The New York Times: Instead of Vaccine Booster Shots, Why Not Just Wear Masks Forever?

Talk about encouraging vaccine hesitancy.


Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now think that many Americans will need booster shots in the coming months, and the Biden Administration has plans to make that happen. While the vaccines still provide remarkable protection against severe disease and death, recent studies suggest that an additional shot will help decrease transmission of the more infectious delta variant and prevent breakthrough cases.

For vaccine-hesitant rightwing people—who constitute a substantial proportion of the anti-vax movement, though by no means the whole thing—the need for booster shots has been met with considerable opprobrium and even suggestions that this means the vaccines don't work. Former President Trump called booster shots a "crazy" idea.

"The whole thing is just crazy," he said in a recent interview on Fox News. "It doesn't—you wouldn't think you would need a booster."

These comments will undoubtedly contribute to vaccine hesitancy and undermine confidence in booster shots; as such, this sort of talk is deeply irresponsible. It's as if the former president doesn't know any better, or just can't help himself.

So what's The New York Times' excuse?

Astonishingly, the paper of record has opted to give support to this Trumpian denial of vaccine efficacy. A recent news story by Times reporter Apoorva Mandavilli—whose articles on the pandemic have constituted some of the most fear-driven and pro-restriction writing appearing anywhere in the mainstream media—cast doubt on the need for boosters and suggested that people could "easily" obtain the same level of protection by wearing a mask instead.

Mandavilli quotes Boston University epidemiologist Ellie Murray in opposition to booster shots for the general population:

Dr. Murray said boosters would undoubtedly boost immunity in an individual, but the benefit may be minimal — and obtained just as easily by wearing a mask, or avoiding indoor dining and crowded bars.

The administration's emphasis on vaccines has undermined the importance of building other precautions into people's lives in ways that are comfortable and sustainable, and on building capacity for testing, she and other experts said.

"This is part of why I think the administration's focus on vaccines is so damaging to morale," she added. "We probably won't be going back to normal anytime soon."

Note the agenda here: The "experts"—i.e., overly cautious epidemiologists picked by The New York Times to give weight to Team Blue's quixotic COVID-19 mitigation preferences—think the focus on vaccines is damaging because it comes at the expense of a pro-lockdown, pro-masking, pro-social-distancing strategy. Vaccination, broadly speaking, lets most people live their lives like normal again; this is somehow viewed as a bad thing.

These policy preferences are completely contrary to the reality of the human social experience. The health benefit of a booster shot is not "obtained just as easily by wearing a mask or avoiding indoor dining or crowded bars," because wearing masks and eschewing conversation with other people is much more taxing than getting a shot. Many normal people actually like talking to people in bars and seeing human faces, so forgoing this indefinitely is not a trivial matter. (Note that the Times recently ran an op-ed piece titled: "Actually, Wearing a Mask Can Help Your Children Learn.")

If Trump deserves criticism for failing to urge his base to get their shots—and he does—then why should The New York Times get a pass for suggesting to its readers that regular masking is an effective substitute for booster shots? The Biden Administration frets constantly about COVID-19 misinformation being spread by right-wing accounts on social media. But Mandavilli is guilty of the same: She called the delta variant "as contagious as chicken pox" in an article that preached doom and gloom about the current state of the pandemic. It later turned out that this claim, sourced to an internal CDC document, originally appeared in an inaccurate NYT infographic.

I wrote previously that the media's enthusiasm for mask mandates is so strong that it occasionally seems as if some liberal and mainstream writers prefer masks to vaccines, even though the latter is a vastly superior tool for defeating COVID-19. Now The New York Times has said it quite explicitly: Who needs booster shots when experts say we can just wear masks forever?

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  1. Weren’t you guys whining just last week that internal vaccine passports were a better alternative to wearing masks?

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  2. Wear a mask if you want. Get shots if you want.

    1. Yep. Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, get the jab(s), don’t get the jabs, or do both, or neither. I don’t give a shit, all I ask is that people don’t act morally superior and virtue signal or be Karens about other people’s choices in the matter but that’s probably asking way too much of people at this point.

      1. The NYT is advocating for women to cover their faces. The Taliban has won everywhere.

        1. The world would be better off if they’d cover their keyboards.

      2. I don’t care about virtue signaling and Karens- I laugh at people who virtue signal and am perfectly willing to tell Karen to go fuck herself (politely, of course). My problem is with the government forcing these policies on people. (And Karen is running for school board so she can personally push for every possible restriction: masking, recess by cohort, one way halls, etc. ad naseum.)

    2. And if you don’t get a shot, go whole hog and stay away from the hospital.

      Stick to your guns.

      1. If you can’t put the cookie down, do the same.

      2. And if you drink, tell the ambulance driver to buzz off if you get in a wreck.

      3. I haven’t gotten the least bit sick in 20 months, you evolutionary reject pussy

      4. Quit eating butter, salt, alcohol, red meat. tuna fish, beer, soda.etc. walk 5 miles a day.

        Yes, you are that dumb.

        1. Salt is necessary for human life.
          Butter and other fats are superior to artificial alternatives.
          Beer and red wine (in moderation) are good for you. Dark chocolate too.

          Soda (pop) is the worst for you, similar to fruit juice in how bad it is.

          Walking is great exercise, and good for dealing with stress too.

          1. Oh, and not getting enough sunlight is worse for your health than smoking.

      5. “And if you don’t get a shot, go whole hog and stay away from the hospital.”

        Since Raspberrydinners is beyond understanding any argument that can’t fit in a twitter burn, there isn’t much to be done for her, but for the benefit of the thread, it is important to point out how logically vapid this statement is.

        Understand that Raspberry Dinners is revealing just why socialism is such an insipid and evil system.

        See, in a free market, I pay for the consequences of my decisions. If I decline to get vaccinated and end up in a hospital, I pay that cost. If I end up staying home several days from work, I get less pay (or pay for it with sick time). It is very clear what the consequences of my actions are, and I am free to decide what works for me.

