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IHME: 6.9 Million Deaths from Corona
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This is Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s assessment of global excess mortality from COVID-19 from the beginning until May 3, 2021. (h/t Ron Unz)

You can read about the methodology here.

All in all, this sadly comports with the “millions” prediction I made in February 24, 2020. While at the end of last year I thought we would top out at 10 million, the spread of more infectious variants and vaccine distribution snafus means that we will almost certainly exceed that cumulatively by the end of this year. I also think it likely that even these excess mortality estimates substantially undercount India and Indonesia, as well as Sub-Saharan Africa (though the latter is insulated by its very low median age). Remember that statistics are often substandard outside the industrialized world, and more speculative than real in much of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Here are the top 20 countries by Corona mortality from March 2020 to this May:

Country Total COVID-19 deaths Reported COVID-19 deaths
United States of America 905,289 574,043
India 654,395 221,181
Mexico 617,127 217,694
Brazil 595,903 408,680
Russian Federation 593,610 109,334
United Kingdom 209,661 150,519
Italy 175,832 121,257
Iran 174,177 72,906
Egypt 170,041 13,529
South Africa 160,452 54,390
Poland 149,855 68,237
Peru 147,765 62,739
Ukraine 138,507 46,737
France 132,680 105,506
Spain 123,786 85,365
Germany 120,729 83,256
Indonesia 115,743 45,938
Japan 108,320 10,390
Romania 87,649 28,382
Kazakhstan 81,696 5,620

And here are the top per capita “performers” (deaths per 100,000):

Country Total COVID-19 death rate Reported COVID-19 death rate
Azerbaijan 648.8 44.6
Bosnia and Herzegovina 587.2 262.1
Bulgaria 544.5 238.7
Albania 525.7 88.0
Mexico 493.9 174.2
North Macedonia 467.9 230.0
Belarus 459.6 27.1
Romania 455.6 147.5
Kazakhstan 444.2 30.6
Peru 434.7 184.6
Slovakia 427.6 216.6
Russian Federation 404.6 74.5
Lithuania 395.1 141.7
Poland 389.9 177.5
Czechia 386.8 276.0
Hungary 386.7 288.2
Republic of Moldova 377.6 158.4
Montenegro 338.1 242.0
Ukraine 314.5 106.1
Latvia 312.6 111.9

In the end, there seems to have been very little difference in outcomes amongst the East Europeans, despite significant policy differences (e.g. Belarus never had a lockdown, Lukashenko being an outspoken floomer, while Ukraine had the strongest lockdowns). Russia, which didn’t have real lockdowns after the first one, is around the same ballpark as Poland, and Ukraine is catching up fast. If you’re not serious about suppressing Corona and then keeping it that way through centralized quarantines and technological means, then it’s best not to bother with lockdowns at all to at least keep the GDP pumped. This is why I refrained from endorsing the second round of lockdowns.

Anyhow, by and large, vaccines are now accessible to anybody who wants them. So I can’t say I actually care about deaths at this point, if elderly anti-vaxxers want to croak, then good on them for reducing the pensions burden.

Amusingly, the world leader in Corona deaths seems to be Azerbaijan. These are the Chads would marched through the streets of Baku, demanding “end the lockdown, start the war.” Azerbaijan had a good year, its territory expanded.

Serbia is conspicuous by its absence. Vucic has handled things extremely well. Its politicians might be more rational than in most of Europe.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Corona, Coronavirus, Demographics, Mortality 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. “It is dangerous to be grudging about safety measures for fear that they might turn out to have been unnecessary.”
    – Admiral Nimitz, concluding his review of the tragic “Halsey Hurricane” of WWII.

  3. I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go? How many of these deaths were due to the granny-killer governors? When you die “of” or “with” COVID after getting the “vaccine”, does that count? Where did COVID come from? A bioweapon lab? If so, were they not “murdered” by evil unknown? Or is COVID a form of genocide and not a “virus”? How many people could have been saved had not the medical establishment stressed “vaccines” and not readily available, cheap, effective treatments? Which leads to the question how many people needlessly died because the medical establishment stresses profit over people? When will somebody answer these questions?

    • Agree: RadicalCenter, Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Shortsword
    @jsinton


    I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go?
     
    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Replies: @jsinton, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account, @AnonfromTN, @Realist

    , @Levtraro
    @jsinton


    Where did flu season go?
     
    This one is easy. At the beginning of this COVID event I wrote here at unz: How about all the other bugs? These innocent bugs, like the flu virus, will suffer because of COVID?

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/flu-has-disappeared-worldwide-during-the-covid-pandemic1/
    , @Mr. Hack
    @jsinton

    I'd have to agree with you, that they're a lot more questions regarding covid then there are answers.I'm currently staying with my elderly sister in Minnesota who completed her two shot regimen with the Pfizer vaccination about a month ago. She's experienced some severe reactions necessitating trips to her local doctor. The pains seem to often start in the bones within her feet and travel and manifest themselves in other parts of her body, like within her ribs. I've been with her when this flair up occurs and she seems to exhibit jolts almost like an electrical shock. The doctors treating her have said that
    these pains should last 2-3 months or even longer. She's in touch with friends that have had similar experiences, even necessitating trips to the hospital. All of this seems to indicate that our medical community knows about a lot of folks that have experienced severe bad reactions to the inoculations, but do not publicize this information to the public. It's as if Big Brother has put a big muzzle about this topic (and other related ones) keeping this bad press as quiet as possible?...

    Replies: @jsinton

    , @nosquat loquat
    @jsinton

    Yes, I agree.

  4. @jsinton
    I don't deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing "numbers of deaths" is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there's three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths "of" COVID or deaths "with" covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go? How many of these deaths were due to the granny-killer governors? When you die "of" or "with" COVID after getting the "vaccine", does that count? Where did COVID come from? A bioweapon lab? If so, were they not "murdered" by evil unknown? Or is COVID a form of genocide and not a "virus"? How many people could have been saved had not the medical establishment stressed "vaccines" and not readily available, cheap, effective treatments? Which leads to the question how many people needlessly died because the medical establishment stresses profit over people? When will somebody answer these questions?

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Levtraro, @Mr. Hack, @nosquat loquat

    I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go?

    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    • Replies: @jsinton
    @Shortsword

    Which even begs more questions. Who is counting the deaths? Were the deaths due to COVID or the social upheaval of poorly thought out government response to COVID? How many old people starved to death because the couldn't get to Golden Corral? How many people died because the explosion of violent crime? How many people simply had a heart attack from sitting on the sofa drinking beer and watching Netflix too much? Or because they couldn't go outside for a walk? Or ODed on Fentanyl? How many people hung themselves because they lost their business like my cousin in FL? No one will answer these questions. So even "total deaths" is meaningless.

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Daniel Chieh, @Humbert Humbert

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Shortsword


    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.
     
    Right, but significantly more people were scared or forced away from interacting with the medical system, significantly more people were impoverished, significantly more people were socially isolated... all of that is going to drive mortality upwards. (Significantly.)

    Actually, not even really "right": many of these countries have ageing population, and so should have seen rising deaths anyway; for many (if not all) of these countries, all-cause mortality is up to the same level that it was only a few years ago.

    And as the other commenter points out, if Ivermectin had been approved for use, supposedly a very large number of the dead might have lived.

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    , @AnonfromTN
    @Shortsword


    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.
     
    Yes, but did all these extra people die because of covid or because of covid-craze? Under the pretext of covid many kinds of care were stopped or refused, and a lot of people who should have seen their doctors didn’t?

    Replies: @Levtraro

    , @Realist
    @Shortsword

    Why would anyone believe any government figures about anything? The government is your enemy...that should be obvious to anyone to the right on the curve.

  5. 200 thousand dead in the UK? The UK’S excess deaths are no where near that high, likewise the US is nowhere near 905 thousand either. I have no idea where they got these numbers from, unless these are projections.

    • Replies: @Californian Candidate
    @AlexanderGrozny

    Estimates of excess deaths, defined as the number of persons who have died from all causes, above the expected number of deaths for a given place and time, can provide a comprehensive account of mortality likely related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including deaths that are both directly and indirectly associated with COVID-19. Since April 2020, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has published weekly data on excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. A previous report identified nearly 300,000 excess deaths during January 26–October 3, 2020, with two thirds directly associated with COVID-19. Using more recent data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), CDC estimated that 545,600–660,200 excess deaths occurred in the United States during January 26, 2020–February 27, 2021.

    This might come as a surprise to some, but deaths (like births) from all causes in industrialized countries are very consistent year to year or month to month. Occasionally, there is a deadlier flu season to account for small deviations. So all these counts simply compare EXCESS deaths above normal numbers seen year after year.

  6. @Shortsword
    @jsinton


    I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go?
     
    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Replies: @jsinton, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account, @AnonfromTN, @Realist

    Which even begs more questions. Who is counting the deaths? Were the deaths due to COVID or the social upheaval of poorly thought out government response to COVID? How many old people starved to death because the couldn’t get to Golden Corral? How many people died because the explosion of violent crime? How many people simply had a heart attack from sitting on the sofa drinking beer and watching Netflix too much? Or because they couldn’t go outside for a walk? Or ODed on Fentanyl? How many people hung themselves because they lost their business like my cousin in FL? No one will answer these questions. So even “total deaths” is meaningless.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Troll: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Shortsword
    @jsinton

    This is happening in all countries. Not just United States.

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @jsinton

    Nothing makes sense if you don't want it to. If we didn't use metrics, we would never have developed any science.

    Replies: @Beckow

    , @Humbert Humbert
    @jsinton

    The statisticians, dummy! (You really a dummy, but that's besides the point that I'm making). Every country has a census bureau that is tasked with collecting the information from death certificates. In most countries, including UK where I live the crime was down relative to last few years. There are no other obvious explanatory factors, so far, that can explain the excess deaths. In fact, significant undercounting in deaths occured in UK, because the deaths in care homes had a delay of month or more in reporting. IMO, there is really no better estimate for most countries AFAIK for the deaths from COVID than the excess deaths. Do you know of anything better?

  7. @AlexanderGrozny
    200 thousand dead in the UK? The UK'S excess deaths are no where near that high, likewise the US is nowhere near 905 thousand either. I have no idea where they got these numbers from, unless these are projections.

    Replies: @Californian Candidate

    Estimates of excess deaths, defined as the number of persons who have died from all causes, above the expected number of deaths for a given place and time, can provide a comprehensive account of mortality likely related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including deaths that are both directly and indirectly associated with COVID-19. Since April 2020, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has published weekly data on excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. A previous report identified nearly 300,000 excess deaths during January 26–October 3, 2020, with two thirds directly associated with COVID-19. Using more recent data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), CDC estimated that 545,600–660,200 excess deaths occurred in the United States during January 26, 2020–February 27, 2021.

    This might come as a surprise to some, but deaths (like births) from all causes in industrialized countries are very consistent year to year or month to month. Occasionally, there is a deadlier flu season to account for small deviations. So all these counts simply compare EXCESS deaths above normal numbers seen year after year.

  8. @Shortsword
    @jsinton


    I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go?
     
    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Replies: @jsinton, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account, @AnonfromTN, @Realist

    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Right, but significantly more people were scared or forced away from interacting with the medical system, significantly more people were impoverished, significantly more people were socially isolated… all of that is going to drive mortality upwards. (Significantly.)

    Actually, not even really “right”: many of these countries have ageing population, and so should have seen rising deaths anyway; for many (if not all) of these countries, all-cause mortality is up to the same level that it was only a few years ago.

    And as the other commenter points out, if Ivermectin had been approved for use, supposedly a very large number of the dead might have lived.

    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    You are right. The usual "excess deaths" method for calculating deaths from COVID-19 will not work in this case because ceteris non paribus. COVID measures have been accompanied in many countries by drastic reductions in operations and treatments for heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening disorders. Closer inspection will reveal that deaths due to these causes will have gone up markedly as a result.
    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !

    Replies: @demografie, @Levtraro, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  9. Pretty numbers. So I did what I always do with good-looking numbers and did some calculations (exciting!). In the two countries I know the the excess death numbers are overstated by a factor of 2 (Czechia, Slovakia) – that makes me doubt all of them.

    People die all the time, old people more than anyone else. Some are now dead 1-2 years before they would die otherwise. Some more, the fat ones especially. Corona increased death rates by 15% – among the elderly and sick. So why should a young healthy person take that test vaccine?

    This makes no sense and pompous posturing about “data” and “science” and “I predicted” is neither here no there. It is bad, it is not a catastrophe. I still only know two people who died of it and they were both quite old. I know quite a few young people who lost a year of their life.

    • Replies: @Three of Swords
    @Beckow


    This makes no sense and pompous posturing about “data” and “science” and “I predicted” is neither here no there.
     
    Thank you.
    , @demografie
    @Beckow

    I doubt that. I will post data for Czech republic. There's quite significant uptick in excess deaths. Number don't lie. You are just coping. Also I salute to your decision not take vaccine. It will be more for my family.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Anastasia

  10. Politically incorrect American jokes:
    A skydiver who jumped without his parachute died of covid.
    Because of an explosion in methamphetamine lab two people died of covid.

    Politically incorrect Russian jokes:
    My nose is not running, I have no fever, I have no headache, my sense of smell is keen. Must be asymptomatic covid.
    Doctor, when do you expect covid epidemic to end? I don’t know, I am not interested in politics.

    • Agree: FerW
    • Thanks: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
    @AnonfromTN

    My favourite is Rat A to Rat B-'I'm not having the vaccine until they finish the human trials'.

  11. @Shortsword
    @jsinton


    I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go?
     
    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Replies: @jsinton, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account, @AnonfromTN, @Realist

    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Yes, but did all these extra people die because of covid or because of covid-craze? Under the pretext of covid many kinds of care were stopped or refused, and a lot of people who should have seen their doctors didn’t?

    • Replies: @Levtraro
    @AnonfromTN

    Yes, but counter to that, many other infectious pathogens were also impacted by COVID non-pharmaceutical interventions thus causing a further latent decrease in excess deaths.

  12. 7 million? It’s the worst tragedy in human history!

    • LOL: Realist
  13. I had a look at how they crunch the numbers. In short:

    1. They assume COVID deaths are most or all of the excess deaths
    2. They don’t know how to count the excess deaths from lockdowns, so they don’t count them at all
    3. They do some jiggery-pokery to bring down the numbers for other causes of death (I suspect)

    And whaddya know, when you assume all deaths were corona deaths, and lockdowns had no cost, it turns out that the COVID death toll goes through the roof! Emphases mine:

    Estimating the fraction of excess mortality that is direct COVID-19 deaths

    Deaths that are directly due to COVID-19 are likely underreported in many locations, particularly in settings where COVID-19 testing is in short supply. Most excess mortality is likely misclassified COVID-19 deaths. An analysis by the Netherlands statistical agency suggested that all excess deaths in the Netherlands were directly due to COVID-19.2 In fact, their analysis actually suggested that direct COVID-19 deaths may be higher than estimated excess deaths because deaths due to some other causes have declined during the pandemic.

    The second driver of excess mortality is reduced health care utilization for many causes;3 however, the impact of reduced health care use on health outcomes is harder to prove. […] The impact of changes in health care utilization on excess mortality may be observed in later years, rather than in 2020 or the first quarter of 2021.

    Third, convincing evidence has been found that rates of anxiety and depression have increased, which might in turn lead to increases in deaths from suicide.5 To date, the evidence on increased suicide is very limited.6 Opioid deaths, on the other hand, have clearly increased7 in the United States. Compared to past trends, opioid deaths increased by around 15,000 since March 2020. Evidence on whether this has also occurred in other countries awaits further study.

    Fourth, we reviewed the evidence on decreases in injuries as a result of reductions in mobility. We analyzed data from 12 countries that provide cause of death data by week or month, which allows us to test whether some causes decreased significantly during 2020 and whether that decrease was related to the decreases in mobility that have been reported. This analysis suggests that globally, injury mortality decreased by 5% in 2020 due to reductions in mobility. At the global level, this translates into a reduction of approximately 215,000 deaths.

    Which 12 countries? This sounds like the kind of number that could very widely from country-to-country, so extrapolating from the wrong 12 countries could give a very misleading number.

    And how much of that data? Some places saw a decline in traffic mortality, for instance earlier in 2020 – and then an increase above pre-pandemic levels later in the year, continuing into 2021.

    Fifth, some infectious causes of death may have declined during the pandemic due to the behavioral changes associated with control of the pandemic, including mask use and reduced contact with others. Causes that have clearly declined are influenza,8,9 respiratory syncytial virus,10 measles,11 and possibly other respiratory viruses and viral diarrheas. For example, influenza cases in the United States declined 99.3% from the winter season of 2019–2020 to the winter season of 2020–2021. Combining the reductions reported in different countries in influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and measles, the global reduction in mortality from these causes may be larger than 400,000 deaths.

    This is starting to smell like statistical legerdemain to me. First, they’re assuming “behavioural changes” to be the cause – but “behavioural changes” didn’t make much of a dent in COVID. (Inb4 “hurr durr, COVID’s so much more infectious so it goes right thru the mask”, then why are you wearing one?)

    Further, how many of those 400,000 deaths missed from flu etc were people who died from COVID? Are those deaths, already counted under COVID-19 deaths, being subtracted from all-cause mortality, thus requiring phantom COVID deaths to make up the total? Is this how they arrive at their huge numbers? Obviously I’m far too innumerate to work that out, all I’m sure is that that 400,000 figure is a bunch of bollocks unless it refers to people who would’ve died from flu etc but didn’t die from COVID, i.e., people under the age of 80. (But that shouldn’t be anywhere near 400,000 people…)

    Sixth, deaths from some chronic conditions such as ischemic heart disease or chronic respiratory disease declined in some months of 2020, most notably in May and June in Europe. These declines were most likely due to the fact that frail individuals who died from COVID-19 earlier in the year would otherwise likely have died from these chronic conditions. The strongest evidence for this effect is that excess mortality was negative in some countries in Europe in June when the reported COVID-19 death rate was very low. In aggregate, this effect likely reduced mortality by only 2% based on our analysis.

    Again, it didn’t actually reduce mortality at all, because those people still died.

    Overall, the evidence suggests reductions of 615,000 deaths, or potentially more, stemming from behavioral changes at the global level. The main potential increases in excess mortality due to deferred care and increases in drug overdose and depression are hard to quantify at this point or are of a much smaller magnitude. Given that there is insufficient evidence to estimate these contributions to excess mortality, for now we assume that total COVID-19 deaths equal excess mortality. For the reasons presented in this section, we believe that this is likely an underestimate. As the evidence is strengthened in the coming months and years, it is likely that we will revise our estimates of the total COVID-19 death rate upward in future iterations of this work, once we can properly take into account the drivers described in this section.

    lol, how the fuck are they gonna revise it upward from the maximum? Oh right, nobody died from anything else in 2020: if you got hit by a bus, that’s COVID; if you’re walking down the street and a piano falls on your head, that’s COVID.

    Big picture: it’s very misleading to use the COVID death toll; it’s the excess deaths we should be more concerned about. And it’s even more misleading to presume no impact on mortality from the near-shuttering of the world’s economy and healthcare systems.

    • Agree: Dnought
    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The global death toll from cardiovascular disease, to take just one example, is something like 50,000 per day. Heart attacks are a case where timely medical intervention can make a big difference between life and death. Since last year however, everyone has been forced or scared away from hospitals and other urgent/emergency treatment. Might this have caused cardiovascular deaths to rise somewhat as result of decreased medical care, say from 50,000 per day to 60,000 per day? A one-sixth difference between treated versus untreated cardiovascular disease doesn't seem like a big stretch. Indeed, medical professionals like to think they have a much bigger than one-sixth effect on mortality of the patients they care for. But now we have a situation where medical care for everything except covid is deprecated.

    So on these modest assumptions, we get an extra 10,000 × 365 = 3.65 million extra deaths per year from the medical deprecation of one pre-covid illness alone. Now repeat the calculation for all the other pre-covid illnesses that are getting neglected in the covid era: cancer, non-contagious respiratory diseases, contagious but non-covid respiratory diseases*, etc. and you can get millions more global excess deaths.

    Paraphrasing myself from last year, we are trying to pick out covid deaths from among much larger streams of deaths. A slight change in (or even a slight reclassification of) any of those larger streams of deaths can double or erase covid deaths at a single stroke. Yet it is hard to find any evaluation in the changes, real or statistical, in these larger death streams that may dwarf the covid numbers. One suspects that no one wants to face the torrent of abuse that hit anyone who points this out.

    ------

    *You note that it is "starting to smell like statistical legerdemain" and I agree. Last winter, the CDC declared there were no influenza deaths (statistically unheard of) but then also combined pneumonia, influenza and covid in to a new category called "PIC". Ironically, in a way, the new PIC category may be more honest inasmuch as coronaviruses were always a component of influenza viruses, so separating out the COVID-19 influenza sub-virus from the larger influenza category was arguably more deceptive than re-including it back in. Still, the change in accounting midstream creates a statistical discontinuity which invalidates comparisons before and after the change.

    Replies: @Beckow, @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  14. @jsinton
    @Shortsword

    Which even begs more questions. Who is counting the deaths? Were the deaths due to COVID or the social upheaval of poorly thought out government response to COVID? How many old people starved to death because the couldn't get to Golden Corral? How many people died because the explosion of violent crime? How many people simply had a heart attack from sitting on the sofa drinking beer and watching Netflix too much? Or because they couldn't go outside for a walk? Or ODed on Fentanyl? How many people hung themselves because they lost their business like my cousin in FL? No one will answer these questions. So even "total deaths" is meaningless.

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Daniel Chieh, @Humbert Humbert

    This is happening in all countries. Not just United States.

  15. Excess deaths metric is weird. Here is the US data from CDC:
    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    When you look at the main chart you see tons of excess deaths. But when you select “Number of Deaths by Cause Group” you see that the great majority of excess deaths in 2020 came from “circulatory diseases” and “Alzheimer and dementia.” “Respiratory diseases” show only a small spike in March-April of 2020 (below the levels of 2015 and 2018) and after that stay at the normal level.

    Make of this what you will.

  16. @jsinton
    @Shortsword

    Which even begs more questions. Who is counting the deaths? Were the deaths due to COVID or the social upheaval of poorly thought out government response to COVID? How many old people starved to death because the couldn't get to Golden Corral? How many people died because the explosion of violent crime? How many people simply had a heart attack from sitting on the sofa drinking beer and watching Netflix too much? Or because they couldn't go outside for a walk? Or ODed on Fentanyl? How many people hung themselves because they lost their business like my cousin in FL? No one will answer these questions. So even "total deaths" is meaningless.

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Daniel Chieh, @Humbert Humbert

    Nothing makes sense if you don’t want it to. If we didn’t use metrics, we would never have developed any science.

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Daniel Chieh


    Nothing makes sense if you don’t want it to.
     
    Possibly. But you also can't just wish for something to be sensible.

    If we didn’t use metrics, we would never have developed science.
     
    The corona science seems in very early stages of development, more an emotional movement than a science. If this is the worst epidemic we have, we are in pretty good shape. Our grandparents would laugh at it and mostly ignore it. Some would die, but the numbers are just not there...There are 7 billion people in the world, almost 100 million die each year. This is noticeable, but hardly catastrophic.
  17. Anatoly,

    Did you make these calculations on your own, or copied from that Tabak guy? Cause it sure looks like Tabak handiwork. Especially that 593.000 figure for Russia – complete BS.

    • Agree: Gerard.Gerard
  18. @Beckow
    Pretty numbers. So I did what I always do with good-looking numbers and did some calculations (exciting!). In the two countries I know the the excess death numbers are overstated by a factor of 2 (Czechia, Slovakia) - that makes me doubt all of them.

    People die all the time, old people more than anyone else. Some are now dead 1-2 years before they would die otherwise. Some more, the fat ones especially. Corona increased death rates by 15% - among the elderly and sick. So why should a young healthy person take that test vaccine?

    This makes no sense and pompous posturing about "data" and "science" and "I predicted" is neither here no there. It is bad, it is not a catastrophe. I still only know two people who died of it and they were both quite old. I know quite a few young people who lost a year of their life.

    Replies: @Three of Swords, @demografie

    This makes no sense and pompous posturing about “data” and “science” and “I predicted” is neither here no there.

    Thank you.

  19. I have found that Karl Denninger has, by far, the best information on both covid-19 as well as the vaccines.

  20. @Daniel Chieh
    @jsinton

    Nothing makes sense if you don't want it to. If we didn't use metrics, we would never have developed any science.

    Replies: @Beckow

    Nothing makes sense if you don’t want it to.

    Possibly. But you also can’t just wish for something to be sensible.

    If we didn’t use metrics, we would never have developed science.

    The corona science seems in very early stages of development, more an emotional movement than a science. If this is the worst epidemic we have, we are in pretty good shape. Our grandparents would laugh at it and mostly ignore it. Some would die, but the numbers are just not there…There are 7 billion people in the world, almost 100 million die each year. This is noticeable, but hardly catastrophic.

  21. The excess mortality figures for the developed countries who publish monthly death data are overestimates, won’t speak to accuracy of these figures with regard to poorer nations as many of them don’t publish monthly deaths data, or even annual death data in the case of many African countries.

    There is no way there have been 905k covid deaths in America, total deaths in 2020 were only 529k above 2019, and deaths in America are rising on a secular trend anyway due to population ageing, but we will take the whole rise as covid related, in the first quarter of 2021, deaths were 128k higher than Q1 2019, Q1 2020 deaths were affected by covid. So we have 657k more deaths through to March of 2021 than should have occurred using 2019 as a bassline, of course deaths would have been a bit higher anyway due to population ageing, around 20-30k so the actual rise is a bit less. In April excess deaths would have been quite low, there is no way to argue for more than 650k excess deaths from covid, 905k is a 40% overestimate for America.

  22. g2k says:

    Serbia is conspicuous by its absence. Vucic has handled things extremely well. Its politicians might be more rational than in most of Europe

    That’s interesting, because Serbia was one of the few countries to actually suffer a popular backlash against multiple lockdowns: In early summer Vucic lifted the first lockdown early, got himself reelected then reimposed it a day later. The ensuing riots, forced him to back down. Guess this might’ve made him actually take smart choices wrt corona policy unlike most of Europe whose publics still have blind trust in a lot of very incompetent health bureaucrats even now.

  23. utu says:

    Lukashenko overlooked the necessary tweaking of mortality data that inadvertently were released to WHO. The myth of Lukashenko’s pristine and isolated Sangri-La on Berezina is shattered. Eating raw vegetables and drinking vodka did not help:

    The 17-fold discrepancy between the official covid deaths and excess mortality that places Belarus as one of the top covid killing fields in the world should be a final wake up call for the floomers and deniers who like to attribute the excess deaths to covid hysteria, fear mongering and lockdowns. In the Sangri-La on Berezina no fear mongering was allowed and people were permitted positive thoughts only. But the reality did not cooperate and could not be wished away by the power of positive thinking.

    Countries with strict anti-covid measures present another challenge to the floomers and deniers. In Taiwan, New Zealand and Norway the excess death is negative. The countermeasures actually lowered the overall mortality during the pandemic. See:

    The World Mortality Dataset: Tracking excess mortality across countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jan 2021)
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.27.21250604v1.full.pdf

    Then there are the loser countries which opted for strategies which are the worst of both worlds. Among them Czechia, Slovakia and Poland stand out. Initially they imposed prompt and timely countermeasures that made them the best performing countries in Europe. But then instead of continuing with effective contact tracing they relaxed and let the epidemic take its natural course. The unforgiving exponential growth of the epidemic wiped out all their initial gains. Was it just an ineptitude or did rising opposition of libertarian sentiments and disinformation from the deplorable circles make the governments lose their nerve? Or was it a calculated attempt to emulate Sweden’s euthanasia program among older population? Did they realize that they were no Sweden? With their much higher population densities and higher apartment crowding and much poorer medical system they were bound to exceed Sweden’s poor performance.

    • Replies: @demografie
    @utu

    People got what they wanted. First it was shock from Italy so quarantine worked. Then people would like to travel so politician were celebrating in the street, that Corona was gone and everything else is oppression. Then gov introduce half ass measure, which did not help. Young people were fuck it. Old people were more scared. Lockdown worked only when situation was really bad in poorest region. When you know 2-3 people who died, you introduce own measure.
    Now it is just politics. People say that they was not excess deaths and gov wasted money. We still have some measure but I thing it is waste of time. All measures should be voluntary. People are even screaming on the hospital stuff that they are making stuff up.

    Replies: @utu

  24. IMHE gives the USA a much larger percentage undercount than Brazil. That doesn’t make sense. Brazil has more corruption, and fewer competent bureaucrats.

    900k deaths in the USA so far sounds way too high.

    Excess mortality is about 660k, so that’s probably closer to the real number of USA COVID-19 deaths.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7015a4.htm

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
    @Not Raul


    Brazil has more corruption, and fewer competent bureaucrats.
     
    Counting Covid-19 deaths is not an exceptionally difficult procedure, and Brazilians are notorious for rushing to the hospital for any insignificant reason (we have universal public health service), which is stupid but virtually eliminated unreported deaths at home.

    Also, the fact that the president is a rabid social-Darwinist, and also the fact that Brazil is not really in a comfortable financial shape, have had a paradoxical effect: it has spawned an equally rabid opposition in the press and in intellectual circles, which in turn urged them to come up with an independent count of Covid-19 cases and deaths.

    Thus, we have the federal government count and an independent count which is computed by collecting data from the states. This in fact has dissuaded the government from cheating, and the two counts are very close to each other.

    That being said, I don't think the IMHE estimation is necessarily inflated; even with all those precautions, undercounting may be happening in some states to some degree.

  25. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Shortsword


    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.
     
    Right, but significantly more people were scared or forced away from interacting with the medical system, significantly more people were impoverished, significantly more people were socially isolated... all of that is going to drive mortality upwards. (Significantly.)

    Actually, not even really "right": many of these countries have ageing population, and so should have seen rising deaths anyway; for many (if not all) of these countries, all-cause mortality is up to the same level that it was only a few years ago.

    And as the other commenter points out, if Ivermectin had been approved for use, supposedly a very large number of the dead might have lived.

    Replies: @Verymuchalive

    You are right. The usual “excess deaths” method for calculating deaths from COVID-19 will not work in this case because ceteris non paribus. COVID measures have been accompanied in many countries by drastic reductions in operations and treatments for heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening disorders. Closer inspection will reveal that deaths due to these causes will have gone up markedly as a result.
    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !

    • Replies: @demografie
    @Verymuchalive

    Hospital can not work as usual due to covid-19. So of course these deaths should be attributed to covid-19 . Note if hospital would work normally there would be a lot of deaths due covid-19 infection after operation.

    Replies: @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    , @Levtraro
    @Verymuchalive

    On the other hand, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to slow down COVID spread also decrease mortality caused by other infectious agents such as the influenza virus. So these NPIs may have caused non-COVID excess deaths (as in not receiving treatments at hospitals for heart disease) and non-COVID deficit deaths (as in not getting the flu), so what matters is the balance of non-COVID excess and deficit deaths caused by COVID-oriented NPIs.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Verymuchalive


    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !
     
    I agree with the first part, but the second is more complicated. I'd need to confirm whether the flu's absence was worldwide, or just certain countries; whether it's just a function of less testing under a presumption that flu cases were covid cases, etc.

    My understanding is that the CDC conducted more flu tests than normal in America, so either coronavirus crowded out the flu somehow, or we need to posit a conspiracy to rebadge the flu. Or there's some other explanation. Or I'm wrong.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @utu

  26. @Beckow
    Pretty numbers. So I did what I always do with good-looking numbers and did some calculations (exciting!). In the two countries I know the the excess death numbers are overstated by a factor of 2 (Czechia, Slovakia) - that makes me doubt all of them.

    People die all the time, old people more than anyone else. Some are now dead 1-2 years before they would die otherwise. Some more, the fat ones especially. Corona increased death rates by 15% - among the elderly and sick. So why should a young healthy person take that test vaccine?

    This makes no sense and pompous posturing about "data" and "science" and "I predicted" is neither here no there. It is bad, it is not a catastrophe. I still only know two people who died of it and they were both quite old. I know quite a few young people who lost a year of their life.

