US as Failed State: Covid Booster Shot Mess

It should come as no surprise that the US is regularly exposed as being incapable of managing its way out of a paper bag. We had the early 2020 Covid test kit fiasco, which never really ended. Even though it was obvious that Delta was coming, the US is already experiencing test shortages, with Covid infections set to worsen as schools open. And that’s before getting to inexcusable data failures, like trying to shift vaccine complaints to VSafe, which was impossibly buggy, and being late with updates to VAERS (and having non-medical admins reject physician reports for arbitrary reasons) and refusing to track breakthrough cases among the vaccinated. And now that the CDC has reversed itself, it’s not clear what the follow through is like on the state and county level.

And the list goes on…the CDC not admitting error, such as admitting that surfaces aren’t enough of a Covid vector worth worrying about, leading schools to engage in hygiene theater when case counts rise, and refusing to admit to aerosol transmission or the merits of a layered defense, except in the bowels of its site, leading school administrators to neglect ventilation as a Covid defense.

With this history, it’s rich to see CDC and Biden Administration defenders act as if they were all set to offer boosters this fall, when their shambolic messaging and actions scream otherwise.

Let’s start with the fact that the US officialdom was loath to admit that boosters would be necessary even though coronavirus infections do not confer long-lived immunity and the Covid vaccine was also not expected to be sterilizing. Mind you, the vaccine-makers themselves were signaling otherwise; recall the Pfizer news release that its shots conferred “up to” six months of immunity. By contrast, to the extent the likes of the sainted Dr. Fauci mentioned boosters, it was to suggest that they might need to be annual, like for the flu.

And how can we be sure that was an after the fact thought? The CDC vaccination cards. They were never intended to prove vaccination status to third parties or track vaccine history. They were envisioned more like dentist appointment card, to remind those in a two-shot regime when to come in for their second installment.

The fact that the CDC has no idea who got vaccinated and when is now allowing anyone so minded to get another shot, irrespective of when they had their last one and what type it was.

The sudden rush to ready a third round of mRNA shots, and then not be deliver on the changed messaging, is more proof of an inability to plan and execute, or alternatively, of caring more about optics than results.

First is the elephant in the room of not knowing if another round right now is such a hot idea given Delta. The press has admittedly done a fine job of burying the top level protest resignations at the FDA over the booster blitz:

And to be clear, the “politics” are declining vaccine efficacy against Delta, particularly of the supposed gold standard vaccine Pfizer, as confirmed by data from Israel, Mayo, and Imperial College. Israel, which is close to a Pfizer monoculture, is in the midst of a new infection wave and has responded by launching a new round of vaccinations, starting with the elderly and immunocompromised.

By contrast, AstraZeneca itself is pushing back against another round of vaccinations in the UK, except for high risk groups. From the Daily Mail:

And the heads of AstraZeneca have warned that booster jabs may not be needed for everyone in Britain, and a rush to roll it out nationwide risks putting additional strain on the NHS.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of the company, said the UK remains ‘a few weeks away’ from being able to make a decision on pushing a vaccine booster programme across the country.

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Soriot, along with Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D, Sir Mene Pangalos, warned that moving ‘too quickly’ to boost the whole adult population would deprive scientists of insights into the effectiveness of two vaccine doses.

On the one hand, it’s revealing, and not a good way, to see drug company execs admit that they are conducting experiments on the public at large, without the normal consents and controls. But on the other, they are saying flat out that they don’t have any evidentiary ground for seeing another round of shots as beneficial right now.

Note that Israel is already planning a fourth shot, which our GM anticipated in July (“WT” = “wild type”):

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.

Pfizer and Moderna have been interchangeable all throughout, they should perform the same here too….

BTW, B.1.617.2 is probably about the same as B.1.351 with the WT booster, so expect the fourth shot to be needed sooner than 6 months if it’s not B.1.617.2-specific, and it will not be. Which is probably also why there is a push, not very vocal yet, for not just a 3rd shot, but an entire new course, 3rd+4th shots.

And, as I have noted several times before, notice how even with the B.1.351 3rd hot, neutralization of B.1.351 is not the same as of WT….

Today the Financial Times reports in some detail that the Biden plan to rush out a new round of vaccinations is already going pear shaped:

The Biden administration’s plans to widely administer Covid-19 vaccine booster shots later this month have become mired in confusion over regulatory approvals, eligibility and logistics, in the latest blow to its efforts to curb the pandemic.

US health officials announced last month that they planned to start offering Americans another round of Covid jabs from September 20, following evidence that the effectiveness of some vaccines starts to wane after a few months.

But with two weeks left before that date, the planned rollout of boosters is being hampered by uncertainty over the timing and implementation of the programme, putting the administration of President Joe Biden on the defensive….

Former officials say the White House jumped the gun by announcing the September 20 date before booster shots had been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

The issue has caused such tension within the administration that two senior FDA officials last week announced their retirements from the organisation’s vaccine department.

Allies of Marion Gruber and Philip Krause said the two had been upset by the way in which the FDA’s role had been undermined over several months.

The FDA declined to comment on the retirements, but one former administration official said: “Those resignations were shocking. And with cases near record highs and booster shots about to be rolled out, they come at the worst possible time.”

