In Israel, Less Than One-Third Of Delta Variant Deaths Are In The Unvaccinated
Written by Steven Hansen
The U.S. new cases 7-day rolling average are 8.7 % HIGHER than the 7-day rolling average one week ago and U.S. deaths due to coronavirus are now 35.4 % HIGHER than the rolling average one week ago. Today’s posts include:
- U.S. Coronavirus New Cases are 170,722
- U.S. Coronavirus deaths are at 1,470
- The Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s moratorium on evictions in a 6-3 ruling on Thursday.
- Fed chief signals support for the economy could begin to be pulled back this year if recovery stays strongly on track
- Israeli Study Shows Natural Immunity 13x More Effective Than Vaccines At Stopping Delta
- An antibody therapy that appears to neutralize all known SARS-CoV-2 strains, and other coronaviruses, was developed
- Biden says U.S. health officials are weighing Covid booster shots in 5 months, moving up third shot
- Almost half of the patients hospitalized with COVID-19 early in the pandemic had at least one lingering symptom a year after symptom onset
- A supply chain crunch that was meant to be temporary now looks like it will last well into next year as the surging delta variant upends factory production in Asia and disrupts shipping, posing more shocks to the world economy.
- Is another pandemic recession on the way? The next few weeks will tell
- 100,000 more COVID deaths seen unless the US changes its ways
- Contaminants in Moderna vaccines suspected to be metallic particles
- Plus Many More Headlines …
Hospitalizations Are The Only Accurate Gauge
Hospitalizations historically appear to be little affected by weekends or holidays. The hospitalization growth rate trend continues to improve.
Historically, hospitalization growth follows new case growth by one to two weeks.
As an analyst, I use the rate of growth to determine the trend. But, the size of the pandemic is growing in terms of real numbers – and if the rate of growth does not become negative – the pandemic will overwhelm all resources.
The graph below shows the rate of growth relative to the growth a week earlier updated through today [note that negative numbers mean the rolling averages are LOWER than the rolling averages one week ago]. As one can see, the rate of growth for new cases peaked in early December 2020 for Thanksgiving, and early January 2021 for end-of-year holidays – and it now shows that the coronavirus effect is improving.
In the scheme of things, new cases decline first, followed by hospitalizations, and then deaths. The potential fourth wave did not materialize likely due to immunizations.
Coronavirus and Recovery News You May Have Missed
A contaminant found in a batch of Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Japan is believed to be a metallic particle, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing sources at the health ministry.
Japan on Thursday suspended the use of 1.63 million doses shipped to 863 vaccination centres nationwide, more than a week after the domestic distributor, Takeda Pharmaceutical (4502.T), received reports of contaminants in some vials.
NHK, in a report published late on Thursday, cited ministry sources as saying the particle reacted to magnets and was therefore suspected to be a metal. Moderna has described it as “particulate matter” that did not pose a safety or efficacy issue.
A health ministry official said the composition of the contaminant has not been confirmed. Takeda did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.
How Long Exactly Is Long COVID? – MedPage
Almost half of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 early in the pandemic had at least one lingering symptom a year after symptom onset, researchers in Wuhan, China found.
A total of 49% of patients had at least one post-COVID symptom 1 year later, which included sleep difficulties, palpitations, joint pain, or chest pain, though that was down significantly from 68% of survivors at 6 months after symptom onset (P<0.0001), reported Bin Cao, MD, of China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, and colleagues.
Notably, more patients reported anxiety or depression at their 12-month visit than at their 6-month visit (26% vs 23%, respectively, P=0.015) and dyspnea (30% vs 26%, P=0.014), the authors wrote in The Lancet.
The most common symptom was fatigue or muscle weakness, though the authors noted there was a significant decline at the 12-month visit versus the 6-month visit (20% vs 52%, respectively, P<0.0001).
Co-author Xiaoying Gu, MD, also of China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said the authors did not yet understand why psychiatric symptoms were more pervasive at 1 year compared with 6 months.
