Eric Topol Discusses Covid Vaccines Not Meeting Expectations, Breakthrough Cases Sicker

It looks as if conventional wisdom on the Covid vaccines has run head first into some ugly realities. Eric Topol, formerly a “Get vaccinated, problem solved” cheerleader, grapples out loud with troubling data about Covid deaths and breakthrough cases with a serious journalist, David Wallace-Wells of New York Magazine. The short version is that both measures are much worse than expected and the trajectory bodes ill.

We’ll go through many of the bad trends Topol and Wallace-Wells identify, including one we hadn’t wanted to believe when IM Doc started telling us of it privately via e-mail weeks ago, and presented in comments yesterday: that his breakthrough cases have been typically sicker than those among the unvaccinated. Topol is seeing the same thing and his population isn’t from IM Doc’s part of the world.

Topol may have fallen for orthodox thinking, but sits on the Scripps Research board as the founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute , he has tremendous clout and can’t be dismissed, both by virtue of his reputation and because the data he and Wallace-Wells discuss speaks for itself. But the officialdom has bet so heavily on magical vaccines being the solution for Covid that the denialism is likely to remain strong and get even uglier.

As we say often here, it would be better if we were wrong, but it appears we haven’t been. And I don’t like sounding triumhpalist; I felt nauseous during September 2008 when just about everything we said about the credit, mortgage and derivative markets in 2007 and 2008 was proven correct, and then some.

However, Topol and Wallace-Wells substantiate what we and our experts, IM Doc, GM, KLG and Iganacio have been saying from early on: the vaccines were overhyped. For starters, there was no basis for believing a vaccine for a coronavirus would produce immunity that lasted more than months to at most a year. While the vaccines were under development, data from Imperial College indicated that the rate of decline in neutralizing antibodies from contracting Covid provided immunity on the order of six to eight months. A vaccine might produce more durable immunity, but not vastly so. Plus no expert expected a vaccine for a respiratory virus to confer sterilizing immunity.

Yet not only did our putative leaders tell outrageous howlers, with both the CDC’s Rochelle Walensky and Biden repeatedly and falsely stating that if you got vaccinated, you would not get Covid (“If you’re vaccinated, you’re protected”), they also committed the cardinal sin of betting on their own PR. They treated vaccines as the one-stop answer to the Covid problem.

And not only did they actively discourage the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions like masking and social distancing (can’t harsh the mellow of convention sponsors and holiday makers) but they also crippled an already slipshod Covid data gathering system by telling public health officials not to collect data on breakthrough cases among the vaccinated. So now we have to rely on figures from less incompetent countries like Israel, and Topol is forced to make back-of-the-envelope computations.

Some of the grim news from Too Many People Are Dying Right Now:

Lower reduction in mortality than expected. Wallace-Wells starts with the expected Covid vaccine death reduction of 90% or at least, per another expert, 75%. That means Covid fatalities should be 25% or lower relative to last year…which is not where we are. Instead, from Wallace-Wells:

But at the national level, at least for the moment, the reduction of mortality risk seems to be considerably smaller. In the worst of the winter surge, the country was registering 250,000 new cases per day; at its peak, that surge was killing roughly 3,000 Americans each day (often a bit above, but with a few dips below). Today, we have a bit more than 100,000 new cases each day, though the numbers are still rising as part of the Delta wave. If we had reduced mortality risk by 75 percent, that would mean about 300 daily deaths. If we had reduced it by 90 percent, it would mean 120. Instead, in our seven-day average, we just passed 500.

Things may be even worse than that, though. In general, epidemiologists expect a lag of a week or two, perhaps more, between case peaks and death peaks… comparing case data from even one week ago with today’s death data reveals an even grimmer picture: about 75,000 cases per day then yielding the current average of 500 deaths, suggesting the mortality rate had fallen by less than half since winter. If you work from two-week-old data, it suggests that the mortality rate had hardly fallen at all. Applying the winter ratio to the case load from July 24 would predict an average of 600 daily deaths. On Friday, there were 763.

And Topol:

Just looking at the U.K. and Israel, which had been our guideposts, I thought we would keep the hospitalizations pretty darn low — maybe a fourth of where we’d been in prior waves. And deaths 10 percent of prior waves. But we’re not doing that at all. If you look at the log charts of the U.S. and the U.K, you’re starting to see some real separation for death. It’s certainly going in the wrong direction, and it had been tracking incredibly closely, until recently.

Weaker effectiveness of vaccines. The bold is Wallace-Wells, per the original, and Topol, in regular type, in response:

What I just can’t understand is why all three things are all moving up together so rapidly. Given everything we’ve seen in other countries and everything we think we know about the vaccines, even if cases rose dramatically, we’d expect much lower rates of hospitalization and death. But we’re not.

It’s like we didn’t have vaccines. Or worse. I was just putting this talk together and I made the same observation. I’m looking at the four waves, and, as you know, in the monster wave, we got to 250,000 cases per day. And at that time we had 120,000 plus hospitalizations [per day]. About half. What’s amazing is, we’re at about 120,000 cases now, and we’re over 60,000 hospitalizations.

It’s the same ratio.

Yeah. So when I look at that, I say, what happened to the vaccines?

Topol also pointed out these results were all that much attributable to low vaccination rates in certain states. Florida, for instance, is the standout mortality state yet is has an average, not low, vaccination rate. Los Angeles County, an early and continuing high infection/death area, has a higher vaccination rate than the US overall. He returns to that issue later:

I mean, one of the worst signals that I’ve seen is San Francisco. San Francisco is like Vermont, they’re even a little higher than Vermont for fully vaccinated — it’s 70 percent of the population of San Francisco county and it’s going through a very substantial hospitalization spike, unlike Vermont.

We flagged this indicator of apparent limited vaccine impact last month (hat tip GM). Admittedly only one week of data, but it showed infection rates were proportional to vaccination rates, implying that the vaccinations weren’t reducing the case count.

Severity of breakthrough cases From Topol:

What I’m hearing — and I’ve been helping with a bunch of patients — is that people who are breaking through are getting very sick. They’re getting Regeneron antibodies.

There may be something to this waning immunity story. It’s fuzzy, but the people who are getting hit are more apt to be people who were vaccinated very early. I had a patient in recent days, who’s in her 70s. She got vaccinated in January. And, I mean, she almost died. I mean, it’s just terrible. I think — I hope — the monoclonals are going to save her life. But she was a healthy 70-year-old lady, and just following her case was illuminating — she thought she was protected, but she also wore masks everywhere. She was on guard and still got infected and desperately ill.

It is crazy-making to see Topol act as if he hadn’t considered that the vaccine-induced immunity might wear off in six months or so, particularly when much worse that expected immunity data coming out of Israel (which got pretty much everyone jabbed who was going to be jabbed in Jan-Feb), with efficacy down to 64% in June and 39% in August and Delta being markedly different than wild-type Covid.

And that’s before you get to an elephant in the room that oddly no one appears to have mentioned: immune responses in the elderly are weaker. That is why the good old fashioned flu vaccine has a more potent (and more expensive) version for those over 65. But these vaccines had very thin representation in their clinical trials of the over 65, and effectively none for over 80. So it isn’t hard to think that the vaccine-conferred immunity would be weaker and/or shorter lived in the elderly.

Other researchers were already sounding the alarm:

The boosters might not work. OMG, Topol dares to say it!

This booster thing is yet another issue, because we don’t even know if they’re going to protect against a Delta. I mean, everybody’s assuming it, but there’s no data. You know, there’s some neutralizing antibodies from the Pfizer report in 23 people and there’s an Israeli pre-print, it says there’s waning immunity without any neutralizing antibodies. So we’ll see. But these are just classic spike-protein boosters. There’s nothing special about them to handle Delta. So I don’t know. I mean, I suspect they’re going to provide some protection, but I’m not sure I’m so confident it’s going to be great.

Oddly, Topol appears to have missed the Moderna data, which as GM had pointed out to us, showed that a third booster shot generated only 40% the level of neutralizing antibodies of the first vaccinations. Again, that translates into some combination of less robust immune responses and shorter immunity.1

* * *
We’ve detected rising anger among our readers about Covid and the lack of good information, and they report if anything being met with even more ire when they try to tell vaccine true believers that things aren’t working out as promised.

The credibility of the public health establishment and the establishment generally is on track to take a big hit. We’ve published this observation from GM before, and we believe it bears repeating:

That part about the patients taking it out on their doctors will sadly become an even more common occurrence. In retrospect that was predictable, but you can’t really blame the patients — the medical establishment has been telling them lies for many months, and they see the doctors in front of them as part of one monolithic such entity. In reality it is no such thing — there are the honest doctors directly taking care of patients and then there is the corrupt lying actual high-level establishment, but that is not how the regular people perceive it.

The part about the willing self-deception of the elites is also very important. I too have come to the conclusion that either there is some absurdly nefarious grand conspiracy behind this (not really likely) or it is just stupidity and shortsightedness all around. COVID has shown, again and again and again, that you can ignore it for some time, but eventually you will pay for it. Wuhan CCP officials, Trump, the Tanzanian president, and many others learned that lesson the hard way. And it’s been 18 months of that. And it’s not like it was not known there is antigenic drift with these viruses, or that they have all sorts of tricks up their sleeve yet to be played, or that the vaccine was not going to last (was talked about from the start), or that we were never going to vaccinate enough people to reach herd immunity, etc.. So why would you possibly spend half a year blatantly lying when it was crystal clear from the start that it will backfire eventually? Unless you are indeed that deluded and unable to think rationally about the long term…

Unfortunately, this is rule by MBA, or pathological big organizational behavior, writ large. Too many bosses want to hear only good news from subordinates, which means they engage in cover ups or delays, hoping things will either blow over or they can find someone else to scapegoat. And now we run our country based on short-term careerist calculations.

While we can hope for well deserved days of reckoning to come eventually, too many people will suffer in the meantime due to their negligence and cowardice.

I am looking forward to is the well-deserved pillorying of Rochelle Walensky. We called her as likely to perform poorly as the newly-elevated head of the CDC, but our assessment turns out to have been far too generous. The CDC is a above all a data shop. Topol laments in passing about our inability to do rapid Covid testing, as if this is just some sort of regrettable outcome. It’s not. It’s Walensky’s fault. Getting testing right, and pushing Biden to use the Defense Procurement Act to requisition materials if they were in short supply, should have been a top priority in her first two weeks. Instead it doesn’t even appear to be on her list.

And how about getting more accurate and timely reports out of the various states? Has Walensky gone out into the field to meet a single official to offer CDC help and quietly threaten public embarrassment if they didn’t shape up? I could go on, but she seems to have the same conception of her job as Marcie Frost at CalPERS: being a pretty face for the organization, making PR her priority, and leaving the dirty work to minions.


.1 From GM via e-mail in July:

When Moderna put out their preprint on the B.1.351 booster (now obsolete with the rise of B.1.617.2):

There were two concerning observations there:

1. No neutralization activity left against P.1 and B.1.351 after 6-8 months
2. The booster worked, but only increased the neutralizing titers to ~40% of what they were originally against the Wuhan variant and what they are against it when boosted.

Based on the fact that the booster “worked”, OAS was dismissed by most, but this would in fact consistent with an “original antigenic sin” effect — nAbs only got boosted to less than half of the previous level.

But then the AZ booster preprint came out:

They saw the same <50% boosting against B.1.351, and they also analyzed neutralization against B.1.617.2 and saw that it was even worse against it (B.1.617.2 is antigenically more different from B.1.351 than it is from the wild type).

But they also did several more important experiments:

1. They immunized naive mice with a WT and with a B.1.351 vaccine, single dose
2. They immunized naive mice with a mixture of the two

And the neutralization against B.1.351 was still half of what it is against the WT

So one has to conclude that it is the virus itself that is the difference, not an OAS effect.

Hopefully we get such analyses for B.1.617.2 soon, as B.1.351 is probably not going to be relevant moving forward.

GM also noted that the Pfizer vaccine has been functionally equivalent to Moderna and in an e-mail last week, that Moderna’s latest investor update essentially repeats earlier date, with nothing new on Delta.

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  1. Isotope_C14

    Well, it sure would be nice if these big voices came out against vaccine passports, which are ludicrous and disproportionately affect the poor.

    1. Shonde

      I was hoping the same thing when I read this article. I checked Topal’s Twitter feed to see if there was any mention of passports early this morning and so far nothing.

