Vanishing COVID

The big stories the past couple weeks are one that COVID is rapidly vanishing and two that the CDC has finally relented and declared an end to most restrictions:

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday abruptly changed its guidance on masks and social distancing, saying people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 don’t have to wear masks indoors, and they don’t have to keep their distance from others. “If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a White House briefing. “We have all longed for this moment when we can get back to some sense of normalcy.” source: CDC mask guidance has Americans asking: Does this mean the pandemic is over for vaccinated people? – CNN

The CDC is finally following the science, but the real scandal is that they were preaching a totally different message right up to the moment before this sudden reversal. Did the science suddenly change? For more than a year, the CDC and other “experts” have been advising caution, so why are they now suddenly throwing caution to the wind? Did they suddenly realize that they had missed some definitive sign?

I, a non-scientist and an ordinary working person, in my post two weeks ago told you they were missing the signs and that we were heading out of this COVID: Vaccines, More Lies and Hilarious Political Theatre – Seek the Truth (seek-the-truth.com). How is it that my prediction that the numbers would be cut in half by the end of May is looking good and the CDC warning has been proven to be a complete farce?  CDC predicts a surge in COVID-19 cases through May thanks to variants | TheHill.  The COVID cases average was about 73K on April 14 and is about 27K on Friday, May 21. The downward trend started a couple of weeks before the CDC issued their all points bulletin and the decline accelerated in the two weeks since. How could our government scientists get it so wrong?

The reason they got it wrong can be clearly understood if you follow the rhetoric of the government “experts” leading the charge. On May 11, just two days before the sea change in direction, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Wallensky made the following statement:

  • “I want our kids back in camp,” she said, talking about how her 16-year-old son counts down the days to his summer camp each year. “We now have 38,000 new infections, on average, per day. Last May 11th, it was 24,000. And we sent a lot of kids home and camps were closed. The camp guidance is intended to get our kids to camp and allow them to stay there.” source: CDC director grilled over mask guidance in heated Capitol Hill hearing – ABC News (go.com)

I can summarize this comment with one word: LIAR. I would forgive this comment and say it was made in ignorance if it had come from an ordinary person just perusing the web and trying to make sense of the numbers, but this woman is the head of our government’s foremost institution of medicine and disease. She knows better and she is deliberately using the statistics to lie to you.

Last May 11, the deaths average was 1,819 per day and on May 11 this year deaths were about a third of that number, 635 per day, Why didn’t the CDC Director share that number to show how much better, not worse, things are today? She picks the one statistic which supports her narrative and ignores the others which tells the opposite story (and as I will show below, that one statistic is not reliable). She knows all the numbers, but she wants to tell a different story instead.

I hope you haven’t forgotten what things were like last May 11. We had hit a peak in deaths just a couple weeks earlier, states were extending lockdowns well into the summer, and millions were losing their jobs due to layoffs. In addition, the U.S. had not yet fully ramped up COVID testing. I found this story from May 12, 2020 regarding the lack of COVID testing: Why Is There A Coronavirus Test Shortage? One Reason: We Don’t Have Enough Swabs : NPR (there are many similar stories). During that time, many states cited the lack of testing as a reason to extend lockdowns, arguing they couldn’t send people back to work if they didn’t know who was infected and who wasn’t. Better, faster, and cheaper testing was a priority for the Trump Administration last Spring, and it wasn’t until early summer that testing was reliably used across the entire country. Did Dr. Wallensky forget that COVID testing was still in its incipient stages last May 11? No. She didn’t forget. She deliberately used the under-counted number from last May 11, knowing full well that the actual number of COVID cases that day was likely multiples higher than what was reported.

Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”. I would add there are also liars and damned liars and Dr. Wallensky is a damned liar. People like her and Dr. Fauci have ruined our trust in science and destroyed lives with their words and actions.

