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The drafter of The Lancet statement was none other than the president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak. Which means that the very statement that, for many months, shut down open debate on the possible laboratory origin of the China Virus, was actually the product of an organization that was collaborating with the Wuhan lab in the genetic engineering of coronaviruses.
SAGE came to like Peking’s Covid strategy. Ferguson told The Times that ‘as the data accrued it became clear it was an effective policy’.
I’d be interested to know how the SAGE geniuses evaluated data from this police state, which lacks a free press or independent universities. But there.
Even so, they hesitated. As Ferguson says: ‘It’s a Communist one-party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought.’
Aren’t those words ‘we couldn’t get away with it’ interesting? Is this the way in which public servants in a free country think of the normal limits on what they can do? I can only hope not.
But Ferguson and his friends then saw what happened in Italy, where a formerly free country reached for the weapons of repression and mass house arrest. And the rule of fear was so great that they got away with it. So we were next. Or, as Ferguson puts it: ‘And then Italy did it. And we realised we could.’
[https://www.city-journal.org/death-and-lockdowns?s=03#.YFephvca6js.twitter "Death and Lockdowns There’s no proof that lockdowns save lives but plenty of evidence that they end them,"] City Journal, John Tierney (March 2021),
- Montgomery County Schools: private schools that stayed open had far far fewer cases than unionized government schools that used Zoom.
Topol, a heart expert and researcher with a huge Twitter following of his own, was already weeks into a personal campaign to make sure the administration could not rush a covid-19 vaccine through regulatory authorization before Election Day on November 3...
Topol led online calls for FDA commissioner Steve Hahn to resign after his agency was criticized for cowing to political pressure—and then phoned Hahn a number of times to urge him to resist Trump’s influence. Topol also targeted Pfizer, the only pharmaceutical company likely to seek approval of its vaccine before Election Day, which eventually set up a meeting for him with its vaccine team.
On October 16, Topol and his allies were able to claim success: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company would not be able to seek emergency approval for its vaccine before the third week in November, owing to safety standards that had been put in place by the FDA. Those standards had been issued against Trump’s wishes, but at the urging of Topol and other advocates.
"We were on a path for a vaccine emergency authorization (EUA) before November 3rd. Thanks to the FDA, Trump's plan was disrupted. That won't happen. First real sign of the independence of FDA since the pandemic started. And that's important."
"Medscape @Medscape Oct 10, 2020 EXCLUSIVE: @EricTopol and @SteveFDA meet, following that "very tough letter," for a valuable conversation on the state of COVID-19 in the U.S. http://ms.spr.ly/6018TIB0a"...
Evaluating a new drug or vaccine is typically a long process. But after the 9/11 attacks, Congress introduced a fast-track option called “emergency use authorization.” The idea was that in the event of, say, a nuclear attack, the usual rules could be set aside. Instead of proof that a treatment works, the emergency standard requires only a “reasonable” belief that the treatment “may be effective.”
The flexible process also allows political decision makers to take control as they did in August, when the FDA announced an EUA for convalescent plasma therapy (pdf), a treatment involving blood serum donated by covid-19 survivors. Just a day before the agency allowed wider use of the treatment, Trump accused it in a tweet of deliberately postponing the decision until after the election...
On September 25, Topol joined 60 other experts in sending a letter to Pfizer’s CEO, asking that the company not apply for an EUA before late November, when there would be more safety data. Topol says he also peppered some of Pfizer’s board members with his concerns. The company later reached out to him, arranging an early October Zoom meeting with Kathrin Jansen, its vaccine chief, and her team. Pfizer confirmed the meeting, saying its staff regularly meets with “key opinion leaders.”...
Even though the pandemic is killing more than 600 people a day in the US, Topol doesn’t believe very much can be gained by declaring success a few weeks early. “We’re still going to be physical distancing and wearing masks after a vaccine. It’s not magic,” he says. “It’s more important that we get it right.”...
The White House had been holding up publication of an FDA recommendation that companies developing any covid-19 vaccine should search for side effects for at least two months in half their trial patients. If that guideline were followed, it would make an EUA in October essentially impossible, even for Pfizer.
On the same day of Trump’s discharge, the FDA transmitted its recommendation to a key vaccine advisory committee, in what outside observers viewed as an end run past the White House. An FDA spokesperson said that nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. But Topol believes Hahn and his deputies “stood up to Trump for the first time” and executed a “masterful” tactical maneuver. “Bureaucratic jujitsu,” Thorp calls it. By the next day, the Wall Street Journal reported, the White House had “cast aside” its objection to the rules, allowing the FDA to publish them in full.