The apparently more compliant Associated Press is in “blame Moderna” mode:

President Joe Biden’s plans to start delivery of booster shots by Sept. 20 for most Americans who received the COVID-19 vaccines are facing new complications that could delay the availability of third doses for those who received the Moderna vaccine, administration officials said Friday.

Biden announced last month that his administration was planning for boosters to be available for all Americans who received the mRNA vaccines in an effort to provide more enduring protection against the coronavirus, pending approvals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

Those agencies, though, are awaiting critical data before signing off on the third doses, with Moderna’s vaccine increasingly seen as unlikely to make the Sept. 20 milestone…

According to one official, Moderna produced inadequate data for the FDA and CDC to approve the third dose of its vaccine, and the FDA has requested additional data that is likely to delay those boosters into October. Pfizer, which is further along in the review process, in part because of data collected from the vaccine’s use in Israel, is still expected to be approved for a third dose for all by Sept. 20.

Israel only very recently allowed people over 40 to get a third shot. Before then, injections were limited to the elderly and the immunocompromised. The elderly were not heavily represented in the original clinical trials and the immunocompromised were excluded. One wonders if the reason Marion Gruber and Philip Krause of the FDA quit was that the data Pfizer was presenting to get its third shot approved wasn’t sufficiently representative, and it would take some weeks before Israel had expanded its vaccination eligibility enough to have a broad enough population.

Curiously, these stories also fail to mention that there may be less reason to rush to shoot up Moderna recipients as urgently as Pfizer. From a CNBC write-up of the recent large-scale Mayo study:

The risk of suffering a breakthrough COVID-19 infection with the delta variant after being fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine may be much lower than the risk for those who received the Pfizer vaccine, according to a new Mayo Clinic study that is awaiting a full review.

The study found that in July in Florida, where COVID cases are at an all-time high and the delta variant is prevalent, the risk of a breakthrough case was 60% lower for Moderna recipients as compared to Pfizer recipients.

Similarly, in Minnesota last month, the authors found that the Moderna vaccine (also known as mRNA-1273) was 76% effective at preventing infection, but the Pfizer vaccine (known as BNT162b2) was 42% effective.

So the Administration, having put all its chips on the magic vaccines, can only double down on them and hope they work well enough (or they get lucky and contagion rates wane as the public increases its level of precautions) that infections fall off enough for them to escape blame. But the flip side is while not all that many get worked up at old people dying, even hale and hearty elderly who could well have lived a decade longer, kids perishing or suffering from Long Covid or other morbidities won’t be well tolerated. It would be better if I were wrong, but we look set to have an ugly autumn.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


      1. blep

        I think the counter-example to that, anecdotally as a baseball fan, is that J&J teams like the Yankees had almost half of their entire roster get covid this year, which was (for me) the first warning shot of delta vs. the vaccines generally.

    1. Joe Well

      Never heard of this J&J “vaccine”. Is this a new kind of horse paste? Reported for potential misinformation. /s

      1. djforestree

        [Comment to Joe Well]
        Are you serious? Do you think the only Covid vaccines in the universe are the Pfizer and Moderna ones? Does the Oxford AstraZeneca qualifies as a vaccine in your book? You haven’t heard of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine? Do you know about the Russian, Chinese, and Cuban ones?

        1. Micah

          The /s tag is used to indicate sarcasm. I believe that Joe was being sarcastic and is well aware of the J&J vaccine.

        2. Ian Perkins

          Iran’s got its own too now. The Ayatollah’s had at least one shot of COVIran Barekat, a whole inactivated virus jab.

            1. Ian Perkins

              That was always based on an extremely perverse idea of isolating a virus, like how it never met Koch’s original postulates – something no virus could do! It was isolated back in February 2020, if not before, and the two main Chinese COVID jabs, from Sinopharm and Sinovac, are also inactivated virus (I think they grow it in chicken eggs, though I’m less sure of that).

  1. Basil Pesto

    Trying to decide which vaccine to get the other day, I searched AstraZeneca and came across this winner, by Stephen the Tech Critic who even predicted the “Mission Accomplished” messaging 6 months before May when Tom Doak described it anew. Point being, none of this can rightly be described as surprising, or unavoidable.

    At the risk of blandly restating the thesis of the post, it may be true that boosters were expected (GM’s said he’d expected them to be necessary after 2 years), the way they and everything else have been managed, pretty much everyone except the most rabid, extremely online blue checks is going to intuit that this is making it up as you go along. Then what? What happens when all these people realise that it really is every man for himself, since their leaders are all incompetent.

    Meanwhile, down under, a doctor friend has just shown me news that Oct 18 is slated to be ‘Freedom Day’ in New South Wales, as they’ll have reached their government’s 70% vaccination target.

    This is such a mess.

    1. Louis Fyne

      “Stephen the Tech Critic”‘s November 25, 2020 thinking-aloud about actions perhaps “motivated more by class-narcissism” than the scientific method was absolutely right on too.

      NC’s comments really are a valuable resource.

      And it’s sad how covid is the confluence of so many societal forces that have been brewing for decades: class inequality, Establishment incompetence, media-conglomerate journalism, DC lobbying power, etc.

