With Only 9 Days Left For The Federal Mask Mandate, Disarray Over Whether It’s Extended

The fact that the transportation mask mandate is set to end in nine days and no decision about its future has been announced yet – or even leaked – tells me that the administration has had internal disagreement and uncertainty on what to do with it.

On the one hand they haven’t wanted to be ‘wrong’ being seen to declare victory over Covid-19 too early. They remember well a declaration of independence from Covid last 4th of July.

On the other hand, the facts on the ground really have changed with the seven day average of reported cases down 95% from their peak; hospitals not overwhelmed; a dominant strain that’s less virulent; boosters that are holding up well against hospitalization; and more widespread treatments like reformulated monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors (Paxlovid).

Even Hawaii is lifting its indoor mask mandate. No state will have one. Does it make airports, planes, trains and buses to the only places most people have to wear masks as a matter of law, where planes are relatively safer indoor environments and when cloth masks are ineffective yet satisfy the requirement?

I’ve argued from the start that the mask mandate would need to be lifted before the midterm elections, with control of the House and Senate in the balance. The political need to lift requirements may be even more imperative than that, with inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and U.S. response) driving up gas prices. Democrats of President Biden’s age will want to avoid a malaise presidency asking for too much sacrifice across too many dimensions at the same time.

Sara Nelson’s Association of Flight Attendants has walked back stories about its lobbying to continue the mask requirement on planes. This may be the second biggest tell that it’s on the chopping block after the administration’s lack of an announcement about its future.

  • Many flight attendants don’t want the requirement, they’re the ones who have to wear masks the most since they fly more than passengers do.

  • The union may sense that the mask requirement will be lifted and doesn’t want to appear weak being on the losing side of the argument – better to appear neutral.

While I anticipated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine I didn’t anticipate that it could play into the decision over whether to extend the federal transportation mask mandate. But the decision is ultimately a political one, and current politics could move up when the mandate gets lifted – no longer having to wait until close to the midterms.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. @Platy —

    — “Oooh, yet another sensitive person on an American travel blog who is not averse to an hysterical and ignorant rant.”

    ROFLMAO! Yet another *arrogant* foreigner that spouts off with *No* evidence with respect to spewed allegations — merely more unsubstantiated personal opinions about blah, blah, blah, …

    I posed several questions to you, of which you answered *None* … what does that say about your self-proclaimed “intellectual” prowess, as opposed to those whom you are so eager to disparage? As with all Progressives, just because you *wish* it so, does *Not* therefore mean that it is true! Instead of merely spewing personal opinions without any *Factual* evidence, why not try engaging in some *Real* debate about issues using actual data, instead of just whining endlessly using broad-stroked generic platitudes that come from tired old Progressive talking points? We’ve heard all of those before, so you do *Not* need to regurgitate them endlessly!
    ————————————————————————–
    — “You then spout the usual misinformation about Australia, typical nonsense repeatedly refuted by myself and other Australians on this and other travel blogs. Do the work, do the reading, self educate, try thinking for yourself.”

    I actually *Do* watch daily Australian news broadcasts, so what I posted were actually derived from those daily broadcasts! Are you accusing your own Australian news networks of spewing lies and propaganda? Or are you merely drowning in your own lies and propaganda, as spewed by your left-wing ABC network?
    ————————————————————————–
    — I do *Not* agree with a ZERO-Covid policy, and I do *Not* enjoy comparing #deaths statistics, but with respect to your claims about just how “successful” Australia has been in handling this pandemic, let’s compare two countries that have pursued a ZERO-Covid policy and how their statistics stack up, as of March 9, 2022 — Australia has recorded 5193 deaths with a population of 25,996,756, which equates to a death rate of 19.98/100K … Taiwan, a much smaller, yet more densely populated island, has recorded 853 deaths with a population of 23,889,188, which equates to a death rate of 3.57/100K … why do you suppose there is such a large discrepancy in death rates (a ratio of 5.6X worse for Australia)? Could Australia have done better, given that Taiwan’s population is much more densely distributed across a much smaller land area?

    Sweden has had 17,660 deaths with a population of 10,205,042, which equates to a death rate of 173.05/100K, which ostensibly seems very much higher, but we need to keep in mind that they have had to absorb large numbers of foreigners from the Middle East and Africa (now comprising over 3.3% of its population), and who have been much more prone to getting infected and suffering dire consequences, thereof; for example, Somalis make up just 0.69% of Sweden’s population, yet account for 40% of deaths in Stockholm, alone, so who knows what the Swedish death rate might be, absent those foreigners?

    But the major benefits to Sweden, despite their higher death rate, has been that they did *Not* let their citizens suffer through lockdowns and shutdowns that plagued (no pun intended) so many other countries worldwide, so their society and economy basically survived intact! Everyone on the Left loves to tout how their countries are now exhibiting such “fabulous” growth rates, but ignore the fact that, during those 2+ years of lockdowns and shutdowns, the baselines for such growth rates have basically been driven way down towards almost zero base, in some cases, so there is nothing actually “fabulous” to brag about, at this point! Bragging can ensue once recoveries exceed pre-pandemic achievement levels!

