A smug reporter’s question tried to setup a smear, but accidentally revealed the problem of breakthrough infections. And confirmed our Chief Medical Officers aren’t scientists or medicos, just second-rate spin doctors.
A reporter slipped up at a 27 August, 2021 Commonwealth government media conference [video]. He asked a question about how the vaccinated transmit Covid. His intent was clear; to provide a setup to allow the Chief Medical Officer, Prof Kelly, to embarrass and smear activist Australian politician Craig Kelly (no relation). It didn’t work out that way.
I just want to give Professor Kelly a chance to confirm or refute. Craig Kelly has sent out a series of group emails, talking about a groundbreaking study from Oxford University saying that vaccines while moderating symptoms at first, the jab allows a higher viral load in the nose, which then creates superspreaders. Is there any evidence those who have been vaccinated becoming superspreaders, and I would wonder if that’s the case when you’ve got a large vaccinated population in Western Australia and they currently have no cases. So Professor Kelly, is there any evidence of those who’ve been vaccinated having a higher viral load in the nose and becoming superspreaders, or is it nonsense?
Unknown Reporter, Media Conference transcript, 27 August, 2021 (video below)
I haven’t seen Craig Kelly’s text, but it could well refer to an Oxford-run multicentre Vietnamese study reported in preprint for The Lancet.
The answers to this question reveal an enormous amount. Firstly, the smug cultural presumptions of an insular medico-political class. Secondly, that our CMOs are not doctors, and not scientists; they are medically-qualified spin-doctors, and really terrible ones at that. Thirdly, our smart-class reporters are just posers. Lastly, this CMO is advising the Prime Minister. If that’s the case, no wonder our policy is a disaster.
CMO as Smug Spin Doctor
This is an important question: do the vaccinated spread Covid, if they do, are they extremely infectious, and is this paper trustworthy?
Professor Kelly, CMO, plays the smug card from the very beginning. Note in the video below that those around him laugh smugly as well.
Then he waffles, says nothing about the question, the paper, the science or the risk, and jumps to his real objective: safe, effective…reopening Australia.
Spin doctoring. Nothing other the narrative Get vaccinated. If he doesn’t know about transmission by the vaccinated, he is a fool. If he does, and he answers like this, he is a spineless bureaucratic knave trying to mislead Australia and minimise the understanding of breakthrough infections and vaccine failure.
Haha. Umm, so [smirk, others laughing around him] Ahh, I won’t go to that second part. [that Craig Kelly is talking nonsense]
But the first part, look I’m not aware of that particular study, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll look for it after this, arr what I can say, and I’ve said often here that it’s, there are, there are, arr, issues related to infectious diseases and how they’re spread. It’s the way people arr, move about and how they interact. There are people issues, there are virus issues, and arr, there’s the environment in which arr,the virus and people live. So all of those things are very much related to superspreader events, we’ve seen superspreader events and we have seen those from the beginning. Um but, but, what the influence of, of vaccination on that is an,an terms, in particularly how much virus is in the nose would be potentially part of it but it’s not the major part. I think the key message I have is vaccination is safe, effective and really really important for us in relation to reopening Australia. And as the Minister has said, that’s the hopeful message. We are moving towards that…
[Question: could it be spreading the virus?]
Ahh, it wouldn’t be spreading the virus, no, ahh, I mean, the only thing I could imagine just, just thinking here now is that if people are asymptomatic and tha, tha that’s more likely if you’ve been vaccinated then it could spread but I don’t think it’s, it’s a reason to not get vaccinated, ahh, and so, quite the opposite.
Prof Kelly, Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Media Conference transcript, 27 August, 2021 (video below)
From that waffle Professor Kelly went straight to advising our Prime Minister.
If Professor Kelly were a real doctor, or a real scientist, the answer would have been something like this:
I’m not familiar with that paper, so I can’t comment on the strength or quality of its findings. And I’d note that in all medical research you need to have a reasonable weight of findings before you can make any conclusions. You shouldn’t pick single papers and hold them out as gospel. Of course, we are monitoring all relevant research, and we do know that vaccinated people can transmit the virus, but we are unsure how infectious they actually are. That is currently being researched. Mr Kelly may be overstating when he mentions superspreaders, but if he is reading the paper correctly it would be unfair to call it nonsense.
If he were an even halfway decent spin doctor he could have tweaked that paragraph and made Craig Kelly look stupid without saying so overtly. But clearly he is as good a spin doctor as CMO.
Smug Reporters Are Stupid and Ill-Informed
If the reporter had read the paper (assuming it is the preprint I mentioned) he would have seen it is a reasonable paper worthy of serious discussion. That doesn’t mean its findings are true; just that it should be debated.
Now, that should be obvious. Tony Fauci and the CDC had already raised the issue of high viral loads in the vaccinated following the Provincetown vaccinated outbreak in July.
It also found no significant difference in the viral load present in the breakthrough infections occurring in fully vaccinated people and the other cases, suggesting the viral load of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons infected with the coronavirus is similar.
In an interview on the CBS News “Face the Nation” broadcast published on Aug. 1, Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) director and chief medical advisor to the president, stated, “when you look at the level of virus in the nasopharynx of people who are vaccinated, who get breakthrough infections, it’s really quite high and equivalent to the level of virus in the nasopharynx of unvaccinated people who get infected.”
“So we know now that vaccinated people who get breakthrough infections can spread the virus to other people,” Fauci continued
This reporter’s bizarre attempt at analysis in his question pointed to Western Australia as vaccinated but with no cases. As though that meant breakthrough cases don’t happen, even with all the evidence they do. As I have written elsewhere, other highly-vaccinated nations have provided evidence of breakthrough infections since mid July. But this reporter? Smug and ill-informed, like most.