    2. GM

      There should be a separate thread about what is happening in Australia.

      It is the whole pandemic collective suicide distilled in a few months, after they initially adopted the right approach.

      And it’s so obviously and openly driven by big business pounding its fist on the table…

      1. The Rev Kev

        All it took was one State Premier to do what Scotty from Marketing wanted – to spread this virus far and wide to make it endemic to the population so that he can win next year’s election on the back of his success in ‘returning things to normal’. We’ll see how that works out.

        We may see two Australias – one with States like NSW where the virus is running rampant. And the other with States like Tasmania, Western Australia, Tasmania, etc who are holding the line as they know their medical services would collapse under the strain leading to a high death toll. The one in NSW is being pushed to the brink right now.

        But what has really angered me is the number of high medical officials, medical professors and the like who are saying that this is a great idea. They have sold their professional duties out as well as their countrymen. I have faith in individual doctors but as far as the official medical establishment is concerned, forget it. That trust is broken.

        1. Tom Stone

          Rev, the deliberate destruction of trust in the medical profession as a whole will have dire long term consequences across the globe.
          And what was the payoff to the Fauci’s and Walensky’s of the world?
          it wasn’t $100MM each in a Cayman’s account, it was TV Time and they got to keep their bullshit jobs a little longer.
          I might be able to understand it if their choice was a LOT of Silver VS an ounce of lead, but these A$$holes are among the cheapest suck butts in Human history.

        2. vlade

          Australia is going to be interesting. Tasmania is an island, so can control arrivals and all (and getting from “mainland” to Tasmania over the ocean can be pretty tricky even for good sailors).

          But can say Victoria/Queensland really control its borders with NSW well?

          On the other side of the ditch, there are some encouraging signs from the NZ. If you want to go full bore, you’d pick NZ as when then went into full lockdown on one CV case the anglophone press was full of people screaming all sort of nonsense (especially given that vast, and I mean VAST majority – we’re talking close to 90%, of NZ supports the measures).

          The once concerning thing there is that they still haven’t figured out how did the initial infection get out.

          1. The Rev Kev

            You and I have very different interpretations of what the word ‘interesting’ means. ‘You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means’ :)

   (11 secs)

            As for Tasmania, the Premier has said outright that there is no way that he is going to let infected air passengers land in that State. The Premier of Western Australia has dug his heels in too. Queensland where I live is an open question.

            1. GM

              Do you go for secession again if you are WA? It was tried in the 1930s and the idea has never fully gone away. And right now you are economically independent because of the mining (even if that is not a good thing for the world as a whole).

              I would very seriously consider it if I was the WA government right now.

              1. The Rev Kev

                WA is a bit of a special case. A lot of the mining operations that earn Australia its revenue is in this State. So if Scotty gets too heavy handed, the Premier can pull all the miners out on the grounds of their being infection there. He has done this before.

                Not long ago I was listening to a Dr. John Campbell video where he interviewed a doctor in WA who stated that his State was hard pressed to cope with the annual flu season. A mass Covid infection would have them over the barrel.

                1. larry

                  Rev, while WA does not have its own currency and, therefore, needs to earn in a sense, Australia as a whole does not need to ‘earn’. It operates a fiat currency system and, hence, has an unlimited amount of currency at its disposal any time it wants/needs it. It doesn’t have unlimited resources, of course.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    I agree with you here. But just go to Scotty from Marketing and tell him that he no longer has to pull any more coal out of the ground for exports and see his head explode.

          2. Daniel LaRusso

            Having lived in NZ for 13 years with family and firends still there. I can tell you no where near 90% of them support the lock down over one death. They may nod politely in company and make all the right noises becasue NZ is too small a place to be a pariah. It’s going to be interesting over there to see how this plays out.

            1. vlade

              I have lived in NZ as well, and have quite a few friends still there. And while not all support/like Arden, I haven’t heard a single one who would argue with the lockdown.

              In fact, I heard Kiwi friends living in the Oz saying “that’s what should have happened here”.

              What people did dispute is whether the South Island (assuming checks on air and ferry traffic) should be in the same lockdown level as the rest of the country ex Auckland post the initial week of level 4.

            2. R

              Also a New Zealander (there in 2020, currently overseas…).

              There is very high support for elimination in New Zealand, at least if the positions of major political parties means anything – the differences between their strategies is basically ‘how hard’ to lock down the border, and on the libertarian right… the same but with privatized quarantine infra.

              The whole situation would be very different I think if they hadn’t been able to lean so heavily on a tightly closed border.

              They can do short domestic lock downs with a high chance that it will pay off, and enjoy living the majority of time without risk of exposure to the virus.

              While the Labour governments compliance rhetoric has leant heavily on compassion and ‘be kind’, the reality is that the initiatives have majority support because, theres very little political cost to locking the border.

              New Zealanders overseas aren’t a significant voting bloc, and its also easy to paint people who want / need to travel as privileged, etc.

              There are deep strains of xenophobia in New Zealand’s culture – inevitably due to the isolation that comes with large ocean borders. Older people especially view the outside world with a degree of suspicion and fear. The world ‘out there’ is ‘crazy and a bit scary’.

