1/many
Last weekend I escaped to Florida from Massachusetts, the fascist hellhole I am cursed to call home.

Everything you have heard is true. They have real people there, not the zombies that people the blue wastelands.

People smile, they laugh, they acknowledge you. Join me
2/n
I was in Miami, where there is a mask mandate which is mercifully unenforceable. On the boardwalk, 75% of people were un-masked. In town 50% of people on the sidewalks were un-masked. Miami has lower activity than much of the state, at 60% of normal
cai.burbio.com/countyoverview/
3/n
It was enough for humanity-starved soul like me.

The restaurants were packed, no plexi-glass in sight, and only those catering to the most affluent (and hence “liberal”) appeared to have any reduced capacity at all.
4/n
But the bars. My god, the bars. Inside, outside, it didn’t matter. People were alive. COVID-“courtesy” was forgotten. People forgot your potential contagion and pushed passed you to order a drink. Random strangers butted into your conversations. It was…normal.
5/n
I found myself excited by the smallest things… Water fountains that worked. People who stopped to help me up without a moments’ pause when I tripped on my 5” heels.
6/n
One of the things that struck me more than anything was resident Miamians’ ability to do something as normal as being catty. I was so bemused talking to a woman who was complaining about how fake people there were…
7/n
It made me realize the social riches we used to enjoy, and that they still enjoy. The ability not just to be around people, but to be exposed to such a surfeit of humanity that you might have the luxury of choosing with whom you wanted to associate, or not.
8a/n
She talked about how nice it was to be around someone “normal.” I told her I felt the same way… And didn’t mention that now I was just happy to be around anyone at all.
8b/n
It’s probably worth noting, that the world is truly a bizarre place when you go to Miami in search of “normal,” or take comfort in being called “normal” by someone from Miami.

But this is where we are, a world where Florida is a shining ray of hope for humanity.
8c/n
I know that sounds snarky, but it’s not meant to. What most people don’t know was that one of the chief goals of the Enlightenment, was to move people away from the bloody “higher” pursuits of glory (war) and “improvement of humanity” (evangelism, usually coupled with war)
8d/n
And towards the more pedestrian (and much less bloody) focus of their selves, and simply tending to their own garden (re: Candide), their own happiness & family--their own "petty" concerns. Those Enlightenment peeps, they were onto something. And FL is a perfect example.
9/n
All right, enough with Voltaire et al, back to the topic.

Our new friends, she from Romania, he from, Argentina invited us to an Asado the next time we came down.

Naturally, our flights are already booked, and I am looking forward to the chimichurri.
10/n
Some people will now be spluttering “That’s why things are so bad in Florida!!” The data tell a different story.

With our universal outdoor mask mandate (in MA) enforced by the social distance stazi and mask mafia, we perform WORSE on every single metric.

@GovRonDeSantis
11/n
In the face of this data, others will say “people still mask in FL.”

Eh not really… self-reported masking is @ 90%, but that’s not the truth (thank god)--even in Miami--as evidenced by the video above, and the packed bars and restaurants.
12/n
Floridians are more active, more human than “people” in Massachusetts by every single metric. And yet MA continues to have equal or higher cases, deaths and hospitalizations
13/n
Why? Because the tools our public health officials have told us to use to “stop the spread” do not work. And they are perfectly aware of it.

wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26…
14/n
If you question the accuracy of that statement, take a few seconds to watch how cases explode in-step with increasing mask usage.

Masking on LH, Cases on RH
14b/n
This is not because masks increase spread (though aerosolization of larger droplets makes this a possibility), but because masks—especially cloth masks--do nothing against .009- 0.3 micron

pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/ac…
14c/n
This is because, like all respiratory viruses, infections are driven almost exclusively by seasonality, or more specifically decreases in vitamin D (particularly acute in darker-complected people, due to melanin down-regulating vit. D production).

jstor.org/stable/3862236…
14d/n
If you doubt me on this, check out @ianmSC @Hold2LLC @kylamb8 . Or simply identify other states or countries in your latitude, and check their cases (and deaths), & note the confluence.

Or check NOAA climactic groupings (thx sempre @ifihadastick)

app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjo…
15/n
There is quite literally not a single thing that we have been asked to do that has any ability to slow the virus. But these human interventions CAN—and DO—make things worse. And once again, they know it.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
16/n
The comparison between Massachusetts and Florida provides a perfect case study. The results of:

1) forcing Cv19+ patients back into nursing homes

and

2) harsh lockdowns that protected the rich and infected the poor were disastrous.

thepragmatist.co/post/lockdowns…
17/n
To visualize this, you have to look at deaths on a population basis, BY AGE GROUP

Doing so, excess deaths are virtually imperceptible <65. In FL, even above 65, deaths are not much higher than prior flu years. In MA deaths begin to skyrocket THE DAY lockdowns start.
18/n
This is exactly the phenomenon that Dr. Lipsitch described in his article, and why the @GBDeclaration advocated for #Focused protection. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
19/n
In order to see the other age groups we’ll look at deaths/million by overall population. Doing so we see deaths are not elevated AT ALL in MA or FL below 45.

