Court Refuses to Block Indiana University's Student Vaccination Requirement


Yesterday, Judge Damon R. Leichty (N.D. Ind.) denied a preliminary injunction against the requirement, in Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana Univ.:

Under guiding principles of federalism, our Constitution preserves the power of the States, within constitutional limits, to adopt laws to provide for public health and safety. Twice the United States Supreme Court has upheld state authority to compel reasonable  vaccinations. [The court is referring here to Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905) and Zucht v. King (1922). -EV] The States don't have arbitrary power, but they have discretion to act reasonably in protecting the public's health.

Students at Indiana University have a significant liberty protected by the Constitution—refusing unwanted medical treatment based on bodily autonomy. The Fourteenth Amendment says no state may "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." U.S. Const. amend. XIV § 1. Given this due process protection of liberty, longstanding constitutional law prevents a public university—an arm of the State—from mandating a vaccine for its students unless it has rationally pursued a legitimate interest in public health for its campus community.

This case presents that question: whether Indiana University has acted constitutionally in mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for its students, as announced on May 21, 2021. Albeit, and this should not be overlooked, this case does so only in the context of a preliminary injunction motion, not for a final decision on the merits.

Indiana University's policy has real implications. Students may be deprived of attending the university without being vaccinated or qualifying for an exemption. Still they have real options—taking the vaccine, applying for a religious exemption, applying for a medical exemption, applying for a medical deferral, taking a semester off, or attending another university or online. The policy applies for the fall 2021 semester only.

Eight students sued Indiana University because of its vaccination mandate and because of the extra requirements of masking, testing, and social distancing that apply to those who receive an exemption. They ask the court to enter a preliminary injunction—an extraordinary remedy that requires a strong showing that they will likely succeed on the merits of their claims, that they will sustain irreparable harm, and that the balance of harms and the public interest favor such a remedy.

The court now denies their motion. The Constitution and longstanding precedent should endure. Recognizing the students' significant liberty to refuse unwanted medical treatment, the Fourteenth Amendment permits Indiana University to pursue a reasonable and due process of vaccination in the legitimate interest of public health for its students, faculty, and staff. Today, on this preliminary record, the university has done so for its campus communities. The students haven't established a likelihood of success on the merits of their Fourteenth Amendment claim or the many requirements that must precede the extraordinary remedy of a preliminary injunction.

NEXT: Judge David Stras: "How My Grandparents’ Experience During the Holocaust Shaped My Views on the First Amendment"

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  1. Anything from the ‘judge’ about the vaccines not being approved by the FDA?
    Anything about the lack of data on vaccinating those who have recovered from the disease?
    Anything about the lack of data on the vaccine’s impact on fertile women?
    Who is John Galt?

    1. Jesus Christ. They are approved by the FDA for emergency use, which required their manufacturers to show both safety and efficacy. Come up with whatever cockamamie antivax theories you want, but at least ground them in reality.

      1. That’s the progressive rhetoric, but the reality is one of the following must be true:

        1. If the FDA has an effective system and their safety requirements are the reasonable standard for release of a drug or vaccine, then short circuiting this process makes a drug or vaccine less safe.

        2. If the FDA is bloated bureaucracy with make work regulations that do little but employ bureaucrats, the case can be made that skipping a bunch of process has no effect on drug or vaccine safety and really the FDA should be downsized.

        Which is it ? Does the FDA contain large portions of useless bureaucracy built be over-regulating idiots, or is the FDA doing its job and the vaccine is less safe as a result ? Choose one.

        1. Which is it ? Does the FDA contain large portions of useless bureaucracy built be over-regulating idiots, or is the FDA doing its job and the vaccine is less safe as a result ? Choose one.

          A) Like most federal agencies, the FDA is overstaffed with bureaucrats.

          B) The expedited process doesn’t make the vaccine any less safe or more safe. All it probably does is reduce our knowledge / confidence in whether it is more or less safe

          1. As has been well, well documented, the answer is A. No one here (at least I dont) think the FDA has done an excellent job with this. It is by far the strictest regulatory agency in the world, and does way to much useless things. You can talk to anyone in pharma about this very problem.

            Europe, not known for free markets, has a far more accommodating regulatory regime.

            People defend the vaccine. They don’t defend the FDA.

        2. “Does the FDA contain large portions of useless bureaucracy built be over-regulating idiots, or is the FDA doing its job and the vaccine is less safe as a result ?”

          And while vaccine manufacturers are exempt from liability, colleges aren’t — and for institutions who freak out over potential liability from a thrown beer bottle, what will be the liability should the vaccine eventually be found to be unsafe?

          The odds of the latter are, statistically, about the same as the former when you consider the far greater exposure.

          1. Ed,
            Do you delight in writing nonsense instead of addressing the question at hand.?

            1. Don, do you delight in spewing ad hominem abuse?

              You could instead have addressed the issue I raised — and don’t forget that some 60% of college students are females in their child-bearing years — so there is also the issue of liability for birth defects.

              (Remember the issue a few years back of women working with lead at companies that made batteries?)

              1. Don’s right – you’re bringing up something quite apart from the case in the OP, and not responsible to the comment you are replying to.

                As to your liability theory, where’s the proximate cause?

              2. Ed,
                You comment has nothing to do with the issue at IU. What does throwing beer bottle have to do with anything. My comment was NOT ad hominem. It was pointing out that the content of your post was irrelevant at best.

                1. “what will be the liability should the vaccine eventually be found to be unsafe?”
                  But since you asked that question, I’ll tell you that the colege will have zero liability and will have the directives of multiple public health officials around the country as well as the FDA to back them up.
                  Right now with tens of millions of doses given, there is NO evidence that any of the vaccines available in the US are unsafe.


        3. “If the FDA is bloated bureaucracy with make work regulations that do little but employ bureaucrats, the case can be made that skipping a bunch of process has no effect on drug or vaccine safety and really the FDA should be downsized.”

          Yes, and most people would agree with that contention!

          1. It is unfortunate that the right wing issue with getting vaccinated is largely myth or the issue could be rapidly solved with a promise to cut FDA funding by 50% if the nation reached 80% vaccination levels. Then everybody wins.

            1. Dr Gottlieb tells us 1/3 of the nation has been infected with Covid.
              Vaccination rate is 50%
              50% + 33%=83% Exactly when does herd immunity kick in?

              The problem? The administration has never told the truth. It is always setting a narrative to advance their goal.

              Why has herd immunity been broomed under the carpet?

              Its that kind of deception that causes people not to believe being vaccinated maybe is not in their personal interests.

              1. Your math is off: A substantial fraction of the vaccinated got asymptomatic cases of Covid before the vaccine.

                But the general point is valid.

        4. re: your #1 – Not quite. “[S]hort circuiting this process” merely means that the safety of the drug or vaccine is unknown (or less well known).

          re: your conclusion – Both can be true.

          1. That is a word game. Unknown drugs are by definition unsafe. The actual question being asked is “given the data we have, can we be sure that we do not have adverse effects. You will quickly find that lack of data is a factor against not a factor in favor, which is what the FDA was recognizing in the original rules.

            1. Unknown drugs are by definition unsafe.

              I would try investing in a new dictionary.

              1. “Precautionary principle” is right there — “Don’t do anything the first time.”

