Friday, February 04, 2022

The High Cost of Disparaging Natural Immunity to Covid

By Dr. Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Public-health officials ruined many lives by insisting that workers with natural immunity to Covid-19 be fired if they weren’t fully vaccinated. But after two years of accruing data, the superiority of natural immunity over vaccinated immunity is clear. By firing staff with natural immunity, employers got rid of those least likely to infect others. It’s time to reinstate those employees with an apology.

For most of last year, many of us called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release its data on reinfection rates, but the agency refused. Finally last week, the CDC released data from New York and California, which demonstrated natural immunity was 2.8 times as effective in preventing hospitalization and 3.3 to 4.7 times as effective in preventing Covid infection compared with vaccination.

Yet the CDC spun the report to fit its narrative, bannering the conclusion “vaccination remains the safest strategy.” It based this conclusion on the finding that hybrid immunity—the combination of prior infection and vaccination—was associated with a slightly lower risk of testing positive for Covid. But those with hybrid immunity had a similar low rate of hospitalization (3 per 10,000) to those with natural immunity alone. In other words, vaccinating people who had already had Covid didn’t significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization.

Similarly, the National Institutes of Health repeatedly has dismissed natural immunity by arguing that its duration is unknown—then failing to conduct studies to answer the question. Because of the NIH’s inaction, my Johns Hopkins colleagues and I conducted the study. We found that among 295 unvaccinated people who previously had Covid, antibodies were present in 99% of them up to nearly two years after infection. We also found that natural immunity developed from prior variants reduced the risk of infection with the Omicron variant. Meanwhile, the effectiveness of the two-dose Moderna vaccine against infection (not severe disease) declines to 61% against Delta and 16% against Omicron at six months, according to a recent Kaiser Southern California study. In general, Pfizer’s Covid vaccines have been less effective than Moderna’s.

The CDC study and ours confirm what more than 100 other studies on natural immunity have found: The immune system works. The largest of these studies, from Israel, found that natural immunity was 27 times as effective as vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic illness.

None of this should surprise us. For years, studies have shown that infection with the other coronaviruses that cause severe illness, SARS and MERS, confers lasting immunity. In a study published in May 2020, Covid-recovered monkeys that were rechallenged with the virus didn’t get sick.

Public-health officials have a lot of explaining to do. They used the wrong starting hypothesis, ignored contrary preliminary data, and dug in as more evidence emerged that called their position into question. Many, including Rochelle Walensky, now the CDC’s director, signed the John Snow memorandum in October 2020, which declared that “there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection.”

Many clinicians who talk to other physicians nationwide had have long observed that we don’t see reinfected patients end up on a ventilator or die from Covid, with rare exceptions who almost always have immune disorders. Meanwhile, public-health officials recklessly destroyed the careers of everyday Americans, rallying to fire pilots, truck drivers and others in the supply-chain workforce who didn’t get vaccinated. And in the early months of the vaccine rollout, when supplies were limited, we could have saved many more lives by giving priority to those who didn’t have recorded natural immunity.

The failure to recognize the data on natural immunity is hurting U.S. hospitals, especially in rural areas. MultiCare, a hospital system in Washington state, fired 55 staff members on Oct. 18 for being out of compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s vaccine mandate—and that was in addition to an undisclosed number of staffers who quit ahead of the vaccination deadline. The loss of workers contributed to a full-blown staffing crisis.

It got so bad that the hospital summoned staff who were Covid-positive to return to work even if they were sick, according to an internal memo obtained by Jason Rantz of KTTH radio. The memo stated that “positive staff with mild to moderate illness” could work, so long as they wear appropriate personal protective equipment, don’t take breaks with others, and agree to stay home “if symptoms worsen.” Managers were recommended to assign Covid-positive staff to Covid-positive patients and vaccinated patients, but not immunosuppressed patients.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services took the hospital mandate national by decreeing that all medical facilities under its jurisdiction require vaccination for employees, including those with natural immunity. The Supreme Court upheld the rule on Jan. 13, the same day it issued a stay against a similar mandate from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which OSHA formally withdrew Tuesday.

Connecticut has suspended its vaccine mandate for state employees, and Starbucks is rehiring employees fired for being unvaccinated. Other states and businesses should follow their lead. Politicians and public-health officials owe an apology to Americans who lost their jobs on the false premises that only unvaccinated people could spread the virus and only vaccination could prevent its spread. Soldiers who have been dishonorably discharged should be restored their rank. Teachers, first responders, and others who have been denied their livelihood should be reinstated. Everyone is essential.


Release the Covid data. Now!

The British Medical Journal (or the BMJ), is a respected, weekly peer-reviewed medical journal published by the British Medical Association. Published for over 180 years, it has authority. In an April 2021 editorial, while broadly supportive of vaccine passports, it did point out the numerous ethical dilemmas associated with the policy. Now, the journal has well and truly broken with the narrative.

In an editorial on 19 January, the journal demanded the full and immediate release of all data related to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, saying it would be in the public interest. The editorial titled ‘Covid-19 vaccines and treatments: we must have raw data, now’ pointed out how a lack of transparency in the past had deleterious consequences for people’s health, and how that those mistakes are now being repeated, and the lack of transparency is even greater than before.

‘Today, despite the global rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, the anonymised participant-level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come,’ the editorial states. ‘This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions.’

The BMJ also accused pharmaceutical companies of ‘reaping vast profits without adequate independent scrutiny of their scientific claims,’ pointing to Pfizer, whose Covid vaccine trial was ‘funded by the company and designed, run, analysed, and authored by Pfizer employees’.

‘We are left with publications but no access to the underlying data on reasonable request,’ the authors wrote. ‘This is worrying for trial participants, researchers, clinicians, journal editors, policymakers, and the public. The journals that have published these primary studies may argue that they faced an awkward dilemma, caught between making the summary findings available quickly and upholding the best ethical values that support timely access to underlying data. In our view, there is no dilemma; the anonymised individual participant data from clinical trials must be made available for independent scrutiny.’

Tellingly, the authors of the editorial added that regulators are not there to ‘dance to the tune of rich global corporations and enrich them further’ but to protect the general public’s health and for that reason, they said, we need ‘complete data transparency for all studies, we need it in the public interest, and we need it now’.

