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Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Fact Check: Is the Moderna COVID Vaccine Banned in Sweden?

Posted by M. C. on October 27, 2021

How rare is rare? Not so rare if countries stop allowing it’s use.

This doesn’t bother the US government enough to stop advocating use in children.

We shall see.

https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-moderna-covid-vaccine-banned-sweden-1636608

By Ed Browne

On Wednesday, the Swedish Public Health Agency ordered a pause on the country’s rollout of the Moderna COVID vaccine, known as Spikevax, for people born in 1991 and later due to concerns around myocarditis and pericarditis.

The agency said the move was “precautionary” and due to “an increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or heart sac.” It said the risk of being affected is “very small.”

Myocarditis is known as the inflammation of the heart muscle and pericarditis is known as the inflammation of the outer lining of the heart. Both are caused by some sort of trigger that leads to an immune response.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that cases have been reported in people who have had the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines, and that this has mostly impacted male adolescents and young adults.

Sweden’s Public Health Agency said preliminary analysis from Swedish and Nordic data sources showed the risks were “especially clear when it comes to Moderna’s vaccine Spikevax, especially after the second dose.”

It said that “for the individual, the risk of being affected is very small, it is a very rare side effect.”…

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After Portugal Now Sweden Bans Travellers From The Most Vaccinated Nation Israel | GreatGameIndia

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2021

https://greatgameindia.com/portugal-sweden-bans-travellers-israel/

After Portugal, now Sweden has become the second European nation to ban travellers from the most vaccinated nation Israel. Sweden also banned the entry of citizens from the United States, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and North Macedonia.

See the rest here

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Fauci’s Forecast: ‘More Pain And Suffering!’ Really?

Posted by M. C. on August 2, 2021

Great episode! Longer than usual as all the weekend CDC/Fauci flip flops and inconsistencies are discussed.Mask free Sweden-no deaths in the past month. Tests can’t tell regular Covid from variant.

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Mask-free Sweden nears zero daily Covid deaths as chief epidemiologist warns against ‘far-reaching conclusions’ about Delta strain — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on July 31, 2021

https://www.rt.com/news/530759-sweden-delta-masks-zero-covid-deaths/

As the CDC urges Americans to mask up against the Delta variant, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist has argued that more data is needed about the strain’s infectiousness. His mask-free nation is hovering at zero Covid deaths per day.

Anders Tegnell said on Friday that there was “a lot we do not know” about Delta and cautioned against drawing “far-reaching conclusions” about the coronavirus strain. He noted that the variant had been circulating in Sweden “for quite some time” with little effect, particularly in high-risk settings such as nursing homes.

His comments were made in response to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggesting the Delta strain is more transmissible and could potentially cause more severe illness. The New York Times and other media outlets ran stories reporting that the CDC now believes the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox – but this comparison didn’t seem to impress Tegnell. 

“It is difficult to say how contagious Delta is, [as] when it comes to chickenpox, we have been able to follow the disease for several years. The infectivity [of Delta] seems to be very uneven – in some cases, one person infects a hundred people, then we have other occasions when an infected person does not infect anyone at all,” he told Sweden’s Aftonbladet.

In separate remarks, he pointed to the fact that one-third of the country’s municipalities reported zero new Covid cases over the past week. At the same time, there was an uptick in cases among young people in Stockholm and other large cities.

And while US health authorities are pressing Americans in “high transmission” areas to mask up, Sweden dropped its last remaining mask recommendation – related to public transport – on July 1. While Sweden’s public health agency has supported measures such as social distancing and remote working, it has no recommendations for the use of face coverings in public spaces.

Reviled by the media for refusing to impose harsh lockdowns, Sweden’s less draconian approach to the health crisis appears to be paying off: The Scandinavian nation has recorded a total of eight Covid-linked deaths so far this month, an average of 0.25 deaths per day. While it’s possible this number will increase due to reporting lags, deaths have undoubtedly plummeted over the past several months. On June 4, Sweden reported 13 deaths – more than the entire month of July. 

Daily hospitalizations have also hovered near zero in July: On most days this month, the country saw between 0-2 Covid-cases requiring hospital treatment. At the same time, daily cases have fallen sharply since April. 

