Don’t Be Fooled: Gender Identity Policies Don’t Follow the Science

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

During the past presidential election, you may remember seeing black yard signs with lists of creed-like statements written in rainbow text. The creeds included claims like “science is real.” All Americans should agree with this statement.

And yet, contrary to this pithy creed, any law that classifies gender identity as a protected class under civil rights law denies science. The Equality Act and the Fairness for All Act turn the scientific reality that there are only two sexes into the legal equivalent of racism.

The Equality Act has turned civil rights law from a shield intended to protect racial minorities from discrimination into a sword that compels conformity to subjective viewpoints on sexual orientation and gender identity.

These state- and local-level policies allow male athletes to compete against females in sports, even though studies show biological males retain a competitive advantage over females even after two years of taking estrogen.

The Fairness for All Act drafters touted it as a reasonable compromise meant to mitigate the harms of the Equality Act. It includes religious exemptions and preserves the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the Equality Act would nullify.

However, this approach did not protect religious freedom in Utah, where legislators passed a similar compromise bill.

Unsatisfied with the compromise, gender identity activists helped pass a ban on counseling that would have helped children struggling with gender dysphoria.

The rule discriminates against counselors who seek to help patients reconcile with their biological sex and allows only gender-affirming counseling that supports chemical and surgical transition.

These methods overlook the fact that 88% to 98% of those struggling with gender dysphoria will accept their biological sex after going through puberty, according to the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.”

Enshrining the fundamentally flawed and radical idea that a person can change sex—at any age—as a civil right threatens the safety and freedom of all Americans, religious or not.

The notion that a person can change his or her sex rejects science. This was on full display in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equality Act. During the hearing, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, “Are there more than two sexes, in your opinion?” David replied, “It’s not limited to two.”

While David’s answer sent shockwaves through social media, it should not have come as a surprise. Gender identity advocates regularly insist that those who believe that there are only two sexes—male and female—overlook the science of intersex conditions. But David and other activists’ references to intersex people do not debunk the sexual binary.

“Intersex conditions” or disorders in sexual development are statistical rarities occurring in approximately 1 out of every 5,000 births, according to Ryan Anderson’s research.

Anderson’s Amazon-banned book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement,” states the medical community considers these atypical expressions of the sexual binary, not a third sex or the result of a third gonad.

Because gender ideology flatly rejects science, enshrining it into federal law means no amount of religious liberty exemptions will prevent the damage caused by such policies like the Equality Act.

Women and children—religious or not—will lose privacy, safety, and fairness in public and federally funded single-sex facilities and programs, which exist because of biological differences between men and women.

Medical professionals—religious or not—who treat individuals struggling with gender dysphoria will lose the freedom to treat patients according to the best medical and scientific evidence.

Normally, doctors and counselors correct a patient’s disordered perception of her body. Medical professionals also treat other body dysmorphias, like anorexia. Yet, the “gender affirmative” approach requires that they support a patient’s disordered perception of her body and even physically change its appearance to conform to the disorder.

Laws that threaten the freedom of doctors and counselors harm struggling individuals. By reducing their options for care, these laws minimize patients’ chances to flourish in mind and body.

Denying reality in the name of “gender-affirming care” causes harm, not healing. While the Fairness for All Act may protect doctors and counselors inside religious institutions, it will expose those in secular institutions to punishment.

People may be free to adopt radical new ideas about gender for themselves, but if activists have their way and the Senate passes the Equality Act, the federal government will have power to pressure Americans into denying science under threat of punishment.

Even good-faith compromises like the Fairness for All Act suppress the freedoms of all gender identity dissenters outside of religious institutions. That is hardly fair at all.

America is at its best when all citizens can seek and live according to the truth. Disagreements between gender identity advocates and Americans who know there are only two sexes will continue. Congress should allow them to, by rejecting the Equality Act and the Fairness for All Act that shut down any conversation.

Most importantly, Congress should affirm that “science is real.”

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This article was published on June 14, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Daily Signal.

This Is Life Under State Media

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

The legacy press scoffed at the lab-leak theory for months. Now they minimize it while running cover for Dr. Fauci.

Everyone understands the Soviet Union tried to cover up the Chernobyl disaster, but what’s less known is that they’d already pulled it off once before. In 1957, an accident at a plutonium production site near the remote city of Kyshtym in the Ural Mountains saw the spread of radioactive particles for tens of thousands of square miles across the USSR. Nearby population centers were evacuated (slowly) but it wasn’t until the late 1970s that a defector began to reveal the true scope of the incident.

The Soviets, as should be apparent, were not the first people you’d want watching over your nuclear reactor (or fixing your car or…). Still, you have to hand it to the commies: at least when they lied they were acting in the interests of their own glorious motherland. It never would have occurred to them to cover up the truth about a deadly emergency on behalf of a rival power. Yet somehow that’s the corner our elite media have backed themselves into. By scoffing for months at the possibility that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese facility, by continuing to paper over that possibility now, they’ve effectively relegated themselves to water carriers for Beijing.

Drip…drip…drip…go the revelations surrounding the so-called lab-leak theory, as fresh testimony and documents force us to reassess what we thought we knew about the pandemic. Scientists have now admitted that lab-leak is perfectly valid, while a handful even say it’s more plausible than zoonosis, the previously regnant idea that the virus was passed to a human by an animal. In the Wall Street Journal, two researchers declare that the coronavirus bears the genetic fingerprint of a gain-of-function experiment. In the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, writer Nicholas Wade points to the presence of a so-called “furin cleavage site” in the COVID-19’s spike protein, which is unlikely to have evolved naturally, which the Wuhan Institute of Virology has inserted into viruses before.

Into the sunlight has come news that three researchers at the Wuhan laboratory in question became mysteriously sick in the fall of 2019, exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s inbox released earlier this month show he was apprised that the coronavirus looked “engineered” in January 2020 only to reverse course shortly thereafter. And on their heels comes a classified scientific report from May 2020 that warned the pandemic could have escaped from a lab.

