Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 13, 2020

Coronavirus - Statistical Change Causes Confusion - New Case Count Continues To Decline

The battle against the infections with the novel coronavirus in China continues. China is doing its best to win it.

The declining trend of the number of newly suspected and newly confirmed cases per day is now obvious to everyone.


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There was a change in the nomenclature of the illness. The not yet official name of the novel coronavirus is 2019-nCoV or nCoV19. The  illness the virus causes is now officially named COVID-19. This is the same difference as between HIV, the virus, and AIDS, the illness the virus causes.

The Chinese government has added a new category of infections to the total number of COVID-19 cases. So far there were two published categories. 'Suspected cases', which were people who may have come in contact with the virus and showed flu symptoms, and 'confirmed cases' of patients who fell ill and where the virus was found during tests. 

Now people who show signs of pneumonia will be added to the confirmed COVID-19 cases even when the tests do not find the nCov19 virus in their body. The same criteria will retroactively apply to the number of dead. People who died while showing signs of pneumonia are now counted as COVID-19 casualties even when their virus tests were negative.

The new method only applies to Hubei Province which has by far the most of all global cases. The move added the 13,332 cases to the total number of cases. (To keep the trend numbers comparable the new addition is not incorporated in the above graphic.)

The change was not well communicated and has caused some serious confusion. Some sources seem to believe that this increases the number of total cases while other sources say that it simply moves people from the 'suspected cases' category into a new sub category that runs under 'confirmed cases'. 

The motive for doing this is not clear. The case numbers will now include everyone who show signs of pneumonia but does not test positive for the nCoV19 virus. The new count will thereby include a lot of people who simply have a common flu. That seems to make little sense.

It is possible that this was done because the authorities do not trust the virus tests to identify all COVID-19 cases. Another reason for the change might be that some who fell sick may have avoided going to a hospital because they did not have the money to do so. The change removes that motive.

China does not have a universal healthcare system. While 95% of all Chinese do have health insurance it often requires unrestricted co-payments of up to 50% of the cost for hospital care as well as for pharmaceuticals. In mid January the Chinese government announced that it would pay 100% of the costs for all novel coronavirus cases but applied somewhat strict criteria for the recognition of such cases.

Those criteria have now been changed with a 'clinically diagnosed' added to the 'confirmed cases'. The criteria for 'clinically diagnosed' is a computerized tomographic (CT) scan that shows signs of pneumonia in the lungs of a patient. This criteria will apply even when the patient shows no other sign of illness and even when the applied virus tests do not find an nCoV19 infection.

This will now allow many people in Hubei with a common flu to fall under the clause of 100% cost absorption by the government.

As XINHUA reports:

WUHAN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- China's Hubei Province, center of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, reported 14,840 new confirmed cases and 242 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily increases so far, local health authorities said Thursday.

The Hubei Provincial Health Commission said the number of new cases included 13,332 clinically diagnosed cases, which have been seen as confirmed cases from Thursday.

It brought the total confirmed cases in the hard-hit province to 48,206. The province had a total of 1,310 deaths as of Wednesday.

Clinically diagnosed cases are unique to Hubei statistically. The inclusion of those cases drives the surge in the number of new confirmed cases.

Any suspected cases with pneumonia-related computerized tomography (CT) scan results are counted as clinically diagnosed cases, according to the latest version of the diagnosis and treatment scheme released by the National Health Commission.

The provincial health commission said the diagnosis criteria revision has been made to give those who have been clinically diagnosed the timely standard treatment of confirmed cases to further improve the treatment success rate.

The province also saw 3,441 patients discharged from hospital after recovery as of Wednesday. Among the 33,693 hospitalized patients, 5,647 were still in severe condition and another 1,437 in critical condition.

Financial Times reporter Yuan Yank explains:

Here's some decoding of China's coronavirus stats: the methodology is detailed in the national health commission's guidelines. As of Feb 7, there are 4 categories of cases: suspected, confirmed, clinically diagnosed (only in Hubei) and positive tests (meaning asymptomatic). 1/
2/ These are guidelines for what the provinces have to report to the centre. As for what gets told to the public, that's another matter. Only today did Hubei start publishing its clinically diagnosed cases. We have yet to see the count of asymptomatic cases.
3/ There's also a final category of people who've been in close contact with coronavirus carriers, which is reported separately. Hubei's count refers to "cases", meaning "confirmed" + "clinically diagnosed". National figs, so far, refer only to "confirmed" cases.

The change in the method to count cases will again increase the infodemic and panic about the illness. But we have to keep in mind that this epidemic is in fact relatively mild. Most people on the younger side who come in contact the virus will never develop any symptoms and for those people who develop the COVID-19 disease the symptoms are not severe at all:

[T]he virus’s destructive potential has overshadowed one encouraging aspect of this outbreak: So far, about 82 percent of the cases — including all 14 in the United States — have been mild, with symptoms that require little or no medical intervention. And that proportion may be an undercount.
...
“The fact that there are so many mild cases is a real hallmark of this disease and makes it so different from SARS,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Health Security. “It’s also really challenging. Most of our surveillance is oriented around finding people who require medical intervention.”
...
“This looks to be a bad, heightened cold — I think that’s a rational way of thinking about it,” said Matthew Frieman, a virologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

To keep the numbers from China in perspective one can point at the current statistics the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides for the U.S.:

CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22 million flu illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 deaths from flu.

