This document is part of an archive of postings on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written.

This is a backup copy of the original blog

30 November, 2021

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas Exposes The Real COVID Disaster

I was always surprised that almost all countries adopted the Chinese Communist approach to dealing with the virus: Sweeping lockdowns. As it was mainly the elderly who were dying, it seemed to me that they alone should have been the focus of government action.

But the Leftist establishment have always been sympathetic to Communism so it is no surprise that it was the Communist example that was automatically assumed to be best. The article below shows just how rigid and resitant to evidence the establishment were in gleefuly grabbing their opportunity to control everyone

Jeffrey Tucker

I’m a voracious reader of Covid books but nothing could have prepared me for Scott Atlas’s A Plague Upon Our House, a full and mind-blowing account of the famed scientist’s personal experience with the Covid era and a luridly detailed account of his time at the White House. The book is hot fire, from page one to the last, and will permanently affect your view of not only this pandemic and the policy response but also the workings of public health in general.

Atlas’s book has exposed a scandal for the ages.

It is enormously valuable because it fully blows up what seems to be an emerging fake story involving a supposedly Covid-denying president who did nothing vs. heroic scientists in the White House who urged compulsory mitigating measures consistent with prevailing scientific opinion. Not one word of that is true. Atlas’s book, I hope, makes it impossible to tell such tall tales without embarrassment.

Anyone who tells you this fictional story (including Deborah Birx) deserves to have this highly credible treatise tossed in his direction. The book is about the war between real science (and genuine public health), with Atlas as the voice for reason both before and during his time in the White House, vs. the enactment of brutal policies that never stood any chance of controlling the virus while causing tremendous damage to the people, to human liberty, to children in particular, but also to billions of people around the world.

For the reader, the author is our proxy, a reasonable and blunt man trapped in a world of lies, duplicity, backstabbing, opportunism, and fake science. He did his best but could not prevail against a powerful machine that cares nothing for facts, much less outcomes.

If you have heretofore believed that science drives pandemic public policy, this book will shock you. Atlas’s recounting of the unbearably poor thinking on the part of government-based “infectious disease experts” will make your jaw drop (thinking, for example, of Birx’s off-the-cuff theorizing about the relationship between masking and controlling case spreads).

Throughout the book, Atlas points to the enormous cost of the machinery of lockdowns, the preferred method of Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx: missed cancer screenings, missed surgeries, nearly two years of educational losses, bankrupted small business, depression and drug overdoses, overall citizen demoralization, violations of religious freedom, all while public health massively neglected the actual at-risk population in long-term care facilities. Essentially, they were willing to dismantle everything we called civilization in the name of bludgeoning one pathogen without regard to the consequences.

The fake science of population-wide “models” drove policy instead of following the known information about risk profiles.

“The one unusual feature of this virus was the fact that children had an extraordinarily low risk,” writes Atlas.

“Yet this positive and reassuring news was never emphasized. Instead, with total disregard of the evidence of selective risk consistent with other respiratory viruses, public health officials recommended draconian isolation of everyone.”

“Restrictions on liberty were also destructive by inflaming class distinctions with their differential impact,” he writes, “exposing essential workers, sacrificing low-income families and kids, destroying single-parent homes, and eviscerating small businesses, while at the same time large companies were bailed out, elites worked from home with barely an interruption, and the ultra-rich got richer, leveraging their bully pulpit to demonize and cancel those who challenged their preferred policy options.”

In the midst of continued chaos, in August 2020, Atlas was called by Trump to help, not as a political appointee, not as a PR man for Trump, not as a DC fixer but as the only person who in nearly a year of unfolding catastrophe had a health-policy focus. He made it clear from the outset that he would only say what he believed to be true; Trump agreed that this was precisely what he wanted and needed. Trump got an earful and gradually came around to a more rational view than that which caused him to wreck the American economy and society with his own hands and against his own instincts.

In Task Force meetings, Atlas was the only person who showed up with studies and on-the-ground information as opposed to mere charts of infections easily downloadable from popular websites.

“A bigger surprise was that Fauci did not present scientific research on the pandemic to the group that I witnessed. Likewise, I never heard him speak about his own critical analysis of any published research studies. This was stunning to me. Aside from intermittent status updates about clinical trial enrollments, Fauci served the Task Force by offering an occasional comment or update on vaccine trial participant totals, mostly when the VP would turn to him and ask.”

When Atlas spoke up, it was almost always to contradict Fauci/Birx but he received no backing during meetings, only to have many people in attendance later congratulate him for speaking out. Still, he did, by virtue of private meetings, have a convert in Trump himself, but by then it was too late: not even Trump could prevail against the wicked machine he had permissioned into operation.

It’s a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story but applied to matters of public health.

From the outset of this disease panic, policy came to be dictated by two government bureaucrats (Fauci and Birx) who, for some reason, were confident in their control over media, bureaucracies, and White House messaging, despite every attempt by the president, Atlas, and a few others to get them to pay attention to the actual science about which Fauci/Birx knew and care little.

When Atlas would raise doubts about Birx, Jared Kushner would repeatedly assure him that “she is 100% MAGA.”

Yet we know for certain that this is not true. We know from a different book on the subject that she only took the position with the anticipation that Trump would lose the presidency in the November election.

That’s hardly a surprise; it’s the bias expected from a career bureaucrat working for a deep-state institution.

Fortunately, we now have this book to set the record straight. It gives every reader an inside look at the workings of a system that wrecked our lives. If the book finally declines to offer an explanation for the hell that was visited upon us – every day we still ask the question why? – it does provide an accounting of the who, when, where, and what. Tragically, too many scientists, media figures, and intellectuals in general went along. Atlas’s account shows exactly what they signed up to defend, and it’s not pretty.

The cliche that kept coming to mind as I read is “breath of fresh air.” That metaphor describes the book perfectly: blessed relief from relentless propaganda. Imagine yourself trapped in an elevator with stultifying air in a building that is on fire and the smoke gradually seeps in from above. Someone is in there with you and he keeps assuring you that everything is fine, when it is obviously not.

That’s a pretty good description of how I felt from March 12, 2020 and onward. That was the day that President Trump spoke to the nation and announced that there would be no more travel from Europe. The tone in his voice was spooky. It was obvious that more was coming. He had clearly fallen sway to extremely bad advice, perhaps he was willing to push lockdowns as a plan to deal with a respiratory virus that was already widespread in the US from perhaps 5 to 6 months earlier.

It was the day that the darkness descended. A day later (March 13), the HHS distributed its lockdown plans for the nation. That weekend, Trump met for many hours with Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and only a few others. He came around to the idea of shutting down the American economy for two weeks. He presided over the calamitous March 16, 2020, press conference, at which Trump promised to beat the virus through general lockdowns.

Of course he had no power to do that directly but he could urge it to happen, all under the completely delusional promise that doing so would solve the virus problem. Two weeks later, the same gang persuaded him to extend the lockdowns.

Trump went along with the advice because it was the only advice he was fed at the time. They made it appear that the only choice that Trump had – if he wanted to beat the virus – was to wage war on his own policies that were pushing for a stronger, healthier economy. After surviving two impeachment attempts, and beating back years of hate from a nearly united media afflicted by severe derangement syndrome, Trump was finally hornswoggled.

Atlas writes:

“On this highly important criterion of presidential management—taking responsibility to fully take charge of policy coming from the White House—I believe the president made a massive error in judgment. Against his own gut feeling, he delegated authority to medical bureaucrats, and then he failed to correct that mistake.”

The truly tragic fact that both Republicans and Democrats do not want spoken about is that this whole calamity is that did indeed begin with Trump’s decision. On this point, Atlas writes:

Yes, the president initially had gone along with the lockdowns proposed by Fauci and Birx, the “fifteen days to slow the spread,” even though he had serious misgivings. But I still believe the reason that he kept repeating his one question—“Do you agree with the initial shutdown?”—whenever he asked questions about the pandemic was precisely because he still had misgivings about it.

Large parts of the narrative are devoted to explaining precisely how and to what extent Trump had been betrayed. “They had convinced him to do exactly the opposite of what he would naturally do in any other circumstance,” Atlas writes, that is

“to disregard his own common sense and allow grossly incorrect policy advice to prevail…. This president, widely known for his signature “You’re fired!” declaration, was misled by his closest political intimates. All for fear of what was inevitable anyway—skewering from an already hostile media. And on top of that tragic misjudgment, the election was lost anyway. So much for political strategists.”

There are so many valuable parts to the story that I cannot possibly recount them all. The language is brilliant, e.g. he calls the media “the most despicable group of unprincipled liars one could ever imagine.” He proves that assertion in page after page of shocking lies and distortions, mostly driven by political goals.

I was particularly struck by his chapter on testing, mainly because that whole racket mystified me throughout. From the outset, the CDC bungled the testing part of the pandemic story, attempting to keep the tests and process centralized in DC at the very time when the entire nation was in panic. Once that was finally fixed, months too late, mass and indiscriminate PCR testing became the desiderata of success within the White House. The problem was not just with the testing method:

“Fragments of dead virus hang around and can generate a positive test for many weeks or months, even though one is not generally contagious after two weeks. Moreover, PCR is extremely sensitive. It detects minute quantities of virus that do not transmit infection…. Even the New York Times wrote in August that 90 percent or more of positive PCR tests falsely implied that someone was contagious. Sadly, during my entire time at the White House, this crucial fact would never even be addressed by anyone other than me at the Task Force meetings, let alone because for any public recommendation, even after I distributed data proving this critical point.”

The other problem is the wide assumption that more testing (however inaccurate) of whomever, whenever was always better. This model of maximizing tests seemed like a leftover from the HIV/AIDS crisis in which tracing was mostly useless in practice but at least made some sense in theory. For a widespread and mostly wild respiratory disease transmitted the way a cold virus is transmitted, this method was hopeless from the beginning. It became nothing but make work for tracing bureaucrats and testing enterprises that in the end only provided a fake metric of “success” that served to spread public panic.

Early on, Fauci had clearly said that there was no reason to get tested if you had no symptoms. Later, that common-sense outlook was thrown out the window and replaced with an agenda to test as many people as possible regardless of risk and regardless of symptoms. The resulting data enabled Fauci/Birx to keep everyone in a constant state of alarm. More test positivity to them implied only one thing: more lockdowns. Businesses needed to close harder, we all needed to mask harder, schools needed to stay closed longer, and travel needed to be ever more restricted. That assumption became so entrenched that not even the president’s own wishes (which had changed from Spring to Summer) made any difference.

Atlas’s first job, then, was to challenge this whole indiscriminate testing agenda. To his mind, testing needed to be about more than accumulating endless amounts of data, much of it without meaning; instead, testing should be directed toward a public-health goal. The people who needed tests were the vulnerable populations, particularly those in nursing homes, with the goal of saving lives among those who were actually threatened with severe outcomes. This push to test, contact trace, and quarantine anyone and everyone regardless of known risk was a huge distraction, and also caused huge disruption in schooling and enterprise.

Much more HERE




29 November, 2021

Why we SHOULDN'T be worried about Omicron – as top doctor says it could be a GOOD thing if the variant spreads through the community

In my post yesterday I foresaw that Omicron could be a sort of natural vaccine, doing us minimal harm while protecting us for more dangerous strains of Covid. I am pleased to see that others have now drawn similar conclusions

One of Australia's top doctors says the country may actually want the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 to spread as he warns the nation not to panic.

Dr Nick Coatsworth said early reports from southern Africa suggested the new strain may spread communities faster, but the symptoms were far milder in vaccinated patients.

'If this is milder than Delta you actually want it to spread within your community,' the former deputy chief medical officer told Nine's Today show on Monday.

'You want it to out compete Delta and become the predominant circulating virus. So, that shows you how much more we have learn about this

'It could be that we want Omicron to spread around the world as quickly as possible.'

Genomic testing has confirmed two overseas travellers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa have been infected.

Both passengers arrived on Saturday night and are in isolation in the Special Health Accommodation. Both are fully vaccinated.

Dr Coatsworth - who was the initial face of the country's vaccine rollout - hailed the swift action. 'The Australian government's taken some judicious but measured responses in terms of closure of international flights from southern Africa,' he said.

'There's a lot we need to find out and I don't think there's any strong evidence at the moment - apart from the fact that it's got 30 mutations - that those mutations are going to have the sort of negative effect.'

He said the information available so far had left him 'probably a little less worried'. He added: 'I definitely don't think we should be waking up to any sort of panic. This thing is only 72- hours old. There's too few cases at the moment.

'There's three elements to a variant of concern. It can transmit more quickly, it can be more deadly or it can evade the vaccine.

'It's the first one. The speed at which it's spreading in South Africa is what makes it a variant of concern.

'The South African ministry of health said most cases have been mild.'

Dr Coatsworth said at this stage there was no need to rush forward the vaccine booster program until more was known about the new strain.

'Definitely not at this point,' he said. 'We don't know enough. Premature calls for action like that when we know so little are a little bit counter-productive.

'Based on the information we have at the moment, we shouldn't really change our plans.

'The only thing we should change is mild restrictions on the number of people coming into the country from certain other countries but at the moment everything else can go on as planned.

'We will learn a lot more from the laboratories, from the World Health Organization, over the coming days.'

Dr Coatsworth spoke out as fears Christmas holiday plans could be thrown into chaos as international and state border closures begin to domino and panic spreads about the emergence of the 'super-mutant' Covid variant Omicron.

Scientists are in a race against time to answer three vital questions about the variant that doctors said caused 'unusual' symptoms, as Scott Morrison and Australia's business leaders call for calm.

The three things scientists must know about Omicron
1. How transmissible the new variant is compared to other Covid strains?

2. Will Omicron cause more severe illness than other than variants like Delta?

3. Is the super-mutant strain resistant to vaccines?

First discovered in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, the Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique, the variant has since spread to several other nations across the globe.

The doctor who first raised the alarm on Omicron said patients are presenting with 'unusual' symptoms.

Dr Angelique Coetzee, who runs a private practice in the South African capital of Pretoria, said she first noticed earlier this month that Covid patients were presenting with odd symptoms.

The doctor, who has practiced for over 30 years and chairs the South African Medical Association, said none of the Omicron patients suffered a loss of taste of smell typically associated with Covid.

Instead they presented with unusual markers like intense fatigue and a rapid pulse.

'Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,' Dr Coetzee told The Telegraph.

She was compelled to inform South Africa's vaccine advisory board on November 18 when she treated a family of four, all of whom were suffering with intense fatigue after testing positive for Covid-19.

Australian virus expert Professor Tony Blakely it will take weeks before more is known about the strain and if it's resistant to vaccines.

'It's quite likely that this will precipitate new branches of vaccine development, there's just so many mutations on this virus it would seem most likely we will need new vaccines,' he told the Herald Sun.

That bleak possibility could send much of the globe back into lockdown but he said there could be one upside.

If Omicron is more infectious but less deadly and results in less hospitalisations, it could displace Delta as the most common form of Covid but lower the global death toll.

On the other hand: 'the worst-case scenario is it's more infectious, it's more virulent, and it's resistant to current vaccines,' Professor Blakely said.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox worried an overreaction to the new variant could be almost as bad as the virus for businesses that were already struggling in the wake of Delta lockdowns.

'While some caution is understandable, the response to any new and inevitable variant needs to be targeted, proportionate and take into account the nearly 90 per cent of us are vaccinated and tired of lockdowns and border closures,' she told The Australian.

Professor Sutton said he was 'very confident' vaccines would provide some level of 'cross protection' for the new variant, even if Omicron differs significantly in terms of 'how our immune system recognises it'. 'This is not back to the beginning,' he said.

Professor Sutton said 'not really enough' is known about Omicron but it seemed likely it would become the new dominant variant of Covid.

'It certainly seems to have spread very quickly in southern Africa, and in the republic of South Africa in particular across many, many provinces and numbers have increased very significantly over a short period of time,' he said.

Professor Cunningham said he believed the vaccines would still remain partially effective against Omicron but the duration of immunity could be shortened, with studies underway to determine how the strain interacts with those antibodies.


COVID-19: New vaccines 'ready in 100 days' if Omicron variant is resistant to current jabs, Pfizer says

Novavax added it has already started creating a COVID-19 vaccine based on the known genetic sequence of B.1.1.529 "and will have it ready to begin testing and manufacturing within the next few weeks".

Vaccine manufacturers have expressed confidence that they will be able to rapidly adapt their jabs if the Omicron variant spreads.

The new strain - previously known as B.1.1.529 - features some "concerning" mutations, and early evidence suggests it brings an increased risk of reinfection.

There are also fears that the variant could be more resistant to the vaccines that have now been rolled out to billions of people around the world.

If this is the case, Pfizer and BioNTech expects "to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval".

Moderna said it has advanced a "comprehensive strategy to anticipate new variants of concern" since early 2021 - including three levels of response if the immunity offered by its jabs wanes.

Novavax added it has already started creating a COVID-19 vaccine based on the known genetic sequence of B.1.1.529 "and will have it ready to begin testing and manufacturing within the next few weeks".

Yesterday, the World Health Organisation designated B.1.1.529 as a "variant of concern", meaning it has now officially been given the name Omicron, a letter from the Greek alphabet.

The strain was first detected in South Africa, and a number of countries - including the UK, Australia and the US - are now temporarily restricting travel to a number of European countries.

Although no infections linked to the Omicron variant have been detected in the UK or the US so far, there has been a case in Belgium involving an unvaccinated person who had travelled abroad.

Salim Abdool Karim, one of South Africa's top epidemiologists, told Sky News he "would expect it to be in the UK" by now.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned that there is a "possibility it might have a different impact on individuals" who get coronavirus.

However, he stressed the UK remains in a "strong position" due to the high vaccination take-up - adding that Omicron's presence means getting a booster jab is even more important now.

British scientists first became aware of the new strain on 23 November after samples were uploaded on to a COVID variant tracking website from South Africa, Hong Kong and then Botswana. A total of 59 samples have been uploaded so far.

England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, has said his "greatest worry" is whether the public would accept fresh restrictions if they were required.




28 November, 2021

Good news: South African doctor who raised Omicron alarm says symptoms are ‘unusual but mild’

Mutations do tend to make an organism less robust so this may in fact be the end of Covid. The new virus could in fact immunize us against Delta

Dr Angelique Coetzee said she was first alerted to the possibility of a new variant when patients in her busy private practice in the capital Pretoria started to come in earlier this month with COVID-19 symptoms that didn’t make immediate sense.

They included young people of different backgrounds and ethnicities with intense fatigue and a six-year-old child with a very high pulse rate, she said. None suffered from a loss of taste or smell.

“Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,” said Coetzee, a GP for 33 years who chairs South Africa’s Medical Association alongside running her practice.

On November 18, when four family members all tested positive for COVID-19 with complete exhaustion, she informed the country’s vaccine advisory committee.

She said, in total, about two dozen of her patients have tested positive for COVID-19 with symptoms of the new variant. They were mostly healthy men who turned up “feeling so tired”. About half of them were unvaccinated.

“We had one very interesting case, a kid, about six-years-old, with a temperature and a very high pulse rate, and I wondered if I should admit her, but when I followed up two days later she was so much better,” Coetzee says.

Coetzee, who was briefing other African medical associations on Saturday, made clear her patients were all healthy and she was worried the new variant could still hit older people - with co-morbidities like diabetes or heart disease - much harder.

“What we have to worry about now is that when older, unvaccinated people are infected with the new variant, and if they are not vaccinated, we are going to see many people with a severe [form of the] disease,” she said.

In South Africa only about six per cent of the population are over the age of 65. This means that older individuals who are more vulnerable to the virus may take some time to present.

The B.1.1.529 variant, now called “Omicron”, was first identified in Botswana on November 11. It has now been detected in the UK as well as South Africa, Israel, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Belgium.

It is the most mutated form of COVID-19 discovered thus far, with 32 mutations to the spike protein. Scientists are concerned the mutations may allow it to evade existing vaccines and spread quickly.

Two cases of Omicron have now been found in the UK. Two people in Essex and Nottinghamshire have tested positive for the new variant.

UK officials are busy scouring testing databases for any further sign of the Omicron variant, not least because there were many South Africans in the Twickenham area of south-west London for the England and South Africa match last Saturday.

South African scientists say Omicron is behind an explosion of cases in the country’s Gauteng Province which is home to the country’s commercial capital Johannesburg and Pretoria. Cases have rocketed up from about 550 a day last week to almost 4000 a day currently.

The UK, US, the EU and Israel have all suspended travel to and from South Africa and the five surrounding countries: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The UK government added Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia to the travel red list on Sunday.

The Western travel ban has provoked anger among South Africans, with many claiming that they are being punished for having outstanding research institutions and being transparent about their findings.


Losing Confidence in the Pillars of Our Civilization

Victor Davis Hanson

Millions of citizens long ago concluded that professional sports, academia, and entertainment were no longer disinterested institutions, but far left and deliberately hostile to Middle America.

Yet American conservatives still adamantly supported the nation’s traditional investigatory, intelligence, and military agencies—especially when they came under budgetary or cultural attacks.

Not so much anymore.

For the first time in memory, conservatives now connect the FBI hierarchy with bureaucratic bloat, political bias, and even illegality.

In the last five years, the FBI was mostly in the news for the checkered careers of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Robert Mueller, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok. Add in the criminality of convicted FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.

The colossal FBI-driven “Russian collusion” hoax was marked by the leaking of confidential FBI memos, forged documents, improper surveillance, and serial disinformation.

Prior heads of the CIA and FBI, as well as the director of national intelligence, have at times either not told the truth under oath or claimed amnesia, without legal repercussions.

Mention the military to conservative Americans these days, and they unfortunately associate its leadership with the disastrous flight from Afghanistan. Few, if any, high-ranking officers have yet taken responsibility—much less resigned—for the worst military fiasco of the last half-century.

Instead, President Joe Biden and the top generals traded charges that the other was responsible for the calamity. Or both insisted the abject flight was a logistical masterpiece.

Never in U.S. history have so many retired four-star admirals and generals disparaged their president with charges of being either a traitor, a liar, a fascist, or a virtual Nazi, as occurred during the last administration.

Never has the proper advisory role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff been so brazenly usurped and contorted.

Never has the secretary of defense promised he would ferret out alleged “white supremacists,” without providing any evidence whatsoever of their supposedly ubiquitous presence and dangerous conspiracies.

Conservatives have always been amused by the liberal biases of the old network news and big-city print media. But they grudgingly admitted that many liberal journalists of the last century were mostly professionals. News divisions mostly reported the news rather than simply made it up.

Not so now with Big Tech and 21st-century “woke” journalism. Few reporters have yet offered apologies for helping hatch and spread the Russian collusion hoax that paralyzed the country for three years.

Few have admitted culpability for reporting as fact the various fantasies surrounding the Duke Lacrosse team’s prosecution or the Covington Catholic kids deception.

Many in the media ran uncritically with the Jussie Smollett concoction and the “hands-up-don’t shoot” Ferguson distortions. Journalists promulgated misinformation about the “white Hispanic” George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin encounter, and doctored photos and edited tapes.

They invented the myth of the supposedly brilliant—but now utterly disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo—as well as the “Russian disinformation” yarn that allegedly accounted for the missing Hunter Biden laptop.

Most recently, reporters spread serial untruths surrounding the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

For much of 2020 to even suggest that the Wuhan Institute of Virology may have played a role in the birth and spread of the COVID-19 earned media derision.

Few reporters suggested that federal health agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases might be disseminating contradictory or even inaccurate information about the pandemic. To believe this was happening instead earned condemnation in the media as if one were some conspiracy theorist or nut.

Rarely have communication industries—veritable utilities in the public domain—so asymmetrically censored speech and applied such one-sided standards of suppressing free expression.

Conservatives used to oppose regulating larger corporations. Now, ironically, most are calling for regulating and breaking up multibillion-dollar social media monopolies and conglomerates that suppress as much as transmit private communications.

The American criminal justice system also used to earn the respect of conservatives. Prosecuting attorneys, police chiefs, and big-city mayors were seen as custodians of the public order. They were entrusted to keep the peace, to prevent and investigate crime, and to arrest and prosecute criminals.

Again, not so much now.

After 120 days of mostly unchecked riot, arson, looting, and violent protests during the summer of 2020, the public lost confidence in their public safety agencies.

District attorneys in several major cities—Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and St. Louis—have often predicated prosecuting crimes on the basis of ideology, race, and careerism.

In the current crime wave, brazen lawbreakers enjoy de facto immunity. Mass looting goes unpunished. Indictments are often aimed as much against those who defend themselves as against criminals who attack the innocent.

Conservatives now have lost their former traditional confidence in the administration of justice, in the intelligence and investigatory agencies, in the nation’s military leadership, in the media, and the criminal justice system.

No one yet knows what the effect will be of half the country losing faith in the very pillars of American civilization.




26 November, 2021

New Covid variant circulating in South Africa has one particularly concerning feature

The emergence of a concerning new Covid variant in South Africa has many scientists worried — in particular for its mutations in one specific area.

Deakin University epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett said the B. 1.1.529 variant spreading rapidly in South Africa was a standout for the sheer number of mutations it contains but also for where many of these were located.

“Usually a new variant only has a handful of important mutations,” she told

While there may be other minor changes, the major ones generally change things like the virus’ transmissibility for example.

In comparison to the handful of major mutations in other variants, the latest version had more than 50 mutations and Prof Bennett said this is “unusual”. “More than 30 are in the spike region alone,” she said.

Mutations in the spike region are particularly significant because this is where the virus attaches to human cells, it’s also that part of the virus that vaccines focus on.

If the variant is different enough from other previous versions of the virus, our body’s immune system may fail to recognise it or remember how to fight it off, even if the person has been vaccinated or has had Covid before.

The World Health Organisation said in this variant there were at least 10 mutations linked to the receptor-binding domain on the protein spike. This compared to two for Delta or three for Beta.

