Covid discussion thread: Part VIII

by Judith Curry

Interesting papers that I’ve recently spotted

COVID-19 can last for several months [link]

At present, the evidence is pointing tentatively to a chain of person-to-person infections occurring somewhere outside a city before somebody brought the virus to Wuhan, where the market acted as an amplifier: mattridley.co.uk/blog/where-did

Could the key to Covid be found in the Russian pandemic of 1889-90? [link]

Blood group type may affect susceptibility to COVID19 [link]

Discussing the Need for Reliable Antibody Testing for COVID-19 directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/06/04/dis

Ex-head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove says coronavirus ‘is man-made’ and was ‘released by accident’ – after seeing ‘important’ scientific report mol.im/a/8386235

first randomized trial of convalescent plasma jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/

Genes may leave some people more vulnerable to severe Covid-19 [link]

Retraction Watch:  Retracted COVID-19 papers [link]

Measuring #SARSCoV2 levels in municipal sewage almost perfectly predicts forthcoming #COVID19 cases with a full week’s notice (R=0.994). medrxiv.org/content/10.110.

What do blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and covid toes have in common? Blood vessels. I dive into the research suggesting #covid19 isn’t just a respiratory disease, it’s a vascular infection [link]

25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations Are Lower in Patients with Positive PCR for SARS-CoV-2 [link]

First Results from Human COVID-19 Immunology Study Identify Universally Effective Antibodies [link]

How coronavirus lockdowns stopped flu in its tracks: go.nature.com/2APRbF0

The fat-tail phenomenon of pandemics, dating back to 429 BC and including #COVID19, is vital to recognize but tail-risk is largely ignored in current epidemiological models nature.com/articles/s4156

New study finds Covid19 patients are no longer infectious after 11 days of getting sick even though some may still test positive. The data from Singapore adds to a growing body of evidence showing people don’t transmit the infection once they’re recovered. [link]

Hydroxychloroquine

The Lancet has made one of the biggest retractions in modern history.  How could this happen? [link]

Today, three of the authors have retracted “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis” Read the Retraction notice and statement from The Lancet hubs.ly/H0r7gh50
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Raoult points out that a study in India which found that hydroxychloroquine works as a prophylaxis actually confirmed Covid-19 with PCR. The Minnesota study published yesterday in NEJM did not. [link]

new RCT study for hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis. [link]

NEJM:  Hydroxychloroquine for the prevention of COVID19 – searching for evidence [link]

For a detailed discussion of likely COVID-19 IFR, see this up-to-date meta-analysis: medrxiv.org/content/10.110

higher viral load and prolonged viral shedding results in longer and more complex clinical course for Covid-19. “Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin resulted in a 95% success rate with no mortality.” [link]

WHO set to resume hyroxychloroquine trial in battle on COVID-19 [link]

The Lancet’s politicized science on antimalarial drugs [link]

A mysterious company’s coronavirus papers in top medical journals may be unraveling [link]

The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) has sued the FDA to End Its arbitrary restrictions on HCQ. [link]

New study from India of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis finds that taking six or more doses reduced the risk of coronavirus in healthcare workers by 80%. [link]

Update on the bizarre Surgisphere COVID data base saga [link]

A study out of thin air [link]

How Turkey is beating Covid-19: Chief doctor Nurettin Yiyit – says a key is to use HCQ early. “Other countries are using this drug too late, especially the US. We only use it at the beginning… We believe it’s effective because we get the results.” [link]

France becomes first country to ban hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment hill.cm/JSkrzDf

Contrary to the advice of the WHO, India is expanding its use of hydroxychloroquine. [link]
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Indonesia, major advocate of HXQ, told by WHO to stop using it [link]
Dr. Harvey Risch, Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, explains why he supports early use of HCQ-AZ for covid-19. [link]

Policy

Governments and WHO changed COVID-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company [link]

The NYT set out more than a month ago to confront a critical question raised by public health experts worldwide as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the US, killing more than 100,000: What Happened to the CDC? [link]

how China hid details of the coronavirus and created a pandemic. abcn.ws/305GtVo

NYC’s urban model faces existential crisis in post-pandemic world [link]

Suddenly, public health officials say social justice is more important than social distancing [link]

Sir David Norgrove has today replied to @MattHancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care regarding the Government’s COVID-19 testing data ow.ly/pw4c50zWpO8

In future crises, let people make their own decisions [link]

Masks provide a critical barrier in limiting the spread of #COVID19, reducing the number of infectious viruses in exhaled breath, especially of asymptomatic people and those with mild symptoms, say @kprather88 and colleagues in this Perspective. fcld.ly/u9ylfmd

The lack of evidence lockdowns actually worked is a world scandal. There is still not a shred of real proof that the planet’s reckless stay-at-home experiment made any difference [link]

Why no one can explain the drop in Israel’s COVID-19 cases [link]

Americans aren’t getting the advice they need [link]

The ultimate legacy of the pandemic could be a broad erosion of trust in authorities, endangering public-health efforts into the future, [link]

Is the “science” behind the lockdown any good? ftalphaville.ft.com/2020/05/21/159

Norwegian Study using actual data says COVID lock down wasn’t necessary. [link]

Some countries have brought COVID cases down to nearly zero.  How did they do it? [link]

Japan ends coronavirus emergency with 850 deaths and no lockdowns [link]

When a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, who should get it first? statnews.com/2020/05/23/whe

600 physicians say lockdowns are a ‘mass casualty event’ [link]

Flexibility needed in response to COVID [link]
.

Sociology

Let’s hear scientists with different Covid-19 views, not attack them [link]

Censorship (by Amazon!) in the age of COVID [link]

Why we might disagree about COVID-19 [link]

Living with risk [link

Your beliefs versus the facts [link]

Black and minority Americans more likely to get Covid-19, House panel hears [link]

The protesters deserve the truth about the coronavirus. [link]

11,000 coronavirus cases tied to three top meat processors: report hill.cm/LFMySVZ
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Why scientists are changing their minds and disagreeing about COVID [link]

365 responses to “Covid discussion thread: Part VIII

  1. I have been trying to find the original peer reviewed study referenced by Sir Richard Dearlove with the authors being Professor Angus Dalgleish of St George’s Hospital, University of London and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen. I am unable to locate this paper in any of the usual places like PubMed. I am beginning to wonder if it even exists. Anyone with a link please let me know.

    • I got the original paper. The second paper is not yet published. This link explains why this MI6 fellow thinks what he does better than the original link Judith put up. https://bgr.com/2020/06/04/coronavirus-origin-wuhan-lab-patient-zero-china-accident/ The original paper does find six inserts in the infective region of the “spike” as well as finding the virus can infect by more than one pathway into the cell. The virus has several little additions that allow it to infect cells in multiple ways including an ability to infect the bitter/sweet receptor explaining the reports of attacks on the gastrointestinal track. Admittedly this is not my field but I find it a bit hard to accept the virus acquired six different very small and subtle inserts in the infective spike that dramatically increased its binding ability by an accident of nature. If this information is correct it is rather damning even if this paper makes no direct mention of Chinese being deliberately responsible for the inserts. The authors could not get this published until after they removed all language that could be taken as an accusation against Chinese scientists and it has not been widely accepted by other virologists. (The link also explains why that is.) I look forward to reading the second paper, assuming it is ever published.

  2. Re the Lancet retraction, the Lancet has been caught more than once publishing politically correct crap. Just look at the HAMAS papers they published about the state of the poor Palestinians under Israeli occupation a few years ago that left them with mud on their face. They are more interested in being politically correct than keeping physicians abreast of the latest and best in medicine. The study they retracted made Trump look bad. Nothing else mattered and I’m surprized they even bothered to retract it.

  3. Re: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/06/04/public-health-protests-301534 I used to think most epidemiologist were above this kind of garbage. I no longer do. Now we will see if there really was a COVID-19 crisis because if it is real we’re going to have a huge outbreak in the next few days and weeks. If it isn’t real, then I’m so done with this pandemic and everyone associated with the policies related to it.

  4. The blood group link does not open for me.

    Excellent compilation. Thank you so much!

    • I noticed the same broken/irrelevant link, however, look at this link JC provides further down
      “Genes may leave some people more vulnerable to severe Covid-19”
      this goes to a NYT article suggesting Blood type A is more susceptible to COVID-19

  5. Re: hydroxychloroquine.

    The most important assessment of this is, I think, by the Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Working Group, or FLCCC. This group of eight physicians claims to have remarkable success in treating Covid-19 cases presenting in the ER, but have dropped HCQ use because, they say, by the time patients get to the ER antiviral medications are too late. This doesn’t mean that early outpatient HCQ treatment, such as the Zelenko protocol (which has never been tested) don’t work.

    It’s remarkable that all of the so-called tests of HCQ treatment so far have been in sick, hospitalized patients, usually given far too late. The May 11, 2020, JAMA study, for example: “… the rapidity with which patients entered the ICU and underwent mechanical ventilation, often concurrently with initiating hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, rendered these outcomes unsuitable for efficacy analyses.” Joking, right?

    https://covid19criticalcare.com/

    • I’m surprised no one has reacted to my link to https://covid19criticalcare.com/. Anyone have opinions? It looks to me like a group of media-unsavvy physicians had the good fortune to hook up with a Dr. Kornford, who apparently is quite media savvy, and hence the website. But no one is going to listen because (gasp!) vitamin C is a major part of the protocol, and everyone knows that the only thing vitamin C does is prevent scurvy.

      In my opinion, you’re looking at it, folks. You’re looking at the best treatment we have for Covid-19, with an excellent success rate. You’re looking at a group of hard-working, caring physicians that are for the most part ignored because they’re (ha ha ha ha) recommending “vitamins.”

    • Methylprednisolone, vitamin C, and heparin are the best combination yet found to fight hospitalized cases of Covid-19. There’s something like a 98% success rate so far; in one hospital not one of the 50 patients died after given the protocol. I would think that this protocol would be the subject of some debate and inquiry. https://covid19criticalcare.com/

      This protocol has been delivered to the While House. Testimony about it has been given to the Senate. Yet, silence. Crickets. Very strange.

      We do want a treatment for Covid-19, don’t we?

      • A 98% success rate is a 2% death rate. No proof that Vit C is helping two good drugs do their jobs.
        Vitamin C is a dutiful con.
        A great vitamin but no proven or hypothetical reason for it to work on your health unless you are deficient

      • angech says, “Vitamin C is a dutiful con.”

        The 2% death is far, far better than what they’re getting now for people who present to the ER.

        Disagree completely about vitamin C. Dr. Marik has used this for some time in the treatment of conventional ARDS, which Covid is not, and this is in the protocol for a reason. Why in the world would this be a con? What would these eight physicians have to gain to put together such a con?

        Maybe you should read up a bit more about it? https://covid19criticalcare.com/resources/#1591257950324-8917855f-f9e7

      • “The result: no difference in these scores at all. The bottom line was that vitamin C “did not significantly improve organ dysfunction scores or alter markers of inflammation and vascular injury,” the study says. ”
        Not his study but a similar precursor.
        – small studies. People pushing their on wheelbarrows. Since 2017 in these cases. For Septic Shock not Covid obviously.
        The fact remains.
        Vitamin C in small doses is essential for keeping us healthy and has no extra effects.
        Other than wishful thinking.
        A small dose is good, a large dose is better, magical logic.
        Overlooking the dangers that large doses can and will do.

        Don , one guy pushing his theory, now disproven and then extending it to a new disease is not medicine.
        Best line is wishful thinking.

        The rapid rate of uptake all over the world [not] is a sure sign that he has convincing proof [not].
        Of course his paper qualifies for publication in the Lancet as it meets all the Lancet guidelines.
        This might help it get over the line.
        Or not.
        At least it would square it with his Ethics Committee.

      • My comment may be in moderation because I used a swear word. If it doesn’t make it out I’ll have to write another.

      • angech: “The rapid rate of uptake all over the world [not] is a sure sign that he has convincing proof [not].
        Of course his paper qualifies for publication in the Lancet as it meets all the Lancet guidelines.
        This might help it get over the line.
        Or not.
        At least it would square it with his Ethics Committee.”

        (Here’s my comment that doesn’t use a cuss word.)

        Hard to know what paper you’re referring to since you give no reference. This group hasn’t published any paper on Covid-19. This is clinical experience. Maybe we should model it first?

        What would you do if you were Dr. Fauci and eight physicians claimed they had an effective treatment for Covid-19? Would you file that under “G”? Or would you call them up and make some inquiries, maybe even send someone down there to get the straight scoop? Last I heard people were dying and physicians didn’t know how to treat this with any good results.

        No one is saying drop everything and switch to this protocol. These guys are pounding the table and no one is listening. They see results with their own patients. The response so far has been pretty much nothing. Amazing.

      • Don132
        Feeling strongly about something is no substitute for science. I feel just as strongly as you do but my schtick is responsible science.

        Vitamins have been known for many years.
        They have important roles in keeping us running properly.
        I have prescribed them for vitamin deficient conditions and even imbibed extra myself at times with no extra benefit.
        Many people over at least a century have failed to find extra therapeutic value.
        If they have a role in treating diseases it has already been explored to the point of futility.

        Addressing your points

        “Hard to know what paper you’re referring to since you give no reference. This group hasn’t published any paper on Covid-19. This is clinical experience. Maybe we should model it first?“

        Malik has published on Vit C etc for sepsis and claimed extraordinary benefits. So much so that an independent review was done.
        “Last month, the results from the Vitamin C, Hydrocortisone and Thiamine in Patients With Septic Shock (VITAMINS) trial, the first major international multicenter randomized, controlled effort to be completed, were unveiled in JAMA.2
        The findings: negative. Across the board. The Results For virtually every outcome that the authors assessed for efficacy in septic shock, the patients who received the vitamin C–based cocktail (often referred to as the Marik protocol, metabolic resuscitation, or HAT for hydrocortisone, ascorbic acid, and thiamine) experienced no added benefit over patients in the control arm who received hydrocortisone only.”
        So you expect a treatment that had no overall proven benefit for one condition will somehow magically work on a seperate condition?
        Go for it.

        “What would you do if you were Dr. Fauci and eight physicians claimed they had an effective treatment for Covid-19? Would you file that under “G”? Or would you call them up and make some inquiries, maybe even send someone down there to get the straight scoop? Last I heard people were dying and physicians didn’t know how to treat this with any good results.“

        I guess if I was Dr Fauci I would advise them to hire that guy who fooled the Lancet into publishing rubbish to get the Lancet to put their ideas out to the public. Or just go direct to them and publish their results. Who needs peer review? Or studies?
        Just claim it works and as a top physician and the Lancet will publish it, no questions asked.

        “No one is saying drop everything and switch to this protocol. These guys are pounding the table and no one is listening. They see results with their own patients. The response so far has been pretty much nothing. Amazing.“

        Well, actually they are saying that”
        “I believe we’ve cracked the COVID-19 code.” — Dr. Paul Marik”
        By a Joyce Kamen. “ So here is where we are at. These physicians have now come together to form the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group. They have released their protocol for treating patients who arrive in hospitals with COVID-19. Based on available research, the experience in China reflected by the Shanghai expert commission, and their decades-long professional experiences in Intensive Care Units around the country, these experts are now strongly urging fellow physicians to immediately adopt a change in strategy by delivering these powerful therapies earlier in the disease course, prior to admission to the ICU or the need for a mechanical ventilator.“

        Sorry to upset you. My view may be quite wrong.

      • angech,
        You aren’t upsetting me. I welcome open debate.

        First, vitamin C. I don’t know why the medical community is so dead-set against this when clinical experience from many doctors claims significant benefits. (Actually, I do know why: if this works as claimed, this may shift treatment protocols away from pharmaceuticals and toward vitamins. There’s a whole branch of medicine that deals with vitamin therapy called orthomolecular medicine, which is closely tied to functional medicine.)

        Dr. Marik: you might want to look at the presentation of the VITAMINS trial. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF2ktY00dqs At about the 32-minute mark Marik gets up to rebut the study which he claims, I think rightly, was designed to fail because the treatment was given too late. Did they even ask Marik what the protocol was, or ask for any input? Listen to his rebuttal: the answer is no. Yet that was what they were supposedly testing.

        Dr. Fowler, in another video, explains in some detail how vitamin C might be working in treating ARDS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXs5Xzr6qCI

        Your response about what you would do if you were Dr. Fauci is a bit baffling. OK, I get it, you’d rather have people die than investigate a protocol which eight physicians say is having a remarkable effect because it uses vitamin C, and you don’t think much of vitamin C.

        Big difference between those jokers who did the retracted Lancet study and the FLCCC group. The FLCCC group has nothing to hide, and they’re begging physicians to talk to them. They have a record of published research and established reputations.

      • angech,
        If you go to about the 46 minute mark on the VITAMINS trial, you will see Marik take apart the trial. In short, the “door to needle” time in treatment of sepsis is critical, and this should be less than six hours. In the VITAMINS trial, the door to needle time was a minimum of 28.6 hours, and could be much more because we have no idea how long it took from presentation to ICU.

        The study was designed to fail. Marik is correct. It was an outrage, and that’s why Marik is outraged. You can disagree with his outrage, but you cannot disagree with his points on timing.

      • Sorry, that was the Fowler presentation. Here’s the VITAMINS.

      • Ugh! It keeps pasting the Fowler link. Just go to my earlier comment with the link to the VITAMINS trial.

  6. https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/06/04/thank-you-james-watson-thank-you-peter-ellis-lancet-you-should-do-the-right-thing-and-credit-them-for-your-retraction-actually-do-one-better-and-invite-them-to-write-a-joint-editorial-in-y/#comment-1352860

    Carlos Ungil says:
    June 5, 2020 at 3:46 am

    > So none of the usual criteria but only diarrea or whatever else – that isn’t even stated – is just assumed to ‘indicate’ covid-19 illness.

    Possible cases include also those presenting *one* of fever, chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, and new olfactory and taste disorders.

    The inclusion of diarrhea, a common side-effect, as symptom was done with some care (ignored if it was the only symptom for patients on the active arm) and doesn’t change much the result: “When we excluded 13 persons with possible Covid-19 cases who had only one symptom compatible with Covid-19 and no laboratory confirmation, the incidence of new Covid-19 still did not differ significantly between the two groups: 10.4% in the hydroxychloroquine group (43 of 414 participants) and 12.5% in the placebo group (51 of 407) (P=0.38).” [There seems to be an inconsistency in the reporting, they say “13 persons” in the paper, “10 cases” in the appendix.]

    According to the appendix:

    Possible Cases[2]: 17
    Compatible symptom(s) and epidemiologic link.
    Sore throat (n=7) of whom 3 had nasal symptoms, Anosmia alone (n=3), myalgia alone (n=2), fever with nasal congestion (n=1), fatigue (n=2) with 1 rhinorrhea, diarrhea off study medicines (n=1), diarrhea with rhinorrhea (n=1)

    Adjudicated as Not Compatible as Covid-19 Cases[3]: 19
    Isolated symptoms of headache (n=3), diarrhea (n=4), nasal congestion (n=2), diffuse pruritic maculopapular rash lasting 10 days (n=1), nasal congestion with rhinorrhea (n=1).

    [2] By the U.S. case definition, the “Possible Cases’ are actually considered a “Probable case” due to the epidemiologic linkage. This possible classification is used to distinguish from the more robust symptom-complex presentation as all cases had PCR+ epidemiologic linkage. Of four adjudicated as possible cases using the clinical case definition alone but who were PCR positive (i.e. definitive Covid-19), they had isolated symptoms of: fatigue (n=1), myalgia (n=1), and anosmia and lack of taste (n=2).

    When excluding 10 Possible cases with only one Covid-19 compatible symptom and without lab confirmation, incidence of new Covid-19 did not differ between those receiving hydroxychloroquine at 10.4% (43 of 414) versus placebo at 12.5% (51 of 407; P=0.34).

    [3] While all of these symptoms could possibly occur with Covid-19, some such as diarrhea and headache also overlap with side effect profile of hydroxychloroquine. Particularly when these symptoms occurred during the 5 days of study medicine administration and stopped after day 5, the blinded adjudication process thought these isolated symptoms were less compatible with Covid-19 and more compatible with medication side effects. When diarrhea occurred or persisted after 5 days, these were considered possible. All adjudications were blinded to study arm.

  7. > The lack of evidence lockdowns actually worked is a world scandal. There is still not a shred of real proof that the planet’s reckless stay-at-home experiment made any difference

    Whaaa? Trump just explained today that his decisive action stopped the virus cold. He saved millions of lives, he said.

    What are these people talking about?

    • William Swonger

      Lockdown (staying home from work, school, church, and other local activities) is different than a travel ban between localities, especially foreign countries separated by oceans.

      • Dude –

        Have you already forgotten “30 days to slow the spread?”

      • Here are some highlights:

        > Governors should close schools in communities that are near areas of community transmission, even if those areas are in neighboring states. In addition, state and local officials should close schools where coronavirus has been identified in the population associated with the school.

        In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.

        His decisive actions shut down the virus cold.

        And his decisive actions saved millions of lives.

        It’s funny how Trump supporters can simultaneously maintain their fealty even as he claims to have saved millions of lives even as they claim that the idea of millions dying from COVID was PANIC111!!! based on librul modeling.

      • Don Monfort

        Why should The Donald not take advantage of the fact that, contrary to left loon TDS jokers like yourself, the media, hollyweird, sleepy joe and the dims, etc. he followed the advice of his “science” advisers, who warned that millions would die if there was not a “lock down”? We have had the lock down. I think that it helped in many places and failed miserably in others. See NY, controlled by the syndicate of capo di tuti Cuomo and his grossly incompetent under-boss De Blasio.

      • > Why should The Donald not take advantage of the fact that,

        Yah. There we go.

        Don (6,000 dead) Monfort steps in to make the thinking even more obvious.

        Why should Trump not lie through his teeth and scare-monger for the sake of political expediency? It’s not like any of his supporters care about his lying about the deaths of tens of thousands. And it makes Jim Acosta mad and that’s what we really care about.

        It’s like Don not caring about being off 20-fold in his estimate. What’s 150k deaths?

      • Guys, This political digression is not helpful. I myself think the lockdown didn’t do much more than the voluntary social distancing had already done. There seems no obvious correlation between severity of lockdown and cases or deaths per capita. Trump gave guidance but let each governor decide specific steps for themselves. That is not only the correct way to do it in a Federalist system but because every state is different, was scientifically correct too. In addition it was politically smart. Governors had the authority and will take the heat if they did the wrong things.

      • > There seems no obvious correlation between severity of lockdown and cases or deaths per capita. Trump gave guidance but let each governor decide specific steps for themselves.

        Basic logic fail. You can’t tell because the states that locked down more were the states thst needed to lockdown more. Comparing across states tells you nothing other than which states had the biggest oeibk to begin with.

        And I love how you pretend that your opinions aren’t ideologically influenced. Another logic fail.

      • … biggest problem to begin with….

      • Well Josh, perhaps you have not had time to read the link on the Norway health agency’s report showing that R had already declined to 1.1 before lockdown and that lockdown probably didn’t have a big effect. But in Josh’s world everyone but himself is ideologically motivated. Be careful though. As evidence mounts, your childish view becomes more and more difficult to maintain. And please stop the mind reading. I’m looking at the science while you just constantly harp on uncertainty.

      • > Well Josh, perhaps you have not had time to read the link on the Norway health agency’s report showing that R had already declined to 1.1 before lockdown and that lockdown probably didn’t have a big effect.

        Another logic fail. Norway and the US aren’t remotely similar in many important respects. There is no reason to assume that what did or didn’t work in Norway would or wouldn’t work in the US to the same extent or even at all.

        > But in Josh’s world everyone but himself is ideologically motivated.

        You’re batting one thousand. Another logic fail. I never once said or implied thst I’m not ideologically motivated.

        > And please stop the mind reading. I’m looking at the science while you just constantly harp on uncertainty.

        Mind reading? I’m not reading your mind. I’m looking at the obvious logic fails in your arguments. Deal with them. Or not. Looking at the science? I’m pointing out how you’re misusing the science. Notice how you don’t respond on point.

        But maybe that’s enough with your political digressions?

      • Josh, I fear you are slipping into your weekend intoxicated phase.

        1. You are reading my mind when you talk about my ideological motivation. You don’t know me or what my “ideology” is. Stop lying about that.
        2. You offer nothing concrete about lockdowns working, you just try to act as a merchant of doubt by citing vague and silly ideas that “every country is different.” In that case, we can draw no conclusions at all about anything that will help us. It’s a childish and uninformed position to take.
        3. If you want to simply snipe at others, at least try to cite something to offer an alternative.
        4. Last time I looked Norway’s epidemical curves on which the R estimation is based are pretty similar to most European countries. That would point towards it being a pretty representative case.
        5. There is growing evidence from around the world that lockdowns didn’t change much beyond what social distancing had already accomplished.

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        But we do know your political motivations. You were kind enough to reveal them elsewhere.


        “… determined to defeat the managerial state that Woodrow Wilson wanted to substitute for the Constitution and that Eisenhower warned about.”

        Seems pretty unambiguous.

        https://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2020/04/euromomo_10.html?showComment=1587157578485&m=1#c4526683933517831652

      • Quote mining anonymous activist who never says anything substantive is a natural fallback position for vtg. What I said is not much and certainly not an ‘ideological position.’ Saying something interesting would cause you to learn something. Perhaps a rather high expectation but a worthy goal.

      • verytallguy

        Thanks for confirming your political position dpy. It’s good to be clear on these things.

        I look forward to you engaging in substantive technical matters too, as well as your more usual ideological material.

        You could start with a technical, rather than your previous political take on the interim readout of RECOVERY concluding hydroxychloroquine is ineffective.

        As a stretch target, your assignment is to do so without insults or juvenile name calling.

        I look forward to it very much.

      • Joshua: You can’t tell because the states that locked down more were the states thst needed to lockdown more. Comparing across states tells you nothing other than which states had the biggest oeibk to begin with.

