Patterico's Pontifications

4/2/2021

The Question of Vaccine Passports

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:23 am



[guest post by Dana]

As the Biden administration is working with private companies to develop a framework for digital vaccine passports, a new report discusses the lack of standards and uniformity with the passport apps being developed:

Vaccine passports are new apps that will carry pieces of your health information — most critically your coronavirus vaccination status. They may soon be required to travel internationally or even to enter some buildings.

But a growing list of tech companies, governments and open-source software groups are all attempting to tackle the problem, prompting some concerns about a lack of a standard approach that would make it possible to carry around just one pass. Plus, apps would need to pull and verify your vaccination records in an easy, safe and controlled format. And wide adoption would require the majority of countries, airlines and businesses to agree on one (or two or three) accepted standards.

Several different organizations developing apps and tapping into government databases acknowledge how critical a common standard is. Still, many different groups are all racing to create that standard, with some overlap.

Jen Psaki sought to allay fears about the vaccine passport:

“There are a couple key principles that we are working from,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing on Monday. “One is that there will be no centralized universal federal vaccinations database, and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

As more Americans get vaccinated, the problem will grow. Reportedly, more than 37.4 million Americans are now fully vaccinated. [Ed. Yours truly just received the second shot yesterday. 24 hours later, and I am experiencing a swollen arm and achy joints. But if that’s the extent of my reaction, then I am counting my blessings.]

Arguments against the digital vaccine passport have included the potential violation of civil liberties. Here is the ACLU identifying what they see as the biggest potential problems with a digital vaccine passport. Some of their concerns have already been addressed in the Washington Post link above:

There is a difference between a standardized system for presenting proof of vaccination, and a digital system for doing so. With more and more of our credentials being displayed through apps on our phones — from airline boarding passes to concert tickets to gym memberships — it strikes many people as an obvious and overdue step to create a similar digital credential for those occasions when a person has to prove that they’ve been vaccinated. But digital credentials present a number of new potential problems, and we would oppose a vaccination credential system that does not meet three crucial criteria: It is not exclusively digital. A system that is exclusively digital, whether by design or as a practical matter, would be a nonstarter because it would increase inequality. Many people don’t have smartphones, including disproportionate numbers from some of our most vulnerable communities, such as people who are low-income, have disabilities, or are homeless, as well as more than 40 percent of people over age 65. As a result, any vaccine credential system would need to include a paper-based version for those who don’t have a smartphone or simply don’t want to use one. The paper option should not be a difficult or disadvantageous afterthought; a standardized credential should be primarily a paper-based system with an optional digital component, not the other way around.

It is decentralized and open source. The quest for a digital identity and credentialing system has become an entire field unto itself. Numerous companies, technologists, and academics have already generated a variety of concepts, standards, and products that would let us use cryptographic files or “tokens” on our phones to prove things about ourselves across our lives. The best of these schemes — and the only ones that should be considered for any digital elements of a vaccine credential system — take a decentralized and open source approach that puts individuals in control of their credentials and identity data, which they would hold in a digital wallet. But given the difficulty of creating a digital vaccine passport, we could see a rush to impose a COVID credential system built on an architecture that is not good for transparency, privacy, or user control.

It does not allow for tracking or the creation of new databases. Unless a vaccine credential system is completely decentralized and user-centric, it creates the potential for amassing new personal data. If some big company is getting notified any time someone reads one of your credentials, that would let them track your movements and interests — the stores, concerts, and transportation venues you visit, and much more. In the absence of airtight legal protections for privacy, any such information could then be sold for commercial purposes or shared with law enforcement.

However, making for odd bedfellows, a wing of the Republican Party has expressed their own concerns about vaccine passports:

A growing number of the Republican Party’s most conservative members have seized on the passport proposals and expected guidance from the White House, blasting them as an example of government overreach that would isolate Americans who choose not to get vaccinated and violate the privacy of those who do.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the controversial congresswoman whose conspiratorial remarks have drawn criticism from some in her own party, this week dubbed the passports President Biden’s “mark of the beast” and called the proposal a form of “corporate communism.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a steadfast ally of former President Trump and prospective 2024 presidential candidate, vowed this week to take executive action to ban businesses and local governments from implementing vaccine passport policies. He also urged the Republican-controlled state legislature to draft a more permanent measure against such requirements.

“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Monday…

The opposition to vaccine passports is the latest front in a year-long effort by conservatives to rally their supporters around restrictions put in place since the outset of the pandemic. Throughout 2020, some of the most prominent Republicans, including Trump, railed against government-mandated lockdowns and mask mandates.

How do you feel about the digital vaccine passports? How much does it concern you that, if the government is willing to mandate a digital passport, it would give them an opening to track other privacy issues? Also, do you really think this is a winning issue for the Republican Party, given that they need to win five seats in the House and one seat in the Senate next year to recapture their majorities? I sure don’t see it helping them.