“These could be caused by a biological process linked to the virus infection itself, or the body’s immune response to it. Or they could be linked to reduced social contact, loneliness, incomplete recovery of physical health or loss of employment associated with illness,” Gu said in a statement.
The researchers noted that to their knowledge, “this is the largest longitudinal cohort study of hospital survivors with COVID-19” to examine the health effects of the disease 12 months after symptom onset. Previously, Cao’s group looked at data from 6 months after symptom onset in COVID-19 survivors from Wuhan.
A supply chain crunch that was meant to be temporary now looks like it will last well into next year as the surging delta variant upends factory production in Asia and disrupts shipping, posing more shocks to the world economy.
Manufacturers reeling from shortages of key components and higher raw material and energy costs are being forced into bidding wars to get space on vessels, pushing freight rates to records and prompting some exporters to raise prices or simply cancel shipments altogether.
“We can’t get enough components, we can’t get containers, costs have been driven up tremendously,” said Christopher Tse, chief executive officer of Hong Kong-based Musical Electronics Ltd., which makes consumer products from Bluetooth speakers to Rubik’s Cubes.
Tse said the cost of magnets used in the puzzle toy have risen by about 50% since March, increasing the production cost by about 7%. “I don’t know if we can make money from Rubik’s Cubes because prices keep changing.”
China’s determination to stamp out Covid has meant even a small number of cases can cause major disruptions to trade. This month the government temporarily closed part of the world’s third-busiest container port at Ningbo for two weeks after a single dockworker was found to have the delta variant. Earlier this year, wharves in Shenzhen were idled after the discovery of a handful of coronavirus cases.
“Port congestion and a shortage of container shipping capacity may last into the fourth quarter or even mid-2022,” said Hsieh Huey-chuan, president of Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corp., the world’s seventh-biggest container liner, at an investor briefing on Aug. 20. “If the pandemic cannot be effectively contained, port congestion may become a new normal.”
Is another pandemic recession on the way? Next few weeks will tell – WRAL Tech Wire
Just when we thought things were getting better, could they go the other way and get worse? For most of the year we were optimistic about the economy. Growth was surging, jobs were being added, and optimism was lifting. A big reason was the retreat of Covid-19.
But in recent weeks Covid-19 has made a comeback. The delta variant of Covid-19 is raging across the country with record infection rates. One solace we have is the delta variant appears to be less deadly than the original version. Still, we are worried.
To give some perspective to the concerns, here’s a summary of where we’ve been with Covid-19 and the economy. Once Covid-19 spread rapidly in early 2020, business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders became common around the country. With normal economic interactions interrupted, the economy tanked in the spring and a deep recession took hold. The national unemployment rate soared to almost 15%.
But success in “flattening the curves” of both cases and deaths allowed restrictions to be eased. As a result, the economy grew in the third quarter of 2020 by almost as much as it dropped in the second quarter. Indeed, using the definition that recessions end once the economy resumes expanding, the Covid-19 recession no longer existed in the third quarter.[editor’s note: this post deserves a full read]
An antibody therapy that appears to neutralize all known SARS-CoV-2 strains, and other coronaviruses, was developed with a little help from structural biologist Jay Nix.
Lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines are allowing us to feel optimistic again, after more than a year of anxiety and tragedy. But vaccines are only one side of the coin – we also need treatments that can prevent severe disease after someone has been infected. In the past year, there has been significant progress in developing effective antibody-based therapies, and three drugs are currently available through emergency use authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration.
Sotrovimab, the newest antibody therapy, was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology after a large collaborative study by scientists from across the nation discovered a natural antibody (in the blood of a SARS survivor, back in 2003) that has remarkable breadth and efficacy.
Experiments showed that this antibody, called S309, neutralizes all known SARS-CoV-2 strains – including newly emerged mutants that can now “escape” from previous antibody therapies – as well as the closely related original SARS-CoV virus.
