Who is doing the silencing?

Oh dear. Those poor authors of that dreadful argument for bad policy, the Great Barrington Declaration, are complaining that they’re being silenced. You know where this is going, right?

In fact, these individuals are rather omnipresent figures in the COVID-19 media landscape. They have been on many large podcasts. They have given many TV interviews. They have been interviewed by and written many editorials in large newspapers. They’ve been profiled by the New York Times and Medpage Today. They have a large presence on social media. They have made a truly remarkable number of YouTube videos (Dr. Jay Bahattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Marin Kulldorff), some of which have been seen by millions of people. They have testified before Congress and in courts regarding COVID-19 policy. Some have gained new funding sources or found new employment in right-wing think tanks. They’ve met with and influenced powerful politicians, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. They held a “medical experts roundtable” at President Trump’s White House. Dr. Gupta met with and influenced UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Journalists rightly say the’ve become “famous voices” this pandemic.

Please, don’t hurt them any more. Poor babies.

You know who’s actually getting silenced? Nebraska.

Nebraska plans to stop reporting coronavirus numbers online after Wednesday.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday that it plans to retire the online dashboard that it has used to report statistics on the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year. The current state virus emergency is also set to expire on Wednesday, and along with that Nebraska is eliminating the last few social distancing guidelines that remained in place.

It’s OK. Don’t you know the pandemic is over?

The state also said that 48.2% of Nebraska’s population has now been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The pace of vaccinations has slowed significantly since April

Over the past two weeks, the seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska has risen from 29 new cases per day on June 14 to 43 new cases per day on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.


  1. Erp says

    It seems too high for the booster; however, the reports for full vaccination for Nebraska seems to be 58% not 48%.

  2. jrkrideau says

    Blo**dy ‘ell

    I live in Ontario where we have ” Ontarians aged 5 or older in 2021 fully vaccinated 81.1%”, line-ups besieging booster shot clinics and rapid test dispensing sites and most health experts are in a controlled panic over the new Omicron variant and claiming/suggesting that the provincial Gov’t’s response is as half-assed as before.

    Dr. Tam, the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada is issuing fairly dire warnings and recommending mask upgrades and rapid tests if one is letting anyone into their home over the holidays.

    Nebraska is saying “Mission Accomplished”?

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Sweden: 81.4 % have received at least two doses. In my county the number is 92%.
    I think some countries have done even better, so WTF Nebraska.
    I assume the governor is from the criminal putsch party.

  4. says

    Well, sure is a good thing we don’t have Trump in the White House any more and instead have a President who is being responsible about Covid.

    Why, imagine if we didn’t have a federal mask mandate, like the CDC advised!

    …Oh, we don’t have a federal mask mandate. Didn’t even ask for one, despite the CDC. Well, imagine if there hadn’t been a lockdown to reduce case numbers!

    …Oh, we didn’t do a lockdown because it would have been bad for the stock market. Well, imagine if we didn’t have, er, stimulus checks to let the poor stay home when they get sick!

    …Oh, we don’t have those, either. Well, uh, imagine if… uh… um… we didn’t have… er… free healthcare?

    Crap. Home testing? Too expensive for Biden, apparently. Uh, student loan forgiveness so fewer people are under pressure to keep working when they get Covid? No? Well, uh…

    Well, at least we have an increased military budget despite withdrawing from our largest military engagement, more money for police, increased oil production, and insider trading for Congress. Blue No Matter Who, everyone, it Gets Results!

    Good thing we elected somebody who Knows How To Work With Moderates, rather than some radical leftist, because that has turned out to be an absolutely stellar success at solving problems.

  5. says

    Oh, and yes, “blue no matter who” DID get results: we stopped a fascist coup and are now at least trying to get a voting-rights bill passed. That’s not everything that needs to be done, of course, but at least we still have a responsive democratic system that can get us the rest…if we don’t give up on it because it isn’t already perfect, of course…

  6. Paul K says


    I was going to write a long response, but you’ve never conceded anything in all your years here, as far as I know, so I’m just going to say this: we live in the country we live in, with its very flawed electoral system, and its very flawed society. We have the folks in office that we have because of that. Things are not getting done that most folks — even the nutjobs — want to have done, again, because of the system and people we have, who voted for these people in office. You, as well as others in some recent threads, including PZ, have expressed angry, despairing, disappointment with things as they are. I share it, except for the despairing part, because giving up hardly helps. But you are the only one who sticks so much to purity that you actually keep asserting that Trump would be better than…what?

    I got re-elected this year, to my fourth three-year term on my local school board. It’s not that much, as a way to change things from within, but it’s the most I can do in my location and my life situation. I hope that everyone who complains about the current situation is — or will — do something to bring about the change we need. Voting isn’t enough, though it is a bare minimum, even if you vote for the lesser of two evils (it’s the way our system works; there’s no way around it). Voting in primaries, or getting involved in caucuses, is also helpful. Running for office, or working for someone you support for office, is even better. I know this is no-brainer stuff, but reading so much doom and gloom has been hard, especially at this place, where I’ve come to expect more.

    I get the gloom and doom; I feel it myself, but where does it lead us? Again, throwing up our hands, or contemplating violent revolution, are not where I’m ready to go.

  7. unclefrogy says

    don’t get too bothered by the local priest he is a believer and like all other people of faith is not subject to reason that takes into anything outside off his beliefs. In that way he is much like ken ham. He has no answers nor does he offer any help in the real world we all have to live in.

