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Opinion

Free us from this futile cycle of Covid contagion and control – Dr. John Lee, Daily Mail

Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public. Indeed, Matt Hancock nearly said as much this week. They lead to only economic meltdown, social despair and direct harms to health from other causes.

In fact, lockdowns may be worse than just useless. There is some science to suggest – perhaps ironically – they actually drive the disease to spread more easily.

This danger lies in the evolutionary nature of the coronavirus. Like all viruses it mutates all the time. More than 20,000 variants of the Covid-19 virus have already been identified, which is why it is so wrong of the Government to whip up hysteria over two new strains, a reportedly more infectious strain in the South East of the UK and a ‘South African’ strain.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201226031137/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9088271/DR-JOHN-LEE-Free-futile-cycle-Covid-contagion-control.html

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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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Opinion Videos

If you don’t get angry, you’re condemned to this for life and so are your children – Peter Hitchens, talkRadio

  • The ‘new strain’ of coronavirus that put London into Tier 4 was down to more computer modelling from Neil Ferguson.
  • The government deliberately resorted to fear.
  • The damage done to our standing in the world is permanent.
  • The government is doing something it should not do and has no justification.
  • The whole notion of the mutant strain is completely constructed.
  • NERVTAG is full of psychologists who are experts in frightening people.
  • If you don’t get angry, this will never go away.
  • There is no evidence that this new variant is any more infection that the old one.
  • Historically medical beliefs are often wrong.
  • Fighting this thing is probably the most important thing we’ve ever done in our lives.
Categories
Opinion

Top German Covid expert pours scorn on Boris Johnson’s ‘mutant strain’ claims, saying ‘politicians simply called it 70% more infectious’ – Daily Mail

A top German virologist heavily played down fears about Britain’s mutant virus strain today, saying he was ‘not so worried’ and questioning Boris Johnson’s claim that it is 70 per cent more infectious.

Christian Drosten said the 70 per cent figure was ‘simply called that’, suggesting that preliminary scientific estimates might have been overblown by politicians.  

https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9075233/Top-German-virologist-plays-fears-Britains-mutant-strain.html

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Opinion Videos

Will putting London into Tier 3 cripple the economy? – Dr. John Lee, talkRADIO

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Publications

No evidence for increased transmissibility from recurrent mutations in SARS-CoV-2 – Nature

COVID-19 is caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which jumped into the human population in late 2019 from a currently uncharacterised animal reservoir. Due to this recent association with humans, SARS-CoV-2 may not yet be fully adapted to its human host. This has led to speculations that SARS-CoV-2 may be evolving towards higher transmissibility. The most plausible mutations under putative natural selection are those which have emerged repeatedly and independently (homoplasies). Here, we formally test whether any homoplasies observed in SARS-CoV-2 to date are significantly associated with increased viral transmission. To do so, we develop a phylogenetic index to quantify the relative number of descendants in sister clades with and without a specific allele. We apply this index to a curated set of recurrent mutations identified within a dataset of 46,723 SARS-CoV-2 genomes isolated from patients worldwide. We do not identify a single recurrent mutation in this set convincingly associated with increased viral transmission. Instead, recurrent mutations currently in circulation appear to be evolutionary neutral and primarily induced by the human immune system via RNA editing, rather than being signatures of adaptation. At this stage we find no evidence for significantly more transmissible lineages of SARS-CoV-2 due to recurrent mutations.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201125121534/https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19818-2

Categories
Publications

No evidence for increased transmissibility from recurrent mutations in SARS-CoV-2 – Nature

We do not identify a single recurrent mutation in this set convincingly associated with increased viral transmission. Instead, recurrent mutations currently in circulation appear to be evolutionary neutral and primarily induced by the human immune system via RNA editing, rather than being signatures of adaptation. At this stage we find no evidence for significantly more transmissible lineages of SARS-CoV-2 due to recurrent mutations.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201125121534/https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19818-2

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News

Coronavirus is weakening, could die out on its own without a vaccine and patients now survive infections that would have killed them at start of the pandemic, claims Italian expert – Daily Mail

Professor Matteo Bassetti said he is convinced the virus is ‘changing in severity’ and patients are now surviving infections that would have killed them before.

And if the virus’s weakening is true, Covid-19 could even disappear without a for a vaccine by becoming so weak it dies out on its own, he claimed. 

Professor Bassetti suggests this could be because of a genetic mutation in the virus making it less lethal, because of improved treatments, or because people are not getting infected with such large doses because of social distancing. 

But other scientists have hit back at the claims in the past and said there is no scientific evidence that the virus has changed at all.

At the start of June, in response to Professor Bassetti’s claim, Dr Angela Rasmussen, from Columbia University, tweeted: ‘There is no evidence that the virus is losing potency anywhere.’ 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8444151/Coronavirus-withered-aggressive-tiger-wild-cat-Italian-scientist-claims.html