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Surprise: The JNJ Vaccine Is on Pause

Unleash Prosperity Hotline
Issue #262
1) Surprise: The JNJ Vaccine Is on Pause

A rare clotting disorder – 6 cases in over 6.8 million vaccines administered – has the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on pause from the FDA and CDC today, a questionable policy move made much worse by a catastrophic White House communications failure.

Consider this statement from our friend Jared Bernstein, saying this could derail opening the economy:

Our advice would be to say something like this: “This pause is anticipated to be on the order of days, not weeks, to make appropriate surveillance and treatment recommendations to providers for this very rare side effect.”

But the pause itself appears ill-considered and impossible to justify on the facts. The clotting/low platelet syndrome is extremely rare and has been seen with all the vaccines. The New York Times reported on February 10 that there had been 36 reported cases with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines – which have not been paused.

Identifying risk factors, surveillance, and treatment for this extremely rare side effect is prudent and should be a priority for the medical community. Communicating risks and benefits openly is important to allow people to make an informed decision about vaccination. But pausing just one vaccine, even if briefly, over this issue is bad policy. And it’s even worse optics that it happens to be the vaccine from the family company of Trump’s ambassador to the UK.
2) Do Democrats Want a Budget Director Who Says 2 + 2 Is 5?

To cement their power, Democrats are changing all the rules in Washington: voting rules, the filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, adding DC and Puerto Rico as states, etc. So we weren’t at all surprised when we heard their latest gambit of potentially firing the Congressional Budget Office director, Phillip Swagel, and hiring a new scorekeeper who can distort the numbers.

We hear that Democrats are concerned that prospects for Biden’s $2.25 trillion green energy “infrastructure” bill may be impaired by a bad budget score. They even want to use “dynamic scoring” to show that trillions of dollars of added government spending and debt is actually GOOD for the economy. The more we borrow, the richer we will get. Yes, just ask Cuba and Argentina.

Senate Budget Committee chairman Bernie Sanders remains furious that the CBO estimated that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would lead to at least 1.4 million job losses over 10 years. Some Democrats fear that when CBO scores the Biden Budget it will make similarly negative assessments. The solution: get a new referee who will fudge the numbers.

This all reminds us of the old joke about the CEO who asks a prospective accountant: “What’s 2 + 2” and the accountant responds: “What do you want it to be?”

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