Categories
Opinion

Ignoring the Covid evidence – Alistair Haimes, The Critic

  • 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”. 

https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/july-august-2020/ignoring-the-covid-evidence/

Categories
Publications

To what extent do children transmit SARS‐CoV‐2 virus? – Wiley Online Library

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.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpc.14937

Categories
News

Behind China’s Twitter Campaign, a Murky Supporting Chorus – New York Times

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/08/technology/china-twitter-disinformation.html

Categories
Videos

A malignant crisis that is entirely driven by misinformation: Stefan Noordhoek en Wolfgang Wodarg

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.

Topics discussed:

  • 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.
Categories
Opinion Videos

Nobel prize winning scientist Prof Michael Levitt: lockdown a “huge mistake” – UnHerd

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.

Nobel prize-winning scientist: the Covid-19 epidemic was never exponential”

Categories
News

Has COVID-19 Testing Made the Problem Worse? – Off-Guardian

https://off-guardian.org/2020/04/15/has-covid-19-testing-made-the-problem-worse/

Categories
News

British epidemiologist: why are we locking down if China results are representative?

Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate:

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1375

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.

Categories
News Publications

UCL: closing schools does not help control COVID-19 epidemic

School closure and management practices during coronavirus outbreaks including COVID-19: a rapid systematic review:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(20)30095-X/fulltext

Summary from BBC News:

  • While school closures help during influenza outbreaks, the same may not apply to coronavirus
  • Data from the Sars outbreak (in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore) suggest that school closures did not contribute to the control of the epidemic
  • Recent modelling studies of Covid-19 predict that school closures alone would prevent only 2%-4% of deaths, many fewer than other social distancing interventions
Categories
Publications

Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate – The BMJ

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1375

Categories
News

‘Polluted Air’ Could Be An Important Cause Of Wuhan Pneumonia – Eurasia Review

Categories
Videos

How Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg sees the current Corona pandemic

Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, an epidemiologist and lung disease specialist, explains coronavirus testing.

Update 16 December 2020: This video has been censored from YouTube. An archived mirror is available below.