1470 dead Americans

During the past week, roughly 1470 Americans died of Covid. The overwhelming majority were not fully vaccinated. And now this:

The nation’s top infectious disease expert expressed horror on Sunday over attendees of a conservative political conference loudly applauding the inability of the federal government to hit its vaccine goals.

With new variants of COVID-19 now surging in areas with low vaccination rates and right-wing media promoting vaccine hesitancy to its viewers, the Conservative Political Action Conference in Texas invited noted “Covid Contrarian” Alex Berenson to fearmonger about the safe and effective coronavirus vaccines.

Speaking on the CPAC stage on Saturday, Berenson—who The Atlantic once labeled the “Pandemic’s Wrongest Man”— prompted cheers from the crowd when he boasted that “the government was hoping that they could sort of sucker 90 percent of the population into getting vaccinated, and it isn’t happening.”

Dear God! And people ask me why I’m not a conservative.

And this:

Carlson, the highest-rated Fox News host, with an average of 2.9 million viewers, said the Biden plan was an attempt to “force people to take medicine they don’t want or need.” He called the initiative “the greatest scandal in my lifetime, by far.”

Carlson’s guest on that episode, veteran Fox News political analyst Brit Hume, pushed back slightly, saying, “What they’re trying to do is make it as easy as possible for people to get the vaccine and, for people who are hesitant, to perhaps encourage them that they have nothing to fear.” Hume was quick to add that “vaccines do have side effects” and said those who are hesitant “should be respected.”

By far the greatest scandal? Far worse than Benghazi?

Brit Hume always seemed like a decent man to me. He’s 78 years old. So sad to see him end his career associated with people like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. And in which circle would Dante have placed Rupert Murdoch? He’s 90 years old, super rich, and vaccinated—does he still value money that much?

Was I naive during the 1990s, or is the world actually becoming an increasingly evil place?

Why not both!


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40 Responses to “1470 dead Americans”

  1. Gravatar of rinat rinat
    12. July 2021 at 15:37

    VAERS reports 9000 deaths from vaccines.

    A study in the UK shows no increase in the fatality rate from the delta variant.

    There are now over 80,000 reports of serious negative side-effects.
    J&J vaccine is currently being investigated for links to rare brain disease.

    The former CEO of Pfizer, along with thousands of others – many silenced – have expressed their concerns over potential long term side effects. When you consolidate power in the hands of a few so called “experts” at the CDC, and you silence every other voice in academia, you create a substructure of tyranny. When big tech says they will only publish ‘CDC” funded research papers; and when they refuse to accept other academic research papers – that’s tyranny! That’s a disservice to society. The omission of information propagandizes the airwaves.

    Your philosophical position for mandates is not strengthened by stating there were 1000 deaths over the last week.

    And? There were probably 1000 car accident deaths last week too: should we all stop driving?

    Fear mongering is not science!

  2. Gravatar of Kgaard Kgaard
    12. July 2021 at 16:23

    Scott why do you do this? You just make your excellent economics work irrelevant. There are 50 reasons not to get vaccinated, obvious to anyone with an IQ over 110. Topping the list are Ivermectin and HCQ.

  3. Gravatar of Frank T Frank T
    12. July 2021 at 18:31

    Scott, you say “or is the world actually becoming an increasingly evil place?” Why do you say “world” when the rest of your post is describing a small portion of the world, namely a segment of US political spectrum that has little alignment in other developed countries.

  4. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. July 2021 at 18:37

    Rinat, You said:

    “VAERS reports 9000 deaths from vaccines.”

    LOL.

    Kgaard, You said:

    “There are 50 reasons not to get vaccinated, obvious to anyone with an IQ over 110”

    That’s why vaccination rates are so low in towns full of scientists and other high IQ people.

  5. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    12. July 2021 at 18:38

    Frank, I see the same sort of societal decay when I read the news from many other countries (not all.)

  6. Gravatar of Student Student
    12. July 2021 at 19:13

    Yes, i think it is… but it’s not surprising.