COVID-19 is still far from producing such high numbers. It likely never will come near to them as the resources China throws at it are overwhelming.

Twenty thousand additional healthcare workers are now working in Hubei province and more are on their way. The government of Hubei province has shipped 180,000 nucleic acid test kits for the diagnosis of a coronavirus infection to the relevant laboratories. The city of Wuhan alone has 40 labs that can conduct 8,000 to 10,000 tests daily. But some hospitals still report shortages of equipment and the 4% death rate in Hubei is still higher than the national one.

I agree with the conclusion of today's CAIXIN overview:

Overall, the number of newly diagnosed cases in Hubei Province has decreased, and the newly added "clinical diagnosis" indicators help patients to receive standardized treatment early and further improve the treatment rate. On the 12th, the number of cities with confirmed cases did not increase, and the number of newly-discharged hospitals has reached 1171, which has exceeded the number of new deaths for 14 consecutive days, and the epidemic situation has changed positively.

Posted by b on February 13, 2020 at 19:53 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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A User | Feb 15 2020 7:00 utc | 99

American racism is basic to the divide-to-rule methods the US Capitalist class has used since Columbus. It is also very complex history. The US 'police" were militarized in the 1920's in an effort to clean up corruption. The effect was to militarize the corruption. Police have been murdering people, including Martin King, and even dropping bombs (rarely) from helicopters onto colored and white working class people, mother, children...since at least the US "civil war". Many are also rapists and thieves, and expert liars. They represent the rente class, and know it, aspire to it. They're fascist stooges.

This is less true in some places, more so in others...but almost all of them are trigger-happy and afraid. The good guys quit or become prole officers or lawyers, or plumbers...

But about the virus...>>

It is a simple con-game. First you create a large number of bioweapon labs BSL4 and make bioweapons. You hire experts. Some are Chin spies.

The you permit the Chin spies to steal sample and take these home to their own bioweapon labs for examination in Chin.

At same time you send your own spies also with sample weapon germ. Your spies then release the weapon near the BSL4 lab in Chin.

By this method "Mr Chin" can never know whether he was attacked or if he was careless.

That way the victim blames himself. Is a classical con game.

////////////////////////////

In related news> Das Coronavirus könnte als schwere Grippewelle nach Deutschland kommen (tagesspiegel dot de) German experts expect severe wave of flu - maybe

Posted by: Walter | Feb 15 2020 8:53 utc | 101

It’s very interesting to see a top-tier economic government evidently choosing quarantine for the public health over the economic imperative.

That in itself is strong circumstantial evidence that the Chinese government knows or suspects this was a US biological attack. If it had been a Chinese bioweapon screw-up or had arisen from the economy* (commodity food production from factory animals, commodity distribution toward global chains, habitat destruction and economic penetration), they likely wouldn’t be so openly draconian in their response.

Maybe China’s calculation is that if the war has reached this level, if the US biological warfare campaign has become an acute enough threat, then it’s finally time to strike back in an economically existential way by crashing the global economy and in the process directly destroy the dollar hegemony.

This would not be China’s action, but would proceed logically from the US action. The US imperial position is 100% responsible for its acts of destruction and self-destruction via the blowback it provokes.

In the same way the US calculated the timing of its strike (the Chinese New Year), so the perfect time to strike back with economic destruction is during this election year 2020 when the US mass psychological derangement is likely to reach a new peak. It won’t take much more energy being pumped into the turbulence to send the US into full-blown berserk mode.

There’s long been a Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine for the globalized economy, but then in the early 20th century that’s what many believed about European economic integration: It “proved” there could be no general European war.

They were right to an extent – such integration is inertial against war. But as 1914 proved, they were wrong about the economic factor being all-powerful. The same is true today.

*Short of an asteroid impact there’s no longer such a thing as “natural” disasters. All disasters are completely caused (almost all of them) or tremendously magnified by the economic system.

Posted by: Russ | Feb 15 2020 8:59 utc | 102

Well, Russ, doan fergit the big CME and Yellowstone...

W1 was caused by economic threats to GB originated by the integration process of Eurasia - largely Russia-German cooperation and the railroad to China..."find a reason for war, at any cost!" was pretty much what the King demanded... Not canonical history, but the diaries have become public, and make this clear.

Of course, whatever the cause and agency of CV in Chin, they must assume the disease is a deliberate attack, and similarly they must keep their opinion secret... One assumes that they want to surprise their opponents, and everybody loves surprises, eh? Especially in a war... I myself recall the intrepid General Ripper (Strangelove) "Two can play at that game!" as he pulled out his belt-fed MG... The enemy gets a vote...

But to germz>

The boffins say CV may ruin the testes and so forth...

