A Subtle Catastrophe

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the wake of the Afghanistan debacle, which could have been avoided with even a hint of Executive Branch foresight, President Biden needed a win. And how did he chase that much-needed win? He ordered some 80 million American citizens to get vaccinated. This he presented to the country in a condescending temper tantrum broadcast live for all to see. “Our patience is running thin,” he said. “Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated.”

This is not what winning looks like. This looks like yet another President declaring his way to the policy outcomes he wants by executive order, Covid style.

It’s hard to imagine Biden offering a more tone-deaf response. Part of his six-pronged strategy, on the path to universal vaccinations seems clear enough to him and however many people advise him on a daily basis. That makes the difficulties with the plan, and there are difficulties down to the marrow with this ill-conceived mess, all the more incomprehensible.

The Biden plan rests on mutually exclusive premises. First, there is the implicit assertion that the vaccines work. Indeed, they work so well that we should force 80 million people to get vaccinated, whether they want to or not. This, of course, flies in the face of the other presupposition: that we need to vaccinate damn near everyone because people are simply not safe otherwise.

Aren’t those who voluntarily took a vaccine already protected? If not, the vaccines are not all that effective, and mandating them will not make them anymore so. If that’s not the objective, are we really protecting the anti-vaxxers from themselves? Since when is that an appropriate use of government power? Either way, forcing people to submit to a vaccine they don’t want as a condition of their continued employment doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

And then there are the details of the Biden plan, details that should make just about everyone uncomfortable, regardless of vaccination status. First, employers with 100 or more employees must mandate their employees be vaccinated or submit negative tests weekly. It doesn’t stop there. All federal employees are mandated, as are all contractors who do business with the federal government. Additionally, over 17 million health care workers make the list too.

Since when does the United States President have this kind of authority? There is literally nothing in the Constitution that enables anything even close to this sort of thing. The President is tasked with executing the laws passed by the Congress, not writing them himself, and there is nothing in Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution enabling Congress to mandate anything like this either.

Oddly, members of Congress, their staff, and employees of the federal court system are all exempted from the Biden plan. Then again, maybe this isn’t odd at all given who might be inclined to object. Better to win their favor with favors now than have them saying something about the dubious constitutionality of any of this nonsense later.

We are left with a sitting United States President who is willing to do just about anything to make it seem like he is in firm control of a difficult situation. Sadly, being firmly in control also means scolding 100 million Americans like a 19th-century schoolmarm. But maybe it’s the rest of us whose patience should be wearing thin. Where there were once meaningful limits on the exercise of federal power, we now lurch from red to blue, each team waiting its turn to inflict its vision on the other team and the entirety of the country in the bargain.

In the end, people get the government they deserve. So we get a President who either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about the constitutional constraints of his office. Either way, it’s unforgivable. But the red and blue teams will just put in their time until the next election, when we will do it all over again, proving we are all to blame to one degree or another.

So which is it? Are the vaccines effective? If so, why do we need to mandate them? Aren’t all those who elected to get vaccinated safe? Or are they somehow ineffective, in which case mandating them serves no purpose? And while we’re at it, how long will immunity last in the vaccinated? Vaccines are clearly effective in the short run, on that we seem to have near-universal agreement. But how will things look in the long term?

These are questions that Biden and his team should have asked before stepping into the deep end of the policy pool. Because they didn’t, we will be left with a quieter, more subtle catastrophe than we saw in Afghanistan, but it will be a catastrophe just the same.

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This article was published on September 11, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

Hail, Biden!: The President’s Toothless Caesarism

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

President Joe Biden demonstrated his commitment to “norms” last week by delivering a speech threatening governors, and all who oppose his will, with a unilateral edict requiring COVID-19 vaccinations.

As my colleague Fred Lucas reported, Biden “directed the Labor Department to develop an emergency regulation giving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration the authority to enforce a national vaccine mandate for larger employers.”

Here’s more from an editorial in The Wall Street Journal on what Biden did: “He’s forcing all private employers with more than 100 workers—two-thirds of the workforce—to require vaccinations or weekly testing. The non-compliant can be dunned $14,000 per violation.”

What authority does the executive branch have to create a national vaccine mandate and commandeer businesses to do it? Countless legislators and elected officials weighed in to note that Biden’s move had dubious constitutional validity.

