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Coronamonomania Thrives in Darkness, Part 93

By July 22, 2021Commentary

Slight delay in posting due to real work, been a busy few days, back to the grind now.

I don’t read comments at the Strib on things I write.  Waste of time and the abysmal ignorance of people just terrifies me.  A couple did send me emails through the website, completely incoherent.  What is funniest is challenging my credentials, particularly in light of the point of the editorial, which was to develop the capability to gather information and draw conclusions for yourself, and in light of the fact that Mr. Slavitt, who was being lauded, probably has even less relevant “credentials”.

Delta and the vaccines don’t work terrorism is in full swing, with no justification, other than to try to keep us all masked, muzzled and locked down forever.   The Star Tribune is doing its part by mislabeling Delta as “highly transmissible”.   The paper also ran an interesting article on how the pathetic modeling at the start of the epidemic drove panic and irrational government actions.  (Strib Article).  Our knuckleheaded Governor defends his reliance on the state’s model, which possibly was the worst in the entire country.  The DOH and others are trying in retrospect to claim the model was not a “forecast” but just a “simulation”.  This is bullshit, that model was the primary thing the Governor relied on in ordering businesses and schools shut and people to stay home.  The press conference is still out there on YouTube and elsewhere.

PCR tests suck, period.  They are not used appropriately to winnow out people who are actually infectious and instead give false and low positives that create a misleading image of the epidemic and cause real people to quarantine and to be anxious.  This study again shows how seldom a “positive” PCR test actually reflects viable virus.  (JID Article).  The purpose of the study was to look at nasal swabbing or saliva testing among adults.  A very high cycle number threshold of 40 was used to designate a result positive.  Only the nasal swabs were cultured, for weird reasons, and the focus was on culturing low cycle number swabs, which is also bizarre.  While 37% of those tested reported a symptom only 11.5% had at least one positive test.   Culturable virus was generally found only in samples that had a cycle number under 20 by PCR test.  But you are using 40 as your threshold!!  The authors ignore the large number of positive PCR tests that were negative by culture and ignore the whole issue of false positives, but that is the real message from the study.

And this study also looked at how to determine infectivity from PCR testing, using more advanced assays.  The authors determined that a person was not going to be infectious with any PCR cycle number higher than 31.  And numbers below but close to that also rarely indicate infectiousness.  Only half of positives between 20 and 30 yielded viable virus.  The authors further noted the persistance of genetic fragments that would lead to positive PCR results but not indicate the presence of virus.   (Medrxiv Paper)

In regard to vaccines, the studies continue to show real benefit in preventing infections but more importantly, in preventing serious illness.  This study was done among a very large matched cohort of patients at the Veteran’s Affairs system.   (Annals Article).  Vaccine effectiveness at preventing infection for patients 7 days or more past a second dose was around 97%.

Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine also looked at vaccine effectiveness.  One studied overall effectiveness in a prospective cohort trial of almost 4000 health care workers.  (NEJM Article).  The vaccine was 91% effective in preventing infection and infected vaxed persons had viral loads 40% lower than unvaxed ones.  They were 50% less likely to report symptoms and had a shorter duration of illness.

The second study examined effectiveness against the dreaded Delta.  (NEJM Article)   For a person who received two doses of mRNA vaccine, effectiveness was only slightly lower.

And another study shows that being infected also generates a strong adaptive immune response.  Over 250 patients were followed for 8 months post-disease.  The researchers note that while circulating antibodies wane, the more important memory B cell populations remain robust, as does the T cell response.  (Cell Article).

