Politicians Can't Stop Doubling Down on Failure
Convinced that this time it'll work, politicians and experts are repeating their same mistakes
Remarkably, COVID is not over.
Despite mask mandates, travel restrictions, mass pandemic theater, and sky high vaccination rates for much of North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, COVID is still ongoing.
How many times did we hear from The Experts™ and their dedicated PR representatives in the media that if everyone just did *insert desired intervention here*, we could end the pandemic?
Yet somehow, it is nowhere remotely close to “ending.”
In fact, the new Omicron variant has been detected in South Africa, and immediately uncovered elsewhere, with fears that it might evade immunity and/or spread more quickly than previous variants.
Already, the handwringing among the Twitter expert class, global political leaders and legions of voters terrified by endless propaganda has accelerated dramatically.
So how should governments respond to this potentially troubling (or mostly unconcerning) development?
In a sane world they’d look back at the tremendous amounts of data collected and studies conducted that have shown little to no impact from government mandates and “interventions,” and adjust their strategies to minimize pointless and destructive measures.
But as we no longer live in a sane world, we live in a world where COVID policy has become the single most important issue to the ~20% of the population that controls all cultural, media and academic institutions.
Therefore, well over a year and a half into the pandemic, politicians are predictably returning to what we already, conclusively, know does not work.
One of the most bizarre “interventions” demanded by incompetent experts and thoughtlessly implemented by desperate politicians are travel bans.
What once was considered a racist, xenophobic policy has somehow become the default position:
Amazingly, Joe Biden’s social media manager was right — banning all travel from Europe or any other part of the world most definitely did not stop the coronavirus.
Just look at how well it worked in the United States:
I mean, with a track record of success like this, how can you blame Biden for immediately reinstating a travel ban at the first opportunity?
What’s even more remarkable about returning to an intervention that demonstrably does not work is that there is no evidentiary basis for it, according to the World Health Organization.
In fact, the evidence base is so minimal that the 2019 “Non-pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic influenza” planning document says that border closures are quite literally never recommended under any circumstances:
But that was before COVID hit, and governments took this painstakingly prepared document and tore it to shreds out of relentless panic.
Not only are border closures and screenings not recommended in any circumstance, but Stefan Baral, an incredibly well credentialed expert, posted that they might actually make things worse:
Stefan Baral @sdbaralFriday night #COVID19 rant... https://t.co/iv7MO5vj2y
I don’t know if there’s anything that better exemplifies our COVID response than ignoring the pre-pandemic planning documents created by the same experts that are supposed to be unquestioningly followed, and then reinstating them after real world data proves the pre-pandemic planning was correct.
Unsurprisingly, God’s chosen representative of The Science™, Dr. Anthony Fauci pointedly supported and encouraged the travel ban:
Equally unsurprisingly, Dr. Anthony Fauci previously spoke out against travel bans:
But that was when the previous administration wanted travel bans, and when it became clear that Fauci’s chief motivation was to support whatever his political party demands.
Dr. Anthony “The Science™” Fauci was almost an entirely different person in February 2020:
Stringent travel restrictions imposed on inbound flights from China to contain the coronavirus outbreak become “irrelevant” in a potential pandemic because “you can’t keep out the entire world,” a top U.S. health official said a day after the Trump administration braced the public for its eventual spread here.
“When it was focused only on China, we had a period of time, temporary, that we could do a travel restriction that prevented cases from coming into the U.S.,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “When you have multiple countries involved, it’s very difficult to do; in fact, it’s almost impossible.”
“When you have multiple countries involved, it’s very difficult to do; in fact, it’s almost impossible.”
So based on The Living Science’s vociferous support for the travel ban, the Omicron variant must be exclusive to one country, right?
Omicron, dubbed a "variant of concern" last week by the WHO that is potentially more contagious than previous variants, has now been detected in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, Canada and South Africa.
Ah. Well. That is more than one country.
Oh, and the US international travel ban, which ended on November 8th only for vaccinated individuals, of course, already failed to keep out the Delta variant.
So to sum up:
Pre-COVID, travel bans were not recommended in any circumstance
The Living Embodiment of Science™ said unequivocally that restrictions on inbound travel is “irrelevant” with multiple countries involved
A new variant is uncovered that has already spread to multiple countries
The Living Embodiment of Science™, now Chief Medical Advisor to the President, advocates for travel bans that he previously said were pointless
Travel bans are implemented by the President
Perfection. No matter what Fauci does, he’s too big to fail.
Without question, mask mandates are the most common COVID restriction.
