Dear Editor: To my dear Jewish brothers and sisters, Kew Gardens Hills residents:
Kudos to Moshe Hill for a fantastic column last week directed at the people and institutions still following long-ago debunked marching orders from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
As Mr. Hill discussed, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky finally admitted that the CDC has been inflating their COVID fatality numbers, stating that “the overwhelming number of deaths, over 75 percent, occurred in people who had at least four co-morbidities.” While this made headlines for a day or so, it’s long been suspected by those with even minimal interest in uncovering the truth.
What’s interesting is that Dr. Walensky made no mention of those suffering from one, two, or three co-morbidities, and what percentage of the overall total they make up, leaving that to rampant speculation and continued overall cynicism of CDC pronouncements. Even more interesting was the subsequent cleanup of her comments by a CDC spokesperson claiming that Dr. Walensky was referring to 75% of vaccinated deaths. Which version of Dr. Walensky’s assertion is true is unclear. What percentage of the overall COVID death total is from COVID as opposed to with COVID remains a mystery, as Dr. Walensky stunningly refused to answer that question when it was posed to her by Bret Baier of Fox News.
Polling has revealed the public’s trust in the CDC is waning faster than the COVID vaccine, and Dr. Walensky has struggled mightily to answer basic questions in numerous media appearances. It’s been reported that President Biden has expressed his dissatisfaction with Dr. Walensky’s communication skills and her ability to impart the administration’s COVID narrative. When your boss, who’s a never-ending highlight of embarrassing buffoonish incoherence, is complaining about your media performances, it’s probably time for a consult. Which is precisely what Dr. Walensky has done, as she is now being coached by prominent Democratic media consultant Mandy Grunwald to improve her communication skills. I suspect Dr. Walensky’s media performances would improve overnight if she would add just one elusive ingredient: Truth!
The lies the CDC has been telling us for almost two years are unraveling before our very eyes. The lies of commission, namely the number of deaths from COVID, as opposed to with COVID, and the scare tactics of treating Americans as equally at risk regardless of age and health, were politically motivated and disgusting.
The lies of omission are arguably worse. The CDC’s intentionally ignoring natural immunity is anti-science and has resulted in the unnecessary vaccination of millions. The refusal of the CDC to recognize Ivermectin or any other proven COVID therapeutics has disgracefully resulted in unnecessary loss of life.
The success of any democracy is predicated upon the competencies of its public institutions and its ability to advance and secure public trust. The CDC has lied to the American public about COVID for almost two years. They have paid no price. They have not apologized, shown any remorse, or admitted to getting anything wrong. Until there is accountability, we can expect more of the same from this once trusted institution.
I found Moshe Hill’s “Letter to all Jewish Institutions” in the January 13 issue absolutely reckless and myopic. It’s a typical demonstration of political “extension.” While the points made about the assorted lies we have heard by the government are all valid and reasonable, I can’t see how he is able to extend his premise to advising parents and yeshivos to ban masking. School conditions are very different from public conditions, and children have very different concerns from adults.
Young kids are natural “germ factories.” Kids constantly stick their fingers in their mouths, noses, and ears and in the dirt in playgrounds. They’re not all careful with washing their hands thoroughly. They frequently have runny noses and a cough without using a tissue. Despite whatever efforts parents and teachers may try, no one can police them well enough. They will just spread germs around. Add to this the fact that in one classroom, you have a mix of 20-30 students coming from different families. Who knows or can track how many of their parents or siblings have been vaccinated or may be asymptomatic (or symptomatic) carriers? (Yes, some parents who have COVID don’t report it to the child’s school.) With all these factors available, you need some level of protection for the kids, staff, and all the other parents.
Masks do offer some protection. They are not a guarantee, and they don’t completely prevent sicknesses, but they do reduce the spread of germs. Why are surgeons wearing masks? Why have our parents told us all these years to cover our mouths and noses when we sneeze and cough? To prevent the spread of germs! Masks are a form of protection against germs, offering better protection than coughing and sneezing into the air.