      Topal is widely respected so we need his voice to stop passports and mandatory vaccination based on what we now know about the short efficacy and transmission by those vaccinated.

        1. Even keel

          Marcy’s comment raises a key argument I have been hearing lately: that mutations occur predominantly in unvaccinated people.

          That does not seem to make sense even on its face, since vaccinated people develop as high of viral load as unvaccinated. But I don’t really understand the biology.

          Does anyone have authority on whether mutations occur predominantly in unvaccinated people, or where this idea comes from?

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            Because the variants are originating in undervaccinated parts of the world, eg Brazil, India?

          2. Raymond Sim

            The mutations occur randomly during viral replication. Hence the more transmission that occurs, the more mutated viral particles there are getting a chance to show their stuff.

            In an environment where many potential hosts are vaccinated, mutations which confer some advantage in coping with vaccine-induced immunity can be expected to thrive disproportionately. Thus it should be anticipated that high rates of transmission among vaccinated people will eventually lead to vaccine-evading variants.

            In unvaccinated populations experiencing repeated waves of infection the imperative is evasion of naturally acquired immunity, selection for which could, and indeed does seem to have, result in varying degrees of vaccine evasion.

  2. ChrisRUEcon

    Thanks for this follow up. I had an exchange with RevKev last night that caught me up in alarming fashion. I’ll be sharing this far and wide. What a crap show! The MBA’s and PRO’s in the room are going to get us all slaughtered in the name of everything’s gonna be alright and no more lockdowns. Can’t help but feel utterly helpless against this level of negligence,

    1. chris

      We don’t need anymore lock downs if they’re going to be like the ones we had last year. If they’re going to be of some use they will need to be much more painful. Unfortunately :/

  3. vlade

    One quibble:
    If at 250k daily deaths were 3k, say that it’s 1.2k deaths per 100k cases.
    If the US currently has 100k cases, then 500/day is actually what you’d expect (give or take) with 50% vaccination and >90% effectivness in mortality reduction. That’s just basic maths.

    Of course, he then raises the important thing that there’s a lag which can (and likely will) affect it.

    To be honest, he’d not have even included the above w/o the lag. Focusing on the lagged numbers would have been much stronger an arguement.

    That said, the UK data are somewhat different, where the cases were recenly almost 75% of the peak earlier this year (48k vs 60k), but the hospitalisations were down much more (close to 5k at the previous peak vs less than 1k now). The deaths (so far) are a fraction (<100 vs well over 1k/day) of the earlier peak.

    Given that the UK vaccination progress was not dissimilar to the US, and the UK became the Delta hotbed, it's weird to see the data discrepancy. Of course, one explanation can be generally worse health of the US population particularly obesity rates, which in the US is close to 40% vs about 25% in the UK.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Good catch. So what they may be omitting is that they didn’t just expect reduction in mortality (that 75% to 90% argument), they also expected reduction in transmission, so a smaller rise in new cases.

      Plus (which they are not saying) we ought to be seeing some reduction in mortality (at least 10%) due to improved treatments.

      Plus they may know well the death numbers are low (per our post yesterday) and can’t yet say that out loud.

      1. SE

        Quick questions, did IM doc indicate vaccinated cases were more severe? It seems to be the opposite from his comments yesterday, “The critically ill are few but are almost entirely made up of the unvaccinated. We have had but 2 vaccinated in the ICU this whole time. The stories you are hearing of crashed hospitals in the big cities are happening because large numbers of non-critical patients are being admitted and discharged – with continued large numbers coming into the ER.” I know Topol had a story about a critically ill vaccinated woman (and I’ve seen many others) I just wasn’t clear that that is what IM doc is seeing, as per the comments in the post?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          He has said repeatedly that the vaxxed presented as sicker than the vaccinated and he’s even compiled some metrics. This is a typical recap:

          I have admitted 9 total patients to the hospital this week – 5 vaccinated 4 unvaccinated. None of these were my own. I have the one older lady holdover from last week. The vaccinated patients are older and having a much harder time. All tourists.

          He also said earlier this month:

          All of the patients from yesterday are ready to be discharged. With one exception – an 89 year old fully vaccinated – who is actually quite ill. But she is better today.

          The fact that we seem to be able to continue stabilizing and getting them out so quick – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – without intubation or aggressive measures is very encouraging.

          We now have just 3 active acute patients – and that includes the very ill 89 year old.

          This same phenomenon is going on with everyone I have contact with. There are lots of really ill patients – but the majority are easy in-easy out. So far, lots of patients and lots of admissions, but for the most part the hospitals are not getting clogged up badly. Florida seems to be the exception to that.

          However, there’s also a lot of difference by geography. He also reported:

          I can tell you that the hospitals in inner city Dallas are running 85% unvaccinated /15% vaccinated. The vaccinated ones are largely elderly diabetics, etc – just like the previous waves. And they were likely vaccinated many months ago.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          More detail, which I should have included:

          IM Doc says the vaxxed have over time been presenting “sicker” than the unvaxxed. In other words, it’s become more pronounced in more recent cases. That would seem to support the idea that falling vaccine efficacy is a, if not the, factor.

          From another fairly recent e-mail:

          This week – 12 vaccinated patients positive, 6 unvaccinated patients positive. Since the unvaccinated are mainly the younger cohort – another thing that may be confounding here is if sick – they often have no or minimal symptoms and tend not to seek medical care – especially if their continued employment depends on them not being quarantined. ( This is now word on the street – if unvaxxed you get quarantined – if vaxxed – they do not ever even call you). Missing one day of work here for the young – will mean you cannot afford the 2500/month rent for your closet – and will have to go home to Mom and Dad in Pasadena CA. Therefore – if you can walk and breathe – you go to work and spread the wealth – Who cares anyway – they are all vaccinated! There have been just the three admitted patients I already told you about – and no others.

          1. Societal Illusions

            Thanks for this Ives. Curious what treatment protocols are proving effective to move them out so quickly.

            Prophylactic and early treatment protocols seem to only have
            anecdotal and doctor level (perhaps clinic level) data, which are difficult to find and harder to normalize and quantify. Another CDC failure in my opinion, one they had cost numerous lives.

            1. Beau Ganas

              This is not close to true.

              Not to come down hard on you, but this is a repeat of stupid talking points.

              Ivermectin has multiple studies, thousands of people.

              Listen to JRE#1671 and Dark Horse podcast #82.

              Ivermectin is a silver bullet, and we’re letting people die because we’re too close minded to challenge the orthodoxy of CDC/NIH/WHO/EMA etc.

              Look at what happened in the study of ~1200 front line Healthcare workers in Argentina. 800 took Ivermectin 400 did not.

              58% of the works who DID NOT take it were infected. Want to guess how many of the 800 got infected?

              0. Not one. 0.

              Think about that. It’s believed, even by Robert Malone. Ivermectin could drive virus to extinction.

              Multiple modes of action. Works on variants. Works prophylactically. Works for treatment. Works for long covid.

              Don’t believe me. Do your own research.

              You have to pack your own parachute in this life.

      2. Alexis S

        Another difference in the UK, which may or may not be significant, is that they tried to get as many people as possible vaccinated with ONE dose, before Giving out the second. My understanding is that most people had 10 to 12 weeks in between doses. Also, the vaccine used (I believe) was almost entirely the Oxford/Astrazeneca.

        1. thoughtful person

          I think that is right. A couple more differences. The adenovirus (sp?) vaccines are better at creating T cells which are better at clearing an infection than the antibodies, if I understand correctly. Could it be with a highly infections variant such as Delta, for a whole population, these types of vaccines perform better than the mRNA?

          Additionally, the UK has a public health system and does contact tracing, with quarantines (remember the much maligned pings?), a very robust testing regime (I’ve heard) and perhaps in general a better willingness among the population to follow suggested actions.

          In the USA we have leadership (regardless of party affiliation) that says we don’t need masks, or testing, any level of public health action other than getting a non sterilizing vaccine.

          The results???

        2. Count Zero

          Not the case that in UK vaccinations were almost entirely Oxford/AstraZeneca. Pfizer was also widely used. Sorry I have no figures for that. Anecdotally, among the people I know it seems to be about 50/50.

        3. Telee

          This may be an important fact. A Dr. John Campbell posts videos on YouTube in which he does an analysis of the data. In Israel the length of time between first and second vaccinations was about the same as in the US, about 3 weeks, while 10 to 12 weeks in England. The outcome in England is much better than Israel and on that basis he expects the US to have less immunity after 6 months than the people in England, and with the combination with less people vaccinated in the US, he expects the US to experience a difficult future. Health studies in Israel show a increased transmission rates as the time following vaccination becomes longer.

          In UK, the 88% protection against transmission while Israel has 44% protection against transmission is 39% after six months. However it looks like the protection against serious illness is maintained.

    2. Lupana

      I wondered about the UK too. I read somewhere that the UK may be having a better outcome because of the way they spaced their vaccines – mostly 8-12 weeks apart I think rather than the 3 weeks here and in Israel. I’m no expert but I didn’t think boosters are usually that close together – I looked up shingles which is a 2 part vaccine and the second dose there is 2-6 months after the first.

        1. Lupana

          I thought they also spaced their Pfizer vaccine further apart. Maybe I’m wrong – I’ll double check. I know Canada spaced theirs further apart and they mixed them. Our relatives in Ontario got Pfizer followed by Moderna and they were in the vicinity of 2 months apart.

          1. Keith Newman

            Further to Lupana’s comment @7:41: I live in Gatineau, Quebec and got two Modernas 8 weeks apart. Hope that improves my immune response. Hoping to go to Cuba in the winter…

            1. Stephen Abbott

              Hi Keith,

              Would you be the former proud owner of a 1980 Chevrolet Citation and a client of S.A Repairs in Montreal?


          2. Cas

            Here in California the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was given three weeks after the first one and the second Moderna dose was given four weeks after the first one.

          3. Count Zero

            Everyone I know got vaccinated in the UK and everybody had a gap of around 10-12 weeks.

            It might be worth adding that many people — despite being vaccinated — seem to have remained very cautious. Masks are commonplace on public transport and in indoor settings. I haven’t been inside a restaurant, bar, concert hall, theatre, museum or cinema in 18 months. My cultural and social life as a retired gentleman in London has disappeared. Not sure how to make this more than anecdotal but I know my situation is widely shared. Maybe next summer?

          4. wilroncanada

            British Columbia calling::
            Most of old people were of course in the first calls for vaccine, after those confined in institutions. Our vaccine doses were 8 to 12 weeks apart at first. the rationale was to spread the less-than-optimally available doses to more people. The length of time between doses seems to have been a benefit. Now, with plenty of vaccines available (hoarded away from most of the rest of the world), the duration between doses has just been shortened to 4 weeks.
            Our numbers are fairy impressive: total vaccinated–first dose– of all those eligible (over 11 years of age) over 80%. Total both doses, over70 %, 75% by the end of this week. Walk-in Wednesday was so effective last week (170,000) that now every day is walk-in, as well as scheduled appointments.
            My wife and I got Pfizer for both doses. My daughter got AZ for her first followed by Moderna. We are still wearing masks indoors, though it is not a mandate. Delta cases are increasing case counts dramatically. We’ll see what the future brings, especially as land borders with the US are open as of this weekend. Our neighbours immediately to the east (Alberta) are more thrilled than we are. If only we could quarantine Jason Kenny’s mouth.
            Anthony Fauckupci seems to be a grey eminence worldwide, Always late to the fray, never accountable. The BC medical health officer had worked with him a few years ago, and for a long time followed his advise in 2020 on wearing masks.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Stumbled across a talk by Dr. John Campbell about this spacing of vaccines a few hours ago. I forget the figures but he mentions how the Israelis only spaced their vaccines about two or three weeks apart whereas in the UK it was more typically about ten weeks. And he notes that those in the UK have twice the protection in symptomatic infection as those in Israel. Above my paygrade to say whether this is true or not but it is interesting. Just found that video again-

 (14:02 mins)

          1. Susan the other

            This sort of indicates that immunity itself, maybe the process – maybe the product or antibody, gets more complex/specific over a longer period – keeps improving and learning. And that when this process is interfered with by a second dose of vaccine it stops the higher learning and throws the immunity response back to its first-responder tactics. which are less effective. Curious.

            1. Isotope_C14

              Great comment Susan.