“The concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” WHO technical lead on Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said at a virtual press briefing. “It will take a few weeks for us to understand what impact this variant has on any potential vaccines.”

Prof Bennett said the variant was so new, the WHO is yet to give it a name, although it is scheduled to do this on Friday, with many expecting it will be called “Nu” if the organisation continues to follow its Greek alphabet pattern.

WHO will also consider whether to declare it a variant of “interest” or “concern”, which pose an increased risk to global public health and should be monitored.

Prof Bennett said in determining whether B. 1.1.529 was a variant of concern, authorities would consider how transmissible it is, whether it causes more severe illness and whether it is vaccine resistant.

She said it was important for people not to get too alarmed whenever there was a new variant because others that looks concerning had later been “flushed out by Delta”. “It’s going to take a lot for another variant to replace Delta,” she said.

The other good news is that B. 1.1.529 also a “strange signature” that makes it possible to detect using normal PCR testing.

This means the variant can be identified in anyone who gets tested for Covid, including returning travellers, and they can be asked to isolate in order to stop it from spreading in Australia.

Why is B. 1.1.529 so different?

One of the theories around why the new variant has so many mutations is it may have developed in someone who was immunocompromised.

“This shows you that a mutation can take off in one person, and that’s the problem, it’s always a risk,” Prof Bennett said.

But she said it was still unclear whether this was the case and it could still have developed in the community and built up mutations as it was spread from one person to the next.

Prof Bennett said in general the more the virus spread the more likely it was that mutations would develop as they generally happen while the virus is replicating itself.

“There is a misreading of the RNA and it ends up with the virus being a bit different,” she said.

Mutations are not always bad, with some believing that Japan’s Covid outbreak may have died out because the virus mutated itself to an evolutionary dead end.

“We don’t know how things will play out,” Prof Bennett said. “We are learning all the time about the level of mutation a virus can tolerate before it becomes less competitive or less fit.”

Globally she said it was important for people to be vaccinated and not leave pockets of people who could be infected and then develop these mutations. “The more infections you have, the more viral replication there is and mutations happen,” she said.

No surprise it developed in South Africa

Only 24 per cent of South Africa’s population is fully vaccinated and the World Health Organisation also expressed concern recently about the low rate of vaccinations among health workers in the region.

Just 27 per cent of health workers in Africa are protected, leaving the bulk of the workforce susceptible.

Prof Bennett said South Africa had recently beaten its biggest wave of infections yet, bringing this under control in September.

But on Wednesday, the number of daily infections hit 1200, up from 106 earlier in the month.

So far the new variant seems to have become dominant mainly in one province so it was unclear whether it would overtake Delta, which had previously been driving infections in the country.

Prof Bennett said the virus could be more widespread in Africa than the figures show, with the possibility that many had also not been diagnosed or treated. The country also has a high number of people living with HIV, which compromises people’s immune systems.

“I wouldn’t be surprised that is where we see variants arise, like we saw in India too,” she said.

A new era of surveillance

As new variants like B. 1.1.529 emerge, the way the world manages Covid could change once again.

“This is moving into a new era, which is all about surveillance,” Prof Bennett said.

The United Kingdom has already closed its border to people travelling there from South Africa but Prof Bennett said there were other options.

She said Australia could screen people as they entered the country for variants and then ask them to quarantine if they tested positive or were on a plane with someone who was infected.

If outbreaks of these variants were detected in the country, health authorities could prioritise the management of these including through contact tracing.

“I think that’s what we’ll see,” she said. “Not jumping at every single case but focusing on variants of concern at the borders and internally to make sure it doesn’t have a chance to take off”


The forgotten Covid jab that might have no side effects in kids: Novavax vaccine set to become fourth approved shot

The Novavax Covid vaccine, which may be just days away from approval in the UK, could be safer for children than the UK's current jabs, experts say.

It is hoped that the US shot — which uses tried and true vaccine technology and is manufactured in Teeside — could reduce hesitancy and boost uptake in children.

The UK Government already has 60million doses of Novavax on order and trials show it is 96 per cent effective in adults.

But crucially it was shown to cause less side effects compared to those triggered by Pfizer, Moderna or even AstraZeneca's vaccines.

The vaccine, known scientifically as NVX-CoV2373, would be the first protein-based jab approved in the UK, if given the green light.

Protein-based jabs are already given to children to protect against the flu, meningitis and hepatitis.

Experts told MailOnline approval of the vaccine could pave the way for the jab being rolled out to children, as well as encouraging the vaccine-hesitant to come forward.

Final study data was submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) last month and approval is expected in days.

Other injections against Covid already approved in the UK are either viral vector vaccines that are made from a common cold virus (AstraZeneca), or an mRNA vaccine made from enzymes (Pfizer and Moderna).

Novavax's contains proteins that mimic the spikes on the coronavirus, causing the body to produce antibodies to fight the infection.

If the body encounters coronavirus in the future, the body is primed to fend it off.

The injection is administered in two doses 21 days apart. Unlike the other jabs that need to be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, Novavax can be kept in a normal fridge for up to three months.

How does the vaccine work?

The Novavax vaccine works like other vaccines by teaching the immune system to make antibodies to the coronavirus spike protein.

Researchers inserted a modified gene into a virus, called a baculovirus, and allowed it to infect insect cells.

Spike proteins from these cells were then assembled into nanoparticles which, while they look like coronavirus, cannot replicate or cause Covid-19. These nanoparticles are then injected into the body via the vaccine where the immune system mounts an antibody response.

If the body encounters coronavirus in the future, the body is primed to fend it off. The vaccine is given as two doses.

Are there advantages of the Novavax vaccine?

Yes. While the jabs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna need to be kept at ultra-low temperatures, the Novavax jab is stable for up to three months in a normal fridge.

How effective is the vaccine?

According to results of phase III trials, the jab offers 100 percent protection against severe disease, including all hospital admission and death.

It is 86 percent effective against the Alpha (Kent) variant and 100 percent effective in preventing cases caused by the original strain of the coronavirus.




25 November, 2021

Trump-Haters May Have Revived Trump’s Presidential Hopes

The American political establishment appears to be sleepwalking toward the still almost unbelievable likelihood of the return to the presidency of Donald Trump.

One of the most implacably anti-Trump journalists in Washington, RealClearPolitics’ A.B. Stoddard, wrote in RCP on Nov. 22 that the Democrats were likely to “blow up,” be badly defeated in the mid-terms, and were underdogs in 2024, where their most likely opponent is President Trump.

She didn’t connect the last two dots, but someone so antagonistic to Trump cannot be contemplating the future she envisioned without a sense of revulsion, if not terror.

What seems to be happening is one of the great political ironies of living memory. Trump, the unlikeliest major-party presidential candidate in history, was practically the only notable person who saw the depths of the unhappiness of half of America in 2016.

He astounded almost everyone by being nominated and elected, and was the subject of an unprecedented sand-bag job from the national political media, the D.C. governmental establishment, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, the academy, major league sports, and was falsely accused of being a Kremlin agent by former intelligence directors, dragged through the muck of the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense for most of his term, and subjected to two spurious impeachments, one after he had left office.

His reelection was opposed by 95 percent of the media, he was de-platformed by the oligarchic social media cartel, and outspent two to one. Ultimately, a great deal of creative (and constitutionally questionable but never judicially judged) changes in voting and vote-counting in swing states, supposedly to accommodate the COVID pandemic was deployed against him, and with over 40 million harvested votes, he would still have won if only about 55,000 votes had flipped in Pennsylvania and any two of Arizona, Georgia, or Wisconsin.

Despite the close and questionable election result, it was almost universally assumed by his more fervent detractors like Ms. Stoddard that he was a dreadful aberration who had gone and would not be back. The astounding irony is that, after six years of this colossal political donnybrook, Trump is the likely early favorite for the next election and the winner of this great single warrior combat.

The context for the Trump phenomenon is that after the halcyon Reagan-Bush Sr. years of great prosperity and the victorious and bloodless end of the Cold War, official contentment was so general that for only the second time in history, (after Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, 1801-1825), there were three consecutive two-term presidents.

The White House and Congress changed hands at intervals, but the political class was the same and overwhelmingly liberal, and drifting steadily to the left. In the twenty years from early-Clinton to late-Obama, official policy moved roughly half way from the political center toward what was the far left in 1993 when Bill Clinton was inaugurated.

Only Donald Trump, the flamboyant land developer, golf club owner, and reality television star, who polled constantly, changed parties seven times in 13 years, and invented the technique of massively promoting his name as a celebrity brand and then translating it into the world’s highest elective office, detected a seismic erosion of public support for what had effectively become a bipartisan national unity government of gradual leftward policy movement.

Only he saw that tens of millions of working and lower middle class families considered that their jobs were being shipped overseas to cheap labor while the profits that accrued from that labor was not being repatriated to the United States.

Trump’s candidacy was treated with immense mirth by the complacent political establishment of both parties when it was announced in June 2015. As all will recall, the political establishment was struck dumb by his election: it was inconceivable that Trump could be legitimately elected and so the vast effort supported by almost all of the national political media was immediately launched to challenge the election result.

Trump weathered the relentless wall-to-wall assault on him by being a rather successful president: illegal immigration and unemployment were almost eliminated, oil imports ended, and for the first time in any serious jurisdiction, the lower twenty percent of income-earners were gaining income in percentage terms more quickly than the top ten percent.

Trump had identified the challenge posed by China and had begun the imposition of a general Western response to China. This departed from the confidence of previous American administrations that if concessions and preferments were merely heaped upon China, it would voluntarily become a compliant member of the rules-based international community.

In fact, China was emboldened by that pre-Trump approach to ever more provoking behavior, culminating in facilitating the spread of the coronavirus from China to the world while unconscionably delaying appropriately serious warnings of the gravity of this illness. Democratic candidate Joe Biden assured his followers: “The Chinese aren’t our enemies…They won’t eat our lunch.”

It was only COVID and the alteration of the electoral system in several key states that enabled Trump’s removal from office. After adhering for approximately one week to a bipartisan policy of fighting the coronavirus, the Democrats seized their opportunity to terrify the country with visions of a Black Plague and with demands that Trump “follow the science” (which was far from unanimous), and lock down the country in order to ensure an economic depression that the Democrats could exploit.

The Democrats declined to criticize the extreme factions of Black Lives Matter and other entities that rioted all summer in 2020 across the country, supposedly in response to the horrifying death of African-American George Floyd when detained by white Minneapolis police, recorded by cell phone cameras. The whole chaotic summer was represented as inevitable in Donald Trump’s America.

The judiciary at all levels conveniently declined to hear any of the challenges to the integrity of the electoral system that had been changed in the swing states, but not by the state legislatures as the Constitution requires.

Presumably, the judiciary did not wish to incur the immense controversy of potentially reversing the result of a presidential election. From this dubious and hair’s-breadth victory, the unrepentant but severely frightened bipartisan political establishment torqued themselves up to blind faith that Trump would not be seen again and briefly resumed their former complacency.

The new administration has been unprecedentedly incompetent even to those of us who feared the worst—millions of illegal migrants, sky-rocketing crime, inflation, and deficits, a very unresponsive president reduced to insipid pleadings to China and OPEC, a completely unfeasible vice president, a shambles in COVID policy, and in Afghanistan the worst and most humiliating fiasco in the history of the U.S. armed forces since General Hull surrendered Detroit to the Canadians and British in 1812.

Sophisticated military hardware worth $85 billion was abandoned to the incoming Taliban terrorist-tainted government. The response of the Democrats and their media allies to this shambles is to construe every disagreement as racist, as in their disgraceful misrepresentation, from Biden down, to acquitted Wisconsin murder defendant Kyle Rittenhouse as a white supremacist vigilante.

In over-reacting to Trump, a successful president, the Trump-haters largely delivered the great Democratic Party to a riffraff of socialists and are tied to a ludicrously inept regime that has little chance of avoiding Donald Trump’s electoral revenge: himself back again or a candidate he supports.

The long era of complacent bipartisanship that Trump assailed in 2016 now seems likely to perish in 2024. We are in the midst of a unique interlude in American history as the Trump-haters await the consequences of their actions with mounting consternation.


For Democrats, the Word Is 'Transform'

They are addicted to change -- to dislike of everything in America

Remember when Joe Biden ran for president in what commentators called the "centrist" lane of the Democratic primaries? The idea was that a "moderate" like Biden, unlike rival Bernie Sanders, would not push radical plans to completely change American society. That would reassure non-progressive Democrats, and independents, too, that Biden would be a safe choice for president. They didn't want to remake the world. They just wanted things to get better.

You could see the difference in the Democratic debates. To take one example, at a debate in November 2019, Sanders urged people to join him "if you want to be part of a movement that is not only going to beat Trump but transform America." Biden's pitch was much more modest; beating Trump and going back to the old ways were enough. "Let's take back this country," Biden said, "and lead the world again."

Now Biden is president and pushing vast, multi-trillion-dollar spending projects, the latest of which is the Build Back Better Act, a $2.2 trillion behemoth passed last week by Democrats (and Democrats alone) in the House of Representatives. And the old Biden centrist act is nowhere to be found. Now, the word the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill have chosen to describe the president's agenda is "transform" -- just like Bernie used to say.

The White House frequently sends out emails headlined "What They Are Saying," which collect quotes from Democratic politicians and interest group leaders praising Biden's actions. Now, they are praising the Build Back Better Act. The praise has a certain similarity.

A "What They Are Saying" email listing statements from "LGBTQI+ Leaders" calls Build Back Better a "transformational bill" that will make a "transformative investment" to "transform the lives of millions of Americans."

An email with the comments of "Women and Family Advocates" says the bill has "transformational initiatives" that will make "transformative investments" to effect a "historic transformation" that will "transform the lives of children and families."

An email from "Black Leaders" says the "transformational bill" will make a "transformative investment" that will "transform our nation for decades to come."

An email from "Young Leaders" calls BBB a "transformative bill," while "Gun Violence Prevention Leaders" hail Biden's "transformational" agenda.

You get the idea. But no one is more on board for the Biden transformation than Democrats in the House, where party members seem to disagree only on whether the bill should be called "transformational" or "transformative." Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls it "transformative." Rep. John Yarmouth calls it "transformational." Rep. Raul Grijalva chooses "transformative." Rep. Mark Takano, "transformational." Rep. Jerry Nadler, "transformational." Rep. Adam Smith, "transformational." Rep. Judy Chu, "transformational." Rep. Pramila Jayapal, "transformative." Rep. Brenda Lawrence, "transformational." Rep. Louis Frankel, "transformational." Rep. Barbara Lee, "transformational." Rep. Mike Quigley, "transformative." Rep. Joe Neguse, "transformational." Rep. Ayanna Pressley, "transformational." Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, "transformational." Finally, Rep. Richard Neal, choosing not to take a side in that debate, says simply that BBB will "transform our country."

When Sanders pledged to "transform" the United States, he envisioned mind-boggling expenditures -- say, $10 trillion -- that would touch every aspect of American life. He didn't win the White House, but he won the argument. During Biden's presidency, Congress has passed a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill (that had little to do with COVID relief) and a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, and now the House has passed the $2.2 trillion Build Back Better Act. In the end, Biden is likely to win about $5 trillion in extra spending just this year -- about half of what Sanders wanted, but still mind-boggling. And it will touch every aspect of American life.

Finally, when it comes to rhetoric, there's no doubt Sanders has won a smashing victory. The Biden White House sounds like Bernie Sanders. The Democratic leadership sounds like Bernie Sanders. The party's interest groups sound like Bernie Sanders. You could say that the old socialist senator, once an outsider and lone voice, has managed to, yes, transform his party.




24 November, 2021

CDC data confirm disturbing stats about covid vax and children

Recently, the CDC opened the door for children under the age of 12 to be vaccinated.

However, reports are surfacing about serious risks to children from what is an unnecessary medicine. Children are poor transmitters of COVID and are at minimal risk of serious illness when they do get it. The science proves that they do not need to be vaccinated.

New data speaks to an ugly truth. Data from the CDC and Big Pharma say more children will die from getting the COVID vaccine than the shot will save. Despite children being virtually unaffected, medical bureaucrats are still saying they must be vaccinated.

The entire scientific community has either gone completely insane or totally corrupt. We’re leaning towards the latter. Again, nothing should be lost on the billions of dollars at stake from just the volume of vaccine doses required for children alone.

They are playing with the lives of our children. The corrupt mainstream media have no interest in covering these alarming stories. They kowtow to the wishes of the liberal left. The liberals want citizens to conform; the fake news puppets chime along, singing the narrative.

One step towards total societal conformity is to hand over your personal health decisions to the government. That is a key motivating factor behind mandates. The crooked mainstream media are all on board with these unconstitutional orders.

The data released within the CDC’s Guidance document defines 21 things that a health economics study addressing vaccines must do. The final FDA risk-benefit analysis for vaccinating children between 5 and 11 years of age violated over half of the risk benefit models.

Despite an overwhelming amount of evidence against giving children the shot, the CDC is still promoting the policy. There is an astounding wealth of scientific proof these shots are not necessary.

Again, individuals who may be immune-compromised, especially the very elderly, may warrant a COVID shot.

Furthermore, there is even stronger proof that the CDC and Big Pharma are manipulating the narrative to force kids to get vaccinated. There is a vaccine research-grade known as the Number Needed to Vaccinate (NNTV).

NNTV is something that Big Pharma will not discuss. It undermines their profits. When talking about the NNTV for the COVID vaccine, the truth is obvious. Data from the Pfizer clinical trials shows for every single life saved, the COVID vaccine killed four people from heart attacks.

The statistics for children are even more startling. The CDC’s own data indicate 170 children have died from COVID-related illnesses since the pandemic started. The estimates for deaths caused by the COVID vaccine in kids could reach as high as 5,000.

When we review the NNTV numbers for children and the COVID vaccination, the results are the worst in the history of vaccinations. There is absolutely zero evidence that children need a COVID shot.

Kids are being coerced into getting “the jab”. The CDC is tricking kids, and their parents, into compliance. It has nothing to do with protecting their health. It is about exercising power and control over the public. Unfortunately, it’s also about money, big money.


AstraZeneca jab 'may be shielding UK from Europe's coronavirus crisis'

The UK could be weathering the spike in coronavirus cases better than Europe because of T-cell protection stimulated by the AstraZeneca vaccine, the pharmaceutical giant's boss has suggested.

Pascal Soriot, chief executive of AstraZeneca, told the BBC that T-cell responses stimulated by the jab were effective in protecting elderly people from COVID-19.

"T-cells do matter, particularly as it relates to the durability of the response, especially in older people," Mr Soirot said.

"This vaccine has been shown to stimulate T-cells to a higher degree in older people. "So we have not seen many hospitalisations in the UK, a lot of infections for sure. "But what matters is are you severely ill or not, are you hospitalised or not."

Mr Soirot claimed this could be because the AstraZeneca vaccine, jointly developed with Oxford University, was rolled out to the older population in the UK, while other jabs were used in many European countries.

He said that COVID-19 vaccines stimulate an antibody response and a T-cell reaction. While antibodies decline over time, T-cells are more resistant and last longer, Mr Soirot said.

Britain recorded a higher number of cases than most EU countries during the northern summer and they have remained high, with 44,917 announced on Monday.

The death rate, within 28 days of patients testing positive for coronavirus, is 132 a day in the UK, according to UK government data.


An Australian state gives hope of beating the virus

Victoria has emerged as the real-world example of living with Covid with a drop in hospitalisations despite high case numbers.

Just one fifth of Covid patients in the state’s hospitals are vaccinated, with more than 80 per cent requiring treatment unvaccinated.

Hospitalisation rates for Covid-19 in Victoria have more than halved in a month, despite the state dropping almost all lockdown restrictions.

There were 851 people in hospital with Covid in Victoria on October 18 and on Tuesday it was just 303.

Of those 97 in intensive care, including those who have recovered from Covid-19 but still need ongoing treatment.

That’s an overall drop of more than 64 per cent, as the state hits a sweet spot of high vaccination, strong immunity and warmer weather which has reduced cases across the globe.

Of those in hospital in Victoria on Tuesday, 77 per cent were not fully vaccinated – and 80 per cent of those in intensive care were not vaccinated.

Victorians aged 12 and over are 89.3 per cent fully vaccinated, with more than 93.5 per cent having one dose.

The state has continued to record the most Covid cases in the country with 827 in the community yesterday and on October 18 there were 1903 new local cases.

Leading epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely said Australia has no choice but to live with COVID-19, as Victoria becomes the testing ground of how to reopen with high case numbers.

Victoria had its “freedom day” last week even though it recorded 1,160 coronavirus cases on the same day.

During Melbourne’s lockdown the case numbers were a daily marker of the mood – with case numbers of more than 10 flattening the mood of the city.

But Premier Daniel Andrews, who had enforced the world’s longest lockdown on Melbourne, dropped his ambition for zero Covid-19 cases as vaccination rates improved.

Professor Blakely, of the University of Melbourne, said Victoria was in a sweet spot of high vaccination rates and immunity, but that was likely to wane as winter approached next year.

There were 827 cases in Victoria on Tuesday, and sadly, 19 people died with the illness. Of those who died, only two were fully vaccinated.

The cases in Victoria are now overwhelmingly among younger, unvaccinated people, who generally do not need hospital treatment.

Britain’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health had “made clear” that “the overwhelming majority of children and young people still have no symptoms or very mild illness only.”

Australian Federal Health Department figures provided to the Courier Mail show that only 2.5 per cent of children who contracted Covid-19 attended hospital.


Where Biden’s Federal Vaccine Mandate Stands

Yesterday was the deadline for all federal employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID.

Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate issued earlier this year was actually a three-pronged approach at strong-arming Americans into getting the jab. Biden’s mandate set three different compliance deadlines, with the first one affecting all federal workers having just past yesterday, November 22.

The next full compliance deadline that applies to all medical and healthcare workers that engage with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as all federal contractors, is January 4.

And the third group, also with a compliance deadline of January 4, are workers in private companies with 100 or more employees via a new rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Individuals from all three targeted groups have been joined by at least 27 states in raising lawsuits against the Biden administration. Of these suits, the ones raised against Biden’s OSHA mandate targeting private companies appear to have the best chance at succeeding.

As we recently noted, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals was chosen by lottery to hear all the cases affecting some 84 million Americans, and that court maintained a stay issued by the Fifth Circuit Court against the OSHA mandate on private employers until a final ruling is delivered.

The Sixth Circuit’s stay, however, does not cover federal employees, healthcare workers, or federal contractors. These workers are still under Biden’s mandate and will be required to comply or face possible termination. The White House says more than 90% of federal workers “have had at least one shot.”

Republican-run states have led the way against Biden’s abuse of power, contending that his vaccine mandate — especially in targeting private businesses — is an infringement of the Tenth Amendment. Bolstering this argument is the fact that several states, the most recent example being Florida, have passed laws barring business from mandating that their employees receive or their patrons provide proof of COVID vaccination.

“The Biden Administration has repeatedly expressed its disdain for Americans who choose not to get a vaccine, and it has committed repeated and abusive federal overreach to force upon Americans something they do not want,” asserts Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. “The federal government does not have the ability to strip individuals of their choice to get a vaccine or not. If the President thinks his patience is wearing thin, he is clearly underestimating the lack of patience from Texans whose rights he is infringing.”

Of course, the Biden administration doesn’t see it that way, and today it once again petitioned the Sixth Circuit to lift its stay on the OSHA mandate. The White House dubiously contends that “Congress charged OSHA with addressing grave dangers in the workplace, without any carve-out for viruses or dangers that also happen to exist outside the workplace.” Lack of defined parameters does not equate to permission to exceed congressionally instituted limits.

Preserving Americans’ freedoms should always take precedent over loudly voiced political concerns for “safety.” The true spirit of America is not found in “safety first” diktats, but rather in the indelible words of Patrick Henry: “Give me Liberty, or give me death.”




23 November, 2021

New research suggests Delta strain ‘drove itself to extinction’ in Japan

Incredible new data out of Japan has left experts convinced the nation of 125 million has successfully eradicated the Delta variant of Covid-19.

New research out of Japan’s National Institute of Genetics suggests the strain drove itself towards a “natural extinction” there after several mutations led to it being unable to make copies of itself.

The tightly-packed Japanese population has been on high alert since the beginning of the pandemic, especially after the highly-transmissible Delta variant broke through its borders in 2021.

During the peak of its fifth wave, Japan was recording around 26,000 cases per day as countries around the globe, including Australia, reintroduced strong lockdowns to squash the Delta curve.

But in November, the nation has seen an amazing recovery, recording under 200 cases in recent weeks and on Friday registered its first day without a Covid death in 15 months.

The nation’s capital Tokyo, the world’s largest city home to 40 million people, recorded just 6 new cases on Monday.

According to a “potentially revolutionary” theory put forward by Professor Ituro Inoue, a genetics expert, the Delta variant simply accumulated too many mutations to the virus’s error-correcting protein called nsp14.

Prof Inoue says the virus struggled to repair the errors in time and ultimately caused its own “self-destruction”.

When the Delta variant first emerged, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention declared it to be more than twice as contagious as previous variants, warning it could cause more severe illness in unvaccinated people.

The general assumption was the Delta strain would have a far more vibrant genetic diversity than the original Alpha that took the world by storm in 2020.

However, according to Prof Inoue’s research, the opposite was found to be true.

“We were literally shocked to see the findings,” Inoue told The Japan Times.

“The Delta variant in Japan was highly transmissible and keeping other variants out. But as the mutations piled up, we believe it eventually became a faulty virus and it was unable to make copies of itself. Considering that the cases haven’t been increasing, we think that at some point during such mutations it headed straight toward its natural extinction.”

