Questions About Trump’s Vaccination Schedule and Masking

Questions About Trump’s Vaccination Schedule and Masking

Trump had a news conference today about the vaccine question, with his distribution General, and his radiologist and “Fake” virus advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas.

Trump said that there would be 100 million doses by January, hundreds of millions a month after that, and everybody with doses by April.

I was taught with stated government needs for weapons, to be suspicious of round numbers.  What could be rounder than 100,000,000, doubly repeated even?

Trump also didn’t specify which vaccine or vaccines would be approved by when, and contribute to the 100 million.  Convenient.

The notice that the CDC sent to Governors showed about 20 million doses by each Moderna and Pfizer, making 40 million doses by January, which can vaccinate 20 million, with two doses each.

The vaccinations need two doses each, a month apart, and then two weeks to build up defenses.  That is a full month and a half to establish full immunity.  Trump didn’t state when a vaccine would be approved, or when the month and a half for immunity would be accomplished.  The IHME projected deaths show a sharp increase because of winter and maybe holiday behavior in December.  A false public perception that they are now “saved” in November and December could increase the infection and deaths rates.  

The number of projected deaths between November 1 and January 1, 2021, is 155,000, or 2,541 a day, double or triple recent days.  So really rapid distribution is very important, not the number available at the end of the period.  This is also important for the six weeks needed for immunity to take hold.  So a promise of January 1 is really too late for saving many lives, even if the most vulnerable and health care workers are vaccinated first.

The CDC estimate of 20 million people covered, is only 6.1% of the US population.  Trump’s statement of 100 million doses by January would cover 50 million people, or 15% of the American public.  Another 200 million in January would cover another 30%, and in February another 30%, and in March another 30%, so essentially the  country is really vaccinated and mostly immune by the start of April, as claimed.  But that is with 200 million a month.  In fact, Trump was talking about manufacturing, not actual distribution, which is much more involved, requiring hospitals and medical facilities for vaccine storage.

The math adds up, but the Trump administration has never delivered on any of its claims.  Yesterday, Trump said that almost 100 million Coronavirus tests have been performed. That is 7 and a half months into the pandemic, and only covers a third of the number of Americans, who need more than just one test over time.  Also, we now find that politicos in HHS put the advice on the CDC website that people should not get tested unless they had symptoms, even if they had contact with an infected person.  That was corrected today on the CDC website.  It could have only been set initially to cut down the number of detected cases to please Trump.  It certainly would have spread the Coronavirus by the presymptomatic and Asymptomatic, which are now known to be responsible for 35% of the infections.

Another trick that Trump has used, is if he says a certain number by January, he never says January 1, and he actually could mean by the end of January.  Yet when Trump wants to force negotiations, he clearly specifies a definite date, often just two weeks in the future.  That is a trick to get his way, since real negotiations take time.  We note that he is going to shut down TikTok, but not until after the election.

Yesterday, Trump said that everybody could get a vaccine, “if they want one”.  Trump doesn’t want to impinge on any of his contrarian and conspiratorial followers, and those that are taught not to trust the government.  Trump only reinforces them every day when he holds rallies without social distancing and without masking, with yelling enthusiasts, for hours, violating small group size restrictions, and even indoors now.  It’s what the President does, not what the CDC experts, Dr. Fauci, or the one million physicians in the United States say that counts to Trump’s followers.  

Personally, I don’t feel safe walking around knowing that 20% of the public, often Trump followers, are walking around, who also don’t mask or social distance or avoid infecting situations, or test, or who won’t stay home if sick.  I hope that businesses and institutions like schools and governments require vaccinations for their workers or attendees.

Nobody has yet asked, will Trump take one of the vaccines himself?  Remember, Trump doesn’t need to wear a mask, since he is protected by the Secret Service, who tests anybody who gets near him.  Also, Trump will have Secret Service protection for the rest of his life.  Remember, Trump claims to have taken hydroxychloroquine for two weeks, even when it was known to have caused heart complications, and was not approved by the FDA.  It would really be suspicious if he did not take the vaccine.

Mask wearing by 95% would save 116,000 American lives by January 1, instead of just limping along with the current 45% of Americans who wear masks.  Yet, we now know that masks protect the wearer, cutting the risk down to 1/3 of what it would be without a mask.  Dr. Redfield, Director of the CDC, said this under oath to Congress yesterday, yet it is still not on the CDC website.  In a day or two, we are going to reach 200,000 useless American deaths by the Coronavirus.

It was just revealed that in mid-April, the Trump Administration considered delivering 650 million masks to every household, but it was vetoed by the White House, so as “Not to Start a Panic”.   How many lives would that have saved?   Trump was asked about this at his press conference today, and he switched the subject to a rant on the Post Office.

Trump committed $13 billion to rebuilding the electrical grid and the pharmaceutical industry of Puerto Rico, three years after it was destroyed by hurricane Maria.  The political motivation is to get support from Puerto Rican voters who moved to Florida.  The reasons that I am including this, is that Trump is blatantly using his government position to buy votes, Trump and McConnell won’t give $25 billion to aid vote counting and making a fair election, and California needs tens of billions for the Coronavirus setbacks and the apocalyptic fire season.

It would have been so much more reassuring, if Trump had had any of the government experts give the announcement and reassurances.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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