              Biology is full of interesting cell signalling pathways that are fully undiscovered by our clever but unwise species. (And we trust faces far more readily than the history of their actions)

              It’s highly probable that due to a massive dose of antigen that it causes serious problems.

              I mentioned in another comment in the past that if suddenly your army had a million privates, and no corporals and staff sergeants to lead them, and above them the officers, that it might short-circuit the immune response.

              I apologize for using a military analogy, but it seemed to be the simplest to explain this.

    3. PhillyPhilly

      If US public health officials are not collecting data on breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, then how can we know the ratios we are seeing are correct? Is it possible that the case counts are actually much higher and the rates of hospitalization and death are currently inflated because we aren’t capturing the full case count?

      1. philnc

        We can’t for sure. Statistical science can only smooth out so many “NaN” values. At some point the analysis becomes so uncertain as to be useless. But the numbers coming in from analogue populations whose leaders either aren’t as “smart” or dishonest as ours can help infer a trajectory. Given early efforts across the US to suppress the data, coupled with the usual incompetence you’d expect from leaders whose main qualifications are an enhanced ability to navigate the politics of big government and big business bureaucracy, there’s always going to be a high degree of uncertainty. But at a certain point, one that it looks like is now upon us, the anecdotal evidence will be overwhelming. The real question is what can we do about it?

      2. Skip Intro

        Exactly. They are actively discouraging testing of the vaccinated, so the case counts are depressed even below the levels measured by the very poor coverage in the past waves. It may also be interesting to assume the ‘effectiveness’ of the vaccine is as promised, and using that to infer the actual case counts.

      3. Rick

        They are not counting breakthrough cases SEPARATELY. They still show up as cases, if they test positive. There is just no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated, e.g. a hospital reports “10 new cases” but does not report how many of those are vaccinated. They do report vaccinated hospitalizations separately, so they might say “10 new hospitalizations of which 2 are vaccinated”.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Not correct. This is certainly the case in his state and likely the case for Texas, where he has many MD contacts from the med school where he taught and practiced. This is two e-mails, the second part it when Lambert, incredulous, got IM Doc to confirm that vaxxed cases were not being tracked:

          In that vein, just this AM – saw a gentleman in the office. He and his wife were fully vaccinated – effective FEB of this year.

          Both older. He was being seen in [nationally famous tertiary hospital not in IM Doc’s state or Texas] – and was noted to be in AFIB. Sent immediately to the ER and per protocol had to have rapid COVID testing in the waiting room – POSITIVE. WIFE POSITIVE. (and fully vaccinated) – their accompanying caregiver – POSITIVE – and fully vaccinated. All were asymptomatic. The [nationally famous tertiary hospital] did not report them to the Health Dept because they were vaccinated and without symptoms – same response here once they got home….

          Yes – that is correct Lambert – vaccinated breakthrough positives are not to be reported or counted –

    4. Greg Taylor

      Expected daily death/hospitalization calculations need to be broken down by age/risk groups (and vaccination status.) Older, high-risk groups account for the vast majority of deaths. US vaccination rates in these groups are well above 80%. All else equal, overall death rates should be falling by 75-80%+ if >90% vaccine effectiveness. Unfortunately, all else may not be the same and it’s hard to conclude anything from the US data without accurate case counts and subgroup analyses.

      1. vlade

        Yes, w/o detailed data it’s really hard to get anything.

        I’d argue though that in that group they would have 90% effectivness. IIRC Pfizer data had only very small group aged 70+, and the confidence interval there was from 0 to 100% or something ridiculous like that.

        Something else I saw was that in terms of risk of death, the vaccine basically moved the “age” by 20 years. I.e. vaccinated 70 year old had the same risk of dying from infection as unvaccinated 50 year old. Which still implied much higher deaths in the higher age groups, and nowhere near homogenous 90% effectivness (grouped by age).

        But w/o detailed data, it’s all really just fluff. And CDC seems to be hell bent on not having detailed data.

        1. wilroncanada

          They are one-size-fits-all vaccines, even though epidemiologists and pharma producers knew better. I have, through vaccination, acquired the immunity to make me like a 57 year-old, 20 years younger. But as a 57 year-old, I would, and am, still protecting myself with mask and distance indoors. One CAN have a diagram and a condominium.

        1. chad

          So if you assume Adam Kucharski’s DOTS model for R

          R = Duration x Opportunities x Transmission x Susceptibility

          If you cut Duration and Transmission by 50% and Susceptibility by 75%, with an R0 ~ 8 for Delta, at 2019 contact levels (Opportunities), you get R ~ 1.

          But … there is great uncertainty in this and there is a case that the above numbers are optimistic. Thus, there is a not insignificant chance that SARS-2 hangs around for a very long time and that we will all run the risk of exposure/infection multiple times during our lifetimes, with the attendant risk of Long Covid, brain damage, death, etc.

          May you live in interesting times.

  4. Tom Stone

    I wonder where all the rage will be redirected to?
    It’s mostly well educated Women in my personal experience who are enraged at the deplorables who refuse to get vaccinated and it is over the top.
    And the penalties they mention are indeed dire.
    This is not a minor betrayal of trust, these are people for the most part who are heavily emotionally ( And otherwise) invested in the status quo.
    It’s not something you can hide no matter how hard you try.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      So what happens when their non-deplorable vaccinated girlfriends get Covid? Do their heads explode?

      This BTW is why women have no power. Too many think merely getting upset makes a difference. On that path lies Karen-dom.

      1. Tom Stone

        A few million Karens screeching at their Hubbies non stop for a week will have an effect.

        As far as Women being powerless, look in the mirror.
        Or meet my Sister.
        And it’s Kids this time, which makes a huge difference.
        If you threaten someone’s child or grandchild you had better be willing to go all the way, right now.
        This is a betrayal of the most egregious kind, it is not forgivable and the rage of those betrayed by people they have trusted their whole lives will be incandescent.
        I think quite a few here underestimate how quickly complacency can change to fear, and fear into rage.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Sorry, women do not have power.

          Screeching at hubby = withholding sex. He’s either used to this tactic and waits till it blows over, or visits a woman of negotiable affection if he s hopelessly horny (that type has probably been seeing that type on the side upon occasion).

          The one difference is kids, that is a sphere where women are in charge.

      2. SE

        But generally yes, am starting to have a lot of vaccinated friends (at the second degree, it’s about 10 in the last two weeks) get Covid and when I try to tell my other vaccinated friend’s their heads explode, and they go back to finding some way not to believe it or keep their world order in place and allow them to keep blaming unvaccinated people.

          1. SE

            Good point. There is no ability to understand unvaccinated are not all Trump votes. It is as though they got comfortable hating one group, and now just want to keep doing it with a different excuse. It is not pretty to see.

            1. Societal Illusion

              this spoke to me about how the based/unvaxed is shaping up. can’t even imagine if there comes a time when it’s clear vaccination is NOT the panacea it was sold as, or worse.

          2. Screwball

            When we hear the MSM call the vaccines the “Trump Vaccines” we will know the gig is up.

        1. Mikel

          Did any of them get Covid when masks were being worn by more people? Have they been going more places now?

      3. Cassidy Morray

        I have been so routinely shocked at the professional managerial class’ unwillingness to question the official talking points that I am now numb to it. The reasons for this kowtowing to authority are myriad and articulated more succinctly by other commenters, but I will say that I’m not optimistic these people will ever recognize the leaders they voted for and now unquestionably worship for what they are.

        Making that break would require them to question their own enlightened virtuosity; meanwhile, the elites they take their cues from will always shift the blame towards the deplorables, the people who wouldn’t get with the program and take the shot. Materially, I don’t think it’s possible for there to be a reckoning among this class of people until they get their wish, as Tom implies, and every last deplorable perishes. And in that hypothetical scenario, when the disease continues to burn through the population, we’ll find the categories of who’s worthy of saving versus who isn’t to be much more fluid than we would’ve thought and the professionals would’ve admitted.

        TLDR, if I had to put money down, I’d wager the professional managerial class will turn on the people they do claim to pity, followed by each other, before any hypothetical reckoning with authority.

        1. Geo

          Your wager is well-founded in history and psychology. Here’s an excerpt from “Individual and Mass Behavior in Extreme Situations” by Bruno Bettelheim:

          The non-political middle-class prisoners were a small minority among the prisoners. They were least able to withstand the initial shock. They found themselves utterly unable to comprehend what happened to them. In their behaviour became apparent the dilemma of the politically uneducated German middle classes when confronted with the phenomenon of National Socialism. They had no consistent philosophy which would protect their integrity as human beings. They had obeyed the law handed down by the ruling classes without questioning its wisdom. And now the law-enforcing agencies turned against them, who always had been their staunchest supporters. They could not question the wisdom of law and police. Therefore what was wrong was that they were made objects of a persecution which in itself must be right, since it was carried out by the authorities. Thus they were convinced that it must be a “mistake.”
          These prisoners resented most to he treated “like ordinary criminals.” After some time they could not help realising their actual situation. Then they disintegrated. Suicides were practically confined to this group. Later on, they were the ones who behaved in an antisocial way; they cheated their fellow prisoners; a few turned spies. They lost their middle-class sense of propriety and their self-respect; they became shiftless and disintegrated as autonomous persons.

          Full piece:

    2. Jen

      In just about a month well will have 4K undergrads returning to campus at my elite institution. 99% are fully vaccinated. Dorms are over subscribed, and although our indoor mask mandate is back in place, it does not apply to students who are sharing a dorm room as long as they are asymptomatic.

      Unless we are extraordinarily lucky, or the board of directors yields to reality, we are headed for a train wreck. Given the vaccination rate among the students (99%), staff(90% among those who are returning to campus), the community, it’s going to be hard to blame an outbreak on the bubbas from deploristan.

      I imagine the community reaction to an outbreak will be quite something to behold.

      1. XXYY

        bubbas from deploristan


        I have been seeing more nuance in the media and elsewhere on this now that we’re discovering that Blacks and Hispanics are the lowest-vaccinated demos by race. The explanations seem to be veering towards “Blacks and Hispanics have very understandable cultural and historical reasons for being vaccine skeptics, but White vaccine skeptics are still just anti-science conspiracists who are endangering us all.”

        Hard to let go of your hating and scapegoating!

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, campus openings will make it pretty much impossible to maintain the narrative. But they’ll still try to blame the townies.

    3. SE

      I don’t know, I think there’s been a lot of male rage too. Matt Yglesias was calling for forced vaccination. David Frum lost his mind in a 2-year-old’s tantrum against the unvaccinated.

      1. hunkerdown

        Billions of dollars are wasted feeding, clothing, and sheltering people whose only role is to obligate others to odious debts. It’s definitely a class relation that’s had gender superimposed on a distinct subclass.

      2. Raymond Sim

        “Matt Yglesias was calling for forced vaccination. David Frum lost his mind in a 2-year-old’s tantrum against the unvaccinated.”

        Two guys my grandfather would have called ‘womanish’ – I’m gonna be giving Yves’ observation some thought.
        Grandpa was an absolute exemplar of what I believe is called ‘positive sexism’.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Maybe I have gone overboard on this topic due to seeing too many crime shows in catering to my mother’s viewing habits. But the women are without exception totally useless in tough situations unless they are female cops or girl Ninja bad guys…oh, and the Ninja girls are nearly always Asian.

          For instance, last night in one of these crime shows, two youngish (as in look at least adequately fit) and a guy are bound to plumbing, and the psycho bad guy clearly intends to kill them all slowly to enjoy the process.

          One woman manages to work off the zip ties on her wrists. Bad guy is in a crouch, in the other woman’s face. Woman who got free is behind his field of vision.

          Rather than do something sensible, like scoping out before she makes her break to see if there is anything she can use to smash his skull in and deploy appropriately, or run like hell to get help, she stands up and screams at the guy to stop abusing the other woman.

          Of course things take a turn for the even worse until the FBI shows up in the nick of time.

          The indoctrination of women to be passive or at most scream and cower is staggering. It is absolutely relentless on these shows.

          1. Raymond Sim

            It makes my stomach churn the way female characters are so typically either superhuman, or else helpless. Or even worse, as you described, so emotionally incontinent as to be almost culpable in their own victimization.

            I get so cranky my wife sends me out of the room so she can watch ‘Outlander’ or whatnot in peace.

            And I can’t remember the last time I saw a purportedly feminist film or tv show that didn’t seem positively retrograde to me.