While some experts have attributed the downturn in cases to the country’s 76.2 per cent vaccination rate and strong adherence to mask wearing, Prof Inoue believes new infections would still be on the up if the Delta strain were still “alive and well”.

“If the virus were alive and well, cases for sure would increase, as masking and vaccination do not prevent breakthrough infections in some cases,” he said.

Professor Takeshi Urano, a researcher at Shimane University’s Faculty of Medicine, weighed in on Prof Inoue’s findings, claiming the breakthrough discovery could be used in “promising” new medical treatments.

“Studies have shown that a virus with a crippled nsp14 has a significantly reduced ability to replicate, so this can be one factor behind the rapid decline in new cases. The nsp14 is virus-derived, and the chemical agent to curb this protein could become a promising medicine, with development already underway.”

Japan declared its state of emergency over in early October, reopening society after a period of heavy restrictions. It now boasts one of the lowest infection rates of any developed nation for, but Prof Inoue warns it is not immune to potential new strains.

“There’s clearly a threat,” he said.

“We have been all right because there was a Delta variant. Other variants snuck in little by little but Japan’s Delta was keeping them away. But because there’s nothing now to keep them at bay, there’s room for new ones to enter as the vaccines alone would not solve the problem.

“In that sense, I think the quarantine measures for immigration control are very important because we never know what comes in from foreign countries.”

Prof Inoue’s research could also shine a light on the similar disappearance of SARS in Japan in 2003.

Conducting an in vitro experiment, researchers caused mutations in nsp14 in the virus that causes SARS, eventually finding the virus could not replicate itself after it completed several mutations. However, Prof Inoue says it’s still just a hypothesis, as no genome data exists.

“No genome data exists, so it’s just a hypothesis, but because it has disappeared, it will never see the light of day again,” he said.

At the moment, the Japanese expert says it’s still too optimistic to believe the Covid-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus will experience a similar decline globally.

“The chances are not zero, but that seems too optimistic for now as we’re unable to get hold of any such evidence, though we have looked at various data of other countries,” he said.


Sweden used to be a sanctuary for refugees. No longer

The once-reviled Sweden Democrats are no longer alone in criticizing Muslim immigration. The whole political spectrum has swung their way

Earlier this month, Swedish Minister of Finance Magdalena Andersson delivered her maiden speech as head of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and thus, the presumptive successor to longtime Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. Andersson began, predictably enough, by celebrating the triumph of the Swedish welfare state over the neoliberalism of the “grinning bankers on Wall Street”. Then, in a turn that shocked some loyal party members, Andersson directly addressed the country’s 2 million-odd refugees and migrants.

“If you are young,” she said, “you must obtain a high school diploma and go on to get a job or higher education.” If you receive financial aid from the state, “you must learn Swedish and work a certain number of hours a week.” What’s more, “here in Sweden, both men and women work and contribute to welfare.” Swedish gender equality applies “no matter what fathers, mothers, spouses, or brothers think and feel.”

In 2015, Swedes took immense pride in the country’s decision to accept 163,000 refugees, most from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. “My Europe takes in refugees,” Lofven said at the time. “My Europe doesn’t build walls.” That was the heroic rhetoric of an all-but-vanished Sweden. The Social Democrats now deploy the harsh language only far-right nativists of the Sweden Democrats party used in 2015. Indeed, a social democratic organ recently noted with satisfaction that since “all major parties today stand for a restrictive migration policy with a strong focus on law and order”, the refugee issue is no longer a political liability.

Five years ago, I wrote a long article about the tide of refugees arriving in Sweden with the inflammatory title (which I was not consulted on) “The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth”. Sweden plainly hasn’t died since then, and last week, I contacted many of the people I spoke to then with the expectation of issuing a mea culpa and acknowledging that social democracies have more resilience than I was prepared to acknowledge.

I was, it turned out, wrong about being wrong.

Sweden had opened itself to the desperate people fleeing Middle Eastern civil wars and tyranny not because, like Germany, it had a terrible sin to expiate but rather out of a sense of universal moral obligation. Their Europe did not build walls. But, of course, the actual Europe of 2015 did just that, leaving very few countries — above all, Germany and Sweden — to bear the burden of what I then called “unshared idealism.”

Nevertheless, Sweden’s leaders, like Germany’s, were prepared to shoulder that burden. Loyal social democrats, I found, were confident, almost complacent, about Sweden’s ability to integrate vast numbers of barely literate Afghan children and deeply pious and conservative Syrians, just as they had with cosmopolitan Bosnians and Iranians in past years. “A strong state can take care of many things,” the head of Sweden’s Left Party reassured me.

Swedes have learned since 2015 that even the most benevolent state has its limits. In recent years, the country has suffered from soaring crime rates. According to a report by the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, over the last 20 years, Sweden has gone from having one of the lowest to one of the highest levels of gun violence in Europe — worse than Italy or eastern Europe. “The increase in gun homicide in Sweden is closely linked to criminal milieux in socially disadvantaged areas,” the report said.

Gangs — whose members are second-generation immigrants, many from Somalia, Eritrea, Morocco, and elsewhere in North Africa — specialize in drug trafficking and the use of explosives. Crime has become the number one issue in Sweden; before she said a word about migration, Andersson boasted that her party added 7000 new police officers, built more prisons, and drafted laws creating 30 new crimes. She decried “those who claim that it is certain cultures, certain languages, certain religions that make people more likely to commit crimes” — yet her own government has substantiated those claims.

It’s hardly surprising that newcomers lag behind Swedes on every index of well-being, but the gap is very large. In a recent book, Mass Challenge: The Socioeconomic Impact of Migration to a Scandinavian Welfare State, Tino Sanandaji, an economist of Kurdish origin who has become a leading critic of Sweden’s migration policies, writes “foreign-born represent 53% of individuals with long prison sentences, 58% of the unemployed, and receive 65% of social welfare expenditures; 77% of Sweden’s child poverty is present in households with a foreign background, while 90% of suspects in public shootings have immigrant backgrounds.” Figures like these have become widely known; the number of Swedes who favor increased migration has dropped from 58% in 2015 to 40% today.

Sweden is no longer a welcoming country and does not wish to be seen as one. In June 2016, the country revised its longstanding policy to deny refugees permanent asylum; those admitted were given temporary permits of either three months or three years, figures dictated by the minimum permissible under European Union rules. The law was meant to be a temporary response to the crisis of the previous fall, when the country literally ran out of places to put asylum-seekers; it has since been renewed.

Last year, the country accepted only 13,000 refugees, the lowest number in 30 years. A recent study written by a senior Swedish migration official concludes that Norway and Denmark, both notoriously inhospitable to refugees, are “increasingly seen as positive examples of how to deal with refugees and international migration”.

Social Democrats are hardly alone in their shift to the right. The center-right Moderate Party now works with the Sweden Democrats on migration issues, though they are not formally affiliated. Diana Janse, a diplomat and former government official who is running for Parliament as a moderate, complains the ruling party has kept the Sweden Democrats at the margins of Swedish politics by what she calls “brown-smearing — labeling party members as fascists or ‘Brownshirts.’” Janse held a much less sympathetic view of the right-wing party when we spoke six years ago. The Sweden Democrats have held steady at around 20 percent in polls and in Parliament; the number almost certainly would have grown had many factions in the center of the spectrum not adopt the party’s rhetoric on migration. “What was extreme in 2015 is mainstream today,” Janse put it.




22 November, 2021

IQ and autism

There is an interesting video about IQ by Edward Dutton below. Ignore his manic introduction. I have noted his work before. His interest in IQ has, regrettably, made him something of an outcast in academe. Last I heard he was teaching at a university in sub-arctic Finland, which is a long way from his origins in Northern England.

In the video below he presents the Baron-Cohen theory of an association between autism and a very high IQ. He does not define the high IQ group precisely but he includes Mensa members in his coverage so he is apparently discussing people in the top 2% of IQ and perhaps some a bit lower than that. Since I am a former Mensa member and organizer, I am inclined to see him as talking inter alia about me.

And I do fit his major claim about high IQ: That high IQ is associated with autism. I am clearly a high-functioning autistic. I have outlined the evidence for that elsewhere. And many of the things that he says of high IQ people are indeed recognizable in me and by me. So I think there is considerable truth in his generalizations.

There are however some problems with his presentation. The largest problem is that there are a wide range of autistic behaviours, Some people are severely disabled by it and some, like myself, suffer only mild limitations. And not all autistics are highly intelligent, though they do often have some unusual "gift" in some way. My gift is to do even the hardest adademic tasks at lightning speed. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation in 6 weeks, among other things.

Another problem is of the chicken and egg variety. Does autism cause high IQ or does high IQ cause autism? Dutton seems to think that what makes you highly intelligent also makes you autistic. Maybe -- but there are surely SOME high IQ people who are not autistic. That is obviously a testable proposition but I am not aware of anyone who has tested it

There is some obvious truth in it however. A high IQ person does see the world very differently from Joe Average and that must create social difficulties. And social difficulties are the hallmark of autism. My own social skills are certainly not the best but I have had a rather nice time with the ladies over the years so they cannot be too bad. Many good memories.

So I think Dutton is right in seeing autism as the characteristic ailment of high IQ people but I strongly doubt that all highly intelligent people are autistic. Dutton does tend to overgeneralize.

There is however a research literature in support of his ideas


Vaccinated English adults under 60 are dying at twice the rate of unvaccinated people the same age

And have been for six months. This chart may seem unbelievable or impossible, but it's correct, based on weekly data from the British government.

Alex Berenson

The brown line represents weekly deaths from all causes of vaccinated people aged 10-59, per 100,000 people.

The blue line represents weekly deaths from all causes of unvaccinated people per 100,000 in the same age range.

image from,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

I have checked the underlying dataset myself and this graph is correct. Vaccinated people under 60 are twice as likely to die as unvaccinated people. And overall deaths in Britain are running well above normal.

I don’t know how to explain this other than vaccine-caused mortality.

The basic data is available here, download the Excel file and see table 4:


It's evidence of white racism when a white teen kills two white men who were attacking him?

Accusations of racism from the Left have long been nothing more than vile abuse, devoid of any real meaning or evidence

Kyle Rittenhouse has said that he supports the Black Lives Matter movement and insisted that his case had nothing to do with race, as protests continue over his acquittal in Kenosha, Wisconsin and elsewhere.

'This case has nothing to do with race. It had nothing to do with race, had to do with the right to self-defense,' Rittenhouse told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview filmed on Sunday.

'I'm not a racist person, I support the BLM movement and peacefully demonstrating,' the teen added in an advance clip of the interview, which is set to air on Monday night.

The teen spoke out as protests continued across the country over the not-guilty verdict, including in Kenosha, where marchers denounced the trial's outcome as racist.

In a partial transcript of the interview provided to, Rittenhouse also slammed the prosecution in his case, after a jury agreed he acted in justifiable self-defense in acquitting him of all charges.

'I believe there's a lot of prosecutorial misconduct, not just in my case but in other cases,' said Rittenhouse. It's just amazing to see how much a prosecutor can take advantage of someone.'

The case has polarized the nation, with furious accusations from the left that both Rittenhouse and the acquittal are racist, although he and the people who were shot were all white.


America's inflation crisis is even worse than you think

Unless you’ve been living under the world’s biggest rock over the past six months, you know that the United States is experiencing unprecedented inflation.

The consumer price index (CPI), the most popular index measuring inflation, shows the price of consumer products and services jumped 6.2 percent from October 2020 to October 2021 — the fastest 12-month increase in nearly 31 years.

CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that virtually every aspect of the U.S. economy has been impacted by the inflation. The price of milk has increased 17 percent. Egg prices have risen 42 percent. Energy service prices have increased more than 11 percent.

But as bad as the widely reported CPI inflation figures are, a closer evaluation of key industries reveals that for millions of families, especially those seeking to purchase higher-priced items such as a car or home, inflation is having an even worse impact than the CPI’s topline figures show.

For example, Kelley Blue Book reported in October that the average price of a new car has increased by $5,000 since the end of 2020. A new motor vehicle now costs an average of $45,000 — the highest figure ever recorded.

Even car brands once considered a bargain by consumers have become far too costly for many working families. The average cost of a new Honda in September 2021 was $35,310, and the mean sales price of a car produced by Toyota was $40,778.

Perhaps worst of all is the increase in the cost of new homes. In the fourth quarter of 2019, just prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the average sales price of a home sold in the United States was $384,600. In the third quarter of 2021, the average sales price of a home was $454,300 — nearly $70,000 more.

It’s difficult to understate the historic nature of these figures. The average sales price of a home in the second quarter of 2021 was 17.65 percent higher than it had been 12 months earlier, the third largest year-over-year increase recorded since 1963 and the biggest price jump since 1973, nearly 50 years ago.

Although the day-to-day cost increases of milk, gasoline, eggs, meat and other items are important and are undoubtedly putting a strain on Americans’ wallets, the most important inflationary pressures are occurring in the parts of the economy with higher-priced goods and services.

The inflation crisis is pricing millions of Americans out of the housing market and making it virtually impossible for many families to afford vital items like a car. As a result, key markets are cooling at a time when economic growth is desperately needed. Auto sales, for example, dropped by 7.3 percent from August to September.

It’s vital for consumers to remember that even if inflation soon matches historical norms, the damage that is occurring now will not be reversed without a strong deflationary period, an unlikely outcome that would invite its own set of economic problems.

The reasons for the incredibly high amounts of inflation that have occurred in recent months are not a mystery. Governments’ decision to impose widespread coronavirus lockdowns, coupled with more than a year of government handouts and disincentives to work, created vast supply-chain problems that will take months, if not years, to completely fix.

Further, the decisions made by the Federal Reserve, Congress and the Biden and Trump administrations to print and distribute trillions of dollars over the past year and a half are causing the cost of everything to rise, an outcome that was predictable and avoidable.

Had the Federal Reserve and federal government chosen to target relief to those truly in need during the height of the pandemic, rather than do the financial equivalent of helicopter-drop piles of cash throughout the entire economy, much of the present inflation crisis could have been prevented.

Instead, the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress appear committed to doubling down on this failed approach, an argument best illustrated by Biden’s “Build Back Better” monstrosity.

If passed in its current form, the Build Back Better plan would require the government to spend $1.75 trillion on a slew of government programs and numerous unnecessary handouts, swelling the U.S. budget and requiring hundreds of billions of additional printed dollars, regardless of whether Democrats are successful in achieving their plan to impose jobs-killing tax increases on businesses.

The Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress are causing America to slowly but certainly commit economic suicide. The only hope the United States has to reverse course is a widespread, firm backlash against the irresponsible policies that created the present crisis in the first place. A good place to start would be a total rejection of the Build Back Better bill now under consideration in Congress.




21 November, 2021

A "housekeeping" note

The internet is a very changeable place. Articles and pix that are up there today may have vanished tomorrow. Blogspot is unusually good in that regard. Blog posts of mine back to 2002 are still up there.

So pictures are the big weakness there. Some of the pictures I put up were not hosted by blogspot so have disappeared. That is not much of a big deal as very few people are likely to go back to read my old posts. The posts will normally be accessed via Google searches only.

So I have gone through my posts here back to the beginning of 2019 and replaced all missing posts by backups. I do have backups for all my posts. So in the most unlikely event that anyone is interested in pictures before 2019, I will gladly supply the missing pic


Analysis of first Covid-19 cases suggests Wuhan market was origin of outbreak and WHO report was wrong

New research has put forward “strong evidence” that a Wuhan market was the source of the Covid-19 pandemic and suggests the World Health Organisation may have got a crucial timeline wrong.

The study from University of Arizona evolutionary biology Professor Michael Worobey was published in the prestigious journal Science and casts doubt on the theory the virus leaked from a Chinese laboratory.

Prof Worobey combed through hospital records, media reports and other data about the earliest Covid-19 cases to investigate the origins of the virus.

He now believes the first known case was a woman who worked as a seafood vendor at the market, not a 41-year-old accountant as suggested by the WHO in its report on the origins of the virus.

He noted the male accountant, who lived 30km south of Huanan Market in Wuhan and had no connection to it, said in a media interview that his symptoms started on December 16, not December 8 as the WHO appears to suggest.

This is backed by hospital records and other data.

The mix-up appears to relate to an earlier medical emergency the man experienced on December 8 which Prof Worobey suggests was actually due to a dental problem.

In a later interview, the man said he believed he had got infected with Covid while in hospital (possibly at the time of his dental emergency) or on public transport on the way home.

This would make a female seafood vendor, who got symptoms on December 11, almost a week earlier, the first Covid case.

Prof Worobey tweeted that his research “dramatically changes the picture put forward by the joint China-WHO study report” which focused on the 41-year-old accountant as being the first case.

He said the man’s case had been used by “lab leak proponents to argue that the virus could not have emerged at the market” as the man had not visited it.

“It has led claims that the pandemic started at the BSL4 facility of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, since it is near where this guy lived and shopped,” Prof Worobey tweeted. “Turns out he just had a dental problem on December 8.”

Prof Worobey said in his paper most early symptomatic cases were linked to Huanan Market, specifically where raccoon dogs were caged and “provides strong evidence of a live-animal market origin of the pandemic”.

Wrongfully identifying the accountant as the first reported case of Covid has been used to discredit the “natural origin” theory that the virus was passed to an animal host before spreading to humans (possibly at the market). Instead it fanned theories the virus was created in a lab and accidentally leaked into the community.

Prof Worobey said he was confident the accountant’s case “loomed large” in US President Joe Biden’s intelligence community review, leading the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to favour the lab leak idea and for other agencies to have “low confidence” in the idea of a natural origin of the virus.

But Prof Worobey said “you can’t explain away the preponderance of early cases linked to Huanan Market”.

“Many have dismissed the idea of the virus emerging at the market by arguing that all the focus by epidemiologists on the market led to lots of cases being identified there, while a vast number of cases elsewhere in the city were missed. This is just not true,” Prof Worobey tweeted.

“The pattern was there in the very first hospitals that noticed the outbreak, *before* epidemiologists even started looking for cases. “And this means that in all likelihood the pandemic started at the market.”

Prof Worobey believes the strength of his article is that it draws on “firsthand accounts” including audio/video recordings of doctors, hospital administrators and patients like Zhang Jixian, Xia Wenguang, Wei Guixian, Chen Honggang, Ai Fen and Yuan Yufeng.

It is not the first time the WHO report has been called into question, with The Washington Post discovering several problems with data, including the wrong virus sequence IDs for three early patients.

The WHO report published in March this year found “no firm conclusion” could be made about the role of the Huanan market to the origins of the Covid outbreak but also that a laboratory incident was “extremely unlikely”.

However, World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus later backflipped, saying the organisation was premature to rule out that a leak from a lab in Wuhan could have caused Covid-19 pandemic.

He called on China to be more co-operative in the next phase of investigations into the pandemic origins, demanding more access to raw data.


Masks On Airplanes

by Jeffrey Barke, M.D.

I recently traveled across the country to Hillsdale, Michigan. My wife and I sat for five hours each way on airplanes with a mesh mask pressed across our faces. It made the absurdity of the mask mandate we live under both clear and depressing

I am sure most of the passengers on the planes were either COVID-19-vaccinated or COVID-19-recovered. While few speak about the thousands of people who have had COVID-19 and survived, they are turning out to be an important group in the ongoing battle against the virus. I myself am COVID-recovered after a bout with the disease a couple of months ago. I now have natural immunity to the disease.

Forcing someone like me to wear a mask makes no scientific or health sense. There are no studies to show that mask-wearing on an airplane can stop a respiratory viral illness. If that were the case, we would expect pilots always to wear masks while in the cockpit. But they don't. Maybe the recirculated air on airplanes keeps them safe from onboard viruses. Furthermore, if mask-wearing on an airplane were critical to preventing the spread of the disease, why are we allowed to remove our masks for extended periods of time while eating and drinking? I wish someone would pose that specific question to Dr. Fauci.

The requirement to wear a mask when entering or exiting a restaurant, but leaving it off while eating and drinking, also makes absolutely no sense. Do the authorities suppose that the COVID-19 virus stops seeking new hosts to infect only when we are unmasked but not eating or drinking? Do these bureaucratic geniuses really believe that the virus plays fair, observing equivalent rules to those invented by the Marquess of Queensberry for boxing? I think the COVID-19 virus is more likely to play by Fight Club rules!

The CDC recently acknowledged that it does not have any data showing that naturally immune COVID-recovered people can get and spread the disease to others. Despite this, the CDC discriminates against these people by insisting that they be fully vaccinated in addition to wearing a mask to function in society.

Since the CDC is requiring these measures, you would think it would have a mountain of evidence to support such a draconian policy. It doesn't. The science, in fact, shows just the opposite. It shows that natural immunity is strong, durable, and broad-based. Strong means that natural immunity protects against a COVID infection better than immunity produced by a vaccine. It is why we do not see COVID-recovered patients getting COVID again.

While it is common to see COVID-vaccinated people getting COVID and even requiring hospitalization, COVID-recovereds stay healthy. Multiple studies have confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 behaves much like SARS-CoV-1 as well as many other viral illnesses such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, etc. That is, these diseases provide long-lasting immunity to those who have been infected.

I had chickenpox as a child. I got it because my mom walked my brother and me down the street to a neighbor's house where the kid who lived there had the illness. Our dad, a physician, wanted to have us exposed and to deal with the disease under controlled conditions and when it is mild. This was circa 1970, prior to a chickenpox vaccination being available.

Many scientists expect SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — to behave similarly. COVID-recovered patients appear to be immune to all SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the delta variant. This broad immunity occurs because those who contract COVID-19 have exposure to the entire virus. This is in major contrast to the vaccine, which creates immunity to just the spike protein of the virus, thus limiting the immunity and making it much easier for the virus to break through the vaccine-induced immunity.


Low COVID incidence in Africa

According to the Associated Press, scientists are “mystified” by what’s happening in Zimbabwe as it relates to Wuflu.

A nation with a population of 14.8 million people and a vaccination rate of less than 6 percent recorded a total of 33 COVID deaths.

Now one of my friends who is a world-renown economist argued that Africa doesn’t keep good statistics, implying that most Third World countries aren’t as diligent as the U.S. for example.

However, the AP interviewed a number of people who were shopping in a township outside Harare, almost none of whom were wearing masks. So Zimbabweans don’t seem very afraid of the dreaded Wuflu or any of its cousins, ergo Delta, Lambda, or Mu.

The article references one man who declared that the virus was “gone”. He then asked the reporter, “when did you last hear of anyone who has died of COVID-19?”

In the spirit of the WHO and other Fraudcian ruses, the man that he carries a mask in his pocket because the police demand bribes from people without masks or they are threatened with arrest. Still he declared that he rarely puts it on.

When the coronavirus first emerged last year, health officials feared the pandemic would sweep across Africa, killing millions. Although it’s still unclear what COVID-19’s ultimate toll will be, that catastrophic scenario has yet to materialize in Zimbabwe or much of the continent.

Scientists emphasize that obtaining accurate COVID-19 data, particularly in African countries with patchy surveillance, is extremely difficult, and warn that declining coronavirus trends could easily be reversed.

But there is something “mysterious” going on in Africa that is puzzling scientists, said Wafaa El-Sadr, chair of global health at Columbia University. “Africa doesn’t have the vaccines and the resources to fight COVID-19 that they have in Europe and the U.S., but somehow they seem to be doing better,” she said.

Evaluating medical “experts” in the AP article, you get a general idea surrounding this revelation that Africa is practically Wuflu-death-free, except for South Africa. Get it?

The country with the most money has the most Wuflu. But the experts say that of all the African countries, South Africa is “civilized” and therefore reporting real stats. The other countries are not.

The second theory reminds me of Jimmy the Greek speaking of the “big buck slave”. Thus, some scientists wonder if African people are more hearty than their non-African counterparts. However, that theory flies in the face of American scientists pushing the notion that Blacks in America are more likely to die from Wuflu. Perhaps “African-Americans” are as hearty as their Motherland counterparts? I’d love to see that racial debate in academia.

Finally, there is a third theory that suggests Africans, and in this case Zimbabweans are not in the demographic for Wuflu to kill them.

According to AP, the average age of people in Zimbabwe (for example) is roughly 20 because life expectancies are much lower. Ergo, younger people are less likely to die from the disease. Research that for yourself, though I have trouble believing this.

Regardless of the excuse, there are some things missed. For example, Africans could have already contracted the disease and have the antibodies. This would have created herd immunity, something Fauci the Fraud and others in the U.S. and elsewhere avoid discussing.

In truth, Africa is what the entire world would look like if elitists and bureaucrats had not weaponized this scamdemic




19 November, 2021

Better than a vaccine? AstraZeneca's preventative antibody drug slashes risk of falling ill with Covid by 83% and protection remains high after six months

An antibody drug developed by AstraZeneca cuts the risk of falling ill with Covid by more than 80 per cent, according to trial data which suggests it could offer longer-lasting immunity than the drug giant's jab.

The cocktail, which is equally effective when given as a preventative or a treatment, offers hope to elderly and vulnerable people who respond less well to vaccines.

AstraZeneca today published results from a six-month study of its Evusheld therapy, delivered as two injections at the same time.

A single course offered 83 per cent protection against symptomatic Covid after six months in unvaccinated vulnerable people. This is much higher than current vaccines, which are given as two doses and wane significantly within months.

AstraZeneca's own jab falls to just 40 per cent protection against symptoms at six months, and Pfizer and Moderna's drop to around 60 per cent.

The phase III study of Evusheld tested the cocktail on people with medical problems or conditions which put them at risk of not responding to vaccines.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy, which reduces the effectiveness of the body's immune system, or taking immunosuppressive drugs following an organ transplant are among those who don't always get the full protection from jabs.

In a separate study, which gave the cocktail to people after they caught Covid, it was shown to reduce the risk of severe illness by 88 per cent. Experts hope it will protect against hospitalisations and deaths for up to 18 months.