        In a socialist system, it works that way for about 20% of the population- the people in power. But for the other 80%, they have to navigate these entirely arbitrary calculations of who owes what and why. Drug yourself out and liquify your liver? That’s ok, the hospital is open for you. Decline to vaccinate? Sorry, not an approved use of your body.

        1. It’s not about the government paying the piper. It’s about calling the tune.

        2. Good point.
          Further, in socialism, supply is artificially diminished and demand artificially increased.
          In a free market, health care is incentivized to meet the needs of the community because meeting those needs is the path to profit, while individuals have the incentive of using discretion when utilizing that health care because it comes with a cost.
          Socialism removes incentives to provide health care by taking away profit, thus no natural way for health care to expand to adequate size for the community, and increases demand because there is no longer a cost to seeking health care.
          The free Mar proves 2+2=4, but a socialist system will insist that 2+2=5

          1. *increases demand because there is no longer a cost to THE INDIVIDUAL seeking health care

          2. And the woke society will demand that 2 + 2 is racist.

      6. [sarc]
        If you didn’t take the flu shot but end up with the flu, stay away from the hospital.

        If you don’t take cancer insurance when offered and get diagnosed with cancer, stay away from the hospital.

        If you don’t have the very best of insurance plans which covers almost all costs and get into a car accident…., stay away from the hospital.

        Damn you’re an idiot and last time I checked have no authority to tell anyone if/when they should go to the hospital.

      7. This is a typical leftie redneck comment. People may have different reasons for not wanting to take a shot. For instance, if I were younger than 20 years, I wouldn’t take a shot. The chance that Covid would harm me would be non-existant, much lower than the chance that an experimental vaccine would harm me. As for the guns, last time I’ve heard, the constitution was granting the right to bear arms. You have something against the constitution and the human rights granted in it?
        Any reasonable person would be very afraid of government mandating that you enter something into your body or enforcing a dress code. Goverment is the entity most likely to deny you your rights and do you harm. Much more dangerous than mafia or BLM.

      8. If you got the shot and still get COVID, just sit down and shut up, in case your experience might convince someone else to not get the shot.

        If you got the shot and died (12,791 and counting) from complications related to the shot, well, you probably deserved it. Your family better not complain, in case someone might be dissuaded from getting jabbed likewise.

        If you got the shot and had to be hospitalized (51,242 and counting) from complications related to the shot, well, you probably should pay for the whole bill. Also, sit down and shut up.

        If you got the shot and will later experience long-term consequences from an emergency-use vaccine developed in record time with who-knows-what shortcuts taken…not at all like the last time we had emergency vaccines like for swine flu and H1N1, oh wait, EXACTLY like those. Just sit down and shut up.

      9. If you get myocarditis after getting the jab, stay the heck away from the hospital too?

    3. And if you have symptoms, stay home.

  3. The New York Times: Instead of Vaccine Booster Shots, Why Not Just Wear Masks Forever? Herp-de-derp Der Derpity Derpty Dumb

  4. Boy, the Left really loves the face burkas. They’ll do anything to make them mandatory forever. I guess that’s not too surprising, given their deep hostility to individuality. Turning all of us into faceless drones is a wet dream for them.

    1. Not just that, but Vaccine passports get folded up and put in your pocket. What they really want is to see clear signs that they live in a compliant community. They want to see who is compliant and who is not compliant without having to demand papers, or have a conversation where they subtly determine if the person is an icky non-vaxxer.

      Masks fix this. It is clear who is compliant, because they are wearing the mask. Often times they can even put a slogan on the mask that shows how EXTRA compliant, Wokompliant they are.

      1. It’s like a collar

        1. It will work better when it can’t be removed as a collar can. Maybe a tattoo?

          1. No. You guys still don’t get it.

            It isn’t compliance if you are locked in. They want to see that every day you have CHOSEN to comply. You aren’t obeying Big Brother because you are scared, but because- in the end- you LOVE big brother.

            1. ^

              To be confident that an animal is truly domesticated, you’ve got to know it’s been broken.

      2. How about a mask that says “this mask doesn’t work, and neither does yours”?

        1. Think I’ve seen that. It’s something, but the wearer is still demonstrating submission… so the masks work to that objective.

          But an alternative has just come to mind that’s a bit bolder and better for zeitgeist: a mask that says “I hope you get sick”

      3. Vaccine passports are complex and would require hiring new bureaucrats to manage them. Let’s have yellow ribbon on the sleeve of the unvaccinated. Yellow ribbon on the sleeve used to work well for some other regimes.

  5. “Dr. Murray said boosters would undoubtedly boost immunity in an individual, but the benefit may be minimal — and obtained just as easily by wearing a mask, or avoiding indoor dining and crowded bars.”

    Call his bluff, call all their bluffs. They can get the shot, they can wear a mask EVERYWHERE (and they better keep them on or stfu), and they can avoid going to indoor dining, or crowded areas. Problem solved.

    I will be in said areas, with friends having a wonderful time, no mask. The pajama class can watch netflix and order uber eats some more. They can stick to their guns if this is what they want. But Im not going to stop living so they can feel like they are swaddled in bubble-wrap. Sorry, not sorry

    1. (and they better keep them on or stfu)

      Not to mention wear them properly: Close fit, no touching at all, no pulling down to activate iphones, no taking off without washing hinds, and all that other CDC bullshit no one ever does outside of an operating theatre.

      1. This has been my actual biggest beef with masks in general. Aside from the fact that essentially just the N95’s, properly worn, and switched out on a normal basis, really are the main ones that actually work. But more importantly: Even the people with N95’s, almost all of them wear it inappropriately. Around their chin, just covering mouth with nose open, take them off all the time, with hands that just touched shit in the grocery store take the mask down, itch nose, bite nails, then mask back up. Virtually no one wears it right, it is purely theatre.

