The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewJonathan Cook Archive
Covid’s Lesson: When Anxious, Isolated and Hopeless, We’re Less Ready to Think Critically
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show 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 I criticize meddling in Syria by Britain and America, or their backing of groups there that elsewhere are considered terrorists, it does not follow that I am, therefore, a cheerleader for the dictatorship of Bashar Assad or that I think that Syrians should be denied a better political system. Similarly, when I criticize Joe Biden or the Democratic party, it does not necessarily follow that I think Donald Trump would have made a better president.

A major goal of critical thinking is to stand outside tribal debates, where people are heavily invested in particular outcomes, and examine the ways debates have been framed. This is important because one of the main ways power expresses itself in our societies is through the construction of official narratives – usually through the billionaire-owned media – and the control and shaping of public debate.

You are being manipulated – propagandized – even before you engage with a topic if you look only at the substance of a debate and not at other issues: such as its timing, why the debate is taking place or why it has been allowed, what is not being mentioned or has been obscured, what is being emphasized, and what is being treated as dangerous or abhorrent.

If you want to be treated like a grown-up, an active and informed participant in your society rather than a blank sheet on which powerful interests are writing their own self-serving narratives, you need to be doing as much critical thinking as possible – and especially on the most important topics of the day.

Learning curve

The opportunity to become more informed and insightful about how debates are being framed, rather than what they are ostensibly about, has never been greater. Over the past decade, social media, even if the window it once offered is rapidly shrinking, has allowed large numbers of us to discover for the first time those writers who, through their deeper familiarity with a specific topic and their consequent greater resistance to propaganda, can help us think more critically about all kinds of issues – Russia, Venezuela, Iran, Israel-Palestine, the list is endless.

This has been a steep learning curve for most of us. It has been especially useful in helping us to challenge narratives that vilify “official enemies” of the west or that veil corporate power – which has effectively usurped what was once the more tangible and, therefore, accountable political power of western states. In the new, more critical climate, the role of the war industries – bequeathed to us by western colonialism – has become especially visible.

But what has been most disheartening about the past two years of Covid is the rapid reversal of the gains made in critical thinking. Perhaps this should not entirely surprise us. When people are anxious for themselves or their loved ones, when they feel isolated and hopeless, when “normality” has broken down, they are likely to be less ready to think critically.

The battering we have all felt during Covid mirrors the emotional and psychological turmoil critical thinking can engender. Thinking critically increases anxiety by exposing us to the often artificial character of official reality. It can leave us feeling isolated and less hopeful, especially when friends and family expect us to be as deeply invested in the substance – the shadow play – of official, tribal debates as they are. And it undermines our sense of what “normal” is by revealing that it is often what is useful to power elites rather than what is beneficial to the public good.

Emotional resilience

There are reasons why people are drawn to critical thinking. Often it is because they have been exposed in detail to one particular issue that has opened their eyes to wider narrative manipulations on other issues. Or because they have the tools and incentives – the education and access to information – to explore some issues more fully. Or, perhaps most importantly, because they have the emotional and psychological resilience to cope with stripping away the veneer of official narratives to see the bleaker reality beneath and to grasp the fearsome obstacles to liberating ourselves from the corrupt elites that rule over us and are pushing us towards ecocidal oblivion.

The anxieties produced by critical thinking, the sense of isolation and the collapse of “normal” are, in some senses, chosen. They are self-inflicted. We choose to do critical thinking because we feel capable of coping with what it brings to light. But Covid is different. Our exposure to Covid, unlike critical thinking, has been entirely outside our control. And worse, it has deepened our emotional and psychological insecurities. To do critical thinking in a time of Covid – and most especially about Covid – is to add a big extra layer of anxiety, isolation and hopelessness.

Covid has highlighted the difficulties of being insecure and vulnerable, thereby underscoring why critical thinking, even in good times, is so difficult. When we are anxious and isolated, we want quick, reassuring solutions, and we want someone to blame. We want authority figures to trust and act in our name.

