Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:42 am Post subject: Sleuthing the true origin/purpose of Covid-19 Coronavirus
|Ambassador says coronavirus imported to China, points to genetic sequence as proof
On Wednesday, Fox News reported, citing its sources, that the virus had allegedly spread from a Wuhan laboratory
MOSCOW, April 17. /TASS/. A gene sequence in the novel coronavirus indicates that the virus was imported to China’s Wuhan, instead of emerging there, China’s Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui told TASS Friday.
"Five reputable scientific organizations, including the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden and the Central Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, have collected data on 93 genome specimens of COVID-19, published in a global database covering 12 countries on four continents," the diplomat specified. "The research revealed that the earliest ‘ancestor’ of the virus is mv1, which evolved into haplotypes H13 and H38, and they, in turn, led to emergence of the second-generation haplotype — H3, which evolved into H1."
For clarity, the ambassador used family ties to trace the virus’s development. Thus, the mv1 haplotype is "the grand-grandfather," while H13 and H38 are "the grandma and grandpa," H3 — is "the father" and H1 is "the child."
"The virus that was discovered at Wuhan’s seafood market was of the H1 variety," he continued. "Only the H3 haplotype was discovered in Wuhan earlier, but it had nothing to do with the seafood market."
The previous gene sequences, H13 and H38, were never discovered in Wuhan.
"This suggests that the H1 specimen was brought to the seafood market by some infected person, which sparked the epidemic. The gene sequence cannot lie," Zhang Hanhui asserted.
The ambassador castigated attempts to pin the blame for the pandemic on China as libel, and reiterated that the country had to undertake huge efforts and suffer a lot of casualties in order to beat the disease.
"In doing so, China bought time for other nations — two entire months — in order to allow them to take prevention and control measures," he concluded.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump doubted that China had divulged all information about the virus’s emergence and spread. On Wednesday, Fox News reported, citing its sources, that the virus had allegedly spread from a Wuhan laboratory. Trump promised to look into this version.
The initial source of COVID-19’s spread has not been identified yet, but it could be a number of regions, Zhang Hanhui stated.
"Numerous facts indicate that the source of COVID-19 has not been identified yet and point towards various regions. The virus is the common enemy of all of mankind, and the search for ‘patient zero’ is aimed not to nail them to a ‘pillar of shame’ but to better understand this virus, discover its evolutionary path and then defeat it completely," the diplomat explained. "By relying on contemporary science and technologies, we can trace the source of the virus and be sure that, sooner or later, the day will come when everything that’s been concealed will be revealed."
According to the envoy, although the novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, there are no facts determining that the source had originated from there.
He provided an example of a married couple from Japan, who contracted the disease in Hawaii between January 28 and February 7, "without visiting China or contacting any Chinese." Notably, the husband had symptoms by February 3.
Zhang Hanhui pointed to media reports that speculate that the virus had appeared in Italy’s Lombardy as early as January 1.
"Besides, according to some media, a renowned Italian medical specialist Giuseppe Remuzzi opined that the epidemic in Italy had begun spreading before it started in China," he pointed out.
The diplomat also recalled a comment made by Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who speculated that the large number of flu deaths in the US could have in fact been caused by COVID-19, but the US did not test for it at that time.
"Italy hoped to trace the first infection case by conducting an exhumation, but the US vehemently disagreed," the Chinese envoy emphasized.
Beijing furnished the United States with coronavirus data on time, Zhang Hanhui told TASS Friday, commenting on Washington’s allegations that Beijing withheld information about the epidemic.
The diplomat recalled that in late December 2019, the Wuhan Center for Disease Prevention and Control (China CDC) discovered the previously unknown pneumonia cases. According to the ambassador, starting January 3, 2020, China "promptly and timely provided the World Health Organization (WHO), the US and nations’ relevant agencies with information on the epidemic."
"On January 4, the head of the Chinese CDC contacted the US CDC Director and briefed him on the epidemiologic situation," the envoy said. "On January 8 and 19, the Chinese and American Centers again directly held contacts on the coronavirus issue."
The diplomat added that China shared the virus’s entire genome sequence with the WHO and the nations of the world, while the National Health Commission published daily bulletins on the epidemic on its official websites and other media platforms.
Zhang Hanhui underscored that the WHO Director-General Thedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked Beijing for its openness and cooperation.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the fight against the coronavirus in the US was complicated by China’s failure to provide Washington with comprehensive information about the disease.
China's international help
China provides Russia with over 20 tonnes of supplies for combating coronavirus
Up to now, China has assisted 120 nations and four international organizations in battling the coronavirus by shipping medical masks, protective attire and ventilators, Zhang Hanhui told TASS.
According to the ambassador, the People’s Republic has done everything to restore production as soon as the initial coronavirus outbreak was contained, and currently is manufacturing more than a half of world’s stockpile of medical equipment.
"[China] has provided 120 countries and four international organizations with general use medical masks, N95 respirators, protective wear, nucleic acid detection chemicals and ventilators," the envoy said. "Besides, [Beijing] also contributed $20 million to the World Health Organization to support international cooperation in battling COVID-19. Ignoring China’s contribution and sacrifices goes against moral norms and conscience."
The envoy also noted that no one is safe in the face of the pandemic, and therefore all nations "must unite, instead of pinning the blame on one another."
"Racism and a Cold War mindset are not only useless in the fight against the ongoing epidemic, but can even drag our world into the abyss," he underscored. "[The pandemic] knows no borders. Nations of the world are a community bound by a single destiny."
What is needed most of all is an effective joint prevention strategy to fight the coronavirus, Zhang Hanhui believes.
"We must also work together to iron out economic relations, unblock trade channels, overcome possible financial crises, and prevent a global economic downturn," the envoy emphasized. "Only through the unity and joint efforts of all of humanity will we achieve a comprehensive victory in the global fight against the pandemic."
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 2,000,000 people have been infected worldwide and more than 147,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 553,000 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Last edited by TonyGosling on Tue May 19, 2020 11:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Sat May 02, 2020 1:57 pm Post subject:
|Facts about Covid-19
Fully referenced facts about Covid-19, provided by experts in the field, to help our readers make a realistic risk assessment. (Regular updates below)
“The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)
According to data from the best-studied countries and regions, the lethality of Covid19 is between 0.1% and 0.37%, which is in the range of a severe influenza (flu) and up to thirty times lower than originally assumed by the WHO (see e.g. DE, DK, IS, US1, US2, CN, FR).
Even in the global “hotspots”, the risk of death for the general population of school and working age is typically in the range of a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account.
Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. Over 95% of all persons show mild symptoms at most.
Up to one third of all persons already have a certain background immunity to Covid19 due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. common cold viruses).
The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.
In most countries, 50 to 70% of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid19 or from extreme stress, fear and loneliness.
Up to 50% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.
Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old.
The normal overall mortality per day is about 8000 people in the US, about 2600 in Germany and about 1800 in Italy. Influenza mortality per season is up to 80,000 in the US and up to 25,000 in Germany and Italy. In several countries Covid19 deaths remained below strong flu seasons.
Regional increases in mortality may be influenced by additional risk factors such as high levels of air pollution and microbial contamination, as well as a collapse in the care for the elderly and sick due to infections, mass panic and lockdown. Special regulations for dealing with the deceased sometimes led to additional bottlenecks in funeral or cremation services.