Despite the promising developments, Tegnell warned against getting too comfortable. He stressed on Friday that Sweden was still in a pandemic and urged his countrymen, especially those in younger age groups, to get vaccinated. 

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Horowitz: The abuse of schoolchildren continues even in the reddest states

Posted by M. C. on March 16, 2021

Consider the fact that all of this harm was perpetrated against a generation of children for absolutely zero gain. The Peaster Independent School District of Parker County, Texas, for example, was one of the few counties in the country that never required masks or social isolation. According to Superintendent Lance Johnson, enrollment numbers were up this year, and it was one of the few districts in the country where the academic growth is tracking at grade level. “Our kids have thrived and our teachers have thrived,” he said. “And it’s just been real eye-opening to see how we’ve done things different than other schools.”

https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-the-abuse-of-schoolchildren-continues-even-in-the-reddest-states

Daniel Horowitz

Despite a full year’s worth of science and data showing that kids in school are not at risk at all from this virus and that they are not meaningful vectors of spread, even the reddest of states are making them the last to get a reprieve from the mask fascism, rather than the first. This is likely the most radical policy ever implemented in our lifetimes. The muted response from most established conservative officials and organizations is shocking.

Yesterday, many conservatives celebrated yet another red state governor removing the mask mandate when Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon announced he would terminate the mandate by the end of the week. However, in his press release, he adds the following gem: “The face covering protocol will remain in place in K-12 schools as a safety measure to ensure that classroom learning and all student activities can continue to occur safely.”

I guess a “face covering protocol” is one way to euphemize the criminalization of the breathing of our children for absolutely no scientific reason and with no legal justification. How a policy like this could ever have gotten off the ground in a state like Wyoming, much less be continued indefinitely, reveals a weakness of resolve in our own people.

What’s worse than shutting down schools is acclimating children to a “new normal” of child abuse that, because it has the veneer of a return to normalcy, can continue long-term, if not forever. The bar of sanity was set so low from the get-go that the psychosis of masking children for a virus that affects them less than the flu will only get worse over time.

One school in the supposed red state of Ohio is now requiring double masking of children! Also in Ohio, a Dayton pediatrician is now warning about an increase in rhinovirus now that kids will return to school. The horror! Kids will now get the common cold again! Ironically, COVID has been so minimal for children that we forgot what it was like for significant portions of a class to be out of school with fever during the winter months. Ailments like strep throat, the flu, enterovirus, and other common infections will now be used as an excuse to either shut schools or forcibly mask children forever.

In fact, this is no joke. If imposing a severe form of abuse and prohibiting normal breathing of children for seven hours a day was implemented without a scintilla of blowback from most parents – all for a virus that doesn’t affect the kids – it’s not hard to see how the flu and even the common cold will be the new baseline for permanent masking. Despite the entire notion of regulating the lives of children being thoroughly discredited by the data, there is almost no county in the entire country where people can school their children without their faces being covered.

Data from Sweden published in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine examined ~2 million school-age children (ages 1 to 16) from March through June 2020, where there was no masking or other mitigation efforts, and found just 15 children (0.00075%) required hospitalization from COVID-19, and there was not a single reported death. They also found no greater risk of serious infection among teachers than the general population, adjusting for other variables. A similar study in Norway found remarkably low transmission in schools, even though there is no recommendation to wear masks.

With so few kids getting sick from this virus and so little evidence that masks work for anyone, why are we not considering the harmful effects of mask-wearing on children, sometimes as young as 3?

The first results of a German study of over 26,000 children and adolescents show 68% of parents reported impairments in their children as a result of mask-wearing, including the following side effects: irritability (60%), headache (53%), difficulty concentrating (50%), decreased happiness (49%), malaise (42%), impaired learning (38%), and fatigue (37%).

What are the benefits of this mandate, even if masks did work in stopping a spread, that could possibly justify this collateral damage? And what about the emotional damage? A 2010 paper from Harvard University observed the damage that can be caused by exposing them to endless fear and anxiety: “Ensuring that young children have safe, secure environments in which to grow, learn, and develop healthy brains and bodies is not only good for the children themselves but also builds a strong foundation for a thriving, prosperous society,” wrote the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child for Harvard University. “Science shows that early exposure to circumstances that produce persistent fear and chronic anxiety can have lifelong consequences by disrupting the developing architecture of the brain.”