45-65 shows levels slightly above prior flus.

The real difference between nature & human intervention.
20/n
If you look at the year-over-year graphs, you see that some of the deaths in FL may even have been catch up deaths from mild flus in prior years (deaths increase there due to population increases). The same is not true in MA, w/flat, and now decreasing pop (thx @MassGov)
21/n
This chart also shows how absolutely insane the guidance is from the CDC to vaccinate ANYONE BUT those over 65. In both states, deaths have returned to baseline levels for all ages below 65. Yet MA has wasted 87.8% of its vaxs on <70. Where FL has used 72.8% on 65+.
22/n
This is despite the fact that MA is seeing a steeper rise in deaths in 85+, again likely due to harsh restrictions, including our universal mask mandate, that remove low-risk people from the virus’ path, driving it to the vulnerable.

FL on LH, MA on RH (see prior tweet)
23/n
The United Nations’ Covenant on Civil and Political rights, states that it is incumbent on any government imposing disease control measures to utilize the “least restrictive means” available to effectively achieve the public health goal.

What IS our public health “goal”?
24/n
If you are going to say, “oh but what about cases and hospitalizations”, trust me the numbers square there, too. Now that the disease appears to be endemic nearly everywhere, there is no difference, no matter how strict or how loose the measures.
25/n
If you want to say hospitals are over-run, sorry to be the bearer of good news, they're not.

~80% of beds occupied, of which COVID patients are a minority and after significant staffing cuts.
ICUs are @ 85%

Both normal to low

Check YOUR area here
app.powerbi.com/view?r=eyJrIjo…
26/n
Actually, it’s even better than that. In Boston, at least, the director of MGH notes that ~30% of “COVID patients” are not there for COVID, but were tested, and tested positive, mostly w/o symptoms. (Though they still get the COVID reimbursement bump)
bostonglobe.com/2020/12/04/bus…
27/n
Given all of this, why are we persisting in these society- children-destroying efforts to stop the spread of a disease that we cannot stop? A disease with such a highly stratified risk profile, that when we try to stop it, kills the very people we are supposed to protect?
28/n
Unfortunately, I believe the answer, is that it is an awareness by politicians, public health officials and the media that their alarmism, their non-pharmaceutical interventions, are directly responsible for those horrible spikes in deaths, for those mountains of corpses.
29/n
Thus, they continue to fan the flames of fear for low-risk groups, saying “Everyone is at risk”—though they know it is false

The CDC’s most recent estimate is that 81 million people had COVID thru December for the following est. mortality rates

cdc.gov/coronavirus/20…
30/n
Another reason may be that many of the people making and encouraging adherence to these policies are not only NOT harmed by them, but are benefiting from them—greatly.

I have many friends who unashamedly say this has been the best year for them EVER.
31/n
There are real costs to keeping the fiction alive that we are all at-risk.

1)Harsher measures appear to drive the virus to the vulnerable.

2)Fear also drives school closures—despite 0 relationship between open schools and case transmission.
32/n
There DOES appear to be a relationship between school closures and the belief in these twin fictions:

1) we can control the virus
2) we are all at significant risk from this virus.

"Maskiness" in September, appears to be a near perfect indicator of school opening.
33/n
While masking differences have purportedly narrowed, mask-philia is tightly tied to closed schools.

IN MASSACHUSETTS, ONLY 3.5% OF STUDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO IN-PERSON LEARNING (But 98.7% masking--and loving it)

FL HAS 99.8% OF STUDENTS W/ACCESS TO IN-PERSON LEARNING
34/n
“Belief” in masks translates to closed schools, b/c it signals "belief" that you can (& must) control the virus

So you…

1) Test constantly, resulting in constantly finding virus, & constantly closing schools.

2) This provides a pretext for unions to resist opening
35/n
High unemployment—and hence people staying home and not going to their jobs—does NOT reduce the spread of the virus.
NOT.AT.ALL
36/n
However, once again, high levels of “maskiness,” maskphilia, or “belief” in masks and their ability to control the virus, is extremely negative.

