Vincent van Gogh Road menders at Saint-Remy 1889
So where did the idea of "vaccine hesitancy" come from? The same people who are demanding you be vaxxed or else. SAME PEOPLE. pic.twitter.com/LgMf6eqC3C
— Jeremy Kappell (@JeremyKappell) December 16, 2021
CDC lists at least 3 conventional type vaccines (inactivated/killed virus as opposed to RNA/DNA) on its own website that are recognized by the United States government as producing immunity to COVID, yet no conventional vaccine is available in the United States. Why @CDCDirector? pic.twitter.com/WRDePjUbb1
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 18, 2021
A Bloomberg piece without a paywall for me.
South Africa delivered some positive news on the omicron coronavirus variant on Friday, reporting a much lower rate of hospital admissions and signs that the wave of infections may be peaking. Only 1.7% of identified Covid-19 cases were admitted to hospital in the second week of infections in the fourth wave, compared with 19% in the same week of the third delta-driven wave, South African Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at a press conference. Health officials presented evidence that the strain may be milder, and that infections may already be peaking in the country’s most populous province, Gauteng. Still, new cases in that week of the current wave were more than 20,000 a day, compared with 4,400 in the same week of the third wave. That’s further evidence of omicron’s rapid transmissibility, which a number of other countries, such as the U.K., are also now experiencing.
South Africa, which announced the discovery of the variant on Nov. 25, is being watched as a harbinger of what may happen with omicron elsewhere. Scientists have cautioned that other nations may have a different experience to South Africa as the country’s population is young compared with developed nations. Between 70% and 80% of citizens may also have had a prior Covid-19 infection, according to antibody surveys, meaning they could have some level of protection. Currently there are about 7,600 people with Covid-19 in South African hospitals, about 40% of the peak in the second and third waves. Excess deaths, a measure of the number of deaths against a historical average, are just below 2,000 a week, an eighth of their previous peak.
“It’s disappointing news for families anxious to vaccinate their tots.”
Pfizer said Friday it was changing plans and testing three doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in babies and preschoolers after the usual two shots didn’t appear strong enough for some of the children. Pfizer announced the change after a preliminary analysis found 2- to 4-year-olds didn’t have as strong an immune response as expected to the very low-dose shots the company is testing in the youngest children. It’s disappointing news for families anxious to vaccinate their tots. Pfizer had expected data on how well the vaccines were working in children under 5 by year’s end, and it’s not clear how long the change will delay a final answer.
Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said if the three-dose study is successful, they plan to apply for emergency authorization sometime in the first half of 2022. A kid-sized version of Pfizer’s vaccine already is available for 5- to 11-year-olds, one that’s a third of the dose given to everyone else 12 and older. For children younger than 5, Pfizer is testing an even smaller dose, just 3 micrograms or a tenth of the adult dose. Researchers analyzed a subset of youngsters in the study a month after their second dose to see if the tots developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies that were similar to teens and young adults who get the regular shots. The very low-dose shots appeared to work in youngsters under age 2, who produced similar antibody levels.
But the immune response in 2- to 4-year-olds was lower than the study required, Pfizer vaccine research chief Kathrin Jansen said Friday in a call with investors. Rather than trying a higher-dose shot for the preschoolers, Pfizer decided to expand the study to evaluate three of the very low-dose shots in all the study participants — from 6 months up to age 5. That third shot will come at least two months after the youngsters’ second dose. No safety concerns have been spotted in the study, the companies said.
From October 2021
Accurate estimates of COVID vaccine-induced severe adverse event and death rates are critical for risk-benefit ratio analyses of vaccination and boosters against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in different age groups. However, existing surveillance studies are not designed to reliably estimate life-threatening event or vaccine-induced fatality rates (VFR). Here, regional variation in vaccination rates was used to predict all-cause mortality and non-COVID deaths in subsequent time periods using two independent, publicly available datasets from the US and Europe (month-and week-level resolutions, respectively). Vaccination correlated negatively with mortality 6-20 weeks post-injection, while vaccination predicted all-cause mortality 0-5 weeks post-injection in almost all age groups and with an age-related temporal pattern consistent with the US vaccine rollout.