The import of the maneuver wasn’t lost on Trump, either.
A week later, on Friday, October 16, Pfizer—citing the FDA recommendations—finally said it would not seek an EUA until after the election, even if the company thought its vaccine was working.
[https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/10/19/1010646/campaign-stop-covid-19-vaccine-trump-election-day/ "One doctor’s campaign to stop a covid-19 vaccine being rushed through before Election Day How heart doctor Eric Topol used his social-media account to kill off Trump’s October surprise."] Technology Review (2021)
If we were considering switching to faster second doses, rather than the other way around, ‘experts’ would consider it reckless and irresponsible. ...
It is worth noting that the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine shows similar benefits to the first shot from Pfizer or Moderna. The difference is that Pfizer and Moderna then give you a second shot.
Thus, Johnson & Johnson has done us the valuable service of not testing their vaccine with a second shot, thus allowing us to do First Doses First and get on with vaccinations twice as fast. If we decide later that we should double back and give a second shot to make it more effective, once we have sufficient supply, that’s great. https://thezvi.wordpress.com/2021/02/04/covid-2-4-safe-and-effective-vaccines-aplenty/#more-22373
Every year the US gives out about 150 million flu vaccinations within the space of about 3 months or 1.6 million shots a day. Thus, we vaccinate for flu at more than twice the speed we are vaccinating for COVID! -- https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/01/we-will-get-to-herd-immunity-in-2021-one-way-or-another.html
Public Health England, a person who is infected with the UK strain of coronavirus will pass the virus on to 14.7 per cent of their close contacts.
Say somebody infected with the UK strain had 10 close contacts. On Public Health England’s numbers, eight of those contacts would not be infected. To be clear, the UK strain is more infectious. Somebody infected with the original Wuhan strain is likely to pass the virus to 11 per cent of their close contacts, according to Public Health England. That means the UK strain is roughly 34 per cent more infectious than the original strain. -- https://www.theaustralian.com.au/science/uk-strain-use-of-incorrect-figures-is-moreinfectious/news-story/06dda22125ccc8cc11da5187e664951e
The Zvi blog on Covid is very good.
Professor Donald Boudreaux is very good on the reality and psychology of it in February 2021.
[ https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/four-months-unprecedented-government-malfeasance/?amp%3Butm_source=housefile&%3Butm_medium=email&%3Butm_content=june2020govmalfeasance&utm_campaign=imprimis&_hsmi=91893262&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_21SIViIkohi0IJ0gPxmINHJKKoEgjKk5G6g02u05xJhDqd8c3SfDR31PItwNAttufNNAmYSmOxKKRXdeMG_iyNQI4Zw Four Months of Unprecedented Government Malfeasance], Imprimis, May/June 2020, Heather Mac Donald, is a strong condemnation of the repression by US cities and states.
Professor Cochrane: Friday, October 2, 2020 Beat Covid Without a Vaccine is about the Kotlikoff idea of stopping covid entirely by massive testing using cheap, inaccurate, tests. It links to a good thread by a doctor showin how absurdly doctors' arguments against tests are.
From the New York Times via Steve Sailer:
When the coronavirus emerged in China in January, the World Health Organization didn’t flinch in its advice: Do not restrict travel.
But what is now clear is that the policy was about politics and economics more than public health.
Actually, though, if you follow the New York Times link, it doesn't support the newspaper's claim. The linked article actually doesn't mention any WHO position on travel restrictions. It's about declaring an emergency or not, and countries possibly responding to that declaration various ways. The closest thing to what the NYT claims was WHO's position is:
Although several countries, including the United States, have begun screening air travelers arriving from Wuhan, Dr. Tedros said that the W.H.O. prefers exit screening for people leaving affected regions.”
I have posts on covid-19 at The CDC's Job of Collecting Data
<a href="https://www.theblaze.com/news/san-fran-gym-owners-have-blunt-message-for-liberal-city-over-govt-gyms-opened-all-others-forced-to-close" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">San Fran keeps private gyms closed, but has reopened city-owned gyms. Furious owners call out city leaders.</a>
The Democratic governors violated the right to free association, probably without statutory support and going beyond their legal powers, and thousands of people died as a result. This could be more deaths than all the race lynchings in history combined.
The DOJ requested data from Michigan, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, each led by a Democrat governor. In June, House Republicans on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent five letters to the governors of those states and to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.), also demanding data on the link between nursing home policy and coronavirus cases. Each other state issued an order similar to New York’s (California’s came on March 30, Michigan’s on April 15, New Jersey’s on March 31, and Pennsylvania’s on March 18).
