CORONA Main Coronavirus thread

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Immunity walls
The influence of prior infections and which variants
Eric Topol
14 hr ago

There have been marked differences for how the population of different countries respond to the Covid pandemic, perhaps best exemplified in the BA.5 variant wave. As you can see in the Figure below, deaths have been higher for BA.5 in Australia and New Zealand than any prior variant, and particularly Omicron BA.1. That’s a distinctly different pattern from South Africa, where there was little evidence of increased fatality for BA.4/5 or the United States where the increase was small. Why are there such striking differences for the effect of BA.5 between countries?



Deaths over the course of the pandemic in 4 countries: Australia, New Zealand, United States, and South Africa, through August 1, 2022, 7-day rolling averages

The “immunity wall” of a population is an aggregate of many factors that include demographics such as age and comorbidities, like obesity or diabetes. Age is especially important given immunosenescence, the less potent immune response generally mounted with advanced age. For the pandemic, of particular note, it includes prior infections, vaccines, boosters, combined infections and boosters (hybrid immunity) and waning of the immunity from vaccines or infections over time. There are also other factors that come into play providing intrinsic protection (without exposure) vs Covid, with several genomic loci associated with protection, pre-existing T-cells from skin and gut microbiome exposure, and, in some people, preexisting immunity build from common cold coronavirus exposure. We have no evidence that these intrinsic factors differ between populations and they likely account, in aggregate, for a very small proportion of people.

With that background, let’s probe deeper into why the patterns are so different between New Zealand, Australia vs South Africa, US, and many other countries. There was a marked difference in the incidence of prior infections in Australia and New Zealand that was an outgrowth of their zero-covid policy that has served them well to protect vs. hospitalizations, deaths, and Long Covid on a cumulative basis. These countries have had excellent vaccine uptake, but had vulnerability to BA.1 and, despite that major outbreak, subsequently BA.5. Clearly the vaccine and booster rates for these countries do not explain the differences, since South Africa was distinctly lower than Australia and New Zealand, with the United States in between.


Primary vaccine series (left) and booster (right) for the 4-country comparison

Prior infections do clearly play a pivotal role to explain the differences. As we are seeing in Japan currently, where like Australia and New Zealand, there was marked containment of the virus throughout the pandemic until Omicron BA.1 led to a major surge, superseded by a much bigger one with BA.5. The deaths there are still on a sharp rise.



No question that population exposure to infections plays a key role, as the people infected with SARS-CoV-2 see the whole virus, not just the spike (as the vaccines provide), and those who also get vaccinated have a potent form of hybrid immunity documented in so many studies. But there is a major price to pay to have these infections, with some fatalities, hospitalizations and people affected with Long Covid.

I would like to point out this it isn’t just about prior infections—it is the variant type of infections, too, that appears to be part of the explanation. Sure there are marked differences in age demographics for South Africa and the other countries in this comparison. But also the exposure to the Beta variant was especially severe in South Africa, and distinct in this country, as seen in the Figure below mapping the evolution of the virus in the 4 countries.


Evolution of the virus in the 4 countries throughout the pandemic

Why is this Beta exposure noteworthy? Until Omicron appeared, the Beta variant was characterized as having the most immune escape of any variant. While Beta doesn’t share many mutations with BA.5, a vaccine directed to Beta has cross-immunity to Omicron that was significantly greater, a 2-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies, than the ancestral Pfizer/BioNTech (BNT162b) vaccine. The major Beta wave in South Africa may have helped provide cross-immunity to Omicron and its sublineages.




A similar story may help explain the United States handling BA.5 better than may have been predicted from countries in Europe (such as Portugal, Greece, France, UK, Denmark, and others). It uniquely had a major wave of the BA.2.12.1 variant which shares a key spike mutation with BA.4/5 in L452 (Q instead of R) that is not seen in BA.1 or BA.2. The L452 mutation is one that was tied to the biologic properties of Delta, which included its higher pathogenicity. Like the Beta variant mass exposure in South Africa, BA.2.12.1 likely provided some cross-immunity for the subsequent BA.5 wave in the United States.


Mutation map of the spike for the Omicron variants highlighting the L452 site

To summarize, the impact of BA.5 that I have described as the worst variant of the pandemic by its biologic properties is seen clinically where there are less intact immunity walls, mostly as a function of prior infections and the type (main variant underpinning) of infections. Our immunity wall in the United States has helped provide a lesser hit of BA.5, now starting to show a plateau of hospitalizations at a level below that of other countries in Europe, even though our vaccination and booster rate in the US is substantially lower than these countries. Both Denmark and Portugal have presented their data showing BA.5 led to an increased adjusted risk of hospitalizations compared with BA.2, and we await analyses from other countries to verify BA.5’s higher level of virulence compared with earlier Omicron subvariants.



It is important to consider the immunity wall for each population to understand the impact of the virus and its evolutionary arc. The very same variant that is seen as “mild” in one county can be quite “severe” in another. Many factors contribute to the variable perception of the pathogenicity of a specific variant. Keep the immunity wall of a population in mind when you try to interpret the data.
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Does science matter? White House COVID Czar pushes flawed study
Using bad research to advance your argument will backfire

Vinay Prasad
4 hr ago

Recently, I saw several credible scientists use flawed studies to push policies they favor. Here is example #1, the White House COVID Czar


The tweet links to this “analysis.”



I went all the way down the rabbit hole to find the methods, but it was threadbare. I can barely tell what the authors did. But here are at least some problems

  1. The effect size of 96% RRR in mortality is too good to be true. Ashish is right, we seldom see effects this big. Ironically, the person who proved that is John Ioannidis in JAMA. Instead of amplifying the unlikely estimate, a scientist might want to approach it cautiously.
  2. The graph must be for 50 and over, because only 50 and over have access to dose 2 of booster, but this is not stated anywhere.
  3. There have to be deaths associated with COVID19 and not all-cause deaths, due to the raw risk sizes, but that is not stated anywhere in the Figure. I found it only in the underlying linked CDC table.
  4. The study appears to have NO ADJUSTMENT at all for any differences between the people (besides age, presumably adjusting for 51 vs 71, for e.g.). But people who seek out booster #2 are much more likely to be well educated, in better health, of different socioeconomic status. Perhaps there are also differences by behavior, race, and many other variables. This analysis does nothing to correct for these important modifiers
  5. These are presumably deaths from COVID mixed with those with COVID— the authors have no way to disambiguate this; worse, the testing practices among those dying might vary based on vaccination status, so ascertainment bias may be at play here. I.e. an unvaccinated person in the unit may get more swabs for the vid.
The truth is for the healthy 51 year old who had 3 doses, we don’t know if they derive additional benefit for death and serious illness from the 4th. If they had 2 or 3 doses plus Omicron, the proposition is very unlikely. The fact this study finds a large difference— a massive reduction in death from the 4th dose even compared to those who had 3, even after widespread Omicron breakthrough— should be a clue it is filled with confounding. It is bullshit. That should be enough reason for the White House COVID Czar to not tweet it.

Sadly, we live in a world where science takes a back seat to propaganda that helps your policy goal. But it is self-defeating. Trust is hard to earn and easy to lose. Watching scientists push flawed studies that happen to fit their policy goals will lead to further distrust from the public. Better to make your argument without this study.

In a future post, I will take on the other example, but here is a teaser

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"The Repeal" shows how the Amish, in one county, fought to save ALL New Yorkers from what's happening now
A powerful short documentary from the team behind the great "Perspectives on the Pandemic" series
Mark Crispin Miller
9 hr ago

This global drive to “vaccinate” the human race did not come out of nowhere, but was preceded, over decades, by “public health” campaigns that variously readied people for it, by expertly convincing them that their lives, and their children’s lives, depended utterly on their obeying, without question, the dictates of “public health,” however needless and/or risky they may be.

That preparatory process has been underway for quite some time; but it accelerated in the Eighties, when the vaccination schedule for our children started growing radically (some might say metastasizing) into the relentless poisonous assault it is today. That push increasingly entailed the demonization of all those who wouldn’t go along, whether on medical grounds or for religious reasons, all such heretics now fiercely vilified as “anti-vaxxers.”

I write this as one whose family has been variously ravaged by that program (which killed my nephew, Giovanni, at two months old), and as a friend to many parents of vaccine-injured children. Such hard experience is now especially poignant, as this murderous faux-vaccination drive continues to kill children, along with countless others of all ages, all around the world.

The unprecedented horror of this drive, and the imperative to stop it, now require that we all take a critical look back at its pre-history, from the fateful rise of “Rockefeller medicine,” to the polio scare, to the HIV/AIDS scam, and the over-vaccination craze that started shortly after it, casting all those who would not comply as fools or monsters.

In furtherance of this urgent re-examination, please watch, and share, The Repeal, a new short documentary on the legal fight waged, in 2019, by the Amish in Seneca County, New York, when the state sought to ban religious and medical vaccine exemptions—an effort that foretold the COVID “vaccine” propaganda that flared up the year after.

From John Kirby, director of The Repeal:

In the years leading up to the pandemic, major campaigns were underway across the United States and around the world to repeal longstanding religious and philosophical exemptions to medical mandates. What follows is the story of what happened in Seneca County, New York, in 2019 when the local Amish community attempted to resist that campaign in their state.

This video was filmed in the weeks before Covid emerged. Of particular note is that NY State's religious and philosophic exemptions were repealed a few short months before Covid... almost as if in preparation,


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03bcza7XN-o
20 min 32 sec
 

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LATEST! Expect Reinfections With SARS-CoV-2 BA.5 And BA.2 Variants Including Their Subvariants Even If You Just Got Infected With Either Or Are Jabbed!
VAIDS: over the last 24 hours, 67 of Japan’s 102 deaths were reinfections as were 18 of 21 deaths in South Korea.
2nd Smartest Guy in the World
12 hr ago

Thailand Medical News has been doing some of the best reporting on the various PSYOP-19 studies:
Source: COVID-19 News Aug 01, 2022

COVID-19 News: Physicians and researchers in the United States, United Kingdom, Sweded, Japan and Australia are sounding alerts and are concerned as they are witnessing more patients who despite having got infected with either the BA.2 variant or the BA.5 variant are still getting re-infected just after 2 to 4 weeks irrespective of vaccination status. In a few cases where genomic sequencing data was available, it was found some who got infected with the BA.5 variant and recovered, still got re-infected with the same variant after 3 to 5 weeks and in some cases newer BA.5 subvariants were at play!

Furthermore, all the re-infections were found to be far more severe or worse off irrespective of vaccination status! Viral persistence was not rules out but there was no available data that it was at play or that the virus could remain dormant and then be reactivated.

As there has been no proper surveillance or studies conducted on reinfections with the same variant or even subvariants of the same variant, certain researchers in Japan, United Kingdom and United States have just started monitoring these occurance.

These observations are worrisome as it tends to indicate despite certain frivolous studies, that even infections with the BA.5 variant will not protect one against re-infections with the same variant or its newer subvariants and reinforces the prediction that the SARS-CoV-2 is indeed evolving to evade both natural and vaccine-induced immunity.

Japan is one country that is witnessing the most cases of reinfections and local physicians are pleading that more detailed genomic surveillance is required as something is definitely occurring in the population.

The continued surge in Japan and continuing rise in daily CODI-19 infections are also being fueled by reinfections.

According to latest COVID-19 News updates, as of the last 25 hours, Japan saw 200,945 new COVID-19 infections (31st July 2022) and 102 COVID-19 deaths of which 67 were reinfections!

The same phenomena are being observed in South Korea that has reported 45,127 new COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours and 21 deaths. 18 of these deaths were classified as reinfections.

It is believed that the same surges with reinfections are occurring in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and also the United States but all reported data are either underreported or there is lack of proper monitoring or the governments of some of these countries are merely concealing the real scenario.

In the case of Australia even the local media has confirmed that figures in certain states are being underreported.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-01/victoria-covid-surge-peak-hospitalisations-cases-deaths/101289134

We can expect to see more BA.5 sub-variants emerging with interesting mutations on them as the new BA.5 variant is evolving more rapidly than previous variants and is spawning newer mutations to evade the antibodies from both natural immunity and vaccine-induced antibodies as well as the monoclonal antibodies being used as therapeutics and also the antivirals being used.

The real reason for reinfections and mutations is a direct function of the DEATHVAX™. We are now witnessing a burgeoning VAIDS plague.

What precisely is evolving to evade both natural and “vaccine”-induced immunity are variations incubated in the DEATHVAXXED™.

Expect the latest “pandemic” in the forthcoming PSYOP-22 to in no small part function as the coverup of the succumbing DEATHVAX™ victims.
 

psychgirl

Has No Life - Lives on TB
I just randomly found this article and sat straight up!
Headline: “Everything smells like a burning cigarette”

I have went through this a couple of times, many times actually …where I’m 1000% positive I’m smelling cigars!
I did again, about ten days ago(?)