    “If the heavens, stripped of his noble imprint,
    Could ever cease to attest to his being,
    If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
    Let the wise man announce him and kings fear him.
    Kings, if you oppress me, if your eminencies disdain
    The tears of the innocent that you cause to flow,
    My avenger is in the heavens: learn to tremble.
    Such, at least, is the fruit of a useful creed.

    But you, faulty logician, whose sad foolishness
    Dares to reassure them in the path of crime,
    What fruit do you expect to reap from your fine arguments?
    Will your children be more obedient to your voice?
    Your friends, at time of need, more useful and reliable?
    Your wife more honest? and your new renter,
    For not believing in God, will he pay you better?
    Alas! let’s leave intact human belief in fear and hope.”

  7. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    12. July 2021 at 20:07

    @rinat
    This is the second time you’ve referenced a database that warns against using it “to identify cause and effect” to do exactly that.

  8. Gravatar of Sean Sean
    12. July 2021 at 21:46

    I agree more people should get vaccinated. Though I’m hesitant on the under 18 crowd.

    My friend just started a masters program at an Ivy League school. Everyone is wearing masks in his Instagram story class pictures. Those are elites being stupid. Probably 99% vaccinated. Politics are just more important than being smart. And taking stupid positions seems to have zero correlation with brains.

    We have a problem today that lower intelligent people don’t have any one they can trust for information. 80% of the population can’t read scientific papers. When elites do dumb things and politicize everything then those people no longer have trusted sources.

  9. Gravatar of Arc Arc
    13. July 2021 at 00:12

    The source is a tabloid, but still, note the amusing use of “safe and effective” before “coronavirus vaccines” like a prayer warding against the evils of conservatives.

  10. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    13. July 2021 at 04:12

    Forcing the young, pregnant, nursing, planning to get pregnant, or those with antibodies to get the vaccine would strike me as very bad policy. These are highly experimental drugs after all.

  11. Gravatar of Justin Justin
    13. July 2021 at 04:20

    –“VAERS reports 9000 deaths from vaccines.”–

    Even if all of these deaths were caused by the vaccines, and not merely associated with them, with roughly half of the US vaccinated (~165 million) that’s 1 death per 18,333 people vaccinated, or a 0.0054% fatality rate. You are several orders of magnitude more likely to die from COVID than from the vaccine, even if the vaccine directly caused all of the VAERS deaths.

  12. Gravatar of Justin Justin
    13. July 2021 at 04:26

    In other words, there are consequences of politicizing the institutions.

  13. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    13. July 2021 at 04:26

    You let words and names like “conservatives” and “Carlson” make you seem stupid—(I said “seem”). For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the “overwhelming majority” of the 1470 that died were not vaccinated or died because they were not vaccinated. I think it more likely that the overwhelming majority died because they were over 80 and had many diseases.

    My son who is 33 refused to get vaccinated. I kept saying he was a moron—-(not literally—he is my son !). And we both voted for Trump! And he likes Carlson! He said “we really don’t know enough—-you (me) should get vaccinated but why should I—risk reward is my choice” But his company made him. He was pissed. But got the Johnson shot.

    The NEXT DAY —-literally—-he thought he was having a heart attack ——and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where the ER doc diagnosed him as having (after an EKG) “right branch bundle block” which is both extremely rare and extremely indicative of heart disease.

    He was sent to a cardiologist the next day——who said——“the ER guy is an idiot—-you do not have it. Although, I don’t know what you have—-But “maybe you just have anxiety due to fear of shot—-or for some other reason” He has noticed hear skipping. Marginal Revolution wrote an essay on “self as sample” the other day.

    One of those ad hoc weird coincidences—or not? Who knows. But he should not have been made to get it—-although I thought he should get it. Personally, I would never take the Johnson shot—-nor should he have—-just think we have focused more on Pfizer and Moderna

  14. Gravatar of Frank T Frank T
    13. July 2021 at 06:01

    People who aren’t vaccinated have bodies that are breeding grounds for new variants and continued spread. It’s as simple as people should bear a cost for this negative externality.

