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Publications

‘My Carbon’: An approach for inclusive and sustainable cities- WEF

While transport and buildings are the major drivers for emissions in cities, the share of individual emissions is significant.

Personal carbon allowance programs have had limited success due to a lack of awareness and fair mechanism for tracking emissions.

Yet there have been major developments in recent years that could help realise “My Carbon” initiatives.

http://archive.today/2022.09.22-001546/https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/09/my-carbon-an-approach-for-inclusive-and-sustainable-cities/

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Publications

Meat: The Future A Roadmap for Delivering 21st-Century Protein – World Economic Forum

Published January 2019

Four specific strategies for delivering 21st-century protein
through to 2030 have consequently been identified,
illuminating the most effective “drivers of change” within this context. These strategies suggest a roadmap for delivering 21st-century protein:

1. Highlighting the multiple benefits to society of
transforming today’s protein systems

2. Promoting pathways to achieve cost parity across
choices that deliver on multiple benefits

3. Pursuing an intentional “Transition Decade” using
narratives

4. Developing innovation ecosystems and
collaboration platforms for research and action

http://archive.today/2022.03.28-180541/https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_White_Paper_Roadmap_Protein.pdf

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Publications

Summary of the Public Assessment Report for COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer/BioNTech – GOV.UK

The absence of reproductive toxicity data is a reflection of the speed of development to first identify and select COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 for clinical testing and its rapid development to meet the ongoing urgent health need. In principle, a decision on licensing a vaccine could be taken in these circumstances without data from reproductive toxicity studies animals, but there are studies ongoing and these will be provided when available. In the context of supply under Regulation 174, it is considered that sufficient reassurance of safe use of the vaccine in pregnant women cannot be provided at the present time: however, use in women of childbearing potential could be supported provided healthcare professionals are advised to rule out known or suspected pregnancy prior to vaccination. Women who are breastfeeding should also not be vaccinated. These judgements reflect the absence of data at the present time and do not reflect a specific finding of concern. Adequate advice with regard to women of childbearing potential, pregnant women and breastfeeding women has been provided in both the Information for UK Healthcare Professionals and the Information for UK recipients.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-pfizer-biontech-vaccine-for-covid-19/summary-public-assessment-report-for-pfizerbiontech-covid-19-vaccine

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Publications

Summary of Guidance for Minimizing the Impact of COVID-19 on Individual Persons, Communities, and Health Care Systems — United States, August 2022 – CDC

To prevent medically significant COVID-19 illness and death, persons must understand their risk, take steps to protect themselves and others with vaccines, therapeutics, and nonpharmaceutical interventions when needed, receive testing and wear masks when exposed, receive testing if symptomatic, and isolate for ≥5 days if infected.

http://archive.today/2022.08.12-074019/https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7133e1.htm

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Publications

COVID-Period Mass Vaccination Campaign and Public Health Disaster in the USA From age/state-resolved all-cause mortality by time, age-resolved vaccine delivery by time, and socio-geo-economic data – Denis Rancourt, ResearchGate

All-cause mortality by time is the most reliable data for detecting and epidemiologically characterizing events causing death, and for gauging the population-level impact of any surge or collapse in deaths from any cause. Such data is not susceptible to reporting bias or to any bias in attributing causes of death. We compare USA all-cause mortality by time (month, week), by age group and by state to number of vaccinated individuals by time (week), by injection sequence, by age group and by state, using consolidated data up to week-5 of 2022 (week ending on February 5, 2022), in order to detect temporal associations, which would imply beneficial or deleterious effects from the vaccination campaign. We also quantify total excess all-cause mortality (relative to historic trends) for the entire covid period (WHO 11 March 2020 announcement of a pandemic through week-5 of 2022, corresponding to a total of 100 weeks), for the covid period prior to the bulk of vaccine delivery (first 50 weeks of the defined 100-week covid period), and for the covid period when the bulk of vaccine delivery is accomplished (last 50 weeks of the defined 100-week covid period); by age group and by state. We find that the COVID-19 vaccination campaign did not reduce all-cause mortality during the covid period. No deaths, within the resolution of all-cause mortality, can be said to have been averted due to vaccination in the USA. The mass vaccination campaign was not justified in terms of reducing excess all-cause mortality. The large excess mortality of the covid period, far above the historic trend, was maintained throughout the entire covid period irrespective of the unprecedented vaccination campaign, and is very strongly correlated (r = +0.86) to poverty, by state; in fact, proportional to poverty. It is also correlated to several other socioeconomic and health factors, by state, but not correlated to population fractions (65+, 75+, 85+ years) of elderly state residents.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/362427136_COVID-Period_Mass_Vaccination_Campaign_and_Public_Health_Disaster_in_the_USA_From_agestate-resolved_all-cause_mortality_by_time_age-resolved_vaccine_delivery_by_time_and_socio-geo-economic_data