I’ve actually accused DH …in a not nice way, of smoking one in the house after I went to bed. He swore he did not. But I could smell it

 

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Court: Top NC health official can be sued for COVID shutdown
By HANNAH SCHOENBAUM
yesterday

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Gov. Roy Cooper’s secretary of health and human services should not be immune from a lawsuit over the administration’s restrictions on large gatherings in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Health and Human Services temporarily shut down Ace Speedway, a small stock car racetrack in Alamance County, in June 2020 after it repeatedly defied Cooper’s executive order limiting outdoor crowds to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The racetrack filed counterclaims that August, alleging the department unlawfully singled out the business for its acts of protest and violated its employees’ constitutional right to earn a living.

The appeals court unanimously upheld a January 2021 trial court ruling denying a DHHS motion to dismiss Ace Speedway’s claims that the agency selectively enforced the governor’s orders and impeded the racetrack’s ability to make money.

“This case makes us consider the use of overwhelming power by the State against the individual liberties of its citizens and how that use of power may be challenged,” the judges wrote.

DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley, whose predecessor filed the 2020 order to close the speedway, argued before the appeals court that executive officials should be immune from civil lawsuits. But the court ruled Ace’s claims were “sufficient to survive the secretary’s motion to dismiss” the lawsuit.

Three days after Cooper issued an executive order placing a 25-person cap on all outdoor gatherings, Ace Speedway hosted approximately 2,550 spectators for its first race of the season on May 23, 2020.

A sign posted on site at a subsequent race that June labeled the 2,000-person gathering a “peaceful protest of injustice and inequality everywhere,” the lawsuit states.

When the speedway continued to draw crowds of 1,000 or more, the governor’s office ordered Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson to intervene. After Johnson refused to issue a misdemeanor citation, the Cooper administration declared Ace Speedway an “imminent hazard” for the spread of COVID-19 and called for its closure until the emergency order expired.

A court has yet to rule on the merits of Ace Speedway’s claims. But the panel of three Republican judges drew attention Tuesday to a clause in the state Constitution guaranteeing North Carolinians a right to the “fruits of their labor.” Recent court precedents say the clause is synonymous with the right to earn a living.

The ruling noted that the order to close the racetrack “restricted or otherwise interfered with the lawful operation of a business serving the public.”
 

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Doctor: Biden’s COVID symptoms return, in ‘good spirits’
yesterday

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s “loose cough” has returned as he faces a rebound case of COVID-19, his doctor said Tuesday, though he “continues to feel well.”

White House physician Kevin O’Connor provided the update on the president’s condition as he continues to test positive for the virus. He said Biden “remains fever-free,” and that his temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation “remain entirely normal.”

Still, Biden is required to remain in isolation through at least Thursday under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines — and perhaps longer under tougher White House protocols if he continues to test positive.

Biden’s rebound case — labeled such because he tested positive on Saturday just three days after being cleared from isolation during his initial bout of the virus with two negative tests last Tuesday and Wednesday — has left him eager to return to a normal schedule.

During his first go-around with the virus, Biden, 79, was treated with the antiviral drug Paxlovid, and his primary symptoms were a runny nose, fatigue and a loose cough, his doctor said at the time.
 

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Sri Lankan president says COVID-19 cases are rising again
By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI
yesterday

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — COVID-19 cases and deaths are rising in Sri Lanka, and citizens should receive a fourth vaccine dose to prevent a possible surge of the coronavirus, the president said Tuesday.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe said there were only three reported COVID-19 deaths in June. That rose to 35 in July, including 28 who succumbed after July 18.

There were 283 confirmed cases in June and 1,616 in July, he said.

Wickremesinghe said in a statement that only 22,623 people have received a fourth vaccine dose, compared to 8 million who received a third dose.

Sri Lanka has reported a total of 665,847 confirmed cases and 16,559 deaths from the virus.

Almost all COVID-19-related restrictions have been eased in recent months as cases sharply declined. But the health ministry last week urged the public to wear face masks indoors, on public transport and in public gatherings.
 

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Covid can rebound even in people who haven’t taken Paxlovid, study finds
Reynolds Lewis
Tue, August 2, 2022, 5:03 PM

Around a third of people with Covid will experience a rebound of their symptoms, regardless of whether they’ve been treated with the antiviral Paxlovid, according to a study posted online Tuesday.

The preprint study — meaning it hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal — found that 27% of people with Covid saw a rebound in their symptoms after they had initially improved.

“It happens all the time. People who are untreated with Covid who then feel better can get symptoms afterward,” said study co-author Dr. Davey Smith, chief of infectious diseases and global public health at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Still, Smith noted that the 27% finding was higher than what he’d expected based on anecdotal evidence.

The study also found that 12% of people with Covid had a “viral rebound,” meaning they tested positive again several days after testing negative. This has been documented among people who have taken Paxlovid and is referred to as Paxlovid rebound, but the study found that viral rebound occurred regardless of whether a person had taken the antiviral treatment.

Anyone who has had Covid could see a return of symptoms after they’ve initially gone away, and those symptoms could be worse or not as bad as the first bout, Smith said. “It’s just the variability in the natural course of the infection.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged the possibility of symptom recurrence in untreated Covid patients. When the agency in May issued a health alert informing physicians about Paxlovid rebounds, it also said that “a brief return of symptoms may be part of the natural history of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection in some persons, independent of treatment with Paxlovid and regardless of vaccination status.”

The phenomenon of waxing and waning symptoms is not unique to Covid.

“In some ways, that’s the natural history of all respiratory viral infections,” said Dr. Paul Sax, clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “There are good days and bad days, and then they eventually get better.”

Paxlovid rebounds, in particular, have received a lot of attention in recent weeks, with both President Joe Biden and his chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci testing positive several days after taking the antiviral.

In Pfizer’s clinical trial on the drug, 1% to 2% of people taking Paxlovid tested positive for the coronavirus after testing negative. In a fact sheet for doctors prescribing Paxlovid, the drugmaker noted that this also occurred at similar rates among the placebo group.

But even if a person has taken Paxlovid, it’s still hard to say whether their rebound is explicitly caused by the drug.
“It could be that what would have happened without Paxlovid is that they would still have tested positive in these late days, but they wouldn’t have had the intervening negative test. … This could be just a slight disturbance in what the natural history of the illness was for them,” Sax said.

Smith agreed: “Symptoms fluctuate, and viral antigen in the nose fluctuates, and they fluctuate with and without Paxlovid.”
Dr. Albert Ko, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health, said that regardless of rebound symptoms, the message is clear: Paxlovid is working.

“Paxlovid is doing what it’s supposed to do: prevent us from getting life-threatening Covid,” Ko said. “Even though these rebounds are happening, it’s preventing the severe outcomes.”
 

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EU signs joint procurement deal with Spain's HIPRA for COVID vaccines
by John Chalmers and Joan Faus
Tue, August 2, 2022, 6:07 AM

BRUSSELS/BARCELONA (Reuters) -The European Commission said on Tuesday it had signed a joint procurement contract with Spanish pharmaceutical firm HIPRA for the supply of its protein COVID-19 vaccine, which will be available if approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The European Union's executive said in a statement that 14 countries are participating in the agreement, under which they can purchase up to 250 million doses.

HIPRA hopes its vaccine, which is under a rolling review by the EMA, will be approved and ready to be administered by the autumn, the Spanish company said in a statement, calling the EU's announcement a "sign of confidence" in its shot.

European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said in the EU statement that with COVID-19 infections on the rise in Europe, "we need to ensure maximum preparedness as we head into the autumn and winter months".

"The HIPRA vaccine adds yet another option to complement our broad vaccine portfolio for our member states and citizens," she said, adding that an increase in vaccination and boosting would be essential over the coming months.

The HIPRA bivalent recombinant protein vaccine is being developed as a booster dose in previously immunised persons 16 years and older. It uses a recombinant protein like that of U.S. based drugmaker Novavax.

A HIPRA top executive told Reuters in December it was confident there would be EU demand for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine as it is designed to protect against new variants, can be moved easily in low temperatures and be produced in mass quantities.

HIPRA, which specialised in veterinary vaccines for some 50 years and operates in more than 100 countries, had already sealed a purchase deal for 50 million doses with Vietnam, where it conducted tests.
 

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Axcella long COVID treatment helps some patients in small trial
Julie Steenhuysen
Tue, August 2, 2022, 6:02 AM

CHICAGO (Reuters) - One of the first trials aimed at tackling long COVID helped some patients recover from lingering physical and mental fatigue, although the drug developed by Axcella Health Inc failed on the small study's main goal of restoring the normal function of mitochondria - the energy factories of cells.

In the 41-patient pilot study released on Tuesday, for three of 21 patients who received the drug, AXA1125, their physical fatigue scores returned to normal levels after 28 days of treatment, Axcella Chief Medical Officer Margaret Koziel said in a phone interview.

Others who received the drug also reported physical and mental improvements that were deemed to be statistically significant as shown on a scale developed to measure chronic fatigue, according to the preliminary results, and the drug was shown to be safe and well tolerated.

"This trial is suggesting that a drug that's very safe to take and has minimal side effects is causing substantial improvement in people's physical and cognitive experience of fatigue," said Dr. Jason Maley, a consultant for Axcella who runs a long COVID clinic at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

The drug, originally developed for fatty liver disease, aims to treat the crushing chronic fatigue reported by more than half of long COVID sufferers by restoring normal function of mitochondria, the minuscule power plants that help cells perform properly.

People in the trial conducted at the University of Oxford received either the Axcella drug or a placebo over a period of 28 days. All were more than 12 weeks post COVID infection and had an abnormal phosphocreatine recovery time, a measure of mitochondrial function.

For the study's primary goal, there was no statistically significant difference between the groups on phosphocreatine recovery time.

The trial also looked at blood tests measuring lactate, a sign of muscle health, as well as patient-reported measures of mental and physical fatigue.

There are currently no approved treatments for chronic fatigue in patients with long COVID, a condition estimated to affect more than one hundred million people worldwide.

Axcella Chief Executive Bill Hinshaw said the company is designing new trials and plans to meet with U.S. and UK regulators with hopes of seeking an accelerated approval pathway for this enormous unmet need.
 

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Top epidemiologist foresees legal action by insurers against COVID vax makers over death risks
Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch cites explosion of "early unexpected mortality claims," largely not COVID-related, that insurers are struggling to pay following alleged misrepresentations about "all-cause mortality" from clinical vaccine trials.
By Greg Piper
August 3, 2022 - 12:17am

Yale University epidemiologist Harvey Risch is expecting insurers to seek financial compensation from COVID-19 vaccine makers to cover "early unexpected mortality claims," as they "they have a major financial risk that they have to figure out how to manage."

Insurers' actuaries estimated COVID vaccinees would "live longer than they have" based on misrepresentations about "all-cause mortality ... from the original [clinical] trials," Risch told the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV program. In a followup interview he pointed to statements by insurers that offer group life insurance.

OneAmerica CEO Scott Davison told a healthcare conference in December that death rates had risen an "unheard of" 40% in the working-age people it insures compared to pre-pandemic rates, when a "one-in-200-year catastrophe" would only bring a 10% increase. Most claims aren't filed as COVID-related deaths, he said.

Public records show that Lincoln National, a much larger insurer, reported a 163% increase in death benefits paid out in 2021, the first year of the COVID vaccines: $1.4 billion, compared to $500 million in pre-pandemic 2019 and $548 million in 2020.

It largely blamed a $41 million operations loss in the first quarter of 2022 on "non-pandemic-related morbidity, including unusual claims adjustments, and less favorable returns within the company's alternative investment portfolio."

Lincoln Financial Group Vice President of Corporate Communications Kelly DeAngelis told Just the News the 2020 statutory filings didn't include Lincoln Life Assurance Company of Boston. The 2021 supplement includes results from both companies, which merged that year.

DeAngelis didn't otherwise respond to Risch's predictions about the company or the insurance industry as a whole, and OneAmerica didn't respond.
 

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China Locks Down 1.6 Million People After Finding 1 Case of COVID-19
By Nicole Hao
August 3, 2022

Yongcheng city in central Henan Province went under lockdown on Monday after one local was diagnosed with COVID-19 the day before.

As part of the lockdown, City authorities ordered all the 1.6 million residents must take at least one nucleic acid test from Monday to Wednesday and that only one person per household was allowed to leave home daily to run errands.

Also under lockdown rules, no public transportation is allowed to run, and all shops, companies, restaurants, and conference centers must be closed.

Only grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals are allowed to operate, but pharmacies aren’t allowed to sell medicines to treat a fever or cough, nor antivirus and antibiotics drugs.

The authorities also set up checkpoints in the city to monitor people’s movement and stop those without passes.
Yongcheng is located in the far east of Henan and borders Shandong, Jiangsu, and Anhui provinces, and has two cross-country highways passing by.

Locking down the whole city after one person was diagnosed, is the current policy that the ruling communist regime adopts.

Coastal City

The city of Sanya, the so-called Hawaii of China, is facing the same challenge as Yongcheng with it going into lockdown on Tuesday after a resident was diagnosed with COVID-19 the day earlier.