        This means that there is no reliable evidence of whether any of the lockdowns worked; if it is really true, as you assert, that no two cases are comparable enough for a comparison to be meaningful. Are you trying to deny the obvious consequences of your assertion and maintain that the lockdowns really did work?

        There are a bunch of assertions, some confidently expressed, about which the evidence is inconclusive:

        1. HCQ works against COVID-19 (or doesn’t work).

        2. HCQ works against COVID-19 when given early enough.

        3. Side-effects of HCQ don’t matter (even if they induce patients to stop taking the medicine).

        4. the common predecessor of all the strains of SARS CoV-2 originated in a research lab.

        5. halting all traffic with China (when enforced and started early enough) halted the spread of the virus.

        6. halting all traffic with China, if it had been enforced and started early enough, would have protected the US (Italy, Spain, EU generally, Iran) from its outbreak.

        7. Exposure to and antibodies from a variety of other but somewhat related viruses confers immunity to SARS CoV-2.

        8. Face masks (some of them) seriously restrict the spread of the virus.

        It isn’t just that the evidence is poor, but we are exposed to confident pronouncements of all of these (or their denials) from medical experts who do not agree with each other (and some who, like Dr Fauci are not even consistent for a whole week at a time).

      • Matthew –

        > This means that there is no reliable evidence of whether any of the lockdowns worked; if it is really true, as you assert, that no two cases are comparable enough for a comparison to be meaningful.

        Not really. You can compare conditions before and after a “lockdown” is initiated in a given location. For example, did the rate of the spread change?

        But even there you need to control for a lot of variables. It is very difficult to assess the differential impact of “lockdowns” as disaggregated from the more general effects of a raging pandemic, even on metrics such as rate if spread.

        But there are some effects of “lockdowns” that are clear – specifically that workers are able to not go into work without fear of getting fired, and they will be able to collect unemployment. And with no “lockdown”many parents wouldn’t be able to stay home with their children for fear of getting fired if they did so and would have to choose between exposing themselves and their children to greater risk of getting fired from their jobs with no chance to collect unemployment. Is keeping young kids at home good or bad? We don’t even know yet.

        Perhaps careful comparisons across states or even countries might shed some light, but there are a lot of very difficult variables to control for. If you don’t have those controls, you’re analysis is likely just missing confounding variables. The most obvious is that the staring conditions are likely to be drastically different in direct proportion to the relative magnitude of the “lockdowns. ” But there are many other variables that are hugely important as well and that vary by location, such as hospital/ICU capacity or important demographic variables that predict risk and health outcomes.

        And even if longer term there might be real insights gained, after you control for variables, it’s still probably too early to even begin making those comparisons with significant benefit at this point. For example, lots of people have been saying that “lockdowns” will *enhance* the risk if a “wave” once the lockdowns are lifted – yet we’re not really seeing that in a place like Italy, which had a very strict “lockdown” yet appears to not be seeing a prophisized resurgence. But maybe we will see that in time, in places that “locked down” in comparison to those that didn’t, there is a greater “wave.”

        And even more. Peope want to evaluate the costs and benefits of a lockdown before we even know if a vaccine will be developed, and if so, on what timeline. A vaccine developed relatively soon will drastically change the evaluation of a slow/longer term approach to disease spread 9r economic impact in comparison to a fast/short term spread.

        But what we see is that people are eager to interpret the impact of “lockdowns” in facile ways so that they can confirm ideological biases. Even to the point where people cry about the tyranny of “lockdowns” and ignore the role that their favored politicians played (i.e., Trump) played in implementing the “lockdowns.”

        > Are you trying to deny the obvious consequences of your assertion and maintain that the lockdowns really did work?

        I’m not sure that they “work” or not, and my points are that (1) there are a variety of metrics that could be used to determine whether or not they “work.” a lot depends on your starting priorities. For example, for me, considering the needs of hero front line healthcare workers might be a higher priority than for someone else, and thus what “works” would take in a different shape (it’s like discount rate in climate change arguments). Or I might value the life of those most vulnerable more than someone else, as I think that those least vulnerable have an obligation to sacrifice for the benefit of those most vulnerable. So in the very least you need to have a discussion that honors how different people have different calculations based on their priorities and, (2) people need to acknowledge that the determination of what “works” and what doesn’t “work” is likely shaped by ideological orientation. People are using these discussions to advance political agendas. That’s not necessarily a problem – it’s just reality – but it complicates the assessment process, and if people don’t take that into account they’re likely just engaging in a process of bias confirmation.

        So in that case, why bother? Just say what you would prefer and don’t pretend to be making a sophisticated analysis.

      • And also, questions such as the efficacy of HCQ, or the efficacy or improvements in other treatments, or the types and significance of mutations, etc., would all drastically alter the calculus of whether or not “lockdowns” “work.”

        And yes, “lockdowns” are not monolithic, and so assessments if whether or not they “work” would require a sensitivity analysis of the various components.

      • Joshua: You can compare conditions before and after a “lockdown” is initiated in a given location. For example, did the rate of the spread change?

        There are flaws to that approach. You can seldom establish that other conditions did not change, or that behavioral change coincided with the lockdown order. These are among the classic problems that are addressed in statistics and research methods courses in behavioral sciences.

        Note that the lockdown could not be shown to have produced a benefit in Norway, which was commonly asserted to be an important learning example with respect to Sweden. Are there any other examples of attempting to test by change-point analysis (or anything else) whether a lockdown worked?

        Just say what you would prefer and don’t pretend to be making a sophisticated analysis.

        Where is the pretense?

        What I prefer is for government not to expand its power and restrict citizen liberties without evidence that the changes produce good results. Reversing a common expression , “If the end does not justify the means (that is, the means can not be shown to achieve the end), don’t implement the means.”

      • This “discussion” is a perfect illustration of the toxic nature of attempts to engage anonymous internet non-scientist activists who are rhetorically dishonest.

        1. You start off with actual evidence from Norway and their health agency’s report that lockdowns didn’t achieve that much and may have been unnecessary.
        2. Nonscientist activist quote mines an out of context single sentence to try to discredit commenter.
        3. Nonscientist activist says NOTHING about science, policy, or anything of substance, perhaps because his reading is limited to Guardian disinformation and he has nothing to say.
        4. Another nonscientists says everything is too uncertain to draw any conclusions, but Norway report doesn’t apply elsewhere, despite the fact that the track record is the same in many US states.

        You see the pattern. It’s impossible to have a valuable discussion with someone whose sole goal is to discredit and distract. This is classic merchants of doubt behavior.

        So lets just repeat the main point. There is a new report (linked in the post) to a report from Norway’s health agency of a careful analysis that shows R had declined to 1.1 even before lockdown started. This is a fact. I will entertain other evidence. I will not entertain merchants of doubt rhetorically dishonest attempts to distract. That’s not name calling. It’s an accurate description.

      • Of course Matt is right. The burden of proof is on the government to show that suspending the Bill of Rights (and the State Constitution) is really going to be effective at saving lives or protecting property. That’s especially true when the cost of the policy is many trillions of dollars, millions out of work, and there is a high body count associated with the policy itself. Delaying cancer screenings and elective medical procedures will result in a lot of excess deaths down the line. As more people are evicted or forced into bankruptcy, more will take their own lives or die of drug abuse. And for the woke, women and minorities will be hardest hit. Lockdowns directly harm the most vulnerable.

        It is indeed odd that someone then tries to argue that its impossible to really determine if lockdowns are effective but then refuses to say the lockdowns were unjustified and unconstitutional.

        What I would be interested in seeing is some analysis of the case law on this subject. There have been suspensions of civil liberties in time of war for example. What was the response of the courts?

      • nobodysknowledge

        dpy6629: “Norway health agency’s report showing that R had already declined to 1.1 before lockdown and that lockdown probably didn’t have a big effect.”
        This is not what they have reported.
        From Norwegian Health Institute March 24th. “They state that they do not know the R-figure is right now, but the model indicates that the measures that were introduced on March 12 have had an effect. The numbers indicate that the infection rate may be down to 1.3, thanks to less human contact.”
        They had a R value of 2,4 before the lockdown.

      • I think you are quoting an old report. The link Judith gives is more recent.

    • Just because the current POTUS is a lying fool and political opportunist doesn’t mean the lockdowns worked.

      • dougbadgero

        When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, who was the good guy Hitler or Stalin?

      • That kind of language has no place in any serious discussion of science. Kindly leave your Trump Derangement Syndrome at the door on your way in. I think comments like that, which serve no purpose but ti score idealogical points should be removed and if it were my blog they wold be and you would be banned from commenting further.

      • Don Monfort

        I told you he is not very bright.

      • dougbadgero

        Lol it was a comment on the tribalism of the current political climate and the false dichotomy people create. Trumps claim that we saved millions of lives is logically incoherent unless you believe the lockdowns must remain in place.

      • Doug –

        > Trumps claim that we saved millions of lives is logically incoherent unless you believe the lockdowns must remain in place.

        Clearly, logical coherence matters not. Many of the same folks who argue that lockdowns don’t work, argue that Trump saved our bacon (which included his saying that governors should close schools and non-essential businesses should close in affected areas); and they NEVER make a peep when Trump says he saved millions of lives, even as they whine that the “predictions” of millions of deaths were bogus science intended to panic the public.

        Cult members clearly get a kick out of twisting themselves into logical knots. Being a cult member means never having to apply any logic. They just go with their feelings.

      • This whole line of argument is silly. The purpose of mitigation was never to “save millions of lives.” The purpose was to flatten the curve. Trump and Co. seem to have succeeded in doing that.

        Trump tends to ramble on about how there could have been 2 million deaths without action. His experts told him that. Trump is Trump and he says millions of things every. month. A significant number will turn out to not be well considered. That’s no different than most politicians.

      • dougbadgero

        dpy

        I agree that the stated purpose of the lockdowns was to flatten the curve but there is little evidence they are actually responsible for the disease progression we have seen. The lockdowns were supposed to be turned on and off until we had a vaccine or some other way to treat the disease. Every time the lockdowns were lifted the IC model indicated cases would again increase until lockdowns were put back in place. Similarly, the IHME model under predicted deaths because it assumed the lockdowns would halt disease progression and eliminate the “fat tail”.

        It is again logically incoherent to believe the lockdown flattened the curve unless you also believe when lockdowns end the cases will increase. An outcome that seems increasingly unlikely. The lockdowns failed to do what they were designed to do for many reasons. IMO two of them were that lockdowns would have to bring social contact to nearly zero interactions to make a difference, and that the types of interactions limited by the lockdowns were not the types of interactions most likely to result in disease transmission.

      • Doug, I don’t disagree. Probably, the curve was already going to get flattened by voluntary actions. However, it is also true that politicians were generally following their expert advice. I personally had expected Trump to resist more than he did as he has been pretty contrarian with regard to expert elite opinion. It surprised me that Cuomo and particularly DeBlasio were so unconcerned even in early March given that they preach “listen to science.” In their defense, the NY Dept. of Health was saying the same thing. This mostly goes back to expert advice that was highly questionable and for me calls into question “expert” opinion in any field with high uncertainty. This goes for Imperial College as well which seems to have an alarmist track record.

  8. The fact that you’re still:
    – peddling hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 and/or SARS-CoV-2 infection,
    – willfully ignoring the numerous studies showing hydroxychloroquine doesn’t working,
    – willfully ignoring the studies rebutting Raoult’s flawed work,
    – and still blocking comments showing you’re wrong on hydroxychloroquine;
    should tell sensible people all they need to know.

    You’re simply giving your largely right-wing target audience the ideologically-motivated narrative you know they want, just as you do on climate science. And you do that regardless of the damage your disinformation + distortions cause. You are cherry-picking (and often just ignoring) the literature to make it looks like hydroxychloroquine may work and is being unfairly attacked, when study after study shows it doesn’t work. So you’re not offering a representative picture. That’s akin to how you distort and cherry-pick the climate science literature to make it look like anthropogenic greenhouse-gas-induced climate change isn’t as negative as it actually is.

    I hope people remember your ideologically-motivated distortions on hydroxychloroquine the next time they hear you tried to mislead others on climate science.

    Victor Venema:
    “Judith Curry is very intelligent and has much experience as scientist. She naturally knows that this quote was nonsense, but also that her audience likes it. Thus she non-noncommittally calls it interesting.”
    http://variable-variability.blogspot.com/2014/01/interesting-what-interesting-judith.html

    ““Today’s preliminary results from the RECOVERY trial are quite clear – hydroxychloroquine does not reduce the risk of death among hospitalized patients with this new disease,” University of Oxford epidemiologist Martin Landray, one of the study’s leaders, said in a statement. “This result should change medical practice worldwide and demonstrates the importance of large, randomized trials to inform decisions about both the efficacy and the safety of treatments.””
    https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/05/hydroxychloroquine-had-no-benefit-for-hospitalized-covid-19-patients-possibly-closing-door-to-use-of-drug/
    [with:
    https://www.recoverytrial.net/news/statement-from-the-chief-investigators-of-the-randomised-evaluation-of-covid-19-therapy-recovery-trial-on-hydroxychloroquine-5-june-2020-no-clinical-benefit-from-use-of-hydroxychloroquine-in-hospitalised-patients-with-covid-19
    https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04381936?term=Peter+Horby&draw=2&rank=3 ]

    ““This is a hugely important finding that will likely end use of the drug in hospitalized Covid patients, given the other existing data as well,” said Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh.”
    https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/05/hydroxychloroquine-had-no-benefit-for-hospitalized-covid-19-patients-possibly-closing-door-to-use-of-drug/

    RECOVERY clinical trial in question:
    https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04381936?term=Peter+Horby&draw=2&rank=3

    Bolded numbers support lack of substantial evidence of hydroxychloroquine effectively treating or preventing COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 infection:

    Updated list of later hydroxychloroquine studies with a control group, as of June 3, 2020:

    1) Review : “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for treatment or prophylaxis of COVID-19: A living systematic review” [with: https://theconversation.com/hydroxychloroquine-for-covid-19-a-new-review-of-several-studies-shows-flaws-in-research-and-no-benefit-137869 ]
    2) Review : “An updated systematic review of the therapeutic role of hydroxychloroquine in Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19)”
    3) Review : “Hydroxychloroquine in patients with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis”
    4) Randomized, controlled trial : “Hydroxychloroquine in patients with mainly mild to moderate coronavirus disease 2019: open label, randomised controlled trial”
    5) Randomized, controlled trial : “A randomized trial of hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis for Covid-19”
    6) Cohort study : “Association of treatment with hydroxychloroquine or azithromycin with in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19 in New York State”
    7) Cohort study : “Observational study of hydroxychloroquine in hospitalized patients with Covid-19” [companion piece : “The urgency of care during the Covid-19 pandemic — Learning as we go”]
    8) Cohort study : “Clinical efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients with covid-19 pneumonia who require oxygen: observational comparative study using routine care data”
    9) Cohort study (low-tier journal) : “Low dose of hydroxychloroquine reduces fatality of critically ill patients with COVID-19”
    10) Case-control study : “Continuous hydroxychloroquine or colchicine therapy does not prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2: Insights from a large healthcare database analysis”
    11) Case-control study : “Baseline use of hydroxychloroquine in systemic lupus erythematosus does not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19” [with: “Initial data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance provider registries – Authors’ reply”]
    12) Case-control study : “Characteristics associated with hospitalisation for COVID-19 in people with rheumatic disease: data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance physician-reported registry” [with: “Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine develop severe COVID-19 at similar frequency as patients not on antimalarials: need to explore antithrombotic benefits for COVID-19 coagulopathy. Response to: ‘Clinical course of COVID-19 in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus under long-term treatment with hydroxychloroquine’ by Carbillon et al”]
    13) Case-control study (commentary) : “Within a large healthcare system, the incidence of positive COVID-19 results and mortality are lower in patients on chronic hydroxychloroquine therapy”
    14) Case-control study : “Lack of viral clearance by the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin or lopinavir and ritonavir in SARS-CoV-2-related acute respiratory distress syndrome”

    Discussion on earlier, lower-quality studies on hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness:

    1) Review : “COVID-19 coronavirus research has overall low methodological quality thus far: case in point for chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine”
    2) Review : “Should clinicians use chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with azithromycin for the prophylaxis or treatment of COVID-19? Living Practice Points From the American College of Physicians (Version 1)” [with: https://www.acponline.org/acp-newsroom/acp-evidence-does-not-support-chloroquine-or-hcq-use-alone-or-in-combination-with-azithromycin-as ]
    3) Review : “Emergency approval of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19”
    4) Review : “Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the management of COVID-19: Much kerfuffle but little evidence”
    5) Ideas and Opinions : “A rush to judgment? Rapid reporting and dissemination of results and its consequences regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19”
    6) Ideas and Opinions : “Use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine during the COVID-19 pandemic: what every clinician should know”

    Later not-yet-peer-reviewed work not covered in earlier surveys:

    1) Meta-analysis / Review : “Hydroxychloroquine versus COVID-19: A periodic systematic review and meta-analysis”
    2) Meta-analysis / Review : “Efficacy and safety of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for COVID-19: A systematic review”
    3) Meta-analysis / Review : “Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and COVID-19: systematic review and narrative synthesis of efficacy and safety”
    4) Meta-analysis / Review : “Rapid systematic review on clinical evidence of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19: critical assessment and recommendation for future clinical trials”
    5) Cohort study : “Outcomes of hydroxychloroquine usage in United States veterans hospitalized with Covid-19”
    6) Cohort study : “No evidence of clinical efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalised for COVID-19 infection and requiring oxygen: results of a study using routinely collected data to emulate a target trial” [ https://www.sidp.org/resources/Documents/Journal%20Club/Journal%20Club%20Critique-HCQ%20Mahevas_FINAL.pdf ]
    7) Cohort study : “Hydroxychloroquine and tocilizumab therapy in COVID-19 patients – An observational study”
    8) Cohort study : “Treatment response to hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir–ritonavir, and antibiotics for moderate COVID-19: A first report on the pharmacological outcomes from South Korea” (with, peer-reviewed: “Impact of low dose tocilizumab on mortality rate in patients with COVID-19 related pneumonia”)
    9) Case-control study : “Association of previous medications with the risk of COVID-19: a nationwide claims-based study from South Korea”

    • You are in moderation since you have repeatedly violated blog rules. I’m letting this one through since it has some content.

    • Atomsk’s Sanakan: https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/05/hydroxychloroquine-had-no-benefit-for-hospitalized-covid-19-patients-possibly-closing-door-to-use-of-drug/

      thank you for that and the other links.

      The fact that you’re still:
      – peddling hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 and/or SARS-CoV-2 infection,
      – willfully ignoring the numerous studies showing hydroxychloroquine doesn’t working,
      – willfully ignoring the studies rebutting Raoult’s flawed work,
      – and still blocking comments showing you’re wrong on hydroxychloroquine;
      should tell sensible people all they need to know.

      You mischaracterize Judith Curry’s editorial stance on this issue. She has herself linked to studies showing that the evidence for HCQ is poor and has permitted me and others to link to and discuss such studies. Other people have been strong proponents of HCQ, but not her.

    • This comment is full of misinformation and goes all the way back to 2014 to try to discredit Prof. Curry. It betrays a level of rhetorical dishonesty not usually found here. It’s not unusual on political forums populated by political hacks.

      This post presents a large number of papers and results on hydroxychloroquine. Sanakan on the other hand is quite unscientifically certain in his point of view. Given this evidence of bias, why would anyone wade through his “evidence” when the post itself has such a rich collection?

    • He drops by now and then to disgorge venom. Seems to be very unhappy.

      There are, at last check, 212 ongoing clinical trials involving HCQ vs. COVID 19. Most of us hope the HCQ will be proven to be of use. Many ghouls prefer that the virus emerges unscathed. Shame on them.

      • It seems to me we have to come to terms with the fact that HCQ only works in early treatment, and should be tested in early treatment. It makes sense that by the time patients come to the ER, they’re not helped much by antivirals. The Zelenko protocol was 100% outpatient. The FLCCC group dropped HCQ in ER treatment, and they were pushing for it at the beginning. They say they’re having great success with their existing protocol, which is very similar to the original protocol but without HCQ.

        But, that doesn’t mean “HCQ doesn’t work.” It could mean that it works just fine if given at the appropriate time. We could have both an effective preventative measure for those who are high-risk or show symptoms, as well as an effective treatment for those who present to the ER.

        What am I missing?

      • > What am I missing?

        Solid evidence that it works as a prophylaxis in early treatment. Hopefully it’s coming – but maybe you should wait before making a determination. Just a thought.

      • dougbadgero

        I have no idea whether HCQ works or not, but I know doctors in Australia used it with Rita Wilson relatively early in this event. The scandal is that its use in the USA has become political because the POTUS said it might help.

      • Yes, Doug it is shameful the way Trump’s political opponents and even scientists have tried to skew the debate and tried to prevent a potentially beneficial treatment from being used or even being studied. But the woke left morphs everything into a political litmus test and a weapon to force things they don’t like out of the public square.

      • Joshua says,

        “Solid evidence that it works as a prophylaxis in early treatment. Hopefully it’s coming – but maybe you should wait before making a determination. Just a thought.”

        By “it” I assume you mean HCQ. Please show me any trial that tests the Zelenko protocol. This has been around for a while, is outpatient, and uses a relatively low dose of HCQ. Where’s the trial?

        Regarding the FLCCC protocol, suggest you read about it first before passing judgment. This is an effective treatment. It’s endorsed by eight physicians and has a 98% success rate, meaning patients recover and walk out of the hospital. https://covid19criticalcare.com/treatment-protocol/

    • Why so many studies disproving this? It’s more than Trump. You have people all over the world looking at this. You list them above.

      I don’t think this drug is precluding much of anything. Reminds me of proving the warming is not natural. Over and over again. How did that help? It didn’t. It wasted time.

      Something might help but let hydroxychloroquine go. You didn’t fix the global warming problem and you are not fixing this. Fix it. Make that your goal. Curry is not the problem.

    • Atomsk’s Sanakan @AtomsksSanakan. May 27
      “Update thread citing published studies, along with comments debunking Judith Curry’s cherry-picking in the service of ideologically-motivated denialism on hydroxychloroquine:“

      Missing in action. Why?
      Lancelet study Chloroquine Debunked
      New England Journal of medicine. Debunked same author

      Most of the studies you quote have been extremely hastily put together with pal not peer review and rushed into print.
      They all have massive flaws consequent.
      As they fall apart, one by one, will you guarantee to return here and issue a mea culpa for your mudslinging?

      The fact that you’re still willfully ignoring the fact that previously reputable Journals have thrown science out the window is expected from a committed ideologue.

      How to redeem a scrap of integrity, if you ever wanted.
      Be more skeptical in the right way.
      Put up lists of both sides.
      Just for fun and fairness.
      There are papers out there for hydroxychloroquine.
      Give their references too.

      As an aside, Atom, I was extremely unbelieving at first based on my medical training. Chloroquine was an antimalarial drug. And a cramp treatment.
      Viruses and bacteria or parasites are extremely different and require different mechanisms of treatment.
      The medications being for totally different reasons would normally never treat both types of life forms.
      My rationale for non belief was based on science, what I had been taught up until that moment.

      That changed when I learnt of the mechanisms of interfering with viral RNA reproduction in cells. Scientifically proven.
      Are you aware of that?
      Of course you are, petal.
      Research dating back to 2004 or earlier as an antiviral.
      Are you aware of that?
      If not, why not?

      Why knock the study of it as a helpful treatment when we have precious little else?
      You show a great interest in scientific topics.
      You certainly have a skeptical mind, with blinkers on.

      Ideology.
      If the drug does work you would have to thank Trump for helping promote it.
      Guess your attitude is best summed up by better millions die than Trump gets any credit, even if vicarious ( He did not invent it though he might take credit).
      What a great and commendable attitude, man.

    • I don’t read this character’s voluminous BS, but clicked on a comment and as usual instead of going to the comment, it landed on a random spot and this foolishness caught my eye:

      Atompski Skankaski foolishly yammers:

      “First, PCR confirms SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is not identical to the disease COVID-19 that SARS-CoV-2 causes, just like HIV infection isn’t the same thing as AIDS. Second, the “Minnesota study” used PCR. People who were SARS-CoV-2-positive by PCR before the prevention period were excluded, because obviously you can’t prevent initial infection in people already infected. After the prevention period, subsequent PCR results were still assessed to see if infection had been prevented. Did you actually read the study, Curry?:”

      A gratuitous and trivial lecture that PCR confirms SARS-CoV-2 infection, an irrelevant story about HIV AIDS, then a very erroneous account of the Univ of Minn study and a silly insulting question to Judith, who he calls Curry. Judith doesn’t claim to have thoroughly read all the items she offers for discussion. But this hypocrite character obviously didn’t read the study.

      The study admin did not PCR test anybody. Period. They never made in person contact with any of the subjects, nor did they arrange for any tests or examinations for any of the subjects. They explicitly lamented that very few of the subjects were PCR tested.

      They accepted reports from the subjects regarding testing, symptoms, compliance with the drug protocol and everything else. They sent the HCQ and placebo out by Fed Ex. In other words, it was a mail-order, DIY, in home, unsupervised mess. Nothing clinical about it. But the lefties love it, because Orange Man Bad. Pathetic.

  9. Raoult points out that a study in India which found that hydroxychloroquine works as a prophylaxis actually confirmed Covid-19 with PCR. The Minnesota study published yesterday in NEJM did not. [link]
    new RCT study for hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis. [link]

    The Minnesota study had random assignment to HCQ/NonHCQ but the India study did not.

    Among the details reported by the Minnesota study that Raoult has reported inconsistently at best is discontinuation of HCQ by patients due to unpleasant side effects (judged non serious by the trialists — who, it should be noted, found no serious effects, including cardiovascular effects, due to HCQ.) It might be thought counter-intuitive that patients would discontinue a drug that might prevent death, just because of relatively “minor” symptoms.