"ACE2 Expression in Kidney and Testis May Cause Kidney and Testis Damage After 2019-nCoV Infection" cryptogon dot com at same see

China Coronavirus: Extreme Global Supply Chain Problems Inevitable Due to So Much Manufacturing Centralization in China

Posted by: Walter | Feb 15 2020 9:48 utc | 103

"At same time you send your own spies also with sample weapon germ. Your spies then release the weapon near the BSL4 lab in Chin."

Why bother, just put the "sample" in one or more perfume bottles, close them firmly and cover with a plastic film. Then send to several unsuspecting civilian mutts.

The Postal service is far cheaper than a missile or sending a spy.

Posted by: Stonebird | Feb 15 2020 10:07 utc | 104

Stonebird | Feb 15 2020 10:07 utc | 104 cheaper does not figure

Operational styles vary. In a first-class job the experts try to avoid creating empty bottles of "poot", try to avoid leaving bits an' bobs of evidence.

The spy you send may well be the guy who does not know he's infected, the best agent is one that is himself deceived, or a naive. Oswald, Sirhan...patsies. Patsy Guy Carrier coughs on the train. Later another spy liquidates the Carrier. The killer get on the plane...which crashes...it was 737 ... Given a vertical chain of command no single person could grasp the operation... Basically a store front con job, but far more impressive!

These guys have mountains of money man...

Posted by: Walter | Feb 15 2020 10:27 utc | 105

@ktx #94
I continue to be amazed by the ignorance of people.
How exactly can a virus target DNA? It chooses its targets by latching on to an external protein coat on a cell. There is no difference - that I've ever read - between the protein coats in the different races/ethnicities.
The studies that continue to be abused talk about ACE2 receptors, but those are a function of smoking, not race.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 15:12 utc | 106

@evilempire #80
"that article" is yet another reference to the exact same study I've mentioned many times including in the post you responded to: the one where there is exactly 1 Asian man studied who was a smoker.
"that article" was better than most in that it actually referenced data from the study in question which shows that only 2 of the 8 subjects were smokers, but without any actual examination of level of smoking (past or present).
And it is clear that you didn't read "that article" in its entirety.\
Fail.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 15:17 utc | 107

I know you don't believe the Coronavirus could be a man-made bio weapon, but here's an article that argues otherwise. Any thoughts?

https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

Posted by: Ken | Feb 15 2020 15:31 utc | 108

There’s long been a Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine for the globalized economy, but then in the early 20th century that’s what many believed about European economic integration: It “proved” there could be no general European war. They were right to an extent – such integration is inertial against war. But as 1914 proved, they were wrong about the economic factor being all-powerful. The same is true today.


Posted by: Russ | Feb 15 2020 8:59 utc | 102

This has been my talking point and why I think we are heading for a major war, Trump is deliberately 'cutting lose' economic ties with China many observers saying to create two independent systems. (Albeit not completely independent as it would be impossible but more independent than in the last decades). If war was the plan this is what would need to happen before lethal action could begin. This virus will greatly accelerate the decoupling of the US and Chinese economy. At the same time Trump is beefing up defence spending, including spending in nuclear capabilities. This has become evident in his latest budget proposal. But general defence spending has sky-rocketed under him and not just in the US but other NATO countries.

Bio-warfare should never be seen as the one weapon to subdue an enemy but rather to weaken it internally. This is definitely succeeding based and on what can be seen from images from China. Also we have yet to see a death from a non Chinese/Asian from this Virus. The person who just succumbed to it in Paris was Chinese too. Not saying it won't be lethal to others but we just don't have any data on it yet.

Posted by: Alexander P | Feb 15 2020 15:59 utc | 109

@Alexander P #109
bio-weapon is nonsense.
nCOV is 96% identical to bat coronavirus and 99% identical to bat coronavirus carried by pangolins.
Furthermore, it is likely that the susceptibility, if not mortality, for nCOV is a function of smoking - not Asian-ness.
Chinese and Japanese men smoke a lot. More harsh cigarettes in China. The same is extremely likely in Vietnam etc.
India - it doesn't seem like they smoke a lot; less than 10% of the population are smokers vs. 25% of Chinese. 21.9% of Americans smoke; 28.7% of Europeans smoke.
China is the largest producer and consumer of tobacco.
If air pollution is a factor, China is very high in that category as well.
Of course, I wonder what cannabis smokers exhibit in ACE2...

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 16:15 utc | 110

From - "The Eyes of Darkness By Dean Koontz"

"I'm not interested in the philosophy or morality of biological warfare," Tina said. "Right now I just want to know how the hell Danny wound up in this place."

"To understand that," Dombey said, "you have to go back twenty months. It was around then that a Chinese scientist named Li Chen defected to the United States, carrying a diskette record of China's most important and dangerous: new biological weapon in a decade. They call the stuff 'Wuhan-400' because it was developed at their RDNA labs outside of the city of Wuhan, and it was the four-hundredth viable strain of man-made microorganisms created at that research center.

"Wuhan-400 is a perfect weapon. It afflicts only human beings. No other living creature can carry it. And like syphilis, Wuhan-400 can't survive outside a living human body for longer than a minute, which means it can't permanently contaminate objects or entire places the way anthrax and other virulent microorganisms can. And when the host expires, the Wuhan-400 within him perishes a short while later, as soon as the temperature of the corpse drops below eighty-six degrees Fahrenheit. Do you see the advantage of all this?"

