☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, March 11, 2022 ☙ AMPING THE DOSAGE 🦠
Mass. lowers Covid deaths the easy way; media wishes DeSantis would shut up about Covid; Florida bans wokeness and grooming; CMS and airline mandates relax; Russian accuses U.S. of bat virus labs ...
It’s Friday, and I hope all you C&C’ers had a fantastic week. Thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday! And, I hope those of you looking for C&C gear enjoyed browsing the new shop (shopcoffeeandcovid.com).
Today’s roundup includes: Massachusetts finds an easy way to lower Covid deaths; the Corporate Media is mad DeSantis is still talking about Covid; Florida outlaws wokeness and grooming young kids; Florida’s position on jabbing kids starts spreading; anecdotal evidence the CMS mandate may be relaxing; United relaxes its jab rules; Facebook relaxes its community guidelines in an unusual way; and Russia accuses the US of experimenting with bat coronaviruses in Ukraine.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 There’s one sure way to get deaths down. A story published yesterday by WCVB Boston is headlined, “State health officials announce new criteria for counting COVID-19 associated deaths.” New criteria! Why new criteria? This is going to shock you, but apparently, according to Massachusetts public health officials, they haven’t been counting right. The way they were counting before resulted in a “significant overcounting of deaths.”
I know, right? This seems impossible. How could a mistake like this happen?
First of all, they were just too generous or something. DPH Commissioner Margret Cooke explained that “over time, our approach proved to be too expansive and led to a significant overcount of deaths in Massachusetts. People who had gotten COVID earlier in 2020 and died for other reasons ended up still being included in COVID associated deaths.”
Plus they explained the state needs to STANDARDIZE, because it’s good to have standards, and they just noticed that fact, for the first time ever. “We are adopting the new definition because we support the need to standardize the way COVID-19-associated deaths are counted,” said DPH State Epidemiologist Dr. Catherine Brown.
Better late than never?
If only someone had pointed out these counting problems earlier in the pandemic. A lot of people might have been spared a bunch of anxiety and worry and stuff. Oh well. Mistakes were made. What can you say? After the retroactive “fix” of death calculations, the state’s overall Covid death count will immediately fall by 3,700 — about 15% of the total.
So … does Massachusetts have the right number NOW? Or are there MORE mistakes?
🔥 Yesterday, Florida’s Senate passed the so-called “Stop WOKE Act” on a party-line vote. Now it heads to the Governor’s desk for signature into law. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the legislation aims to stop schools and private businesses from promoting the “woke” ideology that people can be “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
“I don’t think that we should be teaching a certain race should feel they are better or worse than another based solely on their skin and not on the facts of the situation,” GOP state Sen. Kelli Stargel explained.
Stargel’s position used to be called “not being racist,” but it is controversial now. Apparently. For some reason.
Seriously though, reading the text of the bill, and all the things that will be prohibited, just makes me shake my head. Why is this even necessary? What is going on out there in the world? Here’s the most astounding provision, banning schools and businesses from requiring people to be taught that VIRTUE is racist:
“… virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, sex, or national origin to oppress members of another race, color, sex, or national origin.”
I’m gobsmacked we need to spell this out for people.
Stop WOKE’s approval came a few days after the legislature passed another bill that is triggering leftists even harder than Stop WOKE, a bill which prohibits teachers from getting into sex and sexual identity instruction with K-3 kids. If you look at leftwing newspapers and twitter feeds, you would think that stopping teachers from grooming K-3 kids about sex was the WORST THING EVER. It’s an outrage, a villainy, a miscarriage of justice! It is literally JUST LIKE killing trans people, just mowing them down, mowing them down like grass.
These kinds of common-sense laws would have been impossible to pass two years ago. They are — at least in significant part — a response to the grasping authoritarianism of the last two years, and about what the pandemic helped parents learn was really going on, after the schools went remote.
💉 It’s spreading, just as we’d hoped. Yesterday the Texas Supreme Court granted a stay to a mom who is trying to prevent her divorced husband from vaccinating their 12-year-old daughter. The lower court had waved aside the couple’s five-year-old divorce decree, which required both parents to agree to medical treatments. Instead, the trial court ordered that the husband could go ahead and jab the daughter — over both the mom’s and the daughter’s objections.
So on an emergency appeal, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and has stayed the jabbing. So that’s good. I took a look at the mom’s emergency appellate brief and guess what I found? An argument based on FLORIDA:
“On March 7, 2022, the Florida Department of Health indicated that it will recommend against Covid vaccinations for healthy children ages 5-17. Florida’s Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, indicated that the State of Florida is going to issue separate guidance urging parents not to vaccinate their kids. Joseph Ladapo cited recent studies that found waning efficacy of the vaccine for kids. ‘We’re kind of scraping at the bottom of the barrel, particularly with healthy kids, in terms of actually being able to quantify with any accuracy and any confidence the even potential of benefit,’ Joseph Ladapo said after making the announcement.”
In other words, the mom’s lawyer was using Florida’s announcement as an argument in Texas. See how it works? Once Florida came out against jabbing healthy kids, lawyers everywhere now have a new way to counter the CDC, a different authority to cite. Until recently, the CDC was the ONLY government authority issuing guidance about jabbing kids. We lawyers had to try to convince courts to disbelieve the ENTIRE OFFICIAL POSITION. That’s a heavy lift.
Now lawyers can say, hey judge, there’s a dispute here. Two different official points of view. Two different guidances. It is SO much easier now to argue to the judge, here’s why FLORIDA’S position makes more sense than the CDCs. Even though Florida has no jurisdiction in Texas, neither does the CDC, not really. So judges now have to weigh the evidence and can’t just defer to CDC, at least, not as easily.