    I am *Not* at all a supporter of what USA has done to handle this pandemic and will *Not* defend the totally despicable statistics that USA has accumulated … clearly there has been rampant institutional corruptions as well as incompetence throughout the hierarchies of USA governmental agencies, from Federal to State to Local! In fact, it has been estimated that up to 95% of COVID-19 deaths in USA should *Never* have occurred, had USA’s “Vaccines or Nothing” mandates *Not* been effected, and had proven safe and effective therapeutics (eg, Ivermectin and HCQ cocktails) been massively deployed to fight infections as early as possible! Don’t even try to “debunk” the safety and efficacy of these therapeutics with me, as I’ve personally shredded purported clinical trials that tried to show otherwise, with their designed-to-fail trial parameters and test protocols!

    With all due respect, as for your “democratic voter validation” of your Australian states’ pathetic handling of this pandemic, it just goes to show how naive and gullible the general populace of Australia must have become during this pandemic — so their state premiers finally relax their inane draconian restrictions of the past 2+ years and the populace is thrilled to be “free” again, thereby reinforcing support for the very “leaders” that had already inflicted such sufferings upon them for so long? Can you name another country (besides China) where citizens were prevented from crossing state lines during those pathetic days of lockdowns and shutdowns? Or had to endure actual police brutality in Melbourne, as show worldwide in global news reports? Are the Australian people’s memories already suffering from Dementia? Or from Mass Formation Psychosis? What’s to prevent a return to those inane draconian ways again, once those same premiers deem it “necessary” to do so, based on *No* scientific evidence whatsoever, just as happened in USA? But, as that old saying goes — your people get what they vote for, and, therefore, might end up repeating recent history in the future! Recall what the real Albert Einstein said about such repeating the very same actions and expecting different outcomes?

    Finally … IFF you *Still* persist in believing the “efficacy” of those experimental cellular genetic therapies, then you really need to get educated about what those purportedly “effective” jabs could be doing to the immune systems of so many of those who obediently, and blindly, got their jabs … do you even understand that VE can actually go *Negative* with those jabs? What are the dire implications of that, given the recently increasing #cases that appear to be so inexplicable to those who claim to be “scientists,” yet have *No* comprehension, as to why such is occurring?

    Don’t get me wrong — I was actually once considering retiring in Australia, at some time in the future, but after seeing how inane and totalitarian your state premiers have been with their handling of this pandemic, I’m certainly *Not* going to do that any time soon, so you can breathe a huge sigh of relief! 😛

  2. @ StrictlyFacts
    The debate on managing COVID has been aired on this and other travel websites. Go back to the historical posts. Myself and others have previously provided pages upon pages of evidenced information and attendant cross references to the scientific and medical literature. I’m not going to waste my time repeating these for the sake of one hysterical poster.

    Something about no time for Covidiots that didn’t get the memo. You’ll find my posts on this and other sites with the least effort if you can handle an internet search engine.

    Now let’s look past your dumb comments about “foreigners”, which, frankly make you look petulant and can only encourage some “foreigners” to reinforce their prejudices of dumb Americans. Clearly you have to be dumb to sit back and let one million people die, right?

    To clarify and thereby bypass your senseless ranting about unanswered questions. I have already answered your questions repeatedly and extensively. Probably more than any other person on this and others of the most popular travel blog websites (VFTW, LL, OMAAT) when it comes to the Australian response to COVID. Like I said, do the work, the information is at your fingertips, if you can handle a search engine. In the time you spent scribbling a rant, you could have learned something useful.

    So, you watch the Australian media. Good for you. To reflect your incipient racism so you can understand how it comes across, you may not be as clueless as many other “Americans”, but no I take that back reading the rest of your post, you really are that dumb Whilst you are reinforcing your prejudiced misconceptions about COVID, I’m reading the scientific and medical literature, and, crucially, reviewing the models which our governments have used to inform their health policy, curious about their strengths and weaknesses.

    Let’s put that into practical terms – whilst you are crying over toys in a kindergarten sandpit, I’m trying to work out if the grown-ups have got it right.

    You are so out of touch on matters Australian you don’t realise that it is not a political battle in Australia, like it has become in the USA. Your comments about left wing bias in the ABC is thereby misplaced and idiotic. And, just for the record, the ABC operates under a charter which legally obliges political impartiality and is subject to continual Parliamentary scrutiny on such. That does not apply to other media outlets like the Murdoch empire, itself dominant in the Australia media landscape and largely unfettered in its political agenda.

    Australia did not engage in a zero COVID strategy. There was a national parliamentary enquiry on this. Again, you can go and use your favorite search engine to self-educate.

