COVID-19 contradictions must be resolved

The official U.S. COVID-19 death toll is approaching 150,000, twice the number of flu deaths in 2017-2018. At least 73 percent of those who are listed as “total deaths” died with the virus not because of it. Nonetheless, our country has been frightened into draconian measures to combat COVID-19, viewing it more like Ebola than what it truly is: a respiratory virus that primarily attacks those with life-threatening pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, and/or immune deficiency.

The death rate from COVID-19 has been reported as 3.5 percent, implying that at least three out of 100 Americans who become infected will die. This is false.

A percentage is a ratio, numerator divided by denominator. The 3.5 percent is calculated as 145,982 “total deaths” divided by 4,163,892 “total cases.” However, total cases include only those tested, and tests are offered only to those who are symptomatic. When this author, age 76 years young, went to get a COVID test, I was turned away because I was not symptomatic.

population study in Santa Clara, California of healthy volunteers suggested that the actual case rate may be 50-85 times greater than the reported total cases. Using 208,199,100 (50 times 4,163,892) as the denominator case rate, the death risk for the general population becomes 0.07 percent, that is, seven out of 10,000 healthy Americans will die with COVID infection, just like the flu.

A human body protects itself against viral infection by developing an immune defense: antibodies, attack cells, and often both. Those who do not become ill when infected with a virus, any virus, either (a) have a prompt and highly effective immune response, and/or (b) are healthy persons, that is, they do not have a serious pre-existing medical condition that predisposes them to illness and death.

Reports have surfaced, including official statements, questioning whether COVID-19 infection will produce a lasting protective immune response. Some claim that antibodies fade quickly; an Israeli physician had COVID infection twice; that there is no immunity post-infection; and one report mused, “so long to herd immunity hopes?”

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control is testing convalescent serum, from patients who recovered from COVID-19 infection, to treat those currently ill. They presume that infused antibodies will help the sick individuals fight off the virus.

Humans develop immunity to a virus either naturally or artificially. Natural immunity occurs when the live virus infects someone and that person’s body does what nature commands -- it builds an immune response. Artificial immunity is the result of vaccination, where an artificially produced medicine mimics the infection and tricks the body into thinking there is a live virus when there is none. The body responds to a vaccination with a similar reaction as though a live virus were present.

When enough people become immune, there is herd immunity. That means a large enough number of immune people can “surround” a non-immune person so the virus cannot get through the defensive herd to attack the nonimmune individual. Quarantine has the same effect: it isolates the individual so the virus cannot get to the at-risk person to infect him or her.

The United States has placed all its faith in a COVID-19 vaccine currently in phase III clinical trials. Washington has purchased 100 million doses of a yet-to-be-proven vaccine produced by a partnership of Pfizer and BioNTech.  

The official narrative about COVID-19 has two fundamental contradictions. Americans deserve to have these inconsistencies resolved based on well-vetted medical evidence rather than to fit some political ideology or agenda.

Inconsistency #1: Why has the risk of death due to COVID-19 infection has been inflated to resemble Ebola or bubonic plague when in fact, the health risk is closer to the seasonal flu?  Based on the official false narrative, states have shut down their economies, and the country has suppressed the development of national herd immunity.

Inconsistency #2: Does infection, natural or artificial, i.e., by vaccination, confer lasting immunity, or not? If it does not, why did the U.S. just spend $1.95 billion on a vaccine that won’t protect us?

Deane Waldman, MD MBA, is Emeritus Professor of Pediatric, Pathology, and Decision Science; former Director of Center for Healthcare Policy at Texas Public Policy Foundation; and author of multi-award-winning, Curing the Cancer in U.S. HealthcareStatesCare and Market-Based Medicine.

The official U.S. COVID-19 death toll is approaching 150,000, twice the number of flu deaths in 2017-2018. At least 73 percent of those who are listed as “total deaths” died with the virus not because of it. Nonetheless, our country has been frightened into draconian measures to combat COVID-19, viewing it more like Ebola than what it truly is: a respiratory virus that primarily attacks those with life-threatening pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, chronic lung disease, and/or immune deficiency.

The death rate from COVID-19 has been reported as 3.5 percent, implying that at least three out of 100 Americans who become infected will die. This is false.

A percentage is a ratio, numerator divided by denominator. The 3.5 percent is calculated as 145,982 “total deaths” divided by 4,163,892 “total cases.” However, total cases include only those tested, and tests are offered only to those who are symptomatic. When this author, age 76 years young, went to get a COVID test, I was turned away because I was not symptomatic.

population study in Santa Clara, California of healthy volunteers suggested that the actual case rate may be 50-85 times greater than the reported total cases. Using 208,199,100 (50 times 4,163,892) as the denominator case rate, the death risk for the general population becomes 0.07 percent, that is, seven out of 10,000 healthy Americans will die with COVID infection, just like the flu.

A human body protects itself against viral infection by developing an immune defense: antibodies, attack cells, and often both. Those who do not become ill when infected with a virus, any virus, either (a) have a prompt and highly effective immune response, and/or (b) are healthy persons, that is, they do not have a serious pre-existing medical condition that predisposes them to illness and death.

Reports have surfaced, including official statements, questioning whether COVID-19 infection will produce a lasting protective immune response. Some claim that antibodies fade quickly; an Israeli physician had COVID infection twice; that there is no immunity post-infection; and one report mused, “so long to herd immunity hopes?”

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control is testing convalescent serum, from patients who recovered from COVID-19 infection, to treat those currently ill. They presume that infused antibodies will help the sick individuals fight off the virus.

Humans develop immunity to a virus either naturally or artificially. Natural immunity occurs when the live virus infects someone and that person’s body does what nature commands -- it builds an immune response. Artificial immunity is the result of vaccination, where an artificially produced medicine mimics the infection and tricks the body into thinking there is a live virus when there is none. The body responds to a vaccination with a similar reaction as though a live virus were present.

When enough people become immune, there is herd immunity. That means a large enough number of immune people can “surround” a non-immune person so the virus cannot get through the defensive herd to attack the nonimmune individual. Quarantine has the same effect: it isolates the individual so the virus cannot get to the at-risk person to infect him or her.

The United States has placed all its faith in a COVID-19 vaccine currently in phase III clinical trials. Washington has purchased 100 million doses of a yet-to-be-proven vaccine produced by a partnership of Pfizer and BioNTech.  

The official narrative about COVID-19 has two fundamental contradictions. Americans deserve to have these inconsistencies resolved based on well-vetted medical evidence rather than to fit some political ideology or agenda.

Inconsistency #1: Why has the risk of death due to COVID-19 infection has been inflated to resemble Ebola or bubonic plague when in fact, the health risk is closer to the seasonal flu?  Based on the official false narrative, states have shut down their economies, and the country has suppressed the development of national herd immunity.

Inconsistency #2: Does infection, natural or artificial, i.e., by vaccination, confer lasting immunity, or not? If it does not, why did the U.S. just spend $1.95 billion on a vaccine that won’t protect us?

Deane Waldman, MD MBA, is Emeritus Professor of Pediatric, Pathology, and Decision Science; former Director of Center for Healthcare Policy at Texas Public Policy Foundation; and author of multi-award-winning, Curing the Cancer in U.S. HealthcareStatesCare and Market-Based Medicine.