July 28, 2021

Duine in aghaidh an duine

Duine in éadan duine, clann in éadan clann, treibh i gcoinne treibh, náisiún i gcoinne náisiún, cloíteoirí agus claíte, saibhir in aghaidh daibhir — ní ciníochas agus claontachta eile ar son nó i scanrú roimh an cumhacht iad ach seachthoraí díobh sin.

July 12, 2021

Updates from the University Health Institute “Méditerranée Infection”, Marseille

Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in 10,429 covid-19 outpatients: a monocentric retrospective cohort study — Million et al., May 12, 2021 

Results: Among 10,429 patients (median age, 45 [IQR 32-57] years; 5,597 [53.7%] women), 16 died (0.15%).The median delay from symptoms to day hospital was 4 days [IQR 2-6],and that fromapositive PCR test to day hospital was 1 day [1-3]. The infectionfatality rate was 0.06% among the 8,315 patients treated with HCQ+AZ. No deaths occurred among the 8,414 patients younger than 60 years. Older age and male sex were associated with a higher risk of death, ICU transfer, and hospitalization. Treatment with HCQ+AZ (0.17 [0.06–0.48]) was associated with a lower risk of death, independently of age, sexand epidemic period. Meta-analysis evidenced consistency with 4 previous outpatient studies (32,124 patients – odds ratio 0.31 [0.20–0.47], I² = 0%). Conclusions: Early ambulatory treatment of COVID-19 with HCQ+AZ as a standard of care is associated with very low mortality, and HCQ+AZ improve COVID-19 survival compared to other regimens. Zinc and anticoagulants are likely to further improve outcomes. Most COVID-19–associated deaths are preventable with early detection and outpatient treatment.

Outcomes of 2,111 covid-19 hospitalised patients treated with hydroxychloroquine/azithromycin and other regimens in Marseille, France: a monocentric retrospective analysis — Lagier et al., June 4, 2021

Results: Of the 2,111 hospitalised patients (median age, 67 [IQR 55-79] years; 1,154 [54.7%] men), 271 were transferred to the intensive care unit (12.8%) and 239 died (11.3%; the mean age of patients who died was 81.2 (±9.9)). Treatment with HCQ-AZ, used in 1,270 patients, was an independent protective factor against death (0.68 [0.52–0.88]). Zinc was independently protective against death (0.39 [0.23–0.67]) in a subgroup analysis of patients treated with HCQ-AZ. Dexamethasone was an independent factor associated with death for patients with C-reactive protein <100 mg/L (3.36 [2.09–5.40]) while no difference was observed for patients with CRP >100 mg/L. The use of high-flow oxygen therapy in elderly patients who were noneligible for intensive care unit transfer saved 19 patients (33.9%). Conclusions: Treating COVID-19 with HCQ-AZ is associated with lower mortality. The quality of care over time and analysed in large monocentric studies remains more valuable than randomised multicentric trials during new epidemics.

Evolution of the management of covid-19 — Lagier et al., February 8, 2021

Since February 2020, in IHU Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France, we managed more than 11,000 patients in our day-care hospital and more than 2,000 in our complete hospitalization wards. From day 1, we have been offering early massive PCR screening for patients suspected of having COVID-19 and for their contacts. Here, we propose a brief review of the therapeutic management of COVID-19 including literature data as well as our personal experience based on the observation of our cohort and our previous reports. We systematically proposed to evaluate patientsin our day-care hospital (clinical examination, SpO₂, standardized biological assessment including D-dimers ± low dose CT-scan). We advised outpatients to buy pulse oximeters to detect “happy” hypoxemia, and proposed hospitalization if SpO₂ <95%. Treatment was proposed using hydroxychloroquine (200 mg, 3 times a day, 10 days), azithromycin (500 mg day 1 then 250 mg during 4 days) after eliminating the contraindications, and elemental zinc (15 mg, 3 times a day, 10 days). For patients with a NEWS-2 score >5, broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy was prescribed (ceftriaxone or ertapenem). Anticoagulation treatment was considered depending on risk factors and D-dimer levels. After a couple of months, low dose of dexamethasone was prescribed (avoiding early stages of high viral load infection) for patients who had an increase in inflammatory parameters and a worsening of oxygen dependence. Finally, we recently used high-flow oxygen therapy devices for patients not eligible for intensive care unit transfer because of their age and/or comorbidities. This step-by-step strategy allowed us to obtain one of the worldwide lower mortality rates of COVID-19. Long-term follow-up will be the next challenge of COVID-19 management.