        They act like its a force-field that because it is in the vicinity of their face nothing can hurt them. It is the dumbest shit.

        1. Agree, especially “it is purely theatre.”

      2. also another fun thing I have been seeing: people on planes that never finish “eating/drinking”.

        Their policy is basically you can bring it down when you are eating and drinking. I was just flying the other day and it was hilarious to see. Close to half the flight seemed to mysteriously keep their cup with a couple sips of water/ice chips, or a few crackers on their tray table the whole time. Flight attendant wont bug you, as its their policy to allow it down while eating. They could give a shit anyways, they want a reason not to have to create a scene and get their work day over with in peace.

        1. BETWEEN BITES. Someone said that.

          1. Those were definitely the official words used in the preflight instructions on the flight I took the other day.

        2. It’s amazing how far one of those bags of trail mix from the airport stores go. I could eat one for hours!

    2. Dr. Murray is evidently unaware there is an entire segment of the economy that provides indoor dining experiences.

  6. So the reinfections for those who have already had it is still at ~14 per 100mil.

    1. But there could be more infected. When every scary story avoids any absolutes except for more authority, they are lying pricks. If nobody knows shit, quit mandating. They do know that we aren’t all going to die, they do know that masks don’t work for shit, and it’s patently obvious by now that past infection is more useful than a vaccine. For anyone at a real risk of dying of COVID, a vaccine is a better choice, but ignoring all the facts to give us a commie propaganda campaign has made millions of people who would benefit scared, and rightfully so.

  7. Just last week there was a doctor on Lexington KY radio station saying that people with natural immunity should still get vaccinated because vaccination immunity will last much longer than natural immunity. I heard that claim several times over the last few months.

    Now we all suddenly need boosters. Why is no one covering that contradiction?

    I feel like I’m living in 1984.

    1. This pandemic is the first time I’ve ever heard the claim that vaccine immunity is better than naturally acquired immunity.

      1. Really?
        It’s a very popular claim among the left/lemming class.

        1. It wasn’t until earlier this year.

          1. “This pandemic”

            Sorry, must’ve been reading absent mindedly before and totally missed “pandemic”. Thought you were referring to the post you replied to as the first time you’d heard it.
            My mistake.
            And yes, I can’t remember ever hearing anything like that before either.

      2. That’s all just badly interpreted data.

        When the first round of vaccines was coming along, data showed that a previously infected with one booster of a vaccine was 99% efficacy. Higher than 2 shot moderna and higher than the control group.

        This was one datum. One. And it makes sense, you have broad natural immunity with a booster… duh. So at that point you’d expect good efficacy. But this has nothing to do with longetvity, which at that point was pure conjecture.

        But you can spin this how you want. And random Lexington Ky radio station picking a doctor who will sway what they want to scare their listeners, because even old media is pretty clickbaity these days, will miscommunicate shit like Bike Rider hears.

        There is almost no other data on this subject that anyone talks about, and a noticeable lack of data on natural immunity in general. I really wish they’d present the data, THEN say why it means something to them, but so many pundits pronounce so many things BEFORE data come in, everyone has to be a skeptic.

        The CDC should have been collecting a massive data set all this time and tracking it the last 18 months, publishing regularly kind of like they do in the UK following large groups who volunteer extra information and to be tested, and reading out at regular intervals.

        1. Look, they wouldn’t need to if you morons would have just locked yourselves inside for two six twelve twenty-four weeks like they told you to do.

          1. I’m sorry. It’s my fault.

            I shall wear the mask of shame and be duly contrite while only shopping at Amazon and only ordering food from an approved corporate chain restaurant.

        2. The cdc doesn’t need any data that doesn’t come from a nyt infographic

      3. Immunity from the tetanus and hpv vaccines is very good. They started by claiming the covid vaccines might be just as good, because the are all the same see. Then they conveniently dropped the “might”.

    2. I’m legitimately curious as to how many people have gotten the coof twice, and what the comparison is to the vaccinated/no prior infection group who end up getting the coof anyway.

      1. That might be useful information. But you’ll never know, because the CDC is incompetent.

      2. The only data I have read is old. Stuff from the spring:

        From what I understood there, it’s a lot like vaccine breakthrough infections. Quick takes:

        1. It happens less 90 days after the first ‘rona infection than 30 days.
        2. It happens in a small percentage (They’re judging natural infection to be over 90% efficacy)
        3. the only studies that actually studied it found most of their infections from testing, not symptoms. It’s often so mild the infections aren’t even noticeable.

        So symptomatic reinfection is like… low single digits at most. Asymptomatic, detectable only with testing, is likely as good as or better than most vaccines.

        The people who have bad second bouts are nearly universally ones with multiple comorbidities and serious immune deficiencies.

        This info was from 3 or 4 months ago, though. Pre Delta.

        1. Good stuff. I can’t imagine that this spike is all that different.

          1. Delta is more transmissible, so…

            yeah that’s the only difference. Everything I’ve seen locally, the folks getting “sick” that have had a vaccine are very often fine. Old data but 3 weeks ago we had 11 deaths in a county of 3.5 million that were breakthrough, average age upper 70s, 10 of the 11 with comorbidity. I’m actually interested to see if this changes now that we’re mid-Delta but this week’s numbers aren’t out yet.

            Anyway, here’s reality. Why would reinfection be different between a vaccine or one of the ones tho got sick in the January surge?

            Total aside, I’m also interested in this week’s numbers as I’m wondering how close to the peak we are in this surge. Based only on the UK experience, Delta peaked then crashed hard a couple weeks later. My guess for Southern Ca was peak by labor day and crash before September ends. I wonder if it’s wishful thinking, but I am still sanguine.

      3. Apparently Reason blocks any comment from me in which I provide a link. Interesting.

        Anyhow, search Sharyl Attkisson’s website for “natural immunity”. She has an article titled “Covid-19 natural immunity compared to vaccine-induced immunity: The definitive summary”. It contains a wealth of studies that compare natural immunity against vaccinated immunity. As any scientifically-literate individual might guess, natural protection is far superior.