This bombshell editorial comes after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had asked a judge to keep all data concerning the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine suppressed for 75 years. The judge, thankfully, did not accede to this request, ordering the FDA to make public 12,000 pages of the data it used to make decisions regarding approvals for the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by the end of January. In accordance with the same ruling the FDA must also release Pfizer’s vaccine data at a rate of 55,000 pages per month until all of the requested pages are public.

This is not the only crack that has appeared in the narrative recently. Earlier in January, Professor Clive Dix, the former chairman of the UK’s vaccine taskforce, called for an end to mass vaccination and that Covid should be treated as an endemic virus similar to flu. Additionally, Professor Andrew Pollard, who helped develop the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, stated around the same time on BBC Radio 4’s Today program that ‘it really is not affordable, sustainable or probably even needed to vaccinate everyone on the planet every four to six months,’ adding ‘In the future, we need to target the vulnerable’.

Such views are not just being expressed in the UK, but also in Israel, once seen as the ‘gold standard’ in terms of the vaccine rollout. Professor Cyrille Cohen, head of immunology at Bar Ilan University and a member of the advisory committee on vaccines for the Israeli government, confirmed that, ‘No, the vaccines are not protecting us, they are not causing what we call sterilising immunity’.

Professor Cohen added that Israel’s Green Pass vaccine passport was no longer relevant. ‘We don’t see virtually any difference between people vaccinated and non-vaccinated, both can get infected with the virus more or less at the same pace,’ he said.

Those comments came after another leading Israeli immunologist slammed the government’s pandemic response.

Writing for N12 News, Professor Ehud Qimron, head of microbiology and immunology at Tel Aviv University, wrote a scathing open letter excoriating the government for its coronavirus policy debacle. Qimron did not pull any punches, alleging that health authorities had ignored established epidemiological science and pandemic plans at the outset – and then refused to adjust policies in the face of real-world data.

‘Two years late, you finally realise that a respiratory virus cannot be defeated and that any such attempt is doomed to fail,’ Professsor Qimron wrote.

‘You do not admit it, because you have admitted almost no mistake in the last two years, but in retrospect it is clear that you have failed miserably in almost all of your actions, and even the media is already having a hard time covering your shame.

‘You refused to admit that the infection comes in waves that fade by themselves, despite years of observations and scientific knowledge. You insisted on attributing every decline of a wave solely to your actions, and so through false propaganda “you overcame the plague”.

‘You refused to admit that recovery is more protective than a vaccine, despite previous knowledge and observations showing that non-recovered vaccinated people are more likely to be infected than recovered people. You refused to admit that the vaccinated are contagious despite the observations. Based on this, you hoped to achieve herd immunity by vaccination – and you failed in that as well.’

For two years what the British Medical Journal and these professors have called for was dismissed arrogantly as ‘misinformation’. Let us see now if true science, not propaganda, will prevail.




Thursday, February 03, 2022

Lockdowns only reduced COVID-19 mortality by .2%, study finds: 'Lockdowns should be rejected out of hand'

Lockdowns during the first COVID-19 wave in the spring of 2020 only reduced COVID-19 mortality by .2% in the U.S. and Europe, according to a Johns Hopkins University meta-analysis of several studies.

"While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted," the researchers wrote. "In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument."

The researchers – Johns Hopkins University economics professor Steve Hanke, Lund University economics professor Lars Jonung, and special advisor at Copenhagen's Center for Political Studies Jonas Herby – analyzed the effects of lockdown measures such as school shutdowns, business closures, and mask mandates on COVID-19 deaths.

"We find little to no evidence that mandated lockdowns in Europe and the United States had a noticeable effect on COVID-19 mortality rates," the researchers wrote.

The researchers also examined shelter-in-place orders, finding that they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 2.9%.

Studies that looked at only shelter-in-place orders found they reduced COVID-19 mortality by 5.1%, but studies that looked at shelter-in-place orders along with other lockdown measures found that shelter-in-place orders actually increased COVID-19 mortality by 2.8%.

The researchers concluded that limiting gatherings may have actually increased COVID-19 mortality.

"[Shelter-in-place orders] may isolate an infected person at home with his/her family where he/she risks infecting family members with a higher viral load, causing more severe illness," the researchers wrote.

"But often, lockdowns have limited peoples’ access to safe (outdoor) places such as beaches, parks, and zoos, or included outdoor mask mandates or strict outdoor gathering restrictions, pushing people to meet at less safe (indoor) places."

The researchers also examined studies that focused on specific lockdown measures and found that the only intervention that reduced COVID-19 mortality was the closure of non-essential businesses, which reduced mortality by 10.6%, but this effect was likely driven by the closure of bars.

Researchers also pointed out other unintended consequences of lockdowns, such as rising unemployment, reduced schooling, an increase in domestic violence incidents, and surging drug overdoses.

From May 2020 to April 2021, the U.S. recorded 100,306 drug overdose deaths, a 28.5% increase from the 78,056 deaths that were recorded in the previous 12-month period, according to CDC data.

A study from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice last year found that domestic violence incidents increased 8.1% in the U.S. after lockdown orders were issued.

About 97% of U.S. teachers said that their students have experienced learning loss during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Horace Mann survey last year.

The unemployment rate peaked nationwide at 14.8% in April 2020, but declined to 3.9% in December, which is still slightly higher than the 3.5% rate it was at in February 2020.

"These costs to society must be compared to the benefits of lockdowns, which our meta-analysis has shown are marginal at best," the researchers in the Johns Hopkins University study wrote.

"Such a standard benefit-cost calculation leads to a strong conclusion: lockdowns should be rejected out of hand as a pandemic policy instrument."

President Biden has pledged to focus on testing and vaccinations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 instead of the lockdowns that characterized the earlier part of the pandemic.

"It doesn’t include shutdowns or lockdowns, but widespread vaccinations and boosters and testing a lot more," Biden said in December about his winter plans for fighting the pandemic.

Several cities and states around the country still have mask mandates, remote learning, and other measures in place.


New Study on Ivermectin ‘Should Convince Any Naysayer’: Dr. Pierre Kory

So why has Ivermectin been officially scorned? No mystery: Trump recommended it

A recently published study indicating the anti-parasitic ivermectin worked well as a prophylactic against the virus that causes COVID-19 should help sway critics of the drug, according to Dr. Pierre Kory, president of the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC).

“That should convince any naysayer,” Kory told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders.” “What they found was astounding.”

