Vietnam War analogy for COVID-19 holding up?

One month ago, from COVID-19 policy is more like the Vietnam War or more like the Penicillin miracle drug euphoric stage?

My personal view for most of the past year has been that the best analogy to the typical Church of Shutdown state’s War on COVID-19 is the American side of the Vietnam War. Our best and brightest (e.g., Dr. Fauci, state governors flanked by their public health officials) present charts and statistics showing that, in any given month, the war against coronavirus is being won. The population is assured that just a little more sacrifice will yield massive dividends. Sometimes the Priests of Shutdown will draw on mathematical models from Whiz Kids. Month after month of winning battles leads to… a lost war (e.g., Maskachusetts having 3X the death rate of Florida, adjusted for population over 65, but the population still has faith in Robert S. McNamara (Governor Charlie Baker)).

and in January 2021, Lockdown is our Vietnam War so it will end gradually? (quoting a Facebook user)

Of course, we can’t actually do this reassessment because doing so would admit that the last year was madness. The lockdowns are like Vietnam, the political and media establishment have so much invested in them, only a gradual drawdown will be permitted, regardless of the “science.”

The July 30, 2021 CNN front page:

As with the Vietnam War, being on a “wartime footing” means different things to people of different ages. In 1968, the 18-year-olds went to sweat and die in the jungle (not yet upgraded to “rainforest”) while 40-year-olds could sip cocktails and play golf. In 2021, K-12 students and Latinx essential workers wear masks 8+ hours per day while the upper-middle-class white people don the hijab for 15 minutes as they go into the “declared-essential” marijuana and alcohol stores. Schools in major cities, e.g., Boston, were closed for a year while adults could party in restaurants (reopened in Maskachusetts in June 2020), meet on Tinder, etc.

Since we are, in fact, losing this war (“life finds a way,” as Dr. Jeff Goldblum, M.D., Ph.D., noted), we also need someone to blame. During Vietnam we blamed the 30-40 percent of Americans who did not support the war. Absent these domestic enemies, our military could have mopped up the rifle-toting peasant resistance using advanced tech. Today we obsess over the people who haven’t taken the time/trouble/risk to get vaccinated. Absent these domestic science-denying Republican-voting enemies, our scientists armed with advanced mRNA tech could have mopped up the remaining pockets of SARS-CoV-2. From CNN, July 31, 2021:

The latest “science” seems inconsistent with blaming the unvaccinated, however. The virus is having no trouble spreading among the vaccinated (CDC; Israel) and it is have no trouble killing the vaccinated in the U.K., where they are good at tracking deaths, COVID-19 status, and vaccination status. Why do we imagine that all of our dreams would come true if the Deplorables got all of their shots?

(The Deplorables might want to consider getting their shots soon, actually, if they read about Marek’s Disease:

Because vaccination does not prevent infection with the virus, Marek’s is still transmissible from vaccinated flocks to other birds, including the wild bird population. The first Marek’s disease vaccine was introduced in 1970. The disease would cause mild paralysis, with the only identifiable lesions being in neural tissue. Mortality of chickens infected with Marek’s disease was quite low. Current strains of Marek virus, decades after the first vaccine was introduced, cause lymphoma formation throughout the chicken’s body and mortality rates have reached 100% in unvaccinated chickens. The Marek’s disease vaccine is a “leaky vaccine”, which means that only the symptoms of the disease are prevented.[12] Infection of the host and the transmission of the virus are not inhibited by the vaccine. This contrasts with most other vaccines, where infection of the host is prevented. Under normal conditions, highly virulent strains of the virus are not selected. A highly virulent strain would kill the host before the virus would have an opportunity to transmit to other potential hosts and replicate. Thus, less virulent strains are selected. These strains are virulent enough to induce symptoms but not enough to kill the host, allowing further transmission. However, the leaky vaccine changes this evolutionary pressure and permits the evolution of highly virulent strains.[13] The vaccine’s inability to prevent infection and transmission allows the spread of highly virulent strains among vaccinated chickens. The fitness of the more virulent strains is increased by the vaccine.