The Democrat governors issued these orders in contrast to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance that explicitly does “not direct any nursing home to accept a COVID-19 positive patient, if they are unable to do so safely.” Indeed, the guidance urges that “nursing homes should admit any individual that they would normally admit to their facility, including individuals from hospitals where a case of COVID-19 was/is present” only if the nursing home can follow” CDC guidance.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma also warned, “Under no circumstances should a hospital discharge a patient to a nursing home that is not prepared to take care of those patients’ needs.”
According to House Republicans in June, New York had suffered 6,360 nursing home coronavirus deaths, Michigan had suffered 2,297, California had suffered 2,560, Pennsylvania had suffered 4,268, and New Jersey had suffered 6,432. Each of these numbers represented between 25 percent and 68 percent of the state’s coronavirus deaths and a sizable chunk of each state’s nursing home population.
Yale stayed open during the Spanish flu, which was notorious for how many strong young people it killed. Three students died, out of perhaps 1,200 students, which would be a .25% death rate (a much higher death rate of those infected, of course[, https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2008/01/28/the-1918-influenza-quarantine/ The 1918 influenza quarantine] PATRICK LEE 12:00 AM, JAN 28, 2008:
Members of the Yale community were not allowed to make contact with other civilians unless the participants obtained a special pass, which was restricted by the Council to “official assignments.” Visitors were banned from the military posts, and University secretary Anson Phelps Stokes canceled all on-campus public meetings...
By Oct. 20, New Haven had already reported 209 influenza-related deaths, but by that same year, only one Yale student had lost his life to the pandemic. And by the end of the year, Yale had lost three students. }}
Has New York City committed suicide? Chicago, too. There is a vicious cycle. A bad mayor is elected. Sensible people move out. The remaining voters are the most corrupt and crazy. So things keep getting worse. ["https://nypost.com/2020/08/17/nyc-is-dead-forever-heres-why-james-altucher/?utm_campaign=applenews&utm_medium=inline&utm_source=applenews New York City is dead forever],New York Post, by James Altucher, August 17, 2020. Big cities, and universities are in strategy trouble anyway because of the internet, and they are killing to goose that laid the golden eggs besides.
From a comment on Sebastian Rushworth M.D.: "Do vitamin D supplements protect against respiratory infections?", August 3, 2020:
Epidemiological studies indicate association but not causation. Causation requires defining a biological mechanism that can explain the epidemiological finding. In Vitamin D we have both. The associations noted in this study and the mechanism. It is not clear that the mechanism whereby vitamin D protects against death from COVID-19 is the same mechanism that protects against upper respiratory tract infections.
The mechanism for COVID-19: COVID-19 is clinically 2 diseases: the much more common asymptomatic/mildly symptomatic viral like syndrome and the life-threatening immune dysfunction called the “cytokine storm”. The cytokine storm is to a autoimmune response what a CAT5 hurricane is to a thunderstorm. The mechanism of vitamin D for the life threatening immune system is understood to the extent that vitamin D is necessary to blunt an autoimmune reaction. Lung epithelial cells express high basal levels of CYP27B1 and low levels of CYP24A1, favoring conversion of vitamin D to its active form. When treated with vitamin D, these cells increase the levels of the TLR co-receptor CD-14 and cathelicidin (LL-37). In airway epithelial cells, treatment with vitamin D induces IkBa, an NF-kB inhibitor resulting in a decrease of viral induction of inflammatory genes. Vitamin D keeps the dendritic reticulum cell in an immature/immune tolerant state, alters the M1 pro-inflammatory macrophage to a M2 anti-inflammatory macrophage, and alters the TH1 response to a TH2 response, decreasing the autoreactivity of T cells. These help and blunt the immune response and the development of the cytokine storm.
The anti-viral effect of vitamin D is not fully understood. Cathelicidin (LL-37) is able to disrupt the envelop of enveloped viruses. Vitamin D blocks the ability of viruses that bind to the carbohydrate moieties on cell surfaces. Many viruses, include the coronavirus, use this moiety to clin to the cell and thereby allow the virus to interact with the AEC2 receptor.
The peculiar susceptibility of type 2 diabetics may be partially explained by vitamin D and cathelicidin. Cathelicidin is stored in neutrophils (and macrophages). In DMT2, the neutrophilic response is blunted (with resulting increase susceptibility to infections of all types.
