Coronavirus

Free the Vaccinated From Covid Restrictions

Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty - all at once.

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Over the last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken hundreds of thousands of lives in the US and around the world. Given the deadliness and contagiousness of the disease, there was a strong case for imposing at least some constraints on liberty to arrest its spread, though it is far from clear that the more severe "lockdown" measures were justified. But the coming of highly effective vaccines has radically transformed the situation. The time has come to free the vaccinated from government-imposed pandemic restrictions on their liberty. Doing so will protect constitutional rights, increase vaccination rates, and eliminate unjust restrictions on liberty.

Recent evidence confirms extensive earlier data showing that vaccination prevents some 95% of all infections (including over 90% of asymptomatic ones), and an even higher percentage of serious illness and death. The evidence also shows that vaccinated people are highly unlikely to spread the disease to others. A person who is not infected by a disease (even asymptomatically) cannot spread it. Thus, a 95% reduction in infection of all kinds also implies a comparable reduction in spread (possibly even greater, since less serious cases may have less viral load).

Vaccines do not provide absolute safety against Covid. But the reduction in both infection and spread is so enormous that they bring Covid risk in line with other risks that we readily accept in "normal" times, without requiring onerous restrictions on liberty to offset it. For example, the rate of death and serious illness among fully vaccinated Americans (132 deaths among over 95 million people, as of April 26), is vastly lower than the death rate caused by an average pre-pandemic flu season (up to about 35,000 deaths in a US population of some 330 million). Even if you think currently available data underestimates the Covid death rate among the vaccinated by a factor of 10, it would still be vastly lower than the death rate caused by the flu.  If the flu doesn't justify significantly restricting liberty, neither does Covid for the vaccinated.

Before vaccination, those who claimed that Covid-19 was no worse than the flu were spectacularly misguided—at best. For the vaccinated, however, that analogy actually overstates  the remaining risk (both for them, and for those they come in contact with).

In a recent Slate article, legal scholars Kevin Cope and Alexander Stremitzer point out that, in many cases, exemptions for the vaccinated are required by the Constitution:

Here's why governments may be constitutionally required to provide a vaccine passport program for people under continuing restrictions. Under the U.S. Constitution, the government may not tread on fundamental rights unless the policy is "the least restrictive means" to achieve a "compelling" government interest. Even some rights considered nonfundamental may not be infringed without a rational or non-arbitrary reason. Before vaccines, blanket lockdowns, quarantines, and bans on things like travel, public gatherings, and church attendance were a necessary measure to slow the pandemic. The various legal challenges to these measures mostly failed—rightly, in our view. But now, a small but growing set of the population is fully vaccinated, with high efficacy for preventing transmission and success rates at preventing serious illness close to 99 percent or higher.

Facilitating mass immunity—and exempting the immunized from restrictions—is now both the least liberty-restrictive method for ending the pandemic through herd immunity and the most effective one. Imagine a fully vaccinated person whose livelihood is in jeopardy from ongoing travel or business restrictions. She might go to court and argue: "I present little or no danger to the public. So restricting my freedoms and preventing me from contributing to society and the economy isn't rational, let alone the least restrictive means of protecting the public. Since you're not lifting restrictions for everyone, the Constitution requires that I be exempt."

This argument alone should be enough to justify mandating that passports be made available where COVID restrictions are still in place….

This reasoning should lead to the invalidation of the application of Covid restrictions to the vaccinated in any situation where those measures restrict a right subject to heightened scrutiny, whether it be freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of religion, or the right to travel.  All three have at times been severely constrained during the pandemic, and courts have often upheld the constraints based on the the severe threat posed by Covid. That threat is now vastly reduced by vaccination.

The same reasoning potentially applies to more contestable rights, such as the right to abortion and gun rights under the Second Amendment (both of which have also sometimes been subject to "lockdown" restrictions). If you believe these aren't "real" constitutional rights (as most liberals do with gun rights and most conservatives with abortion rights), then it may be fine for the government to restrict them without facing more than minimal "rational basis" legal scrutiny (which they would likely pass). But, otherwise, the constitutionality of Covid restrictions on their exercise is undermined by vaccination.

Constitutional rights aside, freeing the vaccinated can actually do more to combat the pandemic than keeping them under restrictions. That is because the promise of liberation from the latter can greatly reduce vaccine hesitancy; and vaccination is by far the best way to stop the spread of the disease.

In New York Times article, political scientist Lynn Vavreck describes recent survey evidence showing that a guarantee of freedom from masking requirements would greatly increase vaccine uptake among people who were still unvaccinated as of the time the study was conducted (March 24-April 14). Among the total unvaccinated population, this offer increased willingness from 50% to 63%. There were particularly increases among unvaccinated Republicans (from 35% to 53%), African-Americans (49% to 63%), and independents (43% to 56%).

In this context, it is worth noting that Republicans and (to a lesser degree) African-Americans have higher rates of vaccine hesitancy than the general population. Anything that can increase their uptake could do much to end the pandemic sooner rather than later. And, even from a narrow public-health point of view, the benefits of  increasing the pace and reach of vaccination among hesitant groups easily outweigh the very small benefits of forcing the vaccinated to continue to mask and social distance.

As Vavreck points out, the promise of liberation from masking and social distancing had a bigger impact on Republicans' hesitancy than the promise of $100 cash payments (which had more impact on unvaccinated Democrats), or endorsements of vaccines by prominent politicians and public health experts. Even an endorsement by Donald Trump had much less impact on Republicans than the promise of freedom from masking mandates.

In addition to protecting constitutional rights and increasing vaccination rates, exempting the vaccinated from Covid mandates is also worthwhile because it increases liberty and human happiness. Constant mandatory masking and social distancing is a severe infringement on liberty and a serious impediment to normal human interactions.

I recognize that the extent of the impact varies greatly. Some may well regard it, as fairly minor. I have no quarrel with those who don't mind wearing masks and find curtailment of in-person activities to be no big deal. But there are many millions of people for whom it is a very big deal indeed. For many of them, even a few additional weeks of it is a severe deprivation, especially coming on top of the prolonged restrictions of the last year. They deserve to have their freedom back sooner, rather than later.

An obvious objection to "vaccine passports" is that it is often difficult to tell the vaccinated apart from the unvaccinated. This is a genuine concern. But the problem is similar to ones that governments and private industry routinely tackle in other contexts. If it is possible for states to provide drivers' licenses to everyone who passes a road test, it should also be possible to send comparably durable and secure vaccination certificates to all those who have gotten their shots.

At the very least, states and localities that still impose restrictions should allow private businesses to lift them if they devise their own "vaccination passport" regimes that meet some minimal security standard. That would provide strong incentives for innovation on that score. Private firms of many types have extensive experience screening customers for various traits. For reasons well explained by Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute, private vaccine passports pose fewer risks than ones created by government.

The state of Florida should repeal its law banning private vaccine passports, and other states considering similar measures should reject them. such restrictions threaten individual liberty and property rights, and also risk prolonging the pandemic.

Some private businesses and other institutions may choose to continue masking and social distancing rules for the vaccinated, even after government restrictions are lifted. But the pressure of competition is likely to ensure there will be ample alternatives for those who find such requirements onerous.

There is an ongoing debate over whether some types of Covid restrictions were justified even before vaccination. For example, a growing body of evidence indicates that severe lockdowns may have done far more harm than good. The debate over such issues is likely to continue for some time to come. But it should be possible to reach broader agreement on liberating the vaccinated. It's a great way to simultaneously protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and expand liberty. Hard to do better than that!

UPDATE: I have made a few minor additions to this post.

NEXT: Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions

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  1. Require citizens to be injected with experimental gene therapy not approved by the FDA as a condition of exercising basic freedoms.

    It’ll increase liberty! LOL!

    1. experimental gene therapy

      The C-19 vaccines have nothing at all to do with “gene therapy”.

      1. Seems like semantics. Some scientists define it that way. Point is they are different in kind from what was previously known as a vaccine — not that there’s anything wrong with that, as far as I know. Just new and different.

        1. Seems like semantics
          mRNA doesn’t effect our genes – DNA – at all!

          Seens like you don’t know what you’re talking about, but want to make up something scary.

          Why the heck would you do that?

          1. Some argue that for it to be “gene therapy” it needs to alter DNA. Others disagree.

            The label isn’t what’s important. My point is that requiring medical interventions for the latest seasonal illnesses, as a condition of exercising basic freedoms, is not the way to “increase liberty.”

            1. Some might argue that the earth is flat; others think it’s shaped like a burrito. No one who is scientifically literate would argue that you have a clue what you’re talking about.

              1. Bloomberg March 22 2021

                “While the messenger RNA they employ is a type of genetic material, the vaccines differ from what is typically thought of as gene therapy in that they do not change the DNA inside cells. “They do not affect or interact with our DNA in any way,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains.”

                Typically suggests not always. Again, not relevant, but that’s the small minded fool MO, when you have nothing just argue semantics. “Somebody say earth shaped like burrito hurr durr.”

              2. To paraphrase Isaac Asimov, if you think the Earth is flat, you’re wrong. If you think it is shaped like a burrito, you’re wrong. But if you think thinking it like a burrito is as wrong as thinking it flat, you’re wronger than both.

            2. Your point is mindless. If there is one thing that SARS-CoV-2 is not, that’s a seasonal illness

              1. New York Times, Jan 12 2021

                Coronavirus Will Resemble the Common Cold, Scientists Predict

                As millions are inoculated against the coronavirus, and the pandemic’s end finally seems to glimmer into view, scientists are envisioning what a post-vaccine world might look like — and what they see is comforting.

              2. It is seasonal. Prefers the cold like all cold viruses. People get summer colds, but fewer. OMG 5000 people got a cold out of 10 million in Michigan. Shut it down according to that lawyer d word governor.

                1. Behar,
                  Tell your “conclusions” to people in India where it is still hot and humid.

                  1. And where basic sanitation leaves a lot to be desired…

                    1. And they have a socialist medical care system.

                    2. Viruses don’t care about your politics, or your doctor’s.

                  2. Different climates have different cold and flu seasons. This is well understood and documented. Hot places generally have a longer, slower season at a different time from temperate areas which generally have a sharp winter season.

                    1. Flu season has nothing to do with how hot it is. In the summer, people spend more time outside, while in the winter, they spend more time indoors, closer to other people.

              3. No, it is quite obviously seasonal.

            3. “The label isn’t what’s important. My point is that requiring medical interventions for the latest seasonal illnesses, as a condition of exercising basic freedoms, is not the way to “increase liberty.””

              If you contract the disease, and it kills you, you will have the right to remain dead.

          2. Note that mRNA can effect our genes. e.g. RNA based retroviruses (like HIV) encode the ability to reverse transcribe their mRNA into DNA and integrate in the host genome. So technically yeah, but not relevant here.

            1. Da5id,
              Your comment is completely full of shit.
              Pathetic. How stupid some people are and proud of it at the same time.

              1. PhD in biochem here. You??? Not so much I’d guess… Use the Google, may appear less idiotic perhaps.

                1. You better learn how to explain yourself better rather than trying to appear to support a know-nothing

                  1. Thanks for the advice. You are mighty belligerent for a scientific know-nothing though. I was not supporting “M L”, merely commenting on Sarcastro’s technically incorrect statement. I did say it “wasn’t relevant here” so I was clear enough for those not eager to call strangers “full of shit”.

                    1. Then I’ll apologize noting that I should read more carefully

                    2. Yeah, that was a neat factoid; I had neglected the whole retrovirus thing. No argument from me on that clarification!

        2. Seems like you transitioned into CYA mode.

        3. It is not semantics, buster. You’re just plain wrong.

      2. Yeah, but “gene therapy” sounds so ominous, eh? Why bother with basic science literacy when faux-outrage is at stake. After reading many of the comments below, I gotta say this:

        It’s pretty amazing how many people are completely clueless. A person’s decision to get vaccinated isn’t made in total isolation – with the mighty “libertarian warrior” puffing-out his reedy chest to bravely face down covid (to the accompaniment of music playing in his head).

        There’s a society-wide element involved. Until we reach a threshold of people protected from the disease it remains a threat. Because of variations. Because no vaccine is totally perfect in the face of a prevalent pandemic. Because of people unable to take the vaccine (those non-libertarian warriors, that is). And to prevent repeated lingering outbreaks. Would it be possible for you folk to put a hold on your pearl-clutching indignation, give the posturing speeches a rest, slow down on the heavy breathing before you hyperventilate – – – and consider the common good ?!?

        Hell, you might even find the experience habit-forming 🙂

        1. Why bother explaining the basic science literacy you claim is at issue when you can just make conclusory assertions and then get on with a posturing speech?

          1. Dude, conclusory assertions is what I do!

            1. Logged for future reference. Thanks for the brief moment of candor.

              1. Fair enuff, not not the way you think. I’m afraid I assumed “conclusory” meant only what its root suggests : Leading to a conclusion”. Only subsequently did I find it had a more specific definition. I wonder if the word is only common in legal squabbles & backbiting. We don’t see it much in the Architecture Profession.

                1. In Architecture, you building either stands or falls down. If it falls down, your future employment is directly impacted. This is not the case for shakily-architected opinion rants on the Internet.

          2. M L, you’re the one who called it gene therapy so the burden is on you, not grb. And whatever it may be, gene therapy it ain’t.

            1. I have no burden because I don’t care if it is called gene therapy or not, that’s irrelevant. Moreover, I’m willing to be corrected when I’m wrong or inaccurate.

              1. So you just say stuff not caring how true it is. This pattern had already been detected, but it’s nice to have confirmation from an authoritative source.

              2. I wish people would focus on pointing out your inaccurate scaremongering rather than your inaccurate terminology.

                1. Does it make that big a difference when they’re done simultaneously?

      3. It might not be gene therapy, but the vaccines were genetically engineered, not that there is anything wrong with that.

        1. All of agriculture is genetic engineering.

    2. OK, so we’ve established that you know nothing about gene therapy. Thanks for clearing that up for us.

    3. “experimental gene therapy”
      What the hell are you say. Quick take a double dose of your benzodiazepine

  2. No. Free Everyone. Everyone can get the vax if they want to protect themselves. I dont need one.

    1. Is Somin libertarian at all? Pro forced vaccines and pro medical passports – I cant think of a much less libertarian take.

      1. Don’t public health measures like vaccinations fall under the Harm Principle?

        https://www.econlib.org/freedom-the-harm-principle-and-the-covid-vaccine/

        1. There’s a reasonableness bound up in the risk factor related to the harm principle. It would have to be reasonably likely that someone’s actions are going to cause harm to others. Additionally, once one has been offered a vaccine and refused, they have agreed unconditionally to accept risk. In other words, given sufficient vaccine availability, there is no more base for arguing that the harm principle applies to this pandemic.

          Seems the United States, and certainly certain specific states, is at, or very close to, that point.

          1. This.

            1. Yep. Refuse medical care for the unvaccinated if emergency rooms start getting overwhelmed. But the mask wearing outdoors, etc. is getting tedious and stupid, as is arguing with mental midgets who will never do the right thing. Let them die or suffer without medical care, and the rest of us can move on, fancy and free.

              1. Who would ever where a mask outside?

                1. Anyone who wants others to know he is a Democrat douche bag.

                2. “Who would ever where a mask outside?”

                  That was no masked man. That was the Lone Ranger!

                3. Semper ubi, sub ubi?

                4. Someone who is running errands, going in and out of establishments that require masks, who finds it easier just to leave the mask on than to keep taking it off and putting it back on.

                5. “Who would ever where a mask outside?”

                  The Lone Ranger.

              2. Do you have any idea what’s involved in rescuing just one idiot who does something incredibly stupid — either in the wilderness or on the ocean?

                I’ve been involved in some of this — you have a lot of people, many of whom aren’t being paid (unlike the hospital workers) being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night to go look for some half-arsed fool who did something incredibly stupid. My personal favorite is running his sailboat aground on the island that had a lighthouse on it — under a nearly full moon and reasonably calm sea. I am not making this up…

                (Seriously — we couldn’t believe that anyone could possibly be that stupid, and the first boat went instead to the half-tide ledge that we thought he might have hit — but no, his LORAN (predated GPS) numbers were right, he’d hit the freaking lighthouse….)

                New Hampshire is now billing for public (municipal) expense, which I think is reasonable as these are small towns where the overtime (when people are paid) is a relatively large sum of money that someone has to pay.

                But as to the “sucks to be you” standard that you’d impose — *I* wouldn’t want to live in that kind of a world and I doubt that you would either. There is a *reason* why I was on the volunteer fire department — it had to do with the type of society that I wanted to live in…

                1. And to my critic who keeps falsely accusing me of fabrication: While Crash Barry had no idea what was really going on — and didn’t show up — he documents both in his book. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/098374310X/reasonmagazinea-20/

                2. ” you have a lot of people, many of whom aren’t being paid (unlike the hospital workers) being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night to go look for some half-arsed fool who did something incredibly stupid. My personal favorite is running his sailboat aground on the island that had a lighthouse on it — under a nearly full moon and reasonably calm sea. I am not making this up…”

                  What happened after you ran aground?

                  1. The time *I* did, we all waded ashore and fortunately none of us drowned, although it was dead low tide (shallower slope). None of us were sober at the time, but this was a punt going across the harbor.