–Dana

100 Responses to “The Question of Vaccine Passports”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Hello Dana.

    The ACLU’s ideas sound good.

    I had in mind a system like the one that scans your driver’s license when you buy alcohol, and beeps OK/not OK.

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. This is a classic government blunder. It’s a huge, difficult project with many accidental problems. It’s easily defeated. I have a shot record, but no one actually ID’d me when I got my shots. you could easily fabricate the record and people really do this with vaccines at workplaces.

    It would be an expensive mess that serves little purpose. Wherever this passport is needed, there will be some kind of exception, some kind of real or BS reason someone can avoid the proof.

    Just make sure everyone who wants to be vaccinated gets the shot. That’s all you need to do. Stop trying to control everyone, ration everything, make charts and take credit for results. Let it be, save some money, avoid the pitfalls and privacy disasters and frauds. Just make sure anyone who wants the vaccine can have it.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  4. Falsifying proof of vaccination should obviously be a capital crime.

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. I agree with Dustin. Government isn’t especially good at this type of detailed level. Get the vaccine to as many people as possible. People will need to determine individually how to handle travel restrictions/requirements. That’s not a bad thing.

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  6. As I am old enough to buy alcohol without ID, I have no idea how that system works. And the horse left the barn a long time ago on using data to track people and their preferences-just look at their credit card billing statements. Fandango knows what kinds of movies I like every time I buy tickets online, which is essentially required by movie theaters as most of the chains have gone to reserve seating.

    People who have been vaccinated already receive a paper “proof of vaccination” so that concern has already been met. Businesses that congregate large, confined crowds (stadium promoters/venues, airlines, cruise ships, etc.) will demand some proof of vaccination to avoid liability. The private sector will drive the debate.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  7. @3 Exactly. 100% agreement.

    How do you feel about the digital vaccine passports?
    Against it for privacy concerns and pragmatic reasons.

    How much does it concern you that, if the government is willing to mandate a digital passport, it would give them an opening to track other privacy issues?
    Give them an inch…

    Also, do you really think this is a winning issue for the Republican Party, given that they need to win five seats in the House and one seat in the Senate next year to recapture their majorities?
    Yes. I’d wager even independents don’t like this either. Especially when we’ve reached herd immunity.

    whembly (2e3fb6)

  8. I’m … baffled.

    Children regularly need to provide proof of vaccination to get into schools. College students, too.

    Proof of vaccination has often been required for international travel in the past, although it’s mostly not now.

    I assume that many countries will require proof of vaccination for entry for a while, and I can imagine that places like Hawai’i would do so if it weren’t clearly unconstitutional to do so.

    I assume that for large crowd events — music festivals, large stadium sports, conferences — the people putting them on will require proof of vaccination, largely because *their insurers will insist that they do so* to reduce the legal liability risk.

    So to me this feels like an insane tempest in a teapot.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  9. Falsifying proof of vaccination should obviously be a capital crime.

    Dave (1bb933) — 4/2/2021 @ 9:40 am

    People really do it. I’ve seen it firsthand before COVID was even a thing. If you check craigslist, sometimes you will see offers to get a free flu vaccine if you use someone else’s appointment. That’s what’s going on. I agree it’s a serious sin, but good luck addressing it with government.

    It’s better to just make vaccines well understood and easy to get. There is a mindset that the harder government pushes to force vaccines into your loved ones, the more important it is to resist. It’s poking the bear to have these passports. it won’t help.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  10. I assume that for large crowd events — music festivals, large stadium sports, conferences — the people putting them on will require proof of vaccination, largely because *their insurers will insist that they do so* to reduce the legal liability risk.

    I wonder a bit about how much liability is really enforceable, since there’s no way to prove where someone caught the germ. Strong circumstantial evidence (people seated near each other getting sick) might emerge, I suppose.

    Dave (1bb933)

  11. As more Americans get vaccinated, the problem will grow.

    What problem— the necessity and expense for another piece of gov’t paperwork and accompanying bureaucracy will ‘grow’ to become unnecessary.

    It’s stupid; wasteful and unnecessary.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  12. Breaking- U.S. Capitol lockdown.

    CNN/Fox report two Capitol Hill officers rammed by car; reports of shots fired.

    Unlike the U.S. borders, so comforting to see the podiums and desks of the Swamp Party Royalists are so well protected with layers of costly security, eh, fellow citizens.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  13. typical that the party that throws a fit about voter identification sees nothing wrong with vaccine passports

    JF (6fcdbe)

  14. Dave — in a sense it’s a form of security theater. Clear plastic backpacks don’t really help all that much, and make the person using them more vulnerable to theft, but they look like they’re doing something, and so insurers have forced them on event organizers.

