Public Health Experts Have Lost the Benefit of the Doubt

The decision by the CDC and FDA to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was a disastrous misstep.


Public health bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have brought Johnson & Johnson's vaccination efforts to a screeching halt pending an investigation into six confirmed cases of blood clotting among the nearly 7 million people to become inoculated. This decision will inadvertently get people killed, but if you dare to question it, you will be branded an enemy of science by the "trust the experts" mafia.

Make no mistake, the pause represents lethal risk aversion. There is no real question that many, many more people will contract COVID-19 because they did not receive a vaccine quickly enough—suffering hospitalization or even death as a result—than will have an adverse health outcome from the vaccine.

"This decision was made by the CDC and FDA," said Jeff Zients, a White House coronavirus response coordinator. "We're ruled by the science, not any other consideration."

Since the decision to pause the J&J vaccine cannot be defended on any sort of basic life-saving calculus—oral contraceptives carry a greater risk of blood clotting, and the FDA hasn't prohibited them—government health experts and their media mouthpieces are instead arguing that the pause is necessary to stave off a surge in vaccine hesitancy. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, opined that the pause would reassure vaccine skeptics that the government takes their concerns seriously and has made safety the top priority.

"One of the most important reasons why people have hesitancy is they're concerned about the safety," said Fauci. "The very fact you have two organizations—the CDC and the FDA—looking so carefully at this, making safety the primary concern, in my mind confirms or underscores the situation that we take safety very seriously. I would think at the end of the day it could actually diminish hesitancy by saying, 'Boy those people there are looking at that very carefully and when they say something is safe you can believe it's safe.'"

Fauci has no idea what he's talking about. In fact, there's good evidence that governments damage public confidence in vaccines when they do things like this. The European Union's dubious decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine at a time when the pandemic was raging across Europe (and many countries had pitifully low vaccination rates) substantially undermined public trust in the vaccine.

And even if halting the J&J vaccine did result in some slight gain in terms of public approval, this would need to be weighed against the fact that any delay in vaccination causes death. (Several friends of mine were slated to receive the J&J vaccine yesterday; they showed up to their appointments only to discover that they could no longer get vaccinated.)

Yet anyone who dares criticize Fauci, the CDC, the FDA, or the experts more generally, has been warned to stay in their lane. The best recent example of this is when statistician Nate Silver, a polling guru and editor of FiveThirtyEight, took to Twitter to lambast the vaccine halt on many of the same grounds I laid out here. Silver pointed out that even if the FDA did want to tackle the blood-clotting issue, it did not need to order to a full stop: The agency could have quietly investigated the matter first, or it could have even ordered a pause just for women under the age of 49 (the group affected by the blood clots).

"Even if blood clot deaths were 10-fold higher than observed so far, which is certainly possible, it wouldn't be a close decision," said Silver. "And that's before considering the knock-off (sic) effects on contributing to vaccine hesitancy."

For raising these issues, Silver was sharply criticized by public health experts and those who apparently believe we should never question them.

It is Gounder's perspective that really encapsulates the entire view of Team Trust the Experts. In their thinking, whatever the CDC says must be accurate, because it represents the collective wisdom of people in the know. And the only people in the know are epidemiologists.

Note that this stay-in-your-lane mentality runs in only one direction. Public health officials had no problem staking out strong positions on, say, the prevalence of racism in society and which activist strategies might be necessary in order to counteract it. They don't seem to understand that a data and polling expert like Silver might have more expertise than Fauci on what sort of advocacy messages could move the needle on public opinion. Indeed, several non-epidemiologists whose pandemic-related predictions were the most accurate—Zeynep Tufekci and Alex Tabarrok come to mind—were unafraid of contradicting CDC's guidance, and have been proven right time and time again.

Experts are not infallible. The judgment of the CDC should never be beyond questioning. The FDA's very existence has largely proven a barrier to getting people the medicine they need to prevent thousands of deaths: For all of the government's stated concerns about vaccine hesitancy, no entity has done more to prevent people from receiving the shot than the government's own health authorities. If there's one lesson to take away from this pandemic, it's that we should sometimes Listen to the Experts—but also ignore them when they're full of it.

NEXT: COVID-19 Is Leading State Lawmakers To Finally Restrain Governors’ Emergency Powers

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  1. Wow, where was this mildly libertarian take anytime last year?

    1. “But but but muh norms. And they [sobs uncontrollably] rioted at the capitol for almost 2 hours!” -Matt Welch
      [You need help Matt.] -Kmele Foster’s thoughts

      For those who haven’t discovered it, I strongly recommend the 5th column podcast with Kmele Foster, Michael Moynihan, and our beloved Matt Welch. If you listen to the Roundtable and groan every time Suderman tries to argue with Nick, wait until you hear Matt get to play the squishy role on the 5th Column.

      1. Does something like what you’ve laid out actually happen? Because I would listen to Kmele drag Welch.

        1. I haven’t listened in a while, but I always thought it was worth a listen for Kmele and Moynihan. And sometimes they get drunk which is kind of amusing.

