Weekly Roundup: Consensual Delusions And A Medicine Too Dangerous For Refugees Edition

220,000 Americans dead. If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this. Anyone who’s responsible for not taking control — in fact, not saying, I take no responsibility, initially — anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as President of the United States of America. — Joe Biden, final debate for the Presidential election, 2020

Well, we’re at 800k now and rising — or are we? Put on your most logical, bloodless, thoughtful hat, and let’s consider a dangerous question together: Why don’t Africans die of COVID-19? Fewer than 100,000 Africans have died from the virus since the beginning, even though there are more than 1.2 billion Africans and about 350 million… well, let’s not say “Americans”, let’s say “residents of the United States”.

Complain all you want about American health care, but it’s better than African health care, or at least that’s what I’m told by every African with whom I’ve ever spoken on the topic. On the whole, Africa is about seven percent vaccinated, compared to many places in America where the vaccination rate is eighty percent or higher. What about mask-wearing, hand-washing, social distancing, and all the repugnant COVID theater that provides the control freaks of the Western world such unprecedented opportunities to dictate how others live? Do you suppose they do more of that in Africa, or less?

Do they even have a Dr. Fauci, the American superhero who has saved so many of us?

Given that African-Americans are at statistically higher risk of dying from COVID-19 than their non-PoC counterparts, why are African-Africans so unaffected? After almost two years of taking the ostrich approach, the medical community is starting to really think about this. My Blue Tribe readers will no doubt be flabbergasted to learn that a coalition of African doctors thinks that the widespread use of ivermectin for other illnesses in Africa might have stymied COVID-19 infection vectors. Ivermectin? Isn’t that the Joe Rogan horse paste for stupid hicks in trailer parks?

Naturally, I have a theory of my own — but first, let’s talk about why international refugees, another group of people with a suspicious immunity to death-by-covid, aren’t getting their vaccines.

Before we do, the usual disclaimer: The staff here at Riverside Green is always at least one booster ahead of the normies. We firmly believe that the vaccine is safe and effective for adults, children, infants, animals, and fish. In order to write for this website, you must affirm that you are at least triple-vaccinated and willing to wear a double mask in your car. We fucking love science, especially when that science is explained to us on television.

Whew. Glad that’s over.

If you are an American or European, you have no doubt heard that the vaccines are safe and effective. Our social media performs a very sophisticated OCR on every image posted and will automatically insert a scolding disclaimer to any picture with certain key words in it, telling you that the vaccines are safe and effective.

The vaccines are so safe and effective that a coalition of concerned scientists (the best kind, really) filed an FOIA request to get more information about vaccine testing and rollouts, just to reassure those “vaccine-hesitant” trailer-park types who are busy eating horse paste. These requests are normally filled within 20 days, but in this case we are going to have a slight delay of… 55 years. By 2076, we should all have the information on how safe and effective the vaccines are.

Nothing to worry about, of course. The FDA wouldn’t approve the vaccine for 5-year-olds if there were any problems whatsoever.

Since it’s unfair that American 5-year-olds are getting their THE JABS ahead of elderly people in other countries, the United Nations has decided to purchase a massive number of vaccines for the refugees of the world… but there’s one little problem: the vaccine makers won’t sell to the UN. Roll the tape:

Gavi, which operates COVAX with the World Health Organization (WHO), says that where those applying for doses, mainly NGOs, can’t bear legal risks, deliveries from that stockpile can only be made if vaccine-makers accept liability.
The companies that are willing to do so under these circumstances provide only a minority of the programme’s vaccines, according to people familiar with the matter and the documents, written by Gavi staff for a board meeting starting at the end of November.

Four firms have agreed to accept liability for vaccine side effects: the three major Chinese providers plus Johnson&Johnson. If that list sounds familiar, it’s because that’s also the list of THE JABS that apparently do absolutely nothing against Omicron. The private-company mRNA shot vendors, by contrast, want nothing to do with the legal consequences of vaccinating refugees.

Perhaps the firms don’t have Instagram accounts and therefore aren’t aware just how safe and effective the jabs are?

Not to worry; refugees are remarkably resilient to COVID-19. The last number I saw suggested that fewer than 30,000 refugees have died of COVID, out of a cohort estimated at 26-plus million. One in a thousand, basically. Not quite the African ratio of one in twelve thousand, but better than the US-resident ratio of one in 400 or so.

Now, if you’re one of those repugnant nationalist types, you probably think this is because most “refugees” are military-age men in excellent health who left their women and children behind to face hell while they zip off to a new life in Europe or America, secure in the fact that they can easily replace their women and children with native equivalents in their new country. That is, of course, completely false… except where it’s completely true, of course.

Gosh, in some places it’s absolutely true.

We know, of course, that men ages 18-24 are all but immune to COVID, as shown below:

So this explains why refugees aren’t at much risk for COVID. It doesn’t explain why the vaccine manufacturers are so worried about offering THE JAB to them.

The above chart might also explain why Africa is such a “cold spot” for COVID deaths; the age distribution in what they called “The Dark Continent” in the astoundingly racist world of my youth is far, far younger than what we have in America or Europe. The chances of dying from COVID as an 85-year-old in Africa are very low, because the chances of being alive in the first place at that age are very low. Simple as that.

I wouldn’t spend too much time looking at that COVID-by-age chart, by the way; it could produce crimethink if you peruse it too carefully. You might start to wonder why we need to inject five-year-olds with a substance that is literally considered too dangerous for refugees, just to protect cohorts of people who are going to die of something anyway. This is an astounding inversion of human practice throughout history. Remember “Women and Children First!” on the Titanic? If that happened in 2021 and we treated it like we treat COVID, we’d shove the kids out of the way to get 90-year-olds on the lifeboats. I know a surprising number of people who are vaccinating their schoolchildren for the express purpose of protecting their parents or grandparents; this line of thinking produces a profound disquiet in my heart.

While I don’t want you to look at the above chart too long, I do want you to look at it for a moment, then look at this one:

I doubt any of my readers will be surprised by the fact that the vast majority of deaths in this country occur among old people, in pretty much the same ratio as COVID-19 deaths. The age-stratified graphs for heart disease and cancer look remarkably similar to COVID-19 charts.

The next question: How do you know when someone has died of COVID-19? Sometimes it’s obvious, but most of the time it’s a case of people dying with COVID-19, perhaps a little faster than they would have died otherwise. It is perfectly acceptable in America to code a death as COVID-related even if it is not the primary cause of death. Doing so entitles the care facility to reimbursement under CARES. The most rabid Blue Tribe “fact checkers” do not seriously dispute this.

(It’s worth noting that Facebook’s attorneys recently characterized their much-vaunted “fact-checking” infrastructure as opinion-based only.)

The CDC allows and even encourages the reporting of COVID-19 as a cause of death when it is not the primary cause of death; see the guidelines here.

Knowing everything we know above, let’s go through some hypotheses as to why the United States has the highest COVID-19 death rate in the world and African countries are among the lowest, taking refugee infection rates into account as well. I’ll put them approximately from most insane to least insane, by my reckoning anyway:

Hypothesis Zero: Africans and refugees are genetically resistant to COVID-19. This seems unlikely, not least because African-Americans are more likely to die from COVID-19 than non-Black Americans or Africans. And refugees are ethnically diverse, to say the least.

Hypothesis One: Ivermectin and other effective low-cost treatments are more popular elsewhere in the world because they are not in the grip of a pharma-governmental complex. This one has a little more traction in my mind, because it is a fellow-traveler of other exceptionally American conditions due to powerful pharma influence, like the opioid crisis and the extremely slow decision to take Vioxx off the market. The use of alternative COVID-19 therapies is commonplace elsewhere in the world but considered to be the sign of crackpot racist insanity in the United States; there is a wildly popular and front-page-listed subreddit devoted to crowing over the deaths of Covid patients who try other treatments, for example.

Hypothesis Two: COVID is almost exclusively a disease of old people, and we live in an old-person country.. This one stands up pretty well until we look at the discrepancies between the United States and other aging countries. In a very real sense, there are two categories of COVID death rates in the world. The first category is the United States and the United Kingdom, both of which regularly top the charts for reported deaths. The second category is… everyone else, from devil-may-care Sweden to ultra-authoritative China, both of which report a fraction of our death rate despite wildly different approaches to treatment and prevention. So we’d have to come up with a supplemental hypothesis to account for that.

