Weirdly, Nicki Minaj says she had Covid last winter. So she could have just said "I had Covid, so I'm probably more immune than if I were vaxxed, but the Met Gala won't accept proof of prior infection, so I'm not going." Instead, she took everyone down the antivax rabbithole.
I am, to be sure, assuming she's telling the truth about having had Covid. Which I didn't doubt at all, until the swollen balls story.
It actually would have been fascinating if Minaj had used the Met Gala to make the case that previously infected people should be exempted from vax passports, as they are in Israel and Germany.
Also, apologies - she didn't get Covid last winter. She said she *just* caught it, while she was preparing for the VMAS.

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More from @JamesSurowiecki

15 Sep
This is absurd math. 45% of CA voters didn't vote for any replacement candidate for Newsom. You can't just exclude them from the denominator. But that's exactly what the "58% of Latino men voted for Elder" statement does.
WaPo has done a great job of debunking bad statistical claims about election results since last November, thanks to @pbump and others. So the paper should have caught, and edited out, this false claim that 58% of Latino men voted for Elder.
washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
There's no way to tell, from the exit polls, exactly what percent of Latino men voted for any candidate at all in the recall. But say, for the sake of argument, it was at the state average - 55%. That would mean 58% of 55% of Latino men - or just 32% - voted for Elder.
Read 4 tweets
13 Sep
What confuses me about this story is that regulators' objections to offering all Americans booster shots don't appear to be about safety. They're about allocation of resources and whether boosters are "necessary" - according to the regulators' definition.
politico.com/news/2021/09/1…
But decisions about how resources should be allocated, and how much investment we're willing to make to improve the safety of Americans (even if only marginally) aren't ultimately scientific decisions - they're moral/political ones. Those decisions are Biden's to make.
If boosters are safe, and will offer vaxxed people significantly more protection against infection and at least some more protection against serious illness (especially for 65+), and Biden wants to offer them to everyone, then that's what should (and will) happen. He's president.
Read 5 tweets
11 Sep
1. I've asked for this before, but serious request: Can some academic, or organization that does health-care surveys (.@KFF is an obvious choice) please immediately do a large-sample study of the comparative rate of previous infection in vaxxed and unvaxxed ppl of the same age?
2. Right now, studies of vaccine effectiveness in the US divide the population into two groups: vaxxed and unvaxxed. But in reality, there's a third group of people: those with prior infections, who have natural immunity, which makes it v. unlikely that they'll get reinfected.
3. If previously-infected ppl are equally likely to be vaxxed or unvaxxed, then they don't matter when ti comes to vax effectiveness. But if, as seems likely, they're more likely to be unvaccinated, then not separating them out leads to an underestimate of vax effectiveness.
Read 6 tweets
11 Sep
CDC studies found that even with Delta, Moderna was 95% effective against hospitalization, 92% effective against infection, notably better than Pfizer and much better than J&J.
nytimes.com/2021/09/10/hea…
As a Team Moderna person (because that's the vax I got), I like these numbers. But looking at the numbers, it's very hard to understand why getting J&J recipients a 2nd dose asap isn't a top priority.
The vaccines' effectiveness against infection is necessarily an estimate, because who tests positive depends on who decides to get tested. But the protection Moderna is offering is comfortingly high.
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
V. weird that Fauci says they're going to have to sit down and talk about whether people who have been previously infected need to get vaccinated. It seems like that's something they should have talked about before rolling out the vax/testing mandate.
It's also not true, as Fauci suggested, that the big Israeli study of natural immunity didn't tell us anything about how durable it is. The study showed that immunity does diminish over time, but that even people infected last year were well-protected against re-infection.
Previous infection does not confer perfect protection - plenty of people, including high-profile athletes like Lamar Jackson, have contracted Covid twice. But nor do vaccines confer perfect protection against infection. So prior proof of infection should exempt you from mandate.
Read 5 tweets
9 Sep
1. Our arguments on here about how safe it is for vaxxed people to do things like eat indoors are ultimately bizarre, given that unvaxxed people all over America are eating indoors and going to the movies and football games without a second thought.
2. And from a policy perspective, most of the states that are really following the CDC's recommendations are high-vax states where those rules have the smallest benefit, even as places where they would do a lot more good are blissfully letting Covid rip.
3. This doesn't make the conversations about the risk of Covid to vaxxed ppl pointless, exactly - everyone needs to figure out what they feel comfortable doing.
Read 4 tweets

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