The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewIlana Mercer Archive
Kung Flu Is A Killer, All Right, But So Are the Bureaucrats
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

“When, Mr. President, will you deliver instant, standardized, country-wide testing to all the American people,” comes the daily, petulant demand from the malfunctioning media, reiterated by the expert class and an intelligentsia that is not always very intelligent.

The hype over testing will be the next contagion of illogic on matters related to coronavirus.

The testy twits are treating COVID testing as though it were an amulet against the dreaded disease. It isn’t. All testing does is give an individual a snapshot in time of his COVID status. As soon as he drives out of the testing facility, a COVID-free person could become infected.

Unless they engage in prevention, a single testing in time doesn’t in any way give individuals a clean bill of health.

Prevention protects people.

Testing is, however—at this stage of spread—helpful in giving medical researchers a grip on the symptomless-sick phenomenon, as well as an idea of how the disease is disseminated and distributed in the population.

Test and keep testing large enough representative samples, and you’ll get good prevalence data. You’ll probably discover statistically significant differences in COVID infection rates along the rural/metropolitan axis, and the Chinese/no-Chinese axis.

In fact, high-tech meccas are likely a good proxy for the correlation between COVID and the Chinese population. Hubs of high-tech like my state of Washington—the King and Snohomish counties, in particular—have high coronavirus infection rates.

Antibody status is another essential parameter obtained from testing. In addition to identifying the prevalence of disease in the population, a COVID serology assay will divulge who has developed antibodies to the virus, is now immune to it, and can get on with it.

But unless you vigorously protect your health status with barriers to SARS-CoV-2, testing is but a snapshot in time of your disease status.

In the fullness of time, mainstream will arrive at these simple deductions.

Before the testing fetish came the face-mask mythology. Face masks were the first contagion of illogic sprung on a gullible public.

Most “covidiots” insisted that, because the “experts” had said so, donning face masks during an epidemic to reduce droplet transmission was futile. Proven. Q.E.D. Nothing more to show.

But, as far back as March 5, in “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks,’” this column unpacked the lies and illogic underlying the contention that masks (surgical and N95) were worthless to the public. As follows:

“While the coronavirus is indeed minuscule, smaller than 0.3 microns (likely between 0.1 and 0.2 microns), COVID-19 is delivered in a larger medium of bodily fluids or spray. Certainly, some barrier to the spittle in which the coronavirus is dispersed is better than none.”

“No surprise then, that world health authorities can’t seem to get their story straight on masks. At times, they concede ‘that N-95 face masks are protective.’ More frequently, they scratch the proverbial proboscis (ostensibly a sign of lying) and say ‘No, of course, they’re ineffective.’ In other words, ‘they work for me, the healthcare worker, but not for thee.’”

“For honesty’s sake,” I had exhorted, “the country’s health-care functionaries might appeal to consumers on the ground of dire shortages. But on the basis that no protection is better than some protection? Please! …”

On March 30, our great Tucker Carlson seconded my mask message of March 5, emphasizing the arguments above. Two days prior to Tucker, 23 days after Mercer—a lifetime in a pandemic—mainstream caught up. Wrote the New York Post: “Experts say face masks can help slow COVID-19, despite previous claims.”

A full month after this column’s advice to ignore government enjoinders against face masks and respirators, the government has reversed its position.

On April 3, government grandees finally instructed Americans to cover their faces with anything but surgical and N95 masks. In so doing, the government had stopped flouting logic and had come clean about why it had endangered American lives.

As pinpointed in my unmasking of March 5, the depraved calculus that went into advising Americans initially, and unintuitively, not to shield viral entry points—mouth, eyes and nose—was purely utilitarian. It stemmed from a fear that, by protecting their health, citizens would contribute to scarcity and undermine the health of healthcare workers.

Sold to the public as settled science, the initial mask fallacy-disguised-as-policy was social engineering for the sake of resource conservation. (The fallacy worked with “brainy” “Binyamin.” Let the shaming of the mini-men who dog Mercer begin.)

As a former HIV/AIDS counselor in Cape Town, South Africa, I remember Dr. Anthony Fauci’s pioneering work in that field. Back in the day, he and his taxpayer-funded medical sleuths impressively tracked down the index case in the AIDS epidemic in North America.

Steered by science, the old Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made that information known quite candidly. The HIV/AIDS index case in North America was Gaëtan Dugas, a dashing and daringly promiscuous Canadian flight attendant, who had had approximately 1,000 sexual partners.