    I’m not sure it’s even worth entertaining your racist delusions about foreigners in Sweden. Suffice to say that a responsible government adopts a responsible health policy for the good of the whole community. And that includes sick people, old people and immigrant populations. In the event that any of those groups are more vulnerable, then the government needs to step up to protect them. Some nations (e.g. UK, Australia) have legal statutes requiring equality of health treatment by the state (what some dumb Americans confuse with communism) without any discriminatory practice.

    Of course, the USA has no universal health system, so has struggled predictably during the pandemic. Once COVID hit the USA we all knew it wouldn’t cope having commercialised health without due regard for the poorer and weaker in its communities.

    You mistakenly see COVID management as a politically divisive issue. Sure, that is evidently the case in the USA. But don’t project the stupidity of tRump and his simpering Republicans inciting such onto other nations. In Australia the state governments of both left and right of centre have broadly adopted similar health policies.

    You have a very misinformed concept about the extent of lockdowns in Australia. Even when you are presented with the facts you hang onto to your child’s toy unable to give it up. You do realise that the Swedish government placed restrictions on population, right? It wasn’t the free for all, that certain right-wing commentators espouse. I have already informed you that our local mortality rate was 1500 times less than Sweden’s during the alpha and delta waves and we enjoyed a largely unrestricted existence throughout most of the pandemic.

    Bottom line, dumb one, is that most Australians did not suffer per your misinformed rant and nor did they die. By the time Omicron hit the nation was substantially vaccinated.

    Why do I bother with such ignorance?! Maybe somebody smarter than you is reading this. Maybe I’m annoyed that dumb and stupid people like you misrepresent and disrespect science.
    You descend into your conspiracy theories, akin to the utter insanity of certain elements of the right wing.

    But, just out of interest, let’s see just how desperate you need to become to defend your delusion.

    You accept that one million dead is bad. But then deny the very management option that has been proven in human history – restriction of movement (and quarantine of folk).

    You try to use the charge of corrupt practices in government to suggest that the people are being conned, yet conveniently ignore the fact that such a theory would need to apply to every country on the planet to be valid. So, we have mass delusion and conspiracy across 200 plus national governments, right?

    You choose to ignore that vaccine development is subject to a validation process, just like any other drug, even your poster fix-it drug of Ivermectin. So, tell me, dumb one, do you take any meds, or would you or your family (please tell me you don’t apply your stupidity to innocent children) were sick?! It is succulently hypocritical of some to decree COVID vaccinations and go running for the antibiotics when you get a chesty cough. Same process, but a unique stupidity in some when it comes to managing COVID.

    Strangely, Australia is a federation of states, a commonwealth country and, what do you know, a democratic country. To bolster your idiotic belief set you now need to denigrate the vast majority of the nation to the scrap heap of fools. Close to 100% (based upon those accepting vaccination) of the population are idiots, right? They are so dumb that they accepted saving an estimated 60,000 Australian lives through the implementation of state health policies, tried and tested by humankind for centuries, because they never questioned their governments.

    Nah – probably more likely that you are a raving lunatic and the 98% of Australian society have a balanced and informed appreciation of stuff.

    Oh yes – and as you conveniently ignore – most of the country for most of the pandemic was not in lock down – why was that – because we had prevented the spread of COVID. Whilst the Americans watched one million people die, we enjoyed a trip to the bar and our local restaurant without somebody else paying the price for our selfish individual freedoms.

    The rest of your post is, frankly, stark raving bonkers. You can cherry pick histrionic and unrepresentative examples as much as you like.

    It is very unfortunate that idiots like you enjoy the fruits of science and at the same time refute it. That you insult those who have worked to provide relief from a pandemic using technologies, which inexplicably, you rail against without any data or reason.

    Incidentally, to become an Australian citizen you would need to have some idea of how the government works. Remarks about totalitarian state premiers indicate your blatant ignorance of our local laws and, crucially the legal checks and balances in the political system to prevent such. You clearly wouldn’t pass the questions presented as part of a citizenship test. Since you have changed your mind, you can breathe a sigh of relief since you would never have the embarrassment of failing the test and being adjudged too dumb to be allowed to stay.

    And remember to drink the bleach, if you get sick.

  3. The masks are nothing more than theater mandated by despicable politicians far more concerned with controlling our lives than with improving them.

    Enough.

    End this BS charade now.

  4. @ RMF
    Welcome to the side of light. You’ve taken a little longer than many of us to get here, but we’re happy for you that you’re here.

  5. The mandating is ending. They just can’t announce it in advance because there would be madness between the announcement and expiry. People are already causing mask-related disturbances. Imagine how bad it would be if they announced the lift in advance. How could you convince someone that the mask is necessary for their safety and that of others, when you also say that the necessity ends in X number of days. There would be massive non-compliance and unrest.

  6. @Platy — “The debate on managing COVID has been aired on this and other travel websites. Go back to the historical posts.”

