Are vaccines driving the emergence of “escape mutant” variants of COVID-19?
I was perusing the in box of my account for this blog last week, when I came across a bit of what I like to call “fan mail”. No, this wasn’t hate mail (which is what a lot of my “fan mail” consists of), but rather an email of the “Won’t you reconsider what you wrote about a crank?” variety. The crank is Geert Vanden Bossche, whom I first wrote about in March in the context of an open letter by him that had gone viral warning of global catastrophe if the mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 were not stopped. The reason for his warning was a prediction that mass vaccination would select for more dangerous variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This led a reader (whose name I will not reveal) to ask me whether, in light of the much more transmissible (and possibly more virulent) Delta variant that’s been spreading across the US like proverbial wildfire over the last few of months, I might want to “reconsider” my previous criticism of Vanden Bossche:
I just saw an MSN article about how doctors are terrified of what is coming…I wonder if perhaps you would reconsider your critique of Geert Vanden Bossche. He seems to have been prescient, even if the causes are not exactly as he had predicted. The media loves to call this a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” but other countries have noted a high percentage of “cases” among the vaccinated, while the CDC found that in the Cape Cod incident, 75% of the infected were vaccinated, and, that they were just as likely to transmit the virus as the not vaccinated. If the idea that the vaccinated have very mild illness is true, they are much more probable to spread the illness. For example, they may not recognize their mild symptoms as COVID, and not consider that they, being vaccinated, are able to contract and spread it.
It is also a bit facile that you characterize Vanden Bossche as “anti vaxx.” This epithet seems to be tossed around at anyone who doesn’t suddenly rush out and take the mRNA vaccines. As well, the terms “conspiracy theorist” and “disinformation” get thrown around quite a bit, as if any debate or dissension from the media narrative is either gravely deluded, or perhaps even malicious.