Complex thinking

It is not hard to understand why the magic bullet of vaccines – to the exclusion of all else – has been so fervently grasped during the pandemic. Exclusive reliance on vaccines has been a great way for our corrupt, incompetent governments to show they know what they are doing. The vaccines have been an ideal way for corrupt medical-industrial corporations – including the biggest offender, Pfizer – to launder their images and make us all feel indebted to them after so many earlier scandals, like Oxycontin. And, of course, the vaccines have been a comfort blanket to us, the public, promising to bring “ZeroCovid” (false), to provide long-term immunity (false), and to end transmission (false).

ORDER IT NOW

And as an added bonus, vaccines have encouraged the vaccinated majority to scapegoat an unvaccinated minority, allowing our corrupt leaders to shift the blame away from themselves for their other failed public health policies and our corrupt “health” corporations to shift attention away from their profiteering. Divide and rule par excellence.

To state all this is not to be against the vaccines or believe the virus should rip through the population, killing the vulnerable, any more than criticizing the US war crime of bombing Syria signifies enthusiastic support for Assad. It is only to recognize that political realities are complex, and our thinking needs to be complex too.

‘Herd immunity’

These ruminations were prompted by a post on social media I made the other day referring to the decision of the Guardian – nearly two years into the pandemic – to publish criticisms of the British government’s early lockdown policies by an “eminent” epidemiologist, Prof Mark Woolhouse. Until now it has been virtually taboo outside rightwing circles to question the benefits of lockdowns.

Let us note a similar example. Until very recently, the term “herd immunity” was exactly what public health officials aimed for as a means to end contagion. It signified the moment when enough people had acquired immunity, either through being infected or vaccinated, for community transmission to stop occurring. But because the goal during Covid is not communal immunity but universal vaccination, the term “herd immunity” has now been attributed to a sinister political agenda. It is presented as some kind of right-wing plot to let vulnerable people die.

This is not accidental. It is an entirely manufactured, if widely accepted, narrative. Recovery from infection – something now true for many people – is no longer treated by political or medical authorities as conferring immunity. For example, in the UK those who have recovered from Covid, even recently, are not exempted, as the vaccinated are, from self-isolation if they have been in close contact with someone infected with Covid. Also, of course, those recovered from Covid do not qualify for a vaccine passport. After all, what is on offer is not an immunity passport. It is a vaccine passport.

Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has at least been open about the “reasoning” behind this kind of discrimination. “In a democracy,” he says, apparently unironically, “the worst enemies are lies and stupidity. We are putting pressure on the unvaccinated by limiting, as much as possible, their access to activities in social life. … For the non-vaccinated, I really want to piss them off. And we will continue to do this, to the end. This is the strategy.”

Notice that the lies and stupidity here emanate from Macron: he is not only irresponsibly stoking dangerous divisions within French society, he has also failed to understand that the key distinctions from a public health perspective are between those with immunity to Covid and those without it, and those who are vulnerable to hospitalization and those who are not. These are the most meaningful markers of how to treat the pandemic. The obsession with vaccination only serves a divide and rule agenda and bolsters pandemic profiteering.

Crushing hesitancy

The paradox is that these narratives dominate even as the evidence mounts that the vaccines offer very short-term immunity and that, ultimately, as Omicron appears to be underscoring, many people are likely to gain longer-term immunity through Covid infection, even those who have been vaccinated. But the goal of public “debate” on this topic has not been transparency, logic or informed consent. Instead, it has been the crushing of any possible “vaccine hesitancy.”

I have repeatedly tried to highlight the lack of critical thinking around the exclusive focus on vaccines rather than immune health; the decision to vaccinate children in the face of strong, if largely downplayed, opposition from experts; and the divisive issue of vaccine mandates. But I have had little to say directly about lockdowns, which have tended to look to me chiefly like desperate stop-gap measures to cover up the failings of our underfunded, cannibalized, and increasingly privatized health services (a more pressing concern). I am also inclined to believe that the balance of benefits from lockdowns, or whether they work, is difficult to weigh without some level of expertise. That is one reason why I have been arguing throughout the pandemic that experts need to be allowed more open, robust and honest public debate.

