Coronavirus

What If Coronavirus Is Almost Over?

Some caution and optimism on The Reason Roundtable

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On this weeks edition of The Reason Roundtable, Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Peter Suderman, and Nick Gillespie detail just how little the Biden administration's COVID-19 relief bill has to do with COVID-19. Plus, a little warning against government power plays and a little optimism for mask-free living in the near future.

Discussed in the show:

1:15: What exactly is in that $1.9 trillion in the American Rescue Plan?
9:35: What about that $15 federal minimum wage?
20:12: What are the standards for post-vaccinated behavior?
32:51: Weekly Listener Question: "At what point is this no longer an issue of private corporations acting as they please, and more of a de facto government restriction on speech? Have we already crossed that line?"
44:45: Media recommendations for the week.

This week's links:

Send your questions either by email to roundtable@reason.com or by voicemail to 213-973-3017. Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.
Assistant production by Regan Taylor.
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve.

 


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  1. Joe Biden promised to shut down the virus and it appears he’s on the verge of succeeding. So when the pandemic is over I’m giving him 90% of the credit. (Andrew Cuomo gets the other 10%.)

    #LibertariansForBiden

    1. What about the other 10%?

    2. One can’t violate social distance rules when napping 23 and 1/2 hours per day. So yeah. Sleepy Joe our hero. Start local. Think global.

    3. No surprise – the sudden “miraculous” reduction in concern about the virus shortly after Biden is sworn in was predicted by many commenters on this web site. Yawn – another day, another leftist scam.

    4. Yes, it’s “over” because the goal of the “pandemic” was to get Trump out of the WH. Since it succeeded, there is no longer any rational to continue the hoax.

      1. But the commies have to wind it down so that the low-infos, who thought any of it was Donald Trump’s fault, don’t get wise to the scam.

  2. Being on a staff full of shallow posers must be a disappointment for some of you. You used to talk about liberty and you gave it up to complain about mean tweets instead. And no one will take you seriously again for a very long time.

    1. Still pining for a Postrel-restoration? It ain’t gonna happen. The LA reason office is little more than a mail-drop.

    2. You misspelled ‘ever’.

  3. Heh. There is absolutely no way that the Karens will allow Covid 19 to end anytime soon. There is far too much virtue signaling, canceling, and screeching left to do.

      1. Brandybuck
        February.22.2021 at 11:00 am
        Your granddad saved the world from the Nazis. Your great granddad saved it from the Hun. And you’re bitching about a mask? Jeepers cripes, grow a backbone.

        1. What the fuck does that have to do with Karen?

            1. And you are incoherent.

    1. Crisis cant go to waste, either, til we are fully reset

      1. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

        1. Never fight a virus war with Asia.

  4. It’s not over until KAREN says it’s over.

    I got in trouble this morning at work. I was not wearing my mask while in my cubicle at least fifty feet from the next nearest person. Got reported to office manager, who then told my boss, who then berated me. But he was embarrassed by it because he doesn’t wear a mask while in his cubicle either.

    Fucking KAREN.

    1. Weird.

      Brandybuck
      February.22.2021 at 11:00 am
      Your granddad saved the world from the Nazis. Your great granddad saved it from the Hun. And you’re bitching about a mask? Jeepers cripes, grow a backbone.

    2. Someone, probably less ethical than you, might leave an open can of tuna fish in a drawer in Karen’s cubicle over a weekend.

      1. Superglue a referee’s whistle to the inside of a tire.

    3. Did you report your boss for coming within 6 feet of you?
      If he yelled at you from 6 feet or more away, report him for yelling.

    4. Didn’t you also get fucked by the karen culture on reddit recently? Was that you? So how much does the PC nonsense have to backfire before you discover your spine?

  5. What If Coronavirus Is Almost Over?

    We will all burn our masks, authoritarian governors (fuck Phil Murphy) will will humbly surrender their powers, and we shall all hold hands and live in harmony.

    1. Hey, look!! Is that a meteor?

      (one masked dinosaur to another masked dinosaur)

    1. For those who may not want to click the link, it’s only ~4 minutes and it’s a positive, fairly uplifting message about fighting and pushing back against the state of the culture in regards to unconscious bias training, toxic whiteness, toxic masculinity etc.

      1. that’s one huge penis

        kidding… love DM

  6. This was never about public health but wrecking the economy as pretext for socialist scams (medicare for all, UBI, etc). Thus it will never end and even if it did, they will just find another pretext to get hysterical about. People are losing faith in capitalism, and rightly so, because there are few big opportunities left (unless you already have a billion dollars and well connected friends or exist only in your safe space here). We’re nearing the culmination of history, so this kind of strife was inevitable. What’s the solution? If billionaires don’t want to be pillaged, they will have to fund retirement – for people who will protect them with their advocacy and their votes.

