We dive into Dr. Paul Offit’s Atlantic piece on boosting teens, the nature of the CDC’s apparent schizophrenia, the long term effects on the “pandemic generation,” and how Omicron is causing all our prior policy dominoes to fall. Also: FUNNY TWEETS 🤓
– [Zubin] Hey, everyone. Welcome to The VPZD Show. I’m Dr. Zubin Damania. It’s January 12th. We have Dr. Vinay Prasad. What up, VP?
– [Vinay] It’s good to see you. It’s always good to be back on the show, my highlight of my week.
– [Zubin] Me too, #metoo. I gotta say this though, you actually hit me in advance so we could let our viewers know what we’re gonna talk about today, but it’s so cryptic that it hasn’t spoiled the surprise for me ’cause I have no idea what you’re talking about. So you said we’re gonna talk about Offit, Paul Offit in The Atlantic, we’re gonna talk about the schizophrenia of the CDC, that one’s hard to decipher, we’re gonna talk about generation pandemic, the pandemic generation and we’re gonna talk about Omicron, how Omicron means that policies we have will fall like dominoes, very intriguing. Very intriguing.
– Domino Rally, like Domino Rally, like the videos from 30 years ago. You remember Domino Rally?
– [Zubin] I do. Dude, now we’re really-
– It was the hottest thing. It was the hottest thing.
– [Zubin] We’re really dating ourselves, man. I also remember Domino’s pizza. Remember the Noid? That was their little spokesperson.
– [Vinay] I heard that Domino’s pizza a few years ago they decided we want to clean up our act, we want to serve some pizza that actually tastes good and now they’re actually the best tasting of the crappy brands.
– [Zubin] They upped their game, yeah, to fast food level pizza. Do you know I was part of a test market in Fresno, California when I was in high school, they were trialing McPizza.
– [Vinay] McPizza?
– [Zubin] Yes. It was $10, which at that time in the ’80’s was exorbitant and it tasted like anus.
– [Vinay] Well, did you know when I was growing up in the ’80’s I was part of BOOK IT!. And BOOK IT! meant if you pounded those books, you got a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza. You remember that?
– [Zubin] Oh, I remember BOOK IT!. Dude Pizza Hut used to have these breadsticks. It was like five bucks and you’d get like a family size breadstick. And me and my friends in high school would drive there, we’d play video games, we’d eat breadsticks. I mean, it was pure carbs and sugar and you know what? I’m still alive at 48.
– [Vinay] The atherosclerosis, it didn’t totally occlude the artery, it was just partial occlusion.
– [Zubin] Not only is it partial occlusion, it’s so friable that all it’s gonna take is like one wrong move and I’m gonna clot my entire LED, it’s gonna be great.
– [Vinay] Well, I was a fast reader so I was crushing BOOK IT!. But if you really think about it, that’s kind of a messed up reward to reading is just personal pan pizza after personal pan pizza.
– [Zubin] Totally and rewarding speed reading, right? Like what about comprehension? Like, oh yeah, just read “The Lord of the Rings” in a day. It’s like, well, tell me one character that you remember, you know?
– [Vinay] The truth is it probably did instill my love of books was that pizza, that sweet, sweet treat.
– [Zubin] It once again tells you incentives matter. Like what are we doing now? We’re masking two-year-olds and telling them school is fun, yeah.
– [Vinay] Oh boy, let’s talk about it.
– [Zubin] Let’s do it. All right, let’s dive in.
– First up, Paul Offit. Paul Offit.
– [Zubin] My friend, the legend, love the man. What’s he saying?
– [Vinay] Now I looked at his title. This guy, he literally directs the Center for Vaccine Communication. Is that correct?
– [Zubin] That is correct.
– [Vinay] And this guy has invented a vaccine himself, fair to say?
– [Zubin] Co-invented the rotavirus vaccine.
– [Vinay] And this guy is a great proponent of childhood vaccination, written books about it, has he not?
– [Zubin] He has been accosted by anti-vaccine activists in every possible scenario, including on the toilet.
– [Vinay] On the toilet, really?
– [Zubin] Believe me, they’ll find you.
– [Vinay] As provocative as I’ve been, no one has ever bothered me when I’m dropping a deuce. Thank God. Thank God.
– [Zubin] Yep, yep.
– [Vinay] Except for when I was a resident and had that pager ’cause you couldn’t go to the bathroom without 15 pages.
– [Zubin] Oh dude, once I dropped the pager in the can with the deuce inside and had to make a split second-
– [Vinay] I don’t want to know the end of the story. I don’t want to know if the pager survived or not or if you got a, I hope you got a loaner pager is what I want to say.
– [Zubin] I’m just not gonna comment.
– [Vinay] No comment.
– [Zubin] Let’s just say infection control is not an enemy I want to make.
– [Vinay] This is what Paul Offit says in The Atlantic and this is a quote. Okay, this is a piece on boosters. This came out I think just yesterday, The Atlantic. “Paul Offitt, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital at Philadelphia told me, that getting boosted would not be worth the risk for the average healthy 17 year old boy. Offit advised his own son who’s in his 20’s not to get a third dose. Even with Omicron’s ability to sidestep some of the protection vaccines provide, Offit said he believed that his son is well-protected against serious illness with two shots so a third just isn’t necessary.” Wow. What do you think?
– [Zubin] I love Paul Offit because he never hesitates to piss off his own tribe by speaking truth as he sees it and he was doing it early in the pandemic, he’s done it throughout. He says some things that I may not fully agree with, like about mandates and things like that, but dude, that is strong words. And I got to say this, like it is accurate, it is accurate based on the best data we have currently. Why would you be boosting kids? And do you know the San Jose City Council or whatever has put a new ordinance in place saying you need to have a booster to use any city facilities, that’s includes like symphony and sports and all of this. And so what does that mean? It means that if you’re a-
– [Vinay] They think they’re smarter than Paul Offit is what it means.
– [Zubin] That’s exactly right. And I’ll tell you this, nobody’s smarter than Paul Offit, okay, nobody.
– They ain’t, they ain’t.
– [Zubin] They ain’t.
– [Vinay] You know it’s interesting to me because doesn’t it sort of open that Overton window, that window of what we’re allowed to talk about? When you get a guy like this, and I think the key thing here is that this is the one man that all the crazies online, no one can say he’s anti-vax, the man invents vaccines, he’s invented a vaccine, he’s not anti-vax, he’s as pro-vax as it gets, and even Paul Offit is saying that the risk benefit profile, you really have to wonder when you think about third doses in boys. And what I think that means is we need a broader conversation. Is adjust third doses for his son? What ages? Should we question it? And where can we even question second doses as some countries are doing? They’re questioning the second dose. And now with Omicron, or as you call it Omicold, Omicold is gonna be some people’s booster or their second dose and maybe we should allow that to be the case and not chase after them, making them fulfill paperwork to participate in life. If you had one dose of the shot and you had an Omicold, you’ve gotten two doses of spike protein antigen in my opinion, you can go on with your life, we don’t need to hold those people hostage.
– [Zubin] Absolutely and what’s really fascinating about this is look, let’s just think about the ramifications of what Paul is saying here. He’s saying as somebody who does this, now he has gone on record, I listened to his interview on This Week in Virology from a couple of weeks ago, he says, “Listen, these kids get sick in the hospital.” He really is a proponent of childhood vaccination for COVID. He thinks that it will net save lives even with the cost of myocarditis and he’s saying don’t boost a kid in a high risk category for myocarditis whereas the San Jose people are saying, “Listen, a six year old boy who’s eligible”, so anybody who’s eligible for booster, okay, needs to be boosted in order to participate in a spelling bee in a city facility, like this is what they’re saying when they say mandated boosters, yeah.
– [Vinay] The only clarification would be I guess my understanding is only 12 and up is eligible for booster at this present moment.
