Out of the 120 million people vaccinated in the U.S., roughly 6.9 million have received J&J’s vaccine, Fauci said, noting that there haven’t been any “red flag signals” from the Pfizer or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines that rely on MRNA technology in their shots. Out of the 6.9 million people who got the J&J jab, six developed blood clots, he said.

“We are totally aware that this is a rare event. We want to get this worked out as quickly as we possibly can and that’s why you see the world pause, in other words, you want to hold off for a bit,” Fauci said. “We want to leave that up to the FDA and the CDC to investigate this carefully. I don’t think it was pulling the trigger too quickly.”

This is from Berkeley Lovelace, Jr., “Dr. Anthony Fauci explains what the U.S. pause on J&J’s Covid vaccine means,” CNBC, April 13, 2021.

I’ll give you the short answer for what it means: it means more people will die of COVID-19 unnecessarily.

Life is about tradeoffs. The data suggest that if 1 million people get the J&J vaccine, one will get a blood clot and will not necessarily die. We have ways of dealing with blood clots. Dr. Fauci may be familiar with them, although I’m starting to wonder.

So pause the vaccine for 1 million people and you might save a fraction of one life, which you could probably have saved with medications. But say the people going without the vaccine are even in the medium-risk group, where their probability of dying if they get Covid is about 1 in 1000. Let’s say that even 100,000 of them would have gotten Covid-19. Then this pause would kill 100 people.

Pause the vaccine for 10 million people and the saved lives are probably between 1 and 2, whereas the lost lives are about 1000.

Is Fauci that ignorant? You might say that he’s a paternalist. But even parents typically want their kids to live, not die.