Navy SEALs Take Court Battle to Biden Adm After C-19 JAB Mandate Overturned



Navy SEALs Take Court Battle to Biden Adm After Covid-19 JAB Mandate Overturned

BECKER NEWS

Navy SEALs in a court battle with the Biden administration over its alleged failure to consider their religious exemption requests to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate still suffer religious discrimination, according to a brief filed Friday.

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position is that now the Department of Defense (DOD) has complied with Congress’ order to rescind the mandate and servicemembers no longer face possible discharge for refusing the vaccine, courts should drop the case, Mike Berry, military affairs counsel at First Liberty Institute, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. However, the new policy leaves the door open to continued discrimination and treating unvaccinated members like “second-class citizens,” attorneys for the class action lawsuit that includes 26 Navy SEALs said in the brief.

“It’s important to keep in mind that since the very beginning, our position was never one way in which we challenged the authority to issue the mandate or or the existence of the mandate, or its or even its lawfulness,” Berry told the DCNF. “We only challenged the way that it was being discriminatorily enforced against service members of faith.”

The case centers around 26 Navy SEALs who filed a complaint in November 2021 alleging the Navy did not follow procedures for granting religious exemptions to the vaccine mandate, thereby violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, court documents show. The case was granted class action status in March and the entire Navy placed under an indefinite ban against discharging unvaccinated members.

The Navy published official guidance overturning the COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Jan. 11, following the Secretary of Defense’s order on Jan. 10, meaning members of the Navy are no longer required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or subject to formal punishment for refusing the vaccine, and the court’s injunction no longer protects sailors.

“Voluntary cessation of challenged conduct, even by the government, does not deprive this Court of the power to determine its legality,” the brief states, referring to alleged violations of servicemembers’ first amendment rights.

In addition, the DOD memo and subsequent Navy guidance, NAVADMIN 005/23, offer commanders wide berth to make deployment decisions based on vaccination status, citing the need to minimize health risks to troops.

“To defend the nation, we need a healthy and ready force, this means a Navy and Marine Corps that is ready to deploy,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said in a memo titled ALNAV 009/23.

“We will continue to consider medical readiness, of which vaccination plays a key role, in all appropriate settings. All commanders have the responsibility and authority to maintain military readiness, unit cohesion, good order and discipline, and the health and safety of their commands,” Del Toro continued.

However, NAVADMIN 005/23 stipulates that no additional religious accommodations will be granted.

Neither do they nullify other department-level rules regarding treatment of unvaccinated servicemembers, resulting in de facto opportunities for discrimination against servicemembers, the attorneys explain in Friday’s brief.

For example, Naval officer Lt. Levi Beaird filed for a religious accommodation to the vaccine that he never received, and the Navy is blocking him from deploying and completing other activities due to his unvaccinated status, Berry told the DCNF. If he doesn’t achieve certain career milestones, the Navy will require he repay a $75,000 retention bonus.

“It’s just a backdoor way for them to continue to harass, intimidate and punish servicemembers because of their faith,” Berry said.

Some of his Navy SEAL clients say their superiors are mulling the possibility of “rerating” the SEALs, or removing their Naval Special Warfare designation and placing them alongside “regular” sailors, he explained.

“Most of these guys, they joined the Navy to be Navy SEALs, and they didn’t become Navy SEALs by accident,” said Berry. Not only would the change in status rob the members of pride in serving in special operations, but it would also cut them off from financial bonuses.

The Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans will hold oral arguments for the case on Feb. 6, First Liberty said in a press release on Monday.

“This religious discrimination must stop,” Berry said, according to the release.

DOD referred the DCNF to the DOJ. DOJ and the Navy did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

Post written by Micaela Burrow. Republished with permission from DCNF. Images via Becker News.

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(TLB) published this article from Becker News as Compiled by Kyle Becker

Header featured image (edited) credit: US Navy patch/Becker News post

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Inside The Secret Government Meeting On COVID-19 & Natural Immunity



Inside The Secret Government Meeting On COVID-19 & Natural Immunity

Post by Tyler Durden | Written by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times

Four of the highest ranking U.S. health officials—including Dr. Anthony Fauci—met in secret to discuss whether or not naturally immune people should be exempt from getting COVID-19 vaccines, The Epoch Times can reveal.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing in Washington on May 17, 2022. (Shawn Thew/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

The officials brought in four outside experts to discuss whether the protection gained after recovering from COVID-19—known as natural immunity—should count as one or more vaccine doses.