Results from fitted regression slopes (p<0.05 FDR corrected) suggest a US national average VFR of 0.04% and higher VFR with age (VFR=0.004% in ages 0-17 increasing to 0.06% in ages >75 years), and 146K to 187K vaccine-associated US deaths between February and August, 2021. Notably, adult vaccination increased ulterior mortality of unvaccinated young (<18, US; <15, Europe). Comparing our estimate with the CDC-reported VFR (0.002%) suggests VAERS deaths are underreported by a factor of 20, consistent with known VAERS under-ascertainment bias. Comparing our age-stratified VFRs with published age-stratified coronavirus infection fatality rates (IFR) suggests the risks of COVID vaccines and boosters outweigh the benefits in children, young adults and older adults with low occupational risk or previous coronavirus exposure. We discuss implications for public health policies related to boosters, school and workplace mandates, and the urgent need to identify, develop and disseminate diagnostics and treatments for life-altering vaccine injuries.
“Not only do the three vaccines authorized for emergency use require boosters due to waning “protective efficacy,” but they haven’t stopped breakthrough infections..”
Federal officials and advisors who have consistently boosted COVID-19 vaccines are starting to sound more like skeptics of the vaccines’ efficacy and safety. The face of the Biden administration’s COVID response is now making the same claims about vaccines that got a contrarian journalist booted from Twitter, while the CDC encouraged Americans to avoid a specific vaccine. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci cowrote a “perspective” in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) Wednesday that acknowledged COVID vaccines were not living up to expectations. Not only do the three vaccines authorized for emergency use require boosters due to waning “protective efficacy,” but they haven’t stopped breakthrough infections, “allowing subsequent transmission to other people even when the vaccine prevents severe and fatal disease.”
Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson wrote of the vaccines in August: “It doesn’t stop infection. Or transmission.” They have a “limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile.” Twitter permanently suspended him the same day for “repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules.” The social media company didn’t respond to Just the News queries seeking its distinction between claims by Berenson and Fauci and whether it would apply an “unsafe” warning to the NEJM essay, as it recently did to a study on increased heart risks in vaccine recipients, or otherwise restrict the publisher’s account. Twitter quietly updated its “COVID-19 misleading information policy” page sometime after Dec. 2, even while claiming through Wednesday that the update was made in November. (It corrected the month on Thursday, several days after Reclaim the Net noted the discrepancy.)
Among the new authority it grants itself, Twitter will punish users who claim vaccines, regardless of their authorization status, are “experimental”; taking them “would be more harmful than getting COVID-19”; and most pertinent to Fauci’s essay, vaccinated people “can spread or shed the virus … to unvaccinated people.”
“American doctors have proven to be cowards, cravens, zombies, and fools facilitating Dr. Fauci’s evil campaign — in concert with the rapacious pharmaceutical industry and a government in thrall to sinister forces that seek to destroy the country.”
The public health bureaucrat who styles himself as “the Science” is at it again. In his quest to eliminate the control group for his experiment in hazardous mRNA injections, Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterated his warning that the nation faces “a crisis of the unvaccinated.” Omicron is upon us, he told a US Chamber of Commerce meet-up this week, and the hospitals will soon be overwhelmed by the unvaxxed. Oh really? In fact, the gravest threat to America’s public health is… Dr. Tony Fauci and his debauchery of medical science. This will surely come as a surprise to readers of The New York Times, who see in the two-year (so far) Covid-19 event a splendid opportunity to hasten the destruction of the US economy and our culture in order to consolidate their own power to coerce and control the population. Clear the offices! Shut down the social spaces! Make ordinary business as difficult as possible! Cancel Christmas! That’ll git’er done!
In fact, Dr. Fauci is likely responsible for a preponderance of the total 802,000 US Covid deaths — putting aside the number of people who actually died from highway accidents, cancer, diabetes, old age, and other causes, but were listed as covid deaths by hospital accounting personnel avid for federal subsidy cash. It was Dr. Fauci who organized the suppression of easily marshaled and inexpensive early treatments for the disease, namely hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, fluvoxamine, budesonide, azithromycin, monoclonal antibodies, Vitamin D, etc. It was Dr. Fauci who promoted the protocol of sending sick patients home from the ER without any treatment to await the further development of fatal clotting in their lungs. It was Dr. Fauci who designated the drug remdesivir — which he developed years ago for hepatitis-C (it did not work) with a financial stake in the patents — as the primary inpatient treatment for Covid-19.
And then it turned out that remdesivir destroys patients’ kidneys and is ineffective anyway in late treatment of the disease when viral loads wane and spike proteins have already created the fatal capillary clots in the alveoli of the lungs and in other organs. It’s Dr. Fauci who is responsible for the emergency use authorization on the mRNA “vaccines” that may have killed hundreds of thousands more Americans — based on the CDC’s VAERS system and statistical analysis of its inherent under-reporting at only 2.2 percent of all actual events— and you can add multiples more in non-fatal adverse reactions, including permanent disabilities. It’s Dr. Fauci who finagled the inadequate and botched trials of the mRNA vaccines in order to rush them into use.
