Coronavirus

What Does the Unpublished Evidence Cited by the CDC's New Face Mask Guidance Actually Show?

The agency says it found high viral loads in vaccinated people infected by the coronavirus, but the significance of those results is unclear.

|

Two and a half months ago, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began telling people vaccinated against COVID-19 that they generally did not need to wear face masks in public places, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the new advice was based on two factors. First, vaccinated people were rarely infected by the coronavirus; second, such "breakthrough" infections typically involved relatively low viral loads, meaning that vaccinated carriers were less likely to transmit the virus.

When the CDC changed its advice again this week, telling vaccinated people to resume wearing masks if they live in "areas of substantial or high transmission," Walensky alluded to evidence that casts doubt on the second point, at least as it relates to the especially contagious delta variant that now accounts for the vast majority of newly identified cases in the United States. But the CDC has not yet published that evidence, leaving unanswered questions about what it actually shows and its relevance to the role vaccinated people might be playing in the current case surge.

"Emerging evidence suggests that fully vaccinated persons who do become infected with the Delta variant are at risk for transmitting it to others," the CDC says in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article published on Tuesday. The article cites "unpublished data" from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team. An unnamed "federal official knowledgeable about the research" told The Washington Post the results will be "published imminently."

Walensky described the CDC's reasoning in an interview with SiriusXM Doctor Radio on Tuesday. She noted that in May, the last time the CDC revised its mask advice, the alpha variant of the coronavirus accounted for most COVID-19 cases, while the delta variant was involved in "about 1 percent." At that point, she said, "we had evidence both of the vaccine was working against alpha and preventing severe disease and death, but also that if you happen to be one of those very few breakthrough infections, there was very little evidence that you could actually give it to someone else." Specifically, "the virus that would be circulating in your nasal pharynx was actually a very low level of virus."

Today the delta variant accounts for about 83 percent of new U.S. cases. "We know and have known that the amount of virus in your nasal pharynx when you're infected and unvaccinated with delta is much more than it was with alpha," Walensky said. "Over the last several weeks," she added, the CDC's "outbreak investigations" in "many different places in the United States" have found that vaccinated people with breakthrough delta infections "have the same amount of virus as the unvaccinated people." That evidence "is very much leading us to believe that it is probably the case that those vaccinated breakthrough infections, rare as they might be, have the potential to infect others."

Walensky also alluded to data from other countries. "Studies from India with vaccines not authorized for use in the United States have noted relatively high viral loads and larger cluster sizes associated with infections with Delta, regardless of vaccination status," the CDC's new guidance says. It cites a preprint study of breakthrough infections in vaccinated Indian health care workers that found "higher respiratory viral loads compared to nondelta infections." That study described the "respiratory viral loads" as "significant" but did not say they were comparable to those seen in unvaccinated carriers. The senior author of that study, microbiologist Ravindra Gupta, told the Post the ability of vaccinated people with breakthrough infections to transmit the virus has not been "formally measured in a rigorous way," although he agreed with the CDC's new mask advice.

"They're making a claim that people with delta who are vaccinated and unvaccinated have similar levels of viral load, but nobody knows what that means," Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health, told the Post. "It's meaningless unless we see the data."

One question is whether a high viral load in the nose is a good measure of infectivity. According to the Post, Emory University biostatistician Natalie Dean "remains unconvinced a high viral load in the nose truly means that vaccinated and unvaccinated people are equally as likely to spread the virus, although she acknowledged there is an ongoing debate about the issue." Dean "thinks the amount of virus in the throat or lungs could be important and might differ between people who are vaccinated and those who are not."

An Israeli study of 1,497 fully vaccinated health care workers, reported yesterday in The New England Journal of Medicine, identified 39 breakthrough infections, the vast majority of which were mild or asymptomatic. Three-quarters of those subjects "had a high viral load…at some point during their infection." Yet "no secondary infections were documented."

Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration's top COVID-19 adviser, concedes that the practical significance of the CDC's recent (and so far unseen) findings remains unclear. But he says "you can make a reasonable assumption that vaccinated people can transmit the virus just like unvaccinated people can."

The CDC still describes breakthrough infections as "rare," although it has stopped keeping track of cases with minimal or moderate symptoms, focusing instead on hospitalizations and deaths. As of July 19, it had counted 5,601 hospitalizations and 1,141 deaths involving vaccinated Americans. Those cases represent a tiny fraction of all COVID-19 hospital admissions and deaths: The U.S. at that point was seeing more than 3,500 hospitalizations per day and had recorded a total of more than 260,000 deaths since the beginning of this year. Vaccinated people, in other words, accounted for less than 0.5 percent of COVID-19 deaths during that period. Based on data from January through May 2021, the CDC found that less than 3 percent of hospitalizations involved patients who had been fully vaccinated.

What about infections that don't result in hospitalization or death? "Multiple studies from the United States and other countries have demonstrated that a two-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination series [such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines] is highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection," the CDC says, "including both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections," caused by "ancestral and variant strains." It adds that "early evidence for the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine also demonstrates effectiveness against COVID-19 in real-world conditions."

In those studies, mRNA vaccines generally reduced the risk of infection by 86 percent to 99 percent, except for one outlier (a Danish study of people in long-term care facilities) that put the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine at 64 percent. A U.S. study of people who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine found a risk reduction of 77 percent.

What does that mean in terms of absolute risk? In one U.S. study of adults who had received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, the incidence of positive COVID-19 tests among fully vaccinated subjects was 0.048 per 1,000 person-days, compared to 0.43 per 1,000 person-days among the unvaccinated controls, yielding an effectiveness rate of 89 percent. In other words, unvaccinated people were nearly nine times as likely to be infected. A study of U.S. health care workers put the incidence of infection at 1.38 per 1,000 person-days when the subjects were unvaccinated, compared to 0.04 per 1,000 person-days when they were fully vaccinated, yielding an effectiveness rate of 97 percent. In other words, unvaccinated people were more than 30 times as likely to be infected.

The CDC notes emerging evidence that vaccines are less effective at preventing infection by the delta variant but are similarly effective at preventing delta cases serious enough to require hospitalization:

For the Delta variant, recent studies from England and Scotland have noted reduced effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against confirmed infection (79%) and symptomatic infection (88%), compared with Alpha (92% and 93%, respectively). During two recent rounds of a national population survey in England when Delta was the dominant stain, 2-dose vaccine effectiveness against PCR-confirmed infection was 72% and 73%, respectively. A study from Canada demonstrated 87% effectiveness against symptomatic illness ≥7 days after receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Press releasesexternal icon from Israel have noted further decreased effectiveness of vaccines against infection and illness caused by Delta; these differences may in part reflect differences in study methodology, but more technical information is needed to allow full interpretation. Notably, in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Israel, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization related to Delta was 93%–100% and comparable to that observed with Alpha.

In short, vaccines still provide excellent protection against hospitalization and death. And while the delta variant may reduce their protection against infection, that risk is still much lower among vaccinated people than it is among unvaccinated people. In the CDC's view, that low risk, coupled with the unpublished evidence it has collected regarding viral loads in vaccinated people infected by the delta variant, is enough to justify its new face mask recommendation. The agency's guidance strives to defend that position without seeming to denigrate the value of vaccination.

"COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the United States have been shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 infections, including asymptomatic and symptomatic infection, severe disease, and death," the CDC says. "These findings, along with the early evidence for reduced viral load in vaccinated people who develop COVID-19, suggest that any associated transmission risk is likely to be substantially reduced in vaccinated people. While vaccine effectiveness against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants remains under investigation, available evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines presently authorized in the United States offer protection against known emerging variants, including the Delta variant, particularly against hospitalization and death."

At the same time, the CDC says, "data suggest lower vaccine effectiveness against confirmed illness and symptomatic disease caused by the Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants compared with the ancestral strain and Alpha variant." It notes that "the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection in fully vaccinated people cannot be completely eliminated where community transmission of the virus is widespread." Hence "vaccinated people can still become infected and spread the virus to others."

These observations, which combine a low risk of infection with a mostly speculative risk of transmission, do not mean that the benefit of resuming general masking, or of requiring all K–12 students to wear masks this fall, outweigh the cost. That is especially true when you consider the message these highly risk-averse precautions send to people who are deciding whether to be vaccinated.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who never required face masks but urged residents to "consider" wearing them inside businesses, warns that telling vaccinated people to wear masks undermines attempts to boost the vaccination rate, which promise a much bigger public health payoff if they are successful. "I get a little bit frustrated when I see some of these jurisdictions saying, 'Even if you're healthy and vaccinated, you must wear a mask because we're seeing increased cases,'" DeSantis said last week. "Understand what [message that] is sending to people who aren't vaccinated: It's telling them that the vaccines don't work. I think that's the worst message that you can send to people at this time."

