I have a brief case update today. I’ll also do some more complaining about the CDC, with some vindication from other sources. I’ve complained about them a lot before, so if you’re not interested in more complaints, you can skip the last part of the post.
Cases are still coming down in the US, California, and San Diego County. Cases are about as high in the US now as they were in November, before the Omicron variant appeared. They are still not as low as they were in late June and early July, when the vaccines had been released to everyone, but Delta had not yet ruined the party. Things are improving greatly, and I’m enjoying going out with my new hard won immunity, but the pandemic isn’t over quite yet.
A brief look at endcoronavirus state and county level maps shows that Maine is having an outbreak right now. Looking at a higher resolution graph, the outbreak is actually already over, and cases are dropping again. This may be a real outbreak, but it may also reflect reporting practices in Maine.
Trouble at the CDC: If you’ve been reading my posts, you know that I regard the CDC as one of the main villains of the US response to the pandemic. I don’t have enough data to say that they intentionally under performed, and most pundits I’ve heard chalk this up to simple incompetence. Early on, they basically agreed with whatever the WHO said, even though is was clear that the WHO was repeating Chinese government talking points. Later, I assumed that their slow release of information was because they were just very careful, waiting until there was certainty before releasing information that was already nearly obvious to everyone.
Later, however, things took a dark twist. As useful papers began to come in from other countries like Japan, South Korea, the UK, Israel, South Africa, Sweden and Denmark; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR) and Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID), the CDC’s own journals, produced very few useful papers on the pandemic. This despite the fact that the CDCs mission, it’s only job, and supported by 11,000 employees, is to produce information and guidance on the prevention of infectious disease. They don’t even have to implement or enforce their recommendations. The federal and state governments do that.
Then OSHA produced it’s official vaccine mandate. On the FAQ page, OSHA waived the requirement that employers must report adverse events from the COVID vaccination of it’s employees. They explicitly state that “OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts.” Yes, as of today, February 25, 2022, this ridiculous and damning statement is still on their website. Many have been suspicious that the CDC has not been diligent in collecting data for the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), but it was hard to prove it. The statement from OSHA confirmed that the CDC was intentionally blinding itself to data that would help answer questions about the vaccines.
While the vaccines have certainly been helpful in reducing COVID severity and deaths for many, it is suspected that thousands have died directly from the toxic effects of the Spike protein in the vaccine, and many thousands have suffered long term negative health effects. Only recently did a CDC paper admit that natural immunity was better than vaccine mediated immunity, even though that has been known for months, thanks to an Israeli paper.
The New York Times has been supportive of the CDC for much of the pandemic. However, on February 20th, 2022, the Times published an article claiming that the CDC has been withholding information from the public. Better late than never, I suppose. Data withheld includes hospitalization rates for various categories including vaccinated individuals, and the effectiveness of boosters for those younger than 50. Unfortunately, the author says that this is likely only a fraction of the information the CDC has been sitting on like an egg. When asked why so much information had been withheld, a spokesperson said it was because they feared the data would be misinterpreted. This from 11,000 people we pay to communicate to the public.
The United States is the third most populace country in the world, and we have 53 separate approaches to pandemic. The CDC has or could have had a wealth of data that could provide science based guidance to the world. Unfortunately, it appears to me that they have mostly been motivated to sell vaccines, rather than to serve their central function.
FDA corruption: In the meantime, Project Veritas released 2 videos featuring an FDA official revealing corrupt relationships between the FDA and the pharmaceutical companies. These relationships influenced regulation of COVID treatments.
What should be done about the CDC: In general, I’m not for abolishing things willy nilly. I will say, however, that the CDC needs top to bottom review and serious reform. The Director as well as much of senior leadership should be fired. Will any of this happen? Not for the foreseeable future. The CDC is empowered by Congress and overseen by the Executive Branch. Members of Congress are typically motivated by political considerations more than by producing sensible policy. I know I’m stating the obvious. Only when Congress changes will reforms happen. I will also point out that members of all political parties are prone to being absorbed into the Washington Hive. So vote carefully in primary elections! Do your best to select honest people to Congress, and don’t forget to vote local too.
Don’t fear, but be smart,