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        2. Everyone drags everyone on TFC

      2. Listen to the 5 year anniversary episode. Welch gets so drunk he starts calling Moynihan a ‘stupid c_nt’ & then passes out for the rest of the episode.

        It’s hysterical.

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    4. The medical DeepState’s incompetence/malevolence was on display from the start. Everything they did and didn’t do was a disaster.

  2. “Public health officials had no problem staking out strong positions on, say, the prevalence of racism in society and which activist strategies might be necessary in order to counteract it.”

    This deserves more comment. Public health, as an institution appears to be dead to logic/reason.

    1. That’s because the idiots who can’t make it as doctors end up in public health.

  3. LOL that THIS is the crossed line that finally gets Reason to not suck Public Health Expert dick

    1. Well, this line drawn involved cutting one family of the syndicate off from the Federal money spigot.

      Not Kosher.

  4. Don’t question The Fauci. Not if you want to keep your youtube, twitter or facebook account.

    1. Agreeing on your point. It’s amazing though that people only think that the right considers him a piece of crap. My mom is a hardcore portland bernie person and considers fauci a p.o.s.

    2. Diane Reynolds, as I do not have a Twitter acct, YouTube or FB account I can & will say this: dr. fauci fakey is a little tyrant & has let 1st Trump’s power & now the current diminished wh res power run his smallish who to such a bloated balloon that if he’s not careful he will float into the netherworld. SCIENCE IS NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE! (Emphasis only). It is a matter of trial & effect!! To Trust such a snake oil dr & his snake oil companies is to Trust Satan. I don’t even trust the statement that if we don’t get the vaccine we will catch the china virus & die, eventually! This is as fake as dr. fauci/fakey! I travel the country & take care of myself !! Because of certain health concerns I will not take the vaccine. Don’t trust what is not an absolute! AND there is Zero absolutes!

    3. Neither me, or my wife, have ever had ‘twitter, facebook or youtube accounts’ and have never felt like we missed anything! I’m probably totally ignorant to all the nasty things people might be saying about me. All the information I need, I can get from internet sites/blogs, from the likes of Doug Casey, David Stockman, Mises institute, Jim Richards, Cato, Reason, etc.

  5. Fauci … opined that the pause would reassure vaccine skeptics that the government takes their concerns seriously and has made safety the top priority.

    How about reassuring skeptics by promising to commit seppuku on primetime TV if, um, widespread problems were to develop?

    1. I support seppuku for disgraced public figures, but can we please deny them a kaishakunin?

    2. Trust in AZ vaccine plummeted in Britain when their government pulled a batch of the vaccine. We have real data, Fauci is just an idiot.

      1. Denmark just banned AZ when will we learn from our better European examples.

      2. But he cured AIDS back in the 80’s!

        Oh, wait……

  6. Those are not public health experts, they are politicians with a clear political-only agenda.

    1. Yup. Government officials are never actual experts. Even if they started out as such, there is no way they can both remain competent and up to date and play their political games. We’re hearing these assholes and not the many actual experts with differing views.

      1. Didn’t Fauci admit his science messaging was ‘tempered’ to political realities?

        1. He also admitted to lying about masks (even though he wasn’t really) at first so that healthcare workers wouldn’t run out. That should have been the end of him.

          1. Lying about aids and allergies should have been the end of him

            1. COVID should be the end of him. Literally.

              1. Here is the mask Fauci, and all progressives should start using immediately.


                Guaranteed to be 100 % effective.

          2. And while doing that he actively misled on herd immunity numbers admitting he would slowly change his numbers as he felt the public more and more willing to accept the truth.

            Be wary of anyone who proudly peddles in Noble Lies.

            1. That would probably include the current lie that you have to keep wearing a mask if you’ve had the vaccine.
              I’m sure he is worried that people will lie about it and not mask-up if they aren’t vaccinated, so make everyone else have to put up with masks until 100% of the population is immune.

        2. I believe he also once said that the public health/epidemiology perspective was only one part of what needs to be considered in making policy. But that was quickly forgotten and he never mentioned that important fact again.

    2. That’s what public health experts are, and what they’ve always been.
      It’s a bullshit field created to promote collectivism.

  7. When one tries to ‘follow the science’ on these vaccines he is likely to get whiplash.

    1. Or on masks, or on double masking, or on triple masking, or on face shields, or on how it spreads, or on surface spread, or on…

      1. Magic force fields!

  8. >>There is no real question that many, many more people will contract COVID-19 because they did not receive a vaccine quickly enough

    I question this.

    1. Science denier!

    2. I was told to get a vaccine. After I had Covid. Because “why not can’t hurt right?”

      Seriously though, I was. Because “we don’t know how long immunity lasts from getting it NOR DO WE KNOW HOW LONG IT LASTS FROM THE VACCINE SO GET THE VACCINE JUST IN CASE”


      1. That I find particularly troubling. There is plenty of reason to believe that natural immunity is as effective (or more so) than the vaccines. Pushing everyone to get a new, experimental drug, even if they probably have no benefit to gain from it, seems a bit unethical.