June 2, 2021

Important message from the boss re COVID-19

Passing on this message from our betters, who know what’s best for us:

OK, we admit that it may have escaped from the coronavirus lab in Wuhan. In fact, that’s why we were so concerned, because we knew that the lab in question alters natural viruses to make them more infectious and more virulent “for research purposes” (because that’s exactly what we pay them to do). So please forgive us for not being forthright and causing even more panic as we shut down your lives until we were sure it was OK. Oh yeah, and then to get rid of Trump! And to scapegoat as anti-science, white supremacist even!, those who insisted on any sense of perspective other than the one they were being sold (cf gleichschaltung).

So you see, we had no choice but to manufacture the appearance of a deadly pandemic like no other in history, because we knew that it might happen. And then when it didn’t, when the hospitals weren’t overwhelmed at all, well, it looked like it would not only get rid of Trump and his antiglobalist hordes, but also allow us to install any mannequin we wanted to further protect and strengthen our control. So it had to continue. And as a bonus, now you’re ready for whatever “pandemic” we come up with in the future: scared into getting your annual covid jab just like for the flu, ready to mask up and shut down, and to shame and shun the skeptics. So to continue to stay safe, and unless you want to be branded (literally, as you’ll see; you’ll be branded, too, of course, but to grant rather than deny you privileges) as one of those antisocial Trump-worshipping white supremacist science-haters, we trust you will continue to ignore (as you have commendably done for more than a year now):

  • the ostracizing of physicians who successfully prevented illness and treated those who got sick,
  • the redefinition of “case” to include perfectly healthy people who
  • tested positive for coronavirus-2019 in PCR tests using cycle numbers way above the recommended, guaranteeing false positives,
  • with that defining “covid hospitalization” as well and
  • “covid death”, including any cause in a person who had one of those likely false positive test results within the preceding 4 weeks (because we paid extra for "covid hospitalizations and death"), and
  • (now that we continued to turn what was supposed to have been a crisis into opportunity by forcing (or rather enticing, if you ever want to be free again, which, frankly, most actually don’t, and hah, too late! but again, you don’t want to be mistaken for a Trumposaur so line right up – don’t stand out!), um, coercing 100s of millions of people to “willingly” enroll in trials of never-before-used DNA and mRNA vaccines) the redefining of “herd immunity” as attainable only via vaccines, even for a virus that turned out not to be all that virulent in the overwhelming majority of people (and to be treatable with cheap generic drugs (hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin), not to mention largely manageable by keeping your vitamin D₃ and zinc levels up), and
  • revoking the above means of exaggerating the numbers after someone is vaccinated, showing how well the vaccines work!

And keep hiding your faces, because you can never be too careful. The self-abasement is necessary evidence of good discipline, your belief in “science” (wink), literal self-effacement in the name of community (and keeping the body politic cleansed of Trump-mad insurrectionist disease-spreading racist murderers!). We love you.

May 22, 2021

Definitely a cult

Paul Joseph Watson sez:

From gamergate to orange man bad to russia gate to muh white supremacists to corona, the infantilised permajuveniles have been drunk on moral panics and rampant hysteria since at least 2014. …

Right from the very start, while you constantly droned on about it not being a political symbol, it always was and still is a political symbol. …

It’s a high status symbol, a way to differentiate yourself from the eat filthy unmasked, a way to feel superior, a way to feel smug and self-satisfied while wallowing in your saviour complex delusion. As Revolver news summarises, ‘mask cultists believe they were devotees of science, but … the only thing they were devoted to was the mask, and the regime.‘

‘The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly’ [Robert Anton Wilson].


