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No ‘Pandemic Amnesty,’ We Want Accountability

Let’s Declare a Pandemic Amnesty,” an essay in this week’s “Ideas” section of The Atlantic, included this subhead: “We need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID.”

The author of the article, Emily Oster, Ph.D., who teaches economics at Brown University, reflects on the kinds of mistakes “we” made while “we” were in the dark about COVID-19, such as the use of cloth masks outdoors to prevent spread and useless school closures.

She also contends that we now know, in retrospect, some of the vaccines available in this country were better than others.

Oster offers proof the Pfizer and Moderna formulations are superior to Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) by citing a study published in February in Nature. However, the study did not compare the mRNA vaccines to the J&J formulation, and it didn’t compare any clinical outcomes in those who received the experimental products as she implies.