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Messages - LetterRip

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General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 05, 2021, 02:24:36 PM »
Younger people have drastically lower vaccination rates, so it isn't too surprising to see them have significantly higher rates.  Also generally higher risk behaviors (partying indoors; working out; karaoke; etc. all more common among the young age group).


A U.S. District judge ruled DACA illegal.

Supreme Court ruled that Trump couldn't end it without justification - seems unlikely that they will find in favor of this judge's finding of it being unconstitutional.

The Dreamers aren't going through the asylum process.

And per the judges order, no new applicants will be processed till has gone through appeals and all of those currently processed status will remain.  So Biden isn't doing anything illegal.

This whole asylum charade is a fraud anyway, the vast majority of it.

I think many seekers might be dubious but are definitely plausible - we have enacted policies to destabilize South and Central America and those policies have had consequences.  It was Republicans who decided that people would have to enter the country to seek asylum.  If we switched to allowing asylum seeking at embassies, like every other country does - it would eliminate the vast majority of border crossings for the purpose of asylum application.  So if you don't like the current state of things - blame the party responsible - Republicans.

Most are ineligible and are just economic migrants which is fine, not saying they aren't good people, but they don't meet the criteria for asylum and everyone knows it so just setting them free in America to live their life for a few years and establish roots so they can stay anyway which is what the Democrats are blatantly and proudly doing means nobody is buying the argument that the laws aren't being broken.

It isn't illegal to seek asylum.  Again, the Republicans could change the law to allow asylum seekers to apply at US embassies.  We have treaties that we are required to allow asylum applications.  There are treaties about the treatment of asylum seekers. The law is simply being followed.

And I mean nobody. When the laws are bad it's a good thing when they are broken. That should be the Democrats' catchphrase. Maybe it already is.

The laws aren't being broken, they are being adhered to as written.

Even if immigration laws aren't being broken just like mask laws aren't being broken if DeSantis should be held liable for spreading disease then so should Biden.

First all intercepted unlawful immigrants and asylum seekers are probably tested and treated for Covid.  So there is little or no chance that they are a source of the spread of Covid  So your reasoning is bizzare.

Secondly DeSantis is arguably engaging in behaviors that are a 'callous disregard' for life and thus any deaths as a result may potentially be prosecuted under manslaughter or murder 2.

I expect this comment will be exceedingly unpopular but DeSantis is doing the same thing with masks that Biden is doing with the border

Well it is complete and absolute BS, you get these fantasy ideas in your head and it doesn't matter how screwed up and unrelated to reality they are - you are certain that they are important.

Both are against the science behind fighting a pandemic.

Biden has been 100% following the science in the pandemic.  There is zero reason to think that increasing numbers of border patrols, etc. would have any effect on the pandemic.  99%+ of spread is between unmasked unvaccinated americans.

I don't see how you can hold DeSantis accountable except during the next election when he isn't breaking any laws especially when Biden gets a pass while breaking our immigration laws by helping illegals carry out a mass migration and spread Covid including the lambda variant while they do it.

Biden hasn't broken a single law.  He has been following the law about asylum seekers - which are not illegal immigrants.  Once an asylum seekers status has been adjudicated and if they are refused asylum status, then they can be required to leave the country and if they stay they are then within the US illegally.

Whataboutism at it's finest but one guy is not breaking any laws while the other is. First we'd need a law about masks like we have a law about immigration and then we could talk about holding DeSantis criminally responsible or civilly liable.

It isn't whataboutism - it is simply you asserting falsehoods.

There is a difference between failure to implement a policy and forcing others to not implement policies.

I'd think him stupid and evil if he simply refused to implement any recommendations - but he is actively forcing businesses and schools to not do so.

No health expert could possibly go along with Desantis ordering that schools that require masking could lose funding.  This is clearly an completely against public health and will definitely result in deaths.

He has made similar threats against businesses requiring masks or in the case of cruises vaccinations.

Should Desantis be subject to charges of manslaughter/murder?  The deaths will be a direct result of his callous disregard for life - with the only possible motive of personal gain by pandering to his base.

General Comments / Why are many managers pushing to reopen offices?
« on: August 03, 2021, 01:14:55 PM »
It seems like managers at many companies are pushing to have people back in offices, even though productivity has significantly increased, and thus eliminating office space would offer many companies huge savings.

Is it due to middle managers fearing being eliminated due being shown to not be contributing much?

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 03, 2021, 12:21:36 PM »
The reported share of COVID-19 cases among those not fully vaccinated ranged from 94.1% in Arizona to 99.85% Connecticut.
The share of hospitalizations among those with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated ranged from in 95.02% in Alaska to 99.93% in New Jersey. (Note: Hospitalization may or may not have been due to COVID-19.)
The share of deaths among people with COVID-19 who are not fully vaccinated ranged from to 96.91% in Montana to 99.91% in New Jersey. (Note: Deaths may or may not have been due to COVID-19.)

And a comment by the person who posted the link,

For the states in the above summary, fully-vaccinated rates range from a bit under half (Alaska, Montane, Arizona) to 64% (Connecticut) of total population.

Only some states are reporting on breakthrough cases, but that gives a pretty good idea.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 06:05:50 PM »
Understood but I'm talking about why it's being transmitted so much more here in America right now.

The 1000x typical viral load caused by delta means it it twice as infective as alpha (presumably there is a logarithmic rather than linear relationship between viral load and infectiveness).   The exponential growth means in a few generations of spread it catches up and surpasses the slower spreading variants.  Unmasked unvaccinated will average infecting 8 new people, the infected vaccinated will be a relatively minor contribution.

The unmasked unvaccinated are surely responsible for the vast majority of the transmission but if the CDC is correct then for the most part the only variant the unmasked and vaccinated are transmitting is the delta variant.

