Comment Of The Day: Afternoon Ethics Delights, 7/19/2021: The Follies [Item #4: Colorado’s Failed Vaccine Lottery]


Relentless and esteemed Ethics Alarms commenter Michael Ejercito wants to know why I have yet to publish the finale to an Ethics Alarms series that began way back in May, 2020. This Comment of the Day, by another veteran commenter, Michael R, is why. All along and from the moment I wrote the May post, my intention has been to explain that from an ethics and U.S. cultural perspective, the lockdown was a mistake, a disaster, politically motivated, and wrong. But I cannot write that post competently without having some definitive statistics regarding pandemic deaths and the identity and demographics of the victims. Michael’s post contains a version of these stats that would allow me to go forward, but I have seen other statistics [See above] that point in exactly the opposite direction.

This is the consequence of the macro-ethics national crisis created by our untrustworthy news media and professions. It is, at this point, impossible to know what the objective facts are, and not only in this matter, but virtually all others.

Here is Michael R’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Afternoon Ethics Delights, 7/19/2021: The Follies,” focusing on the final item on Colorado’s vaccine lottery (and I forgive him for using the Trump-bashing motivated term “Covid 19” that was devised to advance the Big Lie that President Trump was “racist” to accurately call a Chinese virus a Chinese virus and to place the blame for this crisis squarely where it belonged…)


The Johns-Hopkins Newsletter

COVID did not increase the number of deaths in the US statistically.

From the CDC data
Year Deaths % increase over previous year
2013 2.596 million
2014 2.626 million 1.14%
2015 2.712 million 3.27%
2016 2.744 million 1.17%
2017 2.813 million 2.34
2018 2.839 million 0.9%
2019 2.855 million 0.5%
2020 2.512 million (as of 11/14)

Now, these numbers are total, not death rate (the population changes each year (illegal immigration, etc)
Year Increase in Death rate over previous year
2014 1.29%
2015 1.27%
2016 1.27%
2017 1.24%
2018 1.22%
2019 1.12%
2020 1.12%
2021 1.09%

So, COVID has had no statistical impact on the rate of death in the US. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t COVID deaths, it just means that they are small enough that they don’t compare to the normal standard deviation.

So, where is the emergency? Can anyone please show me where it is? You can say it is there, but you can’t prove it.

Now, on to the vaccine. In VAERS, the total number of deaths reported from these vaccines in 8 months is 11,000. To put this in perspective, we only have about 6,700 gun homicides in that period of time in this country and that is considered a ‘State of Emergency’. For perspective, the number of deaths from the flu vaccine in that time period is ~15. VAERS is only the data reported, not every single case that happens. The models used to estimate the true number of cases from the VAERS data usually multiply by 10-100x. This means the true deaths from the vaccine may easily be over 100,000 people so far. The swine flu vaccine was pulled from the market after ~50 deaths. The number of miscarriages in VAERS from the COVID vaccine stands at ~1000 right now. Miscarriage data is usually multiplied by closer to 100x, so…do your math.

A lawsuit just filed claims that 45,000 people died within 3 days of vaccination. Studies are now showing that the vaccine does not work the way it was designed to work, that it is causing significant vascular damage in a significant percentage of the people who take it.
You can download the filings here

Other interesting things in the filing are the claims:
*That the NIH studies on the vaccines show that almost 200 people have to be vaccinated to get one positive outcome (reduction in symptoms only in ~5% of those vaccinated). A Lancet study had similar findings.
*There is no asymptomatic transmission of COVID.
*The spike protein does circulate in the bloodstream causing damage, contrary to the stated design of the vaccines (malfunctioning vaccine).
*Moderna and Pfizer discarded their placebo group data during development of the vaccines.
*From 2009-2019, there were an average of 159 vaccine deaths/year in VAERS. We are now at 11,000 for these COVID vaccines (not just a claim, government data here).

Why are we pushing such a vaccine on healthy children who have a 99.9996% chance of survival from COVID?

Why don’t people have serious questions about these vaccines after looking at numbers like this? How can people allow schools to mandate these vaccines?