The <a href="https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-31/la-contact-tracers-struggle-to-keep-up-with-coronavirus-cases" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Los Angeles Times, July 31:</a>
Public health officials had created a system to help contain such outbreaks: The county’s fast-expanding army of contact tracers would be notified within 24 hours of people who tested positive for the virus. The county workers would call the patients, make sure they were isolated and determine who else they may have infected.
But the tracers never found the epidemic in the plant, famed for making Dodger Dogs.
By the time the county began an investigation in May, at least 116 workers were infected in what had become one of the region’s biggest outbreaks.
It’s been a grim pattern since the pandemic began. The county’s contact tracing system has repeatedly failed to find workplace outbreaks before they spread widely, placing an ever-expanding circle of employees, their families and others at risk. ... The number of people testing positive who tracers have been able to reach has fallen to 68% in recent weeks, down from 75% earlier in the pandemic, according to officials. And only 40% of those people have been willing to disclose who they may have exposed. ... Getting information has been so difficult that the county recently began offering $20 gift cards to people who agree to be interviewed. ... To compensate for the system’s weaknesses, the county now requires employers to report outbreaks when three or more workers test positive. But so far officials have done little to enforce that reporting requirement, and some companies have failed to comply. Last week, officials said they would begin imposing financial penalties on employers not following the county directives — but not until the end of August. ... In some places, like South Korea and Germany, however, aggressive use of contact tracing has helped to corral the coronavirus. American public health departments have used the technique for decades to control outbreaks of measles, tuberculosis and sexually-transmitted diseases. ... The county rapidly boosted its core force of 250 contact tracers to 1,600 by reassigning and retraining other government employees, according to county documents. They included librarians, who are already skilled at interacting with the public, a key to gaining patients’ trust. With infections surging anew, the county is continuing to add tracers, with 900 more in training.
The workers are aided by a county health order in March that required doctors to immediately report each positive test result to the county, with the person’s name, contact information and occupation.
The tracking is essentially a race against the clock. People who contract COVID-19 are most infectious two days before they first experience symptoms to ten days after, according to federal health officials. ... Most of the county’s contact tracers work from home. And it’s unclear whether the county is able to monitor the information on employers that the tracers obtain in their interviews of patients for clusters of infections that could be outbreaks. County officials declined to answer questions about whether a new software system installed in early April to help contact tracers record the interview information could be used to search for outbreaks. . Officials described the contact tracing data system that was in place before the upgrade in April as one that was “paper based.”
The failures have many demanding answers. ... Ferrer also pointed out that her staff had initially decided that officials with the small city of Vernon, where the plant is located, should take responsibility for trying to stop the infections.
The county had learned about the outbreak on April 17, about a month after the first known infections, when Farmer John managers called the city of Vernon to report that six workers had tested positive. Vernon city officials toured the plant and told the county that the company had installed safety measures to stop more infections.
But the cases continued to spread unchecked, according to county documents. And the county’s contact tracers still didn’t find them.
It was another month later, on May 18, that Vernon officials notified the county that the infections had greatly multiplied. By the time county officials sent a press release on May 24 to warn nearby communities, at least 153 workers had tested positive. Dozens of other workers were also infected at eight other nearby food processing plants in Vernon, a small industrial city that has few residents of its own. ... Darryl Blackwell, who works in the plant’s ham de-boning department where the first employees tested positive, said he and his colleagues initially received little information about the spreading infections. Blackwell said he had wondered why government officials weren’t responding to the outbreak and ensuring employees were safe. ... The county’s contact tracers also failed for months to discover an outbreak at the construction site of SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the Rams and Chargers will play.
The first construction worker at the 298-acre stadium site tested positive in late March.
The county health department did not start an investigation until mid-June, and only after Times reporters had asked repeated questions about continuing infections at the site.
The county says that 55 workers have now tested positive, with most of the cases reported in June and July.
Sharon Balter, director of county’s acute communicable disease control program, said the SoFi case showed how contact tracing cannot pinpoint an outbreak at a sprawling worksite like the stadium, where there are 3,000 construction workers who are employed by a myriad of subcontractors.
“It’s going to be complicated for us to detect this outbreak until someone reports it to us,” she said.
Chris McFadden, a spokesman for Turner AECOM Hunt, the joint venture overseeing the construction, declined to say whether the joint venture had reported the workers infections to the county. Instead he said that the site’s management continued to “meet or exceed” the county’s guidelines.
He said the joint venture had measures in place to keep people safe. He said the site had enhanced cleaning and disinfection and requires workers to keep six feet away from each other. Workers must also have their temperatures checked before entering the site, he said.
