How ironic that as COVID is reaching higher levels than ever around the world, we could actually be closer than ever to the end of this pandemic. How ironic also that as Representative Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and Chicago Mayor Lightfoot contract COVID, they, of course, thank their lucky stars for being vaccinated. Actually, it’s no surprise they are doing well because COVID is a disease which is mild for most and affects the elderly and the unfit more than anyone else. Most people get through it with relatively few complications. But, so the narrative goes in these troubling times.
COVID cases in the U.S. may have peaked at around 800K per day, the average inching past that level on Thursday, January 13. This current level is more than three times the previous record (before this month, the U.S. peaked at 256K in January 2021). I think we won’t go much higher as we are now increasing at a much slower pace than during the last couple weeks. Depending on your political orientation this is either a very good thing (because it could mean the end of the virus altogether) or a reason to implement even more control than before (so others can claim to have ended it for us).
Cases were at what seemed like “normal” levels just a month ago (around 120K per day) and now we have reached all-time highs (around 810K per day as of January 13, 2022). However, this is not-so-surprising as we saw this same scenario play out first in South Africa where this new variant originated.
Because it is so contagious, it doesn’t take long for the Omicron! story to unfold. Cases increase very rapidly as Omicron! infects nearly everyone who is still alive, even those locked down, double-masked, triple-vaxed, and otherwise avoiding all possible trouble. But, in short order (usually about a month), there are fewer and fewer remaining subjects to infect, and cases then decline rapidly. We will be beyond this Omicron! crisis before you know it. Just hang on a bit longer, please. We may already be at the peak or we will be by the end of this week. Some states in the U.S. already appear to have falling case numbers. New Jersey, for instance, is one state that appears to be at or near peak with cases falling the last three days (we see similar results in other states as well):
Another outstanding piece of news is that Omicron! protects against Delta, the only other significant variant at the moment (the reverse is not true, however). Omicron! is also crowding out Delta, with Delta being 1 in 20 cases at this point in the U.S. Delta and all other more deadly variants are going away and everyone is contracting Omicron! Those infected (which includes almost everybody) are now protected against both variants. This is a very, very good thing. It’s a problem short-term, but in the long run we are getting out of this mess.
COVID deaths in the U.S. are still rising as well, although they fell Thursday (we are at 1,874 per day as of Friday, January 14). Deaths currently are still half of what they were this time last year and I doubt they go much higher than they are now. Deaths in New Jersey are currently at 84 per day and may go up to 100 per day, but this number would still be well below where they were in the earlier waves (as evidenced in the graph below). Let’s give thanks for how this is going at the moment.
You would expect a much worse situation with everyone in the world getting sick or about to get sick in the next few weeks. Maybe the U.S. gets to 2,000 deaths per day (or maybe not). The relevant factor is that Omicron! is not the same beast as Delta. Furthermore, Omicron! is already beginning to commence to start to burn itself out. With U.S. cases falling through the last half of January, deaths will peak soon, probably in late January and then also fall rapidly the rest of the Winter. We are near the absolute worst of Omicron! and are about to head down a steep slide into an endemic COVID state. Will there be another variant to end all variants or will Omicron! be last gasp until the distant future? Nobody knows for sure, but Omicron! is as good an omen as we have had the last two years. Will there be some long-term consequences and residual effects from two-years of COVID? No doubt there will be, but we have opportunity and time to prepare and deal with that now.
As you can see below, deaths are not nearly as high as they were last Winter and are still slightly below where we were over the summer with the Delta wave. The increase in deaths is partly because of the large volume of cases, but that will end very soon. Also, many of the current deaths are likely from Delta as it is the more deadly strain and was dominant until the last few weeks. As Omicron! cases begin to fall, we will see this deaths graph decline again soon.
It is interesting to watch things turn around. It appears Omicron! is exactly what we have needed: a virus which is highly contagious, but not so deadly as the prior strains. The Omicron! virus itself is certainly being short-sighted because we will all become immune to it and it will have nowhere to go and it will recede into anonymity before you know it. But then, you know, viruses aren’t so smart after all. Ok, maybe Omicron! is a bit smarter than Dr. Fauci, but not all that smart in general.
COVID cases have already reached an all-time high in every single state now. We wait anxiously (and hopefully) to see what happens next, but with so many having been infected, herd immunity, the superior natural immunity, will finally kick in and give us an excellent shot at warding off the next variant to come.
