Coronavirus

When Will Positive COVID-19 Trends Be Reflected in the CDC's Advice?

Because the agency ties mask recommendations to virus transmission rather than serious cases, its guidance is unlikely to change anytime soon.

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Newly identified COVID-19 cases in the United States, which rose dramatically this summer, have fallen sharply since early September. Hospital admissions involving people who tested positive for COVID-19 likewise have dropped precipitously. As of yesterday, the seven-day average of daily deaths, a lagging indicator, was down by 22 percent since September 23, per Worldometer's numbers.

You can start to see why many observers think the worst of the pandemic is behind us. The worst so far, measured by the seven-day average of daily deaths, happened in mid-January, when that number exceeded the previous record set in April 2020.

Even at the peak of the most recent COVID-19 surge, daily deaths were substantially lower than the numbers seen last winter or in the spring of 2020. While the seven-day average of daily new cases rose 14-fold this summer, daily deaths rose eightfold. Last fall and winter, by comparison, daily new cases rose sevenfold, while daily deaths rose fivefold. And in the spring of 2020, deaths rose faster than reported cases, although coronavirus testing was woefully inadequate at that point, meaning that a larger share of infections would have been missed.

The widening gap between case and death trends is what you would expect in a country where a large and growing share of the population is protected against the worst consequences of COVID-19 by vaccination, naturally acquired immunity, or both. Two-thirds of Americans 12 or older are fully vaccinated, while 77 percent have received at least one dose. Americans 65 or older, who face a much higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than younger cohorts, are especially likely to be vaccinated: The rates for that age group are 85 percent and 96 percent, respectively. So it is not surprising that the case fatality rate (CFR)—deaths as a share of reported cases—resumed its downward trend after rising slightly in the first few months of the year.

CFR calculations should be viewed with caution, since the denominator depends on testing practices. But the nationwide CFR was 1.62 percent as of yesterday, more than two-fifths lower than the CFR in October 2020, less than half the CFR at the beginning of August 2020, and roughly a quarter of the CFR in mid-May 2020. Even allowing for the expansion of testing in 2020, these numbers suggest that COVID-19 is less deadly than it was 18 months ago, a year ago, or even a few months ago.

Two potential explanations for the CFR drop are expanded testing, which made it possible to detect a larger share of mild cases, and a younger, healthier mix of patients. A preprint study published in December addresses those possibilities by looking at age-stratified outcomes and focusing on hospitalizations, which "should be less influenced by testing capacity than confirmed cases."

Although "testing increased between the first and second waves," the authors say, that "does not explain away these waves." They report that "age-stratified hospitalization fatality rates improved substantially between the first and second wave in the national data (improving by at least 27%), but did not improve between the first and second wave in Florida (worsening by at least 2.9%)." By December 1, however, "both Florida and national data suggest significant decreases in HFR since April 1st—at least 17% in Florida and at least 55% nationally in every age group."

As the researchers note, those findings are consistent with the hypothesis that improvements in COVID-19 treatment help account for the falling CFR. Widespread vaccination, which did not happen until after the period covered by that study, should now be helping to drive the CFR down further. "For all adults aged 18 years and older," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported based on data through August 2021, "the cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rate was about 12 times higher in unvaccinated persons." It estimates that unvaccinated patients are 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated patients.

So far these positive trends have had no discernible impact on federal COVID-19 advice or on the policies of jurisdictions inclined to follow it. Vaccination is authorized for all Americans 12 or older and will soon be extended to younger children. Minors face a tiny risk of dying from COVID-19 in any case. Yet the CDC still says everyone, from toddlers to vaccinated adults, should "wear a mask indoors in public." Officially, that advice applies to vaccinated people only if they live in "an area of substantial or high transmission," but that description still covers nearly the entire country.