In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. In addition, up to 15% of doctors and health workers were put into quarantine, even if they developed no symptoms.
The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positive rate) remained constant at 5% to 25% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown.
Countries without curfews and contact bans, such as Japan, South Korea or Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries.
The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.
Contrary to original assumptions, various studies have shown that there is no evidence of the virus spreading through aerosols (i.e. particles floating in the air) or through smear infections (e.g. on door handles, smartphones or at the hairdresser).
There is also no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in healthy or asymptomatic individuals. On the contrary, experts warn that such masks interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers”. Leading doctors called them a “media hype” and “ridiculous”.
Many clinics in Europe and the US remained strongly underutilized or almost empty during the Covid19 peak and in some cases had to send staff home. Numerous operations and therapies were cancelled, including some organ transplants and cancer screenings.
Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population.
The virus test kits used internationally are prone to errors and can produce false positive and false negative results. Moreover, the official virus test was not clinically validated due to time pressure and may sometimes react to other coronaviruses.
Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunisation of the general population and protection of risk groups. The risks for children are virtually zero and closing schools was never medically warranted.
Several medical experts described vaccines against coronaviruses as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions.
The number of people suffering from unemployment, psychological problems and domestic violence as a result of the measures has skyrocketed worldwide. Several experts believe that the measures may claim more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN millions of people around the world may fall into absolute poverty and famine.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” will be used for the massive and permanent expansion of global surveillance. The renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt spoke of a “global media terror” and “totalitarian measures“. Leading British virologist professor John Oxford spoke of a “media epidemic”.
More than 500 scientists have warned against an “unprecedented surveillance of society” through problematic apps for “contact tracing”. In some countries, such “contact tracing” is already carried out directly by the secret service. In several parts of the world, the population is already being monitored by drones or facing serious police overreach.
Open Letter by Professor Sucharit Bhakdi
European Mortality Monitoring (EuroMomo)
On Corona, the Media, and Propaganda
Below you will find regular, but not daily, updates on medical and political developments.
April 25, 2020
Professor Detlef Krüger, the direct predecessor of the well-known German virologist Christian Drosten at the Charité Clinic in Berlin, explains in a recent interview that Covid19 is „in many respects comparable to the flu“ and „no more dangerous than certain variants of the flu virus“. Professor Krüger considers the „mouth and nose protection discovered by politicians“ to be „actionism“ and a potential „germ-slinger“. At the same time he warns of „massive collateral damage“ caused by the measures taken.
The former Swedish and European chief epidemiologist Professor Johan Giesecke gave the Austrian magazine Addendum a candid interview. Professor Giesecke says that 75 to 90% of the epidemic is „invisible“ because that many people develop no or hardly any symptoms. A lockdown would therefore be „pointless“ and harm society. The basis of the Swedish strategy was that „people are not stupid“. Giesecke expects a death rate between 0.1 and 0.2%, similar to that of influenza. Italy and New York had been very poorly prepared for the virus and had not protected their risk groups, Professor Giesecke argues.
The latest figures from Italy show (pp. 12/13) that 60 of almost 17,000 doctors and nurses who tested positive died. This results in a Covid19 lethality rate of less than 0.1% for those under 50, 0.27% for those aged 50 to 60, 1.4% for those aged 60 to 70, and 12.6% for those aged 70 to 80. Even these figures are likely too high, as these are deaths with and not necessarily from corona viruses, and as up to 80% of people remain asymptomatic and some may not have been tested. Overall, however, the values are in line with those from e.g. South Korea and give a lethality rate for the general population in the range of influenza.
The head of the Italian Civil Defence declared in mid-April that more than 1800 people died in nursing homes in Lombardy, and that in many cases the cause of death was not yet clear. It was already known beforehand that the care of the elderly and nursing homes and, as a result, the entire health care system in parts of Lombardy had collapsed, in part due to fear of the virus and the lockdown.
The latest figures from Belgium show that there too, just over 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. In 6% of these deaths Covid19 was „confirmed“, in 94% of the deaths it was „suspected“. About 70% of the test-positive persons (employees and residents) showed no symptoms.
The British Guardian cites new studies according to which air pollution could be a „key factor“ in Covid19 deaths. For example, 80% of deaths in four countries were in the most polluted regions (including Lombardy and Madrid).
The Californian physician Dr. Dan Erickson described his observations regarding Covid19 in a much-noticed press briefing. Hospitals and intensive care units in California and other states have remained largely empty so far. Dr. Erickson reports that doctors from several US states have been „pressured“ to issue death certificates mentioning Covid19, even though they themselves did not agree. Dr. Erickson recommends quarantining only the sick and not the healthy or the whole society, as this could have negative effects on health and psyche. A significant increase in „secondary effects“ such as alcoholism, depression, suicide and abuse of children and spouses has already been observed. Based on figures from various countries, Dr. Erickson estimates the lethality of Covid-19 to be about 0.1% or similar to influenza. According to Dr Erickson, a face mask only makes sense in acute situations such as in hospital, but not in everyday life. (Note: Youtube deleted the press briefing after it had 5 million views.)
The German newspaper DIE ZEIT focuses on the high vacancy rates in German hospitals, which in some departments are as high as 70%. Even cancer examinations and organ transplants that were not acutely necessary for survival had been cancelled to make room for Covid19 patients, but these have so far been largely absent.
A new analysis from the UK concludes that there are currently about 2000 people per week dying at home without Covid19 because they cannot or do not want to use the health care system. These are mainly emergency patients with heart attacks and strokes as well as chronically ill people.
Researchers in Austria concluded that more people died there in March from untreated heart attacks than from Covid19.
In Germany, a mask requirement was introduced in public transport and in retail outlets. The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Montgomery, has criticized this as „wrong“ and the intended use of scarves and drapes as „ridiculous“. In fact, studies show that the use of masks in everyday life does not bring measurable benefits to healthy and asymptomatic people, which is why the Swiss infectiologist Dr. Vernazza spoke of a „media hype“. Other critics speak of a symbol of „forced, publicly visible obedience“.
In 2019, a WHO study found „little to no scientific evidence“ for the effectiveness of measures such as „social distancing“, travel restrictions and lockdowns. (Original study)
A German laboratory stated in early April that according to WHO recommendations, Covid19 virus tests are now considered positive even if the specific target sequence of the Covid19 virus is negative and only the more general corona virus target sequence is positive. However, this can lead to other corona viruses (cold viruses) also trigger a false positive test result. The laboratory also explained that Covid19 antibodies are often only detectable two to three weeks after the onset of symptoms. This must be taken into account so that the actual number of people already immune to Covid19 is not underestimated.
In both Switzerland and Germany, some politicians have called for „compulsory vaccination against corona“. However, the vaccination against the so-called „swine flu“ of 2009/2010, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage, especially in children, and to claims for damages in the millions.
Professor Christopher Kuhbandner: About the lack of scientific justification for the corona measures: „The reported figures on new infections very dramatically overestimate the true spread of the corona virus. The observed rapid increase in new infections is almost exclusively due to the fact that the number of tests has increased rapidly over time (see figure below). So, at least according to the reported figures, there was in reality never an exponential spread of the coronavirus. The reported figures on new infections hide the fact that the number of new infections has been decreasing since about early or mid-March.“
Green: Real increase of infected people; red: increase due to more tests.