You are misunderstanding.  All of the variants are being spread in parallel, but the delta variant spreads 8 times faster than the original; and the alpha variant spreads 4x faster than the original.  Due to exponential growth the number of cases from delta rapidly exceed the cases of all other variants combined.
Original - 1, 2, 4, 8, 16,32, 64, 128 - in eight generations
Alpha    - 1, 4, 16, 64, 256, 1024, 4096, 16384 - in eight generations
Delta - 1, 8 64, 4096, 32768, 262144, 2097152 - in eight generations

So the faster exponential growth means that even though delta started at 1 person in November of 2020 (or thereabouts), it rapidly exceeded the spread of all other variants.

It would be "extraordinarily rare" for the other variants to be spread by the unmasked vaccinated. And that's how it's getting selected to be such a huge problem and would be even if the unvaccinated had kept masking.

No.  It is the exponential growth.  Completely eliminate any and all spread from vaccinated people, and the total infections would likely be pretty close to what they are now.  I'd be shocked if total infections transmitted from vaccinated people would comprise even 1% of the total.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 01:01:28 PM »
"You are extremely wrong.  Delta is about 2x contagious as Alpha, Alpha was about 2x contagious as the original strain.  Vaccinated people are about 1/10th as contagious IF INFECTED as unvaccinated.  Importantly VACCINATED people are LESS LIKELY TO GET INFECTED."

Are you certain about this?


Isn't it possible that vaccinated people are getting infected but clearing the infection before they even notice?

Yes, you get infected all of the time with numerous viruses.  We only care about infections that produce a viral load such that they are contagious to other people, and we care about the duration of the viral load.  Vaccinated people, even if infected - have a week shorter duration during which the are contagious.  They also are drastically less likely to contract enough virus to become contagious.  I assume what is going on is that vaccinated people have IgG against the virus in their lungs.  So if they inhale some virus will trigger an adaptive immune response fairly quickly, only in the unlucky case where they don't breathe the virus into their lungs will they get the risk of a upper respiratory infection.  Or in the case they participate in a superspreader event, and the inhaled dose exceeds the bodys ability to clear it quickly.

They get infected over and over again but clear it and are none the wiser. But that's different from not getting infected at all.

Nope.  Infected people with no viral load are the same as non-infected as far as risk.

A small distinction but important because then when they get infected with delta almost the same thing happens.

Again - nope.  Probably every person that goes in public gets infected with some virus, but it is cleared by innate immunity.  Most people have probably been 'infected' a by COVID numerous times.  You need a certain dosage before the virus can become established and overcome the innate immunity.  You need an even larger dose before it can overcame preexisting adaptive immunity (ie vaccination).

They clear it without even noticing again. But, since delta establishes a beachhead in the nose and throat so much more and so much more quickly than other variants the vaccinated can pass it on before they clear it.

I think the main difference is actually delta spreads to the lungs slower and thus delays triggering adaptive immune response.

If it wasn't for that it'd be just like all the others and wouldn't be a problem, but it's got that one difference. And that's why the unmasked vaccinated just selected for delta. It's the only one they are can really pass on.

Delta emerged BEFORE vaccination - unmasked vaccinated HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.  Delta emerged in late 2020 in India - there was probably zero people in India vaccinated at that time. The faster spreading virus usually becomes dominant due to exponential growth  (in 8 generations Ro = 4, 4**8 = 65536; In 8 generations Ro = 8; 8**8 = 16777216).

There's the issue of how much viral particles get put out too. With the original it's a lot less likely that the vaxxed notice because they are getting less of an initial load. But with delta that's not necessarily the case. They get overloaded and while it's eventually cleared because the vaccines are working it isn't cleared before the virus accumulates in the nose and throat enough to easily spread to others, even among the vaccinated.

So I could be extremely wrong again and if so I'm glad to be corrected and learn something.

Yes you are very wrong again.  Once a virus is established - both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals have high viral loads - delta is about 1000x for the average person compared to viral load from the original COVID (I don't think it is 1000x for superspreaders though).  Importantly the vaccine makes it less likely for the delta to get established.

Also the people with vaccine that are contracting the virus appear to have attended superspreader events.  I stated at the beginning of vaccination that even with the vaccine people should still avoid any event that puts lots of saliva in the air (loud venues; singing; exercising) because vaccines only increase the dose it takes to establish an infection, and slow the rate of progression they don't prevent infection.  I don't think there is any reason to think that if they hadn't engaged in superspreader events that they would have become infected to the point of being contagious.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 10:21:37 AM »
Maybe if the Canadian and American federal governments declared a mutual martial law, closing all borders,  policing all behavior, it could have happened. Indeed, in Feb 2020 the initial chances of an outbreak could have been totally stamped out if this was done. But the type of societies over here wouldn't permit for 'efficient' but brutal methods, even if they saved millions of lives. Such is the bargain we make.

Just wearing a  mask and social distancing once it became recommended would have wiped out the virus, no 'brutal' methods required.  The virus spread wasn't inevitable - it just takes people acting like adults.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 10:19:06 AM »
If you don't get vaccinated, you aren't protected so you shouldn't be allowed to do stuff because you endanger everyone else.

So get the vaccine and you are protected and safe and you protect everyone else....but you still have to wear a mask and cant do stuff cause you endanger everyone else....including the people who are safe and protected by the vaccine, who aren't safe or protected from the vaccine.

Vaccinated people need to avoid high risk stuff, because UNVACCINATED PEOPLE are allowed to participate and thus have a high risk of infecting the vaccinated.  If unvaccinated people weren't allowed to go where they could infect others, then the vaccinated would be fine.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 09:28:12 AM »
Note that spread among vaccinated people is largely due to attending superspreader events - going to bars and parties, gyms, etc.

