Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2020

Debunking Some Ideas About The Virus

We still do not know for certain where the virus that causes the current pandemic has come from. China's first known Covid-19 case has now been traced back to mid November. While the virus is most likely a natural creation the U.S. State Department officials now point to alleged insecurities at the safety level 4 laboratory in Wuhan which did research on similar viruses. It spreads unfounded rumors that the virus escaped from there. But the U.S. itself has many such laboratories with long documented security issues and there is reasonable suspicion that the real patient zero case has happened in the U.S.

Science will eventually solve that conundrum. Until it does there is little to gain from further speculation about it.

There is a loose group of people who think that the current pandemic is some conspiracy with a nefarious purpose.

Some of them still compare the disease caused by the novel coronavirus to a flu. Some doubt that current restrictions of their personal liberties are legitimate and justified. Still others doubt the value of masks (Yesterday I deleted a comment that argued against masks.)

It is probably a waste of time to counter the arguments of such people. But I will give it a try.

The graphs show the normal mortality rates in the England and Wales and in New York City and the current deviations from it. The flu does not create such graphs. Nor do the lock-downs.

England & Wales - Weekly Mortality - Blue: historic range, Red: 2020

Source: Ed Conway / Skynews - bigger
New York City - Deaths by Month 2000-2020

Source: NY Times - bigger

A lot of the currently occurring death get misclassified. This happens in both directions. Death caused by an underlying disease may be classified as Covid-19 death if the person was tested positive. But the extreme increase of 'cardiac arrests' in New York City is certainly related to Covid-19 even as those deaths are not counted as such:

New Yorkers are making four times as many emergency calls about cardiac arrests as they did last year [...] about 200 of these heart-attack victims are being pronounced dead at the scene each day, up from around 30 this time last year.


New York, Cardiac Arrests

Source: Economist - bigger

Some people in 'western' nations fear for their freedom and mistrust their current governments when they order a lock-down. There must be some nefarious purpose behind it. But why have the governments of China, Iran and Russia ordered similar measures? Are they part of a global conspiracy? I don't think so. Lock-downs are simply a sensible method to slow the spread of epidemics. They have been used with more or less success for hundreds of years.

Personal freedom is not an unlimited right. Diana Johnstone has given a convincing argument for its limits. One's freedom and rights end where they infringe on the freedom and rights of others:

[V]irtually all key aspects of any civilized society go contrary to the absolutism of individual rights. Every civilized society has some sort of legal system, some basic rules that everyone is expected to follow. Most civilized societies have a public education and (except for the United States) a public health insurance system designed to benefit the whole population. These elements of civilization include constraints on individual freedom.

The benefits to each individual of living in a civilized society make these constraints acceptable to just about everybody. The health of the individual depends on the health of the community, which is why everyone in most Western countries accepts a single payer health insurance system. The only exception is the United States, where the egocentricities of Ayn Rand are widely read as serious thought.

It is without doubt that masks are helpful to limit the spreading of the epidemic. An infected person begins to spread viruses by breathing, talking, singing or coughing on day 2 after the infection. Only on day 5 or 6 will the symptoms of the disease set in. Some people will never feel symptoms but can still infect others usually up to day 10 after the infection.

Masks stop the viruses one sheds from reaching other persons. They do this effectively.

Without mask

Source: Flow analyses to validate SARS-CoV-2 protective masks


With mask

Source: Flow analyses to validate SARS-CoV-2 protective masks

The German government is currently evaluating when to lift the current lock-down. It's science advisors are pushing for making it mandatory to wear a mask in all public settings. It is likely that the government will follow their advice. The above pictures show that this makes sense.




Posted by b on April 14, 2020 at 18:12 UTC | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

Missing to my above post #111, cut-N-paste from Eudora email client where I composed to final vetting with Wordperfect. Sorroe..

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2020 23:22 utc | 78

"...With or without the WHO, Trump will certainly order the USA to start seizing the Chinese assets everywhere they can, a la Venezuela. It will be interesting to see how the lackeys in Western Europe, S. Korea and Japan will behave..."

Posted by: JC | Apr 15 2020 1:57 utc | 101

vk @110 writes "I may even accept, given the placebo effect" but you claim to make decisions based "the standard, scientific position". That makes no sense. The ability to rationalize two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct is what Orwell called "doublethink".

Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 15 2020 2:06 utc | 102

USA has been openly declaring for several years now that China is its biggest competitor/enemy/problem. For a virus to appear JUST AT THIS MOMENT in time that USA can use to attack China economically must be the biggest coincidence ever. USA won a billion to one lottery with this virus.

Sorry, but the virus IS a bio weapon, unleashed against China. China better get prepared. USA along with "The West" are about the teach The Chinese that lesson again: Just how nasty the While Anglo xason are.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Apr 15 2020 2:16 utc | 103

Creation of a chimaera
The argument is essentially a rerun of the debate over whether to allow lab research that increases the virulence, ease of spread or host range of dangerous pathogens — what is known as ‘gain-of-function’ research. In October 2014, the US government imposed a moratorium on federal funding of such research on the viruses that cause SARS, influenza and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome, a deadly disease caused by a virus that sporadically jumps from camels to people0

The latest study was already under way before the US moratorium began, and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) allowed it to proceed while it was under review by the agency, says Ralph Baric, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a co-author of the study. The NIH eventually concluded that the work was not so risky as to fall under the moratorium, he says.....

.....But Baric and others say the research did have benefits. The study findings “move this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger”, says Peter Daszak, who co-authored the 2013 paper. Daszak is president of the EcoHealth Alliance, an international network of scientists, headquartered in New York City, that samples viruses from animals and people in emerging-diseases hotspots across the globe.

Studies testing hybrid viruses in human cell culture and animal models are limited in what they can say about the threat posed by a wild virus, Daszak agrees. But he argues that they can help indicate which pathogens should be prioritized for further research attention.

Without the experiments, says Baric, the SHC014 virus would still be seen as not a threat. Previously, scientists had believed, on the basis of molecular modelling and other studies, that it should not be able to infect human cells. The latest work shows that the virus has already overcome critical barriers, such as being able to latch onto human receptors and efficiently infect human airway cells, he says. “I don't think you can ignore that.” He plans to do further studies with the virus in non-human primates, which may yield data more relevant to humans.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 2:21 utc | 104

JC 111
Both Russia and China are working on vaccine as are many other countries. I doubt any intend to leave it to the yanks and their intellectual property bullshit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 2:26 utc | 105


gotta this line, from the same link...

>>Although the extent of any risk is difficult to assess, Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, points out that the researchers have created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells.

Posted by: ptb | Apr 15 2020 2:34 utc | 106

Trump halts World Health Organization funding amid coronavirus pandemic

Trump, at a White House news conference, said the WHO had “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” He said the group had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred.

Yes. From there the project can move to the Pentagons offshore labs in eastern Europe and its black site gulags for testing.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 2:39 utc | 107

@ Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 15 2020 2:06 utc | 113

Placebo effect is a scientifically well documented phenomenon. Scientists still don't know how exactly it works, and why it is there, but it is there - there's already overwhelming data that, for all effects and purposes, prove the existence of the placebo effect.

Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2020 2:40 utc | 108

There is zero proof the US - euro containment is more effective than the looser the swedish model. Some southern US states imposed very few restrictions so we can look at them too.

While it is clear covid can be deadly to some the statistical mortality rate cannot be determined until more antibody tests are performed so we know how many had it. The mortality depends on quality of care. 62% of deceased new yorkers were black or hispanic. Think they got quality care from the for profit health system? I know those area. I grew up 15 miles away. I doubt it.

Its also quite possible doctors are causing the high death rate by treating this incorrectly. Ventilators aRe not safe and more doctors are recommending using oxgen instead of ventilators because up to 70% of icu patients do not display common SARS symptoms.

A lot is unkown. We should accept that. doctors will keep learning and researchers will continue to assess data. We’ll know more with each day.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 15 2020 3:08 utc | 109

first of all, thank you b for another attempt for a balanced article about this topic.

While these times can be called difficult times, they also reveal some very interesting details. For example, the disease does not spread among immunosuppressed people. Which is rather unexpected according to the infection theory. We should observe the exact contrary.

Coronaviruses have not shown to cause a more severe disease in immunosuppressed patients

immunosuppression not a risk factor (German)

When we have more data in the next months, it may become more and more clear that the theories our modern science rely on may be false. As we have learned in school, this theory postulates that every organism can be attacked by deadly microbes from the outside. Although we know since some 20 years or so that we are surrounded not only by fungi and bacteria, but also viruses. The latter are the greatest population on earth (although the term population does not fit, as viruses are not alive). In case an organism is attacked and not showing symptoms, it is said that that organism does not fall ill because it has a strong immune system. Now, when we have people with a weakened immune system, that do not show symptoms, the entire theory falls like a house of cards.

This crisis will have strong reverberations. And not only in a bad way. There will be reverberations in a very healthy, good way. I can feel it, and felt it when the madness started.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 15 2020 3:11 utc | 110

Placebo effect documented here.

THow Powerful Is the Placebo Effect?
While the placebo effect can affect how patients feel, studies suggest that placebo effects do not have a significant impact on underlying illness. One major review of more than 200 studying involving the use of placebos found that the placebo had no major clinical effects on illness. Instead, the placebo effect had an influence on patient-reported outcomes, particularly of perceptions of nausea and pain.

Same piece also cites research showing placebo to have some effect.
"Another likely reason why the relative benefit of placebos was greater in trials with continuous outcomes is that the ailments we know to be placebo responsive such as pain and depression are usually measured on continuous scales "

Placebo makes no difference to a condition that is measurable eg viral or bacterial load, imaging ect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 3:13 utc | 111

by: vk | Apr 15 2020 1:17 utc | 101

How about 28,000 deaths, not 3.2 million? Does that revise your cost-benefit analysis much?

New model predicts peak of U.S. active COVID-19 cases in late April

"The U.S. outbreak will taper off in the first week of June with projections of 710,000 total cases but could be up to 990,000; and 28,000 deaths, but could be up to 39,000, if the current U.S. fatality rate of 4 percent holds, according to the analysis.

"The predictions differ significantly from the Imperial College London projections of a longer outbreak with 40 percent to 80 percent of the U.S. population infected and 1.1 to 2.2 million deaths. The results from the model used by Imperial College London differed significantly because it relied on separate assumptions about COVID-19 and the predictions were generated when key parameters, such as its infection rates, were unknown, according to Tung."

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 15 2020 3:26 utc | 112

@ Posted by: fairleft | Apr 15 2020 3:26 utc | 124

The scenario you describe is with lockdown. With lockdown, deaths will be at this scale.

The other commenter wanted a comparison between lockdown vs laissez-faire (i.e. the complete absence of any kind of restriction).

And even the model you link gives me reason: they assume a 4% death rate. If you didn't enforce lockdown and the pandemic infected 100% of the population, the dead would jump to 12,800,000 - four times the 3,200,000 a 1% death rate would bring. Even at more realistic pandemic scenarios of 50% of the whole population infected, dead would go to 6,400,000 at a 4% death rate.

That's why lockdown is so important: it will literally save millions of lives.


