second Amendment bill, but passed a gun control bill. Gun control without criminal control is a recipe for disaster.

According to UCLA’s database on prison releases, Illinois has released over 4,600 criminals from prison and 800 from Cook County Jail.

Even before the acceleration of the jailbreak movement over the past two years, crystalizing during the coronavirus outbreak, incarceration rates have been plummeting. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the black imprisonment rate nationwide has been down 28% from 2008-2018, while the white imprisonment rate dropped by just 13%. The jail incarceration rate for black criminals dropped 30% – to the lowest level since 1990 – while the white incarceration rate actually increased 12% over the past decade.

According to data I tallied from the Illinois Department of Corrections website, the number of Illinois prisoners plummeted 21.86% just in the 27 months from March 31, 2018, through June 2002.

Republicans and Democrats alike have been cheering on this trend and continue to suggest that we still have an over-incarceration problem. But behind all these criminal releases are more victims of crime, most of them black.

How can Republicans agree to throw more money at the states for a coronavirus response in the coming days without conditioning the funds on terminating these releases?

This is not just about the rioting and retreat of the police in major cities. Just because there are no police on the streets doesn’t mean that people like you and me start committing crimes. It’s the career criminals who commit the most crimes. They have been released over the past few years and increasingly so in recent months. That was the first step of the breakdown in law and order. They are the fuel for the criminal fire, while the war on cops supplied the match to kindle the fuel. This is why crime has been able to spike so high so rapidly in some places, nearly as high as it was before the generation-long decline in violent crime beginning in the 1990s.

This is happening everywhere. In Los Angeles, Jose Enrique Esquivel has been arrested a dozen times for stealing cars since being released under coronavirus jailbreak, and every time, he was set free. There is simply no deterrent.

In a series of tweets, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the shooters “cowardly” and asserted, “We cannot give shelter to killers.”

Actually, Mayor, this is exactly what you have done by releasing so many criminals and declaring war on the cops.

“When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city. This cannot be who we are,” Lightfoot said.

So why is it that Chicago keeps putting gun felons with violent criminal histories on parole instead of locking them up? Just over the weekend, a man who was on parole despite a history of robbery and burglary convictions dating back 30 years was arrested for beating an elderly woman at Chicago’s Union Station.

How hard is it for Republicans to open the BLM narrative and show how its very policies are the ones resulting in all the dead black lives? Yet in an interview with Newsweek, Jared Kushner recently defended his de-incarceration agenda, suggesting that “people need a second chance.”

Well, what we are seeing in the justice system today is that they get 5-10 chances or an infinite number of chances, which ensures that many victims of crime don’t get a second chance at life. It’s easy to blame dead Confederate generals or pictures on food boxes for all the death and misery in inner cities. Leadership to address the source of the problem is what seems to be a rare commodity at this moment. (For more from the author of “The Chicago Funeral Shooting Shows Yet Again How Black Lives Don’t Matter to Politicians” please click HERE)

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Rioting for Its Own Sake

When I was twelve, we moved into faculty housing on a large Job Corps facility that had taken over a vast decommissioned Army base. My dad taught reading to high school dropouts there from major East Coast cities. It was part of President Johnson’s “Great Society.”

I don’t know how many Job Corps trainees were at our facility, but there were a lot, maybe in the thousands. They slept in the same painted wooden Army barracks where Bob Dole and Jackie Robinson had trained in World War II.

I don’t remember any sense of culture shock although I was a scrawny small-town white boy moving in a sea of young Black and Puerto Rican men. It was a great adventure learning their masculine slang and profanity, and curating the vulgar restroom graffiti. We knew our cultural appropriation was frowned upon, but we didn’t know it had a name.

Of course, we didn’t invent cultural appropriation. Pat Boone had served up an unthreatening whitebread version of Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.” Elvis Presley made a career out of appropriating Black music and salacious, suggestive hip thrusts.