    3. Yeah, I think that claim was pulled out of someone’s ass. There’s no way to have known that, and looking at Israel, it’s starting to look like it’s just not true.

    4. “I feel like I’m living in 1984.” Naw in 1984 the American people wouldn’t have put up with this shit and Twitter wasn’t around 😉

  8. Well, to be fair, on the other hand, just look at the total lack of cases in Japan where they have been wearing masks over half a century.

    1. 50 years to stop the spread!

    2. Didn’t the Olympics finish everyone off?

  9. I’m fine with just about anything the Biden Administration could do to fight this virus. More lockdowns? Cool. Mandatory booster shots every few months for the rest of our lives? No big deal.

    Just. Don’t. Close. The. Borders.


    1. The more people pouring in, the more lockdowns are needed. For a Koch-Reason libertarian such as yourself, it’s a never-ending cycle of awesome.

  10. A vaccination that requires a booster after six months is a bit unusual, is it not?

    Questioning the efficacy under such a circumstance is not a stupid position. It at least deserves a better answer than “shut up”.

    1. Especially when it’s two doses in the first place.

    2. “A vaccination that requires a booster after six months is a bit unusual, is it not?”

      Not entirely, many early childhood vaccinations have two, three, sometimes even four or five doses spread months or years apart. As many are fond saying we have no long term data for these vaccines, so we don’t yet know what the appropriate long term schedule should be.

      1. “As many are fond saying we have no long term data for these vaccines, so we don’t yet know what the appropriate long term schedule should be.”

        And add to that one thing we DO know: natural immunity against many Corona viruses which cause the common cold lasts several months at most. It is at least possible that one can catch the exact same cold from the same Corona virus every year. This is whole new ballgame. So far, the vaccines look to be working very well — how long the immunity lasts will be a question only time will answer.

        1. Well, sort of.

          Part of the difference is that the cold virusses, viruses, virii… cold germs mutate pretty rapidly and regularly. And there are a lot of “variants” of them, which makes a good bit of the difference.

          Covid is actually a slower mutating virus. At least so far. Considering how contagious it is, and how many people have had it in so short a time, it hasn’t produced THAT many strains. Flu virus mutates a lot faster, for instance.

          However stuff like chicken pox and measles mutates a lot more slowly than the ‘rona. So, it’s not like the old school vaccinations. There is question, and, as you say, only time tells the whole story.

        2. There were 3 major strains of covid circulating through the population and now there are 4. Incidentally, they all appear to be fairly recent- like within the last couple thousand years or so. Children catch them when they are young and get very sick. Then, they continue to catch “variants” the rest of their life, but have a degree of protection and usually only get a cold. The WuFlu is no different, and will join the other three strains of covid as being seasonally annoying for most, and a serious risk for the elderly and already unhealthy, just like it already is.

          1. Yep. The Covid vaccine will become part of the “cocktail” of the standard seasonal flu shots.

      2. or long term side effects

      3. Hep B is multiple shots, IIRC.

  11. >>Talk about encouraging vaccine hesitancy.

    that’s your take? you misspelled Fuck You, New York Times.

  12. For vaccine-hesitant rightwing people—who constitute a substantial proportion of the anti-vax movement

    This is a factually incorrect statement.

    It has been my experience that in general, anti-vaccine sentiment has been a hallmark of the far left. In this particular case, yes, Trump voters seem to be skeptical of the vaccine, but I believe this comes from an odd mix of establishment actors, and the left suddenly pushing something they were claiming were dangerous 15 minutes before.

    the need for booster shots has been met with considerable opprobrium and even suggestions that this means the vaccines don’t work.

    The need for booster shots runs counter to approximately 100% of what we’ve been told since early last year.

    Two weeks to flatten the curve is now becoming a lifetime of ongoing ‘booster shots’ to stop a virus (and a variant that), according to the science, isn’t that dangerous- at least within a broad context which covers the entire population at large, while permanently wearing masks and social distancing.

    Oh, and if the vaccines “work”, why Israel?

    Israel’s sobering setback
    Israel, which has led the world in launching vaccinations and in data gathering, is confronting a surge of COVID-19 cases that officials expect to push hospitals to the brink. Nearly 60% of gravely ill patients are fully vaccinated.

    The answers are predictable: The efficacy is waning, it’s not a forever vaccine. The vaccines were for the Alpha, we’re now working with the Delta… eventually the Lambda… and so on. The idea of vaccine passports is a conspiracy theory pushed by Trumpistas! Uhh, Vaccine passports are a reality that we’re just going to have to put up with.

    Screw your freedoms!

    The state has proved that there is no end to this, that there is no ‘return to normal’. They’re simply not to be trusted in any way shape or form.

    1. Repeating myself, since you did: Israel’s total COVID+ hospitalizations are half of ours (and half their own midwinter peak), and their daily new cases twice. We should recognize this reporting for the scaremongering it is.

      Related: the of/with conundrum is accelerating because of Delta, especially among the vaccinated. During the early wave something like 90% of my employer’s COVID+ patients were hospitalized for pneumonia or sepsis. Now it’s only around 60%.

      COVID’s endgame is a cold. The vaccine gets it there faster for you. Take advantage.

      1. I’m vaccinated. I have no fear of the vaccination. My health department is now telling me it’s not good enough. No. It stops now.

      2. Perhaps you also might take a gander at my post below.

        Again, No. It stops here.

      3. Imma repost: There were 3 major strains of covid circulating through the population and now there are 4. Incidentally, they all appear to be fairly recent- like within the last couple thousand years or so. Children catch them when they are young and get very sick. Then, they continue to catch “variants” the rest of their life, but have a degree of protection and usually only get a cold. The WuFlu is no different, and will join the other three strains of covid as being seasonally annoying for most, and a serious risk for the elderly and already unhealthy, just like it already is.
        I will add that, since we didn’t catch the WuFlu as children (because it didn’t yet exist), the vacine seems an easy way to avoid a harsh first reaction. But that’s as far as it goes. I’ve had my vacine and trust that if I catch it I’ll only suffer a cold. No need for boosters or masks or social distancing- although I would like to keep the distance in line at the grocery store because I hate people inside my bubble.