The CDC is likewise sticking with its recommendation that everyone in schools, regardless of age or vaccination status, wear a mask throughout the day, despite the lack of evidence that the benefits of that precaution outweigh the substantial burdens it imposes. Yesterday Florida's new surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, who opposes school mask mandates, called the evidence in their favor "very weak," saying "there is a substantial gap between the quality of the data" and "what we're hearing from some of our public health leadership."

That's a fair assessment. At the point when the CDC issued its current recommendations for schools, it was not able to cite any research showing a statistically significant relationship between mask mandates and reduced virus transmission among students. Nearly all of the studies on which it relied did not even compare schools with mandates to otherwise similar schools without them.

A CDC study published last month (i.e., after the agency was already recommending masks for all students) found that Arizona schools where masking was optional were more likely to see COVID-19 outbreaks. But the researchers did not control for vaccination rates or other precautions that schools with mask mandates may have been more likely to implement, both of which could have affected the odds of an outbreak.

A recent Twitter exchange gives you a sense of how desperate the Biden administration is to support its predetermined conclusion that students should be forced to wear masks—a safeguard the Education Department views as so important that it may be mandatory under federal laws protecting students with disabilities from discrimination. "Let's be data-driven and follow the science when it comes to protecting our students in schools," Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona tweeted on September 27. "What does science say about the importance of masking in school?"

Cardona mentioned "a Wisconsin study," which he said found "schools that required masking had a 37% lower incidence of COVID-19 than the surrounding community." That gloss provoked a response from the senior author of that study, epidemiologist Tracy Beth Hoeg. "Our study is not able to give any information about the role masks played in the observed low in-school transmission rates," she wrote. "We had no control group so don't know if the rate would have been different without masks."

Hoeg's study, which was published in the January 29 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that "reported student mask-wearing was high" and "transmission risk within schools appeared low." But as Hoeg noted, it is impossible to say to what extent the former explains the latter, because the researchers did not compare schools with different policies. The same is true of a Utah study that Cardona also cited. If Cardona, who claims to "follow the science," had solid evidence that mask mandates are as vital as he claims, he would not be citing studies like these to prove a hypothesis they did not even test.

Assuming that school mask mandates have a significant impact on virus transmission, that does not necessarily mean the benefit is worth the cost, especially given the wide availability of vaccines and the extremely low infection fatality rate among children and teenagers (on the order of 0.002 percent, according to a CDC estimate). Yet the CDC acts as if the cost-effectiveness of school mask mandates is beyond serious dispute, even as it searches for evidence to support that conviction.

Let's say the CDC is right in thinking that mask mandates in schools are a sensible precaution under certain conditions. What happens when conditions change? At what point will the CDC decide that mask mandates don't make sense anymore?

As Reason's Matt Welch notes, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky seems to imagine that "universal masking" will continue even as mass vaccination of younger students proceeds. That is consistent with the CDC's general recommendation that people should continue wearing masks even after they've been vaccinated. But indefinite mask mandates will eventually prove untenable, even in places where parents and school officials are inclined to trust the CDC.

By tying its mask recommendations to the level of community transmission, the CDC guarantees that its advice won't change in any place where its criteria for "substantial" spread are satisfied, meaning that the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days is 50 or more and the test positivity rate is 8 percent or more. Currently 94 percent of U.S. counties exceed that threshold. But focusing on new cases is misleading when people infected by the coronavirus are less and less likely to die as a result. The merits of COVID-19 safeguards, including masks and vaccination, ultimately depend on how effective they are at preventing life-threatening cases rather than infections in general.

NEXT: MIT Canceled a Professor's Guest Lecture Because He Opposes Race-Based Admissions

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  1. The widening gap between case and death trends is what you would expect in a country where a large and growing share of the population is protected against the worst consequences of COVID-19 by vaccination, all the old fat fucks died already.

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    2. Hey now. Jfree said age and obesity have nothing to do with it.

      1. And sadly Jeff is still with us.

        1. And he’s too selfish to end his own life.

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    3. The vaccines are safe and when we spend trillions it will cost us nothing.

