Youngkin, UVa COVID Policy on a Collision Course

Source: Bacon’s Rebellion.

The story leads with: “Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares announced today their intention to challenge Biden-administration vaccine mandates through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, OSHA, and Head Start.”

Thank goodness. There are no good arguments for Covid vaccine mandates.

Some people claim that the unvaccinated are perpetuating the pandemic, but this is hard to prove. We know, for example, that vaccinated people spread the virus and that some vaccinated people become sick enough to require hospitalization. So, even if more unvaccinated people are warming hospital beds at any given moment, the pertinent question becomes, To whom were the unvaccinated exposed? And if vaccination rates in the general population are high, then the chances are the unvaccinated were made sick by exposure to the vaccinated. Whose fault is that? (Answer: It is not wise to ask or to worry about it.)

More important than the science is faith in liberty. Those who promote mandates seem to think that the public, having sufficient information, will nevertheless make bad decisions affecting public health. Vaccine mandates reflect a loss of faith in liberty.

I have more optimism for public common sense than the mandate mavens. Covid-19 is a serious disease, but science and liberty are the best ways to beat it.

21 thoughts on “Youngkin, UVa COVID Policy on a Collision Course

    1. No, it is NOT time to “move on to therapeutics.” Even though current vaccinations are not foolproof, the overwhelming evidence is that they reduce infections, symptoms, transmission and significantly reduce severity of the illness when breakthroughs occur.

      Of course, better therapeutics are part of the solution, but they are no substitute for safe, effective vaccines.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually, yes they are.

        In fact they are much better in the long run.

        We are fortunate that Omicron, while highly contagious, appears to be mild. But the next vaccine evading mutation might be a baby killer.

        It takes time, especially in our regulatory environment, to get a new vaccine out, which is why we get flu shots every year and they don’t always anticipate the active strains right, but Tamiflu works every year.

        That’s not to say that vaccines were not lifesavers initially, but in the mutation vs regulation race, we are going to lose.

        Even now, if Paxlovid were readily available, it would make sense to go out and get Omicron, and recover with the aid of the therapeutic. You would emerge with a much wider immunity that would protect you from all current strains and likely future strains.

        Like

        1. Uh, nonsense.

          It does NOT make sense to seek infection instead of getting vaccinated.

          Personally, I get a flu shot every year knowing full well that I still might still get the flu. I am glad that there are therapeutics should the vaccination fail but the idea of relying 100% on successful treatment – and increasing the probability of falling ill – would be downright dumb.

          And, speaking of the flu, in spite of all those regulations you always whine about, we manage to get newly formulated vaccines every year based on the evidence of what flu virus mutations are coming. There is no reason why that would not be a model for future coronavirus vaccines.

          But, I guess you simply want to ignore science to defend “Liberty.”

          Like

          1. I am not the one ignoring science.

            Would you rather have cow pox, which causes a mild fever and a temporary, non-scaring rash, or smallpox?

            Our smallpox vaccines were based on the observation that milkmaids, who all caught cowpox sooner or later, did not get smallpox. Similarly, getting Omicron leaves you with a far stronger protection against Delta than the vaccines.

            For young, healthy people, it very definitely does make sense to get Omicron, which will not kill them, to avoid getting Delta which might.

            That would be especially true if we had an adequate supply of Paxlovid to guarantee a mild case while the antibodies are developed.

            Vaccines, on the other hand, are only about 50% effective for elderly patients against Omicron.

            Flu vaccines are different. Mutations are seldom found, what changes year to year is which of the existing strains will be prevalent in the coming years. So each year, you get a different mix of existing, already approved, vaccines. We don’t have to go through the FDA approval process each year.

            A new, Omicron directed version of the mRNA vaccines would take at least 9 months to get FDA approved and distributed. That would be too late.

            Had we allowed Moderna and Pfizer to simply update their vaccines without new approvals, vaccines might be able to keep up, but in the current regulatory environment, we need a Tamiflu for COVID, wihich is what Paxlovid is.

            Like

          2. A comment by Mr Roberts has vanished so I will place my reply to his question here

            OK, not knowing what you already know, I’ll have to simplify and start at basics.

            Antibodies target exposed proteins called antigens. The mRNA vaccines target those that make up the spike protein. Natural immunity targets those, and others.

            The antigens on the surface of the flu viruses are the same today as 20 years ago, so old vaccines still work.

            Coronaviuses mutate a lot. New spike protein structures come along often, so the vaccine that was great last spring has lost some effectiveness due to natural selection. In a highly vaccinated population, only the mutations that evade the virus multiply and become dominant. Delta out competed the Wuhan strain because the vaccine was less effective against it, and Omicron replaces Delta for the same reason.

            So, while we only have to adjust the mix of existing vaccines to target the stable antigens of the flu, we have to make novel vaccines for every significant change in Sars COV 2.

            Moderna made a prototype vaccine for the Wuhan strain in 3 days. But it took 9 months even with Operation Warp Speed to get it approved and months more to get it into production.

            Moderna and Pfizer could have tweaked their vaccines to take out Omicron and phased out the old vaccines by now but FDA regulations would not allow that.

            So, in the current regulatory environment, we will lose the race, By the time an Omicron specific vaccine could be approved, there will be something new.

            That’s why therapeutics that are not antigen dependent are the way we must go.

            Like

          3. Tabor: “Would you rather have cow pox, which causes a mild fever and a temporary, non-scaring rash, or smallpox”

            Completely bogus choice.