    2. The sad thing is that people like Soave and Sullum who carried water for the left during this entire year with their tut-tutting about the science, and grave admonishments to look at the facts, have essentially ceded all ground to the left’s “Expert Class” who are going to come up with whatever science they need to justify their next chokehold.

      Soave, Sullum, Bailey and all the others really like Science, and good on em. Science is great for making day to day decisions at the personal level. But there is no SCIENTIFIC FACT that explains why I can morally compel you to stick a needle in my arm to protect you. It is a moral or ethical argument that needs to be had, but the Science Reason Staff have bailed on that argument. Now they are just arguing price.

      1. Good points. This is why anyone who claims that policy can be determined by “following the science” is full of shit.

        1. You know who else claimed policy could be determined by “following the science”?

  13. Wait a second????? (In response to a comment above). If I have a natural immunity who getting the vaccine help me? (His point really) . The left just wants to destroy small and medium business. Mske people ow orders,, to create a Strong Centralized Governmrnt where they become an entrenched elite. It is about money and power and will lead to a dystopia future if we let them.

    1. Don’t forget the billions of dollars Big Pharma is making. Hell, probably trillions.

  14. You’ve lost the plot, guys.

  15. To be sure, the masks don’t work either. Not from Alex Jones, not from Donald Trump, but straight from the CDC:

    Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.



    Calling all my twice-jabbed friends “unvaccinated” as soon as big pharma drops the third booster shot ????

    1. I’ve already started. I don’t know anyone who is “fully” vaccinated. Or do the JnJ guys get a pass?

    2. That’s exactly how they will count the vaxxed deaths this winter.

  18. The healthcare system is SO overwhelmed, and doctors & nurses are SUCH heroes, that they’re about to fire thousands of them for not getting an injection.


    1. All I heard in terms of ads yesterday was ads for nurses. That and one ad for United Airlines and how it was the healthiest airline to fly to Hawaii on.

    2. AGT had a group of singing nurses on their live show last nite my s.o. was all “hey heroes, get to work”

  19. Just get your shot, and we can return to normal.

    British Scientists Fear a Forever COVID War, Germany Opts for Booster Shots

    The British government’s scientific advisers have raised the prospect of fighting a forever war against the coronavirus saying the eradication of the virus “will be unlikely.” And they warn “there will always be variants.”

    They hold out the hope that the virus may evolve in such a way that it causes “much less severe disease,” but they caution that is unlikely to happen for some time. Preventive measures and restrictions will be needed in the meantime as there’s a “realistic possibility” that vaccine-resistant variants will emerge.

    And, chillingly, in a report released last week by Britain’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, otherwise known as SAGE, the scientists do not discount the chance of a new variant arising with the deadliness of MERS, another coronavirus which has a case fatality rate of 35%.

    “Two weeks to flatten the curve” needs to be screamed into the face of everyone who works at the New York Times.

    1. Wow that’s a dumber name that S. W. O. R. D, and S. H. E. I. L. D. Way to go sage

    2. Insanity.
      Hey, this virus is pretty much the cold/flu, but we totes have to eradicate it

  20. For those of you worried about where not just where this will go, but where we pretty much are right now, I strongly recommend a show called Counterpart. It’s an excellent show with a sublot about a society (in an alternate universe) which was struck by a deadly influenza virus. The entire society essentially reorganized itself around this reality and even had commercials and PSAs which showed families “masking up” with phrases such as “Personal health is public health” and “Had your exam lately? Failure to report illness is a crime.”

    Interestingly, the show really isn’t about the virus, and this secondary (even tertiary) aspect to the plot is just a pure coincidence with what’s happening now.

  21. >>If Trump deserves criticism for failing to urge his base to get their shots—and he does—

    how can you write this when you do not know what still may be?

    1. Robby is a pathetic little bitch

  22. Giving Trump any attention means you’re really catering to the dumbest of society. As if that buffoon has any clue (how about we shine some light in our body?)

    In any case, it’s not the vaxxed that are the problem. They’re not filling up the hospitals.

    The best way out is to 1) tell the unvaxxed they are back of the line for treatment. They should be given a priest and a spot in a tent in the parking lot since they were banking everything on hopes and prayers and their natural immunity anyway. At the very least they should always be deprioritized in an overcrowded hospital for someone who was vaxxed. Would be a shame to have someone who was doing the right thing suffer because some asshole thought they were above it all and then covid rocks their world.

    2) Send vaccines to other countries so we decrease the possibility of another worse variant popping up.


      You are truly vile, shitlunches.

    2. if everyone is still in play there exists no “vaxxed”

    3. Unfortunately despite your wishes, we will continue treating all comers, vaxxed or not, and I will continue going around without my mask, smiling happily at you. Breathing the air right next to you.

      And if that bothers you, just remember that you are a pussy and cant/wont do anything about it.

    4. There’s a wood chipper with your name on it.

  23. Biden just gave his speech pushing booster shots, and then ran away from the mic as fast as he could.

    1. image of octogenarian making Scooby-Doo feet is lol

      1. *cartoon bongo running noise*

        1. If the ‘Rona turns out to be the nefarious deeds of Old Man Withers, I’m going to be really disappointed.

          1. And he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for the long string of paperwork linking him to funding research at the lab!

  24. Jesus Soave, how many times is Lucy (the CDC) going to rip the football out of the way before you realize that you are never going to kick it?

    Just shelter in place! Just wear a mask! Just get the Jab! Just do it again! How are you “Respect the Science” writers still stuck in this loop? Every fucking month since this pandemic began, it has been article after article where you just blindly assume that the story presented by the CDC is accurate and that people who disagree with their narrative are “irresponsible”.

