Vaccines

7th Cir. Says: No Right for Students to Attend Public University Without Being Vaccinated

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From today's decision in Klaassen v. Trustees of Indiana Univ., denying a motion for an injunction pending appeal (decided today in an opinion by Judges Frank Easterbrook, joined by Judges Michael Scudder and Thomas Kirsch:

Starting next semester, all students at Indiana University must be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they are exempt for religious or medical reasons. Exempt students must wear masks and be tested for the disease twice a week….

Given Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), which holds that a state may require all members of the public to be vaccinated against smallpox, there can't be a constitutional problem with vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Plaintiffs assert that the rational-basis standard used in Jacobson does not offer enough protection for their interests and that courts should not be as deferential to the decisions of public bodies as Jacobson was, but a court of appeals must apply the law established by the Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs invoke substantive due process. Under Washington v. Glucksberg (1997), and other decisions, such an argument depends on the existence of a fundamental right ingrained in the American legal tradition. Yet Jacobson, which sustained a criminal conviction for refusing to be vaccinated, shows that plaintiffs lack such a right. To the contrary, vaccination requirements, like other public-health measures, have been common in this nation.

And this case is easier than Jacobson for the University, for two reasons.

First, Jacobson sustained a vaccination requirement that lacked exceptions for adults. But Indiana University has exceptions for persons who declare vaccination incompatible with their religious beliefs and persons for whom vaccination is medically contraindicated. The problems that may arise when a state refuses to make accommodations therefore are not present in this case. Indeed, six of the eight plaintiffs have claimed the religious exception, and a seventh is eligible for it. These plaintiffs just need to wear masks and be tested, requirements that are not constitutionally problematic. (The eighth plaintiff does not qualify for an exemption, which is why we have a justiciable controversy.)

Second, Indiana does not require every adult member of the public to be vaccinated, as Massachusetts did in Jacobson. Vaccination is instead a condition of attending Indiana University. People who do not want to be vaccinated may go elsewhere. Many universities require vaccination against SARSCoV-2, but many others do not. Plaintiffs have ample educational opportunities.

Each university may decide what is necessary to keep other students safe in a congregate setting. Health exams and vaccinations against other diseases (measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, varicella, meningitis, influenza, and more) are common requirements of higher education. Vaccination protects not only the vaccinated persons but also those who come in contact with them, and at a university close contact is inevitable.

We assume with plaintiffs that they have a right in bodily integrity. They also have a right to hold property. Yet they or their parents must surrender property to attend Indiana University. Undergraduates must part with at least $11,000 a year (in-state tuition), even though Indiana could not summarily confiscate that sum from all residents of college age.

Other conditions of enrollment are normal and proper. The First Amendment means that a state cannot tell anyone what to read or write, but a state university may demand that students read things they prefer not to read and write things they prefer not to write. A student must read what a professor assigns, even if the student deems the books heretical, and must write exams or essays as required. A student told to analyze the role of nihilism in Dostoevsky's The Possessed but who submits an essay about Iago's motivations in Othello will flunk.

If conditions of higher education may include surrendering property and following instructions about what to read and write, it is hard to see a greater problem with medical conditions that help all students remain safe when learning. A university will have trouble operating when each student fears that everyone else may be spreading disease. Few people want to return to remote education-and we do not think that the Constitution forces the distance-learning approach on a university that believes vaccination (or masks and frequent testing of the unvaccinated) will make in-person operations safe enough.

Seems correct to me; thanks to commenter Dilan Esper for the pointer.

NEXT: Can California “Safe at Home” Law Be Used to Retroactively Pseudonymize Past Cases?

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  1. Love it. Gives total short shrift to conservative claims that Jacobson is a “narrow” ruling limited to its facts.

    1. For those cheering Jacobson, perhaps Plessy comes to mind to cheer as well….

      1. The typical Ed irrelevancy.
        Give it a brekk

          1. Circuits were free to ignore Plessy before Brown?!?

            Citations????

            1. Ed,
              Go back into your hole. No one is talking about Plessy except you.

              1. It ain’t 1953….

                1. That’s one of the very few accurate statements you’ve ever made here.

                  1. I still checked and rechecked my calendar several times and I’m going back for one more to be certain.

    2. Yes, let vax people not at risk. Cheer the authoritarians!

      1. KCar
        August.2.2021 at 2:57 pm
        Flag Comment Mute User
        Yes, let vax people not at risk.

        A good point –
        A) the risk to the young and healthy is extremely low
        B) getting infected with the real covid almost definitely provides much greater long term immunity.
        C) The vast majority of the vunerable have already received the vaccine.
        D) Contrary to the science of covid paranoia (which prevades a certain class of people), the young and healthy transmit a few lower viral load and thus are less infectous.

        1. (B) is a hypothesis not a fact, and one without much support

          As for (D), I haven’t seen any support for this statement at all where by “young people” we mean “college aged”. Do you have any citation?

          As usual, this selfish type of analysis completely ignores herd immunity effects and the risk of ongoing mutations/variants from rampant spread of the virus.

          1. jb
            August.2.2021 at 3:32 pm
            Flag Comment Mute User
            (B) is a hypothesis not a fact, and one without much support

            As for (D), I haven’t seen any support for this statement at all where by “young people” we mean “college aged”. Do you have any citation?

            B) there is vastly far fewer secondary infections from individuals previously infected with covid than secondary infections from vaccinated individuals. That is common knowledge
            D) It is well known by epidemiologists that infected individuals with lower level of symptoms have lower viral loads and therefore are less contagious. Covid and covid hysteria doesnt change a well known medical fact.

            1. Ah, “well known facts”. I prefer actual data to support these hypotheses, and as far as I know the data is mixed on (B) and nonexistent on (D).

              For (B), the studies I’ve seen show roughly equivalent risk or infection for people who are vaccinated vs. already had Covid. See, e.g. (which actually shows a very slightly higher rate of reinfection versus breakthrough infection):

              https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2781112

        2. Tom,
          Your claims are all without scientific evidence.
          A “Low” does not mean “extremely low,” although a solid large data set would be welcome.
          B Is completely without evidence
          C Where did you learn that? Maybe in Israel it’s true.
          D Again where is your solid peer-reviewed evidence?

          1. The burden is on you jackasses, not the people that dont want a needless vax.

            1. Actually kiddo, the burden of proof in a debate is on the one making the assertion.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof_(philosophy)

              It must really suck to be so ignorant.

              1. Don’t tell Sarcastro that.

              2. Yes – and the assertion being made is that the vaccine is effective, safe and necessary. The burden of proof for that assertion has, in my opinion, been partially but not completely met.

                Based on the evidence and studies I’ve personally reviewed, the vaccine is effective and safe in the short term but there is little to no date about safety in the long-term (there can’t be, it hasn’t existed long enough yet) and the case for necessity is a function of age (and complicating medical conditions). The case for necessity among healthy youth is at best weak.

            2. Sorry KCar,
              The burden is on you by force of law,

              1. Ostensibly what libertarians should be against.

    3. Dilan loves Plessy as much as he loves Roe I’m sure

  2. 19-year-old Simone Scott was excited to get her second dose of Moderna’s Covid vaccine on May 1.

    Now her mother Valerie Kraimer is arranging her funeral.

    Simone, a first-year-student at Northwestern University, suffered a case of apparent myocarditis-induced heart failure on Sunday, May 16. Despite extraordinary measures to save her, including a heart transplant, she died Friday morning at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago.

    Now her mother and father are struggling to understand what happened to their daughter – and why they had no idea that the Covid vaccines might be anything but safe.

    “I lost my only daughter,” Kraimer said in an interview Sunday night. “I never thought I’d have to give up my daughter for the greater good of society.”

    https://alexberenson.substack.com/p/simone-scott-oct-7-2001-june-11-2021

    1. Why would someone traffic in emotional anecdotes as curated by a debunked liar?

      Even if it’s true, it proves nothing about policy.

      1. This is a known (rare) side effect of the COVID vaccines, Sarcastro. I await your proof that this journalist is a liar.

        I think it helps illustrate why individuals ought to be able to judge the risks and benefits for themselves. Partly because they are far more incentivized to tailor this judgment to their own unique individual health history and biological profile.

        But moreover, if someone is going to die from a vaccine, even if taking it was a no-brainer, I think it’s better that they chose to take it, as opposed to having the government force it on them.

        1. No one is literally forcing anyone.

          1. I agree. But that idea is being promoted by the President of the World, I mean the United States.

          2. “No one is literally forcing anyone.”

            Really?!?!?

          3. It is being forced as a condition of receiving a government benefit. Under several different precedents (already cited in the article above), that’s not allowed.

        2. “This is a known (rare) side effect of the COVID vaccines…”

          What is “This”? The author said it’s not yet confirmed that her vaccine caused heart failure.

        3. I await your proof that this journalist is a liar.

          Well, he might just be an ignorant, self-absorbed fool. In either case, relying on anything he says to be true is idiotic.

          Berenson has mischaracterized just about every detail regarding the vaccines to make the dubious case that most people would be better off avoiding them. As his conspiratorial nonsense accelerates toward the pandemic’s finish line, he has proved himself the Secretariat of being wrong:

          He has blamed the vaccines for causing spikes in severe illness, by pointing to data that actually demonstrate their safety and effectiveness.
          He has blamed the vaccines for suppressing our immune systems, by misrepresenting normal immune-system behavior.
          He has suggested that countries such as Israel have suffered from their early vaccine rollout, even though deaths and hospitalizations among vaccinated groups in Israel have plummeted.
          He has implied that for most non-seniors, the side effects of the vaccines are worse than having COVID-19 itself—even though, according to the CDC, the pandemic has killed tens of thousands of people under 50 and the vaccines have not conclusively killed anybody.

          1. I read that article in April. I think the author mischaracterizes a lot of things, and I disagree with the author, Berenson is overall more helpfully informative and truthful than the mainstream media and the CDC.

            1. Berenson is a liar and a fraud. He used to work for the NYT and no longer does; the reasons why that might be are left as an exercise for the reader. He lied about marijuana, and he has been lying for a year and a half about COVID. These aren’t areas of legitimate disputes. He fabricates evidence, claiming that the numbers say the exact opposite of what they actually say.

              If you think he’s truthful, it’s because you’re gullible.

              1. He has thousands of tweets and I’ve only read maybe a couple dozen, so who knows. I’m sure he’s been wrong, and he’s not a scientist. But there’s no evidence of lying or fraud, unless you can point to it. I didn’t say he was truthful, I said he was more truthful than the mainstream media. All of this is a completely irrelevant ad hominem, the guy interviewed people and wrote a story which I linked above. People think he made it up or something? Fabricated the quotes? Delusional.

                1. No, he’s a lot worse than the media. You can tell but the type of nonsense he puts out, and to what end.

                  People think he made it up or something?
                  He implies causality where none is established. As are you.