Tina was too busy with Danny to think about what Carl Dombey had said, but Elliot knew what the scientist meant. "If I understand you, the Chinese could use Wuhan-400 to wipe out a city or a country, and then there wouldn't be any need for them to conduct a tricky and expensive decontamination before they moved in and took over the conquered territory."

"Exactly," Dombey said. "And Wuhan-400 has other, equally important advantages over most biological agents. For one thing, you can become an infectious carrier only four hours after coming into contact with the virus. That's an incredibly short incubation period. Once infected, no one lives more than twenty-four hours. Most die in twelve. It's worse than the Ebola virus in Africa—infinitely worse. Wuhan-400's kill-rate is one hundred percent. No one is supposed to survive. The Chinese tested it on God knows how many political prisoners. They were never able to find an antibody or an antibiotic that was effective against it. The virus migrates to the brain stem, and there it begins secreting a toxin that literally eats away brain tissue like battery acid dissolving cheesecloth. It destroys the part of the brain that controls all of the body's automatic functions. The victim simply ceases to have a pulse, functioning organs, or any urge to breathe."

Posted by: Tom_LX | Feb 15 2020 18:22 utc | 111

@Tom_LX #111
The virus came from bats via pangolins.
The notion that "no other living creature can carry it" is utterly ludicrous.
Fail.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 18:24 utc | 112

@Ken #108
The Unz article has no scientific basis or evidence for its assertion that nCOV is a bioweapon.
It asserts that it must be a bioweapon because:
1) It is novel
2) It is highly contagious

Well, "novel" is not true. There have been several, more deadly viruses in the last decade: MERS and SARS. MERS is a coronavirus, SARS is not. Ebola is also a virus. Then there's AIDS. Arguably, the flu rhinoviruses that pop up every year are novel as well - otherwise we wouldn't keep getting sick.
In any case, "novel" is false.

Highly contagious: why exactly is highly contagious automatically a bio-weapon? The 1918 flu killed a ton of people - it was more infectious, more deadly and had a much harder time getting around since people didn't fly much on airplanes and there were a lot fewer people overall with less dense populations.

So sorry, I can't say that these 2 conditions are meaningful regarding the diagnosis of nCOV as a bioweapon.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 18:30 utc | 113

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 18:24 utc | 112

You are jumping the gun. I just posted what a very well known sci-fi writer wrote in a book published in 1981. The coincidence is simply amazing.

Coincidence is what I'm presenting, not factual information to explain what is going on in Wuhan.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Feb 15 2020 18:50 utc | 114

b
I appreciate your covering this event; and without all of the hype. I woke up in the hospital last summer after 3 months in a coma and another 3 months of recovery from a brain infection. Knowing that I considered your reporting to be accurate beforehand has allowed me to take your position as fact. With so many writers pushing their various conspiracy scenarios I fear that I would have bought-in to one of them and worried myself to death over this. I’ve lost all cognitive reasoning from the experience. So, Thank you.

Posted by: mrd | Feb 15 2020 19:14 utc | 115

@ Posted by: c1ue | Feb 15 2020 15:17 utc | 107

The study I cited still contradicts the severely limited study done at the
university of south coralina, which contains several caveats that perhaps
you yourself did not read. The study I cited concludes that Asian men, plural,
have a greater number of Ace2 receptors, not that the one Asian male had a greater
number. It might just be sloppy writing, but the conclusion as it is written can
not logically follow from a sample source of just one Asian male. In addition, the
study contradicts the south coralina sudy about smoking as well:

"They found no association between the number of cells expressing ACE2 and age or smoking status (the one that says smoking prevents viral infections can stop). And men appearto edgtosof ACE2 to be higher (1.66 percent vs 0.44 percent). It seems to suggest that men are more susceptible to the virus than women."

Posted by: evilempire | Feb 15 2020 19:41 utc | 116

@ c1ue,

The following links relate ACE2 to genotype. The Turks do not have a high ACE2 frequency, despite somoking heavily - and some harsh stuff too. Perhaps there is a connection to Asian-ness?

https://www.researchgate.net/figure/ACE-II-genotype-frequency-in-different-populations-countries_tbl2_5642354

https://twitter.com/HarmlessYardDog/status/1222635075046649856

Posted by: clickkid | Feb 15 2020 20:11 utc | 117

C1ue @ 113:

You could add that a highly contagious disease, especially one that spreads through aerial spray via sneezing and coughing, would be hard to control as a bioweapon. The military using such a bioweapon must have some way of ensuring the disease doesn't infect its own after the active war phase is over and it starts occupying former enemy territory, or blows back on its own people.

The best way such control can be achieved is in a confined space - like a cruise ship. When you think about it, the difficulties of controlling the coronavirus as a bioweapon make it resemble a chemical weapon like sarin gas which also needs a confined space like a tunnel to be most effective.