If you are vaccinated and avoid the high risk stuff there is very little chance you will catch COVID or spread it to others.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 09:22:00 AM »
This makes it sound like you mean that the guidelines given by the American authorities weren't followed, and so we have delta.

We have Delta in the US because the guidelines weren't followed (ie masking and social distancing would have prevented it entering the US and spreading).  We have Delta at all, because globally the guidelines weren't followed.

You can certainly make the argument that it might be impossible for some impoverished areas to follow the guidelines and thus Delta's emergence might have been inevitable.  It absolutely has not been the case that following the guidelines in the US has been burdensome enough that it was unreasonable to expect people to be able to do so.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 09:14:51 AM »
I'd go so far as to say that the mistake of telling the vaxxed it was safe to take off their masks because they would only very rarely spread the virus actually resulted in delta being singled out to be the variant that would spread the most because it was the one that the unmasked vaxxed would be able to spread much, much more than the others.

Again, you haven't a clue what you are talking about.  Delta has a high Ro - it spreads to 8 people on average.  The higher the viruses Ro the faster it spreads and quickly becomes the most prominent virus.  Has absolutely nothing whatever to do with vaccination or masking.

Also vaccinated people are drastically less likely to catch the virus or spread the virus.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 09:09:43 AM »
I like Wen and what she says here is true as far as it goes but also isn't the whole picture. Even if the honor system was working, which it definitely is not, but even if it was the CDC would be correct now to say even the vaxxed should mask up because if all of the unvaccinated were wearing masks and the vaccinated were not then with the delta variant we'd still be getting massive transmission from the unmasked vaccinated to the masked unvaccinated because as we've been over a million times most of the masks people are using do more to protect you from spreading it than getting it.

You are wrong.  If the unvaccinated always wore masks, the virus would quickly die out because the Ro would drop below 1 and cause the virus to rapidly extinguish.

With delta the unmasked vaccinated are probably spreading it as much as unmasked unvaccinated would have been spreading the original strain, or even more. I'm not sure about that but it would not be surprising.

You are extremely wrong.  Delta is about 2x contagious as Alpha, Alpha was about 2x contagious as the original strain.  Vaccinated people are about 1/10th as contagious IF INFECTED as unvaccinated.  Importantly VACCINATED people are LESS LIKELY TO GET INFECTED.

If vaccinated people avoid super spreader events, especially with unvaccinated people, I suspect they probably are unlikely to catch COVID at all.

When the White House says the vaccinated spread it less than the unvaccinated, are they talking about the same strains?

Yes, vaccinated people are less likely to get infected at all, and thus unlikely to spread it - whereas unvaccinated people are likely to get infected and thus likely to spread it.  Even after infection, unvaccinated have lower viral loads (3x-4x) and thus are less likely to spread it.

Obviously that would be true then. Vaccinated would spread the original strain less than the unvaccinated would spread the original strain. Vaccinated would spread the delta strain less than the unvaccinated would spread the delta strain.

Which is exactly what the data shows.

But do the vaccinated really spread the delta strain less than the unvaccinated spread the original strain?

Yep.  Delta is 4x as contageous, vaccinated individuals are 10x less likely to spread a virus.

And if the vaccinated spread delta more than unvaccinated spread original then the White House is being very deceptive in claiming the vaccinated spread it so much more rarely than unvaxxed.

Thankfully they have epidemiologists and virologists who understand these things, and listen to them and so are accurately informing the public.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 08:55:03 AM »
Who cares if the vaccinated spread it less than the unvaccinated?

Because misinformed people think 'why should I bother to get vaccinated'.  If you are 1/10th as contagious if you get infected, that drastically reduces the rate of spread of infection.

That's not the point. If it's super-contagious even if you're vaccinated then it's not very helpful if it's even more contagious than that if you're not vaccinated.

It is deeply important.  Being less contagious means you are likely to infect less people (few or none), and if you do infect other people they are less likely to get sick, and if they do get sick they are less likely to die.

The point is, which the CDC now gets, is that everyone needs to be wearing masks again. I think the Biden administration is actually coming onboard with that so why they are getting upset at the truth is weird concerning how easily the delta variant spreads whether you are vaxxed or not.

The point is that it is drastically more important to get vaccinated than it is to wear a mask.  Vaccination protects yourself and others 100% of the time and makes you almost certain to not die and extremely unlikely to need hospitalization.  Masks only work when you wear them - which most people won't around friends and family and lots of people won't in public.

I touched on this before but the difference now is that we've got the CDC doing the right thing finally and the White House is apparently trying to minimize the danger. /quote]

No you are wrong.  The CDC's actions were correct based on the information they had at the time.  There was no evidence of spread from vaccinated people when they made their prior decisions.  As soon as there was evidence of spread, they updated their recommendations.  The Whitehouse is absolutely correct, breakthrough infections are extremely rare with the vaccine, and by far the most important thing you could do is wear a mask.  If everyone was vaccinated the virus would be wiped out in a month.  If everyone had similar mask compliance as happenned prior to vaccines but no further vaccination - we'll be dealing with Covid till every person in the US has been infected, and probably a new mutant will evolve that will require a new vaccine.

We were promised that vaccinated people spreading the virus was extraordinarily rare.

Actually we weren't.  We expected that it would be the case, since that is true of most vaccines and it was true of the earlier Covid-19 variants.  Delta is special in that is slow to spread from the nose to the blood, and thus delays a significant immune response that clears the virus.

[quote[ We were told they could go without masks and it would be safe for them to go back home and associate even with family members who couldn't get vaccinated like  their children and others. That was not accurate. It wasn't true. It was a mistake.

No, it was true at the time it was stated.  Delta has changed things because it is a mutated virus that has a new trick.  Everything was accurate at the time the expectations were given.  People didn't mask and social distance and so we have delta.  If people do the most important thing - get vaccinated, and mask and social distance, we can hopefully prevent something worse from mutating.  By far the most important thing is to get vaccinated.