Once again, Florida is leading the way out of the insanity. Go Florida Man!
🔥 Hahahaha! You’re not going to believe this one, but I swear it’s true. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune ran a NEWS STORY Wednesday headlined, “As COVID Concerns Fade, DeSantis Stays In The Spotlight By Taking More Extreme Positions.” It mirrored a USA Today story published the same day headlined, “Is Ron DeSantis Addicted to COVID?”
USA Today’s subhead said, “As the pandemic fades, Gov. Ron DeSantis still attracts attention for his COVID approach.”
I bookmarked it but can’t find the USA Today story anymore. Still, we can get the gist from the Herald-Tribune story, which is: what pandemic? Why is DeSantis making such a big deal about Covid? It’s over. Biden said so. Let’s move on. Forget about it. Stop talking about Covid all the time.
At least, that’s what the Herald-Tribune wants us all to do. In its story, the Herald-Tribune whined that DeSantis was “determined to stay at the vanguard of COVID contrarianism,” calling Covid mandates “a fading issue that has benefited him politically.” A fading issue. Uh huh. The Herald-Tribune WISHES it was a fading issue. Joe Biden and a lot of democrats do too.
The Herald’s article introduces Mac Stipanovich as a “longtime Republican strategist in Florida,” and quotes him saying that DeSantis is addicted to Covid: “Every day it’s some new outrageous comment or performance; it’s like an addiction. He’s not getting the rush, the high he was getting out of COVID so he’s amping up the dosage.”
It only took one google search to find a March 2020 opinion piece in the Tampa Bay Times written by Stipanovich headlined, “Why this former Republican voted for Joe Biden by Mac Stipanovich.” So. Thanks Herald-Tribune. A “republican strategist.” Sure.
Anyway, the story got even more unintentionally hilarious. The paper then quoted “republican strategist” Stipanovich as admitting, “… and to a certain extent, it works.”
Hahahahaha! According to the Herald, on the one hand, the Covid issue is fading away. But on the other hand, it WORKS politically. So which is it? Fading or working?
Late in the story, it quotes Polk County GOP Chair JC Martin saying the governor is “immensely popular” with the GOP base, and that his Covid policies are a large part of the appeal. Hmm. Not fading so much, huh?
Then, for “balance,” the paper quotes a democrat consultant named Reggie Cardozo, who gives away the paper’s real problem with DeSantis. “Florida is so far out there,” said Cardozo. “It’s almost like I wake up and I read these clips and I say, ‘This is not real, I’m dreaming this. He did not really do that to high school kids. He did not really say kids shouldn’t get vaccinated.’”
The horror! Now kids are going to … er … um … something! Cardozo doesn’t know what, but it will be BAD.
The story ends by noting that “DeSantis ripped the CDC Monday and said Florida will chart its own path. ‘We’re going to do our own stuff,’ DeSantis said.” Indeed.
💉 I heard from one of my Mayo hospital nurse clients yesterday. She’d been terminated early this year for not taking the jab (she was placed on indefinite unpaid lease). But yesterday, she got a call from the hospital. They said, in essence, never mind! You can come back to work now if you want! So … what’s up with the CMS mandate?
She’s mulling it over.
💉 Mayo’s not the only one. The Epoch Times ran an article yesterday headlined, “United Airlines to Let Workers Who Didn’t Get COVID-19 Vaccine Return to Work.” According to the Times, a memo sent to workers yesterday said unvaccinated employees can return to their positions on March 28th.
“These changes [dropping cases and hospitalizations] suggest that the pandemic is beginning to meaningfully recede. As a result, we’re confident we can safely begin the process of returning our RAP employees to their jobs,” Kirk Limacher, vice president of human resources at United wrote in the memo.
RAP employees were those who’d been “granted” jab exemptions, but were placed on indefinite unpaid leave.
🚀 *THE MINORITY REPORT* 🚀
🔥 Reuters reported yesterday that it has seen internal documents showing that Facebook will “temporarily” permit posts calling for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers. It will also permit posts calling for the violent death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
In an email recently sent to moderators, Meta (Facebook’s parent company) explained a change in its hate speech policy pertaining both to Russian soldiers and to Russians in the context of the invasion:
> “We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where it’s clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.).”
But post something questioning mask efficacy, or suggesting that people should take the horse dewormer to treat their Covid infection, and well, you’re going to Facebook jail, buddy. We just can’t have THAT kind of talk. Murder, fine. Knock yourself out.
Russian banned Facebook in that country last week, for some reason. Probably paranoid.
🦇 The Daily Mail UK published an alarming article yesterday with the lengthy headline, “Now Russia accuses US of ‘experimenting with bat coronavirus samples’ and carrying out research on ANTHRAX in Ukraine as White House warns Putin could use chemical or biological weapons after spreading ‘preposterous propaganda’.”
The article points out that the Russians have not yet provided any “evidence” of its allegations. The Mail is not saying it DIDN’T happen. They’re just saying there’s no evidence it happened. Not yet. Who wants to bet against all this, given how the Wuhan lab story played out?
On behalf of the U.S., freckled paragon of reliability Jen Psaki leapt onto Twitter and denied the Russian allegations. “This is preposterous. It’s the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries, which have been debunked, and an example of the types of false pretexts we have been warning the Russians would invent,” she said.
It’s disinformation! If I hadn’t spent the last two years being accused of spreading disinformation by the same folks who are now accusing the Russians of spreading disinformation, and if we didn’t just endure a year of fake “Russian dossier” propaganda from these exact same people, I would be a lot less skeptical about the White House’s denials. For now, let’s just say I’m going to stay neutral and wait to see how it plays out.
Have a fabulous Friday! I’ll see you tomorrow, back here.
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