A Journal of the Plague Year (63)

 


June 3, 2020

This is no longer a daily rant as the plague situation seems to be reasonably well understood and not much changes.

In Ontario, the emergency situation has been extended again to June 30th. Well, you lucky folks who are out of a job and business people whose businesses are folding, too bad. Perhaps Theresa Tam (Chief Public Health Officer for Canuckistan) and others of her ilk would like to donate some of their fat salaries to help you. Fat chance, I hear you say.

Again, in the media, there is no talk of the costs to people’s lives and livelihoods—the vast majority of the population of 14 million in Ontario.
My confidence in Premier Ford, even though his government’s actions so far have been quite reasonable, is softening.


This pandemic mind set is going from absurd to insane.

At the beginning of this thing, the reactions of Western governments seemed reasonable, given the lies of the communist Chinese government and their toadies in the World Health Organization (of which Dr Tam is an apparatchik). Perhaps death rates of the order of 3–4% were real. Hence the lockdown mindset. But even in the places that took the heaviest hits, New York City and such, the emergency hospitals and the US Navy hospital ships were never even used. The much-feared wave that would overwhelm the hospital system simply did not happen—neither in the US nor the UK.

There was, and is, a vast difference of opinion among the medical experts about the extent of the disease and the effectiveness of the lockdowns in suppressing it. Doctors and scientists from Oxford, Stanford, and many other places do not agree that shutting down the economy is the best thing, or even if it is helping. Watch this video with Dr Sunetra Gupta [see above video]  of Oxford University give a very different assessment from the state-approved narrative…

It is interesting that she says that lockdowns have little effect as the pathogen has, essentially, swept through the population and we are now on the downward slope of the curve. Further, confirmed cases don’t tell us anything of any use as the case numbers are entirely dependent on testing, which affects only a tiny part of the population. The only relatively reliable estimates can be obtained from death data—the number of confirmed deaths.

As a rider to that, looking at the data from Our World in Data, one can see exactly these data from many different countries. Since countries have very different populations, a comparison of countries with the total confirmed deaths per one million of the population seems a credible metric.

So let’s take a look at the data (seven-day rolling average) for the following situation:


Several countries at the same relative socio-economic level;
Total number of confirmed deaths per million of the population since the beginning of the pandemic to June 3rd;
Lockdown or no lockdown. https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-covid-deaths-per-million

United Kingdom     579.93 [lockdown]
France                       443.37 [lockdown]
Italy                           554.57 [lockdown]
Spain                         597.59 [lockdown]
Germany                   102.06 [lockdown]
Sweden                     442.41 [no lockdown]

Sweden with no lockdown has almost exactly the same total death rate per capita as France with a massive lockdown! And Sweden is significantly better off than Italy, Spain and the UK.

On the science front, some very interesting developments regarding hydroxychloroquine–a drug that could possibly treat, or manage, the symptoms of covid-19.

Since President Trump mentioned it, the Fake News Media immediately claimed that it must be useless, even dangerous, simply because they hate Trump. They glommed on to that despite the fact that several clinical researchers around the world have claimed success with it.

Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), reports:

 
A study published on 22 May in The Lancet used hospital records procured by a little-known data analytics company called Surgisphere to conclude that coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to show an irregular heart rhythm—a known side effect thought to be rare—and were more likely to die in the hospital.

But,

Today, The Lancet issued an Expression of Concern (EOC) saying “important scientific questions have been raised about data” in the paper and noting that “an independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere and is ongoing, with results expected very shortly.”

Really? That’s interesting. Looks like the Fake News industry bit off more than they could chew. After some digging into the background of this company Surgisphere, Science reports:

Surgisphere’s sparse online presence—the website doesn’t list any of its partner hospitals by name or identify its scientific advisory board, for example—have prompted intense skepticism. Physician and entrepreneur James Todaro of the investment fund Blocktown Capital wondered in a blog post why Surgisphere’s enormous database doesn’t appear to have been used in peer-reviewed research studies until May. Another post, from data scientist Peter Ellis of the management consulting firm Nous Group, questioned how LinkedIn could list only five Surgisphere employees—all but Desai apparently lacking a scientific or medical background—if the company really provides software to hundreds of hospitals to coordinate the collection of sensitive data from electronic health records. (This morning, the number of employees on LinkedIn had dropped to three.)

So why was this highly dubious company touted as providing reliable data on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine? And why didn’t the “investigative journalists” doing any investigating? Agenda, silly! It fit the agenda.

It was left to the AAAS writers to do the homework, expose another fraud, and bring The Lancet to order. It’s also true that The Lancet has a far-left editor in tune with all the correct fads and dogmas–but that’s another story for later.

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