But now the truth is known and the White House apparently is still saying that it's rare for the vaxxed to spread the virus. And they need to be called on it.

It IS RARE.  Vaccinated people are drastically less likely to spread COVID, so the most important thing is to get vaccinated.  It is far more important than social distancing or masking.

The viral load in these breakthrough cases was about three to four times lower than the viral load among infected people who were unvaccinated.

3-4x lower viral load means, 1/3 to 1/4 the infections, or less severe infections.  That is enormously important.   (It won't be a 1 to 1 correspondence but still substantially less)

"The media's coverage doesn't match the moment," one of the Biden officials told me. "It has been hyperbolic and frankly irresponsible in a way that hardens vaccine hesitancy. The biggest problem we have is unvaccinated people getting and spreading the virus."

The reality is that it would be difficult to overstate the danger we're in now.

No it would be easy to overstate it.  If everyone gets vaccinated, we almost completely eliminate the virus in the US within a month.

The White House is so worried about getting more people vaxxed that they are willing to mislead people about how contagious the delta variant is.

No, you have misunderstood what you've heard.  The absolutely most important thing to do is get vaccinated.

[quoute]They have the good message that people should get vaxxed because it's super contagious and you're a lot less likely to get seriously sick and almost certainly saved from death by the vaccines. But they're apparently worried that's not good enough and people also need to know that the vaccines will keep them from spreading the virus but if that's not the case then it's not the case.[/quote]

The vaccine drastically reduces spread, it was never expected to stop spread.  It is less effective at stopping spread than hoped but the reduction in spread is still the primary benefit.  Without the vaccine it has a Ro if 8 (on average each unvaccinated person spreads it to 8 people).  With herd immunity (80-90% vaccinated) Ro would be less than 1.

I've stated all along that vaccinated people are still at risk in high dose events (indoor venues for extended time with loud talking, singing, heavy breathing) - which is what happened in Provincetown.

They'll spread it less than the unvaccinated but that's small consolation because they'll still spread it if it's the delta variant especially if they take it home to family.

They spread it DRASTICALLY LESS.  And when they do spread it, those infected are FAR LESS LIKELY TO GET SIGNIFICANTLY ILL.

So it is enormously beneficial for family members at risk to have their family vaccinated.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 02, 2021, 12:40:21 AM »
Also death isn't the only outcome for COVID - long term disability is an important risk as well,

“One in seven COVID-19 patients still symptomatic at 12 weeks.”
“Cognitive dysfunction or memory issues were common across all age groups (~88%).”

Pediatric rate for 'long COVID' are up to 12% (estimates have ranged from 1-12%), for adults about 20%.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 01, 2021, 10:23:15 PM »
So then wouldn't the correct thing to do be let each person decide for themselves if they want the vaccine?

Are they willing to wear a mask in public at all times, and be forbidden from any indoor venue if the duration indoors will be longer than say 20 minutes?  Can't participate in sporting activities or go to gyms, participate in choirs, karaoke, or other potential venues where they might become a superspreader, etc.  No transport on planes without testing negative for COVID.

It is reasonable to allow the refusal to get vaccinated, if they are willing to take other measures that restrict their potential to harm the public.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 01, 2021, 07:05:46 PM »
We cannot force someone to increase their risk of harm/death to lower that risk for someone else.

We absolutely can, the Supreme Court has ruled on this.

Also even if we exclude risking harm to others - it is still a net risk reduction for the individual.  Ie even the lowest risk population - the harm from catching COVID exceeds any theoretical harm from the vaccine.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 01, 2021, 06:56:59 PM »
Also for the myocarditis - COVID itself induces myocarditis - and since pretty much everyone in the nation not vaccinated can expect to be infected with COVID - those individuals would almost certainly have developed myocarditis by catching COVID.

So it isn't a tradeoff between taking the vaccine and risk getting myocarditis, and not taking the vaccine and avoid the risk of myocarditis.  Those susceptible to myocarditis from taking the vaccine, would have almost certainly developed it in response to a COVID infection, and more importantly - instead of mild as with the vaccine, it likely would be life threatening.

Also the myocarditis risk appears to be exercise + vaccine (it is unclear if the exercise is the cause and the vaccine is exacerbating it or vice versa).  So perhaps there should be recommendation of avoiding strenuous exercise within 5 days of vaccination.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 01, 2021, 06:40:47 PM »

"For public awareness and in the interest of transparency, CDC is providing timely updates on the following serious adverse events of interest

Those are adverse events associated with all vaccines, not specific to Pfiser.

No deaths from anaphylaxis were reported after receipt of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Anaphylaxis is only life threatening if you lack access to medical personnel who can administer epinephrine.  That is why all administration locations required 15 minute observation after administration.

TTP has not been found in Pfiser administration.

Myocarditis and pericarditis - certainly uncomfortable, but it resolves relatively quickly and isn't associated with death from Pfiser vaccines.

GBS is only been found with the J&J vaccine, not with Pfiser

So the only known risks with the Pfizer (anaphylaxis and myocarditis/pericarditis) are easily remedied, neither is generally fatal even if left untreated (though both should definitely be treated since there is some risk of death if untreated - to date the vaccine associated myocarditis is mild and appears to self resolve but an abundance of caution is warranted) - but the current protocol keeps vaccinated individuals under observation for 15 minutes and thus anyone who develops either symptoms can be readily treated.  (Though the myocarditis is delayed onset within 1-5 days).

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: August 01, 2021, 03:05:15 PM »
Also there is no known risk  to the mRNA vaccines with 100's of millions having been vaccinated with them

"According to the VAERS report, 472 people died after receiving a Moderna vaccine, while 489 died after receiving a Pfizer vaccine. Additionally, five people died after receiving a jab from an unknown manufacturer."

