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I had always imagined that death had a certainty to it. Taxes are a close second, but death is easier to diagnose. The problem comes when the cause must be written on the certificate. A heavy drinker who falls downstairs has an accidental death, but it was brought on by his habitual drinking. Someone who dies as a consequence of type 2 diabetes may have died from over-eating. An elderly person with several chronic conditions might die of influenza, but his comorbidities deserve mention.

Official guidelines explain:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877302/guidance-for-doctors-completing-medical-certificates-of-cause-of-death-covid-19.pdf

Information from death certificates is used to measure the relative contributions of different diseases to mortality. Statistical information on deaths by underlying cause is important for monitoring the health of the population, designing and evaluating public health interventions, recognising priorities for medical research and health services, planning health services, and assessing the effectiveness of those services. Death certificate data are extensively used in research into the health effects of exposure to a wide range of risk factors through the environment, work, medical and surgical care, and other sources.

The document makes it clear that “COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death”. Although there is an issue in attributing a death to Covid-19, the same has been true for death certificates for a long time: underlying causes are always a bone of contention. There may be over-attribution to Covid now, but if so then it will not influence the excess deaths measures, since those count deaths by the dates on which they occur, regardless of cause, and compare them to the average of previous years, generally the previous five years.

A more pressing problem is that the date on which Covid deaths are announced is usually not the dates on which the deaths actually occurred, merely the date on which a whole lot of deaths have been bundled together for reporting purposes. Some authorities are faster than others at reporting death certificates. So, daily death rates are usually no such thing, and dramatically inflate the size and variability of actual daily deaths. When dates are correctly allocated to the actual dates on which they occurred, then the second wave totals are less extreme, probably just somewhat higher than December averages.

At the same time, it is all too true that intensive care facilities are over-stretched, sometimes dangerously so. Having more resources seems desirable, but most of the time they won’t be used, and are not resource effective. Allocating scare resources is always hard, and intensive care requires well trained staff plus very bright people who are able to improvise and draw on existing medications and treatments when faced with novel illnesses. Perhaps it is possible to have more resources and be flexible in their use, training many and using only a few most of the time, then getting all hands to the pump during epidemics. Devoutly to be wished.

Against all this, the rollout of vaccines continues. Here a whole cluster of factors combine. The status quo ante is that the NHS delivers an annual flu jab to elderly or vulnerable persons, inviting them into General Practitioner surgeries for their vaccination. It is now a simple, well tried system, mostly using text messages and then patients phone in to book their session.

In the 2019/20 flu campaign, around 15.3m vaccinations were administered to eligible groups, covering patients over 65, those in clinical at-risk groups, pregnant women, children aged two to three years old, primary school children and healthcare workers. (This year it will be offered to 30 million).

So, why has the same delivery system not been used for Covid? Freezers. The cold chain requirements of the Pfizer vaccine are very demanding. Minus 70 Centigrade requires careful and expensive handling, with a requirement to use what you thaw out pretty quickly. Individual GPs can’t handle this, so a whole new system has had to be put together, meaning that new locales, new staff and new procedures have had to be developed. Most GP practices grouped together to use a common local facility. They became the providers of the patient names, according to national age and risk criteria. Their function was to tell their patients they could now ring up that central provider to confirm that they wanted to be vaccinated. Later, that central provider comes up with a date and time.

I promised you complexity, and here comes more of it. Pfizer had agreed to provide a large number of vaccines. In order to do so in Europe, they had a look at their factory and decided that this winter, in the middle of the second wave, it would be a good time to slow down production to make factory changes which will later speed up the pace and volume of vaccine production. The immediate consequence is that there are shortages, such that the local centres cannot work every weekday as expected. They wait till they are told that they will be getting a batch, and then book 500 patients a day for two days. Other days each centre is idle.

All is not lost, because there is a further complexity. If you form a mega-centre, and can do 2000 jabs a day, then you can order direct from Pfizer. It is said to be automatic. These mega-centres are due to open on 1 February, though the locales have yet to be finalised. Happily, one of the London ones might be the Science Museum. That would be joyful.

Some of you may find this all too simple, so I will do my best to serve up the complexity I promised. Despite booking months in advance, and I think paying well in advance, it seems clear that there will not be enough Pfizer vaccine to meet demand, and to provide the doses originally promised in good time. Oxford/AstraZeneca is now coming on stream, and patients formerly promised Pfizer are being told they will now get AstraZeneca. That vaccine can be kept in an ordinary refrigerator, lasts longer, and is thus far, far easier to use.

The published results appeared to show Pfizer was better, say 93% against 70%, but that turns out to be yes, more complex than it may seem. The trials were different and used different criteria for effectiveness. AstraZeneca is said to have monitored symptoms more thoroughly than Pfizer, and as of 20 November 2020: No hospitalisations or severe cases of COVID-19 in participants treated with AZD1222.

