BUCK: I had mentioned before the CDC data. Remember that’s coming out today?
BUCK: And I just thought that we should put this into perspective for everybody, because all this stuff — the internal memo from the CDC that says the war has changed, the war against the virus has changed — this is what they are basing this on. This is reported in Politico today. This was a cluster of coronavirus cases in Cape Cod, which is the little part of the kind of the toe of the boot of Massachusetts.
It’s a summer retreat place. People go there to the beach. There was a coronavirus cluster there right after the Fourth of July holiday; 75% of the 469 cases that the CDC investigated occurred in fully vaccinated individuals. Genome sequencing of samples from 119 of 133 individuals in the study showed they had contracted the Delta variant. So this is Delta variant the people are getting there.
The vast majority of the vaccinated people in the cluster, about 79%, developed some covid-19 symptoms. No one died. Five people were hospitalized. Only one of the hospitalized was vaccinated. So okay. Delta variant can in some cases spread to people who have been vaccinated. But even if you were one of the 74% of 469 cases, Clay, your chance of dying was zero.
BUCK: Your chance of going to the hospital was, let’s say, 1%, maybe, which is sort of similar to what it is with covid in general.
CLAY: That’s the thing. That’s the thing. Again, the one advantage from covid that I have said from the get-go is we are very fortunate that covid is focused primarily on the elderly. Because if we had a different virus and let’s pretend that instead of primarily impacting the elderly, covid had primarily impacted the young, I would have been terrified in a way you could imagine as every other parent would be out there.
We have known that covid deaths are stratified by age and obesity — physical health condition — since March of last year, and yet we’ve continued to treat everyone as if they are at an equal risk of this virus. That’s why, to your point, Buck, we played earlier Mayor de Blasio in New York. His point — which is one that’s been reflected all over the country — is, the group of an age perspective that is the least likely to get the vaccine is young people.
Because young people understand that, as a group, they are not the risk from covid. I know everybody wants to blame Trump voters, which is one of the great inaccuracies here. If you want to do it by race or ethnicity, the group that is the least likely to be vaccinated? Black and Hispanic. As you pointed out, look at the data in New York. Yet everybody wants to say, “Oh, it’s all these stupid Trump voters!
“They’re the ones that won’t let us get back to normalcy.” No, no, no, no, no. They are prevalent in red states because we have both Trump voters and large minority populations, which is why the red states often — like where I live — Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, whatever SEC states you want to reference, the reason why the rates here are low is because the combo between Trump voters and black voters.
BUCK: Fascinating, too, you can find this on a very right-wing source known as CDC.gov, that they believe that the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 infected about one-third of the world’s population. Now, I understand that’s world population. It’s an estimate. But you look at where we are in this country right now, and based on the same kind of estimate, about 100 million infections is what they think.
CLAY: Which is probably low.
BUCK: Which is probably low. That’s been what they think has happened here.
BUCK: And I just think it’s fascinating that for all the modern medicine, all the testing, all the test and trace — which I said from the beginning was going to be idiotic. That was so transparently idiotic. They say, “It works for STDs!” I had to sit there and say, “Guys, gotta have a little birds-and-bees talk here: Walkin’ past someone in the hallway is a little different from how you contract syphilis.”
But you look at the numbers, and you say, “How can we think that mitigation strategies on the whole that have cost so much in terms of the economy, mental health and deaths from overdoses and alcoholism, all these things…? Child abuse that’s happened. Undiagnosed cancer.” About a third of the U.S. probably got infected back in 1918.
About a third of the U.S. looks like it’s probably getting infected with this strain, maybe more — more like half, I think, is what the final number will be. How can anyone think that mitigation and all this, Put your feet here, put the mask there, do all this stuff” will work? Yeah, vaccine, herd immunity, that’s how these things end clearly. But the fact that we’re even still talking about masks and social distancing like this was not flatly idiotic is crazy to me.
CLAY: “Virus gonna virus,” Buck, no matter what we did. We think we’re so much smarter; we ended up about the same place. We’re just fortunate that covid is far less dangerous in terms of its health impact than influenza was in 1918-19.
BUCK: There’s so much craziness out there right now. It’s basically August. People should be thinking about vacation time with family, friends, kids or whatever. All this panic porn covid Delta stuff that they’re talking about. There are people out there who are trying to keep it real and keep it all in perspective. We’ve mentioned before Rand Paul on this one, and here. We just want to remind everybody. Here’s Rand Paul on, “Yes, it’s more transmissible but you’re gonna be okay.”