Tables Turn as the Supreme Court Weighs In
The Supreme Court heard arguments regarding the Biden vaccine large business employer mandates last Friday, January 7 and then they weighed in on Thursday, January 13. Vaccine mandates are now ruled out for businesses of more than 100 employees.
Details: “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court said in its 6-3 opinion on the vaccine-or-test mandate, which liberal Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
The other side: “When we are wise, we know enough to defer on matters like this one. When we are wise, we know not to displace the judgments of experts, acting within the sphere Congress marked out and under Presidential control, to deal with emergency conditions. Today, we are not wise,” Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan wrote in their dissent.
There is much opposition nationwide to vaccine mandates which gives the court political cover for ruling against the Biden administration. Otherwise, I think a Roberts court doesn’t make this call. Unfortunately, the court did carve out an exception which allows the mandate to partially stand (probably because folks like Roberts want to appease both sides). The vote was 5-4 on the second ruling with Kavanaugh and Roberts joining the three Leftist judges to uphold this portion of the mandate:
In its second ruling, the court said that the Biden administration has the authority, given by Congress, to issue a vaccine mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds.
I say this is good news, although I am disappointed they couldn’t just rule against mandates in general. I think given the sweeping nature of the first ruling, the administration should back off enforcing the second ruling. This second ruling sounds like another silly compromise forged by Roberts for his vote with the majority, but we needed to close this door completely.
If you look at the current situation clearly, the mandates today seem pointless and the arguments in the Supreme Court seem pointless as well. It is clearly far too late to do anything at all to stop Omicron!’s out-of-control spread!. That should be crystal clear to anyone looking at the rapid rise of cases world-wide. Vaccine mandates are doing absolutely nothing to stop the spread and the vaccine’s time for effectiveness also appears to be at an end. More on this below.
We could get another 25 million vaccinated or boosted in the next month, but in a few weeks, the threat from Omicron! in particular, and likely COVID in general, is pretty much gone. Furthermore, the current vaccines are not effective against a virus that has mutated so much in the last two years. This too is a not particularly surprising result. Vaccines clearly did a decent job for a while, preventing hospitalizations and deaths, but they are no longer working against a virus they were not designed for.
One Supreme Court Justice certainly got herself noticed last week as well by claiming there are 100,000 children in hospitals, making the need, from her perspective, for vaccine mandates more urgent than ever. More might agree with the justice’s decision to support vaccine mandates if there were indeed 100,000 kids sick with COVID and the virus was a more expansive threat than it has proven to be the last two years, but Justice Sotomayor missed the actual number by a factor of almost 30. Don’t take my word. Ask the expert, CDC Directory Walensky who was interviewed by Fox News Brett Baier regarding this claim. Walensky did not want to agree with Fox News (of course, not ), but had no place to go when Baier kept asking her the same question.
Fox News anchor Bret Baier asked Dr. Rochelle Walensky three times whether she would publicly contradict false statements made by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and all three times Walensky responded by pushing COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who was eligible to get one.
Baier began with a direct quote from Sotomayor, who claimed, “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”
“Understood, but the number is not 100,000, it’s roughly 3500 in hospitals now,” Baier pushed back.
Walensky agreed, but quickly pivoted to data suggesting those numbers were increasing.
“Do you have a number of children on ventilators?” Baier asked.
“I do not have that off the top of my head,” she said, but immediately redirected to the vaccine once again, saying that being vaccinated would reduce the number of children who needed to be put on ventilators and the number who might deal with other possible complications of the virus.
“The risk of death or serious illness in children is still very small, right?” Baier asked then.
“Comparatively the risk of death is small,” Walensky agreed, adding, “But of course, you know, children aren’t supposed to die, so if we have a child who’s been – who is sick with COVID-19, we want to make sure – we want to protect them of course.”
OMG. We get a good facsimile of the truth from Walensky on this point. It obviously wasn’t easy to extract a direct answer from her, but there it is. Baier scored a major victory for truth with this repartee. Nevertheless, the point is still understated considerably in that many of those 3,500 hospitalized kids are not hospitalized for COVID. We have 3,500 kids in hospitals for all sorts of ailments: getting their tonsils taken out or maybe fixing a broken leg, and they just happen to test positive TO COVID at the time of one of the most widely spread virus ever. The number of kids sent to the hospital because of a COVID infection is vanishingly small. The real problem is that we have someone like Sotomayor who cannot determine fact from fiction–or maybe just doesn’t want to. We need better leaders and we need to quit defaulting to nit-wits like Sotomayor to make decisions for us all.
