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Some Covid Links

In this Twitter thread, Alexandros Marinos exposes the misinformation being spread by the U.S. Surgeon General in a document marketed as a guide for helping Americans avoid misinformation. (HT Jay Bhattacharya) A slice:

In fact, the CDC has been a source for comically bad science throughout, or more likely, papers constructed in violation of the scientific method, to provide backing for a politically expedient position.

Also justifiably dismayed by the U.S. government’s peddling of misleading information – specifically, here, misleading assertions of the alleged net benefits of vaccinating young children against Covid-19 – is el gato malo. A slice:

one fact in medical care is unarguable:

medical interventions are everywhere and always a risk/benefit calculation.

this is just bedrock reality. nothing is free. you must always compare that which a treatment will gain you to that which it will cost you. you must weigh risk as well as reward.

anyone pushing just reward is lying to you.

i could douse you in gasoline and light you on fire. it would reduce your chance of being stung by a bee.

seem like a good trade?

and the CDC is, yet again, failing to do this or even acknowledge the concept.

Using as an example the experience of Hong Kong, Ian Miller busts some myths about masking.

Other than the laughable assertion that “lockdowns structurally reinforced key sections of capitalism” – the author mistakes ‘benefits to existing big businesses’ with ‘capitalism’ – this criticism, from the far left, of zero-Covid lunacy is quite good. A slice:

The left zero-covid cultists, however, ‘knew’ they were right because they had the right politics. This superior politics told them that ‘non pharmaceutical interventions’ could eliminate the disease. It told them they did not need an understanding of the nature of respiratory disease in general and the four coronaviruses in particular. It left them clueless about the nature of transmission. They remained ignorant of the inevitability of the process of evolution that characterises the 200 or so respiratory viruses humans live with or the resulting limits of vaccines.

MIT’s new mask policy bans groups from forcing people to wear masks.

The Telegraph‘s Science Editor Sarah Knapton reports on the difficulty of getting an accurate measure of Covid deaths in Britain. Two slices:

The number of people who have died from Covid in Britain during the pandemic is impossible to determine because of the inconsistent definitions of what is meant by a coronavirus death, researchers have concluded.

Experts from Oxford University discovered that public health and statistics organisations across the UK are operating under 14 different definitions to classify a death from Covid.

Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, collated for a new report published on Saturday, show that many people who died in the first wave never tested positive for the virus, particularly older people who died in care homes.

Instead, their deaths were registered as Covid simply based on a statement of the care home provider, and because coronavirus was rife at the time.

In some care homes, more than half of the Covid deaths were registered in people without pre-existing conditions, which the report authors said was “implausible” for people who needed residential care.

The authors also point out that it is unlikely that a Covid infection on its own could cause death in the absence of contributing factors, such as other illness, or the infection leading to a more deadly condition such as pneumonia.

The report also found that in some trusts, up to 95 per cent of Covid deaths were in people with Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders.

The team said the confusion meant they were unable to separate deaths caused by Covid from those triggered by the pandemic response, and called for a proportion of deaths to be verified by post-mortem in future pandemics to determine the true reason.

Dr Tom Jefferson, of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) at Oxford University, said: “Every night we were given this diet of cases, admissions and deaths. But we found that even the ONS doesn’t have a standard definition for deaths. We found 14 different ways to express the cause of death.

“There are a number of death certificates where Covid-19 is the only cause of death, and that is not possible. It has to be something like Covid-19 induced pneumonia, if it goes to the kidneys and you get kidney failure.

“We found some organisations coded Covid deaths even in the absence of positive Covid tests. Some nursing homes had allocated causality to Covid-19 not on the basis of tests but when those deaths occurred, usually in the Spring of 2020. Nursing homes decide themselves what was the cause.

“All of this means that we don’t really know who has died of Covid, or how severe it is, and this continues to this day. Separating the ravages of the virus from the ravages of human stupidity is not possible.”


The UK Statistics watchdog has said that excess deaths give the closest indication, but researchers said it was impossible to separate deaths from Covid and those caused by the pandemic response.

“It’s very hard to understand who is dying of Covid and who is dying from the measures put in place to tackle the virus,” added Prof Henghan.

“For example, if you’re elderly and have dementia and are left alone, you’ll be dead in two to three days. We were in panic mode.

“When you look across the devolved nations there are real problems. There are subtle variations in how the deaths were recorded, and these different interpretations have left everyone seriously confused.”

See also this report by Eve Simmons.

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