And that's just deaths.  There have been reports of other side effects and problems people have been developing after getting the shot.  How can you say there is "no known risk" when we actually know about the risk?

As msquared said - that doesn't mean an association between the vaccines and those deaths.  We've had 192 million Pfizer vaccines administered in the US.

"FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS, even if it’s unclear whether the vaccine was the cause."

Annual death rate is 869.7 deaths per 100,000.  -> 1,920 * 869.7 = 1,669,824 expected deaths per year among those vaccinated.

1,669,824/365 = 4574

Which implies there should be a baseline rate of 4574 deaths per day among those vaccinated, and if they use a window of say a week following vaccination for reporting - that would be 4574*7= 32018 deaths of vaccinated individuals during the week after the vaccine was administered without any reason to think it was vaccine associated.

Given the baseline rate of expected deaths vastly exceeds the reported deaths - there isn't any reason to expect that those vaccines are causing any deaths.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 31, 2021, 04:53:58 PM »
So no this has nothing to do with the moronic lab theory.

You seem awfully certain about this.


What will you say to me going forward if it is (a) proven conclusively the Wuhan lab was doing gain of function research on this exact type of virus, and (b) if it merely becomes a high probability even though it cannot ultimately be proven (due to secrecy)? I'm putting you on record on this one, acknowledging full well you might of course be entirely correct that the lab theory is false. But what you are on record about is saying that it's moronic. That is what I'll hold you to.

Even if it were proved conclusively that it escaped from a lab - your inference was severely lacking in logic.  As I said - viruses mutate to become more virulent and more deadly all the time, so you can't at all draw any conclusions that it came from a lab if a more deadly variant emerges.  There is zero reason to infer a 'lab hypothesis'.  We haven't had any evidence at all that supports a lab hypothesis, so thinking it came from a lab is entirely unwarranted, but it is especially unwarranted based on your reasoning.  As TheDrake says,

Whether it started in a lab or not, gain of function or not, doesn't make the resulting virus more likely to mutate in the wild, particularly in a specific way. That's the dumb part.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 31, 2021, 10:40:01 AM »
He also said it would make the virus less able to mutate. Does herd immunity really do that?

Yes.  If you have 0 people infected - you get 0 mutations.   For each infected person you get more mutations.  Of course as I said it is only the mutants that someone else is exposed to in a manner that can cause infection that matter.  Usually it takes a minimum of about 3000 virons to cause an infection.  But you can get a much larger dose, especially in a shared environment (I'd be surprised if a transmission of millions isn't common).

He's saying throw off the masks and go back to normal now to get to herd immunity so the virus will go away sooner and it'll mutate less.

If that is what he said - then he is dumb.  Maskless for unvaccinated people means that you get the same total infections and same mutations but you achieve all of it drastically faster (well actually about the speed that many red states are currently doing since the majority of unvaccinated are going maskless and not taking any measures to reduce spread).  So the potential for a new mutant that can bypass the vaccine/natural immunity or that is more deadly arrives quicker.

You want herd immunity via vaccination.  You almost certainly will never achieve herd immunity via natural spread, there will be selective pressure for mutations that evade existing antibodies - both vaccine induced and naturally occuring.  What will likely end up happening is successive waves of infection - similar to annual influenza.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 31, 2021, 10:01:55 AM »

This point seems to be contentious. First of all, if it's true then it adds credence to the lab-leak theory, since natural pathogens don't normally increase in both virulence and threat potential.

Mutations are random!  ALL viruses evolve in all directions simultaneously - faster spreading and slower spreading, less deadly and more deadly.  Then those variants compete for hosts.  On average faster spreading variants 'win'. Deadlier variants only matter to the degree the host can spread them.  If they are incapacitating early on and thus greatly reduce spread they will be selected against. If they don't incapacitate and kill till after significant spread then there is no selective pressure against being more deadly.

So no this has nothing to do with the moronic lab theory.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 31, 2021, 09:50:54 AM »

you might work on reading comprehension - younger people has been define as 18 to late 30's.  Ie younger adults not children.

Also there is no known risk  to the mRNA vaccines with 100's of millions having been vaccinated with them.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 31, 2021, 09:46:53 AM »

when the author said 'hang around' he meant the susceptible population.  Once you reach herd immunity a virus can self extinguish and thus is no longer hanging around.  So faster herd immunity means it doesn't hang around as long.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 30, 2021, 12:19:58 PM »
So IgM/IgG antibodies - which are the primary antibody created by vaccines - dwell in the blood.  Other types of antibodies have other targets - IgE in the nose, and IgA in the mucus.  The Delta seems to preferentially stay in the nose, and thus avoids the protection provided by vaccines.  So the vaccine still protects the individual from serious symptoms and death if the virus begins to spread, but it isn't as effective at preventing vaccinated from being carriers since the full immune response isn't triggered as early as with other variants.

I'm curious if an aerosolized vaccine could trigger IgE and IgA antibodies.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 29, 2021, 06:32:48 PM »
Obesity is not associated with increased mortality according to a meta analysis of risk factors published in Nature,

Obesity is not associated with increased COVID-19-associated mortality. Random effects meta-analysis of odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the likelihood of death in obese vs non-obese COVID-19 patients

General Comments / Re: So will you take the vaccine?
« on: July 29, 2021, 11:25:41 AM »
Right, but it's not written as a list of examples of things that are vaccines, it's written as a characterisation of the properties of vaccines, and it's one that's insufficiently broad.

And it is an oversimplification with links that go into more depth.  I think the phrase 'a part of the disease germ' - actually is close enough for cowpox (which has overlapping protein structures), viral vector vaccines (which integrate parts of the original virus) and mRNA (which trigger synthesis of some protein of the original virus).  Would I prefer a bit more precision? Sure. Is claiming the page is 'wrong' accurate? No.

