Perspectives; Thoughts; Comments; Opinions; Discussions

Posts tagged ‘public health’

The Centers for Disease Control’s Lies Have Destroyed Its Legitimacy


REPORTED BY: Dr. GREGG SCHMEDES | FEBRUARY 22, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/02/22/the-centers-for-disease-controls-lies-have-destroyed-its-legitimacy/

Centers for Disease Control headquarters

On August 6, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control released a report that the agency claimed showed “Vaccination Offers Higher Protection than Previous COVID-19 Infection.” This assertion came amidst a public battle with Sen. Rand Paul, as the CDC released this data from Kentucky, Paul’s home state.

Yet after indisputable scientific evidence continued to pile up in favor of natural immunity, the CDC finally capitulated on January 19, 2022, recognizing the superiority of natural immunity over vaccination alone: “Between May and November 2021, people who were unvaccinated and did not have a prior COVID-19 infection remained at the highest risk of infection and hospitalization, while those who were previously infected, both with, or without prior vaccination, had the greatest protection.”

The CDC’s reversal came after its previous discounting of natural immunity caused mass layoffs, nursing home resident isolation, and hospital staffing shortages. It must not be forgotten or overlooked, and the CDC must be held accountable.

Last summer, guided by the CDC, President Biden claimed, “If you’re vaccinated, you’re not going to be hospitalized, you’re not going to be in the IC unit, and you’re not going to die.” Biden also spread misinformation about vaccinations preventing the spread of Covid-19 by stating, “You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations.” 

Who is harmed the most by health misinformation produced by our president and his agencies? Those with low health literacy. Our rich-poor gap is growing in this country and lying about health issues only exacerbates it.

A Positive Test Doesn’t Always Mean Infectiousness

A deeper dive into the August natural immunity study reveals methodology that can be recognized as illogical, even to those without medical experience. The CDC researchers created two groups. The case group included people who tested positive in 2020 and then tested positive again during a two-month window in 2021. The control group included people who had a positive test in 2020 without another positive test during this artificial two-month window.

The study observed that non-vaccinated group registered a positive test 34.4 percent of the time, compared to 20.3 percent of fully vaccinated individuals. The CDC falsely defined the case group’s second positive test as a “reinfection.” This is the central lie of the study. This data conveniently omitted data on people actually becoming symptomatic or what a common person would call “reinfected.”

To illustrate this point, consider if a Covid-recovered person comes into contact with Sars-Cov-2 in their community. They might test positive on a PCR test. Their body can remember the virus, fight it off, and the person never becomes ill. However, shortly after the exposure, a PCR swab can detect bits of genetic material (even if it’s unviable virus). Therefore, this study could be more of a reflection of people’s likelihood of re-exposure to Sars-Cov-2, not reinfection, as the CDC claimed.

By conflating exposure and reinfection, the CDC misled the public. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated, “This study shows you were twice as likely to get infected again if you are unvaccinated. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you, especially as the more contagious Delta variant spreads around the country.”

This guidance came when mounting evidence indicated Covid vaccines quickly lose their effectiveness against infection and transmission, which the CDC loathed to admit. Unfortunately, Walensky’s guidance undermined the credibility of the CDC for generations to come.

As a physician, it’s frightening that a public health official made a policy recommendation based on such a flawed study. We should encourage critical thinking and scientific skepticism, but such a blatantly flawed study design should not be tolerated in our leading health institutions.

Not an Isolated Incident for the CDC

This isn’t the only time the CDC has been caught misleading the public. Drawing ire from the medical community, the was an uncontrolled study of students in Arizona that Walensky referred to in discussing the CDC’s mask guidance for schools. This study defined a “covid outbreak” as “two or more” positive lab tests among students or staff. So, if your school had two asymptomatic third graders, you’ve got a “covid outbreak” on your hands. Even worse, the study weighted such an “outbreak” equally to a school with dozens of symptomatic teachers or students. According to the CDC, two equals 50—at least for “covid outbreaks.”

In a Georgia study that actually had a sufficient control arm, the CDC minimized the fact that there was no statistically significant difference between masked and unmasked student groups. They’ve also minimized the importance of diet and exercise during the pandemic. They failed to effectively communicate evidence-based, life-saving outpatient treatment protocols. The list goes on.

Why This Matters So Much

How does minimizing natural immunity cause harm in the real world? There are at least three deadly repercussions.

First, many hospitals following the CDC’s guidance mandated that only vaccinated health-care workers be allowed to work at their facilities. This means naturally immune health-care workers were wrongly excluded from the workforce. Based on a toxic lie fabricated by the CDC, hospitals continue to experience staffing shortages, contributing to the hospitalization overcapacity narrative they’ve used to demonize the unvaccinated.

