By April, U.S. officials at the NSC and the State Department had begun to compile circumstantial evidence that the WIV lab, rather than the seafood market, was actually the source of the virus. The former explanation for the outbreak was entirely plausible, they felt, whereas the latter would be an extreme coincidence. But the officials couldn’t say that out loud because there wasn’t firm proof either way. And if the U.S. government accused China of lying about the outbreak without firm evidence, Beijing would surely escalate tensions even more, which meant that Americans might not get the medical supplies that were desperately needed to combat the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.
There has been much political opportunism all over the world in response to the pandemic. In Hong Kong, though, the prioritisation of politics over medicine has been breathtaking. From the earliest stages of the outbreak, the government here, reeling and battered after the surge of unprecedented pro-democracy protests in 2019, seized upon the spread of Covid as a major tool for quelling dissent. In February 2020, a secret report sent by the Hong Kong government to its bosses in Beijing was leaked. It allegedly contained statements by Lam describing the outbreak of the coronavirus as a “rare opportunity to reverse the situation”, her administration having been “attacked on all fronts” during the protests. She added that with the central government’s help the pandemic could be the means of ending the unrest.
Using serum samples routinely collected in 9144 adults from a French general population-based cohort, we identified 353 participants with a positive anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG test, among whom 13 were sampled between November 2019 and January 2020 and were confirmed by neutralizing antibodies testing. Investigations in 11 of these participants revealed experience of symptoms possibly related to a SARS-CoV-2 infection or situations at risk of potential SARS-CoV-2 exposure. This suggests early circulation of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe.
Ivor Cummins aka the Fat Emperor – gives James the lowdown on why you can’t trust anything our governments tell us about Covid-19. If you want the facts on Coronavirus – how deadly is it? do lockdowns and masks work? how does it compare with previous pandemics? – you’ve come to the right place
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hat happened was fairly simple, I’ve come to believe. It was an accident. A virus spent some time in a laboratory, and eventually it got out. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, began its existence inside a bat, then it learned how to infect people in a claustrophobic mine shaft, and then it was made more infectious in one or more laboratories, perhaps as part of a scientist’s well-intentioned but risky effort to create a broad-spectrum vaccine. SARS-2 was not designed as a biological weapon. But it was, I think, designed. Many thoughtful people dismiss this notion, and they may be right. They sincerely believe that the coronavirus arose naturally, “zoonotically,” from animals, without having been previously studied, or hybridized, or sluiced through cell cultures, or otherwise worked on by trained professionals. They hold that a bat, carrying a coronavirus, infected some other creature, perhaps a pangolin, and that the pangolin may have already been sick with a different coronavirus disease, and out of the conjunction and commingling of those two diseases within the pangolin, a new disease, highly infectious to humans, evolved. Or they hypothesize that two coronaviruses recombined in a bat, and this new virus spread to other bats, and then the bats infected a person directly — in a rural setting, perhaps — and that this person caused a simmering undetected outbreak of respiratory disease, which over a period of months or years evolved to become virulent and highly transmissible but was not noticed until it appeared in Wuhan.
- The mortality rate is below 0.2%.
- For most people the risk of dying if you get infected is less than one in 500 (and less than one in 3,000 if you’re below 70 years of age).
- The disease preferentially strikes people who are anyway very close to the end of life/
- The amount of lifetime lost when someone dies of the disease is usually small.
- 2020 will likely turn out to have been a very average year in terms of overall mortality.
- 98% of people who get covid are fully recovered within three months.
- There is no good evidence that covid results in long term health consequences.
- Chinese realized early on that covid-19 wasn’t very serious, no worse than a bad flu.
- China is still reporting less than 20 cases per day.
- China is claiming that less than 5,000 people have so far died of covid in China. That’s less than Sweden, a country with less than 1% of China’s population.
To those people who, still now, object to lockdowns on civil liberties principles, this will be a chilling reminder of the centrality of the authoritarian Chinese model in influencing global policy in this historic year.