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Alternative Media Publications

Exclusive: PLOS ONE to retract more than 100 papers for manipulated peer review – Retraction Watch

While 100 retractions over a short period of time may be eye-popping, it’s also not surprising, and is a reminder that PLOS ONE has invested in expanding its research integrity team in recent years. It began issuing more retractions around 2018 as its team worked through hundreds of reports from Elisabeth Bik about papers with duplicated images, at least some of which are clearly linked to paper mills.

https://retractionwatch.com/2022/08/03/exclusive-plos-one-to-retract-more-than-100-papers-for-manipulated-peer-review/

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Publications

Small-area assessment of temperature-related mortality risks in England and Wales: a case time series analysis – The Lancet

Epidemiological literature on the health risks associated with non-optimal temperature has mostly reported average estimates across large areas or specific population groups. However, the heterogeneous distribution of drivers of vulnerability can result in local differences in health risks associated with heat and cold. We aimed to analyse the association between ambient air temperature and all-cause mortality across England and Wales and characterise small scale patterns in temperature-related mortality risks and impacts.

See commentary from The Daily Sceptic: Eighty Times More Excess Deaths Associated With Cold Each Year than Heat

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(22)00138-3/fulltext

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Publications

Investigating trends in those who experience menstrual bleeding changes after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination – Science Advances

Early in 2021, many people began sharing that they experienced unexpected menstrual bleeding after SARS-CoV-2 inoculation. We investigated this emerging phenomenon of changed menstrual bleeding patterns among a convenience sample of currently and formerly menstruating people using a web-based survey. In this sample, 42% of people with regular menstrual cycles bled more heavily than usual, while 44% reported no change after being vaccinated. Among respondents who typically do not menstruate, 71% of people on long-acting reversible contraceptives, 39% of people on gender-affirming hormones, and 66% of postmenopausal people reported breakthrough bleeding. We found that increased/breakthrough bleeding was significantly associated with age, systemic vaccine side effects (fever and/or fatigue), history of pregnancy or birth, and ethnicity. Generally, changes to menstrual bleeding are not uncommon or dangerous, yet attention to these experiences is necessary to build trust in medicine.

http://archive.today/2022.07.18-010524/https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abm7201

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Publications

Are Lockdowns Effective in Managing Pandemics? – MDPI

Abstract
The present coronavirus crisis caused a major worldwide disruption which has not been experienced for decades. The lockdown-based crisis management was implemented by nearly all the countries, and studies confirming lockdown effectiveness can be found alongside the studies questioning it. In this work, we performed a narrative review of the works studying the above effectiveness, as well as the historic experience of previous pandemics and risk-benefit analysis based on the connection of health and wealth. Our aim was to learn lessons and analyze ways to improve the management of similar events in the future. The comparative analysis of different countries showed that the assumption of lockdowns’ effectiveness cannot be supported by evidence—neither regarding the present COVID-19 pandemic, nor regarding the 1918–1920 Spanish Flu and other less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: by using the known connection between health and wealth, we estimate that lockdowns may claim 20 times more life years than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown for either COVID-19 or any future pandemic.

Conclusions
While our understanding of viral transmission mechanisms leads to the assumption that lockdowns may be an effective pandemic management tool, this assumption cannot be supported by the evidence-based analysis of the present COVID-19 pandemic, as well as of the 1918–1920 H1N1 influenza type-A pandemic (the Spanish Flu) and numerous less-severe pandemics in the past. The price tag of lockdowns in terms of public health is high: we estimate that, even if somewhat effective in preventing death caused by infection, lockdowns may claim 20 times more life than they save. It is suggested therefore that a thorough cost-benefit analysis should be performed before imposing any lockdown in the future.

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/15/9295/htm

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Publications

Deaths by vaccination status, England – Office for National Statistics

The Expose has published an analysis of this data:

[T]hree doses of a Covid-19 injection increase the risk of all-cause death for children by an average of 8,100%, and the risk of dying of Covid-19 by an average of 30,200%. Whilst two doses increase the risk of all-cause death by an average of 3,600%.

…Two doses of a Covid-19 injection increase the risk of all-cause death for teens aged 15 to 19 by an average of 300%. Whilst three doses increase the risk of all-cause death by an average of 100%.

