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Geert Vanden Bossche is back and still blaming vaccines for COVID-19 variants

Geert Vanden Bossche is back, and this time he’s blaming COVID-19 vaccines for driving the evolution of more dangerous “escape variants” of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, that are capable of evading vaccine-induced immunity. As antivaxxers making this argument always do, unfortunately, he ignores the much larger problem in which free circulation of the virus is a far more powerful driver of evolution than the relatively small proportion of the world population that has as yet been vaccinated.

I was perusing the in box of my account for this blog a week ago, when I came across a bit of what I like to call “fan mail.” No, this wasn’t hate mail (which is what a lot of my “fan mail” consists of), but rather an email of the “Won’t you reconsider what you wrote about a crank?” variety. Today, I decided finally to answer, but publicly. The crank is Geert Vanden Bossche, whom I first wrote about in March in the context of an open letter by him that had gone viral warning of global catastrophe if the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 were not stopped. The reason for his warning was a prediction that mass vaccination would select for more dangerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This led a reader (whose name I will not reveal) to ask me whether, in light of the much more transmissible (and possibly more virulent) Delta variant that’s been spreading across the US like proverbial wildfire over the last few of months, I might want to “reconsider” my previous criticism of Vanden Bossche:

I just saw an MSN article about how doctors are terrified of what is coming…I wonder if perhaps you would reconsider your critique of Geert Vanden Bossche. He seems to have been prescient, even if the causes are not exactly as he had predicted. The media loves to call this a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” but other countries have noted a high percentage of “cases” among the vaccinated, while the CDC found that in the Cape Cod incident, 75% of the infected were vaccinated, and, that they were just as likely to transmit the virus as the not vaccinated. If the idea that the vaccinated have very mild illness is true, they are much more probable to spread the illness. For example, they may not recognize their mild symptoms as COVID, and not consider that they, being vaccinated, are able to contract and spread it. 

It is also a bit facile that you characterize Vanden Bossche as “anti vaxx.” This epithet seems to be tossed around at anyone who doesn’t suddenly rush out and take the mRNA vaccines. As well, the terms “conspiracy theorist” and “disinformation” get thrown around quite a bit, as if any debate or dissension from the media narrative is either gravely deluded, or perhaps even malicious.

This particular reader cited an article published on the conspiracy website ZeroHedge entitled, Vaccine Expert Vanden Bossche Calls For “Immediate Halt” To Vaccinations, Says They Encourage “Escape Mutant” Variants. Included in that article are two interviews with Vanden Bossche, one by Dr. Chris Martenson for the Peak Prosperity vlog, entitled he Vaccines: Awesome Ingenuity or A Huge Mistake?:

And, of course, Bret Weinstein’s Dark Horse Podcast:

I note that evolutionary biologist turned COVID-19 contrarian and conspiracy theorist Bret Weinstein has been featured on this blog before, mainly for his promotion of the unproven anti-worm drug ivermectin as a miracle cure for COVID-19 based on very bad science and, as pointed out elsewhere, on a massive misunderstanding of meta-analyses. I’m not going to go into the weeds of these podcasts so much, given that the viral ZeroHedge article that has been spreading around social media like a proverbial Delta variant of COVID-19 misinformation is much newer than either of those podcasts and links to a blog post by Vanden Bossche (ominously titled C-19 Pandemia: Quo vadis, homo sapiens?) that contains his latest arguments.

Before I get into the question of whether “Vanden Bossche was right” or not, first let me point out that I don’t use the terms “antivaxxer” and “conspiracy theorist” lightly. I only use them when the person being described is definitely spreading antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, and I believe I documented quite thoroughly that Vanden Bossche was doing exactly that in his letter. Let’s just put it this way. When your prediction of “global catastrophe” to COVID-19 mass vaccination invokes almost exactly the same argument that the godfather of the modern antivaccine movement, Andrew Wakefield, used a mere three months before the reports of an outbreak of a novel coronavirus disease in Wuhan, China regarding measles and the MMR vaccine, you are antivaccine. Sure, Vanden Bossche adapted Wakefield’s arguments to the specifics of COVID-19 vaccination, but at its heart his was basically the same argument that Wakefield had made, that mass vaccination would drive the evolution of more deadly variants of the virus being vaccinated against so that it would become more deadly and better able to evade the immune response due to vaccination. Indeed, as I described not long after he had published his article in the house journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Wakefield took his prediction to a ridiculous extreme, predicting a mass extinction of—you guessed it—humans due to ever more deadly measles variants selected for by mass MMR vaccination. Vanden Bossche predicted basically the same thing due to COVID-19 vaccination, even citing some of the same examples as Wakefield. Let’s just put it this way. When your message is approvingly embraced by antivaccine propagandists like Del Bigtree, either you yourself are antivaccine or you should really take it to heart that antivaxxers love you and rethink your arguments.

In fairness, one does have to acknowledge the difference in situations. The measles vaccine has been around since the early 1960s and the current MMR since the 1970s. In the US, 90%+ of children are vaccinated against measles, and we’ve been vaccinating against measles since the 1960s, with nary a hint of the emergence of deadly variants. So of course, Andrew Wakefield’s fear mongering was, on its face, easily identifiable as ridiculous. In the case of COVID-19, which hit Wuhan seemingly out of nowhere in late 2019 and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) a mere three months later, in March 2020, the question of whether vaccination can cause the sort of scenario that Wakefield and Vanden Bossche are warning about seems much less ridiculous. The operative word, of course, is “seems,” and I can certainly see how the emergence of variants like the Delta variant in a mere few months since Vanden Bossche’s viral letter might seem to support a conclusion that his prediction was correct. Of course, one also must point out that the best “incubator” for evolutionary selection pressure to produce more transmissible variants that can evade the immune response is to have a virus circulating freely among billions of people and that there is nothing special about “natural” immunity compared to vaccine-acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 that would make it any less of an evolutionary selection pressure to select for more transmissible variants,” the claims of advocates of “natural herd immunity” as a way out of the pandemic notwithstanding.

One also has to acknowledge that Vanden Bossche has altered Wakefield’s argument somewhat in that his core claim was that it is mass vaccination during a pandemic that is dangerous:

Having been featured on Dr. Chris Martenson’s Peak Prosperity and Bret Weinstein’s Dark Horse podcast, Vanden Bossche has been outspoken – yet measured and reasoned – in his critiquing of mass vaccinations during the midst of the Covid pandemic. One of his main gripes with vaccination efforts is that vaccinating during the middle of a pandemic could potentially lead to a long runway of variants, some of which may evolve to be far more difficult to deal with than the original Covid virus.

One can’t help but counter that the beginning of mass measles vaccination occurred when measles was endemic, with millions of cases a year each and every year and around 5,000-6,000 deaths a year due to the disease, and measles vaccination nearly eliminated the disease, bringing it to the point where, before Andrew Wakefield, the disease had been reduced to very low frequency, with deaths rare.

The return of the revenge of predictions of global disaster by Geert Vanden Bossche

What is Geert Vanden Bossche up to these days? What is he claiming now? What’s led to all the social media chatter about his latest, examples of which include:

No, not exactly.

I can’t help but note right here why Bret Weinstein, promoter of the unproven (and almost certainly ineffective) anti-helminthic drug ivermectin that he is, loves Geert Vanden Bossche’s message. Right in the very first summary paragraph of his blog post, Vanden Bossche advocates for, in addition to “calling an immediate halt to the mass vaccination program” for COVID-19, “replacing it [the mass vaccination program] by widespread use of antiviral chemoprophylactics while dedicating massive public health resources to scaling early multidrug treaments of Covid-19 disease.”

You can also see why antivaxxers love the message, which is yet another variant (if you’ll excuse the term) of the favorite antivaccine trope that it is the vaccinated who spread disease, not the unvaccinated.

Vanden Bossche’s claim is the latest attempt to “flip the script” and, in response to the observation that it is the unvaccinated who can be a danger to the vaccinated by spreading disease given that no vaccine is 100% effective, has traditionally involved the claim that “shedding” of virus from the vaccine after vaccination can result in the infection of unvaccinated children who come into contact with the recently vaccinated, a claim that dates back long before the pandemic and has long been used to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about attenuated live virus vaccines like the MMR and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines, leading to false claims before the pandemic that MMR strain measles was the “real” cause of measles outbreaks. Although shedding is not uncommon, cases of shedding leading to infection are vanishingly rare, making this basically a myth. Vaccinated children were not spreading measles and chickenpox. Antivaxxers have gone to ridiculous extremes trying to do the same thing with the mRNA- and adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines by claiming that the vaccinated “shed” the spike protein and that is causing people around them to become sick. Examples include, most famously, claims that women living with people who were vaccinated have suffered menstrual irregularities and even miscarriages as well as claims of general vague illnesses from “shed” spike protein. There is no good evidence to support these claims. As you will see, the invocation of the Delta variant, which can, it seems, be spread by vaccinated people, is just the latest “variant” of this attempt to “flip the script.”

So basically, Vanden Bossche is doubling down and pointing to the Delta variant as a harbinger of things to come. Of course, infectious disease epidemiologists had long been warning of something like the Delta variant and, like Vanden Bossche, warn that it could be a harbinger of worse variants to come. However, unlike Vanden Bossche, public health scientists see this variant as a warning that emphasizes the urgency to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible in order to forestall the emergence of still more variants. Unsurprisingly, Vanden Bossche doesn’t see the Delta variant the way that infectious disease epidemiologists do:

As of the early days of the mass vaccination campaigns, at least a few experts have been warning against the catastrophic impact such a program could have on global and individual health. Mass vaccination in the middle of a pandemic is prone to promoting selection and adaptation of immune escape variants that are featured by increasing infectiousness and resistance to spike protein (S)-directed antibodies (Abs), thereby diminishing protection in vaccinees and threatening the unvaccinated. This already explains why the WHO’s mass vaccination program is not only unable to generate herd immunity (HI) but even leads to substantial erosion of the population’s immune protective capacity. As the ongoing universal mass vaccination program will soon promote dominant propagation of highly infectious, neutralization escape mutants (i.e., so-called ‘S Ab-resistant variants’), naturally acquired, or vaccinal neutralizing Abs, will, indeed, no longer offer any protection to immunized individuals whereas high infectious pressure will continue to suppress the innate immune defense system of the nonvaccinated. This is to say that every further increase in vaccine coverage rates will further contribute to forcing the virus into resistance to neutralizing, S-specific Abs. Increased viral infectivity, combined with evasion from antiviral immunity, will inevitably result in an additional toll taken on human health and human lives. Immediate action needs, therefore, to be taken in order to dramatically reduce viral infectivity rates and to prevent selected immune escape variants from rapidly spreading through the entire population, whether vaccinated or not.

I can’t help but cite Andrew Wakefield again regarding measles, just to remind you how similar this argument is to Wakefield’s:

Antibiotic use has selected out multiply resistant, more dangerous, and more pathogenic strains of bacteria. This growing threat has led what many senior public health officials in the UK and the U.S. to describe as the “post-antibiotic apocalypse” and the “end of modern medicine.” It is estimated that 50,000 annual deaths occur in Europe and the U.S. from infections that “antibiotics have lost the power to treat.” So in fewer than 80 years, we have reached the point at which, for example, with prosthetic surgery, wards are being closed down, patients are being sent home, and operations are no longer possible, because once the prosthesis becomes infected with such bacteria, it is virtually impossible to get rid of them.

Are vaccines destined for a similar fate? It’s a very interesting question. One answer is, why not? For vaccines, resistance equates to strains of the microbe, the virus, or the bacteria that can elude the imperfect immunity created by the vaccine.

Let’s look at Vanden Bossche’s argument a bit further. On the surface, it appears to make sense. The problem with it, though, is simple. Each and every variant of concern (variants that either do or might lead to increased transmissibility of the virus or more severe disease) arose in populations with low vaccine uptake. For instance, the Delta variant was first identified in December 2020 in India. I also can’t help but note that the first COVID-19 vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer were only just starting to be distributed then, and India was, aside from vaccine clinical trial participants, 100% unvaccinated. Also, the variant had likely circulated at least a few weeks before being identified.

But, wait, you’re thinking: Didn’t the Delta variant spread in the US after the mass vaccination program was well under way? Oddly enough, Vanden Bossche doesn’t even refer to this rather obvious correlation that doesn’t mean causation, other than obliquely, noting that Delta is “now spreading very fast and as reserves of susceptible individuals become depleted as more and more youngsters become vaccinated.” This is, of course, not that surprising, given that this variant is so much more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 and would be expected, all other aspects being equal, to outcompete less transmissible viruses. Moreover, the more transmissible the virus, the higher the percentage of the population that needs to be immune, either through vaccination or previous infection, to reach herd immunity. There’s a reason why measles, one of the most transmissible respiratory viruses there is, needs very high vaccine uptake for herd immunity.

So Vanden Bossche issues a dire warning:

In parallel with universal vaccination, more infectious strains have rapidly expanded in prevalence. According to molecular epidemiologists, Sars-CoV-2 is now also rapidly evolving towards resistance to S-specific Sars-CoV-2 Abs (9, 10). They have ascribed this to S-directed immune pressure that is now rapidly building up in the population. There can be no doubt that resistance to vaccinal Abs will be the endpoint of any mass vaccination program that uses modern vaccines during a pandemic of an acute self-limiting viral disease caused by a highly mutable virus.

Notice the cleverness of the wording. Vanden Bossche doesn’t say that these variants emerged after mass vaccination started, only that they have expanded in prevalence. Of course, in the absence of vaccination, one would naturally expect any strain that is more infectious to become more common in a population, particularly a variant (like Delta) that is several times more transmissible than the original Wuhan SARS-CoV-2. Given that few populations anywhere are anywhere near a level of vaccine uptake that one would expect to produce herd immunity, this claim is basically a meaningless observation, a correlation that doesn’t necessarily equal causation.

As noted by Alexis Madrigal, founder of the COVID Tracking Project:

One way to think about it, as the epidemiologist Ellie Murray has laid out, is that if Delta is as transmissible as the CDC thinks, we need a much higher percentage of our population vaccinated for immunizations and natural infection alone to cause the virus to peter out. Even when the huge majority of people in a given place have gotten the coronavirus or a shot, there might still be outbreaks, as the Brown University public-health expert Ashish Jha fears will happen in South Dakota after the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

These realities have already smashed the more optimistic projections of late spring, including my own. Having stared at these numbers for months and months with the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, I never thought that we’d see hospitalization numbers higher than they were during the winter peak in any state. But here we are.

Madrigal also notes that there is a lot of randomness to where the worst outbreaks occur during pandemics, and this one is no different:

Back in the spring, when the variant we were most worried about was called Alpha, Michigan and almost Michigan alone got absolutely torched, matching its peak for hospitalizations from the winter. This didn’t happen anywhere else, though some epidemiologists expected it to, based on the experience of European countries. Alpha just kind of went away, and it seemed like the U.S. might be in the clear.

Enter Delta. In this surge, a piece of Missouri began to take off before the rest of the country. Would it be like Michigan? As we all now know, the answer was no. The southeastern United States is now experiencing huge outbreaks as many states come close to matching or surpassing their pandemic peaks in cases and hospitalizations.

The health-care system in north Florida is under pressure that few places have seen at any time during the entire pandemic. Why there? Why not somewhere else with similar vaccination rates and political opposition to viral countermeasures? No one knows with total certainty, and we’re unlikely to ever find out.

Vanden Bossche seems to sense that this is a weakness in his argument, which appears to be why (to me, atl least) he pivots to the Lambda variant:

That viral resistance to S-specific neutralizing Abs may occur is anything but a myth. To my knowledge, the most compelling example of a variant capable of escaping neutralizing anti-S Abs is the lambda variant of Sars-CoV-2. This variant has incorporated an important change in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of its spike protein. This antigenic shift causes the virus to become resistant to neutralizing Abs. The change is caused by a deletion mutation and prevents neutralizing Abs from binding to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of S (11). Thanks to this mutation, the lambda variant may gain a substantial competitive advantage if the virus is suddenly put under substantial and widespread S-directed immune pressure. A prominent surge in cases (as has been observed, for example, in several South American countries) may lead to a dramatic increase in S-directed immune pressure, especially in healthy people who become rapidly re-exposed to the virus as a result of a steep increase in infectious pressure. This explains how all of a sudden an immune escape mutant that is capable of resisting S-specific antibodies can rapidly become predominant in populations that experience a substantial surge in cases. But also populations that are subject to mass vaccination can exert strong immune pressure on viral infectiousness (i.e., on S protein). This suggests that high vaccine coverage rates eventually turn populations in excellent breeding grounds for such vaccine-resistant variants.

Again, most sources I find state that the Lambda variant was first identified in Peru in December 2020, but William Haseltine notes that the Lambda variant, which differs by 23 nucleotide changes and 18 amino acid changes from the original Wuhan strain, was identified in August 2020, again, before there were any vaccines, much less selective pressure to evade S-protein-based immunity due to a mass vaccination program. He also notes that 16 nucleotide mutations and 11 amino acid mutations lie outside the S gene that encodes the spike protein, adding that the effect “of any of these changes may be mitigated by changes in the ability of Lambda to enhance replication and improve down-regulation of the innate and adaptive immune response early in infection.” He has also noted that the variant is less susceptible to antibodies generated by the major vaccine used in South America.

In the US:

Genomic sequencing has identified 1,060 cases of Covid-19 caused by the Lambda variant in the United States so far, according to the independent data-sharing initiative GISAID. While that number is a far cry from the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant — representing about 83% of new cases in the US — infectious disease experts have said that Lambda is a variant they are watching closely.

So Lambda is currently driving a tiny fraction of the COVID-19 infections in the US. I’m a bit confused, too. Existing research (albeit still on a preprint server and not yet fully peer reviewed) found that after vaccination titers for Beta, Delta, Delta plus and, Lambda variants were decreased between 2.5- to 4-fold, which might sound like a lot, but is, as the authors described, only a modest decrease in neutralization, as they note in their conclusion:

In sera collected ~3 months post-second immunization, BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 mRNA vaccine elicited antibodies neutralized the variants with a modest 3-fold average decrease in titer resulting in an average IC50 of about 1:600, a titer that is greater than that of convalescent sera and likely, in combination with post-vaccination T- and B-cell memory responses, to provide durable protection.

In other words, Lambda is basically no more resistant to vaccine-induced antibody-mediate immunity than Delta or Beta, with a modest decrease in the titer needed to neutralize the spike protein. What this will mean in the real world remains to be determined by measuring the effectiveness of the various COVID-19 vaccines against these variants, but there is plenty of reason to conclude that the vaccines offer considerable protection against at least severe disease from these variants. The authors even say so!

But the innate immune system!

Antibodies alone are not the be-all and end-all of the immune system. That’s why Vanden Bossche also tries to do a bit of a shuffle in his arguments by invoking the innate immune system (as opposed to the adaptive immune response, which is what is the immune response provoked by a vaccine or infection, a specific response to the antigen challenge seen by the immune system). Early in the post, VandenBossche writes:

Innate immunity critically contributes to protecting a population from Covid-19. This is why children and healthy people (i.e., not immune suppressed and without underlying disease) are enjoying a significant degree of protection from Covid-19 disease. Natural, innate antibodies (Abs) and Natural Killer (NK) cells can target non-mutable common structures in otherwise highly mutating viruses and hence, deal with all Sars-CoV-2 variants (1)

This is, of course, largely speculation. The reference cited is a review article about animal models looking at innate antibodies (again, antibodies present in the body that weren’t induced by infection or antigen challenge and that were there before any such challenge) that doesn’t even look at SARS-CoV-2 or even other coronaviruses. He also cites other articles, but one only discusses what “innate antibodies” are, while the other discusses how such antibodies might be the “bridge” between innate and adaptive immunity. Basically, it’s all speculation without good experimental or clinical evidence. There has been lots of speculation why children suffer severe disease and complications so much less frequently than adults, particularly older adults, but if there is a well-accepted explanation for the differential virulence of COVID-19 that is based on age I am as yet unaware of it.