              2. Actually a very basic, freshman level community college statistic course would do you some good.

                A wiser individual would instead think about what actual question we are asking about the real world and how limited data sets effect our answer.

        5. Considering how often the FDA’s approved drugs (going through the full multi-years process) are recalled, limited or changed, the process does not work very well…

          And if they can determine a vaccine is ‘safe and effective’ in a short period of time, what else is the FDA needed for?

        6. It’s interesting watching people create completely artificial false dichotomies and then insist that only one can be true. Note the choice between “effective system” and “bloated bureaurcracy.” Either the FDA’s regular system is effective, in which case this short-cut’s it and is ineffective, or this is effective, in which case the FDA’s regular system is bloated.

          Here’s the thing. Just as courts have different procedures for capital cases and parking tickts, the FDA has different procedures – different regular procedures – for acne treatments and emergency vaccines.

          Comparing the procedures for capital cases and parking tockets is not an apples-to-apples comparison. If the parking ticket procedures are effective (for parking tickets), this doesn’t prove that the capital murder procedures are bloated (for capital murder trials.). And if the capital murder procedures are effective (for capital murder), this doesn’t prove the parkting ticket procedures are woefully inadequate (for parking tickets).

          Same here. Different things require different procedures. The risks are different.

      2. Setting aside the bad science by longtobefree, his comment is also bad law. This comes in the context of a request for a preliminary injunction; the burden is on the plaintiffs to show they’re likely to win. The university does not need to produce data on these points; the students would have to do so, proving these concerns were legitimate.

      3. What are the long term effects of MRNA therapy, which has never been used on people on a large scale before on a person with an autoimmune disorder? What is the risk of autoimmune flare? There is no way to truthfully answer that question without long term clinical studies and anyone who says otherwise is either lying or is woefully ignorant.

        Having acquired natural immunity through infection and recovery there is nothing anyone can say that will convince me of its safety and necessity until I see the data a few years down the road.

        I am by no means an antivaxxer. I have my full Yellow Card and have no problem with traditional vaccines derived from dead virus.

        Life is hard enough being an insulin dependent Type 1 Diabetic. I see no reason to risk making things worse with something I don’t need.

        1. Cg,
          You do not have to get the mRNA vaccine. There are other vaccine choices that avoid your objection.

    2. Read the decision starting around pg 13 for answers.

    3. For the record, I do think that the FDA’s failure to approve the vaccines so far for traditional use has caused a ton of unnecessary confusion and hindered the process. It created legal uncertainty and shot public trust. All so the FDA could still maintain some control on the vaccines … which they have used to ill-effect anyhow.

      That being said, the standards are exactly the same.

      There isn’t a lack of data on people who have recovered. Its boosts immunity and prevents breakthrough infections.

      There is no plausible mechanism that the vaccine affects fertility. None. The stuff I have seen in anti-vax circles is that the spike protein is similar to that in reproduction … which it isnt, first of all, and secondly, you would expect, if that were true, the exact same effects with the actual virus.

      And you don’t see those effects with people who have had the virus, so you shouldn’t with the vaccine itself. The mRNA itself degrades extremely quickly, only after a few days.

      Any effect from the vaccine cannot be worse than the virus itself. If you have already had the virus, you have experienced those effects anyhow … so what prevents you from taking the vaccine?

      1. “so what prevents you from taking the vaccine?”

        The fact that you are ALLERGIC TO IT!!!!

        If one has already had the virus, one has antibodies that will respond immediately (and not pleasantly) to a massive amount of what appears to be the virus appearing in the bloodstream

        1. I don’t suppose you have any evidence of this. Are you going on something Alex Berenson said?

          1. Bernard,
            The allergy to polyethylene glucol traces in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is well established and certainly recognized in writing by Kaiser-Permenante in its vaccination protocols.

            1. That should be “glycol” not “glucol.”

            2. You’re answering a different question. Of course an individual might have an allergy to a specific component of a vaccine. “Dr.” Ed is making up something about people who have already had covid having a more significant adverse reaction to the vaccine than those who haven’t.

          2. Already Had COVID? Be Prepared For Possible Stronger Side Effects From the Vaccine

            Long story short, vaccine reactions are generally a result of immune response. Severe side effects are a result of an overly aggressive immune response. People who’ve already had Covid can be expected to mount a more aggressive immune response to the vaccine than people who haven’t had it.

            So they have worse side effects from the shot.

            In fact, there is some reason to believe the majority of people who do have severe side effects from the vaccine had them because they’d already had Covid without knowing it.

            1. Brett,
              That is plausible, but I have seen no significant medical studies in high impact medical journals.

              1. Well, there is this:

                Some Vaccine Side Effects May Mean Previous Infection

                Interestingly, bad cases of Covid were not associated with elevated side effects, while mild cases were. Maybe because the mild cases were mild due to a more effective immune response?

              2. My impression is that any research that might result in ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is being discouraged. Or at least not encouraged…

                1. Don and Brett,

                  Thanks for the information.

                  I will note that the IU policy provides an exemption if your physician says you are allergic.

                  I’m not sure whether the reaction you might get if you alredy had COVID counts s an “allergic reaction” or not.

                  And Brett, since you like to make accusations of “anti-science” attitudes, perhaps you’d care to comment on whether nasal swabs cause cancer, or vegans are less susceptible to COVID?

                  I’m also curious how someone can have a strong religious exemption to mask-wearing, yet wear one to religious services.

                  1. I have no reason to believe that nasal swabs cause cancer, but, of course, this assumes they’re used outside California, where everything is known to cause cancer. 😉 More seriously, it depends on what they’re coated with, but I’d be pretty shocked to find nasal swabs of non-Chinese manufacture coated with anything carcinogenic.

                    There’s some evidence nutritional status has an influence on your susceptibility to Covid, so it wouldn’t be shocking if Vegans were less susceptible. Or more. They’re kind of a mixed bag, aren’t they? Not having looked into the question, I’ve no opinion.

                    As for the religious thing, being a Catholic certainly gives me no basis for claiming a religious exemption, the Catholic church has been through pandemics much worse than Covid, and takes medical precautions seriously. We actually shut down in person Mass for months in my parish, and when resumed, while mask use wasn’t mandated, it was strongly advised. It was only a few weeks ago things got back to normal.

                    I suppose one could argue that forced mask wearing is a kind of “mark of the beast”, while voluntarily wearing one to mass is not. But that wouldn’t be my religion, that’s for sure.

                    1. “this assumes they’re used outside California, where everything is known to cause cancer. ”
                      that was good for a laugh.

                    2. I work at an automotive dealership in California. More than once I’ve seen packages of Prop 65 stickers labeled with a Prop 65 sticker.

                2. My impression is that any research that might result in ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is being discouraged. Or at least not encouraged…

                  You were doing well, Brett, until this slipped through.

            2. In looking at effects on people I know who’ve had the dreaded covid, and then received the vaccine, the shorter the time between when you had the dreaded covid and when you get the shots determines how bad the reaction is going to be. Of course, the doctors say my coworker’s heart attack in his mid 50s a week after the 2nd shot had nothing to do with the vaccine. Yeah, right.