              It not a hard political sell to shut the borders during a crisis – even if it means illegally preventing citizens from returning home.

              NZ has a highly functional state, a good public health system – and to its credit, payed people to stay home during lockdowns.

              But I don’t think it would have done any better than comparable european countries if not for that giant expanse of ocean around them, and a cultural knee jerk towards shutting the world out when things get rough.

              Heres to New Zealand’s bright future as south pacific bunker for the wealthy and paranoid!

            3. Jeotsu

              My anecdata — Within our extended circle of friends, and the coworkers of those friends, here in Wellington the support of Elimination is basically 100%. Including those who really don’t like the labour government generally. Including those who work at Weta (there is still business enough, and easier working conditions).
              You do see op-ed pieces by commentators taking a conventional US ‘we have to open eventually’ line, and they then parrot the common misperceptions about vaccine effectiveness, etc that is often mocked here at NC.
              The health people I know (a couple of doctors and nurses) all know how little spare capacity we have, and clench mightily at the thoughts of covid.

          3. Basil Pesto

            But can say Victoria/Queensland really control its borders with NSW well?

            Oh, Victoria’s gone. 200 cases per day here now. Ineffective masking as I explain below. We’ll “re-open” at that more or less arbitrary 70% mark. We might even be fine for six months or so while the vaccines do their thing. On the other hand, some of the olds were maybe vaccinated 6 months ago by now? So they might start pegging off sooner than expected. Don’t know what the plan with international borders is but Mu is knocking at the door now.

            It hasn’t really been appreciated by the public that we had a unique situation and advantage here. For the rest of the world, sure, vaccinate as many as possible as soon as possible and get your case numbers down (that they’ve failed to plan for what happens next is of course their own fault). But to rely on vax campaigns on a landmass where it didn’t exist, and then, assuming they would ultimately protect us, failing to take basic, workable measures to control the spread once it got going? We had a huge advantage to observe what’s going on in the rest of the world in terms of real-world vax performance. But even though that’s all plainly evident to anyone who cares to look, nobody seems to understand what the vaccines are and aren’t capable of. It’s like “hmm, yep, it does look as though vaccines won’t stop the spread and also the vaccinated can still get really sick and suffer long covid and also a vaccinated population will probably lead to mutations but, hey, don’t forget to get vaccinated so we can re-open!” And business “leaders” seem to have no concept of consumer confidence being crippled? It’s just unending breezy assumptions. Not for nothing that “she’ll be right, mate” is an idiom I suppose. Let’s hope so! Wild stuff. Absolutely cooked.

        3. GM

          All it took was one State Premier to do what Scotty from Marketing wanted

          Yes, and I unfortunately called that one in real time too — it was looking in the early days of the outbreak like she was deliberately not trying her best to contain it in order to present the other states with the finished fact of an endemic virus, and eventually that is exactly what happened.

        4. Soredemos

          Evidence based medicine is a wonderful thing, one of humanity’s greatest inventions.

          Now can we actually have some of it?

          1. Tim

            It’s always been a race against time with too little information since the start of COVID. Evidence gather is highly bureaucratic, which means it can take a looong time.

            We can’t let perfection be the enemy of good enough, especially in a crisis. We are try to offset risks hyperactivity vs hypoactivity in our responses. You can see the gyrations within government and our medical systems as they try to find that balance while the circumstances keep changing.

            I’m not inclined to be too critical, until politics and business get in the way of decision making as is apparently occurring per the subject post.

            Even then I weigh my own risks. If a booster is available, what is the downside of me taking it vs the downside of not taking it. The latter is a complete unknown. Having survived the first two shots, I think my odds of surviving a 3rd is pretty high, so I’ll get the booster. That’s my reasoning. Everybody can come to their own conclusions.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Yep. It really is astonishing. Turboshambles. I would be relocating to NZ if my parents weren’t here. And everything had been going so well. Summer was brilliant

        The way the messaging went from “good job everyone” to “oh look vaccines are here and by the way did you know there’s no other way to stop delta” and everyone seems to have bought into it is intensely dispiriting. Sub-nostril masks are ubiquitous. People remove or lower masks to speak. No covering at all on crowded urban exercise trails. Don’t think people understand yet that masks aren’t just for source control but for self-protection as well, so they wear the weakest possible. Absolutely no public health leadership on these issues, which would surely have a demonstrable effect on R0 which is getting out of control. Announcing ‘Freedom Day’ in the middle of a spike in cases is certainly… innovative.

        1. GM

          Everyone buying into it is the most disturbing part.

          Medical professionals and much of the public included.

          VIC is failing at containment now because apparently there is no compliance anymore. The propaganda has done its job, and people are behaving as if there are no restrictions, in expectation of their eventual official lifting.

          In contrast, NZ is containing it because the population is compliant.

          If people are not compliant, you have to be China to force them to do what has to be done.

          And the apparatus for that just does not exist locally in the states, nor is the political courage to try it there anyway.