Has anyone bothered to study what masks do to children’s wonderous God-given immune systems that have performed so well against this virus? How much bacteria do they help trap in the lungs of children? God didn’t design us to have our noses and mouths covered, especially at the developmental stage of life.

Consider the fact that all of this harm was perpetrated against a generation of children for absolutely zero gain. The Peaster Independent School District of Parker County, Texas, for example, was one of the few counties in the country that never required masks or social isolation. According to Superintendent Lance Johnson, enrollment numbers were up this year, and it was one of the few districts in the country where the academic growth is tracking at grade level. “Our kids have thrived and our teachers have thrived,” he said. “And it’s just been real eye-opening to see how we’ve done things different than other schools.”

It turns out that the absentee rates among teachers were only slightly higher than at that time in 2019, which clearly indicates that the rate of infection among teachers was not any higher than the general community, as was witnessed in Sweden and Norway.

“18 months ago what we’re doing to kids would’ve been criminal,” said Johnson. “And here we are fighting going back to that model, fighting letting kids be kids, and letting kids socialize and letting them have a normal school year.” How can we accept another day of this in all those red states? Demand better.

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Leading Academic Quits After Showing No School Children Died During The “First Wave” In Sweden – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on March 10, 2021

I wonder if the Swedish government paid for “cases”.

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2021/03/08/leading-academic-quits-after-showing-no-children-died-from-first-wave-of-pandemic-in-sweden/

In Brief

  • The Facts:Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on covid-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he discovered.
  • Reflect On:Why are scientists, journalists and doctors who present information that opposes what we hear in the mainstream censored, ridiculed, harassed and never given any air time?

What Happened: letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

It was published by Jonas F Ludvigsson a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute.

The study also showed that  “fewer than 10 preschool teachers and 20 schoolteachers in Sweden received intensive care for Covid-19 up until June 30, 2020 (20 per 103,596 school teachers, which is equal to 19 per 100,000). As compared with other occupations (excluding health care workers), this corresponded to sex- and age-adjusted relative risks of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49 to 2.49) among preschool teachers and 0.43 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.68) among schoolteachers.

In a Karolinska Institute press release,  Ludvigsson indicated he was hopeful about the results. “It is very gratifying that serious COVID-19, defined here as needing treatment in an intensive care unit, is so rare among children despite schools being open during the pandemic,” he said. “The next step will be to follow up the children who were treated in an intensive care unit for COVID-19 to see if they have recovered fully. My gut feeling is that children who have been seriously ill because of MIS-C seem to recover fully eventually.”

After he published this piece, an article published in the British Medical Journal on the 18th of February by Ingrid Torjesen states the following,

The Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on covid-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings….After the letter’s publication he was bombarded with angry messages through social media and email criticising the study and inferring that it and Ludvigsson were representative of the country’s covid-19 containment strategy.

The experience has taken its toll on Ludvigsson. He told the journal of the Swedish Medical Association (Lakartidningen) that for a week he woke up at 3 am every night and could not get back to sleep and that he had now lost his appetite for covid-19—both when it comes to speaking out and researching. He has decided to quit researching and debating covid-19.

He is trying to put the experience behind him and has said that he will not talk to the media about what happened. However, he told The BMJ that, although the findings were published in a research letter, this was “an actual study” that underwent formal external peer review, including statistical peer review, and the manuscript was revised four times before it was published.

Intimidation and threats against academics have risen with the growth of social media, and uncertainties and diverse opinions about covid-19 have added to the situation. In response, Sweden is planning to provide increased support for academic freedom through an amendment to its Higher Education Act.

Matilda Ernkrans, Sweden’s minister for higher education and research, told The BMJ, “It is deeply concerning when academics are threatened to the extent that they don’t have the courage to keep on doing their job. This is not a new phenomenon, but we have seen an increase of threats against academics related to research on the coronavirus. When people are silenced, it’s a threat against the freedom of speech and our democracy.  “To strengthen academic freedom, the Swedish government has proposed a new amendment that points out that education and research must be protected to enable people to freely discover, research, and share knowledge.”

