COVID-19 burst on the scene early in 2020 and rapidly became the biggest story of the year. We saw pictures of freezer trucks being used as morgues and medical staff in hazmat suits. The 2011 movie Contagion hung over every head like the Sword of Damocles. As the movie subtitle says, “Nothing Spreads Like Fear.” In a desperate rush for ratings, each network pushed more and more sensational stories, and kept the death count on chyrons so we would never be far from panic even when discussing a politician’s latest gaffe or the price of food.
As soon as Sleepy Joe stumbled into the Oval Office, the chyrons stopped, since the drive-by media could not allow anything to interfere with the premise that Bumbling Biden would “defeat the virus.” Talking heads could panic us with case counts, since we heard that once, rather than constantly seeing it on screen. Of course, as Delta, and now Omicron, have jumped to the front of the news, we have to ask “Quo bene?” We must use Sutton’s Law and “follow the money.”
For the media, the answer is quite simple. “If it bleeds, it leads.” Fear grabs your attention. So when the MSM hype “case counts,” we have classic panic porn. As long as they don’t get so over-the-top salacious that viewers won’t believe them, bloodier is better. If it gets my channel more viewers, then I’ll keep piling it on. In order to drive even more my way, I’ll spin it so it looks like my guys are on the side of all that is goodness and light, while painting the others as spawn of the devil. But what happens if COVID stops being COVID? My biggest bloodbath disappears, and that can’t be good.
What about hospitals? They’re among the largest beneficiaries of government largesse, and loath to give up on the free money. Massive parts of their income come from government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. So when the CARES Act shoved more money at them for every COVID diagnosis, we saw hospitals demanding that every patient be tested. A minimum of $13,000 for each positive result was too juicy a plum to leave uneaten. Even now my friends in active practice report that hospital personnel insist on COVID tests for patients who are admitted with problems unrelated to any infectious disease. A patient who died of a heart attack in the ER got a nasal swab in the quest for filthy lucre after he died. “Show me the money!”
Bureaucrats such as the incompetent virologist who shall not be named have a very different kind of payoff. The Law of the Bureaucrat states that the bureaucrat is the smartest person in the room. But to be the smartest person, you must be in the room. That means constant media attention is compensation far beyond any paycheck. It’s validation. But this constant re-validation can’t happen if the problem for which your number was called does not exist. So nothing can be allowed to actually end the emergency.
And the word “emergency” identifies the rewards of being Whitmer – or Inslee – or Brandon – et cetera. In the distant past legislatures naively assumed that someone occupying your office would actually have the best interests of the citizens in mind in an emergency. They granted you powers that you found so intoxicating that Courts had to be employed to yank them from your hands. And legislatures have found it necessary to reconsider their earlier actions.
All this malevolent behavior brings us full circle. When does COVID stop being COVID? Or, in the more important question, when does the COVID emergency end?
Anyone with an attention span greater than a two year-old realizes that Saint Fauci is constantly moving the goalposts. It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about deaths, infection rates, vaccination rates, herd immunity, mask wearing, holiday observance, booster shots, or – deep breath – bubble wrapping infants against COVID (I made that one up – sort of), there are no definite end points. Infinite boosters seem to be the expectations, and COVID will remain Medusa – one glance and you’re dead.
Into this maelstrom of panic porn and confusion comes Omicron. And with it, we must consider a small amount of science. And I’m not talking about Lord Fauci, self-proclaimed Sovereign of Science. I’m talking about actual science. Two key points are critically important.
First, mutations happen one at a time. That’s why Delta, the fourth named variant, has only two mutations on its spike protein. Second, viruses in the same family are well known to swap genetic material if they infect the same host. Coronaviruses happily do this with other coronaviruses, but not rhinoviruses, cytomegaloviruses, influenza viruses or others from across the street. So if one of the common cold coronaviruses happens to infect a host while its cousin COVID is already there, they can have a good time swapping toys back and forth. It doesn’t matter whether the host is a person, wild animal, or house cat, the result is the same. We have a new virus.
Omicron is this sort of new virus. It has fifty plus mutations, with thirty plus on the spike. This means that it did not happen by mutation. It was assembled during an intracellular key party, most likely between Delta and a common cold virus. And that explains everything that we’re seeing. Omicron is sweeping the world like wildfire, as would be expected from lab data that shows it’s five times as good at attaching to the ACE2 receptor as COVID because of its fifteen mutations in the Receptor Binding Domain. And as of this writing, the CDC website does not list a single death from Omicron. If the party guest was the common cold, we’d see a rare death here and there, but that’s all.
So far one death in Texas has been associated with Omicron, but we don’t know if Omicron was the perp or an innocent bystander. That’s not surprising, since it’s well understood that the original spike protein caused all the inflammation and blood clotting that killed so many people. If Omicron has a very different spike, then it’s no surprise that we aren’t seeing massive inflammation, blood clots, and cemetery markers with it. If we define COVID as that highly lethal Chinese missile, then Omicron isn’t COVID.
Scientists have arcane ways of naming viruses, so I won’t presume to tell them what letters and numbers should be assigned. But it’s quite clear by now. With a death rate “statistically indistinguishable from zero,” it’s time to call BS on the panic. Clinically, Omicron isn’t COVID. The vaccine for original COVID doesn’t work very well against it, and frankly isn’t needed, because Omicron isn’t a threat.
Omicron may in fact be the vaccine against COVID that the Dark Lord of Viruses says he wants. It still has lots of the envelope, mantle, and nucleocapsid from COVID, and those create robust immunity. But Omicron is a flawed vaccine. It’s natural. It works. And it doesn’t leave room for large profits or extended TV appearances.
Ted Noel MD is a retired Anesthesiologist/Intensivist who podcasts and posts on social media as DoctorTed and @vidzette. His DoctorTed podcasts are available on Apple, Stitcher, Pandora and other channels.
Too Few Are Telling the Truth
Not long ago, conservative media was not beholden to anyone. Today, most sites are stuck on the Big Tech gravy train.
I’ll keep this short. The rise of Pandemic Panic Theater, massive voter fraud, and other “taboo” topics have neutered a majority of conservative news sites. You’ll notice they are very careful about what topics they tackle. Sure, they’ll attack Critical Race Theory, Antifa, and the Biden-Harris regime, but you won’t see them going after George Soros, Bill Gates, the World Economic Forum, or the Deep State, among others.
The reason is simple. They are beholden to Big Tech, and Big Tech doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed or they’ll cut you off. Far too many conservative news outlets rely on Google, Facebook, and Twitter for the bulk of their traffic. They depend on big checks from Google ads to keep the sites running. I don’t necessarily hold it against them. We all do what we need to do to survive. I just wish more would do like we have, which is to cut out Big Tech altogether.
We don’t get Google checks. We don’t have Facebook or Twitter buttons on our stories. We don’t have a YouTube Channel (banned), and Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCO). We’re not perfect, but we’re doing everything we can to not owe anything to anyone… other than our readers. We owe YOU the truth. We owe YOU the facts that others won’t reveal about topics that others won’t tackle. And we owe America, this great land that allows us to take hold of these opportunities.
Like I said, I don’t hold other conservative sites under too much scrutiny over their choices. It’s easy for people to point fingers when we’re not the ones paying their bills or supporting their families. I just wish there were more who would break away. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken away from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
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