The Brazilian city of Itajaí launched a program that gave ivermectin to any residents that wanted any. The period that was studied was from July 7, 2020, to December 2, 2020.

Researchers found that the program, which had over 100,000 residents participate, was linked to a 44 percent drop in COVID-19 cases.

Approximately 3.7 percent of ivermectin users contracted the illness during the trial period, compared to 6.6 percent of residents who didn’t take the drug.

The program was also associated with a statistically significant decrease in hospitalization and mortality.

The peer-reviewed study was published in Cureus on Jan. 15.

“Ivermectin MUST be considered as an option, particularly during outbreaks,” Dr. Flavio Cadegiani, one of the study’s authors and a founding member of FLCCC, told The Epoch Times in an email.

FLCCC focuses on early treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. The group has recommended ivermectin since early 2020.

Kory said the lack of reporting on the study despite it being peer-reviewed highlights how some scientific developments are ignored by many media outlets and scientists.

“You would think this would lead major headlines everywhere. And yet, nothing. And this is not new, this censorship of this highly effective science and evidence around repurposed drugs. The censoring of it, it’s not new, it’s just getting more and more absurd. And it has to stop,” he said.

Studies on ivermectin against COVID-19 have shown mixed results, with some being associated with no or little benefit and others suggesting a strong benefit. It’s been widely used in India and other countries as a preventative measure, but in the United States and much of Europe many official health care bodies recommend against its use or do not endorse it.

Ivermectin has been approved for certain uses by the Food and Drug Administration, but not for use against COVID-19. That means doctors can prescribe it off-label.

The National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 treatment guidelines panel currently says that there is not enough evidence to advise either for or against using ivermectin to treat COVID-19. It does not address its potential use as a prophylactic.

While the new study was celebrated by some, others questioned the findings and pointed out that the conflicts of interest disclosures show both Cadegiani and another author have received funding from or contracted with Vitamedic, a company that manufactures ivermectin.

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an Australian epidemiologist, for instance, called it “a fairly simple example of observational research that you’d do on routine medical data” but alleged the controls for confounding factors such as occupation and risk factors were “pretty inadequate given the purpose.”

Cadegiani said the criticism was unfounded, saying he wasn’t convinced before the study that ivermectin would work as a preventative medicine and that researchers controlled for “all relevant factors,” including comorbidities, age, sex, and race.

“Their inability to focus on the data provided by the study itself is … proof of the extreme high quality of the study,” the doctor said, adding later that “To us, this is the best observational study on COVID-19 to date, with a power almost equivalent to a huge randomized clinical trial.”

The researchers plan on publishing multiple additional papers regarding the program, including papers on the biochemical effects of ivermectin and the effectiveness of the drug in preventing hospitalization.


Japanese firm says ivermectin shows ‘antiviral effect’ against Covid-19

The controversial drug ivermectin showed an “antiviral effect” against Omicron and other coronavirus variants in joint non-clinical research, a Japanese drug company said on Monday.

Trading and pharmaceutical company Kowa Co Ltd, which has been working with Tokyo’s Kitasato University testing the drug as potential treatment for Covid-19, did not provide further details, Reuters reported.

Ivermectin has been popularised as a Covid-19 treatment by some doctors and the likes of podcast host Joe Rogan, even as health authorities and the drug’s manufacturer Merck warn against its use, citing lack of evidence that it works against the virus.

A clinical trial being run in the UK by Oxford University, announced in June 2021, is ongoing.

The Oxford researchers told Reuters on Monday that they did not want to comment until they have results to report.

Ivermectin first began to be touted as a therapeutic for Covid-19 in early 2020 after scientists in Melbourne found it could inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in the lab in high doses.

“It was enthusiastically adopted by some clinicians and healthcare systems before any significant human trials were conducted, and subsequent trials have been largely small and conflicted,” Associate Professor Justin Denholm, principal investigator on the Australasian Covid-19 Trial (ASCOT), wrote in August 2021.

“Now, a number of retrospective reviews and meta-analyses have been released, which mostly agree that studies to date have generally been of low quality and high risk of bias, but offering different conclusions about whether ivermectin improves outcomes.”




Hotmail problems

Not sure what this is all about but Microsoft have severely downgraded their Hotmail service in Australia.  It started being very slow to load and for the last week it has usually come up without file managing tools.  I can read or delete messages but not answer them, move them or mark them as spam.  Very pesky!

So for personal emails I have moved to my Gmail a/c. .  I have left Hotmail as a receptacle for political emails

I am crossing my fingers that Gmail will stay normal


Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Denmark returns to ‘life as we knew it’ despite Omicron

Omicron is running wild across the world — and its impact is being felt keenly in Europe where several nations have imposed strict new rules and vaccine mandates over the course of the northern hemisphere winter.

But as cases increase to levels never seen before across the continent, one nation has made a move that has caught many by surprise.

Denmark on Tuesday becomes the first European Union country to lift all of its Covid restrictions despite record numbers of cases, relying on its high vaccination rate to cope with the milder Omicron variant.

After a first attempt at lifting all its restrictions between September and November, the Scandinavian country is once again ditching its face masks, Covid passes and limited opening hours for bars and restaurants.

“I’m so happy that this is all going to be over tomorrow. It’s good for life in the city, for night-life, just to be able to be out longer”, 17-year-old student Thea Skovgaard told AFP the day before the lifting.

Nightclubs reopen on Tuesday, when limits on the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings also come to an end.

Only a few restrictions remain in place at the country’s borders, for unvaccinated travellers arriving from non-Schengen countries.

The easing comes as Denmark registers around 40,000-50,000 new Covid cases a day, or almost one per cent of the country’s 5.8 million inhabitants.

“We have an extremely high coverage of adults vaccinated with three doses,” epidemiologist Lone Simonsen of the University of Roskilde told AFP.

More than 60 per cent of Danes have received a third dose — one month ahead of health authorities’ schedule — compared to an EU average of just under 45 per cent.

Including those who have recently had Covid, health authorities estimate that 80 per cent of the population are protected against severe forms of the disease.

“With Omicron not being a severe disease for the vaccinated, we believe it is reasonable to lift restrictions”, Simonsen said.

The broad spread of the Omicron variant is also expected to lead to a “more robust and long-lasting immunity”, helping the country fend off future waves, she said.