        1. A bit?

          1. I’m prone to understatement. It’s fucking disgraceful.

          2. not if your *goal* is sterilization and everyone’s eyes falling out

        2. Everyone needs a shot, please comply.

        3. Some doctors worry that the artificial inclusion of antibodies, on top of recently acquired, natural ones can cause bad reactions.
          One of the things they are looking at, with those blood-clot sufferers is if they have recently had, or have the Rona.

          1. That reaction is well known in immunology. It is a thing. So far in the 5 or 6 papers I’ve read, the T cell response is robust in both natural and acquired immunity. So, in reality they are full of shit when they advise to take the vaccine.

            1. Yeah, seems like they should really be screening for prior immunity. Both so more people that might actually benefit can get it sooner and to avoid potential problems like you mention.

      2. Given that the vaccines are only being given under an emergency use authorization, I suspect that they want everyone to get them as sort of a large scale long term effect study. Remember, the only thing that got the vaccine out so fast was skipping the long term impact trials.
        If you have had the plague, you should let that vaccine go to someone who actually needs it.
        If the vaccines are so damn effective, why do they insist on retaining the multiple masks, AND (anti)social distancing, AND deep cleanings, AND limited capacities?
        If we “need” the vaccine, than masks don’t work.
        If we “need” the masks after vaccination, then the vaccine doesn’t work.
        A is A.

        1. The “deep cleanings” seem especially silly and wasteful. Couldn’t you just wait a few days? Seems like it would be more cost effective (assuming it’s necessary or useful at all).

        2. Just more dishonest paternalism. They’ll keep everything in place till we’ve all (or most all’ve) been vaccinated. Our Masters think we’re too stupid to handle the vaccinated being allowed to go maskless and the unvaccinated not. They could be right about that but they could try being honest about it.

      3. I expect we’ll be pushed to get a vaccine every 6 months to a year, much like the usual flu shot. Though they’ll probably be a lot more pushy about the COVID shot. On a related note, Pfizer recently broke ground on a huge new facility here in Michigan. Life is good when you’re in bed with the Feds.

    3. Racist!

  9. The attacks on Nate Silver couldn’t be happening to a more deserving asshole.

    You reap what you sow.

  10. Why did they ever get the benefit of the doubt? Career bureaucrats and power-seekers should never get that. Their career choice shows that they are far more interested in power and prestige than science or helping people.

  11. Part of the issue is this whole thing is out there and confusing the public. We will soon be at the point where the limiting factor will be people who are reluctant, not the supply of vaccine.

    The public seems to have some trust in the ones we have been using and that should increase with time. They see all these people they know getting it and nothing happened bad to them, so give it a try.

    Plus the mRNA vaccines are the most effective by the numbers.

    People don’t think in utilitarian terms. They think about themselves.

    1. If I did not need it to travel, I would not get it.

    2. “People don’t think in utilitarian terms. They think about themselves.”

      And yet you wonder why “fuck off slaver” is often sent in your direction?

      Well, fuck off slaver.

    3. People don’t think in utilitarian terms. They think about themselves.

      People think mostly in utilitarian terms. Some use crappy toothpaste because it’s cheap, some use expensive toothpaste because it’s worth an extra $.17/day to not use crappy toothpaste.

      Making a menu and a grocery list for a family of 5 on a limited budget is a perfect example of a complex exercise in utility most people can handle without even being aware they doing it.

      What they don’t do is consider the societal utility of being used as trial subjects. Luckily we have people like you willing to chastise them for that.

      1. Hopefully not much longer

      2. That is not what utilitarian means. It means in short “the greatest good for the greatest number of people”.

        I am not at all chastising anyone. In fact I am opposed to utilitarianism as a philosophy. People can and do act according to self interest.

        Self interest is the most moral form of ethics and libertarian philosophy. A wise man once said “do not do unto others what is hateful unto you. The rest is commentary”.

        Deontological ethics upon which natural law is based is the foundation of natural law and libertarian philosophy. The NAP is just a restatement of the golden rule.

        Utilitarians would take away your rights and property if it benefits more people than it would you. You don’t need these many televisions so we are just going to redistribute them.

        What you are talking about is consumer choice. That is not a product of utilitarian ideas. It is the exact opposite. A utilitarian could argue that we could distribute more toothpaste with fewer choices.

        1. Hillel….The Silver Rule. In answer to a question on how to summarize all of Torah. 🙂

          1. While standing on one foot.

    4. Um, what? Does the vaccine protect one from getting COVID? Does that not help oneself? One’s family? One’s friends? Does it not help it getting politicians to open shit back up that one needs or enjoys using or doing?

      1. No, it will always be “just a little bit longer, just one more thing”.

    5. “…People don’t think in utilitarian terms. They think about themselves.”