    I expect few readers here will have studied “futility analysis”.

    Overall, this is a disappointing result.

    • Are you blind as well as ignorant? The Univ of Minn study had next to zero testing to confirm if anybody in fact was positive for COVID 19. Nobody knows how many started out being infected and it’s only a guess how many were infected at the end of the analysis. Only 20 of the 107 classified as infected at trial end tested positive. 48 were classified as infected because they had a cough. You really don’t have a clue.

      What good is random assignment, if the rest of the protocol is trash?

      • Don Monfort

        Mattie doesn’t respond, when he is challenged.

        I inquired of mattie:”What good is random assignment, if the rest of the protocol is trash?”

        They have no idea of how many subjects started the trial with COVID 19 infection. None were tested. None. Is that OK, mattie? They only reported that 20 subjects were tested positive at the end of the trial. The 87 others deemed positive were judged on symptoms, 48 on just one symptom (cough hmmph, hmmph) and none of the subjects were interviewed in person or examined. Is this OK to be called a Gold Standard trial, mattie?

        Oh, but Raoult is discredited because some patients stopped taking HCQ due to non-serious side effects in the Univ. of Minn. trial. That would be 17 out of 414. But oh, the placebo group had 8 softies, who dropped out due to side effects. Side effects of the PLACEBO, mattie.

        So what is your point, mattie? Maybe Dr. Raoult’s patients, who were in hospital felt more confident in the medication that was dispensed under close supervision. Not sitting at home after self-registering in some DIY mail order BS clinical trial.

        Answer the question, mattie. Don’t hide, this time.

      • Don Monfort:

        The rest of the protocol was not “trash”. If HCQ worked, it ought to have reduced the incidence of the most extreme symptoms as appraised by the blind raters. that it did not is disappointing. 100% lab testing would have been better. But note that you could have better clinical outcomes with HCQ (or without) with equal viral load at time of testing. In such a case, should it happen, the clinical assessments would be valuable as long as treatment assignment was random and assessment was blind.

        What the random assignment does is to randomize the many little things that can affect the outcome.

        To date, all of the studies on HCQ in COVID-19 have flaws.

        I did not notice this question earlier.

      • Don Monfort

        I am going to have to give you a lot of help, mattie:

        “We hypothesized that hydroxychloroquine could potentially be used as postexposure prophylaxis, to prevent symptomatic infection after exposure to Covid-19.”

        They recruited sight unseen 821 self-nominated self-qualifying subjects without knowing if any, all, or what fraction of those folks were already infected. They didn’t know if the exposure the recruits self-reported was the only recent exposure, or the 50th. Any of them could have been exposed and infected prior to the self-reported qualifying exposure and not yet developed symptoms. Point is, they needed to be tested and found to be negative, before being accepted in the trial. Don’t you see that? They did not have a baseline to test for postexposure prophylaxis.

        But they carried on and eventually got test confirmed positive cases, numbering 20. Twenty. Oh, they got other numbers of “probable” victims by analyzing reported symptoms with no examination. Never mind that most people who get infected are asymptomatic. So they didn’t have a baseline and they don’t know how many were infected after the self-reported exposure. Do you get that? They didn’t know how many were infected to begin with and they don’t know how many were infected at the final analysis. Only 20 cases confirmed by testing.

        Then there is the issue of the 6 HCQ treatment arm subjects, who did not complete the treatment course, but were included in the 49 HCQ cases deemed positive (only 11 by actual testing). It should be 43, if they are serious.

        There are other issues I have gone into elsewhere, such as the exposure risk imbalance, but I am not going to waste any more time on you, mattie.

        I have some more drinking to do. I think I’ll wait until all 212 trials are completed and reported. Maybe a few will be not faked, politically influenced, incompetently designed and/or poorly implemented.

      • Don Monfort

        Now that I have more drinks to clear my head, I am reconsidering some of this. I’ll think on it, tomorrow.

      • Don Monfort: I think I’ll wait until all 212 trials are completed and reported.

        That might be wise.

        Or maybe not: if 10 in a row well-done studies support the idea that early treatment with HCQ reduces severity of symptoms, length of stay in ICU, or risk of death, or all three, the remaining clinical trials will likely be deemed unethical.

      • Don Monfort

        Your answer is unresponsive and irrelevant; for the sake of brevity I won’t mention immaterial and incompetent.

  10. from the blood clotting article:Although both viruses dock onto cells through ACE2 receptors, another protein is needed to crack open the virus so its genetic material can get into the infected cell. The additional protein the original SARS virus requires is only present in lung tissue, but the protein for SARS-CoV-2 to activate is present in all cells, especially endothelial cells.

    It has been reported for months now that SARS CoV-2 damages lots of tissue types.

  11. Especially for Don

    “If you are admitted to hospital, don’t take hydroxychloroquine,” said Martin Landray, deputy chief investigator of the Recovery trial and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Oxford University. “It doesn’t work.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/05/hydroxychloroquine-does-not-cure-covid-19-say-drug-trial-chiefs

    • Especially for the veryghoul,

      There are 212 ongoing clinical trials for HCQ vs. COVID 19. Any dumb clown “scientist” who is involved in those trials and blabs the alleged results to the Guardian, before the trial is finished and published should turn in his little plastic “scientist” badge. And if he said the trial was proving HCQ to be a winder drug, you would be screaming about his ethics. You people are really terrible hypocrites. Why are you ghouls so invested in rooting for HCQ to fail?

    • You realize VTG that what you are doing here is sophomoric quote mining, don’t you? That would be expected from a hack politician, but not a scientist.

  12. Also, especially for Don

    The U.S. death rate from seasonal flu has been running at an average of about 5,000 per month. I predict we will not see 5000 deaths from the coronavirus.

    https://judithcurry.com/2020/03/25/covid-19-updated-data-implies-that-uk-modelling-hugely-overestimates-the-expected-death-rates-from-infection/#comment-912050

    • Even worse than I thought. I thought it was 6k.

      Will surely hit 150k before we’re done. Hey, only off 30-fold. He’s prolly pleased with himself that he was even that close.

      • Don Monfort

        We know that you are hoping the death toll keeps climbing. Pathetic.

      • Don Monfort: We know that you are hoping the death toll keeps climbing.

        Your forecast was wrong.

        At the rate things are going, about 1% fatalities per day (with respect to total fatalities accumulated), we’ll be lucky if the death toll stays below 200,000. We are all wrong sometimes. Lump it, and add some humility to your daily bread.

      • Don Monfort

        You are a silly boy, mattie. Everybody can see I was wrong. I have obviously admitted it. you just got a bad case of donnyitis. Why don’t you study up on medicine and clinical trials and get back to us in about six months. You don’t have a clue.

      • Don Monfort:Why don’t you study up on medicine and clinical trials and get back to us in about six months. You don’t have a clue.

        Clues: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=matthew+r+marler&btnG=

        I hope I don’t seem boastful. The record is modest.

      • Don Monfort

        That could be another reason why we should be suspicious of jopurnals and peer review. Let’s stipulate that you are a clinical trials genius, Then you should have more than your usual lame BS in reply to my question above.

        https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/05/covid-discussion-thread-part-viii/#comment-918639

      • Matthew,
        In your research have you studied the effect of lucid dreaming on long term memories? I am aware of several private industry projects that are attempting to build mind machine neuro-interfaces and there seems to be some promising work using coherent focused light to stimulate specific brain activity. Seems like an exciting area of research.
        Jack

      • Don Monfort: Let’s stipulate that you are a clinical trials genius,

        that is absurd. I claim only some proficiency. I have planned trials (some were funded, some not; some in academics, some in the private sector); helped carry out the trials; and analyzed data from trials. I did planned analyses, interim analyses, and futility analyses.

        It’s a shame that all the HCQ trials have flaws, but that’s the state of the research now.

      • Don Monfort

        I don’t question your mattstat number crunching abilities, despite having seen you make simple arithmetic errors, but I have hired top notch statisticians with strong medical backgrounds to analyze drug trials and you wouldn’t be one I would consult. Your knowledge of medical science is weak and I doubt that you have planned any drug trials. Pharma hires the people I would hire for those big ticket investments.

    • I was closer than the “scientists”, who said two million. It’s a shame that so many are cheering for the virus to rack up victims, due to a worn-out failed ideology.

      • > I was closer than the “scientists”, who said two million.

      • > I was closer than the “scientists”, who said two million. They projected a number if no interventions were undertaken.

      • The projections of 2 million was for a situation where no one even engaged in social distancing.

        So instead of just owning up, you just double-down with the nonsense.

        Why not just man up and admit how much you underestimated the threat?

        Show a little humility and see if you can figure out why your ideological extremism led you to be off by such an absurd amount. Would it really be that hard?

      • Don Monfort

        It’s all about ideology and politics with these ghouls.

        The dead are piling up in Democrat controlled jurisdictions:
        NY and NJ
        Detroit
        Chicago
        Los Angeles
        New Orleans
        etc.

        https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/05/26/coronavirus-death-toll-is-heavily-concentrated-in-democratic-congressional-districts/

        They want to blame Trump. Trump “touted” HCQ, so it has to fail. Studies that are negative, most of which are fatally flawed and even faked have to be publicized to high Heaven.

      • Don Monfort

        You are getting frenzied there, little fella. I won’t bother with you. Why don’t you go back to yapping at Judith’s heels? OK, I know why.

  13. Genes and COVID-19:
    Methods
    We included 1,980 patients with Covid-19 respiratory failure at seven centers in the Italian and Spanish epicenters of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe (Milan, Monza, Madrid, San Sebastian and Barcelona) for a genome-wide association analysis. After quality control and exclusion of population outliers, 835 patients and 1,255 population-derived controls from Italy, and 775 patients and 950 controls from Spain were included in the final analysis. In total we analyzed 8,582,968 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and conducted a metaanalysis of both case-control panels.

    Results
    We detected cross-replicating associations with rs11385942 at chromosome 3p21.31 and rs657152 at 9q34, which were genome-wide significant (P<5×10-8) in the meta-analysis of both study panels, odds ratio [OR], 1.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.48 to 2.11; P=1.14×10-10 and OR 1.32 (95% CI, 1.20 to 1.47; P=4.95×10-8), respectively. Among six genes at 3p21.31, SLC6A20 encodes a known interaction partner with angiotensin converting
    enzyme 2 (ACE2). The association signal at 9q34 was located at the ABO blood group locus and a blood-group-specific analysis showed higher risk for A-positive individuals (OR=1.45, 95% CI, 1.20 to 1.75, P=1.48×10-4) and a protective effect for blood group O (OR=0.65, 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.79, P=1.06×10-5).

    NYTimes article links to this:

    Click to access 2020.05.31.20114991v1.full.pdf

  14. Re: “Ex-head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove says coronavirus ‘is man-made’ and was ‘released by accident’ – after seeing ‘important’ scientific report”

    A ridiculous, baseless conspiracy theory spread by many right-wing individuals. The fact that you’re peddling it is quite telling:

    Re: “The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) has sued the FDA to End Its arbitrary restrictions on HCQ. [link]”

    The AAPS is a right-wing organization of charlatans that published articles defending AIDS denialism and denialism on climate science, which is what I previously knew them for:

    “Questioning HIV/AIDS: Morally reprehensible or scientifically warranted?”

    Again, the fact that you’re peddling this is quite telling regarding who your target audience is, and how competent you are at evaluating the credibility of a source you share. Even a trip to Wikipedia would have been better than what you did:

    “Articles and commentaries published in [the association’s Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPandS)] have argued a number of non-mainstream or scientifically discredited claims,[24] including:
    – that human activity has not contributed to climate change, and that global warming will be beneficial and thus is not a cause for concern.[30][31]
    – that HIV does not cause AIDS.[32]
    – that the “gay male lifestyle” shortens life expectancy by 20 years.[33]
    – that there is a link between abortion and the risk of breast cancer.[3]
    – that there are possible links between autism and vaccinations.[3]
    – that government efforts to encourage smoking cessation and emphasize the addictiveness of nicotine are misguided”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_American_Physicians_and_Surgeons#Publishing_of_non-mainstream_or_scientifically_discredited_claims

    Re: “higher viral load and prolonged viral shedding results in longer and more complex clinical course for Covid-19. “Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin resulted in a 95% success rate with no mortality.””

    That’s a case series with no control group. Anyone familiar with the ‘evidence pyramid’ of evidence-based medicine should know why that’s a very weak study design: there is no control group included to compare the treatment group to. That might be passable when there aren’t better-designed studies available, such as cohort studies. But there are numerous better-designed studies now, which I already cited to you on multiple occasions. So it’s ridiculous to cite that study as sound evidence of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin working. Your bias and lack of knowledge in this topic are showing.

    Re: “Raoult points out that a study in India which found that hydroxychloroquine works as a prophylaxis actually confirmed Covid-19 with PCR. The Minnesota study published yesterday in NEJM did not.”

    First, PCR confirms SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is not identical to the disease COVID-19 that SARS-CoV-2 causes, just like HIV infection isn’t the same thing as AIDS. Second, the “Minnesota study” used PCR. People who were SARS-CoV-2-positive by PCR before the prevention period were excluded, because obviously you can’t prevent initial infection in people already infected. After the prevention period, subsequent PCR results were still assessed to see if infection had been prevented. Did you actually read the study, Curry?:

    “Secondary outcomes included the incidence of hospitalization for Covid-19 or death, the incidence of PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, the incidence of Covid-19 symptoms, the incidence of discontinuation of the trial intervention owing to any cause, and the severity of symptoms (if any) at days 5 and 14 according to a visual analogue scale (scores ranged from 0 [no symptoms] to 10 [severe symptoms]).”
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2016638

    Re: “New study from India of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis finds that taking six or more doses reduced the risk of coronavirus in healthcare workers by 80%. [link]”

    I’m fairly sure you neither read nor understood this study, since the full study isn’t published yet, the study has a weak design that you didn’t comment on, and you have shown you don’t give good evaluations of this type of research that is outside your field of expertise. This is the abstract of the study from a journal with a low impact factor:

    “Healthcare workers & SARS-CoV-2 infection in India: A case-control investigation in the time of COVID-19”
    http://www.ijmr.org.in/preprintarticle.asp?id=285520;type=0

    An immediate problem should leap out to anyone who knows how to read medical science papers: this is a (retrospective) case-control study on a treatment applied to those who likely knew they were at risk of the study’s outcome measure at the time they took the treatment. That means that the difference the researchers observed may not be due to any efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, but instead due to other differences. For instance, people who knew they were in situations that placed them at more risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection deciding to opt for a pre-treatment other than hydroxychlorquine. That’s one reason why case-control studies are suggestive, but not demonstrative of causation. Dumbed down below:

    “Case-control studies may prove an association but they do not demonstrate causation.”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1706071/

    A better case-control study design would be for people given or not given hydroxychloroquine, without the study outcome (ex: SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19-related mortality, etc.) being in mind when the decision for hydroxychloroquine treatment was made. Fortunately, there’s already a study population like this: those who did or not take hydroxychloroquine as medication for conditions such as lupus, and/or who were already taking hydroxychloroquine before the pandemic became an issue. Most of the studies on those populations show hydroxychloroquine does not work as early treatment, including as pre-treatment. For example, the studies I already cited in my previous comment, with bolding for those that showed no evidence of hydroxychloroquine being associated with an improved response:

    Peer-reviewed:
    10) Case-control study : “Continuous hydroxychloroquine or colchicine therapy does not prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2: Insights from a large healthcare database analysis”
    11) Case-control study : “Baseline use of hydroxychloroquine in systemic lupus erythematosus does not preclude SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19” [with: “Initial data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance provider registries – Authors’ reply”]
    12) Case-control study : “Characteristics associated with hospitalisation for COVID-19 in people with rheumatic disease: data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance physician-reported registry” [with: “Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus using hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine develop severe COVID-19 at similar frequency as patients not on antimalarials: need to explore antithrombotic benefits for COVID-19 coagulopathy. Response to: ‘Clinical course of COVID-19 in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus under long-term treatment with hydroxychloroquine’ by Carbillon et al”]
    13) Case-control study (commentary) : “Within a large healthcare system, the incidence of positive COVID-19 results and mortality are lower in patients on chronic hydroxychloroquine therapy”

    Not-yet-peer-reviewed:
    9) Case-control study : “Association of previous medications with the risk of COVID-19: a nationwide claims-based study from South Korea”

    Re: “The lack of evidence lockdowns actually worked is a world scandal. There is still not a shred of real proof that the planet’s reckless stay-at-home experiment made any difference [link]
    […]
    Is the “science” behind the lockdown any good?
    […]
    Norwegian Study using actual data says COVID lock down wasn’t necessary.
    […]
    Japan ends coronavirus emergency with 850 deaths and no lockdowns
    […]
    600 physicians say lockdowns are a ‘mass casualty event’”

    So you’re peddling a narrative on lockdowns that many people on the right-wing want (since they oppose lockdowns), as expected. And you start with a press piece from the same source that peddles politically-motivated denialism on climate science. But you give no link or citation of published research on this. Amazing.

    Lockdown worked:

    Peer-reviewed:
    “Estimating the burden of SARS-CoV-2 in France”
    “Effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 cases, deaths, and demand for hospital services in the UK: a modelling study”
    “Modelling SARS-COV2 spread in London: Approaches to lift the lockdown”

    Not-yet-peer-reviewed:
    “Effect of a one-month lockdown on the epidemic dynamics of COVID-19 in France”
    “COVID-19: One-month impact of the French lockdown on the epidemic burden”
    “How and when to end the COVID-19 lockdown: an optimisation approach”
    “The impact of a nation-wide lockdown on COVID-19 transmissibility in Italy”

    Re: “Let’s hear scientists with different Covid-19 views, not attack them”

    Gavin Schmidt is right about you, as usual:

    • Schmidt’s tweet is a particularly nasty smear of John Ioannidis, a much more respected scientist than Schmidt himself. It illustrates how scientists can be corrupted by activist stances into doing political hit jobs.

      I didn’t read the rest of your long rant. Your twitter page rmakes it clear that you are a schoolyard bully who wears a hood and tries to intimidate people whose opinions you don’t like into silence, like a few secret societies of bigots from the past. Your rants are nothing but quote mining from science you don’t understand and are extremely biased.

      • dpy: I didn’t comment anything on Covid-19 here, however I’m scared about the political stained discussion. Because the SARS-Co-V2 virus is NOT a politcal enemy, it’s just a virus. IMO the discussion should be how to beat it without a very big economic crisis. Is this rumble about hydroxychloroquine only established due to the early promoting from Donald T. ? This is nothing of any scientific value. The audience here should find back to a appropriate disussion, as we did it sometimes when we spoke about climate. When reading here it hurts. And no: There is no logical reason to compare climate science with Covid-19.

      • Bullseye on all counts.

        Actually his megalomaniacal, attention seeking primal screams remind me of my baby sister at age 18 months when she would sit in her hi-chair and couldn’t get our attention would begin shrieking until her face turned red and she began to shake all over.

        Yep, thinking back, that about captures it.

      • Judy, I have a comment in moderation albeit I never violated the blog rules AFAIK. I hope you see it also in this way.. ;)

      • Hi Frank, not sure why your comment got caught in moderation. Its released now

      • Yes Frank, the politization of everything is deeply troubling to me too. Here’s a link to a good Wall Street Journal column on similarities between the American left and the Russian elites just before the Communist revolution. Scary stuff.

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/violent-protest-and-the-intelligentsia-11591400422?emailToken=46958a5a294904ed0a6c6f72a7169b98m8Qp8wv15k65PqohsxZ//pehUX6ZWLRhzrq/DH4xUaxI6PvDk0O1zWqVBH8OXs9QH69hlMX0Ocricju6GgsQhoYBI3UWByc4myJvOpa5Pn4%3D&reflink=article_imessage_share

        Every election since 2000 that Democrats have lost has been claimed to be illegitimate for some reason. This is used to justify ever more abusive political tactics to overturn the results. This has culminated with Trump in essentially a Deep State conspiracy to deligitimize him and force him out.

        This is all amplified by a frankly partisan and ideological press that is worse in its dishonesty than at any time since the Gilded age. Even some scientists have become partisan flacks and some are propagandists. Lancetgate is remarkable only for how brazenly fraudulent it is.

        Sanakan is the prototypical anonymous foot soldier in the political war on any scientific dissent, the new left wing storm troopers that try to use intimidation to silence. A digital analog of Antifa terrorists. You notice how brazenly unfair he is to Prof. Curry I’m sure. The hatred just drips from every word of this loser. Like a 20 something loser Antifa member coming out of Mommy’s basement to assault people, these cowards always wear masks to avoid being prosecuted or shamed. They run away when their prey fights back.

        The forces of civil discourse and diversity of thought are under attack in a way I haven’t seen since in my lifetime. Even the first amendment is under attack by cultural Marxists. Perhaps the best analogue is the Progressive era with its dominant ideologies of racism and social Darwinism and its corrupt politics. As hard as it is to believe, big city political party machines were actually worse then than they are now. Voter fraud was rife with buying of votes and mass herding and voting of drunks and recent immigrants who didn’t know what they were voting for. Big businessmen told their workers that they would be fired if the right candidate didn’t win.

    • i commented above on the peer reviewed paper that is the reason the MI6 person made the comment. Your dismissal of it as some right wing conspiracy thing and your bald statement that there is no peer reviewed data published is just plain wrong. Kind of makes me wonder about the rest of your positions especially dismissing the AAPS “because it is a right-wing organization of charlatans”. Do you habitually label anyone whose work you don’t like as “right wing nonsense”?

    • “The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons…”
      That one made your day. You have to admit they are better at marketing than your ilk.
      Your best day: “Questioning HIV/AIDS: Morally reprehensible or scientifically warranted?”
      You can compare the above to some of the nonsense your side has put out. You’ve done more economic harm than any kind of harm these people have.

    • “So you’re peddling a narrative on lockdowns that many people on the right-wing want…”
      Wake up. It’s more than just the right-wing. The pressure to open will only get stronger. Any fool can see that. I can.
      Hospitals and patients with other maladies are hurting. Do you deny it?
      Lockdowns don’t work in the context of total good. You held up a sign that had an ‘A’ on it. You forget the rest of the Alphabet.

    • Atom
      “13) Case-control study (commentary) : “Within a large healthcare system, the incidence of positive COVID-19 results and mortality are lower in patients on chronic hydroxychloroquine therapy”
      Thank you.

      As an aside, if and when I get Covid 19 I will be doing my best to get a treatment course of chloroquine included in my medical management.

      An extremely safe drug.
      Much less dangerous than aspirin, Panadol and most statins.
      Saved millions of lives from Malaria and treats some other diseases as well
      All other rheumatoid drugs are much more toxic..
      Trust you will overcome your bias and use it as well if you get sick.

  15. So after going round the houses it now appears that covid19 is after all a hybrid between bat and pangolin coronavirus (mostly bat):

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200529161221.htm

    We’re back where we started, in terms of researching covid19’s origin.

    • “We were surprised to find that SARS-CoV-2 exhibits low genetic diversity in contrast to SARS-CoV, which harbored considerable genetic diversity in its early-to-mid epidemic phase.” This implies, they argue, that “by the time SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in late 2019, it was already pre-adapted to human transmission to an extent similar to late epidemic SARS-CoV.” That is weird, unless of course it was an engineered virus with weird inserts as postulated by the MI6 fellow based on the paper by B. Sørensen, A. Susrud, A.G.Dalgleish, as noted in my comments above on that one. Then it is no longer surprising that it arrived into e scene “pre-adapted to human transmission”.

      • There was a study link posted in one of the other threads that suggested SARS-CoV-2 might be a mutation of SARS-CoV. This certainly seems possible that SARS-CoV may have remained latent in the population in China for some number of years then mutated to what we are dealing with now..

      • Interesting hypothesis. So the virus bounced around in the Chinese population long enough to evolve six specific little inserts including switches to basic amino acids from acidic in critical points that make it much more virulent without being detected until it suddenly leaped up in 2019. However this virus doesn’t mutate quickly once it got to that point and went loose worldwide. We know the Cheese were fooling around with enhancing viral virulence in coronaviruses because they published on it. So we have a weird and unlikely course of evolution happening naturally that evolved silently and then abruptly stopped evolving or we have a deliberately engineered virus that got loose accidentally from a lab we know was trying to do this. Take your pick.

  16. “This raises an awkward question: was lockdown necessary? What did it achieve that could not have been achieved by voluntary social distancing? Camilla Stoltenberg, director of Norway’s public health agency, has given an interview where she is candid about the implications of this discovery. ‘Our assessment now, and I find that there is a broad consensus in relation to the reopening, was that one could probably achieve the same effect – and avoid part of the unfortunate repercussions – by not closing. But, instead, staying open with precautions to stop the spread.’ This is important to admit, she says, because if the infection levels rise again – or a second wave hits in the winter – you need to be brutally honest about whether lockdown proved effective.”

    This from the Norway report. It further says R had gone down to 1.1 before lockdown was imposed. I still am not sure what has changed since 1968 that caused politicians to panic and cause the worst Depression in history. It shows how the prominence of “science” is not a good thing if the “science” is deeply uncertain and fraught with unstable models.

  17. It’s astonishing that even in the wake of the Surgispheres-Lancet fabrication fiasco, the usual suspects are still trumpeting the evils of hydroxychloroquine as if nothing had happened. That’s an odd feature of modern argument. Nothing needs to be addressed, replied to, rebutted, or disproved. Instead, inconvenient facts or voices are simply side-stepped and ignored.

    There is a trend developing of big corporate interests and the left’s interests intersecting and finding common cause. As Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs brilliantly exposed in “Planet of the Humans”, the renewable scam has proved lucrative for big business.

    Now the campaign against the drug Hydroxychloroquine that has been widely taken for a century but now suddenly turns out to be dangerous, (HCQ) again unites the left with big pharma. The left are overwhelmed by rage against a drug which bad-orange-man recommended, for none but tribal reasons. Big pharma are similarly innately hostile to any off patent drug because … it’s off patent.