From within the scientific community come whispers that those who lent credence to a lab leak were suppressed and silenced. Katherine Eban at Vanity Fairnotes that a science-free letter published in the prestigious Lancet journal effectively cast the theory as xenophobic and stigmatized dissent. Ian Birrell at UnHerd documents further corruption at the leading scientific periodicals, saying they slow-walked lab-leak research and that one reason may have been Chinese funding. Jamie Metzl, a World Health Organization advisor and a self-proclaimed “progressive Democrat,” accuses the Lancet of “thuggery” and calls for the publication’s editor-in-chief to resign.

Drip…drip…drip…and surely if there’s a leaky spigot then this can’t really be like the Soviet Union, right? It’s not like CNN, NBC, and the Washington Post have blacked out the lab-leak theory, and Vanity Fair is very much a mainstream publication. But outright censorship is rarely how media suppression works in 2021 America. Reporters today wouldn’t ignore a Kyshtym meltdown; they would bury it, relegate it to page A21, freight it with disclaimers about “right-wing conspiracy theorists.” That’s what’s happening here. Open to the front page of any legacy news publication, turn on any newscast, and you’ll learn all about the G7 summit, infrastructure negotiations, the Capitol riot, plateauing vaccine rates.

Consider: China may have manufactured a virus that killed close to four million people and then covered it up. That this is even a possibility is chilling; in the wrong hands it could constitute a casus belli. What happens to our diplomacy now that we know Beijing at a bare minimum lied early and often about COVID? What about a scientific establishment that appears corrupted by political correctness and groupthink? What does this mean for public trust?

You’d think the press would want to seriously pursue these questions with—pulling a name out of a hat here—Dr. Anthony Fauci. Yet during an interview last week with Chuck Todd, that ridiculous lawn gnome standing guard in the front yard of the Biden administration, a discussion of lab-leak quickly devolved into softballs about the irredeemable idiocy of Fauci’s right-wing detractors. And Fauci was only too peached to play along: “You’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci,” Dr. Anthony Fauci chided his critics, “you’re attacking science!” The two are one and the same, you see. That Todd had just been faced with the epidemiological equivalent of a dirty cop screaming “I am the law!!” did not seem to faze him. Farcically, he’d used an earlier answer from Fauci as an opportunity to bring up Russia.

I’m not saying Todd had to karate-kick Fauci in the teeth and I agree that some of Fauci’s critics have been overheated. But given all the revelations swirling at present, imagine what an actual practicing journalist could have done with that interview. And what is state media if not media that protects agents of the state? There isn’t a government spokesman in existence who could have defended Fauci better than Todd did.

At least ABC News’s Jonathan Karl admitted last week that reporters had previously neglected lab-leak evidence. The question now is why so many of them are still doing it. It’s true that America has an “adversarial press,” but the adversary these days isn’t so much lies or corruption or the powerful; it’s a perceived choir of conservative whackjobs who somehow keep on being proven right. Those of us who wince at the yellow and scream-o nature of some right-wing media should be nonetheless grateful it exists. Otherwise we might have to wait another 20 years for the truth to come out.

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This article was published on June 14, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

YouTube Bans Sen. Ron Johnson For Discussing Early Treatment Of COVID-19

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

YouTube’s position is that content on the site must parrot whatever comes from its narrow set of authorities, even though their positions change frequently and dramatically.

Google’s YouTube has stepped up its draconian censorship of a sitting U.S. senator.

The powerful video-sharing company removed a video of a speech given by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and banned him from uploading new videos for at least seven days. The action took place several months after YouTube removed two videos of testimony given at a hearing he hosted of the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the topic of early treatment of COVID-19.

In the video YouTube censors are prohibiting the public from viewing, Johnson took bureaucrats in the Trump and Biden administrations to task for “not only ignoring but working against robust research [on] the use of cheap, generic drugs to be repurposed for early treatment of COVID.”

While large pharmaceutical companies and their allies in government bureaucracies and the World Health Organization have focused their research and funding on new treatments for the novel coronavirus, some doctors and studies have argued for the use of drugs that have been on the market for decades. The patents for the drugs have expired, meaning they are now manufactured by multiple companies who would share in the profit. Therefore trials involving the drugs have to be funded by the government and private donors.

Johnson noted that he held two hearings on early treatment for COVID-19. He said one of the people testifying at one of the hearings talked about “the four pillars of pandemic response,” those being the prevention of the spread of the virus, early treatment, treatment in the hospital, and vaccines.

“It always baffled me that there was such a concerted effort to deny the American public the type of robust exploration research into early treatment early in this pandemic,” Johnson said, explaining why he wanted to bring more focus to that topic. He noted that studies have shown that “both hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin” are “incredibly safe” drugs.

Both drugs have been on the market for decades and are recommended for various uses, such as Lupus and scabies. Currently, the National Institutes of Health recommends against the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19, after a study showed it did no harm but did not provide benefit. NIH is currently neutral on the use of ivermectin for COVID-19, a shift from a previous recommendation against its use.

While most pharmaceutical companies and countries funding research aren’t evaluating the two drugs for robust study, some recent studies have buttressed defenders’ hope in the treatment. See, for example, this study awaiting peer review on positive outcomes associated with multi-drug treatment including hydroxychloroquine, and this similarly not-yet-reviewed study out of Argentina on ivermectin.

YouTube said it was censoring discussion of the drug as part of its policy against “medical misinformation,” which says it won’t allow anything that “contradicts local health authorities or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.”

WHO scientists and other local authorities have changed their position on whether masks are ineffective or need to be doubled up, whether a vaccine could be developed in a few months, whether asymptomatic spread was a problem, whether spread occurred via infected surfaces, whether children were at significant risk from the virus, whether the economic lockdown would require only “15 days to flatten the curve” or more than a year, and whether the novel coronavirus appeared naturally or accidentally leaked out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

YouTube’s position is that content on the site must parrot whatever comes from its narrow set of authorities, even though their positions change frequently and dramatically as more is learned about the novel coronavirus.

