“Please Stop Pushing the Vaccine”

“Please stop pushing the vaccine,” wrote a 16-year Premium reader (and who knows how long on the free distribution before that). That was in response to last week’s issue. I just reviewed it: I’m not sure the link in “Other Good Reading” to an article titled Treating the Unvaccinated constitutes “pushing” the vaccine.

The story (click to see larger).

But perhaps she meant my story “Another Data Point”, about a guy who “wished he had gotten the vaccine,” his mother said; he is still in ICU after a double lung transplant. That’s the only other reference to “the” vaccine.

But that’s not “pushing” the vaccine either, any more than the lead story about a bear “stealing” a gun is “pushing” for (or against!) the right to arm bears, or observations on most any other story is “pushing” a particular point of view.

Rather, True is about thinking — and, in particular, the real-world results of not thinking. The stories and taglines are usually pretty darned neutral: it’s the reader that will often add bias.

Answering Directly

That said, my answer was “Absolutely not.” Not just because I refuse to let advertisers, advertising companies like Google, and even readers dictate what I write about. (Not that this one tried to “dictate”: it was rather a polite request.)

There is clearly a lack of thinking with much of (not all of) vaccine hesitance. Yeah, there’s “tracking devices” in them (riiiiiight). The virus “isn’t real” (yet those with that claim can’t explain why then President Trump got it …or why his administration did such a good job to get a safe, extremely effective vaccine developed and distributed in record time). Heck, even Fox News is in fact “pushing” the vaccine (“It will save your life,” said Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy on that show. And “please take Covid seriously — I can’t say it enough,” said Sean Hannity on the air. “I believe in the science of vaccination.” Example source)

The misinformation is causing staggering numbers of disease and death, I told the reader. My brand is “This is True” and the truth sometimes hurts. We have got to cut through the crap and see what the actual scientific consensus is. “I could go on” with such links, I said; those are just a few of the recent articles, from a variety of sources, that I found with a 2-second search.

A similar story from this week is the “Story of the Week”.

Think about where so many of the lies are starting: Russia and China, I said. Neither of them are our friends. We’re in a new cold war, and they’re winning so far.

Delta is going for the kids that mostly escaped from the earlier variants. This was predicted, yet so many ignored the warnings. Don’t be one of them; the stakes are too high. It’s not just “old people” who were so callously thrown to the lions before.

“On another related note,” she asked in her message, “As a first responder, may I ask how it is that the medical establishment is determining which ‘variant’ a person has? Are the covid tests sophisticated enough to reveal this information? If not, how are these statistics generated?”

That question is what told me the reader wasn’t seeking facts, and instead listening to propaganda. “I listen to the people who have dedicated their lives to learning and preventing deaths,” I told her, “not the know-nothing pundits who got the shots themselves, yet lie to your face.”

Her response: cancel her autorenewal. But at least it wasn’t “Cancel my subscription.” There’s hope. [The answer to her question. OK, this search took me 4 seconds. Yeah, I’m a search expert, but surely most can successfully get there within a minute or so!]

Because I do agree that people “have a right” to not get the vaccine …but only if they also demand rights for those who can’t (kids, those with medical conditions that prevent it, etc.) by never going into public without wearing a mask and taking other precautions to ensure they don’t spread the disease when they don’t know they have it. And we know few are doing that, since the “Delta” cases are spreading so fast.

Chart of Confirmed Covid-19 infections and deaths.
Chart of confirmed world/U.S. Covid-19 infections and deaths as of 5:00 pm (MDT) on 26 July 2021.

There are nearly 627,000 Americans and nearly 4.2 million worldwide dead (Source) from Covid, and I think there will be a lot more.

So yes, observing “the real-world results of not thinking” — True’s vehicle for more than 27 years now — does and will include stories about the “thinking” around vaccinations.

And I’d be surprised if any long-term reader who thought about it would expect my answer to be anything different.

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49 Comments on ““Please Stop Pushing the Vaccine”

  1. We’re frequently told to “do (y)our research,” especially by people who believe the vaccines have “tracking devices” in them. But how do we sift out the false and misleading info? Surely thinking isn’t enough: we need to improve our BS detectors and understand the differences among facts, lies and opinions. Being a good researcher is difficult. I have reverted to “question everything”, which leaves me so skeptical that I’ve started watching videos of cats, dogs and babies. What can you suggest about “sifting”? (And maybe you have written about the issue already?)