                  1. Looking at his stuff more, I think his reporting and comments on lockdowns and such were very good, but he’s gone off the rails a bit with regard to vaccines. Still, there’s nothing wrong with this particular piece.

                    1. It implies causality where there is none. And does so via emotionalism and anecdote. It’s textbook disinformation.

                      But you disagree with liberals, and have thus embraced such bad faith with a blithe ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’

                    2. There’s no disinformation whatsoever. Take it up with the CDC and the FDA, I’m sure they will be enlightened by you.

                    3. But you didn’t quote the labeling, did you? You quoted an anecdote punched up by an anti-vaccer whose causality hasn’t been established.

                      Why did you do that? Because facts aren’t part of your agenda.

                    4. You can’t point to a single thing in the story that is false or misleading. In fact, you’re relying on this very story for your main contention that “but causation isn’t proven hurr durr!” It’s on the warning label as a risk of the vaccines. You are a tenaciously dishonest propagandist.

          2. So you’re rebutting the interpretation of one self-interested journalist’s writings with the writings of another self-interested journalist. And you think that proves your case how?

        4. I basically agree that people should be able to decide for themselves.

          But anyone who’s stupid enough to believe what M L is shoveling is definitely too stupid to attend even Indiana University, and I have no problem with Indiana University making that determination.

          I’m pretty much done mollycoddling the delusional right. They have every right to be dumbasses, and will be treated as such. If you want to be treated like a grown-up and attend college, you have to earn it.

          1. So you agree with me, but you disagree with me? What exactly do you disagree about? Are you just another wildly ignorant fool spouting off and being wrong, or do you have a point?

            1. I don’t know what’s confusing you. I agree that “individuals ought to be able to judge the risks and benefits for themselves.”

              But any individual who reads your Berenson article and gives it any significance in their decision to vaccinate has, by doing so, exhibited a debilitating moronic condition that warrants their being excluded from higher education and any other opportunities that demand even moderate intelligence or judgement.

              So, I wouldn’t be in favor of a broad government mandate to vaccinate, because I think even ridiculously stupid people should be able to live their lives they way they want to, for the most part. But I have no problem with any public or private association deciding to exclude them.

              1. Now I see your (deliberate?) misunderstanding.

                Nowhere have I claimed that individuals should not get vaccinated because of this side effect risk listed on the FDA warning label, or this this anecdotal instance of it. On the contrary, I’ve explained myself pretty clearly above. You’re welcome to try reading again with better comprehension this time, or just continue making things up.

                1. And I never said that you said that.

                  Of course, posting the link to the article in the first place makes you a troll at best. And you did say this, which marks you as pretty mindlessly lost yourself: “Berenson is overall more helpfully informative and truthful than the mainstream media and the CDC”

      2. Seems like every argument I see from the left involve someone trafficking in emotional anecdotes. But that aside the idiotic mask/vaccination policies fail on their merits (or lack thereof) without the need to point out the inconvenient occasional death or disability.

        1. 1) That 99.5% of US deaths from COVID-19 in the past month were in unvaccinated persons hardly qualifies as an emotional anecdote.
          2) What does politics have to do with virology except in the weak minded?

          1. The death statistics are so flawed that they are meaningless.

            1. Ed,
              You are so full of misinformation and plain old lies that you’re pathetic

          2. Almost all deaths from a disease coming from people without resistance to that disease is one of those tautological “duh” concepts.
            It really should not be a surprise to people.

        2. People seem to like emotional anecdotes. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. 🙂

          1. Nihilistic rationalization of pushing falsehoods.

              1. That your anecdote is probative of anything. Causation isn’t even proven! It’s propaganda in service of a false narrative about vaccine side effects.

                And when called on it, you just said ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’

                Choosing to be such a corrosive element to the truth, and then just pretending it ain’t no thing is on you.

                1. Take it up with the CDC, dude. The CDC says, “Information regarding the risk for myocarditis with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should be disseminated to providers to share with vaccine recipients.” Or take it up with the FDA who added it to the warning labels for the vaccines. Or, you could just read the damn label right on the vaccine. LOL! It’s impressive being so wrong all the time, must take real work. As I mentioned to Don Nico right below, this may be old news but apparently it’s new news to many.

                  The separate issue people are discussing is the use of humanizing stories of actual events, or “emotional anecdotes” with regard to these matters. The objection would be that humanizing stories are not really relevant to pure logical reasoning. That’s true in the abstract. Further, since it is not relevant and appeals to emotion, perhaps it may serve to impede logical reasoning. A fair consideration, but that’s not necessarily so.

                  1. You know emotional anecdotes don’t prove anything except false narratives.

                    This isn’t you correcting the record, or humanizing people [WHEN CAUSALITY ISN’T ESTABLISHED] this is you openly not caring about the truth.

                    1. Again, this is a rare risk and it’s right on the warning label, the FDA fact sheet, etc. You just apparently didn’t know about it, and imagined that it must be false, so you went in claiming it was false, then realized you were wrong. A great example of how the mainstream media leaves you misinformed. Causality is never truly proven, but this is about as clear as it gets:

                      Myocarditis and Pericarditis
                      Reports of adverse events following use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine under EUA suggest increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly following the second dose. Typically, onset of symptoms has been within a few days
                      following receipt of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Available data from short-term follow-up suggest that most individuals have had resolution of symptoms, but information is not yet available about potential long-term sequelae. The decision
                      to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to an individual with a history of myocarditis or pericarditis should take into account the individual’s clinical circumstances. The CDC has published clinical considerations relevant to myocarditis and pericarditis associated with administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech
                      COVID-19 Vaccine https://www.fda.gov/media/144413/download

                    2. It’s a rare risk.

                      Also causality hasn’t been established.

                    3. Technically, statistical analysis can never establish causation of anything since all it does is establish how close data matches a proposed model.

                      Even if your model is 100% accurate and your data covers the entire population, it does not prove causation.

                      Of course, to anyone but a moron, it’s close enough.

    2. The death is tragic, but “myocarditis-induced heart failure” and its associated contraindications are old news.

      1. Not to many here apparently!

    3. Your own link says that it is unknown whether the vaccine is what killed her. Assuming it is, you have to weigh that against how many people have died because they didn’t get the vaccine. I’m sure if you research it you’ll find that number is significantly higher.

    4. I’m not even convinced it is the “greater good of society.”

      74% of those infected having been fully vaccinated speaks for itself.

      1. Reputable Source/

        1. That’s something which you will never find from Ed.

        2. Get serious, Steinmetz.

          He just makes shit up.

          1. Because the CDC isn’t reputable.
            Nor is the local mainstream newspaper quoting the CDC — although others did as well.

            See: https://www.capecodtimes.com/story/news/2021/07/30/cape-cod-covid-outbreak-delta-variant-among-vaccinated-cdc-study/5435463001/

            That is, of course, if you know how to read….

            1. Are you kidding me? Ypou are talking about one outbreak, in Provincetown, not a nationwide figure.

              And we don’t know what percentage of the people there were vaccinated.

              Further, since we’re relying on the CDC, note that the article aso says,

              The Provincetown data show that the delta variant is highly transmissible, but authors of the CDC report stressed that vaccination remains the most important strategy to prevent severe illness and death.

              1. There are so many problems with the Provincetown results that it should not be taken as a measure of anything but what happened in that one location at that one time to a specific subgroup of people.

                The biggest issue is that the population measured was self-selected. To make this clear, people that were feeling fine did not go get themselves tested for COVID.
                No measure of a self-selected population should ever be applied to the population as a whole – the only thing that sample represents is the people the self-selected.

                Anyone trying to use it to claim that vaccination is not effective is just wrong.

            2. And you are? Give us a break Ed. You have a shoddy degree in Education that means zip,

            3. Ed,
              Who do you think is reputable?
              CDC?
              UK NHS?
              Public Health ministry of Israel?
              WHO?
              Donald Trump?
              Fox News?
              Breitbart?
              QAnon?

              Tell us if you dare.

    5. Emotional anecdotes are just that. I have no doubt that out of 160 million people, there are a few thousand with horror stories. Rare side effects are just that.

      See also: automobiles, backyard pools, and firearms.

      1. Yup. And individuals are allowed to decide the types and degrees of risk they accept with respect to those things.

        1. That doesn’t have anything to do with Simone Scott.

        2. ” And individuals are allowed to decide the types and degrees of risk they accept with respect to those things. ”

          Perhaps in the fever dreams of anti-social misfits, but not in the reality-based world (including in particular those subject to American law). See also stop signs; longstanding school vaccination requirements; traffic lights; ‘no shirt no shoes no service’ signs; ‘no parking’ signs; driving licenses; Sunday hunting bans; etc.

      2. “Emotional anecdotes are just that. I have no doubt that out of 160 million people, there are a few thousand with horror stories. Rare side effects are just that.”

        Campus rapes are also emotional anecdotes — even the rabid feminists admit that the stereotypical stranger lurking in the darkness is very, VERY rare. (Now as to the confused drunken/drugged “hookups”, that’s another story…)

        1. More irrelevancies strain from the mouth of Mr Ed

    6. This will be of limited interest because it doesn’t lead to an opportunity to bully Americans.

      It will be dismissed as a statistical outlier, which it is. Danger to kids from Covid is the same sort of extreme statistical outlier, but hyping it up leads to the opportunity to bully Americans, so that danger matters a lot to leftists.

      1. Ben,
        Lay your statistics and their source out here for all to see and we’ll judge for ourselves if ” extreme statistical outlier” is a lie.

          1. Ben Ben Ben… so I clicked your link and got this article about a Sept 2020 study in which 17% of the children who got covid had to be hospitalized.

            That’s hardly an extreme statistical outlier.

            Are you even reading your own cites?

            https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200909/rates-of-child-hospitalization-similar-between-covid-19-flu-study

            1. ^ leftists think intentional dishonesty is clever

              1. Huh? Are you saying the article is dishonest, or did you not read it (again)?

                “The new study included 315 children, median age 8.4 years, who were diagnosed with COVID-19 between March 25 and May 15, 2020…. Of the COVID-19 patients, about 17% ended up needing hospitalization, including nearly 6% who were admitted to the ICU and 3% who were put on ventilators.”

    7. Yes, let’s definitely make policy based on random anecdotes. Here’s another one:

      ‘We were shocked’ | Why did a healthy college student die after contracting COVID-19?

      A North Carolina family is left seeking answers after their healthy son died just weeks after contracting COVID-19.

      https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/nc-parents-speak-out-after-healthy-college-son-dies-from-covid-19-complications/275-5e8caf6b-566c-4f73-a5a7-a38d37a2e6e0

    1. Whew. Good thing the CDC conveniently decided not to track breakthrough cases.

      1. You might also look at “Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 cause significantly increased vaccine breakthrough COVID-19 cases in Houston, Texas” August 1, 2021, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.19.21260808

        1. ANd yet the CDC still refuses to follow the lead of Israel and the UK in recommending the 3rd shot. Maybe that is because Pfizer has raised the price that OldWhiteJoe will have to pay.