That seems to be a good bottomline measure. By any measure, both vaccines are as good or better than flu jabs.

Despite all this, current estimates are that 4.6 million UK citizens have received their vaccination against the coronavirus. Not bad at all. Israel is at 35%, United Arab Emirates 13.5%, UK 6.8% and then US 4.8%.

Israeli data is coming in, with predictably conflicting results. Despite having a great and increasing sample size, there has been insufficient time for a full evaluation of the long term protective effect. For example, case-ness is counted against a vaccine from the moment it is injected. Some patients will have come in with Covid without knowing it. Others will catch it before the vaccination can take effect. It seems prudent to look only at the 14 day onwards results. Those look good, as they did in the trial period, and eventually the evaluative process will be standardised.

A final measure of complexity is the debate about whether vaccination should involve two doses, as designed and tested, or just one for the time being, with another to follow if and when supplies improve, or if and when it seems necessary, since most of the effect is due to the first jab. If that were not so, vaccinations would not be possible. Currently, those UK citizens (mostly elderly) lucky enough to have had their jab have also been given a date, up to about 12 weeks later, for their second jab. That is the plan. In terms of public health, it would probably be better to give the second jab as a first jab to someone else, thus probably reducing their likelihood of becoming a brewery of more virus which will later passed on to others, sometimes in mutated form, making everything more difficult for everybody.

A big reason for vaccinating fast, and as widely as possible, is that deaths will be prevented. In the UK, possibly 1370 per million. It will take many sore arms, but why not help people live?

I have simplified this as much as possible, and given more time would have made it simpler.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Coronavirus, Vaccines 
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  1. Pfizer had agreed to provide a large number of vaccines. In order to do so in Europe, they had a look at their factory and decided that this winter, in the middle of the second wave, it would be a good time to slow down production to make factory changes which will later speed up the pace and volume of vaccine production.

    I would assume this is as likely a blatant lie as the exact truth. From the purely US viewpoint, Pfizer was blinded by Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and absolutely refused to have anything to do with his Operation Warp Speed (OWS) except for signing a contingent 100 million dose purchase contract if they got a FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the end of 2020.

    And in something that will be familiar to those with manufacturing experience, or buying from manufacturers, their sudden announcement in December that they were going to miss their early promises by one half was likely a signal to expect more such failures in the near future. On the good side for the US, they claimed this was due to supply chain problems, and claim they will start working with OWS to address this, which will speed up the second 100 million dose tranche to the second quarter of this year instead of the third. In general, a bunch of red flags that they do not have a good handle on their manufacturing of this unique to them vaccine type. I’ll put on the front burner an article I came across on this and perhaps get back to you with more insight from it.

    Otherwise not much to comment, you noticed the same thing I did about Israeli claims (“Boy, the vaccine from Pfizer is really terrible.” “And such small portions.”) Per at best second hand reports, are straight out Third World in not waiting until the adaptive immune system can start doing its thing before claiming it’s only 50% effective. I’ve also wondered if its care and handling instructions are being ignored; it’s actually good for five days after being defrosted, which should be plenty of time, but it’s extremely fragile in that state, shake a vial and you are instructed to discard it. So you could see all sorts of “common mode failures” from this.

    Also don’t forget it’s easy to keep frozen if you use the designed (for the US??) transport boxes and replenish their dry ice every five days I think it was, and the US boxes all come with a temperature monitor which can be instructed to call and text message up to four contacts if it senses things are going to get bad. You hear anything like this in the U.K.?

    On the “up to 12 weeks delay in getting the second dose,” that’ll please your experimental expedient leanings, it’s probably OK, even likely to boost the AZ/Ozford efficacy based on our best assumption about what’s harming its efficacy, and my observation about Janssen’s two dose backup scheme which has a 57 day, or 8 week delay between them. I presume that’s to let the initial host of antibodies to fade out as normal so they won’t attack the virus vector itself before it can do its job. Pfizer/BioNTech however are not happy, they have no data on what will be the results of exceeding, perhaps massively, the interval they tested between doses. Again, the old tradeoff between individual health and public health, there is no one right answer to this question. Except to sincerely say “good luck!”

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  2. @That Would Be Telling

    I don’t have any cold chain stories on UK experience. I am sure silica aerogel cold boxes with dry ice are pretty good, and I like the technology anyway. The stories I heard were procedural: throw away unused doses. Some friends got vaccinated by responding immediately to General Practitioner offers of end of day vaccinations. Use it or lose it. Personal friends (n=1) today report being given Pfizer, and also getting a 10 week away appointment date. Other friends waiting.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  3. dearieme says:

    A GP, Malcolm Kendrick, wrote back on 2020/05/31:

    I suppose most people would be somewhat surprised to know that the cause of death, as written on death certificates, is often little more than an educated guess. Most people die when they are old, often over eighty. A post-mortem is very rarely carried out.