            1. savedbyirony

              I think the best “feminist” tv show i have seen recently is ‘Orphan Black’, and not just for its strong, active female characters.

            2. savedbyirony

              I think the best “feminist” tv show i have seen recently is ‘Orphan Black’, and not just for its strong, active female characters. (Well, there is also the reality tv genre. ‘Pit Bulls and Paroles’ follows a number of “strong” real women.)

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        “David Forum lost his mind”

        A monstrous simpleton from the Shrub administration. When he’s not arguing for cruelty towards immigrants, he’s cavorting with phrenologist, Andy Sullivan.

        I know he’s on MSDNC occasionally, but that speaks for itself.

  5. Thuto

    The truth is leaking out of cracks in the PR facade and we find out that the vaccines maybe aren’t time capsules that will transport us magically back to pre-covid normal lives as we’ve been told. Time for the establishment to come up with their versions of “the dog ate my homework” excuses or to take a leaf from Uber and double down on PR by cranking up the volume on the “vaccines as magic potions” narrative to make things unintelligible for the average Joe. With the coming boom in the booster shots market, expect buy recommendations for pharmaceutical stocks to be all the rage with analysts.

  6. Bart Hansen

    Speaking of a lack of information, I would like to see data from the vaccine makers about how many doses are being produced in a week or month and where they are going.

    As far as I can see this data is not in the public domain, and at least it is not in my daily newspaper.

  7. Daniel LaRusso

    I posted on an ealier piece but I guess people have moved on. Could someone please find the time to answer this – or point in the direction if it’s already been answered

    1)Is it fair to attribute all excess deaths to COVID? here in he UK we shut down society and that included the NHS. So say for example 5 years ago I got chest pain whilst gardening, I call an ambulance and they turn up sharpish. I’m seen in ER in a relatively order fashion and diagnosed with the need for emergency surgery. I’m operated on inside an hour and live a long, happy life.

    Compare that to 2020 – the ambulance takes forever and when I get to hospital I’m not seen for ages due to everyone with even a tight chest (brother-in-law) waiting to be seen. I die a horrible and painful death. Am I right in thinking I’m an excess death, so you’re telling people I died from covid? But I didn’t. I’m not sure what it was like in the US … but stuff like that must have happened regularly because the NHS saves lives everyday and we practically closed it down to anything but COVID. Yes/No ?

    2) My nieces are doctors and they simplyrefuse to believe that the vaccines (in the UK) are nto tested thoroughly, or we are in any way guines pigs. They get very technical trying to explain how the vaccines use a “chasis” that is used alot and these vaccines are only a “tweak”. I’m confused .. in lay mans speak what is going on?

    Apologies if this beneath everyone

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yes. Per your example, why was the ER full? Dont say Tory cuts because the US had notable problems despite being an aspiring 3rd world system. Deaths of despair, incompetence, malice and so forth are already counted as part of the number of expected deaths each year by census bureaus, insurance agencies, and their regulators everywhere. We have enough information from year to year to determine these numbers, and local governments make the reports, too many local governments for a government conspiracy explanation. Yves has noted during the lockdown the kinds of deaths that would generate police reports such as motor vehicle accidents were noted on existent.

      One estimate is 680,000 people in the US died of Covid, not the 500,000 excess deaths in the US last year. Of the 180,000 who likely died of Covid below the excess number, all certainly would have died of the flu which also curiously disappeared, so why were so many people in the hospital?

      1. Daniel LaRusso

        thanks for the reply – are your questions rhetorical…becasue I don’t know how to answer them. I have difficulty following, so I’m unclear. Am I right to think that you cannot just say all excess deths are covid becasue of the effects of shutting down the nhs/society ? There would be hefty chunk of “shutdown” deaths? Or is it really that simple.

        Isn’t it 180,00 who died above the excess number, not beneath ?

        1. chuck roast

          I think we had this discussion about “excess deaths” the other day. For quite some time my take (in the US) has been that with all the finagling of the numbers they really couldn’t finagle total deaths. So, after a couple/few years you compare the total deaths for Covid period (correcting for say traffic deaths when nobody was driving) and compare to the recent 10-year non-Covid average annual. Excess deaths would be a rough approximation of Covid deaths. I imagine this would include you expiring in the Emergency Room.

          Nice try roast, but no cigar! They are now apparently screwing around with total death stats. Anyway, that’s my take, but I was lucky to get a B in sadistics.

          1. urblintz

            This. Why anyone was willing to derive conclusions when the data those conclusions were based on were so obviously corrupt, is beyond me. Lies, damn lies and statistics.

    2. fjallstrom

      On 1 I think it is a matter of getting practical proxies in real time and/or with some lag. How deaths are or are not attributed to Covid in national statistics can differ a lot between countries (including but not limited to the whole of/with Covid question), while excess death should be fairly similar as measurement as long as countries count and report their deaths.

      There is also the question of what should be the target during a pandemic, and here I am of the opinion that the target should be to minimize overall death and suffering, so the death caused from untreated heart attack due to strained health care system counts as equal to a death from the pandemic itself. Again, this points towards excess deaths being a relevant metric for overall death (and maybe proxy for suffering).

      Our world in data has tools for nice graphs for excess deaths: (click country names to change them)

    3. Carla

      Daniel LaRusso says “My nieces are doctors and they simply refuse to believe that the vaccines (in the UK) are not tested thoroughly, or we are in any way guinea pigs.”

      I get the same party line defenses from doctors and some nurses in the U.S. However, I know other nurses who refuse to be vaccinated (and this is not political, but their own professional assessment).

    4. Raymond Sim

      The reason for looking at excess deaths is that the official Covid stats are shit. The same problem arises when asking “What are the precise causes of these excess deaths?” We don’t know, we won’t know, because the data is shit.

      It’s just common sense that anyone asserting that excess deaths during a pandemic aren’t due to the pandemic bears the burden of proof. They’re the ones who should be yelling at the government for better data. They rarely are.

      Morbidity and mortality due to overwhelmed healthcare systems are not some new feature of this virus, they happen during every really bad flu year. They count as pandemic deaths in the same way that deaths due to lack of oxygen cannisters, or even mere misdiagnosis do. Put them down as “died with medical incompetence” or “died with government malfeasance” if you like.

      As for your nieces’ opinions about the vaccines: Doctors are rarely actually scientists, and most of their theoretical understanding is received wisdom rather than anything they’ve worked through on their own. The ability to take on information that seems to contradict what they think they know, and integrate it into their understanding is very much a personal quality in doctors, not a professional one. Faith in the general probity of their profession though – that is thoroughly inculcated in them.

      1. Daniel LaRusso

        You say “…It’s just common sense that anyone asserting that excess deaths during a pandemic aren’t due to the pandemic bears the burden of proof. They’re the ones who should be yelling at the government for better data. They rarely are.”

        I would agree in normal times becasue everything else was EQUAL when comapring the data over a 5 year span, say. But we shut down (practically) the NHS so it’s not a fair comparison. The deaths will be higher becasue it saves lives everyday for all sortsof reasons, and that capablity was severly hampered by that choice – I may be delusional, bu that strikes me as common sense. I’m not an anti-vaxxer or denier, but it seems unfair to label those people as “covid” deaths. I suppose I’m just asking why people on the news are asking for more nuance in this excess deaths thing. I’m no good at maths so maybe everyone is laughing at me.

      2. Daniel LaRusso

        You say “…They count as pandemic deaths in the same way that deaths due to lack of oxygen cannisters, or even mere misdiagnosis do. Put them down as “died with medical incompetence” or “died with government malfeasance” if you like.”

        I think that sounds much fairer. Why has someone in the news/experts/politicos had this argument.? Maybe I missed it, but I come back to if someone like me can see it why can’t they?

        Thanks for your replies everyone.

        1. HotFlash

          “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair,

          1. Daniel LaRusso

            I understand that from paid professionals, I mean no one keeps their head down at work more than me. I’m guilty as charged.

            But I watch Newsnight where the audience gets to question experts/politico’s … and nothing like what we write here is ever asked. Not just covid deaths but fractional reserve banking, money creation etc. I just find it a little weid that the “little people” who know what they are talking about don’t take their shot.


    5. skk

      Well you are a death in the times of Covid, that’s for sure. Excess ? That’s a harder question. Causation from a reasoning, philosophical perspective is a really hard concept ,
      From the data, in retrospect we’ll get to firm statements like “Compared to a 5 year avg 2015-2019, deaths per year in 2020 exceeded that number by X. and X is the excess deaths in the time of Covid. You’d say ‘i the time of Covid’ to bundle up effects of having Covid going round on the planet.

      From a math/stat point of view, you can posit certain covid factors, like testing positive, road accident fatalities, hospital versus home deaths and depending on the model chosen, attribute amounts of the excess to each of the respective factors. But that’s only true if the model is right – you can estimate the chance of the model being right.

      This isn’t totally idle chat. I have a stake in this – I had a temperature, muscle ache and I tested PCR positive for covid.

      In general, for causation check out David Hume,relations%20between%20objects%20of%20comparison.&text=Causation%20is%20a%20relation%20between,world%20beyond%20our%20immediate%20impressions.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Total deaths across the entire US is hard to screw up from a modeling stand point. 20% more deaths than 2019 isnt explained by population demographics on an annual basis. A daily 9/11 is a big deal. Then anecdotally, we have doctors wondering where the flu patients were, a major killer normally. Excess is the only practical count unless you can come up with an alternative explanation.

        We also have data from places like California and NYC where excess deaths and Covid outbreaks happened before a nationwide spread. Those aren’t dinky little places where minor events can look statically large.

        This isn’t the kids relocated to and born in an individual state 30 years ago flipping a state a different different direction 20 to 30 years later.

        1. Daniel LaRusso

          I think I was right in my initial gambit. That not all excess deaths are due to the “virus” per se. They will be from a number of causes that are being “rolled up” into a number and attributed to covid.

          My issue (as I said above) is why hasn’t that been made plain to people, becasue the people who watch the news think that “excess” deaths are just direct virus deaths. I don’t raise this out of being pedantic, but that number seems to be driving allsorts of policy and decisions. Is the nuance left out on purpose to suit an agenda?


          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            You would still be wrong. This is the kind of thing actuaries get right every year. To be 500,000 off requires a major change. This is not political pollsters. Policies and demographics wouldn’t reflect this. Only Covid. Sorry, misplacing oxygen tanks because the hospitals are overwhelmed due to Covid would be the result of Covid.

            1. Daniel LaRusso

              No I think I disagree … the oxygen tanks strain on the NHS (and thus an inflation of excess deaths) was either a result of our “response” to the virus, apparently there were alternatives to the strain we put on the NHS. Or, it’s because we underfunded it previously and left it no resilience. Neither are the the “virus” to my mind.

    6. Sierra7

      I’m just as confused as you. Too much contradictory information by the informed/uninformed, professional/unprofessional persons, government officials is leading to a bottomless pit of anger.
      Who do we believe anymore about this mess?
      (From a fully vaccinated 91 year old)
      Whom do we (you) trust to be telling us the “straight skinny?”
      This confusing information will lead to bloodshed in the streets if not stopped.

    7. Yves Smith Post author

      Actually it is possible that excess deaths UNDERREPORT Covid deaths.

      In the early stages of Covid, Alabama had negative excess deaths due to fall in driving and hence driving deaths due to lockdowns.

      1. Gedeon

        My family has been in the funeral business for over a century and could be targeted by a state AG for anti-trust due to our size in the market. There were excess deaths, but it was <20% increase yoy. Sample size of thousands for 2020, but this is still just an anecdote.

        To LaRusso’s point, there are seasonal ebbs and flows with respect to deaths as people don’t just die 9-5, M-F. They die when they die and it never ends. The holiday season puts an emotional and physical strain on many people and many people do just quit. This could manifest as a hunger strike, or not taking medications, taking too much medication, etc., but there are the cases of swallow a lead pill or asphyxiation style suicide and there are milder forms of quitting that are short of physician-assisted modes.

        I point this out because LaRusso points to issues surrounding failure to prevent fatalities via untimely or inadequate medical care, but there are other causal factors which are not teased out of the data because we don’t want to see and it doesn’t matter to the actuaries if it is consistent yoy. I will just say that 100% of people who are dead do not have a beating heart. It is silly to expect actuaries to get anything granular precise on 2020 because it is a tail kind of year with tremendous anomalies in policy and disease.