                    Yes, we all knew better, and we we were lucky…

                    But this was in the harbor — not five knots outside of it.

                    1. On a dead-calm sea, under a full moon, right under the lighthouse.

              3. All the vulnerable have received vaccinations. All the rest are exercising their freedom.
                If you have no co-morbidities, you are at no more risk than the common cold.

                1. “All the vulnerable have received vaccinations.”

                  And if they didn’t, they aren’t vulnerable any more, because wishful thinking.

                  1. If they didn’t that’s their choice. I can’t do a single thing to prolong the life of people that don’t care. Protect the vulnerable and the rest will make the best decisions for themselves.

                    1. You CAN do something to prolong the life of people who cannot be vaccinated, but choose not to because of some reason other than because you are an asshole, according to you.

                2. You’re presenting ‘facts’ without evidence, which themselves are contradicted by actual facts.

                  India seems to be falling into a catastrophe from this ‘common cold.’ Every time it gets transmitted to someone new, it has a chance to mutate and drift away from being countered by the vaccines we currently have. Sociopaths who refuse to get the vaccine do nothing but push the world towards having to deal with endless COVID mutations which will continue to kill hundreds of thousands of people year after year.

                  You want this cycle to end? Shut the fuck up and get the vaccine. Stop pretending like you know more than the expert scientists trying to save lives.

                  1. India is 171 deaths/mill. The US is 1788 deaths per mill.
                    Tell me again how awful it is in India.

                    1. More than 400,000 new cases today.
                      Don’t be so damned smug

                    2. Don’t be so damned smug

                      Dont be innumerate.

                    3. iowantwo<
                      Don't be smug. Your numbers don't impress me. India's population centers are a catastrophe and the situation there is still very fluid.

                      You prefer keeping both your eyes and your mind closed.

                    4. Cases means nothing. How many seriously ill and dying?

                3. “If you have no co-morbidities, you are at no more risk than the common cold.”
                  That is a gross and dangerous, LIE. Either you are that damned vicious, that damned ignorant, or that damned stupid.

                4. “All the vulnerable have received vaccinations.”

                  The category “vulnerable” includes the subcategory “people who cannot receive vaccination”.

          2. But isn’t there evidence vaccinations combat transmission? This is about *public* health measures, to protect people from each other, so I’m not sure assumption of the risk solves much.

            https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/yes-vaccines-block-most-transmission-of-covid-19

            1. to protect people from each other

              Dear god. The moments of unintended candor in this thread are popping like popcorn!

              1. Indeed, you revealing you don’t understand what the Harm Principle is about is nice candor on your part.

          3. ” Additionally, once one has been offered a vaccine and refused, they have agreed unconditionally to accept risk. In other words, given sufficient vaccine availability”

            What a crock. Some people medically cannot take the vaccine(s). Thus, in your calculus, they are no longer people.

        2. By that formulation none of should be able to drive, and no one can vaccinate themselves from an unsafe driver.

          Yet we let teenagers drive, we let people drive just to go out for dinner or a movie, people even drive thousands of miles just for a vacation.

      2. Exactly — and who is going to make the illegal aliens get vaccinated?!?!?

        Does Ilya have any idea how many Covid-infecting illegals have been spread throughout the country? I mean people whom we know are contagious and were released anyway…

        While I am not advocating such a draconian stance, if we had not let foreigners into this country, Covid would never have arrived here….

        1. I’ve been told on repeat that Blacks can’t get ID to vote how are they going to get passports? By extension those pushing passports are racists.

          1. The ultimate irony would be a Red state demanding vaccine passports in order to vote.

            Whatever would the leftists do then??? 🙂

            1. I imagine they’d go vote, and laugh as the Republicans all came in third in their races because none of their voters got their shots.

          2. A major argument is that people that lack transportation and are ‘shut-in’ are impacted by voter ID laws, those people probably aren’t going to seek out or need vaccine passports either.

            1. Your racist comment should be removed.

        2. “who is going to make the illegal aliens get vaccinated?!?!?”

          Take the guns away from the Border Patrol and INS and give them dart guns loaded with c19 vaccine.

        3. ” if we had not let foreigners into this country, Covid would never have arrived here….”

          foreigners such as Americans returning from China?
          Your xenophophia is remarkable.

          1. I’m merely stating a simple fact…

            1. What? Do you think Americans traveling abroad were immune? Should they not have been allowed to return home?

            2. Nothing about that is factual. Xenophobic? Yes. Racist? Almost certainly. Factual? Not remotely.

            3. “I’m merely stating a simple fact…”

              You’re simple. How would you know the difference?

        4. if we had not let foreigners into this country, Covid would never have arrived here….
          I wouldn’t count on that. Viruses like this have a habit of popping up in odd places. And I think some animals can carry it. If it makes it to North America, it will make it’s way into the US eventually.
          And now that it is endemic pretty much everywhere, and lots of people are immune from vaccine or infection, does it even matter much who has it and where they go?

      3. It’s perfectly libertarian. Libertarians recognize you do not have the right to wreck other peoples’ stuff, or bodies in this case, without permission.

        That it might not be your fault you might become a spewing wrecking maching is irrelevant.

        1. Not really…

          If you were talking about deliberate infection, then yes. But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about going around your every day life, but for the “good of the community” you need to do or not do something that impinges on your liberty.

          1. “If you were talking about deliberate infection, then yes. But we’re not talking about that.”

            We’re talking about deliberate indifference.

            1. Like the deliberate indifference everyone has always had about passing on infections that they don’t know they have? Anyone could be carrying a deadly disease any time and not know about it.

              1. So go get tested.

      4. “I cant think of a much less libertarian take.”

        Try thinking about a bit. People who are fully vaccinated are currently still restricted because some people are too cowardly to get a shot. The people who are risks of carrying the virus should bear the weight of preventing the spread.

        1. 1. People who are fully vaccinated can still carry the virus.
          2. Your proposal doesn’t include those who have naturally acquired immunity.

          1. “2. Your proposal doesn’t include those who have naturally acquired immunity.”

            You mean the one you made up and attributed to me? Do a better job next time.

    2. “No. Free Everyone. Everyone can get the vax if they want to protect themselves. I dont need one.”

      If any Americans must die consequent to the selfishness, lethal recklessness, and belligerent ignorance of our vestigial half-educated conservative bigots, KCar, let’s hope the first two are your parents.

      1. Artie. did you criticize the criminalization of partner tracing and reporting of your friends, the homosexuals? Doctors faced prison for asking, whom did you have sex with? Your infected homosexual friends did not want any interference with their promiscuity.

    3. True, you’re brain dead already.

      1. You a know-it-all asshat all the time or just online? It makes no statistical sense for a young healthy person with a good immune system that has already had Covid (and had no real symptoms) to get this vax. Vax certainly has some risk and is likely to have unpleasant side effects.

        1. ” It makes no statistical sense for a young healthy person with a good immune system that has already had Covid (and had no real symptoms) to get this vax.”

          Just because it significantly lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to other people (some of whom are not young, healthy people with good immune systems). Why do you want grandma and grampa dead?

  3. Since the 14th Century, it has been the practice to quarantine the infected. The quarantine laws permit the lockdown of the infected. The village of Vo Euganeo in the epicenter of the Italian pandemic tested everyone, locked down the infected for 2 weeks. Half had no symptoms. They ended their pandemic.

    The lockdown of everyone by the Dem lawyer d-word has been the biggest mistake in human history. It spread the virus more quickly. They allowed asymptomatic, infected young people to travel and to provide intimate care to nursing home, moribund patients, wiped them out. The drop in the world GDP has been $4 trillion. That killed 100 million people by starvation. That is the biggest, quickest mass murder in history. The Deaths of Despair are skyrocketing in an effect described in 1887, and confirmed many times. No one may criticize the German people of the 1930’s, our being 10 times worse.

    When federal judicial review could have saved millions of lives, it utterly failed. It only stopped marginal lockdown of religious meetings, of absolutely no importance to the economy, nor to most people.

    One bit of good news. As a result of the lockdown, our tech billionaires got enriched by $1.7 trillion, those of China by $2.2 trillion, in the biggest fraud heist in history.

    I have proposed my remedies. I will not repeat myself to those who refuse to listen.

    1. “lockdown of everyone by the Dem lawyer d-word..”
      Except that it was nearly world wide. Brilliant lack of thinking Behar.

      1. If I put pictures of crash victims on the front pages, I can you to ban driving. The lawyer d-word does not understand the denominator, a concept from fifth grade math. Lawyer math stops at the fourth grade that needed to count money. The problem with the horrific pictures of bodies butchered by a crash is the omission that a billion miles was driven for each of those.

        This was virus weaker than the flu. Kids get everything, 6 colds a year, not this one. 26% f 1.5 million nursing home patients die a year for decades. Those have to be subtracted from the COVID total. Then, we had a bunch of people shot in the head who were heard to cough, and got the diagnosis on the death certificate for the $35000 payment from Medicare. Imagine what would happen to a doctor who refused to add that to the death diagnoses, costing his employer $35000 a case.

        1. Your math is way more creative than any lawyer’s, all right.

        2. “This was virus weaker than the flu.”
          Yes and no.

          Yes in that influenza is far more susceptible to amplification from a wide variety of co-morbidities that SARS-CoV-2 is not

          No in that the CFR from Covid is much higher than almost all influenza varieants

      2. The Chinese Commie oligarchs did even better than ours from the lockdown. That was true around the world. OMG 300000 Indians got COVID out of 1.5 billion. That is 1 in 5000 Indians. Plaster it in the headlines.

        The word of the day for the lawyer d-word is “the denominator.”

        1. 4,000 Indians died in a single day this week, if a Chinese rocket fell on 4,000 people nuts like Behar would be screaming for measures that make even actual (rather than mythical) lockdowns look like small potatoes.

          1. The $2 trillion (remember when that was a lot?) invested in wars since 9/11 would have saved a lot more lives going into medical research.

            Keep in mind we are doing away with accellerated public school programs for gifted in favor of making sure every last dope can count change.

            Yay future progress!

            1. “making sure every last dope can count change.”
              When my people came to the US, the first thing that anyone learned was how to count change.

              But your explanation is not why programs for the “gifted” are being eliminated. The general reason given is that they are elitist, racist, and bastions of white supremacy

            2. “we are doing away with accellerated public school programs for gifted”

              If only the gifted were somehow capable of learning outside of public school.

          2. Queenie. Word of the day is denominator . 4000 Out of 1.5 billion.

            The other word of the day is lying by omission, a practiceof agents of the Chinese Commie Party in our Commie attacked country. How many died of starvation in India caused by the lockdown. 10 tomes more.

            1. Behar,
              Your math embodies a lie.
              You should be dividing 4,000 death per day (yesterday) by 350,000 new cases per day (14 days ago). That is 1.14% which is less than the present US rate of 1.8% calculated the same way.

              1. Donnie. You are stuck at 4th grade math. Move on to the 5th grade for more understanding.

                1. What grade did you stop taking math classes, just because the teacher wouldn’t let you make up your own math?

          3. Donnie, 300000 people got summer colds out of 1.5 billion. That is 1 in 5000 people. Again, please, remember the denominator to avoid freaking out from the false propaganda of the tech billionaire to force us to enrich them during the fake lockdown.

            1. Wow, Behar, you are really …. charity forbids my criticizing the mentally deficient.

              ” 300000 people got summer colds out of 1.5 billion.”
              So what? You are proving nothing at all.

              1. Go ahead, compare his intellectual power to that of Special Ed’s.

        2. you left out “per day”. You know, the denominator in the infection rate.

  4. “Free the vaccinated” directly implies imposing rules/oversight/enforcement on identifying the vaccinated.

    Fuck that. It’s over. Free the people.

    1. EXACTLY — except that big-state people like Ilya want to control us.

      Not the illegals who plague us, but the people born here…

      As Boston’s Howie Carr says, “I just want to be treated like an illegal alien…”

        1. In Phoenix they are housing illegal aliens in a Holliday Inn, a few hundred yards away there is a large tent city for the homeless.

          1. What does this have to do with wanting Special Ed to leave?

            1. Try muting him. It’s a beautiful thing.

              1. It’s more entertaining pointing out all his mistakes, though it IS a bit time-consuming, in that he refuses to learn from them.

        2. Pollock makes good lobster bait — as long as it’s fresh.

          1. Whereas Ed is good for nothing at all.

      1. “Howie Carr says, “I just want to be treated like an illegal alien…””
        BS, he does even though he deserves it.

  5. “The time has come to free the vaccinated from government-imposed pandemic restrictions on their liberty. Doing so will protect constitutional rights, increase vaccination rates, and eliminate unjust restrictions on liberty.”

    Why not free everyone from covid restrictions? Is liberty only for those who have had the shot? Are unjust restrictions on liberty acceptable for the unvaccinated?

    Serious question for the author if this piece: do you regard yourself as a libertarian?

    1. As I’ve said to others, I’m totally cool with freeing people of Covid restrictions the moment that we can capture the cost they impose by getting others sick. So if you go without a mask, get 10 people sick, one of which lands in the ICU or dies, then you get to pay all their medical bills and damages to the victim.

      Of course, people resist that notion, and there’s no way to actually enforce it. But when people do resist it, what they’re saying is that they want to live in a risky way without having to pay the cost those risky decisions place on others.

      1. OK, would you have applied this to AIDS? Would you apply this to AIDS — those drugs aren’t cheap.

        Yes, you can be gay if you pay the proper AIDS deposit, otherwise we’ll jail you for sodomy. I’m sure that would go over well….

        1. You’ve crossed over into novelty account territory.

          1. No one has ever publicly stated how much keeping HIV positive people alive is costing us…

            1. How much are you costing us?

              1. You did not answer the question. You never do.

                1. Didn’t answer any of the questions I wasn’t asked.

              2. Pollock makes good lobster bait, as long as it’s fresh….

                1. When we find a good use for you, it’ll probably come as a surprise.

                2. Even the lobsters are too smart to want anything to do with you, Special Ed.

        2. “you can be gay if you pay the proper AIDS deposit”

          The analogy goes off the rails here. Being gay doesn’t=making other people have AIDs. The better analogy would be something like promiscuous gay men. But I get nuanced points are not your thing.

          1. Sodomy spreads AIDS — there is no shortage of documentation on that.

            Being gay doesn’t spread AIDS — but gay sex does…

            1. And in Africa it’s almost entirely a disease of heterosexuals but don’t let facts get in your way.

              1. We’re not in Africa. We’re talking about here in the U.S. So answer the question, because the comparison is valid.

                1. “the comparison is valid.”

                  You misspelled “invalid”.
                  Hint: sodomy is not limited to gay men.

            2. More ignorance on your part, Ed ( and Callahan)
              Unprotected anal intercourse did and can spread AIDS; so can unprotected vaginal sex.
              But hey, be proud of being homophobic

              1. It’s primarily anal tears and something about the pH of the vagina making it unlikely.

                1. And African women have different vaginal pH. Do tell us more.

                  1. Three words: female genital mutilation.

                    Trying to keep this within the context of good taste, the mutilation leads to a preference to sodomy on the part of said women.

                    1. Nice try Ed.
                      Do you care to give an authoritative source for your claim regarding FGM and vaginal pH?

                    2. The “authoritative source” for Ed’s claim is Ed’s ass, that’s where he got it from. It’s the source for all of his “wisdom”.

              2. ” be proud of being homophobic”

                He’s not homophobic, he’s jealous.

                1. gay people have someone who cares about them. Ed’s on his own.

            3. Amazing how you miss the most basic relevant key details (Calahan too). I said “The better analogy would be something like promiscuous gay men.” But your sloppy generalization wasn’t about that, it was about ‘gays.’ Gay women have very little rates of transmission and and two non-infected gay men could sodomize each other until the cows come home and never manifest AIDS.

              1. And the word “promiscuous” isn’t inflammatory?

            4. “Sodomy spreads AIDS — there is no shortage of documentation on that.”

              News flash… sodomy isn’t limited to gay men. Straight men can do it, and straight women, and with each other, yet!

              1. That is too much information in one comment for him to digest

                1. A few minutes with a good search engine should be sufficient to provide photographic and video evidence.

              2. “Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.”

                QED….

                1. Depends on fluid penetration of the mucous membrane.
                  “However, slight” summarizes your homophobia.

                  1. It’s not homophobia, it’s jealousy.

                    Poor Special Ed has to penetrate himself, however slightly.

      2. Why does this only apply to Covid? Why now?

        1. Especially harmful pandemic happening now?

          1. It used to be especially harmful, it isn’t anymore. It makes no sense to keep pandemic levels of control on society, when infection rates are low and still dropping rapidly (new cases down 16% in just the last week, and down 80% since the peak in January.

            1. “It used to be especially harmful, it isn’t anymore.”

              India thought this exact same thing.

              1. I hope you aren’t thinking that comparison tells us that we are in the same position as India?

                In the US 10% of the population has had a confirmed case of covid-19, the CDC estimates that 4 times as many people have had it than confirmed cases, so that’s 40% with natural immunity. 33% have had both doses, so between the 2 somewhere at least 50-60% of our population is already immune, with 12% additional with one dose of the vaccine. So our figure is around 60% immune right now.

