TWiV 706: Do as Dr. Fauci says

January 14, 2021

TWiV answers listener questions about pandemic response, excess deaths in 25-44 year olds, vaccines, vaccines, and vaccines.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, Kathy Spindler, and Brianne Barker

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Download TWiV 706 (58 MB .mp3, 96 min)
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Links for this episode

Weekly Picks 1:20:24

BrianneWe Know Almost Nothing About Giant Viruses
RichThe Coccolithophores Project
Kathyv-safe and  Vaccine Handbook
Vincent – Gorillas at San Diego Zoo infected with SARS-CoV-2 (pdf)

Intro music is by Ronald Jenkees

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8 comments on “TWiV 706: Do as Dr. Fauci says

  1. Here’s another nice summary of how the mRNA vaccines work: https://www.cell.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0092-8674(20)31761-X

  2. Elise Leonard Jan 14, 2021

    We are hearing almost daily about the emergence of new variants, and concern about pressures that may lead to ‘escape’ from the current vaccines. Many of us are very familiar with the processes that lead to antibiotic resistance, but understand less about the factors driving adaptive mutations in viruses. Michael Mina posted a thread recently that said un-vaccinated people might drive this process more than partially (one-dose) vaccinated people. Would you guys consider doing an episode on the basic science of adaptive mutation in viruses? It sure is a prominent part of the recent news. Thanks for your great work and delightful shows.

  3. Dear TWIV crew: I want to join the many voices that have thanked your space for the answers to the avalanche of questions that, in my personal case, my rusty and precarious cardiac surgeon virology could not answer. All the ingenuity and thoughtfulness that each of you offers in your podcasts has been a reliable source of scientific information and also an opportunity to have fun and to make this past pandemic year more bearable. Believe me, things are far from satisfactory in this city at 8500ft high and with a population density of almost 17000 inhabitants per km2 (bronze medal for cities with more than 7 million) and a total of almost 9 million in the metro area with a barely decent health system. As I have been following your podcasts I have been encouraged to go back to basics: virology, epidemiology, biology, statistics, public health and other fields of knowledge trying to keep up with sound scientific evidence, which I notice is lacking all over the world.
    I recently read the press release for the SIREN study by PHE (1) from the UK and I got surprised with their “83% protection rate” from reinfection in previously PCR-positive health workers. In terms of science what does it mean? Are they using similar methodology for determining vaccine efficacy? The Statistical Analysis Plan in the pre-print (2) is beyond my comprehension. What is your take on that? Are we facing a similar situation like the so-called SARS-Cov2 variants transmissibility? In that regard, is this a well stablished phenomenon? I can tell differences between infectivity and transmissibility, but the latter implies so many variables aside from pure biological viral mutations and derived biological “behaviour”. I concur with those who think we need scientific evidence instead of broadcasting conjectures. Thank you and stay safe, we need to protect all basic scientists. Best regards from Bogotá, where temperature ranges from 45-75 F all year round but O2 partial pressure is 25% less than any of your places. Juan R Correa
    1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/past-covid-19-infection-provides-some-immunity-but-people-may-still-carry-and-transmit-virus
    2. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.15.20247981v1.full.pdf

  4. Jeffery Biss Jan 19, 2021

    At 57:00 Rich asks about the motive for overcounting Covid-19 deaths: The answer is that there is a denier conspiracy theory that has the government paying providers more for Covid-19 care than for other care. Therefore, they claim everything a Covid-19 death to maximize profit. I personally know some of these people and they insist that this is true. Sad.

    • Knut Schünemann Jun 4, 2021

      Here in Germany it’s easier:

      Hospitals are required to keep reserve ICU capacity for upcoming cases of Covid-19.
      This of course is costing them profits.
      The caveat: they may fill up this capacity with Covid-19 cases and charge for them.
      Problem solved.

      Another factor: Labs here may report unprocessed tests kits as “assumed positive” (err on the side of caution), but our labs increased their RT-PCR capabilities by nearly 1000% during the last year, so you can imagine how often equipment fails, resources are missing and personel just stay off work.

  5. Knut Schünemann Jun 4, 2021

    It’s nice that you read and accept critique of the commercial, social and other costs of the measurements against covid-19.

    But I still think you’re underestimating the order of magnitude of those.
    Asking relatives, friends, and colleagues (in Germany) I get the impression that at least every 10th of those would evaluate the last year as “quality of life: zero”; which means if this holds true as an average, our government destroyed about 8 million years of life with their covid-19 restrictions.

    So if they can’t prove that they did save at least that much loss of life from Covid-19, they do have a lot to account for.
    And considering the average Covid-19 victim is beyond and above the expected life expectancy, that’s not going to be an easy task.

    Best Regards,

    Knut