☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Monday, March 7, 2022 ☙ RISK BUDGETS 🦠
The Atlantic offers schizophrenic suggestions to pandemic holdouts; Director Walensky says science isn't black and white; HHS bought off the US media for jabs; and Facebook finds some Nazis it likes.
Good morning, C&C, and Happy Monday! In today’s roundup: a maskless farmer’s market; the Atlantic offers schizophrenic suggestions to pandemic holdouts; Director Walensky says the science isn’t what you think it is; an HHS document disclosure shows why the pandemic lasted so long, why the media narrative was so homogenous, and why dummies like Fauci were so ubiquitous; and a new Minority Report discussing Facebook’s alliance with REAL nazis in Ukraine.
🗞 *THE C&C ARMY POST* 🗞
🔥 The media may have forgotten about the pandemic, since it has a new crisis to propogandize, but here at Coffee & Covid, we aren’t forgetting anything. We aren’t going to forget until people who SHOULD be held accountable HAVE been held accountable. Today, I am assigning staff to begin collecting data to compare Covid admissions and death rates by hospital. Let’s find out if there are any patterns.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 Michelle’s out of town helping her twin sister care for a beloved older relative who is in the hospital with serious kidney disease, with all that entails, especially these days. He just got out of the ICU this weekend. So far, so good. Anyway since I had the boys, and it was beautiful weather on Saturday morning, we headed up to the local high-rent farmer’s market.
It was sunny but cool, loud, clogged with dogs and baby strollers, super busy, and guess what? Here in my blue, mandate-loving county, I did not see ONE SINGLE MASK amongst the micro-green shoppers, chocolate truffle samplers, or anywhere else. Not one. I believe this is a first since March 2020. It took almost exactly two years. I remember the timing so well because we’d planned a trip to Grand Cayman for Spring Break 2020, but found out on my birthday — the 10th — that the trip had been canceled for Covid as the tiny island nation shuttered its borders. For safety.
🔥 The Atlantic ran a piece yesterday headlined, “Now Is as Good a Time as There’ll Ever Be to Leave Your Pandemic Bubble.” It is clearly targeted at the people who believed the public health experts who told them they should avoid Covid like their lives depended on it, and are now struggling to comprehend Narrative 2.0.
The Atlantic framed the story by saying it’s okay to “have fun now.” But only a little carefully orchestrated fun. It offers a new framework of rules and considerations for navigating post-pandemic life:
“Many … people can safely ramp up the activities they partake in—if not immediately, then likely within weeks. … you can throw dinner parties, go to the movies, dine indoors, and travel now or soon—just keep an eye on local case counts and hospitalizations. … have some fun, but don’t completely ignore the virus … [even] families with kids who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated can do some fun things too.”
SOME fun things. Not all.
The Atlantic cited various public health experts who were all over the board. Yale’s public health institute’s expert said people still shouldn’t go to movies unless there’s a vaxx passport and mask mandate in place. UC Irvine’s expert said he MIGHT go to a dinner party DEPENDING on how many people were going to be there.
You just can’t be too careful.
But sprinkled throughout the article was a small handful of more permissive advice, like a few shiny emerald chips in a bag of roadside gem-mining rocks. Brown University’s expert, Emily Oster, allowed that unvaccinated toddlers should be “lumped in with everyone else” because they are so low risk, but she emphasized she still wears her mask in public — even if nobody else does.
The Atlantic’s readership clearly needs counseling. My theory is the magazine is trying to slowly re-introduce its pandemic-loving readers to more normal ways of thinking, like considering unjabbed kids the same as other kids, but mixed in with a bunch of comforting obsessive-compulsive suggestions so the un-lockdowning won’t hurt as much. They’re baby-stepping it.
One truly shocking bit of advice was when the Atlantic encouraged its readers to stop tracking something called a “risk budget.” I’d never heard about that one. They kept it under wraps. Here’s how it was described in the article:
“People can stop keeping track of their ‘risk budgets’ like earlier in the pandemic and just do things without agonizing over whether saying yes to one thing necessitates saying no to another.”
At first I was confused. They were giving themselves a little budget for risk, and keeping track of how it was spent? Like, you could go to one show a month and then that’s it, your risk budget is exhausted? How would it work, practically speaking? But then I got it.
A “risk budget” is a virtue-signaling face saver for when your friend catches you at the the gym or something. You apologize and tell each other that you are only there because one gym trip was in your risk budget since you gave up a trip to the grocery last week, but now you can’t go anywhere else the rest of the month. So you’re really trying hard to enjoy this workout.
Blech. Living in the virtue-signaling community sounds exhausting. But I suppose they like it. The legalism — all those rules — must somehow be emotionally comforting to certain personality types.
🔥 People are missing the significance of this next story. The setup is CDC Director Rochelle Walensky gave a talk last weekend at Washington University in St. Louis, and said some remarkable things about “the science.”
“Um, and then the other thing I’ll say is this area of ‘grey.’ I have frequently said, um, you know, we’re going to lead with the science, science is going to be the foundation of everything we do, that is entirely true. I think the public heard that as, ‘science is foolproof, science is black and white, science is immediate and we are going to get the answer and, you know, make the decision based on the answer.’
But the truth is, science is grey. Science is not always immediate. Sometimes it takes months and years to actually find out THE answer. But you have to, you know, make decisions in a pandemic before you have that answer.”
Hahaha! It’s all grey! Science isn’t Dr. Fauci, science IS GREY! Follow the grey science! Nobody ever told you the science was settled. Or if they did, they misspoke or something. See, we have to make decisions BEFORE we have the answers! That’s what we were doing, dummies! That’s science! Decisions without answers! It takes YEARS to get the answers. Years! Science isn’t a fast-food restaurant, stupid. Duh. So you can’t hold us to anything we said.
