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I am tired of the people coming here insisting that the vaccines are killing us, and to support their position, take the published statistics apart, misinterpret them, cherry-pick them, and cite statements out of context from reports to support their position. The root cause of their problem is that they refuse to accept statements from government sources like CDC. It’s an exercise in confirmation bias, and deliberate dishonesty, or at least disingenuity. Either way, it is deplorable.

Right now, the most prominent individual who is doing this is Cath Olic (aka skl, although he may have other nyms that have also been blocked)

Here is one of his latest comments, referring to a CDC article[i] on “breakthrough” infections that I cited.

[CO] Firstly, your CDC article appears to indicate that of the fully vaccinated patients hospitalized, 39% died.

Firstly, his number is wrong. Total number of patients hospitalized is 6617 + 16889 = 23506. Of that total, 6617 died, but 968 of them were asymptomatic or the deaths were not Covid-related.

( 6617 – 968)/23506) = 24%

Also, note that 86% of the deaths were people 65 or older. The report does not say how many of the deaths were among people with co-morbidities…health conditions that put them at high risk from the virus. A footnote also states that the numbers are undercounts, relying on voluntary reporting, and that many infections that are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms go unreported. Obviously, that applies equally to vaccinated and unvaccinated cases.

[CO] I would like to see the percentage for the unvaccinated patients hospitalized who died. Why don’t they show that?

Because this article is titled “COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigation and Reporting.” It is not about unvaccinated infections. That data may be available elsewhere, but it is not a subject of the cited article.

If those data are available, it would be interesting to know how many unvaccinated people who died were over 65 or had co-morbidities. My guess is the percentages will be smaller than for vaccinated people, because high risk people are more likely to seek vaccination.

The point is, he is picking and choosing numbers, either misinterpreting them, or making out-and-out errors in calculations. And ignoring other factors that influence the numbers, such as incomplete data, age and co-morbidity.

[CO] Secondly, your CDC article says 185 million Americans have been fully vaccinated as of 10/4/21. Elsewhere, the CDC estimated 120 million Americans had been infected as of 5/29/21 –…

but no doubt that estimate has grown over the last four months.

The numbers are probably not additive, but potentially virtually the entire country has been fully vaccinated or has natural immunity from earlier infection.

Additive? The numbers are independent of each other, derived from different data sets. Neither vaccination nor previous infection results in 100% immunity. I don’t know what point he is trying to make here.

[CO] For 2021, when the vaccines were administered, I think I’d like to see a breakdown of the population as follows:

# Uninfected and unvaccinated

# Uninfected and vaccinated

# Infected and unvaccinated, along with deaths

# Infected and vaccinated, along with deaths.

I would like to see that too. I can’t find a credible source for current data. Part of the problem is that it is constantly changing, incompletely reported, and there is a lot of totally fake stuff out there. I did find a CDC report dated September 10[ii] that says unvaccinated people are 11 times more likely to die from the virus. It also says unvaccinated are five times more likely to be infected and 10 times more likely to end up in a hospital. It was based on data through mid-July. (They warned that later data seems to show that the effectivity of the vaccine is declining, probably due to the need for booster shots.) That’s the latest I could find.

[CO]Do you know where I could find such a breakdown?

I do not. If anybody can find a real, credible source, please share it with us. No fake stuff, please.

[CO[ Lastly, do me a favor and show me where my math in the above comments is wrong.

I did.



Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...