“The patient has a low-grade fever and is treated at Sanya Central Hospital,” the state-run CCTV reported on Tuesday. “The variant that the patient infected was tested to be BA.5.1.3.”

Sanya is at the southern end of China’s Hainan Island and lockdown measures have also affected boats and ships.
In its approach to attempting to curb outbreaks, Beijing has separated the country into three different regions: high-risk, medium-risk, and low-risk, and has adopted different lockdown methods in these regions.

China has 473 high-risk regions and 636 medium-risk regions located in 18 provinces at 13:00 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the state-run Beijing Daily.
 

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COVID-19 Vaccines Hinder the Immune System, Lead to More Severe Illness: Dr. Robert Malone
By Ella Kietlinska and Joshua Philipp
August 2, 2022

A study out of the United Kingdom has shown that health care workers who received multiple COVID-19 vaccine boosters after initially being infected with the original virus strain from Wuhan are more prone to chronic reinfection from the Omicron variant.

This may help explain why the people who have received several COVID-19 vaccine boosters are increasingly the ones who end up in the hospital with severe COVID-19 symptoms, sometimes resulting in death, said scientist and physician Dr. Robert Malone.

In a July 21 interview for EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program, Malone, an inventor of mRNA vaccine technology, said this phenomenon is the result of a process called “immune imprinting,” whereby initial exposure to a virus strain may prevent the body from producing enough neutralizing antibodies against a newer strain.

He added that this process is reinforced by multiple inoculations.

“All over the world, we are seeing these datasets that show that, unfortunately, the people that are dying and being hospitalized are overwhelmingly the highly vaccinated,” he said. “It is not those that have natural immunity.”

Vaccines Based on Old Strains

The COVID-19 vaccines currently in circulation are based on the Wuhan strain of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the illness now identified as COVID-19.

A number of strains have emerged and become dominant since the Wuhan strain was prevalent, including the currently dominant Omicron variant.

The problem is that COVID-19 vaccines use only one of the components of the whole virus, which is a spike protein, so the immune system of a person who received an mRNA vaccine becomes trained to respond to only that component, Malone explained.

“If that antigen has changed slightly, if that virus has changed slightly, [the immune system] still reacts as if it’s the old one,” he said.

The COVID-19 vaccines are based on the spike protein of the original virus identified in Wuhan. That strain of the virus no longer exists and is not circulating in the population anymore, Malone said.

If a vaccine based on a now-defunct viral strain is repeatedly administered, it trains the immune system to focus more and more on the antigen delivered through the vaccine and to disregard anything else that’s slightly different, Malone explained, calling this phenomenon immune imprinting.

“The literature on immune imprinting is bombproof,” Malone said. “Paper after paper after paper now, in the top peer-reviewed journals from the top laboratories all across the world, are documenting it.”

The phenomenon has long been known in the field of vaccinology, said Malone, but the topic is verboten, and people who work in the field prefer not to discuss it, he said.

Vaccine Immunity Versus Natural Immunity

Health care workers in the UK—many of whom were infected with the Wuhan variant of the virus and also received three or four COVID-19 vaccine doses—have been developing chronic repeated infections from the Omicron variant, Malone said, citing a paper published in the academic journal Science.

Another paper published in Nature shows that the evolution of the virus is not coming from the general population, but rather from immunocompromised people who have received multiple vaccine doses, Malone said, and about 30 percent of the highly vaccinated population are having repeated infections.

This is contrary to the promoted narrative that the unvaccinated are putting the wider population at risk, Malone noted.
Natural immunity from a COVID-19 infection lasts for at least 14 months, including immunity against the Omicron strains, Malone said, citing a scientific paper from Qatar which has not yet been peer reviewed (pdf).
Vaccine-induced immunity, however, lasts only a couple of months, he added.

When someone gets infected with the original virus, that person will generate an immune response that includes “all kinds of proteins from the virus,” provided he or she hasn’t experienced too much immune imprinting, Malone explained.

“The problem with these monovalent vaccines, or the single-antigen vaccines, is they’re driving all your immune response against one thing as opposed to the whole virus. So all the virus has to do is genetically, through evolution, tweak a few knobs to escape that,” he said. “And that is exactly what’s happened with Omicron.”

The paradox is that most of the countries with emerging economies and low vaccination rates also have the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world, Malone said.

“It’s likely that we’re going to continue to see this trend,” he said.

According to Our World in Data, only 1.4 percent of Haiti’s population has been vaccinated, and the country has recorded 838 COVID-19 deaths, a rate of 73 deaths per 1 million people.

In South Africa, where 32 percent of the population is vaccinated, there have been nearly 102,000 deaths, a rate of 1,717 deaths per 1 million people.

In the UK, 75 percent of the population is vaccinated, and more than 184,000 people have died, which is a rate of 2,736 deaths per 1 million.

And in the United States, 67 percent of the population is vaccinated, and 1.03 million people have died from the virus, a rate of 3,058 deaths per 1 million people.

Other Problems with Vaccines

Malone pointed out a problem with the current mRNA vaccines.

When a vaccine is injected into a patient’s arm, the RNA from the vaccine, which is a modified RNA, is supposed to last for only a couple of hours, but a study from Stanford University shows that “the RNA sticks around for at least 60 days,” Malone said.

However, the government only accounts for vaccine reactions and illnesses that are recorded on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) within the first couple of weeks after vaccination, even though the drug is still in the body two months later, Malone said.

“The RNA from the vaccine produces more spike protein than the natural infection does,” he said. “Now that makes sense about why we see more adverse events with the vaccines than we see with the infection itself, because spike is a toxin.”
VAERS was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to collect and analyze data about the adverse effects of vaccination.

The system relies on individuals to send in reports and is not intended to determine if a reported health problem was caused by a vaccine, but it is “especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine,” according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Malone, president and co-founder of the International Alliance of Physicians and Medical Scientists, said over 17,000 doctors and scientists have signed a declaration stating unequivocally that genetic vaccines need to be withdrawn.
“These genetic vaccines are not working,” he said.

Meiling Lee and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)

Travel restrictions significantly reduced COVID cases entering Canada: Study
by Brett Goldhawk, University of British Columbia
August
2, 2022

Canada's restrictions on international travel drastically reduced the number of COVID-19 cases entering the country during the first waves of the pandemic but were insufficient to prevent new outbreaks, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia researchers.

The study, published today in eLife, used publicly available viral genome sequences to create a detailed timeline of how the virus was entering Canada from January 2020 to March 2021, and the resulting chains of transmission. The genomic data was used to identify the geographic origin of COVID-19 cases, enabling the identification of 2,263 instances where COVID-19 was imported into the country. It is the first national-level genomic analysis of COVID-19 epidemiology in Canada.

The findings shed new light on the effectiveness of Canada's border measures, revealing that the number of COVID-19 cases entering Canada declined by 10-fold four weeks after restrictions barring the entry of most foreign nationals were implemented in March 2020.

"COVID-19 importations were accelerating in the lead up to March 2020, but experienced a sharp and drastic decline after travel restrictions were put in place," says Angela McLaughlin, a Ph.D. candidate in bioinformatics at UBC and the study's lead author. "The data shows that federal travel restrictions can be effective in reducing viral importations when implemented rapidly."

Although COVID-19 importations were markedly reduced by travel restrictions, they were not eliminated and continued on at a lower level through the spring and summer of 2020. This seeded new chains of transmission that subsequently contributed greatly to the persistence of COVID-19 cases in the second wave. Importations rebounded further in November 2020, with the easing of entry exceptions for foreign nationals and quarantine shortening, bringing newly emergent variants of concern (VOCs) and interest (VOIs).

"Travel restrictions have a diminishing return if domestic transmission is high, if highly transmissible variants become widespread globally, or if there are many individuals exempt from travel restrictions and quarantine without access to rapid testing," says McLaughlin.

By the end of February 2021, there had been an estimated 30 unique genetic sublineages of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) imported into Canada, which increasingly displaced the original SARS-CoV-2 virus by the second half of the second wave and into the third wave.

The researchers say that travel restrictions and quarantine periods would have needed to be sustained to fully curtail Canada's COVID-19 burden, but ultimately, those restrictions come with a trade-off.

"The social and economic repercussions of travel restrictions must be weighed relative to the risk of unhampered viral importations, which have the potential to overburden the healthcare system," says Mclaughlin.

Of the viral importations during the first COVID-19 wave, the data suggests that 49 percent likely originated from the U.S. and were primarily introduced into Quebec and Ontario. In the second COVID wave, the U.S. was still the predominant source of viral entry, at 43 percent, alongside a larger contribution from India, 16 percent, and the UK, at seven percent.

The study was led by researchers at UBC and the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), alongside colleagues from Western University, the University of Arizona, and the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN). The researchers say the study provides important insight into the effectiveness of public health interventions that will help inform how we respond to future viral threats.

"We are now in the era of infectious disease," says the study's senior author Dr. Jeffrey B. Joy (he/him), an assistant professor at UBC's department of medicine and senior scientist at BC-CfE. "This study highlights the increasing importance of genomic epidemiology, enabled by sharing of genomic sequence data, in informing and evaluating public health policy to combat current and future viral outbreaks threatening society."
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
ETA: I moved the video that I originally posted here down a few posts because I wanted these two articles to be posted together :D


(fair use applies)


Court Documents Reveal Canada’s Travel Ban Had No Scientific Basis
In the days leading up to the mandate, transportation officials were frantically looking for a rationale for it. They came up short.
Rupa Subramanya
23 hr ago

On August 13, 2021, the Canadian government announced that anyone who hadn’t been vaccinated against Covid would soon be barred from planes and trains. In many cases, The Backward could no longer travel between provinces or leave the country. If you lived in Winnipeg and wanted to visit your mother on her deathbed in London or Hong Kong or, perhaps, Quebec City, you’d better get jabbed—or resign yourself to never seeing your mother again.

Jennifer Little, the director-general of COVID Recovery, the secretive government panel that crafted the mandate, called it “one of the strongest vaccination mandates for travelers in the world.”

It was draconian and sweeping, and it fit neatly with the public persona that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had cultivated—that of the sleek, progressive, forward-looking technocrat guided by fact and reason. The Canadian Medical Association Journal, in a June 2022 article, observed that “Canada had among the most sustained stringent policies regarding restrictions on internal movement.”

But recently released court documents—which capture the decision-making behind the travel mandate—indicate that, far from following the science, the prime minister and his Cabinet were focused on politics. (Canadians are hardly alone. As Common Sense recently reported, American public-health agencies have also been politicized.)

Two days after announcing the mandate, Trudeau called a snap election—presumably expecting that his Liberal Party, which was in the minority in the House of Commons, would benefit from the announcement and be catapulted into the majority. As it turned out, the Liberals failed to win a majority in the September 2021 election. In the meantime, roughly five million unvaccinated Canadians were barred from visiting loved ones, working or otherwise traveling. (Trudeau, for his part, stayed in power. Even though the Conservatives have won the popular vote in the past two elections, because of Canada’s parliamentary system, they have been denied the top job.)

The court documents are part of a lawsuit filed by two Canadian residents against the government. Until last month, they were under seal.

Both plaintiffs are business owners. Both have family in Britain. Both have refused the vaccine on the grounds of bodily autonomy. Both were reluctant to identify their businesses out of fear of losing customers.

One plaintiff is Karl Harrison. In his affidavit, Harrison, 58, said that he and his partner, Emma, had immigrated in 2009 from Britain to Canada. (He became a Canadian citizen in 2015.) They have two children, a 24-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter, and they live in a tony neighborhood in Vancouver. He’d always been an entrepreneur. “I was involved in establishing, owning and co-owning over 40 venues of one sort or the other—restaurants, bars, music venues and comedy clubs,” he told me. “One music venue is fairly well known, called The Bedford. Ed Sheeran got his start there.”

Since 2000, Harrison had been involved in the travel industry. “We have a company in the U.K., Ireland, Spain, and we’re the largest retailer of packages for Disneyland Paris,” he said.

He also has an 88-year-old mother in Britain, and he was furious that, for months, he couldn’t visit her. “When you’ve got oppressive government behavior,” he told me, “you’re only left with only three choices: accept it, fight it or leave. I can’t accept it. I moved my family here, and I would be letting them down if we moved away—so I’m in fight mode.”

The other plaintiff is Shaun Rickard, whose father, also in Britain, is suffering from late-stage Alzheimer’s. Rickard, 55, lives in the town of Pickering, outside Toronto, and he owns a small exterior-siding and eaves-contracting business. He portrayed himself as something of an activist. “I guess I’m the Lone Ranger,” he told me. “When I see something wrong, evil, corrupt happen, I feel I have to speak up.”

He was surprised when Trudeau announced the travel mandate. “I said to myself, ‘Holy ****, how can this be happening here?’” He added that the only way to stop it would be “through revolution, which is never going to happen in Canada, or through the courts, and the latter is what we did.”

So, in the fall of 2021, Rickard launched a GoFundMe to do battle with his government. In November, Harrison, who had learned of Rickard on social media, reached out to him. In December, they jointly filed suit.

