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News

Data showing rising cases before second lockdown quietly revised down – Telegraph

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data – which showed soaring coronavirus cases before the second lockdown – has been quietly revised down and now suggests that cases were largely plateauing at the time, it has emerged.

Many experts have complained that the data presented by the Government ahead of the lockdown was “riddled with errors” and exaggerated the need for a second lockdown, while Greg Clark, the chairman of the Commons science and technology committee, said the belated admission of errors was “of great concern”.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201208165734/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/12/08/data-showing-rising-cases-second-lockdown-quietly-revised/

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News

Xantura – Data Analytics – Impact Investing – LittleSis

Source: Xantura – Data Analytics – Impact Investing, LittleSis

https://littlesis.org/relationships/1739834

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Opinion

£6m borrowed for every Covid death: Economist CHRISTOPHER SNOWDON calculates the terrifying price Britain’s paying for the pandemic and asks what HAVE we done? – Daily Mail

The Government has laid waste to the world’s fifth-biggest economy on the basis of dubious projections from risk-averse academics whose jobs are secure no matter what.

…For the truth is that the Government has stared like a wild-eyed fanatic at a single disease with a fatality rate of 0.6 per cent and an average age at death of 82 years, and cast all other considerations to the wind.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now predicts GDP falling by between 10.6 per cent and 12 per cent in 2020, the equivalent of the Great Recession of 2008-09 occurring twice in one year. Meanwhile, the OBR expects unemployment to peak next year at between 5.1 per cent and 11 per cent, an estimate so broad as to be meaningless.

…The OBR expects the national debt to hit £2.7trillion within four years and that is probably optimistic given that the Prime Minister is on a permanent spending spree, recently pledging an extra £16.5billion for the military, up to £100billion on the Operation Moonshot mass testing programme and untold billions on achieving net zero carbon emissions.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8994931/6m-borrowed-Covid-death-Economist-calculates-terrifying-price-UKs-paying-pandemic.html

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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

Landmark Danish study finds no significant effect for facemask wearers – Prof Carl Heneghan & Dr Tom Jefferson, The Spectator

In the end, there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19. 1.8 per cent of those wearing masks caught Covid, compared to 2.1 per cent of the control group. As a result, it seems that any effect masks have on preventing the spread of the disease in the community is small.

…there is a troubling lack of robust evidence on face masks and Covid-19…The only studies which have shown masks to be effective at stopping airborne diseases have been ‘observational’…But observational studies are prone to recall bias: in the heat of a pandemic, not very many people will recall if and when they used masks and at what distance they kept from others.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201119080242/https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-

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Publications

COVID-19 in children: analysis of the first pandemic peak in England – BMJ

Children represented 1.1% (1,408/129,704) of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases between 16 January 2020 and 3 May 2020. In total, 540 305 people were tested for SARS-COV-2 and 129,704 (24.0%) were positive. In children aged <16 years, 35,200 tests were performed and 1408 (4.0%) were positive for SARS-CoV-2, compared to 19.1%–34.9% adults. Childhood cases increased from mid-March and peaked on 11 April before declining. Among 2,961 individuals presenting with ARI in primary care, 351 were children and 10 (2.8%) were positive compared with 9.3%–45.5% in adults. Eight children died and four (case-fatality rate, 0.3%; 95% CI 0.07% to 0.7%) were due to COVID-19. We found no evidence of excess mortality in children.

Children accounted for a very small proportion of confirmed cases despite the large numbers of children tested. SARS-CoV-2 positivity was low even in children with ARI. Our findings provide further evidence against the role of children in infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201124224223if_/https://adc.bmj.com/content/105/12/1180

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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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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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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’
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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

Regulator criticises data used to justify lockdown – BBC

The government has been criticised by the official statistics watchdog for the way it presented data to justify England’s second lockdown.

The UK Statistics Authority highlighted the use of modelling at Saturday’s TV briefing showing the possible death toll from Covid this winter.

It said there needed to be more transparency about data and how predictions were being made.

The projections were out of date and over-estimated deaths, it has emerged…

It is understood the graph was used by the two senior advisers in meetings last week where the decision to impose a nationwide lockdown in England was made.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54831334

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News

Exclusive: ‘Covid graphs were wrong in suggesting daily deaths would soon surpass first wave’ – The Telegraph

Government forced to reissue key charts used to justify second lockdown after admitting projected fatalities were overstated

Official projections which pushed the country into a second lockdown have been quietly revised to no longer suggest deaths could soon overtake those at the peak of the first wave, The Telegraph has learned.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/05/covid-graphs-wrong-death-toll-will-not-surpass-first-wave/

Categories
Opinion

New national lockdown is a mistake – Boris Johnson must keep his promise to release us on December 2 – The Sun

THE fact that Covid cases were already plummeting across London is yet more evidence the new lockdown is a mistake.

Yes, a few hospitals around Britain are under huge strain, as NHS chief Simon Stevens says.