        The value of deriving a true virus death figure is to understand the real CFR as opposed to nominal CFRs of dubious accuracy. Is the virus worse than the institutional response? Not in my estimation.

        Whether it’s a virus, war, famine or a combination of all of the above and more, the dead underbrush is going to take the forest with it. The cycle and all of that ecology stuff, right?

        1. Raymond Sim

          ” Is the virus worse than the institutional response? Not in my estimation.”

          What institutional response would have plausibly resulted in sufficiently fewer deaths to, for instance, make it unnecessary to hire reefers to stow the dead in?

          1. Daniel LaRusso

            A more compassionate and nuanced lockdown for me. Local lockdowns when required, better support for those who want to self isolate so there is no reason not to etc. On RT the other week it read that alcohol deaths/related illnesses are up 20% – those are due to the “lockdown” and not the “virus” I’m assuming. Ready to be proved wrong though.

            I sometimes think that we might not have “saved” many people. We’ve essentially just “swapped” the ones with the virus with ones that will feel the full consequences of the lockdown – depression/suicide/drugs/despair/cancer etc. I’d love to know how those numbers compare.

            1. Raymond Sim

              So you want a different distribution of who dies? One that is somehow more compassionate?

              A hard lockdown of the whole country, with everyone’s shelter, subsistence and healthcare provided for, would be a compassionate response.

          2. Gedeon

            In my estimation, wanting to arrest a pandemic is not much different from wanting to arrest a mortgage crisis in 2007. Saying we need to tap the tax payer to prop-up elderly obese diabetics is analogous to we need to prop-up stock and real estate prices. This is moral hazard of a different stripe.

            We can impute moral-ethical value into the conversation, but not in the context of choosing “essential” vs. “non-essential” businesses to remain open or coerce into closing. Some moral-ethical questions that are good to ask are:

            1) When did Fauci know there was human to human transmission?
            2) Why did Fauci oppose the China travel restrictions in January?
            3) Why did Fauci lie and obfuscate that NIH resources supported gain of function research in Wuhan?
            4) Why is the power of the government, listed corporations, big education, big medicine and legacy media being coordinated to bully and coerce people into involuntarily (under duress) participating in the largest medical experiment ever?

            On the matter of welfare, everyone needs to recognize that all welfare is welfare to the wealthiest people and, if the 2008-2019 period didn’t make it clear enough to everyone, the post-2019 period should have made it too obvious to ignore that the philanthropic (tax exempt) class are the greatest beneficiaries of ALL welfare via the trickle up mechanism. Anything the philanthropic class and their lackeys inside and outside of government propose should be flatly rejected and vigorously opposed.

            They are not here to help you, me or our family and friends.

            Heresy is your friend. Dogma is the enemy.

      2. Daniel LaRusso

        So where I’m at is.

        That although it’s the best we’ve got, because the models don’t allow/can’t in a complex world give us the granualarity we want. That excess deaths is a poor measure of covid deaths (means different things to different people). But what else is there.

        CFR ??

        1. Gedeon

          CFR is a terrible stat because you have two variables, one which is very fluid, as opposed to one fuzzy variable with excess deaths. PCR testing was a fraudulent test, so we have no possible way to ascertain even a rough estimate of true infections. That the CARES act and ensuing grift incentivized counting covid cases for medical professionals and institutions made sure of this outcome.

          1. Raymond Sim

            “PCR testing was a fraudulent test, so we have no possible way to ascertain even a rough estimate of true infections.”

            PCR is fraudulent? What the actual blucking familyfoggery?

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            You are going into moderation for your claim re PCR tests. They are not “fraudulent”. Our site Policies clearly state that agnotology (“Making Shit Up”) is grounds for blacklisting.

            Yes, they have issues with accuracy, as do quite a few medical tests. For starters, they are better than mammograms. I am sure I can come up with plenty of other examples.

  8. Amfortas the hippie

    i got the moderna this spring, and assume, due to everything i’m seeing here, that whatever immunity/protection i got from that is on the wane.
    I mask when i go among the herd…but still…
    what i’d like to about ivermectin.
    i expect the 2 doctors that i’m allowed to see(being poor and uninsured, i only have 2 who will even see me) to be cheerleaders for vaccines, and resistant to giving me a scrp for ivermectin, should i come down with covid(touch wood).
    but i can get it at the feedstore very easily,lol.
    what’s the protocol for using that?
    i understand the liability issues, of course…so a hypothetical scenario is sufficient.

    i have enough chaos in my life atm without the gaslighting and ridiculousness, thank you very much.
    I’m having to go among the mundanes a whole lot more than i would like…the maskless and itaintrealers are bad enough…but the cdc falling flat on it’s face in the mud these last 2 years is orders of magnitude worse.
    wife starts inservice, today…youngest has been in 2 a days(football) for 2 weeks…and school itself starts soon…and i’m as worried as i was in february 2020.

    …and to add some anecdata to talk yesterday of RSV…i’ve heard 3 calls to ems on the scanner in the last week regarding RSV in adults…ages 41, 56, and 70.
    dispatcher included with each: patient answers No to Covid questions….
    a chilling development.

    1. Eustachedesaintpierre

      Amfortas – Herself not well enough to take vaccine so did some research & found this English fella who does a really good round up while taking it himself on dosage & the safety of the added ingredients. I took it for a month & have been feeling great for an old fella – herself been on prophylaxis dose for a while took 2 AZ vacs no problems & is also doing fine.

      Oh & closer to home for you on youtube look up farm & ranch hacks.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        that’s all i wanted.

        my primary doc…known him for 22 years…can be amenable to persuasion, especially when i can readily backit up.
        he generally trusts me on such things, since we’ve been sort of buddies all these years(gotten used to my idiosyncrasies).

      2. skk

        Thanks huge. I’ve made a note for possible future needs.

        re; base poster
        Yeah take it from me one feels terrible when you have symptoms and in no mood whatsoever to do any research/legwork when one has the symptoms.. So, do the legwork before symptom onset or even earlier so you are prepared.

        for monoclonal antibody therapy for use during the first 10 days of covid ( or more in the EUA now) there exists regeneron-cov ( mentioned in the base post ), go to, follow tabs for patient to get to a searchable list of states and providers. the therapy is free but one(someone? ) has ,to pay for the administration of the therapy.

    2. jhallc

      Pulled this link from a June 2021 article when searching on RSV Virus. It’s based on what the “Experts” at the CDC say. They note an increase in RSV in the south this summer. No mention of possible spread by aerosol, only droplet and fomite contact sources.

      “Respiratory syncytial virus is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms, according to the CDC.

      RSV spreads a few different ways:

      -When an infected person coughs or sneezes
      -When you get virus droplets from a cough or sneeze in your eyes, nose, or mouth
      -When you touch a surface that has the virus on it, such as a doorknob, and then touch your face before washing your hands
      -When you have direct contact with RSV like kissing the face of a child with the virus

      RSV cases had been below normal levels since April 2020, but they started rising in March 2021, the CDC says. Cases have particularly exploded in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, and Oklahoma, per CDC data.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      My quick search is its 6 months from the second Moderna shot when immunity starts to wane. So they started going out on a grand scale in January to the nursing home types…

    4. Richard Needleman

      Please do not take horse ivermectin. For reliable information on it see

      Or give your physicians these links so they can review the evidence and prescribe:

      As bad as the medical system is in the US, we are not yet reduced to using veterinary products for human use.

      Wish you luck….

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        any veterinary hacks are for the oh, shit file, only.
        like i said, i acquire all manner of crazy, but potentially very useful, information…

        to wit:

        “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
        ― Robert A. Heinlein

        i’ll stick some of the pages linked above on a thumb, for my regular doctor…just in case.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          I used it out of desperation not out of choice as it is not available in the UK & I cannot afford the 70 quid to get it from India. Got my baby out of a hole but as I am starting work soon I will be able to stock up from India & as I said no harm done to us, while hoping that I don’t compromise NC in any way, by yet again as my Mum always said to me by putting my big foot in it.

          I apologise for & state that the above post is solely my responsibility & in no way reflects any opinion or statement from any of the Naked Capitalism staff.

          1. ambrit

            I’m right there behind you and echo your sentiments.
            Glad to hear your baby is allright.
            Stay safe.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          How many of those things could Heinlein himself do? In actual point of actual fact?

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            i’ve done most of those things…altho i suck at ‘puters…and, while i haven’t had the opportunity to plan an invasion, or set a bone, or die gallantly…i do feel up to the task.
            “I am large, i contain multitudes”-Whitman

          2. The Rev Kev

            Having read a lot about Robert Heinlein’s personal history, I would say pretty much all of them. A lot of them were part and parcel of 19th century life in fact but we don’t recognize that because for generations we have become specialized in our pursuits.

      2. ambrit

        In some parts of the world, the drug that cannot be named is priced out of the reach of the financially limited’s reach. Clasic eugenics by another means.
        If I have read aright, Medicare still does not approve the ‘off label’ use of “the drug that shall not be named” for Covid 19. So, even with a Part D Medicare policy, you are on your own for the costs.
        I read a comment some time ago to the effect that the internet access to “the drug that cannot be named” was over $100 USD for a ‘normal’ treatment regime. Thus, another impediment to access.
        Finally, seeing the absurd levels of self delusion about the coronavirus shown by the extant medical establishment in America, at the least, it looks to be, at present, a case of “you’re on your own.”
        I’ll shut up now and slither back under my rock.

        1. HotFlash

          Not to mention that Iwhatsisin from an online outfit with a name like is not all that confidence-inspiring to me.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          That’s inaccurate. If Medicare isn’t paying, you can use a pharmacy discount like GoodRx. Price about $35.

          And a treatment regime = a month+. $1 a day is hardly extortionate.

      3. kareninca

        “As bad as the medical system is in the US, we are not yet reduced to using veterinary products for human use.”

        I have a close relative who is on about seven meds. They come in a big sack from Aetna each month. The odds are good that they were all manufactured in India in an uninspected hut using ingredients from China. My government (the U.S.) does not care enough about its citizens to check out the safety of this arrangement. The containers of meds even LOOK like they were made in a shack. The labels look like they were run off on a 1970s mimeograph machine.

        I have a rich acquaintance who has horses. She and her buddies really, really care about their horses’ well being. They are always in contact with one another about which meds are well made, and you can’t imagine the fuss they would make if they weren’t . . .

        I think you have an overly optimistic view of the quality of human grade meds in the U.S..

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          To your point, veterinary grade is supposed to be the same as pharmaceutical grade. But with private equity buying up a lot of animal meds and tests, I have a lot less confidence in quality than I did a decade ago. I never did it but I knew guys who would buy veterinary hyaluronic acid and use it to self medicate for injuries (as in inject!). Hyaluronic acid is not hard to make and very well tolerated, so the big concern would be purity/lack of contamination. Now the suppliers have clamped down so regular retail folks can’t buy the injectable stuff, but I’m not sure I’d hazard that even if I were so inclined given the big change in the market.

          1. Raymond Sim

            I think it’s a fair rule of thumb that however much fraud and corruption there may be in human pharma, it’s always a lot worse in ag.

    5. ambrit

      Careful there pardner. You’ll get taken out back of the wood shed for raising the subject of the aminal type of the drug that must not be named. I was.
      Cruise the obscure parts of the internet for the info. Be creative. Google just gets you scaremongering “official version” screeds.
      Stay safe!
      (There might be a possible legal danger to the site for being associated with “furry aminals without worms.” So, there is that.)

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i admit i hesitated before pushing send.
        i’m merely looking for info to put in my shtf file…along with Che’s guerilla warfare, and various children’s books from the 50’s that contain far too much information on chemical warfare(yes, really…happy children like Opie, rescued from a box in my grandma’s garage–among the most insane items in my Library)…
        i in no way want our hosts slimed over this…
        but the Officials obviously don’t have our backs, so we’re on our own.
        ergo, i must investigate contingencies, no matter how politically odorous.
        i keep an emt field kit with surgical tools on-hand for the same reason….i don’t trust the whole shebang any more, and can’t count on it being there when i need it.

        1. Lost in OR


          I posted a reply to your original post that seems to have been moderated. It included a link to PCP providers that offer scripts. Check out the FLCCC website. I think you’ll find your answer there.

          This censorship and self-censorship is a new game. Crazy. I thought only autocratic countries did that. Oh, sorry, never mind.