And China's official answer to Trump's international coup has already come out:

US attack against WHO will backfire

For people who still don't know: the People Daily is the CCP's official newspaper, so even op-eds are kinda official opinions of the party.

Vitchek is not the sharpest tool in the box, but this piece was vetted by the People Daily editorial by some extent. It doesn't talk about the scenario I brought here (American seizure of Chinese money and assets in the USA and around the world). I don't know: countries like Australia, the UK and at least one country in the EU (as per Lavrov) are economically desperate - and may be willing to play the part of a junior partner on the USA's boldest operation of robbery in the history of mankind (the UK did it in the Iraq invasion of 2003).

Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2020 3:43 utc | 113

Phil 122 "Now, when we have people with a weakened immune system, that do not show symptoms, the entire theory falls like a house of cards."

Perhaps no house of cards to fall. The Italian Dr (Italian not German) Lorenzo D'Antiga line of work ;
Paediatric Hepatology Gastroenterology and Transplantation, Hospital Papa Giovanni XXIII Bergamo, Italy. Liver Diseases, Transplantation, Cirrhosis, ect

Both China and Italy have found using steroids to suppress the immune system brings worse results in Covid-19. I take it that what the doctor has seen in his patients is correct but also steroids to treat coronavirus brings worse results is correct.
His immunosupressed patients patients are all children which may have something to do with it, though he has looked through the literature and not found cases of immunosuppresd patients developing and of the coronavirus diseases.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 3:53 utc | 114

I would like to add to what Petri Krohn@36 said. I think there is scientific evidence showing that COVID-19 is bioengineered.

Please see this interview, Czech research virologist Dr Sona Pekova interview, March 13, 2020 The entire interview is quite interesting, but at least consider this section,

15:16 — 17:58 Why Dr. Pekova thinks this virus is “atypical”

“Viruses mutate regions that encode structural proteins, that is proteins that form the body of the virus. These are proteins that determine how the virus will attack the (host) cell, how it will penetrate it; simply put, protein-protein interaction. And here we discovered that the virus naturally has some heterogeneity in its body, the structural genes, but what sets it apart is the region of the virus which is the control room of the virus, the regulatory region of the virus where replication of the virus is triggered, where the transcription and production of protein is triggered so it’s the ‘control room’.

“In this virus it looks as if someone entered the control room; the control room allows viruses to recognize each other — these sequences are identical within the group. Well, in this virus the control room looks as if someone entered it, opened the closets, threw everything out of them, flipped chairs — and if it were a natural variant one could hardly imagine that such extensive mutations — insertions, deletions, various single-nucleotide mutations — could happen accidentally and the virus wouldn’t die during this process.

“Because the virus doesn’t let anything touch the control room, and that means, ‘I am in control here and you can mutate these genes for these proteins through which I will enter cells or recognize another host but don’t come here where I am in command.’ This has to be preserved without mutations if possible. And if there is a mutation, it must be mutation that makes the virus stronger. Any mutation that makes it weaker is an evolutionary disadvantage and would not survive. . . I don’t know if the mutation is artificial but it’s so … (interviewer interjects, suggesting the word, atypical)…yes, “atypical” at the very least…”

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 15 2020 4:09 utc | 115

And then there are also such "coincidences" as Event 201 sponsored by the The Gates Foundation, the John Hopkins Center for Global Security, and the World Economic Forum, Event 201 was held in Davos on October 18, 2019, the SAME DAY that the World Military Games began in Wuhan, China.

Video one (at 17:21) specifically names the Novel Coronavirus as the cause of a global pandemic! (The Event 201 videos predicted 65 million deaths from the pandemic . . . the website blatantly lies about this, using semantics to say that this was a "model" and "not a prediction".)

How prescient of Bill and Linda Gates and their friends! Surely a chance event.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 15 2020 4:13 utc | 116

and there happens to be a patent related to the coronavirus, see

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus Patent: US2006257852

This web page summarizes information in PubChem about patent US2006257852.
Source: USPTO
Description: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 15 2020 4:18 utc | 117

the Patent Abstract states:

An outbreak of a virulent respiratory virus, now known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), was identified in Hong Kong, China and a growing number of countries around the world in 2003. The invention relates to nucleic acids and proteins from the SARS coronavirus. These nucleic acids and proteins can be used in the preparation and manufacture of vaccine formulations, diagnostic reagents, kits, etc. The invention also provides methods for treating SARS by administering small molecule antiviral compounds, as well as methods of identifying potent small molecules for the treatment of SARS.

Scientists have been messing around with the Coronavirus for 18 years. Is it that much of a stretch to think someone bioengineered COVID-19?

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 15 2020 4:27 utc | 118

It seems that the Brazilian study in remote city in a poor state that is probably rife with malaria (hence good supply of anti-malarial cheap medicines but too few heart monitors) used double overdose. For some drugs this is the way to go, you inject epinephrin to stop anaphylactic shock, and you repeat it if the first dose did not work (but do not repeat once more! again, bad for the heart). But the quinine analogs have narrower ratio between therapeutic (for malaria) and frequently lethal.

My take is that there is a decent chance that some effective therapies will be found, and very speculative chance for a vaccine.

Concerning the impact on economy, Westerners will need to consider to learn some old tricks, how to do more with less. E.g. how to eat healthy food. Traditional foods, sometimes with small modifications are actually cheap and healthy, or the COULD be cheap and healthy. But perhaps I have a narrow view on healthy food. For example, today I learned that Canadian practically subsist on packaged macaroni and cheese. "Cheese" in this context is some powdered product. Consumption is larger than in USA, meaning, 10 times larger Canuck than per Murcan. Yet, Canadians seem reasonably healthy. Herd immunity?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 15 2020 4:28 utc | 119

Couldn't add a thing to the blizzard of comments. Except, thanks b, as always, for the platform and the therapy!!

Posted by: ben | Apr 15 2020 4:33 utc | 120

Richard Steven Hack - what David F said to you in 53 I want to reiterate - don't go - I worry about you every day, wish you could be here safer in iowa right here where I am - we could have big fun being mean together - really I can be so mean it would scare you - you keep careful and stay well - check in time to time? make me worry more and i'll, i'll, well, I will say "Nih!" to you! and make you fetch shrubbery!

Posted by: Phryne's frock | Apr 15 2020 5:03 utc | 121

@Dennis Brown | Apr 15 2020 3:00 utc | 120

Thank you!

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 15 2020 5:06 utc | 122

The Taiwanese harvard boy that runs the SCMP might be telling a whopper on patient one.
Will wait for something more official on that. No intermediate host been found as yet.
Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 19:20 utc | 22

I agree entirely Peter. The claims reek of US misinformation, fit perfectly with fabricated US narratives, are completely unsubstantiated heresay, and are lacking in basic plausibility.

Past experience shows that SCMP regularly puts out NYT-style false claims against China.

So it comes as no surprise that the CEO makes implicit praise of the NYT. He comes off as a thoroughly obnoxious character in that interview; and make sure to note his career history at the bottom: Harvard economics degree (i.e. NOT the "techie" introduced at the top!), Google, Clickable, AOL, Spotify, Digg, SCMP!

Best taken with a big bucket of salt.

Thanks for the link, Peter.

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2020 5:39 utc | 123

New South Korean study on the effectivity of masks

Background: During respiratory viral infection, face masks are thought to prevent transmission (1). Whether face masks worn by patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevent contamination of the environment is uncertain (2, 3). A previous study reported that surgical masks and N95 masks were equally effective in preventing the dissemination of influenza virus (4), so surgical masks might help prevent transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2). However, the SARS–CoV-2 pandemic has contributed to shortages of both N95 and surgical masks, and cotton masks have gained interest as a substitute.
Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of surgical and cotton masks in filtering SARS–CoV-2.


Discussion: Neither surgical nor cotton masks effectively filtered SARS–CoV-2 during coughs by infected patients. Prior evidence that surgical masks effectively filtered influenza virus (1) informed recommendations that patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should wear face masks to prevent transmission (2). However, the size and concentrations of SARS–CoV-2 in aerosols generated during coughing are unknown. Oberg and Brousseau (3) demonstrated that surgical masks did not exhibit adequate filter performance against aerosols measuring 0.9, 2.0, and 3.1 μm in diameter. Lee and colleagues (4) showed that particles 0.04 to 0.2 μm can penetrate surgical masks. The size of the SARS–CoV particle from the 2002–2004 outbreak was estimated as 0.08 to 0.14 μm (5); assuming that SARS-CoV-2 has a similar size, surgical masks are unlikely to effectively filter this virus.

Of note, we found greater contamination on the outer than the inner mask surfaces. Although it is possible that virus particles may cross from the inner to the outer surface because of the physical pressure of swabbing, we swabbed the outer surface before the inner surface. The consistent finding of virus on the outer mask surface is unlikely to have been caused by experimental error or artifact. The mask's aerodynamic features may explain this finding. A turbulent jet due to air leakage around the mask edge could contaminate the outer surface. Alternatively, the small aerosols of SARS–CoV-2 generated during a high-velocity cough might penetrate the masks. However, this hypothesis may only be valid if the coughing patients did not exhale any large-sized particles, which would be expected to be deposited on the inner surface despite high velocity. These observations support the importance of hand hygiene after touching the outer surface of masks.

This experiment did not include N95 masks and does not reflect the actual transmission of infection from patients with COVID-19 wearing different types of masks. We do not know whether masks shorten the travel distance of droplets during coughing. Further study is needed to recommend whether face masks decrease transmission of virus from asymptomatic individuals or those with suspected COVID-19 who are not coughing.

In conclusion, both surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface.

Posted by: mk | Apr 15 2020 6:20 utc | 124

Vitchek is not the sharpest tool in the box""

VK is an insufferable ahistorical imbecile. If he's a Marxist I'll eat my shoes.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 15 2020 6:38 utc | 125

Contact tracing is little discussed by the MSM. Something even more absent from the US discussion is the utter failure of the US high-tech companies in helping to fight COVID.

China created apps for contact tracing in mid-February. Korea did it in March. Google? still nothing.

The US National Security Agency (NSA) spies on everyone and collects massive intelligence on its citizens but has contributed nothing in tracking infected patients -- even though billions of dollars go into its surveillance programs like PRISM. It's incredible when you think about it.

US 'national security' is about destabilizing and destroying other nations -- and not about securing the safety of its own citizens. What a fucked up idea of 'national security.'

Posted by: occupatio | Apr 15 2020 6:47 utc | 126

@Yeah, Right #76 , You say that the discrepancy I pointed out is explained by the lack of testing of many people who died from the virus but appeared only in the overall statistics. If that's true, has this been corrected since then by widespread testing and if so, when did it happen? No such correction appears in the graph of deaths in the UK, since it looks reasonably smooth from late March up to now.

Without knowing how victims are tested, we're left with a huge discrepancy. That's been a big problem in interpreting the data since the corona virus story started.

Posted by: Brendan | Apr 15 2020 6:47 utc | 127

@all -

deleted some nonsense comments.


