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Coronamonomania Thrives in Darkness, Part 47

By April 18, 2021Commentary

While Bill Maher is generally just another rich liberal with some much money that he doesn’t care what stupid things the government does, he has made some very sensible statements during the pandemic.  You will want to watch this takedown of the panic/terror public health campaign.   (Maher Clip)

And it is now apparent to me that Alex Berenson is actually a mole in the resistance, and is tasked with undermining trust in the vaccines so that we can all stay locked down forever.  He persists in presenting incredibly misleading information as well as absolute untruths about the safety of the vaccines.  I am only being half-facetious.  Here is the irony. He has been a huge proponent of keeping schools open because of the extremely low risk to children.  Yet he is carping on and on about vaccines that present an even lower statistical risk to the population, and that provide a benefit to people who truly are at high risk from CV-19.  Completely inconsistent to insist that schools be open due to low risk but rail against vaccines for a truly trivial risk of a serious adverse event.

And the spread of misinformation is ridiculous.  I continue to get comments from people like this “I fail to understand why a person would take an experimental, non-approved “vaccine” which does not prevent you from getting the disease or transmitting it…for a virus that is 99.x% curable. Where is the common sense??”   These are not experimental vaccines.  They have been tested in tens of thousands of people in clinical trials conducted according to the same rules that apply to any other clinical trial.  These are not unapproved, they in fact are completely approved after a thorough review.  They did get expedited review, but what else would you expect.  Did you want them to have the normal three year period to get through the FDA?  They are amazingly effective for a vaccine, so how can someone possibly say something like they don’t keep you from getting the disease or transmitting it.  These are all just lies.  And while the overall infection fatality rate is low, a large number of people end up hospitalized and having severe illness.  And for some groups the risk is extremely high.  The ratio of benefit to harm from taking a vaccine is overwhelmingly in favor of getting vaccinated.  So don’t tell me about common sense.  I am not going to stop beating on this.

People may hate government actions in regard to the epidemic and people who read this blog know how I feel about them.  Don’t lump the vaccines into that category and don’t let mistrust of government blind you to the truth about the vaccines.   And here is an example of how people twist things.  Berenson and others used this brief research note to try to say that the vaccines don’t help old people.  It is a page, read it and see what you think.  It is very positive about the response in patients over 80.  The naysayers picked out the one little note about T cell development.  But they never point out that this study was actually done after only one dose, not the full vaccination.  And even with that the response was strong.  It takes many weeks for the full adaptive immune response, including the T cell response, to develop.  It is embarrassing when people on our “side” insist on doing the same misleading crap that the other side routinely uses.   (BMJ Note)

Bad mask studies never stop.  At least this one purports to compare mask adherence with cases.  But note the time frame, it was done in the summer and early fall when the southern and southwest states, which supposedly had lower masking adherence, had their case waves.  How convenient is that time frame?  Well if you included the spring, the higher adherence states would look terrible.  And if you did late fall through now, every state with a high case rate would be a high mask wearing state or state with a mandate.  Gosh it must be great to be a researcher with no ethics, so you can just make up whatever you want to get the result you want.  (PLOS Study)   Remember the discredited preprint that had to be withdrawn because later time periods showed its conclusions on mask-wearing to be wrong.   This study should be withdrawn too.

You may also recall the Minnesota Department of Health put out information, which it tried to minimize, about the sharp rise in overdoses during the epidemic.  Well it turns out that we also have a surge in alcohol related deaths.  Alcohol deaths have been rising in the state for several years, but the trend took a sharp acceleration right around the time the lockdowns began.  Thank you Dictator Walz for finding new ways to kill more Minnesotans.    (Mn. Brief)

Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Peter J Genot says:

    Mr. Roche, I read your blogs daily and put a great deal of trust in what you say. However, your takes on the efficacy and safety of the vaccines seems to be at odds with some other conservative commentators in whom I also put a great deal of trust. I would like to think that your differing viewpoints are due to a lack of good data out there as to the vaccines’ effectiveness and safety. Your respective blogs are not identical in the sense that your blog deals mainly with medical related issues and their blogs deal with the political side. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has blurred the lines by politicizing the medical side. The one political commentator in particular I am referring to is Steve Deace, who is on the Blaze Network. Mr. Deace has written the book, “Faucian Bargain”, and has had as guests on his show Drs. Scott Atlas and Ryan Cole as well as Alex Berenson. Their advice isn’t the exact opposite of yours, but is more in the line of weighing the benefits against the harms before taking the vaccines, whereas yours seems to be that the benefits so vastly outnumber any possible harm to the point that it is foolish to not get vaccinated. I would like to see you get together with them in a roundtable discussion of the COVID-19 vaccines. I believe that each of you have particular insights based on data you each have access to that would help clarify matters for a layman such as myself. That would seem to be the best way to combat the misinformation that is out there.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I would never advise someone to get the vaccine without first checking with their physician if they are at all anxious, I have said that repeatedly. Anyone who goes back and reads the posts, will see that I advised caution at first. Now we have a ton of real-world experience and what I will say categorically is that the balance of benefits and harms is extremely clear with these vaccines, for most people. There may be some rare cases in which a person has some reason to be especially susceptible to a serious side effect. I know a lot of people who have been vaccinated and I haven’t heard of one serious event and when I ask all of those people, they haven’t heard of anyone who had a serious event. I will also say that there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there–the vaccines weren’t tested, they weren’t approved, they aren’t effective, and on and on. That stuff is simply not true. There is nothing out there that gets put in a human body with zero risk. Let us say you give the vaccine to 10 million people and there are 10 serious (death, hospitalization, lasting severe illness) adverse events. That is a low rate for anything. If you are over 60, and 10 million of you get CV-19, a lot more than 10 are going to die, a whole lot more, and a bunch will be hospitalized. That is why I say the balance of harm and benefit is so clearly on the side of benefits. Scott Atlas would never tell people not to get vaccinated.

      People are reacting in large part out of mistrust of the government, which I understand. We all have to check our biases and reasoning and make ourselves be rationale. The research is very clear and the evidence is growing. The vaccines are remarkably effective and very safe.

  • Don says:

    Kevin, you and Alex have a lot of credibility with me. I’d like to see you debate each other.

    In my opinion, Alex’s most persuasive argument is the lack of long-term testing. I realize for a subset of the population, we didn’t have the luxury of testing for years and years. But I’m in pretty good health and not inclined to get a vaccine until I see what long-term effects there are, if any.

    All the best.

    • Kevin Roche says:

      To some extent total person years in a study is a substitute for longer term testing, especially when the studies are very large. But I understand the caution.

  • Doug Young says:

    Even Alex has gone on the record saying that a 75-year old should take the vaccine if they wanted, but that younger & healthier people may want to see how this “emergency” period goes. The greatest danger here is not whether we don’t get lifesaving therapeutics to those at risk or if the adverse reactions end up being greater then we see so far, it’s the potential for Vaccine Passports that are being talked about and implemented (in Israel already & soon New Zealand). If they become universal, say goodbye to freedom & liberty. Talk about the political infiltrating health care.

    And yes, the Bill Maher clip is great!

  • Ganderson says:

    What’s interesting to me is how many people are on the panic side- the Twins just announced that the rest of their series with the Angels, and their series with the A’s have been postponed. Due to Covid. That’s stupid enough, but read the comments under the Athletic article. A not insubstantial number of people believe this is the black death. What sort of frightens me are the pro panic comments that begin … as a nurse I see covid patients every day…

    Are these folks deliberately lying, ( I doubt they are) or are they just so propagandized and deluded that they are incapable of rational judgement.? What think ye?

    • Kevin Roche says:

      We have become a nation full of timid mice, afraid of anything, unable to assess risk.

  • guest says:

    Please review the section on “Safety” from this paper, “mRNA vaccines – a new era in vaccinology”.
    The paper was published on Jan 12, 2018.

    “…Another potential safety issue could derive from the presence of extracellular RNA during mRNA vaccination. Extracellular naked RNA has been shown to increase the permeability of tightly packed endothelial cells and may thus contribute to oedema. Another study showed that extracellular RNA promoted blood coagulation and pathological thrombus formation. Safety will therefore need continued evaluation as different mRNA modalities and delivery systems are utilized for the first time in humans and are tested in larger patient populations.”

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I read and summarized a similar, but updated paper, earlier this year or late last year. As I said, nothing you put in your body is without risk

  • Ellen says:

    They are not vaccines and they are not safety tested; no physician knows what will happen if he tells his patient to go ahead and be a lab rat. Vaccines shed and spread. I wonder if the mRNA vaccines will spread, and what will that do?

    • Kevin Roche says:

      This is exactly the kind of complete gibberish misinformation that I am talking about. Not a vaccine? Not safety tested? They shed and spread? I won’t publish this kind of stuff again so don’t send it.

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