Sweden: The media versus reality
Some readers were surprised by the decrease in deaths in Sweden, as most media show a steeply rising curve. What is the reason for this? Most media show cumulative figures by date of reporting, while the Swedish authorities publish the much more meaningful daily figures by date of death.
The Swedish authorities always stress that not all newly reported cases have died within the last 24 hours, but many media ignore this (see graph below). Although the latest Swedish figures may still increase somewhat, as in all countries, this does not change the generally declining trend.
In addition, these figures represent deaths with and not necessarily from coronavirus. The average age of death in Sweden is also over 80 years, about 50% of deaths occurred in vulnerable nursing homes, while the effect on the general population has remained minimal, even though Sweden has one of the lowest intensive care capacities in Europe.
However, the Swedish government has also been given new emergency powers due to „corona“ and could still participate in later contact tracing programmes.
Cumulative deaths by date of reporting vs. daily deaths by date of death. (OWD / FOHM)
The situation in Great Britain
Deaths in the UK have risen sharply in recent weeks, but are still in the range of the strongest flu seasons of the last fifty years (see chart below). In the UK, too, up to 50% of additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown.
Moreover, up to 50% of the additional deaths are said to be non-Covid19 deaths and up to 25% of the additional deaths occur at home. It is therefore not at all clear whether the general lockdown is beneficial or in fact detrimental to society at large.
The editor of the British Spectator has claimed that government agencies expect the lockdown to result in up to 150,000 additional deaths in the longer term, significantly more than what Covid19 is expected to cause. Most recently, the case of a 17-year-old student and singer who took her own life because of the lockdown became known.
It is striking that England, in contrast to most other countries (including Sweden), has a significantly elevated mortality rate even among 15 to 64-year-olds. This could be due to the frequent cardiovascular preconditions, or it might be caused by the effects of the lockdown.
The InProportion project has published numerous new graphs that put current UK mortality in relation to previous flu outbreaks and other causes of death. Other websites that critically review the British situation and measures are Lockdown Skeptics and UK Column.
UK: Weekly all-cause mortality (InProportion)
Switzerland: Excess mortality well below strong flu waves
A first serological study by the University of Geneva concluded that at least six times more people in the canton of Geneva had contact with Covid19 than previously thought. This means that the lethality of Covid19 in Switzerland also falls well below one percent, while official sources still speak of up to 5%.
Even in the most severely affected canton of Ticino, almost half of the additional deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from the general lockdown.
In Switzerland, 1.85 million people or over a third of all employees have already been registered for short-time work. The economic costs are estimated at 32 billion for the period from March to June.
Infosperber: Corona: The parroting of the media. „Major media outlets are hiding the fact that they rely on opaque data for Covid-19 numbers.“
Ktipp: Swiss authorities: Almost all numbers ‚without guarantee‘. „This year fewer under-65s died in the first 14 weeks than in the last five years. Among the over-65s, the number was also relatively low.“
The following graph shows that overall mortality in Switzerland in the first quarter of 2020 was in the normal range and that by mid-April it was still around 2000 people below the flu wave of 2015. 50% of deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from a lockdown.
Overall, around 75% of the additional deaths occurred at home, while hospitals and intensive care units remain heavily underutilized and numerous operations have been cancelled. In Switzerland, too, the very serious question thus arises as to whether the „lockdown“ may have cost more lives than it saved.
Cumulated deaths compared to expected value, 2010 to 2020 (BFS)
Video: In the Australian state of Queensland, a police helicopter with night-vision equipment tracked down three young men who were drinking a beer on the roof of a house at night, thus violating „Corona regulations“. The men were informed via a megaphone that the building is „surrounded by police“ and that they must proceed to the exit. The men were fined about $1000 each.
In Israel, the domestic and anti-terrorism intelligence agency Shin Bet, in cooperation with the police, has been tasked to monitor the population’s mobile phones since mid-March in order to track contacts and order house arrest in the context of Covid19. These measures were initially ordered without the consent of Parliament and are due to remain in place until at least the end of April.
OffGuardian: The Seven Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism
UK Column: Who controls the British Government response to Covid-19?
The corona-critical Swiss doctor, who was arrested by a special unit of the Swiss police and sent to a psychiatric clinic (see update of April 15), has meanwhile been released. A report by the magazine Weltwoche revealed that the doctor was arrested on false grounds: there had been no threat to relatives or authorities and there had been no possession of a loaded weapon. Thus, a politically motivated operation seems likely.
A Munich local radio station, which interviewed doctors critical of corona in March, was informed by the responsible media supervisory authority after complaints that „such problematic broadcasts must be stopped in the future“.
The website kollateral.news of a German specialist lawyer is collecting reports on „suffering due to the lockdown“ and on the actual situation in German hospitals.
German general practitioners have published an appeal to politics and science in which they call for „a more responsible handling of the corona crisis“.
Both in Austria and in Hungary, doctors who have criticised the corona measures are threatened with a ban from their profession.
In Nigeria, according to official figures, more people have so far been killed by the police enforcing corona curfews than by the corona virus itself.
April 21, 2020
Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis explains in a new one-hour interview the results of several new studies on Covid19. According to Professor Ioannidis, the lethality of Covid19 is „in the range of seasonal flu“. For people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk even in the global „hotspots“ is comparable to the daily car ride to work, while for healthy people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk is „completely negligible“. Only in New York City was the mortality risk for persons under 65 years of age comparable to a long-distance truck driver.
Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, warns in a new article that the damage caused by the lockdown could be greater than that caused by the virus. The peak of the epidemic had already been reached in most countries before the lockdown, Professor Heneghan argues.
A new serological study in Los Angeles County found that 28 to 55 times more people had Covid19 than previously assumed (without showing significant symptoms), which reduces the danger of the disease accordingly.
In the city of Chelsea near Boston, about one third of 200 blood donors had antibodies against the Covid19 pathogen. Half of them reported having experienced a cold symptom in the last month. In a homeless shelter near Boston, just over a third of the people tested positive, but nobody showed any symptoms.
Scotland reports that half of the (stocked up) intensive care beds have remained empty. According to officials, the admission of new patients is „levelling off“.
The emergency room in Bergamo’s municipal hospital was completely empty at the beginning of this week for the first time in 45 days. In the meantime, more people with other diseases than „Covid19 patients“ are being treated again.
A report in the medical magazine Lancet comes to the conclusion that school closures to contain corona viruses have no or only a minimal effect.
A nine-year-old French child with corona infection had contact with 172 people, but none of them were infected. This confirms earlier results that corona infection (unlike influenza) is not or hardly ever transmitted by children.
The German emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi gave a new one-hour interview on Covid-19. Professor Bhakdi argues that most media have acted „completely irresponsibly“ during the Covid-19 epidemic.
