Freedom of Information Dead on Arrival — Another Covid Casualty

“Democracy Dies in Darkness”–Washington Post
“It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there”–Bob Dylan

Another fallout from the Covid crisis is that you can no longer reach public officials and bureaucrats. Phone calls go unanswered and there seems to be a pervasive disinterest in responding to emails now.

This is significant in terms of transparency and the public’s right to be informed. What we are seeing now in daily media reports, wildly contradicting each other as to the nature of the Covid crisis, is compounded by the unaccountability engendered by public officials, who seem to have discarded any semblance of concern about “the public’s right to know.”

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The COVID Coup

Panicked by fears manufactured by the ruling class, the American people assented to being put essentially under house arrest until further notice, effectively suspending the habits, preferences, and liberties that had defined our way of life. Most Americans have suffered economic damage. Many who do not enjoy protected status have had careers ended and been reduced to penury. Social strains and suicides multiplied. Forcibly deferring all manner of medical care is sure to impose needless suffering and death. In sum, the lockdowns’ medical and economic dysfunctions make for multiples of the deaths and miseries of the COVID-19 virus itself.

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Media Mask-Mania, or Covid19 Groupthink

Inever thought I’d see the day when publicly wearing a muzzle would constitute a proof of virtue in the same country whose government, less than twenty years ago, rationalized the bloody invasion of Afghanistan as a way of saving women from veiling their faces.

But then, I never thought I’d hear American liberals proudly denounce supporters of the US Constitution as a “death cult,” nor that I’d actually start to find Donald Trump sounding almost reasonable.

But at least there’s one thing we can all be sure about: “mainstream” news media, busily cheerleading for the death of freedom, will continue to gush with absurdities, self-contradictions and victim-shaming memes in their propaganda war to Keep America Gagged. The Bill of Rights (in case you haven’t noticed) is history; today, we demonstrate our patriotism by creeping around hiding our faces. Dissenters need not apply.

If you think I’m exaggerating, I suspect you haven’t been paying attention. Recently I had the poor judgment to turn on National Public Radio for about an hour, under the impression that I was going to learn something about the day’s news.

I could have saved myself the trouble. During the hour in question, I learned nothing at all about the presidential election campaign (now in its final months), nothing about the tens of millions of my fellow citizens whose jobs have been snatched away by government fiat, nothing about climate change, nuclear arms buildups, international refugees or growing worldwide poverty – nothing even about the intensification of air and water pollution authorized by recent federal regulation, although pollution kills an estimated 100,000 Americans every year.

No – for a solid hour, I heard the following: that COVID19 – in reality, at most, a moderately serious flu virus – is the worst medical threat the United States has ever faced; that this “deadly” virus (the word “deadly” was repeated obsessively, even though the disease is fatal in a tiny percentage of cases) has been empowered by a conspiracy of Republican politicians serving the arch-demon Donald Trump; that recent data showing the rapid decline in deaths attributable to the virus may have been faked, because the numbers aren’t what the “experts” want them to be; and that a massive increase in COVID19 tests – primarily among people between 20 and 40 years of age who are subjected to swabbing because their employers demand it, not because they’re in any danger – cannot possibly have anything to do with a rise in the number of reported infections, and that anyone who dares to suggest otherwise is “putting lives at risk.”

But the real theme of the hour was masks, masks, masks: how to make them, how to wear them, their different types, who doesn’t seem to have enough of them, and why muffling our faces (even though no such thing was ever demanded of us during dozens of past viral outbreaks) is absolutely, positively good for us all.

I waited in vain for some mention of the fact that every single order requiring the wearing of muzzles in the US is probably unconstitutional, a matter that National Public Radio – which once prided itself on its legal affairs reporting – might have been expected to care about.

Nor did anyone mention that just a few months ago, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention was explicitly advising against a general mask-wearing regime, as was Anthony Fauci, the High Priest of COVID19.

No, facts would only have complicated matters. After all, we already knew what good little boys and girls were expected to do with those muzzles. At the close of each weather forecast, just in case anyone had missed the point, the reporter said cheerily, “And when you go out – put on a mask.” “And drink milk with every meal,” I half expected him to add, but I guess self-conscious condescension would have spoiled the effect.

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Fauci says he wears mask as ‘symbol’ of good behavior

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, revealed Wednesday he wears a mask while in public partly as a “symbol” of best practices during the coronavirus pandemic — breaking with President Donald Trump, who has resisted criticism that he should model similar behavior for Americans.

“I wear it for the reason that I believe it is effective,” Fauci told CNN. “It’s not 100 percent effective. I mean, it’s sort of respect for another person, and have that other person respect you. You wear a mask, they wear a mask, you protect each other.”

But apart from wanting “to protect myself and protect others,” Fauci also said he chooses to wear a face covering “because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.”

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Texas health officials remove over 3,000 ‘probable’ coronavirus cases from overall count

Texas health officials removed more than 3,000 reported coronavirus cases from an overall count after “probable” cases for people who were never tested were counted as confirmed.

“Since we report confirmed cases on our dashboard, we have removed 3,484 previously reported probable cases from the statewide and Bexar County totals,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health agency, said to the Austin American-Statesman.

“The State of Texas today had to remove 3,484 cases from its Covid-19 positive case count, because the San Antonio Health Department was reporting ‘probable’ cases for people never actually tested, as ‘confirmed’ positive cases.- TDHS,” Fox 4 Dallas Evening News anchor Steve Eagar tweeted Wednesday. “What other departments make this same mistake?”

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