YouTube has left uncensored a lengthy video chat between Bret Weinstein and Dr. Pierre Kory, a prominent advocate of treating COVID-19 patients with ivermectin. The duo discussed the topic of the censorship of debate and discussion on effective treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Weinstein said, “There is something about the mindset of the moment in which it’s all about peer review and these published peer-reviewed papers and it’s all about the ‘official guidance’ from the WHO and the CDC. It’s basically a kind of intellectual authoritarianism that is so bizarre in the context of a complex system like medicine, especially in the context of a brand new disease that we’re all not experts in. There are no experts that we can simply default to. Everyone is a novice.”

In the censored video, Johnson said he supports Operation Warp Speed, which fast-tracked vaccines, but that more is needed with regard to early treatment for COVID-19 patients. “I thought it was brilliant the way the Trump administration squeezed all of the economic efficiencies out of producing the vaccine, but I think we’re still going to need early treatments” since the coronavirus isn’t going away, he said.

He noted that some “world-renowned experts … have come to a different conclusion than our health agencies” and that the health agencies had “pretty well sabotaged the ability for many doctors to even consider hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, or other of these multi-drug generic repurpose drug approaches here.”

When YouTube censored videos of Senate testimony, Johnson wrote for the Wall Street Journal about it. “The censors at YouTube have decided for all of us that the American public shouldn’t be able to hear what senators heard. Apparently, they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives. They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed, and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies. Government-sanctioned censorship of ideas and speech should frighten us all,” he wrote.

In April, Google pulled a video of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on March 18 discussing COVID-19 with medical scientists Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, and Dr. Scott Atlas, who all hail from elite institutions — Stanford University, Harvard University, and Oxford University.

“For science to work, you have to have an open exchange of ideas,” Bhattacharya said of the censorship. “If you’re going to make an argument that something is misinformation, you should provide an actual argument. You can’t just take it down and say, ‘Oh, it’s misinformation’ without actually giving a reason. And saying, ‘Look it disagrees with the CDC’ is not enough of a reason. Let’s hear the argument, let’s see the evidence that YouTube used to decide it was misinformation. Let’s have a debate. Science works best when we have an open debate.”

Kulldorf weighed in as well, saying at an April press conference, “I’m very worried about the future of science because science is dependent on the free exchange of ideas and it has been for 300 years now. So if this continues, this kind of attitude, the censoring of scientific views, then I think we have reached the end of 200 years of Enlightenment.”

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This article was published on June 11, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

The Regulatory Capture Of The FDA

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

The mega-profit pharmaceutical industry relies on connections with the agency tasked with regulating it.

This week, three members of an 11 member FDA advisory committee of experts resigned in protest over the FDA’s approval of Aduhelm (aducanumab) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. These resignations are extremely unusual, but in this case, understandable.

Aduhelm was approved by the agency despite the fact that both pivotal trials were stopped early because they were judged to be futile, the FDA’s own statistical reviewer did not support approval, and the FDA advisory committee reviewing the application voted it down overwhelmingly. Additionally, in a survey conducted by Endpoint News, whose readership is heavily weighted to biopharmaceutical industry staffers and executives, over 80 percent consider the approval to be a bad idea. So, how did Aduhelm’s June 7 approval happen? Two words: regulatory capture.

Regulatory capture is defined as when a supposedly objective regulatory agency ends up promoting the ends of the industries they are regulating. The FDA has been captured for quite a while. In a 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal, the majority of the FDA’s hematology-oncology reviewers who left the agency ended up working or consulting for the biopharmaceutical industry. In another investigation by Science magazine, 11 of 16 FDA reviewers who worked on 28 drug approvals and subsequently left the agency are working or consulting for the companies they recently regulated.

For example, Dr. Thomas Laughren, a former director of psychiatric products for the FDA, who had a history of less than objective actions while at the agency, left the FDA in 2012 and started a consultancy to help companies focused on psychiatric products navigate the regulator’s approval process. One of these companies is AstraZeneca, maker of Seroquel. He was instrumental in getting Seroquel a broader approval in 2009, going so far as to personally minimize questions about cardiac risk related to the drug at an FDA advisory committee meeting. After approval, however, there was no hiding from these side effects and a warning label had to be added to the drug in 2011.

Back in 2016, there was a major controversy related to the actions of Dr. Janet Woodcock, the current acting FDA commissioner, while she was the director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). The FDA, at the behest of Woodcock, overruled significant internal dissension to approve Exondys, a therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a rare and severe disease that currently has an annual treatment cost of around $1 million per patient per year. Luckily for the public, the FDA published the internal dissension with their approval documents.

One of the most vocal objections came from Dr. Ellis Unger, who was director of the Office of Drug Evaluation at CDER. According to Unger, Woodcock was intensely involved in the review of Exondys from the very beginning and decided to approve the drug before the actual review team had finished its own recommendation. And besides interference, Unger was very vocal in his belief that Exondys is ineffective, even calling it a “scientifically elegant placebo.” Exondys was approved based on its impact on dystrophin which is thought to be a biomarker for efficacy. Unger pointed out that the impact on dystrophin is so small that if you had 10 inches of snow on the sidewalk, the drug effect would be equal to 1/32 of an inch. Additionally, Dr. John Jenkins, who was the director of new drugs at the agency, also voiced opposition to the approval and retired soon afterwards.

Why did Woodcock fight so fiercely for the approval of Exondys? The worst reason was probably due to worries over the stock price of Sarepta, the manufacturer of Exondys. In her presentation in front of the Agency Scientific Dispute Process Review Board (SDR Board), Woodcock noted that Sarepta “needed to be capitalized” and mentioned how the stock reacted to different FDA actions. She also suggested that if Sarepta did not receive approval, the company might have insufficient capital to continue its study of Exondys and other drugs in the company’s pipeline. Or in essence, we have to approve this drug so they can study it.

And we shouldn’t forget the political pressure, of course. Within the approval documents it was noted that both Unger and Woodcock received significant correspondence from Congress and the public, urging approval for the drug. It was also probably not a coincidence that Sarepta significantly increased its lobbying spending ahead of and during the approval process. Lobbying continues to have a fantastic return on investment, as Exondys revenues are currently over $400 million per year (after spending less than a year’s worth of revenues from one patient on the activity on an annual basis).