              Another coworker had symptoms after 1st shot. 4 doctors he asked, 4 different opinions, 2 yeas, 2 nays on getting the 2nd. And his old cardiologist, because he insisted on changing doctors, said- “I want you put this heart monitor on the morning you’re going to get the shot, and wear it until the next day. Bring it back so I can see it right away. It should be interesting.” After that, I don’t know why he hasn’t made up his mind to “No way.” He has 3 days left before his 2nd shot appointment.

              Closely exposed according to CDC standards multiple times, took no precautions, haven’t contracted it, haven’t had and not going to get the vaccination that isn’t really a vaccination.

        2. If that were at all true then the second shot would trigger an allergic reaction for everyone … which it doesn’t.

        3. Most people with vaccine allergies are allergic to an additive or adjuvant, not the viral antigen itself (or means of producing the antigen as in the Moderna/Pfizer style viruses). This post is unusually silly in terms of science, made sillier by the bolded text, the all caps section, and no less than 4 exclamation points.

        4. Stop screaming, you idiot.

          The policy specifically says you get an exemption if you provide proof from a physician of an allergy to the vaccine or one of its component parts (a medical exemption); provide proof from a
          physician of active pregnancy or breastfeeding,…

          (See p. 12 of the decision.)

          There is also a religious exemption, despite which the snowflakes claimed that the requirement violated their religious beliefs.

          1. Conspicuously, there’s no exemption for already having had Covid, and thus not NEEDING to be vaccinated. The science denial continues.

            1. Brett,
              Having had covid-19 is good grounds for a medical exemption. Have the students even tried that?

            2. I would agree that proof of previous infection should be expressly considered.

              1. You’d agree, I’d agree, centuries of history of viral diseases would agree, but the noted expert Dr. Fauci disagrees.

            3. People who already had COVID and who are asserting that as an excuse not to be vaccinated, especially need to get the vaccine, to teach them a lesson about their obligations to society (as well as to refute their faulty science; if they were so knowledgeable about science, they wouldn’t have gotten it in the first place).

              1. Right, it’s all about beating out of people the notion that they should be free from arbitrary, irrational demands, are entitled to think for themselves.

                Political, not medical, and a nasty strain of politics.

              2. ” if they were so knowledgeable about science, they wouldn’t have gotten it in the first place”

                That is a mean spirited as well as preposterous claim. It really make one doubt anything that you write

        5. Ed,
          Your description of the “allergy” is completely bogus. Let’s see a citation to papers in high impact medical journal to your preposterous claim.

          Having said that, the real allergy was identified early on following a couple of fatalities in the UK

    4. “Anything about the lack of data on vaccinating those who have recovered from the disease?”
      There are such data. And those data show that recovered patients have a strong immune response to infection by SARS-CoV-2.
      That should be sufficient grounds for a medical exemption

  2. Sounds right to me.

    No preliminary injunction without evaluation of the of the actual true facts.

  3. Not all bad policy is unconstitutional. The federal courts are not well equipped to judge on the pleadings the question of whether this particular rule is an overreaction.

  4. Wait…This decision only applies to Fall 2021. What happens then?

    Doesn’t IU offer an on-line alternative for non-laboratory coursework?

    1. C_XY,
      “Doesn’t IU offer an on-line alternative for non-laboratory coursework?”
      That would be the sensible thing to do and essentially render this case moot.

      1. Ah, I forgot. This is academia, so common sense does not apply. Heh, heh.

    2. A lot of students who were accepted for admission Fall-2020 decided to defer a year and hence there is something of a glut of students entering this fall — at least within the context of the lean pools of today.

      Institutions truly do not care about their students (which they consider fungible), they’re really only worried about keeping all the seats full and hence my guess is that they know they can afford the attrition for Fall 2021 but not for later semesters.

      The interesting question will involve suits for breach of contract because they didn’t require the vaccine (which didn’t exist) from students who initially enrolled in prior years.

      1. “involve suits for breach of contract”
        I didn’t know that you were a shill for a plaintiffs law firm. Let them sue. The suits are going nowhere.

        1. Wasn’t that once said about other lawsuits, such as those against the tobacco companies?

          1. Dream on Ed, dream on. Those suits are going nowhere fast.
            And “what about those Red Sox?”

  5. We’re supposed to have flying cars by now. Instead we’re relitigating the constitutionality of public health laws.

    1. Blame regulatory overreach + general stupidity

      Doesn’t pfizer and moderna have massive marketing budgets for exactly this reason? If they can get people to take opiods, which actually harm you, certainly they can convince everyone to take this, which is safe. Why doesn’t the government just say, you market this. It will probably be a lot more successful.

      1. Because the vaccine is not addictive?

        Because it doesn’t make you high?

        Poor analogy. Very poor.

        1. No, Bernard11, it actually is a chillingly accurate analogy.

          First and foremost, opiates — when properly used for pain, neither make you high nor are addictive. (Something about how the pain receptor grabs the opiate before it can even get to the opiate receptor — you have to increase dosage to a higher level for any to get to the opiate receptor. Without that, you don’t get high, without getting high, you don’t get addicted to being high.

          Second, the FDA approved the opiates as “safe and effective” for their prescribed use — pain management. And this was a general approval, not an emergency one.

          Third, the drug companies only advertised the opiates for the intended purpose of pain relief. They did it both excessively and irresponsibly, but — in fairness — then *never* advertised them for the purpose of abuse. There may not be a legal distinction there but there definitely is an ethical one.

          Fourth, people are making way more money from each dose of vaccine than they ever did from each opiate script. Everyone is making more money and that’s not being mentioned.

          1. ” it actually is a chillingly accurate analogy.”
            Your use of “chilling” does nothing to increase the validity of your claim or the aptness of your analogy. Try again, Ed

            1. Exactly what point do you disagree with?

              That the FDA said that those opiate preparations were “safe and effective”?

              That they actually were when used as intended?

              Or that the manufacturers didn’t advertise them for the purpose of abuse? (If you have *any* evidence of that, please forward it to the authorities…)

              1. I have no interest in talking with you about opiods.
                They have exactly zero to do with vaccines, which you seem to have great difficulty discussing seriously.

          2. Shouldn’t you be somewhere slandering Marcus Camby?

            1. Slandering?!?

              I’ve never mentioned *half* the stuff that “Coach Cal’s Criminals” did…

          3. First and foremost, opiates — when properly used
            Just like heroin.

      2. No, I’ll continue to place blame where it belongs on the willfully ignorant and those who strive to sow confusion and hatred for their own petty and base interests.

      3. Why should they market it? They’ve already sold billions of doses to the government, they’ve got all their money already. Its government that needs to get rid of all the doses they bought and are now sitting on

        1. Its just a suggestion. My contention is that the government isn’t doing a very good job rn of selling it. Not entirely their fault, but I just think the company can do better.

          1. I get what your saying, I’m just saying there is no benefit to the pharma companies to do any more marketing at this point (and I believe the government lacks the authority to force them to market the vaccines)

            The one angle they might be interested in is marketing for annual “boosters” (which Pfizer and J&J have already done a little bit) and in that case not completely eradicating Covid would seem to work in their favor

    2. Jacobson was a TAX….

    3. Because neither side is acting rationally.

      Panicking over college students getting Covid when 65% of the population is vaccinated isn’t rational. Covid danger to college students is extremely low. Older people had their chance to get vaccinated and (at least where I live) vaccination rates for seniors are well above 90%.