    Bit and pieces here and there. THE most important tools are what’s mentioned in this editorial — “consensus” — and Occam’s Razor. The first is aided by the second. What’s more likely: that somehow 99% of the world’s doctors have conspired to mislead the world …or 99% of doctors are completely right? Occam’s Razor would quote Ben Franklin: “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” — it’s damn near impossible to keep a conspiracy quiet among a handful, let alone among tens or hundreds of thousands. Or in this case, millions.

    The bottom line is, using Occam for “sifting” is not actually that difficult —

    What’s more likely: that the gubmint has figured out a technology that not only can be powered indefinitely, but is powerful enough to reach …what, satellites?… to track every citizen’s every movement — without being detected? Which, of course, would require another conspiracy among public health agencies and drug stores to track which citizen got tracker #843745am8f1a? Or that a) it’s impossible and b) no one in the gubmint really cares who you are, where you go, and what the hell you do? Occam has that answer.

    What’s more likely: that the virus is real, or that tens of thousands of doctors, tens of thousands of nurses, thousands of hospital administrators, and millions of family members have gotten together to fake the deaths of 427,000 Americans — many of whom we know — for some nefarious reason? You don’t really need Occam to help you with that, you just need a brain.

    If you think “the media” is in on it, then what’s the chances that “the media” in Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, France, Brazil (and on and On and ON) have agreed to be in on the conspiracy to fool us? (And if you don’t trust American media, then of course you DO go and check the BBC, ABC Australia, etc. etc. etc., right?)

    So: do you trust the hundreds of thousands of people* who have gone to great expense and effort to get Ph.D’s from reputable, accredited universities, and then dedicated their lives to research to working in a self-correcting system (aka, “science”) for low pay, or do you trust your neighbor Ted who watched a youtube video and “figured out” it’s all a sham, even though he has a massive beer gut from chugging “Lite” beer all day because he lost yet another job? You don’t need Occam to help you, you just need the tiniest sliver of common sense …which I know you have because you were able to ask this intelligent question. -rc

    *(Yes, there are always crackpots here and there who managed to get through such a school (or pretend to), but that’s where consensus comes in.)

    • Thank you. Now if we could somehow weaponize Occam’s Razor, then maybe the current insanity could be reduced!

      You’re most welcome. It was a great question. -rc

    • I also like a slightly different application of Occam’s Razor, for the “tracking chips” version of the theory:

      Why would the government need to add tracking chips to vaccines… when you already carry one in your pocket, willingly, everywhere you go?

      (Yes, I own a cell phone, and use its location services. I think it’s useful! [And also, this is less about the GPS processing & more about actually pinging the cell phone network.] But… it does make this conspiracy theory a little bit redundant.)

  2. Right on the money! As usual

    As a long time subscriber, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments.

  3. I’ve had similar conversations with my nephew, who is convinced that the risks of getting the vaccine are far higher (“and who knows what they will be in the long term”) than actually getting covid. You can point to facts all you want, but once somebody has been scared it’s almost impossible to unscare them. Scared of non-existent side effects, scared of microchips, scared of losing “muh freedums”. I guess there’s nothing for it but to keep trying to inform and educate… as you do.

    • The long term effects of getting covid, on the other hand, are trivial right?
      Kidney failure, heart attacks, lung problems, stroke, liver problems…. Death…
      Yeah, far less serious than getting the vaccine…

  4. I REFUSE to deal with people like the one you described any more. Hell, I’ve had this attitude ever since COVID came into our lives. We have had to follow the advice of scientists, etc. oftentimes as we got ridiculed for wearing masks, doing physical distancing (I also refuse to call it social distancing), washing hands, etc. If that reader wants to …as the saying goes… “die on that hill”, then LET her. I have no time for people who want to act the fool.