NEXT: Massachusetts Prison System Sued Over Unreliable Drug Tests That Put Inmates in Solitary

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What Does the Unpublished Evidence Cited by the CDC’s New Face Mask Guidance Actually Show?

    That most of the people of the Western World happily bent over for an authoritarian push so dramatic, alarming and without justification that said authorities can pretty much get away with anything going forward.

    1. The eastern world went much more authoritarian with much less push back, and was rewarded with much less economic hardship and infections.

      If people do not do the smart thing on their own, then mandates will be inevitable. It is pretty clear now that this will not go away or even get under control with a portion of the population who insists on being petri dishes for new strains to evolve in.

      Do the right thing because it is the right thing. That is the best way to preserve a voluntary society. Act like a child, get treated like a child.

      This is the way of the world for forever. Not ideal, but real. Welcome to it.

      1. Do the right thing because it is the right thing. That is the best way to preserve a voluntary society.

        DO AS I SAY AND WE WILL ALL BE FREE

        1. Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone… Work for three to eight a day and startING getting paid ind the range of 17,000-19,000 dollars a month… Weekly payments Learn More details Good luck…

          See……………VISIT HERE

      2. Two weeks of lockdowns to shave the peak.

      3. We have to destroy freedom to protect freedom.

        1. Is there a law that the government will not kill you for if you do not comply?

        2. The time is quickly approaching when “comply or be arrested” is no longer hyperbole. As a country, we need to decide if we’re going to continue acting like a bunch of buck privates, snapping to at every decree that’s issued, or are we going to start standing up for ourselves like real Americans. We’re seriously looking at loosing all of our freedoms in one generation because of this fucking flu.

          Enough of the Covid nonsense; fuck the slavers already.

      4. If people do not do the smart thing on their own, then mandates will be inevitable.

        If you don’t do what the government wants, they will force to you.

        So much liberty in your thought process.

      5. The eastern world went much more authoritarian with much less push back, and was rewarded with much less economic hardship and infections.

        I know Dr. Fauci takes China at face value on its numbers, do you?

        1. He follows the Joseph Stalin school of problem solving. No man, no problem.

        2. It is amazing how quickly the blue pill libertarians jumped on the government justifications for authoritarianism.

          1. It was correct kind of authoritarianism.

            1. Within normal parameters.

      6. And you know that how? Are you sure they are telling you the truth?

        I suspect otherwise, but they are inscrutable and refuse to deal honestly.

        1. Libertarians for authoritarian government is a pretty common theme amongst our resident leftposters.

        2. Because he knows what the “Smart” thing is at all times. What a subjective statement.

      7. This is a parody account, right? It’s just impossible to tell anymore.

        1. No. He is truly a statist. Has always been this way.

      8. See, when you say this

        It is pretty clear now that this will not go away or even get under controlIt is pretty clear now that this will not go away or even get under control

        then you show yourself to be completely, COMPLETELY untrustworthy in defining this

        Do the right thing because it is the right thing.

        So fuck off, slaver.

      9. America is suffering from the disparagement of grown adults acting like grown adults.

        1. I remember when being an adult was weighing ones own risks in their interactions in life.

          Instead you think adulthood is being coddled by an ever oppressive government.

          I mean, libertarians used to praise the old statement about not trading freedoms for the appearance of safety.

          1. Being an adult also meant taking care of one’s own business like paying your bills with the paycheck you get from work.

        2. “Unless you’re following government edicts you’re not grownup” – t. Mike “Libertarian” Laursen.

      10. Asian countries that imposed very strict lock downs are in worse shape regarding covid than America because 75%-80% of Americans are now immune from the virus (about 50% because they had covid, and about another 25%-30% because they were vaccinated).

        Japan has had a far lower covid case rate (and continues to have a far lower covid case rate) than America, but banned spectators from the Olympics, put the athletes in a bubble with lots of covid testing and protocol, and mandated masks for everyone in empty arenas.

        Since CDC (and Fauci) still deny the existance of Natural Immunity, I don’t trust anything else they say (nor should anyone who trusts in science).

        1. Asian countries like Singapore also only counted covid deaths of someone died from respiratory issues.

          1. Imagine that, only counting the people that actually died from it instead of died with it.

        2. Once a virus is in the population it will spread. You might as well try and stop the sun from rising tomorrow. The only thing that lockdowns accomplish is to slow down the spread. So the more successful the lockdown, the larger the subsequent outbreak will be.

          1. And the only justification given for the initial lockdowns was to flatten the curve and prevent ICU’s from filling up. UNTIL THE VACCINES are available. Now the vaccines are available, and have much better efficacy than almost anyone estimated, yet they’re still talking about masks and lockdowns.

          2. You’re assuming they intend to ever remove the lockdowns. If your goal is a permanent authoritarian state, you’re fine with keeping everyone caged forever.

          3. Yup and just prolong or prevent herd immunity as well as perniciously drive people into insanity while simultaneously brainwashing them.

            The only reason we were able to miraculously pull off these lock downs is because of Amazon, Netflix and Zoom. Without on-demand entertainment, same day to 2day delivery of anything you could possibly dream of and the ability for many to work from home, never in a million years would people have voluntarily complied with this for as long as they did.

            Ten to twenty years ago this would have just been considered a bad flu season, or one of those “something nasty is going around” seasons.
            Has everyone forgot about The 2002-2004 SARS outbreak? an epidemic involving severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1).?.?.

        3. Nowhere in the US has had many people infected: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#national-lab

          1. *that many people infected

          2. The CDC estimates that over 75% of infections are unreported, and that 120M in total have been infected.

            https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html

            Similarly, if you assume the consensus 0.6% IFR and work backwards from reported deaths you end up with about 102M in total infections (127M based on CDC’s death estimate). So maybe not quite 50% but close, and vaccines fill in the gaps.

            Regardless of the exact details, the point remains: there’s too much freaking out about what is in most places a dead cat bounce, and far too much narrowmindedness from the CDC.

          3. Michael so from that link in my state if only after a year and half 9.2% (by this and ignoring other sources and only going by this graph – 16 months and less than 1 in 10 people got it) of the people were infected wouldn’t you say vaccinated or not it’s pretty rare to be infected when out?

      11. It takes quite a bit to “ruffle my feathers,” but you have managed to do it:

        “If people do not do the smart thing on their own, then mandates will be inevitable. It is pretty clear now that this will not go away or even get under control with a portion of the population who insists on being petri dishes for new strains to evolve in.”

        Are you seriously suggesting that I should be denied living a normal life because some folks are too stupid (or otherwise unwilling) to get vaccinated? Sorry. I guess I will make sure I never drive again because some idiot might plow into my car while not wearing a seat-belt. Or are you just being sarcastic? And another thing: this is NOT going away. Smallpox is the only disease that has actually “gone away (polio is close)” Will it become rare once most people (hopefully nearly all) are vaccinated or otherwise immunized? Yep. On the other hand, we still have a few cases of the Black Plague every year in the US.

        I have absolutely no obligation to go out of my way to “protect” those who are not willing to protect themselves. It’s their choice, and if there are consequences for that choice, they alone bear the consequences.

        “Do the right thing because it is the right thing. That is the best way to preserve a voluntary society. Act like a child, get treated like a child.”

        Doing the right thing for myself is my responsibility. I am fully vaccinated, as is my wife. I choose not to conform to your vision of a “polite” society by pretending I am any kind of a health threat to anyone. Again, I have trouble believing you are not being sarcastic.

      12. Sweden took the least authoritarian method and it did pretty well too.
        It is about the general health of the population and not how authoritarian one went that makes the difference.

    2. It is amazing how fast people will give up their freedoms for a false sense of security. These are very dangerous times

    3. It’s just personal hygiene you hysterical baby.

      1. The government has the right to dictate the details of your personal hygiene?

  2. But the CDC has not yet published that evidence

    Because they’re still manufacturing it.

    1. These things take time. Powerpoints have to be developed, stories gotten straight, loyalties tested.

      1. Experts have to be paid to write papers.

    2. Nah, can’t be it.

      An administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told STAT that health experts do not have studies proving that fully vaccinated people are transmitting the virus.