    Of course, I could say the exact same thing about my posts of yore, as well … so why haven’t we had this “battle” before? Where have you been, all this time?
    —————————————————————
    — “Clearly you have to be dumb to sit back and let one million people die, right?”

    Apparently you’ve already forgotten about what I had just posted in my prior reply? What part of “I do *Not* support the ways that this pandemic was handled in USA” do you *Not* understand, to repeat yourself with this trite rhetorical question?
    —————————————————————
    — “I have already answered your questions repeatedly and extensively … when it comes to the Australian response to COVID … In the time you spent scribbling a rant, you could have learned something useful.”

    Really? Where were those answers? Somehow I have yet to see your “factual” rebuttals? You *Do* understand that I do *Not* accept your personal opinions and self-proclamations as being necessarily “factual,” right? Just because you proclaim it so, does *Not,* therefore, make it true!
    —————————————————————
    — “I’m reading the scientific and medical literature, and, crucially, reviewing the models which our governments have used to inform their health policy, curious about their strengths and weaknesses. … whilst you are crying over toys in a kindergarten sandpit, I’m trying to work out if the grown-ups have got it right.”

    So IFF you truly do as you claim, and are as “curious” as you claim, then *Why* have you *Not* given any responses to my questions to you about the *Fallacies* embedded in many of those sources to which you referred? Or are you merely masquerading with a pro-Establishment one-track mindset? Have you followed up on my questions to you about the effects of Negative VE from those jabs? Have you dived into the *Actual* limitations of those flawed “model(s)” from ICL (and IMHE) that ended up inflicting such UN-necessary pain and suffering worldwide? Is Neil Ferguson (and Christopher Murray) among your COVID-19 healthcare policy heroes?

    Furthermore … “Why” do you feel that it’s necessary to engage in such extreme self-congratulatory narcissism? I often find that people who engage in such actions are actually *Not* as “smart” as they self-proclaim and use such ploys to hide that fact!
    —————————————————————
    — “Your comments about left wing bias in the ABC is thereby misplaced and idiotic. ABC operates under a charter which legally obliges political impartiality and is subject to continual Parliamentary scrutiny on such.”

    ROFLMAO! Scrutiny does *Not* necessarily equate to Enforcement of *Actual* impartiality! ABC perpetrates just as much propaganda about select Progressive issues as the worst within USA! You seem to have already forgotten that I *Do* watch daily Australian news programs, so your efforts to cover up for ABC does *Not* fly with me (no pun intended)! Nice try, though …
    —————————————————————
    — “Australia did not engage in a zero COVID strategy.”

    So what do you call it, when Australia isolates domestic states from each other with artificial interstate borders that were *Not* allowed to be crossed during your lockdowns? Locking down the country against incoming foreign travelers is generally accepted, but among domestic states within? And what about those quarantine internment camps? *Why* have those at all? Especially when so many were forced into those camps while testing *Negative* for COVID-19, to begin with? Don’t trust your own citizens to “do the right thing” on their own to self-isolate if / when they get infected? Let me remind you, once more, that I’ve seen interviews with those who were actually being held in those camps, so do *Not* even try to deny their existence! Actions speak louder than Words (and Denials)!
    —————————————————————
    — “I’m not sure it’s even worth entertaining your racist delusions about foreigners in Sweden.”

    ROFLMAO! There you go, just as with every other Progressive — when you can *Not* accept actual *Facts* that contradict your ideology, you resort to that tired old playbook to make everything about Race and Politics! I merely stated a *Factual* statistic and *That* is considered “Racist”! Talk about Mass Formation Psychosis (MFP) — you must be a prime sufferer of that disease!

    You really need to actually *Educate* yourself about the *Real* situation in Sweden and *Why* they have a higher death rate than some other countries, despite their government’s efforts to do better! Your *Naive* views about this issue do *Not* square with *Reality* over there!
    —————————————————————
    — “Of course, the USA has no universal health system, so has struggled predictably during the pandemic. … we all knew it wouldn’t cope having commercialised health without due regard for the poorer and weaker in its communities.”

    Yet another *Naive* pusher for socialist “one size fits all” healthcare that does *Not* work in an environment that is as large and diverse as USA! If universal healthcare is so great in UK, Canada, Australia, etc,, then *Why* do those who are the most *Privileged* always “escape” to USA to get their best care? Did the people of USA end up paying anything for their COVID-19 tests and jabs (US$0.00) — yes … those jabs that were supposed to be “helpful” but, in reality, ended up harming so many that they were supposed to help?

    Do all Australians still need to pay A$145 for a PCR test when wanting to cross into Queensland from another Australian state? Do you understand *Why* the PCR test is *Not* a reliable indicator of COVID-19 infections, yet somehow remains a “reference standard,” anyway?
    —————————————————————
    — “In Australia the state governments of both left and right of centre have broadly adopted similar health policies.”