Of course, as we all know, no good deed goes unpunished. Now that she is cooperating with Fox News (well, kind of, sort of, at least) Walensky appears to have become persona non-grata with the one-channel media. CNN’s Brian Stelter along with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie are mocking her now. She succumbs to tough questioning from Fox’s Baier, so she must be now be taken down a peg. A little more than a year ago, someone like Walensky was a great foil for Trump, but she is no longer needed for that purpose. How things have changed. What Stelter openly said would have had anyone else (you in particular) censored a year ago, maybe even censored a month ago, but now that the one-channel media is questioning the fallibility of the CDC, it is okay for us all to openly voice our concerns (after a couple of years already doing so and being criticized for repeatedly raising that singular concern).
“All of this mixed messages or new messages has led to a meme on social media poking fun at the CDC’s advice, tweets like, CDC now recommends eating straight off the floor at Waffle House. The CDC now says it’s in fact okay to eat Tide Pods. The CDC says go ahead and get bangs,” Guthrie said. “You know, it’s amusing, people letting off steam, of course. But is there a larger credibility problem with your agency right now?”
“It is so sad but it’s true. The CDC has turned into a punch line,” Stelter said. “There’s a huge credibility crisis for the CDC … it just causes people, if they hear all these mixed messages and all this confusion, it’s all too complicated, they just move on and ignore it.”
Wow! The fact that this type of comment would have had conservatives censored in the past might be evidence of a double standard, perhaps? Maybe we can take solace in the fact that everyone in media now is wondering about the capability and honesty of our leading public health officials. They have not done a good job throughout this two-year period and now more people are becoming aware–or at least beginning to have doubts. Welcome to the club, y’all.
In any case, let’s go back to the Supreme Court decision. I do not have great faith in our court system at the moment. The justices are far too political for my tastes and are not always concerned with upholding the Constitution, even the so-called conservative court we have today. However, given that the political winds have shifted, shifted away from vaccine mandates, there is clearly enough popular support for the court to get away with slapping the Biden administration down on this one. We got lucky that COVID wasn’t as bad as it might have been.
I think even the Biden administration probably expected this loss. The vaccine mandates have already done their intended job: switch the public’s focus away from the Afghanistan disaster. Four months later, we have clearly forgotten about the Afghanistan debacle and the virus is about to go into a significant decline, so the Biden team can live with a vaccine mandate defeat at the Supreme Court. Besides, the Biden poll numbers are not so good having suffered a pretty massive decline in the last year.
All will remain well in the land and Justice Roberts can still pretend the court is doing its duty of keeping political balance and maintaining its reputation as a stellar public organization (which, unbeknownst to Roberts, it lost that reputation sometime after the Dred Scott decision 160 years ago). It was quite clear the three liberal justices, Sotomayor, Breyer, and Kagan would find a reason, any reason whatsoever, to uphold the vaccine mandates, but there isn’t much stomach for it from the others. The vax mandates in the U.S. are going to die. The Supreme Court ruling is one strike against them and Omicron! is an even bigger strike. I think a third and final strike will come soon. The mandates may survive a while in blue state locales and a few other places around the world, but they are really meaningless at this point, so will all eventually go away everywhere in my estimation. Furthermore, Democrats are heading for a massive defeat in 2022, so they should start backing away from them soon in any case (maybe that was the intended hint from Stelter and Guthrie), at least so they can stem the tide a bit (although, I am not so certain they will back down given their track record of cluelessness to this point).
I have almost stopped looking at the vaccine numbers because I think they are losing relevance. The experts tell us vaccines still matter because most of those sick in hospitals are unvax’d. This has been largely true through most of the last year, but I think this is no longer true. There is evidence to contradict this talking point, starting with the Pfizer CEO who admits vaccines are not effective against Omicron!.
- “The two doses, they’re not enough for omicron,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said.
- Bourla said the two-dose vaccine does not provide robust protection against infection and its ability to prevent hospitalization has also declined.
- He said third shots are providing good protection against death, and “decent” protection against hospitalization.