Ole Petter Ottersen, president of the Karolinska Institute, told The BMJ that he found the increase in threats and harassment towards researchers very worrying.

“A tough debate and a diversity of opinions based on facts and evidence are necessary elements of science and public discourse, but hateful and scornful accusations and personal attacks cannot be tolerated. We already see that researchers retreat from the public debate after being threatened or harassed, and in my own institution a leading researcher just decided to give up his covid-19 research for the same reason,” he added, referring to Ludvigsson.

Given that the Karolinska Institute seems to be the focus here as well, I thought I’d mention that professor Anna-Mia Elkström, an epidemiologist from the Institute and professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and come to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID directly. You can read more about that story here.

Why This Is Important: Censorship of opinions, evidence, data, science and information is a big problem today, this is no secret. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden once said that “The Problem with fake news isn’t solved by hoping for a referee. But rather because we, as participants, as citizens, as users of these services, (need to) help each other…We point out what is fake, we point out what is true – the answer to bad speech is not censorship, the answer is more speech. We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters, now more than ever, given the fact that lies seem to be getting more popular.”

Snowden, like many others, especially those of us in the field of alternative media are quite aware of the fact that censorship and the close relationship big tech companies have with governments is due to their goal “to dominate the conversation and information…They’re trying to make you change your behaviour.” (source) We’ve talked about this here at CE since our inception in 2009, that the job of mainstream media, and “fact-checkers” these days, in our opinion, seems to be perception control. This is especially true when it comes to major global events, ones that seem to benefit the rich and powerful. The world’s ten richest men have seen their combined wealth increase by half a trillion dollars since the covid pandemic began, for example.

As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? -Edward Snowden (source)

The Polish Government recently announced that it will be taking steps to make censorship by big tech companies like Facebook and Twitter completely illegal, comparing it to their experience during the communist era. The Prime Minister said that “Censorship of free speech, which is the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now returning in the form of a new, commercial mechanism to combat those who think differently.”

The point is, it’s perfectly fine to disagree with one another, that’s healthy, and open debate is healthy especially during the times we are living in. What seems to be so off-putting to many is that debate is being discouraged. People are being urged not to do their own research, and any evidence or opinion that goes against what we hear from mainstream media is being completely ignored, censored or ridiculed to the point where people whose only source of information is mainstream news seem to be completely in the dark regarding important information and research.

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Sweden Has Had Schools Open, Over One Million Kids & No Deaths – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2021

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2021/01/08/study-sweden-has-schools-open-millions-of-kids-no-masks-no-lockdown-no-deaths/

In Brief

  • The Facts:A letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine outlines how despite no lockdowns, school closings, or mask mandates no school children have died from Covid-19, and 1 in 130,000 have been admitted to the ICU.
  • Reflect On:How dangerous is Covid for children? Is it less dangerous than the flu? Does the data justify lockdown measures and school closing? All of this is discussed within the article.

What Happened:  A letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

Sweden was one of the few countries that decided to keep schools open. The study points out that the number of deaths from any cause among the 1,951,905 children in Sweden (as of December 31, 2019) who were 1 to 16 years of age was 65 during the pre-Covid-19 period of November 2019 through February of 2020 was 65, and 69 during 4 months of exposure to Covid-19 between March and June of 2020. The data shows that there was no significant difference here.

When it comes to teachers, the study showed that  “fewer than 10 preschool teachers and 20 schoolteachers in Sweden received intensive care for Covid-19 up until June 30, 2020 (20 per 103,596 schoolteachers, which is equal to 19 per 100,000). As compared with other occupations (excluding health care workers), this corresponded to sex- and age-adjusted relative risks of 1.10 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49 to 2.49) among preschool teachers and 0.43 (95% CI, 0.28 to 0.68) among schoolteachers (see the Supplementary Appendix).

In a Karolinska Institute press release, lead author and pediatrician Jonas Ludvigsson, MD, PhD, indicated he was hopeful about the results. “It is very gratifying that serious COVID-19, defined here as needing treatment in an intensive care unit, is so rare among children despite schools being open during the pandemic,” he said.