    3. Or they make it disappear…

      https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT00533741

      This was a vaccine for (SARS-Cov) which made it all the way to clinical trials yet for whatever reason never happened?

      Excerpts from the website description….

      Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral illness that affects the respiratory (breathing) system. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the safety and protective (immune) responses to different doses of a SARS vaccine given with or without an adjuvant.

      Sponsors and Collaborators
      National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

      ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
      NCT00533741     History of Changes
      Other Study ID Numbers:
      07-0021
      First Posted:
      September 21, 2007    Key Record Dates
      Last Update Posted:
      December 3, 2012
      Last Verified:
      March 2010

      Severe acute respiratory disease (SARS) is a recently emerged infectious disease that was first recognized in Guangdong Province, China, in November of 2002. Efforts to prevent the spread of this virus stopped the epidemic in July, 2003, but over 8,000 cases had occurred and almost 800 people died. A new virus, a coronavirus, was shown to be the cause and it is believed to be a virus of bats that infected some animals that, in turn, infected people and they gave it to other people. While it is unlikely to again become epidemic, the virus is thought to be a risk for spread to humans if it was released intentionally by a terrorist group. For that reason, the U.S. government is developing vaccines and drugs for use if spread should occur again. This study will test the safety and protective responses to a vaccine against SARS made by a vaccine company for this study. This protocol concerns Phase I clinical testing of an inactivated, purified SARS Coronavirus (CoV) vaccine administered with and without aluminum hydroxide (Alum) adjuvant. The rationale for development of vaccines against SARS-CoV is to provide a means of control in the event a new SARS-CoV epidemic occurs or there is a deliberate release of the virus. Inactivated SARS-CoV vaccine has been shown to induce neutralizing antibodies that block binding of the virus to its receptor, ACE2.

      1. Work on the SARS vaccine stopped because it wasn’t needed. The disease had nearly disappeared by the time the vaccine was ready to test. Unlike COVID-19 (a related virus that first appeared in late 2019 – unless the Chinese cover-up went further than we know), SARS had a short incubation period, an onset of alarming and distinct symptoms following very soon after the patient became capable of spreading the infection, and no known carriers who appeared well or with only a mild generic infection.

        Therefore trace-and-quarantine worked well: Doctors quickly worked out differential diagnostic criteria so they weren’t often mistaking SARS for a bad cold or influenza, or vice-versa. Once a SARS patient was identified, you only had to trace his contacts back to a couple of days before the first symptoms appeared to find everyone that could have been infected, versus a week or two for COVID-19. That gave a manageable set of contacts to check on. Finally, there was no one walking around for weeks with an unidentified case of SARS and carrying it to new regions, while it’s estimated that half of COVID-19 infections still remain unidentified; these people weren’t spreading much virus, but it must have happened occasionally. So SARS was eliminated with no vaccine and no lockdown other than a small group of those identified as having possible contact with an infected person, but this was only possible with COVID-19 in a few small nations isolated and lucky enough that they had tests ready before their first infected traveler.

  3. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost suspect that these people don’t really know what they’re talking about and are just making up shit as they go along rather than admit they don’t know what they’re doing.

    1. Are you a wizard? You sound like a wizard.

    2. I guess you and I have to report to the re-education camps, because that’s exactly what I was suspecting too.

    3. They DO know what they’re talking about.

      And they’re making shit up as they go along. Because they’re getting pressured by folks like Biden to say a certain thing to justify what they intend to do anyway. So they have to pick and choose.

      But, seriously, they know they are full of shit when they are.

      1. Yep. Reading Fauci’s emails showed that he’s always had all the evidence, he just ignores what doesn’t suit the narrative.

    4. The way this new “guidance” has been rolled out definitely suggests that they are trying to massage the data a bit.

      My theory is: they ok’d unmasking for vaccinated people in May because the science said that’s probably safe, and they wanted to create incentives for more people to get vaccinated. It didn’t quite work out that way, and as unvaccinated people unmasked immediately just in time to get walloped by delta, they wanted to find a way to reverse that guidance.

      But they didn’t want to look like they were flip flopping, so they managed to find new “evidence” that vaccinated people could be infectious, as well. That data seems like it will be far less conclusive than they’re letting on – they didn’t release the data prior to updating their masking guidance, and even what they’ve said about it sounds equivocal and vague. Viral loads? Outbreak case studies? What are the rates of transmission? I’m not sure they know.

      And so they’ve carefully staged this – first with the guidance, then they leaked an internal document to the WaPo for them to report on, and then the “data” will come, perhaps in no more than a government PowerPoint. There have been several days, now, of coverage trying to shift the expectations, so if and (I increasingly expect) when the data comes out and is underwhelming, all of the goodie two shoes will be hollering for masks again and it’ll be months until we hear otherwise.

      Basically the same strategy Barr took with the Mueller Report.

      1. Except the Mueller Report (hey, NICE irrelevant segue, BTW) showed diddly squat (Biden, after all, has been FAR kinder to Russia and FAR harsher to Ukraine) while this is showing that the CDC guidelines are bullshit.

      2. “The CDC still describes breakthrough infections as “rare,” although it has stopped keeping track of cases with minimal or moderate symptoms, focusing instead on hospitalizations and deaths. ”

        CDC does not want to know the complete picture. Too bad. They are doing their part to undermine public confidence.

  4. Glad I live in a rational part of the country where you make decisions for yourself, and government doesn’t have to message or create narratives.

    You all enjoy your time on the left and right coasts and in the blue states. I’m sure it will work out fine for you. Maybe.

    1. Where do you live seatbelt?

      My guess is a rural shithole or the south. Aka the asshole of the country.

      1. But you’re the country’s asshole, KAR, you Jew-hating, antisemitic trash.

      2. How many Mormons have you killed?

        1. He’s the internet’s toughest guy. Just ask him.
          Obviously a billion.

          1. With his bare hands after sniffing his sister’s panties.

      3. KAR is a typical leftist, only more honest about it. He doesn’t realize that his food, power, and gasoline come from those “rural shitholes”, and the city folk need these much more than country folk need the cities.

        If the system breaks down, food will stop appearing in grocery stores by magic, and he’ll be hungry in 3 days. Of course he will blame farmers for not giving away the product of their work – other leftists did in Paris in 1792 and in Moscow in 1917, and they made war upon the countryside to steal their food. But they’re making a serious miscalculation if they think they can do that in the ruins of the USA: country folk also have most of the guns.

  5. I want to applaud Reasons endorsement last year for the following:

    “It’s time to impose requirements on key groups to make sure they are vaccinated,” Biden said. “Every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status. Anyone who does not attest will be required to mask no matter where they work and test 1-2 times a week, socially distance, and will generally not be allowed to travel for work.”

    1. Can’t wait to see how the unions react to this. Pass the popcorn.

      1. The unions will be bought off (with pleasure) by Old White Joe.

    2. An must wear a yellow star

      Are you seriously endorsing that?

      1. No.

        I’m mocking reason and the blue pill libs hear about their principles that led to them essentially endorsing Biden last year.

      2. Jesse’s being facetious, but ask our resident fifty-center’s like chemjeff, White Mike Laursen, DOL and SPB2 that one.
        Their answers will horrify and disgust you.

  6. You think these officials could not possibly fuck the dog any worse than they already have, and then morning comes.

    1. “No matter how cynical you get, you can never keep up.”—Lily Tomlin

  7. Silver lining: now when I scoop the clumps of piss and shit left by my feline masters, instead of putting my shirt over my nose I now have masks I never would have otherwise purchased which are more comfortable, convenient and effective.

    That’s the best I got.

    1. Your best is truly truly terrible as usual.

    2. You’ve lived up to your new nickname, turd.

  8. It doesn’t matter what they found.

    Punishing me because other people refuse to be vaccinated is absurd, and yet that’s the kind of thing we should expect from progressives. Forcing other people to do things against their will for great good (as progressives see it) is what being progressive is all about.

    1. Here I was thinking they could feel a slight slip in the full on choke hold they have on we hoi palloi and felt the need to squeeze just a bit tighter.

    2. How could a democracy, even an initially liberal one, develop into a totalitarian tyranny? As we said in the beginning, there are three avenues of approach, and in each case the evolution would be of an “organic” nature. The tyranny would evolve from the very character of even a liberal democracy because there is, from the beginning on, a worm in the apple: freedom and equality do not mix, they practically exclude each other. Equality doesn’t exist in nature and therefore can be established only by force. He who wants geographic equality has to dynamite mountains and fill up the valleys. To get a hedge of even height one has to apply pruning shears. To achieve equal scholastic levels in a school one would have to pressure certain students into extra hard work while holding back others.

