☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Friday, December 10, 2021 ☙ ENIGMATIC MYSTERIES 🦠
An Omicron update; Biden announces new restrictions and a vaxx-bribe for docs; FDA rubber-stamps boosters for kids; Nikki Fried faces ethics troubles; the NIH loses some documents; and more...
It’s Friday! Your C&C roundup includes: as Omicron cases multiply, still no reports of serious illness; Biden announces a new plan to “fight” the undeadly Omicron variant; the FDA skirts its own procedures and just rubber-stamps boosters for teenagers; DeSantis comments on the OSHA Mandate litigation; the NIH somehow loses all its documents related to its evolving definition of “gain of function”; Nikki Fried has some ethics problems; an Israeli doctor says at least seven booster shots sounds good; Pfizer agrees; colleges mandate boosters; Covid fights fat; more companies suspend mandates; and a new study finds J&J increases the risk of GBS, a lot.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (E-CDC) reported yesterday that 1,780 cases of Omicron have been identified worldwide. Of those, exactly ZERO have featured serious illness or death. It might be a really great thing if Omicron becomes the dominant strain. So why are we locking down and banning travel to Africa?
🔥 Don’t worry though! Joe Biden is ON IT. He announced new travel restrictions yesterday: international travelers will now have to show a negative test within 24 hours, reduced from the previous requirement for a negative test within 72 hours. They’re not leaving a lot of room for further reductions. What’s next? 8 hours? Ten minutes?
Biden also doubled fines for not wearing masks on public transportation. That’ll show ‘em. It’s now $500 per violation, and $3,000 for recidivists. The plan to “fight the Omicron variant” also includes paying healthcare providers to “talk to families about getting children vaccinated.” In other words, jab more.
💉 Speaking of getting children vaccinated, the FDA approved booster shots for 16 and 17-year-olds this week. And the agency did it without having its vaccine committee make any recommendations or even meet to discuss the move. The CDC is expected to do the same thing and sidestep its own ACIP committee too. This avoids what would have been a significant discussion of myocarditis.
See folks, THIS is how you get things done. THIS is science. So stop complaining.
🔥 In a press conference yesterday, Governor DeSantis expressed confidence that the OSHA Mandate will ultimately be struck down, saying, “My sense though is on how those mandates are working out, if you look at how it’s gone, the Sixth Circuit has OSHA consolidated: OSHA is done,” he said. “You can take that to the bank. The Sixth Circuit is never going to uphold what OSHA did.”
It’s not a bad bet.
🔥 The Epoch Times reported yesterday that it asked the NIH for documents under a Freedom-of-Information Act request. The paper wanted all the documents related to when the NIH changed the definition of “gain of function” on its website right before Fauci testified before Congress.
You’ll never guess what happened. The NIH responded with ZERO documents. They just don’t have any. Why would they? Changing the key definition of a critical term right before significant Congressional testimony is routine business down there at the NIH. You don’t need any documentation; that just gets the lawyers all riled up. Anyway, how else are you supposed to do it?
🔥 Florida’s hapless Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is looking a little, well, fried. The Agriculture Commissioner, whose background in NOT in agriculture — unless you count pot growing — has been a constant critic of Governor DeSantis’ Covid policies on twitter. But yesterday, Florida’s Ethics Commission found probable cause that Fried violated campaign finance laws and Constitutional requirements in 2018. The next step is a trial. Cue the microwave popcorn.
💉 Israel — several months ahead of us in the injection timeline — just broke some important news for people who took the jabs to “get this over with.” According to the Times of Israel, Arnon Afek, deputy director of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, said “whoever thinks that we won’t [have a fourth dose] is simply mistaken. But it seems that we will need to take a fourth, and fifth and sixth and seventh doses — who knows how many.”
Who knows? It’s a mystery, an enigma. An enigmatic mystery.
While I’m sure that there are some people who relish the thought of a seventh booster shot, I’m pretty sure that most people would like to get off the crazy train at some point.
💉 Israel isn’t the only one. On Wednesday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC that “I think we will need the fourth dose,” he said, adding that “with omicron, we need to wait and see because we have very little information. We may need [a new vaccine] faster.”
The Hill reported that “some experts have been skeptical of the need for additional shots of the vaccine, noting that companies like Pfizer have a financial interest in selling more shots.”
You don’t say.
💉 If you don’t believe that employers are going to start making workers take booster shots, just look at what’s happening in the country’s universities. Remember, that’s where all the mandates started. Many colleges are now REQUIRING students to get booster shots, starting in January.
🔥 Also Wednesday, the New York Times ran a story headlined, “The Coronavirus Attacks Fat Tissue, Scientists Find.” You might be thinking that it’s about time SOMETHING attacked fat tissue, because nothing else seems to be working. But that’s not what the Times meant.
According to an October study, Covid sort of directly infects fat cells and immune cells contained within body fat. An immunologist from Yale speculated that the virus “hides” in fat cells, which could explain why very obese people seem to have such a more difficult time recovering from the infection.
The coronavirus “can infect fat tissue and actually reside there,” Dr. David Kass, a Johns Hopkins professor of cardiology explained. “Whether it hurts it, kills it or at best, it’s a place to amplify itself — it doesn’t matter. It becomes kind of a reservoir.” A fat reservoir.
But it’s still not likely — for some reason — that the public health experts will ever try to tackle people’s health choices. “We keep documenting the risk [obese people] have, but we still aren’t addressing it,” UNC nutrition professor Dr. Barry Popkin said.
Of COURSE we still aren’t addressing it. Why would we? You can’t sell being healthy. That’s not good business for anybody.
🔥 In more positive fallout from Florida’s new vaccine laws and the injunction against the CMS Mandate, AdventHealth announced it is suspending injection requirements for its healthcare workers. Nationally, General Electric, 3M, and Verizon have also announced suspension of their mandates.
💉 On Wednesday, the Epoch Times ran an article headlined, “People Who Get Johnson & Johnson Vaccine at Elevated Risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome: Study.” The article describes a new study that reviewed data from VAERS and found that the incidence rate of confirmed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) cases per 100,000 person-years was 34.6 during the 1 to 21 days after injection. That is much higher than the historical background rate of 2 per 100,000 person-years.
Safe and effective!
🎅 Finally, a little holiday amusement for you:
Have a fabulous Friday, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for more C&C.
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