In this segment of Bill Maher’s show last night, Democratic Congressman Ritchie Torres from New York, Bari Weiss, and Maher discuss Covid-19, with the topic being “whether it’s time to move past Covid restrictions and get back to normal.” Weiss and Maher seem to say “yes,” while Torres urges caution.
Bari Weiss declares that she’s “had it” with Covid, that masks don’t work, that you can be vaccinated and still get infected with omicron, that lockdowns cause suicide, that few children have died from Covid and that “it’s time to end it”, apparently meaning we no longer need to take precautions against Covid, including getting rid of masks, lockdowns, and vaccinations. She’s arguing, as Torres characterizes her view, that “the response to the disease has been worse than the disease itself.” But have 800,000 Americans committed suicide from Covid-induced depression? No: look at the data from StatNews:
Those of us who posited that suicide rates may actually decline during the pandemic were either dismissed or criticized. But we were right: Provisional data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that for the entire year of 2020 — when most lockdown procedures were put in place, many communities saw their highest rates of Covid-related deaths, and economic uncertainty was at its peak — suicide rates dropped by 3%.
As for the efficacy of masks, the data summarizing their value can be seen at the CDC website, which actually gives data and doesn’t just say “wear masks”.
The gist of what she says here is that we shouldn’t have done anything about the pandemic. Maybe we would have had 2 millions deaths, but that’s just collateral damage.
Torres makes the point that nearly 100% the people in the hospital with Covid now are unvaccinated. They’re still dying, so how can you claim that vaccines don’t work? (The original clinical trials, of course, confirmed the efficacy of the vaccine.). As reader Paul wrote,
At least on COVID, Bari Weiss seems to have joined the other side. She and Bill seem to believe that the vaccine only protects the recipient against hospitalization and death and doesn’t help them avoid catching and passing on the disease. In general, Weiss seems to be positioning herself as a “media personality” rather than a writer, at least that’s my take.
Not only that, but she’s not even hewing to the data. She’s come perilously close to being an anti-vaxer, if she isn’t one already.
In Weiss’s case, she hasn’t stayed in her ideological position while the left moved further left. No, she appears to be shifting to the right. I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually she become a never-Trumper Republican. I hope not, but what she had to say in this short segment greatly disheartened me. And so did Maher’s response.
Weiss, at least, owes America a clarification of what she means when she says, “it’s time to end it.” End WHAT?