                India’s figures are 1.6% confirmed, 6.4% natural immunity, 2.4% fully vaccinated,7.2 one dose. So only 16% of their population is immune, leaving themuch more vulnerable to community spread.

                1. “leaving them much more vulnerable to community spread.”
                  I’d agree there.

                2. Which, BTW, is right about the level probably needed or herd immunity.

                  1. Bruce, in Manaus Brazil, 74% are seropositive for covid yet they are in the midst of a covid spike. So don’t count on herd resistance even with 74% “immune” in your books.

        2. Why does this only apply to Covid? Why now?

          Because shut up, that’s why. Have you learned nothing over the past year?

          1. Brian, the Brain Dead speaks again

        3. “Why does this only apply to Covid? Why now?”

          The virus is extant, when it isn’t, it won’t be a concern.

      3. So what cost should those hypothetical 10 people that got sick bear for their own risks they chose to take? Are they 33% liable if I’m not wearing a mask but they are only wearing one mask? What if I was social distancing but they decided to get in my face to yell at me for not wearing a mask? What level of risk do they bear just for choosing to leave their house? Does it change the risk level if this hypothetical infections happens at a restaurant vs a grocery store?

        1. You no more get to go around without a mask, spreading, than you do walking through a crowd swinging a bat, then swearing at the people you “accidentally” hit, as idiots.

        2. If you gave the virus to someone, knowing that there was a chance you could do so, and declining to take steps to prevent it, why should someone else pay?

          1. I was in a shooting class yesterday. The chance of hitting someone with gunfire might have been one in a trillion. Should I be prevented from shooting? Or, get behind the wheel, and there is a one in a million chance that I fall asleep and hit someone with my car. Should I still be allowed to drive?

            My point is that pretty much everything we do has risks. When should we be prevented from doing something as a result? I think that the answer should be when the risk essentially exceeds some threshold (and, of course, the threshold varying by the magnitude of the importance of the right being circumscribed). One in ten, or one in a hundred chance of hitting someone driving drunk is probably good. Not so much banning the shooting class yesterday.

            1. Bruce,
              Risk is the product of the probability of occurrence times the cost of the occurrence.
              It is not just the probability.

              1. Liability for risk is about either creating the risk or declining to reduce it given an opportunity to do so.
                So, if I create a risk by digging a pool in my yard and filling it with water, and one of the neighbor kids falls in and drowns, I better have liability insurance. This doesn’t mean I can’t have a pool, it means I better take steps to keep the neighbor’s kids from drowning in it, if I want one.

            2. “I was in a shooting class yesterday. The chance of hitting someone with gunfire might have been one in a trillion. Should I be prevented from shooting?”

              If you declined to follow range safety rules, then yes, you should.

          2. If someone got the virus by leaving the house, knowing there was a chance it could happen, and decided to leave the house anyway, why should someone else pay?

            1. I decided to drive knowing that someone else might harm me by driving 100 mph. The person who drives 100 mph knows they might harm me. Which one of us should be held liable if I get harmed?

            2. “If someone got the virus by leaving the house”

              No one gets a virus by leaving the house.

          3. There is a chance you can give the virus to someone even if you have a mask or a vaccine.

      4. That is unworkable and a crazy imposition on people. How can you prove where anyone acquired an infection? There is a damn good reason why we don’t hold people legally and morally responsible for infections they unknowingly pass on to others. The interference with personal autonomy and privacy that would be required would be huge. Everyone catches a virus from someone. You really think you can figure that out in every case and hold everyone liable? How about for all the other diseases that kill people every day that we never worry about or talk about? And why should someone not wearing a mask be liable for infecting others, but not someone who does wear a mask and infects others?
        It’s just a non-starter. You cannot hold people liable for the microorganisms that they happen to carry around.

        1. You CAN hold people responsible for not taking steps to contain the microorganisms that they carry around.

  6. The problem is how do you tell the vaccinated from the unvaccinated without the dreaded “vaccine passport?”

    1. Don’t. And let the unvaccinated take their risks – just like they do for the regular flu driving and a million other daily activities that involve risk. Whatever justification there was for a lockdown ended as soon as vaccines became available.

      Yes, I do recognize that there is a subset who want the vaccine but, for medical reasons, can’t get it. I feel bad for those folks. But protection of the immuno-compromised has never been a lockdown justification in any other disease. It’s not warranted here either.

      1. ” Yes, I do recognize that there is a subset who want the vaccine but, for medical reasons, can’t get it. I feel bad for those folks. ”

        I don’t feel bad for our remaining science-disdaining, half-educated, superstitious, bigoted conservatives who will spend the rest of their lives complying with the preferences of the modern, liberal-libertarian American mainstream.

        The harder the clingers push their betters, the tougher it will get for our vestigial knuckle-draggers.

        1. When you get the chance to respond as a reasonable, sympatico human, you always shitcan the opportunity RAK

          1. Who are you replying to?

            There’s nobody there.

            1. I finally bothered creating an account just for this very reason. Much less noisy suddenly.

              1. It appears these misfit law professors have now created and are operating the perfect echo chamber for disaffected bigots. congratulations, clingers!

                1. Poor disaffected troll, soon to be relegated to the trash bin of history. Enjoy playing with yourself.

                  1. “Poor disaffected troll, soon to be relegated to the trash bin of history. Enjoy playing with yourself.”

                    Indeed. buh-bye.

            2. Great isn’t it?

      2. ” But protection of the immuno-compromised has never been a lockdown justification in any other disease.”

        1. Isn’t this disease supposed to be somewhat uniquely dangerous?
        2. Are we necessarily talking lockdown or measures much lower in liberty encumbrances like mask wearing?

        1. Isn’t this disease supposed to be somewhat uniquely dangerous?

          No. Not under any intellectually honest definition of “uniquely.” Chicken Little in DC’s latest estimate of IFR for people younger than 50 is well under 5 in 10,000. That’s approaching lighting strike odds.

          1. Nice cherry pick of one age group’s risk and only for fatalities. Other age groups and those that just get sick, they don’t matter for Brian of course.

            1. What a squirmy pivot from “uniquely dangerous” to “get sick.” Sounds like we’re more in agreement than you prefer to let on.

        2. 1. Isn’t this disease supposed to be somewhat uniquely dangerous?”

          “supposed to be” is doing a lot of work in that sentence

            1. Now do Covid versus AIDS. Covid versus Polio. Covid versus Ebola.

              And tell us how it’s “uniquely” dangerous, but the others aren’t.

              1. Not so hard AL.
                For example Ebola is too virulent for very broad area spreading.
                Aids required intimate contact of bodily fluids with mucosal surfaces.
                Polio. I am not an expert about.

                1. Mmm hmm…

                  You ever really check how many people AIDS has killed? And you want to say it’s not “uniquely dangerous”?

                  1. Uniquely dangerous is a statement about way it is dangerous, it is not an absolute statement about the magnitude of deaths.

                    1. Using your logic, everything is “uniquely” dangerous, because everything is dangerous in slightly different ways.

                    2. I don’t read Don’s 11:47 pm comment as splitting hairs like that.

        3. 1. Isn’t this disease supposed to be somewhat uniquely dangerous?

          Ordinary colds and flus are very dangerous to the immunocompromised. There is nothing all that unique about the dangerousness of this virus to people who can’t take the vaccine as far as I know. And if it is, you still have a long way to do to justify the incredible and unprecedented trampling of individual rights we have seen over the past year. Even if covid was 10x more dangerous I would never support such measures as mandatory isolation of healthy people or forced business closures. And I’d like to see some strong evidence of masks working in the real world before even entertaining a strong recommendation that people regularly use them.

      3. ” And let the unvaccinated take their risks”

        If it was just their own stupid lives they were risking, I’d be happy to do so, but they insist on taking down other people with them.

        1. No one is forcing you to leave your house, so you are free to maintain your own personal lockdown until you feel safe

          1. Maybe, if I don’t feel safe, I should stand my ground. You threatened me, so I had no choice.

            1. Make sure you use a back brace when moving goalposts like that

              1. Yes, attack the second person moving goalposts for doing so. Maybe nobody will notice.

            2. You are insane. You think that the fact that someone could be carrying a virus is a threat? Anyone could be carrying a deadly virus.

              1. ” You think that the fact that someone could be carrying a virus is a threat? Anyone could be carrying a deadly virus.”

                Did you read this before hitting “submit”?

        2. But they insist on taking down other people with them
          What “other” people are you babbling on about? We have eliminated the vulnerable. That leaves the healthy that we have a huge data base for. That data base informs us they are not at risk.

          1. Those poor vulnerable people that you “eliminated”… did you get any of their blood on you while you were eliminating them?

        3. You understand the vaccinated can still carry the virus, right?

          1. You do understand that the likelihood of doing that (vaccinated infected others) is very low – maybe 5% of the non vaccinated doing so?

            The reality is that we are probably down well below the risk of infecting someone with HIV or the seasonal flu and that infection being potentially fatal at more than a non negligible level.

            1. So far as I know, the science is not in on that – where did you get your numbers?

            2. The likelihood of an unvaccinated person with no symptoms even being infected, let alone passing the virus to you through brief casual contact is also extremely low.

              1. That’s what the people who got infected from asymptomatic carriers thought.

      4. “Don’t. And let the unvaccinated take their risks”

        Sure, no reason why people should be responsible for their own actions any more. Let’s loosen up the rules for possessing nerve gas, too. Anyone who doesn’t want to get nerve gassed should just avoid pissing off Mr. Putin, or anyone else who happens to have access to high-grade Novichok.

    2. That’s what I was thinking the entire time reading this. The moment you say the restrictions are lifted for the vaccinated, you’re going to to have roughly 30% of the population lie about vaccination and go about as if nothing is wrong.

      That’s why I like Governor Walz’s approach – we’ll lift the mask mandate as soon as we get to 70% vaccination rates. Now we’ll see just how much the anti-maskers really care about the issue.

      1. The rate is irrelevant. Simply availability is relevant. Once there are no vaccine queues, the population has self-selected their risk tolerance.

        1. Sorry MP, but the risks go beyond the individual. Other costs to the health care systems weigh on nearly everyone.

          1. You don’t see any problem Nico with having “selective” liberty available to “some” people but not other people based on an semi-arbitrary measure?

            The J&J vaccine has effectiveness in a range from 66% to 72%. That means people who get the J&J vaccine can still quite readily be carriers of Covid.

            1. I don’t see any problem with that whatsoever. It all can easily pass a rational basis test.
              J&J vaccinated might not be considered low enough rik in some circumstances. It is a matter of degree that is easily answerable by rational basis balancing.

              1. Oh the “matter of degree test”. That gets you in a lot of trouble.

                1. Do…you know how rational basis works?

                  1. I understand it perfectly.

                    Using it as a basis to restrict people’s basic liberties and freedoms? Because some groups are more susceptible to or correlated with transmission of a disease? Well, that’s a more dubious prospect.

                    “Homosexuality is correlated with increased infection rates of AIDS, so we’re going to prohibit all homosexual from gathering in groups of more than 4 people inside, and all gatherings. This will lower the transmission of AIDS”.

                    Rational basis….

                    1. When the Court invalidate Colorado’s Amendment 2 in Romer v, Evans (1996) it stated:

                      its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests.

                      Perhaps the same analysis applies to your hypothetical. Some criticized the Court for applying heightened scrutiny without announcing it. Perhaps an explicit application of heightened scrutiny ought to apply, especially in light of how discrimination against gays was treated as discrimination on the basis of sex in Bostock.

                    2. Don’t change your thesis without saying so. Rational basis doesn’t take much; your previous objection doesn’t scan.

                      Now you’re advocating for a different level of review.

                      And even there you fail – sexual orientation as a class is not the same as ‘didn’t take a vaccine.’

                    3. “Using it as a basis to restrict people’s basic liberties and freedoms? Because some groups are more susceptible to or correlated with transmission of a disease? Well, that’s a more dubious prospect. ”

                      In this case, the groups more susceptible to transmitting the disease are high for both stubbornness and cowardliness. This is also true of the class of individual who is most likely to be prosecuted for draft-dodging. Should that be legal, as well?

                    4. “I understand it perfectly.”

                      You mis-spelled “misunderstand”.

            2. “The J&J vaccine has effectiveness in a range from 66% to 72%. That means people who get the J&J vaccine can still quite readily be carriers of Covid.”

              And no vaccine at all provides an effectiveness range of 0%-100% (assuming that survivors develop full immunity)

      2. ” The moment you say the restrictions are lifted for the vaccinated, you’re going to to have roughly 30% of the population lie about vaccination and go about as if nothing is wrong.”

        If only they were only risking their own miserable lives.

      3. There’s no good evidence that masks help. They are security theater.

        1. Just ignore the evidence that doesn’t support you and complain that there’s no “good” evidence. That’s the ticket!

          1. OK, where is this good evidence?

            1. Can’t you read? There isn’t any “good” evidence!

      4. Predictable, just like sugar rationing didn’t end until 1953 in the UK almost 9 years after the war.

        1. Did ending the war magically make sugar appear? Perhaps it was being imported via Narnia?

          1. There is something that will make sugar magically appear, the free market. If they lifted rationing and price controls almost instantly sugar would go to it’s most critical uses, importers would strive to find new supplies to meet the demand at higher prices.

            Rationing prevents the only effective mechanism for increasing supply from working as it naturally does.

            But once the government once it gets it’s hands on power whether restaurant and bar capacity or sugar rationing, they don’t want to let go, even though the benefit, if any has lapsed.

            1. So you substitute magical-thinking for an understanding of how economics works.

          2. The reason for the rationing was that the island nation was unable to import the same quantities of food due to the German navy sinking merchant ships. And wouldn’t you know it that did magically stop when the war ended

            1. “The reason for the rationing was […]”

              actually that the supply was inadequate for the demand.

              1. Yes. Because shipping was disrupted by the war.

                1. the ships of commerce the u-boats sank remained on the bottom of the sea, did they not?

    3. That’s easy. You ask. And you accept the answers knowing that someone might lie because enough people are vaccinated for the risks to be extremely tiny.

      1. Then put the liars in prison. Solves many problems.

        1. There are no “problems” that need to be solved. Covid is solved.

          1. “There are no “problems” that need to be solved.”

            There’s one. Getting the anti-vax conspiracy-theorists to get their shots.

            1. Did someone appoint you as the vaccine police? Why should anyone care about what you (especially you) want others to do?

              Your desire to police others isn’t a virtue.

              1. Your betters don’t want or need your approval. But we will have your compliance. Whine and whimper, mutter and sputter, bitch and moan all you want . . . But you will toe the line your betters have established. Until you are replaced.

                Enjoy life on the wrong side of history and the losing end of the culture war, clingers.

                1. “Your betters don’t want or need your approval. But we will have your compliance”
                  Hey, RAK, you got that correct. Poor Ben, i will be force to get stuck or have to wear an “unclean” tattoo

                  1. I suppose it’s nice that the Volokh Conspiracy provides a spot at which on-the-spectrum wingnuts can get together and simulate human interaction, but it also prompts some of these culture war losers to forget that they constitute the vanquished, inconsequential, ugly, lesser fringe of American society.

              2. “Did someone appoint you as the vaccine police?”

                Did I claim to have been appointed as the vaccine police?

                “Your desire to police others isn’t a virtue.”
                But your desire to label others as police totally is.

          2. “Covid is solved.”
            There is no credible medical researcher, virologist or immunologist who would say that. There are just the cracked pots blowing it out their asses.

            1. It’s not solved worldwide, but we are teetering on herd immunity here. The fact that states like Texas and Florida and Arizona are wide open and covid is still declining of flat should tell you that.

              To be sure some states are still seeing mini-surges like Washington, Oregon, and Maine, but since they are all states, like Michigan a month ago, that were in the bottom 10 for total cases per 100k, it makes sense that they are the last states to reach herd immunity now.

              1. ” teetering on herd immunity here. ”
                We are still far away from herd resistance.

                1. If you want to see what “solved” actually looks like check out the statistics in Israel.

                2. Actually you are probably wrong. Last estimates I saw were that herd immunity was probably at 50-65%. Between survivors and vaccinated we may be as high as maybe 60% right now (even factoring in the small chance of the vaccinated infecting others). That depends, to some extent on the number of asymptotic survivors who were never counted as infected (estimated by some to be 4x or so the number of known surviving infected).

                  1. If the numbers don’t work, just invent a fudge factor and pretend they do.

              2. Science-disdaining, delusional clingers are among my favorite culture war casualties — and the core audience for a White, male, right-wing-fringe blog.

              3. Check your facts before presenting them as such.

                https://abcnews.go.com/Health/florida-reports-10000-covid-19-variant-cases-surge/story?id=77553100

                We are not close to herd immunity. Something tells me that you’ve never bothered to even check what that means or requires.

              4. “To be sure some states are still seeing mini-surges like Washington, Oregon, and Maine, but since they are all states, like Michigan a month ago, that were in the bottom 10 for total cases per 100k, it makes sense that they are the last states to reach herd immunity now.”

                It makes perfect sense if you lack skill in mathematics or logic, or, as may be the case, in both.

            2. Because people don’t want to get barked at.

              When you have the solution, the problem is solved. It takes time to roll out the solution and apply it, and Covid will still get some people between now and then, but it’s solved.

