Law First And Then Science

Old Greg P. over at Twitchy has some commentary on a tweet thread by “Andy Slavitt, former Biden White House Senior Advisor for the COVID Response and the past head of Medicare/Medicaid for Barack Obama.” Greg notes that Slavitt is an MBA and that his tweets address Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), who holds a Doctorate of Medicine.

Marshall completed his residency in a former Republican congressman and three-time presidential candidate Ron Paul’s specialty delivering babies at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Slavitt notes in the thread: “Another description of an OB/Gyn is ‘still not an infectious disease expert.’” A correction: Still not necessarily an infectious disease expert. Since, after all, Slavitt claims to offer expertise on a contagious disease to inform public policy.

After starting the thread claiming most scientists want additional mRNA vaccines, and that Marshall wants to have prior coronavirus infection count as sufficient immunity where vaccine passports are required to move freely and take part in society, and to note that:

“Several Republican states have passed or are passing laws allowing prior infection with COVID to count the same as a vaccination as @JoanneKenen from @politico has pointed out.”

Mr. Slavitt proceeds to play an infectious disease expert. Let’s see if he wins:

“Let’s look at those both with a little more rigor than Roger has. First, while real, the short-term targeted antibody response is, well, short-term. And it’s also targeted. Meaning Delta infection doesn’t create enough antibodies against Omicron.”

The pitiful sample (20 women and 14 men) UCLA study cited says, “with mild cases of COVID-19, antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 drop sharply over the first three months after infection, decreasing by roughly half every 36 days.”

That’s the science. That’s what the researchers measured. The next part, though it comes from scientists, is not science. (What if I told you it’s just as possible for scientists not to be doing science as it is for you laypeople to do science on Twitter all year?):

“If sustained at that rate, the antibodies would disappear within about a year.”
That’s not a measurement or observation. It also has no truth value because it posits a hypothetical scenario without any scientific results or even scientific conjectures about the likelihood of that scenario.

Does the immune system sustain specialized antibody depletion at a constant rate until they’re all gone and also wholly forget how to make new ones that it’s learned how to make if there’s reinfection?

A study published by Nature in May 2021, undertaken by B-cell immunologists at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, reports:

“People who recover from mild COVID-19 have bone-marrow cells that can churn out antibodies for decades, although viral variants could dampen some of the protection they offer.”

A March 2021 report in the Scientific American Public Health section cites immunologists at Rockefeller University and the University of Washington. They say the human body’s immune system holds some antibodies in reserve and mutates them into antibody variants, similar to how viruses mutate variants, increasing the chances the body will have an antibody that works on a new variant or can get to the solution faster.

I just picked this information up by reading the source Slavitt cited, thinking about it scientifically, and doing some quick Google searches for more information to answer the questions I thought of. So I’ll leave you to decide if you believe Slavitt is an infectious disease expert, whose claims can be refuted with a few minutes and Google.

But most importantly, where public policy is the matter, even if there weren’t any holes in Slavitt’s claims, and coronavirus immunity scientifically and indeed drops to zero three months after infection, but not with a battery of mandated vaccine boosters, it’s still not legal for the government to do the mandated vaccine boosters at all.

It’s just not constitutional. There’s no way to enforce it without violating the 4th amendment. And it goes against our fundamental American values. It is a free country.

Whatever they’re doing anywhere else, in China, in Europe, in Canada, it doesn’t matter. America is a free country and was explicitly and explicitly founded to be and remain a free country and grow even more accessible as opportunities. Circumstances allow, not less free in the vain search for absolute security.

That’s why the state GOPs passing prior infection exemptions to vaccine mandates is capitulation on the principle of the matter by Republicans, in exchange for keeping the government’s claws off who knows how many people. That’s a tough call to make.