    I didn’t take much time either — until I decided to write this up for the readers as a whole. As I say in the piece, I hold some amount of hope for people. -rc

    • Good points. Myself, I’m an optimist …but I’m also a realist. You may well reach some people (hopefully, a LOT of people), but there are some who may well never be reached no matter what we do. I get why some of us haven’t been vaccinated yet (too young, past bad experiences with the medical profession, etc.) …these ones I believe can be reached. The rest? Entirely different story. Cajoling those folks haven’t worked. Giving them money or other gifts to get the shot has had some effect, but not as much as we hoped for. Now it’s starting to come down to “Get the vaccine or you won’t be able to (fill in the blank)”. If THAT blunt reality doesn’t wake up some of the hesitant, I really don’t know what will. (FTR, I have been fully vaccinated.)

      Oh, I definitely know there are lost causes. That’s why I say “I hold some amount of hope” — it’s foolish to expect them all, and mama din’t raise no fool! 🙂 -rc

    • The BIG problem I have with letting them “die on that hill” is all of the innocents who they will take with them, who can’t get the vaccine due to age or medical issues. So I keep trying to educate them anyhow.

    • Problem is, the defiers might not be the people to die on “that” hill, while they *can* be the ones passing on the virus to someone with a higher susceptibility who *does* die (literally) or spend the rest of their life suffering with the long-term effects of the Coronvirus.

  5. I would not say you are ‘pushing’ the vaccine, but I do have the distinct impression you are all for it, which is fine. I am, however, completely amazed at the willingness of people on both sides of the issue to share their status of whether they have been vaccinated or not. I feel strongly that it is NO ONE’S BUSINESS but their own. I don’t think that people should make this information public, I certainly am not going to and if it comes to providing proof that I have been or not, I will consider these requests on a case by case basis. Personally, I do not recall ever being asked if I have been vaccinated against any of the diseases that the commonly provided ‘school vaccinations’ protect against, or if I have even had the yearly flu shot. Why should this be any different?

    • I chose to share my vax status publicly. Why? I did it to encourage those who were on the fence about getting it. I realize it’s a private matter whether one gets it or not, but we’re facing a once in a hundred years health threat. Anything I can do to help someone make the choice to get the vaccine, I’m willing to do.

      Which is why I also chose to talk about mine. -rc

    • Covid is a bit like measles — populations need to have a certain level of vaccination in order to protect both the community as a whole and — specifically — those that have either not (yet) been vaccinated or those that are at high risk if infected.

      So in addition to being detrimental to yourself, choosing *not* to get vaccinated is also detrimental to the community. It’s a bit like refusing to wear a mask — the mask is less about protecting yourself and more about protecting others.

      As such, I believe that refusing a covid (or measles) vaccine is a violation of the social contract. It’s still the individual’s choice, but saying ‘no’ means that you lose the *right* to participate in society (going to bars, stores, hospitals, that sort of thing). Society may choose not to exclude you, but you have foregone the right. In that respect, we need to be able to trust that people have been vaccinated or — in the absence of that trust — people need to be able to demonstrate this.

    • Not only is getting vaccinated a personal business, it is also a public health issue. We need more people vaccinated to develop herd immunity. It’s very important to get people immune to this virus to eliminate it from our society.

    • I understand your position, and I don’t necessarily disagree with it. However, I can think of several situations where I HAVE been asked to provide proof of vaccination against certain diseases. I had to show proof that I was up to date on my tetanus shots before I was allowed to volunteer with Habitat For Humanity on a build. I had to show proof that I had been given my yearly flu shot before I was allowed to wrap presents at the local children’s hospital two Christmases ago. When I worked at a school as a substitute teacher, in addition to being screened for TB every two years, I was required under licensing regulations to prove that I was vaccinated or otherwise immune to all the diseases the students would (eventually) need to be vaccinated against, especially as the school had students as young as two and a half who may not be ready to be vaccinated yet (and again, that was not the school’s policy, that was required by the regulatory board so that the owner could maintain her license). I know of people who have gone on trips to other countries and been required to show proof of a malaria vaccine before they were allowed to get on board.

      In other words, I HAVE been asked to prove that I am taking all preventative measures possible against any diseases that might be common and/or dangerous to the people around me in certain situations. Like, for example, if I was living in a community where a highly infectious and potentially deadly disease that can be spread through the air was rampant and I was attempting to move about in a public space without a mask on.

      That being said, I have only been asked about my COVID vaccination status outright in one situation so far, and I willingly gave it to the person who asked, because she’s a sweet older woman who desperately wanted to be able to give me a hug after a year and a half of not seeing anyone but her husband. Most actual businesses are using the honor system, at least around here.

