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Programmers and system administrators are mass profession. There were approximately 435K programmers in the USA in 2006. I think number of system administrators are roughly the same, so we can speak about the labor army of one million people.

Contrary to superficial impression of individual cubicles and nice environment, IT is actually very unhealthy profession. With a high chance to be unemployed after 50.  More often then not, there are periods of considerable stress. Some are caused by catastrophic failures of hardware equipment, some by unrealistic schedules and workloads, some by own errors of particular programmer or sysadmin.

Overtime is common. Job security is deteriorating as outsourcing is rampant.  Employment after 50 is not guaranteed. Environment changes way too fast, and not always for good. Fashion rules (remember The Devil Wears Prada). Toxic managers are common (remember Office Space ;-)

So sooner of later a programmer need to face "medical-industrial complex" of the USA. And this is a dangerous "for profit" beast with tremendous appetite which maims and kills annually considerable amount of people. Living under Neoliberalism with its "greed is good" mentality and "homo homini lupus est" slogan is indeed dangerous  and requires knowledge of elementary "self-defense". Hippocratic oath no longer applies to medical profession in the USA. Most doctors still follow it, but there real sharks among them (with some ending their careers in jail like regular criminals) and you need to hope for the best but  prepare for the worst.  Especially rampant abuse is with cardiac stents (Overuse of Cardiac Stents Linked to Patient Deaths) with around a dozen of cardiologists serving jail terms (see for example Stent doctor Salisbury stent doctor sentenced to federal prison )

As USA Today reported (Doctors perform thousands of unnecessary surgeries):

Since 2005, more than 1,000 doctors have made payments to settle or close malpractice claims in surgical cases that involved allegations of unnecessary or inappropriate procedures, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the U.S. government's National Practitioner Data Bank public use file, which tracks the suits. About half the doctors' payments involved allegations of serious permanent injury or death, and many of the cases involved multiple plaintiffs, suggesting many hundreds, if not thousands, of victims.

Journal of the American Medical Association  reviewed records for 112,000 patients who had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), a pacemaker-like device that corrects heartbeat irregularities. In 22.5% of the cases, researchers found no medical evidence to support installing the devices.

"Don't just take a doctor's word," says Patty Skolnik, who founded Citizens for Patient Safety after her son, Michael, died at 22 from complications in what she says was unnecessary brain surgery. "Research your doctor, research the procedure, ask questions, including the most important one: 'What will happen if I don't get this done?'"

A 1982 study in the journal Medical Care found that a mandatory second opinion program for Massachusetts Medicaid patients led to a 20% drop in certain surgeries, such as hysterectomies, that were considered more likely to be done unnecessarily. A 1997 study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons looked at 5,601 patients recommended for surgery and found that second opinions found no need for the operation in 9% of the cases. Among those who got the countervailing second opinion, 62% opted not to have the operation.

But many patients simply aren't inclined to question their doctors.

"We expect the physician to know what's best for a patient," says William Root, chief compliance officer at Louisiana's Department of Health and Hospitals. "

We put so much faith and confidence in our physicians, (and) most of them deserve it. But when one of them is wrong or goes astray, it can do a lot of damage."

Chronic stress, overload, long hours, unhealthy diet  and other environmental factors  deeply and negatively affects the lifestyle of programmers and system administrators.  So there is nothing surprising that despite pretty comfortable work conditions many programmers/system administrators suffer from assortments on various diseases. Like other workers who spend long periods in front of a computer terminal typing at a keyboard, programmers are susceptible to:

Additional health problems are typical for those who experience constant stress and/or are typical "diseases of civilization". Among them

Also many programmers/sysadmins works as contractors and either do not have health insurance or have very basic health insurance. This is typical for young programmers and those who are over 50 and were let go on their previous jobs die to outsourcing

Low and middle income US citizens  spends far more on health care than any other country but gets only mediocre care in return for its investment. The U.S. national average score on 37 separate measures of health care falls far short when compared either to a few centers of excellence within the country, or to other countries, the report from the Commonwealth Fund found. And that's true not only in terms of mortality statistics but also in terms of quality of life.

The main problems with US healthcare are:

Programmers and system administrators can do much better is maintaining their health. And they are naturally equipped for dealing with complex system and thus able to navigate the maze of the USA "medical industrial complex"

A lot of outcomes depends on the level of individual knowledge. Knowledge is power both for avoiding unnecessary procedures (with some causing irreversible damage) , unnecessary overprescribed drugs, and when negotiating with health care providers.

Some facts:


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[Jan 19, 2021] Three critical video

Their first about PcR tests pretty educational.
Jan 19, 2021 | www.unz.com

[Jan 17, 2021] Personal social distancing alarms 'no jab, no job' show that individual freedoms at work will be the next victims of Covid

Jan 17, 2021 | www.rt.com


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Gaius_Marius 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 01:32 PM

No proof that those deaths were solely attributed to a respiratory virus. It is suspected at best.
Ellen77 Gaius_Marius 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 09:08 PM
The portuguese court ruled that When running PCR tests with 35 cycles or more – the accuracy dropped to 3%, meaning up to 97% of positive results could be false positives.
AwareAussie Gaius_Marius 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 05:09 PM
But there is proof that_death_stats have been_faked, that the_alleged virus is not as_dangerous as they promote, that_there is another_agenda behind_lockdowns, etc etc. I also suspect that this crazy_boss_story is another bigpsyop, as it would likely be an exceedingly rare event to take measures such as those mentioned. In any case I'd_quit on the_spot if any employer tried that with me.
oddthinker 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 02:14 PM
Nuremburg Code provisions of informed consent are international law. Neither government bodies and agencies, or private and public employers may coerce you into accepting the role of a long term trial subject for an experimental drug. Agency and free will is yours to refuse that drug.
AMstone oddthinker 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 11:32 PM
Unit 731 was never disbanded, just relocated.
V.B. 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 08:53 PM
the covid hoax is absolute madness, it must be stopped, it's rapidly spiraling into something worse than north korea, worse than worst sharia countries, people are losing all their freedoms, are being fined massively for noncrimes, medical experiments are done on people without their full consent, how this madness can go on for this long is beyond me, are people really that dumb? This isn't black death, it isn't even remotely close, some very old, very sick people probably died a few month earlier, yes it's bad, no it's not excuse to destroy world, kill economies, stop all other medical care - measures that will kill way more than covid-19(84) ever will Average covid victim in UK is 82.4 year old, and that's above average life expetency in UK, according to many studies anywhere between 96 and 99% of people who supposedly died of covid had co-morbidities - meaning they were seriously sick even before catching it It's absolute farce, and the biggest hoax, biggest evil joke in history. Besides they tried it before in 2009 with the swine flu, it was very much similar to this, there was also rushed vaccine that had bad side effects, massive corruption that enabled it got exposed and it faded into obscurity but people never learned.
V.B. V.B. 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 09:00 PM
You should present facts to all your mоrоn friends who still support this hoax, if they can't make a case for their support (which is not possible if you follow all facts anyway) - and they still refuse to admit they are wrong then stop talking to them, you are indirectly helping to support this hoax by being friends and supporting people who support useless and harmful covid measures like lockdowns and masks, sacrafices must be made otherways you will lose all, you are already losing all, you can't even meet thos іdіоts anymore in much of the Western world and beyond with all the curfews and ban on visits. I am already doing the very thing - I presented clear facts, clear logic to one of my long term half-friends and he refused to budge even one inch, all his arguments boiled down to calling me 'conspiracy theorist' and refusing to even admit possibility that goverments might have gone rogue or fallen for the hoax themselves. However during the discussion I uncovered that he is a secret leftist, he never talked about his political views, but this discussion forced out certain facts that revealed that he has leftist poltical views despite being reasonably wealthy bussinessman, and you would think it's the proletariat that support socialism...
SavantMan 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 04:59 PM
We need to instill fear in the people who make these decisions. I think the time has come for there to be actual repercussions for these pieces of you know what.
AwareAussie SavantMan 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 05:22 PM
The solution is both peaceful and lawful. Revert back to common law (the highest laws of the lands edit: dating back to the Magna Carta), convene common law courts and juries, and hold those traitors and criminals accountable. This is what happened in the last American civil war, but it is well hidden. It is coming back now very fast. Research it and get on board right now.
HappyBag 2 days ago 14 Jan, 2021 08:08 PM
I read that about the plumbing firm, well that's easily resolved, the plumbers can go self employed. I would certainly never work for an employer that dictated my health or demanded my records. Then the public can then make their own choice on who does their work - a barmy boss who dictates mandatory vaccinations (what next, no smokers and nobody who has the odd beer?), or a normal person?

[Jan 14, 2021] 19% or 95%? US expert challenges Pfizer vaccine's efficacy, triggers debates in China

Jan 14, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Jan 14 2021 15:39 utc | 9

19% or 95%? US expert challenges Pfizer vaccine's efficacy, triggers debates in China

[Jan 11, 2021] COVID Gone Crazy - An Epidemic Of 'Positive' Tests

Jan 11, 2021 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Hunt, M.D. via InternationalMan.com,

In the setting of COVID-19, almost every country in the world closed its borders, locked down its citizens, and forced businesses to close. Today, most governments still restrict travel, economic activity, and social gatherings.

The justification for these unprecedented measures has been a growing number of COVID-19 cases. This has unleashed an epidemic of COVID testing - with PCR and rapid antigen tests as the means of identifying positive COVID cases. Our very own Dr. John Hunt examines the science behind COVID testing, whether the testing paradigms are effective, and the rationality behind government response to the virus.

What COVID tests mean and don't mean

RT-PCR tests can be designed to be highly sensitive to the presence of the original viral RNA in a clinical sample. But a highly sensitive test risks poor specificity for actual infectious disease.

Rapid antigen tests are different. They measure viral protein. They do so by reacting a clinical sample with one or two lab-created antibodies that are labeled with a measurable marker. These antigen tests are often poorly specific, meaning they can show as positive in the absence of any actual viral protein or any COVID disease.

For a lab test, what does it mean to be sensitive ? What does it mean to be specific ?

I'll use COVID to help explain these terms. In order to do this correctly, we need to avoid using the language of the media and government because those institutions tend to mislead us via language manipulation. For example, they've wrongly taught us that a COVID-positive test is synonymous with COVID- disease. It isn't, as you will soon see.

So for this article, I will use the term "Relevant Infectious COVID Disease" to mean a condition, caused by COVID-19, in which a patient is sickened by the virus or has (in their airways) living replicating virus capable of being transmitted to others. This seems a fair definition of what we should be caring about in this disease. If the patient isn't sick and isn't capable of transmitting the disease, then any COVID RNA or protein that may appear in a test is not relevant, nor infectious, and therefore of little to no consequence.

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You can think of a test's sensitivity like this: In a group of 100 people who absolutely have Relevant Infectious COVID Disease, how many people does the test actually report as "positive?" For a test that is 95% sensitive, 95 of these 100 patients with the true disease will be reported by the test as COVID positive and 5 will be missed.

Specificity : In a group of 100 people who absolutely do not have Relevant Infectious COVID Disease, how many will be reported by the test as "negative?" For a test that is 95% specific, 95 of these healthy people will be reported as COVID-negative and 5 will be incorrectly reported as COVID-positive

Sensitivity and Specificity are inherent characteristics of a test, not of a patient, not of a disease, and not of a population. These terms are very different than Positive Predictive Value (PPV) and Negative Predictive Value (NPV). PPV and NPV are affected not only by the test's sensitivity and specificity but also by the characteristics of the people chosen to be tested and, particularly, the patients' underlying likelihood of actually having true Relevant Infectious COVID Disease. The Positive Predictive Value -- the chance a positive test actually indicates a true disease -- is greatly improved if you test people who are likely to have COVID, and, importantly, avoid testing people unlikely to have COVID.

If you do a COVID test with 95% sensitivity and 95% specificity in 1,000 patients who are feverish, have snot pouring out of their noses, are coughing profusely, and are short of breath, then you are using that test as a diagnostic test in people who currently have a reasonable up-front chance of having Relevant Infectious COVID Disease. Let's say 500 of them do actually have Relevant Infectious COVID Disease, and the others have a common cold. This 95% sensitive test will correctly identify 475 of these people who are truly ill with COVID as being COVID-positive, and it will miss 25 of them. This same test is also 95% specific, which means it will falsely label 25 of the 500 non-COVID patients as COVID-positive. Although the test isn't perfect it has a Positive Predictive Value of 95% in this group of people, and is a pretty good test overall .

But what if you run this very same COVID test on everyone in the population? Let's guesstimate that the up-front chance of having Relevant Infectious COVID in the US at this moment is about 0.5% (suggesting that 5 out of 1000 people currently have the actual transmittable disease right now, which is a high estimate). How does this same 95% sensitive/95% specific test work in this screening setting? The good news is that this test will likely identify the 5 people out of every 1000 with Relevant Infectious COVID! Yay! The bad news is that, out of every 1000 people, it will also falsely label 50 people as COVID-positive who don't have Relevant Infectious COVID. Out of 55 people with positive tests in each group of 1000 people, 5 actually have the disease. 50 of the tests are false positives. With a Positive Predictive Value of only 9%, one could say that's a pretty lousy test. It's far lousier if you test only people with no symptoms (such as screening a school, jobsite, or college), in whom the up-front likelihood of having Relevant Infectious COVID Disease is substantially lower.

The very same test that is pretty good when testing people who are actually ill or at risk is lousy when screening people who aren't.

In the first scenario (with symptoms), the test is being used correctly for diagnosis. In the second scenario (no symptoms), the test is being used wrongly for screening .

A diagnostic test is used to diagnose a patient the doctor thinks has a reasonable chance of having the disease (having symptoms like fever, cough, a snotty nose, and shortness of breath during a viral season).

A screening test is used to check for the presence of a disease in a person without symptoms and no heightened risk of having the disease.

A screening test may be appropriate to use when it has very high specificity (99% or more), when the prevalence of the disease in the population is pretty high, and when there is something we can do about the disease if we identify it. However, if the prevalence of a disease is low (as is the case for Relevant Infectious COVID) and the test isn't adequately specific (as is the case with PCR and rapid antigen tests for the COVID virus), then using such a test as a screening measure in healthy people is forcing the test to be lousy. The more it is used wrongly, the more misinformation ensues.

Our health authorities are recommending more testing of asymptomatic people. In other words, they are encouraging the wrong and lousy application of these tests. Our health officials are doing what a first-year medical student should know better than to do. It's enough of a concerning error that it leaves two likely conclusions:

1) that our leading government health officials are truly incompetent and/or

2) that we, as a nation, are being intentionally gaslighted/manipulated. Or it could be both.

(Another conclusion you should consider is that my analysis of these tests is incorrect. I'm open to a challenge.)

So what if you, as an individual, get a positive PCR test result (one that has 95% specificity) without having symptoms of COVID-19 or recent exposure to a true Relevant Infectious COVID Disease patient? What do you do? Well, with that positive test, your risk of having COVID has just increased from less than 5 in 1,000 (the general population risk) to about somewhere perhaps 5 in 55 (the risk of actual Relevant Infectious COVID Disease in asymptomatic people with a COVID-19-positive test). That's an 18-fold increase in risk, amounting to a 9% risk of you having Relevant Infectious COVID Disease (or a 91% chance of you being totally healthy). That may be a relevant increase in risk in your mind, enough that you choose to avoid exposing your friends and family to your higher risk compared to the general population. But if the government spends resources to contact-trace you, then they are contact-tracing 91% of people uselessly. And they are deciding whether to lock us down based on the wrong notion that COVID-positive tests in healthy people are epidemiologically accurate when indeed they are mostly wrong.

For the 50 asymptomatic low-risk people falsely popping positive out of each group of 1,000, what makes them pop positive? For a rapid antigen test, it is because the test is never meant for use as a screening test in healthy asymptomatic people because it's not specific enough. For a PCR test, positivity confidently means that there was COVID RNA in that sample, sure, but your nose or mouth very likely just filtered some dead bits of viral debris from the dust particles in the air as you walked through CVS to get the test before you learned you were supposed to use the drive-through. PCR can be way too sensitive.

A few strands of RNA are irrelevant. Even a few hundred fully intact viral particles are not likely to infect or cause disease. Humans aren't that wimpy. But keep in mind that there is a very small chance that the test popped positive because you are about to get sick with COVID-19, and the test caught you, by pure luck, just before you are to become sick.

On top of this wrong use of diagnostic tests as screening tests, the government has been subsidizing hospitals for taking care of COVID-19-positive patients. Let's say a hospital performs a COVID test 4 times during a hospital stay as a screening test in a patient who has no symptoms of COVID. If that test pops positive once and negative three times, the hospital will report that patient as having COVID-19, even though the one positive result is highly likely to have been a false positive. Why do hospitals do this testing so much? In part, because they'll get $14,000 more from the government for each patient they declare has COVID-19.

When we see statistics of COVID-19 deaths, we should recognize that some substantial percentage of them should be called "Deaths with a COVID-19-positive test." When we see reports of case numbers rising, we should know that they are defining "case" as anyone with a COVID-19-positive test, which, as you might now realize, is really a garbage number.

Summary:

  1. We have an epidemic of COVID-positive tests that is substantially larger than the epidemic of identified Relevant Infectious COVID Disease. In contrast, people with actual, mild cases of COVID-disease aren't all getting tested. So the data, on which lockdowns are supposedly justified, are lousy.

  2. The data on COVID hospitalizations and deaths in the US are exaggerated by a government subsidization scheme that incentivizes the improper use of tests in people without particular risk of the disease.

  3. Avoid getting tested for COVID unless you are symptomatic yourself, have had exposure to someone who was both symptomatic and tested positive for COVID, or have some other personal reason that makes sense.

  4. Know that getting tested before traveling abroad puts you at a modest risk of getting a false-positive test result, which will assuredly screw up your trip. It's a new political risk of travel.

  5. There is a lot more to this viral testing game, and there are a lot of weird incentives. There are gray areas and room for debate.

  6. Yes, the COVID disease can kill people. But a positive test won't kill anybody. Sadly, every COVID-positive test empowers those politicians and bureaucrats who have a natural bent to control people -- the sociopaths and their ilk.

* * *

John Hunt, MD is a pediatric pulmonologist/allergist/immunologist, a former tenured Associate Professor and academic medical researcher, who has extensive experience and publications involving PCR, antigen testing, and analysis of respiratory fluid. He is internationally recognized as an expert in aerosol/respiratory droplet collection and analysis. He's also Doug Casey's coauthor for the High Ground novels Speculator, Drug Lord, and the just-released Assassin , and he is a founding member of the LLC that owns International Man.

* * *

Unfortunately, most people have no idea what really happens when a government goes out of control, let alone how to prepare How will you protect yourself in the event of an economic crisis? New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team just released a guide that will show you exactly how. Click here to download the PDF now .

[Jan 10, 2021] Miami Beach OB-Gyn doctor's death 18 days after Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine under investigation

Jan 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

gm , Jan 10 2021 17:16 utc | 16

This is just one individual case; but the condition is so rare that it does require independent investigation about potential side effects of the vaccine. Is immune thrombocytopenia one of them ?

https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/2021/01/08/miami-beach-doctors-death-after-covid-19-vaccine-under-investigation/

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Questions remain in the death of a 56-year-old Miami Beach doctor who died Sunday, just a little over two weeks after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, our sister station WPLG-TV in Miami reported.

Gregory Michael, M.D., whose website states he was in private practice in obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, received the vaccine at the hospital where he was affiliated on Dec. 18.

It is not clear, however, if the 56-year-old doctor's death is related to the shot, but an investigation is underway.

A Facebook post by Michael's wife described him as "very healthy." His website said he was an avid tournament and big game fisherman and also a rescue certified scuba diver.

His wife said that three days after getting the shot, Michael noticed severe broken blood vessels on his feet and hands, prompting him to go the emergency room.

There, he was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia *, which prevents blood from clotting. After two weeks of treatment, she writes on the Facebook post, Michael had a hemorrhagic stroke caused by the lack of platelets, which took his life in a matter of minutes, she said.

She said her husband was an advocate of the vaccine.

A spokesperson from Mount Sinai, who cited patient privacy restrictions, said in a statement:

"To the extent that we are aware of an incident involving any patient, the appropriate agencies are contacted immediately and have our full cooperation."

Florida's Department of Health confirmed that they referred the case to the Centers for Disease Control for investigation. A CDC spokesperson told Local 10 News that "they will evaluate the situation as more information becomes available and provide timely updates on what is known and any necessary actions."

* When immune system attacks/destroys platelet cells in the blood

More Here:
https://www.the-sun.com/news/2105759/dr-gregory-michael-miami-coroanvirus-vaccine-dead/

gm , Jan 10 2021 19:27 utc | 38

Re: "I have what I suppose to be a foolish question about the Pfizer vaccine, which in order to remain viable has to be kept in an extreme frozen condition until being used. The question is, what happens to the vaccine as it is brought to human body temperature, (which is, I assume, what must be done before it can be safely injected)?"

-juliania | Jan 10 2021 18:03 utc | 21

Not a foolish question at all--and not one that I have yet heard any of the Holy Annointed Vessels of Covid Science TRUTH (ie Dr. 'Gain of Function' Fauci, Bill Gates et al) give an understandable explanation for.

Speaking purely from the perspective of someone with technical background in the chemistry/medical fields and having no direct insider info about the Pfizer mRNA vaccine specifically,

the vaccine's Spike protein coding mRNA 'payload' must be packaged inside a protective "liposome" a synthetic lipid bi-layer vesicle.

The liposome protects the mRNA payload from being chewed up/destroyed while it is still in the extracellular space (blood plasma, lymph etc) by plasma nucleases before the spike mRNA is able reach and enter the body's cells where it is then replicated and translated into (antigenic [immune system recognizing/inducing]) viral spike proteins.

The RNA-liposome vesicles have a limited stability at room temperature in aqueous saline conditions, and an even shorter half-life in the blood stream at body temperature. They are most stable when keptvery cold in deep freeze <~70 degree C) with some physiologically compatible "antifreeze" (eg polyethylene glycol, polypropylene glycol, or syrupy sugar-like mixtures) that keep liposome-disrupting ice crystals from forming during the deep freeze storage temps.

Now to address your question, my guess is the reconstitution procedure is to bring the antifreeze-stablized -70C vaccine vials to >0 degrees C, and then add physiological saline, and then inject within the protocol-defined stability-safe time range.

[Jan 10, 2021] One possible trap is that the French Government have signed one of the secret "accords" that give big Pharma the "right" (ability) to sue the French or other Governments if for any reason they do not make the profit they "expected or wanted" to make.

Jan 10, 2021 | www.moonofalabama.org

Stonebird , Jan 10 2021 17:23 utc | 17

First, the funniest comment I have seen for a long while (Elijah Magnier)

https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/1347926280864473088/photo/1

------
Two things I would like information or opinion on are as follows;

In France, those that are about be vaccinated by Pfizer must sign a legal form that is 56 pages long (not a joke ! - Including by seniors with pre or declared-alzheimers), which, I presume, covers all possible forms of immunity for Pfizer, and unwanted side effects, expected or not. BUT does this "form" have hidden traps? One possible trap is that the French Government have signed one of the secret "accords" that give big Pharma the "right" (ability) to sue the French or other Governments if for any reason they do not make the profit they "expected or wanted" to make.

The Governments concerned will have to make up any shortfall. even if due to popular pressures on the Gov. The "settlement" was to be overseen by an ISDN (arbitration) tribunal. Whose three members were taken from 15 US law firms specializing in Company (Corporate) law, even if one nominally was supposed to represent the Government. No input from "other interested parties" was to be allowed, and deliberations and names of "Lawyers" were also to be kept secret.

This was one part of the Trade "agreement" on services. The one which was to be kept secret for five years and those signing it to remain anonymous. Was it in fact signed? Was it in fact signed by other Governments as well. This would go a long way to explain the obsessions by some Ministers to force vaccinations against common sense. (on children etc)
-----
The second is more extreme; As the "vaccinated+" human body has been modified by an injection by either Pfizer or Modena, will these companies have any "rights" on the living result. (I'm thinking of Monsanto/Beyer and their attempts to Patent the living.) Normally this would be a long-shot idea, but these days I don't trust them.

[Jan 09, 2021] An interview with Professor Dolores Cahill about the potentially lethal effects of mRNA vaccines:

Jan 09, 2021 | thewallwillfall.org

Gwyn , Jan 8, 2021 3:02 PM

An interview with Professor Dolores Cahill about the potentially lethal effects of mRNA vaccines:

https://thewallwillfall.org/2021/01/07/why-people-will-start-dying-a-few-months-after-the-first-mrna-vccines/

[Jan 09, 2021] The PCR test should be trashed immediately, worldwide, and it should be considered a criminal act for anyone to be sent to quarantine because this test was positive

Jan 09, 2021 | off-guardian.org

Cal , Jan 8, 2021 6:52 PM


Mike Ellwood (Oxon UK) , Jan 9, 2021 1:09 AM Reply to George Mc

I presume that people who get the vaccine(s) will then start testing positive with the PCR test, if they are tested soon afterwards, or even some time afterwards. And so they should, really, since, in a sense, they have been "infected" with some version of the so-called virus. At least that's more or less how vaccination is supposed to work, isn't it?

If that does start happening, I will be fascinated (in a blackly comic way) to see the official reaction. I think it's all going to go very pear shaped (even more than it is now), in ways we probably can't begin to imagine yet.

[Jan 04, 2021] What Vaccine Trials- OffGuardian

Notable quotes:
"... A risk reduction of 0.84%. Oh! A barely perceptible "efficacy." ..."
"... An analysis of available positive RT-PCR tests and mortality results led the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine estimated a very tentative COVID 19 Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of around 1.4%. Based upon the figures reported to the FDA by Pfizer and BioNTech, this indicates a broad population based mortality risk from COVID 19 of 1.4(0.88/100) which is 0.012%. ..."
"... If we look at the "V-Safe Active Surveillance for COVID 19 Vaccines" reported by the U.S. Center For Disease Control (CDC), early indications of the recorded "Health Impact Events" (HIE) reveal a worrying level of adverse reactions from the mRNA vaccine. The CDC define an HIE as: ..."
"... On December the 18th 112,807 people were injected with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the U.S. Of these, 3,150 were subsequently unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional . This is an HIE rate of 2.8%. ..."
"... This suggests that among the first 10 million people to receive the vaccine in the UK, around 280,000 may find themselves unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work and require medical care as a result. As it is the most vulnerable who are the first to receive this vaccine, given the tiny risk of mortality from the COVID 19 disease, it is by no means clear that this is a risk worth taking. ..."
"... The obvious problem with these vaccines, is that no reliable fit for purpose diagnostic test exists as of this moment. As far I know, no one in power is even talking about any need for an effective test. How are they able to prove that a vaccine is effective without a reliable, valid test? ..."
"... Rahm Emmanuel said "never let a crisis go to waste". Crisis do not need to be real motivate the necessary panic for a change. ..."
"... What is the evidence so far on side effects and long-term effects of Covid vaccinations? Obtained in half a year on test subjects and within a week on nursing home residents? ..."
Jan 04, 2021 | off-guardian.org

OVID 19 vaccine trials appear to have caused some confusion. Hopefully, this article might help clear things up a bit. People genuinely appear to believe that the COVID 19 vaccines have undergone clinical trials and have been proven to be both safe and effective. That belief is simply wrong.

The main point is this. If you decide to have Pfizer and BioNTech's experimental mRNA-based BNT162b2 (BNT) vaccine, or any other claimed COVID 19 vaccine for that matter, you are a test subject in a drug trial.

The mRNA in the BNT vaccine was sequenced from the 3rd iteration of the original WUHAN published Genome SARS-CoV-2 (MN908947.3). However, the WHO protocols Pfizer used to produce the mRNA do not appear to identify any nucleotide sequences that are unique to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When investigator Fran Leader questioned Pfizer they confirmed:

The DNA template does not come directly from an isolated virus from an infected person.

Nor are there any completed clinical trials for these vaccines. Trials are ongoing. If you are jabbed with one, you are the guinea pig. This may be fine with you but it's not a leap of faith I or my loved ones wish to take. However, everyone is different.

On December the 8th the BBC reported a study in the Lancet and categorically stated:

The Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is safe and effective, giving good protection, researchers have confirmed

The BBC had no justification to make this claim. The study in the Lancet did not confirm anything of the sort. The researchers wrote:

ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 has an acceptable safety profile and has been found to be efficacious against symptomatic COVID-19 in this interim analysis of ongoing clinical trials.

This was an interim analysis funded by, among others, CEPI and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The analysis was based upon trials which are years from completion and haven't reported anything. The researchers also stated:

There were no peer-reviewed publications available on efficacy of any severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines

There is no clear scientific evidence establishing either the safety or efficacy of proposed COVID 19 vaccines. The BBC and other MSM reports that this evidence exists are false.

We are going to focus on Pfizer and BioNTech's BNT vaccine but all the manufacturers have essentially exploited the same trick. The regulators and governments have worked with the pharmaceutical corporations to conflate the limited data from the initial, or phase one, trials with the incomplete and ongoing data collection from the substantially larger phase two and three trials. The MSM have then falsely claimed the 1,2,3 phase trials are complete and insinuated that the untested data demonstrates vaccine efficacy and safety.

In reality, not only has the reporting of existing data been manipulated to show efficacy that isn't evident in the raw data itself, the most important and meaningful phases of the trials have barely begun, let alone been completed.

Recently the UK Financial Times reported that the UK regulators (the MHRA) are due to approve Astrazeneca/Oxfords AZD1222 [ChAdOx1] COVID 19 Vaccine. The FT revealed an anonymous statement from the UK Department of health:

The medicines regulator is reviewing the final data from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca phase 3 clinical trials to determine whether the vaccine meets their strict standards of quality, safety and effectiveness.

Thus giving the public the impression that the trials are complete and that the regulators have strict safety standards. The 1,2,3 phase trial for AZD1222 was registered with the U.S. Centre for Disease Control as clinical trial NCT04516746 [Archived 29th December 2020]. It is incomplete and the estimated end date is February 21st 2023. The CDC state:

No Study Results Posted

Astrazeneca are years away from reporting any "final data." It is impossible for the UK Department of Health to review it, because it doesn't exist.

NCT04516746 is one of four trials of AZD1222. Another Russian arm of the AZD1222 trial was suspended after a Suspected Unexpected Serious Adverse Reaction (SUSAR) event occurred. The SUSAR supposedly happened in the United Kingdom after a 37 year old women developed inflammation of the spinal chord. It appears the Russian Ministry of Health have yet to reinstate their arm of the Astrazeneca/Oxford trial while it has resumed in the UK and elsewhere.

Clinical Trial NCT04516746: [Archived 29.12.2020] , [Contemporary Link] WHAT VACCINE TRIALS?

On November 18th Pfizer and BioNTech announced they had concluded their phase three trial of BNT. They had demonstrated efficacy of 95% and U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) safety data milestone had been met.

The only part of this claim that was true was compliance with FDA emergency safety data milestones. They have not concluded their phase three trials. They haven't even fully completed phase one.

Under section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act ) so called "unapproved" drugs are allowed on the market in emergencies . Similarly, in the UK, authorisation under Regulation 174 of the Human Medicine Regulations 2012 (as amended) permits the same.

Having also been approved in the UK, this is why the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) state:

This medicinal product does not have a UK marketing authorisation

The fact that there are no completed clinical trials for the Pfizer and BioNTech BNT vaccine also explains why the FDA State:

Additional adverse reactions, some of which may be serious, may become apparent with more widespread use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

The FDA also noted :

[There is] currently insufficient data to make conclusions about the safety of the vaccine in sub-populations such as children less than 16 years of age, pregnant and lactating individuals, and immunocompromised individuals ..[the] risk of vaccine-enhanced disease over time, potentially associated with waning immunity, remains unknown.

Yet the first people to receive this vaccine are the most vulnerable in society, many of whom are immunocompromised. The precautionary principle appears to have been abandoned. The notion that the purpose of the BNT vaccine roll out is to save life appears untenable.

The Pfizer announcement enabled politicians to pretend to cry on national television while others were really excited. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "fantastic news," and the BBC said it was "good news" and "really encouraging." Everyone was thoroughly impressed with the 95% effective claim.

However, this was based upon relative risk reduction . That is the declared percentage difference between the vaccinated group's 8/18310 chance (0.044%) of developing COVID 19 against a 162/18319 (0.88%) chance of COVID 19 symptoms without the vaccine. As this larger group of 43,000 people have yet to be trialled, there is no basis for this claimed outcome. But it is what it is, and we can use these reported figures here.

It should be noted this only refers to an alleged reduction of COVID 19 symptoms among those who have the virus. The tested endpoints do not demonstrate that the vaccine will either reduce the spread of infection or save lives. It should also be noted that these figures suggest the threat from COVID 19 is vanishingly small.

Using Pfizer's figures, the relative risk reduction is 100(1 – (0.044/0.88)). Which is 95%. Voila!

This sounds fantastic and is a much better marketing strategy than reporting the absolute risk reduction. The absolute risk of developing COVID 19 symptoms without the vaccine is supposedly 0.88% and with the vaccine 0.044%. In absolute terms, the effectiveness of the vaccine is (0.88-0.044)%.

A risk reduction of 0.84%. Oh! A barely perceptible "efficacy."

By using the relative instead of absolute risk reduction, the mainstream media (MSM) were free to market the mRNA vaccine for Pfizer and BioNTech (and other interested parties) with impressive sounding claims . These weren't remotely truthful, not only because they relied upon statistical manipulation but because no one had a clue about BNT's safety or efficacy. To this day, there are no clinical trial results.

THE CLINICAL TRIALS THAT DON'T EXIST

An analysis of available positive RT-PCR tests and mortality results led the Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine estimated a very tentative COVID 19 Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of around 1.4%. Based upon the figures reported to the FDA by Pfizer and BioNTech, this indicates a broad population based mortality risk from COVID 19 of 1.4(0.88/100) which is 0.012%.

Please bear this incredibly remote risk in mind as we discuss the early indication of the apparent threat to public health presented by the mRNA vaccine.

It is reasonable to work in terms of population risk because, while the chance of COVID 19 mortality seemingly increases with age, with the average age of death being 82 and a mortality distribution indistinguishable from standard mortality, the intention is to give the vaccine to everybody .

If we look at the "V-Safe Active Surveillance for COVID 19 Vaccines" reported by the U.S. Center For Disease Control (CDC), early indications of the recorded "Health Impact Events" (HIE) reveal a worrying level of adverse reactions from the mRNA vaccine. The CDC define an HIE as:

Unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional

On December the 18th 112,807 people were injected with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in the U.S. Of these, 3,150 were subsequently unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional . This is an HIE rate of 2.8%.

This suggests that among the first 10 million people to receive the vaccine in the UK, around 280,000 may find themselves unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work and require medical care as a result. As it is the most vulnerable who are the first to receive this vaccine, given the tiny risk of mortality from the COVID 19 disease, it is by no means clear that this is a risk worth taking.

CDC Presentation: [Archived 19.12.2020] , [Original]

Not that any of the other vaccines seem any better. So far the CDC have noted more than 5,000 HIE's for all vaccine being trialled on the population. Clearly, the potential exists that the vaccines will contribute to more deaths than the disease they allegedly protects vulnerable people against.

The Pfizer/BioNTech trial was registered as clinical trial number NCT04368728 with the CDC. Having recently discussed what I am about to share with you with people who simply refused to believe the evidence of their own eyes, I think it is important to stress that this is the Phase 3 Clinical Trial which Pfizer claimed they had concluded in their press release. There isn't another one. This is it .

The CDC state:

When available, study results information is included in the study record under the Study Results tab .After study results information has been submitted to ClinicalTrials.gov, but before it is posted, the results tab in the study record is labeled "Results Submitted.

At the time of writing (21st December 2020) as can be seen by date of the archived ClinicalTrials.gov web-page , the Study Results tab reads "No Results Posted." That is because there are no posted or submitted results from the Pfizer BioNTech trial of the BNT162b2 vaccine:

No Study Results Posted on ClinicalTrials.gov for this Study

Mainstream media reports , giving the impression that these vaccines have been found to be effective and safe are not evidence and they are not based on science. They are based on political policy and they report dangerous pseudo-scientific babble, masquerading as science journalism.

There will of course be mindless anti-rationalists who will call this dangerous antivaxxer nonsense. All the time insisting that it is perfectly safe to give a vaccine with a questionable safety profile, for which there are no completed clinical trials, to the most vulnerable people in our society.

I am running out of patience with these people.

VACCINE SAFETY?

The start date for NCT04368728 was April 29th and the estimated trial completion date is January 27th 2023. The estimated end date of the primary or phase one of a three phase trial is June 13th 2021.

According to the " Current Primary Outcome Measures," the minimum time frame for Pfizer to assess serious adverse events (SAE's) is "6 months after last dose." This is the minimum term for assessing SAE's in phase one of the trial.

Phase one is the only part of the NCT04368728 trial to have been completed and published . It was published on the 14th October, 5 months and two weeks after the start date. Most of that period was taken up with recruitment an allocation. The minimum term for assessing SAE's has not been met during Phase One.

During Phase One, 195 participants were split into 13 groups of 15 people. In each group 12 received one of two potential mRNA vaccine candidates (either BNT162b1 or BNT162b2) and 3 a placebo.

39 people aged between 18-55 and another 39 people aged between 65-85 received the BNT vaccine, now approved for global distribution. The threat of COVID 19, though tiny overall, is statistically zero for those aged 18-55. Those with any measurable risk from COVID 19 were in the older age group.

Of the 39 older people who received 2 doses of BNT about half of them experienced "fatigue," roughly 15% had "chills" and 3 of them had a fever. The common side effects of BNT included nausea, headache (a very common BNT induced nervous system disorder) arthralgia and myalgia (very common), fatigue, chills and fever (again very common.) Other than fatigue, no one in the placebo group suffered these problems.

Safety and Immunogenicity of Two RNA-Based Covid-19 Vaccine Candidates: Figure 3, 'Participants 65 – 85 yr of age' [Archived 29.10.2020] , [Original]

The study states:

Pfizer was responsible for the trial design; for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and for the writing of the report.

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that while Pfizer see the side effects of their vaccine as fatigue, chills and fever, the CDC refer to them as people who can't work and need medical care.

The UK Medical and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the BNT vaccine, to be given to vulnerable British people, based upon a study of 39 older people. This study reported a pretty high adverse reaction rate. It was produced exclusively from the R&D of the vaccine manufacturer. The MHRA questioned nothing.

They "approved" BNT in the certain knowledge that there were no completed clinical trials for this vaccine. In their Public Assessment Report they state:

At the time of writing, the main clinical study is still on-going .It was concluded that BNT162b2 has been shown to be effective in the prevention of COVID-19. Furthermore, the side effects observed with use of this vaccine are considered to be similar to those seen with other vaccines. Therefore, the MHRA concluded that the benefits are greater than the risks.

This conclusion and approval not only lacks supporting evidence it is utterly at odds with what little is known about BNT. While Pfizer and BioNTech only completed trials of the vaccine on 39 relevant test subjects, the results, even from this practically inconsequential effort, suggest the risk from the vaccine is greater than the risk presented by COVID 19. By a considerable margin.

This undoubtedly explains why the MHRA ordered software from European suppliers to deal with the slew of vaccine adverse reaction they presumably anticipate. They stated:

The MHRA urgently seeks an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to process the expected high volume of Covid-19 vaccine Adverse Drug Reaction (ADRs) .it is not possible to retrofit the MHRA's legacy systems to handle the volume of ADRs that will be generated by a Covid-19 vaccine.

From the way the manufacturers, politicians, regulators and the MSM have approached vaccine safety, it is clear that they collectively have a total disregard for the welfare of vulnerable people. We really must put aside this infantile notion that "the authorities" care about us or our loved ones. We mean nothing to them.

COVID 19 is only an appreciable risk for the most vulnerable in society. It is a risk to the infirm elderly and people with existing life threatening conditions.

If we look at the exclusion criteria for Phase One, these people were not in the cohort tested. Anyone with high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes or a high BMI were excluded from the alleged safety trial. But the vaccine is being given to the most vulnerable first.

Of the 39 older people at most risk in the phase one study, none of them had the serious comorbidities which the overwhelming majority of those who die "with" COVID 19 possess. The people actually at risk from COVID 19 nominally entered the BNT trials at phase 2 and 3. However, it appears every effort has been made to limit, if not completely remove, their number too. "Immunocompromised or individuals with known or suspected immunodeficiency," were excluded.

Immunodeficiency is caused by a wide range of health conditions . Conditions such as undernutrition, polytrauma, stress after surgery, diabetes and cancer lead to immunodeficiency. The people with the comorbidities associated with so called COVID 19 deaths were practically ruled out from the BNT vaccine trials.

NCT04368728 was designed as a 1,2,3 trial with all phases running concurrently. With regards to assessing safety Pfizer described systemic events as:

Fever, fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, new or worsened muscle pain, and new or worsened joint pain as self-reported on electronic diaries.

The first 360 subjects randomised into the phase 2 and 3 trials underwent monitoring for systemic events for less than a week, following each dose:

In the first 360 participants randomized into Phase 2/3, percentage of participants reporting systemic events [ Time Frame: For 7 days after dose 1 and dose 2 ]

The same cohort of 360 test subjects were also monitored for Serious Adverse Events (SAE's) for up to 6 months in phase 2 and 3:

In the first 360 participants randomized into Phase 2/3, percentage of participants reporting serious adverse events [ Time Frame: From dose 1 through 6 months after the last dose]

Pfizer also intend to report the percentage of all test subjects who suffer SAE's:

Percentage of participants in Phase 2/3 reporting adverse events [ Time Frame: From dose 1 through 6 month after the last dose ]

But there are no reported results from either phase 2 or 3. No one has the faintest idea what the health risks of BNT are, especially for those it is supposedly designed to protect, and no one in authority gives a damn. Phase 2/3 clinical trials are now a moot point anyway.

The regulatory agencies have already approved the vaccine and health services have started injecting people with BNT. They do so after the manufacturers failed to properly test its safety on a 39 people who were in the at risk group but did not have the comorbidity that leads to claimed COVID 19 deaths.

The degree to which people have been misled into believing that these vaccines are known to be either safe or effective is almost beyond imagination.

Sadly, we don't need imagination. The evidence is clear.


Paul Nicholls , Jan 4, 2021 2:23 AM

The've been practicing this scam for a while now. Everything happening now has already had a few dry runs, perfecting all aspects of the current hoax.

James Corbett September 2012:

https://www.corbettreport.com/corbett-report-radio-226-pandemic/

Judith Nailer , Jan 4, 2021 1:12 AM

Can you clarify when you say the larger group of 43,000 people have yet to be trialled. Because I read in the following:

How Scientists Know The Approved COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe

that "Pfizer's Phase lll trial has been published in a peer–reviewed journal and included over 40,000 volunteers in 152 sites worldwide".

Kalen , Jan 4, 2021 1:11 AM

Death porn continues:

from ABC

California funeral homes run out of space as pandemic rages.

We are led to believe that mountains of corpses pile up because .. of ongoing massive COVID die out.

In order to keep up with the flood of bodies, Maldonado has rented extra 50-foot (15-meter) refrigerators for two of the four facilities she runs in LA and surrounding counties. Continental has also been delaying pickups at hospitals for a day or two while they deal with residential clients.

Pure panic. Only to be informed why we have piling up bodies in hospitals and mortuaries.

Bob Achermann, executive director of the California Funeral Directors Association, said that the whole process of burying and cremating bodies has slowed down, including embalming bodies and obtaining death certificates. During normal times, cremation might happen within a day or two; now it takes at least a week or longer.

so to summarize typical for flu season increased numbers of flu, pneumonia deaths are processed six to seven times slower than a year ago, causing obvious pile up.

Like with sex porn, COVID death porn is best left unexamined in detail not scrutinized too much, better left to porn induced sick imagination targeting consumers, otherwise reality will turn them off.

Igor , Jan 4, 2021 12:54 AM

The obvious problem with these vaccines, is that no reliable fit for purpose diagnostic test exists as of this moment. As far I know, no one in power is even talking about any need for an effective test. How are they able to prove that a vaccine is effective without a reliable, valid test?

Rahm Emmanuel said "never let a crisis go to waste". Crisis do not need to be real motivate the necessary panic for a change.

Edith , Jan 4, 2021 1:31 AM Reply to Igor

I suspect they are only testing whether the persons immune system produces some tcells etc from giving them this rubbish they cannot possible then infer one will be immune to any sort of cold, flu or pneumonia

Schmitz Katze , Jan 3, 2021 11:57 PM

Moderna admits here that what they inject with their vaccines is an "operating system."

"Our mRNA technology platform functions very much like an operating system on a computer. It is designed so that it can plug and play interchangeably with different programs" I can´t find anything what a vaccinated person is supposed to do when the operating system inside his/her body crashes -- It´s Doctor Bill´s ultimate solution to solve climate change, I suppose.

https://www.modernatx.com/mrna-technology/mrna-platform-enabling-drug-discovery-development

axisofoil , Jan 3, 2021 11:39 PM

Very clever mass detention and forced vaccination bill. https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/a416

Cal , Jan 4, 2021 12:19 AM Reply to axisofoil

It used to be the case that if we felt unwell we'd take time off to stay at home to recover, or that we'd go to hospital.

This new bill makes it possible for a healthy person to be tested (with a fraudulently used PCR test) to prove positive, followed by forced incarceration in a detention centre as if a common or garden prisoner.

Imprisonment without trial for no crime in the land of the free.

I have the feeling the rich will not be targeted, only the poor. If this was happening in North Korea people would be horrified. Any politician enabling this act is enabling fascism and tyranny.

JoeC , Jan 4, 2021 12:37 AM Reply to Cal

It's so obvious what this asymptomatic bullshit is all about.

Judith , Jan 4, 2021 12:44 AM Reply to Cal

Call me clueless, but this doesn't have a chance of actually passing does it?? Will they put everyone on trains at Grand Central and ship you off? For your own good?

livingsb , Jan 3, 2021 11:00 PM Reply to livingsb

taking a shit on the floor and pissing on the curtains, then tearing off the roof .

October , Jan 3, 2021 10:27 PM

Wow. Britain is going to mix vaccines according to this . In France meanwhile, after getting off to a very slow start, they're thinking of appointing an advisory committee of randomly selected citizens (?) to define their immunisation strategy. Said committee will submit its report in the summer .

moneycircus , Jan 3, 2021 11:12 PM Reply to October

I call them Britain's Scient-icians. They make it up as they go along. From the NYT article "There are no data on this idea whatsoever," said John Moore, a vaccine expert at Cornell University. Officials in Britain "seem to have abandoned science completely now and are just trying to guess their way out of a mess."

Kalen , Jan 3, 2021 9:59 PM

As author pointed out no SC2 viral genetic material is used in Pfizer, Moderna and AZN bioagents wrongly called vaccines .. because they do not have them available (or they do not exist). In fact even Chinese making so called traditional attenuated vaccines or Russians making adenovirus vector bioagents do not have them either. Instead of entire virus they use only spike protein only for achieving immunogenicity. But where the spike proteins come from.

ABC explained in September on AZN example.

Britain's Oxford University and AstraZeneca are making what scientists call a "viral vector" vaccine but a good analogy is the Trojan horse. The shots are made with a harmless virus – a cold virus that normally infects chimpanzees – that carries the spike protein's genetic material into the body. [infecting human cells] Two possible competitors to AZN are made with different human [common] cold viruses.

Yes. What is being tried on people by Moderna Pfizer, AZN and others are experimental bioagents that solicit antibodies that alledgedly block common cold's subclass of coronaviruses' spikes, not particularly SC2 virus spikes because they do not have them isolated.

No supposed experimental "vaccines" make any attempt to eradicate, neutralize SC2 virus itself if it exists, (if COVID exists) as so far there is no proof of either.

Those phantom pseudo-vaccines supposedly to protect us from phantom disease have nothing to do with published SC2 virus RNA or with COVID clinical disease they are bio-technological experiments with drug delivery systems aimed as harvesting human cell to production of certain proteins altering cell functions and metabolism.

In this particular case Moderna and Pfizer bioagents make regular human cells grow non human protein spikes fooling immune system into increasing antibody production, marking human cells for eradication and attacking human cells by killer TCells (Lymphocytes).

Those are human cells, not infected by active reproducible virus that are being destroyed according to the mRNA vaccine model and that is why unprecedented in comparison with other vaccines prevalence of severe disease like, incapacitating symptoms of infection with artificial bioagents themselves. Anything beyond little redness and swollen tissue around injection site not to mention loss of consciousness is cause of serious concern.

if this is the case those experimental "vaccinations" developed with no animal studies to establish safety and toxicity set up perfect conditions for cytokines shocks, pathogen priming and ADE all longer term deadly complications of coronavirus vaccinations encountered in the past coronaviruses vaccine research.

Mark R. Elsis , Jan 3, 2021 9:36 PM

Understanding What They Mean By 'Risk Reduction' Is Critical by Dr. Thomas Cowan (12:52) https://www.bitchute.com/video/yosb8WE9IvPc

Jean , Jan 3, 2021 8:56 PM

In Quebec City (Canada), the first doses of Pfizer/Biotech vaccine were for the folks and employees of an old age pensioners residence. They got their shot on Dec. 14. On Dec. 30, 66 vaccinated residents and 20 employees got COVID. Explanation from health authorities: the vaccines needs 14 days to be efficient. But positive tests were announced after 14 days. Here's the article in French: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1760058/eclosion-covid-chsld-saint-antoine-quebec-vaccin

And yesterday, I fell on this Sputnik article: 240 Israelis Test Positive for Coronavirus After Getting Vaccinated

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202101021081631205-240-israelis-test-positive-for-coronavirus-after-getting-vaccinated/

So, does that means that you have more chance to catch the virus by being vaccined against it?

Jacques , Jan 3, 2021 9:52 PM Reply to Guy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1-0XKYAZII

This sums it up quite nicely. There are other who say essentially the same thing, perhaps from a different angle.

Money might be a secondary, short-term benefit, but money as understood today won't probably matter for very long anymore.

It's about total control solidified by technologies. Eventually, eradicating people deemed non-essential. The psychopaths probably think that they can manage with robots.

Well, if that happens, the solace for us, who fall by the wayside, will be that the world created by the TFIC will eventually atrophy, implode. These fuckers have no culture, no vital creativity. They thrive on technocratic dullness, control. They can live on what's creative spirits have created thus far, but that will only take them so far.

Paul , Jan 3, 2021 10:01 PM Reply to Guy

As other commenters have eluded too the introduction of health passports are coming, digital IDS, the Chinese social credit system.

It's a fascist global coup from the WEF, IMF, Gates, Big Tech etc.

Unfortunately too many people and even those who know something isn't right are thinking it's just hysteria or the governments don't know what they're doing.

Schmitz Katze , Jan 3, 2021 8:09 PM

What is the evidence so far on side effects and long-term effects of Covid vaccinations? Obtained in half a year on test subjects and within a week on nursing home residents?

Questions like this and common sense will be banned in the near future. Sheep will bleat ten times a day: Vaccination is good because the government is only ever concerned with our welfare and health. Apart from that, vaccinating with an untested vaccine is Kismet.

For sane people, if one follows the Pfizer/Biontech package insert, the vaccination is a dareDevil act. With some probability, the vaccinated person will only become slightly ill – even that is not certain – but he/she can still become infected and infect his/her fellow men.
What´s the big selling point about Covid vaccinations again? Something along the lines of „ to save your fellow men(sch) from infection, right?

People in Germany are inundated with magazine covers the likes of Der Stern with headlines:"Vaccination is charity" with Christmas nativity scene. This is the most malicious manipulation I have seen about experimental m RNA-based vaccinations so far. The opposite is the case. Pharmaceutical corporations use people who are vaccinated now as guinea pigs for their studies which are laid out on the two following test years.
What can be more selfish than this ice-cold profit motivation?
Have they no shame, one might ask?
As for Der Stern, this magazine has sold the big hoax with the Hitler diaries as a scoop.
It all follows.
https://shop.stern.de/de_DE/einzelhefte/einzelausgaben/stern-epaper-53-2020/1990689.html

Steve , Jan 3, 2021 7:29 PM

The background to the mRNA tech in this opinion piece is interesting

" Scientific breakthroughs like this don't come from nowhere. Messenger RNA was first discovered in the early 1960s but it wasn't until the late 1980s that scientists learned how to make it from scratch. Then a new hurdle emerged. When scientists injected mRNA into animals, it induced such a severe immune response that the animals died. It was Dr Katalin Kariko,​ working with immunologist Dr Drew Weissman,​ who figured out how to stop that severe immune response from happening. And that was crucial for mRNA vaccines to be trialled in humans."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300195200/covid19-turning-our-bodies-into-vaccine-factories

Paul , Jan 3, 2021 4:14 PM Reply to JudyJ

As most of the vaccinated people are in care homes it would be interesting to know how many of them have subsequently tested PCR positive.

This hasn't been mentioned anywhere.

But then again the 'vaccine' doesn't protect against infection or transmission and just symptoms as we are told.

Hallelujah , Jan 3, 2021 6:29 PM Reply to Paul

Except that it causes the same symptoms as the alleged disease it has to prevent.

TFS , Jan 3, 2021 5:26 PM Reply to JudyJ

Does this help you?

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2020-12/slides-12-19/05-COVID-CLARK.pdf

Check out the section on Health Impact Events.

[Dec 30, 2020] Gout vs. bursitis, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatments by Mohan Garikiparithi

Jul 05, 2016 | www.belmarrahealth.com

Bursitis and gout both affect the joints and can lead to inflammation and severe pain in the affected joints. Gout impacts the joint more directly than bursitis, which impacts the fluid-filled sacs that surround the joints and eliminate friction. Gout is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals, while bursitis can actually have a variety of causes, which we will go over in greater detail further on.

Another main difference between gout and bursitis is that bursitis can occur due to overuse of a certain joint, whereas this is not the case in gout. Performing repetitive motions is a key risk factor for bursitis – again, this doesn't apply to gout.

Here, we will further explore the similarities and differences between bursitis and gout to help you better understand both of these joint conditions.

Can bursitis lead to arthritis? Bursitis and gout connection

Having gout – a type of arthritis – is a known risk factor for bursitis, but the question remains: Can bursitis lead to arthritis? The simple answer is no – although bursitis can be caused by arthritis, it does not lead to it.

Bursitis can be caused by an infection or overuse, but these can be treated, so there is no long term effect. To prevent bursitis, it's important to avoid your triggers or modify your movements so that inflammation of the bursa doesn't happen again.

Bursitis vs. gout: U.S. prevalence

The worldwide prevalence of gout is one to four percent. In the U.S. specifically, 3.9 percent are affected by gout. The authors of the study Global Epidemiology of Gout: Prevalence, Incidences and Risk Factors wrote, "The prevalence of gout in more affluent countries seems to be increasing in recent decades. However, only a few studies give reliable data on secular trends in gout prevalence. The US NHANES study found a significantly higher age-adjusted prevalence (3.9 percent) in 2007–2008 than the estimate in 1988–1994 (2.9 percent). This trend paralleled an observed increase in hyperuricemia."

Men are at a higher risk of developing gout compared to women, especially those over the age of 40. Individuals who have undergone an organ transplant are at a heightened risk for gout as well.

Bursitis accounts for 0.4 percent of primary care visits in the U.S. It is commonly seen in athletes, with incidence rates as high as 10 percent. Bursitis affects men more than women, especially those who work in construction or who are frequently kneeling.

https://www.belmarrahealth.com/inpostads?id=41347&postid=51461&is_report

Difference between gout and bursitis: Signs and symptoms

Typical symptoms of bursitis include pain, tenderness even without motion, swelling, and loss of movement. If bursitis is caused by an infection, additional symptoms – such as fever, redness of the area, and the affected area feeling hot to touch – may be present. It's important to note that symptoms also depend on the location of bursitis. Here are some additional symptoms experienced in specific locations in the body.

Common signs and symptoms of gout are:

If a fever develops or the joint feels hot to touch, see your doctor right away. Gout can be successfully managed as long as your doctor is aware of your condition.

Comparing bursitis and gout causes

Bursitis is a common cause of painful hips, knees, and elbows, but it can be managed with nonsurgical treatments. Bursitis occurs when the bursa – a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion and lubricator for our bones, muscles, and tendons around our joints – becomes irritated or infected, causing pain through movement. If bursitis is caused by an infection, then medical treatment is required. But if no infection is found, then medical attention can help prevent the condition from worsening.

A person has bursitis when inflammation of the bursa occurs, causing pain when moving.

Bursitis can affect any joint, including the hip, knees, shoulder, elbow, buttocks, and thigh.

The common causes of bursitis are injury, infection, or a pre-existing condition in which crystals form in the bursa.

Gout is a result of crystallized uric acid, which occurs when a person has high levels of uric acid in their blood. Uric acid results from the breakdown of purines found in some foods like red meat and alcohol.

Normally, uric acid passes through our systems and is released through our urine, but with excessively high levels, the uric acid can build up and crystallize in joints and surrounding tissues, causing discomforting symptoms.

Difference between bursitis and gout: Risk factors and complications

Risk factors for gout include eating a diet high in uric acid-promoting purines, being overweight or obese, having an untreated medical condition like hypertension, taking certain medications, having a family history of gout, being male over the age of 40, and recovering from a recent surgery or trauma.

Gout complications include reoccurring gout (the patient will experience frequent flares that can cause erosion and damage to the bones), advanced gout (nodules develop beneath the skin – these are known as tophi and can become tender and painful during gout attacks), and kidney stones, which can cause damage to the kidneys if they reoccur.

Risk factors for bursitis include being of older age, working in certain occupations such as tile laying, painting, or playing a musical instrument. Having other medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes, increases the risk of bursitis as well.

Bursitis itself is an inflammation of the bursa, so when your bursa is okay you won't experience or develop any bursitis-related symptoms. One main complication associated with bursitis is bunion. This is the swelling of the first joint on the big toe, and it gets pretty painful. If you develop bunions you should speak to your doctor about the possibility of surgical treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment options for gout and bursitis

Unless an infection is present, bursitis can be well managed through self-care. It's important to remember the acronym PRICEM when treating bursitis at home.

  1. P rotection – Protect the area from future injuries by wearing padding.
  2. R est – Limit the use of the joint and let it rest.
  3. I ce – Apply ice packs a few times a day, but not directly onto your skin.
  4. C ompression – Wear compression bandaging to limit blood flow to the area as it contributes to swelling.
  5. E levation – Keep the joint elevated if possible to prevent blood from pooling in the area.
  6. M edication – Take anti-inflammatory medication or antibiotics as instructed by your doctor.

In the rare instance, surgery may be recommended to drain the bursa in order to alleviate the inflammation.

Other treatment options include physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, and assistive devices like a cane.

Some preventative means for bursitis include protecting the joints from injury, either by wearing protective clothing or by modifying or avoiding certain activities. Take a moment to rest if you are performing repetitive tasks, always warm up prior to exercise, and build strong muscles to protect your joints.

Other preventative measures include maintaining a healthy weight, using kneeling pads, lifting objects correctly, wheeling heavy loads, avoiding sitting for long periods of time, and exercising regularly.

Gout can also be treated with medications, including NSAIDs and other pain relievers. Some medications can be prescribed to prevent gout complications, including medications to block uric acid and medications to improve uric acid removal.

Lifestyle changes and home remedies can also be implemented for better gout management. For example, limiting alcoholic and sugary beverages, reducing your intake of high purine foods (like red meat, organ meat, and seafood), exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight.


Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.

[Dec 29, 2020] US Demanding Iran's Vaccine Payments Go Through Its Banks

Dec 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J. Chuba , Dec 28 2020 22:43 utc | 20

OT: but related, vaccines distributed the U.S. breathlessly announced the success of operation warp speed and claimed that 20M doses would be distributed (shots in arm) by the end of this year, now we know the number is 2M .

Does anyone know how many doses of Sputnik V have been distributed year to date?

Latest outrage US Demanding Iran's Vaccine Payments Go Through Its Banks the headline tells you what you need to know. Is there any end to our depravity?

[Dec 29, 2020] Major Covid Vaccine Glitch Emerges- Most Europeans, Including Hospital Staff, Refuse To Take It - ZeroHedge

Dec 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Major Covid Vaccine Glitch Emerges: Most Europeans, Including Hospital Staff, Refuse To Take It BY TYLER DURDEN SUNDAY, DEC 27, 2020 - 21:50

All is not going according to plan in the biggest global rollout of what is arguably the most important vaccine in a century, and it is not just growing US mistrust in the covid injection effort that was rolled out in record time: an unexpected spike in allergic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (and now, Moderna too ) may prove catastrophic to widespread acceptance unless scientists can figure out what is causing it after the FDA's rushed approval, and is also why as we reported yesterday , scientists are scrambling to identify the potential culprit causing the allergic reactions.

Making matters worse, Europe rolled out a huge COVID-19 vaccination drive on Sunday to try to rein in the coronavirus pandemic but even more Europeans than American are sceptical about the speed at which the vaccines have been tested and approved and reluctant to have the shot.

While the European Union has secured contracts drugmakers including Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, for a total of more than two billion doses and has set a goal for all adults to be inoculated next year, this is looking increasingly like a pipe dream: according to recent surveys, the local population has expressed "high levels of hesitancy" towards inoculation in countries from France to Poland, with many used to vaccines taking decades to develop, not just months.

"I don't think there's a vaccine in history that has been tested so quickly," Ireneusz Sikorski, 41, said as he stepped out of a church in central Warsaw with his two children.

"I am not saying vaccination shouldn't be taking place. But I am not going to test an unverified vaccine on my children, or on myself."

Smart: why take the risk of getting vaccinated when others will do it, resulting in the same outcome.

Surveys in Poland, where distrust in public institutions runs deep, show that fewer than 40% of people planning to get vaccinated. Worse, according to Reuters on Sunday, only half the medical staff in a Warsaw hospital where the country's first shot was administered had signed up. And if the doctors don't trust the vaccine, one can be certain that the broader population will refuse to take it.

The situation is similar in Spain, one of Europe's hardest-hit countries, where 28-year-old singer and music composer German summarizes the skepticism of a broad range of the population, and plans to wait for now.

"No one close to me has had it (COVID-19). I'm obviously not saying it doesn't exist because lots of people have died of it, but for now I wouldn't have it (the vaccine)."

A Christian Orthodox bishop in Bulgaria, where 45% of people have said they would not get a shot and 40% plan to wait to see if any negative side effects appear - meaning only 15% of the population will actually volunteer for a vaccine in the near future - is in the tiny minority when it comes to taking the vaccine.

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"Myself, I am vaccinated against everything I can be," Bishop Tihon told reporters after getting his shot, standing alongside the health minister in Sofia. He spoke about anxiety over polio before vaccination became available in the 1950s and 1960s.

To be sure, the establishment is pounding the table on why the vaccines are safe despite the record short time in development (even though not even the "scientists" can explain what is behind the spike in vaccine allergic reactions), and claiming that the new technology behind the mRNA vaccine is all one needs to know... when it is precisely this new technology that is sparking the skepticism.

"We'll look back on the advances made in 2020 and say: 'That was a moment when science really did make a leap forward'," said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, which is backed by the Wellcome Trust. Oxford also received $750MM from Bill Gates in June in the billionaire's quest to vaccinate the world against Covid.

Only problem: nobody in Europe seems to care about these "scientific" justifications. Independent pollster Alpha Research said its recent survey suggested that fewer than one in five Bulgarians from the first groups to be offered the vaccine - frontline medics, pharmacists, teachers and nursing home staff - planned to volunteer to get a shot.