          1. Do you have any basis for this assertion that a 3rd shot is needed now? Or the insinuation that the government won’t pay for it?

            Now, I will say that booster shots may eventually be needed. But I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that a booster shot at 3-6 months will result in increased efficacy over the standard two shots. Moreover, pulling vaccine for additional shots now for the American public, of questionable value, will pull those vaccine doses from overseas where they can be of real value.

            Moreover, I highly doubt “Old Joe” would hesitate to throw another $10 Billion at Pfizer if it would have a real effect. For that matter, neither would the GOP.

            1. I have the assertions of the UK and Israeli governments. The UK is doing far better than the US in controlling fatalities

              1. Neither country has data from a 3rd booster shot.

                They have plans, but no data.

                https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02109-1

                1. So what. You actually show with every reply that you are only interested in debating. Facts have no meaning. You’re not worth talking to.

                  1. “So what.”

                    It may be prudent to actually have data that a third booster shot is required, before stripping the supply from billions of people in the third world, so that more Americans can get a shot they may not need.

              2. AL,
                Who do you think is a reputable about SARS-CoV-2?
                CCP?
                CDC?
                UK NHS?
                Public Health ministry of Israel?
                WHO?
                Donald Trump?
                Fox News?
                Breitbart?
                QAnon?

                Tell us if you dare.

                1. What do I think is reputable?

                  Open data sources. For example.
                  https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

                  What do I think is not reputable?
                  Commenters who argue “no, that’s not the case fatality rate that’s available via the public database. Instead you need to take the data and readjust it like I’m going to, to show completely different numbers for what it is, but I can’t show you any of the data to get there”.

                2. I am sure that AL, ducked the question, showed his ignorance of bona fide statistical analysis and just carried on with his polemics.

                  1. Don,

                    You’re going to have to demonstrate, with numbers, why “your” case fatility rate is “~3”, while the record from the open source data, as linked, shows it at 1.75. You’re going to have to demonstrate why the open source data is “wrong” in the lower direction.

                    You’ve failed to do so.

        2. And the Delta variants are caused by the vaccines.

          1. Inching towards QAnon.

            1. That is inching faster than the speed of light

              1. Much as the overuse of antibiotics led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it is *theoretically* possible that an anti-viral vaccine led to a vaccine-resistant virus.

                There are a lot of things that we don’t know, and only the stupid man blindly rejects all possibilities….

                1. Another crippled dog that won’t hunt

          2. NO!
            How can you believe such patent nonsense?
            Where do you get it from? Such claims reduce your credibility in any post to zero or less.

            1. Don, he believes it because it comports with his world view. Evidence, schmevidence.

              1. I guess so. Especially since the variant appeared in India before there were any significant number of vaccinations there.

                Just wait until the CDC finally informs the public about the Lambda variant from Peru.
                “SARS-CoV-2 Lambda variant exhibits higher infectivity and immune
                resistance,”
                bioRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.28.454085; July 28, 2021.

                1. Was observed in India.

                  1. And your point is?

            2. Many experts, such as Nobel Laureate virologist Luc Montagnier, have asserted that the vaccines cause the variants. The potential mechanism they are referring to is a well known phenomenon called Anti-Body Dependent Enhancement. By a very general analogy, it’s been known for a long time that insects and bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics and insecticides, particularly when antibiotics are used as prophylactics in livestock whether sick or not.

              To be clear, I’m raising this claim as “Here is a claim that is being discussed, and perhaps plausibly so.” I know little about it. I’ve always been the one arguing that scientific innovations can provide better living through chemistry, from modern medicine and vaccines to genetically modified crops (always an interesting one). Never once have I worried about taking a vaccine, though I’m close to some who feel differently. But my general thinking is that when such issues are fairly novel, the reality is that the answers are largely unknown and there’s a high degree of uncertainty; nowhere is this more true than the novel coronavirus. So those who make claims with undue certitude, which is very common on either side of an issue, have less credibility. In the general history of science, as well as our current tiny microcosm of hyper-politicized virus “never let a good crisis go to waste” politics, what “the science suggests” (particularly as it’s represented) is often different and contradictory from one week to the next.

              1. So ML,
                How did Delta get caused in India before there were vaccinations in India?
                Maybe your old Nobelist has become senile.
                Variants are caused by mutations; the more cases there are especially in a short time, the more mutations. The more mutations, the greater the chance that some will be more infectious and more virulent. It is just simple evolutionary biology

                1. Right. And selective pressures such as a vaccine can potentially be a factor in that. Good point about India! If true I would think that would significantly undermine the thesis.

                  1. ” If true I would think that would significantly undermine the thesis.”

                    If true it would not faze the Giuliani-Lindell-Boebert class of thinkers one bit.

                  2. Antibiotics increase resistant strains in part because you use them (primarily) to treat bacterial infections that have already occurred. So the bacteria has already survived, mutated, and invaded a body. Vaccines can prevent transmission (and therefore multiplication) of viruses, which eliminates the mechanism for mutation.

                    1. Yes and no.

                      While ML says a lot that is wrong, selective pressures are real.

                      A few points are needed.

                      1. Mutation is a natural event that occurs.
                      2. If you have a vaccine designed against one strain of a virus, selective pressure will allow for the strain that the vaccine is less effective against (and also has increased rates of transmission) to dominate. It’s simply natural selection. The “original” strain doesn’t survive, so the “alternate” strain survives and multiplies among the population.

                    2. @Armchair,

                      1. Right, but for a new variant to develop it has to mutate, and to mutate it has to replicate. If you want to discourage new variants, one way to do that is to decrease transmission. Several of the current vaccines are effective at decreasing transmission. Vaccines help decrease mutations.

                      2. First, lucky us current vaccines are effective against both alpha and delta. Second, while it is true efficacy appears (right now) to be slightly lower against delta (thereby giving delta a slight fitness advantage), but the difference is minor, as you’d expect from a sophisticated vaccination. Third, the alternative world where there is no vaccine is not an improvement. Delta would dominate alpha even in the absence of a vaccine. The epidemiological solution is to stop delta from mutating in the first place. I don’t know when delta emerged, but immediate, universal vaccinations at least had the potential to stop the delta variant. The vaccine will slow the emergence of new variants.

                    3. 1) Again, yes, but….

                      This is similar in many ways to antibiotics and bacteria. Bacteria are going to mutate naturally. It’s what they do. Antibiotics will limit that, by eliminating the bacteria. But not all of them. And the ones that survive will tend to have resistance to antibiotics, due to evolutionary pressures. It’s the same issue with viruses in many respects. They’re going to mutate. Ideally, you’d have an vaccine/immune system that completely wiped them out before they could reproduce. In practice, that doesn’t happen except in rare circumstances.

                      2) It doesn’t appear to be a “slight” difference, but closer to a 2-4-fold difference (for the Pfizer vaccine, confirmed infection rate, slide 19-CDC slides). That’s a significant evolutionary pressure, especially when combined with Delta’s greater infectivity.

                      Now, I’m not saying that vaccination isn’t good. It undoubtedly is, and I wouldn’t advise against it in any circumstance with the major western vaccines. But, it’s not 100% effective. It’s not going to wipe out the virus. And the virus that survives will have evolutionary pressure to avoid the immune response the current vaccine provides.

                      We’re going to have to understand as a society that the vaccine isn’t a cure-all. It’s not going to wipe out COVID. And it more than likely will become endemic.

                    4. “Now, I’m not saying that vaccination isn’t good. It undoubtedly is, and I wouldn’t advise against it in any circumstance with the major western vaccines.”

                      Right. People see a plausible claim like the vaccines could cause variants in the virus, and it’s like they start seeing red because they assume this means vaccines are bad and they can’t handle nuance or anything that seems slightly incongruent with the deeply held beliefs they cling to.

                    5. @Armchair,

                      Re: ““slight” difference”. I see now that the study I was looking at for the differences in transmission for vaccinated people was actually a study on the effectiveness of two vaccines on symptomatic cases. Do you have a cite for the 2-4 fold increase re: transmission, for vaccinated people? I’m interested in learning more.

                    6. @M L,

                      “People see a plausible claim like the vaccines could cause variants in the virus, and it’s like they start seeing red because they assume this means vaccines are bad…”

                      It’s not “seeing red”. It’s you passing off implausible claims. Vaccines don’t cause variants. They may apply selective pressures against one variant that don’t work on the other. That doesn’t have much to do with the delta variant, since you can imagine the counterfactual world in which there are no vaccines. Does delta die out? No, it still has a massive transmission advantage over alpha. And if the vaccines are at all effective in limiting transmission, then there’s going to be less delta with vaccines than without, on a long enough scale.

                    7. NTOJ,

                      Cite: “for the Pfizer vaccine, confirmed infection rate, slide 19-CDC slides)”

                      See Don’s link in the OP.

                    8. @Armchair,

                      I don’t think I’ve been clear. In the post you were responding to I said “the difference is minor” between Pfizer’s effectiveness for Alpha vs. Delta. I don’t know how you are calculating “2-4-fold difference”. But the slide (and Lancet article linked) shows that for England/Scotland, the Pfizer vaccine was ~ 92% effective at preventing infection of alpha, versus 79% effective for preventing infection of delta (although the study has some timing issues that may make comparisons premature). I suppose that means it is 8% ineffective for alpha and 21% ineffective for delta. Is that where you’re getting the 2-4 fold? It seems like we’re looking at the same data (a 13% decrease in effectiveness at stopping transmission between variants) but are just framing it differently?

                2. Don, no one in India had the money to come to the US and get vaccinated HERE?

                  It’s also not unheard of for medicines to be diluted in the 3rd World and/or for dosages to be stretched. So if a batch of vaccines made it to India and were diluted (or expired due to temperature) then, well….

                  And read up on how we got antibiotic-resistant bacteria….

                3. The concept of “Anti-Body Dependent Enhancement” is not new; the earliest paper on PubMed I could find using that exact term was from 1984 – hardly something recent.

                  Specifically, the concept is defined as:

                  a phenomenon in which binding of a virus to suboptimal antibodies enhances its entry into host cells, followed by its replication.

                  Note this does not require mutation of the virus – it requires (partial) failure of the antibody in order to start to process.

              2. This is just patent nonsense. ADE isn’t about “develop[ing] resistance”. That’s not the mechanism through which ADE works. Under ADE, the antibodies bind to pathogens but don’t prevent infection, thus protecting the infection from the body’s immune response. The salient feature of ADE is that previous antibodies (whether natural or through vaccines) make subsequent infections worse.

                It can occasionally be caused by vaccines, but of course when that happens the vaccines are discontinued. And COVID vaccines don’t demonstrate any of the traits you’d see in ADE; vaccinated people suffer less symptoms than unvaccinated. There’s no evidence whatsoever that the current COVID vaccines (at least in the US) cause ADE.

