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News Opinion

The only ‘circuit break’ in the pandemic we need now is from the government’s doom-mongering scientific advisers who specialise in causing panic and little else, say PROF CARL HENEGHAN and DR TOM JEFFERSON – Daily Mail

  • ‘Circuit break’ may be a grave error with terrible consequences for the health of the British people and for the health of the country.
  • The Government is once again in the grip of doom-mongering scientific modellers who specialise in causing panic.
  • The latest reliable data from Spain (up to September 3) which does not indicate any sort of upward curve in infections, let alone one coming to get us here in Britain.
  • Anyone with clinical experience of dealing with respiratory viruses knows that the only certainty is uncertainty itself.
  • Making comparisons between countries using different national data with different definitions is no more useful than trying to compare apples and pears.
  • Latest study shows that nearly a third of all Covid-19 deaths recorded in July and August might have actually been the result of other causes –cancer, for example, or road traffic accidents.
  • Sweden has probably suppressed Covid-19 to the same level as Great Britain but without draconian measures.
  • Anyone going down with a new respiratory illness is likely to be suffering from a cold – not Covid.

Covid-19 accounts for an average of 11 of the 1,687 deaths in Britain every day, according to official statistics.

CauseUK deaths per day
Heart disease460
Cancer450
Dementia240
Flu and pneumonia124
Lung disease84
Accidents at home16
Infections16
Suicide15
COVID-1911
Road accidents5

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8751389/Oxford-scientists-circuit-break-need-cycle-bad-data-bad-science.html

Categories
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

UK virus testing firm with missed targets and friends in high places – The Sunday Times

The UK’s biggest Covid-19 testing laboratory is prioritising Premiership Rugby players and travellers to Dubai while failing to meet government targets for the public, according to company insiders.

Randox Laboratories, based in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland, was handed a £133m testing contract in March — no other company was given the opportunity to bid for the work. It is responsible for a quarter of community tests in the UK.

However, leaked documents marked “sensitive” reveal that it regularly fails to provide test results within the official 24-hour target. On September 9, Randox completed fewer than one in 10 tests on time. It has also “voided” more tests than any laboratory — meaning the number it throws away because of errors.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/uk-virus-testing-firm-with-missed-targets-and-friends-in-high-places-bggtkk329

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Opinion

This second wave of coronavirus is simply not as deadly… if we panic, so many more lives will be lost, says PROFESSOR KAROL SIKORA – Daily Mail

Britain is now in grave danger of sleepwalking into a second national lockdown. The consequences of doing so would be disastrous.

We find ourselves in this wretched position partly because the Government’s main achievement since the pandemic first emerged in China has not been suppressing the virus or saving lives or the economy, but in spreading irrational fear.

  • A blanket lockdown is the last thing we should be contemplating if we are serious about the nation’s mental and physical well-being.
  • This second wave or will not trigger the explosion in deaths we saw in the spring.
  • Not a single young child has died in the UK from Covid without some other serious pre-existing condition.
  • According to Cambridge statistician Sir David Spiegelhalter, anyone under 50 is more likely to die in a car crash than from the virus.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8748883/This-second-wave-coronavirus-simply-not-deadly-says-PROFESSOR-KAROL-SIKORA.html

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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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Videos

Dr Mike Yeadon: ‘Government are using a Covid-19 test with undeclared false positive rates.’ – talkRadio

Dr. Mike Yeadon, former Chief Scientific Advisor, Pfizer:

  • The evidence suggests that a substantial number of the positive cases are false positives.
  • The government doesn’t know or is not disclosing the false positive rate.
  • False positive rate may be as high as 1%, which would mean most or all of the positives are false positives.
  • We are finding traces of an ‘old’ virus which can’t possibly make people sick.
  • The test looks for a piece of genetic code. A positive test does not mean someone is sick.
  • ONS says the prevalence of the virus is less than 0.1%.
  • Pillar 2 (community) testing seems to be flawed. Method of processing samples would be inadmissible if this were a forensic case.
  • The number of COVID deaths is continuing to stay low and fallen for 6 months. For it to suddenly increase would need a big change in transmission.
  • Young people would have been the first who caught COVID-19 because they were not social distancing. The idea that the young people are now getting it is “for the birds.”
  • If positive tests are false, they will be distributed evenly in the population. This is what we’re finding.
  • Mass testing is not the answer.
  • Sweden is not doing mass testing and their society has had 0.06% of their population die from COVID-19. This is the same as the UK.
  • We are using a test with an undeclared false-positive rate.
  • Are we re-testing the positives? This is unclear.
  • A second lockdown is going to amplify the non-COVID deaths.
  • UK’s lockdown was too late to prevent the initial spread.
  • Mass population immunity is keeping the deaths low. This is the most reasonable explanation for the differences between the models and reality.