    So once again the left and big business are in bed together over a politicised issue, the good but suddenly bad, the safe but suddenly unsafe antimalarial drug HCQ. And both together again find themselves with egg on their faces as the whole Surgisphere fiasco is exposed as fabrication – a fact obvious from the start.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52929916

    • Even if the Surgispheres-Lancet study was bad, fake, hoax, etc that doesn’t mean that it’s conclusions are wrong or that the opposite of the conclusions are correct. A bad study can have correct conclusions. It is just that the study itself doesn’t support the conclusions. And vice versa. Good studies can have bad conclusions because some aspect of what was studied still isn’t understood.

      • James Cross: Even if the Surgispheres-Lancet study was bad, fake, hoax, etc that doesn’t mean that it’s conclusions are wrong or that the opposite of the conclusions are correct.

        It is totally untrustworthy and it should be ignored. It is hard to ignore, like a burr under a saddle or a pebble in a shoe, but it does not help us move forward.

      • Don Monfort

        You don’t get it, jimmy. It’s not a bad study, it is a faked study. The study is based entirely on totally faked data. Dude made it all up. He’s going to be staying at the Iron Bar Hotel. You have really lost the plot, jimmy. Take a few weeks off and think about what you are doing here.

      • Don,

        I even acknowledged it could be fake. That still doesn’t mean the opposite of its conclusions are right..

        Matthew,

        Sure. Let’s ignore it. See comment to Don.

        Don, Matthew,

        Give me the absolute best study you have that demonstrates HCQ (or in some combination with other things) is effective for either preventing death or preventing complications as a prophylaxis.

  18. oh yes, now I get it – “This is why so many cold viruses affect us but so few kill us…”

    Makes sense… re, article on the Russian pandemic 1889 to 1890

  19. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The first hurricane this season may form in the Atlantic in June.
    A tropical storm will hit Louisiana.

    • Iren
      The indications are that this will be an early start season because of atmospheric constraints.
      Your second sentence prediction is made while a TS is parked off the coast. I enjoy a good joke.

      My own prediction is that global ACE will be more vigorous than mean, let’s say at the 60 percent value.

  20. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Large amounts of water will fall in the southern US.

  21. The missing text:
    THe ‘R below one1’ thing:
    People seem to ignore that the simple R is in general from a dynamic system in disequilibrium. If a population starts with a high R0 and then applies some NPIs and then has a lower but equilibrium R that is still >1 the simple dynamic R will for some time fall below 1 until the new equilibrium level is reached ….

  22. Matthew R Marler

    cancer focused autoimmune drugs to quell the cytokine storm?
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-astrazeneca-idUSKBN23C2P4

  23. Ireneusz Palmowski

    To avoid complications caused by excess angiotensin II (vasoconstriction), ACE enzyme inhibitors (such as those used to treat hypertension) should be used. The mechanism of action of the virus is known.

  24. Black and minority Americans more likely to get Covid-19, House panel hears [link]

    “Among the most important risk factors for death from Covid-19 are chronic conditions, such as diabetes and uncontrolled asthma. Those disparities have been magnified by the pandemic, witnesses said.

    In just one example of disparities in an important risk factor, 30% of black Americans and 29% of Latino Americans reported suffering from diabetes, compared to only 17% of white Americans,”

    Obesity by itself, although also associated with diabetes, is an independent risk factor for a worse outcome from an infection from SARS Cov-2.

    “Hispanics 47.0% and non-Hispanic blacks 46.8% have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity than the non-Hispanic whites 37.9% and non-Hispanic Asians 12.7%”. (wiki)

    “Certain aspects of personality are associated with being obese. Neuroticism, impulsivity, and sensitivity to reward are more common in people who are obese while conscientiousness and self-control are less common in people who are obese.” (wiki)

    Opportunity for infection by the congregation of groups of people lacking social distancing has also increased the risk of acquiring and for poor infection outcomes.

    There is a predominate narrative to explain the increased infection and death from COVID-19 (outside of nursing home residence) which includes poverty, crowded living conditions and increased exposure by essential workers who can not work from home. That is, factors outside of the control of the individuals who become sick and die.

    OTOH, if certain chronic health conditions exist to a high degree within the COVID-19 effected population, what policies can be implemented to alter the poor outcomes with this pandemic?

    What alterable conditions are within society’s control and which reside within the individual’s purview?

    • For some reason we always as a society refuse to look the obvious in the face. Blacks and Hispanics have darker skin. Blacks and Hispanics have much higher rates of Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is well known to be protective against a variety of respiratory viruses and there is some evidence out there that includes COVID-19. Seems to me upping vitamin D would be a cheap and easy way to fix a lot of the disparity but then there wouldn’t be any social justice movement involved so I guess not.

      • Don Monfort

        Be careful. Suggesting that people of color are deficient in vitamin D would be prima facie rayciss.

      • Yes I suppose all the science on that must be ignored as politically incorrect.

      • tumbleweedstumbling

        Indeed there is an ongoing experiment regarding social distancing and the risk of acquiring the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. Large scale and wide spread social protests along with riots provide the unasked for but now in motion attempt to address the social distancing hypothesis.

        Within a few weeks, there will be an answer as to whether schools can open in the Fall. Whether large public sporting events and concerts can be rescheduled.

        OTOH, if the pandemic has its resurgence way before the Fall because of this ongoing experiment, then we will also have an answer.

        The at risk population discussed in Congressional hearings may have yet another item to explain increased infection and death.

      • Why have the Democrats led cities with their BLM and ANTIFA side kicks chosen to use predominantly Blacks from very poor neighbourhoods already at higher risk to do this experiment on? Maybe Joshua can explain this since he’s such an expert on stable geniuses.

      • Rob Johnson-Taylor

        Its not just Vit D that is a problem in people with dark skin living in northen latitudes. One needs to consider COVID and those with sickle cell anaemia. Like it not there is a racial dimension to this disease. I have seen reports relating to blood types also being involved in the effects of the virus.

    • BTW I am personally absolutely sickened by the mass protests going on. Either there will be another huge wave of COVID-19 infection after these protests or there will be nothing. In either case, all the personal sacrifices all the individuals in Canada made to control the virus and flatten the curve will have been for nothing. Either there will be a huge outbreak due to the protests (potentially mitigated by some people finally get sun on their skin) or we’ll know the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated on us by failed experts. I’m not sure which is worse.

      • > or we’ll know the whole thing was a hoax

        A Chinese hoax – just like climate change. Man, that Donald is one stable genius.

      • One week we have to have socially distance and ruin the economy. One week later, whatever. Next crisis. Justice doesn’t care about science. Whatever the climate scientist say doesn’t matter. Just been proved. You scientists need a better approach. With climate science, your answer was to bleep energy up. With the virus, it’s bleep the economy up. Therefore Trump. The virus scientists said don’t protest? No they didn’t. Spineless.

      • The virus scientists are afraid to say anything against the protesters because their building will be burned and looted next.

  25. How do innumerate people deal with risk? The pool in my active 55+ community is padlocked because someone might get covid19 and sue the HOA. As Best as 8 can find there are no know cases of Covid19 transmission via swimming pools in the world, Outdoor transmission is rare. But it is possible that our HOA COULD go bankrupt from this because someone might catch it here and might sue us. . (It’s possible to win the lottery many days in a row- but it it doesn’t happen a lot.). There must be many more higher probability risks of legal action that we have lived with before this. But people are alarmed and afraid because we have something with a big awareness and a possible serious consequences and rational discussion has no place.

    • How do innumerate people deal with risk? All you have to do is watch the media since journalist by in large are the most egregious collection of innumerates I have ever met. I get more intelligent conversation out of the farmers around me with grade 10 educations than I do with journalists. They are not just innumerate. They are number blind with all numbers over 1000 being the same.

    • Big lawyers payday.

  26. Will the pandemic permanently alter scientific publishing?
    The push for rapid and open publishing could take off — although financial pressures lie ahead: part 4 in a series on science after the pandemic
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01520-4

  27. Protocol for “protesting” under current health emergency social distancing guidelines:

  28. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The start of a powerful downpours in the south of the US.

  29. For June 1 – June 5, the rate of increase in new COVID-19 cases in the US was below 1.3%.

    For June 1 – June 5, the rate of increase deaths due to COVID-19 was below 1%.

    It will be interesting to see whether the large departures from the lockdown orders in some regions of the US will produce spikes in these rates in about 2 weeks time.

  30. I addressed this to Don and Matthew originally but would like to hear from others.

    What is the absolute best study you have that demonstrates HCQ (or HCQ in some combination with other things) is effective for

    a) preventing death from COVID19 or
    b) preventing complications from COVID19 as a prophylaxis.

    • James –

      Most of what’s out there is crap. But of what I’ve seen, I found this to make the stingers case:

      https://academic.oup.com/aje/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aje/kwaa093/5847586#.Xs7tRjYTCgc.twitter

      A rather unconvincing, one-sided treatment of the uncertainties (for example, in how it treats the criticisms of the French studies)…but I still think it presents a strong enough case that the door should be kept open for use of HCQ as a prophylaxis in conjunction with other medications.

      • er… strongest case.

      • Thanks.

        I’m not especially persuaded by this paper since it is basing its conclusion on the French studies and the Zelenko two page report, among others. Especially with the latter it is hard to determine anything about the underlying data. It seemed to me that one of the French studies if I remember correctly had an unusual mix in the group showing effectiveness in that it was composed almost entirely of women and had few or no underlying conditions. In other words, it was a group we might expect to do well with or without treatment.

        If somebody wants to cite on the five studies referenced by Risch as a candidate for the best, then I will take a better look at it.

        I’m willing to keep an open mind but I would like someone to cite a specific study ideally with some detailed results. Surely there must be ONE really GOOD study supporting HCQ for COVID-19.

      • Also, when I go the clinical trials database referenced in the Risch paper and query for COVID-19 and HCQ+AZ, I only find five studies and none of them have results.

        https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=HCQ%2BAZ&cond=COVID-19&Search=Clear&age_v=&gndr=&rslt=

        If I query for COVID-19 and HCQ and apply a filter for studies with results, I get nothing.

        https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=HCQ&cond=COVID-19&age_v=&gndr=&type=&rslt=With&Search=Apply

      • James –

        My personal view is that the quality of the evidence is as yet, low. To the extent that people want to advocate for applying the precautionary principle in favor of using HCQ in a clinical setting, seems potentially reasonable to me.

        People strongly advocating its use outside of clinical settings seem to me to be ideologically “motivated” – because they usually ignore the aspects that run counter to that logic (in other words, they engage the uncertainties in a selective fashion).

        What makes that more interesting is thst many of those same folks like to rail against the use of precautionary principle in other settings.

      • Yeah, that is sort of my point.

        The quality of evidence is low so all of the ranting and raving about HCQ comes from something else rather than science.

        If the evidence is there, I challenge someone to produce ONE GOOD STUDY that demonstrates the effectiveness of HCQ.

      • I am waiting for one study that definitively shows that taking HXQ with zinc and AZT as a prophylactic doesn’t help with COVID19. It’s pretty obvious now that it doesn’t hurt.

      • > It’s pretty obvious now that it doesn’t hurt.

        Depends on context. “Hurt” has a variety of aspects. Widespread use outside of clinical settings could have some deleterious impacts – particularly if it brings no clear benefit.

      • “I am waiting for one study that definitively shows that taking HXQ with zinc and AZT as a prophylactic doesn’t help with COVID19.”.

        That’s seem to be a rather unusual criteria for prescribing something. On that basis, we could prescribe homeopathic treatments or shamans. They probably don’t hurt either.

      • Don Monfort

        212 Studies found for: hydroxychloroquine | covid 19
        Also searched for SARS-CoV-2 and Plaquenil.

        There is a reason that there are so many trials underway. HCQ in combination with AZ became the de facto standard of care for COVID 19. The physicians and health authorities in several countries decided. HCQ is safe, period. If all the docs and health authorities are wrong, it should be proven by a preponderance of evidence from not faked , not politically influenced by TDS, legitimate, well-planned and well-executed proper clinical trials. We haven’t seen any yet.

        Why are several here hoping HCQ fails?

      • Don,

        Sure. There are 212 studies in the trials database but filter it on results and you get zero.

        If you filter on completed and eliminate results, you only get six.

        176 of the studies haven’t even begun or are just recruiting.

        Just give me your one BEST STUDY.

      • Don Monfort

        You are just a …………………………………… and you can guess the rest. Who hopes old people in nursing homes die? I have said here that billions and billions of dollars should be spent protecting the vulnerable, who we can most easily defend, because we know where the nursing homes are located, the addresses are in the phone book.

        The left loons have a visceral a priori mindless motive to hate HCQ; Trump
        “touted” it. But before Trump had ever heard of HCQ, it was the most widely used drug intervention for the coronavirus.

      • If the Zelenko protocol came out on March 23 then we have to ask ourselves why, if his results were so remarkable, has there not been that rigorous trial that people are asking for? He was telling us that there were virtually no hospitalizations in Covid patients. Forget about deaths: no hospitalizations.

        What would you do if you were Dr. Fauci and you got that study from Dr. Zelenko– which he most certainly got– and the country was in crisis and people were dying? Would you say, no, that’s too anecdotal, and we have to wait for a vaccine? Or would you get on the phone to Dr. Zelenko? I know what I’d do because although I’m not a doctor, I’d be concerned that lives might be saved. I’d get on the phone. What happened instead? Cuomo restricted access to hydroxychloroquine, and for those who don’t know, Zelenko lives in NY state.

        Instead of asking, where is that study, maybe we should ask why there is no study?

      • Don Monfort

        We have discussed this before, Mr. 132. Dr. Zelenko didn’t test most of those people. So there is no way of knowing if they ever had been infected with the virus, unless they are tested for antibodies. Which puts Dr. Zelenko’s “clinical trial” in the same category of reliability as the NEJM published Univ. of Minn. PEP remotely conducted DIY “clinical trial”. Except that Dr Zelenko actually met, examined and treated his patients personally.

      • Don Monfort: Why are several here hoping HCQ fails?

        who is hoping that HCQ fails? I hope it works, but the evidence to date is disappointing.

      • Don Monfort, are you arguing that since Zelenko didn’t test most of his patients, that justifies not submitting his protocol to a fairly simple trial to establish whether or not his claims are valid?

      • Don M,

        I’m kind of surprised after most of yesterday away from the blogs I find not a reference to a single study yet.

        But I do agree with you on this: “Which puts Dr. Zelenko’s “clinical trial” in the same category of reliability as the NEJM published Univ. of Minn. PEP remotely conducted DIY “clinical trial”.

        Anyway, as I have said before, I’m not opposed to trials and if HCQ and/or HCQ+ is of some benefit, then I’m all in favor of rolling it out to every doctor and clinic. I don’t think it is a panacea but if it helps and saves some lives there is no reason not to use it. If individual doctors make a judgment with their patients about its usage, I say that’s fine too. The same would be true with any other potential treatment – vitamin D, vitamin C, remdesivir, prednisone, or anything else.

        But until there is some solid evidence of its value and an understanding of its risks, there really isn’t much more to discuss on this topic.

    • Maybe Arsenic Album 30 is the way to go?

      “Homeopathy doctors have begun clinical trials of homeopathic drugs on COVID-19 positive patients. The trials have been started on asymptomatic patients, quarantined people and COVID-19 positive patients who are hospitalised.

      Can homeopathic drug Arsenic Album 30 prove effective in fighting coronavirus? What is the efficacy of homeopathic drugs in combating this disease? Are there any success stories? Dr. Anil Khurana, Director General, Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, talks to Govindraj Ethiraj.”

  31. Atomsk’s Sanakan (@AtomsksSanakan) | June 5, 2020 at 1:03 pm
    The fact that you’re still:
    – willfully ignoring the numerous studies showing hydroxychloroquine could work. “Laboratory studies showed it could prevent the disease from replicating in vitro, but the effect in humans is unclear.”

    “Three Oxford University-led human trials of the drug are underway to test its effect on a range of patients with the viral disease.
    That’s Oxford University Atomsk.
    Running three large trials on chloroquine, Atomsk.
    Now they might all be negative but they haven’t finished and they are being run by people who seriously believe that there might be a chance to actually help people a lot with a cheap and safe drug.

    Professor Martin Landray of Medicine and Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health; Deputy Director of the Big Data Institute within the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Information and Discovery Big data

    Said the chloroquine studies are being discontinued because of no effect.
    Interesting that a Hong Kong University [Chinese backed] is involved heavily with the Big Data institute he is Deputy Director of.
    Take away points is Chloroquine showed no extra harmful effects at all of note and the study was rushed to completion within 28 days without proper evaluation of the target populations and hospitals and numbers used.
    If doing no harm, no need to stop but continue on to get further proof. Only reasons for stopping early with trials are causing harm or so good no further study needed. This is a whitewash.

    • angech: If doing no harm, no need to stop but continue on to get further proof. Only reasons for stopping early with trials are causing harm or so good no further study needed. This is a whitewash.

      I don’t disagree with you, but as with everything else in clinical trials there are a lot of powerful opinions in opposition to each other. Some of the medical ethicists maintain that it is unethical to do, or continue, a clinical trial which can not either (a) benefit some of the people in the clinical trial; or (b) benefit future patients by clearly showing which treatment is better. For those people, if a futility analysis shows that there is only a very low probability of achieving either (a) or (b), then it is time to halt the trial. For them, there is no need to show that conjectured harm outweighs conjectured good, once it is shown that there is little evidence for any conjectured good. The futility analysis is generally conducted by someone not on the study team: for example, an external consultant or the DSMB.

      It probably isn’t a whitewash.

      • Mathew,
        Thanks for your comments.
        The term futility analysis is neither yours or mine I think ( may be wrong)
        But related to the scientist who has abruptly terminated a very short trial.
        Futility requires time and repeated efforts whereas this pandemic and study has only been around a short time.
        Stopping the study after 28 days reeks of a whitewash.
        As you are aware if you have a number of trials there is a spread of results and this may be centre of the road. Or an outlier. Either way.
        It behaves reputable scientists to conduct a trial to a definite conclusion and evaluate their terms of study fully.
        I was hoping for stunning success as an unexpected outcome.
        For the world.
        That has not eventuated.
        The probability of helping lies somewhere between futile and helpful at this stage.
        Let us hope that it or something else As safe as it does show promise.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Angech: Futility requires time and repeated efforts whereas this pandemic and study has only been around a short time.
        Stopping the study after 28 days reeks of a whitewash.

        “Futility analysis” is the name of a statistical procedure, essentially a conditional power analysis

  32. –snip–

    According to the study, R0 began falling on 6 March – at least one week before Swiss schools were officially closed. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health rolled out its COVID-19 information campaign on 28 February and updated it on 2 March with a heightened focus on personal hygiene measures. This campaign raised awareness about the gravity of the situation and prompted people to follow the government’s personal hygiene and social distancing recommendations. As a result, R0 started falling before the recommendations became mandatory. “R0 was already close to 1 when the government banned groupings of more than five people and asked that everyone stay at home. Of course, that may be partly due to the fact that people saw those requirements coming and changed their behavior accordingly – by adopting social distancing measures, for example – even before the official announcement, as suggested by data on internet searches,” says Lemaitre.

    –snip–

    Showing once again that (1) disaggregating the effects of a “lockdown” from the effects of a raging epidemic require a very sophisticated approach with high quality data, (2) “lockdown” is a uselessly vague term, and any sophisticated analysis would necessarily require that a sensitivity analysis be done to evaluate the effecta of different components of “lockdowns,” (3) the extent to which “lockdowns” don’t increase the benefits already starting to develop before they’re implemented, like social distancing, does not in itself serve to quantify an argument that “lockdowns” have no positive effect – as “lockdowns” help to enable beneficial factors outside those trends such enabling people, in particular vulnerable people, to stay home from work without getting fired and with the ability to collect unemployment.

    Of course, the same kind of sophisticated requirements should be applied to arguments that “lockdowns” have a differentially effect on the economy, as distinct from the effects of a raging pandemic with no “lockdown.”. Particularly since with the economic effects you necessarily need to go even deeper into counterfactual reasoning, e.g., if “lockdowns” do slow the spread and decrease the rate of deaths and illness how do you calculate the differential effects if a vaccine is developed before the faster impact of a herd immunity approach might equalize with the slower impact of a government intervention approach?

    Beware that you are the easiest person for you to fool w/r/t the differential effects of of “lockdowns.”

    https://actu.epfl.ch/news/switzerland-s-lockdown-has-sharply-reduced-the-cas/

  33. https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/tribalism-comes-for-pandemic-science

    Judith linked to a tweet on this article. It is a worthwhile read and summarizes well my concern with the politization of everything.

    • “Rather than compartmentalize their professional judgment from their political priorities — explaining the risks of large protests regardless of their political content and then separately and in a different context expressing whatever views they might have about that content — they openly deny not only the possibility but even the desirability of detached professional advice. This kind of attitude inevitably makes it much harder for the public to assess scientific claims about the pandemic through anything other than a political lens.”

      The used it all up on climate science. They’re out of ammo. 7000 studies on whatever. Nobody listens. They have no cred. We can use these studies as a tool to advance our causes. Good job.

      • Ragnaar –

        > Nobody listens. They have no cred

        Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story:

        –snip–

        Overall, 86% of Americans say they have at least “a fair amount” of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. This includes 35% who have “a great deal” of confidence, up from 21% in 2016.

        https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2019/08/02/trust-and-mistrust-in-americans-views-of-scientific-experts/

        –snip–

        But survey data suggests public trust in scientists is not actually eroding. In fact, it’s gone up during the pandemic. And while that may be surprising to people watching with concern as anti-vaccine extremists join forces with people who don’t want to wear facemasks, the dichotomy between a perceived anti-science zeitgeist and what people actually tell pollsters is nothing new. The scientific and medical communities remain among the most trusted institutions in America — even among people who might seem ideologically primed to reject them. “I do think there’s maybe a lack of trust about the science of trust in science, though,” said David Lazer, a professor of political science at Northeastern University.

        https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/most-americans-havent-stopped-trusting-scientists/

      • I remember discussion here quite a while back – confident pronunciations that climate scientists were creating a “crises” in public trust among my much beloved “skeptics.”

        I remember asking for evidence to support these confident pronunciations of a “crisis.” I remember no one presenting any solid evidence (the closest were tribal rhetoric about de-contextualized polls showing that not everyone has complete trust in scientists all the time, without consideration that no one trusts anyone all the time, and that scientists ranked higher in trust in polling than most other professions).

        I’m still waiting for evidence, but doubt it will be forthcoming, just as I doubt that a lack of evidence will slow down the pronunciations.

      • The credibility issue is mostly among educated professionals who rely on science to make decisions. They are more and more realizing that many papers are wrong and that you can find an ‘expert’ to advocate any quack position. This loss of confidence increases with age and experience. In my case I became really conscious of how big the problem was 15 years ago when I started doing more research and less code writing.

        Public opinion polling reflects political views with science having become a religious scripture to left wingers. Virtually all don’t read the scripture and just get fed glosses on what it says by activists. Like trans activists who are actually deeply in denial.

        I would say that the advance of science into public policy inevitably politicized it and exposed it to biases and errors.

  34. dpy: I think you know that I’m from Germany… we had our own duties during the Covid-19 time of lockdown. Therefore I was absent here for longer time. However, I’m still perplexe about the state of discussion in US. Perhaps this article can help to understand this: https://www.ft.com/content/cc1f650a-91c0-4e1f-b990-ee8ceb5339ea . It deals with the “German Mystery” of so many less deaths when the infection numbers were also high. It forgets one important factor: We were in luck. However, we missed a leadership with more or less unscientific behaviour. This is an important influence: Our chanclellor doesn’t make decisions via Twitter but with trust in the hints of real scientists. I worry about the development in statside because I’m afraid of some very uncomfortable outcomes from this and other crisises for the democracy.

    • If your Chancellor was the only reason for the low death rate, does that mean Emil Macron, Sophie Wilmes, and Mark Rutte are much more incompetent than Donald Trump?
      Or just Boris Johnson, because… feelings.
      Or maybe there’s something else that determines the death rate.
      The politicization around Covid is just…. bizarre. In the US, the hero of progressive land is Gov. Mario Cuomo- 148 deaths per 100k residents. The awful, murderous goats are the governors of Florida and Texas, 13 and 7 deaths per 100k respectively. Oh, and the callous governor of South Dakota (8 deaths per 100k) who was clearly nowhere near as competent and capable of the super-awesome governor of Michigan (59 deaths per 100k), a person so wonderful that her covid performance has earned her a review as a potential vice presidential running mate.
      Why is the entire media praising governors who performed 21 times worse than the governors the entire media hates? No reason other than two are Democrats and the other three are Republicans. Guess which ones are which, it’s not difficult.

      If you want to rapidly erode trust in the “establishment,” “institutions” and “science,” there is no faster way to do it than the news coverage of Covid! If the left were competent it would be horrified.

      • Don Monfort

        Give Frank a break. He doesn’t know how things operate over here in this odd un-German democracy.

        “Our chanclellor doesn’t make decisions via Twitter but with trust in the hints of real scientists.”

        He thinks that our POTUS communicating through Twitter to bypass a media cabal that is out to destroy him is somehow preventing said POTUS from taking hints from scientists. Frank apparently isn’t aware that the said scientists-lifetime government apparatchiks, who are responsible for guiding the POTUS health policy decisions state that said POTUS has listened to them and followed their advice.

        Frank also doesn’t know that the great majority of the deaths in the U.S. have occurred in jurisdictions run by the resistance party that hates POTUS and will vociferously undermine his efforts, not follow his lead, but will only demand his bend over backwards assistance and funding.