    Similarly, I expect insurers to force proof of vaccination on event organizers — although *at least until we’re somewhat close to herd immunity* there’s reason to believe large crowd events where everyone is vaccinated are safer than large crowd events where they aren’t.

    But the politics and risk profile of large crowd events are just *different* from normal things.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  15. DCSCA — every employer in the country would lock down if the workplace was rammed by a car and shots were fired at it.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  16. @15. Good Friday: Congress won’t be in session as members are scheduled to return home for two weeks of “district work.”

    Nobody’s home– figuratively and literally. But the furniture is well protected.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  17. Congress is in

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. Sorry, unintentional post.

    Dave (1bb933)

  19. @17. No, it’s not.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  20. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

    Dave (1bb933)

  21. How other countries are implementing vaccine passports.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  22. Sorry about #22. Wrong thread.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. @20. But then, obviously not obvious 2U.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  24. One quibble: The ACLU and the libertarian-ish wing of the GOP are not really strange bedfellows on most points. Sure, the ACLU ignores the 2nd Amendment, but outside of that they often agree. Scalia was far more likely to agree with the ACLU on search and seizure than RBG was.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. @22.A spokesman for Matt Gaetz quits…

    A ‘Weiner-Snitchel’? 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. As far as the Trumpian-ist wing of the GOP, it’s more of a bunker mentality that civil libertarian, but those positions often agree in effect.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. every employer in the country would lock down if the workplace was rammed by a car and shots were fired at it.

    Yeah, better to go on foot and jump/swim/dodge barriers instead — and win free medical, free food, free shelter instea of catching a free bullet.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  28. AP reports ‘suspect’ “breaking in’ to Capitol Hill complex shot is dead.

    Anybody shot breaking in to the U.S. proper at the border today?

    Of course not.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  29. How do you feel about the digital vaccine passports? How much does it concern you that, if the government is willing to mandate a digital passport, it would give them an opening to track other privacy issues?

    Since I believe that some standardized system will emerge, I think the fight should be over who controls it and what its limits are. I would vastly prefer a private entity, particularly one with deep pockets that could be dragged into court as opposed to a new bureaucracy with sovereign immunity.

    Also, “mandates” are undesirable and unwarranted. Don’t want one? Fine. Just like before 9/11, if you didn’t want United Airlines to search your possessions, you didn’t try to fly on United Airlines planes. After 9/11 we went the statist direction which was both a mistake and unconstitutional. I do not want to see that repeated with a state intrusion into medical records.

    Also, do you really think this is a winning issue for the Republican Party, given that they need to win five seats in the House and one seat in the Senate next year to recapture their majorities? I sure don’t see it helping them.

    On the other hand, I will not fly on an airline that does NOT require some evidence that passengers are not sick and/or carriers of Covid (or other things going forward). The idea that government might force a rule on everyone is a mistake, just as it was with tobacco. Some people might prefer airlines that did NOT ask for such proof. Differences like that are what make a “free country” free.

    So, I also see laws that prevent private businesses from requiring such proofs, so long as these proofs are not simply the “beard” for unlawful discrimination on other fronts.

    So, I firmly stake out the middle ground: A private consortium with liability risks, offering a simple, common, system available to all, that has no connection to databases and is of temporary duration. If any law were to be passed, it should be one that criminalizes data collection and use for other purposes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. BTW, I think it likely that the GOP will take back the House. Given they relative numbers of Senators up for reelection, I think that the Dems will gain a seat or two next time, but will lose it all in 2024 unless Trump runs.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. 8. aphrael (4c4719) — 4/2/2021 @ 10:12 am

    Children regularly need to provide proof of vaccination to get into schools.

    Parents in many cases can get exemptions.

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Parents-block-California-s-effort-to-14296059.php

    And if they are stymied and don’t believe in vaccination they may fake a vaccination, to the surprise of some doctors.

    And here you have the complication that many people may not need, or may barely benefit from, a vaccine because they already had the disease.

    College students, too.

    This I didn’t hear of.

    The reason they make it a requirement for school is that it is alever over the parents, not because it is specially needed for school.

    I assume that many countries will require proof of vaccination for entry for a while,

    China does, with the alternative of quarantine, but only their not so good made-in-China vaccine counts.

    and I can imagine that places like Hawai’i would do so if it weren’t clearly unconstitutional to do so.

    It’s probably not unconstitutional, so long as a public health emergency exists.

    I assume that for large crowd events — music festivals, large stadium sports, conferences — the people putting them on will require proof of vaccination, largely because *their insurers will insist that they do so* to reduce the legal liability risk.

    But the insurers won’t insist it be forgery proof. (estimated cost of false proof of Pfizer vaccine credential: $200)

    You could have a paper credential with online backup. Could be looked up by number.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  32. Just as a practical matter, it seems the window for developing a vaccine passport that isn’t just your CDC card has passed, hasn’t it? At this point any system is ultimately going to have to rely on those cards–that’s the only evidence I have from my vaccination–which are pretty easily falsifiable.