        2. ambrit

          Similar situation here. I had a copy of “The Anarchist’s Cookbook” lying around somewhere. Cannot find it now. (One of the kids might have “liberated” it. *sigh*) A very useful book to have. The Department of the Army also put out some very useful books on ‘conflict’ related subjects back in the ‘fifties and ‘sixties. There is a very good book from the Navy about construction with scrap and found materials.
          [I too don’t want to get the site in trouble, so, shtum, shtum.]
          I have had the lower limits of my cynicism tested this past year. America has plainly broken below the previous ‘belief in the authorities’ support level.
          How far this all goes, I have no idea. Now, basic survival is paramount.
          Be safe and support your loved ones.

          1. Tom Stone

            The “Anarchists Cookbook” was put together by a grad student, follow those directions and you are likely to end up in the ER missing pieces.
            The Government Printing office has a large number of field manuals covering pretty much every aspect of rough living and survival.
            They are written for “Snuffy” and tend to be well written and well illustrated..

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              second on the Army Field Manuals…all kinds of stuff.
              i bought a box of them at the big surplus store in galveston, years ago.
              the most interesting, from a political perspective, are the Counterintelligence Manuals….can be overlain onto the last 30-40 years of US social/cultural history and the evolving Historia Officionale.

    6. chris

      Yes, we’ve seen RSV spike in our neighborhoods and areas in Maryland this summer. Here’s the CDC chart on the data.

      FWIW, my employers nasal swab tests shifted to reporting 4 different viruses back in April of this year. When I take a test now (requested by clients about once a month for the last 3 months or so) I get results for whether I am positive for Flu-A, Flu-B, RSV, and Sars-Cov-2. The tests cost about $150 each and i get my results in 24 hours or less. We have some instructions to help calibrate how to do the stabbing repeatedly and correctly.

      Paging Dr. Mina for news of cheap and easy rapid testing…

    7. Bobby Gladd

      My wife and — both Covid vaccinated — are getting over RSV. It has not been fun. We think we got it from our 18 mo old grandson. Our neighbor has had it too. There were times during the last two weeks when I thought I was going to cough up a kidney.

      1. Lost in OR

        So maybe we should be asking this question now- what’s the best protocol for RSV? I’d never heard of it before’s yesterday’s IMDoc post.

    8. Dina Bisagna

      I just got a prescription from my doctor. He tried to talk me out of it, but gave me a scrip in the end, under protest. Seriously, he wrote under protest on the scrip. Pure cya, which is understandable. So, I’d encourage you to talk with your docs first.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      ADE is a known risk and has been watched from the get go.

      No one is keeping good data on the breakthrough cases in the US since they are not supposed to be happening.

      I suspect it is a combo of Pfizer/Moderna not performing well v. Delta much past the first 2-4 months plus the demographics of the breakthrough population v. not vaccinated. That’s what the Israel tweet suggests, that the protection is pretty much shot earlier than you’d think, plus the people who were vaccinated early skewing older and towards having pre-existing conditions (those groups + medical workers were first in line for vaccines). IM Doc said his non-vaccinated cases were mainly young people, so at least in his sample, they were very different cohorts.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        To add, and this is a major “Duh” moment, per reader comments above….UK getting better results because they got everyone to get one jab pronto, and second jab at about 10-12 weeks, v. 3 weeks for Pfizer and 4 for Moderna here.

        Even though AZ was used in the UK, and it’s a different med, antibody levels turn out to be higher and last longer on AZ and Pfizer if the doses are spaced out to 10-12 week.

        So we really screwed the pooch.

  9. Arizona Slim

    Methinks that this previously published NC article is even more timely:

    Oh, I can’t let y’all go without sharing a wee little story from yesterday. I took a nice, long bike ride around town, and it included a stop at a farmers market. It’s been a month since I’ve been to that market, and I noticed a lot more masking up than I did in July.

    I also noticed that increase in masking up when I went to the food co-op on Saturday. Up until recently, the co-op had a door sign saying that fully vaccinated people didn’t have to wear masks in the store. That sign has been replaced by one that requests that all customers wear masks.

    As for employer mandates for vaccination, well, there was this event that happened last Wednesday:

    I know the protest venue well. It’s at an intersection with a traffic light that takes its sweet ole time. Meaning that thousands of Campbell Avenue motorists had plenty of time to ponder the protestors’ message.

    1. T_Reg

      Thank you for the link to the March article; I missed it back in March.

      And yet, the situation hasn’t changed. Those promoting Ivermectin use are still being derided and suppressed. (Topol himself just recently described Bret Weinstein as “predatory”). Ivermectin is still The Medicine That Shall Not Be Named. Doctors are threatened with losing their license if they prescribe Ivermectin. It’s discouraging.

    2. urblintz

      Here in Tampa Bay, at my Publix (the only potentially crowded place I go regularly), everyone is masked again, especially the employees.

      1. Arizona Slim

        In the aforementioned food co-op, the employees never stopped wearing their masks.

        Oh, one more thing: On Saturday night, I was listening to “The Blues Review” on our community radio station, KXCI. During this show, I heard an underwriting spot from the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association that said, among other things, that masks are requested when patronizing member business.

        The co-op is a longtime member of this association.

  10. tegnost

    founder of Scripps Research Translational Institute…

    Scripps was founded by Ellen Browning Scripps

        1. SE

          =) My dad went there and I used to play on the beach there as a kid. Had no idea it Scripps was a woman until now!

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          she was.
          one of her heirs lives about 10 miles from me.
          skews the property values somewhat…and the census figures a whole lot,lol.
          he’s a trumpian…but on the nicer, more thoughtful side(?).
          wife last saw him getting his covid shot, when she was getting hers.

          (and yes…i fully understand the weirdness: that I know a billionaire,lol. he’s who i think about in order to calm my more radical rhetoric(eat the rich, etc))

  11. Jim Young

    Though a great believer in vaccines, one fear was the use of them would be a bit like antibiotics used irresponsibly. A distant relative lost his first patient when the patient didn’t take the full course, letting the infection come back stronger than ever.

    It has also been hard to believe that any vaccine could be perfect enough to protect us from the “common” cold, or flu, with the variability of which viruses will be prevalent in any given season, and the danger (to my mind), of a half way cure that does little more than buy some time before other variants come to the front. I always suspected seasonal vaccines would be needed, especially with so many determined to avoid even the simplest preventive measures, and the worst deliberately coughing on bus drivers, etc.

    Simply exercising precautions many around the world already take against the common cold (masking up, cleaning up, and watching airborne dispersal, worked for us before vaccination gave us, and the health care resources, a break we could have used more wisely.

    (I still mask up even if I am the only one in a thousand doing so.)

  12. Verifyfirst

    Seven in ten are sleepwalkers, said a Buddhist 2000 years ago. It has ever been so.

    In the Covid case, it all goes back in the US to Fauci and his lifelong infatuation with vaccines. He was the advisor who presumably told Trump and Biden vaccines would fix this. Trump responded with the Warp Speed vaccine development, Biden by declaring victory in July of this year.

  13. the suck of sorrow

    Annectdote: in my community some local physcians feel that the vaccines are really good at generating negative test results among patients that are likely in their view to be afflicted by Covid. I have feelers out about ivermectin …
    IMO, when my vaccinated acqaintances fall ill, they are going to be furious and most probalby irrational.

  14. Ben Dalton

    Check out John Michael Greer’s hypothesis here:

    He suggests that ADE is what is making these people sick.

    Yes, I know he is not a trained medical professional, and he is out there in the fringe, but it made sense to me. And got me a little terrified. Any reasons he could be wrong?

    1. Isotope_C14

      Great link, but his timeline feels too – unplanned.

      From GM above:

      “I too have come to the conclusion that either there is some absurdly nefarious grand conspiracy behind this (not really likely) or it is just stupidity and shortsightedness all around. ”

      Perhaps Game of Thrones was so popular because it countered the narrative that the 0.001% are just in for a quick buck and have no nefarious plans. Accidentally funding a coronavirus lab with an NGO named “Eco-health alliance” which sounds like a place that should be making green/bio medical supplies to reduce plastic waste should be a dead giveaway.

      I fear when they release eta or whatever name they have picked out that it was designed to take out the vaccinated. The unvaccinated are already poor, and they’ll still be slaves. Seems that’s a good reason to not heavily vaccinate the global south where you’ll need fit lithium miners, and various other producers of cash-crops.

    2. William H Duncan

      His hypothesis seems to me quite close to likely. I just hope the ADE if it happens is not so bad as he suggests.

  15. CanCyn

    One of the problems with this virus is it’s asymptomatic nature in so many – there have always been many more cases out there than we have counted. I think I saw an estimate at one time last year of 5 to 10 times the tested positives but I cannot find that now. While that means the fatality rate is lower than reported, it is small consolation to the many, many people whose loved ones have died or are severely ill with long COVID. If you can’t easily get a free and reliable test and you’ve been out and about in public, you could possibly/potentially have COVID and not know it. Not that I advocate staying home and living in fear, it just means take precautions and keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve been with. I have no doubt that the history books will wonder why we didn’t pay more attention to testing – so many things the future will not be able to learn due to our public health failures in this pandemic. I had little esteem for TPTB before COVID and I am surprised to learn just how much further they had to fall.
    Cases are slowly creeping back up here in Ontario and we’re still reporting deaths every day. Under 20 per day but people are still dying from this virus. And I suppose they will continue to die as it becomes endemic and we ‘learn to live with it’. It always amazed me that people treated the flu as a benign, simple illness, ignoring the many deaths annually or seeing them as inevitable. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the willingness to go the same route with COVID. Sigh.
    Canadian borders are open again – to the fully vaccinated with no need for quarantining. Oh, perhaps a random test will be done. A few weeks back, one of our public health officials said that Canadian trends tend to follow UK and US trends with about a 6 week lag – stated as though it were an inevitable fact and that there was nothing to be done. So, as we’ve watched cases go up in the UK and the US, provincially, we’ve re-opened up gyms and restaurants, allowed for bigger gatherings, and now, federally, our borders. As if we had no control over these things. It is mind boggling – at least to me. Many others I know are complacent – deaths are inevitable, gotta get back to normal, herd immunity can happen, etc. they have drunk the Koolaid and are ready to put COVID behind them. I live in hope that a benign mutation happens and we do get out of the woods but live in fear of a more malignant mutation and a fall/winter of illness that is worse that what we’ve already faced.
    As always since the early days of this pandemic, we seem to be in wait and see mode – what do you call ‘wait and see’ when it is status quo? Personally this has been the worse part of the pandemic for me. Is it going to be worse or better in two weeks? On a day to day basis, I am lucky to live in area that has barely been touched by the virus. Retired, with no workplace or immediate financial woes. People are still masking but I notice a lack distancing and crowding when I am out. And my friends and family are ready to visit and make travel plans, I am not there yet and find it very stressful to deal with their ignorance? Complacency? Optimism? Not sure what to call their attitude. Just find it very stressful indeed.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Last year some academics in Indiana undertook an actual bonafide random pcr survey of the state. If my memory serves me they found actual cases to be about twenty times the number the state was detecting.

  16. coboarts

    I was an EMT working in a health services during the 80’s and right through the OMG what is going on to the discovery of HIV/AIDS, so I’ve been even more of my skeptical (I don’t believe anything/anyone (except IMDoc)) self with this. I question the developing cover meme to continue the current paradigm, “the vaccine-induced immunity might wear off.” I would suggest those who really know something, not me, consider the fun we’ll have if these vaccines promote Antibody Dependent Enhancement across the range of normal corona viruses, turning the normal environment into a hostile jungle of weaponized opportunities for coroners.

      1. Skunk

        I think JMG article is uninformed on this topic. Isn’t this the Archdruid guy? Anyway, if he actually knew anything about ADE (which he doesn’t seem to), he would be discussing serial natural infections and also multiple simultaneous infections with different strains. So far, ADE has not been evident.

        Let’s consider something. If the vaccine itself were causing ADE, then there should be no or few vaccinated patients with mild breakthrough cases of COVID-19.

        ADE could still somehow enter the picture, but I don’t think JMG is a good source of information.

  17. PlutoniumKun

    If the worst case scenario comes about it will be perversely interesting to see how the technocratic classes justify this. They never, every admit they were wrong. They either blame someone else or gaslight us, as they’ve done on the failure to seriously restrict international travel in 2020 and in the fiascos over masks and aerosol spread and countless other elite failures.

