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Revealed: Sir Patrick Vallance has £600,000 shareholding in firm contracted to develop vaccines – The Telegraph

The UK’s chief scientific adviser has a £600,000 shareholding in a drugs giant contracted to develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the Government, prompting claims of a potential conflict of interest.

  • Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser to UK Government, was president of GSK 2012 – 2018
  • Holds a deferred bonus of 43,111 shares worth £600,000
  • Cashed in more than £5m worth of shares upon resignation of GSK
  • Sir Vallance special board on vaccines

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/09/23/revealed-sir-patrick-vallance-has-600000-shareholding-firm-contracted/

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Face shields ineffective at trapping aerosols, says Japanese supercomputer – The Guardian

Plastic face shields are almost totally ineffective at trapping respiratory aerosols, according to modelling in Japan, casting doubt on their effectiveness in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

A simulation using Fugaku, the world’s fastest supercomputer, found that almost 100% of airborne droplets of less than 5 micrometres in size escaped through plastic visors of the kind often used by people working in service industries.

In addition, about half of larger droplets measuring 50 micrometres found their way into the air, according to Riken, a government-backed research institute in the western city of Kobe.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/22/face-shields-ineffective-trapping-aerosols-japanese-supercomputer-coronavirus

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Covid: Deaths near lowest level since March – BBC

Coronavirus accounted for 1% of all deaths in England and Wales in the second week of this month.

That’s among the lowest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since March when the pandemic took hold.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54248150

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CDC removes guidance saying coronavirus spreads through air – Washington Examiner

The CDC has long maintained that the coronavirus is transmitted through droplets spread among people in close proximity to one another. On Friday, it updated its guidelines, adding that the virus also spreads through “respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes,” adding that this is the main vector of infection.

The guidance no longer says COVID-19 can be spread through the air, and the agency said it will update the language once its review process “has been completed.”

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/cdc-removes-guidance-saying-coronavirus-spreads-through-air

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News Opinion

The only ‘circuit break’ in the pandemic we need now is from the government’s doom-mongering scientific advisers who specialise in causing panic and little else, say PROF CARL HENEGHAN and DR TOM JEFFERSON – Daily Mail

  • ‘Circuit break’ may be a grave error with terrible consequences for the health of the British people and for the health of the country.
  • The Government is once again in the grip of doom-mongering scientific modellers who specialise in causing panic.
  • The latest reliable data from Spain (up to September 3) which does not indicate any sort of upward curve in infections, let alone one coming to get us here in Britain.
  • Anyone with clinical experience of dealing with respiratory viruses knows that the only certainty is uncertainty itself.
  • Making comparisons between countries using different national data with different definitions is no more useful than trying to compare apples and pears.
  • Latest study shows that nearly a third of all Covid-19 deaths recorded in July and August might have actually been the result of other causes –cancer, for example, or road traffic accidents.
  • Sweden has probably suppressed Covid-19 to the same level as Great Britain but without draconian measures.
  • Anyone going down with a new respiratory illness is likely to be suffering from a cold – not Covid.

Covid-19 accounts for an average of 11 of the 1,687 deaths in Britain every day, according to official statistics.

CauseUK deaths per day
Heart disease460
Cancer450
Dementia240
Flu and pneumonia124
Lung disease84
Accidents at home16
Infections16
Suicide15
COVID-1911
Road accidents5

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8751389/Oxford-scientists-circuit-break-need-cycle-bad-data-bad-science.html

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Parliament surrendered role over Covid emergency laws, says Lady Hale – The Guardian

The former president of the supreme court says parliament “surrendered” its role over emergency laws restricting freedoms amid the coronavirus pandemic, in an intervention expected to embolden MPs threatening a Commons revolt.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/20/parliament-surrendered-role-over-covid-emergency-laws-says-lady-hale

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UK virus testing firm with missed targets and friends in high places – The Sunday Times

The UK’s biggest Covid-19 testing laboratory is prioritising Premiership Rugby players and travellers to Dubai while failing to meet government targets for the public, according to company insiders.

Randox Laboratories, based in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, was handed a £133m testing contract in March — no other company was given the opportunity to bid for the work. It is responsible for a quarter of community tests in the UK.

However, leaked documents marked “sensitive” reveal that it regularly fails to provide test results within the official 24-hour target. On September 9, Randox completed fewer than one in 10 tests on time. It has also “voided” more tests than any laboratory — meaning the number it throws away because of errors.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-virus-testing-firm-with-missed-targets-and-friends-in-high-places-bggtkk329

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Common colds ‘may account for some reported COVID-19 cases’, PHE survey says – Sky News

Rising cases of the common cold could be giving a false picture of the spread of coronavirus among children.