Also a disease that kills mostly middle-aged and elderly people, and which appears not to have killed any children - we'd never stop hearing about any child deaths otherwise - hardly qualifies as a bioweapon. You want the virus to kill off people before they can reproduce, not after they've finished raising families.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 15 2020 20:23 utc | 118

Jen,

you wrote:

-----
Also a disease that kills mostly middle-aged and elderly people, and which appears not to have killed any children - we'd never stop hearing about any child deaths otherwise - hardly qualifies as a bioweapon. You want the virus to kill off people before they can reproduce, not after they've finished raising families.

-----

You make the mistake of thinking that the objective of a bioweapon must be to kill a lot of people and stop them reproducing.

I think that in this case the objective is economic damage - still a bioweapon.

Posted by: clickkid | Feb 15 2020 20:39 utc | 119

Here is a chart showing populations at risk due to the levels of Ace2 receptors.

Posted by: evilempire | Feb 15 2020 21:22 utc | 120

Weapon or not, Comrade Brother Boyle is unequivocal that it's a weapon.. He also says 100% of BSL4 labs are bio-warfare labs prohibited by law.

YT>
Francis Boyle: Wuhan Coronavirus is an Offensive Biological Warfare Weapon

Boyle is Francis Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. His CV is pretty heavy.

If, as he says, all BSL4 labs are warfare labs making illegal germs, then it doesn't matter which lab it came from, it would still be a weapon... Same as the guy who shoots his foot by accident...the gun was still a weapon... This is not opinion, it's logical reasoning based on a legal opinion from The legal expert what wrote the law... If he's not correct, then nothing is ever true.

Posted by: Walter | Feb 15 2020 23:34 utc | 121

US unilaterally attacking a nuclear state that feeds, clothes and provides API’s needed for drugs and vaccines, not to mention rare metals needed for weapons, and entertainment devices to keep the herd occupied? Nonsense!

Helping China with their aging overpopulation problem is another thing. Maybe a disease which affects mainly older chinese people was not caused by an “accidental” release or from bats/animals (not without passing through a lab first) . Also, chinas birth rates are declining despite the lifting of 1 child policy, due in part to economic reasons. Keeping people locked in their homes for lengthy periods should cause a baby boom this October. That will help the age demographics a bit.

There are other possible reasons for releasing a virus or saying a virus is behind these pneumonia cases (in a normal year over 30 million people get it and 300,000 die from pneumonia in China) . Check out Biolake in Wuhan and all the global/Chinese pharma and biotech companies that will profit from a pandemic . China is totally on the vaccine bandwagon and produces its own vaccines (and many API’s for the global drug and vaccine industry) with mandatory vaccines for like 17 different diseases including emergency vaccines. 1.4 billion people. Do the math. They also passed a stronger vaccine law on December 1 that will strengthen monitoring and enforcement.

Another motive, ending the HK protests once and for all and it provides a cover story for rounding up dissidents , those with low social credit scores, and other undesirables and disappearing them (virus victims). Not saying thats happening , but people are being forcibly removed from their home and quarantined without consent. Deaths would be blamed on the virus.

Its very possible there is no new virus, just an exercise in terror. After all, you think the elites want to be at risk (they no of the dangers from vaccines so trusting the vaccine is not an option) There is so much pneumonia around anyways. Just need an unvalidated test developed by Biolake firms that will be positive in 1% of patients tested for pneumonia , say the science is settled and doctors and scientists and everyone else will not question it. How can any of us know in the age of deceit.

My theory as I have mentioned before is the so called conflict with China is fake wrestling. At the elite level, Chinese and Western elites are united globalists. Plenty of pie for them all the share. The fake opposition works to control their populations. As every ruling class knows, people need external enemies to blame for their problems lest they blame their ruling class. This is especially true in China where there is only 1 party (in the US people can blame the other party as well).

Posted by: Pft | Feb 15 2020 23:39 utc | 122

Clickkid @ 119:

If you want to cause economic damage with a bioweapon, you'd engineer it to hit adults aged 16 to 60 years - people in their working years - and moreover engineer it to be sexually transmissible. Then what you'd have to do to stop any blowback from the disease is to stop your occupying troops from mingling with local women in occupied areas and close your borders to refugees. Perhaps difficult in practice but easier to enforce than trying to stop an airborne bioweapon spreading to your country through sneezing and coughing.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2020 0:15 utc | 123

A BIO weapon.....maybe...make sense and pieces fit together....
https://www.unz.com/article/was-the-2020-wuhan-coronavirus-an-engineered-biological-attack-on-china-by-america-for-geopolitical-advantage/

Posted by: Socrates | Feb 16 2020 3:27 utc | 124

Jen @ 123

I do take your point. However;

1. An attacker might not want to permanently eradicate the workforce, or a large part of it, because he wishes eventually to continue enjoying the benefits of their cheap labour and perhaps the large market which they constitute.

Therefore:

2. It is much better to temporarily put that workforce more or less out of Action in order to inflict massive economic cost.

Posted by: clickkid | Feb 16 2020 12:13 utc | 125

It is going to cost a lot to Europe. What is the exact number of Chinese tourists in the USA vs Europe?