And now it’s Dr. Fauci who wants to vaxx up all the children in America, despite evidence that the mRNA shots permanently disable children’s innate natural immune systems and can cause lasting heart, blood vessel, brain, and reproductive damage, and also despite the fact that few children are susceptible to serious Covid illness in the first place. [..] American doctors have proven to be cowards, cravens, zombies, and fools facilitating Dr. Fauci’s evil campaign — in concert with the rapacious pharmaceutical industry and a government in thrall to sinister forces that seek to destroy the country. The doctors have disgraced and dishonored themselves. The doctors have probably undermined their own vocations, as well as the entire armature of US health care, which they have allowed to become history’s worst racketeering operation.
“How carefully would you drive if it was mandated by law that you must have a 6″ spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel pointed at your chest — and seat belts were illegal?”
Folks, can we cut the bull**** please? Insurance companies are regulated. They are only permitted to make a certain amount of gross margin, typically 10%. Said regulation is enforced; firms are required to file their rates with state regulators along with the previous year’s results and projections for next. This applies to health insurance, car insurance, homeowners insurance, all insurance. Therefore there are exactly two ways for an insurance company to grow in size and profits: • Have more-frequent events results in a loss. • Have the same number of events but make them more expensive. That’s it. Efficiency is backwards because if you have overhead of 30% and cut it to 20% you don’t get to keep the other 10% in the company as profit which in any other line of business is yours to pocket. You wind up having to cut rates!
I have some data for health rates for firms in the midsized corporate world. I also have the Obamacare numbers for 2021 in a number of places, since those are published. They’re up. A lot. In some cases and places, by 30%. Do you really think the health insurance and health care providers care if you get a bad reaction from the jabs? No, they like it, provided it doesn’t kill you immediately. See the above for why. That you get ****ed is just business. You think the car insurance companies push all that expensive tech and “improvements” because it results in fewer crashes? Well, has it resulted in fewer crashes? Notice how the media and car companies, along with the insurance firms and their public-facing folks such as the crash-test people, always talk about fatality rates, not crashes.
A fatal car crash means you are no longer a customer. But that collapsible steering column isn’t for you, really — it doesn’t do anything to prevent the crash, it just costs more money if you crash and increases the odds you’ll live. This means (1) you’re still a customer and (2) the car costs more to repair or must be replaced. Obviously if you’re dead you don’t need another car, do you? Nor will you ever buy car insurance again. Oh, you think this is fanciful BS? Uh, nope. How carefully would you drive if it was mandated by law that you must have a 6″ spike mounted in the center of the steering wheel pointed at your chest — and seat belts were illegal?
“This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees.”
A federal appeals court on Friday night reinstated President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private companies with more than 100 workers, reversing lower court rulings and setting up a likely showdown before the U.S. Supreme Court. A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration had the authority to Impose the mandate due to take effect Jan. 4. “Given OSHA’s clear and exercised authority to regulate viruses, OSHA necessarily has the authority to regulate infectious diseases that are not unique to the workplace,” the court conckuddd in its majority opinion.
Within an hour of the decision, the small business group Job Creators Network filed an appeal to the high court, saying the appeals judges “irresponsibly upheld an illegal rule.” “This mandate adds an incredible burden on small business owners who are still suffering negative effects of the pandemic,” the group said. “This mandate will make it even harder for small business owners to find and keep employees.” The ruling came after several challenges from GOP-led states and conservative and business groups were consolidated before the Cincinnati-based 6th circuit. The decision was supported by one Democrat-appointed judge and one Republican appointee and opposed by the third judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge told The Associated Press she would immediately appeal to the Supreme Court. “The Sixth Circuit’s decision is extremely disappointing for Arkansans because it will force them to get the shot or lose their jobs,” she said. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, tweeted he was confident the mandate would be blocked by the justices. “We will go immediately to the Supreme Court- the highest court in the land- to fight this unconstitutional and illegal mandate,” he said. “The law must be followed and federal abuse of power stopped.”
Too many hold-outs.
More and more businesses in recent days have walked back previous rules mandating COVID-19 vaccines as a condition for employment in a bid to keep workers. Earlier this week, Amtrak—a quasi-public corporation—became the latest to rescind its vaccine requirement amid concerns about staff shortages and cut service in January. In a memo sent to staff that was obtained by The Epoch Times, Amtrak CEO William Flynn said the company would do away with the mandate that would have given employees until Jan. 4 to get fully vaccinated or go on unpaid leave. About 500 out of more than 17,000 Amtrak workers remain unvaccinated, according to the memo. Still, the sudden loss of that many workers would have caused service disruptions, Flynn suggested, while noting that Amtrak was acting in accordance with recent court orders handed down against President Joe Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates.