    Replies: @Three of Swords, @demografie

    I doubt that. I will post data for Czech republic. There’s quite significant uptick in excess deaths. Number don’t lie. You are just coping. Also I salute to your decision not take vaccine. It will be more for my family.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @demografie

    Yes there is an uptick, it is running about 15-20% higher on annual basis. If you pick a few winter months it is higher, but that is deceptive. In a bad flu year the uptick is 5-7%, so corona is around 2-4 times worse than a bad flu. But it almost exclusively impacts old people, already sick and obese. A society obsessed with elderly well-being at the expense of all else is no longer a society. Think about it and don't be selfish.

    There is good vaccine news for your family: Pfizer is working on an annual "booster shot". So you have that to look forward to. For a young, healthy person taking the vaccine is either a quasi-placebo or (possibly) a long-term health issue. We will not know for 3-4 years what it does to your health. If you claim that you know now, you are lying.

    , @Anastasia
    @demografie

    Their numbers lie ifyou read the instructions on how they are supposed to count them.

    Replies: @demografie

  27. @utu
    Lukashenko overlooked the necessary tweaking of mortality data that inadvertently were released to WHO. The myth of Lukashenko's pristine and isolated Sangri-La on Berezina is shattered. Eating raw vegetables and drinking vodka did not help:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cllle4Kyqoo

    The 17-fold discrepancy between the official covid deaths and excess mortality that places Belarus as one of the top covid killing fields in the world should be a final wake up call for the floomers and deniers who like to attribute the excess deaths to covid hysteria, fear mongering and lockdowns. In the Sangri-La on Berezina no fear mongering was allowed and people were permitted positive thoughts only. But the reality did not cooperate and could not be wished away by the power of positive thinking.

    Countries with strict anti-covid measures present another challenge to the floomers and deniers. In Taiwan, New Zealand and Norway the excess death is negative. The countermeasures actually lowered the overall mortality during the pandemic. See:

    The World Mortality Dataset: Tracking excess mortality across countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jan 2021)
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.27.21250604v1.full.pdf
     
    Then there are the loser countries which opted for strategies which are the worst of both worlds. Among them Czechia, Slovakia and Poland stand out. Initially they imposed prompt and timely countermeasures that made them the best performing countries in Europe. But then instead of continuing with effective contact tracing they relaxed and let the epidemic take its natural course. The unforgiving exponential growth of the epidemic wiped out all their initial gains. Was it just an ineptitude or did rising opposition of libertarian sentiments and disinformation from the deplorable circles make the governments lose their nerve? Or was it a calculated attempt to emulate Sweden's euthanasia program among older population? Did they realize that they were no Sweden? With their much higher population densities and higher apartment crowding and much poorer medical system they were bound to exceed Sweden's poor performance.

    Replies: @demografie

    People got what they wanted. First it was shock from Italy so quarantine worked. Then people would like to travel so politician were celebrating in the street, that Corona was gone and everything else is oppression. Then gov introduce half ass measure, which did not help. Young people were fuck it. Old people were more scared. Lockdown worked only when situation was really bad in poorest region. When you know 2-3 people who died, you introduce own measure.
    Now it is just politics. People say that they was not excess deaths and gov wasted money. We still have some measure but I thing it is waste of time. All measures should be voluntary. People are even screaming on the hospital stuff that they are making stuff up.

    • Replies: @utu
    @demografie

    Agree with you except: "All measures should be voluntary. " Voluntary measures do not work when the defectors can screw it up for everybody.

    Replies: @Beckow, @RadicalCenter

  28. @Verymuchalive
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    You are right. The usual "excess deaths" method for calculating deaths from COVID-19 will not work in this case because ceteris non paribus. COVID measures have been accompanied in many countries by drastic reductions in operations and treatments for heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening disorders. Closer inspection will reveal that deaths due to these causes will have gone up markedly as a result.
    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !

    Replies: @demografie, @Levtraro, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Hospital can not work as usual due to covid-19. So of course these deaths should be attributed to covid-19 . Note if hospital would work normally there would be a lot of deaths due covid-19 infection after operation.

    • Replies: @utu
    @demografie

    Agree.

    Slovakia excess deaths in Oct, Nov, Dec, 2020 and Jan, Feb 2021 was 20%, 39%, 58%, 73% and 65%, respectively.

    And for Czechia: 52%, 75%, 44%, 52% and 40%.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Excess_mortality_-_statistics&oldid=506249

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @demografie


    Hospital can not work as usual due to covid-19. So of course these deaths should be attributed to covid-19 . Note if hospital would work normally there would be a lot of deaths due covid-19 infection after operation.
     
    This is the excuse given, but it's bollocks. Plenty of hospitals were half-empty all year for fear of COVID hordes, and that's just hospitals: remember people were kept away from their GP, from specialists, from cancer screenings, etc, etc. This is not the fault of the disease but entirely the choice of the authorities.
  29. @jsinton
    I don't deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing "numbers of deaths" is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there's three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths "of" COVID or deaths "with" covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go? How many of these deaths were due to the granny-killer governors? When you die "of" or "with" COVID after getting the "vaccine", does that count? Where did COVID come from? A bioweapon lab? If so, were they not "murdered" by evil unknown? Or is COVID a form of genocide and not a "virus"? How many people could have been saved had not the medical establishment stressed "vaccines" and not readily available, cheap, effective treatments? Which leads to the question how many people needlessly died because the medical establishment stresses profit over people? When will somebody answer these questions?

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Levtraro, @Mr. Hack, @nosquat loquat

    Where did flu season go?

    This one is easy. At the beginning of this COVID event I wrote here at unz: How about all the other bugs? These innocent bugs, like the flu virus, will suffer because of COVID?

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/flu-has-disappeared-worldwide-during-the-covid-pandemic1/

  30. @AnonfromTN
    @Shortsword


    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.
     
    Yes, but did all these extra people die because of covid or because of covid-craze? Under the pretext of covid many kinds of care were stopped or refused, and a lot of people who should have seen their doctors didn’t?

    Replies: @Levtraro

    Yes, but counter to that, many other infectious pathogens were also impacted by COVID non-pharmaceutical interventions thus causing a further latent decrease in excess deaths.

    • Agree: utu
  31. @demografie
    @Verymuchalive

    Hospital can not work as usual due to covid-19. So of course these deaths should be attributed to covid-19 . Note if hospital would work normally there would be a lot of deaths due covid-19 infection after operation.

    Replies: @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Agree.

    Slovakia excess deaths in Oct, Nov, Dec, 2020 and Jan, Feb 2021 was 20%, 39%, 58%, 73% and 65%, respectively.

    And for Czechia: 52%, 75%, 44%, 52% and 40%.

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Excess_mortality_-_statistics&oldid=506249

  32. @demografie
    @utu

    People got what they wanted. First it was shock from Italy so quarantine worked. Then people would like to travel so politician were celebrating in the street, that Corona was gone and everything else is oppression. Then gov introduce half ass measure, which did not help. Young people were fuck it. Old people were more scared. Lockdown worked only when situation was really bad in poorest region. When you know 2-3 people who died, you introduce own measure.
    Now it is just politics. People say that they was not excess deaths and gov wasted money. We still have some measure but I thing it is waste of time. All measures should be voluntary. People are even screaming on the hospital stuff that they are making stuff up.

    Replies: @utu

    Agree with you except: “All measures should be voluntary. ” Voluntary measures do not work when the defectors can screw it up for everybody.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @utu


    ..Voluntary measures do not work when the defectors can screw it up for everybody.
     
    If you are vaccinated how can anyone screw it up for you? You lack logic. You either don't believe that the your vaccination works, or worse, you are an obsessive control freak. All evil is a form of trying to control others.
    , @RadicalCenter
    @utu

    So the “vaccines” don’t prevent the vaccinated person from being infected?

    On a related note, do the “vaccines” prevent the vaccinated person from infecting others?

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

  33. Kinez says:

    I think they just didn’t consider Serbia in this study. Serbia had 114,954 deaths in 2020, compared with 101,458 in 2019 – an increase of 13.3%. By comparison, the UK had 695,812 deaths in 2020 and 604,707 in 2019, an increase of 15%. However, Serbia also had 33,535 deaths in the first three months of 2021, 28.9% more than last year (the first three months of 2020 did have a much lower number of deaths than 2019 however).

    I don’t blame the government for this, they did an alright job all things considered, but it’s hardly anything amazing. Their main success was on the economic front. GDP fell by only ~1% in 2020, and exports of goods and services were only 5% lower than in 2019 (whereas in Croatia for example the fall was 25.6%). Employment was flat and real wages were up 9% year-on-year in December 2020. And the debt-to-GDP ratio is still below 60%.

  34. @Verymuchalive
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    You are right. The usual "excess deaths" method for calculating deaths from COVID-19 will not work in this case because ceteris non paribus. COVID measures have been accompanied in many countries by drastic reductions in operations and treatments for heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening disorders. Closer inspection will reveal that deaths due to these causes will have gone up markedly as a result.
    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !

    Replies: @demografie, @Levtraro, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    On the other hand, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to slow down COVID spread also decrease mortality caused by other infectious agents such as the influenza virus. So these NPIs may have caused non-COVID excess deaths (as in not receiving treatments at hospitals for heart disease) and non-COVID deficit deaths (as in not getting the flu), so what matters is the balance of non-COVID excess and deficit deaths caused by COVID-oriented NPIs.

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Levtraro


    ...non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to slow down COVID spread also decrease mortality caused by other infectious agents such as the influenza virus.
     
    That's the explanation offered for the absent flu, but it's hardly been proven. (I find it far-fetched.) One alternative is that COVID "crowds out" influenza; there might be others.

    So these NPIs may have caused non-COVID excess deaths (as in not receiving treatments at hospitals for heart disease) and non-COVID deficit deaths (as in not getting the flu), so what matters is the balance of non-COVID excess and deficit deaths caused by COVID-oriented NPIs.
     
    Yes, but what needs to be taken into account is how much of that excess and that deficit would've been covered by influenza or COVID, respectively. The NPI deaths: would those individuals have died in a normal 2020? (Many wouldn't have, I think.) The missing influenza dead: were they killed by COVID? (Mostly, yes.)

    The IHME appear to be presuming that those deficit dead wouldn't have been killed by COVOD - and further, they presume little-to-no NPI deaths (because they claim not to have data*) and that all excess death in 2020 was COVID. You can see why they end up with such an enormous number.

    * That's bullshit, by the way: even in the absence of hard data, educated guesses are possible. For instance, many countries have tracked the decline in cancer screenings in 2020; one could find out how many cancer screenings lead to a diagnosis, to death, and can therefore puzzle out a guess as to the excess cancer deaths. It wouldn't be accurate, but neither are COVID deaths. I'm just saying, if they wanted to try to quantify it, they could.
  35. I can tell you that the total COVID-19 deaths you show for the US and UK are not consistent with the increases in all-cause mortality, but the reported figures are closer. To convince me, you’d have to show me the reconciliation, i.e. what other causes showed reductions of several hundred thousand, or where did several hundred addition dead come from without being counted in the national stats.

  36. Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab? With the complication that

    a) the gain-of-function stuff was funded by the US
    b) the techniques were developed in the US and taught to the Chinese
    c) virologists closed ranks because most of them are involved in similar stuff

    https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

    https://slate.com/podcasts/what-next/2021/04/a-fringe-covid-origin-story-seems-increasingly-plausible

    “It’s documented that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells and humanized mice. This is exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged. The researchers were not vaccinated against the viruses under study, and they were working in the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 laboratory. So escape of a virus would not be at all surprising. In all of China, the pandemic broke out on the doorstep of the Wuhan institute. The virus was already well adapted to humans, as expected for a virus grown in humanized mice. It possessed an unusual enhancement, a furin cleavage site, which is not possessed by any other known SARS-related beta-coronavirus, and this site included a double arginine codon also unknown among beta-coronaviruses. What more evidence could you want, aside from the presently unobtainable lab records documenting SARS2’s creation?

    Proponents of natural emergence have a rather harder story to tell. The plausibility of their case rests on a single surmise, the expected parallel between the emergence of SARS2 and that of SARS1 and MERS. But none of the evidence expected in support of such a parallel history has yet emerged. No one has found the bat population that was the source of SARS2, if indeed it ever infected bats. No intermediate host has presented itself, despite an intensive search by Chinese authorities that included the testing of 80,000 animals. There is no evidence of the virus making multiple independent jumps from its intermediate host to people, as both the SARS1 and MERS viruses did. There is no evidence from hospital surveillance records of the epidemic gathering strength in the population as the virus evolved. There is no explanation of why a natural epidemic should break out in Wuhan and nowhere else. There is no good explanation of how the virus acquired its furin cleavage site, which no other SARS-related beta-coronavirus possesses, nor why the site is composed of human-preferred codons. The natural emergence theory battles a bristling array of implausibilities.

    The records of the Wuhan Institute of Virology certainly hold much relevant information. But Chinese authorities seem unlikely to release them given the substantial chance that they incriminate the regime in the creation of the pandemic. Absent the efforts of some courageous Chinese whistle-blower, we may already have at hand just about all of the relevant information we are likely to get for a while.”

    Boris Johnson’s former right-hand man, Dominic Cummings, wrote about lab leaks and pandemics nine months before covid emerged.

    https://dominiccummings.com/2019/03/04/the-most-secure-bio-labs-routinely-make-errors-that-could-cause-a-global-pandemic-are-about-to-re-start-experiments-on-pathogens-engineered-to-make-them-mammalian-airborne-transmissible/

    “The most secure bio-labs routinely make errors that could cause a global pandemic & are about to re-start experiments on pathogens engineered to make them mammalian-airborne-transmissible”

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    @YetAnotherAnon

    The most highlighted paragraph in the medium post of Wade's article:


    It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Dr. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Dr. Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”
     
    These people like Daszak and Fauci deserve to be shot and their corpses hung up on gibbets.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab?
     
    Wade's long article is excellent, but for very obvious reasons he completely excludes considering that the Covid-19 outbreak was an American biowarfare attack on China (and Iran).

    I've been making that case for over a full year now, and the evidence is strong, perhaps even overwhelming. You really should take a look at my most recent March article, which summarizes most of the material:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    For the last year, the stupid/dishonest MSM pretended that the virus was clearly natural, all evidence to the contrary, and now that they're finally starting to admit they were wrong, they're ignoring the equally obvious evidence of an American biowarfare attack.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @YetAnotherAnon, @Bumpkin

  37. @Not Raul
    IMHE gives the USA a much larger percentage undercount than Brazil. That doesn’t make sense. Brazil has more corruption, and fewer competent bureaucrats.

    900k deaths in the USA so far sounds way too high.

    Excess mortality is about 660k, so that’s probably closer to the real number of USA COVID-19 deaths.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7015a4.htm

    Replies: @Brás Cubas

    Brazil has more corruption, and fewer competent bureaucrats.

    Counting Covid-19 deaths is not an exceptionally difficult procedure, and Brazilians are notorious for rushing to the hospital for any insignificant reason (we have universal public health service), which is stupid but virtually eliminated unreported deaths at home.

    Also, the fact that the president is a rabid social-Darwinist, and also the fact that Brazil is not really in a comfortable financial shape, have had a paradoxical effect: it has spawned an equally rabid opposition in the press and in intellectual circles, which in turn urged them to come up with an independent count of Covid-19 cases and deaths.

    Thus, we have the federal government count and an independent count which is computed by collecting data from the states. This in fact has dissuaded the government from cheating, and the two counts are very close to each other.

    That being said, I don’t think the IMHE estimation is necessarily inflated; even with all those precautions, undercounting may be happening in some states to some degree.

  38. @Shortsword
    @jsinton


    I don’t deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing “numbers of deaths” is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there’s three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths “of” COVID or deaths “with” covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go?
     
    It all comes down to the simple fact that significantly more people has died during the last ~14 months than normally.

    Replies: @jsinton, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account, @AnonfromTN, @Realist

    Why would anyone believe any government figures about anything? The government is your enemy…that should be obvious to anyone to the right on the curve.

  39. Interview by a fairly reputable India media personality has mathematician has India COVID-19 death at above 1 mil

  40. @Levtraro
    @Verymuchalive

    On the other hand, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to slow down COVID spread also decrease mortality caused by other infectious agents such as the influenza virus. So these NPIs may have caused non-COVID excess deaths (as in not receiving treatments at hospitals for heart disease) and non-COVID deficit deaths (as in not getting the flu), so what matters is the balance of non-COVID excess and deficit deaths caused by COVID-oriented NPIs.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    …non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to slow down COVID spread also decrease mortality caused by other infectious agents such as the influenza virus.

    That’s the explanation offered for the absent flu, but it’s hardly been proven. (I find it far-fetched.) One alternative is that COVID “crowds out” influenza; there might be others.

    So these NPIs may have caused non-COVID excess deaths (as in not receiving treatments at hospitals for heart disease) and non-COVID deficit deaths (as in not getting the flu), so what matters is the balance of non-COVID excess and deficit deaths caused by COVID-oriented NPIs.

    Yes, but what needs to be taken into account is how much of that excess and that deficit would’ve been covered by influenza or COVID, respectively. The NPI deaths: would those individuals have died in a normal 2020? (Many wouldn’t have, I think.) The missing influenza dead: were they killed by COVID? (Mostly, yes.)

    The IHME appear to be presuming that those deficit dead wouldn’t have been killed by COVOD – and further, they presume little-to-no NPI deaths (because they claim not to have data*) and that all excess death in 2020 was COVID. You can see why they end up with such an enormous number.

    * That’s bullshit, by the way: even in the absence of hard data, educated guesses are possible. For instance, many countries have tracked the decline in cancer screenings in 2020; one could find out how many cancer screenings lead to a diagnosis, to death, and can therefore puzzle out a guess as to the excess cancer deaths. It wouldn’t be accurate, but neither are COVID deaths. I’m just saying, if they wanted to try to quantify it, they could.

    • Agree: Levtraro
  41. @demografie
    @Verymuchalive

    Hospital can not work as usual due to covid-19. So of course these deaths should be attributed to covid-19 . Note if hospital would work normally there would be a lot of deaths due covid-19 infection after operation.

    Replies: @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Hospital can not work as usual due to covid-19. So of course these deaths should be attributed to covid-19 . Note if hospital would work normally there would be a lot of deaths due covid-19 infection after operation.

    This is the excuse given, but it’s bollocks. Plenty of hospitals were half-empty all year for fear of COVID hordes, and that’s just hospitals: remember people were kept away from their GP, from specialists, from cancer screenings, etc, etc. This is not the fault of the disease but entirely the choice of the authorities.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  42. @Verymuchalive
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    You are right. The usual "excess deaths" method for calculating deaths from COVID-19 will not work in this case because ceteris non paribus. COVID measures have been accompanied in many countries by drastic reductions in operations and treatments for heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening disorders. Closer inspection will reveal that deaths due to these causes will have gone up markedly as a result.
    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !

    Replies: @demografie, @Levtraro, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !

    I agree with the first part, but the second is more complicated. I’d need to confirm whether the flu’s absence was worldwide, or just certain countries; whether it’s just a function of less testing under a presumption that flu cases were covid cases, etc.

    My understanding is that the CDC conducted more flu tests than normal in America, so either coronavirus crowded out the flu somehow, or we need to posit a conspiracy to rebadge the flu. Or there’s some other explanation. Or I’m wrong.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Very little flu in the UK last year or this, because people weren't socialising either inside or outside of work. Shows IMHO the comparative infectiousness of Covid v flu (and of course a lot of the over 60s have flu jabs).

    https://i.postimg.cc/k4NppDkg/Not-Much-Flu-May21.jpg

    Source

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/983770/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w18.pdf


    "In week 17 2021, out of the 106,535 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System (based on data received from 15 out of 16 laboratories), 633 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 with an overall positivity of 0.6%. The highest positivity was noted in the 15 to 44 year olds at 0.8% in week 17. The overall influenza positivity remained very low at 0.0% in week 17, with none of the 4,540 samples testing positive for flu."
     

    Replies: @Commentator Mike, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    , @utu
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    "I’d need to confirm whether the flu’s absence was worldwide" - It has been confirmed. Data is very strong. Explanation that the anti-covid countermeasures (social distancing, masking and lockdowns) are responsible for dramatic reduction of flu cases is very compelling. It comes from countries like NZ, Australia and Taiwan which had very few cover case thus the issue of mis-attribution of flu to covid is not the case because the number of flu cases is orders of magnitude higher than covid cases. So the usual argument of misattribution coming from floomers, deniers and disinfo agents can be out of hand dismissed.


    The southern hemisphere skipped flu season in 2020 (SEP 12TH 2020)
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/09/12/the-southern-hemisphere-skipped-flu-season-in-2020
     

    'Near extinction' of influenza in NZ as numbers drop due to lockdown (11 October 2020)
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018767843/near-extinction-of-influenza-in-nz-as-numbers-drop-due-to-lockdown

    "What the Covid-19 response has done has largely eliminated those excess winter deaths and mortality as a whole is down around 5 percent," he said. "So that means an extra 1500 people will survive this year who wouldn't have."
     

    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications (01 September 2020)
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778
     

    Replies: @Dnought, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  43. @YetAnotherAnon
    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab? With the complication that

    a) the gain-of-function stuff was funded by the US
    b) the techniques were developed in the US and taught to the Chinese
    c) virologists closed ranks because most of them are involved in similar stuff

    https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

    https://slate.com/podcasts/what-next/2021/04/a-fringe-covid-origin-story-seems-increasingly-plausible

    https://twitter.com/canardbruno/status/1328242024982728706

    "It’s documented that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells and humanized mice. This is exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged. The researchers were not vaccinated against the viruses under study, and they were working in the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 laboratory. So escape of a virus would not be at all surprising. In all of China, the pandemic broke out on the doorstep of the Wuhan institute. The virus was already well adapted to humans, as expected for a virus grown in humanized mice. It possessed an unusual enhancement, a furin cleavage site, which is not possessed by any other known SARS-related beta-coronavirus, and this site included a double arginine codon also unknown among beta-coronaviruses. What more evidence could you want, aside from the presently unobtainable lab records documenting SARS2’s creation?

    Proponents of natural emergence have a rather harder story to tell. The plausibility of their case rests on a single surmise, the expected parallel between the emergence of SARS2 and that of SARS1 and MERS. But none of the evidence expected in support of such a parallel history has yet emerged. No one has found the bat population that was the source of SARS2, if indeed it ever infected bats. No intermediate host has presented itself, despite an intensive search by Chinese authorities that included the testing of 80,000 animals. There is no evidence of the virus making multiple independent jumps from its intermediate host to people, as both the SARS1 and MERS viruses did. There is no evidence from hospital surveillance records of the epidemic gathering strength in the population as the virus evolved. There is no explanation of why a natural epidemic should break out in Wuhan and nowhere else. There is no good explanation of how the virus acquired its furin cleavage site, which no other SARS-related beta-coronavirus possesses, nor why the site is composed of human-preferred codons. The natural emergence theory battles a bristling array of implausibilities.

    The records of the Wuhan Institute of Virology certainly hold much relevant information. But Chinese authorities seem unlikely to release them given the substantial chance that they incriminate the regime in the creation of the pandemic. Absent the efforts of some courageous Chinese whistle-blower, we may already have at hand just about all of the relevant information we are likely to get for a while."

     

    Boris Johnson's former right-hand man, Dominic Cummings, wrote about lab leaks and pandemics nine months before covid emerged.

    https://dominiccummings.com/2019/03/04/the-most-secure-bio-labs-routinely-make-errors-that-could-cause-a-global-pandemic-are-about-to-re-start-experiments-on-pathogens-engineered-to-make-them-mammalian-airborne-transmissible/

    “The most secure bio-labs routinely make errors that could cause a global pandemic & are about to re-start experiments on pathogens engineered to make them mammalian-airborne-transmissible”

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Ron Unz

    The most highlighted paragraph in the medium post of Wade’s article:

    It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Dr. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Dr. Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”

    These people like Daszak and Fauci deserve to be shot and their corpses hung up on gibbets.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Morton's toes

    And here's the letter.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30418-9/fulltext


    "We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin."

     

  44. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Verymuchalive


    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !
     
    I agree with the first part, but the second is more complicated. I'd need to confirm whether the flu's absence was worldwide, or just certain countries; whether it's just a function of less testing under a presumption that flu cases were covid cases, etc.

    My understanding is that the CDC conducted more flu tests than normal in America, so either coronavirus crowded out the flu somehow, or we need to posit a conspiracy to rebadge the flu. Or there's some other explanation. Or I'm wrong.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @utu

    Very little flu in the UK last year or this, because people weren’t socialising either inside or outside of work. Shows IMHO the comparative infectiousness of Covid v flu (and of course a lot of the over 60s have flu jabs).

    Source

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/983770/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w18.pdf

    “In week 17 2021, out of the 106,535 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System (based on data received from 15 out of 16 laboratories), 633 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 with an overall positivity of 0.6%. The highest positivity was noted in the 15 to 44 year olds at 0.8% in week 17. The overall influenza positivity remained very low at 0.0% in week 17, with none of the 4,540 samples testing positive for flu.”

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I've always been reading about how influenza kills so many each year but in my life I have never known anyone who has died of the flu. Yet I know many who have died of Covid-19 this past year.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Very little flu in the UK last year or this, because people weren’t socialising either inside or outside of work. Shows IMHO the comparative infectiousness of Covid v flu (and of course a lot of the over 60s have flu jabs).
     
    Re: the bolded: you might believe that, but it's hardly been proven. I might point out that (1) flu is plenty infectious enough, and (2) household isolation is argued to increase transmission, but apparently did not for the flu in 2020, and (3) most COVID transmission occurred in hospitals and nursing homes, but, again, not for the flu. (Even though, correct me if I'm wrong, it normally rampages through nursing homes once a year.)

    So either we had total 100% coverage of a totally 100% effective flu vaccine; or masks/social distancing/lockdowns are effective, and just effective enough to completely eradicate flu, but not to make a dent in COVID; or COVID infections somehow preclude flu infections (the "crowding out" hypothesis); or the government is bodging the flu numbers, accidentally or otherwise; or there's something else I don't know about. And we don't know which of those is true.
  45. utu says:
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Verymuchalive


    Also the misattribution of deaths to COVID is widespread. As an example, in the case of America, there was no Flu Season last winter !
     
    I agree with the first part, but the second is more complicated. I'd need to confirm whether the flu's absence was worldwide, or just certain countries; whether it's just a function of less testing under a presumption that flu cases were covid cases, etc.

    My understanding is that the CDC conducted more flu tests than normal in America, so either coronavirus crowded out the flu somehow, or we need to posit a conspiracy to rebadge the flu. Or there's some other explanation. Or I'm wrong.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @utu

    “I’d need to confirm whether the flu’s absence was worldwide” – It has been confirmed. Data is very strong. Explanation that the anti-covid countermeasures (social distancing, masking and lockdowns) are responsible for dramatic reduction of flu cases is very compelling. It comes from countries like NZ, Australia and Taiwan which had very few cover case thus the issue of mis-attribution of flu to covid is not the case because the number of flu cases is orders of magnitude higher than covid cases. So the usual argument of misattribution coming from floomers, deniers and disinfo agents can be out of hand dismissed.

    The southern hemisphere skipped flu season in 2020 (SEP 12TH 2020)
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/09/12/the-southern-hemisphere-skipped-flu-season-in-2020

    ‘Near extinction’ of influenza in NZ as numbers drop due to lockdown (11 October 2020)
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018767843/near-extinction-of-influenza-in-nz-as-numbers-drop-due-to-lockdown

    “What the Covid-19 response has done has largely eliminated those excess winter deaths and mortality as a whole is down around 5 percent,” he said. “So that means an extra 1500 people will survive this year who wouldn’t have.”

    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications (01 September 2020)
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778

    • Disagree: Dnought
    • Thanks: Brás Cubas
    • Replies: @Dnought
    @utu

    https://medium.com/illumination-curated/the-unexpected-case-of-the-disappearing-flu-64fd1fa5e909

    Replies: @utu

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @utu


    It has been confirmed. Data is very strong. Explanation that the anti-covid countermeasures (social distancing, masking and lockdowns) are responsible for dramatic reduction of flu cases is very compelling.
     
    To you, perhaps. To me, it's an open question. Anti-COVID measures didn't work on COVID but were perfectly successful on flu?

    I'd like to know whether flu surveillance is based on random population surveys, or on reports from doctors whose patients present with influenza symptoms: in the latter case, it should be obvious how flu could decrease when there's another respiratory virus killing the people whom the flu would otherwise kill.

    Worth considering in the Australian case that Australia saw its worst-ever flu season in 2019, continuing at those abnormally high rates into 2020... but so far as I know, it didn't see higher-than-usual deaths from flu - but did see a 6.8% increase in all-cause mortality. (Which did not occasion the shutting down of the country, FYI.) Point being, it's complicated. Was there significant cross-immunity between the '19/'20 and '20/'21 flu strains? Was it flu that killed all those extra people in 2019, leaving a smaller at-risk population in 2020? I personally cannot consider any hypothesis here to be confirmed.
  46. @Morton's toes
    @YetAnotherAnon

    The most highlighted paragraph in the medium post of Wade's article:


    It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Dr. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Dr. Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”
     
    These people like Daszak and Fauci deserve to be shot and their corpses hung up on gibbets.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    And here’s the letter.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30418-9/fulltext

    “We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin.”

  47. @demografie
    @Beckow

    I doubt that. I will post data for Czech republic. There's quite significant uptick in excess deaths. Number don't lie. You are just coping. Also I salute to your decision not take vaccine. It will be more for my family.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Anastasia

    Yes there is an uptick, it is running about 15-20% higher on annual basis. If you pick a few winter months it is higher, but that is deceptive. In a bad flu year the uptick is 5-7%, so corona is around 2-4 times worse than a bad flu. But it almost exclusively impacts old people, already sick and obese. A society obsessed with elderly well-being at the expense of all else is no longer a society. Think about it and don’t be selfish.

    There is good vaccine news for your family: Pfizer is working on an annual “booster shot”. So you have that to look forward to. For a young, healthy person taking the vaccine is either a quasi-placebo or (possibly) a long-term health issue. We will not know for 3-4 years what it does to your health. If you claim that you know now, you are lying.

  48. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    I had a look at how they crunch the numbers. In short:

    1. They assume COVID deaths are most or all of the excess deaths
    2. They don't know how to count the excess deaths from lockdowns, so they don't count them at all
    3. They do some jiggery-pokery to bring down the numbers for other causes of death (I suspect)

    And whaddya know, when you assume all deaths were corona deaths, and lockdowns had no cost, it turns out that the COVID death toll goes through the roof! Emphases mine:

    Estimating the fraction of excess mortality that is direct COVID-19 deaths

    Deaths that are directly due to COVID-19 are likely underreported in many locations, particularly in settings where COVID-19 testing is in short supply. Most excess mortality is likely misclassified COVID-19 deaths. An analysis by the Netherlands statistical agency suggested that all excess deaths in the Netherlands were directly due to COVID-19.2 In fact, their analysis actually suggested that direct COVID-19 deaths may be higher than estimated excess deaths because deaths due to some other causes have declined during the pandemic.

    The second driver of excess mortality is reduced health care utilization for many causes;3 however, the impact of reduced health care use on health outcomes is harder to prove. [...] The impact of changes in health care utilization on excess mortality may be observed in later years, rather than in 2020 or the first quarter of 2021.

    Third, convincing evidence has been found that rates of anxiety and depression have increased, which might in turn lead to increases in deaths from suicide.5 To date, the evidence on increased suicide is very limited.6 Opioid deaths, on the other hand, have clearly increased7 in the United States. Compared to past trends, opioid deaths increased by around 15,000 since March 2020. Evidence on whether this has also occurred in other countries awaits further study.

    Fourth, we reviewed the evidence on decreases in injuries as a result of reductions in mobility. We analyzed data from 12 countries that provide cause of death data by week or month, which allows us to test whether some causes decreased significantly during 2020 and whether that decrease was related to the decreases in mobility that have been reported. This analysis suggests that globally, injury mortality decreased by 5% in 2020 due to reductions in mobility. At the global level, this translates into a reduction of approximately 215,000 deaths.
     
    Which 12 countries? This sounds like the kind of number that could very widely from country-to-country, so extrapolating from the wrong 12 countries could give a very misleading number.

    And how much of that data? Some places saw a decline in traffic mortality, for instance earlier in 2020 - and then an increase above pre-pandemic levels later in the year, continuing into 2021.

    Fifth, some infectious causes of death may have declined during the pandemic due to the behavioral changes associated with control of the pandemic, including mask use and reduced contact with others. Causes that have clearly declined are influenza,8,9 respiratory syncytial virus,10 measles,11 and possibly other respiratory viruses and viral diarrheas. For example, influenza cases in the United States declined 99.3% from the winter season of 2019–2020 to the winter season of 2020–2021. Combining the reductions reported in different countries in influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and measles, the global reduction in mortality from these causes may be larger than 400,000 deaths.
     