– [Zubin] That’s true, that’s true.
– [Vinay] Okay but you’re still true, a 12 year old boy, if they want to play spelling bee and I think according to my eyeball, that’s often the winner, by the way, it’s always some Indian 12-year-old boy, no often there’s an Indian 12-year-old boy or girl who’s crushing it, huh?
– [Zubin] Listen to this, so I made a video, a parody of the Barenaked Ladies, “One Week”, called “One Sikh” about foreign medical graduates, Indians and South Asians in particular, and we flew to Victoria, Texas, because there was an Indian cardiology family, who the wife was a pediatrician, husband’s a cardiologist, of course, and we said, “Listen, I put a line in there about Indian kids winning the spelling bee like every year.” And they go, “We got the perfect one for you.” They instantly produced a multi-winning spelling bee kid who was like eight who had like 17 medals and we put him at the end of the video, dude, it is a thing.
– It is a thing. But you know, a couple years ago, the prize went to someone who wasn’t Indian and I forget, but there’s an Indian comedian, Hari Kondabolu and he has this long video and basically his video was like, “Come on, man, we only had that one thing. We only had that one thing.”
– [Zubin] That’s true. What else do we have, man? You know-
– [Vinay] We don’t have tennis. I don’t know, what do we have? We have cricket, we have cricket!
– [Zubin] Oh cricket, that’s right. But I’ll say this, you got tagged on Twitter, this was interesting, by somebody was saying they had searched in YouTube, “Brown Noise”, “Brown Noise” and a recommended video was a Vinay Prasad rant and I’m like there is no finer example of brown noise.
– [Vinay] That’s racist but maybe it’s because my mellifluous voice soothes your tinnitus. Maybe I’m like a brown noise, yeah.
– [Zubin] You know when I’m trying to go to bed, I just listen to your voice. I have to say this though, Vinay-
– [Vinay] Better than reading my papers.
– [Zubin] Back to the booster thing, so this an interesting thing, so a friend sent me a tweet from somebody who’s a psychiatrist in San Francisco and she had the typical Twitter handle with the usual signaling of what tribe you’re in and all that and that’s fine. And she had said, “Listen, my teenager got a booster shot, came down with myocarditis and was lightly hospitalized”, meaning they’re in the hospital currently. I mean didn’t say lightly, but you know the implication there, “and despite all of that, I’m glad they got a booster. Yeah, I would do it again.” And the comment section lit up with kind of the worst, most horrible people saying terrible things about her parenting and her child’s gonna die, the usual anti-vax stuff, but the point was interesting, which is, wow, really we got to think about how important is it to signal to your tribe that you’re virtuous by boosting a 15-year-old or whatever and how important it is to actually raise the issue of, hey, myocarditis actually can happen in this crowd and is there a risk benefit we should be talking about? That’s not what was raised. It was, no regrets.
– [Vinay] So I guess I would say my condolences, I feel for this poor kid and I wish him a speedy recovery and thank goodness all I’ve heard is that it was mild, as they always say, so hopefully this person has a total recovery. Hopefully there’s no LGE on MR and there’s no long-term scarring or anything like that, his is a perfect recovery I’m hoping for, I wish the best to the parents. That said, I do think there is an element of it’s akin to Stockholm syndrome, when you start to feel good about bad events like that. And I think that one could re, I don’t know the situations, but if we’re talking about a healthy boy between the ages of 12 and 24 and they get boosted and have myocarditis, that’s the third dose, I think people can legitimately ask if that was a wise decision and they should ask that. And I think like Paul Offit telling his own son, I don’t think it’s a wise decision, I think if the answer is I have no regrets, I think you’re not really agonizing enough about the decision. Similarly in medicine, there are so many times in medicine, you make a call, something doesn’t go well and then you have to rake yourself over those coals and you have to ask yourself 100 times out of 100 knowing what I knew at that moment would I make that same call? And I think boys myocarditis, I think it’s not so clear, it’s not clear.
– [Zubin] Yeah, I agree. Another interesting thing, now it’s really heartbreaking because there is this tribal aspect, right? So you have the antithesis tribe being activated by this tweet and then the thesis tribe which has got the Stockholm syndrome and it’s kind of like, well, how about an actual like synthesis tribe, like an alt middle synthesis tribe that goes, you know what, yeah, so here’s a good example of why we need to have this conversation, right? And now another interesting thing that Paul said in the This Week in Virology podcast I heard was in order of frequency, what he’s seeing in hospitalized kids right now at CHOP, unless I misunderstood him is influenza number one, metapneumovirus, an RSV, and then COVID. So our standard respiratory viruses are still causing more havoc in children. Now that doesn’t mean a vaccine isn’t appropriate for a kid to keep them out of the COVID space and certainly a flu shot, but it is interesting in terms of just statistics that these other viruses are back.
– [Vinay] And it also means that we should not have life revolve around just one virus because there are other viruses that affect kids and also there are things beyond viruses that affect kids, like their mental health, their sanity, their suicidality, all sorts of things.
– [Zubin] All sorts of stuff.
– [Vinay] Next topic, the schizophrenia. I wanted to talk to you about the schizophrenia, because I think there’s something going on in the White House that’s leading to a schizophrenia. I’m just gonna read you two headlines. Wednesday, January 12th, 2022, I think that’s the day we’re talking, “The highly contagious Omicron variant will, “find just about everybody.” Fauci says,” his Lord and savior, Anthony Fauci, Saint Anthony Fauci says, “The vaccinated people will stay ready.” So Fauci says, CNN, the virus’ll find everybody, which is what you and I have been saying for quite some time, I just want to point that.
– [Zubin] Our date with Omicron, our date with Delta.
– [Vinay] Yes. And then the next headline, the next headline is something like, of course I’m not gonna be able to find it right when I want it. The next headline, it said something like, “White House considers mailing every household a box of N95” and here, oh I found it, “Biden health team weights new mask distribution plan.” Okay, are they really gonna send K95’s or N95’s or KF94’s or KZDDP-
– [Zubin] VPZD.
– [Vinay] VPZD.
– [Zubin] Merch, merch.
– [Vinay] VPZD 99’s. 95’s, are you kidding me, ZDogg? Are you kidding me? You walk out there, five percent chance, you’re taking a gamble? 99.99.
– [Zubin] You might as well murder your child. I mean that’s how incompetent you are at that five percent.
– [Vinay] If you’re willing to take gambles, you ‘re playing Russian roulette. Every day you go out there with the K95, VPZD 99’s, they’re such a good fit. I mean they’re such a good fit you can’t get them off your face.
– [Zubin] You know what? Exactly, exactly. They approach the asymptote of asphyxiation without ever reaching it. That’s our marketing. Almost we’ll choke you to death, but we’ll save your life in the bargain.
– [Vinay] And they come with all the bumper stickers that you put on your car to make yourself look like a good person.
– [Zubin] Oh, absolutely. Like a fish with little legs on it to show that you support both Jesus and evolution.
– [Vinay] Yeah and it comes with a Tesla.
– [Zubin] To show that you’re carbon neutral, exactly. Yeah, it’s crazy.
– So what do you think of these two, this is a juxtaposition, right? So on the one hand, one part of the brain is saying, the administration, everyone is gonna meet this virus and our policy has to plan accordingly. It’s not a matter of if it’s when, okay? And then the other part of the brain is saying, let’s just wear N95’s for the time being. And to me there’s a tension there because if you really accept the premise that the best thing you can do is lower your risk when you meet the virus, lose weight, get vaccinated, improve your medical problems, then the answer is what’s the point of taking very draconian, painful, restrictive measures to delay the time? You’re still gonna get it because every day I look on Twitter, there’s thread after thread of people saying, “I did all the right things. “My wife and I wear the mask, we sleep in separate rooms, we don’t even meet. We get the mail, we put it in the ante room, we wait four days before we open it and I still got COVID.” There’s all these stories like that. So what is the point? You’re not gonna avoid it forever, that’s what Fauci’s saying. So I think the administration has a schizophrenia. Who is running it? Is it the zero COVID, what do you call them?