I think it's wrong.  Definitions should read like definitions

I think you are mischaracterizing it when referring to it as a definition.  It clearly is not intended to be definitional - it is trying to give the basic idea of what a vaccine is and does for a lay audience.

This type of simplification is common in all scientific and technological fields when communicating to lay persons, and thus claiming a simplified explanation is wrong is wrong.  It is a simplification that trades off completeness for ease of comprehension.

But it does inch us slightly closer to the way Pfizer and Moderna work;  they're not subunit vaccines as such, but they achieve that effect indirectly.  mRNA provides the biochemical plans to make spike proteins, the spike proteins produce an immune response similar to infection with the disease.  It's the subunit vaccine "home game" for cells to play by themselves.


General Comments / Re: So will you take the vaccine?
« on: July 29, 2021, 11:24:15 AM »
Right, but it's not written as a list of examples of things that are vaccines, it's written as a characterisation of the properties of vaccines, and it's one that's insufficiently broad.

And it is an oversimplification with links that go into more depth.  I think the phrase 'a part of the disease germ' - actually is close enough for cowpox (which has overlapping protein structures), viral vector vaccines (which integrate parts of the original virus) and mRNA (which trigger synthesis of some protein of the original virus).  Would I prefer a bit more precision? Sure. Is claiming the page is 'wrong' accurate? No.

I think it's wrong.  Definitions should read like definitions

I think you are mischaracterizing it when referring to it as a definition.  It clearly is not intended to be definitional - it is trying to give the basic idea of what a vaccine is and does for a lay audience.

This type of simplification is common in all scientific and technological fields and thus claiming a simplified explanation is wrong is wrong.  It is a simplification that trades off completeness for ease of comprehension.

But it does inch us slightly closer to the way Pfizer and Moderna work;  they're not subunit vaccines as such, but they achieve that effect indirectly.  mRNA provides the biochemical plans to make spike proteins, the spike proteins produce an immune response similar to infection with the disease.  It's the subunit vaccine "home game" for cells to play by themselves.


General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 29, 2021, 08:22:44 AM »
It isn't surprising that those with breakthrough infections have similar viral loads.  It would be bizarre if they didn't.

The change is probably because the anti-vaccers are also anti-mask and it is easier to enforce everyone wearing a mask indoors.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 28, 2021, 10:52:05 AM »
I wish they had left the "if they live in areas with significant or high spread."  In those areas its already getting late. They should just have gone with the virus is spreading quicker than expected and just recommend masks everywhere.

They have well defined thresholds for number of cases which are fairly reasonable (100 cases per 100,000 in a county in any week period).  There is very little likelihood that places with extremely few or no cases are going to reinstitute masks, so there isn't much point in recommending it, nor would it do much benefit.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 27, 2021, 10:09:47 PM »
I'm not convinced the virus mutation threat is significantly mitigated through vaccinations - or any more likely a threat when dealt with via natural antibodies.

Viruses replicate exponentially (actually sigmoidal but the exponential part of the curve is what matters).  Vaccines drastically increase the response time to eliminate the virus - ergo there is an extreme reduction in the number of total viral particles created.

You might have heard of the wise man who asked as his reward a doubling of the grains of rice for each day for the number of squares of a chess board. (1 grain for square 1, 2 for square 2, 4 for square 3, etc.) 2**64 is 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 a mind bogglingly large number.  However if you cut the number of doublings in half - you are 4,294,967,294 -  a relatively modest number.

It is the same with viral replication being able to respond to the virus with antibodies almost immediately drastically reduces the number of doublings.

Unambiguously suggesting that vaccines will reduce mutations sounds compelling but the truth is we simply don't know.

Yes, we DO KNOW.  It is fairly straight forward math and biology that is well studied.  It is also why the dosing is important in the risk for both unvaccinated and vaccinated people.

Google "do vaccines cause virus mutation" and you'll find plenty of credible* analysis suggesting it's quite possible.

I just explained above what is actually happening.

Here, is a source that repeats what I've already said, people (Including a famous researcher) are confusing viral selection (new viruses that evade the vaccine induced antibodies will be selected for because any mutation that doesn't is eliminated) with viral mutation (the changes that occur when a virus is replicated).

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 27, 2021, 04:18:31 PM »
For those interested here is an estimate of the actual number of viral particles an infected individual produces during the peak,

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 27, 2021, 03:55:23 PM »
Viruses will mutate at every opportunity but appear to have a tougher time when the host has antibodies.

Every time a virus replicates there will be a significant number of mutants.  In a person who is vaccinated, the number of replications on average after an exposure event will be many many orders of magnitudes less than someone not vaccinated because viruses have exponential growth until an adequate immune response occurs.

There is also evidence to suggest that vaccines themselves can contribute to new mutations and strains.

I think you misunderstood whatever source you got this from, or your source was confused.  The vaccines don't cause mutations or strains, but what happens if there is a susceptible population that the virus is spreading in (ie unvaccinated individuals) there is selective pressure for mutations that make the virus different enough that vaccinated individuals antibodies no longer are effective in preventing infection.  Of course this same selective pressure occurs in natural immunity so not vaccinating is much worse, because waiting for natural immunity gives more opportunities for a new mutant.

The fact that you see the goal of natural immunity for a healthy population as "moronic" is troubling.

Letting the virus spread and mutate hundreds of trillions (billions of trillions? trillions of trillions?) of more times drastically increases the odds of a mutation that will overcome vaccine immunity/natural immunity, which means we start the pandemic lockdowns and vaccination creation all over again.