      ——

      Then there is the third way in which a democracy changes into a totalitarian tyranny. The first political analyst who foresaw this hitherto-never-experienced kind of evolution was Alexis de Tocqueville. He drew an exact and frightening picture of our Provider State (wrongly called Welfare State) in the second volume of his Democracy in America, published in 1835; he spoke at length about a form of tyranny which he could only describe, but not name, because it had no historic precedent. Admittedly, it took several generations until Tocqueville’s vision became a reality.

      He envisaged a democratic government in which nearly all human affairs would be regulated by a mild, “compassionate” but determined government under which the citizens would practice their pursuit of happiness as “timid animals,” losing all initiative and freedom.
      —-
      Tocqueville did not tell us just how the gradual change toward totalitarian servitude can come about. But 150 years ago he could not exactly foresee that the parliamentary scene would produce two main types of parties: the Santa Claus parties, predominantly on the Left, and the Tighten-Your-Belt parties, more or less on the Right. The Santa Claus parties, with presents for the many, normally take from some people to give to others: they operate with largesses, to use the term of John Adams. Socialism, whether national or international, will act in the name of “distributive justice,” as well as “social justice” and “progress,” and thus gain popularity. You don’t, after all, shoot Santa Claus. As a result, these parties normally win elections, and politicians who use their slogans are effective vote-getters.”

      https://mises.org/wire/democracys-road-tyranny

      Good read if you have the time.

    3. “Punishing me because other people refuse to be vaccinated is absurd”

      And here’s where you lost, Ken.
      So it’s ok to punish people for not being vaccinated? For the collective good, right?
      By distinguishing between vaxed and unvaxed, you’re conceding the field.
      Covid19 is not a legitimate reason to deny the concept of fundamental rights, regardless of vaccine.

    4. “Punishing me because other people refuse to be vaccinated is absurd.”

      Yep.

    5. Punishing people who choose to not get this experimental vaccination is absurd, whether or not they punish anyone else.

      1. While I don’t share your opinion re the vaccination, it is your decision to make (with the possible exception of your being employed at a SNFF or other place housing at-risk populations). Your employer, of course, is free to disagree.

        1. I respect your respect!

          And if I worked with at-risk population, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to get it.

          1. +++

      2. Nobody is punishing you, though you probably deserve to at least pay a fine.

        It’s also an experimental virus. Taking your chances with that instead of the vaccine for said virus us purely irrational. But your brain isn’t working as well as it should, so it’s not really your fault.

        1. Go work for your own money.

    6. Nobody is trying to punish you.

      Do you people ever stop being embarrassing babies about anything?

      1. Nobody is trying to punish you.

        “Punish” may be too strong a word here.

        How about this: It’s wrong to shift the responsibility for someone else’s safety away from them and onto me without my consent.

        1. Everyone is being asked to take personal responsibility. You people claim to favor that, up until the precise moment that you’re asked to actually take personal responsibility.

  9. KTLA
    @KTLA
    BREAKING: L.A. Unified will require all students and employees to get tested for coronavirus weekly, regardless of vaccination status

    1. Trust the school doctor, this anal swab is For Science. He was trained in China!

    2. Uh oh. That might reveal some……uncomfortable……truths.

      1. “BREAKING: L.A. Unified will require all students and employees to get tested for coronavirus weekly, regardless of vaccination status.”

        That is insane. Oh, wait, it’s LA. They ARE the asylum.

    3. In other news, Democrats stunned there is vaccine hesitancy and has no clue what causes it.

      1. Democrats are stunned every time people remember all the times they lied before and suspect they are lying again.

    4. Notice to those in LA who will consider this the final straw and leave:
      Texas and Florida are instituting 30 year quarantines for those moving in from blue states.

      1. Yup and the quarantine is being set up 300 miles offshore in old carnival cruise ships…so please take this into consideration and shelter in place, do not migrate to FL and TX

  10. Liar, liar, pants on fire – – – – – – – – –

  11. Why is this hard.

    When there are high numbers of cases, it makes sense to wear a mask.

    When there aren’t, it doesn’t.

    Risks a much higher in frequency and upper limit for unvaccinated.

    1. Because people choose to be unvaccinated and the rest of us should not be punished for their dumbassery

      1. Is it dumbassery for a healthy 22-year-old to refuse the vaccine?

        1. Is it dumbassery for a healthy 22-year-old to refuse the vaccine?

          Yes. You could say the same thing about polio vaccines, measles, tetanus, or anything else. Even if you have a small chance of being infected with polio or measles, a huge part of that is how 90+% of people are vaccinated for those viruses. Are you suggesting that we go back to the time before mass vaccination against those diseases?

          In the 1952 polio epidemic in the U.S., the total number of reported cases was about one tenth the number of people that have died from COVID here. Almost as many 18-29 year olds have died of COVID as all of those that died from polio that year.

          1. Covid is nothing even remotely similar to poliovirus or measles and Tetanus has literally no place in this argument.

        2. Or is it dumb for anyone who already had it to skip the vaccine knowing natural immunity is basically just as good as vaccines and long lasting, and knowing that we skipped all the long term safety data on a brand new technology that has never been used outside a clinical trial previously?

          There is no way I will get an mRNA vaccine without a good 5 years of data. I would consider a traditional vaccine like the JnJ vaccine, and probably will eventually. That date is evolving, but my first thought is to wait a couple months past the previous longest time they administered a vaccine only to realize they fucked up.

          That would be the dengue vaccine in the Philippines. They were injecting kids with that for 7 months before they realized oops we f’d up.

          I’m not conspiracy minded, but their insistence on vaccinating those who were already infected as well as children who have almost a zero risk of death makes me go hmmm.

      2. If you’re vaccinated…why does it matter?

        THe unvaccinated are impacting themselves.

        If the vaccine works, it should be just fine.

        Unless you’re arguing that they do not work.

        1. Vaccines work, but not 100% of the time. And some people can’t get vaccinated or the vaccine is less likely to be effective, for them, because of other factors. (Organ transplant recipients, for instance, take a lot of immune-suppressing drugs to prevent the transplanted organ from being rejected.)

          One of the important reasons to seek herd immunity is to protect the few people that can’t be vaccinated or that won’t develop sufficient protection from a vaccine. This is about our responsibility toward other people. It is not just about ourselves.

          1. And how many unvaccinated either have had COVID or cannot be vaccinated?

            If you’re going to blame them…you should know these numbers off the top of your head, no?

      3. so the vaccine will keep me from getting covid? nope
        there is no magic pill or vaccine. i know its hard because your brain requires an absolute result so you can try to function normally, but it does not exist. i know variant strains and booster shots cause your brain to go into overload mode, so you should stay home and wear your mask at all times, its the only way to guarantee you don’t die.

    2. 1. Masks offer no statistically meaningful protection. They have never been proven effective at preventing transmission of any respiratory virus. The very best they’ve been given is studies showing that they don’t increase risk.
      2. There are no proven cases of asymptomatic transmission. The possibility of asymptomatic transmission remains entirely theoretical and exists purely in the space of “Here’s the vast majority of cases where are person definitely got it from another symptomatic person and here’s the small minority of cases where we just don’t know where they got it from.”
      3. The vaccines are 90-99% effective at preventing infection. People who aren’t infected don’t cough or sneeze or do the various things that transmit the virus, and any populations of the virus that do try to take root in vaccinated people are quickly rooted out.

      A vaccinated person will not give you COVID. A person who isn’t coughing or sneezing won’t give you COVID. Wearing a mask won’t stop you from getting COVID. Fuck off.

      1. Masks offer no statistically meaningful protection. They have never been proven effective at preventing transmission of any respiratory virus. The very best they’ve been given is studies showing that they don’t increase risk.

        So, all of that worry about whether health care workers had enough masks was bullshit? They shouldn’t bother?

        1. What is used in hospitals is far removed from what people use in public, just to let you know.

        2. Show me a place where mask mandates had any observable impact on infection. If I show you a graph of 20 places with mask mandates I doubt you could observe case rates and guess when masking went into place on even one of them.

          1. It’s a virus that attaches to people’s throats. Whether you die depends to some degree on how much virus gets into your throat. Whether you spread it depends on how much virus you expel from your mouth. A mask seems like a logical precautionary measure before you know anything more than that. I think the burden is on you to prove why you’re right and the CDC is wrong.

