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News

Student dies from sepsis after ringing GP surgery 25 times to be refused appointment – The Mirror

A 19-year-old died from sepsis after trying 25 times to get through to a GP surgery only to be refused an appointment, an inquest heard.

University student Toby Hudson was unable to speak to anyone at the practice because of a faulty phone system and eventually gave up and called again the next day to be told he could not be seen for at least 48 hours.

The tragic teenager was told that due to him being registered at another surgery in his university town of Southampton, Hants, he could either wait two days to re-register or go to an urgent care walk-in centre.

Toby died two days after he had first sought help at the Wyke Regis & Lanehouse Medical Practice in Weymouth, Dorset.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/student-dies-sepsis-after-ringing-23568942

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Publications

Clarifying the evidence on SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid tests in public health responses to COVID-19 – The Lancet

Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are contagious for 4–8 days.7 Specimens are generally not found to contain culture-positive (potentially contagious) virus beyond day 9 after the onset of symptoms, with most transmission occurring before day 5. This timing fits with the observed patterns of virus transmission (usually 2 days before to 5 days after symptom onset), which led public health agencies to recommend a 10-day isolation period. The short window of transmissibility contrasts with a median 22–33 days of PCR positivity (longer with severe infections and somewhat shorter among asymptomatic individuals). This suggests that 50–75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00425-6/fulltext

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Publications

Use and abuse of mathematical models: an illustration from the 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic in the United Kingdom – University of Edinburgh (2006)

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a major threat, not only to countries whose economies rely on agricultural exports, but also to industrialised countries that maintain a healthy domestic livestock industry by eliminating major infectious diseases from their livestock populations. Traditional methods of controlling diseases such as FMD require the rapid detection and slaughter of infected animals, and any susceptible animals with which they may have been in contact, either directly or indirectly. During the 2001 epidemic of FMD in the United Kingdom (UK), this approach was supplemented by a culling policy driven by unvalidated predictive models. The epidemic and its control resulted in the death of approximately ten million animals, public disgust with the magnitude of the slaughter, and political resolve to adopt alternative options, notably including vaccination, to control any future epidemics. The UK experience provides a salutary warning of how models can be abused in the interests of scientific opportunism.

https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/use-and-abuse-of-mathematical-models-an-illustration-from-the-2001-foot-and-mouth-disease-epidemic-in-the-united-kingdom(e368e2d3-1161-4e6e-97c8-5e33d44a9fb3).html

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Opinion Videos

Ivor Cummins on The James Delingpole Channel

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

Please support the Delingpod:

Mirror archives are available below if this video is removed from YouTube.

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News

Neil Ferguson interview: China changed what was possible – UnHerd

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.

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Videos

It’s not possible that the new mutant strain is 70% more transmissible – Dr Clare Craig, talkRadio

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Publications

Predictive performance of international COVID-19 mortality forecasting models – medRxiv

The Imperial model had larger errors, about 5-fold higher than other models by six weeks. This appears to be largely driven by the aforementioned tendency to overestimate mortality. At twelve weeks, MAPE values were lowest for the IHME-MS-SEIR (23.7%) model, while the Imperial model had the most elevated MAPE (98.8%). Predictive performance between models was generally similar for median absolute errors (MAEs) 

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.13.20151233v5.full

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News

Hancock wrong to say government scientists ran coronavirus trial on vitamin D – The Times

Ministers are to reconsider vitamin D as a potential weapon against Covid-19 after Matt Hancock wrongly claimed that government scientists had run unsuccessful tests.

The health secretary told the Commons last week that he had ordered a trial that showed vitamin D did not “appear to have any impact”. Officials now admit that no trials took place.

New evidence from Spain suggests that vitamin D, which some scientists believe helps to prevent a fatal overreaction to the virus, could save lives.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hancock-wrong-to-say-government-scientists-ran-coronavirus-trial-on-vitamin-d-m6h5tjq36

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Opinion

The making of Britain’s Covid catastrophe – Dr. John Lee, Spiked

My 30 years of working in academic environments, as both a scientist and a clinical academic, tell me this: a scientist’s career objective is to big up his subject, which increases his personal likelihood of gaining grants, influence and promotion. Scientists focus on narrow topics, often almost to the exclusion of everything else. Perspective is rarely a strong point. The more their subject is in the public eye, preferably centre stage, the better it is from a career point of view. Any crisis is, I’m afraid, a career opportunity for some. Unbiased, agenda-free, selfless public service is not, I believe, a key feature of academic life, nor is there any real reason to expect it to be.