So people have leapt on this stunner as evidence of more goalpost-shifting and narrative shimmying. It MIGHT be more goalpost shifting. But I wonder. It seems more likely to me that Walensky didn’t just make this comment offhand. It seems more likely to me that she was preparing for something. Maybe something is coming, in the Pfizer data dump, in one of the lawsuits, who knows — well, Walensky does — but she wants to get ahead of it. This sounds to me more like political battlespace preparation.
Either way, we probably won’t have to wait too long to find out.
🔥 Well, THIS explains a lot. The Blaze News finally got a response from HHS on its FOIA request. Turns out that HHS used your money (tax dollars) to buy massive amounts of advertising from major news networks like ABC, CBS, and NBC; from cable TV news stations Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC; from legacy media publications like the New York Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post; from digital media companies like BuzzFeed News and Newsmax; from YouTube for segments featuring celebrities garnering millions of hits; and from literally hundreds of local newspapers and TV stations.
HHS’s pro-jab marketing campaign was a financial bonanza for the entire media apparatus, new media AND legacy media, who all lapped up the government money just like thirsty labradoodles after a hot afternoon at the dog park.
The money drove countless articles and video segments about the vaccine that were nearly uniformly positive about its safety and efficacy. HHS treated the shot like a product to be sold to American consumers, and undertook the most expensive “comprehensive media campaign” in history. HHS was playing with a one BILLION-dollar-budget in 2021 to “strengthen vaccine confidence in the United States.”
HHS entered into myriads of ad contracts to “carry out a national, evidence-based campaign to increase awareness and knowledge of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for the prevention and control of diseases, combat misinformation about vaccines, and disseminate scientific and evidence-based vaccine-related information, with the goal of increasing rates of vaccination across all ages … to reduce and eliminate vaccine-preventable diseases.”
No WONDER it was so hard to cancel the pandemic. The media never wanted it to end. Why would they? It’s much easier to sell non-bid ad contracts to the government than sell ads to private companies. Just imagine the massive commissions the ad department has been earning.
Even Fox, dammit.
The documents show the Biden administration bought ads on TV, radio, print, and social media to manufacture vaccine confidence. The government’s media contracts pushed “influencers” from “communities hit hard by COVID-19” and “experts” like that parasitic worm Anthony Fauci and other “academics” to be interviewed and to promote vaccination in the news. They were like HHS’ salespeople.
Although the government’s “salespeople” — its experts, academics, and government officials — were repeatedly interviewed during straight new segments, the media never disclosed the massive advertising payments they were receiving from the government to hawk the jabs. It was a massive undisclosed conflict of interest.
The Blaze said HHS has not yet disclosed how much advertising money was paid to each media platform. They’ll have to, though. When we get that information, we should compare it to each platform’s pre-Covid annual ad sales. I bet I know what it will look like. It’s going to be uglier than a Fauci-Pelosi love child.
🚀 **THE MINORITY REPORT** 🚀
🔥 Tell me how this makes sense. Facebook recently unbanned a Ukrainian “freedom fighting” group that it had previously banned in 2019 because the group’s members are LITERAL NAZIS. On February 25th, Business Insider ran an article headlined, “Facebook is Reversing Its Ban on Posts Praising Ukraine’s Far-Right Azov Battalion, Report Says.”
The Azov Battalion is the armed wing of Ukraine’s white nationalist movement. In 2019, Facebook banned the neo-nazi group and all posts praising it, under Facebook’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. A 2016 human rights report concluded that Azov soldiers had raped and tortured civilians during the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In 2018, the Guardian reported that Azov’s first commander Andriy Biletsky said Ukraine is meant to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen (subhumans).” Business Insider said some of Azov’s soldiers wear symbols of the Third Reich, like swastikas.
It seems, well, slightly problematic that Facebook is helping literal nazis. And on of the things Putin complained in his speech explaining why Russia’s military was invading its next-door neighbor was about neo-Nazi humanitarian crimes. Wouldn’t you like to hear our State Department’s position on that issue? Are WE, like Facebook, aligned with Ukrainian Nazis? Are we providing them with support? Are we arming them, giving them guns and rocket launchers and stuff? If so, is that really a good idea?
I’m just ASKING. Because leftists have assured me that being a nazi is the absolute worst possible thing in the whole entire world.
Again, I’m not defending Russia — especially not the Soviets, who arguably enabled Hitler to begin with by allying with him early in World War II. But the Nazis invaded Russia in a massive and dastardly surprise attack, breaking their alliance, and killing up to twenty million Russians before the invasion finally ground to a frozen halt in the icy Russian winter. Of five million Russian soldiers captured by the Nazis, 3.3 million died in concentration and POW camps.
So Russians REALLY don’t like Nazis. It’s perhaps not super surprising, then, that Russia banned Facebook after Facebook unbanned the Ukrainian neo-nazi group. You might even understand how Russian could have seen Facebook’s move as provocative. So the media narrative that Russia banned Facebook to stop Russians from finding things out might not be, well, COMPLETE.
Why are leftists supporting nazis? It seems like a very bad idea. I’m just spitballing here. But if you are on the same side as the nazis, maybe — maybe — you’re on the wrong side. Just saying.
📊 *COVID IN FLORIDA AND ALACHUA COUNTY* 📊
We have a new weekly report, and it shows the continuing, if not precipitous, decline in Covid numbers. I’ll make some comments on it tomorrow.
Have a marvelous Monday! I’ll be back tomorrow morning, as usual, so bring your favorite mug.
You can help get the truth out and spread optimism and hope: https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/-learn-how-to-get-involved-