            1. Nonsense. The CDC and various government entities are demanding specific behavior that seems to be grossly ineffective based on observable data. When you insist on a policy its up to you to prove its necessary. You don’t get a free pass because you claim to be all sciency. If guidance is based on science rather than speculation fine. Show the evidence.

            2. This is seriously your understanding of the “science”? ????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️????‍♀️

        3. Hospitals and healthcare workers primarily wear masks to protect themselves from body fluid splatter. If you typically get splattered with the blood of random strangers when grocery shopping please continue to wear a mask for your own safety.

      2. That’s not what the most recent science says.

        1. Please do share your peer reviewed sources of what the latest science says.

          1. Just shut up and listen to the CDC. Maybe they’re a big Jew conspiracy or whatever, but they’re certainly more likely to know what they’re talking about than your local radio shock jock, or whoever it is you get your medical information from.

            You people politicized hygiene measures. That means you made a bargain, an unpredictable number of human lives lost in exchange for enough frothing rage to turn out Republican voters on election day.

            Why not assess your moral value as a human before you risk voting? Too much personal responsibility?

            1. The CDC is an agency not science. Show your peer reviewed evidence or STFU. Faith is for religion not for policy.

            2. Just shut up and listen to the CDC.
              The agency basing its advice on double secret non-peer-reviewed studies “to be published soon™”? Advice that seems to change by the week and always magically aligns with what Team Blue most deeply desires it to be?

              big Jew conspiracy
              Are there some BDS sympathies you’d like to tell us about?

              whoever it is you get your medical information from
              Perhaps somewhat ironically, from the CDC’s own website, from the parts that come from actual peer reviewed studies.

              You people
              The most amazing thing about the Reason.com comments section is that depending on who I argue with I can transform from a communist stooge to a redneck deplorable. No one actually interacts with anything I write. They just go “Oh look, he doesn’t agree with me. He must be one of THEM.” News flash: I’m not one of “those” people. I don’t know who “those” people are. I read things that I read, I see things that I see, I express a universal level of skepticism about things that are told to me because I strongly suspect that there are a lot of people who stand to benefit from pulling the wool over other people’s eyes and there are a lot of people who rush to believe anything that nominally tells them what they want to hear without any proof.

              That means you made a bargain, an unpredictable number of human lives lost in exchange for enough frothing rage to turn out Republican voters on election day.
              I haven’t voted for a Republican in over a decade. Why would I be interested in getting them elected?

              Why not assess your moral value as a human before you risk voting? Too much personal responsibility?
              I voted for JoJo. My conscience is clean.

      3. The vaccines are 90-99% effective at preventing infection.

        Based on data out of Israel, this number may have slipped to ~75% for the delta variant. However, the effectiveness at preventing severe illness and/or death is still ~95%.

  12. Next year we will have articles on the benefit of masks to avoid facial recognition surveillance.

    1. Too late. They are already rewriting the software. On the other hand, I do have a plague mask (only every used it for Halloween.) I might be cool to see folks flip out about it.

      Plague mask: https://images.saymedia-content.com/.image/t_share/MTc0Mjc0MjkzNTQxMTE5ODY4/how-to-make-a-plague-doctors-mask-black-death-dead-diseased-middle-ages-tudor-times.jpg

      1. Meh. Where I work (Walmart) we would see 1-2 a week. It’s not nearly as wacky as people think

        1. “Meh. Where I work (Walmart) we would see 1-2 a week. It’s not nearly as wacky as people think.”

          Well, what can I say? I live in a really small town. Most people don’t even know what they are.

    2. This is the sole reason masks don’t actually bother me too much.

  13. Just speculating here, but since these are viral loads in people with circulating antibodies already, it’s at least conceivable that the viruses being detected come pre-neutralized by the host’s own antibodies, and are very ineffective at infecting new cells.

    1. Just speculating here…

      That speculation you have is probably something that has an answer that could be found if you felt like looking. People getting infected with a virus after being vaccinated is not something new to COVID, so it is probably something that already has a body of research to read. But then, it is a lot easier to speculate first out loud, than to try and find an answer before you say something, isn’t it.

      1. It’s even easier to shut up and not be a pointlessly waving pecker. Spares others the effort of pointing it out too. Win-win!

    2. This makes no sense and as written is not conceivable.

  14. The Indian study didn’t even pass peer review. And stop counting “cases.” Deaths and hospitalizations are down across the entire US, which means that, even with breakthrough infections and unvaccinated people catching delta, delta is not as serious a threat.

    1. …Deaths and hospitalizations are down across the entire US…

      Sorry, but you are flat-out wrong.

      1. The 7-day average of new cases in Florida is 14,209, which is very close to the peak set in January. But you know what hasn’t climbed back up to those same levels? Death.

        The 7-day average number of COVID deaths in Florida is 47… In a state with 21.5 million people… And that’s 21.5 million of the oldest people in the country.

        Whether it’s the vaccines or a change in the virulence of the delta variant, deaths have been uncoupled from cases. And if the death rate is waaaaay down, who cares about cases?

        1. The 7-day average number of COVID deaths in Florida is 47…

          You are misreading that. I found the same number (47), but it was a 7-day moving average of deaths per day. A 7-day moving average like that is used because of weekends when agencies and hospitals might not be making reports. There had been 301 deaths in Florida over the last 7 days.

          The point is that Cronut was wrong to say that hospitalizations and deaths were going down, across the whole US or in specific states. He must have been just engaging in wishful thinking, because the numbers are the opposite of what he was claiming. And the other point here is that with vaccines being available to everyone aged 12 and up for months now, there is no reason to be trending in the wrong direction like this, Delta variant or not.

          Whether it’s the vaccines or a change in the virulence of the delta variant, deaths have been uncoupled from cases.

          I don’t see that at all. For one thing, deaths lag cases. Cases have clearly been spiking up, but any increase in deaths will lag that by a couple weeks or more. Look at this graph. (you may need to choose options to match what I’m looking at – I have the left axis set for daily cases and the right axis for the 7-day moving average of daily deaths per 100,000 population in Florida) You can clearly see that the peaks in deaths lag the peaks in cases by 2-3 weeks.

          Put simply, that current daily average of ~47 deaths per day in Florida is likely to go up significantly since the case rate was far below what it is now just a few weeks ago and is still going up. In fact, that daily average death rate that I found that shows 47 for July 29 was 26 on June 29. It has almost doubled in a month.

          And if the death rate is waaaaay down, who cares about cases?

          There is no evidence that COVID is actually less serious than it was before. The difference in what we are seeing now is that older people mostly did go out and get their shots. (~85% of those 65 and older in Florida are fully vaccinated). So the case fatality rate might be going down, but only because people under 65 are mostly the ones that have been skipping the vaccine. And if cases go up, multiple bad things happen:

          1) More infected bodies means more opportunities for the virus to mutate and get around the defenses of those that were infected before and/or are vaccinated now.

          2) More infected bodies means that people that aren’t immune will be more likely to be exposed to the virus. Some of those people that aren’t immune haven’t been vaccinated and didn’t get infected before. And some of those people can’t be vaccinated, or vaccines are less likely to be effective for them because they have compromised immune systems. This includes anyone that had received an organ transplant and is on anti-rejection drugs, people fighting other illnesses, people undergoing chemotherapy, etc.

          So, yes, there is plenty of reason for you to care about cases going up, even if it was true that deaths weren’t going up at the same rate.

  15. It’s quite simple. The CDC, like 90% of government agencies, has no clue what it is doing.

    1. How about the military? Law enforcement? Fire and rescue? Those are government agencies. Are they the 10% that you respect as knowing what they are doing? Somehow, I expect that the 10% of government that you feel is doing a good job is the 10% of government that is doing exactly what you want it to do. Any government agency that is doing something you don’t support at the moment is incompetent. Is that about right?

      1. Military? Well, the last 30 years of military campaigns does not provide one confidence in them knowing what they’re doing.

        Police? Seriously? They are your symbol of competency?

        Fire and rescue are the lone exception to the rule.

        1. I wasn’t suggesting that those government entities are better than others, myself. I was just probing what he thought the 10% to consist of. I chose those entities because most of the ‘government is bad’ conservatives are always cheering our “troops” and “back the blue” and so on.

          Personally, my skepticism of government competence is equally spread to all functions of government. But it is also skepticism not an ideological or partisan distrust of all government more so than any other human endeavor.