                You’ve confused antibiotic induced selection of multidrug resistant microbes with vaccines. Antibiotics apply selective pressures on bacteria so that the survivors are antibiotically resistant. The mechanism is evolution. Vaccines stop viruses and prevent transmission. By doing so, they eliminate opportunities that viruses have to mutate, which decreases the likelihood of mutation. Incidentally, vaccines decrease antibiotic-induced resistance by reducing the need for antibiotic usage (since some diseases cause or promote secondary infections that have to be treated with antibiotics).

                ADE is not some fucking new thing that you just discovered. It’s been studied extensively with all vaccines since it was discovered in the 60s. And if one of the COVID vaccines starts showing the propensity for ADE, it will be pulled off market. Thankfully that hasn’t happened yet.

                1. Interesting. If I find Montagnier’s contact info I’ll pass it along to you, so you can inform him.

                  Out of curiosity, do you also find articles like this to be patent nonsense? https://www.quantamagazine.org/how-vaccines-can-drive-pathogens-to-evolve-20180510/

                  1. Lol no:

                    “Most people have heard of antibiotic resistance. Vaccine resistance, not so much. That’s because drug resistance is a huge global problem that annually kills nearly 25,000 people in the United States and in Europe, and more than twice that many in India. Microbes resistant to vaccines, on the other hand, aren’t a major menace. Perhaps they never will be: Vaccine programs around the globe have been and continue to be immensely successful at preventing infections and saving lives. . . .

                    Yet don’t mistake these findings as evidence that vaccines are dangerous or that they are bound to fail — because undesirable outcomes can be thwarted by using our knowledge of natural selection, too. Evolution might be inevitable, but it can be coaxed in the right direction.”

                    1. So it’s not patent nonsense, then???

                    2. No. It’s not.

            3. If you’re still giving M L credibility, that’s on you.

              1. You’re right. I probably shouldn’t believe the likes of CNN and the CDC.

          3. Right, and JFK is having an affair with Elvis.

          4. For those of you saying “Delta variants are caused by the vaccines.” is a QAnon, or conspiracy post, ML is not wrong in the sense that the virus will tend to mutate to evade defenses. Natural selection at work.

            That the Delta variant is the result of selection to evade the vaccines I think is unlikely, since the vaccines are still highly effective. More transmissibility seems more likely to be the result of selection pressure from masks and lockdowns.

            1. The variants are far less deadly, so this could be the natural progression of a virus, helped along by beneficial vaccines that sped up the process.

              1. “The variants are far less deadly, ”
                More of your wishful thinking. Read about the lambda variant which appeared in Peru before any vaccines were available anywhere.

                bioRxiv preprint doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.07.28.454085; July 28, 2021

                1. I mean the Delta . . . isn’t that generally accepted?

                  1. No. Delta seems to have more serious symptoms for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, in addition to being much more infectious.

              2. Its hard to know whether the variants are “far less deadly” because they have so evolved, or because we’ve vaccinated 80% of the at-risk population. I have yet to see specific hospitalization/death rates for delta. But even assuming its the same as alpha, we should see a lot lower hospitalization/death rates simply because most people susceptible to the worst have been vaccinated.

              3. What? No.

                https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01358-1/fulltext

                “Risk of COVID-19 hospital admission was approximately doubled in those with the Delta VOC when compared to the Alpha VOC, with risk of admission particularly increased in those with five or more relevant comorbidities. Both the Oxford–AstraZeneca and Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines were effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 hospitalisation in people with the Delta VOC, but these effects on infection appeared to be diminished when compared to those with the Alpha VOC.”

            2. Virus mutate all the time, if only caused by cosmic rays and natural radioactivity.

              1. That’s not what Darwin said…

                1. Wow, you are incredibly ignorant.
                  Darwin did not even know about cosmic rays and natural radioactivity.
                  So of course he could not have said it.
                  He did not know about HIV either nor about penicillin.

          5. LOL

            Lay off the Breitbart for a few days. It’s making your brain extra broken this week.

            1. Yep, probably the Nobel scientist who discovered HIV was just reading too much Breitbart. *drools on keyboard*

              1. Do you ever find it odd that the only times you slavishly listen to experts is when they happen to agree with your priors?

                1. As I clarified, I’m agnostic on the question. And my priors were being all in favor of vaccines (but not government forced injections).

                  Slavishly listening to experts is common, of course. Except a lot of folks don’t know, can’t comprehend, or simply can’t handle the cognitive dissonance of acknowledging that there is disagreement among experts. Yes, more often than not, there are experts that disagree on just about anything. Of course, these people are never actually listening to any experts anyway; that’s a misnomer. They just slavishly listen what the government says the experts say, and that’s the truth for them.

                  For example, there was an instance where an expert known as March Fauci disagreed with another expert, April Fauci. You’ve got to weigh their evidence.

              2. You cherry picking of experts just for you roasted up and down this thread.

          6. “And the Delta variants are caused by the vaccines.”

            Does a faux libertarian blog with vanishingly thin academic veneer generate this level of ignorance, or instead does it merely attract such right-wing chuckleheads?

      2. Y’know, I’ve got an earned doctorate (law) and a STEM bachelor’s (Civil Engineering) and I can’t make heads or tails out of those CDC documents save for one thing: the graph that shows corona-delta is as infectious as chickenpox but not very fatal. Even then, the graph is laid out with a logarithmic scale on the fatality rates and a linear scale on the infectiousness rates. I guess the people making the graph wanted to save space or something.

        I pity the layman, the high school graduate, the average Joe and Jane trying to understand this stuff.

        No wonder misinformation rules the day here.

        1. ” but not very fatal.”
          Valid complaint.
          The use of log scales only serves to obscure the most important data, namely that the daily Case Fatality Rate in the US has risen to nearly 3%.

          1. Don Nico: That sounds very interesting, but could you point to the particular dataset or chart that reflects that? The data here doesn’t seem to show that high a number, even comparing today’s fatalities to the cases from, say, two weeks ago; but I’d love to know more.

            1. I don’t believe the death counts –WAY too many other actual causes of death are ignored if COVID is found.

              Reduced to its most basic, if it weren’t for the publicity, George Floyd would have been counted as a COVID death as he (a) had COVID and (b) is dead.

              1. Some little publicized news about death counts – two bay area counties in California (Santa Clara and Alameda) reviewed their death certificates and both revised down Covid-19 deaths by 20-25%

                1. Alameda country is a one party stronghold. They have routinely withheld COVID related data and refuse to answer simple questions about the facts in Alameda county

              2. Who cares what you believe?
                In fact, don’t believe anything Ed.
                After all, you don’t believe that the Orange Clown lost the 2020 election.

                1. I also believe that Kennedy/Johnson lost the 1960 election….

                  1. Who cares what you believe?

            2. EV,
              Thank you for the question.
              Obviously one can only construct a proxy for the daily rate. You cannot just divide total deaths by total cases as that weighs excessively the high fatality rates early in the pandemic when appropriate modalities of care were not known. So in the US at least there were no significant effects of variants in 2020.

              I’ll email you a complete data set and the relevant plots from a work with a major rewrite still in progress about variants and for a US dataset from a paper that has been accepted in a peer-reviewed medical journal. I’d welcome any comments.

              1. “So in the US at least there were no significant effects of variants in 2020.”

                Don Nico…that is really not known, is it? At least, not in what I am looking at. Genomic analysis from early 2020 samples (Jan-Apr) is pretty spotty, is it not?

                It is not clear to me we would know whether any variants affected us significantly or not. Am I missing something?

                1. C_XY,
                  That is true.
                  But no “variants of concern” were so designated until the B.1.117 strain appeared in the UK.

                  The only way to know is 1) to have detailed dna of the virus for all cases. We did very poorly compared to the UK. 2) Absent genetic data you’ have to look for correlations in fatality data with countries from which the variants of concern appeared.

                  You may complain that indirect data is not very satisfying, but right now it is the best we have. I am hoping that CDC will gets DNA from all new infections and not just assume that they ae due to delta, especially as lambs=da may be able to avoid the action of the mRNA vaccines.

              2. Using the smoothed OWID data, the daily CFR look more like 2%.

              3. Wow….THAT sounds sketchy….

                Just for the record here, El Don claims the Case Fatality Rate has risen to 3% in the US. But apparently he can’t show it using the public data….

                Here’s the public data BTW.

                https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

                Now, I’ll buy that the case fatality rate was too high early in the epidemic because many cases weren’t caught. I can’t buy the fact that it’s too low now, because you’d need to start somehow deleting cases…or increasing the number of actual deaths.

                1. AL,
                  You cite the correct and useful data set.
                  Now do the calculations as I have explained to dwb68.
                  And do it for many countries and compare the results

                2. The average rate was too high early on and was as high at 15% in some EU countries. That was first because of poor treatment modalities and poor control of people with infections.
                  In Italy infected people were sent home to infect their families; in China they were kept in giant field hospitals.
                  From the OWID set just plot the average value for Italy or Sweden and you’ll see what I mean

          2. Where does the 3% come from?

            Using CDC data it looks significantly lower than 3%.

            1. You have to construct a suitable proxy for the daily rate. As the death rates are noisy because countries, states, and localities often do not report on weekends or even skip days, I recommend that you used the smoothed deaths statistics published in Our World in Data by Oxford University.
              “Our World in Data COVID-19 Dataset,” https://github.com/owid/covid-19-data/tree/master/public/data
              You then can divide the smoothed death rate by the average number of new cases occurring 14 to 21 (or 14 to 28) days previously. It is not idea but it is a reasonable proxy that yields strong correlations of CFR across countries with significant travel across nation borders (such as the EU and UK).
              I strongly suggest that people do analysis for themselves by tabulated data for countrries worldwide.

            2. Using the smoothed OWID data, the daily CFR look more like 2%.
              So the number does depend on the kind of data smoothing used.

              1. “data smoothing”

                Nice term for manipulation.

                1. Bob,
                  It is not manipulation to falsify. Not that you can understand such matters.
                  It is accounting for the fact that your town, yes your town, falsifies data every weekend that it does not report. Got it?

                  1. Sorry Don,

                    Here is the ACTUAL case fatality rates. In the US, between January 1st, 2021 and August 1st, 2021, the case fatality rate is 1.75%. It drops to a low of 1.69% on January 13th, and a high of of 1.82% of March 10th.

                    https://ourworldindata.org/mortality-risk-covid

                    1. I told you Al, that you need to compute a proxy daily rate. No, you just want to see the situation as less serious for your political reasons.

                    2. I see a DAILy rate of 2.13% on Jan 13 and 1.25% on March 10.
                      Do different calculations get different numbers.
                      But what is the point of your quibbling? You don’t want to see the situation as getting more serious

                    3. Sorry Al,
                      More of you not following directions looking to prove an erroneous debating point.
                      By the way what is your point?

                2. Data smoothing is pretty standard stuff, Bob.

    2. LOL. “Communication challenges have been associated” … with some words and a deck that don’t make any sense to me. Now, I grant you, English is my first language and I have advanced degrees in quantitative subjects, so maybe its just me. It probably does make sense to a bunch of CDC bureaucrats.