“The next step will be to follow up the children who were treated in an intensive care unit for COVID-19 to see if they have recovered fully. My gut feeling is that children who have been seriously ill because of MIS-C seem to recover fully eventually.”

The point is, children are not being admitted to the ICU in Sweden for C0vid-19, and children are not dying from Covid-19. Severe Covid-19 among children seems to be rare, and also has a 100 percent recovery rate. Given the fact that many infections are also asymptomatic, it really has no impact on their life. So, while we continue to hear that cases are soaring, it’s important to ask if this is really a big deal? And why is it that other viruses prior to this one that infect hundreds of millions and kill tens of millions a year were not subjected to the same scrutiny? Is it because authorities are worried that children will be a vector of transmission? Do asymptomatic people spread Covid?

This data also echoes what many doctors and scientists have been expressing regarding the severity of the virus, not just for children but for everybody. For example, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently appeared on a JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Network conversation alongside Mark Lipsitch, DPhil and Dr. Howard Bauchner, who interviews leading researchers and thinkers in health care about their JAMA articles.

During the conversation, Dr. Bhattacharya said that the survival rate from COVID-19, based on approximately 50 studies that’ve been published providing seroprevalence data, for people over 70 years of age is 95 percent. For people under the age of 70, the survival rate of COVID-19 is 99.95 percent. He went on to state that the flu is more dangerous than COVID-19 for children, and that we’ve (America) had more flu deaths in children this year than Covid deaths.

Bhattacharya is one of the initiators of The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration has an impressive list of renowned scientists who have come on board as co-signers, and has now been signed by more than 50,000 doctors and scientists. It’s an initiative that strongly opposes lockdown measures.

Why This Is Important: This information is important because lockdown measures, according to many, aren’t really doing anything to stop the spread of the virus and may be delaying “herd immunity.” Furthermore we are taking all of these measures based on case counts, and a virus that has an extremely low mortality rate. Respiratory viruses prior to Covid already infected hundreds of millions and killed tens of millions a year. What’s even more concerning is the fact that medical professionals and scientists who share information that opposes the measures being taken by multiple governments are being subjected to extreme amounts of censorship. Scientific discussion is being shut down and we are seeing one opinion and side receive all of the attention.

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Guess What Biden’s Virus Adviser Wants To Do – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2020

Gee, Dr. Emanuel, it looks like locking people in their houses only delays the inevitable — as everyone at the time tried to tell you.

Meanwhile, let’s check in with Sweden, which never locked down and where almost nobody wears masks.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/10/thomas-woods/guess-what-bidens-virus-adviser-wants-to-do/

By Tom Woods

From the Tom Woods Letter:

Remember that creep Dr. Zeke Emanuel?

I’ll refresh your memory:

“We cannot return to normal until there’s a vaccine. Conferences, concerts, sporting events, religious services, dinner in a restaurant, none of that will resume until we find a vaccine, a treatment, or a cure….

“We need to prepare ourselves for this to last 18 months or so and for the toll that it will take. We need to develop a long-term solution based on those facts. It has to account for what we are losing while this fight goes on, things like schooling and income and contact with our friends and extended family.”

He wanted you to go for 18 months without “schooling and income and contact with [your] friends and extended family.”

Dr. Emanuel is advising Joe Biden on the virus.

If you’re curious about what he would advise Joe to do, here’s what he said back when he thought Italy had “crushed the curve” (with thanks to Alex Berenson):

“One of the important things for all your readers to look at is Italy.

“Italy did a nationwide lockdown…. We’ve never gotten as low as Italy is today…. We needed that kind of process nationwide, and we did not have that.

“So that’s one thing: a nationwide lockdown that lasts 8 weeks until we have a number of new cases in the 2 to 3 per 100,000 level.”

He said this in September.

Italy just reported 217 deaths from the virus yesterday, which is the equivalent of 1200 deaths in the U.S.

Gee, Dr. Emanuel, it looks like locking people in their houses only delays the inevitable — as everyone at the time tried to tell you.

Meanwhile, let’s check in with Sweden, which never locked down and where almost nobody wears masks.

Here’s Sweden versus Illinois, which is going into another lockdown:

Here’s Sweden against several other European countries:

And here’s Sweden against still other countries:

Well, how about that!