    (Not That) Bill O'Reilly (6bb12a)

  33. 31. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/2/2021 @ 11:34 am

    BTW, I think it likely that the GOP will take back the House.

    Not so long as many people don’t trust Republicans to adhere to the constitution and not try to challenge honest elections.

    Except that the Democrats can also not be trusted to be honest.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  34. Falsifying proof of vaccination should obviously be a capital crime.

    Falsifying proof of vaccination, and having that falsification result in serious illness or death, should be both a crime of negligence and subject to a suit for damages.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  35. Make it double as a voter ID.

    steveg (02d731)

  36. At times we have had laws against propaganda (e.g. against the draft in wartime), and actually jailed people for violating them (e.g. Eugene Debs). Should spreading false information as antivaxx propaganda during a deadly pandemic be a crime?

    There are limits to free speech when it comes to predictable harm to others; is this one of those situations? In the internet age, one crank can wind up a lot of people.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  37. Make it double as a voter ID.

    And here is the real problem with a state-issue “vaccine passport.” The temptation to the state in situations like this, is to pull from their long-standing wishlists. Witness the “Know Your Customer” rules that Congress repeatedly defeated, but were put into the post-9/11 Patriot Act.

    A national ID, right? With a chip that has your medical records (handy for emergency rooms and such), your vital statistics, your fingerprint, your retina print, your DNA record, your gun registrations, your voting registration, your actual passport and travel record, your DUI record and allowed access to alcohol … all kinds of things.

    What could be wrong with that?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. OTOH, what we store in out lightly-defended cell phones is just awesome!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. Not so long as many people don’t trust Republicans to adhere to the constitution and not try to challenge honest elections.

    Tell that to Iowa. But really, they gained a dozen seats with TRUMP at the top of the ticket. You rate integrity higher than many voters.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. @29-

    Also a US Capitol police officer died.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  41. @31. Thing is, it’s still Trump’s party. He’s media savvy enough to upstage President Plagiarist and Nurse VEEP to visit the border first– just before Joe announces he’ll go.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  42. @29, 41: Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  43. @41. That’s the risk; part of the job description; so it’s a draw. But rest easy, Nancy ordered the flags lowered to half mast nd her podium is safe. 4 people were slaughtered in a mass shooing in Orange, CA just two days ago; last week it was 10 citizen shot dead in Boulder’s mass shooting–remember any of their names or the surviving victims suffering? The week before, 8 slaughtered in Atlanta, too. But hey, nobody’s been shot at the border illegally breaking in to the U.S. today. Yet.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  44. He’s media savvy enough to upstage President Plagiarist and Nurse VEEP to visit the border first– just before Joe announces he’ll go.

    Do you actually think the press will cover Trump’s trip? I’m expecting Trump to be in a no-coverage zone for the next 4 years.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. @43. Reaganomics.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  46. @45. Yes. Of course they will- unlike Sleep Joe, the Circus Clown entertains;draws crowds; makes news. Remember, 74-plus million voted for him– a lot of them along the border supported his stance regarding a strong border and ‘the wall.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  47. Kevin M — apparently Florida’s governor has signed an executive order banning businesses in the state from requiring proof of vaccination. how do you feel about that action?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  48. @6. This is never going to work in time fo it to be of any consequence. Back in the day in NJ, it was the county, not the state, that tried to make a buck by forcing kids to have buy ‘Oca County IDs’ to buy liquor. And along the shore, individual municipalities tried to enforce the purchase of relatively expensive ‘Beach Badges’ by both year around residents and vacationers just to sit on the sand by the ocean. Scofflaws could see badge checkers coming literally a mile off and avoided them. A vaccine passport is never going to work. Hell, how many people have yet get the “mandatory” ‘star’ reissue DL IDs— they’re in for a rude awakening when they try to fly over the holidays later this year.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  49. ^Ocean County

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  50. Kevin M — apparently Florida’s governor has signed an executive order banning businesses in the state from requiring proof of vaccination. how do you feel about that action?

    1) It has no force or effect. His reach does not extend here. It is not a health emergency, it is not a furtherance of protective action even if it were, so his reach extends to public buildings. IF that. Preventing detention facilities from using this information might also be actionable.

    2) As I said before, a law requiring or banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination is a bad law.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. @43. Reaganomics.

    Do you, like, have a macro for that? ANd you probably don’t realize that many people consider “Reaganomics” — that ushered in the longest boom of the 20th Century — to be something good.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. 40. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/2/2021 @ 11:52 am

    they gained a dozen seats with TRUMP at the top of the ticket. You rate integrity higher than many voters.