It is also why I offered a short comment on Prof Woolhouse’s criticisms of national lockdown policies that were published in the Guardian this week. That evoked a predictably harsh backlash from many followers. They saw it as further proof that I have been “captured by Covid denialists”, and am now little better than a pandemic conspiracy theorist.

Framing the debate

That is strange in itself. Prof Woolhouse is a mainstream, reportedly “eminent”, epidemiologist. His eminence is such that it also apparently qualifies him to be quoted extensively and uncritically in the Guardian. The followers I antagonize every time I write about the pandemic appear to treat the Guardian as their Covid Bible, as do most liberals. And they regularly castigate me for referring to the kind of experts the Guardian refuses to cite. So how does my retweeting of a Guardian story that uncritically reports on anti-lockdown comments from a respectable, mainstream epidemiologist incur so much wrath – and directed solely at me, not the professor or the Guardian?

The answer presumably lies in the short appended comment in my retweet, which requires that one disengage from the seemingly substantive debate: lockdowns, good or bad? That conversation is certainly interesting, especially if it is an honest one. But the contextual issues around that debate, the ones that require critical thinking, are even more important because they are the best way to evaluate whether an honest debate is actually being fostered.

ORDER IT NOW

My comment, intentionally ambiguous, implicitly requires readers to examine wider issues about the Guardian article: the timing of its publication, why a debate about lockdowns has not previously been encouraged in the Guardian but apparently is now possible, how the debate is being framed by Woolhouse and the Guardian, and how we, the readers, may be being manipulated by that framing.

Real, live conspiracy

Interestingly, I was not alone in being struck by how strange the preferred framing was. A second epidemiologist, Martin Kulldorff, a biostatistician at Harvard who serves on a scientific committee to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), saw problems with the article too. Unfortunately, however, Prof Kulldorff appears not to qualify as “eminent” enough for the Guardian to quote him uncritically. That is because he was one of three highly respected academics who brought ignominy down on themselves in October 2020 by authoring the Great Barrington Declaration.

Like Woolhouse, the Declaration offered an alternative to blanket national lockdowns – the official response to rising hospitalizations – but did so when those lockdowns were being aggressively pursued, and no other options were under consideration. The Guardian was among those that pilloried the Declaration and its authors, presenting it as an irresponsible right-wing policy and a recipe for Covid to tear through the population, laying waste to significant sections of the population.

My purpose here is not to defend the Great Barrington Declaration. I don’t feel qualified enough to express a concrete, public view one way or another on its merits. And part of the reason for that hesitancy is that any meaningful conversation at the time among experts was ruthlessly suppressed. The costs of lockdowns were largely unmentionable in official circles and the “liberal” media. It was instantly stigmatized as the policy preference of the “deplorable” right.

This was not accidental. We now know it was a real, live conspiracy. Leaked emails show that Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, and his minions used their reliable contacts in prominent liberal media to smear the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration. “There needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises. I don’t see anything like that online yet – is it underway?” a senior official wrote to Fauci. The plan was character assassination, pure and simple – nothing to do with science. And “liberal” media happily and quickly took up that task.

The Guardian, of course, went right along with those smears. This is why Prof Kulldorff has every right to treat with disdain both the Guardian’s decision – so very belatedly – to publish Prof Woolhouse’s criticisms of lockdown policy, and Prof Woolhouse’s public distancing of himself from the now-radioactive Great Barrington Declaration even though his published comments closely echo the policies proposed in the Declaration. As Prof Kulldorff observes:

Hilarious logical somersault. In the Guardian, Mark Woolhouse argues that [the] UK should have used focused protection as defined in the Great Barrington Declaration, while criticizing the Great Barrington Declaration due to its mischaraterization by the Guardian.”

