An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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Res Ipsa
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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ajax18 wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2024 4:57 pm
Maher: We’re Better Off Under Biden, Don’t Have Excessive COVID Restrictions
During his closing monologue on Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher argued that America is better off than it was four years ago because we’re not in the middle of the time “when COVID hit and America wet itself, emptied its pockets, and curled up in a ball” by overreacting to the coronavirus pandemic.

Maher said, “Now that both Biden and Trump are asking voters the age-old question, are you better off than you were four years ago?, Someone must tell them that everyone’s answer is, you’re f*cking kidding, right? Four years ago? Yeah, I remember March 2020. I was bartering for toilet paper and eating all the food out of my earthquake kit. Yes, what a great time that was, when COVID hit and America wet itself, emptied its pockets, and curled up in a ball. And let me say, I get no pleasure having to characterize my country as panicky, inefficient, and stuck on stupid, but that’s what we are. And nothing proved it more than the flight from hell four years ago.”


After Maher recounted the handling of and lack of quarantine of passengers on the Costa Luminosa cruise ship, Maher said, “Some people said closing schools for so long was pointless and would cause much worse collateral damage to kids, and they were right. … Four years ago, The Daily Beast ran a story with the headline ‘Bill Maher Pushes Steve Bannon Wuhan Lab [COVID] Conspiracy‘ … , which was typical of the mainstream media at the time. Of course, it wasn’t a conspiracy theory, and it wasn’t owned by Steve Bannon, and now everyone, including the Biden administration, admits there’s at least a 50-50 chance that the virus could have begun in the lab in Wuhan that was doing gain-of-function research on that virus, duh. But I don’t see a lot of retractions being printed.”


He added, “When COVID hit, we did a lot of stupid things, because America never reacts, it only overreacts. Ubers looked like those Orthodox Jews who wrap themselves in Saran Wrap in case their plane flies over a grave. We washed the mail. We played baseball in front of cardboard cutouts and ate in parking lots or with inflatable dolls, they closed the ocean, we banged pots and pans to show our love for nurses and our hatred for people trying to get a baby to sleep, for two years, we had to get nostril-f*cked every time we left the house, serious people talked about having sex through glory holes — and if you don’t know what a glory hole is, I wouldn’t look into it — we were told to wash our hands every five minutes, and don’t ever touch your face, and if you absolutely must go to the beach, for the sake of all that’s holy, wear a mask, outside, because the last thing you want to do when a disease is afoot is get fresh air and sunshine and Vitamin D, no, much better to stay locked up, stressed out, and day drinking. And if you do get COVID, remember, natural immunity is always the worst kind. So, even if you’ve had the disease, you need a shot.”


Later, Maher stated, “We handed out four trillion dollars of free money, 280 billion of which was just flat-out stolen in what the AP called ‘the greatest grift in U.S. history,’ and which started an inflationary spiral that we now blame on Biden. So, we’re going to bring back Trump, the guy who ignored COVID like it was the dinner check?”
Does it anger any of you that one of your fellow leftwing atheists would admit these facts?

I honestly remember thinking in March of 2020 that God was smiting the world in an effort to get our attention. By the time BLM riots began and the left took the position that rioting and looting nationwide to protest the death of career criminal and fentanyl addict George Floyd while he was resisting arrest was more important than social distancing, most of us had figured out that this virus was not nearly as deadly as the Deep State/CDC propaganda would have you believe. This was about politics and a deliberate attack upon the finances of working Americans who voted for Donald Trump and the America First agenda. This was further proven by the massive borrowing against the credit of working people by the Democrat party machine to purchase the votes of nonworking people which has always been a staple of the Democrat party platform. I'll admit that I got the vaccine because I wasn't willing to lose my job. Thankfully nobody forced me to get a booster as long as I didn't complain to loudly about the idiotic masks that made doing a subjective eye exam next to impossible. Admittedly I started relying more on my retinoscope and said the hell with this one or two BS for the remainder of the scamdemic. And now all we have to show for it is massive bill that we'll never be able to pay off and an interest payment which will soon surpass our nations military budget. What comes next? I'd say climate change lockdowns and other attacks upon the wages of American workers again paid for not by the rich but with borrowed money and an inflated currency to pick away at the working class American whose vote hasn't mattered since the election of 2012.
Short answer: no. Why would I? You obviously don't pay attention to Maher except when some right wing opinion writer mentions him He's been an anti-science crank on medical science in general and vaccines in particular for quite a while now. It may surprise you that the vast majority of people don't view everything through the hyperpartisan lenses you do. Lots of liberals disagree with other liberals on a whole variety of issues. Only in your hyper-narrow, no true Conservative, purity driven view is there a "one true position" on every issue -- even those that aren't really political at all.