    This is starting to smell like statistical legerdemain to me. First, they're assuming "behavioural changes" to be the cause - but "behavioural changes" didn't make much of a dent in COVID. (Inb4 "hurr durr, COVID's so much more infectious so it goes right thru the mask", then why are you wearing one?)

    Further, how many of those 400,000 deaths missed from flu etc were people who died from COVID? Are those deaths, already counted under COVID-19 deaths, being subtracted from all-cause mortality, thus requiring phantom COVID deaths to make up the total? Is this how they arrive at their huge numbers? Obviously I'm far too innumerate to work that out, all I'm sure is that that 400,000 figure is a bunch of bollocks unless it refers to people who would've died from flu etc but didn't die from COVID, i.e., people under the age of 80. (But that shouldn't be anywhere near 400,000 people...)

    Sixth, deaths from some chronic conditions such as ischemic heart disease or chronic respiratory disease declined in some months of 2020, most notably in May and June in Europe. These declines were most likely due to the fact that frail individuals who died from COVID-19 earlier in the year would otherwise likely have died from these chronic conditions. The strongest evidence for this effect is that excess mortality was negative in some countries in Europe in June when the reported COVID-19 death rate was very low. In aggregate, this effect likely reduced mortality by only 2% based on our analysis.
     
    Again, it didn't actually reduce mortality at all, because those people still died.

    Overall, the evidence suggests reductions of 615,000 deaths, or potentially more, stemming from behavioral changes at the global level. The main potential increases in excess mortality due to deferred care and increases in drug overdose and depression are hard to quantify at this point or are of a much smaller magnitude. Given that there is insufficient evidence to estimate these contributions to excess mortality, for now we assume that total COVID-19 deaths equal excess mortality. For the reasons presented in this section, we believe that this is likely an underestimate. As the evidence is strengthened in the coming months and years, it is likely that we will revise our estimates of the total COVID-19 death rate upward in future iterations of this work, once we can properly take into account the drivers described in this section.

     

    lol, how the fuck are they gonna revise it upward from the maximum? Oh right, nobody died from anything else in 2020: if you got hit by a bus, that's COVID; if you're walking down the street and a piano falls on your head, that's COVID.

    Big picture: it's very misleading to use the COVID death toll; it's the excess deaths we should be more concerned about. And it's even more misleading to presume no impact on mortality from the near-shuttering of the world's economy and healthcare systems.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    The global death toll from cardiovascular disease, to take just one example, is something like 50,000 per day. Heart attacks are a case where timely medical intervention can make a big difference between life and death. Since last year however, everyone has been forced or scared away from hospitals and other urgent/emergency treatment. Might this have caused cardiovascular deaths to rise somewhat as result of decreased medical care, say from 50,000 per day to 60,000 per day? A one-sixth difference between treated versus untreated cardiovascular disease doesn’t seem like a big stretch. Indeed, medical professionals like to think they have a much bigger than one-sixth effect on mortality of the patients they care for. But now we have a situation where medical care for everything except covid is deprecated.

    So on these modest assumptions, we get an extra 10,000 × 365 = 3.65 million extra deaths per year from the medical deprecation of one pre-covid illness alone. Now repeat the calculation for all the other pre-covid illnesses that are getting neglected in the covid era: cancer, non-contagious respiratory diseases, contagious but non-covid respiratory diseases*, etc. and you can get millions more global excess deaths.

    Paraphrasing myself from last year, we are trying to pick out covid deaths from among much larger streams of deaths. A slight change in (or even a slight reclassification of) any of those larger streams of deaths can double or erase covid deaths at a single stroke. Yet it is hard to find any evaluation in the changes, real or statistical, in these larger death streams that may dwarf the covid numbers. One suspects that no one wants to face the torrent of abuse that hit anyone who points this out.

    ——

    *You note that it is “starting to smell like statistical legerdemain” and I agree. Last winter, the CDC declared there were no influenza deaths (statistically unheard of) but then also combined pneumonia, influenza and covid in to a new category called “PIC”. Ironically, in a way, the new PIC category may be more honest inasmuch as coronaviruses were always a component of influenza viruses, so separating out the COVID-19 influenza sub-virus from the larger influenza category was arguably more deceptive than re-including it back in. Still, the change in accounting midstream creates a statistical discontinuity which invalidates comparisons before and after the change.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Almost Missouri


    starting to smell like statistical legerdemain
     
    That is an understatement, there is not as much skilful manipulation of the data, often only one-dimensional assertions above average IQ person should see through. This is aimed at the stupid and the scared. This level of incompetence should be rare in 2021.

    The willingness to receive the manipulated data and repeated illogical assertions about science is more on a psychiatric spectrum. It turns out that a lot of people suffer from latent germophobia, even hypochondria. About 60-80% people are by nature conformist, even among higher-IQ people, they do as they are told. Above all, a mania once unleashed has a dynamic of its own. It usually lasts around 3 years, so we have some way to go. That fragile elderly and quasi-hysterical middle-age to older women are in charge doesn't help.

    Dis-empowering younger, stronger, smarter men carries a terrible cost for any society - now the chickens are coming home to roost.

    , @utu
    @Almost Missouri

    So on these modest assumptions. - How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don't you look at data?

    Heart disease deaths in 2020 increased by 4.7% (out of 695k) comparing to 2019 in the US.

    Many people claimed that lockdowns and pandemic fear mongering would increase number of suicides. Actually they dropped by 5.6% (out of 47.5k).

    Cancer deaths remain unchanged.


    The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020 (March 31, 2021)
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2778234
     
    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974006735/tragic-driving-was-down-in-2020-but-traffic-fatality-rates-surged
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @Almost Missouri, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Almost Missouri

    Well said. A point worth making - let's take your example of cardiovascular disease - is that the most serious cases likely received treatment, for whatever good it might have done: if you had a heart attack in 2020, your wife probably called an ambulance. The missing medical treatment comes from the mild chest pains that you ignored, or dismissed as heartburn: in 2019 you might have said better safe than sorry, but during the worst pandemic in history? Assuming you could get in to see your doctor, or that they were willing to see you. (Many doctors conducted their examinations over the phone. What a waste of fucking time that was.)

    My working assumption is that the first wave of deaths, in the first half of the year, were genuine "COVID" deaths, whatever that is, but subsequent rises in mortality begin to include lockdown deaths; eventually, COVID deaths will largely subside, but lockdown deaths will continue occurring for five years, or even longer, if you take a more actuarial view.

    Re: legerdemain: again, well said. Frankly - and I know this perhaps isn't the point you were making, but it needs saying - "global conspiracy to rebadge a bad flu season" is starting to emerge as one of the stronger hypotheses. Doubtless some will say, "Oh, that's just a conspiracy theory" - well, yes, it literally is, but it fits the known facts better than some of the alternative theories:

    - "crowding out": has this phenomena ever been observed before?
    - "masks work": lol, no they don't
    - this year's flu vaccine was 100% effective: don't be ridiculous
    - government has fucked up the flu numbers by accident: in every country in the world?
    - every government in the world has fucked up the flu numbers on purpose: far-fetched, but so is the idea that (almost) every country in the world would shit their pants and shut down their societies over what is all things considered a relatively mild pandemic. (Relative, before some whinger starts kvetching, to the response we gave it: there have been at least 3 more serious pandemics in the last 100 years, none of which occasioned the closure of society.) Isn't it weird that they all reacted in the same way, despite that reaction being counter to epidemiological best practice and their own pandemic response plans? How did that happen? Can we at least "just ask questions"?

    Replies: @Bumpkin

  49. @utu
    @demografie

    Agree with you except: "All measures should be voluntary. " Voluntary measures do not work when the defectors can screw it up for everybody.

    Replies: @Beckow, @RadicalCenter

    ..Voluntary measures do not work when the defectors can screw it up for everybody.

    If you are vaccinated how can anyone screw it up for you? You lack logic. You either don’t believe that the your vaccination works, or worse, you are an obsessive control freak. All evil is a form of trying to control others.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  50. If I could get a normal vaccine, I would get one in a minute. But in the US normal vaccines, like Sputnik, are not available. There maybe some this summer.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
    @Positive Dennis


    If I could get a normal vaccine, I would get one in a minute. But in the US normal vaccines, like Sputnik, are not available. There maybe some this summer.
     
    Virus vector vaccines like Sputnik V aren't exactly "normal." They've got a longer history than the mRNA ones thanks to Ebola where a non-adenovirus vector one made a very significant difference the outbreak which started in 2014, but they hadn't been seriously Phase III trial level or more tested prior to that.

    Adenovirus vector vaccines like Sputnik V weren't as far as I know prior to this year taken beyond the Phase III trial level, specifically Janssen's two vector Ebola vaccine where one of the doses uses the same adenovirus platform as their COVID-19 vaccine, they only applied for EU approval in November 2019. That dose uses the same Ad26 adenovirus as Sputnik V's first dose (the latter Sputnik V dose is based on the more common Ad5).

    Another difference is that like (AZ/)Oxford's (mostly chimpanzee) adenovirus vector vaccine, Sputnik V uses the wild type (WT) spike protein, the mRNA, Janssen, and Novavax vaccines a stabilized version which is thought to be better at producing high quality antibodies. The big difference between these two is Oxford's strong women tried using the same virus for both doses, and initially only four weeks apart. This is thought to reduce the efficacy of the second dose because the immune system gets primed to attack the vector itself, thus Sputnik V using different adenoviruses.

    Janssen's goal is the very best single jab vaccine so they don't care so much, but they are trying two jabs eight weeks apart, and now see Sputnik Light, like Janssen a single dose of an Ad26 virus vector, with what appears to be the same main goal as Janssen.
  51. @Almost Missouri
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The global death toll from cardiovascular disease, to take just one example, is something like 50,000 per day. Heart attacks are a case where timely medical intervention can make a big difference between life and death. Since last year however, everyone has been forced or scared away from hospitals and other urgent/emergency treatment. Might this have caused cardiovascular deaths to rise somewhat as result of decreased medical care, say from 50,000 per day to 60,000 per day? A one-sixth difference between treated versus untreated cardiovascular disease doesn't seem like a big stretch. Indeed, medical professionals like to think they have a much bigger than one-sixth effect on mortality of the patients they care for. But now we have a situation where medical care for everything except covid is deprecated.

    So on these modest assumptions, we get an extra 10,000 × 365 = 3.65 million extra deaths per year from the medical deprecation of one pre-covid illness alone. Now repeat the calculation for all the other pre-covid illnesses that are getting neglected in the covid era: cancer, non-contagious respiratory diseases, contagious but non-covid respiratory diseases*, etc. and you can get millions more global excess deaths.

    Paraphrasing myself from last year, we are trying to pick out covid deaths from among much larger streams of deaths. A slight change in (or even a slight reclassification of) any of those larger streams of deaths can double or erase covid deaths at a single stroke. Yet it is hard to find any evaluation in the changes, real or statistical, in these larger death streams that may dwarf the covid numbers. One suspects that no one wants to face the torrent of abuse that hit anyone who points this out.

    ------

    *You note that it is "starting to smell like statistical legerdemain" and I agree. Last winter, the CDC declared there were no influenza deaths (statistically unheard of) but then also combined pneumonia, influenza and covid in to a new category called "PIC". Ironically, in a way, the new PIC category may be more honest inasmuch as coronaviruses were always a component of influenza viruses, so separating out the COVID-19 influenza sub-virus from the larger influenza category was arguably more deceptive than re-including it back in. Still, the change in accounting midstream creates a statistical discontinuity which invalidates comparisons before and after the change.

    Replies: @Beckow, @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    starting to smell like statistical legerdemain

    That is an understatement, there is not as much skilful manipulation of the data, often only one-dimensional assertions above average IQ person should see through. This is aimed at the stupid and the scared. This level of incompetence should be rare in 2021.

    The willingness to receive the manipulated data and repeated illogical assertions about science is more on a psychiatric spectrum. It turns out that a lot of people suffer from latent germophobia, even hypochondria. About 60-80% people are by nature conformist, even among higher-IQ people, they do as they are told. Above all, a mania once unleashed has a dynamic of its own. It usually lasts around 3 years, so we have some way to go. That fragile elderly and quasi-hysterical middle-age to older women are in charge doesn’t help.

    Dis-empowering younger, stronger, smarter men carries a terrible cost for any society – now the chickens are coming home to roost.

  52. A seeming more reliable tracking of excess mortality across different countries was posted here. https://github.com/dkobak/excess-mortality/

    Japan 108,320

    It’s difficult to imagine that this table can be accurate, when Japan had negative excess mortality for 2020 (the first time in a decade). If there were more than a hundred thousand deaths from coronavirus in a country, then it would be unlikely to see suddenly negative excess deaths in that country.

    “The excess mortality would be adequate objective indicator for COVID-19 research, and was reported in 77 countries for 2020. Several representative data are: United States 420,000, Mexico 270,000, Russia 270,000, Brazil 170,000, Japan -15,000, Taiwan -4,800, Australia -4,700 and New Zealand -2,100. From demographics in Japan, the number of deaths increased by 18 thousand each year during 2015-2019. However, death in 2020 decreased by 9,373 from 2019, which indicated 27 thousand difference. A meaningful perspective showed that focusing on human life saves the economy. Future crucial factors would be new ways of working with the ability of human resources.”


    https://asploro.com/fewer-annual-deaths-in-japan-with-negative-excess-mortality-for-covid-19/

    • Replies: @utu
    @Dmitry

    I agree that the IMHE methodology to estimate what they call "Total COVID-19 deaths" which necessarily must be chiefly driven by the excess deaths data becomes very questionable for countries that experienced negative excess deaths. How possibly their model got 100k covid deaths in Japan which is 10-fold higher than the official number where the excess death was negative? I do not have even a speculative answer for it.

    It seems that the drop in respiratory diseases may account for the bulk of the negative excess deaths in Japan. So it might be the increased social distancing and masking plus warm 2019/2020 winter according to Japanese officials.


    Why are this year's death figures in Japan below 2019's despite pandemic?
    https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201012/p2a/00m/0na/013000c
     

    Replies: @Dmitry

  53. @utu
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    "I’d need to confirm whether the flu’s absence was worldwide" - It has been confirmed. Data is very strong. Explanation that the anti-covid countermeasures (social distancing, masking and lockdowns) are responsible for dramatic reduction of flu cases is very compelling. It comes from countries like NZ, Australia and Taiwan which had very few cover case thus the issue of mis-attribution of flu to covid is not the case because the number of flu cases is orders of magnitude higher than covid cases. So the usual argument of misattribution coming from floomers, deniers and disinfo agents can be out of hand dismissed.


    The southern hemisphere skipped flu season in 2020 (SEP 12TH 2020)
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/09/12/the-southern-hemisphere-skipped-flu-season-in-2020
     

    'Near extinction' of influenza in NZ as numbers drop due to lockdown (11 October 2020)
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018767843/near-extinction-of-influenza-in-nz-as-numbers-drop-due-to-lockdown

    "What the Covid-19 response has done has largely eliminated those excess winter deaths and mortality as a whole is down around 5 percent," he said. "So that means an extra 1500 people will survive this year who wouldn't have."
     

    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications (01 September 2020)
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778
     

    Replies: @Dnought, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    • Replies: @utu
    @Dnought

    Thanks for the link. The hypothesis of virus to virus interaction is interesting but speculative so far and imo wrong. Take Taiwan as an example: It had 35% flu diagnosed drop and 65% sever case of flu drop, while it had only 1,180 cases of covid and 12 cases of deaths from covid which is more than two order of magnitude less. Simply there was no enough SARS virus in Taiwan to interact with flu virus. There was no increase in flu vaccination in Taiwan thus the only reasonable explanation is social distancing, masking.


    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778
     
    M.G. Sunde sleight of hand argument about viruses sizes does not include the distinction in the viral loads that are necessary for the initiation of infection. What if you need fewer number of viruses to initiate covid infection than in the case of flu?

    Slight reduction in SARS-CoV-2 exposure viral load due to masking results in a significant reduction in transmission with widespread implementation
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.13.20193508v2.full.pdf

    Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer (Jul 2020)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393808/
     

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  54. @Positive Dennis
    If I could get a normal vaccine, I would get one in a minute. But in the US normal vaccines, like Sputnik, are not available. There maybe some this summer.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling

    If I could get a normal vaccine, I would get one in a minute. But in the US normal vaccines, like Sputnik, are not available. There maybe some this summer.

    Virus vector vaccines like Sputnik V aren’t exactly “normal.” They’ve got a longer history than the mRNA ones thanks to Ebola where a non-adenovirus vector one made a very significant difference the outbreak which started in 2014, but they hadn’t been seriously Phase III trial level or more tested prior to that.

    Adenovirus vector vaccines like Sputnik V weren’t as far as I know prior to this year taken beyond the Phase III trial level, specifically Janssen’s two vector Ebola vaccine where one of the doses uses the same adenovirus platform as their COVID-19 vaccine, they only applied for EU approval in November 2019. That dose uses the same Ad26 adenovirus as Sputnik V’s first dose (the latter Sputnik V dose is based on the more common Ad5).

    Another difference is that like (AZ/)Oxford’s (mostly chimpanzee) adenovirus vector vaccine, Sputnik V uses the wild type (WT) spike protein, the mRNA, Janssen, and Novavax vaccines a stabilized version which is thought to be better at producing high quality antibodies. The big difference between these two is Oxford’s strong women tried using the same virus for both doses, and initially only four weeks apart. This is thought to reduce the efficacy of the second dose because the immune system gets primed to attack the vector itself, thus Sputnik V using different adenoviruses.

    Janssen’s goal is the very best single jab vaccine so they don’t care so much, but they are trying two jabs eight weeks apart, and now see Sputnik Light, like Janssen a single dose of an Ad26 virus vector, with what appears to be the same main goal as Janssen.

  55. utu says:
    @Almost Missouri
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The global death toll from cardiovascular disease, to take just one example, is something like 50,000 per day. Heart attacks are a case where timely medical intervention can make a big difference between life and death. Since last year however, everyone has been forced or scared away from hospitals and other urgent/emergency treatment. Might this have caused cardiovascular deaths to rise somewhat as result of decreased medical care, say from 50,000 per day to 60,000 per day? A one-sixth difference between treated versus untreated cardiovascular disease doesn't seem like a big stretch. Indeed, medical professionals like to think they have a much bigger than one-sixth effect on mortality of the patients they care for. But now we have a situation where medical care for everything except covid is deprecated.

    So on these modest assumptions, we get an extra 10,000 × 365 = 3.65 million extra deaths per year from the medical deprecation of one pre-covid illness alone. Now repeat the calculation for all the other pre-covid illnesses that are getting neglected in the covid era: cancer, non-contagious respiratory diseases, contagious but non-covid respiratory diseases*, etc. and you can get millions more global excess deaths.

    Paraphrasing myself from last year, we are trying to pick out covid deaths from among much larger streams of deaths. A slight change in (or even a slight reclassification of) any of those larger streams of deaths can double or erase covid deaths at a single stroke. Yet it is hard to find any evaluation in the changes, real or statistical, in these larger death streams that may dwarf the covid numbers. One suspects that no one wants to face the torrent of abuse that hit anyone who points this out.

    ------

    *You note that it is "starting to smell like statistical legerdemain" and I agree. Last winter, the CDC declared there were no influenza deaths (statistically unheard of) but then also combined pneumonia, influenza and covid in to a new category called "PIC". Ironically, in a way, the new PIC category may be more honest inasmuch as coronaviruses were always a component of influenza viruses, so separating out the COVID-19 influenza sub-virus from the larger influenza category was arguably more deceptive than re-including it back in. Still, the change in accounting midstream creates a statistical discontinuity which invalidates comparisons before and after the change.

    Replies: @Beckow, @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    So on these modest assumptions. – How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don’t you look at data?

    Heart disease deaths in 2020 increased by 4.7% (out of 695k) comparing to 2019 in the US.

    Many people claimed that lockdowns and pandemic fear mongering would increase number of suicides. Actually they dropped by 5.6% (out of 47.5k).

    Cancer deaths remain unchanged.

    The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020 (March 31, 2021)
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2778234

    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974006735/tragic-driving-was-down-in-2020-but-traffic-fatality-rates-surged

    • Replies: @Resartus
    @utu


    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.
     
    Haven't seen any reports from other states, but since MJ was legalized in CO, their traffic deaths have increased every year.....

    Replies: @utu

    , @Almost Missouri
    @utu


    How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don’t you look at data?
     
    The "data" themselves are based on a certain number of assumptions. As you know, most covid death diagnoses were not based on direct testing (leaving aside whether the tests themselves were accurate), but on subjective observations by medical staff. Additionally, the government dangled substantial bribes for every death coded as "covid", so the recording of the cause of death was corrupted from the beginning. They admit that heart disease deaths have gone up, but mightn't those results have been up more if the bookkeepers weren't under pressure to divert as many deaths as possible to the covid column? After all, the difference between a 5% increase and 15% increase is only ten percentage points, so by diverting a mere ten percent of heart disease deaths, hospitals massively increase their reimbursement, "public health" bureaucrats get the pandemic they lust for, and mortality statistics are only slightly distorted. It's win-win-kinda win.

    And the heart disease category may not be worst one. Pre-covid respiratory diseases was already a much larger cause of death category than covid has ever been, and whether any given respiratory disease death goes onto the covid side or onto the non-covid side of the ledger is largely a judgment call: a judgement call where the judge receives a cash bonus for calling "covid". In a way, the CDC has implicitly acknowledged this by merging covid into the larger "PIC" respiratory disease category. So taking almost any size tranche of respiratory deaths out from the non-covid column and entering them into the covid column is both "scientifically" defensible as well as profitable. But meanwhile, people with non-covid respiratory conditions have received inferior medical attention than they otherwise would have.

    Replies: @utu

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @utu


    Why don’t you look at data?
     
    His point is that the data is often untrustworthy, and it's a valid one. You refer to a study saying cancer deaths were decreased, rather than increased. But cancer screenings declined by nearly 10 million in the US in 2020. I think it's reasonable to be skeptical that cancer deaths declined under those circumstances.

    For instance: suppose I have cancer; suppose the cancer would've been treatable had it been caught in time, but I ignored that headache and as a result I've got a glioblastoma the size of a tennis ball bulging out under my scalp; suppose I've got three weeks to live, where I might have had three years; and then suppose, in my weakened state, I get the COVIDs and die from pneumonia. Does that get counted as a COVID death or a cancer death? (Certainly not a lockdown death, although that's what it is.)

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  56. utu says:
    @Dnought
    @utu

    https://medium.com/illumination-curated/the-unexpected-case-of-the-disappearing-flu-64fd1fa5e909

    Replies: @utu

    Thanks for the link. The hypothesis of virus to virus interaction is interesting but speculative so far and imo wrong. Take Taiwan as an example: It had 35% flu diagnosed drop and 65% sever case of flu drop, while it had only 1,180 cases of covid and 12 cases of deaths from covid which is more than two order of magnitude less. Simply there was no enough SARS virus in Taiwan to interact with flu virus. There was no increase in flu vaccination in Taiwan thus the only reasonable explanation is social distancing, masking.

    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778

    M.G. Sunde sleight of hand argument about viruses sizes does not include the distinction in the viral loads that are necessary for the initiation of infection. What if you need fewer number of viruses to initiate covid infection than in the case of flu?

    Slight reduction in SARS-CoV-2 exposure viral load due to masking results in a significant reduction in transmission with widespread implementation
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.13.20193508v2.full.pdf

    Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer (Jul 2020)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393808/

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @utu


    What if you need fewer number of viruses to initiate covid infection than in the case of flu?
     
    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers. This is a remarkable outcome.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  57. @utu
    @demografie

    Agree with you except: "All measures should be voluntary. " Voluntary measures do not work when the defectors can screw it up for everybody.

    Replies: @Beckow, @RadicalCenter

    So the “vaccines” don’t prevent the vaccinated person from being infected?

    On a related note, do the “vaccines” prevent the vaccinated person from infecting others?

    • LOL: utu
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @RadicalCenter


    On a related note, do the “vaccines” prevent the vaccinated person from infecting others?
     
    Vaccines do, “vaccines” don’t. It’s as simple as that.
  58. utu says:
    @Dmitry
    A seeming more reliable tracking of excess mortality across different countries was posted here. https://github.com/dkobak/excess-mortality/

    Japan 108,320
     
    It's difficult to imagine that this table can be accurate, when Japan had negative excess mortality for 2020 (the first time in a decade). If there were more than a hundred thousand deaths from coronavirus in a country, then it would be unlikely to see suddenly negative excess deaths in that country.

    "The excess mortality would be adequate objective indicator for COVID-19 research, and was reported in 77 countries for 2020. Several representative data are: United States 420,000, Mexico 270,000, Russia 270,000, Brazil 170,000, Japan -15,000, Taiwan -4,800, Australia -4,700 and New Zealand -2,100. From demographics in Japan, the number of deaths increased by 18 thousand each year during 2015-2019. However, death in 2020 decreased by 9,373 from 2019, which indicated 27 thousand difference. A meaningful perspective showed that focusing on human life saves the economy. Future crucial factors would be new ways of working with the ability of human resources."

    https://i.imgur.com/G41lgJc.jpg

    https://asploro.com/fewer-annual-deaths-in-japan-with-negative-excess-mortality-for-covid-19/

    Replies: @utu

    I agree that the IMHE methodology to estimate what they call “Total COVID-19 deaths” which necessarily must be chiefly driven by the excess deaths data becomes very questionable for countries that experienced negative excess deaths. How possibly their model got 100k covid deaths in Japan which is 10-fold higher than the official number where the excess death was negative? I do not have even a speculative answer for it.

    It seems that the drop in respiratory diseases may account for the bulk of the negative excess deaths in Japan. So it might be the increased social distancing and masking plus warm 2019/2020 winter according to Japanese officials.

    Why are this year’s death figures in Japan below 2019’s despite pandemic?
    https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201012/p2a/00m/0na/013000c

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    @utu


    drop in respiratory diseases may account for the bulk of the negative excess deaths in Japan.
     
    I guess the negative excess deaths in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, might suggest that the excess death number (in those different countries where there is excess deaths), could be a bit lower than the number of people who have died from coronavirus. That is, the excess death data is somewhat underestimation of the number of people who have died from coronavirus.

    The World Mortality Dataset also implies this with those countries (with excess deaths) where the official coronavirus deaths number is higher than the excess deaths e.g. Germany, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, South Korea.

  59. @utu
    @Almost Missouri

    So on these modest assumptions. - How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don't you look at data?

    Heart disease deaths in 2020 increased by 4.7% (out of 695k) comparing to 2019 in the US.

    Many people claimed that lockdowns and pandemic fear mongering would increase number of suicides. Actually they dropped by 5.6% (out of 47.5k).

    Cancer deaths remain unchanged.


    The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020 (March 31, 2021)
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2778234
     
    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974006735/tragic-driving-was-down-in-2020-but-traffic-fatality-rates-surged
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @Almost Missouri, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.

    Haven’t seen any reports from other states, but since MJ was legalized in CO, their traffic deaths have increased every year…..

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @utu
    @Resartus

    I am pretty sure that legalization of marijuana will lead to the increase of car accidents. But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving. People still drove but chiefly on very short trips. Driving to nearby stores on very short trips in familiar environments is done with lower attention and vigilance.


    Study: 25% of car accidents happen in first 3 minutes of driving
    https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/09/study-25-percent-of-car-accidents-happen-in-first-3-minutes-of-driving/
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @AP, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  60. How’s that floating bathtub thing going?

  61. utu says:
    @Resartus
    @utu


    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.
     
    Haven't seen any reports from other states, but since MJ was legalized in CO, their traffic deaths have increased every year.....

    Replies: @utu

    I am pretty sure that legalization of marijuana will lead to the increase of car accidents. But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving. People still drove but chiefly on very short trips. Driving to nearby stores on very short trips in familiar environments is done with lower attention and vigilance.

    Study: 25% of car accidents happen in first 3 minutes of driving
    https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/09/study-25-percent-of-car-accidents-happen-in-first-3-minutes-of-driving/

    • Replies: @Resartus
    @utu


    But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving.
     
    Going back to early summer (May/June), lots of reports of LEO stopping cars going 100+ (little traffic on the roads at the time)....
    This led to more stops, but also more deaths in accidents....
    Reporting on this didn't last long, so can't comment on how long extreme speeding happened before drivers calmed down.....
    , @AP
    @utu

    I've noticed that the traffic has cleared up, so it is now possible to drive much faster. This will make accidents deadlier.

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @utu

    Alternatively, the uptick in traffic deaths is from all the long drives made by holidaymakers who would have been on a plane in 2019: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-31/wa-worst-january-road-toll-in-a-decade/13104800

  62. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Very little flu in the UK last year or this, because people weren't socialising either inside or outside of work. Shows IMHO the comparative infectiousness of Covid v flu (and of course a lot of the over 60s have flu jabs).

    https://i.postimg.cc/k4NppDkg/Not-Much-Flu-May21.jpg

    Source

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/983770/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w18.pdf


    "In week 17 2021, out of the 106,535 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System (based on data received from 15 out of 16 laboratories), 633 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 with an overall positivity of 0.6%. The highest positivity was noted in the 15 to 44 year olds at 0.8% in week 17. The overall influenza positivity remained very low at 0.0% in week 17, with none of the 4,540 samples testing positive for flu."
     

    Replies: @Commentator Mike, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I’ve always been reading about how influenza kills so many each year but in my life I have never known anyone who has died of the flu. Yet I know many who have died of Covid-19 this past year.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Commentator Mike

    My understanding is that flu in the elderly leads on to pneumonia, which is what actually kills you.

  63. @utu
    @Almost Missouri

    So on these modest assumptions. - How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don't you look at data?

    Heart disease deaths in 2020 increased by 4.7% (out of 695k) comparing to 2019 in the US.

    Many people claimed that lockdowns and pandemic fear mongering would increase number of suicides. Actually they dropped by 5.6% (out of 47.5k).

    Cancer deaths remain unchanged.


    The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020 (March 31, 2021)
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2778234
     
    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974006735/tragic-driving-was-down-in-2020-but-traffic-fatality-rates-surged
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @Almost Missouri, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don’t you look at data?

    The “data” themselves are based on a certain number of assumptions. As you know, most covid death diagnoses were not based on direct testing (leaving aside whether the tests themselves were accurate), but on subjective observations by medical staff. Additionally, the government dangled substantial bribes for every death coded as “covid”, so the recording of the cause of death was corrupted from the beginning. They admit that heart disease deaths have gone up, but mightn’t those results have been up more if the bookkeepers weren’t under pressure to divert as many deaths as possible to the covid column? After all, the difference between a 5% increase and 15% increase is only ten percentage points, so by diverting a mere ten percent of heart disease deaths, hospitals massively increase their reimbursement, “public health” bureaucrats get the pandemic they lust for, and mortality statistics are only slightly distorted. It’s win-win-kinda win.

    And the heart disease category may not be worst one. Pre-covid respiratory diseases was already a much larger cause of death category than covid has ever been, and whether any given respiratory disease death goes onto the covid side or onto the non-covid side of the ledger is largely a judgment call: a judgement call where the judge receives a cash bonus for calling “covid”. In a way, the CDC has implicitly acknowledged this by merging covid into the larger “PIC” respiratory disease category. So taking almost any size tranche of respiratory deaths out from the non-covid column and entering them into the covid column is both “scientifically” defensible as well as profitable. But meanwhile, people with non-covid respiratory conditions have received inferior medical attention than they otherwise would have.

    • Replies: @utu
    @Almost Missouri

    Masturbatory drivel.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  64. @Almost Missouri
    @utu


    How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don’t you look at data?
     
    The "data" themselves are based on a certain number of assumptions. As you know, most covid death diagnoses were not based on direct testing (leaving aside whether the tests themselves were accurate), but on subjective observations by medical staff. Additionally, the government dangled substantial bribes for every death coded as "covid", so the recording of the cause of death was corrupted from the beginning. They admit that heart disease deaths have gone up, but mightn't those results have been up more if the bookkeepers weren't under pressure to divert as many deaths as possible to the covid column? After all, the difference between a 5% increase and 15% increase is only ten percentage points, so by diverting a mere ten percent of heart disease deaths, hospitals massively increase their reimbursement, "public health" bureaucrats get the pandemic they lust for, and mortality statistics are only slightly distorted. It's win-win-kinda win.

