1) It’s time to end masking in schools. Bethany Mandel writes:
Wearing a cloth mask to keep safe from a virus is like installing a chain link fence to keep mosquitoes out of your backyard.” That’s what a doctor friend joked to me in the early days of the pandemic.
On CNN earlier this month, Dr. Leana Wen advised New Yorkers about how to stay safe on New Years Eve amid the Omicron surge. She recommended wearing a three-ply medical mask and warned, “Don’t wear a cloth mask. Cloth masks are little more than facial decoration.”
How long have those in public health known that most of the masks they’ve forced us to put on our kids are useless? Why won’t they speak out against toddlers forced to wear dirty wet cloth on their faces all day long? I missed Dr. Wen’s outspoken activism on behalf of America’s kids who have been forced to mask up as a condition of attending school in person. (Not that I am surprised that a former president of Planned Parenthood isn’t bothering to advocate for kids, but I digress.)
In a sane world where actual science impacted public health and policy, Dr. Wen’s admission, along with David Zweig’s explosive recent feature in The Atlantic about the CDC’s flawed data for masking in schools, would signal the end of toddlers wearing Paw Patrol masks.
2) “Defund The Police” is dead – and it’s killing the liberal movement that birthed it. Unherd reports:
San Francisco is a classic example. After Black Lives Matter protesters last year demanded that cities “Defund the Police,” Mayor London Breed held a press conference to announce that her city would be one of the first to do exactly that. Breed announced $120 million in cuts to the budgets of both San Francisco’s police and sheriff’s departments. Last week, Breed u-turned dramatically, announcing that she was making an emergency request to the city’s Board of Supervisors for more money to fund the police and support a crackdown on crime, including open-air drug-dealing, car break-ins, and retail theft.
It’s time for a new consensus on crime. Enforcing laws will reduce violence. Pushing offenders to take responsibility for themselves, when they leave prison, will lead them to independent lives, rather lives of crime. Progressives have done their best to undermine justice, as well as common sense, for two decades. As well as refunding the police, we should apologise to them.
3) Biden’s “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” rhetoric is collapsing.
So how have mandates worked in practice? The New York Times on December 18 published a survey of all 50 states and the country’s largest 100 cities, and concluded that the government orders “have not provided the significant boost to state and local vaccination rates that some experts had hoped for.” To the contrary: “In most locations, the number of adults with at least one shot grew at a slower pace after states and cities announced mandates than it did nationwide in the same time periods.”
So if vaccine mandates aren’t moving the needle on vaccination, what, precisely, are they for? One particularly ungenerous hypothesis is hard to avoid. Rebranding COVID-19 as the “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” then targeting that population with punishments for noncompliance, has been a way to scapegoat political opponents and technology companies, while bolstering the sense of virtuousness among the vaxxed.
That self-flattering narrative is collapsing, now that (as predicted) a stubbornly seasonal/regional virus has hit media/Democratic centers for a third consecutive winter. “Thousands who ‘followed the rules’ are about to get covid,” ran the headline on a Washington Post “Wellness” column last week. “They shouldn’t be ashamed.” Lovely sentiment, that.