  15. Gravatar of Kgaard Kgaard
    13. July 2021 at 06:59

    Ivermectin is a proven cure. So why are talking about vaccines at all?

  16. Gravatar of Philo Philo
    13. July 2021 at 07:37

    You ask: “is the world actually becoming an increasingly evil place?” No, the world maintaining its usual balance of good and evil. But you are losing perspective, becoming more naïve than you were in the 1990s.

  17. Gravatar of Mark Barbieri Mark Barbieri
    13. July 2021 at 07:56

    I think they should consider COVID treatment for those that choose not be vaccinated an elective procedure. Medicare, Medicaid, and standard health insurance policies shouldn’t cover the cost. If people want to buy separate policies that do cover it, I’m fine with that. In fact, that would help people understand the risks.

  18. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    13. July 2021 at 08:24

    Michael, You said:

    “For what it’s worth, I don’t believe the “overwhelming majority” of the 1470 that died were not vaccinated or died because they were not vaccinated.”

    LOL. The ability of you people to deny reality is boundless.

    Philo, Doesn’t it seem more likely that I was more naive in the 1990s? How did I miss all of this evil?

  19. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    13. July 2021 at 09:36

    lol yes like most people who are not conservative, it’s b/c you get your news filtered through people who hate conservatives

    meanwhile the NSA can spy on Tucker Carlson while the FBI illegally attempts to remove Trump even as Joe Biden directly profits his son’s influence-peddling and left-wing rioters burn down major cities and gather in maskless millions

    but none of THAT bothers you much b/c of how information is filtered and spoon-fed

  20. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    13. July 2021 at 09:53

    honestly the funniest part of this post is that you probably still don’t even know that Chinese military funded research is the most likely source of the pandemic

    millions of dead people Scott! not mention millions more in slave camps!

    but sure, Republicans are the real evil rotflmao

  21. Gravatar of Student Student
    13. July 2021 at 10:09

    Folks, I think we are going to watch this one unfold before our eyes. Delta in places with 60%+ vaxed vs <40% vaxed. Maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s manageable. But I think this Christmas, crow shpuld be eaten one way or another. But priors are unmoveable these days.

  22. Gravatar of anon/portly anon/portly
    13. July 2021 at 10:55

    Michael Rulle:

    “I think it more likely that the overwhelming majority died because they were over 80 and had many diseases.”

    Isn’t it kind of odd to have an opinion about a statistic that you could probably just look up, or find out?

    I believe that the likelihood that the “overwhelming majority” of the 1470 people whose deaths were attributed to COVID were over 80 is actually 0.00% (hence “over 80 and had many diseases” isn’t more likely than anything), but my belief on this doesn’t matter, what matters is the actual number.

  23. Gravatar of TallDave TallDave
    13. July 2021 at 12:20

    anon — everyone agrees the median COVID death is around 70-80 with medical issues

    also CDC says the COVID excess deaths in the US flatlined way back in March — coincidentally, right about the time the most at-risk populations were immunized, funny how that math works huh?

    so no, it’s not at all a no-brainer to vacccinate every single young healthy person

    personally due to the safety profile of mRNA I prefer to get vaccinated as soon as possible but others can reasonably disagree, it’s their choice and rarely affects anyone but themselves

    but if you still care about “evil” well here you go

    China Decries U.S. ‘Interference’ for Donating Vaccines to Taiwan

    https://www.newsweek.com/china-decries-united-states-interference-donating-vaccines-taiwan-1602806

  24. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    13. July 2021 at 14:48

    How did I miss all of this evil?

    Scott,

    The internet that we have today did not really exist back then, right? There was internet but the internet back then was different. I love the internet, don’t get me wrong – but the gutter came up as well. Really abstruse conspiracy theories, probably only comparable with the Protocols.

    I comment from time to time in the largest German conservative newspaper. The readers’ forum used to appear halfway rational to me, but since the pandemic, quite some readers there have gone completely nuts. I assume about 40-60% are vaccination deniers. These proportions also exist among Green newspapers and so on. Nevertheless, it is of course disappointing when it affects your own camp.