Hypothesis Three: Death rates from COVID are pretty much universal around the world, but since the disease has become highly politicized in the United States and United Kingdom there are different and more enthusiastic standards for both testing and reporting. This one is my favorite, because it requires zero “leap of faith” assumptions. We know that the US and UK use aggressive standards to list COVID as a cause of death. We know that hospitals are financially encouraged (in the US) and bureaucratically encouraged (in the UK) to list COVID as a cause of death. We know that the US media positively delights in politicizing COVID deaths. We know the UK has a strong authoritarian tradition that has informed its COVID policy from Day One.

Admittedly, I’m personally inclined to like this final hypothesis because it lines up with my personal worldview that many of the world’s perceived problems are produced by the combination of poor data management and sensationalist media coverage. Is COVID-19 a real disease? Of course it is. Is it deadly? Certainly. Is it an historically unprecedented pandemic with a unique power to kill people? Probably not. But it is in the interest of various and diverse entities to pretend so.

Example: Forbes just ran a headline stating 7 Deaths From Omicron Covid-19 Coronavirus Variant In UK, Showing It’s Not The ‘Omicold’. Sounds reasonable; seven people have died in just two weeks! However, influenza by itself accounts for 25 deaths a week in the UK! The combination of influenza and pneumonia, which is the method by which COVID-19 kills most people without heart conditions, kills five hundred people a week in the UK. Seven deaths in two weeks? By that standard, Omnicron isn’t just “the common cold”; it’s far less deadly than the common cold. But the headline is, strictly speaking, true — and it’s being repeated in one form or another across the UK media.

More than ever, we are living in the era of the consensual delusion. For the purposes of this article, I define a “consensual delusion” as “an idea or concept that can be readily disproven, or credibly challenged, via reliable public information, but which is nevertheless widely believed and acted upon by the general public.” I’d like to list some American consensual delusions for you here, along with the evidence that refutes them, but doing so would be effectively fatal to my ability to feed and house my son. If you have a reasonable IQ, a reasonable education, and no emotional disorders, you already know what they are, from your own observation. If you lack one or more of those qualities listed above, you’d just get violently agitated if I discussed any of our society’s cherished illusions, so let’s not bother.

COVID-19 has reached the status of consensual delusion in America. This doesn’t mean it hasn’t killed anyone, because it has. It has killed people close to me, even. For all I know, it will kill me next week; I’m now slouching towards the high-risk cohorts. But I could just as easily die on a commercial flight next week, and that wouldn’t make commercial flights the biggest killer in America.

I spent much of the past three weeks in California, observing the most rabid of the consensual delusionists up close. You can’t eat a meal indoors in LA County without producing acceptable documentation of vaccination. This is the same Los Angeles that has seen murders and violent crimes increase significantly during 2021, the same Los Angeles where homeless encampments prevent kids from walking to school, the same Los Angeles where organized gangs are, ahem, acquiring goods en masse without police intervention. None of this has the attention of the government. It’s all COVID, all the time. While lane-splitting on various motorcycles I was flabbergasted at the number of people I saw wearing two masks while sitting alone in their cars. This is dangerously close to mental illness and is indistinguishable in practice from “making signs” to “ward off the Devil”.

The real tragedy is that, as Curtis Yarvin and others have noted, it would have been easy to contain COVID-19 in the beginning. All you had to do was shut down international travel. The virus is barely transmissible on hard surfaces and it doesn’t survive long. We didn’t do that, because to do so would have damaged our other cherished consensual delusions, from some poppycock about human rights to the belief that people who travel for leisure are morally superior to people who just sit in their trailer park and read Industrial Society and Its Future. Trump was absolutely pilloried for attempting the mildest variant of such a policy. COVID-19 is the most important thing in the world — but it’s not more important than the uninterrupted flow of cheap labor into the Western World and the equally uninterrupted flow of pleasure tourism out of it.

The UNHCR has gone some way to consider the impact of COVID-19 on refugees. Their conclusion? COVID-19 didn’t do much to refugees — but the policies put in place to contain COVID-19 have been devastating. If you read the UNHCR report in its entirety, you’ll get the sense that the coronavirus isn’t that big of a deal. It’s the response to the coronavirus that has been deadly and will continue to haunt us for the foreseeable future.

Hypothesis Zero: the UNHCR is correct.

Hypothesis One: in this regard, we are all refugees.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about an old boss and an imaginary truck.

106 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Consensual Delusions And A Medicine Too Dangerous For Refugees Edition”

  1. Don Curton

    I started a comment with all the lies about covid, but stopped. We’ve all seen them. I like your take on consensual delusion. Everyone believes in something that’s patently false, but sounds ok if you don’t think about it too long. Cool. That covers socialism, refugee crisis, welfare, government actually controlling the economy, climate change, and so on. Exposure to facts to those who are in the throes of consensual delusion tends to produce anger and drive them even deeper into delusion. It’s an emotional issue and facts don’t matter.

  2. CitationMan

    It’s very easy to induce cognitive dissonance in the “science is real” crowd just by asking them a few simple questions about Crazy-19 or other consensual delusions. I’ve had to end some long term relationships over this, but good riddance, I say.

  3. CJinSD

    What would have happened if the election theft hadn’t succeeded? Would the Democrats have given up on the great reset, because they wouldn’t have tried to walk back all their comments about refusing to take “Trump’s rushed experimental vaccines” during Beijing Joe’s campaign?

    • stingray65

      Very interesting to speculate on that question CJ. Would pharma industry payoffs to Kamala, Nancy, Joe, Chuck, AOC, etc. have been enough to overcome their Trump derangement syndrome and garner their support for Trump developed vaccines if Trump had managed to overcome the margin of fraud in the election, or would they be cheering on the “my body, my choice anti-jab patriotic resistance”?

    • stingray65

      If you look at the likely causes of all consensual delusions (which are 90+% Leftist) including gender pay gaps, 178 genders, anthropogenic climate change, systemic racism (BLM), and Covid hysteria they all have one thing in common: rampant feminist support. In fact, if you compare the current lock-downs, mask and vaccine mandates, and general hysteria surrounding Covid with the lack of such measures and hysteria for previous pandemics that were far deadlier to young and healthy people (i.e. Hong Kong, Asian, and Spanish flues), the biggest explanatory difference is the far larger influence and power of women in society. Women now comprise the majority of voters, medical school graduates, journalists, teachers, university graduates, government bureaucrats, and welfare recipients, and women are also much more likely than men to suffer from depression, hysteria (neuroticism) and are more empathetic and social(ist). Thus if you look at the institutions where all of the maximum craziness is coming from with regards to Covid and most other current Leftist “causes” they are dominated by “educated” (aka Leftist indoctrinated feminist) women and supplemented by so called men who are very in-touch with their feminine side (calling Dr. Fauci).

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      They keep repeating that at best misleading 79% figure without ever mentioning the 94% of on the job fatalities that are men. Not that the 79 cents on the dollar figure is accurate, but I think the possibility of not coming home from work might be worth a couple of dollar an hour or more.

      • stingray65

        It would be interesting to do a study where people are asked how much of their salary they would be willing to give up in order to: 1) have little or no chance of a violent workplace related death or serious injury, 2) work in a nice climate controlled building rather than outside in extreme heat or cold, 3) work with other people regularly rather than with things or in isolated settings, and 4) work in a position with seniority based promotions and fire-proof tenure rather than performance based pay and firing. I suspect that the male/female difference would be far greater than 21 cents when taking all these factors into account.

  4. John Van Stry

    Our government lies to us. Shocker. All government agencies lie too. Oh, another shocker.
    The government pays other people to lie to us. Wow, who’da thought?

    The question, as always, is why?

    (Oh, and I had Covid. As I have lung issues it started to cause complications. Hospital wouldn’t treat, kicked me OUT. Went home, took the ivomectin I keep for my animals and guess what? It worked.)

  5. Guns and Coffee

    “This is dangerously close to mental illness and is indistinguishable in practice from “making signs” to “ward off the Devil.”


