Operation Warp Speed meets Light Rail

More vaccine available than the States will accept

If they ever open the season on bureaucrats, I’m going to get my limit every day.

The State Health Depts had 8 months to prepare and they have no plan. They are more geared toward being sure no one off their prepared lists gets vaccinated than saving lives. For example. New York was fining hospitals $100,000 if vaccine wasn’t used, but $1million if someone outside the authorized group got a shot.

I wrote to the VA Medical Reserve Corps to volunteer to vaccinate people, as they’re asking retired health care providers to assist with mass vaccinations. You’d have thought they  might have arranged for that months ago.

53 thoughts on “Operation Warp Speed meets Light Rail

    1. It actually coincides with numerous studies nationwide that shows public K12 schools are not vectors for transmission.

      That being said, my daughter is not keep on going back into the classroom, nor having her kindergartener go back either. Even though she knows it would be best to be in the classroom for both of them.

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      1. “Maybe it is what the Constitution requires”

        I don’t think so. We have national programs in many areas.

        I will not argue with you about the job of preparing for the vaccine that Virginia or any other state has done. Some undoubtedly are poor, others excellent. The point is a national problem requires a national program – not 50 different approaches. IMHO.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What if the national program is wrong? With nothing to compare it to, you would never know there was a better way.

          What we should be doing is to look at what West Virginia has done, and unless there is something veruy different here, following their example.

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  1. If we had to defend against an invasion from Canada, I don’t think 50 different strategies is a good idea. A pandemic is a national issue. No maskers in one state, early openings in another, schools closed in others, hospitals with personnel jammed, others not, etc.

    Plus no effort from the administration to put out regular messaging from day one, particularly when the vaccine is being rejected by huge numbers of skeptical Americans.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Len the Federalist approach is already saving the day. If every state had followed the CDC guidelines rigidly, as Virginia, we wouldn’t even know we were doing it wrong. It is only because Texas, Florida and now West Virginia went their own way that we know that micromanaging the supply with the goal of using the vaccine for social engineering was as stupid is it proved to be.

      What we should be doing now is looking at the states that are succeeding and emulating them.

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        1. You don’t see a problem with putting young Black grocery store clerks ahead of 70 year old retirees?

          Take a look at who is filling the ICU’s

          It’s old people of all races.

          So, yes, I have a problem with killing hundreds, maybe thousands, of elders of all races in hopes that a higher proportion of them will be white. I have a problem with trashing our hospitals by packing them with unprotected elders so that young people don’t miss a few days of work.

          The CDC plan was stupid social engineering and I’m glad Azar finally had the data to overrule them.

          But absent the 50 state approach, he wouldn’t have.

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          1. Only want to save lives. Yeah, right. And gazillions of people of color will die if the United States works harder on renewable energy. This seems to be your go to argument. People will die if we don’t listen to you.

            I am an elder and I personally have no problem with my place in line. I think people have acted in good faith in a complex challenge. We are all in this together and race-based belly-aching doesn’t actually help. President Biden will not be playing golf or cheerleading for terrorists. He will be working the issues. I have faith that everything humanly possible will be done to get the vaccinations done.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Biden’s “plan” is to simply continue what Trump has already done, and claim to be doing it better.

            Right now, the Federal government is delivering vaccines faster than the States can use it. This is one rare time the Federal government is not the problem.

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          1. Yeah, it would be nice to keep race out of the discussion. I tried to do that by pointing out that this foolish CDC plan kills more people of all races.

            But in the end, it is impossible to keep race out of our discussion, because the CDC based its plan largely on addressing racial inequity in longevity by withholding the vaccine from the elderly because that would result in proportionally more white deaths.

            As I pointed out, more Blacks will die under that plan too.

            Age is the only useful proxy for vulnerability that can be successfully employed.

            Even if you try to include comorbitities, it just becomes a letter writing contest between doctors.

            So, if you want race out of this, then Oldest First, Period, and don’t worry about the color of the arm you stick the needle in.

            Save everyone you can. Look for health equity someplace else.

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          2. “only useful proxy” ?

            From the old man perspective perhaps. Your “letter writing” toss off to support your contention is a bit disingenuous. Of course “those people” have less robust health care and statistically die more often (ceteris paribus) than “the” people. SMH

            Read the article.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. So, do you think that working in a grocery store is a better proxy for vulnerability?

            What is the easily verifiable alternative proxy for the likelihood of death or hospitalization than age?

            The hospitals are not being smothered by 25 year old cashiers, or 35 year old teachers. If we want functional hospitals, vaccinating oldest first is the way to ge there.

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          4. “Of course “those people” have less robust health care and statistically die more often (ceteris paribus) than “the” people.”

            You think I don’t know that?