This recent review notes several possible reasons:

Factors proposed to explain the difference in severity of COVID-19 in children and adults include those that put adults at higher risk and those that protect children. The former include: (1) age-related increase in endothelial damage and changes in clotting function; (2) higher density, increased affinity and different distribution of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptors and transmembrane serine protease 2; (3) pre-existing coronavirus antibodies (including antibody-dependent enhancement) and T cells; (4) immunosenescence and inflammaging, including the effects of chronic cytomegalovirus infection; (5) a higher prevalence of comorbidities associated with severe COVID-19 and (6) lower levels of vitamin D. Factors that might protect children include: (1) differences in innate and adaptive immunity; (2) more frequent recurrent and concurrent infections; (3) pre-existing immunity to coronaviruses; (4) differences in microbiota; (5) higher levels of melatonin; (6) protective off-target effects of live vaccines and (7) lower intensity of exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Notice how Vanden Bossche zeroed in like a laser on innate immunity, when there are several other plausible contributors to this difference in severity of COVID-19 in children compared to adults. (I’m also guessing that he doesn’t like that bit about potential nonspecific effects of live vaccines.)

That doesn’t stop Vanden Bossche, though. As you read this quote, remember that he, just like Wakefield, is trying to develop a competing COVID-19 vaccine based on “innate immunity,” specifically natural killer cells (more on what they are in a moment):

Innate immunity critically contributes to protecting a population from Covid-19. This is why children and healthy people (i.e., not immune suppressed and without underlying disease) are enjoying a significant degree of protection from Covid-19 disease. Natural, innate antibodies (Abs) and Natural Killer (NK) cells can target non-mutable common structures in otherwise highly mutating viruses and hence, deal with all Sars-CoV-2 variants (1). However, as they merely serve a first line of immune defense and have relatively low affinity, they’re not armed well enough to deal with high concentrations of pathogens (1, 2, 3). Although our innate immune defense system can be considered a very potent natural bioweapon against Sars-CoV-2, it is populated by Abs that can readily be outcompeted by spike protein (S)-specific Abs. This is because the binding affinity of antigen (Ag)-specific Abs for a specific antigen is much higher than the affinity of innate, polyreactive Abs for the same antigen (the latter primarily bind to multiple surface-expressed binding sites(*1) through multivalent interactions (*2); 3, 6, 7). This biophysical phenomenon already explains why morbidity and mortality rates tend to increase with increased infectious viral pressure (e.g., due to enhanced intrinsic infectiousness of the circulating virus or due to overcrowding, mass gatherings, close contacts etc., especially if combined with poor hygiene and housing conditions).

Again, this is all speculation and ignores a lot of other science. But of course to Vanden Bossche, it has to be the innate immune system, preexisting antibodies, and natural killer cells, which are “early responders” in the immune system that are unique in that they can recognize and kill stressed cells in the absence of antibodies and MHC, allowing for a much faster immune reaction and were named “natural killers” because it was observed that they do not require activation to kill cells that are missing “self” markers.

Flipping the script

Vanden Bossche also channels a favorite antivaccine talking point regarding COVID-19 vaccines:

As abundantly reported in the literature and social media, vaccinated subjects do not only spread Sars-CoV-2 variants (*4) but are now also increasingly developing symptomatic infections (*5).

This has been widely discussed in the media, as well as in the scientific literature, for instance, by Madrigal:

But it’s also become clear that vaccinated people who do get infected can spread the virus. The most recent piece of evidence came when American scientists were able to culture virus from samples taken from vaccinated people who’d gotten infected. Those same people showed similar viral loads to unvaccinated people. And yes, even those with asymptomatic infections.

Although that’s bad news, there is some good news too: Breakthrough infections appear to be significantly shorter than infections in the unvaccinated. That would reduce the amount of time that people with breakthrough infections could spread the virus.

There will undoubtedly be many more studies along these lines, and the papers cited above are preprints, meaning that they have not yet been peer-reviewed. But the data, including unpublished studies cited by public-health officials, are pointing in the same direction: Breakthrough infections are happening. And when they do, those people can spread the virus.

I always like to reemphasize here that, of course, some vaccinated people become infected. That was always expected, because no vaccine is 100% effective. Contrary to antivaxxers’ claims that these breakthrough infections mean that the vaccines are useless, less than 100% effectiveness is still effective, just not perfect. So, yes, vaccinated people can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, particularly the Delta variant. However, they are much less likely to become seriously ill because of it. Once infected with Delta, vaccinated people can transmit the virus to others. Also, as you might recall from the frenzied reporting when the CDC announced its findings and started recommending indoor masking again, vaccinated people infected with Delta can develop levels of virus in their respiratory system equal to what is observed in infected unvaccinated people, but, again, it appears that virus levels fall more quickly than in unvaccinated people and remain infectious for a shorter period of time.

This goes back to the concept of sterilizing immunity, in which the immunity of a vaccine is so effective that the virus cannot replicate in the vaccinated individual sufficiently to gain a foothold and cause infection, much less be transmissible by that person. In reality, sterilizing immunity exists for vaccines on a spectrum, as described in January in Scientific American:

Although many vaccines widely used today (against measles, for example) produce very effective sterilizing immunity, others, such as the hepatitis B vaccine, do not. With these vaccines, an individual’s immune system is trained to prevent illness, yet the pathogen can persist in that person’s body, potentially allowing them to infect others. A lack of sterilizing immunity means that the pathogen can continue to circulate in a population, where it may cause illness in unvaccinated and vulnerable people or evolve to evade our immune responses, Bowdish explains.

And an example:

The case of rotavirus—which causes severe vomiting and watery diarrhea and is especially dangerous to infants and young children—is fairly straightforward. Vaccination limits, but does not stop, the pathogen from replicating. As such, it does not protect against mild disease. By reducing an infected person’s viral load, however, it decreases transmission, providing substantial indirect protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control, four to 10 years after the 2006 introduction of a rotavirus vaccine in the U.S., the number of positive tests for the disease fell by as much as 74 to 90 percent.

Another favorite example cited by antivaxxers is pertussis, because the vaccine doesn’t produce sterilizing immunity:

For example, vaccines against Bordetella pertussis, the primary bacterium that causes whooping cough, or pertussis, do a great job of preventing illness but do not entirely clear the pathogen. Rather, as B. pertussis replicates in the upper respiratory tract, vaccine-induced antibodies apply pressure via natural selection to weed out bacteria whose disease-causing genes are turned on. Because these same genes are responsible for the parts of the microorganisms that are targeted by antibodies, bacteria that keep them turned off evade the immune response and hang out undetected in the upper respiratory tract, Bowdish explains. This becomes a problem when someone with a naive immune system, such as an infant, contracts the pathogen. In the absence of antibodies, B. pertussis’s disease-causing genes become activated again, causing illness. Nevertheless, the introduction of pertussis vaccines in the 1940s cut annual U.S. cases from more than 100,000 to fewer than 10,000 by 1965. In the 1980s cases began slowly climbing again as parents increasingly refused to vaccinate their children. Today there is renewed focus on reducing the chance of exposure and getting antibodies to infants by immunizing pregnant women and new mothers.

Again, in medicine, as in life, nothing is 100% certain except that each and every one of us will one day die, and efficacy for any intervention exists on a spectrum, and even a nonsterilizing vaccine can be very, very useful:

In a paper in the October 2020 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers modeled what a COVID-19 vaccine with varying types of protection could mean. They found that if a vaccine protects 80 percent of those immunized and 75 percent of the population is vaccinated, it could largely end an epidemic without other measures such as social distancing. “Otherwise, you won’t be able to rely on the vaccine to return us to ‘normal,’” says Bruce Y. Lee, a co-author of the paper and a professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. That is, if the vaccine only prevents disease or reduces viral shedding rather than eliminating it, additional public health measures may still be necessary. Even so, Lee stressed that a widespread nonsterilizing vaccine could still reduce burden on the health care system and save lives.

You might note that antivaccine “thinking” tends to be black and white. Either the vaccine is 100% effective, or it’s crap; the vaccine is either 100% safe, or it’s deadly. Like Vanden Bossche, they are very clever at sounding complex and nuanced in the service of demonizing vaccines. Vanden Bossche tries to impress with jargon and his handwaving invocation of variants coupled with invocations of natural killer cells and the innate immune system, and it does sound very impressive indeed. However, at its heart, it’s all speculation without any firm evidence, as well as a “reimagining” (if you will) of the old-fashioned antivaccine tropes that vaccines are (1) ineffective (Vanden Bossche’s claim that they don’t work against variants); (2) dangerous; and (3) make the vaccinated dangerous to the unvaccinated (Vanden Bossche’s claim that vaccines drive the evolution of more transmissible and dangerous variants).

Is it possible that SARS-CoV-2 could evolve variants that evade immunity from vaccines? Of course. Vaccination is a selective pressure, but it’s just one of many, and the current crop of variants all evolved before there even was a mass vaccination program. The bottom line is that the best way to forestall the development of further variants, one or more of which might be able to evade the immune response, whether due to prior infection or due to vaccination, is by vaccinating as many people as possible as fast as possible and following public health interventions:

We do not know yet whether this variant is more concerning than the Delta variant,” pharmacist and epidemiologists Dr. Ravina Kullar, who is an expert with the Infectious Diseases Society of America, wrote in an email on Friday.

“There needs to be extensive genomic surveillance studies that are done to assess how the vaccines’ efficacy is affected by the Lambda variant,” Kullar wrote. Until Covid-19 cases overall decrease, “the best way to prevent the emergence of more variants is getting fully vaccinated, not traveling internationally, and following strict infection prevention measures including wearing a face mask, physically distancing from others, and not attending large social gatherings.”

The CDC concurs. The bottom line is that the best conditions for the emergence of more dangerous and transmissible variants are when SARS-CoV-2 is spreading unchecked all over the world through billions of people. The best way to decrease the chances of variants like this emerging is to do whatever is feasible to decrease transmission and thereby decrease dramatically the number of people being infected. The vaccines work, but probably not as well for the Delta variant. Moreover, vaccination doesn’t have to completely block transmission to be effective in helping to end the pandemic. Finally, Vanden Bossche hasn’t said anything new compared to his previous claims. He’s just pointed to the emergence of more transmissible variants, which happened before the mass vaccination program, and blamed the vaccine for them.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

180 replies on “Geert Vanden Bossche is back and still blaming vaccines for COVID-19 variants”

Ha, but just listen to what he’s saying! It sounds so smooth right? What a dreamboat made for TV. Yuck. Thanks for the Judo on it. Appreciate. This is probably all DG but I think you got it resolved in a sentence.

Do I need PPE for his theoritical masterbation. Yuck also.

Good info — speculation — no evidence. At least fella tries some science .. almost.

FDA upgrades Pfizer. This is a good thing. Changes dumbness, prolly not.

SARS CoV 2 is known to evade innate immune system:
Bouayad A. Innate immune evasion by SARS-CoV-2: Comparison with SARS-CoV. Rev Med Virol. 2020 Nov;30(6):1-9. doi: 10.1002/rmv.2135. Epub 2020 Jul 30. PMID: 32734714.
This is quite common among pathogens. Innate immune system has indeed immutable targets, and is thus good target for pathogens,

Selection bias in action. “Pathogens” which are reliably dealt with by the innate immune system should rarely be able to do much harm.

Well this true. COVID causes harm, because it is able to eavde innate immune system.

re ” The vaccinated are the problem”

Amongst its many variants-
the hoary old CEO/ CFO of PRN proclaims that he will actively avoid the vaccinated ** because they are a danger to his health. He had planned to premier several new “documentaries” at a rate of one per month, starting this week, at NYC theatres, to raise money for WBAI ( and himself, of course) BUT he has cancelled and decidedly to go virtual instead because he wants to avoid these contaminated, disease carriers as the city is now ushering in vaccine requirements for indoor events. He lives in Florida and Texas and would need to fly in as well.

So, I imagine that, if he truly represents a common pattern with anti-vaxxers/ et al, eventually we may not run into many of them at sporting events, concerts, plays, museums, airports, universities, bars and restaurants. GOOD! Every cloud has a silver lining.***

** which is our good fortune
*** but they’ll still rag on at RI

And do they believe they have covid when they arrive there?

Today I read an article in de Dutch newspaper about hospital personel, complaining about covid denieing patients with covid. Even if they would have to be intubated and put on their belly, they still didn’t believe they had covid.

That reminds me, I should check no that butcher shop just north of Toronto whose owner banned all Covid-vacinated customers. IIRC, about 85% of the population in his area is vaccinated. I wonder how business is?

Well, Kaiser Health News ( a week ago) reported that a few patients/ patients’ parents are requesting transfusions only from the unvaccinated although blood banks do not separate products in such a manner and that 60-70% of donors are already vaccinated. Not all people can access private jets and Mexican clinics like Del Bigtree so we may lose a few that way.

I need to get a couple more t-shirts that proclaim my Covid-19 vaccinated status.

That way, the unvaccinated who fear spike protein shedding should keep their distance and I’ll be safer in public places.

The following shirt might be a bit too in-your-face to wear at Kroger:

http://etsy.com/listing/1017428230/im-vaccinated-but-still-wearing-my-mask?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=vaccine+shirt&ref=sr_gallery-1-2&pro=1&frs=1

Oh come on, Bacon, don’t you want to meet anti-vaxxers in person since you seem to be so thrilled interacting with them online? Especially mothers and libertarians?

While online antivax stupidity is infectious, it’s nowhere near as hazardous as public exposure.

On another matter:

Did Stephen King anticipate Covid-19 and the emergence of antimask sentiment in “The Shining”?

““What do you want with my son? Danny’s not in this…is he?” He [Jack] heard the naked plea in his own voice.”

“Lloyd’s face seems to be running, changing, becoming something pestilent. The white skin becoming a hepatitis yellow, cracking. Red sores erupting on the skin, bleeding foul-smelling liquid. Droplets of blood sprint out on Lloyd’s forehead like sweat and somewhere a silver chime was striking the quarter-hour.”

(Unmask, Unmask!)

If you listen to the vaccine cheerleaders take on Bossche, what’s interesting is that they are not really contesting Bossche’s main argument that over vaccination can drive mutant strains. What they are arguing is not vaccinating and letting the pandemic run wild will breed even MORE mutant strains. Bossche apparently doesn’t agree, and he is backed up by this study..

Our model suggests three specific risk factors that favour the emergence and establishment of a vaccine-resistant strain that are intuitively obvious: high probability of initial emergence of the resistant strain, high number of infected individuals54 and low rate of vaccination55. By contrast, a counterintuitive result of our analysis is that the highest risk of resistant strain establishment occurs when a large fraction of the population has already been vaccinated but the transmission is not controlled

So I’m reality you are arguing for reinstatement of mask mandates, social distancing, and lockdowns.

No, Orac, I am arguing that Bossche is right and you all know it. The vaccines won’t stop transmission, which has become blatantly obvious, and this will breed even more mutant strains. Augmenting this failure with mask mandates, social distancing, and lockdowns does not make it a success.

You clearly didn’t understand the paper that you cited, which amuses me to no end.

What exactly am I not understanding, Orac? Isn’t this study speaking precisely Bossche’s language? The language that you are arguing is all speculation and not backed by research?

By contrast, a counterintuitive result of our analysis is that the highest risk of resistant strain establishment occurs when a large fraction of the population has already been vaccinated but the transmission is not controlled. Similar conclusions have been reached in a SIR model of the ongoing pandemic56 and a model of pathogen escape from host immunity57. Furthermore, empirical data consistent with this result has been reported for influenza58. Indeed, it seems likely that when a large fraction of the population is vaccinated, especially the high-risk fraction of the population (aged individuals and those with specific underlying conditions) policy makers and individuals will be driven to return to pre-pandemic guidelines59 and behaviours conducive to a high rate of virus transmission60,61. However, the establishment of a resistant strain at that time may lead to serial rounds of resistant strain evolution with vaccine development playing catch up in the evolutionary arms race against novel strains.

@Greg What the paper you linked actually says:
“As expected, we found that a fast rate of vaccination decreases the probability of emergence of a resistant strain. Counterintuitively, when a relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions happened at a time when most individuals of the population have already been vaccinated the probability of emergence of a resistant strain was greatly increased.”
So message is not stop vaccinations, but continue them to the end. Same thing applies to antibiotics and antibiotics resinstant strains,

@Greg What the paper you linked actually says:
“As expected, we found that a fast rate of vaccination decreases the probability of emergence of a resistant strain. Counterintuitively, when a relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions happened at a time when most individuals of the population have already been vaccinated the probability of emergence of a resistant strain was greatly increased.”
So message is not stop vaccinations, but continue them to the end. Same thing applies to antibiotics and antibiotics resinstant strains,

Aarno and Orac, we can argue about what this study is ‘implying’ until the cows come home. But, if the actual findings aren’t speaking to the failure of covid vaccination, I will ask this: Why can a vaccine stop measles in its tracks without the need for masking, social distancing, and lockdowns? Are you stumped guys? The difference (a difference that Orac ignored in his spiel) is the measles vaccine can effectively protect and stop transmission. Covid vaccines are not effective at protecting and stopping transmission. Whatever Covid vaccination gains are obtained in the short-term, they will be greatly overridden by this in the long term. This is Bossche central point that also came as a ‘counterintuitive’ surprise to the researchers of this study, and despite them suggesting that we should double-down on the vaccines.

@Greg Vaccination rate against measles very high. So high that herd immunity is achieved. This is why measles vaccines work. Vaccination rate against COVID is still below herd immunity. Besdes of that, young people are almost unimmunised.

@Greg Vaccination rate against measles very high. So high that herd immunity is achieved. This is why measles vaccines work. Vaccination rate against COVID is still below herd immunity. Besdes of that, young people are almost unimmunised

No, Aarno, you measles vaccinate a population of 10 people and atleast 9 of them will be protected and unable to transmit the virus. Herd immunity will be achieved. By contrast, you Covid vaccinate a population of 10 people and with Pfizer’s vaccine now appearing to be only 30% effective (latest Israeli data), that would mean 6 of the 10 won’t be protected and are capable of spreading the virus. Herd immunity will not be achieved.

You clearly didn’t understand the paper that you cited, which amuses me to no end.

Sheesh, I take a couple of days off to look for apartments (which requires an antiemetic and a sedative), and I miss this Gerg gem.

So I’m reality you are arguing for reinstatement of mask mandates, social distancing, and lockdowns.

From the paper:

Counterintuitively, when a relaxation of non-pharmaceutical interventions happened at a time when most individuals of the population have already been vaccinated the probability of emergence of a resistant strain was greatly increased.

Consequently, we show that a period of transmission reduction close to the end of the vaccination campaign can substantially reduce the probability of resistant strain establishment. Our results suggest that policymakers and individuals should consider maintaining non-pharmaceutical interventions and transmission-reducing behaviours throughout the entire vaccination period.

Sis boom bah — vaccines vaccines — Sis boom bah — vaccines save!

They be contesting Bossche really and thoroughly. You choose to disbelieve to a degree that is harmful based on some guys speculation (without appropriate evidence).

Sis boom bah — vaccines work despite claims otherwise. Sis boom bah! Hurray vaccines!

Get you some today! Live a little longer and a little better. Sis boom bah!

@Greg He does not agree with Bossche. He does not say that this new variant is caused by vaccines. It may not happen at all, actually.

I wonder how many of those Doctors that approved the jab will now get a pay off down the road from the Pharma companies.

“Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns”

“An analysis of pharma payments to 107 physicians who advised FDA on 28 drugs approved from 2008 to 2014 found that a majority later got money for travel or consulting, or received research subsidies from the makers of the drugs on which they voted or from competing firms.”

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/07/hidden-conflicts-pharma-payments-fda-advisers-after-drug-approvals-spark-ethical

but you know that that AAAS and it magazine Science are anti vax and anti big pharma

Orac’s scoffers/ contrarians will not be pleased because, due to the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine in the US, many more mandates can be expected . Military service, governmental institutions, schools, cities, health care systems, corporations, businesses, restaurants and entertainment venues will require vaccination.