Jay Nix, leader of the Molecular Biology Consortium based at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), used beamlines at the ALS and beamlines at SLAC’s Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource to perform X-ray crystallography on samples of survivor-derived antibodies during an early phase of the study. His work, alongside other crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy findings, helped generate detailed structural maps of how these antibodies bind to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, allowing the wider team to select the most promising contenders and advance them to cell culture- and animal-based studies. Following exciting lab results, the developers designed sotrovimab based on the structure of S309, and evaluated it in clinical trials.
The FDA granted an EUA for sotrovimab in late May after trials showed that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections who received an infusion of the therapy had an 85% reduction in rates of hospitalization or death, compared with placebo.
But the team didn’t stop there.
[editor’s note: this post deserves a full read]
The Supreme Court blocked President Biden’s moratorium on evictions in a 6-3 ruling on Thursday.
Why it matters: Roughly 3.5 million people across the U.S. said they faced eviction in the next two months, per Census Bureau data from mid-August.
State of play: The court previously ruled that the administration couldn’t extend the ban, instituted because of the coronavirus pandemic, past July 31 without explicit congressional authorization. But after protests and a clash with Democratic lawmakers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the temporary ban through Oct. 3.
- The case reached the Supreme Court after the Alabama Association of Realtors and other plaintiffs sued the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
What they’re saying: “It would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken,” the unsigned Supreme Court opinion read. “But that has not happened.”
- “Instead, the CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination.”
- “It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts,” the opinion noted.
The U.S. is projected to see nearly 100,000 more COVID-19 deaths between now and Dec. 1, according to the nation’s most closely watched forecasting model. But health experts say that toll could be cut in half if nearly everyone wore a mask in public spaces.
In other words, what the coronavirus has in store this fall depends on human behavior.
“Behavior is really going to determine if, when and how sustainably the current wave subsides,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium. “We cannot stop delta in its tracks, but we can change our behavior overnight.”
That means doubling down again on masks, limiting social gatherings, staying home when sick and getting vaccinated. “Those things are within our control,” Meyers said.
The U.S. is in the grip of a fourth wave of infection this summer, powered by the highly contagious delta variant, which has sent cases, hospitalizations and deaths soaring again, swamped medical centers, burned out nurses and erased months of progress against the virus.[editor’s note: simply looking at the current deaths and extrapolating the potential rise in the coming weeks and then a significant decline beginning in a month, this 100,000 number seems fairly realistic – and nothing will change this in the short term]
UK data destroys entire premise for vaccine push – Chris Waldburger
Less than a third of delta variant deaths are in the unvaccinated.
Let me say that another way – two-thirds of Delta deaths in the UK are in the jabbed.
To be specific:
From the 1st of February to the 2nd of August, the UK recorded 742 Delta deaths (yes, the dreaded Delta has not taken that much life).
Out of the 742 deaths, 402 were fully vaccinated. 79 had received one shot. Only 253 were unvaccinated.
The report is here.
But this is the crucial page. Look at the bottom line.
Again, 402 deaths out of 47 008 cases in vaccinated; 253 deaths out of 151 054 cases in unvaccinated. If you get covid having been vaccinated, according to this data, you are much more likely to die than if you were not vaccinated!
Obviously some allowance must be made for more elderly people being vaccinated, but not enough to change the bottom line: this vaccine is not nearly as effective as advertised.
The Danish government has decided to stop categorizing the virus as a “socially critical disease,” saying it has it under control. The decision means abandoning the legal basis for restrictions and lifting them in September.
“The epidemic is under control, we have record high vaccination rates,” Denmark’s health officials said in a statement on Friday. While the positive results are the outcome of “strong epidemic control,” special rules that have been introduced to fight the deadly virus will no longer be in place starting from September 10, according to the official announcement.
The soon-to-be-ended classification of Covid as a critical societal threat allowed authorities to force such restrictions as obligatory mask-wearing and ‘coronapass’ requirements, as well as the banning of mass gatherings in the country.