Reputational damage

If we put on our critical thinking hats for a moment, we can deduce a plausible reason for that mischaracterization.

Like the rest of the “liberal” media, the Guardian has been fervently pro-lockdown and an avowed opponent of any meaningful discussion of the Great Barrington Declaration since its publication more than a year ago. Moreover, it has characterized any criticism of lockdowns as an extreme right-wing position. But the paper now wishes to open up a space for a more critical discussion of the merits of lockdown at a time when rampant but milder Omicron threatens to shut down not only the economy but distribution chains and health services.

Demands for lockdowns are returning, premised on the earlier arguments for them, but the formerly obscured costs – economic, social, emotional and developmental – are much more difficult to ignore now. Even lockdown cheerleaders like the Guardian finally understand some of what was clear 15 months ago to experts like Prof Kulldorff and his fellow authors.

What the Guardian appears to be doing is smuggling the Great Barrington Declaration’s arguments back into the mainstream but trying to do it in a way that won’t damage its credibility and look like an about-face. It is being entirely deceitful. And the vehicle for achieving this end is a fellow critic of lockdowns, Prof Woolhouse, who is not tainted goods like Prof Kulldorff, even though their views appear to overlap considerably. Criticism of lockdowns is being rehabilitated via Prof Woolhouse, even as Prof Kulldorff remains an outcast, a deplorable.

In other words, this is not about any evolution in scientific thinking. It is about the Guardian avoiding reputational damage – and doing so at the cost of continuing to damage Prof Kulldorff’s reputation. Prof Kulldorff and his fellow authors were scapegoated when their expert advice was considered politically inconvenient, while Prof Woolhouse is being celebrated because similar expert advice is now convenient.

This is how much of our public discourse operates. The good guys control the narrative so that they can ensure that they continue to look good, while the bad guys are tarred and feathered, even if they are proven right. The only way to really make sense of what is going on is to disengage from this kind of political tribalism, examine contexts, avoid being so invested in outcomes, and work hard to gain more perspective on the anxiety and fear each of us feels.

The corporate media is not our friend. Its coverage of the pandemic is not there to promote the public good. It is there to feed our anxieties, keep us coming back for more, and monetize that distress. The only cure for this sickness? A lot more critical thinking.

(Republished from Jonathan Cook by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus 
Hide 25 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. lastdance says:

    We all have been indoctrinated from a very young age. Critical thinking and discourse is only encouraged and allowed in a confined space. No one is allowed to question the preset boundary of the official narrative. For example: Is Democracy really the best way to organize political power? Is the so call “free speech” actually something that we should defend and endorse. Do we have “free speech”! Can you have or endorse environment protection while having capitalism? Is capitalism the best way to organise the whole economic system? How just is our so called “justice system”? These are just a few questions that will never be asked and answered satisfactory. We are so disconnected from the truth and nature of things, we don’t see the contradictory and paradox narratives that we have been fed from early age. At the end of the day we are not much different then those people in the middle ages that believed in and burned witches. Just come up with the right narrative and we’ll do it again.

    • Thanks: Realist
  2. Decoy says:

    If the first casualty of war is the truth, we now know that the first casualty of a pandemic is also the truth. This article provides some hope that the truth, repressed for two years, is starting to seep out. The news media may eventually acknowledge that they were at least partially wrong on the effectiveness of vaccines and lockdowns, but I doubt they will ever do a turnaround on Dr. Saint Fauci. That would be a line they can’t bring themselves to cross.

