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News

BEL MOONEY: My dad Ted passed three Covid tests and died of a chronic illness yet he’s officially one of Britain’s 120,000 victims of the virus and is far from alone… so how many more are there? – Daily Mail

This is not because Ted Mooney contracted coronavirus in the very good (and expensive, it must be said) care home three miles from our house, as statistics will now state. 

Because he did not. Yet the principal cause of death is set down officially as Covid-19 — and that, in my view, is a bizarre and unacceptable untruth.

…They agreed that, yes, it must distort the national figures — ‘and yet the strangest thing is that every winter we record countless deaths from flu, and this winter there have been none. Not one!’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9279767/BEL-MOONEY-dad-died-chronic-illness-hes-officially-Covid-victim.html

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News

Children did NOT play a key role in spreading coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic and are ‘unlikely’ to have boosted infection numbers, study finds – Daily Mail

  • German researchers enrolled nearly 2,500 parents and their children in a study 
  • Found three times as many adults had coronavirus antibodies than children
  • Data also shows a previously infected adult and an uninfected child was 4.3 times more common than a previously infected child and an uninfected parent

Children are unlikely to have played a significant role in the spread of coronavirus during the first wave last year, a study shows.

Throughout the pandemic it has become increasingly evident children are less affected by Covid-19; symptoms, severe disease and death figures in children are all much lower than would be expected when compared to the rest of the population. 

Figures from Public Health England (PHE) show the current risk of dying from coronavirus if infected is 1,513 per 100,000 people for over-80s, but for children aged five to nine, this is just 0.1 per 100,000. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20210122182806/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-9176751/Children-NOT-play-key-role-spreading-coronavirus.html

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Opinion

Analysis: Why the second Covid wave is nothing like the first – The Telegraph

This means that at least 20,000 people who died from coronavirus last year would have been likely to have died from something else. The figure is likely to be higher because many more people have died from the impact of lockdown and cuts to NHS services, which will also be caught in the excess figures. 

https://web.archive.org/web/20210120202342/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/01/18/analysis-second-wave-nothing-like-first/

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Opinion

Boiling the bioethical frog – The Critic

This hunger games scenario of a middle-aged, potentially pre-infected and already immune health secretary taking a nominal, rushed, improperly trialled novel-technology vaccine after the pandemic has already passed on live TV is as unethical and obscene as any of the propaganda we have been subjected to. What have we become? If it happens, the supposed vaccinator, the TV station, the secretary of state, and the vaccine company should all be roundly condemned. It proves nothing and risks everything. Obnoxious and dangerous as he is, he hasn’t a clue what might happen to him. He is still that sacred thing: somebody’s patient. A power-crazed, ignorant man for whom the mantras “whatever it takes” and the “end justifies the means” are dear, offering himself for a macabre, televised ritual sacrifice fit for the Incas to appease his political masters. It is truly grotesque. There is no medical reason for him to have these chemicals.

https://thecritic.co.uk/boiling-the-bioethical-frog/

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News

Top scientific advisers rake in £400k: Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are earning a fortune during Covid-19 pandemic and have appeared on the list of best-paid civil servants for the first time – Daily Mail

  • Professor Chris Whitty is paid between £205,000 and £210,000, it was revealed 
  • Meanwhile the chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance is on up to £185,000
  • Thirty officials at soon-to-be scrapped Public Health England earn more than £150,000

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9061223/Top-scientific-advisers-rake-400k.html

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Publications

Weekly national Influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report – Public Health England

Figure 49: Daily excess all-cause deaths in all ages, England, 1 January 2020 to 2 December 2020

https://web.archive.org/web/20201210142405/https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/942969/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w50_FINAL.PDF

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News

Data showing rising cases before second lockdown quietly revised down – Telegraph

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data – which showed soaring coronavirus cases before the second lockdown – has been quietly revised down and now suggests that cases were largely plateauing at the time, it has emerged.