“The government has promised not to hold on to the measures longer than was necessary, and there we are now,” the statement said, adding no special requirements will be needed even for major public events, and also in regard to access to the country’s nightlife. However, authorities reserved the right to reinforce Covid-related restrictions “if the pandemic again threatens important functions in the society.”
“The hard work is not over, and a look out into the world shows why we must continue to be vigilant,” Denmark’s Health Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Twitter, while also praising his country’s “epidemic management.”
Denmark was among the first nations to come under pandemic-related restrictions when its parliament passed an executive order classifying the disease as posing a critical threat to society in March 2020. A partial lockdown was introduced back then, with the new rules later added, relaxed, and reinforced throughout the pandemic. By the end of August, more than 70% of the country’s population had been fully vaccinated. Denmark has registered more than 342,000 cases of the virus, with over 2,500 people dying from it.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell offered his clearest signal yet that the Fed could soon start scaling back its support for the markets if economic recovery remains strongly on track, despite ongoing uncertainty from the delta variant of the coronavirus.
Powell described an economy brought to its depths by the pandemic, which disproportionately hurt people of color and workers in service industries, according to remarks delivered Friday morning at a conference hosted by the Kansas City Fed. But Powell’s overarching message is that the recovery is on the path to a strong labor market, overall wage gains and pandemic-era price increases that are expected to simmer down.
… Fed leaders have consistently said they need to see “substantial further progress” on inflation and job growth before the central bank starts to pare back its $120 billion a month in asset purchases, which have been helping support the markets. For months, economists and Wall Street have been eager for any signs about when or how the Fed will begin to “taper” its sprawling bond-buying program, which helps stimulate the economy and makes borrowing easier by holding down long-term rates.
“My view is that the ‘substantial further progress test’ has been met for inflation,” Powell said in the remarks. “There has also been clear progress toward maximum employment.”
Powell added that at the Fed’s last policy meeting in July, he “was of the view, as were most participants, that if the economy evolved broadly as anticipated, it could be appropriate to start reducing the pace of asset purchases this year.”
… Powell did not lay out a clear timeline for when the Fed could change its policies, or how the Fed could structure its taper. The monthly asset purchases are made up of $80 billion in Treasury securities and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities. Surging home prices have some economists arguing that the Fed should reduce its purchases of mortgage-backed securities more quickly.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and the rest of President Biden’s COVID advisors have been proven wrong about “the science” of COVID vaccines yet again. After telling Americans that vaccines offer better protection than natural infection, a new study out of Israel suggests the opposite is true: natural infection offers a much better shield against the delta variant than vaccines.
The study was described by Bloomberg as “the largest real-world analysis comparing natural immunity – gained from an earlier infection – to the protection provided by one of the most potent vaccines currently in use.” A few days ago, we noted how remarkable it was that the mainstream press was finally giving voice to scientists to criticize President Biden’s push to start doling out booster jabs. Well, this study further questions the credibility of relying on vaccines, given that the study showed that the vaccinated were ultimately 13x as likely to be infected as those who were infected previously, and 27x more likely to be symptomatic.
Alex Berenson, a science journalist who has repeatedly questioned the efficacy of vaccines and masks at preventing COVID, touted the study as enough to “end any debate over vaccines v natural immunity.”
Here’s an excerpt from a report by Science Magazine:
The new analysis relies on the database of Maccabi Healthcare Services, which enrolls about 2.5 million Israelis. The study, led by Tal Patalon and Sivan Gazit at KSM, the system’s research and innovation arm, found in two analyses that people who were vaccinated in January and February were, in June, July, and the first half of August, six to 13 times more likely to get infected than unvaccinated people who were previously infected with the coronavirus. In one analysis, comparing more than 32,000 people in the health system, the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 was 27 times higher among the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization eight times higher.
This time, the data leave little doubt that natural infection truly is the better option for protection against the delta variant, despite the fact that the US won’t acknowledge the already infected as having antibodies protecting them from the virus.