“There was interest in several people in the administration in hearing basically the opinions of four immunologists in terms of what we thought about … natural infection as contributing to protection against moderate to severe disease, and to what extent that should influence dosing,” Dr. Paul Offit, one of the experts, told The Epoch Times.

Offit and another expert took the position that the naturally immune need fewer doses. The other two experts argued natural immunity shouldn’t count as anything.

The discussion did not lead to a change in U.S. vaccination policy, which has never acknowledged post-infection protection. Fauci and the other U.S. officials who heard from the experts have repeatedly downplayed that protection, claiming that it is inferior to vaccine-bestowed immunity. Most studies on the subject indicate the opposite.

The meeting, held in October 2021, was briefly discussed before on a podcast. The Epoch Times has independently confirmed the meeting took place, identified all of the participants, and uncovered other key details.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who did not participate in the meeting, criticized how such a consequential discussion took place behind closed doors with only a few people present.

“It was a really impactful decision that they made in private with a very small number of people involved. And they reached the wrong decision,” Bhattacharya told The Epoch Times.

An email obtained by The Epoch Times shows Dr. Vivek Murthy contacting colleagues to arrange the meeting. (The Epoch Times)

The Participants

From the government:

  • Fauci, the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden until the end of 2022
  • Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general
  • Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Dr. Francis Collins, head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, until December 2021
  • Dr. Bechara Choucair, the White House vaccine coordinator until November 2021

From outside the government:

  • Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an adviser to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on vaccines
  • Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a former member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board
  • Akiko Iwasaki, professor of immunobiology and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at Yale University
  • Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and dean of the Baylor College of Medicine’s School of Tropical Medicine

Fauci and Murthy decided to hold the meeting, according to emails The Epoch Times obtained.

“Would you be available tonight from 9-9:30 for a call with a few other scientific colleagues on infection-induced immunity? Tony and I just discussed and were hoping to do this sooner rather than later if possible,” Murthy wrote in one missive to Fauci, Walensky, and Collins.

All three quickly said they could make it.

Walensky asked who would be there.

Murthy listed the participants. “I think you know all of them right?” he said.

Walensky said she knew all but one person. “Sounds like a good crew,” she added.

From top left, clockwise: Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky. (Getty Images)

‘Clear Benefit’

During the meeting, Offit put forth his position—that natural immunity should count as two doses.

At the time, the CDC recommended three shots—a two-dose primary series and a booster—for many Americans 18 and older, soon expanding that advice to all adults, even though trials of the boosters only analyzed immunogenicity and efficacy among those without evidence of prior infection.

Research indicated that natural immunity was long-lasting and superior to vaccination. On the other hand, the CDC published a paper in its quasi-journal that concluded vaccination was better.

Osterholm sided with Offit, but thought that having recovered from COVID-19 should only count as a single dose.

“I added my voice at the meeting to count an infection as equivalent to a dose of vaccine! I’ve always believed hybrid immunity likely provides the most protection,” Osterholm told The Epoch Times via email.

Hybrid immunity refers to getting a vaccine after recovering from COVID-19.

Some papers have found vaccination after recovery boosts antibodies, which are believed to be a correlate of protection. Other research has shown that the naturally immune have a higher risk of side effects than those who haven’t recovered from infection. Some experts believe the risk is worth the benefit but others do not.

Hotez and Iwasaki, meanwhile, made the case that natural immunity should not count as any dose—as has been the case in virtually the entire United States since the COVID-19 vaccines were first rolled out.

Iwasaki referred to a British preprint study, soon after published in Nature, that concluded, based on survey data, that the protection from the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines was heightened among people with evidence of prior infection. She also noted a study she worked on that found the naturally immune had higher antibody titers than the vaccinated, but that the vaccinated “reached comparable levels of neutralization responses to the ancestral strain after the second vaccine dose.” The researchers also discovered T cells—thought to protect against severe illness—were boosted by vaccination.

