Paul Gauguin Van Gogh painting sunflowers 1888
Things are shifting, and everyone’s busy saving their faulty faces. It’s about time to decree that only the vaccinated need to wear masks, but they’re not quite there yet.
Those tests? Whenever you feel like it, Pfizer. No hurry.
FDA approval in September? That’s 2024, right?!
Dr. Paul Offit about full FDA approval for Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/nbADXl0tbs
— Camus (@camus37) July 29, 2021
Fleming vax or not risk reduction 0.8-1.25%
Conspiracy theory or… pic.twitter.com/tNki3q3EYu
— Camus (@camus37) July 29, 2021
If true, it would be game changing (a first?!). A virus that becomes more transmissible and more lethal at the same time. For now, don’t buy it.
As for those MSNBC interviews, that’s where most people get “informed”. Tragic.
• CDC: Delta Variant Spreads As Easily As Chickenpox, Causes More Severe Infection (CNN)
The Delta coronavirus variant surging across the United States appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The document — a slide presentation — outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky confirmed the authenticity of the document, which was first reported by The Washington Post. “I think people need to understand that we’re not crying wolf here. This is serious,” she told CNN. “It’s one of the most transmissible viruses we know about. Measles, chickenpox, this — they’re all up there.”
Yasmeen Abutaleb, health reporter for the Washington Post, talks about new Washington Post reporting on an internal CDC document that describes the delta variant's greater transmissibility, including by vaccinated people, and greater severity of infection. pic.twitter.com/ceqlQZgkRH
— Camus (@camus37) July 30, 2021
The CDC is scheduled to publish data Friday that will back Walensky’s controversial decision to change guidance for fully vaccinated people. She said Tuesday the CDC was recommending that even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in places where transmission of the virus is sustained or high.[..]The presentation also cites three reports that indicate the Delta variant — originally known as B.1.617.2 — might cause more severe disease. The CDC, the document advises, should “acknowledge the war has changed.” It recommends vaccine mandates and universal mask requirements. The virus is once against surging across the US — especially in areas where fewer people are vaccinated. The US averaged more than 61,300 new daily cases over the last week — an average that’s generally risen since the country hit a 2021 low of 11,299 daily cases on June 22, according to Johns Hopkins University data. “The number of cases we have now is higher than any number we had on any given day last summer,” Walensky told CNN.
Internal CDC doc. outlines increased danger of delta variant: WaPo pic.twitter.com/7fI2fvn0fz
— Camus (@camus37) July 30, 2021
Nothing to do with the very very effective vaccines of course.
• CDC Expected To Announce Friday That Vaccines Don’t Work on Delta Variant (CTH)
The White House would never credit Donald Trump with the vaccine rollout unless there was something negative about the vaccine that is going to hit the newswires; that is a no-brainer. That baseline is why CTH said two months ago to watch for the moment when the White House credits Trump with the vaccine, because that’s the moment when: (1) the vaccine was going to be identified as dangerous; and/or (2) reports would show the vaccine did not work. Today the White House credited President Trump with the vaccine:
….And right on cue, the late-evening reporting indicates that tomorrow the CDC will announce the vaccine doesn’t work (against the Delta variant). Hence, the need for masks, social distancing and/or possibly lockdowns 2.0. Reminder, when the Intelligence Branch needs to get the public relations engaged, they use the New York Times. [New York Times] – […] New research showed that vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant carry tremendous amounts of the virus in the nose and throat, she said in an email responding to questions from The New York Times. The finding contradicts what scientists had observed in vaccinated people infected with previous versions of the virus, who mostly seemed incapable of infecting others. That conclusion dealt Americans a heavy blow: People with so-called breakthrough infections — cases that occur despite full vaccination — of the Delta variant may be just as contagious as unvaccinated people, even if they have no symptoms.”
Bottom line of this narrative shift… vaccinations don’t work. Everything goes back to square one. Blame Trump, not us. There is also data showing that COVID hospitalizations offer no distinction between vaccinated and unvaccinated; and in the example of LA county, the percentage of vaccinated people hospitalized with COVID is identical to the percentage of vaccinated people in the general population. [70% of population vaccinated, 70% of COVID hospitalization patients are vaccinated.] The vaccine offers no benefit from the standing of hospitalization… or so it appears.
In San Francisco, 77% of the population is vaccinated and 83% of the COVID hospitalizations at University of California SF Hospital are previously vaccinated [link]. Again, highlighting the vaccine offers no benefit from the standpoint of hospitalization. Additionally, there’s data from a recent Pfizer study where 44,000 patients were studied. 22,000 were given the vaccine, and 22,000 received the placebo. The results amid both groups was almost identical.