My mom told me that when I was a toddler, people at Nalley’s Cafe in Francisco, Indiana used to give me a nickel to belt out “you ain’t nothing but a hound dog,” Elvis-style. We had no idea that was Big Mama Thornton’s song, because Elvis never mentioned her. I hope she got lots of royalties.

The Beatles were so bold about lifting Black music that they eventually were sued by Chuck Berry’s music publisher. “Come Together” came out the year I started high school, and we all took John Lennon at his word that he wrote it. But Berry’s lawyer noted the Beatles’ song’s melodic similarity to his client’s song “You Can’t Catch Me,” and the fact that Lennon’s song actually used some of Berry’s lyrics, for crying out loud. It’s perfectly legitimate to “cover” another person’s song, as long as you pay, and you ought to acknowledge the songwriter’s authorship. But the Beatles had to be sued for copyright infringement.

Plagiarism is theft, and it’s not the exclusive domain of white entertainers. I’ve written previously about the plagiarism of Martin Luther King Jr. and Roots author Alex Haley.

We’re no longer as stratified and segregated as we were in the 1960s. It’s hard to draw a definitive line between Black and white culture anymore, and therefore more difficult to identify cultural appropriation. It doesn’t seem odd anymore to see white athletes giving one another high fives, or to see Black teenagers skateboarding.

But the last frontier seems to be appropriating grievances. At first glance, the massive turnout of woke white Millennials at anti-racist demonstrations seemed like a heartwarming gesture of transracial solidarity. Maybe this generation of Americans could finally put racism behind us.

But on closer examination, a lot of these white demonstrators appear to have come out for the fun. A Black police officer in Portland told one of my friends that he was usually able to engage young Black protesters in respectful conversation until they were interrupted by shrieking white Leftists who brought the conversation to a halt with name-calling and accusations, and often with racial epithets.

Let’s be clear: rioting is fun. It’s an adrenaline rush. We had one at the Job Corps center. What could be more intoxicating for the criminally inclined than to defy authority, destroy adults’ property, menace the police, and maybe take home a big-screen souvenir to remember the riot by?

I remember looking into the sweaty faces in our Job Corps riot. They were similar to the faces of a football team after a touchdown, but happier, more exultant. What I was witnessing was ecstasy. And so when I hear urban riots described as a product of “black rage,” I am skeptical. Most looters and arsonists will have very fond memories of their riot.

It’s not surprising that unaccomplished young whites, former latch-key kids whom nobody has ever taken seriously, covet the grievances that enoble and entitle Black victims, grievances that they believe are a blank check. The right to bellow accusations at detested adult authority figures, to give free unchallenged rein to your darkest impulses, to hush and intimidate your critics? That’s irresistible to people of their neglected character.

Perhaps it was inevitable that these hyper-entitled, over-indulged young white people would eventually try to appropriate Black Rage itself. James Baldwin, meet Little Richard.

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If the Panicmongers Were Consistent, We’d Close the Schools Every Flu Season

On December 17, 2014, Rebecca Taylor received a call from the school nurse in her daughter Scarlet’s Tacoma, Washington, school saying that Scarlet had a fever and Rebecca should pick her up. Two days later, and after just four hours of being in the hospital from what should have been a routine flu in an otherwise healthy child, Scarlet was dead.

While this was a rare tragic story, it’s less rare than parallel stories of COVID-19, yet nobody ever thought to shut schools during the flu season.

Adam Ratner, an NYU physician of pediatric infectious disease, noted that so far this season he has had young patients who have developed life-threatening pneumonias and needed surgeries to drain abscesses in their chests — and most of these children were perfectly healthy before they got the flu.

That is a quote from a CNN article on January 7 about the deadliness of the flu season to children in a year when the seasonal flu killed 174 school-age children. Yet, like most facts that can be gleaned through extensive research online, if it’s not published incessantly in daily headline news and obsessed about by the media-political complex, people don’t know about it. And if they don’t know about it, they are not scared of it.