  3. critical thinking appears to be in short supply. deception is all around. covid was supposed to open our eyes, turn us back to fundamentals. america keeps compounding her errors, leading the world into nightmarish devastation.

    how long would it be before one of these freaks gets into the whitehouse? …

  4. I have been saying for some time, although not nearly as eloquently, that tribal membership trumps (excuse the pun) critical thinking. I don’t believe this is by accident. Television has made the great majority of people into lazy consumers. They consume “news” just as they consume “entertainment”.
    One tribe mindlessly absorbs CNN and MSNBC, and the other tribe mindlessly consumes FOX. To dissent from either narrative in its entirety is to immediately become an outcast. Without tribal membership, we are on our own. Frankly, I’ve never been much of a “joiner”. Thank you Jonathan for continuing to shine the light of truth.

  5. anonymous[317] • Disclaimer says:

    We can pan out a little further. The pros and cons of inept public health measures also serves to obscure more consequential questions: (1) the probative technical and circumstantial evidence that SARS-COV-2 is an undeclared US crime of aggression using banned biological weapons; and (2) the manifest use of ulterior constraint and coercion to impose medical experimentation of unprecedented scope and scale.

    CIA DO through its focal points has used the most indiscriminate WMD in history, for which considerations of necessity and proportionality are meaningless. CIA DO through its focal points has conducted mass medical experiments on dosing and formulation of the banned toxin they developed, going so far as to tamper with the human genome:

    This is a historic and epochal crime against humanity and peace. Of course CIA wants to keep you fixated on whether you can go out for a beer.

  6. … the dictatorship of Bashar Assad …

    So, Jonathan, you are among those who dismiss Assad’s last election and apparent great popularity as a “sham”, are you? Critical thinking, right?

    • Replies: @MGB
  7. JasonT says:

    Cook seems to believe that the driver behind the COVID farce is greed, arrogance and stupidity/ignorance. While greed and arrogance are indeed big factors, the biggest driver, outside the lower ranks, is not stupidity. Everything about the jab program is intentional and malicious. Until Cook acquires sufficient distance from the fear of being called a conspiracy theorist, he will continue to miss this most important point.

    Cook opines about the media, particularly the Guardian, but also seems to miss the point that the entirety of mainstream media is controlled by the same two or three corporations, which in turn are controlled by the same few people. Nothing the media says or does in connection with the most important issues is by accident.

    At the beginning of the COVID scam, the most important issue was the 5G network, which was quickly and quietly put into place even without the need for media browbeating. Currently, vaccine passports is the most important issue, while the lockdowns and the health of people are not. Lockdowns are simply a distraction to keep people’s eyes off the real issues.

    As the Great Reset marches forward and vaccine passports are solidified into the social fabric, the next important issue for the media to harp on will be the conversion to digital currency. Once a global digital currency is established, the important issue will be to implant the vaccine passport into the human body.

    • Replies: @Dumbo
    , @DevilAdvocate
  8. @lastdance

    Go and ask Julian Assange if we have free speech.

  9. MGB says:
    @lastdance

    From ‘The Departed’: Questions?

    Uncle Ed : [in a hospital hallway] What’s this I hear from Stephanie about you becoming a policeman?

    Billy Costigan : You mean Stephanie, who was the only one who came to my father’s funeral? That Stephanie?

    Uncle Ed : Yeah, *that* Stepanie.

    Billy Costigan : Nothing much to it, Uncle Edward.

    Uncle Ed : Are you trying to prove something to the family?

    Billy Costigan : When you say “the family,” who do you mean exactly? You?

    Uncle Ed : You always have to question everything, don’t you?

    Billy Costigan : Maybe it would have done you some good to have some *questions* from time to time, you know? “Am I an asshole? Are my kids a mess? Is my wife a money-grubbing whore?” I mean, those are questions, right? “Have I ever been good to my dying sister or am I just now pretending to be?”

    Uncle Ed : Do you need some money for the funeral?

    Billy Costigan : When my mother dies, we don’t have any more connection.