Guided by political correctness, today’s CDC barely mentions the crucial work of contact tracing, because contact-tracing invariably leads viral RNA sequencing sleuths straight back to the individuals who arrived from Wuhan to, unwittingly, deliver death to Americans.

North America’s Patient Zero—the man who carried WuFlu from Wuhan to Washington State and who purportedly started the chain of infection in the United States on January 15—remains anonymous.

Not so Rev. Timothy Cole, a WASP who is (for reasons not quite scientific) openly referred to as Patient Zero of the District of Columbia. The reverend has expiated on television and to other news media for having infected parishioners at Christ Church Georgetown.

Only on April 5, 2020, did Reuters finally stumble on the Index Patient, nothing that,

“Each day that the administration debated the travel measures, roughly 14,000 travelers arrived in the United States from China, according to figures cited by the Trump administration. Among them was a traveler who came from Wuhan to Seattle in mid-January, who turned out to be the first confirmed case in the United States.”

As early as March 13, this columnist explained, at Townhall.com, that, “Genetic sequencing of virus extracted from infected patients allows scientists to pinpoint the virus’ origins and the timing of the ‘seeding event.’ That the virus that continues to kill elderly people in homes for the aged and the infirm, in King County, WA, came from Wuhan is indisputable.”

ORDER IT NOW

Trevor Bedford, sequencing scientist at the Fred Hutch Research Center, was therein cited in confirmation that, “The first case in the USA was … from a traveler directly returning from Wuhan to Snohomish County on Jan. 15.” But there was another traveler whose virus was related to that of Patient Zero, and who had, “exposed someone else to the virus in the period between Jan. 15 and Jan. 19, before they were isolated… After this point, community spread occurred and was undetected due to the CDC’s narrow case definition that required direct travel to China or direct contact with a known case to even be considered for testing. This lack of testing was a critical error and allowed an outbreak …” [Emphasis added.]

These days, Fauci fans can find Fauci-face socks, mugs, T-shits and devotional candles on Etsy, “the e-commerce equivalent of a hippie grandmother’s attic.” Surviving the Coronavirus calamity demands, however, that critics remember this:

Fauci was against masks and travel bans before he was for these, and had said not a word about zoonotic transmission: The Asian wet-market depravity. Late to the game, as usual, Dr. Fauci has finally called for shutdown to the barbaric, cruel, disease-breeding Asian wet markets.

The good doctor still persists, though, to voice odious, statist impulses as to the use of hydroxychloroquine on critically ill COVID patients. Many medical clinicians have called Dr. Fauci out for being dogmatically wrong about the critical mass of, yes, anecdotal evidence as to the usefulness of hydroxychloroquine—an old, tried-and-tested malaria drug—in reducing viral load, cell-penetration, as well as mitigating the calamitous cytokine-mediated inflammatory response in COVID patients.

Judging from his own reservations, Dr. Fauci would likely cheer Dr. Seema Yasmin, a CNN Corona commentator. She’s adamant about keeping hydroxychloroquine out of the reach of dying COVID patients until übermenschen like herself and her colleagues at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and CDC give it the go-ahead.

Dogmatic doctors here are making a categorical confusion between science-driven decision making and the individual’s autonomy and agency in charting his course in life and in death.

In a free society, the patient is sovereign. America is founded upon the idea of individual rights. The individual charts his destiny, not the doctor. On his death bed, the patient should be able to decide whether to try a promising but unproven palliative therapy.

In the rush to make stars of the CDC and the FDA state cartel, let us not forget the pill politburo’s role in indirectly killing Americans through one of the most protracted, protectionist and bureaucratic drug-approval protocols in the world.

As I wrote , once again, on March 5, “the Center for Disease Control [is] a cumbersome bureaucracy, which tightly controls both testing capacity and criteria. Such centralization is everywhere and always detrimental to the screening and segregating of the infected, and, ultimately, to disease containment.”

Kung Flu is a killer, all right, but so are the bureaucrats, national and international.

Oh, and sometimes—especially during a pandemic—ignoring reliably predictive analysis can be perilous, too.