Posted by: b | Apr 15 2020 7:09 utc | 128

Posted by: vk | Apr 14 2020 19:03 utc | 14
"hydroxycloroquine is not a viable treatment"

How did you arrive at that conclusion?
I noticed recently there is a smear campaign going with various hit pieces in lamestream media aimed at Didier Raoul character assassination. The volume of those depends on what search engine you are using. They are typically citing "anecdotal evidence", attack Raoult on personal level and mention perceived dangers of using extreme dosages (often not more than manufacturer recommended) of a drug that has been available off the shelve without prescription for decades. Yes it can have side effects, but mostly reversible and the serious ones rare to very rare.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is this Compilation of Evidence on Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 that is regularly updated. (Thanks to the barfly that posted this earlier!) These are scientific contributions from medical professionals. Also check the Open-Data Repository on hydroxychloroquine at

For example:

A global survey by Sermo of 6,227 verified physicians found that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin (AZ) were the most used treatments (outside of analgesics) in the treatment of COVID-19. Out of 15 drug options, HCQ was also voted the most effective therapy. April 2, 2020

I find it hard to believe that 6227 verified physicians got the wrong end of the stick here, but those unbalanced hit-pieces are correct.

Posted by: Joost | Apr 15 2020 7:26 utc | 129

Things that you make you go hmmm....

"In a study published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (the article is here), a team from the University of Cambridge has identified three main mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Type A, which is the ancestral type, is found mainly in samples from the United States and Australia. To quote: ‘It is noteworthy that nearly half (15/33) of the types in this [A] subcluster, however, are found outside East Asia, mainly in the United States and Australia.’ Yes, Australia. Could Australia be the source of the whole pandemic? Let us wait and see.

As for type B, this is the one found in China, which clearly is a mutation (by a few steps) from the ancestral type, perhaps a needed mutation to overcome East Asian immune resistance. Interestingly, it was two North Americans with the type A sub-cluster who had spent quite some time living in Wuhan before the virus mutated.

Type C is the one found mainly in Europe and in Latin America, and entails further mutations. It is absent in the Chinese mainland, but found in the special administrative zones of Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as the southern part of the Korean peninsula.


What is believed to be the earliest known strain of the virus, most closely related to that found in pangolins and bats, is termed by the scientists as “Type A.” This variation is commonly found in the U.S. and Australia. Type A appears to have mutated into “Type B,” which then evolved into a “Type C,” which is the predominant strain found in Europe."

Debunking the myth of the Wuhan seafood market, part 4: ancestral form of SARS-CoV-2 virus found predominantly in the USA and Australia

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 15 2020 7:44 utc | 130

A detailed critique of America's propaganda that China "covered up the coronavirus pandemic":

Truth and Propaganda About Coronavirus

America's infowar peddlers are playing the anti-China card as part of the USA's broader hybrid war against its primary geopolitical rival--and also to divert blame away from the USA's own malign neglect in handling the pandemic.

That is why America is throwing such a hissy fit on this issue.

The shit is hitting the fan for the United States big time--and America is showing itself to be lacking.

The United States and the European Union Have Failed the Audit of Pandemic

US ‘wasted’ months before preparing for coronavirus pandemic

Posted by: ak74 | Apr 15 2020 8:18 utc | 131

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 15 2020 0:03 utc | 91

Any disease can be spread by dead bodies if they are poorly prepared for examination or disinfectant is improperly used. The situation in Thailand is not clear. In any case, I would expect bodily fluids of the recently dead could be contaminated with pathogens from any disease and need to be handled with care. There is nothing unusual in this case as described, except that the virus flavor of the day is suspected. It is an example of the exaggerated threats sometimes attributed to this virus by media (yes, even Russian)

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 15 2020 8:34 utc | 132


I am rather disappointed and concerned that you are citing graphs and charts published by the MSM propagandists: the NY times, the Economist, and Skynews. These organizations are know for cherry picking information and omitting relevant contrary information to push the narratives favored by their corporate and finacial sponsors. These are the same alarmists we "trusted" in 2003.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 15 2020 8:40 utc | 133


Nonsense? All of a sudden some well expressed dissent (Dennis Brown) is to be deemed nonsense?

How about this? North Carolina - CDC data as of 04-11-2020
Link: CDC-nCovid-19
In quite a few states there seems to be a lower risk of mortality involving pneumonia, flu and Covid in 2020 than it was in the years before without Covid-19. NC 0 deaths as of 04/11, Ohio 12 deaths as of 04/11.
Particularly interesting the column 'Percent of Expected Deaths'.

As was to be expected the situation changed since then to a certain degree in many states but not that much. See North Carolina, now at 108 corona-related deaths out of a population of ~10M, with predominant hot spots being nursing homes and care facilities.

Same can be attributed to large parts of Europe when using EuroMomo data.

Posted by: Hmpf | Apr 15 2020 8:43 utc | 134

Premising that most people understand that the virus is real, something is, nonetheless, up.

In a first instance.

We have Sweden. You will notice that the curve in Sweden pretty much mimics the curve in countries that instead opted for economic suicide. Econonmic suicide I remind you, that not only brings a whole constellation of social and medical issues that will be longer lasting than this pandemic ever could, but that will also mean a much slower immunisation of society thereby virtually guaranteeing a relapse.

Too, Corona virus vaccines have been in the works for the past 40 years with little success to show for it. So now Bill Gates is magically going to produce a vaccine in 18 months?

We then have the models that have been peddled by the great and the good that are showing to be wildly off reality in terms of hospital bed occupancy or ICU use.

Finally, we have the ships. Oh the ships!

Today we have the following:

Diamond Princess 3000 passengers and crew
Grand Princess 3000 passengers and crew
Zaandam 3000 passengers and crew
Ruby Princess 4000 passengers and crew

Now we also have the Theodore Roosevelt nuclear powered war ship carrying 4000+ crew

So now we have a closed sample of in excess of 15000 individuals that have been exposed to Covid19 good and hard over entire days.

Yet, we have fewer than 2000 infections and fewer than 20 fatalities.

Of 2 things therefore, 1 must be true.

1 The Covid19 numbers being thrown out by various state, regional and city authorities are skewed (and there is plenty evidence they are)


2 ships offer a peculiar environment that somehow inhibits the infection and mortality rate of this virus.

Now, if 2 should turn out to be true (and data from all ships combined as well as Sweden says it is) then what we are doing is, at best, counterproductive.

Also, if 2 is true, then the US$1T that is being bandied about in the US to somehow compensate business and society for their losses, would be better spent buying every single man, woman and child a cruise. This would come to a fraction of the cost of the entire boondoggle.

The evidence is stark.

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 15 2020 8:48 utc | 135


Another point that may have been netioned earlier, is that a naturally ocurring virus can be accidently or purposely released from a Fort Detrick or Wuhan. These labs study natural viruses and mutants thereof for purpose of examining their properties, and I supose you could say suitability for use as or in the creation of bioweapons. So a natural but novel mutant of a corona virus could be released from and such biolab. The question therefore is that could Covid 19 have been released from a biolab? Sure, why not?

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Apr 15 2020 8:50 utc | 136

For an up to date view of events here in U.K. I recommend this guy ——-
It’s just a layman’s view, but he always, always has his finger on the pulse !
One short vid per day. but take the time to look at earlier tweets and news clips.
To call this reality a ‘conspiracy therory’ is just plain wrong. And actually quite insulting.

Posted by: Mark2 | Apr 15 2020 9:08 utc | 137

Edward Snowden in a recent interview with Glen Greenwald on System Update

"...human emotion is itself viral and emotions that have the largest contagion are anger and fear... and what we are seeing now is panic and fear sweeping around the world...that moment of vulnerability when rationality goes out the window. All humans are susceptible to it."

Posted by: krypton | Apr 15 2020 9:11 utc | 138

Those who believe in stratified authoritarian rule typically cannot rebut the obvious historical truth that only a constitutional republic grounded in general individual freedom makes for a vibrant, growing society for all.

Many then, like quotes in this article, try to insist that freedom is anarchy, no law at all where crime abounds. These self-deceivers find the dead hand of socialism as better at least than during the days of the caveman.

There is no form of society better equipped to deal with a pestilence than a republic of free, self-reliant people.

Posted by: Liberty Blogger | Apr 15 2020 9:12 utc | 139

Wearing masks indoors in close quarters seems prudent, even though there's so much conflicting evidence and it's just as likely they're a stifling version of a rabbit's foot as that they confer any real protection.

But it's especially outdoor behavior which gives psychological insight on the pandemic of panic. Yesterday I saw people walking alone on the sidewalk, for example a woman alone walking her dog, wearing masks. Evidently such people have regressed from the germ theory of infection to the miasma theory. They think the very air itself is the source of the bug.

But the guy who instantly became my favorite representative of the whole hysteria (I wish I had a picture of him) was the idiot I saw perform an act of extremely dangerous jaywalking, dashing across a busy road with fast oncoming traffic both ways - wearing a mask.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 15 2020 9:12 utc | 140

Everyone seems fixated on the virus and how to protect against it. I remind you all of the famous proverb
“Le microbe c’est rien, le milieu c’est tout” = the microbe is nothing, the environment is everything.
Environment means the local conditions in the affected body, a combination of immune system and pre-existing illness.

We are facing a microbe that appears very dangerous in some places with case mortality 10..20% (heavily featured in the media and also in this blog), while in other places it does no more than a seasonal flu with overall mortality < 0.5%. This leads to two equally distorted biases: some people see the whole world as disaster area, some say there is no problem at all. One could question whether it is really the exact same virus, but I’m not going there.

Actually, with the proverb in mind we should be asking: what are the local conditions in the hotspots, what has weakened people’s immune system in these places, and what kind of precondition exists there but does not exist in general. In simple words: why here and not there?
Not asking this question and focusing only on an alleged “killer virus” means you see a distorted picture and you would tend to roll out the same drastic protection lockdown measures everywhere, which suffocates the economy and culture unnecessarily and creates massive collateral. I’m in favor of a proportional response focusing on the hotspots, and otherwise teach people how to strengthen their immune system and protect themselves (voluntarily) if they see the need - of course they must have the means made available.

Known factors weakening the immune system and/or lungs:
1) Poor diet – the junk food (fast food, canned food, microwaved food) so typical of US and GB city dwellers. Without the necessary high-quality nutrition the immune system can only be weak. Natural vitamins and essential nutrients go very far in terms of virus protection.
2) Air pollution – Lombardia (Bergamo in particular) and NYC for example both suffer from high air pollution, and particularly in Manhattan the 9/11 event released a huge cloud of finest asbestos dust which caused a wave of lung cancer in the region and a lung precondition for everyone who was exposed at the time.
3) Negative emotions – intense anger and fear can reduce immune activity by 50% for several hours, as measured by IgA in the saliva. Likewise, positive emotions strengten it. Media have been feeding us shock and awe and disaster 24/7 for weeks now, you think that has no effect, think again. Check the amazing research done by HeartMath institute. Also, forced isolation and contact deprevation is wreaking havoc with people who love company or have psychic preconditions.
4) Radiation – there are hundreds of scientific papers on the non-thermal effect of low-energy microwave radiation on our physiology at cellular level, usually this medical research is ignored. An extensive linked collection is available by diagnose:funk (a German self-help society involving many M.D.s). Immune suppression is one of the effects. Where the COVID19 death toll is very high you have a dense WiFi and 4G coverage and yes, typically 5G pilot installations also exist. Most young people who died from COVID19 were working in IT companies and thus had very high exposure.
5) Vaccination – a vaccine protects from one specific virus but is known to weaken the immune system otherwise. North Italy is among the regions with the highest vaccination rate on this globe.