Posted by: Mina | Feb 16 2020 13:05 utc | 126

@ Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2020 0:15 utc | 123

That's not how viruses work. They see cells, not whole organisms. It's impossible to create a virus that can only infect homo sapiens of a certain age, a certain "ethnicity" (which isn't even a thing in medicine) or a certain social characteristic.

The only exception to the rule is sex: you can create a virus that can only infect the uterus or the prostate etc., so they'll only infect women or men - but only on those sexually specific organs of the body.

You could make a virus to infect only individuals with a specific gene - but those specific genes, albeit predominant in some "ethnic groups", are not exclusive to them. When you do a genetic test to discover from where your ancestrals came from, it is a lot of guessing: they search for specific genes that allegedly are predominant to this or that "ethnic group". But you could be a slavic or an eskimo with this criterium. At the end of the day, they look at your picture and do elimination.

The genes that affect your outward appearance are only a minority. There will never be a virus that can only affect tall people, or only short people and so on. They are not important to the virus. The virus will look at the structural part of your body. The same way, the old version of you is genetically identical to your younger version: the only difference is senescence. You don't go through a genetic mutation just because you're getting older, you're just getting weaker.

Posted by: vk | Feb 16 2020 13:47 utc | 127

Sunny Runny Burger | Feb 14 2020 6:19 utc | 51

I find this site very easy to understand and reasonable comprehensive:https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Posted by: foolisholdman | Feb 16 2020 14:04 utc | 128

Sunny Runny B. at 82. I was super irritated at all this bad comm. (Two ppl refused an invitation as I might have the Wuflu, I have a cold.) I should take your advice! :)

Most ppl rely on radio (where i live) / tv / internet sites and the few who will even go to the WHO site, click -thru- to something > see: the content I posted. Not really informative.

Panic and blame mixed up with bad info (from MSM) in a horrid stew - not good. I stick by my point on that...

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 16 2020 15:08 utc | 129

I think this essay on viruses and capitalism is instructive and useful for us:

https://theplanningmotive.com/2020/02/16/why-viruses-are-necessarily-anti-capital/

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 16 2020 16:32 utc | 130

Here is the headline:
"Scientist Rejects Conspiracy Theories Claiming Coronavirus Engineered in Lab"
https://sputniknews.com/science/202002161078329702-scientist-rejects-conspiracy-theories-claiming-coronavirus-engineered-in-lab/
Here are two salient quotes:
"Doctor Trevor Bedford from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, Washington has rejected conspiracy theories claiming that the coronavirus was engineered in a lab to be used as a biological weapon.

“There’s no evidence whatsoever of genetic engineering that we can find. The evidence we have is that the mutations [in the virus] are completely consistent with natural evolution”, Bedford told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle earlier this week.
He insisted that there is nothing abnormal in the mutations seen in the coronavirus which look similar in various places throughout nature, “again and again throughout the tree of life”.
Bedford was echoed by Rutgers University expert Richard Ebright who told the Daily Mail that “there’s no reason to harbour suspicions” that the coronavirus had been made or changed in a lab."
Here is what Trevor Bedford actually wrote on January 31, 2020, about his team's finding regarding Covid - 19:
"From very early on, it was clear that the nCoV genomes lacked the expected genetic diversity that would occur with repeated zoonotic events from a diverse animal reservoir. The simplest parsimonious explanation for this observation was that there was a single zoonotic spillover event into the human population in Wuhan between mid-Nov and mid-Dec and sustained human-to-human transmission from this point. However, at first I struggled to reconcile this lack of genetic diversity with WHO reports of "limited human-to-human" transmission. The conclusion of sustained human-to-human spread became difficult to ignore on Jan 17 when nCoV genomes from the two Thai travel cases that reported no market exposure showed the same limited genetic diversity. This genomic data represented one of the first and strongest indications of sustained epidemic spread. As this became clear to me, I spent the week of Jan 20 alerting every public health official I know.
At this moment there are 54 publicly shared viral genomes, with genomes being shared by public health and academic groups all over the world 3-6 days after sample collection. I can't overstate how remarkable this is and what an inflection point it is for the field of genomic epidemiology. Seasonal influenza had been far ahead of the general curve, but there we were still generally seeing a ~1 month turnaround from sample collection to genome in the best of circumstances. Getting to a 3-6 day turnaround opens up huge new avenues in epidemiology."
https://bedford.io/blog/genomic-epi-for-ncov-response/
Here is his team's Executive Summary:
"Using 42 publicly shared novel coronavirus (nCoV) genomes, we examined genetic diversity to infer date of common ancestor and rate of spread. We find:

the 42 sampled genomes are very similar, differing from the consensus by 0-7 mutations
This lack of genetic diversity has a parsimonious explanation that the outbreak descends either from a single introduction into the human population or a small number of animal-to-human transmissions of very similar viruses.
This event most likely occurred in November or early December 2019.
There has been ongoing human-to-human spread since this point resulting in observed cases.
Using estimates of total case count from Imperial College London of several thousand cases, we infer a reproductive number between 1.8 and 3.5 indicating rapid growth in the November 2019-January 2020 period."
https://nextstrain.org/narratives/ncov/sit-rep/2020-01-30?n=1