Ilana Mercer has been writing a weekly, paleolibertarian column since 1999. She’s the author of Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011) & The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016). She’s on Twitter, Facebook & Gab. Latest on YouTube

 
Hide 22 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. Sean says:

    Knut Wittkowski, previously the longtime head of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at the Rockefeller University in New York City INTERVIEW

    [34:40.18] WITTKOWSKI: Testing doesn’t stop anything by itself. Testing could give us, if we do antibody testing, not testing for the actual virus. If we do antibody testing, we would actually get an estimate of how close we are to herd immunity. That could be useful. But, testing for people who are infectious means they probably have already been, for two or three days, been in for half of their infectious period. Now, they are being tested positive what are they supposed to do? We are already having social distancing. They can’t do much more than they are already doing. Testing for respiratory disease is neither necessary nor effective.
    [35:35.14] JOHN: Now, you said, you mentioned earlier that you have asthma. And I’m guessing you’re over 40?: Why aren’t you nervous?
    [35:50.05] WITTKOWSKI: We don’t die of the virus. We die of pneumonia. So, if we have a virus respiratory disease, the disease—once the body has created antibodies, the immune system has created antibodies, the antibodies, or the immune system is killing all infected cells which destroys much of the mucosa. And bacteria can easily settle on that destroyed mucosa, and then cause pneumonia. And it is the pneumonia that is killing people, if it’s not treated. I had a virus, whatever it was, maybe it was—who knows—about three weeks ago, and my physician gave me the antibiotics I should take if the disease gets better and then gets worse, because that is a sign of pneumonia and then we have to treat the pneumonia.
    [36:56.06] JOHN: And pneumonia is what is treated with antibiotics—
    [36:59.10] WITTKOWSKI: Pneumonia is what’s treated with antibiotics. Not the virus.
    [37:04.08] JOHN: Okay. So, you feel that it’s—you may have already had COVID-19?
    [37:10.06] WITTKOWSKI: Okay. At the end of that experience which reminds me of Camus’s Plague, if you ever read it, you will see lots of parallels, unfortunately. So, no, I am not scared. I may have had it, like many other people, who had a mild flu like I had, or had no symptoms whatsoever. That is the normal thing happening to 70% of the people in the end, or even 75%, and it is the remaining that get ill and need treatment. And they should seek treatment as early as possible—you shouldn’t wait. And it’s definitely helpful if you have health insurance

    There is no downside to children being infected. But because they are not getting infected herd immunity is not being reached and so more elderly are going to get infected and more old folk will die than if social distancing and isolation had been restricted to the elderly and a few vulnerable groups.

    In March 2019 Italy was the first G-7 country in Europe to become a member in the Chinese Belt and Road project, Did that globalisation reproduced the same pandemic-friendly environment that had repeatedly decimated Ancient Rome Every now and again dozens Chinese die the back of a lorry smuggling them into the UK through unguarded channel ports. One who died in the most recent case had only just been deported from the UK ten days beforehand. When Boris Johnson was London’s mayor, he said he wanted an immigration-friendly country. Chinese property buyers were driving the London property boom, that the whole pump-up-the-housing market was based on. Johnson’s government in January announced they were lowering the salary threshold for immigrants, and originally exempted the construction sites (entirely foreign workers) from the lockdown.

    Boris said he wanted post-Brexit London to become Singapore-on-Thames, and he gave Huawei the 5G contract; a wedge into the strategic infrastructure of the West for a generation. A thousand Brits dying of COVID-19 in a 24 hour period, and within a week the epidemic will peak at three times that. Old folk dying in IK care homes are not being counted. British dead may be 50,000 by August. Britain is on on course to suffer even worse than Italy. This is what comes of globalized trade with an alien, sexually insecure(the pangolin is trafficked for aphrodisiacs) totalitarian mercantilist state . The West dids not understand the dangers, or rather the hyper capitalist elite were too greedy to care. Will we learn our lesson?

    • Replies: @animalogic
  2. In other words, let’s send our modern-day Committee for Public Safety to their own guillotines by eliminating their own job safety. It would be great to get one more “You’re fired!” from Trump to Fauci on national TV.

  3. @Sean

    Just a quibble: “again dozens Chinese die the back of a lorry smuggling them into the UK through unguarded channel ports…. who died in the most recent case had only just been deported from the UK ten days beforehand.”
    I believe the lastest smuggled lorry load of neo-slaves were from Vietnam.

  4. I have a tendency not to agree with Ms Mercer’s articles, however i can say that this article is excellent & 100%.
    I especially like her views on masks, wet markets & the rights of patients to access medicines where “official” views have not caught up with strong (positive) ancedotal evidence.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  5. Realist says:

    The Asian wet-market depravity. Late to the game, as usual, Dr. Fauci has finally called for shutdown to the barbaric, cruel, disease-breeding Asian wet markets.