Posted by: Matthias | Apr 15 2020 9:16 utc | 141

Posted by: A User | Apr 14 2020 23:48 utc | 78

Man did you hit that nail on the head - with a sledgehammer! Excellent.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 15 2020 9:24 utc | 142

This shit is being pumped out from everywhere. The China dunnit narrative was already written before the virus was released in Wuhan. US doing nothing for two months ensuring pandemic was well entrenched in US UK then letting the narrative loose.

LONDON (Reuters) - China concealed crucial information about the novel coronavirus outbreak from the rest of the world and so should answer for its deceit, the former head of Britain’s MI6 foreign intelligence service said on Wednesday.

US has the same bullshit ex spook officials saying the same thing. The is the big decoupling and the big reset. Hopefully Putin took some of the shine off it by breaking Trump's frackers.

Zero hedge is currently a good aggregator and purveyor of anti China propaganda.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 9:28 utc | 143

The reality of the crisis doesn't mean it can't be used for nefareous purposes.
Its the perfect opportunity to crash the economy without it being anybody taking the blame.
The masks are a good thing for stopping those infected from infecting others. Some places its just the done thing to wear one if you anything like a flu or cold.

Posted by: Johny Conspiranoid | Apr 15 2020 9:29 utc | 144

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 14 2020 23:23 utc | 71 @51 Ricard Steven Hack: "Lang has not explicitly said he agrees with Larry,"... You might want to look at Lang's latest post. He is definitely all-in on this nonsense.

Yup. Read it. "All a bit demented, if you ask me." Yup.

"I mean, the retort is obvious: if the Chinese wanted to lay the USA low with a bio-weapon then what was the point of giving the USA two months advance warning via the Wuhan outbreak? Why not just infect a few (unwitting) USA citizens with this bio-weapon as they were boarding the plane at Beijing to fly home to Washington/NY/Los Angeles? Then the initial outbreak would be in the USA, and the Chinese will be able to point the finger at the Americans."

Correct. Which would be obvious to a senior US Army Intelligence Officer *and* a former CIA Officer - if they weren't racist assholes with an abiding fear that the US is the *second* largest economy in the world...

As I've mentioned before, this is just the usual human behavior pattern - anyone who ain't "Us" is "Them" - and "Them" can't be allowed to get past "Us"...and "Us" will kill "Them" to make sure that's true...

And there's nothing anyone can do about that. But everyone still believes there is.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 15 2020 9:32 utc | 145

Richard Steven Hack

I believe he is still a commissioned officer in the US military. He may not even think China is responsible but it wouldn't matter to him. China is the enemy of choice.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 9:39 utc | 146

Posted by: David F | Apr 14 2020 21:23 utc | 49 Personally, I usually make it a point to look for your posts when here.

Thank you. I suspect that is one of the few times in the last fifteen years that someone has actually said they don't hate my posts. LOL

However, I do have other things to do and I have to constantly restrain myself from responding to people who I should *know* are utterly clueless, simply because intellectual integrity is one of the few things I highly value. Unfortunately at least 99% of the human race does not.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 15 2020 9:40 utc | 147

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 9:39 utc | 147 I believe he is still a commissioned officer in the US military. He may not even think China is responsible but it wouldn't matter to him. China is the enemy of choice.

What did the KGB general say in one of the Bond movies? "No one ever leaves the KGB." (Which they also claim about Putin, which is BS.) But I suspect that applies to CIA officers as well.

OTOH, I knew some years back that Johnson was a Hillary Clinton supporter (presumably because Obama was black), so his brains (and racism) were suspect then.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Apr 15 2020 9:43 utc | 148

Oldhippie 24.

Hello young old man from Chicago!I sympathize with you,and I'm really upset how so many conscient people suddenly start to believe government lies.It seems not many of us are conscient of the fact how easy it is in lockdown for the secret torturers to go unnoticed to houses and pick out the dissidents,then put them to death and count them as corona-victim.Really.

Do you know what actually happened to the great blues singer and guitar player JB Lenoir?Killed allegedly by a car when crossing the street in Chigago in your youth?I think he was killed because he put politics in his songs.
Have a good day,sir;

Posted by: willie | Apr 15 2020 9:49 utc | 149

Sorry,oldhippie 45 not 24

Posted by: willie | Apr 15 2020 9:52 utc | 150

Chinese ambassador to France tearing into the combined west. This really is the big decoupling Trump wanted.

This is just a section of it. Yandex translate

If after having done so many things the first three weeks, we still believe that "China" has dragged on ", that therefore the Europeans and Americans during the two months that followed the first report from China and a month after the closure of Wuhan ? Their leaders have said that it was only a " grippette ", that there was no need to worry, that the virus struck only the Yellow and that the risk to see it circulate in their countries was minimal. Their media and the experts, while accommodating a serenity blind of their country, sought to defame China, to mock the strokes of good jokes and hoping for a "effect" Chernobyl. On the other hand, he never found anyone to reflect on the measures to combat the epidemic or the procurement of medical equipment necessary to avoid being caught short. The Editor-in-chief of the british magazine the Lancet has called "a national scandal" the measures of prevention health in the uk. Recently, the President of the european Council Research (ERC), Mauro Ferrari, has declared "to have lost faith in the system" european handling of the pandemic, and resigned with a bang.

Media and experts have accused China of concealing the real figures of the pandemic. According to them, with 1.4 billion people, how can I believe that she has had only about 80 000 people infected and only a little over 3,000 deaths ! They have concluded that China had necessarily lied to. And yet if China had obtained this result, it is neither by falsehood or by concealment, but because the chinese government has taken measures to prevent and control the most comprehensive, the most stringent and the most stringent to detect, report, isolate and treat people contaminated with a maximum of reactivity, in order first to safeguard the life and health of its population. China was not afraid to amputate his GDP thousand billion yuan, to inject hundreds of billions of yuan in resources, to mobilize more than 40 000 health care workers from the four corners of the country to go to support of Wuhan and Hubei, and ultimately defeat the epidemic in only two months.

However, at the same time, in the West, we have seen politicians tear to retrieve voice ; to advocate the immunization of a group, abandoning their citizens alone in the face of the slaughter viral; between-steal medical supplies ; sell to private structures and equipment purchased with public money to enrich themselves ; we did sign on to the boarders of the retirement home certificates of the " Waiver to emergency care "; the personal caregivers of the EHPADs have abandoned their positions from one day to the next, deserted collectively, leaving it to die residents of hunger and disease ; we saw the Commander of an aircraft carrier to ask his superiors for permission to come ashore to allow sailors infected to be treated to earth. He has been sacked... and I could go on. And yet, I have not seen a lot of news stories or in-depth survey of the major western media revealing these facts. These media and these experts, both enamored of objectivity and impartiality, have they a conscience ? Do they have ethics ?

And this

"When cuttlefish is in danger, it spits its ink to blacken the water and took the opportunity to take flight. It is a well known tactic of some political elites and western cultural. "They wanted to simply be attributed to China the responsibility for their own inability to cope with the epidemic and the multiple tragedies that followed, and so," to whiten completely. "

By the time I finished my text, I discovered a report on the Net. On 8 April, the academic journal world-renowned, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) has published an article co-written by academics in british and German entitled network Analysis the phylogenetic genomes of SARS-CoV-2. The first author of the article is Dr. Peter Forster of the University of Cambridge. According to the study, the researchers classified the new coronavirus in three types (A, B, and C) according to their development. The type A is the closest of the virus extracts of the bat and pangolin. It is the one most frequently identified among hiv-infected patients in the United States and Australia. That is, what researchers call " the root of the epidemic ". The strains of type B are variants of the type A and are mainly present in China. Those that are spreading on a large scale in Europe are those of the type C. Unfortunately, it appears that the results of the research of Dr Peter Forster are not interested in the western mainstream media.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 10:05 utc | 151

b says-

It is probably a waste of time to counter the arguments of such people. But I will give it a try.

Absolutely is a waste of time–if referring to the idiot editors of the 'Off-Guardian' blog. Incredibly stupid articles, incredibly stupid editors, and even more stupid comments posted under their incredibly stupid articles. For example: they currently have an article claiming worldwide coronavirus statistics are massively over counted! So for the Off-Guardian editors, nevermind the body bags in the fridge trucks...nevermind the numerous documentary videos showing the warzone conditions in hospital coronavirus wards....disregard the mass graves on Hart island, etc. "It's all a global conspiracy to take away your rights" :-D

Posted by: deschutes | Apr 15 2020 10:16 utc | 152

Richard Steven Hack @ 148 says:

However, I do have other things to do and I have to constantly restrain myself from responding...

yeah, only so many hours in a day.

curiously, if you note the timestamps on the comments by our most prodigious commenters you'll see that they are here pretty much all day long, pretty much every day...

which, of course, precludes the possibility that they're doing much of anything else.

Posted by: john | Apr 15 2020 10:23 utc | 153

Russ @ 141 says:

But it's especially outdoor behavior which gives psychological insight on the pandemic of panic...They think the very air itself is the source of the bug

yeah, i'm waiting to see, as the pandemic wanes, if the more intelligent people will discard their the hope that, if so, at that point, the stupid people will discard theirs as well.

Posted by: john | Apr 15 2020 10:35 utc | 154

How easy it is to dismiss others.

Off Guardian has recently produced some excellent investigative work and has given a platform to professionals and specialist to voice their concerns about what is happening; an invaluable resource for anyone interested in properly assessing what is being asked of them and society as a whole.
For the author to dismiss this by linking to a juvenile response by Sleboda rather than choosing to link to one of the many intelligent comments criticising and engaging with Off Guardian tells much more about his approach to this faux 'debunking' than it does the integrity of Off Guardian's journalism.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Apr 15 2020 10:45 utc | 155

Amnesty pulling their weight in the Trump anti China propaganda campaign.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 10:50 utc | 156

@109 vk writes "Placebo effect is a scientifically well documented phenomenon."

True, but it depends on the belief by the person receiving the placebo that they are getting actual medicine.

So your disbelief that HCQ+zinc is effective means that the placebo effect will not work on you, yet you acknowledge you will take HCQ+zinc. If that's not doublethink, it certainly is confusedthink.

Posted by: Don Wills | Apr 15 2020 10:58 utc | 157

This moa blog is I'll informed I'll considered. The reason being it omits how many UK citizens will be killed by the lockdown procedures used against c19. That is the rational comparison. It's not this false dichotomy between savings the economy and saving the vunrable, or between military curfew and house arrest or doing nothing, it's not between those that believe c19 exists, and those who believe it's all fake.