    These people have gone completely crazy, just read some comments here, and the really scary thing is that most likely they’ve always been like this. It just didn’t surface until now. Everyone always thinks we can really know other people, but in fact we don’t.

  25. Gravatar of dtoh dtoh
    13. July 2021 at 15:40

    Scott

    I think you confuse discontent at the incompetency and dishonesty of the CDC and NIH with opposition to vaccinations.

    I would not trust the Daily Beast, the NYT or any of the liberal media to honestly report in context on CPAC or Tucker Carlson especially when these media outlets have been responsible for politicizing and censoring objective debate on the pandemic.

    (And no, I am not debating the efficacy or importance of getting vaccinations even though I think that’s a discussion which should not be censored.)

  26. Gravatar of WhatMakesSense WhatMakesSense
    13. July 2021 at 17:41

    Johns Hopkins has a tool that allows a person to get an idea of their risk of Covid mortality. For me, my current risk is roughly 1 in 500,000. For my kids, their risk is 1 in 5 million. Now this risk will increase this winter when virus prevalence increases. But by how much? Per the Johns Hopkins numbers my risk level is 1/10th the national average. My kids’ risk is 1/100th the national average.

    My family has lived the past 18 months as normal as possible. A daughter did get a verified case of Covid – she was mildly sick for two days. The rest of us have been around people who have tested positive. It seems unlikely we would not have been exposed to the virus.

    So why get the vaccine? What is the point? It doesn’t appear the vaccine is a sure, one and done deal. It also appears the vaccine has measurable risks. And by every indication I have either had Covid or have resistance to it.

    If the public health officials were honest about Covid risk factors and recognized the vast difference in risks for different groups they would earn respect. But their “one size fits all” approach shows them to be dishonest and dogmatic and untrustworthy.

    https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/12/11/covid-mortality-risk-calculator-nilanjan-chatterjee/

  27. Gravatar of steve steve
    13. July 2021 at 17:52

    Scott- Does it bug you at all that people with no economic training or expertise come here to lecture you on areas where you do have expertise? When they are clearly not only wrong but have no clue about which they are opining? I bet it does. That is how I feel when people who know nothing about it come and write about drugs they have never used on a pt (not bothering to learn the literature either) or cite something like VAERS which they clearly dont understand. This is too widespread to be just a few misguided individuals.

    Evil? I think it is mostly tribal. You just have to believe whatever your tribe believes. I dont think most of the people who believe this stuff are evil, they are just followers. Those who make up this stuff and spread it (while making big bucks for doing so)? Yup, there is some evil there.

    Steve

  28. Gravatar of Bob OBrien Bob OBrien
    13. July 2021 at 19:48

    Ivermectin is looking like it is a good therapeutic for Covid. See:

    https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Fulltext/2021/06000/Review_of_the_Emerging_Evidence_Demonstrating_the.4.aspx

    I got the vaccine early on. If I was under 40 (I am over 70) I would probably not get it today. The mortality rate for this age group is low and we have no idea what the vaccine will do to us long term. The VAERS data is concerning but it will be a long time before we understand what is really happening. I do not believe we should pressure young people into getting the vaccine.

  29. Gravatar of BC BC
    14. July 2021 at 00:55

    Scott, what are you referring to as “evil”, people saying idiotic things about vaccines? As far as I know, no conservative has stopped anyone from taking a Covid vaccine. In fact, the only barrier to vaccination was early on, when the FDA was slow in approving them and, generally, it was progressives that defended the FDA’s slow approval process.

    I don’t watch CPAC nor Tucker Carlson, so maybe that’s why I tend not to get too upset by what they say that I don’t hear. However, apart from immigration, I also don’t “feel” conservatives’ presence very often. They never stopped me or anyone else I know from taking a vaccine. Maybe, I would feel their presence more if I wanted a late-term abortion or if I wanted to compete against biological females in sports. (I am cis-male and competed against other biological males in sports.)