        For example, the NY and NJ appendage suffering under the regime of the capo di tuti Cuomo and underboss De Blasio syndicate accounts for 38% of all U.S. corona virus deaths. Deaths per million in those TWO states 1565 and 1375. Meanwhile, deaths per million in America’s second and third most populous states that are run by POTUS Trump’s party, are Texas 64 and and Florida 126.

        I suggest that before you render judgement on how our POTUS is doing his job you read our Constitution, Frank. It’s not as shiny and new as whatever document Germany is run under these days, but it works for us.

        And we hope that you are not among the Germans who are wailing about our Commander in Chief pulling out some of our troops, who have been protecting Germany for 7 decades.

      • Hi Don,
        What bothers me most is that the politicization basically prohibits intelligent thought or even curiosity. I don’t know why Belgium and France had massive death tolls while Germany didn’t. But we all know it’s not because they were too ignorant to do the obvious like Germany and it certainly had nothing to do with Trump.
        One day, maybe, someone will care enough to look into it. How many people died because our experts refused to look at it as there was a political game to play?
        And the latest game is just staggering- ignoring lockdowns is now perfectly safe as long as you’re of the correct political group. God help us if medical science goes full post-normal like environmental sciences.

      • Don Monfort

        I am guessing that it’s because the German’s are more apt to wash their hands and they don’t have the embrace and kiss on both cheeks affectation.

        Frank has been watching too much CNN, which probably has a bigger audience in Germany than in the U.S.

        It is amusing to see the left loons blithely slip from condemning the modestly attended peaceful protests against the extended lockdowns to enthusiastically praising and encouraging massive protests-riots against the police. Most folks can see the hypocrisy, the danger and the destruction.

        I think that at the end of last week the Dems and their left loon media helpers were being somewhat successful in putting POTUS on the defensive. They seek to weaponize chaos and destruction. Virus fear-mongering was still going strong, anti-cop rage whipped into a frenzy, economy dead in the water, then BOOM!

        May jobs report +2.5 million, when the economist sigh-in-tists told us to expect a loss of 8 million jobs. They need to get some help from the epididdlymologist modelers. Paul Krugman NYslimes communist and winner of the Nobel Prize for Left Loon Fake Economics was so shocked he conspiracy theorized that Trump had the fix in with the BLS.

        It’s difficult now to fear-monger the virus as it dissipates and the fake news left loons have revealed that they weren’t really concerned about anti-lockdown demonstrations causing a resurgence.

        Folks are tired of the Democrat lockdowns and are appalled by the Democrat riots. Defunding the police is about the most foolish demand that the left loons have ever dreamed up. Big loser. The worm has turned.

      • Frank

        How about I substitute leftwing for resistance? You surely aren’t disputing the facts about where the most deaths and cases are occurring. Or do you dislike the characterization of a once legitimate political party with a platform of concern about ensuring freedoms and opportunities for all to being an ideologically driven movement to suppress free speech and dissenting opinion ruled by mobs, barbaric behavior and the intellectual elite who rise up in newsrooms and throw themselves on the floor in a tantrum and rage when their newspaper publishes an Op-Ed that they don’t like?

        FDR and JFK would puke if they saw the current behavior of their political descendants.

      • cereskokid: I don’t dispute the numbers of deaths in your country and it hurts me how many died. However, for a fight vs. a virus it’s important to know the reasons, which seem to be not so politicaly but more others. I’m quite sure that it’s not a question what party leads in a state but more a question of the density of the population. If you look at the things with the political red/blue glases you don’t fight the virus but you make election battle. If you want this, it’s okay. But I question if this is a proper strategy vs. the Covid-19.

      • Don Monfort

        Write up your suggested virus strategy and send it to the governors of our 50 states, Frank. They have been waiting for your assistance.

      • Don: I never claimed that I have “the” strategy, it’s not my competence. However, I can distinguish between strageties focused on the virus, it’s characteristics and the week parts of it to save lifes, and purely election battle claims. You deliver the last ones.

      • “I’m quite sure that it’s not a question what party leads in a state but more a question of the density of the population”

        We’re in agreement then that Trump and his “decision” making skills vs the German chancellor had nothing to do with the outcome as you originally posted.

        Density is certainly part of it. But Texas and Florida have big cities. So does Germany- Berlin is bigger than Paris or Brussels. The weather and the extent of being an international transportation hub are some additional reasons- but not the only ones.

        Which means we should understand why some dense western cities did better than others so we can have a better idea of what to do in the next pandemic.
        We can’t actually do that if our experts, politicians, and media are intent on figuring out ways to play political games with the virus instead. And that willful desire of our necessary institutions to discard credibility, relevance or even the pretense of addressing a serious problem- all to accumulate political power to one party- is far more reason to be concerned for democracy than anything else.

      • Jeffnsails850: You nailed it better than I could do it!

      • Don Monfort

        It’s very astute of you to notice this is an election year, Frank. Of course, the virus is a political issue. The Democrats and their puppet media are using every trick in the book in an attempt to blame it on POTUS Trump. It is a fact and fair game politically to point out the fact that the great majority of deaths are in fact in Democrat run jurisdictions. Places where that left loon resistance party (D) is in power and has been in power in most of those places for many decades, without solving any problems of the folks who live there. If you think that using the facts to fight political battles against vicious opposition is unseemly, don’t move to the U.S.

        Why haven’t Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and many other lands that are densely populated suffered anything like the death rate of NYC and the less populated areas within 3,000 miles of the administration of the capo di tuti Cuomo-underboss De Blasio syndicate? The NYC version of the virus is responsible for most of the infections in the whole country. Google it, Frank.

        However, I do have to admire your concern. So, I messaged all 50 governors on your behalf and informed them that population density is the thing and they should spread their folks out. Several (Ds) have replied and asked how many folks per sq mile would be optimum. Can you give them a number, Frank? They are desperate.

      • Don, You lost me after this sentence; “The Democrats and their puppet media are using every trick …” because I’m quite sure that you are not interested in any progress in the fight against the virus to save lifes but more in the election battle. You shouldn’t comment on this website because our hostess is more interested in real science, but not you. It’s a difference that should be solved?

      • Don Monfort

        You are absolutely wrong and silly, Frank. Let’s pretend that I am only interested in the political fight. If that were the case, eliminating the virus would be fantastic from my political point of view. It’s interesting that you aren’t bright enough to see that.

        Since you are so enthralled with what I do, you could look back through the comments and find innumerable of mine, where I discuss the science and make it clear that I ain’t a virus cheerleader. Those are on the other side.

        It might be easier for you to skip my comments, instead of trying to convince Judith to ban me, because you can’t handle facts that conflict with your uninformed conclusions about things you don’t understand. Man up, Frank.

      • Well, I agree with Frank’s concern about the politization of everything. It’s deeply troubling. What Frank fails to realize is that this is not a case of “everyone is doing it.” Don is right that the political left (and the media) has begun a campaign to effectively end freedom of expression by social action and/or street violence.

      • > Well, I agree with Frank’s concern about the politization of everything. It’s deeply troubling. What Frank fails to realize is that this is not a case of “everyone is doing it.” Don is right that the political left (and the media) has begun a campaign to effectively end freedom of expression by social action and/or street violence.

        Classic.

      • Don Monfort

        Classic and correct, joshie. How are things going in AOC’s woebegone Congressional district? I hear crime over there is going through the roof and the virus is still taking a heavy toll. Are they still rioting?

      • dpy: I only read the comments here and I’m not very familiar with the politcal scene in the US. And at this place I found only political comments from one direction… In this case the pointing to others seems to be “Whataboutism”. However, I hope that also in the case of Covid-19 the whole audience here will return to scientific questions and NOT follow some political trumpets who hijacked this thread IMO.
        Cheers!

      • Don –

        Anyone who pays attention knows it has been politicized on both sides.

        As just one example, Trump hasn’t done one thing concerning COVID-19 that wasn’t inspired by political expediency. He’s a politician. But of course, his cult members anesthitize their brain’s capacity for logic, and convince themselves that he hasn’t been focused on his political welfare when dealing with the pandemic.

        Just look at how you’re cheering for old people to die in New York nursing homes so that you can criticize Cuomo, and how you, Jeff, and David are cheering on deaths in New York and New Jersey so that you can criticize democrats.* You wouldn’t do such a shameful thing if the issue weren’t heavily politicized on your side of the political aisle.

        * Just kidding, of course. I just said that to drive home how absurd your logic is.

        Although it is amusing that frankclimate seems to think that the discussion here of climate change isn’t similarly politically influenced.

      • Shouldn’t you be out agitating someplace, joshie? It’s going to take a lot of hard work and sacrifice to defund the police.

      • “And at this place I found only political comments from one direction… In this case the pointing to others seems to be “Whataboutism”.”

        We have a few left loons who haunt this blog and several more annoying little Judith bashing critters more who drop in from time to time, Frank. You don’t see them as problematic, because you all are birds of a feather.

      • Joshua, of course I know that also climate science is influenced by political interests and this is also boring and it doesen’t help the science where one wants to know how the climate system works. However, I see some differences: in the case od Covid-19 I had the impression that the 1000s of deaths unfortunately were exploited for political infighting on this blog, this is not the case in climate related matters. All is said from my side, I’m afraid.

      • Don: “because you all are birds of a feather.” Hu? Who is “you all”??? And for sure: I published at this place some sceptical essays vs. too high estimates of the climate sensitivity and was also “under fire” from some alarmists. Ask Judy herself! This is not a defense but a request to you to see the world not in the black/white fashion I felt in your comments.

      • frank –

        > I had the impression that the 1000s of deaths unfortunately were exploited for political infighting on this blog…

        OK. I can get that. Although we can easily find where “skeptics” and “realists” alike make claims that the other side are exploiting the deaths of millions (those who will die because of lack of fossil fuel energy and those who will die from climate change, respectively).

        I don’t quite see it that way. I don’t think thst people are really exploring deaths – they’re just kicked into a zero sum tribslisric identity struggle and can’t wee much past thst. If actually given a choice, they wouldn’t actually exploit those deaths. So I take it slll with a grain of salt. I don’t take these arguments thst seriously. I just see it as people struggling through the frustration of being confronted with uncertainty in a complex risk evaluation scenario. Painting “others” as demonic helps some people to feel better about themselves.

      • Frank –

        > I published at this place some sceptical essays vs. too high estimates of the climate sensitivity and was also “under fire” from some alarmists.

        And I would say, FWIW, your use of “alarmists” plays into that exact same dynamic within the climate change realm. Obviously, it isn’t exploiting 1000s if deaths, but it is at the top of a slippery slope that drops down into that territory.

      • What I am referring to is the blurring of the distinction between violence and threats and cancel culture. What happened to the editor at the NYT who published Cotton’s editorial is an example. Cotton’s opinion is shared by 58% of the pubic. The UCLA professor who had to get police protection after he read from Martin Luther King’s speeches in public (even MLK is now evil because he preached against violence). Football star forced to apologize twice for an opinion half the country shares. All our institutions including corporations are echoing a cultural Marxist ideology that is not shared by most people in order to avoid angering activists who are increasingly trying to purge society of opinions they disagree with. Increasingly activists will try to get private people fired for even the slightest indiscretion. The woman walking her dog in central park who got fired and had her life ruined with threats is something that is becoming more common.

        It is possible that in Europe the tradition of free speech is not as strong and people have grown used to self censorship, but in the US this hasn’t happened since Reconstruction when the Klan used these same tactics to silence and intimidate.

      • “Anyone who pays attention knows it has been politicized on both sides.”

        One side: I’m trying our best in a bad situation and we’re doing pretty good- made some good decisions early, got excited about some possible treatments and started studies on them, got everything we could to the places that needed it.

        Other side: Untrue claim that US fared worse than the EU. Untrue claim that NY and Michigan competently managed the virus. Untrue claim that Florida, Texas and South Dakota incompetently managed the virus. Fake study, later retracted, used to halt trials of potentially lifesaving treatment. Untrue claim that the federal government withheld necessary ventilators (no place ran out). Baseless claim that Democrats could have produced hundreds of millions of test kits that worked overnight (especially weird in light of the fact that Democrats couldn’t even produce a functional Obamacare website after a year and billions of dollars).
        But hey, at least this side is all now busy claiming Donald Trump is mayor of Minneapolis

      • Jeff –

        Thanks for helping make my point. You’re so far in you can’t even imagine how totally one-sided that account was.

        Of course the politicization exists on both sides. If you can’t see it on your side, it’s clear my listing examples would be of no benefit. They’re so obvious that anyone who isn’t in complete denial would have to see them. It’s funny is when self-described “skeptics” are so completely unable to apply due skeptical diligence of the most obvious bias imaginable: Your own tendency to fool yourself.

        Notice that I accept that there’s politicization on my side. That’s obvious as well and I’d say the same to anyone on my side who is in denial like you and my other much beloved “skeptics” like Don and David.

        It’s funny and sad at the same time.

      • Don Monfort

        Nice cogent summation, jeff. Case closed.

      • Josh, The game you are playing here is false equivalency. It’s exactly the same argument as saying all countries violate human rights. It’s perhaps a truism but the real truth is that some are vastly worse than others. Or the canard that “all religions are essentially the same.” All these positions are ways of avoiding doing the real work of looking at facts and data and drawing distinctions.

        These games are the default position for socialists who are apologists for Communist dictatorships. It’s been this way for a hundred years too. A body count of 100 million for the 20th century can be passed over in silence because “Jim Crow” or “imperialism” or “women couldn’t vote” or something.

        My favorite is the “slavery” canard in which Europeans are uniquely culpable for slavery, a universal human institution up til the 19th Century. It was the very Christian British who first abolished the slave trade by declaring it piracy and then gradually slavery was abolished throughout the West. The canard is so clearly totally false that its hard to see how anyone can really believe it.

      • > The game you are playing here is false equivalency. It’s exactly the same argument as saying all countries violate human rights.

        You have it exactly reverse. You’re the one who’s trying to calculate some kind of moral equivalence.

        I’m saying that it’s patently absurd to claim that it isn’t happening on both sides. It’s obvious that it is. I haven’t bothered to try calculate an ewuarji here because that would be completely worthless riven that y’all can’t even acknowledge the obvious observation that frank made.

        Don’s unhinged reaction to frank just proves precisely that frank was correct.

        Given that the president is explicitly political about all aspects COVID 19, and he sits at the top of the pyramid, for anyone to argue that Republicans somehow come out significantly far behind is just nuts or a sign of compete detachment from reality, of the kind of blindness that only comes from cult membership. But I don’t care if you can stack the deck and cherry-pick to convince yourself of some kind of imbalance. My point is that none of you can even admit that it is happening on both sides. It’s just amazing that anyone could deny that Trump is laser-focused on the politics of COVID-19, but all that much even more out of touch to delude themselves to think that the pubz, and Trump in particular, or the Teump/Pub supporting commenters at Climate etc., aren’t being political at all.

        But hey, if you get kicks from convincing yourselves with this nonsense go for it. I doubt you’re convincing anyone not in the cult. I don’t know if Frank is in the cult or not but I suspect he isn’t.

      • Josh, Your long comment offered nothing concrete that tries to compare and contrast. It’s a lazy position because you can just be a sniper picking apart other people’s thoughts without offering anything else. It’s boring and uninteresting. Everything is political these days due to a hyperpartisan media that misrepresents everything.

      • Don Monfort

        joshie: Classic.

        joshie: Thanks for helping make my point.

        joshie: You have it exactly reverse.

        Little joshie’s arguments are fundamentally on the same level as the lame old schoolyard “I’m rubber, your glue…..sticks on you” foolishness.

        AOC acolytes are not very bright.

      • Gotta say, Don – you criticizing someone else’s arguments for being schoolyard level is another classic.

        Anyone who’s read any of your comments here will laugh at you as soon as they read that.

        Too bad the humor wasn’t intentional.

      • Don Monfort

        OMG! He did it again. You will always be the glue, joshie.

      • Don –

        > OMG!

        Someone who accuses others of schoolyard level arguments starts an argument with “OMG.”

        Classic.

      • The argument is over, joshie. That’s mocking. You are being mocked. Not taken seriously. Dissed. Dismissed. You should move on, now. They need “progressive” soldiers like you in the Autonomous Zone that has been carved out of the police abandoned Capitol Hill area of the once great city of Seattle. Keep us posted.

      • Hi Josh
        I’ll actually try one more time with you, but your track record is awful.
        Lack of “politicization” isn’t the same thing as “can’t be criticized.” Trump declared incorrectly that the virus was “under control” in the US. That is a point you are welcome to criticize.
        Why did Trump get in front of the cameras every day to say “my administration is…” and “I am doing….”? Because every media outlet was incorrectly claiming he wasn’t doing anything.

        In short:
        Democrats: “Why aren’t you doing anything at all?!?!?”
        Trump: “I am! For goodness sakes here’s the list of stuff I’ve done and am doing….”
        Democrats: “OMG, he’s answering my direct question, that’s politicization!!!”

        Then it gets worse: we’ve all watched the NYT and WaPo attack the governors of South Dakota, Florida, and Texas without evidence. And we’ve all watched them praise the governors of Michigan, New York and New Jersey without evidence. The only rational explanation is which ones have a D or R next to their names.
        We’ve all watched the media and Democrats declare quiet, peaceful protests of lockdowns were fascist and incredibly dangerous. Then we all watched them say the exact opposite as soon as the left took to the streets. We’ve even seen so-called scientists do this.

        If you want to tear down the institutions that make democracy possible, there’s no better place to start than ripping out credibility of the media, one political party, academia, and now local government.

      • Jeff –

        Once again, I’m not suggesting that there isn’t politicization in my side. Of course there is. It’s blatantly obvious.

        My lij Tia that it exists on both sides, and the notion that die-hard combatants such as yourself can asset some aiifnidixsnf imbalance without a cewfik control for their own biases is well treated by the adage that you are the eaiswt person for you to fool.

        The same applies to the notion that the heart of the causality for the polarization lies one inw side of the divide or the other. Of course combatants on bit sides are convinced That the polarization in their own side can be excused

      • …can be excused by a claimed victimization from the other side. Of course combatants will endlessly trot out “they did it first” or “they did it too” as we might see on the school yard. Such thinking on the part of combatants is the norm.

        But we could hope that people who don a label of “skeptic” might hold themselves to a higher standard. Is that really too much to ask for?

        But I will give you credit for opening the door just a crack via the most milquetoast acknowledgement of dear leader’s politicization of COVID-19, even if you then had to immediately and reflexively defend his politicization by blaming other people for HIS deliberate actions.

        Perhaps that’s a first step towards the accountability that conz pride themselves for? Time will tell.

      • Wow. Let’s try that one again (I’m not sure even I can translate that one).

        This:

        > My lij Tia that it exists on both sides, and the notion that die-hard combatants such as yourself can asset some aiifnidixsnf imbalance without a cewfik control for their own biases is well treated by the adage that you are the eaiswt person for you to fool.

        Should be:

        My point is that it exists on both sides, and the notion that die-hard combatants such as yourself can assert some significant imbalance without a careful control for their own biases is well treated by the adage that you are the easiest person for you to fool.

        I hope I got that right. :-).

      • Don Monfort

        He was a public school teacher, jeff. I think it was in AOC’s woebegone Congressional district. You can see why we have so many problems.

      • What Josh is doing here is pretty obvious. He keeps repeating over and over again an obvious point that “both sides” are political some of the time. Then he refuses to address whether one side is vastly worse even when given lots of examples. It’s like saying that all countries sometimes violate human rights. It means nothing and is a point a teenager might make.

      • Don Monfort

        If one could read joshie’s little mind, as it is blatantly obvious I have been doing for many years, one would find that he believes that whatever his side does is Okey Dokey, because his side is the progressive and the blatantly obvious righteous side. Our side is deplorable. This also is blatantly obvious, in his little progressive mind.

      • This is pretty funny.

        Some obviously politically motivated commenters give some unscientifically quantified list of examples that they claim comprises down kind of proof of a significant imbalance in the politicization of COVID-19, and then think that there should be some requirement of similarly unscientifically verified examples provided before someone has license to point out how obviously unscientific they are with the claims that they’ve made.

        Meanwhile the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff apologizes tobthe nation for getting involved in the administration’s politicization of the military to conduct a photo op.

        I freakin’ love you boyz.

        At any rate, this is obviously pointless. But I am curious as whether you’ve convinced Frank with the powerful arguments you’ve made.

      • verytallguy

        Don and dpy,

        I mean, I know you boys are good, but those last two, wow!

        And in close juxtaposition too.

        I’m lost for metaphors, honestly.

        Beautiful.

      • Joshua: Once again, I’m not suggesting that there isn’t politicization in my side. Of course there is. It’s blatantly obvious.

        I think your case would be enhanced if you wrote focused propositions instead of these indirect vagaries and double-negatives.

      • Matt, Josh’s comments have the highest work to idea ratio I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand why he can’t find something substantive to say. It seems to be mostly vague criticisms of people’s “attitudes, tribalism” or whatever.

      • Matthew –

        > I think your case would be enhanced if you wrote focused propositions instead of these indirect vagaries and double-negatives.

        “Of course there is.” and “it’s blatantly obvious” aren’t double negatives.

        And it’s so obvious, I don’t think that more detailed explication should be necessary for anyone who’s taking the convo seriously and paying attention. You’d have to be ideologically blinded not see it. If someone requires it, they’re either in denial or just playing games with themselves to defend against acknowledging to themselves the phenomenon on their own team.

      • There are plenty of life-long conservatives who aren’t afraid to criticize the Trump administration’s politicization of issues like COVID-19. And there are plenty of lefties who criticize the Dems for the same thing. If you don’t know of them, then you need to get out of your echo chamber.

        But they aren’t cult members, and they aren’t self-described “skeptics” who can’t even perform the most rudimentary due diligence to check tor their own political biases.

        Look at the reaction here to what Frank pointed out. He got attacked for merely arguing that there are conditions that are more explanatory than party for the outcomes of the pandemic.

        No doubt he’d be attacked by rabid partisans for making that suggestion at many lefty sites as well.

        That doesn’t make the reactions here any less ridiculous

      • I agreed with Frank on that issue. I do think Frank doesn’t see the big issues here with politics and extreme partisanship and what the causes are. Generally, over the last 15 years the rise of occupy, antifa, and BLM are troubling signs of a radicalism and a willingness to use violence and ideology that is not based on solving problems but on destroying the “system.” In the 1970’s the violence went away when the draft was abolished. This is more deeply based in cultural Marxism and won’t go away so easily because cultural Marxism is deeply destructive of people having agency to change their own lives.

      • It’s shocking that POTUS would go to a historic church near the White House that’s often called the church of the presidents, to show his concern and support after some progressive rioters tried to burn it down. The huge stink is that someone recorded the incident and it got on fake news CNN. Then there was the Bible toting travesty. Who does that? Brings a Bible to church. Now we know for sure he’s Putin’s puppet. Anyway, we will only have to put up with Orange Man Bad, for another four and a half years.

      • Classic.

        Top military leader apologizes to the military and the nsrion for participating in a political stunt.

        Cult member says “Politicization? What politicization?”

        and pretends that he believes that Trump’s photo op using the Bible as a prop was out of some deep religious conviction rather than a naked concern about getting votes in the upcoming election.

        Don. Stop.

        You’re not fooling anyone. We all know that you know it was a political stunt.

        Classic.

      • Joshua

        Wow! this is an extremely long thread so hope I am in the right place

        Hope you and yours are keeping well Joshua.

        I think that Church might be the one my wife and I attended at Christmas many years ago.

        I am curious as to when the woke mobs storm Washington, as to what name they will change it to, because I seem to remember visiting Washington’s home and was he not a slaver, as well as a President?

        So what name would you choose and if Don reads this-he seems to avidly follow you-can I ask him what name he would choose?

        Kingsville has a good ring to it in honour of a good man . Or perhaps Floydstown, who seems rather more fashionable at present but doesn’t seem to be quite as good?

        Tonyb

      • I am done with left loons. Complete waste of time.

      • Hi again, there is so much rumble about my questions at the beginning, therefore I want to make clear my view once again. I never said at all, that Donald T. is one of the reasons why Covid-19 was so successful in the US. It would be BS indeed. However I’ m surprised about the politization in this case and I’m quite sure that this doesen’t help in the fight vs. the virus, which is more a question of science. And I think that the “twitter policy” ( sometimes very unreflected IMO from the other side of the Atlantic) is ONE of the reasons for this politization. There are more of course, however the leader of the US should be more “haed and shoulders above the rest” when it comes to those crises. And this is not the case, IMO. And to Joshua: What part of what “cult” do you think I am?? I didn’t understand this part of one post of you, perhaps it’s dut to the fact that I’m not a native English speaker. If it was an abuse I contradict! :-)

      • Frank –

        > What part of what “cult” do you think I am??

        I don’t think you are a member of the cult, frank. Just didn’t want to foreclose on the possibility without knowing for sure.

      • Frank –

        > I never said at all, that Donald T. is one of the reasons why Covid-19 was so successful in the US.

        Do you really think we’ve been “so successful” here in the US in dealing with COVID-19? If so, could you explain which metrics you’re using to make that determination? Or did you mean that the virus has been “successful” in spreading?

      • Joshua, when I wrote:”I never said at all, that Donald T. is one of the reasons why Covid-19 was so successful in the US.” I meant the opposite of this what you understood. A language- Problem? This would be mine of course.

      • Frank –

        > I meant the opposite of this what you understood.

        Hmmm. I offered two possible interpretations. I’m guessing that you meant that the virus was successful [in spreading] not that the US was successful in preventing the spread.

        > A language- Problem? This would be mine of course.

        Yes, it occurred to me that’s what you meant but I don’t usually think of a virus as being successful or unsuccessful – a bit too teleologicsl for my taste; but maybe that’s just a Josh thing not a language thing. No reason to assume it’s your problem .

      • Keep in mind that as Don and David keep reminding us, I’m not very bright.

      • Frank, What you wrote was easy for me to understand. However I don’t think its true. The US on a per capita basis did no worse than most of the major European countries with a few exceptions (like Germany). We don’t know if there will be a second wave in Germany so the ultimate outcome is uncertain.