            I practiced dentistry for 40 years most of the time in Black majority areas. My last decade was in East Ghent at the south end of Park Place. I was there because it was an underserved market and I simply like blue collar people.

            I did what I could to correct that, preaching preventive dental care to a population that was accustomed to emergency care only. You’d be surprised at how well people respond to being treated as an equal instead of like a child or an inconvenience.

            I like to think I made a small difference in that.

            Over the years I detected HBp, heart failure and diabetes in scores of patients and directed them to the proper care.

            But that’s how you address the problem of healthcare inequity, by doing it better, not by killing grandma and grandpa to even the score.

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          5. Fair enough and kudos to your professional empathy and proactive helpfulness.

            My reaction is to consider the young minimum wage earner who returns to the multigenerational home with no symptoms and endangers the vulnerable who have self isolated.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. Then vaccinate the vulnerable members of the family.

            Has anyone actually asked these young people. especially those multi-generational homes, whether they would prefer to be vaccinated over having their grandma vaccinated?

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          7. Don, it sounds “reasonable” but you have skewed perspective on the ease of “just” asking or vaccinating, much less the logistical challenges of doing so.

            But: carry on…

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Think over the long term. We have had a mish mash of approaches and now that a few states seem to have handled the distribution better, we are still confused.

        By the time we got here, people have no idea what works, what doesn’t and now that we have access to the vaccine we have a sizable number that won’t take it.

        Bottom line, with an AWOL leader since the summer, we are going to muddle along.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Trump is not the governor of Virginia.

          That’s where the problem is.

          The problem is not people refusing the vaccine, there are tens of thousands trying to get an appointment in Virginia alone.

          They just can’t get one because our Health Dept is obsessed with total control.

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          1. There appears to be a LOT of shared blame to go around.

            People refusing is going to be a big problem, but polling shows that more are willing to take it now.

            And the 70 year olds need to shop at the stores where the clerks work. BOTH groups need the vaccine. – IMO.

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          2. Are you really having that hard a time getting it.

            Yes, the clerk and the 70 yo will be at the same store.

            The difference is that if they both are infected, the clerk, 95% of the time, will miss a couple of weeks work and be OK, the 70 yo will almost certainly need hospitalization, burdening the system for everyone, and has a 1 in 10 chance of dying.

            And if that clerk is one of the rare young people who need the hospital, it’s better if it’s not fully occupied with 70year olds.

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          3. The clerk is in that store 40 hours a week. The senior does not have to go in at all. That clerk could spread it to a lot of other people. The senior need not. Things are not as simple as you make out.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Actually, it is that simple.

            The clerk has very little chance of dying and is unlikely to need hospitalization.

            The 70 old will almost certainly wind up in the hospital and has at least 1 chance in 20 to 1 chance in 10 of dying.

            Oh, and the clerk is actually much more likely to spread it outside of work than in the store.

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          5. So the clerk, who sees more people at work than the individual customer and then goes home to a potentially mixed generation household then brings it home to that household. And then it potentially spreads to others who also are outside the household because they cannot afford to stay home and quarantine. While the 70 year old returns to his/her wife/husband. And missing a couple of weeks work by that clerk, without sick leave (which he/she probably does not have) will effect his/her ability to pay the bills. Another effect of not getting shots into young arms.

            Containing the spread is just as important as who gets the shot. There are a lot of arguments for both sides of this discussion. I don’t think you are wrong. But I don’t think you are 100% right either.

            And now this:

            https://theweek.com/speedreads/961206/white-house-said-unlocking-vaccine-reserve–but-reportedly-already-empty

            So the second dose stockpile to be released earlier to get more first doses out never really existed.

            OOPS. That’s not on Northam or Trump. But somewhere in the HHS beauacracy, someone screwed the pooch. And seeing as the Captain is responsible for his ship and its crew….

            Not sure if the DPA could have helped in this instance. But the cupboard is bare when we were told otherwise.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. The Feds have 38 million does on hand but only 27 million doses requested by states.

            They may not be calling it the 2nd shot reserve any more, but there is a large reserve and expectations are that 2nd shots will be covered by new production.

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          7. That is NOT the reporting. Even Azar said oops. There is currently no “large reserve”. If that were truly the case, they would start the distribution.

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          8. “Hard time getting it”

            Someone is; you tend to get some information and decide it confirms your hope/dream and bombast from there to exhort your position. Having said that it is marginally debatable, but NOT condemnable..

            Liked by 2 people

          9. “Actually, it is that simple.

            Uh, no.

            The amount of exposure is an important factor which you do not seem to be able to understand. Are you slow? Or just stubborn? Who knows.

