I think I made the best predictions of the pandemic, at least among public figures.
I assume you don’t believe me, so I hereby open myself up to an audit of my public predictions. I’ll start by giving you my biased assessment of how I did. I don’t mean this list to be complete because I’m working from my faulty memory. And one assumes I am “conveniently” forgetting my mistakes, but I’m not doing it intentionally. Remind me of my mistakes and I’ll update this.
The caution here is that there is a LOT of wild misinformation in the public about what I have said and what I predicted around the pandemic. Sometimes the confusion is because context is lacking. Other times my hyperbole or persuasion has been interpreted as literal. And lots of times people simply assume I have opinions I don’t because they think I fit one “team” or another. Other times I updated my opinion as facts changed, and somehow that is seen as a mistake too.
You be the judge.
CLOSING TRAVEL WITH CHINA
I was one of the first public figures (the other I know about was Jack Posobiec) to demand we close travel from China when the experts said it wasn’t necessary. A week later, Trump closed down most but not all travel from China. Experts now say that probably made a big difference, and sooner would have been better.
FAUCI AND FACEMASKS
I was the ONLY public figure to instantly call out Fauci for lying when he said masks would NOT help the general public. He later admitted he lied. I even predicted the reason for the lie was to prevent runs on supplies needed by frontline workers. He confirmed.
I’ve predicted (or explained) that masks probably work — at least somewhat — because they diffuse the plumes that carry the densest viral load out the sides of the mask instead of directly toward your victim. I also say masks are probably less important if Omicron dominates because nothing seems to slow it down.
I’ve always opposed mandates on masks.
Do cloth surgical masks protect against Covid? Some say studies have disproved it. Some say the opposite. But you can’t have a control group in a pandemic, so no studies were possible that mimic real conditions. It wouldn’t be ethical to leave people unmasked when the experts say that is dangerous. If you think you saw some conclusive studies – either for or against mask effectiveness – you are mistaken. We don’t have a way to check. If masks help, the impact isn’t big enough to be seen by observation alone. There are too many other variables in play.
I was reluctantly okay with masking at the beginning of the pandemic when we didn’t know what we were dealing with. At this point, as Omicron dominates and death rates stay low, the argument for masks has vanished except in special cases.
LEADERSHIP AS A SUCCESS VARIABLE
At the start of the pandemic, and many times after, I predicted we would not see “leadership” as a variable that caused one country or state to do better than any other in terms of controlling Covid death rates. In my opinion, that’s exactly what we are seeing.
An exception to the rule might be Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes in New York. That was a clear leadership mistake. And you might be tempted to say Governor DeSantis is an obvious case of successful leadership in Florida, but that has more to do with his priority on freedom. We don’t see his “leadership” in the death count from Covid, even though by all reports he managed things well. Too many confounding variables.
LAB LEAK THEORY
I knew from day one that the virus COULD have been engineered without leaving a trace, despite what experts initially reported. And privately I heard the lab leak theory, including the address of the lab, before the public ever heard there was a lab near the wet market. (All it took was Google.)
I predicted Project Warp speed would NOT succeed in creating a vaccine in time. I predicted therapeutics would be the bigger thing. My vaccine prediction was based on experts in that field saying they had been trying and failing to develop a coronavirus vaccine for decades and were not even close. Our Covid “vaccines” appear to greatly reduce the risk of bad outcomes but not the spread, much like a therapeutic might.
After multiple companies claimed success with vaccines, I don’t remember if I explicitly predicted vaccinations would “work” in the sense of preventing transmission or death. (We all know there are risks with any vaccine as well.) But I often tweeted stories on what the experts or the data were saying, especially if it looked like good news.
Did I ever trust big pharma, the FDA, Fauci, or independent experts? Hell, no. But I also don’t think every drug that gets to market is fake or deadly.
On HCQ, I said the early indications made it look worth trying when one considers the low risk and cost. I also said every month that goes by without some country, state, town, or city reporting miracle outcomes with HCQ, the less likely it makes a big difference.
