Emails show Washington officials discussed COVID breakthrough cases amid vaccine push
State and local officials knew COVID-19 vaccinations weren’t as effective as hoped at stopping the spread of the virus.
KVI radio talk show host Ari Hoffman has obtained emails through a public disclosure request indicating state and local officials knew COVID-19 vaccinations weren’t as effective as hoped at stopping the spread of the virus, even as they publicly said the opposite and pushed for vaccine mandates.
Hoffman, host of conservative talk radio’s “The Ari Hoffman Show,” detailed some of what he found on his Twitter page.
Among the information Hoffman received was a July 16, 2021 email chain among King County health officials detailing worries about breakthrough cases, including – ironically – a vaccination celebration event.
“I heard yesterday from 2 Tracers – that they are hearing stories all day from people who are vaccinated and getting COVID,” the email from Dr. James Lewis, epidemiologist for Seattle & King County Public Health to Jeff Duchin, chief of the department, said. “In fact, one event was a party to celebrate everyone being vaccinated.”
The party “required people to bring their vaccination card to get in… they’ve already identified 9+ people who got Covid at the event. One tracer said every case she talked to that day was vaccinated.”
The email made mention of the fact that at the party “some SCCA (Seattle Cancer Care Alliance) staff attended and at least one in positive but likely multiple SCCA staff.”
The gathering itself “was described as a ‘burning man like’ event but indoors, sounds like 100(s) of people attended. Required vaccine cards for entry.”
Lewis concluded the email, “Sorry for the bad news.”
Four days later, an email with the subject line “PLEASE DO NOT DISTRIBUTE: PHSKC COVID-19 Outbreak Summary 7/20,” discussed messaging as it relates to breakthrough cases becoming the norm.
The email was sent by Dennis Worsham, interim director of King County Public Health, in response to then-Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s concerns about the increase in infections among those vaccinated against the virus showed that at least behind the scenes officials seemed to accept that reality.
Worsham said “we are being clear in our conversations that we do expect people who are vaccinated to become infected with COVID. As our population becomes more vaccinated AND vaccines are not 100% effective in protecting you from the virus.”
Ultimately, according to the email, the group moved ahead with the talking point for Durkan that there was a “higher incidence rate among unvaccinated residents compared to vaccinated.”
“Just days before the exchange, Democrat Governor Jay Inslee had called Trump supporters and anyone who would not get vaccinated a ‘bioreactor facility’ and blamed them for spreading COVID,” Hoffman tweeted in describing the governor’s July 14 press conference, which included a link to a portion of the press conference.
“Even though the info was sent to the governor’s office and state health agencies, a week later Inslee imposed a vaccine mandate for all state employees which was quickly copied by King County & Seattle,” Hoffman tweeted. “Stores, venues even houses of worship began requiring vax cards for entry.”
On Oct. 20, 2021, Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for state employees went into effect, initially resulting in 1,887 state employees either being fired or voluntarily leaving their jobs.
Hoffman did not hold back on what he thought of the situation.
“Health and elected officials had a narrative that the vax stopped the spread and did not know how to admit they were wrong,” he told The Center Square via email. “So they kept pushing forward with a false narrative. It not only lost them all credibility, but their egos put people who had pre-existing conditions like cancer and the elderly at risk.”
The governor’s office had a different take.
“We are not privy to what records he was referring to,” Jim Kopriva, senior communications associate with the governor’s office, said in an email. “CDC data affirms that people who had received vaccinations and boosters are at significantly less risk of COVID-19-associated infection and death.”