      This deck needs to be one slide: 1) hospitalization rates are significantly lower with the vaccine; 2) death rates are much lower with the vaccine; 3) side effects of the vaccines are far more rare than hospitalization and/or death from COVID. Everyone will, at some point, be exposed to COVID. Get the vaccine, end of story.

      The big red textbox “wear masks” is not supported by any of the data on those slides.

      1. The same ignorant, counterproductive, anti-social people who reject vaccination also eschew masks.

    3. This is exactly what was expected, and what I predicted.

      The case load is increasing as vaccinated people are getting the disease. The vaccines are effective at reducing negative side effects. But vaccinated people are responsible for a large chunk of the current case increase.

      1. that is simply not true, by all measures over 99% of cases are unvaccinated

        1. That’s not what the CDC data shows.

          The Barnstable County example demonstrates this. 3/4s of the people infected with COVID had the vaccine.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/30/provincetown-covid-outbreak-vaccinated/

          1. Both statements are not the whole truth. The CDC says that >99% of Fatalities (not cases) are among the unvaccinated.

          2. The CDC is saying that 3/4 of the current 85,000+ ish cases being reported over before the weekend were vaccinated people?

            I don’t think that study really claims that, or is being used to claim that. Nor is it really showing up in the overall case data since the states with highest unvaccinated percentage are experiencing the outbreak.

          3. The Barnstable County example demonstrates this. 3/4s of the people infected with COVID had the vaccine.

            Without knowing the base rate, this is a meaningless observation.

    4. At this point, we need a very real conversation about the future, in regards to masking, social distancing (SD) and shutdowns.

      1. The virus is spreading. It is spreading among the vaccinated and non-vaccinated.
      2. The vaccine helps, especially with negative side effects like hospitalization and death. It’s good. It’s not a silver bullet however. It won’t stop the virus.
      3. Masking, SD, and shutdowns won’t stop the virus, even in conjunction with vaccination. At least not at any acceptable shutdown parameters. They’ll slow it down…but they won’t stop it.
      4. Masking, SD, and shutdowns served a purpose. They bought us time. They bought us time to “flatten the curve”…and for a vaccine. But at this point, we need to ask. What are they buying us time for? They won’t stop the disease. They’ll just spread out the time.
      5. Masking, SD, and shutdowns have a cost as well. A mental, social, and economic health cost. This cost increases as it extends seemingly forever, and is increasingly severe.
      6. It may be time to understand all of this and release the fear and the restrictions.

      1. AL ,
        AT this point I agree with your 1) and 2). I agree marginally with 3) but it i the best one can do in crowded situations such as classrooms where people are together for an hour or so.
        Your 4) is a good question but the answer is very unclear and certainly not within the competence of non-experts in virology and epidemiology.
        5) is doubtless true. I recommend without comment, “COVID-19: Rethinking the Lockdown Groupthink” 26 February 2021, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2021.625778/full

      2. These are all sensible questions worth asking. But if 3 is true, and vaccines have a meaningful effect on decreasing transmission (they do), then 4 may not follow. Maybe masking, SD, etc. can’t get r-naught below 1. But with vaccines they might.

        That doesn’t mean I support mask mandates, SD, etc. necessarily. And we can’t do those things forever, so eventually r-naught will climb up. It’s at least theoretically possible to get r-naught so low that the number of infections is small enough that we can combat it with no masks or SD, but just contact tracing. Or, if we had high enough vaccinations, we wouldn’t even need to worry about r-naught.

        1. “Maybe masking, SD, etc. can’t get r-naught below 1. But with vaccines they might.”

          No, it can’t. Not with the numbers the CDC is showing from Don’s chart. And not with the breakthrough infection rate as high as it is. I’m assuming US-2020 level SD and masking, not China-level lockdowns.

          Take a look at Don’s original link with the CDC numbers, and flip to the end. The vaccines simply aren’t effective enough, especially against the delta variant. The breakthrough rate is too high, and the base R for the delta variant is too high. Maybe once natural immunity gets high enough, it’ll peter out, but not now.

          1. At this point, the comparison is Chickenpox. That’s how effective the Delta variant is.

            We’ve had a vaccine for chicken pox for over 20 years. With a 90% vaccination rate, and the vaccine being more than 90% effective at preventing the disease. Not to mention a vast majority of the adult population already having had the disease, thus not being a carrier anymore. (Except for shingles, but that’s different). We still have ~350,000 cases a year of chicken pox in the country.

            https://www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/vaccine-infographic.html

            1. Comparable r noughts, maybe, but not comparable IFRs. If we can get COVID deaths below 20 a year without SD who would complain about that? We need to get COVID vaccinations up to chicken pox levels to maybe get the number below 5,000 deaths per year.

              1. “If we can get COVID deaths below 20 a year without SD ”

                Not gonna happen. COVID is much, much more deadly than Chicken Pox. Flu deaths, for example, averaged ~~34,000 a year in a typical year in the US. That’s closer to where you should be aiming.

                1. I agree we will never get COVID below chicken pox. That’s what I was saying about the IFR. COVID’s IFR (especially delta variant) is probably higher than most flus. We probably need to get vaccinations >90%, and then keep working on vaccines that do more to prevent transmission of delta, before we can achieve some normalcy with COVID as we have with the flu.

          2. What do you think the “breakthrough infection rate” is?

            1. I think it’s relatively high, and bound to get higher. That’s for a few reasons.

              1. The vaccinated population continues to make up a higher % of the population over time.
              2. The vaccinated population is engaging in riskier behaviors now that they’ve been vaccinated.
              3. Many of the vaccine studies were done (out of necessity) during a period of time when masking and SD were the norm. Their efficacies were reported during this time. But as masking and SD drop, you should expect the efficacy to drop as well.
              4. The vaccines lower the risk of adverse side effects, which also lowers the propensity to get tested. You’re largely not going to get tested is you have no effects, or they are minimal.
              5. The COVID testing rate in general has dropped as well. As vaccines have replaced needed to get tested, people just don’t do it. “I’m vaccinated, I don’t need to get tested”.

              1. I was more asking what’s the numerator and denominator, and do you have an estimate based on something you’ve read? 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are all thoughtful. But several (4 and 5) only apply if “breakthrough infection rate” is reported cases versus estimated all cases. And do you mean rate of infection relative to unvaccinated? Or do you mean breakthrough infection rate at transmission point?

                1. Sure. For this, it’s helpful to understand the CDC’s numbers on total COVID infections.

                  The CDC estimates that 120.2 Million were infected with COVID between February 2020 and May 2021. Roughly 1 in 3 Americans. Despite all the precautions. That’s with primarily the less infectious variant.

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

                  With the Delta variants having an R = 5, (ie Chickenpox level), I would expect near 100% of non-vaccinated Americans to be infected with COVID. With vaccine efficacies against the Delta variant at ~80%, I would expect at least 20% of vaccinated patients to get some version of COVID. Could be higher with repeated exposures

      3. To address your #1 by itself –

        Vaccines are not magic. Once vaccinated, your body will not generate a mysterious forcefield that prevents COVID from infecting you.

        You WILL catch COVID. Vaccinated or not, doesn’t matter – you will become infected. However, if you are vaccinated then your body will already have antibodies that will greatly reduce the ability of the virus to survive and reproduce in your body. In most cases, it will be eliminated before you even show symptoms. But you still caught it, even if you didn’t notice – and given the current estimates for future infection rates, you’ll catch it again. And again, and again. It just (probably) won’t hurt you.

        Too many people do not understand this, and think that vaccines ARE magic shields of perfect protection. Thus any sign of an infection, even the “I feel fine but tested positive” instances, are treated as identical to the initial infection of an unvaccinated person. Hence, we have ignorant panics and meaningless feel-good gestures by politicians and bureaucrats on one side, and antivax conspiracy theories on the other.

  3. “A student told to analyze the role of nihilism in Dostoevsky’s The Possessed but who submits an essay about Iago’s motivations in Othello will flunk.”
    This a marvelous line. I wonder what out Education PhD will have to say about it.

    1. Somebody’s law clerk got to say, “Hot damn! My English undergrad degree will FINALLY come in handy. I’m gonna stick a literature-related analogy in this opinion, and then beg my Judge X to keep it in.” [Also works if the clerk had been a Philosophy major undergrad…maybe even more so.]

      1. Given that this is Easterbrook we’re talking about, I strongly suspect that line came directly from him, with a self-satisfied chuckle. I recall one of his opinions regarding immigrant removal name-checking that “The ancient Romans and Greeks did not think zero a number.” This is the core of who he is.

        1. “I strongly suspect that line came directly from him”
          I fully agree. When I saw it I thought “pure Easterbrook.”

    2. Most likely his reaction is, “Who?”

  4. People who are getting their hopes up for Jacobson to be repudiated by the Supreme Court are going to have their hopes dashed. While there is certainly a debate to be had about the Federal power to mandate vaccines or quarantine, there is no doubt that states have long held the police power to do this. Getting vaccinated is far worse than what they used to do in 1800 when an epidemic broke out. Not knowing the cause, they use to quarantine perfectly healthy people with sick people [Google the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 and keep in mind the miasma theory of disease was prevalent until the late 1800s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miasma_theory%5D.

    The state could do far worse than merely give you a vaccine in 1793, at a time when the cause of most diseases was totally unknown. Now knowing that yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, the quarantines in the 1790s to contain yellow fever look silly and ridiculous. In Jacobson IIRC the “choice” could have been get the vaccine or go to be quarantined in a house with a bunch of sick people, pretty much a recipe to get sick.

    Now the choice is get the vaccine or get tested.

    Sorry, but “history, text, and tradition” is not on the side of libertarians on this one.

    1. “In Jacobson IIRC the “choice” could have been get the vaccine or go to be quarantined in a house with a bunch of sick people, pretty much a recipe to get sick. ” -> what I mean is that its was well within Massachusetts long-held police power to do a lot more than mandate a vaccine to stop the spread of disease.

    2. I think that you have this correct.

    3. Has anyone ever considered that the texting procedure is causing infections?

      The human nose is a barrier to infections, and when it is subjected to the invasive procedure of a test, with cross-contamination between nostrils, it isn’t unheard of for that alone to defeat the body’s natural resistance to foreign invaders.

      After all, why do they clean the surface of the skin before the vaccine injection???

      1. Ed,
        Grasping at thin straws once again. How do you explain the rapid increace in infections in countries which do very little testing?

        1. Why is it unwise to drink the water in many of said countries???

          1. You certainly have a very large deck of irrelevant comments to dump into threads.

      2. Has anyone ever considered that the texting procedure is causing infections?

        A very very stupid person did.

    4. “People who are getting their hopes up for Jacobson to be repudiated by the Supreme Court are going to have their hopes dashed. While there is certainly a debate to be had about the Federal power to mandate vaccines or quarantine, there is no doubt that states have long held the police power to do this. Getting vaccinated is far worse than what they used to do in 1800 when an epidemic broke out.”