“The federal government has no authority to force businesses in Texas and across the country to mandate their employees get vaccinated. American businesses are still recovering from this past year and a half. It is cruel and burdensome to impose this authoritarian mandate,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Friday in a public statement following Biden’s speech.

There is no doubt the executive edict will be challenged in court.

Even The Washington Post’s editorial board, typically a firm supporter of Biden and his policies, admitted that his order was likely to be challenged legally. But the Post effectively concluded that necessity in this case knows no law.

“Legally, Mr. Biden’s expansive use of executive power is sure to be challenged in the courts,” the Post’s editorial reads. “In normal times, we would not want to see such power used for less pressing needs. But the emergency is real.”

It should be noted that it’s not only the job of the Supreme Court to uphold the law. We should expect and demand more of our leaders, no matter what branch of government.

Government officials all have a duty and obligation to protect and defend the Constitution. But Biden already has demonstrated that isn’t his top priority, despite swearing to do so.

Remember, not long ago, Biden announced a national eviction moratorium through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while initially conceding that it probably wasn’t legal.

“The bulk of the constitutional scholarship says that it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster,” Biden said at the time. “But there are several key scholars who think that it may, and it’s worth the effort.”

He then backtracked a bit from that shaky reasoning, but it still shows that this is a president who prioritizes expedient policy goals over the Constitution and the rule of law.

The Supreme Court struck down the moratorium on evictions, but it’s still damaging to have the president act as if constitutional fidelity matters only in regard to what the courts will let him get away with.

It’s hard not to see Biden’s most recent order on vaccines in a similar light, and it represents a further destructive slide into the imperial presidency.

Biden’s old boss, President Barack Obama, came up with infamous “pen and phone” presidential powers. That is, Obama decided that if the representatives of the American people are deadlocked in Congress, he had a pen to sign executive orders that sidestepped them and a phone to rally his supporters.

It seems that we are in an even more advanced stage of Caesarism, where this time Biden doesn’t even bother to say that he’s tired of waiting for Congress. It’s more like he’s assuming that the legislative branch, created to make the laws of our country, has been reduced to a meaningless rump institution.

Topping off Biden’s edict is another mortifying aspect of his speech Thursday evening from the White House: the abrasive and authoritarian tone.

“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” the president warned in a threatening manner, looking into the camera and addressing those who are not vaccinated.

Biden then aimed his sights at the duly elected governors who weren’t aboard with his policies.

“If they will not help, if those governors won’t help us beat the pandemic, I’ll use my power as president to get them out of the way,” Biden said, taking a shot at what remains of federalism in America.

If the president is so concerned about waves of unvaccinated Americans driving up the number of COVID-19 cases, why not do something about the now outrageously porous border that is well within federal authority to control?

So much for unity, moderation, or competence.

The president’s caustic speech on COVID-19 vaccinations is an interesting contrast to the flimsy and excuse-filled speeches he gave in the wake of his Afghanistan withdrawal debacle. As usual, Biden has harsher words for domestic opponents than our enemies abroad.

It’s hardly a combination that will bring the country together or project strength to the world.

At least with the original Caesarism, Rome achieved glorious victory over the Gauls.

What we currently are being subjected to with this administration is a curious mix of brutish, overbearing nannyism on one hand and helpless feebleness on the other.

*****

This article was published on September 13, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

More Than Half of U.S. States Vow to Fight Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Twenty-seven Republican governors or attorneys general have vowed to fight the latest executive order issued by President Joe Biden mandating that over 80 million private employees receive COVID vaccinations or undergo weekly testing, or their employer will be fined.

The executive order directs the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to require private businesses with more than 100 employees mandate that their workers receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing. Noncompliance would result in fines of $14,000 per violation.

The governors who’ve expressed opposition include those from Arizona, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Republican attorneys general from states with Democratic governors who also vowed to fight include Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and Louisiana AG Jeff Landry.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with whom Biden has sparred over mask mandates and vaccine passports, said Florida would fight back.

“When you have a president like Biden issuing unconstitutional edicts against the American people, we have a responsibility to stand up for the Constitution and to fight back, and we are doing that in the state of Florida,” he said. “This is a president who has acknowledged in the past he does not have the authority to force this on anybody, and this order would result potentially in millions of Americans losing their jobs.”

