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Listen to the Doctors and Scientists

Listen to the Doctors and Scientists

The headline mantra is heard every day over and over … and over … on all the news platforms.  As a simple cliché, it makes a lot of sense.  But there is a problem.  The doctors and scientists are giving out mixed messages.  And then when the messages go through the biased filters of the Fourth Estate, they are further garbled.

To make it clear, I am not talking in support of those nonsensical theories that permeate the interactive social platforms.  I am referring to misinformation doled out by the iconic brands in journalism.

There is another evergreen bit of advice that addresses the medical profession.  Get another opinion.  It is good advice because doctors and scientists are a not always correct.  Remember, a couple of the most common words associated with medicine are “misdiagnoses” and “malpractice.”

I can speak to that personally.  On two occasions, I was pulled back from the doors of death by two brilliant doctors.  BUT … I was put in that condition – in both cases — by two incompetent doctors.

I have not been a detractor of Dr. Anthony Fauci – until now.  He has been wrong several times.  Most notably, he predicted early on that Covid-19 would not impact significantly on the United States.  He said that it would be years before a vaccine would be in use.  He flipped and flopped on the benefits of masks – initially saying that those without symptoms need not wear them.  I have seen the videos of him making each of those statements in case you think I am passing on bad information.

Recently, Fauci made a Louis XIV-style statement.  You may recall from your world history lessons that the French King was condemned for his expression of authoritarianism when he said “L etat c’est moi’ — “I am the state.”  Fauci is a scientist with a learned opinion, but he is not an infallible source of information.  He is also a highly paid bureaucrat.

In response to the rising tide of criticism of his more recent statements or misstatements, Fauci arrogantly claimed that criticizing him is “criticizing science” – ergo the Louis XIV reference.  That is simply wrong, but unfortunately, a lot of folks in the media – including their hired medical media consultants –have that same “I am always right” attitude.

The problem for the folks who get virtually all their information on Covid-19 from reporters and television doctors is that the messages are mixed and often conflicting.  It is not a matter of listening to doctors and scientists, but a question of which doctors and scientists do you chose to believe – and are their statements backed-up by the data.

Even the same doctors can give conflicting opinions within the same 30-second interview.  Recently, Dr. Leana Wen — one-time medical commission for Baltimore and former head of Planned Parenthood — praised the efficacy of the vaccines, claiming that once vaccinated a person’s chance of getting Covid was EXTREMELY low.  A few seconds later, she was encouraging everyone – including the vaccinated – to wear masks indoors.

Television doctors have called for wearing masks even outdoors if you are in an area with higher numbers of people with Covid.  So, what happen to the claims – and the statistics – that show that a vaccinated person has an infinitesimally small chance of contracting Covid? And if they do, the case will be likely be asymptomatic or very mild. The death rate among vaccinated individuals is almost non-existent. 

Still, one vaccinated doctor said that he always wears a mask indoors because it is still “possible” to contract Covid.  Possible?  Yes. Likely?  Not even close.  It is less possible than my chance – as a conservative writer – of winning a Pulitzer Prize.  In case, you were not aware, that is a fraternity (or sorority) honor exclusively for left-wing journalists and writers.

It seems that no sooner than the medical authorities reassure us of the miracle of the new vaccines, that they resort to fearmongering again.  And then the media amplifies the fearmongering among the doctors and scientists.  Unfortunately, that needlessly scares a lot of people – especially those more susceptible to anxiety.

I fully support getting vaccinated but, based on my own research of the actual statistics, I see no need to wear a mask in public, in private or even in crowded situations.  That is not only the guidance from a lot of doctors, but it is consistent with the statistics.

The Pandemic is still on the decline.  There is a small uptick in cases among the unvaccinated, but the death rate continues to decline. That is because the Delta-Variant is more contagious, but not more dangerous than the previous variants – and the current vaccines are just as effective against it. 

The lower death toll among the un-vaccinated is largely because those coming down with Covid-19 are generally younger – and less susceptible to the more serious outcomes, including death.  If there is anything good to say about those refusing to get the vaccination – and are getting sick – it is that they are at least adding to the number of people with an immunity. That means we are getting closer to herd immunity.

Every day we disregard warnings – or simply do not consider them — to undertake activities that could POSSIBLY result in our death – everything from stepping on an airplane (and especially jumping out of one) to taking a shower.  There is literally no human activity that is absolutely death proof.

While nothing is impossible, the chance of a serious side-effect from taking the vaccine is so low that it makes no sense to refuse.  Once fully vaccinated, the chance of getting Covid is so low that masking up makes no sense unless you fear minimal risks.  That is what the doctors, scientists and statistics tell us.

I add “statistics” to the sources of information because they tell us something very important – which doctors and scientists are believable.  And as far as the news folks are concerned, you should ignore everything they say.  I mean … would you take their medical advice about having surgery on YOUR heart?  Of course not.  So, why listen to them regarding Covid-19 when we have far more reliable sources of information?

