October 31, 2020
From New Indicator

by Phil McCracken
Below are a collection of links around covid19. Most of this stuff never gets reported in the establishment press, some does but it is largely ignored. It’s gotten to the point I can’t even listen to the misinformation coming out of my own community radio station (a Pacifica station). Unfortunately, because of “Trump Brain”, liberals and the lockdown left have bought into every story that appears to go against Trump (this included the RussiaGate conspiracy theory by the way, organized with the help of the surveillance state).
Don’t get me wrong. Trump is a pig. The worst. But his supporters that question the lockdown, or find the many examples of epidemiologists, scientists, researchers, etc questioning the rationales being presented to us, are not crazy. No doubt some of them are racist white nationalists, some are clueless to the suffering of people of color, and many I would never want anything to do with. But as another lefty said online, to paraphrase, we should be in a leadership position at these protests, not running away like infants yelling “fash”.
These kinds of crises produce psychological effects on the population, just like after 911. People are scared and in shock, and willing to accept just about any draconian measure presented by authorities to feel “safe”. Think the Patriot Act and the justifications around Bush’s wars of aggression. The media profit off of fear driven stories. Of course they do.
Legitimate concerns around the lockdown are generally being touted as “right wing”. But as with all science, the only question we should be asking is, “Does the data support the conclusion?” In many cases right now, during this hysteria, the answer is no. Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College in the UK, for example, produced numbers that were not based in reality, and yet they were used to justify the lockdown in the UK (#14 below).
Anecdotal stories suggest that getting covid19 is gnarly and no fun for those that have symptoms. But we need to look at this scientifically, not anecdotally. That’s where data is crucial. And the data is starting to come in.
Let me state for the record that the poor, elderly and communities of color are clearly the hardest hit (this makes sense in any health crisis, not just covid19). We need to support these people in their struggles to get healthcare and adequate support to avoid infection. The elderly should be properly isolated from infection. And Trump seriously fucked up by not acting to protect vulnerable communities sooner. As a mental exercise in just how badly the US fucked up, look at Vietnam (327 cases, 0 deaths — yes zero). The virus is very real. We’ve known for decades the relationship between animal agriculture and viruses. This is not a surprise.
But the evidence now suggests that healthy people should not be isolated. All the latest numbers show, when you break them down by age group, the most vulnerable are the elderly (75+), and the young are essentially not affected. The average infection fatality rate (IFR) data from a Cambridge study is listed below by age (#15 at bottom). The IFR represents the fatalities of all those infected (not just symptomatic) with covid19. And other studies are reproducing similar numbers (see #8):
IFR by Age Group. First column is the age in years, and the second column is the percent of those that have died out of the total infected population.
1. Overall 0.63% (median)    
2. <1yr,1-4 0.00052%    
3. 5-14 0.0006%    
4. 15-24 0.0032%    
5. 25-44 0.018%    
6. 45-64 0.28%    
7. 65-74 1.8%    
8. 75+ 16%
In a country with very poor health indicators, is it any wonder the US is hardest hit? Though, to be sure, I am skeptical of the 100,000 figure because we know hospital administrators are incentivized to report covid19 deaths (#1 below). Until we can see the data clearly, there’s no easy way to verify that 100,000 number. We also have to understand how comorbidity plays a role. During the 2017/2018 flu season, it is estimated that 61,099 died (source: CDC). It’s a terribly high number, but then again, the for-profit-press wasn’t laser focused on every single case, so we don’t collectively remember that event as the deadly epidemic it was.
Looking closely at New York City data, it appears that roughly 30% of cases are listed as “probable”, meaning not tested (#2 below). And we now know that determining the cause of death is not a straightforward process, especially for the elderly. Some doctors are making educated guesses without tests. Others are just marking covid19 as the cause regardless. According to Malcolm Kendrick, “as an NHS doctor, I’ve seen people die and be listed as a victim of coronavirus without ever being tested for it” (#26 below).
It’s worth quoting Dr John Lee at length. Dr Lee is a retired professor of pathology and a former NHS consultant pathologist. About the UK situation he says:
“We need proper information to inform our responses to the virus, both clinical and societal. Instead, we have no idea how many of the deaths attributed to Covid-19 really were due to the disease. And we have no idea how many of the excess deaths were really due to Covid-19 or to the effects of lockdown. Officials should be releasing, as a matter of urgency, detailed information on the surge in deaths, both apparent Covid and non-Covid, particularly in care homes. How many are dying of Covid acquired in hospitals? Data presumably exists on this too, but is not released.
The first rule in a pandemic should be to ensure transparency of information. Without it, errors can go undiscovered, and lives can be lost. We will never be able to find out for sure what this disease was like, or what it did in the early stages of the crisis.