The management of the Covid ‘crisis’ – a crisis substantially caused by the very management itself – has all the hallmarks of government being advised by a group of experts in the limelight, in thrall to groupthink, and with far too cosy a consensus to do effective science.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/09/25/the-making-of-britains-covid-catastrophe/

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Opinion

Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives – Dr. Mike Yeadon

I believe I have identified a serious, really a fatal flaw in the PCR test used in what is called by the UK Government the Pillar 2 screening – that is, testing many people out in their communities. I’m going to go through this with care and in detail because I’m a scientist and dislike where this investigation takes me. 

…In the last 40 years alone the UK has had seven official epidemics/pandemics; AIDS, Swine flu, CJD, SARS, MERS, Bird flu as well as annual, seasonal flu. All were very worrying but schools remained open and the NHS treated everybody and most of the population were unaffected. The country would rarely have been open if it had been shut down every time.

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News

Common colds ‘may account for some reported COVID-19 cases’, PHE survey says – Sky News

Rising cases of the common cold could be giving a false picture of the spread of coronavirus among children.

Public Health England’s weekly coronavirus report shows a rise of almost 23% in rhinovirus infections, which include the common cold, in the last week.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-common-colds-may-account-for-some-reported-covid-19-cases-phe-survey-says-12075554

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News

‘Confounding’: Covid may have already peaked in many African countries – The Guardian

The coronavirus pandemic has peaked earlier than expected in many African countries, confounding early predictions, experts have told MPs.

Scientists do not yet know why, but one hypothesis is the possibility of people having pre-existing immunity to Covid-19, caused by exposure to other infections.

Prof Francesco Checchi, a specialist in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told MPs it was “broadly” true that coronavirus had not behaved in expected ways in African countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and Somalia.

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/sep/16/confounding-covid-may-have-already-peaked-africa

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News

The 1% blunder: How a simple but fatal math mistake by US Covid-19 experts caused the world to panic and order lockdowns – Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, RT

But where did this one percent figure come from? You may find this hard to believe, but this figure emerged by mistake. A pretty major thing to make a mistake about, but that’s what happened.

In order to understand what happened, you have to understand the difference between two medical terms that sound the same – but are completely different. [IFR and CFR.]

CFR will always be far higher than the IFR. With influenza, the CFR is around ten times as high as the IFR. Covid seems to have a similar proportion.

Now, clearly, you do not want to get these figures mixed up. By doing so you would either wildly overestimate, or wildly underestimate, the impact of Covid. But mix these figures up, they did.

…we’ve had all the deaths we were ever going to get. And which also means that lockdown achieved, almost precisely nothing with regard to Covid. No deaths were prevented.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/500000-covid19-math-mistake-panic/

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News

Coronavirus: Tests ‘could be picking up dead virus’ – BBC

The main test used to diagnose coronavirus is so sensitive it could be picking up fragments of dead virus from old infections, scientists say.

Most people are infectious only for about a week, but could test positive weeks afterwards.

Researchers say this could be leading to an over-estimate of the current scale of the pandemic.

But some experts say it is uncertain how a reliable test can be produced that doesn’t risk missing cases.

Prof Carl Heneghan, one of the study’s authors, said instead of giving a “yes/no” result based on whether any virus is detected, tests should have a cut-off point so that very small amounts of virus do not trigger a positive result.

He believes the detection of traces of old virus could partly explain why the number of cases is rising while hospital admissions remain stable.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54000629

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News

CDC Quietly Admits That Less than 10,000 Really Died from COVID-19

Last weekend the CDC drastically downgraded the number of COVID deaths and noted that in truth less than 10,000 died of the virus.

The media is in love with the idea that 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19, but last weekend the CDC drastically downgraded the number of deaths and noted that in truth less than 10,000 died solely of the virus.