Two years after the outbreak of Covid-19, the Danish strategy enjoys broad support at home.

In a poll published Monday by daily Politiken, 64 per cent of Danes surveyed said they had faith in the government’s Covid policy.

Personal responsibility

Going forward, Danes are being urged to exercise personal responsibility, Simonsen said.

“Without a Covid pass there will be a shift of responsibility”, she said. Danes have increasingly used home tests to detect infection, but these are now being phased out and instead, anyone with symptoms is advised to stay home.

The Danish Health Authority currently “recommends” those who test positive to isolate for four days, while contact cases no longer need to quarantine.

Face masks and the Covid pass are also recommended for hospital visits. The government said it does not expect to have to revert to new closures again but has remained cautiously optimistic.

“We can’t provide any guarantees when it comes to biology”, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said last week when announcing the country’s return “to life as we knew it before corona”.

“It’s really nice that this is ending but will we really live without any restrictions now? I doubt it,” said Cille Hjort, a fast-food vendor eager to see her patrons’ faces without masks again.

This is the second time Denmark has tried to return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle. On September 10, the country lifted all its restrictions, before reintroducing some of them in early November.

Museums, cinemas and theatre and concert venues then closed just before Christmas, and reopened again in early January.

Faced with a lower level of hospitalisations than in previous waves, several European countries, including France, Ireland and the United Kingdom, have announced the lifting or a considerable reduction of their restrictions, despite record or very high cases.

“Two years into the pandemic, populations in most countries have reached high levels of immunity, from vaccines or natural illness”, Simonsen said.

“This is how it ends, judging from what we have seen with historical pandemics”. According to the World Health Organisation, 73 per cent of the European population has contracted Covid-19 at least once since January 2020.

Tyra Krause of Denmark’s public health and research institution SSI said meanwhile she expected Covid-19 to return in regular waves, “like the flu”.

“We may end up having to vaccinate risk groups ahead of the autumn to prevent severe cases”, she told science magazine Videnskab.


Future lockdowns should be ‘rejected out of hand’, new international report says

Lockdowns have “had little to no effect on” reducing deaths from Covid-19 and should be “rejected out of hand” for dealing with the next pandemic, according to a new international study that comes amid falling confidence in public health authorities in the US.

Business closures and stay at home orders in the US and Europe reduced deaths by 0.2 per cent on average, according to a new analysis by American and Swedish researchers that questioned whether the novel health policy, pioneered by China in Wuhan in early 2020, would pass a cost-benefit analysis.

“Lockdowns have not been used to such a large extent during any of the pandemics of the past century,” the authors said, suggesting their “marginal at best” benefits needed to be compared with their “devastating effects”.

“They have contributed to reducing economic activity, raising unemployment, reducing schooling, causing political unrest, contributing to domestic violence, and undermining liberal democracy.”

The study, conducted by Steve Hanke, a founder of the Johns Hopkins School of Applied Economics, Jonas Herby and Lars Jonung, a Swedish economist, comes amid debate over the effectiveness of mandates in “slowing the spread” of Covid-19 as the pandemic enters its third year and cases and hospitalisations from surge to new highs.

Americans’ confidence in public health authorities has fallen during the pandemic, from 55 per cent in 2020 to 44 per cent, according to a national NBC poll conducted earlier this month. Forty-three per cent specifically said they did not trust the Centre for Disease Control’s recommendations.

Governments imposed lockdowns of various severity and duration, including seven in Victoria totalling more than 260 days, from March 2020 onwards, after British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who was advising the UK government, forecast that lockdowns would reduce deaths by “up to 98 per cent”.

Pandemic plans published prior to Covid-19 had either advised specifically against lockdowns, which until now had been a fringe, untried “nuclear option”.

Difficulties in enforcement, voluntary social distancing, and unintended consequences, such as confining infected and uninfected people together at home and stopping socialising at safe, outdoor areas such as parks and beaches, may have worked against the effectiveness of lockdowns, the study suggested.

“Countries like Denmark, Finland, and Norway that realised success in keeping Covid-19 mortality rates relatively low allowed people to go to work, use public transport, and meet privately at home during the first lockdown,” they said.

“Island nations are birds of a different feather in more ways than one. In addition to Australia and New Zealand, Iceland, Japan, South Korea (a de facto island), Singapore and Taiwan have had very few Covid deaths. But some of them had very mild lockdowns, too.

“And let’s not forget the UK. It’s had one lockdown after another and relatively high rates of mortality, too.”

Proponents of the radical policies have struggled to explain how jurisdictions that imposed no or few lockdowns, such as Scandinavian nations, Japan, or southern states of the US, have ended up with Covid-19 outcomes not greatly different or even better than other jurisdictions.

The lockdown study, a “meta-analysis” that aggregated the findings of other studies, whittled down 117 empirical analyses of lockdowns published before July 2020 to 34, discarding any that used computer modelling to predict counterfactuals.

Lockdowns were defined as any mandatory policy that reduced movement or mandated masks. “Shelter in place orders”, a subcategory, reduced deaths by 2.9 per cent, it found.

A separate survey found three quarters of American adults said they were “tired and frustrated” with the pandemic while 77 per cent said it was inevitable people would catch Covid-19, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The UK and Denmark have dumped all Covid-19 restrictions, while major US cities have introduced new vaccine passports and extended mask mandates indefinitely.

President Joe Biden recently ruled out a return to lockdowns as daily deaths from Covid-19, which have increased to more than 2,500 during the current Omicron wave, surpass earlier peaks.


The war on natural immunity

The ability for the body to produce memory cells is what allows for natural immunity to occur. Given that the memory cells last for a long period of time, antibodies can be produced quickly each time an individual is subsequently infected by the same virus. It is indeed a marvellous system.

It does, however, have one fatal flaw – at least in the eyes of Big Pharma. It is not profitable. There is no money to be made in natural immunity because it is a part of us that we are born with and do not have to pay a subscription for.

And that is why companies who thrive on medicating people see natural immunity as a significant problem that must be dealt with accordingly.

The solution? Convince the masses natural immunity does not exist, or, if that fails, play down its efficiency. This is what politicians, bureaucrats, so-called ‘experts,’ and scientists (who should know better) have been attempting to do throughout the Covid era.

To ensure the protection of their own pecuniary interests, these people have pushed vaccines as the only way out of the pandemic. Never mind that Covid vaccines do not prevent you from getting the virus, spreading it to others, or becoming sick.