So lockdowns don’t even work — except to suck the joy out of life; decimate people’s savings; ruin their livelihoods; delay necessary health procedures; disrupt supply chains, thereby threatening famine; cause 2 million excess deaths from TB, HIV, and malaria; and lead to depression and despair.

This should be excruciatingly obvious by now, and yet we have a shocking number of people who think this is what needs to be done.

More of what failed the first time!

The Best of Tom Woods Tom Woods [send him mail; visit his website] is the New York Times bestselling author of 12 books and host of the Tom Woods Show, which libertarians listen to every weekday. Get a free copy of Your Facebook Friends Are Wrong About the Lockdown: A Non-Hysteric’s Guide to COVID-19.

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Global Health Bureaucrats Want Even More Power to Impose Their Plans across National Borders | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on October 21, 2020

Surely, this all strikes the prolockdown policymakers as rather exhausting. It would be far easier if it were unnecessary to address the fact that jurisdictions like Sweden and Georgia have failed to produce the bloodbaths that were promised.

This could all be solved by imposing a single, uniform global policy an every regime, as directed by global technocrats. This “solution” is apparently already in the works.

https://mises.org/wire/global-health-bureaucrats-want-even-more-power-impose-their-plans-across-national-borders?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=0793cf42cd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-0793cf42cd-228343965

Ryan McMaken

In an article last week for the Financial Times, Richard Milne examined the issue of Sweden’s “dissent” when it came to policy responses to the spread of covid-19. The article is essentially a hit piece on Sweden, containing all the usual strategies of portraying the Scandinavian nation as an irresponsible outlier.

Sweden, of course, famously refrained from imposing lockdowns on its population, while relying on targeted isolation for vulnerable populations.

The fact Sweden refused to go along with other states, which, as Milne put it, “as country after country imposed lockdown restrictions on their populations rarely seen outside wartime” apparently dismayed the global media and politicians from other countries who demanded global lockdowns.

covid1.png

cov

The result was a nearly endless stream of media stories about how Sweden’s response to covid-19 was disastrous. These comparisons, of course, conveniently omitted the fact that Sweden experienced better outcomes than numerous countries that imposed draconian lockdowns, including Belgium, the UK, Spain, and Italy. Moreover, as cases and hospitalizations are growing again in these prolockdown nations, Sweden has yet to show any resurgence as of October 2020.

Even more frustrating for the global pushers of lockdowns is the fact that the Swedish policy is “enjoying strong support” and “most of the criticism still comes from outside the country.”

It is quite likely that the leaders of large states and international organizations aren’t terribly fond of this sort of independence still enjoyed by nation-states in these matters.

The relentless drive to discredit the Swedish response is one indicator, and another is the growing chorus of calls for stronger “global governance” in matters of infectious disease.

Politicians, think tanks, and left-wing publications are all pushing for strong international institutions to “coordinate” responses to pandemics. But this then raises a question: Just how much coordination should there be, and how much of the sovereignty of individual states must be destroyed in the process?

These questions ought to highlight the dangers of global political centralization, and this has been illustrated by the global media’s focus on attacking Sweden for its “noncompliance” in the global drive for lockdowns. If one medium-sized country’s refusal to go along with the global “expert” will arouse this sort of vicious counterattack, it stands to reason that any reasonably powerful global institution with powers to impose health policy would happily crush any state that sought to go its own way.

After all, just consider how much easier it would be for global health bureaucrats to manufacture a narrative favorable to their own version of events if Sweden hadn’t done what it did. Without the example of Sweden, it would be far easier for politicians to claim that the death toll in the absence of coerced lockdowns would be double, triple, or even ten times larger than the death tolls experienced in countries with harsh lockdowns.

“Yes, Spain has experienced a terrible death toll in spite of our strict lockdowns,” the pundits might say. “But things would have been five times worse without the lockdowns!” Without Sweden, there would have been no national-level counterexample to point to.

Any situation that contradicted the asserted “you get either a harsh lockdown or an incalculable bloodbath” story would be largely hypothetical. But things didn’t turn out that way. Because of this, we must expect the calls for ever-greater global “coordination” and “governance” to increase. While few of these efforts will ever explicitly call for actual “global government,” the ultimate destination will be—as has been the case with the EU—a global bureaucracy that can demand compliance and implementation of mandates handed down by the governing bodies of these new and strengthened global organizations.

