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News that a ninth, fully vaccinated member of the New York Yankees organization tested positive for COVID is seen by some in the medical community as proof the vaccines work, because none of the nine became seriously ill or had to be hospitalized.
Article by Megan Redshaw from Children’s Health Defense.
But others say the breakthrough cases raise questions about COVID test accuracy and the vaccine’s ability to prevent the virus and its transmission. They also point out that young, healthy athletes wouldn’t be expected to become seriously ill from COVID in the first place.
Commenting on the ninth COVID-positive member, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday, “We’re just doing the best we can with it. Fortunately, he’s another one that feels good. So we’ll just continue to try and be vigilant and handle it as best we can.”
The unidentified staff member isolated in Baltimore as the team played the Baltimore Orioles. The outbreak of breakthrough cases was first detected May 9 as the team was flying to Florida for a series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
In all, shortstop Gleyber Torres, pitching coach Matt Blake, third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach Reggie Willits and five members of the team’s traveling staff have tested positive for COVID last week, CNN reported.
As of April 30, at least 85% of the team had been vaccinated as they were told doing so would ease clubhouse and road trip restrictions and mask-wearing protocols under MLB rules — meaning the team no longer had to wear masks in dugouts and bullpens.
Most of the reported cases were asymptomatic. All nine were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shot, making these cases what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls “breakthrough” infections.
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A breakthrough infection occurs when a person tests positive for SARS-Cov-2 two weeks after receiving the single-dose of the J&J COVID vaccine or completing the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccination.
According to STAT News, the clinical trials that led to authorizing COVID vaccines measured how effective each vaccine was at preventing symptomatic cases. In its trial, one dose of J&J was only 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID.
“A lot of people may be wondering, with eight vaccinated breakthrough cases on the Yankees — is this evidence the vaccines aren’t as effective as we thought?” Zach Binney, an epidemiologist at Emory University, wrote on Twitter. “The short answer is no.”
“The vaccines are good at preventing infection and transmission, but they are f’ing RAD at preventing severe disease,” Binney said. “They’re like a strong wind in from the outfield — [home runs] become doubles, doubles become outs.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an interview with MSNBC said, “Even if people do get infected, which is very, very rare breakthroughs, they virtually never get severe disease.”
The Defender asked Peter Doshi, associate editor of The BMJ and assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, if it’s fair to say J&J’s vaccine works because it prevents symptomatic infection.
Doshi, who has authored several articles on COVID vaccine efficacy and safety, in an email told us:
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“At the end of the day I think people have been looking for a vaccine that can take the edge off this pandemic, and so I think the most important way to define efficacy is the ability to reduce hospitalizations, ICU admissions and death in those most at risk, such as the frail elderly.
“Some people think those questions have been answered. I disagree. I agree with what the FDA said, which was to list those questions amongst the many ‘unknown benefits/data gaps’ at the end of their review of the J&J vaccine. Those questions about prevention of hospitalization, ICU use and deaths should have been the ones directly studied in the trials, but they weren’t.”
Since only one of the Yankees had symptoms, perhaps this demonstrates the inability of the vaccine to prevent infection, Doshi said.
Dr. Meryl Nass, an internal medicine physician, said breakthrough cases are expected, “but the truth is we really don’t know how many breakthrough cases there are, and we don’t know how well the vaccine protects. What we do know is that nine people tested positive on a COVID test. We don’t know if those were false positives or whether they in fact had the disease unless there was sequencing or a viral culture.”
Nass said if the players actually do have COVID, “then the first Yankee who got it potentially spread it to eight other people. We cannot say the vaccine works if one person potentially spread it to eight other people.”
If the players do have COVID, the fact that they aren’t seriously ill doesn’t prove the vaccines are effective, Nass said, because we know that young, healthy people in general do not require hospitalization from COVID.
CDC not investigating Yankees outbreak or documenting all breakthrough cases
As of April 26, more than 9,245 cases of breakthrough infections had been reported to the CDC out of 95 million vaccinated people.
