Andy Slavitt's head is so far up his ass his ears are squeaking against his kidneys. He does a long rhetorical dance to wind up at:

> As of today, those who see omicron as milder are just as right as people who see it as potentially more dangerous.

This is unmitigated bullshit.

If you are infected with SARS-CoV-2, you will get cognitive impairment. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(21)00324-2/fulltext (evidence for the impairment without discussion of mechanism)

Is Omicron less bad in this respect? The variant that has lots of immune escape and infects lung tissue less, and we don't know -- molecular dissection involves waiting for people to die, and then takes lots of lab work; not many dead from Omicron yet -- if it infects the rest of you less.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.11.21258690v3 (brain tissue loss found by a before-and-after imaging study in the UK)

https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/11/6151 You can expect to physiologically age about five years from being infected with SARS-CoV-2.

The older you are, the more vulnerable you are. And that's physiological age, not your calendar age. (It's a virus. It's going to forget your birthday.) As a disease, it makes you older. Reinfection is totally a thing. (Especially with Omicron!)

We know very little about long-term effects of COVID-19, including things like five and ten year mortality and morbidity statistics. We know _less_ about Omicron, because it's new and we don't have any actual data. Deciding we definitely know things will work out fine while the Uncommon Cold becomes endemic is not a position that can be factually supported. It will be many years before the facts are known well enough for that kind of confidence. Int the meantime, compassionate planning precludes deciding things are going to be fine. Effective responses, too -- https://twitter.com/yaneerbaryam/status/1338120658534842368 presents a summary of what is necessary to effectively suppress a pandemic.

On what we may know today, "milder" does not go with brain damage or removing years of lifespan. So Slavitt's statement is factually incorrect. "But conflict!" Well, yeah. There's a whole lot of people on Team Virus.

They're trying to kill you. Act like it. Admit it's straight up bioterrorism (de facto, at a minimum) and act like it. Demand your political leadership act like it.

Expand full comment

40 years ago Tim Snyder. 40 years ago Reagan began undermining American power.

Expand full comment