    • I can recall on numerous occasions of being required to prove I had a negative TB test to get certain jobs. I have also been asked when I had my last tetanus shot and even to prove it. I remember international travel when one had to provide proof of various immunizations. Where I currently live I have had to provide proof of COVID vaccination to get into a number of places.

    • Students must specifically divulge the status of their vaccinations in order to attend school. You answered your own question. Yes, for public safety, there are situations in which medical information must be divulged. It is the responsibility of those receiving that information to maintain it as Protected Health Information.

    • BECAUSE IT IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE. Simple as that. I really don’t see the need to hide your vaccination status — what do you have to gain by it?

  6. I used to but I’m not sure I do agree about people having the right to not get the vaccine, apart from a few who shouldn’t have it, any longer. Americans talk a lot about their rights, I rarely hear them talking about their responsibilities. What happened to your responsibility to protect the people in your community from a deadly or debilitating disease in the middle of a pandemic? Nobody seems to ask this simple question. Given that personal responsibility seems to have gone out the window why is it wrong for states to demand that people get vaccinated? States, until very recently in a few, rightly required us to get our kids vaccinated against a large list of horrible diseases if we wanted them in school. Doesn’t the same apply if we want people out in society?

    I find the media particularly annoying. They would prefer to pitch an argument that sells rather than ask better questions. Climate change denial and its proponents have a similar questioning problem. The media never ask the right question it’s not why you do or do not believe in climate change. It should be “please tells us what happens if you are wrong?”

  7. You are completely right. And as far as whether people should have to reveal their vaccination status, I say that in the middle of a global pandemic of a disease that kills randomly, not just the weakest among us but often the strongest, we all have the right to know who among us may be spreading the disease since even vaccination doesn’t provide a 100% guarantee. Yes, it almost completely prevents hospitalization and death — but only almost. There are still a lot of our society who can’t get the vaccine — recent organ transplant recipients, cancer patients, fragile elderly seniors, even our children! Don’t we want to protect them, too?

    We should know who’s vaccinated and who isn’t so we can know who to avoid, at least until a complete cure for COVID is found. Which is what has me the angriest right now with politician who is still convinced he knows better than the medical profession — our Florida governor who, shockingly, has just changed his tune regarding vaccination (I never thought THAT would happen!) and says everyone should get the vaccine, but also insists that wearing masks is just implying that we “don’t trust” the vaccinations to work.

    Trying to convince people that the simplest civic good one can do right now is to wear a mask when we go out in public seems to be completely impossible. Too many people don’t realize that it’s the flip side of vaccination. We got the shots to protect ourselves. But I still wear a mask to protect YOU! The vaccine may prevent me getting ill enough to need hospitalization, but what happens if you aren’t vaccinated while I’m sneezing happy little COVID viruses into your respiratory system? You may die anyway, even though you only hang around the vaccinated. And although it’s highly unlikely, I can still get a breakthrough case of COVID, and I can still give it to the antivaxxers who still refuse it.

    Your reader is hypersensitive, and I suspect deep down knows that the stance she’s taking isn’t supported by honest facts — and therefore she attacks anyone who even MENTIONS the vaccine in her presence. She is so determined to not hear any truth that might contradict the fantasy she’s built up in her mind, based upon the assorted BS she’s been fed by certain politicians and a portion of the media, not to mention social media, that even the slightest mention of it becomes “pushing” it. I feel very sorry for her. A closed mind is a terrible thing. When you only hear whatever is in your own head, you’re on dangerous ground!

  8. The question I have never gotten an answer to, Why would Bill Gates, George Soros or Warren Buffett (they seem to be the ones that are getting blamed for having the tracking chips in the vaccine) care to track anyone’s movements? If they are tracking me, its primary use would be as a sleep aid.

    • My response to people who worry about being tracked by Gates, etc., is to point out that they are already being tracked by their phone, so why would another means of tracking be needed?