            I would rather have a smallpox vaccination rather than become ill with cow pox. Duh.
            I would rather have a Covid vaccination rather than fall ill with Covid.

            Tabor: “Similarly, getting Omicron leaves you with a far stronger protection against Delta than the vaccines.”

            That strikes me as one of your made-up facts. Do you have reliable evidence of its truth? Omicron has been around for about two months. That is not enough time to even study your claim, much less prove it.

            Tabor: “Vaccines, on the other hand, are only about 50% effective for elderly patients against Omicron.”
            Which makes it a bad idea for young people to deliberately spread the virus. Besides, that 50% figure may be accurate for infection, but it is not accurate for severity. The vaccines do make those breakthrough infections less serious.

            Regulations can and will be changed if they really are the problem you postulate.

            Like

          4. RE: “A comment by Mr Roberts has vanished so I will place my reply to his question here”

            Thank you for your reply. It is hugely helpful. (I deleted the comment after reading something else you posted.)

            Like

  1. “There are no good arguments for Covid vaccine mandates.”
    Buzzz. Wrong.

    Saving lives and preventing serious illness are very good arguments for Covid vaccine mandates. There are no good arguments against such mandates.

    Public health is not a question of “liberty.” That is a very silly framework and does not match our very long history of vaccination mandates and other restrictions on “liberty” to protect public health. None other than George Washington mandated inoculations (far more dangerous than modern vaccination) for all recruits joining the Continental Army.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Saving lives and preventing serious illness are very good arguments for Covid vaccine mandates.”

      In that case we should mandate therapeutics. Or, since fat people are more likely to die from Covid, we should also mandate body weight and control food choices. And so on.

      RE: “Public health is not a question of ‘liberty.'”

      Yes, it is. It is one of the most fundamental questions of liberty. To pretend otherwise is to invite, for example, a government-run eugenics program.

      Like

        1. RE: “That does not even make sense.”

          Do therapeutics not “save lives and prevent serious illness”?

          RE: “Eugenics? Really. Good grief.”

          OK. Let’s just mandate body weight and control food choices in the name of liberty.

          Like

          1. Okay, let’s talk about “mandating therapeutics.”

            You, having foolishly remained unvaccinated, now lie in a hospital at death’s door. Can you be “mandated” to take an effective therapeutic? No. You can choose to die untreated. How is that different from vaccines? Easy, your choice to die does not impact the health risks of OTHER people.

            Now, change the scenario. It is your minor child lying in a hospital at death’s door. Can you be “mandated” to allow her to receive effective therapeutics? Yes. Your “liberty” does not extend to harming OTHER people.

            Same response for your fat guy. His choice to kill himself with bacon does not impact the health of OTHER people.

            Another way of stating this principle – your “liberty” ends where my nose begins. You are not allowed to harm OTHER people.

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          2. RE: “Another way of stating this principle – your ‘liberty’ ends where my nose begins. You are not allowed to harm OTHER people.”

            Fine. Now prove that one person’s Covid infection causes another person’s harm. Sure, you can make a theoretical case based on probabilities, but that’s no different than hunting witches.

            You commit the fallacy of confusing liberty with freedom. In fact, liberty derives from political arrangements that recognize human rights. One of my rights is to be assumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

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          3. You are not making any sense.
            Whatever distinction you might want to make between liberty and freedom is irrelevant in this context.

            The harm that unvaccinated people are doing to OTHER people is supported by huge amounts of EVIDENCE. I am not going to cite any more since you have completely discounted the EVIDENCE I have already shared.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. RE: ‘The harm that unvaccinated people are doing to OTHER people is supported by huge amounts of EVIDENCE.”

            Like I said, you can make a theoretical case based on probabilities, but that’s no different than hunting witches.

            Show us a case where one person’s Covid infection caused another person’s harm.

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          5. You are very confused if you think an evidence-based risk analysis is no different than “witch hunting.”

            “Show us a case where one person’s Covid infection caused another person’s harm.”

            You have got to be kidding. Where do you think virus infections come from? Jewish space lasers? Uh, no. They come from infected people and there are innumerable cases where the chain of transmission is identified if you really think it is important to name names.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. “There are no good arguments for Covid vaccine mandates.”

    Fine tell that to all of the school districts and private schools that mandate vaccines for entry.

    The entire anti-mandate argument is either illegitimate or school vaccines mandates are..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “The entire anti-mandate argument is either illegitimate or school vaccines mandates are.”

      Falsely framed. The premise is not that there are no good arguments for ANY vaccine mandates. The premise is that there are no good arguments for COVID vaccine mandates.

      But since you bring it up, if there were a vaccine to prevent the common cold, it would be unwise to force people, especially children in school, to take it. The reason is that our immune systems need infection to remain strong. If the common cold were deadly (e.g., like measles) then vaccine-induced immunity might make sense and the moral argument for mandated vaccination would be stronger.

      Like

      1. “ If the common cold were deadly (e.g., like measles) then vaccine-induced immunity might make sense and the moral argument for mandated vaccination would be stronger.”

        COVID is deadly. 2017-18 flu season was the deadliest in 10 years. 52,000 deaths. COVID has killed 16 times as many in less than two years.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. “Falsely framed. ”

        No it isn’t. You just can’t justify your viewpoint with actual facts.

        If COVID vaccine mandates for schools are disallowed, then ALL vaccine mandates can be challenged.

        Not a good way to keep the little germ factories known as children from spreading disease throughout a community.

        Liked by 1 person

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