The German Initiative for Care Ethics criticises blanket bans on visits and painful intensive care treatment of nursing patients: „Even before Corona, around 900 old people in need of care died every day in German homes without being taken to hospital. In fact, palliative treatment, if at all, would be more appropriate for these patients. () According to all we know about Corona so far, there is not a single plausible reason to continue to value infection protection higher than the basic rights of citizens. Lift the inhuman visiting bans!“
The oldest woman in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen died last week at the age of 109. She survived the „Spanish flu“ of 1918, was not corona-infected and „for her age she was doing very well“. The „corona isolation“, however, had „very much affected her“: „She faded without the daily visits of her family members.“
The Swiss cardiologist Dr. Nils Kucher reports that in Switzerland currently about 75% of all additional deaths occur not in hospital but at home. This certainly explains the largely empty Swiss hospitals and intensive care units. It is also already known that about 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes. Dr. Kucher suspects that some of these people die of sudden pulmonary embolism. This is conceivable. Nevertheless, the question arises as to what role the „lockdown“ plays in these additional deaths.
The Italian health authority ISS warns that Covid19 patients from the Mediterranean region, who often have a genetic metabolic peculiarity called favism, should not be treated with antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine, as this can lead to death. This is a further indication that the wrong or overly aggressive medication can make the disease even worse.
Rubicon: 120 expert opinions on Corona. Worldwide, high-ranking scientists, doctors, lawyers and other experts criticize the handling of the corona virus. (German)
Classification of the pandemic
In 2007, the US health authorities defined a five-tier classification for pandemic influenza and counter-measures. The five categories are based on the observed lethality (CFR) of the pandemic, from category 1 (<0.1%) to category 5 (>2%). According to this key, the current corona pandemic would probably be classified in category 2 (0.1% to 0.5%). For this category, only the „voluntary isolation of sick persons“ was envisaged as the main measure at the time.
In 2009, however, the WHO deleted severity from its pandemic definition. Since then, in principle, every global wave of influenza can be declared a pandemic, as happened with the very mild „swine flu“ of 2009/2010, for which vaccines worth around 18 billion dollars were sold.
The documentary TrustWHO („Trust who?“), which deals with the dubious role of the WHO in the context of „swine flu“, was recently deleted by VIMEO.
Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza: Simple measures are sufficient
In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the „lockdown“ was even introduced:
„These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened“.
Reproduction rate in Switzerland (ETH/Vernazza)
Switzerland: Cumulative total mortality in the normal range
In Switzerland, cumulative total mortality in the first quarter (until April 5) was at the mean expected value and more than 1500 deaths below the upper expected value. Moreover, by the middle of April the total mortality rate was still more than 2000 deaths below the comparative value from the severe flu season of 2015 (see figure below).
Cumulative mortality compared to medium expected value 2010 to 2020 (BFS)
Sweden: Epidemic ending even without lockdown
The latest figures on patients and deaths show that the epidemic is coming to an end in Sweden. In Sweden, as in most other countries, excess mortality occurred mainly in nursing homes that were not protected well enough, the chief epidemiologist explained.
Compared to other countries, the Swedish population may now benefit from higher immunity to the Covid19 virus, which could better protect them from a possible „second wave“ next winter.
It can be assumed that by the end of 2020, Covid19 will not be visible in the Swedish overall mortality. The Swedish example shows that „lockdowns“ were medically unnecessary or even counterproductive as well as socially and economically devastating.
Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Professor Johan Giesecke
Test-positive deaths in Sweden (FOHM/Wikipedia; values may still change somewhat)
Anecdotes vs. evidence
In the face of a lack of scientific evidence, some media increasingly rely on gruesome anecdotes in order to maintain fear in the population. A typical example are „healthy children“ who allegedly died of Covid19, but who later often turn out not to have died of Covid19, or who were seriously ill.
Austrian media recently reported about some divers who, six weeks after a Covid19 disease with lung involvement, still showed reduced performance and conspicuous imaging. One section speaks of „irreversible damage“, the next explains that this is „unclear and speculative“. It is not mentioned that divers should generally take a 6 to 12 month break after serious pneumonia.
Neurological effects such as the temporary loss of the sense of smell or taste are also often mentioned. Here too, it is usually not explained that this is a well-known effect of cold and flu viruses, and Covid19 is rather mild in this respect.
In other reports, possible effects on various organs such as kidneys, liver or brain are highlighted, without mentioning that many of the patients affected were already very old and had severe chronic pre-existing conditions.
WOZ: When fear rules. „With drones, apps and demo bans: In the wake of the Corona crisis, fundamental freedoms are being eroded. If we don’t watch out, they will remain so even after the lockdown – but the extreme situation also offers reason for hope.“ (German)
Multipolar: What is the agenda? „The government praises itself, spreads slogans of perseverance and at the same time slows down the collection of basic data that would allow the reliable measurement of the spread and danger of the virus. In contrast, the authorities are acting quickly and decisively in expanding questionable instruments, such as new „corona apps“ for collective pulse measurement and contact tracing“. (German)
Professor Christian Piska, expert for public law and legal tech in Vienna: „Austria has changed. Very much so, even if most people seem to just accept it. Step by step, whether the economy is booming or not, we are suddenly living with police-state conditions and severe restrictions on our basic and human rights, which would be a perfect match for dictatorial regimes. () This is Pandora’s box, which once opened, may never be closed again.“ (German)
More than 300 scientists from 26 countries warn of „unprecedented surveillance of society“ by corona apps violating data protection. Several scientists and universities have already withdrawn from the European contact tracing project PEPP-PT due to a lack of transparency. Recently it became known that the Swiss company AGT is involved in the project, which had previously set up mass surveillance systems for Arab states.
In Israel, about 5000 people (with a distance of 2m each) demonstrated against the measures of the Netanyahu government: „They talk about an exponential increase of corona cases, but the only thing that increases exponentially are the people who stand up to protect our country and our democracy“.
Madrid-based Irish journalist Jason O’Toole describes the situation in Spain: „With the military visible on the streets of Spain it’s hard not to describe the situation as martial law in all but name. George Orwell’s Big Brother is alive and well here, with the Spanish police monitoring everybody using CCTV or by flying drones overhead. A staggering 650,000 people were fined and 5,568 arrested during the first four weeks alone. () I was shocked when I watched one video clip of a cop using heavy force to arrest a mentally ill young man who was apparently just walking home with bread.“
OffGuardian: The disturbing developments in UK policing.
In a new article, US investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes on „How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision“: „Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the “obstacles” they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis.“
In a previous article, Whitney Webb already dealt with the central role of the „Center for Health Security“ at Johns Hopkins University in the current pandemic management as well as its role in previous pandemic and bioweapons simulations and its close links to the US security apparatus.
The idea of using a pandemic to expand global surveillance and control instruments is not new. As early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a „lock step scenario“ in a working paper on future technological and social developments, in which current developments are anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff).
„The truth about Fauci“: In a new interview, US virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits talks about her experiences with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is currently playing a major role in shaping the US government’s Covid19 measures.
Aid organisations warn that „far more people“ will die from the economic consequences of the measures than from Covid-19 itself. Forecasts now predict that 35 to 65 million people will fall into absolute poverty, and many of them are threatened with starvation.
In Germany, 2.35 million people are predicted to be on short-time working in 2020, more than twice as many as after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.
People on short-time working in Germany (BfA)
April 18, 2020
A new serological study by Stanford University found antibodies in 50 to 85 times more people than previously thought in Santa Clara County, California, resulting in a Covid-19 lethality of 0.12% to 0.2% or even lower (i.e. in the range of severe influenza). Professor John Ioannidis explains the study in a new video.