May 1, 2021

The “Unvaccinated” Question

By CJ Hopkins, March 29, 2021 

So, the New Normals are discussing the Unvaccinated Question. What is to be done with us? No, not those who haven’t been “vaccinated” yet. Us. The “Covidiots.” The “Covid deniers.” The “science deniers.” The “reality deniers.” Those who refuse to get “vaccinated,” ever.

There is no place for us in New Normal society. The New Normals know this and so do we. To them, we are a suspicious, alien tribe of people. We do not share their ideological beliefs. We do not perform their loyalty rituals, or we do so only grudgingly, because they force us to do so. We traffic in arcane “conspiracy theories,” like “pre-March-2020 science,” “natural herd immunity,” “population-adjusted death rates,” “Sweden,” “Florida,” and other heresies.

They do not trust us. We are strangers among them. They suspect we feel superior to them. They believe we are conspiring against them, that we want to deceive them, confuse them, cheat them, pervert their culture, abuse their children, contaminate their precious bodily fluids, and perpetrate God knows what other horrors.

So they are discussing the need to segregate us, how to segregate us, when to segregate us, in order to protect society from us. In their eyes, we are no more than criminals, or, worse, a plague, an infestation. In the words of someone (I can’t quite recall who), “getting rid of the Unvaccinated is not a question of ideology. It is a question of cleanliness,” or something like that. (I’ll have to hunt down and fact-check that quote. I might have taken it out of context.)

In Israel, Estonia, Denmark, Germany, the USA, and other New Normal countries, they have already begun the segregation process. In the UK, it’s just a matter of time. The WEF, WHO, EU, and other transnational entities are helping to streamline the new segregation system, which, according to the WEF, “will need to be harmonized by a normative body, such as the WHO, to ensure that is ethical.”

Here in Germany, the government is considering banning us from working outside our homes. We are already banned from flying on commercial airlines. (We can still use the trains, if we dress up like New Normals.) In the village of Potsdam, just down the road from Wannsee (which name you might recall from your 20th-Century history lessons), we are banned from entering shops and restaurants. (I’m not sure whether we can still use the sidewalks, or whether we have to walk in the gutters.) In Saxony, we are forbidden from attending schools. At the Berliner Ensemble (the theater founded by Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel, lifelong opponents of totalitarianism and fascism), we are banned from attending New Normal performances.

In the USA, we are being banned by universities. Our children are being banned from public schools. In New York, the new “Excelsior Pass” will allow New Normals to attend cultural and sports events (and patronize bars and restaurants, eventually) secure in the knowledge that the Unvaccinated have been prevented from entering or segregated in an “Unvaccinated Only” section. The pass system, designed by IBM, which, if history is any guide, is pretty good at designing such systems (OK, technically, it was Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, IBM’s Nazi-Germany subsidiary), was launched this past weekend to considerable fanfare.

And this is only the very beginning.

Israel’s “Green Pass” is the model for the future, which makes sense, in a sick, fascistic kind of way. When you’re already an apartheid state, what’s a little more apartheid? Here’s a peek at what that looks like …

OK, I know what the New Normals are thinking. They’re thinking I’m “misleading” people again. That I’m exaggerating. That this isn’t really segregation, and certainly nothing like “medical apartheid.”

After all (as the New Normals will sternly remind me), no one is forcing us to get “vaccinated.” If we choose not to, or can’t for medical reasons, all we have to do is submit to a “test” — you know, the one where they ram that 9-inch swab up into your sinus cavities — within 24 hours before we want to go out to dinner, or attend the theater or a sports event, or visit a museum, or attend a university, or take our children to school or a playground, and our test results will serve as our “vaccine passports!” We just present them to the appropriate Covid Compliance Officer, and (assuming the results are negative, of course) we will be allowed to take part in New Normal society just as if we’d been “vaccinated.”