One of the unappreciated tragedies of this epidemic so far is the huge lost opportunity to understand Covid-19 better. We like to beat ourselves up for having the worst Covid death toll in Europe, but we will never know, because we decided not to count properly. In a country that has always prided itself on the quality of its facts and figures, the missing Covid-19 data is a national scandal.”
One of the key areas we need to understand is the effects of the lockdown. It is clear that deaths have increased dramatically due to the lockdown. One study in the British Medical Journal says that the “staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ (#27 below). When the press only reports covid19 deaths without reporting deaths due to the lockdown, we are only getting half the picture.
According to the New York Times, there has been a staggering decrease in reported strokes and heart attacks, which is far below normal. But that doesn’t mean they are not happening (#23 below). The BBC reports that “the number of potential cancer cases coming down the track in NI is of Herculean proportions’” and that “the number of colorectal referrals was down by 70% in April 2020 compared to 2019, while gynae referrals have dropped by 50%”. All due to the lockdown and the redirection of resources towards coronavirus cases (#28 below).
In the case of Sweden, we only hear that their covid19 deaths were proportionally higher than neighboring countries, which is true. Sweden screwed up in not isolating and protecting the elderly where 90% of the deaths (3,775) were people over the age of 70 (#29 below). What we don’t know is how many people didn’t die as a result of a lockdown and not having access to a hospital, unlike the UK and the US, where we have data to compare.
A new German study recently presented to the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress says that “those who are socially isolated are over 40% more likely to have a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who were socially integrated” (#5 below). And another study reported by CNBC says that the lockdown “could lead to millions of people contracting tuberculosis (TB) over the coming years” (#16 below).
Ironically, another study from the Journal of Infectious Diseases suggests that it may be safer outdoors because “sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, these data indicate that natural sunlight may be effective as a disinfectant for contaminated non-porous materials.” Is the lockdown actually helping to keep the virus alive? Good question. (#31 below)
Another left perspective not being discussed enough is the damage to the working class; from a loss of income and the loss of small businesses (~42% according to the NYT) that millions of people rely on for income. Not to mention all the serious problems associated with quarantines (depression, domestic violence, substance abuse, suicide, PTSD). People need to work to survive in this system. While billionaires increased their wealth almost 10% in the last few months, the working class has been totally shafted once again.
Did you know that the issue of quarantine was studied closely in 2006, and it was recommended by an expert panel that lockdowns are incredibly dangerous and not recommended? (#19 below) Also, the tragedy unfolding with kids is hard to watch. Kids are largely immune to covid19, and socially isolating them can cause long term damage.
So the libs and the lockdown left are freaking out over a virus roughly equal to the flu to justify the worst kinds of totalitarian measures. And why are people so naive as to think those in power, the capitalist class, won’t take advantage of this situation going forward to crush any resistance? Of course they will. Do you really think they care about us? They already stole about $4 trillion (thanks Bernie Fucking Sanders!), while they bought off the population for 6 months. WTF is everyone going to do when that money runs out?
Going forward, I also fear for those who refuse to take a rushed, potentially junk, and dangerous, vaccine: No entrance into public spaces? No job without proof of a vaccine? No grocery store access? How far do they want to take this nonsense? Scan your ID here to see a movie? For a coronavirus that’s essentially like the flu? No fucking thanks.
This article isn’t about vaccines, but I included an example of a $73 million settlement lawsuit in the case of the vaccine called “Pandemrix”, after the Swine Flu outbreak, which caused serious brain damage in children. See #21 below.
And just imagine for a second what those kinds of restrictions, and others we’ve not seen yet, would mean to organizing a union, a protest, or a workplace action? What would it mean when crossing a border? We’ve already seen that if I had this text in a Youtube video, it would be censored. What kind of dystopia lies ahead because we passively accepted junk policies based on junk science and junk data? (think Neil fucking Ferguson).
Finally, because of the massive hit to the economy that the lockdown caused, the Wall Street vultures are circling right now waiting to buy up everything that isn’t nailed down. The New York Times is reporting that real estate funds are stockpiling cash and “some have raised billions of dollars in the last several weeks. As a result, Blackstone Group, Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, Starwood Capital Group and other investment firms are sitting on roughly $300 billion of equity ready for deployment.” (#30 below) It’s the same old story, and we’ve been had again.
Don’t you think it’s time to stop this nonsense and turn the tables around?
What’s below? Here it is:
1. ———-

Fact check: Hospitals get paid more if patients listed as COVID-19, on ventilators
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/04/24/fact-check-medicare-hospitals-pai d-more-covid-19-patients-coronavirus/3000638001/
“Our ruling: True

We rate the claim that hospitals get paid more if patients are listed as COVID-19 and on ventilators as TRUE.