              1. Ben,
                what does solved actually mean to you?
                Be specific
                Also spare us the tautology, “When you have the solution, the problem is solved. ” Duh!

                1. You have my answer.

                  1. Stupidity isn’t an answer.

              2. “Because people don’t want to get barked at.”

                They may not want to get barked at, but they don’t not want it enough to go get a shot, the poor helpless snowflakes.

            3. There is no credible medical researcher, virologist or immunologist who would say that

              I agree. I’ll see your virologist, etal and raise you all the statisticians, that call bullshit

              1. Wow are you stupid, and proud of it. Go away and get sick.

          3. Covid may not be solved, Ben, but your mind is closed, closed tight.

            1. Yeah. I’m probably not going to start going along with treating people like a disease any time soon. Certainly not for some waning virus, with good vaccines readily available, that’s leaving hospitals quiet.

              1. Your analogy sucks.

                No one is treating anyone like a virus, you lunatic.

                1. OH NO! He’s got the lunatic virus! It’s worse than the zombie virus, because a head-shot doesn’t put them down!

              2. “Yeah. I’m probably not going to start going along”

                Your betters are not asking QAnon kooks, birthers, “election fraud” cranks, and other clingers to “go along” with anything.

                We are going to continue to shove the progress down your throat. Mainstream America’s position with respect to ‘you’re not the boss of me’ misfits will continue to be ‘comply . . . or find another society.’

      2. Almost everyone else drives in accordance with safe driving laws so if they inconvenience you ignore them, the risks of an accident will be tiny.

        1. The math on risk numbers comes out the same. Silly emotional storytelling doesn’t influence the frequency or severity of outcomes.

          1. Poe’s law in action.

        2. Almost everyone else drives in accordance with safe driving laws so if they inconvenience you [deal with the fallout from the few that don’t instead of keeping everyone off the road Just In Case.

          FTFY.

          1. It’s an utterly dishonest analogy of ‘keeping everyone off the road.’ Even in times approaching an actual lockdown level of restrictions people were going to the grocery store, walking their dogs, riding bikes around. And now what we are talking about are things analogous to requiring people to use their turn signals or drive at a reduced speed.

            1. The queen of dishonesty complains about dishonesty.

              1. Youse a queen now?

          2. “Almost everyone else drives in accordance with safe driving laws so if they inconvenience you [deal with the fallout from the few that don’t instead of keeping everyone off the road Just In Case.”

            Just put on your fucking seatbelt, already. It’s not like your car costs extra if you use the seatbelt.

      3. At that point why limit it to vaccinated people? Just lift the restrictions for everyone, and the people who weren’t going to lie about being vaccinated will voluntarily continue masking, distancing, etc, anyway and that way no one is forced to lie

        1. Interesting misnomer you have there, about being forced to lie. Is this a policy of general application?
          Should we stop requiring proof of citizenship to take a job? That way, y’see, nobody is forced to lie. Maybe we should also stop asking would-be daycare workers if they’ve ever been convicted of sex-crimes involving children. y’know, so they don’t have to lie about it if they have. What the hell, let’s stop asking people if they’re eligible to vote when they try to register to vote.

        2. Open wider, Kevin Smith. You betters have plenty more progress to shove down your whining, right-wing throat.

          And you will comply, clinger. Prof. Volokh can’t save you from the meanies of the modern American mainstream.

    4. Right now despite proof of vaccination or previous infection you need a negative PCR test to be allowed to fly into the US.
      Moreover, just because you have had a disease or a vaccine does not mean that you will test negative.
      So at present international business travelers are rather screwed ast getting a PCR just before flying is m=not so convenient

      1. Not sure how PCR tests work, but some disease tests will show positive if you’ve been vaccinated for that disease (like TB tests). I assume CoViD antibody tests would show positive at least shortly after vaccination too

        I’m guessing PCR tests must detect something that doesn’t come from the vaccine otherwise it would be a completely contradictory requirement

        1. The serological tests of blood serum or plasma should show antibodies long after. My understanding is that some vaccinated people do show positive PCR tests for the presence of the virus.

          1. As I’ve pointed out before, ‘immunity’ doesn’t mean you can’t be infected. All it means is that your immune system is prepared to react so quickly the infection will be beaten before becoming severe enough to notice.

            PCR tests will still detect it.

        2. Just to answer more completely, the PCR tests detect actual genetic material from the virus. The serological tests detect your immune system’s response to the virus if you have been exposed or if you have been vaccinated.

      2. “So at present international business travelers are rather screwed”

        Depends on how good the Internet service is in whatever country they’re currently standing.

        1. Actually internet does not solve all business problems James. Although it does eliminate many.

          1. No, and sometimes Internet can make business problems worse. Depends on the competency of management.

      3. “Right now despite proof of vaccination or previous infection you need a negative PCR test to be allowed to fly into the US.
        Moreover, just because you have had a disease or a vaccine does not mean that you will test negative.”

        Sometimes, having had a disease will more-or-less effectively provide immunity for life (such as, say, chicken pox) but can also open you up for a variant (hello, shingles)

    5. promiscuous bi men, that are addicted iv drug users?
      Its all about the spread right? Hell Fauci wouldnt even shut down the bath houses.
      Of course churches have to close, but rioters in Portland, etal, must be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to pillage all the Footlockers

      1. “promiscuous bi men, that are addicted iv drug users?”
        you are a vicious hater, aren’t you?
        You could catch it from your favorite prostitute.

        1. I dont want Aids, so I protect myself by not exposing myself to common vectors.
          That’s exactly where we are at with covid.
          Dont expose yourself to common vectors, or get immunized.

          1. Science-disdaining, superstitious ostensible adults are among my favorite culture war casualties.

          2. I can’t express how satisfying the new mute function makes me

            1. it might satisfy you you, but it does not make you one bit satisfying.

            2. A “libertarian” blog at which the bigoted misfits can enjoy their obsolete wingnuttery without interruption from the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

              Correspondingly, clingers’ requests for special snowflake exemption from the rules of modern society will reach increasingly uninterested ears among the victors in America’s culture war.

          3. “I dont want Aids, so I protect myself by not exposing myself to common vectors.”

            How did you dentist take the news?

          4. “I dont want Aids, so I protect myself […]
            Dont expose yourself to common vectors, or get immunized.”

            Where are you getting your AIDS immunizations from?

  7. The sad part to me is that it was not American scholarship that produced the meta-analysis Professor Somin references. I would have thought our academia would have been assessing that kind of data worldwide the entire time.

    1. C_XY,
      I get a daily synopsis of covid related publications in high impact journals. I can ssure you that there are a very large number of academic groups in the US doing in depth analysis of essentially every aspect of the pandemic. But just as well there are many excellent teams outside the US.
      Don’t draw any conclusions from which teams the OP quotes

      1. Ok = Don’t draw any conclusions from which teams the OP quotes

        Then American academia needs to do a significantly better job putting out their information for public consumption. I have to hunt for it.

        1. Your problem isn’t that the people with information aren’t putting it out. Your problem is that people with misinformation have access to the same Internet.

  8. Free the Vaccinated From Covid Restrictions,

    That’s outrageous. You want to use Covid restrictions as a carrot or a stick??!! That’s not the rationale claimed to explain impositions of those restrictions.

    That’s why so many of us are deeply suspicious of allowing government to acquire any new power. Government demands something else as payment to relinquish the power.

    1. “That’s why so many of us are deeply suspicious of allowing government to acquire any new power. Government demands something else as payment to relinquish the power.”

      How stressful it must be to live in a world where the right to spread communicable disease must be vigilantly protected from government encroachment.

      1. Yes, people’s rights to operate in the world and have a life does need vigorous protection from government encroachment. Some things are more important than minimizing infections of this one particular virus.

        1. I’m sure a lot of things are more important to you than protecting other human beings from communicable disease.

  9. Keeping in mind that the only purpose of a vaccine is to simulate having a disease, in order that your immune system will in the future react as though you had already had it,

    Why just the vaccinated? Why not everybody who can prove with an antibody test that they have already HAD Covid?

    I’m getting more than a little tired of the immune system deniers out there pretending that the only way to end up with immunity to a disease is to be vaccinated. Especially since the only reason the vaccines work in the first place is that immune systems work.

    Setting that aside, “Papers, please?”

    Screw vaccine passports, let’s just get back to being a free country again, and tell the medical dictators to stick their orders where the sun doesn’t shine.

    1. It’s not just that — what no one has mentioned is that a vaccine creates an antibody response — but what if your body already *has* one because you’ve already had Covid?

      If someone already has an immune response, and you inject a (relatively) massive amount of the triggering substance into the person, you’re going to get a massive reaction. Just like with someone who is allergic to bee stings or peanuts.

      Sure Big Pharma wants its few hundred dollars, but I see it as something as simple as giving someone the wrong blood type, and that’s definitely actionable malpractice. IMHO, administering a vaccine without first checking for antibodies in the blood is also malpractice — or ought to be…

      1. “If someone already has an immune response, and you inject a (relatively) massive amount of the triggering substance into the person, you’re going to get a massive reaction. Just like with someone who is allergic to bee stings or peanuts.”

        Ed, you are showing you gross ignorance of this matter.

        1. REALLY?!?

          Care to explain why???

          1. You don’t get a massive reaction the vast majority of the time. Think about what that would mean about immune response to, ordinary antigens whose frequency varies a lot in nature.

          2. I don’t have an eternity on my hands, Ed.
            But simply there is no evidence at all for your statement.

          3. What Sarcastro says.

            Think about it … how many times have you been vaccinated? How many times have they tested you for antibodies first? If your doctor is competent you’ve been getting a tetanus shot[1] every 10 years … even though he knows you were previously vaccinated for it.

            I’m not up on the details, but I think there some unusual vaccines, for rare tropical diseases I think, which you want to avoid administering too often because of strong reactions, but I think those are uncommon enough to qualify as the exceptions that prove the rule.

            In the specific case of covid, I know a couple of people who have had covid then been vaccinated, without incident. Statistically speaking there must be millions of those people by now. If there was a downside it would be obvious.

            If ‘administering a vaccine without first checking for antibodies in the blood is also malpractice — or ought to be’ were true, every doctor in America would be guilty.

            [1]which is actually usually a diptheria/tetanus/pertussis combo.

            1. The research I’ve seen says severe reactions in people who’ve had Covid getting the vaccine are about twice as common as in people who’ve never had it. Maybe a bit worse than the odds on the second shot for people who’ve never had it, but not outrageous.

              I wouldn’t advise getting both shots if you’ve had Covid.

              1. “I wouldn’t advise getting both shots if you’ve had Covid.”

                Your advice is worth the usual amount of deference, I should guess.

            2. The evidence I see is very suggestive that if you’ve already had a seriorus case of COVID, getting the vaccine will knock you on your rear end for the next day.

              1. I have seen multiple counterexamples.
                The plural of anecdotes is not data

                1. Evidence is data. Counter examples are not data.

                  https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2101667

                  1. You made an absolute statement. A counterexample absolutely speaks to that.

                  2. “Evidence is data. Counter examples are not data.”

                    Says a person unqualified to make statements about data.

              2. “The evidence I see is very suggestive that if you’ve already had a seriorus case of COVID, getting the vaccine will knock you on your rear end for the next day.”

                How are you sorting these cases from the people who haven’t had COVID who get knocked on their rear end for the next day? (which is enough people that they warn you about it when you show up to get your second shot. They call it “flu-like symptoms” but it’s like a case of Martian Death Flu.)

            3. “how many times have you been vaccinated? How many times have they tested you for antibodies first?”

              Once. I was going to be working in a hospital, so they wanted to make sure all my vaccinations were current. They tested me for antibodies to decide which vaccines I had to get before I could start working. I had to get a fresh set of MMR vaccination because I was insufficiently immune to mumps.

          4. “Ed, you are showing you gross ignorance of this matter.”

            “Care to explain why???”

            Best guess: because you are a selfish asshole is why.

        2. “Ed, you are showing you gross ignorance of this matter.”

          It’s what he does.

          1. Pollock makes good lobster bait, as long as it’s fresh….

            1. Your jokes are poor.
              For an idea how poor, as poor as your logic and reasoning skill.

      2. “If someone already has an immune response, and you inject a (relatively) massive amount of the triggering substance into the person, you’re going to get a massive reaction. Just like with someone who is allergic to bee stings or peanuts.”

        So, in the Ed theory of disease, someone who’s already had a disease has a massive reaction when exposed to the disease? We’ll just add this nonsense to the long list of reasons not to take your advice.

        1. The problem here is these “vaccines”are not really a deactivated version of the disease, but something completely different – in at least one case, mRNA that causes reaction to one small piece of the virus. They are using a somewhat novel approach, which really has not gone through long run testing. (One of the counter arguments to COVID-19 vaccinations is that we really don’t know the long term effects, and whether there may be significant overreaction to a future related virus in those so immunized).

          1. ” (One of the counter arguments to COVID-19 vaccinations is that we really don’t know the long term effects, and whether there may be significant overreaction to a future related virus in those so immunized).”

            So you’re worried that taking the vaccine might make you extra-immune to some other virus?

    2. The problem is that, depending on the pathogen, natural immunity (acquired via infection) and vaccination immunity are not necessarily created equal. In some cases they are, but in some cases the natural immune response to an infection is stronger and longer-lasting then that from a vaccine, while in some others the opposite is true (due to a variety of factors). In the case of SARS-CoV-2 and the currently available vaccines we just don’t know which of the three is the case because neither the disease nor vaccination have been around long enough yet.

      1. By what mechanism are they different?

        1. That depends on the mechanism of the vaccine. Does it boost T-Cell response, does it change the level of binding to the ACE receptors, and more,

          1. Shows what I know. I thought the mechanisms of all vaccines were roughly the same – introduce a foreign antigen to get it into the stem cell library of easily manufactured antigen-tailored antibodies.

            Whether the antigen introduced as part of an entire virus or just a subset therof would seem immaterial.

            If you got the time to give me some immune system 201, that’d be cool. If not, I do work with folks I can ask.

            1. I suggest seeking someone who knows what they’re talking about.

            2. Very definitely not the case here. At least with the Moderna “vaccine”, the approach is apparently to use mRNA to sensitize cells to one small piece (the spike) of the SARS-2 virus.

              Interestingly, this may work at least partially, because this is one of the places in the virus that appears to have been the result of human intervention, either through DNA editing, or forced evolution. The spike binds best to human ACE2 receptors, without any genetic evidence of how the spike evolved to be so species dependent. Almost always, viruses jumping the species barrier show evidence of the jump. This one apparently doesn’t.

              1. one small piece (the spike) of the SARS-2 virus.

                That’s an antigen, chief.

                I may not be 100% up on this, but I seem to know more than you.

                this is one of the places in the virus that appears to have been the result of human intervention, either through DNA editing, or forced evolution.
                Actually, the spike is so good at it’s job and novel that it’s why everyone is dismissing the idea of human intervention.

                1. At the ‘assume a spherical cow on an infinite frictionless plane’ level, if you get the vaccine your immune system knows about the spike protein. If you get a raging case of covid, your immune system knows about the spike protein, plus perhaps other things about the virus.

                  Whether the shape of the cow matters in practice, I dunno 🙂

                  1. You’re skipping over the key question, which is “what do steaks cut from spherical cows look like?”

        2. I was curious enough to google ‘difference in immune response to infection versus vaccination’. There are a number of interesting results. There doesn’t seem to be a simple answer – it varies with the vaccine and disease; ‘immune response’ covers a heckuva lot of ground. But clearly wuz’s statement is true for some diseases and vaccines.

          1. Stopped clocks are correct periodically.

    3. Brett,
      You may want to look at this new paper:
      https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2021/04/13/science.abh2644/tab-figures-data

      “Using a two-category dynamical model that integrates genomic and mortality data, we estimate that P.1 may be 1.7–2.4-fold more transmissible, and that previous (non-P.1) infection provides 54–79% of the protection against infection with P.1 that it provides against non-P.1 lineages.”

      1. So even the immune system deniers admit that, based solely on some suitably blenderized data from a single city, the immune system might be as much as 79% effective in protecting against a different “v-v-v-variant” than the initial infection.

        Did you mean to quote a different study?

        1. “suitably blenderized data”
          says a guy who knows zero about epidemiology.

          The point of the paper is that the previous infection gives only a fraction of the protection from variants that it gave from the initial strain.

          I guess that was too hard for you to understand

          1. the previous infection gives only a fraction of the protection from variants that it gave from the initial strain

            Yes, just like the remainder of your life today is “only a fraction of” what it was yesterday. Making Math Scary Again!

            1. Brian you are pitifully stupid.
              I almost feel sorry for you. Go get yourself infected and don’t worry.

              1. Go get yourself infected and don’t worry.

                Donny, baby, skulking behind that little pseudonymous Internet poster tough guy act lies the most unintentionally intelligent thing you’ve said all night. Sweet dreams.

                1. Charity forbids saying more than I pity your family

                2. This is what you get when you get your medical advice from Bobby McFerrin.

              2. I think that Brian’s point is that Don’s statement that “The point of the paper is that the previous infection gives only a fraction of the protection from variants that it gave from the initial strain.” Is misleading and not helpful because the word “fraction” could mean something between, maybe 99.999999% and 0.000001%. All are fractions.