As it turns out, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website recently reported that very few died solely of the virus. Out of the 161,392 deaths in the CDC data, just six percent (9,700) were attributed to the coronavirus alone. In all the rest of the deaths, COVID was either only one contributor to death or was merely present in the system at the end.

https://thewashingtonsentinel.com/cdc-quietly-admits-that-less-than-10000-really-died-from-covid-19/

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News Opinion

Nine out of 10 people in England live in areas that haven’t seen a Covid case in a MONTH and fresh lockdown based on ‘dodgy data’ is not needed, professor says – Daily Mail

Nine out a 10 people in England live in areas that have not seen a Covid-19 case in a month and new lockdowns are not needed, an expert has said.

Professor John Clancy, from Birmingham University, has warned that fears of another shutdown are based on ‘dodgy data.’

Writing in a blog, he said: ”91 per cent of England (that’s 51million people) live in neighbourhoods where there hasn’t been a recorded Covid-19 case in the last 4 weeks.’

He added: ‘So-called ‘spikes’ are occurring here, there, and everywhere up and down the country because new testing regimes are causing them either with false positives, picking up residual infections or (usually more likely) suddenly increased testing in specific areas.’ 

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News

STATS WRONG Coronavirus hospital admissions were over-counted as recovered patients returning without Covid included in stats – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS hospital admissions were over-counted at the peak of the pandemic as recovered patients returning to wards without Covid were included in the stats.

An investigation for the Government’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) found that people were being counted as ‘Covid hospital admissions’ if they had EVER had the virus.

Government figures show that, at the peak of the pandemic in early April, nearly 20,000 people a week were being admitted to hospital with coronavirus – but the true figure is now unknown because of the problem with over-counting.

This over-counting mirrors the problems with data for coronavirus deaths – where people who had died of other causes were being included in Covid-19 statistics if they had once tested positive.

Professor Graham Medley, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, asked by Sage to look into the situation, told The Telegraph: “By June, it was becoming clear that people were being admitted to hospital for non-Covid reasons who had tested positive many weeks before.

“Consequently, the NHS revised its situation report to accommodate this.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/uknews/12459291/coronavirus-hospital-admissions-stats-overcount/

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Opinion

Half a million Covid deaths was ABSURD we are being DUPED, says RICHARD MADELEY – The Express

We have consistently (and I’d say flagrantly) over-estimated the threat of Covid-19, starting with the absurd prediction of 500,000 deaths by Imperial College London’s Professor Neil Ferguson. Data experts who later reviewed the computer code used in the professor’s model described it as “a mess which would get you fired in private industry”…

The trashing of the economy, the worst recession in our history, avoidable deaths at home with people too frightened to go to hospital for fear of catching the virus, chaos in education, the explosion in domestic violence, steep rises in anxiety, depression, and heavy drinking?

No. Lockdown will come to be seen as one of the most catastrophic misjudgments a British government has ever made.

https://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/richard-and-judy/1323175/coronavirus-lockdown-figures-covid-19-death-toll

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News

England death count review reduces UK toll by 5,000 – BBC

A review of how deaths from coronavirus are counted in England has reduced the UK death toll by more than 5,000, to 41,329, the government has announced.

The new methodology for counting deaths means the total number of people in the UK who have died from Covid-19 comes down from 46,706 to 41,329 – a reduction of 12%.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53722711

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News

Daily covid death count could be scrapped – The Telegraph

  • A review will examine reports that officials were “over-exaggerating” the number of deaths from coronavirus.
  • On July 17, the Health Secretary asked PHE to urgently investigate the way daily death statistics had been reported, leading PHE to say it was “pausing” the daily release.
  • Under the previous system, anyone who has ever tested positive for the virus in England was automatically counted as a coronavirus death when they died, even if the death was from a car accident.
  • Weekly rather than daily counts could help improve accuracy for future death counts, but could also make it harder to draw comparisons in the event of a second wave of the virus.
  • Prof Carl Heneghan, director at Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, has called for a cut-off period for the way the death toll is calculated in England of 21 days.
  • Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, reportedly holds the view that excess deaths are the best measure to use, which will be unaffected by the PHE review.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/08/09/daily-covid-death-count-could-scrapped/