          Government has power, and thus we should always watch it closely, but I don’t believe that it is inherently more or less likely to function badly than any other collective human institution. Corporations can do bad things or be incompetent. So can academic institutions, religious institutions, non-profits, sports leagues, you name it.

          1. I do not “back the blue” as they are the jackboots of the fascist Left that will happily stomp on you. The military is inept and with its current leadership, we’re lucky that so much of the rest of the world is equally inept.

            Governments involve themselves in far more things than those other groups and have the power to kill you if you do not conform.

  16. Manny Pacquiao faces Errol Spence Jr at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday August 21, which makes it Sunday August 22 in the UK and Australia. The contest features the eight-division world champion going up against the unified WBC and IBF welterweight titleholder in the scheduled for twelve rounds championship bout.Don’t miss World champion Pacquiao vs Spence jr Fight Live as they go head-to-head on August 21st at T-Mobile Arena.

  17. I’d have been much more sympathetic to the idea that vaccinated people could do without masks if one thing had happened differently this spring. Namely, if people that weren’t vaccinated kept wearing masks. But as soon as the advice came out that vaccinated people could go without masks, and governments and businesses stopped telling everyone that they had to wear a mask, it was obvious just looking around that a lot more people were going without masks than could have been vaccinated at the time. Grocery stores and other public places I was going had easly a majority of people going without masks, yet that was at a time when maybe a quarter of adults were fully vaccinated in my area, with older adults that weren’t even going outside that often still making up most of those fully vaccinated. (And there are still parts of Florida with vaccination rates that low.)

    The pandemic response in the U.S. has, from the beginning, been a story of some people just refusing to act with other people in mind. Instead, they cried about how their “freedoms” were being curtailed because they were being asked not to contribute to the spread of a disease. And they cherry picked from whatever experts or pseudo-experts or just loud-mouthed assholes on TV and the internet that would give them the doubt of the “elites” on those recommendations that they wanted. If it was really about skepticism, I could respect that, as being skeptical is essential to generating reliable knowledge. But it is only skepticism if it is aimed at all claims equally. Otherwise, it is just people giving in to their cognitive biases.

    A YouTuber that I have started following really puts things in perspective at times. He recently talked about the so-called “Greatest Generation” of Americans – those that were adults during WWII. He said how we usually respect the sacrifices of the soldiers that fought the Imperial Japanese and Nazis overseas, but he argued that the true measure of their greatness was how the whole country came together and made sacrifices for the war effort. They drove less, so that more gasoline could go toward defeating the enemy. They gave up many luxuries, bought war bonds, and women worked in factories whose husbands and brothers and sons were fighting and many dying in Africa, Italy, in the skies over Germany, and eventually on the ground in France and Germany and in the Pacific.

    Some people now won’t wear a fucking mask or get vaccinated for the public good because it somehow violates their “freedom” to do so. We definitely aren’t the Greatest Generation of Americans.

    1. “The pandemic response in the U.S. has, from the beginning, been a story of some people just refusing to act with other people in mind. Instead, they cried about how their “freedoms” were being curtailed because they were being asked not to contribute to the spread of a disease.”

      Except the freedoms WERE being curtailed. Glad to know you’re on board with it…as long as the government has a “good reason” and all.

      1. …as long as the government has a “good reason” and all.

        Just so you know, every single one of our rights is not absolute. Courts routinely decide where the boundaries of our rights are based on whether the government has a “good reason” to limit them. Have you shouted “Fire!” unnecessarily in a crowded theater lately? Government has a “good reason” to limit my freedom when my actions would lead to unacceptable risks to others or affect their rights or freedoms.

        This is what I am talking about here. If people think through each situation and decide whether their desire to behave a certain way is imposing an unacceptable risk to other people, then maybe we wouldn’t need government to act. But, nah. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is just not a useful way to think for people that want to signal what tribe they are in by whether they wear a mask or get a vaccine.

        1. This sounds like the ramblings of an entitled spoiled brat living in a bubble being coddled by your superiors.

          Until you’ve actually experienced having Your rights violated (ones which are absolute), I suggest you save your lessons on when it’s appropriate and OK for “government” to violate those rights for another audience.

          1. Which of our rights are absolute? I can’t think of any. Perhaps if you are against the death penalty entirely and the draft into military service you might be able to argue that our right to life is absolute, but the Constitution would disagree with you. Our right to life cannot be violated without Due Process of Law, and due process is a term open to interpretation.

            1. Just because a right is absolute doesn’t mean someone won’t violate it, obviously. However, in America and in most other civil societies, the right not to be raped, harassed, tortured, and to be let alone and not intruded upon i consider absolute. The right to privacy and personal autonomy are crucial to a healthy functioning society.

              It’s amazing to me how short sighted and selfish people have become or maybe/probably have always been. If you genuinely can not understand what the future detrimental impacts can and will be, of forcing upon ppl medical treatments with no factual evidence whatsoever aside from anecdotal evidence and semantic hogwash arguments aimed at shaming people, then we can kiss our society goodbye.

              Expect mandatory vaccines of numerous types becoming a regular occurrence, expect your medical Heath and history to become freely accessible for public scrutiny, and expect a future of sickly immunocompromised individuals dependent on the latest medical treatment or medical device to protect them from invisible microbes that once upon a time had no effect on humans.

              I get that Hollywood has primed us for the end of days, whether it be from an extinction level disease, or extinction level weather events…however, “Covid” is NOT that, and I’m not willing to throw reason and logic out the door along with personal autonomy all because a bunch of “the walking dead” fanboys have deluded themselves into believing we are on the brink of an apocalypse.

              1. However, in America and in most other civil societies, the right not to be raped, harassed, tortured, and to be let alone and not intruded upon i consider absolute. The right to privacy and personal autonomy are crucial to a healthy functioning society.

                In order to not to be raped, you either need to protect yourself or enlist the help of others, which is what government is, really. Whether it is through enforcement of criminal law, private security, or personal protection, defending against violence can itself butt against the rights of others. That is why we have limits to the ability of government to investigate and prosecute crimes and punish those deemed to have committed crimes. If I defend myself with force against what I perceive as a threat, I could end up being wrong or use an excessive amount of force in proportion to that threat or be negligent and end up causing unjustified harm to someone else, violating their right to be free from violence. That is why it is just not useful to think about our rights and freedoms as being “absolute”.

                You are also mixing some greatly varying degrees of potential abuses there by putting personal safety from violent crimes along with a right “to be let alone and not intruded upon”, which is pretty vague anyway.

                Expect mandatory vaccines of numerous types becoming a regular occurrence…

                My mother had to provide my vaccination records when I enrolled in public schools. Is that what you mean? Vaccines have proven their safety and effectiveness, especially in comparison to the risks of the illnesses that they can prevent, for longer than most of us have been alive. (Remember that the first vaccine produced by Edward Jenner using cowpox material to inoculate against smallpox was 1796.) They have only gotten better. So I hope that you aren’t including vaccines among the “medical treatments with no factual evidence whatsoever aside from anecdotal evidence and semantic hogwash arguments aimed at shaming people” that you were talking about. Yes, the COVID vaccines are still currently under an emergency use authorization, rather than full regulatory approval (though that could change fairly soon, I think). But that emergency use authorization was based on their record of safety and effectiveness when tested among tens of thousands of people. Now that hundreds of millions have gotten at least one dose of the mRNA vaccines, there is a massive record to use to evaluate their safety and effectiveness, and that record seems stellar.

                No one with a decent understanding of the medical facts would want to go back to a time before widespread vaccination. Polio is only endemic to a few countries anymore because people in the 50’s and for the decades that followed jumped at the chance to be vaccinated against it. And the number of people total that died in a 1952 epidemic of polio in the U.S. was comparable to the number of 18-29 year olds in the U.S. that have died from COVID. Add in tens of thousands of people in middle age that died from it, and the hundreds of thousands total, and COVID has had a far bigger impact than polio ever did.

                …expect a future of sickly immunocompromised individuals dependent on the latest medical treatment or medical device to protect them from invisible microbes that once upon a time had no effect on humans.

                This makes no sense. People that are immunocompromised are susceptible to pathogens that those of us that are not have defenses against because they are immunocompromised. What are you trying to say, that our medical interventions and technology are creating more immunocompromised people? There have always been immunocompromised humans. They just died more often before. That would be the cost of trying to go back to some imagined time when humans were ‘tougher’ against infections, if that is even a real thing. More people dying from infections that we could have prevented.