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    4. Let's go Brandon.

    5. The covid vaccines are safe.
      Take the safe new covid vaccines today.
      Covid vaccines are refreshing and delicious.
      Do not pay attention to people who question covid vaccines / political science.
      Those persons against refreshing vaccines are politically incorrect and against our science.
      Do the right thing.
      Do your part.

      1. We are all in this together!

  2. FJB

    1. My little girl has learned "Let's go Brandon!"

      1. Hope you aren’t in Canada. Talk like that is verboten.

        1. Should be FJT there

        2. Not far off here.

  3. How much money will the federal government give the CDC when their report says "everything's fine! No issues or major health concerns!"

    1. Exactly. Crisis creates cash.

  4. At what point will the CDC decide that mask mandates don't make sense anymore?
    Are you kidding? Never!

    1. You have that right! Do you really thing that Democrats are going to give up the power they've grabbed in the name of COVID?

  5. Still no word on how the disease mostly passed by least sanitary, least locked-down, least social-distanced, most comorbidity-havin' population in the solar system.

    Hint: There's a 'fact check' on this assertion that says "Oh not so!" Yet all it talks about is cases, rambles on about how hard it is to social distance for this group, quit being mean to the unhoused... but never really explains why they're not all dead, or dying at dramatically increased rates.

    1. Here in CO, non-profits and shelters started testing the vulnerable demographics as soon as tests were available in Apr2020 - and offering them a motel room to isolate in for those awaiting results and for two weeks if testing positive. In CO Springs (which is not at all like Denver/Boulder), they built a 100-bed isolation center in a couple weeks. Likewise, when the vax became available, vax sites regularly opened up at shelters

      It's not that difficult for those who could figure out what to do a year and a half ago - rather than wait around for a year and a half to offer conspiratorial snark.

      1. So your solution is to have everyone divest from society.

        1. No, everyone should be homeless.

      2. So back to his point.

        You're saying homeless people got better covid care and are more informed than the general public.

        Think about what you're saying.

        1. They certainly received better results from testing and isolation of positives. Which hugely prevents transmission.

    2. Quite the contrary, the homeless encampments are growing and growing and now resemble a small village.

  6. Never. Have you not been paying attention?

      1. Just around the corner! Maybe Bernie will even remember a hat this year.

  7. Rochelle Wolensky, huh?

    You know, we been bangin' on this glass ceiling/female execs thing for a while now, but I feel safe in defending my perception that under their leadership things have not. gotten. better.

    It IS nice that the most amoral and pathologically ambitious among women get a chance to abuse and exploit their employees (and customers, sometimes!) like their male counterparts. Great.

    1. Hillary's been there, murdered that.

    2. I don't think it's anything this complicated.

      Biden just chose a huge cunt for every female on his staff. Psaki, walenski, rice, and queen kunt kamala.

      Women aren't all terrible. It's just the progressive ones that want to act like the mother-in-law America never wanted.

    3. She does not have customers. Barely has employees.

      You can replace her but you will not like the replacement any better.

  8. The CDC will never follow real science when Political Science directives are to be enforced.

    There is no treatment but the cure.
    The cure will be given to those who submit.
    Submission will set you free.
    Do not question your betters.

  9. The Hill: Unvaccinated people should expect to catch covid every 16 months.

    I haven't read the details of this article yet, but I've skimmed a little bit and there's a certain amount of logic to it.

    The problem is we know from the Israeli studies that vaccinated people were needing booster shots every 45 days. So I'm not sure how that squares with the known waning efficacy of the vaccinations-- which are 100% 99% 98% 95% 94% 91% 88% 82% 79% 76% 74% 73% 68% 65% 64% 62% 59% 57% 54% 52% 49% 48% 44% 42% 39% effective.

    1. For instance.

      Six months ago, Miles Davenport and his colleagues made a bold prediction. On the basis of published results from vaccine trials and other data sources, they estimated that people immunized against COVID-19 would lose approximately half of their defensive antibodies every 108 days or so. As a result, vaccines that initially offered, say, 90% protection against mild cases of disease might only be 70% effective after 6 or 7 months1.

