Update (1500ET): Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci inadvertently hinted at why moving the goalposts on herd immunity is important to the Biden Administration's strategy for mandating vaccines. Because now once the FDA grants final approval for the jabs (already a foregone conclusion), it will give businesses and colleges the green light to start mandating vaccinations for workers and patrons alike.
Now that 70% of adults have been vaccinated, the government is only going to continue ramping up its campaign. "I'd settle for 70% or 80%, but I'd love to see 90%," Dr. Fauci said.
In terms of how it might inspire more people to get vaccinated, Dr. Fauci insisted that FDA approval would be a "game-changer" for the vaccine (Despite survey data showing more than half of those who haven't been vaccinated are firmly skeptical of vaccines).
Despite what the administration has said about giving people the freedom of choice on vaccines, Dr. Fauci revealed that the Biden Administration is depending on vaccine mandates to coerce 100% of Americans to accept the vaccine.
The only way to get to this level is via local mandates, Dr. Fauci pointed out. And that's exactly what people should expect.
"... to get to the 93 million unvaccinated people, we are going to need local mandates".
In other words: First you get the mandates, then you get the jump in vaccinations. We're already seeing the trend in states like Florida that are seeing the most new cases.
"I think you're going to see more people get vaccinated and you're also going to see enterprises feeling much more confident in local mandates for the vaccines... you're going to see more universities...places of businesses, once they get the cover of the mandate...you'll start seeing more vaccines. "Because if you get the majority of the people vaccinated, we wouldn't be having this conversation now."
Dr. Fauci also criticized governors who have given orders making it illegal to requiring masking or vaccinations. "If everybody got vaccinated we wouldn't be arguing about masks...the need for masks would be reduced dramatically," Dr. Fauci said.
If that's true, then why to the vaccinated people need to wear masks?
Watch the full interview below. The relevant comments begin about 15 minutes in.
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As a growing number of companies carry out the government's bidding by either demanding staff get vaccinated, demanding that customers mask up (even those who have been vaccinated) or both - Chipotle is the latest to order workers to wear masks and "encourage" customers to wear masks while Microsoft joined the growing number of tech firms requiring employees to get vaccinated - an organization of infectious disease experts are attempting to move the goalposts for herd immunity.
Bloomberg reports that delta's spread has pushed the estimate for herd immunity "well over 80% and potentially approaching 90%" according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which announced the change during a briefing on Tuesday.
That's a much higher bar than previous estimates of 60% to 70%. But the key here is Dr. Anthony Fauci and other policymakers will likely automatically treat the 90% number as a threshold for vaccination, not immunity - in other words, in their calculations, they exclude the millions of Americans who have been infected with COVID, but haven't consented to vaccination.
Yet, plenty of academics are already jumping on the bandwagon. Richard Franco, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told BBG that "[i]t is becoming clear that this is a very dangerous, way more dangerous virus than the original one."
Earlier today, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio leaked plans to require gyms and restaurants to collect proof of vaccination via a vaccine passport app being utilized by the city. Unfortunately, these passports will disregard tests showing the presence of antibodies in the already infected. Some research has shown that antibodies produced by natural infection are at least as effective as certain vaccines.
The problem with the IDSA's new herd immunity target is that some academics say we've already reached the 80%+ immunity, and that COVID will never be able to threaten the American population like it did last spring, when immunity was virtually zero.
Just take a look at the latest chart of cases vs. deaths. The media has relentlessly touted the fact that cases have eclipsed levels from last summer...even as deaths have barely budged.
Dr. Marty Makary has repeatedly spoken out in editorials published by WSJ urging experts to "level with the public" about the "good news", and that Dr. Fauci needs to "put up or shut up" regarding his fearmongering.
Here's an excerpt from Dr. Makary's latest op-ed for WSJ, where he describes the real power of science and the power of natural immunity:
The news about the U.S. Covid pandemic is even better than you’ve heard. Some 80% to 85% of American adults are immune to the virus: More than 64% have received at least one vaccine dose and, of those who haven’t, roughly half have natural immunity from prior infection. There’s ample scientific evidence that natural immunity is effective and durable, and public-health leaders should pay it heed.
Without accounting for natural immunity, we are far from Anthony Fauci’s stated target of 70% to 85% of the population becoming immune through full vaccination. But the effect of natural immunity is all around us. The plummeting case numbers in late April and May weren’t the result of vaccination alone, and they came amid a loosening of both restrictions and behavior.
Natural immunity is durable. Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis reported last month that 11 months after a mild infection immune cells were still capable of producing protective antibodies. The authors concluded that prior Covid infection induces a “robust” and “long-lived humoral immune response,” leading some scientists to suggest that natural immunity is probably lifelong. Because infection began months earlier than vaccination, we have more follow-up data on the duration of natural immunity than on vaccinated immunity.
Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic published a study this week of 1,359 people previously infected with Covid who were unvaccinated. None of the subjects subsequently became infected, leading the researchers to conclude that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination."
What’s the harm of underestimating or disregarding the protection afforded by natural immunity? It almost certainly cost American lives by misallocating vaccine doses earlier this year, and is still doing so in countries where Covid is prevalent and shots are scarce. It continues to delay full reopening and prolongs the state of fear that has many people wearing masks even when there’s no mandate, or reason, to do so.
Dr. Fauci said last Aug. 13 that when you have fewer than 10 cases per 100,000, “you should be able to open up safely and clearly.” The U.S. reached that point in mid-May. It’s time to stop the fear mongering and level with the public about the incredible capabilities of both modern medical research and the human body’s immune system.
Furthermore, movement in the US outbreak's 'R' rate has lagged similar trends in the UK, and some public health experts, including Dr. Scott Gottlieb, expect the current wave in the US to wane by the end of next month.
But by then, the millions of Americans who refuse to get vaccinated might be thoroughly excluded from society.