    No, it’s that nobody thought problems with Trump carried over to other Republicans. That changed after November 3. That;s why two Georgia Senate races were lost.

    Now the first question with many Republicans will be: Do you agree with Donald Trump that his election was stolen? Were the members of the House who voted not to accept electoral votes right?

    This could be as serious an issue as national defense and foreign policy is for Democrats since about 1966.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  53. @52. People? ROFLMAOPIP. Would that be people like ‘Woodshed’ Stockman or ‘Snowman’ Kudlow? Now that’s a real ‘laffer.’

    https://consortiumnews.com/2013/10/17/the-abject-failure-of-reaganomics/

    “Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.” – Economics Teacher [Ben Stein] ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ 1986

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  54. But yet you got backed into accidentally “liking” a Bushism…that might be as bad or worse in MAGA sphere.

    urbanleftbehind (6634bd)

  55. @44-
    Nice to see your so sanguine.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  56. @55. Meh.

    “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

    Plagiarism is very ‘in’ these days; comes right from the top. 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  57. There is a ton of conflicting messaging coming out of Joe Bidens team as well.
    The CDC sends out conflicting advice every couple days, Biden sometimes wears a mask, sometimes two, sometimes none. I need one of those play calling charts QB’s put on their wrist so I can figure out what set up to use to do Activity X while in Area Y which is in Tier color Z Level One with One being high with age and race group risk factor group level One with One being low
    I think Trump at least was consistent in his message. You always knew he put the economy over the virus and was just suffering through with Birx and Fauci because he thought he had to.
    The local politicians and officials were the ones whose hypocrisy and stupidity alienated nearly everyone. No Tennis. No stand up paddling alone in the ocean. No boating (as the Governors husband heads out to get the boat out). No travel (orders delivered from officials vacation home in Cabo). Restaurant owners whiplashed with open, no closed, yes, no, maybe..
    Trump might be at fault if most transmission was due to “superspreader” events, but the data here in CA which has been the anti-Trump, says most transmission seems to be at home (duh).
    Its why the working class Hispanics l1ving in dense community test positive way above average and its not because they were all glued to Univision and Telemundo listening for Trump to tell them what to do.

    I think the simplest way to wrap my head around it all is to start with our status as free people living in a 50 state republic where the 50 State, and 1000’s of local health departments implement their own brand of policy. Take vaccination policy for an example. Local responses range from: Start by finding all the needles in the haystack and vaccinating them, to vaccinate the entire haystack and the needles will get vaccinated.

    Current logic seems to be that if freedom is costing any lives at all, then we must curtail freedom. Trump did not want to curtail freedoms over COVID thus he must be responsible for 550,000 COVID deaths. Maybe so. Is 550,000 deaths too high a price for freedom? What if we’d done it Trumps way and 1,000,000 Americans died before his Warp Speed paid dividends. Would it be worth it to the 99.66% who survived the war on COVID to come out of it with all their freedons uninfringed?
    Lets hear what Jimmy Cliff has to say.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Znh0OM9jiA

    Or Roger Waters and David Gilmour:
    Did they get you to trade
    Your heroes for ghosts?
    Hot ashes for trees?
    Hot air for a cool breeze?
    Cold comfort for change?
    Did you exchange
    A walk-on part in the war
    For a leading role in a cage?

    PS: Biden seems hellbent on replacing Americans lost to COVID with illegal immigrants with COVID

    steveg (02d731)

  58. #38 KevinM

    Its ironic that the excuse is often made that minorities do not have ID and asking for Voter ID is discriminatory and getting them ID is impossible.
    Then the mask falls off and we see how easy it is. (not to mention that man on the street interviews in Harlem show black people have ID and are offended anyone thinks they don’t)

    steveg (02d731)

  59. Meanwhile, here in California, in counties that aren’t in the purple tier, indoor concerts and theatrical performances can resume with fairly restrictive capacity limits, but attendees must EITHER have a negative result from an on-site rapid test OR submit proof of vaccination.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  60. @54: Consortium News? Why not Daily Worker?

    “Consortium News celebrated its 25th birthday on Nov. 15, 2020 with guests Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick, John Pilger, Nat Parry, Diane Duston, Ray McGovern, Oliver Spencer and Gareth Porter.”

    Not only do the think Reagan was a bust, they think the same of capitalism and private enterprise. So, show me what they oppose and give me extra helpings of it.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  61. “Mister we could use a man like Ronald Reagan again”

    Instead we got Donald Trump, the presidential proof of Gresham’s Law.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. It seems like thousands of extra people are dying because hospitals are afraid to use the best treatment for Covid for fear that insurance companies won’t pay them – and they expect insurance companies to dispute doing anything that is not very clearly recommended by the FDA (and the companies manufacturing them are afraid to advertise)

    Just about all you ever hear about is vaccines.