They are denying the effectiveness of natural immunity against disease by claiming it only lasts for a short period of time against Covid, and telling people to get the vaccine even if they have already had the virus. This is completely unnecessary. Vaccine-induced antibodies are temporary. This is evident in that the vaccines only provide immunity for a few months, which is a pretty poor effort for what is supposed to be an ‘effective’ vaccine.

Generally, if a vaccine is effective, you do not need a ‘booster’ every three months. This booster schedule is not only absurd, but also likely dangerous. Even the European Union’s drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), have stated as much. The EMA’s head of vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said that ‘repeat vaccinations within short intervals will not represent a sustainable long term strategy’ and that if we give them frequently, even every four months, ‘we will end up potentially having problems with immune response and immune response may end up not being as good as we would like it to be, so we should be careful in not overloading the immune system with repeated immunisation.’ Constant boosters could easily do more harm than good to the immune system and render an individual more susceptible to disease.

Natural immunity is real, and it works. The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) had to admit that natural immunity was six times more effective than vaccines when it came to the Delta variant. With more people contracting Omicron, it stands to reason that there will be a greater saturation of the population with natural immunity, which could actually put an end to the virus.

But that would not be politically nor financially convenient for the big players. When the virus recedes into obscurity, so does their source of fear-inducement, power, and profit. Our governments have already signed contracts with vaccine companies like Pfizer for millions of vaccines, and they cannot return them and get our money back. With two hundred million plus vaccines on standby for a population of twenty-five million, it stands to reason they will continue to push booster after booster. And the denial of natural immunity will persist.

Conservative commentator Michael Knowles sums it up brilliantly in his book Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds.

‘These “experts” lend credibility to the politically correct regime, not by furnishing it with facts, but by redefining scientific terms to better accord with the dictates of progress. Calls for more modest regulations in the pursuit of herd immunity threatened the radicals’ plans for cultural transformation, which benefited from the massive transfer of wealth and power brought about by the lockdowns.’

That transfer of wealth has been from the lower and middle class to big corporations and Big Pharma. It is one of the main reasons natural immunity is admonished and vaccines hailed.

Our immune systems have enabled us to survive for millennia, and they are not going to stop just because a bunch of greedy, power-hungry elites say so.




Tuesday, February 01, 2022

The Covid Narrative Falls Apart in South Africa

Last week, China Daily published an article that perfectly encapsulates the magical thinking taking place worldwide around Covid-19. Titled “Plea for jabs even as Africa infections trend lower,” the piece described how African “health experts” are “stepping up calls for more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in a bid to ward off future outbreaks even as trends point to a decline in the growth rate for new infections.”

That’s right, despite a clear downward trend in mostly-mild Omicron cases, “health experts” want shots imposed indiscriminately throughout the whole population. And adding even more to the cognitive dissonance here are the reasons they cite for the decrease:

“John Nkengasong, director of the Africa CDC, attributed South Africa’s decrease in new infection cases to increased population levels of antibodies, meaning that many people have been infected so hence developed antibodies combined with the high vaccination rate in the country,” wrote Edith Mutethya before adding the kicker: “To date, South Africa has fully vaccinated 27.3 percent of its population.”

This is, of course, a perfect example of how ‘health officials’ massage and manipulate the facts to suit their narrative. In this case, in his drive to get more “jabs,” Nkengasong laughably tells us the country’s “high vaccination rate” is partially responsible for the decline in Omicron cases. A “high vaccination rate,” in this case, of… wait for it… 27.3 percent.

Granted, 27.3 percent is higher than the meager 10 percent full vaccination rate for the rest of Africa. But given these low percentages, especially by Western standards, one would be forgiven for thinking Covid-19 was raging like a wildfire across the continent, overwhelming hospitals and leaving massive levels of death and severe illness in its wake.

Except, that’s not the case at all. Not even close. In fact, deaths per million are surprisingly low for the vast majority of countries in Africa. Tunisia, a small country of 12 million, leads the pack at ~2,200, and only five others—South Africa, Namibia, Seychelles, Eswatini, and Botswana—are even above 1,000. That’s a stark contrast to the United States’ ~2,600, Brazil’s ~2,900, or Bulgaria and Hungary with more than 4,000 each.

Still, according to World Health Organization regional emergency director Abdou Gueye: “Although Africa appears to be emerging from the peak of its fourth pandemic wave, vaccination which is a pivotal measure against the virus remains far too low. About 50 percent of the world’s population is fully vaccinated. In Africa, this is just 10 percent.”

After a peak of 37,875 reported cases on Dec. 12, 2021, South Africa—‘home’ of the Omicron variant that now dominates the globe—has seen its case numbers decline steadily since. How can this be? Nkengasong, to his credit, tells a partial truth by partially crediting natural immunity. He should have stopped there. Why didn’t he? I submit that it’s because of the magical thinking around Covid vaccines. Even a paltry 27.3 vaccination rate, he reasons, must have contributed to the decline. Would that ‘health officials’ here in the States were so generous. Instead, the third of the country that remains unvaccinated is blamed for everything from virus spread to the Black Death.

We’re told that vaccines against a spike protein that is no longer dominant are the keys to ending the pandemic, but they refuse to explain in light of recent data exactly how. Instead, our overlords allow the majority of the public to falsely blame the unvaccinated for contraction and spread, even while knowing full well that the vaccinated are just as responsible.

Why is the virus raging again in Israel, the most vaccinated and boosted country on the planet? Why is there no statistical difference between virus infection rates in highly vaccinated versus lower uptake areas in the United States? Why do the unvaccinated have the lowest infection rate according to disturbing newly revealed data from Scotland? I could go on and on. (And yes, we have asked the same questions about mask use.)

The sad, tragic fact is that their measures, from lockdowns to masks to even vaccine mandates, have done little to nothing to curb the spread of this highly contagious respiratory virus, and taken as a whole they’ve likely done more harm than good.

I take no pleasure in pointing this out. Truly, I wish something HAD worked. If so, we wouldn’t be talking about this two years in. But alas, the only thing that’s working is viral attenuation and Omicron infecting everything it touches, regardless of masking or vaccine status.