Either way, “vaccine” or “test,” the New Normal officials will be satisfied, because the tests and passes are really just stage props. The point is the display of mindless obedience. Even if you take the New Normals at their word, if you are under 65 and in relatively good health, getting “vaccinated” is more or less pointless, except as a public display of compliance and belief in the official Covid-19 narrative (the foundation stone of the New Normal ideology). Even the high priests of their “Science” confess that it doesn’t prevent you spreading the “plague.” And the PCR tests are virtually meaningless, as even the WHO finally admitted. (You can positive-PCR-test a pawpaw fruit … but you might want to be careful who you tell if you do that.)

In contrast to the “vaccine” and the “test” themselves, the forced choice between them is not at all meaningless. It is no accident that both alternatives involve the violation of our bodies, literally the penetration of our bodies. It doesn’t really matter what is in the “vaccines” or what “results” the “tests” produce. The ritual is a demonstration of power, the power of the New Normals (i.e., global capitalism’s new face) to control our bodies, to dominate them, to violate them, psychologically and physically. …

Being forced to repeat a physical action which only makes sense within a specific ideology reifies that ideology within us. There is nothing inherently diabolical about this. It is a basic socialization technology. It is how we socialize our children. It is why we conduct weddings, baptisms, and bar mitzvahs. It is how we turn young men and women into soldiers. It is how actors learn their blocking and their lines. It is why the Nazis held all those rallies. It is why our “democracies” hold elections. It is also basic ceremonial magic … but that’s a topic for a different column.

The issue, at the moment, is the Unvaccinated Question, and the public rituals that are being performed to make the New Normal ideology “reality,” and what to do about those of us who refuse to participate in those rituals, who refuse to forswear “old normal” reality and convert to New Normalism so that we can function in society without being segregated, criminalized, or “diagnosed” as “sociopathic” or otherwise psychiatrically disordered.

For us “conspiracy-theorizing reality deniers,” there is no getting around this dilemma. This isn’t Europe in the 1930s. There isn’t anywhere to emigrate to … OK, there is, temporarily, in some of the US states that have been staging rebellions, and other such “old normal” oases, but how long do you think that will last? They’re already rolling out the “mutant variants,” and God only knows what will happen when the long-term effects of the “vaccines” kick in.

No, for most of us denizens of the global capitalist empire, it looks like the New Normal is here to stay. So, unless we are prepared to become New Normals, we are going to have to stand and fight. It is going to get rather ugly, and personal, but there isn’t any way to avoid that. Given that many New Normals are our friends and colleagues, or even members of our families, it is tempting to believe that they will “come to their senses,” that “this is all just a hysterical overreaction,” and that “everything will go back to normal soon.”

This would be a monumental error on our parts … very possibly a fatal error.

Totalitarian movements, when they reach this stage, do not simply stop on their own. They continue to advance toward their full expressions, ultimately transforming entire societies into monstrous mirror-images of themselves, unless they are opposed by serious resistance. There is a window at the beginning when such resistance has a chance. That window is still open, but it is closing, fast. I can’t tell you how best to resist, but I can tell you it starts with seeing things clearly, and calling things, and people, exactly what they are.

Let’s not make the same mistake that other minorities have made throughout history when confronted with a new totalitarian ideology. See the New Normals for what they are, maybe not deep down in their hearts, but what they have collectively become a part of, because it is the movement that is in control now, not the rational individuals they used to be. Above all, recognize where this is headed, where totalitarian movements are always headed. (See. e.g., Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45.)

No, the Unvaccinated are not the Jews and the New Normals are not flying big Swastika flags, but totalitarianism is totalitarianism, regardless of which Goebbelsian Big Lies, and ideology, and official enemies it is selling. The historical context and costumes change, but its ruthless trajectory remains the same.

Today, the New Normals are presenting us with a “choice,” (a) conform to their New Normal ideology or (b) social segregation. What do you imagine they have planned for us tomorrow?

Ní feídir leat suí linn!