    I really can’t see any major country reversing course on vaccines, no matter what the data says. Most likely we will see some sort of transition to newer and (hopefully) more effective vaccines in 2022.

    1. William Hunter Duncan

      Fauci wanted to be remembered like Jonus Salk. If this goes very bad ADE, he will be remembered more like Mengele.

      1. someone

        What’s funny/not funny about that is that Salk’s original (low-antigen) IPV caused ADE when it was completely inactivated, and the rest of the time it infected everyone with wild polio directly from the shot. People on high had to change the diagnostic criteria of paralytic polio to hide the effect from the public in official stats.

        That’s why everyone was re-vaccinated with OPV (Sabin vaccine) as soon as it was available.

        Get the full text of this for the whole story/proof.

      2. c_heale

        Salk tested his vaccine on disabled children. I lost a lot of respect for his achievements when I found that out. And Jenner tested his on his servants child.

    2. Badbisco

      If we are so terribly unfortunate as to have ADE caused by the vaccine, the pharma companies and government will blame new variants rather than admit any fault.

      The situation is simply becoming muddier and muddier. Are characteristics of the Delta variant due to its own characteristics or the potentially declining effectiveness of the vaccines over time? Add to that the staggered vaccination rollout/dramatic risk profile differences by age and it will be very difficult to tease out what exactly is going on.

  18. hoonose

    We were warned from day #1 about the vaccines, and that they would work unless we encountered a new variant that bypasses its immunity effects. And that is exactly what is going on now. It obviously was/is too hard to fully vaccinate rich countries, and as the Delta emerged in India, there was no way to cover them too.

    We should all hope another booster will be effective enough for now, and also hope that at least one vaccine producer is editing their product to focus on either the Delta, or creating a more universal solution.

    About 1/4 of excess US deaths in 2020 were non-Covid related.

    Many due to patient fears of accessing HC during the Pandemic. Others due to Pandemic protocols making accessing HC too difficult.

    1. tegnost

      hope that at least one vaccine producer is editing their product

      This is where the blind faith of the technorati is plainly seen.
      It’ll be fine after the update.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        took me a year or so after getting my first computer to turn off Updates….seem to cause more problems than they fix, and i rarely do anything to expose myself online, so all the security stuff just feels like more trouble than it’s worth…
        been avoiding updates ever since.
        win10 makes it hard…when i got the current machine, it came with win10 already on it, and in the 2 days between purchase, and adding ZoneAlarm(i can block the updaters from accessing the net), windows forced an update…which causes a minor problem with playback of videos, netflix, etc…video and sound grows out of synch, and driver must be rebooted= mere annoyance/first world problem.
        with all the collective experience we enjoy regarding tech-fixes and patches and betatesting one’s customers, are we really surprised at how all this is going?

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, the messaging has been consistent that the vaccines were a triumph. Point to me a statement like the one you claimed exists from Rochelle Walensky or the previous head of the CDC. You don’t see anything of the kind in the NEJM paper on the Pfizer vaccines that IM Doc reviewed.

      The onus is on you to prove that a member of the public health establishment said that. Your statement is utterly at odds with their very consistent messaging, and in particular, the CDC’s May “Mission Accomplished/Cast off your masks” in May despite evidence of lower efficacy against Delta and continued evidence of new variants developing.

      1. Basil Pesto

        Moreover, Delta is the only variant at play in Australia and the messaging from all the federal and state governments amounts to ‘we just need to vaccinate a supermajority and it’ll be okay’. This is in spite of the developments in vaccinated countries that anyone can see but which go bafflingly unnoticed in Australia.

    3. chris

      Just for the record…what do you think is involved with a pharmaceutical company “editing” it’s product? I understand that we were told that was a benefit of the mRNA platform, but just because you can make changes to the molecule easily doesn’t mean the approval process is any easier. I can’t imagine we’ll be anywhere close to having a tested and approved booster against whatever variant(s) they decide is the target in much less than 12 months. And that’s because they need to make enough of the stuff to use in the trials, set up the trials, collect the data, analyze the results, and then submit for review and approval. I’m not even sure what the requirements would be for people to join the test groups. If there’s any kind of public pressure against the vaccines that process will be longer.

      My hope is that they’re focusing on producing the currently approved vaccines as best as they can and distributing them to as many people as possible and that they get used as quickly as possible. I don’t want Pfizer and Moderna distracted from that by chasing something shiny.

  19. Steven Greenberg

    Seems to me to be playing with the numbers. In Israel, for instance. since the vaccination rates are so high, you would expect the counts to be higher for the vaccinated because there are so few unvaccinated. Since the delta variation is more contagious, you can’t expect to make comparison to last years numbers that were prior to the existence of the delta variant.

  20. LAS

    Thank you Ives, IM Doc, GM, KLG and Iganacio for discussing this.

    Since in the USA, testing is voluntary outside of people institutionalized, I’m not sure how accurate case counts are. To me, it represents case counts among those in the community who felt the urgency to get tested, likely because of experiencing symptoms. It is really hard to tell the true incidence of break through cases, b/c of the decline in testing during the past 6 months, except that it is certainly happening to some degree.

    This fall, NYC seems to be requiring vaccination or weekly testing in the working population. This may solve the problem of getting better data, but not neccessarily better public safety. We’ll see.

    Why I’m concerned is because covid is not really shrinking to endemic proportions in the USA; rather, it keeps coming back as new epidemic outbreaks. Also, six weeks ago it was said the latest outbreak was 98% unvaccinated; now they’re saying it is 90% unvaccinated. Then you show the data from Israel where the majority of cases are vaccinated persons. I cannot tell if there was always this degree of error in the estimates or circumstances are truly changing, or it depends on the level of vaccination in the population.

    How much safer will people be from taking a booster based on an old variant of the virus rather than one that particularly addresses the new variants? Who knows? Sounds a little doubtful.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Sinusoidal waves of epidemics and pandemics is what endemicity tends to look like. Didn’t think they might just keep coming six months apart forever? Can’t blame you, given the quality of discourse, but is there any fundamental reason why not?

      This wondrous interconnected world of today is just one big bat cave for our new pal spikey.

    2. Medbh

      I wonder what percentage of people are using at-home covid tests, and how that impacts the reported case load? I imagine some people would decline to report positive tests, as they wouldn’t want to reinforce an agenda they oppose. You’d also think there could be some categorical differences between the people using testing centers versus at-home kits, such as health insurance, income, schedule flexibility, etc.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Your assumption isn’t correct.

      Many of the breakthrough cases IM Doc found early were in families planning to travel abroad, who needed a clean PCR test to be allowed in. Repeatedly found all/most members of family group testing positive with all/most vaccinated.

      Also anyone working in a hospital, and in most nursing homes (even here in retrograde Alabama) gets tested weekly.

  21. curlydan

    An anecdote I learned last night: My step-father’s 60 year old, RN, fully vaccinated sister in SW Louisiana came down with COVID. After infection, she checked into a hotel in an attempt to avoid giving it to her daughter and granddaughter who live with her. Apparently, she had a terrible time and eventually after many days went to the hospital and eventually got Regeneron. She is doing somewhat better now but was tearful in her conversation with my step-father. I suspect this will happen to A LOT of health care providers, and it can only be another tough psychological blow to an already stressed out and worn down population.

    1. Raymond Sim

      The vaccines were peddled to HCW’s as a way to protect their families. I read so very many “I got my vaxx” tweets from MD’s and RN’s expressing relief that now their families would be safe, feeling sick at heart because I knew there was no evidence of that.

      Betrayal of trust is so integral to the exercise of power in our country that I wonder how we persist.

    2. urblintz

      You’ve described my niece, the smartest (and most beautiful) young woman I know, who got her Physician’s Assistant degree only months before the pandemic, was so thrilled to land an important job at a hospital in South Carolina, and suffered through her own bout with covid. I have told her she can have every penny and everything I own if she wants to quit.

      …her mother caught covid and experienced very little illness. She takes hydroxychloroquine daily for lupus.

      1. Tom Stone

        Anecdata: I got a call from my honorary niece this morning, she’s in Portland and her BF is a contractor with a crew of ten.
        All fully vaccinated, all down with the Delta Variant.
        She’s scared.

  22. Don Midwest

    Eric Topol article in Guardian today.
    America is flying blind when it comes to the Delta variant
    Dr Eric Topol
    The lack of data around breakthrough infections is giving many Americans a false sense of security

    He notes the terrible decision to stop recording breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated people — if they don’t end up in hospital or ER. A data organization, CDC, that fails at data collection.

    Were they trying to hide these breakthrough cases?

    Apologies if already posted.

  23. Marduk

    “ We’ve detected rising anger among our readers about Covid and the lack of good information, and they report if anything being met with even more ire when they try to tell vaccine true believers that things aren’t working out as promised.”

    Yep. I have a several liberal PMC friends who “trust the science,” which means they’d generally been very cautious and followed all the guidelines for over a year (masking, distancing, etc.), but that faith in the science in turn led them to believe the vaccines had vanquished Covid (while perhaps grudgingly conceding that we shouldn’t assume the pandemic is over). Nevertheless, they mostly wanted to believe Normal was back and took off the masks (I’m sympathetic on this point) just as Joe told them to. Now in the face of Delta they are grasping at straws trying to convince themselves everything will be okay. The past week of mainstream media coverage did serious damage to their denialism and now some are starting to go through a grieving process having moved on from denial to anger, sadness… we’ll see when they reach acceptance.

    And that’s the point that the powers that be need to be concerned. Because if the PMC Science Trusters lose faith in both The Science and our dear leaders who sold them a bill of goods… well, I don’t pretend to know what happens. But probably nothing good for The Establishment.

  24. Jeremy Grimm

    I hope one consequence of the Corona pandemic might be a boost for basic research in mechanisms of viral infection and the workings of the human and mammalian immune systems. I also hope the Corona vaccines conceal no longer term surprises as have accompanied some drugs and disease treatments in the past.

    I never expected the vaccines to be anywhere near as effective as claimed. To do so would have required ignoring too many past efforts at controlling the common cold and the seasonal flu. The novel mRNA vaccine approach appeared to wave hands over the problems with vaccines for the seasonal flu. The novelty of the vaccine approaches used in all three vaccines combined with their Warp Speed testing and mysterious finances, left me feeling suspicious. I have had my two doses of Moderna vaccine, but relented only after the CDC and Government Mission Accomplished policies increased the level of risk I felt in even the very limited excursions I made. Before and after I got my Moderna against Corona, I double-masked and made even fewer excursions from my small duplex apartment.

    Even if the vaccines worked as wonderfully as touted, it would not have changed my deep alarm at the short-cuts allowed in the Warp Speed appearance of the vaccines, at the remarkable testing and data collection failures of the CDC, and at the CDC’s and Government disregard for what I thought were long standing public health practices. The Government’s CARES Act and its kin, the rent and foreclosure moratoriums setting up what appears to me as a major and very deliberate restructuring of US housing ownership — only add to my alarm and disgust. The actions of Big Pharma have been beyond egregious. I am too old to stay angry. I feel alarm at the anger and despair which appears to be growing in the Populace as the Corona debacle unfolds.

  25. Don Midwest

    I follow Zenyep on twitter. She was right early on to claim that Covid-19 was not spread by droplets.

    This tweet just came out.

    Is WHO totally brainwashed?

    If WHO cannot get this correct, how can they make a leap to ivermectin?

    If WHO wants to be relevant again, they have to move away from Big Pharma and billionaires.

    zeynep tufekci @zeynep 24m

    Oh my. The same team that the WHO has hired to review evidence on transmission of COVID *still* says it likely spreads by droplets and contact, rather than being airborne. (Competent countries’ scientists had concluded it was airborne in February of 2020.)…


    Imagine if we had started with precautions against aerosols—opened windows, went outside, avoided crowded indoors rather than six-feet rules, ventilated and filtered air, wore masks and paid attention to fit and filter (droplet interpretation is why they didn’t recommend masks)..

    At least hide behind “the science has changed”, you know? (Even though, after some understandable confusion at first, the evidence became pretty clear by Spring of 2020.) They double down, eighteen months into a pandemic? The amount of global harm caused by these fragile egos…

    Now that I am following FLCCC, I realize that her role is to push the edge of the status quo a little bit, but unless she gets on the ivermectin bandwagon, she will be left in the dust.