There’s a “clear benefit” to boosting regardless of prior infection, Iwasaki, who has since received more than $2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), told participants after the meeting in an email obtained by The Epoch Times. Hotez received $789,000 in grants from the NIH in fiscal year 2020, and has received other grants totaling millions in previous years. Offit, who co-invented the rotavirus vaccine, received $3.5 million in NIH grants from 1985 through 2004.

Hotez declined interview requests through a spokesperson. Iwasaki did not respond to requests for comment.

No participants represented experts like Bhattacharya who say that the naturally immune generally don’t need any doses at all.

In an email obtained by The Epoch Times, Akiko Iwasaki wrote to other meeting participants shortly after the meeting ended. (The Epoch Times)

Public Statements

In public, Hotez repeatedly portrayed natural immunity as worse than vaccination, including citing the widely criticized CDC paper, which drew from just two months of testing in a single state.

In one post on Twitter on Oct. 29, 2021, he referred to another CDC study, which concluded that the naturally immune were five times as likely to test positive compared to vaccinated people with no prior infection, and stated: “Still more evidence, this time from @CDCMMWR showing that vaccine-induced immunity is way better than infection and recovery, what some call weirdly ‘natural immunity’. The antivaccine and far right groups go ballistic, but it’s the reality.”

That same day, the CDC issued a “science brief” that detailed the agency’s position on natural immunity versus the protection from vaccines. The brief, which has never been updated, says that available evidence shows both the vaccinated and naturally immune “have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months” but that “the body of evidence for infection-induced immunity is more limited than that for vaccine-induced immunity.”

Evidence shows that vaccination after infection, or hybrid immunity, “significantly enhances protection and further reduces risk of reinfection” and is the foundation of the CDC’s recommendations, the agency said.

Several months later, the CDC acknowledged that natural immunity was superior to vaccination against the Delta variant, which was displaced in late 2021 by Omicron. The CDC, which has made misleading representations before on the evidence supporting vaccination of the naturally immune, did not respond to a request for comment regarding whether the agency will ever update the brief.

Iwasaki had initially been open to curbing the number of doses for the naturally immune—”I think this supports the idea of just giving one dose to people who had covid19,” she said in response to one Twitter post in early 2021, which is restricted from view—but later came to argue that each person who is infected has a different immune response, and that the natural immunity, even if strong initially, wanes over time.

Osterholm has knocked people who claim natural immunity is weak or non-existent, but has also claimed that vaccine-bestowed immunity is better. Osterholm also changed the stance he took in the meeting just several months later, saying in February 2022 that “we’ve got to make three doses the actual standard” while also “trying to understand what kind of immunity we get from a previous infection.”

Offit has been the leading critic on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which advises U.S. regulators on vaccines, over their authorizations of COVID-19 boosters. Offit has said boosters are unnecessary for the young and healthy because they don’t add much to the primary series. He also criticized regulators for authorizing updated shots without consulting the committee and absent clinical data. Two of the top U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials resigned over the booster push. No FDA officials were listed on invitations to the secret meeting on natural immunity.

Fauci and Walensky Downplay Natural Immunity

Fauci and Walensky, two of the most visible U.S. health officials during the pandemic, have repeatedly downplayed natural immunity.

Fauci, who said in an email in March 2020 that he assumed there would be “substantial immunity post infection,” would say later that natural immunity was real but that the durability was uncertain. He noted the studies finding higher antibody levels from hybrid immunity.

In September 2021, months after claiming that vaccinated people “can feel safe that they are not going to get infected,” Fauci said that he did not have “a really firm answer” on whether the naturally immune should get vaccinated.

“It is conceivable that you got infected, you’re protected—but you may not be protected for an indefinite period of time,” Fauci said on CNN when pressed on the issue. “So I think that is something that we need to sit down and discuss seriously.”

After the meeting, Fauci would say that natural immunity and vaccine-bestowed immunity both wane, and that people should get vaccinated regardless of prior infection to boost their protection.

Walensky, before she became CDC director, signed a document called the John Snow Memorandum in response to the Great Barrington Declaration, which Bhattacharya coauthored. The declaration called for focused protection of the elderly and otherwise infirm, stating, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

The memorandum, in contrast, said there was “no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection” and supported the harsh lockdown measures that had been imposed in the United States and elsewhere.