          1. Basil Pesto

            The thing is, I think if people knew what they were doing wrong re: masks, they would get on board, just as we eventually did with masks in the first place. They’re not a massive wedge issue like they are in the States. But there’s no guidance at all, no public education. It’s just the pols and health pols saying “Doherty Report! Road out of the pandemic, baby!” and people consequently keeping their beady eyes on vaccination rates. And the uncontested idea that “delta beats masks” was allowed to propagate freely, when questions naturally follow: well, why? how? can we do better? how can we get people to do better

            The fix is so simple (unless I’m completely forgetting or missing something? I can’t shake the feeling that I’m making some rudimentary technical error because of how simple this is). Spend on a mask programme and campaign, alongside vaccines – heck maybe even throw in a CO2 monitor if the idea of giving out that much free stuff doesn’t have you reaching for the smelling salts – and explain to people what to do to best protect themselves and those around them, including ventilation. Case numbers will decline (and if they don’t, what’s the harm?). Reducing the R0 has to be the aim for the health system anyway, right? But vaccine ex machina on the horizon seems to have made people utterly complacent. Except maybe when it comes to demonising Joe Rogan.

            1. WhatdoIknow

              Free rapid testing is the key. It does what vaccines cant do to contain the spread and it is cheaper. Why such simple solution isnt pushed seems criminal.

          2. Jeotsu

            Minor quibble — I prefer ‘cooperative’ to ‘compliant’. Appealing to people’s desire to help others pulls at our better natures. A positive social pressure, rather than a negative one. The PM’s messaging on this has been a master-class.They don’t shame, even when people have acted shamefully. Tactically brilliant.

        2. ChrisPacific

          It’s astonishing to me how quickly it changed. A mere few months ago Australia and NZ were apparently close enough to the same page on Covid controls that the travel bubble was possible. I recall thinking what a step forward it was, and how impressive it was that we had reached a sufficient level of mutual trust that we could harmonize our response plans. Boy, do we all feel stupid now. Needless to say, the travel bubble is stone cold dead, and we have a renewed need to protect ourselves from both Delta and whatever brain parasites have apparently taken over Australian political leaders. I can only imagine how residents of places like Tasmania and Western Australia are feeling about it.

          There has been a wave of similar sentiment here, mostly from opinion columnists and economists arguing that we can’t keep Delta out forever so we should just stop trying and let the magic vaccines save us. Thankfully we have sensible experts like Dr. Siouxsie Wiles (she of the pink hair) who also have both a platform and the ear of policy makers, and have apparently been using both to good effect. The misinformation seems to have eased off now and counterexamples like Israel are getting some press, with the result that some of the same columnists who were previously saying “trust the science” and following it with unsupported or outright false arguments about vaccines have now pulled back a bit.

          1. Basil Pesto

            Well said, and again it illustrates what’s unique about vaccines in the Australian and NZ context. I have no doubt they’ve saved a lot of lives and done good in the global context – but here, there was never any need for that because the disease didn’t exist. In that sense (in Australia at least, so far), the fact of the vaccines, rather than the vaccines themselves, have done considerable harm, by leading people to falsely assume that they will provide certainty and control, when in the long run the opposite is true, and great harm will follow. No way the spread would have been allowed to get as far as it has here if those vaccines weren’t on the horizon.

    3. Tom_Doak

      I had an intern in my office years ago who had just come back from serving in commanders’ offices in Iraq. When I asked him about it, he said, “For my entire few months of training we were taught to follow the mission, and then when I got there, nobody could explain what the mission was.”

      Unfortunately that seems to be the problem with COVID, too. Hopefully it takes less than twenty years to admit it in this case.

    4. armando

      I live in south Florida.for the last couple of weeks we’ve been able to get third vaccines at some Walgreens/Navarro’s.HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!The news media hasn’t carried any of it.People are getting there third vac. without any guidance from anybody.This is absolutely insane.

  2. Jackiebass63

    I think the whole mess is the result of a lack of a one in charge strategy. When a lot of the implementation was left to individual states we were doomed to failure. We need the federal government to be in control since this is an entire country crises. Get the politics out of it and let the scientist run the show.

    1. Louis Fyne

      And flat out CDC lying and/or CDC incompetence.

      Even before mass vaccination it was 100% clear that the covid shots reduce death and severe cases and act more like “preemptive medicine” than a sterilizing vaccine, like the polio vaccine. In other words, after your shot one still needed to act like you were unvaccinated.

      buf of course the media-political-medical establishment messaging was that live can return back to normal: mask off, invite 12 vaccinated friends over to your living room, eat out of the same dip bowl, and hang out together, breathing the same recirculated air while it’s 90 degrees outside.

      1. GM

        Already the Phase I animal tests showed the vaccines are not sterilizing, and also that the initial dose matters a lot.

        That was Spring 2020.

        1. Pate

          Don’t know if kosher to ask but I find myself wondering your opinion as to getting vaxed. Thank you if you care to share.

          1. GM

            The individual does not really have a choice — it will reduce your chances of a bad outcome, at least for a while, and these benefits outweigh the risks of negative side effects.

            But for society as a whole the 6-month revaxx treadmill is absolute insanity.

            1. samhill

              I watched the most recent Jimmy Dore w/ Robert Malone of mRNA fame/infamy. He brought up boosters and ‘high zone tolerance’ anyone want to offer up further exposition?