            People who work in stores risk of death IF they get the virus may be low but their chances of getting the risk are high because they are exposed to dozens of random people every day. The risk of death for a senior may be high IF they get the virus but their chances of getting the virus are LOW because they need not expose themselves at all or very little. The overall risk of death and the chances of spreading the virus is a function of all these factors. So, actually, it is NOT that simple. You are not the genius you seem to think you are and the people with actual responsibility are not the idiots that you would claim.

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          10. Really?

            Do you have any evidence that retail workers are at increased risk of infection? Or is that just an assumption?

            It’s been 8 months, and if they were getting infected on the job, we should know it by now. I have seen no indication that infection on the job is a significant problem for retail cashiers. Like pretty much everyone else, they seem to be more at risk off the job.

            If you have evidence to the contrary, please present it.

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          11. Your risk of infection is a function of the number of people you come into contact with. The more people you MUST interact with each day, the greater your risk. That is obvious and pretty basic. If we have to discuss something so obvious what is the point? You are now getting into the realm of goofy counterfactual obtuseness. Since this elementary fact seems to elude you, why would anyone put any weight on any science you pretend to know?

            Liked by 1 person

          12. What you are advancing is a hypothesis. It may seem pretty obvious, but retailers have taken precautions, like plexiglass partitions and such.

            The truth of the hypothesis and the value of the countermeasures must be determined by experience.
            we have had eight months experience, and I have seen no evidence to support your hypothesis, absent such proof, it is no more than an unsupported guess.

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          13. Advancing a hypothesis?

            Uh, that would be a no. It is a FACT that your risk of infection IS a function of the number of people that you are in contact with. A basic fact.

            And the same measures which you HYPOTHESIZE make it safe to work in a grocery store would also work for the senior who shops there so we are back to square one with the operative distinction being the number of contacts with random people. A handful for the stubbornly shopping senior who has a choice versus thousands per week for the store worker who doesn’t.

            Finally, your not being aware of what’s going on does not support your hypothesis. You do not get to make up your own facts. In this or in any other discussion. It has been widely reported that supermarkets are hotbeds of infection. Which is why they are getting moved up the queue. And why you should re-think your race-based grousing.

            https://www.nbclosangeles.com/investigations/ore-than-800-socal-supermarket-workers-test-positive-for-covid-19/2496127/

            https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/29/health/grocery-workers-increased-covid-19-risk-wellness/index.html

            https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201029191116.htm

            etc. etc. etc.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. The last of the three links does support your hypothesis, the first 2 really don’t as there was no indication of on the job vs commuting and personal life.

            None tell us if the stores in question were using proper barrier protection.

            Regarding the first link, 800 cases in Los Angeles County? Los Angeles county has has a larger population than about half of US states. 76% were asymptomatic. No number was given for deaths but since only about 1 in 100 in that age group die it can’t be more than a handful.

            How many people over 65 died in LA County in the same time period?

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          15. Unlike you I am not making any absolutist claims. I don’t accuse people with a defensible difference of opinion about these priorities of being idiots, or not “woke” or malicious. I am simply saying that the issues involved are not as simple as you make out. And, of course, asserting some basic facts which you choose to ignore. Facts such as . . .

            1. The risk of infection IS a function of the number of people interacted with.
            2. Seniors can control their risk better than those who MUST work, and
            3. There IS evidence that work in grocery stores is risky.

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          16. As I wrote, one of your three links provides some support(not proof) of increased risks of infection for grocery store employees who directly face the public.
            “This is a small observational study of workers in one store in one city at one point in time, which relied on subjective reports, and as such, can’t establish cause, caution the researchers.”

            However, it does not prove that is the cause of the increased risk, though it may well be. Further, it does not provide a comparison with others in the same community of the same age and educational level, there may be other causes at work and the difference between the grocery workers and age matched workers in other fields. And it does not tell us if this one store has met the industry standards for barriers and ventilation.

            Most importantly, it makes no comparison for hospitalizations and deaths. The risk of missing a couple of weeks work and the risk of dying are not equal.

            So, no I do not accept the point as proven, nor do I accept the inference that the difference in risk of infection justifies abandoning thousands of elders to die.

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          17. And yet, the three facts I stated are true. And I only cited a very small sample of the reports on the dangers that grocery workers must face because you claimed not to have seen ANY evidence of a problem for grocery workers.

            You believe you should be vaccinated before they are. Even though you are economically able to stay safe and they are not. And a large portion of them are African-Americans who suffer more serious problems when infected – a fact you cite when defending Trump.

            It is obvious that nothing will change your attitude . . . Me first and let THEM take their chances. That’s fine. But maybe lay off the accusations of bad faith etc. against those whose decisions you do not agree with.

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          18. You insist on making it personal, not me.

            I have repeatedly stated the reasons that ALL ELDERS 65 and up should be vaccinated first, without regard to race.