Rickard said that, so far, the lawsuit had cost the two plaintiffs about $186,000—of which, Rickard had raised $121,000 on GoFundMe. (In February of this year, when the Canadian government invoked the Emergencies Act in response to the truckers protesting a separate vaccine mandate in Ottawa, GoFundMe forced Rickard, like those raising money for the truckers, off the site.)

Rickard and Harrison’s attorney, Sam Presvelos, said that all government decisions related to public health demanded transparency. “Civil servants shouldn’t hide behind a shroud of secrecy,” Presvelos told me.
The whole point of the case was to lift that shroud and cast a spotlight on the unscientific basis of the mandate.
Among other things, the court documents indicate:
  • No one in the COVID Recovery unit, including Jennifer Little, the director-general, had any formal education in epidemiology, medicine or public health.

  • Little, who has an undergraduate degree in literature from the University of Toronto, testified that there were 20 people in the unit. When Presvelos asked her whether anyone in the unit had any professional experience in public health, she said there was one person, Monique St.-Laurent. According to St.-Laurent’s LinkedIn profile, she appears to be a civil servant who briefly worked for the Public Health Agency of Canada. St.-Laurent is not a doctor, Little said.
    (Reached on the phone, St.-Laurent confirmed that she was a member of COVID Recovery. She referred all other questions to a government spokesperson.)

  • Little suggested that a senior official in the prime minister’s Cabinet or possibly the prime minister himself had ordered COVID Recovery to impose the travel mandate. (During cross-examination, Little told Presvelos repeatedly that “discussions” about the mandate had taken place at “senior” and “very senior” levels.) But she refused to say who had given her team the order to impose the travel mandate. “I’m not at liberty to disclose anything that is subject to cabinet confidence,” she said.

  • The term “cabinet confidence” is noteworthy because it refers to the prime minister’s Cabinet. Meaning that Little could not talk about who had directed the COVID Recovery unit to impose the travel mandate because someone at the very highest levels of government was apparently behind it.

  • In the days leading up to the implementation of the travel mandate, transportation officials were frantically looking for a rationale for it. They came up short.
That was made clear by an email exchange in the latter half of October 2021 between Aaron McCrorie and Dawn Lumley-Myllari. McCrorie is the associate assistant deputy minister for safety and security in Transport Canada, the department that houses COVID Recovery. Lumley-Myllari is an official in the Public Health Agency of Canada. In the email exchange, McCrorie seemed to be casting about for a credible rationale for the travel mandate. This was less than two weeks before the mandate was set to kick in.

“To the extent that updated data exist or that there is clearer evidence of the safety benefit of vaccination on the users or other stakeholders of the transportation system, it would be helpful to assist Transport Canada supporting its measures,” McCrorie wrote.

Four days later, on October 22, McCrorie emailed Lumley-Myllari again: “Our requirements come in on October 30”—in just over a week—”so need something fairly soon.”

On October 28, Lumley-Myllari replied to McCrorie with a series of bullet points outlining the benefits, generally speaking, of the Covid vaccine. She did not address McCrorie’s question about the transportation system, noting that the Public Health Agency of Canada was updating its “Public health considerations” with regard to vaccine mandates.

Two days later, on October 30, the travel mandate took effect.

Then, eight-and-a-half months later, on June 14, 2022, government officials announced that they were suspending the mandate—although they made it clear that they could bring it back at any time.

Within days, government lawyers filed a motion seeking to shut down Harrison and Rickard’s suit on the grounds that it was now moot—and, Presvelos said, to make sure the public never saw the court documents. (Since the case was still open, and court documents are unavailable to the public while cases are open, shutting it down would have sharply reduced the likelihood of anyone seeing government officials’ testimony.)

So, on July 12, Presvelos filed an additional damages motion, arguing that his clients had suffered damages during the mandate. Neither Harrison nor Rickard said they wanted money. The point was to make sure the suit didn’t go away and the court documents were made public.

But even so, the inner workings of the COVID Recovery unit and, more generally, the Trudeau government’s thinking around the travel mandate remain opaque.

COVID Recovery has no website, and its name appears almost nowhere in government records. (There is a brief mention of the unit in the guidance document announcing that, effective June 20, the travel mandate would be suspended.)

“The Trudeau government has claimed to follow The Science on COVID, but that science is strangely different than it is everywhere else,” Bruce Pardy, a law professor at Queens University and a former board member at the conservative Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, said in an email. “Instead, its policies are based on spite, divisiveness, and pure politics. COVID now serves as an excuse to punish the government’s ideological enemies.”

Harrison and Rickard wanted to expose the truth behind the mandate: that it was driven by politics, not science. They believed they had a right to refuse a vaccine about which they had come to have doubts. They said they were doing this for all Canadians, even those who thought they were wrong.

“What I have personally struggled with and have found to be the most unconscionable and objectionable aspects of how this pandemic has been managed,” Rickard said in his affidavit, “is the unnecessary hateful, vindictive and divisive behavior that I have witnessed from neighbors, friends, family members, colleagues and our government. The words and action of our government, which has entrenched policies based on vaccination status, without reflecting the risk of those unvaccinated, is far from the warm, caring, and thoughtful Canada I remember living in.”

In September, a judge will decide whether to quash the lawsuit. So far, 16 government officials have testified. Even though this kind of case almost never goes anywhere—there have been several court challenges to the mandates, and all of them have been rejected—Harrison and Rickard, in a way, have already won: They have cast a spotlight on how the sausage gets made. It may not matter. “I find the idea of helplessness prevalent in Canada,” Harrison told me. “The idea of protesting doesn’t come naturally here. There’s a tendency for people to keep their head down, which I don’t understand, and the government exploits that.”
 
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Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb3KWMTjW-k
Finally Revealed - How SARS-COV-2 Escapes Our Immune System
44 min 49 sec

Streamed live 7 hours ago
Drbeen Medical Lectures


This thorough study reveals the mechanism of immune escape by SARS-COV-2. Let's review.

URL list from Tuesday, Aug. 2 2022

SARS-CoV-2 inhibits induction of the MHC class I pathway by targeting the STAT1-IRF1-NLRC5 axis | Nature Communications
https://www.nature.com/articles/s4146...

NLRC5: a newly discovered MHC class I transactivator (CITA) - PMC
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...

CD45 functions as a signaling gatekeeper in T cells | Science Signaling
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/s....

Transactivation - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transac...

Promoter
https://www.genome.gov/genetics-gloss...

Epigenetic Regulation and Measurement of Epigenetic Changes - PMC
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti....

T Cells and MHC Proteins - Molecular Biology of the Cell - NCBI Bookshelf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NB....

Transcription factor - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcr...

Interferon gamma - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interfe...

Interferon-? signaling. Canonical IFN-? signaling pathway requires... | Download Scientific Diagram
https://www.researchgate.net/figure/I...

Interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1) and anti-pathogen innate immune responses - PMC
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsJJ3RYkEEQ
President Biden Paxlovid Rebound and Update
12 min 50 sec

Aug 2, 2022
MedCram - Medical Lectures Explained CLEARLY

LINKS / REFERENCES:

Pfizer gives up on Paxlovid in less vulnerable COVID patients after data fail to impress (Fierce Pharma) | https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/p...

Biden Tests Positive for Coronavirus Again in 'Rebound' Case (NYT) | https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/30/us...

COVID-19 Response (San Bernardino County) | Home

COVID-19 Breakthrough Data (New York State) | https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/cov...

COVID-19 Rebound After Paxlovid Treatment (CDC) | https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/2022/pd...

Biden Tests Positive for COVID-19, Returns to Isolation (US News) | https://www.usnews.com/news/health-ne...

Biden still testing positive after rebound Covid-19 case but 'continues to feel well,' White House says (CNN) | https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/31/politi...
 

marsh

On TB every waking moment
80 minutes of COVID Blasphemy with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya 1:23:42 min

80 minutes of COVID Blasphemy with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
Right2Freedom Published August 2, 2022

Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6X8n4MShh4

Jay Bhattacharya just doesn’t seem like the leader of a death cult.

An exceedingly gracious, church-going Christian who’s spent his entire adult life in the rarefied world of healthcare economics, Dr. Bhattacharya rocketed to global fame/infamy after co-authoring the Great Barrington Declaration. Released in the summer of 2020, the Declaration denounced the West’s public health response to COVID as a disastrous overreach. Jay, along with professors at Harvard and Oxford, argued that lockdowns and related social controls were incinerating businesses, destroying jobs, exacerbating mental illness and throwing millions of people all over the world into poverty.

His treatment by his fellow academics and their allies in media and government since its release is revealing: shunning, shaming, bullying, ignoring, intentionally mischaracterizing.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)


why the CDC data (and the CDC itself) cannot be trusted
because public health monopolies are inevitably captured by private interests that are not your interests. because that's what monopolies do.
el gato malo
20 hr ago

watch what i do, not what i say.

wise words in a world of hypocrisy.

so let’s have a little looksie at the actions of the public health regulators, shall we?

foremost, the definitions of “vaccinated” adopted and allowed by the FDA were deeply problematic from the start. they broke every rule of bayesian analysis and were obviously designed to hide a risk accentuation period immediately after jab and prevent it from being counted in the outcomes. this has been well covered in other cattitudes.

this definition ignores the risk of the vaccination and often attributes it to non-vaccination.

this simple graphic made by some cheeky internet cat sort of says it all:



then they manipulated the denominator for “unvaccinated” in all the percentage calculations that compare vaxxed to unvaxxed by using out of date censuses and thus subtracting those vaxxed (based on dose counts) from too small a population count. this overstates prevalence of all issues in the unvaxxed by ascribing them to an artificially reduced cohort size.

this gets called “denominator gate.”

the issue becomes clear in this excellent graphic made by longtime gatopal™ @HOLD2



you can see more here.

but what really blows the stats problems into the stratosphere is flat out ascribing of all “unknown” status outcomes to the unvaccinated. the desperately poor record keeping around this issue is bring used to badly slant data. this is a great walk through of the issue (toward the end)


Here is how I think they falsely suppressed the real rate of vaccinated patients entering U.S hospitals and dying:
In the most popular electronic medical record system in the U.S (EPIC), on the sidebar of every page in the chart are the name, demographics, room number, provider team, and COVID vaccination status of the patient. What I found weird from the outset was that, in EPIC, there were only two categories under the COVID-19 vaccine status section, “Vaccinated” or “Unknown.” There was no “Unvaccinated” status. Also realize that “Unknown” was interpreted by all providers and official data as akin to being “Unvaccinated”. Everyone I took care of in the ICU in 2021, except one, had an “Unknown” vaccination status. How could that be? How come only one ICU patient of mine in the entire year was reported as being “fully vaccinated?” Even if the vaccines worked really well (which I knew they didn’t), something was off, like really off.

and what looks to be going on on the ground:

In order to be documented as vaccinated on admission, you had to have received the vaccine from a primary care physician’s clinic who worked for that same hospital system in a system office, and that they had already documented in the electronic medical record. If you got a vaccine from anywhere else outside that hospital system’s clinic, you were assigned an “Unknown”, i.e. “Unvaccinated” status in the electronic medical record.

this is beyond slipshod, obvious to any first year data analyst, and yet is the data being used to tell doctors to “follow the science.”

and worse, many think they are.