    Not all these points are in the following New York Times Op-ed

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/31/opinion/covid-monoclonal-antibodies-treatment.html

    On Monday, one of my patients called me to say she had tested positive for the coronavirus. The patient, who has sickle cell anemia and has had a bone-marrow transplant, lives several hours away from the hospital where I work in New York City. Because she is at extreme risk for complications from Covid-19, I began trying to secure the best medicine for preventing severe disease: monoclonal antibodies.

    Monoclonal antibodies are made in the laboratory and are designed to mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off invaders like viruses. Different monoclonal antibodies are used to treat numerous illnesses. They have been found effective in treating people at a high risk of complications from Covid-19, and last fall the Food and Drug Administration approved their emergency use to treat the disease. But right now it’s too hard for patients to obtain this treatment.

    After calls to several hospitals near my patient’s home, I found one that could administer monoclonal antibodies. She went to the hospital and remained in the emergency room for more than 24 hours, untreated because the doctors did not feel her condition warranted the medication. While she waited, she developed a sickle cell pain crisis that was doubtlessly provoked by her panic over the test result and the uncertainty about whether she would receive the treatment I recommended. By Tuesday night, she had a fever and a cough, and her treatment finally began….

    ,.. When President Donald Trump fell sick with Covid-19 in October, he received monoclonal antibodies, as did several senior members of his inner circle. All of them survived, as do nearly 90 percent of high-risk patients who are treated early with this medication.

    But despite the extraordinary efficacy of monoclonal antibodies, this lifesaving treatment is often difficult for regular people to obtain. When I tried to secure insurance approval for monoclonal antibody treatment for a high-risk patient without symptoms, I was told that the person, who was also at high risk for Covid-19 complications, wasn’t yet sick, even though that is the best time to treat people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and are at risk of severe outcomes from Covid. I pushed back and prevailed.

    If Donald Trump cared and had brains, he’d be screaming about this.

    Feara that insurance won’t pay – plus the lack of a push by anyone – appears to be the reason:

    In the past month, I have given monoclonal antibodies to three high-risk patients in whom Covid-19 was newly diagnosed. Two have cancer and are in their 80s, and the other is a 55-year-old who had recently received a bone-marrow transplant to treat lymphoma. Two of the patients had mild symptoms. The other felt unwell but had no symptoms of Covid.

    All three patients responded well to the treatment, but each instance required me to obtain approval from the hospital’s infectious-disease, pulmonary-medicine, pharmacy and emergency departments, something I don’t typically have to do as a senior attending physician. Each time I stayed with the patient until late in the evening to ensure that the planned treatment was accomplished. Because monoclonal antibody treatment can [legally] be administered only in an outpatient setting such as an infusion center or an emergency room, in one case I had to persuade members of the admitting team to discharge a patient from the hospital so that they could send him to the emergency room to receive the care he needed. [!!}

    A colleague and I recently called all the hospitals in New York City’s five boroughs to find out whether they offer monoclonal antibodies to high-risk patients with Covid-19. Only three said they could provide the therapy to a high-risk patient without symptoms. Some said they would need to evaluate a patient in their emergency room, and others either didn’t know about monoclonal antibodies or would not discuss a referral.

    The federal government has delivered more than 750,000 courses of monoclonal antibody treatment throughout the country, and Medicare has waived co-payments for patients receiving it. But insurance companies reimburse hospitals only for the cost of administering the drugs. That process is time-consuming, because the medicine is infused over several hours, and because these patients have active Covid-19 infections, they must be isolated. All of this makes the delivery of monoclonal antibodies a logistical challenge and expensive for the provider.

    Anther thing wrong with the medical care system in the United States.

    And the United States is the best.

    The Biden administration has pledged to make monoclonal antibody treatment more available, with a $150 million plan to deliver it to more patients who need it. This is a welcome development, but so far, in the field, we have seen no tangible change in access to treatment.

    Because they assume things are working, but they are not.

    A good opposition that dared to disagree with government science would have a field day with this.

    One point. One of the two Eli Lilly antibodies doesn’t work against one variant, and the other works only half and one of the two Regeneron works only half. That these are not updated is another piece of insanity.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  63. The Best Coupon In Your Wallet? Your Vaccination Card
    ……..
    The push to get shots in arms has morphed into a kind of freebie frenzy, with businesses ranging from marijuana dispensaries to arcades promoting giveaways. The companies say the idea is to support the country’s vaccination program at a critical time during its rollout—and if a side effect is a boost for business, all the better.
    …..
    William Stevens, a resident of Sterling Heights, Mich., is racking up the deals while he can. With his proof of vaccination, he scored his free joint at Greenhouse of Walled Lake and this past week he stopped in for a free donut at his local Krispy Kreme.

    “I know a gift when I see it,” he says.