    I also don’t watch MSNBC or progressive political gatherings. Yet, somehow, I feel progressives’ presence constantly. I felt them when I wanted to get a Covid vaccine earlier in the year but couldn’t. I felt them most recently yesterday when reading Tyler Cowen’s post about the FTC antitrust “train wreck” [https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/07/the-ftc-train-wreck-continues.html]. It wouldn’t have upset me at all if progressives were merely recommending that firms spin off parts of themselves, even if I thought that those spin-offs would be bad for shareholders, customers, or innovation. Alas, progressives typically do a lot more than just make bad recommendations.

  30. Gravatar of Todd K Todd K
    14. July 2021 at 08:45

    Scott writing on a scientific topic = facepalm.

  31. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    14. July 2021 at 09:43

    TallDave, That’s right, I don’t get my news from QAnon or Fox News. (Or CNN or MSNBC.)

    You said:

    “anon — everyone agrees the median COVID death is around 70-80 with medical issues”

    Sort of like cancer?

    Christian, You said:

    “I comment from time to time in the largest German conservative newspaper. The readers’ forum used to appear halfway rational to me, but since the pandemic, quite some readers there have gone completely nuts.”

    Same thing here. Remember when people like TallDave used to leave reasonable comments? Many of my commenters have become little different from the Viking guy who invaded the Capitol.

    It probably is the internet, as you say.

    dtoh, You said:

    “I would not trust the Daily Beast, the NYT or any of the liberal media to honestly report in context on CPAC or Tucker Carlson especially when these media outlets have been responsible for politicizing and censoring objective debate on the pandemic.”

    Whenever the NYT takes a conservative out of context there’s a literal flood of stuff on the internet in places like the National Review, correcting the record. You don’t think I see those corrections? I get multiple NR stories in my inbox every single day.

    I’m not the one in the epistemic bubble. It’s people like TallDave.

    WhatMakesSense, Two points:

    Your comment has zero bearing on my post, which is about conservatives discouraging people from getting the vaccine, even those who need it.

    You should get the vaccine even if you would not personally benefit. It’s the right thing to to. Do I even need to say this?

    Bob, Obviously the people dying of Covid today either weren’t taking Ivermectin, or it didn’t work for them. So what’s your point? They would have benefited from the vaccine.

    BC, You said:

    “As far as I know, no conservative has stopped anyone from taking a Covid vaccine. In fact, the only barrier to vaccination was early on, when the FDA was slow in approving them and, generally, it was progressives that defended the FDA’s slow approval process.”

    I’ve been as critical of the FDA as any other blogger. And you are wrong about conservatives. They didn’t FORCE people not to get vaccinated, but they most certainly CAUSED people not to get vaccinated. Conservatives are influenced by the lies spouted by their leaders.

    Todd, There’s no science in my post. Facepalm.

  32. Gravatar of Todd K Todd K
    14. July 2021 at 10:26

    “Todd, There’s no science in my post.”

    No kidding.

    But I wrote “scientific topic” which a virus sure is.

  33. Gravatar of Todd K Todd K
    14. July 2021 at 10:48

    If not getting vaccinated in the U.S. is so politically driven by Tucker Carlson, who is more libertarian than conservative, why has vaccination slowed down in many other countries at similar percentages? France is now making vaccination required to live normally there.

    Fully vaccinated:

    Israel………..58%
    U.K…………. 52%
    U.S…………..50%
    Spain…………44%
    Germany……….43%
    Italy…………38%
    France………..36%
    Canada………..36% (special case)
    Sweden………..34%

    Are there a lot of Tucker Carlson fans in France and Sweden?

  34. Gravatar of WhatMakesSense WhatMakesSense
    14. July 2021 at 14:15

    Scott,

    Before pushing for universal vaccination of a population shouldn’t the risk / benefit of such approach be considered?

    For example, how effective are the vaccines? Data out of Israel and the UK indicates the vaccines effectiveness is much less then 100%. On the other hand, the immunity from infection recovery appears to be much more durable.

    Lacking understanding of long term vaccine risks and knowing from the history of influenza epidemics, the science is on the side of those who are able to build natural immunity.