    1. This is why the progs have to go. There won’t be anything left soon.

    2. “People are losing faith in capitalism” — You misspelled socialism.

      Do you think ‘capitalism’ has been expanded in the USA lately or ‘socialism’?

      The USA hasn’t had a good capitalist market since 1918 and has been systematically destroyed for socialism ever since. Heck; on the economical freedom index we sit at #17 only making Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela and N. Korea look bad.

      Opportunities are actually EVERYWHERE; but Socialist Policy has but massive barricades around all of them. It’s “Crony Socialism” on steroids. Heck; try to even name an industry not heavily regulated by our Nazi Federal government.

      Defining the real problem instead of “parroting” lefty-painted narratives (i.e. Projection) would be a huge first step for a lot of people.

  7. Matt seems like a nice fella, but I think it would be addition by subtraction if they just let Katherine take over hosting duties.

  8. A brief note regarding the listener question (which prompted Katherine Mangu-Ward to say, “It’s annoying that it’s the question that literally no one is asking anywhere…”), but Glenn Greenwald published a (rather good) piece this morning on this very question, which cites a January WSJ piece by Vivek Ramaswamy and Jed Rubenfeld. Both take a close look at how these tech hearings fly in the face of the first amendment, citing Supreme Court precedent, etc.

  9. Anyone notice that the bots are gone?

    1. They got the bot variant of the ‘Rona.

      1. Good!

        I hope those bots all go back to their former jobs at Shop Rite, where they get food poisoning after eating a can of tuna they find in the break room that had been left open over the weekend.

  10. Did they all lose their jobs working at home? Did Joe scare them off with his lethal Mario brother’s skills? Is it a Festivus miracle?

  11. Was it ever really “here”? It isn’t the bubonic plague..yes a bad “hong kong flu” but that was about it…it was the first time “mob” panic via social media allowed the govt state to gladly take power…and put us back into the stone age…

  12. Asked by Josh Hawley if he supports defunding the police, Merrick Garland says he does not, citing the …horror experienced by police officers at the Jan 6 attack on the Capitol

    Ha! Brilliant response! Fuck you, Howley.

    https://twitter.com/igorbobic/status/1363903791247073281?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1363903791247073281%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailykos.com%2Fstory%2F2021%2F2%2F22%2F2017477%2F-Merrick-Garland-just-left-Josh-Hawley-in-a-smoldering-heap

    1. I wasn’t aware the capital police were defunded.

    2. It’s strange how so many progs are pedophiles.

      1. Also how terrified they are of protesters.

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  14. In this podcast, Matt Welch falsely stated that just 0.5% of Americans have received covid vaccines, and that far fewer Europeans have received them.

    In fact, 64 million vaccine doses have been given to Americans so far, although only about 9% of Americans have been immunized by the vaccines (as 40% of vaccines were given to previously infected [i.e. already immune] people, 10%-20% of vaccines have been given to people who already received a first covid vaccine [i.e. 90% of whom were already immune), and about 10%-15% of vaccine recipients haven’t become immune because vaccines are never 100% effective).

    This echo chamber of Trump hating liberaltarians (who gave Biden a free pass during the six months prior to November’s election) now commiserates about Biden/Pelosi/Schumer legislation to give trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to their left wing political allies under the deceitful guise of helping Americans who lost their businesses and jobs due to covid (which were actually caused by left wing Democrat lockdowns and lies about covid).

    Reason podcasts could/would be far more informative if the participants actually read the comments posted on their Reason articles (as many commenters are more knowledgable about covid and covid attributable policies, and many other topics, than are Reason writers and editors).

    In this podcast, Nick Gillespie criticized traditional and social media for blocking news stories about Hunter Biden, but failed to acknowledge that Reason did the same.

    1. According to CDC data and estimates, 40% of all Americans are now immune from covid due to past infection, and about 10% of Americans are now immune due to vaccinations, so about half of all Americans are now immune.

      A month ago, the CDC estimated (but Reason still hasn’t informed readers) a mean of 4.6 times more Americans were infected with covid (than tested positive for covid) in 2020, and that CDC was 95% certain that between 4.0 and 5.4 times more Americans were infected (than tested positive).
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html#anchor_1607017301754

      Since 8.7% of Americans have tested positive for covid so far, 40% of Americans have been infected with Covid (.087 x 4.6 = .4), according to CDC data and estimates.