She keeps at it still: “..in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious..”
What will the message be tomorrow?
• Health Officials Less Confident About Covid Vaccine Due To Delta Variant (JTN)
Public health confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be waning as officials warn of enhanced danger — even for vaccinated individuals — from the “Delta variant” of the SARS-Cov-2 virus. For most of the past year officials have claimed that vaccinations are the only viable path back to normalcy and away from lockdowns and other aggressive mitigation measures. “Look at the folks in your community who have gotten vaccinated and are getting back to living their lives — their full lives,” President Joe Biden said at a May press conference, arguing that the vaccine was “going to help them and their loved ones be safe, get our businesses open again, and get us back to normal.”
The rollout of the vaccines starting last year and continuing throughout the spring and summer of this year has been hailed as the driving force behind the reopening of the economy and the ending of masking mandates and similar restrictions. Yet over the past week the tone from public officials has grown increasingly grim, with leaders now appearing to doubt that the vaccine is sufficient to forestall COVID transmission and potential catastrophe due to the rise of the Delta variant. A marked shift was seen this week from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reversed its earlier masking guidance and claimed that fully vaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors in areas with high COVID transmission.
The Delta variant “behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause COVID-19,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a press conference this week. “Information on the Delta variant from several states and other countries indicate that in rare occasions, some vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant after vaccination may be contagious and spread the virus to others,” she claimed. “This new science is worrisome and unfortunately warrants an update to our recommendations.” White House coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci signaled a similar shift during an interview with NPR when he called the Delta variant “a different virus.” The Delta variant “is much more capable of transmitting from people to people,” Fauci claimed, stating that when even fully vaccinated people contract the virus “they are capable of transmitting the infection to someone else.”
The shift from strong confidence in the vaccine to the masking of fully vaccinated individuals comes after several weeks of steadily rising COVID-19 cases throughout the United States. Experts have feared that the Delta variant could cause a surge in hospitalizations and deaths, leading to catastrophic scenarios of the kinds hypothesized at the outset of the pandemic last year.
But wait, wasn’t it as contagious as ebola?
• Gottlieb: Delta Surge May Be Reversing In Hot Spots (ZH)
While hospitalizations and deaths are clearly higher in areas where vaccination rates are lower, rates are still well below their levels from just a few months ago. And although Dr. Anthony Fauci would have you believe that Delta might cause the end of the world as we know it, his isn’t the only view on the matter. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former director of the FDA, believes delta will peak within the next two to three weeks. And after breaking the data down to the regional level, Bloomberg has apparently spotted some trends that suggest as Delta’s global conquest has been characterized by “hyperspeed spikes in infections that eased dramatically after about two months.”
s The first US outbreaks that caught officials’ eye were in Missouri and Arkansas, and they both started in earnest around the end of May, per BBG. They noted that the rest of the country will be keeping a close eye on both states (along with a handful of others, including California). The rest of the US will be watching those states closely as infections spread. The cases are prompting authorities to reconsider masking and other public-health measures, but many state and local governments are doing so gingerly and only after outbreaks are well underway. In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Wednesday that she would require masks again at indoor county facilities such as libraries.
Bloomberg also cited the following tweet from Dr. Gottlieb where he explained how Rt, a virus’s effective reproductive number, plays into forecasts of the virus’s spread. The logic behind it is pretty simple: If Rt falls below 1, then the virus’s spread should start to slow. Gottlieb cited data from covidestim, a project with contributors from Yale School of Public Health, Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Stanford Medicine, showing the Rt rate in the worst hit states is already trending toward 1. When the numbers did this in the UK, seen as being just a few weeks ahead of the US, cases quickly started falling off.
The conclusion is simple: “..memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination.”.
But they still need to package it in jargon.
• Antibody Evolution after SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccination (bioRxiv)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection produces B-cell responses that continue to evolve for at least one year. During that time, memory B cells express increasingly broad and potent antibodies that are resistant to mutations found in variants of concern. As a result, vaccination of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) convalescent individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines produces high levels of plasma neutralizing activity against all variants tested. Here, we examine memory B cell evolution 5 months after vaccination with either Moderna (mRNA-1273) or Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA vaccines in a cohort of SARS-CoV-2 naive individuals.
Between prime and boost, memory B cells produce antibodies that evolve increased neutralizing activity, but there is no further increase in potency or breadth thereafter. Instead, memory B cells that emerge 5 months after vaccination of naive individuals express antibodies that are equivalent to those that dominate the initial response. We conclude that memory antibodies selected over time by natural infection have greater potency and breadth than antibodies elicited by vaccination. These results suggest that boosting vaccinated individuals with currently available mRNA vaccines would produce a quantitative increase in plasma neutralizing activity but not the qualitative advantage against variants obtained by vaccinating convalescent individuals.