    So both sides implementing the *Wrong* healthcare policies to try and combat COVID-19 makes everything just hunky-dory and perfect? How totally stupid is that?
    —————————————————————
    — “You have a very misinformed concept about the extent of lockdowns in Australia. … I have already informed you that our local mortality rate was 1500 times less than Sweden’s during the alpha and delta waves and we enjoyed a largely unrestricted existence throughout most of the pandemic.”

    Perhaps you need to go back and review what “restrictions” Sweden imposed, being mostly self-practiced, vs. those coercive mandates of other countries, including USA and Australia …

    You keep bragging about Australia’s mortality rate, while *Naively* spouting off about how very bad Sweden’s rate is (based on *False* attributions), yet refuse to respond to my question to you about *Why* it is that Australia has a 5.6X worse mortality statistic than Taiwan, which is much denser in population and has a much smaller land area … ???

    As for your “unrestricted” existence, what were all of those massive protests across Australia within major metro areas such as Melbourne and Sydney? Those were seen worldwide on international news broadcasts … complete with actual police brutality actions upon innocent citizens! Shouldn’t you be *Defunding* your police, based on such exhibits of overt violence against the populace?
    —————————————————————
    — “Why do I bother with such ignorance?! Maybe somebody smarter than you is reading this. Maybe I’m annoyed that dumb and stupid people like you misrepresent and disrespect science.”

    ROFLMAO! Just more of your tired old attacks *Without* attendant *Facts* to back yourself up! Like I keep telling you — just because you proclaim it to be so, does *Not* therefore make it true!
    —————————————————————
    — “… conveniently ignore the fact that such a theory would need to apply to every country on the planet to be valid. So, we have mass delusion and conspiracy across 200 plus national governments, right?”

    You *Are* totally *Naive* about such matters, huh? What do you expect, when most nations blindly follow the totally *Flawed* “guidelines” that emanated from W.H.O. and USA’s NIH/CDC/FDA about how to handle COVID-19? Do you expect that every country is going to do their own “due diligence” about such “guidelines”? Do they have the necessary resources to do so? Good grief!
    —————————————————————
    — “You choose to ignore that vaccine development is subject to a validation process, just like any other drug, … It is succulently hypocritical of some to decree COVID vaccinations and go running for the antibiotics when you get a chesty cough. Same process, but a unique stupidity in some when it comes to managing COVID.”

    Wow! You *Are* totally *Naive* and *Gullible* on this topic! Astounding … coming from someone who purports to “know it all”!

    Are you aware about the *Totally* corrupt and scandalous EUA approval process that the likes of Pfizer went through? And *Why* they wanted to *Cover Up,* for 75 years, their scandalous clinical trial data used to get their EUA? But which a sage judge *Denied* to Pfizer? So now we have some whistleblowers with conscience who have exposed just how ruthlessly *Corrupt* Pfizer had been? How about the serious scandals that also beset Moderna with their entire efforts, as well?

    Are you aware about the *Totally* incestuous relationship that NIH/CDC/FDA have with Big Pharma companies? And how that has *Corrupted* drug approvals and restrictions? It appears as if you’re totally *Clueless* about these *Facts,* despite self-proclamations otherwise, so you will just blindly and willingly swallow the Kool-Aid that the Establishment pumps down your throat!

    So what do you *Really* understand about this topic, anyway? I could inundate you with references to reports about this and so many other related topics, but you need to exercise your own advice and to do web searches on such issues to actually *Educate* yourself … perhaps you should use a different search engine than Google, though, since rampant censorship of *Real* facts have been proven to occur, with that one!

    Wake up, dude!
    —————————————————————
    — “To bolster your idiotic belief set you now need to denigrate the vast majority of the nation to the scrap heap of fools. … They are so dumb that they accepted saving an estimated 60,000 Australian lives through the implementation of state health policies, tried and tested by humankind for centuries, because they never questioned their governments. … you are a raving lunatic and the 98% of Australian society have a balanced and informed appreciation of stuff.”

    Wow! Even *More* proof that you *Are* totally *Naive* and *Gullible* on this topic!

    But, first of all, I’m *Not* denigrating the populace of Australia, when I made my rhetorical conjecture about how they might have succumbed to Mass Formation Psychosis during this pandemic, since the majority of those in USA also suffer from this syndrome!

    Back to the topic at hand — please tell me exactly *When,* in past history, we’ve gone and injected literally Billions in the World *Without* due diligence with safety studies of drugs that use totally *Novel* technologies such as experimental mRNA and vectored cellular genetic therapies that never qualified as traditional vaccines? Are you even aware that CDC went and jiggered the legacy definition of “vaccine” in order to facilitate EUA approvals for those experimental cellular genetic therapies? Are you aware about *Why* USA could *Not,* thereafter, permit adoptions of those world-proven safe and effective therapies such as Ivermectin and HCQ cocktails, which could have saved the lives of 95% of those who UN-necessarily died from COVID-19?