                1. Literally any number can be expressed as a fraction. In fact, by more than one fraction. In fact, by an infinite number of fractions.

                  1. “Literally any number”

                    Literally not.

                    The uncountable infinite set of irrational numbers would disagree with you.

                    1. Take any one of your irrational numbers, and set it over 1. Voila. A fraction. so, you start with pi, which is one of your irrational numbers despite definitionally being a ratio (circumference/diameter). You can represent pi as π, or as π/1, or as 2π/2…

                      You can do this with any irrational number you’d like, say the square root of 2, or the root of natural logarithms (e)

                    2. There’s a reason people don’t look for the nearest Marine when they need to solve a math problem, but do look for one when there’s a need to take a beach away from a hostile military force.

    4. “Why not everybody who can prove with an antibody test that they have already HAD Covid?”
      Because the antibody level is known to decrease with time depending on how the antibodies were generated.

      You might start looking at “Epidemiological and evolutionary considerations of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dosing regimes”
      https://science.sciencemag.org/content/372/6540/363

      1. Ummm…. so too with vaccination….

        Just sayin….

        OTOH, allergic responses are exponentially increased upon each exposure — at least according to the MDs and RNs who taught that part of my first aid stuff.

        They had state licenses and unless you have an articulateable reason to believe otherwise, I think it is fair to presume that they might have known what they were talking about.

        1. Yes, with vaccination the rates vary in time. The variations are likely slower.
          And no, it is not like allergies

          1. But the mysterious RNs and MDs said it was!

      2. Because the antibody level is known to decrease with time depending on how the antibodies were generated.

        You might start looking at [waka waka waka]

        And you might start looking at B cells and T cells rather than pretending antibodies are even close to the only relevant factor in long-term immunity. Given that you study this stuff so much, I’m sure it just slipped your mind.

        1. And their levels vary in time.
          But good for you for looking up immunity on Wikipedia

          1. And their levels vary in time.

            As in, they’ll reduce their numbers in peaceful times and quickly ramp back up when there’s a threat they recognize from past experience. That’s a feature, not a failing.

            Keep on studying — maybe you’ll eventually learn something beyond your spew of cut and paste panic porn, even if you don’t choose to admit it here.

            1. I do love how many people come at experts about their lack of expertise on the Internet.

              1. Ok, this is pretty funny . So you are setting up Don Nico as your expert ? I suppose the sarcastrian definition of expert is
                “Some dude that agrees with me on the internet and whose methods and pronouncement are “Science!” and beyond question.”

                1. I’m saying Don’s expertise is above Life of Brian’s. You can tell because Don brings sources, and Life of Brian just makes unsupported declarations.

                  And then Life of Brian attacks Don’s understanding of the issue, having evinced no interest himself in understanding anything.

                  1. Oh noes — the cut-and-paste-from-the-liturgy trolls are endorsing each other! I’ve seen the light! THE LIGHT!!!

                    1. He’s blind AND dumb. Super dumb.

                    2. Brian,
                      You’ve seen nothing because of the scales on your eyes.

            2. Panic porn?
              How bizarre that phrase coming from a conspiracy cult folower.

        2. “‘You might start looking at [waka waka waka]'”

          Are you quoting Pac-Man here, or Fozzie Bear?

    5. Just tell people you’re vaccinated. Because you effectively are.

      1. Not really, but Brett does have some degree of increased resistance. He just does not know quantitatively how much.

        1. You don’t know how much immunity anyone has.

          There are many vaccines. Sinopharm is a vaccine with (reportedly) less effectiveness than J&J. I have heard several numbers, including 30% and 50% effective. If the guy who got Sinopharm can say he’s vaccinated and therefore immune, someone who got Covid can say he’s immune and therefore effectively no different from someone who is vaccinated.

          Also, go back to treating people like people instead of treating people like disease vectors. Having and showing humanity is more important that trying to optimize some spreadsheet of case numbers. Covid is no longer a dire problem. Lack of humanity is.

          1. The best way to show humanity is to increase significantly the chance you get other people sick because you see a minor inconvenience as a totalitarian state…

            1. It is no surprise to anyone that you have no idea what “showing humanity” means.

              1. Seemed to show a superior grasp to yours.

                1. I should probably block you since you have nothing to say.

                  1. Go for it.
                    Others could also decide to mute you.

                    1. He might accidentally say something useful.
                      Don want to miss THAT.

                  2. “I should probably block you since you have nothing to say.”

                    You’re confusing talking to a nothing with having nothing to say. I was (and am) doing the first one.

                    1. Blocked.

                    2. … and still doing the first one.

              2. The guy who led with ‘lie about whether you’ve undertaken a minor inconvenience to protect the people around you’ is lecturing on how to ‘show humanity.’ I’ve said it before but Ben can demonstrate stunning lack of self awareness…

                  1. You’re trying to invoke empathy in service of indulging people acting selfishly.

                    You’ve got your ideals really twisted up.

                    I suppose that makes you a good Internet libertarian/objectivist.

                    I hope you grow up soon.

                    1. You judge people selfish to excuse your lack of empathy. It makes you an effective overseer of the inmates you imagine everyone else to be.

                    2. Elevating minor inconvenience over benefitting your neighbors is not something where empathy is involved.

                      There’s also a standing problem. Angry Internet rage-blister that you are, do not get to speak much about empathy. I have never once seen you evince anything but pure contempt on this website.

                    3. Yes you have. You’re just outright lying now.

                      Just to cite a recent example in this thread, calls to show humanity are in no way contempt or anger or rage. Nor do you truly imagine them to be.

                    4. Angry calls on other people to show empathy is not itself empathy.

                      It’s like you’ve heard the term and are seeking how to weaponize it.

                    5. If you think calls to have and show humanity are “angry”, that shows you have poor discernment.

                      Maybe take a break from trying to control other people’s lives for a while. It doesn’t have a positive affect on you.

                    6. Yeah, you seem cool as a cumber LOL.

                    7. “You judge people selfish to excuse your lack of empathy.”

                      I judge people selfish when they act selfishly or produce apologia for people who act selfishly. In this thread, that would be you. No, I don’t have any empathy for your selfishness. Fuck off.

                    8. You want to treat others badly and come up with excuses to. You call them “selfish” or pretend they’re “angry”.

                      Why not just stop trying to bully everyone? Then you won’t have to come up with lame justifications for yourself.

                    9. You feel bullied when somebody notices that you’re a selfish jerk? No empathy for that, either.

                  2. At the rate at which clingers are blocking others, this blog soon may consist solely of (1) Prof. Volokh flaunting ways to use vile racial slurs with plausible deniability, (2) bigoted Republicans with Asperger syndrome applauding enthusiastically, and (3) Prof. Blackman.

                    1. What’s with your weird obsession with Aspergers? Does being autistic make someone less than human?

                      Can you get any more hateful? Get a life man.

                    2. And what’s with YOUR obsession with the Rev?

            2. The best way to show humanity is to increase significantly the chance you get other people sick because you see a minor inconvenience as a totalitarian state…

              I can’t “get” other people sick. Just like I can’t “get” someone drunk.

              If a person does not want to get infected, they should limit their exposure to all other people. And, follow all the CDC guidelines, of masking, distancing, hand washing, no hands to face contact, diligent surface cleaning.
              Relying on strangers to keep you alive is a fools game.

              Thats the short truth.

              1. “I can’t ‘get’ other people sick.”
                What strange world are you living in completely disconnected from reality.
                You can even get someone dead.

                1. I cant get a person sick if they want to stay healthy

                  We know this because the CDC guidelines have been proven ineffective. Those states with the tightest rules are no better than states with much lower restrictions.

                  1. I can’t assault someone if they want to avoid it, let them learn martial arts and how to run fast.

                    “Those states with the tightest rules are no better than states with much lower restrictions.”

                    This is really terrible logic/science. I mean, confounding variables, how do they work? By your logic someone could conclude that states with more guns that have more crime must mean guns cause more crime. There’s lots of other variables that could be at play in either situation.

                    1. “I can’t assault someone if they want to avoid it, let them learn martial arts and how to run fast.”
                      Yes, that is his version of wisdom.

                    2. I mean, confounding variables, how do they work?

                      Apparently they act as a catchall, reflexive excuse for people who are faced with a year’s worth of global data that show how laughably ineffective masking and lockdowns have been and desperately need to come up with some way to continue to believe in their religion.

                    3. “Apparently they act as a catchall, reflexive excuse for people who are faced with a year’s worth of global data that show how laughably ineffective masking and lockdowns have been and desperately need to come up with some way to continue to believe in their religion.”

                      What’s the catchall, reflexive excuse for doing bad analysis of data in order to continue to believe in their counter-religion. What are you, some kind of Mask-Protestant? How many Theses do you have? Are the posted on the door somewhere?

                  2. “I cant get a person sick if they want to stay healthy”

                    Since everyone wants to stay healthy, nobody is sick QED.

                  3. Congrats on being convicted of “getting other people sick” even though you never had Covid.

                    You’d think the hysteria would ebb with the virus, but the hysteria seems to be intensifying.

                    1. “You’d think the hysteria would ebb with the virus, but the hysteria seems to be intensifying.”

                      So stop being hysterical.

              2. Of course you can ‘get’ someone sick if you have a contagious disease and interact with them. You’re literally transferring something dangerous onto/into their body and could prevent that chance of significant harm to others from you by minor inconvenience to you. Your idea of the Harm Principle seems to be something akin to ‘well, I can drive as dangerous as I want, if other people are worried they should buy safer cars, learn defensive driving, etc.,’.

                1. Of course you can ‘get’ someone sick if you have a contagious disease and interact with them. You’re literally transferring something dangerous onto/into their body and could
                  You can’t get me sick. I don’t want to get sick. I won’t expose myself to you, or anyone I am not sure of their status.

                  1. “I won’t expose myself to you”

                    Agreed that you should stop exposing yourself in public.

              3. You also (presumably) don’t have Covid.

                Pretending everyone has Covid leads to treating others as a disease instead of treating others as people.

                The obsessive fear of Covid is socially and economically destructive. And it’s needless because hospitals are quiet and the death rate from Covid is approaching flu-season levels even with the extra financial incentives hospitals have to declare deaths Covid-related.

                1. Pretending everyone has Covid leads to treating others as a disease instead of treating others as people.

                  1) No one is pretending everyone has Covid. No one in this thread is saying that. Acknowledging risk is not the same as take the risk to be 100%.

                  2) Even if that part were true, analogizing being infected with being a virus is your own crazy brain and no one else’s.

                  1. 1. Yes you do. People without Covid can’t infect anyone with Covid. But you demand people without Covid act like they have Covid. I know you like semantic games, so you’ll deny that’s “pretending” but that’s pretty clearly what it is.

                    1. I used the word risk. That’s a concept that’s common when you don’t have perfect knowledge. Like in this case, who has COVID.

                      Look it up.

                    2. ” People without Covid can’t infect anyone with Covid. But you demand people without Covid act like they have Covid.”

                      Only God has perfect knowledge. So I demand people who might have COVID act like they might have COVID. I do not, however, demand that people who have STUPID act like they have STUPID. You can stop volunteering.

                    3. Level of “risk” is not extremely low

                    4. “Level of “risk” is not extremely low”

                      No, it’s not. Is reality seeping through to you? Or did you just mistakenly believe that risk being high supported your argument?

                2. “You also (presumably) don’t have Covid.

                  Pretending everyone has Covid leads to treating others as a disease instead of treating others as people.”

                  The thing is, you either may or may not be currently harboring the virus, because it doesn’t (necessarily) produce visible symptoms. I can’t take your word for it that you don’t, because you have motivation to lie about it. You can’t take my word for it because I am a pro-vaccine bully. But I can produce evidence that I’m very unlikely to have it, because I am pro-vaccine.

          2. Ben,
            In China, it does not matter quite so much because the continually monitor and track people relentlessly.
            I doubt that you prefer to live in that kind of state.

            1. You apparently are comfortable with that. You treat others as a disease.

              1. He treats other people as, during a pandemic, people that might be carrying a disease. The way you treat people is ‘hey, I don’t want any inconvenience to me even if it might provide significant protections to other’s well being! Because I am the one that really loves people (just especially and only people that are me)!’

              2. You are a disease.
                You infected America with the Orange Clown

          3. “You don’t know how much immunity anyone has”
            But we do know have a statistical measure of that resistance in populations given different vaccines or previously infected with covid-19.
            No one in the US gets Sinopharm or Sputnik. The effectiveness of the available vaccines is well measured for the short term.
            So your argument collapses.
            Man up and get the shot or get infected yourself.

            1. So what? Why should anyone care about your notions about who has what amount of immunity?

              Stop treating people like disease vectors. They’re human beings.

              1. I hate how stop signs treat people like they’re accident vectors. We should rip them all up to start treating people like human beings.

                1. A German village did that and ended all accidents.

                  1. An anecdote that sounds like it might possibly be true.
                    …To an especially gullible person.

              2. “Stop treating people like disease vectors. They’re human beings.”

                These are not mutually-exclusive. A person can be both things at the same time.

          4. Look at the Seychelles Islands, they have the highest vaccination rate in the world at over 60%, but they are seeing a covid spike now.

            Chinese vaccine at work.

            1. They have “cases”. How bad are they? Is anyone who got vaccinated in the hospital? How many?

              That’s always been the problem with Covid reporting: pretending “cases” is meaningful.

              1. That’s always been the problem with Covid reporting: pretending “cases” is meaningful.

                This rings the bell and get the prize from the top row.
                Hospitalizations and deaths.
                Are we counting cases at 30ct or 40 ct today? Tomorrow?

                1. Hospitalization is only meaningful in places where there are hospitals.

            2. Kazinski,
              You might have been more honest and reported that “World Health Organization (WHO) has said it has “very low confidence” in vaccine data provided by Sinopharm.”
              In contrast the BBC reported that Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world. There are now level than a 20 to 30 new cases a day.

              1. Of course that is the point nobody has much confidence in the Chinese vaccines.

                How could I have been more honest than pointing out they were using the Chinese Vaccine?

                Years from now after covid is a distant memory, the only reminder of the pandemic will be to the common slang to refer to an ineffective cure or any shoddy, dishonestly marketed product as a “Chinese vaccine”.

                1. Years from now, the Covid-obsessed will be talking in hushed tones about some magical new variant that’s going to show up and bring back the pandemic that animated their lives.

                  Or they’ll move on to hyping something else as a substitute. Anything to try to make decisions about how others will live.

                  1. When you need to bolster support for your current position by writing fiction about the future, you’re not really taking a fact-based position.

                  2. “Years from now, the Covid-obsessed will be talking in hushed tones about some magical new variant that’s going to show up and bring back the pandemic that animated their lives.”

                    Years from now, the cowardly will be talking about that time they bravely refused to take a shot in the arm to protect other people from a disease that killed a lot of people. Other people will still think they were cowards.

                  3. Years from now, the flu-obsessed will be talking in hushed tones about some magical new variant that’s going to show up and bring back the influenza pandemics.

                    1. You should check out the pace of vaccine research and how contagious influenza is. Covid is much more contagious than influenza.

                      Not many years from now, influenza will no longer be much of a threat because of either a universal flu vaccine or annual vaccines that are much more effective and possibly available earlier, closer to the sources of the viruses.

                      Same for other contagions. A huge number of vaccine researchers are going to need something new to research in 2023.

                2. “How could I have been more honest than pointing out they were using the Chinese Vaccine?”
                  By presenting an expert opinion about tsaid vaccine.

              2. Donnie. Word of the day is denominator. You say there are 30 cases a day. The denominator is 7 million.

                1. “Word of the day is denominator. You say there are 30 cases a day. The denominator is 7 million.”

                  No, in the fraction of 30 cases / day, the denominator is “day”.

                2. Behar,
                  1) The population of Israel is 9.2 million if you actually cared.
                  2) in cases per day the denominator is day.
                  3) Now there are on ~30 active cases in the entire country of Israel
                  4) Most days there are now no deaths due to covid-19

                  1. Actually the 7 day average of new cases is 54, that is the equivalent of about 2000 cases a day here. We are at 44,000 cases a day now, so you are right we are not there yet. We are about where Israel was on March 23, and on a very similar trajectory.
                    Add to that that we are close or a little ahead to what Israel was in vaccination rates in late March, and our rate of natural immunity is slightly higher, so I would say we are in good shape, just 4-6 weeks away from where Israel and the UK are now.

                    1. We are getting there and if more people would just get the vaccine, we’d get there faster.
                      But Israel is in very good shape because they bought up a large quantity of vaccine early and made it generally available. I’d agree that we are several weeks behind.

                    2. Kazinski,
                      “our rate of natural immunity is slightly higher, ”
                      You lost me with that claim. The following is an honest query and not a snark:
                      Can you cite a measure recognized and tabulated worldwide by the WHO? I’d find that data set extremely useful and have searched for at least a proxy of it for the past several months.

          5. “You don’t know how much immunity anyone has. ”

            You know that people with active cases have 0.0 immunity.

            1. That’s not true, they can’t catch a second dose on top of their current infection, or get it again when they are recovering.

              They are infectious, but immune from further infection.

              1. This word “‘immune” is very misleading.
                A much more accurate word is resistant.

              2. “‘You know that people with active cases have 0.0 immunity.”