        US politicians in general (including Trump and most governors) followed the advice of their experts. Fauci explicitly said this was the case and that Trump did everything he and Birx recommended he do. Some states like New York did much worse than the rest of the country and I think De Blasio is the one most responsible for New York’s failures. In the US, the system is a federal system and states have a lot of powers the federal government doesn’t have.

        You know more about the German response than I do but I’m assuming there is more invasive governmental power there than in the US to do comprehensive contact tracing and quarantining.

      • Frank, what you wrote to start this thread was that one of the “influences” of why Germany did so much better than the US was leadership of your chancellor v the US president (direct quote at bottom of this)

        Joshua- The EU death rate per 100k is significantly higher than in the US. Plus, in the US, about half of the deaths from the pandemic were in one major city and it’s immediate suburbs.
        The United States had a lower death toll from Covid-19 than the EU did. IMO that’s because anyplace with high density and high public transit use fared poorly. As all the cool kids complained to us for years, the US has those deplorable spread out suburbs and single-occupied cars that the more enlightened EU doesn’t. Except in New York City.

        The quote that started this: ” It deals with the “German Mystery” of so many less deaths when the infection numbers were also high. It forgets one important factor: We were in luck. However, we missed a leadership with more or less unscientific behaviour. This is an important influence: Our chanclellor doesn’t make decisions via Twitter but with trust in the hints of real scientists.”
        To which I pointed out you must think the leaders of France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK were monsters if you think Trump did poorly.

      • Jeff –

        We are the richest country in the world with huge resources and medical expertise, and we’re 10th worst in the world in per capita deaths. About to be 9th. We’re 30th best in the world in per capita testing despite our enormous wealth and resources to bring to bear. We’re 12th worst in per capita cases, so we’ve obviously done a terrible job of preventing spread.

        So we’ve done relatively poorly in preventing deaths. We’ve done relatively poorly in preventing spread. And we’ve done relatively poorly in testing.

        We’ve also done terribly in contact tracing and in isolating those infected. There are plenty of countries with far fewer resources that have done far better.

        There are mitigating circumstances that come into play, but a poor quality of leadership is certainly a factor. It’s impossible to say whether or how much would have been improved with another president and another administration, but things like constant lying about testing and a constant focus of policies on political expediency certainly don’t help.

        I know that toadies have a hard time accepting that, but it’s sad that the need to protect one’s ideological identity leads people to deny the obvious fact of the politicization of the issue. It happens on both sides, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.

        I think there are many reasons why Germany has had far better outcomes than the US along many metrics. Baseline health status and average # of comorbidities would clearly be factors. There is arguably an indirect relationship there to Trump and the Republican party via healthcare, but in the short term those factors aren’t meaningfully attributable to his leadership. Something like population density has nothing directly to do with leadership (although arguably one could indirectly connect it to the democratic party). But other factors just are clearly tied to his poor leadership. Perhaps he deserves some credit for reducing flights from China before another president might have, but he’s exaggerated that impact beyond all recognition (it was ineffectively carried out, the spread of the different strains shows the impact was late and probably the worst spread was from travelers from Europe anyway) and if you’re going to give him credit for that you should acknowledge the many shortcomings of how his administration has handled the pandemic.

        In the end, I’m not a fan of cross-country comparisons. I think at this point, until we have much better data, they shed little light on the situation. I think you certainly can’t reverse engineer from comparisons of outcome to attribute relative levels of success to comparative attributes of leadership.

        But you don’t need comparisons to other countries to see the failures of leadership that we’ve had. Or the level of politicization from your team. Again, it’s just sad that people are so ideologically motivated that why can’t even acknowledge that to themselves.

      • Josh, You are good at selectively blaming “one side.” Could you comment on why DeBlasio and Cuomo oversaw the 2 places with an order of magnitude more deaths per capita than say Florida or Texas? It would go a long ways towards showing that you are actually better at objectivity than those you constantly claim are biased. You are focusing criticism exclusively on the federal government.

        Also you could respond to the fact that Trump followed his experts advice at every stage. That sounds like good leadership to me unless you believe the experts were wrong or biased. I happen to wish Trump had been more skeptical of the experts. In any case, for the children among us here: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” or for the more adult: “Actions speak loader than words.” Focusing on stray sentences or phrases that are questionable (every politician has a mountain of these) is not helpful to anyone.

        You keep focusing on testing as if mass testing is tremendously helpful. Given the inaccuracy of the tests, its unlikely if mass testing would really help in my opinion. Antibody testing is more valuable but mostly for determining who is already “immune” and so could return to normal life even if in a vulnerable group.

        A much more important issue over the last 2 weeks are the mass protests and rioting that everyone agrees will cause a surge in cases in a couple of weeks.

      • Joshua that’s a word salad of politicized nonsense and I believe you know it.

        “We are the richest country in the world with huge resources and medical expertise, and we’re 10th worst in the world in per capita deaths. About to be 9th. We’re 30th best in the world in per capita testing despite our enormous wealth and resources to bring to bear. We’re 12th worst in per capita cases, so we’ve obviously done a terrible job of preventing spread.”

        Belgium is rich and is worst in the world and the capital of the EU.

        This is the point- how you fared in the virus was a function of weather and density (and apparently the quality of public hospitals in New York City). And something else we don’t fully understand- New York has several times as many dead as all three of the United States’s most populous states combined. Combined. Last I checked Trump was president of Texas as well as New York and they have cities in Florida and California.

        Testing per capita? This is a big country. You think a failure to make and deploy 300 million test kits overnight for a brand new virus was an issue of competency?

        We’re the 12th worse in per capita cases because the mayor of NYC told people to go to the gym, told them the subway was safe, and ordered Covid-positive old people into nursing homes that weren’t prepared for them instead of the Covid centers the federal government gave him.
        The results of that were: cases per capita in Texas- 293 per 100k
        New York state- 1,946 per 100k (and the city is much higher than that)
        Researchers declare the source of most infections in other US states and cities was…. New York City.
        Between the two states, CNN swears New York was far more competent than Texas. And claims it without any evidence at all, nightly in what can only be described as a complete abdication of any journalistic credibility or integrity.

        One of the main points of this thread was Frank’s deep concern for the effects of this virus on democracy.

        You can’t fake evidence, cheer when the national media does as well, and applaud politicians who don’t tell the truth without deeply damaging democracy.

      • Jeff –

        > Belgium is rich and is worst in the world and the capital of the EU.

        Yes. Belgium did poorly as well. Belgium doing poorly doesn’t make the US do any better. On any metric we rank near the bottom. Yet you want to pretend we’ve done well. The richest country in the world with enormous resources. It’s remarkable that you just can’t being yourself to admit the obvious.

        All countries have diverse sections. Even Texas has done worse than Germany, and certainly worse than cherry-picked segments of the lowest rates in Germany like you want to cherry-pick Texas. Other countries took all kinds of measures to increase testing capacity to good effect that we didn’t do in this country. This administration oversaw colossal, documented errors in rolling out testing and lied about it the whole time. Remember the lies about how much testing there would be? The promises that never materialized? The websites for tracking? The testing in cvs, and target, and Walgreens, and Wal-Mart parking lots? Remember the constant lies about how anyone who wants a test can get a test? You don’t need to compare to other counties to see the failures. You only have to compare what actually happened to what was promised.

        > We’re the 12th worse in per capita cases because the mayor of NYC told people to go to the gym, told them the subway was safe, and ordered Covid-positive old people into nursing homes that weren’t prepared for them instead of the Covid centers the federal government gave him.

        The causality is complicated. Yet you want to simplify it and blame it on democrats, ignoring the significant variables like levels of international travel, specifically to and from China and Italy and other hotspots, and population density, and multi-family households, and blame it on something a Democrat said without even being able to quantify whether or how much what ywhat person said determined anyone’s actual behaviors? It’s like some kind of bad joke that you gloss over obviously explanatory variables to blame the deaths on something a Democrat said – and then live in denial that you’re politicizing the issue.

      • I should clarify. Germany as a whole has considerably worse per capita deaths at this point.

        But, they have a lower case rate per capita (no doubt in part because of there leadership’s role in promoting testing), and their current death rate per capita is much lower than Texas, so Texas is closing the gap.

        And that despite proximity to hotspots like Lombardy, much higher population density, more public transportation use, less lead and preparation time before widespread infections, etc.

        And then compare apples to apples, meaning a low rate part of this country to a cherry-picked low rate part of Germany.

        But yeah, the obvious failures of our federal government have nothing to do with it. In fact, there were no failures. It’s all because… democrats.

        Trump did great and he didn’t politicize anything. I don’t care what the joint chiefs of staff said. He no doubt has TDS

        And of course, your belief that is the case has NOTHING to do with politicization.

      • Lets summarize Josh’s thinking:

        1. Big failures at the federal level with testing and making untrue statements.
        2. Flawed leadership caused CDC screwup on test development. Must be Trump and not the employees who made wrong choices. We can compare US to other countries and see the testing failure. But what about the millions of differences that complicate the comparison? Doesn’t matter when Trump is involved.
        3. Must be Trump’s fault because he did everything his experts told him to do. (I know it sounds crazy when boiled down to a single sentence).
        3. He cites no evidence that lack of testing was a big problem, but insistence that he knows it was.
        4. Can’t blame leadership in New York because of millions of factors beyond their control. Can’t compare different states because….

        I personally don’t blame even New York leadership that much because their experts were also echoing their statements at the time they made them, which were very flawed at the time they were made. Nursing homes is one where it is fair to blame governors. Some did a lot better than others. New York and especially did a really bad job.

      • I will say this: Brazil is actually doing worse right now than the US. Which doesn’t speak well for having unhinged populist demagogues as president during a pandemic.

        Just sayin’.

    • Frank:”We were in luck. However, we missed a leadership with more or less unscientific behaviour. This is an important influence: Our chanclellor doesn’t make decisions via Twitter but with trust in the hints of real scientists.”

      also Frank:””I never said at all, that Donald T. is one of the reasons why Covid-19 was so successful in the US.”

      It’s not your English that’s in question, Frank. It’s your memory, and/or your honesty. Did you mean to say that our leadership, Tweeting Trump, did not follow scientific advice and made our virus outcome worse than the outcome under the terrific teutonic tutelage of the Soviet-trained, Angela Merkel? Get your story straight, or at least consistent.

      • Don Monfort

        It is way beyond a reasonable doubt and very blatantly obvious, that the left loons will say and do anything to take down our POTUS. They cheer on the virus, keep the economy shut down where they have the power to do so, take advantage of any unfortunate incident that can be blamed on the POTUS, foment riot and rebellion, undermine lawful authorities and go so far as to demand we eliminate, or neuter the police. I don’t think all this desperate lunacy is going to work for them.

      • The lunacy is dangerous. Because because folks like Joshua literally can’t accept reality, nobody can examine why there is such a massive disparity.
        Because they can’t even acknowledge it exists because doing so is counter to their narrative.

        16% of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Belgium died of it.
        2% in Texas
        7.6% in New York
        4.7% in Germany
        15% in France
        and 4% in wrinkly old Florida.

        Why? Based on those number the most comprehensively tested place on that list has to be Texas as its death rate is closest to actual fatality rate of Covid so their count of cases must be closest to correct. And Belgium must not have tested at all. But nobody can say that, nobody can look into this, nobody can care about this.
        All because Joshie and friends have a political fairy tale in which, because of Drumpf! (drink!) and a Republican governor, Texas must be presented as a viral dumpster fire of death, dismay and absence of testing.
        And because of that- academia, science and the media are saying exactly what Joshie and friends want to hear even though they and the normals all know it isn’t true.

        It’s actually staggering. I am concerned for democracy in a world where this can happen.

  35. That should read,

    I remember discussion here quite a while back [among my much beloved “skeptics”] – confident pronunciations that climate scientists were creating a “crises” in public trust.

    • Your source above:

      “The two political groups also differ over whether scientific experts are generally better at making decisions about scientific policy issues than other people: 54% of Democrats say they are, while 66% of Republicans think scientists’ decisions are no different from or worse than other people’s. Finally, Democrats and Republicans have different degrees of faith in scientists’ ability to be unbiased; 62% of Democrats say scientists’ judgments are based solely on facts, while 55% of Republicans say scientists’ judgments are just as likely to be biased as other people’s.”

      Exhibit A is climate science. This is what’s good for you. Yet less than 2% of the problem is solved after 20 years. It doesn’t matter if they are right. They died on the climate science hill.

      Nothing you said J, but what makes the United States great and the place to put your money is attitudes like the Republicans have. The rest of the world has been cowed. We didn’t become great by surrending as Western Europe has done.

      • Ragnaar –

        What those articles miss is the diversity among Republicans. Same pattern plays out w/r/t climate change.

        Mainstream pubz and conz and indies are closer to mainstream lefties on climate change than they are to the hard-core righties. Pubz as a whole are pulled away from the center by a relatively small contingent of fanatics.

        In particular, with the “trust in science” issue it’s religious fundamentalists – they type who think that evolution is a conspiracy theory. We see the same with the pandemic and Gates’ conspiracy to embed chips and track everyone and make bank on a vaccine.

        Blaming those phenomena on climate scientist is, I dare say, “motivated” reasoning. Climate scientists don’t cause conspiracy theories to believe in conspiracies any more than Tony Faucci causes people to think that vaccines are the work of the devil.

        Conspiracy theorists gotta conspiracy theorize.

      • Exhibit B is the protest and riots. Not that social distancing science. We really didn’t mean that. For Churches yes. And don’t forget the White Nationalists. I believe in Science and that White Nationalists are really contributing to the burning and looting. I haven’t heard my Governor say ‘the data’ so many times in my life. My Governor is Mr. Science. And he brought up White Nationalists. “The data’. Replay. What does it mean, what do we do with it?

        No conspiracies needed. Just a bunch of scientists who are terrible at policy. But so are politicians.

        “…pulled away from the center…”

        A problem both sides have.

  36. You have to admit it makes as much sense as a lot climate science modelling.

  37. Washington Post notices that ending lockdowns in Europe has not produced resurgence of COVID-19:
    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0620/europee_loosens_lockdown.php3

    • “Many disease experts say enduring behavioral changes, from hand-washing to mask-wearing, could by themselves be substantially limiting the spread in Europe. They say the continued ban of large-scale events is probably capping the damage wrought by highly contagious people – the “super-spreaders” who account for much of the transmission.”

      • “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice
        The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy.”

        The Atlantic magazine coverage of Georgia’s decision to reopen.

        To be fair to The Atlantic, this was published before Democrats (and The Atlantic) did a 180 on the issue and declared it perfectly fine to gather in larger groups than Georgia ever permitted.

        News and “expert” opinion on Covid 19 seems designed specifically to confirm the lack of credibility of the news and most experts.

  38. Everett F Sargent

    The effect of large-scale anti-contagion policies on the COVID-19 pandemic

    Abstract
    Governments around the world are responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic1 with unprecedented policies designed to slow the growth rate of infections. Many actions, such as closing schools and restricting populations to their homes, impose large and visible costs on society, but their benefits cannot be directly observed and are currently understood only through process-based simulations2–4. Here, we compile new data on 1,717 local, regional, and national non-pharmaceutical interventions deployed in the ongoing pandemic across localities in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, and the United States (US). We then apply reduced-form econometric methods, commonly used to measure the effect of policies on economic growth5,6, to empirically evaluate the effect that these anti-contagion policies have had on the growth rate of infections. In the absence of policy actions, we estimate that early infections of COVID-19 exhibit exponential growth rates of roughly 38% per day. We find that anti-contagion policies have significantly and substantially slowed this growth. Some policies have different impacts on different populations, but we obtain consistent evidence that the policy packages now deployed are achieving large, beneficial, and measurable health outcomes. We estimate that across these six countries, interventions prevented or delayed on the order of 62 million confirmed cases, corresponding to averting roughly 530 million total infections. These findings may help inform whether or when these policies should be deployed, intensified, or lifted, and they can support decision-making in the other 180+ countries where COVID-19 has been reported7.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2404-8

  39. Everett F Sargent

    Critiqued coronavirus simulation gets thumbs up from code-checking efforts
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01685-y

  40. Everett F Sargent

    Estimating the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe

    Abstract
    Following the emergence of a novel coronavirus1 (SARS-CoV-2) and its spread outside of China, Europe has experienced large epidemics. In response, many European countries have implemented unprecedented non-pharmaceutical interventions such as closure of schools and national lockdowns. We study the impact of major interventions across 11 European countries for the period from the start of COVID-19 until the 4th of May 2020 when lockdowns started to be lifted. Our model calculates backwards from observed deaths to estimate transmission that occurred several weeks prior, allowing for the time lag between infection and death. We use partial pooling of information between countries with both individual and shared effects on the reproduction number. Pooling allows more information to be used, helps overcome data idiosyncrasies, and enables more timely estimates. Our model relies on fixed estimates of some epidemiological parameters such as the infection fatality rate, does not include importation or subnational variation and assumes that changes in the reproduction number are an immediate response to interventions rather than gradual changes in behavior. Amidst the ongoing pandemic, we rely on death data that is incomplete, with systematic biases in reporting, and subject to future consolidation. We estimate that, for all the countries we consider, current interventions have been sufficient to drive the reproduction number Rt below 1 (probability Rt< 1.0 is 99.9%) and achieve epidemic control. We estimate that, across all 11 countries, between 12 and 15 million individuals have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 up to 4th May, representing between 3.2% and 4.0% of the population. Our results show that major non-pharmaceutical interventions and lockdown in particular have had a large effect on reducing transmission. Continued intervention should be considered to keep transmission of SARS-CoV-2 under control.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2405-7

  41. Bret Weinstein and Yuri Deigin: Did Covid-19 leak From a Lab?

    View at Medium.com

    • A Warning From a Scientist Who Saw the Coronavirus Coming
      “It’s our everyday way of going about business on the planet that seems to be driving this.”
      Peter Daszak is a zoologist who works in China and runs the EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that studies the connections between human and wildlife health. So coronaviruses, like the new one that’s spreading right now, are one of his areas of expertise. A few years back, Daszak was working with the World Health Organization, plotting out what the next global pandemic could look like, when he and some other scientists came up with the idea of “Disease X.” Disease X would hit this epidemiological sweet spot: It would transmit easily from person to person, and it would be deadly, but not too deadly. Even though scientists like him knew this sort of virus was coming, the world didn’t get ready, not soon enough. And Daszak says that even when this outbreak is contained, it won’t be the last one. We’re going to get bigger pandemics, and they’re going to happen more often. But if we pay close attention to what’s happening right now, next time could be different.
      https://slate.com/technology/2020/03/coronavirus-covid19-pandemic-cause-prediction-prevention.html

      https://www.ecohealthalliance.org/

    • Peter Daszak
      Peter Daszak is a British zoologist and an expert on disease ecology, in particular on zoonosis. He is currently president of EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit non-governmental organization that supports various programs on global health with headquarters in New York City. He is a researcher, consultant and public expert for media inquiries on the subject of virus-caused epidemics. In late April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “abruptly terminated” EcoHealth Alliance’s research funding.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Daszak

      EcoHealth Alliance
      In April 2020 amid the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, the NIH ordered EcoHealth Alliance to cease spending the remaining $369,819 from its current NIH grant at the request of the Trump administration due to their research relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located near the epicenter of the SARS-CoV-2
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EcoHealth_Alliance

  42. It might be interesting to correlate the death rates by country with the percentage of type A persons of the total population. http://www.rhesusnegative.net/themission/bloodtypefrequencies/

  43. “In critical illness, homeostatic corrections representing the culmination of hundreds of millions of years of evolution, are modulated by the activated glucocorticoid receptor alpha (GRα) and are associated with an enormous bioenergetic and metabolic cost. Appreciation of how homeostatic corrections work and how they evolved provides a conceptual framework to understand the complex pathobiology of critical illness. Emerging literature place the activated GRα at the center of all phases of disease development and resolution, including activation and re-enforcement of innate immunity, downregulation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors, and restoration of anatomy and function.

    “Metabolic homeostasis is substantially disrupted in critical illness, and the degree of a vitamin deficiency can negatively impact health outcomes. Three vitamins, namely thiamine (vitamin B1), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and vitamin D, are important for the proper function of the GR system and mitochondria, and their reserves are rapidly exhausted in critical illness.

    “Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a potent water-soluble antioxidant and an enzymatic cofactor that plays a key role in neuro-endocrine and immune homeostatic corrections. Most vertebrates can synthesize ascorbic acid from glucose-6-phospate in the liver, with synthesis increasing during stress. In humans and other primates, however, ascorbic acid cannot be synthesized and has to be obtained through the diet.

    “Ascorbic acid is maintained at high levels in mature circulating leukocytes (μM amounts in lymphocytes ~3,800; monocytes ~3,100, and neutrophils ~1,400) , suggesting an important role in many aspects of the immune response. In leukocytes, ascorbic acid content responds to variations in plasma ascorbate availability . Following activation, immune cells undergo dramatic metabolic reprogramming with increased aerobic glycolytic activity and fatty acid oxidation (Warburg effect) under the regulation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) . The result of this change is to rapidly provide ATP and metabolic intermediates for the biosynthesis of immune and inflammatory mediators. Importantly, the hydroxylase enzymes that regulate the actions of the HIFs require ascorbate for optimal activity . The immune-enhancing properties of ascorbic acid regulation of HIFs include increased neutrophil and macrophage bacterial killing and phagocytic capacity. In addition, ascorbic acid plays an important role in protecting host cells from the excessive oxidative stress caused by infections.” from https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fendo.2020.00161/full

    So to answer angech, yes, vitamin C does more than just prevent scurvy. This is what the science says. Read the paper. People seem to enjoy laughing at vitamin C and dismissing it, and consequently an effective treatment for Covid-19 is being dismissed out of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. Worse, they construct bogus studies to demonstrate the vitamin C doesn’t do anything, and this is to protect pharmaceutical interests. Vitamin C has no patent and is cheap.

    It’d be funny if people weren’t dying because of this prejudice.

    We have an effective treatment for Covid-19. Dr. Fauci could care less. He only has eyes for a vaccine, which will no doubt be costly and profitable.

    https://covid19criticalcare.com/

    • Don132, from that artile: The activated GRα interdependence with functional mitochondria and three vitamin reserves (B1, C, and D) provides a rationale for co-interventions that include prolonged glucocorticoid treatment in association with rapid correction of hypovitaminosis.

      I am not sure anyone has ever argued against correcting Vitamin C deficiency. The so far untested question is whether nypervitiamin C treatment will be of any use in treating SARS CoV-2. Looks to me like it is worth a trial. As worded, they provide a rationale for co-interventions.

      Randomized studies provide evidence that prolonged
      glucocorticoid administration is associated with increased
      GRa number and function and decreased oxidative stress (see
      sections Glucocorticoid Receptor Alpha in Critical Illness and
      Mitochondria and HPA-Axis Cross-Talk).

      Unlike the case with glucocorticoids, they provide no evidence from clinical trials that vitamin C supplements are helpful. Preclinical biological research results provide rationales for lots of treatment approaches, but very few of those rationales survive the testing to show that they work on actual people.

      • @ matthewrmarler
        The basis for the use of vitamin C is many published and unpublished reports of clinical benefit, going back to Dr. Klenner and his claim that large doses of vitamin C cured every case of polio he had. He was, of course, ignored. Some of the history of vitamin C use can be found here: http://www.doctoryourself.com/ckorea2008.html

        Regarding the FLCCC group’s use of vitamin C, this goes back to clinical experience and Marik’s use of it in treating ARDS. I’ve explained elsewhere how his protocol was supposedly tested by the VITAMINS trial that found it lacking, and I’ve also explained how that trial never tested the actual protocol and hence the trial was in essence designed to fail. I don’t know why this sort of stuff continually goes on (that is, suppression of vitamin C use) but I suspect it might have something with pharma’s desire to crush the opposition, and vitamins in general are part of the opposition. As far as confirmation of the efficacy of vitamin C in saving lives in acute sepsis, we have Dr. Fowler’s double-blind CITRIS-ALI trial. https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/pulmcrit-citris-ali-can-a-secondary-endpoint-stage-a-coup-detat/

        I agree with the need for evidence but it seems that Dr. Fauci should get a team together and visit these guys, ask a lot of questions, and make an assessment of whether this treatment is viable and safe and might be expanded by way of further confirmation of results, which the FLCCC team claim are remarkable. But, this will never happen. Or, maybe he should just look carefully at their website, which I doubt he has bothered with: too busy advising the rest of the country on what we have to do to stay safe.

      • don132: As far as confirmation of the efficacy of vitamin C in saving lives in acute sepsis, we have Dr. Fowler’s double-blind CITRIS-ALI trial. https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/pulmcrit-citris-ali-can-a-secondary-endpoint-stage-a-coup-detat/

        You put that up already. There was no benefit on the primary endpoint, which there ought to have been had the treatment actually worked.

      • @matthewrmarler
        The Fowler trial: there were no gains in the primary endpoint, but a secondary endpoint, mortality, was significantly improved with vitamin C. We can conclude from this that vitamin C had no effect on a primary endpoints but curiously, more people lived taking vitamin C in that trial than lived not taking it, and this was statistically significant. Whatever vitamin C was doing might not have been measured by the primary endpoints.

        We have here no reason to celebrate vitamin C but no reason to dismiss it, either.

        My central point isn’t that vitamin C or anything is a miracle cure for anything. My central point is that in a time of emergency, facing a disease that can be very serious once one lands in the ER, someone should be out there doing due diligence on a protocol that eight experienced physicians (five of whom are on the front lines treating Covid patients) claim has remarkable results.

        Regardless of what one thinks of vitamin C, prejudices should be set aside and for the good of the country, someone from Dr. Fauci’s NIAID or the CDC should be making a visit to these guys and asking questions. I’m sure they’d be happy to talk to … well, anyone really. If it were one doctor maybe it wouldn’t be worth looking into, but with the endorsement of eight physicians you’d think that’d garner someone’s attention.

