Letter To The Editor: Answering Scientific Questions

Los Alamos

A DOD employee once told me that when the DOD needed an answer to a scientific question there were a number of avenues to pursue. If a quick answer, a cheap answer, or just an answer was needed, any number of laboratories could be queried; but, if the right answer was desired, then Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) – now called Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) – was the place to go. I was thankful to work for an organization with this reputation.

If the question is: “Should every Laboratory employee be required to receive a COVID vaccine injection under pain of losing their job?” Then a number of other questions must be answered.

These include:

1) What is the risk factor associated with COVID?;

2) What is the effectiveness of the proposed vaccine?;

3) Is the overall health of Laboratory employees going to be improved in a way commensurate with the penalty being induced on the individual employee?; and

4) What role does the medical practice of informed consent play in this decision?

Addressing the first question, the prominent risk associated with COVID is death. What is the risk of death among the employees working at LANL? According to statistics.com, as of Oct. 6, 2021, 164,283 people have died of COVID in the USA in the 18-65 age group.

Since the population of of this age group in the USA is about 200,000,000 people, this means that there is a 0.082% chance of dying from COVID in the age group of almost all of the Laboratory employees. According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the chance of dying in an auto accident in New Mexico is 0.02%. Another way to look at these two risk factors is that there is a 99.92% chance of not dying from COVID and a 99.98% chance of not dying from driving. These risks are comparable. Most people do not consider driving to work to be particularly risky; so, why is there such a severe Laboratory mandate regarding COVID?

In regard to the second question, vaccines are intended to give a person immunity to a disease. If the vaccine is 100% effective, then the person receiving the vaccine has immunity and no further mitigation measures are necessary. Even if that person is around an unvaccinated person, the induced immunity provides protection.

What if the vaccine is not 100% effective? Then it becomes very questionable if a vaccine should be mandated, especially with a loss of job penalty. In early September 2021, an analysis of data in Israel, touted as the most vaccinated country on the planet, showed that almost 60% of those hospitalized for COVID were fully vaccinated. Ran Balicer, CIO of Clalit Health Services, Israel’s largest health maintenance organization, said, “This is a very clear warning sign for the rest of the world, if it can happen here it can probably happen anywhere.” What Ran Balicer is saying here is that the COVID vaccines do not appear to be very effective. So, why are they being mandated?

There are numerous anecdotes of breakthrough cases. (That is, cases where fully vaccinated people contracted COVID.) One occurred two weeks ago on national TV when two panelists on MSNBC’s “THE VIEW” had to be escorted off the stage because they tested positive for COVID and both had been fully vaccinated. I would like Richard Skolnik to give an accurate accounting of the COVID breakthrough cases in Los Alamos in his biweekly COVID updates in the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Now question 3: If there is a low risk factor and the vaccine is questionable in its effectiveness, then mandating a vaccine does not improve the overall health of the employees. I hear it said that taking the vaccine will reduce the severity of the COVID case if contracted. The question is: How does anyone know how severe the case would have been without the vaccine? There is a large spectrum of systems with this disease.

Informed consent was implemented in the USA to protect its citizens from unknowingly or forcibly being participates in medical experiments. This Laboratory mandate totally disregards this safeguard and strongly imitates totalitarianism. The disregard of individual freedoms is something that I never thought I would see at a Laboratory that was founded to defend freedom and continued in that effort through the “Cold War”.

My conclusion is that this vaccine mandate is a very bad answer to the questions posed above. It certainly is not in line with the reputation of the Laboratory in the past.


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