    And the heart disease category may not be worst one. Pre-covid respiratory diseases was already a much larger cause of death category than covid has ever been, and whether any given respiratory disease death goes onto the covid side or onto the non-covid side of the ledger is largely a judgment call: a judgement call where the judge receives a cash bonus for calling "covid". In a way, the CDC has implicitly acknowledged this by merging covid into the larger "PIC" respiratory disease category. So taking almost any size tranche of respiratory deaths out from the non-covid column and entering them into the covid column is both "scientifically" defensible as well as profitable. But meanwhile, people with non-covid respiratory conditions have received inferior medical attention than they otherwise would have.

    Replies: @utu

    Masturbatory drivel.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @utu

    If you don't have an argument, it would do you more credit simply to admit it, rather than projecting about your private obsessions.

  65. @utu
    @Dmitry

    I agree that the IMHE methodology to estimate what they call "Total COVID-19 deaths" which necessarily must be chiefly driven by the excess deaths data becomes very questionable for countries that experienced negative excess deaths. How possibly their model got 100k covid deaths in Japan which is 10-fold higher than the official number where the excess death was negative? I do not have even a speculative answer for it.

    It seems that the drop in respiratory diseases may account for the bulk of the negative excess deaths in Japan. So it might be the increased social distancing and masking plus warm 2019/2020 winter according to Japanese officials.


    Why are this year's death figures in Japan below 2019's despite pandemic?
    https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201012/p2a/00m/0na/013000c
     

    Replies: @Dmitry

    drop in respiratory diseases may account for the bulk of the negative excess deaths in Japan.

    I guess the negative excess deaths in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, might suggest that the excess death number (in those different countries where there is excess deaths), could be a bit lower than the number of people who have died from coronavirus. That is, the excess death data is somewhat underestimation of the number of people who have died from coronavirus.

    The World Mortality Dataset also implies this with those countries (with excess deaths) where the official coronavirus deaths number is higher than the excess deaths e.g. Germany, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, South Korea.

  66. @RadicalCenter
    @utu

    So the “vaccines” don’t prevent the vaccinated person from being infected?

    On a related note, do the “vaccines” prevent the vaccinated person from infecting others?

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    On a related note, do the “vaccines” prevent the vaccinated person from infecting others?

    Vaccines do, “vaccines” don’t. It’s as simple as that.

  67. @utu
    @Resartus

    I am pretty sure that legalization of marijuana will lead to the increase of car accidents. But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving. People still drove but chiefly on very short trips. Driving to nearby stores on very short trips in familiar environments is done with lower attention and vigilance.


    Study: 25% of car accidents happen in first 3 minutes of driving
    https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/09/study-25-percent-of-car-accidents-happen-in-first-3-minutes-of-driving/
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @AP, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving.

    Going back to early summer (May/June), lots of reports of LEO stopping cars going 100+ (little traffic on the roads at the time)….
    This led to more stops, but also more deaths in accidents….
    Reporting on this didn’t last long, so can’t comment on how long extreme speeding happened before drivers calmed down…..

  68. @utu
    @Almost Missouri

    Masturbatory drivel.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    If you don’t have an argument, it would do you more credit simply to admit it, rather than projecting about your private obsessions.

  69. @Commentator Mike
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I've always been reading about how influenza kills so many each year but in my life I have never known anyone who has died of the flu. Yet I know many who have died of Covid-19 this past year.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    My understanding is that flu in the elderly leads on to pneumonia, which is what actually kills you.

  70. @utu
    @Resartus

    I am pretty sure that legalization of marijuana will lead to the increase of car accidents. But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving. People still drove but chiefly on very short trips. Driving to nearby stores on very short trips in familiar environments is done with lower attention and vigilance.


    Study: 25% of car accidents happen in first 3 minutes of driving
    https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/09/study-25-percent-of-car-accidents-happen-in-first-3-minutes-of-driving/
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @AP, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I’ve noticed that the traffic has cleared up, so it is now possible to drive much faster. This will make accidents deadlier.

    • Agree: utu
  71. @jsinton
    I don't deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing "numbers of deaths" is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there's three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths "of" COVID or deaths "with" covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go? How many of these deaths were due to the granny-killer governors? When you die "of" or "with" COVID after getting the "vaccine", does that count? Where did COVID come from? A bioweapon lab? If so, were they not "murdered" by evil unknown? Or is COVID a form of genocide and not a "virus"? How many people could have been saved had not the medical establishment stressed "vaccines" and not readily available, cheap, effective treatments? Which leads to the question how many people needlessly died because the medical establishment stresses profit over people? When will somebody answer these questions?

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Levtraro, @Mr. Hack, @nosquat loquat

    I’d have to agree with you, that they’re a lot more questions regarding covid then there are answers.I’m currently staying with my elderly sister in Minnesota who completed her two shot regimen with the Pfizer vaccination about a month ago. She’s experienced some severe reactions necessitating trips to her local doctor. The pains seem to often start in the bones within her feet and travel and manifest themselves in other parts of her body, like within her ribs. I’ve been with her when this flair up occurs and she seems to exhibit jolts almost like an electrical shock. The doctors treating her have said that
    these pains should last 2-3 months or even longer. She’s in touch with friends that have had similar experiences, even necessitating trips to the hospital. All of this seems to indicate that our medical community knows about a lot of folks that have experienced severe bad reactions to the inoculations, but do not publicize this information to the public. It’s as if Big Brother has put a big muzzle about this topic (and other related ones) keeping this bad press as quiet as possible?…

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @jsinton
    @Mr. Hack

    Geeze, shooting pains for two or three months? Maybe longer? That's a real problem. I've heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say "that means it's working". That's total BS. That means it's doing damage, it's a bad thing. Right now I'm trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she's already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun, and I'm afraid this chit will kill her. Meanwhile, my sister is convinced my mother MUST HAVE the "vaccine" and works to convince her to get the jab. I haven't talked to my sister for six months because I'm totally pissed off.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling

  72. @AnonfromTN
    Politically incorrect American jokes:
    A skydiver who jumped without his parachute died of covid.
    Because of an explosion in methamphetamine lab two people died of covid.

    Politically incorrect Russian jokes:
    My nose is not running, I have no fever, I have no headache, my sense of smell is keen. Must be asymptomatic covid.
    Doctor, when do you expect covid epidemic to end? I don’t know, I am not interested in politics.

    Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain

    My favourite is Rat A to Rat B-‘I’m not having the vaccine until they finish the human trials’.

    • LOL: dfordoom
  73. I don’t know to what extent the author is into the covid believing religion, but he really needs to start looking into the educated arguments of people like Dr Dolores Cahill, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, and thousands of doctors around the world who are putting their reputations and careers on the line to challenge the “official” Covid narrative. Why would they do this, there’s no money in it? There’s sure a lot of money to be made from pushing the “official” Covid narrative and investing in the companies that are manufacturing and distributing the “vaccine”. Someone who’s driven by money and power has a lot less credibility in my books when they push a medicine or vaccine as compared to someone who isn’t motivated by financial gain.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Joe Paluka

    Pfizer is up by about 2% relative to its February 2020 peak, vs. 20% for the stock market as a whole. If this was an attempt to pump pharma prices, it has been a singular failure.

    Biden is also apparently not in on this plot, having recently moved to waive vaccine patents.

    , @dfordoom
    @Joe Paluka


    he really needs to start looking into the educated arguments of people like Dr Dolores Cahill, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, and thousands of doctors around the world who are putting their reputations and careers on the line to challenge the “official” Covid narrative. Why would they do this, there’s no money in it?
     
    You do have to keep in mind that there are always cranks in the medical profession, and cranks just love challenging the official line on anything.
  74. @Mr. Hack
    @jsinton

    I'd have to agree with you, that they're a lot more questions regarding covid then there are answers.I'm currently staying with my elderly sister in Minnesota who completed her two shot regimen with the Pfizer vaccination about a month ago. She's experienced some severe reactions necessitating trips to her local doctor. The pains seem to often start in the bones within her feet and travel and manifest themselves in other parts of her body, like within her ribs. I've been with her when this flair up occurs and she seems to exhibit jolts almost like an electrical shock. The doctors treating her have said that
    these pains should last 2-3 months or even longer. She's in touch with friends that have had similar experiences, even necessitating trips to the hospital. All of this seems to indicate that our medical community knows about a lot of folks that have experienced severe bad reactions to the inoculations, but do not publicize this information to the public. It's as if Big Brother has put a big muzzle about this topic (and other related ones) keeping this bad press as quiet as possible?...

    Replies: @jsinton

    Geeze, shooting pains for two or three months? Maybe longer? That’s a real problem. I’ve heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say “that means it’s working”. That’s total BS. That means it’s doing damage, it’s a bad thing. Right now I’m trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she’s already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun, and I’m afraid this chit will kill her. Meanwhile, my sister is convinced my mother MUST HAVE the “vaccine” and works to convince her to get the jab. I haven’t talked to my sister for six months because I’m totally pissed off.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
    @jsinton


    I’ve heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say “that means it’s working”. That’s total BS. That means it’s doing damage, it’s a bad thing.
     
    I guess you aren't aware we complicated organisms have some abilities to self-repair? Any immune system response is to be "violent" to a degree, at the very minimum for the US approved "active" vaccines killing the cells that get hijacked. Pain at the site of injection is so common that if you're talking about that as a reason to avoid getting vaccinated ... well, don't get any deep wounds since you're obviously not getting your TDaP boosters. See also the "nocebo effect," with so many stories about how hard the mRNA vaccines can hit some people we can be sure some of it is their convincing their bodies to show symptoms.

    Right now I’m trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she’s already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun
     
    If her doctors generally advise her to not get any vaccines she hasn't already gotten, then, yeah, although getting a natural infection of this unnatural virus could be worse. Or consult an allergist/immunologist and bring all her records.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @jsinton

  75. @YetAnotherAnon
    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab? With the complication that

    a) the gain-of-function stuff was funded by the US
    b) the techniques were developed in the US and taught to the Chinese
    c) virologists closed ranks because most of them are involved in similar stuff

    https://nicholaswade.medium.com/origin-of-covid-following-the-clues-6f03564c038

    https://slate.com/podcasts/what-next/2021/04/a-fringe-covid-origin-story-seems-increasingly-plausible

    https://twitter.com/canardbruno/status/1328242024982728706

    "It’s documented that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells and humanized mice. This is exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged. The researchers were not vaccinated against the viruses under study, and they were working in the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 laboratory. So escape of a virus would not be at all surprising. In all of China, the pandemic broke out on the doorstep of the Wuhan institute. The virus was already well adapted to humans, as expected for a virus grown in humanized mice. It possessed an unusual enhancement, a furin cleavage site, which is not possessed by any other known SARS-related beta-coronavirus, and this site included a double arginine codon also unknown among beta-coronaviruses. What more evidence could you want, aside from the presently unobtainable lab records documenting SARS2’s creation?

    Proponents of natural emergence have a rather harder story to tell. The plausibility of their case rests on a single surmise, the expected parallel between the emergence of SARS2 and that of SARS1 and MERS. But none of the evidence expected in support of such a parallel history has yet emerged. No one has found the bat population that was the source of SARS2, if indeed it ever infected bats. No intermediate host has presented itself, despite an intensive search by Chinese authorities that included the testing of 80,000 animals. There is no evidence of the virus making multiple independent jumps from its intermediate host to people, as both the SARS1 and MERS viruses did. There is no evidence from hospital surveillance records of the epidemic gathering strength in the population as the virus evolved. There is no explanation of why a natural epidemic should break out in Wuhan and nowhere else. There is no good explanation of how the virus acquired its furin cleavage site, which no other SARS-related beta-coronavirus possesses, nor why the site is composed of human-preferred codons. The natural emergence theory battles a bristling array of implausibilities.

    The records of the Wuhan Institute of Virology certainly hold much relevant information. But Chinese authorities seem unlikely to release them given the substantial chance that they incriminate the regime in the creation of the pandemic. Absent the efforts of some courageous Chinese whistle-blower, we may already have at hand just about all of the relevant information we are likely to get for a while."

     

    Boris Johnson's former right-hand man, Dominic Cummings, wrote about lab leaks and pandemics nine months before covid emerged.

    https://dominiccummings.com/2019/03/04/the-most-secure-bio-labs-routinely-make-errors-that-could-cause-a-global-pandemic-are-about-to-re-start-experiments-on-pathogens-engineered-to-make-them-mammalian-airborne-transmissible/

    “The most secure bio-labs routinely make errors that could cause a global pandemic & are about to re-start experiments on pathogens engineered to make them mammalian-airborne-transmissible”

    Replies: @Morton's toes, @Ron Unz

    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab?

    Wade’s long article is excellent, but for very obvious reasons he completely excludes considering that the Covid-19 outbreak was an American biowarfare attack on China (and Iran).

    I’ve been making that case for over a full year now, and the evidence is strong, perhaps even overwhelming. You really should take a look at my most recent March article, which summarizes most of the material:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    For the last year, the stupid/dishonest MSM pretended that the virus was clearly natural, all evidence to the contrary, and now that they’re finally starting to admit they were wrong, they’re ignoring the equally obvious evidence of an American biowarfare attack.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    Thanks, I read it when it came out - without going deep into your piece, two obvious points come to mind

    a) the revelation about the furan site and associated codons (a word I've had to learn) plus the total absence (so far) of any intermediary animal host strongly suggests man-made origin, which ties in with both a Wuhan leak theory and your theory. To accept either one, people need to accept the virus is not natural - and we are still a long way from that, although the Slate podcast is a straw in the wind. Baby steps.

    b) if this WAS a US attack it would surely be the biggest own goal in the history of warfare, as China is probably the country which has done best from the pandemic.

    Also, the ABC and Israeli reports of NCMI briefings are interesting, has anyone done more digging or asked the journalists concerned if they stand by their story?

    And lastly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has to be a very foolish fellow for getting rid of a chief adviser as far-sighted as Dominic Cummings. That's an impressive piece of prescience, even if Dom was thinking about bird flu.

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    One other thought - if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so? My view is that they might not, given that it would result in a massive rupture (and might well have re-elected Trump - absent cheating of course) which would have stimulated the US in the direction of abandoning the present system by which US elites do well out of China while China does better generally.

    On the other hand, this info would presumably have been discussed at the very highest levels? Could that be kept secret? Or might someone lower down the information chain have sat on it? Unlikely, surely it would cost them their head? Don't know enough about Chinese politics and culture.

    The fact that China won't release the lab records inclines me a bit towards the Wuhan lab leak side. I'm still surprised, they have surely had time to cleanse the records and replace compromising stuff with fabrications.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    , @Bumpkin
    @Ron Unz

    Whatever the origins of Covid, it is clear the govt response has been incompetent, with several about-faces over the last year, particularly on masks. I recently read this review paper from last April, that says masks don't work to curb infection, written by a former Physics professor named Denis Rancourt (he claims he was fired because he was outspoken against the Israel lobby). This page has some more of his writing, including his claim that the authoritarian lockdowns and hospital panics killed more people than Covid itself.

    Regardless of how convinced you are by his evidence, perhaps you could contact him and ask him to write up or republish something for this site? His mask paper was banned by ResearchGate, in an unprecedented move. He blogs here, has a YouTube channel, and his email is listed at the bottom of this page.

  76. “I hurt myself today , to see if I still feel.” – Trent Reznor

    General Public :

    You are all idolatrous garbage .

    Your cosmology IS your prison… fucking cunts .

    The simple truth is this . Your life is meaningless . You won’t admit it , how could you ? You’re an American and that kind of attitude will land you behind a dumpster since you have no family , community , or traditional support , and your bitch sister has a dick since recently . Instead , you plaster on a fake smile and proceed to create meaning by becoming a nation , nay , world , equivalent to a hysterical hypochondriac cat lady screaming and gnawing at her own rat-infested asshole out of desperate boredom . Tiktok skank nurse dance for your 6 year old whore daughter to emulate included free of charge ! LIFE IS A MOVIE NOW !!! yay !!!!!

    Like Saturn you are . Eating your afrikanized children for real so you can mentally masturbate with your latest metaphysics rather than face the fact that you have become a lobotomized corpse nigger… an absolutely rudderless scumbag adrift in a mental sewage of stinking doubt and self-and-progeny destroying autistic reductionism .

    This is where your life and your “knowing” gets you . Enjoy .

    You won’t watch it cuz you are an intellectual sodomite who fancies themselves a sort of hyper “evolved” turd slowly falling into a black hole , but here is your supergayandblackthink refuted once again by Dr. Lanka :


    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
  77. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab?
     
    Wade's long article is excellent, but for very obvious reasons he completely excludes considering that the Covid-19 outbreak was an American biowarfare attack on China (and Iran).

    I've been making that case for over a full year now, and the evidence is strong, perhaps even overwhelming. You really should take a look at my most recent March article, which summarizes most of the material:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    For the last year, the stupid/dishonest MSM pretended that the virus was clearly natural, all evidence to the contrary, and now that they're finally starting to admit they were wrong, they're ignoring the equally obvious evidence of an American biowarfare attack.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @YetAnotherAnon, @Bumpkin

    Thanks, I read it when it came out – without going deep into your piece, two obvious points come to mind

    a) the revelation about the furan site and associated codons (a word I’ve had to learn) plus the total absence (so far) of any intermediary animal host strongly suggests man-made origin, which ties in with both a Wuhan leak theory and your theory. To accept either one, people need to accept the virus is not natural – and we are still a long way from that, although the Slate podcast is a straw in the wind. Baby steps.

    b) if this WAS a US attack it would surely be the biggest own goal in the history of warfare, as China is probably the country which has done best from the pandemic.

    Also, the ABC and Israeli reports of NCMI briefings are interesting, has anyone done more digging or asked the journalists concerned if they stand by their story?

    And lastly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has to be a very foolish fellow for getting rid of a chief adviser as far-sighted as Dominic Cummings. That’s an impressive piece of prescience, even if Dom was thinking about bird flu.

  78. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab?
     
    Wade's long article is excellent, but for very obvious reasons he completely excludes considering that the Covid-19 outbreak was an American biowarfare attack on China (and Iran).

    I've been making that case for over a full year now, and the evidence is strong, perhaps even overwhelming. You really should take a look at my most recent March article, which summarizes most of the material:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    For the last year, the stupid/dishonest MSM pretended that the virus was clearly natural, all evidence to the contrary, and now that they're finally starting to admit they were wrong, they're ignoring the equally obvious evidence of an American biowarfare attack.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @YetAnotherAnon, @Bumpkin

    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so? My view is that they might not, given that it would result in a massive rupture (and might well have re-elected Trump – absent cheating of course) which would have stimulated the US in the direction of abandoning the present system by which US elites do well out of China while China does better generally.

    On the other hand, this info would presumably have been discussed at the very highest levels? Could that be kept secret? Or might someone lower down the information chain have sat on it? Unlikely, surely it would cost them their head? Don’t know enough about Chinese politics and culture.

    The fact that China won’t release the lab records inclines me a bit towards the Wuhan lab leak side. I’m still surprised, they have surely had time to cleanse the records and replace compromising stuff with fabrications.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so?
     
    Why bother? American controls the global MSM, so what good would it do? Just consider the totally distorted view of domestic issues promoted by the MSM.

    For example, for decades it's been firmly established that the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" was just a media hoax, and also that the US had deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a decade later. But 99% of people believe otherwise because the MSM says so:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The case for an American biowarfare attack rather than a Wuhan lab-leak is simply overwhelming. Here's a summary of some of the points in my article:

    (1) For three years, China had been locked in growing conflict with America over trade and geopolitics, and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source. The third year, Covid-19 appeared. Certainly a suspicious pattern if the last was just a random lab-leak.

    (2) The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. The timing of an accidental lab-leak would obviously be random.

    (3) 300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games, an absolutely ideal opportunity for releasing a viral bioweapon. What would Americans think if 300 Chinese military officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards a mysterious, deadly viral disease suddenly broke out in that city. So the American military visit and the accidental lab-leak just happened to occur at exactly the same time.

    (4) The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    (5) From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    (6) By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    (7) Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying. Why did the accidental Wuhan lab-leak jump to the Iran’s political elites so quickly, before it had reached almost anywhere else in the world.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The Lab-Leak Hypothesis is roughly on a par with Putin having stolen the 2016 election for Trump by buying $10,000 worth of Facebook ads.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @YetAnotherAnon, @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  79. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Do you have a view on the revelation that Trump was almost certainly correct, and it almost certainly was a release, presumably accidental, from the Wuhan lab?
     
    Wade's long article is excellent, but for very obvious reasons he completely excludes considering that the Covid-19 outbreak was an American biowarfare attack on China (and Iran).

    I've been making that case for over a full year now, and the evidence is strong, perhaps even overwhelming. You really should take a look at my most recent March article, which summarizes most of the material:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    For the last year, the stupid/dishonest MSM pretended that the virus was clearly natural, all evidence to the contrary, and now that they're finally starting to admit they were wrong, they're ignoring the equally obvious evidence of an American biowarfare attack.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon, @YetAnotherAnon, @Bumpkin

    Whatever the origins of Covid, it is clear the govt response has been incompetent, with several about-faces over the last year, particularly on masks. I recently read this review paper from last April, that says masks don’t work to curb infection, written by a former Physics professor named Denis Rancourt (he claims he was fired because he was outspoken against the Israel lobby). This page has some more of his writing, including his claim that the authoritarian lockdowns and hospital panics killed more people than Covid itself.

    Regardless of how convinced you are by his evidence, perhaps you could contact him and ask him to write up or republish something for this site? His mask paper was banned by ResearchGate, in an unprecedented move. He blogs here, has a YouTube channel, and his email is listed at the bottom of this page.

  80. If doctors are instructed to count Covid deaths in a way that they would not otherwise consider doing so, it means the statistics are false.

    Believe what you will. I am still a subscriber to the age old and sound principle of law “falsus in uno; falsus in omnibus”.

    • Agree: AnonfromTN
  81. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Very little flu in the UK last year or this, because people weren't socialising either inside or outside of work. Shows IMHO the comparative infectiousness of Covid v flu (and of course a lot of the over 60s have flu jabs).

    https://i.postimg.cc/k4NppDkg/Not-Much-Flu-May21.jpg

    Source

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/983770/Weekly_Flu_and_COVID-19_report_w18.pdf


    "In week 17 2021, out of the 106,535 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System (based on data received from 15 out of 16 laboratories), 633 samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 with an overall positivity of 0.6%. The highest positivity was noted in the 15 to 44 year olds at 0.8% in week 17. The overall influenza positivity remained very low at 0.0% in week 17, with none of the 4,540 samples testing positive for flu."
     

    Replies: @Commentator Mike, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Very little flu in the UK last year or this, because people weren’t socialising either inside or outside of work. Shows IMHO the comparative infectiousness of Covid v flu (and of course a lot of the over 60s have flu jabs).

    Re: the bolded: you might believe that, but it’s hardly been proven. I might point out that (1) flu is plenty infectious enough, and (2) household isolation is argued to increase transmission, but apparently did not for the flu in 2020, and (3) most COVID transmission occurred in hospitals and nursing homes, but, again, not for the flu. (Even though, correct me if I’m wrong, it normally rampages through nursing homes once a year.)

    So either we had total 100% coverage of a totally 100% effective flu vaccine; or masks/social distancing/lockdowns are effective, and just effective enough to completely eradicate flu, but not to make a dent in COVID; or COVID infections somehow preclude flu infections (the “crowding out” hypothesis); or the government is bodging the flu numbers, accidentally or otherwise; or there’s something else I don’t know about. And we don’t know which of those is true.

  82. @utu
    @Dnought

    Thanks for the link. The hypothesis of virus to virus interaction is interesting but speculative so far and imo wrong. Take Taiwan as an example: It had 35% flu diagnosed drop and 65% sever case of flu drop, while it had only 1,180 cases of covid and 12 cases of deaths from covid which is more than two order of magnitude less. Simply there was no enough SARS virus in Taiwan to interact with flu virus. There was no increase in flu vaccination in Taiwan thus the only reasonable explanation is social distancing, masking.


    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778
     
    M.G. Sunde sleight of hand argument about viruses sizes does not include the distinction in the viral loads that are necessary for the initiation of infection. What if you need fewer number of viruses to initiate covid infection than in the case of flu?

    Slight reduction in SARS-CoV-2 exposure viral load due to masking results in a significant reduction in transmission with widespread implementation
    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.13.20193508v2.full.pdf

    Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer (Jul 2020)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393808/
     

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    What if you need fewer number of viruses to initiate covid infection than in the case of flu?

    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers. This is a remarkable outcome.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    These are weasel words in bold:


    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.
     
    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.

    The reproductive number, R0 (pronounced R naught), is a value that describes how contagious a disease is. For the flu, the R0 tends to be between 1 and 2, which means that for every person infected with the flu, one to two additional people become infected. For COVID-19, the R0 is higher, between 2 and 3.
     
    As you can see, it’s perfectly possible that the measures which are enough to eradicate the flu still leave us with a seasonal flu sized epidemic of covid. I’m not saying that is what happened, as I have to admit I just assumed that to be the case without looking into the numbers too much, but the possibility seems to be there.

    Source:

    https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/2020/12/07/covid-19-and-influenza-surveillance/

    Replies: @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  83. @demografie
    @Beckow

    I doubt that. I will post data for Czech republic. There's quite significant uptick in excess deaths. Number don't lie. You are just coping. Also I salute to your decision not take vaccine. It will be more for my family.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Anastasia

    Their numbers lie ifyou read the instructions on how they are supposed to count them.

    • Replies: @demografie
    @Anastasia

    There are numbers and real people dying in our city. Also, I know health workers, who are saying that it is not normal what is going on.
    There is no point to discuss this any more. As I wrote, I would make all the measures only voluntary.

  84. @utu
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    "I’d need to confirm whether the flu’s absence was worldwide" - It has been confirmed. Data is very strong. Explanation that the anti-covid countermeasures (social distancing, masking and lockdowns) are responsible for dramatic reduction of flu cases is very compelling. It comes from countries like NZ, Australia and Taiwan which had very few cover case thus the issue of mis-attribution of flu to covid is not the case because the number of flu cases is orders of magnitude higher than covid cases. So the usual argument of misattribution coming from floomers, deniers and disinfo agents can be out of hand dismissed.


    The southern hemisphere skipped flu season in 2020 (SEP 12TH 2020)
    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/09/12/the-southern-hemisphere-skipped-flu-season-in-2020
     

    'Near extinction' of influenza in NZ as numbers drop due to lockdown (11 October 2020)
    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018767843/near-extinction-of-influenza-in-nz-as-numbers-drop-due-to-lockdown

    "What the Covid-19 response has done has largely eliminated those excess winter deaths and mortality as a whole is down around 5 percent," he said. "So that means an extra 1500 people will survive this year who wouldn't have."
     

    One benefit of COVID‐19 measures in Taiwan: The reduction of influenza infections and severe complications (01 September 2020)
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/irv.12778
     

    Replies: @Dnought, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    It has been confirmed. Data is very strong. Explanation that the anti-covid countermeasures (social distancing, masking and lockdowns) are responsible for dramatic reduction of flu cases is very compelling.

    To you, perhaps. To me, it’s an open question. Anti-COVID measures didn’t work on COVID but were perfectly successful on flu?

    I’d like to know whether flu surveillance is based on random population surveys, or on reports from doctors whose patients present with influenza symptoms: in the latter case, it should be obvious how flu could decrease when there’s another respiratory virus killing the people whom the flu would otherwise kill.

    Worth considering in the Australian case that Australia saw its worst-ever flu season in 2019, continuing at those abnormally high rates into 2020… but so far as I know, it didn’t see higher-than-usual deaths from flu – but did see a 6.8% increase in all-cause mortality. (Which did not occasion the shutting down of the country, FYI.) Point being, it’s complicated. Was there significant cross-immunity between the ’19/’20 and ’20/’21 flu strains? Was it flu that killed all those extra people in 2019, leaving a smaller at-risk population in 2020? I personally cannot consider any hypothesis here to be confirmed.

  85. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @utu


    What if you need fewer number of viruses to initiate covid infection than in the case of flu?
     
    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers. This is a remarkable outcome.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    These are weasel words in bold:

    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.

    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.

    The reproductive number, R0 (pronounced R naught), is a value that describes how contagious a disease is. For the flu, the R0 tends to be between 1 and 2, which means that for every person infected with the flu, one to two additional people become infected. For COVID-19, the R0 is higher, between 2 and 3.

    As you can see, it’s perfectly possible that the measures which are enough to eradicate the flu still leave us with a seasonal flu sized epidemic of covid. I’m not saying that is what happened, as I have to admit I just assumed that to be the case without looking into the numbers too much, but the possibility seems to be there.

    Source:

    https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/2020/12/07/covid-19-and-influenza-surveillance/

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @utu
    @reiner Tor

    The only purpose of invoking the exotic hypothesis of virus-to-virus interaction to explain the suppression of flu during covid pandemic, like this one here,


    https://medium.com/illumination-curated/the-unexpected-case-of-the-disappearing-flu-64fd1fa5e909
     
    is to undermine claims on masking effectiveness. If you want to believe that all non-pharmaceutical countermeasures are ineffective and even harmful (Beckov and his carbon monoxide in mask) and if you accept the evidence that indeed flu was somewhat suppressed you must look for alternative explanations because you are not allowed to admit that masking and social distancing could be effective. And the virus-to-virus hypothesis offers such an explanation which basically amounts to a claim that somehow through some unknown mechanisms covid virus eats up flu virus or its mere presence somewhere around us makes us immune to flu infection.

    One thing they forget is to look at countries like NZ and Taiwan which basically eliminated covid virus having very few cases of it and at the same time greatly suppressed number of flu cases which nevertheless were orders of magnitude higher than covid cases. The question would be how the practically non existent covid virus in NZ and Taiwan could suppress flu virus.

    The bottom line is that the invocation of the exotic and bizarre theories like the virus-virus interactions is part of the coping mechanism by all kinds of loons and disinfo-mongers.
    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor


    These are weasel words in bold:

    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.
     
    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.
     
    My "precisely" was modulate by my "without"; perhaps you didn't notice.

    Beyond that, what I said was not weaselly at all: I stated my point outright, and moreover was perfectly correct. We have good solid scientific evidence on the efficacy of masks vis a vis COVID transmission, and the efficacy is approximately zero. We also have good solid evidence - apparently - of the near-total elimination of influenza, as well as, apparently, every other serious influenza-like illness except those caused by COVID.

    This is difficult to explain if "masks etc" is your mechanism. You literally are left explaining that COVID's R0 is high enough that it totally overcomes the efficacy of masks etc, but that all other respiratory viruses have an R0 low enough to be eliminated nearly entirely. You're left positing some sort of hitherto uncharted "mask efficacy threshold", poised just where it needs to be to explain the problem.

    This is not an impossible thing, I suppose - I've been wondering it myself - but it is rather convenient, if nothing else, and still leaves us scratching our heads at how stark the difference above and below the mask efficacy threshold - i.e., below the threshold, masks work at near 100% efficacy, above at near 0%.

    And it gets worse: you're also implicitly positing a "social distancing efficacy threshold", a "lockdown efficacy threshold", a "border closure efficacy threshold", a "track and trace efficacy threshold"... everywhere, any measure tried is, again precisely enough to eliminate the flu without impacting coronavirus.

    And this is all presuming that R0 hasn't been overstated for COVID.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  86. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    One other thought - if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so? My view is that they might not, given that it would result in a massive rupture (and might well have re-elected Trump - absent cheating of course) which would have stimulated the US in the direction of abandoning the present system by which US elites do well out of China while China does better generally.

    On the other hand, this info would presumably have been discussed at the very highest levels? Could that be kept secret? Or might someone lower down the information chain have sat on it? Unlikely, surely it would cost them their head? Don't know enough about Chinese politics and culture.

    The fact that China won't release the lab records inclines me a bit towards the Wuhan lab leak side. I'm still surprised, they have surely had time to cleanse the records and replace compromising stuff with fabrications.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so?

    Why bother? American controls the global MSM, so what good would it do? Just consider the totally distorted view of domestic issues promoted by the MSM.

    For example, for decades it’s been firmly established that the “Tiananmen Square Massacre” was just a media hoax, and also that the US had deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a decade later. But 99% of people believe otherwise because the MSM says so:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The case for an American biowarfare attack rather than a Wuhan lab-leak is simply overwhelming. Here’s a summary of some of the points in my article:

    (1) For three years, China had been locked in growing conflict with America over trade and geopolitics, and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source. The third year, Covid-19 appeared. Certainly a suspicious pattern if the last was just a random lab-leak.