Second, the same problem arose for nursing homes, where seniors were denied visitation rights from unvaccinated, naturally immune family and friends, even though less protected vaccinated people were allowed in. Lack of care workers also prevents patients from being discharged from hospitals to care facilities.

Third, the natural immunity lie also stripped countless Americans of their health coverage and livelihoods. During the delta wave, for example, a worker at Los Alamos National Laboratories was fired from his job for religiously objecting to vaccination, despite working entirely from home and having recovered from a previous Covid infection. The CDC now admits this worker’s immunity provides protection superior to that of his co-workers who had merely vaccine-induced immunity at that time. He lost his job while the less protected did not. By denying natural immunity’s superiority to vaccine-induced immunity, how many others have been fired and lost health-care access the moment we need our population to be at its healthiest?

Punishing People We Should Have Praised

Naturally immune people should have been identified early in the pandemic as the most protected, ushered into hospitals and nursing homes to serve our vulnerable, and certainly should have been allowed to keep their jobs. By refusing to acknowledge the harms of lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccination, the CDC has brought everlasting shame to itself. There is clear evidence these types of interventions carry measurable risk. A better approach would have been to honestly discuss the risks and benefits with the public, much like I discuss surgical risks and benefits with my patients. This is the very tenet of informed consent, and better communication always results in a better relationship.

Americans need an unbiased, incorruptible, and credible CDC that provides reliable and scientifically sound public health guidance. These lies have de-legitimized and undermined public confidence in the institution of the CDC itself.

The consequences of lying about Covid-19 will spill into other areas of health care. Millions of Americans have lost trust in our hospitals and institutions and are now resorting to “under the table” health care. In health care, loss of trust equals lack of access. The CDC must return to the basics of evidence-based medicine to overcome its crisis of legitimacy.

Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Is Outrageously Unconstitutional. Why Couldn’t Lawyers Make That Argument To The Supreme Court?


Posted BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JANUARY 10, 2022

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/bidens-vaccine-mandate-is-outrageously-unconstitutional-why-couldnt-lawyers-make-that-argument-to-the-supreme-court-2656327300.html/

U.S. supreme court at twilight

All the petitioners needed was for the Supreme Court to enter a stay to prevent the Occupational Safety and Health Administration vaccination rule from taking effect, but, truly, was it too much to ask for a defense of limited government, separation of powers, and federalism?

Apparently so, because on Friday, over more than two hours of argument in National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor, lawyers pushing the Supreme Court to delay the regulation circled and sidled rather than state clearly that the rule, OSHA, the Biden administration, and the entire federal government represented a mockery of our constitutional order.

On November 5, 2021, OSHA issued the rule under review, framing it as an “Emergency Temporary Standard” or ETS. The ETS required all employers of 100 or more employees to “develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy,” which required employees to either be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing and to wear face coverings at work.

Congress authorized OSHA to issue “an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect,” and without the traditional notice-and-comment process, if it “determines (A) that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and (B) that such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger.”

Massive Overreach Immediately Challenged in Court

The ETS was immediately challenged by individual Americans, religious groups, covered employers, states, and trade organizations, with the cases filed directly in federal courts of appeals throughout the country, bypassing the federal trial courts pursuant to the statute that authorized emergency rules.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals acted first, issuing a stay on November 6, 2021, preventing enforcement of the rule pending briefing. Less than a week later, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit—consisting of Ronald Reagan appointee Judge Edith Jones and two Donald Trump appointees, Judges Kyle Duncan and Kurt Engelhardt—issued an opinion holding that the ETS remain stayed “pending adequate judicial review” of the lawsuit challenging the OSHA rule.

The 21-page opinion, authored by Judge Engelhardt, analyzed the request for a stay and concluded that, for numerous reasons, the petitioners had a strong likelihood to succeed on the merits of their challenge and that without a stay the businesses and other petitioners would suffer irreparable injury.

Shortly after the Fifth Circuit issued its decision, pursuant to the procedures controlling when multiple lawsuits are filed challenging an ETS, all of the cases throughout the various federal circuits were consolidated and assigned by lottery to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Then, on December 17, 2021, the Sixth Circuit vacated the stay entered by the Fifth Circuit.

Sixth Circuit Deadlocks

Judge Jane Stranch, a Barack Obama appointee, authored the decision for the three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit, which Judge Julia Gibbons, a G.W. Bush appointee, joined. Trump-appointee Judge Joan Larsen dissented from the decision, concisely capturing her concern with this opening line: “As the Supreme Court has very recently reminded us, ‘our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.’”

Two days before the Sixth Circuit removed the stay, thereby setting the ETS to go into effect this month, the federal appellate court denied a request by the challengers of the OSHA rule for the court to hear the case initially en banc, or as a full court. To obtain en banc review, a majority of the active judges on the Sixth Circuit needed to vote for the full court to decide the case together, but the 16-member court deadlocked 8-8, leaving the three-judge panel in charge.