    There might be yet another treatment found, but FLCCC protocols is what IM Doc uses right now. He confirmed this yesterday here on NC

  26. griffen

    I received a mailer recently for a testing program in SC. Looks to be an effort by the state DHEC and the USC medical school ( among others). Says I was randomly selected, lol.

    Request samples for virus and antibody testing. I’ve remained hesitant about starting the Moderna vaccination, so I lean towards participating. Might be able to confirm if had ever caught this last year, or not. Can’t tell for sure, but no freebies(!)

    1. Lost in OR

      Thanks for the links. But the thought just occurred to me…

      Can we trust any outlet that isn’t censored?

      One of the hosts of The Rising this morning was spouting the vaccine gospel. It’s just not safe anywhere. And I’m sure their corporate sponsorship (Citi Bank) has nothing to do with it.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Sorry — I don’t do youtube. Perhaps you could elaborate a little on the wisdom of actual scientists.

      1. QuicksilverMessenger

        Yes, a good synopsis is very important when links like these are presented. The videos are several hours long.

    3. Societal Illusions

      The best anti-narrative summary I have seen is a Dr Dan Stock speaking to the Mt Vernon Indiana
      school board. In 6 minutes he shared his experiences and expertise in a precise takedown of so much we have been led to believe. He’s a hero on my opinion, as he’s likely to suffer for his brashness and honesty. Had two links both censored by youtube – second when I watched already had 266K views.

      and this is the only transcript i’ve seen:

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Sorry, this guy is mainly wrong. MDs are not scientists (although some may be more scientific than others by virtue of having been at teaching hospitals and being regularly involved in research). He’s 100% wrong on efficacy of masks v. aerosols. Mask have not been recommended to protect the wearer but to protect others. But it turns out procedure masks DO protect others AND the wearer from aerosols:

        He’s also wrong about animal reservoirs. We MAY see it jumping from animals to humans, but that hasn’t happened yet. We should be watching wasterwater but presenting it as an imminent threat is way over his skis.

        I could go on but I won’t. This guy has accurate snippets and mixes them with convincing-sounding bullshit.

        1. JoeC100

          Interesting study – thanks for posting this! I also see it up on PubMed

          If I am reading it correctly, cloth masks (90%+ of what I see here in mid-coast Maine) are about 20% effective. Not sure if this study addressed surgical masks, but I see many users of those as well. If I am reading this work correctly, cloth masks clearly provide some benefits but I suspect most wearers probably believe they are much more protected than “20%”..

  27. Utah

    Anecdotally, there are lots of people on the coronaviruspositive subreddit, which I won’t link, but its easy to find, who are vaccinated and testing positive only a few months after their shots. Not 6 months. People who were vaccinated in May or even July. And of course some from January and February, which is the six month window. A lot of them are sharing their symptoms and their age. It’s interesting to follow. It’s not data, obviously, but I still like to follow and see what people are saying. Lots of them are mad that they did all the things and still caught covid.

  28. Jeff W

    Eric Topol:

    I’m looking at the four waves, and, as you know, in the monster wave [JW: pre-vaccination], we got to 250,000 cases per day. And at that time we had 120,000 plus hospitalizations [per day]. About half. What’s amazing is, we’re at about 120,000 cases now, and we’re over 60,000 hospitalizations.

    Topol says in this tweet that “a marked reduction in testing” is a “likely explainer” for the current ~2:1 ratio:

    Peak 3rd wave: 250,000 cases/7d avg; 125,000 hospitalizations, > 2M tests/day
    Current 4th wave: 110,000 cases/7d avg; 63,000 hospitalizations , ~1M tests/day

    1. buermann

      The UK has kept test positivity below 5% since last January while the US positive rate nationwide is at 12% now, with a number of the least vaccinated states sitting at over 20% so there’s a ton of cases being missed.

      And presumably the 20% of the country that are dedicated anti-masker anti-vaxxers are not going to get tested unless they wind up in the hospital with the “flu”.

  29. Mantid

    I wish this were true …. “While we can hope for well deserved days of reckoning to come eventually”….

    Those days will never come. As we have seen the CDC is fairly good at PR. NPR, the NY Times, CNBC and so much MSM is on the vaccine uber alles train and the general public, including most of my seemingly smart friends, have fallen for it. The CDC likely has a well paid crew working on PR options at this minute.Their PR arm will be ready to roll out new sound bites and people will ….. fall for it again.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I hold faith that public relations — faced with widely experienced contractions in fact — eventually loses its mojo. I remain surprised by how long that can take.

  30. antidlc

    I’m Vaccinated And Still Got COVID-19. Here’s What A Breakthrough Case Is Like.

    To think just three weeks ago I flew on an airplane, happily went out to restaurants and bars with my colleagues in Seattle, comfortable enough to sometimes unmask in public. But did I infect more people? Did I feed the deadly surge of this delta variant?

    I feel guilty, but I also feel greatly misled. Our leaders told us vaccinated people could go out in public again without their masks. They told us we would be safe, that others would be safe. That turned out to be false.

    1. Paul Lauter

      Thank you for your narrative. It largely matches my own experience with a “breakthrough” infection. I almost certainly got my touch of Covid IN the hospital (for a procedure), either from my roommate (or his wife or daughter) or, more likely, from someone on staff–which makes me furious. It is very likely that the vaccine (Pfizer, in March) minimized symptoms–mostly weariness. And I’m MUCH older, retired, and don’t go to bars.
      Which is why I remain unhappy with much being said on NC. Yes, we should not be putting too much faith in the vaccines (or the CDC), and not ignore masks and social distancing. On the other hand, I do believe the vaccines seriously help, and the tendency I hear in too many comments is utterly to minimize their usefulness. I think we should happily take what the vaccines can offer, even as we remain skeptical of overstated results.

    2. vlade

      TBH, this is also a prime example of self-pity, and “lalalala I can’t hear you” syndrome.

      The pharma companies never said (although they said it in a very small print) that the vaccines were sterilising. A cursory search would bring out that the vaccines do not protect against infection. Pfizer could even argue (again, based on a very small print – i.e. what they were checking for during Phase 3 trial) that their vaccine was meant to purely protect against bad symptomatic infection and death.

      It is the politicians who made vaccines into silver-bullet, but again, let’s be honest here. The pols did so across the globe, not just the bought pols. They did it because most of the public was/is sick of all the restrictions, and wants to go to the good old days before Feb 2020, say in the UK to have their cheap continental holidays, in Europe to have back the masses of tourists, etc. etc.

      It’s not all the public, all the time – but it’s substanial enough part to motivate the pols across the board.

      Which makes me extermely dubious that the public will be in any way form or shape willing to take the sacrifices needed to deal with climate change until it’s way too late.

      If you can’t take a mask, how will you react to severe restrictions on driving? And we can see how Yves’s suggestion of more efficient housing go even on this fora, never mind with a wider public.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Bullshit. You really don’t know what you are talking about on this issue.

        It was not “the pols”. It was public health officials and scientists and MDs with media reach. They sang with one voice. Anyone who disagreed was marginalized or demonized.

        This via e-mail in May. IM Doc first:

        One of the doctors here is “connected” to the medical system at [highly respected US med school] – the victory laps are being done there – we have destroyed COVID – just look at what we did in just a few short months – compare that to AIDS. THANK GOD FOR SCIENCE! – “Anyone that has the temerity to question what these vaccines has done – should surrender their license this minute” – a literal direct quote.

        Reply from GM, who hangs at super elite US uni that also has a top tier med school:

        I see that exact same attitude here at [X], combined with the desire for it to be over leading to people completely shutting out any COVID news. And it looks like they did that a very long time ago.

        Yesterday, the discussion with a prominent PI here during a Zoom call went a like this:

        PI: “So everyone is vaccinated now?”

        Me: “You know you can catch it even if you are vaccinated, right?”


        PI: “So what restrictions do we have remaining”

        Someone else: “I guess we have a six feet distance and masks”

        Me: “Are we seriously still talking about six feet given that we are scientists and should know a lot better? The damn thing is airborne”

        PI: “So stay six feet apart and wear masks. Who is presenting first?”

        I’ve also noticed how people here, even though if there is anyone with the capacity to understand the pathogenesis of the disease and the course of its evolution, it is them (many work on the immune system daily and have done so for years) show exactly zero interest in doing so. We are talking about people who have published dozens cutting-edge immunology papers, including on topics directly relevant to the intrcicacies of COVID pathogenesis, and some of them works on those in the context of COVID right now. And yet…

        And they have apparently checked out many months ago, some never checked in to begin with — I had many baffling conversations with people I highly respect for their scientific capabilities all throughout 2020 that showed very weird lack of knowledge of the problem.

        But it is really bad now — all the cognitive biases are on full display. “Science” has saved the day and “we”, as in “scientists”, i.e. our perceived in-group, have triumphed, so what could be wrong and how could there be a problem?

        And then there is the class conflict aspect of it — most “scientists” right now are perfect examples of the PMC type, and this “solution” to the problem suits them very well — last year around that time everyone was in panic, stock markets were down, university endowments were in free fall, tuition money had stopped flowing in, etc. Now the stock market is up, endowments have recovered, students will be herded back to campuses in the Fall, and even if they have to be sent back in November, tuition will have been collected by then, so everything is good, right? Who dares spoil the party with objections and bleak progonostications about the long-term future?

        I’ve literally had people say to me “I don’t want to listen about any doom and gloom”…

        1. vlade

          I disagree.

          Yes, there was a lot of “SCIENCE!” triumphalism when what they were doing was not science, present across the scientific community (a lot of scientists lost credibility with me in the last year or so).

          But the pols had a choice who to go with and listen to, and the critical information (non-sterlisation) and its implications is trivially understandable by laymen – vaccines do not stop the virus from spreading.

          I don’t know about the US, but where I know about it, the final decisons were always from political institutions (government/legislative bodies), as the purely health/scientific ones have no formal powers that could implement or not most of the measures taken (lockdowns, vaccine strategy, vaccine mandates/passes etc.).

          But because the political ask for return to normality is massive, the pols choice was always skewed towards “close our eyes and wish for the best” – especially since they got a prefect scapegoat in case it goes pear shaped in “we just listened to the scientific advice”. Selecting the advice you like over the unpopular one is not a new thing.

          ‘I’ve literally had people say to me “I don’t want to listen about any doom and gloom”…’ – is not only PMC wish, and it drives the pols.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            “The pols” were not driving this bus. Trump is noisy but he exaggerated his role in OWS, which was to not impede a plan developed elsewhere.

            Fauci is not an elected official nor was ever approved by Congress.

            Rochelle Walensky is not elected official nor was approved by Congress.

            The head of HHS appointed by Biden, who was subject to Senate confirmation, was the AG of California and known as “Basura” which is “garbage” in Spanish because he was a chair-warmer. He’s continuing true to that form.

            The states have more to do with public health than the Feds and their public health chiefs are not elected officials.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Yes! The ‘pols’ are implementing what the PR vanguard made possible. A vanguard that consisted overwhelmingly of people whose credentials make what they did utterly contemptible.

  31. Kristiina

    Has the Iceland data been observed here? It does not state the percentage of fully vaccinated (only number), but it is well over 80%. Majority of infected are fully vaccinated. Vaccination mandates are hard to justify with this kind of data.

    1. vlade

      TBH, vaccination mandates make sense – but only in a very specific situation, and understanding _what_ is achieved by them.

      If a vaccination mandate is meant to be a silver bullet, because it’s treated as a sterlising vaccine, then vaccine mandates are nonsensical (as the vaccines we have so far are not sterlising).

      Where the vaccine mandate is to protect people from a bad case of Covid if they get it AND it’s critical to maintain a level of staffing, then they do make sense IF (and it’s a critical IF) they are complemented by frequent (I’d say at least two-three times a week) PCR tests, to catch asymptomatic cases (which w/o vaccine might have been symptomatic, so easier to detect).

      That automatically means that public vaccine mandates don’t make much sense, as the second (criticality of staffing) is of course not held widely.

      In a way, it’s a fascinating study in human (mis)understanding. Masks are worn to protect others, but were/are treated as self-protection. Vaccines (non-sterilising) are there to protect the vaccinated, but are treated as a protection of others.

  32. barnaby33

    If we had reduced it by 90 percent, it would mean 120. Instead, in our seven-day average, we just passed 500

    Including only the vaccinated, or is this aggregate?

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