    You poor fools have substituted moral and ethical responsibility for a giant appeal to authority. Rather than question any framework that suggests one person has a moral responsibility to reduce risks to others, you are arguing about who has a moral responsibility to endorse or disavow some particular study.

    It is truly sad to see Libertarians talking about which read of the science is a better justification for which liberty we ought to cede, when EVERY single one of these articles should start out very simply:

    Good day readers, and there is more infighting between the right, the left, the nannies and the scientists today! Luckily the basic principles of Non Aggression remain the same. It is a violation of rights to compel a stranger to protect you from natural dangers- whether that is wolves, tornados, or a virus. So while the various sides try to cherry pick data to fuel their culture wars, never let them get passed that basic premise: that it is wrong for government to force you to abstain from drugs “for the greater good”. It is wrong for the government to force you to take certain drugs “for the greater good.”.

    Leave the fucking science analysis for the science magazines.

    1. Where do I sign up for your newsletter?

    2. Libertarians. Hah.

  25. Us red-blooded patriotic ‘muricans will hoist our AR-15s rather than entertain the thought of wearing a face diaper, boy howdy.

    1. It’s good to see that Spirit Airlines has resumed its routes to Stupidville.

    2. There’s a response to this that has something to do with blue-blooded Americans willingly giving up their constitutional rights as long as it’s done while wearing a damp piece of cloth over your mouth, with your nose protruding over the top as you drive down the freeway, alone in your car.

    3. I was really disappointed by the complete and utter lack of disobedience by Americans to the tyrannies of the last *cough* “two weeks”. :-\

  26. These comments will undoubtedly contribute to vaccine hesitancy and undermine confidence in booster shots; as such, this sort of talk is deeply irresponsible.


    1. Literally. We do not permit this to be questioned.

  27. 99.97 percent survivable. 70 percent of the fatalities obese. Fuck you Robbie.

  28. If this disease… any variant of it… were as dangerous as we were led to believe, my city would have refrigerator trucks filled with corpses being pulled out of homeless camps. Why are my homeless camps growing?

    1. >Why are my homeless camps growing?


    2. I asked the same thing a while back.

      Yet the CDC claims that kicking people out of places they aren’t paying for makes them more at-risk from covid……..

  29. Although a booster may be practical in the longer term future, wouldn’t it be more prudent to get the vaccine to nations with low vaccination rates to have better worldwide protection the first doses cover?

    New Zealand just shut down again over a single positive test (way over-reaction) and a significant issue is, according to the article, fewer than 20% of the population is vaccinated (lower than Mississippi and NYC). Australia and Mexico lag the US as well.

    Before our third shots, get it to the areas most in need.

    1. Yes, but that single positive case didn’t end in death, so that proves the measures are working. Just comply, the numbers aren’t on your side.

  30. “ recent studies suggest that an additional shot will help decrease transmission”

    Which studies are those?

    Best I can tell, some serious people are wondering where the data is to support this move. Even vaccine proponents like Monica Gandhi, right?

    Is it a new Reason thing to just reflexively believe everything people at CDC say because they aren’t Alex Berenson?

    Or is that just Robbie Soave?

  31. I noticed this, too.

    The science supporting booster shots is fragmentary, and the policy for eight month boosters is more about putting more “oomph” into the fight against Delta. So I was relieved, and surprised, when the NYTimes was citing “experts” who disagreed with that policy. But then they went on to say that, of course, instead we should be finding ways to fundamentally alter how we live our lives forevermore.

    I am so sick of this.

    1. Citing the skeptical experts will get you banned from Youtube before long.

      And the 8 month time frame is based on the worst vaccine. People getting superior versions (or having been exposed and developed natural immunity) will still have to comply.

  32. Great, so my vaccine card will expire in January. So much for getting back to normal.

    1. Get your annual big pharma subscription now!

  33. Vaccination is a life-saving procedure that prevents long-term health consequences of infectious diseases, but despite the proven efficiency part of the world population refuses or delays immunization. There is plenty of information about that ( and it`s such a pity that people couldn`t understand that this step is really important for everyone.

    1. This may be true for traditional vaccines and those that provide sterilizing immunity, but these COVID injections are neither traditional nor do they provide such immunity. Nuance. It matters.

      1. ^
        And you can’t sue if something goes wrong, which provably has at much higher rates than normal vaccines.

  34. “Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now think that many Americans will need booster shots in the coming months, and the Biden Administration has plans to make that happen.”

    One hopes that these plans are better formulated than those used in the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

  35. This debate is rather silly if you break it down. Either the vaccines work or they don’t. (I’ve bet that they do and I took the jab as soon as I could.) if they work and you’ve gotten it, the unvaccinated pose no threat to you at all. They can’t infect you, nor you them. If they get infected by another unvaccinated person, that is the result of their personal and conscious decision not to take the jab. Now, on the other hand, if the vaccines do not work, then the vaccinated pose just as much of a threat to you as the unvaccinated since they too can contract and transmit the disease. In this case, you’d have to spend all you time masked whenever in the presence of anyone – assuming masks even work (which is debatable.) Wear a mask if you want. Don’t wear a mask if you don’t. But leave me alone.

    1. I agree with your sentiments, with the following qualifications:

      I work in a hospital ER; we all used what we had initially [which wasn’t much] and over geared as we did not know much about it. Once the N 95 was available, we used those and they seem to have worked as it 1. was the right kind of mask 2. worn the correct way and 3. at the right times and circumstances. Once we got the vaccine [December/ January] we continue to use them when there is a known COVID + patient or anyone who is symptomatic. What we are seeing now are persons who chose not to get the vaccine and have caught COVID with significant symptoms and want MAB [monoclonal antibody] treatment.

