Our beloved Governor, the IB hisself, has deigned to drop his emergency powers as of August 1, how generous of him. As long as his party has semi-control of the state we are unlikely to get the reform of emergency powers we need. The truth is that the Governor had no interest in involving the legislature in his decisions; he didn’t want to listen to anyone who had ideas or facts that might be different from what he had already decided to do. And because of that attitude, he made a set of terrible decisions and ran a literal campaign of terror against Minnesotans, constantly telling people how dangerous and unsafe it was, leading to complete economic disruption, total collapse of normal health care, and most important, destruction of the educational and social lives of children. I am dead serious when I say he should be criminally investigated and brought to justice for his crimes against the people of this state. His unilateral assumption of the management of the epidemic amply demonstrates the poor decision-making that results from not gathering ideas and building consensus. I would like to believe it will never happen again, but if we don’t change the laws, it will. No emergency declaration should last more than three days, in a time when communication capabilities make it very possible for legislatures to meet and make decisions in real time. The fact that the IB doesn’t like the decisions that would come out of the legislature, is all the proof you need of why he shouldn’t be given unilateral power–anyone who has no capability to compromise shouldn’t have that kind of power.
Meanwhile, the DOH hasn’t done a briefing for two weeks, and maybe won’t do another one. Cases have disappeared. The variants clearly don’t have worse outcomes. So nothing left to terrorize people with. Now the populace is eager to get back to pre-epidemic routines. But part of the eagerness to do so will be a smoldering suspicion about and resentment against government actions that plainly made no difference. Closing schools, closing businesses, wearing masks, on and on with measures that were futile and ineffective. We need a full and real investigation of these government actions.
Here is a historical article in the Journal of Virology, written in 2008, noting a number of questions regarding the nature and pattern of flu epidemics; questions which are highly relevant to CV-19 as well. I strongly encourage you to read this article to further your big picture understanding of the epidemic. (Flu Article) For vitamin D fans, the article suggests a very prominent role of vitamin D-mediated immunity.
Early in the epidemic before we had gone testing-insane, it was unclear how many people had been “infected”, particularly in light of large numbers of asymptomatic or mild infections. This study uses antibody tests on blood samples from May to July of 2020 to ascertain the ratio of undetected to detected infections. (Science Article) According to this study, there were 4.8 undetected infections for every detected one. So you could go back and adjust your hospitalization and death rates by that amount. That ratio undoubtedly changed over time, as testing went wild. But even if it dropped to 2, we have had a lot of infections in the US, and a lot of natural adaptive immunity created.
When did CV-19 first jump to humans? Kind of important in understanding the early dynamics of the epidemic and how it got started. China isn’t going to help. This study again suggests it likely was in the fall of 2019, perhaps even earlier. (PLOS Study) The authors used a variety of techniques to infer spread dynamics and concluded October to mid-November 2019 was the most likely start of human infection in China, with a rapid introduction to other countries.
And this paper assessed the binding affinity of CV-19 to various animal ACE receptors, in other words, how strongly was the CV-19 spike protein able to attach itself to the primary cell receptor. Not surprisingly, given that an epidemic did result, it binds most strongly to human ACE receptors. But this strong binding might also suggest that it could have been engineered for that very purpose. (Nature Article)
The Public Health agency of England releases regular briefs on the variants of concern. Astoundingly, some people cite these briefs for the proposition that the Delta variant, currently the chief threat cited by the terror brigade, has worse outcomes and is more deadly. I invite you to look at the chart on page 8, wherein you will clearly see that it has a lower death rate, and if you look at page 10, it also has a lower hospitalization rate. The secondary attack rate, which is a potential indicator of transmissibility, is only slightly higher. (PHE Brief) One reason the terrorists obfuscate data and hide good analysis is because it invariably undermines their terrorism.
I have tried from early on to be sure people understood the relative nature of adaptive immunity, and, especially given PCT testing, that even after infection or vaccination, some people would be exposed and “infected”. This study examined infection after vaccination in a college population. (Medrxiv Paper) From February to May 2021, out of 2551 fully vaccinated people tested, 14 had infections (I would again question the definition of fully vaccinated, you need to wait at least a month after the last dose), and of these 14, 9 were asymptomatic and there was only one possible case of transmission to someone else. Among those who were not fully vaccinated (which included many partially vaccinated people) the rate of infection was 4 times higher.
Finally, the publication in Nature of a preprint from last November that found strong evidence that unexposed persons had strongly cross reactive killer T cells that helped limit CV-19 infection and disease. For whatever reason, peer review and publication took over 6 months. And also perplexing is that people still debate the role of this pre-existing immune response in the variation in susceptibility and infectiousness that is observed. (Nature Study)