Corona Virus Variations (Passionate Detailerz)
New Map Catalogs the Effects of Corona Virus Mutations (foto HHMI)
The Corona Virus is mutating – does it matter? (foto Nature)
Finding Patient Zero (foto World Economic Forum)
Joseph Biden Overstates by 700% Effectiveness of Covid Vaccines
The White House said on September 9th that “recent data indicates there is only 1 confirmed positive [covid-19 disease] case per 5,000 fully vaccinated Americans per week.”
Its announcement fails to link to any source on that allegation. However, if Biden got that estimate from the New York Times, then he was definitely overstating it by 700%. And America’s ‘news’ media, at press conferences, don’t ask politicians, “Where do you get those data? What assurance do you have that they are trustworthy?” Instead, mere allegations by public officials are reported as if they should be accepted as being facts.
All of America’s recent Presidents have been similarly casual and untrustworthy about the truthfulness of their allegations, such as they were about “Saddam’s WMD.” The whole world therefore has good reasons to distrust what America’s Presidents say. It’s certainly the case with this President. Why do people trust them any longer? Either the US official builds policies on the basis of his/her falsehoods, or aims to deceive people; and, in either case, what that person says won’t be trusted by any intelligent person.
In this particular instance, another dubious news source (besides Biden), the New York Times, had headlined, two days earlier, on September 7th, “One in 5,000: The real chances of a breakthrough infection.” However, that allegation (“One in 5,000”) likewise failed to link through to its source and to describe the methodology behind that estimate, though it did allege that the estimate was somehow based upon “statistics from three places that have reported detailed data on Covid infections by vaccination status: Utah; Virginia; and King County, which includes Seattle, in Washington state. All three are consistent with the idea that about one in 5,000 vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid each day in recent weeks.”
Perhaps President Biden had read that headline (from two days before), and didn’t read the Times’s news report itself, which said not “1 confirmed positive case per 5,000 fully vaccinated Americans per week” but instead “that about one in 5,000 vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid each day in recent weeks.” In other words: Biden’s estimate, of a one in 5,000 chance per week, is overstating by 700% the Times’s news report’s estimate, which said per day – not per week.
The Times’s news report then upped its own ante to only a one in 10,000 per day chance in America’s largest cities, which are more leftist, less rightist, than most of America, and which therefore believe more in government regulation (such as to control Covid) and so have a higher percentage of vaccinated population. “Here’s one way to think about a one-in-10,000 daily chance: It would take more than three months for the combined risk to reach just 1 percent.”
Consequently, if that’s correct, then for a person in the more rural America (assuming that the Times’s data and calculations are sound), the likelihood, at one in 5,000, would have an average resident there facing a 2% chance of becoming sick with Covid 19 during a three month period, if “fully vaccinated.” Furthermore, the Times alleges that “The infection rates in the least vaccinated states are about four times as high as in the most vaccinated states.” If that is true, then a reasonable assumption would be that vaccination is effective, and that therefore the Republican Party position on this matter – that the government shouldn’t impose penalties against unvaccinated individuals as part of a program to protect the public’s health (the health of the entire public) – is false, and the Democratic Party’s position on this matter is true.
The Morning Consult poll of residents in 15 countries recently headlined and reported
“The US Has a Higher Rate of Vaccine Opposition Than Any Country Tracked Besides Russia”
2 September 2021
N° 1: Russia 27% unwilling, 16% uncertain.
N° 2: US 17% unwilling, 10% uncertain.
N° 15 (last) China:1% unwilling, 1% uncertain.
Previously, these had been the figures.
“The US Has a Higher Rate of Vaccine Opposition Than Any Country Tracked Besides Russia”
10 June 2021
N° 1 Russia 32% unwilling, 24% uncertain.
N° 2 US 20% unwilling, 12% uncertain.
N° 15 (last) China: 2% unwilling, 4% uncertain.
Ever since those polls started on 13 May 2021, Russia has been N° 1 and China has been N° 15. However, US hasn’t consistently been N° 2.
How, then, do those countries rank on performance regarding Covid 19?