      Somehow, I think you assume that means something, and I doubt you are capable of defining it in terms which ignore “The New Soviet Man”
      It’s obvious by now that you are some sort of medical pro, an obnoxious piece of MD ‘sainthood’, willing to ‘educate’ hoi poloi.
      Your self-appointed position of ‘educator’ does nothing other than to expose you as a supporter of the CDCs directives.

  12. Once again the man on the street’s lack of ability to understand math. If the deaths / million in the US stands at 1700, and the vaccine is 90% effective, then vaccination would knock the death rate down to 170 going forward (assuming all other things were equal). OTOH, the risk of blood clot death from the vaccine in question is 1 in 1 million. So that one life lost to the vaccine saves 1530 lives from the disease.

    Seems like pretty good odds to me.

    1. Unless you are the one guy.

      1. Whose chance of dying was .023%

        1. Just saying.

      2. Which the generic news media focus on. After all, the 1530 that live are not news, there is no grieving family. But the one who dies in an unusual manner, now that’s NEWS!!!!!!

        “If it bleeds, it leads” Sad, but true.

    2. That assumes blood clots weren’t caught and treated. If the blood clots are caught and treated then it’s not a death.

      1. The brain blood clots are not so easy to not die from.

    3. 90% effective means 90% of folks didn’t get symptomatic COVID. If you look at trial data, the number of deaths would most likely be zero.

    4. That is not what vaccine effectiveness means. Ve is defined as one minus the ratio of the risk of vaccinated divide by unvaccinated.

      1. Yeah, you really need to drill into the studies to figure out what “level of protection” means.

    5. WSJ did a really nice pic of this, and broken out by age groups too, Apr 15 edition. Bottom line, J&J is no clot risk to women over 50, or to any men. So use it there, and just swap others around if you’re a 25 year old woman who’s worried.

  13. “This decision was made by the CDC and FDA. We’re ruled by the science, not any other consideration.” — Jeff Zients, a White House coronavirus response coordinator

    Nice going Jeff, you guys managed to kill a bunch of people with your bad decision-making skills. A bunch of fucking amateurs.

    1. As all reason readers know never ever trust the comments of someone with Jeff in the name

      1. You make an excellent point.

    2. Another one that throws the word “science” out there and expects us all to bow and genuflect. The “science” is that 6 women between the ages of 18 & 49 got blood clots after taking the J&J vaccine. That’s it right now. Cause and effect? Coincidence? Others? We don’t know. What to do about it? Politicians and bureaucrats make politically based decisions. There is no “science” that says we must “pause” the J&J vaccine.

  14. I miss the Covid death counter on CNN. It kept me well informed at how dangerous this virus thingy was under the last President. Thankfully, we have a new President now and they can return to just reporting “only the facts”.

    1. The fact is, well over 160,000 innocent Americans died from the China virus during the first 80 days of the SleepyJoe regime.

  15. With all due respect to Celine Grounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA, but her statement is an appeal to authority that is best ignored. And she’s probably a bitch.

    1. Her Twitter picture made her look a little hot; the CNN interview made her look like a little hag. Sad to see. 🙂

    2. Her inclusion of additional letters after MD scream inadequacy. Oops, sorry, INADEQUACY!

    3. Just look at all those letters after her name! How can you not bow and genuflect before her?

    4. What do you call an expert who hasn’t discovered humility?

      A novice.

  16. “Several friends of mine were slated to receive the J&J vaccine yesterday; they showed up to their appointments only to discover that they could no longer get vaccinated.”

    Robby must have a lot of friends!

  17. They keep conflating “science” with “values espoused by a scientist.”

    1. /thread

    2. Same. Thing. Or havent you ever heard a Neil Degrasse Tyson presentation?

      1. Or bill nye the falsification of results guy

    3. Indeed.

  18. All of medicine – whether it’s medication or procedures – involves a risk benefit analysis.

    The people who most benefit from a COVID vaccine have almost all already received the Pfizer or Moderna product.

    The people who stand in line for the J&J product are, by and large, not at great risk even if they contract the illness. If you are not at substantial risk from the disease there is no reason to add any sort of additional risk to you life. Period.

    This halting of the product is a tacit admission of exactly that.

    1. And this is one of several reasons I am not eager to get the vaccine. If I were at significant risk, I’d take an experimental drug that seems promising. But I’m not. I’d like to give this thing a year or so to see if it works out. I’d also like to see if I already have some immunity from exposure (which I think is fairly likely, I was exposed last spring and felt mildly sick for a little while) in which case I’m not interested at all.

    2. Saying “Period” after a false statement doesn’t make it true. I’m in my 50s, so my risk of death from Covid is about 1 in 250, which is substantial. (I got J&J in March and also there were plenty of people older than I am.) A one in a million risk of a severe complication compares favorably with a 1/250 risk of death – and death isn’t the only potentially bad result of Covid.

      1. “If you are not at substantial risk from the disease”…

        Right now it seems like the risk is probably negligible, but this stuff is new. Coronavirus vaccines that have been tried in the past have a record of having really bad outcomes. Being at fairly low risk, I’m going to see how it plays out for a bit in case there are other risks we don’t know yet.

