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Opinion

‘The lockdown is causing so many deaths’ – Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Spiked

Lockdown deaths:

The really concerning thing is that if all the deaths taking place during lockdown are put down as Covid-19 deaths, we are going to miss the fact that the lockdown policies have caused an increase in deaths from many other things. There has been a 50 per cent reduction in people turning up to A&E. It is clear that people just do not want to bother the doctors. And a number of these people will be dying. If we muddle the Covid-19 statistics in with the other statistics, we might think the lockdown has prevented a certain number of deaths, when it has actually caused a large number of deaths.

NHS capacity:

You hear this idea that all NHS staff have been working 20 times as hard as they have ever done. This is complete nonsense. An awful lot of people have been standing around wondering what the hell to do with themselves. A&E has never been so quiet.

The chances of children dying from COVID-19:

How many people aged 15 or under have died of Covid-19? Four. The chance of dying from a lightning strike is one in 700,000. The chance of dying of Covid-19 in that age group is one in 3.5million. And we locked them all down. Even among the 15- to 44-year-olds, the death rate is very low and the vast majority of deaths have been people who had significant underlying health conditions. We locked them down as well. We locked down the population that had virtually zero risk of getting any serious problems from the disease, and then spread it wildly among the highly vulnerable age group.

On vaccines:

It is not clear that getting the virus actually makes you immune to it in the future, and it is not clear a vaccine would either.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/06/26/the-lockdown-is-causing-so-many-deaths/

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Publications

What Went Wrong Corona and the World after the Full Stop – Dr. Carlo Caduff, King’s College of London

The failure to take into account the impact of extreme measures that have become the norm inmany places in the Covid-19 pandemic has been stunning. The destruction of lives and livelihoods in the name of survival will haunt us for decades.

Today’s fear is fueled by four main forces:
1. Mathematical disease modelling – a flexible and highly adaptable tool for prediction, mixing calculations with speculations, often based on
codes that are kept secret and assumptions that are difficult to scrutinize from the outside.
2. Neoliberal policies –systematic disinvestments in public health and medical care that have created fragile systems unable to cope with the crisis.
3. Nervous media reporting – an endless stream of information, obsessed with absolute numbers, exploiting the lack of trust in the healthcare infrastructure and magnifying the fear of collapsing systems.
4. Authoritarian longings – a deep desire for sovereign rule, which derives pleasure from destruction and tries to push the world to the edge of collapse so that it can be rebuilt from the scratch.

https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/carlo-caduff

https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/what-went-wrong-corona-and-the-world-after-the-full-stop(a4abc6eb-e1b7-4c18-9349-8e36c04826d0).html

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Publications

Comment on Flaxman et al. (2020): The illusory effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe – Professor Stefan Homburg

Flaxman et al. (Nature, 8 June 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2405-7, 2020) infer that non-pharmaceutical interventions conducted by several European countries considerably reduced effective reproduction numbers and saved millions of lives. We show that their method is ill-conceived and that the alleged effects are artefacts. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.

https://advance.sagepub.com/articles/Comment_on_Flaxman_et_al_2020_The_illusory_effects_of_non-pharmaceutical_interventions_on_COVID-19_in_Europe/12479987/1

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Publications

UK Covid-19 infection peak may have fallen before lockdown, new analysis shows – Professor Simon Wood, University of Bristol

By simply separating out weekly reporting variability, the long-term death rate profile becomes clear, and its peak can be located with confidence. Using the distribution of times from disease onset to death, it is possible to extend the model to infer the time course of fatal infections required to produce the later deaths. Because of the wide variability in onset to death times, a quite sharply peaked infection curve produces a death curve that declines only slowly. The inferred infection curve peaks a few days before lockdown, with fatal infections now likely to be occurring at a much-reduced rate.

Diagram shows the inferred time course of the number of fatal infections, where day 0 is March 13th. The continuous curve is the median estimate. The dashed curves delimit 80% and 95% credible intervals. The vertical grey line shows day of lock down. The overlaid scaled bar chart summarizes the probability distribution for the day of the infection peak.

http://bristol.ac.uk/maths/news/2020/peak-lockdown.html

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Publications

Coronamania? Covid-19 never grew exponentially – the threat was misunderstood

There was no exponential growth in Covid-19 infections the UK. From the first days of the outbreak growth rates were in decline.

The following chart produced by financial strategist Alistair Haimes should put the above question to rest (compare it with the above chart).