    It is not proven that the wet markets are the source of Covid-19…but they are horrifically barbaric and cruel…not something the Chinese should want to continue. The wet markets reflect terribly on the humanity of the Chinese.

    • Agree: lavoisier
  6. anonymous[178] • Disclaimer says:
    @animalogic

    100%?

    She’s falling right in line (“Kung Flu”) with her cheap, blame China rhetoric. Like the bipartisan “Russian hacking” narrative, a way to keep the sheep in line with fear porn and faux patriotism.

    • Replies: @Quebecer
    , @Hail
    , @Realist
  7. I usually fall asleep on Mercer’s articles, but this one is just excellent (which means I was probably unfair to the previous ones).

    I have only one minor quibble. She is not clear enough about the differences between tests for the virus and tests for antibodies. Tests for antibodies would be very useful (they would say who may move around freely, and thus keep the economy alive), but, as I said before, news about them are exasperatingly confusing. On one place, you read about them being already deployed, on another they will only be ready in three months, on yet another they are error-prone, and so on.

    If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say we are deliberately being denied precise and widely available antibody testing, for obscure reasons.

  8. Rahan says:

    Slightly off topic, but now that it’s the season to bash the ChiFash, I gotta ask: are we going to start calling AIDS also something like “the American gay plague” and stuff? Maybe tell the world to sue the US for gibs because of AIDS and sheit?

    By this time next year a lot of people will wince at their own behavior right now. Those with shame, of course. The ones who are (((grabbing the chance))) the direct lizard brain reactions the way they redirected them toward Arabs 19 years ago, will probably not feel shame.

  9. Quebecer says:
    @anonymous

    Ok, so let’s be good globalists, citizens of the world, and look away from the evidence. Evidence is for the little people, the flag-waving provincials. We don’t care about evidence, we’re smart people who like to delve into convoluted conspiracy theories.

    Consider this pandemic a practice run. From our dear friends in China, another pandemic will come one day, with Ebola’s lethality. At that point discussions like these will be quite irrelevant, of course.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  10. Binyamin says:

    It is true China’s culture of secrecy and lies as perpetuated by its government have now caused a global catastrophe and the world must bring the Chinese government to account. However, blaming its government is not the same as blaming it’s people. In this so called ‘article ‘ a clear subtext is discernible-blame the Chinese people and their exotic habits and cultures. Some are preaching ill will against the Chinese people by claiming that all this is due to dreadful hygiene conditions in Chinese wildlife markets. Most Chinese citizens support strict limits if not outright ban on wildlife consumption. The resulting trade is due to ‘free’ market because profits are to be made-I say this as a free marketeer. China may be nominally communist but in terms of economic policy it is a capitalist nation. Therefore it is free market and unscrupulous profit motive and not Chinese tradition which is the root cause of this disaster.
    Mercer is plainly a conspiracy theorist as many of her previous posts shows.
    In this crisis, (as the British would phrase it) – don’t be a tosser. Do not listen to conspiracy theorists. Listen to our experts. Trump may be the biggest motherfucker but at least he is now surrounded by medical specialists. American medical specialists-love them for their skills or hate them for their greed, are among the world’s best. Listen to what the experts say and follow their advice. Listening to spreaders of fake news will endanger your life. Stay safe!

  11. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Quebecer

    What evidence does the author cite for the provenance of the virus? None.
    Like I said, she just threw in (“Kung Flu”) some cheap, blame China rhetoric.

    Pointing this out doesn’t make me a “globalist,” either.

    • Replies: @Realist
  12. topdowner says:

    Which trump bureaucrats exactly are the killers? Mercer gingerly avoids naming names among trump’s band of utterly corrupt co-incompetents.

    While little jared is in his own (but familiar) universe of screwing things up, others have strained to outshine him. Wilbur Ross was early out of the gate – assuring every one as he rubbed his greedy hands that China’s suffering the virus would be, “good for American jobs”. Then of course we had the dimwitted buffoon Kudlow echoing trump’s talking points that the virus was “contained” and that the trump administration had kept the U.S. “pretty close to airtight”.

    Still, in terms of on-the-record stupidity, they can’t quite match trump himself. Holding out the U.S. as separate, only to find it in the world pandemic pole position over the course of a few weeks (but many denials) – from “exceptional” to “shit hole”.

    It’s probably why they are all reaching for some “miracle” drug cure conveniently pushed on them by a hasidic doctor from a ghetto outside of New York (who initially belittled the virus risk) – they’re desperate for a distraction as much as something off of which to get rich.

