Last month, we checked in on the COVID vaccines' spectacular performance at preventing "breakthrough" infections – "CDC identifies only 5,800 Covid-19 infections after the final vaccine, out of more than 66 million. And those who got it had mild cases," a Wall Street Journal reporter relayed. Better still, of the 66 million fully vaccinated Americans at the time, COVID deaths within this group plummeted to just 74. Total. The vaccines, we were learning, massively reduced cases, rare breakthrough cases were overwhelmingly mild, and even serious post-vaccine cases were floating somewhere between vanishingly rare and nonexistent. Israel has led the world in vaccinations, and look at the dividends they're enjoying on this front:
Israel’s down to less than 30 cases a day. Not per million. Total. pic.twitter.com/WDxXske7lp— Christopher Snowdon (@cjsnowdon) May 25, 2021
30 cases, total, per day. New Jersey, which roughly matches Israel's geographic size and population, is still averaging more than ten times that number. But the US is making incredible progress; more than half of American adults are now fully vaccinated. Let's take a look at those 'breakthrough' infections at this stage:
Allahpundit contextualizes the new stats, based on the first 100-plus million immunized people: "Of the 995 [out of 101 million fully vaccinated people] who were hospitalized, only 706 were actually hospitalized due to COVID. That’s a rate of .00069 percent, or odds of 143,000 to one. Among the 160 who died, 132 died of COVID for a rate of .00013 percent. Or 765,000 to one." Just amazing. May the Great Reopening continue. Strangely, though, the one area where CDC guidance remains preposterously stringent is for kids, including outdoor summer campers. We've blasted those recommendations, for good reason, and it's now emerging that the framing of the "science" on which they were supposedly based is highly suspect:
But a few hours after Dr. Walensky's Senate appearance, something interesting happened: One of the authors of the paper she cited began tweeting her own description of the paper. And it was notably different. https://t.co/LFh8QnZ63h— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) May 26, 2021
So to review:— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) May 26, 2021
* There is no reason to believe the share of outdoor transmission is anywhere near 10%.
* The one study the CDC has cited as evidence does not support the claim.
* Yet we still have restrictions - on outdoor gatherings and summer camps - that seem based on ~10%.
The summer camp rules are ridiculous, and they're fully unsupported by the science. And what we've learned recently is that when public health officials are making things up, or leaning on very flimsy scientific justifications, pressure campaigns can work. In New York, amid controversy and pushback, the preposterous outdoor mask mandate for children at camp has at least been downgraded:
Unvaccinated children ages 2 to 5 will not be required to wear masks at day care or summer camps, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration said, reversing a mandate it issued a week ago as a COVID-19 preventive measure. The Office of Children and Family Services and the Department of Health said the state government will be "encouraging, not requiring, children ages two-to-five to wear masks, effective immediately." Older children are also encouraged to wear face coverings "as feasible." The original mask mandate, announced last Wednesday, was criticized as too strict by some elected officials, along with camp and day-care owners. It would have obliged children over the age of 2 and staff who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings except when eating, drinking, showering, swimming or sleeping and resting.
Camps should determine the encouragement to be unnecessarily and infeasible, and call it a day. I'll leave you with some of my thoughts on the Wuhan lab leak theory and the need for truth and accountability over this nightmare:
On ‘lab leak’ 180s & accountability pic.twitter.com/cyJvG0yAxn— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 25, 2021