Just want to take a moment to reflect on where we are, and it isn’t pretty. Continuing the completely botched public policy response, the communication around vaccines has been atrocious and we are paying the price. Unrealistic expectations were set about vaccine effectiveness or even how they actually work. People were told if enough people get vaccinated, its over. And that is coupled with all kinds of very misleading terrorism about the Delta variant. I don’t know how many times I say these things, I must sound like a broken record. Way back I tried to explain that adaptive immunity, whether from infection or vaccination, isn’t some impenetrable shield; it is a rapid reaction force. Unless they stop breathing, which I highly recommend to the mask nuts, the child abusers, and the lockdown zealots, vaccinated and previously infected people are going to be exposed to the virus, they are sometimes going to get infected and sometimes they will have serious illness. The research strongly suggests that the vaccines are reducing cases, and more importantly, hospitalizations and deaths.
The same people who were originally vulnerable to CV-19 infection and serious disease, are vulnerable to reinfection or breakthrough infections. Doesn’t mean the vaccines don’t work, just is how they work in different groups. I am disappointed that the protection, at least against infection, seems to lessen after a few months. I expressed concern back when the vaccines were first being released about the concentration only on spike protein, which contrary to what some have emailed me, is in the fact the area where serious mutations are most likely to develop. I believe better vaccines targeting broader segments of the virus or using attentuated virus are in development.
And again, I am a broken record on this, but our absurd PCR testing is causing this problem. We get false and low positives with no ability to predict infectiousness. If we don’t stop reporting cases when we don’t even know if they are real cases, we will never free ourselves from this morass. At a minimum every case should be reported with cycle number so we can see the distribution and test samples should be regularly cultured to determine the association of cycle number with actual viable virus. There is such really bad data reporting strategy, and the tragedy is, a lot of it undermines the messages public health figures are trying to send. And now we are going to do the same stupid excessive testing in schools, which will lead to closing them down and further destroying our children’s lives.
What we need more than anything right now is very clear reporting on “cases”, hospitalizations and deaths that separates it into 1) people that are unvaxed and have no prior infection, which needs to be determined by antibody status as well as prior PCR testing; 2) people who are unvaxed but had a prior infection; 3) people who are vaxed and had no prior infection; and 4) people who both are vaxed and had a prior infection. Each of these groups needs to be broken out by age structure at a minimum. And then we can compare the real effectiveness of both vaccination and prior infection in protecting against a new infection.
Unfortunately the state of Minnesota at least, and I strongly suspect the CDC, is lying about this and explicitly hiding the complete and accurate information about breakthrough cases and outcomes, and probably also doing the same in regard to reinfections. This is a terrible betrayal of public trust, but it is also just more of the awful messaging strategy. People will figure this out and they will be even more upset. Why not explain it like it I do; people would accept that better.
And speaking of dreadful messaging I finally listened to the last Minnesota DOH briefing. I am sorry, but these people are close to incompetent. They aren’t up on the research and they either don’t understand or lie about their own data. The commissioner very misleading referred to 300 quarantined students in Albert Lea, without saying how many cases there were, just to use the bigger number, as later Kris Errorperson said the cases were only 36. Boy that is scary. And no mention that none of the student cases were at all serious, in fact I am willing to bet that most of the cases weren’t infectious at all, but just idiotic PCR testing threshold setting. There was an attempt to tie this to lack of masking, but all the evidence suggests that masking in school has no impact, including the recent CDC study. And Dr. Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins both admitted in recent radio interviews that there was no evidence to support masking especially young children and that there may be harms to those children.
The commissioner further lied about Delta being so different and so much more transmissible. I don’t use “lie” lightly. When you know or should know in your position what the truth is, saying something that isn’t true is a lie. So let us be very clear. Delta clearly leads to less serious illness and it is absolutely unclear that it is even that much more transmissible. The commissioner completely misled on Delta’s seriousness to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics specifically put out a statement saying Delta was not leading to more serious illness in children. And Kris just lied some more by saying case hospitalization rates among children were double what they were last fall, although very low. The comparison to fall is simply not true, and if you consider the difference in testing during school and now, it is even less true. This is just laughable–in the context of warning us about outdoor events, we are told the evil Sturgis rally has led to 19 cases in Minnesota now, up from a mammoth 13 mentioned earlier in the week. The education commissioner, I assume inadvertantly, acknowledged that the IB’s policies on schools last year led to a massive decline in learning achievement, but by all means, let us set ourselves up for the same thing this year.
And lots of stumbling around on mask evidence, can’t find a single actual study to cite, just random, rampling references to this or that. The problem they have is there are no studies to support masking for slowing spread in the community. It is pretty pathetic when you have to reference the CDC for support of mask wearing, since the CDC has never published a study clearly showing that benefit, and has published several, including in regard to schools, showing that they make no difference. Kris, continuing her sterling performance today, lied more about masks being source control, and we know now that most masks don’t have any real blocking effect on the aerosols that contain the vast majority of virus; and they don’t protect the wearer–have I mentioned the only real randomized trial, from Denmark, that showed no benefit to the wearer, and oh didn’t we just see a school study from California showing no protective effect to children? What a pathetic performance.
We gotta stop the crazy testing, especially of children, and we have to put out more transparent and meaningful data, and the communication has to get a whole lot better, or we are going to be in this mess indefinitely and talking about boosters for the vaccine every month, as though that could be the solution.