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Horowitz: No, this is not an epidemic of the unvaccinated

Op-ed
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Those in favor of mass forced vaccination have an amazing narrative, or at least they think they do. They think that a bunch of "low vaccinated" areas are getting hit strongly with the virus and that somehow this is "an epidemic of the unvaccinated."

But when you open your eyes a crack, you can see that almost every area of America is relatively highly vaccinated for adults and especially seniors and that the virus is bizarrely spreading uncontrollably out of season, even in northern latitudes and even in areas with virtual universal adult vaccination. In fact, what this phenomenon might point to is not only a complete lack of power of vaccination to stop the spread, but also that it is serving as an unnatural viral escape mechanism to create durable and prolific mutations that would not have been created absent mass vaccination.

The truth about the southern states, seasonality, and vaccination rates

India had a low vaccination rate of 3% when cases began to plummet in mid-spring, and indeed the country achieved close to de facto herd immunity without the vaccine. On the other hand, no place in America truly has a low vaccination rate. Even states like Arkansas have 85% of seniors with at least one dose and 71% with two doses. It simply makes no sense that with the degree of efficacy the "experts" ascribe to the vaccine, we would be witnessing this amount of spread. What's more, Florida actually has a higher vaccination rate than California among seniors and a pretty solid overall rate.

Yet cases are spreading in places like Florida quicker than they did a year ago with much less immunity and 0% vaccinated last summer. There's no way the unvaccinated alone could explain this phenomenon, because even if the vaccine didn't exist today at all, we should be seeing less, not more spread, than last year, simply based on built-up immunity. Thus, this indicates something of a negative effect of the vaccine.

Obviously, we all expected to experience a summer uptick in the South because, as we saw last year, southern latitudes tend to get a wave in the hot months of the year, known as the "Hope-Simpson curve." However, this degree of spread makes no sense. Moreover, unlike last year, when the virus was essentially dead north of the 35th parallel in the summer, cases are spreading much more, despite extremely high rates of vaccination. Cases in New York and New Jersey are running four to five times higher than this week last year. San Francisco, with most adults vaccinated (and masked), is experiencing its greatest spread yet — all out of season.

We can only imagine what these northern latitudes will experience in season, with the vaccination rates having a negative effect on the case rate.

Wherever one stands on the vaccine, the case explosion makes no sense. There are twice as many cases in the U.S. this week than this time last year, without any vaccine and with nearly half the country already immune. There is simply no way the unvaccinated could account for this degree of spread, because last year everyone was unvaccinated (plus fewer with natural immunity), yet we are seeing both greater numbers and off-season spread in climates that should not be getting a summer spread. For example, Oregon has nearly five times the number of cases over last year with very high vaccination rates.

Mass-vaccinated countries getting slammed with prolific spread

Our observations in America are accentuated in other countries, where entire populations are fully vaccinated. The entire adult population of Gibraltar is vaccinated, yet the country has one of the highest case per capita rates and the fifth-highest death rate. Israel was the poster child for successful vaccination, after draconian lockdowns and mask mandates, yet 17 months into this, the Israelis have double the case rate of this time last year. Then we are also seeing even northern climates get an out-of-season spread, like the U.K. last month and Iceland at present. Iceland's cases have gone up exponentially despite near-universal adult vaccination. Iceland has never seen any spread like this during the entire epidemic. How can it be that the worst spread is taking place after near-universal adult vaccination?

Everyone is quick to point out that most of these places, Iceland included, are not experiencing deaths, which they credit to the vaccines rather than the virus becoming less deadly (as we saw in India with a low vaccination rate).

They claim the vaccine ameliorates symptoms. That may very well be true – at least temporarily, before it wears off, as we are seeing in Israel – but clearly it is not doing one iota to stop the spread, and clearly the vaccinated are spreading the virus just as prolifically as the non-vaccinated. Unlike in America, some of these other countries (or places like San Francisco) are almost exclusively composed of vaccinated adults.