April 28, 2021

‘a sacrificial lamb to the gods of fear-mongering’ — a letter from Japan

Respected Colleagues,

Last month on the 23rd, a young female nurse from Fukuoka, aged 26, was found dead on her sofa. Her lunch box was seen packed and ready near the front door. But, she was lying in rigor mortis on her sofa, foaming at the mouth, bleeding at the nose, the food from her stomach lying all around.

She died two days after receiving the experimental gene therapy that she took on our behalf. Part of the reason for her death may have been the experimental therapy (although nobody seems to die after a vaccination these days). But, there is a deeper reason.

She died on the altar of fear, a sacrificial lamb to the gods of fear-mongering who, refusing to leave from our lives every day since March 2020, shout at us through the television, smart media platforms, and announcements at work.

Hardly any day goes by without hearing the number of infections, clusters, and dead people, and admonitions to wash your hands, wear a mask, and keep a safe distance from others.

When a staff member receives a positive test, we panic and start splashing the alcohol, and line up contacts for more testing. We do all that with a test whose manufacturers and drug regulatory agencies clearly state that it does not actually detect an infection.

I apologize to the two staff members who had to pass by my class to check whether I was wearing a mask or not. It seems that we are in a war-like situation and have to keep an eye on dissidents all the time. It is ironic that this happened inside a center of higher learning.

Let me state that I am not opposing the wearing of masks. I also wore them when I got sick with the flu a few years ago. I remember forcing my 3 little children to wear them outdoors when the nuclear explosion on March 2011 sent radioactive dust to our region. I did that out of tremendous concern for the ill effects of inhaling radioactive particles into their bodies. I forced them to do that for a full three months till I personally verified that the situation was safe. I do have sympathy and understanding for the people who chose to wear masks.

However, the situation we face today is not because of a deadly pathogen, but because of misinformation. When incomplete information is relentlessly pushed day and night, it receives a name most befitting — propaganda.

My job as an academic is to critically assess information. It is the academic who provides society with a primary defense against the adverse impacts of misinformation, and it is for this reason that academic freedom is treasured in all democratic societies. But, with academic freedom also comes the responsibility to evaluate a situation from multiple aspects.

I am carrying out this responsibility and am continuing at it everyday. I have not seen any evidence that we are facing a life-threatening situation that needs us to maintain this state of fear.

It seemed at first that we could all be fearful for two weeks till the curve flattened, then it was going to be just for three months more. Without noticing it, fear now has become our New Normal, and receives an upgrade every festive season.

I feel very lucky to live in Japan, but the situation in other developed countries involve severe restrictions on personal freedoms including medical freedoms. I am deeply grateful that the Japanese Constitution protects society against unreasonable threats to liberties.

I am not alone in my opinion, which you may dismiss as quirky and unqualified. Thousands of scientists worldwide are fighting this misinformation, which is resulting in a human medical experiment on a scale we have not witnessed in our lives before.

These include Nobel prize winner Michael Levitt of Stanford University, Luc Montagnier the Nobel laureate virologist from France. These include professors from prestigious universities all around the world such as Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, and John Ioannidis of Stanford University, Carl Heneghan, Tom Jefferson, and Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, and Sucharit Bhakdi and Karin Moelling from Germany.

Even the gentle giants of the Japanese science community have warned about the dangers of rushing to conclusions based on incomplete analysis, and about the dangers of poorly tested medical interventions.

Should we not wonder why we are not hearing such voices more often, from expert immunologists such as Japanese Nobel Laureate Tasuku Honjo or from expert virologists such as Masayuki Miyasaka?

Why have the voices of leading scientists that offer alternative perspectives suddenly become anti-scientific? Why are social media giants censoring the voices of these prominent scientists? These are the questions we must be asking, instead of silently accepting the messages of fear and the contortions to our perfectly all right Normal.