Many vaccination deniers cite religion, freedom of choice, appeals to naturalism and individualism as reasons to avoid vaccines, so they may get their wishes soon:
they’re free to be unemployed, avoid medical care, stay out of universities, travel facilities and entertainment venues and enjoy themselves, praying, hiking and biking, contemplating Nature, living amongst the forests, mountains and deserts, alone and totally free.
CIAO!

“they’re free to be unemployed, avoid medical care, stay out of universities, travel facilities and entertainment venues and enjoy themselves, praying, hiking and biking, contemplating Nature, living amongst the forests, mountains and deserts, alone and totally free.”

Sad to say, the anti-vaxxers would be perfectly at home in the new Afghanistan.

Sad to say, the anti-vaxxers would be perfectly at home in the new Afghanistan.

I am also starting to think you guys would fit in with the Taliban. Aren’t you also telling people to cover their face or there will be ‘consequences’!

Are you as perniciously dishonest with yourself as you are with and about everyone else?

rs said, “Sad to say, the anti-vaxxers would be perfectly at home in the new Afghanistan.”

They’ve always had Somalia. I’ve often recommended it to the ‘Freedumb’ crowd of Sovrun Citizen Libertarian Anarchists as a paradise made especially for them.
In Somalia every man is a warlord king and makes his own rules depending on the size of his arsenal and number of lackeys.
If you’ve enough $$ you can rule a corner of Mogadishu and appoint your very own “Constitutional” Sheriff and “Constitutional” Judges who will then have the authority and power to arrest, convict, and punish your enemies.
The only problem is that there are a few dozen other “kings” operating in town, each with their own “Constitutional” Sheriffs and “Constitutional” Judges who will be coming to arrest, convict, and execute you and your “Constitutional” fantasy troup.
But in Somalia every man is a sovrun citizen and a sovereign in his own right… until a more powerful Sovrun Citizen Libertarian Anarchist comes along and tells you what the rules are.
.
Just recommend they go to Somalia – The paradigm of Sovrun Libertarian individual liberty.
.
Have fun.

Are you as perniciously dishonest with yourself as you are with and about everyone else?

Rs, what am I being dishonest about? What — are you guys suggesting it’s justified to impose sharia law (lockdown and house arrests, physical contact and gatherings bans, face coverings, denying employment and movement privileges, etc) for public health reasons rather than for religious ones? The way I see it it’s all just slavery, and even if the masses are happy with their enslavement.

@Reality

They’ve always had Somalia. I’ve often recommended it to the ‘Freedumb’ crowd of
Sovrun Citizen Libertarian Anarchists as a paradise made especially for them.

And now you people advocate to “defund the police” and “abolish prisons”.

Hilarious

So, that would be ‘yes’.

This is, after all, someone who got all squirmy about being identified as a Canadian.

“…received research subsidies from the makers of the drugs on which they voted or from competing firms.”

Gee, that sounds like an anti conflict of interest. 😉

I wonder how many more times antivaxers will squeal about nonexistent conflicts of interest in papers with positive vaccine findings, while completely overlooking gross conflicts of interest in antivax “research”. The names Wakefield and Hooker come immediately to mind.

I think this is my favorite – an antivaxer paper about conflicts of interest supposedly retarding research into a vaccine-autism connection, which got retracted for…undisclosed conflicts of interest. 😀

http://retractionwatch.com/2017/11/15/journal-replaces-anti-vaccine-paper-retracted-missing-conflicts-number-errors/

And once again the cartoon character didn’t read the what was posted in “Science” (I know its and anti vax publication put out by those nasty people who don’t want you to get a vaccine and are against big pharma.)

“It also considered payments from competitors selling or researching drugs of the same class or intended for the same condition—because competing drugs might be affected positively or negatively by the market entry of a new contender or by restrictions or warnings placed on a new drug’s label.”

How hard is it to understand, a voter blocks a competitors drug or the voter approves a similar drug (with less restrictions or more restrictions) that the competitor put out (the competitor then goes back and gets less restriction on their drug or markets their drug as FDA approved with less restrictions).

Do you misread/not read on purpose or do you just post stuff to make you, feel good about yourself?

Science (magazine) is correct that the FDA needs to be more rigorous in reporting pharma payments to advisory panel members. However, neither the article nor you cite a single instance in which a member of an FDA advisory panel voted against approving a drug after they or their university got payments from a competing drug firm. This conspiracy theory runs headlong into the conspiracy theory that says FDA just rubber-stamps every drug application because it’s awash in pharma money.

Since this diversion does not relate to vaccines, it’s clearly just another incoherent attempt to tarnish them by chanting “Pharma Bad!”. If you truly are convinced that drug companies are irretrievably evil on all counts, then hopefully you will decline antibiotics if you’re ever septic, clot-busting drugs in the event of impending stroke, insulin or other diabetes drugs that could save your life, etc.

@ Kay West

You write, quoting from an article: ““An analysis of pharma payments to 107 physicians who advised FDA on 28 drugs approved from 2008 to 2014 found that a majority later got money for travel or consulting, or received research subsidies from the makers of the drugs on which they voted or from competing firms.”

Charles Piller & Jia You (2018 Jul 5). Hidden conflicts? Pharma payments to FDA advisers after drug approvals spark ethical concerns. Science.

I guess you missed: “The 107 advisers that Science reviewed, combined with 11 federal scientists who served on at least one of the 28 review panels and remain with the government, suggest that potential conflicts can be avoided and often are. Among that group, 47 took less than $800 from pharma after their service on the advisory panel. Thirty-four took no money at all. (Regular federal employees can almost never accept outside compensation.)

In case you have problems with arithmetic, 47+34=81 which is 76% (81/107). Or a lower percentage if one includes the 11 federal scientists.

“Money for travel?” So, you find it wrong to pay for travel to meeting and, perhaps, lodging and a couple of meals? And even the government reimburses travel, hotel, and meals and sometimes gives honorary small payments, honorariums, for people who participate in some panel.

As usual, you pick and choose, take sentences out-of-context. Yep, conflicts of interest may have existed with some; but they were in minority. I don’t count payments of less than $800, unless you believe that people who devoted many years to their respective educations and then careers would prostitute themselves for such a pittance. Maybe you do as a projection of your own lack of ethics?

However, if you really believe this, then please avoid any and all medications, not just vaccines as the article includes ALL drugs.

You write: “I wonder how many of those Doctors that approved the jab will now get a pay off down the road from the Pharma companies.”

The article covered four years so it certainly would have caught most of such. However, interesting how you focus on “jab.” Just as antivaxxers focus on profit on vaccines, as if profit determine whether something is valuable, harmful, or anything in-between. Everything sells for profit, fruit and vegetables, coke and potato chips, antibiotics and cigarettes.

And the one thing you continue to ignore is that the science of vaccinations, e.g., immunology, microbiology, epidemiology is quite strong and that whenever a vaccine is approved, the FDA posts on its website ALL the studies, etc. it based its approval on and one can find numerous peer-reviewed articles on the vaccine, follow-up studies, etc in journals and data on adverse events, etc. on health departments of many other nations. So anyone, myself included can check them out, something I’ve done for the Moderna mRNA Covid vaccine.

Oh, articles like this in Science as well as many articles of studies on vaccines is what science is all about. Not one sided as you in your biased irrational view believe. Articles are published, often challenged with later, better research designs, fraudulent studies are revealed, etc. In other words, science isn’t closed-minded like you. And there is a problem you wouldn’t understand. A panel to review any drug needs to be composed of people with expertise in that area. Would you really want a panel looking at treatments for infections be composed of cancer specialists? And many of these people will have received research funds from industry. Quite a dilemma, either panel of experts in area or ? ? ? However, despite this, as discussed above, the majority either received zero or trivial sums, so they both had expertise and no implied bias.

I’ve asked you on a number of occasions what you base your “knowledge” of vaccines on, e.g., basic knowledge of immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, biostatistics, historical and current status of vaccine-preventable diseases; but you NEVER answer. I guess, like Donald Trump, you consider yourself an “intuitive genius”, capable of pontificating on anything without devoting even minimal time to learning the basics.

You continue your intellectually dishonest comments, picking and choosing sentences, focusing on vaccines, as if only vaccines have anyone who receives money, etc. And ignoring the extremely strong science behind vaccines, much stronger than many other medications.

Keep digging an ever deeper hole for yourself. You’re really good at it! ! !

@ Greg

You write: “I am also starting to think you guys would fit in with the Taliban. Aren’t you also telling people to cover their face or there will be ‘consequences’!

Only women are required to cover their faces when out in public and anyone who knows anything about islam knows that total covering in Afghanistan is NOT based in Islam; but based in primitive tribal customs. The Quran calls for modesty, which in several Islamic nations simply a headscarf and long sleeves. Well, Orthodox Jewish women, Amish women, etc cover their heads and their bodies; but not their faces. And historically was the norm in Western Europe.

You write: “What — are you guys suggesting it’s justified to impose sharia law (lockdown and house arrests, physical contact and gatherings bans, face coverings, denying employment and movement privileges, etc) for public health reasons rather than for religious ones? The way I see it it’s all just slavery, and even if the masses are happy with their enslavement.”

Sharia law doesn’t have “lockdowns and house arrest”. The Taliban are to Islam as the KKK or Holy Inquisition are and were to Christianity, antithesis. In, of all places Iran, women go to university, dress modestly, drive cars, vote, work, and one is even in their Parliament. Nope, I don’t like any control by theologians; but Iran is far freer than Saudi Arabia, who we are allied with. One can find a range of restrictions from very modest to extreme among various nations claiming to be Islamic. Take ISIS. Quran states, verse 2:256, “There shall be NO compulsion in religion”. Also Quran calls Jews and Christian “dhimmi” ,protected class and “ahl al kitab”, people of the book and FORBIDS harming them. And Quran strictly prohibits harming non-combatants. Just as prior to fall of iron curtain East Germany called itself the German Democratic Republic, it was neither democratic nor a republic, sickos can claim they are following Islam but they aren’t.

But you miss the main point, we live in communities with both RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES. And one responsibility is NOT to endanger the health and lives of our fellow citizens when there is a way to avoid it. You ignore the overwhelming evidence that masks do prevent, not perfectly, but we don’t live in a perfect world, but masks significantly reduce risk of infecting others and/or being infected. But, you’ve NEVER posted any comment that indicates you really understand things or you just comment to provoke and irritate people. If the latter, says a lot about you as a person, someone who doesn’t seem capable of contributing anything positive.

he Taliban are to Islam as the KKK or Holy Inquisition

Hey, that’s a slander on the Holy Inquisition! From what I have read even the Salifi think the Taliban are nuts.

One can find a range of restrictions from very modest to extreme among various nations claiming to be Islamic

Yes, Joel, it does appear inconsistent and perplexing until we realize it’s all about power and control or the acceptable iriteration of it — politics. Power and control –politics- explains the Taliban moves as much as it explains the vaccination authoritarianism, and that’s why I essentially see no difference. Talk of religion, science, ‘public health responsibilities’?.. Please! Those items are just servitudes.

Public health measures improve public health. Germs are tyrants. There is lots of political benefit to oppose them, any number of politicians prove that.,

Only women are required to cover their faces when out in public….

What – are you bragging that you got the Taliban beat?!

You might want to think about the fact that you just told someone else their motives. I guess you read minds. You might want to pick up a book by Ravi Zacharias too. You might learn a little.

Since comments have already run off the road and through a giant field of irrelevance:

Does anyone know why Geert is Vanden Bossche and not van den Bossche? Is this perhaps a regional thing or likely just something specific to his family line?

Normally, I’d get at least a little annoyed at a diversion into irrelevant weeds like this, but you are correct. The comments have gone a bit off the rails…

Possibly due to Belgian descent where the particles in cases are partly or completely incorporated in surnames. But just a guess…

To Joel and the cartoon (DB)

So ‘Science’ magazine involves itself with conspiracy theories?

‘However, neither the article nor you cite a single instance in which a member of an FDA advisory panel voted against approving a drug after they or their university got payments from a competing drug firm. This conspiracy theory runs headlong into the conspiracy theory that says FDA just rubber-stamps every drug application because it’s awash in pharma money.’

reread the article the money/grants etc. were paid AFTER they voted.
The article never claimed they rubber-stamped every drug application, in fact they decline applications too because it’s awash in pharma money.

Joel, you and the cartoon need to have a talk.

“Since this diversion does not relate to vaccines, it’s clearly just another incoherent attempt to tarnish them by chanting “Pharma Bad!”

I wasn’t aware that alexander fleming was a pharma company nor was edward jenner.

I have no problem with anyone making money (you do have a tendency to focus on ‘coke and potato chips). The CEO of coke only makes 17 million and the CEO of Frito-Lays only makes about 15 million. That is chump change compared to the 9 people who made over 2 billion dollars in only 2 quarters in 2020 all on the sales of vaccines. At that rate it will take the CEO’s about 50 years to make what the pharma executives made in 6 moths. Almost 1 year ago on this site, people would tell me that the vaccines were only a very small part of the drug companies income or there was not much profit from vaccines.
Pfizer is expected to make 80 billion in sales of its vaccine in 2021 and earn about 19 billion. It’s net margin is 22.43%. To put that into perspective Ford has made a profit margin of about 2 for the last 10 years.
I don’t think pharma is bad, I think they are taking advantage of the system, drugs that cost 2 or 3 dollars in other countries cost 50 or 60 dollars in the US.

I will give you an example.
The price for 6 tablets of 500 mg of penicillin (amoxicillin) is about 15-20 dollars (can be had for 5 to10) (for humans). The same tablets that we give our cattle ( the same purity, same quality, is exactly (in every detail) like those given to humans and comes from the same supplier as the drug store) for the same price I get the equivalent of 80 tablets. The difference Medicare, Medicaid, insurance companies will pay the higher price, so there is no incentive for those pharma companies to reduce their income (i can’t really blame them).

Doug don’t ever expect the regulars on this site to ‘stick to the topic’. After the 4th or 5th post it turns into a train wreck, you’d be better off trying to herd cats.

@ Kay West

As I wrote previously, even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily.

Yep, our government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations, though they have the legal ability to cap prices, don’t; but our pharmaceutical industry isn’t doing any different from almost all industries in this nation. Price gouging is an American tradition; but what they charge for something, regardless of whether it is beneficial, harmful, or in between, doesn’t say which.

And you are right about costs in other nations, having lived in other nations where the governments much more than the U.S. also try to benefit the 99%, prices on drugs are negotiated and often cost as little as 1/10th what they do in this nation and, yet, the drugs still make a profit. And the companies lie about how much they spend in research, etc.; but you keep missing the point, doesn’t say anything, especially about vaccines, which, though they, of course, make a profit, represent much less profit than many other drugs.

I have actually written two article that include detailed explanations of pricing and profits with references: One article actually on Science-Based Medicine entitled:
“The So-Called Vaccine Debate”

and another article I wrote: The Case for A Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System

You can find them by typing in the titles; but you won’t.

So, you are right that drug prices are insanely high in the U.S.; but you don’t know where to draw the line. You confuse appearance of conflict of interest on drug approval panels with actual drug pricing. Not the same thing and not necessarily related, except in your mind.

In any case, congratulation, you got one thing right, price gouging in U.S and much lower prices in other nations.

But I repeat, though I know it won’t sink in, the pricing and profits from drugs and vaccines don’t say if they are good, bad, or in-between.

@Kay West 80 billion is someones guessimate of revenue, not profit. Do you know what Pfizer’s profit on vaccines is ? Tell us after you have found it. Meanwhile its three quarter vaccine revenue is 3.5 billion:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/04/business/pfizer-covid-vaccine-profits.html
Billions were stock market gain. Buyers of stock paid it, not customers or goverment. Executive compensation at Pfizer is public knowledge, you can check it. PepsiCo executives make similar amount of money.

@ Kay West

It is impossible to dialogue with you. As I explained and you are too biased, FDA posts all the data/studies that they base their decisions on, including vaccines. Just because a minority of approval committees received monies, doesn’t mean that all the others, the majority, voted in favor if the data didn’t support. It is you who are the irrational believer in conspiracy theories. The fact that Science Magazine doesn’t hesitate to publish an article that criticizes even the perception of a conflict of interest certainly isn’t covering a conspiracy theory. It is doing its job, not really different from someone writing an article about flaws in a study design. There is NO perfect study design, so even one with flaws, could still give valid data, which follow-up studies in some cases have found. I realize that nothing I nor anyone else can say will have any effect on you. If anyone, it is you who are the cartoon figure, a cartoon of people who unfortunately represent a significant percent of our population, of people who don’t know what they are talking about; but are so certain they are right.

Just as you called CDC liars, without reading the Technical note at bottom of the page YOU LINKED TO. And it was you who didn’t bother to even try to understand what a spline analysis is. You wrote in one comment naming means, averages, etc.; but failed to even know what a moving average is, which, is an earlier approach to the problem that splines were developed to deal with. In other words, you call people liars based on your own biases, ignorance, irrationality, and lack of any type of decency.

And, once again, do you understand even the basics of the sciences that underly vaccines? NOPE and you don’t want to because you are totally incapable of admitting you don’t know what you are talking about, making a fool of yourself.

You need to really read the article, then read what the cartoon wrote.
The cartoon called it a conspiracy theory, I just quoted from his post.
I said its not a conspiracy its the way modern business is conducted.

And yes drug pricing is effected/affected by the FDA approval or disapproval of a drug. If you can keep a competitors drug off the market for even a few months drug companies make millions off those few months.

Don’t believe me just look at an Epi-Pen, when the patent ran out the maker of Epi-pen lobbied to get the generic stopped. The maker of Epi-pen even got congress to require real Epi pens be required in schools. (Its even call the Emergency epinephrine Act of 2013) the generic version would cost about 35 dollars, the name brand cost over 300.

As to your CDC comment (I could use a Biden phrase, the was 4 to 5 days ago man.)
I pointed out that the CDC makes a prediction on deaths and a prediction on excess deaths.
As the numbers come in they change their prediction (they actually call it a PREDICTION). I don’t know of any other company, organization or government agency that can or in the case of companies can legally change their prediction on sales, products etc.
Right now the CDC is predicting the excessive death rate (for the same week number) will be lower then the excessive death rate in 2019 and in 2017. We’ve added a couple million people to the US population, how does that even make sense. And yes I understand splines, but again why use them and why did they start using them in the middle of the pandemic.

@ Kay West

You write: “And yes drug pricing is effected/affected by the FDA approval or disapproval of a drug. If you can keep a competitors drug off the market for even a few months drug companies make millions off those few months.”

Yes and no. Years ago generics were priced at 20% or less of currently patented new drugs, now many as high as 80%. It doesn’t cost anymore now to manufacture generics then several years ago. So why? One reason is that the companies with patented drugs in various ways, e.g., purchase generic companies, act to keep up their obscene profits. But you are, too some extent, contradicting your self. First, you implied that drugs and vaccines were passed by committee because some members received funds from companies, now you imply that the same members vote against approving some drugs; but you still miss the main point that the majority of committee members either received NO funding or minimal funding. Of course, as I mentioned you may be projecting your own dishonesty in that you would act on minimal amounts of funding.

You write: “As the numbers come in they change their prediction (they actually call it a PREDICTION). I don’t know of any other company, organization or government agency that can or in the case of companies can legally change their prediction on sales, products etc.”

The purpose of a CDC prediction is a basis for planning. So if a new virus enters the U.S. if data and knowledge of the virus indicates it could break out and be devastating, they make decisions. If it turns out the virus is less deadly, dangerous, they change. Would you prefer we did nothing? And, yep companies do change predictions. That is how the stock market works. For instance, if another company begins marketing a competitive product, stocks may go down for one company; but, then if the other product doesn’t sell well, stocks go up. And there is NO such thing as a “legal” prediction. And public health, not just the U.S. but most nations, including the CDC, has different type of responsibility than companies. Oh, our military makes predictions regarding military build-ups, possible scenarios of other nations and these change as new data/information comes in.