But many have few Covid patients or none.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13122295/the-sun-says-new-national-lockdown-mistake-covid/

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News

Death forecast used to justify national lockdown is based on old stats and may be four times too high, scientists say – The Sun

Death toll forecasts used by the government as grounds for another nationwide lockdown are out-of-date and could be four times too high, experts have said.

A Downing Street press conference led by Boris Johnson on Saturday included data suggesting that England could be seeing up to 4,000 deaths each day by early December.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13082035/death-forecast-national-lockdown-four-times-too-high/

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Opinion

The Covid Physician’s true coronavirus timeline – The Critic

Our mission: save the NHS by neglecting ourselves and the NHS. I received numerous CCG advice and flow-charts on the coronavirus-centric mass processing of patients. Most of it was about whom not to see, and who could pass the pearly gates of the hospitals. Then there was the advice on the parallel IT and video-consultation medical industrial revolution: our new NHS normal.

…For clarity, the “D” in coronavirus means “disease”, the second “S” in SARS-CoV-2 means “syndrome”. In a sense, the WHO had already decided Covid-19 was a distinct disease entity caused by a novel coronavirus before characterising it as a syndrome called SARS-2, and before the naming of the virus as SARS-CoV-2. The importance of scientific syntax and semantics cannot be overemphasised. Such cognitive slip-ups trickle unnoticed into general parlance and may have fatal consequences for us as a species.

Without a definite cause, one cannot definitively conclude to treat anything in particular. Is Covid-19 a syndrome, a mixed bag of symptoms and signs that has been negligently and politically globally fast-tracked to a scientifically wrong conclusion? Is it, in practice, a conflation of different, distinct disease entities including influenzae, rhinoviruses, pneumoniae and other coronaviruses, not to mention other non-infectious phenomena?

https://thecritic.co.uk/the-covid-physicians-true-coronavirus-timeline/

Categories
Opinion

Three facts No 10’s experts got wrong – Dr Mike Yeadon, Daily Mail

  • We have experience of SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012, while in the UK there are at least four known strains of coronavirus which cause the common cold.
  • Many individuals who’ve been infected by other coronaviruses have immunity to closely related ones such as the Covid-19 virus.
  • Multiple research groups in Europe and the US have shown that around 30 per cent of the population was likely already immune to Covid-19 before the virus arrived – something which Sage continues to ignore.
  • Prof. John Ioannidis, professor of epidemiology at Stanford University in California, have concluded that the mortality rate is closer to 0.2 per cent – 1 in 500 infected die.
  • Around 45,000 Covid deaths in the UK
  • Approximately 22.5million people have been infected – 33.5 per cent of our population – not Sage’s 7 per cent calculation.
  • Not every infected individual produces antibodies.
  • The human immune system has several lines of defence:
    • Innate immunity which is comprised of the body’s physical barriers to infection and protective secretions (the skin and its oils, the cough reflex, tears etc);
    • Inflammatory response (to localise and minimise infection and injury), and the production of non-specific cells (phagocytes) that target an invading virus/bacterium.
    • Antibodies that protect against a specific virus or bacterium (and confer immunity) and T-cells (a type of white blood cell) that are also specific.
  • T-cells that are crucial in our body’s response to respiratory viruses such as Covid-19.
  • World Health Organisation says 750million people have been infected by the virus as of October and almost none have been reinfected.
  • Mortality in 2020 so far ranks eighth out of the last 27 years.
  • The death rate at present is also normal for the time of year – the number of respiratory deaths is actually low for late October.
  • Not only is the virus less dangerous than we are being led to believe, with almost three quarters of the population at no risk of infection.
  • I am convinced this so-called second wave of rising infections and, sadly, deaths will fizzle out without overwhelming the NHS.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8899053/DR-MIKE-YEADON-Three-facts-No-10s-experts-got-wrong.html

Categories
News

Coronavirus second wave has claimed the lives of just 17 victims under 40: Official figures show the disease is 100 times as deadly for the oldest victims as it is for the young – Daily Mail

  • Only 17 people under 40 died with Covid between the end of August and the middle of this month.
  • Increased infections among children and young adults has not led to their hospitalisations or deaths.
  • One person under the age of 20, and another 13 under 40, have died with coronavirus in English hospitals since the start of September.
  • 1,425 patients over 80 have died over the same period, along with another 1,093 aged between 60 and 79.
  • 247 deaths among working-age people since the end of summer compared with 2,026 among pensioners

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8890811/Coronavirus-claimed-lives-just-17-victims-40-figures-elderly-risk.html

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Visitor Contributions

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

In the interest of public debate, we allow visitors to share opinions, experiences and research that may be of value to others. This is a visitor contribution from our Discussions page.

The views expressed are those of the individual posters themselves. Please read our Comments and contributions disclaimer.

Author

George Michael

  • Credentials: Physics graduate, University College London (UCL); Senior Research Analyst
  • Contact: LinkedIn

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world at a horrific scale, and people are trying to form their own opinions — rightly so — on topics ranging from disease severity to government policy. However, the general public are not exposed to a consistent flow of reliable information, so many are suffering from fear, confusion, and isolation, exacerbated by extreme differences in opinion on how seriously any aspect of the pandemic should be taken. These are the problems that this report aims to address.

