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COVID Accountability Never

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Anthony Fauci is retiring in December. | Shawn Thew / Pool via CNP / SplashNews

COVID-19 answers? On Monday, Anthony Fauci—formerly the chief medical adviser to the president during the COVID-19 pandemic and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director—testified before Congress about his role in the pandemic and the origins of the coronavirus.

Fauci, deified by many mainstream liberals, made a few preposterous claims. When Rep. Jim Jordan (R–Ohio) asked, “You agree that there was a push to downplay the lab leak theory?” Fauci responded, implausibly, “None on my part.”

This strains credulity; many, including those questioning him yesterday, have pointed to the fact that Fauci directed funding toward gain-of-function research, including toward the lab in Wuhan, China, that COVID-19 is believed to have emerged from. When social media companies, under pressure from the federal government, worked to suppress the spread of information related to the lab leak, mainstream publications treated it like a crackpot theory (with the exception, interestingly, of some writers at The New York Times). And groups of virologists, who had been encouraged by Fauci, published articles in scientific journals casting doubt on the theory. Together, these actions reveal a more complete picture that contradicts Fauci’s rosy revisionism.

Back in a private testimony in January, Fauci had told Congress that the six-foot social distancing recommendation “wasn’t based on data.” But yesterday, he clarified that he’d meant there was no clinical trial that settled on the six-foot recommendation and that “officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who crafted the recommendation were basing the distance on early expectations of how the virus spread,” per The Washington Post. When congressional Republicans voiced their discontent with this answer and emphasized that the arbitrary six-foot rule crippled schools’ ability to have kids inside their classrooms, keeping many shuttered for a year and a half, Fauci had little remorse to offer.

Biden immigration crackdown expected: President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order today that seals the border under an unprecedented surge of migrants, curbing the protections available to asylum seekers.

“The restrictions would kick in once the number of illegal crossings exceeds 2,500 in a day, according to several people who have been briefed on the order,” reports The New York Times. “Daily totals already exceed that number, which means that Mr. Biden’s executive order could go into effect immediately.”

It seems Biden is worried that the crisis at the border is a political liability that may hinder his ability to get reelected, thus the rightward shift in immigration politics.

Scenes from New York: The pot shops down the block from my house have these types of signs on them—a sign that masking, which caught on (and was in many places legally mandated) during the pandemic has now become another tool available to robbers, who have been reportedly targeting these head shops.

Sign at pot shop | Liz Wolfe
(Liz Wolfe)

Republicans in some places, like North Carolina, have been pushing a bill that bans people from donning masks in public, possibly in an effort to help police crack down on protesters. But some New Yorkers favor this type of legislation because they’ve seen just how bad theft can get and how CCTV cameras are unable to surveil offenders if their faces are covered. It feels like there’s no libertarian answer here: Of course, people should be free to try to hide from surveillance, but what happens when it’s bad people doing rights-violating things?

  • “Had the government not provided COVID-19 vaccines for free and shielded vaccine makers and administrators from any liability for adverse reactions, prices could have better rationed vaccine supply and better informed people about their risks and benefits,” writes Reason‘s Christian Britschgi. “Without prices, people were instead left with flawed government recommendations, incentives, and rationing schemes.”
  • Death spiral:
  • Seems insane that former President Donald Trump should have to surrender his guns post-felony conviction. Who is made safer by this?
  • Speaking of guns and felonies…inside Hunter Biden’s legal troubles.
  • “The challenge with freezing organs, brains or whole bodies is figuring out how not to cause irreparable damage,” reports Bloomberg. “When ice crystals form during the freezing process, they can tear and burst cells. This can be combated to a degree by freezing tissue very quickly and shielding it with chemicals, the cryoprotectants, that blunt the crystallization process. Still, it’s very difficult to treat large amounts of tissue in a uniform manner with these techniques, as the innards of an organ or body prove tougher to reach with cold and chemicals.”
  • True:

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