Texas, which is already embroiled in several lawsuits with the Biden administration, vowed to sue. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said after hearing Biden’s announcement that “Texas is already working to halt this power grab” and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Texas would be suing the Biden administration “very soon.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said, “OSHA cannot dictate personal health care decisions for Missourians. Missouri is not under an OSHA state plan, and Parson will not allow state employees to be used to enforce this unconstitutional action.”

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster vowed to fight Biden, saying, “The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats. They have declared war against capitalism, thumbed their noses at the Constitution, and empowered our enemies abroad. Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said, “Governors don’t report to Joe Biden. Governors don’t report to the federal government, the states created the federal government, and Joe Biden has stepped out of his reach,” Ducey said. “These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita indicated he was working with a group of AGs to file a lawsuit. “My team and I, along with other like-minded attorneys general, are reviewing all legal action on how to stand against these authoritarian actions by the Biden administration,” he said in a statement.

The Republican National Committee also announced it was suing “to protect Americans and their liberties” if the proposed rule change were to go into effect.

In response to Republican pushback, White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond, a former Democratic congressman from Louisiana, told CNN the White House expected the opposition.

He said, “… those governors that stand in the way, I think, it was very clear from the president’s tone today that he will run over them. And it is important. It’s not for political purposes. It’s to save the lives of American people. And so, we won’t let one or two individuals stand in the way. We will always err on the side of protecting the American people.”

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This article was published on September 14, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square.

AAPS Asks Pima County Supervisors to Reject COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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On Sept 7, the Pima County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to mandate that all healthcare workers in Pima County licensed by the State of Arizona, and their direct support staff, be vaccinated against COVID-19. The original deadline for beginning the vaccination process was Sept 1. Employers of the workers would be required to file compliance documents with the Department of Health. The consequences for non-compliance have not yet been spelled out.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) submitted written testimony objecting to “the proposal to violate the fundamental human rights of all citizens associated with healthcare by forcing them to take an injection without voluntary informed consent.”

AAPS notes that all the COVID-19 injections are experimental and that studies are not scheduled for completion before the end of 2022. The only FDA-approved product, which is generally unavailable here, is Comirnaty made by BioNTech in Mainz, Germany. The manufacturer is required to conduct post-marketing studies of adverse effects including myocarditis, with a 5-year follow-up.

The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are only available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), AAPS notes, and are supposed to be fully voluntary.

Many workers have had COVID-19 and are thus already immune, and the majority are at low risk of a poor outcome if they are infected. They may therefore judge that the risks of the vaccine outweigh any benefit, AAPS states. Also, the vaccine may not prevent transmission.

“Patients in Pima County are already reporting difficulty in accessing medical care of any kind,” AAPS reports. “If personnel are diminished because of declining to accept the COVID product or because of vaccine-related disability or death, tremendous preventable death and suffering will occur.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has represented physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto, everything for the patient.

*****

This article was published on September 7, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Masks, and the Deadly Falsehoods Surrounding Them

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In a terse essay titled “Science and Dictatorship,” Albert Einstein warned that “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” And on his deathbed, Einstein cautioned, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”

With reckless disregard for both of those principles, powerful government officials and big tech executives have corrupted or suppressed the central scientific facts about face masks. The impacts of this extend far beyond the issue of masks and have caused widespread harm and countless deaths.

Despite the fog of contradictory claims and changing government guidelines, dozens of scientific journals have published consistent data that establish these facts:

  • Covid-19 is mainly spread by microscopic aerosols generated by breathing, talking, sneezing, and coughing. The vast bulk of these infectious aerosols easily penetrate common masks because 90% of the aerosols are less than 1/17th the size of pores in the finest surgical masks, and less than 1/80th the size of pores in the finest cloth masks.
  • Aerosols are light enough to stay airborne for minutes or hours, and hence, they also travel freely through gaps around the edges of cloth and surgical masks.
  • Governments enacted mask mandates based on the false assumption that C-19 is mainly transmitted by large droplets generated by coughing, sneezing, and spittle. These droplets are bigger than the pore sizes of most masks and only remain airborne for a few seconds after they are emitted.
  • For more than a year, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention denied and downplayed the threat of aerosol transmission while issuing guidelines that don’t amply prevent it. This enabled C-19 to decimate the most vulnerable members of society, like those in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The CDC and WHO quietly admitted in the spring of 2021 that aerosols pose a major threat of transmission but have still not adequately updated their guidelines to reflect this reality. This has allowed countless preventable deaths to continue.
  • The risk of aerosol transmission can be greatly reduced by disinfecting air with ultraviolent (UV) light, which is part of the energy spectrum emitted by the sun. This simple and safe technology neutralizes airborne microbes and has been successfully used to control the spread of contagious respiratory diseases for more than 80 years.
  • Randomized controlled trials—which are the “gold standard” for clinical research—have repeatedly measured the effects of masks on preventing the spread of contagious respiratory diseases. These trials have found inconsistent benefits from N95 masks in healthcare settings and no statistically significant benefits from any type of mask in community settings.
  • The only randomized controlled trial that evaluated cloth masks found that mandating them causes significant disease transmission in high-risk healthcare settings.
  • Observational studies—which are a weaker form of evidence than randomized controlled trials—find that masking schoolchildren provides negligible or no benefits.
  • Lab studies—which are the weakest form of clinical evidence—don’t support the notion that surgical or cloth masks reduce the transmission of Covid-19.
  • Masks of all types have negative impacts on some people, including headaches, difficulty breathing, increased cardio-pulmonary stress during exercise, marked discomfort, and weakened social bonds.
  • Because humans create carbon dioxide as they breathe, the CO2 concentration of the air they exhale is about 100 times higher than in fresh air. Masks restrict airflow and thus cause the wearers to rebreathe some of the air they exhale.
  • The average CO2 concentrations inhaled by people wearing N95 masks range from 2.6 to 7.0 times OSHA’s work shift limit for CO2. These levels cause headaches and chest pains in some people.
  • The average CO2 concentrations inhaled by people wearing cloth and surgical masks range from 2 to 3 times the government CO2 limits for classrooms in many countries. These levels may impair certain high-level brain functions like initiative, strategic thinking, and complex decision-making.

The leaders of big tech corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and Google/YouTube have empowered government officials who misled the public about every matter above and others. Together, they continue to do so by engaging in actions that resemble common disinformation tactics. These include but are not limited to cherry-picking, censorship, muddying the waterscitation bluffsnon-sequiturs, half-truths, and outright falsehoods.

Summary

With remarkable consistency, the comprehensive facts detailed above prove that:

  • governments enacted mask mandates based on the false assumption that Covid-19 is mainly transmitted by large droplets that are bigger than the pore sizes of most masks and only remain airborne for a few seconds.
  • Covid-19 is mainly spread by microscopic aerosols that remain airborne for minutes or hours, easily penetrate common masks, and travel freely through gaps around their edges.
  • the CDC and WHO minimized the threat of aerosol transmission for more than a year while issuing guidelines that left people vulnerable to this mortal danger.
  • the CDC and WHO finally admitted that aerosols pose a major threat of transmission but tried to cover their tracks and failed to adequately update their guidelines—thus allowing countless preventable deaths to continue to this day.
  • UV disinfection systems are highly effective at killing airborne viruses and have been successfully used to control the spread of contagious respiratory diseases for more than 80 years.
  • the strongest and most relevant studies have found inconsistent benefits from N95 masks in healthcare settings and no statistically significant benefits from any type of mask in community settings.
  • the CDC is scraping the bottom of the scientific barrel by cherry picking and distorting low-quality and unrealistic studies to support the claim that masks control the spread of C-19.
  • masks of all types, and especially N95s, cause headaches, difficulty breathing, increased cardio-pulmonary stress during exercise, marked discomfort, and weakened social bonds.
  • the average CO2 concentrations inhaled by people wearing masks are far above what many governments permit for indoor settings, and this may impair certain high-level brain functions like initiative, strategic thinking, and complex decision-making.
  • Google/YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are acting as a megaphone of the deadly falsehoods propagated by the CDC and WHO while silencing their critics.

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Read the entire article published September 13, 2021 at Just Facts. Seize The Data.