  6. CliffG

    Charles MacKay wrote a book about this kind of stuff back in 1854 or so. Until humans actually change, it will remain nicely relevant. So three groups of people that none of us trust, big pharmaceutical companies, the news media, and the government all agree on certain things. With their track record one could bet the opposite and have good results. The only thing that amuses me is that the people in my age group (I’m 68) are far less concerned about it (on average) than the considerably younger (who have virtually no risk), almost all of whom verge on the hysterical.

    • stingray65

      You are too old to have received the K thru PhD Leftist indoctrination of the modern educational industrial complex. Furthermore, older generations are more religious than today’s young (partly due to the Leftist indoctrination), and nobody is more afraid of dying than someone who believes they will simply turn to dust after they take their last breath here on earth.

    • Rick T.

      We went to a Gatlin Brothers concert here in Middle (non-Nashville) TN last Saturday. As one would expect most of the attendees had Medicare as their health provider. While we had to have a mask on to enter the theatre, I would estimate 95% plus of us removed our masks once we came in and saw others had removed them.

  7. Edp

    No need to resort to conspiracy theories; the US population is older, sicker, and fatter. There are large numbers of immunocompromised people here compared to third world countries. Think organ transplant patients, cancer patients, etc.

    Beyond that, excess deaths are an enormous problem not recognized by the average layperson. Mortality, not just from COVID, is way up.

    The medical system can’t handle the strain and things aren’t being taken care of as usual. I have been in medicine for over twenty years now and have never had so many patients die. It’s simply astounding.

    We do too good of a job separating the sick from the well. Since people rarely die in the streets, the average person doesn’t have a gut level feel for how bad it is right now….

    • Trollson

      AFAIK the medical system is designed to operate at or near capacity. Otherwise you get tik tok nurses.

      Of course firing staff over refusal to take experimental treatments reduces that capacity, but the effect of filtering out individualists from the profession appears to be more important for some reason.

      Is it really unexpected excess mortality by the way, or just the beginning of the boomer die-off, the great demographic shift where open borders are supposed to replace that generation?

    • stingray65

      Older, fatter, sicker than not only much of the developing world, but also any previous pandemic (i.e. Hong Kong, Asian, Spanish flues), but has the medical profession and other pandemic “experts” made any concerted effort to encourage Americans to lose weight, eat a balanced diet (or at least take some vitamins including D, and Zinc), and get outside to exercise (i.e. take a walk, take the steps instead of the elevator)? No, the exact opposite in fact, as we have been encouraged/forced to sit inside and/or exercise with masks on even when outside, but happily can order junk food to be delivered to our doorstep. And since when has it become “medical knowledge” and practice to hide an entire population from a virus? No, I think the big problem is not just obesity and old age, but more importantly the Leftist indoctrinated “experts” and “leaders” have become too stupid to live and are intent on taking the rest of us with them.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      If you had to guess as to why mortality is way up, beyond Covid, what would it be? I have mine, but this is a conversation more than a lecture here, or at least I want it to be.

      • hank chinaski

        If it really is, I could think of some possibilities: Delayed routine care/screening because of covid fears. Traffic and drug OD deaths are up significantly. Murder records across the country are being broken. The frail but vaccinated feeling overconfident and increasing exposure to themselves. Vaccine side effect fatalities are higher than being admitted to (and any data based on self reported information and without a control group is, well, shit). There is something we don’t know yet to explain why certain younger people get seriously ill from it (think the ‘gay bowel disease’ point on the AIDS knowledge curve or that HepC existed).

      • Edp

        -Delayed care, delayed scans, operations, testing, results – the system is really broken right now.
        -worsening of underlying disease, think diabetics out of control with subsequent heart attacks
        -high stress environment, financial, emotional. I know people on this blog don’t believe in it, but many people really have died from COVID, and every one that dies has loved ones affected. In high impact areas like where I work, everyone knows someone who died.
        Sometimes big numbers are too big to wrap our mind around, so let me use an anecdote.
        I have about 2000 patients I take care of. Death is a normal part of life, and I typically have a death about every 4-6 months in my panel, so 2-3 each year.
        In the first year of COVID I had 10 deaths of personal patients – 5 COVID, 5 not. Not remotely normal, not fiction.

        • CJinSD

          Let’s call it eight out of two thousand. Do you want to destroy the system that created all of these people living on borrowed time to address that 0.4% mortality rate, knowing as you do that the disruption to our economy and healthcare system is going to do more harm in even the medium term? Knowing that the vaccines are killing far more healthy, young people than the virus is? Knowing that eventually the supply chain ‘disruptions’ will add up to shortages of real necessities like food and medicine? “If it saves even one life” is a fundamentally evil lie when “it” comes at the cost of far more life than “it” preserves.

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          “I know people on this blog don’t believe in it, but many people really have died from COVID, and every one that dies has loved ones affected. In high impact areas like where I work, everyone knows someone who died.”

          For the record, my grandmother died of COVID last year. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say she died with it; she was ninety-six. She fell, was taken to the hospital, got infected there, and died from pneumonia.

          Losing my last living grandparent to the disease has strengthened my resolve to consider the issue dispassionately, and to be a seeker after truth where it is concerned.

        • JMcG

          I’m not disputing what you say in any way. However, at some point the Baby Boom becomes the Death Boom. That large cohort is beginning to die off. I’d expect overall deaths in this country to naturally increase for the next ten or fifteen years before sinking back to a new normal.

        • Sobro

          You don’t mention the demographics of your 2000 patients, but if they were average Americans then in 2019 you would have expected 17+ to die.


    • Baconator

      ^^^ this is the reason. Serious morbidity and mortality from COVID is highly correlated with BMI, persisting cardiovascular disease, and other pre-existing conditions like COPD. The US and UK have higher rates of all of these, by a considerable margin.

      There is also a decent strain of evidence that Vitamin D levels matter quite a bit, and that this accounts for the difference in age-adjusted death rates between equatorial nations and the high-latitude nations, and also between nations with more of an outdoor activity culture in comparison to the US & UK.

      I thought the evidence as regards obesity and COVID was sturdy enough to make a very concerted effort to lose the last ten years or so of weight that I gained. I’ve had to sacrifice French fries and potato chips to get there, which is a *much* greater hardship than wearing a mask to the grocery store.

  8. Ark-med

    Cue the statistics anoraks clamouring about how the null hypothesis should be labelled “Hypothesis Zero.” It seems that Hypothesis Three is closest to the null one.

      • TL

        Spending too much time as or around programmers can have odd effects on a person.

        –Full Disclosure: I have received financial compensation for writing code.

  9. Newbie Jeff

    “More than ever, we are living in the era of the consensual delusion”

    Yet another consequence of the American progressive movement winning the culture war. Notice they never engage with full context of the virus – or the 2nd- and 3rd-order destructive effects of coronavirus “policy”. Masks “save lives” (don’t ask for data), natural immunity is completely insufficient (because science), and the non-compliant “freedumb” class of useless citizens like truck drivers and airline pilots are essentially mass murderers. The hysteria is as real as the American Left needs it to be… thus, the delusions will continue as necessary to serve our culture war victors.

    Speaking of, NY State actually working on legislation to empower the NY governor to order the “detention and/or removal” of anyone deemed to be a “case, contact, or carrier of a contagious disease that, in the opinion of the governor… may pose an imminent or significant public health risk”…

    Not paraphrasing. Actual quotes. Search for “New York State Assembly A416”. Enjoy.

    • stingray65

      “contagious disease” as in support for the US Constitution as it was written, or a belief that Trump was actually the winner in 2020, or a belief that there are only males and females, or a belief that shoplifting, arson, looting, carjacking, drug dealing, vagrancy, and border jumping are actually crimes?

    • Daniel J

      When it comes to masks, if the Government and powers that be really believe they worked, how come N95s aren’t being drop shipped to my door as we speak?

      • stingray65

        If masks really work, why do those in government only seem to wear masks when they believe journalists are around taking pictures?

      • JMcG

        If N95 masks worked against viruses, they’d work in asbestos remediation job sites. Instead, positive pressure hazmat suits are required. When masks were still required in barber shops here, I’d routinely find mine to have hair clippings inside after I was finished.