    (2) The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. The timing of an accidental lab-leak would obviously be random.

    (3) 300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games, an absolutely ideal opportunity for releasing a viral bioweapon. What would Americans think if 300 Chinese military officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards a mysterious, deadly viral disease suddenly broke out in that city. So the American military visit and the accidental lab-leak just happened to occur at exactly the same time.

    (4) The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    (5) From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    (6) By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    (7) Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying. Why did the accidental Wuhan lab-leak jump to the Iran’s political elites so quickly, before it had reached almost anywhere else in the world.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The Lab-Leak Hypothesis is roughly on a par with Putin having stolen the 2016 election for Trump by buying $10,000 worth of Facebook ads.

    • Agree: AnonfromTN, Blinky Bill
    • Thanks: reiner Tor, Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Ron Unz

    Ron,

    I still don’t think it was a bioweapon. But certainly this theory now looks better even to me than, say, last year or earlier this year. I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else. I mean, they cannot release the lab records as they would implicate the lab itself. Withholding the records makes them look guilty as well. Checkmate.

    So you certainly do have a point, and at the very least I have to entertain the possibility.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    The one huge argument against a US attack is surely that US elites have been profiting from China as surely as American manufacturing has been losing jobs and "process knowledge".

    Why the sudden change, and a very radical one at that? Who would authorise such a thing? (I can see if it was unauthorised the US would want to hush it up)

    I can see the opportunity and the ability might be there, but what's the motive, given that for thirty or more years the US has been fine with China eating their lunch?

    I take your point re Iran and the presence of US personnel, but if you wanted to stiff Chinese manufacturing, why not simply announce a timetable for increasing tariffs that would force manufacturers to leave China?

    (One of the other lab-leak pointers might be that the most overwhelmed hospitals in the early days were allegedly clustered round the line between the lab and the airport).

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @dfordoom

    , @That Would Be Telling
    @Ron Unz


    and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source.
     
    I'm sorry, but starting here you fail very hard. There's nothing mysterious about those viruses ... I mean, how can you have failed to hear about the threat of bird flu jumping to humans in a really transmissible way in the last decade and a half? Per Wikipedia, which has a credible account of this (but see below for a better source)"Pig ebola" is an old threat to Western Europe starting in the 1960s, and has been spreading steadily through Eurasia since 2007, wild boars and their hybrids with domestic pigs are a thing (and generally tasty).

    To get a really good picture of all this, I strongly recommend the ProMed site; select the "Plants" filter and if you aren't familiar with gardening or agriculture you'll be surprised we manage to bring any food to our tables.
    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Ron Unz

    I have to say Ron's hypothesis, or something like it, is looking better all the time. But I still have my doubts.

    I don't think China has too much reason to keep schtum, for instance. America does not control the entire global mainstream media, and it certainly does not control the entire alternative media. China could easily sell this story to their own citizens, their own diaspora (which is sizeable), a large chunk of dissidents within American media territory, and many of the various non-aligned peoples. The only good reason not to, so far as I can see, is that it might be too much of an escalation at this time: if China announces to the world that America has poisoned it, then the Chinese people might expect the Chinese government to do something about it. But this is speculative.


    An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population...
     
    Chinese pigs are a major consumer - perhaps the biggest consumer - of America's soy crop, the producers of which are very influential, perhaps especially with the Republican party. Are they happy that their politicians oversaw a multibillion dollar hit to their bottom line in 2019? And I imagine something similar could be said of Chinese poultry.

    The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. [...]

    300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games...
     
    Those games were in October, and Chinese New Year is in January. Is that perfectly timed? I note also that the Chinese government locked down two days before Chinese New Year - therefore we must ask, did their lockdowns succeed in preventing the scenario Ron described, and in that case, how did it spread anyway? That is to say, if the American plan was to use New Year at Wuhan to spread the virus, and the Chinese successfully countered that plan, then either the plan succeeded in spite of itself or this was not the plan. (Or there was no "plan".)

    The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.
     
    Did it damage the Chinese economy? It certainly damaged everybody else's, with much of that damage being self-inflicted via our absurd pandemic response. But why nuke your enemy when you're standing within the blast radius?

    The best way to make sense of Ron's hypothesis is that there's a fracture in America's elites, with those who profited from Chinese manufacturing in the past being a separate faction to the (probably military) faction that released the bioweapon. But the former has profited enormously from the pandemic, whereas the latter, thanks to the pandemic, lost control of the presidency (or did they?...) and damaged a major source of their power, i.e. the people. (This is not to say that this hypothetical anti-China military/Trumpist faction sincerely cares about the well-being of ordinary people, but that their institutional power derives more directly from a healthy prosperous society: the military recruits from the general population, which just gained 20lbs on average; the military is paid for by a tax base that just shrunk; the military relies on the goodwill of the population, and might lose it if it's revealed that they're the ones who killed your grandmother and put you out of a job; etc, etc.)

    If the idea was to damage the Chinese economy, then tariffs and repatriated manufacturing could achieve that much more easily. I appreciate that the aforementioned pro-China elites might object to this, but again, these are the elites who profited most from the pandemic. The US did a good job of weeding out the communist fifth-column in the 1940's and 50's: surely this would be the first step towards damaging the Chinese economy, and would be damn sight more effective (and less counter-productive) than biowarfare and economic murder-suicide.

    From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.
     
    It's hardly a great leap to think that a deadly virus from China is a Chinese bioweapon, especially if you're already an anti-China blogger. For myself - not a paid shill, more's the pity - I jumped straight to that conclusion, then revised it to "lab leak". It fit my priors, many such cases

    By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?
     
    An interesting tidbit that needs explaining. But there are explanations consonant with lab leak or zoonotic - for instance, some scienticians (I think Michael Yeadon, for instance) think that there was, in 2020, widespread pre-existing immunity to COVID-19; meanwhile, there is the relatively mild impact of the virus all throughout Southeast Asia, despite wide varieties of lockdowns, mask mandates, and border closures. (I would still like an explanation for Australia's 6.8% jump in all-cause mortality in 2019. It was reportedly not due to Australia's record-setting flu season that year.) One way to explain this would be that the virus was circulating throughout the region long before commonly thought - which would give the DIA enough time to detect or anticipate an outbreak via the transport hub of Wuhan. (Of course, this does not rule out the bioweapon hypothesis either.)

    Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying.
     
    But COVID-19 has, per Ron, "low lethality". So why did it kill so many elites in Iran?

    I'll say it again, the bioweapon hypothesis and other global conspiracies are looking better all the time, and the conventional explanations for COVID and associated phenomena are utterly ridiculous. But these kinks need ironing out.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  87. @Almost Missouri
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The global death toll from cardiovascular disease, to take just one example, is something like 50,000 per day. Heart attacks are a case where timely medical intervention can make a big difference between life and death. Since last year however, everyone has been forced or scared away from hospitals and other urgent/emergency treatment. Might this have caused cardiovascular deaths to rise somewhat as result of decreased medical care, say from 50,000 per day to 60,000 per day? A one-sixth difference between treated versus untreated cardiovascular disease doesn't seem like a big stretch. Indeed, medical professionals like to think they have a much bigger than one-sixth effect on mortality of the patients they care for. But now we have a situation where medical care for everything except covid is deprecated.

    So on these modest assumptions, we get an extra 10,000 × 365 = 3.65 million extra deaths per year from the medical deprecation of one pre-covid illness alone. Now repeat the calculation for all the other pre-covid illnesses that are getting neglected in the covid era: cancer, non-contagious respiratory diseases, contagious but non-covid respiratory diseases*, etc. and you can get millions more global excess deaths.

    Paraphrasing myself from last year, we are trying to pick out covid deaths from among much larger streams of deaths. A slight change in (or even a slight reclassification of) any of those larger streams of deaths can double or erase covid deaths at a single stroke. Yet it is hard to find any evaluation in the changes, real or statistical, in these larger death streams that may dwarf the covid numbers. One suspects that no one wants to face the torrent of abuse that hit anyone who points this out.

    ------

    *You note that it is "starting to smell like statistical legerdemain" and I agree. Last winter, the CDC declared there were no influenza deaths (statistically unheard of) but then also combined pneumonia, influenza and covid in to a new category called "PIC". Ironically, in a way, the new PIC category may be more honest inasmuch as coronaviruses were always a component of influenza viruses, so separating out the COVID-19 influenza sub-virus from the larger influenza category was arguably more deceptive than re-including it back in. Still, the change in accounting midstream creates a statistical discontinuity which invalidates comparisons before and after the change.

    Replies: @Beckow, @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Well said. A point worth making – let’s take your example of cardiovascular disease – is that the most serious cases likely received treatment, for whatever good it might have done: if you had a heart attack in 2020, your wife probably called an ambulance. The missing medical treatment comes from the mild chest pains that you ignored, or dismissed as heartburn: in 2019 you might have said better safe than sorry, but during the worst pandemic in history? Assuming you could get in to see your doctor, or that they were willing to see you. (Many doctors conducted their examinations over the phone. What a waste of fucking time that was.)

    My working assumption is that the first wave of deaths, in the first half of the year, were genuine “COVID” deaths, whatever that is, but subsequent rises in mortality begin to include lockdown deaths; eventually, COVID deaths will largely subside, but lockdown deaths will continue occurring for five years, or even longer, if you take a more actuarial view.

    Re: legerdemain: again, well said. Frankly – and I know this perhaps isn’t the point you were making, but it needs saying – “global conspiracy to rebadge a bad flu season” is starting to emerge as one of the stronger hypotheses. Doubtless some will say, “Oh, that’s just a conspiracy theory” – well, yes, it literally is, but it fits the known facts better than some of the alternative theories:

    – “crowding out”: has this phenomena ever been observed before?
    – “masks work”: lol, no they don’t
    – this year’s flu vaccine was 100% effective: don’t be ridiculous
    – government has fucked up the flu numbers by accident: in every country in the world?
    – every government in the world has fucked up the flu numbers on purpose: far-fetched, but so is the idea that (almost) every country in the world would shit their pants and shut down their societies over what is all things considered a relatively mild pandemic. (Relative, before some whinger starts kvetching, to the response we gave it: there have been at least 3 more serious pandemics in the last 100 years, none of which occasioned the closure of society.) Isn’t it weird that they all reacted in the same way, despite that reaction being counter to epidemiological best practice and their own pandemic response plans? How did that happen? Can we at least “just ask questions”?

    • Replies: @Bumpkin
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The guy I linked above, Rancourt, claims, along your lines of thought:

    "• In 2020, no respiratory disease virus or viruses (the postulated SARS-CoV-2 included) caused any anomaly (total or incremental) in all-cause mortality.

    • All-cause mortality by month, week or day has the clear signature of localized mass deaths caused by medical responses (treatment interventions) and government measures purportedly intended to reduce transmission (response-induced deaths).

    • The said signature of response-induced deaths, in all-cause mortality, includes:

    i. Global synchronicity of sudden onsets immediately following the 11 March 2020 WHO declaration of a pandemic and recommendation to 'prepare your hospitals'.

    ii. Unprecedented lateness in the seasonal cycle of the sudden onsets.

    iii. Extreme granularity of the intensities of the sudden onsets, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from zero to very large, down to regional levels."

    He has an interview diving more into the numbers, which he's preparing for an upcoming paper with some French researchers (I'm watching it now):

    https://youtu.be/yWrhB0nsrqg

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  88. @utu
    @Resartus

    I am pretty sure that legalization of marijuana will lead to the increase of car accidents. But in the era of covid I think it could be the effect of getting rusty in driving. People still drove but chiefly on very short trips. Driving to nearby stores on very short trips in familiar environments is done with lower attention and vigilance.


    Study: 25% of car accidents happen in first 3 minutes of driving
    https://wtop.com/dc-transit/2020/09/study-25-percent-of-car-accidents-happen-in-first-3-minutes-of-driving/
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @AP, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Alternatively, the uptick in traffic deaths is from all the long drives made by holidaymakers who would have been on a plane in 2019: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-31/wa-worst-january-road-toll-in-a-decade/13104800

  89. @utu
    @Almost Missouri

    So on these modest assumptions. - How do you know they are modest and why do you need assumption in the first place? Why don't you look at data?

    Heart disease deaths in 2020 increased by 4.7% (out of 695k) comparing to 2019 in the US.

    Many people claimed that lockdowns and pandemic fear mongering would increase number of suicides. Actually they dropped by 5.6% (out of 47.5k).

    Cancer deaths remain unchanged.


    The Leading Causes of Death in the US for 2020 (March 31, 2021)
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2778234
     
    Many people believed that the traffic accidents deaths would go down because of decreased mobility but they actually increased by 8% (out of 42k) despite that the number of miles driven was lower.

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974006735/tragic-driving-was-down-in-2020-but-traffic-fatality-rates-surged
     

    Replies: @Resartus, @Almost Missouri, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Why don’t you look at data?

    His point is that the data is often untrustworthy, and it’s a valid one. You refer to a study saying cancer deaths were decreased, rather than increased. But cancer screenings declined by nearly 10 million in the US in 2020. I think it’s reasonable to be skeptical that cancer deaths declined under those circumstances.

    For instance: suppose I have cancer; suppose the cancer would’ve been treatable had it been caught in time, but I ignored that headache and as a result I’ve got a glioblastoma the size of a tennis ball bulging out under my scalp; suppose I’ve got three weeks to live, where I might have had three years; and then suppose, in my weakened state, I get the COVIDs and die from pneumonia. Does that get counted as a COVID death or a cancer death? (Certainly not a lockdown death, although that’s what it is.)

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    There was a point made by some people that cancer screening doesn’t work: it discovers lots of things which would never develop into cancer, leading to lots of unnecessary (and often highly dangerous) interventions, while it cannot be performed regularly enough not to miss the vast majority of cases, especially the most aggressive and thus deadliest cancers. (Where treatment is often difficult to impossible even in the earliest stages.) Meanwhile people are usually good enough to catch the less aggressive cancers themselves on time.

    I first read about this from Nassim Taleb, but he merely relayed what other people were saying and didn’t discover it himself. Apparently breast cancer screening didn’t have any effect on cancer mortality, despite catching lots of “precancerous” conditions.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  90. @Joe Paluka
    I don't know to what extent the author is into the covid believing religion, but he really needs to start looking into the educated arguments of people like Dr Dolores Cahill, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, and thousands of doctors around the world who are putting their reputations and careers on the line to challenge the "official" Covid narrative. Why would they do this, there's no money in it? There's sure a lot of money to be made from pushing the "official" Covid narrative and investing in the companies that are manufacturing and distributing the "vaccine". Someone who's driven by money and power has a lot less credibility in my books when they push a medicine or vaccine as compared to someone who isn't motivated by financial gain.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @dfordoom

    Pfizer is up by about 2% relative to its February 2020 peak, vs. 20% for the stock market as a whole. If this was an attempt to pump pharma prices, it has been a singular failure.

    Biden is also apparently not in on this plot, having recently moved to waive vaccine patents.

  91. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so?
     
    Why bother? American controls the global MSM, so what good would it do? Just consider the totally distorted view of domestic issues promoted by the MSM.

    For example, for decades it's been firmly established that the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" was just a media hoax, and also that the US had deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a decade later. But 99% of people believe otherwise because the MSM says so:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The case for an American biowarfare attack rather than a Wuhan lab-leak is simply overwhelming. Here's a summary of some of the points in my article:

    (1) For three years, China had been locked in growing conflict with America over trade and geopolitics, and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source. The third year, Covid-19 appeared. Certainly a suspicious pattern if the last was just a random lab-leak.

    (2) The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. The timing of an accidental lab-leak would obviously be random.

    (3) 300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games, an absolutely ideal opportunity for releasing a viral bioweapon. What would Americans think if 300 Chinese military officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards a mysterious, deadly viral disease suddenly broke out in that city. So the American military visit and the accidental lab-leak just happened to occur at exactly the same time.

    (4) The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    (5) From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    (6) By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    (7) Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying. Why did the accidental Wuhan lab-leak jump to the Iran’s political elites so quickly, before it had reached almost anywhere else in the world.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The Lab-Leak Hypothesis is roughly on a par with Putin having stolen the 2016 election for Trump by buying $10,000 worth of Facebook ads.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @YetAnotherAnon, @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Ron,

    I still don’t think it was a bioweapon. But certainly this theory now looks better even to me than, say, last year or earlier this year. I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else. I mean, they cannot release the lab records as they would implicate the lab itself. Withholding the records makes them look guilty as well. Checkmate.

    So you certainly do have a point, and at the very least I have to entertain the possibility.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else.
     
    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.

    As I mentioned above, for decades it's been admitted that the Tiananmen Square Massacre was just a hoax, but every year all the MSM outlets still run stories about it, so everyone still thinks it happened. So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork? Probably half the Democrats in America still believe that Trump was a Russian spy installed by Putin. And half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China.

    Replies: @Brás Cubas, @YetAnotherAnon, @reiner Tor

  92. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @utu


    Why don’t you look at data?
     
    His point is that the data is often untrustworthy, and it's a valid one. You refer to a study saying cancer deaths were decreased, rather than increased. But cancer screenings declined by nearly 10 million in the US in 2020. I think it's reasonable to be skeptical that cancer deaths declined under those circumstances.

    For instance: suppose I have cancer; suppose the cancer would've been treatable had it been caught in time, but I ignored that headache and as a result I've got a glioblastoma the size of a tennis ball bulging out under my scalp; suppose I've got three weeks to live, where I might have had three years; and then suppose, in my weakened state, I get the COVIDs and die from pneumonia. Does that get counted as a COVID death or a cancer death? (Certainly not a lockdown death, although that's what it is.)

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    There was a point made by some people that cancer screening doesn’t work: it discovers lots of things which would never develop into cancer, leading to lots of unnecessary (and often highly dangerous) interventions, while it cannot be performed regularly enough not to miss the vast majority of cases, especially the most aggressive and thus deadliest cancers. (Where treatment is often difficult to impossible even in the earliest stages.) Meanwhile people are usually good enough to catch the less aggressive cancers themselves on time.

    I first read about this from Nassim Taleb, but he merely relayed what other people were saying and didn’t discover it himself. Apparently breast cancer screening didn’t have any effect on cancer mortality, despite catching lots of “precancerous” conditions.

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor

    Yes, I believe Virginia Postrel or someone similar wrote an article on the subject for Reason or a similar magazine 10 or 15 years ago. Of course, Taleb's a charlatan and I've since found libertarians to be wrong about everything, so a grain of salt is needed.

    Still: I mentioned in another comment that the decline in screenings would disproportionately affect the negative results, and the least pressing cancers (e.g. breast cancer, which is survived most of the time). If the tumours in your colon are so large that you haven't taken a shit in six weeks, you are likely to go and see a doctor about it, COVID be damned.

    Nevertheless: the decline in cancer screenings is just a yardstick we can use to infer the broader decline in interaction with the medical profession, which is very real and about as quantifiable as COVID cases, despite what the authors of this study say.

    We are thus forced to one of two conclusions: either the widespread disengagement from modern medicine increased mortality and worsened quality of life - or it didn't, in which case, what the hell are we paying all those doctors for?

  93. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Almost Missouri

    Well said. A point worth making - let's take your example of cardiovascular disease - is that the most serious cases likely received treatment, for whatever good it might have done: if you had a heart attack in 2020, your wife probably called an ambulance. The missing medical treatment comes from the mild chest pains that you ignored, or dismissed as heartburn: in 2019 you might have said better safe than sorry, but during the worst pandemic in history? Assuming you could get in to see your doctor, or that they were willing to see you. (Many doctors conducted their examinations over the phone. What a waste of fucking time that was.)

    My working assumption is that the first wave of deaths, in the first half of the year, were genuine "COVID" deaths, whatever that is, but subsequent rises in mortality begin to include lockdown deaths; eventually, COVID deaths will largely subside, but lockdown deaths will continue occurring for five years, or even longer, if you take a more actuarial view.

    Re: legerdemain: again, well said. Frankly - and I know this perhaps isn't the point you were making, but it needs saying - "global conspiracy to rebadge a bad flu season" is starting to emerge as one of the stronger hypotheses. Doubtless some will say, "Oh, that's just a conspiracy theory" - well, yes, it literally is, but it fits the known facts better than some of the alternative theories:

    - "crowding out": has this phenomena ever been observed before?
    - "masks work": lol, no they don't
    - this year's flu vaccine was 100% effective: don't be ridiculous
    - government has fucked up the flu numbers by accident: in every country in the world?
    - every government in the world has fucked up the flu numbers on purpose: far-fetched, but so is the idea that (almost) every country in the world would shit their pants and shut down their societies over what is all things considered a relatively mild pandemic. (Relative, before some whinger starts kvetching, to the response we gave it: there have been at least 3 more serious pandemics in the last 100 years, none of which occasioned the closure of society.) Isn't it weird that they all reacted in the same way, despite that reaction being counter to epidemiological best practice and their own pandemic response plans? How did that happen? Can we at least "just ask questions"?

    Replies: @Bumpkin

    The guy I linked above, Rancourt, claims, along your lines of thought:

    “• In 2020, no respiratory disease virus or viruses (the postulated SARS-CoV-2 included) caused any anomaly (total or incremental) in all-cause mortality.

    • All-cause mortality by month, week or day has the clear signature of localized mass deaths caused by medical responses (treatment interventions) and government measures purportedly intended to reduce transmission (response-induced deaths).

    • The said signature of response-induced deaths, in all-cause mortality, includes:

    i. Global synchronicity of sudden onsets immediately following the 11 March 2020 WHO declaration of a pandemic and recommendation to ‘prepare your hospitals’.

    ii. Unprecedented lateness in the seasonal cycle of the sudden onsets.

    iii. Extreme granularity of the intensities of the sudden onsets, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from zero to very large, down to regional levels.”

    He has an interview diving more into the numbers, which he’s preparing for an upcoming paper with some French researchers (I’m watching it now):

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Bumpkin

    Thanks bredren

  94. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so?
     
    Why bother? American controls the global MSM, so what good would it do? Just consider the totally distorted view of domestic issues promoted by the MSM.

    For example, for decades it's been firmly established that the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" was just a media hoax, and also that the US had deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a decade later. But 99% of people believe otherwise because the MSM says so:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The case for an American biowarfare attack rather than a Wuhan lab-leak is simply overwhelming. Here's a summary of some of the points in my article:

    (1) For three years, China had been locked in growing conflict with America over trade and geopolitics, and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source. The third year, Covid-19 appeared. Certainly a suspicious pattern if the last was just a random lab-leak.

    (2) The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. The timing of an accidental lab-leak would obviously be random.

    (3) 300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games, an absolutely ideal opportunity for releasing a viral bioweapon. What would Americans think if 300 Chinese military officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards a mysterious, deadly viral disease suddenly broke out in that city. So the American military visit and the accidental lab-leak just happened to occur at exactly the same time.

    (4) The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    (5) From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    (6) By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    (7) Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying. Why did the accidental Wuhan lab-leak jump to the Iran’s political elites so quickly, before it had reached almost anywhere else in the world.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The Lab-Leak Hypothesis is roughly on a par with Putin having stolen the 2016 election for Trump by buying $10,000 worth of Facebook ads.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @YetAnotherAnon, @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The one huge argument against a US attack is surely that US elites have been profiting from China as surely as American manufacturing has been losing jobs and “process knowledge”.

    Why the sudden change, and a very radical one at that? Who would authorise such a thing? (I can see if it was unauthorised the US would want to hush it up)

    I can see the opportunity and the ability might be there, but what’s the motive, given that for thirty or more years the US has been fine with China eating their lunch?

    I take your point re Iran and the presence of US personnel, but if you wanted to stiff Chinese manufacturing, why not simply announce a timetable for increasing tariffs that would force manufacturers to leave China?

    (One of the other lab-leak pointers might be that the most overwhelmed hospitals in the early days were allegedly clustered round the line between the lab and the airport).

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @YetAnotherAnon


    the most overwhelmed hospitals in the early days were allegedly clustered round the line between the lab and the airport
     
    I don’t think it’s a very strong argument. The Americans would certainly try to arrange it in a way to implicate the Chinese lab. So they would release it around that metro line, or next to the lab.

    Also, besides the American military personnel, were American scientists visiting the lab in September (or late August or early October)? The military personnel look suspicious, but it could have been an American tourist. The presence of the American military personnel would divert the attention of the Chinese security and counterintelligence people and make it more difficult to track others doing the thing.

    Again. I’m not saying this is what happened. But it does look like a possibility now. Ron is looking better than I do after all those months.

    , @dfordoom
    @YetAnotherAnon


    The one huge argument against a US attack is surely that US elites have been profiting from China as surely as American manufacturing has been losing jobs and “process knowledge”.

    Why the sudden change, and a very radical one at that?
     
    Maybe because American elites (and the elites in general) are not monolithic? There are factions within the elites. The elites are comprised of various interest groups whose interests do not necessarily coincide.

    In this case business elites could be pro-China while military/foreign policy elites, or the military-industrial complex, or the intelligence agencies, could be rabidly anti-China.

    Thinking of the elites as a single monolithic bloc is one of the big big mistakes that dissident rightists make over and over again.
  95. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    The one huge argument against a US attack is surely that US elites have been profiting from China as surely as American manufacturing has been losing jobs and "process knowledge".

    Why the sudden change, and a very radical one at that? Who would authorise such a thing? (I can see if it was unauthorised the US would want to hush it up)

    I can see the opportunity and the ability might be there, but what's the motive, given that for thirty or more years the US has been fine with China eating their lunch?

    I take your point re Iran and the presence of US personnel, but if you wanted to stiff Chinese manufacturing, why not simply announce a timetable for increasing tariffs that would force manufacturers to leave China?

    (One of the other lab-leak pointers might be that the most overwhelmed hospitals in the early days were allegedly clustered round the line between the lab and the airport).

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @dfordoom

    the most overwhelmed hospitals in the early days were allegedly clustered round the line between the lab and the airport

    I don’t think it’s a very strong argument. The Americans would certainly try to arrange it in a way to implicate the Chinese lab. So they would release it around that metro line, or next to the lab.

    Also, besides the American military personnel, were American scientists visiting the lab in September (or late August or early October)? The military personnel look suspicious, but it could have been an American tourist. The presence of the American military personnel would divert the attention of the Chinese security and counterintelligence people and make it more difficult to track others doing the thing.

    Again. I’m not saying this is what happened. But it does look like a possibility now. Ron is looking better than I do after all those months.

  96. @reiner Tor
    @Ron Unz

    Ron,

    I still don’t think it was a bioweapon. But certainly this theory now looks better even to me than, say, last year or earlier this year. I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else. I mean, they cannot release the lab records as they would implicate the lab itself. Withholding the records makes them look guilty as well. Checkmate.

    So you certainly do have a point, and at the very least I have to entertain the possibility.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else.

    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.

    As I mentioned above, for decades it’s been admitted that the Tiananmen Square Massacre was just a hoax, but every year all the MSM outlets still run stories about it, so everyone still thinks it happened. So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork? Probably half the Democrats in America still believe that Trump was a Russian spy installed by Putin. And half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China.

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
    @Ron Unz


    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.
     
    To me it seems an awsomely neat hypothesis to explain a pretty complicated situation where Americans (Fauci) allegedly used a proxy (Daszak) to fund research in a Chinese lab.

    As an aside, your hypothesis is somewhat asymmetrical: the Wuhan games were instrumental for the release in China, but played no part in the release in Iran.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    "half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China"

    I'm not sure personally how much control/autonomy Biden has at all, I'd love to know who tells/suggests his actions. OTOH how much control did Trump have, when as CiC he ordered troop withdrawals and the Pentagon apparently just lied to him?

    But I still don't see a motive, unless there's been a sea-change in Deep State depths. IMHO the US have left it a bit late, probably too late, to do much about China. It's not just the electronic gizmos, even my Colgate toothpaste is made there!

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    , @reiner Tor
    @Ron Unz


    So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork?
     
    Presumably because they could easily do that with no cost at all? Please remember that the Wuhan lab (at the request of the Americans) did indeed create lots (dozens? hundreds?) of the kinds of viruses that the Americans needed to release. I would presume that the Americans had some access to the Chinese results, including descriptions of said viruses. They could choose one of those from the menu!

    One fact which this theory would neatly explain is why the Chinese aren’t releasing the lab records. What is your explanation for this? They could at least try to exonerate themselves, at least in the eyes of some neutral audiences. Also what can they gain from keeping it a secret?

    It gets better. The Americans started to fund the project at a time when there was a moratorium on such projects involving gain-of-function experiments. Wade explains that “national security” considerations might have been invoked to override the ban. He thinks that spying on Chinese bioweapons research might have been the national security consideration in question. Well, there’s a more sinister explanation: they wanted the Chinese to create a host of such viruses, one of which was to be released on them.

    So this explanation seems to neatly explain why

    A) the Chinese are withholding the lab records, and
    B) the Americans were financing gain-of-function research while there was a moratorium on funding such research

    Neither of which would be explained if the Chinese research had nothing to do with the release of covid. (Let me add that the second one wouldn’t be well explained by the accidental release theory either.)
  97. @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else.
     
    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.

    As I mentioned above, for decades it's been admitted that the Tiananmen Square Massacre was just a hoax, but every year all the MSM outlets still run stories about it, so everyone still thinks it happened. So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork? Probably half the Democrats in America still believe that Trump was a Russian spy installed by Putin. And half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China.

    Replies: @Brás Cubas, @YetAnotherAnon, @reiner Tor

    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.

    To me it seems an awsomely neat hypothesis to explain a pretty complicated situation where Americans (Fauci) allegedly used a proxy (Daszak) to fund research in a Chinese lab.

    As an aside, your hypothesis is somewhat asymmetrical: the Wuhan games were instrumental for the release in China, but played no part in the release in Iran.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @Brás Cubas


    As an aside, your hypothesis is somewhat asymmetrical: the Wuhan games were instrumental for the release in China, but played no part in the release in Iran.
     
    Sure. But I think the key difference is that America probably doesn't have large numbers of intelligence operatives in Wuhan, so releasing the virus there might have been much more difficult without the convenient cover of those 300 visiting American military servicemen.

    On the other hand, all the successful assassinations of important Iranian scientists and nuclear sabotage operations over the last few years suggests that we (or the Israelis) already have a large and capable network of agents there, who could be used for that purpose.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling

  98. @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else.
     
    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.

    As I mentioned above, for decades it's been admitted that the Tiananmen Square Massacre was just a hoax, but every year all the MSM outlets still run stories about it, so everyone still thinks it happened. So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork? Probably half the Democrats in America still believe that Trump was a Russian spy installed by Putin. And half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China.

    Replies: @Brás Cubas, @YetAnotherAnon, @reiner Tor

    “half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China”

    I’m not sure personally how much control/autonomy Biden has at all, I’d love to know who tells/suggests his actions. OTOH how much control did Trump have, when as CiC he ordered troop withdrawals and the Pentagon apparently just lied to him?

    But I still don’t see a motive, unless there’s been a sea-change in Deep State depths. IMHO the US have left it a bit late, probably too late, to do much about China. It’s not just the electronic gizmos, even my Colgate toothpaste is made there!

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    But I still don’t see a motive, unless there’s been a sea-change in Deep State depths. IMHO the US have left it a bit late, probably too late, to do much about China.
     
    Here's the outline of my hypothetical scenario. Feel free to make any adjustments as desired:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/#the-hypothetical-scenario-of-the-covid-19-outbreak
  99. @jsinton
    @Mr. Hack

    Geeze, shooting pains for two or three months? Maybe longer? That's a real problem. I've heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say "that means it's working". That's total BS. That means it's doing damage, it's a bad thing. Right now I'm trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she's already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun, and I'm afraid this chit will kill her. Meanwhile, my sister is convinced my mother MUST HAVE the "vaccine" and works to convince her to get the jab. I haven't talked to my sister for six months because I'm totally pissed off.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling

    I’ve heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say “that means it’s working”. That’s total BS. That means it’s doing damage, it’s a bad thing.

    I guess you aren’t aware we complicated organisms have some abilities to self-repair? Any immune system response is to be “violent” to a degree, at the very minimum for the US approved “active” vaccines killing the cells that get hijacked. Pain at the site of injection is so common that if you’re talking about that as a reason to avoid getting vaccinated … well, don’t get any deep wounds since you’re obviously not getting your TDaP boosters. See also the “nocebo effect,” with so many stories about how hard the mRNA vaccines can hit some people we can be sure some of it is their convincing their bodies to show symptoms.

