90 Miles From Tyranny : CDC Director Almost Admits Failure...

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

CDC Director Almost Admits Failure...

Yesterday the CDC director Rochelle Walensky tweeted that we must protect people at highest risk of bad outcomes from COVID19.

The tweet is a subtle shift from prior messaging, and likely reflects her realization that the pipe-dream of ZeroCovid—eradication of the virus—is dead. Omicron makes it clear, COVID19 will not go away. Even more, holding society hostage to slow spread is no longer a tenable policy choice. We will have to return to living life, and balancing important societal priorities while minimizing the harms of COVID19. Alpha and delta variant thinking won’t help us for Omicron.

Omicron has three characteristics different than prior variants. First, it spreads very fast. Second, it is less lethal, and, third, vaccines do less to stop symptomatic infection. These three features mean that in this wave, or in a series of subsequent waves, the virus will eventually reach all people. You cannot avoid it forever. There are five key policy lessons from all this.

First, mask mandates make no sense. Almost all community wide mask mandates this entire pandemic asked people to wear any mask, and most people chose a cloth one. Cloth masks never worked to slow the spread of the virus. We analyzed all relevant studies months ago, and found no benefit, and a cluster randomized trial in Bangladesh found that cloth masks failed. Recently, CNN admitted as much.

Now, some argue that we need to wear higher grade masks, such as n95s or equivalent. Anyone who wishes should be free to do so, but they should not be mandated. We have no evidence such population wide mandates will help, and the truth is, even if worn perfectly, the mask might only delay the time until you are eventually infected, and not avert it. Worse, along the way you will suffer the discomfort and inconvenience of the mask.

Second, schools should not close. Closing schools was always a fool’s errand. High quality studies show school closure does not even slow spread in communities. Kids, working moms and society suffer significantly when schools close. Kids have bigger worries in life than COVID19. Outcomes for healthy kids are excellent and on par with seasonal flu. School closure in the USA was disproportionately an indulgence of liberal cities with...

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  1. Reading that tweet of hers, my spidey sense translated what she was really saying. "We are targeting the old and vulnerable." Whatever they say, turn it around and you will find the truth of it. CDC is on the prowl for more low lying fruit.

  2. This is what they should have been saying since ~April 2020.


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