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JOHNSON – Denis Walsh ‘cherry picks’ from CDC report to our detriment

By DAVID JOHNSON
Contributor, ArmchairMayor.ca

LET’S LOOK at statements made by Coun. Denis Walsh, as reported in the Armchair Mayor article dated Nov. 1, and from his previous public statements regarding the Kamloops City dealing with City staff and Council vaccination policies.

Specifically, Mr. Walsh chose to use … and potentially misuse … a Centres for Disease Control Report, posted Sept. 15, 2021 on the CDC website, for his own benefit.

David Johnson.

Mr. Walsh’s use of this report, and the statement used as argument for his stand on the issue, must be viewed from the perspective of ‘cherry picking’ what he needed from a trusted source, in an attempt to prove his point.

Most readers will read his quote, and may see it as stand-alone fact and not bother to delve into the report to discern what it was actually saying.  Let me re-examination this report for readers, as well as for Mr. Walsh, so we all have a full-round perspective of what the CDC was actually saying, and what their trusted conclusion actually promotes.

We need to remember generally, the function of scientific research and reporting is to include all evidentiary data, and formulate a conclusion. The conclusions are what matter in the end.

In this case, conclusions inform health care professionals in their practice, and governments in their response ideology. The CDC is the primary American, and in many ways, a primary global source for accurate information regarding the fight against Covid-19.

In this case, Mr. Walsh has deliberately cherry picked and relied on one statement, and discarded any of the other evidence stated in the report, and sidesteps the conclusion.  In its entirety, the report does not back up his argument against vaccinations, or support his stand in this matter.

Admittedly, reports like this are a hard read, so I have tried to refer to the statements that specifically debate Mr. Walsh’s use of the report.

Mr. Walsh’s statement:

“Being vaccinated does not guarantee that you can’t be unknowingly carrying Covid and capable of spreading it to others”, so anyone who thinks that is the case is deluding themselves’.

Mr. Walsh quotes the CDC report as follows:

“Investigations are ongoing to further assess the risk of transmission from fully vaccinated persons with…infections to other vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Early evidence suggests infections in fully vaccinated persons caused by the Delta variant…may be transmissible to others.”

For clarity, the actual quote in the report under the heading ‘COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, effectiveness, and immunogenicity’:

“Investigations are ongoing to further assess the risk of transmission from fully vaccinated persons with SARS-CoV-2 infections to other vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Early evidence suggests infections in fully vaccinated persons caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be transmissible to others; however, SARS-CoV-2 transmission between unvaccinated persons is the primary cause of continued spread.”

This reality is repeated under various sub-headings in the report, in different contexts.

There is no real argument regarding transmissibility to others, we all know you can still ‘get it’, even if fully vaccinated.  That’s how viruses work, that’s how vaccines work, there is no ‘delusion.’  The questions at play here involves looking at the information he is quoting from, from it’s intended perspective:

1) What are the statistics regarding infection rates when comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and groups.

2) What, if any, are the statistics regarding reduced transmissibility between the vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals and groups.

… and whether Mr. Walsh is using the information in the study as intended.

And now we move on to the actual report.

Elsewhere in the body of the text that informs the report conclusion:

“… data show fully vaccinated persons are less likely than unvaccinated persons to acquire SARS-CoV-2, and infections with the Delta variant in fully vaccinated persons are associated with less severe clinical outcomes. Infections with the Delta variant in vaccinated persons potentially have reduced transmissibility than infections in unvaccinated persons, although additional studies are needed.”

“Vaccinated people can still become infected and have the potential to spread the virus to others, although at much lower rates than unvaccinated people.”

How it is possible that vaccination actually lowers transmissibility, is explained in the section:
‘Infections in fully vaccinated persons: clinical implications and transmission’

Recommended reading for those interested.

Report’s Conclusion:

“COVID-19 vaccines currently approved or authorised in the United States have been shown to provide considerable protection against severe disease and death caused by COVID-19. These findings, along with the early evidence for reduced levels of viral mRNA and culturable virus in vaccinated people who acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection, suggest that any associated transmission risk is substantially reduced in vaccinated people: even for Delta, evidence suggests fully vaccinated people who become infected are infectious for shorter periods of time than unvaccinated people.”

And:

“Vaccinated people can still become infected and have the potential to spread the virus to others, although at much lower rates than unvaccinated people.”

All these statements, including (importantly) the study’s own conclusion, directly shows the statement Mr. Walsh decided to quote, and base his argument from, negates the point of the presented data, and hyper focuses on the one single point that even the vaccinated can get and pass on the virus.

The words ‘cherry picked’ are appropriate in this case.

The reality that it is oft repeated in the report that these conclusions are based on ‘early evidence’, in no way suggests that it is just ‘a guess’ or a ‘shot in the dark’, it means that not enough time and data yet available, show a statistical trend crosses the scientific boundary to being solid quantifiable, unavoidable fact, but enough statistics show a strong likelihood, pursuant to more study.