                That’s not true, they can’t catch a second dose on top of their current infection, or get it again when they are recovering.”

                So, in your expert medical opinion, people who are suffering with active cases of Coronavirus disease are immune to Coronavirus disease?

        2. Could be less, could be more. Could decline faster, could decline slower.

          We don’t know at this point, because neither Covid 19 nor these vaccines have been around long enough to get a good handle on the trends.

          And it’s perfectly possible that, a year from now, we’ll find this is one of those cases where it’s the vaccine that’s inferior to natural immunity.

          Not knowing means not knowing, not that the vaccine is better.

          1. In a state of not knowing, other than that we know lots of people can get sick and die around this, it seems prudent to take protective cautions, especially mild ones like mask wearing in limited situations, mild social distancing, etc.

          2. “And it’s perfectly possible that, a year from now, we’ll find this is one of those cases where it’s the vaccine that’s inferior to natural immunity. ”
            I grant that it is possible, but present data is not trending that way.

            “Not knowing means not knowing” that is a sophistry relying on different shades of meaning for the same word in the antecedent and the predicate

      2. “Just tell people you’re vaccinated”

        This adds liar to the list of attributes of the average right-wing Volokh Conspiracy fan: Racist, misogynist, poorly educated, superstitious, gay-basher, xenophobe, birther, QAnon kook, race-targeting vote suppressor, hayseed, Trumper, White nationalist . . .

        1. The ends (I don’t want to ever be inconvenienced) justify any means

          1. Normally, a reason of “I don’t wanna” is sufficient, because in the normal case, the person what don’t wanna is the only one affected by their choice(s).
            This one is different because the virus is more than happy to pass to and through anybody it can reach, so declining to be vaccinated is a risk to self AND a risk to indeterminate others to whom the virus can be passed.
            “I don’t wanna” might well reflect a careful assessment of the risk to self of contracting the virus, which in many cases produces no observable symptoms, sometimes produces long-haul symptoms, and sometimes produces acute cases which can cause (or correlate to) sever symptoms including having the body fall to room temperature.

            1. Consider other cases of “I don’t wanna”… the motorcyclists who don’t wanna wear a helmet, or the drivers who don’t wanna wear a seatbelt. If a motorcyclist don’t wanna wear a helmet, the brain injury is their own. We should treat motorcycling without a helmet as a positive election of organ donation, and salvage the useful parts. Don’t wanna wear a seatbelt, fine… get in a crash and your medical insurance doesn’t have to cover treatment for the injuries caused when you were ejected from your seat, and again, that’s a positive election to be an organ donor, if there’s anything useful left over.

          1. Ben is block.
            The sense gates and the brain are closed

        2. Artie. All those -isms and phobias are true. You are just a denier.

    6. “Setting that aside, “Papers, please?”

      Talking about restrictions on the undocumented?

      Also, aren’t scientists unsure how long a recovered person would be protected?

      1. “Also, aren’t scientists unsure how long a recovered person would be protected?”
        That is correct, but the protection at a relatively high probability is at least several months

      2. They are sure it’s effective now, so why do we need to make sure people who had the covid are vaccinated now?

        If you really cared about people, then the proper course would be to defer vaccination for those that have already had covid, and make those vaccines available for the third world. Countries like India, and Cambodia (from lockdowns, not high covid rates).

        1. “They are sure it’s effective now, so why do we need to make sure people who had the covid are vaccinated now?”

          Because the relevant experts think the protection from vaccines is more certain and efficacious in general?

        2. “They are sure it’s effective now, so why do we need to make sure people who had the covid are vaccinated now?”

          It is possible to catch the disease more than once.

          1. Anyone with a low enough immune response to the virus to catch it again, is likely going to have a low immune response to the vaccine too.

            You can be pretty sure that the natural protection after having the covid will be similar to the 95% protection provided by the vaccine. And there certainly isn’t any data telling us something different, re-infections are very few and far between.

            1. “You can be pretty sure that the natural protection after having the covid ”
              I have looked for but never seen such data.
              Anyone care to provide and authoritative medical study?

              1. Are you saying the Journal of the proceedings of Kazinski’s ass isn’t authoritative?

            2. “You can be pretty sure that the natural protection after having the covid will be similar to the 95% protection provided by the vaccine.”

              Since we’re just making shit up, why not imagine that it’s 100% effective, and nobody who’s ever been in the same room as a coronavirus can ever catch it?

        3. “then the proper course would be to defer vaccination for those that have already had covid”
          That approach has been considered in depth by virologists, and at least in the US has been considered less prudent than urging previously infected persons to get a vaccine sooner rather than later.
          I don’t have an opinion about that judgement as publish health is not my day job.

          1. But, WHY do they say it’s more prudent?

            Because they have evidence natural immunity is less reliable? Not that I’ve seen.

            Bet it’s some ‘noble lie’ bullshit. They’re afraid that if they admit that people who’ve actually had Covid don’t need the vaccine, every idiot who gets a cold will think they’ve had Covid, and don’t need the vaccine. (There’s a reason I specified people with positive anybody tests!)

            There have been so many ‘noble lies’ during this pandemic that the medical community have squandered trust built up over generations. And they’ll be generations winning it back.

            1. “There have been so many ‘noble lies’ during this pandemic that the medical community have squandered trust built up over generations.”

              You mean it’s NOT going to go away by itself when summer comes?

      3. “Also, aren’t scientists unsure how long a recovered person would be protected?”

        Vaccinate them if there’s doubt about how well-protected they are, just like vaccinated people sometimes need boosters.

    7. “Screw vaccine passports, let’s just get back to being a free country again, and tell the medical dictators to stick their orders where the sun doesn’t shine.

      We’ll get back to the usual soon enough, and then you can go back to not giving a damn about spreading contagious disease to vulnerable population. Because not giving a damn about anyone who isn’t you is all you know how to do.

      1. James,
        You response is almost as much a non-answer as the original comment is a damned stupid screed.

        1. Your response whining about previous responses is just added noise. You aren’t adding anything useful when you do that.

      2. go back to not giving a damn about spreading contagious disease to vulnerable population.

        The vulnerable have all had the opportunity to be vaccinated. That is why all of this is covid porn theater.

        What percentage of vaccine is being destroyed every week because people are choosing to roll the dice and get infected? Which isnt much of a gamble for a heathy person under the age of 60.That number is reported to the CDC every week, but the CDC is not making it public.

        1. “being destroyed every week because people are choosing to roll the dice”
          when vaccines go unused, there are many reasons. BUT you are a mind reader and know the single one. You are a true disciple of the Orange Clown.

          1. Still doesn’t address the issue. The vulnerable have been dealt with. Spreading covid to the non vulnerable creates no health event, let alone emergency

            1. You have actually little idea who, individually is not vulnerable. Plus variants have different effects on different age groups, if that is what you were thinking.

              1. On the flip side, we do know who would be relatively vulnerable, and that doesn’t include the young (absent serious comorbidities) or those who have had the virus and are no longer symptomatic. We know, for example, that K-12 (and younger) (absent serious comorbidities such as morbid obesity) almost never die from the virus. Here we are in mop bucket or lightning strike territory. We also know that people who have had the virus, and overcome it once, are almost as unlikely to die from reinfection. Etc.

                1. ” we do know who would be relatively vulnerable, and that doesn’t include the young (absent serious comorbidities) or those who have had the virus and are no longer symptomatic. ”

                  The cases aren’t as acute, but there are still people with long-haul COVID who might object to being dismissed as non-important. additionally, there is some research showing heart damage to even younger, healthy people who don’t need hospitalization.

        2. “The vulnerable have all had the opportunity to be vaccinated.”

          the category “vulnerable” includes the subcategory “people who can’t be vaccinated”.

          So, the people who can’t be vaccinated are all vaccinated, but the evil tyrants are covering it up?

    8. I might also ask where is the legal authority to put restrictions on people who are not infected? Sure we have lots of precedent for quarantining people who are infected, but not people who have no infectious disease to spread.

      To quote the paper:
      “Under the U.S. Constitution, the government may not tread on fundamental rights unless the policy is “the least restrictive means” to achieve a “compelling” government interest.”

      Well that least restrictive means certainly would include exempting people who have already had covid, and as Texas and Florida and Georgia and Arizona has shown, it also excludes requiring lockdowns and restaurant closures and other restrictions on the uninfected.

      1. “but not people who have no infectious disease to spread.”

        Uh, with a contagious often asymptomatic disease you don’t know who is infectious and who is not.

      2. Judges don’t care and won’t uphold your rights. That’s where the legal authority comes from now.

      3. “Well that least restrictive means certainly would include exempting people who have already had covid”

        If we assume, as you are, that people who have already had COVID can no longer spread it to others.

        Typhoid Mary had already had Typhoid when she was required to stop working as a cook. (on the technicality that all the people she cooked for seemed to be coming down with cases of Typhoid, hence the name she is now known by.)

      4. “I might also ask where is the legal authority to put restrictions on people who are not infected?”

        People who say they are not infected? Or people who double-pinky-swear they are not infected?
        It’s about the same legal authority as it is to require documentation of legal authorization to work to take a job. I said I’m a citizen of the USA, dammit. who are you to doubt me?

      5. ” Sure we have lots of precedent for quarantining people who are infected, but not people who have no infectious disease to spread.”

        Turns out I’m not inclined to believe your self-serving claim that you have no infectious disease to spread, without something to back it up.

  10. Swing and a miss, Ilya.

    1. When has Ilya *not* swung and missed????

    2. Actually had a far more sensible suggestion than most of the “i’m invincible” nut cases here.
      Like it or not many businesses will require proof of vaccination as a way to limit their liability. My university now requires proof of vaccination for general campus access.
      Ilya suggests that is better than Gov’t issued “passports” I tend to agree.

    3. It was predictable that Prof. Somin would be reviled at this blog.

      He is a libertarian (rather than a clinger in silly libertarian drag).

  11. I’m not aware of research literature supporting your assertion that the vaccinated are less likely to pass on infection than the unvaccinated.

    Can you please reference the scientific literature for this assertion (and, no, Slate Magazine does not count!).

      1. Queenie. I am sorry. The AMA is a Chicago based Commie organization. Only 18% of docs belong, being the usual Commies in our midst. They would never publish a negative article, and are dismissed.

        1. These AMA Commies wore their white coats and stood behind the Commie traitor Obama, as he signed the Obamacare law, a Commie act of treason.

          Result? My deductible went from $500 to $7000 the next year. The Commie traitor took my insurance and gave it to the tax sucking parasites that voted for him. I lost my insurance. The Commie traitor Obama turned it into a catastrophic coverage pumpkin. Its premium also soared.

          1. “The Commie traitor took my insurance and gave it to the tax sucking parasites”
            Poor Behar.
            But at least lawyers got rich.

            1. Lawyers getting rich is the sole success of the lawyer profession today. Everything else they do is worthless and in failure.

              1. It’s is not charitable to bait the Behars

          2. Gosh, and before the ACA insurance costs were in free-fall.

  12. I was under the impression that comments weren’t moderated here. But my comment above is, “Awating a moderation.”I think I got that impression from the Editor’s Note.

    Editor’s Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. Do you have more than one link in it?

    2. My guess is that you included two or more URLs in it.

      That will do it..

      1. That happened to me. Same comment with one link went through. No, Eugene sends a nasty email for using an unPC vulgarity. Ironic waste of effort by expert in First Amendment. Never responds to substantive problems with the awful things he is doing to students.

        1. You mean he doesn’t block you just because you level baseless complaints at him. Consult with Kirkland to find out which words might do the trick.

    3. I think that there is some robo-moderation to prevent spam and it’s possible that your comment may have been caught by that. For instance, any post that contains more than about three urls (don’t quote me on the number) goes into limbo. Not sure if there are other triggers.

    4. “I was under the impression that comments weren’t moderated here.”

      Wrong. This blog has imposed viewpoint-driven censorship for at least a decade.

    5. “We do not moderate . . . We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time.”

  13. The whole point of all this was to get people used to, and even desiring, restrictions. It worked. Restrictions will never be lifted in full.

    1. Quit whining. It won’t help you avoid compliance. It just makes you look a loser.

  14. ” A person who is not infected by a disease (even asymptomatically) cannot spread it.”

    This will come as news to surgeons who’ve been maintaining sterile surgical theaters for no damn reason according to you.

    1. James those surgeon visors are splash guards, for blood since AIDS, an all Fauci catastrophe.

      1. Behar,
        I guess you missed the TV show about modern approach to controlling infections in the surgical setting.
        Try to catch the rerun

        1. They now use the total space suit. Democrats should be forced to wear it whenever they go out.

          https://lowerhudsonbronx.mdnews.com/sites/default/files/media/docsinspacesuits750.jpg

      2. Surgeons wear gloves and masks to avoid infecting the surgical sites. It’s why surgery is less likely to be fatal than it was, around, say 150 years ago. Thank you, Dr. Lister.

  15. I’m with shortviking on this one. Rational arguments don’t mean anything to those governments who have imposed strict lockdowns. Following the law, even Constitutional law, is even more abstract to them.

    Any executive who has already decided to lock things down hard will NEVER change their mind. They will all have to be voted out.

    Speaking as a Virginian who has suffered under SIX extensions to the “temporary” Executive Orders by our worthless governor. Virginia is in 47th place among the states for freedom from the effects of lockdowns. We’re worse than even California and New York. Our “temporary” emergency Executive Orders have no time limit and no accountability to representative bodies. I doubt we could even sue our governor.

    1. Whatever your job, there is a better one in Florida or Texas.

      1. Or maybe you’d rather be in India around now.

  16. By this logic, though, Formula One drivers should have a higher speed limit on the interstate highways, especially “woke” single-sex academies should be able to be unreservedly exclusionary, and slightly peckish or esurient Parisians should be allowed to to take a baguette or two without becoming Prisoner 24601. Means tailoring doesn’t require that the restriction be justified in every single case. It means that, of the policy options available to the government at the time, it opted for the least restrictive one.

    Assuming, arguendo, that strict scrutiny and means-narrowing applies to these types of public health restrictions: Say John Doe and Richard Roe both want to attend a Christening. Doe has had the J&J shot, and Roe is a fervent anti-vaxxer. In your argument, Doe has a claim that the law limiting attendance at services is insufficiently tailored, since he can prove that he has had a vaccine that has left him invulnerable to this particular mortal peril. But the courts aren’t judging whether all told, the law should really apply to this one particular person. They’re looking to see if the legislature, in addressing itself to the entire society, was acting too draconian or with the sort of animus that humans are wont to show towards their scapegoated persons and ideas.

    Looking at the whole question, a legislature might reasonably have decided that someone who received an injection offering less than 70% efficacy against symptomatic illness, administered in the hallway of the local Costco, and of which there’s no national register to confirm the status, might not exactly deserve a scheme of ordered liberty magnitudes above that enjoyed by the immuno-compromised and unvaccinated.

    It’s best to keep the “Unconstitutional” stamp for genuinely unconstitutional things rather than policy disagreements. To paraphrase Scalia’s version of the stamp: Not Pareto-Optimal, But Constitutional.

    Mr. D.

    1. “should be allowed to to take a baguette or two without becoming Prisoner 24601”

      For the record, he was endlessly pursued not for stealing the bread (that sentence was served in full) but for breaking parole.
      two Pinocchio’s.

      1. Indeed. His name until he die, was no more than an alibi.

        Mr. D.

    2. “By this logic, though, Formula One drivers should have a higher speed limit on the interstate highways,”

      No, Formula One drivers should have a higher speed limit on Formula One race courses. NASCAR drivers get speeding penalties for speeding on pit road. Both are driving cars that have safety features yours do not on courses that are designed for higher-speed operation with features to protect others. Some other people who want to drive really, really fast go out onto the salt flats and drive rocket-powered cars at close to the speed of sound, in places where they won’t interact with people driving to Wal-Mart with the kids in the car.

  17. In free America we no longer have government restriction imposed by overreactions to the Communist Chinese Virus.

    Even when a few local dictators attempted to impose them, there were enough brave individual owners that it was possible to live a mostly normal (mask free) life.
    It helps that I have no children at home to bring the virus from their friends, and am retired so I had no coworkers to worry about. The local store of a major grocery chain acknowledged the CDC exception for breathing difficulties, and enough restaurants went anti-karen that I didn’t have to cook all my meals at home.

    Not sorry for all you living in the democratic party fascism. Quit voting for them, leave them, or shut up.

    1. What’s with the karen and her anti-particle

    2. ” enough restaurants went anti-karen that I didn’t have to cook all my meals at home.”

      They have that little window in the side so they can hand the food to you.

    3. “In free America we no longer have government restriction imposed by overreactions to the Communist Chinese Virus.”

      They tried to take away our freedom to spread the virus, but we fought back to defend our rights to spread communicable diseases, the way God intended.

  18. As I understand it, there’s no good evidence that asymptomatic spread is a significant contributor to the spread of COVID.

    And it may be one of those things that we can’t pin down for certain. It appears there’s still debate on whether that happens for the flu, and we’ve studied that for 100 years.

    1. “As I understand it, there’s no good evidence that asymptomatic spread is a significant contributor to the spread of COVID.”
      1) what did you mean by “a significant contributor.” The truly asymptomatic (as opposed to presymtomatic) are no more that 30% of those infected. I don’t see any reason to expect that the contribution to be much different to the general percentage of the asymptomatic, except that that population could be infectious for a shorter time or could shed a much lower level of viral titres.
      I have not seen data about those possibilities.