    2. GM

      Problem is the “scientists” here are Fauci, Walenski and the likes.

      They are very much not Zhong Nanshan types, and they are also not going to step aside and let the lower ranked properly competent people run things

      1. WhatdoIknow

        That Marion Gruber and Philip Krause resigned gives me hope that there are still people left with integrity in this country.

        1. polar donkey

          I had read that Fauci’s wife is the head of bioethics at the NIH. I don’t know much of the bureaucratic overlap/jurisdictions but does that create a conflict of interest for Fauci? Does she have any say on what Fauci funds/does?

    3. The Historian

      I can remember the start of Covid in Idaho. At first, everyone was complying. Schools and businesses voluntarily shut down and people were staying home. People were making thier own masks if they couldn’t buy them. They thought this would last for maybe a couple of weeks and then everything could go back to normal. When it didn’t, and then when they saw there was going to be a severe economic cost, all hell broke loose. Businesses started demanding to be open again and people who were staying home had no income and needed to get back to work and so the rationalizatons started, like: “It was just an old person’s disease”, and “masks violate our freedoms”, and “the virus is just a hoax” etc. Trump, who had just suffered a dip in his popularity from his tax plan, decided the way to become popular again was to feed into this angst about economics (on the wrong side of course) and Fauci who was playing politics with whatever ‘science’ he understood, ended any hope of controlling Covid in this country.

      Now all we can do is protect ourselves the best we can and ride it out. Letting scientists run the show isn’t going to work any more. Because of Fauci, we no longer trust any ‘scientists’ because we just can’t tell any more why they are saying what they are saying. Is it real? Or is it just politics?

      1. Nikkikat

        So true, historian. Fauci could come on TV and say anything and I wouldn’t believe him. The guy can spin on a dime and within hours “clarify” something he said and completely say just the opposite. He is a prime example of someone that has been in his job way way too long. I also suspect that his stock portfolio has some bearing on his statements. As to Walensky, just the sight of that dummy makes me want to scream.
        Every time I must go into a business because I must go in and take care of something and have to dodge a multitude of unmasked people, her phony face appears in my mind. She is more of a puppet than Redfield ever was! Unreal

  3. WillyBgood

    I am currently employed working at a full floor tenant improvement construction site and thought some anecdotal evidence of vaccine effectiveness in the wild might help. It is in a high rise with windows that don’t open and all supply or return air has been sealed off. So very little air exchange. They do require masks to be worn, except on breaks (in the same space!). In the last three weeks I know of three symptomatic cases, who tested positive, and whispers of more. The powers that be don’t deign to tell us when there is a positive. The three I know for sure were all unvaccinated and recovered, and despite many of us working side by side with two of them no one else has gotten ill. I have been tested twice both negative. Most of the crew that are vaccinated got two Phizer doses, myself having recieved two Moderna. All of us less than six months out from full vaccination status. So far it seems our vaccines are holding up, but for how long, who knows. But the essential work must go on.

    1. WhatdoIknow

      I know of 4 friends vaccinated who got it with mild to severe symptoms , no hospitalization needed.
      When I talk to them , the first thing they say is it would have been much worse without the vaccine.
      This may well be true, but I struggle at the rationale as to how one can tell that symptoms would have been worse with or without vaccine.
      What is the methodology used to come to such conclusions?
      Or is this straight from Fed’s playbook justifying money printing, “it would be worse if we didnt do it.”
      How can one confidently predict outcomes of experiments that cant be repeated with the exact same conditions?

      1. Tim

        Like all medical science, you can’t duplicate a single person and run a valid experiment with the scientific method, so you group everyone together and rely on statistical data to determine patterns and probabilities that would apply to you.

        The survey data shows 98% of hospitalizations are unvaccinated individuals. I personally take that as a sign humans as a whole would be better off if we all got the vaccine.

        P.S. Neat fact. “unvaccinated” is not yet a word in the online spellchecker’s database, only “vaccinated”.

  4. Eric377

    in context, “going pear shaped” pretty clearly means something like “ not working well” but I don’t get the illusion really. Pears have a shape, but function quite well, seemingly. Is this a finance term?

    1. The Rev Kev

      My own interpretation here. Think of something soft and warm and shaped like an hour-glass. Now think of how with one reckless decision, that this is now going ‘pear-shaped’. Other people’s opinions may vary.

    2. eg

      I would guess that it’s a reference to divergence from the ideal male physique, in particular the upper body which is idealized as an inverted V. As such, to go pear-shaped is to fall out of shape.

  5. Gregory Etchason

    It seems the path forward for at least those receiving mRNA vaccination will
    2 shot immunization and a booster at 5-8 months followed by a mild case of COVID sometime in the next 18-24 months. All together will result in a robust immunity sufficient to reduce COVID to a nuisance respiratory illness.
    The only uncertainty will the wild fire of unvaccinated illness produce a Godzilla variant resistant to current vaccines. I think that is less likely. But the continued stress on the Healthcare System by those unvaccinated could be fatal to the current system. That in itself will bring new opportunities to improve and replace the “practice of money.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I don’t think that you have a proper handle on what the situation is but I will address one point. Where you worry about a ‘wild fire of unvaccinated illness produce a Godzilla variant resistant to current vaccines’ that is not the real worry – though a medico may correct me. You do realize that vaccinated people can get infected as well, don’t you? So now you have this virus circulating the bodies of vaccinated people and learning through mutations how to get by the vaccinations themselves. That is because these vaccines are non-sterilising. So if you are double-vaxed, I would not be ditching the mask just yet. We are still in the third innings as far as this pandemic is concerned.