The evolution of Marek’s disease due to vaccination has had a profound effect on the poultry industry. All chickens across the globe are now vaccinated against Marek’s disease (birds hatched in private flocks for laying or exhibition are rarely vaccinated). Highly virulent strains have been selected to the point that any chicken that is unvaccinated will die if infected.[14] Other leaky vaccines are commonly used in agriculture. One vaccine in particular is the vaccine for avian influenza. Leaky vaccine use for avian influenza can select for virulent strains.[15]

The CDC tells us that the COVID-19 vaccines are proving to be “leaky”. Vaccinated Americans are infected and transmitting the virus even in the most virtuous of settings (Provincetown, Massachusetts, for example). So we are very likely breeding a Super COVID-21 that will live up to the doomsday scenarios that were forecast for Sweden and other mask and shutdown scoffers. (The greedy might want to buy some stock in the vaccine companies. Marek’s Disease shows us that selling Batch 1 of a leaky vaccine can lead to 50+ years of sales for additional vaccine doses, required for staying alive in the face of the deadly mutants supported by Batch 1.))


37 thoughts on “Vietnam War analogy for COVID-19 holding up?

  1. It’s funny because I had a similar conversation today with a nurse practitioner, prepping me via telemedicine for an upcoming 5-6 hour procedure that has to take place in the hospital. We went through all the wrinkles, prescriptions, side effects and warnings and finally got to “allowed visitors.”

    “You can bring one visitor with you during [the procedure] as long as they’ve been vaccinated.”

    “I’ve been vaccinated and the visitor I would bring has been also, but didn’t the Provincetown outbreak just prove that the vaccines really aren’t that effective at preventing infection and that people who have been vaccinated can carry even more virus than those who haven’t? Why would you want to take the chance that my visitor is one of those people and put them in a ward with a bunch of really sick people?”


    “That’s our hospital policy and it’s a good question.”

    Then I said:

    “I’ve been tested negative four times now but in light of the recent outbreak, shouldn’t I get tested again – myself – before this procedure? How do I know I haven’t been affected by the outbreak even though I’ve been vaccinated?”

    “If you’d like to get tested again, we can schedule one for you.”

    It looks like I’m going for a fifth test!

  2. I published this on two other linked posts, but for reference, the UK vaccinated seniors first, which is why most that die in England with Covid have been vaccinated (despite comparable US/UK population vaccination rates):

    The Guardian: Why most people who now die with Covid in England have had a vaccination
    “But the risk of dying from Covid-19 is extraordinarily dependent on age: it halves for each six to seven year age gap. This means that someone aged 80 who is fully vaccinated essentially takes on the risk of an unvaccinated person of around 50 – much lower, but still not nothing, and so we can expect some deaths.”

  3. Thanks for picking this up. I am pretty appalled that so many universities and employers are mandating these not-fully-approved injections for everyone, including remote workers.

    I would understand if these were fully-approved and conventional, sterilizing vaccines. But this just seems horribly invasive and unjustified.

    • Wait for the coming wave of lawsuits from sufferers of adverse reacions to employees who made vaccination with untested vaccines a condition of employment.

  4. Surprised the media doesn’t just say the virus is now immune to vaccines, except in terms of symptoms. It’ll eventually cause symptoms in everyone again. No percentage is vaccinations was ever going to achieve herd immunity.
    The hope is over many years, it’ll become diluted enough to not wipe out everyone over 70, but an entire generation is going to know nothing but wearing masks.

    • Vaccination only contributes to herd immunity if it’s sterilizing. Current COVID vaccines aren’t.

  5. Neither Covid or the vaccines have anything analogous to the Vietnam war.

    If you just want to bag on the vaccines go ahead…it’s easy with hindsight.

    • There are parallels: instead of war-crime admitting old boy network captain John Kerry for which he became elected Democrat we have Democratic governments killing the grandmas in retirement homes and writings books.

  6. > The virus is having no trouble spreading among the vaccinated

    I.e. mass vaccination succeeded in making herd immunity impossible. Thanks, #Science!

    A “Marek” is one conceivable outcome of the vaccination disaster currently unfolding. Another is that a variant will emerge that beats current vaccines.

    If “vaccine escape” happens, it raises the possibility of ADE. Wikipedia informs us that though “ADE was observed in animal studies during the development of coronavirus vaccines” it hasn’t so far been observed in human subjects. Are you reassured yet?