In voting to hear the request for a stay of the ETS en banc in the Sixth Circuit, Judge John Bush, a Trump appointee, opened with the closer: “Whether it uses a clear statement or not, Congress likely has no authority under the Commerce Clause to impose, much less to delegate the imposition of, a de facto national vaccine mandate upon the American public. Such claimed authority runs contrary to the text and structure of the Constitution and historical practice. The regulation of health and safety through compulsory vaccination is a traditional prerogative of the states—not the domain of Congress and certainly not fodder for the diktat of a federal administrative agency.”

Sidelining the Constitution

With all of the ammunition provided by the dissenting judges in the Sixth Circuit, as well as the Fifth Circuit’s original opinion entering the stay, one would think that when the Supreme Court fast-tracked the case for oral argument, the attorneys seeking the stay would stress the grave attack the ETS represents to our constitutional republic. But they didn’t.

Instead, Scott Keller, counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business, argued “OSHA’s economy-wide one-size-fits-all mandate covering 84 million Americans is not a necessary, indispensable use of OSHA’s extraordinary emergency power which this Court has recognized is narrowly circumscribed.”

Likewise, Benjamin Flowers, the solicitor general of Ohio, arguing on behalf of the slew of states that joined in challenging the ETS, stressed “so sweeping a rule [as the vaccine mandate] is not necessary to protect employees from a grave danger as the emergency provision requires.”

Throughout the argument, Keller and Flowers also focused on the so-called “major questions” doctrine, which stems from a series of Supreme Court cases that stressed that if an agency’s regulatory action “brings about an enormous and transformative expansion in regulatory authority,” Congress must speak clearly that “it wishes to assign to an agency decisions [such issues] of vast ‘economic and political significance.”

The petitioners weren’t wrong. The OSHA rule, which is, in essence, a vaccine mandate given the shortage of tests and the federal government’s decision to force employees to pay for the cost of testing, is not “necessary” to protect employees from a “grave danger” for many reasons.

This Is Obviously Unconstitutional

First, COVID is only a grave danger to a small segment of society, while the ETS adopts the de facto vaccine mandate for all employers of 100 or more employees. The ETS also makes no distinction between employers where working conditions create a higher risk of COVID infection from those facilities where employees have limited risk. Nor, after two years of COVID, with OSHA waiting that time period to issue the ETS and the latest mutation less severe than the former ones, does the ETS fit within the concept of an “emergency” standard.

Also, far from providing the OSHA clear authority to mandate vaccinations (or a weekly medical test) in response to a virus such as COVID, the statute authorizing OSHA to issue an ETS speaks of grave dangers “from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards.” Thus, the major question doctrine supports the petitioners’ challenge to the ETS and their request for a stay.

Yes, advocates must be pragmatists, and the petitioners’ attorneys didn’t need a home run; they just needed a rain delay. But so much more could have been said, and indeed needed to be said—and forcefully so—about limited powers, federalism, and separation of powers. Yet in their desire to win the stay, there was barely any mention of these important constitutional principles.

Major Opportunity Lost

Consider this notable exchange between Ohio’s top attorney and Justice Sotomayor.

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “So, if it’s within the police power to protect the health and welfare of workers, you seem to be saying the states can do it, but you’re saying the federal government can’t even though it’s facing the same crisis in interstate commerce that states are facing within their own borders. I — I’m not sure I understand the distinction why the states would have the power but the federal government wouldn’t.”

MR. FLOWERS: “The federal government has no police power, if we’re asking about that.”

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “Oh, it does have power with respect to protecting the health and safety of workers. We have — we have — accept the constitutionality of OSHA.”

MR. FLOWERS: “Yes. I took you to be asking if they had a police power to protect public health. They — they absolutely have the –”

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: “No, they have a police power to protect workers.”

MR. FLOWERS: “I would not call it a police power. I think the Commerce Clause power allows them to address health.”

“I would not call it a police power” is as much as the Ohio solicitor general could muster for a pushback. But Congress has no “police power” no matter what it is called, and the federal government cannot “pretextually relabel” a federal de facto vaccination mandate “commerce” to gain what is, in effect, a novel police power of the national government.

The breadth of the OSHA rule and its effects on two-thirds of private businesses also threatens the “system of government ordered by the Constitution,” that gave all legislative powers to Congress. The resulting “nondelegation doctrine constrains Congress’s ability to delegate its legislative authority to executive agencies.”

Yet when provided an opportunity to hammer these points, Flowers served up the vanilla point “that although our non-delegation doctrine is not especially robust today, there are limits on the amount of authority that Congress can give away.”

The justices—and Americans—needed to hear these points because COVID has become both the excuse and the case study for authoritarianism. And from OSHA’s most recent rule, we might divine the civil corollary to the “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime,” motto, and it seems to be, “Provide me a public interest, and I’ll find the power.” 