(More accurately the total number of viral particles produced isn't what is important but the viral particles shed that come in contact with a vaccinated individual - so mixed households of vaccinated and unvaccinated - ie parents vaccinated, children not; classrooms with vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals - ie teacher vaccinated students not; working environments of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.  In situations where you have long term contact between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals a sick unvaccinated individuals viruses will be constantly trying to infect the unvaccinated individual until one of the viruses has a mutation where it isn't neutralized by the vaccine created antibodies).

You are suggesting we play Russian Roulette and vaccination removes the bullets from the gun.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 27, 2021, 12:15:42 PM »
Covid19 is a culling disease that is statistically dangerous only to the old, obese, or otherwise compromised. They should get vaccinated but for everyone else, it should be a personal choice.

We've lost our collective minds by insisting that young, healthy people should be vaccinated instead of simply contracting the disease and building normal immunity.

Anyone unvaccinated becomes an incubator to create mutant variants of the virus.  There will be selective pressure to mutate the virus to become more infective to vaccinated individuals.   A partially vaccinated population is like taking a partial course of antibiotics - the partial course of antibiotics puts selective pressure for variants immune to the antibiotic.

So no - it is absolutely moronic to do 'normal immunity'.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 26, 2021, 09:46:20 PM »
Everyone that practically can get vaccinated should to achieve herd immunity.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 16, 2021, 01:05:37 AM »
People might not care what the CDC says but my point was that the big box retailers would reinstitute their mandatory mask policies.

Here in AZ I regularly visit 2-3 places that still have mandatory mask policies posted.  Posted policies along the lines of "No one who is not wearing a mask is allowed to enter this store."

Half the customers and half the employees don't wear masks - pretty much the same for places without mandatory mask policies posted.

General Comments / Re: Election Results
« on: July 14, 2021, 11:01:05 PM »
Arizona Senate President Karen Fann on Tuesday said that the 2020 presidential election audit’s ballot count led by Cyber Ninjas differed from the Maricopa County tally, and that the discrepancy prompted the election review team to acquire new machines to recount the ballots.

The reason for the new machines has a quite different reason according to those purchasing them,

Arizona’s largest county approved nearly $3 million Wednesday for new vote-counting machines to replace those used in the 2020 election, which were given to legislative Republicans for a partisan review of the results.

The GOP-controlled Maricopa County Board of Supervisors said the machines were compromised because they were in the control of firms not accredited to handle election equipment. Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, had said she would seek to decertify the machines if the county planned to use them again.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 13, 2021, 08:49:01 PM »

taking time to respond to you is frankly a waste of my time - you seem unable to differentiate reality from fantasy and repeat false statements without any critical thought and completely ignore reality no matter how thoroughly someone takes the time to provide you with facts.

Given that - feel free to believe that Trump is a saint, a financial genius who made great sacrifices for the US by being President, and that all democrats are corrupt - I'm not going to convince you that your fantasy world isn't reality and you will simply ignore all facts that contradict you.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 13, 2021, 07:50:58 PM »
If someone buys artwork of a family member to curry favor I'd almost certainly be less inclined to view them favorably - I'd frankly be insulted and think any reasonable person would be.

Great, now prove it. I mean, the guy who was just President almost certainly responded well to blatant appeals to his or his family's interests. I don't think it's too much to ask that his successor be above reproach.

Trump was uniquely susceptible to flattery and uniquely willing to engage in blatantly corrupt behavior. Do you honestly think he was a 'reasonable person'.  If you were President Biden would you think 'wow my son is a genius painter and this person had the extraordinary taste to recognize him as such' - or would you think - this person is blatantly trying to manipulate me, I can't believe they have such a low opinion of me that they think it would work, f*ck this guy.  I think all but the most idiotic and vain of people would go with the being insulted by the blatant manipulation and pissed off that someone tried it.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 13, 2021, 07:45:40 PM »
If someone buys artwork of a family member to curry favor I'd almost certainly be less inclined to view them favorably - I'd frankly be insulted and think any reasonable person would be.

Yes I'm aware of the psychology of reciprocation and this has nothing to do with it.  No favor is being done for President Biden if someone buys a painting by Hunter.

Is that right? Parents don't want to do something nice for people who help their family, am I hearing that right?

People don't like blatant manipulation if they are at all aware that it is happening.  There is zero chance that someone seeking a favor who just 'happens' to have purchased a Hunter painting isn't seeking to manipulate - unless Hunter is some painting genius and widely praised as such.

The most likely response to blatant manipulation is spite not accommodation.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 13, 2021, 02:30:53 PM »
We don't have to assume President Biden has extraordinary integrity - just assume he isn't a moron and isn't utterly desperate for money via dubious means.

He could do perfectly legal trading based on insider knowledge about government contracts or planned military actions and make far more than anyone could rationally offer as a bribe.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 13, 2021, 02:25:25 PM »
If someone buys artwork of a family member to curry favor I'd almost certainly be less inclined to view them favorably - I'd frankly be insulted and think any reasonable person would be.

Yes I'm aware of the psychology of reciprocation and this has nothing to do with it.  No favor is being done for President Biden if someone buys a painting by Hunter.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 13, 2021, 11:27:42 AM »

For the most part I agree that this is likely not designed (if it's designed for something) as a mere through-way to "the big guy". This is too small-time for that. If there was corrupt intent, it would stop somewhere like "you'll be in Hunter's good graces". Where that might lead is open-ended, or even nowhere. But having access to the President's son is automatically an 'in' that is worth something in and of itself. You mention an idea to Hunter, a cause, a political goal, and there's a chance he mentions it to dad.

If you have the resources to spend excessively on a painting for that purpose there are likely 100's of ways to strike up an acquitanceship with him - find what circles he hangs in (charities, business, etc.) and befriend him or hire someone to do so.

I have at this point got zero doubt that Hunter was capitalizing on Joe's prestige for years

Quite possibly.

and - whether it was illegal or not - was bringing his dad in on some of it.