In March 2021, after becoming director, Walensky released recommendations that the naturally immune get vaccinated, noting that there was “substantial durability” of protection six months after infection but that “rare cases of reinfection” had been reported.

Walensky hyped the CDC study on natural immunity in August 2021, and the second study in October 2021. But when the third paper came out concluding natural immunity was superior, she did not issue a statement. Walensky later told a blog that the study found natural immunity provided strong protection, “perhaps even more so than those who had been vaccinated and not yet boosted.”

But, because it came before Omicron, she said, “it’s not entirely clear how that protection works in the context of Omicron and boosting.”

Walensky, Murthy, and Collins did not respond to requests for interviews. Fauci, who stepped down from his positions in late 2022, could not be reached.

Murthy and Collins also portrayed natural immunity as inferior. “From the studies about natural immunity, we are seeing more and more data that tells us that while you get some protection from natural infection, it’s not nearly as strong as what you get from the vaccine,” Murthy said on CNN about two months before the meeting. Collins, in a series of blog posts, highlighted the studies showing higher antibody levels after vaccination and urged people to get vaccinated. He also voiced support for vaccine mandates.

Read more here…

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(TLB) published this article as posted by Tyler Durden and written by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times

Header featured image (edited) credit: From top left, clockwise: Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. Francis Collins, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Rochelle Walensky. (Getty Images)

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Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get C-19 Booster Shots

Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get C-19 Booster Shots


Growing Number Of Doctors Say They Won’t Get COVID-19 Booster Shots

Post by Tyler Durden | Written by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times

A growing number of doctors say that they will not get COVID-19 vaccine boosters, citing a lack of clinical trial evidence.

I have taken my last COVID vaccine without RCT level evidence it will reduce my risk of severe disease,” Dr. Todd Lee, an infectious disease expert at McGill University, wrote on Twitter.

Lee was pointing to the lack of randomized clinical trial (RCT) results for the updated boosters, which were cleared in the United States and Canada in the fall of 2022 primarily based on data from experiments with mice.

Lee, who has received three vaccine doses, noted that he was infected with the Omicron virus variant—the vaccines provide little protection against infection—and described himself as a healthy male in his 40s.

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is seen in a file photograph. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Dr. Vinay Prasad, a professor of epidemiology and biostatics at the University of California, San Francisco, also said he wouldn’t take any additional shots until clinical trial data become available.

“I took at least 1 dose against my will. It was unethical and scientifically bankrupt,” he said.

Allison Krug, an epidemiologist who co-authored a study that found teenage boys were more likely to suffer heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination than COVID-19 infection, recounted explaining to her doctor why she was refusing a booster and said her doctor agreed with her position.

She called on people to “join the movement to demand appropriate evidence,” pointing to a blog post from Prasad.

“Pay close attention to note this isn’t anti-vaccine sentiment. This is ‘provide [hard] evidence of benefit to justify ongoing use’ which is very different. It is only fair for a 30 billion dollar a year product given to hundreds of millions,” Lee said.

Dr. Mark Silverberg, who founded the Toronto Immune and Digestive Health Institute; Kevin Bass, a medical student; and Dr. Tracy Høeg, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, joined Lee and Prasad in stating their opposition to more boosters, at least for now.

Høeg said she did not need clinical trials to know she’s not getting any boosters after receiving a two-dose primary series, adding that she took the second dose “against my will.”

I also had an adverse reaction to dose 1 moderna and, if I could do it again, I would not have had any covid vaccines,” she said on Twitter. “I was glad my parents in their 70s could get covid vaccinated but have yet to see non-confounded data to advise them about the bivalent booster. I would have liked to see an RCT for the bivalent for people their age and for adults with health conditions that put them at risk.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization to updated boosters, or bivalent shots, from Pfizer and Moderna in August 2022 despite there being no human data.

Observational data suggests the boosters provide little protection against infection and solid shielding against severe illness, at least initially.

Five months after the authorization was granted, no clinical trial data has been made available for the bivalents, which target the Wuhan strain as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron. Moderna presented efficacy estimates for a different bivalent, which has never been used in the United States, during a recent meeting. The company estimated the booster increased protection against infection by just 10 percent.