Arizona First In Nation to Sue Biden Over COVID Vaccine Mandate

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has fired the opening salvo in the anticipated legal fight over President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Brnovich filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, claiming Biden’s mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause by favoring migrants who can decline the vaccine, “protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens’.”

“The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda,” Brnovich said in a statement. “There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border.”

Biden announced the prominent aspects of his COVID-19 plan last week, saying all federal employees and those who do business with the federal government, in addition to any private employer with 100 or more workers, must be vaccinated as a condition of employment or face rigorous testing.

Although it’s not yet active, Brnovich’s lawsuit directly contrasts the coming mandate with the lack of a similar requirement for immigrants who enter the U.S. from Mexico.

“In a nutshell: unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements even when released directly into the United States (where most will remain), while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements,” the lawsuit said.

Brnovich estimated 1 in 5 immigrants who illegally cross the southern border are infected with COVID-19.

Brnovich’s complaint also calls out White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain for retweeting a statement regarding how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate is the “ultimate work-around” for a federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

The U.S. Border Patrol estimated more than 212,000 people crossed the border into the U.S. illegally in July.

Brnovich is running as a Republican for U.S. Senate.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday he also plans to sue Biden over the mandate.

*****

This article was published on September 14, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Center Square .

Sweden Has Disappeared

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The entire nation of Sweden seems to have disappeared.

So far as we can tell, no scientific investigation into the disappearance of Sweden has been conducted. In fact, it is among scientists that Sweden seems to have pulled off an amazing vanishing act. Politicians around the world also have lost complete contact with the country. The media is not even aware of the countries existence. However, tourists and geographers have confirmed to us that the country still exists.

Frankly, we don’t know what to believe.

To our best knowledge, Sweden is still in the United Nations and we still have diplomatic relations with them. But being an ambassador to a country that has simply vanished, must be quite an unusual posting. Embassy parties must be quite subdued.

It is not certain how this disappearance act is performed, as Sweden is a rather large country that makes quite good automobiles, trucks, heavy earth moving equipment, arms, and jet airplanes. They produce a substantial amount of pop music ranging from vintage ABBA to First Aid Kit.

Quite a number of Swedes came to the US in the late 19th century and we are told they can be found in the Dakotas. We have met them, and they are nice people. But this only confirms that Sweden did exist at one time and is not proof it exists today.

Now personally, we have been able to completely disappear in front of clerks, bureaucrats, and people at airline ticket counters, but we don’t understand how an entire country can pull this off.

It really is one of the wonders of the world.

The reason we mention this is the chart shown above. The chart shows new cases of Covid in Sweden versus Israel.

Israel has is one of the most vaccinated and face-covered countries on earth while Sweden decided to deal with the Wuhan virus by doing very little if anything.

You would think this chart would be of interest to public officials in the US who are busily re-masking school children and requiring vaccination and revaccination through coercive mandates. But it would seem that evidence is not really required in their decision-making process.

While we make no pretense of being a medical doctor, we can read a chart, and likely so can you. It would seem to us that vaccination and mask-wearing have very little to do with the number of virus cases.  If so, destroying our economy, dividing our people into bitter camps, destroying personal liberty does not seem like a fair trade-off.

Strangely, it appears there may be an inverse relationship. That is to say, the more you do the worse the medical results, and the less you do, the better the results.

It really is a shame that Sweden has disappeared. We read the other day that ABBA was coming out of retirement and was going to cut a new album. We were looking forward to that.

Stronger, More Robust Natural Immunity Thwarts Any Case for “Vaccine Passports”

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Editors’ Note:  One striking omission in Joe Biden’s new Covid mandates is he ignored over 160 million people (about half the population) who have already had the virus. Besides the liberty issue, there is simply the medical question: Why vaccinate those with already stronger immunity and risk the side effects? That is the trouble with one size fits all, dictatorial edicts from a chief executive trying to take your eyes off the disaster in Afghanistan.

 

A growing body of research is making it increasingly clear that natural immunity to Covid-19 owing to previous infection is stronger, more durable, and broader than vaccine-induced immunity. Apart from not being unusual among infectious diseases, this fact has significant implications for governmental, school, employer, and business plans to harass and restrict people who aren’t vaccinated.

