Two pieces of COVID news:
First, Josh Marshall wrote a piece titled No More Dying of Covid where he discusses the new treatments from Merck and Pfizer, which were approved today. The key point that supports his thesis:
Merck’s pill (molnupiravir) reduced the risk of hospitalization by 50% if taken within 5 days of symptom onset; Pfizer’s pill (paxlovid) reduced the risk of hospitalization by 85% if taken with 5 days onset and 89% if taken within three days.
Both treatments showed 100% efficacy against death.
After excluding COVID-19–associated deaths, overall SMRs [Standardized Mortality Rates] after dose 1 were 0.42 and 0.37 per 100 person-years for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, respectively, and were 0.35 and 0.34, respectively, after dose 2 (Table 2). These rates were lower than the rate of 1.11 per 100 person-years among the unvaccinated mRNA vaccine comparison group (p <0.001). Among Janssen vaccine recipients, the overall SMR was 0.84 per 100 person-years, lower than the rate of 1.47 per 100 person-years among the unvaccinated comparison group (p <0.001).
In other words, in the period of December 14, 2020 to July 31, 2021, an unvaccinated person was at roughly twice to three times more likely to die of something other than COVID than a vaccinated person. This was a large cohort study that tried to adjust for factors like sex, age and ethnicity.
My unscientific, purely anecdotal time spent perusing the Herman Cain Awards leads me to believe that Josh Marshall is being a little too optimistic about the impact of the Pfizer and Merck drugs. This isn’t because the anti-vaxx population won’t take those drugs — they’re willing to take antibody infusions, after all. Rather, it’s because a good part of the unvaccinated population either can’t or won’t look for medical care in the first few days of onset of COVID.
A typical Herman Cain recipient’s course of illness begins with denial. By the time they’re sick enough to believe that the Ivermectin, bleach and vitamins aren’t working, they’re really sick. So the 100% efficacy against death in a pharma company study that used subjects who were recently diagnosed probably won’t be the real-world outcome of using these drugs. There ain’t no cure for stupid, and the stupid with COVID are going to be hard to cure.
The good news is that doctors have a tool that they can use with the vaccinated immunocompromised and elderly who contract COVID. I hope it works for them, if they can get past the unvaxxed assholes clogging up our medical system.