In a new analysis, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford argues that the lethality of covid19 (IFR) is between 0.1% and 0.36% (i.e. in the range of a severe influenza). In people over 70 years of age with no serious preconditions, the mortality rate is expected to be less than 1%. For people over 80 years of age, the mortality rate is between 3% and 15%, depending on whether deaths so far were mainly with or from by the disease. In contrast to influenza, child mortality is close to zero. With regard to the high mortality rate in Northern Italy, the research group points out that Italy has the highest antibiotic resistance in Europe. In fact, data from the Italian authorities show that around 80% of the deceased were treated with antibiotics, indicating bacterial superinfections.
The Finnish epidemiology professor Mikko Paunio from the University of Helsinki has evaluated several international studies in a working paper and comes to a Covid19 lethality (IFR) of 0.1% or less (i.e. in the area of seasonal influenza). According to Paunio, the impression of a higher lethality was created because the virus spread very quickly, especially in multi-generation households in Italy and Spain, but also in cities like New York. The „lockdown“ measures had come too late and had not been effective.
UK: London’s temporary Nightingale hospital has remained largely empty, with just 19 patients being treated at the facility over the Easter weekend. London’s established hospitals have doubled their ICU capacity, and are so far coping with surge.
In Canada, 31 people died in a nursing home after „almost all nursing staff had left the facility in a hurry for fear of the corona virus spreading. Health authorities found the people in the home in Dorval near Montreal only days later – many of the survivors were dehydrated, malnourished and apathetic.“ Similar tragedies were already reported from northern Italy, where Eastern European nurses left the country in a hurry when panic broke out and lockdown measures were announced.
A Scottish doctor who also looks after nursing homes writes: „What was the government strategy for nursing homes? The actions taken so far have made the situation much, much worse.“
In Switzerland, despite Covid19, total mortality in the first quarter of 2020 (until 5th April) was in the medium normal range. One reason for this could be the mild flu season due to the mild winter, which has now been partially „offset“ by Covid19.
According to a report from April 14, Swiss hospitals and even intensive care units continue to be very under-utilized. This again raises the question of where and how exactly the test-positive deaths (average age 84) in Switzerland actually occur.
The President of the German Hospital Association has sounded the alarm: more than 50 percent of all planned operations throughout Germany have been cancelled, and the „operations backlog“ is running into thousands. In addition, 30 to 40% fewer patients with heart attacks and strokes are treated because they no longer dare to go to the hospitals for fear of corona. There were 150,000 free hospital beds and 10,000 free intensive care beds nationwide. In Berlin, only 68 intensive care beds are occupied by corona patients, the emergency clinic with 1000 beds is currently not in use.
New data of German authorities show that in Germany, too, the reproduction rate of Covid19 had already fallen below the critical value of 1 before the lockdown. General hygiene measures were therefore sufficient to prevent the exponential spread. This had already been shown by the ETH Zurich for Switzerland as well.
On a French aircraft carrier 1081 soldiers tested positive. So far, almost 50% of them remained symptom-free and about 50% showed mild symptoms. 24 soldiers were hospitalized, one of them is in intensive care (previous illnesses unknown).
Leading German virologist Christian Drosten thinks it is possible that some people have already built up an effective so-called background immunity against the new corona virus through contact with normal common cold corona viruses.
Klaus Püschsel, a forensic doctor from Hamburg who has already examined numerous test positive deceased, explains in a new article: „The numbers do not justify the fear of corona“. His findings: „Corona is a relatively harmless viral disease. We have to deal with the fact that Corona is a normal infection and we have to learn to live with it without quarantine“. The fatalities he examined would all have had such serious pre-existing conditions that, „even if that sounds harsh, they would all have died in the course of this year. Püschel adds: „The time of the virologists is over. We should now ask others what is the right thing to do in the corona crisis, for example the intensive care doctors.“
A review on Medscape shows that common cold infections caused by coronaviruses typically decline at the end of April – with or without a lockdown.
Swiss magazine Infosperber writes: „Fewer corona cases? Just test less!“ The daily number of „new cases“ reported says little about the state of the epidemic. It was reckless to trigger fear with the curve of cumulative test-positive deaths, they argue.
OffGuardian: Eight more experts questioning the coronavirus panic.
Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke Swedish epidemiology professor Johan Giesecke speaks of a „tsunami of a mild disease“ and considers lockdowns to be counterproductive. The most important thing, he says, is to provide efficient protection for risk groups, especially nursing homes.
Reproduction number in Germany. Lockdown since March 22. Ban on events with more than 1000 people since March 9 (RKI).
Ventilation with Covid19
Other experts in Europe and the USA have expressed their opinion on the treatment of critical Covid19 patients and strongly advise against invasive ventilation (intubation). Covid19 patients do not suffer from acute respiratory failure (ARDS), but from oxygen deficiency, possibly caused by an oxygen diffusion problem triggered by the virus or the immune response to it.
AP: Some doctors moving away from ventilators for virus patients
Video: Covid-19: Critical Discussion of the Recommendation for Early Intubation
Video: New York intensive care doctor on Covid19 as a possible diffusion hypoxemia
Journal: COVID-19 pneumonia: different respiratory treatments for different phenotypes?
(German) Die WELT: Sterberate bei Beatmungspatienten gibt Rätsel auf
Video: Police violence and monitoring during corona lockdowns around the world.
In several US states there have been protests and rallies against the lockdown measures.
German economist Norbert Haering explains in several articles how the „corona crisis“ is being used to introduce worldwide monitoring instruments that have been planned for some time in the areas of travel, payments, contact tracing and biometrics.
Giorgio Agamben, Italian philosopher, on the Corona measures: „A country, indeed a culture is imploding right now, and nobody seems to care. What is going on before our eyes in countries that claim to be civilized?“
Italian lawyers lodged a complaint against corona measures of the government.
The German professor of economics Stefan Homburg in DIE WELT: „Why Germany’s lockdown is wrong – and Sweden is doing much better“: „In summary, countries like Sweden, South Korea or Taiwan have acted wisely by not using lockdowns. The virologists there guided the population and politicians through the crisis with a steady hand, instead of unsettling them by constantly changing course. The coronavirus was successfully contained without harming fundamental rights and jobs. Germany should take this policy as a model for itself.“
A Swiss citizen has sent an urgent application to the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Council to have the lockdown lifted immediately.
Video: „Swiss doctors were muzzled, the Federal Council is divided.“ An interview with Dr. med. Stephan Rietiker, the founder of InsideCorona.ch
Video: „The Swiss government belongs in prison. A polemic.“
April 16, 2020
The London Times reports that up to 50% of current British excess mortality might not be caused by the coronavirus, but by the effects of the lockdown and general panic. This amounts to up to 3000 deaths per week. In fact, this figure could be even higher, as the British Covid19 definition also includes deaths with (rather than from) coronavirus as well as „suspected cases“. In addition, around 50% of „corona deaths“ involve nursing homes, which are not protected any better by a general lockdown.
In Denmark, the lockdown is now regretted: „We should never have pressed the stop button. The Danish health care system had the situation under control. The total lockdown was a step too far,“ argues Professor Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen of Aarhus University Hospital. Denmark is currently ramping up school operations again.
Yale professor David Katz, who warned early on of the negative consequences of a lockdown, gave a detailed one-hour interview on the current situation.
