☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Thursday, May 12, 2022 ☙ CRACKED 🦠
A giant crack in the vaccine info dam; another peer-reviewed study shows most masks don't work; Moderna's new CFO lasts ONE DAY; the government probes Elon; Biden boosts Trump; and more...
Good morning and Happy Thursday, C&C! Whew, the news today is busier than a Circle-K that just got a shipment of baby formula. In your roundup: a giant crack in the vaccine information embargo that might create vaccine hesitancy; ANOTHER peer-reviewed study undermines masking; Moderna’s latest CFO pulls the eject handle one day after starting work; the Senate fails to end the filibuster; the government starts probing Elon’s underside; Biden unintentionally boosts Trump; and a short video that will absolutely make your day.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 A giant crack appeared in the vaccine-injury information dam yesterday, and we saw what may be hints of Narrative 3.0. Good Morning America interviewed a pro-jab lockdown doctor who said a little something that was, well, revolutionary. Or mind-blowing, or something to that effect. The chipper GMA anchors held a short segment with Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC’s “Chief Medical Correspondent” who described a new study on booster efficacy published in the Lancet:
There’s a new published study out in the Lancet … about the fourth dose and what happens to our antibody levels. It is not a surprise … that after the fourth dose, antibody levels rise significantly. They ‘surge’ in the several weeks after that dose. We’ve known that for a while. But here are the caveats: we don’t know how long that lasts, number one, and our immune response, remember, is not just about antibodies. It’s about that T-cell response also, which you can’t measure as well as just a pure antibody level. And it’s about whether [boosters are] blocking or neutralizing antibodies to the variants that we’re seeing.
What, what? My jaw hit the floor and crashed through into the basement in a shower of plaster and broken boards. The good doctor just speculated — on GOOD MORNING AMERICA — about whether the boosters BLOCKED or NEUTRALIZED antibodies to the current variants. In other words, she invoked the possibility of original antigenic sin. On TV.
It got even more interesting as Dr. Ashton continued:
Of course you’re going to get a surge in your antibody levels. But how long that lasts is the issue. And it’s certainly not just about more boosting for everyone. People who have high antibody levels, there’s the potential — I want to underscore the potential, we haven’t seen any evidence of this — um, of this immune phenomenon known as tolerance, where if you already have high antibody levels and you get another booster, that your immune system can start to say, well, what do I need it for, and can kind of start to SHUT DOWN.
The eupeptic GWA anchor exclaimed, “wow!” Wow is right. Your immune system could shut down? That sounds bad.
Both of us were surprised, but for the same reason. The anchor’s exclamation suggested he was surprised because it was the first time he’d ever heard such a radical theory. You mean there might be RISK from taking boosters?, he seems to be saying. But it was “wow” for me because corporate media just published a vaccine-hesitant idea to all the jab-happy masses on bubble-gum TV.
Dr. Ashton finished up with a stark warning. You can’t tell very easily from her voice and body language, but it’s there when you read the transcript:
If you’re in that category of people that who CDC and FDA is recommending to get a booster, 50 and over, 65 and over, with a chronic medical condition, yes, by all means, but everybody else: don’t think that more boosting is the answer. We don’t know that that’s the case yet.
More boosting ISN’T the answer? What? And then, just like that, the other anchor wrapped it: “Alright, that’s very important information. Thank you, we appreciate it.”
Pfizer stock peaked on December 16th at $61.25, but closed yesterday at $49.45.
😷 A new peer-reviewed study on masking just published in the Journal of Infectious Disease:
The researchers tested various kinds of masks to determine their relative viral control efficacy. Their conclusion? That a “quantitatively fit-tested
N95 was the only condition that proved superior to control (no mask).”
In other words, only a PROPERLY FITTED N95 respirator provided any measurable efficacy against viruses compared to NO MASK. They found surgical masks and non-fit-tested N95s were useless, and found even fit-tested N95’s weren’t perfect: “Nasal swabs demonstrated high virus exposure, which was not mitigated by the surgical/N95 masks, although there was a trend for the fit-tested N95 mask to reduce virus counts (p=0.058).”
Gosh. Sadly, this information might have been helpful about eighteen months ago. Moms who live in insane school districts where masks are still required might want to forward that study to somebody.
🔥 Moderna fired its brand-new replacement CFO yesterday, or he immediately quit, depending on whether you believe US media or foreign media, after only one day on the job. The official story seems to be that he’s “under investigation” and Moderna just realized it. The Wall Street Journal’s story is headlined, “Hot Job Market, Strong Demand for CFOs Strain Due Diligence.” See, it was just a due diligence failure. There’s nothing to see here, move along.
