In an interview with Wolf Blitzer of CNN on Aug. 5, 2021, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Rochelle Walensky, MD, said that, while she believed the COVID vaccines “work well” with the Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus “with regard to severe illness and death,” they are no longer able to “prevent transmission” of the virus.1 2
This inability of the vaccines to prevent people from getting infected with the virus and spreading it to other was one of the main reasons the CDC issued a new masking guidance for fully vaccinated people on July 27, recommending that they wear masks in “public indoor settings” with “substantial or high transmission.”3
Referring to the new discovery by scientists that the Delta variant can be transmitted as actively by those who have been vaccinated as those who have not, Dr. Walensky said on July 28, “In recent days I have seen new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations showing that the Delta variant behaves uniquely differently from past strains of the virus that cause COVID-19.”4 She added:
[W]ith the Delta variant we now see in our outbreak investigations that have been occurring over the last couple of weeks, in those outbreak investigations we have been seeing that if you happen to have one of those breakthrough infections that you can actually now pass it to somebody else.4
This “new scientific data from recent outbreak investigations” cited by Dr. Walensky had to do with the coronavirus outbreak that occurred in Provincetown, Massachusetts in July. In that outbreak, 469 people became infected with the virus and 74 percent of them were fully vaccinated individuals. In an article published in The Vaccine Reaction on Aug. 9, Barbara Cáceres noted this caused “alarm” within the CDC and led it to “double down on imperatives for a return to masking, including for the vaccinated, and more vaccination.”5 6
Dr. Walensky’s admission that the COVID vaccines are unable to prevent transmission was in response to the following question by Blitzer:
But what about all the fully vaccinated people who get that breakthrough infection? Can they pass it on? Could they pass it on to their children? Could they pass the virus on to older people, especially more vulnerable people with underlying health conditions?1 2
Dr. Walensky responded:
And that’s exactly the point that we made in our guidance. So yes, they can with the Delta variant. And that was the reason that we changed our guidance last Tuesday. Our vaccines are working exceptionally well. They continue to work well for Delta with regard to severe illness and death, they prevent it. But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission.1 2
Seemingly wanting to make sure that he understood Dr. Walensky correctly, Blitzer asked:
Both Vaccinated and Unvaccinated People are Potential Spreaders of SARS-CoV-2 Virus
Given this new information about the ineffectiveness of the COVID vaccines in preventing transmission, why is there a growing public perception that unvaccinated people pose a threat when it comes to the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and vaccinated people do not? Why are unvaccinated people being scapegoated and threatened with all sorts of restrictions and penalties by government and corporations, while vaccinated people are heralded as good and responsible citizens who have done their duty for the sake of the “greater good”?
Why do those who have freely made the choice to get vaccinated engage in so much vitriol and “virtue signaling” toward their unvaccinated brethren and deny them the same freedom to choose?
Gov. DeSantis Says COVID Vaccination is a Personal Health Choice
After all, if what the director of the CDC is true, there is no rational reason for the existence of two-tiered system in the United States in which vaccinated people are fully accepted by society and unvaccinated people are treated as second-class citizens. This is a point that Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida stressed during a press conference on Sept. 3:
I also don’t want two classes of citizens. We have some people in our communities who just made the decision that [getting a COVID vaccine] is not something they’re going to do. So what, you’re going to write them out of society? They’re not going to be able to show their face?7
Gov. DeSantis’ reasoning was based on precisely the science to which Dr. Walensky has alluded during the past two months—the fact that, while the COVID vaccines are believed to help protect against serious COVID illness and minimize the risk of hospitalization and death from the disease, the vaccines do not prevent transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Gov. DeSantis said:
As much as I am happy to see vaccinated people get good protection against hospitalization and death, and it has been good, the fact is [the SARS-CoV-2 virus] is spreading regardless of vaccination. That’s just the reality. The theory behind the vaccine passport is, okay, if you force everyone to have it in order to live in society, then you’ll be able to basically just nuke COVID. Well, we know that that’s not the case. You know, [with] very very high vaccination rates, you still have big waves. So it just doesn’t make any sense.7
At the end of the day, the vaccines have helped people ward off severe illness. And we obviously work very hard to distribute it. At the end of the day, though, it’s about your health and whether you want that protection or not. It really doesn’t impact me or anyone else, cause we’ve seen the data on this.7
Gov. DeSantis was taking Dr. Walensky’s comments about the limitations of COVID vaccines to their logical conclusion, which is that vaccinated people can spread coronavirus, just like unvaccinated people. So why make a distinction between the two groups?
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Click here to view References:
1 Hains T. CDC Director: Vaccines No Longer Prevent You From Spreading COVID. RealClearPolitics Aug. 6, 2021.
2 The Deprogram. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky tells Wolf Blitzer that COVID Vaccines won’t prevent transmission YouTube Aug. 8, 2021.
3 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Sept. 1, 2021.
4 Gabbatt A, Pengelly M, Yang M. New US mask guidance prompted by evidence vaccinated can spread Delta. The Guardian July 28, 2021.
5 Cáceres B. COVID Vaccines Not Proven to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Transmission. The Vaccine Reaction Aug. 9, 2021.
6 CDC. Outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 Infections Including COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections Associated with Larger Public Gatherings – Barnstable County, Massachusetts, July 2021. MMWR Aug. 6, 2021; 70(31): 1059-1062.
7 MyEscambia. Governor Ron DeSantis Press Conference – Sept. 3, 2021. YouTube Sept. 3, 2021.