    Granted, not everyone can or should take the risk of infection. But most people are sufficiently healthy to expect to survive Covid. The survival rate among the general population of people of decent or good health is astonishingly high. Of 2 million active duty military, just 26 have died with Covid. To put that in perspective, 200 active military die of suicide each year.

    The medical facts on Covid are much different then what the “policymakers” portray. This is very unfortunate as it has created considerable public confusion and impaired the ability of the medical community to agree on treatment & protocols.

  35. Gravatar of Bb Bb
    14. July 2021 at 16:04

    Conservatives don’t love America. It’s pretty clear that they will sabotage anything to help the Republican Party. They always try to tank the economy when a democrat is in the Oval Office. They are now deliberately trying to tank our recovery from COVID. I think we would try to lose a war if a democrat was president. They don’t love America. They just hate democrats.

  36. Gravatar of BC BC
    14. July 2021 at 19:21

    Scott: “[Conservative leaders] most certainly CAUSED people not to get vaccinated. Conservatives are influenced by the lies spouted by their leaders.”

    Do you think that Carlson’s viewers just have a natural inclination to watch his show, regardless of what he says, or do they watch his show because he tends to say things that they agree with or that resonate with them? In other words, if Carlson started mimicking Rachel Maddow, would his viewers become left-wing progressives or would they gravitate towards other right-wing populists? If the latter, then I’m not sure that Carlson has so much caused viewers to not vaccinate as much as he reflects their anti-vax sentiments. At most, his anti-vax arguments might have resonated with them more than pro-vax arguments, but where did that inclination to find Carlson’s anti-vax arguments convincing come from?

    If conservative leaders and pundits influence their followers so much, then why weren’t anti-Trump conservatives (David French, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, etc.) able to convince all their conservative readers to dump Trump? And, why can’t pro-vax conservatives, or even progressive leaders, use Carlson’s same techniques to convince anti-vax conservatives to become pro-vax? Why can’t Coca-Cola’s leaders convince Pepsi drinkers that Coke is better? Perhaps, there is a marketplace of punditry suppliers offering different flavors of punditry (liberal/conservative, anti/pro-vax, populist/intellectual, etc.) and punditry buyers gravitate towards the punditry products that best satisfy their preferences. That’s how most other product markets work.

  37. Gravatar of Sky Prince Sky Prince
    15. July 2021 at 11:18

    @WhatMakesSense

    Exactly what data are you looking at? Israeli data has vaccine effectiveness at 95%, which goes to 90% with Delta. And no study has said that prior infection immunity is durable with the delta variant.

    And like all influenza outbreaks, the virus is always able to mutate past prior infection. There is never an instance where previous infection is enough. Its evolutionarily impossible. Viruses are the fastest mutating species in the world. Only vaccination, which is assisted by humans, can be faster.

  38. Gravatar of Aladdin Aladdin
    15. July 2021 at 11:28

    Honesty, at some point sticks work better than carrots. Free krispy kreme only does so much. Fine and strip Medicare from people who refuse to get vaccinated. I considered myself a libertarian but the idiocy of these people here really test my patience.

  39. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    15. July 2021 at 17:04

    Todd, You seem to thrive on citing totally misleading and useless data. Have you nothing else to do with your life? Are you a con man, or just stupid? Fully vaccinated data from Europe is meaningless, which I presume you must know.

    And I did not discuss the virus in any scientific sense. I discussed the media.

    Whatmakessense,

    “Before pushing for universal vaccination of a population shouldn’t the risk / benefit of such approach be considered?”

    It has been considered.

    BC, You asked:

    “Do you think that Carlson’s viewers just have a natural inclination to watch his show, regardless of what he says, or do they watch his show because he tends to say things that they agree with or that resonate with them?”

    Both. They are drawn to him because of what he says, and they are influenced by what he says. Obviously.

  40. Gravatar of Student Student
    16. July 2021 at 06:00

    Where is the betting market for the efficacy and usefulness of vaccines? Seems like this is a great time to place bets and put our money where our mouths are.

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