The left hand side starts in March 2020 when the UK had had its first 300 infections and then stops at 10 April when Europe as a whole had reached a growth rate of zero or less. The chart is analogous to the above chart of interest rates. If you cannot distinguish the different colours and European countries don’t worry too much (UK is dark blue) as they all show the same overall pattern. The trends are all downwards, from start to finish.

http://inproportion2.talkigy.com/exponential_or_not.html

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Videos

The epidemic is on its way out – Professor Sunetra Gupta, UnHerd

We spoke to Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and head of the team that released a study in March which speculated that as much as 50% of the population may already have been infected and the true Infection Fatality Rate could be as low as 0.1%.

In her first major interview since the Oxford study was published, she goes further by arguing that Covid-19 has already passed through the population and is now on its way out. She said:

On antibodies:
• Many of the antibody tests are “extremely unreliable”
• They do not indicate the true level of exposure or level of immunity • “Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we’ve observed is almost a uniform pattern of behaviour”
• “Much of the driving force was due to the build-up of immunity”

On IFR:

• “Infection Fatality Rate is less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000.”
• That would be somewhere between 0.1% and 0.01%

On lockdown policy:
• Referring to the Imperial model: “Should we act on a possible worst case scenario, given the costs of lockdown? It seems to me that given that the costs of lockdown are mounting that case is becoming more and more fragile”
• Recommends “a more rapid exit from lockdown based more on certain heuristics, like who is dying and what is happening to the death rates”

On the UK Government response:
• “We might have done better by doing nothing at all, or at least by doing something different, which would have been to pay attention to protecting the vulnerable”

On the R rate:
• It is “principally dependent on how many people are immune” and we don’t have that information.
• Deaths are the only reliable measure.

On New York:
• “When you have pockets of vulnerable people it might rip through those pockets in a way that it wouldn’t if the vulnerable people were more scattered within the general population.”

On social distancing:
• “Remaining in a state of lockdown is extremely dangerous”
• “We used to live in a state approximating lockdown 100 years ago, and that was what created the conditions for the Spanish Flu to come in and kill 50m people.”

On next steps:
• “It is very dangerous to talk about lockdown without recognising the enormous costs that it has on other vulnerable sectors in the population”
• It is a “strong possibility” that if we return to full normal tomorrow — pubs, nightclubs, festivals — we would be fine.

On the politics of Covid:
• “There is a sort of libertarian argument for the release of lockdown, and I think it is unfortunate that those of us who feel we should think differently about lockdown”
• “The truth is that lockdown is a luxury, and it’s a luxury that the middle classes are enjoying and higher income countries are enjoying at the expense of the poor, the vulnerable and less developed countries.”

Categories
Opinion

Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time – The Telegraph

Imperial College’s modelling of non-pharmaceutical interventions for Covid-19 which helped persuade the UK and other countries to bring in draconian lockdowns will supersede the failed Venus space probe and could go down in history as the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost.

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Opinion

We, the undersigned software engineers, call for any papers based on this codebase to be immediately retracted

…when a codebase is used to craft scholarly publications that are in turn used to influence public policy, the authors of those publications (and ultimately policy) need to ensure that the science is verifiable in a public sense. The lack of tests makes that an impossibility. So closure of this Issue, by retraction of studies based on it, is meant as a critique of the publication and policy authors, not the contributors to this repo

https://github.com/mrc-ide/covid-sim/issues/165

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Opinion

OF BITS, BUGS AND RESPONSIBILITY IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE

…for thirteen years, taxpayer funding from the MRC went to Ferguson and his team, and all it produced was code that violated one of the most fundamental precepts of good software development – intelligibility.

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Opinion

I have Reviewed Ferguson’s Code – It’s a Joke

This Ferguson Model is such a joke it is either an outright fraud, or it is the most inept piece of programming I may have ever seen in my life. There is no valid test to warrant any funding of Imperial College for providing ANY forecast based upon this model. This is the most UNPROFESSIONAL operation perhaps in computer science. The entire team should be disbanded and an independent team put in place to review the world of Neil Ferguson and he should NOT be allowed to oversee any review of this model.