For example, on June 4 Stanford Medical School physician and economist Jay Bhattacharya, Harvard Medical School biostatistician and epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff, and University of Oxford theoretical epidemiologist Sunetra Gupta summarized it this way (embedding several studies along the way):

It is now well-established that natural immunity develops upon infection with SARS-CoV-2 in a manner analogous to other coronaviruses. While natural infection may not provide permanent infection-blocking immunity, it offers antidisease immunity against severe disease and death that is likely permanent. Among the millions that have recovered from COVID19, exceedingly few have become sick again.

Most recently, new research out of Israel makes the case that a prior Covid-19 infection offers far superior immunity than do the vaccinations. Gazit et al. (medRxiv preprint, posted Aug. 25, 2021) compared vaccinated people without prior Covid-19 infections with unvaccinated people who had recovered from prior infections. Matching them by infection/vaccination periods to test their “immune activation” time (16,125 people in each group; i.e., 32,250 people), they found the vaccinated were six to 13 times more likely to have breakthrough infections than were naturally immune to have reinfection. Adjusting for comorbidities, they found the vaccinated were 27 times more likely to have symptomatic breakthrough infections than were the naturally immune to have symptomatic reinfection.

Furthermore, there is reason to believe that for the previously infected, vaccination could be detrimental to their immune response. Camara et al. (bioRxiv preprint, posted March 22, 2021) found that “COVID-19 recovered individuals do not seem to benefit from the standard regimen for COVID-19 vaccination.” As they wrote, “On the contrary, in individuals with a pre-existing immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the second vaccine does not only fail to boost humoral immunity but determines a contraction of the spike-specific T cell response.” For the previously infected, then, there is reason to believe that the vaccine poses no benefits, only costs.

George Mason law professor Todd Zywicki had several compelling reasons behind his successful challenge to his university’s vaccine mandate. As seen by the July 21 letter on his behalf from the New Civil Liberties Alliance, Zywicki was previously infected, offered substantial research attesting that immunity to Covid-19 through infection was “at least as robust and long-lasting as that achieved through vaccination,” had evidence to be wary of adverse reactions given his recent bout with shingles, and was also concerned that all of the vaccine trials so far have specifically excluded survivors of prior Covid-19 infections, citing a study in which researchers stated, “we cannot exclude the possibility that the vaccination of a growing number of [individuals] with preexisting immunity to SARS-Cov-2 may trigger unexpectedly intense, albeit very rare, inflammatory and thrombotic reactions in previously immunized and predisposed individuals” (Angeli et al., European Journal of Internal Medicine, June 2021).

It shouldn’t need to be said, except in this bizarre time in which things that “shouldn’t need to be said” are the very things that require clear statement, but such research and discussion is in no way meant to counsel against vaccination, which ought to be a personal decision based on a dispassionate weighing of personal benefits and costs without coercion. Nor is it to argue for deliberately contracting an infection. I have personally witnessed this presentation of facts carom around inside someone’s skull until it comes out bruised and twisted into “Oh sure, go get Covid and die, then you’ll be immune!”

These findings stand in stark contrast to the case for “vaccine passports,” the euphemism for depersoning anyone who hasn’t taken a vaccine against Covid-19. Pres. Joe Biden has talked of banning interstate travel to the unvaccinated. Universities are barely waiting for the tuition checks to clear before imposing vaccination mandates. Hospitals, health care facilities, on down to rehabilitation facilities, are denying critical care services to the unvaccinated, who are also finding themselves in some places at risk of losing access to government services. Governments, schools, hospitals, and some businesses — egged on by politicians, public health popinjays, and media — are threatening the very jobs of the unvaccinated (with those deadlines looming, September could be a bad month for job losses). Even some retailers, restaurants, entertainment venues, and others are denying their services to the unvaccinated.

Again and again, these tyrannical edicts make no allowances for people with natural immunity. Should the people behind them get credit for caring, for trying to further public health? Their defense, after all, is that they’re trying to pressure people to do what’s good for them; e.g., the White House considers vaccine mandates “the right lever at the right time.” How much goodwill shall we ascribe to them amid such pointless, callous behavior? The person turned away at the schoolhouse door, the person denied critical medical care, the person not allowed in your restaurant, the person is forbidden from fleeing to a freer state — that person without a vaccination card could very well carry a stronger immune response against the virus than the card-carrying elite allowed to participate in your Unbrave New World.