                No one is talking like COVID is “The Walking Dead”; you are putting up a straw man there. But I the numbers show clearly that it has had a far worse impact than anything the U.S. has had to deal with since the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago. That is fact, not alarmism.

    2. Also, I’m glad no “bad” people ever ran the government and blamed all of the problems on a certain group of people. Cannot fathom what that could possibly lead to….

      …damned kulaks and all, amirite?

    3. The “greatest generation” actually fought FOR freedom and they were fighting against a threat that required a unified action. If we had lost WWII we could potentially have lost millions of lives AND lost our freedom for generations.

      At worst, COVID might have killed 1M people in the US (most of whom only have a few years of life left without COVID) before reaching natural herd immunity. Yes – that’s really bad but the numbers could have been lower if only we had just asked people to take responsibility for the elderly rather than acting like COVID was a great threat to everyone. COVID only required the sick and the highly at risk to self-quarantine. It didn’t require draconian restrictions to our freedom.

      You’re fighting against freedom as is much of your generation.

      You sure as hell are not part of a great generation.

    4. Oh shut up already!
      Get over it people!
      COVID-19 is NOT the deadly disease you all so want and clearly need to believe it us.
      Seriously, take a step back and stop consuming the constant nonsense that is presented as factual evidence or news by people who probably barely passed high school biology.

      Congratulations, you all get gold stars for getting your shots. I mean WTF are you kidding me?!?

      All this pandemic has done is highlight how incredibly pathetic and uneducated people are when it comes to basic biological sciences. It’s incredibly depressing realizing just how stupid and gullible 80% of the population is.

      FYI your precious vaccines will prove to be the single most damaging man made disaster, however, this will not become apparent (or acknowledged) for many years.

      Do yourself and the world a favor, let go of the delusional crisis and stop with self righteous vomit inducing sentiment that reduces everyone and everything into good v evil-it’s so incredibly exhausting.

      1. This was the most ridiculous rant I’ve seen yet around here, and that’s saying something. Over 600,000 dead in a year and half and COVID isn’t deadly? And how will the COVID vaccines be “the single most damaging man made disaster”? What understanding of biology are you basing that lunacy on?

        1. In the grand scheme of things NO, Covid is not a deadly disease. Yes, people can die from the infection. However, the gross majority (elderly&ppl with underlying health issues) were at risk to die from respiratory illnesses well before Covid and in fact this has always been the case.

          We, as in an entire World, have overreacted in response to this disease. I personally question the true length of time this virus has been circulating. Genome testing has never been done on a regular basis, let alone further testing when ppl tested negative for the two strains of flu we regularly (comparatively) used to test for. It used to be a doctor would perform a flu test or run blood work and if a bacterial infection is ruled out and flu test is negative, they’d throw their hands up and say it’s something viral drink plenty of fluids, maybe prescribe something and that was that.

          Now, we have unleashed numerous different types of vaccines, all with completely different mechanisms of action. I’ve attempted to find out how many but even our esteemed CDC website is deceptively quiet on this. Everyone is trying to make their own, it’s been a rush to scoop up billions of dollars in potential profits not to mention the opportunity to use them as leverage over other countries. The vaccines have become a new currency but they only have value if ppl believe their lives depend on it.

          We do not know the long term implications of any of the numerous vaccines concurrently being administered let alone the effects of having so many different types used at the same time. There are so many things being ignored and brushed aside and valid questions and concerns being dismissed, which is NOT how “science” is supposed to work. It is incredibly infuriating to constantly hear and read such deceptive and misleading “information” which only serves to create panic and resentment.

          I’ve lost all respect for the CDC, NIH, all their talking heads and any of their political counterparts. They’ve become walking contradictions and self serving hypocrites, science and truth no longer matter to these people.

          1. So, because you couldn’t find the answer you were looking for on the CDC website, it must be that they are trying to hide something, rather than you not looking in the right place, or maybe those details aren’t seen as something that the general public needs to worry about and medical publications for professionals and scientists is fine? I don’t expect government transportation departments to have details on its website of all of the different materials used on road surfaces, as that would mainly be something civil engineers would need to worry about. They might, I could be wrong, but then I don’t have any reason to spend time investigating it, despite driving over 40 miles to and from work each day. I’m fairly confident that the answers you are looking for are out there, but, sure, it could be that they could do a better job of making it easily available to those that skeptical. How to best communicate scientific information to the public is problem as old as science.

            I generally trust in expertise, because it is trustworthy often enough to not spend my time questioning it. Confirmation bias easily accounts for the distrust that most people show “experts”. That is, we remember well any cases of experts being wrong we hear about, especially when it confirms our own priors, but we either forget or never even think about the hundreds of times a day we successfully use and benefit from information or technology developed by experts. Being skeptical is always a good thing, but being skeptical includes directing that skepticism inward and trying to understand our own cognitive biases.

  18. Jason I think your view “refusing to act with other people in mind.” is poorly defined and part of the problem you seem to talk about above everyone has their vision of what this means and just because they don’t do what you want doesn’t mean they aren’t acting with other people in mind. I think we are all guilty of this thinking pattern daily as humans (i know i am) but really some of the statements about sacrificing to many of us are more scary than an past or virus which is almost opposite of what you believe. I’m not saying your wrong but many of us don’t see it that way and that isn’t wrong either. It’s different and yes it will make us all frustrated and mad but it’s not wrong.

  19. Yet again, another Democrat, “A Cure (vaccine)? I see NO CURE!”

  20. Notice that, during the past several weeks, left wing media propagandists and Democrats have been criticizing unscientific white Republicans for not getting covid vaccines (by repeatedly citing data showing lower vaccination rates in red states).

    But in fact blacks have a significantly lower vaccination rates than do whites nationwide, something the lefties won’t acknowledge (except when claiming the disparity is caused by racism).
    https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/latest-data-on-covid-19-vaccinations-race-ethnicity/

    1. Yes, they acknowledge it.

      Now prove to me that you didn’t secretly want the virus to kill off a lot of black people, and that that doesn’t have anything to do with your attitude here.

      1. Exit your *delusional* land. What is B.S. here is people running around claiming everything is ‘racist’ because ‘white’ people didn’t *force* them to get vaccinated, get a job, start a business, pay their rent, pay their college, etc, etc, etc…..

        And it’s not JUST racist attitude, it’s sexist, origin, age, location, preference and everything else. It’s all about creating *POWER* over others … as-in Gov-Gun-Forces over others by creating ‘collectives’ to associate with. Gangs of the hood.

        That is what comes about by giving Gov-Gods with Gun-Force too much *POWER* rightfully belonging to Individual People. At the National Level it’s ever-growing National Socialism (i.e. Nazism).

        1. Nothing says it better than the Feminist slogan, “Empowering Women..” Empowering them how? By pointing Gov-Gun-Forces in their favor against *all* other citizens?

          It’s all in the foundation of their beliefs —
          Lefties believe full heartily that the *Power* to Steal = wealth.
          The Right believes that one’s *Value* to society = wealth.

          Undeniably spoken in every policy they pitch.

        2. No, they just forced them to live in ghettoized neighborhoods after forcing them out of commercial participation and mainstream institutions after centuries of forcing them to work fields for no pay.

          Why can’t they JuST PuLL BooTStraPs.

          1. lol… Your stupidity is humorous – WHO created “ghettoized neighborhoods” and why are they not a term for the Richest, most productive neighborhoods in the USA?

            Instead Tony lobbies to put anyone who *EARNS* something out to work fields for no pay…. To subsidize commercial participation citizens of the ghetto who should’ve CREATED by now.

            Same foundation every single time —
            Tony, “The *POWER* to Steal with Gov-Gun-Forces = Wealth”.

          2. Because poor people from countries that had it worse come here and do better?

          3. Boo hoo hoo….cry me a river.
            You are not fooling anyone with this.
            Grow a spine and don’t be duped into ludicrous belief that you are somehow an ally to the black community because you’ve recently become “educated” and enlightened on the deep struggles and daily trauma of living as a black person in America.

            You are no better than a Ben or Jerry and sound just as ridiculous as they do.

      2. I was hoping to get rid of the intellectual retards like yourself.

  21. Outweight the cost? It’s a god damn mask, the cost is virtually nothing. And unless you’re going to constantly run articles bitching about the far weaker case for mandating not being naked, it’s even stupider and unprincipled.

