Thoughts on CDC COVID19 policies

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The CDC would do better to offer Americans clear, compelling data on COVID19 so they can decide, based on their personal circumstances, to vaccinate for the virus or not. Currently TV newsreaders seem satisfied to read official press releases without digging into the data.

Vaccination was an easy choice for us. We vaccinated in particular to protect aged relatives and others with compromised immune systems.

Data shows the unvaccinated and the more vulnerable seem to be those least likely to follow CDC guidance. Rather than focus on those groups, the Biden administration wants the rest of us to change our behavior at considerable economical, social, and non-COVID health cost.

Under the Biden administration, the CDC has set mask and potential lockdown guidelines that map to whole counties. They lack the granularity to meet individual circumstances. In addition, the policies overlook the potential burden placed on healthy, seldom infected children.

A county-wide policy that calculates statistics on the number of “cases” ignores what each “case” means. Such case numbers are more likely to scare than inform.

Testing positive doesn’t mean you show symptoms or are likely to pass the virus on to others. Few with symptoms end up hospitalized or die. The New York Post reports that of 161,000,000 vaccinated, only 5,601 caught breakthrough COVID19 and were hospitalized and of those just 1,141 died. That represents 0.0007% and there is enough vaccine for everyone.

A CDC presentation estimates 35,000 symptomatic infections per week among those millions of vaccinated Americans. Yet the CDC, the administration, national TV networks, national newspapers, and the Associated Press seldom compare that with flu, other diseases, or even car accidents. Nor do they address the efficacy of therapeutics.

Instead there are select leaks to the Washington Post and complete data is kept under wraps. Interestingly, the New York Times did report that several experts said the CDC’s figures show that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death in vaccinated people, including for variants.

Many news stories fail to report that hospitalizations and deaths are low enough that pressure on hospital capacity—the paramount reason for strong measures when the pandemic first appeared early last year—is minimal.

The Delta variant may be more virulent, but European statistics show that while peak infections ramp up faster, they ramp down sooner. Again, the count of infections is not a sound indicator of how to respond. The variant swept strongly through India, but doctors found medicines that effectively minimized symptoms.

Those who remain unvaccinated, in consultation with their doctor, are responsible for evaluating potential risks and consequences. Instead, the administration has ratcheted up the burden on the rest of us. They would punish the vaccinated because of the remaining unvaccinated and, in so doing, make it safer for the unvaccinated to remain unvaccinated. — S.B.Waters

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