You write: “Right now the CDC is predicting the excessive death rate (for the same week number) will be lower then the excessive death rate in 2019 and in 2017. We’ve added a couple million people to the US population, how does that even make sense. And yes I understand splines, but again why use them and why did they start using them in the middle of the pandemic.”

First, a rate is based on a numerator and denominator. So, if the denominator increases, will effect the rate. In addition, we are currently experiencing an explosion of new hospitalizations, mainly Delta variant; but as opposed to a year ago, we have developed successful treatments so far fewer dying; but many left with long Covid. Your ignorance of the basics is incredible.

No, you don’t understand splines. Why did they start in middle of pandemic? Simple. As data came in, clear that a linear function would not work. Imagine a steady rate of deaths, then suddenly it begins accelerating. A straight line would be highly inaccurate. You just can’t admit when you are wrong. Again, please explain what you base your positions on, e.g., education, self-learning, reading on immunology, statistics, etc. Not credible since you really don’t understand splines or even rates!

Are you a masochist? I don’t understand why you just keep digging an ever deeper hole for yourself.

You need to really read the article, then read what the cartoon wrote.
The cartoon called it a conspiracy theory….

Has it ever occurred to you to not wholeheartedly embarrass yourself over and over?

Appreciate your article/analysis/debunking as usual, though I saw that you noted the first cases of Delta variants being discovered in Dec 2020 but I have seen reference to it’s sequence going back to Sept 2020 which serves to make Geert (and many who wanna claim the vaccine is the primary driver of mutations) assumptions even less plausible… Here’s the link to full lineages: https://cov-lineages.org/index.html

Last week (and I can’t find the link not that I want to give it traffic anyhow) some anti-vax page was citing a pre-print about a vaccine for Marek’s disease in poultry causing escape variants as PROOFZ for COVID-19 vaccines causing coronavirus variants. But given the infection causing Marek’s is 90-100% fatal without the vaccine, apparently with the Marek’s vaccine (which wasn’t 100% effective), the vaccinated poultry that still died from Marek’s lived longer d/t the vaccine and thus spun off more virus than if they had straight up died unvaccinated. This longer survival gave them a higher chance of creating a variant. Of note the authors of this paper did not talk at all about what they saw in chickens with this highly lethal infection relative to anything regarding COVID-19 variants and COVID-19 vaccines. But we all know that won’t stop anti-vaxxers at all from adding it to their greatest sh*ts playlist.

Speaking of a “greatest sh*ts playlist”, the title of this thread has given me an earworm.

Geert went away and Covid hung around
And bothered me, every night
And when I wouldn’t get the vaccine
You said things that weren’t very nice

Vanden Bossche’s back and there’s gonna be trouble
(Hey-la-day-la, Geert is back)
You see him comin’ better cut out on the double
(Hey-la-day-la, Geert is back)
Pro-vaxers spreading lies I know are untrue
(Hey-la-day-la, my Geert is back)
Geert is back he’s gonna save his reputation
(Hey-la-day-la, Vanden Bossche’s back)
If I were you I’d take a permanent vacation
(Hey-la, day-la, my Geert is back)

Hey, he knows the CDC was cheatin’
Now, you’re gonna get a beatin’
What made you think he’d believe all your lies
Wah-ooo, wah-ooo
Orac’s a big man now, but he’ll cut him down to size
Wah-ooo, wait and see

You’re welcome.

Once again: One highly qualified expert with 9 PhDs (all from Oxbridge University) calling out another highly qualified professor of something-or-other biomedical, for his infantile buffoonery and juvenile schoolboy-ish errors.

Is it any wonder the layman doesn’t trust any of you?

And no-one ever answers my straightforward question:

Does one receive any benefit from vaccination, if you have already had COVID, and fully recovered?

I think the answer is “no”.
…But no-one will say it.

People who’ve recovered from Covid-19 have gotten re-infected.

“COVID-19 jabs give the immune systems of people who were previously infected an extra leg up to fight the coronavirus, including against new, more transmissible variants, other research shows. And because the delta variant, first identified in India, can spread among vaccinated people, that extra layer of protection for recovered patients is probably helpful…
Now, the evidence that even recovered people benefit from the shots is mounting. Based on the latest studies, here’s what experts know about past infections and getting vaccinated.”

“One vaccine dose might be sufficient to protect people who have already had COVID-19, lab-based studies suggest (SN: 3/3/21). One shot for those who recovered from a prior infection boosts virus-attacking antibodies to levels similar to those of vaccinated people who got two doses of an mRNA vaccine, researchers reported August 6 in JAMA. A second dose, however, didn’t further increase antibody levels for previously infected people.”

“Antibodies aren’t the only part of the immune response that benefit from the vaccine, although the immune proteins are crucial to prevent infection. A single shot was enough for recovered patients to reach high levels of a subset of immune cells called T cells, researchers reported August 3 in Cell Reports. T cells help coordinate and ramp up the immune response when a person is exposed to the virus again.”…

“Kentucky residents who had recovered from a coronavirus infection but weren’t vaccinated were around twice as likely to get infected again as their vaccinated counterparts, researchers report August 6 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.”

http://sciencenews.org/article/coronavirus-vaccines-help-covid-infected-already-pandemic

Thanking you all for your interesting responses.

Because my reaction to the initial infection was not particularly dramatic – (I felt rough for a couple of days … but I have had worse) – I would prefer to hang fire when it comes to vaccination, to see how the old mRNA thing pans out.

I still get olfactory hallucinations to this day, 8 months later. (One week all I could smell was tobacco, another week it was diesel fumes)

I’m not particularly worried about variants – so I’ll give it 18 months or so and see what the state of play is then.

@ Cthulhu

First, validity of someone’s position has to be based on the underlying science and logic they present. So, if you understand the basics of science, you can determine whose position is valid. There is quite a difference between just spouting ones position and developing a logical scientific argument.

As for receiving Covid vaccine after having had actual Covid infection there are peer-reviewed studies that have shown that titer of antibodies much higher. I could cut and paste references to studies; but I doubt you would check them out.

The data say you absolutely do. So do the requisite specialty organizations. We give patients one shot, basically a booster, if they have had covid. Usually ninety days-post. Not everyone produces enough neutralizing antibodies from an infection and they fade rapidly. By roughly five months, you have very few in circulation. This was all borne out of the convalescent plasma trials-they started to notice the rapid decline and stopped taking donor plasma after a certain cutoff post infection.

So far I’ve only had one patient who was reinfected after spending three weeks in the ICU and then getting a booster. Yes-she was reinfected after a vaccination the horror. She’s my biggest vax advocate. She knows full-well delta would have killed her this time around if she didn’t have antibodies going in.

Thanks for the information.

My response to the COVID infection was quite trivial – I just felt slightly rough for a couple of days. (But I have been left with annoying olfactory hallucinations – to this day, months later)

By all accounts, the vaccine has the same effect on most people: a couple of days feeling rough.

So I’m not particularly worried – so I’ll probably wait a couple of years – just to see how the whole mRNA scene pans out.

Thanks for that.

I do come away with the impression that asking the stalwarts of the RI comments section if there are any situations where vaccination might NOT be beneficial, is akin to asking Pablo Escobar if there are any situations where cocaine might not be beneficial.
😉

Be careful relying on your “thinness” or whatever. I’ve had folks of all BMIs have all kinds of outcomes. Are most on a vent really fat? Only if they are young. The older you get that matters less and less. One of the ladies who just passed away yesterday had a BMI of 22. Most of the others on vents I’ve seen in the last several weeks were in the 25-35 range.

As for the extra antibody boost? Your choice. As you get further away from the date you recovered I can only recommend increasing caution.

@ Medical Yeti writes, “Be careful relying on your “thinness” or whatever. I’ve had folks of all BMIs have all kinds of outcomes. Are most on a vent really fat? Only if they are young. The older you get that matters less and less. One of the ladies who just passed away yesterday had a BMI of 22. Most of the others on vents I’ve seen in the last several weeks were in the 25-35 range.”

Relying on your “thinness”…Good Lawd, man! I rely on a fairly healthy diet, less sugar and inflammatory foods, exercise, stopped watching the fear mongering on TV, fresh air, and stress management. I hope you are counseling your patients in these ways too. It’s obvious you care ; )

The older patient with less BMI matters as most of the general public from the states already have 1 or more chronic diseases. Yes, atypical cases will happen like your lady with a BMI of 22 and only you know about her baseline health. Anorexics are probably not doing too well either as they are nutrient deficient.

And the 25-35 range, did many have comorbidities?

Thank you for being civil and for your dedication to patients.

@Cthulhu:
“any situations where vaccination might NOT be beneficial”

Sure. There’s no reason to use the BCG vaccine in the developed world (or more precisely, anywhere where TB does not have high prevalence). There’s no reason (yet) to use the yellow fever vaccine in the USA or Canada (until climate change moves those mosquitos back).

Given that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 is “yes”, then, barring specific medical contraindications including very recent recovery from COVID, a COVID vaccine is recommended.

The study from Kentucky was a very small sample size

Albeit larger than the one you apparently prefer.

@Cuckoo4 cocoapuffs Your link states, too, that vaccination provides high protection against covid without the disease. Certailny a better route.

One highly qualified expert with 9 PhDs

OK, I’m waiting for the list of the veterinarian’s nine Ph.D.’s.

RE: comorbidities

Prior to delta – current or former smokers were common.

Now? It’s a real mixed bag. Like it or not, the closer you get to, say, 70 the odds you won’t have something like hypertension go to about zero regardless of diet or lifestyle. Our vasculature just wasn’t designed to function that long.

In the younger patients most are obese, diabetic, or both. Many I’ve seen never knew they were diabetic before we got the fist set of labs after admitting them.

In other anti-vax news…

FDA vaccine approval leads to blue states to order mass slaughter of govt employees and teachers Natural News, Tuesday
Mikey confabulates dystopian scenarios in which liberal cities collapse into “ghost towns”, engineered food shortages kill millions, violent gangs rules the streets and death camps finish off any survivors. Although the globalists aim for killing 7 billion, perhaps “we” can keep numbers at a mere one billion, if we start to fight back.

Since the economic crash of 2008-9, both Mike and Gary have predicted economic and societal collapse concentrated in cities, including a mass exodus to the countryside, gang takeovers and food shortages, necessitating individuals becoming farmers to stave off starvation and then bartering for goods amongst themselves. So far it hasn’t happened: the new census actually shows a shift towards cities and if housing prices are any indicator of popular sentiment and future trends, well, let’s just say that owning property near NY. LA or SF or owning stocks, has created wealth for middle class people, including many of my relatives and me.

Although their ulterior motives may involve frightening people into buying their supplements or “instructional” videos, I sense a deeper underlying thread: they advocate for a return to traditional values such as rural life, young people learning trades instead of going to universities and more family-based roles for women. Some of this isn’t explicit but they both extoll the halcyon days of the past before the rise of consumerism, careerism and elitism, that exemplifies modern society. Both of them glorify their experiences on family farms and small town life as a blueprint for young people today. Although they claim to value liberal or libertarian ideas, much of their spiels fit in neatly amongst right wing talking points. Null plays Tucker clips and Adams supports Trump.

-btw- if D. Bacon is a cartoon, then what is the name caller herself?

You’d expect Adams to be cheered by the thought of mass slaughter of government employees.

Without minions to carry out the government’s mass depopulation scheme, it’d fall flat.

Since the economic crash of 2008-9, both Mike and Gary have predicted economic and societal collapse concentrated in cities

And to thinkEscape from New York is 40 years old.

@ Kay West

You write: “Don’t believe me just look at an Epi-Pen, when the patent ran out the maker of Epi-pen lobbied to get the generic stopped. The maker of Epi-pen even got congress to require real Epi pens be required in schools. (Its even call the Emergency epinephrine Act of 2013) the generic version would cost about 35 dollars, the name brand cost over 300.”

As I wrote previously, even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily. And I actually mentioned Epi-pens in the articles written by me that I cited above. Yep, they cost about $10 to manufacture, in UK two cost $50, similar in rest of Europe. And, perhaps you forgot, that for a brief time the company increased price to $800 for two. In fact, if they were $50, after taking a Red Cross course on what to recognize and how to use them, I’d love to keep them at home. One never knows when anaphylaxis could occur. As for requiring them in schools, YEP YEP YEP. Kids can be stung by, for instance, a bee, would you prefer they die. Maybe you think it a waste to even have a nurse on school grounds???

Epipens were actually developed by grant from U.S. military, so company manufacturing didn’t spend millions of dollars developing and so, anyone could manufacture if they wanted to; but building facility and getting through FDA costs a lot. The bottom line is, as I wrote above, our government does have legal right to cap costs; but doesn’t. We live in that government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. But doesn’t change the fact of your assumption that committees vote on drugs and vaccines because “bribed” by industry.

So, we do agree on drug prices in U.S.; but, again, vaccines represent a low percentage of total sales of drugs around the world and you also confuse sales revenues with profits, not the same thing.

And recently there was a highly controversial FDA approval for a drug for Alzheimer’s that has evoked strong criticisms. How? Simple. All the data/studies for approval were posted on FDA website and numerous experts checked them out, etc. So, I’m not an expert on Alzheimer’s; but appears this was an FDA mistake. Why? Maybe, one committee really had too many “bribed” members, maybe another reason; but doesn’t prove your belief that almost all committees basically “bribed” in some way by industry. As usual, you and others like you, see world in black and white, all or none.

Note. as opposed to you, I, like magazine Science, am quite aware of problems as well as strong points in modern science. But without science, we would be far worse off. Bad science eventually is discovered and corrected by better science. Beliefs and positions like yours can’t be changed or, perhaps, in a few individuals with difficulty can be changed.

As for the Alzheimer drug, check out:

Pam Belluck and Rebecca Robbins (2021 Jul 20). .D.A. Approves Alzheimer’s Drug Despite Fierce Debate Over Whether It Works. The New York Times.

And the price is exorbitant; but again, whether it works or not not same as price.

When that whole fiasco went down, we switched all of our medics to vials and haven’t looked back. You can treat refractory anaphylaxis (fairly common) in the e backcountry or on a long transport with one vial, too, for a fraction of the cost.

“Pfizer is expected to make 80 billion in sales of its vaccine in 2021 and earn about 19 billion. It’s net margin is 22.43%.”

That net margin is after all costs (taxes, production etc.) and the 19 billion is on the vaccines only, not on their other drugs. So yes I do know the difference.

Joel
“First, you implied that drugs and vaccines were passed by committee because some members received funds from companies, now you imply that the same members vote against approving some drugs; but you still miss the main point that the majority of committee members either received NO funding or minimal funding.”

The members on the committees (according to the ‘Science’ research) did not benefit from their vote immediately but within 4 years. You don’t have to ‘bribe’ all 12 jurors in a court room you only have to bribe 1 or 2.
I really can’t fault the committee members, they are acting just like our military generals, or EPA, or Justice, or Department of Energy, who work for a regulator agency for 10-20 making all the right contacts and making the right decisions for a future employer. Hoping to land a job with 6-7 figures after retiring.

Joel
‘Imagine a steady rate of deaths, then suddenly it begins accelerating. A straight line would be highly inaccurate.’
‘The purpose of a CDC prediction is a basis for planning.’

The CDC prediction is not posted a week in advance but almost 10 days after. And yes a straight line would be inaccurate, and I would expect those numbers to vary from week to week. But the CDC is changing their prediction weeks after the fact (right now their predicted deaths from the first week in May have changed in the last week), why make a prediction in the first place. The CDC numbers that are posted are after the fact, in a fast moving pandemic the CDC should have daily numbers if you are to do any planning, by the time the CDC collects the data it is a week or 10 days old.

Joel

‘And there is NO such thing as a “legal” prediction.’

But yet companies (CEO etc.) can be prosecuted or sued in court over bad/wrong/fraudulent ‘guidance’ in their guidance report/conferences.

Joel

“Oh, our military makes predictions regarding military build-ups, possible scenarios of other nations and these change as new data/information comes in.”

Of course they change possible (future) scenarios based on new information, but that isn’t what the CDC is doing, they are changing their past scenarios, you just don’t get that. A spline will help plan the future, not correct the past.

Joel

“As for requiring them in schools, YEP YEP YEP. Kids can be stung by, for instance, a bee, would you prefer they die. Maybe you think it a waste to even have a nurse on school grounds???’

Yep and I want puppies and kittens to die with them You always tell me to get back on meds but with that statement you really need to seek some professional help. But actually most schools don’t have a nurse on school grounds, if you live in a rich school district you may have 1 nurse/healthcare worker for every 3 to 5 schools. If you had kids you would know that.

Narad, much as I hate to disagree (or agree with Kay) I do know that in my metro area there was a serious lack of school nurses, to the point that children with severe allergies were required to have a parent on campus at all times in case they needed their EpiPen. (Which is utterly bonkers on so many levels.) But I think it was only elementary schools, and it was a few years ago, so hopefully they’ve fixed that.

I do know that in my metro area there was a serious lack of school nurses, to the point that children with severe allergies were required to have a parent on campus at all times in case they needed their EpiPen.

Jeezums. I should have looked harder, thanks.

Joel forgot to add this.
Scott Gottlieb the former commissioner of the FDA joined the board of directors of Pfizer (this was in 2019).

But you know science…..

‘Almost every FDA commissioner in the last 40 years has joined the board of a drug or health-care company at some point after leaving the agency’

but of course there is no conflict of interest or getting mega bucks for your connections.

fill in your own heading.

washingtonpost.com/health/2019/06/28/former-fda-head-gottlieb-joins-pfizer-board/

@ Kay West

First, don’t ever use any drug approved by the FDA. With a little luck we will be rid of you. Second, of course, former Directors working for industry will try to use their influence; but, as I wrote, ALL the DATA/EVIDENCE is posted by the FDA and anyone can check it out. And once again, I guess because you are an extremely dishonest person, you assume that all the members of the advisory committees are like you.

Of course some people have conflicts of interest; but again, you have to assume that everyone is as dishonest as you. And again, please don’t use any drugs approved by the FDA.

As I wrote previously, you see the world in black and white, all or none. You are really a despicable excuse for a human being.

And I repeat for the umpteenth time. Not everyone is even close to being as dishonest as you. $800. I bet you would sell out for far less.

And you still refuse to admit that calling CDC liars was wrong. Even if you could have made a case that their analysis wasn’t accurate, doesn’t mean it was intentional; but, as with FDA, you assume everyone is as dishonest as you. And with the CDC analyses, you proved that you don’t even understand what they did and why.

Nard

82% of the school have either a part time or full time nurse
32% only have a part time nurse
18% have NO nurse.
Do the math.

Yet I am unbalanced.

Joel

I see your meds are kicking in as you repeated yourself a couple of times.

And wishing someone die is really sick.

You again inflate (much the same as your ego) what I posted.

“And once again, I guess because you are an extremely dishonest person, you assume that ALL the members of the advisory committees are like you.”

As I explained, you don’t have to reward all the members of a committee, just one or two.

“As I wrote previously, you see the world in black and white, all or none.” I think that’s called projection. As in ALL or none.

Again what the people in the FDA did and are doing is no different than what goes on in the military, DOJ, DOE, EPA etc. , that is former regulators in these agencies going to work for much larger pay checks for the very companies they were regulating. That is not illegal, but it is wrong/unseemly.

You wrote

“$800. I bet you would sell out for far less.”

Scott Gottlieb gets 300,000, plus stock options, for 4 to 6 days of work a year, sitting on the board of directors. Not a bad gig. He’s probably made more in the last two years than you or I have made in our life time.

Again if the CDC numbers were/are for planning. Why change past predictions of deaths/infections? Changing past predictions doesn’t aid in future planning, If their prediction was wrong, then obviously something was wrong in their methodology/numbers and of course they should correct those issues, but to go back in time and adjust their prediction when the numbers come in, they can then claim they were right in their prediction. That adds nothing to the prevention, guidance or planning.