    Then, along comes COVID-19, and many of the rules – such as they were – went straight out of the window.

    What were we now supposed to do? If an elderly person died in a care home, or at home, did they die of COVID? Well, frankly, who knows? Especially if they didn’t have a test for COVID – which for several weeks was not even allowed. Only patients entering hospital were deemed worthy of a test. No-one else.

    What advice was given? It varied throughout the country, and from coroner to coroner – and from day to day. Was every person in a care home now to be diagnosed as dying of COVID? Well, that was certainly the advice given in several parts of the UK.

    I discussed things with colleagues and there was very little consensus. I put COVID on a couple of certificates, and not on a couple of others. Based on how the person seemed to die.

    I do know that other doctors put down COVID on anyone who died from early March onwards. I didn’t. What can be made of the statistics created from data like these?

    For reasons such as Kendrick’s it’s the excess deaths that probably provide the least bad guide to what is happening, so long as they are interpreted honestly and intelligently. So you can rule out much of the dim and dishonest stuff in the media.

    • Agree: botazefa
  4. @James Thompson

    The stories I heard were procedural: throw away unused doses.

    The problem there is that once you dilute with saline solution a vial of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine, you’ve got six hours to use the 5-6 doses in it (with the right sorts of syringes you can frequently or generally safely scavenge an extra dose), and Moderna has the same time limit once punctured.

    Here in the US I get the impression we only have issues from accidents of course, wild miscalculations like getting too many doses ready for the actual number needed at some place which seems to be rare, or Communist Blue states that hang draconian penalties on health care practitioners (HCP) and their organizations for vaccinating anyone out of turn. Otherwise it’s generally easy to find people, really anyone handy, to use up extra doses you end up with.

    Meanwhile I’ve gotten part way through that document I mentioned, here’s what I have so far:

    Here’s the blog posting on mRNA vaccine manufacturing, seems to be of high quality, is in agreement with a lot I’ve already learned, or learned long ago like buffering solutions. Although there are as usual a lot of lies in the linked documents, like “That weekend the Chinese government posted the virus’s sequence.” Nope, we doubt they ever would have, just like they for many months and probably still have never shipped anyone cultures of the virus. Instead a group of altruistic scientists who’d sequenced it published it on a Western database, and they and their BSL-3 lab were shut down the next day for “rectification.” Bottom line: you really need a lot general and domain knowledge to know when someone is lying, and there’s been a lot of lying about COVID-19 for political purposes.

    Of general interest:

    Moderna’s first ever batch of the COVID-19 vaccine was sent off to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for phase 1 clinical trials 42 days after the design of the vaccine was completed. However, the final 14 of those 42 days were spent waiting for the fixed-length sterility test experiment to complete.

    So they had their candidate designed in a weekend, but it took a month to make the first batch, suitable for 2 40-45 people Phase I trials, here’s ClinicalTrials.gov with the original plan, see the 2 papers for what they did (45 younger, then 40 older people). But note the unavoidable safety step, they had to take their vaccine, has to be “finished” all the way into vials, and put some of it on various sorts of media probably in Petri dishes, incubate at appropriate temperatures and make sure nothing growed. It is bad form to inject people with random microorganisms who’ve feasted on the majority ingredient sucrose (table sugar, to protect it when frozen), bypassing their body’s outer set of protections.

  5. The author assumes that the mortality risk from the Covid-19 virus and its variants is high; this is not the case. The risk is very low (one in a thousand, more or less), and that is on top of the risk of catching it in the first place, which is also about one in a thousand. Total mortality risk: one in a million.

    However, if 344,000 Americans die of Covid-19 (this is supposedly within reach), that is one in a thousand. Admittedly, this is not one in a million but, rather, a thousand times higher. Remember, most of those dying are at risk simply because advancing age brings risk! Yet the actual verifiable “deaths” have been greatly exaggerated since U.S. hospitals are paid by the death in these corrupt times, so the verifiable risk or mortality is perhaps one in 500,000, which is hardly anything to get worked up about, since that rate is only two or three times deadlier than the traditional influenza.

    We have been around this discussion too many times, friends. It is stupid; it is tiresome; it is irrational. It is manufactured. Get it?

    Meanwhile, the spiritual death, educationally, of millions of American children–gifted, normal, afflicted (dyslexia, etc.), disabled–is progressing apace. Something like 15% of all children are going to be unemployable because they will never be able to read sufficiently well, their reading-assistance programs having been cancelled or truncated. Public school teachers are being paid to stay home, where they live in fear of nothing so much as there own false idea that children are a deadly threat. We have been around . . .

  6. meamjojo says:

    Talking about vaccines, from the NYT quote below, it seems that Covid-19 vaccination will not prevent you from getting sick, you will [supposedly] just get LESS sick than you would have. 

