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Reprising the disastrous assumptions of Field Marshall Haig that the enemy could not sustain a war of attrition, General Westmoreland’s strategy in the Vietnam War put us on a path in which our primary goal quickly mutated into a desire to achieve the appearance of not losing while desperately looking for an exit.
Trying to appear not to lose is now the sole basis for our COVID-19 policy. “Losing” does not mean the disease spreading until herd immunity reduces it to endemic status (which was always going to happen anyway). Losing would be a forced admission that the suppression strategies failed and all the evolving, temporizing nonsense deployed to protect the illusion of effective leadership was not based on science but on vanity, a love of the spotlight, and possession of the levers of policymaking power.
We cannot even enjoy the demonstrable success of the vaccines against the severity of subsequent infection because, in the same vein as the “light at the end of the tunnel” gaffe, we were promised the vaccines would end the spread. Fauci & co. worked hard to make us fear the spread (“cases”) per se. Worse, most Americans can no longer trust the FDA or CDC for straight answers about vaccine side effects risks, effective treatments, or much else dealing with COVID-19. As with the Vietnam War, the loss of trust in government has deeply hurt the nation. The breach this time may be worse because the medical science and health guys should be the ultimate honest brokers of information.
Americans are mostly nice people (do not include me with you “mostly nice” types) who were probably prepared to forgive and forget the horrific social, political, and economic destruction of all the utterly futile mandates if the crisis could be finally brought to an end. We were encouraged to form the near-universal hope that vaccinating most people would quickly establish some kind of herd immunity and let us resume normal life. But now that it is clear that vaccines do not stop the spread, that there is no exit, no light at the end of the tunnel, and that we are resuming mandates that we now know with statistical certainty don’t work along with the prospect of endless boosters. And we must still remain in a conditioned state of fear of the number of “cases” like the Eloi hearing the Morlocks alarm sirens.
So the prospect of forgiveness and praise is receding rapidly. We are not at the point where Dr. Fauci will be scrambling onto the last chopper off the roof of NIH campus HQ. But the facade of competence and honesty is crumbling. The government-adjacent entities of social media and the MSM are working hard to forestall the reckoning.
Now that the data doesn’t really let us convincingly blame red state governors or the unmasked, the new Maginot Line of spin is that (a) the unvaxxed are clogging the hospitals and (b) we can’t let up on the mandates because those damned unvaxxed trogs won’t let us end the pandemic and the proof is: see (a). Not really steel-trap logic regarding infection numbers but it will have to do.
A paradigmatic example is how Snopes reacted to this Tweet from the estimable @ianmsc:
This trend is true almost everywhere—vaccination rates approach 90% and up and yet the number of “cases” still rises to new heights. This is. of course, not what we were promised. So, Snopes rides to the rescue of this newest variant of The Narrative and stamps this tweet “Misleading”
The funniest part of Snopes’ extensive criticism is the claim that the increase should have been shown as a mere 6,200% percent rather than 16,700% in another part of the thread, a point which is not exactly a devasting riposte but nevertheless delivered in a “so there” tone.
Snopes says screw the data–the experts still Believe, and the wrong sort of people like the tweet so it must be wrong:
The Twitter account’s many tweets about COVID-19 appeared to largely receive engagements from people who leaned toward anti-science, anti-vaccine, and anti-mask rhetoric. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines and masks are both effective in the fight against the deadly disease.
The data in the graph remains unrefuted. The point stands. Nevertheless, the “experts” believe and the anti-science MAGA hats don’t so those facts no longer matter. And, of course, here is the obligatory new official twist using hospital & death data:
The final part of the tweet read: “Hard to imagine a less scientifically justifiable policy than vaccine passports to keep others ‘safe.’” However, this missed the mark. Since the time that COVID-19 vaccines became available, the vast majority of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been in unvaccinated patients, according to data made available by the CDC.
Never mind that this misses the point about infection spread. It is those damned unvaxxed who are keeping it going. But the Narrative can’t handle that truth and also stupidly maneuvered itself out of eligibility for credit for what the vaccines actually do accomplish because we must fear the number of “cases” even if we are in an age and health demographic at minuscule risk.
Lost in the shuffle is the fact that despite various mandates and enormous vaccination rates, COVID still finds and kills its intended victims at the same rate everywhere. Vaxxed or unvaxxed, shouldn’t the overall death toll be a lot smaller by now if any of this had worked? Will the new spin twist hold as the percentage of deaths and hospitalizations among the vaxxed rises (as it must) or will it be about how those damned un-boostered types are keeping it going? Will people continue to tolerate this farce?
Maybe if the Great Barrington guys had set policy, there might have been some reduction in deaths as a result of a more intensively targeted protection strategy but nothing much appears to stop COVID, so who knows. In any case, The Great Barrington approach would not have required constant lies to justify hideously costly failures to achieve unattainable goals as has the Fauci quagmire.Published in