        1. If I were in my 30s or younger I’d be inclined to do the same. But my point was that J&J is (or was) going into the arms of people at substantial risk (like me) and the article correctly points out that some of them will die of Covid if this pause keeps them from getting vaccinated.

          1. Seems pretty clear that 50 and above the vaccine benefits outweigh the risks. 40 and above, toss up. Under 40? Eh. Under 30 don’t bother.

            And those numbers have been well known for almost a year now.

            1. We haven’t had the vaccines available for even six months, so the risk/benefit balance of each one can’t have been well known for a year. If you look at the known risk of each one, they make sense for most anyone. People aged 30-49 have a 1 in 2500 death rate from Covid and for under 30 it’s 1 in 20,000. All of those are far higher than the observed risk of any of these vaccines. But I can understand why a younger person wouldn’t get vaccinated because the vaccines are new and we may not know everything yet.

            2. The CDC wont even tell you what the absolute death rates are. Instead they report them as a “risk ratio” relative to the control group. Said control group being 5-17 year olds.

              That and the stratify age by some curiously inconsistent groupings – 18 to 29 vs. 30 to 39 vs. 40 to 49 – but then 50 to 64 then 65 to 74, then 75 to 84, and finally 85+.

              Rather odd that they chose a 15 year cohort where they did…

              ie. fear mongering.

              1. They do the same thing with smoking and lung cancer.

      2. “I’m in my 50s, so my risk of death from Covid is about 1 in 250, which is substantial. ”

        Horseshit. I’m in my mid 50’s as well. You may have a 1 in 250 chance of dying from Covid-19, but it’s not because you just happen to be AARP material.

        You also cannot conflate the risk of a vaccine – which is incurred as soon as the dose is received, vs. the chance of dying from something you may never catch.

        1. And if you are in your 50s and are not fat, eat reasonably well, exercise and don’t have any other major health problems, your personal odds are pretty low.
          The whole chance of dying thing is kind of weird. It doesn’t really apply to individuals. It’s the chance of a randomly selected person from the group dying if they catch it. If you really assessed risk down to the individual level I think you’d find a whole lot of people with a very high chance of dying and a large majority in most age groups with close to 0 chance of dying.
          But most people seem to think of it as a roll of the dice.

        2. I can’t say if 1 in 250 is true or not, but I took his statement as implying it took everything into account, including that he may never come in contact with it.

    3. Agree completely. The one-dose vaccine is not remotely the same demographics as the two-dose.

      1. What’s your source for this? Many cities are using J&J for the homebound and other hard-to-reach populations.

        1. JnJ vaccine didn’t get EUA approval until Feb 27. The demographics of the vaccine in the last six weeks are different than before then. And I agree with you that the one-dose is being used for ‘hard-to-reach’ or ‘no followup needed for second dose’ or ‘mobile vaccine sites because no freezer’. That is a different demographic.

          There is no demographic info being collected at point of vaccine. Or wasn’t for my first jab.

    4. As a doctor, I pretty much agree with your assessment. If we stopped all vaccinations right now, the trend in cases would continue to fall. The interesting action will be a spike in TX from all the COVID+ illegals, but blamed on loosening restrictions.

    5. Basically you’re proving Silver’s point that the withdrawal undermines confidence in the vaccine. Most people can’t do the math and just get the message that the vaccine must be worse than the virus since otherwise why would the Experts have it withdrawn?

  19. Public Health Experts Have Lost the Benefit of the Doubt

    Pot Asserts Kettle Has Lost the Benefit of the Doubt

    1. Kettle lives matter

      1. But we don’t talk about pot lives.

        1. Why not? Pot is legal now.

  20. Lost in the first few weeks of last year. It was clear they weren’t prepared to do their actual jobs.

    1. Their actual job is to advise citizens so they can make make wise health care decisions. Somewhere along the way that got changed to – conspire with politicians to create arbitrary policies with which citizens will be forced to comply.

    2. In their defense, they were quite busy with the valiant task of eliminating the scourge of vaping.

  21. andi zeisler
    Nate Silver is what happens when white men

    ^Has erotic rape fantasies about black men, and is totally not racist^

    1. It’s the IN thing to say these days.

  22. To be fair, if you’re taking anything said by any government official seriously, you’re the chump.

  23. Fauci seems to having trouble seeing over the dashboard.

    1. And his left turn signal’s been flashing for the last 30 years.

  24. Everyone needs to take a basic statistics course. This is a strong argument for reforming the HS math curriculum. It’s also the Trolley Problem. We need to have an explicit discussion in public about weighted odds and trade-offs. Instead, we have a tepid CDC that is more worried about messaging than anything else. They thought that people would be mad if they didn’t halt things because they think people are stupid. They are probably right, btw, but they should have stuck the course and gave the people a lesson in probablity. But wait, that’s Nate Silver’s gig…

    1. “but they should have stuck the course and gave the people a lesson in probablity.”