      And since >99.99% of those previously infected with covid are still immune (as just 6 Americans have been reinfected out of 28M confirmed cases), 40% of Americans remain immune due to prior infection.

      To date, 64.2 million doses of covid vaccine have been given to Americans.

      But fewer than half of those doses created new immunity, as about 40% of doses were given to previously infected Americans (who were/are already immune), about 10% were second doses (even though the first covid dose created immunity in about 90% of recipients), and because about 10% of covid vaccine recipients didn’t become immune after receiving the vaccine.

      So while 64.2 million covid vaccine doses have been administered, they’ve created immunity for only about 31.2 million Americans (64.2M x .6 x .9 x .9 = 31.2M), or 9.4% of Americans.

      In sum, per CDC data and estimates, about 49.4% of Americans are now immune from covid, and that percentage continues increasing daily.

      Unfortunately, Fauci and left wing media propagandists (including Reason writers and editors) have refused to acknowledge CDC’s covid infection estimates (or subsequent immunity rates).

      1. Natural herd immunity is why rates of new daily covid cases have plummeted in most states during the past 2 – 3 months, which can best understood by looking at graphs at:
        https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases-50-states

        The 35 states with the sharpest declines (i.e. >75%) in new covid cases, including many states where herd immunity is now transpiring are:

        North Dakota -93.3%
        Wyoming -90.3%
        Michigan -89.5%
        South Dakota -89.4%
        Arkansas -89.3%
        Wisconsin -89.2%
        Idaho -88.0%
        Mississippi -87.7%
        Nebraska -87.5%
        Missouri -87.4%
        Tennessee -87.4%
        Rhode Island -87.3%
        Minnesota -87.0%
        New Mexico -86.4%
        California -86.4%
        Nevada -85.7%
        Connecticut -85.5%
        Indiana -85.2%
        Alaska -85.2%
        Iowa (uncertain due to huge data dump)
        Illinois -84.6%
        Montana –83.1%
        Ohio -82.7%
        Arizona –82.6%
        Kansas -81.5%
        West Virginia -80.2%
        Washington -79.7%
        Oklahoma -79.5%
        Louisiana -79.0%
        Alabama -78.5%
        Colorado -78.0%
        Texas -77.5%
        Pennsylvania -75.7%
        Utah -75.4%
        Maine -75.2%

        data as of 2/21/2021

        1. Worldometers (whose projected new covid infections I consider close to reality, but not their worst case estimates) revised its projections this past weekend.

          They now project the following 26 states will keep experiencing huge declines in new covid infections during the next several weeks and month.
          AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, DC, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, MN, MS, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OH, OK, SD, WI, TN, UT, WV, WY.

          They now project the following 10 states will keep experiencing significant declines in new covid infections during the next several months.
          DE, GA, KY, MO, NH, NC, PA, RI, SC, VA.

          They now project the following 8 states will experience little or no decline in covid infections in the next several months.
          CT, HI, IL, ME, MA, NJ, TX, WA.

          But most notably, they now project the following 7 states will experience increases in new covid infections during the next several months. CA, FL, MD, MI, NY, OR, VT.

          Interestingly, Blue states comprise 13 of the 15 states projected to have small declines or increases in new covid infections during the next several months, while Florida and Texas are the only Red states.

          Looks like the Blue state lockdowns and mask mandates achieved their goal, which was to delay new infections, but which has also delayed the arrival of herd immunity in their states, which has delayed ending their lockdowns, mask mandates and social distancing dictates.

          1. While the vast majority of counties with the highest covid case rates (and likely covid infection rates) are sparsely populated rural Red counties, increasingly more highly populated urban and suburban counties also appear close to achieving natural herd immunity, which vaccines have/will hasten.

            Counties with populations >250K with the highest covid case rates are:

            Rate – County, St – Population
            15.6% – Lubbock, TX – 278K
            15.4% – Webb, TX – 250K (Larado)
            14.6% – Miami-Dade, FL – 2,716K
            14.4% – El Paso, TX – 622K
            14.3% – Utah, UT – 516K (Provo)
            13.1% – San Bernardino, CA – 2,035K
            12.6% – Providence, RI – 626K
            11.9% – Salt Lake, UT – 1,029K
            11.7% – Los Angeles, CA – 10,040K
            11.7% – Riverside, CA – 2,189K (LA)
            11.6% – Davidson, TN – 626K (Nashville)
            11.6% – Richland, NY – 474K (Staten Island)
            11.5% – Rockland, NY – 325K (NYC suburb)
            11.4% – Maricopa, AZ – 4,485K (Phoenix)
            11.4% – Tarrant, TX – 1,809K (Ft. Worth)
            11.3% – Kern, CA – 900K (Bakersfield)
            11.2% – Milwaukee, WI – 947K
            11.1% – Douglas, NE – 517K (Omaha)
            11.0% – Waukesha, WI – 389K (Milwaukee suburb)
            11.0% – Passaic, NJ – 501K (Paterson)
            10.8% – Westchester, NY – 967K (NYC)
            10.7% – Suffolk, NY – 2,373K (Long Island)
            10.6% – Nassau, NY – 1,356K (NYC)
            10.5% – Dallas, TX – 2,635K
            10.0% – Clark, NV – 2,266K (Las Vegas)
            9.7% – Broward, FL – 1,952K (Ft. Lauderdale)
            9.7% – Bexar, TX – 2,003K (San Antonio)
            9.6% – Bronx, NY – 1,435K (NYC)
            9.1% – Cook, IL – 5,150K (Chicago)
            8.9% – Queens, NY – 2,287K (NYC)
            8.4% – Franklin, OH – 1,316K (Columbus)
            8.1% – Orange, CA – 3,176K (LA)
            8.1% – Orange, FL – 1,393K (Orlando)
            7.9% – Palm Beach,FL – 1,497K
            7.8% – Kings, NY – 2,648K (NYC)
            7.3% – Harris, TX – 4,713K (Houston)
            7.3% – Philadelphia, PA – 1,584K

            1. To date, only 6 Americans (and only 52 people worlwide) are known to have been reinfected with covid.
              https://bnonews.com/index.php/2020/08/covid-19-reinfection-tracker/

              Since 28.8 million Americans have tested positive for covid, and since CDC estimates 4.6 infections for every case, the chance of getting reinfected by covid is about 6 out of 132 million (or 1 out of 4.5 million).

              1. Correction. My math was incorrect above as 6 out of 132 million is 1 out of 22 million.

            2. A week ago, on Sunday’s NBC News, Anthony Fauci blatantly lied about viral immunology by falsely claiming (after Stephanoupolos asked if covid confers immunity to many/most who were/are infected) “Prior infection doesn’t protect you against reinfection.”

              It’s between 5 and 6 minutes on the video at
              https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/lot-things-open-schools-vaccinating-teachers-fauci/story?id=75883336

              That statement should have resulted in Fauci being condemned by everyone who understands basic communicable disease epidemiology and every doctor in America, and should have resulted in Fauci’s immediate firing.

              But left wing Dems, Big Media and Big Tech have scared nearly all experts from telling the truth about covid after they condemned and tried to cancel all other experts (e.g. Scott Atlas and signers of the Barrington Declaration) for simply mentioning natural herd immunity.

            3. Based on CDC data and estimates, I calculated the estimated covid immunity rates in each state using the following equation.
              [(Covid Case Rate x 4.6) + (1st Dose Vaccination Rate x .9) + (2nd Dose Vaccination Rate x .1) = Overall Covid Immunity Rate].

              The calculations and estimates assume the following variables:
              – CDC’s estimate of 4.6 times more covid infections than cases,
              – 100% of people with previous covid infections are now immune,
              – 1st vaccine doses are 90% effective at conferring immunity, and
              – 2nd vaccine doses are 100% effective at conferring immunity.