Remember, the claim at the time, by HCQ advocates, was that the benefit was huge. And vaccines were not widely available for a long time. Someone would have reported success.
On Ivermectin, I mirrored my HCQ opinion. There was a clear signal from various studies that it was worth trying, given the low risk of side effects and the low cost. I remain unconvinced a meta-analysis of the low powered plus low quality studies on Ivermectin tells us something reliable. I would only trust that kind of analysis when all the studies used the same methods but didn’t have enough participants. As with HCQ, every month that passes without one country, state, county, city, or hospital solving its COVID problems with Ivermectin, the lower the odds it is as effective as claimed.
If you believe Israel or Peru or a state in India or any other country solved their problems with Ivermectin, spend a few minutes adding “fact check” to your search query and see for yourself. No country or state has “crushed” its Covid problem with Ivermectin or any other therapeutic.
BIG PHARMA CONTROL
I don’t reject the hypothesis that big Pharma can control the entire world’s medical opinions on HCQ and Ivermectin by buying off a handful of experts in America. The bought-off experts persuade the majority of other experts who don’t have time to look into it themselves, and then other countries follow the lead of the United States, especially in a crisis. So yes, there could be a successful conspiracy to suppress easy cures going on right now. But my life experience says some doctor or mayor would be too tempted to play hero and would try HCQ or Ivermectin and the news would get out. However, I would not bet my life on it.
VACCINE RISKS AND BENEFITS
On vaccine risks and benefits, I’ve said we don’t know enough — and can’t know enough in time — about the confirmed risks or benefits to make educated guesses except in some extreme cases. And I’ve often noted that none of the players can be trusted, especially with so much money involved.
That’s why I waited for six months to get my first vaccinations, to see if we learned anything new. I didn’t trust the data, the vaccines, or any of the players. But I also didn’t trust the virus. The tipping point was needing a vaccination to travel. The other risks were unknowable.
Now I’m waiting as long as possible to make a booster decision, for the same reasons — I don’t trust anything about any of this. Omicron is the wild card, so that’s a near term wait and see.
Update: My current thinking is no booster shot for me. Omicron plus better therapeutics plus the unknowns of booster safety plus two years of Vitamin D supplementation plus excellent fitness makes it an easy decision. Unless something changes.
THE TWEET THAT TRIGGERED MY CRITICS
I colorfully tweeted after my vaccinations in the summer of 2021 that for the vaccinated, the pandemic was over, but not so much for the unvaccinated. That tweet was based on my personal feelings which I often proclaim to have no basis in fact. I include this example for completeness, but it wasn’t a prediction. It was a psychological phenomenon inside my skull. You don’t need to fact-check it. And for me, it’s still true, subjectively speaking.
DEATH PREDICTION - INITIALLY
I predicted the initial lockdowns might reduce the total mortality count because more people would avoid drunk driving (as one example) versus would die from the virus in the initial days. That was based on what most of us hoped was a short term stoppage of activities with some chance of actually flattening the curve. Obviously my assumption about the short term was wrong. I'm reminded I also had a prediction of 5,000 net deaths when the pandemic first started, also assuming it would end quickly. Obviously that was wrong.
DEATH PREDICTION - LATER ON
Once it was clear nothing would stop the virus from taking a serious body count, I predicted the total death count would far exceed whatever we believed was the “normal” flu death count. Normal flu is alleged to cause around 50K deaths per year, or something in that range, in America. Covid will probably take over a million lives in America over two years. That seems like an easy prediction now, but most of my critics and even followers insisted we would see something closer to a “bad flu season." We’ll end up about ten-times that.
ROGUE DOCTORS PREDICTION
I predicted the “rogue doctors” were not credible AS A CATEGORY. That means I was not looking at each individual person or claim, just making the observation that the category of “rogue anything” is wrong 95% of the time, based solely on my life experience. It might seem the opposite to most of you because the 5% that get it right become superstars. I was a “rogue pundit” when I predicted Trump would win in 2016. The low odds of a “rogue anything” being correct is why I got so much attention.
