jerome adams is dangerously undermining public health
a meta-post of past posts and data to refute claims on schools and vaccination
former US surgeon general jerome adams is a one note flute of bad medical advice.
he’s been pushing claptrap and pseudoscience from the beginning and he’s now getting very active in terms of campaigning for vaccination of those who do not want it.
the problem is that literally every single premise in his argument is false. it’s the classic strategy of making simple calls to action rooted in fear and backed up by unsubstantiated claims each of which takes 5 seconds to make and 5 minutes to refute.
he then drives it home with a bunch of simplistic fear imagery:
and wild misstatements of fact.
it’s a dishonest form of spam and obfuscation messaging to push what amounts to flat out medical malpractice.
it’s doubly ridiculous as this is the same jerome who just told us that fear based messaging does not work, sought to extort people into vaccination by holding their freedom hostage, and wanted to make vaccine messaging into bud light ads.
and yet he’s right back at it just 4 days later. clearly, the man does not believe a word of what he, himself, says. it’s just relentless, tactical spam.
this is not how america’s doctor ought to behave.
who on earth would trust a physician that sought only to terrify and mislead them and who endlessly made up facts about risks and mitigations? who would seek to be dictated and dissembled to rather than engaged in a frank and honest discussion of cost and benefit, risk and reward?
this messaging is unhelpful and erodes the very trust on which public health functions.
good decisions are made on the basis of good data, not made up facts, threats, and glitzy messaging.
as someone who has spent quite a lot of time looking at these issues, i’m going to now provide a set of links to the data around jerome’s claims and provide a compendium for assessing them.
there is no evidence that distancing, masking, or school closure stopped covid in kids or community
there is no "game changer." delta is literally a cold in terms of risk. it’s less than a cold to kids.
the widespread vaccinating of kids for covid is medical malpractice and for most healthy people under the age of about 25, the risk reward looks strongly negative.
open schools appear very low risk for students and staff
greater in person schooling is not associated with greater infection rates for students or school workers and may be associated with reduced rates overall
community infection rates vary little and seem insufficient to be the likely driver of such dramatic variance in policy choice
teachers fared worse by far in places with full remote learning. this result is a striking outlier and i lack a great explanation given how widely it diverges from community infection. this warrants further work.
masked schools have higher covid rates for kids
masked schools have higher covid rates for staff
adjusted for the community case rate baseline, masked an unmasked case rates are basically indistinguishable.
masks do not protect the wearer from covid
masks do not work as source control
the “experiments” claiming they do are bad, mechanistic studies or lack proper control groups.
the CDC has outright admitted that there are NO valid randomized controlled trials supporting mask efficacy.
lockdowns did not work either. i lost a ton of published data on this when twitter de-catformed me, but still have plenty.
there has never been any correlation between changes in social mobility and deaths or cases. you can have correlation without causality, but causality without correlation is deeply implausible.
this has been clear since may 2020 (and earlier) and was predicted by standing evidence based guidelines.
big variance in lockdowns
led to identical results.
and when you line it up temporally so that effects stacks above purported cause, you can see that R was already in deep decline before mitigation began, that mitigation had no effect on what was a pure gompertz curve, and that re-opening had no effect either.
but don’t take my word for it. some folks got published a year later in NATURE validating my results (that were literally done in excel. this was not rocket science, it was just a failure of our “experts” to perform basic science.)
“In conclusion, using this methodology and current data, in ~ 98% of the comparisons using 87 different regions of the world we found no evidence that the number of deaths/million is reduced by staying at home. Regional differences in treatment methods and the natural course of the virus may also be major factors in this pandemic, and further studies are necessary to better understand it.”
this, of course, was known and knowable. it’s not as if the standing evidence based guidelines were reticent, equivocal, or even subtle on this topic. they were “stand on your desk waving your arms and yelling “do not do this” clear.”
the near ubiquitous claims that lockdowns were science never had any basis in fact, past or present. they were vehemently contra indicated.
this brings us to the endless hectoring on vaccination and pushing such a policy upon the young and healthy.
vaccination is everywhere and always a cost benefit decision.
the covid vaccines are experimental, have a distressingly short safety profile, were rushed to market unlike any other vaccine in history apart from the disastrous H1N1 vax that had to be recalled because it was causing narcolepsy, and have, by vaccine standards, extremely high and serious side effects.
pushing such a product as panacea and a moral imperative instead of a calculated choice is not medicine, it’s hucksterism, and using the delta variant to do so is doubly dishonest. the risk reward for the young and healthy is not attractive.
mRNA vaccination was 20X as likely to put a 12-15 year old in hospital than getting actual covid.
and that was the old covid, not the new, much milder delta variant. vs delta, this is probably more like a 200X variance.
for 16-25, again, it’s 0.2% hospitalization from vaccine so we’re on the order of 3X the risk of hospitalization from getting actual covid and ~30X that of delta variant.
if you have no high risk factors like diabetes, obesity, etc you can probably add another 0 here.
DELTA is what we expect from viral mutation along evolutionary gradient: more contagious, less harmful.
delta is not deadlier, it’s 90-95% less so.
delta is not “three times as contagious. it has a secondary attack rate of 11.3% va 8% for alpha and 10.8% for kappa
its CFR is well below even moderate flu. this is why deaths are not up meaningfully in places like UK
delta looks more like a low risk airborne inoculation campaign, especially for the young. it’s what ends pandemics.
vaccination is a useful thing, but vaccines are usually tested for a decade before they are rolled out, not 6 months of slapdash. there has never been an mRNA vaccine approved in humans. rushing this new type, which has been so problematic in animals, to market was a high risk strategy. you simply cannot know the safety profile. you cannot get 5 or 10 year data in 5 or 10 months.
if you are high risk, perhaps they make sense. if you are not, perhaps they don’t. this should be between you and your trusted medical advisor, not a mandate or a hectoring public official pushing one size fits all thinking that has no place in medicine.
and lost in all this is natural immunity which is now widespread (easily 30-50%) and which clearly outperforms vaccinated immunity which is the obvious and expected outcome.
herd immunity is recovered + vaxxed, not vaxxed alone.
the bizarre and unfounded omission of this fact to push every higher vaccination rates and for the vaccination of those who are already resistant and do not benefit from the further risk of vaccination by using misrepresented proxy data about specific antibody response and ignoring the actual clinical data that is so much more meaningful is outlandish. it’s a gross misstatement of fact an abrogation of epidemiology. this is propaganda and profiteering, not healthcare.
this is why trust in public health officials is dropping like a shot dove. folks like jerome and ding and facui and brix and wollensky are the problem.
they have refused to be honest, play it straight, or engage in dialogue choosing instead to fearmonger, lie, and dictate through endless appeals to their own seemingly undeserved credentials.
public health runs on public trust and they have violated it.
then they blame us for their lost credibility. they seek to gaslight and censor.
they are just digging the hole deeper. when is the last time you saw the side of censorship be the side that was right about the facts?
read the data, make your own choices.