(it’s also why CDC vaccine efficacy data diverges to strongly from other more reputable data systems like UK, denmark, and israel.)

none of this instills confidence. nor, probably, should it.

this seems too egregious and consistently one sided to be an accident.

it feels to me like someone wanted it this way and knew how to play the system. even if such errors were once honest, criticisms of them have been out for a year or more. and nothing has changed. the CDC has vilified and attacked critics and encouraged medical boards and institutions to censure or terminate them.

now, from one point of view, this can be described as “undermining faith in institutions of public health, medical systems, and doctors.”

from another it can be depicted as “revealing the lack of trustworthy behavior that was always there among guilds and monopolies bent past the service of health.”


and maybe that is a good thing.



look, there are good doctors and bad, just like there are excellent plumbers and guys who’ll flood your basement.

but imagine what plumbers would be like if they had to kowtow to regulators captured by “big waterheater” and would lose their jobs and possibly their license if they bucked.

imagine what they might try to sell you.

imagine what they might be credulous enough to fall for if the sources of “official information” were all tainted by agenda.
and imagine how many drugs you don’t need they might wind up pushing on you.

i have had i don’t know how many doctors or pharmacies push a flu shot on me. you don’t need a prescription, just walk in and get the shot. i have asked each of them “on what evidence-based studies do you claim efficacy and risk/benefit for this in my case?” i have yet to have any provide even a single response. this will earn you either a glassy eyed incomprehension or that sad “oh, you’re one of those” headshakes at walgreens.

fun fact: you could do the same for 20 other popular medicines to say nothing of the potential ill effects of the sheer pharmaceutical load under which many americans today labor.

take 20 pills a day and who knows what you’re getting into short or long term?

the CDC does not even track “rolling stones concert in a convent” level VAERS data and the FDA follow up these days looks worse. do you really think they’re even trying to assess this? because, spoiler alert, they aren’t. because they don’t want to know the answer. because it might be bad for business.

consider this massive and overt failure to assess bad batches apparent in the pfizer data pulled together (under governmental duress using FOIA) by ICAN and wonderfully explained here:


the killer takeaway is twofold: first, deaths per lot is much higher in some lots and they ALL trend early.



and second, those lots were all the early lots. the lots starting with 3xxx came about a year after launch (as can be seen here)



clearly, there was either something very different about the early lots (and i’m not buying the “it was the old and infirm taking them” explanation because AE’s and deaths look more prevalent in the young and fit) or something happened to the VAERS reporting that shut down the capture rate on this outcome severely.

in the former case, the FDA and CDC and health systems should have been screaming for answers and shutting down vaxx campaigns until those answers came. in the latter, they actively colluded to cover up adverse events from a vaccine.

which one makes you want to leave them in charge?

and this is hardly an isolated case. all cause mortality got pulled down out of CDC reporting for months and is currently just starting to come back.

they seem oddly slow on identifying causes (particularly around cancer and heart issues) as well.

the UK pulled down the case data by vaxx status when it went against narrative.

and look what british columbia did: (thanks to prof freedom who has done so much great work here for the graphic)

Image

it seems like the knee jerk public health response to the smoke alarm going off is to take out the battery and gaslight anyone who asks what that beeping was.

that is not the act of a servant of public health. it’s the act of a monopoly defending itself.
  • meanwhile, in much of the developed world, safe medicines and treatment regimens of likely and even proven efficacy were pooh-poohed and even outright maligned.
  • incredibly low risk drugs were called unsafe and safety data of truly dangerous modalities hidden and ignored.
  • trials with patient populations that looked nothing like the treatment group and used rigged definitions were greenlit in vaccines and therapeutics like paxlovid.
  • drugs that outright missed their clinical endpoints were coaxed over the finish line with post facto adulteration (yes remdesivir, i’m looking at you.)
the process has become badly broken, because monopiles serve themselves and their political masters. monopolies do not arise naturally.

they are put in place by the state.

this isn’t about corporations being evil. in general, they aren’t and even if they were the fact of consumer sovereignty makes it difficult, nigh impossible to act upon. to do so requires coercion and so if you want foolproof indications as to which corporations aspire to evil, find the ones whose business models are predicated alliance with the state and who seek not to offer products, but to get government to subsidize and mandate them and to destroy and render illegal all alternatives.

it takes 2 to tango, and the dance of fascism requires both corporations and government. neither may achieve it alone but when paired on the dancefloor, the result is all but inevitable.

if we are to return public health to the public, we must take it away from the government.

they are not capable of its pursuit.

the CDC and NIH should be abolished and real information on outcomes and efficacy of everything laid plain in the public view.

health records should be personal, open source, fully portable, user controlled, hashed and provider updated for each drug and procedure, and fully auditable by any permitted to read them.

the aggregation will take care of itself through incentives and big data. you’d have an open, honest, and vastly more powerful system to analyze health that we have today in about 2 weeks.

the current system does not serve health or patients. its serves gatekeepers.

and it encourages and enables misbehavior.

surely you cannot believe that agencies that lied so readily, widely, and fluently about covid have only lied about this thing and not dozens or hundreds more or that this was the first time they ever closed ranks in the spin room to impede truth and shift narrative?

the choice is not between “good regulatory monopoly” and “bad regulatory monopoly.” the former is an illusion. it’s a made up marketing pitch.

the real choice is between public monopoly or private entities subject to competition and the reputational needs imposed by consumer sovereignty. it is a choice between market discipline to win trust though accuracy or being disciplined by the lackeys of leviathan for power and profit. it’s a choice between owning your information or being owned by others control of it.

sorry, but it’s true. it’s just public choice theory.

it is not valid to compare alleged utopian benefits against real costs and real options. “well let’s just regulate the good stuff next time because good people are in charge” is not a real option.

a system that controls so much profit will always get captured by those who profit from doing so.

so, sorry, but the terminator called and what’s living in our house is not what it says it is.

follow someone besides the CDC if you want to live.
 

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The secret is there are no secrets
New Food and Drug Administration documents show the agency knew almost nothing about how well mRNA boosters might work when it okayed them. It was mainly using public Israeli data like everyone else.
Alex Berenson
14 hr ago

Anyone paying attention in August 2021 could see the rush to approve mRNA Covid boosters was politically driven and didn’t have much data behind it.

Now we have proof from the inside.

Emails released last week by the Food and Drug Administration show the agency’s vaccine regulators felt heavy pressure from the White House and senior FDA officials to approve boosters.

By itself, that fact is not a huge surprise. The two top vax regulators, Drs. Marion Gruber and Philip Krause, announced their resignations in late August 2021 and within weeks spoke out publicly against widespread booster shots.

No, the most frightening revelation in the emails isn’t the political machinations they reveal. It’s how they explode the myth of FDA omniscience, that the agency somehow had knowledge unavailable to the public to help it understand if boosters might work.

In reality, the emails show the opposite. (The FDA released them in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the conservative group Judicial Watch, which has done great work using FOIA to unearth government documents on Covid.)

As Gruber and other top FDA officials discussed what to do about boosters, they had almost no data on the safety or efficacy of a third shot. Their most useful estimates of vaccine efficacy came from Israeli studies using the same figures from the Israeli health care system that I had begun highlighting in July on Twitter.

As one physician in the FDA vaccine review office complained to Gruber on Friday, August 20, “And then there is the question of the data that will support these booster doses.”

Without good data, the regulators had no chance to make a reasonable cost-benefit analysis. They simply went with their instincts, like everyone else.

And their instincts were wrong.

The emails make clear the reason Gruber didn’t want to approve boosters for general use in August 2021 was not because she didn’t think they would work. Or that repeated mRNA dosing might raise long-term safety issues.

No, Gruber was sour on boosters because she thought the Covid vaccines worked so well they wouldn’t be necessary!




She and Krause, her deputy, would go on to write that widespread boosters should be delayed because poorer countries should have access to the miracle of mRNA before the United States and other wealthy nations grabbed third shots.
Think of the Africans! And the Indians! And all the other poors!



In the light of everything that’s happened since, this position looks worse than ironic. The poor countries that avoided the mRNA shots have largely put Covid behind them, while wealthy countries navigate their fifth or sixth or seventh waves.
(India: lots of people, no mRNA vaccines, no boosters, no second boosters, no super-special Omicron boosters, not so much Covid!)



Now the world’s wealthy countries cannot give away their miracle jabs, no matter how hard they try.

Yes, that’s right. African nations have resoundingly rejected offers of a free product that Western countries eagerly used on their own citizens. Has anything similar ever happened before? I can’t think of another example.

The mRNAs, groundbreaking in every way.
 

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TODAY: UK Office of National Statistics. Excess deaths up 18%. 38% are attributed to COVID.
62% unexplained. The only explanation for the rest is vaccine damage.
Meryl Nass
20 hr ago

Deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, provisional - Office for National Statistics





According to the official government statistics, excess deaths for the week ending July 22 were up 18.1% above historical data. It is claimed that 40% “involve” COVID. 60% of the excess deaths (935 deaths that week) did not involve COVID.

We are not told what their causes of death were.

For the prior 18 week period, we are told that all of the excess deaths, which were 11% above historical norms, “involved” COVID.

It is time to find our what diagnoses are on the death certificates, and what “involving “ COVID actually means:

We were told two weeks ago that only 10% of the “COVID” patients in the UCLA-Keck hospital were there because of COVID, and the other 90% were hospitalized for something else, but happened to test positive once they arrived. We must stop brushing all the excess death under the rug.

If England and Wales continue to have 18% excess deaths over the next year, they will have unexpectedly lost 87,360 people—a deadly pandemic of the undiagnosed! Where are the autopsies? When were they vaccinated? Is it true that the boosters seem to be particularly deadly?

(The UK ONS numbers and percentages do not exactly align. I used the percentages provided.)
 

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Biden is still testing positive for COVID. How long will he isolate?
ALEXANDRA HUTZLER and BEN GITTLESON - ABC News
Wed, August 3, 2022, 5:13 PM

President Joe Biden is still testing positive for COVID-19 four days into his rebound infection, White House physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor reported Wednesday.

Biden "continues to feel well," O'Connor said, noting the exam was conducted after the president completed a light workout.

"He is still experiencing an occasional cough, but less frequently than yesterday. He remains fever-free and in good spirits," O'Connor wrote. Biden's temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation also remain normal.

O'Connor said Wednesday that Biden will continue to follow strict isolation measures, but it's not clear if he will go beyond the recommendations laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- as the White House vowed to do the first time he tested positive.

Biden initially tested positive for the virus on July 21, and emerged from isolation after completing a five-day course of Paxlovid and testing negative. But on July 30 he tested positive again in what O'Connor called "rebound positivity" -- referring to a relapse of COVID-19 some patients experience after taking the antiviral treatment.

The White House said after Biden's initial diagnosis that he would end isolation only after testing negative on an antigen test. The CDC recommends that an individual stop isolating after five days if they are fever-free and symptoms are improving. It doesn't suggest testing within 90 days of a positive case unless new symptoms develop.

For Biden's rebound case, the White House has said the president would again isolate for five full days, but it hasn't said if he would end isolation only after testing negative.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told ABC News' Ben Gittleson on Wednesday she couldn't say if that would be the case.

"I would have to check to see exactly what the CDC guidance is, but we are gonna follow CDC guidance," she said.

When asked if the White House wants the CDC to urge Americans to test to end isolation, too -- and if they want the public to use the president's behavior as a model -- Jean-Pierre said they'll "leave it to the experts."

"That is for the experts and they follow the science which changes on this," she said. "You know, this is COVID, as we know, once-in-a-generation pandemic, so we leave it to them to make that decision."

Thursday will mark Biden's fifth day of isolation after testing positive the second time.
 

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US stuck in a 'horrible plateau' of COVID-19 deaths, experts say. Here's why.
Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY
Wed, August 3, 2022, 3:02 PM

"COVID is over" might trend within social media circles, but weekly U.S. death tolls tell a different story.

The pace of COVID-19 deaths has remained relatively steady since May, despite an uptick in July to about 400 a day, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

“We’re sitting on this horrible plateau,” said Dr. Daniel Griffin, an infectious disease specialist with Pro Health Care in New York and a clinical instructor of medicine at Columbia University. “It’s been this way for the past couple of months, and we’re getting used to it.”

In July, more than 12,500 Americans died of COVID-19, according to the USA TODAY analysis.

Coronavirus deaths are similar to the number of influenza deaths normally reported during peak season, said David Dowdy, epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A bad flu season in the USA could see more than 50,000 deaths.

That doesn’t mean COVID-19 mortality has reached that of flu, he said, as peak flu season lasts only about three months. Spread over the course of the year, Dowdy said, there would be about four times as many COVID-19 deaths than flu deaths.

COVID-19 is “like having to live in flu season year round, and that’s not what we do with the flu,” he said. “If we had to do that with the flu, we’d be instituting more measures than what we do.”

Most Americans who died of COVID-19 were immunocompromised or older than 75, experts said. These patients ranged in vaccination status – from being unvaccinated to receiving all their recommended vaccines and boosters.

What appears to make the biggest difference between patients who recover from COVID-19 or die, Griffin said, is whether they receive treatment within the first week of diagnosis.

“I can’t remember someone in my recent memory who did all the right things, who got the vaccine and got the proper early treatment, and ended up in the hospital and died,” he said.

The antiviral Paxlovid, from Pfizer, has been effective at keeping high-risk COVID-19 patients out of the hospital. But it’s losing esteem among providers and patients as public figures report rebound infections after taking the antiviral, Griffin said.

President Joe Biden, 79, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday, three days after he twice tested negative and was thought to have recovered. His chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, 81, reported a rebound infection in June.

Although it appears more rebound infections are reported, Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House's COVID-19 response coordinator, said the rate of cases is probably about 5%. Most people aren’t tested as often as health officials, Jha said in a series of tweets Monday.

It’s not clear whether a rebound after taking the antiviral is different from a rebound without the drug. In the trial that led to Paxlovid’s authorization, 2% of those who took the medication and nearly the same percentage of those who didn’t experienced rebounds.

The uncertainty surrounding antivirals and other COVID-19 treatments may contribute to preventable deaths, Griffin said.
“A lot of clinicians are reading the popular press, and that’s where they’re getting their impression of things,” he said. “You have a five-day opportunity to reduce the disease progression, and once that window is closed, it’s closed.”

A monoclonal antibody called Evusheld from AstraZeneca prevented severe disease in people with weakened immune systems who may not get full protection from vaccines. It provides long-lasting protection, but Griffin said some providers don’t recommend it to eligible patients.

“It’s not an easy lift,” he said. “You can’t just write a prescription. It’s still only being sent to certain places, and there’s a whole process for getting your patient enrolled.”