In this case, highly predictive of high levels of unemployment.
37/n
Once again, this seems likely to related to the fact that people who like masks:

a)don’t have to wear them to work, b/c they work from home
b)haven’t lost their jobs, b/c they work from home
c)have kids in private schools, b/c they are wealthy

38/n
Kids will not go back to school in a given city/state, until that city/state starts to function again as a society (like @GovRonDeSantis' FL) and comes to terms with relative risk, and the need for lower-risk cohorts to be out and about absorbing the brunt of the disease.
39/n
Those denying the extremely-low relative risk of younger cohorts—including the CDC director--are effectively ensuring schools stay closed. By passing on this lie, they provide a pretext for unions to obstruct AND scare minorities into not wanting to send their kids to school
40/n
Those who refuse to open all aspects of their economies, likewise, provide a pretext to unions to refuse to go back to school. Because if some people get to stay home, why not teachers?
41/n
Perhaps it’s OK to shirk your immunological burden as a healthy, wealthy person. But no one should be applauded for shifting their risk to poorer people who make that shift possible. Lockdowns & mandates make this behavior laudable, when it ought to be thought reprehensible
42/n
Fanning this false fear not only justifies this stunning selfishness, it also justifies younger people skipping the vaccine line. Those who make an equivalence between the risk for the young and the old, provide a moral justification for this immoral behavior. See below...
43/n
There are no doubt many in politics, public health, & the media, who believe that w/the vaccine, this is OK. It is not. By bailing to acknowledge the relative risks, unions will be able to push out school for another year, until the vaccine is approved for use in children.
44/n
It is time we begin to actually "follow the science" which means looking at the real data.

It is interesting that Gov. Baker of MA has been lauded for “following the science”, when none of his advisors is an epidemiologist. bostonherald.com/2020/03/25/bak…
45/n
At the same time,@GovRonDeSantis has been demonized, when the advisors he chose, the originators of the @Gbdeclaration, are all epidemiologists and infectious disease modeling experts (but from such retrograde places as, Harvard, Stanford & Oxford). gbdeclaration.org/#read
46/n
The truth, sadly, seems to be that @GovRonDeSantis the @gbdeclaration authors are being demonized to ensure that the magnitude of the failure, and the level of culpability for that failure that is held by the medical-scholastic industrial complex, never comes to light.
47/n
If it were simply about sweeping it under the rug to avoid embarrassment, perhaps that would be OK. The fact is, w/ this action, we have swept a year of school away from children—and the most vulnerable suffer the most. As in every aspect of our response to this pandemic.
48/n
Even if COVID were as bad as the Spanish flu, which infected 1/3 of the world’s population, & of those, killed 1 in 10 of those, this would be unacceptable.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
49/n
COVID avg age of death is 80—higher than the average age of death. Rather than a 3-6% mortality rate, the mortality rate is 0.2-0.5%--10-30x lower

This mortality rate of course includes the man-made (Fauci-Birx-Trump-made) disasters of the northeast
who.int/bulletin/onlin…
50/n
As I come to my closing, I would like to return to Mr. Romney’s statement that @MassGovernor is the future of the Republican party.

I do not believe this to be the case. I have always greatly respected @MittRomney. But he has lost the beat here.
@MassGovernor Baker has not “followed the science,” he has been lead. We do not elect leaders to follow—certainly not on a leash. To the extent he has used science, he—as so many others—has used it as a shield.
52/n
Massachusetts elects Republicans as governors to protect us against our best/worst selves. In this @MassGovernor Baker has failed. He has capitulated to the professional managerial class, and is now cowed by them. This has harmed the most vulnerable in our state
53/n
Beyond this, he has punted on responsibility for schooling, caving to teachers’ unions. This is exactly the kind of “worst/best” selves that voters in Massachusetts hire people like Baker to protect against.
54/n
In terms of access to full-in-person education, Massachusetts is…

WORSE THAN CALIFORNIA.

Only 3.5% OF PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS IN MASS HAVE ACCESS TO TRADITIONAL IN-PERSON LEARNING.

Compare that to Florida, were 99.8% have such access.
55/n
No, in his current, craven incarnation, @massgovernor is not the future of the Republican party.

He may well have a future in the patrician wing of the proto-fascist Democratic party. I wish him much stumbling in said party, as I wish failure upon all totalitarians.
56/n
It says a lot that Massachusetts, which has somehow managed to exceed New York in deaths/million to become the 2nd most lethal state in the country—and nearly a turn higher than any country--is considered a model.

It makes you wonder what they are modeling?
57/n
It also makes you wonder, how Massachusetts, one of the richest, most well-educated, healthiest, youngest, whitest, most left-leaning (and hence, “properly thinking” in media-parlance), with the best healthcare in the world, could have had such disastrous results?
58/n
Despite all of these benefits, Massachusetts’ results are multiples WORSE than states that would never even have dreamed of comparing themselves to Mass.

When this happens and Mass (and NY) are held up as models, you have to start wondering. WHAT IS THE GOAL?
59/n
I won’t attempt to answer that question

What I will say, is that @GovRonDeSantis has been willing to fly into the wind

When he saw something amiss in prior scientific advisors’ recommendations, he wasn’t cowed, he sought different advice, better scientists.

