Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Here we go again


Guest Post by Alex Berenson

In the last few weeks, politicians and senior public health officials have insisted over and over that unvaccinated Americans account for essentially ALL of the deaths of people from Covid.

At a White House press briefing on July 22, for example, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that “99.5 percent of Covid deaths and 97 percent of hospitalizations are [emphasis added] among the unvaccinated.”

Note that “are,” please. Are is PRESENT tense, something happening NOW.

Murthy isn’t alone.

On Independence Day, Dr. Anthony Fauci answered a question on Meet The Press about deaths IN JUNE by saying that “if you look at the number of deaths, 99.2 percent of them are unvaccinated. About 0.8 percent are vaccinated.”

To be clear on the math here, Fauci’s answer would imply that only about 80 vaccinated people – 0.8 percent of 10,000 – died in June.

These are – how do I put this delicately? – big fat stinking lies. They are off by a factor of at least five, and probably 10 or more.

Let’s put aside that the way public health authorities define vaccinated is NOT the way most people think of being vaccinated. Had one shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccines? You’re not vaccinated. Had two? Still not vaccinated, not for two weeks.

In countries where health authorities are more honest, statistics on hospitalizations and deaths have three categories – “fully” vaccinated, “partially” vaccinated, and “unvaccinated.” Many cases fall in the middle category. In fact, data show that the vaccines can cause an increase in infections and deaths for up to two weeks after the first dose, possibly because they temporarily suppress immunity by recruiting so many white blood cells to the area of the injection.

The truth is that if we were treating vaccines like other drugs, we would include the “partially” vaccinated cases in the “vaccinated” category because they have occurred AFTER treatment has begun.

The United States does the opposite. When it reports statistics on vaccine hospitalizations or deaths, it ignores partly vaccinated people. They are lumped with those who have never received a dose as “unvaccinated.”

This trick is particularly galling now that the vaccine companies and the government have acknowledged the fact that the mRNA shots begin to lose their protective effect in a matter of months and that many people will need boosters soon.

It is no longer even clear whether “vaccine” is right term to describe these therapies. Most other vaccines protect for decades, if not a lifetime. (The main exceptions, the influenza vaccines, are known to be only marginally effective and have done almost nothing to reduce the virulence of the flu over a multi-decade span.)

But as I said, even putting aside the issue of how we classify the partially vaccinated, Fauci and Murthy lied about what percentage of coronavirus deaths are now occurring in FULLY vaccinated people. It is much higher than the sub-1 percent figures they offered.

This fact should have been obvious to anyone who has seen the data from England, Scotland, and Israel. Those countries vaccinated a greater percentage of their populations more quickly than the United States. They have also been much more transparent about reporting hospitalizations and deaths among vaccinated people. And in all three countries, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked since May – and vaccinated people have accounted for more than HALF of all deaths recently.

The difference does not come from the type of vaccines, either. Israel used only the Pfizer vaccine, which until recently was considered the better of the two mRNA vaccines. The United Kingdom gave many Pfizer doses too.

So the comments from Fauci and Murthy defied credibility – how could other countries have so many more deaths in their vaccinated populations?

The answer is that Fauci and Murthy are – intentionally – using the wrong denominator. They say “now” or “are.”

But they are comparing deaths among the fully vaccinated – which have essentially been an issue only since May – with ALL deaths beginning from the day the United States offered its FIRST vaccine dose (or even possibly from the beginning of the epidemic).

The United States has had roughly a quarter-million deaths from Covid this year (the CDC reports 216,000, a number that will rise somewhat). It has had closer to 300,000 since the first dose was offered on Dec. 14. But more than half those deaths occurred in December and January, when essentially no one was fully vaccinated. Not even 2 percent of Americans were fully vaccinated as of February 1.

Deaths began to fall in February. After March 1 – when only 1 in 13 Americans were fully vaccinated – they plunged further. In the five months since, perhaps 80,000 people have died from (or with) Covid – fewer than died in January alone.