The WSJ goes ivermectin. Next up NYT, then CNN?
• Why Is the FDA Attacking a Safe, Effective Drug? (WSJ)
The Food and Drug Administration claims to follow the science. So why is it attacking ivermectin, a medication it certified in 1996? Earlier this year the agency put out a special warning that “you should not use ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19.” The FDA’s statement included words and phrases such as “serious harm,” “hospitalized,” “dangerous,” “very dangerous,” “seizures,” “coma and even death” and “highly toxic.” Any reader would think the FDA was warning against poison pills. In fact, the drug is FDA-approved as a safe and effective antiparasitic. Ivermectin was developed and marketed by Merck & Co. while one of us (Mr. Hooper) worked there years ago.
William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering and developing avermectin, which Mr. Campbell and associates modified to create ivermectin. Ivermectin is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Merck has donated four billion doses to prevent river blindness and other diseases in Africa and other places where parasites are common. A group of 10 doctors who call themselves the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance have said ivermectin is “one of the safest, low-cost, and widely available drugs in the history of medicine.” Ivermectin fights 21 viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of Covid-19. A single dose reduced the viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in cells by 99.8% in 24 hours and 99.98% in 48 hours, according to a June 2020 study published in the journal Antiviral Research.
Some 70 clinical trials are evaluating the use of ivermectin for treating Covid-19. The statistically significant evidence suggests that it is safe and works for both treating and preventing the disease. In 115 patients with Covid-19 who received a single dose of ivermectin, none developed pneumonia or cardiovascular complications, while 11.4% of those in the control group did. Fewer ivermectin patients developed respiratory distress (2.6% vs. 15.8%); fewer required oxygen (9.6% vs. 45.9%); fewer required antibiotics (15.7% vs. 60.2%); and fewer entered intensive care (0.1% vs. 8.3%). Ivermectin-treated patients tested negative faster, in four days instead of 15, and stayed in the hospital nine days on average instead of 15. Ivermectin patients experienced 13.3% mortality compared with 24.5% in the control group.
Moreover, the drug can help prevent Covid-19. One 2020 article in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications looked at what happened after the drug was given to family members of confirmed Covid-19 patients. Less than 8% became infected, versus 58.4% of those untreated.Despite the FDA’s claims, ivermectin is safe at approved doses. Out of four billion doses administered since 1998, there have been only 28 cases of serious neurological adverse events, according to an article published this year in the American Journal of Therapeutics. The same study found that ivermectin has been used safely in pregnant women, children and infants.
Fiddling with Nancy’s new hobby.
• US Capitol Police Walk Back Order To Arrest Those Without A Mask (JTN)
Capitol police Thursday night walked back a memo that ordered officers to deny entry and possibly arrest those who enter the United States House of Representatives who are not wearing masks after mask mandates were reintroduced earlier this week. “Regarding the House mask rule, there is no reason it should ever come to someone being arrested. Anyone who does not follow the rule will be asked to wear a mask or leave the premises. The Department’s requirements for officers to wear masks is for their health and safety,” the USCP said in a statement Thursday night.
On Wednesday, newly appointed Capitol Police Chief Thomas Manger ordered officers to enforce new mask mandates in the House, including denial of entry and even arrest. “If a visitor or staff member fails to wear a mask after a request is made to do so, the visitor or staff shall be denied entry to the House Office Buildings or House-side of the U.S. Capitol,” Manger said Wednesday. “Any person who fails to either comply or leave the premises after being asked to do so would be subject to an arrest for Unlawful Entry.”
They must be vaccinated so they spread more virus. A Chinese study claims the viral load is 1,000 times higher.
• Biden Mandates All Federal Workers Must Be Vaccinated… Except Postal Workers (ZH)
Earlier in the week Biden suggested that those who are yet to be vaccinated are “sowing enormous confusion.” “We have a pandemic because of the unvaccinated, and they’re sowing enormous confusion,” Biden said. “And there’s only one thing we know for sure, if those other 100 million people got vaccinated, we’d be in a very different world. So get vaccinated. If you haven’t, you’re not nearly as smart as I said you were.” And now he has gone to ’11’ on the ‘your body, no choice’ amplifier, saying tonight that he’ll require federal workers to prove they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19 or wear masks and submit to frequent coronavirus testing. Additionally, the rules will cover millions of federal workers, including the military and on-site contractors.
