Fact v fiction: The ChiCom virus vaccine and hospital deaths
By Mark Alexander
Ahead of the latest cyclical peak of the ChiCom Virus infections and deaths in September, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky declared: "This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Our biggest concern is we are going to continue to see preventable cases, hospitalizations and sadly deaths among the unvaccinated."
So, are we now experiencing a "pandemic of the unvaccinated"?
I would not agree with that assessment. Fact is, we are in the endemic wake of a deadly pathogen created by the Red Chinese Communist Party.
Former President Donald Trump was correct to put the responsibility for what is now nearly five million deaths worldwide at the feet of the ChiComs — something Biden won't dare do because he's under the thumb of those same Red Chinese. So much so, in fact, that I have argued Biden should register as a foreign agent.
But what of this "pandemic of the unvaccinated"? Clearly, those who are vaccinated continue to contract breakthrough COVID cases and, clearly, some of them die.
A prominent case in point would be former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died this week despite being fully vaccinated. But Secretary Powell was 84 years old — he had lived six years beyond the current U.S. life expectancy projection of 77.8 years, despite the fact he had underlying comorbidity factors. Most people who die of COVID succumb to complications associated with comorbidity factors, if not the disease directly.
Thus, using Powell's death to deny the link between vaccination and survival from COVID, as some talkingheads are predisposed to do, is absurd. His death does not dispel the assertion that the vast majority of those who are being hospitalized and dying are unvaccinated. Full stop.
That being said, there is an unfortunate and deadly conflation of issues regarding vaccinations.
Most notably, there is the conflation between justifiable objections to Biden's one-size-fits-all vaccine mandates versus the actual efficacy of vaccines. And there is confusion between being vaccinated and testing positive for COVID versus being unvaccinated, being hospitalized, and dying from COVID.
Before getting to the point — vaccine effectiveness, if you just landed on this analysis from some alien world — here are some quick links to understand our opinion of the little Beltway troll Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration's colossal trust deficit, and the reckless Biden/Fauci masking and vaxxing mandates on their way to mandating vaccination passports.
Biden's statist mandates are already having dire consequences across the nation. There is emerging resistance in the military. There are transportation issues, both with airlines and supply lines. Stand by for travel disruptions caused by TSA objections and air traffic controllers.
And now, Biden's next mandate targets are children. First out of the gate in obedience to Biden is California's leftist Gov. Gavin Newsom, who announced he is requiring all children at public and private schools to get vaccinated.
To put this ludicrous anti-science power play into perspective, in a state with about 40 million people, there have been 37 COVID-related deaths for those under age 18. As with the small number of COVID deaths of young people nationwide, the California deaths are tied to comorbidity factors such as being treated for leukemia. About the same number of children under age five died drowning in pools.
I should also note that because the Biden administration is apparently enforcing a government-wide blackout on using the term "natural immunity" in order to enforce its vaxxing mandates, useful data regarding the efficacy of natural immunity is largely suppressed on the CDC site. However, many respected epidemiological experts affirm that natural immunity in those who have recovered from COVID affords more protection against reinfection than does vaccination.
Finally, regarding natural immunity, when I view The New York Times's COVID "Hot Spots" map or similar COVID spread maps (which currently indicate the fastest rising cases are in the Northeast), what I see are not so much the most dangerous locations for COVID but locations where herd immunity is rising fastest — and thus will be the safest locations.
Moving forward: To preface my assessment of COVID vaccine efficacy, let me be clear — I do not conflate strong and justifiable objections to Biden's mandates with the life-saving efficacy of vaccines.
If you are among the few who buy into the unproductive co-mingling of these issues, stop reading, jump to the reader comments link, and blast away. In the inimitable words of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
On the other hand, I am well aware that the crowd may be loud, but as Galileo Galilei wrote, "In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual." A good example would be the "climate change" crowd.
However, if you are among those able to discern between competing issues and are interested in the facts regarding the efficacy of the COVID vaccine, read on.
Let me state up front that the following conclusions are subject to some interpretation, but my understanding is tempered by the fact that I have two close and trusted friends who, between them, have 80 years of experience as disease specialists.
So, what are the facts related to COVID risk and the effectiveness of the vaccine?
Regarding age as a risk factor: According to multiple data sources, since the beginning of 2020 to the present, 76% of recorded deaths directly related to COVID infection were of individuals over the age of 65. More than half of all deaths were those over age 75. At the other end of the age spectrum, only 513 deaths have been recorded for those under age 18. That's .072% of deaths to date, despite Biden's mandate targeting children. As previously noted, deaths at both ends of the spectrum and all in between are almost universally tied to known comorbidity factors.
Regarding vaccine effectiveness, here is the bottom line: The risk of an unvaccinated person testing positive for COVID is 6.1 times higher than that of a vaccinated person, and the risk of death is 11.3 times higher. Accordingly, the risk of hospitalization for an unvaccinated person is 14 times higher.
Those numbers should get the attention of even the most vociferous anti-vaxxing skeptic.
A month ago, at the height of the most recent COVID infection and death spike, the New York Post, far from some left-wing rag, provided a comprehensive case study on hospital deaths. In an article titled "The new 99%: These are the people who are getting serious cases of COVID-19," the Post published the most compelling snapshot of COVID hospitalizations and deaths, though there are some reasonable questions about the accounting of infection rates by hospitals.
According to the Post: "The vast majority of Americans who are getting serious cases of COVID-19 or dying are unvaccinated. Between Jan. 1 and Aug. 30, about 99 percent of hospital admissions were among those who hadn't been fully inoculated, which is defined by the CDC as two weeks after the second dose... As of Aug. 30, a little over 1.6 million Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 — but only about 0.65 percent of them, or 10,471 patients, were fully vaccinated... More than 173 million people have been fully vaccinated and just 0.01 percent of them, or 12,908 people, ended up in a hospital or have died from a breakthrough infection."
More to the point, the Post concludes: "In the same time period, about 99 percent of the people who lost their lives to COVID-19 were not fully inoculated against the virus ... Only 2,437 Americans, or 0.92 percent of deaths, were a result of breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated patients."
Other research in September indicated that those who are vaccinated have only a 1 in 13,000 chance of contracting a breakthrough case necessitating hospitalization.
This week, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine professor Dr. Marty Makary, who has been one of the strongest critics of the Biden administration's failure to acknowledge the importance of natural immunity, noted that the risk of death for unvaccinated people who contract COVID is about 1 in 1,000. For the vaccinated who contract breakthrough cases, the risk is about 1 in 27,000.
In other words, you are exponentially safer, even from a breakthrough case, if you are vaccinated.
On a personal note, I fully understand why young healthy people with no known comorbidity factors are resistant to vaccination. If I had children under the age of 18, I would not want them to submit to vaccination until we know much more about the vaccine side effects and alternate treatments. However, I have known people who had substantial comorbidity factors, like diabetes and asthma, and have since died of COVID. Every one of them had refused the vaccine. If you believe "the science," then there is a substantial probability they would still be with us today had they been vaccinated. That is indisputable.
Finally, some suggest the pandemic is in decline, though I estimate there will still be cyclical spikes. Currently, among the 920,000 staffed hospital beds across the nation, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC tracker, and other reliable sources, about 8% of all inpatient hospital beds are occupied by those being treated for COVID. Though some hospitals in some regions are experiencing ICU COVID overload, which is exacerbated by staffing shortages, 8% of COVID occupancy is far from the perception Biden and company have promulgated that our medical facilities are overrun.
(For the most comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus timeline on the Web, see The "ChiCom Virus" Pandemic: Timeline, Response and Recovery.)
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.