Anybody discounting it wholly for this reason are not using information like this properly.
The conclusion still stands, and is worth abiding with.

Mr. Walsh’s statement above: “Being vaccinated does not guarantee that you can’t be unknowingly carrying Covid and capable of spreading it to others …”, is true at its simplest form, but negates the conclusion that transmission rates are lower in the vaccinated, and those vaccinated are infectious for shorter periods of time.

Both of these scientific facts in layman’s terms emphasise that, on balance … it’s better for the individual person and others in their circle, as well as the community as a whole to be vaccinated, simply because transmissibility is lessened. Full stop.

Mr. Walsh does not once in his public comments, mention this.

I submit that by negating this detail, he is using the CDC’s own report as proof for his summation why he does not support vaccine mandates at the city, his personal medical inability to have the vaccine notwithstanding.

Mr. Walsh has appeared to have let his own inability to be vaccinated to inform his overall view of the vaccination, and this state inappropriately empowers his argument.  The unfortunate part is that people who don’t ingest CDC reports may see this as fodder to argue their own need for a vaccination.

Quoting the CDC incorrectly or incompletely, as a means to qualify his platform, is therefore a disservice to the public, and a stain on Council as a leading force in our community.

He is … again … ‘cherry picking’ from the number one unquestionable body; the CDC itself, who is responsible for large scale information dissemination regarding the pandemic, and Mr. Walsh is trying to use what he picks, as a crutch for his personal beliefs, and is pushing this belief on others, using incomplete information.

Mr. Walsh will probably see the City’s rules regarding City employees, contractors, and volunteers requiring declaration of their vaccination status by Dec. 15, or be required to undergo COVID-19 rapid antigen tests … as a win … but we can still remember that his own preceding argument was heavily reliant on misinformation, by omission.

Perhaps he is angling for certain demographic support during the next election.

If recent American red-hatted politics has taught us anything, misinformation is the town crier of collective group assimilation.

Mr. Walsh could make hay from this. The voters will decide.

David Johnson is a Kamloops resident, community volunteer and self described maven of all things Canadian.

About Mel Rothenburger (8573 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on JOHNSON – Denis Walsh ‘cherry picks’ from CDC report to our detriment

  1. “Being vaccinated does not guarantee that you can’t be unknowingly carrying Covid and capable of spreading it to others”, so anyone who thinks that is the case is deluding themselves’.
    Means that by being jabbed with an EXPERIMENTAL solution you know that you can shed and spread and hide any symptoms according to CDC. Bonus: You can still catch it, be hospitalized with it and die from it. So why get the clot shot?
    In Ireland at the end of August, 54% of Covid-19 patients – or 168 patients – were fully vaccinated. Some 44% were not fully vaccinated, and in 2% of cases, the vaccination status was unknown. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/covid-54-of-hospital-patients-with-virus-are-fully-vaccinated-1.4670229
    Most of us in good health have a 99.95% chance of surviving c19 vs the constantly changing reports from the current lab rats indicating a decline in jab results. Initially, the Johnson & Johnson EXPERIMENTAL vaccine was 88% effective in preventing infection. But by August, the EXPERIMENTAL vaccine effectiveness dropped to 3%. For the Pfizer-BioNTech EXPERIMENTAL vaccine, its protection started at 91% and was reduced to 50% protection by August. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20211019/Waning-COVID-vaccine-efficacy-especially-against-reinfection.aspx If the jab (called vaccination because of our childhood memories) worked what are you afraid of?
    Choosing this one CDC statement is like pulling one hair from your head as there are more to choose from. Why has early intervention been ignored? The NIH states Remdesivir ($2,000 to $3,000 per patient treatment) is the priority when hospitalized as it qualifies the hospital for an extra 20% bonus,
    https://www.cms.gov/medicare/covid-19/new-covid-19-treatments-add-payment-nctap 210309, and causes many bad results vs the Ivermectin (<$30 per patient treatment) which is second on the list and is much better. https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/tables/table-2e/ 210708, Remdesivir is shown first, Ivermectin is 2nd & is safer. See Adverse Events & D-D Interactions.
    "It's not about land or money, it's about the one thing that no man should ever be able to take from another man, the freedom to make his own choices about his life, where he lives, how he lives, how he'll raise his family. We face a those who'd take those God-given rights away from us, but not from me. There can be no doubt about the price."
    from "The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory" complete 1987 TV-Movie
    And this brings it back home again
    https://mounties4freedom.ca/?fbclid=IwAR11efntJWGkAq5vHyCwFbKT_N1VIx6KdzINhS6lnBN6iTJ6CcvXU3VKkTA 211021, RCMP Mandatory Emp.Vac.Policy
    "It is better to have questions that cannot be answered than to have answers that cannot be questioned."

  2. Sean McGuinness // November 1, 2021 at 6:43 PM // Reply

    Thank you Mr. Johnson for this illuminating, accurate and well-written column. We need people like you sitting on city council.

  3. Well said!

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