First, research on this point has not revealed a "statistical analysis" performed by anyone indicating whether Covid-19 has been genetically engineered or has naturally occurred. Either this is something nobody is going to do (for whatever reason) or it cannot be done - surely it would have been done if it could have been done. Perhaps the conclusion is so obvious it is unnecessary, but there does not appear to be any agreement on this point.
Second, what Bedford wrote originally, and what the Executive Summary of his team states, is "This lack of genetic diversity has a parsimonious explanation that the outbreak descends either from a single introduction into the human population or a small number of animal-to-human transmissions of very similar viruses.
This event most likely occurred in November or early December 2019."
There is nothing in that statement indicating it is unlikely Covid-19 was genetically engineered. Quite the contrary. There is nothing in the prior blog entry by Bedford, or in his team's report, to support an argument the virus was not genetically engineered, and research has not revealed anything published by Bedford, his team, or by Ebright to support their public statements the virus was not engineered.
Nothing.
Why are they making these statements publicly?
I welcome comments but will not respond if they contain inappropriate language or fail to contain a colorable argument.

Posted by: Bruce | Feb 16 2020 17:24 utc | 131

This from the essay linked to @130

Western Medicine will be considered by history as unique. Hitherto all medicine was designed to bring the patient back to health by restoring function. Uniquely, big-Pharma driven medicine seeks not to restore function but to take-over function. Thus organ function now depends on drugs. In this way, by taking over function, the same tablet can be sold over and over again. This is not medicine; it is the medical colonisation of patients by big-Pharma who have turned many doctors into prescribing vending machines.

Little wonder that for decades the medical profession considered the large intestine the site where shit forms. Today that simplistic view has changed, and, the lower reaches of the G.I. tract are now considered to be a complex ecosphere. There are 30% more foreign cells present in our colon than in the cells making up our body. https://www.nature.com/news/scientists-bust-myth-that-our-bodies- have-more-bacteria-than-human-cells-1.19136 The latest count adds up to 1952 bacterial species in our G.I. tract. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-0965-1 In addition viruses outnumber bacteria 10 to 1. Finally, we should not forget the 9 species of fungi found there as well. Collectively they weigh about 2 kilograms in an average adult male.

Well worth reading.

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 16 2020 18:05 utc | 132

Frankly, Brian Green's essay is an absolute MUST READ for anyone who wants to know why 'medicine' and capitalism is fucking up the world.

Once more, here's the link to the PDF:

https://theplanningmotive.com/2020/02/16/why-viruses-are-necessarily-anti-capital/

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 16 2020 18:16 utc | 133

@ Bruce 131

The most parsimonious explanation for the lack of consistency in Bedford's statements is that somebody had a quiet word with him, or possibly that he himself intuited what was mecessary.

Wouldn't you agree?

Posted by: clickkid | Feb 16 2020 19:14 utc | 134

Below is a short Reuters posting

"
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The government of Hubei province, the center of China’s coronavirus outbreak, said on Sunday a ban will be imposed on vehicle traffic across the province to curb the spread of the virus.

In a published document, it said police cars, ambulances, vehicles carrying essential goods, or other vehicles related to public service would be exempted.

It added that the province will carry out regular health checks on all residents in the province. It also stated that companies cannot resume work without first receiving permission from the government.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 16 2020 21:04 utc | 135

I think this essay on viruses and capitalism is instructive and useful for us:

https://theplanningmotive.com/2020/02/16/why-viruses-are-necessarily-anti-capital/

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 16 2020 16:32 utc | 130
+++++++++++++++++

Fascinating.
Thanks for the prodding to read the article.
Highly recommended. It is a very good read and you will enjoy it and know more about viruses and evolution and the beginning of life on Earth. And why appreciate and take care of your G.I.

Posted by: Really?? | Feb 16 2020 21:59 utc | 136

Coronavirus: China announces drop in new cases for third straight day

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51519055

Posted by: Barovsky | Feb 16 2020 22:04 utc | 137

VK @ 127:

The Spanish flu that killed at least 17 million after WW1 (1918 - 1920) was particularly deadly to people aged under 65 years. Half the influenza-related deaths in the 1918 epidemic were of people aged 20 - 40 years. This was probably because the flu virus provoked an extreme immune reaction in otherwise healthy individuals. I had in mind that type of virus when making the comment @ 123.

If you're engineering the perfect bioweapon, you'd certainly want to design something that attacks people in the prime of their lives, biologically and economically, and not people who have completed their families and who have retired from full-time work.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2020 22:30 utc | 138

Clickkid @ 119, 125:

I know my brain cells tick slowly but I see what you're getting at in suggesting a bioweapon that incapacitates a workforce temporarily rather than killing them off at once.

An annual influenza vaccine that causes a moderate to bad reaction, perhaps forcing intensive care and therapy, and effective only during the flu season in the year it is given, could do that.