That finding was supported by this piece of research comparing the immune response against several strains between previously infected and vaccinated persons.  While both had effective responses, it appeared that those with prior infection had a broader response.  (Medrxiv Paper)

This book is worth a read and review at Amazon.  (CV Book)

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • The Dark Lord says:

    love your stuff … but you know that vaccines cannot and do not “prevent” infection of the individual … they can and do reduce the number of infected people that can spread the virus (i.e. reduced viral load in the infected) … so in a community the potential future infections can be reduced but that is different than saying “preventing infections” which implies the virus stops one from being infected … sit a highly infectious person in a small room for hours with 2 people, one vaccinated and one not … at the end of the experiment all three people will be infected … of course the vaccinated person has a high chance of not getting sick … (of course the non vaccinated person also has a high chance of not getting sick just not as high as the vaccinated person)

  • Kevin Roche says:

    actually for many people adaptive immunity will prevent infection, which means that the virus has gotten into cells and is replicating. An effective immune response in the upper respiratory tract will generally remove virus quickly upon exposure.

  • Rob says:

    PCR: I’m always reminded of this NYT story from 2007.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/health/22whoop.html

  • Dan says:

    The model was a “simulation”. That’s what models are for and it showed exactly what the little Timmy wanted it to show so he could claim the need to save us all. The point is the output of any simulation can be adjusted to suit your needs by changing the inputs. None of the inputs at that time were proven facts. They were just theory’s at best and outright lies at worst to get the desired output from the simulation.

  • James Zuck says:

    Thank you for offering your time and putting this information up on this site for viewing. I know it most be like a second job.
    I think people should start to study “The doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates” The idiots at the top will not move from their position, the lower government officials must be encouraged to not obey the orders of the upper officials. There is historical precedent for this, the concept is not new. In PA we had some local officials who did this.

  • dwc says:

    Huge fan; thank you for what you’re doing!

    I wish I could post JPG files. I’ll try to verbally work my way through this.

    The site ourworldindata.org has some great interactive tools for graphing. Go there and select the Topics: Health, then Coronavirus Pandemic, then Vaccinations. You should now see a bar chart. Note the countries with a vaccination rate < 10%. Now go to the panel on the left and select those 15 or so countries, and the US.

    Now at the top, select Metric: People Fully Vaccinated, Interval: Cumulative, and check Relative to Population. You'll see a linear graph displaying our selected countries clustered at the bottom below 10%, and the US way up there at around 50%. Are you with me? See it?

    Now, select Metric: Confirmed Deaths. What do you see? The US is STILL AT THE TOP!

    But how can that be? We have the best healthcare in the world. We have the vaccines and the greatest portion of our population vaccinated. We have REALLY smart Gubmint doctors, scientists and researchers.

    I have my thesis and will be happy to continue this discussion if anyone responds.

    Y'all have a good'un!

  • Kevin Roche says:

    you have to adjust for age, for health status, and to some extent for different death attribution methods. We have a lot of frail elderly and a lot of people in poor health and we call everything a CV-19 death. And of course most deaths occurred before any vaccinations so looking at total deaths in comparison to vax status is meaningless.

  • dwc says:

    I agree with everything you said plus the fact that the CDC changed the process for completing death certificates. That 600K+ in the US died *OF* COVID is BS.

    Now, I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before, just ask my wife. But, we have two kinds of doctors in the US. Those that work for the gubmint, and those who are treating patients. Which group is accountable?

    Ergo, not enough attention, it seems to me, has been devoted to therapeutics. To the extent therapeutics was considered, remdesivir developed by Gilead was THE drug. Hydroxychloroquine (with azithromycin and zinc) and ivermectin? Not so much.

    So, my very crude, and over-simplified, point was that many of the countries where the vaccinated population is below 10% are in parts of the world where hydroxychloroquine is widely used. See https://c19hcq.com/countries.html

    Correlation does not imply causation, but isn’t it just a little bit interesting?

    Oh, about remdesivir, check out…

    https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/about-the-guidelines/panel-financial-disclosure/

    …and search the financial disclosure for Gilead.

  • Rustynail says:

    How refreshing to read something based on facts and not the scaremongering propaganda of the Alphabet Press.
    A basic 101 level of viral understanding exposes the abundant misinformation and outright lies; pretending to be rational thought.

    When I read Orwell’s “1984” in the 70’s; I never imagined that some would use it as an instructional manual.
    That it would become reality here and in this time?
    I hope we make it through this madness with some kind of reasonable normal?

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