Some reasonable measures to control another epidemic are clearly called for. Mass testing and isolation have clearly been effective,as has closing external borders, having a heath service, free at the point of use with sufficient space capacity is the surest way to mitigate an epidemic, closing down mass gatherings was a reasonable precaution.

But mass house arrest, social isolation, mass hysteria closing down the economy with the inevitable effects on public health far in excess of deaths by c19 is an act of idiocy.

Remember the Tories killed 120,000 with austerity (bmj) 2010-17), you really think they care about 12,000?

Millions are going to lose their jobs their families their homes their pensions and are going to be plunged into poverty and homelessness. If the Tories could kill 120,000 with common or garden austerity, the order of magnitude has to be 10x that. For a comparison look at the health effects on mortality after the collapse of the Soviet Union and shock therapy.

Cancer screenings and treatment are not happening, the hysteria about c19 will cause deaths from heart attacks and strokes not treated properly as the NHS avoids examining anyone to maintain social distancing. Sucides will massively appreciated increase as they do in all depressions. Old people abandoned in their holes due to social distancing will die of neglect more than C19.Watch deaths from drug addiction, alcoholism massively increase. For a comparison read the 'Body economic' on the deaths caused by austerity. These effects will need show fully until C19 outbreak ends, and buisness up and down the country realize after the withdrawal of interim c,19 support they cannot reopen, and millions up and down the country realize they do not have a job and will lose their house.

Posted by: Reg | Apr 15 2020 10:59 utc | 158

The Washington Bezos Post is now getting behind the narrative that the "novel" coronavirus originated from a lab. Since the Bezos Blog has a long history of CIA disinformation, deliberate jingoism, and coordinating its disinformation with covert operations, and since the Bezos Blog has until recently been pushing the narrative of a purely natural origin for the virus, it is safe to assume that the CIA is giving up on the "natural origin" narrative being sustainable and is thus shifting to Plan B: the "it's engineered, but by the Chinese" narrative. There will be a brief period with the narrative being "its a natural virus that escaped from a lab" in order to smooth over the transition.

The main reason that the CIA is shifting the narrative in the first place is because the "natural origin" narrative isn't holding up and a critical mass of the public no longer buys it. As a consequence they need to prepare the narrative that it was engineered by the Chinese to throw another layer of misdirection around the truth of the virus being used by the US to economically cripple China in order to allow the US to start winning the trade war. One of the problems with lies is that as facts leak out, additional lies are required to keep the truth hidden. Lies always lead to more lies.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 15 2020 11:00 utc | 159

@Egor68500 #156 - Off-guardian sucks. Whether its claiming Covid-19 is just another flu and stats are made up, or they're claiming Auschwitz never happened, it is truly a shit 'conspiracy' blog and little more. Not to mention the editors all avidly cheered Donald Trump's victory in 2016, arguing he would bring peace to the world and "change" in Washington. They were dead wrong. Trump bent them over gave it to their back-ends :-D "Intelligent comments"? Well I guess if you love flaming anti-semitic holocaust deniers.....sorry but it's a shit blog.

Posted by: deschutes | Apr 15 2020 11:02 utc | 160

There are very serious infringements of civil liberties being carried out which are in the minds of many people utterly unjustified. There may be different reasons for this, but to be presented with the Diana Johnstone quote as convincing argument is offensive to anyone's intellect. It reads like meanderings of a woman who is lucky enough to have nothing other than fraught relations to worry about and who has spent far too much time at home doing nothing - least of all any bloody research for her article! WTF?

This is not debunking, this is just condescendingly dismissive, and lazily so!

Posted by: Egor68500 | Apr 15 2020 11:05 utc | 161

The graphs show the normal mortality rates in the England and Wales and in New York City and the current deviations from it. The flu does not create such graphs. Nor do the lock-downs.

I've got a nice bridge for sale, B, 2000 miles long and entirely made of NYT articles and twitter tweets.

The Twitter chart leaves the impression that the number of deaths suddenly soared up almost vertically by around 5500 just in the last few days ...

Good panic porn stuff that. Also take note of what sort of people appear in that thread - it is not a list of nobodies!

But wait - look more closely! That upturn is for week 14 - the week ending 3rd April, already 12 days ago. You can see the release of the data by the Office for National Statistics here (there is no more recent data released by ONS)

As soon as you see the real data released by the ONS you will immediately see that the cited twitter is blatent fake news!

That chart is specifically constructed to deceive. No actual cited figures, no actual dates, no links to the real data - just pure panic porn. Why not cite the specific dates covered? Because that would raise immediate suspicion with that sudden spurt, because it does not correspond to previously available figures. Why not cite the specific figures in the tweet? Because then it would be immediately obvious that this is fake news. Why not explain the cause of the strange shape of the graph? Because that would give the whole game away.

So what do you see when you look at the real data released by ONS, instead of the fake news in that twitter?

1) Total deaths registered in week 14 16387
2) Increase over week 13 5246
3) Increase over 5-year average for week 14 6082
*** BUT ***
4) Note that these figures are not the deaths which occurred in week 14, they are the deaths which were registered in week 14, irrespective of when the deaths actually occurred (registration is often delayed)
5) Note the warning given on that page: "Please note, where Easter falls in previous years will have an impact on the five-year average used for comparison"
6) 3475 deaths in week 14 "mentioned novel coronavirus (COVID-19)" on the death certificate - NOTE - this is not the cause of death specified on the death certificate!!!
7) 539 deaths in week 13 "mentioned novel coronavirus (COVID-19)" on the death certificate
8) But wait - 3475 is only about half the alleged excess deaths, and these are not even the deaths caused by covid-19 (see below) these are only the deaths where covid-19 "happens" to have been tested positive (car accident, for example!)

Look further!

9) Look at the row "Deaths where the underlying cause was respiratory disease (ICD-10 J00-J99)" under official WHO standards, that is the broad category under which the covid-19 deaths are to be listed, if it is considered by the doctor to be the cause of death. The row gives figures for each week of 2020 as follows (from weeks 1 to 14 in sequence):
2141 2477 2188 1893 1746 1572 1602 1619 1546 1581 1492 1515 1534 2106


This category - which is the actual recorded cause of death - includes covid-19 deaths, but it is a broad category of respiratory-related deaths which also includes many deaths which have nothing whatsoever to do with covid-19. Those 2141, 2477 and 2188 deaths registered in each of the first 3 weeks of 2020 were before there was even a single death from covid-19 in the UK! The average of the first 13 weeks is 1762, and the value for week 14 (2106) is only 344 more than that!

Also note that the deaths which "mention" covid-19 are 1369 greater (including car accidents, unrelated illness, etc) than the number of deaths caused by respiratory illnesses (including Covid-19), which already includes another 1500 to 1700 deaths not caused by covid-19!

This spurt of extra deaths registered in week 14 most certainly does not represent a sudden spurt of genuine covid-19 deaths - that is conclusively proven by the row of figures giving the underlying cause of death for each week's registrations.

If anything, the data may show a sudden spurt of deaths from other causes such as stress caused by the lockdown, food shortages, money shortages, unexpected homelessness, non-covid-19 illnesses not treated because the hospitals cancelled appointments and operations, stress, fear etc.

Such causes probably underlie at least a few of the unaccounted for excess deaths (conceaveably even most, perhaps), but it is also possible it is simply a statistical aberration and/or related to delays in registering deaths, including the unspecified effect of the Easter holidays on death registration. The aberration may also have been deliberate, to cover up government mishandling of the crisis, or it may result from staff shortages, or perhaps completely irrelevant reasons - we cannot know without detailed investigation of how the data were prepared and the patterns of death registration.

What is absolutely certain is that that twitter chart is unmitigated fake news deliberately designed to deceive.

The NYT is no better - completely non-sensical presentation of the data with no explanation of the meaning of the non-sensical presentation, deliberately designed to misrepresent.

Comments, B? Time to reconsider what you are doing?

I've been urging people to look more closely at what is happening, because the magicians have been very successful with their acts, recently. Things are not as they seem on the surface - you need to look more carefully at the small print.

That includes the details of lockdowns. Lockdowns kill, when they are done in the irresponsible and brutal and dishonest way they have been done in the UK and the USA.

China did NOT rely on lockdowns - they relied on an integrated combination of social distancing (including, where necessary, lockdowns, but mostly not, except in Hubei Province), tracing, and isolation of those infected or at risk.

Lockdowns as imposed by the UK and the USA are just suicide pacts, as described by Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, and are ineffective in dealing with covid-19.

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2020 11:08 utc | 162

I also question the validity of the ONS figures referred to in the blog. Deaths in the community in the UK are referred to as c19 death, without a test if symptoms are consistent with c19, despite symptoms not peculiar to c19, see release ONS mortality figures England and Wales section 8 glossary. NHS NI is even more broad, any death within 28 days of a positive C19 test, is counted as a C19 associated mortality even if c19 was not the cause of death.

My other worry is the jump in mortality in weekly one mortality figures up to week ending April 3rd is far higher than the jump in mortality from the very loose definition of c19 deaths. It is also occured after the full lockdown of 23 March. Deaths for c19 are also higher for this week than for deaths from all respiratory disease (deaths from rather than with).
This to me suggests that the increase in deaths were at least partially (possibly) due to the effects of the lockdown isolation and social neglect rather than c19, as you would expect lockdown procedures to decrease mortality from c19?

Posted by: Reg | Apr 15 2020 11:19 utc | 163

* Jul. 2019: primary US bioweapons lab, Ft. Detrick, was shut down over fears that weaponized pathogens might escape.

* Oct. 2019: Event 201, Baltimore, U.S., a pandemic simulation by the Coronavirus nCoV-2019 Simulation and Emergency Preparedness Task Force at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health Security. Sponsors: World Economic Forum (WEF), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Big Pharma, and other Establishment. No health officials, no World Health Organisation (WHO) officials. The simulation: 65 million deaths worldwide and a 15% stock market collapse.

* Jan. 30, 2020: the WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, determines that the outbreak constitutes a PHEIC, Geneva, Switzerland. This decision was taken on the basis of 150 confirmed cases outside China.

* Early Feb. 2020: the acronym of the coronavirus was changed from nCoV- 2019 to COVID-19.

* Pandemic bonds: in 2017, these bonds were sold to private investors on the premise that they would lose their money if any of 6 deadly pandemics hit. They did not pay out in 2019 when the Ebola virus broke out in Africa. The World Bank announced the creation of these structured bonds in May 2016 at the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Governors meeting in Sendai, Japan.

The 1st bond issue raised $225 million and features an interest rate of around 7%! That was substantial. Payout on the bond is to be suspended if there is an outbreak of new influenza viruses or coronavirus. The 2nd type of bond was even riskier which raised $95 million with an interest rate of more than 11%. This second type of bond keeps investors’ money if there is an outbreak of Filovirus, Coronavirus, Lassa Fever, Rift Valley Fever, and/or Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever.

For laughs and food for thought:

Posted by: Ernesto Che | Apr 15 2020 11:22 utc | 164

With every accusation by Sam that "Chine did it"... with every such act, Wally recalls I. F. Stone.

The accusations against Chine really began in earnest as soon as people began to twig to the Ft Detrick shut-down and the "vaping deaths".