The FDA is preparing to order all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines be replaced with the bivalents. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which issues recommendations on vaccines, continues advising virtually all Americans to get a primary series and multiple boosters.

Professor Calls for Halt to Messenger RNA Vaccines

A professor, meanwhile, became the latest to call for a halt to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are both based on messenger RNA technology.

At this point in time, all COVID mRNA vaccination program[s] should stop immediately,” Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in a video statement. “They should stop because they completely failed to fulfill any of their advertised promise[s] regarding efficacy. And more importantly, they should stop because of the mounting and indisputable evidence that they cause unprecedented level of harm, including the death of young people and children.”

Levi was referring to post-vaccination heart inflammation, or myocarditis. The condition is one of the few that authorities have acknowledged is caused by the messenger RNA vaccines.

Read more here…

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(TLB) published this article as posted by Tyler Durden and written by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times

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National Archives claims it wasn’t allowed to announce Biden Classified Doc Discovery



National Archives claims it wasn’t allowed to announce Biden Classified Doc Discovery

Only two people who could have given him those orders, and that is either the Department of Justice with Merrick Garland or the White House with Joe Biden. ~Rep. James Comer

By Ben Whedon

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., said the National Archives had claimed it was not permitted to publicly discuss the discovery of classified materials at various locations once occupied by President Joe Biden, prompting the lawmaker to suggest that the administration had intervened.

Comer met with National Archives general counsel Gary Stern on Tuesday. Prior to the meeting, Comer says he was handed a letter from the Department of Justice indicating that Stern was barred from commenting on the matter.

Getty Images

“Right before the National Archives came in, they handed us a letter from the Department of Justice informing them and us that the general counsel for the National Archives wasn’t allowed to say anything about the Biden documents. But we went ahead and we had about a three-plus hour transcribed interview with the general counsel, and what we learned was that there is a double standard here with how Donald Trump was treated versus Joe Biden,” Comer said in an appearance on Fox News.

“[T]he general counsel said that he did do press releases, but he was ordered and told they couldn’t be published,” Comer said. “[T]here are only two people who could have given him those orders, and that is either the Department of Justice with Merrick Garland or the White House with Joe Biden.”

The Archives have previously publicly commented on matters pertaining to the investigation of former President Donald Trump over his alleged mishandling of classified documents, a disparity Comer noted.

“[W]hat we learned was that there is a double standard here with how Donald Trump was treated versus Joe Biden,” he concluded.

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It’s Time For The Scientific Community To Admit They Were Wrong About C-19

It’s Time For The Scientific Community To Admit They Were Wrong About C-19


It’s Time For The Scientific Community To Admit They Were Wrong About COVID

It Cost Lives

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Real “mea culpa”, ongoing and rapid revision of history, or further narrative management with regard ‘amnesty’ over what “the others” did to those who thought for themselves over the last few years…

You decide…

In no less a liberal rag than Newsweek, Kevin Bass (MS MD/PHD Student, Medical School) has penned a quite surprising (and ‘brave’) op-ed saying that “it’s time for the scientific community to admit we were wrong about COVID and it cost lives…”

[ZH: emphasis ours]

As a medical student and researcher, I staunchly supported the efforts of the public health authorities when it came to COVID-19.

I believed that the authorities responded to the largest public health crisis of our lives with compassion, diligence, and scientific expertise. I was with them when they called for lockdowns, vaccines, and boosters.

I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives.

I can see now that the scientific community from the CDC to the WHO to the FDA and their representatives, repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public about its own views and policies, including on natural vs. artificial immunityschool closures and disease transmissionaerosol spreadmask mandates, and vaccine effectiveness and safety, especially among the young. All of these were scientific mistakes at the time, not in hindsight. Amazingly, some of these obfuscations continue to the present day.

But perhaps more important than any individual error was how inherently flawed the overall approach of the scientific community was, and continues to be. It was flawed in a way that undermined its efficacy and resulted in thousands if not millions of preventable deaths.

What we did not properly appreciate is that preferences determine how scientific expertise is used, and that our preferences might be—indeed, our preferences were—very different from many of the people that we serve. We created policy based on our preferences, then justified it using data. And then we portrayed those opposing our efforts as misguided, ignorant, selfish, and evil.