German virologist Hendrik Streeck explains that no „smear infections“ in supermarkets, restaurants or hairdressing salons have been detected so far.
New antibody data from the Italian community of Robbio in Lombardy shows that about ten times more people had the corona virus than originally thought, as they developed no or only mild symptoms. The actual immunization rate is 22%.
New data from the Swiss Canton of Zurich shows that about 50% of all Covid19-related deaths occurred in retirement or nursing homes. Nevertheless, even there about 40% of all test-positive people showed no symptoms. The median age of test-positive deaths in Switzerland is currently about 84 years.
Pietro Vernazza, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, comments on the „live with the virus“ strategy and recommends, among other things, individually optimised protection of persons at risk. The immunity of the general population is also a protection for people at risk, he says.
The new British website Lockdown Skeptics reports critically on Covid19, the measures taken and the general media coverage.
The Austrian civil society „Initiative for evidence-based corona information“ provides an overview of studies and analyses on the new corona virus
Documentary: „The WHO – In the grip of the lobbyists“ (ARTE, 2017, German)
April 15, 2020
In the British Telegraph, Professor Alexander Kekulé, one of Germany’s leading microbiologists and epidemiologists, calls for an end to the lockdown as it causes more damage than the virus itself. In people under 50 years of age, severe disease or death are „very, very unlikely“. The general population should develop rapid immunity, while risk groups should be protected. One cannot wait for a vaccine, which will take at least six to twelve months, but must find a way to live with the virus, Professor Kekulé said.
The German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine reports that the lethality of a severe seasonal influenza (flu) such as 2017/2018 is estimated by the German Robert Koch Institute to be 0.4% to 0.5%, and not only 0.1% as previously assumed. This would mean that the lethality of Covid19 could even be lower than that of a strong seasonal influenza, even though it may spread faster.
The Luxembourger Tageblatt reports that Sweden’s „relaxed strategy on Covid19 seems to work“. Despite minimal measures, the situation seems to be „clearly calming down at the moment“. A huge field hospital that was set up near Stockholm remains closed due to lack of demand. The number of patients in intensive care units remains constant at a low level or is even slightly declining. „There are many vacancies in intensive care units in all Stockholm hospitals. We are approaching the flattening of the illness curve,“ explained a senior physician at the Karolinska Klinik. So far there have been about 900 deaths with Covid19 in Sweden.
A direct comparison between the UK (with lockdown) and Sweden (without lockdown) shows that the two countries are almost identical in terms of case numbers and deaths per population.
A letter to the New England Journal of Medicine reports that in a study of pregnant women, 88% of test-positive women showed no symptoms – a very high figure, but one that is consistent with earlier reports from China and Iceland.
Professor Dan Yamin, director of the Epidemiology Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University, explains in an interview that the new corona virus is „hardly dangerous“ for a large part of the population and that rapid natural immunity must be the goal. The money is better spent on extending a clinic than on paying for damages due to the lockdown, he said.
The president of the Israeli National Research Council, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, argues that according to current findings, the corona epidemic is over in most countries after about 8 weeks, regardless of the measures taken. He therefore recommends to lift the „lockdown“ immediately.
The British statistics professor David Spiegelhalter shows that the risk of death from Covid19 corresponds roughly to normal mortality and is visibly increased only for the age group between approx. 70 and 80 years (see the graph at the end of the linked article).
Professor Karin Moelling, emeritus director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Zurich and an early critic of excessive measures, stresses in a new interview the role of local special factors such as air pollution and population density.
The British Guardian pointed out in 2015 that extreme air pollution in Chinese cities kills 4000 people per day. This is more than China has so far reported in total Covid19 deaths.
The German virologist Hendrik Streeck has defended himself against criticism of his pilot study. Streeck found a lethality (based on cases) of 0.37% and a mortality (based on population) of 0.06%, which corresponds to a strong seasonal flu.
Austrian internal medicine specialists warn of „collateral damage“: Due to the coronavirus, control and operation dates are postponed and fewer patients with heart attack symptoms come to the hospitals.
A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time graphically depicted the rate of positive Covid19 tests in Switzerland since early March. The result shows that the positive rate oscillates between about 10% and 25% and that the „lockdown“ has had no significant influence (see graph below). Interestingly, Swiss authorities and media have never shown this graph.
A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and again comes to a critical assessment: „The situation report is unsuitable for politicians and competent decision making, is highly unspecific, incomplete and lacking in informative value“.
In a new article, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, explains that the alleged lack of immunity formation in Covid19 is a matter of „rare individual cases or even just clues“, which „on closer inspection do not pose a problem“, but which are „exaggerated and hastily dished up as shocking news“ by some media.
In France, there are more and more reports of suicides out of fear of the coronavirus or out of fear of having infected someone with the coronavirus.
The new French site Covid Infos critically examines Covid19 and media reporting.
Swiss positive test rate before and during lockdown (FS)
US and UK
On the US warship Theodore Roosevelt, 600 sailors tested positive for Covid19, and a first sailor has since died from or with Covid19. The warship will be a very important „case study“ for the impact on the healthy general population below 65.
The emeritus British professor of pathology, Dr John Lee, argues that a robust and evidence-based debate is needed to avoid „big mistakes“. Many of the figures used by governments and the media have not been reliable, he says.
In the UK, 40% of hospital beds are currently unoccupied, four times more than usual. The reason for this is the sharp decline in general patient admissions. Intensive care beds, whose capacity has been increased, are on average 78% occupied. In addition, 10% of nurses are in quarantine.
The temporary corona hospitals of the US military near New York are „largely empty“ so far. The hospitalization rate in New York was overestimated by a factor of seven.
A US study comes to the conclusion that the new corona virus has already spread much further than originally assumed, but causes no or only mild symptoms in most people, so that the lethality rate could be as low as 0.1%, which is roughly equivalent to seasonal flu. However, due to the fact that the disease is more easily transmitted, the cases of the disease in New York, for example, occurred in a shorter time than usual.
In a new document on the treatment of Covid19 patients, the chief of pneumology and intensive care at Eastern Virginia Medical School states: „It is important to recognize that COVID-19 does not cause your “typical ARDS” (lung failure) … this disease must be treated differently and it is likely we are exacerbating this situation by causing ventilator induced lung injury.“
In the US, a governor claimed an infant died „of Covid“ as the world’s youngest victim. Family acquaintances, however, stated that the infant had suffocated in a tragic accident at home and subsequently tested positive in hospital. The responsible coroner did not declare a Covid death.
A doctor from the US state of Montana explained in a speech how death certificates for suspected Covid19 cases are being manipulated due to new guidelines.
An analysis of data from five European countries shows that residents of nursing homes have so far accounted for between 42% and 57% of all „Covid19 deaths“. At the same time, three US studies show that up to 50% of all test positive nursing home residents did not (yet) show symptoms at the time of testing. Two conclusions can be drawn from this: On the one hand, the danger of the new coronavirus – as already suspected – seems to be concentrated on a small, very vulnerable population group that needs even better protection. On the other hand, it is conceivable that some of these people may not die, or not only die from the coronavirus, but also from the extreme stress associated with the current situation. Recent reports from Germany and Italy have already mentioned nursing home residents who died suddenly without symptoms.