      Well, constitutional law/precedent has evolved quite a bit since 1905…so, at least certain aspects of that ruling would probably *not* still be upheld today (e.g. insufficient exceptions for people with certain medical conditions/disabilities, religious objections, etc.).

      But even short of that, there is simply not a lot of clarity about how far the Jacobson ruling really goes. At the least, I think Jacobson could be read as limited to cases where 1) the deadliness is comparable to smallpox, and/or 2) the penalty is a modest fine or the like so as to be a deterrent but not truly coercive (admittedly this gets into all sorts of line-drawing issues, but heck we deal with that in various other areas of law…).

      1. No, my point is that without understanding the cause of disease, states could do a lot more than merely make you get a vaccine. Heck, they did not even understand microbes, let alone have the ability to test you. They literally had the power to put you in a house with other people if they suspected you were sick.

        As long as there have been pandemics and plagues, there has been panic and fear over them, and the state has responded accordingly. COVID is really nothing new.

        Under modern medicine, restrictions have become a lot less severe. “Vaccine or get tested” is a lot more lenient than say the complete isolation of Typhoid Mary for her entire life. But they have not become less severe because the scope of the states police powers have declined. They have become less severe because we can more easily targeted the sick.

        1. “They have become less severe because we can more easily targeted the sick.”

          Policymakers sure missed the mark on Covid-19. They targeted all of us with their lockdowns.

        2. dwb,
          “No, my point is that without understanding the cause of disease, states could do a lot more than merely make you get a vaccine. ”
          That point is very far from clear. Why does it matter if SARS-CoV-2 was a naturally occurring mutation or deliberately made in the WIV?

      2. Jacobsen has been constantly reaffirmed every time it has come up: Zucht v. King 260 U.S. 174 (1922) (upholding a local ordinance requiring vaccinations for schoolchildren, Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (1927) (sterilization of those with intellectual disabilities), Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944) (limitations on parents having children distribute pamphlets in the street), Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973) (protecting a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction) and Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995) (allowing random drug testing of students).

        It’s not going away any time soon.

      3. I think Jacobson could be read as limited to cases where … 2) the penalty is a modest fine or the like so as to be a deterrent but not truly coercive

        “It’s ok to violate your rights if the punishment for doing so is low” is not a thing.

          1. A delusional right Wing, being necessary to the relevance of the Republican party, the right of the people to avoid and eschew Health insurance, shall not be infringed.

    5. “there is no doubt that states have long held the police power to do this. ”

      To be more precise, the federal constitution does not interfere with such a state power, nor empower the judicial branch of the federal government to do so. Whether a state actually has that power (either legislatively or in the executive) depends I suppose on its constitution and other laws.

      Otherwise agree.

  5. People who do not want to be vaccinated may go elsewhere. Many universities require vaccination against SARSCoV-2, but many others do not. Plaintiffs have ample educational opportunities.

    I understand there was also another cake shoppe just down the street who could handle the custom wedding cake, so access is not significantly impaired. And it isn’t even a government cake shoppe.

    Do I insert a disclaimer? People are ignorant buffons. Therefore I insert a disclaimer. I am glad everyone is free to be as righteous or asinine as they like.

  6. I don’t have any issue with the ruling but the following is complete nonsense:

    “People who do not want to be vaccinated may go elsewhere. Many universities require vaccination against SARSCoV-2, but many others do not. Plaintiffs have ample educational opportunities.”

    You just can’t change colleges in a day. Its not like switching grocery stores.

    Easterbrook didn’t get promoted to the S/C for several reasons, this mean snark is an example of one of them. Just as well really.

    1. And Bob, there is a serious national shortage of college students, one soon to be badly exacerbated when the children not born in 2008 won’t be turning 18….

      Am I the only one who noticed that the Walmart Vaccine Fiat *only* applied to management, that the actual store employees were exempted as *they* weren’t replaceable.

      1. Ed2 = Chicken Little

        1. Don Nico does not understand enrollment management.

          Although he may soon understand it when laid off…

          1. Right Ed,
            Dream on.
            Maybe your third or fourth rate school has that problem. Top tier universities don’t, especially when they start enrolling more Asian students.

    2. You’re one of the local dopes who regularly argues that people can just uproot their lives and relocate if they don’t like something about where they currently live.

  7. None of the Covid panic people care about illegals with Covid.

    But at public universities they have to opportunity to bully Americans so Covid vaccinations are really important at universities even though the students don’t even have Covid.

    Illegals actually infected with Covid though? Yawn. No opportunity to bully Americans means no interest.

    1. Spoken like a true political zealot. Bring up a different problem that needs to be fixed and argue that this problem shouldn’t be dealt with because the problem they brought up isn’t solved.

      And accusing the people who fixed this problem of not even caring about the other problem with no evidence that’s the case.

      Fact free political demagoguery is so easy. Flip this one around – “Governor Abbott wants to punish poor migrants for being sick but he doesn’t care at about young American students being infected.” See how easy?

      1. There was a topic on this blog about illegals with Covid this weekend. None of the Covid bullies were interested at all.

        1. Why is everything bullying with you? Are you okay?

          1. It’s a libertarian web site. “Bullying” is the shortest and best word to describe the problem.

            1. The problem that people make you feel bad for your bad choices and beliefs?

              1. The left’s preference for forcing and coercing people instead of respecting them as fellow Americans and working with them for the good of all is the problem.

                All people are welcome to diverse individual beliefs in a free society. Sorry you never learned that. There’s still time though.

                1. The Indiana policy is a good example of “working with them for the good of all.” It provides both medical and religious exemptions.

                  As I’ve noted here before, it’s the plaintiffs who are being assholes. One claims deep religious objections to wearing a mask, yet attends religious services masked.

                  They are the ones refusing to work with others.

                2. Whining, disaffected, inconsequential right-wingers spouting persecution-riddled grievances are among my favorite culture war casualties.

                3. A few thing:

                  You talk about “respecting fellow Americans” but have you ever noticed that the right-wing politicians whom you support almost always trash a huge portion of the American population by denigrating cities and “blue states” and the coasts? I mean right-wingers disrespect me all the time when they say I’m not a “real American.” I could probably do an extremely long list of links to comments by right-wing politicians trashing various people and places in America.

                  Also, while we’re talking about intellectual diversity, did you notice that there is an entire movement on the right calculated at eliminating the teaching of certain subjects that make them uncomfortable? I mean the Lieutenant Governor of Texas proudly proclaimed he cancelled a talk by some authors who wrote a book questioning the mythical status of the Alamo? Isn’t that a form of bullying?

                  And then there are the documented bullies like Donald Trump who you support.

                  Look, if you want to fight bullying and promote intellectual diversity that’s great, but you really can’t do it by supporting Trumpism and other right-wing politicians/pundits at the moment. I mean no one on the left with a significant following is denigrating an athlete with a lot of trauma for having a panic attack during the middle of a dangerous gymnastics move. I can again submit several examples of right-wingers who do that. Can you at least disavow that form of bullying?

                  1. LTG,
                    I would note on the other side that those who live in the middle of America despite the smug description of their communities as “fly over states.”

                    1. Sure. The point is, that pretending to care about respect for all Americans and then going all in on Trumpism is a problematic choice.

                    2. 74 million voters summarily excluded by LTG

                    3. Not excluded. Outvoted. By their betters. Based on reason.

                    4. And Ben excludes 81 million. By denigrating leftists as bullies. When he supports a guy who has praised violence at rallies.

                  2. Lots of whataboutism and somehow equivocating talk with force and coercion.

                    1. So you have ZERO answer and will continue to support bullies. Got it.

                      Physician, heal thyself!

                    2. Talking is not forcing. Talk is not coercion. Just because you’re very shallow and confuse mannerisms with policy, it doesn’t make a talking the same as sending police after people.

                    3. Open wider, Ben.

                      Or not. Your comfort is becoming a receding concern among the Americans who will continue to establish the rules with which you will continue to comply.

                      You get to continue to whimper about it as much as you like, of course.

                    4. Lol uh who do you think the police have been using the most violence against over the last year and a half? With the exception of January 6 (an act of physical coercion by people you support against Congress!) they were mostly targeting left-wing demonstrators. And before you go on about how they were somehow all deserving, I encourage you to look at every single clip in this thread:
                      https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1266751520055459847

                      Where are your cries of anti-bullying when this was going on?

                      And more to the point, if you knew anything about how bullies operate, you’d know they don’t need physical force to grind people down. Verbal threats and constant harassments do that too. You keep characterizing it as “talk” even though that talk is being made by policy makers who are trying to use government power to shut people up!

                      Again, you can be against bullying, but you can’t endorse Trumpism at the same time. I mean we are talking about a movement that not only made a guy a Congressman and then Governor after pleasing guilty to an unprovoked assault on a journalist. Something he was praised for. So I’ll take you seriously on your calls to end bullying in politics when you disavow Greg Gianforte and demand he resign.

        2. There was a topic on this blog about illegals with Covid this weekend.

          No, there wasn’t. There was a topic about Greg Abbott making up stuff about illegals with covid as an excuse to harass hispanic people.

      2. “people who fixed this problem of not even caring”

        I didn’t mention Trump and his Operation Warp Speed.

    2. I think I’m pretty okay with making it mandatory to get a Covid vaccine to enter the country for work or asylum. Probably even for tourism; possibly just to piss DeSantis off.

      Mostly people are ignoring you because you’re trying to play gotcha! rather than making any serious policy recommendation. It’s not like immigrants having Covid or not having Covid changes your opinion of whether we should let them in; why should it change anyone’s mind on the other side of the question?

      1. But it shows that interest in Covid is lower when Covid policy can’t be used to bully Americans, which was my point.

        Personally I would prefer a wall so we can decide who comes to the US and who doesn’t. Then we could talk about the entrance criteria honestly and try to reach a political compromise between all the various different positions on the issue.

        No wall, no honest enforcement, no honest discussion of policy or compromise available.

        1. Get vaccinated or sustain the consequences (lack of access to campus, to stores, to events, etc.). Quit whining about it, let alone flailing with ignorant claims and silly arguments.

          I suspect mainstream Americans are tiring of jousting with ignorant misfits and that these academic discussions will soon be mooted by practical considerations.

    3. Over 90% of the people coming over either are or get vaccinated when they arrive. Lucky for them there’s around 100 million Americans who refuse the vax so there’s plenty available.

  8. What I don’t understand here is basic contract law — requiring a COVID vaccination is a unilateral amendment to the existing contract which the institution has with its *existing* students.

    Applying it to new students is another one, but to existing ones?

    And what about damages for breach of contract from the students who transfer to a saner school? There are documentable costs of transferring — not all credits are transferrable and often the course sequence is different enough to require at least an extra semester if not year.