- Blood samples unveiled this week show people in California, Oregon and Washington infected in December
- Further tests on blood taken in mid-to-late December and into early January found virus in six more states
- Italy, Brazil and France have all since found traces of the virus before China even acknowledged it existed
- Evidence has emerged in Spain and the UK suggesting that Covid-19 was around before testing was possible
- Claims the virus emerged in a market in Wuhan last winter have crumbled in the face of scientific evidence
The harmful consequences of public health choices should be explicitly considered and transparently reported to limit their damage, say Itai Bavli and colleagues
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge for governments. Questions regarding the most effective interventions to reduce the spread of the virus—for example, more testing, requirements to wear face masks, and stricter and longer lockdowns—become widely discussed in the popular and scientific press, informed largely by models that aimed to predict the health benefits of proposed interventions. Central to all these studies is recognition that inaction, or delayed action, will put millions of people unnecessarily at risk of serious illness or death.
However, interventions to limit the spread of the coronavirus also carry negative health effects, which have yet to be considered systematically. Despite increasing evidence on the unintended, adverse effects of public health interventions such as social distancing and lockdown measures, there are few signs that policy decisions are being informed by a serious assessment and weighing of their harms on health. Instead, much of the discussion has become politicised, especially in the US, where President Trump’s provocative statements sparked debates along party lines about the necessity for policies to control covid-19. This politicisation, often fuelled by misinformation, has distracted from a much needed dispassionate discussion on the harms and benefits of potential public health measures against covid-19.
A young man fell to the ground due to a collapsed lung after running two-and-a-half miles while wearing a face mask.
Doctors say his condition was caused by the high pressure on the man’s organ, due to his intense breathing while wearing the face covering…
Doctors say Mr Zhang had a spontaneous pneumothorax, which are more likely to occur with people who have asthma, cystic fibrosis or pneumonia.
- There is no scientific evidence that masks are effective in reducing the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
- Sweeping mask recommendations will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China.
- Cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.
- Surgical masks likely have some utility as source control from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread of large cough particles and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles.
- Surgical masks may also have very limited utility as source control or PPE in households.
- Authors do not know whether respirators are an effective intervention as source control for the public.
- A non-fit-tested respirator may not offer any better protection than a surgical mask.
- Respirators work as PPE only when they are the right size and have been fit-tested to demonstrate they achieve an adequate protection factor.
- There is no evidence to support use of cloth masks by the public or healthcare workers to control the emission of particles from the wearer.
- Wearing surgical masks in households appears to have very little impact on transmission of respiratory disease.
- There is no evidence that surgical masks worn by healthcare workers are effective at limiting the emission of small particles or in preventing contamination of wounds during surgery.
- There is moderate evidence that surgical masks worn by patients in healthcare settings can lower the emission of large particles generated during coughing and limited evidence that small particle emission may also be reduced.
- Data from laboratory studies indicate masks offer very low filter collection efficiency for the smaller particles.
- The authors were unable to locate any well-performed studies of cloth mask leakage when worn on the face—either inward or outward leakage.
- Many references to coverings employ very crude, non-standardized methods or are not relevant to cloth face coverings because they evaluate respirators or surgical masks.
- The National Academies of Sciences Rapid Expert Consultation on the Effectiveness of Fabric Masks for the COVID-19 Pandemic: “The evidence from…laboratory filtration studies suggests that such fabric masks may reduce the transmission of larger respiratory droplets. There is little evidence regarding the transmission of small aerosolized particulates of the size potentially exhaled by asymptomatic or presymptomatic individuals with COVID-19.”
- Authors concerned that many people do not understand the very limited degree of protection a cloth mask or face covering likely offers as source control for people located nearby.
- Cloth masks and face coverings likely do not offer the same degree of protection as physical distancing, isolation, or limiting personal contact time.
- Transmission is not simply a function of short random interactions between individuals, but rather a function of particle concentration in the air and the time exposed to that concentration.
- A cloth mask or face covering does very little to prevent the emission or inhalation of small particles.
