April 21, 2020

Medical updates
  • Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis explains in a new one-hour interview the results of several new studies on Covid19. According to Professor Ioannidis, the lethality of Covid19 is „in the range of seasonal flu“. For people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk even in the global „hotspots“ is comparable to the daily car ride to work, while for healthy people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk is „completely negligible“. Only in New York City was the mortality risk for persons under 65 years of age comparable to a long-distance truck driver.
  • Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, warns in a new article that the damage caused by the lockdown could be greater than that caused by the virus. The peak of the epidemic had already been reached in most countries before the lockdown, Professor Heneghan argues.
  • A new serological study in Los Angeles County found that 28 to 55 times more people had Covid19 than previously assumed (without showing significant symptoms), which reduces the danger of the disease accordingly.
  • In the city of Chelsea near Boston, about one third of 200 blood donors had antibodies against the Covid19 pathogen. Half of them reported having experienced a cold symptom in the last month. In a homeless shelter near Boston, just over a third of the people tested positive, but nobody showed any symptoms.
  • Scotland reports that half of the (stocked up) intensive care beds have remained empty. According to officials, the admission of new patients is „levelling off“.
  • The emergency room in Bergamo’s municipal hospital was completely empty at the beginning of this week for the first time in 45 days. In the meantime, more people with other diseases than „Covid19 patients“ are being treated again.
  • A report in the medical magazine Lancet comes to the conclusion that school closures to contain corona viruses have no or only a minimal effect.
  • A nine-year-old French child with corona infection had contact with 172 people, but none of them were infected. This confirms earlier results that corona infection (unlike influenza) is not or hardly ever transmitted by children.
  • The German emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi gave a new one-hour interview on Covid-19. Professor Bhakdi argues that most media have acted „completely irresponsibly“ during the Covid-19 epidemic.
  • The German Initiative for Care Ethics criticises blanket bans on visits and painful intensive care treatment of nursing patients: „Even before Corona, around 900 old people in need of care died every day in German homes without being taken to hospital. In fact, palliative treatment, if at all, would be more appropriate for these patients. () According to all we know about Corona so far, there is not a single plausible reason to continue to value infection protection higher than the basic rights of citizens. Lift the inhuman visiting bans!“
  • The oldest woman in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen died last week at the age of 109. She survived the „Spanish flu“ of 1918, was not corona-infected and „for her age she was doing very well“. The „corona isolation“, however, had „very much affected her“: „She faded without the daily visits of her family members.“
  • The Swiss cardiologist Dr. Nils Kucher reports that in Switzerland currently about 75% of all additional deaths occur not in hospital but at home. This certainly explains the largely empty Swiss hospitals and intensive care units. It is also already known that about 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes. Dr. Kucher suspects that some of these people die of sudden pulmonary embolism. This is conceivable. Nevertheless, the question arises as to what role the „lockdown“ plays in these additional deaths.
  • The Italian health authority ISS warns that Covid19 patients from the Mediterranean region, who often have a genetic metabolic peculiarity called favism, should not be treated with antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine, as this can lead to death. This is a further indication that the wrong or overly aggressive medication can make the disease even worse.
  • Rubicon: 120 expert opinions on Corona. Worldwide, high-ranking scientists, doctors, lawyers and other experts criticize the handling of the corona virus. (German)
Classification of the pandemic

In 2007, the US health authorities defined a five-tier classification for pandemic influenza and counter-measures. The five categories are based on the observed lethality (CFR) of the pandemic, from category 1 (<0.1%) to category 5 (>2%). According to this key, the current corona pandemic would probably be classified in category 2 (0.1% to 0.5%). For this category, only the „voluntary isolation of sick persons“ was envisaged as the main measure at the time.

In 2009, however, the WHO deleted severity from its pandemic definition. Since then, in principle, every global wave of influenza can be declared a pandemic, as happened with the very mild „swine flu“ of 2009/2010, for which vaccines worth around 18 billion dollars were sold.

The documentary TrustWHO („Trust who?“), which deals with the dubious role of the WHO in the context of „swine flu“, was recently deleted by VIMEO.

Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza: Simple measures are sufficient

In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the „lockdown“ was even introduced:

„These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened“.

 

Reproduction rate in Switzerland (ETH/Vernazza)

Switzerland: Cumulative total mortality in the normal range

In Switzerland, cumulative total mortality in the first quarter (until April 5) was at the mean expected value and more than 1500 deaths below the upper expected value. Moreover, by the middle of April the total mortality rate was still more than 2000 deaths below the comparative value from the severe flu season of 2015 (see figure below).

 

Cumulative mortality compared to medium expected value 2010 to 2020 (BFS)

Mortalidad total acumulada Q1 2020 (azul) en comparación con la epidemia de gripe grave en 2015 (rojo).