Bill Maher doesn't speak for me. I speak for me. And I can and do disagree with many self-identified liberals on many issues.

Your question makes no sense. If you think it does, it's because you have allowed your extremist political views to poison everything in your life.

I agree with Maher about some of the things he said. He is right -- Americans tend to overreact because, as a group, we are too freaking stupid to plan for emergency situations that we know have a high odds of occurring. We've known of the threat from viruses that cross from animal populations to human populations for years. Yet we avoided the exercise of having plans in plans and material in place for the almost certain event like SARS-COVI-2 that we should have expected.

To react would have required apply the basics of disease control developed over decades: 1. Test and identify. 2. Isolate and treat. 3. Trace contacts. 4. Quarrantine. You'll notice "lockdown" isn't included. And to refresh your selective memory, WHO practically begged the US and other countries not to lock down, for sound epidemiological reasons.

But we couldn't test and identify because we produced faulty tests. For some reason, we decided a simple COVID test wasn't good enough. So we added a bell (or a whistle) that made the test unreliable. Although we quarantined people arriving from cruise ships, we didn't quarantine people arriving from countries where COVID was circulating. So, from the beginning, no testing, no quarantine. So, in states with lots of international flights arriving, COVID spread by stealth and got quite a ways up the exponential spread curve before we knew it was there.

I live in one of those states. We initially had the hospital capacity to treat the severely ill patients. But we had no plan or facilities for isolating infected people who did not require hospitalization. So, we were told to isolate at home, where the disease spread like wildfire in homes and elder care facilities. And home isolation proved ineffective, as people who were contagious would still circulate. And the spread continued up the exponential growth curve.

To prevent a complete breakdown of our hospital systems, we had to lock down. And we came very, very close to flooding our hospitals with so many seriously ill COVID patients that their ability to treat patients ground to a halt. They had run completely out of PPE. Doctors and nurses were becoming infected, reducing the available health care providers. So, because we didn't make the effort to plan and stockpile resources, we were forced to overreact and lockdown. And the lockdown worked in terms of preventing the breakdown of our healthcare systems. Seattle was scheduled to have an army field hospital open to treat COVID patients. The lockdown worked fast enough that we never needed it.

The other overreactions Maher mentions were mostly a function of not knowing exactly how this new virus was spreading. So, some people overreacted by doing things based on the way that a virus could spread. COVID can spread through contaminated surfaces, so people went gangbusters on surface cleaning. The way to find out how a disease is actually spreading (as opposed to how it could spread in theory) is through interviewing infected people, tracing contacts, etc. But contact tracing is done in our decentralized public health system by county health departments, which simple didn't have the resources to trace.

So, yes. Some of what was done was, in hindsight, overreaction. But absent planning and resources, people are left to guess and adopt practices on the fly. So, some amount of overreaction was inevitable.

Keep in mind, though, the Maher is also a comedian, so some of what he says is deliberate exaggeration. We didn't close the ocean. One of the COVID super spreading events was at an outdoor festival, so preventing crowded beaches was 100% sensible.

But talk about overreaction -- you went straight from a 100% predicted and inevitable event to GOD IS SMITING US. And now you are massively overreacting to cherry picking events and using misleading statistics to claim 9/11 WAS A GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY err, COVID IS A POLITICAL CONSPIRACY.

Giving our lack of planning, most of what occurred in response to the pandemic is the result of having to face a brand new virus that was killing lots of people and overrunning health care systems. It's not surprising at all. What I don't think anyone could have foreseen was the right-wing extremist move to politicize basic public health measures, including vaccines, together with several doctors heavily promoted in the right-wing mediasphere (almost none of whom actually treated COVID patients) who promoted anti-science for political and promotional reasons. The effect of this became dramatically visible after the first vaccines became available. Until then, the effect of COVID on red and blue counties was roughly the same. Afterwards, they began to diverge, as red counties began to experience more sickness and death from COVID than blue counties. The redder the county, the higher the disease and death rates. That because your claim that the vaccines were beneficial only for a couple hundredths of a percent of people is a lie. Study after study after study has shown that the vaccines provide significant protection against serious illness. (Serious=have to be hospitalized). They also provide protection against disease, but not as significant.

Which leads to your BS use of numbers. You are focussing on a combined death rate that includes the effects of vaccines, treatments, behavioral changes, and mutations that have increased transmissibility but decreased mortality. Then, you're using all those improvements to argue we should have done nothing. That's 100% fallacious reasoning.

I got COVID over Christmas. Thank heaven for Paxlovid. But, even so, I was sick for 12 days. Had I followed CDC guidance, I would have been circulating in public without a mask for 3-4 days. Under the new CDC guidance, I would have transmitting the disease in public for about a week. Because Americans are too stupid to see the long term impacts of having workplaces functioning as disease incubators, we have sick leave policies that encourage people to come to work when they are sick. Someone at work gets sick with COVID every week or two, and I have a relatively small workplace.