Your issue is with Wall Street, not with the rest of us. They have a profit motive. No sh*t. This is a capitalist country. They have to answer to shareholders. Hate it that much? Move to Venezuela. You’ll get a real taste of that totalitarianism you rant on about so much.

“As I explained, you don’t have to reward all the members of a committee, just one or two.”

Like when you you offered free Chick-fil-A sandwiches to members of the public library’s book acquisition committee in return for stocking Melanie’s Marvellous Measles?

@ Kay West

First, I repeated myself because nothing I or others say seems to sink in with you.

And you continue to push Scott Gottlieb. I realize that if you can find one example it proves your point; but rational people know it doesn’t.

You write: “And wishing someone die is really sick.” It is you who ignore the evidence, the science, who rails against the CDC for being liars, against the FDA for being corrupt, who if people listen to you put themselves and family at risk. And I suggested since you don’t trust the FDA that you don’t use any FDA approved drugs. If you follow your own line of thinking, it will be you who may cause your own death. And, no, I won’t be sad; but am sad at all the innocent people who are sickening and dying because of antivaxxers like you. You are against vaccines; yet the current explosion of hospitalized cases find overwhelmingly among those NOT vaccinated. I guess you could care less. It is you who refuse to even explain what education or studying of, for instance, immunology, allows you to be against vaccines, etc. You are a perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, the less you understand, the more certain you are.

You write: “Again what the people in the FDA did and are doing is no different than what goes on in the military, DOJ, DOE, EPA etc. , that is former regulators in these agencies going to work for much larger pay checks for the very companies they were regulating. That is not illegal, but it is wrong/unseemly.”

Yep, I agree. Despite military leaders testifying before Congress that we didn’t need a new tank nor a new fighter jet, Congress authorized, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, money that could go for infrastructure and health care; but, again, the FDA posts all the data/evidence it bases its decisions on. The immediate criticisms from many highly qualified doctors regarding the recently approved drug for Alzheimers shows that FDA decisions can be challenged. You ignore this. But basically, you just don’t want FDA to approve vaccines, ignoring that because vaccines are given to healthy people, especially children, that various public health agencies in many other nations evaluate them and do follow-ups on safety and, again, your ignorance of how vaccines work, simply not understanding immunology. But, of course, in your view they are all corrupt and dishonest just like FDA and CDC. Yep, public health experts, epidemiologists, medical doctors, etc. don’t care about their citizens, their children, and blindly support vaccines, even lying. The entire world. So great we have you to set them straight. However, I agree basically with your statement. We should have strict laws that members of Congress, military, etc can not work for any industry that they would have dealt with for at least 10 years. Again, as I’ve written, even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily, so I agree. It isn’t just regulators, it is members of Congress, President’s office, etc. We have a corrupt society; but, again, the difference with the FDA is both that they post ALL the data/evidence and the majority members of the committees are not receiving large sums from industry. The paper covered four years.

I won’t bother to respond to your continuing ignorant critique of CDC predictive data. There exist a number of reasons for adjusting predictions, including simply to bring consistency to current based on more data, also showing how with more data, either the recent predictions were correct or not. I could think of several reasons; but you want to believe that people who support vaccines are dishonest, so nothing will dissuade you. For you they are liars, not just differing in their use of statistics. You are the expert. Please explain difference between normal distribution, Poisson, negative binomial and when they are used. Please explain splines.

As for your citing number of school nurses. Obviously you miss the point I made, that you seemed outraged that epipens were being given to schools. You wrote: “The maker of Epi-pen even got congress to require real Epi pens be required in schools” And actually, the statistics you give on nurses in schools shows that many have; but more are needed. My point was simply that you didn’t seem to think epipens were needed in schools, as if kids never experience anaphylaxis, so if something as simple as having an epipen, then indicates your lack of concern for the health of kids, that is, why bother to have nurses. You can’t have it both ways. The fact that an industry pushes it products and, yep, makes a profit, doesn’t say whether the product is valuable or not. Epipens in schools are valuable. And actually the fact that pharmaceutical companies do their utmost to get their products approved doesn’t say whether the products are valuable or not. Organic farmers try to get school districts to purchase their fruits and vegetable, and, yep, they make a profit, but I think more fruit and vegetables better than hamburgers and pizza.

As for conflict-of-interest. Everyone has conflicts-of-interest. What is important is how they act. Even someone who receives, for instance, research monies from industry, may vote against a drug. These are highly intelligent educated people. Think about it. If someone votes for a drug that is ineffective and/or harmful, then, unless in denial, they have to assume others do likewise, which means they and their loved ones cannot be certain about any medications and since they or their loved ones sooner or later will need some medications, it would be foolish to vote unscientifically. But, yep, some do; but you just keep wanting to believe the majority do, that is what makes you intellectually dishonest, seeing world in black and white. Even if you believe not every last member of advisory committees corrupt, you believe the majority is, otherwise drug/vaccine would not be approved.

You write: “You don’t have to ‘bribe’ all 12 jurors in a court room you only have to bribe 1 or 2.”

Thank you. You really are ignorant. Yep, you could bribe 1 or 2 to acquit; but not convict and the FDA committees need a majority vote and as I explained and you continue to ignore, the vast majority either received zero or $800 or less over a 4 year period. And $800 to reimburse travel, lodging, food, or as an honorarium is give nfor lots of things, e.g., giving a talk at a university. You have NO evidence to support that after 4 years those who received little or no funds then received additional funds; but have to believe it to support your position.

Why do you continue to refuse to give any of your background, e.g., profession, education, etc. In a previous exchange you stated I shouldn’t make comments on COVID because I have only read about 1,000 article when there have been over 500,000 (actually I now have 2,500); but when I asked what you base you comments about COVID and vaccines, that is, how many articles/papers you have read, no reply. I guess in your mind commenters should be a negative correlation, the fewer papers they read, the more valid their comments.

@ Kay West

One more thing about CDC past predictions. If they currently now use a methodology that is different from the past, e.g., splines not used until clear linear approach inaccurate or some other difference in methodologies, then, of course, they would go back and redo the statistics. If a lab used some antibody test to evaluate how many people had a disease, then a newer test proved more accurate, they may go back if lab samples still exist and retest in order to see if case rates changed. So what? According to you that would be wrong. But according to any sane scientist, done all the time.

John Stone, a rabid antivaxxer, posted on BMJ Rapid Responses data showing marked increase in Autism Spectrum Disorder cases in Northern Ireland. Of course, he either missed or ignored that the report clearly stated that current numbers can’t be compared to past because of major differences in methodology. Would it be wrong if they go back to earlier cases and see if using current methodology what the actual changes in ASD are? Well, yep, according to you.

@ Kay West

Once more, why would CDC change previous estimates:

First, present statistics, including estimates of excess deaths, are used both for deciding current and near future actions. Second, re-analyzing earlier estimates based on use of different methodology/statistics and/or incomplete data (incompleteness relative because will always be some delayed reports) can be used to see if current estimates indicate epidemic rising, staying steady, or declining. Simply if re-analysis shows higher rates, then epidemic may be declining. The CDC data has several purposes. And, as I wrote earlier, for instance, newer more accurate antibody tests or using current ASD methodology to look at previous data could be used to determine whether a disease actually has been increasing or whether ASD cases have been increasing. I’m sure you will ignore this. I am just one person; but I base what I write on the cumulative knowledge and current research on vaccines and my training and education. For you, the overwhelming majority of medical and epidemiological experts around the world are wrong or corrupt; but, of course, you with your “immense?” knowledge of immunology, epidemiology, etc. know they are wrong.

As for wishing your death. I have been against the death penalty since my preteen years. As a Jew, I would NOT have called even for execution of Adolf Hitler, just given him his three meals a day, yard exercises, and books to read; but if he had developed heart disease or cancer, simply supplied him with pain killers, not any interventions to prolong his life. I actually wrote a paper that discusses my position on the death penalty:

Joel A. Harrison (2019 Mar 20). Reader Editorial: Why I Am Against the Death Penalty. Available at: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/reader’s-editorial-why-i-am-against-death-penalty

However, if someone who has been arrested for drunken driving, drinks and drives and killed themselves, while they don’t deserve to die, their actions were responsible for their deaths. So, I wouldn’t shed a tear. If, however, they also killed or injured an innocent third party, I would look at their actions as abominable. You have made it absolutely clear that you don’t trust the FDA, so if you are consistent then you should be quite hesitant to use any FDA approved medication. And, if so, if you suffer, even die, NOPE, I won’t shed a tear; but as with the drunk driver, given your intellectual dishonesty, your continued comments against vaccines, especially the current Covid mRNA vaccines, which could result in naive third parties not getting vaccinated and possibly suffering actual Covid, I find you despicable.

I imagine you rely on VAERS; but as I’ve explained by analogy, after a crime the police may bring in a number of people for questioning. Maybe turns out that not one is the culprit; but if one uses antivax approach to VAERS then ALL those brought in would be considered guilty. Probably invent some conspiracy to explain how all involved. Antivaxxers also lie about only 1% reported to VAERS. Studies find, yep, only 1% of mild adverse reactions, e.g, sore arm, short term low grad fever; but 23% or more of serious adverse events. And the CDC has teams that any serious adverse event leads to investigation, including accessing actual medical records. Twenty years ago, within a few months of first rotavirus vaccine, cases of intussusception, a twisting in on intestines, were reported and after only a very few cases, CDC suspended vaccinations and then withdrew from the market. I disagree with that decision because far more cases of intussusception caused by actual rota virus, so to protect a few they sacrificed many more. In any case, the next rotavirus vaccine placebo-controlled clinical trials found NO cases of intussusception and they were based on 72,000 infants whereas the first rotavirus only 10 or 12,000, probably too small to detect a rare event. If someone reports a heart attack following, for instance, COVID vaccine, CDC will access medical records, look at rates of heart attacks prior to vaccine period and during. Since we know on average about 2,300 Americans have heart attacks daily, if during, say 10 day period, someone has a heart attack and reports it, we know that 23,000 on average would have experienced a heart attack and if medical record shows patient suffered from angina, i.e., partially obstructed arteries, then chance caused by vaccine almost null, except for antivaxxers.

You won’t but I suggest that rather than continuing to make a fool of yourself, you read an excellent little book on immunology: Lauren Sompayrac’s “How the Immune System Works (6th Edition).” Inexpensive and only about 160 well-illustrated pages; but it explains, without going into depth with biochemistry, etc as other 800 page texts I have, ALL that is necessary to understand vaccines.

And I have already explained that the current Covid mRNA vaccines were neither experimental nor rushed. Knowledge of mRNA is very strong. A number of previous work on developing mRNA vaccines has been done, only didn’t go on to clinical trials for lack of funding. The FDA requires animal studies, phase 1, phase 3, and phase 3 studies. Each written up, reported to FDA, then begin next. In the current case, the animal studies, phase 1 and 2 were not run sequentially but overlapping; but written up and reported as usual. The only ones at risk were those, myself included, who volunteered for phase 3.

From a recent article:

“EUA and full approval share similar first steps

For both emergency authorization and full approval, for COVID-19 vaccines, the FDA first requires initial safety studies on a small number of people. Here, researchers document potential adverse events, or side effects, that the vaccine may cause. Researchers also determine the safest and most effective dose of the vaccine.

Once the vaccine is determined to be safe and an optimal dose identified, researchers will create larger studies to ascertain how well it works in a controlled setting where some people are given the vaccine while others are given a placebo.

It is important to note that the number of people who participated in the initial COVID-19 safety studies was similar to that in the safety studies of other commonly used vaccines, including vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough and meningitis. Over 43,000 adults participated in the early phases of the Pfizer-BioNTech clinical trial, over 30,400 in Moderna’s and over 44,000 in Johnson and Johnson’s. Half the participants in each study were given a vaccine, while the other half were given a placebo

Where EUA and full approval differ

From this point on, emergency use authorization and full FDA approval for COVID-19 vaccines follow different clinical study requirements. For the emergency use authorization, the FDA requires at least half of the participants of the original studies to be followed for at least two months post-vaccination. This is because the vast majority of vaccine-related side effects occur right after vaccination.

Full FDA approval, on the other hand, requires participants in the original studies to be followed for at least six months. Reviewers look at data from the same study participants but collected over a longer period of time.”

Note states: “the vast majority of vaccine-related side effects occur right after vaccination.”

Jennifer Girotto (2020 Aug 23). What does full FDA approval of a vaccine do if it’s already authorized for emergency use? Available at: https://theconversation.com/what-does-full-fda-approval-of-a-vaccine-do-if-its-already-authorized-for-emergency-use-165654

And, disregarding VAERS, evidence from literally around the world testifies to the vaccines effectiveness and safety. NOPE, not 100% effective; but even with the DELTA variant, those vaccinated seldom hospitalized or died. And a few serious, though not deadly adverse reactions; but compared to the exponential numbers of those actually infected, a no-brainer, except for people like Kay West.

With Bossche vs the vaccine pushers, what we have is a person that is against mass vaccination and laying out the detailed scientific reasons why we shouldn’t vs the vaccine zealots essentially arguing — what choice do we have? Truth be told, the vaccination orgy is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction that has become an end in itself; and, if blaming all the farts on the unvaxxed serves this, then so be it!

I read your link about Bossche. His theory is based on asummption that COVID vaccines are leaky, that is they prevent symptoms but not transmission. This is simply not true. COVID vaccines prevent both,
It is just lots of infected people and a very mutable virus,

On school nurses, you tried to make a point without knowing the facts, and you were trying to score a point, I think Narad refuted your point.
And yes I still want all kids to died along with puppies and kittens. look up how many epi pens are used in school for kids with bee stings. The federal government would have been better off requiring epi pens in rescue squads (but there are more schools then rescue squads).

‘If they currently now use a methodology that is different from the past, e.g., splines not used until clear linear approach inaccurate or some other difference in methodologies, then, of course, they would go back and redo the statistics.”

And I would agree with you if that is what the CDC was doing was going back in time. Going back prior to September 2020 and re figuring the stats and using that information to make future predictions. But that isn’t what they are doing (they have not made adjustment prior to September 2020 and only making adjustments since that time).

Again could you make a bet on a sporting even after the game was played? If you were the CDC you could.

“but if he had developed heart disease or cancer, simply supplied him with pain killers, not any interventions to prolong his life.”

I think you borrowed that line from Obama, just give your grandma a pill.

I never said/claimed that I didn’t trust the FDA, I question the committee members that vote and get rewarded after their vote.
Much the same as I questioned James Maddis and his involvement with Theranos and government contracts.
As you said a simple majority vote at the FDA is required, again you don’t have to have all committee members (aka: 12 jurors) on your side, 1 or 2 swing votes will make a difference. and as the article in Science said,

‘Almost every FDA commissioner in the last 40 years has joined the board of a drug or health-care company at some point after leaving the agency’.

Again, you really don’t trust the government in most everything else that they do, except when it comes to ‘health issues’. The difference between you and me is, I don’t trust my government on anything.

You claimed to be well informed and now you have read over 2,500 publications on Covid (on this thread less than a week ago you claimed only 1,000, you are a speed reader or you inflated that number as well). Did you read Pfizer’s application for full FDA approval or did you just go with the flow?

I will make a prediction (just like the CDC).

You will not make one more (zero,zip,nada) post on this subject. Now if you do, post again, I get to change my prediction.

@ Kay West

Thank you for proving my points. First, anaphylactic shock not just caused by bee stings. Second, my point regarding school nurses was simply a logical guess based on your negative evaluation of company wanting epipens in schools. Simply, what level or non-level of immediate health care do you feel necessary in schools. If epipens sold two for $50 in U.S., even if rare, why not have available to school nurses? The price and whether worthwhile having NOT the same thing. And, as i wrote, majority of schools have full-time nurses; but I think ALL should have. Instead of responding to this, you think the actual statistics somehow defeats my points.

You just continue to twist what I write.

You write: “You claimed to be well informed and now you have read over 2,500 publications on Covid (on this thread less than a week ago you claimed only 1,000, you are a speed reader or you inflated that number as well). Did you read Pfizer’s application for full FDA approval or did you just go with the flow?”

Nope, haven’t read FDA papers for Pfizer, only Moderna as was and still am in their clinical trials; but have looked at numerous reports/papers on Pfizer vaccine, not just U.S.; but other nations. And, as opposed to you, once again, I have a firm grasp of the basics of mRNA, of the S-Spike Protein, and previous research on mRNA vaccines, plus the actual clinical trials conducted, and, again, the international studies on the vaccines. Nope, not a speed reader; but each article takes maybe 15 minutes. I mainly skim over introductions and look at method and result sections for articles on vaccines, read entire for origin, etc. So, 2,000 x 15 minutes equals 400 hours. Divide by 20 months = 20 hours per month or 5 hours per week. I live alone with a dog, sheltering-in-place, lots of free time, so 5 hours per week or 1 hour daily on average not a big deal. One more example of your ignorance, assuming someone can’t devote one hour per day to reading on a topic and actually on some days have spent even more time; but now am cutting back, probably one hour per two days.

But, wait, I guess I and others should just defer to what you write, especially given your enormous expertise. Nope. Not going to happen.

And you still won’t admit that it was wrong to call CDC liars, even if you disagreed with what they did; but, you assume if it didn’t give the results/data you want, then must be liars And you are still wrong about FDA committees, assuming that decisions based only some receiving various funding from corporations; but, if they had voted down on Covid vaccine, what would you say then? Even if they had still received travel expenses and honoriums? The majority either received zero or $800 or less. Again, if you think they voted based on this, projection of your own dishonesty. But, again, if you believe FDA advisory committees corrupt, how can you trust any medicine? Or, are they only corrupt regarding vaccines?

You write: “And I would agree with you if that is what the CDC was doing was going back in time. Going back prior to September 2020 and re figuring the stats and using that information to make future predictions. But that isn’t what they are doing (they have not made adjustment prior to September 2020 and only making adjustments since that time).”

As I wrote and you really are TOO STUPID to understand, each time they do their statistics, they look at the data they have in order to decide on what measures needed, not just future predictions, and future measures needed; but as time goes, more data comes in, the curve may change, increasing, rapidly increasing, tapering off, declining, etc., so, to, based on current data, to accurately determine curve, they go back and adjust previous based on data (case reports) that represent that period of time that came in later and depending on shape of curve, change the statistics used. YOU ARE JUST TOO DENSE OR JUST DON”T WANT TO ADMIT YOU ARE WRONG.

You are a disturbed individual who thinks, despite not understanding immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, and statistics, that you are certain you are right. What more can I say?

Since you think you understand statistics, please explain the following:

statistical significance, confidence intervals, and when each should be used
normal distribution, poisson distribution, binomial distribution, and when should be used
odds ratio vs relative risk

If epipens sold two for $50 in U.S., even if rare, why not have available to school nurses?

As I’m sure you know, they don’t, even as generics. The Orphan Drug Act has done nothing but screw patients over.

“We’re talking about a lifesaving product that costs a few dollars to make,’ says Schondelmeyer.”

It’s true – 633,000 dead in the U.S. are permanently immune to Covid-19.

Dangerous One, maybe. Yet, in the long-term,
employing inferior vaccines may pile them up even more — albeit, slower. Factor in the economic destruction and the other societal upheavals, you really start questioning whether there is any net gain. Of course, as it pertains to Pfizer, there net gain is never in doubt.

Another Afghanistan comparison? In respect to this study confirming what every unrepent, ‘vile’ antivaxxer sensed was correct, will history also prove that the Covid vaccination frenzy is on par with Biden exit blunder — times a billion?!

Seriously guys, you’re supposed to be smart; many of you hold multiple, advanced degrees! Yet, how can you keep f-ing up this badly?! Look! — I disagree with many antivaxxers who say you’re just all greedy, evil souls. I really see you guys as plain, stupid f-ups. What accounts for this? Is it hubris and wanting to prove your ‘intellectual brawn by becoming heroes that is constantly causing you to falter?