      The anti-vaccine people aren’t too rational either because the vaccine risk is also extremely low.

      Institutions should start being reasonable because some number of anti-vaccine people will always be around.

      1. Look students want to be on campus, they follow university policy. Full stop.

        1. It’s not a North Korean campus. Sorry.

          1. Right, which is why nobody told them to get vaccinated or be sent to the gulag.

            1. They only wish they could.

          2. No, it is an American campus and in America we believe in the rule of law, Ben.
            Students do NOT get to make up their own rules.

              1. Also note that you have yet to offer any reasoning

                1. The reason is that the university policy is to be followed. Full stop.

                    1. What an asshole!

              2. Policy is the operating rule on campus. Students are bound by contract to follow the university policy.
                That it is not a law is irrelevant.

                1. Unconscionable contract comes to mind.

                  1. BS, you know zip about contract law.

                2. “Policy is the operating rule on campus. Students are bound by contract to follow the university policy.”

                  That’s too black and white, especially when it comes to government-run universities and areas where policy may run afoul of individual rights.

                  1. I though that conservatives like the law to be black and white.

                    1. It’s preferable. But reality is different, especially in areas of conflict with individual rights.

                      For an example, see the below. The “policy” was overruled.


          3. Irrelevant comment

          4. Administrators such as Herr Nico don’t realize that.

            And we shall see how much longer students tolerate this…

            1. Students who want to quit are welcome.
              And for your information, my tile is Herr Doktor Professor for you.

            2. When has that nationwide truckers strike been rescheduled?

        2. Unless of course the university says no cohabitation between unmarried couples in university dorm rooms, tight?

          1. Or really anything else they don’t like. It’s the same double standards all the time in discussions here.

            University can make whatever rules and the students are evil for not following them happily. Except sometimes when the guys arguing have a completely opposite preference. Then the University has to make rules within very strict boundaries and the students don’t have to follow them if it makes them feel bad.

            Often these double standards are based on race or some other characteristics — nevermind that we were told it’s wrong to make such distinctions.

            The latest excuse is Covid fear — and the inability to understand that vaccines changed things and a mostly vaccinated public isn’t at risk from Covid. Covid is less dangerous to Indiana University than the flu now. But the Branch Covidians were infected with panic and self-righteousness and there’s no vaccine or treatment for that.

            1. “Covid is less dangerous to Indiana University than the flu now.”
              More bogus medical opinion from Ben. Pathetic.

              1. No vaccine for flu. Flu kills more kids per case than Covid does. It’s still a very very tiny, number for both though.

                Any Covid restrictions on kids are cruel and not scientifically supportable.

                25 kids in the entire UK died from Covid, but 5x that number died from suicide:


                1. 1) There is, in fact, a vaccine for flu.

                  2) Wait, you’re saying that lockdown — designed to prevent people from catching covid — prevented people from catching covid?

                1. Ben,
                  DeSantis is no medical authority. Sorry to disappoint you.

  6. “Students at Indiana University have a significant liberty protected by the Constitution—refusing unwanted medical treatment based on bodily autonomy. … Given this due process protection of liberty, longstanding constitutional law prevents a public university—an arm of the State—from mandating a vaccine for its students unless it has rationally pursued a legitimate interest in public health for its campus community.”

    “rational basis?

    No actual Constitutional right is protected by a mere “rational basis”.

    So, judge, which part are you lying about?

    1. I’m not sure if you’re joking, confused, or stating an opinion about what “should” be. Because current 14A equal protection and substantive due process analysis employs the rational basis test (except for classifications by race or sex, or laws that impair a few, specifically defined “fundamental” liberty interests).

      Obviously, string arguments can be made that rational basis should not be the test. But it currently is.

      1. If violations of “bodily autonomy” are judged based on “rational basis”, better kiss Roe goodbye.

        Heck, better kiss Lawrence v Texas and Obergefell goodbye

  7. What no one is asking is how many students will use this as an excuse to transfer or outright drop out.

    The economic return on a college education, in general, isn’t what it once was and hasn’t been for a while now — and a year of “Lockdown U” has made students really pissed. Colleges continue to have the asinine view that students are an inexhaustible fungible resource to be exploited and while now increasingly invest in “enrollment management”, still haven’t quite realized that the students don’t *have to* show up next fall…

    1. If you think lots of students are itching to drop out of college, it seems like you’re projecting how you think students should think on real life students.

      1. No kidding. It’s another stupid comment by our “doctor” of education.

        1. Did you happen to read the recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education on student suicide?

          Did you happen to read it between the lines and ask yourself *why* suicide has now become such a problem on college campi???

          And did you happen to read the recent article in Inside Higher Education about how few students have sent in vaccination information to the IHEs that are requiring it?

          And did you happen to read that one between the lines???

          We shall see — it’s still only July….

          1. You just changed the subject completely, and asked us to read between the lines as justification.

          2. Dr Ed, I’m reading between the lines of your comment and it sez:
            I’m a troll; don’t take me seriously.
            Just throwing crap out there to see if anything sticks.
            I like to make predications that no one will ever follow up with (myself included).

            1. OK, then DON’T read those articles between the lines and merely for what is stated.

              A: Collegiate suicide is becoming an epidemic.

              B: Notwithstanding looming deadlines, students are not sending in vaccination documentation.

              1. “Notwithstanding looming deadlines, students are not sending in vaccination documentation.”
                Then they can stay home. See how easy that is!

                1. And then a-holes like you <won't get paid…

                  1. Haha.
                    I get paid anyway.

          3. More whataboutism. Your trademark it seems.
            Student suicides are tragic, but they are nothings new and unfortunately have many roots, such as all the crap that flows in social media, the stresses of political hypersensitivity, parental pressures, and false expectations.

            1. The bodycount seems to be a tad higher though — a whole lot higher.

              1. And that is due to covid? Nope.
                It is due to jerks that support the Orange Clown who have made life in America miserable for many.

      2. To be fair I wish it were more often the case. For many people the earnings potential of a skilled trade are far higher and of greater social value than many chosen majors. I am in far greater need of a good plumber or electrician than I am another sociologist or English major.

        1. In Massachusetts, the Voke Tech schools have become increasingly popular.

          1. Good for them. Many students don’t actually need or prfit from a 4-year college.
            But “what about those Red Sox?”

  8. As an aside: this opinion did not need to be ANYWHERE near 101 pages. It easily could have been no more than 1/3 of that, and been sufficient (and a lot more accessible and reader friendly to lay readers). There have been many decisions over the decades upholding public school vaccination requirements over constitutional challenges. This wasn’t breaking new ground, and there was no need for the law clerk and judge to produce a treatise.
    (Sorry, just a pet peeve. It’s actually nice to look at SCOTUS opinions from the 1950s and earlier, and opinions in F./F.2d/F.Supp., and regularly see opinions that run about 10 pages.)

    1. I think the judge was making a point.

      1. What point?

        Boring the reader? Breaking a Guiness record?

        Its just hubris writing so many pages.

