How Vaccines Will Actually Prevent COVID Cases

How Vaccines Will Actually Prevent COVID Cases

Back in October, I wrote an article which explained ‘How President Biden Will Cure COVID-19, Merely By Taking Office’. I pointed out that, ‘with Biden in office, the science of COVID-19 has radically changed’.

Since then, the Wuhan lab leak conspiracy theory has suddenly gained scientific and political traction. And the attempt to discredit it for political gain before the election is now also known.

But the topic of my October article was a different one. And that science may now be about to change as predicted too.

The basic idea was that the world faced a case-demic, not a pandemic. The PCR tests for COVID-19 were being run with such high sensitivity that they would pick up meaninglessly small traces of COVID-19. People who didn’t have COVID in the meaningful sense still tested positive and became ‘cases’.

Conspiracy theorists, like those crazy fools who argued the virus had come from the Wuhan Lab, despite this claim being ‘pure baloney’ and ‘debunked’ according to the government and media, also claimed that, as soon as Biden took office, the PCR test would suddenly be run properly and this would dramatically reduce the prevalence of COVID-19.

But the conspiracy theorists were wrong — it has taken a few months into Biden’s presidency to barely begin to fix the error and thereby reduce case counts. The shift also seems tied to the issue of vaccines, making the story even more interesting.

You see, to make the vaccines look effective, the tests and the definitions for measuring COVID cases amongst vaccinated people have been adjusted. At the same time, for the rest of Americans, the scam continues.

The key issue is known as the ‘cycle threshold’ or ‘CT’. The PCR test can be run with varying numbers of cycles, with each cycle making a positive test more likely. Run the cycle enough times, and you’re likely to get a positive but meaningless result. The question is: How high to set the CT — the maximum before the test is abandoned as negative.

My argument in October was that the practice of running too many cycles would suddenly be cut once Biden was in office, as the WHO had long since recommended doing, thereby reducing the number of cases in the US overnight.

That hasn’t happened…not quite yet. But we’re getting close, with a twist I should’ve seen coming. The CT fudge will be used to make vaccines look effective. Here’s how…

In a request for samples from those who tested positive for COVID-19 despite getting the vaccine (what’s known as a ‘breakthrough infection’), the US’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has admitted the PCR tests run with excessively high CTs are not useful for sequencing:

For cases with a known RT-PCR cycle threshold (Ct) value, submit only specimens with Ct value ≤28 to CDC for sequencing. (Sequencing is not feasible with higher Ct values.)

Notice that, for now, the policy change is being applied to research of breakthrough cases specifically, meaning people who were vaccinated but still got COVID.

The CDC is saying that, for the test to be good enough for sequencing specifically, the number of cycles shouldn’t exceed 28.

Now it’s up to you whether you think the CDC’s request for samples from positive tests run with fewer than 28 cycles only will lead testers to reduce cycles to 28 in order to make their tests eligible for sequencing.

I think it obviously will to some extent. And this will reduce the number of cases measured amongst the vaccinated because lower cycles mean less positive COVID tests. Especially relative to the number of cases amongst those who were not vaccinated, where cycles have been much higher. There will be a bias in the data towards more positive cases amongst the unvaccinated than vaccinated.

More importantly, as the NPR’s WBEZ Chicago put it:

‘If scientists can’t sequence genes from the virus, there’s not much chance these people are contagious, and there’s not much scientists can learn about the virus by studying them, the CDC and other researchers say.’

Indeed, but doesn’t the same apply to so-called COVID cases of the non-vaccinated too? If a weak PCR test at excessively high cycles makes you not viable for sequencing and not contagious, probably because you don’t actually have COVID, then how many cases were just false positives or not infectious and asymptomatic all along? More on that below.

There’s more than the CT changing at the Centres for Disease Control:

As of May 1, 2021, CDC transitioned from monitoring all reported vaccine breakthrough cases to focus on identifying and investigating only hospitalized or fatal cases due to any cause.’

And:

Previous case counts, which were last updated on April 26, 2021, are available for reference only and will not be updated moving forward.’

This means the data between vaccinated people who test positive for COVID and unvaccinated people who get it is now measured differently, making it no longer comparable.

There will be vastly fewer cases amongst the vaccinated because lower CTs are used to make the tests viable for sequencing. Only those who died or needed to be hospitalised are counted as cases. For the unvaccinated, the full count of positive cases at higher cycles will mean far more cases in relative terms.