      I’ve made the same point. Doesn’t seem to sink in. -rc

        • The other aspect to this is: Why would the government bother to put microchips inside you when they can only read them from 2-3 inches away, when they have the surveillance and facial recognition technology to identify you in a crowded shopping centre or street? Not to mention that the microchips are 1.25 mm thick and about 8-10 mm long (sorry for mixing my units here) and the device to inject them looks like a horse-syringe? It’s the inability to critically think about these claims that drives me nuts. And as someone once said, never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference 🙂 So let them all revel in their beliefs and catch COVID — the rest of us should be OK. Maybe this is just mother nature’s latest attempt at natural selection?

          Maybe, but the obliviots aren’t the only ones to become ill, and thanks to medical science not all that many are dying anymore (percentage-wise). The obliviots infect kids, who can’t get the shots, as well as others who can’t take it for medical reasons. And there are some breakthrough cases, most of which are mild but may convey the life-long medical issues that Covid brings. And…. -rc

  9. I have a lot of health problems (AFib, strokes, heart attacks, severe rheumatoid arthritis) so I waited til my cardiologist cleared me to take one, but then I took it and no problems. I never take a vaccine because I usually end up with what the vaccine is supposed to protect me from but I trust my doctor.

  10. Everybody has the right to choose whether or not they want to be vaccinated or not, but in some countries that can make life more complicated. In France the Government has just introduced what translates as a “health pass”: to get into certain public places people need proof of either having been vaccinated or having had a negative Covid test in the last 48 hours. As cases rise here, they want to avoid another lockdown, and get as many people vaccinated as possible: there have been protests against the health pass on the grounds that it limits liberty, but my thought on that is, people would have far less liberty if the country was locked down again. So I agree that we must all do our best to protect each other when we can, whether that’s by vaccination, mask-wearing, distancing or any other method. I know the vaccination doesn’t prevent the people who have had it from catching Covid, but they don’t have it so badly, and if enough people get vaccinated, that should at least slow down the spread of this virus.

  11. What bothers me is that no seems to be tracking all those who have had COVID and are immune due to natural antibodies. According to “the science” Those folks don’t need to get the vaccine, though many of them have gotten them. Would like to see a statistic on how many are immune, not just how many have gotten vaccine.

    Your source is either very outdated or misinformed:

    Q: If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, do I still need to get vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine?

    A: Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible — although rare — that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again. Studies have shown that vaccination provides a strong boost in protection in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Learn more about why getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected.

    If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure what treatments you received or if you have more questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

    If you or your child has a history of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in adults or children (MIS-A or MIS-C), consider delaying vaccination until you or your child have recovered from being sick and for 90 days after the date of diagnosis of MIS-A or MIS-C. Learn more about the clinical considerations people with a history of multisystem MIS-C or MIS-A.

    Experts are still learning more about how long vaccines protect against COVID-19. CDC will keep the public informed as new evidence becomes available.

    (Source, with links active: CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination) -rc

    • Randy, your answer is incomplete. They have also found that recovering from one variant of Covid does not grant immunity to all other variants. There are several documented cases of people getting it more than once and it was determined they had different variants.

      1) That’s not my answer, it’s the CDC’s answer. 2) I’m confident that the CDC says what you bring up in other places. 3) I can’t possibly be cover every aspect of a still-evolving disease (and our fights against it) in any explainer or editorial, let alone in the comments. 4) Not covering every possible aspect (which, note again, is impossible) leaves room for intelligent additions in the comments, such as yours. And 5) Part of working to get others to think is to get them to realize how to research this stuff from objective, informed sources to get the facts, rather than listen to politically motivated propagandists. -rc

  12. I’m old enough to remember when people were dancing in the streets when it was clear we had an effective vaccine against polio — and they didn’t waste any time getting it, even though it was a new thing. When I was a child, I was vaccinated against smallpox, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus (plus boosters), polio, and probably a few others I don’t remember. When I went on a 3-month performing tour through the Far East in 1966, I was required to get a bunch more. I pulled out my WHO vaccination passport from that time (most countries wouldn’t even let you in unless you could demonstrate you’d been vaccinated against certain diseases — and this may happen again); before we could leave, we were all vaccinated or revaccinated against smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, typhus, tetanus, polyvalent flu, “Schick”, polio, and given “Immune Globulin” (malaria?), some of which required as many as three injections. [I suspect every military person who went to Vietnam — and perhaps all military — received the same series.] Around 2000 I started getting flu shots every year to protect the people with whom I performed Christmas shows. As I’ve advanced in age, I’ve also gotten pneumonia, pneumococcus, shingles, and now COVID immunizations.