Categories
Opinion

Is the chilling truth that the decision to impose lockdown was based on crude mathematical guesswork? – The Telegraph

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College “stepped back” from the Sage group advising ministers when his lockdown-busting romantic trysts were exposed. Perhaps he should have been dropped for a more consequential misstep. Details of the model his team built to predict the epidemic are emerging and they are not pretty. In the respective words of four experienced modellers, the code is “deeply riddled” with bugs, “a fairly arbitrary Heath Robinson machine”, has “huge blocks of code – bad practice” and is “quite possibly the worst production code I have ever seen”.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/10/chilling-truth-decision-impose-lockdown-based-crude-mathematical/

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News Opinion

The Grand Delusion: Bail-out billions shield us from the reality – our economy is in tatters – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

  • Just 11 people under the age of 20 have succumbed to Covid-19.
  • Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College has a dismal record as a forecaster.
  • There’s the possibility that the lockdown has actually made the virus more deadly.
  • Bank of England warned that if the lockdown is extended until June the economy could shrink by 14 per cent this year.
  • More than one-in-five adults now furloughed on 80per cent of their wages.
  • A fifth of the working-age population could be jobless and the quality of people’s mental and physical health would plummet.
  • Every day, about 1,700 people die in Britain. Only five years ago, in the winter of 2014/15, more than 28,000 people died from seasonal flu, not far off the current coronavirus death toll of just over 30,000.
  • Direct evidence to support the two-metre rule is weak, and based almost entirely on modelling rather than real life.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8302055/Bail-billions-anaesthetise-reality-economy-tatters.html

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Opinion

Code Review of Ferguson’s Model

All papers based on this code should be retracted immediately. Imperial’s modelling efforts should be reset with a new team that isn’t under Professor Ferguson, and which has a commitment to replicable results with published code from day one. 

On a personal level, I’d go further and suggest that all academic epidemiology be defunded. This sort of work is best done by the insurance sector. Insurers employ modellers and data scientists, but also employ managers whose job is to decide whether a model is accurate enough for real world usage and professional software engineers to ensure model software is properly tested, understandable and so on. Academic efforts don’t have these people, and the results speak for themselves.

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Opinion

‘Professor Lockdown’ Modeler Resigns in Disgrace – National Review

Indeed, Ferguson’s Imperial College model has been proven wildly inaccurate. To cite just one example, it saw Sweden paying a huge price for no lockdown, with 40,000 COVID deaths by May 1, and 100,000 by June. Sweden now has 2,854 deaths and peaked two weeks ago. As Fraser Nelson, editor of Britain’s Spectator, notes: “Imperial College’s model is wrong by an order of magnitude.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/professor-lockdown-modeler-resigns-in-disgrace/

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News Videos

Coronavirus: Is the government really ‘following the science’? – BBC Newsnight

Throughout the UK’s coronavirus crisis, the government has stressed its response has been guided not by ideology; not by politics – but by the science. So what are the scientific justifications for lockdown?

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News

Coronavirus lockdown could lead to nearly 1.5 million extra TB deaths, modelling study finds – The Telegraph

Disruption to tuberculosis services due to the Covid-19 pandemic could lead to as many as 6.3 million additional cases of TB and 1.4 million deaths worldwide over the next five years, a new study has shown

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-lockdown-could-lead-nearly-15-million-extra-tb-deaths/

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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”

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Videos

Perspectives on the Pandemic | Professor Knut Wittkowski Update Interview | Episode 5

This video has been removed by YouTube so a Bitchute mirror is provided below. Please wait after pressing the play button. It may take longer than usual to load the video.

  • Professor Neil Ferguson was not doing science.
  • Lockdowns are worse than useless.
  • It was known to everyone that the lockdown would cause a catastrophe.
  • Isolating nursing homes would have prevented the load of hospitals.
  • The lockdown approach taken by most governments was a human catastrophe that should never have happened.
  • All we have done is slowed the spread of herd immunity and increased the risk to the elderly.
  • We have wasted a lot of time, money and lives.
  • The spread of respiratory diseases are predictable and relatively short.
  • Bill Gate’s comments about the need to lockdown until a vaccine is ready is absurd and has nothing to do with reality.
  • We don’t need a vaccine for COVID-19.
  • “I don’t know where the government finds these so-called experts who very obviously don’t understand the very basics of epidemiology.”
  • Tragic stories from some doctors are not representative of the general experience. We don’t stop living our lives because something goes wrong in a particular place.
  • The Swedish approach shows that the draconian measures taken in other countries were unnecessary.
  • We may see a ‘Second Wave’ rebound but it may be low.
  • There is no reason to believe that COVID-19 will be fundamentally different from other coronaviruses.
  • Having a novel virus is not novel.
  • We have no science about the effect of social distancing.
  • The COVID-19 disaster is a failure of the people to take control of the government.
  • There is no reason to wait before opening up schools and businesses.

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News Opinion

Coronavirus Lockdown and What You Are Not Being Told Part 2 – Off-Guardian

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Videos

Perspectives on the Pandemic | Dr. John Ioannidis Update: 4.17.20 | Episode 4