We need another vaccine specific to Omicron!, but then how long will such a one prove effective? The current vaccines lost their punch after a year of vaccine mutations. The next mutation which takes hold, if there is one, will eventually also not succumb to a new vaccine. Surely, the vaccines saved some lives over the course of that year, but the real problem with the vaccines was the ineffective public policy implemented by politically motivated (and not-so-bright) policy makers.
Many locales are also re-imposing mask mandates due to Omicron!. Mask mandates for a variant which is far more transmissible than any we’ve seen to this point make zero sense as well. Masks didn’t work before (see: https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/08/29/to-mask-or-not-to-mask-that-is-the-question/), so how are those loose fitting paper masks going to stop this one which is far more transmissible?
My own analysis shows vaccine ineffectiveness during the last month, from mid-December to mid-January. Almost all of 2021, the numbers clearly demonstrated that states with the highest vaccination rates had the lower death rates (as I repeatedly showed in my posts), but the data has shifted away from vaccine efficacy as the last year has drug on, even before Omicron! hit us. Now that we are in the midst of the Omicron! wave, it is totally clear that the vaccines are not helping stop the spread of transmission, nor are they reducing deaths in the U.S. any longer.
The first set of numbers are from late December. This table clearly shows more cases in the eight most highly vax’d states than anywhere else–way more cases. Why is that? We also see fewer deaths in the eight lowest vax’d states than almost any other tier. Why is that? This table begins to demonstrate that vaccines while still preventing deaths are doing so at an ever more marginal rate than before.
|%fully vax’d||Total Population||# deaths||deaths per capita (per 1 million)||#cases||cases per capita (per 1 million)|
But the data shifts even more in the following couple weeks. Below are the numbers from Monday, January 10; the numbers are now completely out-of-whack, a big change from just days earlier. The deaths in the eight highest vax’d states have doubled while moving up only slightly in the eight lowest vax’d states; the difference in these two groups is now massive with the lower vax’d states having a per capita death rate half of the eight highest vax’d states. Whatcha talking about Willis?
Furthermore, the eight highest vax’d states now have the highest per capita death rate of any tier while the eight lowest vax’d states have the second lowest per capita death rate of any tier. This tells us all we need to know. The vaccines are no longer accounting for hardly any of the differences among the states. The differences are more likely related to weather, with the Southern states faring better this time of year than the colder Northern states (the results were the opposite during the Summer months).
COVID cases are also highest in the eight most highly vax’d states as well (which is probably also why deaths are highest in this group of states). Combine all these facts with numbers coming out of Denmark and Germany that I reported on last week (https://seek-the-truth.com/2022/01/02/covid-checklist-please-be-prepared/), and we see that vaccinations are doing very little to help us in the face of Omicron!:
|%fully vax’d||Total Population||# deaths||deaths per capita (per 1 million)||#cases||cases per capita (per 1 million)|
Arkansas, Idaho, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia are in the bottom tier (< 52% fully vaxed) and yet these six states each have a lower death rate than Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York in the upper tier (> 71% fully vaxed). What is going on here? Do we have to get to 100% vax’d to prove (or maybe disprove) the limited efficacy of the vaccines?
Just when the Supreme Court ruled and you hoped sanity and clear thinking are returning to our country, there comes stories like the following. Here is what we know as of right now: 1) Omicron! is a much more prevalent but far less serious form of COVID. 2) It could spell a return to actual herd immunity and a relative end to COVID. 3) Currently, COVID deaths are half of what they were a year ago at this time. 4) It seems almost certain deaths will not reach the levels they reached last January. 5) By February, deaths in the U.S. will fall dramatically. So, given all these facts why are there those among us who feel the need to panic yet again? We are not doing anything of this sort in my state or the states around me.
Representatives in Washington state need to stay within the limits set for government, but their state residents are a bit too compliant with their government’s nonsense. The Supreme Court is trying to subtly push them back as well, but I am not sure they hear or are willing to hear this warning (again, I wish the courts would speak with a more clear and forceful voice, but at least they are generally headed in the right direction in this instance)
The Washington State Board of Health may soon amend state law to authorize the involuntary detainment of residents as young as 5 years old in Covid-19 “internment camps” for failing to comply with the state’s experimental vaccine mandate.
WAC 246-100-040, a proposed revision to include Covid protocol under the state’s Communicable and Certain Other Diseases act, outlines “Procedures for isolation or quarantine.” The measure would allow local health officers “at his or her sole discretion” to “issue an emergency detention order causing a person or group of persons to be immediately detained for purposes of isolation or quarantine.”
