Monday, May 23, 2022

You Won't See This On The Network News

How do Covid cases compare now to the same time last year?

In most places in the United States things seem pretty normal.

You don't hear much about Covid cases on the news.

People are attending sporting events, concerts and congregating at bars and restaurants.

You see some masks when you go out but in most parts of the country they are pretty rare.

The exceptions might be in heavily blue voting areas such as San Francisco.

For example, San Francisco still has a mask mandate requirement for anyone using public transportation.

How much have Covid cases fallen compared to last year?

The fact is that Covid cases are actually four times higher in the United States right now than they were at the same time last year!

New Reported Cases in the U.S.
7-day average
Source: The New York Times

Cases this year are also very likely understated compared to last year since home test kits are much more plentiful and a lot of cases never get recorded in the official totals.

It is pretty incredible that these are the facts and yet it gets almost no news.

It also does not provide much to support the efficacy of the vaccines.

I know many will look at the data and suggest that the reason cases are much higher this year is that mask mandates and Covid restrictions were lifted.

However, wasn't the argument being made last year that the vaccines would allow us to return to life as normal?

We have also seen revisionist history over the last year. It was at this time last year that the argument was being made that if you were vaccinated you would be protected from illness and would not spread the disease.

This was stated by both the CDC Director and Joe Biden last Spring and Summer.

We were also told last summer that it had become a pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Eventually the narrative changed to "nobody ever said the vaccines were going to protect you from getting sick but they would prevent severe illness and death".

Do you remember?

It is true that reported deaths nationally are about half of what they were at this time last year.

This might be due to the vaccines.

This could also be due to the fact that the Omicron variant that is prevalent today is much less virulent than what we were seeing last year.

It is also unclear how much of this reduction is due to the fact that a number of states have changed the definition of what is a Covid death. Deaths must be "from" Covid rather than merely be "with" Covid.

Massachusetts is one such state.


Let's take a closer look at what is going on in Massachusetts since it is a very blue state with one of the highest vaccination rates in the country.

What about cases, hospitalizations and deaths in that state right now compared to this time last year?

Last year at this time Massachusetts was averaging 472 cases/day (7-day average).

Massachusetts is currently averaging 4,426 cases/day. (9x higher).

Last year Massachusetts had an overall Covid hospitalization rate of 1.8/100,000.

Massachusetts currently has a hospitalization rate of 3.2/100,000. (78% higher).

More troubling is the fact that the hospitalization rate for those age 70+ was 6.1/100,000 last year at this time. It is now 15.6/100,000 for the age demographic most vulnerable to Covid. (156% higher).

New Daily Covid Hospital Admissions Per 100,000 in Massachusetts
Source: The New York Times

Last year at this time Massachusetts was averaging 10 deaths per day (7-day average). Deaths this year are currently averaging 12 per day. (20% higher).

This is in a state with 84% of everyone in the state age 5 and over fully vaccinated.

For those age 65+, 95% are fully vaccinated.

If the vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death how is it that hospitalizations for those age 70+ are 156% higher now than last year and deaths are also higher?

Massachusetts is not alone.

These are the ten states with the highest average daily Covid cases per 100,000 right now led by Rhode Island which also (coincidentally?) has the highest vaccination rate in the nation.

Source: The New York Times

Rhode Island has almost 7 times the cases they had at this time last year.

Hospitalizations among those age 70+ in the state are 10 times higher than they were at this time last year.

New Daily Covid Hospital Admissions Per 100,000 in Rhode Island
Source: The New York Times

Who can explain this?

95% of this age group are fully vaccinated and a large proportion boosted multiple times.

How are things going in San Francisco that still retains a mask mandate on public transit and undoubtedly has one of the highest mask usage rates in the country?

In addition, 88% of every man, woman and child age 5+ is fully vaccinated.

Cases are 36x higher this year than last year in San Francisco.

San Francisco has gone from a 17 cases per day last year at this time to 617 now.

New Reported Covid Cases in San Francisco- 7 day average
Source: The New York Time

In fact, I found it interesting that San Francisco actually has almost 4 times more people hospitalized with Covid right now (64) than it had cases at this time last year (17).

