As I have pointed out before, federal employees at CDC and elsewhere are not academics whose career rises and falls on their publications. They are civil servants whose job is to protect the public health, not game the data. Let’s look at some excerpts:
…That episode, say senior administration officials and outside experts, illustrates the growing frustration with the CDC’s slow and siloed approach to sharing data, which prevented officials across the government from getting real-time information about how the delta variant was bearing down on the United States and behaving with greater ferocity than earlier variants — an information gap they say stymied the response.
CDC officials declined to identify what data they had cited at that meeting with Pfizer officials. But on Wednesday, more than a month later, the agency published a trio of reports showing similar trendlines as the earlier Israeli studies — declining protection against the delta variant as it became dominant in the United States.
“The moment there’s something really problematic, it should be shared,” said Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research. “In the time it takes to get out an MMWR report [a weekly scientific digest], too many people have gotten infected, too many people have gotten long covid, too many people among them have gotten very sick, some even getting hospitalized.”
The CDC’s fumbles on the delta variant, following a year when its missteps were often attributed to Trump administration meddling, tell a more complicated story — that the once-storied agency faces other challenges that have hampered an agile response to the pandemic. Critics lament that the most up-to-date data about the delta variant has come from other countries, such as Israel, Great Britain and Singapore. And they say the CDC’s inability to share real-time information led top administration officials, including the president himself, to offer overly rosy assessments of the vaccines’ effectiveness against delta that may have lulled Americans into a false sense of security, even as a more wily and formidable variant was taking hold…
eports from other countries battling the delta variant, with similar or higher vaccination rates to the United States — including Singapore, the United Kingdom and Israel — began to show the vaccines appeared less effective at preventing mild to moderate infections, although they were still offering robust protection against severe illness. The Singapore Ministry of Health published data daily from contact tracing investigationsbeginning in May, which showed that vaccinated people were not only getting infected with the delta variant, but transmitting the virus…But the CDC was not releasing real-time data. Public confusion began to grow as high-profile sports figures, celebrities and others reported contracting mild cases of the virus despite being fully vaccinated, which increased pressure on the CDC to provide more information. They try very hard to get things right and they keep things very closely held until it pops … and it’s not as real time as people would like,” said one senior administration official who requested anonymity to speak candidly. “They’re not meeting a need. Why are we dependent on Israeli public health data?”
“…Preliminary data from a collection of states over the last six months,” she stated at a White House covid-19 briefing on July 1, “suggest 99.5 percent of deaths from covid-19 in these states have occurred in unvaccinated people.” She also said that unvaccinated Americans accounted for more than 97 percent of those hospitalized.
Other officials cited those rates in a constant refrain throughout July to encourage vaccinations. In response to a reporter’s question Aug. 5, Walensky acknowledged they were based on data from the first six months of the year. As a result, they almost certainly overstated vaccine effectiveness against the delta variant since the time period included several months when most Americans were unvaccinated and before delta had taken hold in the United States.
Walensky said then the agency was updating the numbers, and she was confident they would continue to show that unvaccinated Americans account for the overwhelming majority of those severely ill and dying of covid-19.
Another data decision provoked more bafflement — the agency’s announcement in May that it would track only the most severe breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals that result in hospitalizations and deaths. Some critics argued that would make it more difficult to gain visibility into real-time changes in the pandemic.
But even those who support the agency’s approach note that until now, it has issued only a handful of reportsfrom those studies — and none based on data more recent than April, well before the delta variant began making inroads.
“What is very concerning is that we’re not seeing the data come out,” said Tom Frieden, a former CDC director who served under President Barack Obama. “It needs to come out. What you can criticize CDC for, validly, is why aren’t you talking about the studies you’re doing of breakthroughs? Even like, what’s the methodology. Where are they being done? What are the results so far?”
There has been such a long lag time, Frieden added, that some wonder if the CDC is hiding results. “And these are the people who are potentially friendly to CDC, so you know you’re in trouble when even your friends are suspicious of your motives,” he said, adding he was not talking about himself.
[And–wait for it–the omnipresent hand comes out for mo’ money. Poor CDC, with its sparkling TV studios and fancy buildings, its 12,000 staff, just can’t get the work done on its measly $8 billion dollar allotment. No wonder we can’t get an honest word out of them. And based on their fake data analyses, they can’t seem to find a competent statistician either. Too bad, when the job pays up to a starting salary of $149 K/year.
The bottom line is that CDC knew in April, 4 months after the start of Pfizer vaccinations, that there was a problem with too many vaccine failures, aka breakthrough cases. Loath to admit it, CDC decided to stop counting most of those cases beginning May 1.
Think about it. Four months ago CDC knew (and so did many others) — that what protection the vaccines provided was disappearing. So they rejiggered their statistics to hide this, claiming as recently as late July that 99.5% of deaths were in the unvaccinated–while they knew quite well it was a lie. The leaked CDC slide deck I discussed a couple of weeks ago revealed that 15% of Covid deaths back in May were in fully vaccinated Americans. I think the USG goal was to get everyone vaccinated before the public discovered that “vaccinations” would be a twice yearly event, of questionable benefit. Biden announced today that Shot 3 starts the week of September 20. This is probably a message to CDC and FDA that they had better go along with it, despite prior commitments to waiting for evidence that a third shot will actually prevent cases and deaths, before recommending them.
But Americans are slow learners. If you call it a vaccine, they take it. Call it a gene therapy product, which is what the manufacturers informed the SEC the product was, and people hold their nose.
By now it has been admitted in the UK that herd immunity cannot be achieved with these vaccines. No matter. If you have been vaccinated, welcome to the herd. And be grateful you weren’t branded.