A German palliative physician argues in a recent interview that in the treatment of Covid19 patients „very wrong priorities were set and all ethical principles were violated“. There is a „very one-sided orientation towards intensive care“, although „the balance between benefit and harm“ is often not good. A new diagnosis (i.e. Covid19) would turn elderly patients who in the past had mostly been treated palliatively into intensive care patients and subject them to a painful but often hopeless treatment (i.e. artificial respiration). The treatment should always be based on the actual will of the patient, the specialist argued.
Covid19 deaths in nursing homes (LTC Covid)
In Germany, a medical lawyer who filed a complaint against the corona measures with the Federal Constitutional Court and called for demonstrations, was arrested and sent to a prison psychiatric ward for two days. The public prosecutor is investigating for „public provocation to commit crimes“. Another lawyer asks in an open letter to the German Federal Chamber of Lawyers: „Lawyers sent to psychiatric hospital for protest? Is it that time again in Germany?“
In Switzerland, a „corona critical“ doctor was arrested by a special police unit for alleged „threats against relatives and authorities“ and sent to a psychiatric clinic. The family has since declared that there were no threats against relatives. The doctor also stated that he was not accused of „threats against authorities“ during the interrogation. The police justified the deployment of the special unit by assuming that the doctor was in possession of a weapon – but this was the usual Swiss medical army pistol without ammunition. The transfer of the doctor to a psychiatric clinic was justified on the grounds of an alleged „incapacity to serve in prison“ (as is the case of nursing patients) – this, too, may be seen as a pretext. Based on the current state of knowledge, it is therefore possible that the measure was indeed politically motivated. Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has already drawn attention to the Swiss case.
Italy is now using European satellite data to monitor the population during lockdown.
The British police smashed in a resident’s door looking for „social gatherings“.
German constitutional law expert Professor Oliver Lepsius: „On the decline of fundamental rights in the corona pandemic“.
April 12, 2020
Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis concludes in a new study that the risk of death from Covid19 for people under 65 years of age, even in global „hotspots“, is equivalent to the risk of a fatal car accident for daily commuters driving between 9 and 400 miles.
In a serological pilot study, German virologist Hendrick Streeck comes to the interim result that the lethality of Covid19 is at 0.37% and the mortality (based on the total population) at 0.06%. These values are about ten times lower than those of the WHO and about five times lower than those of Johns Hopkins University.
A Danish study with 1500 blood donors found that the lethality of Covid19 is only 1.6 per thousand, i.e. more than 20 times lower than originally assumed by the WHO and thus in the range of a strong (pandemic) influenza. At the same time Denmark has decided to reopen schools and kindergartens next week.
A serological study in the US state of Colorado comes to the preliminary conclusion that the lethality of Covid19 has been overestimated by a factor of 5 to a factor of 20 and is likely to be in the range between normal and pandemic influenza.
A study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna concluded that the age and risk profile of Covid19 deaths is similar to normal mortality.
A study in the Journal of Medical Virology concludes that the internationally used coronavirus test is unreliable: In addition to the already known problem of false positive results, there is also a „potentially high“ rate of false negative results, i.e. the test does not respond even in symptomatic individuals, while in other patients it does respond once and then again not. This makes it more difficult to exclude other flu-like illnesses.
A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time evaluated and graphically displayed the rate of positive tests in the US, France, Germany and Switzerland. The result shows that the positive rate in these countries is increasing rather slowly and not exponentially.
Dr. Daniel Jeanmonod, emeritus Swiss professor of physiology and neurosurgery, recommends in an analysis: „Think deep, do good science, and do not panic!„
US researchers conclude that local air pollution greatly increases the risk of death from Covid19. This confirms earlier studies from Italy and China.
The WHO concluded at the end of March that, contrary to earlier assumptions, Covid19 is not transmitted by aerosols („through the air“). Transmission mainly takes place through direct contact or by droplet infection (coughing, sneezing).
The German-American epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski argues in a new interview that the Covid19 epidemic is already declining or even „already over“ in many countries. The curfews had come too late and had been counterproductive, Wittkowski argues.
European Mortality Monitoring
European mortality monitoring now shows a clear projected excess mortality in the over-65 age group in several European countries. In some countries, however, including Germany and Austria, mortality in this age group is still in the normal range (or even below).
The question remains open as to whether the partially increased mortality is due to the coronavirus alone or also due to the sometimes drastic measures taken (e.g. isolation, stress, cancelled operations, etc.), and whether mortality will still be increased in the annual view.
Among the age groups under 65 years, so far only in England there is a projected increase in mortality beyond earlier waves of influenza. The median age of test-positive deceased is 80 in Italy, 83 in Germany and 84 in Switzerland.
According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years. The number of hospitalised patients remains constant.
A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“. (About the study)
The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: „Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign„. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.
The Swiss consumer protection magazine Ktipp also criticises the information policy and media reporting: „Authorities provide misleading information„.
A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and comes to a very critical conclusion: the report is „scientifically unbalanced, patronising and misleading“. In consideration of the facts, the measures taken by authorities are „irresponsible and inducing fear“.
In an open letter to the Swiss Minister of Health, Swiss doctors speak of a „discrepancy between the threat scenario, which has been fuelled above all by the media, and our reality. The Covid19 cases observed in the general population were few and mostly mild, but „anxiety disorders and panic attacks“ are on the increase in the population and many patients no longer dare to come to important examination appointments. „And this in connection with a virus whose dangerousness, according to our perception, exists in Switzerland only in the media and in our heads.“
Due to the very low patient workload, several clinics in Switzerland and Germany have now had to announce short-time work. The decrease in patients is up to 80%.
The Swiss physician Dr. Paul Robert Vogt has written a highly shared article on Covid19. He criticizes a „sensationalistic press“, but also warns that this is not an „ordinary flu“. However, the physician is wrong in some points: lethality rate and median age are very much key variables, differentiation between with/by coronavirus is essential, respiratory masks and respirators are unsuitable in many cases (see below), and curfews are a questionable and possibly counterproductive measure.
Germany and Austria
In a new paper, German health experts criticise the crisis policy of the Federal Government. They speak of long-term damage to the population caused by the partial shutdown. The figures published by the RKI were „only of limited significance“.
In a statement, the Federal Association of German Pathologists demands that there must be autopsies of „corona deaths“ (in order to determine the true cause of death) and thus explicitly contradicts „the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute“, which spoke out against autopsies, allegedly because they were too dangerous.
Dr. Martin Sprenger resigned his position in the Corona Expert Council of the Austrian Ministry of Health in order to „regain his civil and scientific freedom of opinion“. Dr. Sprenger previously criticized, among other things, that the government did not sufficiently differentiate the risk of the virus for different population groups and took too sweeping measures: „We must be careful that the loss of healthy life years due to inadequate care for other acute and chronic diseases is not a factor of 10 times higher than the loss of healthy life years caused by COVID-19“.
In a German nursing home, an 84-year-old man tested positive for Covid19, after which the entire home was quarantined and mass tests were conducted. The initial test result later turned out to be false, however.
The Norwegian Medical Association writes in an open letter to the Minister of Health that they are concerned that the measures taken could be more dangerous than the virus, as normal patients are no longer being examined and treated.