– [Zubin] The Covidians.
– [Vinay] Covidians or is it the, and this is not Covidiot anymore, this is actually I think this is mother nature tells us and we can only respond which is this is gonna spread. So what are your thoughts? It’s a little bit of schizophrenia in the administration.
– [Zubin] Yeah, I agree. And you throw the CDC in there and it’s even more, so you’ve got CDC, you’ve got NIAD and NIH and you’ve got say the Surgeon General’s Office and then you’ve got Biden’s executive office and sometimes they are not aligned. And anybody who knows how government works or has worked or contact people in government will know that this is, they often are at odds, they’ll leak on each other, they will have different ideas of how to do things and then what it presents to the public is a total shit show where you really can’t make sense. Like, what is the quarantine? I have people messaging me. “Oh I have Omicron, I’m at home, I have fevers. When do I test? When can I go? I can’t get a test.” And so the administration’s got to figure out, okay, what should we do now? Because we know we want to give people a sense of control and an out, but at the same time, we want to show that we’re helping vulnerable people. So maybe we should offer K95s and N95s to people so that they can make that choice, but then, but Fauci’s saying, well everyone’s gonna get it so you better just get vaccinated and get yourself ready for it and it just becomes chaos. Now this is something you would have accused say Trump administration of, right?
– [Vinay] Oh yeah, you’d call it, if Trump did, it would be total chaos and how dare you?
– [Zubin] Totally disorganized pandemic non-response from Trump administration but it happens in every administration. And you know what? I used to be one of those guys who was like, yeah, you know what I don’t know what this deep state is, I don’t quite understand it, it doesn’t make sense to me, but the more I kind of understand with government and talk to people who work there, I get the sense that big bureaucratic organizations like the CDC are super insular. They do not like to share either information or decision-making with other branches of government if they don’t have to. And even people who run say CDC may be manipulated by career bureaucrats who’ve been running CDC forever. And so messages get misaligned, there isn’t proper socializing of communications that are had and then you end up with this and then everybody’s leaking to the press in the meantime. This is common in a lot of administrations. It’s not just this one. So I think that may explain some of the CDC schizophrenia. And again, I think the intent is good. So like I don’t think we can brand them with ill intent, but I think it is. And this is where this is where it really becomes the antithesis sort of tribe really says there is this conspiracy right to control this and that. And the truth is people can’t tie their shoelaces in government.
– [Vinay] Correct.
– [Zubin] So I would be really surprised if they could pull off a high level conspiracy.
– [Vinay] It’s the old saying, “Never attribute to malice that which is attributable to incompetence.” Never look for malice when it’s just plain incompetence.
– [Zubin] It’s just straight up bureaucracy, exactly. You know there’s a thing that, oh go ahead, go ahead, go ahead.
– [Vinay] No, no, no, no, go on, go on.
– [Zubin] There’s a piece of this that you alluded to a little bit, which is this, and somebody wrote about this recently, I’m forgetting her name, Mary something, this whole thesis antithesis thing has taken on the flair of religion in a way that it’s almost like we’re trying to fill this God-shaped hole in the universe with this. So let’s look at it. On the thesis side, you have the baptism of vaccination and boosting, which if you’re not-
– [Vinay] Hail booster, hail booster.
– [Zubin] Exactly. You just go backwards into the pool and get baptized. And if you don’t, you can’t be buried in the same cemetery as those who are baptized.
– As you go backwards, the needle enters your deltoid and you get boosted and you come forward and you have a newly placed N95.
– [Zubin] That’s it. So it’s the sacraments about boosting. So that’s the thesis side.
– [Vinay] That’s one religion.
– [Zubin] Thou shalt. And by the way, so how do we talk in religious terms? The infidels, the outsiders, the nonbelievers are unclean, they’re going to poison the tribe so the unvaccinated are not welcome, you need to show me your papers, you need to do this, that and the other thing. So that’s the thesis side.
– [Vinay] And you’re not allowed to get healthcare and maybe you should pay higher premiums and maybe we should make life a little uncomfortable for you.
– [Zubin] Yes, maybe we should fire you if you’re a healthcare worker and you’ve been naturally infected and you refuse to get vaccinated and then-
– [Vinay] Until we need you, like oh sorry about that, we kind of need you right now.
– [Zubin] We’re not gonna take you back but what we will do is something that makes a lot of sense, speaking of schizophrenia, what we’ll do is we’ll say it’s okay for you to come back to work with an N95 if you’re positive for COVID.
– [Vinay] As long as you don’t test. If you don’t test, I mean I’m sympathetic, but it’s crazy. I don’t know what it is. It’s so crazy it’s hard to keep track of.
– [Zubin] It’s discordant. We’re requiring vaccinations of people who have some degree of natural immunity, but then you’re saying, okay, forget that, we want to keep our patients safe so come back in when you’re COVID positive and it’s okay, just wear a mask. That’s what they’re saying out of necessity. So why didn’t they see this coming and not put in draconian mandates for healthcare workers that just end up causing more staffing and more problems? But back to the religion piece-
– [Vinay] Back to the religion and what about the other side?
– [Zubin] The other side. So the other side has a kind of end times revelation tone to it to use Christian sort of metaphor. So they’re saying, listen, guys, if we could just show the devil’s work here, Fauci and these guys are conspiring and that’s why the pandemic’s continuing, and if we could just expose that, the pandemic will be over and we shall be, we, the chosen who have not been vaccinated, will be raptured into the rapture and everyone else will die of cancer and the holy sacraments are hyroxychloroquine and ivermectin and the sages and priests of that.
– [Vinay] So I have a point there, and this is what I see as the absurdity on that side, that far Covidiot side is this which is they want two things to be true. Okay number one, for most people COVID is no big deal, it’s 99.9% survival rate, which is that is the IFR, right, so they’re not far, but they want COVID to be no big deal. And like you’re a healthy person, if you get it, it should be no big deal on average, you’re gonna do just fine. At the same time, now their premise is it’s no big deal, 99.99% of people are gonna get well anyway. At the same time, it’s such a big deal, you’ve got to pound a fistful of vitamins and minerals and ivermectin and this, that, and it’s not just one, they want you to take many, many of these things, especially early, they say early treatment is necessary and you have to do it early. But if it’s 99.99, why do I got to take anything at all? Just take some orange juice and some bedrest. So there’s a little bit of something there where it’s like, how could it both be if you’re well and healthy, you’re gonna do just fine, but it’s also imperative you take this big bag of pills, stat? I think there’s a problem. And the truth is, yeah right?
– [Zubin] It’s really interesting because what it highlights is actually the cognitive dissonance inherent in any religious view, because it’s a view, it’s a belief structure that is not fully based on evidence. So as long as you believe it, you’re good to go. As long as the key tenants, then you can ignore these sort of cognitively dissonant things, like for example, this guy Malone on Rogan’s podcast said, “It’s been shown, great data have been shown that 500,000 lives could have been saved if we had given hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin early treatment.” It’s just beyond a shadow of a doubt. And Rogan’s like nodding and you’re like, okay, wait, sorry what?
– [Vinay] What?
– [Zubin] Again, this is like the dissonance of okay, well it’s not a severe disease, but we could have saved 500,000 lives if we had given these cocktails. So again, and the thesis tribe, they’re all equally divergently insane saying, oh, come on in and work in the hospital when you’re COVID positive, but not if you’re not vaccinated, you can’t come work even if you’re negative. It just makes no sense.