  10. MGB says:
    @Ann Nonny Mouse

    yes, too many cooks spoil the message. in this case, one cook is one cook too many. i read him, but view his insights typically to be limited hangout. i appreciate the update on what’s what amongst UK opinion makers, which i follow closely anyway, because, you know, i talk in english, but no real insight into the virus/vaccine stuff. and good for him and the slow trajectory of his open mind, but my teenaged daughter teased out the testing/vaccine/lockdown scam all on her own about a month into it.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
  11. But most of the people couldn’t think critically to begin with anyway.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  12. When Zioglob controls your mind, you’re just a cuckpuppet.

  13. Similarly, when I criticize Joe Biden or the Democratic party, it does not necessarily follow that I think Donald Trump would have made a better president.

    Soaring inflation and covidhoax chaos haven’t swayed your opinion?

  14. @lastdance

    Is Democracy really the best way to organize political power?

    Direct democracy, no. Democracy via a Republic of representatives better.

    Is the so call “free speech” actually something that we should defend and endorse?

    Yes. If it wasn’t useful or powerful it wouldn’t be suppressed.

    Do we have “free speech”!

    In varying degrees at varying times in our history.

    Can you have or endorse environment protection while having capitalism?

    Private property appears to create better stewards of the environment.

    Is capitalism the best way to organise the whole economic system?

    It’s the worst way except for all the others.

    How just is our so called “justice system”?

    Depends on whether you believe blacks should or should not have to obey laws.

  15. Dumbo says:
    @JasonT

    Yeah, things go step by step and people don’t realize, they don’t even see it. They just see one step, then another, and don’t even notice the relation between the first and the second step.

    If people in power cared about “the health of people” they wouldn’t impose things such as vaxx passes, lockdowns, quarantine camps, forced vaccinations, which do nothing against the supposed pandemic and cause a lot of problems (including health problems) for billions of people.

    Probably more people died from the vaccine or from lockdown effects than from “Omicron”.

    In Japan more people died from suicide than from Covid in all its variants during the last two years.

    Australia is locking people in camps and not allowing Djokovic in because of “6 Covid deaths.” 6. And who knows if they were really “Covid deaths”.

    It’s all so tiresome.

  16. roonaldo says:

    The Guardian went from a worthwhile publication to a pile of horse manure almost overnight. When was that, 10-12 years ago? At any rate, its decision to publish something other than utter rubbish regarding lockdown mania set my spidey-sense to tingling.

    An internet search finds parliamentary elections in May of 2024, but hmm…well, now, there are local elections on May 5 2022 for all London boroughs and, if I remember correctly, 32 local councils in Scotland, 22 local councils in Wales, as well as 90 positions in Northern Ireland. The blurb mentioned this is seen as an important referendum regarding Boris Johnson’s job performance. I read no further, but perhaps it signals a Bojo administration desire to feign concern for the little people and soften up the electorate. I leave it to the Anglofiles for a proper analysis, and recall a Gunpowder Treason and Plot parodying ditty after the Coservative sweep in 2019… “Remember, remember, the 12th of December, when Boris won by a lot. I fear there’s no reason that after a season, his promises won’t be forgot.”

  17. Wokechoke says:

    Do a Google search of articles about flu from 2008-2018. There’s not much difference with Covid19 coverage in the press 2020-2022. Cross reference with loss of smell, lingering fatigue, myocarditis, strokes, clotting, organ failure and pneumonia. Also look up intubation related pneumonia.

    • Replies: @JimDandy
  18. But how do we get more critical thinking when the beliefs of many people have been implanted or transfused into them by propaganda?

    Once infused with the mis-belief people will defend it by a process called cognitive dissonance – which mean doubling down on that belief when presented with dissonant or opposite evidence. When presented with contrary evidence most people’s beliefs get stronger, not weaker. This is especially so when that mis-belief is attached to one’s identity in a political party, social class or religion or if one’s livelihood depends on the mis-belief.

    Critical thinking is defined by the cognoscenti as criticism of their social class opponent or whoever threatens their livelihood; not by self-criticism of one’s group beliefs.