Several hospitals and healthcare systems have similarly rescinded vaccine mandates for employees and cited labor issues that were triggered by the new requirements. In early December, Florida’s AdventHealth announced the end of its vaccine requirement for some 83,000 workers, also citing the several recent court injunctions against federal mandates. “Due to recent decisions by the federal courts to block the [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] vaccine mandate, we are suspending all vaccination requirements of our COVID-19 vaccination policy,” AdventHealth Chief Clinical Officer Neil Finkler said in a letter to staff. The move came after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed to The Epoch Times that the agency suspended enforcement following two court orders several weeks ago.
Tenet Healthcare, HCA Healthcare, and Cleveland Clinic recently announced they are pulling back as well, citing labor concerns. Along with AdventHealth, the three healthcare companies operate a combined 300 hospitals and have more than 500,000 workers. They cited recent court orders that blocked Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from enforcing its mandate on Medicare- and Medicaid-funded medical facilities. The rule was announced by Biden on the same day that he confirmed that he would impose mandates on federal government employees, businesses who have contracts with the federal government, and, most controversially, businesses that have 100 or more workers.
“Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”
Boeing Friday said it has suspended its requirement that U.S.-based employees be fully vaccinated or face losing their jobs. The announcement comes as several attempts by President Joe Biden to require vaccinations for workers in various settings have been blocked by courts in recent weeks. “Boeing is committed to maintaining a safe working environment for our customers, and advancing the health and safety of our global workforce,” a company spokesperson told KOMO News. “As such, we continue to encourage our employees to get vaccinated and get a booster if they have not done so. Meanwhile, after careful review, Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”
A U.S. District Court judge in Georgia on Dec. 7 issued a preliminary injunction against Biden’s executive order requiring all companies that contract with the federal government to have a vaccine mandate in place. The order was to have taken effect starting Jan. 4. Earlier orders requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require vaccinations and one requiring all healthcare workers to be vaccinated have also been blocked by courts. Biden’s executive order requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated is facing 17 lawsuits, but no judges have granted requests to block it. Courts have also ruled that private employers, states, local municipalities and public universities are able to issue vaccine mandates.
In an internal memo to employees obtained by Defense News, Boeing said 92% of its U.S.-based workforce had either provided proof of vaccination or received a medical or religious exemption. “The success of Boeing’s vaccine requirement to date positions the company well to comply with the federal executive order should it be reinstated in the future,” the memo said. Reuters reported last month that some 11,000 Boeing employees, about 9% of its North American workforce, had requested an exemption. It is unclear how many were granted.
Every plan so far has failed.
A “strict” Purple Ribbon outline will be applied immediately to all indoor shopping malls, the Prime Minister’s Office said late Friday night. The announcement came after two days of discussion on how to handle shopping malls, and as the number of coronavirus cases spikes across Israel. The decision was made jointly by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, Economy Minister Orna Barbivai and MK Abir Kara. One person for every 15 square meters will be allowed to shop. And increased enforcement of mask wearing will be established. Moreover, the officials agreed, mall hours will be extended in order to accommodate shoppers and immunization complexes will be established in 50 main centers in the malls to encourage people to get the jab. Those who are vaccinated will enjoy special privileges.
Bennett had wanted to require the malls operate under the Green Pass outline, meaning that individuals would have to be fully vaccinated or take a COVID test to enter the facilities. The only exception would have been to access essential products. But fierce opposition by retailers and some members of the government on Thursday pushed the plan to the side. Friday night’s announcement said that if morbidity rates continue to climb then the Green Pass outline will once again be considered for any facility over 100 square meters. The above plan is still not final. It will be discussed at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, drafted as regulations and then voted on by the coronavirus cabinet via telephone poll. Once passed, the outline will begin immediately. Bennett is also reportedly expected to bring a resolution to the meeting that would mean almost the complete closure of the skies. Bennett’s proposal, N12 reported, is expected to include a ban on travel to most countries in the world, including the United States and other countries in Western Europe.
Just 18 more months to flatten the curve.