Hospitals and doctors do get paid more for Medicare patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or if it’s considered presumed they have COVID-19 absent a laboratory-confirmed test, and three times more if the patients are placed on a ventilator to cover the cost of care and loss of business resulting from a shift in focus to treat COVID-19 cases.”

2. ———-
New York City data on fatalities
Under “Confirmed and probable Death Totals”, you can see that roughly 30% are listed as “probable”. What does probable actually mean? Was there an issue with comorbidity?
3. ———-
Thread: Public health director of WHO: 2nd wave of Coranavirus is unlikely
“This is huge: the public health director of the WHO has said in an interview with Spanish radio that it is ‘increasingly unlikely that there will be a 2nd wave of Coronavirus. Transmissibility has decreased so much it could simply die out”
4. ———-
From NIH:

“A new study from Germany has shown that social isolation puts people at an increased risk of heart attacks, stroke, and death from all causes.

According to the new study, due to be presented tomorrow at the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Virtual Congress, those who are socially isolated are over 40% more likely to have a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who were socially integrated.”
6. ———-

Medical News Today: New study questions the effectiveness of masks against SARS-CoV-2
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/new-study-questions-the-effectiveness-of-masks-a gainst-sars-cov-2#More-virus-on-outer-mask-surfaces
“Now, new findings, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest that neither surgical nor cloth masks are at all effective in stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2”

7. ———-
Thread: Deaths in Sweden over last 20 years including latest covid19 deaths:
“Stockholm has been the worst hit region in Sweden undoubtedly. Hence will compare deaths per 100 000 with prior years. In this graph comparing Q1 2000-2019 with Q1 20 and Februay – April 20. Q1 00 and Feb – April 20 similar. #covid19″
8. ———-
9. ———-

Blood tests in Japan reveal: coronavirus mortality is lower than influenza
https://www.corvelva.it/en/approfondimenti/notizie/covid19/test-sul-sangue-effettuati-in-g iappone-rivela-la-mortalita-da-coronavirus-e-inferiore-all-influenza.html?fbclid=IwAR2QoQ2 fMB4dv0vj5P0DvYBZaO2wYjKj_BWOgLE66NAm82lvecVCg6nSsK4
“This discovery could have significant consequences not only from a psychological but also a practical point of view: it could lead to a lightening of the emergency measures taken starting from mid-April. Closing of schools, cancellation of events and request to clubs and restaurants to remain closed.”

10. ———-

Stanford study suggests coronavirus might not be as deadly as flu
https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/stanford-study-suggests-coronavirus-might-not-be-as-de adly-as-flu
“Covid-19 was a whole magnitude worse than flu. Seasonal influenza is often quoted as having an IFR of 0.1 to 0.2 per cent. The Stanford study suggests that Covid-19 might not, after all, be more deadly than flu, although, as Ioannidis notes, the profile is very different: seasonal flu has a higher IFR in developing countries, where vaccination is rare, while Covid-19 has a higher death rate in the developed world, thanks in part of more elderly populations.”

11. ———-
Note: this is was published on a right leaning site but the author isn’t apparently. The article is interesting for pointing out the case of Dr Wolfgang Wodarg in Germany

The Corona Tyranny and the Quarantine of Truth
“Dr Wolfgang Wodarg used to be promoted and respected by the establishment when he a member of the European Parliamentary Committee on Health and advisor to the German government. But Wodarg was one of those rare doctors who had moral integrity. In 2019, he demanded an investigation into the World Health Organisation, after it was revealed they had been lobbied by Big Pharma to exaggerate the dangers of the H1N1 pandemic.

Wodarg was pilloried by the media after he denounced the lies and pseudoscience being used to justify the panic over the coronavirus. Coronaviruses have been identified and classified since the 1960s. In most cases, they are associated with flu and colds and are hardly ever a threat to healthy individuals.

Now Wodarg has a new title: conspiracy theorist.”

