The delta variant of COVID-19 accounted for a third of positive tests conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch in recent weeks, officials said.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter



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(7) comments

George Laiacona

This should be a sign that the restaurant workers have a 50-50 chance of contacting the virus. Is very low wages worth the risks? Unemployment benefits should continue until a better percentage is announced. Surely the employers are not going to cover the hospital costs when their servers come down with the virus. What is the percentage of restaurant customers that do not carry the virus with them when they enter the restaurant?

Carlos Ponce

Does anybody remember the movie "The Andromeda Strain"? The virus was initially a killer but variants were not so lethal. Same is true in real life unless some one (or some country) tampers with it.[whistling]

Bailey Jones

Spare us your Hollywood science, Carlos. Maybe you could read a book. Or two. (But not the Andromeda Strain - Michael Crichton's books are good fun but not good science.) Where do you think HIV came from? It's a variant of SIV - simian immunodeficiency virus - which existed in primates for 30,000 years without molesting humans - until it mutated into a deadly new variant that did. Both the chikungunya virus and the ebola virus have mutated into more virulent forms. COVID was able to jump from bats (or whatever) to humans exactly because it mutated into a new variant.

Variants result from random changes in the genetic code of a virus. They are just as likely to become more deadly as less deadly. Natural selection favors those variants that do a better job of creating more infections. A variant that quickly kills its host will not be as successful as one that leaves the host alive to spread infections. Similarly, a variant that creates a very sick host - one who walks around without a mask coughing on everyone - will be more successful than one that produces no symptoms. The sweet spot is a variant that makes its host very ill (infectious) but leaves him alive long enough to maximize the number of people he infects. It's just dumb luck that the delta variant isn't more deadly. The next variant may well be both more infectious and more deadly. Or not. It's random.

Carlos Ponce

Science backs the idea variants are less lethal than the original disease. Oh, that's right. Bailey does not believe in the science. He'd rather believe Leftist propaganda passed off as science.

"The delta variant is even more transmissible than earlier versions of the virus, but the other side of that coin is that it is weaker, less lethal."

Wayne D Holt

"Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this week said COVID vaccines were effective against the Delta variant and vaccinated people need not wear face coverings."

Perhaps Dr. Patel can answer this question: how did the CDC come to this conclusion as to effectiveness? The CDC announced in May that antibody test results do not reflect spike protein production, which is the method the vaccines use to set up their claimed protection. They further said "antibody tests should not be used to evaluate immunity or protection from COVID-19 at any time, and especially after the person received a COVID-19 vaccination.” That's a direct quote from the CDC announcement.

So what is the CDC basing this latest claim on? I await news from the trenches...

Bailey Jones

It's simple, Wayne - you look at whether or not people who have been vaccinated are being infected with the delta variant. This is exactly the same method used to determine whether the vaccines were effective in the first place. It's easy to look in a place like England where the delta variant reigns supreme and see who is, and who isn't, getting infected. The unvaccinated are getting COVID, the vaccinated are not.

Antibody tests are not used to determine the efficacy of the vaccines for two reasons:

1) They haven't been evaluated for determining immunity from a vaccination - the science hasn't been done to know whether or not they're even useful, and because -

2) Antibody tests are designed to detect specific antibodies - of which there are many types in an infected person. They may or may not detect the particular antibody that the vaccine causes to be generated.

Wayne D Holt

Antibody Testing Is Not Currently Recommended to Assess Immunity After COVID-19 Vaccination: FDA Safety Communication

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