It worked.
60/n
In doing this, he has been vilified. But he has stuck to his guns—because he knows he is right. Not many politicians do that. The rewards for not doing so now are immense

I believe it is damning that Mr. Romney has singled out Mr Baker for support, ignoring @GovRonDeSantis
61/n
@GovRonDeSantis is not just the future of the Republican party, he is the future of everyone who does not seek truth-bending totalitarianism. I am a squishy person when it comes to political party affiliations. But there is no question to me what is right here.
62/n
I belong to the “professional/managerial class.” In theory, I can afford to sit this out.

I think doing so is wrong. I am disappointed with my class to the point of disgust. I am not sure what I can do, but I will do what I can, even if it doesn’t matter.
63/n
There are others of you who are on the fence. Maybe you decided a little exaggeration was OK in service to the “greater good” of getting rid of Trump.

I think that is wrong (not b/c I like Trump, but b/c you don’t sacrifice your weakest, period).
64/n
What will happen now, is that we will either all become totalitarians, and you will have to hope that you are more cut-throat than the next journalist/scientist/doctor/politician so that you can stay on top.
65/n
OR, the truth will rise, and all of the intelligentsia who have sold themselves out as armor for the politicians will in turn find themselves made scapegoats by those same politicians. I am betting on this.
66/n
I do believe in our institutions. I believe they will support this assault, just as they supported the assaults they suffered under Trump and every other prior, power-seeking president. Every assault makes them stronger.
67/n
So here we are at the end of my missive. If you are still here, and you are a scientist, politician, journalist, I hope you will decide to be a little more curious, to stop providing cover for someone more powerul than you. They will fcuk you over eventually. Be honest.
68/n
If you are my usual interlocutor (far more likely), join me in at The Smile Project to see what we can do to turn our neighbors from fascism.

I have said since June, if all I have to do to show my dissent, it both the least I can do & imperative.

thesmileproject.global
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More from @Emily_Burns_V

22 Jan
@DLeonhardt 1/n
Don’t you find it even a little odd lecturing other states on how to handle COVID, when NYC, where your publisher resides, has the highest death count in the world 3170/million? That is almost 3x the national average of 1271.
@DLeonhardt 2/n
It is more than every single state. In fact, it is more than double every single state except, NJ, NY, MA, RI, MS, CT, SD, ND, LA, AZ, and IL. It is 3x higher than 20 states.
@DLeonhardt 3/n
It is 4x higher than 10 states: NC, OK, KY, NH, VA, WA,UT, OR, MA, AL, VT, and HI. It is more than double every single country in Europe—and NYC has a larger population than 28 out of 48 countries.
Read 15 tweets
20 Jan
1/n
Over the weekend, I experienced a truly amazing thing—a functioning society. I left dystopian Massachusetts for Utah, and in Utah I found a packed airport and the closest thing to normal I have experienced in 10 months.
2/n
I went to busy restaurants every night, and two of the three nights got to listen to live music, including—gasp—live singing and a band! After skiing, we sat around a firepit drinking, and met new people.
3/n
I met a friend whom I haven’t seen in a year and gave her a hug, without either of us giving a second thought. I met family and extended family; all greeted us with a warm embrace, a wide smile, and quickly ushered us inside.
Read 26 tweets
20 Dec 20
1/n
Meet Jo. Jo is a 20-something MPH who works for the CDC. Jo’s model is being used to decide who gets vaccinated in the U.S. Jo is a proud American who lives on “occupied Mvskoke land”.

cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/… ImageImage
2/n
Jo is a scientist, but rather than use the reported vaccine efficacy (90-100%), Jo’s model used an estimate of 70%. Jo's model also doesn't take into account the highly age-stratified risk of COVID published by the CDC.

cdc.gov/coronavirus/20…
3/n
The CDC says the risk of death is 270x higher for 70+ as those aged 18-50. Jo’s model ignored the highly lethal nature of this disease to the elderly, so Jo was able to recommend that younger essential workers be prioritized above the elderly, because the elderly are whiter.
Read 11 tweets
15 Dec 20
1/19

The Hippocratic oath is not a question or a suggestion. It is a command. “DO NO HARM.” Doctors SWEAR to be CERTAIN their cures are not worse than the disease.

Strategies to “Stop the spread” are now without question causing greater harm than the disease.

Here's how... Image
2/19

1 IN 4 excess US deaths IS NOT A COVID DEATH

People under 45 had the largest increase in deaths—nearly 20%. Only ¼ of those were COVID.

Meaning… LOCKDOWNS KILLED 3X MORE PEOPLE THAN COVID under 45.

There are 190 Million people in the US under 45.

THIS IS HARM Image
There are 210 million people—63.5% of the U.S. under 50. Those people are 3x more likely to die of lockdowns than COVID. Their risk of death from COVID is less or equal to their risk of death from flu.

THIS IS HARM

cdc.gov/coronavirus/20… Image
Read 20 tweets

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