    2. What struck me was how much thicker doctoral dissertations got when they didn’t have to be hand-typed anymore.

      1. Which has nothing to do with anything.
        My thesis was only 23 pages and published in a high impact journal.

    3. (Sorry, just a pet peeve. It’s actually nice to look at SCOTUS opinions from the 1950s and earlier, and opinions in F./F.2d/F.Supp., and regularly see opinions that run about 10 pages.)

      Strongly disagree. Many of those opinions read as little more than ipse dixit. There’s little actual analysis, whether of the text of the statute/constitutional provision in question or of precedent. They state the facts and then they pretty much jump to the decision with little more than “We think this is better.”

      Now, plenty of lower court cases don’t need much more than that; they’re obvious. But SCOTUS only takes complicated cases about which there’s room for disagreement (and about which the lower courts have usually actually disagreed). They require explanation.

      1. I’ll split the baby with you, and give you SCOTUS and some appellate or truly groundbreaking district court decisions where there is an important and unsettled legal question and the court does a deep dive into the relevant historical background, etc. (I also assume some types of cases require lengthier opinions — like the Cal. Supreme Court decisions in death penalty appeals where they understandably address each one of the 20+ legal arguments the death penalty appellate counsel raise.)

        BUT, in my experience at least (a couple decades, more or less), there are way too many opinions (mostly in federal court, where there is more clerk help and maybe more academic-minded judges) that are 40, 50, or even 90-100 pages, that in the past would’ve been decided in 10-20 pages, with the relevant facts stated, then a few binding precedents explained/cited, and then a relatively short “ergo” holding.

  9. The Plaintiffs (pp.26-28): (my bolding)

    The eight plaintiffs in this case, all students of Indiana University, don’t want the vaccine. Six of the eight have received exemptions already. One would qualify if she applied. The other appears not to qualify for an exemption.

    Ryan Klaassen is concerned that the vaccine is too new to be safe.
    He objects to the masking and testing requirements because of their unreasonableness and the potential for discrimination. He complied with the university’s mask policy during his freshman year, including wearing a mask in most places, and has undergone many COVID-19 tests.

    Jaime Carini has up to seven more years to finish her joint dissertation after she finishes her exams. Her physician provided a letter saying she should not take the vaccine, though the letter has not been presented to the university or to the court. She applied for a religious exemption and received one. She did
    not apply for a medical exemption.

    Despite wearing a mask in public spaces when required and previously taking several COVID-19 tests, she objects to the mask policy because it makes it difficult for her to breathe, she gets bad acne from the mask, and she struggles deadlifting with a mask. She also doesn’t like surrendering her biological information for testing.
    In total, she views the university’s policy as a cultural harm.

    Daniel Baumgartner says he has a deeply held religious objection to wearing a mask and being tested. He wore a mask while attending religious services, in school, and
    at stores in the past. He previously contracted COVID-19 and says he has “natural” COVID antibodies, though for how long he doesn’t know.

    Ashlee Morris believes she previously contracted COVID-19. She has been tested before and acknowledges that she did not suffer any lasting harm from the test. She wore a mask to work, on a plane, and when she went to a casino, but
    not to stores even if signs were posted. She testifies she has a religious objection to wearing a mask and being tested [id. 45-48]. She admits that she has never experienced
    discrimination because she did not wear a mask [id. 56].

    Seth Crowder has a deeply held religious objection to wearing a mask and being tested. He has worn a mask once or twice a week since March 2020, including to stores and restaurants.

    Macey Policka objects generally to the extra requirements of masks and tests because of the minimal risk to those in her age group, also stating that vegans and pescatarians are less likely to experience serious illness [Ex. 125 at 28]. She lived on the Bloomington campus for the 2020 school year, complied with the university’s masking policy, and underwent weekly mitigation testing from which she states she did not suffer any harm. She has never experienced judgment or alienation due to wearing a mask at the university but is concerned about having to wear a mask while pursuing her theatre degree.

    Margaret Roth objects to the mask and testing requirements because she thinks masks are silly and she claims nasal swabs cause cancer [Ex. 126 at 12, 29, 35-36]. She has worn a mask while at school, shopping, and working [id. 31-33]. She has a religious objection to the vaccine but did not file for an exemption because she doesn’t want to be subject to testing or wear a mask [id. 45-47].

    Natalie Sperazza complied with the university testing and masking requirement during the 2020 school year [Ex. 127 at 30-32]. She has been tested for COVID-19 many times, including while working at Amazon, where she would occasionally go to get tested just to have a break [id. 25-26, 30].

    Yeah. Serious objections. What a load.

    1. * * * flips through the Bible, Koran, Torah, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy * * *

      Nope, don’t see no prohibitions about wearing a mask and being tested.

      1. Judges are forbidden from deciding whether a particular belief is legitimately rooted in the Bible or any comparable text. But your observation is related to the fact that “red” states were the leaders in requiring vaccination despite religious objections. They (God-fearing Christian lawmakers) didn’t think vaccination was a sin.

        1. Judges are forbidden from deciding whether a particular belief is legitimately rooted in the Bible or any comparable text.

          Are they entitled to ask the nature or source of the belief? Can you just make anything up? Are they entitled to question the sincerity of the belief. Note that I’m not saying that only adherents of established religions can be considered to hold sincere beliefs, just that we might ask Mr. Baumgartner, for example, to explain the creed which has him wear a mask at services, but instructs him that there is something sinful about wearing one on campus.

          We might also ask Ms. Morris why her beliefs permit being masked at a casino, but not on campus. Have her beliefs led her to forgo any activity at all because it required mask-wearing?

          But your observation is related to the fact that “red” states were the leaders in requiring vaccination despite religious objections. They (God-fearing Christian lawmakers) didn’t think vaccination was a sin.

          I don’t get your point. Are you talking historically? Of course those lawmakers were right, at least as regards Christianity. What would Jesus suggest?

      2. Most of the plaintiffs are bullshiters and got the decsion that they deserved.

        1. Recently I waded thru a long string of antivax comments over at the National Review. After the first few dozen, the pattern became clear: These people are determined to see their selfishness and ignorance as heroic; they’re starring in a lurid action film that exists only in their minds.

          None of them faced a requirement like the IU example here but they still found the means to make do, seeing government’s vaccine advocacy as itself oppressive. That allowed these Walter-Mitty-grade libertarian “warriors” to puff out their reedy chests and proclaim fierce resistance in thin tinny voices.

          They went on&on about “freedom”, totally unconcerned they were cheapening the word. I don’t think a month goes by that today’s Right doesn’t further infantilize the meaning of Freedom. By now it seems to mean nothing more to them than a small child’s snit at learning he has to share the world with others.

          1. Half-educated, science-disdaining, superstitious, virus-flouting right-wing hayseeds are among my favorite culture war casualties.

            If a student is unwilling to wear a mask (without a damned good reason, which should be reason- rather than superstition-based), there are plenty of backwater conservative-controlled campuses that likely would welcome anti-social clingers. Hillsdale, Regent, Liberty, Grove City, Oral Roberts, Franciscan, Biola, Bob Jones, Wheaton . . .

            1. Ah, Arthur Kirkland speaks. Should we all bow down?

      3. Yeah, people with actual religious beliefs that rely on exceptions/accommodations probably be concerned about the US of BS “religious exemptions” that are just code for “don’t want to do it”.