      1. juno mas

        Not only are we in the 3rd inning, but are playing at Coors Field where ‘unanticipated, Big Innings occur’. It ‘ain’t over ’til it’s Over” :)

        1. Oh

          I think innings is cricket; inning is baseball and Coors field is not baseball pitcher friendly but beer pitcher, yes.

      2. Gregory Etchason

        Masks and SD are just as critical as vaccination. But because of the unvaccinated the virus will remain for the indefinite future. Making the likelihood we all will get infected at some point. Masks used in the 3rd wave and 6 feet SD are probably inadequate for Delta. My position is N95 and avoid any indoor public space if possible. Stay 12 feet away and keep moving.

        1. Erelis

          In Oregon the governor said she would open up with the mask mandate when the state reached the 70% vaccination marker. She did, and I mean everybody and anybody went out maskless. Well except for me and a few others, and I am fully vaccinated. If somebody asked what I thought the vaccination rate was just by observing people in my going about, I would have said “easy 99%”. And we now see the results of a state that literally went maskless on the same day for several weeks in the middle of a pandemic. Sorta funny I suppose, but in some places I was the only one wearing a mask and the one getting dirty looks.

    2. Tom Doak

      But what about all the people who got their mild case of COVID before there’s a booster? There is no research and no real guidance for what to do next, or when, because the CDC closed its eyes and started humming in May.

    3. Jeotsu

      Covid has behaved very predictably, in terms of response to selection pressure. For the last 20months every mutation has been in a race to spread faster, as in a naive population those that spread fastest, do best. Thus the rise of every more transmissible variables. Alpha out competed wild-type into oblivion, and then delta did the same to alpha.
      Now we have a new selection pressure — partial immune protection. Right now selection pressure is going on *in the vaccinated*. Every vaccinated person who gets covid, and spreads it to another person, is a selection gate for new mutants that can avoid (or worse, exploit) the immune system. If a new monster strain (such as nightmare scenario of one that generated antibody-dependent enhancement against mRNA vaccinated individuals) arises, it will have arisen through people with a partial, incomplete, or waning antibody response.
      The unvaccinated are still just selecting for every-faster spread. We know how that gameworks.

    4. m

      People hospitalized are not all unvaccinated. Israel is already talking booster #4, maybe we should start looking at alternatives.

      Healthcare is all about money, nothing will change, if anything the push for vaccines and expensive drugs over those off patent should prove that.

      My job that let me go for being unvaxxed, unwashed are so short of staff they pushed the date back. No thanks. Taking a break, then going back on the road and sticking to places that are not pushing this voo-doo

    5. Tim

      “The only uncertainty will the wild fire of unvaccinated illness produce a Godzilla variant resistant to current vaccines. ”

      That will only happen if somebody that is infected is caught in a nuclear explosion, then may god have mercy on Tokyo..

      My 8 year old son is heavy into Gojira right now. :-)

    6. GM

      All together will result in a robust immunity sufficient to reduce COVID to a nuisance respiratory illness.

      That is not true at all.

      followed by a mild case of COVID sometime in the next 18-24 months

      Not at all true either

      Boosters are WT, but the next thing coming will be very highly, not partially resistant

    7. Basil Pesto

      the plot thickens

      and I think Mr Etchason is just one example of what we’re increasingly seeing a lot: people are becoming vindictive and barbarism-adjacent because they yearn for control but surely deep down must understand that we don’t have it, and can’t without good leadership (which, if it doesn’t come from the state and national level, is going to have to come at the community level. Hope your communities are strong). So they’ll rely on vaccine ex machina until there’s absolutely no question of how silly that is, by which point the consequences will have been dire.

      His advice on masks is good though.

    8. Erelis

      The issue as I understand the virologists that I read/watch is not infection per se, but if the vaccine stops the disease the virus produces. Which according to the stats I have been reading is still the case. If and when the vaccine cannot mitigate the disease, then time for a new vaccine–not booster shots. A point a researcher in Europe made is that every year when we get a flu shot, it is not a booster but a brand new vaccine that was directed at the flu variants that were able to elude the vaccine from the previous year. Protect against the symptoms the variant produces.

  6. Carolinian

    A bit off topic but add mask policy to the USG confusion. Of course the CDC and Fauci originally said don’t bother with masks (whatever their motives for saying so) and then Biden erred a few months ago by saying the same for the unprovably vaxxed (unless store owners want to hire a door guard).

    Our local school board just had a public meeting concerning the state’s no mask mandate policy. Local coverage says the attendees went both ways but the mandate advocates in the majority. However what’s interesting is that almost all of the issues discussed here were discussed there including the need for open windows and ventilation. It should also be made clear that parents can still send their children to school in masks. A mandate would say that they must do so.