Oh, but the response is, unlike with the vaccinated, it’s hard to know who has recovered from previous infection. Right, and that fact undercuts the case for “vaccine passports” as well. Let me explain how.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only 1 out of every 4.2 actual infections of Covid-19 are reported in the U.S. This estimate makes sense if you consider, for example, one member of a family of four tests positive but the rest in the house feel sick, or also so many mild or asymptomatic infections that wouldn’t prompt a doctor’s visit (those are, incidentally, signs of “a highly functional virus-specific cellular immune response,” per Le Bert et al., Journal of Experimental Medicine, March 1, 2021).

As of this writing, there have been nearly 39,280,000 cases (i.e., reported infections) and nearly 639,000 deaths. Multiply the case count by 4.2 and then subtract out deaths, and that implies there are about 164.3 million people with robust natural immunity. That is nearly half of the population in the U.S. already (332.7 million per U.S. Census Bureau estimates as of this writing).

Without accounting for vaccination, then, roughly half of the U.S. population already has an immunity to Covid-19 that is stronger, more durable, and broader than anything from a vaccine. Only about one-fourth of them, however, would be able to “prove” it with documentation of a reported case.

So yes, it’s “hard to know” who’s already got natural immunity. That uncertainty, however, targets half the country when it comes to denying them common human decency and the mundane privileges of traveling, attending university, receiving medical care, receiving government services, dining out, or even buying groceries.

Such acts are made with the presumption that there is no good reason not to get a vaccine. To be sure, there are several good reasons to choose vaccination, especially if you are among those in vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with chronic disease. But as Zywicki showed, there are also good, compelling reasons that someone might decide against vaccination.

As Kulldorff and Bhattacharya wrote in The Wall Street Journal on April 6,

The idea that everybody needs to be vaccinated is as scientifically baseless as the idea that nobody does. Covid vaccines are essential for older, high-risk people and their caretakers and advisable for many others. But those whoʼve been infected are already immune. The young are at low risk, and children—for whom no vaccine has been approved anyway—are at far less risk of death than from the flu. If authorities mandate vaccination of those who donʼt need it, the public will start questioning vaccines in general…

Vaccine passports are unjust and discriminatory. Most of those endorsing the idea belongs to the laptop class—privileged professionals who worked safely and comfortably at home during the epidemic. Millions of Americans did essential jobs at their usual workplaces and became immune the hard way. Now they would be forced to risk adverse reactions from a vaccine they donʼt need. Passports would entice young, low-risk professionals, in the West and the developing world, to get the vaccine before older, higher-risk but less affluent members of society. Many unnecessary deaths would result.

The right response in these uncertain times is — as always — the response that protects people’s liberty and respects their autonomy. Fight “vaccination passports” and similar mandates forbidding people from enjoying all the privileges they enjoyed as a matter of course prior to March 2020. Resist the urge to burden your employees, students, patients, and patrons. Even taken on their own merits, these prohibitions amount to nothing more than a coin flip against each and every person turned away. Considered in full, they are cruel, discriminatory, and ultimately self-defeating.

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This article was published on September 9, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

Arizona Officials React to Biden Vaccination Announcement

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President Joe Biden’s Thursday announcement of broad new COVID-19 vaccination requirements has some Arizona officials cheering and others settling in for a fight.

Biden announced a vaccination requirement for employees of any business with more than 100 people, something that’s estimated to be a vaccine requirement for 100 million people. Another estimated 80 million workers who refuse would be subjected to regular testing.

“While America is in much better shape than it was seven months ago when I took office, I need to tell you a second fact, we’re in a tough stretch and it could last a while,” Biden said in a speech Thursday afternoon.

Fines for a violation would reportedly be $14,000 per instance.

In addition, Biden announced he would require any federal employee under the executive branch’s umbrella to be required to be inoculated. The same goes for employees of any company that accepts federal contracts.

This marks Biden’s latest attempt at a governmental response to rising infections nationwide largely due to the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. Even though more than 200 million Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, nearly 80 million of those eligible have abstained.

Gov. Doug Ducey responded to the new rule Thursday, promising to fight Biden’s “dictatorial approach” to governing.