– [Vinay] I guess for me, it’s like easier to see the absurdity of the thesis side because the thesis side is the ones running the show. They’re like staffing universities and they like run the mainstream networks. And so for me, I see that. The Covidiot side I think is further. But I do think there’s a tension, which is that they’re actively advising 20-year-olds who get COVID to take all these pills most of which don’t have randomized data supporting their use in that space, which to me is a paradox, because if you’re telling this 20-year-old, the true answer, which is if you’re 20 and healthy, you’re probably gonna do just fine.
– [Zubin] You’re fine.
– [Vinay] The odds are in your favor. Then why do you need to take a fist full of pills? That’s really a question.
– [Zubin] This is the thing. Like you have a lot of young people coming in asking for monoclonal antibodies and it’s like, okay, and this is a antithesis tribe sort of trope that monoclonals are being suppressed, this is a good therapy and they’re being suppressed. And it’s like, well, not really, it’s actually advocated, it’s part of policy recommendations to give monoclonals. Whether they’re actually given depends on the logistics and so on and how sick you are because again for a disease that 99.9% of the time you’re gonna be okay, are you gonna give a 20-year-old an infusion of monoclonal antibodies, which by the way, so from a sanctity versus degradation moral palate standpoint, each religion has its sort of thing. Right, I’m willing to take a vaccine, but I’m not willing to take ivermectin or something like that. On the other side, I’m willing to take a monoclonal antibody infusion and an infusion of IV whatever nougat, but I’m not willing to take a microgram dose of mRNA. So again, each stakes its belief, has its tribal thing and never shall the twain connect.
– [Vinay] Immune shall only enter the vein and not doth enter the muscle, not doth enter the muscle.
– [Zubin] Yay, yay.
– [Vinay] Next topic. There’s a feature in Nature. It’s called the pandemic generation. It says this, “Child development researchers are investigating whether the pandemic is shaping early brain development and behavior.” And it’s by my friend actually, Melinda Wenner Moyer, who’s actually a terrific journalist. And the article is about, I think a hitherto taboo topic, which is that a lot of what’s been going on these last two years may hurt this generation of kids, particularly infants who were born in the thick of this. And it’s not gonna hurt everyone of course. If your parents are wealthy and they stayed home and you had a lot of stimulation at home, I think you’re gonna do fine, but it’s gonna hurt I think poor, disadvantaged kids and their families. But the point I wanted to make here and I made it in a little Twitter thread is that we have to, let’s be clear, if it is someday shown, and it has not yet been, but if it is someday shown that this generation of kids has had difficulties in speech, language, cognitive processes, anything, if there is some deficiency that we find, let us be clear, it is not caused by the virus, it was caused by what we did. And here are the things we did, Z. One, we made daycare workers in the United States when they took care of babies in daycare, they had to wear the cloth mask all day everyday. The baby never saw their face. The United Kingdom did not do that. They did not mask the caretakers of babies in daycares. And I asked a pediatrician in the UK and he said, “That’s because we’re not crazy.” That’s what he told me. He told me, this is a professor. Okay number two, the WHO said, “Don’t mask those kids under six”, but our American Academy of Pediatrics and CDC said, “Go down to two.” And so we have daycares making it down to two. That’s something we did. We chose to do that. SARS-coV-2 didn’t make us do that and they didn’t do that across the pond. Number three, they talked about kids didn’t have many play dates. That’s us. We could have, nobody stopped people from having play dates, it was only dependent on your sphincter tone. Number four, ae literally closed playgrounds, we closed those playgrounds. Number five, the risk to kids today, John Arnold tweets, “Causes of death by age, 2020. If you’re less than one, homicide, 246, COVID, 35. Causes of death if you’re one to four, homicide, 312, COVID, 19,” this is 2020, “Causes of death, homicide five to fourteen, 454, COVID, 49, causes of death, 15 to 24, homicide, 6,400, COVID, 501.” Homicide is crushing COVID as a cause of death and we have never reacted this way to homicide as we react to COVID. It is a absolutely disproportionate reaction for this one thing that is not the greatest threat they face. Six, school closure, that was a fiasco. We’ve talked about that so many times. Seven, you pushed the vaccine so hard on these kids that you got Paul Offit defecting. You lost Offit. When you lose Offit, you’ve lost it. You lose the man, you lost Offit, you’re so crazy, you lost Paul, the guy makes vaccines for Christ sakes and I’m just like, what are you doing? Number 10, there’s this guy, Professor Allen, he’s at Harvard and he is a pro-mask guy, I mean, this guy is a pro-mask, he’s as pro-mask as they come. He tweeted two days ago, his nine-year-old daughter, it was a very cold day and in the Northeast and when it’s really cold, it was like nine degrees, they don’t go outside at all and she said, “Oh boy dad, it’s really tough because if you don’t go outside at all, there’s no mask break so we got to wear this thing all day.” And she says, “I’d rather freeze than not have a mask break”, that’s what she told her father. And he tweets that to say like let’s not pretend that this is nothing, it is not fun. And guess what? The pro-mask brigade came after this guy for blood and a lot of people said this, this was the most I have to say this, this is the most fucked up thing they said. Z, they said this to him. They said, “The Boston school district is closed. What are you saying?” Insinuating that this dude is lying. But guess what he says? “My kids go to school in the suburbs. By the way, stop looking up my address, you piece of”-
– [Zubin] Oh shit.
– [Vinay] Exactly. Who are these monsters? They’re checking up on like where the dude lives. I was like, my God, he’s a professor at Harvard, he’s not lying that his nine-year-old said this, but look where we are. 11, sorry last thing, Omicron was milder but we are testing the heck out of kids and it makes no sense. So my point is that if there’s damage, I do not want to see you blame that virus, that’s not what did it, it was you, you did it. You did it and they didn’t do it in Europe.
– [Zubin] Shit. That was a great list, man. Dude, there’s so much to say there, but I think you said most of it. I got to say this though, so this idea that okay, this guy violates the orthodoxy of his tribe by talking about masks in a less than perfect way and the tribe revolts and tries to harm him. You see this on both sides. So again, you see the same awful behavior. The woman who’s kid had myocarditis, sure, she’s out there virtue signaling about the kid, but the way that thread went down accusing her of just the worst kind of crimes against the child, it’s like, no, she’s actually doing what has been recommended by authorities. So it’s kind of like people just behave in a way that they feel this person is pure evil and I see very smart people doing this. I see people who really lose their minds. They don’t realize there’s a human being on the other end of that, right? And it inhibits our ability to have reasonable conversations. Now again, Twitter’s not the real world. In the real world, you’d have a face to face and people would be polite and more courteous but I don’t know man, but you’re right. You almost wish there were an accountability board, like post apartheid in South Africa where it was like, nobody gets fucked up, nobody ends up, it’s not a retribution thing, but it’s like a here, let’s air the thing here, okay. Yeah, go ahead.
– [Vinay] That mother, I mean I think the mistake people make is that mother shouldn’t be demonized for that tweet. That mother should get your sympathy that she has so bought into that tribal identity that even when the adverse event falls right on her own child and the question of the decision was entirely uncertain and Paul Offit, the most pro-vax guy saying he wouldn’t have done it, even then she cannot see that there’s some reason to wonder. Recently I went skiing and I had a choice between two sets of boots, the really tight ones and the not tight ones. I picked the really tight ones and I ended up with a blister. And if I think back and I think to myself, did I make the wrong choice, the answer is, yes, I did. I made the wrong choice, I can admit it. I should’ve picked that bigger boots. And that’s what this person should be thinking. They should say yeah.
