Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 12 September, 2021

President Biden got tough on requiring people to be vaccinated last week.  Or did he?

Sure, I understand, vaguely, the complexity of issues surround states’ rights and what the federal government can and can not do, but I believe there are some matters the federal government can clearly intercede in.

For example, if Biden was truly serious, why didn’t he make being vaccinated a requirement for interstate air travel?  Wouldn’t that be an appropriate additional “trigger event” for requiring vaccination?

Instead, all we’re told is the White House “doesn’t rule out” possibly requiring vaccination or test prior to domestic flight in the future.  Why the delay?  We’ve been stuck in this Covid crisis for 20 months, and under two presidencies and administrations.  How much longer do we have to wait for someone, anyone, to assertively take control and get us out of this mess?

As has consistently been the case, our country’s leadership, at every point, seems to back away from a firm clear commitment on anything to do with the virus.  Why is the government pussy-footing around with a virus that is killing 10,000 people every week?

As a topical reference, after a single event on 9/11/01 that saw the deaths of 2,977 people, the government rushed to embark on 20 years worth of wars around the world, often with only weak or even no relation to the 9/11 attacks, and spend tens of trillions of dollars in the process.  But now we’re losing that many people every two days, over 678,000 thousand deaths in total, there’s little agreement on what to do or how to do it.

Instead, we get confused and contradictory shifting messages about the virus, the vaccine, masks, distancing, how the virus spreads, and everything else.  President Biden now tells us it is necessary to be vaccinated so as to protect vaccinated people from unvaccinated people.  But isn’t the vaccine itself supposed to give us that protection?  Aren’t we vaccinated people already protected?  If we are not (and, yes, that increasingly seems to be the case – with risk appearing in more or less equal measure both from unvaccinated and other vaccinated people), why require others to vaccinate if there’s little or no benefit?  (Yes, I know vaccinated people are less likely to die, and that’s great, but it is also greatly underwhelming compared to the original promises of fast vaccine-based herd-immunity that we were being promised this time a year ago.

Talking about protecting people, and noting varying opinions about face masks and social distancing and other requirements, the picture you see here is of the Chinese para-Olympic hockey team arriving in Sweden.  Is this overkill, or is this what is really truly needed?

And talking about difficult to answer questions, here’s Dr Fauci stuttering out an incoherent reply full of waffle and lacking in substance when asked a very simple question that surely should be one to which there is already a definitive answer, rather than a confused reference to needing to look into the matter in the future.

The question was whether or not people who have already had a Covid infection need to be vaccinated, too.  Dr Fauci’s answer, before the waffling set in was astonishing :

You know, that’s a really good point, Sanjay. I don’t have a really firm answer for you on that. That’s something that we’re going to have to discuss …..

Twenty months in and they still need to discuss the value and longevity of natural immunity?  Now that one in every eight Americans has had a Covid infection (some people suggest the number to be much higher) isn’t that an important thing to understand?

Why is it that the government’s single-minded strategy seems to be to get the maximum amount of vaccine into the arms of as many people as possible, whether it is needed (or wanted) or not, and no matter how well (or poorly) it works, or for long it remains effective?

Here’s a great article :  ‘Get Sicker’:  Anatomy of a Failed Policy.

Talking of great articles, if you missed my mentioning it on Thursday, please do read this brilliant and clearly written article, ‘The great ivermectin deworming hoax‘.  Send the link to your doctor.  If he disagrees with ivermectin, maybe this will change his mind, and if he does agree, maybe this will encourage him to be braver and bolder in voicing his support.

As another example of the deworming hoax in action, the Mississippi Poison Control Center issued a statement that was poorly worded/ambiguous, and which may have implied that 70% of all calls it was receiving were for people suffering from taking “horse dewormer” type ivermectin.  The actual number was 2%.

The problem is the headline claim of 70% was then taken up and repeated, without any clarification or correction, by other media, including some with very loud voices, such as the NY Times.  Almost no-one reading an NYT claim that 70% of calls were for ivermectin related poisonings is going to think twice, or try to find/confirm the source of that claim.  Then the NYT article gets cited to “prove” the claim by other media, and so on, and the myth has taken on an undeserved and seemingly validated life of its own.

Current Numbers

The minor country list saw Georgia and French Polynesia swap positions at the bottom.