The development of polyvalent vaccines and new antivirals should lessen the need for social restrictions from around the middle of 2023, England’s chief medical officer has told MPs. Giving evidence to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee on 16 December, Chris Whitty said that although the UK may need intermittent social restrictions against covid-19 over the next 18 months, future medical advances should provide the “heavy lifting” against new variants. He said, “If I project forward, I would anticipate in a number of years, possibly 18 months, possibly slightly less, possibly slightly more, we will have polyvalent vaccines which will cover a much wider range [of variants].
And we will probably have several antivirals . . . and a variety of other countermeasures that mean that the great majority, and probably almost all, of the heavy lifting when we get a new variant—unless it is extremely different—can be met by medical means.” He added, “So I don’t see this as a kind of ‘we’re going to have to do this [social restrictions] repeatedly every few months’ situation. I think the risks will gradually decrease over time; it’s incremental.” However, Whitty said that for now some social restrictions may be necessary to tackle variants such as omicron that show some partial escape from vaccines and could overwhelm the NHS if left unchecked.
He said, “We’ve come from a place where we had absolutely nothing [in terms of medical interventions], so everything had to be done by social distancing and all the disruptive things that went with that right at the beginning. Where we are at the moment is kind of in a transition period. A very large amount of it can be done by [vaccines], and this is why the boosters are so absolutely essential, but we’re not quite in the rather safer haven I expect we will have in a couple of years’ time.”
“This is only the beginning—the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a complete wreck.”
A new covid-19 lockdown imposed last week (Dec. 7) in the port city of Ningbo, China, is raising the specter of further disruptions to an already battered global supply chain. There are more than 200 cases so far in the most recent cluster in the manufacturing province of Zhejiang, which includes the city of Ningbo. The outbreak is said to be spreading “relatively rapidly,” and has led to the closures of dozens of factories. So far, the lockdowns have restricted trucks going in and out of the port, slowing operations. While there are no reports yet of the port closing, the lockdown, combined with weeks of intensifying covid-zero restrictions, is worrying logistics professionals.
“The rising covid infections may lead to shutdowns at Ningbo and some other ports in China, adding to congestion and cargo backlogs,” a source from a UK-based logistics company said on Dec. 7 to S&P Global Platts, an analytics firm. “This is only the beginning—the first quarter of 2022 is going to be a complete wreck.” China’s pursuit of covid-zero has led to swift, severe measures to control the spread of infection, and policies to contain covid have only intensified since the omicron variant began to spread. On Monday (Dec. 13), Xinhua, the state-run news agency, singled out ports as the entry point for the most recent cluster of infections, and reported that the government will be tightening covid controls at port cities.
China’s policies at port have an outsized impact on the overall functioning of the global supply chain. The country is the world’s largest exporter of goods, as well as the largest importer of commodities. More ships call into the ports of China than any other country. “The global supply chain recovery relies on China,” said Atul Vashistha, CEO of Supply Wisdom, a New York-based risk intelligence company. “That’s an alarming and troubling truth considering China’s centricity to the supply chain. While it may be a sound public health policy, China’s zero-tolerance covid policy makes supply chain matters worse.”
”In May, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade invited the Tesla CEO to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in the country, after he indicated that he was considering such a move.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African-born billionaire Elon Musk could have a long-awaited meeting if the world’s richest man steps up and develops business interests in the country, the Kremlin has indicated. Speaking to journalists on Friday, Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said that the president has always been interested in meeting with foreigners who are keen to invest in Russia, adding that this could include Musk. “Without a doubt, the president is open to discussions with foreign businessmen,” Peskov explained. “There are regular discussions, practically every year, with French entrepreneurs, Germans, those with a large presence in our market. You and I know that Elon Musk isn’t in our market, but we hope that with time, he will become interested in it. And then, a meeting with the president isn’t out of the question.”
In February, Musk tweeted an invitation to Putin to chat with him via the audio-only social media app Clubhouse, writing, “It would be a great honor to talk with you.” The Kremlin replied that Musk’s invitation was “interesting,” and media reported that Putin hadn’t ruled out the possibility of a conversation. However, the meeting has not yet taken place. In May, Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade invited the Tesla CEO to discuss the possibility of opening a factory in the country, after he indicated that he was considering such a move. In addition to heading Tesla, the world’s most valuable automaker, Musk is also the founder of space transportation company SpaceX. In October, Forbes estimated his net worth at $271.3 billion, making him the richest person alive and, according to some measures, the richest in history.
Assange "represents ability to take on entrenched interests in our society, be they national security state" or fossil fuel industry pic.twitter.com/9cd6VNma2l
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) December 17, 2021
Maddow, Tucker, Assange
If Assange loses, we all lose. pic.twitter.com/oUopugzNZO
— Matt Orfalea (@0rf) December 16, 2021
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