      “It felt a little bit out on a limb at the time,” says Davenport, a computational immunologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. But on the whole, his group’s predictions have come true.

      Immunological studies have documented a steady decline of antibody levels among vaccinated individuals2. Long-term follow-up of vaccine trial participants has revealed a growing risk of breakthrough infection3. And health-care records from countries such as Israel, the United Kingdom and elsewhere all show that COVID-19 vaccines are losing their strength, at least when it comes to keeping a lid on transmissible disease.

      1. Learning as we go. So Israel is the Petrie dish. It looks like humoral immunity declines and cellular immunity lasts longer.

        Now we learn that a one shot for the J&J Jansen is not enough. For the two mRNA vaccines the two dose regimen is not enough.

        1. It would have been easier to just say "Nothing we do is enough".

          1. You demand miracles.

    2. So it sure would be prudent for you folks to stop spreading the disease on purpose.

      1. Said the guy with aids.

      2. Like 82% Singapore? 85% Israel?

      3. Says the walking Petri dish.

        1. The same joke three times. It must be really funny.

          Yes, I want Trumpers to stop being bug-chasing faggots. That's what I want.

          1. I was actually referring to the fact that even vaccinated you can catch, carry, and transmit the fucking virus. And thanks to the symptom suppressant nature, you’ll be doing so without ever knowing you’re positive, kind of like asymptomatic people last year.

      4. You are the voice of experience when it comes to recklessly spreading illness. I’m sure your asshole a Petri dish of horrible diseases.

      5. Fuck you, I'm vaccinated so I have a 19% reduction in my ability to spread the disease.

    3. Whatever you think you see in the Israeli data, you aren't really seeing. The vaccine efficacy as of late Sep - against severe cases of covid - without the booster - is:
      100% for under-20's
      99% for under-40's
      97% for 40-50
      89% for 50-60
      85% for 60-70
      69% for 70-80
      65% for 80-90

      With a booster, those all pop back up to 95%+.

      There is nothing at all surprising here. And the numbers are likely much better for Moderna. Over-70's will likely 'need' a booster every year. Younger than that maybe every 2-10 years or when some ugly variant pops up.

      1. So it works the best for those who need it the least.

      2. Lol. Under 20 is already near 100% dumbass. With or without vaccine. And it isnt 100% as vaccinated people have fucking died.

        God damn youre becoming a parody.

      3. Those numbers look bad lmao

      4. A booster shot every 45 days in perpetuity. Sure.

    4. If this were true it would be extremely obvious by now.

      1. I don't like to agree with JFree, and I know you're an antivax troll like Diane, but it is true. And it is obvious.

        These are real data, peer reviewed, and they are pretty close to NHS data so they pass the smell test. Unlike the CDC, who have forever destroyed their reputation with their bumbling and politicking this past year, the Israelis and the Brits have been keeping meticulous data.

        Israel did boosters to prevent transmission, not severe disease. And the data are pretty good, even though US media and the vaccine trolls have been misinterpreting them to stir up the shit, if you analyze the data properly they show good efficacy against severe disease, even without boosters, in almost everyone.

        Here's an interesting article on that https://www.covid-datascience.com/post/israeli-data-how-can-efficacy-vs-severe-disease-be-strong-when-60-of-hospitalized-are-vaccinated

        Also interesting to math nerds. Simpson's paradox is kind of a weird statistical anomaly.

        1. It's so obvious that you have to read about it instead of experiencing it!

          Millions and millions of people already got covid. If any significant number of them were susceptible after 16 months, we'd see headlines every single day about the re-infected.

          1. See?

            You're just here to troll and muddy the waters. Here's your 50 cents.

        2. Diane is vaccinated dummy. And again, the vaccine is Jesus crowd ignores seasonality. How do you guys always fucking do that?

