The federal government is obligated to push the vaccines onto people because they have outstanding contracts with the major pharmaceutical companies to do so. This has put them in the political position of defending vaccines that were manufactured for an illness that is effectively no longer spreading around the world, and has instead been replaced by a significant variant – kind of like demanding people get the flu shot from two years ago because that’s what their contracts reference.
Folks should have been skeptical about the efficacy of the vaccine when the government was telling folks who had already had covid that they still needed to be vaccinated.
A lot of (ignorant) people mocked this demand when it went around, rather than reading between the lines. This is one of the many reasons I just can’t deal with most of the conservative commentators out there anymore. I have encountered so many conservative commentators who bought into the “just get vaccinated and everything will return to normal” line, and now they are being told to mask up again and their response is “but I was a good boy, I did what the experts told me to do, why are you doing this to me?” Then they invent all these conspiracy theories – and yes, they are conspiracy theories – about how the mask mandates are some bald power grab or plot by the teachers unions.
They were telling people who had already had covid to get vaccinated because they know that immunity has a short shelf life. You have to continually get exposed to this for your body to be immune. This is one of the best cases for not getting the vaccine there is – the realization that this illness is going to be out in the world forever, and it’s simply something we have to live with.
This became evident a couple weeks ago when Israel announced that it believed the vaccine had an efficacy of 39% versus the delta variant. Israel (and stock market analysts covering Big Pharma, if you listen to them) have long divulged that Pfizer is in the process of testing a third booster shot, and some of this testing is already underway in select US cities, though our media is not really covering it. Israel is contemplating pushing the booster to its 60 and older population even if the original vaccine is not approved – that’s how confident they are about the waning efficacy of the vaccine.
So the CDC comes out and tells people that even the vaccinated folks need to mask up now. Again, the bad conservative takes begin, rather than reading between the lines. Why would vaccinated folks ever need to mask up again? They made stupid satirical videos about how blue state governors are nostalgic for the lockdowns and their daily press conferences, rather than asking, hey, is there an actual scientific motive at play here that they aren’t talking about? Maybe this isn’t one big joke and the crazies are actually going to try to lock us down again in the fall, when blue states get to experience what’s running its course through red states right now (because that’s the quasi-seasonal pattern).
Occam’s razor, people: The simplest explanation is usually the correct one. If they act like the vaccines are not effective, it’s probably because the vaccines are not effective. When Fauci was out there last year telling people that he thought masks were more effective than the actual vaccine, people made fun of him, rather than asking “hey, maybe this dude just told us what he really thinks about the vaccines that his job demands that he sell.” Instead of calling them “flip-floppers,” ask yourself if maybe this was the party line all along behind closed doors.
The CEO of Pfizer has now openly confirmed that the vaccines have demonstrated a waning efficacy in testing, and that includes protection from serious symptoms and hospitalization. That means within the span of a year or so, the entire population is, practically speaking, back to being unvaccinated. Israel was the most aggressive country in mandating people get vaccinated, among the first to have a fully vaccinated population time-wise, which means they are among the first to witness its declining efficacy. They aren’t outliers, as some conservative commentators have wrongly suggested, but simply ahead of us.
So when I hear the CDC telling vaccinated folks to mask up, all I hear is they want to bridge the gap between when the first people in the US were vaccinated and when the boosters that the general public seemingly don’t realize are coming finally become available to distribute. The more breakthrough cases they book in hospitals, the less the public believes the cheerleading.
This is going to be a lot like the flu shot, people. If you are among the people existentially concerned about this virus and its various mutations, then you are going to be doing this on an annual basis, just as they do with the flu. At some point, they are going to be making educated guesses about what is going around, and they may or may not be correct, but they are going to tell you the shot offers some measure of protection anyway.
But they can’t keep manufacturing panic to manage public expectations anymore. That ship has sailed when even the hardcore Kool-Aid swilling NPR hosts sound exasperated that they need to mask up yet again after tasting some small measure of freedom.
That brings me to my final point. Likely the biggest reason the Biden administration has not been clear about the science that inspired their new recommendations is the blubbering old fool has been touring the country saying the dead opposite of what the science says. At his last town hall – what a spectacle that was – he told people that if they are vaccinated they will be safe no matter what. That’s obviously untrue given what we now know, but the Democratic echo chamber will not contradict him and many in his base will take it as the gospel truth.
Instead, they have let this toxic “I am vaccinated and I now have to wear a mask because all you uneducated hillbillies won’t get vaccinated” trope flourish. That mentality has zero grounding in science, and speaks to an incredible ignorance of what a vaccine even is. But it’s better than contradicting the president, who is the main figure claiming it. Both Republicans and Democrats seem more than willing to sit on inside information and let their moronic bases be reduced to fisticuffs over stuff that is untrue.
In all political discourse, one is well-served to look at what people are doing and not what they are saying. Again, if they are acting like the vaccine does not provide real protection over time, that’s because it doesn’t, and you need to figure out where you realistically stand on the risks involved.