Calls for More Global Governance

From the very beginning of the announced pandemic earlier this year, there have been calls for greater international “coordination.” In May, former British prime minister Tony Blair called for member countries to give the World Health Organization “much greater heft and weight.” In June, current British prime minister Boris Johnson called for the creation of a NATO-like organization that could produce “a radical scaling up” of global responses to disease. Ex-prime minister Gordon Brown has also expressed similar views.

Many global NGOs, of course, have expressed similar sentiments. The Center for Global Development (CGD), for example, concluded in April:

we need strong multilateral institutions and stronger global governance. As the President of Ethiopia put it in his letter to the G20: “These challenges cannot be adequately addressed (…) by one country; they require a globally coordinated response. Just as the virus knows no border, our responses also should not know borders.” (emphasis in original)

While this all sounds very voluntary and collaborative on every level, the far-left Jacobin has noted that these plans all remain rather toothless unless these organizations are given coercive powers. In a July article explicitly pushing for a global democratic government, Leigh Phillips writes:

Some of this agenda could be achieved straightforwardly enough through interstate treaties rather than a new global executive. However, much of it would require real governmental authority for the new body, not least the ability to compel national governments to obey its directives, even if Blair — always the savvier public relations operator of the Brown-Blair duo — makes no explicit mention of the term “world government.”…

The world is already “governed” by some 1,000 treaties and agencies that involve varying levels of finance and enforcement. For these centrists, moving toward a world government would not be a revolution so much as the next logical step, accelerated by the pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn.

Eliminating Local Control

Pandemics, of course, provide the perfect rationale for demanding an end to sovereignty at the level of nation-states. If the refrain is “the virus knows no border,” then it naturally follows that countries unwilling to adopt the “correct” antipandemic policies must be forced to comply. After all, any independence in this matter could be construed as one nation endangering all its neighbors.

Thus, in the new schema, an “uncooperative” country like Sweden would essentially forfeit its sovereignty by not adopting “recommendations” handed down by global health experts. The fact that Sweden’s policy has been pushed by a democratically elected government to a generally approving electorate would be immaterial. All that would matter would be the mandates handed down by a distant global bureaucracy.

Naturally, an international organization with powers like these would also eliminate subnational independence within the nation-states themselves.

In the United States, for example, seven states never locked down at all: Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Arkansas. All of these states have experienced covid-19 deaths per million at rates well below those of states that enacted harsh lockdowns—especially New York and New Jersey. Deaths also remain far lower by this measure in many states that enacted either short or weak lockdowns, including Texas, Georgia, and Florida.

Moreover, like Sweden, these jurisdictions continue to provide counterexamples to the “lockdown or die” claims coming from states that did impose draconian lockdowns. For example, when Georgia was among the first states to end its lockdown—long before most states in the northeastern United States— the The Atlantic declared it an “ experiment in human sacrifice.” Clearly, several months later, this prediction continues to be wildly incorrect. In Georgia, covid-19 deaths per million are still less than half of what they are in New York. And hospitalizations continue to decline. But even if total deaths do double and the rate is eventually similar to that in New York, we’re still left with the question: Why bother locking down at all if the outcome is the same?

covid2.png

cv

Naturally, this outcome would be embarrassing for advocates of lockdowns, so this sort of local sovereignty and independence would need to be eliminated by the global protectors of “public health.”

Were there a global, uniform lockdown policy, of course, prolockdown reporters and politicians would have to worry about being contradicted by “renegade” jurisdictions. Lockdowns would only be allowed to end in ways that suited the agendas of policymakers at the WHO, or whatever far-off governments were making policy for every state, town, region, and nation worldwide.

Inventing New Explanations

The usual narrative having failed in the case of Sweden, prolockdown critics have attempted other explanations. One is that population density is lower in Sweden, so therefore, it will have lower deaths per million. But new research suggests the data is, at best, inconclusive on that matter. While density is likely a factor of some kind, there’s no evidence it is a factor to the extent that would be necessary to explain why Sweden has performed better than the UK and Spain, for instance.