Karin Moelling received the highest honour of the German state, the "Order of Merit of Berlin" for her contributions to virology. But, now she is an outcast, because she criticizes the fear-based approach that we adopted since 2020. Sucharit Bhakdi has an h-index of 84, John Ioannidis has an h-index of 214. Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson are leaders in the Evidence-Based Medicine movement. Why are they all of a sudden anti-scientific?

My conscience does not allow me to take part in a fear campaign that is bringing severe consequences to most living people on Earth. … I am opposing the fear, because the costs of maintaining this fear are much more than being in our Old Normal. In Japan, the number of suicides among young women and school students have become staggeringly high in the New Normal. Why can't we see that we are killing the young, while claiming to save the old?

Most of us working in the university have a steady salary, but pretty much every small- to medium-scale commercial operation is seriously suffering. How long can we close our eyes to this communal harakiri, because we don't feel the pinch? Do we think that economies run on printed money, and not on commerical activities?

Japan’s closest friend, the USA has 22 out of its 50 states not imposing any mask mandates. Yet, why is it that a constitutionally illegal mandate has been brought into existence at a small university located in a rural corner of Japan?

Is itt because a 60–140 nano meter long virus, smaller in dimension than the wavelength of UV radiation (100–400 nano meter) is miraculously confined by a cloth mask?

Or is it because we have found some empirical evidence that the masks are working?

There is hardly any Japanese person, including elementary school children who does not wear a mask. Sincerity is a hallmark of the Japanese personality, and most people religiously follow the sanitation measures, even outdoors in the hottest weather of the Japanese summer. Then, why is the curve never flattening?

If the masks are indeed working, then why are the positive testing rates in US states that mandate masks not different from states that do not mandate masks?

The answer seems to be that, regardless of what we do or not do, the PCR tests are going to keep at its games of fear-mongering. My not wearing a mask or others wearing one does not seem to make any difference. … [P]erhaps the most important life saving measure would be for all of us, the stakeholders of the Normal life, to allow free and fair public and scientific discourse into the conditions that have brought us into this dystopian nightmare.

Most sincerely yours,
saji

April 15, 2021

Pandemania

A Critical Analysis of the Covid Response
Eine kritische Analyse der Covid-Strategie
Un análisis crítico de la respuesta al Covid

by Dr R. Iván Iriarte, MD, MS
29 March 2021

Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 global pandemic, many issues have arisen that run contrary to historical precedents and known and practiced public health principles of the last century. This article discusses some of these issues: assumptions made without evidence, the incorrect case definition, PCR diagnostic test problems, the impact of these two factors on morbidity and mortality estimates, school closures, facemasks, lockdowns and their effects on children.

Assumptions about SARS-CoV-2 made without evidence – the creation of panic

Panic has been spread among the general population since the beginning of the pandemic, based on the idea of “asymptomatic transmission”. This idea was strongly influenced by a case report in Germany, in which an infection was attributed to contact with an asymptomatic person. Further investigation revealed that this person had actually been sick and had been suppressing her symptoms with medication. The original misleading paper was never rectified. Based on this, and limited case reports from China, the “experts” began to promote the idea that this virus behaves differently to other respiratory viruses. All prior knowledge indicates that epidemics are not driven by asymptomatic individuals. However, the decision-makers in this epidemic determined that this does not apply to COVID-19 and every single individual we encounter could be an infectious person capable of killing us. This is contrary to conventional reasoning in medicine and public health. Decisions have always been based on prior knowledge, until there is compelling evidence to disprove what we thought we knew. Articles in the literature have found that secondary transmission by asymptomatic individuals is very low. In a cohort study with a very large sample size, no one became infected among 1,174 contacts of 300 asymptomatic subjects who had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Another assumption promoted by the “experts” in this epidemic is the idea that the general population would be immunologically “naive” to this virus and thus 100% susceptible to develop the disease. This is again not consistent with previous knowledge about human immunity to viral agents. Cross-immunity is a well-known fact. It is not reasonable to assume that the entire population is immunologically susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, when in fact it is very likely that many individuals have at least partial immunity to the virus due to prior infection with similar viruses or agents with similar antigenic properties. There are several studies showing that individuals have immunity to SARS-CoV-2 by T-cell mediated mechanisms.