Now it makes sense to me to track all cases or just severe cases of COVID-19. One or the other is fine. I’m quite happy to accept the CDC’s logic that it doesn’t make sense to track people who tested positive under ridiculously high cycles on their PCR test and didn’t display symptoms. Indeed, it would have made the pandemic seem a lot less serious by lowering cases dramatically from the start.

But it does not make sense to me to track the data differently depending on whether you get the vaccine or not. Because then the data is no longer comparable if you do this. We won’t know how effective the vaccines are as a result.

Of course, the policy change does make sense to me if you want to support the vaccine cause by making vaccines look more effective than they are. Or, if you want to make an accurate comparison of the number of cases and their severity between the vaccinated and unvaccinated impossible.

That’s not a controversial statement. Harvard Health Publishing’s senior faculty editor explained it might be the deliberate reason:

CDC experts recently decided to stop tracking all breakthrough cases, and to instead focus on those requiring hospitalization.

[…]

There could be other reasons for the CDC’s decision. First, there’s the challenge of messaging around encouraging people to get vaccinated. Focusing on breakthrough cases may send a misleading impression that the vaccines aren’t effective. This might complicate efforts to battle vaccine hesitancy.

But the CDC’s change isn’t about ‘focusing on breakthrough cases’. It’s about ignoring the less severe cases. While continuing to report on them for non-vaccinated people.

What the Harvard doctor is really saying is that openly reporting on all breakthrough cases, not just those that are severe, might make people conclude the vaccines don’t work because there are so many breakthrough cases. And so, this must be buried by avoiding reporting on the mild cases.

It seems that COVID science is not about truth…or science…but about managing the population’s perception. About fooling them into doing the right thing, not persuading them with…science.

Unfortunately, as Rick Bright, a former federal health official explained:

Just looking at hospitalizations or cases from people who die is really keeping, I believe, blindfolds on your eyes and not fully understanding what’s happening with this virus. It puts us at a disadvantage of better understanding this virus and how to end the pandemic.

The data is no longer comparable, so we won’t know what’s really going on.

Double standards

Here’s what the CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said had prompted the change:

What we were starting to find is a large portion of them [breakthrough cases] were fully asymptomatic, and in fact when we went to study them and sequence them, there was inadequate virus to even do so.

In other words, the CDC discovered that the PCR test at high cycles was testing people as positive who had so little COVID that they couldn’t even study them!

But for how many of the non-vaccinated cases is this also true? Why weren’t they counted differently? Why hasn’t the same change been made for the unvaccinated cases?

Again, the CDC’s logic of focusing on and counting only those who have COVID makes sense to me. The problem is that it is being applied selectively — to vaccinated people and not to unvaccinated. It’s a double standard.

Why?

Well, when people want to compare how many people who got vaccinated still tested positive for COVID-19 in the US, we won’t know. They aren’t counted as cases anymore. Only those hospitalised or who die are counted, which makes sense if you apply it across the board. But not selectively.

If an outbreak occurs in a city when comparing the case count amongst the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in that city, it’ll look like the unvaccinated case count is huge compared to the vaccinated. But only because they’re counted differently by the CDC…

Ironically, the rate of hospitalisation and death amongst those who got vaccinated will be relatively high (100%), given those who didn’t get hospitalised were not counted as cases anymore.

Meanwhile, amongst the unvaccinated, the severe cases will be very low because the old and priority are disproportionately amongst the vaccinated, leaving those who can withstand COVID amongst the unvaccinated.

Aside from the misguided attempt to bias data in favouring the vaccinated, here’s what else I think is going on…

The logic for the CDC’s change, as Walensky put it, is that:

These vaccines were studied to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and deaths. And as we look at these breakthrough infections, these are the ones we’re most concerned about.’

In other words, we already know vaccines work, so we don’t need the data on how many vaccinated people are getting asymptomatic or mild COVID.

But I think this is deeply misleading. A sample study and a proper national rollout are wildly different. This won’t be confirmed by data now. So we won’t know how effective vaccines are once actually rolled out nationally in the US…that’s the ‘blindfold’ mentioned above.

Of course, in the end, this is all conjecture and complaining. It is pointing out the creation of unknowns and biases in the statistics, not results or conspiracies. The CDC might just be stupid, after all. Or those scientists working on ‘breakthrough infections’ might be smarter than the rest.

But there’s nothing like changing how you collect data to fuel conspiracy theories about vaccines and pandemics.

Anyway, it’s comforting to know that should a COVID-19 variant spread in the US via people who have been vaccinated but are asymptomatic, the CDC won’t know about it because it no longer counts those people as cases…

Until next time,

Nick Hubble Signature

Nickolai Hubble,
Editor, The Daily Reckoning Australia Weekend

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