Or, elsewise said, “Cut me a mouse hole, and I’ll squeeze in an elephant.”


Andrew Cuomo’s COVID Reign Has Been Devastating, And It’s Time For A Reckoning


Reported by Mike Lawler  15, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/andrew-cuomos-covid-reign-has-been-devastating-and-its-time-for-a-reckoning-2650539894.html/

Andrew Cuomo’s COVID Reign Has Been Devastating, And It’s Time For A Reckoning

A few weeks ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, without a hint of self-awareness, said, “Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die in COVID.” Sadly, I couldn’t agree more.

While many in corporate media glorified Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping create a cult of personality for him among Democrats across the country, an examination of his decision-making reveals that he failed New Yorkers on many fronts.

Cuomo was given near-unilateral emergency powers to tackle the pandemic, with the state legislature forfeiting all decision-making and responsibility to the governor and his team. Thus, Cuomo’s decisions and the repercussions of his actions fall squarely on his shoulders. First, and most jarring, is the revelation that the Cuomo administration’s decided to cover up the true cost of their Department of Health order on March 25 that sent COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes. That fateful order was subsequently deleted from the state’s Department of Health website in the beginning of the cover-up by the Cuomo administration.

Following that order, tens of thousands of nursing home residents lost their lives and the Cuomo administration moved into overdrive on blocking transparency efforts, shutting down inquiries at every turn, and even releasing a phony report absolving them of any responsibility. Two weeks ago, we learned in a report by New York Attorney General Tish James, a Democrat, that Cuomo’s administration hid the true cost to lives of this non-scientific order, under-counting nursing home deaths by almost 50 percent. Just this weekend, we learned the Cuomo administration intentionally hid and withheld information from federal authorities.

We need a full, thorough, and independent investigation with subpoenas to Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, the governor’s staff, and the governor himself.

It also speaks volumes that for months on end, the governor stonewalled transparency efforts by families that lost loved ones while mocking their efforts. His cruelty in this regard was on full display in January when he said “Who cares?” when asked about the death toll.

We care, governor. Those families deserve answers and justice.

Second, Cuomo’s administration forced out many of the public health experts who should have been developing New York’s vaccine plan, deciding instead to recruit expensive consulting firms. This led to an incredibly slow, ineffectual, and confusing rollout of the vaccine. My legislative office is still receiving daily calls from seniors older than 80 who simply cannot get an appointment no matter how hard they look.

While media outlets continue to sing Cuomo’s praises, the reality on the ground is that his top-down, Soviet-esque management style has hampered the efficacy and speed of the vaccine rollout, tying local health departments in knots. Every county health department in New York already has a mass vaccination plan, yet the governor refused for weeks to let them use those plans, instead of forcing them into the system created by his high-priced and high-brow consulting firms, all at taxpayers’ expense.

Third, Cuomo’s extensive lockdowns and subsequent non-scientific decisions to limit capacity in houses of worship shut down indoor dining, and restrict in-person learning (even temporarily) have hurt millions more. Setting unconstitutional caps on houses of worship was rejected by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, a case that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place. Many houses of worship, spanning all types of faiths, were already setting limits on themselves to ensure the health and safety of their worshippers. Recommending that they be shut down or capped was ludicrous, and an affront to the basic right to freedom of religion in our nation.

Another group whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by Cuomo’s insatiable desire for control is restaurant owners and restaurant workers. Shutting down indoor dining in New York City made zero sense at the time, with people being infected at less than 1.5 percent (lower than the state positivity rate) when dining indoors. Now, Cuomo has reopened dining when the infection rate has climbed significantly.

These decisions are not being made based on science, but what the governor “feels” is the right move. That is a recipe for disaster that cannot be allowed to continue. Cuomo’s actions are driven by his need for control, his ego, and his ability to legislate freely, as Democrats in the state legislature have completely abdicated all their duties as a co-equal branch of government.

Finally, it’s clear that New York students are rapidly falling behind other students around the globe. The lack of in-person interaction and learning is having devastating impacts on our children’s academic and social futures, as they are not learning the important lessons we all learned in grade school. To the governor’s credit, he didn’t outright ban in-person learning, but he certainly hasn’t been a champion for it either. Hybrid-learning programs are still leaving our kids behind, and his silence on this subject is deafening. I’d hazard a guess he’s spent more time bashing former President Trump at his press conferences than he has talked about the needs of our students.

In short, the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of disastrous for the millions of New Yorkers who call the Empire State home. While CNN, MSNBC, and other major news outlets remain busy pumping up Cuomo’s ego and image to the American public, Americans need to hear that his decisions cost tens of thousands of New Yorkers their lives, hundreds of thousands of students their educational advancement, and millions of New Yorkers their livelihoods.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Lawler is a member of the New York Assembly.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: