Tag Archives: mandates

Don’t Confuse the Scientists with Science: Thomas Kuhn and the Covid Cult

“Attacks on me are, quite frankly, attacks on science,” said Anthony Fauci to widespread ridicule or approval, depending upon which side you are on. If you doubt his judgment personally, he’d have you believe, you must not believe in “the science.” Fauci went on to claim that all of the “things he’s talked about” were “fundamentally based on science.”

Let’s put the weasel words aside and recognize that what he wants you to believe – that all his official policy recommendations (“all the things I’ve talked about”) were firmly proven effective through application of the scientific method – is demonstrably false. The most rigorous, most scientific studies show precisely the opposite.

Fauci was a proponent of what has become to be known as “lockdowns,” the widespread closure of businesses and/or stay-at-home orders for the general population. Dozens of studies show this had no demonstrable effect on the spread of Covid-19. As one after another came out, Fauci went on talking about lockdowns as if this evidence did not exist.

Now, there are studies being conducted every day on this or that aspect of Covid-19 and I’m sure Fauci and his supporters can produce links to some that support lockdowns. While there are no absolutes, here is a general observation: the most scientific studies – the randomized controlled trial studies with large sample sizes measuring results in the real world – tend to point towards inefficacy of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). NPIs include (anti)social distancing, masks, and lockdowns.

Less scientific studies – those with small sample sizes or based on laboratory experiments rather than experience in the real world – tend to point towards efficacy. Remember the experiment on mannequins wearing masks? You get the picture.

Let’s not forget that early in 2020 Fauci said a study based on a single case of asymptomatic spread of Covid-19 “lays the question to rest.” And guess what? It turned out the patient documented in the case had never been asked if she had symptoms. When it turned out she was symptomatic at the time of transmission, the study was unpublished. Subsequent studies failed to prove asymptomatic spread was significant. A December 2020 study looking at secondary attack rates within the same household – published right on the NIH (Fauci’s agency) website – says it’s miniscule if it exists at all.

Yet, Fauci goes on talking as if this study doesn’t exist. He has no choice. Without asymptomatic spread, there is no justification for lockdowns or mandating masks for asymptomatic people.

On a rare occasion where the largely useless national media confronted Fauci with a question about how Texas could be doing so well four weeks after abandoning all Covid restrictions, he had no answer. “Maybe they’re doing more outside,” he mused. Then, he went on recommending the same policies as if the question had never been posed.

Fauci wasn’t alone. When White House coronavirus advisor Anthony Slavitt was asked why locked down and masked California and restriction-free Florida were having similar results in terms of Covid spread, he began his answer with perhaps the only honest words that have escaped a public health official’s mouth: “There is so much of this virus that we think we understand, that we think we can predict, that is just a little bit beyond our explanation.” But then, in literally the same breath, he said we do know masking and social distancing work.

Now, you don’t have to be a trained journalist for the obvious follow-up question to occur to you: “No, Mr. Slavitt, the question I just posed to you suggests we don’t know masking and social distancing work because we are seeing equivalent results in states that are and are not following those policies.”

Of course, that follow-up was not put to Slavitt. And you really have to ask yourself why.

The failure of scientists to be scientific is not a new phenomenon. Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) dealt directly with the tendency of scientists to reject evidence that contradicts the prevailing theory or “paradigm.”

“Part of the answer, as obvious as it is important,” wrote Kuhn, “can be discovered by noting first what scientists never do when confronted by even severe and prolonged anomalies. Though they may begin to lose faith and then to consider alternatives, they do not renounce the paradigm that has led them into crisis.”

Kuhn’s overall thesis challenged the prevailing understanding at the time that science proceeds in a linear fashion, with new discoveries incrementally adding to the accumulated knowledge that preceded them. Instead, argued Kuhn, science throughout history has featured a series of revolutions, where paradigms like the geocentric theory of the solar system or Newtonian physics collapsed under the weight of “anomalies” (evidence which contradicted the theory) and made way for new paradigms like the heliocentric theory of the solar system and Einsteinian physics.

There is much nuance in Kuhn’s argument which his critics have tended to ignore, but one takeaway that we’re seeing proved in real time is that these scientific revolutions are only revolutionary because of the tendency for scientists to cling to a theory regardless of evidence that refutes it. Kuhn argues that scientists will not abandon a disproven theory until a new theory is presented that they are convinced explains the evidence better than the old.

What makes the New Normal so strange is that a scientific revolution occurred with no anomalies. It was firmly established by a century of scientific research that nonpharmaceutical interventions weren’t effective in combatting the spread of respiratory viruses. Indeed, Fauci himself initially repeated the established scientific consensus that lockdowns and mask mandates were not effective policy responses. He even discouraged people from voluntarily wearing masks.

Then, he and the rest of the government scientists did a complete about face. There was no new evidence that motivated this. They simply abandoned the prevailing scientific consensus based on a desire to do something – even though the scientific evidence before, during, and after the outbreak of Covid-19 said what they wanted to do wouldn’t work. As a result, there is now a New Normal paradigm based on…nothing.

It should be noted that there were plenty of non-government scientists protesting vehemently right from the beginning. The authors of the Great Barrington Declaration were already loudly protesting lockdowns as early as April 2020. Others contested asymptomatic spread, the mortality rate initially reported (they were right), and the efficacy of masks.

Here is the problem. This New Normal paradigm can’t collapse in the face of anomalies, no matter how numerous they are, because the anomalies are now simply ignored. Anyone who calls attention to them, no matter how credentialed or qualified, is systematically discredited.

In such an environment, scientifically disproven assertions like “Covid-19 spreads asymptomatically” and “lockdowns and mask mandates work” continue to form the basis of policy. The same goes for vaccine mandates.

It’s not that evidence against New Normal science can no longer be found. Much of it is available right on the websites of the government agencies denying it. It is simply a matter of saying “no” when governments and media demand you refuse to believe you’re lying eyes and obey.

Obedience has a price. We will be feeling the economic effects of lockdowns for many years. An entire generation of children will suffer psychological damage from being forced to wear masks during their most formative years. The damage to society as a whole from lockdowns, mask mandates, and (anti)social distancing policies may be immeasurable.

Neither can you simply go along to get along until things “get back to normal.” If and when the Covid Crisis finally ends, there is a Climate Crisis already teed up to begin as surely as night follows day. It will feature the same breathless media propaganda and ignoring of contrary evidence as did the Covid Crisis. The cost this time will be a significantly and permanently lower standard of living for you and your children.

That’s the price of obedience.

Are you willing to pay it?

Tom Mullen is the author oWhere Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

No, freedom isn’t “selfish”

First it was “staying home saves lives.” Then, it was masks. Now it’s the Covid vaccines. Over and over, we’re told we need to obey public health bureaucrats without question for the good of other people. Conversely, to disobey their “guidance” and exercise our inalienable right to liberty is “selfish.”

Charles Barkley, who is often refreshingly independent-minded, is the latest to parrot this mantra.

Memories are short these days. In early 2020, the use of tents for hospital overflow was breathlessly reported as if it were unprecedented, when tents had been put up for precisely the same reason just two years before, during a heavy flu season.

In April 2020, no one remembered this. Instead, it was, “OMG, tents!”

It’s much the same story with lockdowns, masks, and the vaccines. Every one of these was first presented to the public as protecting oneself. Then, when significant people resisted, the narrative changed to “you’re doing it for others.” Forget two years, most of the public didn’t remember the previous narrative two days later.

It’s like a nightmare.

At the center of the “freedom is selfish” allegation is a misunderstanding, deliberate or not, of liberty and legitimate power. The right to liberty, like the rights to life, acquiring possessions, and pursuing happiness, rests upon an understanding of what legitimate powers one person can exercise over another. And those powers are very few.

The right to life isn’t the right not to die under any circumstances. When someone drowns to death or gets struck by lightning, we don’t say his right to life was violated. No, the right to life is specifically the right to not be killed by another person other than in self-defense.

The right to life is rooted in the proposition that no one person has any legitimate power to deliberately deprive another of life. The right to liberty similarly rests upon the proposition no one has any legitimate power to deprive another of liberty.

