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Rational Politics

Thoughts by Charles E. Brown

The “Free” COVID Vaccine

ByCharles E. Brown

Dec 16, 2020
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I hear many of my Left-leaning friends talking about how great government is because it is making the new COVID vaccine free for all. However, there is a canyon between their definition of “free” and reality.

Earlier this week the Left-leaning website Salon.com ran a story clearly showing that not only is this new vaccine not free, but the American taxpayers are paying twice for it: once for the research and development and again for the actual doses. And each is adding up to billions of dollars that are making huge money for the pharmaceutical companies. The story is available at this link.

But it goes much further than that.

I am going to commit a bit of sacrilege here and ask the forbidden question: Why are we spending so much on COVID? By so much, I don’t mean just the cost of the vaccine, but what we have done to our economy in terms of shutdowns, destroying businesses, putting people out of work, closing schools, undiagnosed other illnesses, the rise in alcoholism and domestic abuse, and the psychological scars inflicted on many.

Let’s bypass the media and political hype and look at the reality of the numbers. Let’s also do some simple arithmetic with those numbers.

As I write this blog there have been 17,143,779 reported cases of COVID. That sounds like a huge number. But now let’s realize that the population of the United States is approximately 331,900,000 people. Doing that simple arithmetic will show that only a little over 5% of the population has been affected by the virus. Out of that 17-million number of cases, approximately 10-million have full recovered. Of today’s active cases, only 28,000 or so are considered serious.

Sadly, as of this writing, we have had approximately 311,000 deaths attributed to COVID (more on that in a second). Once again, doing a simple calculation, that is approximately 0.094% mortally infected. Further, that number could be lower due to the fact that many reported cases were people who died WITH COVID and not BECAUSE OF COVID. In other words, if someone dies of a heart attack and that person happens to have COVID, the cause of death is attributed to COVID.

Something that affects only a small percentage of the population and kills only a very fractional number of people while most recover is hardly a pandemic.

Now, let’s look at the seasonal influenza. Despite a vaccine which the taxpayers have not paid billions twice for, approximately 38-million people a year get it with 400,000 hospitalized and approximately 34,000 dying from it (some reports put the number as high as 65,000 a year). Yet, we do not shutdown our economy, close schools, put businesses out of business and people on unemployment because of it. Over a longer period of time, influenza kills just like COVID. However, despite many deaths and hospitalizations, we learn to live with it and accept that a percentage of the population will be adversely affected. Is a slower rate of death more acceptable? Is there a magic number of deaths over a certain period of time where panic is called for?

Once you start to look at the actual numbers you come to realize that this national panic over COVID is largely the result of media and political hype. If the media reports that 300,000 died it creates panic. If the media reports that 0.09% of the population is mortally affected it suddenly does not sound as concerning.

Trust me, I hope this new COVID vaccine proves to be successful. I certainly want to see as many lives as possible saved. But, I feel the same way about people dying from cancer, heart disease, influenza, and a whole host of other diseases that kill people. We are certainly paying a great deal for COVID and this new vaccine. The word “free” is now proving to be awfully darn expensive. And, once again, we see that government is not necessarily the most efficient way to handle things.

6 thoughts on “The “Free” COVID Vaccine”
  1. Well said, Charles. I have had the same thoughts. The numbers you presented tell the true story and that story is not being told. The truth doesn’t fit the narrative that was woven around this novel virus…I wonder why? Could it be novel viruses are a vehicle for control? Just wondering…it does seem like many mayors, governors and bureaucrats are enjoying their new found powers. Fear has proven to be a useful tool for tyrants.

  2. Excellent commentary, Charles! My sister is one of those who are hiding in their homes, after watching only mainstream media. She does have some serious comorbidities, so I will give her that. I am so tired of hearing people talk of this virus like it is a Biblical plague. Your mask protects me. My mask protects you. We are all in this together. No, we aren’t. I try to offer up studies about the virus and the mortality rates, only to be told I am a conspiracy theorist. I really feel this is all about control. How far can they push us, just to keep us “safe”? We will never be completely safe from anything.

  3. Charles, you are exactly correct about Covid verses the flu.
    My big fear is that the generation of Snowflakes that are becoming adults will overreact to any disease that comes down the pike.
    We can not destroy our economy every time someone sneezes.

  4. I have felt the same way. And my question is if masks are so effective why are the numbers continuing to go up? In addition, space we have become puppets doing is we’re tolls and not thinking for ourselves.

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