    The fact that I’ve had all these vaccinations is no secret — in fact, it’s often been to allow me to do things like go to school or travel internationally. As far as I’m concerned, the only people who argue about disclosing their vaccination status are those who didn’t get it and don’t want people to know, or those (like Tucker Carlson and Marjorie Taylor Green?), who *did* get it, but have adopted, for political reasons, a public stance against it.

    The doubters are living among at least tens of millions of people who have been vaccinated repeatedly all through their lives, safely and successfully, against all manner of diseases, with almost no problems at all — and thus have created the environment free of serious contagious diseases which allows them to be stand-offish — and to go to places like Canada and Europe without showing proof of vaccinations. Do they even realize that? Or do they just not care?

  13. Just an FYI of an apparently little-known fact — the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive an EUA from the FDA *was not developed under Operation Warp Speed*! Pfizer declined to participate because they felt they had the resources to develop it on their own, and didn’t want to have to deal with the bureaucratic overhead associated with a federal program.

    It’s my own feeling that, although they didn’t say so publicly, they also didn’t want to have to deal with the rookie interference associated with the chaotic White House staff, and they may also have been reluctant to risk impositions on their ability to sell abroad, or restrictions on the distribution of their vaccine, which could develop if the feds had a claim to funding the development.

    Moderna chose to accept the federal money, although it would have been easy to raise that amount in venture capital at the time.

    But the rapid development of two highly effective vaccines had more to do with the novel mRNA technology, and the race for the obvious rewards of being first-to-market with an effective vaccine, than with the government program.

    I don’t think it’s any secret that the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine development was not initially funded by OWS, although they did in September 2020 accept 375 million Euros (US$445 million) from the German government to finish the development. Yet OWS still helped Pfizer with a $2 billion advance order before that (22 July 2020) for 100 million doses their vaccine, and set the stage for streamlining the FDA’s emergency use authorization. So it is definitely fair to say that the Trump’s OWS did “a good job to get a safe, extremely effective vaccine developed and distributed in record time.”

    But I do agree that the decades of research into mRNA for its potential as a highly effective vaccine helped tremendously, because that was the only way it did get done so fast. DARPA set up an mRNA vaccine research program for the benefit of the military in 2010, and awarded a $25 million grant to Moderna in 2013. We were extremely lucky that the tech came together to fight this pandemic so effectively, especially since we’ve expected a big pandemic for decades; we just didn’t know what its nature would be. -rc

  14. Randy, would you please START pushing the vaccine! I got it. My arm is not magnetized. I am not being tracked (any more than my phone easily allows anyway). And I have an under-12 daughter whom I do NOT want a VERY GULLIBLE “individual” to infect — with either COVID nor incredibly flimsy conspiracy theories.

    Thanks for encouraging thought. Unfortunately some of your readers confuse “thought” with listening to politically-motivated pundits. Although, I don’t understand the politics of having your followers volunteer to die painfully.

  15. Almost every day I’m reading about an anti mask/vaccine person who’s caught Covid, or someone in their family has, some of them as sick as Stephen, often with the same outcome.

  16. There is such a thing as the Darwin Award. There will be so many candidates this year.

    Ain’t that the truth. -rc

  17. I’m confused….

    “On another related note,” she asked in her message, “As a first responder, may I ask how it is that the medical establishment is determining which ‘variant’ a person has? Are the covid tests sophisticated enough to reveal this information? If not, how are these statistics generated?”

    That question is what told me the reader wasn’t seeking facts, and instead listening to propaganda. “I listen to the people who have dedicated their lives to learning and preventing deaths,” I told her, “not the know-nothing pundits who got the shots themselves, yet lie to your face.”

    How is that question about determining the variant a person has anything but seeking facts on how variants are determined? Or am I not reading this right? After reading your newsletter for so long, my guess is that I’m not reading it right.