      1. The truly asymptomatic (as opposed to presymtomatic) are no more that 30% of those infected.

        How did you count the asymptomatic? Most still dont know they were infected. How did you find out?

        1. I read the current medical literature. Give it a try some time.

        2. “SARS-CoV-2 transmission without symptoms” Science 19 Mar 2021: Vol. 371, Issue 6535, pp. 1206-1207
          DOI: 10.1126/science.abf9569
          ” Early studies reported that asymptomatic cases accounted for 30 to 80% of infections (3), but more recent data point to a rate of asymptomatic cases between 17 and 30% “

          1. Just find somebody who makes up a number you like, and then quote them widely.

    2. There certainly are diseases that are only contagious when a person is symptomatic

      1. It’s generally the case that respiratory viruses are only seriously contagious while you’re symptomatic, because one cough or sneeze can put enormously more virus into the air than an hour of regular breathing.

        Also, because you don’t typically get a meaningful infection out of one viral particle; Likelihood of infection, and severity of infection, is a function of the viral load you’re exposed to.

        Lower viral loads, (Such as the asymptomatic tend to spread.) not only lower the odds of infection, they tend to cause less severe cases, because the virus barely has time to get going before the immune system responds.

        1. It’s generally the case that respiratory viruses are only seriously contagious while you’re symptomatic, because one cough or sneeze can put enormously more virus into the air than an hour of regular breathing.

          This does not follow. You make an absolute claim (seriously contagious) and bolster it with a comparative claim (more virus).

        2. “Lower viral loads, (Such as the asymptomatic tend to spread.)”
          Brett have a look at
          Superspreading Events Without Superspreaders: Using High Attack Rate Events to Estimate Nº for Airborne Transmission of COVID-19
          Mara Prentiss, Arthur Chu, Karl K. Berggren
          doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.10.21.20216895

          This manuscript argues just the opposite

        3. Brett,
          Also have a look at “Infection. 2020 Nov 24 : 1–10.
          doi: 10.1007/s15010-020-01548-8 by Imran Hasanoglu et al.

          “In conclusion, this study demonstrates that asymptomatic patients have higher SARSCoV-2 viral loads than symptomatic patients and unlike in the few study in the literature, a significant decrease in viral load of nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal samples was observed with increasing disease severity. Factors associated with poor prognosis are found to be significantly correlated with low viral load.”

          1. Well, I’ll give you this: You finally found something that’s relevant, and supports your position. Interesting information. This is fairly unusual behavior for a respiratory virus, I wonder what would explain it?

    3. “As I understand it, there’s no good evidence that asymptomatic spread is a significant contributor to the spread of COVID.”

      That’s some world-class revisionism.

  19. Freeing the vaccinated isn’t enough. Free the people who have tested positive and recovered. I mean, they are no more risky now than the vaccinated, right?

    1. Maybe, and for both groups only for a while (we don’t know how long)

      1. (we don’t know how long)
        Or…we have no reason to believe its less than 60 months. we dont know.

        1. “we have no reason to believe its less than 60 months.”
          There are some reasons. None are compelling (at the 5 sigma level)

        2. “Or…we have no reason to believe its less than 60 months. we dont know.”

          That’s why they keep saying that booster vaccination may be required in 8 to 10 months, because neither of those numbers is less than 60.

      2. If we don’t know, we have no valid basis for treating them differently. And since a previous infection increases the odds of a bad reaction, you’d kind of need such a basis to demand they take that risk.

        1. That’s not the baseline risk mix at all!

          The increased risk of bad reaction is vastly smaller than the current range of potential risks of asymptomatic reinfection.

          Scientists are working to bracket that last one better, but that’s where we are right now.

          Your desires do not mean you get to pick your favorite facts.

          1. “Your desires do not mean you get to pick your favorite facts.”

            They do if you’re a Republican.

    2. “Freeing the vaccinated isn’t enough. Free the people who have tested positive and recovered. ”

      And the ones who have recently tested positive!

  20. I’ve followed many moronic discussions on this blog over the years, but it’s hard to recall any as stupid as these arguments about what should be done to get the pandemic under control and to save lives. Many are pretending that their personal decision not to get vaccinated affects no one but themselves. That’s stupid. Not only can you spread the disease, but if you end up in the ICU without adequate insurance, then I’ve got to pay for whatever expensive treatments are needed to save your pathetic ass. So get your shots and stop being being an idiot about it.

    1. Not only can you spread the disease
      Not at a rate that exceeds R1. And. IF. you are vulnerable and not vaccinated, I cant save you.
      Its like demanding all go on a diet, if they need it or not. My diet will not make you lose weight.

      1. Thanks for contributing your inane “thoughts.” And congratulations for being the only person in the world who would make the ludicrous, ridiculous comparison between a coronavirus vaccine and a diet. Maybe one of your 9th Grade classmates can explain the concept of logic to you.

      2. “Its like demanding all go on a diet, if they need it or not.”

        The government actually does that and is trying to do it more and more often. The rules on added salt are based on the idea that someone somewhere has undiagnosed high blood pressure. So let’s force everyone to eat bland food so a few people won’t aggravate their high blood pressure.

        Meanwhile a home blood pressure reader costs $50 and you can test yourself as often as you want. But no way can they ever ask at-risk individuals to be responsible. They prefer to bully the entire population.

        So food companies add sugar instead of salt, which makes people fatter and leads to … high blood pressure. (Do the regulators care? No.)

        1. “Meanwhile a home blood pressure reader costs $50 and you can test yourself as often as you want. But no way can they ever ask at-risk individuals to be responsible.”

          Meanwhile, salt is cheap and you can add as much salt as you’d like to your food if you like too much salt.

    2. I’m not pretending, I’ve literally had Covid, and am presently immune, can neither, to a reasonable degree of certainty, get nor transmit the virus.

      I CAN decide whether to subject myself to the increased risk of a bad reaction to the vaccine that having already had Covid causes. And my decision was to wait on better data.

      As for you, if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I highly recommend it, doing so will deprive others of the ability to put you at risk for catching it. I’d have been vaccinated already if Covid hadn’t found me before the vaccine became available in my area. I only refrain from it today because getting vaccinated would be redundant at this point.

      1. Sorry you were sick, Brett. Obviously you get a pass. My rant is aimed at those who aren’t immune but still refuse to do the right thing. People have a right to their personal freedoms, but only up to the point where their exercise of those rights begins to threaten my health, safety, and welfare.

      2. ” to a reasonable degree of certainty, get nor transmit the virus.”
        please quantify, that is give your level of confidence.

        1. Is it greater than, or less than, the effectiveness of the J&J vaccine?

        2. Since you asked.

          Evidence suggests the COVID-19 reinfection rate (IE, being infected a second time, after having previously been infected) is ~1%. That, if accurate, would be on par with, if not superior to the best vaccines out there.

          https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00575-4/fulltext

          1. AL,
            But in Brazil the results were much different>
            “Resurgence of COVID-19 in Manaus, Brazil, despite high seroprevalence” The Lancet, Volume 397, ISSUE 10273, P452-455, February 06, 2021.
            “in Manaus, Brazil, a study of blood donors indicated that 76% (95% CI 67–98) of the population had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by October, 2020.2… The estimated SARS-CoV-2 attack rate in Manaus would be above the theoretical herd immunity threshold (67%), given a basic case reproduction number (R0) of 3.”
            In other words no herd “immunity” despite the high rate of seropositive individuals

  21. Some percentage, I don’t know what, of the individual COVID stimulus payments should have been reserved for incentive payments to take the vaccine. I’ll bet that dangled check would have been quite the epiphany for a considerable faction of otherwise anti-vaxxer Trumpists.

    1. Not on this blog.

      Most here are comfortable enough to make that choice on behalf of everybody, and the rest would lie about it to keep their ideological purity.

    2. What a good idea. Pay for Covid get more. Pay for vaccine, instead.

    3. Leo, that is the Comment of the Day, if not of the Year.

      Please, send it to your Congressman, Senator, and to the White House. It will get read. You can help this country a lot.

      Can you tell me if you are a lawyer? If you are, I will stop using the d-word about lawyers.

      1. I am indeed a lawyer.

        1. As promised, no more d-word.

      2. “Can you tell me if you are a lawyer? If you are, I will stop using the d-word about lawyers.”

        I don’t believe you. I’ve had to tell you like 5 times that I am not a lawyer. It’s like you can’t hear it if it’s something you don’t wanna hear.

    4. It’s not too late to establish a $5,000 or $10,000 tax deduction (or direct payment) to persons who get vaccinated (or establish a sound reason for avoiding vaccination). Make the misfits pay for their belligerent ignorance and lethal recklessness.

      1. How did you not think of this?

    5. “Some percentage, I don’t know what, of the individual COVID stimulus payments should have been reserved for incentive payments to take the vaccine”

      According to news reports, people in Ohio get entered into a lottery for getting their shots. $1M or a full-ride scholarship to an Ohio public college.

    6. “Some percentage, I don’t know what, of the individual COVID stimulus payments should have been reserved for incentive payments to take the vaccine.”

      You want the Ohio Plan?

  22. She might go to court and argue: “I present little or no danger to the public. So restricting my freedoms and preventing me from contributing to society and the economy isn’t rational, let alone the least restrictive means of protecting the public. Since you’re not lifting restrictions for everyone, the Constitution requires that I be exempt.”

    If that is indeed the law, then there is a serious problem with the law. Demanding policy tailored case-by-case for individual status heavily burdens practical public health policy. However severe you think this pandemic has been, others will come along in the future to make it look trivial. The power to use public health measures—and to impose them uniformly, unburdened by case-by-case claims of individual rights to ignore them—will prove indispensable to combat any pandemic which attacks all ages equally, and threatens to kill a substantial fraction of everyone.

    Such threats are at once certain to occur, and statistically rare. That means it is no great burden on rights generally to adopt a legal standard to suspend individual rights during unusual intervals of grave necessity. On the contrary, a truly existentially threatening pandemic would turn panic into a far greater threat to liberty than any such system of legal means to cope.

    It would be a mistake to choose as a guide for the future the experience of a quirkish pandemic such as Covid-19. Liberty optimizing lessons from Covid-19 would do little but undermine legal ability to combat far graver and more uniform threats from, for instance, weaponized smallpox.

  23. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

    CS Lewis

    1. This does not mean all things done to help others are tyrannies.

      1. Sar. You are right. Leaving people alone is good.

      2. Indeed this is true. Fortunately we have a great way to distinguish the ones that are self righteous tyrannies from the ones that are not. You ask the recipients opinion. If they want what you are giving them it is an act of benevolence. If they don’t, it’s pretty much an act of tyranny.

        … but then you guys aren’t so much about opt in are you ?

        1. If the Founders thought this, they would have tried to set up more of a direct democracy.

          It’s not simple, it’s not a bright line. Civil Rights were very unpopular at the time, but I don’t think many call them tyranny now.

          1. Your first sentence is utterly non sequitur. Having a direct democracy has little or nothing to do with the tyranny of the self righteous and in fact it is possible to envision a direct democracy that utterly epitomizes the concept. Conceptual thinking seems tough for you.

            Of course, with you, there is never going to be a bright line with anything. Pursing the narrative always needs the capability to argue out of both sides of your mouth depending on circumstances. Want to attack someone ? Use the claim that it is an opinion article to dismiss their point. Want to advance a piece of the narrative ? Publish a link to an opinion articles. It’s the fundamental difference between a more libertarian point of view and a progressive one. The libertarian view tries to locate those bright lines and characterize them. The progressive point of view is simply continuous rationalization with the fact that you were arguing A yesterday being memory holed because today you are arguing B.

            I hate to break it to you, but some parts of the Civil Rights legislation were tyranny. The fact that folks like yourself come up with neat rationalization, new definitions and opportunistic reimagining does nothing to change that.

            1. I think Sarcasto’s first sentence is largely on-point. I agree with you the recipients determine whether we have tyranny. But in our system of representative government, the recipients point of view is determined by our elected officials. If the elected officials make the wrong determination, they will pay an electoral penalty and the tyranny will be removed.

              1. “I agree with you the recipients determine whether we have tyranny.”

                Depends on how closely tied to reality they are. People who imagine they are being tyrannized may well not be. See, e.g., the religious folk who are feeling oppressed because they aren’t allowed to impose their religious notions on other people.

        2. Nonsense, Artifex. “Ask each person individually,” is just a childish way to say, “You may not use policy.”

          The point of public health policy is exactly to get the mass efficiency that only comes from treating everyone alike. You demand that there be no effective way to respond to a pandemic emergency. Extremist libertarians do make such demands—no government action to deflect the incoming asteroid. People who do that are cranks.

          Of course it is possible you did not mean, “Ask individually.” Maybe you meant to say, “Respond to the will of the majority.” But if so, why object to a policy based on doing that? Do you object to a presumption that action to limit the spread of existentially deadly contagion would command a majority?

          1. Funny thing is, both sides imagine themselves to be the majority. Prior to 2020, you could say “elections have consequences”, but there is a faction of American politics that now believes that elections that don’t go their way aren’t real.

  24. You’ve got your argument backwards. The purpose and advantage of vaccination is not to protect others. It’s to protect yourself.

    Now that the vaccine is available to anyone who is vulnerable to COVID-19, there is no justification for restricting the rights of people on the grounds that they might infect innocent others. All “others” are now capable of protecting themselves from unwanted infection.

    There is no need to demonstrate that you’ve been vaccinated. If you are afraid of getting sick, get vaccinated and others can’t hurt you.

    1. Sure, Mitch, while you and your unvaccinated ilk go around incubating variants which defeat vaccines. No thanks.

      Vaccine passports for you guys, until you decide vaccination for you is the way to go. As you say, get vaccinated and others can’t hurt you.

      1. I was immunized to SARS-CoV-2 the old fashioned way in January… by recovering from a bout with it that arrived as an early Xmas present (verified by the swab way up my nose) as I was futiley clawing my way to a vaccination spot.

        Now I probably have the equivalent to a vaccine and don’t need one… should I take a dose or two for access to travel… or leave it on the shelf for someone desperate not to die to have a chance?

        1. pro bonobo,
          Presently in the US there is more than enough supply for anyone who wants to be vaccinated. If you want a vaccine and an officil immunization record, you won’t be depriving any one of their vaccine.

          1. there are people in india who need it more than i.

            1. But they can’t come here and get it.

      2. You know, vaccination doesn’t eliminate the risk of people being able to carry the virus, right?

        1. Well, the greatest likelihood is that the vaccines do eliminate the ability of the vaccinated to infect others but that still misses the point which is that if you are vaccinated, your risk of acquiring serious illness is virtually nil.

          1. Not really…

            66% effective. That’s the J&J vaccine.

            1. Well, now you’re quibbling over the vaccine’s effectiveness which moots the whole question.

            2. The 66% effective is the percentage that do not contract the virus.

              But the virus is almost 100% effective at keeping people out of the hospital and alive. Also 100% effective at preventing spread, of those that might get infective.

              1. “But the virus is almost 100% effective at keeping people out of the hospital”

                Which virus are you talking about here, Ebola-Zaire? Because that one is indeed very effective at keeping people out of the hospital. the morgue, on the other hand…

            3. “66% effective. That’s the J&J vaccine.”

              So don’t get that one.

            4. “66% effective. That’s the J&J vaccine.”

              0% effective. That’s no vaccine.

        2. Carry? Maybe. Spread, no.

          1. If you can carry, you can spread. Period.

            1. No evidence of asymptomatic spread.

              1. No evidence of awareness of reality.

    2. I think Stephen has it right (see for example, how measles was able to go from eradicated to an outbreak because of unvaccinated Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn). That being said, the larger point is I hope all can agree that if Stephen is right, the libertarian argument against vaccines should be rejected.

      1. Again, the danger of acquiring measles only applied to unvaccinated individuals.

        Get vaccinated and you don’t have to worry about (or have any legal claim to interfere with) the behavior of others.

        If you are vaccinated, there are no negative externalities affecting you.

        Moreover, even if a variant arose that escaped vaccine conferred immunity (which has not yet occurred), adjusting the mRNA vaccines to cover it is a trivial process.

        1. You missed my point which was not whether Stephen or you is correct about COVID-19, or whether you are correct about measles (I am not qualified to judge). Instead, my point is all of us (libertarians included) should conclude Ily’a proposals are OK assuming Stephen is correct.

        2. ” even if a variant arose that escaped vaccine conferred immunity (which has not yet occurred), adjusting the mRNA vaccines to cover it is a trivial process.”

          Actually getting the vaccine into Americans turns out to be non-trivial.

      2. Again, the danger of acquiring measles only applied to unvaccinated individuals.

        Get vaccinated and you don’t have to worry about (or have any legal claim to interfere with) the behavior of others.

        Moreover, even if a variant arose that escaped vaccine conferred immunity (which has not yet occurred), adjusting the mRNA vaccines to cover it is a trivial process.

        1. “Again, the danger of acquiring measles only applied to unvaccinated individuals. ”

          Are the unvaccinated individuals not human beings? This presents an inquiry as to whether they are unvaccinated because they CAN’T get vaccinated or unvaccinated because they WON’T get vaccinated.