That’s shown by going to
and clicking there twice onto the column that’s headed “Tot cases/1m pop”. Of the 223 ranked countries
China is N° 9, the ninth best country, at 66 cases per one million population.
Russia is N° 132, at 48,645 cases per million.
US is N° 209 at 124,729 cases per million. It is the only non small country that performs this poorly. Every one of the yet worse countries has below five million population except Czechia, which has a population of 10,732,613.
America’s new cases have been declining since August 27th.
As regards Czechia, all of its bad performance ended in June. On 1 March 2021, Czechia introduced a draconian lockdown; and, after March 3rd, the raging epidemic began its decline. On 15 March 2021, Al Jazeera headlined “Czech Republic: What’s behind world’s worst COVID infection rate?” and reported
Leading expert in viral sequencing, Jan Pačes from the Academy of Sciences, talks to Al Jazeera about the severity of the pandemic and calls on the government to take stricter precautions.
Al Jazeera How did the country go from having some of the lowest infection rates in Europe to the highest in the world?
Jan Pačes The Czech Republic is currently in its fourth wave of the pandemic and the healthcare system is reaching its limits.
The Czech government has consistently showed incompetent leadership, failing to protect public health, governing through populism rather than taking on expert advice.
As regards China (which arguably has the world’s best performance at controlling Covid 19): the New York Times indicates vaccination rates throughout the world, at
which shows, for China 78% of its residents as having received one shot, and 69% two.
US is 63% and 53%.
Russia is 31% and 27%.
Czechia is 56% and 55%.
Vietnam is 21% and 3.9%.
Vietnam had been, for a long time, the country that had the world’s lowest Covidn19 infection rate, but they were left flat footed and drastically unprepared for the Delta variant, with virtually no access to vaccines, and Vietnam’s Covid 19 infection rate started soaring in May 2021 and peaked on August 26th. During that time, Vietnam’s performance fell from N° 1 to N° 67 on infection rate (“Tot cases/1M pop”). Vietnam’s Government, which previously had been so proud of its performance, is now intensively struggling with the pandemic
Within the United States itself, the worst performing states, in order, as of September 10th, are Tennessee (163,936), Florida (160,016), North Dakota (159,064), Rhode Island (156,183), Arkansas (155,735), Mississippi (154,667), South Dakota (153,909), Louisiana (152,814), South Carolina (151,474), and Alabama (150,212). Nine of those ten states had voted for Donald Trump.
For comparison, see these nations: US (124,729), China (66), Czechia (156,763), Russia (48,645), Vietnam (5,991).
Booster Covid Shots Aren’t Needed, Say 18 Top Epidemiologists, In THE LANCET
These excerpts are posted by Eric Zuesse
“A consistent ﬁnding is that vaccine efficacy is substantially greater against severe disease than against any infection; in addition, vaccination appears to be substantially protective against severe disease from all the main viral variants. Although the efficacy of most vaccines against symptomatic disease is somewhat less for the delta variant than for the alpha variant, there is still high vaccine efficacy against both symptomatic and severe disease due to the delta variant.”
“Considerations in boosting COVID 19 vaccine immune responses”
Published online September 13, 2021
>Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD, USA (PR Krause MD, MF Gruber PhD); Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA (Prof TR Fleming PhD); Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (Prof R Peto FRS); Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA (Prof IM Longini PhD); University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (Prof JP Figueroa PhD); Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK (Prof JAC Sterne PhD, Prof JPT Higgins PhD); Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, DF, Mexico (A Cravioto PhD); Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa (Prof H Rees MD); Centre of Research in Epidemiology and Statistics (CRESS), Université de Paris, Paris, France (Prof I Boutron PhD); MRC Population Health Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (Prof H Pan PhD); The INCLEN Trust International, New Delhi, India (Prof N Arora MD); World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland (F Kazi PhD, R Gaspar PhD, S Swaminathan MD, MJ Ryan MD, AM Henao Restrepo MD) Correspondence to Dr Philip R Krause Office of Vaccines Research and Review, Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, MD 20993, USA firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Ana Maria Henao Restrepo World Health Organization, Geneva 1211, Switzerland <aclass=”” href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ARTICLE’S OPENING
A new wave of COVID 19 cases caused by the highly transmissible delta variant is exacerbating the worldwide public health crisis, and has led to consideration of the potential need for, and optimal timing of, booster doses for vaccinated populations. (1) Although the idea of further reducing the number of COVID 19 cases by enhancing immunity in vaccinated people is appealing, any decision to do so should be evidence-based and consider the beneﬁts and risks for individuals and society. COVID 19 vaccines continue to be eﬀective against severe disease, including that caused by the delta variant. Most of the observational studies on which this conclusion is based are, however, preliminary and diﬃcult to interpret precisely due to potential confounding and selective reporting. Careful and public scrutiny of the evolving data will be needed to assure that decisions about boosting are informed by reliable science more than by politics. Even if boosting were eventually shown to decrease the medium term risk of serious disease, current vaccine supplies could save more lives if used in previously unvaccinated populations than if used as boosters in vaccinated populations.
