N.Y. Times writer: Vaccines, masks, distancing didn’t affect COVID rate

'There is a strong argument for ... returning to normal life.'
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‘There is a strong argument for … returning to normal life’

Art Moore
WND News Center

A New York Times senior writer who has observed a difference in adherence to COVID-19 mitigation measures between Republican and Democratic-majority areas of the country concludes vaccination, masking and social distancing haven’t made an impact on the number of cases during the omicron wave.

Consequently, wrote David Leonhardt in his daily newsletter Wednesday, “there is a strong argument for continuing to remove other restrictions, and returning to normal life.”

Leonhardt compared COVID-19 case rates between majority Democratic and Republican areas, pointing out that Democrats have tended to adhere to mitigation rules and are more likely to be vaccinated.

Yet, the number of official COVID-19 cases recently has been higher in “heavily Democratic areas” than Republican areas.

“These factors seem as if they should have caused large differences in case rates. They have not,” he wrote. “And that they haven’t offers some clarity about the relative effectiveness of different Covid interventions.”

He noted that restaurants in Democratic-run cities such as New York and Philadelphia are still seating customers at about 40% below pre-pandemic levels, according to OpenTable. Meanwhile, restaurants in cities such as Nashville and Charlotte have fully recovered.

Leonhardt argued, however, for vaccination, contending that while the shots don’t reduce infection and transmission — contrary to the original claims of officials — they reduce the severity of illness and death.

He wrote: “Covid death has been far more common in red America. Over the past three months, the death rate in counties that Donald Trump won in a landslide has been more than twice as high as the rate in counties that Joe Biden won in a landslide, according to Charles Gaba, a health care analyst.”

However, there are many variables in such data amid the unreliability of COVID deaths counts and the fact that the vast majority of recorded COVID deaths are among older people with multiple co-morbidities, particularly obesity. And there is reliable data from around the world indicating those who are vaccinated are equally susceptible, or even more susceptible, to severe illness and death from COVID-19.  In England, for example, the fully vaccinated account for 9 of every 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 4 of 5 deaths among the triple-vaccinated, according to the latest data published by the U.K. Health Security Agency.

In January, Leonhardt drew attention when he wrote in his newsletter that the data indicated the new omicron variant was roughly at the same risk level as the seasonal flu.

Last November, he pointed out on Twitter, when the delta variant was dominant, that for young children, COVID-19 “looks like a normal flu, if not a mild one,” citing Centers for Disease Control statistics.

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  1. Sylvia

    What an excellent, and timely, article.
    Masks, physical distancing, border closures, quarantines, etc may help reduce pathogen transmission, the negative impact on the economy is blatantly obvious. Not to mention the adverse effect on overall wellbeing in the community.

    Current understanding of the intricate complexities of the human immune system is, at best, in its infancy. What is known, however, is that a healthy immune system can and does fend off pathogens – that is what the innate and adaptive immune systems do very well. If a pathogen does manage to attack the body, the person is likely to be slightly unwell for only a short period of time. No drugs, no vaccines. Healthy, fresh foods and some extra micronutrients will also be beneficial.

    There are many healthy people who have remained unvaccinated for life, and have never caught any ailments eg measles, influenza, mumps, whooping cough, and the like – some are octogenarians!
    These people remain unvaccinated by choice – not because they are ‘domestic terrorists’, but simply because they do not believe that their immune system needs to be ‘trained’ by any drugs or vaccines.
    Risks are inevitable in life, be it from an action, decision, or in a project. It is essential to firstly identify and analyze a risk and any potential impact(s). Secondly, it must be determined how to eliminate or minimize or mitigate that risk.
    In the case of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, it is highly inaccurate to state that “it is perfectly safe and effective”. It is extremely offensive to insist that “the benefits far outweigh the risks”. That is such a subjective statement that reflect a dogmatic denial of the undeniable fact that adverse events do, and did, indeed occur. Some of the victims are elite athletes in their late teens or early twenties. None had co-morbidities.
    For many, the risks of taking the vaccine far outweigh any benefits it may have.
    Any adverse events, no matter how rare, must always be taken seriously. Even if it impacts just one human being.

    Governments must consider the true meaning of ‘health care’. What we currently have is a ‘disease maintenance’ system to ensure that patients remain on prescriptions for life!

    Taxpayer dollars should be spent on helping the population develop a healthy lifestyle and maintain a robust immune system.

    Health practioners should take the Hippocratic Oath more seriously: “First Do No Harm” (Primum Non Nocere).

    By all means, let’s return to life pre-‘plandemic’. The success or failure of this endeavor is dependent on the population’s health and the robustness of each person’s immune system.


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