The authors of the commentary, titled “COVID-19 Transmission and Children: The Child Is Not to Blame,” base their conclusions on a new study published in the current issue of Pediatrics, “COVID-19 in Children and the Dynamics of Infection in Families,” and four other recent studies that examine Covid-19 transmission by and among children.
The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult and a string of countries that have implemented his protocol, early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses, despite the fact that, after treating 3,737 patients — the single largest study in the world —Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.
- The Recovery trial has steadfastly ignored Professor Didier Raoult in the early use of HCQ with Azythromycin in safe doses.
- Raoult has lost only 0.6 per cent, while Horby and Landray are presiding over carnage —a fatality rate of 25 per cent.
- Landray admitted to an investigative journalist at FranceSoir ‘these are quite high doses to… have a chance of killing the virus.’ Or killing the patient.
- Recovery is not the only trial delivering dangerously elevated doses of HCQ to Covid patients. Dosage in the international Solidarity trial was four times greater than the dose being used in India.
- WHO has been working for years with Gilead Sciences trying to get the pharmaceutical company’s lacklustre drug Remdesivir to show efficacy at curing first Ebola, with poor results, and now Covid-19.
- Landray revealed Gilead pays scientists 20 to 50 times more to conduct a clinical trial than Horby and Landray were paid to conduct the Recovery trial.
- Horby is the executive director of the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium which received 4.5 million pounds for research into vaccines.
- Horby established the Epidemic Research Group which is promised up to 14 million pounds from AstraZeneca and Zuckerberg/Chan of Facebook fame for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine which is being trialled by Oxford University.
- AstraZeneca is interested in merging with Gilead Sciences, which, if it went through, would create the biggest Big Pharma ever.
- Horby and Landray have announced that dexamethasone, a low-cost steroid which is also being tested has reduced the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients on ventilators from a scandalous 41 per cent to a still appalling 32 per cent.
- Raoult has pointed out that in his hospital, of the 0.6 per cent who die, a mere 16 per cent were in ICU
- In Britain, where almost 42,000 people have died of Covid, the only thing randomised, controlled trials have achieved, is to blind people to the evidence that 40,000 of those deaths could have been avoided.
- Far from following the science, the government turned its back on all available data.
- Until mid-April, with the escalating deaths in care homes agonisingly clear across Europe, government policy was still for patients to be discharged to care homes from hospitals without requiring negative tests. And so the toll: around half of UK Covid-19 deaths are care home residents, despite them accounting for only 0.6 per cent of our population.
- Germany, whose population is roughly 25 per cent bigger than ours, has suffered approximately a quarter of our Covid deaths.
- Ministers have deferred to scientists who themselves deferred to the projections of models, even when data on the ground told a completely different story.
- Statisticians on social media had a field day pointing out the chasm between modelled outcomes and reality, but it is not clear that the models on which SAGE relied (both their input parameters and mechanical dynamics) were continually refined with on-the-ground data (or simply discarded as wrong).
- Why weren’t Oxford’s team, who specialise in zoonotic viruses and who looked at the same data as Neil Ferguson’s modelling-led team but came to wildly different conclusions, on SAGE’s panel to provide an alternative view?
- Why were there no economists on SAGE? Economics is not the bloodless pursuit of money but the science of decision-making under uncertainty where resources are finite; could they really have brought nothing to the party?
- In mid-March, Stanford’s Nobel laureate Michael Levitt (biophysicist and professor of structural biology) discussed the “natural experiment” of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, a petridish disproportionately filled with the most susceptible age and health groups. Even here, despite the virus spreading uncontrolled onboard for at least two weeks, infection only reached a minority of passengers and crew.
- The data towards the end of March clearly showed we were already near the tipping point of the bell-curve (meaning the disease is on the wane). We were already past the point where lockdown could have made much difference.
- Knut Wittkowski: “respiratory diseases [including Covid-19] . . . remain only about two months in any given population”.