Do you remember also in early April when Dr. Wallensky told us of her feeling of impending doom CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warns of ‘impending doom’ (nypost.com) ? I pointed out then that the CDC director should not be using an emotional appeal to scare us all. Shouldn’t she, of all people, be following the science? Well, she was at it again a month later as she talked about her 16-year-old son and how disappointed he was that couldn’t go to summer camp this year. She uses her own son to signal to the rest of us that it still isn’t safe and COVID restrictions must stay in place. But two days later, her own organization suddenly changes course and says it is safe after all for vaccinated people now to go about without masks. Apparently, it is now safe for 16-year-olds like Dr Wallensky’s son to attend soccer camp or tennis camp or any of the other outdoor camps that normally run throughout the summer.

Here is another statistic I received from our pediatrician: Mathematically, you now have a 99.9998% chance of survival once vaccinated. Was Dr. Wallensky aware of this stat? If so, why would she not highlight this one as well? It seems the CDC should be touting the efficacy of the vaccine and telling people they can return to normal after receiving it. Instead, she tells her own son that summer camp is cancelled because these odds are not good enough. She is either a liar or a lousy scientist, or maybe both.

So why did she persist with the narrative for so long? Was she blind-sided by her own organization? Didn’t she know this major change in direction was coming? If so, why would she be sending the message that summer camps were not safe just two days prior to the big announcement? Such a major change shouldn’t just spring up overnight; there should be indications of the change in the weeks prior. Well, the answer is that she was blind-sided, but not by the CDC, but by the Biden administration. The Biden administration finally realized their political narrative was falling apart and they wanted the restrictions lifted. They looked foolish hanging on to the narrative as COVID has been in retreat for months and more and more states, and individuals like us, were ignoring the junk science emanating from the CDC. Their chance to declare victory was slipping away, so they took it while it was still available. I’m sorry folks, but politics is such a cynical business.

Of course, we must hear what our guru of junk science, the greatest of all doctors, Dr. Anthony Fauci, had to say about all this. On Sunday, May 9, prior to the CDC announcement, Dr. Fauci was telling us things would be back to normal in a year. He was speaking on Mother’s Day, so he provided a reference point of next Mother’s Day as to when things would be better, giving us something to look forward as we go through another tough year I suppose: Dr. Fauci: US could be back to normal by next Mother’s Day, but most people need to be vaccinated (news12.com) But a week later, Dr. Fauci had reversed himself (yet again, I should add). It appears next Mother’s Day came about 51 weeks earlier than Dr. Fauci expected:

  • “I am now much more comfortable in people seeing me indoors without a mask, before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals,” Fauci said Tuesday on Good Morning America, as to why he continued to wear a mask indoors before the update. “But being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low and that’s the reason why in indoor settings now I feel comfortable about not wearing a mask because I’m fully vaccinated.”  source: Fauci says he wore mask indoors to avoid ‘giving mixed signals’ (msn.com)

What is most telling about this latest Fauci quote is that he admits he was lying earlier. Now he tells us that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks indoors, but then he also confesses that he continued to wear his mask for the last five months because he “didn’t want to send mixed signals”. I thought we were following the science, Dr. Fauci? We don’t want your subliminal messages; we want the facts and we want the scientific interpretation of those facts. Give it to us straight from the beginning. If the science is not popular, let’s hear it anyway. The truth is the truth, no matter our feelings about it. Dr. Fauci is coming clean now, so that he doesn’t look like a total moron later in the year when everyone else has moved on from COVID, but he should have come clean sooner and if there is justice in America this latest revelation should finally get him fired from his job.

Do you remember two months ago when Senator Rand Paul (also an MD, by the way) clashed with Dr. Fauci and accused Dr. Fauci of engaging in political theatre? Senator Paul, along with many others of us, knew that the masking was for show and that it was being used to manipulate public opinion. Dr. Fauci vehemently denied the accusation, but Senator Paul has been proven correct and Dr. Fauci a liar, yet again.