          1. To be fair, they are pretty stupid.

        3. Imagine being dumb enough to call Paul an antivaxxer or a troll.

        4. Israel did not do boosters to prevent transmission you dumb fuck. They did it to boost their waning efficacy n try and stem the absolute embarrassment and failure of their vaccine mandate campaign to keep people out of hospitals and from dieing.

          Because as you can see in the Israeli and UK data... They had large resurgences of cases after the shitty Vax rollout was widespread. And that was quickly followed by a flipping of the hospitalization curve to show more vaxxed than uunvaxxed were having poor outcomes and dieing.

          If you look at US data for the past 6-8 weeks it's the same. Majority of cases n hospitalizations among the vaxxed. That's why they keep including stats from March until now when citing unvaxxed hospitalization and death, because they need all those numbers from before the vaccine was available/widespread to maintain their narrative. Our recent data shows the same as Israel and UK, basically that the vaccine is no where near as effective as advertised. And may very well lose all efficacy within 10 months.

          1. Oh and fun fact.

            Ask your local hospital how they count vaccinated. A friend of mine who is a nurse told me her hospital has been counting anyone who got the vaccine 6 months ago or longer as unvaccinated since they anticipate the need for boosters. And that this is a way the hospitals are trying to inflate their unvaccinated admissions.

            1. I figured there was more bullshit going on with this.

          2. Keep in mind that for the first months, vaccination was restricted to the elderly or otherwise especially vulnerable to COVID. Much of the data is from when the young and healthy were unvaccinated, so at little risk from COVID anyway; this is likely to remain true to some extent, because why should someone who's risk of dying from COVID is around 0.1% take the unknown risk of a partially-tested vaccine? Also, a large group of the unvaccinated now are children, who always were at the least risk.

        5. Could you leave the troll calls for Joe monday and Tony please?

          Thanks!

    5. This is bullshit.

    6. Other coronaviruses cause the common cold. It wouldn't be a terrible outcome if COVID went the same way. So, yeah, natural and vaccine immunity eventually wanes because the body can't be at DEFCON 1 forever. As a result, COVID can establish a beachhead in my nose. However, just because my body isn't spun up doesn't mean it has forgotten everything. Within a few days, it will kill COVID and might even learn something new for next time. Sucks to be home sick for a few days, but ultimately harmless.

      Even if the Israel studies were showing waning immunity after 45 days, that doesn't mean people will need to be vaccinated that often. As long as serious illness doesn't happen, there is no need to get excited about cases.

    1. Some youtuber confirmed dead. canceled.

  10. Anyone who doesn't understand by now that the CDC's "advice" has nothing to do with medicine is probably incapable of ever understanding it, and will also be wearing a ridiculous muzzle for the rest of their life.

  11. So far these positive trends have had no discernible impact on federal COVID-19 advice or on the policies of jurisdictions inclined to follow it.

    Nothing is going to change CDC advice until we eat kale, stop hitting peds with cars, reduce drinking, and store legally registered guns - unloaded - in a locked safe underneath the foundation of a garage that is at least 200 yards from the house. So what.

    But what policies of what jurisdictions you talking about? CO is very inclined to follow the D brigade but there is no statewide indoors or school mask mandate. The vegan store near me requires masks from everyone - the Safeway 'advises' masks for the unvax (maybe 20% wear masks - all of whom are almost certainly vax). Every school district in the Denver area has its own criteria for masks/vax/etc. So is this just another one of these - how stupid are CA and NY articles?

    1. Well, they kind of deserve it.

    2. Did you ask how stupid is CA? Very stupid.

    3. The same EO that mandates vaccination at all federal contractors also mandates that CDC guidelines get followed at workplaces. So, even if the states have largely told the CDC to pound sand, Biden is doing his best to force it down their throats.

  12. "When Will Positive COVID-19 Trends Be Reflected in the CDC's Advice?"

