Okay, might as well get this off my chest. On Monday there was a briefing at which our Governor, the Incompetent Blowhard hisself, along with his mirthless minions at the Department of Health, unveiled their latest bribes for people, in this case teenagers with zero risk for serious CV-19 disease, to get vaccinated. Maybe they wouldn’t have to work so hard at selling their used car vaccines if they stopped telling lies and issuing misleading information constantly, and being so obvious about only caring about their message, not the science and data. And of course the IB had to tell as many whoppers as he could in a short time, which given his words per minute rate is quite a few, and the formidable Commissioner of Health chimed in with some of her own. I mean, if you don’t let anyone else get a word in edgewise, what you say must be right, right?
The basic theme was that you must get vaccinated, and there is nothing to see with cases, hospitalizations, or deaths among the vaccinated, contrary to the misinformation you might hear. If I didn’t know better, I might think they are reading this blog and getting a little nervous that someone can actually understand the data and what it is really telling us. The IB, as you would expect since he is the titular head of government in our blessed state, where everything is above average, including our politicians’ ability to lie, led off with the biggest prevarication. He said that of all the deaths we have had in October, and there have been a lot so far, more than last year with nary a vaccine to be found, he would be shocked, just shocked if more than one or two were in the vaccinated. Guess again, oh blizzard of misinformation. The tables we publish every week show exactly, on a reported basis, because the state won’t give us dates of these events, how many cases, hospitalizations and deaths are in the fully vaxed, and what the trend is. I absolutely guarantee you that of all the deaths so far in October, a very substantial percentage are among the vaxxed, largely the elderly vaxed. And I think my pronouncement has a little more science and data behind it than does the IB’s.
The Commissioner’s contribution was that the “vast majority” of hospitalizations are in those dastardly folks who won’t get vaccinated (hate to tell you Jan, but the largest group in this category is that African-American community whose equity you claim to be so interested in, and whose message to you is “I got your equity right here” when it comes to vaccines). Now, readers know and frequently scold me for this position, that I am not a vaccine foe, I am vaccinated, and while people should get their own medical advice, I generally think the citizenry should get vaccinated. But I also believe that truth exists and that government should not stand in the way of its discovery, but has as its core mission the revelation of truth to its adoring public.So Jan, I am a little curious, please explain the definition of “vast majority”? Is this a Bill Clinton type definition? Because I am thinking 80% plus, maybe more. And I don’t believe that is quite where we are with hospitalizations among the vaccinated in Minnesota.
More hilarious is the Department’s sudden discovery of the virtues of per capita rates, which were an ongoing casualty prior to the notion of a breakthrough case. Although Missing in Action from the Department’s version of the epidemic, I and others use them frequently to help people have perspective. But per capita rates weren’t scary enough to fit the terror campaign of the early and mid-stage epidemic, so they weren’t used. Now, however, we learn that the per capita rate of events among the vaxed are quite low, and this is reinforced constantly. But, I have bad news for these statistical incompetents–per capita rates, once the population is largely vaxed, or in any sub-group of those fully vaxed, can only go up. So I would like to see the DOH show us the per capita rates for everyone who was fully vaxed in February, everyone who was fully vaxed in March, everyone who was fully vaxed in April, and so on, as separate sub-populations. Do you know, Jan, what that will show, because I do. That analysis will find that the per capita rate is highest in the earliest fully-vaccinated sub-population, and that every month following the month of becoming fully vaxed, the per capita rate increased in that group. Another enlightening chart would just be a line of the per capita rate from week to week. That rate of increase is a scary looking chart, maybe they can use it in a different version of Terror Comes to Minnesota.
Now Minnesota is not alone in having trouble coming to terms with breakthrough events. England has revealed in its regular and actually useful reports that effectiveness against infection has declined rapidly and that in the elderly, even protection against serious disease has greatly weakened. And here is Robert Redfield (who may turn out to be right when he opined that a mask was better than a vaccine) the former longtime CDC director, who is advising Maryland in his retirement and who disclosed that in the last 6 to 8 weeks in that state, 40% of deaths have been in the fully vaxed. (Md. Story) I believe that full and accurate reporting from DOH, including honesty about their ability to identify those who are vaccinated, would show Minnesota to be in the same ballpark.
I keep saying the same things over and over and one is that the age structure of events in a fully vaccinated population will be similar to that in a completely unvaccinated one. The vulnerable without a vaccine are the vulnerable with one. And that is what we are seeing. And another thing I keep saying is that the state can’t get out of its way with the obsession on messaging. Stop overthinking it and just tell the truth and be open about the implications of the truth. And the implication here is that the vaccines are not going to get us to CV-19 zero, so come up with a better exit plan.