Many experts have complained that the data presented by the Government ahead of the lockdown was “riddled with errors” and exaggerated the need for a second lockdown, while Greg Clark, the chairman of the Commons science and technology committee, said the belated admission of errors was “of great concern”.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201208165734/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/12/08/data-showing-rising-cases-second-lockdown-quietly-revised/

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News

Quarter of people may already be immune to coronavirus – even though many have never been infected – The Telegraph

PHE researchers believe people with high levels of T-cells likely to have picked up immunity from coronaviruses like common cold

A quarter of people may already be immune to coronavirus even though many of them have never been infected, a new study by Public Health England (PHE) suggests.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/11/19/many-could-immune-covid-despite-never-having-infected-study/

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Opinion Publications

When good science is suppressed by the medical-political complex, people die – BMJ

The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4425

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News

Regulator criticises data used to justify lockdown – BBC

The government has been criticised by the official statistics watchdog for the way it presented data to justify England’s second lockdown.

The UK Statistics Authority highlighted the use of modelling at Saturday’s TV briefing showing the possible death toll from Covid this winter.

It said there needed to be more transparency about data and how predictions were being made.

The projections were out of date and over-estimated deaths, it has emerged…

It is understood the graph was used by the two senior advisers in meetings last week where the decision to impose a nationwide lockdown in England was made.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54831334

Categories
Opinion

The Covid Physician’s true coronavirus timeline – The Critic

Our mission: save the NHS by neglecting ourselves and the NHS. I received numerous CCG advice and flow-charts on the coronavirus-centric mass processing of patients. Most of it was about whom not to see, and who could pass the pearly gates of the hospitals. Then there was the advice on the parallel IT and video-consultation medical industrial revolution: our new NHS normal.

…For clarity, the “D” in coronavirus means “disease”, the second “S” in SARS-CoV-2 means “syndrome”. In a sense, the WHO had already decided Covid-19 was a distinct disease entity caused by a novel coronavirus before characterising it as a syndrome called SARS-2, and before the naming of the virus as SARS-CoV-2. The importance of scientific syntax and semantics cannot be overemphasised. Such cognitive slip-ups trickle unnoticed into general parlance and may have fatal consequences for us as a species.

Without a definite cause, one cannot definitively conclude to treat anything in particular. Is Covid-19 a syndrome, a mixed bag of symptoms and signs that has been negligently and politically globally fast-tracked to a scientifically wrong conclusion? Is it, in practice, a conflation of different, distinct disease entities including influenzae, rhinoviruses, pneumoniae and other coronaviruses, not to mention other non-infectious phenomena?

https://thecritic.co.uk/the-covid-physicians-true-coronavirus-timeline/

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Visitor Contributions

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

In the interest of public debate, we allow visitors to share opinions, experiences and research that may be of value to others. This is a visitor contribution from our Discussions page.

The views expressed are those of the individual posters themselves. Please read our Comments and contributions disclaimer.

Author

George Michael

  • Credentials: Physics graduate, University College London (UCL); Senior Research Analyst
  • Contact: LinkedIn

The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world at a horrific scale, and people are trying to form their own opinions — rightly so — on topics ranging from disease severity to government policy. However, the general public are not exposed to a consistent flow of reliable information, so many are suffering from fear, confusion, and isolation, exacerbated by extreme differences in opinion on how seriously any aspect of the pandemic should be taken. These are the problems that this report aims to address.

Read the full article on Medium: The SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic

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News

Has Covid killed off the flu? Experts pose the intriguing question as influenza cases nosedive by 98% across the globe – Daily Mail

There’s just one curious problem: flu, it seems, has all but vanished.

The disappearing act began as Covid-19 rolled in towards the end of our flu season in March. And just how swiftly rates have plummeted can be observed in ‘surveillance’ data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8875201/Has-Covid-killed-flu.html

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News

I’m almost starting to think this whole pandemic really is a conspiracy – The Telegraph

Exact approximations vary but the survival rate for Covid-19 is thought to be somewhere above 99 per cent, and maybe as high as 99.8 per cent.

