Surprised?

Issue 26

  
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Hello, and welcome back to the Bright Morning newsletter. In case you missed it last week, we released our fifth long-form podcast discussion. In that episode, we spoke about the province of Ontario, vaccine passports, and we responded to what we believe was some rather disingenuous criticism of our work. It was a fun and light-hearted conversation - a nice shake-up from our usual style. 

Having said that, this week we were greeted with some stories that, among other things, were not that surprising. Instead, the events that transpired over the past week or so felt more like confirmation of what we have suspected all along: public health bureaucracies, in Canada and in America, have not been giving it to us straight. We have two case studies below to highlight how the faces of these institutions are more likely to dig in their heels and stick to the narrative, instead of demonstrating humility, when being confronted with evidence of their errors.

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| PUBLIC HEALTH

Ontario: science vs. The Science™

Before we kick off, we need to establish the difference between science and The Science™. Science, as we have mentioned before, is a process that relies upon empiricism to test hypotheses and establish provisional truths. One of the core tenets of science is that we welcome new evidence if it disproves what we have all come to accept as truth, so long as the new evidence is subjected to the same, rigorous testing (or better). In other words, science must be falsifiable, otherwise it is no longer science, but dogma. 

The Science™, however, is dogma. It is the rigid, prescriptive, and often-wrong “solutions” or narratives that politicians and bureaucrats (who we once called “public health experts”) use to dismiss scientific evidence for some personal, reputational, or financial gain. So, when you hear a politician or bureaucrat utter the words “I am following the science” or “I believe in science,” it is unlikely that he is speaking about his commitment to the scientific method and empiricism. Instead, he is hanging onto The Science™ (his narrative) as if it is a life raft that is running out of air in the middle of an ocean storm. 

This brings us to the most recent update in Ontario, or as we like to refer to it, The Peoples’ Republic of Lockdown. After once again outsourcing his leadership to unelected bureaucrats by seeking “consensus” on whether or not schools are safe (they are), Premier Doug Ford announced that children will not be returning to in-person learning until September. In his speech to the public in which he attempted to justify this decision, Ford uttered some remarks that were either misleading or outright false. So, allow us to provide the fact check.

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First, Ford stated that he did not “want to risk the health of our kids.” Schools are safe and children are safe in them. For the past several months, virtually every pediatrician and pediatric organization in Ontario has been begging Ford to open schools for in-person learning. Sick Kids Hospital wrote a letter in response to Ford’s search for “consensus” and stated that school closures facilitate a “substantial deterioration of mental health status among children and youth,” and that this “deterioration is now evident in the form of increased ambulatory care use and hospital admissions, most poignantly for children and youth with eating disorders.” Dr. Martha Fulford, Chief of Medicine at McMaster University Medical Centre, also appeared on CTV News to state that children “are not at risk from Covid,” even when accounting for the overhyped “variants of concern.” When faced with this criticism, David Fisman - one of the most vocal bureaucrats on the Ontario Science Table (OST) and a paid teachers’ union expert - did not counter with evidence, but deflected to a conspiracy theory in which he accused Sick Kids of being in bed with the PC Party (makes sense?) and then turned to a sarcastic remark about kids’ mental health

Ford also stated that he is “really concerned about putting all of the kids in the classroom” and that having children in the classroom will lead to “thousands of new cases.” Regarding the first comment, Ford did not explain why he is “really concerned.” In fact, his own Chief Medical Officer, David Williams, has confirmed there are “very few” examples of in-class transmission. As for the second comment, Ford’s OST said that a return to in-person learning would create an 11% surge in cases, at most. However, given that the OST has been completely and entirely wrong in all of their predictions and modeling (here is the most recent error in their predictions), it is hard to take anything that they say seriously.

Oh, did we mention that the entire premise of lockdowns are also in contention with (if not direct opposition to) scientific consensus? We have been arguing this for months, but here is Martin Kuldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard, confirming this argument

It is not unreasonable for us to suggest that Doug Ford and the OST are, at this point in the game, anti-science. They are using The Science™ to shield themselves from criticism and ignore real evidence. But why? What is to be gained here? Well, for starters, it is entirely possible that the members of the OST enjoy the attention. Throughout the pandemic, these Covid celebrities and TV doctors have become the de facto leaders of the province. They appear on television daily to offer predictions that keep proving to be wrong. It is also unlikely that they are not being generously reimbursed for their time, either. Then, there are perks attached to their position. For example, Dr. Michael Warner - another lockdown zealot - was given tickets to a Maple Leafs game with his friends, only to fear monger about a fourth wave just a few days later. Status, prestige, and massive financial incentives are hard to give up, and so is it that much of a surprise why these bureaucrats want to drag out lockdowns for as long as possible?


The Fauci Emails

Last week, through a freedom of information request submitted by Buzzfeed, over ten thousand emails belonging to the inbox of Dr. Anthony Fauci was released to the public. The findings within these emails were, to say the least, explosive. A common theme within them was that what Fauci had been saying behind the scenes bore almost no resemblance to what he had been saying to the public. 

The first example pertained to everyone’s favourite subject: mask usage. Last year, we might recall that Fauci initially stated that masks were “not that effective.” Then, a month or two later, he said that masks are critical to stopping the transmission of Covid. When asked about this sudden change in tune, he said that the science had changed. Fauci then doubled-down (literally) on his insistence for masks by suggesting that Americans ought to wear two masks. When asked for evidence about this, he said it was “just common sense.” But was it?

Masks, according to Fauci’s emails, are not that effective for keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. However, Fauci did argue that there might be a benefit for an infected person to wear a mask, should they cough or sneeze, but aside from this slight caveat, Fauci’s emails confirm what most people have been arguing since last year.