  10. stingray65

    Anyone here follow European soccer? For some unknown reason, there has been a highly unusually large number of on-field collapses from heart problems of highly fit 18-35 year old male soccer players who just so happen to be fully vaccinated against Covid. Its a medical mystery that seems to be beyond science.

    • dejal

      Only issue with that is US sports overall is probably larger. The closed to soccer players in the amount of similar effort would be NBA players. NFLers are like drag racers, 0 to 300 in seconds, rinse/repeat. Soccer and the NBA is like sports car racing. Extended running “Near” flat out.

      But, no one is dropping to ground in the US. So, what’s the difference? I’m not denying it’s happening over there, but no one is checking why it’s happening over there.

  11. BlueovalDave

    they are not injecting immigrants at the border with the miracle gene therapy because the Emergency Use Authorization only applies to US citizens so therefore these immigrants could in fact sue the gene therapy snake oil salesmen if they have side effects. Side effects like the heart attack my healthy brother got after receiving his booster. Coincidence undoubtedly.

    yes soccer players dropping like crazy. I suspect American football and basketball players either have fake vax cards or they paid someone to give them saline shots. No way in hell Tom Brady allows them to shoot that stuff in his veins but yet he is supposedly vaxxed.

    • hank chinaski

      Chaser: the sportsball player who may lose his gig for a faked jab card, after skating for incidents of assault, both sexual and the regular kind.

  12. Ronnie Schreiber

    The evolutionary nature of viruses is that as they mutate they get more contagious and less virulent. That’s why the family of corona viruses that cause what we call the common cold generally don’t kill us.One reason why we may have not had worldwide pandemics of any of the really nasty hemorrhagic fevers like yellow fever, ebola and marburg is that they are almost too virulent to spread widely as they kill people too quickly.

    The Covid-19 virus looks to be following the general pattern of viral mutations. Delta was more infectious and less deadly than the original strain, and Omicron is even less deadly.

    I got two doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine but I’ve decided to not get a booster as I think the risk of dying from Covid now is low enough that I don’t think it’s necessary.

    • stingray65

      Ronnie are you a medical doctor? Do you have an advanced degree in infectious disease or pandemic statistical modelling? If not, then stop spreading all your non-hysterical common sense so that the rest of us can remain hysterical and afraid to leave our homes until everyone from newborns to 110 year olds are fully vaccinated with the latest boosters from our good friends in the pharmaceutical industry.

  13. Mike

    Probably a combo of H2 and H3, though I’d amend “country of old people” to “First-world country with the unhealthiest adult population”. That about covers it. They ought to refer to this country as “The United States of Comorbidities”. It would be interesting to compare charts of Plague-19 deaths by state and compare with rates of respiratory illness, diabetes, and obesity in those states.

    I do understand the thought process of getting younger people the shot to protect those older and more susceptible. The danger, though, is that young white males are the least “protected” class in the country -no one cares if they die. If the shot is possibly causing heart problems in them, there’s no incentive to find that out and little incentive to fix it.

    I have noticed the same trend of the propaganda machine repeating the “safe and effective” mantra ad nauseum. I mentioned to my non-gender-identifiable-life-partner the other day that whenever I hear that, now, I find myself repeating it over in my head, in parrot voice. “Brrraaawwwk! Safe and Effective! Brrrraaawwwk!”. Said life-partner thought this was a perfect caricature of where we currently are with this thing, but cursed me because now whenever s/he/it hears that phrase from now on, s/he/it is going to hear the parrot voice.

    • Tyler

      H3 is a very deep rabbit hole. Medical data from the hospital floor is a patient history designed to drive quality of care metrics and billing, drafted by exhausted people making $30/hr (now $150 but still) and scrubbed by people making $15. It is highly resistant to queries designed to yield meaningful population health conclusions or really any outcome-based reporting in the aggregate, as IBM has already discovered and as Mr. Ellison soon shall. (Heard much about Goldman and Amazon reforming the industry lately? No? Anonymous tip, short Oracle.) It’s bad enough for diseases we understand. It is borderline useless for novel conditions. Let alone novel conditions that gut the elective-surgery revenue streams and scare off the help. And that’s before fraud and the political incentive etc. even enters the frame.

      My own pet crazy: there are probably some really troubling trends right now for the China Exim class. Lots of businesses of all sizes are upping the “catastrophic risk” value in their supply chain algorithms and shifting asset allocations away from China-dependent securities. We might be getting a world of redundant supply chains and (gasp) inventories. We are being shown bloodsport because the alternative might, might, be to start building a post-Covid world that needs Wharton x Beijing less.

  14. hank chinaski

    If the jab was a car or a plane, and the manufacturer had both full indemnification and lobbied to time-capsule its safety data for 50 years, nobody would get in one. Doubly so if players in that industry had very recently gotten caught intentionally addicting customers or arbitrarily quintupling the price of older products. Imagine going to a restaurant where a large segment of the employees refused to eat the food, or were forced to in order to keep their jobs.

    I’m in favor of a combination of theories one, two and three. Besides being an old country, we spend a lot keeping the chronically ill alive that other nations (particularly the UK) do not, and they are always the first to go. Winter is forever a busy time for hospitals and morticians. A piece of data you’ll never hear is the US age-adjusted death rate now compared to say, 2019. Bonus (?), our children are collectively losing their shit over this.

    Pope Fauci is desperately pushing his lies to avoid a well deserved walk up the scaffold for deliberately skirting protections put in place to prevent exactly this from happening. Chabaduo indeed.

    It’s a safe bet to assume that if we had serious men as leaders, rather than a demented husk for a president, a K Street owned Congress and a legion of Governor Karens, this would have been addressed differently. Most of our leaders are also of a particular age. The zoomer quip ‘Boomer Remover’ really hit the thermal exhaust port of that perpetually navel gazing cohort. Just wait until the squad takes over and raids Social Security.

  15. Daniel J

    Where do I begin…

    First, I have questions about the two images you posted. Is the 69 percent the vaccination death percentage or just population which has been vaccinated? It’s just a bit confusing.

    The CDC hasn’t really changed their stance on cases to vaccination status nor deaths to vaccination status. While they have a nice little graph, the graph doesn’t show an entire sample. In most states the only time a vaccination status is asked for is if one is hospitalized. I know where I live, with an antigen or PCR test that is reported to the state officials, they ( clinics who are testing ) are not asking for vaccination status eve if you test positive. Basically, the CDC has been very misleading about breakthrough cases for the last 6 months.

    With all that in mind of course, we have all kinds of NFL, NHL, NBA and other pro sports athletes testing positive who have been vaccinated. Now we have E. Warren and Corey Bush testing positive even though they’ve been vaccinated. There are several media types out on twitter who are NOW just coming to the conclusion that breakthrough cases aren’t an anomaly, but rather common place. This is of course most people who follow anything other than CNN have known for quite some time, going all the way back to Israel’s data from over the summer, which the media blindly ignored.

    Then we have the vaccine mandates which keep getting paused and restarted by the courts. It’s looking like the Scotus will have to rule on some of these mandates at some point. What I find most interesting is that even with all the mandates, the percentage of people in the United States who are vaccinated has barely gone up. Which either means: 0. People quite their jobs or went elsewhere, 1. are already vaccinated or 2. are people who aren’t subject to these mandates in the first place. This makes these mandates useless at most just to get, what, may be a million or 2 more vaccinated? Fundamentally, the Ds are will pay for the mandates come the next few election cycles, with very little real health benefit.

    Moving more into the meat of Jack’s original post, we’ve always known that death from Covid was largely going to be an issue for the old. My father died of Covid like I’ve mentioned. It’s easy to suggest that he died WITH Covid, but he probably had at least another 2 or 3 years in him. Did he have health issues? Sure, at 74. I think many elderly who died from Covid probably had their life cut short by several years or more. It’s is also very likely that many elderly who died with/from Covid were going to die within the year anyways. All we have to do is look at the excess deaths, and it really looks like about half of the Covid deaths fall into the *from* category and the other half in the *with* category.

    The reason why African’s aren’t having as much death is probably a mixture of the last two hypothesis. They don’t live long to begin with, and tracking is going to be much more complicated. We don’t have to go back that many years to see how hard it was to track Ebola cases and STD cases on the African Continent.