25 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: Afternoon Ethics Delights, 7/19/2021: The Follies [Item #4: Colorado’s Failed Vaccine Lottery]

  1. From the Newsletter, which later deleted her article: Briand was quoted in the article as saying, “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.” This claim is incorrect and does not take into account the spike in raw death count from all causes compared to previous years. According to the CDC, there have been almost 300,000 excess deaths due to COVID-19. Additionally, Briand presented data of total U.S. deaths in comparison to COVID-19-related deaths as a proportion percentage, which trivializes the repercussions of the pandemic. This evidence does not disprove the severity of COVID-19; an increase in excess deaths is not represented in these proportionalities because they are offered as percentages, not raw numbers.” Let’s give the full story, or Ethics Alarms has an ethics lapse itself.

    • As I said, I don’t know what “the full story” is. Do you? How many of the “excess deaths are those caused by the lockdown, or government malfeasance, like the NY nursing home disaster? How many of the deaths were doomed sick and ancient individuals who died a year early? One stat says that only 6% of fatalities were people who were previously healthy. The CDC, as we’re mentioned before, counted any death that had the virus in the mix as a pandemic death.

      EA did, in fact, raise the same issues you have in this Comment of the Day by Rich in Ct. But there is no reason to trust the CDC at this point, or institutions like Hopkins. Or, of course, the news media. As far as I’m concerned, the facts remains uncertain.

      • No, I do not. Just sayin’ that when one relies on a published article for “evidence,” one should alert the reading audience that the article has been withdrawn. BTW, I find the JH justification for withdrawing it mathematically and statistically specious.

        • “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.”

          Withdrawing the article was appropriate, because the author’s conclusions were spurious. I faithfully recreated her data, from the same original sources. Her conclusion that there were no “excess deaths” due to COVID was based solely on a one-week high mortality of approximately 65K in January 2018, that approximately matched the weekly mortality in the sustained weekly mortality in 2020 from April to August.

          She failed to understand that mortality follows natural seasonal variations. Expected mortality is based on seasonal averages adjusted for population change. The author claimed that a one week high in winter one year justified saying that weekly deaths rates that high in the summer for months on end were not unusual. The claim has no logical foundation, and shows the author did not understand the subject matter sufficiently to discuss it publicly.

          It should be stipulated, however, that the withdrawal was incompetently botched. The paper and accompanying video presentation were “disappeared” from the internet, sparking well-founded fears that dissent was being censored. The bad science was not exposed to public debate, being preemptively withdrawn in the name of “safety”, to protect the ignorant who would make health choices based off the botched analysis prepared by an economist.

          Her paper was bad science, that was correctly withdrawn. It should never have been published, because the author had no idea what she was talking about. It’s publishing sparked a minor, avoidable trainwreck. People trusted the author as an authority, which she abused, so other “authorities” censored it, squandering trust all around.

          Incompetence breeds incompetence.

        • See, normally I’m the biggest Scott Alexander fangirl you’ll find, but I didn’t feel like that was up to his usual standards. When I read his follow up today, I felt like I had noticed some of the things mentioned and they should have factored a lot more strongly. I don’t blame him, it was a huge undertaking and is probably the most comprehensive analysis in one place… I’m just not sure it’s the [em]best[/em] on any given point.

          Jack, I’d recommend if you do check it out, check out “Things I Learned Writing the Lockdown Post” on the same substack for some disclaimers and additional transparency.

  2. The number of miscarriages in VAERS from the COVID vaccine stands at ~1000 right now. Miscarriage data is usually multiplied by closer to 100x, so…do your math.

    Whe it comes to the elderly, the obese, the immunocompromised, or the unhealthy, I lean heavily in favor of vaccination. I am on the fence regarding young, healthy people.

    One group of people whom I am against vaccinating are pregnant girls and pregnant women.

    (The reluctance of the young to take the vaccine may also have to do with concerns about fertility.)

    • As a pregnant woman, this is my take exactly. Last year as the vaccines were being developed, an especially science-minded friend of mine noted that he was very excited by the new mRNA technology being used because it has a lot of potential, but that scientists felt the most likely problem with it was affecting development of placental cells. And obviously we don’t know anything about long term impact on child development.

      I declined the vaccine, though the rest of my family got it. But I continue to behave cautiously: double mask, avoid going out as much as possible, etc. And I’ll probably get it next year, after the baby is born.

      I also totally understand young women with concerns about fertility.

      In general, there is a big difference between “this treatment will probably not kill you when you take it” and “this is safe.” Long term effects are important, especially to younger people who have a good chance of surviving the virus, and this is not just a new vaccine but a new technology. We really do not know what we’re talking about on that front, and there literally is no way to study it until we get to long term.