12. ———-
Thread on example of how the New York Times fear mongers by using misleading headlines
“Spouse is a practitioner in the D.C. area and formerly worked in ER at major urban hospital. Talking to former colleagues, found that perception varied widely depending on how much one had “bought in” to the narrative. Politics played a role as well. But even at peak ER was at lower capacity than during normal pre-covid operations. D.C. remains locked down.”
13. ———-
Thread: Dr. Fauci says that a vaccine could actually enhance the disease
“Anthony Fauci, testified today before the US Senate that “I must warn you of negative consequences of a vaccine… that is the vaccine could actually ENHANCE the disease.”
14. ———-
15. ———-
Cambridge study on the actual data, not models, to understand Covid19
“We have analysed the data stratified into eight age groups: <1, 1-4, 5-14, 15-24, 25-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+, and the NHS England regions (North East and Yorkshire, North West, Midlands, East of England, London, South East, South West). Modelling for Scotland, as well as inclusion of seroprevelance, from anti-body tests, and prevelance, from PCR swab testing, data (from PHE and ONS), is in progress.”
Note the tab that says IFR. This is further confirmation that for those under ~45, covid19 is less deadly than the seasonal Flu. For those over, it’s about the same until you hit 75, where covid19 is more deadly.
16. ———-
Millions of people are expected to fall ill with tuberculosis due to coronavirus lockdown

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/05/06/coronavirus-millions-of-people-expected-to-fall-ill-wi th-tuberculosis.html
“Global lockdown measures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to millions of people contracting tuberculosis (TB) over the coming years, according to a new study. As many as 6.3 million people are expected to develop TB as cases go undiagnosed and untreated between now and 2025, a study published by Stop TB Partnership on Wednesday showed, with 1.4 million people predicted to die during this time.”

17. ———-
Thread on Kawasaki disease:
“Kawasaki disease has been first diagnosed in 1961. It is not related to Covid19. It is not contagious “The disease can’t be passed from one child to another. Your child won’t get it from close contact with a child who has the disease.””
18. ———-

Interview with epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski, who says, “We could open up again and forget the whole thing.”
https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/15/we-could-open-up-again-and-forget-the-whole-thing /

spiked: How did we get this so wrong?
Wittkowski: Governments did not have an open discussion, including economists, biologists and epidemiologists, to hear different voices. In Britain, it was the voice of one person, Neil Ferguson, who has a history of coming up with projections that are a bit odd. The government did not convene a meeting with people who have different ideas, different projections, to discuss his projection. If it had done that, it could have seen where the fundamental flaw was in the so-called models used by Neil Ferguson. His paper was published eventually, in medRxiv. The assumption was that one per cent of all people who became infected would die. There is no justification anywhere for that.”

spiked: Governments say they are following the science. Is that really true?

Wittkowski: They have the scientists on their side that depend on government funding. One scientist in Germany just got $500 million from the government, because he always says what the government wants to hear.

Scientists are in a very strange situation. They now depend on government funding, which is a trend that has developed over the past 40 years. Before that, when you were a professor at a university, you had your salary and you had your freedom. Now, the university gives you a desk and access to the library. And then you have to ask for government money and write grant applications. If you are known to criticise the government, what does that do to your chance of getting funded? It creates a huge conflict of interest. The people who are speaking out in Germany and Switzerland are all independent of government money because they are retired.”

19. ———-

This is a 2006 study on what is recommended actions during a pandemic. Notably, lockdown is explicitly rejected.
“There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread of influenza. A World Health Organization (WHO) Writing Group, after reviewing the literature and considering contemporary international experience, concluded that “forced isolation and quarantine are ineffective and impractical.”


“Quarantine. As experience shows, there is no basis for recommending quarantine either of groups or individuals. The problems in implementing such measures are formidable, and secondary effects of absenteeism and community disruption as well as possible adverse consequences, such as loss of public trust in government and stigmatization of quarantined people and groups, are likely to be considerable.”

20. ———-

UK Govt SAGE group document discussing measures include “Use media to increase sense of personal threat”
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data /file/882722/25-options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22032020.pd f

“The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting Evaluation of options for increasing social distancing emotional messaging.”

21. ———-
Patients who suffered brain damage as a result of taking a swine flu vaccine are to receive multi-million-pound payouts from the UK government.
“Peter Todd, a lawyer who represented many of the claimants, told the Sunday Times: “There has never been a case like this before. The victims of this vaccine have an incurable and lifelong condition and will require extensive medication.” Following the swine flu outbreak of 2009, about 60 million people, most of them children, received the vaccine.