@Greg:

Yet, in the long-term, employing inferior vaccines may pile them up even more…

Even on its face, that’s ridiculous. As has been pointed out below, yes, you get better immunity from fighting off an infection, but only “if you survive”. From a risk perspective, it’s far safer to get vaccinated.

This is what becomes of only reading the headline. From that same piece:

“The bad news lies in the phrase “if you recover.” And even if you do, it may be a hard road. Another study from Israel found that, while it’s true that in rare cases vaccination can cause heart inflammation, COVID itself causes the same condition at a higher rate. In Israel, getting the jab led to an extra 2.7 cases of inflammation per 100,000 people versus 11 extra cases per 100,000 among COVID patients. There are also studies abroad floating around indicating that adults infected by Delta are more likely to have a severe illness than they were with previous variants, which may leave patients more susceptible to “long COVID.” In fact, despite more than half the population being vaccinated, the United States has more people in the hospital for COVID right now than it did a year ago at this time. And the great, great majority of them are unvaccinated.

Taking your chances with the virus is a high-stakes bet.”

Crap! – I just got to appeal to Orac about this latest Israel study proving natural immunity is –13 times!– more protective than Pfizer’s vaccine. Orac, everyone knows that in the interest of keeping this blog entertaining and informative, from time to time, I give you permission about interesting topics you should write about. Orac, for your next post, please lay it out bare about why it still makes sense to vaccinate against a virus the average person has a 99.8% chance of surviving and gaining overwhelming, lasting immunity than what is conferred by the vaccine.

@Greg Cuckoo4cocopuffs linked to similar study saying that vaccination is highly protective, and without the disease.
Try this calculation:
vaccine efficiency = breaktrough cases / number of vaccinated
natural immunity efficiency = reinfected / infected
relative efficiency = vaccine efficiency / natural immunity efficiency
If both are very effective, numerical difference can be very high, even if relative is not.

Cuckoo4cocopuffs linked to similar study saying that vaccination is highly protective, and without the disease.

And you keep missing an important point, or willfully ignoring it; there might be no way out of this pandemic ‘without the diseases’! What – we vaccinate the world with a leaky vaccine and hope the virus runs its course and taps out? Seriously-‘ how is that going so far, Aarno?

You have a calculation for me? How about you guys run a model of your own showing how much people we really would be saving in the long-term with a vaccine whose protection goes to shit after a few months, and while the virus continues to mutate into dangerous strains. Oh, the hubris!

All unvaxxed have not yet had COVID. There would be millions of deaths if this were true
Societal upheavals caused by vaccinations ? What are they ?

All unvaxxed have not yet had COVID

And, many have, Aarno. Aarno, Joel, Orac — heck, Dr Fauci — in lieu of the Israeli study showing that these folks have better protection than the vaxxed, what is the plan going forward? We continue to fire them and banish them from society unless they buckle to the vaccines? It really is remarkable the deafening silence that this study is getting.

And, for those nor paying attention, yesterday Israel reported more cases than at any point during the pandemic This is the vaccination forerunner, and one of the most vaccinated country in the world. If that’s not failure, I don’t know what is.

@ Kay West

One other explanation as answer to you writing: “And I would agree with you if that is what the CDC was doing was going back in time. Going back prior to September 2020 and re figuring the stats and using that information to make future predictions. But that isn’t what they are doing (they have not made adjustment prior to September 2020 and only making adjustments since that time).”

I know you won’t like this one. With phase 3 clinical trials for vaccines beginning and the hope they will succeed, perhaps, the CDC wanted to make sure the statistics were based on as much data as possible (case reports) and adjusted accordingly. And, nope splines not just for predictions. One could use splines to look at, for instance, previous epidemics/pandemics to make a more accurate evaluation of rate changes, etc. The world isn’t black or white. I don’t currently know anyone at CDC; but I certainly don’t automatically assume they are liars. That is what makes you a despicable person.

You write: “‘Almost every FDA commissioner in the last 40 years has joined the board of a drug or health-care company at some point after leaving the agency’.”

Yep. First question: “How did they become an FDA commissioner?” Expertise and/or political appointment. If mainly expertise, why wouldn’t a drug or health-care company want them on board? But, if based on expertise, why wouldn’t they use their clout to push something they are highly knowledgeable about. Oh, right, all or most prostitute themselves. And as I explained if they really do, which some do, unless truly ignorant, like you, or compartmentalizing, would have to realize if they do it, then others do it, then no drug can be trusted and sooner or later they and love ones will need some drug or drugs. I have NO doubt that there are a lot of dishonest/corruptable people in this world and there are also intellectually dishonest people like you; but there are also honest people and, as I’ve written above, the majority on the Advisory Committees don’t display a conflict-of-interest based on receiving research grants from companies nor large sums of money.

And just because you are a parent doesn’t mean your observations are correct. Otherwise, I could parade a lot of parents, many whose kids are classmates, who would present differing observations as well as those who would agree; but, of course, doesn’t matter because you are certain that your observations and experiences are the correct ones. Well, anyone who has studied even the rudiments of psychology understands that every individual, myself included, selectively perceives things and selectively remembers them. The main difference with me is that I continue to challenge these, part of my training, read a wide variety of articles and used to have a number of friends with kids. You have made it clear that you don’t believe in vaccines, especially the current Covid vaccines and even if down the line more and more stats show those vaccinated far less risk of serious illness and death, won’t change your beliefs. In my hometown we have had an explosion of hospitalizations, mainly Delta variant, and the overwhelming majority are unvaccinated, many now younger without serious comorbidities. And I don’t just get this from the newspaper. I have a couple of friends who are intensive care nurses who tell me about what is going on.

@ Greg

Low percentage of deaths is only one statistic. What about suffering of those hospitalized? What about long Covid?

Polio only killed a very small percentage, especially after invention or iron lung; but I doubt spending months, years, or even a life-time in an iron lung means polio not a serious disease and what about all those partially crippled or quadriplegics.

The 1965 Rubella epidemic only cause around 10,000 miscarriages and stillbirths; but about 20,000 children with congenital rubella syndrome (1 or more of: deafness, blindness, seizure disorders, mental retardation).

As for the Israel study: “This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection against the Delta variant.”

Note that the study still found some protection from the vaccine and if those who suffered from Covid were vaccinated afterwards, greater immunity. AlSo, those vaccinated had higher rates of hospitalization from Delta variant; but did NOT include in their study hospitalizations for those not vaccinated. Numerous other studies have found the overall rate of hospitalizations, even from Delta variant, overwhelmingly among non-vaccinated. Another thing not covered by the study was the degree of severity of those in study, including how long needed to be hospitalized and evidence of long covid. If compared with those unvaccinated or only one vaccine (included in study) the vaccinated still might have suffered, though need for hospitalization, lower severity. And, since Israel does have extremely high rates of vaccination, difficult to include unvaccinated. In other words, quite possible that far more unvaccinated would have been hospitalized and even died. I would rather get vaccinated, including upcoming booster, than an increased risk of a severe case, hospitalization, and long covid. And finally, not a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. The people who were vaccinated could have been at higher risk for other reasons. Quite simply the two groups may not have been comparable. You love to jump to conclusions: “Lastly, although we controlled for age, sex, and region of residence, our results might be affected by differences between the groups in terms of health behaviors (such as social distancing and mask wearing), a possible confounder that was not assessed.”

Gazit S et al. (2021 Aug 25 Preprint). Comparing SARS-CoV-2 natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity: reinfections versus breakthrough infections. medRxiv

oh I have to change my prediction using my boat building tools.

JOEL will post 2 more time on this subject line.

This prediction stuff is easy if you do it the CDC way, maybe I should go to Las Vegas or just do what I have been doing and by more Pfizer stock.

Well Scott Gottlieb while he is an MD. His previous job was as a hedge fund manager, so yes he was more than qualified, as were the past members.

As to your epi pen example, I just responded to your statement about bee stings. You keep moving your goal post in hopes that no one will notice.

You probably didn’t know this since you were reading you 80,000 page research on Pfizer vaccine that was submitted, that the various committees are made up of of a
cademicians and consumers and INDUSTRY reps so yes they are independent (well 1 out of 3). Oh wait there the answer all you have to do is get to the academicians and you have you’re 2/3 majority.

So help me understand, the FDA, CDC, oh heck, no one in the executive branch of government is required to get the vaccine but they demand everyone else get the vaccine or they can’t buy groceries . The average of those agencies is about 67%.

And no you can NOT understand what being a parent is like until you are one. Second hand information from others is not factual but hearsay but you should know that from your extensive reading in the law.

You are a tool and you don’t even recognize that.

“anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths”—about 220,000—”should not remain as President of the United States of America.” Joe Biden 22 Oct 2020
396,837 dead on 20 Jan when Biden took over 623,244 now, a difference of 226,407.

“right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.” Dr. Birx 7 April 2020 (in the state of Washington 7 people died from multiple gun shot wounds but were counted and covid because they tested positive for covid. Chicago was even worse, how many people died from heart attacks, copd etc. were counted as covid deaths because of a positive covid test.

It’s about power not truth and it never has been about truth

You are a lonely, lonely person in a world which has passed you by (age does that). The past year of self imposed isolation has made you even more so. You defend the indefensible because to admit the the CDC/Fauci/US government, were wrong on so many things (plexiglass shields, sanitizing hard surfaces, over use of hand sanitizers etc was wrong guidance) which would make you admit that you were wrong in defended them,

As someone said ‘sad for you’.

“right now that those if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death.” Dr. Birx 7 April 2020

Ah, yes, regurgitating the regurgitation of the Mises Institute from 16 months ago.

(in the state of Washington 7 people died from multiple gun shot wounds but were counted and covid because they tested positive for covid[)]

Citation needed. A real one, not the usual flies-on-shit inventory.

It’s about power not truth and it never has been about truth

Finally, a moment of self-reflection.

As someone said ‘sad for you’.

OK, then, time to return to Birx. Have fun, Manuel.

@ Kay West

You write: “oh I have to change my prediction using my boat building tools. JOEL will post 2 more time on this subject line.”

You really are SICK. So, you can post a comment; but I have NO right to respond???

You write: “As to your epi pen example, I just responded to your statement about bee stings. You keep moving your goal post in hopes that no one will notice.”’

I gave it as one example of what an epipen could be used for. You just continue to misrepresent what I write.

You write: “Well Scott Gottlieb while he is an MD. His previous job was as a hedge fund manager, so yes he was more than qualified, as were the past members.”

Great, now we know he was probably a political appointee, not given the position based on his qualifications. But, still, you assume that this means his influence is quite strong; but you continue to ignore that the Advisory Committees still had a majority not beholden to industry. And all the data/info used by the FDA is posted on their website where anyone who disagrees can base their disagreement on. Exactly what is happening with drug for Alzheimers and, who knows, may lead to FDA re-evaluating.

You write: “So help me understand, the FDA, CDC, oh heck, no one in the executive branch of government is required to get the vaccine but they demand everyone else get the vaccine or they can’t buy groceries . The average of those agencies is about 67%.”

I agree, makes them somewhat hypocrites; but doesn’t change the fact that the overwhelming majority around the world of epidemiologists, infectious disease doctors, and public health researchers, overwhelming, more than 95%, perhaps even higher find the vaccines quite effective and serious adverse reactions minimal. Oops! I forgot. Your incredible level of expertise outweighs everyone else’s????

However, you also apparently missed: “a vaccine mandate for federal employees states that they have to be regularly tested for the virus if they choose not to be vaccinated.” But, yep, hypocrites; but I have known people during my lifetime who claimed against drinking and driving who were arrested for drunken driving. Doesn’t mean their advice was wrong. Just one example; but feel free to twist it. Yep, advise not mandate.

How often need to be tested, don’t know; but not exactly all or none.

You write: “And no you can NOT understand what being a parent is like until you are one. Second hand information from others is not factual but hearsay but you should know that from your extensive reading in the law.”

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You just dug your hole way deeper. I didn’t say my knowledge. I said just talking to people, reading what people say, etc. that what you claim a parent should experience is just one more example of your insane belief that your “knowledge” and experience must be correct. You don’t have selective perception and memory. Of course not. You aren’t even human. I simply repeated what any normal open-minded person understands, that is, people perceive and experience things differently. But, if they differ from you, of course, you are right and they are wrong.

You write: “You are a lonely, lonely person in a world which has passed you by (age does that). The past year of self imposed isolation has made you even more so.”

Leonard Sugarman said I should control my temper; but your switching from defending your indefensible position just shows what an absolute dishonest lowlife you are. There are, in history, numerous examples of people who did not socialize much and yet made major contributions. As you challenged how many papers I have read; but base your position on a minimal reading and NO understanding of the underlying sciences behind vaccines, you are SICK SICK SICK. Trying to avoid actually explaining why you think you are right, compared to overwhelming scientists around the world by turning into whether my life style effects my knowledge is just disgusting, which you are. No, don’t really feel lonely; but sad as have outlived ALL my childhood friends, some going back 63 years, and outlived most friends I’ve made even as adult. Still have a few; but most in Europe. Phone too expensive, so e-mail. Sad is NOT the same thing as lonely. And I keep busy. Currently editing next edition of undergraduate microbiology book for a colleague. Donate plasma every four weeks, based on having received mRNA vaccine, blood bank tests for covid antibodies and mine quite high, so use each donations plasma for up to four hospitalized covid patients, reading book Leonard Sugarman and I discussed, Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate,” reading articles on covid, walk my dog a mile twice daily, spend 1/2 hour on stationary bike and three days a week do lite weight-lifting. May eventually rejoin YMCA. If so, will also swim, probably build back up to 1,500 yards, 60 laps, free-style, not super fast; but good stroke, don’t life head above water, and flutter kick keeps me horizontal. So, I keep busy and do talk on phone with few remaining friends alive in U.S. There are people who are surrounded by other people; yet feel lonely. You are too stupid to understand that maybe you would be lonely in my situation; but not everyone is you.

You write: ““anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths”—about 220,000—”should not remain as President of the United States of America.” Joe Biden 22 Oct 2020 396,837 dead on 20 Jan when Biden took over 623,244 now, a difference of 226,407.”

What you ignore is that the deaths through January 20, many because Trump literally not only downplayed the pandemic; but did little, e.g., allowing states to bid against each other, downplaying masks (despite numerous peer-reviewed studies finding they reduce risk, not eliminate, etc.). Biden took office in a nation that isn’t a nation. We have States that are cooperating and States that aren’t. And the highest current covid hospitalization is in non-cooperative states and counties. Biden doesn’t have the political power to declare martial law. So, what is he to do? The governor of Florida literally ordered that school districts can’t require masks, whereas other States are requiring or at least supporting. There is a difference between Trump and Biden. Biden is trying to do what science calls for. Trump totally ignore science. Oh, your hero???

You write: “You defend the indefensible because to admit the the CDC/Fauci/US government, were wrong on so many things (plexiglass shields, sanitizing hard surfaces, over use of hand sanitizers etc was wrong guidance) which would make you admit that you were wrong in defended them.”

Many microbes, including viruses, are known to be transmitted both as aerosols and from fomites, inanimate objects. So, yep, in the beginning of the pandemic, they did call for extensive disinfection, etc. As more and more info developed, they came to conclusion that COVID-19 not transmitted via fomites. So, you think they should have waited until more data. If they did and fomites, as in previous infections, were major cause, deaths would go up. It is a difference between basing decisions on what we know and then adjusting as more info develops than just doing nothing.

I don’t feel sad for you. I feel contempt.

I wish Orac would chime in. If he agrees with you, then I will accept that. Or, if would be nice if a few others following this conversation would chime in, not Greg, who makes you seem almost sane.

p.s. didn’t answer any of my questions about epidemiology. Come on, you’re the expert.

Now time to go in backyard with my dog and play with frisby. He is Australian Shepherd I got from rescue group, getting old like me; but still pretty good at catching frisby.

Oh no the CDC, oh excuse me, just my prediction will have to change. JOEL will not post more than 3 posts to this thread, you can ignore my previous posts about, no posts or 2 posts. And you can all change your wagers in Las Vegas.

As for your post about extensive disinfection, maybe they should have waited, at least until they had some data to post a guidance, as they had a real science study that the Covid was an airborne virus in March of 2020. But it was probable better to scare everyone to lysoling/bleaching everyone and everything ( there is a viral video of a woman pushing a shopping cart with a baby in the cart and she is so scared she is spraying lysol in front of the cart as she pushes it down the isle or the Iowa waitress who soaks bills in lysol each bill to prevent covid spread) and putting up climate destroying plastics around everyone for no good reason and the trillions of ineffective disposable masks that are polluting our oceans), should have been a crime.

you can fill in the header.

‘those anti-covid plastic barriers probably don’t help and may make things worse’

nytimes.com/2021/08/19/well/live/coronavirus-restaurants-classrooms-salons.html

but consensus science is all the rage.

‘I wish Orac would chime in. If he agrees with you, then I will accept that. Or, if would be nice if a few others following this conversation would chime in”

So once again you appeal to the crowd to come to your defense. You are a troll and a bully and when someone stands up to you, you claim victim hood and want help, this isn’t the first time you have done this and probably won’t be the last time. A person that is true or correct to their conviction doesn’t need the crowds help, Argumentum ad populum

I am not even close to Albert Einstein but ……..

“Why 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough! – Albert Einstein”

Do you know why there is a consensus in any (fact based) part of daily life? It’s because it is the viewpoint that most accurately reflects reality.

Much like the old joke about running away from bears. You don’t need to be 100% accurate, just more accurate than all the rest. This pretty much demonstrates the process by which consensus is developed too. Those theories lagging behind, limping along on a broken leg made of wrong assumption and poor analysis, get eaten by the critics. Ground into dust and forgotten as more evidence becomes available.

I am not even close to Albert Einstein but ……..

… I will barf up an unattested aphorism all the same. Can’t win for losing, KW.

@ Kay West

You write: “‘I wish Orac would chime in. If he agrees with you, then I will accept that. Or, if would be nice if a few others following this conversation would chime in”
So once again you appeal to the crowd to come to your defense. You are a troll and a bully and when someone stands up to you, you claim victim hood and want help, this isn’t the first time you have done this and probably won’t be the last time. A person that is true or correct to their conviction doesn’t need the crowds help, Argumentum ad populum”

No, I don’t appeal to the crowd; but given you don’t believe me and I base what i write on an extensive education and experience over 50 years, nothing I say will change your mind, just like nothing will change the minds of the vast majority of those who believe in QAnon.

You write: “As for your post about extensive disinfection, maybe they should have waited, at least until they had some data to post a guidance, as they had a real science study that the Covid was an airborne virus in March of 2020. But it was probable better to scare everyone to lysoling/bleaching everyone and everything ( there is a viral video of a woman pushing a shopping cart with a baby in the cart and she is so scared she is spraying lysol in front of the cart as she pushes it down the isle or the Iowa waitress who soaks bills in lysol each bill to prevent covid spread) and putting up climate destroying plastics around everyone for no good reason and the trillions of ineffective disposable masks that are polluting our oceans), should have been a crime.”

First, actual research shows that those disposable masks do reduce the risks from covid, not completely; but they help. As for waiting until they had more info, as I explained we know that most diseases that spread through aerosols also can be transmitted via fomites. The fact that some overreact means what? If it had turned out that, as many other diseases, covid was transmitted by fomites and we did nothing and had, say, one million or more deaths, that would be OK??? Yep, you have 20/20 vision in hindsight. But I agree that explanations could have been better; but you forget that Trump was doing everything possible to undermine scientists and put a man in charge of the CDC, not because of his expertise; but because he was an evangelical Christian, so, it was difficult to get a clear message out. I wonder what you would be saying if they had said nothing and it turned out that we had far more deaths??? As for masks in the oceans, yep, we could have done a better job of trying to get people to dispose of them better.