  3. Oh come ON….

    “COVID did not increase the number of deaths in the US statistically.

    From the CDC data
    Year Deaths % increase over previous year
    2013 2.596 million
    2014 2.626 million 1.14%
    2015 2.712 million 3.27%
    2016 2.744 million 1.17%
    2017 2.813 million 2.34
    2018 2.839 million 0.9%
    2019 2.855 million 0.5%
    2020 2.512 million (as of 11/14)”

    That’s not the CDC data. I have no idea what it is… But it’s not from the CDC. This is:

    “In 2020, approximately 3,358,814 deaths† occurred in the United States. From 2019 to 2020, the estimated age-adjusted death rate increased by 15.9%, from 715.2 to 828.7 deaths per 100,000 population.”


    “† Based on death records received and processed as of March 21, 2021, for deaths occurring in the United States among U.S. residents. Data included in this analysis include >99% of deaths that occurred in 2020.”

    I suppose it’s possible that 800,000 people died between 11/14 and 12/31… but I kind of doubt it. Regardless…. Do the new numbers change your opinion?

    My reading of the data is that the excess mortality rate for America in 2020 was somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 more than usual. That wasn’t all Covid… As an example, something like 90,000 people committed suicide, which was 60,000 more than average. But it seems facially obvious that Covid front-loaded the death rates. I say “front loaded” because the average person that died from Covid was more than 80 years old, so what I expect to happen for 2021 and 2022 is for the excess mortality rate to be deeply negative, even if you remove 2020 as an outlier, because a significant cohort of people who would have died naturally in the next couple of years instead died in 2020.

    ….But it obviously happened.

    • Provisional CDC deaths were low in late 2020, as not all jurisdictions had fully reported. Several months into 2021, the finalized 2020 mortality was significantly higher in the final months.

      • Yeah…. But as you pointed out, Michael’s citation was an estimate and specifically disincluded Covid deaths. He was basically saying: “Yeah, if you take out all the Covid deaths, Covid didn’t have an effect on the mortality rate”.

      • I followed this month to month and there were no excess deaths compared to the ones reported at that time in previous years. So, yes. At the end of the year, a bunch of deaths suddenly came in. That is what is aggravating. Can I trust a year when so many deaths came in so late?

        • The stark increase in deaths at the end of the year appears to be substantiated by the data

          I initially examined data available in early December 2020, a few weeks after the data you report, that already showed 10K+ more per week were dying compared to the same week in 2019 or prior years starting in April 2020.

          When I reran the numbers in 2021, the part shown flat for lack of data starkly rose to match mid-April.

          Revisiting my complete 2020 data, total deaths in 2020 in mid November already matched or exceed the total deaths in 2019 (285K), and the 2020 seasonal winter uptick had not yet begun. What you shows appears to based on data available in Nov 2020, that might have shown only 252K deaths-to-date thus far reported.

          The winter uptick in 2020, due to all causes based on the complete year data, was much more severe than seen in any prior year. It does appear that roughly 525K to 600K people died in the last 1.5-2 months of 2020.

    • I was unaware the JH article had been taken down, but that is not surprising either. I was trying to find one source to cite on this rather than cite a bunch of CDC pages. Sorry.

  4. Umm…. you are not using this data correctly at all.

    On your second source (, it specifically says:

    “NOTE: All 2020 and later data are UN projections and DO NOT include any impacts of the COVID-19 virus.”

    Thus NO CONCLUSION about the virus can or should be drawn from this data, because data after 2019 are projections that did not foresee the virus. In my own research, 500K+ more died in 2020 compared to 2019, when the year over year increase had been only on the order of 30K for the previous decade, leading to a 9% increase in morality, not a 1% as projected by the UN.

    I hate to be blunt, but unless I am serious misunderstanding something, the conclusions drawn here based on the linked source are wildly inappropriate.

  5. Also:

    “*From 2009-2019, there were an average of 159 vaccine deaths/year in VAERS. We are now at 11,000 for these COVID vaccines (not just a claim, government data here).”

    This is wrong on multiple levels.

    First off, I can’t replicate your number: Here’s the database:

    I can’t link my results, and I have no idea how you’d insert a screenshot into WordPress, but if you click the disclaimers and search via Wonder, filtering the symptoms by “Death” (under D), VAERS returns 8,319 self-reported vaccine related deaths *ever*, of which Covid vaccines make up 4,903.