PAUL: Right now, they’re going back to masks saying it’s the Delta variant. Well, there’s one large study out of England from Public Health England, 92,000 patients, and do you know how many people died in the vaccinated wing of this under age 50? Zero. There were 52,000 people unvaccinated. Do you know how many people died? Six.
That works out to .08%, less than the flu. That’s under age 50. Over age 50, it was about half as many people died as were dying last year. So the Delta variant is more transmissible but less deadly. But if you say that, Facebook will take you down. They’re chastise you, take away your birthday, and say you’re spreading mistruth. But it’s absolutely factual. The Delta variant is more transmissible but far less deadly than the virus from last year.
BUCK: It’s all true, Clay, and I also just want to say on his point about Facebook and the social media platforms, “I used to think that the dumbest people in media worked for Media Matters.” But I actually would go beyond that now. Media Matters, for those who don’t know, is an organization that listens to shows like this one and then tries to get us canceled, get us in trouble, whatever, lie about what we say. Fact-checkers for the social media companies, especially around covid? They’re actually the dumbest people who work in media in any capacity.
CLAY: Well, the funniest thing, sadly, about the fact-checkers at these social media sites is they’re now going to be fact-checking and having to correct so many of the factual statements which are accurate but went against the prevailing narrative. And so the idea that the Delta variant could be spread even by vaccinated people and that there were breakthrough cases, you weren’t allowed to talk about even though the data reflected that.
Now, I just want to say as we roll into the weekend: Go have an incredible time! Have some beers. Kick back. Don’t lose your mind, don’t wear a mask everywhere.” Okay? If you’re over 65, like I just had a guy email me. I don’t think so we shall in the business of giving directly advice. But I had a guy email me, one of our listeners, I’m 63. “What’s the bottom line? Would you get the shot or not if you’re me?” I probably would.
BUCK: Yeah, I would.
CLAY: If you’re 63 years old. I think that’s rational. Look at the data advice. Not us giving medical advice. But look at the data and what we told our parents, “Get the covid vaccine.” Our parents both around over 70. The data is clear.
BUCK: Think of it this way. How many times, Clay, in the last 10 years have you gotten a flu shot? I’m guessing few, if any? I don’t know. You could tell me. I think I got convinced to do it once. I happened to be in the doctor’s office for something else and they said, “Oh, here we go. Nothing’s going on. Nothing to see…” BOOP! They just put my arm and I said, “Ah. Okay.”
So I think I’ve maybe gotten one flu shot in 10 years. I’ve gotten the flu at least twice in the last 10 years. So for a lot of people, they start to thinking about this the same way they thought in the past about the risk reward of something like that. And if I were 65 or if I were in my sixties, I’d be much more inclined to get the flu shot every year. It’s similar in that respect.
CLAY: Yeah, what we used to do this back in the day. They wanted to encourage people to get flu shots. So I would get a flu shoot live on the radio when we did our sports talk show. And, honestly, I think that’s the way you have to think about covid going forward, and that’s even what the Washington Post, New York Times, and the CDC officials are saying now.
For a long time, they sold us, Buck, on the idea of Covid Zero — and in fact, if you think things are crazy here, you need to look at what’s going on in Australia. They are calling out the military to make sure that people in Sydney do not leave their homes. I mean, they are still staying prescribed to the idea of Covid Zero all over Australia and all over New Zealand. It’s not a rational way that adults should be responding to covid.
I think — I think — the fact that we have a Republican Party in this country… Because if the Democrats had their way, I really do think they would have ordered out the military, ordered lockdowns, and had people patrolling neighborhoods to make sure people weren’t leaving. I don’t think that’s a crazy idea at all. Without an opposition party, that’s where the Democratic authoritarianism as it pertains to covid would have left.
BUCK: It’s also amazing when you see the incidents on airplanes. There’s some crazy number of increase of violent incidents on airplanes.
BUCK: And it’s almost all mask related, right?
BUCK: ‘Cause you put people in close quarters already. I always say that air travel, commercial air travel is the closest thing that you can get in America to a totalitarian, Soviet system in the sense that you’re doing things you know are stupid. You do exactly what they say, you’re uncomfortable, and nothing works the way you really want it to other than (hopefully) the plane lands and you’re fine.
Which it is very safe, I will say, commercial air travel. But for a lot of people, they just after a while, with the elevated stress and everything else, and they have these masks… I saw one myself. You have these mask freak-outs that happen on airplanes. But I kind of understand it from people, too. I mean, it’s uncomfortable, and it doesn’t make any sense, and we will not — will not — bend the knee on this again. Normalize being normal. That’s my advice for all of you over the weekend.