Gross Incompetence vs. Political Sabotage?

VIEW FROM HERE-Previously, we noted how the CDC Director Rochelle Lewinsky’s announcement that Vaxed People Need Not Wear Masks sabotaged President’s Biden’s objective to unite the center of the nation by July 4, 2021.

How the CDC Stabbed Joe Biden in the Back. We are no closer to knowing why Lewinsky thwarted Biden’s centrist approach, but we do know that her statement has resulted in great harm. 

The Case for Political Sabotage 

Because there are some facts consistent with a theory does not prove the theory. We must bear in mind the difference between “facts consistent with” a conclusion and “facts probative of” the conclusion. There are two groups of Americans who are opposed to Biden’s centrist policies – they are the extreme Left and the extreme Right. Presently, the extreme elements of both political parties hold an unwarranted degree of power because their party cannot advance any legislative agenda without the extreme’s support. Thus, the Left portion of the Dems have a political motivation to stop Biden’s centrist approach to government. A shift of moderate GOP voters to cooperate with Biden will reduce the far Left’s power. The GOP’s extreme Right has the identical political motive. If the GOP Moderates start supporting Biden’s centrist approach, the power of the GOP Alt Right evaporates.  

The result of the CDC’s declaration that Vaxed Need Not Wear Masks was predictable, i.e., the unvaxed did not wear masks and the virus spread like wildfire. “The CDC has flipped the meaning of a mask. Now a mask will mean: ‘Beware. I am unvaxed and dangerous.’ Social psychologists know that people will not wear a New Scarlet Letter in the form of a mask. . .” (May 17, 2021, CityWatch.) 

In addition, the CDC’s statement attacked Biden’s true goal – to unite the nation. As long as Biden could focus on the nation as a whole staying masked until we reached herd immunity, we were all in this together. While the extreme Right would fight Biden tooth and nail, as long mask mandates remained, Biden’s  centrist approach would succeed. 

The May 2021 CDC statement made it virtually impossible to keep us united in mask wearing.  California adopted the absurd CDC position that only the unvaxed need wear masks. In Los Angeles County with over four million unvaxed people (40% of population), there was a large enough group of people to start up the pandemic again. 

The CDC claim that saying the Vaxed Need Not Wear Masks would force the Vax Resistant people to be vaxed was gross incompetence. Millions still believe the virus is a hoax and the CDC’s statement allowed them to go maskless. The peer pressure of “we are all in this together” reenforced with a mask mandate was defeating the virus. 

The Claim That We Can Rely on Vaccinations Was False 

The claim that a nation, state, or county can rely on the vaccination rate to defeat the virus was patently false. Herd Immunity works only after Herd Immunity had been achieved. The CDC and the others who focused on the vaccines as providing protection were like a Greyhound bus driver in the Rocky Mts, who had used his air brakes to successfully maneuver a few dangerous curves, announcing, “We’re 60% down the mountain, so I will not use the brakes anymore.” Wearing masks did not interfere with re-opening, The mask mandate made the re-opening possible. The proper social message was “Mask Up until we reach herd immunity.” 

The CDC Set the Wrong Objective 

Mask wearing was not killing people. The virus was killing millions of people and making million more seriously ill. Focusing on the glories of being maskless was absurd. President Biden’s centrist approach that we are all in this together until we achieve herd immunity placed the focus where it belonged – cooperative effort to achieve herd immunity. 

Victory for the Extreme Left and Extreme Right 

As mask mandates disappeared, vaccination rates plummeted. Biden’s centrist government was in retreat. Now the Biden Administration has adopted the Left’s divisive approach to blame the extreme Right and Facebook. It’s a form of blaming the victim which will further entrench the division. The reality is that in May 2021, the CDC’s incompetent messaging launched the new COVID surge. The gullible on Right were more vulnerable. Now that divisiveness has been reinstalled as the mainstay of American political life, the extreme Right and extreme Left can feel secure that their power remains intact.  

Los Angeles County Portends the Horror Ahead 

On the surface, Los Angeles County’s COVID data looks reassuring, but disaster stalks us. The fully vaxed number for those who are 16 years or older is 5,067,109 (61.%). The fully vaxed number for those who are 65 or older is 1,064,861 – 78%. (The partially vaxed data is unreliable since someone with one shot is a hybrid – ½ vaxed and ½ non-vaxed.) Despite Los Angeles’ high vaccination rate, it falls short of Herd Immunity. It was far too soon to have removed the mask mandate. 

High COVID Rate among the Unvaxed Is Ominous for Everyone 

Virtually every person who has been recently diagnosed is unvaxed. There is no genuine dispute that the virus is spreading with dramatic speed among the 40% unvaxed. 

Let’s stop and think. When one is in public, 60% of the people one encounters will be fully vaxed.  That means a maskless, unvaxed person can interact with six people without encountering COVID-19. In fact, the exposure rate has to be lower since almost all LA stores require masks. The unvaxed have small chance of being exposed, yet their rate is soaring. Their high infection rate is consistent with the conclusion that the Delta Variant is far more contagious and highly likely to mutate. LA County’s post Mask Mandate data also proves that masks had been protecting us and we were moving toward Herd Immunity. 

The Omega Variant May Evade the Vaccines 

Let’s call the next lethal variant “Omega.” The more the Delta Variant rampages, the more likely a newer more contagious and more deadly Omega Variant will emerge, and the vaccines will be ineffective against Omega. Now that the extreme Left and the extreme Right have all but destroyed Biden’s centrist approach, our ability to mobilize against a possible Omega Variant is being nullified.


(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch. You may email him at [email protected]). Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images.