An IPSOS survey of 15 countries published on Nov. 5 showed then that 54% of French would have a COVID vaccine if one were available. The figure was 64% in Italy and Spain, 79% in Britain and 87% in China.

Since then things have gone far worse, and a more recent IFOP poll showed that only 41% people in France would take the shot . This means that a vast majority will not .

French Healthcare workers applaud Mauricette, a 78-year-old woman, after she received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease vaccine in the country.

Not even in Sweden, where public trust in authorities is absurdly and inexplicably high, is there a universal trust in the vaccine, with at least one in three saying they won't get the shot: "If someone gave me 10 million euro, I wouldn't take it," Lisa Renberg, 32, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in a paradoxical attempt to force more to sign up - not realizing that it will only have the precisely opposite effect - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki urged Poles on Sunday to sign up for vaccination, saying the herd immunity effect depended on them. Critics have accused Warsaw's "nationalist leaders" of being too accepting of anti-vaccination attitudes in the past in an effort to garner conservative support. Well... let's check back on said attitude in 10 years and see if perhaps it was the right one.

For now, however, the more European governments pressure their populations to get immunized, the fewer the people who will actually sign up and the worse the vaccine rollout will be, that much we can be 100% sure of.

[Dec 28, 2020] https://twitter.com/EstulinDaniel/status/1343206888020856840

Dec 28, 2020 | twitter.com

Yesterday in a especial program at private TV, it was stated by several representatives of the medical profession all very snobishly dressed, that there have not been other adverse effects so far except headhache, and joints pain..whic his not true, there have been also transverse mielitys, several anaphilactic shocks, and even deaths...

Telated, and with respect Brexit, one wonders how it is that after Brexit comes into effect, and after the EU populations are submitted to harsh restrictions of movements and meeting, especially travelling since March, several whole families of Britons managed to get into our countries carrying the new strain of the virus which is 70% more virulent...How is that UK citizens are more free than nationals, and what the Brexit serves for...

One would say that this new strain came so opportune to be blamed in case of a possible failure of the few experimented vaccines, or, if not, the population will be blamed for no vaccinating themselves enough. This way the governments wash their responsability in the previous misshandling of this pandemic,ingtroduce curtails of freedoms and rights which previously would have been impossible to do without fierce contestations in the streets, and avoid answering why they did not forced the laboratories instead into investigating on drugs that cure the Covid-19 infection, as the one administered to Trump is being investigated right now in the UK...Of course, drugs that cure an infection which anyway could dissapear in a year automathically ends profitting from vaccines.

One watch at all this data and gets the impression that he is being taken for a ride...

All of the above are legitimate questions the cintizenry are making to themselves, in lack of public comparecence of officials and heads of laboratiories implied to public and open questioning. The secrecy of all this highly controbutes to the distrust of the people. the people is being treated as herd, and never better said, illiterates who can not see further their own extende arm, and used a guinea pigs while morevoer left to pay the bill, as the ammount to be spent in these vaccines is an astronomic price which, of course, will never be taken out from the oligarchs.

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 27 2020 15:55 utc | 6 Conflict of interests between major Big Pharma corporations and official drug organisms:

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Efficacy? Where is the evidence to prove it? What's behind all that "fanciful" and encouraging news? And what about the links between state vaccine regulatory agencies and the pharmaceutical industry?Thread.

https://twitter.com/Herbert_Keg/status/1343155319187394561

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 27 2020 16:12 utc | 7

That should have been in the first paragraph. There were so far less than ten severe allergic reactions,no death, with more than 1 million vaccinated. That is 1 in 100,000 cases. About the same rate that allergic reactions to penicillin are reported. Meanwhile the U.S. has seen 100 deaths per 100,000 from Covid-19.

Do you think 1 in 100,000 is acceptable? I don't think it is, at least for a vaccine that's intended (I know it won't, but it would if it could) to for more than 7 billion people, against a disease that has a mortality rate of circa 1.5%.

Notice that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, so far, have only been inoculated on VIPs or healthcare professionals. Those who had grave anaphylactic episodes did so in a secure environment, inside fully equipped hospitals, ready to be saved if needed.

Now imagine a Third World environment, where billions of people would received the vaccine and be ready to go a few minutes later.

Luckily, the Third World will mainly receive the Chinese and Russian vaccines, which cause, as far as we know, no allergic reactions. Now imagine a world where China and Russia didn't exist, a world where capitalism reigned supreme, and 7 billion had to receive the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. This would make the Holocaust look like a book for children - and I mean that in the literal sense, not invoking Goodwin's Law (just make the calculations).

Penicillin is a completely different case: it was the only game in town when it came out, and the flu killed a lot more than the antibiotic did. Flu was basically a death sentence to a child before penicillin was discovered, and was a serious threat even to an adult. Besides, Penicillin is a cure, not a vaccine - completely different scenarios, as the person with a flu lives in a different risk-reward system than a person who may or may not ever get COVID-19.

Vaccines that kill one in 100,000 patients do exist (e.g. yellow fever, which is a live virus vaccine) - but they are for exotic and much deadlier diseases, so a much lower number of people are inoculated with it and the risk is well worth it. To release such an expensive and risky vaccine when there are cheaper and safer options is irresponsible on the part of the laboratories, in my opinion.

Posted by: vk | Dec 27 2020 16:25 utc | 8

Vk - 1 in 100,000 is incredibly good. Be assured that any vaccine that would potentially be effective against this virus would have at least this level of issue. That we don't know the complications rate of the Russian or Chinese vaccines does not mean that the rates are zero!

As to your argument, you don't see the benefit of vaccinating where potentially millions of people could die and the economies be completely wrecked? What the hell?

Posted by: Caliman | Dec 27 2020 17:33 utc | 17

Caliman @ 17

No allergic reactions from Sputnik V

Posted by: arby | Dec 27 2020 18:10 utc | 19

Two interesting interviews from Germany.

(1) In this interview with ZDF, Prof. Wolf-Dieter Ludwig, who is the head of the drug commission of physician in Germany, considers the development of Covid vaccines as a positive thing but finds faults with politicians, especially German health minister Spahn, for putting political pressure on the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to accelerate the approval of vaccines, especially the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Prof. Ludwig also belongs to EMA management board. Most importantly, when asked whether he'd take the vaccine, his response was NO. That's because he feels that we hardly know anything about its long term adverse effects . https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/politik/corona-impfstoff-zulassung-kritik-ludwig-100.html


(2) Toxicologist Prof. Hockertz unequivocally states that for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine there exist hardly any preclinical toxicological and pharmacological data (phases 1 and 2) . He points out that even in cases of orphan drugs, the regulation allows a telescoping of the Phase 3 clinical study, but NEVER of the preclinical studies. In his words, the way Phases 1 and 2 have been skipped is criminal in nature. At the very end of the interview (which is in German), he quotes the response from Pfizer as "No data available" on his request for toxicological and pharmaceutical data from preclinical studies!!

He also notes that recently Swissmedic (national authorization and supervisory authority for drugs and medical products in Switzerland) has concluded that the Pfizer vaccine submission lacks evidence of safety, efficacy and quality! Swissmedic is independent of EMA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=iiTrttV7Q8A&feature=youtu.be

Prof. Hockertz is a past director of institute for experimental toxicology and clinical toxicology at University of Hamburg Eppendorf. And before that he was a member of the directorate of Fraunhofer Institutes for Toxicology and Environmental Medicine in Hannover.

I am not saying that the vaccine is dangerous - I have no data to support that conclusion. But there is no data to support that the vaccine is safe either.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Dec 27 2020 19:44 utc | 26

@vk

You, as usually, in your apparently well informed kinda Marxist narrative, insert always some of disinfo which makes me suspect about your real golas here.

You are stating that the Pfizer vaccine was admnistered only to a few VIPs...

Which VIPS are those? Do not be you referring to Pence? He could well have been inoculated with phisiologic solution as he is reincident, like that time when he transported empty aid boxes in the past for another photo op. Another example, please?

They are inoculating first super elders, in their last 80s and 90s in the nursing homes, mainly private, young nurses and nursing home employees working there...which points at that thosve employees probably would be fired if they do not agree on being vaccinated

They have taken the caution to not inoculate first the people between 50 and 60 which are those who most could suffer a serious adverse effect, by the possible presence of preconditions, in fact the most prejudiced by Covid-19 infection....

In fact, not even in Russia there are officials vaccinated yet, and that even with the less harmful Russian vaccine....

In the press some are displaying a huge effort naming this event a "estelar moment for humanity"...

The people, over whom all the sticks fall, have not but producing memes due the current histeria displayed on TV and MSM...

https://twitter.com/i/status/1342968855598133250

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Dec 27 2020 20:04 utc | 27

URGENT News about the Covid-19 Vaccine

Dr Vernon Coleman
20 Dec 2020

Excerpt from transcript of 3:47 min video:

I have just seen a report from `ACIP Covid-19 Vaccine Work Group at CDC' in the US. (ACIP stands for Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices.)

This is a report on anaphylaxis following m-RNA covid-19 vaccine receipt, and the report includes a table headed: 'V-Safe Active Surveillance for Covid-19 Vaccine'.

The table lists the number of registrants with a recorded first dose by December 18th as 112,807 and the number of Health Impact Events as 3,150.

Health Impact Events are defined as individuals, `unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health professional'.

That is 2.79%, and it is within days of receiving the vaccine.

If 60 million people in the UK have the vaccine we can, therefore, expect 1.67 million people to be unable to work, perform normal daily activities and to require care from a doctor or health professional.

If six billion people worldwide have the vaccine, we can expect 167 million people to be `unable to work, perform normal daily activities, require care from doctor or heath professional'.

And that is just the short-term effect of the vaccine. We obviously don't know what will happen in the months and years ahead.

ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group

Posted by: pogohere | Dec 28 2020 1:23 utc | 65

65 cont'd

The transcript of the video: Urgent News about the Covid-19 Vaccine'

from vid: URGENT News about the Covid-19 Vaccine

3:47 min

ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Work Group

Anaphylaxis Following m-RNA COVID-19

Vaccine Receipt

Thomas Clark, MD, MPH
December 19, 2020

scroll down to Slide 6

Posted by: pogohere | Dec 28 2020 1:31 utc | 68

@65 & 68 pogohere

Thank you. I'm not sure we're seeing what we think we're seeing here.

In the CDC report, page 4 says 6 cases of anaphylaxis were discovered by 2300 hours, EST on December 18.

Page 6 cites the number of Health Impact Events as 3,150, and this at an earlier time, 1730 hours, EST on December 18.

After studying this, I conclude that they are not claiming 3,150 cases of anaphylaxis in the data tabulated from earlier that night.

I currently assume that page 6 is referring to surveillance measures taken rather than cases found - the slide is titled "V-safe Active Surveillance for COVID-19 Vaccines". So, this would mean that they had monitored those patients for anaphylaxis as of 1730 hours, but in the data finalized as of 5.5 hours later they were only reporting 6 cases.

I actually hope this is the case, although I'm not a fan of the Pfizer vaccine. If I'm wrong, and Dr. Coleman's take is correct, then the world just blew up - but I would think we'd hear more about this. Anaphylaxis is serious and mandates medical attention. This is the UK, at the very start of a rapid rollout, so I have to think that a major occurrence would spill into broad alarm that we'd hear.

The CDC report is here .

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 28 2020 3:24 utc | 76

[Dec 25, 2020] The origins of the RT-PCR on which it is based our whole strategy against the Covid-19 pandemic, how it was created and in a rush published in a scientific private review, without obliged previous peer review, and which the conflict of interests are and how some people are profiting from this pandemic:

Dec 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

H.Schmatz , Dec 24 2020 18:35 utc | 17

The origins of the RT-PCR on which it is based our whole strategy against the Covid-19 pandemic, how it was created and in a rush published in a scientific private review, without obliged previous peer review, and which the conflict of interests are and how some people are profiting from this pandemic:

Turning science into a botch for profit and at the expense of the health of the whole world

Merry Christmas! Take care of your and yours!

[Dec 22, 2020] Top German virologist casts doubt on fears of new 'highly contagious' UK Covid-19 strain -- RT World News

Dec 22, 2020 | www.rt.com

Top German virologist casts doubt on fears of new 'highly contagious' UK Covid-19 strain 21 Dec, 2020 18:09 Get short URL Top German virologist casts doubt on fears of new 'highly contagious' UK Covid-19 strain FILE PHOTO. © Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay 362 Follow RT on RT News of a supposedly highly infectious coronavirus strain being discovered in the UK has led to a flurry of travel bans. Now, a top German scientist says the mutation might not be as dangerous as we were led to believe.

The statement that the new strain of Covid-19 is 70 percent more contagious is nothing, but a claim made by politicians so far, Christian Drosten, the head of the virology department at the Berlin's Charite center -- one of Europe's largest university hospitals -- told the German radio broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.

"Suddenly, there is this figure out there, 70 percent, and no one even knows what is meant by that," he said. The virologist believes there is just not enough data to really say that the new strain is any more dangerous than the other existing ones.

ALSO ON RT.COM New Covid-19 strain found in UK spreads FASTER, is already in nearly 60 local authority areas – health secretary

The data provided by the British scientists on the new strain is still incomplete, Drosten said, adding that even preliminary analysis results would arrive within a week. The fact that discovery of a new strain coincided with a sharp rise of new infection cases in southeast England also does not necessarily mean that the new virus is to blame, the virologist believes.

"The question is whether the virus is to blame or whether it was just a local epidemic outbreak, or the lockdown was not so strict and transmission mechanisms were in place in an area where this particular strain happened to be," he said.

It was also too early to say whether this virus actually transmits faster. To do so, one needs to "look at who infected whom and how long it took," Drosten explained, adding that "one would be surprised" if such a parameter as the virus infectiousness would significantly change all of a sudden now.

What is known so far is that a mutation present in the new strain lets it form a stronger binding with human cells. Still, according to Drosten, that does not automatically mean quicker reproduction since the virus stays with one cell for a longer period of time than it could and probably should to successfully replicate.

ALSO ON RT.COM EU countries shutting down travel to and from UK amid new highly infectious Covid-19 strain scare

The scientist also said that similar coronavirus mutations already repeatedly appeared during the pandemic only to disappear at some point. He also said that the new strain is unlikely to affect any coronavirus vaccine's effectiveness since an immune response formed through vaccination is a complex process that would hardly be affected by a minor change in the virus structure.

Still, Drosten admitted that the officials were right to be cautious and temporarily ban all travel to and from the UK now that the whole situation is still unclear. "Of course, as a politician, one has to act out of caution here," he said, adding that the current policy approaches could be "corrected" once more information is available.

The discovery of a new coronavirus strain prompted many nations to suspend all travel to and from the UK. The list of countries that joined the international quarantine of the UK includes the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany and Poland, as well as Russia. Some nations outside Europe, like Iran, Argentina, Chile and El Salvador also cut transportation links with the UK.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, suspended travel not just to the UK but to other nations as well. The moves came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new Covid-19 strain is supposedly 70 percent more contagious and announced a strict Tier 4 lockdown in part of the country, including London.

ALSO ON RT.COM Russia halts flights to UK for a week as world reacts to news of newly detected British Covid-19 mutation

Like thi

qasimodo 8 hours ago 21 Dec, 2020 05:44 PM

Certain countries try to portray this Covid as the plaque. If we remember even the WHO confirmed that the Covid is way milder than the common flu. So if we are not obliged to get a flu shot, we certainly don't need the Covid "God knows what's in it" vaccine. In the winter months, especially December every year millions of people get the flu, and in some cases its unfortunately deadly. But the authorities are trying to say that every case of the flu is Corona virus which is basically a big lie. It is something new, but way milder and in most of the cases our body can fight it off. Vaccination is being rushed, the FDA had no real solution to resolve the ifs and buts, and now out of a sudden they have approved it, and we have a deadly virus that's going to vipe our civilisation of the planet?That's a lot of disinformation and rubbish. But the big question is liability? These farmaceutical giants clearly say that in case of any trouble they won't be liable? So why would anyone want it if there's no guarantee for a human life? If someone thinks that the vaccine is going to save us, they are just delusional. Get a flu shot if you badly want to stop the panic and you will be OK. The Covid 19 vaccine in my opinion is a rushed experiment, and needs time to prove itself worthy...
Guest 11 hours ago 21 Dec, 2020 03:31 PM
It's a single amino acid change in the spike protein associated with the ACE receptor mechanism that gives the virus access to a cell. There are many such changes going on and it came via Europe and did not original in the UK. Talk about talked up, hyperboli and general incompetence. And I'm not talking about this article!

[Dec 22, 2020] B.1.1.7 mutation which has approx 70% higher transmissibility will probably soon displace the original variant of COVID-19. At least in Britain.

Dec 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Dec 22 2020 2:14 utc | 32

In a press conference on Saturday, Chief Science Adviser Patrick Vallance said B.1.1.7, which first appeared in a virus isolated on 20 September, accounted for about 26% of cases in mid-November. "By the week commencing the ninth of December, these figures were much higher," he said. "So, in London, over 60% of all the cases were the new variant." Johnson added that the slew of mutations may have increased the virus' transmissibility by 70%.
...

Not being an ??-ologist, that paragraph indicates to me that a virus with greater transmissibiliy will REPLACE/DISPLACE the original Covid19 strain. Since the emerging consensus among virologists is that the B.1.1.7 variant is no more deadly than the original, then the only reason it matters is that more people will catch the mutated version than would have caught COVID19 - thus putting more pressure on an already over-stressed healthcare system.

Since it looks as though a vaccine isn't going to be a Silver Bullet for many months, if not many, many months, I find it peculiar that more effort wasn't expended on pursuing a TREATMENT to reduce the severity of COVID symptoms.

I caught CGTN News this morning and China has officially abandoned a 'promising' TREATMENT it was working on because the stats indicate that it doesn't work...

Petri Krohn , Dec 22 2020 6:59 utc | 77

I do not think the B.1.1.7 strain is any more infectious than over SARS-COV-2 strains. It prevails because UK has reached a level of herd immunity against the other strains.

It is falsely claimed that a 70% infection rate is required for herd immunity. The 70% applies to vaccines, which are distributed evenly throughout the population. For the epidemic to calm down only a very small portion of the population needs to become immune. This same population is most likely to spread the infection but also most likely to be infected. For any vaccination campaign it would be difficult to find this vector population, but the virus will find it all by itself. It now seems that this vector population is young people who frequent bars and nightclubs. A bartender in ski resorts can infect hundreds, but he is also most likely to be first infected.

[Dec 21, 2020] CDC Launches Probe, Issues New Guidelines After Thousands Negatively Affected Following New Covid Vaccine"

Dec 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

groucho , Dec 20 2020 19:50 utc | 19


CDC Launches Probe, Issues New Guidelines After Thousands Negatively Affected Following New Covid Vaccine"

As of Dec. 18, 3,150 out of 272,001 recipients reported what the agency terms "Health Impact Events" after getting vaccinated. The definition of the term is: "unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional."


[Dec 21, 2020] British medical journal The Lancet published research on Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of the vaccine, revealing no adverse effects in patients and triggering an effective immune response

Dec 21, 2020 | sputniknews.com

"British medical journal The Lancet published research on Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of the vaccine, revealing no adverse effects in patients and triggering an effective immune response. More than 50 countries have requested roughly 2.4 billion doses across India, Brazil, China, Argentina, South Korea and numerous others."

Posted by: groucho | Dec 21 2020 1:02 utc | 47

[Dec 21, 2020] WHO (finally) admits PCR tests create false positives OffGuardian

Dec 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

The problem is that CT ( number of amplifications) is an arbitrary and is not reported. See https://www.gene-quantification.de/real-time-pcr-handbook-life-technologies-update-flr.pdf

WHO (finally) admits PCR tests create false positives Warnings concerning high CT value of tests are months too late so why are they appearing now? The potential explanation is shockingly cynical. Kit Knightly

The World Health Organization released a guidance memo on December 14th, warning that high cycle thresholds on PCR tests will result in false positives .

While this information is accurate, it has also been available for months, so we must ask: why are they reporting it now? Is it to make it appear the vaccine works?

The "gold standard" Sars-Cov-2 tests are based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR works by taking nucleotides – tiny fragments of DNA or RNA – and replicating them until they become something large enough to identify. The replication is done in cycles, with each cycle doubling the amount of genetic material. The number of cycles it takes to produce something identifiable is known as the "cycle threshold" or "CT value". The higher the CT value, the less likely you are to be detecting anything significant.

This new WHO memo states that using a high CT value to test for the presence of Sars-Cov-2 will result in false-positive results.

To quote their own words [our emphasis]:

Users of RT-PCR reagents should read the IFU carefully to determine if manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is necessary to account for any background noise which may lead to a specimen with a high cycle threshold (Ct) value result being interpreted as a positive result.

They go on to explain [again, our emphasis]:

The design principle of RT-PCR means that for patients with high levels of circulating virus (viral load), relatively few cycles will be needed to detect virus and so the Ct value will be low. Conversely, when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain.

Of course, none of this is news to anyone who has been paying attention. That PCR tests were easily manipulated and potentially highly inaccurate has been one of the oft-repeated battle cries of those of us opposing the "pandemic" narrative, and the policies it's being used to sell.

Many articles have been written about it, by many experts in the field, medical journalists and other researchers . It's been commonly available knowledge, for months now, that any test using a CT value over 35 is potentially meaningless.

Dr Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize for inventing the PCR process, was clear that it wasn't meant as a diagnostic tool , saying:

with PCR, if you do it well, you can find almost anything in anybody."

And, commenting on cycle thresholds, once said:

If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR."

The MIQE guidelines for PCR use state:

Cq values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported,"

This has all been public knowledge since the beginning of the lockdown. The Australian government's own website admitted the tests were flawed, and a court in Portugal ruled they were not fit for purpose .

Even Dr Anthony Fauci has publicly admitted that a cycle threshold over 35 is going to be detecting "dead nucleotides", not a living virus.

Despite all this, it is known that many labs around the world have been using PCR tests with CT values over 35, even into the low 40s.

So why has the WHO finally decided to say this is wrong? What reason could they have for finally choosing to recognise this simple reality?

The answer to that is potentially shockingly cynical: We have a vaccine now. We don't need false positives anymore.

Notionally, the system has produced its miracle cure. So, after everyone has been vaccinated, all the PCR tests being done will be done "under the new WHO guidelines" , and running only 25-30 cycles instead of 35+.

Lo and behold, the number of "positive cases" will plummet, and we'll have confirmation that our miracle vaccine works.

After months of flooding the data pool with false positives, miscounting deaths "by accident" , adding "Covid19 related death" to every other death certificate they can stop. The create-a-pandemic machine can be turned down to zero again.

as long as we all do as we're told. Any signs of dissent – masses of people refusing the vaccine, for example – and the CT value can start to climb again, and they bring back their magical disease .


Hugo , Dec 21, 2020 4:14 AM

In an interview, Dr. Wodarg said he had checked his own blood oxygen saturation with a simple test on his finger after wearing a mask for several minutes. It had dropped from 98 to 94 percent. It is different when climbers hike in regions with low oxygen levels; the organism gets used to this and reacts by producing red blood cells. 50 percent of the oxygen we take in is consumed by our brain alone.

That is why the consequences for children wearing a mask are so devastating: their brains are still growing. The constant inhalation of their own carbon dioxide makes them sleepy, lame, unfocused and listless. In addition, the mask creates a hotbed of moisture in which germs thrive. If, on the other hand, we snort into the crook of our arms, they dry out. Open windows prolong life. Especially for smokers, whose organism is pre-damaged, for example, by a lifelong lack of oxygen.

TFS , Dec 20, 2020 11:09 AM

Former Brexit Party letter to the Secretary of State for Health:

Testing for Coronavirus and Government lockdown policies
https://www.thebrexitparty.org/letter-to-secretary-of-state-for-health/

JudyJ , Dec 20, 2020 1:02 PM Reply to TFS

Excellent letter, reply requested by 22 December. A long list of questions to be answered but, if the Government truly has a grip on what they are doing and can demonstrate that they have the supporting evidence, the questions should not be difficult to answer. When I was a civil servant in a London HQ many years ago now, we regularly received requests like this, often with 24 hours notice to reply, and we would have to drop everything else to deal with them. All the receiving Minister's office do is send the request to the appropriate policy unit where responsibility for drafting answers could be shared between any number of staff – one member of staff might deal with, say, three simple questions or one more complex question. But meeting the deadline should not be a problem if one assumes the information is readily accessible as we would be led to believe. We shall see.

Quote from letter: "We trust that this letter will be taken seriously"

In my best pantomime voice 'Oh no it won't.'

aspnaz , Dec 20, 2020 2:33 AM

Read chapter 11 "What happened to the scientific method" of Kary Mullis's (inventor of the PCR test) "Dancing in the mind field" ( https://b-ok.cc/book/1523791/8aa4c2 ) to get his take on why these people are so corrupt.

In summary, he describes what I would call the "Science Industrial Complex" which is basically useless people leaching money from the government teat by creating "imminent disasters" that scare the population, and hence motivate the politicians, into handing out research grants for the most ridiculous projects without any real scientific proof, such as climate change.

Here is an extract:

Imagine two hypothetical labs competing for public funds.
One of those labs announces in a series of scientific papers that they have found some unexpected and very interesting phenomena in the upper atmosphere that contradict the currently accepted theories on the radiogenic formation of carbon-14. This could have a dramatic impact on the radioisotopic dating of fossils. The time frame for human evolution might be a tenth of what has previously been concluded. We may have evolved from the fossils in the Oldavai Gorge in only a couple of hundred thousand years. All of biology may be much younger than we think. More research would be required to confirm this. Biologists all over the world are curious and very excited. The lab is requesting a million dollars from the National Science Foundation to conduct a more detailed study.
A second lab working on upper atmospheric physics calls a press conference to report preliminary data on what appears to be a giant hole in the ozone layer and warns the reporters that if something isn't done about it -- including millions of dollars in grants to study it further -- the world as we know it will be coming to a tragic end. Skin cancer is epidemic, and there are reports of sheep going blind from looking up to the sky. People are starting to worry about having sunglasses that shield their eyes from ultraviolet light. Children begin to learn about it in school, and they are taught to notice the intensity of the UV light when they get off the bus.
Which one of these two laboratories will get funding? Follow the money trail from your pocket to the laboratories and notice that it passes through politicians who need you and by the interest groups who with the media train you.

from "Dancing in the mind field" by Kary Mullis, inventor of the PCR test.

-CO , Dec 20, 2020 7:27 PM Reply to aspnaz

There are different sciences that use different methods. The so-called "scientific method" itself is based on speculative philosophical principles that cannot be proven in or by science since they specify the very conditions required for the scientific knowledge process to exist and to operate.

aspnaz , Dec 20, 2020 10:44 PM Reply to -CO

Mirriam-Webster defines it as: "principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses".

Can you illustrate your point with some examples of scientific methods that differ from the above?

I think that Mullis is pointing out where the above scientific method, however you may want to describe it but involving the fundementals of proof of a hypothesis using empirical evidence, has been overtaken by commercial interests in a way that uses the credibility of the scientific method to sell untested hypotheses that provide some financial gain to the sponsor.

[Dec 20, 2020] What is questionable about the corona virus vaccines?

Dec 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

norecovery , Dec 19 2020 15:53 utc | 44

Jay @ 24

"Can you clarify what you find questionable about the corona virus vaccines?"

Disclaimer: I am not an epidemiologist or medical professional. I get information from various sources especially OTHER THAN mainstream media. Some of those credible sources, such as Dr. Mike Yeadon , subsequently have been censored because they don't purvey the medical establishment's requisite narrative. This is what I have learned:

These COVID-19 vaccines can be characterized as 'experimental.' Some past vaccines have a spotty record. They typically require many years of clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy. A vaccine for Coronavirus has never been developed before, in spite of having been researched to combat previous epidemics of SARS and MERS. This one was completed in a very short time, and the handling and delivery requirements are stringent.

True efficacy and the protocol used for testing the presence of viral infection in the relatively small clinical trials are unclear. We know the rt-PCR test to identify the presence of "COVID-19 infection" has been misapplied on a large scale. The FDA approval of these vaccines is based on that test, which has been proven to show a large proportion of false positives. A Portuguese high court ruled against the legality of this test to determine infection. Effectiveness of a vaccine is probably very short term, possibly only a few weeks. It is unknown whether natural immunity in a healthy individual (the body's own defense) might be equally effective.

Potential side effects are yet to be revealed, besides the few documented cases of allergic reactions thus far. Potential long term health impacts are unknown, and due to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines' 'invasion' of the body with mRNA at the cellular level, they could be serious. Only time will tell, so one must ask, "do I want to volunteer to become a clinical test subject?"

Social controls, so-called "immunity passes" which may not even have validity, are an infringement on individual freedoms and rights and are already being used in some places. That also paves the way for future vaccination requirements against a person's will, and given the financial imperatives of the medical establishment and its collusion with oligarchs, there may exist ulterior motives that are unacceptable.

[Dec 18, 2020] I am also hearing considerable chatter that many medical professionals including doctors and nurses are going to REFUSE to take the poorly tested and questionable Covid vaccine for fear of damaging side effects

Vaccines were clearly rushed. Also the nature of coronaviruses makes creation of vaccine like shooting at moving target. So each of them is more dangerous then usual and it is unclear how useful they are. How much it is difficult to tell.
Dec 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Norwegian , Dec 17 2020 17:35 utc | 21

Clearly, the lockdowns and medical tyranny is not a phenomenon isolated from the power struggle, it is obviously a weapon of the establishment, used against the people, to prevent them from organizing independently.

I am also hearing considerable chatter that many medical professionals including doctors and nurses are going to REFUSE to take the poorly tested and questionable Covid vaccine for fear of damaging side effects. And why should they? Why take a vaccine for a virus that only threatens less than 0.3% of the public outside of nursing homes?

Exactly, when applying real scientific method and rational thinking, it is clear that the risk of covid is negligible, while the risk of the "vaccine" is huge. Once you realize that this is a weapon used in a power struggle and not a medical crisis, you also realize the enormity of the crime committed. It is very encouraging to hear that this is being understood more and more.
We have to offer people a choice outside of tyranny, otherwise many will go along with the tyranny.

Indeed. This answers my question very well.

Thanks again.

[Dec 18, 2020] The hunt for profit and power has now resulted in people being used as live test animals for a "vaccine" that is totally unnecessary.

Dec 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Norwegian , Dec 17 2020 15:52 utc | 8

@vk | Dec 17 2020 15:44 utc | 6

SECOND health worker in Alaska suffers allergic reaction after getting Pfizer Covid-19 jab

The hunt for profit and power has now resulted in people being used as live test animals for a "vaccine" that is totally unnecessary. This stuff is criminal to the extreme.

librul , Dec 17 2020 16:33 utc | 14

I just archived the following webpage at http://web.archive.org/
before the censors find it.

https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-development-testing-and-regulation


Vaccine development is a long, complex process, often lasting 10-15 years and involving a combination of public and private involvement.
...
Exploratory Stage

This stage involves basic laboratory research and often lasts 2-4 years.
...
Pre-Clinical Stage

Many candidate vaccines never progress beyond this stage because they fail to produce the desired immune response. The pre-clinical stages often lasts 1-2 years and usually involves researchers in private industry.
...
Phase I Vaccine Trials
...
Phase II Vaccine Trials
...
Phase III Vaccine Trials
...
Post-Licensure Monitoring of Vaccines
...
Vaccine development is a long, complex process, often lasting 10-15 years and involving a combination of public and private involvement.

I happen to have scheduled an appointment with my primary care doctor early in January.
This is my first meeting with this particular doctor (my previous doctor recently moved elsewhere).
I wonder how pushy this new doctor will be about my taking the vaccine right away.

My first question will be about *which* vaccine.

I just found this quote somewhere:


Indeed, NIH chief Francis Collins, MD, PhD, when asked during a press briefing last week whether people will be able to choose their vaccine, said there won't be enough doses in December for the whole country and "people who get offered one should feel quite happy about that."

Note to self: "feel quite happy about that".

Maybe there is actually something to the good doctor's advice
as how many happy corpses have you seen?

Smile, don't be a corpse.


librul , Dec 17 2020 20:47 utc | 37

@Posted by: librul | Dec 17 2020 16:33 utc | 14

I posted @14 an article. Here is a section from the article I didn't mention.

VAERS

The CDC and FDA established The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System in 1990. The goal of VAERS, according to the CDC, is "to detect possible signals of adverse events associated with vaccines." (A signal in this case is evidence of a possible adverse event that emerges in the data collected.) About 30,000 events are reported each year to VAERS. Between 10% and 15% of these reports describe serious medical events that result in hospitalization, life-threatening illness, disability, or death.

VAERS is a voluntary reporting system. Anyone, such as a parent, a health care provider, or friend of the patient, who suspects an association between a vaccination and an adverse event may report that event and information about it to VAERS. The CDC then investigates the event and tries to find out whether the adverse event was in fact caused by the vaccination.

Over 4,000 adverse reactions (hospitalization, life-threatening illness, disability, or death) to vaccines are *reported* each year.
That is in a normal year, with vaccines that have gone thru the normal vetting procedure.

I would say let's see what next year's numbers are. Except who the heck will trust their numbers?

[Dec 17, 2020] Is there a decease that a claim that vitamins C and D are a panacea for it would not be heard?

Dec 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

utu , says: December 15, 2020 at 4:29 pm GMT • 7.4 hours ago

@Bert anonymous pro HCQ people that IMO were completely flawed.

' vitamins D and C " . – Is there a decease that a claim that vitamins C and D are a panacea for it would not be heard?

" Latin America and South Asia " – There is good reason that in Western science double blind studies are believed to be necessary to verify various claims. There are places in the less developed countries that are less strict and it is very likely that they jump to unwarranted conclusions by Western science standards. Should the claims coming from the third world be researched and evaluated in the West? Yes, absolutely.

[Dec 13, 2020] If PcR test runs with more than 25 cycles, you are likely to get many false positives and at 40 you get mainly false postives

Dec 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 13 2020 18:45 utc | 19

7) China is doing PCRs since the dawn of time and there is not an explosion of new cases as the anti-PCR squad is claiming. On the contrary: when they decided to re-test all the Wuhan inhabitants with obligatory PCR tests, they found none, zero, nada positive results.


Blue Dotterel , Dec 13 2020 19:00 utc | 22

Posted by: Down South | Dec 13 2020 17:55 utc | 16
Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2020 18:45 utc | 19

As I understand it, the false positives are a result of poorly conducting the analyses through putting the samples through too many cycles. If you intensify the concentration of the virus more than 25 cycles, you are likely to get false positives. This apparently has been a problem in the US and other EU countries.

Any country that conducts the test properly significantly reduces the probability of false positives.

Most likely China, among others, does it properly

Down South , Dec 13 2020 19:51 utc | 25

Blue Dotterel @ 22

Exactly so.

None of them are arguing that COVID-19 does not exist, it is that the maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles.and as you increase the cycles above that you start getting more false positive results as only non-infectious (dead) viruses are detected.

The issue that the report raised is that the WHO and Drosden are recommending a Ct of 45 . The higher the cycles the more the "cases" the more drastic the action the government will take to bring the number of "cases" down.

Therefore, to ensure that the government action is reasonable it is necessary to ensure that the information the government is using to justify such action is indeed reasonable and justifiable.

You have to be an absolute idiot to think that government diktats should simply be obeyed and not questioned especially by people who have the necessary credentials to evaluate such information.

js , Dec 13 2020 22:28 utc | 47

Well, it is sad to note absolute lack of intellectual curiosity about something that most likely will not pass without profoundly changing western societies. On side note it would be good to recognise both taoist and christian way of handling the exception of sickness – being sick of sickness is way less dangerous than people being religiously afraid of contamination, of sick people, and organising accordingly.

Most likely this, now already mental, curse will not pass before one or all of the following happens:
– forced vaccination using either public or private coercion or both,
– global (or regional) digital health IDs and tracking systems,
– social, health and education sectors of lesser states will be overridden and forced open to global international providers,
– not to mention that the precendent of tiers and lockdowns is established and can be used repeatedly for the purpose of global health imperialism. There'll be the mandate to force people self-isolate as well.

One could say these are the markings of global sanitary dictature. Or, this could be the way to make formal the hidden features of the system currently in use. The spooky license will be made official. All the tracking, etc.

The Drosten testing non-protocol is faulty to the core, and – without doubt – it is enabling corruption of both politics and science (cormandrostenreview.com).

Resulting actions are criminal in their essence – that is the reason why we are seeing leaders of nations acting in such a bizarre way. The truth is being established by the means of spectacle. Once harsh and overdecisive, then lacking in resoluteness – even in the EU the countries still can not coordinate simple and relevant statistics.

China has nothing to gain from this virus, hence there it is mostly over and done with. Seems to go for Russia as well.

Still, they are playing the ball. Wonder why?

sad canuck , Dec 13 2020 22:45 utc | 48

vk @ 40 said "of course the scientific standards for times of emergency do fall because of time constraints. That doesn't mean the debunk attempts aren't equally flawed".

I'm sorry but this is not the way science works and cutting corners during emergencies is an even worse practice. The amplification issue, lack of Standard Operational Protocol, and clear bias and hijacking of the peer review process for this paper which formed the foundation of PCR implementation is utterly and completely outrageous. But of course not surprising. It's clear that all UN agencies including WHO have been corrupted. Right from the beginning there has been a consistent and widespread effort to discredit any testing method aside from PCR. Are you not even remotely interested why?

It's easy to see how COVID testing with a flawed PCR testing procedure rolls out and I will give you an example from a place that I am familiar with. COVID has magically disappeared in Thailand, but large number of positive cases are appearing in Thai who are returning and in foreign visitors. These PCR positives are occurring in spite of all returnees having tested negative just prior to boarding their flight to Thailand. Almost all of the positives in returning residents are also of the asymptomatic variety. I would wager that the amplification level for a domestic PCR test is 25 while the returning resident test level is set at 35 or higher. Lacking transparency and a Standard Operational Protocol for the RT-PCR test, including a universally accepted amplification level, you can create any result you want, any time, any place. These are serious issues and you can't label people who have issues with scientific integrity as deniers or misleading.

The entire justification of PCR as a public health tool (as opposed to a diagnostic tool) has been vaporized and I cannot for the life of me understand why you don't "get it" or the wider implications.

[Dec 13, 2020] Protocols Strategies to manage COVID-19 Pandemic Dr Peter McCullough

Dec 13, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

b , Dec 13 2020 17:27 utc | 13

Accidentally deleted this comment by gm:

EARLY OUTPATIENT TREATMENT Protocols & Strategies to manage COVID-19 Pandemic Dr Peter McCullough,11/27/20
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ1fkKqK7T8

gm , Dec 13 2020 17:35 utc | 14

RE: "None of these experts talk about the way to stop COVID before it hits"

-Posted by: Lurk | Dec 13 2020 17:13 utc | 11

That is not correct in the case of Dr. McCullough.

In both the late Oct YT at #8 and the late Nov YT at post #9 he addresses the "Four Pillars of Pandemic Response", with the first pillar being *preventative actions* (masks/transmission limiting measures/index case tracking etc).

McCullough also points out in the latter YT that, in the case of the US, Canada, UK and much of western EU, 'First Pillar' measures have failed miserably to stop the resurgent wave of covid.

[Dec 12, 2020] '95% Effective' May Not Mean What You Think It Means by Thomas Neuburge

Notable quotes:
"... Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are currently in phase 3 trials with efficacy assessed as prevention of virologically confirmed disease. WHO recommends that successful vaccines should show disease risk reduction of at least 50%, with 95% CI that true vaccine efficacy exceeds 30%. However, the impact of these COVID-19 vaccines on infection and thus transmission is not being assessed. Even if vaccines were able to confer protection from disease, they might not reduce transmission similarly. ..."
"... A note before I begin: This is not a recommendation not to be vaccinated against Coronavirus. It's an encouragement to decide for yourself and your family when to be vaccinated and which vaccine to choose based on the most accurate information available. That said, let's proceed. ..."
"... "Done right, vaccines end pandemics. Done wrong, pandemics end vaccines." -- Andy Slavitt here ..."
"... Based on the numbers released from phase 3 trials, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective, but 1% of the time . In the same way, the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective, but 2% of the time . ..."
"... For comparison, let's look at the absolute numbers from the Moderna test. In the unprotected population, 1.23% of the people who could have been exposed to the virus, got it. In the vaccinated population exposed to the same conditions, a little less than 0.07% got the virus. Subtracting the two, the absolute gain in protection was 1.16% -- that is, taking the vaccine bought you a little over 1% in absolute protection. ..."
"... any studies or testing on fertility? what about breast feeding? what about long term symptoms? [ hint ; the manufacturers have nothing] what does that tell you? ..."
"... Pharma/FDA: "We can't worry about that right now. We have a pandemic to fight. And investors to consider. And year-end bonuses are coming up. And a political class looking for a quick fix." ..."
"... Indeed we can't worry about that now say Pharma, that's why you absolutely must completely indemnify us from any financial repercussions too. ..."
"... just yesterday the Pfizer vaccine vaccine reported a number of issues with allergic reactions. It raised the question on whether they deliberately excluded people with known allergies from their test subjects (this is not uncommon in early drug testing as a safety precaution). If even 1% have a serious allergic reaction, this would throw the benefit/risk balance out. ..."
"... Is it O/Z, or the Pfizer one? NHS yesterday issued a guideline to stop vaccinating anyone with "history of allergic reactions", which was for Pfizer vaccine. ..."
"... That "1% of the time" and "2% of the time" reflects the approximate likelihood that a subject from among the test groups was exposed to a high enough dose of SARS2-CoV to cause symptoms and a positive PCR test over the course of the trial. It has absolutely zero to do with the efficacy or lack thereof of the vaccines. Let me repeat that. The overall proportion of infection among all trial participants has no bearing, in and of itself, on the actual efficacy. ..."
"... As such, this Pfizer vaccine and possibly the Moderna one too if it has the same problem, will require that patients be monitored for anaphylactic symptoms for some significant duration of time (an hour?) after the injection. Now consider this potential possibility in light of the other logistical difficulties surrounding the vaccine distribution and administration to huge numbers. It probably won't be via drive-thru service. ..."
"... Well, the anaphylaxis, regardless of state of health, indicates that there are antigens present in the formulation which are unrelated to the protein the vaccine will manufacture in cells. While it can even be a mucopolysaccharide rather than a protein, the fact remains that the carrier is not benign and we are not being provided with all the information. ..."
"... Yep, I am wondering of the consequences of rushing out the vaccines and I am convinced the pressure is 99% political. There are governments too eager to announce mass vaccination and putting too much confidence in early reports so worried they are with the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic. And this can show (will show) problematic if mass vaccination is started before a thorough examination of further trial results and problems like allergic reaction and others that might surge in the course of the trials. ..."
"... We provide people very little education and most others end up specialists. Yet at the same time everyone knows everything and needs to know everything because everyone is trying to screw you over. And worse yet, most people do not know that they are stupid or can speak about a topic knowing they are probably wrong. ..."
"... It's all so damn stressful I will just take my chances without the vaccine and be as careful as I can not to infect others. I know a lot about human biology, but not enough about vaccines and the companies and the people who own them. I do not trust the government because it is controlled by corporations and not the people. ..."
"... Can the pharma companies stand behind the claim that it's 95% effective without resorting to numerical semantics or lobbying for liability shields? If so then by all means tell the public that the vaccines are 95% effective. If they say "well we did say it's 95% but what we meant was " then we are in the territory of bait and switch. ..."
"... There's too much at stake to leave even little room for exaggerated claims from profiteers because the anti-vaxxers will have a field day exploiting any discrepancy between claimed and actual performance for these vaccines and guess what, with that will go public trust. ..."
"... people are going to alter their behaviour based on these claims once vaccinated, so 95% should mean 95% in absolute terms and contra-indications should also be clearly communicated to at-risk populations. Auditable transparency should be the name of the game, if we've learnt anything from the 737max debacle it's that companies, when left to their own devices, place profit ahead of human lives. ..."
"... Why should Vietnam show a terrible "absolute effectiveness" compared to France if the goal is to analyze the same vaccine? As the number of people exposed to the virus approaches the entirety of the population (if half were vaccinated and all members are susceptible to infection) the number would approach the vaccine efficacy as the companies define it. ..."
"... I would even ditch the '95% effective' language. They need to say 'if 10,000 people were exposed to the virus, ordinarily about n1 would get infected. With this vaccine, the number infected was n2. This is language people can grasp. ..."
"... I was born three years before doctors began giving a new drug on the market declared safe in pregnancy to mothers for morning sickness. It was called Thalidomide. ..."
"... The second surprise from these protocols is how mild the requirements for contracted Covid-19 symptoms are. A careful reading reveals that the minimum qualification for a case of Covid-19 is a positive PCR test and one or two mild symptoms. These include headache, fever, cough, or mild nausea. This is far from adequate. These vaccine trials are testing to prevent common cold symptoms. ..."
"... A temperature of 104.9 in an adult with a functional immune system (we are not talking about babies and kids – they are different) is extraordinary after a vaccination. 104.9 means that the immune system has been activated enough to take it up a few notches to DEF CON 1. This is very unusual in infectious disease – some parasites and ameba do this routinely – and things like sepsis syndrome can – but for the most part, getting a temperature up this high is definitely not normal. It is certainly not a good sign for a vaccine. A vaccine should not be stimulating the immune system to this degree – EVER. Idiosyncratic reactions in a very rare patient is one thing – if this is happening more often – this is not a good sign for that vaccine. ..."
"... This is medically important for two reasons. 1) That level of fever if sustained can damage permanently multiple organs. 2) Vaccines should simply not be activating the immune system to that degree – it is completely inappropriate. It is very normal for people to have a brief temp of 99 or 100 after a vaccine – this is a completely different level. ..."
"... The Vaccine Drumbeat in my jurisdiction is increasing and I'm sure will become deafening. Talk show radio hosts actually giving medical advice. No recommendations to consult with a doctor regarding your personal health circumstances and risks or those of your loved ones. ..."
"... This is all orchestrated by Public Health officials who apparently have never heard of personal health care. We are all just one big Herd. To me this is a desecration of the doctor patient relationship by so-called health professionals. All of which is extremely dangerous and bad medical advice. ..."
"... Re: companies mandating staff to be vaccinated to market their establishments as "safe". The tone and substance of the post is clearly meant to be a "proceed with caution" advisory on taking the vaccine, despite the author being at pains to emphasize that it's not an "encouragement to reject vaccines". ..."
"... Don't forget they are using flawed PCR tests and except for Moderna in the US all other countries and companies where studies have been conducted are using another vaccine instead of a true saline or inert placebo. ..."
"... Not to mention most of these Pharmaceutical Companies have been sued for tens of billions of dollars for harmful drugs , buried information, fraud ect. We're supposed to trust them with safety studies for medical products they have indemnity for. Thank you for pointing out how deceptive these numbers can be for the average person. ..."
"... The problem is, given the PCR is acknowledged to generate a lot of false positives, then the success rate will be overstated, because the denominator in the success rate calculations will be swollen with subjects who didn't actually have the CV19 virus to start with ..."
Dec 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

'95% Effective' May Not Mean What You Think It Means Posted on December 10, 2020 by Yves Smith

Yves here. It's good to see Tom Neuburger discussing a possible misperception by some of what the "95% effective" Covid mRNA vaccine results touted by Pfizer and Moderna mean, when they are on the verge of receiving an FDA Emergency Use Authorization to allow their release.

While we have your attention, we'll point out another misperception, which the press is amplifying, that having been vaccinated would prevent the recipient from transmitting Covid. For instance, some business owners are saying they will require employees to be vaccinated, not because they are concerned about worker safety, but because they intend to market their venue as safe for customers by virtue of having vaccinated staff.

At this point, the effect of any of the Covid vaccines on disease transmission is a known unknown. From Wired in late November :

The problem is, a Covid-19 vaccine that only prevents illness -- which is to say, symptoms -- might not prevent infection with the virus or transmission of it to other people. Worst case, a vaccinated person could still be an asymptomatic carrier. That could be bad.

The article further points out that so far, only the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has evidence that it reduces transmission, as opposed to protecting recipients of the disease.

A more technical explanation from The Lancet , in September:

Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are currently in phase 3 trials with efficacy assessed as prevention of virologically confirmed disease. WHO recommends that successful vaccines should show disease risk reduction of at least 50%, with 95% CI that true vaccine efficacy exceeds 30%. However, the impact of these COVID-19 vaccines on infection and thus transmission is not being assessed. Even if vaccines were able to confer protection from disease, they might not reduce transmission similarly.

Challenge studies in vaccinated primates showed reductions in pathology, symptoms, and viral load in the lower respiratory tract, but failed to elicit sterilising immunity in the upper airways. Sterilising immunity in the upper airways has been claimed for one vaccine, but peer-reviewed publication of these data are awaited.

The sterlizing immunity claim came from Phase 1 trials of the Novavax vaccine .

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at Substack

Excessive haste could have fatal consequences, since public trust and wide vaccination are the only ways any vaccine, even the best ones, can work.

A note before I begin: This is not a recommendation not to be vaccinated against Coronavirus. It's an encouragement to decide for yourself and your family when to be vaccinated and which vaccine to choose based on the most accurate information available. That said, let's proceed.


"Done right, vaccines end pandemics. Done wrong, pandemics end vaccines." -- Andy Slavitt here

People in the United States, along with people in all of the rest of the world, are eager for a vaccine that provides immunity to the Covid-19 virus. Drug manufacturers, with a market of tens of billions of injections to sell into, are eager to roll one off the production line. Both groups are highly incentivized to get a vaccine into distribution quickly.

Hundreds of Billions in Potential Revenue

Let's look at the revenue side first. Here, for example, is what the three leading vaccine candidates are projected to cost in the UK according to a recent Sky News piece :

In two years the earth is projected to hold 8 billion people , and most leading vaccine candidates require at least two doses. Let's be conservative: If Moderna, say, sold its Covid vaccine to 1 billion people at ₤28 (about $37) per dose, the revenue stream from those sales would turn into real money fast -- $74 billion in revenue at retail prices in less than two years.And that's for capturing less than a sixth of the global market. A vaccine manufacturer that captures a third of that market would swim in wealth till the climate crisis took us all.

For comparison, consider Moderna's recent revenue profile . For the last few years, Moderna income has run between $60 and $200 million per year. Revenue for just the last quarter , however, jumped to $158 million. Moderna is clearly set for a windfall.

Needless to say, something like $100 billion or more in revenue would more than cover the cost of Covid vaccine development, so why the high price retail prices? One can only guess.

How Effective Is "Effective"?

About effectiveness, much is claimed. From the same Sky News article:

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use.

The government says the jab [vaccine], which has been given the green light by independent health regulator MHRA, will be rolled out across the UK from early next week.

Studies have shown the jab is 95% effective and works in all age groups. [emphasis added]

Moderna claims similar effectiveness -- 94% -- for its own vaccine candidate. But what does effectiveness mean?

To a lay person, a phrase like "95% effective" means one of two things: either that she or he, upon exposure to the virus, is protected 95% of the time, or that 95% of the people who take the vaccine are protected 100% of the time.

And this is where the mutual eagerness of the two highly motivated groups -- the public; the profiteers -- intersect. The public wants to hear "95% effectiveness" and think it knows what those words means. The drug companies want the same thing as the public; it wants the public to think it knows what those words mean.

But in the world of drug advertising, the word "effective" does not mean what you think it means . The other way to look at effectiveness is this: Based on the numbers released from phase 3 trials, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective, but 1% of the time . In the same way, the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective, but 2% of the time .

Relative Effectiveness

To sort this out, let's look at real numbers, thanks to Twitter friend David Windt.

For the Moderna product, the phase 3 trial contained 30,000 individuals divided between those given the vaccine and those given a placebo. Let's assume that individuals in each group were allowed to roam freely "in the wild" -- that is, told to live their regular lives among the general population, including going out infrequently, staying masked, and practicing social distance -- as opposed being proactively and aggressively exposed to the virus by the researchers, which would be highly immoral, to say the least.

In the Moderna vaccinated group, 11 people out of 15,000 got the virus (by Moderna's definition of what "got the virus means") for an overall infection rate of 0.07% . (There's disagreement about whether the drug company's "got the virus" measurements are well chosen; see the Forbes article " Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed ." But we'll ignore that point for now.)

In the Moderna placebo group, 185 people of 15,000 got the virus, for an overall infection rate of 1.23% .

Do you see where this is headed? If you divide 0.07% by 1.23%, you get a 5.7% infection rate -- or inversely, a 94% protection rate, which is what's claimed. But that's a percentage of a percentage, a ratio of a ratio, something called the "relative rate" in the medical profession. What this really means is that, of the 1.23% of people who would have gotten the virus in the vaccinated group, 94% of them didn't.

But Moderna isn't testing 30,000 people who are infected with the virus, or even 15,000 people. Only 185 people "got the virus" (by their definition) in the placebo group. That population was reduced to 11 people with vaccination. These are very small numbers. As stated above, the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective -- but only 1.23% of the time.

(For another way to see that using a percentage of a percentage, or a ratio of a ratio, is confusing, consider an advertisement that claims a company's new product is "twice as effective" as its old one. If the old product was effective only 2% of the time, and you knew this, would you buy the new one?)

Infection rates in those clinical trials seem low, by the way, which could be just an accident of statistics, or something off in their way of measuring who is counted as infected. From the start of the pandemic until now, the overall disease rate for Maricopa County, a high-infection zone, is 5034 per 100,000 people , or 5% . At the lower end, the overall disease rate for Multnomah County, a less-infected but still urban county, is 2363 per 100,000 people , or 2.4% .

Both rates are higher than the infection rates of the Moderna and Pfizer placebo groups. As stated, Moderna's placebo group experienced a 1.23% infection rate, and Pfizer's placebo group was infected just 0.75% of the time. Does this indicate a difference in how "infection" is determined, or just something else about these studies? Hard to tell at this point.

None of this is to imply dishonesty on the part of the drug companies. Measuring "effectiveness" using the relative rate of infection is common in that world. It's just more meaningful when the overall infection rate of a pathogen is, say, 70% or higher, instead of 5% or less.

Absolute Effectiveness

For comparison, let's look at the absolute numbers from the Moderna test. In the unprotected population, 1.23% of the people who could have been exposed to the virus, got it. In the vaccinated population exposed to the same conditions, a little less than 0.07% got the virus. Subtracting the two, the absolute gain in protection was 1.16% -- that is, taking the vaccine bought you a little over 1% in absolute protection.

The numbers for the Pfizer vaccine are similar. According to Windt , "the infection rate was reduced slightly, from 0.75% to 0.04% – that's "95% efficacy" [but] these results do NOT mean that 95% of those vaccinated are protected." In absolute terms, taking the Pfizer vaccine reduced the risk of getting the virus by just 0.71%.

Do you trust any of these drug manufacturers and their massively under-tested vaccines enough that you would take whatever risk is associated with their product to gain that amount of protection? I know good doctors who won't, and others who will.

Testing and Public Trust

I want to point to two articles about testing and public trust. First from MIT in November, consider this caution about public trust:

Covid-19 vaccines shouldn't get emergency-use authorization

Public trust in vaccines is already in decline. The FDA should proceed with caution.

The pace of covid-19 vaccine research has been astonishing: there are more than 200 vaccine candidates in some stage of development, including several that are already in phase 3 clinical trials , mere months after covid-19 became a global public health emergency. In order for the FDA to approve a vaccine, however, not only do these clinical trials need to be completed -- a process that typically involves following tens of thousands of participants for at least six months -- but the agency also needs to inspect production facilities, review detailed manufacturing plans and data about the product's stability, and pore over reams of trial data. This review can easily take a year or more.

Excessive haste could have fatal consequences, since public confidence and wide vaccination are the only ways any vaccine, even the best ones, can work: "Public health experts caution that vaccines don't protect people; only vaccinations do . A vaccine that hasn't gained enough public trust will therefore have a limited ability to control the pandemic even if it's highly effective." [emphasis mine]

This Forbes article from September, titled " Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed ," argues that the vaccine trials it examined measure efficacy by testing for the wrong things -- the absence or presence of symptoms, especially mild ones:

One of the more immediate questions a trial needs to answer is whether a vaccine prevents infection. If someone takes this vaccine, are they far less likely to become infected with the virus? These trials all clearly focus on eliminating symptoms of Covid-19, and not infections themselves. Asymptomatic infection is listed as a secondary objective in these trials when they should be of critical importance.

It appears that all the pharmaceutical companies assume that the vaccine will never prevent infection . Their criteria for approval is the difference in symptoms between an infected control group and an infected vaccine group. They do not measure the difference between infection and noninfection as a primary motivation. [emphasis added]

Is this true of the latest trials? Last September is forever in Covid years. I'll look at this side of the issue in a follow-up piece, but my early research says that the Forbes point is still valid. If this turns out to be the flaw Forbes thinks it is, public trust could be even more greatly eroded as these vaccines fail to deliver what's we're led to expect of them.

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate?

As I said before, this is an not an encouragement reject the vaccines. It's an encouragement to decide about them wisely by considering a number of factors -- your need to feel "safe," your need to end this constant quarantine, and society's need to inoculate nearly everyone, versus your trust in the approval process, your personal level of caution, and the benefit of taking a relatively untested product to reduce your Covid risk by maybe 2% in absolute terms.

There are Covid hot-spots after all, areas of the country and the world where infections are soaring, and even low infection rates come at a heavy price. Covid has changed for the worse both the way we live and our economy . And people do die from it.

Maybe the first vaccines out of the gate, perhaps these three, will be everything a mother could want for her family and nation. But even if these products are are very very good, they have to be trusted to be effective.

If that trust is given blindly, and then betrayed, the consequences will be severe.


Savita , December 10, 2020 at 3:46 am

any studies or testing on fertility? what about breast feeding? what about long term symptoms? [ hint ; the manufacturers have nothing] what does that tell you?

Dean , December 10, 2020 at 6:01 am

Pharma/FDA: "We can't worry about that right now. We have a pandemic to fight. And investors to consider. And year-end bonuses are coming up. And a political class looking for a quick fix."

Adrian D. , December 10, 2020 at 6:31 am

Indeed we can't worry about that now say Pharma, that's why you absolutely must completely indemnify us from any financial repercussions too.

Dwight , December 10, 2020 at 1:22 pm

And since media depend on our ad dollars, we can control the PR repercussions.

westkentim , December 10, 2020 at 2:57 pm

The Wodarg/Yeadon petition to the EMA (which, contrary to some reports, does not say "it causes sterilisation") is worth reading

https://2020news.de/en/dr-wodarg-and-dr-yeadon-request-a-stop-of-all-corona-vaccination-studies-and-call-for-co-signing-the-petition/

Yeadon appears to be being branded as a nut in the mainstream British media (and, indeed, Associated Press have published an article refuting the allegation that the vaccine causes sterility, by disproving assertions that Wodarg & Yeadon did not make.) In my book, that probably means he is not 180 degrees wrong

bob , December 10, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Put "sterilization" in the press release and Karen is going deep undercover to sniff it out. She knows what's up. She found documents on the website

It's all for the children! ..

PlutoniumKun , December 10, 2020 at 3:48 am

I don't know the answer to this, but just yesterday the Pfizer vaccine vaccine reported a number of issues with allergic reactions. It raised the question on whether they deliberately excluded people with known allergies from their test subjects (this is not uncommon in early drug testing as a safety precaution). If even 1% have a serious allergic reaction, this would throw the benefit/risk balance out.

The potential harm of getting his roll out badly wrong could be catastrophic for public health policy for decades to come. I've a very bad feeling that there have been too many incentives built in to cut corners and fudge data. Who wants to be the mid level scientist in one of those companies with an awkward question to raise during a weekly meeting? We may well be throwing a dice and hoping for the best, rather than focusing on getting the right answer.

vlade , December 10, 2020 at 4:04 am

Is it O/Z, or the Pfizer one? NHS yesterday issued a guideline to stop vaccinating anyone with "history of allergic reactions", which was for Pfizer vaccine.

If it's just one vaccine, it could be an oversight. If both/all, it could be a real problem – as you say, a potential catastrophe for decades.

GramSci , December 10, 2020 at 8:04 am

Is the sample skewed?

If I had severe or eve moderate allergies, I wouldn't volunteer for a drug test, especially given the current state of US health scare.

Stephen the tech critic , December 10, 2020 at 4:18 am

With all due respect, the author and his Twitter friend seem very confused about how to interpret the efficacy numbers. The quantitative reasoning is fundamentally erroneous.

> The other way to look at effectiveness is this: Based on the numbers released from phase 3 trials, the Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective, but 1% of the time. In the same way, the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective, but 2% of the time.

That "1% of the time" and "2% of the time" reflects the approximate likelihood that a subject from among the test groups was exposed to a high enough dose of SARS2-CoV to cause symptoms and a positive PCR test over the course of the trial. It has absolutely zero to do with the efficacy or lack thereof of the vaccines. Let me repeat that. The overall proportion of infection among all trial participants has no bearing, in and of itself, on the actual efficacy.

Note that these percentages are smaller than the overall "rate" of infection (proper term would be "proportion") in e.g. Maricopa Cty, AZ because the latter proportions are with regard to the entire pandemic whereas the proportions observed in the vaccine studies reflect the limited duration of the study. Also keep in mind that a fair amount of data collection likely happened over the summer before the cases started skyrocketing again.

With that said, the problem, such as it is, with the low percentage of people who got infected is that it reduces the effective sample size, relative to the number of people who actually enrolled in the study. However, the sample sizes are not so small as to be inadequate to demonstrate high efficacy for the purposes of these trials.

Now, there are plenty of caveats here if you really want to pick these thing apart. The author correctly notes that these studies demonstrate efficacy in terms of getting full-blown symptomatic COVID-19, not in terms of preventing transmission or avoiding the disease entirely.

Also, the results only apply to the *sampled population*, which are the people among the test subjects who became positive. Is that population *representative* of the whole population? Does it include children? The elderly? People of different social class and/or living situations? People of different "colors"? People with history of severe allergies? And are the proportions of each of these (and any others I *can't* think of) similar within the sampled population as in the whole population?

Second, the result assumes that the study is blinded. Blinded means that subjects don't know whether they have been given a real vaccine or a placebo. If subjects are not blinded, they may alter their own behavior accordingly. For example, a test subject who knows (s)he is vaccined might be more nonchalant about social interactions, which could increase their frequency of exposure to COVID vs. subjects who knew they got placebo.

While the studies themselves have surely taken precautions to avoid accidentally un-blinding the subjects (unless an adverse reaction occurs, which is handled separately in the data), the media has reported repeatedly and extensively, while these trails are on-going, that side-effects are common. This is very bad because this information gives test subjects knowledge they can use to judge whether they are actually vaccinated or not. Even if said subjects are wrong in their assessment, simply believing they have extra knowledge can change their behavior, and if this phenomenon is not identical between the placebo and experimental groups, it will throw off the results. An analogy in the legal world is how jurors are advised not to watch or listen to news reports about the trial they are serving in. Whether they choose to believe or disbelieve the reported information, it has the potential to harm their impartiality.

By the way, I'm not trying to defend these vaccines or their manufacturers for their own sake. The author is correct that these vaccines are "under-tested", and I believe pushing them onto the market so quickly comes with substantial risks, both directly to public health and indirectly via potential severe damage to trust and credibility. I adhere to the maxim that Murphy was an optimist, and Murphy would say that there's a lot that can go wrong in this scenario.