    Under the guise of “saving time,” Pfizer intentionally decided to forego traditional animal experiments to verify safety and efficacy, because they already *Knew* about the hundreds of *Adverse* side-effects that their jabs would cause, as recently exposed by internal whistleblowers! Instead, they adopted the attitude of “see nothing, say nothing” went full bore to get their EUA through *Corrupt* practices and have now made Tens of US$Billions in profit on the backs of so many worldwide that now suffer those previously (internally) known side-effects! Does this sound like an ethical way to develop “life saving” drugs?

    Wake up, dude!
    —————————————————————
    — “Whilst the Americans watched one million people die, we enjoyed a trip to the bar and our local restaurant without somebody else paying the price for our selfish individual freedoms.”

    Wow! You’re not only *Naive* and *Gullible,* but also *Delusional* as well!

    So what was it about Melbourne having gone through the *Longest* continuous lockdown of anywhere in the World, at 262 days, while having to suffer overt police brutality against its citizens, to boot? Did you forget, once again, that those police brutalities were broadcast worldwide on international news programs?
    —————————————————————
    — “That you insult those who have worked to provide relief from a pandemic using technologies, which inexplicably, you rail against without any data or reason.”

    ROFLMAO! It is *You* who happens to be totally *Naive* and *Gullible* about those experimental technologies that have been deployed *Without* due diligence to safety and efficacy, unlike those other traditional *True* vaccines! Try and educate yourself better, so that you can become more *Properly* enlightened, versus merely spewing scripted Progressive Talking Points, as so many others like you are so wont to do, especially here in USA!

    Also note that I *Will* rail against those in upper management positions, whether in government or corporations — but that does *Not* mean that I disrespect the many dedicated workers who did their best to create something that they thought might help mankind … they just got *Totally* misled by their upper management on their efforts!
    —————————————————————
    As for your insults about Australian citizenship, your *Arrogance* doesn’t even deserve an insult in return … I truly feel sorry for those Australians who also think like you do — such tragedy! 😛

    Fortunately, as I can also observe on daily Australian news programs, there *Are* so many others who are actually *Normal* in their attitudes and outlooks, which I very much appreciate, so there might yet be hope for Australia! I certainly hope so, since Australia has a *Very Critical* role to play in southeast Asian security matters!
    —————————————————————
    Finally … I think that we can both agree on having engaged in the *Longest* posts in the history of this blog? 😛

  7. @Strictly Facts

    You accuse me of not answering your questions (which I have encountered many times before on these blogs), but when I refer you to the answers you refuse to go check them out. My factually articulated position is on the record with reference to the datasets, the models. Check it out if you want, or don’t, that’s your choice, but don’t make false claims that the answers are being avoided.

    The USA has lost around one million people attributed to COVID. I read no practical solution from you, rather the paranoid ramblings of a conspiracy theorist who has to resort to the claim that virtually everyone on the planet is subject to mass delusion, and that everything and everybody is wrong, and only you have any insight.

    Your paranoia forces you into an extreme distrust of my personal attributes and motives, with wild and unsubstantiated claims about me faking my intelligence, my presumed politics, my pro-establishment position, my unquestioning nature, etc.

    That’s the problem with taking an extreme and unsubstantiated position – it draws you into ever more presumption and denialism, greater paranoia, a greater delusion about you alone being able to recognise and champion your *truth*, seeking petty reasons to invalidate anything that doesn’t fit with your world view.

    You accuse the Australian ABC of political bias without evidence, but refuse to accept the level of scrutiny applied to it. You attempt to trivialise the process of such scrutiny with no data, whilst conveniently ignoring the reality that such level of scrutiny is not applied to the “right wing” media, giving it the freedom to entertain an evidently political agenda based on commercial self-interest.

    You are so set in your limited mindset that you repeatedly miss the logic in the argument and the relevance of context. COVID hasn’t been politicised in Australia to anywhere near the extent as within the USA. To that extent, your personal (mis)conceptions of media bias in Australia are irrelevant.

    Your (mis)conceptions about the Australian media are also irrelevant once I have told you that I read the original scientific and medical literature to inform my position. I have referred you to the modelling that has been used to inform government health policy having reviewed the datasets, but you are too busy feasting on the BS that you get fed by the right-wing media in the USA. Try reading the original source material, cut out the middle man, and political bias won’t be an issue for you.

    You continue to promulgate the mythology about Australia’s response to COVID. I’ve referred to the parliamentary enquiry on the topic of “zero-COVID” which is extensively researched and reported in detail. Go find it and read or don’t. Again, it’s your choice to ignore information, which doesn’t fit your world view. Similarly, you can go and check out the election results of a number of state elections held during the pandemic. There are extensive data available online. No, it’s easier to be lazy and pollute your uncritical mind with the drivel presented on US right wing media outlets.

    Now let’s illustrate just how ignorant you are about Australia and just how that entraps you in very dumb statements.