    Because she’s asking a non-expert for an opinion rather than researching it herself from appropriate sources like the CDC to get actual facts. -rc

    • However, you are a first responder and have some medical training, right? Maybe your are a non-expert but you do have some level of medical knowledge. Perhaps, rather than a snarky response, you could have calmly said that, yes, the variant can be determined in tests and tell her to check with her doctor or the CDC for more information. Some of us do think of you as a kind of “friend”. And people do ask their friends questions even if they are not experts in the topic and expect not to be smacked down or made to feel stupid.

      This was the very first time after many, many years of being a premium subscriber that I was surprised enough by your response to comment. Perhaps you were fed up and her comment was the “last straw”. If that’s the case, hey, you’re only human and it happens.

      Oh, the last straw was months ago. Sigh! -rc

    • That question is what told me the reader wasn’t seeking facts, and instead listening to propaganda.

      Well, that and the entire premise of her email.

      This is True. -rc

  18. It is responsible and morally imperative that we support and participate in efforts to keep the public healthy. If you want to refuse a vaccine for anything that is not a public health threat because it is not communicable, that is freedom. If you refuse to get a vaccine that is stopping a pandemic in over 90% of those who take it then you are not exercising freedom. You are being a threat to public health. You then become responsible for the deaths you cause. Stop making stupid excuses.

  19. Occam’s Razor works, all right. Just that it has a variant, as well. The variant is that the answer you want to believe is the right one. Are you Democrat? Then everything is good and right with the world, and vaccines are needed. Are you Republican? Then no one cares whom you cause to get sick because it’s a total hoax made up by Democrats to control you.

    Do I think the world is that black and white? No. Do I think that political people are? To quote Stone Cold Steve Austin, “Oh, hell yeah!”. By “political people”, I mean anyone with any vested interest in politics or who claim their political religion, because yes, politics is your religion. They worship their politicians, who are, naturally, 1,000,000,000% infallible, chosen by God, and the single most brilliant, charitable, loving person on Earth.

    Proposition: “it’s a total hoax made up by Democrats to control you.” Question for Occam: Is it likely that every country in the world is in collusion with the American Democratic Party to “control” (whatever that means in this context) other Americans, and that none of the thousands of researchers and millions of medical professionals are going along with it without revealing factual evidence exposing the conspiracy? Occam: “You stupid or something? NEXT!” -rc

  20. I am waiting until the vaccine safety trials are completed and the Emergency Use Authorization is lifted. Is that irrational behavior? I want to take a vaccine that has been certified to be safe and effective. Is that crazy-talk? I am not an antivaxxer. I have taken many vaccines. I even recently got the new shingles vaccine. But I have never taken an experimental vaccine or medicine. I have never participated in a medical trial either. I don’t want to be the subject of experiments. I will welcome a vaccine that is proven safe, has an useful immunity period, available without EUA, and without liability indemnification. There have been 5,093 CoViD-19 vaccine deaths as reported to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Why is that rarely mentioned in media?

    “VAERS accepts reports of any adverse event following any vaccination,” the CDC says. That means anyone can register (e.g., anti-vaxxers) and “report” anything they wish without cross-checks. Too, even completely well-meaning people might report adverse effects which have nothing to do with the vaccine …because they’re asked to. That’s how researchers look for patterns and realize that hm, maybe that does have something to do with the vaccine (or not). How do we, the lay public, know the difference? We don’t — until there are statistically valid study reports using verifiable data.

    When the VAERS data set is searched in CDC’s WONDER (“Wide-ranging OnLine Data for Epidemiologic Research”), users are warned: “While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. Most reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.” …which pretty much says the same thing as I did above. So, exactly how many deaths are actually attributable to the various Covid-19 vaccines? We have no idea yet. -rc

    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. “So, exactly how many deaths are actually attributable to the various Covid-19 vaccines? We have no idea yet.” Your question is an important one, especially for a new class of vaccine that has not completed its safety trials. It is notable that CoViD-19 deaths are carefully and punctually reported by the week but vaccine deaths are not. Why? Death is absolute.

      Recall in March 2020 when US CoViD-19 deaths hit 1,000, several news outlets breathlessly reported that number. (Example) The three vaccines by now have certainly accumulated 1,000 deaths but we have heard little of this reported. Why does the CDC not seem to have the energy to capture and report verifiable vaccine death data? Likewise, why do news outlets show so little curiosity about the vaccine and its contribution to deaths?