    When all current employees have been replaced by medical professionals who completely ignore politicians.
    aka The Twelfth of Never.

  13. Alt Text - Fucking Red Sox fans.

  14. indefinite mask mandates will eventually prove untenable,

    at which point they will be, um, better enforced.

    1. "When Will Positive COVID-19 Trends Be Reflected in the CDC's Advice?"

      Third Tuesday after the 12th of Never.

  15. They just had to stall until about now, when seasonality kicks up again and the winter wave crashes over the country. That's why we had stupid mask rules (again) this summer in the northwest.

  16. Two weeks to flatten the curve!

  17. Alec Baldwin shot and killed someone.

    1. They weren’t vaccinated.

      1. Probably died of Covid though

        1. I've been laughing about this all weekend!

    2. Two questions about that.
      How is it possible that live ammunition was anywhere near that set?
      How is it possible that an actor experienced in action movies using prop guns and supposedly knowing basic gun safety hit a non actor?

      1. Because one idiot was both the producer and the actor.

  18. The people who took the covid vaccine are seeing lots of people in their circles weirdly dying...
    The people who stopped thinking and submitted to the covid vaccine are starting to.... _______________________

    1. … blame the unvaccinated for passing the virus to their vaccinated friends.

  19. If they had any brains they wouldn’t be working for the government.

    1. Are you kidding? Pension, steady paycheck, job security, you can get lifetime health insurance, what else could you ask for.

  20. thanks for sharing this information. it's very useful article.

    Boom barrier

  21. At what point will the CDC decide that mask mandates don't make sense anymore?

    Wikipedia knows.

  22. Gee, maybe when you anti-vaxx idiots help out instead of extending the problem. The numbers the author cites should be from the knuckle dragging red states where we are only a month away from the worse numbers of the pandemic. Like the 6 year olds in the back seat, the "Are we almost there yet?" crowd lack the maturity and intelligence to do their part and STFU.

    As to "never", it was only early summer when prior to the Delta variant and red state resistance slowed the fast pace of vaccinations, Biden and the CDC were talking about loosening restrictions and getting back to normal. So, sorry, the "nazis" in your fantasy will have to be replaced. I'm sure you'll come up with new ones.

    1. Wow who let the dumb out?

      1. Sadly we can't keep this idiot in.

        He's still pretending 'the stupid red states' are the problem. It's like he didn't learn anything at all from last winter.

  23. Never is the answer. This "emergency" is not tied to any end point. They will invent a new reason to continue it.

    Because its not an emergency

  24. Cloth masks do not prevent you from getting the virus.

    Cloth masks can stop you from spraying your saliva on other people to some degree.

    The majority of people wearing masks of any kind are not wearing them correctly or are ill-fitting.

    Locations with Mask Mandates and Lock Downs have approximately the same statistics and locations without Mask Mandates and Lock Downs.

    The Covid-19 vaccines provide a degree of protection for a period of time, may reduce the symptoms and therefore may reduce the length of time the patient is sick.

    Patients that have been injected with a Covid-19 vaccine can still contract and die from Covid-19.

    People who have been injected with the Covid-19 vaccine can still transmit the virus to other people.

    People who have been infected with Covid-19 develop a natural immunity to Covid-19.

    There are arguments that natural immunity is more complete than the degree of immunity received by the Covid-19 vaccines.

    The likelihood of dying from Covid-19 is very small, but older people and people with other preexisting conditions are at more risk.

    The Covid-19 virus appears to be proceeding throughout the world regardless of the tactics employed with insignificant differences.

    Governments are using the Covid-19 virus as a means to gain power at the expense of the individual.

    1. perfectly stated.

    2. “ Cloth masks do not prevent you from getting the virus.”

      Prevent. No and nobody with understanding said they did. They are weak defense.

      “The Covid-19 vaccines provide a degree of protection for a period of time, may reduce the symptoms and therefore may reduce the length of time the patient is sick.”

      Not “may” the vaccines do all of those things.