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsbyvaccinationstatusengland

Categories
Opinion Publications

The Benefits of World Hunger – UN Chronicle

Much of the hunger literature talks about how it is important to assure that people are well fed so that they can be more productive. That is nonsense. No one works harder than hungry people. Yes, people who are well nourished have greater capacity for productive physical activity, but well-nourished people are far less willing to do that work.

http://archive.today/2022.07.05-223722/https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/benefits-world-hunger

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Publications

Non-Covid Excess Deaths, 2020-21: Collateral Damage of Policy Choices – The National Bureau of Economic Research

From April 2020 through at least the end of 2021, Americans died from non-Covid causes at an average annual rate 97,000 in excess of previous trends. Hypertension and heart disease deaths combined were elevated 32,000. Diabetes or obesity, drug-induced causes, and alcohol-induced causes were each elevated 12,000 to 15,000 above previous (upward) trends. Drug deaths especially followed an alarming trend, only to significantly exceed it during the pandemic to reach 108,000 for calendar year 2021. Homicide and motor-vehicle fatalities combined were elevated almost 10,000. Various other causes combined to add 18,000. While Covid deaths overwhelmingly afflict senior citizens, absolute numbers of non-Covid excess deaths are similar for each of the 18-44, 45-64, and over-65 age groups, with essentially no aggregate excess deaths of children. Mortality from all causes during the pandemic was elevated 26 percent for working-age adults (18-64), as compared to 18 percent for the elderly. Other data on drug addictions, non-fatal shootings, weight gain, and cancer screenings point to a historic, yet largely unacknowledged, health emergency.

https://www.nber.org/papers/w30104

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Publications

Aggressive Measures, Rising Inequalities and Mass Formation During the COVID-19 Crisis: An Overview and Proposed Way Forward – SSRN

A series of aggressive restrictive measures around the world were adopted in 2020-2022 to attempt to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from spreading. However, it has become increasingly clear that an important negative side-effect of the most aggressive (lockdown) response strategies may involve a steep increase in poverty, hunger, and inequalities. Several economic, educational and health
repercussions have not only fallen disproportionately on children, students, and young workers, but also and especially so on low-income families, ethnic minorities, and women, exacerbating existing inequalities. For several groups with pre-existing inequalities (gender, socio-economic and racial), the inequality gaps widened. Educational and financial security decreased, while domestic violence surged. Dysfunctional families were forced to spend more time with each other, and there has been growing unemployment and loss of purpose in life. This has led to a vicious cycle of rising inequalities and health issues. In the current narrative and scoping review, we describe macro-dynamics that are taking place as a result of aggressive public health policies and psychological tactics to influence public behavior, such as mass formation and crowd behavior. Coupled with the effect of inequalities, we describe how these factors can interact towards aggravating ripple effects. In light of evidence regarding the health, economic and social costs, that likely far outweigh potential benefits, the authors suggest that, first, where applicable, aggressive lockdown policies should be reversed and their re-adoption in the future should be avoided. If measures are needed,
these should be non-disruptive. Second, it is important to assess dispassionately the damage done by aggressive measures and offer ways to alleviate the burden and long-term effects. Third, the structures in place that have led to counterproductive policies, should be assessed and ways should be sought to optimize decision-making, such as counteracting groupthink and increasing the
level of reflexivity. Finally, a package of scalable positive psychology interventions is suggested to counteract the damage done and improve future proespects for humanity.

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4118910

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Publications

Monkeypox – NHS

Monkeypox is a rare infection that’s mainly spread by wild animals in parts of west or central Africa. The risk of catching it in the UK is low.

Treatment for monkeypox aims to relieve symptoms. The illness is usually mild and most people recover in 2 to 4 weeks.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220527074847/https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/monkeypox/

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Publications Visitor Contributions

Looking into their eyes: a cross section of some people opposed to the official COVID narrative – zenodo

Most believed that COVID was a real illness, with a defined risk profile. Most were not opposed to vaccination as medical practice in itself, but did express doubts about the rapid development, deployment and side effect profiles of the current COVID vaccines. Many participants were not personally affected by the lockdown measures, but some recounted ostracism from activities due to their choices around masking and vaccination.

The main challenge for most was managing relationships with others that had a differing view of the situation, e.g. friends and family. As a result of the past two years, participants reported increased scepticism and a greater suspicion towards the state, medical profession and vaccination as a medical practice. Some reported increased mistrust in other members of the public, borne out of a sense of disbelief at the ease with which they viewed most people as acquiescing to a state of affairs that participants regarded as highly abnormal.

https://zenodo.org/record/6504909

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Publications

The illusion of evidence based medicine – BMJ

Evidence based medicine has been corrupted by corporate interests, failed regulation, and commercialisation of academia, argue these authors

The advent of evidence based medicine was a paradigm shift intended to provide a solid scientific foundation for medicine. The validity of this new paradigm, however, depends on reliable data from clinical trials, most of which are conducted by the pharmaceutical industry and reported in the names of senior academics. The release into the public domain of previously confidential pharmaceutical industry documents has given the medical community valuable insight into the degree to which industry sponsored clinical trials are misrepresented. Until this problem is corrected, evidence based medicine will remain an illusion.

https://web.archive.org/web/20220316191824/https://www.bmj.com/content/376/bmj.o702

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Publications

Applying behavioural and social sciences to improve population health and wellbeing in England – Public Health England

Published September 2018

The behavioural and social sciences are the future of public health. Evidence from behavioural science suggests that simple and easy ways of helping people to change their behaviour are the most effective. Whether it’s encouraging smokers to quit, increasing uptake of the NHS Health Check, making healthier food choices easier, or reducing the number of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions, this evidence can help in understanding and therefore influencing behaviour change that promotes health, prevents disease, and reduces health inequalities. We must reach and be meaningful to people in the lives that they are leading.