Another theory is that the Swedes have voluntarily practiced social distancing so studiously that this explains away the apparent failure of the “forced lockdown or die” narrative.

But, again, the data doesn’t show this.

sd4.png

sd

In fact, the Google Community Mobility Trends data suggests that Sweden socially distanced less than many European countries that imposed harsh lockdowns, yet had more deaths per capita than Sweden. In other words, the usual explanations proffered by lockdown enthusiasts fail to explain the reality.

Surely, this all strikes the prolockdown policymakers as rather exhausting. It would be far easier if it were unnecessary to address the fact that jurisdictions like Sweden and Georgia have failed to produce the bloodbaths that were promised.

This could all be solved by imposing a single, uniform global policy an every regime, as directed by global technocrats. This “solution” is apparently already in the works.

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and The Austrian, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Biden: “I Would Shut Country Down Again If Recommended By Scientists” | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on August 22, 2020

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/biden-i-would-shut-country-down-again-if-recommended-scientists

Throughout the Democratic National Convention there was a common, if contradictory, theme: on one hand, the Democrats bashed Trump for his response to the covid pandemic while at the same time they lamented the dismal state of the economy, where millions have lost their jobs and countless corporations have gone bankrupt. Well, which one is it, because you can’t have both: if Trump had enacted a more forceful response to the pandemic, the US economy would have been shut down for longer (as Neel Kashkari now urges, seeking another 6 weeks of shutdowns and setting the stage for the next crisis); alternatively the economy would be firing on all cylinders but the fallout from covid would be much more widespread.

On Friday afternoon, in an exclusive interview with ABC “World News Tonight”, Biden revealed on which side of the fence he is saying that as president, he would shut the country down to stop the spread of COVID-19 if the move was recommended to him by scientists.

“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told Muir Friday, alongside his running mate, Kamala Harris, during their first joint interview since officially becoming the Democratic Party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees.

Biden also criticized what he argued is the “fundamental flaw” of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, that the nation cannot begin to recover economically until the virus and public health emergency is under control, which is strange considering that in isolated cases such as Sweden which did not succumb to the media panic and did not enforce a uniform shutdown – while at the same time not forcing the population to take draconian measures to limit the spread of covid – the economy hit was far less than most of its European counterparts, while the Covid breakout has almost completely faded.

“I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus,” Biden added. “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”

Biden’s statement brings up one immediate question: which scientists would he listen to? The WHO which, under heavy influence from China, pretended for well over a month that covid was innocuous as the following Feb 23 soundbite from WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus confirms:

I have spoken consistently about the need for facts, not fear. Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear. This is not the time to focus on what word we use. That will not prevent a single infection today or save a single life today.

… and only on March 11 – just days before the US announced economic shutdowns – declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic (apparently succumbing to “causing fear”). Or perhaps Biden should have listened to scientists like the US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who on February 29 tweeted “Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.”

Or perhaps he meant listening to scientists like Anthony Fauci who on June 12 said “we know that you don’t need an N95 [mask] if you’re an ordinary person in the street” adding that “masks are not 100% protective.” When confronted with this contradiction in the government’s public-health advice, Fauci said “actually the circumstances have changed,” he said. “That’s the reason why.”

So will Biden shutdown the entire economy, leading to tens of millions more in job losses, just because it is the prevailing opinion circumstance at the time that he should do so?

Or perhaps what Biden meant to say is that as a leader it is his job to weigh costs and benefits of all policy options, as the catastrophic consequences of another economic shutdown could and likely would outweigh the benefits from a draconian response to a disease which as we showed recently has led to virtually no outsized under-40 fatalities, and yet as Jim Reid said in July, it is the “younger people will be suffering most from the economic impact of Covid-19 for many years to come, we wonder how history will judge the global response.”

We wonder too, especially now that we know that if there is another wave of covid in the US – whether domestic, or imported from China again or some other country – the US will have another full-blown economic shutdown, just as Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari has been urging (we also know who Fed chair would be in a Biden administration).

One final point about science, best laid out on twitter, is that “Science is NOT a magic wand. Especially “science” as it’s practiced today. Bureaucratic science is ALL about consensus. What gets funded is political. What gets published is political.”

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