CT (coincidence theory) and a cynical eye strongly suggests that we not believe a claim until it's been denied. Sam is denying by blaming Chine.

As 'b' says, the Science will help, possibly be determinant...but we have watched the "science" yield to "we know where your kids live"...and fraudulent reports from OCPW - the Oscars for the "whitehelmetz" and so forth...then there's the "Warren Report"...the lies about biowar against Chine and Korea in 1952 (Sam did that).

Wally would like to when the 1952 campaign ended. He can't find out...

About the science...building 7 final report by University of Alaska is published. 125 pages of engineering report.

@ "ae911truth[dot]org" read report. also a straight up video review, as a college lecture. Keep copy? Sure? Good with vodka and popcorn.

Then read the NIST report. (gag)

These "scientific" stories cannot both be true. We may expect, reasonably, a similar set of lies, "stories" about the germz?


Posted by: Walter | Apr 15 2020 11:37 utc | 165

Posted by: JB | Apr 14 2020 20:06 utc | 38: "You ought to do yourself a favour and at least watch the video so you will not be surprised when you wake up one day to find you are living in the totalitarian police state."

Further to that, a most interesting article by Alexander Dugin: Pandemic and the Politics of Survival: The Horizons of a New Type of Dictatorship. by: Lohmann @ 37

Physical survival biased Imperatives will likely ignore top down state based feudal system dynamics (equality, law, rights of private property (R/E) and anti-competive controlled access enabled by monopoly [Patents, or Copyrights] rights vested in those who are interactively engaged with the political process and transition instead to bottom up surveillance monitored feedback controlled behavioural discipline that targets military, epidemiological propaganda. Even though power seeking a lower level, has not reach the level of the individual citizen, the level on the pyramid of power, those with a claim in the decision making have, is moving lower <=still not yet to the lowest, broadest citizen level, but it has move downward to the military-technological and medical-sanitary level. Corona Virus has helped man kind discover its survival depends on its centralized stores of knowledge and willingness of all individuals to maximize the use of that knowledge. Mankind, is realizing that the no one should have the right to monopolize knowledge, because knowledge is public good and access to it is part of individual membership in the human society. I think we will see private property rights disappear, in favor of rights in property specific to its user to extinguish with the death of the user. I disagree "naked life” means authority recognition instead I think it every human will demand every authority to bend to human survival demand.

Liberty Blogger says "There is no form of society better equipped to deal with a pestilence than a republic of free, self-reliant people." by: Liberty Blogger @ 140 <= I agree.

Willam Gruff @ 160 says "The main reason that the CIA is shifting the narrative in the first place is because the "natural origin" narrative isn't holding up and a critical mass of the public no longer buys it. As a consequence they need to prepare the narrative that it was engineered by the Chinese to throw another layer of misdirection" William Gruff @ 160 <=I agree but the problem is the media will use the propaganda infection mechanism to convince the public that CHINA DONE IT .. organized criminals that run the nation state system did it.. and the taxpayers of these nation states were fleeced to make it happen.

Thank you Perimetr @ 119 for the patent.. hopefully the demand for survival will kill the authority of governments to make monopoly (patent and copyrights) power to exclude all others from using the invention of one to make from it, by simple addition or multiplication something yet better, or use the monopoly of power to deny the poor of the world free access the benefits locked into private domain ownership by the few.

my problem with all of this is there has been not nearly enough information sharing around the globe we have many, many specialist, and many labs working on things that related to the technology involved in all aspects of the virus, yet very little information is leaking out. Patent monopoly powered corporations have done a good job in keeping the knowledge to themselves.

Posted by: snake | Apr 15 2020 11:38 utc | 166

"These media and these experts, both enamored of objectivity and impartiality, have they a conscience ? Do they have ethics ?" --Chinese Ambassador quoted and translated by Peter AU1 @152

The Mockingbird mass media tools have something far more important: Duty to an empire that is staggering from crises. The pandemic isn't even the greatest of the crises that is bedeviling the empire. Even the financial meltdown is just one of the biggies. A particularly insidious crisis growing in the West is the Mockingbird mass media losing control of the narratives needed to maintain empire. This leaves the media tools desperate, almost frantic, in their narrative spinning.

By the way, everyone knows that Stephen Hawking was a guest at Epstein's Island, right? In fact, a large number of notable scientists had been guests there. Now why would the CIA want blackmail material on top scientists and "experts"? Well, I guess that even though scientists will naturally feel obligation to their benefactors' empire, their tendency to prioritize truth might at times be inconvenient.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 15 2020 11:38 utc | 167

For the most part Iran is not in lockdown. Here there is social distancing measures in place and voluntary 'stay at home' has been in place for a while now. People are acting responsibly but are not neglecting their social responsibilities to the elderly or their neighbours and relatives, and are not being chased through the streets by power crazy police! In a few cases there have been village quarantines where there has been a specific outbreak, but nothing else as far as I am aware.
Also worth mentioning that plasma treatment has proven very successful, a claimed 40% reduction in fatalities. (And before the smart-alec's come up with the 'can't trust the regime figures' clichés may I say, look to your own first!). Turkey is also now pursuing the plasma treatment apparently.

Posted by: Egor68500 | Apr 15 2020 11:42 utc | 168

More serious than it appears. Suggest look up ACE-2 and CD147 receptors.

Posted by: Richard Mander | Apr 15 2020 11:53 utc | 169

No, "such people" don't compare Covid-19 to a flu, but studies prove that Covid-19 is not more dangerous than all the flues we have seen in recent decades. In most parts of, e.g. Italy or USA, the graphs are completely within normal range. In some European countries they are even below that. In some "hotspots" there is no other virus, of course, but there is a completely broken health system, which faces similar situations every year. Google it. The difference this time is the panic and fear-mongering. This leads to chaos, wrong treatment, infections with multi-resistant bacteria etc. But even in such places, most people who die would have died soon anyway. This may sound cynical, but it's important to be understood.

This virus is dangerous for old and sick people. Like many other viruses and bacteria. It's a very good idea to protect those who have a high risk. But not only from this virus and not only this year. For the big majority it's just another virus. We will deal with it, as always. Lockdowns etc are contraproductive. More people will die from the measurements than from the virus, for sure. What will we do, if next year there is a stronger flu wave? Many people will watch those numbers and ask their governments why there is no lockdown this time.

"Such people" are no more stupid than other people. "Such people" are very rational. But "such people" seem to have the wrong opinions. It seems that all the other people want to be afraid. I have learned it's a waste of time trying to take their fears away.

Posted by: Corax | Apr 15 2020 12:10 utc | 170

I just want to point out that the graphs are quite meaningless without knowing transmission rates. If CV, spreads at a much faster rate through society (which I think we can expect given our lack of defenses and its ability to spread while the host is asymptomatic), then pointing at a deviation does not mean that it is actually more deadly.

If the transmission rate were say be 6 times greater than the flu (hypothetical), then the equivalent would be to compare 6 weeks of flu vs one week of CV. If you did that, CV would seem quite benign. This is why we need good benchmarks like the study in Gangelt, Germany that showed an IFR of 0.37.

Posted by: JFo | Apr 15 2020 12:10 utc | 171

One "debunking" idea about "the virus" is of course that it's natural. Of course you can chase the word...after all, man himself is natural, and nature runs on chemistry...and man is a chemist. A biochemist. So we can stretch "natural" to synthesis in a lab...naturally. The Semantic value of "natural" is that it's a emotional suggestion used to deceive by implication. So, OK, "it" is "natural". So's lead. Or arsenic or cyanide. So's a rattlesnake. So's a tyrant.

And when the US "simulated" germ war on it's own cities? Well, that was natural too.

"“The Army listed 27 times that it tested simulated toxins on public property, including releasing spores in two tunnels on a stretch of Pennsylvania Turnpike. In addition to those experiments in public places, the Army secretary used military personnel and their families for open-air experiments by spraying simulated germs into the air at a number of bases, including Fort Detrick, Md.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; and the Marine training school at Quantico, Va. … Another 504 workers connected with biological warfare activities at Ft. Detrick, Dugway Proving Ground and the Deseret Test Center in Utah and the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas suffered infections, according to the Army’s count."

A fair number of people died in San Francisco from infections delivered in secret on the city by the Navy - for days a destroyer steamed spewing bacteria upwind. An "exercise" in secret.

see> the freethoughtproject[dot]com

"Conspiracy Theory? US Army Has Admitted to Conducting 100s of Germ Warfare Tests On Americans" (Blevins)

Posted by: Walter | Apr 15 2020 12:15 utc | 172

Probably this was said before but still:

You say: "Personal freedom is not an unlimited right. Diana Johnstone has given a convincing argument for its limits. One's freedom and rights end where they infringe on the freedom and rights of others"

You say this to argue for the current lockdown. You can easily turn this argument around by asking: Is the death of a few thousand mostly very old AND very ill people worth to plunge millions into bankruptcy, depression, anxiety, OCDs and suicides?

So, delete my comment all you want, but I want to add something else: Merely the fact that you start deleting comments not because they are written down just to troll, but just have a different attitude than you have, an attitude, that is also supported by many physicians, nurses and scientists shows that you are more insecure about this topic than about any other thing you write about. This is a new situation to all of us. You should be careful when to make yourself the judge over other people.

Posted by: tageslicht | Apr 15 2020 12:20 utc | 173

Shit this thread has pulled in a lot of new user names.

US in full on anti china propaganda from all sides.

Current piece in Reuters

Groups working to protect the Mekong River have called for greater transparency and cooperation from China after a report that Chinese dams held back water during a damaging drought in downstream countries last year.

Who are these 'groups'.

China has disputed the findings of the U.S. government-funded study and said it will do its utmost to guarantee a reasonable discharge of water to the Mekong basin countries of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam...
...Washington, which has been challenging China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia, has said Beijing essentially controls the Mekong.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 12:27 utc | 174

With regards to the idea repeatedly suggested, that the graphs and other data from governmental and other bodies constitute some form of propaganda, it is certainly possible to willfully present a fake world with such data, if one has a very refined mathematical (random variables on say Papoulis and Pillai level, that much and more for epidemic growth etc.) understanding of the evolution of e.g. (in this instance) epidemics. Instead one sees little shit lies and occasionally embarrassing mathematical inadequacy in propagandistic media. It is orders of magnitude more difficult to fake that, and doing so to undermine oneself, as the propagandistic media is doing from time to time suggests actual inadequacy rather than feigned inadequacy. It is orders of magnitude more probable that the propagandists believe their own idiotic propaganda (successful propagandists need to convince themselves of their own lies) and mix in such data that they can find, with a gloss to somehow in their minds have the data fit their propaganda narratives, than to make a much broader fake. The actual results from statistics makes it often quite easy (for the mathematically adequate) to discover when data is implausible.

If the people who want to claim that any data from propagandistic media should automatically be discarded want to become mathematically adequate, they should at least have a grasp equivalent to chapter 6 of Papoulis and Pillai to make the necessary arguments. Prerequisite to such study is a solid background in math (multivariable calculus including some partial differential equations) and natural science---what kind of fluctuations may one expect in a given process? As the people who tend to make such broad claims tend not to have the requisite background, I shall specify---one should be able to solve the problems at the end of the chapter using the methods in the chapter.