And why do you think this?  There is no reason to believe so except a screenshot of an email of extremely dubious provenance from a party who is extremely ethically challenged (ie presenting that video during a hearing - where the full video is absolutely clear that they were behaving in an ethical manner trying to fool the state legislatures into thinking voter fraud occurred).

It's less that he gets Joe to veer his presidency in some direction, and more that he can get Joe to support him, his son in some endeavor of his.

Seriously?  People aren't doing a great deal on behalf of their 50 year old sons unless they were the type to micromanage their life from the beginning.  Especially 50 year old sons who have made a good living already.

Imagine you need some red tape cut away for a business deal in some country; you make Hunter your business partner, and Hunter begs dad for a kind word to the ambassador. All of these doors open when you get into Hunter's circle.

And this has what to do with paintings?  Why not do this via say - finding a mutual acquitance to make an introduction? I'm pointing out the absurdity of using paintings as a way to funnel bribes.  Making Hunter partner in an endeavor in the hope that he influences President Biden to help cut red tape might well be something someone tries (although why not bribe the relevant red tape wielding officials instead; or blackmail etc. - ethically challenged individuals tend to take more direct routes).

I think you are using too narrow a view on what corruption usually entails. It's not always just a wad of bills; it's access, connections, remembering who did stuff for you. Sometimes just the ability to dial a phone number and have them pick up. There's a gray line between bribery and the wheeling and dealing of politics. The legal line is almost insignificant in these matters, it's a question of how you can get what you want within a system.

I was pointing out the absurdity of 'sell paintings to launder bribes/peddle influence'.  There is pretty much zero chance that that was the intent of Hunter Biden, the Gallery owner, or President Biden.

Hunter had mentioned his painting as an emotional outlet that helped him stay clean; a gallery owner figured that his name recognition and creating a bit of controversy might help him sell some of Hunter's paintings for a nice commission and contacted him.  Either the ego flattery or greed led him to agree.

If you get any reasonable theory of Hunter engaging in corruption - would be willing to listen.  If there is every a business he joins in a foreign adventure and suddenly has red tape cut - feel free to bring it up.

The current 'controversy' though is complete BS.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 12, 2021, 09:23:27 PM »

Let us assume for the sake of argument that Hunter is entirely corrupt and would do anything for a buck.  What motivation would President Biden have to accommodate him?  At best someone with corrupt intent could convince Hunter to lobby on their behalf.  Hunter lives in California, I'd be shocked if they spend more than 15 minutes of phone time a week.

President Biden has extremely high wealth now, and expectations of vastly more wealth at the end of his Presidency.  Even assuming Hunter is 100% corrupt the idea makes zero sense of overpaying for Hunter's paintings to get President Biden to engage in corruption.  Also there are easier ways to funnel money to Hunter - he has highly marketable skills - lawyer with international and board experience, it would be trivial to set up a consulting gig or board membership that could pay him large sums without any eyebrows raised.

General Comments / Re: Hunter Biden, artist
« on: July 12, 2021, 08:24:40 PM »
I think it was a brilliant move by the gallery owner - nothing sells like controversy.  Hunter Biden was far more likely to flop prior to this publicity.

No idea if Hunter has any talent, but that hasn't stopped artists from becoming wealthy and famous in the past.

The news stories have made it far more likely that he will sell stuff and that the prices will be higher.

As to people buying 'having something to gain' - anyone in the market for overpriced artwork will probably meet that criteria - the wealthy always have something that would benefit from political influence.

Why any rational person would think even 10 million in sales of artwork would influence the President is rather silly though. President Biden is worth 9 million, he will easily have speaking and book deals worth 20-30 million after his Presidency.  Hunter probably is worth 1-2 million or so already.

If they wanted corrupt wealth there are far easier and less obvious manners to do so.

General Comments / Re: Trump's Lawsuit against the tech companies
« on: July 12, 2021, 10:31:01 AM »
Why do Republicans have such a hard time distinguishing between banning for obnoxious behaviour vs banning based on party affiliation? It is true that Republican politicians engage in obnoxious behaviour more, it is not the case they are banned for being Republicans.

General Comments / Re: coronavirus
« on: July 09, 2021, 10:01:40 PM »
I don't think you can stop people from telling the truth

I was talking about people lying about vacccines, not telling the truth.  Vaccines don't magnetize you, they don't mess with your DNA, they don't have anything to do with 5g, etc.

and the truth is though the vaccines as far as we know do much more good than harm there are still unknowns about them especially long term and there are known dangers about them too.

Long term we know a lot about vaccines - vaccines work like any other antigen in pretty much every way - which is to say little or no risk except some very special circumstances - the biggest being that cross reaction can potentially suppress creation of novel antibodies to variants and the existing antibodies might not bind the pathogen well enough for clearance of the new variant - with classic vaccines this is much more of a risk since the number of possible proteins that antibodies might be created to is large, for mRNA vaccines the risk is much lower because they are targeted to a single protein.  Of course natural immunity carries the same risk - this is one of the reasons why elderly are more likely to die of influenza - they have been exposed to prior variants and the new infleunza is similar enough to one they have experienced in the past that they don't create new antibody variants, but the binding to the proteins by the antibodies is weak enough that it causes poor clearance.   The short term dangers are well known as well, the risk of triggering a preexisting autoimmune reaction is the key risk - some autoimmune responses can cause clotting.  We know that the mRNA vaccines haven't shown this risk or any other risk.

With hundreds of millions of people vaccinated we can quantify short term risks extremely well - essentially none for mRNA vaccines.

You can't hold anyone liable or punish them for pointing out facts and admitting that there are things nobody can possibly know yet despite any official sounding assurances to the contrary, which always come with fine print.

I wasn't talking about facts - I was talking about lies.  I also wasn't talking about 'admissions of unknowns'.  That isn't what politicians and pundits have done.

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