– [Zubin] Yeah, that’s it. And the thing is, again, I’m not a believer in much of free will so she made the only choice she could have made and so it’s more like, hey guys, let me just signal to you that this is not an action without consequences and I’m just gonna put that out there. She can even say, look, I would do it again because I believed what I believed when I did it, but here’s what you should know, and that’s fine. But dude, we’ve gotten to a crazy point. We don’t understand risk. The thing about homicides and kids, come on, come on. You know, we don’t shut down all of society for homicides, we don’t close schools for homicides, although we have a lot of active shooter drills and things like that and your chances of dying in a mass shooting is actually rather low, although it makes a lot of news and it’s tragic and it’s terrible, but we just don’t get risk very well.
– You know, it’s spot on. And I’ll also say one last thing to put a little salt, two things. One, a quote, this is by Charles Mackay, “Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds and they only recover their senses slowly and one by one.” Which I think is true.
– Oh, that’s a great.
– And then another tweet. Yeah you like, you want to talk about that?
– [Zubin] So this is interesting. How do you undo a collective, instantiated hive mind conditioning? This is a very good question because listen, I have been, both you and I can get captured by these things, all of us can. And the first step is to actually realize you’re captured when you start to feel that dissonance and go, wait, wait, what? And like, you know, there have been, pre-pandemic, intra-pandemic, I’ve been captured by certain ideas in a tribal way and I’ve had to be disabused of them. And the only way that happens is by people challenging me in a respectful way and then me challenging myself, but it does not happen at a tribal level, the whole tribe doesn’t suddenly wake up. Now what we do see is the tribe will rejustify, like what’s gonna happen, we’re gonna talk about Omicron. The tribe will suddenly go, well wait, okay, all right, well now everybody’s getting infected with Omicron so we can reevaluate how we’re talking about the cleanliness and the stay home and all of that. So I do think there’s, we have to wake up individually, but it requires actual discourse, that sort of Corpus callosum between the different ideas.
– [Vinay] I think you’re spot on. And you always have to ask yourself, why do you think what you think? You know, I think it’s important. Am I getting captured? Am I getting captured by the sweet, sweet tones of ZDogg or do actually believe it or do I actually believe it? Do I actually believe it? That’s why I always, after the show, I always fact check you, Z. I always spend an hour or two.
– [Zubin] You know, I had a sense you were doing that. No, but you know what it is interesting. I’m sure you get these emails ’cause I get them. It’s like, “Hey, thank you for what you do. You make me feel like I’m not crazy.” And immediately I’m on edge. I’m like, wait a minute, what did I say that made you feel like you’re not crazy and what was the thing that you felt was crazy? And then you start to realize, oh, it’s an alt middle approach. It’s like what we’re saying? It’s like, oh no, I don’t think that masking two-year-olds makes a lot of sense and then you say something like that and they go, oh, I’m not crazy. I’m not the only person who feels this way. So there is that kind of capture too, which is a validation from someone that maybe you respect or whatever. So you do have to say, why do I believe what I believe?
– [Vinay] I often get that in the hospital where I get someone sneak up to me and they’re like, “You know, I have to tell you, I agree with everything you say and it’s just basic common sense really, but I’m scared to put my name out there.” I often hear that. Okay, next topic. American Academy of Pediatrics, August 12th, this was their tweet, “Babies and young children study faces so you may worry that having masked caregivers would harm children’s language development. There are no studies to support this concern. Young children will use other clues like gestures and tone of voice, AAP.” and they have a little picture that says real talk. I think and I had to point that, re-up that because that’s not gonna age well, AAP. I promise you, it’s not gonna age well. Five years from now, people are gonna hold that up and they are not going to be happy with you, that in a moment where people legitimately asked, is it good for my baby to like be left in daycare all day for two years for 10 hours a day and never see anyone’s face? And their response was, oh, no biggie. I never saw any followups, no biggie, no biggie And you know, I also thought about, and I was talking with my friend who spent a lot of time in the Middle East and Asia about like different cultures in which people do actually wear facial coverings, and he was telling me that even in the most strict cultures that he’s aware of, and this person grew up in Middle East until they were almost 30, this person was saying even in the most strict cultures when women are alone together or when kids were alone with women, they do not have these policies in place. He was like there’s no precedent, I’m not aware of anything that would actually inform what we’re doing, it’s never been done even in places where that has been part the culture.
– You know, there was this study recently, right, I don’t know if you saw it where they were looking at six-month-old kids and seeing their cognitive development, comparing it to pre-COVID cognitive development. It seemed a little soft and biased, that was the problem, but it did show declines in certain measures. But again, I hesitate without having looked at the primary data on that.
– [Vinay] And I also have, I’m sure that a lot of these studies are using endpoints and sample size that is question mark, question mark so I don’t want to hang my hat on it yet, but I just want to point out that the reason there’s no large population data that shows a harm from doing this for two years is that no one ever did it in human history.
– [Zubin] No one did the study, no one’s every done it.
– [Vinay] No one’s ever done such a thing, yeah. Okay, the next topic, the Domino’s. I really got interested in this Domino’s thing, which is that the idea that, like premise number one, vaccine effectiveness, and here I want to be really clear, all of the data I’ve seen to date suggests that one dose, two doses of vaccine protects you against severe outcomes. And just today, I think in The New England Journal, they’re gonna show again that kind of data, and that’s important to know which is that your risk of hospitalization, your risk of intensive care are lowered by having been vaccinated than not vaccinated. So that’s the personal health benefit to you from getting vaccinated. But in the age of Omicron, the third question is do you have a reduction in symptomatic disease? And now there are at least three preprints I’m aware of, a study out of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, Denmark, and a study out of Canada, and collectively and in my Substack I kind of go through this data, but they all show something concerning. One, two doses Pfizer or Moderna taken awhile back has vaccine effectiveness borderlining zero, zero. Like your chances of getting an infection, runny nose and testing positive are like the same as if you didn’t get the vaccine. Now, of course, you’re still getting that benefit on the severe outcome so let’s keep that there, but the transmissibility as far as we’re seeing is not even touched. And then the booster, the booster has something, 30, 40% vaccine effectiveness, but even in this dataset, it’s fading. And as you get further from your booster, it’s fading and regressing towards the null. And so the idea is, the reality, we have vaccine escape. I mean, I hate to say it, this virus, Omicron, has escaped the vaccine’s ability to keep you from having a mild infection. Now it hasn’t escaped the ability to keep you from getting severely ill, that’s the good news, but it’s kept you from getting the mild infection so that has, and it spreads like wildfire. So the two things together mean several policy conclusions. Number one, the mandates. One of the justifications for mandate is that we’re mandating because you Zdogg, when you get vaccinated, it’s gonna help granny over here, it’s gonna help Timmy over here, it’s gonna help Susie over here. It has a benefit to other people. That precondition is I believe gone because now you’re no longer showing, it is implausible that it’s going to do much to pandemic dynamics. You’re gonna be repeatedly exposed, you’re going to get it and spread it. So I can no longer compel you by Fiat to get vaccinated to help Timmy, because I no longer believe it’ll help Timmy. Timmy’s gonna get exposed to anyway, whether I twist your arm or not. I think that’s important.
– [Zubin] Okay, this is key on many levels. The first thing I want to do is back up on the idea of why this vaccine no longer prevents infection in a lot of people and it’s really quite simple. I’m gonna quote the late great Paul Offit, he’s not dead, but it just sounds more magnanimous when you say that.
– [Vinay] But after that quote, they’re gonna come from him.
– [Zubin] I know. You know he always thought like an anti-vaxxer would get him. It’s not. It’s gonna be one of the-
– [Vinay] It’ll be the most ardent vaxxer.
– [Zubin] It’ll be whoever says, has their name like johnwearadamnmasksmith on Twitter, they’ll be the ones who are coming after him.
– [Vinay] And they’ll get him by giving him seven boosters all at once, okay.
– [Zubin] He’ll get instant myocarditis even in his age bracket.
– [Vinay] Seven boosters.