  7. John Steinbach

    Did anyone watch the opening NCAA football games. Jam packed full stadiums 80 – 100.000 delirious fans screaming with nary a mask in sight. Kids back in school. In Walmart a couple of days ago, crowded & less than 50% masked. BAU at the airport where I picked up a friend last night.

    Meanwhile vaccines’ protection deteriorating while DELTA 3 times more contagious than original virus, and MU waiting in the wings. What can possibly go wrong

    1. eg

      I did. The Wisconsin v Penn State game in particular. Jam packed and as you say, nary a mask in sight.

      The USA is insane.

  8. WhatdoIknow

    …the CDC not admitting error,…
    Never will a government official or bureaucrat admit a mistake.
    This is an iron law of government bureaucracy.
    I did a lot of IT work for government agencies and another iron law of government interworkings I discovered is that “Never will government attempt to preemptively fix smth unless its broken and in crisis mode.”
    Its how all big bureaucracies work.

  9. Susan the other

    This entire fiasco has reconfirmed my opinion that the US “government” is socially incompetent. But the people are much better. Some clinics are spectacular. It’s a tale of two cities. Two civics maybe. I’m to the point of ignoring the epidemic. I got the J & J and I’m still good. My assumption is that throughout this whole thing each of us has managed to inhale enough Covid and its variants to produce natural antibodies. A few here and a few there. Haven’t seen a term for that yet. The vaccine doesn’t interfere in this process at all. It just gives you an edge. And I plan to keep wearing a mask for a year or two. Infection is the dose. Keep it low. But I’ll admit, I really do have a good case of schadenfreude going when I see Fauci looking uncertain. The combination of the NIH’s exposure, characters like Fauci, private pharma companies and idiotic blabbering MSNBC talking heads… right? It’s almost a pleasure to watch.

  10. Glen

    If one assumes that the whole system is designed to maximize profit and health outcomes are not the primary consideration, then it makes much more sense.

    I’m impressed by the news that we’ve switching into “emergency mode” in many hospitals and rationing care may have to start. Start? When did they ever stop? Healthcare in America has always been rationed by the size of your wallet.

  11. AndrewJ

    I stayed up far too late last night reading “closing the collapse gap” from yesterday’s links (or wc?) I remember when Covid started how in favor I was with lockdowns, believing in a basic competency of our government and organizations to respond adequately to a pandemic. Now, that’s been eroded to nothing. The comparisons to the Soviet state are striking.
    “Collapse gap” and “post-soviet lessons for a post-American century” were written fifteen and ten years ago, and eventually those predictions will come true. Eventually my friends in the liberal, St. Fauci, magic-vaccine world will realize that they’ve been lied to. I’m not sure how much that realization will accelerate the day when fuel becomes scarce and never returns, or if it does.
    I am worried. I’ll end up homeless like so many other people will, and my niche skill in commercial appliance repair won’t count for much when parts aren’t coming in from overseas.

    1. lordkoos

      I think your skills would still be quite useful… if you have a space to store them, buying up old, non working appliances for parts might be a good idea.

  12. Klärchen

    In case anyone here still thought that Ryan Grim was anything other than a gatekeeper:

    His Rising co-host Kim Iversen gives an interesting and cogent critique of official pan/epidemic response then (AIDS) and now. Take a look at Grim’s pathetic and insulting response to Iversen. It is in effect a shout-down.

    1. .Tom

      If Big Disinfo were to turn on Grim, his big shot status, DC bureau chief at The Intercept, would be over. He kinda had to show which side he’s on.

  13. David H

    This whole episode of Covid buffoonery can be summed up by watching Mel Brooks as Governor Lepetomane in Blazing Saddles when he does his “We have to do something gentleman, we have to protect our phoney baloney jobs, harrumph harrumph!“.

  14. Dr. R.k. Barkhi

    I haven’t read everyone’s comments so maybe I’m repeating this thought. The obvious solution to the pandemic is to declare all Covid related viruses to be “terrorists” which will bring the abominably bloated military budget into play instead of these puny pseudo civilian pacification programs like the bumbling CDC et al. Im sure Raytheon et al would be glad to fight a domestic war n they can keep all the already overpriced metalware in storage(at taxpayer expense of course).

    Of course if we follow theDick (sic) Cheney system we will declare that if there’s even a 1% chance of a virus being a terrorist it’s is sufficient to act with full force against it. Then we can confine all them virus types forever offshore,like somewhere near Cuba 4 ex. and never even bother to level charges against them. I read He got a bust of himself placed in the halls of Congress for this thinking.

    1. skippy

      You forget *** WE *** don’t negotiate with terrorists because it might embolden them and others to get the idea they have any agency over the dominate narrative[.]

  15. Mikel

    “…kids perishing or suffering from Long Covid or other morbidities won’t be well tolerated.”

    Not too sure about that. That could depend on the spin. Kids’ suffering is tolerated every day – especially if they can be “otherized”.

    They get gunned down at school here and people would rather “normalize” it than do any real change at a fundamental level.

Comments are closed.