My recover from COVID was not as rough as Doc's, but I suffered from exhaustion and mental fogginess for nearly three months. Yesterday, I did my first 10K walk with hills and stairs since getting COVID without gasping and having to take frequent rests on the uphill stretches.

Ajax, you probably don't follow the research on COVID, but there's lots of it going on. As viruses go, it's still a relatively new disease. And the research is showing long term effects on the body, including the brain. We're talking heart damage, kidney damage, lung damage, brain damage and damage to the immune system itself. It can happen with every infection, including mild cases. Nobody knows yet what the long term effects may be of intentionally allowing children to be infected and reinfected, over and over and over, over decades of life. Given what we know -- that damage can occur in even mild cases -- and that we are subject to repeated infection over time -- we should understand the costs of our "let 'er rip" approach are far from being tallied up. Degrading the health of our work force isn't economically beneficial for anyone.

All this means that, absent discovery of a sterilizing vaccine, I simply can't return to working in the office without risking a COVID infection that disables me from working. Luckily, my employer completely gets that. Our office is still closed to the public, and we haven't been required to work from the office yet. But not everyone is so lucky. And so all those elderly folks that you think should be working, Ajax, will be forced to leave the work force early just to protect their health.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

Post by Vēritās »

I'd wager $10,000 ajax didn't read even half of Res' takedown.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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Vēritās wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2024 10:02 pm
I'd wager $10,000 ajax didn't read even half of Res' takedown.
I’d wager $100 he didn’t read more than three lines of it.

Maybe Bing Bong will mouth-cradle his nuts while he writes another nonsensical aside.

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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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Gadianton wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2024 3:05 pm
What about your America first policy, that we can risk any more American lives in war?

I keep trying to figure out how bitching about masks or refusing to wear one under any circumstance equates to ‘America First’.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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Ajax, you probably don't follow the research on COVID, but there's lots of it going on. As viruses go, it's still a relatively new disease. And the research is showing long term effects on the body, including the brain. We're talking heart damage, kidney damage, lung damage, brain damage and damage to the immune system itself. It can happen with every infection, including mild cases. Nobody knows yet what the long term effects may be of intentionally allowing children to be infected and reinfected, over and over and over, over decades of life. Given what we know -- that damage can occur in even mild cases -- and that we are subject to repeated infection over time -- we should understand the costs of our "let 'er rip" approach are far from being tallied up. Degrading the health of our work force isn't economically beneficial for anyone.
If you were even half as scared of COVID as you pretend to be, you'd have been lobbying for a stop to the nationwide George Floyd riots. But you weren't. The only thing that interested you about COVID was inasmuch as you could use it to take back political power and criticize Trump or conservative governors like DeSantis who allowed us to go back to work. Since the BLM riots were energizing your political base, social distancing went out the window immediately.

There's no significant difference in those of us who got vaccinated and those who didn't. Not in death, disability, or anything other than the fact that we went back to work a couple years before you did. Novak Djokovic got COVID early. Many said he'd ruined his career and the career of others. And what happened? Is he disabled now? Are they disabled? Was the vaccine really that much better than his own natural immunity? Was Novak really a danger to US Open because he was unvaccinated? No, that was all about politics, not public health.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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ajax18 wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:26 am
Ajax, you probably don't follow the research on COVID, but there's lots of it going on. As viruses go, it's still a relatively new disease. And the research is showing long term effects on the body, including the brain. We're talking heart damage, kidney damage, lung damage, brain damage and damage to the immune system itself. It can happen with every infection, including mild cases. Nobody knows yet what the long term effects may be of intentionally allowing children to be infected and reinfected, over and over and over, over decades of life. Given what we know -- that damage can occur in even mild cases -- and that we are subject to repeated infection over time -- we should understand the costs of our "let 'er rip" approach are far from being tallied up. Degrading the health of our work force isn't economically beneficial for anyone.
If you were even half as scared of COVID as you pretend to be, you'd have been lobbying for a stop to the nationwide George Floyd riots. But you weren't. The only thing that interested you about COVID was inasmuch as you could use it to take back political power and criticize Trump or conservative governors like DeSantis who allowed us to go back to work. Since the BLM riots were energizing your political base, social distancing went out the window immediately.

There's no significant difference in those of us who got vaccinated and those who didn't. Not in death, disability, or anything other than the fact that we went back to work a couple years before you did. Novak Djokovic got COVID early. Many said he'd ruined his career and the career of others. And what happened? Is he disabled now? Are they disabled? Was the vaccine really that much better than his own natural immunity? Was Novak really a danger to US Open because he was unvaccinated? No, that was all about politics, not public health.
So your response is to just make crap up about me? :lol: :lol: :lol: I must be lying about how I view my personal risks from COVID today because I didn't use my magical liberal powers four years ago to stop other people from rioting all across the country? Is this what passes for MAGA reasoning?

