Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Fog of the Covid War

BeeLine is driven by data.

The information I share, the judgments I make and the opinions I have are formed by data.

I also take into account that while data is objective, all data can be manipulated.

That is why I typically go to additional lengths to take a step back and attempt to discern if the data passes the smell test. Does it conform with common sense? Is it consistent with data from other sources? Does the person who compiled the data have an agenda?

The biggest reason I became interested in writing about Covid was that it was a data-rich subject.

As you recall, early in the pandemic all of the decisions being made were based on models of what experts told us what was going to occur.

We had to lockdown because hospitals were going to be overwhelmed.

If we did not do so a couple million people would die in the United States in a matter of months.

In the first couple of weeks I took these claims seriously. After all, we were dealing with the unknown. The "experts" should know, shouldn't they? They should have the best data.

Two weeks into the lockdown I started to see that what we were being told did not match the reality of the data that was coming in.

What drove me over the edge were projections that Ohio's Governor and Public Health Director were using to justify the extension of the severe lockdown and school closures at that time. Mind you, at that time they weren't even telling people to wear face masks. They were telling people to not wear masks. A mask mandate would not be imposed in Ohio until mid-July.

Here is a graph of one of the models that these officials were relying on at that time. I published this originally in my blog post "Models and Reality" on March 29, 2020.

It was projecting that 100,000 Ohioans would be in the hospital by the middle of May if we used a shelter in place policy for the next 3 months.

The state's public health director, Dr. Amy Acton, stated that she was expecting 10,000 new cases each day at the peak in May and this was with the current Covid policies in place until then.

The same model that projected 100,000 hospitalizations by mid-May forecast 174,000 deaths from the Covid pandemic of Ohio's nearly 12 million people.

I wrote at that time that none of this passed the smell test for me. The data I was seeing thus far simply did not fit the narrative.

The data later proved my instincts were correct.

What were the number of confirmed cases cases in Ohio by mid-May? 600 per day.

What were the number of hospitalizations at that time? Less than 80 per day.

It is true that confirmed cases in Ohio did eventually reach over 10,000 cases per day in November. However, that was six months after a mandatory mask mandate had been in effect in the state. How effective was it?

Total Covid hospitalizations for the last 16+ months are just over 60,000 in Ohio.

The modelers are still at it.

Here is a model that the University of Texas recently published projecting hospitalizations in Texas from Covid over the next month. It projects over 15,000 will be in the hospital in that state by the middle of August.  Currently there are 3,000.


We will see where the real data takes us.

However, if this turns out to be true it tells me that the vaccines are a total failure. I don't believe that right now looking at the data. I think the vaccines have had a very positive impact, particularly with those who are older. That seems apparent when looking at the data.

For example, this heat map shows deaths by age in the UK since the beginning of the pandemic. There was a significant decrease in deaths in older ages in the UK in the last few months despite the rise in cases due to the Delta variant. That is very good news that the vaccines are working for those who need the most protection.


At the same time, I think the vaccines have been oversold and I think there are substantial questions of whether the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for large portions of the population. This is particularly true to anyone under the age of 50. That opinion is based on DATA.

Look at the heat map again. There has been little mortality in anyone under age 50 throughout the pandemic.

It has been said that the Covid vaccines do not necessarily prevent someone from getting the infection but they are supposed to be highly protective to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.

60% of the age 12+ population in Texas has received at least one dose of the vaccines.

52% of the age 12+ population has been fully vaccinated in Texas.

83% of the 65+ age population has received at least one dose in Texas. 75% both doses.

Considering these facts, how is it possible to project that Texas could have more hospitalizations over the next month than it has had since the beginning of the pandemic? The only conclusion would be that the vaccines are not working.

You may have also heard recently the "data" that 99% of all deaths from Covid currently are among those who unvaccinated.

A number like that perks up my antenna.

If that is true, why are other countries with high vaccination rates showing much higher levels of cases, hospitalizations and deaths among those vaccinated than unvaccinated?

Something about the U.S. data does not add up when viewed against the data in other highly vaccinated countries that are seeing spikes in cases.

We then have Joe Biden saying this last night at a town hall meeting on CNN.

You can view the video clip here.

If you want to view another Biden cringeworthy response from last night watch this clip.

This is the leader of the free world and is totally in control of what is going on?

He clearly seem to be unaware of the six Texas legislators, Nancy Pelosi's press aide and White House staffers who were fully vaccinated but recently were reported to have Covid.

At the White House briefing on Tuesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed to reporters that a White House staffer has tested positive for Covid-19 after meeting with the Democrats who fled Texas to prevent a quorum on voting legislation. She also revealed that other staffers have tested positive, something that had previously not been shared with the press.

Biden also must not be aware of what is going on in the rest of the world.

These countries all have vaccinated a significantly higher number of their population compared to the rest of the world.

This is a graph of confirmed cases in these same countries (except Gibraltar for which Our World in Data does not have a data set).

However, this is the data on cases for Gibraltar for the period July1-17.


That equals about 332 cases/day per million. That would be about 100,000 cases per day in the United States. That is about 3 times what the U.S. is experiencing right now. Gibraltar has essentially vaccinated every person in the country age 12+.

Note that cases have exploded in these countries compared to the World numbers. They have also all gone up together whereas previously each had individual curves that were not related.

