Why Are So Many People Still Dying from COVID?
COVID has been with us for more than a year and a half, along with masks and distancing, since last year, and vaccine mandates, passports, and booster shots have been added. How many of us thought life would be back to normal by now? Or if not back to normal, on an improving trajectory?
President Trump told us numerous times last year that it would soon be over. President Biden, as a candidate, promised an end to COVID. Promises, promises. From Biden’s campaign website: “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have a seven-point plan to beat COVID-19 and get our country back on track.” Whether Biden had a 7- or 17-point plan, America is not back on track.
Biden promised to fix every ill that he blamed on Trump: “Joe Biden has been laser-focused on the threat that COVID-19 has posed to our nation.”
How is that going? Has Biden vanquished COVID? Or is it just like Afghanistan, the border and illegal immigration, inflation, unemployment, energy dependency, and everything else touched by the Scranton Kid with hairy legs -- quickly turning into a flaming bag of dog excrement?
This news story, barely covered by Democrat propagandists, also known as the media, revealed the harsh reality that Biden has certainly not beaten COVID: “U.S. deaths from virus in 2021 surpass 2020 total.” This is based on Johns Hopkins data.
Why are things getting worse?
Last year was the bad year. Remember death count tickers on Fox News and CNN, excitedly chronicling each additional COVID fatality? There was hysteria about ventilator shortages and hospital ICUs busting at the seams, requiring makeshift hospitals and U.S. Navy hospital ships that Trump provided and that went mostly unused.
The media criticized every Trump word, tweet, and initiative. Each death was blamed on Trump. The scarf queen, Dr. Deborah Birx, famously appearing with Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci at the daily press briefings last year, told left-wing Rolling Stone that Trump was “responsible for hundreds of thousands dead.” Yet she was advising Trump and takes no responsibility for that.
Yet more are dead under the steady seasoned hand of Joe Biden, and the year is only three quarters over. How can this be?
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It is not just COVID deaths that are up but cases are too. Note this CBS News headline, “There were nearly 300% more new COVID cases on average this Labor Day than last year.” No explanation is offered other than to blame the unvaccinated, the new lepers of modern-day society.
More than three out of four American adults are now vaccinated and many of those unvaccinated have natural immunity from previous infection. A year ago, no one was vaccinated and far fewer had natural immunity, yet cases and deaths are up over a year ago. And it’s solely due to the remaining unvaccinated?
Could the vaccines not be working as expected? The CDC said: “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.” These are relative terms. VAERS data found 16,310 deaths associated with COVID vaccination. Note I did not say caused, as association is not causation. Unless used in the opposite way as in Colorado where gunshot fatalities were counted as COVID deaths.
Are more people dying now from COVID, the vaccines, or both? It is challenging to separate these out as the CDC does not consider one vaccinated until at least two weeks after the final vaccine dose, which in the case of Pfizer or Moderna is the second dose.
If most vaccine reactions, even the fatal ones, occur within two weeks of the shot, these individuals would be considered unvaccinated and their deaths attributed to natural causes, falsely lowering the vaccine-associated death counts.
Is the COVID PCR test too sensitive, with upwards of 90 percent false positives as explained by the New York Times last year? But this test has not changed from last year to this year and would not explain the increase in fatalities.
The most concerning possibility is that the vaccines are not providing recipients with true immunity, giving us a false sense of security that these vaccines prevent severe illness and death as effectively as advertised. We know from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky that the vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission, but we are told they reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. How strong is that reduction? Seat belts and bicycle helmets also reduce the risk of severe injury and death, but they don’t prevent it completely.
On the science side, the vaccines create antibodies to the COVID spike protein but not the other viral proteins including envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid. This is analogous to having four doors in your home but only locking one of them. That’s great if the burglar tries to enter through the locked door, but what if they choose an unlocked door?
This is the advantage of natural immunity where all doors are locked, not just the spike protein door. If the spike protein mutates, then even the vaccine-induced antibodies may no longer be effective.
The vaccines were developed targeting the original Wuhan coronavirus. If that virus is largely gone, replaced by the delta, lambda, or future variants, will the vaccine-induced antibodies effectively target those variants?
Countries or states with high vaccination rates that are now experiencing a surge in cases, higher than last year, may answer that question. As Newsweek reported, “New England has highest vaccination rates in US yet states seeing COVID cases surge.”
I must add the standard and necessary disclaimer that I am not anti-vaccine, having been personally vaccinated in 2020. Nor am I offering medical advice. Instead, I’ll emphasize that the current vaccines reportedly reduce the risk of severe COVID illness – hospitalization and death – and for those at highest risk, make good sense, in conjunction with consultation with one’s own physician. Sorry, but this is a necessary paragraph.
Regardless of which factors are causing the uptick in COVID deaths, something clearly is not working, whether masks, distancing, vaccines, or other measures. Instead of doubling down on what appears not to be working, where is the thoughtful questioning and analysis by the medical establishment, public health agencies, and the media?
This pandemic is new territory, and the public would be quite understanding of “I don’t know” from the medical community rather than insisting it is their way or the highway, even in the face of seemingly contradictory information.
Science is always evolving with new ideas and hypotheses, casting out discredited ideas and bringing in fresh ones as new data emerges. It seems with COVID we are riding a one-speed bicycle, unable to adapt to an uphill or downhill grade. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.
Just look at therapeutics. Japan and India introduced ivermectin as an early outpatient treatment option and their COVID cases promptly plummeted. Members of Congress and their staffs have reportedly been taking hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin for COVID while trashing the drugs publicly as dangerous or horse paste. Is this following the science?
Meanwhile, people are still dying of COVID, and the death counts are increasing rather than decreasing as we approach two years of the pandemic. Instead of getting answers we are shamed or canceled for asking what seem to be obvious questions.
History will be the ultimate judge and may not view the world’s medical response to COVID in a favorable light.
Brian C. Joondeph, M.D., is a physician and writer. On Twitter and FreeAtlantis as @retdoc.
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