If Moshe Hill thinks that young kids are largely immune from COVID, he should view the latest statistics showing a dramatic increase in hospitalizations of children from COVID infections. In my neighborhood, two or three yeshivos have consistently closed for a week after every long yeshivah break such as after Yom Tov and yeshivah break, which is upcoming this week and next. Families go to places where they are with crowds of other people, almost all of whom are unmasked. Many return home with COVID. Would Mr. Hill suggest that having these kids sit unmasked in a classroom, knowing that there is high COVID risk, a smart idea?
I wonder if Mr. Hill has bothered to step into a classroom or has spoken to parents or yeshivah staff that have to deal with these issues constantly. He would likely get a different perspective. Lies coming from the CDC do not correlate with actively disregarding best cautionary safety practices. The decision of school health safety resides with the school and the parents, not with a political commentator like Mr. Hill.
In his column last week, Moshe Hill claims to be exposing three lies that the experts have been telling about COVID, but he instead makes three wildly misleading arguments.
First, he claims that, in an interview, Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that over 75 percent of all deaths from COVID occurred in people with at least four comorbidities, and he used this to argue that the danger from the virus has been highly exaggerated from the start. However, if you watch the whole interview or look at the study Dr. Walensky was referring to, she is clearly saying that the study shows that over 75 percent of deaths in vaccinated people have occurred in people with those comorbidities. It is something that highlights the effectiveness of the vaccines, not the decreased severity of the virus. A badly edited clip from the interview was initially circulating, so I assume Mr. Hill had not seen the full interview before submitting his column.
Second, he takes the fact that the US has by far the most confirmed total COVID deaths as evidence that the number is suspect. But the US is a very large country, so obviously the number to look at is deaths per capita, and there the US is around number 20 worldwide, and not separated from the pack. He further suggests (based on numbers from hospitalizations during Omicron, not deaths) that many of those US COVID fatalities occurred for other reasons, and that the victim having COVID was purely incidental. However, if that was a widespread occurrence, you would expect to see low excess mortality (volume of deaths compared to pre-pandemic years) and few spikes. Instead, the data shows that exactly when COVID deaths surge, excess mortality spikes. A noncommittal quote Mr. Hill brings from Dr. Walensky doesn’t change that and is hardly a smoking gun.
Third, he claims that the vaccines don’t prevent transmission, again using a cherry-picked quote from Dr. Walensky. But study after study has shown that vaccinated people are less likely to fall ill from the virus than the unvaccinated, and if you’re not sick, you’re also not transmitting the virus to others. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that even when the vaccinated have a breakthrough case, it is less severe and they clear the virus more quickly than the unvaccinated, which means they’re transmitting it for a shorter period. What he seems to be seizing on is that for the time that those with a breakthrough case are sick, the vaccine does not stop transmission. But while the vaccines do not prevent transmission in that circumstance, that clearly doesn’t mean that the overall threat of transmission from the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated is the same. And while it might be too early to draw conclusions, the data strongly suggests that the vaccines are not “useless” against Omicron, as Mr. Hill claims, especially when it comes to severity.
This is from my mother, Harriet Schneier:
“The strong stand Masbia and Misaskim took following the horrible fire in the Bronx was a kiddush Hashem. I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments.”
What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it? Mr. Hecht doesn’t seem even the slightest interested in the answers to those two questions. After all, she is the sole person responsible for the security and safety of everyone in the Capitol building. Mr. Thompson, the January 6 Committee chair, has stated that Pelosi is off limits. Why? If anyone is going to know why there was insufficient security at the Capitol, it would be her!
If the committee is going after text messages of Representative Jim Jordan and of Sean Hannity, shouldn’t the committee see the text messages of Madam Speaker? Speaking of texts, Mr. Schiff of California doctored Mr. Jordan’s text messages in a hearing, so he tainted “evidence.” Why should he be trusted? He along with Mr. Swalwell have proven to not be worthy of the Intelligence Committee they sit on, let alone this January 6 one. Nothing this committee finds is going to be worth anything. It is a partisan witch hunt. In fact, I don’t see any House committee doing oversight of the Executive branch in any meaningful way. Nothing on the porous southern border. Nothing on the Afghanistan disaster. Nothing on the supply chain bottleneck. Just keep attacking Republicans and Trump.
