Two Contradictory Hypotheses Regarding the Emergence of Worrisome New Strains of the
The USA COVID Task Force Hypothesis:
According to the USA COVID Task Force, worrisome new SARS-CoV-2 variants emerge because of inadequate mass vaccination and inadequate adherence to lockdown directives. According to this hypothesis, the inadequate lockdown allows the virus to spread rampantly; which creates increased opportunity for the virus to mutate; which makes it more likely that new worrisome strains will emerge—variants that are apt to be more lethal and/or more transmissible. The Task Force’s solution, therefore, is disciplined lockdown until a sufficient percentage of the population (approximately 85%) has become rapidly vaccinated. Once 85% of the population has become vaccinated, the virus will have fewer people to infect and, thereby, far fewer opportunities to mutate in worrisome ways. The Task Force claims that rapid mass vaccination is the key to reducing emergence of new, more worrisome variants. The sooner that mass vaccination is achieved, the better.
The Task Force goes on to warn that those people who are not getting vaccinated are ruining opportunity to minimize emergence of worrisome new strains. For, if only 60% of the USA population becomes vaccinated, the virus will spread too much and have too much opportunity to mutate in a worrisome direction. If only 60% are vaccinated, lockdown will need to be continued, and the 40% with “vaccine hesitancy” will be to blame.
So, according to the Task Force, the 40% who refuse vaccination are the people responsible for emergence of worrisome new strains, the necessity for more prolonged lockdown, and the COVID deaths (among children, as well as the elderly) that occur because of these new strains. According to the Task Force, the vaccinated people are the heroes who are selflessly, for the sake of others, doing what is necessary to prevent emergence of worrisome new strains; and the mis-guided unvaccinated are the cause of the new, more worrisome strains, new surges, and the rise in new cases and new deaths.
But the Task Force adds that it is not enough to achieve 85% vaccination in the USA and Europe, alone. All countries in the world must achieve 85% vaccination. Because, if even one country does not adequately vaccinate its people, that country will allow worrisome new variants to emerge, and these variants could eventually move to other countries and cause deaths even in vaccinated people, because some of these strains could develop vaccine-resistant features. So, according to the Task Force, any country that does not insist on 85% vaccination of its population will be responsible for emergence of worrisome new strains, the need for more lockdown, and increased COVID deaths caused by these new strains.
The Task Force has repeatedly presented the above hypothesis to the public as if this hypothesis is proven fact. But what evidence can the Task Force provide for this hypothesis? The Task Force has not provided any evidence. The Task Force just makes the above statements and expects medical scientists and the public to unquestioningly accept it as proven fact. How much evidence is there that this hypothesis is correct?
An Alternative hypothesis:
An alternative hypothesis is that both lockdown and rapid mass vaccination, with a sub-optimal vaccine, during an active epidemic, create increased opportunity for new more worrisome variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to emerge—because of the severe pressure the lockdown and the vaccination place on the virus. According to this hypothesis, the sub-optimal vaccines might protect the vaccinee from becoming as severely ill as they would have without vaccination, but do not prevent infection of the vaccinee or transmission by the vaccinee. That is, the vaccination transforms the vaccinees into people who potentially harbor the virus within them; which allows the virus to replicate, mutate, and evolve more worrisome features; and then the vaccinee sheds those more worrisome strains. According to this hypothesis, the vaccinated people are the main people who are creating increased opportunity for emergence of worrisome strains, and it is vaccinated people who become potential asymptomatic spreaders of those worrisome strains. So, according to this hypothesis, it is not inadequate lockdown and vaccination of an inadequate percentage of the population that are responsible for the emergence and spreading of new strains—it is rapid mass vaccination with a sub-optimal vaccine that is responsible.
Is there any evidence for the above hypothesis? The Marek’s disease story provides some evidence. (See companion article on Marek’s disease.) For example, Andrew Read, and other Marek disease researchers and vaccinologists, have documented that mass vaccination of chickens with the sub-optimal Marek vaccine has resulted in the evolution of increasingly lethal new strains of the Marek virus, which the vaccinated chickens harbor, incubate, and shed. The industrial chicken industry has become totally dependent on this vaccination. Virtually all unvaccinated chickens who contract the virus (primarily through contact with asymptomatic vaccinated chickens who shed these lethal strains) die. So, with Marek’s disease, it is the vaccinated chickens who are responsible for the development of worrisome new strains, which the vaccinated chickens then asymptomatically spread, to the mortal detriment of the unvaccinated.
Study of natural human immunity also provides some evidence: An accepted general rule has been that, when a viral epidemic runs its course in the absence of vaccination and lockdown, the human immune system somehow works to protect the human, while still allowing the virus to co-exist, as long as the virus behaves itself (i.e., causes no worrisome harm). In other words, the immune system drives the virus to evolve in an increasingly benign direction—because mutations that enable peaceful co-existence are more advantageous (to the virus) than mutations that are lethal. The immune system wisely and cleverly grants the virus a certain amount of tolerance, as long as the virus becomes less threatening in return—which is what appears to happen. (See companion article: An Interview with the Human Immune System.)
Which hypothesis is correct?
The evidence that supports the alternative hypothesis (the Marek’s disease story and the story of natural immunity) seems to be at odds with the Task Force hypothesis. According to the Task Force, when an epidemic is allowed to run its course in the absence of vaccination and lockdown, this favors the emergence of new more worrisome strains. According to the alternative hypothesis, when an epidemic is allowed to run its course in the absence of vaccination and lockdown, the emergence of more benign strains is favored, and emergence of more worrisome strains is disfavored.
So, which is it? Is the Task Force hypothesis correct? Or is the Alternative Hypothesis correct? It seems vitally important to determine which hypothesis is correct. At the very least, it would seem wise to apply careful critical examination and healthy dialogue to exploration of this issue. But there has been no such dialogue within the medical community—at least that the public has been informed of. Only the Task Force hypothesis has been presented, and it has been presented as proven fact.
The Task Force hypothesis might be true for optimal vaccines that definitely eradicate the virus when a vaccinee encounters the virus, thereby preventing replication and shedding of the virus within the vaccinee. But this hypothesis is probably not true for sub-optimal vaccines. The COVID vaccines are sub-optimal vaccines.