    I know this is not what most people getting vaccinated are expecting.  From my readings and conversations, almost everyone believes that vaccination will be complete and total protection against Covid-19 moving forward. Suckers…

    “Proof of immunization will not be sufficient, because the vaccines have only been shown to prevent serious illness, said Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the C.D.C. Vaccinated people may still become infected, in theory, and transmit the virus on a flight.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/health/us-to-require-negative-virus-tests-from-international-air-passengers.html

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  7. @dearieme

    it’s the excess deaths that probably provide the least bad guide to what is happening

    That and people in intensive care beds and on ventilators.

    (Just one remark: There were fewer people on ventilators in the first half of 2020 in Switzerland than there were in 2019).

    Excess deaths in Sweden 2020: 0, 03% = a serious flu wave*** – – see the HailtoYou website on WordPress.

    *** they have those on average once in six years in Sweden.

    https://hailtoyou.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/against-the-corona-panic-part-xix-wuhan-corona-vs-previous-flu-waves-sweden-quantified-on-near-final-data-for-2020/#comment-47231

  8. “In terms of public health, it would probably be better to give the second jab as a first jab to someone else, thus probably reducing their likelihood of becoming a brewery of more virus which will later passed on to others, sometimes in mutated form, making everything more difficult for everybody.”

    This has the potential to be a disaster, giving several million people poor protection rather than giving half that number adequate protection. We are literally on our own in changing second vaccination dates from Pfizer’s 3 weeks to 12 weeks. No one else is doing it, and real world data from the country leading the vaccine charge suggests its a bad idea.

    https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/20/revisiting-the-uks-strategy-for-delaying-the-second-dose-of-the-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine/

    “International organisations such as the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the US; and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have advised that the vaccination schedules, as defined from the published peer reviewed studies from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna (the other mRNA vaccine), should be followed (respectively 1/22 day and 1/29 day first/second dose vaccinations). [5] The German and US governments have recently stated that they do not intend to delay the second covid-19 vaccine shot and Pfizer and Moderna do not support the delay strategy.”

    The current UK strategy with the Pfizer mRNA vaccine is, in our view, a non-randomised, uncontrolled population experimental study without pilot data. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) and Public Health England should be prepared to revisit and, if necessary, reverse their decisions based on emerging scientific evidence. At the time of writing a statement released by Israeli officials has indicated that “real world” analysis of 200,000 people age >60 years, who have had the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, shows efficacy of 33%, far less than the 89% stated by the JCVI. These new real world data suggest that the UK should reconsider the decision to delay the second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech.

    The signatories (mostly Nottingham Uni) look like reasonably heavyweight types.

    https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-real-world-analysis-of-vaccine-in-israel-raises-questions-about-uk-strategy-12192751

    A document issued by the UK government’s vaccine advisers, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, to justify delaying the second dose for up to 12 weeks said: “Using data for those cases observed between day 15 and 21, efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 was estimated at 89%, suggesting that short term protection from dose 1 is very high from day 14 after vaccination.”

    This is much more optimistic than the new real-world Israeli data suggests.

    Responding to the UK government strategy, Prof Balicer said: “The data and estimates I gave are what we have.

    “We could not see 89% reduction in the data we reported. Further data and analyses will be released in peer reviewer scientific format.”

    He added: “The practice in Israel is to provide the second vaccine at three weeks”.

  9. @YetAnotherAnon

    What’s even more depressing are reports on social media that some authorities are threatening to remove authority to vaccinate from nurses/practices who stick with the 21 day protocol. I’d have thought that would make for an interesting appeal – “NHS hero nurse suspended for dosing as per manufacturer recommendation”.

    At least someone at PHE is awake though. But if “the study” takes more than a week it’ll be pretty academic for those who should be getting the 21 day jab now.

    https://inews.co.uk/news/covid-19-vaccine-second-dose-study-launched-government-decision-delay-dose-837983

    I understand that supplies aren’t looking good and there’s a cost-benefit analysis going on. But it’s a risky strategy. Already swirling around the Twitter toilet bowl are “Boris will kill us” posts, when I assume he’s following JCVI recommendations.

  10. @meamjojo

    Talking about vaccines, from the NYT quote below

    It’s fatuous to trust the CDC, especially as filtered through the MSM, especially the NYT.

    Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s statistically strong results are for preventing symptomatic illness, although they fail as expected with 5% of those who get them, which may be what he means, 95% efficacy seems to be the maximum you can get out of our wild and crazy immune systems. Or he could be referring to the AZ/Oxford clown show. Pfizer/BioNTech did not as of their November 20th application for a FDA Emergency Use Authorization have even a handful of serious cases to judge their vaccines efficacy for that endpoint, and ten days later Moderna only had 30 cases from memory.