        Maybe vitamin C is so toxic that we don’t even want to be in the same room with it?

  44. And now … we have a highly-disturbing video from a nurse working with Covid-19 patients right in the heart of the epidemic, Elmhurst hospital in NYC.

    No commentary can do this video justice. But as you watch in disbelief, keep in mind the link I made to the FLCCC group, and ask yourself– as you certainly will in any case– what in heck is going on?

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/11/watch-perspectives-on-the-pandemic-9/

    • I got through 11 minutes. Can’t take any more. That’s life in AOC’s Congressional district, under the control of the capo di tuti Cuomo-underboss De Blasio syndicate. Mixing COVID patients with non-COVID patients in the same room, when they had that almost entirely empty fully equipped and staffed hospital at Javits Center and the similarly empty 70,000 ton hospital ship sent to them by the POTUS, who they want to blame for the deaths.

      • Don, watch the whole thing. Yeah, it’s tough. I actually cried at one point because anyone with any sense can see that this woman is speaking the truth. Treatment is here but we’re rejecting it.

        It’s an episode from the Twilight Zone. We’re living in it.

      • There is much more of interest here than who is at fault. One detail: who actually had the facts on DIC in COVID-19 in, say, mid-February? How prevalent is it, and who knows now? How early in the infection can it be reliably diagnosed?

      • Sorry, what’s DIC?

      • Click through:

        Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy

    • More on hypercoagulapathy: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2766786?guestAccessKey=b8b9953f-f677-4f83-890d-a82c3ad89875&utm_source=silverchair&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=article_alert-jamanetworkopen&utm_term=mostread&utm_content=olf-widget_06112020

      I think it has taken a while for information on this effect of the virus, and its implications for critical care, to disseminate throughout the critical care profession.

      • @matthewrmaler
        “I think it has taken a while for information on this effect of the virus, and its implications for critical care, to disseminate throughout the critical care profession.”

        Back on April 15, the Covid-19 Critical Care group did a press release with their protocol, noting specifically “the systemic and severe hyper-coagulable state causing organ damage,” as they said in that release. Maybe Dr. Fauci was too busy gazing heavenward toward a vaccine to have noticed it.

        The protocol is the same as that on their current website except that they dropped hydroxychloroquine, which they claim isn’t effective by the time patients get to the ER (others, however, say hydroxychloroquine must be given with zinc to be effective: HCQ opens the channels for zinc to enter the cells; zinc stops viral replication.)

        So back in April these guys were pounding the table. Back then we had an effective treatment for Covid-19, promoted by at least eight physicians.

        Judging from the fact that Cuomo sent sick patients to nursing homes– the last place they should have gone; that some states, including NY, actually forbade the use of outpatient hydroxychloroquine thereby directly interfering with the doctor-patient relationship; that the Zelenko protocol is mocked nearly everywhere; that obviously bogus studies on HCQ that should never have passed peer review were published in top medical journals; that we have an account of a protocol, practiced in Elmhurst hospital (where else?) that actually condemned patients to death (and who ordered THAT protocol?); and that an effective ER treatment protocol that has recognized for months the hypercoagulapathy of Covid-19 has been virtually ignored, then the cynic in me says that the whole point of all this is simply to kill people. And/or to scare the living crap out of them.

        Look at all the confusion. Is this really who we are?

      • Don132: It’s an episode from the Twilight Zone. We’re living in it.

        Look at all the confusion. Is this really who we are?

        this is fairly consistent with other episodes of medical advance. Knowledge does not permeate the medical profession rapidly.

        the cynic in me says that the whole point of all this is simply to kill people.

        You ought not let the cynic in you speak or write for you.

      • more on timing: The cohort included all patients admitted to the ICU of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center from March 15 to April 9, 2020, with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction test of nasopharyngeal swab.

        The paper was accepted for publication on May 11, 2020. It appears to be the first published report.

        “Pounding the table” is not that effective a persuasive technique to educated/practiced professionals.

      • matthewrmarler says,
        “’Pounding the table is not that effective a persuasive technique to educated/practiced professionals.”

        If you had a protocol that worked and you knew it was saving lives and was much better than anything else out there, as a physician and a human being and an ethical actor, what would you do to get people to listen? But apparently it doesn’t matter; very few are interested in even being interested. This one group of educated/practiced professionals is trying to get another group of educated/practiced professionals to listen to a protocol that’s working in a time of crisis. Apparently, though, most of those other educated and practiced professionals are gazing skyward toward a life-saving vaccine, in perfect harmony with their glorious leader, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and that’s the end of that.

        If you haven’t watched that video, you might want to.

      • Don132:

        Document thoroughly and carefully and publish.

        As a human being and ethical actor, can you ethically treat your audience as though they are ignorant dunces? No, but that is what pounding the table does.

      • matthewrmarler,
        The massive medical prejudice against vitamin C has been going on for a very long time. When Dr. Marik published his treatment of ARDS in Chest, he was dismissed. Not because of any flaws in the study, but because the results were too good to be true, because vitamin C doesn’t work, etc., etc. Then they constructed the VITAMINS trial to prove it doesn’t work, and every single doctor who might have been curious has read the results and said, oh vitamin C has no effect. But that study was junk, unless you believe that giving an emergency protocol roughly a day late is sound medicine. Do you?

        So along comes the FLCCC group, with Marik as a prime mover, and no one wants to listen because the VITAMINS trial has supposedly settled the matter and everyone knows that Marik is a quack because the VITAMINS trial proved it. The FLCCC group can document thoroughly and carefully all they want to and then publish, but that study will be attacked just as viciously as Marik’s paper on ARDS. I mean, seriously, nearly all Covid patients surviving? Partly because of vitamin C? Well, everyone knows that vitamin C does nothing but prevent scurvy, so no, we’re not interested, and we’d prefer that our patients die rather than pick up the phone and talk to these guys.

        This isn’t about documenting and publishing. This is about a long-standing battle over vitamin C, with the powers-that-be doing everything they can to discredit it.

        “Pounding the table” is a figure of speech. You might want to look carefully at their website and see that once again, I exaggerated for dramatic effect. Because I’m pounding the table.

      • Don132: I exaggerated for dramatic effect.

        So you did. That is an impediment to understanding and problem solving.

  45. Wrong thread but I do not want to upset the latest thread
    Mitigation, adaptation, suffering.
    Seems to be the lot of a skeptic in this modern age.
    Though as ATTP says it fits a lot of other viewpoints as well.
    Perhaps we could ask what is the one bit of extra proof [ I know everyone feels none is needed] that would help cement the arguments.
    Or what event[s] should happen to define it beyond doubt?.
    Trap question I guess as if whatever it is does not happen then it becomes an argument in reverse.
    Are there any events that would convince skeptics or warmists to change their views?
    May be worth a post.

  46. More strange goings-on in NY State. You’ve all heard of how nursing homes were ordered to take Covid-19 patients, and that might possibly be justified, but in any case that order has been deleted from the NY DOH website where it originated. But, we do indeed have the order, dated March 25, and it specifically says, “NHs [nursing homes] are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for Covid-19 prior to admission or readmission.”

    Got that? Not, you can test for Covid-19 if you’re worried, but you’re specifically prohibited from doing so prior to admission. Why would they do that? By March 25 we already knew that Covid’s victims were primarily the elderly and frail.

    So yes, I can see how maybe they might want to order nursing homes to take Covid patients– perhaps, even though this is a stretch– but to order that they can’t test admissions for a deadly disease known to target the elderly and creating fear and panic the world over?

    This is twilight zone public health.

    Is NY State the epicenter of the US Covid-19 outbreak because the state has been practicing twilight zone public health? How many Elmhurst-like hospitals are there in that state, anyhow? And who decided that the protocol for treatment should be: intubate at the earlier opportunity, even if not needed?

  47. And who decided that the protocol for treatment should be: intubate at the earlier opportunity, even if not needed?

    Apparently the decision to intubate has been made independently by doctors nationwide. Your characterizations “at the earlier opportunity” and “even if not needed” are more exaggerations.

    • matthewrmarler
      If you think I’m exaggerating, I suggest you watch the video interview of the Covid nurse. I am not exaggerating. https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/11/watch-perspectives-on-the-pandemic-9/

      That was the protocol in place at Elmhurst hospital: it came from above and the residents were following orders, as the nurse states several times. It was not independent doctor decisions. Who decided that? And how many other hospitals followed that protocol? And what was the protocol, anyhow?

      You can argue that the nurse is deluded if you want to, but she has video and tapped conversations with doctors at the hospital to back up what she says. She was clearly upset by what she saw, and she had the guts to stand up and do something about it.

      • Don132: this is the exaggeration: the protocol for treatment should be: intubate at the earlier opportunity, even if not needed?

      • matthewrmarler,
        You still haven’t watched that video, have you? If you did, then you’d understand that when I said that the protocol at Elmhurst hospital was “intubate at the earliest opportunity, even if not needed,” I wasn’t kidding or exaggerating.

        Watch the video, then get back to us and refute that the protocol was something other than what I stated above, for at least one major hospital in NYC. My original question was, how many other hospitals were/are using that protocol, and who made it up in the first place?

      • Don132 –

        She’s not just some random Florence Nightingale, but a member of the Plandemic conspiracy believers. Buds with Judy Mikovits. Has a book coming out.

        She has an agenda.

        Here you can get some context for her accusations of murder for hire:

        https://zdoggmd.com/elmhurst-hospital/

      • OK Josh, you think she’s lying. I agree she has an agenda: she wants to tell the truth.

        We disagree. There’s no way getting over this, because I believe that person and you do not. And yes, I do tend toward the plandemic theory; shoot me if you want to, but that’s my take on this. So many things don’t add up. For example, prohibiting nursing homes in NY state from testing admissions for Covid? Prohibiting? Prohibiting the use of hydroxychloroquine for outpatients in NY state? Prohibiting? Don’t tell me that was to prevent shortages, because I’m not buying that the richest country on earth couldn’t find enough resources to produce a drug that was being ordered by physicians during a time of emergency.

        Of course they’re going to come out shooting with both barrels to defend Elmhurst. What would you expect?

      • Don132 –

        Not sure is call it lying. She probably thinks she’s telling the truth for the most part.

        Although some stuff maybe not. Like the part where she makes it seem like because the screen shot of someone’s chart says negative for COVID-19 but they are in a covid-19 room, and she says they’re getting people sick so they can collect more money. Obviously, there could be false negatives for people who are extremely sick with obvious symptoms. I mean is that lying to leave out the context? Hard to say. Or maybe those people really didn’t have symptoms and they were classified as positive just to get the money. Possible? I guess so. Was she lying? I don’t know, but leaving out the context is suspicious. And she’s apparently an anti-Vax zealot, so yeah, she’s got a hard-core agenda. And when someone has that kind of agenda I’m not inclined to just take their word for something like that.

        Maybe you’re just a more trusting person than I am.

        But when I see a hard sell like that, with lots of suspicious stuff, I immediately want to see the other side Soni can judge for myself.

        It was like that with the whole Plandemic conspiracy theory. See, the problem with conspiracies is that when there would necessarily have to be a lot of people involved, it gets rather implausible that now one person on the inside would have a conscious. And when all you have is highly edited secret filming (which prolly violates hipaa rights) from a fanatic with an agenda, with no attempt to contextualize, with a hard sell… Yah. I guess you’re just more of a trusting person than I am.

      • Conscience

      • Joshua,

        I’m “anti-vaccine,” too. What does that mean? Does that mean that I disagree with the principle of vaccination? No. Does it mean that I don’t think vaccines are good and useful? No. What it does mean is that I think our children are over-vaccinated, yes, but more importantly it means that I think forced vaccination is unethical. In fact, that could be the single thing I might object to and yet I’d still be labeled anti-vaccine. Why is forced vaccination wrong? Because nothing good has ever come from removing informed consent to medication.

        The city of Cambridge was within its rights to impose a modest $5 fine on Henning Jacobson for refusing the smallpox vaccine, and the 1905 Supreme Court made a sound decision in upholding that penalty. But they did not force Jacobson to get vaccinated. Even though that court specifically warned against excessive and oppressive state police powers, that’s exactly what happened when forced sterilization became the law of the law in 1927, and the American experience with eugenics–backed now by the Supreme Court– became part of the legal and ethical justification for the Holocaust. No, I’m not exaggerating.

        So yes, refusing a vaccine, or all vaccines, is an evil, but this evil is far outweighed by the evil of removing informed consent to medication and medical treatment.

        The big fight in the “anti-vax” movement is against forced vaccination.

        I have no problem with anyone being part of any group that opposes forced medication. Practically speaking, the people who refuse are so small that it makes hardly any difference, and if more than a small number refuse then I’d look first to problems with the program, and not to problems with the people.

        They’re out to demonize that nurse. It’s working.

        As for the rest of what you say, we have different ideas about who is trustworthy.

      • Don –

        I think it’s more a matter of you’re a more trusting person.

        I don’t inherently trust anyine on this issue, really. So i try to look at what information I can get on different sides.

        And when I see a hard sell that avoids important context, my suspicion is heightened. And when I see implausible claims that involve a murder conspiracy of a lot of people where no one comes forward out of conscience, my suspicion is heightened. And when I see someone with a clear and radical agenda not being up front about that agenda, and putting together a highly-edited, secretly-recorded video with dubious ethical decisions involved in the recording and releasing that video, my suspicions are heightened.

        As for her being an snti-vaxer… It’s not the focus of her advicsvy in itself that raises my suspicion, it’s the fact that she wasn’t up front with her agenda. And that with an agenda she went into that situation with a goal, so it’s clrarlyb a situation where she might create a deceptive portrayal, even if not deliberately, then because of her biases.

        That’s an interesting explanation for why you’re an snti-vaxer. I won’t comment on that (that’s another issue) but I don’t assume she’s an anti-vacer for that reason but prolly the more common reason that she’s confused about the impact on children’s health from vaccination. Which doesn’t speak well to her ability to deal with the analytical aspects of COVID-19 rehashed to her VIDEO. Which adds to the other reasons above why I question her credibility. .

      • Joshua says, “… she wasn’t up front with her agenda.”
        And what agenda would that be? That she was opposed to some aspect of the vaccine program? And this had anything to do with what she saw at Elmhurst? Because her interview mentioned zero about vaccines??? What are you trying to tell us?

        I think the agenda reads more like this: she’s a good nurse with an honorable record as such; there was no work in Florida (because the promised surge never came and there were no patients, as happened in hospitals across the country); she went to NYC to help; she found abuse and an appalling situation; she told friends, and probably with her friends’ help and encouragement she decided to document this; realizing that she might be out of work because of this and that it was important to get the word out, she began a book and apparently completed it in short order. Then, Off-Guardian was contacted by one of her friends, they decided to interview her, and the interview took off.

        I think her “agenda” is that she’s a good nurse and a good person.

        You disagree. That’s your business. I respect that. You can trust the authorities defending this if you want to.

        But we can test this, can’t we? Let them tell us how many Covid patients came out of Elmhurst alive, how many were put on ventilators, how much they got for each Covid death. No, don’t let them tell us: start an investigation and look at the books. Let’s compare those numbers with that nurse’s hospital in Florida, which she claims had zero deaths (and treated with hydroxychloroquine and zinc.) Let’s compare that with the hospital of Dr. Varon in Texas, which has treated 50 Covid patients with no deaths (and treated with the vitamin C protocol.)

        All they have to do is let us see the numbers: how many went in there, how many were diagnosed with Covid, how many positive tests were there, and how many survived Covid? According to one doctor secretly taped, the number of Covid survivors was zero. Not one Covid patient came out of there alive– except the man who pulled out his own tube!

        I think the woman was horrified that people were being vented that didn’t need to be, and none of them survived after they were intubated.

        So again: whose protocol was this, with such a wonderful record? Does anyone care? Or are we too busy beating up on hydroxychloroquine, vitamin C, and a nurse who had the guts to stand up and say something?

        For God’s sake, Joshua, we have a taped record that they deliberately refused to resuscitate a patient during a code, illegally, despite the family’s request, and despite no “Do Not Resuscitate” order that’s REQUIRED. The doctor stood at the bedside and actively prevented resuscitation efforts.

        This is BS. Stop reading what everyone says about this and watch the video for yourself. If, that is, you can even make it through the thing.

      • Don –

        I watched a fair amoint of it. It looks like a deceptive hit job to me. She’s clearly got an agenda because she’s been an activist on related issues for years. Looks to me like she had a goal in the whole exercise – not one of providing Healthcare to patients. . I don’t think she’s credble.

        If you want to trust her, that’s fine with me. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that you’re so trusting.

      • Joshua:

        “She’s clearly got an agenda because she’s been an activist on related issues for years.”

        OK, spell out for us what these “related issues” are. And no, vaccines are not “related,” sorry.

        Was she an activist at her own hospital on “related issues”? Was she an patient care activist? Have a record of complaints against hospitals?

      • Joshua

        You said this

        “We are the richest country in the world with huge resources and medical expertise, and we’re 10th worst in the world in per capita deaths. About to be 9th. We’re 30th best in the world in per capita testing despite our enormous wealth and resources to bring to bear. We’re 12th worst in per capita cases, so we’ve obviously done a terrible job of preventing spread.”

        There are many different ways of measuring wealth so you can point to your own, but the US is around the 12th Richest . You have some oil states in there as well distorting it, but that ranking position works well with your position on per capita cases and per capita deaths, probably coincidentally..

        https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/07/07/richest-countries-in-the-world/39630693

        If you were to pose different questions such as is America a great country or a generous country then it would zoom up the ranks. I personally hope Trump (or whoever) does make America great again, as the west needs its generosity, innovation and its superpower status to see us through what promises to be a difficult decade.

        tonyb

      • tonyb –

        I was referencing the level of resources we can bring to beat in addressing rhe pandemic. I would say our GDP that is significantly larger than in any other country in the world would be a more relevant measure there than per capita measures of wealth. Similarly, the size of our medical research resources and infrastructure. Luxemburg or Macao might have a higher per capita GDP, but I’d hardly expect them to lead the world in limiting the pandemic. Would you?

      • Don132: You can argue that the nurse is deluded if you want to, but she has video and tapped conversations with doctors at the hospital to back up what she says.

        Have I asserted that her presentation is not truthful? I have heard discussions of these probably-near-end-of-life issues in intensive care for more than 4 decades. The complaints are always the same:”he oughtn’t to have treated that patient so aggressively”, “she waited too long before intubating that patient”, “the DNR order on that patient was wrong”, “only 20% – 40% of patients intubated recover” (so we ought not intubate any of them?) “They gave poorer care to patients without insurance”, “unions protect incompetent nurses/lab technicians/radiologists”, “Administrators only care about money”. Plus I have read histories and accounts of particular episodes, where someone has said, in retrospect: It was already known that (penicillin, say) had been invented, so it was malpractice amounting to murder to let (Richard Feynman’s wife, say) die of TB (for example.) Knowledge of almost every intervention that was shown to work (or shown not to work, as in the case of phlebotomy) was disputed by important actors, and the knowledge diffused slowly throughout the profession. Almost always a large number of the disputants are certain that they are correct and that their opponents are immoral.

        Of additional interest for the present disease, ECMO was hotly disputed. As was oxygen enrichment for premature babies. As were the claims that AIDS was caused by a virus and that anti-retro-viral medications were efficacious.

        Who decided? I answered that question: hundreds, maybe thousands, of critical care physicians working independently in hospitals throughout the world. They have not all made the same decision. Who has clearly shown that they have evidence that a particular treatment works (or does not work)? As we have been discussing for months, hardly anyone has clear and evidence.

        Mother Nature is constantly inventing new ways to kill people, and our best people have difficulty developing the knowledge and skills to save those victims. In this case, a virology lab may have helped, but the evidence and expert opinions are all over the map (well, all over the map of China). But the problem is the same: the disease is new, and effective treatments are under development.

      • @matthewrmarler
        Of course there are all kinds of Covid treatment protocols and physicians who make calls on what to do. But at Elmhurst hospital, we were told that the residents were all following orders. Whose orders? Whose protocol?

        It’d be nice to know how many of Elmhurst hospital’s Covid patients lived.

        I never argued that all doctors follow the same protocol. I argued that apparently Elmhurst doctors were, and I asked how many other Elmhurst-like hospitals are out there? No one knows. Maybe Elmhurst is an outlier. Maybe the nurse got it all wrong. The only way to begin to find out is to look at hospital records, which could certainly be done in the context of the investigation that’ll never take place.

      • Don123 –

        My last comment on this topic:

        > OK, spell out for us what these “related issues” are. And no, vaccines are not “related,” sorry.

        I think her anti-vax activities are directly related, as they are connected to the Plandemic conspiracy theories that the whole covid19 threat is hyped up and promoted by vaxers. And it’s clear that she has an agenda from prior to when the video starts to make the argument that the reaction to the pandemic is a dangerous over-reaction. All are her right, but when she’s not up front about her activism in the video it undermines her credibility in my view.

        But hey, if you want to just trust her despite her adviacsy and deception and lack of comprehensive explanation of context, that is certainly your right. And in a way it speaks well to you that you’re such a trusting person.

      • Joshua,

        The evidence the nurse presents can’t be so easily dismissed, and if it could be, they would have already shown how their treatment of Covid patients led to results at least consistent with the norm of other hospitals across the country.

        How many Covid patients are you saying come out of Elmhurst alive? We heard one doctor, it’s right on tape: zero. They don’t make it out.

        Is that consistent with other hospitals?

        Discard thy prejudices and think.

      • Don Monfort

        to moderation

        I’ll keep it simple:

        https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-new-yorks-coronavirus-response-made-the-pandemic-worse-11591908426

        “New York leaders faced an unanticipated crisis as the new coronavirus overwhelmed the nation’s largest city. Their response was marred by missed warning signs and policies that many health-care workers say put residents at greater risk and led to unnecessary deaths.”

        I bet all those health care workers saying that got they ‘gendas.

      • Don132: which could certainly be done in the context of the investigation that’ll never take place.

        Stifle your inner cynic. There will be lots of investigations, spanning years. But remember the many liabilities that inhere in cross-hospital comparisons. Remember also the several diverse ways that SARS CoV-2 kills: pulmonary coagulopathy, infection and damage to lung tissue, cytokine storms and other extreme inflammation, kidney and liver damage. Do not expect much clarity any time soon.

      • @matthewrmarler
        My inner cynic is fueled by the knowledge that we have a safe, inexpensive treatment for Covid-19 promoted by eight physicians that’s being ignored.

        My inner cynic is fueled by the understanding the the VITAMINS trial was deliberately sabotaged. What else would you call this when the timing was so far off and when the person who devised this protocol was never consulted, not even to find out the exact protocol? Because if they had done so, Marik would have told them: you can’t give it 24 hours too late.

        My inner cynic is fueled by the knowledge that we have a safe, early treatment for Covid-19 using hyrdroxychloroquine and azithromycin (and zinc) that’s being actively campaigned against. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7199729/

        My inner cynic is fueled by the knowledge, as recently imparted to me by dpy6629’s link, that YouTube removed a video of Dr. Ioannidis for “misinformation” while failing to say exactly what that misinformation was. This sort of censorship is extremely frightening to me, but that’s because I somehow think that open debate, and allowing people to judge for themselves, are central to a free society, and Ioannidis was a highly-respected scientist until he opened his mouth and asked for a data-driven response to Covid.

        My inner cynic tells me that fear and panic are the real goals. Have you seen the website of the UN’s new world order? https://unnwo.org/ You don’t see much because they left the website up but took the content down; it was a fairly elaborate exposition of how some 17 points would be implemented, including “Happytalism.” Including your “digital identity,” which is “your right” (thank God I’ll finally know who I am!) It was obviously a result of some planning. What do you think will happen when a second wave hits? How do you suppose we’ll pick up the pieces from a second major hit to the world economy? Ready for Happytalism then? https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/united-nations-nwo-unnwo-launches-covid-19-coronavirus-focused-international-day-of-happiness-2020-campaign-theme-happiness-for-all-together-301026735.html Looks like you can find a reference to Happytalism here: step ten. https://unidohappiness.org/ If that doesn’t frighten you, then nothing I say will.

        I’m actually a fairly happy guy (already) despite my inner cynic, but I’m also very worried. And not about Covid.

  48. –snip–

    Various mitigation measures have been implemented to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, including widely adopted social distancing and mandated face covering. However, assessing the effectiveness of those intervention practices hinges
    on the understanding of virus transmission, which remains uncertain. Here we show that airborne transmission is highly virulent and represents the dominant route to spread the disease. By analyzing
    the trend and mitigation measures in Wuhan, China, Italy, and New York City, from January 23 to May 9, 2020, we illustrate that the impacts of mitigation measures are discernable from the trends of
    the pandemic. Our analysis reveals that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the pandemic trends in the three epicenters. This protective measure alone significantly reduced the number of infections, that
    is, by over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9 and over 66,000 in New York City from April 17 to May 9. Other mitigation measures,such as social distancing implemented in the United States, are insufficient by themselves in protecting the public. We conclude that
    wearing of face masks in public corresponds to the most effectivemeans to prevent interhuman transmission, and this inexpensivepractice, in conjunction with simultaneous social distancing, quarantine, and contact tracing, represents the most likely fighting oppor-
    tunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work also highlights thefact that sound science is essential in decision-making for the current and future public health pandemics.

    Click to access 2009637117.full.pdf

  49. It’s sad to see the continued decent of Ioannidis:

    • Hah. Descent.

      • Ioannidis:

        –snip-

        If we assume that case fatality rate among individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 is 0.3% in the general population — a mid-range guess from my Diamond Princess analysis — and that 1% of the U.S. population gets infected (about 3.3 million people), this would translate to about 10,000 deaths.”