We made science a team sport, and in so doing, we made it no longer science. It became us versus them, and “they” responded the only way anyone might expect them to: by resisting.

We excluded important parts of the population from policy development and castigated critics, which meant that we deployed a monolithic response across an exceptionally diverse nation, forged a society more fractured than ever, and exacerbated longstanding heath and economic disparities.

A students adjusts her facemask at St. Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, California on November 16, 2020, where pre-kindergarten to Second Grade students in need of special services returned to the classroom today for in-person instruction. – The campus is the second Catholic school in Los Angeles County to receive a waiver approval to reopen as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. The US surpassed 11 million coronavirus cases Sunday, adding one million new cases in less than a week, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

Our emotional response and ingrained partisanship prevented us from seeing the full impact of our actions on the people we are supposed to serve. We systematically minimized the downsides of the interventions we imposed—imposed without the input, consent, and recognition of those forced to live with them. In so doing, we violated the autonomy of those who would be most negatively impacted by our policies: the poor, the working class, small business owners, Blacks and Latinos, and children. These populations were overlooked because they were made invisible to us by their systematic exclusion from the dominant, corporatized media machine that presumed omniscience.

Most of us did not speak up in support of alternative views, and many of us tried to suppress them. When strong scientific voices like world-renowned Stanford professors John Ioannidis, Jay Bhattacharya, and Scott Atlas, or University of California San Francisco professors Vinay Prasad and Monica Gandhi, sounded the alarm on behalf of vulnerable communities, they faced severe censure by relentless mobs of critics and detractors in the scientific community—often not on the basis of fact but solely on the basis of differences in scientific opinion.

When former President Trump pointed out the downsides of intervention, he was dismissed publicly as a buffoon. And when Dr. Antony Fauci opposed Trump and became the hero of the public health community, we gave him our support to do and say what he wanted, even when he was wrong.

Trump was not remotely perfect, nor were the academic critics of consensus policy. But the scorn that we laid on them was a disaster for public trust in the pandemic response. Our approach alienated large segments of the population from what should have been a national, collaborative project.

And we paid the price. The rage of the those marginalized by the expert class exploded onto and dominated social media. Lacking the scientific lexicon to express their disagreement, many dissidents turned to conspiracy theories and a cottage industry of scientific contortionists to make their case against the expert class consensus that dominated the pandemic mainstream. Labeling this speech “misinformation” and blaming it on “scientific illiteracy” and “ignorance,” the government conspired with Big Tech to aggressively suppress it, erasing the valid political concerns of the government’s opponents.

And this despite the fact that pandemic policy was created by a razor-thin sliver of American society who anointed themselves to preside over the working class—members of academia, government, medicine, journalism, tech, and public health, who are highly educated and privileged. From the comfort of their privilege, this elite prizes paternalism, as opposed to average Americans who laud self-reliance and whose daily lives routinely demand that they reckon with risk. That many of our leaders neglected to consider the lived experience of those across the class divide is unconscionable.

Incomprehensible to us due to this class divide, we severely judged lockdown critics as lazy, backwards, even evil. We dismissed as “grifters” those who represented their interests. We believed “misinformation” energized the ignorant, and we refused to accept that such people simply had a different, valid point of view.

We crafted policy for the people without consulting them. If our public health officials had led with less hubris, the course of the pandemic in the United States might have had a very different outcome, with far fewer lost lives.

Instead, we have witnessed a massive and ongoing loss of life in America due to distrust of vaccines and the healthcare systema massive concentration in wealth by already wealthy elitesa rise in suicides and gun violence especially among the poor; a near-doubling of the rate of depression and anxiety disorders especially among the younga catastrophic loss of educational attainment among already disadvantaged children; and among those most vulnerable, a massive loss of trust in healthcarescience, scientific authorities, and political leaders more broadly.

My motivation for writing this is simple:

It’s clear to me that for public trust to be restored in science, scientists should publicly discuss what went right and what went wrong during the pandemic, and where we could have done better.

It’s OK to be wrong and admit where one was wrong and what one learned. That’s a central part of the way science works. Yet I fear that many are too entrenched in groupthink—and too afraid to publicly take responsibility—to do this.

