The coverage on COVID-19 has taken a strange turn in the legacy media. For a while now, cable news anchors have been pressing Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, and other administration officials about continued mask-wearing and other restrictions for vaccinated individuals. Quite frankly, their answers don’t make any sense after the CDC put out guidance that vaccinated individuals who were exposed to a COVID-positive individual did not need to quarantine if they did not have symptoms.
That guidance meant that the vaccines effectively prevent illness from COVID-19, and data on breakthrough infections supported that idea weeks ago. The risk is approximately one in a million that a vaccinated individual will become ill and die from COVID-19. The CDC also noted that the risk for this is in the expected demographic—the elderly with pre-existing conditions for the most part. So if you are under 65 and healthy and this news scares you, don’t ever get in your car, cross a city street, use stairs, or climb a ladder. Your lifetime odds of dying doing one of those is well under one in a thousand.
First, the New York Post broke the story on the teachers’ unions’ undue influence on the CDC’s school reopening guidelines. The New York Times tattled on the CDC and shredded Dr. Walensky for saying outdoor transmission is less than 10% of all infections. It is under 1%, possibly less than 0.1%, according to the data. This gross overstatement has no possible purpose other than continued restrictions. Now, ABC News tells us that all the places the CDC told us to avoid were not major transmission vectors:
Yet, public data analyzed by ABC News appears to tell a different story. The data from states across the country suggests specific outbreak settings (including bars, gyms, restaurants, nail salons, barbershops and stores — for the full list, see graphic below in story) only accounted for a small percentage, if any, of new outbreaks after the pandemic’s inital wave in 2020.
How small, you may ask? Well, ABC included a handy graphic to help clarify:
These statistics are not a surprise if you have been following the data. A meta-analysis published in Dec. 2020 articulated two critical findings. First, the asymptomatic spread within the home was 0.7%. This finding should have told the experts that casual outdoor contact and even activities like shopping, getting your hair done, and dining indoors would not result in significant transmission if participants were asymptomatic. Further, household transmission between spouses, the people who have the closest contact for the most prolonged period, occurred in approximately two out of five cases. Transmission rates to other members of the household were under one in five. How likely is it that anyone will catch COVID-19 passing another shopper in Walmart if these are the rates when you live with an infected patient? Not very.
Despite this study—and many others done globally before and after—lockdowns, mask mandates, school closures, and other restrictions stayed in place for the healthy and the vaccinated. As one who has followed the data closely, I really started to wonder if there was something about COVID-19 that they weren’t telling us. But it appears the legacy media has finally woken up, and the health bureaucracy isn’t screaming.
The CDC has finally issued mask guidance that makes sense after months of data from states like South Dakota, Florida, and Georgia, along with more recent “Neanderthal” states like Tennessee and Texas, was hard to deny. Thank goodness federalism pierced the narrative because it had nothing to do with The Science™. While ABC says the data they are sharing could guide public health measures in future pandemics, there’s a better idea. Let’s never do again what we had never done before: quarantine the healthy, mandate masks, pick winners and losers in the economy, and politicize public health information. That would be a great start.
Still, citizens nationwide were slapped with fines, jail time, and other legal repercussions for exercising their liberties due to state and local governments issuing mandates and restrictions. Journalist Michael Tracey found that just in his local area, Newark, New Jersey, at least 1,100 summonses were issued between March 21 and May 13, 2020, for violations of COVID-19 mandates. Imagine what that could translate to for the entire nation through the whole pandemic.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp prohibited fines and jail time for Georgia residents statewide when he reopened the state last May. Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking the lead in rectifying the damage done by local Florida COVID-19 tyrants. While he has been a leader in removing restrictions at the state level and reopening, some of his local leaders were not so great. Yesterday, he announced that he would be pardoning anyone in the state facing legal consequences for violating a COVID-19 mandate. He signed an executive order to confirm his commitment. He announced this on Laura Ingraham’s show with several Floridians currently facing penalties:
Floridians should not be penalized for rejecting the overreach of local authorities through unnecessary mask mandates. pic.twitter.com/vf0HHfg3lY
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 13, 2021
Every Republican governor should follow his lead. For people who have been doing their own homework, The New York Times and ABC News stories are not news. They are long overdue. And we should all be asking ourselves why the health bureaucracy took so long to recognize what we could all see right in front of our maskless faces.