Yves Smith , December 10, 2020 at 4:44 am

Thanks. I was concerned that the emphasis trying to undercut the 95% claim was overegged, but I had separately been bothered by how small the effective sample was. It appears the Pfizer sample was skewed by excluding people who were allergic and not having read their data release, it isn't clear how up front they were about that (you'd think the NHS wouldn't have gone about injecting their staff willy nilly and getting two severe bad reactions the first day if they had had a clue).

Stephen the tech critic , December 10, 2020 at 6:21 am

You're welcome, but I'm not sure I explained as well as I could have.

The reports of serious allergic reactions from the Pfizer vaccine on its debut day surprised me. I imagined lots of things that could go wrong, but two bad reactions on the first day? Perhaps these incidents will be limited to people with "a history of serious allergic reactions", but I also know that anaphylaxis is unpredictable and I know many people anecdotally who only had such a reaction later in life.

As such, this Pfizer vaccine and possibly the Moderna one too if it has the same problem, will require that patients be monitored for anaphylactic symptoms for some significant duration of time (an hour?) after the injection. Now consider this potential possibility in light of the other logistical difficulties surrounding the vaccine distribution and administration to huge numbers. It probably won't be via drive-thru service.

Adrian D , December 10, 2020 at 6:50 am

As I understand it the 2 people in the UK who suffered the reaction were aware of their allergy issues and carried epi-pens, but the allergic effects just weren't flagged in any of the resources accompanying the rolled-out vaccine or asked of them when they got the jab. Which rather speaks of a rushed and botched process to me.

Phacops , December 10, 2020 at 9:42 am

Well, the anaphylaxis, regardless of state of health, indicates that there are antigens present in the formulation which are unrelated to the protein the vaccine will manufacture in cells. While it can even be a mucopolysaccharide rather than a protein, the fact remains that the carrier is not benign and we are not being provided with all the information.

In the Adenovirus carrier vaccines the virus shell is in itself immunogenic, which makes a booster problematic unless, as with Sputnik 5, different adenoviruses are used for the primary and booster.

I intend to be vaccinated, but I'm witholding judgement until more data is presented about the currently highlighted vaccines until I see data on either attenuated virus or adjuvated purified protein vaccines.

Coming from a time before polio vaccination, what I have not lost sight of is the fact that vaccination in general has been breathtakingly successful in improving and maintaining our health at low cost.

larry , December 10, 2020 at 9:07 am

AZ say that Phase III of their trials was double blind with 40k subjects. The official title of the study is A Phase III Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Multicenter Study in Adults to Determine the Safety, Efficacy, and Immunogenicity of AZD1222, a Non-replicating ChAdOx1 Vector Vaccine, for the Prevention of COVID-19 whose start date was August 2020, Primary completion date as March 2021, and Estimated study completion date as February 2023. A lttle more data can be found at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04516746 (ClinicalTrials.gov of the NIH).

One could be forgiven for thinking that the trials are currently not finished. If so, does that mean the vaccine was rushed out with all the consequences resulting from that?

Ignacio , December 10, 2020 at 12:51 pm

Yep, I am wondering of the consequences of rushing out the vaccines and I am convinced the pressure is 99% political. There are governments too eager to announce mass vaccination and putting too much confidence in early reports so worried they are with the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic. And this can show (will show) problematic if mass vaccination is started before a thorough examination of further trial results and problems like allergic reaction and others that might surge in the course of the trials.

It is absolutely unwise to throw ourselves into a rush based on early reports that account for very little exposure time and which are biased by the nature of the vaccine. One cannot even suppose that the placebo group and the vaccinated group behaved similarly given the high reactogenicity reported by the vaccines (particularly the RNA vaccines). This reports were obtained with data gathered about 12 weeks after the trial start. Imagine, given that two shoots were provided and each shoot produces quite a nasty reaction that can last nearly a week, nearly 20% of the time the subjects that were vaccinated were suffering symptoms related with the vaccination and this would alter their behaviour significantly compared with the placebo subjects.

Given the time course of antibody production after vaccination, with a peak shortly after the second shoot, the results are biased by the peak and the real protective rate will be different when specific immunoglobulin levels decline. One can consider this 95% efficacy as transient efficacy and we will almost certainly see that further data reveals a sharp reduction. Repeating 95%! 95! all the time will probably result in a sense of deception later that could be counterproductive.

I don't think data is fudge, that would be really, really stupid, but it is being badly misinterpreted and can conduct to cutting corners to mass deployment with unintended consequences.

Yves Smith , December 10, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Yes, but as the post does explain, that 40K participants translates into a very small number that contracted the disease (and in the injection group, were assumed to have gotten it but beat it back). So the effective sample was way way smaller.

Phacops , December 10, 2020 at 10:16 am

Exactly. The number of infections are so small that while one may estimate efficacy, the power of the estimate (beta error; calling something true when it is in fact, false) is high. The best I could really see statistically given the data is the ability to reject the null hypothesis in a F-test (no difference between the groups) with reasonable confidence (1 – alpha; the chance of rejecting something as false when it is in fact true).

As with any sample from a larger population, it is important to understand the uncertainty of the estimate, which at least Oxford/AZ is providing.

Otto V. , December 12, 2020 at 7:18 am

They published the CI, and if I recall correctly it was 95% of something like 92%-98.5% effective. The sample size was just big enough to calculate it, but just so. But what's more important, in my opinion, is that the method they used to calculate the effectiveness of the vaccine are the same they use for every other vaccine. I.e.: they're not doing exception for this one, which is important. We know it's a Phase III study with the limitations of all Phase III studies.

David , December 10, 2020 at 6:09 am

Ah, thanks. I was puzzled by the argument, because it seemed a bit like saying that routinely carrying umbrellas did not provide 95% protection against rain because it only rained some of the time. More relevantly, though, consider vaccinations against tropical diseases. I've had many and need to check on them before I go to certain countries. They are generally considered highly effective – it's assumed, 100% or nearly so in some cases. But if, say, 10000 vaccinated people visit a country in the course of a year, but only 500 come into contact with a contagious source (which would not be surprising) and none get ill, then the efficacy of the vaccine would presumably only be 0.05% according to the logic of the article. So what, as a layman, am I missing, (apart from the issue of sample size)?

Stephen the tech critic , December 10, 2020 at 6:31 am

> Ah, thanks. I was puzzled by the argument, because it seemed a bit like saying that routinely carrying umbrellas did not provide 95% protection against rain because it only rained some of the time.

Exactly, and thanks for your concise example.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 7:11 am

isn't this precisely why the burden of interpreting the efficacy claims shouldn't be offloaded to the general public? If the numbers require a level of maths proficiency not many can lay claim to to interpret then therein lie opportunities for misrepresentation via numerical sleight of hand, which if history is anything to go by, will be exploited to hoodwink an unsuspecting public, especially with a pot of gold filled to the brim with billions of dollars lying in wait. Most laymen don't have the maths chops to pick apart the claims and will most likely throw their hands in the air and walk away with "it's 95% effective" as the takeaway, caveats of data interpretation be damned. The efficacy should be communicated to the public in as simple and absolute terms as possible, in a language that is a sharp departure from that usually employed in the fine print of legal documents to make things unintelligible while embedding opportunities for plausible deniability should things go belly up.

Krystyn Podgajski , December 10, 2020 at 7:56 am

I think what was said here is important. We provide people very little education and most others end up specialists. Yet at the same time everyone knows everything and needs to know everything because everyone is trying to screw you over. And worse yet, most people do not know that they are stupid or can speak about a topic knowing they are probably wrong.

It's all so damn stressful I will just take my chances without the vaccine and be as careful as I can not to infect others. I know a lot about human biology, but not enough about vaccines and the companies and the people who own them. I do not trust the government because it is controlled by corporations and not the people.

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 8:49 am

A nice visual would answer this question but I can't find one with DuckDuckGo.

There are two separate groups of people (each 15,000 in the Moderna case), placebo and vaccine. We'll measure the (small) subset of each group that gets infected and compare the numbers.

If 100 in the placebo group get infected and 100 in the vaccine group get infected, that vaccine was 0% effective. No apparent benefit from the vaccine, outcomes look identical.

If 100 in the placebo group and 50 in the vaccine group get infected, that vaccine was about 50% effective. Not great. Maybe the severity of disease was less in the vaccine group, but that's a secondary goal and not what we're measuring primarily.

100 in the placebo group and 5 in the vaccine group get infected. That's called 95% effective.

The size of our trial dictates our level of confidence in these numbers. If our original groups of people were tiny and/or we have barely any infections in either group, we can't say much anything with confidence because small numbers of infections in either group can swing the numbers in either direction.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 9:16 am

I was an engineering major so I have no issues with interpreting the data, however it's laid out. The same can't be said for some members of the general public, hence my assertion that the claims on efficacy should leave very little room for "depends on how you look at it, absolute vs relative" interpretations that will serve only to confuse.

Can the pharma companies stand behind the claim that it's 95% effective without resorting to numerical semantics or lobbying for liability shields? If so then by all means tell the public that the vaccines are 95% effective. If they say "well we did say it's 95% but what we meant was " then we are in the territory of bait and switch.

There's too much at stake to leave even little room for exaggerated claims from profiteers because the anti-vaxxers will have a field day exploiting any discrepancy between claimed and actual performance for these vaccines and guess what, with that will go public trust.

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 10:01 am

I can get behind what you're saying, but how might you suggest this be communicated? It seems like a failure of the press if they can't convey the essential fact that there were two groups of people and it looks like there were significantly fewer (but not zero) infections among the 15,000 that got the vaccine.

People (especially managers) usually want one single metric to compare even if it's woefully inadequate. Quantifying reductions in infection or maybe severe disease seem like reasonable single-metric comparisons to me.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 10:38 am

The 95% efficacy claim shouldn't depend on the lens you wear to interpret the data, that's my point. As Stephen the tech critic mentions, people are going to alter their behaviour based on these claims once vaccinated, so 95% should mean 95% in absolute terms and contra-indications should also be clearly communicated to at-risk populations. Auditable transparency should be the name of the game, if we've learnt anything from the 737max debacle it's that companies, when left to their own devices, place profit ahead of human lives.

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 11:26 am

I guess "absolute effectiveness" as a metric like the author defines it is might be a reasonable for people assessing their individual risk or as a public health metric but it's a moving target and totally specific to a certain population over a certain span of time, so it's not especially useful for comparing vaccines. I don't think explaining it sounds any easier than the other numbers.

Why should Vietnam show a terrible "absolute effectiveness" compared to France if the goal is to analyze the same vaccine? As the number of people exposed to the virus approaches the entirety of the population (if half were vaccinated and all members are susceptible to infection) the number would approach the vaccine efficacy as the companies define it.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 11:45 am

Our back-and-forth is proving my point, you and I are somewhat equipped with the intellectual/statistical/mathematical wherewithal to do an analytical deep dive and look at the data from different angles, some (most?) people aren't. It's this knowledgeable that the general population lack the mathematical grasp to make sense of marketing claims, especially those presented as numbers, that companies exploit to mislead the public. That's why I contend that the claims should be presented as simply as possible, stripped of opportunities for profiteers to obsfuscate anything. Freebird has a suggestion below, which I'm 100% on board with

freebird , December 10, 2020 at 10:40 am

Exactly. I would even ditch the '95% effective' language. They need to say 'if 10,000 people were exposed to the virus, ordinarily about n1 would get infected. With this vaccine, the number infected was n2. This is language people can grasp.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 11:46 am

Exactly

Stephen the tech critic , December 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Except that even the above language can still be interpreted through different "lenses". Certainly with the relatively sample size, it should be clarified that there's a pretty big "bubble" of uncertainty around the 'n', just considering the basic statistics.

But suppose that for the 75 years and older population the vaccine only works at 50% efficacy, so if I'm 81.5 years old and the TV tells me that the vaccine prevents "9500 out of 10000 infections", I might take myself out of isolation when that may be otherwise ill-advised. Likewise, if I'm an allergy sufferer, I might want to know if said suffers have a 1 in 100 chance of a severe allergic reaction vs. say 1 in 10000 for the general populace. So how do we communicate all these nuances in a way that makes them understandable to the wider public? I don't really see an easy way.

In a sense, this is what doctors and regulatory authorities are supposed to do for people, but much of that is broken right now. Western societies have utterly failed to contain the virus when it doing so would have been much easier, and they refuse to take the steps required to contain it now. They have forced themselves into a situation with no alternatives. They are grasping for a "Hollywood solution" in the form of a high-tech vaccine "developed in a single weekend".

Mel , December 10, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Where n/10000 is so small, if I wanted to be a Covid-denier I would point to that tiny number and argue that not getting vaccinated is already 100%-1.23% = 98.77% effective. To get it right, I have to think about the period of the trial. In X week trial period, my chance of infection might be 1.23%.

At 4X weeks it approaches 5%. 16X weeks (caeteris paribus) we're talking about serious risk. But 16X might be a year, and we need test results sooner than that.

Aumua , December 10, 2020 at 12:58 pm

if I wanted to be a Covid-denier I would point to that tiny number and argue that not getting vaccinated is already 100%-1.23% = 98.77% effective.

That's similar to a (fallacious) argument people use all the time, which is that there's a 99.whatever% chance of survival if you get Covid-19.

ProNewerDeal , December 10, 2020 at 1:44 pm

I hate that fallacy, the binary of 0.X% COVID death vs 99.Y% full recovery. It ignores Long COVID risk, potentially affecting 20% of symptomatic patients per a UK study. It ignores the pain, medical cost (especially in no-Medicare4All Murica), & lost-wages opportunity cost of a non-death hospitalized case.

It is shameful that Long COVID is barely discussed by public health experts, politicians, or CorpMedia.

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 1:26 pm

if 10,000 people were exposed to the virus, ordinarily about n would get infected

I don't think anyone can possibly put a number on this. It seems like the answer is likely to be 10,000 unless some people have some innate immunity for reasons we don't understand. Exposure isn't really binary, someone singing in a phone booth choir with a sick person is much more likely to get infected than if they were just passing by a sick person in the grocery store.

It's a very different statement than what the post author tries to capture with "absolute accuracy" which scales from zero (no cases) to the vaccine efficacy for a whole population.

Tom Bradford , December 10, 2020 at 3:49 pm

Surely the only way to achieve "absolute accuracy" would be to ensure that both groups are a) identical in age ranges from 0 – 100, sex and biology/medical history, b) subject 100% of both groups to identical exposure to the virus, and c) isolate both groups from each other and the general population for a fortnight to prevent additional exposure from outside. In the absence of the above there is too much scope for a) deliberate and nefarious manipulation, and b) uncontrollable input influencing the numbers. IMHO.

I was born three years before doctors began giving a new drug on the market declared safe in pregnancy to mothers for morning sickness. It was called Thalidomide.

I won't be taking this one.

The Historian , December 10, 2020 at 4:21 pm

Exactly! We can never know what 'n' is unless we purposely expose a population to Covid and then measure how many of them come down with the disease – and to me, that would be a highly unethical test to employ. So that 'n' as described is meaningless at best.

All we can know is how many people given the placebo come down with the disease v. how many of the group that get the vaccine come down with the disease and go from there. We know that not all of the people in either group will be exposed since most of them probably are taking precaution they can to avoid the disease like most of us – which means that the numbers of people who do get Covid will be small – and that is where 'statistically significant' comes into play. If there is any criticism it would be there – did they test enough people and long enough to get statistically significant numbers?

If you want 'absolute accuracy', then you have to be willing to throw ethics out the window and purposely give people Covid. Then you can study the effects and get 'real numbers' if that is what is necessary to convince the critics.

Yves Smith , December 11, 2020 at 1:21 am

But they don't know how many were infected. This is a leap of logic in your example. They had a number of infections identified in each group and INFERRED an infection rate, as in assumed that the rate of contracting the disease was the same in the injected group as in the control.

There's more cause for pause given that a top HIV expert pointed out that the bar for designating an infection is too low:

The second surprise from these protocols is how mild the requirements for contracted Covid-19 symptoms are. A careful reading reveals that the minimum qualification for a case of Covid-19 is a positive PCR test and one or two mild symptoms. These include headache, fever, cough, or mild nausea. This is far from adequate. These vaccine trials are testing to prevent common cold symptoms.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/09/23/covid-19-vaccine-protocols-reveal-that-trials-are-designed-to-succeed/

rusti , December 11, 2020 at 1:44 am

Where is the leap in my logic? A lower threshold for diagnosing disease (risking more false or dubious positives) is bad for the pharma companies.

False positives in the vaccine group are disproportionally worse for efficacy when the manufacturers want to be able to claim an order of magnitude fewer infections for that group.

Jeff W , December 10, 2020 at 10:19 am

Ah, thanks. I was puzzled by the argument, because it seemed a bit like saying that routinely carrying umbrellas did not provide 95% protection against rain because it only rained some of the time.

I'm glad it wasn't only me, although I was thinking along the lines that parachutes are highly effective in only the 1–2% of the population that goes skydiving. (But, to analogize to COVID-19 somewhat, you'd end up in a plane about to be pushed out without expecting it or wanting to.) It struck me as a way not to interpret the statistics.

Nameful , December 10, 2020 at 11:09 am

But if, say, 10000 vaccinated people visit a country in the course of a year, but only 500 come into contact with a contagious source (which would not be surprising) and none get ill, then the efficacy of the vaccine would presumably only be 0.05% according to the logic of the article.

Actually, it would about 0% plus whatever smoothing coefficient you choose to apply for your prior (Jeffreys would give 0.5 / 500.5 = ~0.1%). The number of vaccinated people here is has an indirect impact, via Bayesian chaining – it will give you a confidence interval for the number of exposed people (via a binomial with the maximum at about 500/10000 = 5%), which is then propagated into the confidence interval of the number of infected ones.

Cocomaan , December 10, 2020 at 6:43 am

What was the testing protocol for people who were asymptomatic? That is, we're the 95% of people all tested, or just assumed free of disease?

Cocomaan , December 10, 2020 at 7:03 am

Apparently I can't form a sentence this early in the morning.

My concern is that the vaccine creates a class of people who are asymptomatic carriers that 1) continue to spread the disease and 2) may still have damage from the disease, because we have seen that asymptomatic carriers can still get lung and heart damage .

How would you know someone is an asymptomatic carrier unless you tested them?

Otto V. , December 10, 2020 at 8:55 am

Is that population *representative* of the whole population? Does it include children? The elderly? People of different social class and/or living situations? People of different "colors"? People with history of severe allergies? And are the proportions of each of these (and any others I *can't* think of) similar within the sampled population as in the whole population?

Probably. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Unlikely. Close. Also, no pregnant people. But the vaccine has not been approved for children nor pregnant people.

Second, the result assumes that the study is blinded.

It was randomized and double-blinded.

the media has reported repeatedly and extensively, while these trails are on-going, that side-effects are common

The common side effect was redness, swelling, and pain in the injection area. Mild side effects in less than 10% (otherwise, it would have not been approved by the NHS). I don't think that's enough to "unblind" participants, at least in significant numbers.

The author is correct that these vaccines are "under-tested"

Do we know if they've weakened the criteria in the approval process? Because I might be wrong/misinformed, but from what I've read, any other vaccine at any other time would get a Phase IV approval with the data provided.

I do agree with the part that we shouldn't lift all the restrictions just because we have the vaccine. Only when and if infection rates drop down to anecdotal, we can slowly and carefully begin to get back to normal (whatever that may be).

Yves Smith , December 10, 2020 at 4:20 pm

You are understating the side effects. Many people feel like crap for a day:

High fever, body aches, headaches and exhaustion are some of the symptoms participants in Moderna and Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine trials say they felt after receiving the shots.

While the symptoms were uncomfortable, and at times intense, they often went away after a day, sometimes less.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/01/coronavirus-vaccine-trial-participants-exhaustion-fever-headaches.html

john , December 10, 2020 at 5:49 pm

Is feeling crap for a day a mild symptoms ? i don't know either way in terms or what is considered mild, but it doesn't sound too severe.

The article appears to over egg the efficacy concerns. Did they want people 30, 000 to be deliberately infected to test the exact number. I think a large number of human challenge trials are ongoing. I think its reasonable to except the efficacy to be over 80% but the exact number is to be determined with further studies.

Yves Smith , December 10, 2020 at 6:37 pm

If you can't take a day off from work, and many can't, it's not trivial. And Pfizer appears to have underplayed the fever issue. Some experts took note of the fact that everyone who took the Pfizer vaccine in the trials was encouraged to take acetaminophen afterwards. That's not normal. IM Doc wrote this in today's Links:

Thank you for the link regarding the nurse who had the reaction to the vaccine.

A few words of clarification for your readers from a physician of 30 years.

A temperature of 104.9 in an adult with a functional immune system (we are not talking about babies and kids – they are different) is extraordinary after a vaccination. 104.9 means that the immune system has been activated enough to take it up a few notches to DEF CON 1. This is very unusual in infectious disease – some parasites and ameba do this routinely – and things like sepsis syndrome can – but for the most part, getting a temperature up this high is definitely not normal. It is certainly not a good sign for a vaccine. A vaccine should not be stimulating the immune system to this degree – EVER. Idiosyncratic reactions in a very rare patient is one thing – if this is happening more often – this is not a good sign for that vaccine.

The nurse in the article is absolutely correct – a temperature of 104.9 after a vaccine administration is a grade 4 reportable event.

This is medically important for two reasons. 1) That level of fever if sustained can damage permanently multiple organs. 2) Vaccines should simply not be activating the immune system to that degree – it is completely inappropriate. It is very normal for people to have a brief temp of 99 or 100 after a vaccine – this is a completely different level.

From what I can tell in the Pfizer documents – "fever" is not uncommon as a side effect to their vaccine. I cannot determine in any location what their parameters are for "fever". As stated above – it is accepted that multiple vaccines will give a patient a slight fever as a side effect maybe up to a day. But not 104.5. How many of these patients classified as "fever" in their information and glossies were actually 103? 104? There is no transparency – and that is the problem.

And if you read the comments above from those who are statistically well versed, the issue is that the effective sample is so small that there is a high degree of statistical uncertainty around the efficacy numbers. And that's before getting to the fact that messenger RNA technology (the one used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) have never before been used (except in a Zika trial of ~100, too small to be reliable) and the long term effects are unknown.

There are plenty of MDs who never prescribe a new med that has been out less than a year to patients. I won't take the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. I'll wait for a conventional vaccine (there are plenty in trials, so several are likely to win approval).

nn , December 10, 2020 at 10:53 am

But as I understand it, the point is precisely that the sample is unrepresentative. What the trials did is ethical equivalent of randomly choosing 185 people, vaccinating them, then infecting then with the virus and then observing that only 11 got sick.

Just 185 seems really low.

Stephen , December 10, 2020 at 11:24 am

I really appreciate the explanation. There is another element that has bothered me from the beginning of the phase 2/3 trial: that any and all symptoms are self reported. I'm in the Pfizer trial and received the doses in August and I asked repeatadly what level of pain/discomfort/deviation from the norm would warrant reporting and was told ANY change. But I am curious how many asked that and actually did it. Meaning, my guess is that the level of infections in the placebo group is actually higher when combined with the truly asymptomatic. But the same may be true in the vaccine group as well. They are trying to root out the asymptomatic spread with challenge trials, if they get approved.

Cuibono , December 10, 2020 at 1:11 pm

You are right about his weird choice of language but his point is accurate in ANY medical intervention one wants to know BOTH Relative efficacy and Absolute.

This vaccine reduced the RELATIVE rate of infections dramatically.. But since the overall incidence of infections was low, the ABSOLUTe reduction was very small. This is also true of say STATINs in low risk patients.

Maritimer , December 10, 2020 at 4:43 am

The Vaccine Drumbeat in my jurisdiction is increasing and I'm sure will become deafening. Talk show radio hosts actually giving medical advice. No recommendations to consult with a doctor regarding your personal health circumstances and risks or those of your loved ones.

This is all orchestrated by Public Health officials who apparently have never heard of personal health care. We are all just one big Herd. To me this is a desecration of the doctor patient relationship by so-called health professionals. All of which is extremely dangerous and bad medical advice.

Nick Alcock , December 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm

They're trying to prevent people who *cannot* take the vaccine for whatever reason from dying, by encouraging people who are merely worried but have no actual reason not to take the vaccine other than paranoia and ungrounded conspiracy-mongering to take the bloody thing. This seems like, y'know, their job, and entirely praiseworthy.

The disease *does* see us as one big herd, or rather as a pile of individual infectable cells. It seems right to deal with the response to it on the same level.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 5:00 am

Re: companies mandating staff to be vaccinated to market their establishments as "safe". The tone and substance of the post is clearly meant to be a "proceed with caution" advisory on taking the vaccine, despite the author being at pains to emphasize that it's not an "encouragement to reject vaccines".

Some quarters of the labour market are clearly going to render this moot for the serfs who'll be required to either sign up to be guinea pigs or lose their jobs, wow. Swallow the tail risk of unknown medium to long-term health effects of these rapidly developed vaccines for the short term gain of a (most likely crap) salary? So agency over one's health is now signed over to employers as a means to eke out a meagre existence, double wow.

Barry Disch , December 10, 2020 at 5:13 am

Don't forget they are using flawed PCR tests and except for Moderna in the US all other countries and companies where studies have been conducted are using another vaccine instead of a true saline or inert placebo.

Not to mention most of these Pharmaceutical Companies have been sued for tens of billions of dollars for harmful drugs , buried information, fraud ect. We're supposed to trust them with safety studies for medical products they have indemnity for. Thank you for pointing out how deceptive these numbers can be for the average person.

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 8:18 am

Don't forget they are using flawed PCR tests

Can you elaborate on why PCR testing is flawed? What better alternative is there for determining an infection with high specificity?

westkentim , December 10, 2020 at 3:08 pm

My understanding (and my understanding of all this is not perfect!) is that PCR tests are flawed (a) because they iterate an amplification process until they find something, and that something could be the remnants of another CV caused by a cold you had 3 months previously and (b) at least in the UK, the testing labs are not necessarily as well-versed in the hygiene procedures you need to avoid cross-contamination. So there is a high risk of false positives.

Moreover, if I am reading the background to the clinical trials correctly, they count as "success" situations where someone who has one positive PCR test plus some fairly common cold symptoms does not then go on to develop full-blown CV19 symptoms. The problem is, given the PCR is acknowledged to generate a lot of false positives, then the success rate will be overstated, because the denominator in the success rate calculations will be swollen with subjects who didn't actually have the CV19 virus to start with

(I can't quite believe that the test can be that dumb, so perhaps I am totally wrong about that? But I fear I am not.)

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 11:46 pm

The Cycle Threshold of a sample (for PCR tests that provide it) gives some indication of the quantity of virus in the sample. I think that for only viral fragments a very high CT value (low amount of virus) will be an indicator that repeat testing may be necessary. I haven't read the actual protocols to learn how they handle this.

The problem is, given the PCR is acknowledged to generate a lot of false positives, then the success rate will be overstated

I don't follow your thinking here, if false positives are equally distributed across the placebo and vaccine groups then it will make the vaccine look less effective.

Let's say 100 people really get infected in the placebo group and 10 in the vaccine group (90% efficacy). If you add an equal number of false positives to both groups, it can only push efficacy number down. If we add 10 to each group, efficacy is down to ~80%. If we add 20 to each group, efficacy is down to 75%.

Synoia , December 10, 2020 at 5:46 am

Treating symptoms and not the underlying disease appears very profitable to me. How can that possibly create herd immunity?

Does that mean herd immunity is achieved when a significant number are asymptomatic, infected and capable of infecting the uninoculated?

I am assuming that infected asymptomatic individuals are capable of infecting others.

Samuel Conner , December 10, 2020 at 7:20 am

A question that this raises for me is whether sterilising immunity is conferred by the innate immune response to infection with live virus.

If not, then "herd immunity" would not be achieved by letting the virus "run" through the population, as has been advocated by some. The commentary I have seen on this generally assumes that people who have recovered from infection are not only protected from disease symptoms, but cannot for some length of time become reinfected and asymptomatic spreaders. Perhaps they can.

This is a very bad prospect for vulnerable populations.

lincoln , December 10, 2020 at 2:36 pm

If a vaccinated individual can still transmit COVID, then herd immunity may not be practical.

"Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease ..Immune individuals are unlikely to contribute to disease transmission, disrupting chains of infection, which stops or slows the spread of disease. The greater the proportion of immune individuals in a community, the smaller the probability that non-immune individuals will come into contact with an infectious individual."

ahimsa , December 10, 2020 at 5:54 am

There is a comic meme going around at the moment:

1st mouse says: Are you going to get vaccinated?

2nd mouse replies: Are you mad? They haven't completed the human trials!

Dean , December 10, 2020 at 6:22 am

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this. What do the 'numbers' look like for a proven vaccine that's been around for several decades or more (e.g. smallpox, polio, etc)?

Are these vaccines truly "95% effective": illness prevented and infection eliminated in 95% of everyone vaccinated. Period?

Am I thinking about this the right way?

Thank you.

The Historian , December 10, 2020 at 9:39 am

Let's just make this simple.

Not everyone is going to be exposed to Covid-19 just like not everyone is going to be exposed to the flu. So why do you take the flu vaccine? Isn't it because if you are unlucky and DO get exposed, you have some protection from getting sick?

Not everyone was going to be exposed to small pox or polio, but for those that were unlucky enough to get exposed, those vaccines protected MOST of them from getting the diseases, I'm not sure what the 'effectiveness' of those vaccines were, but you don't hear of small pox or polio pandemics any more. Isn't that what a vaccine is supposed to do?

The reason for getting a Covid-19 vaccine is just the same. You may never be exposed to Covid-19 so the vaccine will have nothing to protect you from – so, according to this article, it's effectiveness for you will be zero. Remember only 185 of 15,000 people who were taking the placebo got exposed. So, if you are unlucky and do get exposed, wouldn't you like to have some protection from what Covid-19 can do? And what the numbers are saying is that IF you do get exposed to Covid-19 that you have a 95% chance of being protected and NOT getting that disease. To me that sounds a whole lot better than nothing!

I call articles like the above "fun with math". They send you down the wrong path when it comes to what you can rationally expect from vaccines and they provide fodder for the anti-vaxxers.

That said, I wish we had more time to see what the possible side effects are, but sadly Covid is killing people at a too rapid pace for us to wait for the perfect vaccine.

Burritonomics , December 10, 2020 at 10:17 am

Exactly. I'd like to write a long form rebuttal to this article, but I have to go to work in 30 minutes.

"It sucks, and is bordering on intentionally misleading" is my short form response.

My thinking is like I'm being given a choice between two syringes: one has an unknown dose of Covid-19. The other is the vaccine.

I'll be getting the vaccine as soon as I can.

Jeff W , December 10, 2020 at 8:26 pm

" bordering on intentionally misleading"

I thought so, too.

Brian (another one they call) , December 10, 2020 at 10:37 am

I have a growing problem with the claims without any proof of efficacy. One of the vaccine makers bragged about creating the vaccine "one weekend" Vaccines take years to develop. That these are miraculously appearing within months by companies with a financial interest in being first. In a word, bushwa.
So far many claims have been made that have passed no test to justify. Only immunity from prosecution and personal responsibility are important to the vaccine makers at this point. The populous waits on bated breath for every word they spew.
Dr. Chris Martenson has a few things to say about it from his perspective as an expert in pathology. We, the people, desparately need rational voices that know statistics to begin with. Numbers are always mistaken for facts when presented by those alleged to be in authority. It doesn't mean they understand them, or are working hard to be certain that the statistics are accurate, not just supportive of their claims.
I would make this silly prediction based on what I know now;
Prophylaxis with Ivermectin and vitamin supplements has already shown much higher efficacy in preventing infection, transmission, length of symptoms and outcome. But it doesn't make huge profits. There are no horrible side effects.
When was the last time we were asked to accept a drug that was supported by the pharma companies? Statins? The benefits only seem to appear if one is hospitalized in critical care. The side effects may have injured more than the drug helped. But this sacred cow too is making companies lots of money.
Stop the viral functions vs. alter the body chemistry. When did our science think this was acceptable to alter our functioning immune systems and then say it was AOK? Was it just the lucre? We can't imagine that our science has become snake oil from where it began.

Don Cafferty , December 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm

I am not an expert or have medical training. I do read a lot. Re "Vaccines take years to develop", you are correct. From my reading, the basic science for mRNA started in 1983. What happened afterwards has irony. The principle scientist/investigator repeatedly had difficulty in getting grant money to do her study because granting agencies did not think that the mRNA would be accepted by the human body. It was thought that the auto immune system would automatically reject it. The principle scientist/investigator failed to get tenure at her university because she was not able to bring much grant money to the university. Nonetheless, she persevered and finally together with a collaborator, they found a way of introducing mRNA without alerting the immune system. Their work was published in 2005. Their work was largely unnoticed except for two people who saw the medical opportunity provided by mRNA. Further study was done and eventually medical science and entrepreneurship merged together which led to the formation of BioNtech (based on the words, "biopharmaceuticals", "New", "Technologies") and Moderna (based on the words "Modified", "RNA"). Neither BioNtech nor Moderna had a vaccine a year ago. Instead, they had the technology. When the genetic code for the virus was released to the world by Chinese scientists, BioNtech and Moderna could then program their mRNA technology for the Sars-Cov-2 virus. With their technology, it could be said that they already had a head start in making the vaccine. The principle scientist and her collaborator work separately. One is now employed with Moderna and the other is with BioNtech.

rosemerry , December 10, 2020 at 5:46 pm

None of the "Western" developers would of course now give any credit to their Chinese helpers!!! We only hear of "China steals our intellectual property."

Remember the days when Jonas Salk refused to patent and make money from his polio vaccine?

Nick Alcock , December 11, 2020 at 1:13 pm

They had a head start in making this vaccine *and possibly all future ones too*. This is a game-changer: it's quite possible that future diseases may routinely have a vaccine entering clinical trials *days* after its genome is known, rather than having to work on it for months to decades first.

(Now all we have to do is convince people that it's not a dark plot and that actually these things do save lives.)

Count Zero , December 11, 2020 at 6:20 am

I too am getting dizzy with all these statistics and caveats. I have had a flu jab every year for the last 12. I have had bugs of one kind or another over the years but I only had some kind of flu once -- this February as it happens. There is no way that anybody can estimate how many flu bugs I was exposed to and what their impact would be on a healthy man in his 60s in the last decade. Anyway, I don't worry about the statistics but make a simple risk assessment. Is the risk of a flu vaccine less than the risk of getting flu? The answer has to be yes.

With covid19 vaccinations I don't much care whether it's efficacy can be measured as 95% or 70% or 60%. Anything is better than nothing. Anyway, it's like wearing masks. Its efficacy depends upon large numbers of people being vaccinated. I help protect you as well as myself and you protect me as well as yourself. I worry that large numbers of people will decide not to have any vaccine, ensuring that covid19 will continue to kill unprotected people.

Only one thing concerns me at present. Safety. Sadly, enough doubts have been raised about the two new experimental vaccines to make me think the risk is not worth it. I will wait for the Oxford vaccine to become available I think -- while trying to keep a sensible open-minded watching brief.

IdahoSpud , December 10, 2020 at 6:36 am

There is no reason that you should go right out and get poked with these barely-tested, and IMHO experimental vaccines.

Salk and Sabin were hailed as heroes – which they were – for giving humanity polio vaccines. What has gone down the memory hole though, is how Pharma family blogged up the production of the vaccines. You should really check these links to see how bad this was/is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutter_Laboratories (children vaccinated with live polio virus that survived the production process)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SV40 (90% of US children and 60% of adults inoculated with polio vaccine contaminated with a monkey virus that turns out be carcinogenic – it's also passed down in-utero, so we all have increased likelihood of certain cancers, thanks pharma)

Public health is standing between greedy sociopaths and a big pile of cash, and it'll probably get run over. I fail to see why we should expect a sound vaccine in this environment.

Nick Alcock , December 11, 2020 at 1:16 pm

I haven't seen my parents in a year. My parents haven't seen anyone in a year. There's a bloody good reason to go out and get vaccinated for us!

There's a reason for everyone else too: some old and vulnerable people won't be able to get vaccinated, which means they'll be stuck in isolation until enough people have been vaccinated that they don't need to worry about dying of this thing every time they go out in public or meet anyone ever.

Adrian D. , December 10, 2020 at 6:44 am

Whether or not the vaccine is capable of interrupting transmission absolutely should have been front and centre in these studies especially when it's presented to people with an extremely low chance of being harmed by the virus (ie. the fit & young who might be the ones likely to be affected by any fertility issues).

It could be assumed that less severe symptoms means less chance for spread which may be the case, but then I can't see how logically that fits with the mainstream view that of the virus as something that is transmitted asymptomatically so readily anyway? (Although I think this asymptomatic spread idea is probably wildly overblown).

Otto V. , December 10, 2020 at 9:09 am

Asymptomatic and presymptomatic are not the same. Studies show that most of the asymptomatic people who transmit the disease end up developing symptoms (I've seen systematic reviews that show anything between 83% to 94%). I.e.: asymptomatic transmission is possible, but mostly by presymptomatic people.

Red , December 10, 2020 at 7:38 am

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

Kevin C. Smith , December 10, 2020 at 8:16 am

As a practical matter, I expect that these vaccines will reduce the incidence and severity of both disease and transmission in the treated populations, and do so with little risk to the treated indivduals, so that there is very likely to be a net benefit to a treated individual, to the population of treated individuals, and [to a lesser exent] to the non-treated individuals in the general population.

I am confident that more information will emerge to support and refine the above hypotheses. It will only be a matter of degree. Speaking as a 69 year-old physician, I would take any of the three leading vaccines at the first opportunity. I expect that when we look back in a few years we will see that the immunized population did better than the age-sex-etc matched non-immunized population. To some extent, my wife and I are relying on unbalanced articles like this to at least temporarily deter some people from having the vaccine, so that we can get to the front of the line more quickly.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 8:55 am

Out of curiosity, what informs your confidence in these vaccines apart from the press releases and efficacy claims from the pharma companies developing them? Is it something we the general public aren't privy to that physicians have given the heads up on? I'm in now way being flippant, it's just that a good number of doctors I know personally wouldn't go near any of these vaccines, at least not until there's enough data backing up their efficacy in the real world.

Otto V. , December 10, 2020 at 9:20 am

it's just that a good number of doctors I know personally wouldn't go near any of these vaccines, at least not until there's enough data backing up their efficacy in the real world.

That's a pretty contradictory position. You don't get real world data unless real world people take the vaccine. Very telling of those -probably wealthy- doctors to let others assume that risk. Let's not forget that tens of thousands of people already took the vaccine with significantly fewer assurances. I guess it's alright to go to poor and desperate people first? That's what I call solidarity and prosocial behavior.

Thuto , December 10, 2020 at 9:53 am

No, the doctors aren't convinced by the studies and the claims emerging from that, at least not yet. If signing up to be a guinea pig for something you're not entirely convinced of is your idea of solidarity and pro-social behaviour then by all means, go right ahead, they're not stopping you. By the way, more data can be the result of more extensive clinical trials with better designed studies that aren't "designed to succeed", and is not limited to being obtained from poor people being lined up to volunteer as guinea pigs, as you imply.

In any event all of this "being at the head of the queue" talk is academic for us in Africa, the big wealthy nations have resolved to hoard the supplies of whatever credible vaccine becomes available. Maybe you could lobby them to share in the name of solidarity.

Otto V. , December 12, 2020 at 7:34 am

If signing up to be a guinea pig for something you're not entirely convinced of is your idea of solidarity and pro-social behaviour then by all means, go right ahead, they're not stopping you

If you put it like that, and people interpret it like that, no clinical trials ever would happen, except in Nazi Germany, where they forced people to submit to medical experiments (see, we can all be overly dramatic). If the vaccine is not good enough for you, it shouldn't be good enough for anybody, and we never get a vaccine for anything, ever.

Therefore, yes, I will gladly accept the vaccine once it's my turn, because at this point is civic duty and safety is as guaranteed as any other Phase IV drug. Again, the two alternatives are being a hypocrite or not having a vaccine.

Maybe you could lobby them to share in the name of solidarity

Even better, I advocate to allow the vaccine to be produced in developing countries freely, without IP concerns. I doubt the wealthy countries will accept the proposal, but I also hope those countries will ignore international law and manufacture it for local consumption anyway.

freebird , December 10, 2020 at 10:47 am

I don't know if it's selfishness on the doctors' part, or just so much familiarity with the avarice of the pharmaceutical industry that they don't trust the data that has been molded into a neat report, likely as not full of hidden flaws or deliberately misleading conclusions. Unfortunately the truth will not come out til a lot of people have taken the vaccines, and I can't blame a front line worker for not wanting to be at the front of the line.

Otto V. , December 12, 2020 at 7:44 am

I don't doubt the avarice of Big Pharma. I count on it. But the people who actually developed the vaccine and actually run the experiments won't see a penny of the billions Pfizer is going to make with this vaccine. At that point, I would expect at least a couple of trustworthy sources, with a conscience and without billions to blind it, would blow the whistle on any data manipulation. Like all conspiracies, the more people are involved, the shorter they live. Thousands have participated in the Phase III. So far, all the complains come from people who don't trust Pfizer because Pfizer is not trustworthy, and people who are concerned for political reasons. And don't get me wrong, you can't trust Pfizer and there are clear political concerns, but as long as it's just that, keeping an eye open and taking the vaccine is the right thing to do. Again, because otherwise we probably won't get a vaccine in decades, if ever.

The Rev Kev , December 10, 2020 at 9:14 am

Don't be in such a rush to get to the head of the que-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arwZcw0Ejcc

Wyoming , December 10, 2020 at 9:23 am

I 2nd Thuto here.

I have a good friend who is a practicing MD dealing with Covid patients who I talk to regularly about the vaccines and the epidemic. He has a low opinion of how the trials have been conducted and thinks that there is a high chance of several surprising issues popping up (like the adverse reactions mentioned above). He, contrary to you, intends to let the early vaccine recipient's finish the more comprehensive testing which should have occurred as part of the stage 3 trials.

Thor's Hammer , December 10, 2020 at 10:51 am

Dr. Smith
You are no doubt aware that mRNA "vaccines" are not really vaccines at all in the conventional sense, but rather might more accurately be termed "genetic immune response modifiers.' This approach to disease control has been speculated about for some time and subject to investigation, but has never been administered at scale in a human population. "Testing" to observe whether recipients immediately fall ill after the first or second shot is essentially meaningless except to the extent that it may retard or stop entirely the use of the drug. There are enough theoretical pitfalls with this radical methodology that no one can predict their long term impact. Perhaps after three years, but certainly not after 90 days.

Conventional vaccines like those for Polio and Smallpox utilize modified or disabled forms of the disease pathogens to stimulate antibodies to provide resistance when they encounter the disease "in the wild." We have decades of experience and millions of cases using this type of vaccine which lends a high level of confidence that a new conventional vaccine can be used safely on a new pathogen.

MD's like yourself have years of experience and training in identifying and treating disease -- certainly far beyond that of the the average layman. But you are also the product of a culture that determines how you think about your practice. For example, "Only medicines that have gone through the approval and patent process are suitable for human use." Or, "All medicines obtained from foreign countries are suspect or dangerous." Or: "Authorities like the AMA, NIH or WHO are the only reliable sources of information" Or: "Deviating from approved practice can/will result in lawsuits and being barred from practicing medicine."

By all means dash to the head of the Pfizer/Moderna Corvid vaccine line. We need more willing volunteers like yourself so authorities like Bill Gates won't have to test new vaccines on poor children in Africa and India to determine whether the side effects include sterility or the re-emergence of Polio.

Kurtismayfield , December 10, 2020 at 11:22 am

This.

Considering the questions that people have been asking on this website on how the mRNA vaccine works, I doubt that most people understand that this is not like the other vaccines that people have taken, and uses a completely different mechanism for eliciting an immune response than traditional vaccines.

Nick Alcock , December 11, 2020 at 1:23 pm

It uses exactly the same mechanism: presentation of an antigen on cell surfaces. It even uses the same antigen as some of the more conventional SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The antigen is even produced in the same place: the inside of the recipients' cells. The only unusual thing is where the RNA comes from that is used to do this: is it on its own, or does it come packaged with other viral RNA implementing a complete working virus not common in human populations which has been modified to produce this antigen?

(I don't know why anyone would consider it safer to take a traditional vaccine which has an actual working virus in it, even if said virus only causes a mild cold, than it would be to take these new ones which have no viral replication machinery whatsoever . The Moderna/biontech stuff is new, but not because it was previously believed unsafe, merely because eukaryotes are vicious to naked RNA outside their cells and destroy it on sight with some of the most efficient enzymes known because, well, it's a sign of viral infection. So RNA-based vaccines never got close to getting inside enough cells to be useful, so you needed a whole viral capsid to do the job, like the more traditional Astra-Zeneca vaccine. That's the problem that's been solved.)

Kevin C. Smith , December 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm

There will be some who make the specious argument that only ~2% of the subjects in the study got symptomatic Covid, so "big deal". That sort of argument would carry more weight if it had been expressed in terms of "cases per unit time". In this case, it looks as though the median time was about 2 months.

I expect that as time goes on we would find that a very large proportion of the control group [maybe 10%] would develop clinical symptoms, and a much larger proportion would develop asymptomatic disease [which carries a poorly defined risk of serious but silent damage to the heart, brain, etc].

As good studies emerge, like BioNTech, we can read the original peer reviewed literature and the commentaries on it, and draw our own conclusions:
SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination -- An Ounce (Actually, Much Less) of Prevention
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2034717?query=RP

Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577?query=RP

Tom Bradford , December 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm

To some extent, my wife and I are relying on unbalanced articles like this to at least temporarily deter some people from having the vaccine, so that we can get to the front of the line more quickly.

Fine by me. The more human guinea-pigs that stand between me and this stuff – and remain standing – the more likely I'll be to take it. Eventually. Tho' if your confidence is justified and you help take Runder1 perhaps I won't even have to risk it.

Paolo , December 10, 2020 at 9:22 am

While there are some clear misunderstandings about these numbers from both sides, several pointed out that we have zero knowledge about other aspects of the vaccine, such as:
1) Can people still transmit the virus after "successful" immunization from the vaccine?
2) How long will the immunity from vaccination last?
3) How long before a vaccine-resistant mutation emerges?

We should be focused on better testing (both developing and administering), pervasive contact tracing, and innovative technologies such as air filtering with vertical flow, better masks, better public support for masks, better strategies for isolating sick individuals in crowded situations, better treatments. What terrifies me about the vaccine craze is that it is distracting everyone from doing the right things not just to stem the death toll from this pandemic, but also from using this as a learning experience to be better prepared for the next one.

There is the expression "closing the barn doors after the cows have gone." A more complete analogy in this case would be "a fire started in the barn, luckily the cows were able to run out the open door. We went into the barn and closed the door from the inside without a fire extinguisher."

Olivier , December 10, 2020 at 9:24 am

The COVID coverage by Michael Haseltine on Forbes is well worth reading. His Sep. 23 piece titled Covid-19 Vaccine Protocols Reveal That Trials Are Designed To Succeed is especially relevant.

KLG , December 10, 2020 at 10:18 am

William A. Haseltine, who was a pioneer during the early HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Yves Smith , December 10, 2020 at 10:19 pm

This part is damning:

The second surprise from these protocols is how mild the requirements for contracted Covid-19 symptoms are. A careful reading reveals that the minimum qualification for a case of Covid-19 is a positive PCR test and one or two mild symptoms. These include headache, fever, cough, or mild nausea. This is far from adequate. These vaccine trials are testing to prevent common cold symptoms.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamhaseltine/2020/09/23/covid-19-vaccine-protocols-reveal-that-trials-are-designed-to-succeed/

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 11:51 pm

Why is that damning? The lower their threshold for a positive, the more likely they are to have false positives. False positives in the vaccine group make the efficacy values plunge.

It is totally counterproductive if the intention is to game the results. Then the smart play would be to only count serious disease.

Milton , December 10, 2020 at 10:00 am

By tomorrow, according to Worldmeters, 5% of the population in the US will have tested positive for c-19-studies have put the actual penetration of those infected at anywhere from 2X to 10X the counted numbers (16 million, or so). Are persons that have been tested positive, or carry antibodies, exempt from any mass vaccination program? It seems to me the enormous rush to get vaccines to market is the fear that, lockdowns notwithstanding, we are heading towards that time when a majority of the US population will have already become infected. I can envision the panic in big phamas boardrooms as the see that every week another million potential customers are removed from their expected profit sheets.

The Rev Kev , December 10, 2020 at 10:08 am

It's worse than that. Not long ago some were saying how the number of American dead in this pandemic was approaching the number killed in Vietnam. Now the daily total exceeds that lost on 9/11 and is accelerating.

Thor's Hammer , December 10, 2020 at 11:27 am

Not to worry. Simply denying the ability to fly, work, drive a car, or go to the supermarket to everyone without a digital vaccine certification card will ensure a high level of compliance with the Universal Mandate and continued joy in the boardrooms of Pfizer. The goal is to monetize Pharma Power, not to control Corid19. So bringing all those who have self-vaccinated by contacting a mild case of the disease or have a strong T-cell immunity response into the Fold is just good business.

Speaking of business opportunities, printing black market certification cards @ $100 each promises to put BitCoin to shame.

About that 5% of the US population that have tested positive:
At the conventional PCR Cr of 40 about 5% will have a viral loading such that they are actively spreading infection to others. The other 95% could be more accurately termed as false positives.

Aumua , December 10, 2020 at 1:31 pm

The goal is to monetize Pharma Power, not to control Corid19.

I assume it's probably some degree of both. I mean just cause something might be true doesn't mean it is true.

At the conventional PCR Cr of 40 about 5% will have a viral loading such that they are actively spreading infection to others. The other 95% could be more accurately termed as false positives.

I also question these numbers and/or reasoning. Do you have a link supporting this statement?

Thor's Hammer , December 10, 2020 at 3:28 pm

I too have a problem with the way my source arrived at their 97% false positive claim. The internal logic is indeed correct, but it feels like using statistics in a less than transparent manner.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/507937-covid-pcr-test-fail/

https://www.zerohedge.com/medical/covid-19-rt-pcr-test-how-mislead-all-humanity-accepting-societal-lock-downs

marku52 , December 10, 2020 at 4:02 pm

I had read that a cycle rep of about 25 was more commonly used. 40 would pick up a lot false positives.

Petter , December 10, 2020 at 2:02 pm

Regarding monetizing Pharma Power: The Norwegian institute CEPI – Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations was founded in 2017 with the goal (amongst others) of being in the forefront in the development of vaccines for new infectious diseases and their distribution at an affordable price (or no price if countries can't afford it) throughout the world. Funding for CEPI has come from the governments, trusts and foundations. Read all about it here.
https://cepi.net

What happened with CEPI and the development of Covid vaccines? The pharma companies would not give up their right to determine prices, for "competitive business reasons".

Goggle Translate of an NRK article: https://www.nrk.no/dokumentar/ble-makteslost-vitne-til-dod-_-selv-om-vaksinen-fantes-1.15060685
-- -- -
The pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, did not like the rules, according to Richard Hatchett. He has been the director of CEPI since April 2017, when he left his job as deputy commander of BARDA. It is the agency of the US Department of Health that buys and develops vaccines.

In a sensational article, Hatchett explains what happened to CEPI's policy:

CEPI's rules are based on the idealism on which the coalition was founded. However, several multinational vaccine companies said they did not "reflect the business reality of vaccine developers," according to the CEPI director. They also disliked the fact that CEPI should be able to set the price.

For industry, the rules were simply not in line with a competitive business model, according to Richard Hatchett.
-- --
BTW, the sensational article referred to above, results in this:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X19317190# !

Gerald Posner discusses CEPI in a New York Times article (from March): https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/opinion/contributors/pharma-vaccines.html

-- -
Before Covid-19 was identified last December, CEPI had raised three-fourths of the $1 billion it determined was necessary to fund the innovative research for expedited development of vaccines to treat new epidemics. Japan, Germany, Canada, Australia and Norway, as well as the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, had given $460 million. In the last two years, CEPI has used that money to provide grants for some leading edge biotechnologies that could revolutionize vaccine research and production.

But what has played mostly out of public view over that same time was the organization's failed effort to get large pharmaceutical firms to agree to be partners without insisting on substantial profits or proprietary rights to research that CEPI helped to finance and produce (my bolding). That did not surprise many industry observers who knew that since the 1930s, the National Institutes of Health had spent over $900 billion on grants that drug firms relied on to patent brand-name medications.
-- -- -- --
The band plays on: Tanz mit Laibach
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Glu9wA4HjE0

Kevin C. Smith , December 10, 2020 at 5:02 pm

Several lines of evidence show that immunity after COVID-19 wanes quite rapidly, and that immunity after immuniztion with several of the vaccines persists quite nicely, both in animal and human models. The reason for this is that the vaccines are engineered to stimulate strong defensive responses which include both antibody-mediated immunity and T-cell mediated immunity. Many of the vaccine candidates include adjuvants, which are materials which facilitate and enhance the immune response to the antigens in the vaccine.

martin horzempa , December 10, 2020 at 10:47 am

just a thought to all who venture here now and again,
this post represents the reason i make Naked Capitalism my first click of the day
the content and the comments are priceless
and the combination unique and invaluable

thanks Yves
thanks All

p fitzsimon , December 10, 2020 at 11:36 am

The big unknown is of course the number of people in the test population who were actually exposed to the infection. If everyone in the test population were exposed and only 11 of the 15000 vaccinated developed symptons then we have 11/15000 or 99.9% effectiveness. However, if only 5% (1500)were actually exposed to infection during the test period then we have 11/750 or 98.5%, which looks pretty good. Does this sound logical? Ok the other unknown is the number of people in the vaccinated population whose own immune systems would have defeated the virus without the vaccine. That's where the ratio helps 1-11/185 or 94% effective. Looks good to me.

Otto V. , December 12, 2020 at 7:57 am

The assumption is that the exposure rate was the same in both groups, therefore the expected number of infections in both groups should be about the same. The inoculated group had 5% the number of cases of the placebo group, and that's where the 95% effectiveness rate comes from. Whether you like how they calculated it or not, the important thing to understand is that there's nothing special or ad-hoc about this method, this is how they calculate the effectiveness of all vaccines (and prophylactic treatments in general), and the effectiveness of a good flu vaccine is around 60%, and it's frequently as low as 40%.

Greg S. , December 10, 2020 at 12:17 pm

I thought this was a sober and sobering post from Peter Doshi the assoicate editor at the British Medical Journal.

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/11/26/peter-doshi-pfizer-and-modernas-95-effective-vaccines-lets-be-cautious-and-first-see-the-full-data/

Cuibono , December 10, 2020 at 1:18 pm

The author also fails to address one other important issue: the trials have so far not demonstrated that these vaccines prevent real morbiidity mortality.
to do so, the trials would have needed to be MUCH larger.
Still, preventing symptomatic infection looks good. Does that translate into preventing mortality? We dont yet know. The published data admits this . the differnce in severe cases HAD Extremely wide confidence intervals.

Mike Smitka , December 10, 2020 at 1:22 pm

Stopping transmission would be nice. But instilling sufficient immunity to not become seriously ill, much less die, is REALLY nice. If we could cut our current 3,000 deaths a day by even 50%, wouldn't that be great?

Note I am a month into recovery from COVID, caught from my son, who probably caught it from anti-maskers at the factory where he works. (He's in a high-metal-dust environment, his clothes are a different color by the end of the day, so for someone to not wear a mask is political correctness taken way too far.) We were both fortunate – he was back to 12-hours days once his quarantine was done. I still have some head cold symptoms, but it is that time of year. However, I know multiple people who have been hospitalized, and one person who died. One 30-something RN whose avocation is boxing (eg, he was in extraordinary physical condition) ended up critical. And all this was before Thanksgiving, before the current explosion of cases and consequent deterioration of the care that those critically ill will receive.

As to the math, it's unfortunate from a statistical sense that right now wasn't the core of the testing period. The number of cases among the placebo group would be far higher, and it would be easier to explain to the vast majority of the population who are not trained in statistical thinking. Even there humility is needed: I have formal training, graduate school courses in math stats and econometrics, and decades of empirical work employing that training. Nevertheless my reflexes remain those of a normal human in terms of misperceiving the impact of long odds. I have to consciously apply my training.

Finally, the above paragraph reflects a mind game. It's not unfortunate in a human sense that the vaccines are far enough along to grant provisional approval. If only they'd been available even earlier

Skip Intro , December 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Am I being overly cynical, or does it occur to anyone else that making a vaccine that just prevents symptoms but doesn't prevent infection and transmission will tend to make the virus endemic, rather than extinguishing it. This will gradually increase the dangers to the unvaccinated population, creating a class of sick whose 'access' to vaccination has not actually provided vaccine. Assuming the vaccination will need to be refreshed, it also creates a large group of hostages repeat customers. -- Nice lungs you got there, it'd be a shame if somethin' were to happen to 'em

Baldanders , December 10, 2020 at 5:32 pm

And here we see the inevitable result of poor analysis: the author speculates the vaccine may not prevent transmission; of course, many readers interpret this as "the vaccine doesn't stop transmission" and now will spread this speculation as rock hard fact.

I'm starting to think the best health measure we could take would be to dismantle the internet. Crowdsourced wisdom will be our end.

tegnost , December 10, 2020 at 8:37 pm

another option is ending public health as a path to riches, as this is the primary reason for most of the skepticism, who would you like to blame that on?

Seems to me it's the inevitable result of a broken health care system

Skip Intro , December 11, 2020 at 12:59 am

Your reading comprehension seems poor.

rusti , December 11, 2020 at 1:19 am

By requiring that the vaccine provides durable sterilizing immunity you've set the bar higher, maybe by orders of magnitude, I don't think the science is there for anyone to know for this virus.

I think Mike Smitka makes a compelling case for setting a lower threshold in preventing serious disease is priority number one, and one can say that without being a shill for the pharma companies. If none of the vaccines provide durable immunity it is of course great for their collective bottom lines, but if you know of an immunologist who thinks that they're doing so deliberately I would be very interested to see a link.

Nick Alcock , December 11, 2020 at 1:27 pm

Errr this disease is endemic. With approaching a billion likely cases at this point, extinguishing it is a pipe-dream. It'll be almost as hard to exterminate as it is to exterminate the flu. That horse has left the barn. It probably left the barn before the end of last year

Mike Smitka , December 12, 2020 at 10:13 am

Indeed. At least at present, however, there is one big difference with flu: low levels of mutation (perhaps zero = a single strain) for the surface proteins of SARS-CoV-2, so that the vaccines currently being approved will continue to be effective. So while we may need a booster every year or two, depending on how long the immunity from a given vaccine, it will "work."

In contrast flu vaccines protect against only a few strains (the most common vaccine type in the US targets 3), but with many, many strains in circulation at any given time (and new ones arising on a regular basis), those may not be the right strains. Hence new vaccines are developed 2x a year to target the strains epidemiologists predict will be the most prevalent. They can for example look at the strains prevalent in the winter in the southern hemisphere, and use what they see to guide their choices. Ditto what's going on in winter in the north to guide vaccines for administration in the south. Needless to say, those predictions are not always accurate, and even if they do target the 3 most prevalent strains, you may by chance be exposed to one of the strains not included. Adding more strains to the flu vaccine doesn't work, as the body won't react equally to all of them: put in 6 strains, and your body may generate weak immunity to 2, very weak to another 2, and none at all to the last 2. (My body might develop moderate immunity to 1 and none to 5.)

Over time we may see substantive mutations that affect vaccine efficacy. But with the current vaccines, it would in principle be possible to wipe out the virus that causes COVID, assuming that a very high proportion of the population gets vaccinated (and potentially revaccinated), and constant monitoring for new zoonotic outbreaks among humans catching it from animal populations in which it would remain endemic.

I don't expect that to happen. That's because, thankfully, average mortality rates for COVID are well under 1%, whereas for smallpox they were 20%-30%. Too many people will be lax about immunizations, while governments will not enact the draconian policies that would be needed to offset that – unlike if we saw a reemergence of smallpox.

Lins , December 10, 2020 at 11:20 pm

I am frustrated but hopeful that viable treatments will be approved for use like CytoDyn's Leronlimab. I personally would choose a proven safe and effective treatment vs any of the vaccines!

rusti , December 10, 2020 at 11:56 pm

Antiviral treatments or monoclonal antibodies are only useful if you apply them very early in the course of disease. Most people, by the time they show up in the hospital, can not benefit from these treatments and can have worse outcomes. I suggest searching for Dr. Daniel Griffin's material about the "phases of covid" to understand how clinical protocols are evolving.

Eric J , December 12, 2020 at 1:07 am

The real questions is

"With only about 20,000 people have received this Pfizer's vaccine. Will unexpected safety issues arise when the number grows to millions and possibly billions of people? Will side effects emerge with longer follow-up? Implementing a vaccine that requires two doses is challenging. What happens to the inevitable large number of recipients who miss their second dose? How long will the vaccine remain effective? Does the vaccine prevent asymptomatic disease and limit transmission? And what about the groups of people who were not represented in this trial, such as children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised patients of various sorts?"

Otto V. , December 12, 2020 at 8:02 am

I can 100% answer at least the last question: the vaccine has not been approved for children nor pregnant woman, and immunocompromised people never get vaccines. They are protected by herd immunity or not at all. Same for people with allergic reactions to any of the vaccine components.

As usual, we won't have the answer to most of the other questions until we're further into Phase IV, which just started.

[Dec 12, 2020] Russian Cooperation Saves British Vaccine

Dec 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

In late November Debs is dead and I wrote about the ruthless vaccine competition . The cause were the ambiguous results of the non-profit AstraZeneca vaccine trials which led to delighted criticism from those who prefer commercial vaccine suppliers.

The good news today is that cooperation between vaccine developers is still possible and can lead to better results.

As Debs had opined:

In the real world that means if the AstraZeneca vaccine is more than 60% efficacious (which is better than any flu vaccine - 95% is new big pharma BS IMO) and has no major side effects (one case of MS tells us nothing for the reason I outlined above), then it will be that or nothing for a sizeable slab of the world's population.

If everyone falls for big pharma's transparent attempt to stop this possible vaccine in its tracks, prior to testing completion, then that will mean no vaccine for billions of our fellow humans , so rather than joining in the big pharma sabotage, it makes better sense to consider that vaccine more objectively than de Noli, that Harvard minion of corporations seems to do.

I agreed with that and discussed the most likely reason why the AstraZeneca vaccine did not create a higher efficacy:

The AstraZeneca vaccine uses an adenovirus as 'vector' to deliver a DNA sequence that human cells then use to create one specific (but harmless) SARS-CoV-2 protein. The immune system will then learn to attack that protein. Afterwards it should be able to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infections.
...
In order to safeguard against cases where an already existing immunity to human adenoviruses may impede inoculation AstraZeneca is using a chimpanzee-originated version of an adenovirus as a vector. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine, hyped by Prof. de Noli on RT , uses two doses with different human adenoviruses (Ad-26, Ad-5) as vectors to increase the chance of inoculation. Other vaccine developers, CanSino Biologics and Johnson & Johnson, are also using adenovirus vectors. Sinopharm's vaccine uses an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus.

AstraZeneca found by chance that its vaccine works best when the first dose is smaller than the second one. Vector immunity can explain why this is the case.

A first high dose will create some immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus but also some immunity against the vector virus, the chimpanzee-originated adenovirus. When a first high dose has trained the immune system to fight the vector virus the second 'booster' vaccine dose using the same vector will become inefficient. A lower first dose can make sure that the second higher dose is not prematurely defeated by vector immunity but can still do its work.