Now we also see that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have shed the mask. We also have the head of the teacher’s union reversing course and saying that it is now acceptable to open all public schools in the fall. Covid: Biden hails ‘great day’ as he sheds mask in Oval Office (yahoo.com). We see a coordinated response and a white flag of surrender from the people we were calling out just a couple weeks ago. They realized they could no longer deny reality and had to change course; they all reversed course at the same time in order to salvage as much of their dignity as possible. The politics, not the science, was clearly driving this decision. Now we can finally speak the truth about the science, but why couldn’t we safely speak the truth two weeks ago? As a side note, Nancy Pelosi, for some reason, didn’t get the memo and has been fining representatives for not wearing their masks in Congress. I’m sure she will come around pretty soon.

Playing politics with science has lasting negative consequences. The biggest consequence is that we can no longer trust our scientists, particularly our government scientists, to tell us the truth (i.e. to “follow the science”), and be politically impartial. We already knew we could trust our politicians, but science has been infected with politics as well. Another consequence is that we have a ton of confused people who don’t know who to believe any more. Friday’s episode of the Steve Deace Show on Blaze TV highlighted this confusion very well (link below). In the montage on the first segment, we see many people who continue to wear the mask simply because they’ve been told to for so long. I empathize with them because they believed they were following the science, as defined by our government “experts” for the last year. The CDC, Dr. Fauci, and the Democrat Administration just switched on a dime and these regular folk are rightly confused. They feel left behind. They innately know that the science doesn’t change that quickly. Something is wrong here, but they don’t yet know what went wrong. The seeds of doubt may be beginning to germinate inside these trusting souls, but for now they are hanging on to their masks because they still believe in the science that has been preached the last year.

Skip the chit-chat in the first two minutes of the show. Issue one, mostly on COVID, masterfully highlights the confusion. There is more interesting discussion of COVID following the initial montage. SCOTUS, Mississippi, and the Future of the Pro-Life Fight | UAPs, UFOs, Oh My | 5/21/21 – Bing video

The Numbers

Finally, let’s take a quick look at the numbers because COVID is still out there and it hasn’t gone away completely. The numbers continue to trend in the right direction and the situation will no doubt continue to improve.

You can clearly see in the graph below that since April 14, reported cases have plummeted from 73K per day down to 27K per day. The last two weeks, the rate of decline has accelerated with declines of more than 20% each week. The 7-day moving average has dropped for an unprecedented 37 straight days, falling by more than 1,000 most of those days. Since January cases have dropped more than 89%; cases are at the lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.

The graph will eventually flatten, but given the current steep rate of decline, I think it likely the numbers will continue to fall a while longer. Who knows where the bottom is? Maybe 20K? Maybe 10K or lower? We will likely know in the next couple weeks because either we continue to see the average drop by 1,000 per day or we start seeing smaller declines and a gradual flattening of the curve.

Deaths also have fallen in the U.S. with 17 straight weeks of declines. Deaths have fallen more than 83% since the peak in January.

The decline in deaths was very steep in February and March, but the rate of decline has slowed a bit in April and May. As of Friday, May 21, the 7-day average was at 579 per day. This is still a high number, but given the steep rate of decline in cases the last five weeks and the steady increase in vaccinated Americans, we will most definitely see a steep decline in deaths in the next few weeks. As we’ve heard throughout, deaths are a lagging indicator. The low-water mark in deaths (excluding the initial month of the pandemic) was 516 per day on July 5, 2020. I expect we will blow past that number in the next week or so.

Vaccines are still being rolled out at a rate of 1.8 million per day in the U.S. This is a good number despite being much lower than the rate a month ago. The pool of unvaccinated is always shrinking, so expect the rate to continue to fall throughout the rest of Spring and Summer. As of Friday, May 21, 48.2% of Americans have received at least one dose. We should hit 50% with one dose by the end of May and so by the end of June, we should have at least 50% fully vaccinated. This will continue to put downward pressure on COVID cases and deaths.

We could still get to 60% vaccinated, but that would take several more months to reach, if reached at all. Nevertheless, as I pointed out earlier, if you combine the number vaccinated with the number who have natural immunity (from contracting the disease), we are in very good shape as a country. By this Fall, when the cold/flu season starts up and the kids return to school, the threat of COVID will be far less than it was in the Fall of 2020. Maybe it doesn’t go away completely, but there won’t be the need to focus on it as we have in the past year. Good riddance COVID.

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