…The average age of someone who dies from coronavirus is 82.4, which, by the way, is nearly identical to the average life expectancy in Britain (81.1).

…In the first week of October, there were 91,013 cases of coronavirus reported in England and Wales, and 343 Covid-related deaths. That same week a total of 9,954 people died from various causes. Of those, just 4.4 per cent of the death certificates mentioned Covid-19.

https://web.archive.org/web/20201021001219/https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/comment/almost-starting-think-whole-pandemic-really-conspiracy/

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News

How Bolton only has TWO Covid-19 patients in hospital despite being England’s locked-down virus hotspot – and there are 141 people on wards across all 18 ‘intervention’ areas – Daily Mail

Public Health England has listed 18 areas of intervention with stricter rules

They had only a combined 141 people in hospital as of September 3, NHS shows

One person in hospital for every 38,000 in a population of over 5.4million 

Despite an infection rate of more than 120 cases per 100,000 people and local lockdown rules preventing people from meeting anyone they don’t live with, fears about the virus spreading translate to only two people in hospital.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8744625/How-locked-Bolton-TWO-Covid-19-patients-hospital.html

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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/

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News

Thousands of coronavirus deaths ‘will be wiped off the government’s official toll’ after urgent review into counting fiasco – Daily Mail

  • Public Health England was miscounting coronavirus death, official review found.
  • Could see up to 4,000 deaths removed  from England’s official toll of 41,749, or 10 per cent.
  • Ministers count victims as anyone who died after ever testing positive for Covid-19 — even if they were hit by a bus after beating the disease months later.
  • The statistical flaw was uncovered by Oxford University’s Professor Carl Heneghan and Dr Yoon Loke, from the University of East Anglia.
  • The Office for National Statistics, another Government agency, also records Covid-19 deaths, and is considered the most reliable source.
  • The ONS — which is not affected by the counting method — has confirmed at least 51,596 people have died in England and Wales up to July 24.
  • Around 58 Brits are now succumbing to the life-threatening infection each day, on average.
  • The deaths data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.
  • Department of Health bosses say 820 Britons are now being struck down with the life-threatening virus every day, on average. The rate has been rising since dropping to a four-month low of 546 on July 8.
  • The number of patients being admitted to hospital has yet to spike, bolstering claims from top scientists that the outbreak is not getting worse and cases are only rising because more patients are being tested.
  • Just 109 coronavirus patients were admitted for NHS care across the UK on August 2 — a figure which has barely changed throughout July. During the darkest days of Britain’s crisis in April, around 3,500 patients were needing hospital treatment every day.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8599213/Thousands-Covid-19-deaths-wiped-governments-official-toll-counting-fiasco.html

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News

Panic over rising Covid-19 case numbers is as irrational as it is dangerous – The Telegraph

Why is anyone interested in the number of recorded cases of Covid 19? It might sound a daft question, given that we are in the middle of a pandemic, but it ought to be clear to anyone who spends a few minutes digging around the figures that it is a meaningless statistic. Count deaths, by all means, hospital admissions, ICU admissions – but as for the official figures of how many people have tested positive for the disease, it is pointless worrying about them.

Why? First, because we are only – and only ever have been – detecting a small fraction of total cases of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid 19. Take the UK. Officially, as of Monday evening, there have been 300,111 recorded cases of Covid 19. Yet serological tests by Public Health England suggest that 6.5 per cent of the population of England have antibodies suggesting they have at some point been infected with the virus – which works out at 4.2 million. In other words, the official count has only managed to capture one in 14 cases of the disease. Why so few? Because in the vast majority of cases – between 70 and 80 per cent according to some estimates – Covid 19 causes no symptoms whatsoever. Those infected have no reason to assume they are infected, no need to seek medical attention and no reason to seek being tested.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/28/panic-rising-covid-19-case-numbers-irrational-dangerous/