Problems with the “case” definition

Over centuries of epidemic management, a case always constituted a sick individual who presented a series of established clinical criteria, confirmed – if deemed necessary – by a laboratory test. In the COVID-19 pandemic, a “case” has been redefined as anyone with a positive PCR test result, independent of clinical signs and symptoms. There is no historical precedent for defining a symptomless infection with a respiratory virus as a medical case.

The practice has been to report “new cases” every day based on positive test results and including asymptomatic individuals. Any person with even a rudimentary understanding of epidemiology knows that this is not how the incidence (new cases) of an illness is measured. Only the prevalence of positive test results is being measured every day. As we will see below, these results do not necessarily relate to infectiousness. The number of reported positive test results depends on the number of tests administered. When a high volume of tests are being administered, there will be a high number of positives. These positive test results are not “new medical cases” with the disease.

The correct way to estimate the disease incidence is to have doctors count and report subjects who are ill with characteristic symptoms and are then confirmed as COVID-19 cases through a positive test result. Incidence of hospitalizations should be reported in the same manner.

Problems with the PCR test

There are serious problems with the use of the PCR test on asymptomatic individuals. There is extensive literature that shows that the PCR test is not a “gold standard” for defining a case of disease and that it can have a high percentage of false positive results. It remains a well-known epidemiological principle that even with a highly sensitive and specific test, if the test is administered in a population with low disease or infection prevalence, there will be a relatively high percentage of false positive results.

This becomes even more problematic in light of the studies showing that at a high number of amplification cycles (as have been used during this pandemic) the PCR test detects RNA fragments that do not represent a viable virus. Authorities managing this epidemic have been identifying individuals who are healthy and do not present a risk to the community.

The research paper used by WHO at the beginning of 2020 to establish the PCR test as the primary criterion to diagnose COVID-19 was written by Corman, Drosten and several others. An independent panel of scientists found this work to contain a large number of flaws in its methodology and in the validity of the results. In addition, it was accepted for publication in a most irregular manner without the standard peer-review.

In a notice written on January 13, 2021, and published on January 20, 2021, WHO confirmed that PCR tests should not be used as the sole method of diagnosing COVID-19; they should only be used where clinical signs and symptoms are present; and they can yield false positive results at high amplification cycles. The package inserts accompanying PCR test kits state that the test should be administered only to patients with signs and symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.

Problems with estimates of morbidity and mortality indicators

It is evident that COVID-19 “cases” are being defined incorrectly. The logical conclusion is that there may be major errors in all reports of incidence, deaths and hospitalizations attributed to this disease. In the United States, anyone who dies with a recent positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 (up to 30 days prior to death) is counted as a COVID-19 death. CDC guidelines published in April 2020 encourage the reporting of COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death in circumstances where it played a role in the death, even without laboratory confirmation. It is unclear to what extent this was done in other countries as well. It is very important to investigate this matter, as the reported number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is likely to be inflated.

Mitigation measures

World leaders believe – without evidence – that the way to mitigate the effects of the epidemic consists of imposing confinement measures, the generalized use of masks, restrictions on social activities, restrictions on mobility, business closures, curfews, school closures and more, including contact tracing and the quarantining of asymptomatic individuals. In the past the WHO established that the latter two measures should not be used under any circumstances. These measures were theorised to be effective without any evidence, and the potential harms caused by these policies were not calculated or taken into account. This goes against the fundamental principles of public health and medicine, which require the implementation of any intervention to be supported by evidence of its effectiveness. Any intervention should attempt to minimize the impact on the population’s daily life. The stated goal of all public health policy is to reduce total harm to the population, while considering a wide range of health, economic and social factors. The goal is not to reduce harm from a single disease only.