– [Zubin] Elizabeth, I’m coming home, seven boosters. Oh and by the way, we should touch on the WHO’s statement about overboosting which I thought was really interesting. Okay so this thing, what Paul says and I think it’s really important with this particular virus. He says, this is a mucosal virus, he was talking about older variants that replicate in the mucosa and they don’t have viremia, they don’t have spread into the blood as part of their disease pathogenesis which is why you can vaccinate, yeah, it’s more mucosal immunity to prevent infection, but severe disease, you prevent that viremia, that’s what does it. So antibodies really work well in the blood, at least the kind that are generated by vaccine and to a degree natural immunity. I think natural immunity might have some more mucosal benefit because it was replicating in the mucosa similar to FluMist, which is a live flu vaccine that replicates in the nasal mucosa. But that being said, that’s why when you get Omicron which replicates what 70X faster in upper airways, you are going to overwhelm any mucosal defenses and you still aren’t gonna get severely ill because you have that, because first of all, the virus itself probably has less predilection to make you that sick and go deeper into lung, but the second thing is if you’re vaccinated, you have that antibody immunity that can be spun up and prevent the severe disease.
– [Vinay] That’s a nice explanation, yeah.
– [Zubin] So that being said, that’s why, ’cause I think a lot of people in the sort of antithesis camp will say, “Well, then what’s even the point?” Well no, you are preventing severe disease and this is why it works, and this is why it was initially probably oversold as preventing infection because those earlier strains didn’t replicate as quick in the upper airways, so like Alpha or Wuhan.
– [Vinay] Maybe a better now a better metaphor is that now the vaccines are working like the airbag in the car it doesn’t prevent you from getting into the accident, but it prevents you from going through the dash.
– [Zubin] That’s a great analogy and it has no community benefit to having an airbag.
– [Vinay] Yeah, that’s the other thing. So can I compel you to get an airbag on your old car retrofitted?
– [Zubin] That’s right, that’s right. Now so here’s where I think you can nuance this argument, and I still don’t believe it, but let’s nuance it. So, okay, the severe disease protection is what will prevent ICU’s from filling up with severe disease to a degree. If we had 100% vaccine penetrance, it would have that community benefit of doing that. But the question is what is the value of that benefit in hospitals and in elective cases that aren’t done and so on and emergency cases that aren’t done versus the societal cost of creating an underclass of unvaccinated often minorities, often hesitant? The social disruption and the authoritarian creep that happens when you’re getting people’s information in that way.
– [Vinay] And one more point there, which is that what you’re saying is that the policy prevents the hospital from getting overrun in the ICU. There’s another thing that would do that, a different policy, which is you’re no longer allowed to choose what you’re gonna eat. Every morning, we’re gonna drop off a sack of rice and some fish and some green beans and you can only poach it-
– [Zubin] The Okinawa diet.
– [Vinay] The Okinawa diet. Okay, you’re gonna lose weight, there’s no food, we’re gonna take away all the other Twinkies, it’s all gone. You’re gonna lose weight, your blood pressure’s gonna fall and you’re not gonna clog up the medical system. You’re not, you’re gonna be like Okinawa.
– [Zubin] You know what? First of all, as someone who tasted McPizza, you can go die in a hall somewhere, Vinay Prasad.
– [Vinay] McPizza and BOOK IT!, you would just get an extra serving of rice.
– [Zubin] For reading Lord of the Rings in a day. Yeah, no, no, no, you’re absolutely right. It’s a question of lifestyle choices and diseases, which often by the way, are not choices. These are conditioned, genetic, economic things that mold our behavior. Behavior is not strictly freewill. Despite what many would like to think and we intuitively feel, it really isn’t. So policy should reflect that in a way that yeah okay look, like things like a sugar tax, like what do you think about a sugar tax? I’m curious.
– [Vinay] Yeah you know, I guess I, it’s such a long discussion. I’m not opposed and here’s why, because I think we underestimate the way in which we’ve had the opposite of a sugar tax, which is we’ve incentivized these people to produce this garbage, for a long time, the agricultural incentives. And so what I would say is that at a minimum, why don’t we just have a neutral system where we incentivize them to just do food, but instead of incentivizing them to do garbage? I’ve got a few more things to run through to you.
– [Zubin] Yeah, please, please, gimme, gimme, gimme.
– [Vinay] Okay, the next point I have is if you accept the premise we’re all gonna meet this virus, which Saint Anthony of Fauci has said, Saint Anthony of Fauci has announced so this is true, it’s the Lord’s word. The next point, wearing an N95 is pointless. Let’s start with kids and then we’ll go to adults. We know cloth masks don’t work, there’s randomized data, and whether or not they work in kids I think is doubtful because they don’t work in adults so what are the chance they’re gonna work in kids? N95’s in kids has no data, I mean we just don’t know. Is it even an N95? ‘Cause that means it filters 95% of the particles and I don’t know ’cause I’ve never seen a study of what happens when you slap it on a kid. However, either option A, it doesn’t work because kids will have a gap at the nose, they won’t wear it right, they’ll cheat, they’ll scratch their face, they’ll pull it aside. So either it doesn’t work, in which case, if it doesn’t work, it will not even slow the spread of the variant, it should not be done. Option B, it does work, it does slow the spread of the variant. Then I would say option B, we live in a country where every child five and up can get vaccinated if they so choose. So option B is it will delay the time until you meet Omicron, but at great inconvenience and headache, what’s the point? And then for adults where there are some adults out there who will wear it right, it may delay the time till you meet the virus but what’s the point? You’re not gonna meet it in this quarter, you’ll meet it next quarter or the quarter after that, you will meet it eventually. And there are even some theoretical reasons why you get boosted or you get your last shot and before your antibody titer’s in the toilet, you meet it and you get the durable immunity without getting very, very sick. That’s when I want to meet it. I want to meet it as my antibodies are sliding out, gentle, a gentle, like easing into a bathtub, not cannon balling into a pool.
– [Zubin] That’s right, I want light intubation. I don’t want like, I want to laryngeal mask airway, that’s what I want with PEEP.
– And humidify that, Z, humidify that.
– Oh absolutely, absolutely. Put some Mucomyst in to break up the secretions. You know? This is how I like to roll with my Omicron. I’d like Omicron with a side of laryngeal mask airway, a little bit of extra PEEP and some humidification on the side, please.
– [Vinay] You jump to the intubation metaphors, but I just checked, Omicron in a Kaiser Permanente analysis has led to zero intubations in this whole state.
– [Zubin] Yes and there was just a piece in SF Gate talking about exactly this, that we have had not the severe disease, now this is game changing as you say, policy changing. Mandated masks make no fucking sense anymore, I’m gonna say this loudly. Mandating vaccines only makes sense if you believe the argument that we just kind of sort of don’t believe, which is, oh, well then you treat it like obesity and you force people into skinniness to save the hospitals. It doesn’t make sense. They’re not preventing a lot of spread of disease, maybe a little bit just by preventing some infections, but it’s not much.
– [Vinay] And I do think the argument is they prevent a little bit, but that is quickly overwhelmed by repeat exposure. So When you start getting vaccine efficacy in the 20’s, 30’s and then you start saying, you’re gonna meet it seven times in the next three months, it’s gonna overwhelm. Okay the next point, we’re on the same page on two. Testing asymptomatic people and students no longer makes sense. Policies that disrupt the lives of kids to “halt the spread”, you cannot halt it. They’re futile and they need to minimize the overall harms to kids. Harms are greater when you keep, by the way, I just saw this guy, professor in Pittsburgh, tweets that 30% of the pooled saliva in his kid’s school, you know, they’re all spitting in the same trough-
– [Zubin] It’s all positive, all positive.
– [Vinay] Yeah, it’s positive. And he’s like, now the school’s all disrupted. Every single kid feels fine. Everyone feels fine and we’re all spitting in this pot and it’s filthy.