Now let’s get back to Aduhelm. In March of 2019, Biogen’s two identically designed randomized controlled studies looking at Aduhelm in mild Alzheimer’s patients (trials 301 and 302) were stopped due to the data safety monitoring board judging them to be futile and unlikely to produce a clinically meaningful benefit. Then in October of that year, Biogen announced that after receiving additional data from one of the trials, they decided to file for approval of the high dose tested (10mg/kg) with the FDA. This despite the fact that the benefit was only seen in trial 302, while in trial 301 patients on the high dose actually did worse than patients on placebo. Even the pooled data, combining that from both trials, did not show a significant benefit for the high dose.

After Biogen made the decision to move forward, the company then went to work on the narrative. At the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease conference in December 2019, during a session to discuss the data, no skeptics or even statisticians were given a platform to speak. Additionally, no open question-and-answer segment was allowed and all microphones were removed from around the room. This was highly unusual, especially given that question-and-answer sessions are the rule at a medical conference. Even more shocking was that Biogen and the FDA released joint briefing documents for the meeting of the FDA Advisory Committee (a panel of experts convened prior to a drug’s approval) to discuss the safety and efficacy of the drug. In my 22 years looking at the biotechnology sector, I don’t remember this ever happening. Typically, the FDA has one set of briefing documents where they discuss the data from their point of view, and the company has a different set.

Despite this questionable degree of collaboration, if not collusion, the meeting did not go well for Biogen. Statisticians typically do not like the acrobatics required to make a negative study into a positive one, and the FDA’s statistician at the meeting, Dr. Tristan Massie, was no different. She concluded that the evidence was conflicting and that approval might actually negatively impact the development of more effective treatments, both with regard to the design of future trials as well as recruitment (patients often would prefer to use an approved drug over one in clinical trials). The advisory committee shared her view and on the key question regarding whether trial 302 provided evidence of effectiveness of the drug; not a single committee member voted yes and 10 voted no, with one abstention. A pretty overwhelmingly negative response.

And yet, the FDA approved it anyway. Even worse, the actual drug label, which is what physicians and patients review when considering a drug, reads like it was written by Biogen’s marketing team. First, the label indicates that it is approved for the treatment of all stages of Alzheimer’s disease, even though it was only tested in mild patients and had meager efficacy even there. This greatly inflates the addressable market size, as now all six million Americans with Alzheimer’s are eligible for therapy. Given the company decided to price the drug well ahead of any projections, at $56,000 per patient per year (the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review calculated a fair price to be between $2,500 and $8,300), this drug could be a real budget buster. And this six million patient estimate only includes people over the age of 65, hence they will be covered by Medicare (specifically Medicare Part B as it is an infusion). In 2019, total spending by Medicare Part B was $37 billion. If just 15 percent of patients with Alzheimer’s decide to go on Aduhelm, that would equal $50 billion in spending.

The FDA also stated that they approved Aduhelm because of reduction in amyloid plaques—misfolded proteins between nerve cells—even though that was not the primary endpoint of either study and there is actually no evidence that a reduction in plaques improves anything. Even in the case of Aduhelm, both studies indicated a significant reduction in plaques and yet one of the studies showed a placebo outperforming the high dose. We’ve seen a similar scenario play out before. Merck’s Verubecestat was able to show 60 to 80 percent reductions in plaques and was still unable to show any clinical benefit (and was even worse than placebo on several important measures).

There were a couple of additional irregularities in the label which seem to benefit Biogen. Trial 301 was the “bad” one while trial 302 was the “good” one. The label reverses the numbering so that the “good” trial is referred to as “Study 1,” which allows them to speak about that data first and in detail. When discussing “Study 2,” the label excludes any presentation of the clinical data that showed that placebo patients did better than patients who received the approved dose, despite the fact that this occurred with regard to the primary endpoint of the trial. That’s a very key piece of information that would be important for patients and physicians to know about when considering therapy and whether the benefit outweighs the risk of side effects, which include cerebral microhemorrhage (19 percent of patients who received the high dose) and cerebral edema (35 percent of patients).

Why did the FDA do all of this? Besides the usual incentives for post-FDA careers, there were likely political considerations at work, as in the case of Sarepta (and remember Janet Woodcock, who heavily influenced that decision, is currently acting FDA commissioner). Less than two weeks prior to the approval, President Joe Biden said that “if we don’t do something about Alzheimer’s in America… every single [hospital bed] will be occupied in the next 15 years with an Alzheimer’s patient.” Guess which 2020 candidate was the largest recipient of campaign funds by a large margin from Biogen and affiliated parties? Joe Biden, with $76,241. And like Sarepta, Biogen also significantly increased their lobbying ahead of the FDA decision, with 2020 being a record year and 2021 being a record first quarter. The FDA did not publish the internal deliberations like they did with Sarepta, but my guess is that they wouldn’t necessarily be that different and would indicate similar pressures.

I have a lot of respect for the FDA and I think the vast majority of reviewers are looking to do the right thing, but the system is broken and there need to be more firewalls to insulate the FDA from manipulation. A 2006 survey of FDA scientists indicated that 18.4 percent of them had “been asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information or their conclusions in a FDA scientific document.” I have to imagine a similar survey wouldn’t show any better results today.

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This article was published on June 12, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Sayings About the Pandemic That Should Never Be Heard Again

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Since our overlords are telling us in California we will be unshackled as of June 15th (at least for now), it is time to examine some of the nonsense and distortions of the English language we have endured over the past 15 months.

Being part of a pandemic in 2021 is not the worst thing if you compare it to what it must have been like in 1918. You have deliveries to your door, take-out food from multiple restaurants, Netflix and Amazon Prime to stream endless movies and 57 channels with nothing on. You can take a hot shower every day and don’t have to walk outside to go to the potty. One should always look at the brighter side of life. Yet despite that, there are some sayings that we should never, ever be required to hear again.

Non-Essential Business – Let us lead with the biggest and most diabolical statement made during the time of the pandemic. We all know it and you have probably said it. There is no such thing as a “non-essential business.” At least not in the terms these fully-paid governmental employees are saying.

Yes, making buggy whips is a non-essential business … today. So is Woolworth and some other retailers in the current environment. Creative destruction is a part of capitalism. With advancements in technology and customer desires, jobs and businesses become obsolete. People don’t think of how many folks had to shovel the manure off the streets of New York City before automobiles made horse and carriage transportation non-essential.

