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News

Number 10 cherry-picked ‘spurious’ Covid data to justify England’s second lockdown and may have intended to frighten the public, top Cambridge statistician claims – Daily Mail

  • Sir David Spiegelhalter suggested the Government tried to ‘manipulate’ Britons
  • Cherry-picked ‘worst-case scenarios’ to ‘instill a certain emotional reaction’
  • No10 lambasted for its apocalyptic graphs and spurious data shown to public

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8979123/Number-10-used-apocalyptic-Covid-19-graphs-frighten-public-lockdown-statistician.html

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Opinion

Should you rush to get a COVID-19 vaccination? One specialist in Japan says he won’t – Prof. Masayuki Miyasaka The Mainichi

Two major U.S. pharmaceutical companies racing to develop novel coronavirus vaccines have announced that their vaccines have been confirmed to be over 90% effective. But Masayuki Miyasaka, a leading immunologist at Osaka University, told the Mainichi Shimbun in a recent interview that even after these vaccines become available, he does not plan to receive them for the time being.

At a meeting of the Committee on Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan’s House of Representatives on Nov. 17, Miyasaka stated, “There’s no doubt that their effectiveness is quite high, but their safety is not guaranteed at all,” sounding a word of caution about expectations for the vaccines.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201120/p2a/00m/0na/008000c

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Videos

Dr Mike Yeadon on the UK government’s mismanagement of COVID-19 on – Unlocked

YouTube has removed interview so we have archived the video in the above location. It is currently available on Unlocked Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/unlockedunitedkingdom/videos/vb.112364983833705/409747283542470/

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Publications

Post-lockdown SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening in nearly ten million residents of Wuhan, China – Nature

Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (detection rate 0.303/10,000, 95% CI 0.270–0.339/10,000) were identified. There were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases. 107 of 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 patients tested positive again (re-positive rate 0.31%, 95% CI 0.423–0.574%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w

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News

What they DON’T tell you about Covid: Fewer beds taken up than last year, deaths a fraction of the grim forecasts, 95% of fatalities had underlying causes… and how the facts can be twisted to strike fear in our hearts – Daily Mail

  • Despite the fearmongering, the number of Covid-19 deaths is significantly lower than the peak back in April 
  • Latest ONS estimate shows that in the week ending November 14, new infections were already levelling off 
  • GCHQ has embedded a team in Downing Street to provide Boris Johnson with real-time updates of Covid-19
  • Analysts will sift through vast amounts of data to ensure Boris Johnson has the most up-to-date information

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8971669/What-DONT-tell-Covid-facts-twisted-strike-fear-hearts.html

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News

Quarter of people may already be immune to coronavirus – even though many have never been infected – The Telegraph

PHE researchers believe people with high levels of T-cells likely to have picked up immunity from coronaviruses like common cold

A quarter of people may already be immune to coronavirus even though many of them have never been infected, a new study by Public Health England (PHE) suggests.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/19/many-could-immune-covid-despite-never-having-infected-study/

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News

SAGE was put on a pedestal… but their models clearly didn’t reflect reality – Daily Mail

  • SAGE admitted early virus modelling based on figures from online encyclopedia
  • Committee of scientists advising PM also had no expert on human coronavirus 
  • Dubious data formed the basis for the group’s calls for first national lockdown
  • Experts predicted that the peak would be in June – but it actually came in April  
  • Impact of care home staff spreading Covid by working in multiple sites not considered
  • Scientists failed to consider the impact agency workers would have on spreading Covid in care homes by moving between several different sites to work
  • There were more than 30,000 excess deaths in care homes because of Covid in 2020

Professor Mark Jit, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and member of SPI-M, said the group used data from Wikipedia in the UK along with hospitalisations in China and Northern Italy to inform their modelling. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8961245/SAGE-used-dodgy-data-WIKIPEDIA-model-Covid-crisis-spring-BBC-documentary-reveals.html

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News

Exclusive: GCHQ giving Boris Johnson ‘real-time’ intelligence to tackle Covid – The Telegraph

Experts working inside Cabinet Office to sift through data that can inform policy-making

GCHQ has embedded a team in a Downing Street cell to provide Boris Johnson with real-time intelligence to combat the “emerging and changing threat” posed by Covid-19, The Telegraph can disclose.