Britain is believed to have a million doses of Evusheld on order. But it is unclear how much the therapy will cost.

The US has invested £350million in supporting the research and manufacturing of the drug and has secured 100,000 doses, with the option to purchase up to 1m.

Results from the latest trial, which involved 5,200 participants, showed those who received the antibody were 83 per cent less likely to develop Covid symptoms than people who got a placebo.

Three quarters of the trial participants had a health condition which put them at high risk for severe a Covid infection if they were to become infected.

There were no deaths or severe cases of the virus in the cohort which got Evusheld, compared to two deaths and five severe Covid cases in the placebo group.

All participants were unvaccinated. They will be followed for 15 months to explore how long protection might last.

AZD7442 is made from two long acting antibodies, tixagevimab and cilgavimab.

These antibodies have been developed from B-cells donated by patients who recovered from a Covid infection.

B-cells are a type of white blood cell forming part of the body's immune system and generate antibodies.

Antibodies are a type of protein found in blood which binds to and neutralises foreign substances like bacteria and viruses preventing them from harming healthy cells.

However, after an infection has passed, the level of antibodies in the body eventually decreases.

So in AZD7442, scientists modified the two antibodies to last longer than conventional ones.

This is what gives the treatment the long-lasting protection of up to 12 months according to Astrazeneca.

Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody therapy also called AZD7442, contains two types of lab-made antibodies, and is given to patients via an injection into the arm, similar to some vaccines.

It is made by extracting the proteins from patients who have recovered from the virus, and then manipulating them in a lab to make them last longer than natural antibodies.

They bind to the virus' spike protein — which it uses to invade cells — to stop an infection, or to prevent the virus from multiplying when it does infect.

Antibodies are created by the immune system in response to the virus, either through vaccination or natural infection, in order to help the body fight if off in the future.

The current vaccines train a person's body to recognise Covid, but the immune system still needs to produce its own antibodies. The latest therapy skips that process, making the antibodies readily available.

In some immunosupressed people, their immune systems are so weak that even after vaccination, their body struggles to mount a response. AstraZeneca said the drug is primarily meant to help these patients and other at-risk individuals.

But at some point a wider group could benefit, it said, such as military personnel on tours of duty or cruise ship passengers.

The company also released an analysis of a separate trial of Evusheld, showing the antibody treatment led to better outcomes for people who caught the virus.

A trial of 903 people, 90 per cent of which were classified as being at high risk due to them having underlying conditions, who caught Covid showed those who were given Evusheld three days after symptoms started had a 88 per cent reduced chance of developing severe Covid or dying from the virus compared to people who got a placebo.

Professor Hugh Montgomery, an intensive care specialist based at University College London and lead researcher on the trial, said: 'These compelling results give me confidence that this long-acting antibody combination can provide my vulnerable patients with the long-lasting protection they urgently need to finally return to their everyday lives.

'Importantly, six months of protection was maintained despite the surge of the Delta variant among these high-risk participants who may not respond adequately to vaccination.'

AstraZeneca estimates 2 per cent of the global population has a condition meaning they are at risk of not being fully protected by a Covid vaccine.

The company's executive vice president Mene Pangalos said: 'These new data add to the growing body of evidence supporting AZD7442’s potential to make a significant difference in the prevention and treatment of Covid.

'We are progressing regulatory filings around the world and look forward to providing an important new option against SARS-CoV-2 as quickly as possible.'

Professor Penny Ward, an expert in pharmaceutical medicine at Kings College London, welcomed the results of both trials but added they needed to stand up to independent analysis. 'Regrettably neither study has been published in full and thus our ability to assess these data is limited,' she said.

'AZD are encouraged to publish the complete trial data and detailed results as rapidly as possible to enable prescribers to understand how best to use the product in practice.'

Professor Ward said, if the results are confirmed, AZD7442 could potentially become a key part of protecting immunocompromised Britons from Covid. 'This antibody cocktail is, uniquely, capable of offering long lasting protection from COVID to patients that are immunosuppressed and may not have responded effectively to vaccination,' she said.

'If may yet come to be considered an important adjunctive treatment for cancer patients and others needing immune-suppressing therapy for other diseases.' 'Let us hope a good supply of this product has been secured for use in the UK.'

AstraZeneca has already asked the US for emergency use authorisation for AZD7442 as preventative treatment for Covid.

While the company has not confirmed if it was seeking similar approval to use it in the UK it has stated it is 'discussing' trial data with health authorities.

It is unknown how much a dose of AZD7442 will cost if the drug is approved for use, but AstraZeneca famously sacrificed billions in profits by only selling its Covid vaccine at-cost.

That decision was hailed by the World Health Organization which called the affordable jab a 'vaccine for the world'.

AstraZeneca became a household name in 2020 due to its work with Oxford University in developing one of the the four Covid vaccines currently approved for use in the UK.

By the end of September there have been about 50million Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs administered in the UK, comprising of both first and second doses of the vaccine.

A number of drugs aimed at helping people infected with Covid recover have been found to help patients since pandemic ripped across the world in 2020.

One of these is dexamethasone, a steroid, found to cut the risk of death in severely infected Covid patients by 35 per cent, a made by UK scientists.

Another is Ronapreve, which like AZD7442 has been developed from the antibodies of recovered Covid patients.

The drug, made by Regeneron, was found to slash the risk of death or hospitalisation in people with severe health conditions by 70 per cent.

Ronapreve was approved for use in the UK on August 20 but NHS medics have struggled to get supplies of the drug for their patients despite it being available in the US since November.


Booster shots needed for some travellers

One of Australia’s leading vaccine experts argues Covid-19 booster shots should not be mandatory - but some international travellers will need to get them.

Aussie travellers are being warned they may need Covid-19 booster jabs in order to get into a growing list of countries that includes Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Vietnam and Israel.

But while Covid-19 booster shots should be “strongly recommended” for Australians flying overseas, they should not be made mandatory here, according to one of the country’s leading vaccine experts.

University of Sydney Professor Robert Booy said mandating a third jab was “not palatable to the public, not practical, and not needed – you get substantial protection from two doses”.

There had “already been enough opposition to mandating the first two doses,” he said.

But Australians heading overseas should talk to their GPs, and a third jab was “strongly recommended,” particularly if they were going to areas with bad outbreaks such as Austria and Germany, Prof Booy said.

With studies showing most Covid-19 vaccines declining in efficacy over time, a growing cohort of countries is adopting expiry dates for their equivalent of our vaccine passports. This could mean if an Australian traveller’s second jab is outside the expiry period, they will need to get a third jab to enter the country.

For incoming tourists, Israel insists upon a jab within the preceding six months, while Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Vietnam have opted for 12 months.

From mid December, France will require those aged over 65 to have had a booster shot in order to get into public venues, while in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has specifically mentioned booster shots when discussing future international travel arrangements.

Asked on the Insiders program on Sunday about the Morrison government’s position on boosters for international travellers, Health Minister Greg Hunt said they were recommended but not compulsory.

“The advice at this stage of Professor Murphy’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group is that you’re regarded as fully vaccinated with two doses,” Mr Hunt said.

“Everything is always under review, but there’s no plan to change that requirement at this stage. But as we’ve done throughout, we’ll continue to follow the medical advice.”

Prof Booy said there was some suggestion it might be a better long-term strategy for fully vaccinated people to forego a booster shot and eventually get the virus. This would increase their “mucosal protection” – but studies on this were still ongoing. “We’ll have a lot more clarity on that in six months,” he said.

Booster shots have been offered to immunocompromised Australians since October 11, and all adults since November 8.

As of Wednesday, 298,841 Australians had received a third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.




18 November, 2021

Taiwan suspends second round of pfizer c?vid v?ccines for children due to heart problems

Despite cautionary voices from medical professionals, the Biden administration is doubling down on efforts to force v?ccinations on everyone. There is no discussion about natural immunity. There are few people talking about the potential side effects of the C?VID v?ccination either.

Recently, developments in Taiwan may cement parent’s concerns. Taiwanese officials have suspended the second round of the Pfizer C?VID v?ccinations. They removed their approval for a second dose until grave concerns about the health risks for teenagers is addressed.

Taiwan made its decision despite continued efforts in the United States’ to coerce children to “get the j?b”. The head of Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center officially suspended future shots for ages 12 to 17 amid grave concerns over the risk of myocarditis.

The Pfizer v?ccine is linked to 75 percent of the myocarditis cases. Despite alarming evidence that puts young teenagers at a 10 times higher risk of developing heart problems after the second dose, U.S. officials are still pushing v?ccinations.

Other nations, such as Hong Kong, have altered their v?ccine recommendations because of these serious health risks. However, the United States, where much of the data is being produced, has done nothing. The liberal Biden administration is recklessly focused on one thing.

They want to force every single American, including children, to get a C?VID shot regardless of the potential consequences. It’s about enforcing a government mandate, not the health and safety of the people. The evidence is obvious. C?VID is not about the science.

It never has been. The pandemic has produced a convenient way to enforce governmental control over every aspect of our lives. Now, senseless C?VID policy, not the virus itself, is creating another potential health crisis; this time for our children.


COVID Vaccines Are Shots In The Dark

We’re in a medical era of “just shut up and take it.” At its intellectually incurious root is not ignorance. It’s fear - sold in the most effective propaganda campaign since the nation’s push to buy war bonds during World War II.

Unlike the war bond campaign when Americans got to celebrate victory for their efforts, COVID has no end. Just more hysterics and new, moving metrics from masks to shots to booster shots and back to masks again. There will be no ticker tape parades celebrating the end of the war on COVID. Unlike World War II, Americans aren’t of a shared mind or goal. Hell, the goal isn’t known or understood or even achievable.

Most Americans initially got their COVID shots in good faith over the last year thinking they were doing their part to stop the spread and keep themselves well just as they did with vaccines for polio, mumps, rubella, etc. I’ve had those vaccines and so have my kids. But we didn’t all still get mumps, rubella, and polio afterward. That was kind of the deal when my kids were screaming their heads off as toddlers at the clinic. A one and done thing. Maybe a booster as teens or adults, but that’s it.

The COVID shot isn’t that.

Simply stopping to ask questions or deciding to wait leads to shaming from your relatives, your friends, and even some family doctors. A future Hall of Fame football star was treated worse than an accused witch from Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 simply because he didn’t want a shot. At least those women got a trial before their convictions by the unscientific, panicky lunatics of their era.

Those of us who’ve endured COVID, never had a shot and lived to tell the story still aren’t well known even though there’s millions of us. It might surprise you to learn the CDC has no meaningful study of the lasting effects of our natural immunity. Nor do they keep any studies related to spread among that same group.

Wouldn’t that be something we’d all like to know? Given the unbelievably high number of breakthrough cases in Europe and in states like Vermont where the overwhelming majority of folks have had the shot – wouldn’t we benefit from a study of a control group which has successfully battled it without medicine?

“The Ottawa Senators Have a 100% Vaccination Rate – and 40% of the Team Has Tested Positive for Covid” screamed a recent Wall Street Journal headline. “…even with blanket immunization, pandemic disruptions are far from over” they reported. Included in the story was a subtle suggestion we should all be nervous as we host our own indoor holiday parties no matter our vaccination status.

Huh? What are we doing? What sense does any of this make? When will the “shut up and get the shot” cult admit what we know is true. This isn’t working as sold. There are a great many therapeutics working very well and more coming online. In the overwhelming majority of cases, no one diagnosed with COVID needs to die or even see the inside of a hospital – shot or not. Virtually no child will be severely infected.


OSHA Suspends the Implementation and Enforcement of Biden's Vaccine Mandate

After a series of court rulings halting President Joe Biden's vaccination mandate for private companies, OSHA has officially suspended the implementation and enforcement of the requirement. The mandate was scheduled to go into effect January 4, 2022.

"On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) ("ETS"). The court ordered that OSHA 'take no steps to implement or enforce' the ETS 'until further court order,'" the OSHA website states. "While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation."

After a lawsuit was filed by a number of state Attorneys General, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay on November 6, 2021, and said the mandate has "grave statutory and constitutional issues."

The stay was then upheld.

The White House has maintained the mandate is constitutional. President Biden has told employers and companies to ignore the court ruling and proceed with implementation.

The White House on Monday said businesses should move forward with President Joe Biden’s vaccine and testing requirements for private businesses, despite a federal appeals court ordering a temporary halt to the rules.

“People should not wait,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during a briefing. “They should continue to move forward and make sure they’re getting their workplace vaccinated.”



Imagine that: DOJ whistleblower documents suggest Merrick Garland lied about the targeting of parents as domestic terrorists (The Federalist)

Pro-open-border spending bill drops key child tax credit requirement that could pay out billions to illegal immigrants (Fox News)

Swamp Doctor Anthony Fauci decries “misplaced perception” about individual rights superseding “societal safety” (RealClearPolitics)

Even the ACLU says FBI raid of Project Veritas founder O'Keefe’s home threat to “press freedom” (Just the News)

Surge in fentanyl seizures show cartels taking advantage of lax border policies (Free Beacon)

Adding insult to injury: Welcome packet reveals concierge travel service for illegals courtesy of nonprofits (Just the News)

Tone-deaf DHS chief Alejandro Mayorkas: “I give myself an A for effort” (Washington Times)

Not good enough: Biden administration to announce a diplomatic boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics (OutKick)

Sailors who choose not to be vaccinated will absurdly be discharged (Fox News)

Washington, DC, to relax masking. Is the end in sight? (National Review)

Janet Yellen: U.S. could default soon after December 15 (The Hill)

Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner rises twice as fast as wages (Daily Signal)

Good: School places professor on leave after interview defending “minor-attracted persons” (Fox News)

Washington, DC, murder rate hits 16-year high (National Review)

Only 32% plan to drive on Thanksgiving, citing fuel costs (Washington Times)

Pulpit panic: Half of Protestant clerics looking for exits (Washington Times)

House Freedom Caucus elects Scott Perry as new chairman (The Hill)

“What on earth is happening right now?” Video surfaces of Jen Psaki two years ago laughing at Joe Biden’s gaffes (Not the Bee)

Certification of controversial Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline suspended by Germany (AP)

Canada’s chief health officer says Christmas caroling is too dangerous and that people should open their windows during holiday gatherings (Not the Bee)

Policy: How the Federal Reserve keeps stoking inflation (The Federalist)

Policy: American companies must stop helping China become a military powerhouse (The Federalist)




17 November, 2021

How effective are Covid boosters? British findings

Since September all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable – 32million Britons in total – have been eligible for third doses. Yesterday this was extended to all those aged 40 to 49, an extra eight million, who can book their jabs from Monday. Individuals can only have their booster dose once six months has passed since their second.

How effective are boosters?

They are incredibly effective at topping up immunity, slashing the risk of infection by an extra 80 per cent compared with not having a booster. They are also likely to offer even greater protection against hospitalisation and death.

Yesterday the UK Health Security Agency published the first real-world data on protection offered by boosters, based on the cases of 271,000 over-50s. Two weeks after receiving a booster dose, protection against symptomatic infection increases to 94 per cent. This reverses the decline in protection six months after the second dose, when it drops to 44 per cent for the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab and 63 per cent for the Pfizer jab.

Since September all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable ¿ 32million Britons in total ¿ have been eligible for third doses (stock image) +2
Since September all over-50s and the clinically vulnerable – 32million Britons in total – have been eligible for third doses (stock image)

Will under-40s get boosters?

Given the remarkable success of boosters at slashing the risk of infection, it seems likely that other age groups will soon be offered boosters as well. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation are monitoring data to see if immunity is waning in under-40s, and will make a recommendation in due course.

Will I need my booster to travel abroad?

Boris Johnson said third doses will soon be added to the NHS Covid App and be essential to go abroad without the need to quarantine. However, this is unlikely to be implemented until next summer.

The Prime Minister yesterday warned 'storm clouds' of infection are gathering over Europe, forcing nations back into restrictions, with the concern Britain could be next. Officials are also worried about record pressures on the NHS, with the ambulance service in particular in crisis. Ministers believe boosters are vital to prevent a hospitalisations surge that could topple the NHS this winter.

How many people have had boosters?

The programme got off to a slow start but is now accelerating, with record numbers delivered last week. So far 12.8million people in the UK have had boosters out of around 20million who are eligible. About two thirds of eligible over-50s have had their booster, rising to three quarters of eligible over-75s. But this means millions remain vulnerable as their immunity wanes.


Vaccinated people are still in danger

I've been following practically every development on this god-forsaken thing for nearly two years now. Two freaking years! And there is nothing more obvious to me than the fact that the government's touted savior, aka the v?ccine, is not doing what it's supposed to.

That's not just my opinion either, this was even recently admitted by Dr. Anthony Fauci himself.

Yahoo reported:

On Nov. 12, White House C?VID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, went on The New York Times’ podcast The Daily to discuss the current state of the coronavirus in the U.S. According to Fauci, officials are now starting to see some waning immunity against both infection and hospitalization several months after initial vaccination. The infectious disease expert pointed toward incoming data from Israel, which he noted tends to be about a month to a month and a half ahead of us in terms of the outbreak.

“They are seeing a waning of immunity not only against infection but against hospitalization and to some extent death, which is starting to now involve all age groups. It isn’t just the elderly,” Fauci said. “It’s waning to the point that you’re seeing more and more people getting breakthrough infections, and more and more of those people who are getting breakthrough infections are winding up in the hospital.”

As a result of these findings, Fauci warned that vaccinated people should get their booster shot, as it might actually be more important than health officials first realized. “If one looks back at this, one can say, do you know, it isn’t as if a booster is a bonus, but a booster might actually be an essential part of the primary regimen that people should have,” he said on The Daily.

Fauci went on to say, “I think … that the boosting is gonna be an absolutely essential component of our response, not a bonus, not a luxury, but an absolute essential part of the program.”


Little Evidence Supports Use of Cloth Masks to Limit Spread of Coronavirus: Analysis

Cloth masks are of little use against COVID-19, according to a recently published analysis.

While federal health authorities and a slew of jurisdictions require or recommend wearing masks as a way to limit the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, a trio of researchers pored over the studies often cited by the officials and found they were poorly designed and offered scant evidence in support of mask usage.

Many of the studies are observational, opening them up to confounding variables, the researchers said in their analysis (pdf), which was published on Nov. 8 by the Cato Institute.

Of 16 randomized controlled trials comparing mask effectiveness to controls with no masks, 14 failed to find a statistically significant benefit, the researchers said. And of 16 quantitative meta-analyses, half showed weak evidence of mask effectiveness, while the others “were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks,” they said.

“The biggest takeaway is that more than 100 years of attempts to prove that masks are beneficial has produced a large volume of mostly low-quality evidence that has generally failed to demonstrate their value in most settings,” Dr. Jonathan Darrow, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and one of the researchers, told The Epoch Times in an email.

“Officials mulling mask recommendations should turn their attention to interventions with larger and more certain benefits, such as vaccines. Based on the evidence currently available, masks are mostly a distraction from the important work of promoting public health.”

One study (pdf) that’s widely cited by mask proponents, of rural villages in Bangladesh, found that surgical masks appeared to be marginally effective in reducing symptomatic COVID-19 but that cloth masks weren’t, Darrow and his colleagues noted. The other real-world randomized controlled trial examining mask effectiveness, conducted in Denmark, didn’t find a statistically significant difference in infections between the masked and unmasked groups.

“The remainder of the available clinical evidence is primarily limited to non-randomized observational data, which are subject to confounding,” the researchers said, including accounting for other differences in behavior among those who don’t wear masks.

They did note evidence that masks reduce droplet dispersion, although cloth masks are unlikely to capture the particles even if worn properly.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers can’t wait for higher-quality evidence to support masking, but from an ethical standpoint, they should “refrain from portraying the evidence as stronger than it actually is,” the researchers concluded.

Some outside experts’ views align with the researchers, including Dr. Martin Kulldorff, senior scientific director of the Brownstone Institute.

“The truth is that there has been only two randomized trials of masks for COVID. One was in Denmark, which showed that they might be slightly beneficial, they might be slightly harmful, we don’t really know—the confidence interval kind of crossed zero,” he said. “And then there was another study from Bangladesh where they randomized villagers to masks or no masks. And the efficacy of the masks for reduction of COVID was something between zero and 18 percent.

“So either no effect or very minuscule effect.”

Some experts, though, say the existing evidence does support masking recommendations, and several reacted strongly to the new analysis.

The analysis drew some pushback, including from Kimberly Prather, director of the National Science Foundation Center for Aerosol Impacts on Chemistry of the Environment. Prather noted on Twitter that researchers say masks reduce the amount of virus in the air and believes that runs counter to their conclusions.

Darrow responded by saying the amount of virus in the air was a surrogate, not a clinical endpoint.

“The amount of pathogen in air (to be inhaled) directly determines the dose. This is directly linked to risk,” Prather said. “Or can you explain how less virus in the air could be higher risk? It’s equivalent to saying that less pathogen in drinking water is higher risk so don’t filter water.”

“If the theory diverges from what you see in real life, which one do you believe?” Darrow said.




16 November, 2021

CDC makes surprising admission about unvaccinated spreading Covid after recovering from virus

The Center for Disease Control is the United States’ go-to source for critical advice.

However, these trusted medical professionals have wavered and wobbled on policy mandates so often, no one trusts them anymore. It’s with good reason. One key question about this pandemic centers around the immunity gained by those who have recovered from COVID.

No one at the CDC, or within the liberal news media, will discuss it. Anyone wanting to gauge their need for a COVID vaccination, based on any degree of natural protection, must dig for data.

As breakthrough cases of COVID infiltrate the vaccinated population, another question has arisen. The CDC says that vaccinated and unvaccinated people should keep wearing masks. Their reasoning is that despite being protected from severe medical consequences, vaccinated people can still infect others.

But why is no one willing to openly talk about those who have gained natural COVID immunity? Is it possible for someone with natural COVID immunity to contract and then spread the virus? A New York attorney is pushing this same question.

In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filled in September, this attorney asked for specific documents. He wanted to know if any unvaccinated individual, who had acquired COVID immunity from having it, had transmitted SARS CoV-2 to another person when reinfected.

The response that the attorney received from the CDC might surprise you. The CDC said, “A search of our records failed to reveal any documents pertaining to your request. The CDC Emergency Operation Center (EOC) conveyed that this information is not collected.”

The next logical question would seem to be, “why not”? Why is the leading agency for infectious diseases not keeping infection data across all spectra of the pandemic? Or is it just that the CDC doesn’t warrant any aspect of natural immunity to be of value.

But the CDC consistently doubles down on how it’s only acquired via population v?ccination percentages. No one will talk openly about the wealth of studies which have shown natural immunity to multiple times more effective than the v?ccination.

If people begin to realize that if they’re healthy, they can get COVID and recover. People will begin to live their lives without a fear of reprisal for being one of the “unvaccinated”. When people understand they may not need a vaccination, that’s like thumbing their nose at Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates.


Are rare vaccine reactions being brushed off by doctors?

A disturbing report from Australia

Dan Petrovic describes himself as an avid “pro-vaxxer” who has long advocated vaccines to his more hesitant friends – so it was a “comedy twist” when he was the one who suffered a rare side effect.

The marketing executive, 42, spent six weeks after his second Pfizer shot with constant chest pains, which his GP ultimately said was likely a mild case of pericarditis, or inflammation of the lining around the heart.

On September 18, four days after his jab, Mr Petrovic began to feel unwell while watching TV. “I can’t lean to the left side, I feel a bit short of breath,” he said. “It’s just like constant pain and palpitations. It doesn’t go away. Imagine enduring six weeks of that.”

Mr Petrovic, the managing director of search engine marketing firm Dejan, said he was bemused that for “six weeks of pain, they classify it as subtle and mild”. “This wasn’t a little bit of pain, this hits really hard and it was lingering for a long time,” he said.

“It’s a debilitating condition – can’t work, can’t walk, can’t walk up and down the stairs, can’t play with my daughter.”

After weeks of “ping pong” between appointments and $3000 in medical costs, he has now largely recovered with only a “little bit of pain” once a week.

While he still doesn’t regret taking the vaccine, Mr Petrovic says one thing concerns him. Neither his cardiologist nor his GP would submit an adverse event report to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

After his experience, he fears that the TGA, which monitors adverse vaccine reactions, may not be getting the full picture. “I asked my doctor, ‘Are you going to submit this to the TGA as suspected pericarditis?’” Mr Petrovic said. “He said, ‘You can go online to do it. I’m too busy.’”

Similarly, his cardiologist, having ruled out more serious myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart itself, would not submit a report as he didn’t “see any damage” on his scans.

“Shouldn’t this be mandatory for medical practitioners?” Mr Petrovic said. “There’s a big difference between a doctor report and a patient self-report. I cannot make a medical diagnosis, I’m not a practitioner.”

He did submit his own, which now appears in the Database of Adverse Event Notifications – the TGA’s anonymised list of raw, unconfirmed reports – but it’s unclear whether his case is included in the regulator’s overall numbers of pericarditis.

“My problem is that I have absolutely zero visibility into how my submission of an adverse effect has been treated, collected, processed and classified,” he said.

In its weekly safety report, the TGA lists cases assessed as “likely” myocarditis, as well as a larger number that are “suspected”.

Among likely cases, those classified as “level one” are “confirmed to be myocarditis based on strong clinical evidence including the patient’s symptoms, and results of tests and imaging”.

Mr Petrovic stresses he is still a strong supporter of vaccination against Covid-19. “The pamphlet was saying [the risk of rare heart inflammation] is one in 100,000 – even if it was one in 10,000 I would have gone ahead and done it anyway,” he said. “I was willing to accept the risk to protect the community.”

But he is concerned – from a data perspective – about what appears to be a lack of rigorous protocols for medical practitioners to report adverse events.