      Otherwise masking I think is a fools game; go anywhere there is a a crowd and you see paper surgical masks that provide minimal protection, or some variant of a dirty face rag. Regardless, hardly anyone wears them correctly. Or they wear them in places and situations where they do no good. Pushing mask mandates is probably the worst advice that could possibly come out of an agency or media outlet. It is theater that promotes a false confidence and will only result in more infections.

      The vaccine seems to be the best route and if you are going to be in a crowded place where there is an outbreak wear an N 95. We don’t control this, and it is going to be with us for a while.

    2. And vaccinated persons DO get infected, but usually with relatively mild and no life threatening symptoms.

      1. The Israelis may beg to differ with your claim.

        1. By all means feel free to summarize those findings. I am always open to changing my mind if the evidence is convincing.

  36. Because a subset of conservatives/libertarians (by no means all of them) choose to articulate the reasons for their skepticism, “vaccine hesitancy” magically becomes a Trump/Fox News thing. Nobody wants to disturb the elephant in the room – the huge number of black and Latino Americans who refuse to get the jab. Maybe those refusals have less to do with faulty/waning immunity than those 6500 or so Americans who have died within three days of getting the vaccine – let alone who knows how many ‘adverse events’ short of death.

    My own deep pessimism resides in our media’s refusal to rely upon any health experts not named “Fauci”, or given the all-clear by the CDC and/or the New York Times. But more & more of us are choosing to listen instead to Dr Peter McCullough, who has championed the theraputic treatment of COVID patients from the earliest stages of infection – and who’s published more peer-reviewed papers on COVID than anybody else. Interestingly, because McCullough’s credentials and track record make him too thorny a candidate to simply defame or dismiss…..he’s just being ignored instead. But anyone wanting a fuller picture of the scientific basis for “vaccine hesitancy” in this specific case (nobody avoiding this particular jab has any such squeamishness about flu or tetanus shots, for instance) would do well to find his long-form interview, now located on ODYSEE (after being taken down from YouTube for, cough, “spreading misinformation”).

  37. Ooh, internal shill schisms! Mask vs vaccine propaganda gogogo!

    …neither are effective. It’s a flu virus.

  38. Bud: ‘You can’t come in here!’
    Lou: ‘Why not?’
    Bud: ‘Well because you’re unvaccinated.’
    Lou: ‘But I’m not sick.’
    Bud: ‘It doesn’t matter.’
    Lou: ‘Well, why does that guy get to go in?’
    Bud: ‘Because he’s vaccinated.’
    Lou: ‘But he’s sick!’
    Bud: ‘It’s alright. Everyone in here is vaccinated.’
    Lou: ‘Wait a minute. Are you saying everyone in there is vaccinated?’
    Bud: ‘Yes.’
    Lou: ‘So then why can’t I go in there if everyone is vaccinated?’
    Bud: ‘Because you’ll make them sick.’
    Lou: ‘How will I make them sick if I’m NOT sick and they’re vaccinated.’
    Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
    Lou: ‘But they’re vaccinated.’
    Bud: ‘But they can still get sick.’
    Lou: ‘So what the heck does the vaccine do?’
    Bud: ‘It vaccinates.’
    Lou: ‘So vaccinated people can’t spread covid?’
    Bud: ‘Oh no. They can spread covid just as easily as an unvaccinated person.’
    Lou: ‘I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore. Look. I’m not sick.
    Bud: ‘Ok.’
    Lou: ‘And the guy you let in IS sick.’
    Bud: ‘That’s right.’
    Lou: ‘And everybody in there can still get sick even though they’re vaccinated.’
    Bud: ‘Certainly.’
    Lou: ‘So why can’t I go in again?’
    Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
    Lou: ‘I’m not asking who’s vaccinated or not!’
    Bud: ‘I’m just telling you how it is.’
    Lou: ‘Nevermind. I’ll just put on my mask.’
    Bud: ‘That’s fine.’
    Lou: ‘Now I can go in?’
    Bud: ‘Absolutely not?’
    Lou: ‘But I have a mask!’
    Bud: ‘Doesn’t matter.’
    Lou: ‘I was able to come in here yesterday with a mask.’
    Bud: ‘I know.’
    Lou: So why can’t I come in here today with a mask? ….If you say
    ‘because I’m unvaccinated’ again, I’ll break your arm.’
    Bud: ‘Take it easy buddy.’
    Lou: ‘So the mask is no good anymore.’
    Bud: ‘No, it’s still good.’
    Lou: ‘But I can’t come in?’
    Bud: ‘Correct.’
    Lou: ‘Why not?’
    Bud: ‘Because you’re unvaccinated.’
    Lou: ‘But the mask prevents the germs from getting out.’
    Bud: ‘Yes, but people can still catch your germs.’
    Lou: ‘But they’re all vaccinated.’
    Bud: ‘Yes, but they can still get sick.’
    Lou: ‘But I’m not sick!!’
    Bud: ‘You can still get them sick.’
    Lou: ‘So then masks don’t work!’
    Bud: ‘Masks work quite well.’
    Lou: ‘So how in the heck can I get vaccinated people sick if I’m not
    sick and masks work?’
    Bud: ‘Third base.’

  39. Remember just few months ago when left-wing stalwarts like VP Candidate Harris and then-Governor Cuomo said they would not trust any vaccine developed under Trump administration?

    In September, Harris, then the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, hesitated when asked if she would take a vaccine that was approved before the election.

    “I will say that I would not trust Donald Trump,” Harris said, “and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about. I will not take his word for it.”

    Cuomo went further, suggesting he mistrusted not just President Donald Trump, but also the Food and Drug Administration under Trump. Asked about his confidence in the FDA, Cuomo indicated he didn’t have much.

    “I’m not that confident,” Cuomo said, adding: “You’re going to say to the American people now, ‘Here’s a vaccine, it was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe? And we’re not 100 percent sure of the consequences.’ I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine, and they should be.
    Cuomo later announced that New York would conduct its own review of the vaccines, because, “Frankly, I’m not going to trust the federal government’s opinion, and I wouldn’t recommend [it] to New Yorkers, based on the federal government’s opinion.”