Unbeknownst to me the Russian developers of the Sputnik V vaccine had come to the same conclusion:

[Dec 10, 2020] To my knowledge, Pfizer/BioNTech has yet to release any samples of written materials provided to patients, so it is unclear what, if any, information regarding (potential) fertility-specific risks caused by antibodies is included

Dec 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Philthy_Stacker 2 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Several vaccine candidates are expected to induce the formation of humoral antibodies against spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Syncytin-1 (see Gallaher, B., "Response to nCoV2019 Against Backdrop of Endogenous Retroviruses" - http://virological.org/t/response-to-ncov2019-against-backdrop-of-endogenous-retroviruses/396 , which is derived from human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) and is responsible for the development of a placenta in mammals and humans and is therefore an essential prerequisite for a successful pregnancy, is also found in homologous form in the spike proteins of SARS viruses.

There is no indication whether antibodies against spike proteins of SARS viruses would also act like anti-Syncytin-1 antibodies. However, if this were to be the case this would then also prevent the formation of a placenta which would result in vaccinated women essentially becoming infertile.

To my knowledge, Pfizer/BioNTech has yet to release any samples of written materials provided to patients, so it is unclear what, if any, information regarding (potential) fertility-specific risks caused by antibodies is included.

[Dec 10, 2020] Cycle threshold is everything with the PCR test. Anything above 35 is rubbish. 97% false positives.

Dec 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

DrBrown 8 hours ago (Edited)

Cycle threshold is everything with the PCR test. Anything above 35 is rubbish. 97% false positives. Chris Martenson just presented some compelling information regarding these tests. A recent paper basically shoots down a paper ( Corman-Drosten paper ) that was rushed to press (before any real peer review) in January 2020 that declared the PCR test the end all best way to test for covid. NOT TRUE. It was never meant for this purpose and is now being grossly abused by TPTB. The paper says:

3. The number of amplification cycles (less than 35; preferably 25-30 cycles); In case of virus detection, >35 cycles only detects signals which do not correlate with infectious virus as determined by isolation in cell culture [reviewed in 2]; if someone is tested by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the case in most laboratories in Europe & the US), the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, the probability that said result is a false positive is 97% [reviewed in 3]

Most testing sites are using a cycle threshold of 40 or more meaning the results mean nothing. In fact many labs are using a CT of 47! The paper goes on to say:

3. The number of amplification cycles It should be noted that there is no mention anywhere in the Corman-Drosten paper of a test being positive or negative, or indeed what defines a positive or negative result. These types of virological diagnostic tests must be based on a SOP, including a validated and fixed number of PCR cycles (Ct value) after which a sample is deemed positive or negative. The maximum reasonably reliable Ct value is 30 cycles. Above a Ct of 35 cycles, rapidly increasing numbers of false positives must be expected . PCR data evaluated as positive after a Ct value of 35 cycles are completely unreliable. Review Report by an International Consortium of Scientists in Life Sciences (ICSLS) - Corman-Drosten et al., Eurosurveillance 2020 (Updated: 29.11.2020) Citing Jaafar et al. 2020 [3]: "At Ct = 35, the value we used to report a positive result for PCR, <3% of cultures are positive." In other words, there was no successful virus isolation of SARS-CoV-2 at those high Ct values. Further, scientific studies show that only non-infectious (dead) viruses are detected with Ct values of 35 [22]. Between 30 and 35 there is a grey area, where a positive test cannot be established with certainty. This area should be excluded. Of course, one could perform 45 PCR cycles, as recommended in the Corman-Drosten WHO-protocol (Figure 4), but then you also have to define a reasonable Ct-value (which should not exceed 30). But an analytical result with a Ct value of 45 is scientifically and diagnostically absolutely meaningless (a reasonable Ct-value should not exceed 30). All this should be communicated very clearly. It is a significant mistake that the Corman-Drosten paper does not mention the maximum Ct value at which a sample can be unambiguously considered as a positive or a negative test-result. This important cycle threshold limit is also not specified in any follow-up submissions to date.

Hillary's Fish Taco 6 hours ago remove link

The PCR test will go down in history as the biggest part of this scamdemic. Covid 19 was a novel virus resulting in a bad flu that killed the elderly and the already ill.

That will be Covid's legacy...the politicians will be shamed for all eternity.

[Dec 10, 2020] For The First Time, A US State Will Require Disclosure Of PCR 'Cycle Threshold' Data In COVID Tests -

Dec 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

For The First Time, A US State Will Require Disclosure Of PCR 'Cycle Threshold' Data In COVID Tests by Tyler Durden Sun, 12/06/2020 - 10:45 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

We have detailed the controversy surrounding America's COVID "casedemic" and the misleading results of the PCR test and its amplification procedure in great detail over the past few months.

As a reminder, "cycle thresholds" (Ct) are the level at which widely used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can detect a sample of the COVID-19 virus. The higher the number of cycles, the lower the amount of viral load in the sample; the lower the cycles, the more prevalent the virus was in the original sample.

Numerous epidemiological experts have argued that cycle thresholds are an important metric by which patients, the public, and policymakers can make more informed decisions about how infectious and/or sick an individual with a positive COVID-19 test might be. However, as JustTheNews reports, health departments across the country are failing to collect that data .

Here are a few headlines from those experts and scientific studies:

1. Experts compiled three datasets with officials from the states of Massachusetts, New York and Nevada that conclude: "Up to 90% of the people who tested positive did not carry a virus."

2. The Wadworth Center, a New York State laboratory, analyzed the results of its July tests at the request of the NYT: 794 positive tests with a Ct of 40: " With a Ct threshold of 35 , approximately half of these PCR tests would no longer be considered positive ," said the NYT. "And about 70% would no longer be considered positive with a Ct of 30! "

3. An appeals court in Portugal has ruled that the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2 , and therefore any enforced quarantine based on those test results is unlawful.

4. A new study from the Infectious Diseases Society of America , found that at 25 cycles of amplification, 70% of PCR test "positives" are not "cases" since the virus cannot be cultured, it's dead. And by 35: 97% of the positives are non-clinical.

5. PCR is not testing for disease, it's testing for a specific RNA pattern and this is the key pivot. When you crank it up to 25, 70% of the positive results are not really "positives" in any clinical sense , since it cannot make you or anyone else sick

So, in summary, with regard to our current "casedemic", positive tests as they are counted today do not indicate a "case" of anything. They indicate that viral RNA was found in a nasal swab. It may be enough to make you sick, but according to the New York Times and their experts, probably won't. And certainly not sufficient replication of the virus to make anyone else sick. But you will be sent home for ten days anyway, even if you never have a sniffle. And this is the number the media breathlessly reports... and is used to fearmonger mask mandates and lockdowns nationwide...

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1335459652004286466&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fmedical%2Ffirst-time-us-state-will-require-disclosure-pcr-test-cycle-data&partner=tweetdeck&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

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about:blank

me title=

All of which is background for an intriguing decision made by Florida's Department of Health (and signed off on by Florida's Republican Governor Ron deSantis).

For the first time in the history of the pandemic, a state will require that all labs in the state report the critical "cycle threshold" level of every COVID-19 test they perform .

All positive, negative and indeterminate COVID-19 laboratory results must be reported to FDOH via electronic laboratory reporting or by fax immediately. This includes all COVID-19 test types - polymerase chain reaction (PCR), other RNA, antigen and antibody results.

Cycle threshold (CT) values and their reference ranges , as applicable, must be reported by laboratories to FDOH via electronic laboratory reporting or by fax immediately.

Full press release below:


3 hours ago

Try this on for size, pulled it from the comments at Naturalnews.com :

I have a PhD in virology and immunology. I'm a clinical lab scientist and have tested 1500 "supposed" positive Covid 19 samples collected here in S. California. When my lab team and I did the testing through Koch's postulates and observation under a SEM (scanning electron microscope), we found NO Covid in any of the 1500 samples.

What we found was that all of the 1500 samples were mostly Influenza A and some were influenza B, but not a single case of Covid, and we did not use the B.S. PCR test.

We then sent the remainder of the samples to Stanford, Cornell, and a few of the University of California labs and they found the same results as we did, NO COVID. They found influenza A and B.

All of us then spoke to the CDC and asked for viable samples of COVID, which CDC said they could not provide as they did not have any samples. We have now come to the firm conclusion through all our research and lab work, that the COVID 19 was imaginary and fictitious. The flu was called Covid and most of the 225,000 dead were dead through co-morbidities such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, emphysema etc. and they then got the flu which further weakened their immune system and they died. I have yet to find a single viable sample of Covid 19 to work with. We at the 7 universities that did the lab tests on these 1500 samples are now suing the CDC for Covid 19 fraud. the CDC has yet to send us a single viable, isolated and purifed sample of Covid 19.

If they can't or won't send us a viable sample, I say there is no Covid 19, it is fictitious. The four research papers that do describe the genomic extracts of the Covid 19 virus never were successful in isolating and purifying the samples. All the four papers written on Covid 19 only describe small bits of RNA which were only 37 to 40 base pairs long which is NOT A VIRUS. A viral genome is typically 30,000 to 40,000 base pairs. With as bad as Covid is supposed to be all over the place, how come no one in any lab world wide has ever isolated and purified this virus in its entirety? That's because they've never really found the virus, all they've ever found was small pieces of RNA which were never identified as the virus anyway. So what we're dealing with is just another flu strain like every year... play_arrow 30 play_arrow


Gunston_Nutbush_Hall 3 hours ago (Edited)

Tks my point exactly in general, setting aside any Trump innuendo but keeping straight up "scientific method(s)"

And if I were to continue my post it would be similar based upon what you have written hereto:

Sorry Rick DeSantis, the question I would have been really impressed by you asking is not the back end falsifiable PCR testing but the front end question I have been asking for 12 months!: please provide me from five different independent laboratories, via independent gold standard, an empirically isolated, separated, purified, and replicated as sole direct external biological causation agent, for one or all "COVID19" symptoms to any human being, as "contagious/pathogenic" "virus."

I would nominate Rick DeSantis for the Nobel Prize on that experiment! ;-)

Sardonicus 3 hours ago

No one is testing for, or counting, financial deaths.

There are way more of those.

sparkadore 2 hours ago

The brainwashing is very real. The MSM simply report the daily memo sent to them by the spin Doctors in the alphabet agencies. Social media and search engine algorithms have been adjusted to assist you in RightThink.

That leaves the comment section in zh as the voice in the wilderness.

God help us all.

Bastiat 2 hours ago

Heard from a friend the other day: an elderly health compromised couple both got ill and went to the doctor to get tested for flu. The doctor tested them for COVID and, surprise, they both came back "positive." No test for flu. So, 2 new "COVID cases" and perhaps another "COVID" death. Meanwhile flu deaths have dropped off the chart for the season.

Decimus Lunius Luvenalis 3 hours ago

And this is how the imbecile Biden and his ilk will claim 'victory' over the vid. They chose 'cases' as the benchmark so they'll simply change how a 'case' is defined all the while hiding behind the 'science' while never citing the 'science' or explaining why their cherry picked 'science' is valid.

How interesting that 'science' has now been transformed by those that desire to 'rule' into religious mystery. It must be believed, never questioned, you are guilty of something and therefore must self-regulate, but they'll provide absolution.

idontcare 2 hours ago (Edited)

Truth if you consider that only 6% of the 277K+ deaths have been categorized as CV19 deaths without co-morbidities according to the CDC's own data. My # just uses the total # of "reported deaths" ("w/ CV" not necessarily "from CV") accdg to the CDC.

Patrick Bateman Jr. 1 hour ago

I just divided 260,000 by 350 million. My math might be off. But that 99.999 stretches out even farther into the 9's if we take out the Covid deaths with co-morbidities and use the 6%.

We are destroying an entire way of life and allowing the media, state, and others to dictate our behavior in our homes over a stronger variant of the flu that has virtually no chance of killing us. You can go mad thinking about it too much

ThePub'Lick_Hare 2 hours ago

Time for every state to follow Florida by class action suit. This farce has gone on too long. Kudos to Florida for taking the initiative. Now at last people can ask relevant questions and insist on proper protocol. The Portuguese High Court saw false COVID testing for what it is, the spark and flame of a reign of terror. Time to douse the flames and the douche-bags inflaming the scam-demic.

Ajax_USB_Port_Repair_Service_ 3 hours ago (Edited)

Lowering the test magnification nation wide would be a brilliant covid rescue plan for whoever wins the presidency.

daveO 3 hours ago

Whoever wins the presidency is not running this SCAMDEMIC. But, yes, they will do it by spring.

Ajax_USB_Port_Repair_Service_ 2 hours ago (Edited)

" Whoever wins the presidency " Will get the credit.

Agree, covid hysteria is being controlled by some group more powerful than our president.

deFLorable hillbilly 2 hours ago (Edited)

Ron DeSantis is the best governor, by far, in any of the 57 states.

He is fearless and pro-American.

PS- I forgot about Noem in SD. It’s a tie. That chick rocks red, white and blue too.

LiberateUS 2 hours ago (Edited)

#3 .Desantis is extremely knowledgeable about the pcr test, extremely intelligent, and a person of integrity. C 19 is just another annual flu that affects only already sick or very elderly people. He knows that, and using CT of 25 or lower will reveal only people who have a virus load that will cause symptoms and illness. Those are the people that need medical attention. Everyone has small virus particles in their bloodstream, which are harmless. Vaccines inject viruses into your bloodstream.

bustdriver 2 hours ago

"Approximately 150,000 people die every day, worldwide. That’s 52 million people that have died so far this year. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number 1 cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.

Coronavirus has killed 1.5 million people worldwide so far this year.


Perhaps this can offer a little perspective"

fackbankz 2 hours ago

I bet you'll see a marked decrease in deaths from CVDs in 2020 because a lot of them are being blamed on Covid-1984.

[Dec 06, 2020] Tested 'Positive' For COVID-19- Be Sure To Ask This Question

Highly recommended!
Dec 06, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The lockdowns are based on surging "cases" which are based on positive PCR test results.

However, what exactly is a positive PCR test result? What does it mean? As Dr. Tommy Megremis summarized recently :

If you are generally aware, the PCR test is used to amplify small amount of genetic material so as to recognize patterns of DNA by "cycling." (Also, for RNA virus, the RNA is converted to DNA in order to be detected, it's just the way the test works) This is how we have been able to recognize the genomes in Egyptian mummies and Wooly Mammoths. It works because if you amplify and cycle enough times to "grow" legitimate DNA fragments, you get something with with a fair amount of specificity. W hat is becoming more and more apparent is that the PCR test was not designed as a diagnostic tool for infection, and really cannot function as one without having a huge amount of false positives, period.

When it comes to COVID, the presence of viral particles picked up by the PCR technique does not and has not been quantitatively linked to an active "symptomatic" infection. It simply cannot be so, because infection threshold as a result of viral load is different for each patient. It turns out, if you "cycle" over around 25 times, the false positivity of COVID infection starts getting very high.

I and others have explained in blogs how people can be exposed to virus, and mount a simple innate immune response and never know any differently. When you test these people with very low viral loads, who are not sick, you can find the viral RNA code that is used to "diagnose" if you cycle enough times. The last I read, Labcorp cycles at least 40 times to detect viral genome fragments. The PCR test was never intended for diagnosis of infection but as a qualitative test for presence of parts of a virus genome. I know there has been some confusion circulating the net about what the inventor Kary Mullis had said about that. But we walk daily with people who have any number of parts of killer virus or bacterial genomes which one could pick up with a PCR test if one had the specific test for it. Would we claim that that individual was an infected patient? No!

So given all that, PeakProsperity's Chris Martenson explains below , in great details, the answer to the most important question you should ask if you or a loved one gets a positive PCR test result .

"What's the Cycle Threshold (CT) value for that test?"

Sounds wonky but it's actually really important to understand. A low CT value means someone is loaded with virus. A high value, oppositely, means less of a viral load.

Beyond a certain level the load is insufficient to either infect someone else or be of any clinical or epidemiological relevance whatsoever.

The problem? Governments all over the country and world are basing their decisions on CT values that are very high. Too high.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/eWqNl4UUlH0

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

* * *

Links:

WHO PCR 47 (!) Cycles

https://www.who.int/diagnostics_laboratory/eul_0489_185_00_path_covid19_ce_ivd_ifu_issue_2.0.pdf?ua=1

CT over 35 is non-infectious

https://www.infectiousdiseaseadvisor.com/home/topics/covid19/ct-value-may-inform-when-patients-with-covid-19-can-be-safely-discharged/

Cycle Thresholds Too Damn High

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html

Corman Drosten retraction request

https://cormandrostenreview.com/report/

Bad Testing Video Sept 1

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

https://youtu.be/ZFNdsRHKUM4

UK PCR positive standards

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/guidance-and-sop-covid-19-virus-testing-in-nhs-laboratories-v1.pdf

Kansas CT cutoff of 42

https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1505/SARS-CoV-2-COVID-19-PCR-Ct-Cutoff-Values-PDF -- 10-5-20


span

6 hours ago remove link

Jon Rappoport (excellent blog) nails it in some of his recent posts.

.

"July 16, 2020, podcast, 'This Week in Virology': Tony Fauci makes a point of saying the PCR Covid test is useless and misleading when the test is run at '35 cycles or higher.' A positive result, indicating infection, cannot be accepted or believed.

"Here, in techno-speak, is an excerpt from Fauci's key quote: ' If you get [perform the test at] a cycle threshold of 35 or more the chances of it being replication-competent [aka accurate] are miniscule you almost never can culture virus [detect a true positive result] from a 37 threshold cycle even 36 '

"Too many cycles, and the test will turn up all sorts of irrelevant material that will be wrongly interpreted as relevant.

"That's called a false positive.

"What Fauci failed to say on the video is: the FDA, which authorizes the test for public use, recommends the test should be run up to 40 cycles. Not 35.

"Therefore, all labs in the US that follow the FDA guideline are knowingly or unknowingly participating in fraud. Fraud on a monstrous level, because millions of Americans are being told they are infected with the virus on the basis of a false positive result, and

"The total number of Covid cases in America -- which is based on the test -- is a gross falsity.

"The lockdowns and other restraining measures are based on these fraudulent case numbers.

play_arrow
GenuineAmerican 3 hours ago

Fauci has lied again the PCR maximum cycle for a accurate test results is 25 NOT 35. PCR is run, or should be run at 21-25 cycles everything else will give a false positive. Had a friend in Scottsdale MAYO. I had to go to this god-forsaken place to get him out. They were running the PCR at 42 cycles to keep him in the hospital because he had very, very good UNION insurance!! The health industries are all crooks, lying to people to get more money being paid to the orgainizations by the feds.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN 7 hours ago

IQ tests were always seriously flawed, just like the PCR test

https://medium.com/incerto/iq-is-largely-a-pseudoscientific-swindle-f131c101ba39

It does not measure creative or lateral thinking ability at all.

I had scores that put me in the top 0.5% but I had no illusion that made me anything more than a good test taker.

NatsarimAmericanoLion 6 hours ago

Giorgio Palmas 21 hours ago

U.S TOTAL DEATHS
2015: 2,602,000
2016: 2,744,248
2017: 2,649,000
2018: 2,839,205
2019: 2,909,000
According to usalivestats(dot)com, there are 2,486,700 so far this year. There could be a lag in reports, but I doubt enough to fulfill their doomsday claims. The CDC still admits only 6% of these "COVID" are without 2 or more comorbidities, so that's about 25,000 or so. This is a mild flu season. Here are the recent flu numbers:
FLU DEATHS 2010's
2010: 36,656
2011: 12,447
2012: 42,570
2013: 37,930
2014: 51,376
2015: 22,705
2016: 38,230
2017: 61,099
2018: 34,157

choctaw charley 5 hours ago remove link

so what's the purpose behind the bogus plandemic. In order to institute a one world plantation several things have to happen. Foremost is the sense of "nationhood". a nation can be thought of as modeled on the family unit. We look similar, we share religious beliefs, economic and political views and we have a common history which we take pride in. We trust rely on and help another. If you have half a brain you don't need me to describe how all these are under attack. So how does the plandemic play into this? Yesterday you neighbor was your neighbor. Today he is behind a mask because the government tells you that he is a threat to you and your family and you to his! The plandemic was used to to hugely expand the mail-in ballot fraud further driving in the wedge suspicion. Then there is this: when you get your covid test there will be a permanent file created with your name on it. It will contain your genetic code and the test result. this will become the social register that is all over Europe. Get a traffic ticket; late in making a payment; engage in disapproved political activity as I am doing at this moment? All these will find their way into your file and will in the future determine the rate you pay on your home mortgage whether you can be employed in a government job, what you have to endure to board a commercial aircraft etc. There is also a great likelihood that contained in the vaccine will be a tracking component. Consider also population segment most vulnerable to covid: older retired people drawing on an already bankrupt social security ponzi scheme. Hitler referred to these as "Useless Eaters". He had a system in place to rid society of these. Later these faciliries were expanded to include the Jewish population.

flyonmywall 9 hours ago

I've done lots of PCR in my life. If you have to do over 35 cycles to detect or amplify something, you're probably barking up the wrong tree or there is something wrong with your assay.

Once you ramp up the cycles to past 35-40 cycles, you're just amplifying non-specific competing amplification products, of which there are always some.

You could have the best designed primers in the world, there is always some random **** that happens to get amplified at high cycle counts.

Zero-Hegemon 4 hours ago

False positives are beneficial for obtaining COVID money and creating hysteria.

KimAsa 9 hours ago (Edited)

these psychopaths have redesignated the normal course of annual deaths from heart disease, and other common ailments that old people die from, to Covid 19, to create the illusion of a deadly pandemic. they claim to have isolated this virus out of one side of their mouth, out the the other side they claim it has mutated (how many times?) so can't produce proof that this virus even exists. and out of their ******* they claim to have developed a vaccine?

this is and always has been about the vaccinating the public for free moral agency prevention.

Ride_the_kali_yuga 9 hours ago

Covid "tests" are an efficient way to feed the false pandemic narrative with nonsensical numbers of "contaminations". Masks are a mark of submission.

africoman 9 hours ago

Re-posting someone's comment from this article Here

by John Wear, (retired) lawyer, accountant, and author.

Excellent points, now let's threw a monkey wrench in it to the Operation Warp Speed play_arrow

Schooey 6 hours ago

Its all BS

KimAsa 9 hours ago (Edited)

these psychopaths have redesignated the normal course of annual deaths from heart disease, and other common ailments that old people die from, to Covid 19, to create the illusion of a deadly pandemic. they claim to have isolated this virus out of one side of their mouth, out the the other side they claim it has mutated (how many times?) so can't produce proof that this virus even exists. and out of their ******* they claim to have developed a vaccine?

this is and always has been about the vaccinating the public for free moral agency prevention.

Ms No 8 hours ago

They actually murdered people with the lockdown too though. Knowingly and premeditated...certainly some of those were also declared covid.

smacker 8 hours ago

" this is and always has been about the vaccinating the public "

Correct.

That has become clear. What we are only now slowing learning is what the sinister motive is.

kellys_eye 9 hours ago

Is the test for Covid or Covid-19. Can it tell the difference? The 'normal' flu and influenza are both corona viruses and this is the 'high season' for such cases in the Northern hemisphere.

Strangely (or not) the incidence of actual flu and influenza are suspiciously MUCH lower than they should be.

Ergo - tests that prove 'positive' for Covid are likely either false OR reporting on the flu/influenza.

The LIES keep mounting and mounting.

Harry Tools 5 hours ago

there is no pandemic

RedNeckMother 3 hours ago

I will add another: FDA: 40 recommendation for testing

And let's not forget the comments by Fauci that if they're testing at 35 they're going to get a lot of false positives.

There's an attorney in Ohio who has filed a FOI to obtain all the ct levels used by the labs testing in Ohio. It will be very interesting once that is revealed - I'm sure our governor already knows the answer. If I recall, the NYT itself did an article on this very topic awhile back and estimated that 90% of the positive results in CT and NY were bogus. And going from 40 to 35 I believe reduces positives by 63%.

We're being played.

MoreFreedom 5 hours ago remove link

Dr. Martenson's videos are very good. He's clear.

As for "the science" and scientists, we all make mistakes. If we didn't make mistakes, we wouldn't have scientists pointing out other scientist's mistakes. But it's not a question of whose science is correct, it's that science is no excuse for taking away peoples' liberty.

SRV 7 hours ago

The inventor of the test (Dr Kary Mullis) was very outspoken that it was NOT developed for human virus confirmation...he died of cancer just weeks before the first Covid cases (hmmmm).
The test procedure was developed as a screening tool in lab research, and he won a Nobel Prize for it!

It's in your face proof of the scam we're all being subjected to that almost no one ever questioned (brilliant move really)... ONE cycle above 35 (each cycle doubles the amplification) will explode the the false positives.

And... if you have no symptoms you DO NOT have the virus (remember how much play the "asymptomatic" BS story got early on... another psyop). Notice how none of the athletes never get sick and are back in two weeks... yet it's never questioned by a soul paid to look the other way!

smacker 9 hours ago

" What is becoming more and more apparent is that the PCR test was not designed
as a diagnostic tool for infection, and really cannot function as one without having
a huge amount of false positives, period. "

This is not knew and didn't need to become "more and more apparent".

The inventor of the PCR test Kary Mullis is on video record stating it. Sadly his expert
knowledge has been wilfully ignored by the political elites and countless talking heads
and "experts" because it doesn't suit them and didn't fit their agenda.

It's time to prepare the gallows and stock up with rope.

smacker 7 hours ago remove link

The PCR test is used precisely because it can be manipulated to produce as many "cases" as wanted.

Just turn the dial up on "amplification cycles" and hey presto, you get as many positives as you want.

The cases are not genuine cases but simply PCR positive tests, but are reported as "cases" and then
"infections" by MSM who are "In On It".

The idea is "FEAR Management" which allows draconian CovID rules like lockdowns and tiers and
social distancing to be introduced which accustoms people to being managed and controlled.

It then ramps up demand for vaccines which is the ultimate objective. Initially (or soon after), the
vaccines will contain nano-technology - dust-chips - which will be used for surveillance and control.
Some say they will also contain ingredients to render people infertile (ie population control).

We are seeing in plain sight the biggest coup ever against mankind.

It must be stopped.

smacker 7 hours ago remove link

The PCR test is used precisely because it can be manipulated to produce as many "cases" as wanted.

Just turn the dial up on "amplification cycles" and hey presto, you get as many positives as you want.

The cases are not genuine cases but simply PCR positive tests, but are reported as "cases" and then
"infections" by MSM who are "In On It".

The idea is "FEAR Management" which allows draconian CovID rules like lockdowns and tiers and
social distancing to be introduced which accustoms people to being managed and controlled.

It then ramps up demand for vaccines which is the ultimate objective. Initially (or soon after), the
vaccines will contain nano-technology - dust-chips - which will be used for surveillance and control.
Some say they will also contain ingredients to render people infertile (ie population control).

We are seeing in plain sight the biggest coup ever against mankind.

It must be stopped.


4 hours ago

[Dec 05, 2020] -This Gives Some Hope- - Japanese Study Finds 98% Of COVID Patients Still Have Antibodies 6 Months Later -

Dec 05, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

A Japanese research team said Wednesday that it has detected neutralizing antibodies in 98% of people six months after they were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Another study performed in the UK found that antibodies found evidence that antibody levels start to degrade within six months.

The team, led by Yokohama City University professor Takeharu Yamanaka, is already planning to conduct a follow-up study to see whether these people will still have such antibodies a year after their infections.

But in the survey data released Wednesday, researcher checked blood samples from 376 people who had already recovered - the largest study of its type in Japan. The samples were collected six months after the patients were infected.

According to a report on the study published by Nippon, Yamanaka said that "in general, people with neutralizing antibodies are believed to carry a low risk of reinfection...This gives some hope" for the effectiveness of the vaccines that are soon to be delivered to the public.

As the west prepares to roll out the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations, scientists will be watching closely for more data to try an ascertain whether COVID-19 can truly be defeated, or whether it might morph into a flu-like seasonal infection.

[Dec 02, 2020] A global team of experts has found 10 FATAL FLAWS in the main test for Covid and is demanding it's urgently axed. As they sho

Dec 02, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Peter Andrews , Irish science journalist and writer based in London. He has a background in the life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in genetics A peer review of the paper on which most Covid testing is based has comprehensively debunked the science behind it, finding major flaws. They conclude it's utterly unsuitable as a means for diagnosis – and the fall-out is immense.

Last week, I reported on a landmark ruling from Portugal, where a court had ruled against a governmental health authority that had illegally confined four people to a hotel this summer. They had done so because one of the people had tested positive for Covid in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test – but the court had found the test fundamentally flawed and basically inadmissible.

Now the PCR testing supremacy under which we all now live has received another crushing blow. A peer review from a group of 22 international experts has found 10 "major flaws" in the main protocol for such tests. The report systematically dismantles the original study , called the Corman-Drosten paper, which described a protocol for applying the PCR technique to detecting Covid.

The Corman-Drosten paper was published on January, 23, 2020, just a day after being submitted, which would make any peer review process that took place possibly the shortest in history. What is important about it is that the protocol it describes is used in around 70 percent of Covid kits worldwide. It's cheap, fast – and absolutely useless.

ALSO ON RT.COM Landmark legal ruling finds that Covid tests are not fit for purpose. So what do the MSM do? They ignore it The 10 deadly sins

Among the fatal flaws that totally invalidate the PCR testing protocol are that the test:

is non-specific, due to erroneous primer design

is enormously variable

cannot discriminate between the whole virus and viral fragments

has no positive or negative controls

has no standard operating procedure

does not seem to have been properly peer reviewed

Oh dear. One wonders whether anything at all was correct in the paper. But wait – it gets worse. As has been noted previously , no threshold for positivity was ever identified. This is why labs have been running 40 cycles, almost guaranteeing a large number of false positives – up to 97 percent, according to some studies.

The cherry on top, though, is that among the authors of the original paper themselves, at least four have severe conflicts of interest. Two of them are members of the editorial board of Eurosurveillance, the sinisterly named journal that published the paper. And at least three of them are on the payroll of the first companies to perform PCR testing!

ALSO ON RT.COM YouTube removes lockdown-sceptical interview with renowned immunologist Dr Mike Yeadon for 'violating terms of service' Heroes we deserve

The 22 members of the consortium that has challenged this shoddy science deserve huge credit. The scientists, from Europe, the USA, and Japan, comprise senior molecular geneticists, biochemists, immunologists, and microbiologists, with many decades of experience between them.

They have issued a demand to Eurosurveillance to retract the Corman-Drosten paper, writing: " Considering the scientific and methodological blemishes presented here, we are confident that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication. '' Talk about putting the pressure on.

It is difficult to overstate the implications of this revelation. Every single thing about the Covid orthodoxy relies on 'case numbers', which are largely the results of the now widespread PCR tests. If their results are essentially meaningless, then everything we are being told – and ordered to do by increasingly dictatorial governments – is likely to be incorrect. For instance, one of the authors of the review is Dr Mike Yeadon, who asserts that, in the UK, there is no 'second wave' and that the pandemic has been over since June. Having seen the PCR tests so unambiguously debunked, it is hard to see any evidence to the contrary.

ALSO ON RT.COM All vaccines, including the new Covid ones, carry a tiny risk of serious side effects. But does that mean we shouldn't take them? The house of cards collapses

Why was this paper rushed to publication in January, despite clearly not meeting proper standards? Why did none of the checks and balances that are meant to prevent bad science dictating public policy kick into action? And why did it take so long for anyone in the scientific community to challenge its faulty methodology? These questions lead to dark ruminations, which I will save for another day.

Even more pressing is the question of what is going to be done about this now. The people responsible for writing and publishing the paper have to be held accountable. But also, all PCR testing based on the Corman-Drosten protocol should be stopped with immediate effect. All those who are so-called current 'Covid cases', diagnosed based on that protocol, should be told they no longer have to isolate. All present and previous Covid deaths, cases, and 'infection rates' should be subject to a massive retroactive inquiry. And lockdowns, shutdowns, and other restrictions should be urgently reviewed and relaxed.

Because this latest blow to PCR testing raises the probability that we are not enduring a killer virus pandemic, but a false positive pseudo-epidemic. And one on which we are destroying our economies, wrecking people's livelihoods and causing more deaths than Covid-19 will ever claim.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.


[Dec 02, 2020] Most labs are running upwards of 40 cycles and that created a lot of false postives; you need to know Ct (cycle threshhold) to make a jusdgement

Dec 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

gm , Dec 2 2020 0:16 utc | 187

Good one from Vanessa Beeley:

On Sean Penn as possible US deep state tool

Article also touches upon:

-reclusive Israeli billionaire, Vivi Nevo, who sounds from the write-up like a latter day Jeffrey Epstein replacement figure

-use of covid rt-Pcr tests in US under ulterior motives as a HIPPA dodge to mass-collect DNA for Big data/Big tracking and other purposes.

The PCR test, DNA harvesting and false positives

The validity of the PCR tests in diagnosing Covid-19 has been the subject of much scientific discussion with a growing number of medical experts and analysts dismissing the PCR test as unreliable and inconclusive due to the high percentage of false positives. It is also claimed that this widespread DNA collection under the pretext of Covid-19 could be a covert genetic information harvest on the pretext of extracting viral DNA from all the genetic material.

I spoke with a medical expert who will remain anonymous for security reasons and he informed me that the PCR test is "not designed to diagnose disease." He told me:

"The test identifies a genetic sequence being present in a sample and then copies it, thereby increasing the amount of genetic material. Each test cycle copies and increases the genetic material. A specific amount of GM is required to meet a threshold of detection. The test will keep copying until it is possible to say the virus is "detected". Therein lies the problem. After "Covid" infection, when the virus has been removed by the immune system, some viral genetic debris can remain for many months. A tiny fragment viral, genetic material debris will be found and multiplied by many, many cycles until the detection threshold is reached. This is a false positive."

He informed me that most labs are running upwards of 40 cycles. "In at least 4 examples of RT PCR testing in the US, it was found that 90% of the positive tests were actually false."

He also told me "the real reason they are pushing the testing is control. They want a rapid test to be used every day, multiple times per day to gain entry to school, work, restaurants, entertainment centres etc. It is conditioning."

The sinister question is whether all this genetic DNA information is passed on to undisclosed entities for "research purposes" without the patient's knowledge.

gm , Dec 2 2020 1:37 utc | 188

Clear explanation of meaning of "Ct" (cycle threshhold) in nCoV "+" pcr test [ie What's garbage and what's not]:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWqNl4UUlH0

[Nov 30, 2020] Landmark legal ruling finds that Covid tests are not fit for purpose. So what do the MSM do- They ignore it -- RT Op-ed

Nov 30, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Peter Andrews , Irish science journalist and writer based in London. He has a background in life sciences, and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in genetics. Four German holidaymakers who were illegally quarantined in Portugal after one was judged to be positive for Covid-19 have won their case, in a verdict that condemns the widely-used PCR test as being up to 97-percent unreliable.

Earlier this month, Portuguese judges upheld a decision from a lower court that found the forced quarantine of four holidaymakers to be unlawful. The case centred on the reliability (or lack thereof) of Covid-19 PCR tests.

The verdict , delivered on November 11, followed an appeal against a writ of habeas corpus filed by four Germans against the Azores Regional Health Authority. This body had been appealing a ruling from a lower court which had found in favour of the tourists, who claimed that they were illegally confined to a hotel without their consent. The tourists were ordered to stay in the hotel over the summer after one of them tested positive for coronavirus in a PCR test - the other three were labelled close contacts and therefore made to quarantine as well.

Unreliable, with a strong chance of false positives

The deliberation of the Lisbon Appeal Court is comprehensive and fascinating. It ruled that the Azores Regional Health Authority had violated both Portuguese and international law by confining the Germans to the hotel. The judges also said that only a doctor can "diagnose" someone with a disease, and were critical of the fact that they were apparently never assessed by one.

READ MORE Immunity for YEARS or DECADES: Covid resistance may last much longer than previously thought, says new research Immunity for YEARS or DECADES: Covid resistance may last much longer than previously thought, says new research

They were also scathing about the reliability of the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, the most commonly used check for Covid.

The conclusion of their 34-page ruling included the following: "In view of current scientific evidence, this test shows itself to be unable to determine beyond reasonable doubt that such positivity corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus."

In the eyes of this court, then, a positive test does not correspond to a Covid case. The two most important reasons for this, said the judges, are that, "the test's reliability depends on the number of cycles used'' and that "the test's reliability depends on the viral load present.'' In other words, there are simply too many unknowns surrounding PCR testing.

Tested positive? There could be as little as a 3% chance it's correct

This is not the first challenge to the credibility of PCR tests. Many people will be aware that their results have a lot to do with the number of amplifications that are performed, or the 'cycle threshold.' This number in most American and European labs is 35–40 cycles, but experts have claimed that even 35 cycles is far too many, and that a more reasonable protocol would call for 25–30 cycles. (Each cycle exponentially increases the amount of viral DNA in the sample).

Earlier this year, data from three US states – New York, Nevada and Massachusetts – showed that when the amount of the virus found in a person was taken into account, up to 90 percent of people who tested positive could actually have been negative, as they may have been carrying only tiny amounts of the virus.

The Portuguese judges cited a study conducted by "some of the leading European and world specialists," which was published by Oxford Academic at the end of September. It showed that if someone tested positive for Covid at a cycle threshold of 35 or higher, the chances of that person actually being infected is less than three percent, and that "the probability of receiving a false positive is 97% or higher."

While the judges in this case admitted that the cycle threshold used in Portuguese labs was unknown, they took this as further proof that the detention of the tourists was unlawful. The implication was that the results could not be trusted. Because of this uncertainty, they stated that there was "no way this court would ever be able to determine" whether the tourist who tested positive was indeed a carrier of the virus, or whether the others had been exposed to it.

READ MORE I'm an epidemiology professor and I have some genuine concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. Here's why I'm an epidemiology professor and I have some genuine concerns about the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine. Here's why Sshhh – don't tell anyone

It is a sad indictment of our mainstream media that such a landmark ruling, of such obvious and pressing international importance, has been roundly ignored. If one were making (flimsy) excuses for them, one could say that the case escaped the notice of most science editors because it has been published in Portuguese. But there is a full English translation of the appeal, and alternative media managed to pick it up.

And it isn't as if Portugal is some remote, mysterious nation where news is unreliable or whose judges are suspect – this is a western EU country with a large population and a similar legal system to many other parts of Europe. And it is not the only country whose institutions are clashing with received wisdom on Covid. Finland's national health authority has disputed the WHO's recommendation to test as many people as possible for coronavirus, saying it would be a waste of taxpayer's money, while poorer South East Asian countries are holding off on ordering vaccines, citing an improper use of finite resources.

Testing, especially PCR testing, is the basis for the entire house of cards of Covid restrictions that are wreaking havoc worldwide. From testing comes case numbers. From case numbers come the 'R number,' the rate at which a carrier infects others. From the 'dreaded' R number comes the lockdowns and the restrictions, such as England's new and baffling tiered restrictions that come into force next week.

The daily barrage of statistics is familiar to us all by this point, but as time goes on the evidence that something may be deeply amiss with the whole foundation of our reaction to this pandemic – the testing regime – continues to mount

[Nov 30, 2020] Krystal Ball- Healthcare CRIMINALS Are Gouging Covid Patients - YouTube

Highly recommended!
Nov 30, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Krystal takes it to the Medical Industrial Complex in the age of Covid.



Irene Rose art
, 5 days ago

Well, this is exactly why they HAD to stop Bernie Sanders.

Peter Sepall , 5 days ago (edited)

The american public exists as a resource to be exploited by a small group of narcissistic sociopaths.

Daniel R , 5 days ago

Oof! Krystal on point yet again. Don't lose your touch!


Eric Butler
, 5 days ago

Finally, someone is talking about this! I don't want Covid, not because I'm afraid of dying, but because I don't want to survive to see that bill!

[Nov 28, 2020] mRNA technology is only effective theoretically. In the real world, it potentially has devastating effects on the human body.

Nov 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Nov 27 2020 12:13 utc | 105

@ Posted by: Debsisdead | Nov 27 2020 1:35 utc | 69

You didn't read the link I provided. I'll recap:

1) Western Big Pharma "forgot" how to develop new vaccines over these last decades because they're not profitable. That opened the gates for Gamaleya to occupy the sector, therefore dominating the main technology used today, human adenovirus; (see Dmitriev's "forbidden op-ed").
Proof of this is J&J's difficulty in developing a simple human adenovirus vaccine (by the time they finish theirs, we'll already have billions of Sputnik V and Sinovac doses produced). The reason we still don't have an effective cold vaccine is because we don't have enough investment, not because it is impossible;

2) Sputnik V and Sinovac (and other Chinese variants) use a known, tested and tried technology for their vaccines - human adenovirus -, while Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca use untested and untried technologies (mRNA and chimpanzee adenovirus). It is the difference between the known and the unknown, except that this time hundreds of millions of human lives are at the table. We suspect the Western pharmaceuticals are resorting to these exotic technologies because they want something they can patent and sell at monopolistic prices to national governments; (see Dmitriev's "forbidden op-ed" and his "questions")

3) mRNA technology is only effective theoretically. In the real world, it potentially has devastating effects on the human body. It is already known it can potentially cause infertility. It very likely has carcinogenic properties; (see Dmitriev's "questions")

4) chimpanzee adenovirus technology doesn't make any sense when you already have a viable human adenovirus option. Besides the fact that it can cause more adverse effects on a human (because the virus is strange to the human organism), the doctor I linked raised the question of contamination when extracting the adenovirus from the chimpanzees (contamination rate of 10%, or one in ten). It also cause sever spinal cord inflammation - contrary to the official version in much more than one patient. It also probably killed a healthy 28-year old subject in the Brazilian trials (the Brazilian MSM initially "leaked" he was on the placebo group; later even this version was put into doubt)

5) silver bullet vaccines are very rare (e.g. polio). Most likely scenario, these vaccines will just shield you from a severe case of COVID-19, thus relieving the pressure over the national healthcare systems. Deaths of COVID-19 only begin to pile up exponentially after the limit of the healthcare system is surpassed (Italy). That's the "line of death", after which COVID-19 really begins to ravage entire populations. In this scenario, it doesn't make any sense not to go with the tried and tested technology of human adenovirus, over which Gamaleya has primacy, or, second best, the Chinese vaccines, which will be produced the most because China has manufacture supremacy. In the Russian and Chinese options, you have the choice between the best and the most available - a common decision any working class family takes daily in the free market for the purchase of their goods;

6) AstraZeneca will still have privileges in the British market. Evidence of this is the British MSM being the first to publish the fake news that it had 90% efficacy, while the American MSM went with the 70% figure. Make no mistakes: the AstraZeneca will be the only option in the NHS for the British people, with or without transverse myelitis;

7) The "half dose" mistake simply doesn't happen in the Big Pharma. It is simply not believable. The story is clearly a pathetic attempt of the British to create a comparison with the story of the penicillin discovery (by a British scientist), which also happened by accident. There wasn't half dose and, even if that really happened (the doctors involved should be immediately fired), you would be giving credence to the homeopathy thesis, which states the lower the dose, the stronger the effect. Doesn't make any sense.

AstraZeneca, by the way, is already feeling the heat. It will have to redo its trials because nobody was born yesterday:

AstraZeneca considers extra global vaccine trial as questions mount

[Nov 28, 2020] Post-2008 First World capitalism: the zombification and then definitive death of the petite-bourgeoisie:

Nov 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Nov 27 2020 13:27 utc | 107

Pushed by Pandemic, Amazon Goes on a Hiring Spree Without Equal

The First World is leaving the "sweet spot" of its capitalist development stage, marked by a relatively inflated petit-bourgeois middle class, and is reentering a proletarianization phase. Call it the reproletarianization of the First World.

Looks like Marx was right all along.

[Nov 23, 2020] What's Not Being Said About Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine

Nov 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Down South , Nov 22 2020 17:17 utc | 9

Interesting read from F William Engdahl who takes a deeper look at the Pfizer vaccine

Suspicious events

However it seems Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, doesn't share the confidence of his own claims. On the day his company issued its press release on the proposed vaccine trials, he sold 62% of his stock in Pfizer, making millions profit in the deal. He made the sell order in a special option in August so it would not appear as "insider selling", however he also timed it just after the US elections and the mainstream media illegitimately declared Joe Biden President-elect.

It seems from appearances that Bourla had a pretty clear conflict of interest in the timing of his press release on the same day.

What's Not Being Said About Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine

karlof1 , Nov 22 2020 23:09 utc | 60

It appears the Outlaw US Empire has put all its chips on the table in favor of vaccines providing the path to "normalcy" :

"US Covid-19 vaccinations may begin as soon as December 11, reach enough people for return to normalcy in May – program chief."

When was it determined that the two potential vaccines on offer have "efficacy rates of about 95 percent" since the reports posted here were extremely dubious about them being effective at all? More:

"An FDA vaccine advisory committee is scheduled to meet on December 10 and may grant Pfizer's request for emergency use authorization that day, Dr. Moncef Slaoui said on Sunday during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. The Trump administration stands ready to ship the vaccine to immunization sites in all 50 states within 24 hours, he said, so the first doses would be administered to recipients on December 11 or December 12."

As for a vaccine being a panacea, this is from the editorial I linked @56:

"The US has made certain breakthroughs in vaccine development, but so have China, Russia and other countries. The US' attitude toward vaccines seems much too optimistic. As WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on November 16, ' A vaccine will complement the other tools we have, not replace them a vaccine on its own will not end the pandemic .'" [My Emphasis]

So yet again, the USA's citizenry is being told by the two institutions it trusts the least--federal government and media--that the End is Near IF they imbibe the new Miracle.

[Nov 20, 2020] WHO Rejects Gilead Remdesivir Drug Trump Took to Treat COVID-19

Nov 20, 2020 | www.newsmax.com

Gilead's remdesivir is not recommended for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, regardless of how ill they are, as there is no evidence the drug improves survival or reduces the need for ventilation, a World Health Organization panel said on Friday.

[Nov 19, 2020] Far Deadlier Strain Of Coronavirus Discovered In South Australia -

Nov 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

As researchers struggle to understand what makes infection with COVID-19 so mild in some cases, and so deadly in others, we have kept a close eye out for any new links between symptoms different strains of the virus. And on Wednesday we noticed new comments from South Australia's top health official who warned that a particularly deadly strain of SARS-CoV-2 is circulating in the state.

Chief Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier explained that the reason for the recently imposed six-day lockdown is the fact that "this particular strain has had certain characteristics" she said.

The State of South Australia, which became home to this dramatic scene yesterday , is also bracing for the risk that this new strain could spread more quickly, in addition to being more deadly. Professor Spurrier said a typical generation, or stage, of the virus was only about three days.

"We also know, because of that characteristic, that what we call a generation, is only about three days and a generation is when one case is passing it on to the next level, and then that (next) level, so if they pass it on to two people, they will pass it on to another lot of people, and that is your third generation," she said.

Already, the virus has progressed to the fifth generation, she said.

"At the moment in SA we have done contact tracing to the fourth generation but the fifth generation is out there in our community and at the moment we are contact tracing to get on to that generation and that is the Woodville pizza bar."

Authorities have traced the local outbreak to a pizza shop in Parafield. The cluster began with a worker at Peppers Warmouth, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, was infected with the virus.

[Nov 18, 2020] Doctor who sterilized women without consent found guilty

Nov 18, 2020 | nypost.com

A disgraced Virginia OB/GYN who for years performed unnecessary surgeries on women -- including hysterectomies -- in an insurance fraud scheme was found guilty on 52 counts for his crimes.

The former doctor, Javaid Perwaiz, faces more than 400 years in prison when he is sentenced by a federal judge next spring, the Washington Post reported .

Perwaiz, who practiced in Hampton Roads, forced women into surgeries by telling them they had cancer and used broken equipment to perform procedures, according to the report.

At his three-week trial in federal court, victims of the doctor testified how he performed hysterectomies and other permanent, life-altering surgeries on them.

Perwaiz profited from the scheme by pocketing millions of dollars from Medicaid and private insurers that paid for the unnecessary medical procedures he performed on the women.

"Doctors are in positions of authority and trust and take an oath to do no harm to their patients," Karl Schumann, an FBI agent in the Norfolk field office, told the Washington Post in a statement.

"With unnecessary, invasive medical procedures, Dr. Perwaiz not only caused enduring complications, pain and anxiety to his patients, but he assaulted the most personal part of their lives and even robbed some of their future," he added.

At trial, Perwaiz defended himself, arguing he performed the surgeries to help his patients, not siphon money from their insurers.

He's scheduled to be sentenced on March 31.

[Nov 02, 2020] A significant number of countries (e.g. Austria, Denmark, Germany [partial, Hesse Berlin only], Greece, Hungary, Norway) never had any excess mortality problem.

Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ADKC , Nov 2 2020 3:28 utc | 76

The European Mortality Monitoring Project (EUROMOMO) has been monitoring excess mortality in Europe since 2008 for the purpose of "detecting and measuring, on a real-time basis, excess number of deaths related to influenza and other possible public health threats across participating European Countries."

EUROMOMO's key metric is called the "z-score". Briefly, z-scores remove differences due to seasons and populations so that they are directly comparable with different countries and different time periods. More details on z-scores:

What is a z-score?

The following link shows "z-scores by country":

Z-scores by country

The user can adjust the period sliders to examine any length of time between 2015 and 2020. For example, to examine the UK's z-scores for 2020 simply adjust the sliders to the range 2020-01 to end (currently 2020-42). The user will be able to see that while there was a problem with excess mortality for the period from 2020-12 to 2020-22 there has been no real problem since. Also, the user will notice that a significant number of countries (e.g. Austria, Denmark, Germany [partial, Hesse & Berlin only], Greece, Hungary, Norway) never had any excess mortality problem.

[Nov 02, 2020] rtPCR testing, under the current state of knowledge, is the equivalent of measuring a patient's temperature with a thermometer but no doctor knows the average body temperature, and its natural healthy interval, nor would the thermometer provide a number on a scale, merely reporting that a patient has something other than "0". This would constitute a USELESS thermometer.

Nov 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Vasco da Gama , Nov 1 2020 23:49 utc | 56

Covid-19 is a dangerous disease and I take precautions to protect myself. However, the public depiction of the disease in the media and the actions being taken by most governments cannot but raise some very serious questions.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Nov 1 2020 18:14 utc | 16

THIS! Thank you for all your post Nathan! I was just about contributing some information that ties in precisely with your concern:
COVID-19: Council adopts a recommendation to coordinate measures affecting free movement (13-10-2020)

Based on this data, the ECDC should publish a weekly map of EU member states, broken down by regions, to support member states in their decision-making. Areas should be marked in the following colours:
  • green if the 14-day notification rate is lower than 25 and the test positivity rate below 4%
  • orange if the 14-day notification rate is lower than 50 but the test positivity rate is 4% or higher or, if the 14-day notification rate is between 25 and150 and the test positivity rate is below 4%
  • red if the 14-day notification rate is 50 or higher and the test positivity rate is 4% or higher or if the 14-day notification rate is higher than 150
  • grey if there is insufficient information or if the testing rate is lower than 300

You will notice how the measures to be taken by individual countries are absolutely (as in 100%) dependent on the worst metric possible according to the demonstrated performance of rtPCR tests. We are being recommended to use the wrong metric! None of us wishes any of our health systems to collapse, however their occupancy objectively varies with the cumulative individual immune response of the population NOT with the precariously measured transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 via rtPCR tests. Remember that the only reason we are worried about virus transmissibility is because of eventual severe developments of the disease in a fraction of the population and a possible breakdown of health systems as a consequence.

The relevant failure of rtPCR testing is its inability to estimate accurately the viral load (let's not put in question the assumption that viral load is the most important criteria for a severe development of C-19, while also leaving aside aggravating comorbidities). rtPCR testing, under the current state of knowledge, is the equivalent of measuring a patient's temperature with a thermometer but no doctor knows the average body temperature, and its natural healthy interval, nor would the thermometer provide a number on a scale, merely reporting that a patient has something other than "0". This would constitute a USELESS thermometer.

From the same recommendation as above, quote:


Free movement restrictions

Member states should not restrict the free movement of persons travelling to or from green areas. [LOL - great opening, they know full well under these criteria there will be barely any in the next months]

If considering whether to apply restrictions, they should respect the differences in the epidemiological situation between orange and red areas and act in a proportionate manner. They should also take into account the epidemiological situation in their own territory.

Member states should in principle not refuse entry to persons travelling from other member states. Those member states that consider it necessary to introduce restrictions could require persons travelling from non-green areas to:


  • undergo quarantine
  • undergo a test after arrival

Member states may offer the option of replacing this test with a test carried out before arrival.

Member states could also require persons entering their territory to submit passenger locator forms. A common European passenger locator form should be developed for possible common use.

"Test, test, test" remember? The above simply becomes arbitrary according to the criteria defined. This is not policy based on solid science! Such arbitrary policies usually serve unstated purposes (I'll refrain here to expand on those) while throwing some false pretext to the masses in order to seek their consent, exploiting their limited ability to validate the pretext as legitimate science.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So then... what could be a valid metric that allows us to prevent "eventual severe developments of the disease and a possible breakdown of health systems"? This is the question we should be asking! Myself, I would be satisfied, in substitution of rtPCR testing, with the use of new Hospitalizations, ICU and even Deaths as much better metrics, since these are true fractions of the disease development against any population and even allow to calibrate for its health system performance, much less vulnerable to duplications and false positive accounting.

rtPCR testing is absolutely absurd for the purposes it is being used (ie. country wide government response policy), instead of being limited to clinical diagnostic tool of the individual suspect of some respiratory disease to be used by a qualified practitioner, and, at best, a screening tool to get a handle on local outbreaks (schools, workplaces, residences, etc).

Hanging on this fallacy lies the destruction of most western economies and an ominous verge into the police state, neither are overstatements given what we have seen so far.


Nathan Mulcahy , Nov 1 2020 23:51 utc | 57

@ Posted by: Jen | Nov 1 2020 22:08 utc | 43

Thanks for the link, Jen. But it's not that a PCR test cannot detect a SARS-cov2 virus. The problem is that there is no standardized and validated PCR test for detecting SARS-Cov2 virus. I believe in Germany alone there are 200+ variations of the test currently being used.

My concerns about the remaining four points remain.

Nathan Mulcahy , Nov 2 2020 0:02 utc | 60

@ Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Nov 1 2020 23:49 utc | 56

Thanks for adding additional meat to my argument, including the issue with "viral load", which together with the state of the immune system of the host will decide whether or not an infected person will get sick. PCR can be extremely sensitive but that's only part of the picture.

And as I have mentioned in my response to Jen I am yet to find good answers to my remaining the 4 points in my first post (#16)

[Oct 31, 2020] Democracy Dies in Darkness. And also at the Washington Post, these days...

If this is humor, this is very dark humor. The saddest thing of all in this is that very little of Glenn's excellent article is new. One of Donald Trump's presidency greatest accomplishment has been to show me how the main stream media 'plays' its dirty games... The entire mainstream media collectively abandoned its integrity during the last decade.
Oct 31, 2020 | greenwald.substack.com

It's beyond what Orwell could have ever possibly imagined. Targeted gaslighting on an individual basis using social media to brainwash people into believing whatever they want you to believe?


B.A. Berg
Oct 29

I just paid for an annual subscription out of a total frustration with the current outrageous, unfair, evil and dishonest media situation in the US (and elsewhere also). Totalitarism is approaching and I have decided to participate in the fight against the threatening darkness. Good luck.

[Oct 21, 2020] COVID19 PCR Tests Are Scientifically Meaningless

Oct 21, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

Loooks like they reliable detemine only that fact that you do not have infection.

But a positive test can well be a false positive, due to excessive multiplication.

Though the whole world relies on RT-PCR to "diagnose" Sars-Cov-2 infection, the science is clear: they are not fit for purpose By Torsten Engelbrecht and Konstantin Demeter Global Research, October 18, 2020 OffGuardian 27 June 2020 Theme: Intelligence , Science and Medicine

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First published on June 29, 2020

Lockdowns and hygienic measures around the world are based on numbers of cases and mortality rates created by the so-called SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests used to identify "positive" patients, whereby "positive" is usually equated with "infected."

But looking closely at the facts, the conclusion is that these PCR tests are meaningless as a diagnostic tool to determine an alleged infection by a supposedly new virus called SARS-CoV-2.

Unfounded "Test, Test, Test, " mantra

At the media briefing on COVID-19 on March 16, 2020 , the WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said:

We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test."

The message was spread through headlines around the world, for instance by Reuters and the BBC .

Still on the 3 of May, the moderator of the Heute j ournal -- one of the most important news magazines on German television -- was passing the mantra of the corona dogma on to his audience with the admonishing words:

Test, test, test -- that is the credo at the moment, and it is the only way to really understand how much the coronavirus is spreading."

This indicates that the belief in the validity of the PCR tests is so strong that it equals a religion that tolerates virtually no contradiction.

But it is well known that religions are about faith and not about scientific facts. And as Walter Lippmann, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and perhaps the most influential journalist of the 20th century said: "Where all think alike, no one thinks very much."

So to start, it is very remarkable that Kary Mullis himself, the inventor of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, did not think alike. His invention got him the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1993.

Unfortunately, Mullis passed away last year at the age of 74, but there is no doubt that the biochemist regarded the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection .

The reason is that the intended use of the PCR was, and still is, to apply it as a manufacturing technique, being able to replicate DNA sequences millions and billions of times, and not as a diagnostic tool to detect viruses.

How declaring virus pandemics based on PCR tests can end in disaster was described by Gina Kolata in her 2007 New York Times article Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn't .

Lack of a valid gold standard

Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the PCR tests used to identify so-called COVID-19 patients presumably infected by what is called SARS-CoV-2 do not have a valid gold standard to compare them with.

This is a fundamental point. Tests need to be evaluated to determine their preciseness -- strictly speaking their "sensitivity"[1] and "specificity" -- by comparison with a "gold standard," meaning the most accurate method available.

As an example, for a pregnancy test the gold standard would be the pregnancy itself. But as Australian infectious diseases specialist Sanjaya Senanayake, for example, stated in an ABC TV interview in an answer to the question "How accurate is the [COVID-19] testing?" :

If we had a new test for picking up [the bacterium] golden staph in blood, we've already got blood cultures, that's our gold standard we've been using for decades, and we could match this new test against that. But for COVID-19 we don't have a gold standard test."

Jessica C. Watson from Bristol University confirms this. In her paper "Interpreting a COVID-19 test result" , published recently in The British Medical Journal , she writes that there is a "lack of such a clear-cut 'gold-standard' for COVID-19 testing."

But instead of classifying the tests as unsuitable for SARS-CoV-2 detection and COVID-19 diagnosis, or instead of pointing out that only a virus, proven through isolation and purification, can be a solid gold standard, Watson claims in all seriousness that, "pragmatically" COVID-19 diagnosis itself, remarkably including PCR testing itself, "may be the best available 'gold standard'." But this is not scientifically sound.

Apart from the fact that it is downright absurd to take the PCR test itself as part of the gold standard to evaluate the PCR test, there are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19, as even people such as Thomas Löscher, former head of the Department of Infection and Tropical Medicine at the University of Munich and member of the Federal Association of German Internists, conceded to us[2].

And if there are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19, COVID-19 diagnosis -- contrary to Watson's statement -- cannot be suitable for serving as a valid gold standard.

In addition, "experts" such as Watson overlook the fact that only virus isolation, i.e. an unequivocal virus proof, can be the gold standard.

That is why I asked Watson how COVID-19 diagnosis "may be the best available gold standard," if there are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19, and also whether the virus itself, that is virus isolation, wouldn't be the best available/possible gold standard. But she hasn't answered these questions yet – despite multiple requests. And she has not yet responded to our rapid response post on her article in which we address exactly the same points, either, though she wrote us on June 2nd : "I will try to post a reply later this week when I have a chance."

No proof for the RNA being of viral origin

Now the question is: What is required first for virus isolation/proof? We need to know where the RNA for which the PCR tests are calibrated comes from.

As textbooks (e.g., White/Fenner. Medical Virology, 1986, p. 9) as well as leading virus researchers such as Luc Montagnier or Dominic Dwyer state , particle purification -- i.e. the separation of an object from everything else that is not that object, as for instance Nobel laureate Marie Curie purified 100 mg of radium chloride in 1898 by extracting it from tons of pitchblende -- is an essential pre-requisite for proving the existence of a virus, and thus to prove that the RNA from the particle in question comes from a new virus.

The reason for this is that PCR is extremely sensitive, which means it can detect even the smallest pieces of DNA or RNA -- but it cannot determine where these particles came from . That has to be determined beforehand.

And because the PCR tests are calibrated for gene sequences (in this case RNA sequences because SARS-CoV-2 is believed to be a RNA virus), we have to know that these gene snippets are part of the looked-for virus. And to know that, correct isolation and purification of the presumed virus has to be executed.

Hence, we have asked the science teams of the relevant papers which are referred to in the context of SARS-CoV-2 for proof whether the electron-microscopic shots depicted in their in vitro experiments show purified viruses.

But not a single team could answer that question with "yes" -- and NB., nobody said purification was not a necessary step. We only got answers like "No, we did not obtain an electron micrograph showing the degree of purification" (see below).

We asked several study authors "Do your electron micrographs show the purified virus?", they gave the following responses:

Study 1: Leo L. M. Poon; Malik Peiris. "Emergence of a novel human coronavirus threatening human health" Nature Medicine , March 2020
Replying Author: Malik Peiris
Date: May 12, 2020
Answer: "The image is the virus budding from an infected cell. It is not purified virus."

Study 2: Myung-Guk Han et al. "Identification of Coronavirus Isolated from a Patient in Korea with COVID-19", Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives , February 2020
Replying Author: Myung-Guk Han
Date: May 6, 2020
Answer: "We could not estimate the degree of purification because we do not purify and concentrate the virus cultured in cells."

Study 3: Wan Beom Park et al. "Virus Isolation from the First Patient with SARS-CoV-2 in Korea", Journal of Korean Medical Science , February 24, 2020
Replying Author: Wan Beom Park
Date: March 19, 2020
Answer: "We did not obtain an electron micrograph showing the degree of purification."

Study 4: Na Zhu et al., "A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China", 2019, New England Journal of Medicine , February 20, 2020
Replying Author: Wenjie Tan
Date: March 18, 2020
Answer: "[We show] an image of sedimented virus particles, not purified ones."

Regarding the mentioned papers it is clear that what is shown in the electron micrographs (EMs) is the end result of the experiment, meaning there is no other result that they could have made EMs from.

That is to say, if the authors of these studies concede that their published EMs do not show purified particles, then they definitely do not possess purified particles claimed to be viral. (In this context, it has to be remarked that some researchers use the term "isolation" in their papers, but the procedures described therein do not represent a proper isolation (purification) process. Consequently, in this context the term "isolation" is misused).

Thus, the authors of four of the principal, early 2020 papers claiming discovery of a new coronavirus concede they had no proof that the origin of the virus genome was viral-like particles or cellular debris, pure or impure, or particles of any kind. In other words, the existence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is based on faith, not fact.

We have also contacted Dr Charles Calisher, who is a seasoned virologist. In 2001, Science published an "impassioned plea to the younger generation" from several veteran virologists, among them Calisher, saying that:

[modern virus detection methods like] sleek polymerase chain reaction [ ] tell little or nothing about how a virus multiplies, which animals carry it, [or] how it makes people sick. [It is] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint."[3]

And that's why we asked Dr Calisher whether he knows one single paper in which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated and finally really purified. His answer:

I know of no such a publication. I have kept an eye out for one."[4]

This actually means that one cannot conclude that the RNA gene sequences, which the scientists took from the tissue samples prepared in the mentioned in vitro trials and for which the PCR tests are finally being "calibrated," belong to a specific virus -- in this case SARS-CoV-2.