Some physicians consider it “an uncompensated and time-consuming lift,” he said, and prescribe other medications that aren’t suitable for early treatment, such as high-dose steroids.

Nearly 92% of Americans over 65 are fully vaccinated, and about 70% have received at least one booster, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reformulated COVID-19 booster shots targeting the omicron variant of the coronavirus are likely this fall, but health experts don’t expect they’ll have a significant impact on the death rate.

“The vaccines we already have are still highly effective against serious illness and deaths … so I don’t think the bivalent vaccines are going to be a game changer in that regard,” Dowdy said. “What they may do is help curb transmission somewhat because they may be more effective against infection.”

Experts said what will protect those at high risk of severe COVID-19 and death is staying up to date on recommended vaccines and seeking early treatment with proven therapies.

“This plateau now, as horrible as it is, is unfortunately lower than it’s going to be if we don’t do a great job this fall with boosters and improving education about how to properly manage COVID,” Griffin said.
 

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New COVID case numbers in New Zealand trending lower, signs wave peaked
Lucy Craymer
Wed, August 3, 2022, 11:46 PM

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's health ministry sees strong signs that the country's latest COVID-19 wave has peaked, as new cases continue to trend lower.

The number of people in hospitals with COVID is also down on late July.

"The case rates have continued to trend lower across all regions for the second week running," Andrew Old, head of the New Zealand Public Health Agency, told reporters on Thursday.

In the past seven days there were on average 6,142 new cases daily of COVID, down from a seven-day rolling average of 7,776 new cases a week earlier, according to Health Ministry data released on Thursday.

According to data issued on Thursday, 663 people are in hospital with COVID, well below levels seen in late July, when more than 800 people were in hospital with the virus.

Australia is seeing signs of an unexpectedly early peak in its winter outbreak. Australian Health Minister Mark Butler told Nine News that the government was quietly hoping cases had begun falling.

New Zealand's latest modelling showed case numbers were at the lower end of what had been expected. The decline "strongly suggests we've reached a peak," Old said.

The Omicron BA.5 sub-variant is driving the current wave in New Zealand, which has 5.1 million people. There have been 44,776 active cases in the past seven days.
 

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Australia's winter COVID wave may have peaked early, health minister says
by Renju Jose
Wed, August 3, 2022, 10:08 PM

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's COVID-19 winter outbreak fuelled by the new Omicron sub-variants BA.4/5 may have peaked early, Health Minister Mark Butler said on Thursday, as hospitals reported a steady fall in admissions over the past week.

Australia is battling one of its worst flare-ups of the coronavirus driven by the fast-moving new Omicron sub-variants, putting severe strain on hospitals and retirement homes. But Health Minister Mark Butler flagged the worst could be over.

"That is what I'm hearing but we're not calling it yet," Butler told Nine News. "We are quietly hoping that we have reached the peak earlier than we expected to."

Health officials predicted the latest wave could peak only later this month, with some states expecting the spike in infection rates and hospital admissions to ease by late August.

"It does seem clear cases are starting to peak and maybe drop off in some states and very pleasingly, hospital numbers have dropped off," Butler said.

Hospital admissions from COVID-19 hovered near the 5,000 level on Thursday but have fallen from the record 5,571 reached a week ago, official data showed.

Butler said influenza infections had passed their peak, relieving pressure on the health system.

Australia has endured a tough winter with COVID-19 and the flu virus circulating. Many frontline workers in hospitals are also sick or in isolation, worsening the healthcare crisis.

Data also showed a lag in people taking booster shots, with only about 71% getting their third dose versus 96% who have had two doses, raising concerns of a surge in hospital cases.

The government said on Wednesday it would offer from September Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for children aged 6 months to below 5 years who are at higher risk of developing severe illness.

Australia has reported just over 9.5 million cases and 12,072 deaths since the pandemic began, far lower than many countries helped by world-beating vaccination numbers and strict restrictions earlier in the pandemic.
 

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COVID cases drop 9% globally last week, deaths stable
yesterday

LONDON (AP) — New coronavirus cases fell 9% globally last week while deaths remained stable, according to the latest weekly assessment of the pandemic released Wednesday by the World Health Organization.

The U.N. health agency said there were 6.5 million cases reported last week with more than 14,000 deaths. WHO said the number of new cases fell 35% in Europe but increased about 20% in the Western Pacific and 5% in Africa. Deaths rose 44% in the Western Pacific and 26% in the Middle East, while falling about a quarter in Europe.

WHO has previously warned that recent surveillance of COVID-19 has been severely compromised by countries reducing their testing, reporting and other coronavirus alert systems. The agency has said COVID-19 figures are likely being significantly underestimated, which could make it more difficult to spot any worrisome new variants.

In the U.K., the Office for National Statistics reported last week that COVID-19 cases dropped to about 1 in 20 people in England infected, suggesting that the latest wave of the coronavirus may have peaked in the country.

Dr. Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, said it was likely that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations would continue to fall further in the following weeks.
https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-las-vegas-nevada-pandemics-75e25a0f03269523dc4d35a13639ec73
Other experts warned that measures to prevent COVID-19 should still be taken, saying the health system was still under pressure.

“We have to hope that the incidence of long COVID from this wave will be lower than in the first and second waves,” said James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at the University of Oxford. He called for people to keep getting vaccinated even as COVID-19 protocols were abandoned, citing the dangers of reinfection.

In China, meanwhile, authorities last week shut down part of Wuhan, the city where COVID-19 was first detected in late 2019, after identifying four cases. The government has suggested its “zero COVID” strategy could last for years, despite the social and economic upheaval the approach has caused.

WHO said in its report that two versions of omicron — subvariants BA.5 and BA.4 — were driving the latest wave of infections across the globe. It said BA.5 accounted for about 64% to 70% of sequences shared with the world’s largest public viral database.

The highest numbers of new cases were reported in Japan, the U.S., South Korea, Germany and Italy. The most deaths were reported in the U.S., Brazil, Italy, Japan and Australia.
 

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Germany announces new coronavirus measures for fall, winter
yesterday

BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Wednesday said basic coronavirus requirements would remain in place during the coming fall and winter, when experts expect COVID-19 cases to rise again as people spend more time indoors.

Face masks and presenting proof of a negative coronavirus test will be mandatory from October until early April at hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions with vulnerable people.

Passengers on airplanes and making long-distance trips by train and bus also will have to wear masks during that period, as they do now.

However, Germany’s 16 states have the authority to adopt their own rules depending on how severely the virus affects their areas. State governments could decide to require masks on local public transportation, in schools for students in fifth grade and up, and at public indoor events.

Community facilities such as schools, prisons or asylum-seeker shelters may implement regular testing again if COVID-19 case numbers rise, Germany’s health and justice ministers said in a joint statement.

The government also plans a fall vaccination campaign.

“Germany should be better prepared for the next coronavirus winter than in previous years,” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said a special effort would be made to keep schools open, while states will “only be able to impose a mask requirement at schools if this is necessary in order to be able to continue to provide in-person teaching.”

“Children have a right to school education and a school day that is as carefree as possible. School closures must therefore not be allowed,” Buschmann said.

The new regulations still need to go to Cabinet and parliament for approval but are expected to pass.
 

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COVID-19 vaccine sales push Moderna past expectations in Q2
By TOM MURPHY
yesterday

Better-than-expected COVID-19 vaccine sales pushed Moderna past Wall Street’s second-quarter forecasts.

The company said that its Spikevax vaccine brought in $4.53 billion during the quarter. Analysts were looking for around $3.6 billion, according to FactSet.

Moderna shares surged Wednesday after the company also announced another $3 billion share buyback plan.

Moderna’s vaccine sales in the second quarter represent a drop from the nearly $6 billion that the vaccine brought in during the year’s first quarter, when a virus surge through the United States pushed more people to seek protection.

But those sales could pick up again later this year.

Moderna has developed an updated version of its vaccine for a fall booster campaign that combines the original shot with protection against the omicron variant.

The company announced last week that it reached a deal with the U.S. government for an initial purchase of 66 million doses of the booster shot for up to $1.74 billion. The government also has an option to purchase more doses.

The COVID-19 vaccine is Moderna’s main source of revenue, outside of grants and money from collaborations. Total revenue climbed 9% in the second quarter to $4.75 billion.

But operating expenses also swelled 78% to $2.3 billion for the vaccine maker, which has several products in late-stage clinical trials, the most expensive phase of research.

Moderna had $499 million in inventory write-downs in the quarter tied to vaccine doses that exceeded or were expected to exceed their shelf lives before being used. The company also said it booked another loss and an expense for unused manufacturing capacity due partly to a “substantial reduction” in expected deliveries to the COVAX vaccine-sharing program.

Overall, net income plunged 21% to $2.2 billion in the second quarter, and earnings totaled $5.24 per share.
Analysts expected earnings of $4.58 per share on about $4.1 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Moderna said Wednesday that its board authorized an additional $3 billion share repurchase program to return capital to shareholders. The company has repurchased 16 million shares since last year’s final quarter. It still has about $1 billion left on another $3 billion repurchase program it announced in February.

Shares of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. jumped more than 15% in midday trading to $185.83 while broader indexes climbed over 1%.
 

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Senate witness cites Fauci for 'repeated demonstrably false' denials of gain-of-function research
Rutgers molecular biologist Richard Ebright has previously accused NIAID and NIH directors of lying to the public.
By Charlotte Hazard
Updated: August 3, 2022 - 7:33pm

In a Senate hearing on gain-of-function (GoF) research on viruses, which some scientists believe is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, longtime National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci came in for particular scorn.

Dr. Fauci has made "untruthful" statements on "repeated occasions to the public, to the press and to policymakers," Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright told the Senate Homeland Security Emerging Threats Subcommittee at a hearing Wednesday chaired by ranking member Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), according to the Daily Caller.

"I do not understand why those statements are being made because they are demonstrably false," Ebright continued, explaining that GoF research creates "new health threats ... that did not exist previously and that might not have come to exist by natural means for tens, hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of years."

At a May 2021 hearing of the Senate Health Committee, Fauci unequivocally denied a claim by Paul that the National Institutes of Health funded gain-of-function research at a Chinese lab widely suspected to be the source of SARS-CoV-2.

NIH "has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Fauci declared. He further denied that University of North Carolina virologist Ralph Baric was doing GoF research, while at the same time allowing that if he was, "it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina, not in China.”

It's at least the second time Ebright has accused Fauci of lying, though previously he included Fauci in a group of lying officials.

NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak told the House Oversight Committee last fall that NIH-funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology using a modified bat coronavirus made mice "sicker" than the original virus, an "unexpected result of the research."

Ebright said at the time this showed Fauci and NIH Director Francis Collins made "untruthful assertions" about not funding GoF research.

"The NIH received the relevant documents in 2018 and reviewed the documents in 2020 and again in 2021," his tweet stated. "The NIH — specifically, Collins, Fauci, and Tabak — lied to Congress, lied to the press, and lied to the public. Knowingly. Willfully. Brazenly."

 

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Novavax COVID Vaccines Should Carry Heart Inflammation Warning, EU Says
The European Medicines Agency today recommended adding a warning for two types of heart inflammation to Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, marketed under the brand names Nuvaxovid and Covovax, based on a small number of cases reported in those who received the vaccine.
By Megan Redshaw
08/03/22

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) today recommended adding a warning for two types of heart inflammation to Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine, marketed under the brand names Nuvaxovid and Covovax, based on a small number of cases reported in those who received the vaccine.

According to a statement, the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee — responsible for assessing and monitoring the safety of human medicines — concluded that “myocarditis and pericarditis can occur following vaccination with Nuvaxovid.”

“The Committee is therefore recommending listing myocarditis and pericarditis as new side effects in the product information for Nuvaxovid, together with a warning to raise awareness among healthcare professionals and people receiving this vaccine,” the statement said.

The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee also requested the “marketing authorization holder of Nuvaxovid provides additional data on risk of side effects occurring.”

According to Reuters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) flagged a risk of heart inflammation from the Novavax vaccine in early June.

However, the agency on July 13 granted Novavax’s request for Emergency Use Authorization of the vaccine for adults 18 and over in the U.S.

Novavax hoped people who opted not to take Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines — both of which are associated with a risk of heart inflammation — would favor its shot because it “relies on technology used for decades,” Reuters reported.

The FDA’s “Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine” now includes a warning that “clinical trial data provide evidence for increased risks of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of tissue surrounding the heart) following administration of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted.”

The FDA’s “Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers” states that for most people who have had myocarditis or pericarditis after receiving the vaccine, symptoms began within 10 days following vaccination and that vaccine recipients should seek medical attention right away if they experience chest pain, shortness of breath, feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering or pounding heart.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle that can lead to cardiac arrhythmia and death. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, myocarditis can result from infections, but “more commonly the myocarditis is a result of the body’s immune reaction to the initial heart damage.”

Pericarditis is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart that can cause sharp chest pain and other symptoms.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that use mRNA technology, and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine that uses adenovirus vector technology, the Novavax vaccine uses a more traditional vaccine technology.