    1. Really Ed? Saner?

      Requiring a vaccine is insane? Y’all are really embarrassing yourselves with your hyperbole.

      I had one or more kids in college every year between 2007 and 2019. Every college required proof of vaccination to protect the entire place. Some required boosters. Now a new disease, so a new vaccination requirement.

      Nothing really new here. Or troublesome to anybody rational.

    2. Let any fledgling clingers sue. Until then, they can’t be excluded from legitimate campuses fast enough.

      I imagine Bob Jones, Liberty, Grove City, Biola, Regent, Wheaton, Ouachita Baptist, or Hillsdale would take any just about any refugees from reason. Maybe even South Texas?

      1. And what Kirkland doesn’t realize that in a decade, the refugee campi will remain, while a lot of the ones he likes won’t…

        0ne can argue the vaccine issue a half dozen ways, but the bottom line is that NO business that treats its customers like shit will remain in business in an increasingly competitive environment.

        1. You are welcome to expect mainstream American commerce to side with the ignorant, the reckless, and the disaffected in this context. I expect the educated, modern, liberal-libertarian majority to prevail (at the grocer’s door, at the box office, in the Capitol, at the White House, in the boardrooms), as has become customary in modern America.

    3. You could maybe make this argument about one semester’s worth of tuition, although it’s likely already addressed in the actual contract since vaccination requirements for college students are hardly a new thing. But there’s no four year long contract between students and the schools they attend.

    4. Give it up Ed.
      That dog won’t hunt.
      No student is getting damages for breech of contract.
      Every time you enroll you are de facto signing a new contract agreeing to abide by the rules of the institution

      1. The US Department of Education would beg to differ with you – look into the rules regarding “completion of course of study.”

        There’s also a business law class from the 1960s where furniture would be sold on credit, a piece at a time, but *all* of it (including the fully-paid-for items) repossessed if there was a lapse in payment. IANAA so won’t try to remember it nor explain it, but the A who was also a P was quite emphatic about it.

        There is no new contract signed. Nor is the product the institution selling limited to just that semester — which has no value independent of the larger degree.

        Yes, there is a severe shortage of suits against institutions, in part because of the lack of lawyers willing to bring them, but the other side of this is in the court of public opinion.

        Particularly in a time of declining enrollments.

        What you will find out — in five short years — is that either you (a) change your attitudes or (b) your institution goes bankrupt is that (c) it will cut you loose to preserve itself.

        Customer service, which you clearly lack, WILL become important.

        1. The Dept of Ed is going to have nothing to say by order of OldWhite Joe.

        2. This is just a bunch of made-up nonsense. There is no contract that runs through graduation. There are no Dept of Ed rules about the obligations of a University to allow students to complete a course of study that I can find. Tuition is paid from time to time, and can change each year. Credits are valuable at minimum when transferring to another school. In theory, the actual learning experience is valuable. The conditions for enrollment undoubtedly cover this case anyway.

          I know I’m the 28th person to point this out today, but Jesus Christ Ed, you are full of shit to like this whole new, very impressive extent.

    5. Dr. Ed 2 : “…..transfer to a saner school….”

      Watch Ed go further down the rabbit-hole into full lunacy. Of course he has plenty of company there, doesn’t he? A couple of weeks back U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville said right-wing sheep might accept vaccination ……. but only if Joe Biden praised Trump extravagantly.

      Yep. Review of the medical evidence wouldn’t do it. Concern for the health of friends and family wouldn’t do it. The obligations of a responsible citizen to your fellow Americans? No chance. The lure of normalcy if we all work together? Not a factor. But praise for the Great Orange Deity will do the trick!

      Tuberville made his statement at the same congressional hearing where Rand Paul pursued the Right’s bizarre fatwa against Fauci. By now, nothing right-wing on Covid makes any sense. It’s all childish whining, wacko conspiracies, and very small people puffing out their chests with pride, somehow convinced irresponsible decisions make them “heroic”….

      1. Someone — memory is Rand or Brookings — did a study as to how to get people to accept a new vaccine.

        Their conclusion is what I could have told them — bullying people won’t work, but things like praising Trump *would*.

        And Rand Paul is right — Fauci should be indicted for perjury because the case against him is a LOT clearer than the stuff for which Team Trump was *convicted.*

        1. Ed, Ed Ed,
          It is time for your meds.

    6. What I don’t understand here is basic contract law

      You can say that again!

  9. Glucksberg is the case you cite when you don’t want to recognize a new due process right, and the case you ignore when you do.

  10. Meanwhile, among the ruling class:

    “Kenneth P. Vogel@kenvogel
    · 20h
    BARACK OBAMA is planning a 60th birthday bash at his family’s $12M 30-acre oceanfront Martha’s Vineyard estate this coming weekend, per @axios.
    There are 475 confirmed guests & 200+ staff planning to work the party.
    Pearl Jam is expected to play.”

    or

    https://nypost.com/2021/07/31/dc-mayor-muriel-bowser-parties-maskless-hours-before-new-mandate-kicks-in/

    1. Special people can’t even be asked to follow the same rules as you, Bob.

    2. Bob, these assholes don’t have enough self awareness to see their hypocrisy. Next week Obama will be filming a PSA to urge pandemic precautions.

      And they (along with the media) just can’t comprehend why they have no credibility.

    3. (a) If there’s a concert and it’s a birthday party, it sounds like it will be outside.

      (b) My guess is that the vaccination rate among attendees is near 100%.

      (c) Since the Secret Service will be involved, even if someone were sick, and even if someone did spread it, contract tracing won’t be an issue.

      You can find places where far more than 675 people gather outside. The party isn’t a cause for concern.

      1. a) And the virus can spread outside.
        b) And vaccination doesn’t necessarily stop the virus spread
        c) and it’s not anywhere instantaneous.

        1. a) yes it can but with much more difficulty (lower probability)
          b) and c) are correct.

        2. And setting a good example no longer matters.

          That was shown this spring at Planet UMass where it was OK to gather without face diapers to celebrate the return of a winning sports team, while three girls who poised for a picture were expelled.

          Do as I say, not as I do…

          1. Gotta love an acolyte of Big Baby whining about setting good examples.

    4. I think you’re confused on your timeline and think we’re still in a situation where Obama or anyone else is somehow not allowing gatherings of this size in other contexts.

      I’m pretty sure people can have an outdoor party with 700 people in every state at this point, and have been able to for quite a while.

      1. Oh yeah, I forgot that leadership by example and practicing what you preach doesn’t apply to those of the left. That type of people are immune.

        Forgive me for my impertinence.

        1. Literally no one is saying not to have outdoor events now.

            1. And yet for some reason we’re talking about Obama’s party right now not in this hypothetical despotic future.

        2. All is forgiven, bevis. For your penance, please recite ‘repeal the Hyde amendment 100 times’. 🙂

          I agree, the hypocrisy is pretty thick. Like the partiers will be using outdoor porta-potties, right?

          1. “I agree, the hypocrisy is pretty thick. Like the partiers will be using outdoor porta-potties, right?”

            Even if it was indoors, to bring it back to the actual subject of this post, the whole point of encouraging vaccination is to allow people to get back to their regular lives. The Obamas and I’m sure almost all their guests are vaccinated. It’s great that we’re able to return to normalcy now–wouldn’t it be cool if everyone could help out by doing low cost things to reduce the risk of the pandemic, like getting vaccinated?

            1. “almost all their guests are vaccinated”

              Self-serve event?

              If the wait staff has any black workers, the majority will not be vaccinated.

              1. When did you join the Dr. Ed School of Making Shit Up?

                1. The hospitality business is notoriously low paid, and hence employers don’t exactly have all that ability to mandate vaccines.

                  What’s not widely known is the health issues (in general) of those who handle food — and it is why I want to seen the minimum wage increased so as to promote automation of many of these tasks.

                  1. “hence employers don’t exactly have all that ability to mandate vaccines.”
                    I expect that anyone give the change to serve at the Obama bash will be happy to get a vaccine for the privilege of doing so

            2. “I’m sure all the guests are vaccinated”. Great! Share the guest list with as along with their vaccination status!

              This party, just like the mayor of DC, are sending a clear message “there’s a crisis devoting and you need to change your behavior but we’ll go on with our normal business. Just like last year”.

              Where oh where did these people’s credibility go? Why won’t anybody listen?

              And before you start answering with Team Blue insults, note that I’m vaccinated and I think everyone should get it. I just hate your “overlook my team, attack the other” bullshit. It’s completely unprincipled.

              1. Why do you think that the Secret Service has not already asked for that?

              2. No one is saying not to have events now! Literally no one. Not Obama, not Bowser. There’s no hypocrisy here. (Unlike when Newsom went to his French Laundry party, which I agree was ridiculous and completely hypocritical and undermined his public health credibility.)

            3. Since when do the Branch Covidians care whether almost all are vaccinated? There’s still a possible risk to someone.

              But it doesn’t matter because those risks are only important when there’s an opportunity to make Americans’ lives worse, and they don’t want to do that to Obama or the ruling class elite at that particular event.

              1. “Since when do the Branch Covidians care whether almost all are vaccinated?”

                Basically always. That’s why we talk about thresholds for herd immunity. 100% vaccinated isn’t a goal since there are some people for whom vaccines are contraindicated. But if the significant majority of people get vaccinated they provide a buffer that protects those who can’t.

                1. Almost all will always be enough for the special people to do whatever they want, and it will always be just short of herd immunity (and therefore far too risky) when anyone else has something planned.

                  How do we know almost all Obama’s guests are vaccinated? Easy: elites get the benefit of any uncertainty.

      2. Right. They save those kinds of restrictions for around voting time.

    5. And you’re upset that the First Circuit hasn’t yet ruled on the constitutionality of the Obamas requiring their guests to be vaccinated in order to attend their party?

      I’m quite sure you’re planning to get to the part where this is relevant to the discussion at bar at some point.

  11. Well, at least it is now clear that the university will be fully responsible for all harm caused by the experimental unapproved vaccine. Think of all the lawyers who will have new yachts paid for by the universities when ex-students start having deformed babies in five to twenty years.

    1. Where are you getting the idea that Covid vaccines will give birth deformities in the next 5 years? What’s your basis for that?

      1. Maybe Jesus Lord Of The Bible whispered the Truth in his ear. Are you prepared to disprove that?

    2. There may not be financial liability, but there definitely will be psychological — and this generation of college students are going to be no more willing to send their children to college than the WW-II veterans were willing to send their children to Vietnam.

      That’s the untold story of the latter….

      1. Yes, my grandfather slogging up the beaches of Normandy was quite comparable to me enjoying 4 years hanging out with buddies and going to class if I didn’t feel like skipping that day. I’m sure if, given the choice, my grandfather would take Normandy too.

        1. I momentarily thought ‘watching these conservative malcontents flail is the most entertaining thing we will see all year’ . . . until I remembered the Stones are back on tour next month.