        It’s a bit comparable to the issue of emotional support animals–I’m sure there’s some people who really benefit from traveling with their animal, but once everyone with a pet could get a doctor’s note saying that it was okay to take Fido on the plane, the exception became untenable and now even the people who would really benefit have to leave their pets at home as well.

  10. The ruling provides a test of the students’ convictions: to borrow from Prof. Somin, each student can, if nothing more, vote with his feet and transfer his credits to another institution. Freedom isn’t free and at some point personal action will begin to dwarf legal action, just as it did at the time of the American Revolution.

    Having said that, it’s important to recall that the governmental agencies encouraging vaccination do have neither a stellar record of truth-tell nor a laudable record of scientific accuracy: the same folks who said “You’re money ahead when you wait with white lead” and “DDT is good for me!” now advocate scantly-tested flu shots in quantities exceeding studied limits. While the whole video is worth watching, a targeted point ( in a CDC “We Were There” training video offers some insight.

    Dr. Sabin went to his grave wrongly [and falsely] asserting that Vaccine-Associated Paralytic Poliomyelitis (VAPP) was not caused by his oral polio vaccine (OPV): since 1980, 100% of U.S. polio cases have resulted from reactivation of OPV or from a Vaccine Derived Poliovirus (VDPV) strain. Whenever a pseudoscientist must make qualifications such as the one Falsie made this weekend when touting the elimination of “poliomyelitis in the United States DUE TO INDIGENOUSLY ACQUIRED WILD POLIOVIRUS,” it’s wise to ask about the need for the qualification. Similar questions need to be asked about flu shot “facts,” without waiting for the death of the sponsoring scientists.

    1. [Hopefully, everyone can make it to the 1:20:08 mark in that video at which a question regarding the Wyeth IPV is fully addressed by a person actually involved in the (1955) discussion.]

    2. now advocate scantly-tested flu shots


  11. The subject is complicated. The court is not the place to resolve it. The legislature has to step up.

    1. The legislature has already passed a law barring state and local governments from requiring vaccination. I wonder if they will extend it to state-funded institutions like IU

      1. Ohio did “extend it to state-funded institutions” but the effective date is after start of school so at least one college is keeping its requirement.

        1. Hmmm… That could be interesting….

  12. There is straight on-point Supreme Court precedent for compulsory vaccinations.

    There is a good argument to be made that current Supreme Court trends don’t help the plaintiffs. These trends establish that if the state gives somebody else an exception (for example, businesses “comparable” to religious intstitutions), then maybe it has to give religion an exception too. But the students here aren’t making that kind of claim. They aren’t saying other people in comparable circumstances are getting exemptions so they should too. So far as the case suggests no-one else is exempt from the requirement. The students are just sayijg they’re entitled to an exception straight off.

    So there’s no reason to suggest recent precedent more favorable to religion claims applies here.

    And even if it did, a lower court cannot overrule an on-point Supreme Court precedent just because later rulings appear to undermine it. Only the Supreme Court can overrule its own precedents. And precedent says compulsory vaccination does overrides religion claims.

    I don’t think the oppinion needed to be as long or state as many facts as it did. I also don’t see it as the judiciary’s role to 2nd-guess how safe and effective a vaccine is, unless there is something really glaringly wrong with the FDA’s determination. That just doesn’t seem to be the case here, or in any case where the FDA goes through the process of getting the pharma company to conduct reasonably on-point studies, get scientific opinions, etc., and there’s no apparent fraud, stacking the decision process with unqualified hacks, or similar clear defect.

    1. This is not a vaccination, in the conventional sense. Instead, it is a gene-editing program, of unknown long-term effects.

      1. You know, that’s not really true, except in the unlikely event that the injection site had a live retrovirus infection going.

        The injection consists of mRNA, packaged in liposomes I assume, which would fuse with cell membranes injecting the mRNA into cells, where it would be grabbed by ribosomes and translated into a small set of viral proteins. Those proteins would then migrate to the surface of the cell, where they’d be detected by the immune system.

        In a few days the mRNA would degrade, and the protein production would cease. The cell would go back to normal, and at no point would its DNA have been altered.

        If you were infected with the actual virus, it would flood the cell with… mRNA, which ribosomes would translate into viral proteins.

        The difference is that a virus would have a complete set of mRNA to code for all the necessary proteins, while the viral RNA was replicating, so you’d end up manufacturing new viruses.

        Literally, the mRNA vaccine is doing nothing the virus itself wouldn’t do, it’s just doing a subset of it.

        Now, you could potentially get some issues from the fact that respiratory viruses don’t normally get a chance to infect muscle tissue. But that’s the sort of thing testing is for.

        So, no gene editing going on. None whatsoever.

        1. The biggest threat here is that, if you were already prone to auto-immune disease, this business of displaying alien proteins on your own cells might set your immune system to attacking your own cells.

          BUT, the virus has the exact same risk!

        2. Great explanation, Brett

      2. You’re welcome to define a vaccine however you want for your own purposes. But the FDA and the courts have decided otherwise.

        It’s a fairly standard technique for developing vaccines. The underlying technology isn’t new.

        But then again, a “No true Scotsman” argument isn’t easily refutable when you remain free to add whatever post-hoc additional conditions you want to terms so you can simply define something you don’t like away.

    2. ISTM that six or seven of the eight plaintiffs lack standing. How can you object to a requirement if you are exempt?

  13. How does it serve a state interest to have unvaccinated Indiana students get Covid outside the university instead of inside the University? They’re going to get it eventually.

    Outside the University is unlikely to be significantly different environment for infection — and I doubt evidence was submitted that either location was less likely to lead to infection.

    The University has no obligation to panic if someone there tests positive for Covid. It’s time to stop making policy based on institutional panicking. Outbreaks with 65+% of adults vaccinated aren’t a big deal.

    1. Two points: 1) Seems likely that more than 0% of people will be motivated to get vaccinated to go to school (just as happens with every other type of vaccine), and the state does have an interest in increasing the overall vaccination rate.

      2) It seems totally reasonable for the University to have policies in its own interests even if they’re neutral for the rest of society. It seems totally reasonable to try to minimize virus transmission on campus, if for no other reason than that virus outbreaks are disruptive to planned educational activities.

      1. 1. Is it the University’s mission to incentivize random things unrelated to education? Or to withhold education from someone because they make different personal life choices than you might prefer?

        2. Only because of institutional panic. They could just decide not to panic and nothing would be disrupted.

        1. It is within their mission to provide a safe environment for their staff and students.

            1. Or the North Korean version

              1. Why do you hate modern America, you bigoted right-wing rube?

        2. You offer false choices, Ben. Just part of your polemics.

        3. Re: 2, often “institutional panic” is externally imposed, e.g. by health authorities that the university doesn’t have direct control of.

          Outside of Covid, having outbreaks of moderately dangerous contagious diseases on campus is something universities have a long history of trying to avoid. I don’t see anyone second-guessing the common requirement for college students to get the meningitis or Hepatitis vaccines, for example. This isn’t some new type of behavior that’s being invented just for Covid. The new thing is actually that for some reason a political party that no longer has any platform other than endless culture war has decided to turn the pretty amazing vaccines promoted by their own party’s leader just a few months ago into some new partisan battlefront just to make sure that as a society we can fight about absolutely everything.