Sweden: Epidemic ending even without lockdown

The latest figures on patients and deaths show that the epidemic is coming to an end in Sweden. In Sweden, as in most other countries, excess mortality occurred mainly in nursing homes that were not protected well enough, the chief epidemiologist explained.

Compared to other countries, the Swedish population may now benefit from higher immunity to the Covid19 virus, which could better protect them from a possible „second wave“ next winter.

It can be assumed that by the end of 2020, Covid19 will not be visible in the Swedish overall mortality. The Swedish example shows that „lockdowns“ were medically unnecessary or even counterproductive as well as socially and economically devastating.

Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Professor Johan Giesecke

 

Test-positive deaths in Sweden (FOHM/Wikipedia; values may still change somewhat)

Anecdotes vs. evidence

In the face of a lack of scientific evidence, some media increasingly rely on gruesome anecdotes in order to maintain fear in the population. A typical example are „healthy children“ who allegedly died of Covid19, but who later often turn out not to have died of Covid19, or who were seriously ill.

Austrian media recently reported about some divers who, six weeks after a Covid19 disease with lung involvement, still showed reduced performance and conspicuous imaging. One section speaks of „irreversible damage“, the next explains that this is „unclear and speculative“. It is not mentioned that divers should generally take a 6 to 12 month break after serious pneumonia.

Neurological effects such as the temporary loss of the sense of smell or taste are also often mentioned. Here too, it is usually not explained that this is a well-known effect of cold and flu viruses, and Covid19 is rather mild in this respect.

In other reports, possible effects on various organs such as kidneys, liver or brain are highlighted, without mentioning that many of the patients affected were already very old and had severe chronic pre-existing conditions.

Political updates
  • WOZ: When fear rules. „With drones, apps and demo bans: In the wake of the Corona crisis, fundamental freedoms are being eroded. If we don’t watch out, they will remain so even after the lockdown – but the extreme situation also offers reason for hope.“ (German)
  • Multipolar: What is the agenda? „The government praises itself, spreads slogans of perseverance and at the same time slows down the collection of basic data that would allow the reliable measurement of the spread and danger of the virus. In contrast, the authorities are acting quickly and decisively in expanding questionable instruments, such as new „corona apps“ for collective pulse measurement and contact tracing“. (German)
  • Professor Christian Piska, expert for public law and legal tech in Vienna: „Austria has changed. Very much so, even if most people seem to just accept it. Step by step, whether the economy is booming or not, we are suddenly living with police-state conditions and severe restrictions on our basic and human rights, which would be a perfect match for dictatorial regimes. () This is Pandora’s box, which once opened, may never be closed again.“ (German)
  • More than 300 scientists from 26 countries warn of „unprecedented surveillance of society“ by corona apps violating data protection. Several scientists and universities have already withdrawn from the European contact tracing project PEPP-PT due to a lack of transparency. Recently it became known that the Swiss company AGT is involved in the project, which had previously set up mass surveillance systems for Arab states.
  • In Israel, about 5000 people (with a distance of 2m each) demonstrated against the measures of the Netanyahu government: „They talk about an exponential increase of  corona cases, but the only thing that increases exponentially are the people who stand up to protect our country and our democracy“.
  • Madrid-based Irish journalist Jason O’Toole describes the situation in Spain: „With the military visible on the streets of Spain it’s hard not to describe the situation as martial law in all but name. George Orwell’s Big Brother is alive and well here, with the Spanish police monitoring everybody using CCTV or by flying drones overhead. A staggering 650,000 people were fined and 5,568 arrested during the first four weeks alone. () I was shocked when I watched one video clip of a cop using heavy force to arrest a mentally ill young man who was apparently just walking home with bread.“
  • OffGuardian: The disturbing developments in UK policing.
  • In a new article, US investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes on „How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision“: „Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the “obstacles” they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis.“
  • In a previous article, Whitney Webb already dealt with the central role of the „Center for Health Security“ at Johns Hopkins University in the current pandemic management as well as its role in previous pandemic and bioweapons simulations and its close links to the US security apparatus.
  • The idea of using a pandemic to expand global surveillance and control instruments is not new. As early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a „lock step scenario“ in a working paper on future technological and social developments, in which current developments are anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff).
  • „The truth about Fauci“: In a new interview, US virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits talks about her experiences with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is currently playing a major role in shaping the US government’s Covid19 measures.
  • Aid organisations warn that „far more people“ will die from the economic consequences of the measures than from Covid-19 itself. Forecasts now predict that 35 to 65 million people will fall into absolute poverty, and many of them are threatened with starvation.
  • In Germany, 2.35 million people are predicted to be on short-time working in 2020, more than twice as many as after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.

 

People on short-time working in Germany (BfA)