      LOL. You do know that the FDA’s standard for OTC product labelling is a six grade reading level? IOW if the directions cannot be written in a manner understandable to an average sixth grader then the government doesn’t trust you to understand them well enough to dose yourself.

      The same government who somehow would then be expected explain things like incidence vs prevalence….

      I’m not saying they shouldn’t try. I’m saying they wouldn’t treat it like it had any chance of success.

    2. As with the “facts” the other day on gun homicides? Where were your precious statistics and probabilities then?

    3. This is a feature of public education and public health policy, not a bug.

    4. It’s a government agency. It’s inherently political. It’s the nature of the beast.

    5. I aced calc 2, but had to retake stats. Anything you could teach to people that only know algebra, is probably close to common sense. To teach a useful level of statistical knowledge to the average HSer, youd probably have to gear multiple years of prior mathematics classes to that goal.

  25. Robby, you seem to want the government to think in terms of tradeoffs for the first time ever.

    1. Tradeoffs are when politicians agree to vote for each other’s pet pork.

  26. Like the rest of Team Blue’s retarded ideas, the decision to pull J&J vaccine is about equality. They would never say “we won’t vaccinate women between 18-49 but everyone else can get it”. If they can’t have it, then neither can you

  27. I heard yesterday that these women all had thrombocytopenia-a platelet disorder. Why they couldn’t have said only for people with this condition not to get J&J vaccine is beyond me, but then I am not an expert, so I’ll shut up and go back to jacking off to MSNBC.

    1. “I heard yesterday that these women all had thrombocytopenia-a platelet disorder.”

      If that is true then this action is truly fucked up.

    2. The news link to that term is talking about the Astra-Zeneca vaccine not the JnJ vaccine. That they both (along with the Russian vaccine for which data is crap) have issues with blood clotting may not be a surprise.

      all three vaccines are ‘viral vector’ – and that is almost entirely new class of vaccine to covid19. the only other vaccines in that class are for Ebola and both of those were approved for that in late 2019. Ebola is hemorrhagic – so clotting is a GOOD thing.

      The JnJ vaccine was developed from its Ebola vaccine. The A-Z vaccine from its malaria (another hemorrhagic) vaccine. So idk why it would be a surprise that ‘clotting issues’ were never even on the radar during their clinical trials.

    3. the FDA press release talks about thrombocytopenia as a consequence not a pre-existing condition

      CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

      1. Yeesh – the FDA press release also explain the reason for the pause.

        This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

        Soave clearly didn’t even bother to read the press release. Nor did Bailey yesterday. It may not be true but the FDa pause has nothing to do with their BS narrative.

        1. “Soave clearly didn’t even bother to read the press release. Nor did Bailey yesterday. It may not be true but the FDa pause has nothing to do with their BS narrative.”

          JFree, adding a ton of jargon and zero clarity, hopes to convince us of, what? That JFree is a master of jargon and a cowardly piece of lefty shit?
          Why, yes, I believe we have it.

    4. Did you read it on the internet? If so, then it must be true.

  28. Make no mistake, the pause represents lethal risk aversion.

    Bullshit. And I suspect Reason is doubling down on bullshit for cronyist reasons. Right now the pause is based on a simple lack of information. And like it or not, the accelerated pace of getting vaccines out there means that clinical trials were rushed and did not gather the info they usually gather. The administration of the vaccine is in truth a ‘clinical trial’. Delivered to millions rather than the 43,000 of the accelerated clinical trial.

    Clinical trials are suspended, terminated, or withdrawn all the time. In 2019, averaging 50 trials suspended, 100 trials withdrawn, and 170 trials withdrawn – per month. I suspect this side-effect is exactly in the realm of ‘should we suspend until we can figure this out’.

    I suspect the real agenda of Reason is to come up with reasons why clinical trials should be eliminated altogether. So – lets pretend clinical trials already gathered all the knowledge here so a decision to pause is overhyped as ‘lethal risk aversion’.

    Such corporatist whores.

    1. “…And I suspect Reason is doubling down on bullshit for cronyist reasons…”

      Tin-foil-hats and PANIC flags on aisle #6, you cowardly piece of lefty shit.

    2. We can play mental gymnastics or admit it’s political. Have fun!

    3. Wait. Doesn’t that imply you are a corporatist whore for hospitals, ventilator manufacturers, and delivery companies?

      You ignore that Fauci already gave the reason for the halt–as an extremely irrational government response to try to persuade the extremely irrational antivaxers.

      Let people know that there’s a 1/million chance of getting a blood clot (and the 1000 other things that have a 1/million chance following vaccination), and let them decide if it is worth the risk.

      Clinical trials need not and “are not” prohibited by general availability.

  29. Dr. Fauci does not understand the limits of his knowledge.
    While he truly is a world class Epidemiologist.
    He does NOT understand the side effects of many of his ‘prescriptions.’