Categories
News Opinion

September’s normal increase in coughs and colds is causing ‘utter chaos’ in Britain because the Government has left people terrified of coronavirus, top Oxford scientist warns MPs – Prof. Carl Heneghan, Daily Mail

Professor Carl Heneghan said there has been a 50% rise in coughs and colds

This is normal for September when children go back to school and university

But Government messaging about Covid-19 has left people ‘terrified’, he said

  • A coughing illness would not normally be considered an epidemic until doctors were seeing 400 symptomatic cases per 100,000 – far higher than Covid-19 rates;
  • The Eat Out to Help Out restaurant voucher scheme likely led to an increase in the spread of coronavirus;
  • Increased testing is still only picking up a fraction of the true number of cases but it’s detecting more of ‘background’ infections because it’s more targeted, making it look like cases are soaring;
  • Bolton may be experiencing high infections because the virus was not widespread there before lockdown lifted and people did not build up any immunity;
  • Swab tests are still picking out too many people who aren’t infectious, and studying individuals’ viral loads could help officials to pick out those actually at risk of spreading it;
  • The country cannot test its way out of the outbreak and there must be a coherent strategy for what to do with knowledge of case numbers and a level that is acceptable;
  • Ambiguous phrases such as ‘Moonshot’ are not helpful for communicating the Government’s plans and have no basis in science, which should be paramount.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8744063/Septembers-normal-increase-coughs-colds-causing-utter-chaos-post-lockdown-Britain.html

Categories
News Opinion

COVID-19 and the false positive trap – Dr. Clare Craig, The Spectator

Current test results should not be automatically accepted as real

Imagine a world where COVID-19 has been eliminated. To be certain this is true, the government conducts regular tests at random. The number of positive results should be zero, right? Wrong. There will always be a proportion of cases tested that come back with a false positive test result. Thankfully, for COVID-19, the false positive rate is less than one percent of tests done. But it is not zero. It will be impossible for us to ever reach zero. Why? Because COVID-19 cannot be eliminated, even if it is likely to evolve to be more benign and become a seasonal problem like influenza.

https://spectator.us/covid-19-false-positive-trap-seasonal/

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News

GPs recorded three times more suspected cases of COVID-19 than official figures – Sky News

Suspected cases of COVID-19 recorded by GPs at the height of the pandemic were three times higher than officially confirmed infections, according to new research.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-gps-recorded-three-times-more-suspected-cases-of-covid-19-than-official-figures-12066280

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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

Hopes for normality grow as Covid shifts to the young: Two-thirds of new UK infections are in under-40s while rate in older people FALLS – raising hopes deaths will remain low without lockdowns – Dail Mail

The number of over-50s with Covid-19 represents a fifth of those nationwide

Just three per cent are aged over 80, down from 28 per cent six months ago

Peak age range for infections is now in the 20s but used to be in the 80s 

Sparked hope further restrictions could soon be reduced as older people shield 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8700399/Covid-shifts-young-Two-thirds-new-infections-UK-40s.html

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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

Categories
News Opinion

The Case Against Covid Tests for the Young and Healthy – Wall Street Journal

There is little purpose in using tests to check asymptomatic children to see if it is safe for them to come to school. When children are infected, most are asymptomatic, and the mortality risk is lower than for the flu. While adult-to-adult and adult-to-child transmission is common, child-to-adult transmission isn’t. Children thus pose minimal risk to their teachers. If a child has a cough, a runny nose or other respiratory symptoms, he should stay home. You don’t need a test for that.