We made those decisions, not government bureaucrats. To tell people who own a gym that their business is non-essential, the business they built through sweat and sacrifice, is disgusting. To tell barbers, hairstylists, and nail salons they are non-essential is just idiotic because you can see how people flocked to those businesses once allowed to by their overlords.

Only a heartless elected official or one of their inept consultants could have come up with this term. It should go the way of the N-word and the C-word.

Stay Safe – This was obviously developed and used by people who never actually faced true danger in their life. The overwhelming majority of people were never threatened by this disease; or, if they were, would have a mild illness. You might say this to people in a nursing home, but they don’t have smartphones to be annoyed by this.

“Stay safe” has its place. If a hurricane is bearing down on where you live, then that would be a good time to use the phrase. If you were a Jew, Gay, or Gypsy in Europe in the ’30s or ’40s, that would be a good time. If you were fighting in the jungles of Viet Nam, that was appropriate then. Or if you lived in Mao Tse-Tung’s China, you really needed that saying. People probably never used it in these examples because they were in real danger of losing their lives.

This statement is being used by people who never actually faced a challenge in their lives, never entered the military, or had to police a drug-invested neighborhood. It makes them feel better and gives them a false sense that they are caring people.

Saying “be well” or “take care of yourself” is fine, but this statement crosses the line into the vapid.

The truth is we have no choice – The truth is we always have a choice. This is America. We never have to live without a choice. We can move states. We can do what we want. There is no more offensive statement to be conveyed to a free American by an elected leader or one of their bureaucratic wonks than “We have no choice.”

We’re all in this together – No, we are not. We were never in this together and the people who said that were particularly not in this with us. They never lost their jobs. They were never locked down in their homes. They were never told don’t worry about your business, it will be there when you come back.

On top of it, they never sacrificed as we have. The mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, told people she needed a haircut because she is the public face of Chicago and is on national TV. The Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, shipped his family to Florida by private plane while residents of his state could not leave their homes. Then he told the press he remembered a time when comments about family were off-limits and they dropped the subject. It is a wonder that anyone still lives in Illinois with leadership like this. The smart ones have left. And the state remained on lockdown long after neighboring states were moving toward freedom.

Long after more than 30 million were filing for unemployment — truly the only non-essential workers in America – many government employees were still drawing full pay and benefits. Nancy Pelosi right on cue proposed a $3 trillion-dollar bill that funds billions of dollars to governments and says it is to protect our firefighters and police. Governor Newsom, trying to fill his bloated government budget with monies from better operating states, said if he does not get federal funds that first responders would be laid off. No mention of cutting government employees who are of no use but to harass hard-working people trying to run a business. Then his coffers got filled with tax bounty from IPO offerings. He never turned down the federal dough.

No, we are most definitely not all in this together and we never were.

We must listen to the Scientists – That is technically correct, but it leaves out the second part of the equation. We don’t have to do what they say we should do.

Scientists provide information. They are not equipped to make public policy. Usually, when someone makes this inane statement it is because they are a political hack trying to scare people into doing something they tell us we should be doing, but common sense says we should not.

The CDC and Dr. Fauci have changed the gospel so many times one could get whiplash. The scientific models have been so frequently off that most times they should not be offered.

This may be the most dangerous statement repeated over and over again during the pandemic. The scientists were so frequently wrong it is scary. Sometimes it brought visions of those old Hollywood movies where the tribal meeting was called and the witch doctor in a silly outfit was brought in to tell people what they should do.

Words I hope I never hear againSocial Distancing. Face Mask. Super Spreader.

Ideas I never want to hear againMaybe we should continue wearing face masks. Maybe we will never shake hands again. Both senseless ideas courtesy of Dr. Fauci. Why don’t you suggest we stop hugging also?

Stay Positive – This is actually a good saying, unfortunately being used by pathetic public figures in such a milquetoast way and repeated over and over to minimize its effect.

Here is something positive. Taking back our country from some people who want to control our activities and lives. We live in the greatest country ever created on this planet. People come to the United States to experience our freedom and the manifest existence that leads to life superior to anywhere else. This is because of the unique freedoms that were delivered to us through God and documented by our country’s founders, particularly in the Bill of Rights. We shall continue that actualization through the strength of our people and their willingness to demand those freedoms be maintained.

The most indelible image of the pandemic will always be the magnificent Brian Stokes Mitchell standing on his balcony singing may be my favorite song ever (of 1,000s I love) The Impossible Dream to New Yorkers and all Americans. That is what this country is about.

Have faith in the everyday Americans; they will deliver us from this moment back to the life we have all worked to achieve and the country that we so richly deserve.

*****

This article was published on June 13, 2021 at Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

 

Arizona-run COVID-19 Vaccination Sites Closing June 28

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

State-run COVID-19 vaccination sites are closing by June 28 in Arizona, as the state’s focus shifts to increasing community-based vaccination options such as pharmacies, pop-up clinics, and doctors’ offices.

State-run vaccination sites have administered 1.6 million doses of the vaccine to about 900,000 Arizonans, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

“Starting with our 24/7 operation at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, these sites established a national model for getting limited doses of vaccine into the community rapidly and efficiently,” ADHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a statement on Thursday.

June 5 will be the last day for Arizonans to receive their first dose of the vaccine and schedule a second dose before the closing date. The ADHS encouraged those who would like to receive both vaccine doses at a state-run site to visit by then. First doses will still be administered after June 5, but patients will be given the information of other locations to receive the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Appointment information is on the ADHS website.

State-run sites have already begun to decrease hours and days of operation to begin the transition to neighborhood vaccination options.

“At the height of demand, state-run sites administered nearly 168,000 doses in a single week. Now, even with access to the Pfizer vaccine expanded to children ages 12 to 15, doses administered at state-run sites decreased to 13,000-50,000 per week during the month of May, highlighting the need to shift to community-based options,” the statement read.

As of Thursday, 5.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to 3.3 million individuals, including 2.8 million who are fully vaccinated, according to the ADHS. Close to 47% of Arizona’s total population has received at least the first dose of the vaccine, with 39% of Arizonans fully vaccinated.