    Various fact-checkers are working overtime these days to try to spin these comments, usually chalking them up to “because Trump” and calling it whataboutism.

  40. Remember before COVID? Practically all of Hollywood was anti-vax, and most of the anti-vax movement arose from among the most liberal leftists. But now those same people are clamoring for people to get jabbed with an experimental injection.

    Jenny McCarthy published her book Louder Than Words, which attributed her son’s autism to vaccines.

    Bill Maher: “Why would you let them be the ones to stick a disease into your arm? I would never get a swine flu vaccine or any vaccine. I don’t trust the government, especially with my health.”

    Kristin Cavallari: “I understand both sides of it. I’ve read too many books about autism and there’s some scary statistics out there. It’s our personal choice, you know, and if you’re really concerned about your kid, then get them vaccinated and it shouldn’t be a problem.”

    Jim Carrey: “If we are to believe that the ruling of the ‘vaccine court’ in these cases mean that all vaccines are safe, then we must also consider the rulings of that same court in the Hannah Polling and Bailey Banks cases, which ruled vaccines were the cause of autism and therefore assume that all vaccines are unsafe. Clearly both are irresponsible assumptions, and neither option is prudent.”

    Mayim Bialik: “We are a non-vaccinating family, but I make no claims about people’s individual decisions. We based ours on research and discussions with our pediatrician, and we’ve been happy with that decision, but obviously there’s a lot of controversy about it.

    Billy Corgan (The Smashing Pumpkins): “If you follow some of the links I have been supplying as of late, you’ll notice many are focused on the propaganda build up to our day of reckoning with the Swine Flu virus. I say ‘propaganda’ because, in my heart, there is something mighty suspicious about declaring an emergency for something that has yet to show itself to be a grand pandemic. American President Obama has declared a national emergency about this virus, which he in his own words said was, at this point, a preventative measure. So, why declare an emergency if there isn’t one?”

    obert F. Kennedy Jr.’s elaborate conspiracy theory is just as delusional and dangerous. Rather than accepting the findings of the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health, or the American Academy of Pediatrics, Kennedy says the scientists are lying. He says vaccine-makers are intentionally poisoning kids and giving them autism. Only he and his fellow activists know the truth because journalists, although they may report aggressively on the National Security Agency, Defense Department, and Central Intelligence Agency, are cowed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  41. Somebody should put a mask on the NY Times. Preferably something that’s non-permeable.

  42. I have the “final solution”.
    Since extreme heat will kill off the Communist Chinese Virus, just get Russia, Communist China, France, the USA, and Israel to all set off all the nukes at the same time and destroy every virus all at once. That way they can’t come back.
    As a bonus, it will shut up all the global climate warming change Karens.

    1. “Since extreme heat will kill off the Communist Chinese Virus”
      Sure, but that level of heat kills the human hosts. The number of cases in Iran, Iraq, Israel and Qatar or still large

  43. It’s a fear thing. With the rise in breakthrough infections, fear has seeped back in to the risk averse, mostly-white, mostly-Left, NYT-reading crowd. See, returning to normal post-vaccination (or in this case, post-booster) requires faith in the vaccine and confidence in one’s own immune system and health, something they just don’t have with breakthrough infections become a Thing. It would also require facing their fears of ditching the mask and doing things otherwise considered “risky”–sitting at the bar, dancing at a wedding, or *gasp* indoor dining–something they just don’t want to do. Never mind that they can just stay home themselves and “be safe” there without inconveniencing everyone else. But no, they must insist we all be miserable with them in the name of public health.

  44. COVID-19 is clearly, at this point, at least somewhat more transmissible and lethal than influenza, but we know that thousands of Americans (an estimated 60-90 thousand Americans died of flu in 2017/18) people die every year of the flu, even though we have herd immunity, vaccines, and are almost never overwhelmed by victims such that people die who might have been saved but for the lack of equipment or personnel.

    If all *this* is deemed good for COVID-19, in a “no death is acceptable” world, why did we not shutdown before to save those thousands of people EVERY YEAR? Why were mask mandates not a thing before? Clearly society was just fine with “murdering” thousands of people every year by walking around unmasked, not socially distancing, going to church, etc. all the things that spread COVID spread the flu, and we JUST LET THEM HAPPEN AND MURDERED PEOPLE? Oh what a world!?

    All the people trying to lay blame and shame people for their COVID behaviors…they seem to think they are absolved from responsibility for spreading the flu that kills so many annually. They never looked up and saw 20l, 30k, 60k people (2017/18 flu season killed between 60k and 90k, estimates vary because flu deaths are not required to be reported!) and said “Gee, we need to social distance and wear masks all the time to save these people!” and if/when COVID is solved, I suspect they will go right back to ignoring flu deaths.

    If preventing one COVID death is worth everything we’ve been through, why is preventing one flu death not?

    1. “even though we have herd immunity”
      That is just wishful thinking and “immunity” is not a binary switch

  45. The key reveal here is that effectiveness is irrelevant to the left including our supposed health expert institutions like the CDC. Vaccines are effective, masking is not. Anyone treating them as interchangeable admits effectiveness is irrelevant. this is the outcome of bureaucratic institutions and those who worship them.

  46. This does not make sense.
    In what way does wearing a mask prevent holding conversations with people? I have had thousands of conversations with people since COVID started. In person with masks, by telephone and during virtual meetings.
    Wearing a mask is simply safe.
    Like wearing a seatbelt.
    If someone declares that they cannot talk to people while wearing a seatbelt-equally absurd- that would be no reason to abandon this safety measure.

    Get vaccinated. Get a booster shot. AND wear a mask.
    Why is this so hard to understand?

    1. Because a mask is on;y marginally effective at best unless it is used a single time and with meticulous care. That is not happening

  47. Looks like the link now goes to a different article.

  48. The usual NYT stupidity

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