    Mr. Stevens, 72 years old, says he is hoping for even more with his vaccine card. “What would really rock my boat is free golf,” he says.
    …..
    Up-Down, a Midwest chain of arcades with bars, is offering vaccinated customers a deal of $5 in free tokens for game play.
    ……
    Alycia Gionet, 33, a regular at Up-Down’s location in Oklahoma City, paid a recent visit to the establishment without even realizing her vaccination status got her the $5 bonus. But she says she was happy to take advantage of it.

    “I’m carrying this card and I get free tokens?” she said. Ms. Gionet used her free play to perfect her skills at one of her favorite arcade games, Point Blank 2. “I crushed it.”

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  64. @61/62. ROFLMAOPIP “Voodoo economics” — prolaimed that well-known Red: GHWBush.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  65. California is going to start requiring vaccine proofs or negative Covid tests for attending indoor events and even some outdoor events.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-04-02/california-indoor-events-return-covid-vaccines-tests

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  66. And the United States is the best (health care system).

    I would certainly disagree with that statement. The US health care system is overly bureaucratic, unable to contain costs, and allows millions unable to afford basic health care. There are a number of systems that provide more and as good care as the US system, but they (such as in Germany) involve government to a greater extent than the US system. And the citizens of these countries have a far greater life expectancy than Americans.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  67. “Voodoo economics” — prolaimed that well-known Red: GHWBush.

    Right up until he inherited a booming economy and stalled it by raising taxes.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. Just scored my first vaccination appointment, five days after the eligibility expansion in California. Whoooo Hoooo!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  69. @62. ROFLMAOPIP, He was used all right- like a drop-forged Channellock tool.

    Ask Sam Brownback.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  70. @68. ROFLMAOPIP. Life on a credit card… the “Black Monday” stock market crash was on Ronnie’s watch, dear: October 19, 1987. U.S. markets fell more than 20% in a single day.

    Yes, if you died on September 30, 1929, the economy was swell, too!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  71. Kevin M – yeah, that’s what I was talking about in #60.

    I have deep ties to the community of people whose lives revolve around live music, and the consensus there is that this is expected and utterly unsurprising and that neither the venues nor the artists will actually be interested until the capacity limitations are higher. Even the 50% vaccine-required yellow tier capacity limit probably isn’t enough to allow most venues to turn a profit.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  72. Better luck with yours, Rip. The Johnson and Johnson 1-dose is no joke…32 hours post-jab and still woozy.

    urbanleftbehind (6634bd)

  73. Mine will be Pfizer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  74. Good for those Michiganders and their freebies, but people in DCSCA-land and even in suburban Chicago best keep their Vac card in “Richard Gere country” lest it gets stolen.

    urbanleftbehind (6634bd)

  75. The wierd thing about the 1987 stock market crash, DCSCA, is that while it hosed the investor class — and this in a day before widespread 401ks made the middle class investors the way they are now — it had negligble effect on the real economy; economic growth remained high, unemployment remained low.

    It might have played a role in the S&L crisis — that’s not clear — but asider from that, it just wasn’t a factor in most people’s lives.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  76. Even the 50% vaccine-required yellow tier capacity limit probably isn’t enough to allow most venues to turn a profit.

    It’s been a very long time since I was in those Hollywood clubs, but try as I might I cannot remember that there were capacity limits.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  77. The 1987 “crash” was utterly and completely a computer-driven transient. Programmed trading with bugs. On a long-term chart it’s barely a blip. By the end of 1989 the market was 500 points above the 1987 high and it closed 1999 400% higher than the peak before the crash.

    In fact, from 1942 to today, the only slack period was 1966-1982 where the market was flat. Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter. Certainly not Reagan. The DOW is now at 33,000 compared to under 800 in August of 82. That’s a boom, and even the 2008 drop has been transcended.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  78. DCSCA has a tendency to latch onto certain events of the past–Goldwater, Watergate, Reagan–and filter everything through them.

    norcal (01e272)

  79. @79. Goldwater’s idiocy, Watergate the flotsam of Reagan wreckage is the world we live in, norcal.
    All conservative GOP spawn. Be a ‘proud boy.’ 😉

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  80. @78. Ooooooo ROFLMAO the leveagegd junk bonds, the market collapse, the S&L hell– the creation of the Rustbelt Belt…. the wrecked middle class wasn’t trickle down pissing on ’em… just machine driven. ROFLMAOPIP.

    Trump is a Reagan Creation, Kevin. Plastic gilded and corrupt. Own it.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  81. @76. Except it was.

    You could actually see it literally ripple and move up 6th Avenue that day. And the real estate collapse that follow wasn’t pretty either. The road to recovery for the GOP cmes when conservative admit the error of their supply-side ways an jettison the smoke and mirrors that was the Reagan cloak.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  82. Trump is a Reagan Creation, Kevin. Plastic gilded and corrupt. Own it.