It is time for the public health system to advance the use of behavioural and social sciences, and for this purpose, PHE’s Behavioural Insights experts, working with many partners, have led the collaborative development of this comprehensive strategy – the first of its kind in the field.

For commentary on this document, see UK Column News, 23rd February 2022.

http://archive.today/2022.02.25-123059/https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/744672/Improving_Peoples_Health_Behavioural_Strategy.pdf

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Publications

Estimated impact of the 2020 economic downturn on under-5 mortality for 129 countries – PLOS ONE

In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), economic downturns can lead to increased child mortality by affecting dietary, environmental, and care-seeking factors. This study estimates the potential loss of life in children under five years old attributable to economic downturns in 2020. We used a multi-level, mixed effects model to estimate the relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and under-5 mortality rates (U5MRs) specific to each of 129 LMICs. Public data were retrieved from the World Bank World Development Indicators database and the United Nations World Populations Prospects estimates for the years 1990-2020. Country-specific regression coefficients on the relationship between child mortality and GDP were used to estimate the impact on U5MR of reductions in GDP per capita of 5%, 10%, and 15%. A 5% reduction in GDP per capita in 2020 was estimated to cause an additional 282,996 deaths in children under 5 in 2020. At 10% and 15%, recessions led to higher losses of under-5 lives, increasing to 585,802 and 911,026 additional deaths, respectively. Nearly half of all the potential under-5 lives lost in LMICs were estimated to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Because most of these deaths will likely be due to nutrition and environmental factors amenable to intervention, countries should ensure continued investments in food supplementation, growth monitoring, and comprehensive primary health care to mitigate potential burdens.

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0263245

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Publications

4th Dose COVID mRNA Vaccines’ Immunogenicity & Efficacy Against Omicron VOC – medRxiv

RESULTS Of 1050 eligible HCW, 154 and 120 were enrolled to receive BNT162b2 and mRNA1273, respectively, and compared to 426 age-matched controls. Recipients of both vaccine types had a ∼9-10-fold increase in IgG and neutralizing titers within 2 weeks of vaccination and an 8-fold increase in live Omicron VOC neutralization, restoring titers to those measured after the third vaccine dose. Breakthrough infections were common, mostly very mild, yet, with high viral loads. Vaccine efficacy against infection was 30% (95%CI:-9% to 55%) and 11% (95%CI:-43% to +43%) for BNT162b2 and mRNA1273, respectively. Local and systemic adverse reactions were reported in 80% and 40%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS The fourth COVID-19 mRNA dose restores antibody titers to peak post-third dose titers. Low efficacy in preventing mild or asymptomatic Omicron infections and the infectious potential of breakthrough cases raise the urgency of next generation vaccine development.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.15.22270948v1.full-text

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Publications

Titanium dioxide particles frequently present in face masks intended for general use require regulatory control – Nature

Although titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a suspected human carcinogen when inhaled, fiber-grade TiO2 (nano)particles were demonstrated in synthetic textile fibers of face masks intended for the general public. STEM-EDX analysis on sections of a variety of single use and reusable face masks visualized agglomerated near-spherical TiO2 particles in non-woven fabrics, polyester, polyamide and bi-component fibers. Median sizes of constituent particles ranged from 89 to 184 nm, implying an important fraction of nano-sized particles (< 100 nm). The total TiO2 mass determined by ICP-OES ranged from 791 to 152,345 µg per mask. The estimated TiO2 mass at the fiber surface ranged from 17 to 4394 µg, and systematically exceeded the acceptable exposure level to TiO2 by inhalation (3.6 µg), determined based on a scenario where face masks are worn intensively. No assumptions were made about the likelihood of the release of TiO2 particles itself, since direct measurement of release and inhalation uptake when face masks are worn could not be assessed. The importance of wearing face masks against COVID-19 is unquestionable. Even so, these results urge for in depth research of (nano)technology applications in textiles to avoid possible future consequences caused by a poorly regulated use and to implement regulatory standards phasing out or limiting the amount of TiO2 particles, following the safe-by-design principle.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-06605-w