Vaccine advocates rarely acknowledge the fact that deaths started dropping long before most people had received shots. In reality, even acknowledging that many people who received vaccines in January and February were older and vulnerable, seasonality and herd immunity seem to have had a greater impact on broad Covid trends than vaccinations.

But for the advocates, the big winter death numbers are handy in one way – they make the breakthrough numbers seem tiny.

While Israel and the United Kingdom are rigorous about reporting Covid and vaccine data, the United States is not. Only a few states report breakthrough numbers with any regularity. The Centers for Disease Control does not, either.

Instead, the numbers dribble out essentially at random. But enough states have reported over time that we can say with certainty that the United States had almost no breakthrough deaths before April, and very few in April. For example, Minnesota reported none as of March 24. Washington state said it was investigating two as of March 31. Nationally, the CDC reported 160 deaths as of April 30.

Essentially ALL the “fully vaccinated” breakthrough cases and deaths have come since May. As of June 21, the CDC reported 750 deaths nationally. As of July 19, the number had risen to 1141.

All by itself, those figures prove Fauci lied when he told Chuck Todd on July 4 that 0.8 percent of deaths “are” in vaccinated people. The CDC currently reports about 24,000 deaths since May 1 (CDC reporting lags state reporting) – which would mean that fully vaccinated deaths have been about 4 percent of the total since then, FIVE TIMES what Fauci claimed. It is simply impossible that only 80 fully vaccinated people died in June, based on the CDC’s own data.



The real percentage is likely significantly higher. Breakthrough cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have all swung up recently, and the CDC’s lags mean that it has not caught up.

For example, Illinois is now reporting 159 deaths, New York City reported 94 through mid-June, and Massachusetts 80, North Carolina 61, Washington state 45, and Oklahoma 19 as of mid-July. That’s 458 deaths in geographically diverse states (and a city) with a combined population of roughly 50 million, just over 1/7 of the United States population. That implies as many as 3,000 vaccine breakthrough deaths nationally, almost all since May 1. (California and Texas have reported relatively low numbers of deaths, but it is not clear if they actually have fewer or are just counting very slowly.)

The CDC’s reporting lag means that the actual total number of COVID deaths since May 1 is closer to 35,000 than its reported figure. If 3,000 vaccine breakthrough deaths have occurred since then, they’re running closer to 10 percent than 1 percent of total Covid deaths.

Further, in those few states that report regularly enough for trends to be clear, including Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Oklahoma, the total percentage has crept over 10 percent in the last couple of weeks.

The tragedy here is that Fauci and Murthy DON’T have to lie.

If 5 percent, or 10 percent, or even 15 percent of American Covid deaths are currently occurring in fully vaccinated people, that’s impressive protection considering that more than half of adults have been vaccinated – and more than 80 percent of the elderly, who are most vulnerable. The vaccines look to be holding up better in the United States than Israel, the most comparable country (though whether that gap will continue is not clear, since the United States was a few weeks behind Israel in its vaccination campaign and Israeli cases and hospitalizations have surged this month).

But they won’t offer the real numbers. And as they hype the Delta variant, they refuse to admit the United States has had far fewer Covid deaths overall in July 2021 as in 2020 (while the United Kingdom is now reporting more deaths now than it did in late July 2020, despite having better overall vaccine coverage).

Their reluctance is part of a much larger problem, the unwillingness to offer a serious cost-benefit analysis of the vaccines. Because the truth is messy. The vaccines are clearly far from the miracle that the initial reports promised last November.

Yes, they appear to offer decent protection in the short run. But they don’t end transmission, and their effectiveness is fading fast in the most vulnerable people. Their side effects are real and worsen with the second dose. Their greatest benefit by far is for the elderly.

Instead, of admitting these truths, the vaccine fanatics insist on offering numbers they must know are false – as, increasingly, they attack those Americans who choose not to be vaccinated.

And demonize those of us who point out the truth.