School closures – children are “granny killers”

The impact the epidemic response has had on children is one of the greatest disgraces in history. At the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, it was established that children mostly have a mild or asymptomatic presentation of the disease. However, decision-makers relentlessly promoted the idea that children, although they rarely get sick, are capable of infecting others. This unsupported idea was enough to order school closures and keep children away from their grandparents, as if they were potential “granny killers”. Studies show that children do not significantly transmit infection. Yet we already see the adverse effects that confinement and school closures have had on the mental health of children and adolescents. Sweden’s experience demonstrates that keeping schools open does not result in any excess morbidity or mortality in children or teachers. A recent article found that adults living in households with children actually have a lower risk of getting sick with COVID-19 than adults who live in households without children.

Mask use

There are many studies that show that masking is not effective in preventing infection transmission, except possibly in settings where there are sick individuals. A recent document published by WHO – in December 2020 – states that there is very inconsistent evidence proving the effectiveness of mask-wearing in the community for the prevention of respiratory virus infections, including COVID-19. When we compare the epidemic curves in places with and without mask mandates, the curves look similar. In fact, we observe a higher number of infections per 100,000 of the population in places with mask mandates.

The most important argument against the compulsory use of masks is simply the lack of evidence that anyone without symptoms walking around the community will be a contagious person. In public health management, sometimes it is appropriate to impose a certain measure upon an individual, for the common good, when there is evidence that the individual represents a major risk to the rest of the population. It is not acceptable, however, to restrict or impose a behavior on individuals without evidence that the individual represents a significant risk to the community, and that this measure will not harm the individual. It is very unlikely that an asymptomatic person is infectious. Therefore, it is unjustified to require everyone to wear a mask in the community, even if masks have shown some benefit when worn by individuals with symptoms. This argument becomes even stronger when we take the potential adverse effects of masks into consideration. These include symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath and other problems including psychological impact, acne, respiratory infections and dental problems.

Lockdowns

“Without lockdowns, the situation would have been worse”. This is the claim of lockdown advocates. However, this is the equivalent of administering treatment to a patient and claiming that despite a negative outcome the treatment is effective, because without the treatment the patient’s condition would have been even worse. Never in past epidemics or pandemics have lockdowns been imposed as a mitigation strategy over a large area or for a long period of time. Studies have shown that lockdowns cause unintended negative consequences to social well-being, mental health, physical health, mobility, employment, education, and the economy at large while undermining fundamental rights. Lockdown-induced deaths occur in younger people, causing an increase in total years of life lost. The comparison of epidemic curves in places with strict lockdowns and those with less stringent measures shows no significant differences in COVID-19 indicators. A simple cost-benefit analysis would clearly show that lockdown harms greatly outweigh any claimed benefits.

Summary

It is inexplicable that world governments and the “experts” advising them have chosen to completely ignore this information as if it did not exist, and persist in doing the following:

  1. Reporting “new cases” on a daily basis, using only PCR test results.
  2. Doing mass PCR testing, including asymptomatic individuals.
  3. Imposing quarantines on asymptomatic individuals based on a positive test result or history of exposure.
  4. Requiring the use of masks despite lack of evidence to support this mandate.
  5. Insisting that lockdowns are the way to mitigate the pandemic.

A course-correction in the management of this epidemic is urgently needed. The response to the COVID-19 epidemic should be based on reliable data and sound public health principles that have been practiced successfully for over a century. The following measures should be adopted immediately:

  1. Provide the public with accurate information about COVID-19 risk in order to reduce the fear.
  2. Cease the mass administration of diagnostic tests on asymptomatic individuals.
  3. Define cases according to clinical criteria – confirmed by laboratory tests. The determination of a case should be the decision of a duly licensed medical doctor.
  4. Use the case definition listed above to determine indicators such as new cases (incidence), hospitalizations and mortality.
  5. Establish measures to protect vulnerable individuals.
  6. Encourage the population to take hygiene measures such as hand washing, covering the mouth when coughing and staying at home when sick.
  7. Open schools, businesses and travel.

These measures are described in a published document by Pandemics Data & Analytics titled: “Protocol for Reopening Society”.

[References are available at the original.]