    Right now I’m trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she’s already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun

    If her doctors generally advise her to not get any vaccines she hasn’t already gotten, then, yeah, although getting a natural infection of this unnatural virus could be worse. Or consult an allergist/immunologist and bring all her records.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @That Would Be Telling


    See also the “nocebo effect,” with so many stories about how hard the mRNA vaccines can hit some people we can be sure some of it is their convincing their bodies to show symptoms.
     
    Good point.
    , @jsinton
    @That Would Be Telling

    It's a good point. I didn't mention we already consulted her doctor on the issue, and he did not recommend getting the jab either.

  100. @Brás Cubas
    @Ron Unz


    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.
     
    To me it seems an awsomely neat hypothesis to explain a pretty complicated situation where Americans (Fauci) allegedly used a proxy (Daszak) to fund research in a Chinese lab.

    As an aside, your hypothesis is somewhat asymmetrical: the Wuhan games were instrumental for the release in China, but played no part in the release in Iran.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    As an aside, your hypothesis is somewhat asymmetrical: the Wuhan games were instrumental for the release in China, but played no part in the release in Iran.

    Sure. But I think the key difference is that America probably doesn’t have large numbers of intelligence operatives in Wuhan, so releasing the virus there might have been much more difficult without the convenient cover of those 300 visiting American military servicemen.

    On the other hand, all the successful assassinations of important Iranian scientists and nuclear sabotage operations over the last few years suggests that we (or the Israelis) already have a large and capable network of agents there, who could be used for that purpose.

    • Agree: Brás Cubas
    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
    @Ron Unz


    But I think the key difference is that America probably doesn’t have large numbers of intelligence operatives in Wuhan, so releasing the virus there might have been much more difficult without the convenient cover of those 300 visiting American military servicemen.
     
    I'm just a child of the Cold War who's been studying WMDs since early grade school, with a strong formal biology background, but I thought one of the big advantages of and obviously danger from a transmissible infectious biological weapon is that you need as few as one person to get an epidemic going. Or with less control you could do it with snail mail like the 2001 US anthrax attacks.

    Normally a sane country without a ruling trash that, well, wants to further trash it would first engage in a huge vaccination campaign, during the Cold War considered a sign that it was preparing for such an attack. That's not a factor here as long as our ruling trash was willing to write off NYC and I'm sure there are factions in it that want to or don't care.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  101. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    "half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China"

    I'm not sure personally how much control/autonomy Biden has at all, I'd love to know who tells/suggests his actions. OTOH how much control did Trump have, when as CiC he ordered troop withdrawals and the Pentagon apparently just lied to him?

    But I still don't see a motive, unless there's been a sea-change in Deep State depths. IMHO the US have left it a bit late, probably too late, to do much about China. It's not just the electronic gizmos, even my Colgate toothpaste is made there!

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    But I still don’t see a motive, unless there’s been a sea-change in Deep State depths. IMHO the US have left it a bit late, probably too late, to do much about China.

    Here’s the outline of my hypothetical scenario. Feel free to make any adjustments as desired:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/#the-hypothetical-scenario-of-the-covid-19-outbreak

  102. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so?
     
    Why bother? American controls the global MSM, so what good would it do? Just consider the totally distorted view of domestic issues promoted by the MSM.

    For example, for decades it's been firmly established that the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" was just a media hoax, and also that the US had deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a decade later. But 99% of people believe otherwise because the MSM says so:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The case for an American biowarfare attack rather than a Wuhan lab-leak is simply overwhelming. Here's a summary of some of the points in my article:

    (1) For three years, China had been locked in growing conflict with America over trade and geopolitics, and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source. The third year, Covid-19 appeared. Certainly a suspicious pattern if the last was just a random lab-leak.

    (2) The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. The timing of an accidental lab-leak would obviously be random.

    (3) 300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games, an absolutely ideal opportunity for releasing a viral bioweapon. What would Americans think if 300 Chinese military officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards a mysterious, deadly viral disease suddenly broke out in that city. So the American military visit and the accidental lab-leak just happened to occur at exactly the same time.

    (4) The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    (5) From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    (6) By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    (7) Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying. Why did the accidental Wuhan lab-leak jump to the Iran’s political elites so quickly, before it had reached almost anywhere else in the world.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The Lab-Leak Hypothesis is roughly on a par with Putin having stolen the 2016 election for Trump by buying $10,000 worth of Facebook ads.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @YetAnotherAnon, @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source.

    I’m sorry, but starting here you fail very hard. There’s nothing mysterious about those viruses … I mean, how can you have failed to hear about the threat of bird flu jumping to humans in a really transmissible way in the last decade and a half? Per Wikipedia, which has a credible account of this (but see below for a better source)”Pig ebola” is an old threat to Western Europe starting in the 1960s, and has been spreading steadily through Eurasia since 2007, wild boars and their hybrids with domestic pigs are a thing (and generally tasty).

    To get a really good picture of all this, I strongly recommend the ProMed site; select the “Plants” filter and if you aren’t familiar with gardening or agriculture you’ll be surprised we manage to bring any food to our tables.

  103. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Ron Unz

    The one huge argument against a US attack is surely that US elites have been profiting from China as surely as American manufacturing has been losing jobs and "process knowledge".

    Why the sudden change, and a very radical one at that? Who would authorise such a thing? (I can see if it was unauthorised the US would want to hush it up)

    I can see the opportunity and the ability might be there, but what's the motive, given that for thirty or more years the US has been fine with China eating their lunch?

    I take your point re Iran and the presence of US personnel, but if you wanted to stiff Chinese manufacturing, why not simply announce a timetable for increasing tariffs that would force manufacturers to leave China?

    (One of the other lab-leak pointers might be that the most overwhelmed hospitals in the early days were allegedly clustered round the line between the lab and the airport).

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @dfordoom

    The one huge argument against a US attack is surely that US elites have been profiting from China as surely as American manufacturing has been losing jobs and “process knowledge”.

    Why the sudden change, and a very radical one at that?

    Maybe because American elites (and the elites in general) are not monolithic? There are factions within the elites. The elites are comprised of various interest groups whose interests do not necessarily coincide.

    In this case business elites could be pro-China while military/foreign policy elites, or the military-industrial complex, or the intelligence agencies, could be rabidly anti-China.

    Thinking of the elites as a single monolithic bloc is one of the big big mistakes that dissident rightists make over and over again.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  104. @That Would Be Telling
    @jsinton


    I’ve heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say “that means it’s working”. That’s total BS. That means it’s doing damage, it’s a bad thing.
     
    I guess you aren't aware we complicated organisms have some abilities to self-repair? Any immune system response is to be "violent" to a degree, at the very minimum for the US approved "active" vaccines killing the cells that get hijacked. Pain at the site of injection is so common that if you're talking about that as a reason to avoid getting vaccinated ... well, don't get any deep wounds since you're obviously not getting your TDaP boosters. See also the "nocebo effect," with so many stories about how hard the mRNA vaccines can hit some people we can be sure some of it is their convincing their bodies to show symptoms.

    Right now I’m trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she’s already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun
     
    If her doctors generally advise her to not get any vaccines she hasn't already gotten, then, yeah, although getting a natural infection of this unnatural virus could be worse. Or consult an allergist/immunologist and bring all her records.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @jsinton

    See also the “nocebo effect,” with so many stories about how hard the mRNA vaccines can hit some people we can be sure some of it is their convincing their bodies to show symptoms.

    Good point.

  105. @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    I have to admit that the American bioweapon theory is at the very least a possibility. Moreover, it’s possible that the virus itself was created in the Chinese lab. The Americans who paid for the research might have had access to the exact description (and perhaps even specimens of) the virus. This would be a perfect way of planting a bioweapon while making it impossible for the Chinese to point fingers anywhere else.
     
    Well, maybe. But that seems an awfully complicated hypothesis to explain a pretty simple situation.

    As I mentioned above, for decades it's been admitted that the Tiananmen Square Massacre was just a hoax, but every year all the MSM outlets still run stories about it, so everyone still thinks it happened. So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork? Probably half the Democrats in America still believe that Trump was a Russian spy installed by Putin. And half the Republicans believe that Biden is a Chinese agent even though he may currently be provoking a war with China.

    Replies: @Brás Cubas, @YetAnotherAnon, @reiner Tor

    So why would the American elements behind the biowarfare attack bother going to so much trouble about covering up their handiwork?

    Presumably because they could easily do that with no cost at all? Please remember that the Wuhan lab (at the request of the Americans) did indeed create lots (dozens? hundreds?) of the kinds of viruses that the Americans needed to release. I would presume that the Americans had some access to the Chinese results, including descriptions of said viruses. They could choose one of those from the menu!

    One fact which this theory would neatly explain is why the Chinese aren’t releasing the lab records. What is your explanation for this? They could at least try to exonerate themselves, at least in the eyes of some neutral audiences. Also what can they gain from keeping it a secret?

    It gets better. The Americans started to fund the project at a time when there was a moratorium on such projects involving gain-of-function experiments. Wade explains that “national security” considerations might have been invoked to override the ban. He thinks that spying on Chinese bioweapons research might have been the national security consideration in question. Well, there’s a more sinister explanation: they wanted the Chinese to create a host of such viruses, one of which was to be released on them.

    So this explanation seems to neatly explain why

    A) the Chinese are withholding the lab records, and
    B) the Americans were financing gain-of-function research while there was a moratorium on funding such research

    Neither of which would be explained if the Chinese research had nothing to do with the release of covid. (Let me add that the second one wouldn’t be well explained by the accidental release theory either.)

  106. @Joe Paluka
    I don't know to what extent the author is into the covid believing religion, but he really needs to start looking into the educated arguments of people like Dr Dolores Cahill, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, and thousands of doctors around the world who are putting their reputations and careers on the line to challenge the "official" Covid narrative. Why would they do this, there's no money in it? There's sure a lot of money to be made from pushing the "official" Covid narrative and investing in the companies that are manufacturing and distributing the "vaccine". Someone who's driven by money and power has a lot less credibility in my books when they push a medicine or vaccine as compared to someone who isn't motivated by financial gain.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @dfordoom

    he really needs to start looking into the educated arguments of people like Dr Dolores Cahill, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Sherry Tenpenny, and thousands of doctors around the world who are putting their reputations and careers on the line to challenge the “official” Covid narrative. Why would they do this, there’s no money in it?

    You do have to keep in mind that there are always cranks in the medical profession, and cranks just love challenging the official line on anything.

    • Agree: utu, reiner Tor
  107. @Ron Unz
    @Brás Cubas


    As an aside, your hypothesis is somewhat asymmetrical: the Wuhan games were instrumental for the release in China, but played no part in the release in Iran.
     
    Sure. But I think the key difference is that America probably doesn't have large numbers of intelligence operatives in Wuhan, so releasing the virus there might have been much more difficult without the convenient cover of those 300 visiting American military servicemen.

    On the other hand, all the successful assassinations of important Iranian scientists and nuclear sabotage operations over the last few years suggests that we (or the Israelis) already have a large and capable network of agents there, who could be used for that purpose.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling

    But I think the key difference is that America probably doesn’t have large numbers of intelligence operatives in Wuhan, so releasing the virus there might have been much more difficult without the convenient cover of those 300 visiting American military servicemen.

    I’m just a child of the Cold War who’s been studying WMDs since early grade school, with a strong formal biology background, but I thought one of the big advantages of and obviously danger from a transmissible infectious biological weapon is that you need as few as one person to get an epidemic going. Or with less control you could do it with snail mail like the 2001 US anthrax attacks.

    Normally a sane country without a ruling trash that, well, wants to further trash it would first engage in a huge vaccination campaign, during the Cold War considered a sign that it was preparing for such an attack. That’s not a factor here as long as our ruling trash was willing to write off NYC and I’m sure there are factions in it that want to or don’t care.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    Or it could have been a poorly thought out plan. Or rather, a very smart, perfect execution of an idiotic plan. Perhaps they

    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America. Please keep in mind that for a while even Karlin thought that the Chinese response was pretty bad and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Anatoly Karlin, @Ron Unz

  108. @That Would Be Telling
    @Ron Unz


    But I think the key difference is that America probably doesn’t have large numbers of intelligence operatives in Wuhan, so releasing the virus there might have been much more difficult without the convenient cover of those 300 visiting American military servicemen.
     
    I'm just a child of the Cold War who's been studying WMDs since early grade school, with a strong formal biology background, but I thought one of the big advantages of and obviously danger from a transmissible infectious biological weapon is that you need as few as one person to get an epidemic going. Or with less control you could do it with snail mail like the 2001 US anthrax attacks.

    Normally a sane country without a ruling trash that, well, wants to further trash it would first engage in a huge vaccination campaign, during the Cold War considered a sign that it was preparing for such an attack. That's not a factor here as long as our ruling trash was willing to write off NYC and I'm sure there are factions in it that want to or don't care.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    Or it could have been a poorly thought out plan. Or rather, a very smart, perfect execution of an idiotic plan. Perhaps they

    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America. Please keep in mind that for a while even Karlin thought that the Chinese response was pretty bad and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @reiner Tor

    For the record, I’m not saying that this is what happened. Rather that it’s a possibility. Hard as I try, I haven’t been able to refute this. Of course it’s unproven, but ultimately so are all other explanations. (And the “natural virus” explanation is probably the least likely of all. I’m not looking good having been a proponent of this one!)

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @reiner Tor

    Also, it was the Italian strain that really rekt Europe and the US. The strain from China was less infectious, it didn't really take off in California like the Italian one did in the NE.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    , @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America....and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.
     
    Sure, that's exactly one of the points I've repeatedly suggested in my hypothetical scenario:

    (4) The deadly SARS and MERS outbreaks in East Asia and the Near East had never significantly spread back to America (or Europe), so the plotters wrongly assumed that the same would be the case with Covid-19. Anyway, since international organizations always ranked the US and Europe as having the best and most effective public health systems for combating any disease epidemic, they believed that any possible blowback damage would be very minor.
     
    I think a key factor was that the attack was probably organized by rogue elements of our national security apparatus, possibly just a small group of higher-level decision-makers. So it didn't go through all of the endless committees and bureaucratic working-groups that normally would have weighed in on such a momentous decision.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @utu

  109. @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    Or it could have been a poorly thought out plan. Or rather, a very smart, perfect execution of an idiotic plan. Perhaps they

    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America. Please keep in mind that for a while even Karlin thought that the Chinese response was pretty bad and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Anatoly Karlin, @Ron Unz

    For the record, I’m not saying that this is what happened. Rather that it’s a possibility. Hard as I try, I haven’t been able to refute this. Of course it’s unproven, but ultimately so are all other explanations. (And the “natural virus” explanation is probably the least likely of all. I’m not looking good having been a proponent of this one!)

  110. @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    Or it could have been a poorly thought out plan. Or rather, a very smart, perfect execution of an idiotic plan. Perhaps they

    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America. Please keep in mind that for a while even Karlin thought that the Chinese response was pretty bad and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Anatoly Karlin, @Ron Unz

    Also, it was the Italian strain that really rekt Europe and the US. The strain from China was less infectious, it didn’t really take off in California like the Italian one did in the NE.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, the masterminds might not have taken into account the fact that the virus might mutate. In fact, even if the Chinese response had been as inept as in the West, it would still have favored them over the rest of the world, since then they would have reached herd immunity with less dangerous variants, and the more dangerous variants would have attacked those who got the pandemic later. But considering that many virologists seemed to believe that “the virus might never reach Europe” or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,” they might even have based such idiotic thinking on expert advice.

    Replies: @utu, @That Would Be Telling

  111. @Anatoly Karlin
    @reiner Tor

    Also, it was the Italian strain that really rekt Europe and the US. The strain from China was less infectious, it didn't really take off in California like the Italian one did in the NE.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    Yes, the masterminds might not have taken into account the fact that the virus might mutate. In fact, even if the Chinese response had been as inept as in the West, it would still have favored them over the rest of the world, since then they would have reached herd immunity with less dangerous variants, and the more dangerous variants would have attacked those who got the pandemic later. But considering that many virologists seemed to believe that “the virus might never reach Europe” or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,” they might even have based such idiotic thinking on expert advice.

    • Replies: @utu
    @reiner Tor

    I do not see validity of this statement:


    "it would still have favored them over the rest of the world, since then they would have reached herd immunity with less dangerous variants"
     
    If in 60 million Italy a more infectious variant, presuming that Italian variant is indeed more infectious, could emerge after infecting severe thousands more so it could emerge in 1,400 million China if it was let loose.

    Now the idiotic thinking as you call it:


    "But considering that many virologists seemed to believe that “the virus might never reach Europe” or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,” they might even have based such idiotic thinking on expert advice."
     
    comes straight from the Darwinian paradigm which by definition is true but in long time scales. In shorter time scales viruses that kill in five days or ten days are not that different. Both will kill lots of people if there are no countermeasures. It is unavoidable that the Darwinian paradigm produces also idiotic conclusions as it can produce any confusion being tautological in its core.
    , @That Would Be Telling
    @reiner Tor


    or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,”
     
    Speaking at the low level, first quoting Derek Lowe, "It’s not the job of a virus to make people deathly ill: it’s the job of a virus to make more virus." So a mutation that say makes it twice as pathological but increases transmission by a factor of ten would be favored.

    And while I don't know about a posited Italian strain, right now the British variant, lineage B.1.1.7 is not significantly more pathological but is believed to be a lot better at transmission, and is driving cases around the world. Some think its increased transmission ability has negated several country's non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) like masking and border controls such that the new reproduction rate is high enough they're now in trouble.
  112. utu says:
    @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    These are weasel words in bold:


    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.
     
    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.

    The reproductive number, R0 (pronounced R naught), is a value that describes how contagious a disease is. For the flu, the R0 tends to be between 1 and 2, which means that for every person infected with the flu, one to two additional people become infected. For COVID-19, the R0 is higher, between 2 and 3.
     
    As you can see, it’s perfectly possible that the measures which are enough to eradicate the flu still leave us with a seasonal flu sized epidemic of covid. I’m not saying that is what happened, as I have to admit I just assumed that to be the case without looking into the numbers too much, but the possibility seems to be there.

    Source:

    https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/2020/12/07/covid-19-and-influenza-surveillance/

    Replies: @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The only purpose of invoking the exotic hypothesis of virus-to-virus interaction to explain the suppression of flu during covid pandemic, like this one here,

    https://medium.com/illumination-curated/the-unexpected-case-of-the-disappearing-flu-64fd1fa5e909

    is to undermine claims on masking effectiveness. If you want to believe that all non-pharmaceutical countermeasures are ineffective and even harmful (Beckov and his carbon monoxide in mask) and if you accept the evidence that indeed flu was somewhat suppressed you must look for alternative explanations because you are not allowed to admit that masking and social distancing could be effective. And the virus-to-virus hypothesis offers such an explanation which basically amounts to a claim that somehow through some unknown mechanisms covid virus eats up flu virus or its mere presence somewhere around us makes us immune to flu infection.

    One thing they forget is to look at countries like NZ and Taiwan which basically eliminated covid virus having very few cases of it and at the same time greatly suppressed number of flu cases which nevertheless were orders of magnitude higher than covid cases. The question would be how the practically non existent covid virus in NZ and Taiwan could suppress flu virus.

    The bottom line is that the invocation of the exotic and bizarre theories like the virus-virus interactions is part of the coping mechanism by all kinds of loons and disinfo-mongers.

  113. utu says:
    @reiner Tor
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, the masterminds might not have taken into account the fact that the virus might mutate. In fact, even if the Chinese response had been as inept as in the West, it would still have favored them over the rest of the world, since then they would have reached herd immunity with less dangerous variants, and the more dangerous variants would have attacked those who got the pandemic later. But considering that many virologists seemed to believe that “the virus might never reach Europe” or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,” they might even have based such idiotic thinking on expert advice.

    Replies: @utu, @That Would Be Telling

    I do not see validity of this statement:

    “it would still have favored them over the rest of the world, since then they would have reached herd immunity with less dangerous variants”

    If in 60 million Italy a more infectious variant, presuming that Italian variant is indeed more infectious, could emerge after infecting severe thousands more so it could emerge in 1,400 million China if it was let loose.

    Now the idiotic thinking as you call it:

    “But considering that many virologists seemed to believe that “the virus might never reach Europe” or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,” they might even have based such idiotic thinking on expert advice.”

    comes straight from the Darwinian paradigm which by definition is true but in long time scales. In shorter time scales viruses that kill in five days or ten days are not that different. Both will kill lots of people if there are no countermeasures. It is unavoidable that the Darwinian paradigm produces also idiotic conclusions as it can produce any confusion being tautological in its core.

  114. @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    Or it could have been a poorly thought out plan. Or rather, a very smart, perfect execution of an idiotic plan. Perhaps they

    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America. Please keep in mind that for a while even Karlin thought that the Chinese response was pretty bad and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @Anatoly Karlin, @Ron Unz

    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America….and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.

    Sure, that’s exactly one of the points I’ve repeatedly suggested in my hypothetical scenario:

    (4) The deadly SARS and MERS outbreaks in East Asia and the Near East had never significantly spread back to America (or Europe), so the plotters wrongly assumed that the same would be the case with Covid-19. Anyway, since international organizations always ranked the US and Europe as having the best and most effective public health systems for combating any disease epidemic, they believed that any possible blowback damage would be very minor.

    I think a key factor was that the attack was probably organized by rogue elements of our national security apparatus, possibly just a small group of higher-level decision-makers. So it didn’t go through all of the endless committees and bureaucratic working-groups that normally would have weighed in on such a momentous decision.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
    @Ron Unz

    In this you're being plausible, no one for example told the FDA not to sandbag everyone other than the CDC on testing for the virus (they for example insisted tests be able to distinguish between SARS, which died out, and MERS, hides out in camels and as far as we know only hit two people in the US). A rouge group/faction might also not know the US public health community holds infections disease control in disdain, and the CDC in particular is very bad at it, although this was very obvious when there was that big Ebola outbreak.

    Another angle comes from looking at two extremes where both are wins, handle it well or handle it poorly, or portray it as that, the latter "could be the silver bullet that takes out this administration." If they're really smart, they'll realize that when the same people who've been trying to destroy Trump come to him and say "this bug which has hardly infected anyone requires you to destroy the economy and stock market which is one of your few successes" he'd be skeptical.

    And he in fact took the advice of his business advisers and became a Floomer. Although they'd probably need superpowers to predict he'd hold daily or extremely frequent press conferences where his pathological to the point of sociopathic narcissism was on full display and really rubbed in our faces, info dumps that were a lot more important than the normal political chatter a lot of us don't pay close attention to.

    , @utu
    @Ron Unz

    Claims that SARS was a bioweapon were spread from the very beginning. Russians who seem to like spreading conspiracy theories about diseases (see Operation Infektion by KGB about AIDS) could have been the first to claim it:


    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-04-11/sars-could-be-biological-weapon-experts/1835010
     
    Probably Chinese believed it and Taiwanese also believed it but claimed it was Communist China rather than the West that was behind it:

    Taiwan suggests SARS was China warfare plot
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-china-sars/taiwan-suggests-sars-was-china-warfare-plot-idUSTRE49617120081007
     
    Then came MERS and claims were made of bioterrorism:

    Could MERS Coronavirus be bioterrorism? New study shows why this could be one of the explanations for the paradoxes of this virus
    https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/news/could-mers-coronavirus-be-bioterrorism-new-study-shows-why-could-be-one-explanations-paradoxes

    Australian Infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Raina MacIntyre from The School of Public Health And Community Medicine at UNSW, analysed the epidemiologic features of MERS-Cov compared to SARS and shows that it is very different to SARS in a new study, published today in Environment Systems and Decisions (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5/fulltext.html). Many of the features are paradoxical and cannot be explained by known principles of epidemiology.

    The discrepant epidemiology of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5
     
    Now comes SARS2 and the most energetic and compelling case that it is lab made virus is made by Russian blogger/researcher Yuri Deigin profusely praised and acknowledged by Nicholas Wade:

    Deigin packed so much information and analysis into his essay that some have doubted it could be the work of a single individual and suggested some intelligence agency must have authored it. But the essay is written with greater lightness and humor than I suspect are ever found in CIA or KGB reports, and I see no reason to doubt that Dr. Deigin is its very capable sole author.
     
    Who were the some? That agencies could have been behind Deigin was insinuated by Ron Unz in May 2020 when he reflexively rejected it because Deigin write-up was pointing at China:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/our-facebook-ban-the-fatal-0-2/?showcomments#comment-3890285

    "it also raises the possibility that someone put him up to it"

    " Maybe he’s just a very sharp young guy who got so tremendously interested in the subject that he did the massive personal research needed to produce a 16,000 word article…but maybe not."

    "Trillions of dollars is a pretty strong incentive for fabricating all sorts of data and hiring people to write very long and seemingly persuasive scientific articles."

     

    Since then Yuri Deigin published several papers (see Google Scholar)

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=Yuri+Deigin&btnG=

    which to me do not seem to be a novel research but rather reviews of work of others and formulation of arguments in favor of lab origin. The papers are coauthored with a strange assembly of individuals:

    Rossana Segreto, Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
    Kevin McCairn, Synaptek - Deep Learning Solutions, Gifu, Japan
    Alejandro Sousa, Regional Hospital of Monforte, Lugo, Spain
    Dan Sirotkin and Karl Sirotkin, LLC, Lake Mary, FL, 32746, USA
    Adrian Jones, Independent Bioinformatics Researcher, Melbourne, Australia
    Daoyu Zhang, Independent Genetics Researcher, Sydney, Australia

    Btw, Rossana Segreto is a postdoc.

    There would be no Nicholas Wade article w/o Yuri Deigin work.

    Replies: @Ron Unz, @Brás Cubas

  115. @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America....and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.
     
    Sure, that's exactly one of the points I've repeatedly suggested in my hypothetical scenario:

    (4) The deadly SARS and MERS outbreaks in East Asia and the Near East had never significantly spread back to America (or Europe), so the plotters wrongly assumed that the same would be the case with Covid-19. Anyway, since international organizations always ranked the US and Europe as having the best and most effective public health systems for combating any disease epidemic, they believed that any possible blowback damage would be very minor.
     
    I think a key factor was that the attack was probably organized by rogue elements of our national security apparatus, possibly just a small group of higher-level decision-makers. So it didn't go through all of the endless committees and bureaucratic working-groups that normally would have weighed in on such a momentous decision.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @utu

    In this you’re being plausible, no one for example told the FDA not to sandbag everyone other than the CDC on testing for the virus (they for example insisted tests be able to distinguish between SARS, which died out, and MERS, hides out in camels and as far as we know only hit two people in the US). A rouge group/faction might also not know the US public health community holds infections disease control in disdain, and the CDC in particular is very bad at it, although this was very obvious when there was that big Ebola outbreak.

    Another angle comes from looking at two extremes where both are wins, handle it well or handle it poorly, or portray it as that, the latter “could be the silver bullet that takes out this administration.” If they’re really smart, they’ll realize that when the same people who’ve been trying to destroy Trump come to him and say “this bug which has hardly infected anyone requires you to destroy the economy and stock market which is one of your few successes” he’d be skeptical.

    And he in fact took the advice of his business advisers and became a Floomer. Although they’d probably need superpowers to predict he’d hold daily or extremely frequent press conferences where his pathological to the point of sociopathic narcissism was on full display and really rubbed in our faces, info dumps that were a lot more important than the normal political chatter a lot of us don’t pay close attention to.

  116. @reiner Tor
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, the masterminds might not have taken into account the fact that the virus might mutate. In fact, even if the Chinese response had been as inept as in the West, it would still have favored them over the rest of the world, since then they would have reached herd immunity with less dangerous variants, and the more dangerous variants would have attacked those who got the pandemic later. But considering that many virologists seemed to believe that “the virus might never reach Europe” or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,” they might even have based such idiotic thinking on expert advice.

    Replies: @utu, @That Would Be Telling

    or that it was going to mutate to become harmless because “it’s bad for the virus to kill its hosts,”

    Speaking at the low level, first quoting Derek Lowe, “It’s not the job of a virus to make people deathly ill: it’s the job of a virus to make more virus.” So a mutation that say makes it twice as pathological but increases transmission by a factor of ten would be favored.

    And while I don’t know about a posited Italian strain, right now the British variant, lineage B.1.1.7 is not significantly more pathological but is believed to be a lot better at transmission, and is driving cases around the world. Some think its increased transmission ability has negated several country’s non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) like masking and border controls such that the new reproduction rate is high enough they’re now in trouble.

  117. @jsinton
    I don't deny that COVID is real, but the entire event begs more questions than answers. Simply listing "numbers of deaths" is shallow and suspect. Mark Twain said there's three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Are these deaths "of" COVID or deaths "with" covid? Can we trust the folks doing the counting? Where did flu season go? How many of these deaths were due to the granny-killer governors? When you die "of" or "with" COVID after getting the "vaccine", does that count? Where did COVID come from? A bioweapon lab? If so, were they not "murdered" by evil unknown? Or is COVID a form of genocide and not a "virus"? How many people could have been saved had not the medical establishment stressed "vaccines" and not readily available, cheap, effective treatments? Which leads to the question how many people needlessly died because the medical establishment stresses profit over people? When will somebody answer these questions?

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Levtraro, @Mr. Hack, @nosquat loquat

    Yes, I agree.

  118. utu says:
    @Ron Unz
    @reiner Tor


    A) didn’t think it through that it would likely become a pandemic and likely reach America
    B) thought that it would be way worse in China than in America....and that the First World would handle it much better. In other words, they probably thought that America would handle it as well as China did while China would handle it as badly as America or Western Europe did.
     
    Sure, that's exactly one of the points I've repeatedly suggested in my hypothetical scenario:

    (4) The deadly SARS and MERS outbreaks in East Asia and the Near East had never significantly spread back to America (or Europe), so the plotters wrongly assumed that the same would be the case with Covid-19. Anyway, since international organizations always ranked the US and Europe as having the best and most effective public health systems for combating any disease epidemic, they believed that any possible blowback damage would be very minor.
     
    I think a key factor was that the attack was probably organized by rogue elements of our national security apparatus, possibly just a small group of higher-level decision-makers. So it didn't go through all of the endless committees and bureaucratic working-groups that normally would have weighed in on such a momentous decision.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @utu

    Claims that SARS was a bioweapon were spread from the very beginning. Russians who seem to like spreading conspiracy theories about diseases (see Operation Infektion by KGB about AIDS) could have been the first to claim it:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-04-11/sars-could-be-biological-weapon-experts/1835010

    Probably Chinese believed it and Taiwanese also believed it but claimed it was Communist China rather than the West that was behind it:

    Taiwan suggests SARS was China warfare plot
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-china-sars/taiwan-suggests-sars-was-china-warfare-plot-idUSTRE49617120081007

    Then came MERS and claims were made of bioterrorism:

    Could MERS Coronavirus be bioterrorism? New study shows why this could be one of the explanations for the paradoxes of this virus
    https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/news/could-mers-coronavirus-be-bioterrorism-new-study-shows-why-could-be-one-explanations-paradoxes

    Australian Infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Raina MacIntyre from The School of Public Health And Community Medicine at UNSW, analysed the epidemiologic features of MERS-Cov compared to SARS and shows that it is very different to SARS in a new study, published today in Environment Systems and Decisions (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5/fulltext.html). Many of the features are paradoxical and cannot be explained by known principles of epidemiology.

    The discrepant epidemiology of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5

    Now comes SARS2 and the most energetic and compelling case that it is lab made virus is made by Russian blogger/researcher Yuri Deigin profusely praised and acknowledged by Nicholas Wade:

    Deigin packed so much information and analysis into his essay that some have doubted it could be the work of a single individual and suggested some intelligence agency must have authored it. But the essay is written with greater lightness and humor than I suspect are ever found in CIA or KGB reports, and I see no reason to doubt that Dr. Deigin is its very capable sole author.

    Who were the some? That agencies could have been behind Deigin was insinuated by Ron Unz in May 2020 when he reflexively rejected it because Deigin write-up was pointing at China:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/our-facebook-ban-the-fatal-0-2/?showcomments#comment-3890285

    “it also raises the possibility that someone put him up to it”

    ” Maybe he’s just a very sharp young guy who got so tremendously interested in the subject that he did the massive personal research needed to produce a 16,000 word article…but maybe not.”