    When we talk about death *rate* we must be clear about what we are talking about. If we are talking about deaths per rate of infection, according to Reuters, is 2.4 percent on the African Continent. This is similar to every other continent. This debunks the last two hypothesis, and suggests that the death rate is in fact not low.

    If we are talking about deaths per estimated population, then, sure, the last two hypothesis, which I believe both to be at play, are a good candidates. I’d also offer up a another hypothesis: Covid cases across the continent are low, primarily due to the rural nature and tribal nature of some areas of the Continet. Africa’s infection is .76 percentage for the population, whereas North America is slightly over .10 percent.

    • stingray65

      Urbanization in Africa is now over 50% and rapidly growing, and I suspect that African people in both cities and rural areas are packed much more tightly in whatever dwellings they have than is the case in more developed countries. In fact, that is the justification given for the Covid-camps set up in Australia, because the rural aboriginal populations tend to pack 10-20 people into their small homes, which creates “spreader” opportunities that the camps are designed to alleviate. Obesity is also rapidly rising in Africa and among Australian aboriginals, although probably not yet up to black-American standards.

  16. 94 metro

    It’s a combination of reporting differences (we are more generous with tallying our covid deaths) and a more comorbid adult population. I haven’t looked at the stats in detail but my anecdotal experience is that obesity is the most profound risk factor for *younger* patients. I’ve cared for plenty of 30-somethings and 40-somethings with severe covid but only a handful had a BMI less than 30. The most profound risk factor overall is definitely age.

    Also anecdotally: from spring through late summer 2021 I never saw a vaccinated patient with severe covid. It truly was a pandemic of the unvaccinated. I remember the first vaccinated guy to come through the unit was a 90 something in September. I thought he was a medical oddity. Then more came. I guess we are gonna need annual boosters just like flu which is a bummer.

    I think it’s important to separate the questions:

    1: should we take the vaccines? Yes! I am in full throated support of vaccines for the whole adult population. The benefit definitely outweighs the risk for anyone north of 30 or so, and it makes sense for healthy 20 somethings to get the vaccine for population benefit.

    2: should we *mandate* vaccines? I say no.

    3: should we lock down schools, tell parents to isolate their children during important developmental times and punish small businesses for disobeying government mandates? I say no.

    4: should kids get vaccinated? Well, I’m voting with my feet on this one and holding off for now. Give me another year or two of safety data and we’ll talk.

    The problem is we have divided into blue/red tribes where most people either answer “yes” to all or”no” to all and the answers are determined more by political affiliation and which media you consume than by thoughtful reasoning and weighing of the risks/benefits of each choice.

    • Mike

      I have been telling any and all pretty much the same thing. This shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing proposition. I don’t see any data that shows the risk of the shot outweighs the benefits. But it should be a personal medical decision, your job shouldn’t depend upon it, we don’t close down the economy (which hurts blue color workers, minorities, and women disproportionately harder than white middle/upper class males) and parents ought to have the right to make the medical decisions for their own progeny.

    • stingray65

      Since you seem to have a medical background, can you please try to answer the following question:

      If vaccination provides protection against severe Covid illness (i.e. vaccinated that test positive for Covid generally experience only mild symptoms and discomfort), how does vaccinating healthy 20-40 year olds provide a population benefit given that 20-40 year olds have virtually no personal risk from Covid and natural immunity seems to provide stronger and more durable protection than the vaccination?

      • 94 metro

        Being vaccinated as a low risk individual decreases viral loads and viral shedding so even if breakthrough infections are the new normal (and they will be) you would be less likely to infect your high risk fellow man.

        • stingray65

          Thank you, but is the high risk fellow man really at risk if they are vaccinated and boosted? In other words, do vaccinations and boosters protect high risk individuals from the getting severe symptoms from Covid positive unvaccinated or vaccinated?

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          How much truth do you think there is to the idea of the vaccinated shedding additional harmful spike proteins et al?

          • Mike

            Jack- I know some people who are very anti-vaxx who are very much convinced they “feel different” around people who have gotten the shot/s. I don’t share these “feelings”, but what do I know, I’m just a dumb, middle-aged white male, I’m not supposed to feel anything. Everything I’ve read points to the shots not “shedding”, as they’re not live viruses or even killed viruses. But I guess old anti-vaxx conspiracies die hard. These are the same people who think they contain mercury and 5G chips.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            Well, let’s be as smart as we can here:

            “5G chips” are virtually certain to not be in the virus, as any supply chain for adding billions of tiny chips into a vaccine would leave a traceable global footprint. And in any event the efficiency of a chip is determined by hard factors; a chip tiny enough to disappear into a vaccine wouldn’t be able to accomplish anything of note. It would also need a power supply, which would be larger.

            Mercury in the vaccines? That’s based on thimoseral in flu vaccines, which isn’t pure mercury but can cause problems in incorrectly metered doses. I’d call this “unlikely” rather than the “impossible” I’d say for 5G.

            Shedding of spike proteins? We know that spike proteins can be found in the blood after the J&J vaccine is administered, because everyone admits it. We know that the shedding of proteins is theoretically impossible with the mRNA vector. That being said, this is not a laws-of-physics CAN’T HAPPEN, but more like a cell-biology-as-we-know-it SHOULDN’T HAPPEN. I’d rate this as “highly unlikely”. But we’ve seen plenty of “highly unlikely” things happen with this vaccine so far. Nobody thought it would result in young men dropping dead, but that’s certainly happening.

            You see how the so-called Narrative sets it up, though, right? There’s a seamless transition from impossible bullshit (5G) to unlikely stuff, but they’re all treated and described the same way.

        • Daniel J

          94 metro,

          There’s been plenty of data, especially with the delta variant, that the vaccines do NOT reduce viral load nor viral shedding. They only reduce symptoms. This was not the case with the original few variants we had. The MSM has lied about this over the last 4 months. Now some are starting to speak out and ask the questions we’ve all been asking about the vaccines and viral loads and viral spread.

          Is it possible that the data showing equal viral loads is due to the vaccines wearing off after 6 months and that was when the data was collected? Sure. But jeez, even a single flu shot works for AT LEAST a year, not 6 months.

      • Mike

        Unlike 94 metro, I do not have a medical background, but as I’m fairly neutral on the shots, and consider myself of (at minimum) mid-wit intelligence, I have some additional thoughts. I have heard that those who have gotten the shots are more likely to spread the Plague, since they may be less symptomatic. First, this logic defies the argument that the shot does nothing (since apparently it is decreasing symptoms in those who get it). Second, even if one is asymptomatic, if they are out in public they’re not coughing and sneezing, and if they are masking (which is imperfect, but according to the big Yale study does help reduce spreading by about 11%) then the risk of spreading is lower.

        I have seen articles (medical) that point to more durable immunity resulting from catching the plague AND getting the shot. So there’s that.

        Finally, in today’s news there was a story about a Carnival cruise where of the 6,000 passengers, all of whom had to have gotten the shot (unless they were under 12, in which case they had to have tested (-) within a day or so of boarding), 50 caught the Moronic variant. The story buried within was that all of them were asymptomatic, which means that that number was assuredly higher than 50 passengers.

  17. gtem

    My wife is a doctor at our local VA, a patient population of old men with a decent amount of unhealthy habits. COVID has hit them hard, no doubt, it’s very real to those old (and/or obese) patients. And in spite of all those horrible tik-tok nurses and clout chasers posting their mask-imprinted “tired” selfies, yes it’s been very tough on the staff at the hospitals. High attrition rate among the nursing staff throughout 2020, the added idiocy of firing the non-compliant un-vax’d staff, leaves them in an even tighter spot now than in 2020. Now having said all that, I am absolutely adamantly against mandatory vaccinations in particular and especially of children. Exactly like you said, why expose our most precious for the sake of the (very) old? I’d expect to see this type of logic in China or elsewhere in the third world where kids are seen as almost disposable and the elderly are protected above all else. But in what I’d consider the civilized world, it’s always been, and always should be, the opposite case. That’s not to say we don’t care about the elderly, but that our kids should come first and foremost.