    At best they are weighted ONLY for their epidemiological effects.
    Shutting down schools for a prolonged period is having a significant affect on youth development and education.
    Reports show that suicides are up.
    Education is suffering.
    Children that are less than stellar students may need many years to ‘catch up.’
    Of course without double blind random testing none of these effects can be reliably evaluated.
    No testing is required to understand that dropping a brick on your foot may produce an injury.

    These may have very long term effects, possibly worse than the effects in young people of even getting Covid19.

    1. “Dr. Fauci does not understand the limits of his knowledge.
      While he truly is a world class Epidemiologist.
      He does NOT understand the side effects of many of his ‘prescriptions.’…”

      This bears repeating, often. This has not been a purely ‘medical’ issue since last summer, when people started running low on savings and we all were losing our liberties one by one.

  30. I can sum up the FDA in one word, Vioxx. Vioxx was approved by the FDA after its usual long, protracted process.

    Then, users started to have heart attacks and strokes.

    Remember that one phrase within the Hypocratic Oath is, “…do no harm….”

    The doctor is supposed to treat and cure the patient of what ails him. The treatment is not supposed to cause another harm, potentially fatal.

    The percentage of people who die or need treatment in an ICU is fairly low. But, blood clots are almost always serious.

    I would rather have Covid than a blood clot. Let’s remember that Richard Nixon had a boutique of phlebitis, and his doctors were concerned that a blood clot would break loose and wind up in his heart or a lung, and he was around 60 when this happened.

    1. Of these six cases – one is already dead and one is in ICU. But there is no reason to believe that the blood clotting in question – for other demographics of patients – manifests in one or two weeks as ‘dead’.

      That is the only thing Reason seems to be thinking about. But there could easily be an alternative blood clotting problem here – that it increases the likelihood and/or severity of strokes or heart attacks over time and possibly at a much younger age than current experience of them. The JnJ one-dose vaccine is likely a different demographic than the two-dose – younger and less ‘connected’ with the medical system meaning poor and/or healthy. It wouldn’t take much of an annual increase in those two to offset a one-time covid impact. And with no ‘informed consent’ re that possible side effect?

      1. The government said it was ok and has always been ok. Now it might not be ok and has always maybe not been ok. Stay tuned.

    2. One of the potential side effects of contracting Covid while unvaccinated is suffering a blood clot and dying. It is rare, most deaths are due to respiratory failure, but it happens at a frequency far higher than 1 in a million.

  31. Science “experts”. Just read that the new SEC chair will be going after any Corp invested in unapproved climate holdings, according to Democrats. Where does this shit end? I don’t want to know the answer.

    1. “Where does this shit end?” middlefinger
      In one flavor or another of Fascism.

    2. Look up ESG score and “The Great Reset”. Seriously. You won’t learn where it ends, but it will show you where it’s going. (Hint: it ain’t good.)

  32. “Fauci has no idea what he’s talking about.”

    Welcome – to April 2020 – but welcome anyway. He lost me when he said people might never be able to shake hands ever again.

  33. “This decision was made by the CDC and FDA,” said Jeff Zients, a White House coronavirus response coordinator. “We’re ruled by the science, not any other consideration.”

    That hasn’t been true since day one, and it’s certainly not true now.

    1. For one thing, a scientific fact is that individuals’ risk preferences are diverse, not uniformly in lock-step with the dominant policing authority.

      It is therefore impossible for the authority to impose a rule that is best for all of us. Experts demanding and defending such rules, rather than informing individuals to better act according to their individual preferences, thereby undermine their own scientific credibility.

  34. Holy crap! ISIS take me away….

  35. The operational word here is BUREAUCRATS, as in “Public Health bureaucrats”.

    Of course they’ve brought use of of the J&J vaccine to a “screeching halt”; it’s the safely, cowardly, stupidly, extremely bureaucratic thing to do. Anything else would require actual thought involving an actual estimation of relative cost/benefit… risk/reward. It would require the Heepish Bureaucrat to say to the American public: “Yes we recognize that the vaccine carries with it a microscopically small risk but that risk is worth it because it eliminates what is a larger (albeit still very small) risk.”

    So yes, of course they’ve ‘paused’ a vaccine which has had 6 reported significantly adverse reactions out of 7M doses. And of course the White House tells us, “”We’re ruled by the science, not any other consideration.” And of course all the Media Talking Heads nod in choreographed assent: “Science!”.

    Bullshit! (In every way you can imagine)

    That’s not Science that’s Bureaucracy. Nor, if it were Science, are we “ruled” by it. We are not; nor should we be. Science speaks to the discovery of truths about the physical world. Government & Law & Freedom speak to truths about People, about Life, about the way people wish to live. Certainly we may and should consult Science if we desire some insight into how the physical world might work. And certainly it was Science that allowed the development of a vaccine for WuhanV. But when we, as a people, decide how we are to live…and what risks we are willing to endure….and what sacrifices we are willing to make — Science has nothing to say about any of that. Nor should it. Reason does and reason which considers far more than the narrow territory ruled by Science.

