I’d like to thank The Epoch Times for trying to provide balanced coverage. I especially appreciate the COVID coverage. As a physician, I’d like to offer a pro-vaccine letter. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation coming out from the government and academic medicine. We all need to think for ourselves and make decisions for ourselves.
What do we know about COVID? It is a serious viral illness that almost certainly originated in a Chinese lab where they were doing gain of function research—studying how to make natural viruses more dangerous. What do we know about vaccines in general? We know vaccines work. Smallpox was eradicated with the use of vaccines. Same with polio in the United States, as well as measles. Basically, the only new U.S. cases are of foreign origin.
What’s going on with COVID and vaccines? Why is the U.S. still seeing so many COVID cases even though 70 percent of Americans are vaccinated? Why are there so many U.S. COVID deaths still? What is different between 2020 and 2021? In 2020, we had good control over our southern border and were blocking infected people from crossing the border. In 2021, we are not. In 2020, we were using hydroxychloroquine for early COVID. In 2021, we are not. In 2020, we were sanitizing everything. In 2021, we are not. (While we know masks do little, we know handwashing and sanitizing are some of the best means of stopping the spread of infectious diseases.)
Herd immunity doesn’t work if a system is flooded with thousands of new cases. While most people tolerate COVID well, it does strike down some people in their prime of life, including breadwinners. It is also clear that the government health agencies and academic medicine are very invested in proving masks work—so much so they studied 342,000 unvaccinated people, to show a statistically significant reduction of positive COVID tests by 1 in 1,000 unvaccinated people without running water who wore surgical masks over their mouth and nose. If you study 342,000 unvaccinated patients, you can make a reduction of 1 positive COVID test in 1,000 patients be statistically significant, but is it clinically significant?
Why get vaccinated? Right now, it’s easy to get vaccinated. The vaccine is plentiful, for now. Will it always be plentiful? Would you count on our current government to make sure there is always a vaccine available? Afghanistan functionally collapsed in 11 days under our current leadership. COVID isn’t going away. Will the extraordinary U.S. health care system remain viable if our supply chain is completely shut down?
Think of the COVID vaccine as an insurance policy. Data show strong improvements in COVID outcomes with vaccination. For example, Indiana just released data for 2021 through August 15th. Out of 6,785,000 residents, over 3,000,000 are vaccinated. This year Indiana has had 285,000 COVID cases, only 6,740 in vaccinated patients. There have been 16,548 COVID hospitalizations, only 226 in vaccinated patients. There have been 5,787 COVID deaths in 2021 in Indiana, only 78 deaths were in vaccinated patients.
The best tools we have against COVID are the vaccines (which help prepare our immune system to fight the virus) and sanitizing. We can’t count on the government to protect us. If this is a weaponized virus, we should use every bit of American ingenuity to protect ourselves-including vaccines.
Heather Horton, MD, PhD