    • stingray65

      China no longer considers kids to be disposable, and indeed is trying like heck to get young people to have more children. They also no longer venerate the elderly nearly so much, and indeed face a huge crisis in having far more too many elderly requiring pensions/medical care, which is why I believe if the true story ever comes out about the laboratory origins of the the Covid virus it will emerge that it was designed to kill off the elderly and sick to protect social security systems and the welfare state from imploding. In fact, given how little I have seen about the fiscal implications of the Covid die-off (i.e. 95% pensioners on Medicare or obese on disability/Medicaid), I have to wonder if the money trail will lead to many Western governments faced with large numbers of elderly and low fertility rates.

  18. ScottS

    “In order to write for this website, you must affirm that you are at least triple-vaccinated and willing to wear a double mask in your car. We fucking love science, especially when that science is explained to us on television.”

    Damn. Looks like I won’t be writing for Riverside Green . . . and I almost have that truck review finished.

    And thank you for another year of thoughtful articles both here and at Hagerty!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Not to worry, sir… I see plenty of triple-vaccinated double-maskers in proper trucks.

      Er, wait.

      I really don’t.

      We might need to give you the same kind of exception that Mrs. Pelosi gets for insider trading.

      • Mike

        On a 6-hour-long road trip yesterday, every car-masker I saw was driving what I would consider a “demographically-appropriate-vehicle” (DAV). Mostly Prius, with a smattering of other hybrids, EVs, and the odd Subaru.

      • stingray65

        Jack – are you suggesting that Nancy’s 69% annual return rate on her investments is not simply a product of her brilliant mind for business?

        • Eric L.

          Again, I really have to pry into your anonymity and convince you to spill the beans on what your day job is. I’m thinking a late 50-something sysadmin-DBA combo for physics labs in Purdue, but you’ve somehow escaped political cleansings through your own craftiness.

          Or you run a hedge fund.

          • John C.

            It’s none of our business but I would guess senior RNC staffer. Maybe the go between of cocaine Mitch and Taiwan shipping PLC. Or the guy who very occasionally reminds Rona Romney not to sound so liberal.

  19. soberD

    For some reason I listen to a lot of Chicago sports talk radio. 3 or so months ago the vaccine shaming was at fever pitch, then again during the Aaron Rodgers thing.
    Now that NBA and NFL games are being postponed in spite of 95% or higher vaccination rates they won’t even say the word.

  20. R

    Hypothesis 2.5- we are old and fat. Marginally younger than other western nations, massively fatter. On containing covid through international travel, this requires the delusion that we have a secure border. But I agree with the sentiment.

  21. Disinterested-Observer

    Although, like the staff at RG I am:

    “always at least one booster ahead of the normies. We (I) firmly believe that the vaccine is safe and effective for adults, children, infants, animals, and fish. In order to write for this website, you must affirm that you are at least triple-vaccinated and willing to wear a double mask in your car. We fucking love science, especially when that science is explained to us on television.”

    There is one thing that gives me cold comfort as far as the safety of the vaccine, if not its efficacy, and that is this: Under normal circumstances the Eloi would happily sacrifice thousands of African Morlock children to ensure that it was safe. In this case they were tripping over themselves to cut the line. Even Orange Man Bad stepped over the bodies of the deceased to get the shot.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Ah, but you’re making the major assumption that what “they” get is what “we” get. Having been granted a very small look through the lens of high-net-worth healthcare, I’m not sure that’s the case. A significant amount of wealthy people in this country are getting regular doses of HGH and other controlled substances, and there’s no adverse action being taken against them for doing so. Perhaps they’re just getting saline in place of a vaccine. Who knows?

      And yes, I realize this has more than a bit of “conspiracy theory” about it, but think of the multiple times recently where people have faked vaccinations for photo ops, have been caught doing it, and have issued entirely nonconvincing denials afterwards.

      • Disinterested-Observer

        Eh, I wouldn’t put it past them, I just don’t think the timeline bears that out. That would be like believing the FBI put agents provocateur in the Black Panthers. Or that the ATF deliberately sold guns to criminal organizations in Mexico resulting in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. You would have to believe that our government was capable of dropping bombs on a city block in Philadelphia, or burning 25 children and two pregnant women to death in Texas. That’s just absurd.

  22. Keith

    With the baby boomers entering retirement age drawing and on social security, it becomes necessary and helpful to the economy to devalue the currency so that their payments are a smaller percentage of our economy.

    I know the are payments are tied to CPI. But that calculation is bunk now and grossly undercounts true inflation.

    The grasshopper boomers with out assets to sell off and going to experience a real decline in their quality of life.

    Younger workers staying employed are going to experience some massive wage inflation. If the open borders Democrats aren’t kicked out they will counter this by doubling down immigration.

    The “pandemic” gave the central bankers cover to print money and devalue the money owed to boomers, essentially.

    • stingray65

      You are correct Keith, but the problem with devaluing the currency with inflation is that it causes interest rates to rise, which is problematic for governments that hold a lot of interest bearing debt. Given the relatively favorable demographics, large size, and economic conditions in the US relative to other “safe havens” (i.e. Europe, Japan, China, Australia/New Zealand), rising US interest rates will also tend to draw in foreign investors looking for a nice safe return on their savings, which will tend to strengthen the dollar. That is why the untold story with Covid is the killing of the silent generation and early boomers who are drawing pensions/social security and using lots of publicly funded healthcare, which is going to potentially be a huge windfall for social security systems and public health insurance systems such as Medicare.

      Of course the deficit problem would also disappear quickly if the Treasury department starting printing up trillions in government bonds paying 3 to 5% interest and giving the proceeds to Nancy Pelosi to invest where she has a proven track record of earning 69% returns, which is why we need to work hard to keep 81 year old Nancy safe from Covid and Trump seditionists.

      • Disinterested-Observer

        Imagine a scientist performing gain of function research on viruses at some foreign lab funded by Saint Fauci and the CDC. They synthesize a virus that pretty much only kills old people. As a member of the Central Planning Committee you are pleased because your country has a massive demographic problem as a result of prior policies. The scientists inform you that as a bonus it will fundamentally destroy the cultures of countries that you consider to be your enemies for some reason. The only downside is that it will also kill their old people, allowing those countries to sidestep a bill that is rapidly coming due.

  23. Keith

    “ You are correct Keith, but the problem with devaluing the currency with inflation is that it causes interest rates to rise, ”

    No it doesn’t. Interest rates are dictated by the federal reserve bank board members. They only rise once they decide to let them.

    They will allow inflation to run as hot as is possible while still allowing the Democrats to stay in office and not get voted out.

    Interest rate increases are weapon used against republican and nationalist presidents to induce recessions and get them booted from office.

    There has never been an interest rate increase under a Democrat presidency in my lifetime.

    Only recently has the money printing gotten so aggressive they may actually be forced to attempt to tame inflation while Biden is still in office.

    I suspect they are just jawboning though. I won’t believe that they are going to meaningfully tighten monetary policy until I see it.

    • stingray65

      The Fed can try to keep a lid on interest rates, but if inflation stays at 10% or higher the credit market will then dry up because nobody is going to loan out money at 5% and be paid back with toilet paper. High inflation and no credit will not only crash the dollar, but also mean zero votes for Democrats, and the Fed will then be free to tighten things up to pop any remaining real estate market and stock market bubbles, and induce government spending cuts under an “evil” Republican administration.

      • Keith

        “The Fed can try to keep a lid on interest rates, but if inflation stays at 10% or higher the credit market will then dry up because nobody is going to loan out money at 5% and be paid back with toilet paper. ”

        Of course they will. Banks borrow it from the fed at 0-2% and flip it to you and me for 3-10% depending on what we’re buying. The banks will always take this deal because the interest rate arb is just free money for them.

        This source of credit will never run out until the fed wants it to. Inflation is driven by monetary policy, not the reverse.

        • stingray65

          Even the Fed has limits – they won’t be able to sell bonds that pay less than the inflation rate, and Fed policy will not magically cure the idiocy of the Biden administration’s attempts to shut down the oil industry during a cold winter or the coming food shortages caused by the lack of natural gas derived fertilizers and Covid fired truck drivers. The whole house of cards is built on faith that government bond holders will get their money back plus interest, and if that faith starts to waver all the cards will fall.