“I believe every doctor, every medical professional, when a patient complains of a complication after a vaccine, they should make a report,” he said.

Even if the doctor is not 100 per cent convinced the reaction is connected to the vaccine, he argues, the TGA should still be receiving this “dirty data”.

“I don’t appreciate working with bad data,” he said. “Bad data means bad science. To me that’s not OK. In my profession I work with data – if I have bad data I make bad decisions for clients, and that’s just marketing. In health there is an even bigger responsibility.”

Mr Petrovic worries that people being brushed off by health practitioners only fuels mistrust and conspiracy theories. “The public cannot lose trust and confidence in science and the scientific method,” he said.


Biden Vax Mandate Thwarted Again

The American people have been very clear in recent months in regard to their feelings about the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. You see, this is a nation of bodily autonomy, and there is no love for the idea that the federal government could or should mandate what we put into our bodies.

This is why the White House’s vaccine mandate has been such an irreparably opposed issue, not only from a public standpoint, but from a legal one as well.

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has halted the Biden administration’s vaccine or testing requirement for private businesses, delivering another political setback to one of the White House’s signature public health policies.

Their ruling appeared to be fairly common sense.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, helmed by one judge who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and two others who were appointed by President Donald Trump, issued the ruling Friday, after temporarily halting the mandate last weekend in response to lawsuits filed by Republican-aligned businesses and legal groups.

Calling the requirement a “mandate,” the court said the rule, instituted through the Labor Department, “grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority,” according to the opinion, written by Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt and joined by Judges Edith H. Jones and Stuart Kyle Duncan.

“Rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly ‘grave danger’ the Mandate purports to address,” they wrote.

This certainly isn’t the first time that the Biden vaccine mandate has been under litigious criticism, and there is little doubt that it also won’t be the last.




15 November, 2021

Getting Through the Next Six Months of COVID

By Thomas T. Siler, Jr., MD

As we finish 18 months of COVID-19 pandemic, what will we see in the next six months? There will be a massive push to get everyone vaccinated with more battles and punishments for noncompliance. Government, public health authorities, the media, and big pharma will lead the charge. Experimental vaccination will be pushed because those in power can feel their narrative of fear slipping away and they don't have much time left to push the vaccines.

People are beginning to realize that COVID-19 is not extremely dangerous to the healthy below age 70. Cases and deaths are going down in spite of attempts to inflate cases with faulty tests and inflate deaths with a faulty definition of who dies from COVID-19. More people are understanding that Dr. Fauci was involved with the creation of the virus in Wuhan and is not telling the truth.

Many states are doing better with no lockdowns, masking, or vaccine mandates. The understanding is growing that the experimental vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission of the now prevalent Delta variant.

Breakthrough infections and possible vaccine injury are now showing that even the fully vaccinated can be hospitalized and die. Sweden, England, and Israel report that the vaccinated have more serious illness and death. The vaccinated who thought getting their two shots would be the end of it, are realizing they will be fired from their job if they don't take booster #3, #4, #5, etc.

People are beginning to realize that mRNA vaccine safety is not as good as they were told. If children are vaccinated (not a good idea) it is likely there will be more vaccine injuries than any prevention of illness and death from COVID-19. Information is coming out about safe ways to treat COVID-19 early and thus avoid hospitalization with Ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies.

Our country needs a change in strategy to get through the next six months regarding COVID-19 measures. It is obvious now that more vaccination will not end COVID-19 and is not necessary to get us to herd immunity. More vaccination into the pandemic will lead to more variants and endless boosters that have not worked well and have side effects.

The shift that needs to be made is away from universal vaccination as the only answer and toward early treatment. COVID-19 will become endemic (sporadic cases without massive spikes) and both the unvaccinated and vaccinated need to be ready to treat those cases. Unfortunately, our public health authorities, the mainstream media, the medical community, and the pharmaceutical companies are not going to lead this change. We, the people, must lead this change.

So how to survive the winter of 2021-22? Remember, I am a doctor, but I am not your doctor. All these recommendations must be taken to your doctor for actual treatment. Do not treat yourself at home based only on what I say!

If you have already had a COVID-19 infection you do not have to worry. Studies from Israel show it is very unlikely you could catch COVID-19 again.

I would not get the vaccine as there are some observational studies that say you might be at more risk for side effects from the vaccine and you are protected from COVID-19 anyway -- your natural immunity is the best defense.

If you are not vaccinated for whatever reason, you can be ready to treat yourself at home especially if you are at high risk.

If you are fully vaccinated (whatever that means now), please don't be complacent and believe you are protected completely. Look at the studies cited above and be ready to treat yourself at home. Please investigate the side effects that are being seen with the vaccines currently, before you take more boosters.

Those who choose to treat at home must get their medicine before they get sick. There can be long waits now for oral medications that, unfortunately, are not readily available in the United States.

Consider these protocols from Frontline Critical Care Alliance :

1) Have a conversation with your primary care doctor about treatment of COVID-19. If you were ill with COVID-19, would he/she treat you with Ivermectin?

There are over 60 studies on the website showing that Ivermectin works and is the favored early treatment right now. If they would not, then I would find a way to get this medication in your house before you get ill. America's Frontline doctors and Dr. Stella Emmanuel can help you with a phone visit and mail order pharmacy.

Frontline Critical Care Alliance has a list of doctors in your area that prescribe Ivermectin. Vladamir Zelenko has treatment and prevention protocols on his website. Ivermectin is available over the counter in many countries. If you know someone traveling or living overseas, they may be able to get it for you.

Again, take this only under a doctor's care and supervision. If you decide not to take this oral treatment early, then call your doctor when you get ill with COVID-19 and get monoclonal antibody IV for treatment. This outpatient IV treatment can reduce your symptoms and chances of being in the hospital with very few side effects. Treatment is not with Ivermectin alone but can include:

2) Make sure your Vitamin D level is good before you get ill. Several studies show Vitamin D can help your immune system fight off COVID-19.

Your doctor can check this level with a blood test. Vitamin D 5,000 units a day for a week if you get ill.

3) Vitamin C 1,000-2,000 mg daily for a week when ill

4) Aspirin 325 mg a day provided no other contraindications (talk with your doctor) when ill

5) Melatonin 10 mg at bedtime (may make you drowsy) for a week when ill

6) Zinc 100 mg a day for a week when ill

7) Anti-viral mouthwash from provodine-iodine or others

8) Quercetin 250 mg a.m. and p.m. (may interact with Ivermectin check with your doctor). Full protocols on

Other second and third-line medications can be used under a doctor’s care.

Take charge of your medical care and don't walk in fear of COVID-19!

Despite what you have heard from the "experts," COVID-19 is treatable early in the disease course.


New cases surge in most vaccinated state in the country

There are a handful of states that have very high vaccination rates in our country and at the top of the list is the state of Vermont. With that being the case, I have a question.

Knowing this fact, how does one explain the massive surge in new cases in the state of Vermont? And when I say a surge, I'm talking about new highs, even higher than last summer or winter.

In Vermont, nearly 72% of residents are fully v?ccinated against COVID-19 — more than any other state, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. At the same time, it has the 12th-highest rate of new C?VID-19 cases over the last week, state data released Tuesday shows.

Vermont has seen a “significant” increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week, Mike Pieciak, commissioner of the state’s Department of Financial Regulation, said during a press briefing Tuesday.

The seven-day average for COVID-19 cases rose 42% as of Tuesday, according to state data. Vermont does more testing than nearly any other state, though testing only increased 9% during the same period. The statewide positivity rate also increased 30%, with the seven-day average positivity rate just under 4%. The number of new cases increased by nearly 700 in the past week, state officials said Tuesday.


Missouri Governor Considering Unemployment for People Fired for Refusing COVID-19 Vaccines

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said his administration is considering providing unemployment benefits for individuals who are fired over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

“You see what Iowa just did,” Parson told news outlet The Center Square on Thursday. “I think we want to make sure civil rights or civil liberties are being exercised. If somebody has [a] religious conviction, we want to make sure that’s upheld … whatever that takes. And if it’s for health reasons, we want to include that, too.”

The Republican governor was referring to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Oct. 29 having signed a bill that guarantees state workers who are trying to obtain a medical or religious exemption to the vaccine the ability to get unemployment benefits if they’re fired for refusing the vaccine.

Parson stopped short of guaranteeing unemployment benefits for those who lost their jobs only because they declined vaccinations.

“If those people are going to lose their jobs, which I don’t think they should … but evidently there’s a little bit of a problem as to what everybody’s view is on those civil rights issues,” Parson said. “So we want to be prepared for that if they go down that road.”

Parson, whose administration has filed several lawsuits against federal vaccine mandates, said he believes it’s unfair that workers who made critical impacts during the early stages of the pandemic lose their jobs now due to their vaccination status.

“People have been out there for 18 months on the front lines and all of a sudden you’re going to say they’re not worthy do their jobs anymore is problematic,” the governor said. “I don’t care where they work or who they are because, during the heat of the battle, we won with them.”

The New Orleans-based Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, rule targeting private businesses with 100 or more people. That rule, which was unveiled last week and goes into effect on Jan. 4, stipulates that workers at such firms either get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing and mask-wearing.

Dozens of states, so far, have filed legal challenges against the OSHA rule, which also would levy harsh penalties of thousands of dollars for each violation.

“While I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary, too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good. So I instituted requirements … and they are working,” President Joe Biden said in a statement explaining the mandate.

The Biden administration also handed down a mandate for companies with contracts with the federal government and healthcare facilities that receive any Medicare or Medicaid funding. Unlike the mandate for private businesses, those requirements do not have a weekly testing option.




14 November, 2021


I have just put up on my Food & Health blog a report that stymies the food freaks

Sweden again charts novel COVID path with no-test stance for the vaccinated

Sweden has seen a sharp decline in COVID-19 testing this month, just as much of Europe contends with surging infection rates, after its health agency said vaccinated Swedes no longer need get tested even if they have symptoms of the disease.

The stance by the health agency has rekindled criticism the country has once again broken ranks with its neighbours and has led to some of Sweden's regions no longer providing free testing for all.

COVID-19 testing fell by 35% last week compared to a month earlier. That places Sweden in the bottom of the European Union along with countries like Germany, Spain, Poland and Finland, according to Our World in Data.

The health agency argues the resources for testing could be better used elsewhere and that there is no need to test those who are fully vaccinated as they have a low risk of getting sick and are less likely to spread the disease.

However, the timing of the decision, just as Europe is heading in to the winter season, has baffled some scientists. One recent newspaper column said, "Sweden is once again in the dark" about the spread and ability to break disease chains.

"The number of cases is low in Sweden, but considering how the outside world looks like with lots of cases in Europe, I think you should have waited with this decision," said Anders Sonnerborg, professor in clinical virology and infectious diseases at Karolinska Institutet.

"I have a hard time seeing that waiting a few months would be a major intervention in people's lives," he said.

Health Agency official Sara Byfors on Thursday defended the decision saying testing would still be at high enough level to catch trends and that testing had never caught all cases.

"If we see that the spread of infection increases and that it becomes a problem then we are prepared to reverse our decision," she told a news conference.

The number of hospitalizations and patients treated at intensive care units have started to creep up in recent weeks but are still the lowest in the European Union per capita, according to Our World in Data.

Sweden's handling of the pandemic has stood out, shunning lockdowns throughout the health crisis and instead relying on voluntary measures based on social distancing and good hygiene.

The country's number of deaths per capita since the start of the pandemic is several times higher than those among Nordic neighbours but also lower than in most European countries that opted for strict lockdowns.


Thousands of people died needlessly from COVID-19 because Fauci and Birx stuck to 'irrational' lockdown policies rather than protecting the most vulnerable, medical specialist says in new book

Strict lockdowns pushed by White House advisers Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx failed to stop the vulnerable dying from COVID-19, while families suffered and children lost out on their education, according to a forthcoming book by Trump adviser Dr. Scott Atlas.

And the former Stanford radiologist offers an unsparing account of dysfunction and political paralysis that allowed Trump's two most high-profile scientific advisers to publicly contradict the president and hijack the response.

'A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America,' is published on November 23 by Bombardier.

'People were dying from the virus, and the lockdown policies were not preventing the deaths,' he writes in a copy obtained by

'The simple logic of assuming you could stop the spread of, and some said eliminate, a highly contagious virus by shutting down society after millions had been infected was worse than nonsensical.

'The idea of stopping all businesses and closing schools while quarantining healthy young people at little risk from a disease in order to protect those aged seventy and over - that is simply irrational.'

His account will reignite some of the most contentious debates of the past year over how to handle COVID-19, and attract fresh accusations that he is peddling misinformation.

Although the U.S. has made progress with vaccinations, the death toll is still ticking up and currently stands at more than three quarters of a million people.

Atlas was a divisive and controversial figure as soon as he was brought into the White House in August last year, apparently as a bulwark to the influence of Fauci and Birx.

Critics said he was appointed more for his appearances on Fox News than any infectious disease expertise he would have picked up as a radiologist.

He had already published essays arguing that lockdowns were harming public health through their impacts on missed medical appointments, the harm of school closures, mental health effects and other negative outcomes.

And his book describes how he repeatedly clashed with Birx and Fauci - the public face of the White House response. Not only were their lockdowns harming the economy, he says, but they failed to protect America's most vulnerable people.

'By the time I arrived, lockdowns had already been implemented throughout the country for months—including strict business restrictions and school closures as well as quarantines of healthy, asymptomatic people,' he writes.

'Those lockdowns were continually pushed, successfully, by Drs. Fauci and Birx to nearly all governors and throughout the media. 'Those policies - the Birx-Fauci lockdowns - were widely implemented, and they were destroying America’s children and families.

'Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of deaths kept piling up, including tens of thousands of elderly Americans - their policies were in place and were failing.'

Throughout, he portrays his role as critical thinker, asking awkward questions of the conventional wisdom while his opponents sought to block the president's wishes.

Why, he asks, were scientists developing and promoting White House policy when their role should have been to offer advice and expertise to the nation's elected leaders.

Instead, Atlas says he pushed for reopening coupled with shielding of those at risk.

Testing and isolating healthy people, he said, was a waste of time and resources, and compounded a culture of fear.

Leaks quickly suggested he was pushing for a policy of 'herd immunity,' essentially by letting the virus spread until the level of natural immunity meant the coronavirus had nowhere left to go.

He denies that is what he was proposing, instead describing how he once described the principle of 'herd immunity' in a meeting. 'Not once did I advocate allowing infections to spread - not in that meeting nor in any other meeting, and never to the president,' he says.

Throughout, he expresses frustration that the White House coronavirus task force was dominated by the views of Fauci and Birx - even as they advocated policies that contradicted Trump's stated desire to reopen schools and businesses.

Trump's inner circle, he writes, seemed reluctant to rock the boat and reduce the power of two advisers that were popular with the public ahead of the election.

'They had let Birx and Fauci tell governors to prolong the lockdowns and school closures and continue the severe restrictions on businesses - strategies that failed to stop the elderly from dying, failed to stop the cases, and destroyed families and sacrificed children,' he writes.

'The closest advisers to the president, including the VP, seemed more concerned with politics, even though the task force was putting out the wrong advice, contrary to the president’s desire to reopen schools and businesses.'

The result, he says, was dangerous and confusing mixed messaging from the White House.

Atlas resigned in November, shortly before his term was due to end.

Since then Fauci has been a target of Republicans, who accuse him of flip-flopping in his recommendations and of misleading the public over 'gain-of-function' research that they say may have triggered the pandemic.

Both have been unstinting in their criticism of Atlas.

In recent closed-door testimony to the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Birx accused Atlas of using incomplete information to draw dangerous conclusions.

'I was constantly raising the alert in the doctors’ meetings of the depth of my concern about Dr. Atlas’ position, Dr. Atlas’ access, Dr. Atlas’ theories and hypothesis, and the depths and breadths of my concern,' she said.

She also confirmed that she refused to attend meetings where he would be present.

'I felt like by my presence and my discussions with him, by even legitimizing my responses to him, that I was giving his theories credibility,' she said


Nederland announces partial lockdown as cases surge past 16,000 a day

As of Saturday night, the Netherlands, following an announcement from Prime Minister Mark Rutte, will be plunged into a three-week partial lockdown.

Mr Rutte described it as “a very unpleasant message with very unpleasant and far-reaching decisions” but that it was necessary to “deliver a hard blow to the virus”.

The new restrictions are not a hard lockdown; shops and restaurants will stay open but must adhere to curfews as well as social distancing and vaccine certificates while four guests are still allowed in the home. Cinemas and theatres will remain fully open.

The country of nearly 18 million is at nearly 85 per cent fully-vaccinated among its adult population.

However, the Netherlands ditched most restrictions on September 15 when it had only achieved a 77 per cent vaccination rate among eligible adults. It dumped social distancing and functioned as normal, albeit with vaccine certificates required for entry into most places.

The Saturday announcement makes it the first Western European country to descend back into lockdown for the winter.

Other European countries are following similar trajectories, however, with Denmark and Austria also having to reintroduce restrictions to some parts of society.




12 November, 2021

Dying of COVID or with it? Pathologists take on conspiracy theorists

This is all very well but relies on all involved medical personnel as acting with complete propriety. Where an autopsy or a CT scan has been conducted there can be no doubt of the diagnosis.

But how often are autopsy or CT scan results available? In a busy emergency ward such procedures can easily be omitted. The cases of people dying in accidents who are said to be covid victims cast a particularly troublesome light upon the rigor of covid diagnoses. Are such diagnoses invariably accompanied by an autopsy or scan? It seems unlikely.

The authors below are talking about best practice but the issue is how often best practice is followed. There are good reasons to believe that it often is not

Conspiracy theorists claim doctors are inflating the pandemic’s death toll by putting COVID-19 on the death certificate of everyone who died with the virus. But – the theory goes – they didn’t die from COVID, they died with COVID.

But the head of pathology at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine has autopsied dozens of patients with COVID-19.

And on her table, she says, the signs of the virus are clear. “Absolutely, it is very obvious. The post-mortem CT [scan] changes are striking. The appearances of their lungs in the autopsy rooms are striking.”

The claim that COVID-19 death counts are over-inflated has been a regular go-to for conspiracy theorists and lockdown opponents throughout the pandemic.

A diverse group has promoted the idea, including former US president Donald Trump.

The claims are standard boiler-plate for conspiracy theorists, who often rally around the belief that powerful people in society are trying to deceive the public for their own benefit, says Mathew Marques, who lectures in social psychology at La Trobe University.

“Rarely is there a new conspiracy theory that is surprising, when they all follow the same structure or pattern – lay beliefs about a secretive group of often powerful actors engaging in a malevolent plot against a society,” he says.

In hospitals, it is easy to work out if a person has died from COVID-19 – they wouldn’t be in an ICU ward on a ventilator otherwise. The Institute of Forensic Medicine handles harder cases: people who died suddenly in the community while they had COVID-19.

In many cases, like car accidents, the cause of death is obvious. In others, it requires a lot more work. The team runs a computerised tomography (CT) scan, and then if needed conducts an autopsy.

The most obvious signs a person has died from COVID-19 – not with it – are seen in the lungs, says forensic radiologist Dr Chris O’Donnell.

On a CT scan, the lungs are typically a dark black void – the scanner’s representation of space filled with oxygen.

In people who die of COVID-19, “that air is completely replaced by inflammatory tissue that fills up the air sacs and stops the exchange of oxygen,” says Dr O’Donnell.

“They struggle to breathe and even when they do get a breath in, none of the air they breathe can get into their blood because their lungs are blocked full of this inflammatory tissue. They die of lack of oxygen.”

In the disease’s early stages, the CT scan shows the lungs clouding over with inflammatory tissue. Radiologists refer to this as “ground glass”.

In late-stage disease, the virus has completely filled the lungs with inflammatory tissue. “We call that a white-out, when there’s no air in the lung,” Dr O’Donnell says.

These cases are clear-cut and are added to the pandemic’s official death toll. But when it is clear after autopsy that COVID-19 did not contribute to death, they are not added, Dr O’Donnell says.

“That’s our role: to look into these cases more thoroughly. We’re working to find the real truth, whether people have died of COVID or whether it’s something else.”


Duke, UNC scientists identify new antibody for COVID-19 and variants

Only in mice so far but very hopeful

A research collaboration between scientists at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified and tested an antibody that limits the severity of infections from a variety of coronaviruses, including those that cause COVID-19 as well as the original SARS illness.

The antibody was identified by a team at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute (DHVI) and tested in animal models at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Researchers published their findings Nov. 2 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

“This antibody has the potential to be a therapeutic for the current epidemic,” said co-senior author Barton Haynes, M.D., director of DHVI. “It could also be available for future outbreaks, if or when other coronaviruses jump from their natural animal hosts to humans.”

Haynes and colleagues at DHVI isolated the antibody by analyzing the blood from a patient who had been infected with the original SARS-CoV-1 virus, which caused the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, and from a current COVID-19 patient.

They identified more than 1,700 antibodies, which the immune system produces to bind at specific sites on specific viruses to block the pathogen from infecting cells. When viruses mutate, many binding cites are altered or eliminated, leaving antibodies ineffectual. But there are often sites on the virus that remain unchanged despite mutations. The researchers focused on antibodies that target these sites because of their potential to be highly effective across different lineages of a virus.

Of the 1,700 antibodies from the two individuals, the Duke researchers found 50 antibodies that had the ability to bind to both the SARS-CoV-1 virus as well as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.

Further analysis found that one of those cross-binding antibodies was especially potent – able to bind to a multitude of animal coronaviruses in addition to the two human-infecting pathogens.

“This antibody binds to the coronavirus at a location that is conserved across numerous mutations and variations,” Haynes said. “As a result, it can neutralize a wide range of coronaviruses.”

With the antibody isolated, the DHVI team turned to researchers at UNC who have expertise in animal coronaviruses. The UNC team, led by co-senior author Ralph S. Baric, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology and microbiology and immunology at UNC-Chapel Hill, tested it in mice to determine whether it could effectively block infections, or minimize the infections that occurred.

They found that it did both. When given before the animals were infected, the antibody protected mice against developing SARS, COVID-19 and its variants such as Delta, and many animal coronaviruses that have the potential to cause human pandemics.

“The findings provide a template for the rational design of universal vaccine strategies that are variant-proof and provide broad protection from known and emerging coronaviruses,” Baric said.

When given after infections, the antibody reduced severe lung symptoms compared to animals that were not treated with the antibody.

“The therapeutic activity even after mice were infected suggests that this could be a treatment deployed in the current pandemic, but also stockpiled to prevent the spread of a future outbreak or epidemic with a SARS-related virus,” said David Martinez, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“This antibody could be harnessed to prevent maybe SARS-CoV-3 or SARS-CoV-4,” Martinez said.

Journal article:


AstraZeneca’s new Covid treatment: what is it and how does it work?

Australia’s drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), has granted “provisional determination” to pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for a long-acting antibody cocktail which has shown promise in preventing Covid-19 in adults.

Provisional determination is an early step in the drugs approval process and means AstraZeneca can now submit further data to the TGA from human trials about how the treatment works and its safety. Once the TGA has scrutinised the data, and if it is satisfied with it, it may grant Evusheld “provisional approval” for use in Australia in limited circumstances. Further data must be collected and given to the TGA even if this occurs.

This treatment consists of two laboratory-made antibodies, tixagevimab and cilgavimab. These antibodies bind to the spike protein of the virus, stopping the virus from entering the body’s cells and causing an infection.

Because each of the antibodies attach to different parts of the protein, using them in combination may be more effective than using either alone. It is also hoped this will offer good protection against variants, since the virus would have to mutate in multiple ways to escape both antibodies’ actions.

Evusheld is being considered for use as a Covid-19 preventive in Australians aged 18 years and older. In August, AstraZeneca released the results of a trial of the treatment involving 5,197 participants from the US, UK, Spain, France and Belgium who did not have Covid-19. Seventy-five per cent of participants had comorbidities, including medical conditions that often mean vaccination is weak or ineffective. Two-thirds of participants received Evusheld, and the rest were given a placebo.

The trial found Evusheld reduced the risk of developing symptomatic Covid-19 by 77% compared to the placebo. There were no cases of severe Covid-19 or related deaths in those given Evusheld. In the placebo group, there were three cases of severe Covid-19, which included two deaths.

The results now need to be replicated more widely in further trials, which is why regulators such as the TGA require AstraZeneca to submit ongoing data.

Is it a vaccine?

No. A vaccine trains the body’s immune system to respond to the virus if a person becomes infected in the future. Evusheld provides antibodies directly to the body via two intra-muscular injections administered consecutively. It immediately targets and neutralises the virus, preventing the virus from entering cells and causing an infection in the first place.

If approved, Evusheld will be the first long-acting antibody available for Covid-19 prevention in vulnerable populations who are unable to mount an adequate immune response to the virus from vaccination alone, for example people with cancer, and some elderly people.

Associate Prof Nada Hamad, a haematologist in Sydney, said Evusheld and similar treatments under development are designed to fill a gap left by vaccines, and by antibody treatments like Sotrovimab.

Sotrovimab is given to people already diagnosed with Covid-19 who are at high risk of developing severe disease. Sotrovimab needs to be administered early after someone is diagnosed to be effective.

“But Sotrovimab is very short-acting,” Hamad said. “It just lasts as we wait for the virus to dissipate. Once you get over the virus, the treatment doesn’t hang around in your body.

“Evusheld is a longer-acting antibody, and the hope is it will prevent the infection.”

Clinical trials to date show Evusheld may provide six to 12 months of protection from the virus. This is significantly shorter than vaccines. Even though the protection offered by vaccines does slowly wane over time, they are still effective at preventing severe disease, death and hospitalisation months down the track.

“Evusheld and similar treatments being examined should be seen as a major advancement in protecting the very vulnerable, but not a vaccine alternative,” Hamad said.