    “Trillions of dollars is a pretty strong incentive for fabricating all sorts of data and hiring people to write very long and seemingly persuasive scientific articles.”

    Since then Yuri Deigin published several papers (see Google Scholar)

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=Yuri+Deigin&btnG=

    which to me do not seem to be a novel research but rather reviews of work of others and formulation of arguments in favor of lab origin. The papers are coauthored with a strange assembly of individuals:

    Rossana Segreto, Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
    Kevin McCairn, Synaptek – Deep Learning Solutions, Gifu, Japan
    Alejandro Sousa, Regional Hospital of Monforte, Lugo, Spain
    Dan Sirotkin and Karl Sirotkin, LLC, Lake Mary, FL, 32746, USA
    Adrian Jones, Independent Bioinformatics Researcher, Melbourne, Australia
    Daoyu Zhang, Independent Genetics Researcher, Sydney, Australia

    Btw, Rossana Segreto is a postdoc.

    There would be no Nicholas Wade article w/o Yuri Deigin work.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @utu


    Who were the some? That agencies could have been behind Deigin was insinuated by Ron Unz in May 2020 when he reflexively rejected it because Deigin write-up was pointing at China:
     
    Sure, despite Wade's contrary opinion I'm still quite suspicious about Deigin's huge article. Here's what I said in my March 2021 article:

    Or take the other main scientific source, an individual named Yuri Deigin, previously almost unknown to the world except through his occasional blogging in the unrelated field of gerontology. On April 22nd, just one week after Trump, Pompeo, and other top officials began making their dramatic charges, Deigin released a massive 16,000 word article on Medium, containing an ocean of colorful and very professionally-produced diagrams, charts, and graphs, making exactly the same case, but doing so in tremendous scientific detail. No other authors were listed, so we are required to assume that a single, independently-minded individual decided to put aside all his regular work and undertake such heroic efforts to investigate, write, and produce this enormous research report simply out of his disinterested concern regarding the true origins of the Covid-19 outbreak, which had only just become an important issue for Americans the previous month.

    That indeed may be exactly what happened, but I have my doubts. I carefully read the entire Deigin document not long after it was released, and found it exceptionally impressive, many, many times longer and more comprehensive than the contrary article published by those five academic scholars in Nature the previous month. Deigin’s analysis was so enormously detailed and exhaustive, one might at first glance assume that it had been the product of months of dedicated effort by a large team of top professionals rather than just a hobbyist-type undertaking by a solitary part-time blogger; and I strongly suspect that the former possibility is the actual reality.
     
    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/
    , @Brás Cubas
    @utu


    The papers are coauthored with a strange assembly of individuals:
     
    Could you elaborate on what exactly makes it strange?
  119. @utu
    @Ron Unz

    Claims that SARS was a bioweapon were spread from the very beginning. Russians who seem to like spreading conspiracy theories about diseases (see Operation Infektion by KGB about AIDS) could have been the first to claim it:


    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-04-11/sars-could-be-biological-weapon-experts/1835010
     
    Probably Chinese believed it and Taiwanese also believed it but claimed it was Communist China rather than the West that was behind it:

    Taiwan suggests SARS was China warfare plot
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-china-sars/taiwan-suggests-sars-was-china-warfare-plot-idUSTRE49617120081007
     
    Then came MERS and claims were made of bioterrorism:

    Could MERS Coronavirus be bioterrorism? New study shows why this could be one of the explanations for the paradoxes of this virus
    https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/news/could-mers-coronavirus-be-bioterrorism-new-study-shows-why-could-be-one-explanations-paradoxes

    Australian Infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Raina MacIntyre from The School of Public Health And Community Medicine at UNSW, analysed the epidemiologic features of MERS-Cov compared to SARS and shows that it is very different to SARS in a new study, published today in Environment Systems and Decisions (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5/fulltext.html). Many of the features are paradoxical and cannot be explained by known principles of epidemiology.

    The discrepant epidemiology of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5
     
    Now comes SARS2 and the most energetic and compelling case that it is lab made virus is made by Russian blogger/researcher Yuri Deigin profusely praised and acknowledged by Nicholas Wade:

    Deigin packed so much information and analysis into his essay that some have doubted it could be the work of a single individual and suggested some intelligence agency must have authored it. But the essay is written with greater lightness and humor than I suspect are ever found in CIA or KGB reports, and I see no reason to doubt that Dr. Deigin is its very capable sole author.
     
    Who were the some? That agencies could have been behind Deigin was insinuated by Ron Unz in May 2020 when he reflexively rejected it because Deigin write-up was pointing at China:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/our-facebook-ban-the-fatal-0-2/?showcomments#comment-3890285

    "it also raises the possibility that someone put him up to it"

    " Maybe he’s just a very sharp young guy who got so tremendously interested in the subject that he did the massive personal research needed to produce a 16,000 word article…but maybe not."

    "Trillions of dollars is a pretty strong incentive for fabricating all sorts of data and hiring people to write very long and seemingly persuasive scientific articles."

     

    Since then Yuri Deigin published several papers (see Google Scholar)

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=Yuri+Deigin&btnG=

    which to me do not seem to be a novel research but rather reviews of work of others and formulation of arguments in favor of lab origin. The papers are coauthored with a strange assembly of individuals:

    Rossana Segreto, Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
    Kevin McCairn, Synaptek - Deep Learning Solutions, Gifu, Japan
    Alejandro Sousa, Regional Hospital of Monforte, Lugo, Spain
    Dan Sirotkin and Karl Sirotkin, LLC, Lake Mary, FL, 32746, USA
    Adrian Jones, Independent Bioinformatics Researcher, Melbourne, Australia
    Daoyu Zhang, Independent Genetics Researcher, Sydney, Australia

    Btw, Rossana Segreto is a postdoc.

    There would be no Nicholas Wade article w/o Yuri Deigin work.

    Replies: @Ron Unz, @Brás Cubas

    Who were the some? That agencies could have been behind Deigin was insinuated by Ron Unz in May 2020 when he reflexively rejected it because Deigin write-up was pointing at China:

    Sure, despite Wade’s contrary opinion I’m still quite suspicious about Deigin’s huge article. Here’s what I said in my March 2021 article:

    Or take the other main scientific source, an individual named Yuri Deigin, previously almost unknown to the world except through his occasional blogging in the unrelated field of gerontology. On April 22nd, just one week after Trump, Pompeo, and other top officials began making their dramatic charges, Deigin released a massive 16,000 word article on Medium, containing an ocean of colorful and very professionally-produced diagrams, charts, and graphs, making exactly the same case, but doing so in tremendous scientific detail. No other authors were listed, so we are required to assume that a single, independently-minded individual decided to put aside all his regular work and undertake such heroic efforts to investigate, write, and produce this enormous research report simply out of his disinterested concern regarding the true origins of the Covid-19 outbreak, which had only just become an important issue for Americans the previous month.

    That indeed may be exactly what happened, but I have my doubts. I carefully read the entire Deigin document not long after it was released, and found it exceptionally impressive, many, many times longer and more comprehensive than the contrary article published by those five academic scholars in Nature the previous month. Deigin’s analysis was so enormously detailed and exhaustive, one might at first glance assume that it had been the product of months of dedicated effort by a large team of top professionals rather than just a hobbyist-type undertaking by a solitary part-time blogger; and I strongly suspect that the former possibility is the actual reality.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

  120. “In the end, there seems to have been very little difference in outcomes amongst the East Europeans, despite significant policy differences (e.g. Belarus never had a lockdown,”

    Which is of course exactly what you would expect if there was no epidemic in the first place.

    Instead of delving into murky statistics (Others have already pointed out various problems) it is much more productive to cut right to the heart of the matter:

    1. There are no specific symptoms for Covid. The symptoms are essentially the same as for influenza; There is neither a way to positively identify a disease by its symptoms as Covid nor to disprove it.

    2. The virus has never been isolated. Its genome has only been “reconstructed” from tiny RNA fragments of unknown origin drifting around in the cell soup. This is a general problem in virology; the standards for identifying a new virus are extremely lax. Whereas for bacteria you need to actually isolate and cultivate them, for viruses highly indirect “reconstructions” are considered sufficient. The term “isolation” when used by virologists is essentially meaningless (https://theinfectiousmyth.com/coronavirus/IsolationVersusPurification.php). But no one has ever produced an isolated sample of a Covid virus, despite there are even cash prizes advertised for it (https://thebl.tv/us-news/millionaire-offers-1-2-m-reward-to-anyone-providing-an-isolated-sample-of-the-covid-19-virus.html).

    There is zero evidence that a special Covid-19 Corona virus exists, it is a pure phantom disease,

  121. @Anastasia
    @demografie

    Their numbers lie ifyou read the instructions on how they are supposed to count them.

    Replies: @demografie

    There are numbers and real people dying in our city. Also, I know health workers, who are saying that it is not normal what is going on.
    There is no point to discuss this any more. As I wrote, I would make all the measures only voluntary.

  122. @That Would Be Telling
    @jsinton


    I’ve heard stories about headaches and pains and the doctors say “that means it’s working”. That’s total BS. That means it’s doing damage, it’s a bad thing.
     
    I guess you aren't aware we complicated organisms have some abilities to self-repair? Any immune system response is to be "violent" to a degree, at the very minimum for the US approved "active" vaccines killing the cells that get hijacked. Pain at the site of injection is so common that if you're talking about that as a reason to avoid getting vaccinated ... well, don't get any deep wounds since you're obviously not getting your TDaP boosters. See also the "nocebo effect," with so many stories about how hard the mRNA vaccines can hit some people we can be sure some of it is their convincing their bodies to show symptoms.

    Right now I’m trying to convince my 86 year old mother NOT to get the vaccine because she’s already had every autoimmune disease problem under the sun
     
    If her doctors generally advise her to not get any vaccines she hasn't already gotten, then, yeah, although getting a natural infection of this unnatural virus could be worse. Or consult an allergist/immunologist and bring all her records.

    Replies: @dfordoom, @jsinton

    It’s a good point. I didn’t mention we already consulted her doctor on the issue, and he did not recommend getting the jab either.

  123. Yee says:

    utu,

    “Deigin write-up was pointing at China”

    It’s ridiculous because you don’t make bio-weapons in a lab like Wuhan lab.

    Wuhan lab is China’s only P4 lab. It opened in 2018, barely 2 year old by the time of the outbreak in 2020. The staff were likely still learning how to run the brand new facilities. It’s also civilian and has a lot of international exchanges. No one in their right mind would make bio-weapons in such a lab.

    SARS 1 was suspected to be a bio-weapon because the timing was also very good. It started right before the US invade Iraq. It could have been a warning for China not to interfere in Iraq, or keep China tie down in a domestic crisis.

  124. This 7M number looks as rooted in reality as the other 60M number.

  125. @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    There was a point made by some people that cancer screening doesn’t work: it discovers lots of things which would never develop into cancer, leading to lots of unnecessary (and often highly dangerous) interventions, while it cannot be performed regularly enough not to miss the vast majority of cases, especially the most aggressive and thus deadliest cancers. (Where treatment is often difficult to impossible even in the earliest stages.) Meanwhile people are usually good enough to catch the less aggressive cancers themselves on time.

    I first read about this from Nassim Taleb, but he merely relayed what other people were saying and didn’t discover it himself. Apparently breast cancer screening didn’t have any effect on cancer mortality, despite catching lots of “precancerous” conditions.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Yes, I believe Virginia Postrel or someone similar wrote an article on the subject for Reason or a similar magazine 10 or 15 years ago. Of course, Taleb’s a charlatan and I’ve since found libertarians to be wrong about everything, so a grain of salt is needed.

    Still: I mentioned in another comment that the decline in screenings would disproportionately affect the negative results, and the least pressing cancers (e.g. breast cancer, which is survived most of the time). If the tumours in your colon are so large that you haven’t taken a shit in six weeks, you are likely to go and see a doctor about it, COVID be damned.

    Nevertheless: the decline in cancer screenings is just a yardstick we can use to infer the broader decline in interaction with the medical profession, which is very real and about as quantifiable as COVID cases, despite what the authors of this study say.

    We are thus forced to one of two conclusions: either the widespread disengagement from modern medicine increased mortality and worsened quality of life – or it didn’t, in which case, what the hell are we paying all those doctors for?

  126. @Bumpkin
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    The guy I linked above, Rancourt, claims, along your lines of thought:

    "• In 2020, no respiratory disease virus or viruses (the postulated SARS-CoV-2 included) caused any anomaly (total or incremental) in all-cause mortality.

    • All-cause mortality by month, week or day has the clear signature of localized mass deaths caused by medical responses (treatment interventions) and government measures purportedly intended to reduce transmission (response-induced deaths).

    • The said signature of response-induced deaths, in all-cause mortality, includes:

    i. Global synchronicity of sudden onsets immediately following the 11 March 2020 WHO declaration of a pandemic and recommendation to 'prepare your hospitals'.

    ii. Unprecedented lateness in the seasonal cycle of the sudden onsets.

    iii. Extreme granularity of the intensities of the sudden onsets, from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, from zero to very large, down to regional levels."

    He has an interview diving more into the numbers, which he's preparing for an upcoming paper with some French researchers (I'm watching it now):

    https://youtu.be/yWrhB0nsrqg

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Thanks bredren

  127. @Ron Unz
    @YetAnotherAnon


    One other thought – if the Chinese thought it was a US attack, would they say so?
     
    Why bother? American controls the global MSM, so what good would it do? Just consider the totally distorted view of domestic issues promoted by the MSM.

    For example, for decades it's been firmly established that the "Tiananmen Square Massacre" was just a media hoax, and also that the US had deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a decade later. But 99% of people believe otherwise because the MSM says so:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The case for an American biowarfare attack rather than a Wuhan lab-leak is simply overwhelming. Here's a summary of some of the points in my article:

    (1) For three years, China had been locked in growing conflict with America over trade and geopolitics, and for three years in a row, China had been hit very hard by mysterious viruses. An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population, China’s primary meat source. The third year, Covid-19 appeared. Certainly a suspicious pattern if the last was just a random lab-leak.

    (2) The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. The timing of an accidental lab-leak would obviously be random.

    (3) 300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games, an absolutely ideal opportunity for releasing a viral bioweapon. What would Americans think if 300 Chinese military officers had visited Chicago, and immediately afterwards a mysterious, deadly viral disease suddenly broke out in that city. So the American military visit and the accidental lab-leak just happened to occur at exactly the same time.

    (4) The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    (5) From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    (6) By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    (7) Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying. Why did the accidental Wuhan lab-leak jump to the Iran’s political elites so quickly, before it had reached almost anywhere else in the world.

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-covid-19-its-impact-and-origins-after-one-year/

    The Lab-Leak Hypothesis is roughly on a par with Putin having stolen the 2016 election for Trump by buying $10,000 worth of Facebook ads.

    Replies: @reiner Tor, @YetAnotherAnon, @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I have to say Ron’s hypothesis, or something like it, is looking better all the time. But I still have my doubts.

    I don’t think China has too much reason to keep schtum, for instance. America does not control the entire global mainstream media, and it certainly does not control the entire alternative media. China could easily sell this story to their own citizens, their own diaspora (which is sizeable), a large chunk of dissidents within American media territory, and many of the various non-aligned peoples. The only good reason not to, so far as I can see, is that it might be too much of an escalation at this time: if China announces to the world that America has poisoned it, then the Chinese people might expect the Chinese government to do something about it. But this is speculative.

    An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population…

    Chinese pigs are a major consumer – perhaps the biggest consumer – of America’s soy crop, the producers of which are very influential, perhaps especially with the Republican party. Are they happy that their politicians oversaw a multibillion dollar hit to their bottom line in 2019? And I imagine something similar could be said of Chinese poultry.

    The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. […]

    300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games…

    Those games were in October, and Chinese New Year is in January. Is that perfectly timed? I note also that the Chinese government locked down two days before Chinese New Year – therefore we must ask, did their lockdowns succeed in preventing the scenario Ron described, and in that case, how did it spread anyway? That is to say, if the American plan was to use New Year at Wuhan to spread the virus, and the Chinese successfully countered that plan, then either the plan succeeded in spite of itself or this was not the plan. (Or there was no “plan”.)

    The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.

    Did it damage the Chinese economy? It certainly damaged everybody else’s, with much of that damage being self-inflicted via our absurd pandemic response. But why nuke your enemy when you’re standing within the blast radius?

    The best way to make sense of Ron’s hypothesis is that there’s a fracture in America’s elites, with those who profited from Chinese manufacturing in the past being a separate faction to the (probably military) faction that released the bioweapon. But the former has profited enormously from the pandemic, whereas the latter, thanks to the pandemic, lost control of the presidency (or did they?…) and damaged a major source of their power, i.e. the people. (This is not to say that this hypothetical anti-China military/Trumpist faction sincerely cares about the well-being of ordinary people, but that their institutional power derives more directly from a healthy prosperous society: the military recruits from the general population, which just gained 20lbs on average; the military is paid for by a tax base that just shrunk; the military relies on the goodwill of the population, and might lose it if it’s revealed that they’re the ones who killed your grandmother and put you out of a job; etc, etc.)

    If the idea was to damage the Chinese economy, then tariffs and repatriated manufacturing could achieve that much more easily. I appreciate that the aforementioned pro-China elites might object to this, but again, these are the elites who profited most from the pandemic. The US did a good job of weeding out the communist fifth-column in the 1940’s and 50’s: surely this would be the first step towards damaging the Chinese economy, and would be damn sight more effective (and less counter-productive) than biowarfare and economic murder-suicide.

    From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.

    It’s hardly a great leap to think that a deadly virus from China is a Chinese bioweapon, especially if you’re already an anti-China blogger. For myself – not a paid shill, more’s the pity – I jumped straight to that conclusion, then revised it to “lab leak”. It fit my priors, many such cases

    By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?

    An interesting tidbit that needs explaining. But there are explanations consonant with lab leak or zoonotic – for instance, some scienticians (I think Michael Yeadon, for instance) think that there was, in 2020, widespread pre-existing immunity to COVID-19; meanwhile, there is the relatively mild impact of the virus all throughout Southeast Asia, despite wide varieties of lockdowns, mask mandates, and border closures. (I would still like an explanation for Australia’s 6.8% jump in all-cause mortality in 2019. It was reportedly not due to Australia’s record-setting flu season that year.) One way to explain this would be that the virus was circulating throughout the region long before commonly thought – which would give the DIA enough time to detect or anticipate an outbreak via the transport hub of Wuhan. (Of course, this does not rule out the bioweapon hypothesis either.)

    Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying.

    But COVID-19 has, per Ron, “low lethality”. So why did it kill so many elites in Iran?

    I’ll say it again, the bioweapon hypothesis and other global conspiracies are looking better all the time, and the conventional explanations for COVID and associated phenomena are utterly ridiculous. But these kinks need ironing out.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account


    I don’t think China has too much reason to keep schtum, for instance.
     
    That’s neatly explained by my proposal that the Americans chose from the menu of the viruses created by the Wuhan lab. Since the gain of function research was funded by the American taxpayers, probably it was not too difficult to get access to data about it. So the Chinese cannot really accuse the Americans without deeply implicating themselves. For example they would have to explain that, true, the virus was created by their own lab, but, you see, it was really the Americans who released it by, you know, traveling there. Does that sound convincing? I think it doesn’t. In fact, it would probably make their case way worse. Currently most normies are still unaware of the likelihood that the virus was likely literally created in the Wuhan lab. I can assure you that had the Chinese gone to such great lengths to prove it, it would be known by everyone and their mom, too.

    Actually, the argument probably still works even if it’s a purely American virus, but very similar to the ones that the Chinese themselves created (and to which the Americans presumably also had some access). Even in such a case, they would find it difficult to accuse others without accusing themselves. The awkwardness of the situation means that for both sides it’s just more convenient to keep the natural virus explanation.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  128. @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    These are weasel words in bold:


    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.
     
    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.

    The reproductive number, R0 (pronounced R naught), is a value that describes how contagious a disease is. For the flu, the R0 tends to be between 1 and 2, which means that for every person infected with the flu, one to two additional people become infected. For COVID-19, the R0 is higher, between 2 and 3.
     
    As you can see, it’s perfectly possible that the measures which are enough to eradicate the flu still leave us with a seasonal flu sized epidemic of covid. I’m not saying that is what happened, as I have to admit I just assumed that to be the case without looking into the numbers too much, but the possibility seems to be there.

    Source:

    https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/2020/12/07/covid-19-and-influenza-surveillance/

    Replies: @utu, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    These are weasel words in bold:

    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.

    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.

    My “precisely” was modulate by my “without”; perhaps you didn’t notice.

    Beyond that, what I said was not weaselly at all: I stated my point outright, and moreover was perfectly correct. We have good solid scientific evidence on the efficacy of masks vis a vis COVID transmission, and the efficacy is approximately zero. We also have good solid evidence – apparently – of the near-total elimination of influenza, as well as, apparently, every other serious influenza-like illness except those caused by COVID.

    This is difficult to explain if “masks etc” is your mechanism. You literally are left explaining that COVID’s R0 is high enough that it totally overcomes the efficacy of masks etc, but that all other respiratory viruses have an R0 low enough to be eliminated nearly entirely. You’re left positing some sort of hitherto uncharted “mask efficacy threshold”, poised just where it needs to be to explain the problem.

    This is not an impossible thing, I suppose – I’ve been wondering it myself – but it is rather convenient, if nothing else, and still leaves us scratching our heads at how stark the difference above and below the mask efficacy threshold – i.e., below the threshold, masks work at near 100% efficacy, above at near 0%.

    And it gets worse: you’re also implicitly positing a “social distancing efficacy threshold”, a “lockdown efficacy threshold”, a “border closure efficacy threshold”, a “track and trace efficacy threshold”… everywhere, any measure tried is, again precisely enough to eliminate the flu without impacting coronavirus.

    And this is all presuming that R0 hasn’t been overstated for COVID.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets. Also the less often you go out to meet people, the least likely you are to get infected.

    So I simply don’t believe your science. At the very least it would need extraordinary evidence, since it’s an extraordinary claim.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  129. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @Ron Unz

    I have to say Ron's hypothesis, or something like it, is looking better all the time. But I still have my doubts.

    I don't think China has too much reason to keep schtum, for instance. America does not control the entire global mainstream media, and it certainly does not control the entire alternative media. China could easily sell this story to their own citizens, their own diaspora (which is sizeable), a large chunk of dissidents within American media territory, and many of the various non-aligned peoples. The only good reason not to, so far as I can see, is that it might be too much of an escalation at this time: if China announces to the world that America has poisoned it, then the Chinese people might expect the Chinese government to do something about it. But this is speculative.


    An Avian Flu virus severely damaged its poultry industry in 2018 and the following year a Swine Flu virus destroyed over 40% of its pig population...
     
    Chinese pigs are a major consumer - perhaps the biggest consumer - of America's soy crop, the producers of which are very influential, perhaps especially with the Republican party. Are they happy that their politicians oversaw a multibillion dollar hit to their bottom line in 2019? And I imagine something similar could be said of Chinese poultry.

    The Covid-19 outbreak appeared at the absolutely worst time and place for China, the major transit hub of Wuhan, timed almost perfectly to reach epidemic levels just as the Lunar New Year holiday spread it to all parts of the country, thereby becoming an unstoppable epidemic. [...]

    300 American military servicemen had just visited Wuhan as part of the World Military Games...
     
    Those games were in October, and Chinese New Year is in January. Is that perfectly timed? I note also that the Chinese government locked down two days before Chinese New Year - therefore we must ask, did their lockdowns succeed in preventing the scenario Ron described, and in that case, how did it spread anyway? That is to say, if the American plan was to use New Year at Wuhan to spread the virus, and the Chinese successfully countered that plan, then either the plan succeeded in spite of itself or this was not the plan. (Or there was no "plan".)

    The characteristics of Covid-19, high communicability and low lethality, are absolutely ideal as an anti-economy bioweapon. It seems odd that a random lab-leak would release a virus so perfectly designed to severely damage the Chinese economy.
     
    Did it damage the Chinese economy? It certainly damaged everybody else's, with much of that damage being self-inflicted via our absurd pandemic response. But why nuke your enemy when you're standing within the blast radius?

    The best way to make sense of Ron's hypothesis is that there's a fracture in America's elites, with those who profited from Chinese manufacturing in the past being a separate faction to the (probably military) faction that released the bioweapon. But the former has profited enormously from the pandemic, whereas the latter, thanks to the pandemic, lost control of the presidency (or did they?...) and damaged a major source of their power, i.e. the people. (This is not to say that this hypothetical anti-China military/Trumpist faction sincerely cares about the well-being of ordinary people, but that their institutional power derives more directly from a healthy prosperous society: the military recruits from the general population, which just gained 20lbs on average; the military is paid for by a tax base that just shrunk; the military relies on the goodwill of the population, and might lose it if it's revealed that they're the ones who killed your grandmother and put you out of a job; etc, etc.)

    If the idea was to damage the Chinese economy, then tariffs and repatriated manufacturing could achieve that much more easily. I appreciate that the aforementioned pro-China elites might object to this, but again, these are the elites who profited most from the pandemic. The US did a good job of weeding out the communist fifth-column in the 1940's and 50's: surely this would be the first step towards damaging the Chinese economy, and would be damn sight more effective (and less counter-productive) than biowarfare and economic murder-suicide.

    From almost the very moment the outbreak began, anti-China bloggers in America and our Radio Free Asia launched a powerful propaganda offensive against China, claiming that the outbreak in Wuhan was due to the leak of an illegal bioweapon from the Wuhan lab. This may have merely been an exceptionally prompt but opportunistic response of our propaganda organs, but they seemed remarkably quick to take full advantage of an entirely unexpected and mysterious development, which they immediately identified as due to a lab-leak.
     
    It's hardly a great leap to think that a deadly virus from China is a Chinese bioweapon, especially if you're already an anti-China blogger. For myself - not a paid shill, more's the pity - I jumped straight to that conclusion, then revised it to "lab leak". It fit my priors, many such cases

    By “the second week of November” our Defense Intelligence Agency was already preparing a secret report warning of a “cataclysmic” disease outbreak in Wuhan although according to the standard timeline probably only a couple of dozen people had started experiencing any symptoms of illness in a city of 11 million. How did they discover what was happening so much sooner than the Chinese government or anyone else?
     
    An interesting tidbit that needs explaining. But there are explanations consonant with lab leak or zoonotic - for instance, some scienticians (I think Michael Yeadon, for instance) think that there was, in 2020, widespread pre-existing immunity to COVID-19; meanwhile, there is the relatively mild impact of the virus all throughout Southeast Asia, despite wide varieties of lockdowns, mask mandates, and border closures. (I would still like an explanation for Australia's 6.8% jump in all-cause mortality in 2019. It was reportedly not due to Australia's record-setting flu season that year.) One way to explain this would be that the virus was circulating throughout the region long before commonly thought - which would give the DIA enough time to detect or anticipate an outbreak via the transport hub of Wuhan. (Of course, this does not rule out the bioweapon hypothesis either.)

    Almost immediately afterwards, the ruling political elites in Iran became severely infected, with many of them dying.
     
    But COVID-19 has, per Ron, "low lethality". So why did it kill so many elites in Iran?

    I'll say it again, the bioweapon hypothesis and other global conspiracies are looking better all the time, and the conventional explanations for COVID and associated phenomena are utterly ridiculous. But these kinks need ironing out.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I don’t think China has too much reason to keep schtum, for instance.

    That’s neatly explained by my proposal that the Americans chose from the menu of the viruses created by the Wuhan lab. Since the gain of function research was funded by the American taxpayers, probably it was not too difficult to get access to data about it. So the Chinese cannot really accuse the Americans without deeply implicating themselves. For example they would have to explain that, true, the virus was created by their own lab, but, you see, it was really the Americans who released it by, you know, traveling there. Does that sound convincing? I think it doesn’t. In fact, it would probably make their case way worse. Currently most normies are still unaware of the likelihood that the virus was likely literally created in the Wuhan lab. I can assure you that had the Chinese gone to such great lengths to prove it, it would be known by everyone and their mom, too.

    Actually, the argument probably still works even if it’s a purely American virus, but very similar to the ones that the Chinese themselves created (and to which the Americans presumably also had some access). Even in such a case, they would find it difficult to accuse others without accusing themselves. The awkwardness of the situation means that for both sides it’s just more convenient to keep the natural virus explanation.

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor

    Could be. It's hard to say.


    Currently most normies are still unaware of the likelihood that the virus was likely literally created in the Wuhan lab.
     
    I don't think so. Among college-educated shitlibs, they're aware that this idea exists, although they reject it. ("It's a conspiracy theory!") Among more normal ordinary people, I think you'll find a lot of people who assume this to be the case - who in fact assume it to be a Chinese bioweapon. A relative relayed a conversation with some old women where this was the universal assumption.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

  130. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor


    These are weasel words in bold:

    But this requires that the reduction in viral particles occasioned by masks etc is precisely enough to eliminate flu almost entirely without making a dent in COVID numbers.
     
    Of course it doesn’t have to be precisely enough, it could be enough by a wide margin. Also, you don’t know if it made a dent in the covid numbers: it could have made a dent, just not enough to eliminate the virus.
     
    My "precisely" was modulate by my "without"; perhaps you didn't notice.

    Beyond that, what I said was not weaselly at all: I stated my point outright, and moreover was perfectly correct. We have good solid scientific evidence on the efficacy of masks vis a vis COVID transmission, and the efficacy is approximately zero. We also have good solid evidence - apparently - of the near-total elimination of influenza, as well as, apparently, every other serious influenza-like illness except those caused by COVID.

    This is difficult to explain if "masks etc" is your mechanism. You literally are left explaining that COVID's R0 is high enough that it totally overcomes the efficacy of masks etc, but that all other respiratory viruses have an R0 low enough to be eliminated nearly entirely. You're left positing some sort of hitherto uncharted "mask efficacy threshold", poised just where it needs to be to explain the problem.

    This is not an impossible thing, I suppose - I've been wondering it myself - but it is rather convenient, if nothing else, and still leaves us scratching our heads at how stark the difference above and below the mask efficacy threshold - i.e., below the threshold, masks work at near 100% efficacy, above at near 0%.

    And it gets worse: you're also implicitly positing a "social distancing efficacy threshold", a "lockdown efficacy threshold", a "border closure efficacy threshold", a "track and trace efficacy threshold"... everywhere, any measure tried is, again precisely enough to eliminate the flu without impacting coronavirus.

    And this is all presuming that R0 hasn't been overstated for COVID.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets. Also the less often you go out to meet people, the least likely you are to get infected.

    So I simply don’t believe your science. At the very least it would need extraordinary evidence, since it’s an extraordinary claim.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
    @reiner Tor


    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets.
     
    There's a hypothesis that could really use some testing, that surgical grade plus or minus masks turn large respiratory droplets caught in them into smaller and thus more dangerous ones.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor

    It's not "my" science.

    MASKS:

    There's the so-called "DANMASK" study, or the experience of the Dakotas, showing no difference in infection rates between those masked or unmasked. (Among many other examples.)

    There's common sense in regards to the claim that masks don't protect the wearer but others from the wearer. (What, are they one-way filters?)

    There's the fact that it's supposedly aerosols, not droplets, that spread the virus - and aerosols are often small enough not to be filtered by the masks, and in any case spread around the edges of the mask and out into the air in great number anyway.

    There's the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020, and only changed their tune, per the BBC, after political pressure.

    And there's the UK Influence Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011:


    Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good respiratory, hand, and home hygiene behaviour in order for them to achieve the intended benefit. Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods reduces over time.
     
    This is the tip of the iceberg on evidence against the efficacy of masks. You should really read up on it before subjecting yourself to the discomfort and indignity (and mild hypoxia, increased risk of viral and bacterial pneumonia, etc).

    One more bit of common sense: masks have been around for thousands of years. Why didn't anybody notice before 2020 - or before 2003 in Asia - that they supposedly stop the flu cold? Answer: they don't.

    SOCIAL DISTANCING

    Social distancing is more complicated. There's more of a history of some forms of social distancing - for instance, school closures and mass gatherings - but I'm not sure there's much evidence for it. The aforementioned UK planning document - as well as Australian ones - both mention only limited real-world evidence for the efficacy, as well as evidence from modelling studies, which of course should be tossed on general principles. (It's interesting to note the difference in tone: the Brits and Aussies look at the same evidence but the Brits evince considerably more skepticism.)

    Full-on lockdowns, on the other hand, or "stay six feet apart": no scientific foundation whatsoever, totally arbitrary, totally ineffective and ridiculous. Sweden and Florida are the best examples here, faring no worse than anywhere else despite not locking down.