The final site, Gila River Arena in Glendale, will close on June 28. The Glendale site administered a record-breaking number of vaccines since it opened on June 11. They administered 12,495 doses in one day, earning the site a virtual visit from the President and Vice President.

We’re in a much different position today than we were early in the year, with enough vaccines available throughout Arizona for virtually anyone to get vaccinated when they want close to home,” Christ said.

*****

This article was published on June 7, 2021 and reproduced with permission from The Center Square.

How Political Correctness Enabled The Pandemic

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A new blockbuster report in Vanity Fair makes clear that it was wrong to dismiss the lab leak theory as xenophobia.

More than the Fauci emails, more than the Wall Street Journal report last month, this morning’s Vanity Fair piece by Katherine Eban blows open the federal government’s secrecy over COVID. Incorporating months of research, Eban’s exposé doesn’t outright confirm the lab leak theory (that would be impossible even with the information she’s gathered). But it does establish a devastating narrative: the Chinese government covered up data pertaining to its Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) lab, scientists fell prey to groupthink, the American bureaucracy tried to stamp out an investigation into COVID-19’s origins “because it would bring unwelcome attention to U.S. government funding of” WIV gain-of-function research.

The truth, whatever it is, was suppressed.

The one flaw of Eban’s piece is its periodic throat-clearing over “right-wing conspiracy theorists”—even as her own reporting validates some of those theories. But she also makes clear how left-wing politics stifled critical thought. This began within the scientific community:

On February 19, 2020, The Lancet, among the most respected and influential medical journals in the world, published a statement that roundly rejected the lab-leak hypothesis, effectively casting it as a xenophobic cousin to climate change denialism and anti-vaxxism. Signed by 27 scientists, the statement expressed “solidarity with all scientists and health professionals in China” and asserted: “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

The Lancet statement effectively ended the debate over COVID-19’s origins before it began. To Gilles Demaneuf, following along from the sidelines, it was as if it had been “nailed to the church doors,” establishing the natural origin theory as orthodoxy. “Everyone had to follow it. Everyone was intimidated. That set the tone.”

It continued after then-president Trump spouted off last year about a possible lab leak:

Trump’s premature statement poisoned the waters for anyone seeking an honest answer to the question of where COVID-19 came from. According to Pottinger, there was an “antibody response” within the government, in which any discussion of a possible lab origin was linked to destructive nativist posturing.

The revulsion extended to the international science community, whose “maddening silence” frustrated Miles Yu. He recalled, “Anyone who dares speak out would be ostracized.”

It even affected Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC and a respected virologist:

In a CNN interview on March 26, Dr. Redfield, the former CDC director under Trump, made a candid admission: “I am of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathogen in Wuhan was from a laboratory, you know, escaped.” Redfield added that he believed the release was an accident, not an intentional act. In his view, nothing that happened since his first calls with Dr. Gao changed a simple fact: The WIV needed to be ruled out as a source, and it hadn’t been.

After the interview aired, death threats flooded his inbox. The vitriol came not just from strangers who thought he was being racially insensitive but also from prominent scientists, some of whom used to be his friends. One said he should just “wither and die.”

There’s plenty more where that came from and I’d highly encourage you to read the entire piece. It’s worth noting that many scientists still think it’s far more likely the coronavirus was transmitted from an animal, given how frequently this occurs. But the lab leak theory was always more than just an Infowars fetish. That it was treated as such for over a year is a disgrace to journalism and the scientific method.

*****

This article was published on June 4, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

Rand Paul Has Won Every Single Round Against Fauci

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Time has proven Rand Paul had his thumb on the pulse of the science of the virus, and understood the unintended consequences of government interventions better than public health officials.

With most sporting events canceled for much of the past year, audiences have tuned into a new kind of sparring to fill the void: political debates. And two opponents have quickly risen to the top of their weight classes—Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The two have paired off for numerous rounds in a feud that’s representative of the one the rest of the country has been having—how should the government respond to the coronavirus.

In each of these exchanges, the mainstream media and many on the left have rushed to condemn Rand for his views and back Fauci’s various stances. But with hindsight on our side, we can now look back on these debates and determine which of their perspectives history has proven correct.

Here’s a look back at some of their most memorable moments in the ring.

Last summer, Rand Paul outraged the left by simply stating that classrooms should remain open to public school students.

“There’s a great deal of evidence that’s actually good—good evidence—that kids aren’t transmitting this—it’s rare—and that kids are staying healthy, and that yes we can open our schools,” he said in a committee hearing.

Fauci vehemently disagreed, alleging that children could spread the disease as easily as adults and advocating federal regulations around reopening schools.

But a mere six months later, Fauci was singing Rand’s tune—walking back his earlier comments.

“If you look at the data, the spread among children and from children is not very big at all,” Fauci stated. “Not like one would have suspected.”

Well, Rand Paul suspected.

To be clear, the science didn’t change over those six months. The politics did. Data always showed it was relatively safe to send kids to school.

Winner: Rand Paul

In March, the two doctors duked it out again, this time over the question of whether or not Americans should continue to wear masks post-vaccination.

“You’re telling everyone to wear a mask,” Paul said. “If we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater? You have the vaccine and you’re wearing two masks, isn’t that theater?”

“Here we go again with the theater,” Fauci responded.

Yet the official narrative on masking post-vaccines changed only a couple days later as politicians realized their security theater was discouraging Americans from taking the vaccine.

In a video, Fauci all but admitted his mask mandates were for show stating, “I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals.

Winner: Rand Paul

For months, it has been taboo to even question the COVID-origins story.

Americans have been told the virus made the jump from animals to humans naturally, and suggestions that the virus originated from a Wuhan lab studying the infection in bats has been condemned as a conspiracy theory.

In their latest match-up, Rand Paul pressed Fauci on the story and demanded more information around funding the US gave to the lab in question.

“Dr. Fauci, we don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally, but we should want to know,” Paul said. “Three million people have died from this pandemic, and that should cause us to explore all possibilities.”

