By Thomas Neuburger
We have two simultaneous problems with Covid in the U.S. They overlap, but each on its own is responsible for the persistence of Covid among us.
Let me explain.
The Ginned-Up War Between the Class War's Victims Enlarges the Unvaccinated
"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half." —Jay Gould (cited here)
First, people who are virulently anti-vaxx are being media-stirred to be even more anti-vaxx, because "freedom," with new rebels added by the day. These people would exist anyway, but not in these numbers, except for for the culture war that:
• Republicans Party supporters like Richard Viguerie started in the late 1970s and cynically continue to profit from electorally.
• Democratic Party supporters contribute to by demonizing anyone on the "idiot side of the political fence." The still-approved term for the other side's supporters, though not said in public by people of standing, is "deplorables."
Lower down, the term is used freely. For example:
This was written after the January 6 riot, but note that it targets "Trump supporters," meaning all Trump voters, including those who voted Republican just because they couldn't stomach mainstream Democrats.
To put a number to it, that comment tars close to 75,000,000 voters, almost half of a total voting pool of 160 million Americans. That's a lot of people to disdain. And this remark is certainly not alone. From just this month:
You get the idea. Half of the voting public is being driven up to hate the other half, and each side happily participates. As a result, we have a war that will never end unless those promoting it stand down. Which they won't.
All this has made being a "deplorable" a badge of honor on the one side:
It has also made treating right-wing voters as if they were "deplorable" a badge of membership on the other. For example, consider this snarky comment...
...and this, from the queen of mainstream anti-Trump orthodoxy...
...which freely conflated using the horse version of ivermectin with using the FDA-approved, known-safe pharmaceutical version available in pharmacies.
All of which leads to events like this:
It's impossible not to conclude that the pharmacy above is responding to Democratic ecosystem orthodoxy and violating its duty as pharmacists to do it. Reminds one of those (deplorable) days when right-wing pharmacies wouldn't fill birth control prescriptions.
Because of all this, we have probably maxed the percentage of vaccinated Americans until a great enough number of deaths — deaths that touch us all, deaths that reach almost every family — lays all of us low and humbles the violently angry on every side.
Clearly, one hopes and prays not to see that outcome. Which means, sadly enough, one inevitably hopes this war will never end.
The Falsely-Named 'Pandemic of the Unvaccinated' Hides the True Nature of Our Vaccines
Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca do not require that their vaccine prevent serious disease, only symptoms. —Dr. William Haseltine
But all this public panic, anger and shaming of the unvaccinated by the vaccinated...
...hides another fact. The Covid vaccines, as good as they are, were never designed to prevent infection in the first place, only symptoms.
Let that sink in. The current Covid vaccines were not designed to prevent infection. That's why "breakthrough infections" occur. And note, because the vaccines do prevent severe symptoms and a vast majority of cases, the number of breakthough infections must, by definition, be vastly under-counted.
Prevention of infection must be a critical endpoint. Any vaccine trial should include regular antigen testing every three days to test contagiousness to pick up early signs of infection and PCR testing once a week to confirm infection by SARS-CoV-2 test the ability of the vaccines to stave off infection. Prevention of infection is not a criterion for success for any of these vaccines. In fact, their endpoints all require confirmed infections and all those they will include in the analysis for success, the only difference being the severity of symptoms between the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Measuring differences amongst only those infected by SARS-CoV-2 underscores the implicit conclusion that the vaccines are not expected to prevent infection, only modify symptoms of those infected.
We all expect an effective vaccine to prevent serious illness if infected. Three of the vaccine protocols—Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca—do not require that their vaccine prevent serious disease[,] only that they prevent moderate symptoms which may be as mild as cough, or headache. [emphasis added]
It may be true that these vaccines, to some unknown degree, do protect against infection, but, to use a club brandished against those who recommend studying ivermectin, no clinical studies, to my knowledge, have established that, or have established the degree of that protection.
It's certainly true that the world wanted these vaccines on the market on the fastest schedule possible, and it's also certain that they have saved many many lives. Just look at the ratio of infections-to-deaths prior to the vaccine rollout, and the same ratio afterward (chart above).
But it is also certain that it's not just the unvaccinated who are infecting the vaccinated, since both vaccinated and unvaccinated can be Covid carriers.
Which means that, even if the world were 100% vaccinated with these vaccines, the vaccinated who host the virus would provide ample breeding ground for variants.
In other words, with these vaccines as our only real defense, we may not die because of the virus among us, but the virus among us will not die either.
And the unvaccinated are not responsible for that. Our global Covid strategy is.