GCHQ analysts have been given access to mobile phone data to track the public’s movements during the national lockdown. The up-to-the-minute reports on compliance are passed to the Prime Minister.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/11/18/exclusive-gchq-cell-giving-boris-johnson-real-time-intelligence/

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Publications

Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers – Annals of Internal Medicine

The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

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Videos

The number of people dying today is the same as it would be any other year’ – Prof. Anthony Brookes, talkRADIO

  • The vaccine reduces symptoms; may prevent infection but this has not been proven.
  • Mass testing is not the way out and could be very problematic.
  • Around 1% of the population are infected and probably have no symptoms.
  • If you are under 65, there is less risk than the regular flu.
  • The number of people dying is the same as any other year.
  • People of dying of respiratory diseases is about the same.
  • Covid deaths will continue to go up.
  • Hospitals are less full because they’ve increased their capacity; they’re not struggling to cope.
  • Prevalence for the virus has plateaued.
  • We should continue to be careful but COVID-19 is ‘not a major player’
Categories
News

How 23-year-old with no relevant experience was among firms who cashed in on government’s ‘shambolic’ £12bn NHS safety equipment bonanza – Daily Mail

  • Government relaxed procurement rules to allow officials to award contracts  
  • PPE team of 450 staff handed out more than 6,900 contracts worth £12.3billion 
  • Officials paid £3.8million into the wrong bank account in one instance 
  • Sabi Mokeddem, 23, was given £880,000 to supply 55,000 coveralls

Our investigation – distinct from from today’s NAO report – uncovers how blundering officials paid £3.8million into the wrong bank account in one instance and handed an £880,000 contract to a 23-year-old with no relative experience in another.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8959451/Companies-no-experience-pocketed-12bn-Governments-shambolic-PPE-scramble.html

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Publications

Mass testing for covid-19 in the UK – BMJ

Spending the equivalent of 77% of the NHS annual revenue budget on an unevaluated underdesigned national programme leading to a regressive, insufficiently supported intervention—in many cases for the wrong people—cannot be defended.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4436

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News

Matt Hancock is delighted to work even closer with the World Economic Forum (2018)

@MattHancock on Twitter 26 Jan 2018

https://web.archive.org/web/20191217150219if_/https://twitter.com/MattHancock/status/956851034797891584

Categories
Opinion

Have we got it all wrong when it comes to Covid? – The Irish Examiner

There is a case to be made that we as a country have been led by a conversation about the virus which has been unbalanced and disproportionate, writes Daniel McConnell

https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/arid-40081700.html

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Opinion

Even a Military-Enforced Quarantine Can’t Stop the Virus, Study Reveals – AIER

The study is important because of the social structure of control here. It’s one thing to observe no effects from national lockdowns. There are countless variables here that could be invoked as cautionary notes: demographics, population density, preexisting immunities, degree of compliance, and so on. But with this Marine study, you have a near homogeneous group based on age, health, and densities of living. And even here, you see confirmed what so many other studies have shown: lockdowns are pointlessly destructive. They do not manage the disease. They crush human liberty and produce astonishing costs, such as 5.53 million years of lost life from the closing of schools alone. 

https://www.aier.org/article/even-a-military-enforced-quarantine-cant-stop-the-virus-study-reveals/

Categories
Opinion Publications

When good science is suppressed by the medical-political complex, people die – BMJ

The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

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Publications

The impact of cold on the respiratory tract and its consequences to respiratory health – NCBI (2018)

Published online 2018 May 30

In particular, if indoor exposure occurs quickly and without any gradual adaptation to a temperature 2°–3° lower than the external temperature and especially with a 5° difference (avoiding indoor temperature below 24°) and an humidity between 40 and 60%, there is a risk of negative consequences on the respiratory tract and the patient risks to be in a clinical condition characterized by an exacerbation of the respiratory symptoms of his chronic respiratory disease (asthma and COPD) within a few hours or days. Surprisingly, these effects of cold climate remain out of the focus of the media unless spells of unusually cold weather sweep through a local area or unstable weather conditions associated with extremely cold periods of increasing frequency and duration.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6031196/

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Videos

Are We Being Told the Truth About COVID-19? – Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi, Triggernometry

Professor Bhakdi’s videos have been censored in the past. A backup mirror can be viewed below if the YouTube video is offline.

Categories
Publications

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission among Marine Recruits during Quarantine – New England Journal of Medicine

Among Marine Corps recruits, approximately 2% who had previously had negative results for SARS-CoV-2 at the beginning of supervised quarantine, and less than 2% of recruits with unknown previous status, tested positive by day 14. Most recruits who tested positive were asymptomatic, and no infections were detected through daily symptom monitoring. Transmission clusters occurred within platoons. 

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2029717

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News

Pfizer to pay £50m after deaths of Nigerian children in drug trial experiment – The Independent (2009)

Article date: Monday 6 April 2009

At stake at one point last year was more than $8bn in punitive damages being sought in a string of cases, as well as potential jail terms in Nigeria for several Pfizer staff. “There has been a complex web of cases with proceedings in Connecticut, New York, Lagos, Abuja and Kano,” Mr Etigwe said. “The strategy of big companies when they are dealing with smaller opponents is to stretch the process, to overwhelm us until we are ready to accept whatever they want to offer.” Trovan never became the blockbuster that Pfizer had hoped for and it is no longer in production. The EU has banned the drug and it has been withdrawn from sale in the US.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/pfizer-to-pay-16350m-after-deaths-of-nigerian-children-in-drug-trial-experiment-1663402.html