… At the very least, the results of the study are good news for patients who have already successfully battled COVID but show the challenge of relying exclusively on immunizations to move past the pandemic.
“This analysis demonstrated that natural immunity affords longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization due to the delta variant,” the researchers said.
Unfortunately, the study also showed that any protection is time-limited. Protection offered by natural infection wanes over time, just like the protection afforded by vaccines: The risk of a vaccine-breakthrough delta case was 13x higher than the risk of developing a second infection when the original illness occurred during January or February 2021. That’s significantly more than the risk for people who were ill earlier in the outbreak.[editor’s note: Study: 31% of Americans had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by the end of 2020. A new study published in the journal Nature estimates that 103 million Americans, or 31 percent of the U.S. population, had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 by the end of 2020.]
President Joe Biden said U.S. regulators are looking at administering Covid-19 booster shots five months after people finish their primary immunizations, moving up the expected timetable for a third shot by about three months.
Biden, who was speaking with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday, said health officials were considering following that country’s lead on boosters.
“We’re considering the advice you’ve given that we should start earlier,” Biden said, adding that officials are debating whether the timeline should be shorter. “Should it be as little as five months and that’s being discussed.”
Approval of the booster shots is expected to come sometime around Labor Day after federal health officials have time to review data from other countries and vaccine manufacturers that indicated booster dose efficacy six months after a previous dose.
In adults age 60 and older, a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine provided 4x as much protection against infection with the delta variant than the previous two-dose regimen, according to the Ministry of Health of Israel.
The following are foreign headlines with hyperlinks to the posts
Evacuation flights resumed this morning from Kabul, less than a day after a suicide attack killed scores of Afghan civilians and at least 13 U.S. troops outside the airport. Our live briefing has the latest.
The bombs went off near a crowd of families at the airport gates trying to get onto evacuation flights, as these maps show.
For President Biden, the attack was just the sort of tragedy that he had pledged to avoid. Read more from Michael Shear, one of our White House correspondents.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of its Afghan affiliate, Islamic State Khorasan. Eric Schmitt — a longtime national security reporter — has written an overview of ISIS-K.
As the U.S. left Afghanistan, the C.I.A. expected to shift its focus from counterterrorism to traditional spycraft against China and Russia. The explosions upended those plans.
Many Afghans who helped U.S. forces are now in danger. One of them, an interpreter the Americans called “Mikey,” spoke to The Times about his battle to get his family out alive.
From Foreign Affairs magazine: Corruption and bureaucracy have undermined U.S. efforts to train other countries’ militaries, Rachel Tecott writes.
Vaccine uptake has risen across the U.S. — most sharply in places hit hard by the Delta variant.
The following additional national and state headlines with hyperlinks to the posts
COVID-related deaths in the U.S. increased by 317% over the past 7 weeks.
COVID cases in South Dakota have risen almost sixfold in the 2 weeks since the annual motorcycle rally in the town of Sturgis.
Calling dissent the “foundation of democracy,” Reddit rejected a request by moderators of a pro-vaccine forum to do more to combat COVID-19 disinformation
A Houston physician explains why he continues to give low-dose ivermectin to all of his COVID-19 patients, despite an FDA warning of the potential hazards.
Older teenagers have the highest COVID-19 caseload among children in the U.S.
The pandemic has created a shortage of the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab (Actemra), as use of the drug to treat COVID-19 has created a scarcity for patients with arthritis, lupus, and other conditions.
Medicaid vaccination rates founder as states struggle to immunize their poorest residents. Medicaid enrollees are getting vaccinated against covid-19 at far lower rates than the general population as states search for the best strategies to improve access to the shots and persuade those who remain hesitant.
68 Florida Hospitals Could Run Out of Oxygen in Two Days Amid COVID Surge. Some hospitals have reportedly made “frantic calls” about delayed oxygen deliveries as supplies dwindle amid Florida’s continuing surge of COVID-19.
Today’s Posts On Econintersect Showing Impact Of The Pandemic and Recovery With Hyperlinks