The authors of the Cosmopolitan Globalists’ blueprint for ending the pandemic joined to howl in frustration with the world’s inability to do the obvious and end the pandemic. We’re beside ourselves. Claire and Monique are, anyway. Robert’s clearly at the end of his rope. Rachel is composed. Owen and Jon sound just fine.
From Vienna: Jon Nighswander. From Houston: Rachel Motte. From Paris, Claire Berlinski. From Canada: Owen Lewis. From Colorado (and one day, from Mars): Robert Zubrin. Hosted, again, by Monique in Siena.
Robert: Isolate the carriers: It’s ABC. Employers can do it easily. I managed to secure the fast-testing equipment for my company—which is otherwise illegal—by declaring it a “research project.” It worked. It’s all you need to do. Yet the government forbids this even though epidemiologists have begged for it. The Trump Administration wouldn’t get on board because it thought the pandemic was a Democrat hoax; Democrats wouldn’t get on board because they liked watching Trump flail. Every governor in the union failed. A complete failure of civic spirit.
Robert: Don’t confuse safety and effectiveness testing. You can test for safety in a month.
Claire: A month? You sure, Robert?
Robert: Yes I am. (We hash this out a bit.)
Everyone: Why aren’t people more angry at their government’s incompetence?
Claire: It is shocking that there are stockpiles of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines that aren’t being used.
Robert, Owen, and Claire: There’s something seriously wrong with the FDA. Running an effectiveness test for AstraZeneca—one that only concluded today, and showed exactly what we already knew; to wit, it’s safe and it completely prevents you from dying—even though the vaccine has been in use for months, and has clearly been saving lives, in the UK? A whole jumbo jets’ worth of Americans are dying every single day!
Robert: This is a pandemic. This is a catastrophe. More Americans have died since Biden’s inauguration than died in the First World War. The US government, at gunpoint, is telling you that you can’t have that vaccine—which will keep you from dying of Covid19—but you have a right to a firearm, because the right to self-defense is God-given. How does this make sense?
Robert and Claire: Why hasn’t it dawned on people that in a pandemic, the rules are different? You can’t go by the normal rules. It’s a war. The first dose is worth three times more than the second dose. This isn’t hard. Give people the first dose.
Claire: Did you realize insane French anti-vaxxers have been around since 17th century? Napoléon knew how to handle them.
Robert: He knew you take the war to the enemy.
Claire: Why doesn’t anyone have this kind of vision now?
Everyone: Bureaucratic inertia, and competing bureaucratic impulses, are making everything worse.
Rachel: Talk to anyone in the chronic illness community online: They’ll tell you that they knew this was how it was going to go. The human mind isn’t well-equipped to deal with mortality and disease.
Claire: It’s amazing how many fat people confidently insist, “Just isolate the vulnerable and let the rest of us do what we want.” They still don’t understand they are the vulnerable.
Robert (of course): If Europe wants to end the pandemic, it should invest more in its space program.
Owen: Canada is doing even worse than Europe.
Claire: The insane AstraZeneca fiasco in Europe is only one of so many screwups. This latest lockdown in France is designed to cripple what’s left of the French economy. It sure can’t be designed to do anything else. No one is going to obey because it’s been so stupidly designed; the rules keep changing; and everyone has lost confidence in the government. Cases are soaring and so, of course, are deaths. The virus now in circulation is obviously more contagious than before. By the time France vaccinates enough of its citizens to be immune to this strain, a new monster mutant will be sweeping the country and Ursula von der Leyen will again be preventing the EU from a timely purchase of a booster. You can’t get rid of her; she’s like a barnacle.
A question that vexes us: Why aren’t citizens demanding more of their governments? We live in democracies. Isn’t the benefit of democracy supposed to be that the government responds to your needs?
Jon: A lot of people in Europe think this is a long vacation and aren’t really bothered by the pandemic.
(All of us, horrified, silently: He may be right.)
Robert: Anyone with a medical education who isn’t part of the bureaucracy knows how atrocious it is that AstraZeneca vaccines are sitting in a huge stockpile, unused.
Claire: If the French government is willing to ruin its economy, why not control the disease? Lock everyone down for a period of time longer than the time required for the last infected victim to present symptoms. Three weeks. No one goes anywhere, period. Food is delivered. You just stay at home and sit there. Provided the borders are closed, it stops the pandemic dead in its tracks. We know this. China tested it for us.
Robert: Or you could test them.
Claire: Yes, either one would work, but this strategy—wait until the ICUs go to 97 percent capacity, lock down, then open everything up once the ICUs are back down to 80 percent or whatever—is nuts. So is the strategy of tolerating anti-vaccination imbeciles, who are a threat to all of humanity.
Owen: Within a few months, production will be ramped up, and in the West, the problem will be demand, not supply.
Jon: Russia’s done brilliantly: The Sputnik V has been a huge boost to its soft power.
Robert: China is winning the world.
Claire: Barbados has done surprisingly well.
Claire: How can France be allowing people to hesitate about whether they want to get the vaccine—because that’s a personal decision—while they mandate we stay in our homes? How does that make sense? You’re on French social security? You take the vaccine, and if you don’t—out you go. You can’t be in a any space built by taxpayers unless you’re vaccinated.
(Owen can’t quite get his head around this idea. I bet he’ll come around by the time this is over.)
We hate the anti-vaxxers. We hate them so much. What is wrong with them? We discuss. We have many theories.
Claire: This is a chance for the Biden Administration to show the world we’re back, not just say so. If we vaccinate the world, we’re back. Failing that, not so much.
Owen: Make the vaccines open source. Ramp up manufacturing—if Bill Gates can figure this out, why can’t anyone else?
Claire: Why not appoint Bill Gates global vaccination Czar?
Robert: You could vaccinate the whole world for less than 2 percent of the recent Covid relief bill.
All of us: If we don’t put this fire out, it will find new forms. It is already.
Finally: Let us pause to be grateful for the brilliance of the mRNA vaccines. They may in the end save even more lives than the pandemic has cost us. Senseless, stupid wars, led by elderly fools, have led to some of mankind’s greatest medical advances. Alas.
One note: I regret saying I wrote to the FDA “at least 30 times,” because I subsequently checked my email and saw that I hadn’t written to them anywhere near so often. What I said wasn’t true.
Second note: As our reader WigWag points out, Robert and I both misspoke in saying Pfizer licensed vaccine production to Merck. It was Johnson & Johnson that did this. The difference matters, for reasons he explains in the comments.