– [Zubin] So I’m gonna say a couple things here. In the time that we’ve been talking, I got two texts from my child’s school, they’re these alerts that say someone has, a pooled thing has tested positive. It’s like yeah, duh. So it turns out we can actually opt our kids out of the pooled testing. My kids are the only kids in their classes who have opted out of pooled testing because we live in the Bay Area and people are clinically insane because if they’re asymptomatic, everybody’s getting Omicron, the positivity rate is ridiculous, I think I told you last week, like the screening pre-op positivity for asymptomatic people is 10% at a major institution here, 10%.
– [Vinay] Wow and those are people trying to stay healthy before the OR.
– [Zubin] Yes, yes, they’re told, “Don’t get COVID or we’re gonna cancel your surgery.” 10% of them are positive. Omicron is a game changer in this way. It’s not good for hospitals ’cause it’s gonna overwhelm them. A lot of people are going to ERs when they actually maybe don’t need to and then we have a lot of people out because of, listen to this, Stanford is still doing asymptomatic screening of all their doctors every week.
– [Vinay] Jesus. All that tells me is they got a big endowment ’cause they can afford that.
– [Zubin] Yeah, yeah, yeah it’s true, it’s true. We know this already.
– [Vinay] Brooklyn Hospital’s not doing it.
– [Zubin] Nope. But you know what? You know how Stanford makes their money? Fucking parking. I did a rant on this video where the gym membership is free for Stanford faculty and employees except you have to pay for parking in the gym. At first, they gave it to you for free. There were these labeled signs that said, 90 Minute Parking for the Gym so you can get in shape, be well, so on ’cause it’s not, Stanford is not a walkable, like this gym is not walkable from where most people live. So guess what? They suddenly overnight, take it away and they’re like screw you guys. Yeah, I know you guys are frontline healthcare heroes and probably being in good shape will prevent you from getting severe COVID but you know what, now you got to pay five dollars for half an hour of parking.
– [Vinay] This sticks in your craw because you’ve told me a couple times before.
– [Zubin] That’s how you know.
– [Vinay] That’s how I know it’s sticking in the, but I do think it’s unjust, it’s stupid. I do agree with you.
– [Zubin] But man, this is a personal vendetta, this is a personal vendetta.
– [Vinay] Well, they shouldn’t have charged you.
– [Zubin] If I could have made, look, people say I look like an unleaded version of Vin Diesel. Someone else actually said I look like the Rock with full blown AIDS.
– [Vinay] Oh my God.
– [Zubin] I know, and first of all, who uses the term full blown AIDS anymore but it was a good description. But the point is I could make a movie where I extract vengeance on people who took my parking away, like I think it’s a valid movie trope, kind of like “Taken”. I have a set of skills that make it a nightmare for bureaucrats.
– [Vinay] And John Wick. It’s like what did he do? And you’re like, he took away my free parking.
– [Zubin] Took away my free parking. Oh crap, three movies in that and Blockbusters each one.
– [Vinay] Blockbusters. Well okay, I guess that comes to the end of it. I think that my last point was a point you always make which is that we act like we make the rules, but mother nature makes the rules, we just have a rational response.
– [Zubin] It’s a healthy humility in the face of something that is truly look, look, look, look, okay, let’s go with real quick with the arrogance. You only have like eight minutes left or something, right?
– [Vinay] Let’s do 10 more.
– [Zubin] 10 more, okay. Yeah, you got some things to say. So real quick, the arrogance of humans is viable in this. We developed a vaccine that prevents severe disease against a brand new pathogen in record time and it’s safe and effective in most populations, right? Wow, that’s amazing. We have new therapeutics, whether it’s Paxlovid or Molnupiravir or whatever, wow, we learned to treat this in the ICU much better. Wow, this is amazing. Okay, where’s the humility? Well, we’ve not mitigated shit. The countries that went for COVID zero like Australia are now teaming with COVID. We damaged our economy. We did unspeakable things to children and we continue along a divisive and almost primate like path to ruin on that side in the face of something that mother nature throws at us and it probably has thrown at us every 100 odd thousand years or so that turns into a common cold and we’ve never seen it, we think we can outdo it, we’ve caused so much harm trying to do it and now we are where we are.
– [Vinay] That is really well said. I feel like we should conclude with some funny tweets.
– [Zubin] Oh God yes.
– [Vinay] “Not 100% of everyone, but people whose work involves potential infection do test regularly for certain infectious diseases. For example, porn stars get regularly screened for HIV.”
– [Zubin] This is a good point because you wouldn’t want a porn star with “full-blown AIDS” who looks like the Rock, apparently, believe me, I’ve applied and have been rejected.
– [Vinay] You wouldn’t want asymptomatic Omicron either apparently.
– [Vinay] “My child is too young”, this is not funny actually, that’s just really sad.
– [Zubin] Oh yeah, yeah.
– [Vinay] I got to find the good ones, the good ones.
– [Zubin] Man, Twitter is just never-ending source of-
– [Vinay] “As a microbiologist, I’m just letting you know, you should always flush with the toilet seat closed.” And then the followup, “More fecal aerosol toilet plume studies.”
– [Zubin] This is something I have read, I have looked into this, this is true. But the question is, what does it actually do to us? So is inhaling a bunch of feces actually a bad thing or does it create some kind of chronic hygiene type of immunity, anti-hygiene immunity, hygiene hypothesis stuff? I don’t know the answer to that. That would be an interesting study.
– [Vinay] You know, that’s always like the key question which is that yes, it sounds icky like of course, but living in an absolutely sterile environment where you bathe yourself with Purell three times a day, you know, that’s not always healthy for you. In fact, it can lead to allergies and other problems.
– [Zubin] Exactly right.
– [Vinay] VP and yeah.
– [Zubin] All kinds of things and we wonder, I mean hygiene hypothesis hasn’t been fully fleshed out, but that is a theory of why we’re getting more allergies, auto-immune disease, et cetera because it used to be we lived, we wallowed in filth and yeah, it would cost something, but it would also give you this interesting immune tolerance to a lot of stuff, which we now don’t have. Our immune systems are hypervigilant.
– [Vinay] Here’s one. “And in fact for my conscience, it has to be said, if you go to a New Year’s Eve gathering, make sure it’s to die for, because you might actually die from it and it’s guaranteed that someone will, #omicron.”
– [Zubin] Oh Omicron.
– [Vinay] And then somebody replies, “A Dothraki wedding without at least three deaths is considered a dull affair.”
– [Zubin] Wow, a Game of Thrones quote. Twitter wouldn’t be complete without that. See this is, that’s not funny ’cause it’s just depressing because that person believes what they’re tweeting.
– [Vinay] That’s really dark. Here’s another one about encouraging kids to eat outside in these winter months because of Omicron. “Glove-mitten hybrids can be useful or mittens on strings. Turns out you can even buy clip on mitten strings for any glove these days. Lastly, if you’re sending your kids with lunch, then think about how to make it easy to open with mittens on. Can you pre-open packets?” Exactly Z. I mean, if you love your child, you want them to eat outside in my numbingly cold weather where they dare not even loosen their mittens to enjoy sweet, sweet Goldfish. Am I wrong, Z?
– [Zubin] This is absolutely right. My 14-year-old told me, I go, “Why are you wearing three pairs of socks?” And she said, “Because our school classroom, our teacher insists on keeping every single window open when it’s 40 degrees outside because “ventilation”.” By the way, this is the same teacher who insists on having them list all their pronouns the first day and then every day after that whenever they talk, which again, hey look whatever but they are clearly in a certain tribe of thinking which is blue church thesis tribe. And she’s like, “My feet gets so cold even through my shoes, I’ve had to wear three pairs of socks.” Now we all know, like you know the science on this, cold causes colds. Vinay, what we’re doing is we’re giving our kids colds. Am I wrong?