In addition, there is no scientific proof that those RNA sequences are the causative agent of what is called COVID-19.

In order to establish a causal connection, one way or the other, i.e. beyond virus isolation and purification, it would have been absolutely necessary to carry out an experiment that satisfies the four Koch's postulates. But there is no such experiment, as Amory Devereux and Rosemary Frei recently revealed for OffGuardian .

The Tests: The Achilles Heel of the COVID-19 House of Cards

The necessity to fulfill these postulates regarding SARS-CoV-2 is demonstrated not least by the fact that attempts have been made to fulfill them. But even researchers claiming they have done it, in reality, did not succeed.

One example is a study published in Nature on May 7 . This trial, besides other procedures which render the study invalid, did not meet any of the postulates.

For instance, the alleged "infected" laboratory mice did not show any relevant clinical symptoms clearly attributable to pneumonia, which according to the third postulate should actually occur if a dangerous and potentially deadly virus was really at work there. And the slight bristles and weight loss, which were observed temporarily in the animals are negligible, not only because they could have been caused by the procedure itself, but also because the weight went back to normal again.

Also, no animal died except those they killed to perform the autopsies . And let's not forget: These experiments should have been done before developing a test, which is not the case.

Revealingly, none of the leading German representatives of the official theory about SARS-Cov-2/COVID-19 -- the Robert Koch-Institute (RKI), Alexander S. Kekulé (University of Halle), Hartmut Hengel and Ralf Bartenschlager (German Society for Virology), the aforementioned Thomas Löscher, Ulrich Dirnagl (Charité Berlin) or Georg Bornkamm (virologist and professor emeritus at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Munich) -- could answer the following question I have sent them:

If the particles that are claimed to be to be SARS-CoV-2 have not been purified, how do you want to be sure that the RNA gene sequences of these particles belong to a specific new virus?

Particularly, if there are studies showing that substances such as antibiotics that are added to the test tubes in the in vitro experiments carried out for virus detection can "stress" the cell culture in a way that new gene sequences are being formed that were not previously detectable -- an aspect that Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock already drew attention to in her Nobel Lecture back in 1983 .

It should not go unmentioned that we finally got the Charité – the employer of Christian Drosten, Germany's most influential virologist in respect of COVID-19, advisor to the German government and co-developer of the PCR test which was the first to be "accepted" ( not validated! ) by the WHO worldwide – to answer questions on the topic.

But we didn't get answers until June 18, 2020, after months of non-response. In the end, we achieved it only with the help of Berlin lawyer Viviane Fischer.

Regarding our question "Has the Charité convinced itself that appropriate particle purification was carried out?," the Charité concedes that they didn't use purified particles.

And although they claim "virologists at the Charité are sure that they are testing for the virus," in their paper ( Corman et al. ) they state:

RNA was extracted from clinical samples with the MagNA Pure 96 system (Roche, Penzberg, Germany) and from cell culture supernatants with the viral RNA mini kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany),"

Which means they just assumed the RNA was viral .

Incidentally, the Corman et al. paper, published on January 23, 2020 didn't even go through a proper peer review process , nor were the procedures outlined therein accompanied by controls -- although it is only through these two things that scientific work becomes really solid.

Irrational rest results

It is also certain that we cannot know the false positive rate of the PCR tests without widespread testing of people who certainly do not have the virus, proven by a method which is independent of the test (having a solid gold standard).

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that there are several papers illustrating irrational test results.

For example, already in February the health authority in China's Guangdong province reported that people have fully recovered from illness blamed on COVID-19, started to test "negative," and then tested "positive" again .

A month later, a paper published in the Journal of Medical Virology showed that 29 out of 610 patients at a hospital in Wuhan had 3 to 6 test results that flipped between "negative", "positive" and "dubious" .

A third example is a study from Singapore in which tests were carried out almost daily on 18 patients and the majority went from "positive" to "negative" back to "positive" at least once, and up to five times in one patient .

Even Wang Chen, president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, conceded in February that the PCR tests are "only 30 to 50 per cent accurate" ; while Sin Hang Lee from the Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory sent a l etter to the WHO's coronavirus response team and to Anthony S. Fauci on March 22, 2020, saying that:

It has been widely reported in the social media that the RT-qPCR [Reverse Transcriptase quantitative PCR] test kits used to detect SARSCoV-2 RNA in human specimens are generating many false positive results and are not sensitive enough to detect some real positive cases."

In other words, even if we theoretically assume that these PCR tests can really detect a viral infection, the tests would be practically worthless, and would only cause an unfounded scare among the "positive" people tested.

This becomes also evident considering the positive predictive value (PPV).

The PPV indicates the probability that a person with a positive test result is truly "positive" (ie. has the supposed virus), and it depends on two factors: the prevalence of the virus in the general population and the specificity of the test, that is the percentage of people without disease in whom the test is correctly "negative" (a test with a specificity of 95% incorrectly gives a positive result in 5 out of 100 non-infected people).

With the same specificity, the higher the prevalence, the higher the PPV.

In this context, on June 12 2020, the journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt published an article in which the PPV has been calculated with three different prevalence scenarios .

The results must, of course, be viewed very critically, first because it is not possible to calculate the specificity without a solid gold standard, as outlined, and second because the calculations in the article are based on the specificity determined in the study by Jessica Watson, which is potentially worthless, as also mentioned.

But if you abstract from it, assuming that the underlying specificity of 95% is correct and that we know the prevalence, even the mainstream medical journal Deutsches Ärzteblatt reports that the so-called SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests may have "a shockingly low" PPV.

In one of the three scenarios, figuring with an assumed prevalence of 3%, the PPV was only 30 percent, which means that 70 percent of the people tested "positive" are not "positive" at all . Yet "they are prescribed quarantine," as even the Ärzteblatt notes critically.

In a second scenario of the journal's article, a prevalence of rate of 20 percent is assumed. In this case they generate a PPV of 78 percent, meaning that 22 percent of the "positive" tests are false "positives."

That would mean: If we take the around 9 million people who are currently considered "positive" worldwide -- supposing that the true "positives" really have a viral infection -- we would get almost 2 million false "positives."

All this fits with the fact that the CDC and the FDA, for instance, concede in their files that the so-called "SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests" are not suitable for SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis.

In the "CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel" file from March 30, 2020, for example, it says:

Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms"

And:

This test cannot rule out diseases caused by other bacterial or viral pathogens."

And the FDA admits that :

positive results [ ] do not rule out bacterial infection or co-infection with other viruses. The agent detected may not be the definite cause of disease."

Remarkably, in the instruction manuals of PCR tests we can also read that they are not intended as a diagnostic test, as for instance in those by Altona Diagnostics and Creative Diagnostics[ 5 ].

To quote another one, in the product announcement of the LightMix Modular Assays produced by TIB Molbiol -- which were developed using the Corman et al. protocol -- and distributed by Roche we can read:

These assays are not intended for use as an aid in the diagnosis of coronavirus infection"

And:

For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures."

Where is the evidence that the tests can measure the "viral load"?

There is also reason to conclude that the PCR test from Roche and others cannot even detect the targeted genes .

Moreover, in the product descriptions of the RT-qPCR tests for SARS-COV-2 it says they are "qualitative" tests , contrary to the fact that the "q" in "qPCR" stands for "quantitative." And if these tests are not "quantitative" tests, they don't show how many viral particles are in the body .

That is crucial because, in order to even begin talking about actual illness in the real world not only in a laboratory, the patient would need to have millions and millions of viral particles actively replicating in their body.

That is to say, the CDC, the WHO, the FDA or the RKI may assert that the tests can measure the so-called "viral load," i.e. how many viral particles are in the body. "But this has never been proven. That is an enormous scandal," as the journalist Jon Rappoport points out .

This is not only because the term "viral load" is deception. If you put the question "what is viral load?" at a dinner party, people take it to mean viruses circulating in the bloodstream. They're surprised to learn it's actually RNA molecules.

Also, to prove beyond any doubt that the PCR can measure how much a person is "burdened" with a disease-causing virus, the following experiment would have had to be carried out (which has not yet happened):

You take, let's say, a few hundred or even thousand people and remove tissue samples from them. Make sure the people who take the samples do not perform the test.The testers will never know who the patients are and what condition they're in. The testers run their PCR on the tissue samples. In each case, they say which virus they found and how much of it they found. Then, for example, in patients 29, 86, 199, 272, and 293 they found a great deal of what they claim is a virus. Now we un-blind those patients. They should all be sick, because they have so much virus replicating in their bodies. But are they really sick -- or are they fit as a fiddle?

With the help of the aforementioned lawyer Viviane Fischer, I finally got the Charité to also answer the question of whether the test developed by Corman et al. -- the so-called "Drosten PCR test" -- is a quantitative test.

But the Charité was not willing to answer this question "yes". Instead, the Charité wrote:

If real-time RT-PCR is involved, to the knowledge of the Charité in most cases these are [ ] limited to qualitative detection."

Furthermore, the "Drosten PCR test" uses the unspecific E-gene assay as preliminary assay , while the Institut Pasteur uses the same assay as confirmatory assay .

According to Corman et al., the E-gene assay is likely to detect all Asian viruses , while the other assays in both tests are supposed to be more specific for sequences labelled "SARS-CoV-2".

Besides the questionable purpose of having either a preliminary or a confirmatory test that is likely to detect all Asian viruses, at the beginning of April the WHO changed the algorithm, recommending that from then on a test can be regarded as "positive" even if just the E-gene assay (which is likely to detect all Asian viruses! ) gives a "positive" result .

This means that a confirmed unspecific test result is officially sold as specific .

That change of algorithm increased the "case" numbers. Tests using the E-gene assay are produced for example by Roche , TIB Molbiol and R-Biopharm .

High CQ values make the test results even more meaningless

Another essential problem is that many PCR tests have a "cycle quantification" (Cq) value of over 35, and some, including the "Drosten PCR test", even have a Cq of 45.

The Cq value specifies how many cycles of DNA replication are required to detect a real signal from biological samples.

"Cq values higher than 40 are suspect because of the implied low efficiency and generally should not be reported," as it says in the MIQE guidelines .

MIQE stands for "Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments", a set of guidelines that describe the minimum information necessary for evaluating publications on Real-Time PCR, also called quantitative PCR, or qPCR.

The inventor himself, Kary Mullis, agreed, when he stated :

If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR."

The MIQE guidelines have been developed under the aegis of Stephen A. Bustin , Professor of Molecular Medicine, a world-renowned expert on quantitative PCR and author of the book A-Z of Quantitative PCR which has been called "the bible of qPCR."

In a recent podcast interview Bustin points out that "the use of such arbitrary Cq cut-offs is not ideal, because they may be either too low (eliminating valid results) or too high (increasing false "positive" results)."

https://www.podbean.com/media/player/znrvk-d932a7?from=usersite&vjs=1&skin=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=0&download=1

And, according to him, a Cq of 20 to 30 should be aimed at, and there is concern regarding the reliability of the results for any Cq over 35.

If the Cq value gets too high, it becomes difficult to distinguish real signal from background, for example due to reactions of primers and fluorescent probes, and hence there is a higher probability of false positives.

Moreover, among other factors that can alter the result, before starting with the actual PCR, in case you are looking for presumed RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the RNA must be converted to complementary DNA (cDNA) with the enzyme Reverse Transcriptase -- hence the "RT" at the beginning of "PCR" or "qPCR."

But this transformation process is "widely recognized as inefficient and variable," as Jessica Schwaber from the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto and two research colleagues pointed out in a 2019 paper .

Stephen A. Bustin acknowledges problems with PCR in a comparable way.

For example, he pointed to the problem that in the course of the conversion process (RNA to cDNA) the amount of DNA obtained with the same RNA base material can vary widely, even by a factor of 10 (see above interview).

Considering that the DNA sequences get doubled at every cycle, even a slight variation becomes magnified and can thus alter the result, annihilating the test's reliable informative value.

So how can it be that those who claim the PCR tests are highly meaningful for so-called COVID-19 diagnosis blind out the fundamental inadequacies of these tests -- even if they are confronted with questions regarding their validity?

Certainly, the apologists of the novel coronavirus hypothesis should have dealt with these questions before throwing the tests on the market and putting basically the whole world under lockdown, not least because these are questions that come to mind immediately for anyone with even a spark of scientific understanding.

Thus, the thought inevitably emerges that financial and political interests play a decisive role for this ignorance about scientific obligations. NB, the WHO, for example has financial ties with drug companies, as the British Medical Journal showed in 2010 .

And experts criticize "that the notorious corruption and conflicts of interest at WHO have continued, even grown" since then. The CDC as well, to take another big player, is obviously no better off .

Finally, the reasons and possible motives remain speculative, and many involved surely act in good faith; but the science is clear: The numbers generated by these RT-PCR tests do not in the least justify frightening people who have been tested "positive" and imposing lockdown measures that plunge countless people into poverty and despair or even drive them to suicide.

And a "positive" result may have serious consequences for the patients as well, because then all non-viral factors are excluded from the diagnosis and the patients are treated with highly toxic drugs and invasive intubations. Especially for elderly people and patients with pre-existing conditions such a treatment can be fatal, as we have outlined in the article "Fatal Therapie."

Without doubt eventual excess mortality rates are caused by the therapy and by the lockdown measures, while the "COVID-19" death statistics comprise also patients who died of a variety of diseases, redefined as COVID-19 only because of a "positive" test result whose value could not be more doubtful.

Addendum: We thank Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos and Val Turner in particular who made valuable contributions to the realization of this article.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Torsten Engelbrecht is an award-winning journalist and author from Hamburg, Germany. In 2006 he co-authored Virus-Mania with Dr Klaus Kohnlein, and in 2009 he won the German Alternate Media Award . He has also written for Rubikon, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Financial Times Deutschland and many others.

Konstantin Demeter is a freelance photographer and an independent researcher. Together with the journalist Torsten Engelbrecht he has published articles on the "COVID-19" crisis in the online magazine Rubikon, as well as contributions on the monetary system, geopolitics, and the media in Swiss Italian newspapers.

[Oct 20, 2020] Does America Have A COVID Problem Or An Obesity Problem

Highly recommended!
Covid-19 essentially revealed the sad truth.
Oct 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

While we have previously reported - and by now it is common knowledge - that Covid-19 usually kills only the very old with virtually no deaths in the 45 and under category and most deaths in the 75 and over category.

Indeed, as Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid noted when discussing the average age of fatalities from Covid, "it is remarkably consistent around the 80-82 year old mark."

Then overnight, Bloomberg's John Authers pointed out how startling this mortality rate varies from country to country, when referencing another chart from Jim Reid:

As Authers writes, "The U.S. is a remarkable outlier. How can that possibly be?"

According to Reid, a small part of this might be down to many of the other countries having an older population. For example, Italy's median age is 45 (43 in Europe), whereas it is 38 for the US.

However, another explanation offered by the Bloomberg commentator, which feeds into the political debate of the moment, "is that all the other developed countries on this chart have some form of universal state-provided healthcare." But rather than get embroiled in that debate, Authers instead looks at the normal average age of people when they die. The following is a chart of life expectancy (in years) at birth for all the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development:

As shown in the chart above, the U.S. - which as we discussed last week is turning into a banana republic with just a 50% share of the population in middle-income households, roughly the same category as Turkey, China and, drumroll, Russia - has lower life expectancy than the Czech Republic or Chile, and is lagged only by countries that are significantly poorer. It trails the other major economies by several years, in many cases roughly equal to the gap in the age at which Covid-19 victims die.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

According to Authers, instead of focusing on Covid, "it might make sense for the U.S. healthcare debate to revolve around treating this as a national disgrace and trying to make common cause over fixing it, rather than having an arid political argument, but I digress."

Which brings us to the topic at hand, namely does America have a covid problem, or is it just an extension of America's far more serious problem of obesity. To wit, tne of its greatest life-shortening effects is diabetes. Here are the most recent OECD numbers on diabetes prevalence:

As Authers observes, "the U.S. lags behind only the much poorer nations of Turkey and Mexico in this dismal category, and has more than double the diabetes prevalence of the main developed economies of Europe", and summarizes:

Once the country has finished tearing itself apart over the pandemic, which will probably only happen once the virus has finally gone away, a new debate over diabetes and obesity will be necessary. Let's hope it can be more constructive than the current one.

The numbers also shed light on why the US has had a relatively difficult time containing the pandemic according to the Bloomberg author, and also suggests that a "Swedish" model of "focused protection" for those most vulnerable could be harder to apply to the US, because a far higher proportion of obese Americans are at risk. In other words,"allowing most of the population to return to life as normal is going to require confining a lot of people to their homes for the duration -- judging by the diabetes numbers, maybe twice as many as in Sweden, as a proportion of the population. As Authers puts it " that isn't feasible. "

Of course, concerns about the obesity epidemic - and not just in the U.S. - are nothing new, and we have covered them for much of the past decade . Additionally, the attempt by investors to profit from obesity is also not new. Back in 2012, Bank of America published a report on "Globesity" which it described as one of three global mega-trends. As Authers reminds us, "it offered a list of 50 stocks that it thought would benefit from a global fight on obesity, including some counterintuitive names such as Pepsico Inc. and Nestle SA, both of which it thought were better positioned to move toward less fattening products -- but which produce plenty of products, such as sugary drinks, that contribute to obesity."

One year earlier, Solactive started an obesity index of smaller companies working in drugs and diagnostics connected to the issue -- primarily diabetes. Soon after, Janus Henderson launched an exchange-traded fund to track it, with the appropriate ticker symbol "SLIM." Then, in January of this year, the announcement was made that the ETF would be liquidated, an event that finally took place on March 12. As Authers writes, "that represented a missed opportunity" because this is how the obesity index has performed relative to the S&P 500 since inception

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And here a remarkable statistic: the SLIMmers have done even better than the FANGs since the market bottom, meaning that bets on America getting fatter are even more profitable than betting on the giga-caps.

That said, as Authers notes judging by the valuations of the obesity index at present, the short-term opportunity may have passed. It trades at an insane P/E ratio of 94.66x, (which "drops" to 30.4 if one excludes the non-profitable companies). For the longer term, however, the lesson according to Authers that all countries should learn from the dreadful experience of the U.S. over the last eight months is that any given health emergency grows that much worse if you are overweight.

In summary, " it's too late to help in the battle against Covid-19, and it's too late to profit from the smallest companies working in the fight against diabetes, but the world will have to combat obesity. In due course, capital will flow toward financing that fight. "


[Oct 15, 2020] Three scientists give their best advice on how to protect yourself from COVID-19

Notable quotes:
"... COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. ..."
"... "Current data do not support long range aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, such as seen with measles or tuberculosis. Short-range inhalation of aerosols is a possibility for COVID-19, as with many respiratory pathogens. However, this cannot easily be distinguished from 'droplet' transmission based on epidemiologic patterns. Short-range transmission is a possibility particularly in crowded medical wards and inadequately ventilated spaces ." ..."
"... Kimberly A. Prather, PhD, Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. ..."
"... Linsey C Marr, PhD, Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech. ..."
"... Donald K Milton, MD, DrPH, Professor of Environment Health at The University of Maryland School of Public Health. ..."
Oct 15, 2020 | www.cbsnews.com

Right now, the CDC website does not acknowledge that aerosols typically spread SARS-CoV-2 beyond 6 feet, instead saying :

" COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Spread happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, and droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. The droplets can also be inhaled into the lungs."

The site says that respiratory droplets can land on various surfaces, and people can become infected from touching those surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. It goes on to say,

"Current data do not support long range aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2, such as seen with measles or tuberculosis. Short-range inhalation of aerosols is a possibility for COVID-19, as with many respiratory pathogens. However, this cannot easily be distinguished from 'droplet' transmission based on epidemiologic patterns. Short-range transmission is a possibility particularly in crowded medical wards and inadequately ventilated spaces ."

Confusion has surrounded the use of words like "aerosols" and "droplets" because they have not been consistently defined. And the word "airborne" takes on special meaning for infectious disease experts and public health officials because of the question of whether infection can be readily spread by "airborne transmission." If SARS-CoV-2 is readily spread by airborne transmission, then more stringent infection control measures would need to be adopted, as is done with airborne diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. But the CDC has told CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook that even if airborne spread is playing a role with SARS-CoV-2, the role does not appear to be nearly as important as with airborne infections like measles and tuberculosis.

All this may sound like wonky scientific discussion that is deep in the weeds -- and it is -- but it has big implications as people try to figure out how to stay safe during the pandemic. Some pieces of advice are intuitively obvious: wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid crowds, keep your distance from others, outdoors is safer than indoors. But what about that "6 foot" rule for maintaining social distance? If the virus can travel indoors for distances greater than 6 feet, isn't it logical to wear a mask indoors whenever you are with people who are not part of your "pod" or "bubble?"

Understanding the basic science behind how SARS-CoV-2 travels through the air should help give us strategies for staying safe. Unfortunately, there are still many open questions. For example, even if aerosols produced by an infected person can float across a room, and even if the aerosols contain some viable virus, how do we know how significant a role that possible mode of transmission is playing in the pandemic?


Aerosols can be thought of as cigarette smoke. While they are most concentrated close to someone who has the infection, they can travel farther than 6 feet, linger, build up in the air and remain infectious for hours. As a consequence, to lessen the chance of inhaling this virus, it is vital to take all of the following steps:

Indoors:

Outdoors:

Whether you are indoors or outdoors, remember that your risk increases with the duration of your exposure to others.

With the question of transmission, it's not just the public that has been confused. There's also been confusion among scientists, medical professionals and public health officials, in part because they have often used the words "droplets" and "aerosols" differently. To address the confusion, participants in an August workshop on airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggested these definitions for respiratory droplets and aerosols::

All respiratory activities, including breathing, talking and singing, produce far more aerosols than droplets. A person is far more likely to inhale aerosols than to be sprayed by a droplet, even at short range. The exact percentage of transmission by droplets versus aerosols is still to be determined. But we know from epidemiologic and other data, especially superspreading events , that infection does occur through inhalation of aerosols.

In short, how are we getting infected by SARS-CoV-2? The answer is: In the air. Once we acknowledge this, we can use tools we already have to help end this pandemic.


Kimberly A. Prather, PhD, Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Linsey C Marr, PhD, Charles P. Lunsford Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech.

Donald K Milton, MD, DrPH, Professor of Environment Health at The University of Maryland School of Public Health.

[Oct 06, 2020] Discussion of Trump's illness tends to obscure the reality that he, unlike most Americans and others who suffer from the virus, is getting proper treatment and all the necessary care to deal with the virus.

Oct 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Oct 4 2020 15:16 utc | 13

Discussion of Trump's illness tends to obscure the reality that he, unlike most Americans and others who suffer from the virus, is getting proper treatment and all the necessary care to deal with the virus.

Most of those who have died did not get anything like that treatment, indeed they were left to die by Healthcare systems which are almost all infected by obsessions with profit and efficiency which have led to the dismantling- often in 'socialised' systems such as those in the UK and Canada- of nursing staffs and ICU capacity.
The truth is that Covid has exposed the fault lines in capitalist class society and the result has been that a million people have died, many of them, it looks increasingly clear, because the capitalists regard them as expendable, and politicians are confident that even if they decimate the electorate and kill off the elderly in every family they will still be able to convince the survivors that such behaviour is acceptable.

In Ontario, disabled people are charging the hospital system with having adopted a triage protocol which, essentially, puts patients with disabilities at the bottom of the list when treatment is being rationed. This is a practice which long pre-dates the current pandemic, as do many of the administrative malpractices which have contributed to death tolls in the "west" far exceeding those in the Far East where life is more valued.

In the UK the SKAWKBOX blog has released an Amnesty report which it describes as having destroyed government claims
"..that the Tories 'threw a protective ring' around care homes during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic."

It suggests that

"*the huge number of deaths caused by COVID-19 in care homes – well over 18,000 at the very least, but in reality almost 30,000 based on 'excess' deaths attributable to likely undiagnosed cases
breach of residents' human rights by the government's behaviour
"*the fact that the government knowingly put the people most at risk of the worst effects of the virus in the firing line
"*the fact that returning known-infected patients back to care homes on a huge scale was government policy (it still is, despite claims to have changed it)
*the government telling care homes not to use PPE (personal protective equipment) with asymptomatic infected patients
*blanket 'do not resuscitate' orders on elderly residents without regard for their or their family's wishes
*protected the NHS' by denying treatment to older and more vulnerable sufferers – condemning thousands to a hideous death – 'protection' that the Tories consistently boasted about.
"The report also details multiple ways in which government policies denied care home residents their human rights and put them at risk of inhumane treatment.... the report concludes – and says so in its title – that residents were treated as 'expendable'.

"That's geriatricide – the murder of our old and vulnerable."

https://skwawkbox.org/2020/10/04/expendable-amnesty-report-explodes-tories-protective-ring-care-home-lie-and-confirms-thousands-of-elderly-knowingly-sentenced-to-death/#comments

[Sep 28, 2020] No wonder Pompey and his friend Jeffries won't give up on Syria! No wonder

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it. ..."
Sep 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Western government-funded intelligence cutouts trained Syrian opposition leaders, planted stories in media outlets from BBC to Al Jazeera, and ran a cadre of journalists. A trove of leaked documents exposes the propaganda network."

"Leaked documents show how UK government contractors developed an advanced infrastructure of propaganda to stimulate support in the West for Syria's political and armed opposition.

Virtually every aspect of the Syrian opposition was cultivated and marketed by Western government-backed public relations firms, from their political narratives to their branding, from what they said to where they said it.

The leaked files reveal how Western intelligence cutouts played the media like a fiddle, carefully crafting English- and Arabic-language media coverage of the war on Syria to churn out a constant stream of pro-opposition coverage.

US and European contractors trained and advised Syrian opposition leaders at all levels, from young media activists to the heads of the parallel government-in-exile . These firms also organized interviews for Syrian opposition leaders on mainstream outlets such as BBC and the UK's Channel 4.

More than half of the stringers used by Al Jazeera in Syria were trained in a joint US-UK government program called Basma, which produced hundreds of Syrian opposition media activists.

Western government PR firms not only influenced the way the media covered Syria, but as the leaked documents reveal, they produced their own propagandistic pseudo-news for broadcast on major TV networks in the Middle East, including BBC Arabic, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, and Orient TV .

These UK-funded firms functioned as full-time PR flacks for the extremist-dominated Syrian armed opposition. One contractor, called InCoStrat, said it was in constant contact with a network of more than 1,600 international journalists and "influencers," and used them to push pro-opposition talking points.

Another Western government contractor, ARK, crafted a strategy to "re-brand" Syria's Salafi-jihadist armed opposition by "softening its image ." ARK boasted that it provided opposition propaganda that "aired almost every day on" major Arabic-language TV networks."

"The Western contractor ARK was a central force in launching the White Helmets operation.

The leaked documents show ARK ran the Twitter and Facebook pages of Syria Civil Defense, known more commonly as the White Helmets.

ARK took credit for developing "an internationally-focused communications campaign designed to raise global awareness of the (White Helmets) teams and their life saving work."

ARK also facilitated communications between the White Helmets and The Syria Campaign , a PR firm run out of London and New York that helped popularize the White Helmets in the United States.

It was apparently "following subsequent discussions with ARK and the teams" that The Syria Campaign "selected civil defence to front its campaign to keep Syria in the news," the firm wrote in a report for the UK Foreign Office." thegreyzone

--------------

Using really basic intelligence analytic tools; Occam's Razor, Walks like a duck, Smileyesque back azimuth's, etc. it has been clear that the UK government has been deeply involved in sponsoring and influencing the Syrian/ jihadi opposition in that miserable country. The wide spread British Old Boys network of aspirants to the tradition of imperial manipulation has been visible just below the surface if you had eyes to look and a brain to think.

A lot of the money for this folly came right out of USAID.

pl

https://thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syria-leaks-uk-contractors-opposition-media/


ISL , 27 September 2020 at 04:03 PM

Dear Colonel agreed.

I object to the line in the article that they "played the media like a fiddle" - as it implies the mainstream media is a victim as opposed to willing accomplice.

The American public very strongly told Obama they didn't want another invasion and war in the middle east (red lines or not) so rather ineffective propaganda.

Moreover, I suspect that given the US public inattention to overseas events that do not involve much US blood (in places they can not find on a map). Today's mess would be where more or less the same if the entire IO had never happened - though maybe with less cynicism of US/UK gov'ts and media.

OTH, it is curious how well the British Old Boys network (and US) aligns with Israeli interests (and runs counter to US or British interests). Maybe grayzone will investigate that (impressive) IO campaign. I think a small country in the middle east played US and UK elites like a fiddle.

The Twisted Genius , 27 September 2020 at 04:48 PM

I've only given this article a cursory reading so far and it is clear that the Brits are going balls to the wall on the PSYOPS/perception management front. This campaign flows naturally from the strong material support for the Syrian "moderate rebels" provided by the US, the Brits and probably others for years. We may still be blowing up IS jihadis, but we're also supporting our own brand of jihadis around Al-Tanf, giving free hand to Erdogan's jihadis along the Turkish-Syrian border and doing our best to stymie R+6 efforts to crush the remaining jihadis and unite Syria.

The article focuses on the contractors role in PSYOP. I'm not sure if it mentions the British government's role in this. The GCHQ's Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) probably manages most of those contractors. The British Army also has the 77th Brigade. This brigade's slogan is: "behavioural change is our unique selling point". Gordon MacMillan, a reserve officer with the 77th Brigade, is now Twitter's head of editorial operations for the Middle East.
The 77th was formed in 2015 and subsumed the 15th Psychological Operations Group which was headed by Steve Tathan, who went on to head the defence division of SCL, the now defunct parent of Cambridge Analytica. I'm sure the 77th is capable of managing some of those contractors, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few of contractors were also reservists in the 77th.

I bet we're not letting the Brits have all the fun. The CIA Special Activities Center (formerly SAD) includes the Political Action Group for PSYOP, economic warfare and cyberwarfare. That dovetails nicely with what CENTCOM is doing in Syria. I knew some of those guys a while back. I remember scaring them with some of my own anarchist hacker rantings when I was penetrating those hackers.

Our Army has fours PSYOP groups brigade-sized), two active and 2 reserve. I would think they have advanced their methodology since I took the course at Bragg. For a few years, they were called military information support operations (MISO) groups rather than PSYOP groups. They have since reverted to their PSYOP name although their activities are referred to as MISO. I don't know what the difference is.

Babak makkinejad , 27 September 2020 at 05:10 PM

ISL

No, no, no.

There is no such small country as you describe in the Near East.

There is an self-disciplined proxy force masquerading as a state which is mostly funded by the United States to further the religious policies of the WASP Culture Continent.

It is no accident that in this context, the names of US and UK occur often in the same sentences; one declared a crusade to wrestle control of Plastine from Muslims, and the otber one carried out that crusade and escalated it.

That is also the reason that US cannot end the war over Palestine or leave Islamdom

(Oil, Geostrategic considerations, arms sales, Realpolitik are just pseudo-rationications to obscure the real war.)

Diana Croissant , 28 September 2020 at 07:45 AM

Where is Candide (aka Voltaire) when we need him?

BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 28 September 2020 at 09:14 AM

Ishmael Zechariah

How WASP-dom has arrived in this crusade is not, in my opinion, as significant as that it has been waging it for more than a hundred years.

fakebot , 28 September 2020 at 10:43 AM

"WASP Culture" is into golfing, not crusading. Erik Prince and the religious fundamentalists, maybe, but they don't drive US policy.

Russia and/or Chinese dominion over Eurasia cannot be permitted. Their means to achieve that would be less ethical, not that the US or UK have been prince among men and salts of the earth, as noted in the article.

The US has tried in vain to win over hearts and minds. It has been a mostly noble effort to bring countries like Iraq and Afghanistan into the 21st century, but it was always more of a losing game. The problem lies too much in Islam and tribal rivalries.

[Sep 28, 2020] Truth be told: political operatives own and run our MSM. This is why the press is called the 'Fourth Estate'

Highly recommended!
Aug 21, 2020 | www.unz.com
Ragno says: August 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm GMT 800 Words ⇑ @mark green

Truth be told: political operatives own and run our MSM. This is why the press is called the 'Fourth Estate'.

They are more correctly described as a Fifth Column , one far more open and sworn to destroy our country and its foundational citizens – and taxpayers – as any that ever operated during World War II. You would think this would be of vital interest to people who loudly declare themselves to be "Nazi-punchers", but who time and again show themselves to be merely low-level street terrorists informed and inspired by Mao's Red Guard and the irredeemable thugs of the African National Congress.

One wonders what's preventing them from mimicking the Red Terror waged by the leftists of Spain, when the battle for "freedom" involved the disinterment of the graves of Catholic clergy to better pose the corpses in blasphemous positions. Imagine how depraved those Mostly Peaceful protesters had to have been for even a leftist-supporting site such as Wikipedia to baldly state

The violence consisted of the killing of tens of thousands of people (including 6,832 Roman Catholic priests, the vast majority in the summer of 1936 in the wake of the military coup), attacks on the Spanish nobility, industrialists, and conservative politicians, as well as the desecration and burning of monasteries and churches.

Directly in the crosshairs this time are small and medium-sized owner-operated businesses – the true backbone of American freedom and prosperity – who have largely been sacrificed in exchange for the knock-kneed offerings of Danegeld from our giant conglomerates, all of whom have prospered immensely from the suffering and privation brought on by the Democratic lockdown of society – and the total shutdown of our economy.

Think! – have you read a single article charting how the government war on small business directly enriched Amazon.com and world's richest autocrat, Jeff Bezos? . who then funnels his windfall into a newspaper that blatantly pimps for the Democratic Party, which translates into a vast payday for the DNC, not least from its newly-approved partnership with the shadowy and many-tentacled Soros-surrogate group, BLM?

The result is what you'd expect when a fringe group operates with the full cooperation and partnership of major industry and both political parties (don't confuse Trump with a standard-issue Republican, please – he may have terrible flaws, but that isn't one of them) – 10% of the population holding the other 90% in a chokehold with only one set of rules: no arrest and prosecution for Bolshevik violence and terror ..but the zero-tolerance heavy hand of corrupt Leviathan coming down hard against any and all citizens who fight back or, eventually – inevitably – who even struggle against their restraints.

Short of the sudden arrival of celestial horsemen to punish the guilty and reward the set-upon, it has become clear that the only answer is the one that the Powers That Be claim to be dead set against: racial separatism. (Particularly when we consider that all that will be necessary to turn America into Hell on earth will be the adoption of Ibram Kendi's First Law, sometimes known as equality of outcome :

To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals.

Could any "amendment" be more terrifyingly totalitarian than this?)

White and black separation would, instead, accomplish two goals, both more important than Kendi's quick fix: we would learn soon enough about actual equality of outcomes (which is why no Communist, black or white, wants anything to do with the creation of one more failed basket-case black state), and much more importantly, white families can sleep secure in their beds at night, without worrying about Apache raids at midnight, egged on and recorded for "posterity" by that Fourth Estate/Fifth Column referred to up top. Because the fact of the matter is that, even should some combination of government and law-enforcement halt the burning and looting of America – as things stand now, none of the worst malefactors will ever see the inside of a prison cell .which means any ceasefire will only be temporary, to be violently ripped asunder the moment they sense white Americans have at last lowered their guard once more. And living in perpetual paranoid readiness for violent uprisings and mindless destruction is no way to live at all.

Trump has it half right, a border wall is the answer: only it needs to run lengthwise , between the Southern and Northern borders. If we don't use the next four years to plan out such a separation, fretting over our children's children will be a fruitless exercise – those who aren't murdered will be captured and 'go native' .and in case you haven't looked at a globe lately, there's no place left to run.

Majority of One , says: August 21, 2020 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Miro23

As a recovering journalist, I can point out that even on a rinkydink rag in a small city, where I got fired for being a real journalist back in the early '70's; he who owns the presses and distribution networks calls the tune. It's a matter of working-class (no matter how middle-class your income or social-status) versus the ownership class. The latter wins every time.

[Sep 06, 2020] Inactive fragments on virus RNA trigger false positives in most common COVID test due to way too many cycles of amplification which amplifies noise along with the signal and efffectly turns noise (inactive fragments on RNA) into signal, new study finds

Highly recommended!
From comments: "Article is poorly written by someone who does not know medical science. There are no viral "cells" so the headline is a put off right away. The comment about "sensitivity" is misplaced as PCR tests are too sensitive: ergo false positives. I believe "specificity" is the word the author was searching for. If a test lumps true positives with false positives, then it lacks specificity."
Sep 05, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In the past, our reports raising questions about the accuracy of COVID-19 tests have been met with accusations of 'fearmongering' and spreading 'misinformation'.

But not today.

That's because new research from the University of Oxford's Center for Evidence-Based Medicine and the University of the West of England has found that the swab-based technique used for most COVID-19 testing is at risk of returning "false positives" since copies of the virus's RNA detected by the tests might simply be dead, inactive material from a weeks-old infection. Although patients infected with COVID-19 are typically only infectious for a week or less, tests can be triggered by virus genetic material left over from a weeks-old infection.

The team's research involved analyzing 25 studies on the widely used polymerase chain reaction test. PCR tests use material collected with a swab - the most common type of test around the world, and especially in the US - then utilize a "genetic photocopying" technique that allows scientists to magnify the small sample of genetic material collected, which they can then analyze for signs of viral RNA.

What the researchers here have effectively found is that these PCR tests just aren't sensitive enough to distinguish if the viral material is active and infectious, or dead and inert.

For those who desire a more comprehensive understanding of how these tests work, the chart below can be helpful.

Professor Carl Heneghan, one of the authors of the study, said there was a risk that a surge in testing across the UK was increasing the risk of this sample contamination occurring and it may explain why the number of Covid-19 cases is rising but the number of deaths is static.

"Evidence is mounting that a good proportion of 'new' mild cases and people re-testing positives after quarantine or discharge from hospital are not infectious, but are simply clearing harmless virus particles which their immune system has efficiently dealt with," he told the Spectator.

Professor Heneghan added that international scrutiny might be required to avoid "the dangers of isolating non-infectious people or whole communities." ZKnight 14 minutes ago

Fake science. How about purify the virus first and establish a gold standard for testing first. No, of course not because the CDC has a patent for Covid-19 and nobody is allowed to try find it to see if it exists. play_arrow LogicFusion 27 minutes ago

Everybody is a Covid-19 / Coronavirus expert now!

Read about the failed coin dealer and convicted felon's performance. It's hilarious!

Martin Armstrong becomes Covid-19 Coronavirus Expert overnight play_arrow ducksinarow 59 minutes ago

Covid -19 has been so politicized that I don't believe a word of any publication for or against testing, existence of the Virus, or anything that provokes testing or issues opinions about locking down communities. Just like the riots, Covid news is just plain boring. play_arrow ominous 3 hours ago

Link to spectator.co.uk goes to home page, not this story.

Where is the original story posted? play_arrow play_arrow ominous 3 hours ago (Edited)

Perhaps this

https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/infectious-positive-pcr-test-result-covid-19/ y_arrow 1 Rabbi Blitzstein 38 minutes ago

"Give me control of a nation's money, and I care not who makes the laws" - Mayer Amschel Rothschild. play_arrow play_arrow tangent 4 hours ago remove link

People who recommend a vaccine for an entirely cured virus should lose their license to practice medicine. 99.9% cure rate applying to people who take it before being hospitalized is one of the biggest success stories in the history of medicine for HCQ. Not only that, but there are multiple other likely cures that simply have not been studied well. You'd think people would appreciate the fact that the common cold has been cured, but instead they just whine that big pharma isn't getting those bucko bucks.

I honestly expected a ticker tape parade like in the movies when that first cure study came out. But instead they took a massive **** on the study and on the doctor... ****ty world we live in. ay_arrow Pair Of Dimes Shift 2 hours ago

An exec (55+) at my company is gung ho about the vaccine.

Unfortunately, I just had to give him a "wait and see" response although I know vaccines for coronaviruses are impossible. play_arrow 2 play_arrow ThanksIwillHaveAnother 4 hours ago (Edited)

Viruses are not full cells. They are DNA/RNA wrapped with a protein the clings to a cell then the cell imports the DNA/RNA to start making its proteins. So what is inactive? If that person sneezes on another person depending on immune system status that other person could get a bad infection. y_arrow 4 CrabbyR 3 hours ago

viruses utilizes CELL structures and host DNA to replicate dna or rna according to the viruses genetic code, the protein jacket is the final product to

disguise the virus from detection and to bind on another cell after the compromised cell RUPTURES, there's more to it but if it cannot copy itself effectively it can become nonviable and unable to infect another cell. It replicates DNA inside a host cell, It is not a complete organism and cannot replicate unless it can inject its DNA into a host cell. Antibodies cling to viruses and destroy this ability to bind to a target cell. A non viable virus has a damaged coat or DNA RNA that has to many Dimers (damage or code breaks) Bacteria is more in line with what you think a virus is y_arrow onewayticket2 4 hours ago (Edited) remove link

they lost me when they changed the definition of "death" to include "presumed, untested" cases (while bI@#$% ing at me that we needed to "follow the science")....and even got busted for the laughable motorcycle accident being classified as a covid death and the Labs that were sending in 100% positive results. (until they were caught) play_arrow OutaTime43 4 hours ago remove link

The test detects RNA. Not necessarily viable virus. Also, it will detect RNA presence in an individual who may already have antibodies and may be immune. We are bombarded daily by viruses of which we already have immunity. play_arrow sun tzu 10 hours ago

Shocking news that the South Koreans already discovered and published back in May. Western big pharma driven medicine is garbage 😂😂😂

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/05/wha-passes-pandemic-probe-resolution-korea-clarifies-reinfection-reports

play_arrow Roger Casement 10 hours ago

WTF!!!!

World Bank exporting COVID-19 Testing Kits in 2018??????

https: // wits.worldbank.org/trade/comtrade/en/country/ALL/year/2018/tradeflow/Exports/partner/WLD/nomen/h5/product/300215 play_arrow 7 play_arrow sun tzu 10 hours ago

Interesting play_arrow play_arrow Jack Mehoff 1 more time 9 hours ago

Business as usual play_arrow play_arrow Argon1 7 hours ago

Preparation for agenda 2021 in 2017. play_arrow 1 play_arrow CrabbyR 4 hours ago

WOW.......ties a few strands from other sources together into a real ugly picture play_arrow play_arrow Welsh Bard 10 hours ago

The professor who won the Nobel prize for work in this field, said that the way this test is being operated with over forty cycles, means that any results are entirely meaningless.

In Britain, having spent over £15 billion setting up PCR testing systems and a shaky test and trace apparatus on top of that, it appears that 90% of positive results now appear to be false. This is compounded by the fact that when a hot spot develops, more testing is done to show a rapid increase in more false positive results, meaning further new lockdowns and even more testing to prove yet more false positive results ad infinitum.

Now whether this is by design or ineptitude, people must decide for themselves but the outcome is utter chaos.

For those countries who have not followed the Swedish model especially countries like Australia and New Zealand who have set up complete isolation, now face a future perpetually cut off from the rest of the world.

Okay, new techniques will and are coming along to treat the disease like HCQ when used correctly maybe as a prophylactic and a vaccine that will need to be constantly upgraded like the Flu vaccine, means that the whole world has painted itself into a corner unless drastic revision is now made to the whole sorry mess.

In the meantime, we will now be stuck with digital currency and the introduction of ID Health Cards that will limit people in how they travel where they work and access to a whole heap of things like government services.

Welcome to the new world order! play_arrow 1 KuriousKat 11 hours ago (Edited) remove link

Don't tell the Shameless Aussie gov that after arresting hundreds for simply voicing doubt on need to lockdown entire city...Next time it will be thousands and not a damn thing they can do to stop it..These people are trickling us the truth how worthless the tests are when pretty much everyone knows. play_arrow espirit 12 hours ago remove link

Lessee.

WHO

Imperial College

John Hopkins

CDC

Line all those peeps up against the wall, and the first one to rat gets to live.

I'll provide my own ammo... ay_arrow Sick Monkey 6 hours ago

Not everyone working in these agencies are dishonest but like you and I we have to work and eat.

Most of them are trapped in this mess with bills to pay threatened by NDA.


play_arrow 1 Urban Roman 12 hours ago

Not particularly new news. Been talked about since April at least -- it's an RNA virus, it has its own polymerase, and it leaves lots of RNA fragments in its wake.

The Corona family of viruses make 5 or 6 strands with partial copies of their RNA molecule. negative copies are made first, and then copied again into positive copies. Finally the one big RNA is made with the entire genome on it.

So about a dozen RNA molecules are made for each finished virus particle that is produced. And finally, a variety of different primers are used for the PCR tests, some are matched to the small partial RNA copies and others are matched to various features on the large whole-virus RNA. They can give different results for the same sample.

So, someone who registers on a PCR test has probably been exposed to the virus, but the test gives no clue as to whether it is an active infection, or the person is contagious, or they are just coming down with it, or they got over it six months ago. play_arrow 4 play_arrow 1

10 play_arrow gordo 12 hours ago remove link

Sweden, no masks, no lock downs, ALL SCHOOLS OPEN, herd immunity, no second wave.

Still think your masks and lock downs are working muppets?


1 play_arrow The 3rd Dimentia 13 hours ago

https://youtu.be/sjYvitCeMPc SARS-CoV2 and the Rise of Medical Technocracy. Lee Merritt, M.D. play_arrow 3 play_arrow hugin-o-munin 13 hours ago

I'm glad to see that many are starting to counter the official narrative.

We've been asleep for too long and allowed these agendas to fester to the point we're at now where a college dropout software salesman and a former 3rd world communist terrorist (neither of whom have any medical degree) are dictating to the world how everyone needs to get a DNA altering vaccine and a medical ID. It's completely nuts and bonkers yet more or less the entire planet's governments follow in 'lockstep' with ever more draconian laws and regulations incarcerating people in their own homes, making them wear masks causing oxygen deprivation and shutting down the entire world economy.


lay_arrow Warthog777 , 13 hours ago

Article is poorly written by someone who does not know medical science. There are no viral "cells" so the headline is a put off right away. The comment about "sensitivity" is misplaced as PCR tests are too sensitive: ergo false positives. I believe "specificity" is the word the author was searching for. If a test lumps true positives with false positives, then it lacks specificity.

Cabreado , 13 hours ago

"accusations of 'fearmongering' and spreading 'misinformation'.
But not today."

Well, much of the world has known for months now about the testing lies...

and I'd be remiss to not remind the Tylers that they indeed played a role in the fear mongering along the way; quite intently so.

Crush the cube , 13 hours ago

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Flavio_Bell_Covid_24?id=SxrxDwAAQBAJ

Busted, published 2018, what a scam.

Digital-Anarchy , 14 hours ago

Anyone who would use the term "virus cells", has no clue what they're talking about and should be completely disregarded. Viruses are not cells. PCR tests are searching for something your body produces in response to a virus as well. They are not produced specifically for a singular virus either. The entire concept of PCR testing is garbage. This **** was a scam from the get-go.

hugin-o-munin , 13 hours ago

Yes it is evident now that this entire pandemic is false and political. The goal seems to be to vaccinate entire populations and the question people need to ask is - why? what for? Aside from the obvious economic motives there are some more sinister plans that most people will have a hard time accepting but these need to be looked at. Several years ago there were a group of doctors and researchers that died of suspicious suicides who were collaborating and studying vaccines and the link to autism.

The effort was led by Dr.Jeffrey Bradstreet who was researching the natural substance GcMAF and how this could boost the immune system. What he discovered was that many vaccines had a compound/substance called Nagalase in them that is unnatural and has a detrimental effect on the immune system and function of GcMAF (which is produced by our own bodies) and has no business at all being in vaccines. Just before he was able to blow the whistle on this he also died of a suspicious 'suicide' and today most of the clinics and research groups working on GcMAF have been destroyed and ruined. Draw your own conclusions.

snblitz , 14 hours ago

Dr. Kary Mullis invented the PCR test. He said it was ineffective for this purpose.

Though he was addressing its use in a prior virus hoax unleashed upon the world.

I bet you didn't know this scam has been used before.

That is why I was able to call out the scam right from the start. The second I saw them using the PCR again, I knew it was from the same playbook.

snblitz , 14 hours ago

So many lies.

Viruses are not alive. They have no metabolic functions. They cannot move.

Don't believe me? Get a degree is virology or microbiology or just a read a book on the subject. Or capture a wuhan-virus yourself and watch it under a microscope. It won't move. It won't consume anything. It will just sit there inert.

The problem is that you are being lied to at a scale you cannot imagine.

I know, off to the fema re-education camp for me for spreading false information about the wuhan-virus.

Though I am not the one spreading fear and hysteria.

aldousd , 13 hours ago

There article is confused, but the work of the doctor is not. Viruses use your cells to reproduce. When your immune system targets the virus it actually kills your own cell which has become host to the virus. The virus particles and markers, and the DNA of the virus can be detected in these dead cells, but dead cells cannot serve as a factory for more viruses. So it's effectively a dead virus infected cell. Not a dead virus cell.

So while the transcription of the idea here was done by an idiot, it's not an idiotic idea. The tests cannot tell if the virus came in a living cell that is actively producing more viruses or a dead host cell that has been assassinated by your immune system. That's what they're talking about here.

mstyle , 11 hours ago

what about the chromosome 8 stuff that has been mentioned lately?

(since you appear to be rather intelligent)

hugin-o-munin , 11 hours ago

Thanks. Well the chromosome 8 discovery in the PCR test specifications/details is strange and worrying because it makes you wonder why it's part of this at all. Some believe it's to get more false positive results while others believe it is what the mRNA vaccines are intended to target and if that's right then it's really sinister. What exactly is the plan? To make all of us get Downs Syndrome? I don't know but judging by all their other lies and schemes it wouldn't surprise me.

IRC162 , 14 hours ago

Fuggin progressives and their pandemic political prop. But really this reaction is the same as their reaction to 'racial injustice'. They focus on feelings before the facts are known in order to achieve their end, and then do their best to bury/ignore the facts when they are gathered later.

94% COVID deaths with multiple comorbidities.

10 unarmed blacks killed by police in 2019 (6 were in self-defense).

adr , 15 hours ago

Why didn't you mention that nearly all labs are running 35-40 cycles which guarantees a positive test, simply from noise.

The inventor of the test said if you don't find anything after 15 cycles, it probably isn't there. After 20 cycles the noise starts to be greater than any real information. By 30, the test is mostly noise. More than 35, the test is completely worthless.

Of course I've been saying this for five months, but most people didn't listen. After the NYT article came out, people I know started saying, "How did you know?"

I said, "Because I have critical thinking skills. Why didn't you believe me? Name a time I've steered you wrong."

Antiduck , 14 hours ago

333 labs in florida had 100% positivity. (stupid word.)

ZenStick , 12 hours ago

Exactly correct.
Nobody will touch this line of reasoning in public or on media.
Bastages.

Identify as Ferengi , 15 hours ago

See above, Born2Bwired.

The PCR test is not useful for what they are using it for apparently. This has been known since the beginning. Here is quote regarding AIDS:

"Kary Mullis, who won the Nobel Prize in Science for inventing the PCR, is thoroughly convinced that HIV is not the cause of "AIDS". With regard to the viral load tests, which attempt to use PCR for counting viruses, Mullis has stated: "Quantitative PCR is an oxymoron." PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all; they can only detect proteins that are believed, in some cases wrongly, to be unique to HIV. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses, but not viruses themselves.

What PCR does is to select a genetic sequence and then amplify it enormously. It can accomplish the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack; it can amplify that needle into a haystack. Like an electronically amplified antenna, PCR greatly amplifies the signal, but it also greatly amplifies the noise. Since the amplification is exponential, the slightest error in measurement, the slightest contamination, can result in errors of many orders of magnitude."

http://www.virusmyth.org/aids/hiv/jlprotease.htm

naro , 15 hours ago

NYTimes article last week suggested that only 10% of Covid positive PCR tests are clinically significant and infectious.

[Aug 27, 2020] Expert reaction to statement from Charit -Universit tsmedizin Berlin hospital that Alexei Navalny may have been poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitor

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, Metformin is the preferred drug. I started on twice a day, then once I lost 45 pounds, the doctor dropped me to one a day. In fact, now I could stop taking it, but I continue to do so because it has alleged anti-aging properties. The only real negative is that it leeches vitamin B-12 from the body - but I take tons of B-12 anyway, so doesn't concern me. Metformin usually needs to be taken with food because otherwise it tends to give you "the runs". ..."
Aug 24, 2020 | www.sciencemediacentre.org

I've seen this site before - they post statements from various medical people on matters of public medical interest, such as the pandemic. Useful for people who want some background on the chemicals involved.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 25 2020 16:14 utc | 29

Yup. Just ran across that piece while searching for anything on Navalny having diabetes. Found nothing so far beyond that. b's source appears to be the only one mentioning any diabetes in Navalny's medical history. Apparently his personal doctor has denied this, saying that the "diabetes" issue appears to have more a "description" of his medical condition rather than an actual diagnosis.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 25 2020 17:26 utc | 40 And if he's diabetic or even pre-diabetic, there's a suite of meds he'd need to take daily if not requiring insulin, and those meds must be ingested with food--I know.

Yes, Metformin is the preferred drug. I started on twice a day, then once I lost 45 pounds, the doctor dropped me to one a day. In fact, now I could stop taking it, but I continue to do so because it has alleged anti-aging properties. The only real negative is that it leeches vitamin B-12 from the body - but I take tons of B-12 anyway, so doesn't concern me. Metformin usually needs to be taken with food because otherwise it tends to give you "the runs".

I found an article that says the following:

Russian news agency Interfax later quoted officials in Omsk as saying tests had identified the presence of an industrial chemical in his body.

Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs told the agency that since the substance they claim was present is commonly used to increase plasticity in products, "it is possible that it could appear in surface washings through the contact of Alexei Navalny with similar objects, for example, through a plastic cup".

Studies have previously shown that the chemical officials were referring to - 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate - does not have a strong toxic effect on humans.

So it appears from the articles so far that initially the police detected that specific chemical, but medical experts ruled it out as a cause, merely a by-product of having drunk from a plastic cup.

This article discusses the term "metabolic disease", clarifying that it doesn't necessarily mean diabetes.

Bottom line: There is no evidence Navalny had diabetes, although he might well have had either Type 2 or Type 1 diabetes but never diagnosed. However, if he was in a diabetic coma, that should have been detected almost immediately, even by first responders in the ambulance. Beyond that, it appears that whatever chemical was the cause of his condition, it's likely undetectable now.

So another "nothing-burger" which will be seized on to drum up hysteria against Russia. And I've spent *way* too much time on this irrelevant crap.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 25 2020 18:52 utc | 63

[Aug 21, 2020] If You're Reading This, You Might Be A Conspiracy Theorist

Highly recommended!
Science now is a highly politicized science and that's a huge problem. Ask USSR scientists about possible consequences. Is Kapitsa noted long ago in his obitiary on Ernest Rutherford death as soon as science become rich it lost its freedom. "
"The year that Rutherford died (1938) there disappeared forever the happy days of free scientific work which gave us such delight in our youth. Science has lost her freedom. Science has become a productive force. She has become rich but she has become enslaved and part of her is veiled in secrecy. I do not know whether Rutherford would continue to joke and laugh as he used to.
Lysenkoism in Stalins's USSR was the first robin of this process. Now it became commonplace. That's why we see so many pseudo-scientists -- politicians who pretend to be scientists like Fauci. and so much corruption like among Professors of economics (all those neoclassical economic scoundrels)
Aug 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Steppling via Off-Guardian.org,

"...a permanent modern scenario: apocalypse looms and it doesn't occur."

- Susan Sontag, AIDs and its Metaphors

"I should not misuse this opportunity to give you a lecture about, say, logic. I call this a misuse, for to explain a scientific matter to you it would need a course of lectures and not an hour's paper. Another alternative would have been to give you what's called a popular scientific lecture, that is a lecture intended to make you believe that you understand a thing which actually you don't understand, and to gratify what I believe to be one of the lowest desires of modern people, namely the superficial curiosity about the latest discoveries of science. I rejected these alternatives."

- Ludwig Wittgenstein, A Lecture on Ethics

If you're reading this, then you've probably been called a conspiracy theorist. Also you've been derided and shamed for questioning the "science" of the Covid debacle.

The idea of science is now a badly corrupted idea. In a nation, today, (the USA) which in educational terms ranks 25th globally in science skills and reading, and well below that in math; all one hears is a clarion call to science. In reading skills the US placed below Malta, Portugal, and right about the same as Kazakhstan.

But in a nation that no longer reads, and *can* no longer read, it is not surprising that knowledge is absorbed via the new hieroglyphics of gifs (interestingly the creator of gifs wanted it pronounced with a soft g the more to sound like a peanut butter brand) and memes.

So-called 'response memes' are the new version of conversation, and most register and communicate (sic) confusion. As beer ad marketers know, the state of your brain after consuming a six pack is pretty much the standard target ideal for advertising. And it relays a message that six pack confusion is actually a good and perhaps even sexy state in which to find oneself.

Education is for those with money, those who can afford the proper foundational skills to get into Harvard, MIT, Cal Tech and the Stanford. For everyone else science is Star Trek.

But I digress. The point is that most Americans imagine that they revere science, and they ridicule anyone they think of as unscientific. But they think of it in cult terms, really. Its a religion of sorts. The only people who don't are those 'real' religious zealots, Dominionist and Charismatic Christians (like Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos et al) who hold positions of enormous power in the US government under the least scientific president in history.

The Christian right doesn't like any science, ANY science. But for most of that target demographic (the educated mostly white 30%), the cry is to "trust the science" even the great Greta says to "trust the science".

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

The problem is, science is not neutral, its as politicized as media and news and the pronouncements of celebrities.

In May 2020, The Lancet published an article revisiting the 1957 and 1968 Influenza pandemics.

The 1957 outbreak was not caused by a coronavirus -- the first human coronavirus would not be discovered until 1965 -- but by an influenza virus. However, in 1957, no one could be sure that the virus that had been isolated in Hong Kong was a new pandemic strain or simply a descendant of the previous 1918–19 pandemic influenza virus.

The result was that as the UK's weekly death count mounted, peaking at about 600 in the week ending Oct 17, 1957, there were few hysterical tabloid newspaper headlines and no calls for social distancing. Instead, the news cycle was dominated by the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik and the aftermath of the fire at the Windscale nuclear reactor in the UK.

By the time this influenza pandemic -- known colloquially at the time as "Asian flu" -- had concluded the following April, an estimated 20 000 people in the UK and 80 000 citizens in the USA were dead. Worldwide, the pandemic, sparked by a new H2N2 influenza subtype, would result in more than 1 million deaths.

To date, Covid 19 has not reached the million death marker in the US, and yet we are seeing the most draconian lockdowns in modern history, the total suspension of democratic process and a level of hysteria (especially in the U.S. and UK) unprecedented. I wrote about some aspects of this on my blog here , mostly touching on the cultural effects

Allow me to quote The Lancet again.

The subsequent 1968 influenza pandemic -- or "Hong Kong flu" or "Mao flu" as some western tabloids dubbed it -- would have an even more dramatic impact, killing more than 30 000 individuals in the UK and 100 000 people in the USA, with half the deaths among individuals younger than 65 years -- the reverse of COVID-19 deaths in the current pandemic.

Yet, while at the height of the outbreak in December, 1968, The New York Times described the pandemic as "one of the worst in the nation's history", there were few school closures and businesses, for the most, continued to operate as normal.

I remember the 68 Hong Kong flu. I was in my last year of high school. The summer after was Woodstock, the 'summer of love'. Not a lot of social distancing going on. But we are past numbers and statistics having any real meaning. The Covid narrative is now in the realm of allegory.

The media perspective is utterly predictable. Liberal outlets that have the inside track to government are seen to be reinforcing the mainstream story (VOX, Slate, Huff Post, The Guardian and Washington Post). In a recent VOX article the message was only a sociopath would NOT wear a mask and that the 'science' was unanimous.

Of course its no such thing. But the message of sites like VOX, or Daily Beast, or Wa Po or the truly reprehensible Guardian, are always going to be to hammer away 'on message'. The same is true for what passes for moderate news organs like the NY Times, ABC News, The Hill, and BBC. There has been virtually no dissenting opinions expressed in these rags.

All these news outlets are given clear messages by the spin doctors in government, by the White House, and by contacts within the State Department and Pentagon. And by the advertising firms employed by the state (such as Ruder Finn).

"Ad agencies are not in the business of doing science."

- Dr. Arnold S. Relman (Madison Ave. Has Growing Role In the Business of Drug Research, NY Times 2002)

The WHO, the CDC, and most every other NGO or government agency of any size hires advertising firms. The WHO, which is tied to the United Nations, is a reasonably sinister organization, actually.

Just picking up a random publication from the WHO, on what they call 'the tobacco epidemic' and you find on page 33 the following chapter heading "Objective: Effective surveillance, monitoring and evaluation systems in place to monitor tobacco use."

Reading further and all this is really saying is that the populace of any country is best put under surveillance. It's for their own good, you see.

But back to the science. Here is a small trip down memory lane

Institutions of medicine, global and national possess no more integrity than your average NGO (Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, Oxfam et al). And that means not very much.

To understand the nature of institutional corruption one must understand Imperialism. The institutions of Imperialist nations are going to further Imperialist ideology. (see Antonio Gramsci, ideological hegemony). The US is not in the business of helping Americans .

Modern monopoly forms better reflect that scientific knowledge, and its advanced application to production, are concentrated, ultimately, not in physical objects but in human beings and human interaction with those objects. It is monopoly of the labour power of the most highly educated workers, by both imperialist states and Multi National Corporations, that forms the ultimate and most stable base of imperialist reproduction.

– Sam King (Lenin's theory of imperialism: a defence of its relevance in the 21st century, MLR)

The idea of super-exploitation needs to be conceptually generalised at the necessary level of abstraction and incorporated in the theory of imperialism. Super-exploitation is a specific condition within the capitalist mode of production [ ] the hidden common essence defining imperialism.

he working class of the oppressed nations/Third World/Global South is systematically paid below the value of labour power of the working class of the oppressor nations/First World/Global North. This is not because the Southern working class produces less value, but because it is more oppressed and more exploited.

– Andy Higginbottom (Structure and Essence in Capital 1, quoted by John Smith Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century)

The US jobless rate just hit 2.1 million. Officially. Making the total something over forty million. Its much higher in reality. Nobody has work. There is no work and we are at the start of a period of massive evictions, foreclosures, and delinquencies - and the homeless population will soon reach Biblical proportions (in some cities, such as Los Angeles, its already Biblical). Will be simply of a magnitude never before seen.

Hence the authoritarian policing of lockdowns in, for example, New Zealand, suggests something like a practice run. The ruling class in western nations knows full well this is coming. And one wonders if it's not, in fact, a part of the plan (oh here is where someone says conspiracy theory probably Louis Proyect).

Yes it's a fucking conspiracy theory. It is a theory based on evidence, however.

Why are the US and UK and a host of other countries deliberately ensuring a massive depression? Because they care about your health? They are worried we all might catch the flu? Has the US ever demonstrated a concern with your health and well being before?

Remember how many discretionary tax dollars go to health care and how much to defense. Conspiracies do occur. The denial of that fact seems to be a hallmark of the pseudo or false left. Does the suspension of democratic process not cause this soft left any problems at all? Look at Sweden, at Belarus no lockdown and no problem.

It should be noted that there are a great many terrific doctors in the US. Dedicated and brilliant, often. But they are not the system. The system is run for profit.