As The Defender reported in June, that may be one reason the committee recommended the vaccine — in the hope that “unvaccinated holdouts,” suspicious of the newer technologies or allergic to components of the mRNA vaccines, will be more likely to get the Novavax shot.

Despite a unanimous vote by the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel, members raised several concerns about the Novavax vaccine, including heart-related adverse events observed during the clinical trials.

FDA documents show multiple instances of myocarditis and pericarditis reported after the administration of the Novavax vaccine:

“Multiple events of myocarditis/pericarditis were reported in temporal relationship to NVX-CoV2373 [the Novavax vaccine used during the trials] administration, similar to myocarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and raising concern for a causal relationship to NVX-CoV2373.

“Events of lymphadenopathy were infrequent but reported by a higher proportion of participants in the NVX arm, with the highest rate observed after Dose 2 (0.2%).

“Review of the data also identified small imbalances in certain thromboembolic events, including cardiac and neurovascular events, hypersensitivity events, cholecystitis, uveitis, cardiac failure, and cardiomyopathy.

“Data from passive surveillance during post-authorization use in other countries also indicate a higher-than-expected rate of myocarditis and pericarditis (mainly pericarditis) associated with the vaccine.”

In a safety database encompassing data from 40,000 Novavax vaccine recipients, four young men, ages 16 through 28, reported myocarditis or pericarditis within 20 days of injection, though one of the four had a viral illness that may have caused the symptoms.

One trial participant reported myocarditis after being injected with a placebo.

According to the FDA, there were 26,000 people in the Novavax clinical trial. Yet, only 21,000 of the 26,000 people who received the vaccine during the trial were “followed for at least 2 months.”

It is unknown if any participants developed heart inflammation after the two-month follow-up period, why the other 5,000 clinical trial participants were not followed or whether those individuals experienced heart inflammation.
In briefing documents released June 3, the FDA wrote:

“These events raise the concern for a causal association with this vaccine, similar to the association documented with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.”

The FDA asked Novavax to “flag” myocarditis and pericarditis as an “important identified risk” in its materials accompanying the vaccine. However, Novavax has not yet agreed to do so.

“Based on our interpretation of all the clinical data supporting NVX-CoV2373 … we believe there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship,” the company said in a statement.

Novavax claimed that “natural background events” of myocarditis can be expected in any large database and the “totality of the clinical evidence” is “not enough to establish an overall causal relationship with the vaccine.”

Novavax on Monday asked the World Health Organization to expand emergency use listing of its vaccine for adolescents ages 12-17. Japan, Australia and the EU previously authorized the vaccine for that age group.
 

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Pharma Eyes Big Profits in Nasal Vaccines — Should We Really Spray Nanoparticles So Close to the Brain?
Vaccine manufacturers set their sights on nasal vaccines at least two decades ago, but so far product development has remained sluggish as scientists acknowledge that only a “thin partition” separates the nasal cavity from the brain.
By Children's Health Defense Team
08/03/22

According to Our World in Data, more than 12 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered around the world, all via injection.

Trying to soften up the American public for an endless parade of COVID-19 boosters and other vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci is now alleging the “job is not done” and the jabs “don’t protect overly well.”

Fauci made his “job is not done” statement at a recent White House gathering of scientists, doctors and federal health officials convened to brainstorm “next-generation” COVID-19 vaccines.

Nasal sprays “that people would shoot into their sinuses” are one of the options put forth as a potential game-changer, the theory being that they would offer “easy access to a key part of the immune system” and generate protection that one journalist colorfully described as both a “motion detector” and “alarm system.”

The nasal route offers advantages for manufacturers, too, including “convenience, cost, ease of administration and disposal” — and, at least hypothetically, increased odds children and adults with “extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles” will accept them.

Although nasal vaccines have been a glimmer in vaccine manufacturers’ eyes for at least two decades, product development has, for the most part, remained “sluggish,” with scientists citing safety issues and acknowledging that only a “thin partition” separates the nasal cavity from the brain.

Another factor blamed for the “slow progress” of nasal vaccines — and of potential mucosal vaccines involving oral, ocular, rectal or vaginal delivery — is the “scarcity of optimal delivery systems.”

Undaunted, vaccine scientists wedded to a nasal assault are now declaring nanotechnology will save their bacon.

But how are members of the public, even those who are needle-averse, likely to feel about the fact that scientists are quite intentionally engineering supercharged nasal vaccines — and a panoply of other “nose-to-brain” drugs — to circumvent the blood-brain barrier and storm the brain?

Nasal flu vaccines a bust

It is worth noting that no nasal vaccines have passed muster with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2003, when the agency licensed FluMist — the first “live virus” influenza vaccine marketed in the U.S.

FluMist was developed by MedImmune, a company acquired by AstraZeneca in 2007, to mark its “formal embrace of biologicals.”

One wonders whether AstraZeneca considers its FluMist acquisition worthwhile — in 2009, only a few months after the FDA endorsed a swine flu (H1N1) version of the nasal vaccine, AstraZeneca had to recall nearly 5 million doses for reasons of “lost potency.”

Then, during the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 flu seasons, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took FluMist off its recommended list because “no protective benefit could be measured.”

Although the CDC resurrected the spray in 2018-2019, after AstraZeneca claimed to have reformulated the vaccine, the agency still stopped short of “explicitly endors[ing]” it.

Europe markets AstraZeneca’s nasal vaccine as Fluenz Tetra.

The Serum Institute of India also makes an intranasal influenza vaccine called Nasovac-S that has given rise to similar reports of “low efficacy” or “effectiveness not yet shown.”

Nanoparticles to the rescue

To better the lukewarm performance of nasal vaccines, vaccine scientists have turned to the use of nanotech-improved delivery systems that enhance antigen stability in the “harsh” mucosal environment.

Nanoparticles and nanoemulsions are core features of the dozen or so nasal vaccines that have made it into preclinical or clinical trials.

Already in 2005, authors were communicating “considerable excitement within the nanotechnology field with regard to the potential use of nanosystems as carriers for mucosal vaccine delivery,” and especially as a strategy for strengthening the vaccines’ “capacity to cross biologic barriers.”

Now, with the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 shots having at long last broken the ice with their lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery systems, the developers of nasal vaccines are raring to enter the fray.

LNPs are mRNA vaccine makers’ declared solution for their technology’s notorious instability. In nasal vaccines, the use of LNPs or similar “nanosystems” would have the same goals — to “facilitate transport” of the vaccine’s payload across the nasal cavity and protect it “from degradation in the biologic environment.”

Early on, European regulators voiced concerns about the “encapsulation efficiency” of Pfizer’s LNPs, citing evidence from commercial batches that the nanoparticles were doing a terrible job of keeping the mRNA “intact.”

Moreover, scientists openly worried that little was known about “precisely where the liposomal nanoparticles [were] going after injection.”

Subsequent events have proven these Cassandras right, with pathologists not only documenting the crossing of “biologic barriers” but also revealing life-threatening alterations in the brain and other organs.

Would nasal sprays be more benign than their injectable counterparts? Experience thus far urges caution.

As an otherwise enthusiastic author wrote in 2020, in the journal Mucosal Vaccines, there is little doubt the “inflammatory immune responses” generated by the nose’s encounter with the vaccine antigen “would result in sustained pathologic inflammation.”

Another warning sign comes from testing of mucosal adjuvants (substances added to boost the immune response) in nasal vaccines.

When scientists tried out bacterial toxins from cholera and E. coli as adjuvants, the toxins produced neurological “side effects” like Bell’s palsy. Untroubled, they hypothesized that the bacterial toxins must have been “re-directed into the brain” and that it might not be such a good idea to use them.

Even without the use of potent LNP technology, FluMist — which contains a host of “traditional” vaccine ingredients including MSG, egg protein, gentamicin sulfate (an antibiotic) and gelatin, all associated with post-vaccination anaphylaxis and allergy symptoms — produced serious adverse reactions.

These reactions include heart conditions, neurological problems like Guillain-Barré syndrome, Bell’s palsy, meningitis and acute brain inflammation, and allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, hypersensitivity symptoms (rapid swelling and/or hives), asthma and wheezing and rash — the very types of adverse events now being reported on an alarmingly widespread scale after COVID-19 vaccines.

And the rise of nanoparticulate delivery systems with “yet to be established” safety profiles introduces a range of new questions about toxicity.

One area of concern is the proposed use of the “stealth polymer” polyethylene glycol (PEG) in nasal vaccines.

Children’s Health Defense issued a series of warnings about PEG months before the authorization of the PEG-containing mRNA COVID-19 injections, calling out the unique PEG-associated risks of anaphylaxis and other systemic side effects.

PEG-related side effects reported in the literature include hypersensitivity reactions, “unexpected changes in pharmacokinetic behavior” (referring to the processes of “absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion”), “toxic side products” and “possible accumulation in the body.”

Once again, the Pfizer and Moderna shots — whose LNPs are coated in PEG — have confirmed these dangers, raising red flags about the advisability of squirting PEG up the nose in close proximity to the brain.

Money, money, money

For the biopharma industry — poised to benefit from a large infusion of funding for a burgeoning pipeline of “nasal spritzes” — a rosy future beckons.

A July 2022 discussion in the newsletter BioSpace provided a lengthy list of obscure biopharma players eager to receive government handouts for further work in the nasal vaccine space — which, until now, has largely focused on animal studies.

According to one of the scientists who participated in the White House convocation, Yale immunobiologist Akiko Iwasaki, “It’s very important to note that we need to move quickly to start testing these nasal vaccines in humans, and that requires a significant U.S. government input, both resources and help with manufacturing and delivery as well as acceptance across society.”

Iwasaki — whose Yale website lists “vaccines” as her sole “public health interest” and whose career has been built on awards from the likes of Burroughs Wellcome (which later merged with GlaxoSmithKline), Wyeth Lederle (now part of Pfizer) and Eli Lilly — modestly describes her “prime and spike” method for nasal vaccination (referring to the coronavirus spike protein) as “the future of respiratory virus prevention.”

Iwasaki also received monetary support for CynAxis, “an immunological approach to provide drug access to the central nervous system” by “opening up” the blood-brain barrier.

Meanwhile, Fortune magazine is laying the groundwork for public acceptance by telling its readers to “forget vaccine jabs” because “next-generation COVID-19 pills and nasal sprays are on their way.”

And WebMD fetchingly suggests a “spritz instead of a shot” will soon be available.

Fortune acknowledged, in passing, the hurdle of “convinc[ing] regulators that the new generation of non-jab vaccines are safe.”

However, regardless of regulators’ opinions, the public may wish to think twice before sending nanoparticles — and who knows what else — in the direction of the brain.
 

Heliobas Disciple

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Point of Care Rapid PCR Test
Conn Hastings
August 2nd, 2022

Columbia University scientists and collaborators at Rover Diagnostics have created a rapid PCR test that can be used at the point of care. Weighing in at two pounds, the portable device can rival the sensitivity and accuracy of traditional lab-based PCR testing equipment, but providing results in as little as 23 minutes.

The new device includes miniaturized optical components and relies on plasmonic thermocycling. This involves using infrared light to excite plasmonic nanoparticles in the samples, generating gentle heating, and increasing the speed of the process compared with conventional thermocyclers. The researchers are in the process of creating a commercial product based on their research, with an initial focus on detecting COVID-19.

PCR is the gold standard in molecular diagnostics, but presently the assay demands large and bulky lab equipment, plenty of time, and highly trained staff. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this was a sticking point in delivering COVID-19 test results for millions of people with suspected infections. Developing new PCR technologies that reduce these complications is an active area of research, and this latest device provides a rapid point of care PCR testing that is relatively easy to perform.

“Our aim was to create a platform that can be used in locations where rapid turnaround results are critical, at pharmacies, transportation hubs, public events, and at companies screening employees coming back to work,” said Sam Sia, a researcher involved in the study.

The new PCR device weighs approximately 2 kilograms (4.5 pounds) and can provide results in as little as 23 minutes. The secret behind these blistering speeds is the method used for thermocycling. Successive cycles of heating is a key part of the PCR process, and in traditional equipment this is achieved using Peltier technology, where the plastic vials containing the PCR samples are inserted into a metal heating block that applies heat to the outside of each vial.



In this latest technology, the researchers employed plasmonic thermocycling which involves generating heat within the samples themselves. This is achieved by adding metallic plasmonic nanoparticles to each sample, and then using an infrared light to excite the nanoparticles and generate heat. This gentle heat source produces rapid thermocycling, greatly reducing the time required to deliver a result.

“This should really move the needle on delivering rapid and accurate molecular clinical diagnostics in decentralized settings,” said Mark Fasciano, Rover Diagnostics CEO. “Thermal cycling, so critical to DNA and RNA testing, can now be sped up and clinicians and patients alike won’t have to wait so long for results.”

