Jason writes:

Hello Vincent, Brianne, Rich, Dickson, Kathy, Alan, Daniel, and crew!

xkcd is has long been one of my favorite comics and he continues to nail it with these.  I thought you’d appreciate them:




June writes:

I’m getting these questions frequently on our Utah Health Care Caucus page. Can you help us understand the process for Final Approval of the mRNA vaccines? (or other vaccines for SARS-CoV2)?

“Will the vaccine get “regular” FDA approval soon? What are the obstacles? “



Jacob writes:

In response to all the propaganda about reported deaths on VAERS, the following simple algebra needs to be commonly understood. 


161,000,000 people in the US have been vaccinated. 12,000 have been reported having died after vaccination on the VAERS adverse events reporting system. The per capita per year ago cause death rate in the US is 715 per 100,000. That means 2 people die per day per 100,000. Which means that on average 161,000,000 * 2 / 100,000 = 3154 people will happen to die on the day they got their vaccine. 6308 will happen to die within the first two days, on average. 15,770 people will die in the first five days, on average, or in any given day period, of 161 million, of all causes, vaccinated or otherwise. Just based on the baseline daily death rate. The number of people who are reported to have died in association with a COVID vaccine shot on VAERS is exactly the number that we should expect if the vaccines killed no one. It’s simple mathematics. 


Tim writes:

In her remarks on the CDC update to masking guidance yesterday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky commented that the viral level from nasal swabs was “indistinguishable” between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.  

“Most new infections in the U.S. continue to be among unvaccinated people. So-called breakthrough infections, which generally cause milder illness, can occur in vaccinated people. When earlier strains of the virus predominated, infected vaccinated people were found to have low levels of virus and were deemed unlikely to spread the virus much,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

But with the delta variant, a mutated and more transmissible version of the virus, the level of virus in infected vaccinated people is “indistinguishable” from the level of virus in the noses and throats of unvaccinated people, Walensky said.

The data emerged over the last couple of days from over 100 samples from several states and one other country. It is unpublished, and the CDC has not released it. But “it is concerning enough that we feel like we have to act,” Walensky said.

Vaccinated people “have the potential to spread that virus to others,” she said.

In TWiV 783 in the discussion of the “Well-traced Delta Outbreak” paper Vincent wondered if part of the elevated RNA detected via PCR testing could be attributable at least in part to an increased level of mRNA that facilitated more rapid replication (and hence a shorter serial interval) vs infectious virus. Might more exuberant production of mRNA be contributing to the CDC’s unpublished findings?  But as mRNA is an important step in the synthesis of new virions is this a distinction without a difference in the course of the infection? I would enjoy listening to an exploration of the role of mRNA levels in SARS-CoV-2 replication and the implications for interpreting PCR test data.

To quote Jeremy Irons’ character from Margin Call, please speak to me as you might to a young child, or a Golden Retriever. It wasn’t brains that got me here, I can assure you of that.

Thank you as always for a wonderfully informative and engaging podcast.

Best regards,


Justin writes:

Just sharing what I woke up to today since I work for the USEPA I can’t really forward you the emails, and commiserating. 

It’s 22 degrees C and sunny in Lakewood, Colorado.

At this point I blame willingly unvaccinated people.

We are hoping there is a federal mandate for weekly testing and masks for unvaccinated, just to make things harder on them for doing the wrong thing.

We should try new angles to the effect of like if we can’t get over this pandemic it is going to tank the economy and countries that do get the vaccination rate higher will have less sick people and outcompete us. Maybe their I hate Chyna side will kick in when you bring up their wallets. For example Will the Delta Variant Wreck the Recovery? https://nyti.ms/3rC1Qte

Thanks for letting me rant and rave, as just a chemist I’m really fortunate to have TWIV.

Nancy writes:

Hi TWIV – I thought y’all would appreciate this funny little video on “vaccines at a party”. Thanks for all you do!!! 


Jeff writes:

Hi Y’all,

My first listener pick, hope you like it (lessons from AIDS denialism for COVID-19):

Vaccinationally yours,

Jeff, JAHB

(Just a Human Being)

P.S. Perhaps as a fundraiser, anyone who contributes this month could be placed in a drawing for an invitation to visit The Incubator