    One option is to get aboard the booster vaccine train and hope it keeps ahead of the variants. To update a famous saying: if you want a picture of the future, imagine a needle jabbing into a human arm – forever.

  7. My vision of the future includes frauds and quacks (aka “medical establisment”) depending from the lamp posts. You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time

    • averros: I don’t think that there is a practical limit to what Americans will believe. We believed the experts when they said three weeks to flatten the curve. We believed the experts when they said a few months of masks would make COVID-19 go away. We believed the experts when they said that widespread vaccination (plus some natural immunity from actual infections) would extinguish the epidemic.

  8. You can think that masking is forced on the working class by the elites, no masking at Pres Obama’s big shindig — but when i ask working class people about the masks or listen to what they say they, obviously a generalization, seem to be believers in the efficacy of masking. So today i was talking to a porter who had been away from work for a while, turned out his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The porter, to show how far gone his father was, noted that his father can’t even remember to wear his mask.

    • Large swaths of the working class do not have the tools to detect the absurdity of the masks and yes, many are going to believe it helps because of this.

      That said, In my experience the trust in the (botched) epidemiology, vaccines, NPIs and the masks is largest among the highly educated, while a lot of working class types have a very accurate grasp of the situation. My neighbor the plumber has an excellent grasp of the basic statistics and especially the factors introducing bias (and the power dynamics unfolding), while my friend the university prof does not see any of this, clearly because he does not want to see.

    • Mario – that observation about plumber being smarter than professor matches my recollections of life in the USSR. The elite and white collar public were mostly believers, the working class was resolutely anti-Soviet and treated anything government said as a lie.

      I guess it’s because education is mostly selection for conformance, and does exactly nothing for improving thinking abilities.

  9. The “Dr” Philg blog comment sections are no better than the equivalent on anymore. If I want to get my daily dose of crazy, I can just go there.

    “Untested vaccine”? Only several hundred million doses, given after rigorous FDA trials.

    “Ivermectin”? Is this the new HCQ? Did Trump or Christie or other (R) severe COVID sufferers use any of these unproven cures? That’s right, of course not. Prevent the disease “experimentally” or try to cure a severe case “experimentally” (Ivermectin/HCQ/convalescent plasma) — I know which one I choose.

    The medical establishment are “quacks”? Where will you go, oh wise one, when you get cancer? To an Eastern Medicine doctor? To your neighbor’s wife who will sell you some essential oils?

    I am still proud of “Dr” Phil moving his family to Florida, mostly to move to a “mask free” state (with some estate planning benefits as well). Now his allergic/asthmatic child can join the 9000+ FL kids who caught Covid just last week — before school has even started. Do you still admire DeSantis, “We will not take any scientist’s/medical doctor’s/public health official’s advice on anything ever again!”?

    • Mike: The medical school professors with whom I’ve talked say that the long-term effects of the mRNA vaccines, e.g., on the adult immune systems of children/teenagers who are injected today, are unknown. They still want the vaccines for their own 60-80-year-old bodies, but say that we have only minimal knowledge about the risks.

      Governor DeSantis should #FollowTheScience? In what non-Chinese non-island part of the world has following a scientist’s recommendation led to an elimination of coronaplague?

      From the Henry Ford Museum yesterday: “Thousands of pages had been written on the so-called science of flying, but for the most part, the ideas set forth, like the designs for the machines, were mere speculations and probably ninety percent were false.” — Wilbur Wright

      (I’m not sure about the islands, actually. Australia has recently deployed its military against domestic enemies (those who would violate a lockdown order): ). That’s not the sign of a country in which everything is under control.)

      Maybe you’re saying Governor DeSantis should follow Dr. Jill Biden, M.D., Ph.D.’s colleague Dr. Anders Tegnell, MD, Ph.D.? The Swedish government #FollowedTheScience and is down to zero deaths per day. (overall Sweden has suffered about half the death rate of New York State; while Cuomo was chasing employees who identified as “women”, Swedish officials were ensuring that children continued to attend school).

    • Vaccines are very effective at preventing illness/death/transmission.

