Source: Zero Hedge

Equity futures are in the red Wednesday morning as Dr. Anthony Fauci’s warnings about the supposedly “dire threat” posed by the Delta variant continue to be dramatically amplified by the American media.

Yesterday, we delved into the issue of the Delta variant as daily COVID cases reported in the US ticked higher after touching their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic. The data set off another round of warnings about the relatively large swath of Americans who refuse to get the vaccine.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg published the latest in a series of stories effectively re-stating the same facts: the vaccination rate in a handful of deep-red states has substantially lagged the rate in the rest of the country. The lead-in for Wednesday’s story was the fact that the gap between the most- and least-vaccinated states has continued to widen. Though even Bloomberg concedes that “on a national level, the news appears good…the country’s vaccination campaign is among the most successful in the world…”

Source: Bloomberg

One academic quoted in the Bloomberg story, Timothy Callaghan, who studies rural health at Texas A&M, warned that “we’re going to have counties where vaccination is rare and nowhere close to herd immunity, and others where it’s high. We could be headed toward a divided country of haves and have nots.”

They also warned that an analysis last week of COVID cases in 700 counties found that the new delta variant first identified in India (which, according to Bloomberg, is “far more contagious”) has been found more often in less-vaccinated US counties.

But is the Delta variant really “far more contagious” than earlier iterations of SARS-CoV-2?

In a recent piece published by the Blaze, writer Daniel Horowitz explains that the existing data suggests Delta isn’t any deadlier or more infectious than other strains. Horowitz described the warnings from epidemiologists and public health bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci as “panic porn dressed up as science.”

The implication from these headlines is that somehow this variant is truly more transmissible and deadly (as the previous variants were falsely portrayed to be), they escape natural immunity and possibly the vaccine — and therefore, paradoxically, you must get vaccinated and continue doing all the things that failed to work for the other variants!

After each city and country began getting ascribed its own “variant,” I think the panic merchants realized that the masses would catch on to the variant scam, so they decided to rename them Alpha (British), Beta (South African), Gamma (Brazilian), and Delta (Indian), which sounds more like a hierarchy of progression and severity rather than each region simply getting hit when it’s in season until the area reaches herd immunity.

However, if people would actually look at the data, they’d realize that the Delta variant is actually less deadly. These headlines are able to gain momentum only because of the absurd public perception that somehow India got hit worse than the rest of the world. In reality, India has one-seventh the death rate per capita of the U.S.; it’s just that India got the major winter wave later, when the Western countries were largely done with it, thereby giving the illusion that India somehow suffered worse. Now, the public health Nazis are transferring their first big lie about what happened in India back to the Western world.

Fortunately, the U.K. government has already exposed these headlines as a lie, for those willing to take notice. On June 18, Public Health England published its 16th report on “SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation in England,” this time grouping the variants by Greek letters.

As you can see, the Delta variant has a 0.1% case fatality rate (CFR) out of 31,132 Delta sequence infections confirmed by investigators. That is the same rate as the flu and is much lower than the CFR for the ancestral strain or any of the other variants. And as we know, the CFR is always higher than the infection fatality rate (IFR), because many of the mildest and asymptomatic infections go undocumented, while the confirmed cases tend to have a bias toward those who are more evidently symptomatic.

In other words, Delta is literally the flu with a CFR identical to it. This is exactly what every respiratory pandemic has done through history: morphed into more transmissible and less virulent form that forces the other mutations out since you get that one. Nothing about masks, lockdowns, or experimental shots did this. To the extent this really is more transmissible, it’s going to be less deadly, as is the case with the common cold. To the extent that there are areas below the herd immunity threshold (for example, in Scotland and the northwestern parts of the U.K.) they will likely get the Delta variant (until something else supplants it), but fatalities will continue to go down.

According to the above-mentioned report, the Delta variant represented more than 75% of all cases in the U.K. since mid-May. If it really was that deadly, it should have been wreaking havoc over the past few weeks.

You can see almost a perfect inverse relationship between hospitalization rates throughout April and May plummeting as the Delta variant became the dominant strain of the virus in England. Some areas might see a slight oscillation from time to time as herd immunity fills in, regardless of which variant is floating around. However, the death burden is well below that of a flu season and is no longer an epidemic.

As for vaccines, there is no evidence that somehow they provide better protection than prior infection from any other strain of the virus, nor does the Delta variant justify further use of these experimental shots. If anything, the U.K. data show that, to the extent there were deaths due to the Delta variant, there were more fatalities among those already vaccinated relative to the number of confirmed cases by vaccination status.

Again, the numbers are low across the board and there is no evidence the Delta variant is anything but less deadly for anyone. But there is certainly no evidence that somehow the vaccine is a greater imperative because of this variant. India itself appears to have achieved herd immunity – with the WHO estimating infection rates between 60% and 75% in most places – with one-seventh the death rate of England, but with one-fourth the percentage of people who have receive one dose of the vaccine.

Thus, the good news is that now that most countries have reached a large degree of herd immunity, there is zero threat of hospitals being overrun by any seasonal increase in various areas, no matter the variant. The bad news is that after Delta, there are Epsilon and 19 other letters of the Greek alphabet, which will enable the circuitous cycle of misinformation, fear, panic, and control to continue. And remember, as there is already a “Delta+,” the options are endless until our society finally achieves immunity to COVID panic porn.

That being said, the US isn’t the only country falling victim to the Delta variant hysteria. Reports published Wednesday morning claimed EU leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Emmanuel Macron were planning to hold a call to discuss more potential travel restrictions. It’s increasingly looking like anybody with international travel plans might see them dashed due to Delta paranoia. But there’s a reason why British PM Boris Johnson plans to lift the last remaining restrictions in England on July 19, when the recent extension is set to expire.

But not everybody has been fooled. As we pointed out yesterday, Sen. Rand Paul has been one of the most vocal critics of the “Delta” variant hysteria. In a tweet sent yesterday morning, he urged the public not to let the fearmongers win.

Though judging by the sea of red on Wall Street Wednesday morning, it looks like most haven’t taken his advice.

And don’t forget – like Horowitz pointed out – if this wave of fearmongering fizzles, there are still plenty of other letters in the Greek alphabet that can be used to provoke paranoia.