It was subsequently revealed that the vaccine, Pandemrix, can cause narcolepsy and cataplexy in about one in 16,000 people, and many more are expected to come forward with the symptoms.”

23. ———-
Where have all the heart attacks gone?
 “The most concerning possible explanation is that people stay home and suffer rather than risk coming to the hospital and getting infected with coronavirus. This theory suggests that Covid-19 has instilled fear of face-to-face medical care. As a result, many people with urgent health problems may be opting to remain at home rather than call for help. And when they do finally seek medical attention, it is often only after their condition has worsened. Doctors from Hong Kong reported an increase in patients coming to the hospital late in the course of their heart attack, when treatment is less likely to be lifesaving.”
24. ———-
Swiss policy research: facts about covid19:
25. ———-

A 2019 WHO study on public health measures against pandemic influenza found that from a medical perspective, “contact tracing” is “not recommended in any circumstances”.
“The most effective strategy to mitigate the impact of a pandemic is to reduce contacts between infected and uninfected persons, thereby reducing the spread of infection, the peak demand for hospital beds, and the total number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. However, social distancing measures (e.g. contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, school and workplace measures and closures, and avoiding crowding) can be highly disruptive, and the cost of these measures must be weighed against their potential impact. Early assessments of the severity and likely impact of the pandemic strain will help public health authorities to determine the strength of intervention. In all influenza epidemics and pandemics, recommending that those who are ill isolate themselves at home should reduce transmission. Facilitating this should be a particular priority. In more severe pandemics, measures to increase social distancing in schools, workplaces and public areas would further reduce transmission.”

26. ———-

I’ve signed death certificates during Covid-19. Here’s why you can’t trust any of the statistics on the number of victims

“As an NHS doctor, I’ve seen people die and be listed as a victim of coronavirus without ever being tested for it. But unless we have accurate data, we won’t know which has killed more: the disease or the lockdown?

I suppose most people would be somewhat surprised to know that the cause of death, as written on death certificates, is often little more than an educated guess. Most people die when they are old, often over eighty. There is very rarely going to be a post-mortem carried out, which means that, as a doctor, you have a think about the patient’s symptoms in the last two weeks of life or so. You go back over the notes to look for existing medical conditions.”

27. ———-

Covid-19: “Staggering number of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19”

“However, David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge, said that covid-19 did not explain the high number of deaths taking place in the community. At a briefing hosted by the Science Media Centre on 12 May he explained that, over the past five weeks, care homes and other community settings had had to deal with a “staggering burden” of 30,000 more deaths than would normally be expected, as patients were moved out of hospitals that were anticipating high demand for beds.

Of those 30,000, only 10,000 have had covid-19 specified on the death certificate. While Spiegelhalter acknowledged that some of these “excess deaths” might be the result of underdiagnosis, “the huge number of unexplained extra deaths in homes and care homes is extraordinary. When we look back . . . this rise in non-covid extra deaths outside the hospital is something I hope will be given really severe attention.”

28. ———-

Coronavirus: Potential cancer cases of ‘Herculean proportions’

“While it is widely accepted the move to focus Belfast’s City Hospital on Covid-19 patients was necessary, it displaced many regional cancer surgical services including complex colorectal surgery, gynae oncology, uro-oncology, chemotherapy services and associated support services.The system has also seen a reduction in red flag referrals, which fell by 70% in some specialties as patients were too afraid to see GPs, attend emergency departments or had their hospital appointments cancelled.”

29. ———-

Number of coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths in Sweden in 2020, by age groups

“The highest number of deaths related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sweden as of May 28, 2020 was among individuals from 80 to 90 years old, where the number of deaths reached a total of 1,756. In total, 4,266 individuals in Sweden had died related to the coronavirus as of this date.

The first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sweden was confirmed on February 4, 2020. The number of cases has since risen to a total of 35,727.”

30. ———-
Distressed Real Estate Markets Beckons Opportunistic Buys

31. ———-
Simulated Sunlight Rapidly Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on Surfaces
“Previous studies have demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 is stable on surfaces for extended periods under indoor conditions. In the present study, simulated sunlight rapidly inactivated SARS-CoV-2 suspended in either simulated saliva or culture media and dried on stainless steel coupons. Ninety percent of infectious virus was inactivated every 6.8 minutes in simulated saliva and every 14.3 minutes in culture media when exposed to simulated sunlight representative of the summer solstice at 40oN latitude at sea level on a clear day. Significant inactivation also occurred, albeit at a slower rate, under lower simulated sunlight levels.”

Source: Newindicator.org