They are contemplating in Washington state what is already happening in Australia. And what good have any of these measures done in Australia? Australia has now reached their highest death rate, more than double what it reached during the delta outbreak three months ago in the last two years.
What good have been the most extreme lock-down and enforcement methods of virtually any country in the world? At this point, not much. It is wonderful that Australia is 167th in per capita deaths, but they won’t stay at that prestigious level long. Sixty-four percent of their deaths have come in the last five months, their Spring and Summer months. Their draconian measures worked for a time, but now reliance on vaccine immunity as opposed to natural immunity is proving a complete failure for those Australians who thought they were ever-so-smart and clever. Mother nature has defeated the best intentions of the Australian officials. The graph below shows a very rapid and somewhat scary climb in deaths for the land down under–and it is going up sharply again today and probably for the rest of January. The last four days in Australia, deaths have been at 49 or higher. Only one day before this week did they have more deaths in a single day. More than 85% of their COVID cases have been in the last month.
A Couple More Interesting Stories
Here is another interesting story which shows the Biden Administration isn’t yet slowing its effort to vaccinate more despite the lack of data to support that effort:
Federal government agencies are preparing to take increasingly harsh steps against unvaccinated employees in order to implement President Biden ’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal workers.
Some agencies plan to send letters warning of possible suspensions to employees who have not complied with the mandate. Many are also prepared to fire employees who don’t follow the rule, though such moves would be further down the road.
Another interesting story, one that may be worthy of serious reflection, comes from the U.S. Military. The U.S Military report on COVID back in August 2020 acknowledged that HCQ and Ivermectin were “curatives”. This is more than 18 months ago, yet this was buried by those in charge, and when the charges of Ivermectin as “horse medicine” were peddled in the last few months, nobody in charge pushed back. We really need to ask ourselves: why that is the case?
SARS-CoV-2 is an American-created recombinant bat vaccine, or its precursor virus. It was created by an EcoHealth Alliance program at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), as suggested by the reporting surrounding the lab leak hypothesis. The details of this program have been concealed since the pandemic began. These details can be found in the EcoHealth Alliance proposal response to the DARPA PREEMPT program Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) HR00118S0017, dated March 2018 – a document not yet publicly disclosed.
DARPA rejected the proposal because the work was too close to violating the gain-of-function (GoF) moratorium, despite what Peter Daszak says in the proposal (that the work would not). As is known, Dr. Fauci with NIAID did not reject the proposal. The work took place at the WIV and at several sites in the US, identified in detail in the proposal.
Ivermectin (identified as curative in April 2020) works throughout all phases of illness because it both inhibits viral replication and modulates the immune response. Of note, chloroquine phosphate (Hydroxychloroquine, identified April 2020 as curative) is identified in the proposal as a SARSr-CoV inhibitor, as is interferon (identified May 2020 as curative).
Here is the bottom line from my perspective. The U.S., under Fauci’s COVID guidance, has been a disaster, 19th world-wide in per capita deaths. Sweden, on the other hand, is still doing well, especially in the last eight months. They have fallen to 58th per capita deaths world-wide and are likely to fall several more spots in the coming month; they would rank 45th per capita among U.S. states at the moment (https://seek-the-truth.com/2021/12/03/curious-case-of-sweden-and-omnicron-too/). They took another approach and now the worst of this is over for them. Florida also took a less popular but effective approach and they are still doing well also; their per capita death rate has been the lowest in the U.S. the last two months.
Australia, on the other hand, is another one not doing well at the moment. They had very low levels of herd immunity and probably were patting each other on the back for their success in 2020 and 2021, but during the current phase of the pandemic, when we were all struck by a highly contagious variant, their government mandated measures proved useless; their death rates are now rising dramatically, much higher than ever before.
When will the rest of us wake up and finally learn the lessons from this virus?
The End is Near?
Dr. Campbell below shows again that more restrictions have led to more Omicron! cases as I showed regarding Australia. Excessive government restrictions in the long run are not paying off.
But generally his news of Omicron! is a positive. Omicron! is protecting against Delta and also deaths and hospitalizations are far less now than before. He also tells us why he and others believe we are nearing the end of this pandemic (i.e. we are nearing an “endemic” phase). Also, there is a discussion of some more problems with the vaccines; we cannot keep vaccinating and boosting forever, obviously.