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All That and a Bag of Mail

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I’m back out in Las Vegas today for a celebrity poker challenge. We’re taping later this afternoon, but I’m a celebrity poker player alongside Senator Ted Cruz, Michael Phelps, a WWE wrestler to be named later and, the player that had my kids ecstatic, Mr. Beast from YouTube. (My kids are obsessed with YouTube celebrities. They don’t really watch TV, they just watch YouTube. They’ve spent the past couple of days telling me Mr. Beast is going to destroy me in poker.)

So I’m knocking out the mailbag, doing the radio show, and then headed to this celebrity poker challenge, which will eventually air on NBC Sports Network. I’ll let you know when it’s set to air. In the meantime, I’m just hoping I don’t get embarrassed or commit some sort of egregious poker error since I really haven’t played poker in about 15 years. Also, I don’t want to come in last.

And I’d like to beat Mr. Beast so I can taunt my kids about that.

Okay, here we go with your questions:

Arrin:

“Why are you only doing the OutKick college bus tour in the South? Is that where the most OutKick fans are or just more comfortable/closer for you? Coming to Big 10 cities (Lincoln) would be fun.”

The Fox College pregame show, which airs 10-12 eastern every Saturday on the big Fox network, wanted to have more of a presence in the South and felt like they already covered the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 well since all three of those leagues air on Fox or FS1.

They’ll have Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Rob Stone and Bob Stoops on some of these campus locations in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 already.

But I’ll be the guy on SEC and ACC campuses for them.

For those of you who missed the news, I’ll be doing an OutKick College Football bus tour this fall, starting in Knoxville on September 2nd and then going to Charlotte for Georgia-Clemson, Fayetteville, Arkansas for Texas-Arkansas on September 11th and Gainesville, Florida for Alabama-Florida on September 18th. We’ll be announcing future locations in the weeks ahead, but the goal is to be on as many campuses as possible and go to the best games we can every week.

I can’t wait.

Jared writes:

“Clay, big fan. When do you think this mask / testing madness is going to end? When every single person is vaccinated? I just can’t believe this ridiculousness is still going on. Also, the fact that sports teams / players still are getting tested that are vaccinated is beyond me!”

I’m not sure it’s ever going to end at this point. And the fact that healthy athletes, who are already vaccinated, are still getting tested is pure madness.

Just think about where we are now compared to where we were in May. In May, the Biden administration told everyone that if you got vaccinated, you wouldn’t have to wear a mask any longer. They said that their goal was for 70% of adults to be vaccinated by July 4th, at which point normalcy could return to the country. Well, that 70% goal was hit in early August and we are currently at 72% of adults 18 and up with at least one shot, 62% of adults fully vaccinated, and 91% of those 65 and up, including 81% of those 65 and up fully vaccinated.

Yet what has happened even with these targets hit?

Masks are back, hospitalizations are increasing, and people are being told they need to get boosters eight months after their last shot.

Why is this happening? Because the vaccines don’t protect against the delta variant very well, and the vaccines don’t appear to provide protection for very long. Indeed, the data from some of the most vaccinated countries in the world — Israel and Iceland, for instance — reflects that cases are not just up there, the overall number of infections is higher than it has ever been in Iceland and it may get higher than it has ever been in Israel too. That data is very ominous and that has led the CDC to recommend booster shots already.

We don’t know how frequent booster shot requirements will be in the years ahead, but the data reflects that the vaccines provide protection for only a limited amount of time before they lose their potency. Already, the CDC is telling us that we need vaccines and a vaccine booster shot all within the first year of receiving the vaccine, something that is virtually unheard of for a successful vaccine. (Most vaccine booster shots, at least those given to adults, are given many years after the initial vaccine, if ever.)

It’s hard to forecast anything with certainty when it comes to COVID, but it certainly looks like the COVID vaccine is much more akin to a yearly flu shot than it is, for instance, the measles and mumps vaccine, which provides lasting protection for life.

With that in mind, even if we had a 100% vaccination rate, COVID wouldn’t go away.

Natural immunity may be the best pathway back to normalcy after all.

But this also means we have to redefine what normalcy is — we are never going to get to COVID zero. Instead COVID is just going to become like the flu, something that’s endemic and always with us.

Honestly, I don’t know how this ends given the expectations and the standards that the Biden administration has put forth for the coronbroas. The CDC sold us on the idea that COVID would end with the vaccines, and that isn’t going to happen.

Which brings us to the next question.

AZ writes:

“Australia & New Zealand have strict lockdown measures for COVID. They have few cases compared to the rest of the world. But nobody can stop COVID even w/high vax and masking. (Israel, Ireland, etc…). Won’t AU and NZ be ‘left behind’ economically if they continue this forever?”

The only way Australia and New Zealand’s COVID policy makes any sense at all is if it’s possible to keep COVID out of the country until a highly effective and long lasting vaccine is available.

But it doesn’t appear that vaccine exists yet and it may never exists.

Which means Australia and New Zealand can’t open their countries up or allow any of their people to travel around the world because their people would all be highly susceptible to COVID. Without any natural infection and the resulting immunity, COVID would rampage through these countries the moment they re-enter the world and begin to allow travel.