    I already told you that Australia is a federation of states. Your claim of “artificial state borders” is utterly stupid. They exist, both legally and in physical reality. Now if you’d be bothered to read my previous posts on this and other popular travel blogs you would find extensive explanation on how health care policy is determined on a state-by-state basis. That is the legal reality. Each has its respective health care act. Like it or not, that’s how the system of governance is set up. Go and do the reading, do the work, do the research.

    Movement has been restricted to varying degrees during the pandemic. That is how you limit the spread of the virus and avoid one million dead people. Once again I have written on these topics extensively on this and other travel blogs in an attempt to correct certain misconceptions, prejudices and misinformation on Australia and governments’ responses to COVID.

    People continued to cross the Australian international border in their 10,000s per month during much of the pandemic. Incoming travellers used to be directed to enter hotel-based quarantine according to whatever health policy was operating in the state of arrival. These policies were progressively relaxed as vaccination rates met their targets. You can enter Australia with a negative COVID test meeting the defined standards and timeframes without a quarantine requirement (a lessor requirement than entering the US). Many other countries also had quarantine policies and some still do. If you test positive within Australia you are required to self-isolate – typically for 7 days.

    What is this drivel about people being forced into “internment camps” – more stupidity from some right-wing media outlet in the USA? Aside from the state-based hotel quarantine system, the Australian Federal Government runs a facility at Howard Springs. This was used to accelerate the number of Australian residents who could return to the country during the pandemic through repatriation flights. I suggest that you use your favorite search engine to self-educate on this place because you seem to be very misguided. The facility was regarded as superior by some to hotel quarantine since it reduced the risk of viral transmission by offering separate digs in an open-air environment. There is no denialist agenda here – you have been brainwashed and refuse to do your own research. Per my original email – you are very confused and add to that evidently very gullible. Try self-educating before you accuse others of denialism.

    Talking about denialism. You refuse to accept the data comparing the Australian and Swedish COVID mortality rates, which are starkly contrasting, rather make a new set of personal accusations that I am a “progressive” (whatever that means in your search for political scapegoats) and slave to some sort of ideology (whatever that might be in your deluded mind). You completely failed to grasp the logical argument – if any group is vulnerable, the government is obliged to take that into account, and that includes older people and any other group.

    The point is that you cannot excuse a government’s failure on the basis that one group is more susceptible than another. Arguably, the national government in Australia itself failed to do as much as it could to protect vulnerable groups, notably older people, by stumbling in the roll out of vaccines and latterly booster shots to that group.

    Incidentally, your US healthcare system scores very poorly (forgive the unintended pun) in recent rankings (the worst in 11 high income countries and at 37 in another list). According to Patients Beyond Borders 1.4 million Americans went overseas for medical treatment in 2017.

    What matters herein is that Australia has managed COVID within its capacity (the policy was always “flatten the curve”) and ended up with a mortality rate that was 40 times less than the USA during the Alpha and Delta waves. And, as we know, the USA now has about one million dead.

    To clarify in an attempt to divert you from further misinformation and misinterpretation. There is no requirement for a PCR test entering QLD – you can self-test with a rapid antigen test, if required. When there was, the charge of AUD145 payable to the path lab ended up being picked up by the national government (reference press briefing of Health Minister Hunt 24 November 2021) under an agreement made previously and months earlier between national and state governments.

    I am aware of the limitations of PCR testing. If you have a better solution, something positive to offer rather than just sniping and complaining about everything, do tell us. A clue, a system or process doesn’t have to be perfect to be of value. Health ministers, doctors, etc., have to make decisions, they don’t have the luxury of sitting back, they have to act and then adapt.

    Australians have overwhelmingly supported the health care policies adopted during the pandemic. Quite simply your personal views in denying the success of such are entirely out of step, predicated on many false assumptions, biased and incorrect information, and an incapacity to comprehend how science works, all amply demonstrated by the content of your posts.

    People have a right to peaceful demonstration in Australia as part of the democratic fabric of the country. Not everyone agrees with governments all of the time. So what? The overwhelming majority has supported Australian national and state governments’ health policy based upon various polling and actual state elections.

    A demonstration doesn’t make a health policy wrong. Aspects of policy have been hotly debated, which is an indicator of a vibrant democracy with due accountabilities on governments. The limits of governments have been subject to court challenge (something about a check and balance, upon what you stupidity refer to as totalitarian). When demonstrations become unruly the police have the unenviable task of keeping law and order Sometimes police over reach – of course they do. Just as sometimes demonstrators intimidate bystanders and smash stuff up (did your right-wing US media outlets show you both sides of the story? Probably not).

    That doesn’t make the health policy wrong and it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is systemic problem with the law enforcement agencies. Any right-wing media outlet can spin a story for the uncritical and gullible.