            That is based on the fatality rate and the hospitalization rate, and to a lesser extent on the availability of antivirals for early treatment of high risk infections.

            EVERYBODY, including the young, is better off that way because it leaves our hospitals better prepared to treat the serious cases. No one benefits from being turned away from an overwhelmed hospital.

            The pool of elders is only about 1/3 the size of the ‘essential worker’ pool. If we can vaccinate the entire elder pool in one month(which is feasible with current estimates) the essential worker pool is delayed only for that month, but if the essential workers are placed first, the elders are delayed 3 to 4 months, and the health care system is overwhelmed the whole time.

            It is the ‘essential worker’ first plan that is a ‘me first’ contest, with pools of workers elbowing their way to the front of the line based on political influence, and not medical necessity.

            https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9151745/Charles-Barkley-says-pro-athletes-COVID-19-vaccine.html

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          19. Again and again you are very quick to ascribe base motives to other people. I have essentially said nothing one way or the other except that it is more complicated than you will acknowledge. Because it is.

            People making evidence-based cases for a place in the priority list is not a sign of evil or malfeasance or being “woke.” That is just the way things work. You complained about grocery workers claims without, apparently, being aware that their exposure is a serious issue – based on the evidence.

            Hopefully, this will become moot in a month or two. I have been in a strict self-quarantine since March 17, 2020. I, for one, can wait a few more months without complaining. And I am very grateful for the work of people who risk their health and their lives to make it possible for me to survive this way.

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          20. Again, in the largest county in the country(by population) they were only able to document 800 cases in grocery workers over 2 months, which at that age level would mean 4 to 8 deaths over 2 months.

            Los Angeles county is reporting 225 to 250 deaths PER DAY 90% of which are over 65.

            There is a difference between risk and significant risk.

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          21. You pretend to care about scientific rigor but continue to cite the number of deaths of people over 65 without knowing ANYTHING about how they contracted the virus. For all we know they were overwhelmingly Trump supporters who took mask wearing and social distancing as some sort of commie plot. Or, they may have been family members of younger people whom economic necessity forced to be exposed to the virus and who brought it home to them from the store.

            I believe that it is possible for economically secure retired people to keep their risk very near zero. Even with an occasional careful visit to the doctor. You deny the common sense behind that belief. Oh, well.

            This conversation started with you trashing what you called “woke” or race-based decisions. With that kind of start, we were never going to get anywhere, and we didn’t.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. It’s amazing that a former CFO would have such difficulty with numbers.

            Southern California, where the numbers you cited come from, has full hospitals. Doctors are unable to treat everyone who needs hospitalization and are rejecting patients based on their chances of survival. The state is running out of medical oxygen and they’re using refrigerator trucks to store corpses.

            90% of that burden comes from those over 65. 250 people die every day. Yet you’re obsessed with a group that might result in 3 to 4 deaths a month.

            Of course, you think those elders deserve to die because they might have attended a Trump rally, in a county that is overwhelmingly Democrat.

            And by public record, the major justification for placing non-health care ‘essential workers’ ahead of elders was explicitly to address racial inequity. I didn’t put race at the forefront, the CDC did.

            And the cost will be more deaths than in all of our foreign wars, combined.

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          23. I have no problem with numbers, but do not put a lot of weight on numbers that someone pulls out of their bum. Or which have no context.

            UH, I don’t think I said ANYTHING along the lines of anybody deserving to die. I was simply pointing out your lack of rigor in citing numbers without context. Yes, there are many older people in Los Angeles County who are dying of Covid. But without knowledge of how they came to become infected the fact that they are dying does not refute the FACT that economically secure retirees have the ability to eliminate risk of infection while those who must work do not have that ability.

            Liked by 1 person

          24. What percentage of retirees are that economically secure? And if we’re going to be woke about it, how do Black retirees fare on that? Would they not be disproportionally at risk?

            And you brought up Los Angeles county, I just went and got the numbers that gave your factoid context.

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  2. “I wrote to the VA Medical Reserve Corps to volunteer to vaccinate people, as they’re asking retired health care providers to assist with mass vaccinations.”

    Surprised no one asked you this yet. When do you start?

    And remember, the shot goes in the arm, not the gums. 😇

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    1. They haven’t answered me yet. I let my license expire when I retired but they are training lay people to vaccinate, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

      I’ll let you know when I hear back.

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      1. Please do.

        Also, there is an LTE in this morning’s paper concerning the training they are requiring for volunteers. It sounded over the top, especially for those, such as yourself and the retired nurse who wrote the letter. If it were me that was volunteering, I could see it. But nurses and health care providers, even those whose licenses have expired, should not be required.

        Yeah, I know. A VDH oversight overstep. And I will probably agree with you on it.

        Like

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