Public Health England’s weekly coronavirus report shows a rise of almost 23% in rhinovirus infections, which include the common cold, in the last week.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-common-colds-may-account-for-some-reported-covid-19-cases-phe-survey-says-12075554

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‘Confounding’: Covid may have already peaked in many African countries – The Guardian

The coronavirus pandemic has peaked earlier than expected in many African countries, confounding early predictions, experts have told MPs.

Scientists do not yet know why, but one hypothesis is the possibility of people having pre-existing immunity to Covid-19, caused by exposure to other infections.

Prof Francesco Checchi, a specialist in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told MPs it was “broadly” true that coronavirus had not behaved in expected ways in African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and Somalia.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/16/confounding-covid-may-have-already-peaked-africa

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Nashville Mayor’s Office, Health Department Concealed Low COVID Numbers Tied to Restaurants, Emails Show – National Review

Officials in Nashville, Tn. concealed from the media how few coronavirus cases had been traced to bars and restaurants in the city, according to emails sent between the mayor’s office and the city’s health department

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/nashville-mayors-office-health-department-concealed-low-covid-numbers-tied-to-restaurants-emails-show/

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How Bolton only has TWO Covid-19 patients in hospital despite being England’s locked-down virus hotspot – and there are 141 people on wards across all 18 ‘intervention’ areas – Daily Mail

Public Health England has listed 18 areas of intervention with stricter rules

They had only a combined 141 people in hospital as of September 3, NHS shows

One person in hospital for every 38,000 in a population of over 5.4million 

Despite an infection rate of more than 120 cases per 100,000 people and local lockdown rules preventing people from meeting anyone they don’t live with, fears about the virus spreading translate to only two people in hospital.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8744625/How-locked-Bolton-TWO-Covid-19-patients-hospital.html

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News Opinion

September’s normal increase in coughs and colds is causing ‘utter chaos’ in Britain because the Government has left people terrified of coronavirus, top Oxford scientist warns MPs – Prof. Carl Heneghan, Daily Mail

Professor Carl Heneghan said there has been a 50% rise in coughs and colds

This is normal for September when children go back to school and university

But Government messaging about Covid-19 has left people ‘terrified’, he said

  • A coughing illness would not normally be considered an epidemic until doctors were seeing 400 symptomatic cases per 100,000 – far higher than Covid-19 rates;
  • The Eat Out to Help Out restaurant voucher scheme likely led to an increase in the spread of coronavirus;
  • Increased testing is still only picking up a fraction of the true number of cases but it’s detecting more of ‘background’ infections because it’s more targeted, making it look like cases are soaring;
  • Bolton may be experiencing high infections because the virus was not widespread there before lockdown lifted and people did not build up any immunity;
  • Swab tests are still picking out too many people who aren’t infectious, and studying individuals’ viral loads could help officials to pick out those actually at risk of spreading it;
  • The country cannot test its way out of the outbreak and there must be a coherent strategy for what to do with knowledge of case numbers and a level that is acceptable;
  • Ambiguous phrases such as ‘Moonshot’ are not helpful for communicating the Government’s plans and have no basis in science, which should be paramount.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8744063/Septembers-normal-increase-coughs-colds-causing-utter-chaos-post-lockdown-Britain.html

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‘Australians must know the truth – this virus is not a pandemic’: Alan Jones, Sky News Australia

Sky News host Alan Jones says he has warned time and time again the political leaders who are the architects of this coronavirus response will not be able to escape the criticism that is now finding its way into the public place. It comes as an economist in the Victorian Department of Finance and Treasury, Sanjeev Sabhlok, on Wednesday penned an article in the Australian Financial Review announcing his resignation from his position.

  • Policies are a sledgehammer to kill a swarm of flies.
  • The Spanish Flu killed killed at least 50 million out of 1.8 billion people out of worldwide.
  • To compare with Spanish Flu, COVID-19 would need to kill 210 million people. It has only killed 0.9 million.
  • 60 million people worldwide normally die each year.
  • There are strong scientific arguments against lockdown.
  • The data was clear from February that the elderly should be protected but this wasn’t done.
  • Epidemiological models have badly exaggerated the risk.
  • There was never any reason to mandate measures such as face masks.
  • COVID-19 is no worse than the Asian Flu.
  • Lockdowns cannot eradicate the virus.