    • Daniel J

      Higher interest rates will make the problem worse at this point. It won’t reduce the prices of commodities. Sure, housing and car costs may come down some as this will force home buyers to buy less house or car buyers buy less car, but it will cost them equally if not more with higher interest rates.

      I don’t see the price of a gallon of milk getting cheaper due to higher interest rates.

      On a side note, I noticed that CC rates have gotten whacky. My CC rate is almost the highest it has ever been, yet the fed prime is 4 points lower than it was in 2007 when my CC rate was just a half point higher. I have significantly better credit now than I did in 2007. All the regulations have driven CC rates up, I suppose.

  24. yossarian

    I like the “consenual delusion” label. Dovetails nicely with the “mass formation” hypothesis being put forth elsewhere.

    Thought some readers out there in america might be interested in some anecdotes from nyc:

    You hear people sniffling everywhere. My wife & i both have it. My daughter doesn’t. It’s very minor. Everyone is going about their business including us. Testing lines are long because a) holiday travel plans b) cnn viewers. Mask compliance is up but it’s just easier than arguing with people.veryfew people give a f* at this point.

    At this rate of spread everyone will get the omnicold soon and hopefully we can put this mass hysteria behind us.

  25. MD Streeter

    The media shoulders a sizable portion of the blame (as do the people who continue to consume it despite its awful track record of lying to them) for our COVID numbers. Media consumers buy into their hysteria and make themselves feel worse, like a reverse placebo effect. We know it’s a thing where people are told they’re given medicine or a surgery and then actually given sugar or a nap and afterwards they feel lots better. So why is no one mentioning this working in reverse? People see on the “news” they should be freaking out about it, then when they get the sniffles they freak out and end up doing worse in whichever hospital they end up being admitted. This is a net win for hospital admins because they get to pad their budgets with covid money.

    The story about your old boss was highly enjoyable. I’d like to see more stories costarring/written by Rodney.

  26. Time flies

    Jack, I’m trying to read more about jnj etc being liable for side effects, while the mrna’rs are not. Could not find anything. Could you point me int the right direction, please?


      • yossarain

        it’s worth adding that gavi itself has no liability. they are completely shielded both from civil and criminal culpibility. my understanding is that even the police can’t enter their headquarters in switzerland which is sovereign much the way the united nations headquarters in nyc is it’s own territory.

        • BlueovalDave

          I once found online the rules for the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland, and if a murder takes place on bank property the police cannot come into the bank to investigate. If GAVI is in Switzerland I don’t doubt they have the same immunity.

          Also, Washington D.C., Vatican City and The City of London (one square mile financial district) are all sovereign territories and they all have an prominent obelisk in the center.

  27. Cdotson

    I’ll raise your conspiratorial crazy theories with one that has some traction if one believes that portions of a large cross-section of theories that are verboten according to the consensual delusionists happen to contain truth:

    The virus was genetically engineered to attack Anglo-Saxons in excess of other races and released as an open-air bioweapon to kill off the British/American hegemony and consolidate Chinese political/economic world power.

    Combined with the entirely conventional knowledge that the virus is indeed more dangerous to the aged and the infirm, doubly so the aged infirm, and with the knowledge that Western civilization is far more likely to encourage and enable unhealthy cultural habits I think this explains the excessive impact on the US/UK and the paucity of impact on refugees and Africans.

    The black American vs. African disparity and the black/White American disparity certainly owes something to the poorer general health among American blacks than either Whites or Africans or the higher median age of American blacks (32:https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/fact-sheet/facts-about-the-us-black-population/) versus Africans (18: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/mapped-the-median-age-of-every-continent/). Also most people don’t think about the reality that American blacks are not Africans and on average are up to 26% genetically European (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s004390050928). Does that portion contain the code of life that builds the structures and systems that make the Anglo-Saxons more susceptible to the coof? Who knows, I doubt anyone would argue that humans have cracked the ability to extrapolate DNA quite that far.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      My initial response to this is something along the lines of: the Chinese are famous for playing the long game, and it’s obvious to every thinking human being in the world that they are winning the long game by leaps and bounds. Their college students are engineers; ours are gender studies majors. Their army is working on hypersonic missiles; ours is working on inclusivity. We recently crashed a Navy ship because the woman at the bridge was sleeping with the same dude as the woman at the helm and therefore they refused to speak with each other.


      China will eclipse the United States in all aspects within the next decade. So why release a bioweapon that

      a) could mutate and affect their own people;
      b) might enrage a doddering, senile USA to nuke ’em?

      • JMcG

        That Navy Times article makes no mention of any conflict between the two female officers. It’s pretty appalling in any case.

      • Harry

        Well since you brought up that Navy Times article…

        Boy howdy has gender integration been a disaster for the military in many respects.

        Disclaimer 1: The disaster has nothing to do with the ability of women to perform their assigned roles because of any physical, mental, or other virtue/vice based on their sex.

        Disclaimer 2: I believe that without women the military would not currently be making its recruiting quotas, and that is probably worse than what is happening.

        I don’t have much personal experience with the problems that the Army and Air Force have, but from what I gather it is down to what happens when you stick a bunch of reasonably fit teens and young adults together mostly being supervised by people a few years their senior.

        But on a ship, you can’t go anywhere and transfers are even tougher. A ships morale, especially on a long deployment, is a very fragile thing. Billy Budd needs to be required reading for junior officers and chiefs (how long until that rank is cultural appropriation?). Instead of a pretty young lad, and all the subtext Melville could muster, you have a dozen or more pretty young lasses who love the attention.

        Fraternization is at best frowned upon, regardless of what the regs say. I have an acquaintance who was recently selected for command who as a JG was involved in an adulterous (both sides) affair with an enlisted person aboard ship that involved both marriages blowing up. Swept under the rug. But don’t get along with whoever is writing your fitrep and it is less than stellar? Up or out!

        To be clear this guy wasn’t exactly a superstar to start with. But that is what the surface fleet is working with. When I read about “became confused by the surface contact picture” there were two thoughts. One is that well, fine. It can happen, that’s why you need a culture where you can call and appropriate person to help unconfuse it without consequence, and with plenty of time before its a problem. The second was how fucking hard is it? I can’t say I ever had much trouble keeping track of the surface picture, j, don’t get distracted.

        Second was that of course they were confused, they probably weren’t very good at their job and shouldn’t been doing it but they didn’t get selected for something higher priority. The screening for naval aviation relies heavily on a spatial awareness test. If you do very well on that (at least back in the day), you were heavily encouraged to go that route even if you had no interest in it/puked after every barrel roll (You’ll get over it!). A lot of people who dreamed of being top guns didn’t do well on that test, or for various other reasons end up in a billet they don’t want to be in and are resentful about it. Or is a dumping ground for scrubs.

        I think that article was downplaying how absolutely awful everything was. A Burke is a damn Ferrari, it can stop in own length from full speed so long as someone is paying attention to the engine order. There was enough time from 01:25 when we know the OOD gave course orders avoid the collision, and 01:30 when the collision occurred to do a damned circle around around the ACX Crystal.

        But all in all these things happen. The Camperdown/Victoria collision was a wake up call for the RN back in the day. Too long dominant needs shakeups. In all the services the promotion system is a bit broken. Tom Hicks gave a good lecture on it at Berkley.

        • stingray65

          How much time training for actual navigation, ship handling, and combat has been traded in order to indoctrinate sailors and officers in the latest equity, diversity, and inclusion theories (i.e. white male heterosexual bad, black female lesbian great)? How many more qualified males have missed a promotion because a less qualified person of color/female/transgender was needed to make the diversity quotas? Command that says the white supremacy and global warming are the greatest threats to the US and the military is a clear indication of fish rotting from the head down.

  28. Harry

    I am not current, but I would have to say none/negligible. Practical ship handling and navigation beyond certifications and basic competence isn’t rewarded, and is? was? considered lower priority than many other forms of training, all of which are important, written in blood, but simultaneously subject to large amounts of bureaucracy and paperwork to ensure compliance. It is difficult to prioritize when everything is high priority, and what will advance you is subject to the caprice of those above you who do rotate.