The Democrats have nothing else to run on in 2022, so they keep playing the same hand. The American people aren’t dumb. When not a single person is arrested and charged with insurrection, the notion of calling it one is comical. I think it’s time we all move on.
Rideshare prices have gotten ridiculously expensive. A one-mile ride in Queens can cost $15 when using the established ride share companies like Uber and Lyft. Thankfully, newer, smaller companies are coming to New York with lower prices. If we as rideshare consumers boycott Uber and Lyft in favor of the less expensive companies, perhaps we can force the big companies to lower their prices. This will benefit every rider.
I would like to thank the editors of the Queens Jewish Link for printing the Letters to the Editor. Biden just gave an incredibly divisive speech. He simply stated that anyone who objected to the Democratic takeover of elections is a White Supremist. The Attorney General stated that he wants to target White Supremacists. This is very ominous.
Warren Hecht has written many articles regarding January 6. Warren appears to support the Democrats’ talking points. In particular, Kamala Harris, who encouraged the BLM and ANTIFA riots, called the January 6 demonstrations worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Warren also supports the phony January 6 hearings. It is ironic that at the same time that House Democrats are holding witnesses in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena, they are refusing to turn over House records that will show that Pelosi refused Trump’s request to beef up security in the Capitol complex prior to January 6.
As I said previously, the FBI has been weaponized by the Democratic Party to go after Republicans. Peter Strzok, the main FBI investigator of the Russian hoax, stated that he hates Republicans so much that he can smell them whenever he goes into a Walmart. This is very similar to what the Nazis said about the Jews. It should be noted that the Democratic Congress praised Strzok for his statements and suggested that he should get the Purple Heart for his bravery.
The FBI has engaged in other outrageous political actions. They make early dawn raids of pro-Trump supporters such as Roger Stone, Rudolph Giuliani, and Paul Manafort. These raids are never done against Democrats. The FBI are guilty of entrapments. They want to go after Trump supporters who have not committed any crimes. They accomplish this by manufacturing a crime. A case in point is the Governor Whitmer kidnapping hoax. This phony investigation was run by FBI informant Richard Trask. The records show Richard Trask has stated that he hates Trump supporters and wants to get them. Trask was later arrested for beating his wife. Warren Hecht and the media refuses to report on this story.
Warren keeps on repeating the January 6 lie that Trump supporters violently attacked the Capitol. What he ignores is that there were two groups. One group came to listen to Trump speak and held a largely peaceful rally. Another group showed up and began violently breaking windows and damaging property. This violent group was led by a man named Ray Epps. Epps was seen on video whispering to someone and then that person broke down the barricades. He was not investigated by the FBI and the FBI has refused to deny the allegation that he was working for the FBI. The FBI charged Trump supporters who simply walked in and took selfies of themselves after they were invited in. They were given abnormally high sentences because of political reasons and many of them are held without bail.
To give some perspective, over 16,000 rioters were arrested in conjunction with the BLM/Antifa riots, and 90 percent were released and not charged. Over 700 Trump supporters were arrested for January 6 and only one was released. I do not understand how anyone can support this double standard.
As a final word, I would like to comment on Warren’s comparison of the “Squad” to Marjorie Taylor Greene. The “Squad” said that Jews are not loyal to this country and are only interested in money. The “Squad” also wants the Iron Dome taken away from Israel in order to help Hamas kill more Jews. The Democrats praised the “Squad” and have given them important committee assignments. Biden personally praised the “Squad” for their anti-Semitism. On the other hand, Greene has been a strong supporter of Israel and said, “Jewish lives matter.” Anyone who labels Greene as an anti-Semite should look in the mirror.