How Many Days to Flatten the CronyCare Curve?

How Many Days to Flatten the CronyCare Curve?
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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“Get vaccinated!” he whispered. So ended an address in which President Biden stoked fear, anger, and resentment in support of his latest pandemic policy measures. The toughest sell was his plan to have private employers “nudge” Americans to submit to vaccines with no long-term track record, and which do an imperfect job against a low lethality disease.

Today’s pertinent disclaimer: We’re both vaccinated (Moderna). In the months since, however, we’ve felt uneasy under the bombardment of a single, univocal message: This is now a “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated.” Only The Vaccine can resurrect Life as Normal. Could The Vaccine be just the latest product and instrument of the public-private partnership we call “CronyCare”?

Delta wave data shows that the protection provided by the vaccines — at least Pfizer’s — wanes quickly. In addition, as vaccines are now proving to prevent neither infection nor spread very effectively, it seems clear they’re no panacea. Meanwhile, even though we’re supposed to believe that ivermectin is merely a “horse dewormer,” President Biden acknowledged that monoclonal antibody therapy dramatically reduces the risk of hospitalization and death. The current vaccines, at least, should not be the only tool in the toolbox. And yet our government is buying and exporting hundreds of thousands of doses (curiously, only Pfizer), is trying to mandate the vaccines for adults, and is rushing approval (again, only Pfizer) for younger and younger children, who generally have nothing to fear. In light of all this, we do not comprehend the seemingly inexorable march toward universal vaccination.

As our title suggests, our biggest concern is the cronyism which seems to be at the root of so much of this, exacerbated by the coordinated dissemination of only certain information. So many questions remain unpublished, let alone unanswered. Why does a failing second shot automatically indicate a third one? Where’s Moderna’s FDA approval? Why is our government buying and exporting all those Pfizer shots? Why is ivermectin being shunned, while Pfizer’s new, arguably similar, drug is hailed as promising? Why is natural immunity deemed inferior when it comes to COVID? Why is the advice of physicians treating patients on the front lines, being ignored, censored, or dismissed?

Unfortunately, CronyCare isn’t new. The first edition was arguably responsible, in part, for our vulnerability to COVID. While debate continues to rage — where permitted — concerning the merits of vaccines, treatments, lockdowns, and masks, the fact that an immune system hampered by diabetes, immune disorders, or obesity, leaves one more vulnerable to the 'Rona, is only rarely discussed. And yet it was government interventions in our diets which had a hand in the sorry state of public health generally.

In the 1960s, the sugar industry manipulated research to deflect blame for emerging public health concerns, and succeeded in scapegoating fat consumption instead. Soon Congress intervened, and invited everyone to “follow the science” in the interest of certain segments of the food industry — um, the public health — and The Dietary Goals for the United States was published. Well-intentioned or not, the Goals arguably exacerbated issues arising due to the unprecedented abundance of food. And while certain myths about sugar and fat intake have since been debunked, public understanding lags behind, as evidenced by the prevalence of low-fat (higher sugar and additives) products. The situation isn’t helped by government subsidizing some of the least wholesome ingredients: soybeans (soy oil), corn (corn syrup), and of course sugar. A poignant encapsulation of our country’s decades-long approach to public health brought into the pandemic era: free donuts for the vaccinated.

As this cluster-intercourse has made too many of us needlessly vulnerable to a virus that is already challenging, it might be time to set aside the extrapolations of virologists and statisticians, whose expertise is expected to rescue us from decades of poor choices influenced by bad advice and worse incentives. Sorely missing from the detached calculus of vaccines, treatments, lockdowns and masks is the perspective of a doctor treating patients, with overall health and flourishing in mind.

The quest for a proper public health approach, particularly during this crisis, has been crippled by large online platforms joining the CronyCare partnership. These companies, whose bottom lines ballooned under the mask-vaccine-lockdown approach, throttle the discussion of alternative approaches. Now, in a country founded on respect for reason, and on a system of checks and balances designed to protect our right to pursue our own individual happiness, we have a confluence of Bigs — Ag, Pharma, Gov, and Tech — working to lock down not only our bodies, but also our minds and emotions. As more and more attempts at questioning the narrative of The Vaccine, Our Savior are suppressed, it is our hope that more people, confronted by evidence in whatever way is still permitted, realize the importance of platforms like Parler, which welcomes discussion of all viewpoints.

Amy Peikoff is chief policy officer at Parler. Benjamin Chayes is a historian.

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