Evusheld also takes longer to administer, is more expensive, needs to be given by a trained doctor or nurse, and patients may need longer monitoring afterwards than the 15 minutes required for a vaccine. It is not something that can be quickly given in a pharmacy or hub, so it is not ideal for widespread, fast rollout, Hamad said.

Plus, further data from ongoing trials is still needed, while the efficacy and safety of the vaccines are now well known.

Evusheld has also shown promise in preventing severe disease when given early as a treatment to those infected with Covid-19, similar to Sotrovimab.




11 November, 2021


I have just put up on my Food & Health blog a claim that says a McDonald's cheeseburger is actually healthy


New Data Shows California's COVID Rates DOUBLE Florida's Numbers

Severe CA restrictions are not working

According to new reports, the COVID-19 numbers in California are TWICE what they are in Florida, yet the mainstream media is silent. Could it be because California is tyrannically pushing the coronavirus vaccine and forcing people to wear face diapers, meanwhile Florida is free and open!

Once again, the data proves that the jabs and face masks don't work. Tampa Bay Times reports:

“There are early indications that the decline in the delta surge at the national level in the U.S. has ended,” said Ali H. Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington, which runs a widely followed model projecting the course of the pandemic. Currently, 19 states have increasing transmission, including several such as California “that had previously appeared to have been declining.”

So why aren’t Golden Staters reaping more reward for their adherence to health guidance while the virus gives freewheeling Dixie a break?

“You’re paying for your success, which is weird,” Mokdad said. “You succeed in controlling the virus, and now you’re having infections.”

Yet, hospitals in Florida are reporting that they have 0 patients with COVID-19.

“This is great news! For two weeks and counting, Florida has had the lowest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the entire country – with no mandates, vaccine passports, or lockdowns. Overall, COVID hospitalizations have been declining for more than 70 days straight, and we’re at an all-time low in terms of the number of COVID patients hospitalized statewide,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, on Monday.

Maybe the rest of the country should take a page out of DeSantis' playbook!


Biden doesn’t stand a chance in 2024 and neither does the epically unpopular and useless Kamala so unless Joe finds a new VP to succeed him soon the Dems can kiss goodbye to the White House

Piers Morgan

Barely a day goes by when one of them isn’t doing something worthy of abject mockery – from Biden falling asleep at the COP26 climate change summit, to Harris appearing in a World Space Day video with hired child actors who she pretended were wide-eyed real kids enthralled by her exultation of space exploration.

(The video was made by a firm named ‘Sinking Ship Entertainment’ – a metaphor for the Biden administration if ever there was one.)

And it’s not just me that thinks this.

A truly shocking new USA Today-Suffolk University poll reveals crushingly bad approval ratings for Biden with just 38% of Americans approving of his presidency and 59% disapproving.

But the President is basking in approval sunshine compared to his deputy. Staggeringly, less than 3 in 10 Americans (27.8%) approve of the job Kamala Harris is doing, with 51.2% disapproving. This makes her the least popular vice-president at this stage of an administration for half a century.

Her predecessor Mike Pence was above 40% approval after the same period in office, despite the tsunami of anti-Trump rage that followed his election.

Even Dick Cheney, the most loathed VP in history, polled better (30%) despite driving the US into two bitterly controversial wars and accidentally shooting a friend while quail-hunting.

Yet it was never supposed to be like this. Biden chose Harris as his No. 2 because she was a historic candidate (the first female to be VP, and first African American and Asian to hold the position) that would thrill and energize the progressive arm of his party.

And the unspoken plan was that he would serve a first time, sort out all the mess after the chaos of Trump, and then, in his 80s, hand the torch to this far younger, legal eagle deputy so she could become America’s first woman president.

Right now, that seems about as likely as me becoming the first British president.

But the only real surprise is that anyone’s really surprised. Harris’s own presidential campaign in 2019 was so bad that it didn’t even last into election year. She blamed lack of finances, and subliminal voter racism and sexism, but it was lack of charisma, good policies and political acumen that turned off voters. (If her skin colour was a problem, why did Barack Obama win two terms as president?).

Her performance as VP has been equally lackluster and unimpressive.

Harris was put in charge of combatting America’s immigration issues but has been M.I.A. as the Southern border descended into a dangerous new crisis.

She boasted of being the last one in the room when Biden made his decision to leave Afghanistan but wasn’t quite so keen to co-own the decision when America’s sudden withdrawal turned into a deadly fiasco.

She’s also been dubbed the ‘Invisible Woman’ – declining to hold a single press conference as VP and not doing a major interview for over 150 days since her disastrous encounter with NBC’s Lester Holt in which she said she’d been down to the border, only for Holt to remind her that she hadn’t.

‘And I haven’t been to Europe!’ she replied, excruciatingly.

Little wonder that only 23% of Americans approve of the way the border situation’s being handled.

The most damning of many awful numbers in this new poll is that when asked to name the one thing Americans most want President Biden to do in the next year, the biggest answer by far (20%) was ‘resign/retire/quit.’ That got twice as big a response as fixing the economy.

President Biden’s presidency is not yet a year old but is already in deep trouble thanks to surging inflation, chaotic supply chains, the botched Afghanistan withdrawal, the ongoing COVID crisis, and an insanely woke agenda that’s led to parents who dare to complain about their kids being taught critical race theory being dubbed domestic terrorists.

The US public showed their disgust in last week’s election results like the Virginia governor race where an established Democrat was unceremoniously unseated by a new-boy Republican who seized on the PC education nonsense to win a shock victory.

Since Biden and his party show no sign of having learned lessons from Virginia or the polls, there will be plenty more where that came from in next year’s midterms, when I strongly suspect the Democrats will get a shellacking and lose the House.

But the Democrats have got an even bigger nightmare to worry about and that’s the 2024 Election.

As things stand, Biden hasn’t got a prayer of re-election unless he starts to show the kind of dynamic leadership that’s so far proved woefully beyond him.

All the upbeat rhetoric he spewed so confidently about healing the nation from the turbulent Trump years has turned out to be a load of hot air.

On top of that, how credible will the already-doddery president with clear cognitive issues, who will be almost 82 years old on election day, be as a candidate?

No wonder the USA Today/Suffolk University poll, two thirds of Americans say they don’t want him running again including 28% of Democrats and many of the independents who helped elect him in 2020.

On the other hand, any succession plan that involves Kamala Harris is now a total non-starter.

As Joe Concha put it on Fox News: ‘If you’re the Democratic Party how could you possibly put her up as the nominee right now when not even three in 10 Americans approve of the job she’s doing and it’s impossible to find her?’

So, if the Democrats want to retain the White House in 2024, they need to find someone who can win it for them. And they need to start looking now.

That doesn’t look like being Joe Biden, and it definitely won’t be Kamala Harris.

Theoretically they could both stay in office until 2024 while a new field of Democrat candidates fought it out for the nomination. But what would stop Kamala running too?

The Constitution doesn’t allow Biden to fire Harris personally, but he and the Democrat leadership can engineer the removal of a vice-president who has proven to be completely out of her depth and a perilous threat to the Party’s electoral chances.

He could then appoint a new voter-friendly moderate VP who could use the platform to not only have a better chance of beating the GOP candidate next time round but lend some excitement and luster to this already-exhausted looking administration as well.

Whether the current woke-crazed Democratic party is capable of navigating its internal sexual and racial politics to land on such a happy candidate is, to be honest, a pretty big question.

But if Biden doesn’t, and the pair of them stubbornly insist on either fighting the 2024 presidential race together, or having Harris as the presidential nominee, then we may see a repeat of the scene from Dumb and Dumber where Lloyd Christmas opens a champagne bottle at a fundraising event to save endangered Snowy Owls, only for the flying cork to kill one of two Snowy Owls in a display cage - horrifying guests, and further endangering the species.

‘Boy,’ he observes, ‘this party really died.’




10 November, 2021

Promising new covid test

A Breathalyzer-type test that can detect COVID-19 within seconds is currently being tested and could become a noninvasive, rapid alternative to nasal swab tests, according to researchers.

COVID-19 infection causes a distinct breath print from the interaction of oxygen, nitric oxide, and ammonia in the body. An initial study of the breath test found that it gave accurate results for COVID-19 infections in almost 90% of critically ill patients with the disease.

The breathalyzer test can detect COVID-19 in exhaled breath within 15 seconds, according to researchers who have applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.

The study included 46 intensive care patients with acute respiratory failure who required mechanical ventilation. All of the patients had a PCR COVID-19 (nasal swab) test upon admission to the ICU, half were found to have COVID-19.

The researchers collected exhaled breath bags from all of the patients on days 1, 3, 7, and 10 of their hospitalization, the samples were tested within four hours after collection.

The testing proved to be 88% accurate in detecting the breath print of COVID-19, according to the study published Oct. 28 in the journal PLOS ONE.

"The gold standard for diagnosis of COVID-19 is a PCR test that requires an uncomfortable nasal swab and time in a lab to process the sample and obtain the results," said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Exline, director of critical care at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

"This novel [Breathalyzer-type] technology uses nanosensors to identify and measure specific biomarkers in the breath," said test co-developer Pelagia-Irene Gouma, a professor in Ohio State's Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

"This is the first study to demonstrate the use of a nanosensor [Breathalyzer-type] system to detect a viral infection from exhaled breath prints," Gouma said in an Ohio State news release.

"PCR tests often miss early COVID-19 infections and results can be positive after the infection has resolved," Exline said in the release. "However, this noninvasive breath test technology can pick up early COVID-19 infection within 72 hours of the onset of respiratory failure, allowing us to rapidly screen patients in a single step and exclude those without COVID-19 on mechanical ventilation."

The researchers plan to further assess the use of the technology to detect less severe COVID-19, as well as other infections and diseases.


Fauci Orders Parents to Vaccinate Kids, Regardless of Concerns on Safety and Efficacy

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci told parents on Wednesday that they can ask questions about the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccine, but that they need to get their kids vaccinated regardless.

Doesn't that defeat the purpose of asking questions? We reserve the right to decide what is injected into our bodies.

"Children statistically, when they get infected they do not get the incidence of severe disease to the level of adults, particularly elderly do," Fauci said on CNN. "There have been about 700 deaths in the younger age group. But children are vulnerable. They can get infected. They also can spread the infection once they get infected within the family unit. So there are a lot of reasons to get the children vaccinated."

"There's no indication whatsoever, even any feasibility that would affect fertility at all," he continued. "In fact, in the millions and millions of doses and billions of doses that have been given worldwide of the vaccine, there is no indication whatsoever that it has anything to do with fertility. Giving it to a child, you have to look for a plausible mechanism of what that would be, and there is none."

Fauci said, "We will hit the ground running. Probably by the beginning of next week, we will be at full speed. So parents should consult with their pediatricians, family physicians, pharmacists and they will be able to know exactly where to get this particular vaccine for their children, from 5 to 11."

"We want to get out of the pandemic phase and into a good, controlled phase," he added. "There are different levels of approach and control of a particular outbreak...I don't think we're going to get to eradication. We only eradicated one viral disease and that's smallpox. But you can get it down to a very low level if you get enough people vaccinated, and a low level is one that doesn't interfere with how we function in society."

Despite what Fauci preaches, vaccines are not the answer to everything.


Australian regulator requests information from Pfizer after British medical journal alleges contractor ‘falsified’ safety data

Australia’s medicines regulator has sought additional information from Pfizer after an investigation by the British Medical Journal alleged serious issues with a small number of its vaccine safety trials, including claims of “falsified data” and slowness following up on adverse reactions.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has stressed that Pfizer’s vaccine is “highly safe and effective”, and that Australians “should not be concerned about the issues raised in the article”.

The BMJ’s report, published last week, centred on a former employee of Ventavia Research Group, a Texas-based contractor involved in the phase-three trials for Pfizer’s Covid vaccine last year.

According to Brook Jackson, a former regional director at Ventavia, the company “falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events”, the BMJ reported.

The whistleblower, who provided the BMJ with “dozens of internal company documents, photos, audio recordings and emails”, recounted that she repeatedly notified the company of the problems before finally emailing a complaint to the US Food and Drug Administration on September 25, 2020.

She was sacked the same day, with the company saying in her separation letter she was “not a good fit”.

In a statement to The Conversation, Ventavia said Ms Jackson was employed for “approximately two weeks” in September of 2020 and “no part of her job responsibilities concerned the clinical trials at issue”.

Ventavia said the “same accusations” were investigated and “determined to be unsubstantiated” last year.

Pfizer’s full phase-three trial involved about 44,000 participants across 153 sites. Ventavia enrolled more than 1000 participants at three sites – or only around 2 per cent of the total.

The drug company made no mention of the alleged problems at the Ventavia sites in a briefing document submitted to an FDA advisory committee meeting on December 10, 2020.

The FDA, which never audited Ventavia after receiving the complaint, issued its emergency use authorisation for the vaccine the next day.

A Pfizer Australia spokeswoman declined to comment on the BMJ report. understands the TGA has contacted Pfizer to further clarify the issues raised, although given the allegations only pertain to 2 per cent of the trial population, the overall results are not expected to be impacted.

“The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is highly safe and effective and has been approved for use in nearly 100 countries and also approved by the World Health Organisation,” a TGA spokeswoman said.

“Australians who have received the Pfizer vaccine should not be concerned about the issues raised in the BMJ article.”

She noted that “the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine demonstrated in clinical trials has been thoroughly substantiated by real-world use in many millions of people worldwide”.

“The benefits of vaccination are clear and not in dispute,” she said.



Gloomy landscape for Democrats in midterms as Joe Biden’s approval drops to 38% (USA Today) | “I didn’t run because of the polls”: Scranton Joe brushes off lagging poll numbers (Fox News)

Pete Buttigieg says administration will use “infrastructure” bill to address “racist” highway design (Daily Wire)

“Stay angry”: Barack Obama scolds us on climate from Glasgow (Reuters) | Obama’s climate speech is a reminder of how badly he governed (The Federalist)

House January 6 committee inquisition issues subpoenas to six top Trump advisers (Washington Post)

Authoritarian White House encourages businesses to prepare for vaccine mandate despite court injunction (National Review)

Woke U.S. Navy names ship after accused pedophile Harvey Milk (PM)

Illegal alien who allegedly murdered father of four “was on one of Biden's flights” (Daily Wire)

China’s navy is now world’s largest with 460 warships by 2030 (Washington Times)

That’s ominous: China builds mockups of U.S. Navy ships in area used for missile target practice (Reuters)

Justice Department seizes $6 million as part of crackdown on hackers linked to Kaseya attack (The Hill)

You know those cargo ships and trains waiting to be unloaded in California? Yeah, now homeless people are breaking in and stealing things from the stopped trains. (Not the Bee)

Consumer group attacks BlackRock for hypocrisy by investing in Chinese companies (Washington Times)

Nineteen-year-old wins New Jersey school board election after his senior year was ruined by COVID policies (Not the Bee)




9 November, 2021


I have received a couple of notices from saying that some of my posts have been depublished on the grounds that I was spreading misinformation. My post of 22 August was particularly mentioned. It was a rather extreme post so I am not too bothered by its loss.

What is not clear is whether today's posts are visible to readers. It starts with a report about Sweden. I would be obliged if people would let me know if they can see it. My email is

The second post below seems to have been the problem


How Sweden's lockdown gamble paid off: Nation has suffered fewer coronavirus deaths than most of Europe and has a lower infection rate

Sweden has suffered fewer Covid deaths than most of Europe and is still recording lower infection rates, according to figures that suggest its lockdown gamble has paid off.

The Scandinavian nation became an international outlier last year when it defied scientific advice and refused to follow the rest of the world in shutting down society to curb the virus' spread.

Not only has Sweden's economy bounced back faster than any other country in the EU, latest data shows that it has also fared better than most in terms of lives lost during the pandemic.

Sweden has suffered almost 1,500 confirmed Covid deaths per million people, according to Oxford University-based research platform Our World in Data, which is lower than the European average (1,800).

The UK — which has endured three national lockdowns and several regional fire-breakers — has recorded 2,100 per million, for comparison, while Belgium and Italy both have rates above 2,000.

When looking at excess mortality during the pandemic, Sweden ranks just 21st out of 31 European countries with 5 per cent more deaths since March last year than would be expected. Britain, Italy and Spain, on the other hand, have each suffered around 10 per cent more deaths than average during Covid.

Statisticians say excess mortality is the most accurate way to measure the toll of the pandemic on health because it accounts for testing disparities between countries and includes knock-on fatalities.

Sweden also has a lower infection rate currently than most EU nations, with just 100 per million people testing positive daily compared to 800 in Austria, nearly 700 in Belgium and Ireland, and 500 in the UK.

Although Sweden chose not to lock down completely early in the pandemic, it did introduce stricter legally-binding curbs last winter as cases and deaths rose.

These included a ban on groups of eight or more people, limits on numbers in gyms and shops and an 8pm curfew on pubs and restaurants.

While Sweden appears to fared done better than continental Europe during the pandemic, it has performed significantly worse when compared to its closest neighbours.

Norway and Finland, for example, have suffered about 200 Covid deaths per million people since the virus was first seeded on the continent — seven times lower than Sweden's toll.

In Denmark the rate is around 400. All three nations have had tougher restrictions during much of the pandemic, which are likely to have played a role.

When looking at excess mortality, Norway and Denmark have recorded fewer deaths than normal during Covid and Finland has seen little over 1 per cent more fatalities than average.

Cambridge University epidemiologist Raghib Ali told MailOnline: 'Whether you think Sweden's strategy was a success story comes down to which countries you compare it to.

'If you think it should have a similar rate [of Covid deaths] to its neighbours Finland, Norway and Denmark or other countries like Germany and the Netherlands?

'Whichever side you come down on decides whether it did better or worse.'

Dr Ali said that one takeaway from Sweden's voluntary lockdown system was that it shows the power of people's small behavioural changes.

'Although Sweden didn't have a Government-enforced lockdown, it did have a type of voluntary lockdown that was well-adhered to.

'What we've learned from Sweden - and the UK - is that people's voluntary behaviour can get countries over a peak without mandated restrictions, even though they alone cannot prevent big outbreaks.'

It comes as daily Covid infections in the UK continued to plummet today, bolstering hopes that the third wave may have already peaked.


Feds Seek to Block Promotion of a Nasal Spray Against COVID-19

The leading U.S. manufacturer of xylitol-based products says the federal government is deliberately trying to conceal a nasal spray it developed that it says has been scientifically proven to be effective in treating and preventing COVID-19.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court against Utah-based company Xlear on Oct. 28, saying it has deceptively advertised its nasal spray as a treatment and preventative of COVID-19.

The lawsuit asks a federal court to permanently ban the company from promoting the nasal spray as a treatment for COVID-19 and also asks that monetary penalties be levied against it.

The DOJ filed the complaint on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission, which alleges the company has violated the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Consumer Protection Act by making false claims about the benefits.

The spray’s main ingredients are saline, grapefruit seed extract, and xylitol, a plant-derived sweetener commonly used in oral care products.

“Companies can’t make unsupported health claims, no matter what form a product takes, or what it supposedly prevents or treats,” said Samuel Levine, director of the trade commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a press release on the lawsuit.

“That’s the lesson of this case and many others like it, and it’s why people should continue to rely on medical professionals over ads.”

The commission and the Justice Department declined to make any further comment.

Xlear’s attorney Robert Housman, of the Washington firm Book Hill Partners, told The Epoch Times that the commission is “flat out lying” about the company’s claims being unsupported.

Housman pointed out that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)—along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services—funded clinical studies of the use of nasal sprays like Xlear’s and published findings last year that found they were an effective treatment and method of prevention for COVID-19.

“When Xlear tells people about scientific studies, even ones republished by the NIH, we are somehow misleading people and making false claims. It’s nonsensical,” Housman told The Epoch Times. “Rather than embrace nasal interventions, the government is trying to eliminate their use because they don’t fit the government’s highly flawed, vaccine-only agenda.”

On Sept. 20, 2020, the NIH and NIAID published the findings of a random clinical trial they funded at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee on the merits of using hypertonic nasal saline irrigations to combat the CCP virus.

The researchers in that study wrote that the “effect of nasal irrigation on symptom resolution was substantial,” reporting that “nasal congestion and headaches in COVID patients resolved an average seven to nine days earlier” in the study group.

“Our analysis suggests that nasal irrigations may shorten symptom duration and may have potential as a widely available and inexpensive intervention to reduce disease burden among those affected,” the researchers wrote in their findings.

“We would advocate the use of hypertonic nasal saline irrigations in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients as a safe and inexpensive intervention to reduce symptom burden.”

Housman pointed out that the NIH also published the results of a clinical trial, held a few months later in November at the Larkin Community Hospital in Florida, that found the Xlear nasal spray specifically cleared symptoms of the disease in half the time.

In addition to the Tennessee and Florida trials, another random clinical trial—more recently conducted at Augusta University’s Emergency Department in Georgia—also concluded that the use of nasal spray was beneficial in treating COVID-19.

Researchers in the university trial, which is still ongoing, have so far found that patients with the CCP virus that participated in daily nasal irrigation were eight times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.

The Justice Department didn’t specifically cite the Larkin, Vanderbilt, or Augusta trials in its lawsuit.

It instead cited the results of lab studies conducted earlier at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill and the University of Tennessee involving in vitro and animal testing, neither of which the DOJ and FTC argue is a viable way to test nasal spray for live, human COVID-19 patients.

The lawsuit additionally pointed out that the University of Tennessee study is based on a nasal spray containing iota-carrageenan, which the Xlear spray does not contain and, therefore, cannot be used as scientific evidence to support Xlear’s claims.

The lawsuit also stated that researchers at Chapel Hill admitted that without further research it couldn’t conclusively determine that “administering treatment through the nose is the best way to treat COVID-19.”

Housman said the trade commission cherry-picked findings within the lab studies to make them fit its agenda.

The federal government has warned companies against promoting nasal sprays for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

BlueWillow Biologics, a Michigan biopharmaceutical company that manufactures a nasal antiseptic, and the Miami-based company Halodine, which created a proprietary iodine-based nasal antiseptic swab, both received warning letters earlier this year from the FDA to discontinue their promotion of their nasal products as a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.




8 November, 2021


I have just put up on my Food & Health blog details of another study showing that alcohol is good for you


Scientists say 'suctioning'' vaccines generates more antibodies

A 'suctioning' technique for COVID-19 vaccines may be able to provide more protection than traditional needles, a new study suggests.

Researchers tested a new type of immunization for the virus based on the ancient form of medicine known as cupping, in which heated special cups are placed on the skin for a few minutes to create suction, immediately follow a Covid shot.

They found rodents that were given the vaccine via the suction method generated antibody levels millions of times higher than a traditional injection.

The team, from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, says a suctioning vaccine is faster and cheaper to manufacture, and can be more widely distributed than the vaccines currently in use.

'This suction-based technique is implemented by applying a moderate negative pressure to the skin after nucleic acid injection in a totally non-invasive manner,' said senior author Dr Hao Lin, a professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Rutgers, in a statement.

'This method enables an easy-to-use, cost-effective and highly-scalable platform for both laboratory and clinical applications for nucleic-acid-based therapeutics and vaccines.'

The team noted that with traditional vaccines, when they are injected into the arm, they are not automatically absorbed by cells.

In fact, some of it degrades before it even gets to the cells so the body can mount an immune response.

But by providing suction on the skin immediately after the shot, researchers theorized this would create strain on the skin, forcing cells to automatically absorb the vaccine.

For the study, published in the journal Science Advances, they decided to test this theory using the ancient practice of cupping.

Cupping uses special cups, which are often heated, to create suction and pull blood into the skin.

Proponents say it helps increase blood flow, relieves pain, cure headaches and treat other ailments.

A COVID-19 vaccine candidate was provided by GeneOne Life Science, a biopharmaceutical company based in Seoul, South Korea.

One group of rats received two injections of the vaccine, another group received a single injection followed by a single suction and a final group received two injections followed by two suctions.

Antibody levels were between two million and five million times higher among the two suction groups than the group that received injections alone, results showed.

'We have demonstrated an alternative, safe and effective transfection platform that yields high levels of transgene expression,' Lin said.

'The advantages also include device cost-effectiveness and manufacturing scalability and minimal requirements for user training.

'Because of the inherent advantages of DNA, not least of which is avoiding cold-chain requirements of other vaccines, this technology facilitates vaccination programs into remote regions of the world where resources are limited.'


Pfizer linked to 18 new cases of heart inflammation in Australia

The number of cases of heart inflammation in Australia linked to the Pfizer vaccine has risen to 253 from about 21.9 million doses.

There were 18 new likely cases of myocarditis in the past week, a condition that sees patients experience chest pain, abnormal heartbeat and shortness of breath.

One new blood clots case linked to the AstraZeneca jab was also recorded, taking the total to 158 cases and nine deaths in Australia from about 13.1 million doses. The confirmed case involved a 40-year-old man from NSW.

The figure was released in the Therapeutic Goods Administration Covid-19 vaccine weekly safety report on Thursday afternoon.

The youngest case classified as ‘likely myocarditis’ to date was 12 years old.

Of the cases classified as likely to be myocarditis, most of the patients experienced symptoms within three days of vaccination.

Around half of the patients were admitted to hospital with eight treated in intensive care. Most patients treated in hospital were discharged within four days.

The TGA says “the estimated reporting rates in Australia appear similar to overseas rates.”

“As we have received limited adverse event reports for Spikevax (Moderna), our analysis of likely myocarditis cases focuses on data for the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine,” the medicines regulator said.

In Australia, myocarditis is reported in nearly one out of every 100,000 people after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. While it is more commonly reported in young men and teenage boys after the second dose (6.7 cases in 100,000 people) it remains rare.

Cases usually occur within 10 days and resolve after a few days following treatment and rest.