“Joe Biden has failed us on COVID. He ran for office on a promise to ‘shut down the virus.’ He has failed on this, much as he has failed on the border crisis and in Afghanistan. So now, President Biden’s plan is to shut down freedom,” Ducey said in a statement. “These mandates are outrageous. They will never stand up in court. We must and will push back.”

Arizona’s two U.S. Senators were largely quiet on the announcement. Neither office was immediately available to respond to a request for comment, but Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, tweeted, “Arizona – if you haven’t already, today is a great day to get vaccinated.”

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego applauded the move.

“This is the critical action we need to appropriately fight this virus,” she said Thursday afternoon. “It’s great to see strong leadership at a time when others have prioritized politics over science. Safety for every resident has & remains my top priority – this requirement will allow us to protect & save lives.”

Like others, Attorney General Mark Brnovich questioned the legality of the order.

President Biden is now taking federal overreach to unheard-of levels by dictating vaccine mandates for all private companies with over 100 people, federal contractors, and healthcare providers receiving federal dollars,” the Republican tweeted. “I am reviewing his outrageous actions and will take all legal recourse to defend our state’s sovereignty and the rights of Arizonans to make the best healthcare decisions for themselves.”

U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs, a conservative Republican from Gilbert, called Biden’s requirements an assault on individuals’ freedoms and livelihoods.

“We must fight this,” he said Thursday.

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This article was published on September 9, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The CenterSquare.

Arizona Elementary School District Hit by Same Covid Vaccine Madness Afflicting the NFL

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Keeping kids safe is the number-one priority for any elementary school in America, right? But then there is the Cartwright School District in Phoenix, where selectively enforcing a Covid vaccination policy tops taking care of the kids.

How do we know this? Consider the case of one William Bishop, the now-former director for buildings and operations, who was recently demoted to substitute teacher by Cartwright Superintendent Dr. Lee-Ann Aguilar-Lawlor.

Why was Bishop demoted? Because his faith precludes his submitting to the Covid vaccination shot. The demotion came after he requested a religious accommodation, a request to which school officials never responded, except to bust him way down the pay chart.

Bishop is represented by the First Liberty Institute, the Plano, Texas-based public interest law firm that specializes in First Amendment litigation, especially when issues of religious freedom are involved.

Cartwright’s conduct is shot through with disrespect for constitutional liberties, to say nothing of common sense. Consider the description cited by First Liberty Counsel Rebecca Dummermuth in a September 9 letter to Aguilar-Lawlor:

“Cartwright’s actions are particularly indefensible because: (1) it already granted at least one nonreligious exemption from the mandate; (2) its demotion of Mr. Bishop will bring him into far more contact with students and other staff, thus contradicting the district’s presumed rationale for refusing to grant his accommodation request; (3) it chose not to impose its mandate on teachers, those most in contact with students and staff; (4) 21 percent of district employees remain unvaccinated; and (5) Mr. Bishop has natural immunity and his doctor advises against receiving the vaccine.

“These circumstances leave Cartwright with no tenable argument that a religious accommodation would impose undue hardship on it or that it has a compelling interest in imposing its mandate on Mr. Bishop but not many other employees (including those whose duties involve far more contact with students and staff).

“Therefore, the district is plainly in violation of the laws set forth above. To be clear, Mr. Bishop has no objection to a reasonable accommodation that could serve the District’s presumed health concerns. But he cannot accept the unlawful, second-class treatment to which the district has subjected him.”

Bishop’s objections are deeply rooted in his Christian faith, according to Dummermuth, who told Aquilar-Lawlor in the letter that:

“Mr. Bishop’s sincerely held religious beliefs prevent him from complying with the mandate to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As a Christian, he believes that his body is a temple of God (I Corinthians. 3:16-17, 6:19), and therefore he has a God-given responsibility to protect the physical integrity of his body and not to defile it (I Corinthians. 8:7; II Corinthians. 7:1).

“Additionally, he believes that human life begins at conception, and he staunchly opposes abortion. Therefore, receiving a vaccine that has been developed using aborted fetal cell lines would violate his conscience.”

The district continues to pay Bishop his old salary, but the contract that specified the amount expires in the near future. Replacing it with a new contract based on a substitute teacher’s compensation will represent a 50 percent pay cut for Bishop.

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Continue reading this article, published September 10, 2021 at  PJ Media.