– [Vinay] I mean at some point, the premise is that they are going to be exposed to it. Better they are exposed to it with warm body temperature than frigid body temperature. Along these lines, someone says, this is a continuation of we just wrap them in coats and send them outside to eat. “Can you give a ballpark estimate of how many times you’ve eaten lunch outside in 30 degree weather?”, someone asks. This doctor says, “Have you never heard of skiing? Being out in 30 degree weather is really not a big deal.” To which someone replied, “Last time I went skiing everyone was eating inside the lodge.” I’ve never seen anyone eat out there. They eat in the lodge. What are you talking about?
– [Zubin] Are you crazy? This just reminds me of “A Christmas Story”, that movie. I don’t know if you ever saw it, it’s a classic.
– [Vinay] Of course, his tongue gets frozen to the pole.
– [Zubin] So that’s one thing. The other thing is like she wraps up that one young kid in the beginning and he looks like a starfish and he can’t even talk and he’s like, “I can’t lower my arms. I can’t put my arms down.” That’s what we’re doing with like, are you really gonna glove up a kid and put them out into, I mean we’re losing our minds, guys.
– [Vinay] And then the last one, this is the PhD, nations that trusted public health and deaths per one million capita. Number one, this is the number one nation in the world that trusted public health and it is China, 3.5, China? China? Today, The New York Times is saying that zero COVID has led to martial law. I mean it’s an authoritarian regime. What are you talking about?
– [Zubin] And believe me, the number of COVID cases are not reported publicly there. This is not a trustworthy society for information.
– [Vinay] It’s the most accurate numbers you’ll get, the numbers from the People’s Republic.
– [Zubin] Exactly right, but one thing I will say, what those authoritarian Chinese got correct was they control social media so that they do not get the tribalization and the descent that we get here.
– [Vinay] I thought you were gonna say what they got correct was they enjoyed all that NIH funding for their lab in Wuhan.
– [Zubin] That’s a lot of moon cakes for Chinese new year, man.
– [Vinay] Yeah, NIH funding, that’s debated, I don’t know the answer there. It’s above my pay grade.
– [Zubin] Have you watched by the way, Rand Paul going at it again with Fauci? They’re like a married couple just bickering every time they talk.
– [Vinay] I mean, yeah I guess, I mean I watched part of it, but it’s like so cringe-worthy I don’t want to watch.
– Yeah, it’s so cringey, I just hate it.
– [Vinay] What are my thoughts? I mean, like I said, I always say, like I do respect Fauci, I think he’s had a good run. I think that he certainly, I mean he needs to ask, I mean I honestly think he should resign because like one, I don’t think anyone should run an agency for 40 years. Two, he’s 80 years old plus. And I also think that at some point he has to ask himself, is he helping or hurting? Like he’s a cause of polarization. And like you only get one noble lie in you. I don’t know if he lied, you know I don’t know what he actually believes, he certainly lied one of those two times on “60 Minutes” in a short period of time, you only get one noble lie in you. But Rand Paul I think is, whether we like it or not, he is right to like push him on some of these things. But it devolves, it really gets to, it gets really nasty.
– [Zubin] Yeah, there’s an obnoxious component to Rand that some people really like. I’m not a big fan, but I do think his points are quite valid to push on.
– [Vinay] I think the most damning way to get someone is to like just trap him with logic in a very neutral way.
– [Zubin] Yeah, exactly right, yeah, yeah, yeah. So what else you got, my brother? Did we do a thing?
– [Vinay] We did a thing. We did a lot of topics, a lot of fun topics.
– [Zubin] Yeah, we kind of went through.
– [Vinay] I guess I would say like maybe just an overall observation, we were banging on about some issues a long time ago in the fall of last year, schools, and we banged on about masks and the troubles with kids and things like that and now I do feel like things have turned. More people think schools is important. I tried to write an op ed on, and actually we published today in “City Journal”, on schools, the need to open them. Last year, there ain’t nobody else writing, when we published January 2020. This year, every place they’re like, oh, we got four coming, we got four coming. Sorry, VP, you’re too slow. I was like, what the hell? They already did it. But it does tell me, that’s good actually. I was like, that’s good. That means I didn’t have to write it, that means they’re writing it, which means more and more people are on these cause. So Z, what’s gonna happen is VPZD99 masks are gonna take off during the pandemic or we’re gonna be on the sensible side, alt-middle.
– [Zubin] You know what I think is we were on that sensible side early on and people are just finally catching up. Actually, the silent majority of Americans who know they’re just rational thinkers, but then they don’t go on Twitter and they aren’t really so captured by tribal stuff, I think they would agree. Now we might’ve, I mean would the same sort of thing that we’re saying, ’cause I’ll say this again and I’ve said it on my show, I think we’re in a position now where Omicron is gonna hurt hospitals, but in general, there’s no indication to wield the policy hammer about anything when it comes to testing, masking, vaccines. Let people make individual decisions at this point. It’s on them to decide how safe or not safe they want to be in the face of severe disease and this thing is otherwise on its way to endemicity I think unless a new variant changes everything by making it more fatal or something like that, full vaccine escape, et cetera, which means-
– [Vinay] And if you want to eat outside in mittens with pre-opened packages-
– [Zubin] Go for it, go for it.
– [Vinay] But I’ll be inside toasty and warm.
– [Zubin] Without my mask eating my food and without showing my papers on my vaccine, exactly several beers, which is not good for metabolic health, but I don’t care because I eat McPizza and I like it. But my feedback didn’t matter.
– [Vinay] We’ll go back to prohibition because prohibition keeps the hospitals empty.
– [Zubin] That is true, but hospitals get paid to fill beds in most cases, unless you’re Kaiser or something like that so. Again, the church of antithesis says the revelation is coming, the conspiracy shall be, Fauci shall be unmasked, you’ll pull off and you go, oh, it was old man Withers the whole time running the pandemic.
– [Vinay] They also say you got a 99.999% chance you’re gonna do just fine, but oh by the way, here’s a big bag of pills you got to start taking today. I was like, what the hell? Oh, we’re gonna take all those pills.
– [Zubin] Take a dose of Ivermectin that has not been shown to be safe in human studies. So there you go.
– [Vinay] Well all right.
– [Zubin] All right, we said the I word. Always a joy, guys-
– [Vinay] Now where should people check out our stuff? That’s the key.
– [Zubin] This is key. So you are, okay, tell ’em your contact stuff first.
– [Vinay] Okay, here’s where you find me. You find me one, on Substack. I run VinayPrasadMDMPH on Substack. Substack, you’ll get my rantings and ravings as I have them throughout the week. I’m also on YouTube, just my name, Vinay Prasad, and I host the podcast “Plenary Session”, which is an avant garde podcast for oncology recluses. Yes, it’s avant garde now.
– [Zubin] And you can find ZDoggMD in the lab bottle full of crap but mommy I got the plates if you’re into growing that. So you can find me at zddoggmd.com, on YouTube, on Facebook, on Instagram, on your favorite platforms. And if you want to support what I’m doing, join our supporter tribe, zdoggmd.com/supporters and I promise, I will give Vinay a few of your pennies, just a few. I’ll take him out to lunch at McDonald’s where he will get a McPizza on me.
– [Vinay] I can order anything off the dollar menu like last time. And if you see VPZD99 masks, I want you to know they’re counterfeit just like the ones, just like N95s for kids are, they’re counterfeit, they don’t work.
– [Zubin] The Chinese, by the way we should have, I just realized we named our podcast the wrong thing. VPZD sounds like a venereal disease. We should have called it Brown Noise with Dr. Vinay Prasad and Dr. Zubin Damania.
– [Vinay] That’s a good title, “Brown Noise”. And when we go in China, you’re ZDoggMD.
– [Zubin] ZDoggMD. Love you guys. Please subscribe and leave a review on your favorite platform. It helps us a lot and we are out, peace.