WILL CAIN (HOST): As you listen to the conversation from government officials and politicians and cable channels, it sounds a lot like it did, oh, six months ago in January of 2021. It sounds like we have a crisis of unvaccinated people in our country and by extension, we have a crisis of a third wave forming in the COVID pandemic. But do the numbers bear that out? Let's take a look for just a moment. I took the time to look at several coronavirus trackers today, and I looked at infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. And I compared it to one month ago, three months ago, six months ago, and one year ago. Let's walk through some of these numbers.
On July 16 of 2021, there were a total of 51,800 coronavirus infections in our country. And that is up from one month ago when there were 12,700 infections, which would reflect that large percentage increase month over month. But three months ago, taking us back to April, there were 78,200 infections from sea to shining sea. And six months ago in January, there are 156,000 coronavirus infections. But again, to me, the rhetoric today is beginning to sound like we are at the height of the pandemic, and that's just total infections. Let's take a look at hospitalizations. Hospitalizations on July 16 reached 14,300 -- COVID patients in the hospital. One month ago, 14,000 -- relatively stable and constant number of people hospitalized for COVID-19. Three months ago, 39,000 people in the hospital and six months ago, 124,000 hospitalizations. We are down from 124,000 to 14,000 people hospitalized for COVID. Now let's go to deaths. On July 16, 362 people in this country died of COVID-19. One month ago, 169 people died. Yes, it looks like that number has crept up in one month's time. But three months ago, back in April, 485 people had died from COVID. And six months ago, 3,600 people had died in a single day of COVID-19. So while it's true we've seen the number of infections rise to a level just below where we were one year ago in the summer of 2020, we are far down from our peak in January. And when you consider hospitalizations and deaths, we are down from not just one year ago, down from not just the peak of six months ago, but down from three months ago.
So why the complete and utter freakout? Why this massive push to return to not just the rhetoric, but some of the policies we indulged at the height of this pandemic? This past week in Los Angeles reinstituted an indoor mask mandate for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, vaccinated and unvaccinated alike would need to begin to wear masks inside stores and restaurants in Los Angeles. Now, this completely defies not just logic, but science. What's the point in vaccinated people wearing a mask? Does the vaccine work or not? If I'm vaccinated, according to biggest health authorities in the land, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, I have very little risk of acquiring COVID, although I still can, and I have very little risk of transmitting it to someone else. So why would I need to wear a mask? It's so absurd. It's so anti-science that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department put out a statement suggesting it would not be devoting any resources to enforcing the mask mandate in Southern California. It even took a shot in there at that in an age of defunding, no resources in Los Angeles can be devoted to an anti-science mask mandate.
But while L.A. pushes back toward the debate over masks, it seems this heightened rhetoric, it seems this temperature on the country's stove being turned up is largely focused on everyone getting vaccinated. It's the latest push. And if you push back in the slightest, ask questions about the vaccine, its effectiveness in every single situation, its appropriateness for every single person, then you're an anti-vaxxer and you're responsible for 608,000 people dying and you are responsible for this latest spike in coronaviruses that the numbers do not bear out.
In an article published at the Daily Mail out of the U.K., a disturbing number has emerged in that country. 47% of new COVID cases are coming from people who have already been vaccinated. So why the push? Why the fever pitch? Why the heightened rhetoric? We've talked about this in the past, but I think it comes down to three potential explanations. A) we are now deep into a mental illness. I mean that societally we have lost all ability to assess risk. We don't know what it's like outside. We no longer know threat. We can't measure it. We can't measure one threat against another. It's as though we think any time you jump in the pool, you're at risk of getting a shark attack. Or I guess as this week we learned, we have to start calling shark attacks shark interactions. But we've lost our minds. We really have no idea. Any body of water now represents the opportunity for a shark interaction. We don't have any idea the risk that COVID-19 presents in our daily life. We're like a agoraphobe, who truly has become afraid of the outdoor. We're just off, totally can't calculate. We're deep into a mental illness at this point.
Or, number two, is still and always has been about power, most obviously for people in positions of power to maintain that once in a lifetime opportunity they had to shut down economy, shut down businesses, dictate what people wear, control the education system. It's a powerful narcotic is power and one that not only can they not give up, but quite possibly they are addicted to as well. I don't know how you wean yourself off of power. I don't know if there's a methadone for that. But clearly powers at play in this heightened state of tension as well.
But then there's a third element, and it also probably revolves around power, at least to some extent. But it's more about identity. It's more about moral authority. We've talked about it in the past because we've seen this transposed from issue to issue. We've seen the preening and preaching and hectoring when it comes to social distancing. Of course, we've seen it when it comes to masking. We saw it when it came to stay home, stay safe. We saw when it came to lockdowns -- people lording their ability to follow the rules, the seriousness with which they take COVID over others. And it gave them a sense of purpose, a sense of identity. That is going to be incredibly hard to let go. And vaccines are just the latest iteration of that. That's going to be the newest place on which they can find -- the newest platform that they can climb on top of to project their moral superiority. They're going to claw and fight for that next thing because they need it. They need it to continue to maintain their sense of self to have an identity. And that's really the only interesting question. Where you go from here. Do we go full circle? Kind of headed back that way, at least in Los Angeles, we go back to lockdowns and social distancing as a way to prove your moral worth. Or do we move forward? Does it go like other countries into the realm of vaccine passports after we yell at each other about whether or not you're vaccinated and we vilify each other for our choices? Will we then move on to fighting about vaccine passports or here we're in the middle of summer, about a month from now, all of our kids will start going back to school. And about that same time in early September, the big pharma companies will be seeking FDA approval for emergency use authorization on their vaccines for kids as young as two. So maybe it will be that. It's all these parents, these terrible parents -- who don't want to teach their kids CRT and also don't get their kids vaccinated, even though statistically there is zero science to suggest that they should -- are the problem now, because coronaviruses are -- virus cases are spiking once again. It'll be some number marginally above the previous month, but nowhere near the peak we've been over the past year.
They're inflating the numbers. They're inflating the rhetoric. They're inflating the fears and the risks, and they're inflating the divisions in this country. And I think primarily, yes, to hold on to power. And yes, because they've slipped in some form of mental illness, but primarily to maintain their moral authority and reality, honestly, doesn't support them. Doesn't back them up. And neither should we.