  8. nomdeplume says

    The volume of screaming about being silenced/cancelled is inversely proportional to the actual silencing, and directly proportional to the level of media exposure of that individual.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    There are nuances if asshole-ism. These assholes, and the criminal orange now in Florida are all a zillion bajillion times worse than the schmuck currently in power.
    And anyone who admits to having influenced Ron de Santis should be put in custody while being investigated for crimes against humanity.

  10. DrVanNostrand says

    If you look at the date on the US News link from this post, that 48.2% number is from June. According to the vaccine tracker at the NY Times, 59% of Nebraska’s total population is fully vaccinated. They define “fully vaccinated” as two doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of J&J. The worst states in the US are still in the 40s though (the best are in the 70s).

  11. raven says

    …the Great Barrington Declaration, are complaining that they’re being silenced.

    They should be grateful if they were silenced, although they aren’t.
    Their policy recommendation was a monument to human stupidity and plain evil. It would have killed many millions of people. It would have left tens of millions suffering from the various Long Covid-19 syndromes, many of them for the rest of their lives.


    The declaration calls for individuals at significantly lower risk of dying from COVID-19 – as well as those at higher risk who so wish – to be allowed to resume their normal lives, working normally at their usual workplaces rather than from home, socialising in bars and restaurants, and gathering at sporting and cultural events. The declaration claims that increased infection of those at lower risk would lead to a build-up of immunity in the population that would eventually also protect those at higher risk from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.[4] The declaration makes no mention of physical distancing, masks, tracing,[5] or long COVID, which has left patients suffering from debilitating symptoms months after the initial infection.[6][7]

    One of the few countries that tried it was Sweden. They had a much higher death toll than their neighbors and eventually gave it up.

    So what percent of the population needs to be immune to drive R below 1 and wind down the pandemic via herd immunity? We don’t know.
    What we do know is that it is high, much higher than the original estimates were.
    The last estimate I saw with Delta was 94% of the population immune.
    With this sort of virus, we may never reach herd immunity without the vaccines and maybe not even with the vaccines.

  12. says

    You think thats bad. NSW Australia has a new premier. He is a hardcore catholic fundamentalist affiliated with Opus Dei. His mantra is we have to live with Covid so free mixing and no mask mandates and briefings are no longer given by a spokesperson for the health department. We have a Prime Minister who says no lockdowns or mask mandates we all have to be personally responsible. This from a man who refused to meet with state fire commissioners and took a holiday to Hawaii in the middle of the biggest bushfire emergency the country had seen. his answer to that complaint was “I don’t hold a firehose”. He is a member of the largest Pentecostal evangelical church in Australia founded by a convicted kiddy-fiddler and tried to get his son, the current leader invited to dinner with your orange feuhrer. At least two members of his party are accused of rape and one is on trial. One of his disgraced ministers has resigned from parliament and his replacement candidate is a member of a loopy right wing church who aren’t worried about masks and vaccines because “The blood of Jesus will protect us”. The modelling under this current regime is predicting 200 thousand cases a day by January. Not only will Australians have to “live with Covid” they’ll have to die with it as well. https://youtu.be/S1skEeGBA9g

  13. unclefrogy says

    that is so nutty. do they think that we become immune to all viruses that way. have we not had pathogens for thousands of years for which we have not become immune to?
    that kind of thinking could only exist in a relatively stable and prosperous society and only by people who live some kind of an ivory tower life relatively removed from the ordinary struggles of life

  14. chrislawson says


    And even worse, in the face of a huge swell of cases now that Australian states are being forced to open up by federal fiat, our scummy PM has been on the hustings, hoovering up votes from the COVID conspiracy crowd by appealing to “personal responsibility, not mask mandates and lockdowns.” But the reason for the mask mandates and lockdowns is the widespread lack of personal reponsibility.

  15. chrislawson says

    @18– Sorry, I missed that you’d already addressed “personal responsibility” in your comment.

    I would add that “personal responsibility” apparently does not apply to Christian Porter, Andrew Laming, Eric Abetz, Michaelia Cash, the multiple unnamed Liberals who variously raped Brittany Higgins, masturbated on the desk of a female MP, groped a female MP, and ganged up to sexually harrass a Greens senator, among other acts . And that’s just the sex scandals. There’s also ScoMo attempting to recruit Gladys Berejikian for a federal run in the same week she resigned from state politics due to a corruption investigation, Robodebt, the “it’s OK to be white” senate motion co-sponsored with Pauline Hanson, the deceptive printing of How To Vote cards to look like independent AEC material for Mandarin-speaking voters, the sports rorts, the car park rorts, the drunken Vic MP who drove off the road and into a family house narrowly missing a sleeping child, the completely avoidable diplomatic shitfest over submarine orders, and many others. “Personal responsibility” my arse.

  16. wzrd1 says

    Well, at least they waited until the pandemic ended after it got warmer and disappeared like magic, from both the heat of summer twice and the flashlights and bleach we shoved up our asses to kill the virus like magic.
    Or something.

    Still, there is a proper solution for Nebraska. Build a wall. And destroy the highways in and out of the state, rail lines as well, plus a fine antiaircraft missile system surrounding the state of death.
    Or, out of an abundance of concern for personnel assigned to installations within the benighted state, transfer them to less harmful states and BRAC their installations and missile silos. I hear that the missile silos sell for a premium price these days.
    Hit them where it hurts, the wallet and bruise their prestige of hosting mass death machines underneath of their state.
    Either one works for me, it’s not as if the nation would even notice if Nebraska fell off of the map…