With about three-fourths of Americans under lockdown, the unintended consequences will be vast. There has been a notable decrease in the number of heart attack and stroke patients arriving at hospitals, presumably because they are afraid of catching the coronavirus or of not finding a hospital bed.

As the economy spirals downward, we can also expect an increase in mental health crises, domestic violence and suicides. While lockdown supporters say that to have a functioning economy, we must have good public health, the reverse is also true: To have good public health, we must have a functioning economy.

– Alex Berezow PhD (Geopolitical Futures, 2020)

Alfred Willener wrote an interesting book in 1970, analysing May 68 in France. He analyses the answers students gave to various questionnaires they responded to. The section regarding science is worth quoting.

'The scandalous fact is that, for all the means that science has put at our disposal, most people live not much better than in the Middle Ages'. The system benefits from science in the following way: through the atom bomb, through 'the power of statistical research', through computers, through the chemical industry being 'in the hands of the state', through space research.

'In the end, you realize', concludes one reasonably logical reply, 'that technological progress, which makes economic growth possible, does not satisfy the fundamental needs of man and is used above all to maintain and strengthen the system'.

Lastly, I should like to quote one quite unexpected reply, which forms the extreme point of pessimism: ' Everyone is oppressed by science.'

– Alfred Willener (The Action-Image of Society on Cultural Politicization)

I doubt seriously one would get such responses today in any European or North American country. The contemporary indoctrination regards science is acute. And the media abounds in junk science. Click bait science. And this is where most people have their opinions formed for them.

There is a paper put out by one of the founders of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, called The Great Reset. The conclusion of the book reads

...at a global level, if viewed in terms of the global population affected, the corona crisis is (so far) one of the least deadly pandemics the world has experienced over the last 2000 years."

In other words, a mortality of .06% is simply not commensurate with the extreme measures the governments of the world (the West in particular) are taking.

There is no question, none, that those measures, the lockdown, the masks, the distancing, and the attending *diseases of despair*, will kill more people by a factor of ten than the virus itself.

This is not even to begin discussing the psychological harm done, in particular to children. And not just harm to children, but severe harm to the most vulnerable .

What is being internalized by children is three fold. One, there is something inherently sick and contagious about ME. Two, everyone MIGHT be a threat to my health. And three, obey authority, because you don't want to end up like those smelly homeless people were are trying to hard to avoid.

Children take things personally. They tend to blame themselves. Even in the comparative sanity of Norway, where I reside, children are increasingly anxious about the world. How could they not be? All this for a health risk of .06%.

But it is more than just the decimation of the economy in the US and UK. It is a dismantling of the culture. One in three museums closed because of Covid will not re-open. Ever. Where does all that art go?

Just a guess but probably very wealthy collectors will gobble it up at wholesale prices.

The predictable outcome of these lockdowns, certainly in the US, is a guaranteed minimum income. Very minimum. Restrictions on travel, all freedom of movement in fact, will not soon return to normal. Various forms of surveillance and tracking, as well as health certifications, are the goal of the state.

Also, if this pandemic succeeded so well, with so little resistance, why not have another? And there is another aspect to the SWAT mask police, and that is that western society is becoming alarmingly hypochondriacal. Children are kept out of school for runny noses. If all kids with snotty noses were kept out of class, nobody would get an education.

There is a dire future of two or three generations now developing and maturing with very weak immune systems. So that if a natural mutation takes place one day, from a Corona virus or any other, a genuinely serious pandemic could kill tens of millions.

It is not a speculation that there are people who prosper and even benefit during an economic crisis -- as smaller business owners struggle, large corporations and banks benefit from huge government subsidies, giving them more power to buy failing small businesses, for example. And it is a fact that many of those people have enormous economic power to shape the policies that can benefit themselves.

It is not a speculation that they would appreciate having strict measures of control against the people by limiting their freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom to travel, or by installing means of surveillance, check points and official certifications for activities that might give freedom to the people beyond the capitalist framework.

It is not a speculation that they would benefit from moving our social interactions to the digital realm, which can commodify our activities as marketable data for the advertising industry, insurance industry and any other moneyed social institutions Including education, political institution, legal institution, and financial institution.

Such matters should be seen within the context of the western history being shaped by unelected capitalists with their enormous networks of social institutions.

– Hiroyuki Hamada (Wrong Kind of Green, April 2020)

The collapse of retail is accelerating. This is emerging as a monopolization of retail. Few shops will remain, in fact, except luxury stores in select gated areas. The rest will be online and probably rudimentary. The culture and the economy are being strip-mined and recreated for a select clientele. The collapse of the economy means the collapse of the bottom 90% or so.

The very richest men and corporations on the planet are making huge profits.

And yet, there are precious few voices of dissent to the master narrative in the US. In Norway, the lockdown was about five weeks. But its a sparsely populated country and one hardly noticed it save for the kids being home and not in school. But schools reopened and the Prime Minister actually made a speech apologizing, in effect, for an *unnecessary* lockdown. She had been frightened.

But now, with a mild uptick in positive cases the country is considering stricter limitations on travel. Why?

There is no uptick in deaths, only in positive test results. The fact remains the virus attacks the aged and the already sick. But this is very telling, I think. The Norwegian government doesn't want to be seen as disobedient. They don't want to not follow the grand plan provided by western agencies and experts. Even if they seemingly don't really believe it.

(The saddest aspect is the voice of Dr. Mads Gilbert, a known advocate for Palestinian rights, who has weighed in on the side of fear. Why? I have no idea. But it is worth noting his predictions from March 2020 were staggeringly wrong.)

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But clearly the groupthink pressure is powerful and small nations do not want to be singled out for bucking the *science* . There are economic coercions threatened, tacitly, as well. The pressure to conform is huge and it takes a Herculean effort -- both individually and as a nation, to resist. And *experts* seem to have a hard time admitting they were wrong.

The science has been consistently wrong from day one.

As I say, this is now allegory. Or fable. There is nothing reasonable or rational in the lockdown measures of the US and UK and NZ. Or anywhere. And this is not even to touch upon the criminality of the Gates Foundation and Bill Gates buying public influence and visibility. Not trained in any medical discipline, Gates has somehow made himself one of the faces of the pandemic.

And to deconstruct Gates' language is to find a disturbing quality of authoritarian hubris. Gates utters declarations as if he were God speaking to his flock. All from a man who has done little save steal from his partners and exploit the poor of India and Africa. One of the most striking aspects of this whole last few months has been the enormous and coordinated effort the Gates machine has put into rehabilitating his image.

If you google "Crimes of the Gates Foundation" for example, you will get ten different fact-checkers officially denying any crimes and another half dozen articles ridiculing those who question Gates motives, his profit from vaccines, or even his alignment with eugenicists (depopulation adherents)– all are derided as, yes, conspiracy theorists.

If you dare to question the rushing of an untested vaccine you are called an anti-vaxxer.

My children are vaccinated. I just don't like the idea of a hurried untested vaccine produced for a virus that needs no vaccine. And one promoted by a creepy millionaire.

But clearly the Gates charm offensive is in overdrive. The pastel cardigan is everywhere. And yet, his favorable rating in recent surveys is around 56%. That is actually not very high given the amount of self-promotion involved. It's better than Mark Zuckerberg and Joe Biden, though. Gates is not likeable. No amount of spin can change that.

The final factor to note is the Trump effect. Many liberals would literally rather see dead in the street if it meant discrediting Trump. It is no longer quite a zero sum game, though. But overall the hatred of Trump is now at a religious level, too.

And behold, the opposition is Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If you want a window in the black heart of Biden, watch and/or listen to his testimony around the Waco inferno. The inherent sadism and lack of humanity is glaringly apparent.

As for Kamala Harris:

As a San Francisco social worker, I sat on the school district committee that met with families of chronically truant students. Once, when we asked a student why he didn't go to school, he said there was too much police tape and shootings at his school bus stop.

Harris, as CA Attorney General, was putting parents/caregivers in jail if their child was chronically truant. Also as Attorney General, she denied a DNA test to Kevin Cooper, a very likely innocent man who came within hours of execution in 2004.

– Riva Enteen (Counterpunch Aug. 2020)

These are the servants of capital.

The left should be emphasising the economic aspect of lockdown because it is the working class who are the principal victims of lockdown."

- Phil Shannon (Lockdown Skeptics, June 2020)

A Downing street tweet today:

We're putting tougher measures in place to target serious breaches of coronavirus restrictions. Fines for not wearing a face-covering will double for repeat offences, up to £3,200."

This is a class-based assault. The wealthy will not be fined for not wearing a face-covering on their private beaches, or dinner parties at the yacht club.

[Aug 01, 2020] Length of interaction with tan infected person matter

Highly recommended!
Aug 01, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

monty42 , 2 hours ago

" We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic."

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

Revisionist claims now- " In truth, the intent of our article was to push for more masking, not less." "

[Jul 27, 2020] Knee bursitis - Lifestyle and home remediest

Jul 27, 2020 | www.mayoclinic.org

To ease pain and discomfort of knee bursitis:

[Jul 10, 2020] Ponaris Nasal Emolient, 1 oz

Jul 10, 2020 | www.amazon.com
Kaitlin McCoy
Lifesaver if you suffer from dry nostrils or nose bleeds - Great for frequent travelers!

5.0 out of 5 stars Lifesaver if you suffer from dry nostrils or nose bleeds - Great for frequent travelers! Reviewed in the United States on November 7, 2017 Size: 1 Ounce Verified Purchase This has been a life changer for me. This was recommended to me by an ENT after a series of sinus infections left me with an incessant cough. I loved how the drops cleared my congestion and soothed the inside of my nose, but I hated the dribbling oil down my lip, or worse - my throat. My nurse suggested using them at night, so I didn't suffer from the embarrassment of oil sliding out of my nose while I spoke to a human in the day light. So I used it until it was gone and then forgot about it.

I've been working in a job that requires me to travel several times a month, for the last couple years. This has been hell for my sinuses. The recycled air of the airplanes, the dry hotel air, and quick climate changes meant that I would frequently get sick, my nose would always be dry and cracked and painful, and I would often suffer from nose bleeds.

I had been using AYR nasal gel for a long time - I would place a drop of the gel on a cotton swab and rub it along the inside of my nose. And it soothed my nostrils, especially when they would get so dry they'd crack and bleed. But it only soothed, it didn't heal or prevent. So I was just constantly putting it in my nose. It was impractical and I suspected not helpful, but I couldn't go back to doing nothing and dealing with that pain.

Then I remembered Ponaris, but I still dreaded the drip; until I read some reviews of users applying the oil with a q-tip - then everything changed.

I dip a q-tip in Ponaris and swab the inside of one nostril and use the other end of the swab on the other nostril. I try to do this day and night, if I'm traveling or in a dry climate. If I feel sick, or especially dry, I apply Ponaris as often as I need it.

This has solved a major problem that plagued me - I can breathe better, sleep better, I'm sick less often (if at all), and most importantly - I'm more comfortable. If you've ever suffered from chronic sinusitis, you know that it's no fun when breathing hurts!

I wish I had been using this for the last decade. I can't imagine not having it in my daily routine now. Read more 63 people found this helpful

M. Branicki
haven't had a BAD sinus infection in over a year

5.0 out of 5 stars haven't had a BAD sinus infection in over a year Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2018 Size: 1 Ounce Verified Purchase OMG !!!! haven't had a BAD sinus infection in over a year.... the trick is you MUST use it twice a day. I use a cotton swap, dip it in the bottle and put it as far up my nose as I can to get my nose well lubed...that keeps the germs out....I wouldn't live without this.... It came with an nose dropper, but can't stand using it,,,, The cotton swab is easier and works as well....the best thing...NO side effects !!!!! 35 people found this helpful Helpful Comment Report abuse >

Old Guy
Helped post nasal drip

4.0 out of 5 stars Helped post nasal drip Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2018 Size: 1 Ounce Verified Purchase I have developed very annoying post nasal drip. I went to an allergist and after being tested, he determined it wasn't allergy related. He prescribed a couple of nasal sprays to try and also gave me a sample of Ponaris to try. The sprays did nothing for the problem, but the Ponaris has helped. My problem is probably reduced by 75%, so I'll keep using Ponaris. 35 people found this helpful

Corey S.
There's a reason why this was used by NASA

5.0 out of 5 stars There's a reason why this was used by NASA Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2015 Verified Purchase I have acute sinusitis and suffer from year-round allergies. I get allergy shots, take allergy pills, and supposed to take a steroid nasal spray which I am not a fan of and is why I stopped and started seeking alternatives. Not a fan of Western medicine to begin with an when my allergies get real bad and flare up, the only answer I get is "keep taking your nasal spray." Steroid nasal sprays are horrible and your body can grow dependent on them.

The first time I tried Ponaris, I didn't think it would work because I was so congested. Within second one nostril clear up and then the other and I was able to breathe! Then after 5-10 minutes I was congested again and it kept alternating between clear passage ways and semi-blocked...think it was just trying to work its way through. The days that followed was not as the first experience, but I began to notice that I was breathing through my nose more frequently, which rarely happens. This has also prevented/treated my sneezing attacks form happening. Loved it so much, that I bought another bottle and gifted it to a fellow allergy sufferer who is thankful that I did. Would like to see if my doctor could cover the costs of this, but if not I think not suffering every day of your life and being able to breathe through your nose is worth it. 44 people found this helpful

William Winter
Slows down post nasal drip

5.0 out of 5 stars Slows down post nasal drip Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2019 Size: 1 Ounce Verified Purchase For reasons I do not understand, this stuff stops my post nasal drip for a few hours and lets me get to sleep.

Nothing else does. I tried all sorts of OTC Antihistamines pills and sprays - none of them worked. 16 people found this helpful

A.B.
Awesome stuff! A+

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome stuff! A+ Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2016 Verified Purchase I have a chronically stuffy nose all year round. At night I can't breathe at all. This causes dry nose and mouth breathing, nosebleeds, etc. constant waking. I've tried a lot of different things, otc and prescription. Nothing worked.

This arrived quickly. I took the other reviewers advice and used a q-tip. I used the dropper to put it on the q-tip to maintain sanitation. Swabbed the inside of the nose - one side to a q-tip.

It's not too strong or smells bad. I have a very sensitive nose, I would tell you if it did. It opened my sinuses quite nicely and lasted a long time. I would reapply in the middle of the night if necessary. No more dry nose or nose bleeds.

If you would like to dilute it, here's a tip from the Internet. Use extra virgin, unrefined coconut oil. It smells nice, very light texture. Plus it's antiviral, antibacterial and healing. Coconut oil alone is excellent for dry nose. I find diluting down unnecessary unless I just want to stretch it out, but it's too weak for me that way. This is my new go-to! Give it a try! 22 people found this helpful

Smusmumrik
I am happy that I found it

5.0 out of 5 stars I am happy that I found it Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2017 Verified Purchase This actually helps in fighting the infection,

not like most of conventional nasal drops, which usually do nothing beyond drying the nose a bit.

I use it when I get first signs of cold. A combination of natural oils brings fantastic relief without compromising the immune system.

The overall aroma is like forest, it must be because of the pine oil. I love it! So fresh!

I am happy that I found it, ordered one for my parents as well.

The bottle I had lasted for 2 years, now I am getting a new bottle for myself as well.

Amazon addict
This is a great product that has improved my life

5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great product that has improved my life Reviewed in the United States on January 18, 2017 Verified Purchase

Yes it smells a little organic, some menthol to it as well. There is a review that talks about it turning dark so they had to throw it away. Should have read the box first. The color change is normal.

[Jun 29, 2020] Gilead Will Charge More Than $3,000 For A Course Of COVID-19 Drug Remdesivir

Highly recommended!
Corrupt Fauci, stupid customers. IT the same neoliberal story of profiteering as a virtue all over again.
The government bought by Big Pharma, and Big Pharma out or control with questionable drugs and methods are two side of the same coin
Jun 29, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

On Monday, Gilead disclosed its pricing plan for Gilead as it prepares to begin charging for the drug at the beginning of next month (several international governments have already placed orders). Given the high demand, thanks in part due to the breathless media coverage despite the drug's still-questionable study data, Gilead apparently feels justified in charging $3,120 for a patient getting the shorter, more common, treatment course, and $5,720 for the longer course for more seriously ill patients. These are the prices for patients with commercial insurance in the US, according to Gilead's official pricing plan.

As per usual, the price charged to those on government plans will be lower, and hospitals will also receive a slight discount. Additionally, the US is the only developed country where Gilead will charge two prices, according to Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day. In much of Europe and Canada, governments negotiate drug prices directly with drugmakers (in the US, laws dictate that drug makers must "discount" their drugs for Medicare and Medicaid plans).

But according to O'Day, the drug is priced "far below the value it brings" to the health-care system.

However, we'd argue that this actually isn't true. Remdesivir was developed by Gilead to treat Ebola, but the drug was never approved by the FDA for this use, which caused Gilead to shelve the drug until COVID-19 presented another opportunity. Even before the first study had finished, the company was already pushing propaganda about the promising nature of the drug. Meanwhile, the CDC, WHO and other organizations were raising doubts about the effectiveness of steroid medications.

Months later, the only study on the steroid dexomethasone, a cheap steroid that costs less than $50 for a 100-dose regimen, has shown that dexomethasone is the only drug so far that has proven effective at lowering COVID-19 related mortality. Remdesivir, despite the fact that it has been tested in several high quality trials, has not.

So, why is the American government in partnership with Gilead still pushing this questionable, and staggeringly expensive, medication on the public?

[Jun 10, 2020] Yale has published research that shows HCH + AZ has 50-fold benefits and insignificant risks

Highly recommended!
Jun 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BM , Jun 10 2020 18:11 utc | 5

Yale has published research that shows HCH + AZ has 50-fold benefits and insignificant risks

Using Hydroxychloroquine and Other Drugs to Fight Pandemic

Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be
Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis

In the author's words:

COVID-19 is really two different diseases. In the first few days, it is like a very bad cold. In some people, it then morphs into pneumonia which can be life-threatening. What I found is that treatments for the cold don't work well for the pneumonia, and vice versa. Most of the published studies have looked at treatments for the cold but used for the pneumonia. I just looked at how well the treatments for the cold worked for the cold. There are five studies done this way, four of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin and one with hydroxychloroquine plus doxycycline, and they all show that treating the cold part of COVID-19 -- the early part -- works very well.

The article completely decimates the arguments against using HCQ + AZ or HCQ + doxycycline, specifically in early outpatient use.

uncle tungsten , Jun 10 2020 22:29 utc | 41

BM #5

re Yale HCQ study.

The article completely decimates the arguments against using HCQ + AZ or HCQ + doxycycline, specifically in early outpatient use.

It is good to see real science being applied rather than voodoo shilling for big pharma.

Still waiting for the editor resignations at Lancet and NEJM on their publication of the hoax science article.

Let me be very clear about pharmaceuticles: the interaction of two dissimilar substances can be extraordinary beneficial. My personal example is from a Specialist Pharmacologist that treated a bone disease in my thumb arising from mechanical injury. He explained thus:

The bone problem has three quite separate stages of treatment.

At the first week common antibiotic remedies are vital and effective. I was too late for that.

If that stage is missed then a common and potent antibiotic combined with a substance commonly used to treat gout is vital. The combination of the two flattens the peak of the antibiotic such that it is sustained in the bloodstream for 24 hours until the next dose of the two. A fourteen day process as I recall. It was totally successful.

If that second stage is missed then late intervention is extensive use of antibiotics and the gout remedy over months as the bone decomposition bacteria have spread throughout ones metabolism and lodge randomly to wreak havoc. This treatment regime is punishing on the body and digestive tract and many people cannot endure it.

This Specialist was a high street operator in nice office NOT a pharmacy.

So lets not be jumping to hasty dismissals of what may or may not 'work' and when. Humans vary, diets vary and propensities are highly variable. It is the responsibility of scientists to be honest and act in the best interests of humanity. Clearly the study published in the Lancet and NEJM was fake science and those journals fell for it because of either inadequate editorial investigation of the paper, confirmation bias, inadequate consideration of human consequences.

The WHO stands condemned for being suckered by fake news, confirmation bias, malign financial manipulation or perhaps inadequate investigation of the authors and claims of the paper.

[May 24, 2020] Private Equity Is Ruining Health Care, Covid Is Making It Worse: Investors have been buying up doctor s offices, cutting costs, and, critics say, putting pressure on physicians by Heather Perlberg

Highly recommended!
So not only ambulance service was destroyed by private equity, they now added other specialties. I wonder is those criminals who insert unnecessary stents in patients are connected to private equity.
Images removed
Notable quotes:
"... "You can't serve two masters. You can't serve patients and investors" ..."
"... Morganroth's defense of pandemic Botox might seem odd, but it made perfect sense within the logic of the U.S. health-care system, which has seen Wall Street investors invade its every corner, engineering medical practices and hospitals to maximize profits as if they were little different from grocery stores. At the center of this story are private equity firms, which saw the explosive growth of health-care spending and have been buying up physician staffing companies, surgery centers, and everything else in sight. ..."
"... But some doctors say that the private equity playbook, which involves buying companies, drastically cutting costs, and then selling for a profit -- the goal is generally to make an annualized return of 20% to 30% within three to five years -- creates problems that are unique to health care. "I know private equity does this in other industries, but in medicine you're dealing with people's health and their lives," says Michael Rains, a doctor who worked at U.S. Dermatology Partners , a big private equity-backed chain. "You can't serve two masters. You can't serve patients and investors." ..."
"... Yet over the past decade, lawyers devised a structure that allows investors to buy a medical practice without technically owning it: the MSO, or management service organization. Today, when an investment firm buys a doctor's office, what it's actually buying are the office's "nonclinical" assets. In theory, physicians control all medical decisions and agree to pay a management fee to a newly created company, which handles administrative tasks such as billing and marketing. ..."
"... Businessweek ..."
"... When individual doctors sell, they generally receive $2 million to $7 million each, with 30% to 40% of that paid in equity in the group. After the acquisition, doctors get a lower salary and are asked to help recruit other doctors to sell their practices or to join as employees. ..."
"... Patients, for the most part, are in the dark. Unlike when your mortgage changes hands, you usually aren't notified when a big investment firm buys your doctor. Sometimes the sign on the door bearing the physician's name stays put, and subtle changes in operations or unfamiliar fees may be the only clues that anything has happened. ..."
"... At Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery , the largest private equity-backed group in the field, with more than 150 locations across the U.S., that sense of discomfort came shortly after Audax Group bought a controlling stake in what was then a much smaller chain in 2011. The new management team introduced a scorecard that rewarded offices with cash if they met daily and monthly financial goals, according to a lawsuit filed in 2013 against the company by one of its dermatologists. The doctor alleged that the bonus program encouraged staff to do as many procedures as possible, rather than strictly addressing patients' medical needs. ..."
"... Most dermatologists use outside labs and pathologists, but private equity-owned groups buy up existing labs and hire their own pathologists. Then doctors are encouraged to refer patients within the group and send biopsy slides to the company-owned labs, keeping the entire chain of revenue in-house. ..."
"... Now comes the cost-cutting. This is supposed to be the hallmark of private equity, and, done right, it can work to the benefit of doctors and patients. But there are pitfalls unique to medicine, where aggressive cuts can lead to problems, some of them merely inconvenient and some potentially dangerous. ..."
"... A doctor at Advanced Dermatology says that waiting for corporate approvals means his office is routinely left without enough gauze, antiseptic solution, and toilet paper. Even before the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, he would travel with a few rolls in the trunk of his car, to spare patients when an office inevitably ran out. The company declined to comment. ..."
"... One paradox of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that even as the virus has focused the entire country on health care, it's been a financial disaster for the industry. And so, while emergency room doctors and nurses care for the sick -- comforting those who would otherwise die alone, and in some cases dying themselves -- private equity-backed staffing companies and hospitals have been cutting pay for ER doctors. These hospitals, like the big medical practices, make a large portion of their money from elective procedures and have been forced into wrenching compromises. ..."
"... For investors with capital, on the other hand, the economic fallout from the virus is a huge opportunity. Stay-at-home orders have left small practices more financially strained than they've ever been. That will likely accelerate sales to private equity firms, according to Marc Cabrera, an investment banker focused on health-care deals at Oppenheimer & Co. Independent doctors or groups that previously rebuffed offers from deep-pocketed backers "will reconsider their options," he says. ..."
"... Many doctors may ultimately come to regret cashing out, but it's hard to get out once you're in. As part of an acquisition, the private equity groups typically require doctors to sign yearslong contracts, with noncompete clauses that prevent them from working in the surrounding area. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.bloomberg.com

Not long after Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, ordered the state's 40 million residents to stay home to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, Dr. Greg Morganroth called his team of doctors and said their dermatology group was staying open.

Morganroth is chief executive officer of the California Skin Institute , which he founded in 2007 as a single office in Mountain View. He's since expanded to more than 40 locations using a financing strategy that's become exceedingly common in American health care: private equity. In this case, he took out a loan from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that could eventually convert to an equity stake. CSI is now the largest dermatology chain in California.

But the Covid-19 pandemic put Morganroth in a precarious position. Most medical procedures were characterized as nonessential by government officials and practitioners. Doctors were closing offices, and patients were staying away to limit their potential exposure to the virus.

CSI took a different approach. Morganroth explained his thinking on April 2 in a Zoom call with more than 170 dermatologists from around the country organized by the Cosmetic Surgery Forum, an industry conference. Contrary to what they might have heard, Morganroth told them, they should consider staying open during the pandemic. "Many of us are over-interpreting guidelines," he said.

For a moment there was an awkward silence. Doctors had thought they were signing up for advice on how to apply for government money that would help them meet payroll while they were shut down; they hadn't expected to be told not to shut down at all. Morganroth continued: "We are going to be in a two-year war, and we need to make strategic plans for our businesses that enable us to survive and to rebound."

Back at CSI, the company's front-office staff was working the phones, calling patients in some of the worst-hit areas and reminding them to show up for their appointments, even for cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections to treat wrinkles. During the videoconference, Morganroth argued that offering Botox in a pandemic wasn't so different from a grocery store allowing customers to buy candy alongside staples.

"If I had a food supply company and had to stay open, and I had meat, bread, and milk, would I stop making lime and strawberry licorice?" Morganroth asked. "I would make everything and go forward."

From a public-health point of view, some of the doctors believed, this was questionable. Common reasons for visiting a dermatologist's office -- skin screenings, mole removals, acne consultations -- aren't particularly time sensitive. Serious matters, such as suspected cancers and dangerous rashes, can be handled, at least initially, with telemedicine consultations . Then doctors can weigh the risks for their patients and determine who needs to come in. In a statement, CSI says that it followed local and state laws for staying open, while providing "necessary care" for patients, and that it had not required doctors to come to work.

"You can't serve two masters. You can't serve patients and investors"

Morganroth's defense of pandemic Botox might seem odd, but it made perfect sense within the logic of the U.S. health-care system, which has seen Wall Street investors invade its every corner, engineering medical practices and hospitals to maximize profits as if they were little different from grocery stores. At the center of this story are private equity firms, which saw the explosive growth of health-care spending and have been buying up physician staffing companies, surgery centers, and everything else in sight.

Over the past five years, the firms have invested more than $10 billion in medical practices, with a special focus on dermatology, which is seen as a hot industry because of the aging population. Baby boomers suffer from high rates of two potentially lucrative conditions: skin cancer and vanity. Some estimates suggest that private equity already owns more than 10% of the U.S dermatology market. And firms have started to expand into other specialties, including women's health, urology, and gastroenterology.

There's nothing inherently wrong with any of this. But some doctors say that the private equity playbook, which involves buying companies, drastically cutting costs, and then selling for a profit -- the goal is generally to make an annualized return of 20% to 30% within three to five years -- creates problems that are unique to health care. "I know private equity does this in other industries, but in medicine you're dealing with people's health and their lives," says Michael Rains, a doctor who worked at U.S. Dermatology Partners , a big private equity-backed chain. "You can't serve two masters. You can't serve patients and investors."

Investment firms, and the practices they fund, say these concerns are overblown. They point out that they're giving doctors a financial shelter from the rapidly changing medical environment, a particularly attractive prospect now, and that money from private equity firms has expanded care to more patients. But they've also made it next to impossible to track the industry's impact or reach. Firms rarely announce their investments and routinely subject doctors to nondisclosure agreements that make it difficult for them to speak publicly. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to dozens of doctors at 10 large private equity-backed dermatology groups. Those interviews, along with information obtained from other employees, investors, lawyers, court filings, and company records, reveal how the firms operate, and why they sometimes fail patients.

The process is never exactly the same, but there are familiar patterns, which tend to play out in five steps.

Step 1: Marriage

The strange thing about private equity money in medicine is that for-profit investors have long been prevented from buying doctor's offices. Corporate ownership goes against a doctrine set by the American Medical Association , the main trade group for doctors in the U.S., and is prohibited by law in many states, including Texas and New Jersey. For most of the past 100 years, if you wanted to make money on a medical practice, you needed to have a medical license.

Yet over the past decade, lawyers devised a structure that allows investors to buy a medical practice without technically owning it: the MSO, or management service organization. Today, when an investment firm buys a doctor's office, what it's actually buying are the office's "nonclinical" assets. In theory, physicians control all medical decisions and agree to pay a management fee to a newly created company, which handles administrative tasks such as billing and marketing.

In practice, though, investors expect some influence over medical decision-making, which, after all, is connected to profits. "When we partner with you, it's a marriage," said Matt Jameson, a managing director at BlueMountain Capital, a $17 billion firm that recently invested in a women's health company, while speaking at a conference in New York in September. "We have to believe it. You have to believe it. It's not going to be something where clinical is completely not touched." (When contacted by Businessweek , Jameson asked to clarify his comments. "Doctors and other qualified healthcare professionals at the providers we've invested in make medical decisions," he said in a statement.)

The typical buyout starts with the acquisition of a big, popular practice, often with multiple doctors and several locations, for as much as $100 million. (Investors typically pay between 9 and 12 times annual profit.) This practice functions as an anchor, like a name-brand department store at a shopping mall, attracting patients and doctors to the new group as it expands. Then comes the roll-up: The private equity firm purchases smaller offices and solo practices, giving the group a regional presence.

As part of the new structure, investors deal with paperwork and save money by buying medical supplies in bulk. Crucially they also negotiate higher insurance reimbursement rates. One dermatologist who sold her practice to the California Skin Institute says she was surprised to find out the bigger group's payouts from insurers were $25 to $125 more per visit.

When individual doctors sell, they generally receive $2 million to $7 million each, with 30% to 40% of that paid in equity in the group. After the acquisition, doctors get a lower salary and are asked to help recruit other doctors to sell their practices or to join as employees.

At first, doctors are generally thrilled by all of this. They have financial security and can focus on treating patients without the stress of running a business. Patients, for the most part, are in the dark. Unlike when your mortgage changes hands, you usually aren't notified when a big investment firm buys your doctor. Sometimes the sign on the door bearing the physician's name stays put, and subtle changes in operations or unfamiliar fees may be the only clues that anything has happened.

Step 2: Growth

The promise of more patients is a big draw for doctors. By sharing marketing costs and adding locations, the new companies can advertise more and attract customers. Private equity-owned practices have been diligent users of social media, announcing newly added doctors and posting coupons on Twitter and Instagram. But these practices can be aggressive in ways that make some doctors uncomfortable.

At Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery , the largest private equity-backed group in the field, with more than 150 locations across the U.S., that sense of discomfort came shortly after Audax Group bought a controlling stake in what was then a much smaller chain in 2011. The new management team introduced a scorecard that rewarded offices with cash if they met daily and monthly financial goals, according to a lawsuit filed in 2013 against the company by one of its dermatologists. The doctor alleged that the bonus program encouraged staff to do as many procedures as possible, rather than strictly addressing patients' medical needs.

In some of the company's Florida offices, the doctor alleged, medical assistants responded to the bonus structure by ticking extra boxes on exam reports, stating that doctors checked many more areas of the body than they actually had. That led to higher patient bills, defrauding the government under its Medicare program, according to the lawsuit. The federal government declined to join the case, and it was dismissed about a year after it was filed. Advanced and Audax declined to comment.

One-Stop Skin Care

By buying up labs and adding specialists, private equity-owned dermatology groups get paid at every step of a patient's treatment.

Data: Estimated Medicare reimbursement rates for the Miami area, Sensus Healthcare sales presentation

Private equity-backed practices also try to increase revenue by adding more-lucrative procedures, according to doctors interviewed by Businessweek . In dermatology, this means more cosmetics, laser treatments, radiation, and especially Mohs surgeries -- a specialized skin cancer procedure that removes growths from delicate areas like the face and neck one layer at a time, to limit scarring. The surgery involves expensive equipment and specialized doctors, so some large medical groups keep costs down by assembling traveling Mohs teams, who fly in from other states. Others create mobile labs in vans that set up in clinics' parking lots.

Most dermatologists use outside labs and pathologists, but private equity-owned groups buy up existing labs and hire their own pathologists. Then doctors are encouraged to refer patients within the group and send biopsy slides to the company-owned labs, keeping the entire chain of revenue in-house. This takes advantage of a regulatory quirk that has made dermatology, and a handful of other specialties, attractive to private equity. Under the 1989 Stark Law, doctors aren't allowed to make patient referrals for their own financial gain. An exception was made for some fields because it's more convenient for patients, explains Dr. Sailesh Konda, a Mohs surgeon and professor at the University of Florida. "But that can be abused."

Step 3: Synergy

Now comes the cost-cutting. This is supposed to be the hallmark of private equity, and, done right, it can work to the benefit of doctors and patients. But there are pitfalls unique to medicine, where aggressive cuts can lead to problems, some of them merely inconvenient and some potentially dangerous.

A doctor at Advanced Dermatology says that waiting for corporate approvals means his office is routinely left without enough gauze, antiseptic solution, and toilet paper. Even before the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, he would travel with a few rolls in the trunk of his car, to spare patients when an office inevitably ran out. The company declined to comment.

At the country's second-biggest skin-care group, U.S. Dermatology Partners , a former doctor says a regional manager switched to a cheaper brand of needles and sutures without consulting the medical staff. The quality was so poor, she says, they would often break off in her patients' bodies. Mortified, she'd have to dig them out and start over. She complained to managers but couldn't get better supplies, she says. Paul Singh, U.S. Dermatology's CEO, says the company uses a "reputable, global vendor for medical supplies." "While our group may have standardized purchasing processes, individual providers have the autonomy to procure specific supplies that they need for a particular patient situation or patient population," he says in a statement.

Doctors who join a private equity-backed group generally sign contracts that state they'll never have to compromise their medical judgment, but some say that management began to intervene there, too. Dermatologists at most of the companies say they were pushed to see as many as twice the number of patients a day, which made them feel rushed and unable to provide the same quality of care. Others were forced to discuss their cases with managers or medical directors, who asked the doctors to explain why they weren't sending more patients for surgery. Multiple practices also encouraged doctors to send home Mohs surgery patients with open wounds and have them come back the next day for stitches -- or to have a different doctor do the closure the same day -- because that would allow the practice to collect more from insurers.

That's if doctors are performing the procedures at all. At Advanced Dermatology, several doctors say they were asked to claim that physician assistants, or PAs, were under their supervision when they weren't seeing patients in the same building, or even the same town. Because PAs are paid less than dermatologists, this allowed the company to keep costs low while growing the business. In a statement, Eric Hunt, Advanced's general counsel and chief compliance officer says that having PAs on staff enables the company to "provide access to quality dermatological care to more patients."

Step 4. Rolling Up the Roll-Up

Advanced Dermatology was sold in 2016 by Audax to Harvest Partners LP , following a pattern that's typical in the industry. At some point, after costs have been cut and profits maximized, most private equity-owned medical groups will be sold, often to another private equity firm, which will then try to somehow make the company even more profitable.

Having reduced most of the obvious costs, Advanced Dermatology began skimping on more important supplies, including Hylenex, according to doctors and other employees. The drug is an expensive reversal agent used when cosmetic fillers, which are supposed to make skin look plumper, go wrong. Not having enough is dangerous: Patients who get an injection that inadvertently blocks a blood vessel can be left with dead sections of skin or even go blind if they don't get enough Hylenex in a matter of hours. The company says that it stocks Hylenex in every office that performs cosmetic procedures, and that it "has no records of any provider being denied an order for this medication."

Advanced Dermatology also started giving even more authority to PAs, according to doctors and staff. Without enough oversight some were missing deadly skin cancers, they say. Others were doing too many biopsies and cutting out much larger areas of skin than necessary, leaving patients with big scars. Doctors who complained about the bad behavior say they saw PAs moved to other locations rather than fired or given more supervision. Hunt, the company's lawyer, says that all PAs get six months of training and are supervised by experienced doctors.

The staff coined a new medical diagnosis, "pre- pre- pre-cancer"

Advanced Dermatology also put more pressure on doctors to send biopsies to in-house labs. The move made sense financially, but some of the doctors didn't trust the lab. One of its two pathologists in Delray Beach, Fla., Steven Glanz, had a history of misdiagnosing benign tumors, which led patients to undergo surgeries that were later found to be unnecessary, according to doctors who worked with him. Dermatologists who warned that Glanz was a danger to patients say that their complaints to Dr. Matt Leavitt, the group's founder and CEO, were ignored. More procedures, doctors knew, brought in more money.

Glanz, who had been with the practice since its early days, was known to read slides under a microscope with a pistol on his desk. After he was arrested with a handgun, a folding knife, and a vial of methamphetamine crystals, he was fired and Florida's state medical board fined him $10,000, requiring him to complete a five-hour course on ethics before he could resume practicing. But his former colleagues were unsettled; they knew Glanz's signature was on years of reports that determined treatment for patients. Some slides were reevaluated, and pathologists noticed mistakes. Managers told some doctors and their staff that patients, even those who'd been misdiagnosed and had unnecessary procedures, were not to be told. Glanz pleaded guilty to stalking and a firearms violation and was sentenced to probation. When a reporter called his office and identified herself, the receptionist hung up. Further attempts to reach Glanz were unsuccessful. Advanced's Hunt says that he was "formally released from employment three years ago," but did not comment further.

Of course, some doctors pushed ethical boundaries long before private equity came into the picture. But critics of the industry, including doctors and investors, say management teams put in place by private equity firms tend to look the other way as long as a medical practice is profitable. Of the dermatologists with the highest biopsy rates in the country (between 4 and 11 per patient, per year), almost 25% were affiliated with private equity-backed groups, according to Dr. Joseph Francis, a Mohs surgeon and data researcher at the University of Florida.

Medical providers may have also been blurring ethical lines at U.S. Dermatology Partners, which was until recently on its second private equity owner, Abry Partners LLC . At four of the company's offices in Texas, a doctor and his PAs were doing more biopsies than necessary, according to employees. These employees say the staff routinely called patients with benign lichenoid keratosis, small brownish blotches that usually go away on their own, and told them the growths should be removed. Under instruction from the doctor, the staff coined a new medical diagnosis, "pre- pre- pre-cancer," and then talked patients into coming in for removal, employees say. Singh, the U.S. Dermatology CEO, says that the company trusts doctors to make the right decisions and that it monitors them through routine audits.

Step 5: Sell-Off

In some cases the cost-cutting either becomes impossible or leads to compromises in care too obvious to ignore. In 2016 a DermOne LLC office in Irving, Texas, had been using a faulty autoclave machine to sterilize surgical equipment -- the state and county health departments identified 137 patients that needed to get tested for blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. By 2018, DermOne's backer, Westwind Investors, wanted out.

Westwind had been one of the earliest firms to build a big dermatology business -- with practices in five states -- but others had grown larger. After the debacle in Irving, the Nevada-based firm sold DermOne's medical records and patient lists, as well as some of its offices, to other groups. It dissolved the remaining offices, leaving some patients abruptly without care. Westwind did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Two other private equity-backed groups, TruDerm and Select Dermatology LLC, have also gone out of business in the past two years.

The surviving chains have been saddled with large piles of debt they're now struggling to repay. In January, U.S. Dermatology Partners defaulted on a $377 million loan, meaning the private equity backer, Abry Partners, had to hand over the keys to its lenders, Golub Capital , Carlyle Group , and Ares Management , which will now oversee a chain with almost 100 locations, receiving 1 million visits from patients a year. Abry did not respond to requests for comment .

For the medical groups that make it, the game plan is to eventually sell to the largest players, such as KKR , Blackstone Group , and Apollo Global Management . Pioneering investors, including Audax, are now buying practices in other fields -- a concerning development to critics who note that the areas that are currently attracting investment, such as urology, generally involve more invasive procedures. Should doctors performing vasectomies be thinking about the dollar-rate returns for KKR -- or any private investor?

"It's ultimately going to backfire," says Dr. Jane Grant-Kels, a veteran dermatologist and professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. "There's a limit to how much money you can make when you're sticking knives into human skin for profit."

One paradox of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that even as the virus has focused the entire country on health care, it's been a financial disaster for the industry. And so, while emergency room doctors and nurses care for the sick -- comforting those who would otherwise die alone, and in some cases dying themselves -- private equity-backed staffing companies and hospitals have been cutting pay for ER doctors. These hospitals, like the big medical practices, make a large portion of their money from elective procedures and have been forced into wrenching compromises.

For investors with capital, on the other hand, the economic fallout from the virus is a huge opportunity. Stay-at-home orders have left small practices more financially strained than they've ever been. That will likely accelerate sales to private equity firms, according to Marc Cabrera, an investment banker focused on health-care deals at Oppenheimer & Co. Independent doctors or groups that previously rebuffed offers from deep-pocketed backers "will reconsider their options," he says.

Many doctors may ultimately come to regret cashing out, but it's hard to get out once you're in. As part of an acquisition, the private equity groups typically require doctors to sign yearslong contracts, with noncompete clauses that prevent them from working in the surrounding area.

As governors throughout the nation ease restrictions on businesses, Advanced Dermatology is opening its most profitable offices first. The company received an undisclosed sum under the Cares Act, as part of the government relief package intended for health-care workers. Hunt, Advanced's chief compliance officer, told employees in an email earlier this month that the money would be used for protective gear, such as masks, and to replace "millions of dollars" in lost revenue.

The group had closed most of its offices since the stay-at-home orders were issued in March, cutting pay for doctors and furloughing staff. With cities and states beginning to consider reopening, doctors and PAs say they've been told they should be prepared for a full schedule. Hunt says the company is following the appropriate safety measures, but employees fear it will be nearly impossible to keep patients apart in waiting rooms. Opening in a reduced capacity, they understand, is not an option.

Read more: Private Equity Ate Finance, and Now It's Taking Over the World

[Apr 28, 2020] Consumer Beware Coronavirus Antibody Tests Are Still A Work In Progress

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By JoNel Aleccia, Senior Correspondent at Kaiser Health News, who previously reported for The Seattle Times, NBCNews.com, TODAY.com and MSNBC.com. Originally published at Kaiser Health News ..."
Apr 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By JoNel Aleccia, Senior Correspondent at Kaiser Health News, who previously reported for The Seattle Times, NBCNews.com, TODAY.com and MSNBC.com. Originally published at Kaiser Health News

After hearing for months about serious access issues involving tests that diagnose COVID-19 based on swabs from the nose or throat, Americans are being inundated with reports about promising new tests that look for signs of infection in the blood.

There are high hopes for these antibody tests, which detect proteins that form in blood as part of the body's immune response to an invading virus. Communities across the U.S. have been rolling out the results of serological surveys that examine blood samples from people who haven't been diagnosed with COVID-19 to see if they were, in fact, previously infected.

The thinking is, if there are blood markers that can detect when people have been infected, such tests should be able to tell us how widely the novel coronavirus has spread. And equally optimistic: those same antibodies could convey immunity to the disease, signaling someone is safe from reinfection and able to get back to work.

Such high hopes, however, are running smack into the roadblocks of reality.

Infectious disease experts are raising pointed questions about the reliability of the early tests and the studies that hinge on their results. And they warn that state and local governments -- as well as individuals -- should be wary of shaping policy or changing behavior based on any single report.

In the sharpest caution to date, officials with the World Health Organization on Saturday warned against plans for proposed "immunity passports," which would allow people who have recovered from the coronavirus to resume unrestricted travel and work.

"There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection," the agency wrote in a scientific brief.

Even before the WHO weighed in, other experts were urging restraint in interpreting early results of antibody screening.

"The science is catching up," said Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System. "Our ability to make a test at the moment is much greater than our understanding of what those antibodies we are testing for mean."

In the past few weeks, more than 180 academic centers, hospitals and private manufacturers have notified the federal Food and Drug Administration that they intend to create serology tests for COVID-19, spokesperson Stephanie Caccomo said in an email. They've been able to jump into the fray because the FDA in March relaxed regulations for developing tests as part of its emergency response to the pandemic.

But the FDA has not reviewed the vast majority of tests on the market, and their validity, particularly point-of-care blood tests that promise rapid results within minutes, isn't clear, said Dr. Michael Busch, director of the Vitalant Research Institute and a professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California-San Francisco.

"Some of them have sensitivities that are quite poor," he said. "You may even miss some infected people completely."

Other tests may flag people as positive for COVID-19 when they're not infected. That's especially true in regions of the country with little spread of the novel virus. If the prevalence of a disease is low, less than 5%, even an accurate test would yield a high number of false positive results because of the way such screening tools operate.

So when people see advertisements for finger-prick antibody tests becoming widely available at urgent care centers and medispas, they should think twice.

For one, antibody tests can't be used to diagnose the disease. Antibodies may not be present in high enough levels to be detected in the earliest days of an infection. And because there are several other known coronaviruses -- including those that cause the common cold -- people infected with those viruses could produce antibodies that cross-react with those produced in response to the new virus.

Scientists still know too little about whether antibodies to COVID-19 convey immunity that could allow people to put away masks and halt social distancing, said Dr. Mary Hayden, director of the division of clinical microbiology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Immunity to a virus is a complicated process that takes place over one to two weeks, the WHO noted. The immune system makes antibodies in response to an infection. But the body also makes T-cells that recognize and eliminate other cells infected with the virus, creating what's known as cellular immunity. Those two processes together may help a person recover and prevent reinfection. But it is not yet clear whether cellular immunity is required to bolster recovery and prevent subsequent infection with COVID-19.

"We do not know whether or not the antibodies detected are protective," Hayden told reporters last week on a call organized by the Infectious Diseases Society of America . "We recommend that people with antibodies not change their behavior in any way."

Scientists are hoping, however, that future COVID-19 studies may demonstrate immunity that could last for one or two years.

Concerns about the validity of the tests have cast a shadow on several recent reports aiming to quantify the spread of the virus in specific regions. Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo revealed the results of a serological survey that suggested that 1 in 5 New York City residents had been infected with the coronavirus. Statewide, the figure was 13.9%, according to the study of 3,000 New Yorkers in 19 counties who were recruited at grocery stores.

But the results quickly drew criticism. Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, who directs the city's disease control, warned that the tests could produce "false negative or false positive results. " Florian Krammer, a microbiology professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who designs such tests, tweeted -- and later deleted -- that the results were "BS."

"I think this is too high," he said in a later tweet. "It is possible. But a 20% plus infection rate seems too high for NYC due to a number of reasons. I would think 6-8%, maybe 10% are closer to the truth. It would be nice to know more about the test, its sensitivity and specificity and the test population."

Similarly, two serology studies in California, one in Santa Clara County and one in Los Angeles County, drew wide criticism about the recruitment of subjects and the analyses used.

In the Santa Clara study , Stanford University researchers tested 3,330 volunteers for antibodies showing exposure to COVID-19; about 1.5% were positive. They concluded that meant from 48,000 to 81,000 people were infected with the virus in the county.

"It was completely inadequate to interpret the results that 50,000 to 80,000 people were infected," Busch said.

The L.A. study, conducted by University of Southern California researchers, concluded that 2.8% to 5.6% of the county's adult population had been exposed to the coronavirus. That translates to 221,000 to 422,000 adult residents who have been infected. Critics, however, argued that the study sample was too small and that details of the methodology weren't immediately available.

Busch understands the drive to conduct such tests.

"People are asking the questions: What's the real denominator to judge the case counts and the death counts against?" he said. "People are urgently trying to get data."

Unfortunately, that data simply is not available yet, other experts said. This coronavirus has never been seen before, so the science that will inform efforts to help communities respond and recover is playing out in real time.

"The problem is that the science has not kept up with the tests," Hayden said. "Now we need to do the research to tell what the results mean."

On the positive side, most of the scientific community has pivoted to focus on finding solutions, said Pirofski, who was also on the IDSA call. "We just have to slow our roll."

"This is our first dive in trying to understand what's going on," she said. "I would say it's a start."

[Apr 28, 2020] Coronavirus Fact-Check #4: "Why are so many healthcare workers dying?"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Media reports paint a picture of healthcare workers being hit very hard by the pandemic, but the statistics suggest otherwise ..."
"... substantially under-represented ..."
Apr 28, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Media reports paint a picture of healthcare workers being hit very hard by the pandemic, but the statistics suggest otherwise

A recent statistical study published in the Health Services Journal (HSJ) provides some important facts and context:

Firstly, let's establish the data: As of 22nd April, 119 "NHS workers" were reported to have died of Covid19. Thirteen of them were excluded from the study for being either retired or never confirmed to work for the NHS.

That left 106 NHS staff who died of alleged Covid19.

Secondly, we should clear up the misconception that this represents just "frontline" healthcare workers. It doesn't.

This number includes 35 nurses, 18 doctors and 27 healthcare assistants (HCAs), they are all "frontline" workers. But it also includes 36 others (dentists, psychiatrists, porters, administrators, receptionists etc).

Finally, let's put these numbers in some context:

The NHS is the biggest single employer in the UK. NHS England, NHS Scotland and NHS Wales employ roughly 1.5 million people (Wikipedia estimates over 1.7 million ). That's over 4% of the 38 million working-age adults, or 2.5% of the entire population of the UK.

As such, you would expect roughly 2.5% of the Covid19 victims to be NHS employees (assuming proportionate distribution).

However, the 106 NHS employees represent only 0.58% of the UK's 18,200 total Covid19 casualties as of April 22nd.

To put it another way:

Any randomly selected citizen of the UK has a 1/39 chance of being employed by the NHS. But any randomly selected "Covid19 related death" has a 1/172 chance of being employed by the NHS.

In summary: In direct contradiction of the media coverage, healthcare workers are NOT being disproportionately affected by Covid19. They are actually substantially under-represented .

[Apr 28, 2020] Who is at RISK from COVID-19 -- UK DOCTOR -- Covid-19 Vlog #15

Highly recommended!
I recommend to listen to this video in full. It is really good !
Apr 28, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Rebecca Elliott , 4 days ago

Sign of a true expert - admitting when you don't know the answer to something

Mike Rees , 4 days ago

The format you have here with Dr Jenkins is really good. Almost like a podcast. You two have a great rapport

Sarah's Tarot , 4 days ago

Doctor Jenkins is so level headed. I imagine he must be a very reassuring presence for his patients

SuperLkelley , 4 days ago

As a research scientist in the life sciences at Imperial College, this interview is the best source of information I have seen on the internet. Thank you so much.

Daily Occasions , 4 days ago

This format where you ask a question and allow a detailed response was delightful! Watching this conversation between two highly skilled and intelligent doctors who are full of compassion has given me hope. Please do more video's like this ? Well done doctors well done!

[Apr 26, 2020] Who is an idiot here: What's not fair is that you go out running, you bloody idiot! shouted a Spanish woman apparently filming the encounter

Highly recommended!
If 99% of cases of infection happen in closed spaces and/or in open spaces with very close and long contact (stadiums, parties, festivals, concenrts, atc) is it really wise to limit activities in which social distancing can be maintained, such as jogging, fishing, biking, etc
Also the policy on mitigation (complete suppression is impossible now) should vary by locality. What is good for NYC is idiotic for rural Pennsylvania.
Apr 26, 2020 | en.as.com

As the jogger struggled with police, screaming for help, she was filmed by residents who had absolutely zero sympathy for her plight. 'What's not fair is that you go out running, you bloody idiot!', shouted the woman apparently filming the encounter."

Coronavirus lockdown: Jogger resists arrest in Spain and is abused by onlookers , AS.com, (21st March 2020)

[Apr 13, 2020] American health care, as we call it today, and for all its high-tech miracles, has evolved into one of the most atrocious rackets the world has ever seen. By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly by James Howard Kunstler

Highly recommended!
Apr 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

The ruins of Mary McClellan Hospital stand on hill overlooking the village of Cambridge, New York, in what was a "flyover" corner of the country until the planes stopped flying. The hospital cornerstone was laid July 4 1917. The USA had entered the war against Germany a few months earlier. The "Spanish" flu pandemic kicked off in January, 1918. The hospital opened in January 1919. The flu burned out a year later. The hospital shut down for good in 2003.

I've lived around here for decades and never actually got a look at the place until I went up there on a blustery spring Saturday before Easter to look around. I like to read landscapes and the human imprint upon them. This one is a ghost story, not just of the bygone souls who came and went here, but of an entire society, the nation that we used to be and stopped being not so long ago.

This is the old main building today. It's astounding how quickly buildings begin to rot when the human life within them is gone. The style was Beaux Arts Institutional, seen everywhere across America in that period in schools, libraries, museums, and hospitals, an austere neoclassicism that radiated decorum in a confident and well-run society ­– because that is what we were then. Note especially, the entrance and the beautiful bronze marquee above it. The message is this: You enter through a portal of beauty to a place of hope and trust.

This is Mary McClellan Hospital not long after it opened.

The site itself, on its hill, with views east across the state line to the Green Mountains, speaks of authority and command.

The America of 1919 was a deeply hierarchical society. Today we regard hierarchy as a bane and a curse. The truth is, it is absolutely required if you expect to live in a well-run society, and proof of that is the disordered mess of bureaucratic irresponsibility we live in today, with virtually every institution failing – well before the Covid-19 virus arrived on the scene - and nobody called to account for anything anymore.

Hierarchy must be fit to scale to function successfully. In small institutions like this, everybody knows who is responsible for what. That's what makes authority credible.

These are the ruins of the nursing school associated with the hospital (and also associated with Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, 25 miles west).

The nurses lived here, in Florence Nightingale Hall.

In the early 20th century, the profession favored young, unmarried women whose allegiance and attention to the patients would not be distracted by the needs of a family.

Was that exploitation? Or was it simply an intelligent way to organize a hospital subculture? The nurses lived here very comfortably. The institution cared for them, literally.

There's no record available of what exactly these buildings were for. The one in the foreground has a cut stone sign that says "The Junior" on it. I infer that this may have been where a couple of young, staff, resident physicians lived, young men probably, just out of their internships, close at hand and on-call for emergencies. The building in the background is a rather grand country cottage, possibly the residence of the chief surgeon or the hospital director. The hospital was, after all, a community unto itself, and it was important that authority have a visible presence there all the time. Both buildings display architectural grace-notes that humanized and dignify that resident authority. We no longer believe in grace-notes for the things we build, so is it surprising that we live in a graceless society?

This is the power plant for the whole operation, on the premises, ensuring that the electricity would stay on at all times. In the early 20th century, electric power was the new sine qua non of advanced civilization. America's rural electrification program really didn't get underway until the 1930s, so it's likely that many of the farms outside the village were not hooked up to a grid. The hospital generators must have been driven by coal, or perhaps oil. Somebody had to attend to all that machinery. The laundry ­– hospitals produce a lot of that – was also on-premises, as was all the meal preparation. The hospital maintained a large garden to furnish some of the food. All these tasks required crews of people working purposefully and getting paid. The hospital was a complex organism, a world within a nation within a world.

Things rise and self-organize beautifully into fully-formed systems and after while they run down, even while they over-grow; authority starts working more and more for its own sake and its own benefit; hierarchy breaks down into disrespect, lack of trust, fear; and then society loses its vital institutions, which is exactly what happened at Mary McClellan Hospital in little Cambridge, New York.

It dwindled and then quickly collapsed. The town lost a part of itself, the part that welcomed people in a particular kind of trouble and cared for them, as it cared for those who did the caring. By the way, in 1919, a private room was $7-a-day (a bed on a ward was $3). Imagine that! The town also lost a vital component of its economy. And that was all of-a-piece with its decline into the flyover place it became in our time.

American health care, as we call it today, and for all its high-tech miracles, has evolved into one of the most atrocious rackets the world has ever seen. By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly. This is what we've become, and the fact that we seem to be okay with that tells you more about what we have become. The advent of Covid-19, along with the extreme economic disorders it has triggered, will probably be the beginning of the end of that racket. We have no idea how medicine will re-organize itself, but I'd guess that it will happen at a much more primitive scale ­– because that's usually what happens when human societies overshoot badly. Alas, history is not exactly symmetrical.

But read these photos and meditate on what we were once capable of putting together in this land, and maybe you will find some clues about what was truly admirable about the American condition before we stopped caring.

[Apr 13, 2020] The Whistle-giver: the story of Ai Fen, the director of the emergency department of Wuhan Central Hospital

Highly recommended!
Apr 13, 2020 | scienceintegritydigest.com

Whistler-Riptide

The text message from Ai Fen (艾芬), the director of the emergency department of Wuhan Central Hospital, agreeing to be interviewed, was sent at 5 am on March 1. About half an hour later, at 5.32 am on March 1, her colleague and director of thyroid and breast surgery Jiang Xueqing, who was infected with new coronavirus pneumonia, died. Two days later, Mei Zhongming, deputy director of ophthalmology at the hospital, died. He and Li Wenliang were in the same department.

As of March 9, 2020, 4 members of the medical staff of Wuhan Central Hospital have died of new coronavirus pneumonia infection. Since the outbreak, this hospital, located just a few kilometers away from the Huanan Seafood Market, has become one of the hospitals in Wuhan with the largest number of employees that are infected. According to media reports, more than 200 employees in the hospital were infected, including three deputy deans and multiple working department directors. Multiple department directors are currently being maintained with ECMO [extracorporeal membrane oxygenation].

The shadow of death hangs over this, Wuhan's largest tertiary hospital. A doctor told People [a news site – EB] that in the social media group of hospital staff, almost no one spoke publicly; they mourned and discussed in private.

This tragedy could have been prevented. On December 30, 2019, Ai Fen received a virus test report for a patient with an unknown pneumonia. She circled the word "SARS coronavirus" in red. When asked by a college classmate who is also a doctor, she took a picture of the report and circulated it. That night, the report spread in doctor circles in Wuhan, and those who forwarded the report included the eight doctors who were disciplined by the police.

This caused trouble for Ai Fen. As the original source of the information, she was interviewed by the hospital disciplinary committee and suffered an "unprecedented and severe reprimand"; it was said that she was acting unprofessionally by creating false rumors (谣).

In the afternoon of March 2nd, Ai Fen did an interview with People in the Nanjing Road location of Wuhan Central Hospital. She was sitting alone in the emergency room office. The emergency department, which had been admitting more than 1,500 patients a day, had returned to quiet. There was only one tramp lying in the emergency hall.

Some previous reports called Ai Fen "another severely reprimanded female doctor who has emerged" and some people called her a "whistleblower". Ai Fen corrected this; she said she was not a whistleblower, but the one who distributed the "whistles".

During the interview, Ai Fen mentioned the word "regret" several times, and said she deeply regretted that she hadn't continued to whistle resoundingly after she was reprimanded at a disciplinary review meeting. She has especial regrets when it comes to her deceased coworkers. "If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't care about the pressure (from my leader), and I would [expletive] speak everywhere, all right?"

What have Wuhan Central Hospital and Ai Fen experienced in the past two months or so? The following is what Ai Fen told us:

An unprecedented reprimand

On December 16, last year, we received a patient at the Nanjing Road emergency department. They had an inexplicably high fever, and they weren't responding to standard medications, their body temperature wasn't going down at all. On the 22nd, the patient was transferred to the respiratory department, a bronchoscopy was done, and bronchoalveolar fluid taken and sent out for high-throughput genetic sequencing. Afterwards, the coronavirus result was relayed verbally. At that time, the colleague who was responsible for the patient told me clearly: "Director [主任] Ai, that person's diagnosis is coronavirus". Later we learned that the patient worked in the Huanan Seafood Market.

Immediately afterwards, December 27th, another patient arrived at Nanjing Road. He was the nephew of a doctor in our department. He was in his 40s, without any preexisting conditions. His lungs were in a terrible state, and his blood oxygen saturation was only 90%. He was under hospital care for almost 10 days without any improvement, and was admitted to the respiratory department. A flexible bronchoscopy was also done, and the alveolar lavage fluid sent for testing.

At noon on December 30th, an old classmate at Tongji (同济) Hospital sent me a screenshot of a WeChat conversation, which said: "You don't want to go to Huanan [Market] just now, there are lots of people with high fever " He asked if it was true. At the time, I was watching a CT [scan] of a typical patient with pulmonary infection on the computer. I sent him a 11-second video of the CT and told him it was a patient who had come to our emergency department in the morning, a Huanan Seafood Market case.

Just after 4 pm that day, a colleague showed me a diagnostic report that said: "SARS coronavirus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 46 strains of bacteria [菌, bacteria and/or fungi] which colonize the oral cavity and/or respiratory tract". I read the report very carefully many times, and the supplementary information read: "SARS coronavirus is a single-stranded positive-strand RNA virus. The main mode of transmission of the virus is close-range droplet transmission or contact with respiratory secretions of patients, which can cause an unusual pneumonia that is highly contagious and can affect multiple organ systems, also known as atypical pneumonia."

At the time, the diagnostic report scared me, I broke into a cold sweat, this was a terrifying thing. The patient was admitted to the respiratory department, the situation needed to be reported to the respiratory department, but to ensure attention, I immediately phoned and reported it to the hospital's public health division and infectious disease [?院感] division. At that moment, the director of the respiratory department of our hospital happened to be passing my office door, someone who had been involved with SARS. I grabbed the director and said, "We found this in one of the patients in your department." The director took one look and said it was worrying. I knew the matter was worrying.

After calling the hospital, I also circulated this report to my fellow-learners (同学[; student or former classmate]). I purposely drew a red circle around the words "SARS coronavirus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 46 strains of bacteria [菌, bacteria and/or fungi] which colonize the oral cavity and/or respiratory tract" to bring the warning to their attention. I also sent the report to the doctors in the department to warn everyone to take precautions.

That evening, the message was spread widely; the screenshots of the transmission show the photos of the report I'd marked with a red circle, including the ones that I later learned that Li Wenliang passed on to the [chat] group. At the time, I was thinking it might be bad. At 10:20, the hospital passed on a message [reportedly on the Central Hospital WeChat group]. It was a relayed notification from the city Health Protection Committee (市卫健委). Their main point was that information on the pneumonia of unknown cause should not be arbitrarily released, to avoid causing panic among the public; if panic was caused by information leakage, there would be a thorough investigation (要追责).

I was very scared at the time and immediately passed this information on to my fellow-learners. About an hour later, the hospital sent another notice, again stressing that information the group had on this subject could not be leaked. One day later, at 11:46 pm on January 1st, the head of the hospital's disciplinary inspection committee sent me a message to come [for an employee review] the next morning.

I didn't fall asleep that night, I was worried and thought things through over and over again, but I felt that there are always two sides to everything; even if it had caused adverse effects, it was not necessarily a bad thing to remind medical staff in Wuhan to take precautions. At 8 o'clock the next morning, before I finished the shift, I was called in for the disciplinary review.

In that disciplinary review, I suffered an unprecedented and very severe reprimand.