    There is evidence, for instance - don't remember where I saw it, sorry - that lockdowns/quarantines make things worse by forcing people to spend a lot of time together indoors, conditions where transmission is more likely. And of course, even if social distancing does work, it prevents the build-up of immunity, merely delaying the inevitable.

    Finally, it's worth mentioning that my claims do not require extraordinary evidence because they are not extraordinary. They are the accepted epidemiological and medical status quo of March 2020 and before. That the world shit its pants subsequently and changed tacks without evidence is a mark against your claims, not mine.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

  131. Is the figure of 209,661 for the UK correct ? The UK Office for National Statistics show 607,922 registered deaths in 2020 for England & Wales (86% of the population of the UK) compared to a yearly average (2015 to 2019) of 532,077 deaths – the excess therefore being 75,845. Is the 75,845 all from COVID ?

  132. @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets. Also the less often you go out to meet people, the least likely you are to get infected.

    So I simply don’t believe your science. At the very least it would need extraordinary evidence, since it’s an extraordinary claim.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets.

    There’s a hypothesis that could really use some testing, that surgical grade plus or minus masks turn large respiratory droplets caught in them into smaller and thus more dangerous ones.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous? Though you might have a point about masks below surgical level, like homemade textile masks or similar.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  133. @utu
    @Ron Unz

    Claims that SARS was a bioweapon were spread from the very beginning. Russians who seem to like spreading conspiracy theories about diseases (see Operation Infektion by KGB about AIDS) could have been the first to claim it:


    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2003-04-11/sars-could-be-biological-weapon-experts/1835010
     
    Probably Chinese believed it and Taiwanese also believed it but claimed it was Communist China rather than the West that was behind it:

    Taiwan suggests SARS was China warfare plot
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-taiwan-china-sars/taiwan-suggests-sars-was-china-warfare-plot-idUSTRE49617120081007
     
    Then came MERS and claims were made of bioterrorism:

    Could MERS Coronavirus be bioterrorism? New study shows why this could be one of the explanations for the paradoxes of this virus
    https://sphcm.med.unsw.edu.au/news/could-mers-coronavirus-be-bioterrorism-new-study-shows-why-could-be-one-explanations-paradoxes

    Australian Infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Raina MacIntyre from The School of Public Health And Community Medicine at UNSW, analysed the epidemiologic features of MERS-Cov compared to SARS and shows that it is very different to SARS in a new study, published today in Environment Systems and Decisions (http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5/fulltext.html). Many of the features are paradoxical and cannot be explained by known principles of epidemiology.

    The discrepant epidemiology of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-014-9506-5
     
    Now comes SARS2 and the most energetic and compelling case that it is lab made virus is made by Russian blogger/researcher Yuri Deigin profusely praised and acknowledged by Nicholas Wade:

    Deigin packed so much information and analysis into his essay that some have doubted it could be the work of a single individual and suggested some intelligence agency must have authored it. But the essay is written with greater lightness and humor than I suspect are ever found in CIA or KGB reports, and I see no reason to doubt that Dr. Deigin is its very capable sole author.
     
    Who were the some? That agencies could have been behind Deigin was insinuated by Ron Unz in May 2020 when he reflexively rejected it because Deigin write-up was pointing at China:

    https://www.unz.com/announcement/our-facebook-ban-the-fatal-0-2/?showcomments#comment-3890285

    "it also raises the possibility that someone put him up to it"

    " Maybe he’s just a very sharp young guy who got so tremendously interested in the subject that he did the massive personal research needed to produce a 16,000 word article…but maybe not."

    "Trillions of dollars is a pretty strong incentive for fabricating all sorts of data and hiring people to write very long and seemingly persuasive scientific articles."

     

    Since then Yuri Deigin published several papers (see Google Scholar)

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C33&q=Yuri+Deigin&btnG=

    which to me do not seem to be a novel research but rather reviews of work of others and formulation of arguments in favor of lab origin. The papers are coauthored with a strange assembly of individuals:

    Rossana Segreto, Department of Microbiology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
    Kevin McCairn, Synaptek - Deep Learning Solutions, Gifu, Japan
    Alejandro Sousa, Regional Hospital of Monforte, Lugo, Spain
    Dan Sirotkin and Karl Sirotkin, LLC, Lake Mary, FL, 32746, USA
    Adrian Jones, Independent Bioinformatics Researcher, Melbourne, Australia
    Daoyu Zhang, Independent Genetics Researcher, Sydney, Australia

    Btw, Rossana Segreto is a postdoc.

    There would be no Nicholas Wade article w/o Yuri Deigin work.

    Replies: @Ron Unz, @Brás Cubas

    The papers are coauthored with a strange assembly of individuals:

    Could you elaborate on what exactly makes it strange?

  134. @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets. Also the less often you go out to meet people, the least likely you are to get infected.

    So I simply don’t believe your science. At the very least it would need extraordinary evidence, since it’s an extraordinary claim.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    It’s not “my” science.

    MASKS:

    There’s the so-called “DANMASK” study, or the experience of the Dakotas, showing no difference in infection rates between those masked or unmasked. (Among many other examples.)

    There’s common sense in regards to the claim that masks don’t protect the wearer but others from the wearer. (What, are they one-way filters?)

    There’s the fact that it’s supposedly aerosols, not droplets, that spread the virus – and aerosols are often small enough not to be filtered by the masks, and in any case spread around the edges of the mask and out into the air in great number anyway.

    There’s the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020, and only changed their tune, per the BBC, after political pressure.

    And there’s the UK Influence Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011:

    Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good respiratory, hand, and home hygiene behaviour in order for them to achieve the intended benefit. Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods reduces over time.

    This is the tip of the iceberg on evidence against the efficacy of masks. You should really read up on it before subjecting yourself to the discomfort and indignity (and mild hypoxia, increased risk of viral and bacterial pneumonia, etc).

    One more bit of common sense: masks have been around for thousands of years. Why didn’t anybody notice before 2020 – or before 2003 in Asia – that they supposedly stop the flu cold? Answer: they don’t.

    SOCIAL DISTANCING

    Social distancing is more complicated. There’s more of a history of some forms of social distancing – for instance, school closures and mass gatherings – but I’m not sure there’s much evidence for it. The aforementioned UK planning document – as well as Australian ones – both mention only limited real-world evidence for the efficacy, as well as evidence from modelling studies, which of course should be tossed on general principles. (It’s interesting to note the difference in tone: the Brits and Aussies look at the same evidence but the Brits evince considerably more skepticism.)

    Full-on lockdowns, on the other hand, or “stay six feet apart”: no scientific foundation whatsoever, totally arbitrary, totally ineffective and ridiculous. Sweden and Florida are the best examples here, faring no worse than anywhere else despite not locking down.

    There is evidence, for instance – don’t remember where I saw it, sorry – that lockdowns/quarantines make things worse by forcing people to spend a lot of time together indoors, conditions where transmission is more likely. And of course, even if social distancing does work, it prevents the build-up of immunity, merely delaying the inevitable.

    Finally, it’s worth mentioning that my claims do not require extraordinary evidence because they are not extraordinary. They are the accepted epidemiological and medical status quo of March 2020 and before. That the world shit its pants subsequently and changed tacks without evidence is a mark against your claims, not mine.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Obviously, there are many studies which show high efficacy in reducing transmission risk, often in the ballpark of 80%, provided that both parties are wearing it. I’m sure you know that in science you will often find a study proving anything and their opposite as well.


    There’s common sense in regards to the claim that masks don’t protect the wearer but others from the wearer. (What, are they one-way filters?)
     
    That’s easy. Masks stop droplets in a way that the droplets get attached to the mask. The mask constantly touches your face. Well, if it’s a droplet from the outside, it might eventually find its way to your mouth or nose. But if it’s your own droplet, it sure won’t find its way to the other people in the room. So yes, common sense tells me that ordinary surgical masks are better at protecting others.

    There’s the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020
     
    It was stupid propaganda back when there was an enormous shortage of masks. The idea was that the public would be dissuaded from hoarding or even using masks altogether, so that the medical establishment would have enough for itself. The strange thing was that in the meantime the medical establishment was quite happy to use masks all the time, and actually expanded its use of surgical masks in the first months of the pandemic, while telling others not to use them. Then of course, surgical masks are called that because, you know, they are used during surgeries (and mostly to protect the patient rather than the surgeon).

    For the record I thought it was stupid and idiotic propaganda back then. It was changed when the mask shortage was resolved.

    Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good respiratory, hand, and home hygiene behaviour in order for them to achieve the intended benefit. Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods reduces over time.
     
    This doesn’t mean it’s worthless, just that you have to do it properly to achieve the full benefits. Yes, most people don’t remove them properly and don’t change them frequently enough, but there’s still some benefit. For example improper removal would get the virus on your hands. If you then touch your face or eat without washing them... but this is not a very easy route for the virus, with recent studies showing that inhaling the droplets is the preferred way for it. Also, if your nose isn’t covered, it’s basically worthless, but most people wear it properly.

    Anyway, this text certainly doesn’t mean that masks are worthless.

    mild hypoxia
     
    ??

    I will respond to the rest later.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

  135. @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account


    I don’t think China has too much reason to keep schtum, for instance.
     
    That’s neatly explained by my proposal that the Americans chose from the menu of the viruses created by the Wuhan lab. Since the gain of function research was funded by the American taxpayers, probably it was not too difficult to get access to data about it. So the Chinese cannot really accuse the Americans without deeply implicating themselves. For example they would have to explain that, true, the virus was created by their own lab, but, you see, it was really the Americans who released it by, you know, traveling there. Does that sound convincing? I think it doesn’t. In fact, it would probably make their case way worse. Currently most normies are still unaware of the likelihood that the virus was likely literally created in the Wuhan lab. I can assure you that had the Chinese gone to such great lengths to prove it, it would be known by everyone and their mom, too.

    Actually, the argument probably still works even if it’s a purely American virus, but very similar to the ones that the Chinese themselves created (and to which the Americans presumably also had some access). Even in such a case, they would find it difficult to accuse others without accusing themselves. The awkwardness of the situation means that for both sides it’s just more convenient to keep the natural virus explanation.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Could be. It’s hard to say.

    Currently most normies are still unaware of the likelihood that the virus was likely literally created in the Wuhan lab.

    I don’t think so. Among college-educated shitlibs, they’re aware that this idea exists, although they reject it. (“It’s a conspiracy theory!”) Among more normal ordinary people, I think you’ll find a lot of people who assume this to be the case – who in fact assume it to be a Chinese bioweapon. A relative relayed a conversation with some old women where this was the universal assumption.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account


    I don’t think so. Among college-educated shitlibs, they’re aware that this idea exists, although they reject it. (“It’s a conspiracy theory!”) Among more normal ordinary people, I think you’ll find a lot of people who assume this to be the case – who in fact assume it to be a Chinese bioweapon.
     
    For those still visiting this thread, I just published my new article on the origins of Covid-19, incorporating Wade's excellent analysis, summarizing some of my previous points, and making some of the new ones I'd discussed here:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-truth-and-the-whole-truth-on-the-origins-of-covid-19/
  136. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor

    Could be. It's hard to say.


    Currently most normies are still unaware of the likelihood that the virus was likely literally created in the Wuhan lab.
     
    I don't think so. Among college-educated shitlibs, they're aware that this idea exists, although they reject it. ("It's a conspiracy theory!") Among more normal ordinary people, I think you'll find a lot of people who assume this to be the case - who in fact assume it to be a Chinese bioweapon. A relative relayed a conversation with some old women where this was the universal assumption.

    Replies: @Ron Unz

    I don’t think so. Among college-educated shitlibs, they’re aware that this idea exists, although they reject it. (“It’s a conspiracy theory!”) Among more normal ordinary people, I think you’ll find a lot of people who assume this to be the case – who in fact assume it to be a Chinese bioweapon.

    For those still visiting this thread, I just published my new article on the origins of Covid-19, incorporating Wade’s excellent analysis, summarizing some of my previous points, and making some of the new ones I’d discussed here:

    https://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-the-truth-and-the-whole-truth-on-the-origins-of-covid-19/

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
  137. @That Would Be Telling
    @reiner Tor


    I don’t think your science on masks and social distancing having no impact on covid is good. It fails the common sense test, namely that masks form an obstacle to droplets.
     
    There's a hypothesis that could really use some testing, that surgical grade plus or minus masks turn large respiratory droplets caught in them into smaller and thus more dangerous ones.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous? Though you might have a point about masks below surgical level, like homemade textile masks or similar.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
    @reiner Tor


    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous?
     
    That's a good question. I assume one assumption is that the people in the operating room aren't seriously ill. Another is that N95 respirators protection are a newer development, here's Wikipedia on them, also see the HEPA article.

    Per Wikipedia the modern less intense surgical variety with a splash resistant layer on the outside and a fluid adsorbing one on the inside came into use in the 1960s, replacing the cloth masks which we both agree are subpar. And "Despite their name, not all surgical masks are appropriate to be used during surgery. Surgical masks may be labeled as surgical, isolation, dental or medical procedure masks."

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    , @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor


    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous?
     
    I don't have the answer, but it's an interesting question nonetheless, what with the research indicating post-operative infections decline in the absence of surgical masks. There were studies done in the 70's and 80's; there may have been more. And yet surgeons still wear masks. It's a curiosity
  138. @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor

    It's not "my" science.

    MASKS:

    There's the so-called "DANMASK" study, or the experience of the Dakotas, showing no difference in infection rates between those masked or unmasked. (Among many other examples.)

    There's common sense in regards to the claim that masks don't protect the wearer but others from the wearer. (What, are they one-way filters?)

    There's the fact that it's supposedly aerosols, not droplets, that spread the virus - and aerosols are often small enough not to be filtered by the masks, and in any case spread around the edges of the mask and out into the air in great number anyway.

    There's the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020, and only changed their tune, per the BBC, after political pressure.

    And there's the UK Influence Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011:


    Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good respiratory, hand, and home hygiene behaviour in order for them to achieve the intended benefit. Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods reduces over time.
     
    This is the tip of the iceberg on evidence against the efficacy of masks. You should really read up on it before subjecting yourself to the discomfort and indignity (and mild hypoxia, increased risk of viral and bacterial pneumonia, etc).

    One more bit of common sense: masks have been around for thousands of years. Why didn't anybody notice before 2020 - or before 2003 in Asia - that they supposedly stop the flu cold? Answer: they don't.

    SOCIAL DISTANCING

    Social distancing is more complicated. There's more of a history of some forms of social distancing - for instance, school closures and mass gatherings - but I'm not sure there's much evidence for it. The aforementioned UK planning document - as well as Australian ones - both mention only limited real-world evidence for the efficacy, as well as evidence from modelling studies, which of course should be tossed on general principles. (It's interesting to note the difference in tone: the Brits and Aussies look at the same evidence but the Brits evince considerably more skepticism.)

    Full-on lockdowns, on the other hand, or "stay six feet apart": no scientific foundation whatsoever, totally arbitrary, totally ineffective and ridiculous. Sweden and Florida are the best examples here, faring no worse than anywhere else despite not locking down.

    There is evidence, for instance - don't remember where I saw it, sorry - that lockdowns/quarantines make things worse by forcing people to spend a lot of time together indoors, conditions where transmission is more likely. And of course, even if social distancing does work, it prevents the build-up of immunity, merely delaying the inevitable.

    Finally, it's worth mentioning that my claims do not require extraordinary evidence because they are not extraordinary. They are the accepted epidemiological and medical status quo of March 2020 and before. That the world shit its pants subsequently and changed tacks without evidence is a mark against your claims, not mine.

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    Obviously, there are many studies which show high efficacy in reducing transmission risk, often in the ballpark of 80%, provided that both parties are wearing it. I’m sure you know that in science you will often find a study proving anything and their opposite as well.

    There’s common sense in regards to the claim that masks don’t protect the wearer but others from the wearer. (What, are they one-way filters?)

    That’s easy. Masks stop droplets in a way that the droplets get attached to the mask. The mask constantly touches your face. Well, if it’s a droplet from the outside, it might eventually find its way to your mouth or nose. But if it’s your own droplet, it sure won’t find its way to the other people in the room. So yes, common sense tells me that ordinary surgical masks are better at protecting others.

    There’s the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020

    It was stupid propaganda back when there was an enormous shortage of masks. The idea was that the public would be dissuaded from hoarding or even using masks altogether, so that the medical establishment would have enough for itself. The strange thing was that in the meantime the medical establishment was quite happy to use masks all the time, and actually expanded its use of surgical masks in the first months of the pandemic, while telling others not to use them. Then of course, surgical masks are called that because, you know, they are used during surgeries (and mostly to protect the patient rather than the surgeon).

    For the record I thought it was stupid and idiotic propaganda back then. It was changed when the mask shortage was resolved.

    Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good respiratory, hand, and home hygiene behaviour in order for them to achieve the intended benefit. Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods reduces over time.

    This doesn’t mean it’s worthless, just that you have to do it properly to achieve the full benefits. Yes, most people don’t remove them properly and don’t change them frequently enough, but there’s still some benefit. For example improper removal would get the virus on your hands. If you then touch your face or eat without washing them… but this is not a very easy route for the virus, with recent studies showing that inhaling the droplets is the preferred way for it. Also, if your nose isn’t covered, it’s basically worthless, but most people wear it properly.

    Anyway, this text certainly doesn’t mean that masks are worthless.

    mild hypoxia

    ??

    I will respond to the rest later.

    • Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account
    @reiner Tor


    Obviously, there are many studies which show high efficacy in reducing transmission risk, often in the ballpark of 80%, provided that both parties are wearing it. I’m sure you know that in science you will often find a study proving anything and their opposite as well.
     
    I love this attitude: when the studies confirm your opinion, they're to be respected; when they don't, "Well, you can use science to prove anything!"

    If you have any studies to refer to that aren't modelling studies or laboratory studies - if you have any studies that examined the effect of masks in the real world and found them to inhibit transmission of respiratory viruses, I'm all ears. The Danish study was once such, and found no effect.

    Masks stop droplets in a way that the droplets get attached to the mask. The mask constantly touches your face. Well, if it’s a droplet from the outside, it might eventually find its way to your mouth or nose. But if it’s your own droplet, it sure won’t find its way to the other people in the room. So yes, common sense tells me that ordinary surgical masks are better at protecting others.
     
    Except, as mentioned, it's aerosols, not droplets, that spread the virus, and many of these find their way through the filters or more frequently escape from the sides of the mask, mostly getting directed behind the person instead on in front. Big deal.

    And the claim initially made regarding masks was that they inhibited infection, not just spread, i.e. they protected the wearer. I've seen absurdly high numbers floating around regarding efficacy at this, including from you just now. Now mask-enthusiasts want to move the goalposts to claim that the efficacy is greatly reduced in one direction, because it makes the mask's inefficacy less clear: when the masked are getting sick, it becomes impossible to deny that masks don't prevent illness; but who's to say from whom the virus particles originated? It'd be difficult, if not impossible, to prove whether or not the virus spread from a particular person, i.e. a masked or unmasked person. So if you start with the assumption that masks are effective - an assumption many are keen on, if only to feel better about having been slightly short of breath for the past year - then this new paradigm cannot be so easily disproved, and you can go on making that assumption.

    (By the way: if efficacy is one way, then transmission reduction does not require "both parties" to wear a mask: per your paradigm an uninfected maskless person is at the same risk of transmission as an uninfected masked person.)


    There’s the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020
     
    It was stupid propaganda back when there was an enormous shortage of masks. The idea was that the public would be dissuaded from hoarding or even using masks altogether, so that the medical establishment would have enough for itself.
     
    I held your position in early 2020, but that's because I didn't know a damn thing about masks. I have subsequently revised my view.

    But you've misunderstood me: when I say mid-2020, I don't just mean that masks weren't recommended in early 2020. If you want to believe that the medical profession believes that widespread masking could inhibit transmission during a pandemic, you need to explain why they were advising against this, not just in early 2020, but in 2019 and before. I've seen some people making the claim that doctors found masks to be effective during the Spanish flu, for instance. A false claim, but if you're going to make it, you need to explain how it is that masks were found effective in 1920 and then considered ineffective for the next 100 years - and, again, you need to explain why scientists changed their mind in mid-2020, i.e., what new information came to light to persuade them all to change their minds. I have my explanation: as I mentioned, the BBC reports "political lobbying" at the WHO. But what's yours?

    [UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011, s. 4.15) doesn’t mean it’s worthless, just that you have to do it properly to achieve the full benefits. Yes, most people don’t remove them properly and don’t change them frequently enough, but there’s still some benefit. For example improper removal would get the virus on your hands. If you then touch your face or eat without washing them… but this is not a very easy route for the virus, with recent studies showing that inhaling the droplets is the preferred way for it. Also, if your nose isn’t covered, it’s basically worthless, but most people wear it properly.

    Anyway, this text certainly doesn’t mean that masks are worthless.
     
    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Here I am showing you pandemic experts in official UK gov't preparedness documents saying that (a) the perception that masks are helpful is false, (b) there's basically no evidence that they're a useful NPI, and (c) incorrect use and noncompliance alone mean that they're not effective - i.e., even granting their effectiveness under ideal conditions - which the authors do not grant - they would still be ineffective in the real world.

    Your response? That it works if done properly, that most people do so, and, implicitly, one can still achieve some benefit even from doing it improperly. Again: the available real-world evidence clearly shows that this is not the case.

    Are you changing your mask every 20 minutes? Do you always maintain a tight seal around the face? Are you even wearing an N95 respirator or similar? Give me a break.


    mild hypoxia
     
    ??
     
    Oxygen deprivation. First link when I searched masks hypoxia. I would assume hypercapnia - too much CO2 - would occur more frequently, but I'm just a sperg on the internet, so I don't know. And of course these are mild side effects, merely discomfiting for >99.99% of people I'm sure. (Although I did read one neuro-boffin who said otherwise.) The real danger from masks is in the increased risk - and increased severity - of pneumonias viral, bacterial, and fungal, from breathing through a dirty germ-ridden piece of cloth all day.
  139. @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous? Though you might have a point about masks below surgical level, like homemade textile masks or similar.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous?

    That’s a good question. I assume one assumption is that the people in the operating room aren’t seriously ill. Another is that N95 respirators protection are a newer development, here’s Wikipedia on them, also see the HEPA article.

    Per Wikipedia the modern less intense surgical variety with a splash resistant layer on the outside and a fluid adsorbing one on the inside came into use in the 1960s, replacing the cloth masks which we both agree are subpar. And “Despite their name, not all surgical masks are appropriate to be used during surgery. Surgical masks may be labeled as surgical, isolation, dental or medical procedure masks.”

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling


    I assume one assumption is that the people in the operating room aren’t seriously ill.
     
    The same assumption works in the store: all customers as well as sales personnel are assumed to be without symptoms. Though if you think about it... if you had an ill person constantly sneezing and coughing in a room with you, would you want him to be wearing a mask or not? I would very much want him to at least wear a mask.

    But certainly those who are showing acute symptoms of a respiratory illness are assumed to stay home and quarantine themselves.
  140. @reiner Tor
    @That Would Be Telling

    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous? Though you might have a point about masks below surgical level, like homemade textile masks or similar.

    Replies: @That Would Be Telling, @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous?

    I don’t have the answer, but it’s an interesting question nonetheless, what with the research indicating post-operative infections decline in the absence of surgical masks. There were studies done in the 70’s and 80’s; there may have been more. And yet surgeons still wear masks. It’s a curiosity

  141. @reiner Tor
    @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Obviously, there are many studies which show high efficacy in reducing transmission risk, often in the ballpark of 80%, provided that both parties are wearing it. I’m sure you know that in science you will often find a study proving anything and their opposite as well.


    There’s common sense in regards to the claim that masks don’t protect the wearer but others from the wearer. (What, are they one-way filters?)
     
    That’s easy. Masks stop droplets in a way that the droplets get attached to the mask. The mask constantly touches your face. Well, if it’s a droplet from the outside, it might eventually find its way to your mouth or nose. But if it’s your own droplet, it sure won’t find its way to the other people in the room. So yes, common sense tells me that ordinary surgical masks are better at protecting others.

    There’s the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020
     
    It was stupid propaganda back when there was an enormous shortage of masks. The idea was that the public would be dissuaded from hoarding or even using masks altogether, so that the medical establishment would have enough for itself. The strange thing was that in the meantime the medical establishment was quite happy to use masks all the time, and actually expanded its use of surgical masks in the first months of the pandemic, while telling others not to use them. Then of course, surgical masks are called that because, you know, they are used during surgeries (and mostly to protect the patient rather than the surgeon).

    For the record I thought it was stupid and idiotic propaganda back then. It was changed when the mask shortage was resolved.

    Although there is a perception that the wearing of facemasks by the public in the community and household setting may be beneficial, there is in fact very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use in this setting. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly, disposed of safely and used in combination with good respiratory, hand, and home hygiene behaviour in order for them to achieve the intended benefit. Research also shows that compliance with these recommended behaviours when wearing facemasks for prolonged periods reduces over time.
     
    This doesn’t mean it’s worthless, just that you have to do it properly to achieve the full benefits. Yes, most people don’t remove them properly and don’t change them frequently enough, but there’s still some benefit. For example improper removal would get the virus on your hands. If you then touch your face or eat without washing them... but this is not a very easy route for the virus, with recent studies showing that inhaling the droplets is the preferred way for it. Also, if your nose isn’t covered, it’s basically worthless, but most people wear it properly.

    Anyway, this text certainly doesn’t mean that masks are worthless.

    mild hypoxia
     
    ??

    I will respond to the rest later.

    Replies: @Barack Obama's secret Unz account

    Obviously, there are many studies which show high efficacy in reducing transmission risk, often in the ballpark of 80%, provided that both parties are wearing it. I’m sure you know that in science you will often find a study proving anything and their opposite as well.

    I love this attitude: when the studies confirm your opinion, they’re to be respected; when they don’t, “Well, you can use science to prove anything!

    If you have any studies to refer to that aren’t modelling studies or laboratory studies – if you have any studies that examined the effect of masks in the real world and found them to inhibit transmission of respiratory viruses, I’m all ears. The Danish study was once such, and found no effect.

    Masks stop droplets in a way that the droplets get attached to the mask. The mask constantly touches your face. Well, if it’s a droplet from the outside, it might eventually find its way to your mouth or nose. But if it’s your own droplet, it sure won’t find its way to the other people in the room. So yes, common sense tells me that ordinary surgical masks are better at protecting others.

    Except, as mentioned, it’s aerosols, not droplets, that spread the virus, and many of these find their way through the filters or more frequently escape from the sides of the mask, mostly getting directed behind the person instead on in front. Big deal.

    And the claim initially made regarding masks was that they inhibited infection, not just spread, i.e. they protected the wearer. I’ve seen absurdly high numbers floating around regarding efficacy at this, including from you just now. Now mask-enthusiasts want to move the goalposts to claim that the efficacy is greatly reduced in one direction, because it makes the mask’s inefficacy less clear: when the masked are getting sick, it becomes impossible to deny that masks don’t prevent illness; but who’s to say from whom the virus particles originated? It’d be difficult, if not impossible, to prove whether or not the virus spread from a particular person, i.e. a masked or unmasked person. So if you start with the assumption that masks are effective – an assumption many are keen on, if only to feel better about having been slightly short of breath for the past year – then this new paradigm cannot be so easily disproved, and you can go on making that assumption.

    (By the way: if efficacy is one way, then transmission reduction does not require “both parties” to wear a mask: per your paradigm an uninfected maskless person is at the same risk of transmission as an uninfected masked person.)

    There’s the fact that almost the entire medical establishment did not recommend their use prior to mid-2020

    It was stupid propaganda back when there was an enormous shortage of masks. The idea was that the public would be dissuaded from hoarding or even using masks altogether, so that the medical establishment would have enough for itself.

    I held your position in early 2020, but that’s because I didn’t know a damn thing about masks. I have subsequently revised my view.

    But you’ve misunderstood me: when I say mid-2020, I don’t just mean that masks weren’t recommended in early 2020. If you want to believe that the medical profession believes that widespread masking could inhibit transmission during a pandemic, you need to explain why they were advising against this, not just in early 2020, but in 2019 and before. I’ve seen some people making the claim that doctors found masks to be effective during the Spanish flu, for instance. A false claim, but if you’re going to make it, you need to explain how it is that masks were found effective in 1920 and then considered ineffective for the next 100 years – and, again, you need to explain why scientists changed their mind in mid-2020, i.e., what new information came to light to persuade them all to change their minds. I have my explanation: as I mentioned, the BBC reports “political lobbying” at the WHO. But what’s yours?

    [UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011, s. 4.15) doesn’t mean it’s worthless, just that you have to do it properly to achieve the full benefits. Yes, most people don’t remove them properly and don’t change them frequently enough, but there’s still some benefit. For example improper removal would get the virus on your hands. If you then touch your face or eat without washing them… but this is not a very easy route for the virus, with recent studies showing that inhaling the droplets is the preferred way for it. Also, if your nose isn’t covered, it’s basically worthless, but most people wear it properly.

    Anyway, this text certainly doesn’t mean that masks are worthless.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Here I am showing you pandemic experts in official UK gov’t preparedness documents saying that (a) the perception that masks are helpful is false, (b) there’s basically no evidence that they’re a useful NPI, and (c) incorrect use and noncompliance alone mean that they’re not effective – i.e., even granting their effectiveness under ideal conditions – which the authors do not grant – they would still be ineffective in the real world.

    Your response? That it works if done properly, that most people do so, and, implicitly, one can still achieve some benefit even from doing it improperly. Again: the available real-world evidence clearly shows that this is not the case.

    Are you changing your mask every 20 minutes? Do you always maintain a tight seal around the face? Are you even wearing an N95 respirator or similar? Give me a break.

    mild hypoxia

    ??

    Oxygen deprivation. First link when I searched masks hypoxia. I would assume hypercapnia – too much CO2 – would occur more frequently, but I’m just a sperg on the internet, so I don’t know. And of course these are mild side effects, merely discomfiting for >99.99% of people I’m sure. (Although I did read one neuro-boffin who said otherwise.) The real danger from masks is in the increased risk – and increased severity – of pneumonias viral, bacterial, and fungal, from breathing through a dirty germ-ridden piece of cloth all day.

  142. @That Would Be Telling
    @reiner Tor


    So why are they using surgical masks during, you know, surgeries, if they are so dangerous?
     
    That's a good question. I assume one assumption is that the people in the operating room aren't seriously ill. Another is that N95 respirators protection are a newer development, here's Wikipedia on them, also see the HEPA article.

    Per Wikipedia the modern less intense surgical variety with a splash resistant layer on the outside and a fluid adsorbing one on the inside came into use in the 1960s, replacing the cloth masks which we both agree are subpar. And "Despite their name, not all surgical masks are appropriate to be used during surgery. Surgical masks may be labeled as surgical, isolation, dental or medical procedure masks."

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I assume one assumption is that the people in the operating room aren’t seriously ill.

    The same assumption works in the store: all customers as well as sales personnel are assumed to be without symptoms. Though if you think about it… if you had an ill person constantly sneezing and coughing in a room with you, would you want him to be wearing a mask or not? I would very much want him to at least wear a mask.

    But certainly those who are showing acute symptoms of a respiratory illness are assumed to stay home and quarantine themselves.

  143. @jsinton
    @Shortsword

    Which even begs more questions. Who is counting the deaths? Were the deaths due to COVID or the social upheaval of poorly thought out government response to COVID? How many old people starved to death because the couldn't get to Golden Corral? How many people died because the explosion of violent crime? How many people simply had a heart attack from sitting on the sofa drinking beer and watching Netflix too much? Or because they couldn't go outside for a walk? Or ODed on Fentanyl? How many people hung themselves because they lost their business like my cousin in FL? No one will answer these questions. So even "total deaths" is meaningless.

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Daniel Chieh, @Humbert Humbert

    The statisticians, dummy! (You really a dummy, but that’s besides the point that I’m making). Every country has a census bureau that is tasked with collecting the information from death certificates. In most countries, including UK where I live the crime was down relative to last few years. There are no other obvious explanatory factors, so far, that can explain the excess deaths. In fact, significant undercounting in deaths occured in UK, because the deaths in care homes had a delay of month or more in reporting. IMO, there is really no better estimate for most countries AFAIK for the deaths from COVID than the excess deaths. Do you know of anything better?

  144. Muslim Malays in Singapore have a TFR of 1.8, which is not bad, and near the replacement rate.

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