  14. “How does it serve a state interest to have unvaccinated Indiana students get Covid outside the university instead of inside the University? They’re going to get it eventually.”

    Are you serious about that question. IU does not want typhoid Marys on campus

    1. They probably also don’t want cold weather in the winter. So what?

      What’s the benefit to Indiana if someone gets Covid in place A versus place B or at time X versus time Y?

      1. Apparently the notion that this will incentivize people to get vaccinated so that they get covid in neither place never occurred to you?

        1. “never occurred to you?”
          Obviously not.

        2. You think governments should punish innocent people to provide incentives?

          1. I don’t think telling people that they have to get vaccinated if they want to go to a particular school would be seen by any rational person as “punishment.”

          2. Besides if they violate regulations, they are hardly “innocent.”

              1. Childish aren’t you.
                Save your Sieg Heil for the next cop who stops you. Then tell us how that worked.

          3. Unlike kids, who can’t go to school if they don’t get all sorts of vaccines*, college students are adults. So they’re not “innocent”, they have full agency to decide whether or not they want to get vaccinated and whether that’s worth it relative to the benefits of on-campus education. The incentive is directly targeted at the people whose behavior it is intended to effect.

      2. Unbelievable, Ben
        “They probably also don’t want cold weather in the winter. ” = Whataboutism.
        Let’s try again. IU does not want people on campus with a high probability of being infectious.

        1. How is it in Indiana’s interest if they are infected outside the campus versus inside? An infection is an infection. There’s no difference in care outcomes either way. What’s the benefit to the state from either outcome?

        2. Also that’s not whataboutism. You might want to look it up to stop using it incorrectly.

          1. Ben, you’re speaking nonsense. IU cannot change the weather. They can dictate who is allowed on campus. Can you understand the difference?
            I don’t need your advise about English usage.

            1. “Dictate” — do you not realize how much of a fascist you are?

              1. Fascist. Another word that “Dr” Ed does not understand.

            2. Correct spelling is: advice. Advise is the verb form.

  15. I would like to see how these student-plaintiffs get along.

    Do they get invited to parties? Do they go? Do they wear masks?

    Do they have parents who don’t believe in any vaccinations whatsoever?

    Do they ever wear masks? Ever? When visiting their terminally ill grandparents?

    1. Read my comment at 12:45PM, July 19, or just look at pp. 26-28 of the decision to get a picture of their mask-wearing practices.

      I’m curious who is actually behind this lawsuit, who paid the lawyers, recruited the plaintiffs, etc.

      Hard to believe these eight doofuses just got together for this purpose.

      1. Oh, no, it’s a bunch of Trumpkin grifters. Jim Bopp, a well known right wing crusader, handled the case so far, but he said that “America’s Frontline Doctors,” previously seen pushing HCQ and anti-vaxxerism, would be handling the appeal. Who’s America’s Frontline Doctors, you ask?

  16. Is there a legal difference between requiring a vaccination, and requiring documentary proof of the vaccination?

    I have been through the obstacle course of opting out under HIPPA. I told my doctor that my personal info can be used for treatment, and payment, but not for any other reason. To me, that means that I have the right to keep my medical records private. What about my vaccination history?

    I could provide an affidavit to the university that I have all required vaccinations. Would that satisfy my obligation legally?

    1. If that were a signed affidavit co-signed by your provider, I suspect that would be sufficient.
      If it were your word with no penalty for being untruthful, I don’t know.

    2. I have been through the obstacle course of opting out under HIPPA. I told my doctor that my personal info can be used for treatment, and payment, but not for any other reason. To me, that means that I have the right to keep my medical records private. What about my vaccination history?

      There is, of course, no such thing as “HIPPA,” and I’m not sure what you’re trying to “opt out” of. HIPAA says that a covered entity (basically, a medical provider or insurance company) can’t release your medical records without your consent except for the purpose of providing care or billing you. (I’m boiling it down to its essence.)

      So if the university asks your doctor for your vaccination status, pursuant to HIPAA your doctor can’t release that information without authorization. HIPAA does not govern people asking you directly for your own medical records.

      I could provide an affidavit to the university that I have all required vaccinations. Would that satisfy my obligation legally?

      Seems unlikely that a university would rely on the trust-me-would-I-lie-to-you approach. They don’t do so for other required vaccinations, after all.

      1. Thank you for being clearer than I was, David.

      2. What I don’t understand is how some states are doing it though.

        According to the CHE, they are giving colleges access to the state database of who has been vaccinated. I don’t see how that is legal.

        1. You don’t have to see. Only the state AGs have to see it.

      3. From “HIPAA requires a signed patient authorization for release of any protected health information (PHI)except for certain circumstances. (Originally, HIPAA required a signed consent form which was replaced with the Notice of Privacy Practices requirement for normal operational use of PHI.) One broad category of exceptions is for TPO – “Treatment, Payment and healthcare Operations.”

        The Operations exception is so broad that nearly everyone on Earth can qualify. For example, the provider can name nearly anyone as a “business partner” and thus disclosures to them are within the exception.

        Patients can demand that any of the exceptions should not apply. If they do, the provider can decline to provide health care services, and that can be a death sentence.

        1. HIPAA also has an exception Public Health Activities and I don’t believe patients can opt out of those.

  17. I’ve been off line for most of today because I’ve spent it driving across Kansas and am now at a motel in the badly misnamed city of Liberal. I just dropped by to see what I’ve missed today. And oh, what I’ve missed.

    Covid cases with the new Delta variant are rising through the roof. The CDC is now warning that the Delta variant is so contagious that anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated is likely to get it, which will likely translate into thousands of deaths, if not tens of thousands. In the meantime, our anti-vax numbskulls would rather hate on the FDA, Pfizer, Moderna, and anyone trying to keep the vaccine from spreading than to do anything that might actually slow the spread. Like, oh, I don’t know, get vaccinated.

    The raw level of stupid required to not get vaccinated given where we are with the variant is a beautiful example of Darwinian evolution at work. Natural selection and survival of the fittest are about to cull the herd of its most stupid. I suppose I should care, but at this point I just can’t bring myself to. It would be bad enough if the anti-vax numbskulls were only impacting themselves, but they aren’t.

    So goodnight everyone. Going to put my fully vaccinated body to bed; I’ve got another ten hours of driving tomorrow. At the risk of sounding like Arthur, carry on.

  18. “Covid cases with the new Delta variant are rising through the roof.”

    Number of new cases of COVID. Selected dates.

    Seven day average: 31,745. July 18th, 2021. US. Total.
    Seven day average: 67,236: April 19th, 2021. US. Total.
    Seven day average: 259,000: January 15, 2021. US. Total.
    Seven day average: 62,000 July 19th, 2020. US. Total.

    So…”rising through the roof”….not exactly. Going up slightly? Sure.

    1. AL,
      In Alameda county the rate of 40 to 50 cases per day fr June has now risen to 150 to 300 cases per day that looks like the beginning of just another spike, despite your skepticism.

      Through the roof is an exaggeration. Slightly is also misleading. Your recent 7-day average is wrong; it is 43500 according to worldometer. From July 3rd to July 10th it was 19700.
      At the same time the rolling 14-day case fatality ratio has risen to 2.2% having risen steadily from 1%.
      Next time tell the whole truth
      Next time tell the whole truth.