Solving these problems in the long term requires a greater commitment to pluralism and tolerance in our institutions, including the inclusion of critical if unpopular voices.

Intellectual elitism, credentialism, and classism must end. Restoring trust in public health—and our democracy—depends on it.

The problem was not people’s ignorance of the facts, it was the organized antagonism and censorship against anyone presenting data that was contradictory to the mandate agenda. This is setting aside proclamations like those from the LA Times, which argued that mocking the deaths of “anti-vaxxers” might be necessary and justified.  After two years of this type of arrogant nonsense it’s hard to imagine people will be willing to pretend as if all is well.

The active effort to shut down any opposing data is the root crime, though, and no, it can never be forgotten or forgiven.

People are still livid…

One cannot help but notice that the timing of the Atlantic’s appeal for passive forgetfulness and now this op-ed mea culpa coincides with the swiftly approaching end of the COVID emergency declarations, amid a growing political backlash to the last two years of meaningless lockdowns and mandates, and Democrats were instrumental in the implementation of both.  A large swath of the population sees one party as the cause of much of their covid era strife.  

Perhaps the mainstream media is suddenly realizing that they may have to face some payback for their covid zealotry?  “We didn’t know! We were just following orders!”  It all sounds rather familiar.

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(TLB) published this article from ZeroHedge as compiled and written by Tyler Durden

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House Republicans disband subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

House Republicans disband subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties


House Republicans disband subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

“Oversight Republicans are realigning subcommittees to ensure the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the federal government and all its agencies.”

By Ben Whedon

House Republicans on the Oversight and Accountability Committee have disbanded the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee, but remain adamant that lawmakers would continue to address such issues.

“Let me be very clear: any topic that’s not mentioned in the subcommittee jurisdiction is reserved for the full committee. We can have a committee hearing in this committee on basically anything we want,” said committee chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., according to The Hill.

Democrats were livid at the news, contending that the GOP’s elimination of the panel indicated that such matters were not of meaningful import to lawmakers.

Texas Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett said the move sends an “unmistakable message to the American people that their civil rights and civil liberties are no longer a priority” in Congress.

A spokesperson for the committee told The Hill that the subcommittee’s disbandment was the product of a GOP reorganization of various administrative panels for efficiency purposes.

“Oversight Republicans are realigning subcommittees to ensure the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the federal government and all its agencies,” the spokesperson said. “Going forward, subcommittees will now be better equipped to meet our mission, identify problems, and propose meaningful legislative reforms for the American people.”

__________

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Military veterans sue Biden administration over ATF regulation of stabilizing braces

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Bob Woodward scolds media colleagues for Trump Russia coverage

Bob Woodward scolds media colleagues for Trump Russia coverage


Bob Woodward scolds media colleagues for Trump Russia coverage

American public was ‘cheated’

Liberal journalist Bob Woodward turns on mainstream media for failing to properly vet the Trump-Russia collusion narrative… Then Gets sued by Trump.

By Nick Givas

Several reports were released on Monday by the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) showing how media outlets were derelict in their duty while covering the Trump-Russia collusion story. The articles include some harsh quotes from famed Washington Post editor and reporter Bob Woodward, who criticized the mainstream media at large, calling for a self-assessment from the entire industry.

In the first of a four-part series entitled, “The press versus the president,” investigative reporter Jeff Gerth cites specific media outlets and how they worked in tandem with intelligence agencies, fellow publications, and dodgy sources — including the now infamous Christopher Steele dossier — to take down Donald Trump at all costs. 

Woodward, who rose to fame during the 1970s with the Whitewater scandal and resignation of former President Richard Nixon, told Gerth the Russia probe “wasn’t handled well.” He even went so far as to accuse the mainstream press of having “cheated” the public out of the truth.

Woodward urged modern newsrooms to “walk down the painful road of introspection,” as they look back on their failures with the Russia-collusion stories. He also described Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the matter as having no teeth — but said it was good enough to serve as anti-Trump fodder for the media, just the same.

Woodward told Gerth the Mueller report was a “fizzle” but journalists were “never going to declare [that] it’s going to end up dry.”