To politicians, masks appear to have few downsides — they don’t require any supporting evidence, the media loves them, and the rules can be easily ignored when you don’t feel like complying with your own rules
So naturally, multiple jurisdictions have recently reinstated mask mandates, with the United Kingdom being the latest country to fall victim to the media’s “do something, even if it’s useless” demands.
One such domestic example is New Mexico, a state praised by Scientific American in 2020 for controlling the spread of COVID by following science, where mask mandates were partially lifted in May 2021, only to return with a vengeance a few months later:
Their initial mask mandate was so demonstrably unsuccessful that the 7-day average of new cases rose from 67 per million on May 15, 2020 to 1,274 per million on November 23, 2021 — a 1,801% increase.
A year later, the mandate was lifted in most circumstances for vaccinated individuals, and cases continued to decline for several months afterwards. In a sane world, this would imply that masks were not having a dramatic impact on the curve of new cases, despite their promotion as the most important non-pharmaceutical intervention.
But again, sanity is dead.
In response to a seasonal increase over the summer, the governor reinstated the mask mandate for all on August 20th, only to see cases immediately begin rising again as soon as fall hit.
Not content with that failure, she extended the mandate in November, which has already proven ineffective at bringing the curve down. In fact, New Mexico currently has the third highest case rate of any state in the country, despite being one of only six states with a mask mandate covering the entire population.
As True Believers in The Science™, it should come as no surprise that Oregon and Washington also reinstated their mask mandates.
Oregon’s initial mask mandate returned in July 2020, followed swiftly by an outdoor mandate for reasons unknown.
And unsurprisingly, the mandates were completely incapable of preventing an 1,220% increase in newly reported deaths from July to January 2021:
After the governor lifted the mandate for the Holy Vaccinated in May 2021, deaths trended down for several months. But of course, the masks came back.
While there is obviously a delay between infection, case detection, severe illness and death, the 7-day average of newly reported deaths per million in Oregon was 1.4 on August 13th. By November 10th, it was 8.9.
Nailed it again, governor!
It’s the same story in Washington:
And perhaps even more importantly, Oregon and Washington have followed the exact same case curves for the entire pandemic:
After hearing over and over and over again that, as one “study” helpfully summarized, “Early intervention is the key to success in COVID-19 control,” different timing in Oregon and Washington had absolutely no impact. The results were the same. And they’ve been the same for twenty one months now.
So based on this and other easily accessible evidence, you’d think countries in Europe would have learned their lesson as well.
But no. Ohhhhh no. They’ve gone right back to the well of failure.
Belgium mandated masks in August of 2020, and saw cases immediately skyrocket:
They were averaging 53 cases per million when the mandate started, and just over two months later, that had risen to 1,406 per million. For those counting at home, that’s a 2,553% increase.
Belgium lifted their mandate on October 1st, just as the seasonal increase got underway, in conjunction with another already failed policy — vaccine passports.
Naturally, the mandate was reinstated a few weeks later and also immediately failed. Cases more than doubled, from 608 to 1,467.
Not content to let Belgium have all the pointless, destructive fun, the UK has become the latest to return to the cult of mask pseudoscience.
With no demonstrable impact whatsoever from mask mandates in 2020 and one of the world’s highest vaccination rates, the Prime Minister announced masks would be returning in shops, schools and other areas starting this week.
Sure, when masks were mandated inside shops the first time, cases went from 664 per day to 59,660 by January, and sure, ending mask mandates had no impact on the curve several weeks later, and sure, masks haven’t prevented surges in Wales or Scotland or Ireland, but how can you not bring back an intervention with that track record of incredible futility?
UnHerd’s Freddie Sayers thinks this will “make people angry,” and while I’d love to agree with him, I don’t think he’s right. If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that the majority of the population is incredibly susceptible to propaganda and will gladly comply with whatever they’re told, no matter how disproven.
The Science™ is now a dominant part of our new secular, government mandated religion and its adherents are relentless in their pursuit of ideological purity.
Politicians are addicted to ignoring failure.
No matter how much their precious, expert-derived interventions demonstrably fail, they simply can’t stop bringing them back.
The fact that any of this absurdity is referred to as “science” is completely and utterly laughable and insulting.
Tearing up the guidance, revising your opinion based on the political leanings of the current presidential administration, and ignoring data is not science. It’s religion.
It’s a desperate appeal to the True Believers who have made COVID the sole focus of their daily lives. Every action is a referendum on their innate goodness as a human being. “Be kind. Get vaccinated. Wear a mask. I cried when I booked my 5 year old’s vaccination appointment. My kid doesn’t mind wearing masks.” That’s who this is for.
It’s not backed by evidence, it’s not backed by data, it’s not backed by anything other than delusional wishful thinking or purposeful malice.
The Science™ does not work. And yet politicians keep bringing it back.