And let's not forget that in March, April, and May, when the South was completely clear, the Northeast and upper Midwest – with their impervious restrictions and mask mandates in place, along with already high vaccination rates – had high case counts.

Thus, we've never seen any correlation of the vaccines with better outcomes on a macro level.

So why are cases worse than ever before?

There is no scientifically proven answer to this, but we should find out soon enough. With strong evidence from two Israeli studies that the efficacy of the vaccines even against severe illness wanes after about five months, particularly for the people who need it the most, and Fauci downright admitting they won't work against some variants, perhaps it's time to study Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche's concern that we are making things worse.

Bossche, a former top vaccinologist at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, clearly not an anti-vaxxer, has been frantically warning that mass vaccination (especially with a narrow spike protein vaccine) during the middle of a pandemic is unprecedented and comes with a degree of risk. He warns that weak and waning antibodies from the vaccine can create a natural selection for the virus to mutate around and induce a vicious cycle of endless strengthening of the virus, at least quantitatively if not qualitatively. This is the exact opposite of what Fauci is saying – that somehow more mass vaccination equals less viral immune escape.

Here is a small synopsis of Dr. Bossche's warning from March, when there was little evidence to support his concern:

Why is nobody worried about "immune escape" whereas Covid-19 has already escaped people's innate immunity as reflected by multiple emerging, much more infectious, viral variants (most likely due to the global implementation of infection prevention measures)? Vaccine deployment in the ongoing mass immunization campaigns are highly likely to further enhance (adaptive) immune escape as none of the current vaccines will prevent replication/ transmission of viral variants. The more we use these vaccines for immunizing people in the midst of a pandemic, the more infectious the virus will become. With increasing infectiousness comes an increased likelihood of viral resistance to the vaccines. It's not exactly rocket science, it's a basic principle taught in a student's first vaccinology class: One shouldn't use a prophylactic vaccine in populations exposed to high infectious pressure (which is now certainly the case as multiple highly infectious variants are currently circulating in many parts of the world). To fully escape selective immune pressure exerted by vaccinal antibodies, Covid-19, a highly mutable virus, only needs to add another few mutations in its receptor-binding domain ...
I am beyond worried about the disastrous impact this would have on our human "race". Not only would people lose vaccine-mediated protection but also their precious, variant-nonspecific (!), innate immunity will be gone (this is because vaccinal antibodies outcompete natural antibodies for binding to Covid-19, even when their affinity for the viral variant is relatively low).

Fast-forward five months, and Moderna has already warned everyone will need a third dose, something that is already under way in Israel. But this is akin to giving last year's flu shot to this year's strain. We will continue chasing our tails. Rather than achieving natural immunity, which is much broader and longer-lasting – and using cheap medicines to get people through the virus safely – we will continue to make the virus worse in the long run while continuously offering shorter-term protection for those vaccinated themselves. Israel is already seeing hospitalization from the brand-new third injection!

Iceland's Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason appears to finally understand the failures of the past and the only way forward. When I point to Iceland's unprecedented spread post-universal vaccination, opponents are quick to point out the country's terrific record on preventing deaths. However, notwithstanding the fact that (for whatever reason) Icelandic people appeared to do better with this virus even before the vaccine, their chief epidemiologist clearly understands that 0% efficacy for cases is an obvious harbinger of waning efficacy against critical illness in the future. Which is why in a recent interview he lamented that vaccination failed to achieve herd immunity and conceded that nothing we do, short of focusing on those vulnerable, will stop the natural progression toward herd immunity, whether we like it or not.

"We need to somehow navigate this way, and we are now in this, not to get too many serious illnesses so that the hospital system does not collapse, but still try to achieve this herd immunity by letting the virus somehow run," said Guðnason [translated from Icelandic via google translate].

Thus, as Bossche has been warning, you can't vaccinate your way out of a pandemic. Fortunately, we need not choose between ineffective and harmful interventions and simply letting the virus rip us without protection. There are numerous ways to treat this virus early and even preventively, if only our government would facilitate a new plan. But alas, the administration would rather constantly lead us to hell than follow others on a new path to heaven.
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