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

14 Comments

  1. JCE

    These administration doctors and experts are crackpots with no common sense and no idea how to effectively handle the pandemic…especially Fauci the rodent!

    Reply
  2. RedBull

    I’m not a scientist but hey, when Fauci said in the beginning that masks were useless I said yes, that’s like trying to stop a hornet with a chain-link fence. No way, the virus is microscopic. Now they’re beginning to admit this obvious truth once again, and moreover to say that the moisture from breathing may cause the mask to trap virus and hold it next to your face. Yay!

    But ok, the story keeps changing. This week we saw all the Texas Democrats get on a small plane together, vaccinated, and three of them tested shortly after for Covid. Small spaces for extended periods is the most proficient breeding ground for airborne virus and here we see it happen again – but most likely one of the already vaccinated people already had it to give it to the others. Some studies are showing that the vaccine looses it’s efficacy after a few months. Yay!

    What to believe, who to believe? I’m seeing on the news that people don’t believe in ‘science’ as much as they used. How did they word this poll – I’m guessing it’s really the paid-off scientists that people don’t believe, not the science.

    Hey, do what you want – wear the mask, get the shot, hide in the basement, or live free with a bit of caution. But you lefties out there need to mind your own business and let the rest of us live the way we feel best. Me – I’d like to go forth with all my constitutional rights intact.

    Reply
  3. Ben

    Larry, I also am slightly irritated by the mixed messaging. I truly believe that if the previous Admin had been up front with the unknown, the numbers,and the dangers, we would be in a much better position. Everyone has an opinion on the subject. But, you know what they say, opinions are like assholes…
    That being said, Dr Fauci has been pretty forthright in his recommendations. As the science and data evolved so have the recommendations. I’m sure in the beginning there was tremendous pressure by the administration to downplay the potential severity of the virus. Trump admitted so himself. Dr Fauci has admitted to changing his stance and usually explains the reasons why. I can respect that. Most mature adults can say,” I see the new information and will amend my thought process.
    As of last week, LA County is admitting 1,000 COVID patients a day… 100% of them are unvaccinated. As far as wearing a mask while vaccinated, 99% of car crashes are not deadly, but I buckle up every time I turn on the car anyway.
    All that being said, I fully support anyone that doesn’t want to get vaccinated or wear a mask. In the long run, it’s up to them. And being that it seems that most anti vaxers are Republican voters, this may just play out in the best possible way for the Country.

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Since you do not read all the sites that carry different commentaries from me, I will share a portion of one that appeared on another site. It may crush you hope that only Republicans are dying from Covid these days.

      “The evidence of leftwing media dishonesty is found in the statistics. According to the news reports, only 30 percent of Mississippians are vaccinated – meaning that 70 percent are not. If you check out the voter registration rolls, that automatically means that a lot of Democrats and independents are among the vaccination resisters. It is statistically impossible for those 70 percent non-vaccinated Mississippians to all be Republicans.

      To put it in more specific terms, Republicans generally get about 55 percent of the vote. Trump exceeded that number with 57 percent. In the same election, Cindy Hyde-Smith won the Senate race with 54 percent of the vote.

      There is another statistic that undermines the contention that the lack of vaccinations is a Republican issue in Mississippi – or anywhere else in the country. One of the ethnic groups with the highest rejection of vaccinations is the African American community.

      That has been well documented anecdotally and statistically. The latest report (July 4) from the Center for Disease Control shows that 61 percent of white American have been vaccinated – but only 12 percent of blacks. That is also the case in Mississippi that has a 38 percent black population – and where 82 percent of blacks are democrats. Those figures could mean that most of those not vaccinated in Mississippi are actually Democrats.”

      Reply
      • Ben

        Larry, not sure where you’re getting your info from. But if you are posting fake news on multiple sites, you may want to reconsider.

        “ A Washington Post-ABC News poll has found a startling difference between Democrats and Republicans as it relates to COVID-19 vaccination. The poll found that while 86% of Democrats have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, only 45% of Republicans have.

        In addition, the survey found that while only 6% of Democrats said they would probably decline the vaccine, 47% of Republicans said they would probably not be inoculated. “

        Reply
        • larry Horist

          Ben … you seem to thing polls are accurate. The Post-ABC poll has a long history of gross inaccuracy. Some say their politics tend to influence the questions and in the creation of their sample. I have dealt with polls my entire life — even crafting them. You may not have noticed that I almost never reference any of the major polls … or even minor ones. Polling was never perfect, and these days they have gotten a lot worse for a number of reasons — cell phones, people lie to pollsters for kicks.