      1. “Your recent 7-day average is wrong; it is 43500 according to worldometer.”

        Different sites provide different numbers. This was simply Google’s numbers from the NYT. Go ahead and check.

        I’m not going to report on every separate county. Yes, you can find some counties where it’s higher. You can also find some counties where they are down.

        Next time ASK, rather than assuming someone else is wrong.

        1. AL,
          I don’t care what you found in the NYT. It is hardly an accurate source in this matter. That fact is that you have cherry picked statistics to make a bogus point

          1. Upon checking, it seems you misrepresented the numbers from worldometer…by about 10,000 cases…

            I invite others to look.

            1. How about you print out the numbers for the last two weeks. Then we’ll compare notes.

              1. Worldometer, July 18th, 7 day average, USA: 34,647. # of COVID cases.

                For whatever reason, links aren’t working well. I’ve tried twice here.

                Again, I invite others to look.

    2. AL, assuming your numbers are accurate — and I have not independently verified them — you have, as usual, completely missed the point. At this stage in the pandemic, there should be no, or hardly any, new transmissions at all. An effective vaccine has been available for months. Even in the absence of a vaccine, the virus has had ample time to run its course. So the fact that we’re still having 31k new cases per your own numbers is the herald of a coming catastrophe. No, the tidal wave hasn’t hit yet, but the fact that we still have a significant number of new cases, and the numbers are going up, this late in the pandemic, well, the roof is definitely in sight.

      At any rate, my basic point still stands. Happy Darwin Day.

      1. And of course AL’s numbers are likely to be misleadingly low, because the sort of people who refuse to get vaccinated are going to disproportionately be the sort of people who refuse to get tested.

        1. Ironically no. It’s the people who ARE vaccinated who are likely not to get tested. Because they think they “can’t have” COVID…and many likely do.

          1. I know a bunch of people who were vaccinated and have gotten tested after exposure to make sure they’re not asymptomatic carriers.

            If you had numbers to back up your supposition, you might be able to disprove my anecdote. As it is, you’ve got nothing.

            1. Funny thing. I checked your “worldometer” site.

              The numbers didn’t match what you proposed. By about 10,000….

      2. The problem with “case” numbers, is that they’re unavoidably a function of how many tests are performed, and the criteria for selecting who gets tested. Either or both factors can drastically push the results around. We’ve rolled out home testing: Suppose people whose home tests come back positive go get more ‘official’ tests? The case rate would soar.

        If I weren’t already bald I’d be pulling my hair out over the failure to do large scale random sampling of the population in order to get a true picture of what is going on.

      3. “At this stage in the pandemic, there should be no, or hardly any, new transmissions at all.”
        Incorrect. With a loosening of the restrictions, mask mandates, travel increasing, you would expect a slight rise.

        “An effective vaccine has been available for months”

        -Which is not 100% effective. This point needs to be emphasized, because it is poorly understood. Are the vaccines good? Yes. Do they reduce transmission? Yes. Do they reduce severe complications? Yes. Do they ELIMINATE transmission? No. What that means is if you take a bunch of vaccinated people, and let them loose to congregate in massive groups together, without masks…you would EXPECT to see a slight rise in the number of cases. Because, yes, vaccinated people CAN catch and transmit COVID.

        “Even in the absence of a vaccine, the virus has had ample time to run its course.”

        That’s not how endemic diseases work. Which is what this really is at this point. Which is why we have the flu “come back” every year. Which is why the common cold “comes back” every year.

        “So the fact that we’re still having 31k new cases per your own numbers is the herald of a coming catastrophe”

        Again, a better understanding of epidemiology here is needed, and why you see the slight rise in cases.

        No, it’s not. It’s a slight increase. Which is entirely to be expected with the loosening of the mandates. You’re fearmongering here. What’s likely to happen is for COVID to become endemic, like the flu is, with an annual low level of cases.

        1. AL,
          You really should look at a day-by-day plat. An increase in infection by a factor of a few over three week is hardly a slight increase.
          Moreover, in the US covid is showing a case fatality ratio 20 times high that influenzas. Hardly a mild concern

          1. plat = plot.
            Moreover, I already said that “catastrophe” is a gross exaggeration.
            Flu comes back because it is always a new strain against which previous vaccines are ineffective.

            Most of all, what is your point? Trumpist politics, that’s all.

            1. “Trumpist politics”

              Wow…. That’s a nice ad hominem there. I’m the bigger man, and don’t need to resort to such. But in regards to your questions.

              1. Responded to Krychek, not you. He has a misunderstanding of the epidemic.
              2. Relatively speaking, with variation, it is slight. I’m not cherrypicking from a global minimum, which you appear to be doing. It is under the numbers from June 2020 to May 2021.
              3. The “point” is…accuracy is important.

              The media and government have a bad habit lately of “skewing” news to hit their desired impacts. Because of that, a growing number of people simply don’t believe what the government and/or mainstream media are saying. They’ve lied too often. Been caught too much. And aren’t listening to any of their own edicts or recommendations.

              A point was brought up recently. Let’s say, hypothetically, Biden did engage in widespread fraud to win the 2020 election. Would the Media and Biden and the Government lie about it, in order to preserve the Biden win? Many people believe yes…they would. And not without reason. Too often, the media and government have been caught lying or twisting things. And a growing number of people just don’t believe them anymore.

              If you want to regain the trust of the people, you need to ACCURATELY report things, with an honest, real assessment of the risks. One that isn’t fearmongering. Otherwise, you’ll lose them completely.

              1. AL,
                I have beening tracking and analysis data from 199 countries on a daily basis. There are large spikes in transmissions by factors of 5 to 10 in many of them. You can call those slight. You can call 625000 dead Americans a small number.
                But to your first point thee is an strong correlation between those who always minimize the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2 and Trumpist politics. You certainly have seemed to fall into the Trumpist bin time and time again. But I’ll admit that your politics does not make you necessarily wrong, but does not speak positively about your credibility.

                I asked you to cite the US total cases numbers ( or new cases numbers) for the past 20 days since you claim I am incorrect. Here is my list:

                1. Your averages are off.

                  You’ve got 20 days there. Over 20 days, you have 483,000 cases. For a daily average of 24,000

                  If you’re looking at a 7 day average, you’ve got (35018600 – 34807813) = 210787. 210787/ 7 = 30,112.

                  Even if you bump it up a day (35018600 – 34766404) / 7 = 36,028

                  Check your math. You’re nowhere close to 43,500.

                  1. My error the average is off.
                    However, the basic fact remains that new cases have increased dramatically over the past two weeks. New cases
                    23821 july 6,
                    117812 – July 20
                    This is not a minor increase and it is 80% due to the delta variant

  19. The Associated Press, using figures provided by the CDC, found that of the more than 18,000 Americans who died of covid in May, only about 150 were fully vaccinated. That’s 0.8 percent. Between Jan. 21 and July 9, 2,471 Virginians died of covid; 18 of them were vaccinated, or 0.7 percent. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, 37,180 Californians died of covid; about 71 — 0.2 percent — were vaccinated.

    1. All those numbers are consistent with the claims for Pfizer and Moderna.

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