The evidence to date suggests that children spread SARS‐CoV‐2 virus relatively rarely and that children are usually infected by symptomatic or pre‐symptomatic adults (in the first 48 h before they become symptomatic). During contact tracing, the China/World Health Organization joint commission recorded no episodes where transmission occurred from a child to an adult. A review of 31 family clusters of COVID‐19 from China, Singapore, the USA, South Korea and Vietnam, found only three (9.7%) clusters had a child as the index case and in all three clusters the child was symptomatic.
Swarms of accounts are amplifying Beijing’s brash new messaging as the country tries to shape the global narrative about the coronavirus and much else.
Interview notes below the embedded video.
Dr. Wodarg is reassuring for anyone concerned about ‘the virus’. That danger is no greater than in any other flu season (now also based on tens of international leading scientists analyzing actual figures from all over the world). Wodarg’s message is disturbing when you wonder how the whole world can be fooled by such a clearly fact-free ‘panic’ allowing itself to be led to the curtailment of the most fundamental freedoms. A world that thinks it has to prepare itself for a ‘new normal’. In which incredibly dangerous and extremely undesirable ’solutions’ such as ‘mass vaccination’, ‘contact tracing’, and other ‘surveillance’ are seen as attractive.
- Coronaviruses are very common so no-one was interested in them until recently as they’re well studies. COVID-19 ‘is not very special’.
- China ‘solved’ its epidemic by stopping tests.
- Why Italy had a high death rate.
- The effect of hydroxychloroquine on people with certain genetic deficiencies.
- Conflicts of interests and financial incentives for testing.
- We never get herd immunity from coronaviruses.
- We don’t need herd immunity for coronaviruses. They will ‘hitchhike’ for a period of time and then switch hosts species.
- It’s very difficult to quarantine people for respiratory viruses; the COVID-19 had already spread so the lockdown was nonsense.
- The historical data does not show COVID-19 being a severe disease.
- EuroMOMO data is not transparent. Dr. Wodarg has become very skeptical about the EuroMOMO statistics.
- If we are observing the virus, there should be no difference between the countries’ charts. (Mathematician Andrew Mather has made similar observations in his videos.)
- There are so many factors that affect mortality rates but there is no serious discussion.
- Perhaps people are being killed by experimental treatment. WHO show 1,200 trials worldwide for clinical trials. There may be irregularities.
- Possible attempt to use deaths Africa to spread more fear.
- Observational studies as a way to bribe doctors and market drugs.
- The side-effects of drugs used in Italy and Spain.
- Watch what will happen in Africa.
- The reaction to COVID-19 is politics and has nothing to do with medicine.
- Raising the possibility of immunity passports.
- German health minister is a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry.
- Data from contact tracing apps is ‘gold’ for the pharmaceutical industry.
- The influence of Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and the WHO in the negotiation in vaccine contracts. Only Polish Minister for Health resisted.
- Don’t accept the RNA vaccine, which is a new method and has been developed in a very short time. There is no experience with RNA vaccine for infectious diseases.
- ‘Bill Gates is crazy.’ How can someone promote the vaccination of the planet with a vaccine developed in 1 1/2 years. It has not even been controlled for cancer. You need at least 5 years to see if a cancer grows. If you change RNA, you don’t know.
- RNA vaccines require very thorough clinical studies over a long period of time. There are many complications to consider.
- Politicians always strive for power. We as a people have to show them how they get power and how they lose it.
With a purely statistical perspective, [Prof Michael Levitt] has been playing close attention to the Covid-19 pandemic since January, when most of us were not even aware of it. He first spoke out in early February, when through analysing the numbers of cases and deaths in Hubei province he predicted with remarkable accuracy that the epidemic in that province would top out at around 3,250 deaths.
Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate:
British epidemiologist Tom Jefferson tells the BMJ, “The sample [evidence from China] is small, and more data will become available. Also, it’s not clear exactly how these cases were identified. But let’s just say they are generalisable. And even if they are 10% out, then this suggests the virus is everywhere. If—and I stress, if—the results are representative, then we have to ask, ‘What the hell are we locking down for?”
Tom Jefferson, is an epidemiologist at the Cochrane Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) Group and writes for thebmjopinion.