    3. “Now that the vaccine is available to anyone who is vulnerable to COVID-19”

      All it took to resolve this problem was some hand-waving? Who knew it would be that easy?

  25. How many deans and hiring committees at strong law schools are reading the Volokh Conspiracy and concluding ‘this White, male, stale blog persuades me we need to hire more movement conservatives for faculty positions?’

    If the Conspirators aren’t careful, they’ll pull up the ladder completely, to a point at which right-wing law professors will have realistic prospects at about four or five law schools (Regent, Liberty, Ave Maria, etc.)

    1. I would hope that smart administrators on a law school hiring committee would know that using race and/or gender as a qualification (without the application of a stringent bona fide affirmative action program) would be highly illegal. This fact though appears to also be lost on liberal who forget non-discrimination laws apply equally to white people, men, and Christians…

      1. Nor helpful to the student. Affirmative action baby Obama was carried along, all the way to the White House, then totally failed and devastated our nation.

        1. I know that this stuff is designed to be divisive because that is what the cultural marxists want, but assuming that the diversity crowd really is trying to work toward a greater good, and in good faith, I truly do wonder if they understand how much damage berating people of certain races/genders/religions does to their cause.

          1. Marxists want to take over our nation, and are advancing the interests of the Chinese Commie Party. They are an internal enemy, and must be stopped.

            All PC, diversity, equity is masking ideology for the Marxist takeover of our nation. I oppose the killing of millions of Democrats to prevent that. I support visiting the billionaire oligarchs who are doing this us all.

            1. You’re not advancing the notion that stupid people have opinions that should be examined and entertained.

        2. “then totally failed and devastated our nation.
          Yup, that was the Orange Clown

        3. “Affirmative action baby Obama was carried along, all the way to the White House, then totally failed and devastated our nation.”

          Trust-fund baby Trump objects strongly to being compared to Obama.

      2. “How many deans and hiring committees at strong law schools are reading the Volokh Conspiracy and concluding ‘this White, male, stale blog persuades me we need to hire more movement conservatives for faculty positions?’”

        “I would hope that smart administrators on a law school hiring committee would know that using race and/or gender as a qualification (without the application of a stringent bona fide affirmative action program) would be highly illegal.”

        “Movement Conservative” is a race and/or gender now? Does it come with new pronouns?

  26. I’m naturally suspicious of anything that needs to be censored by the government and their first tier private actors. Simply talking about your PERSONAL story of a vaccine side effect gets censored on most social media platforms. We aren’t talking about generic “misinformation” here, we are talking about me telling people what actually happened to me. Doesn’t do a lot of instill confidence in the public…

    I suspect the vaccine is largely safe. I know many real scientists that do real scientific work (not public policy hacks that haven’t seen a lab or real data in a generation) who think the technology and data are sound. These are solid Christians too who would never advise their friends and family to do something that would cause harm and would NEVER put their family in harms way knowingly. But I also suspect that we are going to find out that there is some long term negative effects of this vaccine and some people are really going to regret not giving it more scrutiny before farming it out to a civilization wide clinical trial…

    1. I don’t doubt the possibility of some regrets after we know more. However, given the clear negative effects of COVID-19, it’s hard to justify waiting for greater scrutiny.

    2. The “Miri” episode of Star Trek comes to mind. Ahhhh, Kim Darby was my heartthrob then.

      1. “Miri” was the first episode where they had people on a totally different planet that had amazingly similar traits to ours, and called it the “law of parallel evolution”. The fictional virus affected humans exactly the same way it did Miri’s people. That’s enough to tell the writers, “dirty grups. Bonk bonk on the head!”

    3. “I’m naturally suspicious of anything that needs to be censored by the government and their first tier private actors. Simply talking about your PERSONAL story of a vaccine side effect gets censored on most social media platforms. ”

      So don’t use THEIR property to tell YOUR narrative, and they can’t censor you at all.

  27. Chesterton wisely selected the subtitle “An Argument Against the Scientifically Organized Society,” for “mastery over nature and extension of life do not automatically deliver the very things that such mastery is meant to secure for us. That paradox is real, and will never leave us. The men who want to play God cannot abolish [the paradox]; they can, however, do plenty of other perhaps well meaning but ultimately monstrous things.”

    Consider:
    1 – {Q} is the duly elected executive in charge of {U}.
    2 – In accordance with law, {Q} has unilaterally determined that {X} is an emergency requiring official intervention.
    3 – {Q} uses his lawful authority to fight the emergency {X} condition by mandating {Y}.
    4 – To avoid the {Y} mandate, people of {U} can {Z}.

    Assertion 2, which is subject to pseudo-science, is the root problem:

    Example “A” – {Q} Northam, {U} Virginia, {X} SARS-COV2, {Y} the wearing of a mask, {Z} get a CoViD vaccination.

    Example “B” – {Q} Hitler, {U} Germany, {X} Jewry, {Y} the wearing of a Star of David, {Z} move to a ghetto.

    Example “C” – {Q} John Garland Pollard, {U} Virginia, {X} feeble mindedness, {Y} sterilization, {Z} moving out of Virginia.

    1. She might go to court and argue: “I present little or no danger to the public. So restricting my freedoms and preventing me from contributing to society and the economy isn’t rational, let alone the least restrictive means of protecting the public. Since you’re not lifting restrictions for everyone, the Constitution requires that I be exempt.”

      And she’d loose, ‘cuz Buck v. Bell says the state has the absolute right to irrationally restrict the freedoms — even the biological functions — of those who present little or no danger to the public at large. As even the author of the original post acknowledges, it is scientifically irrational — that is, it is provably more costly than beneficial — to restrict the public due to SARS-CoV2; but such scientific irrationality is of no concern when considering the implementation of the “final solution” of the “question.”

  28. This is a very poor suggestion of Ilya’s. I’m going to point out why, and the consequences of it

    So, the liberty restrictions in regards to the COVID restrictions are massive. That’s undoubted. One of the items which makes them “reasonable” however is that everyone is subject to the restrictions. Ilya proposes a system where only “some” people are subject to these restrictions, and others aren’t. The argument being that the ones that are vaccinated are the ones who “can’t spread” the disease. This is faulty reasoning

    The J&J vaccine, one of the major ones in circulation in the US, is only 66% to 72% effective. That means, a reasonably large chunk of those who get the J&J vaccine can still spread COVID asymptomatically.

    What Ilya is in essence saying is, if there is an activity or characteristic, that reduces the risk of transmission of COVID by ~70%, you can be exempted from restrictions on your liberty. Or by contrast, if you have any activity or characteristic that would increase your relative risk of COVID infection/transmission by ~3 fold, then the government can impose additional restrictions on your liberty, that don’t need to apply to other people.

    The capability here for widespread abuse and damage are amazing.

    Let’s start with immunocompromised people. Obviously, these individuals are at greater risk for infection. Ilya in essence argues “special” restrictions on these people’s liberty is warranted by the relatively increased risk of infection.

    Let’s take this a step further. Often genetics or age can resulting in greater (or lesser) risks of transmission or infection. Ilya in essence argues that general liberty restrictions on the population are acceptable. But if you have the right genetics, or the right age, you can be “exempted” from these restrictions. Based on the relative risk of infection/transmission.

    What other items could be done. Could certain clothing options reduce the risk of infection or transmission for some diseases? Absolutely. Perhaps Burkahs could be mandated, due to the reduced infection/transmission rates?

    These issues are paramount. And because of the potential issues here, this really should be an all or nothing issue. If the disease is so bad that it needs to impair our liberties, then it should affect all of us. And if some of us could be “released” from that impairment on our liberties, then all of us should be. But a situation where only “some” are release, while others continue to have their liberty impaired, is one that is ripe for abuse.

    1. You seem to imply Ilya’s proposals will set a precedent that will lead us down a dangerous slippery slope. But, if neither a fundamental right is at stake nor a suspect classification is implicated, only a rational basis exists for the myriad ways the law has long discriminated. Thus, the precedent has long existed and I don’t believe it has led us down a bad path.

      1. But, if neither a fundamental right is at stake nor a suspect classification is implicated, only a rational basis exists for the myriad ways the law has long discriminated.

        Except fundamental rights are implicated under Professor Somin’s suggestion. Therefore your point is moot (lookie there, you lawyers are rubbing off on me…I am using a legal term). 🙂

        1. Armchair’s parade of horribles were not limited to fundamental rights, my point being precedent has already established those legality of those horribles in most cases.

          But let’s limit his slippery slope to impacts on fundamental rights. If we accept Somin’s proposal on the ability to travel, it would have to pass muster as the least restrictive means to advance a compelling government interest (he argues it does). The same stringent test would apply to full-body clothing in order to travel as well. That is, each case would have to separately meet strict scrutiny and I don’t see a slippery slope.

          1. Unfortunately Josh, recent events have seen how quickly that slippery slope happens.

            If I had told you in 2019 that the Governor of New York would use his emergency powers to draw borders around the Orthodox Jewish Areas in NYC, and use those powers to essentially ban them from their houses of worship, while simultaneously 2 blocks away the Christian Churches would be allowed to have 50% of their normal capacity…

            You would’ve said I was nuts. That the Governor of NY would NEVER let something like that happen. That type of slippery slope argument was absurd. And yet, that is exactly what occurred.

            Now if you give the authority for people to be discriminated against, their fundamental liberties infringed upon, based on individual characteristics, as proposed….

            Why would the Governor of NY bother with a border system? Why not just say “Orthodox Jews are more likely to disseminate COVID. So, their right to assembly is hereby eliminated”.

            1. Cuomo claimed the boundaries were drawn based on infection rates, not to target Jews. If a court held his claim was wrong, of course he would lose (he lost anyway on other grounds), so where is the slippery slope?

              1. “Cuomo claimed the boundaries were drawn based on infection rates”

                Of course he did. And I’m sure with the “COVID passport” deal, you could classify people based on their likely infection rates. Just select the groups of people (that are undesired) who have higher infection rates, and base your selective ban based on that.

                Cuomo lost….in a 5-4 decision. One “liberal” justice more on the SCOTUS, and Cuomo is free to discriminate against the Jewish neighborhoods. Sorry the neighborhoods with “higher infection rates”. But just select neighborhoods….

                One COVID passport decision later, and Cuomo can just direct the bans towards classes of people with higher infection rates or higher risk rates. Start with immunocompromised people as a test case. Nice and easy to pass rational basis for the liberal justices. Then expand it…

                1. Are you claiming Cuomo is trying to put the Jews into camps?

                2. The 5-4 decision was on the other grounds. I have no doubt it would have been 9-0 if Cuomo drew the boundaries as a pretext to target Jews. Likewise, restrictions on classes of people with higher infection rates that are pretexts for targeting a protected classification are going to be struck down.

        2. “Except fundamental rights are implicated under Professor Somin’s suggestion. Therefore your point is moot (lookie there, you lawyers are rubbing off on me…I am using a legal term).”

          If you keep using it, by chance eventually you’ll use it correctly.

      2. Fundamental rights are at stake! Freedom of religion, of association, of assembly, of travel, and more.

        Do you really want a world where your liberties are dependent on your genetics or actions?

        “It says here that you’re Gay. In order to stop the spread of AIDS, you are no longer permitted to congregate in large groups outside, small groups inside, or travel internationally. Your ability to travel between states is also eliminated. This is because being gay has been correlated with a higher risk of transmitting the diease”.

        Is that the world you want?

        1. That’s a slippery slope argument that is pretty far fetched.

          1. Is it?

            Is it further fetched than the State of California fighting multiple lawsuits to keep religious people from worshiping in their own temples? Is it further fetch than the media calling for arrests of pastors and padlocking of church doors?

            1. Folks scoff at slippery slope arguments for things they don’t care about

              I don’t care about practicing religion so it’s OK to restrict

              But if you’re pro abortion (about a 95+% elective surgery) and that’s restricted you howl at the moon

              Which is why we’re not supposed to be in this situation arbritrary gov’t restrictions of rights and speech

              1. You have not proven it’s not a fallacy, only that people like to employ it a lot.

            2. “Is it further fetched than the State of California fighting multiple lawsuits to keep religious people from worshiping in their own temples?”

              approximately nobody is fighting any lawsuits to keep religious people from worshipping, unless you worship by spreading viruses among the congregants.

        2. “Do you really want a world where your liberties are dependent on your genetics or actions?”

          A world where you can be held accountable for your own actions! Gosh, that’s scary! Nobody wants THAT!

    2. “can still spread COVID asymptomatically. ”
      Or with symptoms.

      1. Well, yes…

      2. Sure thing, because we always treat other diseases that we have vaccines for in that manner

        Smallpox
        Measles
        Polio

        If the vaccines are truly 95% effective you have a 5% chance of getting the disease

        You have to get the disease to spread it

        All else is noise to prolong the “emergency “

        1. Different viruses are different. Coronaviruses seem to have some evidence they’re trickier on this front.

          No one wants to prolong the emergency.

          1. “Coronaviruses seem to have some evidence they’re trickier on this front.”

            This is basically the first virus EVER where they went around doing PCR tests on asymptomatic people. So it’s really hard to compare Covid 19 to anything else. You don’t see things you haven’t previously looked for.

        2. “You have to get the disease to spread it”

          Interesting theory. Where did you publish your data?

    3. Ha ha so if we just impose unconstitutional restrictions on everyone equally they are legal?

      You’re a lawyer or do you just identify as one?

      1. “Ha ha so if we just impose unconstitutional restrictions on everyone equally they are legal?”

        No they aren’t. But unconstitutional restrictions just on “certain people” in many ways is worse than the same unconstitutional restrictions on everyone.

      2. ” if we just impose unconstitutional restrictions on everyone equally they are legal?”

        That depends on whether we buy into your definition that things you don’t like = unconstitutional.
        I have not made that buy-in.

  29. “For example, a growing body of evidence indicates that severe lockdowns may have done far more harm than good.”

    ROFL. That isn’t evidence, it’s propaganda. Assumptions chosen to fit the desired outcome, elided over in the hope that the gullible won’t notice they’ve assumed the conclusion.

    1. And, yet, you can’t prove the negative either. A lot of “voluntary” medical procedures were not performed last year, and statistically, that means that people died as a result of not getting those procedures, denied them as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. That this happened is proven by the anecdotes. The question is how many people died because of this and how many were saved from death by COVID-19 as a result. We see estimates, but nothing really strong.

      My view is that early on the restrictions probably saved lives (number saved > number died as a result of denied care), but the more evidence we see of the severity of restrictions not markedly affecting outcomes, on a state versus state basis, the harder it is to justify severe restrictions.

      1. “That this happened is proven by the anecdotes.”

        counterpoint: Dead men tell no tales.

      2. “A lot of “voluntary” medical procedures were not performed last year, and statistically, that means that people died as a result of not getting those procedures”

        Such a pity so many people are dropping dead from not getting their nosejobs.

  30. Ha ha
    Maybe free every one from unconstitutional Covid restrictions

    The US constitution is supreme and there is no suspend the constitution clause in the constitution

    1. “The US constitution is supreme and there is no suspend the constitution clause in the constitution”

      Due process.

  31. The vaccines have not yet been approved.

    It is one thing for the Supreme Court to impose equal protection style rules like you can’t trwat religion less favorably than businesses.

    But it is quite another thing for judges to presume to weigh scientific evidence themselves and tell government scientists charged with making decisions they are wrong.

    The logic of Professor Somin’s argument is breathtaking. Should pharmaceutical companies be aboe to simply bypass the FDA and go directly to courts and make a case to judges that they should get approved? The same argument that Professor Somin is using to say that judges should feel entitled to order caution thrown to the winds because constitution whenever Professor Somin feels elected officials are being to cautious would enable judges to intervene in a vast array of matters involving judging unknowable and unquantifiable risks that the Constitution clearly leaves to the elected branches.

    I disagreed with Roberts’ “elephant whistle” argument when it came out. I will disagree here too as well.

    1. Let’s look at the elephant whistle argument again. Justice Roberts claimed absolute certainty that of course states wouldn’t set legislative districts or election rules in ways that disadvantaged minorities. It was hubris, plain and simple, the same sort of hubris Professor Somin is arrogating here.

      As in the Hawaii Martial Law cases, I agree that there comes a point where there is no longer an emergency. But with tens of thousands of new cases and hundreds of deaths every day. It would be arrogant presumption for courts to proclaim the emergency over.

      1. “Justice Roberts claimed absolute certainty that of course states wouldn’t set legislative districts or election rules in ways that disadvantaged minorities.”

        Gonna need a cite on that, I don’t recall him doing anything of the sort.

        1. The case is Shelby County v. Holder.

          1. Oh, I knew that would have been the case you were referring to. I just don’t see where he claimed such absolute certainty.

            Suppose you were under a protective order due to something you’d done fifty years ago, and a court ordered it lifted on the basis of no contemporary evidence that you were likely to offend. Would this be saying you were absolutely certain not to offend? Or just, as in Shelby, ruling that it takes more than half century old data to justify a protective order?

            The Court had earlier warned Congress they needed to update the coverage list to be based on events more recent than half a century ago. They didn’t bother.

    2. “The vaccines have not yet been approved.”

      Literally true, if you are a child.

    1. Surely God can look after His own, without your help.

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