    I know you say you lived through it all, but I’ve never seen any evidence of that. Maybe you shouldn’t have dropped so much acid, it colored your perception.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  83. @83. Reaganoptics.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  84. @73. Shades of Jerry’s Swine Flu ‘shots for the masses’ 1976.

    Wait for the pill.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  85. So, MLB is against IDs to vote, but if you want to attend their games, you’d better have a lot more than just an ID?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  86. Ronald Reagan saved this country, just like Maggie Thatcher saved Britain.

    Donald Trump may well have wrecked it. Biden is just the coup de grace.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  87. 86, that sentiment sounds like an inspiration for an impromptu Ten Cent Beer or Disco Demolition Night.

    urbanleftbehind (1a7017)

  88. Realistically, the only way to get a reliable vaccine passport for the US vaccinated, since it probably wasn’t coordinated with your care provider is an additional function within EPIC or Sunrise, etc in a standard format stored in an encrypted file (not a blockchain since we don’t want all records), probably something similar to an NFT is generated in EPIC, delivered via an attachment in Mychart, and displayed with a standard appstore app…not a QR code.

    That would minimize the complexity of the backend to actually not have the record, just that the displayed records math fits in the parameters of true/false? I’m not done with coffee 2 just yet, and it’s not my job, but if someone is willing to pay, in dollars or coffee, I’d be happy to do the data design, a friend would work for coffee on the mobile app, and the app/infra architect would work for hazy IPA.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (1367c0)

  89. @87. Rubbish.

    Reagan turned America from a creditor nation into a debtor nation. And you know sqaut about Thatcher– she was our MP in Finchley back in the day; her PM ass was cooked — until she invaded the Falklands and still was eventually thrown out of office. And it was Maggie who told Ronnie they could ‘work with’ Gorby.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  90. How about just no, as in NEVER. Internal passports should be illegal, for any essential service, completely voluntary for any non-essentialbusiness without ANY government for requiring one or penalty for not requiring one,mand absolutely barred for exit or return to the US, or any company doing business within the borders of the USA Other countries can do as they please.

    Id literally rather die than live in some quasi fascist nightmare where my health records can be pried into to enter any place of public accommodation as a matter of routine.

    It won’t end with a COVID vaccine document. You have to know this.

    SarahW (08f5d7)

  91. —– should read: “…without any government benefit, for requiring, or penalty for not requiring…”

    SarahW (08f5d7)

  92. 90, some would also argue utterly contemptuous of the white working class in policy (strikes) and word (bashed soccer fans and public transit riders) and asleep at the wheel in regards to assimilation of former colonial subjects and immigration (though it was Blair tha really threw down the drawbridge)

    urbanleftbehind (c61bd4)

  93. I’m okay with Covid passports as long as Michelle Obama’s college roommate gets the government contract for the rollout.

    nk (1d9030)

  94. Yeah, to any extent that it’s for real and not distraction for the proles (which it definitely is), it’s pork for cronies. Like they don’t get enough.

    nk (1d9030)

  95. And the United States is the best (health care system).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 4/2/2021 @ 3:52 pm

    I would certainly disagree with that statement. The US health care system is overly bureaucratic, unable to contain costs, and allows millions unable to afford basic health care.

    I meant by that most advanced – or the system that can deliver the best care. You don’t see many innovations coming into use anywhere else. In that sense it is the best.

    What people don’t see is the innovations that don’t happen or that get delayed. Ir the fact that the minimum cost of anything new is way too high. (and the price can vary from $0.00 to $3,194 for the same thing:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/30/upshot/covid-test-fees-lenox-hill.html

    State-run testing sites in New York do not charge patients or collect health insurance information for the coronavirus nasal swab tests. A study published last year found that a swab test at a hospital can run from $20 to $850. Some independent laboratories have charged more, billing $2,315…..The bill for her visit came to $3,194, which her insurance negotiated down to $2,084. She recalls asking a front desk representative whether she would be billed for an emergency room visit. She said she was told she would not be.

    Rip Murdock:

    There are a number of systems that provide more and as good care as the US system, but they (such as in Germany) involve government to a greater extent than the US system. And the citizens of these countries have a far greater life expectancy than Americans.

    That’s the average. They also probably don’t have an opioid addiction problem or as many people who live different kinds of lives.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  96. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 4/3/2021 @ 11:36 am

    And it was Maggie who told Ronnie they could ‘work with’ Gorby.

    But not with Saddam Hussein.

    She got thrown out of office for forcing through the replacement of a property tax with a capitation tax. It was about to be implemented in England.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  97. 73. All the vaccines are probably too strong.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  98. Probably not for someone who already was infected, though.

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

  99. Legal opinion apparently is:

    Vaccines cannot legally be required by anyone so long as they remain authorized only on an experimental basis by the FDA

    Sammy Finkelman (6975b4)

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