    As always, go to the primary sources, here their Phase III protocols Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, and the trial results reported to the FDA and the advisory committee’s discussions, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

    • Replies: @meamjojo
  11. dearieme says:

    We had our first Pfizer jabs this morning at a local Community Centre – well organised with particularly helpful stewards. Each cubicle had a nurse for making the injection and an assistant at a computer, presumably to check our medical records as well as enter details of the vaccine.

    We were given a digital timer to count down our post-jab 15 minutes interval. We sat at a bench in the sun, and returned the timer before departing. On the way home the silver beeches and dogwoods looked particularly fine in the sunshine. Lots of snowdrops out. Winter will end.

  12. @dearieme

    All power to you and to the snowdrops.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  13. Realist says:
    @Protogonus

    The author assumes that the mortality risk from the Covid-19 virus and its variants is high; this is not the case.

    Correct, Covid was used by the Deep State as a tool to control Americans. This has been obvious for almost a year. The cause of death for other reasons has reduced drastically, especially flu and pneumonia. Covid is being attributed, wrongly, in the vast majority of cases.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  14. @Protogonus

    Total mortality risk: one in a million.

    Your calculations surprise me. For the world as a whole, it appears to be 270 per million. It think that is low, but it appears to be 270 times your own estimate.

  15. @Realist

    Correct, Covid was used by the Deep State as a tool to control Americans. This has been obvious for almost a year. The cause of death for other reasons has reduced drastically, especially flu and pneumonia. Covid is being attributed, wrongly, in the vast majority of cases.

    Are you saying the CDC is lying about all cause mortality it tallies from death certificates forwarded to it by the states? Because that’s quite a bit beyond officially labeled COVID-19 caused death certificates. See also some other countries where the Western globalist ruling trash don’t have so much influence.

    Can you “embrace the healing power of ‘and’?” Because both can be true at the same time, a tool for our ruling trash (but mostly in Blue state hellholes, it’s not bad in my Red state, except for, you know, the deaths and all), and the world’s worse pandemic since 1918-9, and by now by a large margin, which is going to continue growing since vaccine production is turning out to be so slow?

    • Replies: @Realist
  16. @dearieme

    Did they give you an appointment for the second jab in 21 days?

    It’s a familiar tale – the qualities which enable people to rise high in a peacetime bureaucracy, whether that be an army or a medical service, rarely turn out to be the qualities needed in a crisis. At the beginning of each war serious fighting with a serious enemy led to some generals rapidly being shuffled off and others rising.

    I hope the Covid working group can seriously consider the Israeli work, as I’m sure new data will continue to emerge. Currently they are going to push on regardless, according to this evenings statements by Chris Whitty, with “a non-randomised, uncontrolled population experimental study without pilot data“.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @James Thompson
  17. A friend who is a retired RN made an appointment with a scheduler to go down to the hospital where they were vaccinating and apply for a job injecting vaccines. When they got there, they had no idea what she was talking about. They all told her, oh, you have to apply online.

    So, huge lines, but you still have to apply online or else no work.

    And retired nurses, the kind who don’t use computers much, and hate them anyway, are just the people they are looking for. Especially retired nurses who can find the vein in one try.

    Many lessons. One–you have to do EVERYTHING online now. They make you. Just like you have to use wireless wifi for EVERYTHING now. TV as well as computer and phone. They force you to. You have no choice. I am sure this bodes ill. In so many ways, I can’t count them. You get the impression they’re trying to kill us.

    Two–all these shitheads on here complaining about “boomers” (what somebody born in 1945 has to in common with somebody born in 1965 is beyond me), don’t seem to notice how incompetent young people are. If you want something done right, have an old person do it.

    Oh, and a sidelight–vaccinations were supposedly limited to over-75s. But they were vaccinating anybody who queued up. There were 40-year-olds getting it. Do you get the impression everything is just falling apart? Things do.

  18. meamjojo says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    “It’s fatuous to trust the CDC, especially as filtered through the MSM, especially the NYT.”

    And yet I should trust YOUR post? [roflol]

    I think the statement is quite clear. Regardless, it is important to “mean what you say and say what you mean”. If what Jason McDonald said isn’t what he meant, then that is on him. Meanwhile, I will take it as quoted.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  19. dearieme says:
    @James Thompson

    Thank you. Mind you, my wife saw a primrose in flower at Christmas.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  20. dearieme says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Th card I got said (I think – it’s not within reach at the moment) that my next appointment would be within the next three to ten weeks.

    Anyone who decides to take a vaccine that has been approved only for emergency use is taking a gamble. We took it knowing that there’s a further gamble involved in the extension of the inter-jab period. But what is life but a series of gambles?

    I’m not at all sure that taking the jab makes sense currently for the younger generation of the family and am certain that it would make no sense for the youngest generation. Not that any government is likely to recommend Covid jabs for infants, eh?