A Swedish author explains in the British Spectator: „It is not Sweden that is conducting a mass experiment. It is all other countries that are doing it.“
Professor Ansgar Lohse, Director at the Hamburg University Hospital, explains in an interview: „In my opinion, the Swedish measures are the most rational in the world. Of course, the question arises whether this can be kept up psychologically. Initially, the Swedes have to reckon with significantly more deaths, but in the medium to long term these will then be significantly reduced. The bill will be paid in a year – if the Swedes can hold out. Unfortunately, the fear of the virus often forces politicians to take actions that are not necessarily reasonable. Politics is driven also by the images in the media.“
According to Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, Stockholm may now have reached a „plateau“ with regard to Covid infections. (More news about Sweden)
US and Asia
In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as „Covid deaths“. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 patients. (Some humour on this topic).
A Covid19 field hospital near Seattle in Washington State was closed after only three days without admitting any patients. This is reminiscent of the hospitals built at short notice near Wuhan, which were also mostly under-utilized or even empty and were then dismantled after a short time.
Numerous media reported on alleged „corona mass graves“ on Hart Island near New York. These reports are misleading in two respects: firstly, Hart Island has long been one of the best-known „cemeteries of the poor“ in the US, and secondly the mayor of New York declared that no mass graves are planned, but that „unclaimed“ deceased (i.e. without relatives) are to be buried on Hart Island.
One of the leading Indian epidemiologists said that „We cannot run away to the moon„. He recommends the rapid development of a natural immunity in the population.
Regarding northern Italy, several potential risk factors have recently been discussed.
It is true that two major vaccination campaigns against influenza and meningococcus were carried out in Lombardy in the months immediately preceding the outbreak of Covid19, notably in the later hotspots of Bergamo and Brescia. Although it is
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
Trustworthy Freedom Fighter
Joined: 13 Jan 2007
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|Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 9:51 am Post subject:
|Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources
"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," a source said.
By Josh Margolin and James Gordon Meek April 9, 2020, 1:55 AM
According to an exclusive ABC News investigation the National Center for Medical Intelligence warned the military and White House about the spread of the virus in China as far back as late November.
Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect comment from the Pentagon.
As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.
Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents.
The report was the result of analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images. It raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia -- forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier to prepare for a crisis poised to come home.
"Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. "It was then briefed multiple times to" the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House. Wednesday night, the Pentagon issued a statement denying the "product/assessment" existed.
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From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January, the sources said. For something to have appeared in the PDB, it would have had to go through weeks of vetting and analysis, according to people who have worked on presidential briefings in both Republican and Democratic administrations.
"The timeline of the intel side of this may be further back than we’re discussing," the source said of preliminary reports from Wuhan. "But this was definitely being briefed beginning at the end of November as something the military needed to take a posture on."
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AFP via Getty Images, FILEAmbulance medical staff arrive at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital with an elderly woman, who recovered from COVID-19, at Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, March 30, 2020.Ambulance medical staff arrive at Wuhan Red Cross Hospital with an elderly woman, who recovered from COVID-19, at Wuhan in China's central Hubei province, March 30, 2020.
AFP via Getty Images, FILE
The NCMI report was made available widely to people authorized to access intelligence community alerts. Following the report’s release, other intelligence community bulletins began circulating through confidential channels across the government around Thanksgiving, the sources said. Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.
"It would be a significant alarm that would have been set off by this," former Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Mick Mulroy, now an ABC News contributor, said of the NCMI report. "And it would have been something that would be followed up by literally every intelligence-collection agency."
Mulroy, who previously served as a senior official at the CIA, said NCMI does serious work that senior government leaders do not ignore.
"Medical intelligence takes into account all source information -- imagery intelligence, human intelligence, signals intelligence," said Mulroy, who hasn't seen the reporting. "Then there’s analysis by people who know those specific areas. So for something like this to have come out, it has been reviewed by experts in the field. They’re taking together what those pieces of information mean and then looking at the potential for an international health crisis."
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NCMI is a component of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. Together, the agencies’ core responsibilities are to ensure U.S. military forces have the information they need to carry out their missions -- both offensively and defensively. It is a critical priority for the Pentagon to keep American service members healthy on deployments.
Asked about the November warning last Sunday on ABC’s "This Week," Defense Secretary Mark Esper told Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos, "I can't recall, George. But we have many people who watch this closely. We have the premier infectious disease research institute in America, within the United States Army. So, our people who work these issues directly watch this all the time."
Pressing the secretary, Stephanopoulos asked, "So, you would have known if there was briefed to the National Security Council in December, wouldn't you?"
Esper said, "Yes. I'm not aware of that."
The Pentagon did not comment Tuesday, but on Wednesday evening following the publication of this report, the Defense Department provided a statement from Col. R. Shane Day, Director of the NCMI.
"As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters. However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists," the statement said.
The White House National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.
Critics have charged the Trump administration with being flat-footed and late in its response to a pandemic that, after sweeping through Wuhan and then parts of Europe, has now killed more than 12,000 in the U.S.
For his part, President Donald Trump has alternated between taking credit for early action and claiming that the coronavirus was a surprise to him and everyone else. He has repeatedly touted his Jan. 31 decision to restrict air travel with China, but at the same time, he spent weeks telling the public and top administration officials that there was nothing for Americans to fear.
On Jan. 22, for instance, Trump made his first comments about the virus when asked in a CNBC interview, "Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?" The president responded, "No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine."
Noel Celis/AFP via Getty ImagesPassengers wear facemasks as they form a queue at the Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, early April 8, 2020, as they prepare to leave the city in China's central Hubei province.Passengers wear facemasks as they form a queue at the Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station in Wuhan, early April 8, 2020, as they prepare to leave the city in China's central Hubei province.
Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images
As late as Feb. 19, Trump was offering positive reviews for the way China’s leaders had handled the coronavirus.
"I'm confident that they're trying very hard," Trump told an interviewer from Fox 10 in Phoenix. "They're working it -- they built, they built a hospital in seven days, and now they're building another one. I think it's going to work out fine."
It was not until March 13 when Trump declared a national emergency and mobilized the vast resources of the federal government to help public-health agencies deal with the crisis that was poised to crash on to the homeland.
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Medical supplies donated by China and its companies are unloaded from an airplane in Belgrade, Serbia, March 26, 2020.
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An empty queue at pre-security at the nearly empty San Francisco International Airport, due to the outbreak of coronavirus and COVID-19, in San Francisco, Calif., April 6, 2020. The number of people flying has significantly dropped as airlines are forced to reduced routes and cancel flights due to coronavirus restrictions.
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If it were true that America’s spy agencies were caught that off guard, one intelligence official told ABC News, "that would be a massive intel failure on the order of 9/11. But it wasn’t. They had the intelligence."
ABC News contributor John Cohen, who used to oversee intelligence operations at the Department of Homeland Security, said even the best information would be of no use if officials do not act on it.
"When responding to a public health crisis or any other serious security threat, it is critical that our leaders react quickly and take steps to address the threat identified in the intelligence reporting," said Cohen, the former acting undersecretary of DHS. "It’s not surprising to me that the intelligence community detected the outbreak; what is surprising and disappointing is that the White House ignored the clear warning signs, failed to follow established pandemic response protocols and were slow to put in place a government-wide effort to respond to this crisis."
ABC News' Katherine Faulders, Luis Martinez and Terrance Smith contributed to this report.
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."