      “ There are arguments that natural immunity is more complete than the degree of immunity received by the Covid-19 vaccines.”

      Get sick get some “argument” your choice.

      “People who have been infected with Covid-19 develop a natural immunity to Covid-19.”

      I know someone with active Covid right now. You can kiss him or you can go to CVS and get a shot. Your choice.

      “The likelihood of dying from Covid-19 is very small, but older people and people with other preexisting conditions are at more risk.”

      As if dying was the only bad shit that can happen to you. And who cares about older people.

      “ People who have been injected with the Covid-19 vaccine can still transmit the virus to other people.”

      Yup. You for example.

      “The Covid-19 virus appears to be proceeding throughout the world regardless of the tactics employed with insignificant differences.”

      Define insignificant. This is a really badass bug. Now deal with it.

      “ Governments are using the Covid-19 virus as a means to gain power at the expense of the individual.”

      Reduce the power and scope of government. Then we talk.

  25. Any mask limits spray from our breath and therefore help limit the spread of Covid. Since they primarily benefit others, not the wearer - you're welcome jerk-off - they work best when most or all wear them and therefore mandates are critical to their success. Individual rights to be an asshole are just that.

    You are less likely to be infected if vaccinated, if you are your viral load will most likely be less, and therefore you will not as easily spread it as the knuckle draggers will. You will also be 11 times safer from dying from it.

    No politician facing election wants to shutdown the economy - use your head! - and in early summer, before the Delta variant and red state idiots started slowing the vaccination rate, both Biden and the CDC talked of loosening restrictions. People like most of those here had a large part in extending the pandemic, keeping us from returning to normal, and ultimately for more deaths and ICU suffering.

    Thanks for nothing.

    1. Stay home.

    2. If mandates are critical to the success of a program, then the program is a bad one and it is doomed to failure. Good ideas don't have to be enforced at the point of a gun and we Americans are a notoriously contrarian people (though we do a better job of paying our taxes than most; there's a lesson in there somewhere).

      No politician facing election wants to shutdown the economy

      They certainly do if that's what they think their voters want. You say the problem is knuckle-dragging hicks; I say the problem is coddled white suburban & urbanites that expect the government to take action to prevent windburn.

      The CDC talked of loosening restrictions when the aging hippie & millennial prog alliance that forms Team Blue's core constituency was comfortable with vaccines providing them protection. They stopped when that group panicked over the Delta varaiant, no longer felt confident in the vaccines, and lashed out looking for an outgroup to blame.

      1. “The CDC talked of loosening restrictions when the aging hippie & millennial prog alliance that forms Team Blue’s core constituency was comfortable with vaccines providing them protection. They stopped when that group panicked over the Delta varaiant, no longer felt confident in the vaccines, and lashed out looking for an outgroup to blame.”

        There is no out group. The virus does not care which host it infects and turns into a virus factory.

        The vaccines are not some magical fairy dust to which you are entitled. It took decades of work to get there. It took an army of people, some of them in scrubs and working around the clock, to fight this. You think you deserve it.

        Aging hippies. Well kiddo come up with a better plan. What were you doing when we were at work? I am far away from team blue whatever that is.

        .

    3. Keep in mind that the whole bend the curve argument was that the same number of people would ultimately get infected, just over a longer period of time.

      Masking, social distancing, etc. don't prevent someone from being exposed to COVID. They just delay it. And through great sacrifice of the population (regularly underappreciated) we delayed exposure for a good number of people until after they had the option to get the vaccine. Great. However, now there is no good reason to delay. COVID is going to burn through the entire population and we will reach our ultimate infection number sooner or later. There is no good reason that I can see to delay.

      1. Yep! "Slow the curve so we can be done faster" doesn't even make any sense.

  26. Here, let me fix the headline: this "When Will Positive COVID-19 Trends Be Reflected in the CDC's Advice?" should read: "When Will Bureaucrats Voluntarily Work to Reduce Their Power and Importance?"

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