Source; The New York Times

Wealthy Marin County just outside of San Francisco is the most vaccinated county in the United States.  93% of everyone age 5 and over is fully vaccinated.

Marin County now has more cases than at the Winter 2020/21 peak. Cases are 35x what they were last year at this time. Hospitalizations are 5x what they were last year.

How does any of this support the narrative on the vaccines?

That is why you won't see any of this on the network news.

One more thing you are not going to see on the network news is that Australia has now overtaken the United States in cumulative Covid cases per capita since the pandemic began.

New Zealand is on track to soon surpass the United States as well.

It was not long ago the story on the network news was that these countries were the models to follow for their strict Covid policies and harsh vaccine mandates.

Is it also a coincidence that the cases exploded in these countries at the same time that Covid vaccine booster doses were being administered aggressively to their populations?

Looking at this data I cannot help but think about the warnings of Geert Vanden Bossche on how the mass vaccination effort would inevitably lead to more variants that in the end would be more infectious and more virulent.

I can guarantee you have never heard the name Geert Vanden Bossche on the network news.

A year ago Vanden Bossche stated that we should be careful about believing the pandemic was over as we saw cases decline dramatically.

The tell-tale sign would be that although cases might decline, the likelihood would be that they would not decline below previous lows. They would fall and level off at a higher plateau than before.

He called this a "valley of fitness" in which the virus would be working around the immune pressure from the vaccinations and would ultimately result in viral escape with new variants capable of infecting more people.

Notice in this chart that U.S. cases came down but eventually exploded upwards to levels much higher than was seen before despite the mass vaccination campaign.

Vanden Bossche would argue this was caused by viral escape caused by the immune pressure from the vaccines. In effect, the vaccines are causing the variants and facilitating transmission of the virus.

Notice as well that while cases are down from the highs earlier this year they have not reached the level they were last year. They are persisting at a higher level than last year. ( As stated above, 4x higher than last year at the same time).

This is also consistent with the predictions of Vanden Bossche from over a year ago.

His thesis is that the virus is once again working around the vaccinal antibodies which has been made worse by the additional booster doses.

If he is correct, the next variant will be more infectious and more virulent than Omicron.

Are we already seeing this in the Northeast United States?

I hope not. However, the data is concerning.

I am going to be looking at the Covid data from the Sunbelt closely over the next several  months.

The last two years have seen cases go up dramatically in those states in the summer months.

I am particularly interested in seeing what happens in Florida with its large senior population and a vaccination rate that is higher than any other Sunbelt state.

In fact, cases are already about 3x higher in Florida and hospitalizations for those age 70+ are 45% higher than they were last year at this time.

Are we going to see this strong seasonal pattern repeat itself this year in the Sunbelt states?

That might tell us a lot of where Covid is headed next.

The bigger question is whether the network news will continue to repeat the narrative or will they start asking the tough questions and do some real reporting of why we are seeing what we are seeing over two years into this pandemic.


  1. So what is the moral of the story? Was there no avoiding this? Did all of the lockdowns and mask mandates simply delay the inevitable that everyone would eventually catch Covid, and a few of us would die from it? Was there really nothing that could have been done to minimize Covid's impact? Should we have focused on therapeutics instead of vaccines?

    I totally get that our nation's approach was wrong, but what should have been done instead, if anything?

    1. It appears that you have figured out the moral of the story.
      What should have been done instead?
      A partial list.
      We never should have locked down after the initial two week period.
      We should have not overhyped the seriousness of the virus especially for those age 65 and younger.
      We should not have closed schools after Spring, 2020.
      We should not have sent patients home and told him there was nothing they could do.
      We should have been truthful about the fact that masks are largely ineffective in preventing infection other than well fitted N95 or better.
      We should not have placed all our bets on the vaccines.
      We should not have tried to shut down any alternative treatments in order to insure that vaccines received emergency use authorization.
      We should have been provided better informed consent to anyone who took the vaccines.
      We should not have oversold the effectiveness of the vaccines.
      We should never have mandated the vaccines.
      We should have never vaccinated children.