“To arrive at the truth, the U.S. government should admit that the Wuhan Virology Institute was experimenting to enhance the coronavirus’s ability to infect humans,” he continued. Paul went on to point out a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where Fauci works, to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

“Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci responded. He denied the “gain of function” research funding in question as well.

But following the dispute, the official story on the origins began to be backtracked. Media outlets softened their position, and some outright edited their previous articles condemning the story.

It was also confirmed that the NIH did fund research at WIV that analyzed bat specimens collected from caves in China to study their potential for infecting humans. The grant was made in a roundabout way through a nonprofit called EcoHealth.

Winner: Rand Paul

Without a doubt, time has shown Rand had his thumb on the pulse of the science of the disease, the unintended consequences of government policies, and the proper way the government should have balanced public health with civil liberties.

Why has Rand Paul had the upper hand in each of these rounds? Is it because he is so much smarter? A better doctor? Perhaps. But more likely it is because Rand has been following more than the science. He’s been following his principles.

The pandemic created uncertain times, and in the face of such events, many attempt to play God and control the environment. They turn to the entity least likely to protect them, the government, and put their faith in central planning.

But history repeats itself and the old warning of Benjamin Franklin remains more relevant than ever, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Why do those who give up liberty for safety end up with neither? Because government central planning cannot keep people safe. It cannot stop viral diseases any more than it can stop tornadoes. At best, the government is capable of guarding and upholding natural rights, which should always be the focal point of any action it takes.

Because of the knowledge problem, people working in government will never have all of the information they would need to make the best decisions for 330 million other people. This basic economic hurdle produces humility in wise leaders who seek to leave most decisions in the hands of individuals or local governments. But arrogant men ignore it and believe they know what’s best for others.

As has been the case so many other times in history, the arrogance of central planners, like Dr. Fauci, compounded the harmful impact of the disease and created countless additional problems in their wake.

*****

This article was published on May 27, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from FEE, Foundation for Economic Education.

 

 

America Might Have Funded The Chinese Coronavirus

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

In what reads like a dystopian novel, American taxpayer dollars might be responsible for the global pandemic.

It reads like science fiction, but it is very real. The United States paid for the work that likely created COVID-19. Research which could create a bioweapon—genetically engineering the highest possible infectivity for human cells—was subcontracted to the Chinese. A series of cover-ups means we are unlikely to ever know the truth of why our loved ones died.

There are two origin stories for COVID-19. One is that it emerged naturally, evolving from a bat virus to infect humans. The other is that COVID-19 was genetically created by China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and escaped into the world. That year you spent at home, those loved ones who died, might have been our own fault. The point is more than assigning guilt; understanding the true origin of the pandemic is critical to preventing it from happening again, as well as a guide to future gain-of-function research.

The first bioscientist to take a serious look at the origins of the virus raised the possibility it had been manipulated by humans, not nature. More recently, science writer Nicholas Wade went on to ask directly “Did people or nature open Pandora’s Box at Wuhan?” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and makes a strong case it was us.

It starts with EcoHealth Alliance of New York. For 20 years they have created viruses more dangerous than those that exist in nature. Scientists argue that by getting ahead of nature they could predict and prevent “spillovers” from animal hosts to humans. Like something out of Jurassic Park, this is known as gain-of-function research, genetic manipulation to “improve” nature. Such work has already allowed scientists to recreate the 1918 flu virus, to synthesize the almost extinct polio virus, and introduce a smallpox gene into a related virus.

Some of that work was done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, teamed with researchers at the University of North Carolina. Specifically, they focused on enhancing the ability of bat viruses to attack humans. In November 2015 they together created a manufactured virus that was once dangerous only to bats but now able to infect the cells of the human airway.

The key Chinese researcher at Wuhan, Shi Zhengli, known as the “Bat Lady,” specialized further, engineering coronaviruses to attack human cells. Her research was funded by the Obama administration’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIH initially assigned those grants to EcoHealth, who subcontracted the work to Wuhan. The work which likely created COVID-19 was paid for by the United States.

The Wuhan lab was already a nexus of attention pre-pandemic. Following a controversial September 2019 corona lecture the Bat Lady gave in Mozambique, Wuhan pulled their virus database offline. The Chinese government still refuses to provide any of its raw data, safety logs, or lab records. Another Wuhan scientist was forced to leave a Canadian university for shipping deadly viruses, including ebola, back to China. The lab also tried to steal intellectual property regarding remdesivir, a class of antiviral medications used to treat COVID-19 prior to the vaccine. The editorial board of the Bat Lady’s virology journal includes members of the Chinese military.

As early as 2018, Wuhan alarmed visiting U.S. State Department safety inspectors. “The new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,” the inspectors wrote. They warned the lab’s work on “bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.” The Chinese worked under mostly BSL2-level safety conditions far too lax to contain a virus like COVID-19.

The other origin theory, natural emergence, never has had any evidence to support it. Wade’s Bulletin report states, “This was surprising because both the SARS1 and MERS viruses [related to COVID-19] had left copious traces in the environment. The intermediary host species of SARS1 was identified within four months of the epidemic outbreak, and the host of MERS within nine months.”

Yet some 15 months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Chinese researchers have failed to find the original bat population, or the intermediate species to which COVID-19 might have jumped, or any serological evidence that any Chinese population, including that of Wuhan, had ever been exposed to the virus prior to late 2019. The search in China for the natural origin of the virus included testing more than 80,000 different animals from across dozens of Chinese provinces. Not a single case of COVID-19 in nature was found. Chinese researchers did find primordial cases in people from Wuhan with no link to that infamous wet market China claims sold an infected bat eaten by Patient One.

So why does the natural origin theory persist? One of the strongest shows of support was a letter from dozens of scientists published in early 2020 in the British medical journal Lancet. The letter had actually been written not by the scientists, but by Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth, the grantee who subcontracted with Wuhan. If the virus had indeed escaped from research they funded, EcoHealth would be potentially liable, as of course would the American government. EcoHealth went on to plant never-challenged stories in the MSM labeling anyone who thought Wuhan was to blame as a conspiracy crank.

Meanwhile, a Chinese-affiliated scientific journal at the University of Massachusetts Medical School commissioned commentary to refute that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan lab, the same position held by the Chinese government. Mirroring the American media, the journal called anything to the contrary “speculations, rumors, and conspiracy theories.” Chinese officials also objected elsewhere to any name, such as the Wuhan Flu, linking the virus to China.