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Apr 15 2020 12:32 utc | 175

Personal freedom is largely illusory. One spends most of ones life under the control of others, parents, teachers, bosses, officers, cops, judges, jailers, or sleeping. I wonder if it's a "right" at all.

However, it seems to me that one has a contractual right to expect good parents, good teachers, good bosses and so forth. That's a legalistic constitutional right to exchange the individual's right to violence in exchange for protection. A contact. Individuals sometimes retain a fraction...the right to self-defense...but this is very limited, and dicey too.

And - especially - one, everyone, does have a natural right to demand Justice, fairness, and to be left alone. This is a Natural Right. It comes from the outside, from God, if you like. Dogs and horses, for example express themselves, and kick and bite and krap on your desk, if they're seriously mislead, (mistreated) Man also has the natural right.

So, Personal freedom seems to be an imprecise term, and seems to have at least two, probably several, manifestations.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 15 2020 12:35 utc | 176

Gargling daily as a preventive measure to kill the virus where it initially settles in a newly infected host and before it migrates into the lungs would be an effective way of ending this pandemic event eventually. Has anyone heard of a mouthwash with alcohol or any other liquid that would be effective in this way?

Posted by: augrr | Apr 15 2020 12:36 utc | 177

It seems to me that if the virus came from a natural jump to humans from some other species the virus would find itself (at first) in foreign territory that it was poorly adapted to deal with. That would mean it is very likely would have to make some evolutionary adaptions to its new host and that means it could have been in humans for weeks, months or even years before it became able to reproduce effectively or make people sick enough that humans would notice its existence.

Along the same line of thought the virus could continue to evolve to become more well adapted to its new host. Under the right conditions the virus is likely to evolve towards becoming more benign. That is because benign versions of the virus are more likely to spread unabated while versions that make the host very sick get quarantined and thus unable to spread easily. In the end it is not in the best interest of the virus to kill the host or to even make the host very sick and so the natural evolutionary survival process will tend towards that end.

So this whole thing may fade away about as suddenly as it appeared and the people who are calling it a hoax will say, "see we told you it was harmless"

Posted by: jinn | Apr 15 2020 12:45 utc | 178

"You should be careful when to make yourself the judge over other people."

Quite ironic coming from someone arguing in support of being allowed to traipse about infecting others with a deadly pathogen unhindered. Such a one reserves for himself the right to be judge, jury, and executioner of others, though obviously without the "judgement" part. Such individuals' judgement is notoriously poor.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 15 2020 12:48 utc | 179

Tying to stay on the debunk trail... ok. Meyssan @ voltaire has this remark...about the germ

> "... The epidemic is also affecting the United States, where some of the senior officers intend to proclaim improved martial law and put an end to the Trump experiment...."

Read that twice. The virus, quite probably a "natural product of man" is reasonably a wild card game changer...complicated plans usually go wrong quick, eh?

another fragment> "...These three realities (President Trump’s economic strategy, the Saudi rebellion and the coronavirus epidemic) are colliding. To analyse them, we will arbitrarily dissociate them while keeping in mind that each logic can suddenly be disrupted by the other two...."

So, debunking ought to brush up against the idea that there was a coup fubared by the germz from Fort Detrick, or Wuhan, or from a zionishlab, or whatever... ok. it's a coincidence. It probably is just a coincidence...still, some of these fellas are barking nuts.

Posted by: Walter | Apr 15 2020 12:52 utc | 180

"Has anyone heard of a mouthwash with alcohol or any other liquid that would be effective in this way?" --augrr @178

High purity non-denatured grain ethanol works great, though I prefer rum.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 15 2020 12:53 utc | 181

The current and most interesting question is a nightmare for some.
What is Sars- CoVID - 19?
Is it in fact ARD or a completely different acting virus needing a different treatment.
Are the ventalators damaging people - even killing them, when different basic treatments would save their lives.
Here is an example of what could be the treatment according to new thinking.
Is this why the medication for malaria and high altitude sickness is working.
The virus does not attack the lungs as such - it is attacking the ability of red blood cells to oxiginate the body and its organs.
Anyone know more?

Posted by: Emily | Apr 15 2020 12:56 utc | 182


SARS-CoV-2 is the virus and COVID-19 is the disease.

"Anyone know more?" The doctors in China.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 15 2020 13:05 utc | 183

One of the major problems associated with obtaining an accurate understanding of the scope of this pandemic is the lack of reliable data. In order to substantiate a claim regarding the severity (or lack of), necessitates supporting numbers of actual deaths from the virus and rate of infection. Although this was attempted for this article, 5 minutes of cross checking has disputed both the first graph of deaths registered weekly in England and Wales which is claimed to be 10,645 for week 12 according to the Office of National Statistics:

The second graph in this article shows a misleading and inaccurate spike of 9,780 total deaths in NYC for the month ending April 4th. A quick check of the source data table 5 reveals the true figure of 18,243 total deaths for a range of 7 weeks ending April 14. This would amount to an average of approx. 2,600 deaths per week for this time period.

If the article's argument is based on inaccurate data, how might the author re-think his assumptions concerning the need for, or the effectiveness of this devastating lock-down?

Posted by: Ben C | Apr 15 2020 13:11 utc | 184

Richard Steven Hack | Apr 14 2020 20:46 utc | 43

I also think it would be a great pity if you were to stop posting. I hope you will reconsider. As is said, against stupidity the gods themselves strive in vain. Best of luck to you in the current crisis.

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Apr 15 2020 13:11 utc | 185

how many in NYC have it? an actual sample was drawn from the general population. 99% of pregnant women giving birth at a particular hospital were tested. during 2 weeks immediately after the NY state stay-at-home order was put in place, 15% of the women giving birth tested positive. nearly all were asymptomatic

... 29 of the 33 patients who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 at admission (87.9%) had no symptoms of Covid-19 at presentation.
Posted by: ptb | Apr 14 2020 23:46 utc | 76

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, these figures of 15% testing positive (asymptomatic) in the general population and around 90% (sometimes a little less) of positive testing cases having no symptoms seem to recur again and again, even circumstances vary, I've lost count of how many times I've seen similar values to these two. Even though there are still few reliable measures of background infection in society (a village in Italy here, a village in Germany there, Iceland, random tests on blood donations, etc), there are quite a number of studies that include a variable which approximates to some limited (more or less) degree to the background infection rate, although there is usually a selection bias involved. What I have noticed is that this figure of 15% always seems to recur. Likewise when studies include both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases, this figure of around 80 to 90% of positive cases being asymptomatic seems to recur. That might suggest that the virus is already very highly distributed around the world at about the 15% infection rate, with most cases being asymptomatic. (Note that the 10% symptomatic includes very mild symptoms, and only a very tiny proportion of the 10% are serious). Probably in warm or hot climates the proportion of cases with symptoms is probably far smaller still.

If true, this would necessarily mean that the more you test, the more (of that 15%, and most of them asymptomatic) cases you will find. Since in this Covid-19 scenario the number of cases is ALWAYS presented cumulatively, surprise surprise, the figures always go up. And as testing rates expand, figures go up exponentially, until at some point you start running out of new cases to find! Well, well, well, isn't that what we observe? No wonder epidemiologists don't normally present data cumulatively!

Strange, isn't it, that all aspects if the data presentation all seem to have been calculated to cause the maximum possible fear!

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2020 13:18 utc | 186

It's impossible pretty much anywhere to have the difficult discussion of whether the disaster caused by a locked down society is worse than the disaster caused by having a looser arrangement that allows the economy to revive while doing our best (in that context) to protect the elderly and vulnerable. If those groups can be well protected, then the increase in overall deaths may be relatively small, and therefore may be overshadowed by the deaths caused by a massive increase in unemployment, poverty and homelessness.

But why is this difficult but essential discussion apparently forbidden in 'respectable' quarters? Well, somehow, (among consumers of CNN and MSNBC?) proposing a 'when/if to end the lockdown' discussion has been turned from a common sense (and to me morally necessary) thing into a black mark of Trumpian evil and insanity. Nonetheless, I'll persist, by adding the two relevant-facts-filled paragrahs below:
We must count the deaths from shutdowns as well as from coronavirus

"Before the virus hit, America’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, the lowest in 50 years. Now Goldman Sachs predicts unemployment could spike to 15 percent by midyear. A St. Louis Federal Reserve economist grimly predicts 32 percent unemployment — worse than during the Great Depression.

"Job losses cause extreme suffering. Every 1 percent hike in the unemployment rate will likely produce a 3.3 percent increase in drug-overdose deaths and a 0.99 percent increase in suicides, according to data from the National Bureau of Economic Research and the medical journal Lancet."

I don't know what would be the conclusions drawn from a well-informed discussion on whether, when, and how to end the lockdown. But I think it's a discussion worth having, particularly in societies (such as the Nettherlands) where very few Covid-19 deaths have occurred among those under 65 without 'co-morbidities'.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 15 2020 13:28 utc | 187

The German example sounds like the way that the country can be open for business and slow the spread of the virus. Look for it to be hotly debated and maybe implemented in the U.S.

Posted by: Morongobill | Apr 15 2020 13:29 utc | 188

Another Idea that "needs" de-bunking might be that some vast conspiracy planned "it". Spent real money studying "it", and might have had some ideas that "it" was in the bag? Pure coincidence theory.

see> tinyurl[dot]com/uykddhw

or search slideshare[dot]net

which is a slide show produced by Rockefeller et all - "..."GBN/Rockefeller Scenarios on Technology & Development "

Posted by: Walter | Apr 15 2020 13:31 utc | 189

@Ben C
Kindly restore the page width by using proper 'a href' links. Then please explain to us why you think that the provisos in your sources should be ignored. From the first:

This is lower than the figures reported by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as it takes time for deaths to be reported.

If we analyse the data by date of death and look at registrations after 20 March, then 181 deaths involving COVID-19 occurred in week 12, which is higher than the figures the DHSC publish as it includes deaths related to COVID-19 that took place outside of hospitals and those not tested for COVID-19.

This number is different from the count of deaths published on the GOV.UK website because of different reporting methods and timing: Office for National Statistics (ONS) weekly deaths figures are based on deaths registered in the stated week, and we have counted all deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate as “deaths involving COVID-19”; the GOV.UK figures are based on deaths occurring to date, among hospital patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, and include deaths that have not yet been registered.


These figures are based on the date the death was registered, not when it occurred; there is usually a delay of at least five days between occurrence and registration (more information is available in our impact of registration delays release).

In general, when reporting data pursuant to regulations and permits (e.g. to operate), there are all sorts of paperwork that go with the reporting, especially in medically complicated matters e.g. death. Hence frontline estimates are necessarily more up to date. Heck, compare in year of perpetration clearance rates versus ten years later clearance rates for murder.

Posted by: Johan Meyer (2) | Apr 15 2020 13:39 utc | 190

@ptb | Apr 14 2020 22:18 utc | 60

Joint US-Chinese work to make a more dangerous version of SARS. Go figure.