It’s not that these vaccines don’t have their uses. If someone is at high risk for a bad outcome from Covid, taking the “jab” and even endless boosters could be a smart move. But we were promised something else a year ago, weren’t we? “Take the shot,” we were told, “and you can live a normal life free of masks and restrictions.”

That promise, like so many others, has been broken and memory-holed, relegated to the dustbin of so many other Faucian ‘noble lies.’

Try to get into a restaurant in New York City or Chicago with eight masks on but without a vaccine card and see where that gets you. Walk into almost any large restaurant or retail establishment in the country, even here in eastern Tennessee, and every employee will be forcibly masked. It seems like the more the vaccines don’t work to stop this pandemic, the more our overlords double down on nonsense. Thankfully, the prevalence of Omicron is exposing their absurdity for the world to see, if people would only look.

“But but but … it would have been worse,” people smugly retort. To that, I would simply point to South Africa, where Omicron is on its last legs despite a poor healthcare system, much of its population living in poverty, and a vaccination rate that would have Joe Biden really losing his patience.


One-off wonder jab could fight off all strains of flu for LIFE by targeting a completely different part of the virus

Every year, millions of Britons have a flu jab — and every year it’s a different version, as flu viruses mutate so quickly that vaccines have to be reformulated.

But what if there were a one-off flu jab, possibly for life, that not only protected against currently circulating strains but also all future versions?

The so-called ‘universal’ jab has been the holy grail of flu vaccine research for decades — but has proved elusive.

That’s because the flu virus is constantly swapping genes between strains. In this way, it creates variants that dodge any immunity people have from previous flu infections or vaccines.

This process of mutation, called antigenic drift, can happen even within the six to nine months it takes from the World Health Organisation identifying the particular strains that are a threat (usually around February) to the vaccine being ready in the autumn, so making it much less effective.

But now scientists think they are closer than ever to finding the answer. And it involves targeting vaccines at a completely different part of the virus than current jabs aim for.

All flu jabs are made to attack hemagglutinins — proteins dotted all over the surface of flu viruses. These proteins help the flu virus bind to healthy cells, before breaking into them and taking over their internal machinery so the virus can replicate and spread.

Vaccines are currently made with a weakened version of hemagglutinin so that the immune system recognises it as foreign and produces the antibodies needed to fight flu.

If they later encounter the real virus, the antibodies lock on to the bulbous ‘head’ of the hemagglutinin protein, blocking the virus’s attempts to bind to healthy cells.

This part of the protein sticks out from the virus’s surface and is an easy target for antibodies to strike. But it’s also the part that mutates most.

Hemagglutinin is very important in terms of the flu virus binding to cells and getting inside them, explains Professor Peter Openshaw, an immunologist at Imperial College London. ‘But nearly all of the big genetic variations that occur in the flu virus happen up on the globular-shaped head of this protein,’ he adds.

Once those mutations occur, the antibodies triggered by the vaccine are largely powerless to fight infection.

One way round this is to make vaccines that target not the head of the protein but the ‘stalk’ region, where the hemagglutinin protein joins the main body of the virus.

Mutations occur much less frequently here than in the head, as the genetic material found there is vital for the virus’s survival, and constantly changing it could jeopardise this. The genetic make-up of the stalk region of hemagglutinin is also almost identical in all flu strains — making it an ideal target for a universal jab.

‘The stalk region is part of the basic structure of the protein and is needed to help the flu virus bind with cells so it can gain entry to them,’ says Professor Openshaw. ‘It cannot mutate as easily as the head part of the protein [can] as this would be lethal for the virus.

‘What scientists are now trying to do is use the stalk region as the basis of a vaccine. ‘Such a vaccine will hopefully activate the immune system to produce antibodies that will attack this area, rather than the head.

‘In theory, these antibodies would then recognise a wide variety of different flu viruses and cope not just with whatever current strain is in circulation but potentially all those that emerge in future — even ones capable of causing a pandemic.’

But it’s not that simple, and previous attempts to make a stalk-based flu jab have faltered. This is because, even when the head area of the protein has mutated, some of its genetic material stays the same.

The immune system, after years of exposure to flu infections or vaccines, remembers this material and pumps out antibodies in response.

Despite these potentially not being the right antibodies to fight off infection (because the virus has mutated), this drowns out the production of antibodies needed to target the stalk region.

But a few weeks ago, researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York revealed they had got round this by genetically tinkering with the protein.

They replaced the head of the protein with new genetic viral material that the immune system would be less likely to recognise and attack.

This allowed the immune system to instead produce much higher levels of antibodies to target the stalk region.

They tested the experimental jab on 51 volunteers and found a single dose triggered ‘remarkably high’ levels of anti-stalk antibodies, they wrote in the journal Nature Medicine.

Now the scientists hope to set up larger trials, although this is likely to take several years.

But another one-off jab, using a different approach, is already undergoing trials in the U.S.

FluMos-v1 is similar to some existing jabs in that it produces antibodies to the hemagglutinin protein from the four different types of flu virus (two influenza type A strains and two influenza type B strains) that usually circulate. (Flu jabs usually protect against strains of A and B.)

But whereas existing vaccines carry just one copy of the protein from each of the four strains, FluMos-v1, which is being tested at the U.S. National Institutes for Health in Bethesda, Maryland, has 20.

The hope is that it fires up a much more potent immune response, enough to see off all future invading flu viruses. First results are expected in 2023.

‘I’m more optimistic than I used to be about the chances of developing a universal flu vaccine,’ says Professor Openshaw. ‘Progress is definitely being made,’ he says, though adding a note of caution: ‘But it could still be another ten years before we get there.’




Monday, January 31, 2022

What This Scientist Said About Omicron Explains Everything…

Dr. Robert Malone a vaccine scientist known for his work on the mRNA vaccine believes there is some very good news emerging from the rapid spread of the COVID omicron variant, suggesting that God may have given the world a “Christmas present.”

Notably, Malone helped invent the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines.

Shortly before Christmas, Malone appeared on Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle,” the doctor stated omicron may well do what vaccines have not been able to fully accomplish to date: provide strong immunity.

Here’s what Malone said, referring to the two-round initial shots and the booster:

“Omicron blows right through the vaccines and through the triple jab.”

“Now here’s the good news,” he continued. “The number of deaths from omicron worldwide is less than 10 [by] my last count.”

He then confirms that the vaccines and the mandates were only an illusion. It gets better, “Omicron blows right through the vaccines and through the triple jab.”