The reality is that every flu season, many more children die from this common ailment than have from COVID-19. And unlike with COVID-19, where the rare pediatric deaths are among those who have serious conditions, many of the flu deaths occur in perfectly healthy children. According to the CDC, “influenza is dangerous to children,” and during the 2017-2018 flu season, which everyone forgets was considered a pandemic, the federal agency estimates that the actual number of pediatric deaths was closer to 600.

A 2018 CDC study of six flu seasons concluded that half of flu-related deaths occurred in otherwise healthy children, 22% of whom were fully vaccinated. Thus, even with a vaccine, the flu is still much more deadly for children, especially perfectly healthy children.

Just how scary is the flu to children, if we were to apply the same lack of context and perspective as we do with this virus? Perfectly healthy children could die so quickly, the parents don’t even see it coming. From the 2018 CDC study:

Nearly two-thirds of children died within seven days of developing symptoms. Over one-third died at home or in the emergency department prior to hospital admission. In fact, children without other medical conditions that would predispose them to serious flu complications were more likely to die before hospital admission.

Moreover, other kids get seriously ill and develop side effects, such as blindness. One four-year -old girl in Iowa was left blind by the flu this past season. Even those who suffer no serious consequences are often bedridden for a week or longer with high fever, muscle ache, and incessant coughing, unlike with COVID-19, where almost every child who develops it is asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic.

Thus, if we are going to limit or modify or schooling and mandate that kids wear suffocating masks all day, shouldn’t this be done every year from November to April – by a factor of 10? And given that the flu does linger for all months of the year at least at the threat level of COVID-19 to children during the off months, if schools are closed for COVID-19, shouldn’t they always be closed because of the flu?

In other words, if you give me control of the media and medical academia for a month, I will have every parent in America easily convinced that children must be locked down forever. If the threat level of COVID-19 to children is the new threshold for shutdown, we are done as a civilization, even if this particular virus becomes extinct tomorrow. Remember, unlike with this virus, where children barely contribute to community spread, with the flu, children contribute substantially to the spread and pick it up most often from other kids in school.

This is a glimpse into the context and perspective that is lacking in the hyper-focus on the worst outcomes in any group of people in a country this size.

Just consider the statement from California Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond. “I do think that, if school had to open tomorrow, most of our districts would open in distance learning,” he said during a briefing earlier this week as county governments in L.A. and San Diego closed schools in September. “And that is a decision that I think is a good decision if conditions don’t change.”

If conditions don’t change? Not a single child has died of COVID-19 in the state of California. Not one in this state of 40 million people. Kids are not only more likely to die of the flu, but are more likely to die in a car crash on the way to school or in a playground accident at school.

Also, consider the fact that they are insinuating that schools can’t return to normal until there is a vaccine. Well, when was the last time we had a foolproof vaccine for a respiratory virus? Notice how the flu is much more dangerous for children than COVID-19, even though there already is a vaccine. According to the California Department of Public Health’s Influenza Surveillance Report, there were 187 reported ICU and fatal cases of the flu among children during the 2017-2018 season. Among those cases with available influenza vaccination information (120 cases), 61 (50.8%) received the 2017–2018 influenza vaccine.

Not only does that show the flu is more deadly, but it also demonstrates that even once we get a vaccine for a respiratory virus, they are often not nearly as foolproof as other vaccines. Thus, if zero pediatric deaths in California is too much of a risk to assume, then a half-baked vaccine won’t exactly matter.

Finally, we already know that children almost always get the virus from adults and that the primary location for transmission is at home. So, if we are really concerned about an infinitesimal degree of risk to children, who’s to say that school closures would mitigate that degree of risk? As a Johns Hopkins analysis of mass quarantine in 2006, which was co-authored by famed smallpox eradicator D.A. Henderson, noted, “When schools closed for a winter holiday during the 1918 pandemic in Chicago, ‘more influenza cases developed among pupils . . . than when schools were in session.’”

What is truly driving the agenda to close schools? (For more from the author of “If the Panicmongers Were Consistent, We’d Close the Schools Every Flu Season” please click HERE)

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