      However, the Delta variant is very effective at transmission (see China, Vietnam, Japan etc.):

      Unfortunately the US isn’t great at being vaccinated (in any case very high rates would be necessary to restrict more transmissible variants).

      Florida is getting bad press from not being good at preventing transmission:
      Covid third wave: Florida surpasses all-time record for hospital admissions

      At least the US and Israel allow kids to be vaccinated. The UK is just switching to 16+ year-olds as it fights off the Delta variant (UK R looks to be dropping below 1)

    • Michael,
      Can you citations include reports from actual studies of coronavirus infections. Why call them COVID-19 if we have already at least 2 new strains – Alpha and Delta – in 2021 pandemic.
      70% vaccinated in US population of 330 million+ means that “US isn’t great at being vaccinated”?
      Recent studies show that vaccines effectiveness in preventing transmission is far lower then 50% – you consider it “very effective at preventing illness/death/transmission”?

    • Low Skilled Immigrant
      US is 49.3% fully vaccinated (though 70% of adult population have had a first dose), versus UK’s 56.9% (UK did single doses for the vulnerable earlier).
      You can see the US is tailing off somewhat, as per the Guardian article, where Biden hoped to reach 70% of adults by 4 July. I think Delta rates will prompt some US people into vaccination.

      For AstraZeneca and Pfizer (fully vaccinated) against Delta the FT quotes >60% efficacy against infection, and 90% against hospital admission:
      Nature says stats against Delta transmission aren’t here yet:

    • Michael you keep referring to belletristic for coronavirus pandemic numbers. Israeli ministry of health most recent ##: effectiveness against transmission – 39%, against symptomatic infection – 41%, against hospitalization – 88%, against severe case whatever it is – 91%. 39% < 60%, and 60% is not “very effective "
      In US age 40 and above are over 70% vaccinated.

    • Mike,

      Could you provide a reference for “the 9000+ FL kids who caught Covid just last week” ?

    • “…The “Dr” Philg blog comment sections are no better than the equivalent on anymore. If I want to get my daily dose of crazy, I can just go there…”

      This is spot on. It’s another alternate universe here. What would be actually helpful is if the deniers offered some actual suggestions as to how to control/eradicate the virus.

    • Jim – you may consider two things:

      1. Coronaviruses have been producing new strains and infecting wide variety of species for far longer than humanity existed. Viruses which easily jump species and endemic in wildlife cannot be eluminated. Unless you vaccinate every bat out there or something.

      2. Given the impossibility of eradication, the isolation and the total vaccination (which nmerely creates selective pressure for evolution of new strains) are idiotic and cannot possibly work. The only reasonable aporoach is harm reduction by selective vaccination of those at high risk and allowing the rest to develop wide-spectrum (polyclonal if you want fancy words) natural herd immunity. Which is exactly what the country which now has zero deaths from COVID did – without destroying economy and civil rights in progress. That’d be Sweden. (The states which went less retarded scince-wise, like FL or TX are doing much better than full totalitarian retards like CA, MA, or NY, too.)

    • > This is spot on. It’s another alternate universe here. What would be actually helpful is if the deniers offered some actual suggestions as to how to control/eradicate the virus.

      Sure. Exercise, avoid industrial foods, meditate, spend time outside, and generally stay healthy. Obesity triples your chance of COVID hospitalization. According to the CDC, 94% of covid deaths involve some major comorbidity, like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Logically, the 6% involve a comorbidity they don’t know about. In other words, avoiding major health problems gives you more protection than the vaccine.

    • LM…totally agree with all of your suggestions. But, unfortunately, those things take months or years to be effective.

    • Glad you agree, Jim. Just to be clear, I am not trying to deny you the right to take the vaccine. But I hope you can also respect my personal choice to stay healthy with diet and exercise without writing me off as a covidiot / denier etc. As time goes on, we will all learn more.

    • LM…Of course I respect your choice. There’s no substitute for healthy living. Unfortunately, heart disease, cancer and viruses find their way into the body’s of totally fit people as well.

      I wish good health to everyone here, regardless of your beliefs.

  10. > “Untested vaccine”? Only several hundred million doses, given after rigorous FDA trials.