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Next in the lineup of Fauci’s emails pertained to what legacy media, public health, and politicians had been vehemently dismissing as a conspiracy theory since March 2020: The Lab Leak Hypothesis. We spoke about this two weeks ago, but the short version is that there is strong evidence to support the claim that SARS-CoV-2 was developed in a lab, as opposed to being a bat-borne virus that jumped to humans. Fauci, however, has been adamantly opposed to this hypothesis, even going so far as to suggest that it is not worth investigating. 

Well, once again, we can see that what Fauci really believes - that is, what he says when no one else is watching - bears no resemblance to the words in his public appearances. There were several emails from high-profile researchers warning Fauci that the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 looks like it could have been engineered, instead of being a product of nature. At the same time, Fauci received emails from researchers - one of whom belonged to the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Science - thanking him for downplaying the possibility of a lab spillover during his press conferences. Now, it is fair to say Fauci himself did not give credence to the Lab Leak Hypothesis in these emails, but it does, at the very least, confirm his dishonesty with the public, because we now have evidence that he received fair and substantiated warnings from his associates about the plausibility of such a theory. 

Then, we stumbled into the biggest bombshell of them all - the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could have been the product of Fauci’s own research funding. Several of Fauci’s emails made reference to so-called gain of function research, where scientists work to make viruses more transmissible and deadly (ideally to advance vaccine development). According to the emails, Fauci’s own National Institute of Health (NIH) was involved in the funding of gain of function research, possibly at the Wuhan Institute of Virology - the very lab from which the virus is believed to have leaked. However, it was no less than three weeks ago when Fauci denied having any knowledge of this during his testimony to Senator Rand Paul


What does all of this mean?

What do the anti-evidence positions of the OST and Fauci’s emails have in common? Do they suggest that we are ruled by evil, malicious people, who wish to do us harm? This seems unlikely. 

Consider this: before the pandemic started, no one knew who Dr. Fauci or any members of the OST were. Do fame and recognition automatically amount to good work? Absolutely not. However, starting in March 2020, these people were on our televisions and computers so much that they might as well have been our screensavers. Thus, we had the opportunity to witness their abilities as scientists, leaders, and advisers in real time. In other words, we could see if their ability to perform in these roles was worth the high salaries they were earning throughout the years, and in some cases, decades (salaries that are funded through tax dollars, mind you). 

Is this what we saw? Far from it. Instead, what we saw was a consistent and insistent pattern of lies, half-truths, political pandering, flip-flopping, and most egregious of all, a refusal to welcome new evidence. 

Take, for example, the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). This was a worldwide call from some of the most well-respected scientists, doctors, and researchers in the world to end lockdowns. According to Martin Kuldorff, who we mentioned earlier, “there was never a scientific consensus for lockdowns.” Lockdowns were supposed to be a temporary measure to buy time for hospitals so that we could prepare for a potential influx of infected patients. However, as we have all learned by now, if you give an inch, they will take a mile. As Kuldorff stated, “instead of understanding the pandemic, we were encouraged to fear it. Instead of life, we got lockdowns and death. We got delayed cancer diagnoses, worse cardiovascular-disease outcomes, deteriorating mental health, and a lot more collateral public-health damage.” Worst of all, our leaders refused to acknowledge the countries and regions, such as Sweden and Taiwan, that kept the pandemic under control, despite never being locked down. Faced with this new evidence, Kuldorff and his colleagues co-authored the GBD to show that lockdowns were not, and should not, be the appropriate response to the virus. But it was ignored. Furthermore, those who questioned the scientific justification for lockdowns, both inside and outside of the scientific community, were excommunicated and labeled as “conspiracy theorists,” “murderers,” and in some cases, “Nazis.” 

The example of the GBD shows that the faces of public health were more concerned about their reputations than they were basing their decisions on new and incoming evidence. This is why fifteen months after the pandemic started, public health bureaucrats, like Fauci and the OST, continue to act as if we do not know what the virus is or how it spreads. It also explains why the industrial-strength fear-mongering surrounding the virus has reached its peak in Ontario, despite the third wave of Covid being the least deadly. However, when faced with this evidence, public health attributes it to lockdowns, even though cases have decreased as mobility has increased

To close, what we are seeing with the OST and Dr. Fauci is not good leadership or good science, but the expected actions of institutional bureaucrats who are attempting to save face. Their failures might have gone unnoticed in their roles before the pandemic, but now they are on display for the world. Their raising of the rhetoric in recent weeks is nothing more than an attempt to drown out the justified screams from a population who has been duped. It is unlikely that they will leave the public eye quietly, but when they do, they will have left in their place a legacy of colossal mistrust towards the political and expert classes. And if they have any humility left, can they truly be surprised?


| EXTRAS

Further Listening

This week, we encourage the audience to listen to Jordan Peterson as he interviews Yeonmi Park. The following description has been provided by Peterson’s YouTube channel and podcast:

Yeonmi Park is a North Korean defector and human rights activist trying to shine a light on the atrocities still being committed in North Korea by the current Kim regime. She wrote her experiences into a bestseller, “In Order to Live.” She tells stories of her childhood and escaping to remind the world of how terrible things are for North Koreans. She also discusses her escape, her slavery in China, and the frustration and disappointment she experiences pursuing a humanities degree at Columbia.

If there was ever a conversation that needed to be heard, this would be it. 

Tyranny, Slavery and Columbia U | Yeonmi Park | The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast - S4: E26

Until next week, thank you for your time.