        –snip–

        2 million now identified, plus maybe 35% asymptomatic…

        Plus how many who were symptomatic and presented for testing but who were sent home without testing plus how many who were symptomatic but never even went to be tested? And then multiply that sum by another 35%

        Seems that John was clearly off on his prediction of infected, maybe by 100% or more, although perhaps by not as many multiples as his estimate of deaths (against pointing back to his underestimating the fatality rate) .

        Then we have the LA County follow up study which supposedly came up with a lower infection rate than the Santa Clara study, despite being conducted a month later. Then we have the simple fact that in the Santa Clara study their results could have been completely false, given the false positive rate in the context of the base infection rate they supposedly found.

        And there’s the MLB employee study also conducted considerably later, which found results inconsistent with the Santa Clara study.

        Then there’s the fact that they extrapolated fatality rates from unrepresentative sampling and went on national TV to promote those estimates in support of policy advocacy,, but then when the results of their later studies came back lower than they wanted they went to the press to explain it was because of a lack of representativeness in their sampling.

        Then there’s the fact that two of the people associated with the Santa Clara study withdrew because of their concerns about ethical breeches. Specifically, that they gave people the testing under a promise of “immunity passports” should they test positive, despite the likely large percentage of false positives, and they had no plans to retest to prevent infected people who tested positive falsely from going home to infect grandma.

        Then there’s the numerous experts who have criticized ioannidis’ meta-survey on technical grounds, for which our friend here has anything to say except an appeal to authority and ad hom attacks.

        Then there’s the promotion of an article that was mis-leading with no comment about how mis-leadimg it was as Glman pointed out.

        Or maybe you’ll insult Gelman and his expertise again like you did last time, only to then go over to Gelman’s blog to back-peddle and claim you weren’t actually intending to insult him…even as you complains out ad Homa despite constsnt use of ad homs…

        Too funny.

      • Joshua, You didn’t respond to my point. All you have is quote mining and nit picking. Science is not perfect. Usually the better scientists like Ioannidis improve in response to criticism and that happened here.

        Other than your outdated and misleading list of “wrongs,” the science is appearing to be correct as more data is assembled. This is really what matters, not Gellman’s methodological critique (which Ioannidis mentioned and taken into account in making changes) or his resentment of a perhaps small mischaracterization of his “The authors owe us an apology” comment, followed by “I don’t know whether the result is right or not.” Gellman has advanced nothing that contradicts the growing body of evidence and says he has nothing to offer because its not his field. That’s correct.

        This is all normal science. You are obviously selectively outraged by normal science. As a nonscientists, you should stop that.

      • David –

        You never make any actual points. You just insult or complain about the length of my comments or the fact that I don’t attach my last name to my ckmments, blah, blah.

        Heres a couple of suggestions for you:

        Go over to a Gelman’s blog and explain why the article he deconstructed for being misleading is actually “balanced” as you claim. (when you go, you might want to apologize to him again for your repeated insults of him when you do so, and try explaining to him how you didn’t really mean to be insulting him when you insulted him).

        Or go to Twitter to explain to those experts the many ways in which they were wrong in their technical deconstruction of the many errors in Ioannidis’ meta-survey.

        Or to the BuzzFeed author to explain why her reporting on the ethical breeches on the part of the Santa Clara authors weren’t really ethical breeches.

        I know you don’t think that there’s a problem with extrapolating from unrepresentative sampling, because you yourself and think it’s just “nitpicking” to point out that’s a fundamental error (just lhe SC study’s projection of confidence intervals for their convenience sampling is fundamentally in error because they don’t have any idea of whether their sampling was representative).

        Or you can just continue to handwave and insult and appeal to authority as you typically do. No skin off my back wither way.

        Hace a good rest of your day.

      • Josh, As a nonscientist, you should just stop the merchants of doubt routine as it teaches no one anything and won’t change anything either. Buzzfeed is an unreliable news source.

        Gellman’s latest post also is irrelevant to the underlying science. The Undark article cites a lot more than Gellman’s admittedly out of context quote about an apology. No one owes anyone an apology for doing normal science.

        The point is that there are a growing number of lines of evidence (including the CDC) that the IFR for this virus is in the range of 0.1% to 0.4% depending on local circumstances. You haven’t even ventured an opinion on the real important issue. Everything else is a distraction for those with far too much time on their hands.

      • verytallguy

        dpy,

        “The point is that there are a growing number of lines of evidence (including the CDC) that the IFR for this virus is in the range of 0.1% to 0.4% depending on local circumstances. ”

        Now this is nonsense on stilts.

        The population mortality recorded in multiple regions around the world is greater than 0.4.

        An IFR below this is, by definition, impossible.

      • VTG, Your observation is scientifically meaningless as I suspect you know. Of course the IFR is highly dependent on the age structure of the region, the quality of the health care system, and numerous other factors including treatment protocols. In an assisted living facility one would expect an IFR well above 5%. Estimates of IFR also tend to decline as an epidemic progresses, often dramatically so.

        Ioannidis’ recent meta analysis has data points ranging from 0.02% to 0.86%.

        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.13.20101253v2

        Summary, If you know little about science and don’t seem to have the inclination to read widely about research, you are unlikely to be a reliable source of science. Listening to some of Ioannidis’ you tube videos would be an alternative if the papers are too technical for you. They are excellent.

      • verytallguy

        dpy.

        If 0.4% of an entire region have died, the IFR cannot possibly be less than 0.4%.

        This has been seen in multiple regions in the world.

        It really is that simple. Everything else is blather.

      • Don Monfort

        There is another way to look at the issue, by autopsy examination of lungs from victims of COVID 19 vs. influenza fatalities:

        and:

        It looks to me like COVID 19 is significantly more deadly than the typical seasonal flu.

        We had a relatively bad flu season in 2017-2018. CDC estimated nearly 50 million infected and 80,000 fatalities, IFR 0.16. There is no reason to believe that anywhere near 50 million, so far, have been infected with COVID 19. This is with extraordinary spread prevention measures that are unprecedented.

        An IFR of less than 0.4 seems very unlikely. Does anybody know anybody who has been confirmed with the virus? The son and daughter-in-law of a friend of mine who live in London were sick from the virus and recovered. I don’t know anybody else who was confirmed with the virus, who knew anybody confirmed with the virus, had an employee with the virus and so on.

        COVID 19 is a nasty thing. If you are aged, obese, diabetic, high blood pressure etc. etc. and you get the COVID 19, you are in trouble.

      • The current population of Western Europe is 196,118,020
        Times
        .004
        Equals
        784,472

        Western Europe is a region. If 10% of Western Europe is infected, .004 works. It’s complicated. If this hasn’t taken off yet, it’s not going to make it off of the runway. The air is too thin, it’s too humid and you don’t have a turbocharger.

      • VTG, I guess simple statements appeal to the simple minded. It really is much more complicated and its obvious that different regions or countries have different IFR’s because of the very strong age dependence of the fatality rate. I don’t know of anyone who disagrees among the experts.

        My thinking is that Miami Dade county, Santa Clara county, and Los Angeles county are more representative of the US as a whole. In these cases, antibody testing puts the IFR between 0.1% and 0.31%. New York City had a large number of bumbles that worsened the epidemic especially in nursing homes.

        Another complication is how “covid” deaths are counted. Dr. Birx and other experts believe the CDC overstates these deaths by 25% at least.

      • Don Monfort

        “If 10% of Western Europe is infected, .004 works.”

        Explain how that works, if it’s not too complicated.

      • Don, A brother of a colleague of mine tested positive. He is young and healthy and had what he thought was a very mild cold that only lasted a few days. Later he volunteered at a New York hospital and was tested for antibodies. This is the normal progression of this disease in those under 40 or 50 who are otherwise healthy. It’s often the case that these people don’t even know they have been infected. That’s why actual infections are between 10 and 60 times greater than official case numbers.

        In estimating IFR, bear in mind that it differs among different populations by a lot and also that death counting is still a subject of immense controversy among experts. Also, a poor health system and/or government response can inflate the numbers. New York got to a point where the system was quite stressed. Also nursing home epidemics were common in many states like Pennsylvania. In the US, 380,000 people in these homes die from infections every year. These are often the ones with limited life expectancy.

        What epidemiologists measure is excess mortality and the jury is still out on that one. I’m going to be curious if mortality goes way below normal once the epidemic is burned out. That would be explained by those who are terminally ill having all died at once from covid19.

        In the previous comment, I gave reasons to believe that IFR is between 0.1% and 0.31% in places where the health care system always had big unused capacity and people are more spread out than NYC.

      • Ioannidis meta-survey:

        – no clear search methodology
        – strange inclusion/exclusion criteria
        – odd ‘adjustments’ that only ever decrease IFR
        – including strange studies
        – excluding the most robust estimates

      • Ioannidis claims that the Spanish seroprevalence estimate cannot be included because it has only been published as a press release

        This is wrong

      • Ioannidis [compares] the IFR of influenza used by the CDC – which is ~0.1% – to the IFR of COVID-19 inferred from seroprevalence studies

        These two figures, however, are not comparable

        The IFR estimate for influenza generated by the CDC is the result of a complex modelling process that inflates the numerator (deaths) according to hospitalization data for pneumonia and other ICD codes

        Why is this a problem?

        Well, we are not comparing apples with apples here. Numerous efforts have demonstrated that the death count of COVID-19 in many places is a significant underestimate (by 50%+)

        If we instead compare the IFR of influenza calculated from seroprevalence studies and official death counts to the same for COVID-19, we see a VERY different picture

        The HIGHEST IFR estimate for influenza using this methodology, based on a 2014 systematic review, is 0.01%

        That’s 18x lower than the lowest reasonable estimate of COVID-19 IFR

      • Don Monfort:

        .004 works in Western Europe taking total Covid deaths.
        196,188k population
        Times
        10%
        19,619k infected (A)
        90k deaths in Western Europe (My guess) (B)
        B divided by A
        .0045
        If the infection rate is 20%, half of .0045.
        Have I messed up the math?
        I was replying to someone who mentioned regions above.

      • Ragnaar –

        If we were to trust the seroprevalence study in Spain, the supposed true case number is about 10 x the number of confirmed cases. That would put the infection fatality rate at about 1% in Spain. Why would it be different in the rest of western Europe?

      • Ragnaar –

        If the true number of case in Italy were 10 x the confirmed cases, that would put the IFR on Italy at @1.4%

        Obviously, if the number of true cases were 20 x the confirmed cases, the IFR would be around 0.7%

        If they’ve confirmed 1 out of every 100 true cases, the IFR would be 0.17%

        You’re good at math. What would the ratio of true cases to confirmed cases be to get to an IFR of 0.004% in Italy?

        Does that seem plausible to you?

      • dpy,
        It appears to me from the pre and post-mortem medical evidence that the COVID 19 virus is significantly more deadly than a bad flu, such as that we had in 2017-2018. It’s nasty.

        We are approaching 120,000 deaths, with the extraordinary measures we have taken. I have seen no convincing evidence we have had 20 million infected. Testing indicates 2.2 million cases confirmed. OK, let’s multiply that by 10. That would be 22 million infected with 120,000 fatalities. IFR 0.55. Let’s make it 40 million infected. IFR 0.3. But it isn’t 40 million and I don’t recall seeing significant evidence for as much as 22 million.

        We have infection rates of 40-50 million in a typical flu season without having closed schools, shut down gatherings of more than a couple of people, closed factories etc. etc. etc. What if COVID 19 was on the loose in those virus friendly conditions? My point is that the COVID 19 is a beast, it ain’t the run-of-the-mill flu. If we reach 50 million infections, without some effective treatment, we will have over 200,000 deaths.

        Why are NY, NJ and surrounding areas so bad off? Actual higher rates of infection=more fatalities. Unfortunately, those areas are still a part of the U.S., so we have to count them in IFR.

        Of course, the information available is limited and much of it sketchy. We will have a better idea on what’s happening to us in about two years, if ever. In the meantime we eat popcorn and make our guesses.

      • Ragnaar,
        Please check and verify thy numbers. Then come back and testify. Can I get an Amen?

      • Italy has an older population than almost any other European country so their IFR would significantly higher than the US. Perhaps a factor of 2. Italy’s hospital system was overwhelmed and so that would inflate IFR a lot. Reports said it was really bad.

      • Don, The seroprevalence studies I’ve seen show actual infections are 10-80 times numbers of cases in those locales. So there could be as many as 160 million exposed even though I doubt its nearly that high. I could easily believe 60 million though.

      • Don Monfort

        dpy,

        I will pretend I didn’t see that 160 million. Now 60 million might could be possible on some planet, if COVID 19 is much less lethal than the seasonal flu. It isn’t.

        I haven’t seen any seroprevalence studies that show “actual infections” of more than a small sample of a population. I don’t see any plausible way to get from the seroprevalence studies to 60 million infected.

      • J:

        0.4% IFR is plausible for Western Europe. Spain and Italy may not be part of Western Europe which surprised me. With so much unknown, and so many assumptions and factors, lower than 0.4% IFR is not ruled out. Which is my point.

        We place confidence. I am doing mine on the side of resilience. And trying to place it on the things that made us great. Our economy. I have confidence in it, but not when it’s strangled.

        We can talk about IFR but then include that plus age groups. Old people die. Old people can have crappy situations. Strangling the economy doesn’t fix that. What’s the next plan? Burn all our money?

      • Ragnar

        1. Spain and Italy are both in Western Europe.

        2. IFR inferred from European data is generally in the range 0.5-1.5. 0.4 seems highly unlikely. See just for instance the following work from the Imperial team concluding 0.5-1.0

        https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31357-X/fulltext

      • Ragnaar –

        I guess I was confused by your use of “.0045” as opposed to 0.45%. Yes, 0.45% doesn’t seem entirely implausible to me, although it does seem to be ever so slightly below the lowest and of the generally shared range. Of course, there’s controversy there as well.

        The antibody testing is very unreliable, particularly where the base rate is so low as to make false positives very l likely. So I think that we really just don’t know as of yet. But the simple rates of the fatalities seems to suggest an infection fatality rate that’s much higher than the seasonal flue. And then add that to the higher infection rate…

      • You guys are way too confident about the IFR issue and your simple minded “thinking”.

        1. Imperial College and Ferguson have a track record of alarmist and wrong predictions.
        2. The Oxford group disagrees and estimates a lower IFR.
        3. The CDC’s most likely scenario has an IFR of 0.26%.
        4. Ioannidis has a long series of papers with scores of collaborators on this that are quite good. His analysis is vastly more competent and detailed than what you’re coming up with.

        Like all issues dealing with epidemiology, this will remain a subject of controversy for a while. But you would do well to pay attention to the weight of expert opinion in areas where you have no expertise or even statistical competence.

        Calling this group of top experts opinions “blather” is pretty close to science denial.

        I also wouldn’t trust the influenza estimates. They are based on much less data than the available covid19 data. Further, we have a vaccine for flu that most vulnerable people get every year. It’s free at most pharmacies and widely advertised and encouraged by employers and all health care professionals. Serological studies for flu would be worthless because of this fact. I can tell Joshua’s statements are wrong because he doesn’t quote a range of values. About half the US population gets vaccinated in any given year. Any IFR would have to be at least doubled to account for this assuming that the vaccine is pretty effective in preventing serious disease.

      • I just looked up “Western Europe”. But it’s fine. Let’s say the average is 0.75%. Weighted by one segment, old people in nursing homes.

        Which we know not to apply this 0.75% to all of society. And when we apply whatever number or numbers, we realize the moral calculus involves at least 20 factors.

        Now we solve the problem. And when we solve the problem we use this 0.75% number to explain why we did what we did. I would say any number less than 1.00% means Go, Go, Go.

        I still think, if we some day know what the numbers were, it will come in low. I am going to say there’s been a bias towards the high side.

        Now what about old people? The future belongs to the young. Let’s not make it any worse for them.

      • Don Monfort

        dpy,

        Effectiveness of flu vaccine is not so good:

        https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/past-seasons-estimates.html

        It makes no sense to double IFR, for flu because there is a vaccine. IFR is Infection Fatality Rate. If a person avoids Infection due to a vaccine, then they ain’t Infected. Are we supposed to spot COVID 19 some points, because there is no vaccine?

        COVID 19 is more deadly than the usual seasonal flus. Clinical evidence for that is convincing.

      • J:

        “You’re good at math. What would the ratio of true cases to confirmed cases be to get to an IFR of 0.004% in Italy?”

        Here is my intent:
        0.004 equals 0.4%

        With 0.004 being in the ballpark.

      • Don, I suppose one could argue that in the absence of a vaccine twice as many might be “infected” and deaths would be a factor of 2 higher too.

      • VTG, You are quote mining from the Imperial College report that supports your alarmist position. They have a long history of alarmist and quite wrong estimates. Many other experts disagree and have persuasive arguments. You might try actually reading more broadly and trying to think for yourself. I know there is a default alarmist position that anonymous concensus enforcers feel obliged to go out on the internet and repeat. Science is about accumulated evidence and the balance of expert opinion.

        Ioannidis considers quite a few of these same European datasets. It is actually Imperial College whose reputation has taken a beating recently and a re examination of their track record which is one of dramatic exaggeration.

    • Your one sided selection bias is noted.

      https://undark.org/2020/06/11/john-ioannidis-politicization/ Offers a more balanced perspective.

      • That article is wrong at so many levels. A few are covered by Gelman here:

        https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/06/13/mits-science-magazine-misrepresents-critics-of-stanford-study/

        I love how after the fact the Undark authors offered a correction regarding their own conflict of interest.

        They completely left out any discussion of the the problems with the Santa Clara study that led to two of their team to resign. Inexcusable.

        For more balance:

      • Joshua, Don’t you remember the earlier discussions of this?

        The undark article correctly points out that Ioannidis has become a focus for non scientists to attack him based on political motivations. That would seem to include you too since you don’t know anything about the science. So your opinion cannot be based on science or technical knowledge.

        You’ve cited all this before. None of your information has gone through peer review whereas the Santa Clara study paper is undergoing extensive peer review and thus is vastly more credible. Nothing you cite claims the Santa Clara study is wrong or has an alternative source of facts, data, or analysis. This is what is called Merchants of Doubt from outsiders. It’s smearing a top notch scientist because he has a paper you don’t like. You should stop.

      • Despite initial methodological issues that are presumably being corrected through the review process, there has been ZERO evidence that the conclusions of the Santa Clara study are wrong. There is a growing body of evidence that comes up with similar results in Miami Dade and Los Angeles counties to name two example. There are many more around the world.

        What this means I think is that a lot of the criticism of the study tells us nothing about the complete scientific picture because that picture uses many lines of evidence. That tells me the focus on this is not scientifically based.

        if Ioannidis wants to testify before Congress, why is that a problem? He is entitled to have an opinion and to publicize that opinion.

      • John Ioannidis and Medical Tribalism in the Era of Covid-19

        ““Locking ourselves in our beautiful mansions and continuing with our videoconferences practically does nothing for nursing homes and chronically badly prepared hospitals . . . It also kills the poor, the disadvantaged . . .” He has cautioned that protracted lockdown will cause starvation, violence, poverty, and deaths that could exceed the number of lives saved by avoiding Covid-19 infections.”

        Replay. First stop CO2 emissions as the primary goal. There’s fallout. First stop Covid deaths. There’s a fallout again.

        That’s science. Which doesn’t make moral calls very well.

        It seems Ioannidis stepped up. He’s been battered. What was he supposed to do? Asking this question casts light on what science is? Scientists are moral beings. Should they be like computers? Some pretend to be.

        A subsystem can be studied. In many cases we are to see the whole system but focus on just one thing. Or if we can’t see the whole system, to let the whole system play itself out. And trust it. We can say CO2 is everything. It’s not. If one thing is everything, it’s us.

        Science took away God and made us all kings. Now it made a virus king. You’re doing a good job.

      • Ragnaar –

        > It seems Ioannidis stepped up.

        Just to be clear, I have absolutely no problem with John coming forward to express his views. I do think it’s interesting that many supporting him doing so criticize climate scientists for stepping into the field of public policy, saying that it isn’t their area of expertise and thus they should just keep quiet – but that’s just typical double standards that we see in association with political views all the time.

        The issue that I have with his advocacy is that he is making some fundamental scientific errors.

        He went on a national TV campaign to say we’d have on the order of 10,000 deaths and an infection rate of about 1%. He was off by probably more than half on the infection rate and by an order of magnitude on the number of deaths – but even that’s ok in a sense. We can’t expect that everyone will get all of this exactly right. His claims that COVID-19 is basically like the flu are obviously wrong. It’s not even close.

        The problem I have is more specific – related to his treatment of uncertainty and how he and his colleagues are dealing with their own work.

        They went on a national TV campaign to extrapolate an IFR from non-representative sampling. That’s bad science. The methodology of their Santa Clara study was bad at a number of levels, including just bad statistical reasoning – which is interesting since John has forged (an much earned, IMO) reputation by advocating for statistical robustness in research. Their recruitment methodology was bad. Their sampling methodology was bad and they used that bad sampling methodology in inappropriate ways (poor treatment of the uncertainty of convenience sampling).

        In his discussion of the impact of government mandated shelter in place orders, he focused heavily on the uncertainties in one direction and ignored huge uncertainties that would run in the other direction. I think that’s pretty weird, but even worse, it’s bad science.

        And it appears that there serious ethical problems in how they conducted their research with human subjects.

        And it has gotten even worse since then. John produced a meta-survey which has taken on some serious criticism by people with solid expertise in the matter. For example, it looks like there were serious problems with how he handled inclusion/exclusion criteria. Here, have a look:

        > He’s been battered.

        Yah. I think that the personal attacks are unfortunate. Way too much of that going on these days.

        > What was he supposed to do?

        Better science.

        > Asking this question casts light on what science is? Scientists are moral beings. Should they be like computers? Some pretend to be.

        Nothing wrong with the questions, whatsoever, and nothing wrong with acting on his moral principles.

        > A subsystem can be studied. In many cases we are to see the whole system but focus on just one thing. Or if we can’t see the whole system, to let the whole system play itself out.

        Someone at another site raised an interesting question regarding whether someone who focuses on metascience maybe isn’t likely to be that good at more day to day science. It’s an interesting question and I wouldn’t generalize – but the basic problems in the science of someone who has produced a lot of good work is certainly very curious.

      • Oh, and btw –

        In the follow-up study they found that the infection rate in LA county was considerably below the infection rate they had found @ a month earlier. Instead of taking on the glaring problems suggested by such findings, instead they rationalized such as to preserve their priors in light of the problematic findings, And they did so in contradictory ways considering how they rationalized their findings with their study of MLB employees.

        It all adds up to poor advocacy.

        I have no problem with advocacy. I think that poor advocacy is a big problem.

      • Josh and Raagnar, This subject has been rehashed by Joshua at least 10 times over the last week or so. Most of Josh’s points are relatively minor or scientifically tangential. What we are seeing here is the normal process of science. I have responded to each of Josh’s points earlier. I’ll repeat a few salient points however.

        1. Any falsehood can be found on twitter. Citing it is a new low in an important scientific issue.

        2. To call what Ioannidis has been doing a PR campaign is just wrong. I’ve watched several of his lengthy videos and he seemed to me a model of understatement and carefulness.

        3. The “prediction” I saw him make were of the form “If X people are infected and the IFR is Y, there might be Z fatalities.” If 10X people are infected, you get 10Z fatalities. Quote mining is not helpful.

        Just repeating the quite mild criticisms I’ve seen from other scientists and adding your own mischaracterizations will not convince anyone.

  50. Somebody may have already brought this up, but…

    “These analyses may explain why some countries, where adoption of facemask use by the public is around 100%, have experienced significantly lower rates of COVID-19 spread and associated deaths. We conclude that facemask use by the public, when used in combination with physical distancing or periods of lock-down, may provide an acceptable way of managing the COVID-19 pandemic and re-opening economic activity. ”

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspa.2020.0376

    Study: 100% face mask use could crush second, third COVID-19 wave

    https://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Study-100-face-mask-use-could-crush-second-15333170.php

    This seems the obvious solution which would have positive impact on both the health and economic problems of the pandemic. Much better than treating sick people, risking herd immunity, or waiting for a vaccine.

  51. The best serologic surveys are the Spanish ones by King Carlos III at present. They yield 5% positivity, which based on 80% sensitivity compared to PCR, yields a sensitivity range of 50-80%, and infection prevalence of 6-10%. IFR would be on the order of .6-1%.

    This estimate would drop L.A. infection prevalence to a few percent consistent with the limited seroprevalence studies, and would drop NY state to 15-25% range.

    Of note is the marked heterogeneity of seroprevalence from .5% to 14% throughout Spain. A putative mechanism would be a threshold of native immunity due to T-cell and crossreactive antibodies, above which infection is highly transmissible. Inoculum dosage would be the determining factor with events like large gatherings, prolonged exposure to aerosols due to poor or recirculated ventilation, and prolific vectors. Masking is critical to diminish the inoculum, with full coverage of nose and mouth.

    NYC also seems to have significant heterogeneity through the precincts, with limited exposure in Manhattan, and >50% in parts of Queens and the Bronx, as well as New Rochelle.

  52. dpy

    The seroprevalence studies I’ve seen show actual infections are 10-80 times numbers of cases in those locales

    Large scale seroprevalence studies support IFR around 1.0%

    “…a strong and consistent relationship exists between the prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 and mortality from COVID-19 in European populations, consistent with an IFR of 0·5–1·0%. Using data from serology studies (appendix), we compared the proportion of the population that has evidence of previous infection, as measured by antibodies (seroprevalence) at a given timepoint, with the proportion of the population that died from COVID-19 up to the same timepoint (appendix). A strong linear relationship between seroprevalence and mortality indicates that disparate regions have experienced a similar mortality per infection.”

    You persist in taking cherry picked (and highly disputed) studies as your gold standard.

    You are undertaking an increasingly absurd defence of an untenable position, namely than IFR is below population mortality observed in multiple settings, and also out of line with large scale sero prevalence studies in populations with the highest infection and mortality.

    It’s really very bizarre.

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