Why? What is the data telling us? It is certainly not telling us that if people have the vaccinations they are not going to get Covid as Biden alleged last night.

Where is the support coming for the "99% of deaths from Covid now are among those who are unvaccinated"?

It seems to come from an Associated Press analysis of data from May which concluded that only .8% of deaths from Covid in that month involved fully vaccinated people.

That report also quoted Andy Slavitt, a former Biden advisor on Covid, suggesting that 98%-99% of deaths from Covid were among the unvaccinated.

Interestingly, in doing my research I found that the CDC has not published any numbers breaking Covid deaths down between vaccinated and unvaccinated.

The AP report cited this as the reason.

The CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.

The key limitation appears to be that not all states and counties are breaking down this information and reporting it.

I have found that it is also difficult to research the background data at the state and local level as few are publicly reporting the breakdown of cases, hospitalizations and deaths split between vaccinated and unvaccinated. 

I did find data from San Diego County, California which I think is illustrative of how the data is being used to provide an inaccurate view of what is really going on.

San Diego reports that just .3% of the deaths from Covid in the county since January 1, 2021 have been in those fully vaccinated. This would be consistent with the narrative we are hearing.


However, consider when most of the deaths occurred this year. They were almost all in January and February before ANYONE was fully vaccinated!


What is happening in San Diego County more recently? 

64% of all residents age 12+ are fully vaccinated. The number is 86% for age 65+.

What are the numbers for Covid deaths broken down between vaccinated and unvaccinated for the last 30 days?

There were only 3 total deaths in the last 30 days in all of San Diego County which has a population of 3.5 million people. 2 vaccinated and 1 unvaccinated.

3 deaths in 3.5 million people in 30 days in one of the most populous counties in the United States!

That alone puts some of this in better perspective.


Admittedly, that is a small sample size of deaths but it is illustrative of how the data can be used to mislead.

It is true that there were a lot more cases in those who were not fully vaccinated and there was a greater chance for hospitalizations. However, it is not true that almost all recent deaths are among the unvaccinated.

I don't know what the real truth is on the percentage of Covid deaths today that are related to those who are vaccinated.

However, I am certain it is not 1%. My suspicion is that this is a manipulated number based on data from early in the year. It does not represent current conditions as it is being portrayed to the public.

What is the real number?

I don't know.

It is most common to find generalized statements that "almost all deaths (or cases or hospitalizations) are among the unvaccinated "but there is no data backing it up to see it for yourself.

For example, here is a headline from Forbes along those lines.

From the Forbes article.

Michael Ricci, communications director for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), wrote in a tweet that 100% of the state’s coronavirus fatalities in June were among the unvaccinated. 

Though Ricci did not specify Maryland’s death toll, data compiled by the New York Times shows 127 of the state’s residents died from Covid-19 in June, a decrease of over 70% from the 458 killed the month prior. 

Ricci also said that data shows 95% of new Covid-19 cases and 93% of hospitalizations were from unvaccinated people.

I could not not find data anywhere on Maryland's Covid site to confirm those numbers or to put them in context. Maryland is not breaking the numbers out. Is there a reason?

It appears that Forbes could not find it either.

Hogan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the data from Forbes.

One of the problems in getting good information is the CDC stopped counting breakthrough Covid cases among vaccinated people beginning May 1. Thus, Covid cases among the unvaccinated are all counted. Covid cases among the vaccinated are only counted if the case results in a hospitalization or death.

From the CDC website:

Source: CDC

How can the CDC really understand the full impact of how effective the vaccines are if they are not even collecting case data on the breakthrough infections of those vaccinated?

Logic says that cases should come down if the vaccine is doing what we are told it can do. Every additional vaccination should have a positive effect on the numbers.

Hospitalizations should come down.

Deaths should also decline.

This appeared to be the case for the last several months.

However, all of these measures are now advancing upwards.


Are the vaccines not as effective against current variants?

Are the vaccines losing their effectiveness over time?

Were we tricked into believing that the vaccines were more effective than they really are?

After all, remember that the majority of the clinical trials in the United States were conducted in the Spring and Summer last year when seasonality factors were not present in most of the world.

How will the vaccines perform in the Fall season when viruses spread much more easily in the populous northern states?

I am going to be looking closely at the data over the next six weeks. 

How will the Sunbelt perform which is at particular risk right now based on seasonality factors?

Will we see anything close to the projections in the model for Texas? If we do, I predict big problems ahead because it will signal a major failure in the vaccines.

What will we see when school's open?

As I have written previously, I am more concerned with the spread of other viruses in the school setting this Fall since so many children have not had the opportunity to allow their natural immune systems to be primed to combat a range of pathogens.

If you doubt this, take a look at what is going on in New Zealand (Winter season) right now and the epidemic curve for RSV in that country compared to past years.  



I will go where the data takes me.

I will not blindly follow "the narrative".

The most troubling aspect of everything we have seen the last 18 months is the unwillingness of our political and public health establishment to do the same.

Why are they afraid of being transparent with the data?

Why do they feel compelled to silence any contrary views?

Why aren't they humble enough to simply admit there are many things they don't know about the virus, its origins and the vaccines?

I don't know the answers to the questions I have posed. There are too many moving parts. We are in the midst of the fog of war when battling this pandemic.

The fog will lift at some point. The data will reveal the truth.

Let us pray that those who are pushing the narrative are on the right side of that truth.

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