  19. A thoughtful article, but so many references to The Giardia. Even if corona-chan has taken away your sense of smell, it should be obvious that public health requires that the foul product of The Giardia be flushed down the toilet as soon as possible!

  20. @JasonT

    Once a global digital currency is established, the important issue will be to implant the vaccine passport into the human body.

    Apparently this is already being done. These guys have bothered to look into what is being inoculated to people and the findings are at a minimum quite astonishing:

    – what impression does this give you? Do you think this is a crystal that forms naturally?
    -Obviously not. These are microchips. They’re microscopic electronic circuits. And they would explain why we have received so many signals (MAC) from vaccinated people.

    I don’t understand why the responsible people who have seen these videos that have been circulating for so many months and in which raw or elaborated material, where nanotechnology or microtechnology is seen, aren’t responding to this.

    I would also ask: why there isn’t more people looking into this ? I suppose there are quite a few people with both access to some sample of pfizer’s concoction and to a microscope, and they could confirm these statements above (and video images).

    • Replies: @JasonT
  21. JasonT says:
    @DevilAdvocate

    Thanks. Another one that could be flying under the radar while the world is gripped with Covid hysteria.

  22. I hate UR because there is so much anti-semitism. All in this article and in the comments is right up my street. Go figure.

    Journalism with no agenda – finally. Great writing.

    Quote of the decade -‘The only cure for this sickness? A lot more critical thinking.’

  23. After the second or third time I read through this, I began to wonder about my comprehension problem with it. Lots and lots of words, but no clarity at all. A few moments ago it occurred to me to put some of the text into an online Readability Calculator. The chosen text was from the beginning down to “Israel-Palestine, the list is endless.” Results:

    Flesch Reading Ease scored your text: very difficult to read.
    Gunning Fog scored your text: very difficult to read.
    Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: College Graduate and above.
    *** The Coleman-Liau Index: Grade level: Tenth Grade *** outlier
    The SMOG Index: Grade level: graduate college
    Automated Readability Index: Grade level: College graduate
    Linsear Write Formula : Grade level: College Graduate and above.

    So returning to the piece and now looking at the Big Picture, I find a year-old link to a preprint hyping massive doses of Vitamin D as a miracle cure-all. Has that finding held up?
    The effect of vitamin D supplementation on mortality and Intensive Care Unit admission of COVID-19 patients. A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/dmrr.3517

    Conclusion
    This meta-analysis indicates a beneficial role of vitamin D supplementation on ICU admission, but not on mortality, of COVID-19 patients. Further research is urgently needed to understand the benefit of vitamin D in Covid-19.

    Not exactly. Why didn’t Mr. Cook make a lookup for some more recent research for this miraculous treatment?

    That Great Barrington Resolution has a wiki.

    The Great Barrington Declaration was sponsored by the American Institute for Economic Research, a libertarian free market think tank associated with climate change denial.

    Is Mr. Cook aware this was an astroturf deal? Does he care? A few years ago I heard a radio commercial with some heart-rending pleas for the Humanitarian Virtues of an open Southern US Border. As I recall, the brief blurb at the end declared it had been sponsored by one of the Big Business American Institutes for freedom or some such. Cheap Desperate Labor was what they were after.

    Perhaps Mr. Cook might tell us where he stands on the ‘stressed-out’ teachers, often not-young individuals, who are expected to risk their lives in overcrowded and badly ventilated classrooms. (think classroom with steam-radiator heat and painted shut windows) Is the resulting low-cost child care/babysitting for Big Business worth their lives?

    The “let ‘er rip” path to Herd Immunity will involve quite a lot of funerals. Are a few megadeaths preferable to the maladies of “anxiety, isolation, and hopelessness?”

    • Troll: Bro43rd
    • Replies: @Bro43rd
  24. Bro43rd says:
    @Zachary Smith

    Just to clarify, had to use the troll button since there’s not a Zionist/Medical tyrant troll button.

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
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Jonathan Cook Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement
Becker update V1.3.2
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
How America was neoconned into World War IV