      In a sense, they are. The U.S. has long tracked deaths and their causes, which death certificates are filed by doctors who knew the patients and/or treated them, or coroners/other officials after autopsy, and certify as to the causes (and yes, that’s plural: see the discussion here). Public health agencies are charged with compiling those numbers to track outbreaks. Death certificates also track vaccine deaths, and those can be compiled.

      The thing is, you asked about VAERS. I pointed out the huge weaknesses there, and that’s why those numbers aren’t used in news reporting: they’re not factual data for the reasons discussed. It’s akin to “complaint vs diagnosis” — someone says X happened after they got a shot (complaint), and if pursued a doctor might figure out whether the shot caused it, or something else did (diagnosis). So I think your real question is, why isn’t the death certificate info made available and tracked? I’m sure it is; I don’t know for sure if that’s searchable at the CDC or not. You were concentrating on and asking about the wrong thing, which is part of the problem discussed in the first comment: figuring out what to actually look at takes some thinking, and a little research. -rc

  21. You SHOULD be pushing the vaccine! In Moses’ time there was a pandemic. God provided a snake on a pole.

    People who looked lived. People who refused died.

    We have prayed about COVID-19.

    God has provided a vaccine.

  22. I was a bit skeptical of many things this past year, with all the mis-information put out by nearly everyone, especially the government. While I don’t have much trust for our government, I trust the doctors who developed the vaccines considerably more after doing some research on their methods.

    Then in November, after one instance of talking to someone without masks, outside about four or five feet about, I got sick three days later. Three more days and my wife got sick, also. Ten more days and our blood oxygen dropped. My wife had had a brief light fever, but I had none. The low oxygen level caused the doctor to have us tested and we were positive. We were sick for thirty days, slowly getting better, with good days and bad. After that when the vaccines came out, everyone in the family got them. Most of us have characteristics that make us more likely for bad results from Covid.

    In July, I went to the ER with a heart attack and was tested again, and I was positive, although my wife was negative. The only possible symptoms was the day we both woke up and had a runny nose and dry throat that we both blamed on allergies and something pollinating. This was over a week before the tests. I was given two possibilities, either it was a ‘false positive’ test result or we had caught the Delta Variant and the vaccine made us nearly completely immune and my wife’s immune system was stronger than mine. I immediately believed it was a ‘false positive’, but after much cogitation, I believe it was the darned Delta Variant. And that means the vaccine works pretty darn well.

    I believe that everyone should get the vaccine, but NOT by making it mandatory. If someone doesn’t want to get it, they should have that option, even if I think they are foolish. That’s freedom.

    When Trump said he had been assured that the doctors would be able to make a vaccine quickly, the liberals attacked him and denied it, with pet “experts” to prove it wasn’t possible. When the vaccines were developed, they denigrated it while Trump pushed it. When Biden got into office he reversed and started pushing the vaccine, taking credit for it and his plan for giving a million doses a day. He was lauded, although some people noted that 912,000 doses were given out in a day before he got into office.

    If his goal is to protect the American people from Covid, why is he allowing hundreds of thousands of people to cross our southern border, fleeing from countries that have very low vaccination rates and growing rates of infection? All the mis-information given out has made many people wary of trusting our government and these vaccines.

    I say, you don’t need to trust the government, but do trust the doctors. Get vaccinated. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have both been given to millions of people with only very rare bad reactions. I’ve heard the media making a big deal about those bad reactions and manipulating figures to make things seem worse. The latest mis-leading reports were saying that the infection rate jumped 300% in one day. They failed to mention that the reason it jumped from one day to another was that some states only report their Covid data weekly. Naturally that makes the daily numbers jump. If you look at two states and they both have a single case every day, but one reports daily and the other weekly, six days will have one case per day and then the one day there will be eight, making it an increase of seven hundred per cent!

    My suggestion: If you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, get it. The bad results are so unlikely as to be effectively zero, and the immunity given by the vaccine may eliminate or lessen the sickness. With half the population vaccinated, most of the new cases and especially those with bad effects are among the half not yet vaccinated. If you don’t trust the current administration, remember that the ‘Warp Speed’ program that hurried the development of the vaccines was part of the last administration, and was trashed until the current one realized t was good and decided to take credit for it.


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