If a worker tests positive or has symptoms, McFadden said, “we launch our own investigation to determine who they may have had close contact with.”
At the bustling Los Angeles Apparel garment factory in South L.A., infections began in May and surged in June.
But contact tracers didn’t detect the outbreak, which has been the largest in the county so far. A medical professional who became aware of conditions at the plant through a patient notified public health officials on June 19.
The county immediately began investigating, but by then three people had died. More than 150 workers tested positive that same week.
By July 10, when the county alerted the public through a press release detailing the company’s “flagrant” violations of safety rules, more than 300 workers had tested positive and a fourth had died.
Asked why the county’s contact tracers had not found the outbreak, Ferrer repeated her staff’s findings that many people testing positive are afraid to tell the government who they may have exposed.
She said the factory’s managers had put “their employees and their families greatly at risk” by not reporting the outbreak until 150 had tested positive.
But Dov Charney, the founder of L.A. Apparel, said he believes the county’s contact tracers should have been able to detect the outbreak earlier.
“If they were doing contact tracing, they would have found out by case 12,” he said.
Charney said he had repeatedly arranged for his staff to be tested. And under the county’s system, each of those test results would have been quickly sent to government contact tracers.
“When they saw elevated numbers, they should have come in right away,” he said. “They didn’t show up.”
Charney said he had not tried to hide information about the infections.
“Maybe our record keeping wasn’t there initially,” he said, “but it took a while to figure out what they wanted.”
He said the county’s policy of requiring employers to report outbreaks had been confusing. First the county told employers that a cluster of five cases should be reported. More recently, he said, the county had changed the rules, saying that a reportable outbreak was three infections.
I should find out how many excess deaths there have been in the states, to see how important covid-19 is. Maybe the CDC data can show this. They seem to use some complicated and probably wrong seasonal adjustment algorithm. I should just compare with 2019. Then, as a second step, put in a time trend using the ten-year trend, and see what difference that makes. Nothing too fancy, though-- this is an example of where transparency is infinitely better than technique. "Man is depraved, and people make arithmetic mistakes, so transparency trumps technique."
Bock, Randy. From Lynn Chu on Twitter, July 28, 2020: </a>
Deaths subside so now
Nebulous "cases" to scare
Healthy out of health
True story: if current trends hold, the number of people under 35 murdered in the US this year will RISE by more than the TOTAL number of people under 35 who die of #Covid.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html. Table 1. Estimated infections, Feb through Nov 2020 = 91,185,370. 274,294 Americans died with Covid through 30 November (Worldometer). 274,294 deaths / 91,185,370 infections = 0.0030 . That's .30%, about 3 times the usual death rate from flu.
384,474 deaths (Worldometer) / 166,064,83.6 estimated actual infections = 0.0023 as of January 12, 2021, I think. 2.3 times as deadly as flu.
369,000 people died from flu 2010/11-2019/20, about the same as died of covid in 2020 (380,000). https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html
. <a href="https://www.hoosiertimes.com/herald_times_online/news/covid19/new-data-suggest-coronavirus-deaths-in-nursing-homes-drastically-undercounted/article_af54d424-d1b8-11ea-8c05-7b4aceb5cfd2.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Herald Times: </a>
Since April 8, nursing homes have been required to notify the state health department of coronavirus cases and deaths within 24 hours. For months, state officials declined to release the number of cases and deaths at specific nursing homes, most of which are government-owned.
... “It is concerning to see these discrepancies as they put out and release this facility level data, but it also demonstrates why it was so important to get this data out at the facility level,” said Sarah Waddle, state director of AARP Indiana, which represents the interests of older Hoosiers. Waddle wrote an open letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb in May urging him to release facility-level data, which he had refused to do until this month.
The new data, in addition to identifying which facilities have had COVID-19 outbreaks, finally allows the public to understand how severely the coronavirus has affected long-term care residents. We now know that at least 60% of the state’s deaths and 15% of the positive cases were in long-term care facilities.
I am learning Python and CGI. I wrote up the frequency box explanation I use, inspired by Gerg Gigerenzer, so you can put in a hypothetical disease test and see Prob (diseased|test says you are) visually. I need to fix my github post. I am a novice at this. Comments welcomed. See http://www.rasmusen.org/cgi-bin/bayesbox.htm
“Don't get excited about people getting covid twice. Suppose the false positive rate is .001. If you test 100,000 people who seem sick with covid but who really are not, you'll think 100 do. If 50 really do get it later, you'll think they got it twice.”