    To be a good ship handler requires interest from the officer to go above and beyond that. Same goes for the radar, the ProPublica article makes it seem like the navigational radar needed wizards to operate. Absolutely not, but you have to play with it a bit, get to know it. You can’t treat it like an Iphone app, works or doesn’t. There was an awful passage in a ProPublica article about how the range adjustment knob was broken in either the CIC or on the bridge, I don’t think the author knows how the radar operates so the description of both the failure and the workaround didn’t make 100% sense to me, but the idea that the watch crew wouldn’t have known where the range was set (very close in) somehow wasn’t entirely their fault was bullshit. You have eyes, other sensors, the civilian shipping tracking system that was live, though faulty, and if you aren’t getting the same picture on all your sets you better figure out which one is right and why the others are wrong.

    Regarding BIOPOC/Gender promotion… I dunno. I mean probably somewhere it has had an influence, but the real problem is that no one knows what a good officer really is. We can talk about some historically great officers such as Willis “can’t use his nickname anymore” Lee, or Ernest King, but they are outliers. That being said Lee would have been medically discharged before commission and King would have been medicated into a vegetable. Also, I don’t know if the Navy needed more than one of them. I don’t think the current system rewards people who can take calculated risks and sometimes fail. That is a long-standing useful characteristic of successful officers at all levels.

    Holly Graff is a good example. Her career up until relief was by all accounts unremarkable. All the things that made her a historically awful peacetime CO aren’t caught by the promotion process It is also possible they were ignored because others around her were even worse, in some other measurable quality. It is possible the immeasurable quality of her character and temperament wasn’t tested until she received independent command. It is easy to say after the fact that she was unqualified and promoted because she was a woman, but that is to ignore all the terrible men who are in the same position.

    I am a reader on this site, but you won’t find me being very critical of diversity training in the military. It is an organization that doesn’t have a diversity problem, it has a problem with unifying all that diversity. I doubt radical CRT or transgender ideology is going to find itself being thoroughly indoctrinated into our fighting men and women. That being said a briefing here or there or even an “operational pause” to talk about it is probably better team building than a mandatory fun BBQ while ashore. It will be received by many like DARE at a high school, but that’s OK too.

  29. David Sanborn

    The consensus is that those of us vaccinated and boosted are at least 11x less likely to have severe effects or death from the virus. This is literally the only statistic that matters.

    According to the Business Insider COVID-19 accounted for 0.8% of deaths among fully vaccinated people in England versus 37% of deaths for the unvaccinated in the same period.

    A University of Georgia study showed .8% (150) of vaccinated people accounted for the 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in a given month showing that 98% to 99% of the Americans dying of the coronavirus were unvaccinated.

    Here’s the part that gives me a chuckle:
    “People living in counties that went 60% or higher for Trump in November 2020 had 2.73 times the death rates of those that went for Biden. Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump saw higher COVID-19 mortality rates. In October, the reddest tenth of the country saw death rates that were six times higher than the bluest tenth.”

    You’ll likely claim that you weren’t specifically arguing against vaccination – a side benefit of your word-fog conflating the pandemic, third world nations, death from old age, kitchen sinks, false equivalencies and immigration (everything is about immigration in your camp) but in the end you’re just entrenching anti-vaccination attitudes among soft-headed ideologues. It’s the dumbest hill to die on.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Oh yay, you’re back.

      And let’s see what you dragged in with you. A Business Insider piece dated September, about death rates in the UK during the first half of 2021. Utterly irrelevant to the current situation and suspiciously reliant on NHS data, but at least you copied and pasted the link correctly.

      What else? An article from May of last year. Even less relevant to current conditions, but that’s fine.

      Finally, we have a bit of gloating about the death rates in “red counties”. Your homework assignment for today is to find a more relevant correlation for COVID deaths than whether the county went 51% for Biden or 51% for Trump. I’ll make it easy for you: you can start with age and race. Here’s what you’ll find: astoundingly, there are more old people outside cities where you need to earn $100k a year to have a fighting chance at a microliving apartment. Since age is a far better predictor of COVID death than vaccination status, this explains the correlation all on its own, without resorting to marginal votes or astrology.

      Over the past few years, I’ve come to believe that you are a deeply, deeply average person whose oddly deluded impression of his own capability is an unfortunate side effect of placidly holding all the opinions you’ve been instructed to hold by CNN. The simplest exercises of logic and statistics are beyond your power to comprehend. You argue entirely from emotion. Nothing about your comment or your choice of ancient links is likely to change my opinion about you.

      Now open your ears for a moment so I can explain something to you as if to a child: Your astoundingly inept attempt to focus the discussion on what the first round of vaccines did against COVID in selected populations early last year highlights both the weakness of your argument and your inability to understand what the adults are discussing all around you. No serious person has argued that the vaccines did not reduce the severity of COVID affection among selected populations. The objections to the vaccine are, roughly speaking:

      * It is no longer effective against the current variants of the disease;
      * It drastically loses effectiveness over time, often within 60 or 90 days of THE JAB;
      * The long-term effects of the vaccine are completely unknown, except perhaps to the pharmaceutical companies who have demanded, and received, immunity regarding those long-term effects;
      * The short-term effects can be drastic and even deadly. Scientific American’s latest results suggest that for certain cohorts including 12-15-year-old boys, the vaccine is deadlier than the disease;
      * There remains a real possibility of ADE for many vaccine recipients, who will then be MORE likely to get sick than they did before; “Business Insider” doesn’t appear to have any frisky snackable midwit articles about it but you can read an actual study at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7749790/

      Insofar as you will almost certainly become confused reading so many words without the phrase “here’s why that’s a problem”, here’s why all of the above are a problem: because the data strongly suggests that receiving a vaccine or booster in January of 2022 will have little to no effect against COVID-19 in its latest variants, but the side effects and risks remain as strong and serious as ever.

      The data further suggests that “anti-vaccination attitudes”, while possibly based on emotion or partisanship a year ago, are now more closely aligned with a genuine understanding of reality than the “COVID-obsessive booster-shot fanatic attitudes” are. Here’s part two of your homework: figure out why you are so emotionally involved with the latter.

  30. LugNuts22

    Apologies for posting on an old article and if you’ve heard this before, but here are a few more facts:

    Obesity is actually a number one contributor to death by COVID, and we DEFINITELY live in a nation of fat people (heck, magazines put fat people on the covers and proclaim it’s the new healthy). News outlets are starting to wake up to this.

    Further, the vaccines have a lot of problems people don’t like to talk about, especially myocarditis in young men. And it seems they tend to drop to zero or even negative effectiveness after 200 days. I highly recommend “el gato malo” on Substack, who despite the silly name does excellent statistical analyses of the raw data and corrects himself wherever he makes mistakes.

    Heart problems:

    Actual efficacy:

    Fun chaser question: What about the traditional “whole-virus” vaccine being developed by Indian researchers? At least they seem refreshingly honest and up-front about their expectations and findings, such as recognizing that there is more to success than antibody titers and recognizing recovered-from-illness immunity as the gold standard (as we have for only thousands of years). I believe this is the product: https://www.bharatbiotech.com/covaxin.html

    And finally some excessively accurate comedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_s5y9Ls83Q

  31. David Sanborn

    Slightly dated information is hardly “irrelevant” unless it’s inconvenient for you. Also as far as co-morbidities go, you asserting a Covid death doesn’t count if the person was old or obese would be the same as me getting off scott free after bonking you on the head with a cartoonishly large hammer and then asserting “but he was old and obese” as they wheeled you off in a casket.

    Here’s a quite recent Bloomberg story, since you demand facts hot buttered from the oven stating (mea culpa) you’re not 11x less likely to die if fully immunized, you’re 16x less like to die.


    You made a lot of assertions in your rebuttal with no substantiating links to recognized scientific bodies, so that’s a thing. I guess that’s how one explains things to a child, maybe? I’m not going to worry overmuch about vaccination “long term effects” as none have surfaced with Pfizer and I’d rather risk a statistically invisible chance of a slight problem later than a 1% chance of dying now.

    Feel free to continue preaching at anyone who’ll buy your schtick that vaccinations are bad. The people listening to you by now should have known better when they let you metaphorically hit them on the head with a cartoonishly large hammer.


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