Sweden was the only major Western country that kept schools open for kids 15 and younger throughout the pandemic, with no masks or mass testing. How did it turn out? Zero Covid-19 deaths among 1.8 million children attending day care or school. Teachers didn’t have an excess infection risk compared with the average of other professions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-case-against-covid-tests-for-the-young-and-healthy-11599151722

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News

CDC quietly revises coronavirus guidance to downplay importance of testing asymptomatic people – CNBC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is no longer recommending testing for everyone who’s been exposed to Covid-19, saying people who don’t have symptoms “do not necessarily need a test.”

The CDC has quietly revised its guidance on coronavirus testing to say that people without symptoms who were exposed to an infected person might not need to be screened.

The agency previously recommended testing for anyone with a “recent known or suspected exposure” to the virus even if they did not have symptoms.

The CDC’s previous guidance cited “the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission” as a reason why people without symptoms who were exposed to the virus be “quickly identified and tested.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/26/cdc-quietly-revises-coronavirus-guidance-to-downplay-importance-of-testing-for-asymptomatic-people.html

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News

Up to 90 per cent of people diagnosed with coronavirus may not be carrying enough of it to infect anyone else, study finds as experts say tests are too sensitive – Daily Mail

Up to 90 percent of people tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada in July carried barely any traces of the virus, a new report says

Experts say it could be because today’s tests are ‘too sensitive’ 

In the US PCR testing is the most widely used diagnostic test for COVID-19 

PCR tests analyze genetic matter from the virus in cycles and today’s tests typically take 37 or 40 cycles

Experts say this is too high because it deems a patient positive even if they have small traces of the virus that are old and no longer contagious

They suggest lowering the number of cycles, which would hone in on people with a higher viral load and who are more contagious 

Today there are 5.9million cases of COVID-19 in the US and there have been more than 182,000 deaths

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8679307/Experts-say-USs-coronavirus-positivity-rate-high-tests-sensitive.html

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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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Opinion

Coronavirus ‘getting less angry’ and we shouldn’t fear second wave – Dr. Ron Daniels, The Mirror

A front line medic says there is no reason to fear a second wave of because the virus was “getting less angry”.

Dr Ron Daniels, an intensive care consultant at Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield, says Covid-19 is not now as deadly as at the start of the pandemic.

Dr Daniels said talk of a second wave was “hype” and told BirminghamLive : “I don’t want to sound like Donald Trump – but if you test more people, you will find more cases.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/coronavirus-getting-less-angry-shouldnt-22563045

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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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Publications

Diagnosing COVID-19 infection: the danger of over-reliance on positive test results – medRxiv

Unlike previous epidemics, in addressing COVID-19 nearly all international health organizations and national health ministries have treated a single positive result from a PCR-based test as confirmation of infection, even in asymptomatic persons without any history of exposure. This is based on a widespread belief that positive results in these tests are highly reliable. However, data on PCR-based tests for similar viruses show that PCR-based testing produces enough false positive results to make positive results highly unreliable over a broad range of real-world scenarios. This has clinical and case management implications, and affects an array of epidemiological statistics, including the asymptomatic ratio, prevalence, and hospitalization and death rates. Steps should be taken to raise awareness of false positives, reduce their frequency, and mitigate their effects. In the interim, positive results in asymptomatic individuals that haven’t been confirmed by a second test should be considered suspect.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.26.20080911v3

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News

The statistical quirk that means the coronavirus pandemic may never officially end – The Telegraph

If you are starting to feel like the coronavirus epidemic will never end, then you may be correct. A statistical quirk in testing means that Britain may never hit zero cases, even if the virus is wiped out entirely.

The reason lies in the large number of false positives that are almost certain to creep in once case numbers drop very low, yet testing remains very high.

Testing is never 100 per cent accurate, and scientists must factor in the false positive and negative rates when determining infection prevalence. The problem is, nobody knows what those rates are.

The best guess at present is that coronavirus tests pick up around 80-85 per cent of positive cases, and around 99.9 per cent of negative cases.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/12/statistical-quirk-means-coronavirus-pandemic-may-never-officially/