Study in journal Nature Nanotechnology: Multiplexed reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR using plasmonic nanoparticles for point-of-care COVID-19 diagnosis

Via: Columbia University
 

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Rapid, at-home prototype saliva test that's as good as RT-PCR
by American Chemical Society
August 3, 2022

At-home COVID-19 tests have become an easy way to self-diagnose. But current tests have drawbacks, such as the length of time it takes to get an answer, or how accurately the test can identify a positive case. And most of them require the uncomfortable procedure of sticking a swab up one's nose. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Sensors have developed a SARS-CoV-2 saliva assay and prototype device that combine speed and ease with high sensitivity.

The two main options for at-home COVID-19 testing today are rapid antigen tests and those based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Rapid antigen testing delivers a result directly to the user in about 15 minutes, but it's not very sensitive and can provide a false-negative signal, meaning someone could unknowingly infect others. Though RT-PCR is known as the "gold-standard" assay because of its high sensitivity and specificity for SARS-CoV-2, it requires the sample to be sent away to a lab and be analyzed by specialized personnel. The analysis itself can take up to an hour, but the total time from swab to answer can take days. Plus, both methods require the uncomfortable process of swabbing the back of your nose.

Non-invasive saliva-based tests exist, but they also rely on the slow and specialized RT-PCR approach. A similar method called reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) can also detect viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA at a level of specificity and sensitivity consistent with RT-PCR, but it's quicker, cheaper and easier to use. Therefore, Weihua Guan and colleagues wanted to see if they could use RT-LAMP to create a fast and sensitive COVID-19 test that only requires a saliva sample; a palm-sized, portable device; and a smartphone.

The researchers integrated several steps into one compact machine, which they call the saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 self-testing with RT-LAMP in a mobile device (SLIDE). Its five distinct modules conduct all of the steps needed for RT-LAMP: heating the sample, mixing it with RT-LAMP reagents, carrying out the reaction, detecting how much viral RNA is present and communicating that result to a smartphone. To use SLIDE, a person simply spits into a vial on a cartridge that they insert into the device, and results are sent to a smartphone within 45 minutes. In lab tests, SLIDE successfully detected and quantitated a mock saliva sample spiked with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, as well as a real saliva sample from someone known to be positive for COVID-19. In both cases, the results were consistent with those from RT-PCR, which suggests that the SLIDE device could be a quick, easy and sensitive way to tell whether someone has COVID-19, say the researchers.
 

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A New Low in Mask Studies
By Ian Miller
August 3, 2022

You may have thought the CDC’s loathsome propaganda, designed to spread misinformation to their partners in the purposefully susceptible media, was bad. And it most certainly was.

Their repeated attempts to justify masking through poorly conducted studies throughout the first year and a half of the pandemic, which covered Arizona, Kansas and others, were equally atrocious.

But now a new challenger has emerged, attempting to take the crown of most insidiously incompetent “study” to be released on masking.

And it’s already being shared and promoted by the anti-science crowd, determined to maintain their illusions that masking works and shows demonstrable benefits.

It’s a masterpiece of bad “science,” poor methodology, and purposeful misdirection.

There is no possible justification for anyone to refer to this “review” with anything other than derision, except that one of the world’s most prominent “experts” has already distributed it to his massive following.

It’s important to debunk studies like this, because it’s inevitable that some corporate executive, CDC official, or local school administrator will use it to justify their endless, panicked mandates.

The Abstract

What’s remarkable about this review is that the authors discredit their own work almost immediately.

The poor quality writing is readily apparent, both from their repeated phrasing of “facemasks” as one word, and the fact that of 1,732 studies considered for inclusion, only 13 actually met the criteria.

That’s correct, a mere 0.75% of the studies they apparently examined were actually used to generate their conclusions.

So how many people did this substantial, important, influential, seminal work actually cover?

Facemasks have become a symbol of disease prevention in the context of Covid-19; yet, there still exists a paucity of collected scientific evidence surrounding their epidemiological efficacy in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. This systematic review sought to analyze the efficacy of facemasks, regardless of type, on the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in both healthcare and community settings. The initial review yielded 1,732 studies, which were reviewed by three study team members. Sixty-one full text studies were found to meet entry criteria, and 13 studies yielded data that was used in the final analysis. In all, 243 subjects were infected with Covid-19, of whom 97 had been wearing masks and 146 had not. The probability of getting Covid-19 for mask-wearers was 7% (97/1,463, p=0.002), for non-mask-wearers, probability was 52% (158/303, p=0.94). The relative risk of getting Covid-19 for mask-wearers was 0.13 (95% CI: 0.10-0.16). Based on these results, we determined that across healthcare and community settings, those who wore masks were less likely to contact Covid-19. Future investigations are warranted as more information becomes available.

243 people.

Yeah, 243. There have been 583,211,225 reported Covid cases in the world to date, with many millions more undetected, and this evidence review covered 243 of them.

A comparison between the two numbers illustrates the absurdity of suggesting that 243 is a remotely representative sample:

Covid Cases vs Mask Study


Beyond the incomprehensibly small sample size used to generate these percentages, the most absurd part of their conclusion was ignoring that inescapable reality that everyone will get Covid.

There can be no reduction in likelihood of getting Covid from mask-wearing because everyone will eventually get Covid. The absolute reduction is 0. The relative reduction is 0. End of study.

Of course, that’s not at all what happened in this instance, and the details make it look even worse.

The “Evidence”

The studies they collected to include in their “evidence” review were a combination of embarrassingly bad to unbelievably useless.

But before going into the studies they collected, it’s worth pointing out that the conclusions conflated healthcare and community settings.

Sixty-one full text studies were found to meet the criteria, and 13 studies were used in the final analysis. (Figure 1) Frequencies, relative risk, confidence intervals and t-tests were calculated where appropriate, to measure differences between groups who reported wearing masks vs. not wearing masks for the overall study group, as well as health care, and community settings.

It’s the height of absurdity to compare the two while pretending that your results are some kind of definitive, universally applicable data-driven exercise.

But the studies included are where it gets extremely bad.

One of them, in an evidence review designed to supposedly determine the effectiveness of mask-wearing to prevent Covid, was conducted in 2004.

Yes, you read that correctly. 2004.

2004


To no one’s surprise, there were no Covid infections in 2004 in Thailand when a full PPE policy was in place.

Better yet, they decided that the CDC’s embarrassing attempt at science, the infamous hairdresser study, should qualify for this exercise:

Hairdresser


The audacity of including a study from 2004 and presenting two hairstylists as some kind of useful evidence should be immediately disqualifying.

Although based on their demonstrated standards, it’s no surprise that only testing half of the supposedly “exposed” individuals was enough to meet the criteria for entry.

It gets better.

Another study included used such high-quality methods as asking long-term care facilities to fill out a questionnaire describing their compliance with “preventative measures:”

Rolland


How is it possible that not one person involved in this examination stopped to wonder if a questionnaire such as this could be prone to bias, especially in July 2020 at the height of Covid panic when masking suddenly became the single most important intervention to stop the spread of the virus?

Shockingly, several poorly designed studies from China were included that demonstrated the benefits of mask-wearing, with one example apparently using “social network analysis.”

As pointed out on Twitter, one included piece of “evidence” had nothing to do with mask-wearing at all:

After considering 1,734 studies on facemask efficacy vs SARS-COV2, and excluding all but 13 for reasons unexplained, the final 13 include:
– One from 2004
– One on protection given by military-grade gas-masks when performing a tracheotomy (paper says it's about a charter flight) pic.twitter.com/sO9UDWTIpb
— Paul Mainwood (@PaulMainwood) August 1, 2022

You can clearly see the relevance of a paper on protection provided by gas masks while performing a tracheotomy is to prevent the spread of COVID.

It’s notable that the evidence review references two charter flight studies, although as mentioned in the tweet, this had nothing to do with a charter flight.

What appears to have happened is that the authors copy-pasted the same explanation onto two different studies. It’s easy to see how thorough and well-considered their work was; not at all sloppy or shoddy.

Not to mention that the actual charter flight examination involved 11 people who were all wearing masks.

It’s impossible to judge how effective masks are or aren’t, when you’re not comparing to people who aren’t wearing masks.

Absolutely ludicrous.

Also ludicrous is the fact that there are literally zero included studies after July 2020.

They also lumped together community examinations with individual ones.

From every possible angle, this is a disgraceful, demonstrably incompetent attempt to promote masking, with zero merit.

So it’s been ignored by “experts” and other prominent media figures, right?

The Reaction

Of course not!Naturally, the “study” was shared by the German Federal Minister of Health, Karl Lauterbach:

Für alle, die noch immer im Unklaren sind, ob Masken gegen COVID schützen: hier eine neue amerikanische Mega-Studie, die über 1.700 Studien auswertet. Der Nutzen der Masken ist sehr groß, unumstritten und gilt für viele Bereiche. The Efficacy of Facemasks in the Prevention of COVID-19: A Systematic Review
— Prof. Karl Lauterbach (@Karl_Lauterbach) July 31, 2022

The translation, according to Google, reads as below:

For everyone who is still unsure whether masks protect against COVID: here is a new American mega study that evaluates over 1,700 studies. The benefit of the masks is very large, undisputed and applies to many areas.

This is the danger of misinformation.

People in positions of authority in major countries are sharing this study as if it contains some dramatic new revelations about the effectiveness of masks.

It’s ludicrous and unsurprising at the same time.

While not as important as a “Federal Minister of Health,” the study first gained prominence thanks to writer Maggie Fox, who gleefully shared it since it confirmed her biases.

Fox’s profile description starts by saying “Facts matter,” and continues with “truth is not liberal bias.”

It speaks to the remarkable ability of committed ideologues to ignore reality, “facts” and “truth” by sharing misinformation which conforms to their preconceived notions.

Masks must work, because my ideological heroes say they work, therefore I will share absurdist performance art as some kind of proof that my heroes are correct.

Meanwhile, well-conducted studies that show no benefit to masking are ignored.

The continued push for masking against all scientific data and evidence has led to absurdist studies being promoted and distributed.

This wouldn’t be as significant an issue, if not for the fact that the information channels used to disseminate this misinformation are the ones religiously frequented by politicians, executives and school administrators.

Obsessive commitment to ideology over evidence has caused immense harm to students, corporate employees and millions of citizens across the world.

Germans will likely face reoccurring mask mandates in fall and winter because the Federal Minister of Health is incompetent enough to believe pseudoscientific nonsense.

Even in the United States, it’s a significant concern that permanent mandates will be enforced by many prominent corporations.

Is this just going to be permanent now? Are these delusional corporations going to continue listening to incompetent “experts” who haven’t been right about anything for 2.5 years?

There are no innocuous pro-mask “studies;” each of them contributes to confirming biases of deluded decision-makers who refuse to accept reality.

As more studies emerge, it’s even more important to debunk their conclusions to ensure that rolling mandates do not become a permanent feature of daily life.




Ian Miller is the author of “Unmasked: The Global Failure of COVID Mask Mandates.”
 

Heliobas Disciple

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Why did Biden and Fauci take Paxlovid?
They are both full vaccinated which they have assured us protects against severe disease. So why take a drug which has ONLY been approved for people AT RISK for severe disease?
Steve Kirsch
8 hr ago

Critical thinkers might wonder why Biden and Fauci, both fully vaccinated, took Paxlovid. Both men claim that if you are fully vaccinated, it means you are “at low risk for severe disease.” So why would they take any new, unproven drug especially one that is ONLY approved for people who ARE at risk for severe disease.

Something isn’t adding up here.

There are at least three problems with Paxlovid:
  1. It doesn’t work. There wasn’t any statistically significant benefit! But this is 2022 and scientific proof of efficacy isn’t required.
  2. It’s only been tested on unvaccinated people. It may have no effect or a negative effect if you are vaccinated. We don’t know because it has never been tested.
  3. Paxlovid is cleared only for adults and children older than 12 years who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. It’s right there in the EUA: “The FDA has authorized the emergency use of PAXLOVID for the treatment of mild-to moderate COVID-19 in adults and children [12 years of age and older weighing at least 88 pounds (40 kg)] with a positive test for the virus that causes COVID-19, and who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, under an EUA.”
I am left with 4 questions:
  1. Why would Biden and Fauci both take a drug that doesn’t work, that they don’t need, was never properly tested on vaccinated people, and that isn’t approved for their situation?
  2. Why wouldn’t Biden and Fauci take a drug that does work like ivermectin? Ivermectin has much more compelling data on efficacy and safety than paxlovid and it’s statistically significant! Not only that, but there are multiple peer-reviewed meta-analyses and systematic reviews for ivermectin and NONE for Paxlovid. Those are the highest level of evidence-based medicine. Check this out from c19early.com:
  3. Should we really be taking our healthcare guidance from these leaders who don’t follow instructions and who take untested drugs?
  4. If Paxlovid really works, why isn’t Pfizer allowing anyone to do INDEPENDENT clinical trials on it. We have PLENTY of these independent trials for ivermectin! Answer: One of the common tactics pharmaceutical companies do to shield unsafe or ineffective medications they produced fraudulent data for is to refuse to make them available to independent investigators. This is similar to how they make almost all of the data also unavailable for "proprietary reasons."

 
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