Covid Quick Links

Stories from the ongoing pandemic.

“Linked” by Steven L. Taylor is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

“The drug doesn’t work against COVID, full stop,” said Dr. Michael Saag, an infectious disease specialist at UAB. “You might read on the internet that it works. I’m sorry, that’s wrong.”

In a sort of laugh, lest ye cry mode, I found the banner photo for the story above to be amusing:

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“At that point I said that whereas I had risked my life to defend my country while in the Air Force, I was not willing to risk my life to teach a class with an unmasked student during this Pandemic,” Bernstein said in an email to The Red & Black. “I then resigned my retiree-rehire position.”

[…]

“Professor Bernstein said, ‘That’s it. I’m retired,’ and we watched him pack all of his papers into his bag and walk out of the classroom,” Huff said.

The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label. The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.

[…]

The researchers also found that people who had SARS-CoV-2 previously and then received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine were more highly protected against reinfection than those who once had the virus and were still unvaccinated.

Daniel Darling, senior vice president of communications for the National Religious Broadcasters, was fired Friday (Aug. 27) after refusing to admit his pro-vaccine statements were mistaken, according to a source authorized to speak for Darling.

[…]

Earlier this week, leaders at NRB, an international association of Christian communicators with 1,100 member organizations, told Darling his statements violated the organization’s policy of remaining neutral about COVID-19 vaccines. According to the source, Darling was given two options — sign a statement admitting he had been insubordinate or be fired.

When he refused to sign a statement, Darling was fired and given no severance, the source told RNS.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19, Health, Tab Clearing
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Matt Bernius says:

    Something about Christians firing a member who refuses recant a deeply held moral belief seems way too on the nose.

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  2. gVOR08 says:

    @Matt Bernius: Woke cancel culture strikes again.

    On the one hand they have a potentially fatal pandemic. On the other hand a safe, effective, inexpensive preventative. Obviously they must remain neutral. There are days you have to share Reynolds view on religion as the gateway drug to crazy.

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  3. @gVOR08: In fairness,

    While on “Morning Joe,” Darling said his Christian faith played a key role in his decision to be vaccinated — saying the Bible’s command to love our neighbors informed that decision. The vaccine, he said, helps protect our neighbors from the spread of COVID-19.

    The religion narrative is not as easy as it is often portrayed in the comment section, I would suggest.

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  4. Mister Bluster says:

    @gVOR08:..There are days you have to share Reynolds view on religion as the gateway drug to crazy.

    That would be any day that ends in “Y”!

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  5. Barry says:

    @Matt Bernius: “Something about Christians firing a member who refuses recant a deeply held moral belief seems way too on the nose.”

    Yeah, these guys have a narrow definition of ‘religious freedom’.

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  6. Sleeping Dog says:

    Early in the summer, a friend and I, considered shipping a couple of old motorcycles to the vintage MC rally at the Barber Museum in Birmingham, then riding home via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then we thought, maybe we should wait till next year. Glad we did.

    Edit: Regarding academic resignations/firings, I’ll contend that highly ranked among the worse places to work are colleges and universities.

    The fired Georgia State faculty member, will likely land on her feet as she is in the sciences, but what if she were some poor philosophy or poli sci adjunct. 😎

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  7. Gustopher says:

    The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label.

    But how does two doses of Pfizer and then getting a breakthrough covid infection hold up? Given how transmissible delta is, and how much is out there, I expect most Americans will be exposed.

    If we end up in a scenario where a lot of people get a natural immunity with a lot less risk of hospitalization or death, that wouldn’t be as good as more effective vaccines that prevent all infection, but it wouldn’t be terrible either.

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  8. Gustopher says:

    @gVOR08:

    There are days you have to share Reynolds view on religion as the gateway drug to crazy.

    Meh. Crazy people always find something to latch onto, even if they aren’t religious.

    My brothers aren’t religious, should I dig up a recent text from one of them?

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  9. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Sleeping Dog: Maybe she will. On the other hand, back just a little more than 20 years ago, the 2-year college for which I served on the union negotiation team fielded a request that we open the coming negotiations with a proposal to redo the salary ladder. Asked why management (that’s how we referred to the administration in unionese) wanted a revised ladder, we were told that it was because the number of applications for the open chemistry teacher post was only 290-some–down from just under 400 the previous cycle (a year or two before). The greatly reduced number, for a job requiring a PhD and 5+ years teaching experience preferred, showed them that the starting salary was too low.

    She may do well. I certainly hope so. We were hiring someone to teach 3 sections of Chem 101 with labs and were disappointed that we didn’t get 400 applicants. Twenty years ago. As I say, I hope so. (And maybe the market has tightened up. [eyeroll emoji])

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  10. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Reexamining my use of religion as a gateway drug to political irrationality I would note that:
    – Not all religionists go off into the ozone. My brother, the Reverend Bruce, is generally rational and a committed Democrat, as are most of my family.
    – Not all political crazies are or were religious. Although religion pervades society thoroughly enough almost everyone, has been exposed to it. (And I have often commented that there seems to be a religious bent in some people that express as a need for belief, but not necessarily formal religion.)
    – Not all gateway drug users become addicts. Most people drink, few become addicts. Most people who have used pot or prescription pain meds have no problems.
    – People can become drug users without gateway drugs. Although use of alcohol is so common most drug users, like most people, have used alcohol.
    – Yes, Reverend Darling made a perfectly rational statement, partially based on his faith. But the National Religious Broadcasters threw him out. Why? Presumably because any implication NRB endorsed a common sense position on vaccine would piss off a chunk of their membership.
    – On researching (in the conservative sense of a few minutes on Google) I find the gateway drug concept is medically dubious. But it is a common and well understood metaphor.

    The Venn diagrams of religious individuals and individuals with unreal political beliefs aren’t coincident, but they surely overlap. I’ll stand by gateway drug as a fair metaphor for religion and unreality.

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  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @gVOR08: The more interesting thing to me about the NRB ruling is that Rev. Darling’s statement clearly WASN’T POLITICAL (!). He was making a case for the possibility that, as a Christian, he has an obligation to take measures to protect the health of those with whom he comes into contact. The only one’s staking out a political position are the ones who terminated their relationship with him because of his supposed “political” stance that as a Christian he has an obligation to protect the health of others if he can.

    I’m not particularly surprised, mind you. It’s just that I didn’t realize that the phrase “as a Christian” has political content now. I guess we should thank guys like [self-censored] for this progress.

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  12. @gVOR08: Sure. All I am balking at is any simplistic assertion that all X (or most X) behave in Y fashion.

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  13. wr says:

    @Matt Bernius: “Something about Christians firing a member who refuses recant a deeply held moral belief seems way too on the nose.”

    E pur si muove.

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  14. charon says:

    The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study that some scientists wish came with a “Don’t try this at home” label. The newly released data show people who once had a SARS-CoV-2 infection were much less likely than vaccinated people to get Delta, develop symptoms from it, or become hospitalized with serious COVID-19.

    […]

    The researchers also found that people who had SARS-CoV-2 previously and then received one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine were more highly protected against reinfection than those who once had the virus and were still unvaccinated.

    Based on one study that is total horseshit – the paper that makes these claims has been withdrawn.

    Many other studies show very different.

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  15. charon says:

    @charon:

    Even if the horseshit claimed were true, which it isn’t:

    This is wrong & will unfortunately be misunderstood & misused. Imagine “#SARSCoV2 infection–>natural immunity” as an investigational product. If that product had amazing efficacy but such poor safety that it killed >600K+ Americans, it would never have seen the light of day. 1/X

    https://twitter.com/tmprowell/status/1431452921821024256

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