I think I said it before; but I could care less about you. Having lived a long life, for instance, I started looking at info on climate change 40 years ago, reading just about every article in Scientific American, some in Nature and Science Magazine, UN Committee reports, half dozen books, and watched almost all documentaries; yet nothing was done and now we are past the tipping point. In addition, all the plastics being dumped in the ocean, many are disintegrating into microscopic particles, some having toxins attach to them and getting into us, others, together with the acidification of the oceans from trying to absorb CO2 is killing the phytoplankton that makes 80% of world’s oxygen. I have also seen how U.S. has 4% of world’s population and 25% of prisoners, how up to 100,000 totally innocent and we have a justice system that bends over backwards not to admit errors. On a per capita basis we have highest murder rate and highest mass murder rate among technologically advanced democracies. We have voter suppression, racism, and a long history of antiscoience. Early on I decided I didn’t want children and was right. I don’t envy the world the next generations will live in. And the U.S. has killed over 20 million innocent people in Third World nations, not fighting communism; but, for instance, overthrowing Iran’s democracy and ending up with rights to 40% of its oil. Yet, despite all this I have, when younger been involved in trying to stop spending trillions to kill people in third world and ruin lives of people in this nation, to spend money helping poor in other nations and in this nation. So, responding to you, not really you; but just seeing you as a representative of much that is wrong in this world, people who believe in QAnon, people who think they know more that people around the world who have literally spent decades learning and working in science. Since I can’t do anything to change the above, responding to you is just an exercise in futility.

Yep, if we acted as you think we should have, not based on what we know about epidemics. Well, as I said you are great with 20/20 vision

As for asking Orac to chime in, given you are so certain you are right, what is wrong with that? Of course, if he agrees with you and explains why, I will reconsider; but if he agrees with me, according to you he is just one more ignoramus or sell-out.

And again, you can’t even admit that your perception of your parenting is based on perceptual biases and memories, nope it is absolutely objective.

And, again, not once have you indicated the least understanding of immunology which is the basis of vaccines; yet, you are certain the mRNA vaccines are wrong. Can you also walk on water, not lakes in winter???

@ Kay West

There is a chasm of difference between me and you. You are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU ARE RIGHT; YET do not understand the basics of vaccines.

While I have a high level of confidence in my position, it isn’t absolute because science is methodology, while can be wrong, the methodology leads to improvements in knowledge. So, despite understanding mRNA, S-Spike protein, and mRNA vaccines, having read the peer-reviewed articles, etc. if new data, based on solid methodology (something you don’t understand) finds problems with the vaccines, I won’t jump to conclusions; but am willing to change my mind; but that is because I am only human; not having absolute certainty about anything.

But, of course, if 10,000 scientists agree on something; but you disagree, and I carefully evaluate the basis for their agreement, then I am a troll and a bully. Yep, your calling me a lonely old man, disparaging my education, training, and the umpteen hours I have put into following the Covid pandemic makes me a troll and a bully, what does that make you???

Given your absolute certainty, have you ever thought of starting the Church of the Divine Kay???

So again I will have to change my prediction on how many post you will write, I predict 5 post.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
August 19, 2021 at 12:42 pm
And you probably didn’t notice or ignored that several other commenters have stated after Orac my comments are among the best and they have quoted some of them.

Again with Argumentum ad populum, your ego is so fragile that when it is challenged it needs public support.

JOEL
“we did nothing and had, say, one million or more deaths, that would be OK??”
and once again your, reduction ad absurdum. and where in all your learned documents were you able to come up with 1 million, the same place you get most of your ego driven statements?
so yes I still want kids and puppies and kittens to die along with the 1 million people you just cited.

Just a side note, if this virus is so deadly and so transmittable that we must wear mask, why aren’t there hazardous waste site/cans that we can take these bio hazards to properly disposed of, should people be in federal jail for casually disposing of them, shouldn’t the EPA, CDC etc be addressing the issue. I am sure that the illegal disposing of those masks leads to more infection and probable thousands of deaths.

JOEL
“There is a chasm of difference between me and you. You are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU ARE RIGHT; YET”
I don’t claim absolute certainty that anything is correct, even Fauci takes that position, but you and your ego are certain that you are correct.

More proof that the vaccine is becoming ineffective (if it was really effective in the first place). A just released report (20 Aug 2021)from the Public Health England.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1012644/Technical_Briefing_21.pdf

‘SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England’

page 23.

Total Deaths……………………..1189
One dose less than 21 days ……14
One does more than 21 days……90
Two dose more than 14 days……679
Unvaccinated………………………390

About 48 million Brits have had the vaccine (about 78%) doesn’t look like the vaccine prevented deaths as we were told/promised they would.

JOEL
“but if he agrees with me, according to you he is just one more ignoramus or sell-out.’

Talk about seeing things in black and white, that was a little projection on your part.
I believe that Orac is a good doctor I disagree with several of his positions, he has changed his position on things (Warp Speed vaccine, the study published in Lancet on Hydroxychloroquine to name two).

And he has changed my mind on positions as well. I do not wish him ill will.I never have called him any derogatory names. It’s people like you that have lead to the violent rhetoric (on both sides, ‘when they go low, we go lower’) I need not repeat what derogatory/belittling names you have called me (and other who disagree with you). The inevitable conclusion to that rhetoric is the shooting of Steve Scalise (and others) or Floyd Corkings a the Family Research Council. I’ve had to resort to cutting a pasting your past statements as you post so much (much of it off topic) that you can’t remember what you posted or claim you never posted things.

But remember no more that 5 posts, the CDC , oh I forgot, I am tired of changing my prediction.

“Just a side note, if this virus is so deadly and so transmittable that we must wear mask, why aren’t there hazardous waste site/cans that we can take these bio hazards to properly disposed of, should people be in federal jail for casually disposing of them, shouldn’t the EPA, CDC etc be addressing the issue. I am sure that the illegal disposing of those masks leads to more infection and probable thousands of deaths.”

Wrong.

“The types of masks used to control COVID-19 can also be safely discarded because the coronavirus doesn’t spread or survive easily on surfaces…It’s spread mostly through respiratory droplets carried through the air or by contact with hands.”

“Even surgical-style or N95 masks used by the general public can be safely discarded by putting them into a plastic bag and throwing them into the trash, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.”

http://politifact.com/factchecks/2021/jul/22/facebook-posts/why-masks-covid-19-dont-need-go-biohazard-bins/

@ Dangerous Bacon

Thanks, your comment always welcome. I sometimes explain things not in plain English? I did explain in an earlier comment to Kay West that, in beginning based on what we know about microbes that transmission via fomites, which masks are, was a distinct possibility; but, as with everything else I write, she either ignores, twists/distorts, etc. And even if, in beginning, masks thought to be contagious, simply place inside two plastic bags well-tied would have sufficed.

As a non-Kosher Jew, you are my favorite PORK.😀

@ Kay West

You write: “So again I will have to change my prediction on how many post you will write, I predict 5 post.”

So, once again, according to you, I have no right, should not, respond to your comments. You really are SICK!

You write: “Again with Argumentum ad populum, your ego is so fragile that when it is challenged it needs public support.”

You really are STUPID.. Given nothing I say will change your mind; but I am open to additional scientific data, according to you I should just accept what you or I write. Of course, this makes actually sense given you base your position on little to no study of the sciences underlying vaccines and little to no reading of the reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, etc. You even criticized me for claiming how many I read; but no reply when I explained easily done with one hour per day’s reading. And even if it took a half hour per article, which it didn’t, though some did, would have meant 2 hours per day. Well, as you are well aware, I live alone, and have lots of time on my hands. Don’t own a TV, don’t subscribe to cable TV. I guess when a doctor makes an initial diagnosis, then sends to lab for follow-up, and, maybe even consults with another doctor, means he has a fragile ego???

You write: ” don’t claim absolute certainty that anything is correct, even Fauci takes that position, but you and your ego are certain that you are correct.”

I just explained that I have a relatively high degree of confidence; but never certain. Just additional proof you ignore what I write and/or too stupid to understand it.

You write: “More proof that the vaccine is becoming ineffective (if it was really effective in the first place). A just released report (20 Aug 2021)from the Public Health England. . . About 48 million Brits have had the vaccine (about 78%) doesn’t look like the vaccine prevented deaths as we were told/promised they would.”

While alarming, certain caveats that you would ignore and/or not accept. First, the majority of those vaccinated were senior citizens and/or those with serious comorbidities. So, what would be the death number without a vaccine? If you look in the Table just above, it gives number of emergency room visits and admitted for those =50. The number for those =50 and I would bet most <50 had not been vaccinated, so, they survived; but how many now with long covid? And how many would have died before they developed effective treatments? If same numbers had been vaccinated or unvaccinated at outbreak of pandemic, everything I’ve read indicates the deaths of the unvaccinated and the long covid would have been exponentially higher. However, I appreciate your finding this info. I will now monitor the UK data more closely and see if they do follow-ups. If it turns out the vaccine isn’t doing as well as one would expect, as opposed to you, I will find that depressing because everything else we know about COVID-19 indicates it would be responsible for far more deaths and long covid. And currently the data from my hometown where hospitals are being overwhelmed by Delta variant cases has so far found about 99% unvaccinated, though deaths in both groups much lower than first advent of pandemic because we now have successful treatments. And one of those treatments is using convalescent plasma, both from covid survivors and from vaccinated, including myself. So, my getting vaccinated may somewhat protect me; but allows me to help others. Are you really hoping the vaccine will fail? Probably yes.

You write: “I believe that Orac is a good doctor I disagree with several of his positions, he has changed his position on things (Warp Speed vaccine, the study published in Lancet on Hydroxychloroquine to name two).”

Yep, he is a good doctor, including a PhD in immunology, and he did change his position on the vaccine because, knowing much more about immunology than I do, he followed the vaccine development, the clinical trials, the follow-up reports around the world, etc. Yep, he changed his position as more data and studies came in; but you have never wavered, and jump at anything that confirms your position. If additional studies show the vaccine failing, even with booster, I will change my position; but it will sadden me because, as opposed to you, I actually understand how vaccines work and the history of vaccine-preventable diseases. And the result will be more hospitalized cases, long covid, and deaths.

And Leonard Sugarman was right to advice me to keep my temper. However, you ignore that early exchanges with you and others did NOT include cuss words; but when you and others literally distorted/twisted, ignored what I wrote, when you refused to give even the basis of why you think you know more than 98% of experts around the world, gets tiresome.

And you end with: “But remember no more that 5 posts, the CDC , oh I forgot, I am tired of changing my prediction.”

Yep, you feel free to post as much as you want, maybe believe if you get the last word you win.

So, I will try to resist any further posts until additional studies/data come in. I will try???

Feel free to lie, twist, distort, ignore what I wrote, including about the UK data, your modus operandi.

Oh, by the way, one last thing, your quote from Einstein: ““Why 100 authors? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough! – Albert Einstein”
I tried to find the context; but couldn’t; however, the history of science has found that overwhelmingly what the vast majority of scientific research finds has stood against occasional critics. Only a handful of times have individuals overturned the established science, including 19th Century discoveries of microbes being the cause of disease. And even several of Einstein’s theories were only seen as theories until actual measurements proved him right: “One hundred years ago, on May 29, 1919, astronomers observed a total solar eclipse in an ambitious effort to test Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity by seeing it in action. Essentially, Einstein thought space and time were intertwined in an infinite “fabric,” like an outstretched blanket. A massive object such as the Sun bends the spacetime blanket with its gravity, such that light no longer travels in a straight line as it passes by the Sun.” If the measurement found otherwise, it would have been the end to one of Einstein’s theories; but not the others, though, if you didn’t like Einstein in general you would have assumed ALL his theories wrong. Well, vaccines are not theoretical. We have 10s of thousands of epidemiological studies, thousands of studies of immune system and vaccines, etc. Typical how you find a quote, without context, and jump on it.

But I am certainly not an Einstein and certainly, again, don’t claim absolute certainty; but, until strong data and studies, not one or two papers, result in findings that mRNA vaccines are failing, I’ll stick with the vast majority of scientists. And I doubt Einstein would have considered someone like you being the one who would have been enough! ! ! However, as you have made clear, I am a troll, living in a cave or the like; but even troll’s nowadays can access the internet.

Thank you for the link.
embedded in the link was this

“Links to Hazardous Waste Programs and U.S. State Environmental Agencies”
‘State regulatory requirements for generators may be more stringent than the federal program.’

Go thru the various states, the restriction have numerous listings such as ‘Hazardous waste management, medical waste, etc.
and to my original point how many people put the mask in a plastic bag to throw them away, let alone sanitize their hands after wearing the mask. We’re lucky if people throw them in a trash can.

Your site (and links) did show that all the plastic shields and over sanitizing was unnecessary, and you didn’t pick up the little sarcasm in that paragraph (I probably should have used Joel’s line ‘1 Million’)

@ Kay West

I often see people not wearing masks and then people wearing masks in their cars with windows rolled up. I take mask with me when I go shopping, pull into parking lot, then put on mask to go into store. So, yep, people often overdo things.

And, you conflate problems with mask disposal with effectiveness in reducing risk of being infected and infecting others. But, as i wrote, and you ignore, I agree that message from governments, Federal, States, etc, was inadequate. Since studies have found even on fomites that covid doesn’t last more than a couple of days,during which its transmissibility diminishes, what I have learned about hazardous wastes, probably could put inside two plastic bags, well-tied, keep a couple of days in garage, then throw in trash can. However, in my hometown there are several municipal dump sites for hazardous waste, not too long a drive, so, if it had been necessary, I simply would have kept used masks in garage in double plastic bags, then, perhaps, monthly drove to hazardous waste dump, same day to do my shopping. And the government could have arranged for other options. As I explained, Trump sabotaged early interventions, including making things difficult at CDC, and, given the U.S. is NOT one nation; but many legal entities, a polarized nation with a long history of many, not all, emphasizing individual rights over any sense of community, more than most other nations, we will probably always experience higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths, regardless of political leadership, though worse with some,

I would bet if another variant, a much more deadly, of COVID spreads, which it could, many would not believe it and the death rate, despite treatments that work would increase substantially, Right now, with the Covid Delta variant we are finding more and more hospitalized in their 40s and even younger, though so far Delta has only been found to be much more transmissible; but not more deadly. Time will tell.

And once more, you conflate effectiveness of masks with problems how the are disposed of. Typical of you

We’re lucky if people throw them in a trash can.

Where they will doubtlessly be mistaken for food by the homeless.

The only upshot to this one is that you regurgitated an antivax FB meme, KW, and it’s very amusing.

@Key West What has waste disposal to do with protective efficiency of masks ? Mask catch viruses and they die fast on the surface. Thus masks are effective (they catch viruses) and can be safely disposed (viruses do live long on them),
Btw, if masks are useless, why surgeons use them ?

@ Kay West

I am in my mid-70s, problems with arthritis and mild idiopathic peripheral neuropathy in my feet (some nerve damage, cause unknown); yet I walk my dog one mile twice daily. I usually carry 3 biodegradable poop bags that come on rolls of 200 for $16. I always pick up after my dog, even carry small flashlight if dark out to make sure I get it all. Often, when I get home find dog poop on my front lawn, sometime 4 or 5. The majority of dog owners are responsible and pick up after their dogs. It is what responsible dog owners do. It is the decent thing to do and, though not enforced, they could be fined several hundred dollars. The point is that even if our government clearly explained how to dispose of masks, just put in trash container, not contagious, some people would still discard. In fact, when walking my dog, sometimes see masks on sidewalk or in street; but also plastic water bottles, pizza boxes, etc. As I wrote, the U.S., though many good people, has the largest, hopefully, minority of people who have little to no sense of community.

I have thought of putting up a fence; but I love dogs and don’t want to deny the responsible dog owners another lawn they can use; but eventually, as I get older, picking up after others may just get to be too much.

And just to repeat myself, the effectiveness of masks in reducing risk of infection is separate from how some people dispose of them. Better messages from governments should help; but those who don’t pick up after their dogs probably won’t properly discard masks.

JOEL

“So, once again, according to you, I have no right, should not, respond to your comments. You really are SICK!”

Satire/sarcasm/mockery is completely over your head. I am making prediction just as the CDC makes predictions, then after you make a new post I change my prediction.

You can’t really be that dense can you?

and I believe it was you who said that Orac should ‘ban me from posting’, I have no issues with you posting as much as you wish.

so once again the Dr. has failed to see himself as a patient.

JOEL

“Well, as you are well aware”

We are all well aware of everything that has gone on in you life, from you surgeries, your medical history, your childhood, your failed love life (and the blond Swedish teachers), your work in Sweden, your time in Canada, your marching with civil rights workers, your endless letters to the editors, the infinite number of books/journals/magazines/research papers and writing on the outhouse walls, “I am in my mid-70s, problems with arthritis and mild idiopathic peripheral neuropathy in my feet (some nerve damage, cause unknown).
Do you think that RI is the family that you wish you had, I can understand why you have never gotten married, much less had children.

JOEL
“ knowing much more about immunology than I do,”

at least you admit there is someone who is more learned than you……

JOEL
‘but you have never wavered, and jump at anything that confirms your position.”

but I have, you’re just too arrogant to see or understand and you try to impinge/discredit/malign any source/study I cite, even the Lancet/Science/Orac and even history, et al.

JOEL

“literally distorted/twisted, ignored what I wrote, when you refused to give even the basis of why you think you know more than 98% of experts around the world,”

So we are back to consensus science and the 98% sound like the much discredited 97% of climate scientist. Can you please cite your source for that 98% or once again is that a made up fact for you. I have to post what you write/scribble so that people know I am not making up or distorting/twisting, what I respond to you.

JOEL

“I simply would have kept used masks in garage in double plastic bags, then, perhaps, monthly drove to hazardous waste dump, same day to do my shopping. And the government could have arranged for other options.”

you really believe that 7 billion people would do this? And you didn’t say this is what you DID you just “would have done” or “perhaps”. You did what every white liberal did, throw their masks in the trash and waited for some person of ‘color’/lower class pick up the garbage.

So let’s recap, me/CDC think/predict that you will post 9 times on this thread.

Did your posse get lost?

So we are back to consensus science and the 98% sound [sic] like the much discredited 97% [sic] of climate scientist.

Why am I not surprised that KW also subscribes to AGW denialism?

CT are served from a buffet, not from a menu. Buffets promote excess consumption of low quality product.

So Joel got one member of his posse to write, ‘good job’

“Abstract

We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

Methodology

In March 2012, we searched the ISI Web of Science for papers published from 1991–2011 using topic searches for ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’.”

of 11,994 papers

3,896 papers or 32% of the papers examined. 97% said AGW

but 7930 papers of 66% gave no position.

So your position that 97% of climate scientist believe in AWG is only off by about 69%

Do you even read your own quoted research?

iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

And the question still stands where did the 98% of the scientist number comes/came from.

Do you even read your own quoted research?

iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

What, for the love of G-d, are you babbling about? I quoted you, to point out the “much discredited” line (and your problems with noun-verb agreement).

You did what every white liberal did, throw their masks in the trash and waited for some person of ‘color’/lower class pick up the garbage.

Streets & Sanitation jobs offer pretty good pay where I’m from. But what did “white conservatives” do, KW? Save them up and sell them on eBay?

Kay
‘We are all well aware of everything that has gone on in you life…..Do you think that RI is the family that you wish you had?”

Dog poop in your yard? We really didn’t need the visual on that.

We have dogs, cats, sheep, goats, steers, cows, heifers ,bulls, horses, antelope, deer, prairie dogs, eagles, hawks and god know what else poop in our yard, the only ones that brag about it are the bulls (bulls*%t). (that last one was humor, and I had to explain it for you but again …… sad for you.)

Since you own your own yard and you are such a rich liberal why not have a homeless camp in your yard (I mean if you really cared), that would keep the dogs from pooping in your yard.

Actually, I answered on Twitter on Friday:

https://twitter.com/gorskon/status/1430982488462086157

Whether a post is indicated, I don’t know, given that Vanden Bossche simply denies saying things that he did in fact say and waves his credentials as a veterinarian around as somehow superior to mine. Particularly hilarious coming from him:

I never stated that vaccines are ineffective, dangerous and that they make the vaccinated dangerous to the unvaccinated as Gorski pretends.