  21. @meamjojo

    “It’s fatuous to trust the CDC, especially as filtered through the MSM, especially the NYT.”

    And yet I should trust YOUR post? [roflol]

    No, you should look at primary sources like the ones I linked, as I told you to do.

    I think the statement is quite clear.

    It is also clearly wrong based on the primary sources.

    Why do you place so much faith in the NYT and a random CDC, i.e. public health community guy? See their history this century with infectious disease control, it’s dreadful, because it’s no longer fashionable in their community.

    If you want something resembling the truth, the tribe you want to pay attention to is the drug and biologics regulatory one which is deadly serious about infectious disease control. And thus the FDA mediated documents and very long videos I linked to, not to mention their Emergency Use Approvals, and there’s more information on their page for those.

  22. @obwandiyag

    In the UK retired health workers (including retired senior doctors) who volunteer as vaccinators have to present, online, 21 pieces of evidence – including that they’ve passed courses in diversity and inclusion, fire safety, and conflict resolution.

  23. Realist says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    Are you saying the CDC is lying about all cause mortality it tallies from death certificates forwarded to it by the states?

    Not all just enough to cause a panic in the US.
    Why would you think that the death certificates from the states are accurate? Do you read anything other than US propaganda?

    The Deep State rules and people do as they are told. You have been played.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  24. @Realist

    Why would you think that the death certificates from the states are accurate?

    So you’re saying the states are just fabricating death certificates out of thin air, than do not have an actual dead body associated with them?

    Because to make clear, “all cause” mortality statistics are based purely on the number of people who have died from any cause, be it COVID-19 or car accident, you don’t look at the cause to generate the statistics. Lots of entities including the CDC like this statistic because it’s a sanity check against incorrect specific causes of deaths listed on the certificates. So we’re seeing a lot more people dying compared to the last N years on top of the excess that’s officially due to COVID-19. And the US is not alone in seeing these two patterns, so you’d need to explain how the US Deep State is manipulating every one of those countries as well. Like Iran if memory serves.

    • Replies: @JL
  25. JL says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    The provincialism and myopia on display from people who think this is all a conspiracy by their government isn’t surprising, but it is depressing. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this experience that could help in tackling the next epidemic, which could be the big one. Unfortunately, they look to be discarded in favor of political expediency and typical short-term considerations.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  26. @YetAnotherAnon

    My understanding, based on reports given by NHS intensive care doctors to another doctor, is that in the first wave medics were trying all sorts of things on the large number of patients who seemed likely to be dying. That is, digging into the armory of known drugs with possibly beneficial effects, and seeing if any gave additional help to the best Treatment As Usual. TAU changed as very preliminary data came in. All good news in my book. In that situation, I would hope to fall into the care of risk taking doctors. The same now: one vaccination is much, much better than none; another one will probably help at any stage. Probably. If more people round me are vaccinated, my chance of getting the damn thing is reduced, because total viral load goes down.

  27. BuelahMan says:

    Show us where this ‘virus’ has been sequenced and isolated or stfu.

    • Replies: @That Would Be Telling
  28. dearieme says:
    @dearieme

    Dear God, how did silver birches become silver beeches? I blame Pfizer.

  29. @BuelahMan

    Show us where this ‘virus’ has been sequenced and isolated or stfu.

    It’s a matter of record the PRC started releasing sequences to Western databases on January 10th, 2020. You can go here for example to get cultures of it from the CDC, which had to wait until people in the US got it, seeing as how the PRC didn’t back then, and I’d guess never has, released any.

    And since your use of scare quotes and general approach questions the very existence of SARS-CoV-2, it’s incumbent on you to explain how the world wide conspiracy you envision works, how sworn enemies like the PRC vs. the rest of the world, Israel vs. Iran, hysterical parts of the West vs. Russia etc. are all in on it, vs. demanding scientists jump through hoops of your own creation.

    • Replies: @BuelahMan
  30. @JL

    The provincialism and myopia on display from people who think this is all a conspiracy by their government isn’t surprising, but it is depressing.

    But is it “provincialism and myopia” when as in the US you have a ruling trash that has made it very clear they want to exterminate, literally kill tens of millions out of one half the country they hate with an incandescent passion, and have actually gone all the way to open genocide many times in the 20th Century?

    See also how much of what they do is clearly based on ever changing party lines vs. sticking to the truth. The single most important thing a public health establishment has is its credibility, and in the US they’ve totally destroyed it starting many years ago when it became clear they didn’t give a damn about unfashionable infectious disease control. Which is why I only pay attention to the CDC’s raw counts of things like total vaccinations and all cause mortality statistics which are counts of total death certificates forwarded to them by the states.

