Don’t Tell Me-Sell Me

Here we go again. Across our media, the return of the pandemic is getting big play. The Delta variant has pushed our two-week average cases up an astounding 170%. Everyone put on a mask, especially that two yr-old super-spreader. Prepare for new lockdowns before we are overwhelmed. Without everyone getting vaccinated, Covid will get completely out of hand. Even the vaccinated are testing positive. The unvaccinated are terrible people, putting us all at risk. For our safety, we have to mandate everyone gets the shot.

I started writing about Covid 19 on 3/20/2020. The posts comprise my series on Covid 19. If you haven’t read them already, take a look. I think you’ll find I’m pretty right on. On this basis, let me try to put our present circumstances in perspective. 

The increase in cases sounds terrifying until you realize the prior low figures we achieved. In any case, infections don’t mean much unless they do significant damage. While we have rising Covid rates, deaths and hospitalizations have hardly risen. I include these charts again to illustrate the actual situation: 

99% of the recent Covid deaths were unvaccinated. That means if you have a shot, you’re rarely going to be hospitalized and die. We see the same decoupling between cases and deaths in the other high vaccination countries, U.K. and Israel. During the cold and flu season, we don’t stop living.

In my post “Can we afford Another 100 Days,” I expressed fear over our sharply declining vaccinations. To get to the reluctant after the first rush, Israel, the leading vaccinator, anticipated a decline and used a carrot and stick approach. They were ready with programs such as the Green Pass. Instead of using their experience, the Biden administration undertook actions that could only discourage people from getting shots.

The downturn in vaccinations was simultaneous with the pulling of the J & J vaccine. We repeated the E.U.’s gross error with the AstraGenica vaccine instead of learning from their experience. The administration further confused people with mixed messages. Telling prospective shot takers they’ll be able to return to everyday life while you are wearing one or, in some cases, two masks made no sense. Yet, the president, vice-president, Speaker of the House, and, of course, chief medical spokesman, Dr. Fauci, all were guilty of continuing to wear masks after vaccination, often outdoors. 

Making things worse, the Biden allied Mainstream Media plays up every adverse vaccine event. Even though severe breakthrough infections or bad reactions are statistically rare, the news makes it appear they’re far more prevalent. The administration should make it clear to the media that they’ll provide spokespeople to put things properly, hopefully before the stories appear. Otherwise, these stories amount to misinformation.

Rather than taking the time to find out the sources of vaccine resistance, the administration has instead blamed misinformation on Facebook. Instead of using the “Bully Pulpit” to counter and correct, it demands the platform suppress free speech the government is constitutionally forbidden to do itself. Case law says this is probably illegal. Worse, it will prove futile.

Rather than the Rubes feeding on misinformation pictured by the administration, an MIT study shows people have very rational questions about the vaccines. A Kaiser Foundation survey breaks down the reluctance and what might overcome it. Taking these findings to heart, we can overcome reluctance and vaccinate those needing the protection. We owe it to people to take them seriously and take actions to maximize voluntary compliance. I learned long ago that you wouldn’t make the sale if you don’t isolate the objection and answer it. Talk down to people like Dr. Fauci, and they’re out the door. 

First of all, we need to answer those that have had Covid and likely have natural immunity. Israel’s Green Pass treats the vaccinated and the recovered the same. The data shows those having had Covid possess excellent protection. To denigrate the already immune is counterproductive. Worse, it may be unethical. If we’re to gain control of the pandemic, we have to spread the vaccines worldwide. Putting shots in the arms of the already immune rather than a vulnerable older person abroad is a moral problem. If you recover or can show anti-bodies, that should be enough. 

Some people definitely shouldn’t have a shot. The immune-suppressed such as those with transplants, are exceptional cases and need to be treated as such.

We don’t make people less fearful of the vaccines when the FDA has only granted them emergency approval. Readers of this blog are aware of my low opinion of the FDA, CDC, and the NIH in this pandemic. The FDA’s actions or lack of action to date haven’t changed my mind. We are nearing emergency approval for children under 12. Even though 100s of millions have used the vaccines with excellent results, they still lack full acceptance. The last thing I’ve seen is this will come around the new year.

This deficiency is crazy. We know this virus is far more dangerous to the elderly and compromised. The peril is progressively less as we look at younger people. The risk-reward isn’t the same for a 5 yr old as an octogenarian. We older people are okay with emergency use, given the alternative, but a young person or child with far less risk might not want o take the chance on something for “emergency use.”.

Even those in favor of mandating vaccines are facing a legal trap. Employers might face significant lawsuits when they force employees to get the shots if death or disability occurs. Force someone to take emergency medicine, and you own the problems. One can almost see the ads for class action suits. Emergency says there is a risk. Why is the FDA waiting? What are they going to know in January they don’t know right now? Again what is the risk-reward? 

Early on, I wrote we needed to involve the Doctors. We’ve done a poor job in this respect. A pregnant woman or one contemplating becoming pregnant may be suspicious of getting the shot. Only her Physician is in a position to advise her. There are plenty of similar cases calling for a Doctor-Patient discussion. The vaccine might not be suitable in your circumstance. More likely, according to the Kaiser Survey, your doctor’s reassurance will encourage you to get vaccinated.

I urge the Biden administration to take notice of its errors. They need to read the Kaiser Survey and look at the data to understand the unvaccinated. Take the same tough love that the Trump administration took towards the FDA with Project Warp Speed in the present circumstance. 

The saving grace in all this is this surge in cases will top out in the not too distant future. Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Marty Makary, who has been mainly spot-on, puts it in early fall. The reason is the virus has ever diminishing targets. Even though this variation spreads 2-3 times as as fast, it can affect far fewer people than in December. The immune and the low spreading, children, keep the virus’s path narrowing. Instead of the 300+ million targets we had in the beginning, 161 million have had a shot. An additional maybe 100 million have natural immunity. There is overlap, but the progress is there. 

Even at the present reduced rate, every day, more people get vaccinated. The Delta variant has spread fast, and that means broader natural immunity. The Biden Administration and Dr. Fauci-led medical bureaucracy have never comprehended immunity conferred by exposure. How else can you explain how off they were with “maybe you can have a July 4th BBQ with a few other vaccinated.”

Unfortunately, we’re talking Biden here. If he takes my sensible advice, we could get this variant behind us sooner, but instead, he may add something new to his repertoire of errors. More mask mandates, lockdowns, and fear-mongering may still be in our future, again sending the wrong message.

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