The former Washington Post reporter had previously appeared on Fox News Sunday in 2017, during the height of the Steele dossier drama, only to call it a “garbage document” that “never should have” been part of an official intelligence briefing.

He also later told CJR and Gerth that the Post wasn’t interested in any of his critiques regarding the dossier, despite his senior status and wide berth of journalistic experience.

After Woodward made those remarks on Fox News in 2017, he said he had “reached out to people who covered this” at the Post, identifying them only as “reporters.”

When asked how they replied, Woodward said: “To be honest, there was a lack of curiosity on the part of the people at the Post about what I had said, why I said this, and I accepted that and I didn’t force it on anyone.”

Trump had tweeted a “thank you” to Woodward at the time, for attempting to do his due diligence and even asked the media to “apologize.” Yet the antagonism between the two continues to this day.

This news comes after one of MSNBC’s most widely read opinion writers, Zeeshan Aleem, said Friday that Russia’s “influence operation on Twitter” to get Trump into the White House “was a dud,” and only weeks after the Post itself admitted that any Russian meddling on social media did not contribute to Trump’s victory in 2016, Fox News reported.

This news also comes after Trump announced Monday that he is suing Woodward, claiming that the journalist and his publisher released recordings of interviews with the former president without his consent.

Trump is reportedly seeking $49 million from Woodward and publisher Simon & Schuster Inc., in connection with the release of recordings of 2019 and 2020 interviews, according to the Washington Examiner.

“This case centers on Mr. Woodward’s systematic usurpation, manipulation, and exploitation of audio of President Trump,” Trump’s lawyers wrote.

Woodward released recordings of his 20 interviews with the 45th president in January of this year.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NGivasDC

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James Comer Ready to Investigate ‘Anyone’ in Business with the Bidens

James Comer Ready to Investigate ‘Anyone’ in Business with the Bidens


James Comer Ready to Investigate ‘Anyone’ in Business with the Bidens

BREITBART

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said on Monday that he is prepared to investigate “anyone that was in business with the Bidens,” as the committee prepares to hold its first public hearing relating to its investigation of President Joe Biden.

Speaking with reporters at the National Press Club, Comer said he expects Hunter Biden’s “bank records,” to shed light on the Biden family’s possible unlawful business practices.

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 26: Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is interviewed during a National Press Club Headliners Newsmaker program about the committees agenda on Monday, January 30, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)Comer/Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

“Anyone that was in business with the Bidens, that were on these accounts, that were partners in these LLCs, they need to tell everyone exactly what the business was,” Comer said. “You got a two-, three-million-dollar wire from this company that’s affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, what service were you providing? Because it wasn’t real estate. They weren’t manufacturing anything. What were they doing?”

President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, S.C., after attending a Mass, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Biden is in Kiawah Island with his family on vacation. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden leave Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Johns Island, SC, after attending a Mass, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Comer’s remarks came just days after the Treasury Department denied the Oversight Committee’s “request to disclose 150 suspicious reports flagged by U.S. banks concerning Biden family business transactions,” as Breitbart News reported.

Financial institutions flag for review suspicious wire transfers over $10,000, and wire transfers above that threshold are also reported to the Internal Revenue Services.

As Breitbart News’s Wendell Husebø explained:

The suspicious records will provide details about how the family business operates and desired transparency on Hunter’s anonymous art sales and foreign business transactions, along with knowledge of whether Joe Biden remains compromised by foreign governments through his family’s business.

Comer has already raised concerns about Hunter Biden being “the recipient of anonymous, high-dollar transactions — potentially from foreign buyers” in a letter sent to George Berges, Hunter Biden’s New York art dealer.

Despite Comer’s inquiries, Comer told reporters at the National Press Club that he has no plans to bring Hunter Biden before the Oversight Committee to testify.

“Right now, we just want the bank records,” Comer said of Hunter Biden.

Flanked by House Republicans, U.S. Rep. James Comer (R-KY) speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on November 17, 2022, in Washington, DC. House Republicans held a news conference to discuss “the Biden family’s business dealings.” (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“We’re investigating the president,” Comer said. “[This] isn’t a Hunter Biden investigation. This is an investigation of the president.”

Comer criticized the Treasury for failing to comply with the committee’s request for the banks’ suspicious activity reports relating to the Biden family.

Continue reading….

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