The WSJ article’s sub-head explains, “Moderna CFO Jorge Gomez started the job and exited the next day amid an investigation by a former employer, highlighting the challenges some companies now face in hiring.” He exited. The Journal’s story does not use the word “quit” or “resigned” anywhere. Maybe “exited” means the same thing as “quit” but it is definitely ambiguous.
Nor were there any details in the WSJ story about the “investigation” disclosed by Gomez’s former employer on Tuesday — before he started working at Moderna — which raises questions about whether it is in fact the real reason for his hasty “exit.” One analyst interviewed for the Journal story observed, “it looks like … those events happened and they just let Gomez start the job. To have him start and finish a day after, to me, is worse reputationally for a company than to say Mr. Gomez is not going to start his tenure as CFO because there is an ongoing investigation.”
Indeed. And, consider this: Nothing in the details we that have from the Journal — or any other media report — would be inconsistent with the other possibility: that Gomez came in for his first day of work and was so appalled by what he’d found, and perhaps by what he realized he hadn’t been told during recruitment, that he sprinted for the exit door. He exited all right; the revolving door in front of Moderna HQ was spinning so fast it practically went back in time.
But a UK Times article about the story has a different take, with its article headlined “Golden Goodbye After One Day’s Work at Moderna for Jorge Gomez.” It starts its story explicitly stating that Gomez QUIT: “A top executive at Moderna, the Covid-19 vaccine maker, has quit after only one day, taking one year’s salary of £700,000 with him.”
So. He DID quit. And he got paid.
The UK Times also reported that the “investigation” announced by Gomez’s prior employer doesn’t even mention him at all, that it was based only on unidentified allegations “submitted by current and former employees of the company.” US media may need to be a little more careful not to defame Mr. Gomez.
As a lawyer, I have questions about the Journal’s “official” narrative. If the problem was really undisclosed financial improprieties during his previous employment, why did Mr. Gomez quit instead of being fired for cause? And why would he get a giant severance package? You don’t usually pay big severance packages to employees who got their job under false pretenses, and only worked one day. Presumably, that odd setup is why the Wall Street Journal speculates without evidence that Moderna failed to conduct “due diligence,” suggesting Moderna should have looked into it more.
But usually the burden is on the executive to disclose material issues that might affect their employer. This all seems very ‘sus’ to me, as the kids say.
Moderna stock (MRNA) traded at $368.51 at its peak on November 29th, but closed yesterday at $123.43.
🔥 The Senate failed to vote to end the filibuster yesterday, which was a necessary precondition to passing a federal law guaranteeing a right to abortion through birth. It looks like they’re giving up on making new law.
🔥 The Wall Street Journal ran an article yesterday headlined “Elon Musk’s Belated Disclosure of Twitter Stake Triggers Regulators’ Probes.” In other words, a weaponized SEC plans to pull on its rubber gloves and probe Musk’s private financial places.
Musk has been fighting with the SEC since 2018. According the Journal, the SEC now claims Musk was twenty days late in disclosing that he’d bought the first 5% of the social media company’s stock.
But the article concedes that the SEC could drop its investigation without bringing civil claims, since not every probe results in formal action. And an SEC lawsuit against Mr. Musk would be unlikely to derail the Twitter deal anyway, because the company’s board of directors already approved the deal, and the SEC can’t legally stop mergers or private transactions.
The Federal Trade Commission is also getting its sticky hands into Musk’s twitter deal. The Journal said the FTC is now investigating whether Mr. Musk may have violated a law requiring people to report certain large transactions to antitrust-enforcement agencies. So in other words, Musk is about to get a complete physical. Bend over the examining table and try to relax.
It’s nice that the federal government is so concerned about making sure everything is squeaky-clean about Musk’s private purchase of a social media company. It’s not that they are trying to pick winners and losers, no, they are just honest public servants deeply committed to protecting the public, or something.
🔥 Yesterday, Biden rambled out some more wacky stuff, which isn’t news, but always fun to follow. He finally admitted economic problems, but of course, blamed them on Trump: “We inherited an economy on the brink of a great depression.” I think this is just battlespace preparation to an announcement that we are officially in a recession. It would have been worse, you see, without Joe’s heroic leadership.
Biden didn’t name Trump, I guess he can’t bring himself to utter his name, but instead referred to “my predecessor, the Great MAGA King,” which promptly ignited a raging firestorm of online memes mocking Biden’s new label for the former President, you can imagine, and then predictably culminated with Trump claiming the moniker as his own:
🔥 And finally, some balm for troubled souls: citizens helping each other and not waiting for big government to save them. In Boynton Beach, Florida, citizens leapt to the aid of a woman who had an unidentified medical incident in traffic, working together:
Is it just me? Whenever something like this happens I immediately wonder, “did she get the jab??” For some reason I just can’t help myself.
Have a terrific Thursday! I’ll see you guys tomorrow to wrap up the work week.
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