A herpes-related virus (like Epstein Barr or the chickenpox virus) which stays in your nerve endings and comes out when you're under severe stress might fit your bioweapon requirements. If an entire population could be infected with that type of virus, then the virus stays latent in the population and it could be set off to cause chronic illness or weakness if something else is circulated - say, a second virus, mild in its symptoms and causing no deaths - among the target population, if the attacker believes the enemy government is gaining some sort of advantage.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 16 2020 22:48 utc | 139

clickkid @134

Nicely stated, and yes. Either he changed his position or his comment is something of a bolt from the proverbial blue. Given the incredible sensitivity associated with the question, it is impossible to imagine he hadn't given it some thought prior to answering - yet there is no evidence as to what that thought was or what reasoning got him to that conclusion. The only reasoning in his blog argues against Covid-19 having arisen naturally. Virtually everyone in this field in the US relies mostly on grants, making any researcher potentially vulnerable to pressure from a number of agencies. A comprehensive review of CDC announcements relative to the H3N2 outbreak highlights their being a primary source of disinformation, and their bias toward marketing for vaccine manufacturers during this period (given they knew the vaccines were useless against H3N2) was shameful.

Posted by: Bruce | Feb 17 2020 4:10 utc | 140

@Tom_LX #114
You're right, I apologize. There is so much nCOV infodemic flying around that it is impossible to keep up, but that doesn't excuse my not reading your post more carefully.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2020 17:56 utc | 141

@evilempire #116
Sorry, but you are confused.
The study in that article is precisely the study with 1 single Asian out of 8 total study patients. It references the same exact article title and has the same contents.
The researchers in the article you mention were simply accessing the open source data from that study.
And their conclusions are equally flawed: there were only 2 smokers in the database: 1 Asian that smoked, 2 white people - 1 of which smoked, and 5 Africans who did not smoke.
n is extremely low and the quality of the data is also unclear.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2020 18:01 utc | 142

@evilempire #120
Given that there is a known correlation between smoking and ACE2 - the data you reference here isn't at all useful or relevant. For example: Japanese from Hokkaido or Okinawa vs. Tokyo?
Secondly, ACE2 genetic variation isn't the same as expression.
So fail, 2nd time.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2020 18:04 utc | 143

@clickkid #117
Regarding 1st link: As I noted to evilempire: n number of studies in important to understand whether the conclusions are really valid or not. Also, genetic expression is not the same as having a gene.
Other studies show a very distinct difference in ACE2 cell count between smokers and non-smokers; the graph of ethnicity data is also a rough proxy for amount of smoking as a population.

2nd link is the exact 1 Asian study I already have talked about at length.

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2020 18:08 utc | 144

@Jen #118
Sorry, but you what you typed is wrong in many ways:
1) There has been nCOV infections and deaths for babies/children. They are just much more rare.
2) Cruise ships are *not* a good way to control - unless you consider getting all of the passengers and crew infected a win. In reality, people have to eat. Cruise ships - there are no food facilities in each cabin, so people have to congregate to get food. Bam, infection locus.
Then there's the crew: the crew don't have their own rooms. One crew member gets sick, the rest get it quick since they live cheek to jowl belowdecks. And a crew member who gets sick and who is a food server...

Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2020 18:11 utc | 145

Posted by: Jen | Feb 15 2020 20:23 utc | 118
Posted by: c1ue | Feb 17 2020 18:11 utc | 146

It’s about Convid 19: baby and children. Life will never be the same if the family survives the ordeal. If you understand Putonghua sound more painful, wish the Chinese bashers spare this family more pains. The mothers’ family all contacted Convid 19. She doesn't have relative in Anjing to care for the two children. The nurse name Jiang Aijun in Yingjiang District

Please share with others, thanks

Coronavirus fight Nurse mothers at isolation points care for two children whose parents were infected with coronavirus. #FightVirus.mp4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lv1Vx_15eqc

https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash

Posted by: JC | Feb 18 2020 5:52 utc | 146

Well I think the point is that is has never been necessary to invent new diseases in order to have something to use against people you find inconvenient, typhus and smallpox to name two , cholera remains much in use today , and THAT is why biological warfare is just not that exciting it's an old game and we are latecomers to the fight and don't really understand that well how things work. The available grave diseases are already better than anything we could just think up, and the first thing they do once released is start evolving towards being less dangerous. It's just not going to win a war for you unless you have a unusually exposed population, and they are likely to not stay that way long anyway once you "discover" them. Not the route to planetary domination.

Posted by: A user | Feb 20 2020 19:30 utc | 147

A few hours back I posted here about the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam. The post seems to have disappeared - why?

In brief - there have been fewer than twenty confirmed cases in Vietnam to date; all have recovered and have been discharged. There are currently over seventy persons suspected but not confirmed to have the virus; all are in quarantine.

https://vietnamnet.vn/en/society/vietnamese-medical-staff-win-fight-with-covid-19-618358.html

Posted by: Hope | Feb 22 2020 8:18 utc | 148

A user

Cold war is more about making the enemy bleed over a long period of time. Many cuts rather than coup de grace.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:26 utc | 149

Hybrid war, cold war.. whatever, its the way wars are fought in the age of mutually assured destruction. Nasty and deceptive, but then deception is the most potent weapon.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Feb 22 2020 8:29 utc | 150

Your site is out of wack and totally incorrect https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Posted by: Joe | Mar 6 2020 18:32 utc | 151

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