      2. More Ed-like nonsense based on spinning fantasy out of his head.
        Shows what a PhD in Education is worth

    3. “now clear that the university will be fully responsible for all harm caused by the experimental unapproved vaccine.”
      Where did you ever get that from?

    4. One of the amazing things that big pharma has gotten out of this, is being immune to liability.

      1. It’s not that amazing. Trump wanted very rapid progress on the vaccine, and he knew that he’d need to give the vaccine manufacturers liability as part of the process of accelerating the development, so he made sure they had it. Turns out it worked pretty well.

    5. Well, at least it is now clear that the university will be fully responsible for all harm caused by the experimental unapproved vaccine. Think of all the lawyers who will have new yachts paid for by the universities when ex-students start having deformed babies in five to twenty years.

      (1) It is not experimental.
      (2) It is not unapproved.
      (3) What harm?
      (4) Under what legal theory would the university be responsible?

      1. “(4) Under what legal theory would the university be responsible?”

        David, anything that other people do, and which I don’t like, must for that reason be actionable. Duh.

  12. The danger with deferring to an outside authority is that you end up Korematsu vs. US, where Hugo Black and the majority construed, upon the expertise of the military, that Japanese Americans are the “gravest imminent danger to the public safety”.

    I understand the judiciary’s tendency to avoid responsibility wherever possible. But, sometimes this evasion is neither possible nor moral.

    History has shown Frankfurter folly in justifying the Japanese internment with “Somebody must run this war. It is either Roosevelt or us. And we cannot.”

    1. That’s not really an apt comparison at all. In Korematsu, they were deferring to the military based on a racial stereotyping, and the result was mass detention of one nationality.

      By contrast, the judges here are deferring to one university’s acceptance of the public health necessity of vaccines: something that’s backed by decades and decades of scientific study and data. The rule applies to every group equally and accommodations are made for those with legitimate exceptions. There is no possibility of the university detaining anyone in this scenario.

      1. That is our view today … but it was not the view at the time.

        Saying that “vaccines … are backed by decades and decades of scientific study and data” is akin to saying that medical therapeutics are backed by decades of data. It is true but largely meaningless – the COVID vaccines are *not* backed by decades and decades of study and data, and, indeed, they do not have FDA approval.

        The upshot of this decision is that it places no burden on the state to demonstrate the necessity of this specific medical intervention at the current time, but rather blindly relies on the state’s experts.

        Maybe this made sense when the pandemic first broke out and no one knew what to make of COVID … but we are now some 15 months wiser, and the case for force vaccinating 20-year olds is not at all clear.

        1. The upshot of this decision is that it places no burden on the state to demonstrate the necessity of this specific medical intervention at the current time, but rather blindly relies on the state’s experts.

          The juxtaposition of these two claims is particularly nonsensical. How do you think the state would demonstrate such a necessity, other than via experts?

          But in any case, since there’s no fundamental right to attend IU, all the state needs to show is a rational basis for the requirement.

      2. , the judges here are deferring to one university’s acceptance of the public health necessity of vaccines:

        Many more than one university, LTG. Lots of schools are requiring vaccines.

        I don’t think LTG and ML are going to have a lot of luck persuading them to drop it.

        1. LTBF, not LTG, is not going to convince anyone.

    2. Another irrelevancy from the school of Dr Ed

  13. The lack of a defined limit –or the definition of an inappropriate one — is as alarming as it was in Buck v. Bell: “Each university may decide what is necessary to keep other students safe in a congregate setting.”

    I’ll make a bet that many flu shot advocates will change their tune as the limit expands. Given an opinion such as that of the Seventh, we might see state protection extended to those currently unprotected; for example, we might see state protection extended to womb-bound students under the age of three months. Buck v. Bell (which cited Jacobson) is an element of Roe v. Wade and as state power expands personal freedom contracts.

    Be prepared for those contractions.

    1. There’s no “expansion” here. Colleges and universities have been requiring various vaccines for decades. The only thing that’s changed is Republicans are dumber than they used to be.

      1. Damn, those dastardly conservatives court appointees, doing things that conservatives do, you know, like apply precedent. They should have gone rogue, like a good living constitutionalist (which is admittedly harder to do for lower courts).

        1. This comment was meant for DavidS-T below. aw well.

  14. Well, what do you expect? Frank Easterbrook and two Trump appointees. Obviously a bunch of lefties! (This is the Internet so it’s probably necessary to add that I’m being sarcastic.)

  15. The most interesting thing in the entire comment thread, once you wade past all the amateur virology, is at a meta level seeing how the left and the right have flipped on the use of police state power.

    Liberals are regretting all those HIPAA laws and such they put into place to protect the medical privacy of those with HIV/AIDS from the conservatives who wanted to isolate back in the 1980s/90s. Further, Tuberculosis, a worse disease by far, is never used as a basis of comparison for non-compliance issues involved with treatment.

    At one time, everybody agreed to medical privacy from the insurance companies…not sure that dam will hold much longer though.

    1. “medical privacy from the insurance companies”

      That’s not really a thing. Any expensive coverage requires prior authorization and medical histories.

      When I tried to buy medical insurance on the exchange while unemployed: coverage was guaranteed but the rate was not. They wanted all the medical history on my child, and the quotes were of the “fuck you” variety.

      1. It is a thing, depending on how you define it. Medical insurance companies cannot, for example, get your DNA and see that you have marker X and charge you more for it, etc.

        Using the Obamacare exchange was your first mistake though. You’d have been better off paying for COBRA.

        1. “Medical insurance companies cannot, for example, get your DNA and see that you have marker X and charge you more for it, etc.”

          They don’t really have an incentive to do so. They don’t “insure” in a meaningful sense. They administer costs. The employer eats all the costs at the end of the day.

          “Using the Obamacare exchange was your first mistake though. You’d have been better off paying for COBRA.”

          I did better than that. I paid for healthcare out of pocket until I got a new job. And then I held on to my COBRA paperwork knowing I could sign up retroactively if things got out of hand.

          1. That was a good plan. It worked for my son.

    2. “The most interesting thing in the entire comment thread, once you wade past all the amateur virology, is at a meta level seeing how the left and the right have flipped on the use of police state power.”

      The most important thing is that the liberal-libertarian mainstream continues to win in America, and the conservatives continue to lose.

  16. “Many universities require vaccination against SARSCoV-2, but many others do not. Plaintiffs have ample educational opportunities.”

    Now do cake! Plaintiffs have ample baked good opportunities.

    1. Now do social media platforms!

  17. Soon, all health and life insurance companies will require that you get the vaccine in order for them to continue your health insurance coverage. What then?

    1. What then? Healthier people and less medical costs.

    2. Soon, all health and life insurance companies will require that you get the vaccine in order for them to continue your health insurance coverage. What then?

      Then a lot more people will get vaccinated and the pandemic will be over?

    3. Maybe you didn’t hear that health insurance is guaranteed issue, regardless of preexisting conditions. They actually can’t mandate vaccinations.

      But you’re probably just trolling.

  18. Good. Those covidiots need to learn that they do not have a right to intentionally spread a deadly virus.

    1. You realize the vaccinated are also spreading the disease, right?

      1. At a much much lower rate. And also unintentionally since they got the vaccine.

        1. Not really for your first sentence (got a source for that, eh?), and everybody (pretty much) spreads any disease unintentionally.

          Now, apply the same standards of derision and scorn you show here, to those with TB or HIV.

        2. Not clear just how much lower.
          CDC could publish quantitative data such as the level of titers versus age and vaccination status

          1. The CDC has been transparent as coal throughout this pandemic … manipulating their interpretation of the data to effect their desired public behavior.

            However, we do have fairly transparent data out of Israel. With respect to the delta variant, it seems that the vaccinated and unvaccinated spread the disease proportionally to their numbers.

            1. But Armchair L does not believe jewish data.

    2. But neither do the vaccinated. Hence masking recommendations by public health departments.
      Of course those departments lower their credibility by not being transparent or telling the whole truth

  19. Have to LMAO at all the lovable lefties up thread complaining about the trafficking in emotional anecdotes about vaccines.

    When this is the exact same logic used by gun prohibitionists and liars Daniel Webster whonis bought and paid for by Bloomberg.

    Emotional anecdotes for thee but not for me lol.

  20. When does MAGA become a religion centered around the word of Trump?

  21. “We assume with plaintiffs that they have a right in bodily integrity. They also have a right to hold property. Yet they or their parents must surrender property to attend Indiana University. Undergraduates must part with at least $11,000 a year (in-state tuition), even though Indiana could not summarily confiscate that sum from all residents of college age.

    Other conditions of enrollment are normal and proper. The First Amendment means that a state cannot tell anyone what to read or write, but a state university may demand that students read things they prefer not to read and write things they prefer not to write. A student must read what a professor assigns, even if the student deems the books heretical, and must write exams or essays as required. A student told to analyze the role of nihilism in Dostoevsky’s The Possessed but who submits an essay about Iago’s motivations in Othello will flunk”

    I’ll be honest, I dont like this analogy? You can say that about anything. Everyone acknowledges its a balancing test, you cant say, one extreme, every forever everything goes. It’s a balancing test.

    That being said imo its fairly clear the university can do this, but I would have hoped the opinion spent more time discussing the why of that balancing test. Like saying, you must pay tuition but you have a right to property, so thats ok, so therefore equal protection and freedom of religion don’t have to apply either! is patently ridiculous.

    1. “I’ll be honest, I dont like this analogy? You can say that about anything. Everyone acknowledges its a balancing test, you cant say, one extreme, every forever everything goes. It’s a balancing test.”

      What the court was attempting to illustrate was that since you don’t have some inviable right to attend IU, the fact that IU conditions attendance on concessions of rights is of no moment.

  22. I think that some universities actually required the swine flu shot during the swine flu pandemic, so there is precedent for that.

    Now, many young women are refusing the vaccine- even if they have aggravating risk factors- due to concerns about its impact on their ability tyo bear children.

    Some of them may choose to get a flu vaccine as a substitute.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210323175845.htm

  23. Who could’ve guessed that a post about whether or not a college vaccine mandate is constitutional would mutate here in the comments section into the entirely irrelevant question of whether or not a college vaccine mandate is good policy?

  24. The court’s rationale seems right for its fact pattern. But some universities have announced that any future students, including those only attending remotely, are still required to be vaccinated. I hope that a court will overturn that requirement as applied to remote students.

  25. CNN: VACCINATION ALONE WON’T STOP THE RISE OF NEW VARIANTS AND IN FACT COULD PUSH THE EVOLUTION OF STRAINS THAT EVADE THEIR PROTECTION, RESEARCHERS WARNED FRIDAY.

    Holy mackerel, CNN must be a slack-jawed Trump supporter! They should have consulted some real experts like the self-assured commenters at the VC.

  26. NPR, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 – VACCINES COULD DRIVE THE EVOLUTION OF MORE COVID-19 MUTANTS

  27. What I want to know: does having had the disease, and have antibodies in your system, does that count as being as a medical contraindication?

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