    Which still might seem bad…. But:

    Second, VAERS is a database made up of inputs from healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public. VAERS is *explicitly* claims and not government data, and with as much bullshit information surrounding Covid as there is, I’m surprised a troll brigade hasn’t flooded the results with more.

    From the VAERS homepage:

    “VAERS accepts reports of adverse events and reactions that occur following vaccination. Healthcare providers, vaccine manufacturers, and the public can submit reports to the system. While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness. The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable. In large part, reports to VAERS are voluntary, which means they are subject to biases. This creates specific limitations on how the data can be used scientifically. Data from VAERS reports should always be interpreted with these limitations in mind.”

    • Just want to note that this works both ways. Vaccine reactions can be under-reported, especially when health professionals are on high alert against anti-vaxxers, as health professionals will downplay the possibility of attributing adverse reactions to the vaccine. This happened in the 1980s with reactions to the original pertussis vaccine, my mom knew several parents (including herself) who suspected reactions but were told by doctors that it wasn’t the vaccine. That vaccine had already been deemed unsafe in a number of countries in the 1970s, and was eventually replaced by the less effective but safer current version around 1994, so it’s likely at least some of the parents intuitions were correct in that case and reactions were under reported.

      • Oh sure it could, and I make no bones about it.

        I just can’t let the assertion that twice as many deaths as were actually reported happened, or that VAERS is government provided data as opposed to public reports. What bothers me about vaccine denialism is that it all seems to either fall back on a whole lot of information that is either misread or patently untrue, or follows the God of The Gaps method, where you’re assuming everything about the vaccine is bad until it can be proven it’s not, and then the goalposts shift… The people I’m talking to don’t seem to care what’s actually true, they just don’t like the vaccine and don’t want to be confused with facts.

        • This isn’t to say your objection above isn’t legitimate. Pregnant mothers are one of the only adult groups with what I see as legitimate concerns. My views aren’t dispositive, but I have them. I probably wouldn’t be too excited about vaccinating kids either.

    • And now you see the problem with the CDC numbers. When you download the actual VAERS data, you find this:

      Month Deaths
      December 2020 49
      January 2021 734
      February 2021 1093
      March 2021 1294
      April 2021 1155
      May 2021 726

      The CDC reported over 6000 deaths in early July.

      The last 2 weeks have had reports each week that about 2000 deaths has been reported each week.

      My searches on VAERS say about 6000, but the numbers after May seem unlikely. Other sources claim the data released in VAERS is different. As you now can see for yourself, it is hard to get CDC data to agree.

  6. I only very recently got my vaccine, and I hesitated not for so many medical reasons as I did sheer contrariness. I seldom interact with anyone outside my household, I’m not at much risk myself. The vulnerable members of my family already had the vaccine. Then they tell me that I’ll need to mask up anyway, it won’t keep me from getting or spreading the disease or any of its variants, I may (or may not) need regular booster shots, we may need to shut everything back down anyway… Suddenly, even a very slight (but still non-zero) risk from the vaccines seems a lot more likely than the hope of me actually getting anything out of it. Even if they throw in a free scratch ticket in the deal. I actually feel the chances of winning the lottery to be better than the chances that my getting vaccinated or not would make the slightest bit of difference one way or the other.

    Then take into consideration the fact that the people hollering the loudest to “get out and get the vaccine, you racialist vaccine denier” have unapologetically proven time and again that a) They’re liars, b) they don’t care that they’re liars, c) they take pride in their lies, and d) they will do and say anything if it will make people do what they tell them to – and today, that’s get a nifty new vaccine. Who knows what it will be tomorrow? One of these times, the appropriate answer will have to be for them to go perform an anatomically unlikely event with a farm implement of one stripe or another – if they keep pushing, it’ll have to be. Is this that time? Maybe. But when you push people to the brink of resistance, you can’t start being surprised when they start resisting. And when you wish for Americans to start showing a little more spine, you also don’t get to say “but not THIS way! THAT way!”

      • Just reminded me of a quote from one of Terry Pratchet’s books:

        ‘I’m sure we can pull together, sir.’
        ‘Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.’
        He smiled. ‘It’s the only way to make progress.’

    • Another thing to note is that the group of people blaming the unvaccinated for continuing the pandemic, and claiming that the vaccinated still have a substantial risk of spreading COV ID-19, are virtually identical.

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