Malone contended:

“So the good news with omicron is very low disease, highly infectious. It looks an awful lot to the experienced vaccinologist like a live-attenuated virus vaccine that you might design for the purpose. It’s going to elicit a strong mucosal immune response.”

“This is about as good as we could possibly want right now in terms of outcomes.”

After a dramatic pause for effect, the doctor declared:

“Now, here’s the good news. The number of deaths from omicron worldwide is less than 10 to my last count.” In case you don’t get the significance, he adds, “if you believe in a God, this looks an awful lot like a Christmas present.”

Deep State Rabbithole has more of this report:

Delta and all the previous mutant versions dove deep into the patient’s lungs. That “can lead to serious illness.” This strain doesn’t, instead of shifting “to the upper airway, indicating that the virus is weakening.”

Since a vaccine is simply a man-made crippled copy of the virus to start with, omicron is a natural vaccine against itself. This variant is both a very low disease and highly infectious.

“It looks an awful lot to the experienced vaccinologist like a live-attenuated virus vaccine that you might design for purpose. This is about as good as we could possibly want right now in terms of outcomes.”

“The thing is with omicron, it has a reproductive coefficient — now that’s fancy medical epidemiology talk — but it has a reproductive coefficient with a measure of effectiveness that’s in the range of measles. It’s in the seven to 10 range.”

Monica Gandhi, an immunologist at the University of California, confirms that NO mandate is required:

“One infected person will on average spread it to seven to 10 more people. We’re all going to get infected. I hope this variant creates profound immunity in the population. It will hopefully end the pandemic.”


FDA is accused of trying to force Americans to get vaccinated after 'asinine' decision to limit use of COVID antibody treatments because 'they don't work against Omicron'

Critics are expressing fury after the Food and Drug Administration revised the emergency use authorizations for COVID-19 antibody treatments from Regeneron and Eli Lilly to limit their use, saying the drugs are unlikely to work against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who opened treatment centers to distribute the antibody drugs, slammed the decision, saying the FDA had acted 'without shred of clinical data to support its decision.'

Following the FDA ruling on Monday, Florida said it had been forced to close all of its treatment centers and cancel thousands of appointments, and DeSantis lashed out at President Joe Biden over the decision.

'There are real-world implications to Biden's medical authoritarianism – Americans' access to treatments is now subject to the whims of a failing president,' DeSantis said in a statement.

The FDA noted in its decision on Monday that Omicron accounts for more than 99 percent of U.S. infections, making it 'highly unlikely' the antibodies would help people now seeking treatment.

The agency said restricting their use would also eliminate unnecessary drug side effects from ineffective treatment, including allergic reactions.

The two treatments are still effective against Delta, but the CDC now estimates that Delta accounts for just 0.5 percent of new cases in the country.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who opened treatment centers to distribute the antibody drugs, slammed President Joe Biden over the decision, calling it 'medical authoritarianism'

Some critics accused the FDA of trying to restrict treatment options to coerce people into getting vaccinated.

'This is all about the Biden and his admin taking away a treatment that helps to try to force people into getting the Vaccine,' one person tweeted.

'I just saw that the FDA has withdrawn emergency approval for the Regeneron and Eli Lilly monoclonal antibodies. What are they doing? Trying to kill us?' another wrote.

'Ok, so now the govt is actually saying we want people to die. There is still delta floating around. To take away [emergency use authorization] is asinine,' another wrote.

The FDA said Monday the two antibody treatments are currently not cleared for use in any U.S. states or territories, but may be authorized in certain regions if they work against potential new variants.

Doctors have alternate therapies to battle early COVID-19 cases, including two new antiviral pills from Pfizer and Merck, but both are in short supply.

An antibody drug from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that remains effective also is in short supply.

Last month, the U.S. government had paused the distribution of Regeneron and Lilly's treatments and said the halt would continue until new data emerges on their efficacy against Omicron.

The two drugs are laboratory-made versions of virus-blocking antibodies. They are intended to head off severe disease and death by supplying concentrated doses of one or two antibodies early in an infection.

Then-President Donald Trump received Regeneron's antibody combination after he tested positive for the coronavirus in 2020.

GSK and Vir Biotech are boosting production of their alternative antibody drug, sotrovimab, to help meet soaring demand in the United States.

The FDA has also expanded its approval for the use of Gilead Sciences' antiviral COVID-19 drug remdesivir to treat non-hospitalized patients aged 12 years and above.

'The FDA is committed to continuing to review emerging data on all COVID-19 therapies related to the potential impact of variants and revise the authorizations further as appropriate to ensure healthcare providers have an effective arsenal of treatments for patients,' the agency said in a statement.

But the announcement, coming in a press release with no warning, drew criticism from officials in Florida as 'abrupt' and poorly supported.

'Rather than giving Americans the option for various COVID treatments, the FDA and the Biden Administration issued their royal decree, taking away the very thing that is proven to reduce hospitalizations and save lives,' said Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez in a statement.

'Monoclonal antibody treatments like Regeneron have had a positive impact for thousands of Floridians,' she added.

'For the CDC and FDA, which have been consistently inconsistent throughout the entire pandemic, to restrict treatment does nothing but put individuals at risk.'

DeSantis has heavily promoted antibody drugs as a signature part of his administration's COVID-19 response, setting up infusion sites and lauding them at news conferences, while opposing vaccine mandates and other public health measures. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also launched state-sponsored infusion sites.

The drugs are not a substitute for vaccination and are generally reserved for people who are the most vulnerable, including seniors, transplant recipients and those with conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Since early January, the U.S. government has shipped enough doses of the two antibodies to treat more than 300,000 patients.

Both Regeneron and Lilly previously announced they were developing new antibodies that target omicron.

The move comes days after regulators broadened the use of remdesivir - the first drug approved for COVID-19 - to treat more patients.

On Friday, the FDA expanded the antiviral's approval to include adults and children with early COVID-19 who face a high risk of ending up in the hospital. Remdesivir previously had been limited to hospitalized patients.

An influential panel of federal experts had already recommended using the infused drug to try to head off hospitalization. The same guidelines from the National Institutes of Health panel recommend against continued use of Lilly and Regeneron's antibody drugs due to their reduced effectiveness against omicron.

Still, many hospitals will face challenges in ramping up remdesivir treatments.