    You clearly simply won’t accept it when I report to you from QLD, first hand, that we have lived a near normal life with few restrictions for most of the pandemic. Well, it’s your choice to live in denial of inconvenient information.

    In terms of your insane attachment to the theory of global mass delusion, strangely enough, the USA doesn’t run the planet. Thankfully, many countries have not followed the US example and its one million dead. They have been smarter. They have watched and learned from the fatal errors made and watched on in disbelief at the selfish behaviors of some in the US community.

    And curiously enough, Pfizer isn’t the only available vaccine. Your conspiratorial obsessions now have to be extended to negate the whole pharmaceutical industry, the university research departments, the peer reviewers and publishers of academic and medical journals, the government and international bodies advising health policy, governments recommending or mandating vaccination and the front-line doctors, pharmacists and hospitals administering the vaccinations.

    In any case, why do you expect the system to be perfect? Hint – it never is. So, having demonised everything and everyone on whatever excuses you’ve been fed, what are you left with? Presumably, a sweet nothing. You have nothing to offer. No solution. One million US dead.

    Political leaders and health departments don’t have the luxury of doing nothing when faced with a pandemic. They have to make choices. Accept the system with its flaws and make decisions. Lock down or not, vaccinate or not. But some policy has to be implemented and done now. Otherwise, one million dead, or more.

    Why do you presume that people who don’t see the world through your paranoid eyes are naïve and gullible? Maybe they have already noted the strengths and weaknesses in a situation or system and made a call. They haven’t gone into hiding or assumed the role of fatalistic evangelist. They’ve looked for a way to make the best of an imperfect world. They are way ahead of you.

    You really need to read the medical literature and resist the temptation to be brainwashed by your right-wing media. If you think that Ivermectin is going to stop you getting severe COVID, think again, go and do the reading for yourself.

    Well, I guess that argument will go nowhere anyway since you’ll deny the facts that are inconvenient to you and attach to delusions that meet your world view. What will it be this time – the researchers are biased or in the pockets of big pharma, or some such excuse?

    Therein lies the trap for you – one of utter hypocrisy. You accept one treatment and deny another, although they both come from the same system, that is so flawed, in your opinion, that apparently you have no trust in it whatsoever. Do you have a problem with Novovax (a different technology to Pfizer and subject to animal trials? Or do you find some excuse to deny its efficacy?

    Look, being cautious and critical can be a good thing. Identifying the flaws in a system can be enlightening. But the grown-ups have to take the next step and make a practical decision, accepting the flaws in the system and based upon the currently available data and the best models that can be mustered. Denying a role for vaccines because you think that can find some flaw in the process is dumb.

    You characterise me as an uncritical proponent of the establishment who fakes their intelligence. I really don’t care what you think of me. But you make a very sad and telling error to miscast somebody in a pathetic attempt to shore up your hollow position.

    Of course, I have done the due diligence before taking any vaccines. Luckily, I have extensive scientific training and relevant experience to draw upon. I have made those choices being aware of the flaws in the system. Along the way I’ve moved medical provider having clashed with my wife’s doctor about the safety of one of the vaccines. I’ve also studied closely the original data and research and models used to inform government and written to my local member of parliament where concerns about the integrity of the dataset and limitations of the underlying assumptions warranted. I’ve called him out for misrepresenting the data.

    It’s not a perfect world, but decisions have to be made. Be critical by all means, see what you can find, but then be wise enough to work out how you can use that information for a positive outcome. When decision makers get it wrong, they end up with one million dead.

    Here in Australia, we never had that problem. Whatever your misguided viewpoint, we are celebrating our success. The datasets prove that vaccines have played their part, whether you choose to deny the fact of the matter or not. Spending all of your time picking holes in everything and everybody is ultimately a fool’s errand. It’s not smart. It’s not scientific. It leads to snowballing deluded and paranoid positions, which you have amply demonstrated.

  8. @Platy — I will reply to your post some time this weekend, as it is tax filing time, over here, and I need to do some work on that first … so stay tuned! 🙂

  9. @ StrictlyFacts

    Don’t worry, mate, I’m busy too – been trying to book a last minute trip to SIN for next week and work out how to get COVID tested in the timeframe (our local testing centres are closed on a weekend) and then found out that I need to file entry documents at least 3 days in advance, so would miss my midweek meetings anyway! Grrrrr! Be well! First beer’s on me when I get to the USA, or on you when you get to Oz…be safe!

  10. @platy —

    I see … my corporate tax filings finally got completed by my corporate accountants yesterday (Saturday), but I do need to work on my family tax filings, next, so perhaps we should put a pause on our stimulating exchanges, as you’ve suggested. To tell you the truth, I haven’t even had a chance to review your latest post, yet, so I don’t even know, yet, about what to respond!

    So, this being the case, I wish you the best with your pursuits to get prepared for travels to USA and elsewhere … have a great time and stay safe and healthy throughout!

    It will be great fun to meet up someday and have beer (and / or wine) in person! 🙂

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