That’s exactly what he’s been saying, particularly lately when he’s been saying that the vaccines are increasingly ineffective.

For what it’s worth, seems like Bossche has responded Orac. Hey Orac, why don’t you agree to his offer to debate? What — you don’t debate ‘cranks’?! Oh, but you do Orac. Isn’t that what you are doing with these blogs? Only it’s not a honest debate; it amounts to you not stepping in the ring with a ‘crank”, but walking in to face a negative caricature of him, and, with no ref, you poceed to whail away at it and as your self-appointed cheerleaders root you on. ‘Go Orac! The kid has moves!’

PS: In case anyone gets any ideas, I have no connection with Bossche and I am also not here to ‘root’ him on. I will also admit I don’t fully grasp some his arguments. Those that I do though leads me to believe that there is merit to his concerns. In any event, where is the harm in Orac sitting down with Bossche to debate him, rather than resorting to this hateful, ad-hom rant!

https://www.geertvandenbossche.org/post/response-to-attacks-from-dr-david-gorski

Actually, I answered Vanden Bossche’s “critique” on Twitter on Friday in a thread:

https://twitter.com/gorskon/status/1430982488462086157

Whether a full post is indicated, I don’t know, given that Vanden Bossche simply denies saying things that he did in fact say and waves his credentials as a veterinarian around as somehow superior to mine. Particularly hilarious coming from him was this:

I never stated that vaccines are ineffective, dangerous and that they make the vaccinated dangerous to the unvaccinated as Gorski pretends.

That’s exactly what he’s been saying, particularly lately when he’s been saying that the vaccines are increasingly ineffective.

Joel so now you have enlisted 3 people (if they are in fact different people and not just sock puppets) to help you.

Narad

mynorthwest.com/1889564/rantz-gun-shot-victims-washington-coronavirus-deaths/

townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2020/12/17/in-colorado-theyre-counting-gun-shot-fatalities-as-covid-deaths-n2581730

I have more if you wish (doesn’t your search engine work, as you always ask for links or proof).

Aarno

surgeons use their mask everyday and know how to properly put them on and take them off. Surgeons use mask to protect the patient.
If you had watched Dr Fauci in his interview with 60 minutes you would understand.

To the Yeti or as my SO says; last in, first out.

You don’t live on a farm/ranch do you?
JOEL was complaining about dog poop in his yard or did you miss that post on this thread (he tends to go on and on and complain about EVERYTHING and over share his whole life), I was just making a comparison to our yard and his yard.

So you don’t have to research it, here is the quote:
“I have thought of putting up a fence; but I love dogs and don’t want to deny the responsible dog owners another lawn they can use; but eventually, as I get older, picking up after others may just get to be too much.”

Are you going to recommend counseling for Joel now.

Joel so now you have enlisted 3 people (if they are in fact different people and not just sock puppets) to help you.

Fuck off, Kay. Nobody has been “enlisted” by Joel. You, on the other hand, seem to be so drastically riled, discombobulated, or both when people fail to walk between whatever lines exist in your head that you just reach into the drawer for a cluster bomb without so much as reading the label.

Your reply seems to be a non-sequitur. Shocking.

Your SO sounds like a real war hero. How impressive. Many of us don’t feel the need to brag about that kind of thing. The experience isn’t something we want to relive just to make sure others know what a badass we consider ourselves.

It sounds like you both could use some help. He (she?) can, presumably, go to the VA. Before you start in about how broken the VA is, and really prove what a fake you are, let me just say they can work wonders if the person wants help and not just attention.

I really think you should seek counseling from an expert in anger management. You’ve clearly bought into your own press, hate life, and want to inflict pain onto others. Pain you no doubt feel about yourself, your “accomplishments,” your lot in life. It doesn’t have to be this way.

“you just reach into the drawer for a cluster bomb without so much as reading the label.”

That is a nasty piece of work. I’d reconsider my hires.

Bowl and box, labeled Unit Input and Unit Output, I had a cat named Unit. I wish I could have also had a cat named Augie/August/Autumnal.

To the Yeti or as my SO says; last in, first out.

Just hanging around shooting the breeze on data structures? Volume 2 of Knuth would be an excellent gift if your SO doesn’t already have it.

@ Kay West

Lets go point by point.

CLIMATE CHANGE:

You write, quoting an article on climate change (Cook, 2013) at:
Kay West says: August 29, 2021 at 4:46 pm where you quote some of the statistics from the article; but you missed:

“Among abstracts that expressed a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the scientific consensus. Among scientists who expressed a position on AGW in their abstract, 98.4% endorsed the consensus.

DISCUSSION

Of note is the large proportion of abstracts that state no position on AGW. This result is expected in consensus situations where scientists ‘. . . generally focus their discussions on questions that are still disputed or unanswered rather than on matters about which everyone agrees’ (Oreskes 2007, p 72). This explanation is also consistent with a description of consensus as a ‘spiral trajectory’ in which ‘initially intense contestation generates rapid settlement and induces Figure 3. Percentage of papers endorsing the consensus among only papers that express a position endorsing or rejecting the consensus. a spiral of new questions’ (Shwed and Bearman 2010); the fundamental science of AGW is no longer controversial among the publishing science community and the remaining debate in the field has moved to other topics. This is supported by the fact that more than half of the self-rated endorsement papers did not express a position on AGW in their abstracts. The self-ratings by the papers’ authors provide insight into the nature of the scientific consensus amongst publishing scientists. For both self-ratings and our abstract ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time, consistent with Bray (2010) in finding a strengthening consensus.”

The discussion continues; but basically, the paper makes clear that the science of climate change is established, so when writing papers, it is basically taken for granted and the papers focus on such things as different methodologies, etc.

And you missed that at the top of the page were links to several other articles, including another by the same author (Cook, 2016) which states:

“The consensus that humans are causing recent global warming is shared by 90%–100% of publishing climate scientists according to six independent studies by co-authors of this paper. Those results are consistent with the 97% consensus reported by Cook et al . . . We demonstrate that this outcome [non-climate scientists] is not unexpected because the level of consensus correlates with expertise in climate science. . . We have shown that the scientific consensus onAGW is robust, with a range of 90%–100% depending on the exact question, timing and sampling methodology. This is supported by multiple independent studies despite variations in the study timing, definition of consensus, or differences in methodology including surveys of scientists, analyses of literature or of citation networks. Tol (2016) obtains lower consensus estimates through a flawed methodology, for example by conflating nonexpert and expert views, and/or making unsupported assumptions about sources that do not specifically state a position about the consensus view.”

So, as opposed to you, I actually read the two above articles, plus several others, took about 15 minutes each and also have already read and have several of the previous reviews referenced. I do, however, thank you for drawing my attention to these articles, which I have added to my collection of around 300 papers on climate change, which I have read as well as several books. And I have watched most documentaries, including an excellent series that can be found on YouTube, “The Years of Living Dangerously.” There is a second season which can be purchased from Amazon, which I intend to do.

VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS ENGLAND:

You cite stats from a report by Public Health England (2021 Aug 20) at
Kay West says:
August 28, 2021 at 11:04 am

which I responded to, not rejecting, expressing even some concern they may be on to something; but with reasonable scientific questions, which you ignored. But I did thank you for reminding me I hadn’t checked UK on pandemic for awhile, so I went to their website and guess what I found? A paper published 6 days later by them that states: “The latest estimates indicate that the vaccination programme has directly averted over 82,100 hospitalisations. Analysis on the direct and indirect impact of the vaccination programme on infections and mortality suggests the vaccination programme has prevented between 23.8 and 24.4 million infections and between 102,500 and 109,500 deaths. (Public Health England (2021 Aug 26).” This paper goes into detailed analyses, including separate for the Delta variant. Since it was published two days before your comment, how did you miss it?

So the above just two examples of how you jump to conclusions based on not carefully reading papers and either not looking for additional papers or intentionally ignoring them.

MASKS

As for masks, I explained that within a couple of months science found that COVID-19 not transmissible from fomites, so masks could be and can be disposed of with trash. I then explained that our governments, Federal and States, could have done a better job of explaining this; however, I gave an example of how the vast majority of dog owners do pick up after their dogs; but there are always some who don’t. I also described how I’ve seen pizza cartons, water bottles, etc. thrown on the sidewalk and street, so some people won’t dispose of masks in trash cans; but I ALSO MADE CLEAR THAT IT IS A SEPARATE ISSUE OF EFFECTIVENESS OF MASK VS DISPOSAL OF, which you ignored. My use of dog poop on my lawn was just as an example of how vast majority of people are responsible; but some never will be. And I live in a dense urban environment with laws and it is illegal to not pick up after your dog, though seldom enforced. As for allowing homeless to camp on my property, what an absolute asinine thing to suggest. Since you claim you live in the country, not city, how about you doing this as you probably have much more land than me and wouldn’t have neighbors and cops complaining?

You write: “surgeons use their mask everyday and know how to properly put them on and take them off. Surgeons use mask to protect the patient. If you had watched Dr Fauci in his interview with 60 minutes you would understand.”

First, I never rely on anyone’s single interview, etc. I can find other statements by Fauci that are clearer. However, I posted awhile back a large list of papers I have read that includes studies comparing risks to mask users from COVID vs non-users, which you ignore. And I explained that the masks can both protect the user and others; but not 100%. Yep, higher percentage, depending on type of mask and whether used properly or not; but credible studies find even simple scarfs reduce transmissibility. I live in the real world, not black and white, so any reduction in risk of infection is better than nothing. So, you rely on one interview and I on over 50 papers. But there is one more point, something I would bet that the vast majority of people know, namely, that hospital staff wear personal protection equipment, including masks, when working in infectious disease wards or with individual patients with an airborne infection, not to protect the patient but themselves. So, even with medical staff masks used both to protect patients and staff. Either you really are ignorant or intentionally lied just to make one of your many unscientific biased claims. So, typical of you.

RECOGNIZING THOSE WITH MORE TRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE

I wrote above referring to Orac: “Yep, he is a good doctor, including a PhD in immunology, and he did change his position on the vaccine because, knowing much more about immunology than I do, he followed the vaccine development, the clinical trials, the follow-up reports around the world, etc. Yep, he changed his position as more data and studies came in; but you have never wavered, and jump at anything that confirms your position.”

You wrote: “JOEL “ knowing much more about immunology than I do,” at least you admit there is someone who is more learned than you……”

Interesting example of hypocrisy because you don’t admit that I am someone who is more learned than you. And you also ignore that Orac changed his mind as more science developed; yet, nothing changes your mind. And, by the way, yep, he knows more about immunology than I do; but I do have a strong understanding of the basics and if he wrote something would understand it or would read up on it or even contact a friend who is PhD immunologist. Just as I admitted didn’t know what a spline was, so downloaded half dozen papers and read them. I have NO problem admitting areas not knowledgeable about; but if important, I then devote time and effort into learning.

MY PERSONAL LIFE

Not that it matters; but you write: “your failed love life (and the blond Swedish teachers).” First, the one woman I ever lived with, in Sweden, wasn’t blond and wasn’t Swedish. In Europe, during the summer students can work in each others nations. At the time Sweden had only two TV stations, so student housing I lived in had two rooms, one for each station. During break I spoke with her and we hit it off, so that she eventually stayed next two months with me. Then I hitchhiked to her country, we went to Swedish embassy, and they gave her residency papers. When my grandfather died, butchered by a surgeon who eventually lost privileges at every hospital in area, my grandmother and mother cried in phone, so I finished my dissertation and moved back to states. She would have come with me, actually spent next two years visiting and phoning. She met my grandmother and loved her. We have stayed friends for OVER 40 years. During that time she worked in Zimbabwe for two years and when I wrote my grandmother was dying, she phoned her. I held the phone to my grandmother’s ear. I have made many mistakes in my life; but the biggest was to return to the U.S. I loved my family; but looking back, since one gets 5 weeks paid vacation per year and 2 weeks at Christmas and paid emergency family leave, I could have gone home for a couple of months and returned to Sweden. If I had, 90% chance we would still be together. But it wasn’t a “failed” relationship, it was a good relationship that I ended because I knew that the U.S. was not a good place for her. For instance, in her homeland and in Sweden, a woman could walk home at 2 am safely, not in U.S. and both had good quality healthcare, plus my job prospects were iffy, whereas I has numerous opportunities in Sweden. While this was none of your business, just wanted to show how you twist things. I have dated other women and actually am still friends with them, those still alive, still exchange e-mails, etc. You seem to think that there is something wrong with preferring books and a dog. Just one last example. Woman at time and I were to go to a party; but I read at last minute a Harvard professor, expert on Russian Revolution, was giving a free 2-hour seminar at local college so I told her she could come with me or I would meet her at party later. She wasn’t happy; but we continued our relationship until I got a job elsewhere. She had a great career job, but we are still friends. The bottom line is you twist just about everything I say. I have had a number of friends who are quite successful and never married. Also have a couple of highly successful couples as friends who never wanted children. You think something is wrong if people don’t marry and have children; but that is your bias, your blatant self-righteous viewpoint.

MY EXAMPLE SUPPORTING ORAC THAT MEDICAL ERRORS EXAGGERATED

You criticize that I mention my benign prostatic hyperplasia surgery and subsequent hemorrhaging; but I could just as well mentioned the stats on this surgery. The point was in agreement with Orac that much of what are called medical errors are NOT. Many medical interventions, even if carried out by the best doctors, done exactly correctly, can have less than positive outcomes. Just one more thing I write that you twist.

MY BACKGROUND EXPLAINS HOW MY PERSPECTIVE ON THINGS DEVELOPED AND MY KNOWLEDGE BASE

And you criticize my giving my background; but much of it is relevant to why I have formed my opinions, e.g., having lived in many different countries, extensive education, and extensive reading. You criticized me for reading, claiming not possible to read 2,000 articles; but I answered over time, actually only 1 hour reading per day. No response from you.

ACCURACY OF COVID DEATH NUMBERS

You linked to two articles about counting gunshot deaths as Covid deaths (Pavlitch, 2020; Rantz, 2020). I downloaded and read. Also checked out source and authors. Right wing and authors don’t believe in global warming. However, despite their biases, I actually believed the articles. I learned long ago as undergraduate in research methods courses about reliability and validity of measures. Quite simply, except for possibly some physics experiments, no measures are 100% accurate. This is why we, for instance, use confidence intervals/ranges when presenting data. We know that some covid deaths have been undercounted. For instance, if someone with mild congestive heart failure contracts covid and dies at home of heart attack, reasonable chance blood samples won’t be taken; but without infection with covid could have lived much longer. Let’s forget undercounting and look at over counting, e.g., gunshot deaths, etc. The U.S. is not one nation, one government; but many, States, Counties, Cities, each with their own respective public health agencies. In addition, we have 6,146 hospitals. We know that some are well-funded and staffed, others not so. We know that some resisted and others cooperated. We know that the level of training varies. So, the question is how many covid deaths were actually covid deaths? You would like to believe that the majority were not; but where is your evidence, a few cases of gunshot deaths? In addition, we have covid deaths from almost every nation on the planet. For instance, the Scandinavian nations have well-funded, well-staffed public health departments and are known for collecting data long before the current pandemic and they have a much lower rate of violent crimes. But I accept that even a few cases were missed and a few cases misdiagnosed. Of course, you want to believe that the entire world is lying, all to further the profits of vaccine makers. In any case, even if one assumes that 10% of cases were misdiagnosed, that would still mean over 500,000 deaths from covid. Even if one assumes 20% still over 400,000 cases. And there is NO way you could even make a case for 20%, let alone higher. So, despite the source of gunshot deaths being diagnosed with covid, which I accept, both my training and education and the large number of papers I have read and what I know about public health and data collection, the vast majority were from covid. Of, course, in your mind if any errors, then all or, at least most data false. Black and white, all or none.

So, let’s just summarize;

You were wrong about consensus on global warming.
You were wrong about vaccine effectiveness in England.
You were wrong about effectiveness of masks in reducing risks to both wearer and others
You, probably intentionally, twist why I mentioned people who don’t pick up after their dogs, just as example of some people just lack any sense of social responsibility
You, probably intentionally, twist why I mentioned my prostate surgery as an example of an outcome that was NOT a medical error
You were wrong about “failed” relationships, basically applying your personal value system to other people’s lives as if your values and life should be the rule
You point out that I easily admit when others have higher level of knowledge than me; but hypocritically then attack me for explaining my level of knowledge compared to yours
You ignore that I readily admitted, for instance, that I didn’t know what splines were, so, instead of making some statement out of ignorance, I actually read up on them. I have no problem admitting when I don’t know something and, if important, then learn it. And I have no problem changing my position on something if credible scientific research is produced, not one or two papers, especially when misread.
You find a few instances of misdiagnosing covid, which I accept, and think you have proved something. Some small amounts of misdiagnosing is a norm for public health. The question is how much and you ignore that we have data from all over the world, etc.

I could list more; but I think the above for anyone open-minded is enough to show beyond any reasonable doubt that you either don’t actually read carefully papers you refer to, pick and choose only what confirms your position, or are just a rigid intellectually dishonest ideologue. As far as I’m concerned your approach doesn’t differ from QAnon Believers, Racists, Anti-Semites, any and all people who rigidly defend the indefensible. Unfortunately, too many like you.

I wasn’t going to respond anymore; but your misuse of the paper on climate just was too good to pass up.

References:

Cook (2013). Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.

Cook (2016). Consensus on consensus – a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming.

Pavlich (2020 Dec 17). In Colorado, They’re Counting Gun Shot Fatalities as COVID Deaths by Katie Pavlich. Townhall.com

Rantz (2020 May 25). Gun shot victims counted as Washington coronavirus deaths. mynorthwest.com

Public Health England (2021 Aug 20). SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England – Technical briefing 21.

Public Health England (2021 Aug 26). COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 34.

Quite simply, except for possibly some physics experiments, no measures are 100% accurate.

There are always systematic and statistical errors, but 5 σ is a pretty good cutoff.

However, did somebody mention Sweden?

@ MedicalYeti

Usually your comments are welcome; but if your last implied that NARAD needs help as well as Kay West, not cool. Read my last comment. It makes it abundantly clear that Kay West doesn’t know what she is talking about, takes things out of context, twists what others write, is a hypocrite, tries to paint things in black and white, and thinks I need therapy because what? I prefer a dog and my books? By the way, as I wrote in a comment a long time ago, I prefer being a student to being a professional, so, in Sweden, clinical psychology totally separate courses, including workshops and one year internship and PhD purely research degree, lots of courses in research methods, statistics, and philosophy of science. Well, I did both and became a licensed clinical psychologist in Sweden; then worked part-time to earn money to live while pursuing my real passion, research; but also what I learned in clinical psychology gave me knowledge that helped design interview questions, etc and conduct interviews for research/public health, etc.

In any case, if your comment was directed at NARAD I think you owe him an apology. He had every right to be angry at Kay West for her not accepting his comments as independent; but as somehow working for or with me. Personally, there is only one person who sometimes posts on Science-Based Medicine who I have even had rare contacts outside of these blogs.

In any case, if your comment was directed at NARAD

I don’t think it was, Joel, but if Yeti were to scold me, I would take it to heart.

It definitely wasn’t. The reply system has been dropping things in weird places. Apologies for any confusion

It definitely wasn’t.

So, the employees are all united and on the same page. Good! ‘Management’ should be happy.

Hi all,,

I’ve never posted to this webpage and won’t be coming back to review comments etc.. Just going to leave this here for all of you who continue to downplay any idea that Ivermectin may have some part to play in this epidemic. “it’s all anecdotal evidence with no double-blind randomized placebo trials proving anything….”. Well, below is one such study (now you’ll say , yeah, but it’s only one study, sooooo) It’s a long read, but I’ve inserted the link below, and the initial conclusion from the abstract.

https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Fulltext/2021/08000/Ivermectin_for_Prevention_and_Treatment_of.7.aspx

Conclusions:
Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.

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