At that time, the leader of the discussion said, "We can't afford to raise our heads when we go out for a meeting. The director of XX criticizes our hospital. As the director of the emergency department of Wuhan Central Hospital, you are a professional, how can there be this lack of principle, this lack of organizational discipline, this creating and spreading of false rumours (谣)?" This is the original sentence. So I should go back to the 200-odd people in the department to convey the news to them verbally, one by one; we can't send information by WeChat or SMS, we can only talk face-to-face or call, we can't say anything about this pneumonia, "you can't even tell your own husband", they said

I was utterly stunned. I hadn't been criticized for not working hard, but made to feel that what I'd done had ruined Wuhan's prospects and its future. I felt strong depair. I am a serious and hard-working person. I felt that everything I had done was in accordance with the rules and well-founded. What did I do wrong? After I read the lab result, I had also reported it to the hospital. My students and my colleagues had communicated among ourselves about how to handle the condition of a patient, we hadn't given out any of the patient's personal information; this is equivalent to discussing a medical case among medical students. As a clinical doctor, I already knew that a very important virus had been found in patients. When other doctors asked, how could you not say so? This is your instinct as a doctor, right? What did I do wrong? I have done what a doctor and a person should normally do. I think anyone would do the same.

I was very emotional at the time, saying that I had done this, and it had nothing to do with the rest of the people; you can just arrest me and jail me. I said that I was not suitable to continue to work in this position, and I wanted to take a break. The leader did not agree, saying that this was the time to test me.

I went home that night, I remember it quite clearly, I told my husband just after I walked in the door, if something goes wrong, you must care for and raise the child -- because my second treasure is still very young, only just over 1 year old. At the time, my husband was perplexed by this. I didn't explain.

On January 20th, after Zhong Nanshan [prominent Chinese epidemiologist] told people [about the epidemic], I told my husband what had happened that day. In the interim, I just warned my family not to go to crowded places, and to wear surgical face masks when going out.

Peripheral departments

Many people worried that I was among the eight people who were admonished [by police]. In fact, I wasn't warned by the Public Security Bureau. Later, a good friend asked me, are you a whistleblower? I said that I am not a whistleblower, I am the one who sent the whistle.

But that disciplinary review hit me hard, it affected me very severely. When I came back, I could see that everyone's morale had collapsed. We had been working with such drive and dedication, and doing our jobs conscientiously. Everyone kept asking me questions, and I couldn't answer.

All I could do was get the emergency department to focus on protection. We have over 200 people in the emergency department. From January 1st, I asked everyone to strengthen their protection. Everyone must wear masks, hats, and use gloves (用手快消). I remember one day, there was a nurse who did not wear a mask during the shift; I scolded him then and there, saying "Don't come to work without a mask in the future".

On January 9th, while off-shift, I saw a patient coughing on the pre-examination table. From that day on, I asked everyone to put a mask on both the patient and on anyone seeing the patient, one for each person; I said, don't try to save money at this time. At the time, they were still telling us that there was no human-to-human transmission, and I want to emphasize here that wearing a mask to strengthen protection was a big issue.

That time was really depressing and very painful. Some doctors proposed wearing and out layer of isolation clothing. The hospital's internal operations committee (医院里开会) said they wouldn't allow it; they said that wearing isolation clothing would cause panic. I asked the people in the department to wear an isolation gown inside a white coat. This was out-of-specification and ridiculous.

We watched more and more patients arrive, as the radius of the infection area became larger and larger. At first, they might be connected to the Huanan Seafood Market; then it spread, and the radius became larger and larger. Many of the cases were family-transmitted. Among the first seven people, there was a case of infection in which the mother had given the son food. The clinic [dispensary? 诊所] boss got sick, infected by the patients who came for injections. It was very serious, whether they got infected or not. I knew there must be human-to-human transmission. If there was no human-to-human transmission, well, the Huanan Seafood Market had been closed on January 1, so why were there more and more patients?

I often thought, if only they hadn't reprimanded me like that, if they'd asked for details calmly, and then asked other respiratory experts to communicate with them, maybe the situation would be better, and I could at least communicate a bit more in the hospital. If everyone had been as alert on January 1, there would not be so many tragedies.

On the afternoon of January 3, in the Nanjing Road Hospital, doctors of urology gathered to review the work of the senior director, 43-year-old Dr. Hu Weifeng (胡卫峰), who is now in emergency care; on the afternoon of January 8, the Nanjing Road Hospital Director [of thyroid and breast surgery] Jiang Xueqing (江学庆) also organized the first Wuhan City breast disease patient recovery get-together (武汉市甲乳患者康复联欢会), on the 22nd floor. On the morning of January 11, the department reported to me that Hu Ziwei (胡紫薇), a nurse in the emergency room of the emergency department, was infected. She'd be the first infected nurse in the central hospital. First-off, I called the Chief of the Medical Department to report it, and then the hospital held an emergency meeting. At the meeting we were instructed to change the report of "double lung infection, viral pneumonia?" to "scattered infection of both lungs" ("两下肺感染,病毒性肺炎?" to "两肺散在感染"). At the weekly meeting of January 16th, a deputy dean was still saying, "Everyone must have a little medical common sense, and certain senior doctors should not go about scaring people." Another leader spoke, and continued, "Human-to-human transmission is not possible; it can be prevented, treated and controlled." One day later, on January 17, Jiang Xueqing was hospitalized, and 10 days later he was intubated and put on ECMO.

The toll at the central hospital is so large, and it's connected to the lack of transparency for our medical staff. If you look at the people who fell ill, the emergency department and the respiratory department suffered less heavily, because we had a sense of the need for protection, and we knew we should quickly rest and get treatment as soon as we got sick. The worst cases are in the peripheral departments; Li Wenliang was an ophthalmologist, and Jiang Xueqing is a nail specialist.

Jiang Xueqing was really a very good person, with excellent medical skills. He held one of the two Chinese Physician Awards in the hospital. And yet we were neighbors, we were a unit; I'm located on the 40th floor, he was on the 30th floor, our working relationship was very good, but because I am too busy at work, I only met him during meetings and hospital activities. He was a workaholic, always either in the operating room or at the clinic. No one would go to tell him specifically, "Director Jiang, you have to pay attention and wear a mask". He didn't have the time and energy to inquire about these things, and he must have brushed it off with: "What's the matter? It's pneumonia." This was what people in that department told me.

If these doctors had been warned in time, perhaps this day wouldn't have come. So that's why, as one closely involved, I regret what I did. If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have cared about the reprimand, I would have [expletive] spoken of it everywhere, to everyone, wouldn't I?

Although I worked in the same hospital as Li Wenliang (李文亮) did before he died, I didn't know him, because the hospital had over 4,000 people on staff and was usually busy. The night before his death, the director of the ICU called me to borrow a cardiac press (心脏按压器; CPR device?) from the emergency department, and said it was Li Wenliang who was going to be resuscitated. The news shocked me. I do not understand everything that happened to Li Wenliang, but could his condition have been affected by his emotional state after being reprimanded? I have to ask, with my experience; I felt it myself.

Later, when things got to this point, it proved that Li Wenliang was right. I can understand his state of mind very easily. It could be my own. I don't feel excitement or happiness, but regret. Regret that I didn't continue to shout out loudly at the beginning, when people intervened and scolded us. I often find myself thinking, if only we could turn back time, and do it right.

Just surviving is good

On the night before the city was shut down on January 23, a friend from the relevant department called to ask me about the true situation of emergency patients in Wuhan. I said, are you asking in a private or public capacity? He said, private. [I said,] I will tell you the truth when I speak on my behalf: On January 21, our emergency department saw 1,523 patients, three times as many as usual, of which 655 had fever.

The situation in the emergency department during that time will never be forgotten by those who experienced it, it completely changes your outlook on life.

If this is a war, the emergency department is the front line. But at the time, the inpatient wards were saturated, and basically none of the patients were accepted, and the ICU was resolutely refused to accept them. They said that there were uninfected patients in them, and they became contaminated as soon as they entered. More patients kept rushing in to the emergency department, and the inpatient beds were not open, so they all piled up in the emergency department. Patients queued for a few hours to see a doctor. We couldn't take any time off work at all. There was no distinction between the fever clinic and the emergency department. The hall was full of patients. The emergency room, the IV room, everywhere was filled with patients.

Another patient's family came in, wanting a bed for their dad, who couldn't make it in from the car, because the underground garage was closed at the time, and the car couldn't get in. I couldn't do anything about that, but I ran to the car with people and equipment. I saw immediately that he was already dead. What can you say, it's very difficult to bear. The man died in the car, he didn't even get out of the car.

There was also an old man, his wife had just died at Jinyintan Hospital, her son and daughter were infected, and she was given an IV, her son-in-law was caring for her. As soon as I saw that she was very ill, I contacted the respiratory department to admit her to the hospital. Her son-in-law was obviously a cultured person. He came over and wished to thank the doctor and so on. As a result, she died. It only took a few seconds, but it was a delay of a few seconds. That quick "thank you" weighs heavily on me.

And yet there were many people who sent their families to the ward (监护室[; guardianship room]? in the sense of trustee), and that's the last time you'l see them, you'll never see them again.

I remember when I came to work on the morning of the Chinese New Year [Friday, January 24, 2020]. I said that we'd take a picture to commemorate the New Year. I also sent it to a circle of friends. No one wished anyone a happy new year that day. At the time, just surviving was good.

In the past, if you made a small mistake, for example, if you didn't give an injection in time, the patient might still be in trouble. Now there's no one, no one is to raise it with you, no-one is going to take issue with it. Everyone's overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught, we work blindly.

The patients died, and it was rare to see family members weeping and grieving, because there were too many, too many. Some family members didn't say "Doctor, please save my family", but said to the doctor, "Right, let's do this quickly"; it came to that. Everyone was afraid of being infected.

The queue at the fever clinic was 5 hours long, every day. A woman waiting in line collapsed, a woman in a leather coat, with a purse and high heels, very carefully dressed. A middle-aged woman; no one dared to step forward to help her, and she lay on the ground for a long time. I had to call the nurse and doctor to help her.

On the morning of January 30, I came to work. The son of a white-haired old man had died at the age of 32. He stared blankly at the doctor giving him the death certificate. There are no tears at all, how can one cry? There's no way to cry. From the style of his clothing, the old man might be a rural migrant worker, there's no way to be sure. Without a diagnosis, his son became a death certificate.

This is what I want to call for. The patients who died in the emergency department were all undiagnosed, and their causes of death could not be confirmed. After this epidemic has passed, I hope to give an explanation and give their families some comfort. Our patients wake compassion, a great deal of compassion.

"Lucky"

Having been a doctor for so many years, I always felt that no difficulty could overwhelm me, not with my experience and personality.

When I was nine, my father died of gastric cancer. At that time, I thought of growing up to be a doctor, to save the lives of others. Later, when I did my the college entrance examination, all my preferences were in medicine, and I finally got to go to Tongji Medical College. After graduating from medical college in 1997, I went to the Central Hospital. I previously worked in cardiovascular medicine, and I became the director of the emergency department in 2010.

I feel the emergency department is one of my children. I built it up, I nurtured a tight-knit group, which really doesn't make this situation easier, but it's what makes this group such a treasure; I really cherish this team.

A few days ago, one of my nurses sent a message to a friends group saying "I really miss the old big busy emergency department"; that kind of busy and this kind of busy are totally different concepts.

Before this epidemic hit, our emergency department dealt with myocardial infarctions, cerebral infarctions, gastrointestinal bleeding, trauma and so on. That kind of busy gives a sense of accomplishment, it has a clear purpose, there's a smooth flow of procedures for all the various types of patients. There are very mature procedures, there's not a single wasted step, what to do next is not a problem. But in this time there were so many critically ill patients whom we had no way to deal with and who couldn't be admitted to hospital, and our medical staff was still at risk. This kind of busyness is desperate, it's deeply distressing.

One day at 8 in the morning, a young doctor in our department sent me a WeChat, and it was quite personal, saying they wouldn't come to work that day, not well. Since what we do here, if someone is not well, they need to tell me about it in advance; if they tell me at 8 o'clock, where do I go to find someone? The doctor lost their temper with me in WeChat, and said that a large number of highly suspect cases were put back into the community by the emergency department I led. We understand that this is sin! I understand this person, because this is a doctor's professional ethics, but I was also anxious, and I said you can denounce me, but tell me, what would you do if you were the director of the emergency department?

Later, the doctor came back to work after a few days of rest. The doctor didn't say that they feared death or feared harm; no, they were affected the conditions; suddenly having to deal with so many patients at once, they felt utterly overwhelmed.

And the work of the medics, especially for the many medics who came to support us, it was psychologically unbearable. There were doctors and nurses in tears. Some were crying for others, others were crying for themselves, because no-one knows when it will be their turn to become infected.

Around mid-to-late January, the hospital's leaders also became ill, one after another, including our director of the office and three vice-presidents. The daughter of the Chief of Medical Services was also ill and resting at home. So basically there was no administration or management; you just had to fight there, that was the feeling.

The people around me also started to come down with it one by one. On January 18, at 8:30 in the morning, our first doctor collapsed, saying "I caught it just like the director did", no fever, did a CT first off, and the lungs had a lump of ground-glass opacification (坨磨玻璃). Not long after, the duty nurse in charge of the isolation ward told me they'd fallen ill. That night, our head nurse fell ill. My very real first feeling at that time was -- good luck, because falling ill early, you could get off the battlefield for a little bit.

I've been in close contact with these three people. I just work every day with the belief that I must fall ill. Everyone in the hospital thought I was a miracle. I've thought about it myself, perhaps it's because I have asthma and I'm using some inhaled hormones, perhaps it inhibits the deposition of these viruses in the lungs.

I've always felt that the people who work in the emergency department have feelings, too. In Chinese hospitals, the status of the emergency department is relatively low among the departments, because everyone thinks that the emergency department is nothing more than a route into the hospital, it just needs to admit patients. During this epidemic, this sort of neglect has always been present.

In the early days, they're weren't enough supplies. Sometimes the quality of the protective clothing assigned to the emergency department was very poor. I was angry when I saw that our nurses wore such clothes to work and spoke up about it in Zhouhui Qun [a WeChat group for MDs in that hospital]. After that, many directors gave me all the protective clothing they kept in their departments.

There were also problems with food. When there are many patients, the management gets confused. They simply can't think that the emergency department still has to have something to eat. Many departments had food and drink after shift changeover, they had a big spread, and here, we had nothing. In the fever clinic's WeChat group, doctors complained: "Our emergency department has only disposable diapers " We were the front-line response, and we had to deal with that sort of thing, sometimes it made me really angry.

Our team is really good. Everyone held the line, they were only off work when they were sick. More than 40 people in our emergency department were infected. I built a group of all the sick people, originally called the "Emergency Department Sick Group"(急诊生病群); the head nurse said that was unlucky, and changed it to "Emergency Department Re-energizing Group" (急诊加油群). Even the people who are sick weren't thinking in terms of despair or blame. They were all very positive, that is, everyone had the attitude that we needed to help one another to get thorough the crisis together.

These kids, these young people are very good, it's just that they, like me, have to live with feeling slighted. I hope that after this epidemic, the country will also increase its investment in emergency departments. In many countries' medical systems, the emergency department is highly valued.

Unattainable happiness

On February 17th, I received a WeChat message from the old classmate at Tongji Hospital. He said "Sorry" to me. I said: it's fortunate that you passed the message on and warned some people in time. If he hadn't passed it on, they might not have Li Wenliang and the eight others, but people would probably know less.

This time, we had the entire families of three female doctors get infected. Two female doctors had their father-in-law and mother-in-law infected, and their husbands, and another had her father, mother, sister, and husband infected, and five close relatives. Everyone thinks that the virus was discovered so early on, and yet this is the result, it caused us such great loss, took such a terrible toll.

It took this toll in many different ways, too. In addition to those who died, those who were sick also suffered.

In our "Emergency Department Re-energizing group", people often exchange physical conditions. Some people ask: a heart rate that's always 120 beats per minute, does it matter? Surely it matters, they panic as soon as they move. This will affect them for life, and is heart failure likely? It's hard to say. In the future, others will be able to go hiking and traveling, and they might not be able to, all that is possible.

And Wuhan. You said that our Wuhan is a lively place; now it's very, very quiet on the streets. Many things can't be bought and we have to support the whole country. A few days ago, a nurse of a medical team in Guangxi suddenly fell into a coma while at work, and was resucitated. Her heart restarted, but she is still in a coma. If she hadn't come to work, she could have had a good time at home, and this kind of thing wouldn't have happened. So, I think we owe everyone, really.

Having been through this epidemic, many people in the hospital have been hit hard. Several medical staff below me have thoughts of resignation, including some backbones of the department. Everyone's previous ideas, all the things everyone knows about this profession, they're are inevitably a little shaken -- it's that you work so hard, isn't it? Just like Jiang Xueqing, he worked too hard, he was too good to the patients, he was doing surgery every year during [Chinese] New Year. Today, someone sent a WeChat written by Jiang Xueqing's daughter, saying that her father's time was all given to his patients.

Myself, I've had countless thoughts of going back home to be a housewife. After the epidemic began, I basically didn't go home, I lived separately from my husband. My sister helped take care of my children at home. My second treasure didn't recognize me, didn't react to me when he saw me on video. I felt very lost. It wasn't easy for me to give birth to this second child. He was 10 kg at birth. I had to wean him abruptly -- when I made that decision, that was hard for me to do. My husband told me that these things happen in life, and you're not only a participant, you're also choosing to lead the team to fight this epidemic; that's also a very meaningful act, and when everything returns to normal for everyone, then you'll remember; it's a valuable experience to have had.

The leader (领导) talked to me on the morning of February 21st. Actually, I would have liked to ask a few questions, such as, do you think that that criticism was wrong that day? I hoped to be given an apology. But I dared not ask. No one said sorry to me on any occasion. I still feel that these events are an even clearer demonstation of why each person should stick to their own independent ideas, regardless, because if someone wants to stand up and tell the truth, there must be someone, and the world must hear a dissenting voice, right?

I'm Wuhanese, who doesn't love their own city? Now we remember what extravagant happiness we enjoyed in the most ordinary life. I now feel that holding the baby, going out to play with him on a slide, or going out to watch a movie with my husband, even things we never did all that often in the past, they are now all a kind of happiness, an unattainable happiness.

[Apr 10, 2020] Tucker: In crisis, nothing is more important than staying connected to reality

Highly recommended!
Tucker comments on Fauci above face with estimating the number of deaths: first around 3 million, not less then 60K.
Hospitals are staying half empty. So much for Fauci flattening the curve efforts
Apr 10, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Mike Jordan , 14 hours ago

Being "connected" is a huge part of the cause of this mess, before internet propaganda was limited to newspapers and magazines, it was much slower and manageable.

Don Nix , 9 hours ago

I do find it funny how wealthy folks spread the "don't worry WE will all be fine" garbage. WE....no, tell that to someone who has lost their business and has dependents.

Karel Moulík , 10 hours ago

When everything can be solved by propaganda it's time for revolution.

Massive-Headwound Harry , 12 hours ago

I hate the "We're going to be ok. We're all in this together" ads. All of them celebrities, pro athletes, and actors. Not one has to worry about whether they'll be able to buy food next week. Elites telling the little people everything's ok.

Joe Shaloom , 14 hours ago

It's really sad when Tucker Carlson is the only person who ever admitted he was wrong on Fox News. Hannity still claims he never called the virus a hoax even though he did it on TV.

[Apr 09, 2020] And b has posted previously directions for making masks. The advantage is you can throw them in the washing machine to clean, or even hand wash as they are small items

Highly recommended!
Apr 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

juliania , Apr 8 2020 15:04 utc | 37

My daughter who is a hospital worker showed me her mask, made by her sister. And b has posted previously directions for making masks.

While homemade or even professional surgical mask do not protect the wearer from all particles they do protect one much better from them than when one wears no mask at all.

A person rarely gets infected by just one virus particle. They come in millions attached to tiny droplets. We do not know yet how the dose of the novel coronavirus that infects a person affects the intensity of the disease. But we do know from other viruses that the dose matters. People who catch a higher dose of viruses will usually have a more intense disease. A mask can lower the virus load the wearer may receive.

One can improvise a mask from simple household objects. One can sew a mask like a surgeon does in this video . This is my preferred model which is officially recommended by German fire departments. (The pdf is in German but the pictures tell the story). This is the mask I made by following those instructions.


bigger

It is made of a folded sheet cut from a triangular arm-sling out of an old first-aid kit. A HEPA microfilter (as used in a vacuum cleaners) is in between the folded sheet. A piece cut from a clean bag for vacuum cleaners will do as well. Do not use a sheet or insert that is too tight to breathe through. If one does that the air will come in from the sides of the mask and the total protection effect will be less. It can be arduous to breathe through such a mask. If you have breathing problems leave the insert out. The sheets alone are already good protection. There is a piece of wire from a big paper clip fixed inside the middle of the upper seam to fit the mask tightly around the upper nose. The lower part goes under the chin. I shaved my beard to make it a tighter fit. As I had no sewing equipment I used a stapler to fix the seams and the ribbons.

The HEPA filter catches particles down to 0.3 micrometer. Viruses are some 125 nanometer in diameter so they are smaller and could slip through. But the viruses are attached to some droplet that are bigger. HEPA filter are essentially labyrinths of small fiber and the viruses would have to bounce multiple times to get through. Finally the dose also matters.

To clean the mask of potential viruses I put it into the oven for 30 minutes at 70C (158F).

The science says that masks work. Everyone should use one. #MaskUp!

The advantage is you can throw them in the washing machine to clean, or even hand wash as they are small items.

The masks in question here, surgical ones, being only meant to protect the patient from the practitioner, seem somewhat flawed in any case.

Better to make better ones; let the Israelis have those not so good ones. A great gift from a family member to their hardworking sibling.

There ought to be an industrial production plant producing the cloth masks with disposable inserts - how about taking over a diaper factory - a lot of folk still use the cloth ones - have such been totally outsourced? (I'd make 'em deluxe, organic cotton only! But for us home bodies, an old sheet well washed, suitably patterned is better than nothing at all.)

[Apr 06, 2020] Wearing a mask is a rare case when a selfish motive to save your own life produce a greater good

Highly recommended!
Apr 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

utu , says: Show Comment April 3, 2020 at 10:45 pm GMT

@Dreadilk By wearing a mask you reduce the probability of getting infected by x while a mask on an infected person reduces the probability of infecting another person by y and y>x (I can't formally prove this inequality at this point but it is intuitively obvious to me.). Since you do not know whether you are infected or not by wearing a mask you are protecting other more than yourself on average. This is a rare case when a selfish motive to save your own life produce a greater good. Not wearing a mask would be an inverse-altruism where you are willing to sacrifice yourself for an idea of killing others , i.e., doing what a suicide bombers do who are aware of y>x calculus.

[Apr 05, 2020] The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren't wearing masks

Highly recommended!
Apr 05, 2020 | www.sciencemag.org

Science has tried to interview George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for 2 months. Last week he responded.

Q : What mistakes are other countries making?

A: The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren't wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role -- you've got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others. Q: People who tested positive in Wuhan but only had mild disease were sent into isolation in large facilities and were not allowed to have visits from family. Is this something other countries should consider?

A: Infected people must be isolated. That should happen everywhere. You can only control COVID-19 if you can remove the source of the infection. This is why we built module hospitals and transformed stadiums into hospitals.

[Mar 30, 2020] If you get COVID-19 infection in the shop, office or transport, you probably will be sick two weeks, but if you get if from your wife - probably four, and mother-in-law -- six

Highly recommended!
Jokes aside, infection on family settings might lead to more severe outcomes, as virus load is higher.
Mar 30, 2020 | time.com

In this sense, COVID-19 behaves a lot like seasonal flu. Common rooms often mean common pathogens and higher dose of virus then from strangers. There are some indications that the doze of virus that you get affects the severity of the disease.

Families are great places for socialization and provide a means to stay active and engaged, but can serve as pathogenic petri dishes

Based on current research, it takes about 2 weeks between the onset of symptoms to the clinical recovery of patients with a mild form of the disease

[Mar 27, 2020] Not Just China U.S. Reliance on Foreign Medical Supplies is Staggering by Alan Tonelson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Put together, they reveal how big a share of the American markets for drugs, medical devices, and protective gear is controlled by goods made overseas. The big takeaway is that the nation could be in big enough trouble if supply disruptions were to occur in normal times (say, due to natural disasters in manufacturing centers abroad). During a high-mortality pandemic like the CCP Virus, these levels of foreign dependency are high enough to guarantee significant numbers of needless deaths. ..."
"... And in fact, the import penetration trends for these products exemplify the nation's health care security weaknesses. In 2002 -- a good baseline, since that's the first year China was a member of the World Trade Organization -- imports overall accounted for 16.7 percent of all surgical appliances and supplies used in the United States (measured by value, not numbers of masks or pairs of gloves). During the first full year of the Great Recession, 2008, this share totaled 28.08 percent. ..."
"... Keeping this qualification in mind, overall, 32.41 percent of surgical appliances and supplies were imported from other countries by 2011, according to these figures. In 2016, that number reached 41.81 percent of a $33.71 billion U.S. market. It may well be higher these days, as between then and last year, U.S. overseas purchases jumped by more than 29 percent. (Interestingly, in light of domestic shortages, U.S. exports in appliances and supplies actually rose by more than 13 percent during this period!) ..."
"... Ventilators, sadly, have been in the news, too; they and related products like oxygen tents and bronchoscopes and inhalators and suction equipment are found in a big goods category called surgical and medical instruments. In 2002, imports from all corners of the world represented 22.04 percent of American consumption. By 2016, this figure stood at 35.91 percent of a $37.5 billion national market, and over the next three years, imports grew nearly 31 percent. (Exports expanded at a relatively slow 11.84 percent.) ..."
"... exclusive U.S. reliance on China for the chemical ingredients of numerous medicines has now become a major federal government concern. ..."
"... The main foreign suppliers to the American pharmaceuticals market as of last year look encouragingly diversified and encouragingly friendly. For example, Ireland was number one, with 22.15 percent of such shipments, followed by Switzerland with 14.05 percent. But third and fourth, with 8.87 percent and 8.39 percent of imports, were Germany and India, respectively, both of which have limited or embargoed their medical exports this year. And number five, at 7.38 percent, was Italy -- whose current CCP Virus devastation could easily bring about export restrictions. ..."
"... Last year, America's leading foreign supplier of surgical and medical instruments (the ventilators category) was Mexico, which sold U.S. customers 28.58 percent of the $17.62 billion of total imports. But export-curber Germany was number three, at 9.43 percent, and China was sixth, at 6.93 percent. ..."
"... Purely domestic policy steps, like mandating more stockpiling or new recycling and re-use strategies, undoubtedly can add to national medical products supplies. But even these general import penetration figures, along with the shortage reports that keep pouring in, make clear that enduring national health care security can't be restored without a major ramping up of domestic output. And since export-heavy economies like China's and Germany's will undoubtedly work overtime to keep their American health care customers -- including with all manner of predatory economic practices -- it's similarly clear that big, lasting U.S. departures from standard free trade policies will be unavoidable. ..."
Mar 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Not Just China: U.S. Reliance on Foreign Medical Supplies is Staggering

The government's own numbers tell a frightening tale of how this happened, and when.

Virus pandemic having exposed scary domestic shortages of critical medical goods ranging from safety masks to ventilators, along with potential shortages of pharmaceuticals, political leaders across the spectrum are finally regretting having allowed so much output of these products to migrate offshore.

China's role in global supply chains has understandably sparked much of the alarm, since its government has all but threatened to withhold supplies of medicines whenever it wishes. But all told, at least 38 countries (including the 27-member European Union) have curbed exports of anti-pandemic products at some point since the CCP Virus began dominating headlines.

So potential foreign chokeholds in the nation's health care-related supply chains appear global in scope. The federal government's best data make clear just how widespread the problem has become, and how steadily it's been growing.

The figures come from the government's statistics on industry-by-industry manufacturing output and on exports and imports. (The output data can be accessed through databases created by the Census Bureau for its Annual Survey of Manufactures that are located at this link . The trade numbers can be retrieved at an interactive database maintained by the U.S. International Trade Commission that's located at this link .)

Put together, they reveal how big a share of the American markets for drugs, medical devices, and protective gear is controlled by goods made overseas. The big takeaway is that the nation could be in big enough trouble if supply disruptions were to occur in normal times (say, due to natural disasters in manufacturing centers abroad). During a high-mortality pandemic like the CCP Virus, these levels of foreign dependency are high enough to guarantee significant numbers of needless deaths.

These statistics aren't problem-free. Principally, because the manufacturing output figures are so granular, and therefore take so long to compile, import penetration rates for these (and other manufactures) can be calculated only through 2016. Yet the more timely import numbers can provide a reasonable indication of whether vulnerabilities are worsening or shrinking. At the same time, the government's main trade data aren't nearly as detailed as the production numbers. As a result, it's not possible to know the percentage of, say, safety masks used in the United States that are produced abroad. But it's easy to come up with this number for the category in which masks (and other protective gear) are grouped -- surgical appliances and supplies.

And in fact, the import penetration trends for these products exemplify the nation's health care security weaknesses. In 2002 -- a good baseline, since that's the first year China was a member of the World Trade Organization -- imports overall accounted for 16.7 percent of all surgical appliances and supplies used in the United States (measured by value, not numbers of masks or pairs of gloves). During the first full year of the Great Recession, 2008, this share totaled 28.08 percent.

Notably, these imports from China were a tiny 1.5 percent in 2002, and had actually dropped to 0.49 percent by 2008. By 2016, they accounted for a seemingly modest 6.54 percent of American consumption. But here's where another weakness in the data emerges: they say nothing about the origin of the materials, parts, and components of the final goods.

Keeping this qualification in mind, overall, 32.41 percent of surgical appliances and supplies were imported from other countries by 2011, according to these figures. In 2016, that number reached 41.81 percent of a $33.71 billion U.S. market. It may well be higher these days, as between then and last year, U.S. overseas purchases jumped by more than 29 percent. (Interestingly, in light of domestic shortages, U.S. exports in appliances and supplies actually rose by more than 13 percent during this period!)

Ventilators, sadly, have been in the news, too; they and related products like oxygen tents and bronchoscopes and inhalators and suction equipment are found in a big goods category called surgical and medical instruments. In 2002, imports from all corners of the world represented 22.04 percent of American consumption. By 2016, this figure stood at 35.91 percent of a $37.5 billion national market, and over the next three years, imports grew nearly 31 percent. (Exports expanded at a relatively slow 11.84 percent.)

Again, the China figures are small beans -- the import penetration rate for 2016 was a mere 2.35 percent. But these products often contain lots of electronics parts, and half the world's printed circuit boards, for example, are made in the People's Republic. In other words, lots of existing global surge capacity throughout the sector is ultimately controlled by Beijing.

Thanks to the work of researchers like the Hastings Center's Rosemary Gibson and independent journalist Katherine Eban, heavy and sometimes exclusive U.S. reliance on China for the chemical ingredients of numerous medicines has now become a major federal government concern. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration is keeping an especially close eye on the availability of no fewer than 20 pharmaceutical products that use Chinese raw materials. (Unfortunately, the FDA won't say what they are, which calls for some Freedom of Information Act requests, pronto.)

But the import penetration figures make clear that supply disruptions could also originate elsewhere. Between 2002 and 2016, drugs produced overseas more than doubled their share of America's consumption (which stood at nearly $200 billion three years ago), from 17.23 percent to 38.51 percent. As of 2019, moreover, U.S. drugs imports were 20.34 percent higher than in 2016.

The main foreign suppliers to the American pharmaceuticals market as of last year look encouragingly diversified and encouragingly friendly. For example, Ireland was number one, with 22.15 percent of such shipments, followed by Switzerland with 14.05 percent. But third and fourth, with 8.87 percent and 8.39 percent of imports, were Germany and India, respectively, both of which have limited or embargoed their medical exports this year. And number five, at 7.38 percent, was Italy -- whose current CCP Virus devastation could easily bring about export restrictions.

Nor is this pattern restricted to pharmaceuticals. Last year, America's leading foreign supplier of surgical and medical instruments (the ventilators category) was Mexico, which sold U.S. customers 28.58 percent of the $17.62 billion of total imports. But export-curber Germany was number three, at 9.43 percent, and China was sixth, at 6.93 percent.

For surgical appliances and supplies (the masks and protective gear category), Ireland topped the 2019 foreign supplier list, selling the United States 24.09 percent of its $18.21 billion of total imports. But China was second, at 15.29 percent, and in third place, at 9.68 percent, stood Malaysia, which banned mask exports on March 20.

Purely domestic policy steps, like mandating more stockpiling or new recycling and re-use strategies, undoubtedly can add to national medical products supplies. But even these general import penetration figures, along with the shortage reports that keep pouring in, make clear that enduring national health care security can't be restored without a major ramping up of domestic output. And since export-heavy economies like China's and Germany's will undoubtedly work overtime to keep their American health care customers -- including with all manner of predatory economic practices -- it's similarly clear that big, lasting U.S. departures from standard free trade policies will be unavoidable.

Alan Tonelson is the founder of RealityChek, a public policy blog focusing on economics and national security, and the author of The Race to the Bottom .

[Mar 26, 2020] Reflections on a Century of Junk Science

Highly recommended!
Mar 26, 2020 | www.unz.com

Kratoklastes , says: Show Comment Next New Comment March 25, 2020 at 6:16 pm GMT

@thotmonger

I also remember some of early estimates of Mad Cow disease in humans in UK and they turned out to be very exaggerated.

When the political class was trying to de-gay HIV/AIDS in 1987, they had Oprah tell everyone that 20% of heterosexual people would be dead before 1990.

The first I learned of Oprah's jaw-droppingly sensationalist remarks, was in a piece a couple of days ago on AmericanThinker (which sounds like a rare bird indeed, if not an outright oxymoron – but it has good stuff from time to time).

Anyhow, it was an interesting piece – entitled " Reflections on a Century of Junk Science " by the author of " Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture ", which I will acquire today. (The book's 11 years old, but sounds like it will be along the same lines as Kendrick's " Doctoring Data: How to Sort Out Medical Advice from Medical Nonsense ", which was excellent).

[Mar 24, 2020] The US Department of Justice announced Sunday it had shut down a website claiming to sell a coronavirus vaccine

Highly recommended!
Mar 22, 2020 | news.yahoo.com

US authorities are working to combat the spread of misinformation that has blossomed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic

The US Department of Justice announced Sunday it had shut down a website claiming to sell a coronavirus vaccine, in its first act of federal enforcement against fraud in connection with the pandemic.

Lawsuits had been filed against the site coronavirusmedicalkit.com, which claimed to sell vaccines for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, when in fact there is no such vaccine, the Justice Department said in a statement.

A Texas federal judge on Saturday ordered the site to shut down, according to the statement. Its homepage, however, was still accessible as of Sunday evening.

"Due to the recent outbreak for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the World Health Organization is giving away vaccine kits. Just pay $4.95 for shipping," read a statement on the homepage.

It was followed by a place to leave bank account information to pay shipping fees.

The Justice Department did not specify how many people fell victim to the scam, but the investigation is ongoing to identify who is behind the fraud and how much money was stolen.

The intervention by the federal judiciary system is part of ongoing efforts by US authorities to combat the spread of misinformation that has blossomed since the start of the pandemic.

Attorney General Bill Barr last week urged federal prosecutors to make stopping misinformation a priority and called US civilians to report all such abuses to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.

He also warned citizens against a variety of scams including selling fake treatments online, imitating emails from the WHO or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) intended to collect personal data, and asking for donations for imaginary organizations.

Simultaneously, the US judicial system is on the warpath to combat price gouging of products such as hand sanitizer or hygienic masks.

More than 33,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus in the US, and 416 have died, according to a tracker managed by Johns Hopkins University.

[Mar 24, 2020] Joe Rogan Experience #1439 - Michael Osterholm

Highly recommended!
Michael Osterholm - Wikipedia (born March 10, 1953) is an American infectious disease epidemiologist, regents professor, and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
Scientific establishment want money, want importance, wants political influence. That create difficult dilemma and force some people play the role of fear mongers.
Mar 24, 2020 | www.youtube.com

parcos79 , 13 hours ago

12 million views...holy cow

MKingston , 1 week ago

BUMP 00:10 Intro 0:40 How bad is Coronavirus 4:00 Is the virus an "old persons" disease 5:18 Incubation period 7:50 What can be done to prevent infection 13:45 Drug shortages 15:20 Sauna use effect on infections 18:00 Was Coronavirus man-made 22:00 American Wild Deer diseases and Prions 32:00 Is Corona seasonal 35:00 Corona could be 10 times worse than the flu 35:25 Corona will stay around for months 36:10 Coronavirus vs Spanish flu 38:30 How can we prepare our immune system 43:20 Do hand sanitizers and masks work 50:00 We stockpile weapons more than medical goods 54:30 Will people panic if they are told the truth 56:00 Vaccines 1:02:00 Why a virus would originate from China 1:11:30 What to do if you get the flu 1:15:45 Lime disease and ticks 1:23:00 Effects of fire suppression on ecosystem 1:30:00 Vaccine for Coronavirus

whisperingsage , 4 days ago (edited)

Sick nurses working, I have experienced that in every nursing home I have worked in in the US. In California and NV. Luckily, I found the trick, If I have a headache that won't be resolved with hydration, I figure it's a flu, I take 4 grams of C and 20,000 IU of D, and usually that takes care of it, no more symptoms. In the case that it persists, I keep taking 4 grams of C ever few hours and high dose D until the symptoms subside. Usually doesn't take too long, and ( a few hours) symptoms don't get bad.

Joan Anundson-Ahr , 1 day ago

Beware of any expert that promotes fearfulness and helplessness and tells us to just wait for a "miracle" vaccine. Why didn't he tell us the truth about the success of vitamin C therapy? Why didn't he tell us that some common medications like ibuprofen and heart medications can impede healing of the virus.

KW0311 USMC , 1 week ago

Joe doesnt like hearing his sauna and probiotics arent the cure for everything.

MiZzShiN3 , 7 hours ago (edited)

15:25 - 18:04 sauna myth

Aventura , 2 days ago (edited)

div> It´s funny and very predictable how programmed into fear people have become when it´s never the virus that kills you, but a weak immune system´s panick reaction. If you believe the MSM is not aligned with certain agendas, the WHO is not inherently corrupt, the pharmaceutical vaccine pushing industries have your best interests at heart and doctors really know what they are talking about when they always look at the parts as seperated and never the whole living system, then you will be shocked to learn the truth. https://www.youtube.com/user/drvashiva/videos I really look forward to a time, probably thanks to this crisis it will be in the not so distant future, where people will begin to wake up, see through the BS we are being bombarded with from the parasitical class of "rulers" or "elites". Then a paradigm shift in so many ways will begin to take place... Greetings from a tireless truth seeker!

Gina Jonson , 1 day ago div c

lass="comment-renderer-text-content expanded"> the difference between COVID 19 and the spanish flu and the fear rampant about this comparison is that our health care system is a little more advanced than what was available back in 1919 AND we are also so much more informed regarding hygiene practices.........not discounting the seriousness of this unprecendented occurrence.........but still great to focus on the "little" advantages we can monopolise on. in order to tackle this global crisis head on and rationally

WJK , 5 days ago (edited) div

> @PowerfulJRE - Joe PLEASE have Michael Osterholm back on asap and please ask Michael the following questions...

1) Are highly infectious airborne cold viruses killed by ozone from ozone/ion generators(?) and

2) Why do medical facilities and schools no longer install or utilize UV disinfection lighting like they use to utilize/install in entranceways, hallways, and rooms of hospitals and school classrooms like they use to do 50-75 years ago(?)

Steve Ward , 5 days ago

43:12 real good info about hand sanitizer and face masks

J_M_W_77 , 5 days ago

N95 masks....remember kids its a one way valve on the front of those things....breath in, and it filters the air....breath out, valve opens and the air goes out, " unfiltered". If you're sick, these masks will not prevent you from spreading it around.

Rodney Higgins , 2 days ago

China's only biosafety level 4 (BSL–4) laboratory is in Wuhan. Coincidences happen.

Tessangela Beck , 3 days ago div tabindex="0" role="article"

> Osterholm is a catalog of infectious disease info that is beyond valuable . . he's in his 60s . . maybe the planet has others who could fill his shoes in my home state of Minnesota; of course, I hope so! He also has a good sense of humor, managing a little chuckle when Joe suggested if any president could get around the informed consent issue of testing vaccines on prisoners, such as nasty rapists, it would be Trump. I'm glad to receive all the helpful info without a steady dose of politics and conspiracy chitchat. Now I know that my prebiotic and probiotic pills are only good for temporary relief and that my natural flora and fauna in the gut will take over...

GAiPS , 1 week ago (edited)

51:46 "We spend about 0.001% on public health compared to our defense department and yet look how vulnerable...it's the bugs...it's not a war...it's not a missile...is bringing the world economy down right now....it's a darn virus."

Noelf , 1 week ago

Can you imagine if even half the US defence budget was redirected into health care and research!! We (the world) spend trillions on arms and now we are fighting an enemy that bullets can't kill!! Infuriating!! 😡😡😠😠

Qidi Wang , 1 day ago div tabindex="0" role="article"

> How do you draw the conclusion that such viruses would always come from China? MERS was first discovered in the middle east, the 2009 flu originated in mexico, the Spanish flu originated in Kansas. I mean like if you search China on the pandemic wikipedia page there's only SARS and several flu outbreaks.

Also Wild life is not part of the cuisine in most of China, and it's really more of a status symbol for rich people to be able to find exotic food

Niels Raider , 5 days ago

In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roedy Green , 4 days ago (edited) div tabindex="0" role=

"article"> There is another nasty virus going around here in Victoria BC Canada that is a bit like CORVID-19.. I got it in mid-December and I am just getting over it. My friends recovered in two to three weeks. The symptoms include a cough that goes on and on leaving you breathless, extremely sore throat, runny nose, extreme weakness. Even the emergency room doctor said she had it. Have you heard of it? I think I got it travelling in a Handi-dart van with some elderly, sneezing Chinese speaking males.

Santino Rider , 5 days ago (edited)

51:40 Good reminder of war against missiles vs virus. Budgets... 53:00 his talk to banking/finance people. Scary. Like children, whereas Michael is more analytical, like engineers/scientists, see it all as problem-solution.

[Mar 22, 2020] Intelligence agencies and the virus

Highly recommended!
Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:11 utc | 128

@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 22:32 utc | 50

"These officials "failed us" in the same way that our media "fails us": they serve the interests of the EMPIRE-FIRST Deep State."

Yuppp. Our error is to assume all 17 intelligence agencies; the presstitudes; and US "leadership" exist to serve the American people. And so, yes, they "fail" the people. But, from the point of view of the controllers of those agencies and of those "leaders", they hardly ever fail !!!

While the people argue over virulent minutae, they are once again helping themselves to the US Treasury.... Trillions of USDs.... LOL

kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 10:36 utc | 132

@Jackrabbit | Mar 21 2020 23:10 utc | 54

"Caitlin Johnstone also sees the response being manipulated to focus hate on China...."

Yuppp, blaming China, hating on China achieves several objectives:

Just look at how US leadership has been hating on Russia for the last 100 years, waiting to whack them with a sneak attack if feasible.

kiwiklown , Mar 22 2020 11:25 utc | 137
@Jackrabbit | Mar 22 2020 2:45 utc | 79

".... was then told to STOP TESTING...... A medical person would not try to suppress testing. That would be a "management decision" and its the Nation Security Council that was running the show (and which had classified all discussions related to virus preparations)...."

Thanks for reminding us of Dr Chu's story. What if the US leadership:

[Mar 19, 2020] I look to the narrative we get in North America, irrespective of the topic, and the pattern is the same

Highly recommended!
Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

Curmudgeon , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 5:40 pm GMT

@eah

I'm agnostic on the subject of COVID-19: its origin, how it first infected humans, its epidemiological spread

Perhaps agnostic is not the best choice of words, but overall, I agree.

It is not impossible that the virus did not "escape" from the Wuhan Lab, but it is unlikely.

That the Chinese have sequenced a virus to do something unexpected, then published it, is unremarkable. That others may have done the same or similar and not published it, would be remarkable. I would consider the "Five Eyes" and Israel entirely capable – and likely to do that, given they operate as one.

I look to the narrative we get in North America, irrespective of the topic, and the pattern is the same:
1- "report" the topic;
2- announce "breaking news" to establish the narrative;
3- repeat the narrative endlessly saturating the media;
4- ignore contrary evidence;
5- if #4 becomes too difficult, discredit it by a bait and switch;
6- pronounce the narrative is still solid and alternative information false;
7- rinse and repeat.
(I suppose, if all else fails, blame Russia/Putin could be added.)

In context of the above, I am leaning toward that it wasn't an accident and in all likelihood it wasn't China.

[Mar 16, 2020] The USA now experience the period when the medical personnel became the most prominent victim of the authorities incompetence

Highly recommended!
Mar 15, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , March 15, 2020 6:13 pm

In most countries COVID-19 is regional with one province (and within this province one large city) as the epicenter.

Jim Bianco's model is too primitive and as such unnecessary alarmist.

The early stages of any flu epidemic are always exponential. But from some point propagation slows down considerably as the virus has difficulties to find new vulnerable people either because number of people with immunity increases (COVID-19 on average lasts less then a month; often just two weeks and around 90% of cases are mild ), or the measures were taken to "flatten the curve", or the weather or other conditions became unfavorable to the virus.

Current exponential growth can also be explained by the fact that CDC completely botched testing. So a better availability of tests with time produces a false exponential increase in cases.

In a sense the first half of March in the USA corresponds to the first half of Jan in Wuhan when the authorities did not yet resort to drastic actions (especially true for NYC, which looks like a giant cruise ship to me with all corresponding problems with AC, high density of population, frequent interaction with sick people via public transport including subway as infection points, etc ).

This is also the period when the medical personnel became the most prominent victim of the authorities incompetence.

I am no so much concerned with number of infection among "commoners" as with the number of infections of medical personnel. Depletion of medical personnel will greatly complicate the picture.

Working in hazmat suits exhaust people, especially women, very quickly and thus make them more susceptible to the infection. In many cases you also need to wear adult pampers. It might well be that this is an overkill for this particular infection and less drastic measures like surgical scrubs can be as effective to protect medical workers.

Research published in Feb had found that out of 138 patients studied at one Wuhan hospital, 29% were healthcare workers. Over 3K medical workers in China were infected and at least 18 died with ~ half of them under 40. Looks like heavy contact with infected patients make medical workers prognosis worse than for "commoners"

Retired people over 70 now should self-quarantine and outside of senior facilities they are by-and-large responsible for their own health. When I see them on cruse ships in late Feb and March I just think how many reckless persons are among older folk. Most of them are also wealthy enough to order food via home delivery, not to drive to the store.

Still on recent visit to department store there were a lot of grannies in the lines (and completely depleted shelves ;-). Looks like they are braving possible infection with the regular flu, if not coronavirus as typically several people cough within the large store.

There should be some level of individual responsibility here , especially among seniors who are retired.

But, at the same time, "Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad"

likbez , March 16, 2020 12:34 am

Terry, March 15, 2020 7:25 pm

Thanks for your last comment Run. You saved me the trouble.

Famous quote “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing” is applicable to the current situation in the USA. Looks like the US authorities learned nothing from SARC epidemics, which BTW hit Toronto.

Let me clarify my previous post (which does suffers from wordiness as run75441 correctly pointed out).

There are two diseases bunged into one in COVID-19: one is flu-like and is no threat (just a nuisance and Bert Schlitz is absolutely correct about this part) and the second is the SARC-like destructive virus pneumonia which is an extremely serious threat that has long time health consequences for survivors (lung fibrosis of various degrees similar to those which is the consequence of pneumonia caused by electronic cigarettes.)

Those curves above do not distinguish between them and as such have no value.

IMHO the curves that matter are “serious and critical cases” and the “medical workers who are in serious or critical conditions.”

[Mar 10, 2020] Soap is probably more effective or as effective against COVID-19 as alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Since this is going to be a post about the coronavirus, let's start off with this PSA: wash your hands. These viruses have a lipid envelope that is crucial to their structure and function, and soaps and detergents are thus very effective at inactivating them. It's fast, it's simple, and it's one of the more useful things that any individual can do under these conditions. ..."
"... Since I read this, when I come home, I just grab a plain ordinary bar of soap, and lather up my hands real well, and leave the soap on my hands for 10 or 15 seconds or so. I now believe that ordinary soap is very effective at neutralizing this particular virus. ..."
"... So I will not go out and fight the crowds to buy some 'sanitizer'. At least not for CVD-19. ..."
Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

blues , Mar 10 2020 6:40 utc | 110

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
American Association for the Advancement of Science
By Derek Lowe 4 March, 2020
ScienceMag - Pipeline

Since this is going to be a post about the coronavirus, let's start off with this PSA: wash your hands. These viruses have a lipid envelope that is crucial to their structure and function, and soaps and detergents are thus very effective at inactivating them. It's fast, it's simple, and it's one of the more useful things that any individual can do under these conditions.
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This involves just a bar of soap.

This fellow is a real hot-shot big-time microbiologist. Since I read this, when I come home, I just grab a plain ordinary bar of soap, and lather up my hands real well, and leave the soap on my hands for 10 or 15 seconds or so. I now believe that ordinary soap is very effective at neutralizing this particular virus.

So I will not go out and fight the crowds to buy some 'sanitizer'. At least not for CVD-19.

I am now also taking:

~6,000IU Vitamin D3
30mg Zinc Gluconate
500mg Vitamin C (this is a low amount)
1,000mcg Vitamin K2
250mg Niacinamide (not just 'niacin')
1 'One-A-Day' high quality vitamin combo

I'm no doctor, but that is what I am taking.


bluedotterel , Mar 10 2020 6:47 utc | 112

uncle tungsten , Mar 10 2020 6:55 utc | 113
blues #111
So I will not go out and fight the crowds to buy some 'sanitizer'. At least not for CVD-19.


There won't be any sanitiser soon.

Recipe for sanitiser:
Ingredients
• 3 TB aloe vera
• 2 TB witch hazel or rubbing alcohol, if using alcohol reduce to 1 TB
• 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil or olive or whatever
• 20 drops tea tree essential oil
• 10 drops lavender essential oil
Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and squeeze through muslin cloth into another bow and store in a small jar or a squeeze tube.

Remedy for toilet paper madness:
install bidet spray and a drying cloth.
Wash cloth daily or whatever.

Krollchem , Mar 10 2020 8:01 utc | 115
blues@111

Good start on enhancing your immune system. Perhaps the following daily additions may help:
(1) increase vitamin C to 1 g and use the liposomal form.
(2) Consider quercitin at 1-2 g per day as it is useful as an anti-viral and supports many metabolic functions (common component in fruits and vegetables).
https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/a-made-in-canada-solution-to-the-coronavirus-outbreak/
(3)n-acetyl glutathione or the glutathione precurser N acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) 600-1200 mg as it supports mitrochondrial function and reduces pulmonary fibrosis.
(4)Selenium at 200 mcg to improve thyroid health. Careful as selenium at much higher levels
(5)curcumin as it provides protection from cytokine storms due to viral infections.
(6) omega-3 oils (1-2 g) and avoiding of omega-6 fats which cause inflammation.

[Mar 09, 2020] Momento Mori - Unpopular Thoughts on Corona Virus by Craig Murray

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... But there was no massive panic, no second by second media hysteria, over Hong Kong flu. Let me start being unpopular. "Man in his 80's already not very well from previous conditions, dies of flu" is not and should not be a news headline. The coverage is prurient, intrusive, unbalanced and designed to cause hysteria. ..."
"... It is also worthy of comment and I'm sure great relief to parents, that of the thousands of deaths, not one has been below the age of 10. ..."
Mar 09, 2020 | craigmurray.org.uk

The Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968/9 was the last really serious flu pandemic to sweep the UK. They do seem extraordinarily regular – 1919, 1969 and 2020. Flu epidemics have much better punctuality than the trains (though I cheated a bit there and left out the 1958 "Asian flu"). Nowadays "Hong Kong flu" is known as H3N2. Estimates for deaths it caused worldwide vary from 1 to 4 million. In the UK it killed an estimated 80,000 people.

If the current coronavirus had appeared in 1968, it would simply have been called "flu", probably "Wuhan flu". COVID-19 may not be nowadays classified as such, but in my youth flu is definitely what we would have called it. The Hong Kong flu was very similar to the current outbreak in being extremely contagious but with a fairly low mortality rate. 30% of the UK population is estimated to have been infected in the Hong Kong flu pandemic. The death rate was about 0.5%, mostly elderly or with underlying health conditions.

But there was no massive panic, no second by second media hysteria, over Hong Kong flu. Let me start being unpopular. "Man in his 80's already not very well from previous conditions, dies of flu" is not and should not be a news headline. The coverage is prurient, intrusive, unbalanced and designed to cause hysteria.

Consider this: 100% of those who contract coronavirus are going to die. 100% of those who do not contract coronavirus are also going to die. The difference in average life expectancy between the two groups will prove to be only very marginal. That is because the large majority of those who die of COVID-19 will already be nearing the end of life or have other health problems.

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What worries me about the current reaction to coronavirus, is that it seems to reflect a belief that death is an aberration, rather than a part of the natural order of things. As the human species continues to expand massively in numbers, and as it continues casually to make other species extinct, it is inevitable that the excessive and crowded human population will become susceptible to disease.

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Yes wash your hands, bin your tissues, keep things clean. Don't hang around someone who has the flu. Take advantage of everything modern medicine can do to help you. But don't be too shocked at the idea that some sick people die, especially if they are old. We are not Gods, we are mortal. We need to reconnect to that idea.

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Reply ↓

Chic McGregor , March 7, 2020 at 23:05

Craig, you might want to check out https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

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It is also worthy of comment and I'm sure great relief to parents, that of the thousands of deaths, not one has been below the age of 10.

It is unusually age selective. Whereas in many past epidemics both the elderly and very young have been the most susceptible groups in this instance, 80% of deaths have been in the over 60s.

Ralph Clark , March 8, 2020 at 11:36

And that could be why Europe has seen a higher death toll – do elderly people in poor health make up a higher fraction of our population?

Flak Blag , March 8, 2020 at 02:57

Another excellent article, thank you Craig Murray. Some thoughts

When this story initially broke I was somewhat dismissive of it. I remember avian flu, and particularly swine flu, when hysteria was purposefully whipped up in order to boost the profits of big pharma, and of course to keep the population in it's usual state of paralyzed anxiety. I am not qualified to comment on the suggestions other's have made relating to this being a bio-weapon, deployed either by accident or design. As far as I can see it's too early to tell, speculation and rumor abound, the dust has yet to settle.

I agree that it is normal and desirable for old people to die, and while I have no wish to hasten the death of individuals within any demographic group, it seems that the current fashion of prolonging the lives of the aged at the expense (financially and environmentally) of subsequent generations is questionable. Perhaps it is emblematic of the mechanistic, materialistic, individualistic and narcissistic agenda so aggressively promoted to justify the consumerism currently infecting the world. I was taught that the debt we owe to our parents we repay to our children, that is is better to subsist on crusts if it means our children may have jam. Some would rather eat jam today than leave crusts for their progeny tomorrow, maybe because as a society we see individual gratification as the meaning of life

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mass medical event , March 8, 2020 at 09:47

Beautiful thoughts, Craig With respect to the Corona Virus: The Patriot Act had been prepared prior to the catastrophic event on 9/11 and was ready to be immediately enacted. One did not see the shape of things to come while the event was unfolding.

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Medicine opens new frontiers for exploitation because ill health is a regular earner. There is nothing left to sell in the capitalist system but business services, Intellectual Property and 'Apps' perhaps. The Smart Phone market is saturated. The Russians, and other nations like Iran have still got endless supplies of gas, oil, etc.

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MBC , March 8, 2020 at 13:06

With all respect Craig I think you may be wandering into areas you are not qualified to judge. Mea culpa also, I am not a medic either. But I regularly see very senior medical experts saying that they are very concerned about this virus and they must have good reason because these people are clinicians not politicians.

As for the deaths from ordinary flu: how on earth do we know? I have had flu several times in my life and never bothered notifying my GP. I stayed home, isolated myself, and self-medicated. I suspect most people are the same. So the mortality of flu is limited to serious cases which comes to GPs' attention and is therefore an underestimate and more like 0.1% or even 0.01% than the claimed 1% as most people will not report it.

Peter , March 8, 2020 at 14:38

This might put things in perspective:
The Covid-19 . does not compare with seasonal flu, which is not new but harmful no less. According to the CDC's weekly U.S. flu report of February 22, 2020, "So far this season there have been at least 32 million flu illnesses, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 deaths from flu."

Worldwide, up to 650,000 individuals die from complications of seasonal flu each year. Take a moment to think about that. We can compare this number with other causes of death around the globe, like 470,000 people who lose their lives to homicide and many more who do to suicide. Nearly 1.35 million individuals die each year as a result of car accidents (an additional 20 to 50 million suffer injuries) ..
Covid-19 is a viral disease and appears to have a fatality rate of roughly 1 percent or less. It is dangerous, but it is not so dangerous we should put our lives on hold. Remember, we all take risks every single day and are exposed to hundreds of potential threats. The goal is to live our lives while also doing what is necessary to reduce the likelihood of being seriously harmed (and harming others). Do not increase your anxiety by staying home and constantly watching the news about the spread of the virus around the globe.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-new-home/202003/coronavirus-countering-your-fears

nevermind , March 8, 2020 at 14:40

Thanks for a levelled coherent comparison. The hoovering up response of the media is an obvious news management issue.

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There are only two important happenings in all our lives, our birth and our death everything inbetween is merely filling in time with chaws, multiplying and breathing.

glenn_uk , March 8, 2020 at 21:18

Hah!

James Penn-Dunnett , March 8, 2020 at 17:14

Nice picture Craig, you all look amazingly well.

In August '68 I caught H3N2 while stationed in Hong Kong. I was brought unconscious to the Gurkha military field hospital in Shek Kong and was kept there until my temperature returned to normal after a week. There was no attempt at quarantine or to trace victims or any follow up by the authorities. The HK Police and military were too busy dealing with communists and illegals crossing from China. Hong Kong Flu then spread to Vietnam via US sailors and other military who used HK for shore leave from the Vietnam War.

So naturally after that experience and being a 24/7 carer I am taking precautions. No not bulk buying but plenty of hand washing with soap, minimising people contact and trying not to cough or sneeze near anyone.

Here are a couple of useful links:

https://mobile.twitter.com/PalliThordarson/status/1236549305189597189

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1235127363341553667.html

Tony_0pmoc , March 8, 2020 at 17:52

Another brilliant post by Craig Murray You survived all that, well even a couple of weeks ago, queuing to get into jail for Julian Assange's trial. You are quite obviously as tough as old boots. Even the CIA have given up trying to kill you. The Coronavirus, if you get it is unlikely to have any effect on you.

Read Linh Dinh's too, check out his photography, and buy his book in Hardback – it has High Definition photos too "Postcards from the End of America". He was born in Vietnam, about the same age as Craig Murray, and travels around a lot, mostly by bus.

"Sick Days, Market Crash and Shut Borders"

https://www.unz.com/ldinh/sick-days-market-crash-and-shut-borders/

Tony

Patrick Haseldine , March 8, 2020 at 20:11

"Memento Mori – Unpopular Thoughts on Corona Virus" (Corrected by Wikispooks)

Consider this: 100% of those who contract coronavirus are going to die. 100% of those who do not contract coronavirus are also going to die. The difference in average life expectancy between the two groups will prove to be only very marginal. That is because the large majority of those who die of COVID-19 will already be nearing the end of life or have other health problems.

( https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:Memento_Mori_%E2%80%93_Unpopular_Thoughts_on_Corona_Virus )

rtah100 , March 8, 2020 at 21:22

It is reasonable to be sceptical and phlegmatic (no pun intended), given past pandemics. The problem with the coronavirus is that:
– we have no partial immunity from previous strains
– it results in a much greater hospitalisation rate and cases take weeks to resolve
– it is explosively more infectious than any flu since the second wave of Spanish flu, which peaked in three weeks in some places. It has R0 of 3.5 according to latest Chinese paper.

What that means is that entire healthcare systems will become saturated and people who might have been expected to live will die from lack of care, not old age. It will be luck of the draw who lives and diss, unless we agree turn off ventilation on older people in favour of the young when they have equal survival chances if ventilated . It also means that noncoronavirus healthcare is overwhelmed and people die indirectly.

With vigorous countermeasures, the peak of infection can be reduced, ideally below healthcare capacity. 40% peak reduction and 20% mortality reduction was possible in 1918 where implemented. Wuhan measures reduced R0 to 0.3, I.e. Killing transmission in three serial intervals of infection.

It is a public health and moral imperative not to be fatalistic here, Craig, and your normal humanism is lacking here.

Roger , March 7, 2020 at 14:39

I for one have not given up, and see plenty of life to experience ahead unlike this bloke. If it takes me out, at least I can go knowing that I have done everything possible to prevent it. That will bring comfort. Dying for no good reason does not seem like something good to dwell on during those last moments. The very fact that this old guy has been able to pen a coherent and interesting article without the effects of dementia or other old age related maladies demonstrates that even he has something left to contribute. Although in this case, I do not agree with his message.

Steve Hayes , March 7, 2020 at 14:44

The only evidence I have seen of mass hysteria is in the corporate mass media.

Vivian O'Bliviion , March 7, 2020 at 14:55

The American CDC rejected the notion of replicating the WHO approved Coronavirus test, in favour of developing its own test (resulting in a delayed launch date and continued lag in delivery). The CDC test is being billed at $1,200 (for those lucky enough to have sufficient insurance). In S. Korea testing is free if a prospective patient is running a temperature. If the subject is not running a temperature the test is billed at $120 (presumably this is an approximation of cost price). Some folks in America are going to make a whole pile of money out of the situation.
Reliable figures for infection and mortality rates should arrive before the Presidential election. It will be interesting if there is an appreciable differential between mortality rates in countries where healthcare is allocated according to medical need and countries where healthcare is allocated according to private insurance cover.
If America does experience heightened mortality rates to other industrialised countries, will this impact on the outcome of the election? I suspect not.

J Arther Nast , March 7, 2020 at 14:59

"The mass hysteria around the current coronavirus is being driven by a societal rejection of the notion that the human species is part of the wider ecology, and that death and disease are unavoidable facts, with which it ought to be part of the human condition to come to terms".

Well Crag that's one theory, buy what about all the other stuff that's going on, reaction to globalism, extinction, and all the other concerns. This corona virus is a seed falling on to fertile soil in more ways than one,

Luboš Motl , March 7, 2020 at 15:07

An excellent, wise text. I wrote a followup at
https://motls.blogspot.com/2020/03/humans-are-part-of-ecosystem.html

James Cook , March 7, 2020 at 16:13

The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began or The Swerve: How the World Became Modern: Stephan Greenblatt tells the story of how Poggio Bracciolini, a 15th-century papal emissary and obsessive book hunter, saved the last copy of the Roman poet Lucretius's On the Nature of Things from near-terminal neglect in a German monastery.

I am with you Craig .. Reading Lucretius's On the Nature of Things will set you free!

Stevie Boy , March 7, 2020 at 15:21

With all the (politically motivated ?) hype, I had a look at the official mortality figures for our annual common flu.
Over the last five years the average death rate is 17,000 per year in England, with a high of 28,000 and low of 1,600 !!!
Apparently, we happily live with these large death rates without the "The worlds going to end" hyperbole. People go about their business, going to work, travelling and all the normal trappings of daily life.
What is it with this Corona virus tosh ? What's going on, who's benefiting ? Is it part of the China propaganda ?
Utter madness.

Fleur , March 7, 2020 at 15:24

Very sensible – and thoughtful – commentary on the latest flu episode Craig. Thanks.