    It requires quite a bit of knowledge to parse out the various subtribes that are part of our ruling trash’s coalition to then judge if some of them can be trusted, like the medical regulators of the FDA. And to know enough about how vaccines work, and what injectables like them can and can’t (yet) do, how easy it is to for example determine exactly what’s in a mRNA vaccine, and how logistics make targeted culling impractical unless you’re just willing to wipe out pretty much all the country’s population and move to a new one, seeing as how that exercise would end technological civilization in it. Or more generally, view all of the above to see if it coheres, vs. have the tells of fabrications.

    I have no arguments with those who believe the worst of the US ruling trash seeing as how I in principle agree with them, my arguments mostly come from the wild, not based on reality claims they make about vaccines, like how mRNA vaccines can miraculously “make you a GMO,” which is wrong at least two times over.

  31. Chinaman says:

    Wuhan Lab is already developing the next gem virus COVID-21 which will be release near Chinese New Year in one of the 5 eyes countries so it is pointless to use the current vaccine. Chinese vaccine is a Trojan horse and can be by 5G or watching Tiktot videos. This is why Trump tried to ban it.

    I think the best course action is to actively embrace herd immunity. We are almost there at 400k dead.

    Vaccination just slows down the immunity and incurs unnecessary suffering for hundreds of thousands of people.

    No suffering when you are dead.

    ( it seems the idiots on Unz will believe any conspiracy theories. )

  32. @YetAnotherAnon

    We are literally on our own in changing second vaccination dates from Pfizer’s 3 weeks to 12 weeks.

    The Experts seem comfortable straying from the only tested protocol for an experimental vaccine that is in its first year of use. If non-doctor, non-scientist Matt Hancock is ok with this, then I guess we all can rest assured all is ok.

  33. @obwandiyag

    Especially retired nurses who can find the vein in one try.

    That’s a curious skill for administration of an intra-muscular vaccination.

  34. Anon[363] • Disclaimer says:

    ATTENTION IMPORTANT

    So I have a very strong math background, but I am NOT an expert on the sort of statistics and health statistics used by the people who do these stats.

    However, the US CDC is doing “excess deaths” in a way that looks VERY fishy, and we NEED a real expert to look into this! It seems that districts where the number of deaths is less than expected are treated as if they had the expected number of deaths by the system by which the CDC counts “excess deaths”

    See https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

    This visualization includes several different estimates:

    Number of excess deaths: A range of estimates for the number of excess deaths was calculated as the difference between the observed count and one of two thresholds (either the average expected count or the upper bound threshold), by week and jurisdiction. Negative values, where the observed count fell below the threshold, were set to zero.
    Percent excess: The percent excess was defined as the number of excess deaths divided by the threshold.
    Total number of excess deaths:The total number of excess deaths in each jurisdiction was calculated by summing the excess deaths in each week, from February 1, 2020 to present. Similarly, the total number of excess deaths for the US overall was computed as a sum of jurisdiction-specific numbers of excess deaths (with negative values set to zero), and not directly estimated using the Farrington surveillance algorithms.

  35. @Anon

    Does that data massaging impinge on the excess all cause mortality statistics? At first glance (it’s late at night) would the rounding of negatives to zero you’re concerned about be happening when the excess deaths for 2020-1 have been above 100% since the week ending 2/22/2020? Except for the most recent weeks, read the fine print there as you did on the page you call out, it takes eight weeks or more for the CDC to get death certificates from the states and add them to the system,

    • Replies: @Anon
  36. @Protogonus

    We have been around this discussion too many times, friends. It is stupid; it is tiresome; it is irrational. It is manufactured. Get it?

    At this point, I’m convinced that a large percentage of the population will never get it. And as Thompson shows, it isn’t simply a matter of intelligence. It is quite maddening, though.

  37. @Anon

    Josh Mitteldof discussed this on a recent episode of Kevin Barrett’s podcast (late December-ish; you can find the link elsewhere on this site). He mentioned a forthcoming article on the topic by an anonymous colleague, but it hasn’t materialized yet.

    The way he described it, though, it made it sound like the excess death statistics could eventually be subject to a downward revision. I’d be curious whether other countries use the same kind of system for estimating excess deaths for the current year.

  38. @dearieme

    That’s not what’s been reported in the news here in UK, at least for the past 6 months or so. The numbers are of those that have had a positive PCR test 28 days or less before they died. One can argue about the specificity/PPV of the PCR test(s), but the fact is that you have to have at least a causal explanation of the death. No positive PCR test (+ no post mortem analysis, I guess) – no Covid certificate of death!

    • Replies: @dearieme
  39. dearieme says:
    @Humbert Humbert

    He was describing his English experience at the end of May i.e. at virtually the end of the first epidemic.

    Most of the “the past 6 months or so” are irrelevant because few Covid deaths were reported over the summer. Then there was a purported flare up in the autumn which may or may not have been real. And now, December onwards, we have another epidemic, or “wave” or “outbreak” or whatever people prefer to call it.