              (Immune due to past infection) + (Immunity due to 1st vaccine) + (Immunity due to 2nd vaccine) = Overall Covid Immunity Rate
              States
              ND (.131×4.6=.601)+(.169x.36=.061)+(.086x.1=.009) = 67.1%
              SD (.126×4.6=.581)+(.18x.38=.068)+(.088x.1=.009) = 65.8%
              RI (.118×4.6=.542)+(.139x.41=.057)+(.061x.1=.006) = 60.5%
              IA (.115×4.6=.527)+(.145x.42=.061)+(.048x.1=.005) = 59.3%
              AZ (.112×4.6=.513)+(.154x.44=.068)+(.055x.1=.006) = 58.7%
              UT (.115×4.6=.529)+(.111x.42=.047)+(.046x.1=.005) = 58.1%
              TN (.113×4.6=.518)+(.112x.43=.048)+(.054x.1=.005) = 57.1%
              OK(.106×4.6=.489)+(.152x.46=.070)+(.076x.1=.008) = 56.7%
              WI (.105×4.6=.485)+(.149x.46=.069)+(.065x.1=.007) = 56.1%
              AR (.105×4.6=.484)+(.124x.46=.057)+(.054x.1=.005) = 54.6%
              NE (.103×4.6=.475)+(.138x.47=.065)+(.064x.1=.006) = 54.6%
              KS (.101×4.6=.466)+(.124x.48=.060)+(.052x.1=.005) = 53.1%
              AL (.100×4.6=.460)+(.118x.49=.058)=(.048x.1=.005) = 52.3%
              IN (.098×4.6=.448)+(.132x.50=.066)+(.061x.1=.006) = 52.0%
              WY (.093×4.6=.429)+(.159x.51=.081)+(.075x.1=.007) = 51.7%
              NM (.088×4.6=.403)+(.193x.54=.104)+(.096x.1=.010) = 51.7%
              MT (.093×4.6=.427)+(.158x.52=.082)+(.068x.1=.007) = 51.6%
              MS (.098×4.6=.451)+(.120x.49=.059)+(.050x.1=.005) = 51.5%
              NV (.095×4.6=.436)+(.133x.51=.068)+(.060x.1=.006) = 51.0%
              ID (.095×4.6=.438)+(.128x.51=.065)+(.056x.1=.006) = 50.9%
              IL (.093×4.6=.428)+(.141x.51=.072)+(.047x.1=.005) = 50.0%
              LA (.092×4,6=.422)+(.128x.52=.067)+(.067x.1=.007) = 49.6%
              GA (.094×4.6=.431)+(.114x.51=.058)+(.059x.1=.006) = 49.5%
              CA (.089×4.6=.412)+(.141x.53=.075)+(.053x.1=.005) = 49.2%
              KY (.090×4.6=.412)+(.130x.53=.069)+(.060x.1=.006) = 48.7%
              DE (.088×4.6=.404)+(.139x.54=.075)+(.052x.1=.005) = 48.4%
              AK (.076×4.6=.350)+(.211x.58=.122)+(.120x.1=.012) = 48.4%
              FL (.088×4.6=.404)+(.134x.54=.072)+(.070x.1=.007) = 48.3%
              TX (.091×4.6=.417)+(.114x.52=.059)+(.051x.1=.005) = 48.1%
              NJ (.087×4.6=.402)+(.136x.54=.073)+(.062x.1=.006) = 48.1%

              USMean(.088×4.6=.403)+(.134x.54=.072)+(.06x.1=.006)=48.1%

              MA (.083×4.6=.383)+(.160x.56=.090)+(.057x.1=.006) = 47.9%
              MN (.085×4.6=.392)+(.142x.55=.078)+(.065x.1=.006) = 47.6%
              NY (.085×4.6=.390)+(.125x.55=.069)+(.064x.1=.006) = 46.5%
              CT (.078×4.6=.359)+(.169x.58=.098)+(.078x.1=.008) = 46.5%
              MO (.085×4.6=.390)+(.122x.55=.067)+(.057x.1=.006) = 46.3%
              OH (.082×4.6=.378)+(.130x.56=.073)+(.061x.1=.006) = 45.7%
              NC (.081×4.6=.373)+(.133x.56=.074)+(.069x.1=.007) = 45.4%
              WV (.073×4.6=.335)+(.164x.60=.098)+(.099x.1=.010) = 44.3%
              CO (.074×4.6=.338)+(.145x.60=.087)+(.068x.1=.007) = 43.2%
              PA (.072×4.6=.333)+(.134x.60=.080)+(.052x.1=.005) = 41.8%
              VA (.067×4.6=.308)+(.140x.62=.087)+(.063x.1=.006) = 40.1%
              MI (.064×4.6=.295)+(.129x.63=.081)+(.068x.1=.007) = 38.3%
              MD (.063×4.6=.288)+(.126x.64=.081)+(.061x.1=.006) = 37.5%
              D.C. (.057×4.6=.260)+(.157x.67=.105)+(.079x.1=.008) = 37.3%
              NH (.055×4.6=.251)+(.140x.67=.094)+(.062x.1=.006) = 35.1%
              WA (.045×4.6=.205)+(.136x.72=.098)+(.058x.1=.006) = 30.9%
              OR (.037×4.6=.168)+(.135x.75=.101)+(.069x.1=.007) = 27.6%
              ME (.033×4.6=.151)+(.153x.76=.116)+(.068x.1=.007) = 27.4%
              VT (.024×4.6=.109)+(.154x.80=.123)+(.076x.1=.008) = 24.0%
              HI (.019×4.6=.089)+(.159x.82=.130)+(.077x.1=.008) = 22.7%

  15. Viruses are never over.
    Behold the ‘common cold’.
    What may eventually become over is using one, and only one, virus as an excuse for a fascist takeover, and getting away with it.

  16. Matt, what if it were never a thing to begin with? There’s a dose of reality for you.

  17. “What If Coronavirus Is Almost Over?”
    Fauci “almost” goes away. Thank God!!!

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