☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, January 7, 2022 ☙ EMERGING 🦠
Today's USSC orals schedule; the FDA is ordered to cough up Pfizer docs; Eric Adams shows a spark of common sense; new evidence about cloth masks "emerges"; updates from elsewhere; and more...
It’s Friday! In today’s roundup: quick updates on two pending cases; the Supreme Court’s oral argument schedule; a court orders the FDA to produce documents quicker than 75 years; Eric Adams tweets something that sounds a little familiar about worker’s rights; ABC says new evidence about cloth masks is “emerging”; jab updates from Denmark, Canada, Israel, and the UK; and news on Cornell’s spring semester.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
🪖 Yesterday, I filed an Amicus Brief for several scientists on behalf of the American Commitment Foundation in the Osha Mandate case at the U.S. Supreme Court. The well-written brief describes how the Omicron variant undermines any possible rationale for an employee vaccine mandate. You can read or download our brief at this link: https://tinyurl.com/mzkvdpnd.
🪖 I am currently working around the clock on an emergency appeal to the First District Court of Appeals on behalf of Dan Pisano, who is currently ventilated in a medically-induced coma at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. The issue is whether Florida law provides citizens with medical autonomy — a “right to live” — and not just a “right to die.” I believe that Florida law DOES provide that right. We hope to make some law confirming that right exists.
Prayers and support welcome!
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
👨⚖️ It’s a big day at the Supreme Court today. The Court is hearing emergency oral argument on two cases: the OSHA Mandate case and the CMS Mandate case. The schedule for today’s oral arguments at the Supreme Court, in case you wanted to listen to them, is:
— At 10:00 a.m., the Court will hear one hour of oral argument as to whether to reimpose a stay of the OSHA ETS, which is currently scheduled to go into effect on Monday, January 10, 2022.
— At 11:00 a.m., immediately following oral argument on the ETS, the Court will hear argument on the CMS rule for healthcare workers.
Here is the link to the audio stream: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/live.aspx.
My guess is that the lawyers have been up all night preparing. The Court will probably give each side 30 minutes, but will let the Appellants (who are opposing the rule) divide their time between their main argument, which goes first, and their rebuttal argument (which goes last). I’m interested to see how the attorneys for all the various Appellants decided who would handle the oral arguments. By all accounts, we should see some excellent lawyering.
🔥 Remember recently the FDA asked a federal judge to allow it to produce Pfizer documents at a rate of 500 pages per month, which would have taken 75 years? Well, the judge entered a decision yesterday. It’s not going to be 75 years. The FDA must produce 55,000 pages PER MONTH.
The judge’s short 3-page order begins with several nice quotations:
“As James Madison wrote, ‘[a] popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.’ John F. Kennedy likewise recognized that ‘a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.’ And, particularly appropriate in this case, John McCain (correctly) noted that ‘[e]xcessive administrative secrecy . . . feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s confidence in the government.’”
Observing that “stale information is of little value,” the court ordered the FDA to produce the first 12,000 pages by January 31, and then produce 55,000 pages by March 1, and every 30 days thereafter until all the documents have been turned over.
🔥 On Wednesday, New York City’s new mayor Eric Adams channeled Governor DeSantis a little when he tweeted this:
“I was a cook. I was a dishwasher. If nobody came to my restaurant when I was in college, I wouldn’t have been able to survive. When you talk about closing down our city, you’re talking about putting low-wage workers out of a job. I’m not letting that happen.”
A right to work! Kind of. New Yorkers, can you get your hopes up, a little?
🔥 Reporting on a new Yale study, yesterday ABC News ran a story titled, “Evidence emerging that cloth masks are not as effective as N95 masks against COVID.” Now you tell us!
ABC said the evidence against cloth masks was, uh, emerging. It was hidden before in murky darkness. Now we’re starting to see it, a little. “There is emerging evidence that a surgical mask or a hospital or a medical grade mask does a better job of preventing respiratory droplets carrying the virus to other people around you,” said Dr. Adi Shah of the Mayo Clinic.
Emerging. I wish they’d have called me about 18 months ago. I could have cleared a lot of this up for them.
In a companion video, the reporter actually describes cloth masks as “beloved!” I would humbly suggest that is not a universal sentiment.
I’m beginning to think that the concession on cloth masks is an Omicron artifact just like some of these other developments that we’re seeing, like the retreat from testing and publishing case numbers. The timing is suggestive, of course, but think about how it might have gone if they had held on to the cloth mask theory. Wouldn’t it have become super clear pretty quickly as masked people kept getting sick just as often as the unmasked?
And, isn’t it weird how the mask experience is paralleling the injections so closely?
Call me crazy, but I just don’t see people embracing N95 masks like they did the cloth masks. Especially kids. N95 masks are uncomfortable to wear, especially for long periods. Eh, they’re dreaming.
🔥 The most current data from Denmark appears to show NO benefit from boosters against infection by Omicron, and no benefit from boosters regarding severe disease except in folks older than 70.
🔥 The most current data from Israel — week 50, 2021 — appears to show boosted folks (965 new cases) are being infected at a higher rate than the double-jabbed (716 new cases), who are being infected at a higher rate than uninjected (311 new cases).
🔥 The most current data from the UK — December 2021 — shows that in every age group 18 and older, injected infection rates are higher than infection rates for uninjected people. The data suggests that overall, a Brit is 2.25 times more likely to get Covid if they’ve been jabbed. So.
🔥 Canadian TV (CTV) reported yesterday that, for the first time, there are more hospitalized folks in Calgary who are injected than uninjected. But CTV assured viewers that the data really means that the injections are working. But the expert interviewed for the story did concede, “They’re not perfect. Unfortunately, we don’t have the option of perfect.”
The reporter finished saying, “it may be more important now than ever before to get that booster shot.”
🔥 You know, if it weren’t for these other countries, Americans would get very little reliable information about Covid. We need to get ourselves a good public health agency of some kind. But, what could we call it? We need something that makes a nice three-letter acronym. Hmm.
🔥 Cornell just published its spring semester rules. Note that all Cornell students are required to be boosted. The rules are:
— All classes will be remote, although students must live on campus.
— Twice-weekly testing.
— Mandatory N95 masking.
— No social gatherings of any kind.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Have a terrific Friday, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow, for more.
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