    Jackasses acting like wearing a mask is a burden worse than sacrificing your firstborn.

    1. The more relevant point I think is that the people who are ‘intended’ to be protected by wearing masks are the people who don’t want to be ‘protected’.

      So with the possible exception of kids (where there is no choice re vaccination) or hospital capacity (where death rates from all causes skyrocket when breached), there is no reason to mandate anything now.

      1. Medical setting exception makes sense.

        Kids have extremely low rates of COVID infection and transmission; it’s silly to make them wear masks.

        1. We have no idea what happens re kids except for the outcomes of ‘hospitalization’ or ‘death’ – which are both very short-term outcomes. Even ‘long-covid’ is an outcome preceded by ‘hospitalization’.

          IDK why CDC and NIH aren’t doing this sort of research. But they aren’t.

    2. The cost of wearing a mask is not great but it’s more than zero.

      The cost of wearing a mask – money, inconvenience, discomfort, more difficult to breathe, less likely to drink adequate water, etc – is still far higher than the cost of the tiny tiny tiny risk of passing on COVID if you’re vaccinated.

      But more importantly there’s a huge cost to tyranny – and if we don’t push back then not standing up for our freedoms will lead to much worse tyranny than having to wear a mask.

      1. Like having to wear pants?

        Everyone’s in the same boat. Nobody likes wearing a mask. The only difference between you and normal people is that you whine more.

        1. People should complain when their freedom’s being taken away without a good reason.

          I’m proud to “whine” more than you if that’s what you call standing up for my freedom and rights.

          1. “Without a good reason.”

            What you don’t realize is how much you’re undermining your theory of how societies work. You want people to take personal responsibility, but the moment it becomes your responsibility not to spread a virus to people that will kill them, you whine like a titty baby.

            I guess personal responsibility isn’t enough, huh?

            1. Blah blah blah blah blah

            2. Personal responsibility precludes your nanny state. It also comes with a side of liberty. It’s delicious.

        2. Is there a Federal Law to wear pants in public??? I with you if you want to complain about Federal Politicians breaking the peoples law.

        3. Nearly everyone wants to wear pants. That’s consent of the governed. We were asked, or we asked govt to make us all wear pants. Not so for masks. No consent.

          1. Within the scope of City, County, (State per Constitution), and any other “community” organization.

            Federal has no authority to wipe nude beaches from the nation, nor to legislate no dresses, skirts, etc, etc,…

    3. Well it’s mostly because masks don’t appear to be effective. We absolutely know they don’t work for influenza.

      OVERALL RESULT OF EVIDENCE ON FACE MASKS
      1. Ten RCTs were included in the meta-analysis, and there was no evidence that face masks are effective in reducing transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.

      apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329438/9789241516839-eng.pdf

      So far nobody has found any relationship between cases, hosp, deaths and masking in any dataset in the world. So yea, this issue mostly revolves around the efficacy of masks that is at best unknown and at worst not effective. Hardly the basis for a mandate predicated on the barrel of a gun.

    4. It ain’t the cost in dollars that concerns me.

  22. Do you people think FOX News considers your mental health before it feeds you 24/7 perpetual rage at whatever it can find to make you rage-filled about, up to and including Mr. fucking Potato Head? Do you think they are concerned for what they’re doing to your cardiovascular system?

    They only stopped encouraging you to die slowly on a ventilator when Rupert Murdoch placed a phone call from his yacht.

    There is a point at which they start caring more about mass murdering you than they do doing rage mongering for the Republican party, and it’s somewhere after hundreds of thousands have already died.

    Perhaps they’re actually worried about so many of you dying that it starts to affect voter turnout.

    1. Tony; Are you chasing Unicorns in the clouds of Care-Bear land again!!

    2. Wrong website here. Have you sought TDS counseling?

  23. ‘following the science’ is giving me whiplash….

    1. Welcome to science.

  24. “rare as they might be”

    RARE RARE RARE RARE RARE

    Why do they keep ignoring this point?

    1. Not as rare as a billionaire feeling any harm by being taxed, but you will spend your life bitching about that.

      1. Not as rare as a billionaire feeling any harm by being taxed, but you will spend your life bitching about that.

        We can control whether or not we confiscate people’s wealth.

        We can’t control whether people will contract a virus.

        See the difference?

        1. Sure we can. Socially distance and wear masks.

          Do you behave this way every time your doctor gives you instructions? Or did you never think to be a hysterical misinformed rube when it comes to your blood pressure because Hannity hadn’t fed the talking points into your brain holes yet?

      2. Non sequitor (sp?).

        I’m getting tired of your pretentious self-righteous schtick that everyone who doesn’t immediately want to bend over and obey big brother is an asshole.

        Yer muted

        1. People who refuse to do their part to end a virus that is keeping ME stuck in my house for years on end deserve my outrage, don’t you think?

          1. Funny; Gov-Gun-Forces in YOUR Nazi-State is the only thing keeping ‘YOU’ stuck in your house. My Non-Nazi-State allows us to go anywhere and take responsibility for ourselves.

          2. You are choosing to stay in your house you dumb fuck…or your state has chosen leaders that are taking away your freedom (again a dumb fuck move).

          3. stay in your house, obey your overlords, and be a good sheep

      3. Dude! Get out and live a little, experience real-life, travel to foreign lands, mingle with cultures and people who can give you a better rounded perspective on life.

        Stop being jealous of rich guys, and stop being scared of human interaction, no one is trying to kill anyone because they happen to enjoy full use of all their senses.

      4. “Not as rare as a billionaire feeling any harm by being taxed” —-
        Well one thing is totally sure here.
        Tony isn’t a billionaire….

        You might have a point if billionaire’s had a swimming pool of cash; but in REALITY-Land most of that “wealth” is ‘asset’ based meaning non only is the figure NOT concrete but a projection as well as the assets themselves being the very asset keeping the cycling business a-float.

        Ironically; YOU could be the billionaire if you weren’t so rut-dug in your pity-me-party. ANYONE can start their *VALUE* producing machine TODAY! There’s even the option to ‘BUY’ shares in the bigger companies so you could ‘share’ in their risks and profits.

        But nope…. You’ll never be happy until you can legally ROB them with GUNS. That is the biggest pushed legislation on the lefty table for the use of National Gov-Gun-Forces… TO COMMIT ARMED ROBBERY AGAINST THEIR OWN CITIZENS.

    1. …. And the CDC also told the world a baby sleeping 100-apartment units away was going to ‘die’ because someone had a cigarette outside. And most of society was actually THAT STUPID enough to believe them…

  25. First) the vaccinate isn’t that bad. I got my first one yesterday, as did my sons and afterwards went out and moved two tons of idiot blocks (55 pound squat bales for city slickers).
    Second) no the government doesn’t have power to force you to take anything or wear what they want. Any other debate is meaningless.

  26. The sad stupidity of many commenters here is exactly why there will be a vaccine mandate and a mask mandate.

  27. The war against COVID-19 has changed because of the highly contagious delta variant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, proposing a clearer message, mandatory vaccines for health workers and a return to universal masking.
    An internal CDC document said the variant, first detected in India in October 2020 and now dominant across the globe, is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu.
    https://worldabcnews.com/delta-variant-as-contagious-as-chickenpox-cdc-says/

  28. Are we forgetting something here people? The O’biden regime has lost all moral authority to tell American citizens what to do concerning masks and vaccines in light of the crimes they’re perpetrating on the southern border. Hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens from third world shitholes unvaccinated, untested walking into the U.S scot-free and being dispersed to all parts of the country during a pandemic, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME !
    So, Jim crow Joe has failed to protect the safety of American citizens while violating his constiutional oath to enforce the law, but, I’m sure he won’t be impeached. What a senile piece of shit he is.
    And,by the way, where is Fauci and the CDC on this matter? No doubt they were told to stand down and give these scum a health pass just like they did to the peaceful rioters of last summer,the CDC is as useless as boots on whore but they want to tell the rest of us what to do,GFY
    People, don’t listen to these Marxist fuckheads,EVER!

  29. I will trust these emergency vaccines exactly as much as I hold faith in the accuracy of the current flu vaccines once they have been studied for long-term effects and I can sue.

  30. I think that if any disease is studied to the hilt; that there are always puzzling and idiosyncratic results that come through. If we screened everyone; all the time, for cancer or whatever; we would find all kinds of odd things.
    What remains the case, and will remain the case, is that in spite of the real public health elements of this pandemic, for the vast majority of people there is no personal health issue.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.