“What I’m trying to do is keep people safe,” Biden said Thursday at the White House. “If in fact you’re unvaccinated, you present a problem to yourself, to your family and to those with whom you work.” Biden also asked his team to take steps to apply similar standards to all federal contractors and encourage private sector employers to follow the same approach. There’s just one thing… the federal worker mandate does not apply to postal workers? What do postal workers know about the science that Biden doesn’t? We don’t know, but dare we mention it could be related to the 220,000-member strong union’s leaders waiting to be negotiated with. As The Epoch Times’ Isabel van Brugen detailed earlier,
“The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) has said that it opposes mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, amid reports that the White House is considering so-called vaccine passports as a condition of employment for federal employees. The union, which represents over 220,000 postal workers, released a statement late Wednesday saying that while it will encourage postal workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is “not the role of the federal government to mandate vaccinations for the employees we represent.” “Issues related to vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in the workplace must be negotiated with the APWU. At this time the APWU opposes the mandating of COVID-19 vaccinations in relation to U.S. postal workers,” the statement said.
Not a word about the flu.
• CDC To Drop ‘Gold Standard’ PCR Test (JTN)
PCR tests, long hailed as the “gold standard” in detecting SARS-Cov-2 cases, will be dropped by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the beginning of next year. Polymerase chain reaction tests have been a mainstay of the U.S. and global response to COVID-19 since early in 2020, but health officials have warned the diagnostic tool poses a risk of false-positive results. The test works by amplifying a biological sample through successive cycles until a virus — if it’s present in the assay — can be detected by the testing machine. The CDC announced this month that it would be withdrawing its request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the emergency use authorization of the test. The agency urged laboratories to “begin their transition to another FDA-authorized COVID-19 test.”
CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund told Just the News that the agency was discontinuing its support for the test “given the availability of commercial options for clinical diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, including multiplexed … and high-throughput options.” “Although the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus … Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel met an important unmet need when it was developed and deployed and has not demonstrated any performance issues, the demand for this test has declined with the emergence of other higher-throughput and multiplexed assays,” she said via email. Those risks have been acknowledged by multiple prominent public health figures, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In a July 2020 interview on an infectious disease podcast, Fauci warned that the sensitive PCR tests might, if allowed to progress through too many amplification cycles, return a “positive” result when it was actually just detecting “dead nucleotides.” The World Health Organization earlier this year warned in a medical product alert that PCR tests carry with them the risk of “false positives” because the test might only be picking up small fragments of the virus via heavy amplification. “[D]isease prevalence alters the predictive value of test results; as disease prevalence decreases, the risk of false positive increases,” the alert stated. “This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity.”
“We welcome the ruling of the Court, which upholds the principle that platforms like ours are allowed to remove hate speech according to company policies and block the respective user accounts,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
• German Court Tells Facebook To Reinstate Deleted Posts (Pol.eu)
Germany’s Federal Court ruled Thursday that Facebook had to reinstate racist comments because it had improperly removed them. In its ruling, the Karlsruhe-based court said that while Facebook had the right to decide what stays on or off the platform, it needs to be more forthcoming with users on how it does so. The court found that the social media company did not inform two users that it had removed their posts. It added that the company should have also informed and given users an opportunity to respond before suspending them from its platform. The decision sets a major precedent for how social media companies police content on their platforms, likely giving a boost to EU lawmakers in Brussels, who are pushing to add further obligations on social media companies.
It also upends a years-long status quo whereby platforms were effectively free to develop and implement content moderation policies on their own, which critics say has resulted in a lack of transparency, information, and potential recourse for the users. The case in question is from 2018, when Facebook removed posts in which two German users attacked migrants because it said the posts violated its policy on hate speech, and then suspended the users’ accounts for several days. The users complained that the posts’ removal was a violation of free speech. The court said while Facebook was entitled to set strict content rules banning hateful speech and to block users, the way it implemented its content moderation policy was not proper.
“Provisions in general terms and conditions are ineffective if they unreasonably disadvantage the contractual partner of the user contrary to the requirements of good faith,” said the court. Facebook will not be allowed to delete the posts again after they are reinstated. “We welcome the ruling of the Court, which upholds the principle that platforms like ours are allowed to remove hate speech according to company policies and block the respective user accounts,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
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Tucker Carlson about COVID-19 and children pic.twitter.com/yagl40e7Ja
— Camus (@camus37) July 29, 2021
Fauci about delta variant and children…
Fauci about delta variant and children… pic.twitter.com/8HQoeeGQFT
— Camus (@camus37) July 29, 2021
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