In addition to these cover-up efforts, there were those of Dr. Anthony Fauci. In answer to Senator Rand Paul, Fauci stated “you are entirely and completely incorrect—that the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” He appears to have committed perjury, as Fauci now admits “there’s no way of guaranteeing” American taxpayer money routed to Wuhan didn’t fund gain-of-function research. Fauci has also reversed himself completely in saying he is no longer convinced COVID developed naturally. The Senate in response passed a Rand Paul-sponsored amendment banning funding of gain-of-function research in China.

The cover-up was aided in every possible way by the media. Though in 2021 the Wall Street Journal reported three researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology became “sick enough in November 2019 [a month before the first “public” cases] with COVID-19-like symptoms that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report,” they along with their peers showed little curiosity a year earlier.

One important word in the Journal’s reporting is undisclosed. What they mean is the media did not know about the report, but the U.S. government did. When President Trump spoke about his now-prescient decision to shut down travel from China in early 2020, he knew about the intel report. As in most cases involving intelligence, the president had to act on the information and inform the public without giving away sources and methods. No thinking person today can claim the move to shut down travel was a mistake.

The media, however, had other priorities. They immediately slammed the decision as racist, and promoted the Chinese government’s evidence-free explanation the Wuhan lab had no connection with the pandemic.

A WaPo headline read “Experts debunk fringe theory linking China’s coronavirus to weapons research” and a separate story said believing the Chinese had anything to do with creating COVID was as credible as the Soviet Union in 1985 accusing the CIA of manufacturing AIDS. “Senator Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,” said the New York Times in February 2020, adding “Scientists have dismissed suggestions that the Chinese government was behind the outbreak.” The Times’s article, however, did not name any of the supposed scientists. Then there was a hagiographic bio piece on the Bat Lady. Later, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people of 2020. The media shut out dissenting opinions, even mocking the Nobel Prize winning co-discoverer of HIV for suggesting non-natural origins.

It is only now, months into the safety of the Biden administration, that the media is willing to take a peek inside Pandora’s Box. Politifact has since walked back its “fact checks” and Facebook announced it would no longer censor posts claiming the virus was man-made.

Yet despite the deaths of millions of people, Washington still has little interest in the origin question. The Biden administration shut down a State Department investigation in March of this year, claiming it was politically motivated. Under pressure, Biden later asked for his own slow-roll investigation, likely to conclude happily none of the scenarios can be confidently ruled in or ruled out.

There will be no smoking gun. The people who know the truth, the Chinese and American governments, and EcoHealth, have already been caught lying. Though this kind of gain-of-function research does not leave a physical marker to prove origin, to date, there is no evidence COVID-19 was of a natural origin. There is much to show it was not.

We do know Wuhan conducted gain-of-function research aimed at doing what COVID-19 does, making a virus originally not dangerous to humans into a super-infector designed to spread quickly while resisting then-existing cures and vaccines. We know the first cases of the virus were in Wuhan, and include researchers at the virology lab who were infected in November 2019. We know precautions at the lab were insufficient to contain the virus. In a murder case this would be enough to show means, motive, and method to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

We know the basic gain-of-function research at the lab was funded by the United States. We also know despite the global importance of the story, curiosity was non-existent in the media. They instead promoted the cover-up stories.

We are unlikely to ever know the full truth, and politicians and pundits will make the most of the ambiguity. But we know the people who lost loved ones, lost their jobs, who fell into despair under societal restrictions, deserve better.

*****

This article was first published on May 31, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The American Conservative.

 

An Open Letter to Senator Shope

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note:  The state Senator who voted to stop Arizona from passing legislation against vaccine passports is hearing from citizens. Our position is that the decision to vaccinate is a decision to be made by the individual citizen and his or her’s medical advisor.

I am a conservative member of the GOP and have been for decades. I moved to this great state eleven years ago to escape the progressive socialists that invaded California and have destroyed that once flourishing state. When I saw that you were the lone defector from the GOP to support this bill, it made me wonder who do you think you represent? It is surely not the GOP, not the conservative voter, not the people who installed you in your comfy Senate seat in the Arizona legislature.

That bill was the only protection that Arizonan had to prevent forced vaccination.

Yes, I get it, you “believe in private property rights,” and “the rights of the sole proprietor, the barber who may be immunocompromised who cannot get a vaccine who would just want to put a sign up in the front of their shop.”

Well, Mr. Shope, how is that barber going to be able to go about his daily life without a passport? How is any unvaccinated person going to be able to maintain any sense of medical privacy? Why don’t we just make all the unvaccinated people just sew a big yellow star on their clothing?

I am unvaccinated, and I am not even remotely concerned about contracting this disease. I had this ‘flu’ last year. I survived an uncomfortable couple of days and then went about my life. It was no different than any other flu I have experienced in my life. As a result, I have an immune system that has developed antibodies to this disease. I believe there is no medical need to get one of these experimental drugs that have never been widely tested.

If there are side effects to this vaccine, who is liable? Will you guarantee that this vaccine is safe? The manufacturers are indemnified. The medical professionals who deliver it are indemnified. The businesses that may require it will have no liability. Yet you are comfortable allowing these same businesses to require it. This is the first step to making the vaccine a requirement to live a normal life in the state. May I remind you, this is an experimental drug.  

Do we have any idea what this will do reproductive health? To my knowledge, I cannot find a single study where the trials included pregnant or couples attempting to get pregnant.

Any idea what the ingredients are in this vaccine? Can you list them? Each individual vaccine lists as the first ingredient: mRNA. Where did this mRNA come from?  In every description I can find, it came from fetal tissue. Where did that come from? Aborted fetuses? Let me ask this – are we killing babies to create this experimental vaccine. Will this vaccine fundamentally change our DNA and genetically modify the human population?   

Who are you to tell the Arizona GOP that their stance on this is wrong. Were you  paid for this vote? By Moderna perhaps? Pfizer?

I am nauseated to think of the damage that your selfish and ill-considered stance will have on this once great state.