Was I right about the “rogue doctors”? We will never agree on that because you and I probably live in different realities. But I will note that most of the rogues (including non-expert rogues) have been banned by social media for spreading obvious false information. And by that I mean the independent people I depend on to fact-check data-related claims generally agree with the social media platforms on the obvious falseness of some of their claims.
(Side note: I recently finished listening to Dr. Malone's interview with Joe Rogan, which was excellent. My opinion on the credibility of rogue doctors didn't change by watching it, but of course confirmation bias might have me in its grip. More on this later.)
I have never favored a Covid mandate of any kind.
SOCIAL AND HEALTH IMPACT OF THE LOCKDOWNS
I think 100% of the public understands the lockdowns were damaging, especially for kids. I don’t talk about that topic much because it is obvious to everyone.
WEIGHT, FITNESS, AND VITAMIN D
I was among the first and loudest public figures to advise people to get fit, lose weight, and watch their Vitamin D early in the pandemic. I noticed a pattern in the deaths before it was common knowledge — they seemed to correlate with low Vitamin D.
CDC QUARANTINE GUIDELINES
When the CDC dropped quarantine guidelines from 10 days to 5, I predicted it was not because the science changed but rather because they were “reading the room” and knew the public was about to rebel. The director of the CDC confirmed it was not a medical decision.
WHY "ONE SIDE" GETS BANNED FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
I predicted Twitter and YouTube would not ban me for “violating the narrative” on vaccination safety so long as I did not use obviously false information to do it. I performed the experiment on YouTube and tweeted the link on Twitter. No cancellation yet, and my live audience agreed I made the strongest case they had yet seen on the risks of vaccines.
When I remind people the VAERS database is not telling us anything definitive about vaccine risks I get accused of ignoring the risks. I’m not doing that. I’m telling you the VAERS data is raising a big scary flag, but there are reasons to be cautious about it.
Normally, experts say vaccine side effects are probably under-reported. That might be the case this time too. But given our obsession with Covid, I would expect over-reporting this time. Maybe someday we can check that.
Given the size of the Covid risk for some groups, a larger-than-normal vaccine risk might still make sense. I haven’t seen anyone do that calculation.
And of course, all data is unreliable. But anecdotal data is the least reliable. That’s what this is.
MASS FORMATION PSYCHOSIS
The elements of mass formation psychosis are well-known to people who study persuasion. And there is nothing new here. We have been in this state since McCarthy. It is getting worse because of social media and the business model of the news. But it isn’t some new phenomenon.
To me it looks like a diversion tactic so we stop looking at fake news and social media as the cause of our problems. Now we can blame some hidden “elites” or future imaginary authoritarians for scrambling our minds.
I’m guessing the real scramblers are the ones who brought Mass Formation Psychosis into our brains in an election year.
Ranking my predictions is one indicator of how "useful" I was during the pandemic. To round that out, a few things I did right.
1. At the beginning of the pandemic, I started persuading my audience to lose weight and get enough Vitamin D. I check in with them regularly and learned many did exactly that. I'll bet my audience got healthier than the average American who gained weight during the pandemic.
2. When the Trump administration asked for suggestions on pandemic Executive Orders that would help, I recommended dropping the restriction for doctors to do telehealth across state lines. Trump agreed and signed that EO.
3. When the pandemic looked scariest, in terms of shutting down civilization, I did two livestreams a day to persuade my viewers to be prepared for anything, but avoid panicking. I hear from a lot of people that I helped keep them sane, especially as our normal entertainment options disappeared.
4. I'm helping Greg Gutfeld promote the "#Feb1 the public is done" target date for dropping remaining mandates, except for special cases.
Please read the comments for any counterpoints or memory corrections. My Locals community are the best fact-checkers because they have seen most of my content.
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Let’s talk about Elon musk and his latest hilarious scandal. And other fun topics. It’s going to be a good one today
I’m back from Hawaii and almost awake. But coffee with Scott Adams will be at the normal time today. Yay!
If Elon Musk offered to buy you a horse in return for giving him a handjob, what you most likely to do?