          In this case other empirical evidence shows that the simple Republican/Democrat question is wrong in the poll. The highest percentage of those refusing vaccination are blacks and young people — both groups are predominantly Democrat. I may be true that more Democrats get vaccinated than Republicans, but not by margins reported for political reasons — and mostly it has nothing to do with partisan politics.

          Reply
          • Ben

            Other evidence, being the single State of Mississippi? I didn’t catch that you limited your data to match your opinion until later that evening. Polls may be inaccurate but you know what they say about stats.. and lies.

    • Dan Tyree

      Yes. Perhaps the Texas commiecrats will crash when they fly back

      Reply
    • Mike

      Ben, I agree with almost everything that you say, except for your final statement. I do not believe that it is everybody’s right to choose to not get vaccinated. If there is a medical reason, okay-but please stay home until the virus is fully under control. If people do not get vaccinated, then the virus continues to spread. As the virus spreads, it continues to mutate. And eventually, it could mutate into something that the vaccines will not protect against (it has already mutated to something that is much more infectious, which is why the majority of the vaccinated people who test positive, are coming down with the disease-they have contracted the new variant). For the vast majority of the unvaccinated population, the reasons for not getting vaccinated are plain selfishness (and stupidity). Out of the millions of people who have taken the vaccine, very few have had serious, long-lasting side effects, an infinitesimal percentage when compared to the number of people that have gotten sick with Covid and had serious complications or even death….

      Reply
      • Ben

        Mike, I hope the unvaccinated die off before more mutations can adversely impact the rest of society.

        Reply
        • Dan Tyree

          That doesn’t happen to me. It happens to other people. And I’m not getting vaccinated

          Reply
  4. frank stetson

    Larry, really do enjoy your stuff, you try to give a comprehensive view. This one seems a little rushed as if you are trolling for advertising, you still retain your integrity though. If I get the crux of the biscuit: “Fauci arrogantly claimed that criticizing him is “criticizing science.” I think in context, you will see that criticizing his facts is criticizing the conclusions of science. Fauci has often stated facts are based on the best scientific info at the time in an ever-changing phenomenon. You have to admit this one is novel, no joke intended. Over time, many real time scientific statements and conclusions change and look downright wrong based on new information in this fast moving pandemic.

    I would like to see is more federal scientific spending to better understand some of this. Easy one: we hear surface germs have 2-3 days viability on hard surfaces, 24 hours on cardboard. How about paper or plastic. Freaking based on an old lab study, aerosol-ed lab germs, longest possible hang time; study was not real world. Why couldn’t Trump have done a new study helping Americans buy, touch, and use all this germ-laden cra. Instead, we just concluded: no one gets it that way. But disinfect all surfaces.

    Larry, I agree the science could be better and your point that it gets worse going through the media cotton box. Especially FOX I would gather you would agree given their stance on vaccinations versus yours. Another point you made was: “I fully support getting vaccinated.” That’s fantastic.

    Your, “I see no need to wear a mask in public, in private or even in crowded situations” seem incongruous with your vaccination stance and this is where I come off the rails. Somebody once said: “1 billion Chinese can’t be wrong.” Figure that’s as good backup for masks as your support. Doctor’s wear them. Nurses wear them. Medical technicians wear them. Think you could take those with a medical or science degree that don’t wear masks to lunch in a Mini Cooper.

    Then, “That is because the Delta-Variant is more contagious, but not more dangerous than the previous variants – and the current vaccines are just as effective against it.” If you’re willing to hang out on this branch, wow. Vaccines are still effect but factually not “just as effective” as you surmised. And then you explained about younger people therefore, lower hospitalization, lower death. So with a national vaccination rate of around 50%, a contagious factor over previous variants of 2 or more, we are about to see a ramp of cases that looks like surge one or surge two, half the victims, twice the contagiousness. But less people will die because they are younger.

    Larry, they didn’t need to even get sick. That’s the point: wear a mask, distance, and get freakin vaccinated so we don’t have to do the first two. Until then, I will mask for the cause, to send a message, and in solidarity with those who can not get vaccinated like the littlest of Americans, our future.

    Because there’s good vaccine protection, breakthroughs are rare, hospitalization and death are in the noise after breakthrough. Yes, less people percentage-wise will die, however there will be death, death is unnecessary and the simple wearing of a mask can make those numbers far lower. Even one is worth it to me.

    But Larry, you missed the real risk: the more cases, the more variants, and the next variant may be far worse than this one. Worse yet, if you create it Larry, for the rest of humanity, you will be known as Covid Larry along with Typhoid Mary and Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. I can wear a mask not to be that guy.

    Should we talk distancing?

    Reply
    • larry Horist

      Frank Stetson …. Thanks for the compliment. Whenever I write on a subject, I try to give AND explain my opinion — using facts wherever possible. One of the problems I have with the news media is that deal in headlines without the supportive information. As an example … you get a lot of “the proposed election legislation suppresses the vote — especially minority voters” but very little explanation for that opinion. And where they do provide a point, it makes no sense. restricting voting until after 11am on Sunday is said to suppress the black vote — as if there are not a LOT of other times to vote. And having been in scores of black churches on Sunday, the services generally do not end before 11.