Among the 9,245 cases, 27% were asymptomatic, 9% required hospitalization and 1% died. This means 63% of individuals experienced symptomatic breakthrough infection despite being fully vaccinated.
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During a White House briefing May 12, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters the agency was not currently investigating the Yankees outbreak.
“We will look to more data from that report to understand what happened there,” Walensky said. “All of the real-world data we’ve seen that’s been in the published literature, large studies, in many different settings, have demonstrated that those vaccines are effective, have a high effectiveness against disease.”
On May 1, the CDC announced it would no longer document breakthrough cases unless they resulted in hospitalization or death — thus excluding cases like those being reported with the Yankees.
As of May 10, more than 115 million people in the U.S. had been fully vaccinated against COVID, according to the CDC. During the same time, the agency received 1,359 reports of vaccine breakthrough cases in patients who were hospitalized or died from 46 U.S. states and territories.
The CDC stated vaccine breakthrough cases occur in only a small percentage of vaccinated people and no unexpected patterns had been identified among people with reported breakthrough infections.
However, using the CDC’s latest numbers that excluded all breakthrough cases, approximately 1.2% of people were hospitalized or died despite being fully vaccinated.
This percentage does not include breakthrough cases that did not result in hospitalization or death, asymptomatic cases or cases not reported due to the nature of the CDC’s passive reporting system.
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‘The Purge’ by Big Tech targets conservatives, including us
Just when we thought the Covid-19 lockdowns were ending and our ability to stay afloat was improving, censorship reared its ugly head.
For the last few months, NOQ Report, Conservative Playbook, and the American Conservative Movement have appealed to our readers for assistance in staying afloat through Covid-19 lockdowns. The downturn in the economy has limited our ability to generate proper ad revenue just as our traffic was skyrocketing. We had our first sustained stretch of three months with over a million visitors in November, December, and January, but February saw a dip.
It wasn’t just the shortened month. We expected that. We also expected the continuation of dropping traffic from “woke” Big Tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but it has actually been much worse than anticipated. Our Twitter account was banned. Both of our YouTube accounts were banned. Facebook “fact-checks” everything we post. Spotify canceled us. Medium canceled us. Apple canceled us. Why? Because we believe in the truth prevailing, and that means we will continue to discuss “taboo” topics.
The 2020 presidential election was stolen. You can’t say that on Big Tech platforms without risking cancellation, but we’d rather get cancelled for telling the truth rather than staying around to repeat mainstream media’s lies. They have been covering it up since before the election and they’ve convinced the vast majority of conservative news outlets that they will be harmed if they continue to discuss voter fraud. We refuse to back down. The truth is the truth.
The lies associated with Covid-19 are only slightly more prevalent than the suppression of valid scientific information that runs counter to the prescribed narrative. We should be allowed to ask questions about the vaccines, for example, as there is ample evidence for concern. One does not have to be an “anti-vaxxer” in order to want answers about vaccines that are still considered experimental and that have a track record in a short period of time of having side-effects, including death. One of our stories about the Johnson & Johnson “vaccine” causing blood clots was “fact-checked” and removed one day before the government hit the brakes on it. These questions and news items are not allowed on Big Tech which is just another reason we are getting canceled.
There are more topics that they refuse to allow. In turn, we refuse to stop discussing them. This is why we desperately need your help. The best way NOQ, CP, and ACM readers can help is to donate. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal as well. We are pacing to be short by about $3700 per month in order to maintain operations.
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During that four-month stretch, Twitter and Facebook accounted for about 20% of our traffic. We are actively working on operating as if that traffic is zero, replacing it with platforms that operate more freely such as Gab, Parler, and others. While we were never as dependent on Big Tech as most conservative sites, we’d like to be completely free from them. That doesn’t mean we will block them, but we refuse to be beholden to companies that absolutely despise us simply because of our political ideology.
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Most “Conservative” News Outlets Are on the Big Tech Teat
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), an Instagram profile (never made one), or a TikTok (no thanks, CCP). 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 make the bold move. Today, only a handful of other major conservative news outlets have broken free from the Big Tech teat. Of course, we need help.
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