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6191311935001

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COVID-19 and the false positive trap – Dr. Clare Craig, The Spectator

Current test results should not be automatically accepted as real

Imagine a world where COVID-19 has been eliminated. To be certain this is true, the government conducts regular tests at random. The number of positive results should be zero, right? Wrong. There will always be a proportion of cases tested that come back with a false positive test result. Thankfully, for COVID-19, the false positive rate is less than one percent of tests done. But it is not zero. It will be impossible for us to ever reach zero. Why? Because COVID-19 cannot be eliminated, even if it is likely to evolve to be more benign and become a seasonal problem like influenza.

https://spectator.us/covid-19-false-positive-trap-seasonal/

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Pandemic isolation has killed thousands of Alzheimer’s patients while families watch from afar – The Washington Post

Since the pandemic began, Goerke’s wife, Denise — 63 years old and afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease — had declined dramatically. Left alone in her nursing home, she had lost 16 pounds, could not form the simplest words, no longer responded to the voices of her children.

In recent weeks, she had stopped recognizing even the man she loved.

Goerke, 61, could tell the isolation was killing his wife, and there was nothing he could do but watch. “Every day it gets a little worse,” he said. “We’ve lost months, maybe years of her already.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/09/16/coronavirus-dementia-alzheimers-deaths/

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Stillbirth rate rises dramatically during pandemic – Nature

A slew of studies from around the world has reported a disturbing trend: since the coronavirus pandemic started, there has been a significant rise in the proportion of pregnancies ending in stillbirths, in which babies die in the womb. Researchers say that in some countries, pregnant women have received less care than they need because of lockdown restrictions and disruptions to health care. As a result, complications that can lead to stillbirths were probably missed, they say.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02618-5

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News Opinion

Top Belgian scientist calls for herd immunity coronavirus strategy – The Times

The resurgence of coronavirus is nothing to be feared and lockdown measures are doing more harm than the pandemic itself, a leading Belgian medical scientist has said.

Jean-Luc Gala, head of the prestigious Université Catholique de Louvain Saint-Luc clinic and a specialist in infectious diseases, has broken ranks with other scientists and tried to quell fears over the rise of the Belgian infection rate.

He said that it was not dangerous for the virus to circulate and the lack of a vaccine could help to bring about herd immunity in the population.

“Is the rise in infections worrying? No. It is completely normal. Is it dangerous for the virus to circulate? No, once again,” he told La Dernière Heure newspaper.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/top-belgian-scientist-calls-for-herd-immunity-coronavirus-strategy-gxwqj887m

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The cure is worse than the disease: Dr JOHN LEE argues that the coronavirus lockdown could cause more long-term harm than the illness itself – Daily Mail

  • The NHS has not resumed anything like normal service. But the predicted Covid deluge never materialised.
  • Current Covid death toll of 41,628 is barely half the total fatalities of the 1968 flu epidemic in the UK. 
  • Hospital admissions for cancer were down by 36 per cent in April and another 37 per cent in May.
  • The State has wildly over-reacted, partly as a result of being in thrall to scientists such as Professor Neil Ferguson with unproven theories and dubious modelling.
  • More than 1,600 people die in Britain every day, yet, despite the Government’s scaremongering, the coronavirus daily death toll has been in single or low double figures for weeks.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8728845/Dr-JOHN-LEE-argues-coronavirus-lockdown-cause-long-term-harm-illness-itself.html

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What does a case of Covid-19 really mean? Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson, The Spectator

‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’ wrote the Bard. He was referring to a rose which is a rose, instantly recognised by its fragrance and its appearance. But a case of Covid-19 does not fit the metaphor, because it differs wherever you look.

In the course of our evidence gathering activities, we have gone through a few thousand papers reporting studies on all aspects of Covid-19 spread. We found that not very many defined a case of Covid, which is a sign of sloppiness when that is what you are looking for. Those that did, reported different definitions and ways of ascertaining what they meant by a ‘case’.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/what-does-a-case-of-covid-19-really-mean-

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COVID-19 turning out to be huge hoax perpetrated by media – Washington Times

When the postmortem is done on the media’s coverage of COVID-19 (and it will be), it will be clear that the virus was no Black Plague — it’s not even the flu on a bad year.

SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, has killed 56,749 Americans as of Tuesday.

That’s not good. But it’s not as bad as the 2017-2018 flu season, when 80,000 -plus perished. And it’s a long cry from what all the experts were warning about just a few weeks ago: First, they predicted 1.7 million Americans dead; then they redid the models (this time apparently entering a few more “facts”) and said 100,000-240,000 dead.

Fatality rate:

  • A recent Stanford University antibody study estimated the fatality rate from the virus is likely 0.1% to 0.2%
  • In New York City, the death rate for people 18 to 45 years old is 0.01%, or 10 per 100,000 in the population.
  • People aged 75 and older: 0.8%
  • For children under 18, the rate of death is zero per 100,000.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/28/covid-19-turning-out-to-be-huge-hoax-perpetrated-b/