    If the rules for reporting Covid as cause of death have changed then I suppose comparisons of the two winter “waves” are going to be bogus – or at least rather approximate.

  40. Anon[363] • Disclaimer says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    I don’t know much about how all they are doing this stuff..

    I see this one article claiming in Sweden there were 98,000 deaths, vs. average of 92,000.

    https://softwaredevelopmentperestroika.wordpress.com/2021/01/15/final-report-on-swedish-mortality-2020-anno-covid/amp/

  41. anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme

    Winter will end. Dear me, how one hopes so.

    Maybe.

    Depends in part on how hard it is for the people who killed tens and hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century for ideological reasons to refrain from rejoicing at what they have learned in the last 18 months about bioweapons. And depends in part on how hard it is to force them from rejoicing at what they have learned. Which view is more cynical? (I hope both views are fictional, but …. in the last 12 months I have seen great intellects I used to admire give in to despair and claim things that are real are fictional. SAD!)

    By the way, in modern English parlance, Flowers “blossom”; only Bushes and Trees are “in flower”.
    Primroses are neither bushes nor trees.

    Hope the vaccine has not clouded your (heretofore quite admirable) verbal dexterity!!!!!!

    • Replies: @dearieme
  42. anonymous[413] • Disclaimer says:

    To be fair, up until the early part of the last century, youthful poets such as Housman could still, without being accused too strongly of archaizing weakness, could say ….. in addition to saying a bush or a tree is in flower, they could say the Platonic ideal of a “non-bush, non-tree” flower (the forma platonica, not an individual specimen of the described flower) is in bloom ….

    I am sure the great fans of English poetry who haunt the comment sections at Unz know what I am talking about.

    Some of Wodehouse’s humor (I have not counted, but generally there are at least two such occurrences per novel in the Jeeves saga, and more than that in the Emsworth saga) is based on treating this archaism as something someone would still say, in an access of overenthusiastic appreciation of nature, and nature’s influence on our souls.

    • Replies: @James Thompson
  43. @anonymous

    Thomas Hardy, who had invited Robert Graves to lunch at his house, was asked by his guest to comment on one of his poems. Hardy looked at Graves’s efforts and said it was fine, but he was alarmed to see reference to “thyme” since such herbal reference were considered to be an affectation. Graves replied that such references had been avoided for so long it was now safe to use them again.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  44. dearieme says:

    I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
    Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
    Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
    With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:

    In my experience it was a mistake to teach Midsummer Night’s Dream to twelve year olds. Not only did we think it silly, we all hooted at this monologue because Woodbine was a cheapo brand of coffin nails.

    Next up was Julius Caesar. Good stuff that. Except of course we pronounced “Julius Caesar” in the silly English style whilst in Latin class we pronounced the old boy’s name properly i.e. Yoolioos Kaiser, with the “Kaiser” being as in German. Were we disturbed by this oddity? Only mildly, but once I moved to Cambridge I felt like sticking my fingers in my ears every time someone mispronounced Latin. Which was always.

  45. dearieme says:
    @anonymous

    Flowers “blossom”; only Bushes and Trees are “in flower”.

    Hang on, matey, are you criticising my wife’s command of modern English? How very dare you? She’s got an A-level in English. At least I suppose she has – I’ve never asked her which A-levels she did.

    Shout from kitchen – German, History, and … magimix sounds. So, maybe English. Then again maybe Advanced Maths, though I’d bet against.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  46. BuelahMan says:
    @That Would Be Telling

    There is no “Great Reset”. They ARE NOT using propaganda to mind fuck you.

    PCR tests tell everything we need to know from green money kidney cells.

    Its ok, heeb.

    • Replies: @BuelahMan
  47. BuelahMan says:
    @BuelahMan

    So, there IS a Great Reset? And they ARE using propganda to mind fuck you? And the PCR tests DON’T tell everything we need to know?

    Which set of statements are trolling, heeb?

  48. anonymous[129] • Disclaimer says:
    @dearieme

    dearieme – if your wife said it in English, which I presume is her native language, it was by definition perfect English, and to the extent my commentary implied otherwise, I was … well, regrettably uninformed.

    Best regards,

    anonymous 413

    • LOL: dearieme
  49. anonymous[129] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Thompson

    anonymous 413 said:

    I never thought about it that way, and I think you are on to something.

    Last year, a 29 year old friend of mine used the word “shenanigans” in a non-humorous way.

    I thought little of it at the time, but your comment reminded me.

    I had not heard anyone younger than my uncle, born in 1904, use the word shenanigans (which was originally a non-humorous word) in a non-humorous way, and here I was, in 2020, and a young woman (well educated, born and raised in Suffolk, England) used the word exactly the way it was used before it had become a catch-word for comedians.

    There is so much we can learn by listening to other people.

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