Boosting could be appropriate for some individuals in whom the primary vaccination, deﬁned here as the original one-dose or two-dose series of each vaccine, might not have induced adequate protection – exempli gratia, recipients of vaccines with low eﬃcacy or those who are immunocompromised (2) (although people who did not respond robustly to the primary vaccination might also not respond well to a booster). It is not known whether such immunocompromised individuals would receive more beneﬁt from an additional dose of the same vaccine or of a diﬀerent vaccine that might complement the primary immune response.
Boosting might ultimately be needed in the general population because of waning immunity to the primary vaccination or because variants expressing new antigens have evolved to the point at which immune responses to the original vaccine antigens no longer protect adequately against currently circulating viruses.
Although the beneﬁts of primary COVID 19 vaccination clearly outweigh the risks, there could be risks if boosters are widely introduced too soon, or too frequently, especially with vaccines that can have immune mediated side eﬀects (such as myocarditis, which is more common after the second dose of some mRNA vaccines, (3) or Guillain Barre syndrome, which has been associated with adenovirus vectored COVID 19 vaccines (4). If unnecessary boosting causes signiﬁcant adverse reactions, there could be implications for vaccine acceptance that go beyond COVID 19 vaccines. Thus, widespread boosting should be undertaken only if there is clear evidence that it is appropriate. Findings from randomised trials have reliably shown the high initial eﬃcacy of several vaccines, and, less reliably, observational studies have attempted to assess the eﬀects on particular variants or the durability of vaccine eﬃcacy, or both. The appendix identiﬁes and describes the formal and informal reports from these studies. Some of this literature involves peer reviewed publications; however, some does not, and it is likely that some details are importantly wrong and that there has been unduly selective emphasis on particular results.Together, however, these reports provide a partial but useful snapshot of the changing situation, and some clear ﬁndings emerge. The ﬁgure summarises the reports that estimated vaccine eﬃcacy separately for severe disease (variously deﬁned) and for any conﬁrmed SARS CoV 2 infection, plotting one against the other. A consistent ﬁnding is that vaccine eﬃcacy is substantially greater against severe disease than against any [Covid 19] infection; in addition, vaccination appears to be substantially protective against severe disease from all the main viral variants. Although the eﬃcacy of most vaccines against symptomatic disease is somewhat less for the delta variant than for the alpha variant, there is still high vaccine eﬃcacy against both symptomatic and severe disease due to the delta variant.
Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which eﬃcacy against severe disease remains high. Even if humoral immunity appears to wane, reductions in neutralising antibody titre do not necessarily predict reductions in vaccine eﬃcacy over time, and reductions in vaccine eﬃcacy against mild disease do not necessarily predict reductions in the (typically higher) eﬃcacy against severe disease. This eﬀect could be because protection against severe disease is mediated not only by antibody responses, which might be relatively short lived for some vaccines, but also by memory responses and cell mediated immunity, which are generally longer lived. (5) The ability of vaccines that present the antigens of earlier phases of the pandemic (rather than variant speciﬁc antigens) to elicit humoral immune responses against currently circulating variants (6), (7) indicates that these variants have not yet evolved to the point at which they are likely to escape the memory immune responses induced by those vaccines.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic versus Republican Economic Records, 1910 – 2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.