    War? These clowns couldn’t even manage to attend a bankruptcy hearing.

  13. Hail says: • Website
    @anonymous

    Tucker Carlson totally fell for it, too. Disappointing. Come back, Tucker, we need you.

    I’d say that Tucker Carlson has disgraced himself in this whole CoronaPanic affair. Though he is in plentiful company.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @Realist
  14. Hail says: • Website

    Kung Flu is a killer, all right, but so are the bureaucrats, national and international.

    “According to all findings to date, Covid-19 is no more dangerous than previous influenza epidemics.” — Swiss Propaganda Research, summarizing the state of research on the ‘new coronavirus’ as of April 5; this finding was largely agreed-on by expert consensus tentatively by the third week of March and strongly by the fourth week of March, as good data continued rolling in. Why was the good news suppressed?

    Bad flu strains and epidemics do kill, yes, but they also pass, and do no lasting damage. Why this one, against evidence and reason, was hyped up into a Mass-Killer Apocalypse Virus is something that will forever be a mark of shame on us. There was no reason for it.

    We could fight flu epidemics with mass shutdowns and cripple the economy every few years, it’s true, but why?

  15. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hail

    And directly to the Right, she has retweeted something from Ms. Malkin addressing “the obvious about WuFlu’s origins.” See also Mr. Derbyshire’s latest about the “China Virus,” a phrase that Mr. Kersey has been awkwardly shoehorning into his columns, too.

    Weird.

  16. lavoisier says: • Website

    Dogmatic doctors here are making a categorical confusion between science-driven decision making and the individual’s autonomy and agency in charting his course in life and in death.

    In a free society, the patient is sovereign. America is founded upon the idea of individual rights. The individual charts his destiny, not the doctor. On his death bed, the patient should be able to decide whether to try a promising but unproven palliative therapy.

    In the rush to make stars of the CDC and the FDA state cartel, let us not forget the pill politburo’s role in indirectly killing Americans through one of the most protracted, protectionist and bureaucratic drug-approval protocols in the world.

    What you have written here is very true. The regulatory authorities are so slow to respond to emergencies and are too risk averse to allow for rapid innovation. People are dying and the bureaucrats are standing in the way. Sad. Very sad.

  17. seedou says:

    What you have written here is very true. The regulatory authorities are so slow to respond to emergencies and are too risk averse to allow for rapid innovation. People are dying and the bureaucrats are standing in the way. Sad. Very sad.

    Oh. were those bureaucrats wasting time playing endless rounds of golf with herr trumpf at Mar-a-Lago instead of doing their jobs?

    How much has the taxpayer spent for trump’s golf game?

  18. Realist says:
    @Hail

    Tucker Carlson totally fell for it, too. Disappointing. Come back, Tucker, we need you.

    I’d say that Tucker Carlson has disgraced himself in this whole CoronaPanic affair. Though he is in plentiful company.

    You are correct he has disgraced himself. I don’t know if he is stupid and fell for it, or he is being paid to demonize China.

    But there are two sides to the Deep State coin…the right and the left. The left demonizes Russia and the right demonizes China…both are existential threats to the continuation of US hegemony.

  19. Realist says:
    @anonymous

    She’s falling right in line (“Kung Flu”) with her cheap, blame China rhetoric. Like the bipartisan “Russian hacking” narrative, a way to keep the sheep in line with fear porn and faux patriotism.

    Yes, the Deep State is a two sided coin. The left demonizes Russia and the right demonizes China…a win/win for the Deep State.

  20. Quebecer says:

    With events so rapidly unfolding, I had to give this post a second reading.

    And it is indeed a little gem, a finely chiseled piece where Ms.Mercer demonstrates how prescient she’s been all along. Bureaucrats dropping the ball because they refused to see the evidence, then reacting knee-jerk fashion to come up with ‘miracle ideas’. Of course they would then shift gears later only to say that’s what they had been saying all along, a la 1984.

    It’s hard for a columnist to distinguish (him)herself from the others when everybody’s writing about the same subject, but here Ilana Mercer stands out brilliantly. She stays true to her values, and I can only urge her to keep up the good fight

    • Replies: @anonymous
  21. anonymous[245] • Disclaimer says:
    @Quebecer

    Did you reread the comments, too?

    What evidence does the author cite for the provenance of the virus? None. Like I said, she just threw in (“Kung Flu”) some cheap, blame China rhetoric.

    Your chivalrous fawning over this columnist is odd.

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Ilana Mercer Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...
Becker update V1.3.2