The major country list saw the UK shoot up four places.  The death rate list saw Tunisia replace Poland at the bottom.

The list of countries with the greatest rates of new Covid cases last week saw generally lower numbers of new cases per country.  In Europe, cases overall dropped 3% for the week, with Spain seeing a 45% drop, Portugal a 29% drop and France a 27% drop.  The Czech Republic is seeing its new cases rise, with a 55% increase for the week (the same as Slovenia), Serbia had an even higher 68% rise, and Slovakia almost doubled with a 95% rise.  Germany finally turned the corner with a 0.4% drop, although neighboring Austria still has cases rising 20%.

Canada’s cases stopped their steady rise, and dropped 24%, and Mexico’s cases dropped a more modest 7%.  The world as a whole enjoyed a substantial 15% drop in cases.

Top Case Rates Minor (population under 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Seychelles (203,343) Seychelles (207,851)
2 Andorra Andorra
3 Montenegro Montenegro
4 Gibraltar (159,981) Gibraltar (161,258)
5 San Marino San Marino
6 St Barth St Barth
7 Bahrain Bahrain
8 Maldives Maldives
9 French Polynesia Georgia (145,947)
10 Georgia (141,914) French Polynesia (142,046)

 

Top Case Rates Major (population over 10 million) Countries (cases per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Czech Republic (156,587) Czech Republic (156,826)
2 USA (122,432) USA (125,563)
3 Argentina Netherlands
4 Netherlands Argentina
5 Sweden Sweden
6 France UK  (105,782)
7 Spain France
8 Portugal Spain
9 Belgium Portugal
10 UK (102,160) Belgium
11 Brazil  (97,466) Brazil
12 Colombia (95,468) Colombia (95,674)

 

Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Peru  (5,922) Peru  (5,930)
2 Czech Republic (2,833) Czech Republic (2,834)
3 Brazil Brazil
4 Argentina Argentina
5 Colombia Colombia
6 Belgium Belgium
7 Italy Italy
8 Mexico (2,016) Mexico (2,051)
9 USA (1,999) USA (2,034)
10 Poland (1,994) Tunisia (2,023)

 

Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population

Rank One Week Ago Today
1 Mongolia  7,018 Mongolia  6,915
2 Israel  6,870 Israel  5,638
3 Georgia Cuba
4 Cuba Serbia
5 Malaysia Malaysia
6 UK  3,619 Georgia
7 USA  3,360  (est) UK  3,644
8 Palestine Palestine
9 Serbia USA  2,900 (est)
10 Costa Rica Slovenia
11 Azerbaijan Costa Rica
12 Iran  2,374 Switzerland  2,203

 

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Items below include some more evaluation of the level of post-Covid immunity, another nine potential “off-the-shelf” Covid treatments (and now over 70 in total), shocking revelations about the makeup of a NIH review board that gave thumbs-down to ivermectin, similar great disappointments in how the FDA evaluated the data prior to giving full approval to the Pfizer vaccine, a surprising US statistic suggesting vaccinated people are more likely to get the virus, why is the US still refusing to allow people from 36 generally safe countries to visit, has Denmark truly beaten the virus, and why does England no longer feel the need for a vaccine passport?

SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

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END OF SUPPORTER ONLY CONTENT

Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Thursday.

Please click here for a listing of all our Covid-19 articles.

 

1 thought on “Covid-19 Diary : Sunday 12 September, 2021”

  1. A few comments on the Cornell numbers.
    – They are testing pretty much everyone with a goal of weekly for vaccinated and 2x per week for the unvaccinated. First week was ~22K tests; assuming the ~2K unvaccinated were tested twice, they tested about half of the total student and staff population.
    – The much more contagious Delta variate was not in the US last September.
    – By doing surveillance testing, they are likely identifying asymptomatic cases. Which are generally not reported in the general population.
    – It would be nice if Cornell would report the asymptomatic versus symptomatic numbers.
    – The positivity rate is 0.45% versus 10% for the US in general. These are not fully comparable as surveillance testing isn’t happening in the general population.

    If the US population has the same positivity as Cornell, there are over 14 million people currently infected. Assuming that people test positive for 14 days there are about 2 million reported cases. (150K average * 14). So the rate could 7 times greater than reported. So it is likely there are a lot of asymptomatic people running around right now.

    It will be interesting to watch the Cornell numbers over the next few weeks

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