    Mike, have you considered that a) the mRNA vaccines are still not FDA approved b) the clinical trial did not measure deaths (in the Pfizer trial only 3 people died, and none of COVID), so there is as yet no proof that vaccines save lives c) according to VAERS almost 10,000 people have died with another 500,000 adverse reactions, more than every previous vaccine put together since the system was created, and VAERS is voluntary, so it underreports by 10x or so. d) we simply do not and cannot know their long term effects. In light of this, how can you reasonably declare that they are thoroughly tested after rigorous trials? If 100,000 Americans have indeed died from the mRNA vaccines, with another 5 million adverse reactions, isn’t this the worst medical disaster in history?

    Also Phil, you might find this site interesting:

    • LM: I think what you’re seeing is that “Vaccination Saves” is in the same category as “Jesus Saves”. The flu vaccine is essential for those 13-64 under the U.S. religion and therefore the subject of much proselytization. The UK has a slightly different religion and there the flu vaccine, pre-COVID, was considered irrelevant for that age group. Not only was there no proselytization, but the NHS wouldn’t pay for it. Statistics won’t convince a believer that Jesus does not save and similarly statistics won’t convince the COVID vaccination believers that a fully vaccinated society could nonetheless host a raging coronaplague.

      (Speaking of fully vaccinated societies, I was talking to an Israeli friend two nights ago. She said that the country is panicked. “Cases” are on an exponential rise. Mask orders are back. People expect a lockdown any day now. One of the beauties of science is that knowledge evolves: Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Israel’s director of public health services, said Sunday that evidence points to the waning immunity in the COVID-19 vaccine, … “Previously we thought that fully vaccinated individuals are protected, but we now see that vaccine effectiveness is roughly 40 percent.” )

    • I can’t remember where I read it, or I would post a link…but Pfizer is going to be approved in September.

    • Jim – “approved” is not the same as actually tested. Phase 3 clinical trials take years, not months. The usual testing period for vaccines is 7-10 years (and, yes, I know what I’m talking about, my gf is a clinical trial manager.)

      So, your “approval” will be a simple bureaucratic sham. And, yes, other drugs have been failing to pass trials or withdrawn for far less adverse reactions than current COVID vaccines. For God’s sake, go and look at VAERS reports for yourself – they are public. And stop treating journalists and bureaucrats as your primary source of knowledge of how the world works.

    • Averos: VAERS being your “proof” of side effects is about as reliable as fake amazon reviews. Yes, it’s voluntary. Meaning people will report everything as vaccine related even when it’s anything but. You can only take it seriously if you’ve never heard of confirmation bias and other heuristics that govern our lives.

      Also, whoever mentioned Ivermectin above likely hasn’t caught up with the falsified/retracted study news.

  11. @Philip, what’s missing from this analogy that you blogged about is:

    1) Can we get out of Covidfear the way we did out of Vietnam? I think not. Thanks to #SicenseSavesUs and #GovernmentRescuesUs we dug ourselves too deep into Covidfear . No one will backtrack on their statement or take responsibility that they have over played their cards on Covidfear or will admit that they know so little. Everyone is now #CovidExpert and will assure us they know what they are doing.

    2) What’s the impact of Covidfear of society vs. Vietnam? Huge. And I’m not talking about the $$ amount as my concern, I’m talking about over the board dependency of society on government and science, impact on education of a whole generation at all levels, and very much a cosmic shift in the way to live day-in day-out. AFAIK, nothing in written history of mankind comes close to what Covidfear has done to humanity in this short of a time with this kind of lasting impact.

  12. To folks who are #BeliveInSicense and #TrustInGovernment on COVID, I have a question for you.

    If you are so passionate at saving lives and believe everything you read, hear and watch about COVID, trust and give into what our government is doing, and demand that those around you follow #SicenseSavesUs and #GovernmentRescuesUs, than shouldn’t you also be doing and demanding the same on education? Shouldn’t you be demanding from #SicenseSavesUs and #GovernmentRescuesUs to lockup families at home, prevent gathering and close venues, and demand everyone to take basic reading and math classes so that we flatten the curve on education?

    Wouldn’t you agree that dumbed down society is far, far more deadlier than COVID but yet we accept it as-is?

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