Right now, they have been able to use their island nation status to limit COVID’s spread, but that strategy isn’t feasible forever. It relies on there being vaccines that end the spread of COVID. Maybe that will happen at some point in the future, but so far we haven’t produced those vaccines.

Even if Australia and New Zealand had a 100% COVID vaccination rate, as I discussed above, there would still be a massive spread rate for COVID as the effectiveness of the COVID vaccines wears off.

So the positions of Australia and New Zealand, unless they want their people to never be able to leave the country and they never want anyone to be able to visit their countries again, are completely unworkable.

COVID zero doesn’t work. Eventually they are going to have to expose their people to COVID.

Bhawgs writes:

“Why aren’t the millions of people receiving welfare/government money being forced to get vaccinated?”

First, I’m not in favor of any mandatory governmental vaccination policy.

But if the government was going to mandate vaccines, it seems reasonable that the people who should be the first ones forced to get the vaccine should be the people receiving COVID payments or welfare payments from the government.

I suspect the reason you aren’t hearing any Democrats suggest this is because it would require acknowledging the people who are actually the least vaccinated in the country: black and Hispanic people, who are more likely to be Joe Biden voters.

Right now, the media is pretending Trump voters are the least vaccinated. But that’s just not true.

That’s why the dirty little secret of the vaccine mandates isn’t being discussed very much in the media. What’s that secret? That right now in New York City, a majority of black and Hispanic city residents — who are largely unvaccinated — aren’t able to go to restaurants, bars, gyms, or sporting events. That is, Democrat politicians have effectively instituted rules that mimic Jim Crow laws in the South. For the first time in my lifetime, and probably yours too, a majority of minorities in New York City don’t have access to most indoor city businesses.

This should be a huge story.

But so far, the media is mostly ignoring the racial impact of vaccine passports.

But it’s worth asking this question: if it’s racist to need an ID to vote, how is it not racist to force vaccinations to be able to live a normal life in New York City?

Tim writes:

“Very important question: Now that OnlyFans will not allow adult content, how will this change your retirement plan?”

First, I lost $50,000 trying to sell pants and now the millions of dollars I was planning to make every year from selling sexy photos of me online just went up in smoke.

I’ve already got a meeting scheduled with my retirement advisor.

Given my incredible sexiness, this was a big hit to my future income.

This feels like one of the worst business decisions of all time, by the way.

Without pornography, I feel like OnlyFans has no real business at all.

This would be like if Instagram mandated burkas. Boom, the entire site ceases to exist.

Patrick writes:

“Why won’t the CDC make guidance for recovered COVID patients regarding natural immunity?”

Great question.

My guess is because they just want to keep hammering vaccinations for everyone, regardless of people like me who have already had COVID. Right now, there is data out there that suggests natural immunity is far more powerful than vaccinated immunity.

Amazingly, we still don’t even know how many people have actually had COVID in this country, and we don’t have great studies on natural immunity compared to vaccinations either. That’s shameful because some countries have this data.

In England, for instance, they know that 92% of adults are either vaccinated or have had COVID.

But we don’t have that data here at all.

What we need, as I’ve been hammering for months, is the ability to combine the number of people who have gotten the vaccine and the number of people who have had COVID so we can get a sense of overall COVID exposure in general in this country.

But we still don’t have that data.

Which is pathetic, honestly.

John writes:

“Even the MSM is going after Biden to some degree on the Afghanistan disaster. Maybe getting him to resign is the only way they feel like they can get Kamala in?”

Joe Biden’s approval ratings have now fallen below fifty percent, the lowest of his presidency. I doubt they will ever cross back above fifty percent again because he’s dealing with so many disasters at once: Afghanistan, COVID’s resurgence, a skyrocketing murder rate, the border is virtually nonexistent, inflation is surging. You really can’t point to anything Biden has done in seven months that has made things better.

In fact, you can argue this week is the worst week for any president since 9/11 happened.

The problem for Democrats who might want to replace Biden? Kamala Harris’s approval ratings are even lower than Biden’s. So that would probably make things even worse.

I honestly don’t know what Democrats are going to do in 2024, but I think they are in a really tough spot.

Think about it. Kamala is the least popular vice president in most of our lives, and it’s unlikely she’s suddenly going to become more popular. (Even Democrats overwhelmingly rejected her presidential campaign.) So what do Democrats do? In 2024, they may have to try and drag 82-year-old Joe Biden across the finish line again, Weekend at Bernie’s 2-style.

Because if Biden can’t run, then Kamala has to be the nominee.

Why?

Because by their own standards, it would be racist and sexist for Democrats not to nominate Kamala for the presidency. But Kamala would get crushed in 2024 if the Republicans can nominate anyone decent at all. (It’s also possible Republicans could screw up the 2024 race.) So I think the Democrats are in a really tough spot right now.

I don’t see any way they can pick anyone other than Biden or Kamala in 2024, and I don’t see any way either Biden or Kamala win in 2024 if the Republicans pick a decent nominee.

Look for that Democrat panic to continue to grow, particularly when the mid-terms happen next year and the Republicans take back control of the House — and probably the Senate too although the map isn’t as favorable to Republicans — in 2022.

Okay, I’m off to do the radio show and to play poker.

Thanks for supporting OutKick, and I look forward to seeing many of you on the road this fall for the OutKick College Football bus tour.

Have fantastic weekends.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

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