What does it mean to graciously disagree about COVID?

I believe this was universally agreed upon by Robert Malone, and presumably by those who signed The Great Barrington Declaration.

Not when it delays taking important, necessary and appropriate measures to mitigate more severe outcomes which would be worse if action is postponed.


Good point about those over 50. But do you know the number of people over 50 were were not vaccinated and didn’t die from Covid? I think about a million people over 50 died from the virus in the US (if you have better numbers, let me know). Of course that number could be skewed quite a bit because of underlying health conditions of the older population. In any case, there are about 115,000,000 in the US over 50 years old. I think that means that anyone over 50 had just under a 1% chance of dying from Covid. It is probably less than that though due to the aforementioned underlying causes of death. In addition, it would be hard to quantify how many deaths were exacerbated by the stress of the national response to Covid, lock downs perhaps being the biggest factor.

To be sure, I’m not settled in my own mind as to what is what in this whole Covid affair. Maybe I should have stuck with just one narrative instead of looking at both sides of the coin? Nah; that’s not science at all.

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Correct. Narratives are not science. Opinions are only opinions. Science requires data and careful interpretation. It seems one way to tell science from pseudo-science is the amount of certainly expressed compared to the amount of data available. Pseudo-science tends to be certain without data, science tends to have its certainty directly tied to the data available.


I am curious as to what sparked all the recently conspiracy stuff popping back up. At work today the same ones suddenly were asking me have I been watching the news and how science has now proven masks to be bad, social distancing to be bad and how vaccines were rushed and not truly tested and blah blah. I just ignored it and went back to turning up my podcast and going into the furnace area where it’s 140°f since no one else likes to do the work in there lol.


Perhaps one thing that was in the news was a story that the Department of Energy released a report that they felt the virus was leaked from the Human lab, though it was a “low confidence” determination. I think that is a reasonable position, though it would be nice to see the information they used to make that determination, and of course you always wonder what expertise the Energy Dept. has to make it, and what the politics are. Certainly, China has not made it easy to trace. Of course the CDC and NIH have always held it to be possible, although the available information epidemologically points more to an origin around the markets.

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I have just one question for anyone who takes arguments against masks seriously.

Do you seriously believe that appeals to authority and conspiracy theories carry more weight than hands-on practical demonstrations? If so, why?

Because that is what we’re dealing with. Scientists don’t just tell you that masks work, they explain how they work, with hands-on practical demonstrations such as this one:

On the other hand, all you get from the anti-mask crowd are vacuous appeals to authority, conspiracy theories, and snide references to “the science” as if “the science” were some sort of institutionalised orthodoxy or party line rather than the outcome of observations, experiments and measurement. When they do point to any actual research, the only thing that it shows is that masks don’t work perfectly. But there is a vast, vast gulf between showing that something doesn’t work perfectly and showing that it doesn’t work at all, and that is something that they gloss over completely.

The claim that vaccines are untested, rushed, or not sufficiently tested may have had some merit in the first couple of months or so after they were first made generally available, but it is patently ridiculous now. The number of vaccines that have been given to date is now into the billions, giving scientists more than enough data to determine which vaccines are effective, which ones aren’t, and how the risks involved compare to the benefits.

As for the other questions—whether social distancing and lockdowns were proportionate or excessive, and whether the virus originated in the wet market or the Wuhan Institute of Virology—I’m sorry, but anyone who peddles claims as ridiculous as “masks don’t work” or “the vaccines are untested” has quite clearly failed the FizzBuzz of virology and immunology and can not be considered a reliable source of information or opinion on those questions either.


Aren’t the National Labs under the DoE?

NYT ran an op-ed about a study that supposedly did a review of the literature and concluded masks did nothing, but said study was very misleading.

This guy has multiple fact-checking threads that have gone viral:


This is a genius application of FizzBuzz (something I’d never heard of before). A really great tool to put in the hands of interested/concerned but untrained. Thanks for sharing.

To the topic of your OP: the dissemination of public health information during an emergency is not a matter of dialogue of any kind. It is a matter of reporting the best-available information at the time for the benefit of the public.

Treating every voice as valid and concerning oneself with the feelings of dissenters cannot be the goal of public health officials, particularly during an emergency like COVID. By the time information is being disseminated to the public, the dialogue among experts should long be over regarding the best information and plan available at the time.


Most but not all of them are. DOE labs certainly have some relevant expertise. It’s impossible to evaluate the report, however, without knowing what evidence they’re relying on.

Intelligence agencies do not present all their sources lest the sources be compromised and rendered useless or even dead.

If we say we can’t evaluate the report without endangering operatives, then we can’t draw many conclusions.

I see the need for full disclosure of sources as an inappropriate need.

I don’t think the dissemination by officials was the problem as much as the censorship of and pressure on and potential future funding denied to those who saw the virus as mostly likely manipulated in a lab and unlikely to be natural.

Of course, the initial denials of gain of function research were not appropriate.

Views on the information disseminated are really not to the point of the OP. By the time information is being disseminated to the public, the dialogue (up to that point) is done. This is normal with all such information.

Press conferences, for example, are not the point of dialogue. They are for reporting, and perhaps to some degree, explaining.

I am familiar with your views on the possibility of censorship, etc and will not engage in that. I intend only to address the question in the OP regarding gracious dialogue.

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If there are two sides to the gracious dialogue debate I’d have to come down on the pro side.

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Of course they don’t. I don’t want to know who told them what. I do want to know whether their change of mind reflects something they’ve learned from studying the virus – which case they could provide the evidence – or from new or reconsidered information about the Wuhan lab. Since the change of mind occurred in the DOE, which is not an intelligence agency but which does conduct scientific research, it’s not clear your argument is relevant here.

There’s a big range of possibilities between ‘endangering operatives’ and knowing nothing at all, especially since we have zero reason to think any operatives were involved. We don’t in fact know anything (do we even know if any new information was involved?), which means no, we really can’t draw many conclusions. Unless you’ve suddenly started trusting unsupported statements by US scientific agencies, which seems unlikely.

Since precisely no one has suggested that sourced be disclosed, what the heck are you talking about?

It didn’t cause harm to everybody. Lot’s of $$$ got transferred from the many to the few. Of course money can bring its own problems, problems that can affect one’s eternity, the worse kind.

If scientists march out in front of the public and spread misinformation it can have consequences to their scientific career.

Just about every viral research institution is going to be genetically modifying viruses as part of their research projects. I have genetically modified viruses as part of research projects. That doesn’t mean every viral breakout should be blamed on the closest viral research lab. You first need to show that the viral genome was actually altered, and no viable evidence for modification of the SARS-CoV-2 genome has been put forward to this point. Instead, we have seen a LOT of misinformation and really bad science related to SARS-CoV-2 being modified. At best, you could say that an unmodified virus escaped the lab, but you could say that about every single viral breakout that happens in the same city that has ongoing viral research.

Not to either Collins or Fauci, I’m pretty sure! I’ve lost respect for the most of the sources out there that shamelessly take advantage of people like you by spreading lies and misinformation. They got plenty rich over it too, making them as bad as any of the worst big pharma execs that they claim they so despise.

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