Read the full article on Medium: The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

Categories
Opinion

Is the NHS at risk of being overwhelmed by Covid? – The Spectator

Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, has gone back to Plan A, reviving his ‘protect the NHS’ message from March and now wears a facemask with those words on it. The Prime Minister is repeating the slogan. It’s  deeply controversial with senior doctors who fear that it discourages the sick from seeking help – which might explain the 28,000 excess at-home deaths over the last few months. The NHS is worried about this and has countered with its own advert, urging people to seek medical help. I looked at this in my latest Daily Telegraph column.

The NHS has learned much from the first wave of Covid. PPE equipment, for example, is now in bountiful supply. Basic medical techniques – better use of blood thinners, oxygen therapy, steroids etc – are having a big impact on survival rates. When Boris Johnson went into intensive care, his survival chances were about 50 per cent. Now, they would be closer to 70 per cent. The trajectory this time is nowhere near as daunting – the below graph shows the rise of Covid patients needing critical care. As the data shows, intensive care unit (ICU) usage is 13 per cent of what it was at the end of March. (These figures are from the Intensive Care National Audit & Research Centre.)

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-likely-is-the-nhs-to-be-overwhelmed-by-covid-

Categories
Opinion Videos

Dr. Mike Yeadon on The James Delingpole Channel

Interview highlights

  • COVID-19 is not a dread disease that will kill everyone.
  • The initially high case fatality rate of COVID-19 was because the medical community didn’t know how to treat it.
  • The fatality rate of flu is 0.1% (1 in every 1,000 who are infected end up dying).
  • Ventilators are the wrong option if you do not have an obstructed airway disease.
  • Prod. Ioannidis: The infection fatality ratio of COVID-19 is 0.15%. This is pretty much the same as the flu.
  • We should just ask people to be careful but otherwise go about your daily life.
  • These things pass every year. This is the first ‘social media pandemic.’
  • The normal practice for intensive care beds in the NHS is to run them almost full. This is because a lot of intensive care bed assignment is planned.
  • ICU use at the height of the pandemic was has very low because the NHS was run as light as possible to cope with a second wave.
  • Respiratory viruses don’t do waves.
  • This is not opinion but is basic understanding among experts in the field. It is supposrted by the highest quality science. Sir Patrick Vallance knows this.
  • COVID-19 follows the Gompertz Curve.
  • You have immunity after your body has fought off a respiratory virus. If that was not the case, you’d be dead. Immunity probably lasts decades based on evidence from other viruses.
  • Gompertz Curve is identical in all heavily infection regions.
  • Something awefull happened in the middle of the year: PCR swab test.
  • It is not true that if you test more people you’ll save more lives. A certain percentage of the test will come up positive even if there’s no virus in you.
  • False positive rate wasn’t released.
  • Kate Barker wrote in a government document on June 3rd, 2020, to SAGE: test has an unknown false positive rate; based on similar tests it may be between 1%-2%. This is a big deal.
  • Based on 1%: for every 1,000 people you test, 10 will come back positive, even if they don’t have the virus. If prevalence is only 0.1% as reported by ONS, only 1 in 1,000 will be genuine. This means 9 in 10–in other words 90%–are false.
  • Pillar 2 testing would have caused of the most of the positives to be false.
  • 1,700 people die normally every day in the UK. During the summer, only about 10 were dying per day of covid.
  • More testing, more false positives. We’ll never escape covid if we keep testing because most of the positives will be false. This is immunology 101. Sir Patrick Vallance would have known this.
  • Influenza is a high mutation-rate virus. Coronaviruses are relatively stable so once you’ve recovered, you are probably immune for decades.
  • COVID-19 kills 0.15%-0.2%, slightly more lethal than the average flu. Once it’s gone through the population, it won’t come back.
  • 99.94% survive COVID-19 and will be resistant for a long time.
  • COVID-19 is 80% similar to SARS-COV-1.
  • People who were exposed to SARS have T-cell immunity 17 years later. Evidence for COVID-19 all point in direction.
  • Our bodies have many lines of defense, including innate immunity and T-cells. Antibodies are in the last line of defense.
  • Study shows around 30% prior immunity to SARS-COV-2. It was due to exposure to common-cold coronaviruses.
  • The claim made by Sir Patrick Vallance that more than 90% are susceptible is a lie.
  • Mass testing of the well populating is the worst problem as it generates false positives, fear and control.
  • If you’re immune, you can’t be infected or infectious. Herd immunity is already in play in London.
  • If SAGE is correct, London should be ‘ablaze’ with deaths.
  • Current testing methods are not forensically sound.
  • Tests detect common cold and dead virus.
  • SARS-COV-2 has never really been a public health emergency.
  • We do not need the vaccine to return to normal. Most people are not in danger from COVID-19. More people are in danger from car crashes and we accept that risk.
  • Best case scenario is that the vaccine is 50% effective. Natural immunity might be better.
  • The most vulnerable often don’t respond well to vaccines and die anyway.
  • SAGE is giving lethally wrong advice.
  • The reason the pandemic is not over is because SAGE says it’s not.