    We are not ruled by Science.
    We are not, actually, ruled by anyone or anything other than ourselves. We are, in fact, self-governing…electing representatives for so long as they represent us fairly and appropriately. So when we are told by those same representatives that “we are ruled by Science”, what that tells us — in no uncertain terms — is that those spineless, boneless, chickenless eggs of so-called ‘representatives’ need to be yanked out of their henhouse and replaced by someone who does not defer to the Faucicrats of the world. We’ve had more than enough of that!

    It’s the act of a fool to ‘pause’ the vaccine. It’s the act of a dangerous fool when such a ‘pause’ will only increase the risk of disease and death to millions of Americans who otherwise would have had the protection of the vaccine.

  36. From her LinkedIn page: “Dr. Celine Gounder is a practicing HIV/infectious diseases specialist and internist, epidemiologist (aka disease detective), journalist and filmmaker.”

    Funny…I see no reference to her expertise in the psychology of vaccine acceptance. Indeed, looking at her resume, I see no reference to psychology at all.

    But I am sure that her expertise in “filmmaking” makes her far more qualified than a pollster in accessing public opinion.

  37. Quit treating us like children. Publicly acknowledge an infinitesimal risk of blood clots (and death) after adenovirus vaccines for women between the appropriate ages of 18-49 and maybe slightly above.

    Then give us a choice. Make them available. Public health officials treat us like 3 year olds.

    Sanjosemike (no longer in CA)
    Retired surgeon

    1. In other words, women between those ages and with other noted contributing factors should probably get the other vaccines. But politicians and bureaucrats gotta politic and bureau.

  38. . . . any delay in vaccination causes death. . .

    Fuckin’ liar!!

    Delaying or… /gasp!!… not vaccinating at all… causes absolutely nothing! Not one goddamned thing!!

  39. A virus is a virus, but a person is not necessarily a person

    1. My bbq grill identifies as a person named Smokey.

  40. “…If there’s one lesson to take away from this pandemic, it’s that we should sometimes Listen to the Experts—but also ignore them when they’re full of it…”

    I live in San Francisco and have for quite a while.
    If you’ve ever driven across the Bay Bridge, you would know that the toll plaza at the eastern end is not far above sea level. Further, if you’ve driven west on 80 and looked to your right, you’d have seen the Berkeley tide flats where various ‘artists’ have assembled sculptures of found materials (some of them do not need the scare quotes).
    Perhaps my eye calibration needs some adjustment, but AFAIK there’s no visible difference in the >50 years I’ve been driving those areas. So we have:

    “…”We examined average and extreme temperatures because they were always projected to be the measure that is most sensitive to global warming,” said lead author from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Dr Andrew King.
    “Remarkably our research shows that you could already see clear signs of global warming in the tropics by the 1960s but in parts of Australia, South East Asia and Africa it was visible as early as the 1940s.”…”

    A climatic change first noticed in the ’40s and not showing local evidence of such 80 years later is of such concern to me that we allow econ-ignoramuses like AOC, Biden, Bernie, to take control of the economy?
    “…but also ignore them when they’re full of it…”
    Pretty sure we have a classic example right here.

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  43. The fact that all 7 adverse reactions were in females suggests they had known reactions to birth control pills – totally unrelated to the vaccine.

    We need to find uses for the “abundance of caution” rationalization. Maybe we should close the southern border out of abundance of caution.

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  45. Robbie, your concern only holds true if people were not able to get other vaccines, right? It seems like we might be close to the point where we have more of a demand problem than a supply problem.

    A drive-up clinic in Pittsburgh was slated to deliver 12,000 J&J vaccines this week. When the “pause” was announced, the clinic automatically just shifted to Pfizer, which apparently were just laying around. But there were only 6,000, which would seem to support your claims.

    But then only 3200 people made appointments, and they had to quickly shift to accepting walk-ins.

    So… nobody in Pittsburgh had to go without a vaccine because of the J&J pause. There were plenty of vaccines. In fact, there were way more than people who wanted them.

  46. Interesting article in Atlantic about fomite (surface) transmission of covid19 and what the writer calls the hygiene theater of ‘deep cleaning’.

  47. What undermines confidence in experts?

    Experts who demand silence and obedience, rather than informing and persuading with their ostensible expertise.

  48. Fauci is a clown show

  49. We can’t allow one person to die from a vaccine response, but 30,000 plus auto deaths each year is just dandy.

  50. To pause the vaccine based on just a few episodes of clots when over half a million people have died of Covid is a totally disproportionate response. Of course you want to ensure confidence in the vaccines but this is less than 1 episode per million vaccinations.

    1. The “experimental vaccine” is paused not simply because of a few blood clots. There is much more to it than what is being released publicly.

  51. These manic drones are not, as they say above, “ruled by science” to any extent. They cannot and do not cite statistical scientific data or analysis. They are totally incapable of comprehending the extent of damage of their feckless and random actions upon public health. There is no scientific consistency in their ping-pong declarations which are nothing short of dominance and oppression.

    Those most affected — our children and future!

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