      But to your point on masking. I admit I am more of a risk taker. I eat food after the expiration date. I jumped out of an airplane for my 75th birthday. Until recently, I never got flu or pneumonia vaccines. I eat raw beef — steak tartar. But I always consider the odds. if the risk is 20 percent or less, I will take it.

      Because of the statistic between indoor and outdoor transmission of Corvid, I never wore a mask outside. I was never worried about touching door knobs. Studies I researched indicated that the Covid virus does not survive very long anywhere outside the lung — including on hands and surfaces. According to the scientists, you have to inhale a large amount of the virus over an extended period of time to overcome our bodies immune system — assuming we have a healthy immune system and are free of particularly lung problems — asthma, COPD. I am blessed with no lung problems.

      My lack of mask wearing is not incongruitous with my stand on vaccination. It is the vaccination — and the data and scientific claims that enable me to go without a mask.

      My point is that I do not take foolish risks. I understand the risks and willing to take them. And I am a good citizen. I known that I am unlikely to get Corvid and even more unlikely to spread it. I am mostly in the company of vaccinated people. And the chance of me being the producer of a variant is in the range of impossible. Variants come out of severe cases in super-spreader events — and among unvaccinated people.

      As far as the Delta Variant, virtually every medical authority says that the vaccines are effecting against it. There has been some indication that the Pfizer vaccine may not be, but then you are dealing with the difference of 95 percent to 90 percept. And you have to remember that before the new technology, a successful vaccine could have an efficacy as low as 70 percent.

      One of the things I tried to stress in my commentary is that there are not absolutes — and I am sure you could find doctors who would disagree with the doctors is choose to cite and believe. That is why I encourage vaccinations and have no problem with folks wearing masks as they see fit.

      Based on your excellent counterpoint, we seem to agree on the basic facts, but take a different response to them. It was nice to find someone with an intelligent and detailed rebuttal — rather than snide name calling. Although I have never been compared to a cow — a jackass, yes.
      But never a cow.

      I am sure from this response you know that I do not social distance unless required. Of course, where I live there are no mask requirements or distancing requirement indoors or outdoors. Some businesses still require … and then I mask up. But so fare the only two places that required masks these days are medical facilities and a local Chinese grocery store.

      Reply
  5. frank stetson

    Thanks Larry, and no one has really agreed with the Mrs. O’Leary’s cow thing, but I figure in the good ole USofA that when the new variant is discovered, we will discover who germinated it too.

    In business, I used to say: if the numbers are low, go to the percentage’s, if the percentage’s are low, go to the numbers…. To make your point that is, to spin…. I hear you on the numbers and the fact that only 10% of Americans have caught Covid, I dont’ have the numbers but let’s say of that 10% hospitalized, of that 10% dead. With numbers higher for older, less for young and hospital and death declining over time due to knowledge curve and vaccines. Mostly vaccines.

    But the numbers say over 600,000 dead. Compare to 30,000 gun deaths, most from suicide, heart disease 660K, cancer 600K, 40K auto deaths. Sure, the numbers are dropping, but Larry, do you lock up your guns? Check and maintain your hear? Have colonoscopy for cancer check? Wear your seatbelt? Hey, which is more difficult, a colonoscopy every five years or wearing a mask only in public? Putting on a seat belt in the privacy of your car or wearing a mask in public?

    Larry, I am vaccinated but carry some risks. The recent backslide by Texas Democrats pretty much shows us how this variant can affect the vaccinated —- sure they won’t die — but it’s the cases that create the next variant that we should worry about. It’s the unvaccinated, 50% statistically of everyone you meet with a greater proportion the younger you meet, we should worry about. Frankly, I think every hospital should great covid patients with a giant sign over the covid ward that states: “Only the truly stupid need to enter here” and where every occupant says: “You know, I wish I had made better choices….”

    As an aside — congrats to Hannity for announcing his vaccination, can Tucker and Laura be far behind?

    To me, it’s not enough to say “I’m vaccinated, it’s good.” It’s low risk and I am going to take it. To me Larry, it’s not about me. It’s not a personal choice to me. It’s a priority in defense of the nation where over 600,000 have died and only a handful need to die going forward. No one else really needs to die from this. The problem is solved, only the implementation fails due to bad personal choices. So I will continue to pause for the cause, don the mask, in solidarity with my vaccinated fellow citizens and as a reminder to the unvaccinated that only they can be responsible for America losing it’s mask and defending our nation from this scourge. Put one on Larry, You can have it printed with: “I’m vaccinated, what about you, fucker” to re-establish the risk factor over masking if you so desire :>)

    Reply

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