If no individual has these powers, then they cannot delegate them to a government. I didn’t just make that up; it is a bedrock concept in the essay Thomas Jefferson said represented “the general principles of liberty and the rights of man, in nature and in society” generally approved by the citizens of both his state of Virginia and the United States generally.

“Inalienable” means cannot be taken away, not even by majority vote. That’s the reason for all the so-called “checks and balances” in our system. It’s the reason we have Bills of Rights in our federal and state constitutions. All these protections are there to ensure democratically elected officials don’t violate these inalienable rights, regardless of what majorities think or want.

Politicians, bureaucrats, and the useful midwits who blindly follow them will be quick to point out that “with rights come responsibilities.” That’s true. But the corresponding responsibility to a right is not to immediately surrender the right. That would be absurd. No, the corresponding responsibility to the right to liberty, for example, is to respect the right to liberty of others.

In other words, you can choose to take a vaccine or not to take it, and live with the consequences, as long as you do not infringe upon the rights of others to make the same decision for themselves. This is the very essence of “a free country.”

“But there are limits to liberty,” say the statists. That’s also true, but those limits are very narrow. “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him,” said Jefferson in an 1816 letter. Similarly, he said the government should “restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free” in his first inaugural.

The government and its minions weren’t completely unaware of this concept. That’s what made Covid-19 oh-so convenient. With just a small false equivalency, it seemed to check all the boxes necessary to restrain liberty on a massive scale.

First, we were told the disease was much deadlier than it turned out to be. Even then, the sensible approach would have been for people with symptoms to stay home. That’s why it had to spread asymptomatically, an article of faith among the Covid Cult that the evidence shows is virtually unfounded.

A December 2020 study found that even for people living in the same household, the “secondary attack rate” (rate at which an infected member of the household transmits to another member) was .7% for asymptomatic cases, as opposed to 18% for symptomatic cases.

.7%. In case you’re having trouble reading, that’s less than 1%. And this is for people living in the same household. How much smaller would the risk be for mere passersby on the street or even fellow diners in the same indoor restaurant?

Yet, without significant asymptomatic spread, there was no need for lockdowns or mask mandates. That’s why minions of the regime go on talking about asymptomatic spread as if it were a fact when the most rigorous studies say it’s miniscule, if it occurs at all.

The “studies” offered to refute this usually assume that because a large percentage of people in a defined group tested positive and are asymptomatic, that asymptomatic people must be spreading it, which clearly does not follow for a highly virulent pathogen.

But let’s say that asymptomatic spread is significant, evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Does that give anyone the power to forcibly confine others to their homes or force them to wear masks? No.

The limit on the right to liberty is the prohibition on aggression or injury, both of which mean deliberate harm. That you may pose a risk to others does not equate to aggression. Society is impossible without accepting the risks posed by others. There are too many. They are all preventable to some extent with sufficient oppression, but then you no longer have a society at all, much less a free one.

Everyone has the right to stay home themselves to avoid the risk of viruses. But to claim a right to confine everyone else to their homes until that risk disappears is the truly selfish position, not to mention insane.

The same reasoning applies to the vaccines. There is a good amount of gaslighting regarding their effectiveness in preventing transmission of the disease, even after the CDC Director herself said they don’t. But whether they prevent infection and transmission or merely lessen the severity of the symptoms, there is no case for vaccine mandates.

If they prevent infection and transmission, then those who choose to be vaccinated are safe from those who don’t. If they merely lessen the symptoms, but don’t prevent transmission, as the CDC Director said, then declining the vaccine harms no one but oneself.

If they don’t do either, as increasing anecdotal and some clinical evidence suggests, then there isn’t much reason for anyone to take them at all, much less mandate them.

No one honest with himself can possibly believe governments and the media are being honest about Covid-19. But even holding their statements in the most charitable light possible does not justify any of the measures we’ve endured over the past 19 months. And none of it would be possible without support from at least a significant minority of the people.

All those not only tacitly accepting but championing the governments’ closing businesses, locking people in their homes, mandating masks, or forcibly requiring anyone to take a drug, no matter how effective, all for the purpose of marginally reducing risk to themselves from a virus with a 99.5% survival rate, is monstrously selfish. Shame on them.

Tom Mullen is the author oWhere Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.