I'd suggest that a sane person not in the grip of conspiracy theories would judge my assessment of COVID by what I have done to protect myself against infection. I've posted about that here many times. Perhaps you just missed that. Or perhaps you are so blinded by partisan-driven hate that you just skip reading anything that doesn't feed your conspiracy theories.

I don't know who the individual you refer to is or why you think he is more important than the 1000 people who are still dying of COVID-19 every week.

Riots don't "energize" a political base. They are a complete rejection of the political process, representing a weakening of political power.

A single story about a single guy isn't responsive to what I posted. Natural immunity didn't apply to COVID, as it was a brand new virus that humans had never been exposed to. It turns out that the evolutionary path the virus has taken is repeated evolution of ways to evade the protection our immune systems create after we've been infected or vaccinated. Repeated studies have shown that vaccination provides additional protection to naturally acquired immunity.

Can you point me to any studies that show no connection between COVID morbidity and mortality and the political lean of a county?

I never stopped working during COVID. I believe that's true of most of the people in my state.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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ajax18 wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:26 am
There's no significant difference in those of us who got vaccinated and those who didn't.
I’m not sure if this is your way of saying that the vax has no effect on severity of infection or mortality rates, but if you’re claiming this, then there’s nothing available to support your position and a boatload of data and statistics to prove otherwise, including from people who don’t live in this country and couldn’t care less about Trump and your infatuation with an imagined global conspiracy to ‘get him’ via COVID.

Not in death, disability, or anything other than the fact that we went back to work a couple years before you did.
I’ve yet to meet anyone who stayed unemployed for two years due to ‘stay at home’ orders. I’m sure there are some out there somewhere, but you need to get out more if you think that this was the norm.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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Res Ipsa wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:23 pm
ajax18 wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:26 am


If you were even half as scared of COVID as you pretend to be, you'd have been lobbying for a stop to the nationwide George Floyd riots. But you weren't. The only thing that interested you about COVID was inasmuch as you could use it to take back political power and criticize Trump or conservative governors like DeSantis who allowed us to go back to work. Since the BLM riots were energizing your political base, social distancing went out the window immediately.
... I didn't use my magical liberal powers four years ago to stop other people from rioting all across the country? Is this what passes for MAGA reasoning?
'.....
Riots don't "energize" a political base. They are a complete rejection of the political process, representing a weakening of political power.
Just to focus on one element in Res Ipsa remarks.

Ajax, your proposal to lobby to stop the riots is strange. Who do I lobby? I could have gotten in my car gone to a riot and yelled, hey folks stop this? I think authorities were working on that. You actually sound as if the riots were created by politicians to further a political party. I suspect Trump benefited as much as any. But riots are not like political protest ,organized by political operatives, they are anger out of control.

News outlets like Fox know this of course but that does not stop the presentation of images of riots with images of liberal political figures in close proximity suggesting a connection in the imagination.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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huckelberry wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 5:30 pm
Res Ipsa wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:23 pm


... I didn't use my magical liberal powers four years ago to stop other people from rioting all across the country? Is this what passes for MAGA reasoning?
'.....
Riots don't "energize" a political base. They are a complete rejection of the political process, representing a weakening of political power.
Just to focus on one element in Res Ipsa remarks.

Ajax, your proposal to lobby to stop the riots is strange. Who do I lobby? I could have gotten in my car gone to a riot and yelled, hey folks stop this? I think authorities were working on that. You actually sound as if the riots were created by politicians to further a political party. I suspect Trump benefited as much as any. But riots are not like political protest ,organized by political operatives, they are anger out of control.

News outlets like Fox know this of course but that does not stop the presentation of images of riots with images of liberal political figures in close proximity suggesting a connection in the imagination.
Good points, Huck. In fact, if you go back and look at what was actually happening at the time, the vast majority of "the left" condemned the actual rioting, as opposed to the BLM sponsored protest marches. Trump's "base", however, was galvanized and energized by universal condemnation of, not just rioting, but Black Lives Matter. It's always opposite day in Trump Cultland.
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Re: An odd case of liberal intellectual honesty on COVID

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The so called "riots" were mostly peaceful demonstrations. In every instance in which a death occurred, it was due to the counter-protesters. We all remember when "umbrella man" set off the violence, and he turned out to be a right wing white supremacist who was apparently upset that millions of black people were peacefully protesting and nothing was getting broken. So he started breaking windows and fled.
Last edited by Vēritās on Mon Apr 01, 2024 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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