The TGA advises people to seek medical attention if they experience symptoms that could suggest myocarditis or pericarditis.

This includes: chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeat), fainting or shortness of breath, particularly if they occur within one to five days of vaccination.

“ATAGI advises that people who develop myocarditis or pericarditis attributed to their first dose of Comirnaty (Pfizer) should defer further doses of an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine and discuss this with their treating doctor,” the TGA says.


U.S. federal appeals court freezes Biden's vaccine rule for companies

A U.S. federal appeals court issued a stay Saturday freezing the Biden administration's efforts to require workers at U.S. companies with at least 100 employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested weekly, citing "grave statutory and constitutional" issues with the rule.

The ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit comes after numerous Republican-led states filed legal challenges against the new rule, which is set to take effect on Jan 4.

The White House declined to comment on the ruling, and referred questions to the Labor Department, where spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The stay comes two days after the Biden administration unveiled the rule, which was immediately met with vows of legal action from Republican governors and others, who argued it overstepped the administration's legal authority.

The action on the private-sector vaccinations was taken under the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) emergency authority over workplace safety, officials said. The rule applies to 84.2 million workers at 1.9 million private-sector employers, according to OSHA.

Saturday's court order came in response to a joint petition from several businesses, advocacy groups, and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah. The rule is also facing separate legal challenges before other courts.

The two-page order directs the Biden administration to respond to the request for a permanent injunction against the rule by 5pm Monday.


Gov. Stitt Sticks it to Biden: 'There Will Be No Government Vaccine Mandates In Oklahoma'

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt stuck it to President Joe Biden and his unconstitutional vaccine mandates, declaring that it is a "complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights." Stitt added that he intends to fight the order.

“It is not the government’s role to dictate to private businesses what to do. Once again President Biden is demonstrating his complete disregard for individual freedoms and states’ rights. As long as I am governor, there will be no government vaccine mandates in Oklahoma. My administration will continue to defend Oklahoma values and fight back against the Biden administration’s federal overreach," he said.

News on 6 reports:

It's too early for a lot of companies to know what this means and how it'll be enforced, but Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern was quick to point out the problems with what he calls a huge federal overstep.

"This looks like Putin or Xi Jinping, how they operate. He's trying to push this out there and that's what dictators do," Hern said.....

The Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor and the Republican National Committee both said, separately, that they are pursuing litigation against Biden's mandate, claiming it is unconstitutional and an overreach of federal government.

According to Oklahoma Commerce Department, 1,962 companies employ over 100 people in Oklahoma meaning that the federal requirements will impact 678,122 Oklahomans. Oklahoma Senator James Lankford and Representative Kevin Hern issued similar rebukes of the President.

“My family and I chose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and I am grateful for it. Every Oklahoman and American should have that same choice and option. Federal employees and contractors, members of our military, health care workers, and everyone else in our nation should be able to choose whether to get vaccinated. Period. The Biden proposal ignores the natural immunity millions of Americans have because they have recovered from COVID and the millions of other Americans that do not want to be forced to take a vaccine for a multitude of personal, religious, and medical reasons,” Lankford explained.

“The federal government has once again overstepped into the lives and livelihoods of American citizens,” Hern added. “Private companies, especially small businesses, are already suffocating under the oppressive restrictions put in place at the start of the public health emergency last year. My colleagues and I have warned of the slow march to socialism for years, and we were called liars for it. Turns out it’s not so much a slow march as it is a sprint. More restrictions, more mandates, more socialist policies are never the answer.”

Oklahoma AG O'Connor declared, "We respect the right of Oklahoma businesses and individuals to make healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. My office will vigorously oppose any attempt by the federal government to mandate vaccines. We are preparing litigation to stand up for our rights and defend the rule of law against the overreach of the federal government."

The RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel stated, “Joe Biden told Americans when he was elected that he would not impose vaccine mandates. He lied. Now small businesses, workers, and families across the country will pay the price. Like many Americans, I am pro-vaccine and anti-mandate. Many small businesses and workers do not have the money or legal resources to fight Biden’s unconstitutional actions and authoritarian decrees, but when his decree goes into effect, the RNC will sue the administration to protect Americans and their liberties.”

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall added, “The Oklahoma Legislature acted aggressively this session to stop unconstitutional federal overreach like President Biden proposed today. We saw this coming and are already prepared to block it in Oklahoma. This type of unilateral overreach is precisely why House Bill 1236 and the additional litigation funds for the attorney general were such big priorities this session. I applaud the attorney general for utilizing the tools the Legislature provided to defend Oklahoma’s rights as a state. President Biden is about to see the U.S. Constitution still matters in Oklahoma. This isn't the only unconstitutional Biden administration action Oklahoma needs to challenge. Our country is a republic of states, not a monarchy, and the president does not have the constitutional authority to issue these type of edicts.”

In other words, Oklahoma isn't playing this communist, tyranny bull crap.




7 November, 2021

Effectiveness of vaccines against infection less than 50% on average

But good at preventing death

The protection that fully vaccinated Americans have against COVID-19 infection severely drops over time, a new study suggests.

A team led by the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California, found that the overall effectiveness of the three Covid vaccines available in the U.S fell from 87 percent in March to 48 percent by September.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients are especially at risk with just 13 percent efficacy against contracting the virus.

However researchers found that the shots are still highly protective against death from Covid.

Researchers, who published their findings on Thursday in the journal Science, gathered data from the Veterans Health Administration from February to October 2021.

In total, nearly 800,000 veterans' data was included in the massive study.

The team analyzed vaccine records among people who tested positive for the virus, and determined, on average, how effective each individual jab was at preventing infection.

In February, when the vaccines were still relatively new, they all had an effectiveness of more than 85 percent at preventing infection.

J&J's vaccine saw its protection wane the most, dropping from 86 percent in March to below 50 percent by September, and down to only 13 percent last month.

The Pfizer-BioNTech jab - which is far and away the most commonly used in the U.S. - saw its effectiveness drop from 87 percent in March to 43 percent in September.

September was the first month during which the effectiveness of Pfizer's vaccine dropped below 50 percent.

Moderna's shot held up the best, and is the only one of the three to still be more than 50 percent effective.

The shot's effectiveness has still fallen greatly, though, from 89 percent in March to 58 percent in September.

Overall, the three vaccines' effectiveness was 87.9 percent in March, and dropped to 48.1 percent in September.

'By July 2021, the U.S. experienced a surge in cases of COVID-19, dominated by the [Delta] variant,' the researchers wrote.

'Initial reports, including follow-up of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna trials, suggested sustained vaccine protection, but three reports of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in August 2021 demonstrated protection against infection had declined in mid-summer as the Delta variant rose to dominance.

'Protection against hospitalization and death remained high. Breakthrough infections, illness, hospitalizations, and deaths have since continued to emerge in vaccine recipients.'

This waning immunity is the source behind the federal goverment's push for Covid vaccine boosters for all Americans.

Last month, additional shots of the vaccines became available to Americans over the age of 65 with severe comorbidities or who have a job that puts them at risk of virus exposure.

The goal behind the booster rollout is to shore up immunity from the virus and prevent breakthrough infections.

Many opposed the booster rollout, though, because the shots are still effective at preventing death from the virus.

The new study found that an unvaccinated person under the age of 65 is 2.6 percent likely to die from the virus, while that risk drops to 1.6 percent with vaccination.

Those who received the Pfizer shot had their risk of death slashed by 84 percent, the most effective of the three.

The Moderna shot reduced risk of death by 82 percent and the J&J by 73 percent. The numbers are even more drastic for people over the age of 65.

For the elderly, risk of death from Covid if unvaccinated is over 20 percent. Fully vaccinated people over the age of 65 only died from the virus nine percent of times, the researchers found.

The Moderna shot was most effective at preventing death among people 65 and older, reducing risk by 75 percent.

The Pfizer shot reduced the elderly's risk of death by 70 percent and the J&J did by 52 percent.

The death rate among fully vaccinated people over 65 is still high, though, underscoring why health officials are targeting boosters at that group in particular.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 21 million Americans have received a COVID-19 booster shot, with a majority opting for the Pfizer shot.


Pfizer's at-home Covid pill 'cuts risk of dying by nearly 90%'

First Merck and now Pfizer

Pfizer today claimed its at-home Covid pill cuts the risk of severe illness by nearly 90 per cent, potentially providing the UK with another weapon in its arsenal to combat the pandemic.

Its twice-a-day antiviral was shown in clinical trials to slash the risk of hospitalisation or deaths by 87 per cent in vulnerable and elderly patients.

The pharmaceutical giant stopped its study of the drug — known as Paxlovid — early due to the 'overwhelming efficacy'.

The findings appear to surpass those seen with Merck's rival pill molnupiravir, which data showed halved the risk of death or hospitalisation.

Paxlovid can be taken at home and is a combination of an experimental drug with an older antiviral called ritonavir, already used to treat HIV/AIDS.

Pfizer described its findings as a 'game-changer' and now plans to apply for approval from American medical regulators in the coming days. The firm will likely also seek approval in the UK, where the Government has already purchased 250,000 courses.

It comes after Britain yesterday became the first country in the world to give Merck's antiviral the green light, paving the way for it to be rolled out on the NHS within the next few weeks.

Announcing the findings, Pfizer's chief executive Albert Bourla said: 'Today's news is a real game-changer in the global efforts to halt the devastation of this pandemic.

'These data suggest that our oral antiviral candidate, if approved or authorized by regulatory authorities, has the potential to save patients' lives, reduce the severity of Covid infections, and eliminate up to nine out of ten hospitalizations.'

Pfizer's drug, part of a class known as protease inhibitors, is designed to block an enzyme the coronavirus needs in order to multiply.

It is given with ritonavir to make sure it stays active in the body for a longer period of time.

Merck's molnupiravir has a different mechanism of action designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus.

It's hoped that the drug will be bulletproof against new variants because it targets an enzyme produce in the body.

Pfizer's drug is part of a class known as protease inhibitors. It is designed to block an enzyme the coronavirus needs in order to multiply. Like protease inhibitors used to treat HIV, it is given in combination with other antivirals.

How effective is it?

A recent trial of the pill in more than 1,200 found that it cut hospitalisation and death rates by 87 per cent in people at high risk of a severe illness from Covid.

It should be given as soon as possible after catching Covid, ideally within three to five days.

Vaccines, which are being made slightly weaker by new strains of the virus, work by targeting the spike protein and were designed to tackle the original virus.

Because a lot of evolution happens on the spike protein, the immune systems of vaccinated people sometimes find it more difficult to recognise new variants.

Pfizer said Paxlovid works best when given to a patient within three days of testing positive.

The study of the pill included around 1,200 patients who were mostly vaccinated and had recently tested positive.

It looked at patients with at least one risk factor for developing severe disease, such as obesity or older age.

It found that 0.8 per cent of those given Pfizer's drug were hospitalised and none had died by 28 days after treatment.

For comparison, the hospitalisation rate stood at 7 per cent for the patients given a placebo. There were also seven deaths in the placebo group.

Annaliesa Anderson, head of the Pfizer programme, said: 'We saw that we did have high efficacy, even if it was five days after a patient has been treated.

'People might wait a couple of days before getting a test... and this means we have time to treat people and really provide a benefit from a public health perspective.'

The company did not detail side effects of the treatment, but said adverse events happened in about a fifth of both treatment and placebo patients.

Pfizer is also studying whether its pill could be used by people without risk factors for serious Covid as well as to prevent coronavirus infection in people exposed to the virus.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: 'Incredible results from Pfizer showing their antiviral medicine cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death from COVID-19 by almost 90 per cent.

'We have procured 250,000 doses of this promising treatment on behalf of the whole UK and our independent medicines regulator, the MHRA, will now assess its safety, quality and effectiveness.

'If approved, this could be another significant weapon in our armoury to fight the virus alongside our vaccines and other treatments, including molnupiravir, which the UK was the first country in the world to approve this week.'




5 November, 2021

UK approves Merck's antiviral COVID pill molnupiravir in world first

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Thursday recommended the drug, molnupiravir, be used as soon as possible following a positive COVID-19 test and within five days of the onset of symptoms.

The pill was licensed for adults 18 and older who have at least one risk factor for developing severe disease, such as obesity or heart disease.

It is the first oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 to get approved, with the green light coming ahead of potential US regulatory clearance.

US advisers will meet this month to vote on whether molnupiravir should be authorised.

Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration has not yet approved the drug but the federal government announced last month it had ordered 300,000 courses.

The drug, to be branded Lagevrio in Britain, has been closely watched since data last month showed it could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalised for those most at risk of developing severe COVID-19 when given early in the illness.

Merck's COVID treatment drug, molnupiravir, has only passed the first hurdle towards approval in Australia but the federal government has bought 300,000 doses after some promising preliminary results.

"Today is a historic day for our country, as the UK is now the first country in the world to approve an antiviral that can be taken at home for COVID-19," said Britain's health secretary, Sajid Javid.

"We are working at pace across the government and with the NHS to set out plans to deploy molnupiravir to patients through a national study as soon as possible."

The British government and the country's National Health Service have not yet confirmed how the treatment will be deployed to patients.

Last month, Britain agreed to a deal with Merck to secure 480,000 courses of molnupiravir.

In a separate statement, Merck said it was expecting to produce 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of this year, with at least 20 million set to be manufactured in 2022.

Then antiviral pill could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalised from COVID-19, but experts warn vaccines are still necessary.

The company and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutic have requested clearance for the drug with regulators around the world to treat adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at risk for severe disease or hospitalisation.

Merck's preliminary results last month have not yet been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

The company also did not disclose details on molnupiravir's side effects, except to say that rates of those problems were similar between people who got the drug and those who received dummy pills.

The drug targets an enzyme the coronavirus uses to reproduce itself, inserting errors into its genetic code that slow its ability to spread and take over human cells.


The 1.5m myth: alarming distance Covid can travel and stay in the air

As Lidia Morawska stirred awake, her resolve from the night before to act, to shake things up, escaped her momentarily.

Her plan? To marshal eminent scientists from around the globe to pressure one of the world’s most influential groups, the World Health Organisation, to admit that it was wrong. Deadly wrong.

It was late March last year and the virus that causes Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, was roving across the world and deaths were rising.

Concerned colleagues in China and Italy had been calling Morawska – a physicist and distinguished professor in atmospheric and earth sciences at QUT and one of the world’s foremost authorities on airborne particles and their effects on health – pleading for her help. They couldn’t get authorities in those badly affected countries to listen to the science.

She knew, they knew, that a virus such as SARS-CoV-2 was airborne, capable of hanging in the air for hours and travelling significant distance. They’d done the studies, seen the evidence.

But WHO and national health authorities everywhere were caught in what Morawska, 68, calls “medical dogma”; the long-held belief that viral particles could not travel further than arm’s length. Their advice for such a coronavirus remained as it had for decades; keep a distance of about 1.5m from others, wash your hands and sanitise surfaces.

It infuriated Morawska. “A complete misconception,” she says. But now, her frustration had turned to desperation. That weekend in March, WHO issued a communique, disseminated on Twitter, headlined: “Fact Check: Covid-19 is NOT airborne.”

“Well, this was something,” says Morawska. “It wasn’t disbelief, because I knew the medical community had this view but it was that alarm bells were rung. If WHO was spreading this kind of misinformation; this is wrong, this will lead to more cases.”

That Sunday, she wrote a letter to the WHO. That evening, she contacted colleagues.

Come Wednesday, March 31, she hit send on an email, signed by 36 scientists in fields such as physics, virology, engineering and medicine, urging change in WHO’s thinking – and directives. The virus, they said, could drift and survive in the air, especially in poorly ventilated and crowded indoor spaces.

Within an hour, Morawska had a reply from leaders at WHO headquarters in Geneva, setting up a Zoom meeting a couple of days later.

It didn’t go well. “When you know a group is against you – that was the feeling,” says Morawska.

It would take more than three months of lobbying and writing and badgering and advocacy by Morawska and her colleagues before WHO changed its advice.

Morawska’s dogged work led her to be named by TIME magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people for 2021.

It’s an honour for all involved, she says, but clouded by the fact that the delay in WHO altering its advice, meant “we lost people. That’s the tragedy”. And there is still work to be done.


Republicans Crush in Numerous Races Across America, Prove the Red Wave Is Here

It appears, in an ironic twist, President Joe Biden has succeeded in the goal he stated during his inaugural address in January to unify the country.

Unfortunately for him and the Democratic Party, the unity is in opposition to their radical agenda.

Everywhere up and down-ballot from New York and New Jersey to Virginia and Texas, the GOP made improbable gains.

Of course, at the very top of the red wave is the governor’s race in Virginia where Republican Glenn Youngkin upset former Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Keep in mind Biden won the Old Dominion State over former President Donald Trump by 10 percent just a year ago.

Youngkin wasn’t the only Republican to win statewide in Virginia for the first time in over a decade

U.S. Marine veteran Winsome Sears took the lieutenant governor’s race, becoming the first African-American woman elected to statewide office in the commonwealth’s history.

Additionally, GOP candidate Jason Miyares, who is Hispanic, is currently in the lead in the attorney general’s contest.

Republicans are also on track to take back control of Virginia’s House of Delegates, where the Democrats held a 55 to 45 majority.

The news keeps getting worse for Dems in VA, where the correction of a reporting error appears to have flipped another House of Delegates seat to the GOP. Republicans now on track for 52R-48D, pending provisionals/recounts.

Moving north, the GOP also had an impressive night in deep-blue New Jersey, which Biden carried by nearly 16 points.

The race between incumbent Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican Jack Ciattarelli is, as of Wednesday afternoon, too close to call.

Murphy had been well ahead in the polls, so Ciattarelli surging into a Tuesday night lead shocked political poll watchers.

Still votes to be counted in NJ but it appears the GOP’s Jack Ciattarelli could flip Morris, Atlantic, Gloucester and Cumberland counties after Biden carried them last fall.

Still, looks like Murphy is in the driver’s seat for a victory

Meanwhile, the GOP picked up multiple seats in the state General Assembly and Senate with others, including Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney’s race, too close to call, according to

In neighboring New York, Republicans won four contested city council races in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island with the potential of picking up a fifth, the New York Post reported.

One winner was Inna Vernikov, an unabashed Trump supporter, who trounced her Democratic opponent Steve Saperstein by nearly 30 points for an open seat in Brooklyn’s 48th Council District.

Former New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind tweeted on Monday ahead of the election, “For the first time in a century, a Republican has a good chance to win a seat for office in ultra liberal Brooklyn. Electing @InnaVForNYC would send a strong message to Democrats that their destructive reign in major American cities will not go unchallenged!”

Next door in Pennsylvania, The Philadelphia Tribune reported that Republicans are poised for a clean sweep in statewide judicial elections, including picking up a seat on the Keystone State’s Supreme Court.

You’ll recall that’s the same Democrat-controlled Supreme Court that kept rubber-stamping all the changes to Pennsylvania’s election laws and procedures Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration made during the 2020 election cycle, contrary to the state’s constitution, which vests that power in the legislature.

Republicans also received good news coming out of the Lone Star State, where John Lujan won his special election, flipping a state House seat located in San Antonio from blue to red.

Our story: Republican John Lujan wins special election runoff to flip Texas House seat in San Antonio

Biden carried the district by 14 points last November, The Texas Tribune reported.

Overall, it was a very bad night for Democrats, and at least part of the blame undoubtedly falls on Biden.

Americans, by a wide margin, are dissatisfied with the current direction of the country with seven in 10 respondents (71 percent), including nearly half of Democrats polled (48 percent), saying the U.S. is “off on the wrong track,” according to an NBC News poll released over the weekend.

Just 42 percent approve of Biden’s job performance and 54 percent disapprove.

Biden’s approval number is down 7 percentage points, and his disapproval is up 6 percentage points since August.

The change comes after the chaotic and deadly pullout in Afghanistan, rising inflation, slowing economic growth and disappointing September jobs numbers.

Gallup reported last week that the 46th president’s approval rating dropped from 56 percent in the first quarter of this year to 44.7 percent in the third quarter, an 11.3 percent drop — the largest registered by any president since World War II.

Based on Tuesday’s election results, Biden has succeeded in unifying the country in the belief that he is leading it in the wrong direction.

Short of a major course correction, Democrats better prepare to run smack into a mighty red wave in next year’s midterms.




4 November, 2021

Immunity from Vaccines and Infection Lasts at Least Six Months

Immunity against covid from the vaccine and previous infections both lasts six months, according to a brief released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday.

In the brief, the agency said that current data shows that individuals who are fully vaccinated and those who had a previous COVID-19 infection each have a low risk of contracting another COVID infection for six months.

“Available evidence shows that fully vaccinated individuals and those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 each have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months,” the brief reads. “Data are presently insufficient to determine an antibody titer threshold that indicates when an individual is protected from infection. At this time, there is no FDA-authorized or approved test that providers or the public can use to reliably determine whether a person is protected from infection.”

The brief also claims that evidence indicates that “vaccination after infection significantly enhances protection and further reduces risk of reinfection.” The CDC currently recommends the COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible persons, including those who’ve previously had the virus.

“[T]here is a wide range in antibody titers in response to infection with SARS-CoV-2, completion of a primary vaccine series, especially with mRNA vaccines, typically leads to a more consistent, and higher-titer initial antibody response,” the brief reads. “[A]ntibody test results (particularly when not standardized nor quantitative) provide only a partial picture of an individual’s immune response. At this time there is no specific antibody test or antibody threshold that can determine an individual’s risk of subsequent infection.”

A separate study released by the CDC on Friday showed that the COVID-19 vaccine provides better protection against hospitalization than a previous infection with the virus.

“We now have additional evidence that reaffirms the importance of COVID-19 vaccines, even if you have had prior infection,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement on the study. “This study adds more to the body of knowledge demonstrating the protection of vaccines against severe disease from COVID-19.”


Top Doctor Says New CDC Study on Natural Immunity Is 'Highly Flawed'

Last week the Centers for Disease Control published a study claiming vaccination for the coronvirus was superior to immunity obtained through natural infection.

Given the CDC's record of issuing "science" based on political motives and leanings, the study was met with skepticism.

Further, a number of other studies have shown natural immunity is far superior to vaccination in terms of protection against infection. The Brownstone Institute has a solid analysis of the CDC study compared to a recent Israeli study, which shows natural immunity offers better protection.

Concerning the Covid recovered, there are two key public health issues. 1. Would the Covid recovered benefit from also being vaccinated? 2. Should there be vaccine passports and mandates that require them to be vaccinated in order to work and participate in society?

The CDC study did not address the first question, while the Israeli study showed a small but not statistically significant benefit in reducing symptomatic Covid disease. Future studies will hopefully shed more light on this issue.

Based on the solid evidence from the Israeli study, the Covid recovered have stronger and longer-lasting immunity against Covid disease than the vaccinated.

Many of the Covid recovered were exposed to the virus as essential workers during the height of the pandemic before vaccines were available. They kept the rest of society afloat, processing food, delivering goods, unloading ships, picking up garbage, policing the streets, maintaining the electricity network, putting out fires, and caring for the old and sick, to name a few.

They are now being fired and excluded despite having stronger immunity than the vaccinated work-from-home administrators that are firing them.

Johns Hopkins Doctor Marty MaKary is calling the CDC study "highly flawed."


New Vaccine Science Shows Mandates Are Unwise

New scientific findings in the prestigious Lancet Infectious Diseases journal blow a hole in the argument that workers need to get vaccinated to protect those around them. The findings prove the foolishness of forcing police and other public employees to get jabbed or lose their pay. And President Joe Biden should retract his order to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to compel large employers to mandate vaccines.

The journal reported Thursday that COVID-19 vaccines have “minimal” impact on preventing transmission of the delta strain. Delta is the COVID strain currently causing over 99% of U.S. cases.

Vaccines protect the people getting the shots from serious illness, but they don’t stop the delta variant from spreading to others.

Don’t get me wrong. Americans should choose to get vaccinated. The key word is “choose.” Though shots are no guarantee against getting infected and spreading it to others, they provide significant protection (90% or more) against hospitalization and death. I’m triple jabbed.

Choosing not to get vaccinated is choosing to risk your own life. The health risk to others is minimal.

Most vaccines — against polio, smallpox, measles and other diseases — prevent infection and spread. But not COVID-19 vaccines. Now that the battle is against the delta variant, they’ve become disease-tamers rather than infection preventers.

Tell that to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who gave New York City employees until Monday to get at least one shot or be sent home without pay. As of Monday, 9,000 are on unpaid leave because they have refused the shots. Twenty FDNY companies were shuttered because many of New York’s bravest refuse the vaccine. Police Commissioner Dermot Shea claims the mandate will not further diminish the number of New York’s finest on the street. That remains to be seen.

Governors and mayors from Maine to Los Angeles are demanding that public employees, and even nurses and doctors, hailed just months ago as heroes, get vaxxed or go without a job.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills says, “just as vaccination defeated smallpox and vaccination defeated polio, vaccination is the way to defeat COVID-19.” Sorry, Governor, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Just as politicians don’t read the bills before voting on them, they don’t keep up with science but still want to tell the rest of us what to do.

The groundbreaking findings in Lancet show that fully vaccinated people who came down with COVID [i.e. "breakthrough infections] infected others in their household at the same rate (about 25%) as unvaccinated people did (about 23%). The vaccinated had just as much viral load in their upper respiratory tract, making them just as contagious. “Our findings show that vaccination alone is not enough to prevent people from being infected with the delta variant and spreading it,” study co-author Ajit Lalvani said.

The British researchers also found that vaccinated people were only somewhat less likely to contract the virus (25%) compared with the unvaccinated (38%). [Wrong. Those percentages reflect the SECONDARY attack rate only] That conflicts with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data showing the vaccinated are far less likely to contract COVID.