Yes, except that it's probably more like the US trying to make a more dangerous version of SARS and one Chinese researcher with a Pollyanna-ish view of "the West" naively wowing out about working with American researchers.

Up until very recently, Chinese people have been far too admiring and trusting of the West and of America in particular. I know this from my stints working in China. Educated Chinese have a misplaced admiration of America and have even fallen for the nonsense about America winning WWII. You would think that people who fought against the US in Korea, and who were included by default as targets in American plans to nuke the Soviet Union, would be a bit more critical of a people who even today routinely abuse and demonize them. But apparently not.

Posted by: Herr Ringbone | Apr 15 2020 13:43 utc | 191

key points missing here - it means death sentences to the millions of Africans and 3rd World country, where healthcare is mediocre and corruption rampage and social practice not of Western standard like India.
The next stage of the game, the cure and covic19 vaccines. I really hope China able to find a cure Covin19 before the fucking Americans, Swiss or 5eyes. The 3rd world country will benefit most especially the poor and middle-class in the States.
Posted by: JC | Apr 15 2020 1:51 utc | 101

Curiously, in most third world countries, especially in Africa and Asia, cases seem to be largely limited to foreigners tested at the airport. Most of these countries cannot afford to do a lot of testing. The funny thing is that the cases of locals turning up with strong symptoms just seem to be largely missing! The climate certainly makes a difference (and incidence of air-conditioning, no doubt!) I know of one case where an American tourist visited all the sights in a certain city, and he was everywhere, so it seems. He also had very large numbers of quite close contacts in the city. He later tested positive with symptoms. The whole province is now closed and under close observation, but so far I haven't heard of any positive cases arising from the contacts - let's hope it stays that way.

I sympathise with your emotions and I also hope that China will be the first to produce to produce a vaccine - it will surely be the best, the most effective, and the lowest cost of the vaccines. But don't put your hopes in vaccines, because vaccines are not the solution. Vaccines against corona viruses are rarely very effective because of mutations, and often have been observed to make a subsequent infection much worse. Their main advantage is in making Big Pharma more rich and powerful than ever.

A much better and more effective solution is to make sure that you have a good diet, and look after your immune system. There are so many natural plant medicines that boost the immune system, and many also that are effective against viruses, including most corona viruses. I don't believe vaccines will offer an effective solution to covid-19, ever.

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2020 13:46 utc | 192

I used to come to this blog for good analysis. Now I come here and "b" is like this SJW liberal type who shills for fake issues.

How extremely homosexual.

Posted by: Flubduz | Apr 15 2020 13:47 utc | 193

Speaking of "borrowed ideas" and lack of expertise:

No one commenting here, including the author b, has any virus pandemic expertise.

Everyone here is peddling "borrowed ideas".

None of you are experts, despite the laughable attempts of many of the pontificating prats here to pretend to speak with some authority, in their transparent efforts to stifle debate.

Here is an article expressing scepticism, for someone who does has some expertise:

Dr John Lee, former NHS Pathologist

Where is the vigorous debate about our responseto Covid?

    12 April 2020, 3:23pm

    After a career as a scientist and clinical academic, I have been struck by how often they (we!) have very complicated and exceedingly well-reasoned ways of getting things quite wrong. That’s why I have always thought it best for the recommendations of experts to have ‘advisory’ status only. Experts’ roles are to examine the minutiae of a small subject area – with a view to gaining or advancing understanding. It is the job of our politicians and civil servants to develop appropriate policies. 

    Experts can be guilty of being monomaniacs, interested only in the thing they are studying. That’s understandable, of course, because many of these things are hard to comprehend. And having put so much effort into their work, it’s also not unexpected, and very human, that most experts put a lot of weight on their conclusions and are convinced of their importance.

    That’s exactly why, when scientists call for their findings to be implemented by government, we need politicians and civil servants to moderate their enthusiasm, examine contrary views and express appropriate scepticism. And, in short, judiciously weigh all the other factors that come to bear on any given set of conclusions. The Covid-19 crisis took the world by surprise, and the world (Sweden excepted) has reacted in roughly the same way: with lockdowns. In the rush, the usual checks and balances have not been applied.

Posted by: Realist | Apr 15 2020 13:55 utc | 194

fairleft @188

1) Younger people are at risk also. Even if they don't die as much as older people, many of them will get lung scarring that is permanent and can contribute to death later.

USA's broken healthcare system (aka "sickcare") means that a very large number of US citizens are at risk due to underlying conditions like obesity, diabetes, smoking, drug use, hypertension, etc.

2) The government's choice to save people from the virus is separate from anti-drug efforts. The government already has anti-drug efforts to prevent overdose. Should they allow people to die or be injured by Covid-19 because of a few irresponsible people that will overdose?

3) "... whether, when, and how to end the lockdown."

This is an ongoing discussion among everyone. Example: Trump and State Governors disagree on who as the authority to lift lock-downs and what the criteria should be.

4) "... why is this difficult but essential discussion apparently forbidden in 'respectable' quarters?

I think a much more forbidden discussion is 'virus mitigation' vs. 'virus suppression'. 'Mitigation' was necessary when the tools to fight the virus were not available. But cheap testing and chloroquine therapy has been known and available for over two months.

There is evidence that 'self-isolating' is causing people to die at home and not be counted as a Covid-19 death.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 15 2020 14:02 utc | 195
John Pilger
@johnpilger 6:57 am · 3 Apr 202

    Parliaments, courts, tribunals are suspended, government is by decree. The police determine whether our presence in a street, a park, is legitimate. The media ensures a state of fear. Surveillance is routine. Protest, if any, is virtual.
    How does history describe such a society?

Posted by: Realist | Apr 15 2020 14:02 utc | 196


«The finding of 4 unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV, all of which have identity /similarity to amino acid residues in key structural proteins of HIV-1 is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature. This work provides yet unknown insights on 2019-nCoV and sheds light on the evolution and pathogenicity of this virus with important implications for diagnosis of this virus».

Posted by: Hannibal | Apr 15 2020 14:06 utc | 197

@Petri Krohn #32
I don't think you either read the article, the post or understand what is being said.
The researcher says that all known existing models showed that the ACE2 targeting mechanism of nCOV should not work as well as SARS - when in fact it clearly works better = but that analysis of nCOV actual behavior revealed a hitherto unknown secondary attack path.
Thus the laboratories in question would have to
1) Not use any of the known models - but created a new one which somehow found this unknown path (not likely)
2) Have tested - in which case they would have first had to find this path some other way - also unlikely

Your post also does not quantify why the nCOV modifications are not possible in nature. I've noted elsewhere that single strand RNA viruses are ideal for mutation purposes: they're so bad at replicating that 99% of virus created from an infected cell is so corrupt as to be not viable. This corruption is just another word for mutability.

Secondly, viruses replicate in such an enormous scale that they can accomplish, by volume, what takes eons in higher life forms. A single person or animal infected will see billions of cells infected, with trillions or more of virii produced of which 99% are so changed as to be not viable. That's a lot of dice rolling.

So to believe nCOV is non-natural in origin, it is necessary to
1) Show that the mutation isn't possible. This is not going to happen because *all* mutations are inherently possible.
2) Show proof that the virus was, in fact, developed somewhere. This involves documentation - simply saying there was a lab here or some internet story says blah blah is utterly meaningless.

All your posts are demonstrating is the some people fundamentally don't have any grasp of statistics and evolution.

Posted by: c1ue | Apr 15 2020 14:09 utc | 198

Coronavirus: Whistleblower Edward Snowden warns governments are building tools of ‘oppression’

    Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked information on America’s National Security Agency, has warned that governments may use the coronavirus to curtail freedoms. 

    Snowden, in an interview with Vice, said that governments may take advantage of the pandemic to impose authoritarian rules on populations. 

    Snowden said, “As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. 

    “Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept?”

    Snowden warned that while Governments may have good intentions as they build technologies such as contact-tracing apps, they are building what he describes as “the architecture of oppression”.

    Snowden also claimed that, based on his experience working for intelligence agencies, the pandemic should have been predicted. 

    Snowden told Vice, “There is nothing more foreseeable as a public health crisis in a world where we are just living on top of each other in crowded and polluted cities, than a pandemic.”

    “Every academic, every researcher who's looked at this knew this was coming. And in fact, even intelligence agencies, I can tell you firsthand, because they used to read the reports had been planning for pandemics.”

    Earlier this month, Apple and Google announced they would work together to create contact tracing technology that aims to slow the spread of the coronavirus by allowing users to opt into a system that catalogs other phones they have been near.

Posted by: Realist | Apr 15 2020 14:11 utc | 199

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 14 2020 21:39 utc | 54

Re: "name added to the end of a list of US researchers. That name seemed added for the intent of attributing the man made virus strain to the Chinese lab."

Perusing that American researcher VDM's Pubmed citation list shows he has been very active and quite open in sharing his research findings (ie. NOT the usual behavior of a scientist wittingly doing classified bioweapons work for some/any invisible (state sponsored or otherwise) agency).

I just wanted to point out VDM's most recent Pubmed research citation dated April 9 2020, that amazes me just because of the sheer power speed and precision of the 'state of art' technology for genetic material analysis and manipulation today.

"An Infectious cDNA Clone of SARS-CoV-2."


The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), underscores the urgency to develop experimental systems for studying this virus and identifying countermeasures. We report a reverse genetic system for SARS-CoV-2. Seven complimentary DNA (cDNA) fragments spanning the SARS-CoV-2 genome were assembled into a full-genome cDNA. RNA transcribed from the full-genome cDNA was highly infectious after electroporation into cells, producing 2.9 × 106 plaque-forming unit (PFU)/mL of virus. Compared with a clinical isolate, the infectious-clone-derived SARS-CoV-2 (icSARS-CoV-2) exhibited similar plaque morphology, viral RNA profile, and replication kinetics. Additionally, icSARS-CoV-2 retained engineered molecular markers and did not acquire other mutations. We generated a stable mNeonGreen SARS-CoV-2 (icSARS-CoV-2-mNG) by introducing this reporter gene into ORF7 of the viral genome. icSARS-CoV-2-mNG was successfully used to evaluate the antiviral activities of interferon (IFN). Collectively, the reverse genetic system and reporter virus provide key reagents to study SARS-CoV-2 and develop countermeasures."

How I read this is that apparently in just the course of a short month or two, from the time that the 30K-mer long RNA code of nCov virus was elucidated, this group was able to make and stitch back together the complete (30K-mer long) complementary single strand DNA string, AND then transcript this invitro back into a new, completely synthetic, complete nCov19 RNA chain that was fully functional and infective (plaque forming ability) when buzzed electrically to cultured human cells.

And they had enough time left over write up the paper, get it thru peer review/acceptance into a decent(?) journal. That is just amazing.

Finally I will note that at the bottom of that citation is the following declration; -->> they also had enough time to file a provisional patent for some aspect of this technology (all in 3(?) months)!

"Conflict of interest statement
Declaration of Interests X.X., V.D.M, and P.-Y.S. have filed a provisional patent on the reverse genetic system of SARS-CoV-2. Other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare."

Posted by: gm | Apr 15 2020 14:13 utc | 200

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