Your ruminations on the desire for, and even a belief in, the possibility of achieving immortality (or at least a very long life) are also timely, as these drive pivotal sections of the policy making and system creating sectors. Julian Assange has spoken about the belief – prevalent in Silicon Valley – that a world will soon be created where we can 'upload our brains' to the cloud, and so live on forever in whatever fantasy world appeals.

In the meantime, we live in bodies increasingly beset by toxic pollutants from chemical additives in water, BigAg food, polluted air, over prescribed drugs, radiation from our proliferating cellphones & wifi devices, and by stress generated by our loud, over-lit environment and mean, abusive work environments / economic system.Despite this, many people would rather panic over a virus than question the factors making us (and our children and seniors) so susceptible to such viruses.

I too have a lung condition, and have also experienced several very close brushes with death due to other factors (such as a recent, brutal home invasion). I also have experienced the deaths of many of the people close to me – people of all ages, from a range of factors. I suspect that those experiences make people much less afraid of death, and so much less likely to share the current panic, or to share the very common illusion that we can live forever – if we just spend enough on "research" and have enough superfoods, expensive drugs (and vax).

In my view we would all be better off concentrating on making our lives MEAN something while we have them (as Julian has done) than on obsessing over the latest media-driven "threat to security" propaganda – be that about a virus or something else.

Sue , March 7, 2020 at 15:34

This is a vey well written and thought provoking opinion piece. However, in this case, I do believ death and getting in infected, are both avoidable. And because few humans chose to be irresponsible with their choices, we now have a pandemic. People all around the world are on edge. Its not ok that millions of people died in the past pandemics, and if there was enough information back then, those numbers would have been small. Young parents with little children ear death a lot more than older parents, for obvious reasons. So, it's great if one doesn't buy into the hysteria, but it's the opposite if such a person becomes the cause for say, spreading the virus in a school!

Magic Robot , March 7, 2020 at 17:52

"chose to be irresponsible with their choices, we now have a pandemic."
And:
"great if one doesn't buy into the hysteria, but it's the opposite if such a person becomes the cause for say, spreading the virus"

Rely on newspaper, radio and TV warnings; buy into the hysteria; buy masks, wear them at all times in public, wash hands when entering the shops to buy your food, use cards not cash to pay, remain indoors until told otherwise, etc. OR ELSE! – Welcome to the new world of the 'virus police.'

Weechid , March 7, 2020 at 16:54

Thank you Craig, for being a voice of reason. I was just asking if this was any worse than other flu epidemic or if, for some reason, it was being made to seem so. I've also been wondering why they gave it another name rather than "flu". Is it just to make it sound more "scary" because most people don't understand that flu is more than just a bad cold? As far as I know I am healthy and have very little to fear from this latest flu. I do look after a relative with COPD and I'm concerned for him – in the same way that I'm concerned for him every winter as I know flu could kill him. The hysteria is driving me up the wall so it's good to see that some are remaining calm. The best of health to you, sir.

Mark Russell , March 7, 2020 at 16:54

I sincerely hope the virus outbreak isn't as dire as predicted, but like you, peccavi, peccabo, *as we see the catastrophic effects of human beings on the environment, including on other species and the climate*, it makes one wonder if it really is a catastrophe if predictions are accurate or underestimated..

Nature's schadenfreude – our comeuppance. If it were to be a natural evolutionary pathogen – but even if proves the stuff of nightmares and the deliberate release of an engineered virus – would it be a "bad thing" if 99% of humanity was culled?

This feels like the final scenes in "On the Beach" with Gregory Peck. At least they still had loo paper at the end

Jan Pietrasik , March 7, 2020 at 17:22

We in the Western imperialist nations don't like the idea of death but have no qualms about delivering death and disease to weaker nations we sanction, bomb, invade, occupy especially when modern warfare means there is very little risk to ourselves. Millions have died and continue to die across MENA, many of them children in our never ending wars for resources and geopolitical advantage sold as 'humanitarian intervention.'

[Mar 07, 2020] The Neoliberal Plague by Rob Urie

Highly recommended!
Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger.
We can view "Creepy Joe" and Trump as representatives of "neoliberal plague" The slogan should be " No Pasaran " ( Dolores Ibárruri's famous battlecry appeal for the defense of the Second Spanish Republic)
Notable quotes:
"... For those who aren't familiar with Albert Camus' The Plague , disparate lives are brought together during a plague that sweeps through an Algerian city. ..."
"... Through the virus, a new light is being shone on four decades of neoliberal reorganization of political economy. The combination of widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off means that sick and highly contagious workers will have little economic choice but to spread the virus. And the insurance company pricing mechanism intended to dissuade people from overusing health care ('skin in the game') means that only very sick people will 'buy' health care they can't afford. ..."
"... If this last part reads like (Ayn) Randian social theory as interpreted by a budding sociopath in the basement of his dead parent's crumbling tract home, it is basic neoliberal ideology applied to circumstances that we can see playing out in real time. ..."
"... While the American response to the Coronavirus threat seems to be less than robust, there was a near instantaneous response from the Federal Reserve to a 10% decline in stock prices. ..."
"... If priorities seem misplaced, you haven't been paying attention. The statistics on suicides, divorces, drug addiction and self-destructive behavior that result from the loss of employment were understood and widely published by the early 1990s, at the peak of that era's round of mass layoffs. Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger. ..."
"... But how likely is it that people will 'demand' too much healthcare? The starting position of Obamacare was that the American healthcare system provided half the benefit at twice the price of comparable systems. ..."
"... Milton Friedman, one of the founders of neoliberalism through the Mont Pelerin Society, produced a long career's worth of half-baked garbage economics. On the rare occasions when he wasn't helping Chilean fascists toss students out of airplanes in flight, he was pawning his infantile theories off on future Chamber of Commerce and ALEC predators. His positivism was already known to be a farce when he took it up. Here is a primer that explains why it is, and always will be, a farce. ..."
Mar 07, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

For those who aren't familiar with Albert Camus' The Plague , disparate lives are brought together during a plague that sweeps through an Algerian city. Today, by way of the emergence of a lethal and highly communicable virus (Coronavirus), we -- the people of the West, have an opportunity to reconsider what we mean to one another. The existential lesson is that through dread and angst we can choose to live, with the responsibilities that the choice entails, or just fade away.

Through the virus, a new light is being shone on four decades of neoliberal reorganization of political economy. The combination of widespread economic marginalization and a lack of paid time off means that sick and highly contagious workers will have little economic choice but to spread the virus. And the insurance company pricing mechanism intended to dissuade people from overusing health care ('skin in the game') means that only very sick people will 'buy' health care they can't afford.

Market provision of virus test kits, vaccines and basic sanitary aids will, in the absence of government coercion, follow the monopolist's model of under-provision at prices that are unaffordable for most people. The most fiscally responsible route, in the sense of assuring that the rich don't pay taxes, is to let those who can't afford health care die. If this means that tens of millions of people die unnecessarily, markets are a harsh taskmaster. ( 3.4% mortality rate @ 2X – 3X the contagion rate of the Spanish Flu @ 4 X 1918 population).

If this last part reads like (Ayn) Randian social theory as interpreted by a budding sociopath in the basement of his dead parent's crumbling tract home, it is basic neoliberal ideology applied to circumstances that we can see playing out in real time. According to Ryan Grim of The Intercept, Bill Clinton eliminated the ' reasonable pricing ' requirement for drugs made by companies that receive government funding. This has bearing on both commercially developed Coronavirus test kits and vaccines.

Leaving aside technical difficulties that either will or won't be resolved, how would any substantial portion of the 80% of the population that lives hand-to-mouth be effectively quarantined when losing an income creates a cascade effect of evictions, foreclosures, starvation, repossessions, shut-off utilities, etc.? The current system conceived and organized to make desperate and near desperate workers labor with the minimum of pay and benefits is a public health disaster by design.

While the American response to the Coronavirus threat seems to be less than robust, there was a near instantaneous response from the Federal Reserve to a 10% decline in stock prices. The same Federal Reserve that has been engineering a non-stop rise in stock prices since Wall Street was bailed out in 2009 knows perfectly well how narrowly stock ownership is concentrated amongst the rich -- it publishes the data. It quickly lowered the cost of financial speculation as the cost of Coronavirus tests and a vaccine -- and the question of who will bear them, remain indeterminate.

If priorities seem misplaced, you haven't been paying attention. The statistics on suicides, divorces, drug addiction and self-destructive behavior that result from the loss of employment were understood and widely published by the early 1990s, at the peak of that era's round of mass layoffs. Creating employment insecurity was the entire point of neoliberal reforms such as outsourcing, de-skilling and contingent employment. Neoliberal theory had it that desperate workers work both longer and harder. And they die younger.

The brutality of the logic used by the Obama administration in constructing the ACA, Obamacare, is worthy of exploration. The premise behind the 'skin in the game' idea is neoliberalism 101, developed by a founder of neoliberalism, economist Milton Friedman, to ration health care. The basic idea is that without a price attached to it, people will 'demand' more health care than they need. That from a public health perspective, oversupplying health care is better than undersupplying it, is ignored under the premise that public health concerns are communistic. (Read Friedman).

But how likely is it that people will 'demand' too much healthcare? The starting position of Obamacare was that the American healthcare system provided half the benefit at twice the price of comparable systems. Through the 'market' pricing mechanism that existed, the incentive was for people to avoid purchasing healthcare because it was / is wildly overpriced. Not considered was that through geographical and specialist 'natural monopolies,' health care providers had an incentive to undersupply health care by providing high-margin services to the rich.

Furthermore, why would a healthcare system be considered from the perspective of individual users? In contrast to the temporal sleight-of-hand where Obamacare 'customers' are expected to anticipate their illnesses and buy insurance plans that cover them, the entire premise of health insurance is that illnesses are unpredictable. Isn't the Coronavirus evidence of this unpredictable nature? And through the nature of pandemics, it is known that some people will get sick and other people won't. Not known is precisely who will get sick and who won't.

While there are public health emergency provisions in Obamacare that may or may not be invoked, why does it make sense in any case to require that people anticipate future illnesses? Such a program isn't health care and it isn't even health insurance. It is gambling. Guess right and you live. Guess wrong and you die. Why should we be guessing at all? Prior to Obamacare, health insurance companies gamed the system with life and death decisions. In true neoliberal fashion, Obamacare randomized the process as health insurers continue to game the system.

As I understand it, the public health emergency provision in Obamacare might cover virus testing and the cost of a vaccine if one is ever found. Great. What about care? How many readers chose a plan that covers Coronavirus? How many days can you go without a paycheck if you get sick or are quarantined? Who will take care of your children and for how long? How will you pay your rent or mortgage? Who will deliver groceries to your house and how will you pay for them? How will you make the car payment before they repossess it and how will you get to work without it if you recover?

The rank idiocy -- and the political content, of the frame of individual 'consumers' overusing health care quickly devolves to the fact that some large portion of the American people can't afford to go to the doctor when they need to. Even if they can afford the direct costs, they can't afford the indirect costs. When Obamacare was passed, the U.S. had the worst health care outcomes among rich countries. Ten years later, the U.S. has the worst healthcare outcomes among rich countries . And medical bankruptcies are virtually unchanged since Obamacare was passed.

The reason for focusing on Obamacare is it is the system through which we encounter the Coronavirus. In the narrow political sense of getting a health care bill passed, Obamacare may or may not have been 'pragmatic.' In a public health care sense, it is a disaster decades in the making. The problem wasn't / isn't Mr. Obama per se. It is the radical ideology behind it that was posed as pragmatism. Mr. Obama's success was to get a bill passed -- a political accomplishment. It wasn't to create a functioning healthcare system.

The otherworldly nature of neoliberal theory has led to a most brutal of social philosophies. Mr. Obama later put his energy into lengthening drug company patents to give drug companies an economic advantage provided by the government. Economist Dean Baker has made a career out of hammering this general point home. Michael Bloomberg benefited from government support for both technology and finance. His fortune of $16 billion in 2009 followed stock prices higher to land him at $64.2 billion in 2020.

Donald Trump inherited a large fortune that likewise followed stock and Manhattan real estate prices higher. Both he and Mr. Bloomberg could have put their early fortunes into passive portfolios and received the returns that they claim to be the product of superior intelligence and hard work. Analytically, if the variability of these fortunes tracks systemic, rather than personal, factors, then systemic factors explain them. The same is true of most of the great fortunes of the epoch of finance capitalism that began around 1978.

The point of merging these issues is that they represent flip sides of the neoliberal coin. In a broad sense, neoliberalism is premised on economic Darwinism, the quasi-religious (it isn't Darwin) idea that people land where they deserve to land in the social order. This same idea, that systemic differences in economic outcomes are evidence of systemic causes, applies here. However, differences in intelligence, initiative and talent don't map to systemic outcomes , meaning that concentrated wealth isn't a reward for these.

The ignorant brutality of this system appears to be on its way to getting a reality check through a tiny virus. Unless the Federal government figures this out really fast, most of the bodies will be carried out of poor and working class neighborhoods like mine. Few here have health insurance and most health care providers in the area don't take the insurance they do have. More than a day away from work and many of my neighbors will no longer have jobs. Evictions are a regular state of affairs in good times. There are no resources to facilitate a larger-picture response.

Liberalism, of which neoliberalism is a cranky cousin, lives through a patina of pragmatism until the nukes start flying or a virus hits. Getting healthcare 'consumers' to consider their market choices follows a narrow logic up to the point where none of the choices are relevant to a public health emergency. One I plus another I plus another I doesn't equal us. The fundamental premise of neoliberalism, the Robinsonade I, has always been a cynical dodge to let rich people keep their loot.

The mortality rate and contagion factor recently reported for Coronavirus (links at top) place it above the modern benchmark of the Spanish Flu of 1918 in terms of potential lethality. What should make people angry is how the reconfiguration of political economy intended to make a few people really rich has put the rest of us at increased risk. These are real people's lives and they matter.

Finally, for students of neoliberalism: there is no conflation of neoliberalism with neoclassical economics here. Milton Friedman, one of the founders of neoliberalism through the Mont Pelerin Society, produced a long career's worth of half-baked garbage economics. On the rare occasions when he wasn't helping Chilean fascists toss students out of airplanes in flight, he was pawning his infantile theories off on future Chamber of Commerce and ALEC predators. His positivism was already known to be a farce when he took it up. Here is a primer that explains why it is, and always will be, a farce.

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[Mar 04, 2020] Why Are We Being Charged? Surprise Bills From Coronavirus Testing Spark Calls for Government to Cover All Costs by Jake Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notes of disaster capitalism in action...
Notable quotes:
"... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not billing patients for coronavirus testing, according to Business Insider . "But there are other charges you might have to pay, depending on your insurance plan, or lack thereof," Business Insider noted. "A hospital stay in itself could be costly and you would likely have to pay for tests for other viruses or conditions." ..."
"... Congress needs to immediately pass a bill appropriating funding to cover 100% of the cost of all coronavirus testing & care within the United States. We will not have a chance at containing it otherwise. @tedlieu - as my rep, can you please ensure this is brought up? ..."
"... In the case of the Wucinskis, Kliff reported that "the ambulance company that transported [them] charged the family $2,598 for taking them to the hospital." ..."
"... Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Osmel Martinez Azcue "received a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270" after he visited a local hospital fearing that he contracted coronavirus during a work trip to China. ..."
"... Did anyone expect the unconscionable greed of capitalism to cease when a public health crisis emerges? This is just testing for the virus, wait until a vaccine has been developed so expensive that the majority of the US populace can not afford it at all and people are dropping like flies. Wall Street, never-the-less, will continue to have its heydays ..."
"... The very idea that the defense and "Homeland" security budgets are bloated and additional funding approved year after year but the citizens of this country are not afforded 100% health coverage In a time of global health crisis that could become a pandemic. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

"Huge surprise medical bills [are] going to make sure people with symptoms don't get tested. That is bad for everyone." by Jake Johnson, staff writer Public health advocates, experts, and others are demanding that the federal government cover coronavirus testing and all related costs after several reports detailed how Americans in recent weeks have been saddled with exorbitant bills following medical evaluations.

Sarah Kliff of the New York Times reported Saturday that Pennsylvania native Frank Wucinski "found a pile of medical bills" totaling $3,918 waiting for him and his three-year-old daughter after they were released from government-mandated quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station in Miramar, California.

"My question is why are we being charged for these stays, if they were mandatory and we had no choice in the matter?" asked Wucinski, who was evacuated by the U.S. government last month from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

"I assumed it was all being paid for," Wucinski told the Times . "We didn't have a choice. When the bills showed up, it was just a pit in my stomach, like, 'How do I pay for this?'"

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not billing patients for coronavirus testing, according to Business Insider . "But there are other charges you might have to pay, depending on your insurance plan, or lack thereof," Business Insider noted. "A hospital stay in itself could be costly and you would likely have to pay for tests for other viruses or conditions."

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, told the Times that

"the most important rule of public health is to gain the cooperation of the population."

"There are legal, moral, and public health reasons not to charge the patients,"

Gostin said.

Congress needs to immediately pass a bill appropriating funding to cover 100% of the cost of all coronavirus testing & care within the United States. We will not have a chance at containing it otherwise. @tedlieu - as my rep, can you please ensure this is brought up?

-- William LeGate (@williamlegate) March 2, 2020

In the case of the Wucinskis, Kliff reported that "the ambulance company that transported [them] charged the family $2,598 for taking them to the hospital."

"An additional $90 in charges came from radiologists who read the patients' X-ray scans and do not work for the hospital," Kliff noted.

The CDC declined to respond when Kliff asked whether the federal government would cover the costs for patients like the Wucinskis.

The Intercept 's Robert Mackey wrote last Friday that the Wucinskis' situation spotlights "how the American government's response to a public health emergency, like trying to contain a potential coronavirus epidemic, could be handicapped by relying on a system built around private hospitals and for-profit health insurance providers."

We should be doing everything we can to encourage people with #COVIDー19 symptoms to come forward. Huge surprise medical bills is going to make sure people with symptoms don't get tested. That is bad for everyone, regardless of if you are insured. https://t.co/KOUKTSFVzD

-- Saikat Chakrabarti (@saikatc) March 1, 2020

Play this tape to the end and you find people not going to the hospital even if they're really sick. The federal government needs to announce that they'll pay for all of these bills https://t.co/HfyBFBXhja

Last week, the Miami Herald reported that Osmel Martinez Azcue "received a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270" after he visited a local hospital fearing that he contracted coronavirus during a work trip to China.

"He went to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he said he was placed in a closed-off room," according to the Herald . "Nurses in protective white suits sprayed some kind of disinfectant smoke under the door before entering, Azcue said. Then hospital staff members told him he'd need a CT scan to screen for coronavirus, but Azcue said he asked for a flu test first."

Azcue tested positive for the flu and was discharged. "Azcue's experience shows the potential cost of testing for a disease that epidemiologists fear may develop into a public health crisis in the U.S.," the Herald noted.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, highlighted Azcue's case in a tweet last Friday.

"The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together," Sanders wrote. "We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills. Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet -- as a matter of justice and public health."

Last week, as Common Dreams reported , Sanders argued that the coronavirus outbreak demonstrates the urgent need for Medicare for All.

The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together. We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills.

Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet -- as a matter of justice and public health. https://t.co/c4WQMDESHU

-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) February 28, 2020

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged by more than two dozen over the weekend, bringing the total to 89 as the Trump administration continues to publicly downplay the severity of the outbreak.

Dr. Matt McCarthy, a staff physician at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, said in an appearance on CNBC 's "Squawk Box" Monday morning that testing for the coronavirus is still not widely available.

"Before I came here this morning, I was in the emergency room seeing patients," McCarthy said. "I still do not have a rapid diagnostic test available to me."

"I'm here to tell you, right now, at one of the busiest hospitals in the country, I don't have it at my finger tips," added McCarthy. "I still have to make my case, plead to test people. This is not good. We know that there are 88 cases in the United States. There are going to be hundreds by middle of week. There's going to be thousands by next week. And this is a testing issue."

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Harry_Pjotr 13h

Did anyone expect the unconscionable greed of capitalism to cease when a public health crisis emerges? This is just testing for the virus, wait until a vaccine has been developed so expensive that the majority of the US populace can not afford it at all and people are dropping like flies. Wall Street, never-the-less, will continue to have its heydays

Smerl fern 12h

A wall street bank or private predator may own your emergency room. A surprise bill may await your emergency treatment above insurance payments or in some instances all of the bill.

An effort was made recently in congress to stop surprise billings but enough dems joined repubs to kill it. More important to keep campaign dollars flowing than keep people alive. fern Smerl 12h I know emergency rooms are being purchased by organizations like Tenet (because they are some of the most expensive levels of care) and M.D.s provided by large agencies. I'm not as up on this as I should be but a friend of mine tells me that some of this is illegal. I have received bills that were later discharged by challenge. This is worth investigating further. Atlas oldie 11h Hmmmm A virus that overwhelmingly kills the elderly and/or those with pre-exisitng conditions.

Sounds like a medical insurance companies wet dream. As well as .gov social security/medicare wet dream.

Just sayin'

Ticki 11h

The very idea that the defense and "Homeland" security budgets are bloated and additional funding approved year after year but the citizens of this country are not afforded 100% health coverage In a time of global health crisis that could become a pandemic. And as has been stated, the unconscionable idea suggested that a possible vaccine (a long way away or perhaps not developed at all) might not be affordable to the workers who pay the taxes that fund the government? That's insane.

leftonadoorstep 11h

Another example of "American Exceptionalism." China doesn't charge its coronavirus patients, neither does South Korea. I guess they are simply backward countries.

Barton 11h

I own my own home after years of hard work paying it off. It's the only thing of value, besides my old truck, that I have. If I get the virus, I will stay home and try to treat it the best I can. I can't afford to go to the hospital and pay thousands in medical bills, with the chance that they'll come after my possessions. America, the land of the _______. Fill in the blank. (Hint: it's no longer free).

fern 1 Barton 11h

There are other ways to protect your home. Homesteading or living trust. I'm not good at this but I know there are ways to do it. Hopefully, it would never come to that but outcomes are not certain even with treatment in this case.

Giovanna-Lepore oldie 11h

As someone who lost a mother at 5 years old I can sympathize with your grief in losing a daughter-in-law and especially seeing her four children orphaned. However, I think you miss the point here: This is about we becoming a society invested in each others welfare and not a company town that commodifies everything including the health and well being of us all.

fern 1 Giovanna-Lepore 11h

I'm going by: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1129/text

As a revision it is better but flawed. It is a cost containment bill based on the same research as the republican plan with global budgets and block grants.

Edited: I encourage you to read this:
-ttps://www.rand.org/blog/2018/10/misconceptions-about-medicare-for-all.html Giovanna-Lepore 10h oldie:

Part D

Higher education is not free but they do need to become free for the students and payed by us as a society.

Part D is a scam, a Republican scam also supported by corporate democrats because of its profit motive and its privatization

Medicare only covers 80% and does not cover eye and dental care and older folks especially need these services. Medicaid helps but there are limits and one cannot necessarily use it where one needs to go. Expanded, Improved Medicare For All is a vast improvement. because it covers everyone in one big pool and, therefore, much more dignified than the rob Paul to pay peter system we have.

Social Security too can be improved. Why should it simply be based on the income of the person which means that a person working in a low paying job in a capitalist system gone wild with greed will often work until they die.

Pell grants can be eliminated when we have what the French have: publicly supported education for everyone.

The demise of unions certainly did not help but it was part of the long strategy of the Right to privatize everything to the enrichment of the few.

Yunzer SuspiraDeProfundis 10h

Thank goodness for the "/s". Poe's Law you know

The overall competence that Canada is handling this outbreak, compared to the USA, is stark. First world (Canada) versus third-world (USA). Testing is practically available for free, to any suspect person, sick or not, as Toronto alone can run 1000 tests a day and have results in 4 hours. That is far more than all the US's capacity for 330 million people.

I wonder how long before Canada closes its borders to USAns? Me and my wife (both in a vulnerable age/medical group) should seriously consider fleeing to my brother's place in Toronto as the first announced cases in Pittsburgh are probably only days away. What about our poor cat though? We could try to smuggle her across the border, but she is a loud and talkative kitty

Greenwich 10h

Don't want to discourage anyone from any protective measures – but the "low down" from my veggie store today was that a lot of health professionals shop there and they think it's being hyped by media. Did get this from my NJ Sen. Menendez –

Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC)

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, everyday preventive actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • For more information : htps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
  • How it spreads : The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. [Read more.]
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html )
  • Symptoms : For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Seeker 9h Greenwich:

Don't want to discourage anyone from any protective measures – but the "low down" from my veggie store today was that a lot of health professionals shop there and they think it's being hyped by media.

I agree it is being hyped by the media to the point of being fear mongering. At the same time it is being ignored by the administration to such an extent that really little almost nothing is being done. At some point the two together will create an even bigger problem.

It is like the old adage: "Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you." Each over/under reach in considering the reality of the situation has its own problem, which multiply when combined. Every morning when I wake up I say a little atheistic prayer to myself before I get out of bed: "Another day and for better or worse...".

Seeker 8h

Well, two reported here in Florida tonight. One in my county, one in the county next door. And more of the "we already knew, but told you late". One person checked into the hospital on Wednesday. We hear it Monday night. Both were ignored far a long time it seems, and 84 in particular are being watched (roommates, friends, hospital workers not alerted for several days, the usual). But no one knows every place they had been since becoming infected.

Oh, and they have tested a handful of people. No worry?

I can't see anyway that this level of incompetency is an accident. Spring break is just starting usually a 100's of thousand tourist bonanza.

So the question is do they want to kill us, or just keep us in fear?

I think the later. But the end result is a crap shoot. So once again, it is a gamble with our lives.

Archie1954 7h

The business of America is business. Sometimes that can go too far and this is one of those times. Making money from the loss, distress, harm and suffering of others is perverse beyond belief.

[Mar 04, 2020] Nowcasting COVID-19 for public health control: learning from the Chinese experience for global preparedness by Gabriel Leung

Highly recommended!
An excellent, if technical video from 27 Feb. The speaker is a HK Chinese (English speaking) Epidemiologist.
He point out "family clustering" of Chinese cases and most cases originating from Hubey province, not local clusters. He also pointed out the Wuhan has large cluster of old population.
Feb 27, 2020 | lshtm.ac.uk

John Snow Lecture Theatre, LSHTM

WHO Collaborating Centre. The University of Hong Kong Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control

[Mar 03, 2020] Coronavirus Systems Fragility by Rod Dreher

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I have been a physician now for almost 30 years. It has been a career spanning the very end of the "Marcus Welby" era, and then piece by piece the complete dismantling of the medical profession by the insurance companies and now "non-profit" corporations. When I was young, the leadership structure in the hospitals was completely and utterly controlled by three groups: the physicians, the nurses, and in the case of Catholic hospitals, the church and the nuns, or in non-Catholic hospitals, philanthropic community leaders. ..."
"... There were no four-star mahogany and marble lobbies. There were no 2 million dollar annual salaries for the hospital CEOs. There were no non-profit corporate boards extracting every bit of wealth from the patients to maintain multimillion dollar salaries for the board members and the middle managers. ..."
"... In further conversation, the doctor said that we should be thinking about a world in which a large number of health care workers can't come to work because they are in quarantine or sick with the virus. We are looking at this problem right now. ..."
Mar 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Here's a link to an unrolled Twitter thread by former USAID official Jeremy Konyndyk. It begins:

Later in the thread:

Read the whole thread. His basic point is that the US Government did not want to see data that would indicate community transmission, so it didn't look for that. What do you think? I'm especially interested in what medical professionals in this blog's readership have to say.

I received this e-mail from Wyoming Doc a couple of days ago, and have his permission to post it:

I have just learned of the first Coronavirus Death in the USA. It is now getting real.

I would point you to the following links -- I am seeing myself -- but to a greater degree hearing about rather concerning things happening in our hospitals across the country.
The first is this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iz0dQbGLbE

The second is this website I showed you the other day:

https://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

I would start first with a little background. I have been a physician now for almost 30 years. It has been a career spanning the very end of the "Marcus Welby" era, and then piece by piece the complete dismantling of the medical profession by the insurance companies and now "non-profit" corporations. When I was young, the leadership structure in the hospitals was completely and utterly controlled by three groups: the physicians, the nurses, and in the case of Catholic hospitals, the church and the nuns, or in non-Catholic hospitals, philanthropic community leaders.

The focus at the time was mostly on taking care of the most patients the best that could be done in a compassionate way with the resources available. And believe it or not, in my opinion, the care that was given in that time was far superior than what is going on now. The leaders of the hospitals were community leaders, and so was the medical and the nursing staff. To put it succinctly: they cared about their neighbors. Many, many nights while on call I would see the nuns right along side the nurses and physicians working themselves to death to take care of sick patients. These hospitals were never in debt -- the resources and the donations coming in were used for the expenses going out. There were no four-star mahogany and marble lobbies. There were no 2 million dollar annual salaries for the hospital CEOs. There were no non-profit corporate boards extracting every bit of wealth from the patients to maintain multimillion dollar salaries for the board members and the middle managers.

When I was a young medical student, a very old professor taught a course in medical ethics. In one of his most pressing lectures, he discussed the fact that the goals and ideals of medicine and public health were a complete 180 degrees from the wants and desires of a free market. He added that every time combining public health/medicine and free markets had been tried in history it ended in tears -- usually bankrupting the society. It was his fervent desire that we not allow this to happen to the profession as we entered its ranks, and to keep an eye out for this at all times.

Well, as everyone knows by now, his worst fears have been realized. Many, probably not most, members of my profession -- especially the procedure-based specialists and surgeons -- in the past 10-15 years have completely lost sight of the public well-being. Their sights are now on lucre. The one desire for many of them has been how to make more money more quickly. They have been aided and abetted by the governing agencies and Boards of all the various medical specialties. These national leadership organizations have made all the activities of being a physician so onerous and the billing so difficult that the vast majority of physicians have no choice but to become employees of these mega-corporations. The physicians have made a deal to take a back seat to these "businessmen" to keep the cash coming. The leadership of our hospital systems are no longer physicians, nurses, nuns, and philanthropists. Nope –it is all MBA all the time. Even the physicians who are nominally in charge -- ie the ubiquitous Chief Medical Officers of the corporations -- do not get considered for the jobs unless they have an MBA after their name. And the credentialing of the leadership teams are just absolutely ridiculous. Look at the websites of your local hospital and its leadership. It is usual to see things like this: John Doe, MD MBA FACP PhD FACC. The non-MD credentialing is even more hilarious -- I have no idea what 95% of these abbreviations mean -- but they have to puff themselves up anyway. The hubris and the arrogance would be hilarious, but now the crisis is upon us.

About 10-15 years ago, the change began in earnest. One by one, the physicians in charge were replaced with MBA bureaucrats. The usual committee structure in the hospital -- "Pharmacy & Therapeutics", "Patient Care Committee" etc -- had their physicians, nurses and pharmacists replaced with bureaucrats. Some of these bureaucrats were MDs and RNs -- the paycheck was awesome -- and they turned their backs on their duties and their colleagues and patients on the ground to keep the cash coming. I even lived to see the day when one of my hospitals fired the MD and RN leadership of the Medical Ethics Committee and replaced them with an MBA.

Suddenly, the only ethical thing to do was whatever was needed to maximize cash flow. And any MD or RN who did not like it? Well, you're fired -- see you later. We began to completely corporatize medical care. Advertisements and billboards everywhere, customer service feedback surveys flowing in the mail, the list is endless. Public health concerns began to be confined strictly to things that would boost revenue: colonoscopies, mammograms, labs, vaccinations, bone density studies, etc. Things that have no revenue flow -- like mental health issues, opioid abuse, elder care -- well, who cares about that? Very soon, the hospitals began to merge into gigantic corporations and then they began to collude to control the health care costs in the community. Our health care systems in all our big cities are gigantic monopolies. This despite the fact that this kind of behaviour is illegal under federal statutes. And please note: this is why insurance costs are so enormously high in this country -- and getting higher every year. Obamacare did NOTHING to stop this; it actually in many ways has made it much easier to pull off.

Because of this situation and for many other reasons, I decided to make a change in my life a few years ago. I have now moved to a very small hospital in rural America. In my life now, the corporate board has now been replaced by a board elected by the taxpayers: they are truly leaders of the community and do everything in the spirit of what the people need and are counting on from their hospital. The hospital is led by an MD -- and there are administrators -- but they too are members of the community. There is an obvious care about the community and its needs. I have spoken to colleagues across the country this week -- some big hospitals have done nothing at all to prepare for the crisis. It is no surprise to me that people in all levels at my current hospital have gone to enormous lengths to make sure everyone here is ready to go. I feel like I have stepped back in time twenty years. It is a very good feeling.

In the big city, I had become very accustomed to going to important meetings in the hospitals -- all controlled by the business leadership now -- and no medical facts or issues being discussed at all. Anything medical is distilled down to number crunching, revenue cycles, and "profit centers." Never a word is said about medical facts, public health, impact on patients, or morality like it used to be -- at least most of the time. Anyone who voices dissent is ostracized, and finds themselves disinvited and even dismissed from employment.

So the Youtube video is old hat to me. The people in charge of these critical things in our world often look like Barbie and Ken. They are cool cucumbers. They know all about branding, deceptive advertising, maximizing revenue, hiding truths, sucking up. But when actually asked questions that are critical to the issue at hand -- they often know nothing. And because they know nothing, nothing gets done. I have seen it many times before and am sure I will see it again. I read commentary online that people were shocked by that DHS Chief's answers to questions. I am not shocked -- I am very accustomed to it. Please note: our entire corporate health care system at the local hospital level in the big cities is now under the control of people just like him. They are looking for every way they can to defuse this crisis with calming advertising, words, pleasantries, smiles, and soothing statements. I am sure that they are also looking for any way they can profit financially from it as well. All I can say is: Good Luck.

A case in point was the following interaction I was told about yesterday by an old student of mine who is now a fellow at a major medical center on the East Coast. I heard the same exact recollection of the story from someone else in the room.

This was a meeting with the upper administration of the hospital system and heads of departments and multiple physicians and nurses. It occurred between the CEO and a DOC who is older and near retirement and who is an infectious disease specialist. The discussion about the current crisis went something like this:

CEO: I am not sure that we need to be preparing like this – this is obviously overblown – and is really going to damage our budget projections. The HHS seems to think this is going to go away in the spring anyway.
DOC: Why in God's name would you want it to go away in the spring?
CEO: (chuckling) What the hell are you talking about? We all want this thing to go away as soon as possible.
DOC – Historically, when pandemics are spread by aerosol droplets, and are as infectious as this one seems to be, they may recede in the spring -- but then come back in the fall with horrific fury. Remember the last one -- the Spanish Flu? The first wave was nothing, but the second and third waves turned the planet into a funeral home.
CEO: Oh for God's sake – don't you get it? That will give us time to get a vaccine -- we will not need to worry about it in October.
DOC: A vaccine? you must be kidding. It is never a good idea to rush a vaccine. Remember the first polio vaccine was rushed to market. It did not work and actually harmed many children. Remember the swine flu vaccine in the 1970s? It was not properly tested. Very few died from the swine flu. Hundreds and thousands were maimed or killed by Guillain Barré Syndrome because of it. And I doubt that half of our population would be even willing to take it. You do not understand.

CEO: Oh I understand way more than you obviously do. There is already an antiviral -- we will have that as well.

DOC: Really? Again, not really fully tested. And have you looked at the cost? Even a conservative estimate at the dosing they are using it would be $5000 a day. What is that going to do to your budget projections when you have 100 people in here in the hospital on that drug? Do we even have enough in the country for a sudden mass need? I do not know.

And then CEO looked DOC in the eye and just moved on to something else.

And DOC found out later that he would no longer be welcome at any of these meetings.

Please know this: viruses are not Republicans, they are not Democrats. Viruses are not going to respond to advertising, sweet words, or revenue cycles. They are going to accomplish their mission, and that alone. There may be things we are able to do, but we will need all the medical wisdom in the world focusing on our country as a whole and our local communities. That is just not happening to the extent it should be. We are going to fight this one with business school principles.

I again pray all the time that this virus will burn out -- that it will stop, that it will not get worse. I pray that God will have mercy and allow this to be a close call. But I am afraid that we have let our society crumble in so many ways –not just medicine -- that it is going to take a punch in the face to get our attention. This coronavirus may very well be the brass knuckles.

A follow-up e-mail from him:

This has been one of the most harrowing weeks in my career. The patients are really wigged out. Multiple times this week, I have seen patients with a cough or fever -- and we cannot ID a pathogen. That has caused a constant boogeyman to be sitting on my shoulder: fear. I can see the fear in my staff's eyes, and then on Friday, a nurse suddenly after lunch developed a 101 fever and a bad cough -- again no pathogens. I have a feeling this is happening in many other places in this country.

We have no way to test these people. I can offer little if any hope. I am telling them to stay at home, and I can see the horror in their eyes. I am now at the same level of those physicians in Milano 700 years ago –

So when I get this kind of soul crushing fear in my life, I always call one of my elder family members. My parents and grandparents are all gone now. The only one left is my 92 year old Auntie Marina. She lived through hell in Greece during the Nazi occupation and immediately thereafter. She is an amazing woman. And this is what she said to me.

"My dear, I was there when your parents handed your life and everything you are over to God. I was right on the front row. He has been preparing you every day of your life since you were a baby for the duties that you must now perform. Be brave, and sturdy, and do everything in His name. He will surround you with courage -- and fear not, if he decides this is your time to go, you will be welcomed by all the saints and angels. But here in our house, we are going to be lifting you up in prayer, multiple times a day. And I am certain that your parents are looking down and are very very proud of you."

I am a member of my community and my church. I cannot leave my post -- and I would ask that you pray for me and my staff for the bravery to continue on. I know that is a lot of drama, but we are really having fear here on the front lines. I would ask that you keep all the health care workers in America in your prayers right now.

In further conversation, the doctor said that we should be thinking about a world in which a large number of health care workers can't come to work because they are in quarantine or sick with the virus. We are looking at this problem right now.

He also recommends that people follow the coronavirus Reddit, which he says is well-moderated, and a source of solid information: https://www.reddit.com/r/Coronavirus/

[Mar 03, 2020] Coronavirus hype vs reality

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the official Chinese numbers as unreliable, with large error bars in unpredictable directions. Look to South Korea and Singapore for reliable data; both are actively and aggressively testing, and both are strong open information societies. ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

It is possible that a known pharmaceutical called remdesivir inhibits the reproduction of the Covid-19 coronavirus. It inhibits (some) RNA dependendent RNA Polymerases -- the type of enzyme the virus uses to replicated its genome and express its genes. It is known that it is a potent inhibitor of the RNA dependendent RNA Polymerases used by the MERS coronavirus

update: here is a good site for Covid-19 data.


likbez , March 2, 2020 6:51 pm

> The risk of business as usual is a small chance of tens of millions of deaths, because drug shortages prevent effective control of the epidemic

Does not look this way. In China epidemic is almost over with mortality between 2 and 3%. Cases in other countries has mortality on 0.1% much like for a regular flu.

I think chances of infection of a billion people are non-existent. Trump might have a point that spring can help -- coronaroviruses worst period of spreading is winter (although there are exceptions)

As the virus is very similar (I think 80% of the genome) to chicken flu the creation of vaccine is possible. Israeli scientists claim that 'In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine'

https://www.jpost.com/HEALTH-SCIENCE/Israeli-scientists-In-three-weeks-we-will-have-coronavirus-vaccine-619101/

[BUT] after scientists sequenced the DNA of the novel coronavirus causing the current worldwide outbreak, the MIGAL researchers examined it and found that the poultry coronavirus has high genetic similarity to the human one, and that it uses the same infection mechanism, which increases the likelihood of achieving an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time, Katz said.

"All we need to do is adjust the system to the new sequence," he said. "We are in the middle of this process, and hopefully in a few weeks we will have the vaccine in our hands. Yes, in a few weeks, if it all works, we would have a vaccine to prevent coronavirus."[.]
Akunis said he has instructed his ministry's director-general to fast-track all approval processes with the goal of bringing the human vaccine to market as quickly as possible.

"Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development," MIGAL CEO David Zigdon said. The vaccine could "achieve safety approval in 90 days," he said.[.] (emphasis added)

I think the danger of the pandemic was exaggerated. In no way this is a new Spanish flu. Not even close.

Which means chances of tens million of more death are very exaggerated, highly unrealistic estimate.

Robert Waldmann , March 2, 2020 7:04 pm

There is no basis for the 0.1% death rate outside of China assertion. The ratio of deaths to cases is greater than that and many people are in serious or critical condition. The death rate is not statistically signficantly higher in China than in other countries. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Other countries have neither the public health competence nor the ruthlessness of China (I am thinking mostly of other developing countries but the USA does seem to have problems with testing kits).

A candidate vaccine will be available soon. It will not be proven safe and effective and then mass produced soon. The argument that it is better to consider costs and benefits and not stick to the rule that first second and third do no harm applies to vaccines much more than to remdesivir (known to be safe can be quickly tested for effectiveness).

All experts agree that a vaccine will be available in a year or two. They know that candidate vaccines will exist soon. They know that the problem is proving safety and effectiveness and then producing a lot. A vaccine could be available in much less than a year. It would be used well within a year if people listened to me. But they won't.

It probably won't be like the Spanish Flu, because of vigorous quarantine type counter measures. A vaccine will help, but could be too late for tens of millions. Remdesivir will probably work and this will be proven fairly soon. I will probably make a difference. It could make a larger difference.

Erik , March 2, 2020 8:02 pm

All commenters: please note that official numbers from China are almost certainly inaccurate, both in numerator and denominator.

The total number of cases diagnosed is limited by test kits, which have recently moved from 300 kits manufactured per day to 4000 kits/day. Which is still at least an order of magnitude lower than the number of known cases. And anecdotal data coming from Chinese physicians and health workers indicates both a higher patient population than official, and many deaths not attributed to Covid (an epidemic of "pneumonia" deaths in Wuhan preceding the announcement of Covid, for example). Much is being hidden – not from us, they don't care about us; they're hiding the information from their own people, which they do as a general policy on most subjects.

Which is all mostly to say, treat the official Chinese numbers as unreliable, with large error bars in unpredictable directions. Look to South Korea and Singapore for reliable data; both are actively and aggressively testing, and both are strong open information societies.

likbez , March 2, 2020 9:43 pm

> There is no basis for the 0.1% death rate outside of China assertion

Low mortality rate for COVID-19 is masked by high (15%) mortality rate of persons over 80.

For people younger then 40 it is a reasonable assertion as deaths concentrate on the age group starting from 50-59. Men are approx. twice more susceptible then women.

Case-Fatality Rates (CFR) China by Age as of 2/11/20
80+ 14.8%
70-79 8.0%
60-69 3.6%
50-59 1.3%
40-49 .4%
30-39 . 24% (18/7,600)
20-29 .19% (7/3,619)
10-19 .02% (1/549)
0-09 0 (0/416)

Per country currently the worst in 4.4% (Iran.) With 8,000-Plus deaths in US alone, flu is far more deadly than the coronavirus
See https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

The most cruel experiment was with the Diamond Princess cruise ship (close space, high level of contact between passengers, lack of qualified medical personnel and supplied, etc)

Six people died and 700 people were infected out of 3700. For all other the immune system managed to kill the virus. Which suggests susceptibility rate of around 20%. It suggests 0.2% mortality

Two Japanese passengers – an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman – were the first to die from the disease on February 19.

In the USA out six deaths at least four have been among residents of a long-term care facility called Life Care Center, where more than 50 residents and staff members have shown symptoms of the virus.

Only 14% of cases are more severe then a regular flu:

Spectrum of disease (N = 44 415)
Mild: 81% (36 160 cases)
Severe: 14% (6168 cases)
Critical: 5% (2087 cases)

I believe your hypothetic case about the possibility of the pandemic with high mortality rate is without merit.

We do not need to contribute to the panic, which already started in the USA with population buying masks, isopropyl alcohol and hand sanitizers as if there no tomorrow (a friend told me that bottle of hand sanitizer on Amazon today in $60 or so ;-).

And masks are effective mostly for sick people (block spreading of infected aerosol from lungs) , mush less for healthy people as they do no follow proper decontamination procedures anyway.

BTW in China epidemics is already subsiding. Again only 14 percent of cases are severe (which means more serere than a regular flu):

The health ministry on Tuesday announced just 125 new cases of the virus detected over the past 24 hours, the lowest number since authorities began publishing nationwide figures on Jan. 21. Another 31 deaths were reported, all of them in the hardest-hit province of Hubei. The figures bring China's total number of cases to 80,151 with 2,943 deaths.

China's U.N. ambassador says the government believes that "victory" over the coronavirus won't be far behind the coming of spring.

[Mar 01, 2020] Starting out is not the problem. "The big problem is maintaining it,"

Mar 01, 2020 | getpocket.com

When it comes to exercise, we think about how to "get" fit. But often, starting out is not the problem. "The big problem is maintaining it," says Falko Sniehotta, a professor of behavioural medicine and health psychology at Newcastle University. The official UK guidelines say adults should do strength exercises, as well as 150 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, every week. According to the Health Survey for England in 2016 , 34% of men and 42% of women are not hitting the aerobic exercise targets, and even more – 69% and 77% respectively – are not doing enough strengthening activity. A report from the World Health Organization in September, 2018, found that people in the UK were among the least active in the world, with 32% of

Our reasons for beginning to exercise are fundamental to whether we will keep it up, says Michelle Segar, the director of the University of Michigan's Sport, Health and Activity Research and Policy Center. Too often "society promotes exercise and fitness by hooking into short-term motivation, guilt and shame". There is some evidence, she says, that younger people will go to the gym more if their reasons are appearance-based, but past our early 20s that doesn't fuel motivation much. Nor do vague or future goals help ("I want to get fit, I want to lose weight"). Segar, the author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness , says we will be more successful if we focus on immediate positive feelings such as stress reduction, increased energy and making friends. "The only way we are going to prioritise time to exercise is if it is going to deliver some kind of benefit that is truly compelling and valuable to our daily life," she says.

2 Get off to a slow start

The danger of the typical New Year resolutions approach to fitness, says personal trainer Matt Roberts , is that people "jump in and do everything – change their diet, start exercising, stop drinking and smoking – and within a couple of weeks they have lost motivation or got too tired. If you haven't been in shape, it's going to take time." He likes the trend towards high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and recommends people include some, "but to do that every day will be too intense for most people". Do it once (or twice, at most) a week, combined with slow jogs, swimming and fast walks – plus two or three rest days, at least for the first month. "That will give someone a chance of having recovery sessions alongside the high-intensity workouts."

3 You don't have to love it

It is helpful not to try to make yourself do things you actively dislike, says Segar, who advises thinking about the types of activities – roller-skating? Bike riding? – you liked as a child. But don't feel you have to really enjoy exercise. "A lot of people who stick with exercise say: 'I feel better when I do it.'" There are elements that probably will be enjoyable, though, such as the physical response of your body and the feeling of getting stronger, and the pleasure that comes with mastering a sport.

"For many people, the obvious choices aren't necessarily the ones they would enjoy," says Sniehotta, who is also the director of the National Institute for Health Research's policy research unit in behavioural science, "so they need to look outside them. It might be different sports or simple things, like sharing activities with other people."

4 Be kind to yourself

Individual motivation – or the lack of it – is only part of the bigger picture. Money, parenting demands or even where you live can all be stumbling blocks, says Sniehotta. Tiredness, depression, work stress or ill family members can all have an impact on physical activity. "If there is a lot of support around you, you will find it easier to maintain physical activity," he points out. "If you live in certain parts of the country, you might be more comfortable doing outdoor physical activity than in others. To conclude that people who don't get enough physical activity are just lacking motivation is problematic."

Segar suggests being realistic. "Skip the ideal of going to the gym five days a week. Be really analytical about work and family-related needs when starting, because if you set yourself up with goals that are too big, you will fail and you'll feel like a failure. At the end of a week, I always ask my clients to reflect on what worked and what didn't. Maybe fitting in a walk at lunch worked, but you didn't have the energy after work to do it."

5 Don't rely on willpower

"If you need willpower to do something, you don't really want to do it," says Segar. Instead, think about exercise "in terms of why we're doing it and what we want to get from physical activity. How can I benefit today? How do I feel when I move? How do I feel after I move?"

6 Find a purpose

Anything that allows you to exercise while ticking off other goals will help, says Sniehotta. "It provides you with more gratification, and the costs of not doing it are higher." For instance, walking or cycling to work, or making friends by joining a sports club, or running with a friend. "Or the goal is to spend more time in the countryside, and running helps you do that."

Try to combine physical activity with something else. "For example, in my workplace I don't use the lift and I try to reduce email, so when it's possible I walk over to people," says Sniehotta. "Over the course of the day, I walk to work, I move a lot in the building and I actually get about 15,000 steps. Try to make physical activity hit as many meaningful targets as you can."

7 Make it a habit

When you take up running, it can be tiring just getting out of the door – where are your shoes? Your water bottle? What route are you going to take? After a while, points out Sniehottta, "there are no longer costs associated with the activity". Doing physical activity regularly and planning for it "helps make it a sustainable behaviour". Missing sessions doesn't.

8 Plan and prioritize

What if you don't have time to exercise? For many people, working two jobs or with extensive caring responsibilities, this can undoubtedly be true, but is it genuinely true for you? It might be a question of priorities, says Sniehotta. He recommends planning: "The first is 'action planning', where you plan where, when and how you are going to do it and you try to stick with it." The second type is 'coping planning': "anticipating things that can get in the way and putting a plan into place for how to get motivated again". Segar adds: "Most people don't give themselves permission to prioritize self-care behaviours like exercise."

9 Keep it short and sharp

A workout doesn't have to take an hour, says Roberts. "A well-structured 15-minute workout can be really effective if you really are pressed for time." As for regular, longer sessions, he says: "You tell yourself you're going to make time and change your schedule accordingly."

10 If it doesn't work, change it

It rains for a week, you don't go running once and then you feel guilty. "It's a combination of emotion and lack of confidence that brings us to the point where, if people fail a few times, they think it's a failure of the entire project," says Sniehotta. Remember it's possible to get back on track.

If previous exercise regimes haven't worked, don't beat yourself up or try them again – just try something else, he says. "We tend to be in the mindset that if you can't lose weight, you blame it on yourself. However, if you could change that to: 'This method doesn't work for me, let's try something different,' there is a chance it will be better for you and it prevents you having to blame yourself, which is not helpful."

11 Add resistance and balance training as you get older

"We start to lose muscle mass over the age of around 30," says Hollie Grant, a personal training and pilates instructor, and the owner of PilatesPT . Resistance training (using body weight, such as press-ups, or equipment, such as resistance bands) is important, she says: "It is going to help keep muscle mass or at least slow down the loss. There needs to be some form of aerobic exercise, too, and we would also recommend people start adding balance challenges because our balance is affected as we get older."

12 Up the ante

"If you do 5k runs and you don't know if you should push faster or go further, rate your exertion from one to 10," says Grant. "As you see those numbers go down, that's when to start pushing yourself a bit faster." Roberts says that, with regular exercise, you should be seeing progress over a two-week period and pushing yourself if you feel it is getting easier. "You're looking for a change in your speed or endurance or strength."

13 Work out from home

If you have caring responsibilities, Roberts says you can do a lot within a small area at home. "In a living room, it is easy to do a routine where you might alternate between doing a leg exercise and an arm exercise," he says. "It's called Peripheral Heart Action training. Doing six or eight exercises, this effect of going between the upper and lower body produces a pretty strong metabolism lift and cardiovascular workout." Try squats, half press-ups, lunges, tricep dips and glute raises. "You're raising your heart rate, working your muscles and having a good general workout." These take no more than 15-20 minutes and only require a chair for the tricep dips – although dumbbells can be helpful, too.

14 Get out of breath

We are often told that housework and gardening can contribute to our weekly exercise targets, but is it that simple? "The measure really is you're getting generally hot, out of breath, and you're working at a level where, if you have a conversation with somebody while you're doing it, you're puffing a bit," says Roberts. "With gardening, you'd have to be doing the heavier gardening – digging – not just weeding. If you're walking the dog, you can make it into a genuine exercise session – run with the dog, or find a route that includes some hills."

15 Be sensible about illness

Joslyn Thompson Rule , a personal trainer, says: "The general rule is if it's above the neck – a headache or a cold – while being mindful of how you're feeling, you are generally OK to do some sort of exercise. If it's below the neck – if you're having trouble breathing – rest. The key thing is to be sensible. If you were planning on doing a high-intensity workout, you would take the pace down, but sometimes just moving can make you feel better." After recovering from an illness, she says, trust your instincts. "You don't want to go straight back into training four times a week. You might want to do the same number of sessions but make them shorter, or do fewer."

16 Seek advice after injury

Clearly, how quickly you start exercising again depends on the type of injury, and you should seek advice from your doctor. Psychologically, though, says Thompson Rule: "Even when we're doing everything as we should, there are still dips in the road. It's not going to be a linear progression of getting better."

17 Take it slowly after pregnancy

Again, says Thompson Rule, listen to your body – and your doctor's advice at your six-week postnatal checkup. After a caesarean section, getting back to exercise will be slower, while pregnancy-related back injuries and problems with abdominal muscles all affect how soon you can get back to training, and may require physiotherapy. "Once you're walking and have a bit more energy, depending on where you were before (some women never trained before pregnancy), starting a regime after a baby is quite something to undertake," says Thompson Rule. "Be patient. I get more emails from women asking when they're going to get their stomachs flat again than anything. Relax, take care of yourself and take care of your baby. When you're feeling a bit more energised, slowly get back into your routine." She recommends starting with "very basic stuff like walking and carrying your baby [in a sling]".

18 Tech can help

For goal-oriented people, Grant says, it can be useful to monitor progress closely, but "allow some flexibility in your goals. You might have had a stressful day at work, go out for a run and not do it as quickly and then think: 'I'm just not going to bother any more.'" However, "It can start to get a bit addictive, and then you don't listen to your body and you're more at risk of injury."

19 Winter is not an excuse

"Winter is not necessarily a time to hibernate," says Thompson Rule. Be decisive, put your trainers by the door and try not to think about the cold/drizzle/greyness. "It's the same with going to the gym – it's that voice in our head that make us feel like it's a hassle, but once you're there, you think: 'Why was I procrastinating about that for so long?'"

READERS' TIPS 20 Keep it bite-size

Alex Tomlin

I've tried and failed a few times to establish a consistent running routine, but that was because I kept pushing myself too hard. Just because I can run for an hour doesn't mean I should. Running two or three times a week for 20-30 minutes each time has improved my fitness hugely and made it easier to fit in.

21 Reward yourself

Neil Richardson

I keep a large bag of Midget Gems in my car to motivate myself to get to the gym, allowing myself a handful before a workout. Sometimes I toss in some wine gums for the element of surprise.

22 Call in the reinforcements

Niall O'Brien

I tapped into the vast network of fitness podcasts and online communities. On days I lacked drive, I would listen to a fitness podcast, and by the time I got home, I would be absolutely determined to make the right choices. In fact, I would be excited by it. Your brain responds very well to repetition and reinforcement, so once you have made the difficult initial change, it becomes much easier over time.

23 Use visual motivation

Siobhan King

I have kept a "star chart" on my calendar for the past two years, after having three years of being chronically unfit. I put a gold star on days that I exercise, and it's a good visual motivator for when I am feeling slug-like. I run, use our home cross-trainer and do a ski fitness programme from an app. My improved core strength has helped my running and ability to carry my disabled child when needed.

24 Keep alarms out of reach

Sally Crowe

If, like me, you need to get up early to exercise or it just doesn't happen, move your alarm clock away from your bed and next to your kit. Once you have got up to turn it off, you might as well keep going!

25 Follow the four-day rule

Joanne Chalmers

I have one simple rule which could apply to any fitness activity – I do not allow more than four days to elapse between sessions. So, if I know I have a busy couple of days coming up, I make sure I run before them so that I have "banked" my four days. With the exception of illness, injury or family emergencies, I have stuck to this rule for 10 years.

Photo by Ev on Unsplash

[Feb 28, 2020] The impact of coronavirus on Trump reelection chances

Highly recommended!
Feb 28, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 27, 2020 10:57 pm

There is a silver lining in any dark cloud.

Trump might not survive the Coronavirus, literally (he is over 70 and has a high range of contacts; the mortality to this age group is close to 10%), or figuratively as voters might not forgive him inadequate and/or incompetent response (which is given) .

Unfortunately, Bernie is at even higher risk as mortality for 80+ is over 15%, and pre-existing cardiovascular disease is a serious negative factor.

One can wonder if this will be " Straw that broke the camel's back " for Trump. With 10% drop of S&P500 (aka "correction") it is difficult to talk about booming economy on rallies ( 20% decline marker defines a recession and some stocks -- like oil sector are already in this territory ). High yield bonds are also going down, although more slowly. Now suddenly, Trump has nothing to talk about on his rallies, and he knows it.

A part of rich retirees who are overexposed to stocks constitutes a sizable part of remaining avid "Trumpers" voter block (kind of double stupidity, if you wish :-) , and some of them might not forgive Trump the liberty of depriving them honestly earned in 2019 ~10% of their 401K accounts.

IMHO troubles for Trump just started. Being incompetent DJT and his merry band of grifters will almost definitely botch the response.

They already made three blunders.

1. When asked if, and when, a vaccine is produced, would the vaccine be affordable to everyone? They replied; We'll let the "market" decide that. And some part of electorate probably noted that.

2. The last December, they cut the budget for the CDC (center for disease control).

3. They exposed government workers to the virus without any need to do that, only due to bureaucratic incompetence: https://science.slashdot.org/story/20/02/27/2353236/us-health-workers-responding-to-coronavirus-lacked-training-and-protective-gear-whistle-blower-says

In this sense appointing Pence as the head of the coronavirus response may be a smart move by Trump. When and if the pandemic hits big time, exposing the mass incompetence and unpreparedness of the US government, in combination with the tanking of the stock market, Trump can, of course, blame Christian Zionist neoconservative Israeli apartheid supporter Pence for his troubles :-)

But, unfortunately, that will not do him any good.

[Feb 25, 2020] Coronavirus Hysteria reaches tipping point by Catte Black

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There currently 80,348 cases, or 0.000011% of the global population. Over 77,000 (97%) cases, and 2664 deaths (98%) are from China, and a large portion of those were "clinically diagnosed" (ie. untested). The 2707 deaths (allegedly) due to Coronavirus mean it has death rate of just 3.4%. (For cases outside China, that number drops to 1.6%) Conversely, over 40,000 cases are considered mild, and over 27,000 have been cured. ..."
"... Some (including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ) are claiming the disease is being under-reported by China (and Iran), and the panic is a response to much more alarming but hidden statistics. ..."
"... similar claims were made about SARS, Swine Flu and all the other non-event overhyped 'death bugs' we have been told about in recent times. ..."
"... At this stage, it might seem more likely that 'new CV' is just another one of these. The latest scare tactic being used to close down rational thinking in the world populace and normalise increased government control. ..."
"... coronavirus is definitely being used to spread and deepen Sinophobic hatred, by organisations of Evil like the villainous BBC. ..."
Feb 25, 2020 | off-guardian.org

In Hubei Province, China, where the 'new' virus was first diagnosed, and where the vast majority of the cases have occurred, it's no longer considered necessary to test for the presence of CV antibodies before diagnosing the disease.

Let's say that again.

The epicentre of the so-called new virus outbreak is currently diagnosing new cases of the disease without testing for the virus.

Instead they are relying on 'clinical diagnosis' , which is defined as [our emphasis]:

The estimated identification of the disease underlying a patient's complaints based merely on signs, symptoms and medical history of the patient rather than on laboratory examination or medical imaging.

Which means physicians look at presenting symptoms and make a guess on what is causing them.

Now if you're talking about something like Smallpox that option can make some sense – because Smallpox presents with one very distinct clinical feature – a recognisable rash – that makes it fairly easy to distinguish from other viral agents or other disease processes.

But the 'new' coronavirus does not do that. In fact, symptoms of the 'new' CV are exactly like symptoms of the numerous 'old' CVs, and indeed of the common cold or flu. Cough, fever, malaise, upper respiratory tract inflammation and (in severe cases) lung involvement – up to and including full-blown pneumonia.

The only way to differentiate a case of 'new' CV from severe regular flu, viral pneumonia or even environmental lung disease, is by testing for antibodies. If they aren't doing this, physicians in Hubei Province are now at grave risk of essentially diagnosing every single case of pneumonia or lung inflammation they see as the new CV.

Which goes quite a long way to explaining the sudden increase in cases [our emphasis]:

China's Hubei province reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases as of Feb. 12 -- a sharp increase from the previous day. The province said it is starting to include "clinically diagnosed" cases in its figures and that 13,332 of the new cases fall under that classification .

By CNBC's figures, fully 89% of the "new cases" reported in Hubei province have never been tested for the virus .

According to Our World in Data , roughly 180,000 people die of pneumonia in China every year. Under this new system, all of those people could be diagnosed with coronavirus .

Further, "signs of pneumonia" don't have to be a sign of any disease at all. Pneumonic symptoms can come simply as the result of being exposed to a heavily polluted air , something very common in China's densely populated urban centres.

A major question here has to be – why? Why take a step that inevitably increases the number of false positives? Why intentionally inflate the apparent caseload? What rational benefit can there be in that?

Is it some form of hyper-caution? They would rather throw the net too wide than risk missing cases?

Or is it, as Jon Rappoport suggests , a cynical bid to drive up the numbers in pursuit of ever-valuable fear porn?

That this alleged outbreak is being used to promote fear as a backing for a number of control-based agendas is undeniable, and we have already pointed this out in previous articles (not to mention the financial aspect ). The simple truth is that the reality of this 'new' virus, even as defined by those promoting panic, does not merit the fear being sold to us on its behalf.

Here are some stats for you, compiled by Kit Knightly.

There currently 80,348 cases, or 0.000011% of the global population. Over 77,000 (97%) cases, and 2664 deaths (98%) are from China, and a large portion of those were "clinically diagnosed" (ie. untested). The 2707 deaths (allegedly) due to Coronavirus mean it has death rate of just 3.4%. (For cases outside China, that number drops to 1.6%) Conversely, over 40,000 cases are considered mild, and over 27,000 have been cured.

For the sake of further reassurance, study these tables:

<table omitted -- see the original for full text>

Essentially, unless you are either elderly or already sick, there's very little chance you are in danger.

On what rational basis can a disease with this profile possibly justify the government and media response worldwide? Are we really approaching a "tipping point" ? Does this sound like a "public health emergency" ?

Why is Italy going into lockdown and granting itself "emergency powers" based on seven deaths from a disease with a mortality rate about the same as severe regular flu ?

Why has the UK government granted itself similar powers based on a disease that has infected only 13 citizens, 8 of whom are already recovered ?

Why are hotels and cruise ships being quarantined?

Some (including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ) are claiming the disease is being under-reported by China (and Iran), and the panic is a response to much more alarming but hidden statistics.

Well, that is possible of course. But similar claims were made about SARS, Swine Flu and all the other non-event overhyped 'death bugs' we have been told about in recent times.

At this stage, it might seem more likely that 'new CV' is just another one of these. The latest scare tactic being used to close down rational thinking in the world populace and normalise increased government control.

That the Chinese government might be party to any such idea might seem unthinkable to those who like their geopolitics simple and binary, but can't be rationally excluded.

Time will tell of course. But if – as we consider overwhelmingly likely – this 'new' scare bug turns out to have been as overhyped as all the rest, maybe those panicking in our comments and elsewhere will learn a valuable lesson, and decline to play along with this particular sick little game next time?