One thing is for sure: The science is uncertain on this. So, government should not be using a heavy hand to impose mandates claiming to make workplaces safer.

Meanwhile, the White House is pressing large companies to mandate vaccinations and calling on OSHA to enforce that policy with hefty penalties. The Build Back Better bill increases the penalties tenfold to as much as $700,000 per incident for hazardous conditions, threatening bankruptcy for all but the largest enterprises. The Biden administration expects to publish the rules in the Federal Register in the coming days, affecting about two-thirds of the private sector workforce.

Yet the new science undercuts OSHA’s claim that unvaccinated people are a workplace hazard. So far, workplace mandates have been challenged at least 39 times in federal courts with little success, but the new scientific evidence may change that.

Lancet Infectious Diseases stressed the urgency of improving current vaccines or developing new ones to actually “protect against asymptomatic infections and onward transmission.”

Foolishly, the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress vilify the vaccine developer Moderna for making a profit and threaten to seize its patents. It’s possible COVID will continue morphing into new variants, requiring new vaccines from companies like Moderna.

When you’re fighting a war — in this case, against a killer disease — attacking your own ammunitions maker is no way to win it.


Biden Agenda Suffers Another Loss as Senate GOP Kills Federal Election Takeover

Less than 24 hours after arriving back in the United States, President Biden's legislative agenda suffered another loss at the hands of Republicans in Congress on Wednesday.

The John Lewis Voting Rights Act, yet another Democrat attempt to hand the federal government control of America's elections, failed to secure the support necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate.

Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the latest loss for the Biden-Harris legislative agenda that came out 50 to 49, short of the 60 vote threshold necessary to move the bill forward.

Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project which opposed the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, explained in a thread on Twitter before Wednesday's vote how this bill was just another zombified version of the previously defeated For the People Act.

Even though Democrats were able to bring Republican Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski over to their side ahead of the vote, other Senate Republicans held fast and prevented the bill from moving forward.




3 November, 2021

Vaccinated people are still highly likely to give covid to others

A new Lancet study about the transmission of Covid-19 among the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated is raising questions for some about vaccine mandates.

The study on “Community transmission and viral load kinetics” of the Delta variant in both the vaccinated and unvaccinated in the UK found the former were just as likely as the latter to spread Covid-19 among those in their household.

The vaccinated also had a similar viral load as the unvaccinated.

“Although vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe disease and deaths from COVID-19, our findings suggest that vaccination is not sufficient to prevent transmission of the delta variant in household settings with prolonged exposures,” noted the paper, which studied 621 symptomatic participants over a year.

Significantly, the research found the vaccine was much more effective at reducing transmission of the alpha variant in a household, rather than the delta variant.

For some, the findings raise serious questions about vaccine mandates and lockdown efforts that governments around the world have pursued in an effort to contain the pandemic.

The researchers also noted booster shots and increasing the rate of vaccination among younger populations will help but the focus ought to remain on those most vulnerable.

“Increasing population immunity via booster programmes and vaccination of teenagers will help to increase the currently limited effect of vaccination on transmission, but our analysis suggests that direct protection of individuals at risk of severe outcomes, via vaccination and non-pharmacological interventions, will remain central to containing the burden of disease caused by the delta variant,” the researchers wrote.


Greece Covid cases: Country records highest daily infections to date

After opening its borders during the summer tourism season, Greece has just recorded the highest daily increase of Covid-19 cases, since the start of the pandemic.

The European country reported 5400 cases on Monday, which pushes its daily average to 3900 new infections a day.

The country also recorded 52 deaths from Covid-19, which takes their pandemic death toll to 15,990 out of 747,595 cases.

Despite ballooning cases and rising deaths, a nationwide lockdown seems unlikely, reports local Athens-based newspaper, Kathimerini.

Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis said the government wasn’t looking at imposing a lockdown in winter, with the country shifting its Covid-recovery plan to focus on increasing vaccinations.

“We are now dealing with the pandemic of the unvaccinated,” he told local TV channel, Skai TV. “Our national right to lock people up has disappeared.”

Currently, 60.5 per cent of Greece’s population is fully-inoculated, with figures lagging behind the European average of 75 per cent.

Just four weeks ago Greece’s Health Miniser Thanos Plevris announced the removal of all indoor Covid-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated people. This meant business-as-usual activity was able to resume in restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, with customers allowed to stand while drinking, play music and dance.

“A key prerequisite to regain our freedom is the increase in vaccination. We want to send the message that where the risk is lower, freedoms will reach the norm,” said Mr Plevris.

In order to encourage citizens to get the jab, unvaccinated public and private employees have been forced to pay for weekly tests in order to gain entry into their place of work and sports stadiums, museums, archaeological sites, cinemas and restaurants. The government has also mandated vaccines for healthcare workers.

The sudden uptick in cases is a dire sign for Greece’s already struggling economy. Just four years after the country emerged from a six-year depression between 2010 to 2016, Greece was plunged into another recession in 2020.

Writing for Vox EU, Professor of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business and the former Greek Minister of Economy and Finance, George Alogoskoufis expects it will take years for Greece’s economy to recover.

“Greece appears to have experienced a very deep recession in 2020 and even under optimistic assumptions, a full recovery will take some time beyond 2021,” he wrote.

“In addition, the recession and the cost of the measures to mitigate it have already led to a further sharp rise of Greece’s already exorbitantly high public debt.”


CDC Says Young Kids Can Receive COVID Vaccine

A whole new frontier has opened up in the battle over COVID-19 vaccines, and it’s one that is going to invoke a great deal of emotion and anger. That’s thanks to the latest recommendations from the CDC, which were released on Tuesday.

Vaccine advisors for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted Tuesday that children ages 5-11 should get COVID-19 vaccines.

The vote comes after a special federal advisory committee met to debate the issue. A final say on the matter is expected from CDC Director Dro. Rochelle Walensky.

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized emergency use for kid doses, which are about one-third of the dose given to adolescents and adults. The vaccine is already approved for emergency use in children 12-15 years old.

Tuesday’s move means that as many as 28 million more children could be eligible for vaccinations as soon as this week.

Of course, this also means that the federal government could hide behind CDC approval in mandating that all school-aged children be vaccinated to attend public school, which is the very issue that the anti-vax movement has been fighting for decades.

Despite what is sure to be a mighty pushback, the Biden administration is already full-steam ahead on the plan.

The Biden administration, awaiting a green light, has been assembling and shipping millions of COVID-19 shots for children.

“We are not waiting on the operations and logistics,” White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said Tuesday, assuring that the administration is “in great shape on supply.”

We can only imagine what school board meetings would begin to look like should vaccine mandates for children be considered.


Professor of Medicine on Suing School Over Vaccine Mandate

Dr. Aaron Kheriaty reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic like many other medical experts. He worked long hours as the United States tried to grapple with the new disease. He had too many conversations with family members whose loved ones were dying from it.

But as time wore on, he started noticing a pattern in public health decisions that seemed to diverge from traditional medical ethics, including an insistence that people at little risk from COVID-19 get a vaccine.

Kheriaty is now on suspension from the University of California, Irvine, (UCI) and challenging the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in court.

“I had to stand up and try to do something about it,” the professor of psychiatry and director of the UCI Health’s Medical Ethics Program said on The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders.”

Kheriaty contracted COVID-19 in mid-2020. His infection was confirmed by two different tests from two independent labs. His five children and wife also contracted the disease. They all recovered, with none requiring hospital care.

“It was, for me, actually a very liberating experience afterward, because I didn’t have to worry about the illness anymore. I knew the science on natural immunity,” Kheriaty said.

Natural immunity refers to when people contract COVID-19 and recover. Dozens of studies have documented that these individuals enjoy strong immunity against CCP virus re-infection. Some of the studies suggest the immunity is superior to that provided by COVID-19 vaccines, particularly the Johnson & Johnson one.

“I knew that at that point, I was among the safest people to be around, I didn’t have to worry about transmitting the infection to my patients,” Kheriaty said.

He continued taking precautions, wearing personal protective equipment like masks as required at the hospital. But he was confident he didn’t pose a risk to others, which served as a relief.

That relief turned into disbelief when, around a year later, the University of California system, which includes UCI, imposed a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

The mandate (pdf) included a natural immunity opt-out, but only temporarily. People who recovered from COVID-19 were told they would only be exempt from the mandate for up to 90 days after their diagnosis.

University officials cited the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which alleges that the antibody tests it has authorized “are not validated to evaluate specific immunity or protection from SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

“For this reason, individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had an antibody test are not permanently exempt from vaccination,” officials said.

The mandate violated rights outlined in the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, including equal protection and substantive due process, Kheriaty’s lawsuit asserts.

“Plaintiff is naturally immune to SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, plaintiff is at least as equally situated as those who are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine, yet defendants deny plaintiff equal treatment and seek to burden Plaintiff with an unnecessary violation of bodily integrity to which plaintiff does not consent in order to be allowed to continue to work at UCI,” it states.

The situation creates two classes, vaccinated and unvaccinated, when a more reasonable division would be those who are immune and those who are not, Kheriaty believes.

“What kind of discriminatory policies do we have in place that are excluding someone like me from the workplace when I’m 99.8 percent protected against reinfection whereas someone who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, by the company’s own data that they submitted to the FDA, is 67 percent protective against COVID infection?” he said.

Most mandates across the country don’t have alternatives for people who had COVID-19 and recovered.

Kheriaty proposes putting the burden of proof on people who want to opt out.

“Just have them go get the testing on their own time. You don’t have to administer the T-cell test or the antibody test. You don’t have to go dig up their old medical record establishing that they’ve already had COVID,” he said.

“Just ask them to bring that in and sign off on that as a kind of immunity passport.”




2 November, 2021

Unvaccinated people are up to 32 times more likely to die if they catch Covid than the double-jabbed, ONS report finds

This is all very well if you believe official British statistics. It is now well known that Covid deaths have been heavily overstated in Britain. A man can die in a mororbike crash and still be counted as a Covid death if he has a cold or some such at the time. The statistics below sound to me like propaganda -- like the percentage of the vote that dictators get in an election

Unvaccinated people are up to 32 times more likely to die if they catch Covid than the double-vaccinated, official figures suggested today.

An Office for National Statistics (ONS) report found the mortality rate for deaths involving Covid in England among unjabbed adults was 849.7 per 100,000. For comparison, the rate stood at just 26.2 for fully vaccinated people and 105.3 for adults who had only had their first dose.

Death figures were for between January 2 to September 24 this year, which includes the brunt of the second wave when millions of adults weren't yet eligible for vaccines.

People were counted as being single- or double-vaccinated from 21 days after each dose because of the length of time taken for immunity to kick in and protect against the virus.

Experts today heralded the results as clear evidence that everyone should get the vaccine. But some warned that the figures may have 'overstated' the power of jabs.

In the report mortality rates were age-standardised, to account for the fact different age groups were vaccinated at separate times.

Older people who are most likely to die if they catch the virus were prioritised in the roll out, with the over-80s invited to get their first dose in December. But those in their early 20s had to wait until June to be called.

There was also a gap of 12 weeks between the first and second dose towards the beginning of the drive to ensure the maximum number of people could be jabbed in the shortest time possible. But in June this was cut to eight weeks.

A report by the UK Health Security Agency — which replaced the now-defunct Public Health England — published on Friday found being jabbed slashed the risk of someone infected with AY.4.2 developing symptoms by 81 per cent.

For comparison, two doses are thought to block around 83 per cent of all people falling ill with the ancestor strain.

The UKHSA said the preliminary results do 'not suggest a significant reduction in vaccine effectiveness for AY.4.2 compared to Delta' and admitted the slight drop may be down to chance.

Almost 24,000 cases of the strain have now been spotted in Britain. But the true count could be 10 times higher because laboratories are only sequencing a fraction of all confirmed samples.

Separate surveillance data shows the variant has now been found in all but a dozen parts of England and makes up one in ten new cases — with its proportion having doubled in the space of a month.

Despite statistics showing it's still outcompeting its ancestor, some experts are now questioning how much more transmissible than Delta the subtype really is. Scientists initially estimated the strain was around 10 to 15 per cent more infectious.

Figures show while cases of the mutant strain are continuing to increase, its curve is flattening off. It is increasing slower than its predecessor did at this point after it was first sequenced.

The ONS used figures from the Public Health Data Asset database, which contains people in England linked to the census in 2011 and GP records in 2019, to establish who had received the vaccine. It covers just under 80 per cent of the country's population.

The report also included data on deaths from all causes — such as heart disease and cancer, not just Covid.

It showed the un-vaccinated were still three times more likely to have died between January to December (2,187 per 100,000) than those who got two doses of the vaccine (783.6).

Commenting on the data John Roberts, from the Covid actuaries response group, said on Twitter: 'The difference in total mortality between the two groups (1,403.5) is more than the difference in Covid deaths (823.5).

'That's almost certainly due to the fact the demographic profile of the unvaccinated experiences higher mortality normally.

'We know that uptake has been lower in ethnic minority groups and more deprived areas, so in fact I would have been surprised if we didn't see this difference. So the 32 times might overstate the vaccine effect, but it is still going to be considerable.'

Chris Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute for Economic Affairs, warned the statistics may have 'gilded the lily' slightly because of the time period used.

He tweeted: 'This is a dodgy statistic when very few people were fully vaccinated until March. The evidence is good without having to gild the lily like this.'

Almost 50million Britons — or 86.9 per cent of over-12s — have got at least one dose of the Covid vaccine, and 45.7million have received both doses.

The NHS started rolling out vaccines to over-80s, the vulnerable and health and social care workers in December.

It is now also offering them to 12 to 15-year-olds following a recommendation from No10's vaccine advisers back in September, although uptake has been sluggish.

And booster shots are being offered for the over-50s from six months after their second dose to top-up their immunity ahead of what is expected to be a very hard winter for the NHS.

The report builds on evidence that Covid vaccines slash the risk of hospitalisation and death among people who catch the virus, and its variants.

A report by the UK Health Security Agency — which replaced the now-defunct Public Health England — found last week that jabs work just as well against the more transmissible Delta offshoot as they do on its ancestor.

Scientists said the vaccines slashed the risk of someone infected with AY.4.2 of developing symptoms by 81 per cent.

For comparison, two doses are thought to block around 83 per cent of all people falling ill with the ancestor strain.

The UKHSA said the preliminary results do 'not suggest a significant reduction in vaccine effectiveness for AY.4.2 compared to Delta' and admitted the slight drop may be down to chance.

Almost 24,000 cases of the strain have now been spotted in Britain. But the true count could be 10 times higher because laboratories are only sequencing a fraction of all confirmed samples.

Separate surveillance data shows the variant has now been found in all but a dozen parts of England and makes up one in ten new cases — with its proportion having doubled in the space of a month.

Despite statistics showing it's still outcompeting its ancestor, some experts are now questioning how much more transmissible than Delta the subtype really is. Scientists initially estimated the strain was around 10 to 15 per cent more infectious.

Figures show while cases of the mutant strain are continuing to increase, its curve is flattening off. It is increasing slower than its predecessor did at this point after it was first sequenced.


Virus vaccine trials had even gender split

Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines were largely gender balanced, although researchers have warned a failure to report on whether different side effects were experienced by men and women may limit future work in an emerging field.

A group of Australian researchers analysed more than 300 published papers on COVID-19 vaccines and found women and men were equally recruited and represented in randomised controlled trials. This is a departure from usual trends where male participants dominate medical research.

However, only a third of the randomised control trials reported efficacy data on a gender basis, and none reported whether any particular side effects of the vaccine were more common in men or women.

While historically medical trials would often exclusively use male participants, recent research has still been affected by an under-representation of women, said lead author Dr Amy Vassallo, from Sydney’s George Institute for Global Health.

Dr Vassallo said it was great to see researchers prioritise an equal gender split, but there was “a level of detail we’re missing out on”.

“We were all comforted when we knew getting AstraZeneca that we were expected to have a slightly worse reaction with the first dose, and Pfizer with the second dose, so after your vaccine if that happened it was normal and expected,” she said.

“But there were also possible sex and gender differences in responses to vaccines which we did not have knowledge about.”

While all available COVID-19 vaccines were found to be equally safe for men and women in trials, Dr Vassallo said better knowledge about side effects can be an effective tool in combating hesitancy.

Anecdotal reports of COVID-19 vaccine side effects in women, including menstrual changes, have since been investigated through survey data. A UK analysis published in September found the low prevalence of reports meant it was unlikely there was a link, although acknowledged the reporting method was not ideal




1 November, 2021

Booster vaccination reduces risk of COVID hospital stint by 93 per cent

Getting a Pfizer booster jab five months after a second dose reduces a person’s risk of hospitalisation with COVID by 93 per cent, according to research published in The Lancet.

The study from the Clalit Research Institute in Tel Aviv and Harvard University in the US is the first nationwide analysis of booster jab effectiveness and involved 1.5 million Israelis.

Half of these people got a booster, while the other half had not yet received one. Israel was a pioneer in the distribution of vaccines at the start of 2021, getting a jab in the arm of half of its population by the end of February. But by the time a fourth wave hit the nation in summer, there was some waning of vaccine-induced immunity.

Data from the study show that a person’s risk from COVID in the week after getting a booster is much lower than someone who is only double-jabbed.

“Vaccine effectiveness... was estimated to be 93 per cent for admission to hospital, 92 per cent for severe disease, and 81 per cent for Covid-related death,” the researchers write in their paper.

The protection from the fresh inoculation was found to be unaltered by the recipient’s age, overall health or age. But while a booster did drastically reduce the threat of COVID relative to someone who does not get their booster, the absolute risk from COVID is still tiny for the double-jabbed.

For example, of the three-quarters of a million people who did get a booster, there were just 44 COVID deaths among the double-jabbed, compared to seven for the booster group. Only 29 people who got a booster went on to be admitted to hospital due to COVID.

Prof Ran Balicer, senior author of the study, from Clalit, said: “These results show convincingly that the third dose of the vaccine is highly effective against severe Covid-related outcomes one week after the third dose.”

Speaking about booster jabs, Boris Johnson called for all Britons to get their booster “as soon as you’re offered it”.

“It’s a very important message. I think people don’t quite realise that the first two jabs do start to wane.

“There is a waning effect on the first two, so people who are double vaccinated can experience a waning effect in their immunity. “How sad, how tragic it would be if people who had other complications other compromises in their health got seriously ill because they were overconfident about their level of immunity and didn’t get their booster when they needed it. “So please, please, please can everybody get their boosters.”

Israel will offer a third shot of the Pfizer vaccine to over 60s who received their second dose at least five months ago in order to fight the Delta variant.

A paper prepared by the Effectiveness Expert Panel shows that between three and six months, a double-vaccinated person who received the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is still 85 per cent protected against hospitalisation compared to an unvaccinated individual. For death, the reduction in risk is 90 per cent.

Pfizer performed slightly better, with two doses giving 95 per cent protection against both death and hospitalisation.

“These results show convincingly that the third dose of the vaccine is highly effective against severe Covid-19-related outcomes in different age groups and population subgroups, one week after the third dose,” said Prof Ran Balicer, the senior author of the study.


Here's what we know about COVID-19 vaccines for kids

American families who are eagerly awaiting the ability to vaccinate their young children against COVID-19 may finally get their wish in the coming weeks.

On Friday, October 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer-BioNTech shots for kids ages 5 to 11. The move comes just days after an advisory committee reviewed the safety and effectiveness of the low-dose vaccine and voted unanimously in favor of it. If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention follows suit in the coming days, the 28 million children in this age group will be able to join their older siblings and parents in getting the jab.

Documents sent to the FDA and released by Pfizer on October 22 provide results from their clinical trial with children in this age bracket. The data show that the vaccine offers strong protection for this age group, with a 90.7 percent efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic disease even against the Delta variant now in circulation.

The devastation COVID-19 has wreaked on adults has largely obscured how much children have suffered, says Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Boston’s Children Hospital, who is a member of the FDA committee that voted on the Pfizer vaccine. According to the CDC, nearly 2 million kids 5 to 11 have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and more than 150 have died.

Had COVID-19 struck as many children as it has without touching a single adult, it would still be a serious public health emergency, Levy says. The question now is how quickly parents will move to vaccinate their young children after shots become available.

When parents were asked last month in a Kaiser Family Foundation survey whether they want their 5 to 11 year old immunized against the coronavirus, 34 percent said they would do it right away. Thirty-two percent want to wait and see, and 7 percent said they will if it’s required, such as by school mandates. Twenty-four percent say they are completely opposed.

“It’s understandable that at this stage parents have a lot of questions,” says Kelly Moore, president and CEO of the nonprofit Immunization Action Coalition, of the group of parents planning to hang back. “People will always be cautious when it comes to their children, and we have not had safety and side effect information for this group before this point,” she says.

Similar dynamics occurred with adults, she notes, but “once people saw how it was working, many were eager to get vaccinated.”

Why kids need vaccines

Given the mass mortality among older adults, it’s easy to lose sight of how children in this younger age group have been impacted by the disease.

In addition to mild or moderate illnesses, more than 5,000 children have developed the serious, full-body reaction to the coronavirus known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), the vast majority under age 11. The syndrome can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea and may lead to heart dysfunction, kidney injury, and, in rare cases, death.

“When you compare COVID’s effects on children to influenza and other diseases that affect them, COVID is much more devastating,” Moore says.

Of course, children suffer even when others develop the disease. Some 140,000 children have lost a primary or secondary caregiver from COVID-19 to date. And the numerous school shut downs and curtailing of social activities have had such a profound psychological effect that the American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical groups have declared children’s mental health to be in a national state of emergency.

What’s more, protecting children with the shots adds to the defenses for all members of their family, especially those younger than 5 who would still not yet be eligible, or any adults at risk of severe disease.

Moore has a friend whose husband is on immunosuppressing drugs to protect his kidney transplant. “Their 8-year-old daughter can’t even go into an ice-cream store because her father is vulnerable if she were to catch and transmit COVID,” she says.

A recent Swedish study confirmed the value of this ring of protection: Families where one member is immunized have up to a 61 percent lower risk that others in the home will get COVID-19, while three or four immunized members gives more than a 90 percent reduction.

Inoculating children in an effort to protect others already happens in the U.S., Levy says. “Some say it’s not ethical to vaccinate kids for a disease that doesn’t affect them as much,” he says, but children are currently immunized against rubella when the main risk is to pregnant mothers, he points out.

A smaller dose

Tens of thousands of adults were tested in Pfizer-BioNTech’s original clinical trials, and with 105,000 Americans over age 12 having completed the two-dose series, the FDA already has extensive information on the effectiveness of the shots. To test the vaccine for children 5 to 11, a different type of trial was conducted, largely focused on safety and dosage.

In the first phase of the trial, Pfizer gave a small group of children either the same 30 microgram dose used for those 12 and older, or they administered 20 or 10 microgram doses. This is a process known as a dose de-escalation trial, says Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious diseases specialist at Yale Medicine and a principal investigator of the Pfizer trials.

“You want to find the dose that gives a strong immune response while trying to limit adverse events,” he says. The two-dose regimen of 10 micrograms each eventually won out. Pfizer is presenting the test results from some 2,268 participants to the FDA.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will comb through every bit of Pfizer’s data before deciding whether to recommend its authorization for 5 to 11s. Pfizer is also currently studying even smaller doses for children between 2 and 5 years old and for those between 6 months and less than 2 years. And more good news for parents of young children: Moderna announced on October 25 that its clinical trial in 6 to 11 year olds also produced a robust immune response.

Side effects seen in the Pfizer trial were similar to those for older children, including short-term injection site pain, fatigue, headache, and chills. There were no serious adverse events linked to the vaccine. “You can never say never in medicine, but we feel pretty confident that nothing untoward is expected when even more children get the vaccines,” Ogbuagu says.

Rare events that happen in 1-in-10,000 or 1-in-100,000 people will not emerge until that many children have been vaccinated. The rare cases of the heart inflammation known as myocarditis, which has primarily impacted male adolescents and young men after their mRNA vaccine series, is estimated to occur in roughly 1 in 26,000 males, and nearly all have since recovered.

Addressing parents’ concerns

When weighing any potential risks, parents must compare a vaccine with the disease it aims to protect their child against, Moore says. Even mild cases of COVID-19 can make children feel awful and keep them from attending school. Plus, an unknown number of children continue to suffer for months after their acute illness, a condition that’s come to be known as long COVID.

Among parents who worry, some are concerned about stimulating their child’s immune system with a vaccine, Ogbuagu says, but he counters that “the stimulation it gets when a person gets COVID is much more intense.”

Other resisters focus on the vaccine’s delivery system—the mRNA that instructs the body to create spike proteins for the immune system’s response. But vaccines routinely given to children for other diseases use many different technologies and most parents haven’t much cared, says Robert Jacobson, medical director of the Primary Care Immunization Program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

For example, he says, the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) jabs and the chicken pox shots use a weakened form of a live virus. The vaccine for diphtheria employs an altered form of the bacteria. And hepatitis B’s vaccine involves tricking yeast through recombinant technology to produce a protein they don’t naturally make.

What’s more, Ogbuagu says, RNA-based viruses like influenza or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) routinely infect kids, so it’s not as if their bodies haven’t seen the structure before. “If people knew the host of RNA viruses that enter their child’s cells all the time, they would worry less about the vaccine,” he says.

Pfizer-BioNTech’s shots are already proving valuable for children ages 12 to 17. Some 11 million Americans in this age group, or 57 percent of the total, have gotten at least one shot, while 47 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the AAP. The vaccines have been 93 percent effective in protecting kids this age from going to the hospital, the CDC announced last week.

If the CDC ultimately authorizes the vaccine for kids 5 to 11, Levy wants the shots to be mandated for school, as others currently are. In a recent medical journal editorial, he writes that decreasing virus circulation in children may be our best hope for controlling the spread of COVID-19.




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