The drug requires three consecutive IV infusions over three days, when used for non-hospitalized patients. That time-consuming process won't be an option for many over-capacity hospitals facing staff shortages.




Sunday, January 30, 2022

Super immunity on the horizon

A former CSIRO scientist’s discovery of crossover immunity between an ancestor of Covid-19 and the virus that has plunged the world into a third year of chaos has given rise to a candidate vaccine that could work against all future variants. The pan-Covid jab is set to enter human trials within months.

Linfa Wang, the one-time “batman” of Australian science who traced the path of the deadly Hendra virus from flying foxes, to horses and then people, and who now heads the Singapore government’s Covid research program, calls it a “silver lining” to the death and suffering unleashed by the pandemic.

It was a shaft of hope in an otherwise grim week, as the nation wearily marked the second anniversary of the virus’s onslaught. Nearly 3500 Australians have died to date, with the known number of people infected approaching two million.

Professor Wang, 61, leveraged the experience and dogged determination he used to identify the origin of Hendra virus to get to the bottom of another mystery.

The horse vaccine he helped develop at the CSIRO’s then Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong for the zoonotic disease had also worked on Hendra’s cousin, the Nipah virus.

So why didn’t the neutralising antibodies carried by SARS survivors block the related Covid coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2?

Puzzled, he persuaded the Singapore government to allow him to perform an experiment with people who had contracted SARS during the 2002-04 outbreak. That virus killed 10 per cent of those infected – a much higher fatality rate than Covid-19 – but was sharply less contagious than Covid-19, striking only 8000 people mainly in Southeast Asia.

Professor Wang tested the blood of eight SARS survivors who had received the Pfizer vaccine against a panel of coronaviruses from the sarbecovirus subgroup that gave rise to Covid-19. This included the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2, its Beta and Delta variants, as well as five bat and pangolin sarbecoviruses.

To his astonishment, the results came back with bells on them: the vaccine had stimulated some of the highest immunity levels he had ever seen to all the sarbecoviruses, including the Covid variants. No such potent and all-encompassing antibody response was detected in blood samples from fully vaccinated individuals not exposed to the original SARS virus, even those who had also contracted Covid-19.

“That really was what people define as a Eureka moment,” Professor Wang told The Weekend Australian. “When I saw the data I just thought, ‘this is too good to believe’.”

He asked an assisting scientist, only half in jest, whether the report had been photoshopped.

“We repeated it and when we got the same data, I said, ‘wow, that’s big’. Against the 10 viruses we did, they were all up there,” he continued, lifting a hand to eye level and chopping the air. “When you give a SARS survivor two doses of the (Covid) vaccine they get this super-immunity. Their neutralising antibodies blocked everything from … Beta, Delta and now Omicron.”

How? Professor Wang said the human immune system was set up to recognise and target specific parts of an invading virus. Omicron emerged with alarming mutations to the spike protein, the needle-like outcrops on the surface of the virus that bind with human cells, allowing the hyper-contagious new variant to evade existing vaccines in some circumstances as well as most monoclonal antibody treatments.

Overlaying the Covid vaccine on the acquired immunity of a SARS survivor supercharged the immune system, forcing it to “go back and go deeper”, he said.

“Basically, you have to trigger the human immune system to work harder by giving it two related viruses that are still substantially different.”

This “opened the door” to what Nobel prize-winning immunologist Peter Doherty calls a consensus vaccine between SARS-1 and SARS-CoV-2 to protect against any future variant Covid might throw out. “This is the silver lining, right, of people dying and the whole world suffering,” Professor Wang said.

Taking advantage of Australia’s reopened international border, he returned last week to Victoria, his home of 25 years, to confer with former colleagues and researchers at Professor Doherty’s eponymous research institute. “We are looking for collaboration. A pandemic is not a national thing, it is an international thing,” Professor Wang said.

The 81-year-old Nobel laureate said the cross-reactive process was something he had looked at, but had been unable to pursue due to technology restraints. “It is a very exciting development,” Professor Doherty said.

Professor Wang’s team at the Emerging Infectious Disease Program at the Duke University-National University of Singapore medical school was one of a number of international research groups in the running. But his had the advantage of ready access to samples from SARS survivors and breakthrough assaying technology that allowed them to test the bloodwork against multiple sarbecoviruses. Animal studies of the candidate vaccine had shown it provided cross-protection in mice and negotiations were advancing with a number of pharmaceutical companies, he said. A phase-1 human safety trial was pencilled in for the coming months.


The Scale of Death Caused by the Suppression of Treatments for Covid-19

The debate about early treatments for covid-19 has been continuing despite all attempts by the corporate media to quash any notion that treatments might work. Mountains of data have been distributed on the internet through alternative sources. This data reveals a shocking indication of the scale of death that has been caused by suppression and censorship.

We know about the wicked suppression of ivermectin. For two years (two years!) and counting our health authorities did nothing to investigate the repurposing of existing treatments for potential use against covid-19. However, some talented doctors around the world didn’t waste any time. From the start, they were looking for ways to treat their patients and began to share their professional observations with colleagues. Discussions between individual doctors led to the formation of the FLCCC (Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance).

In mid-October 2020, Professor Paul E. Marik noticed a data signal indicating that ivermectin could play an important role in the treatment of covid-19. Professor Marik then presented his findings to the FLCCC. At that stage, the other members of the FLCCC were somewhat skeptical - they thought that perhaps Professor Marik might be overstating the case. However, after looking at the data in more detail the FLCCC came around to the idea and one month after Professor Marik’s presentation the FLCCC officially got behind the use of ivermectin.

Professor Marik is board certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Neurocritical Care and Nutrition Science. For more than a decade Dr. Marik was Professor of Medicine and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). A position that ended about a week ago due to an ongoing legal battle with Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where Dr. Marik is also the director of the ICU.


What we know about the BA.2 Omicron variant

As newly reported cases of Covid-19 decline in parts of the U.S., researchers around the world are monitoring a new variant of the Omicron variant dubbed BA.2. The variant is under observation by countries including Denmark, India and the U.K., though little is still known about its properties and the threat it may pose.

Here’s what scientists and public-health experts know so far about the BA. 2 variant:

What is the BA. 2 variant of Covid-19?

The BA. 2 variant of Covid-19 is a relation of the widely-spreading original Omicron variant known as BA. 1, according to Theodora Hatziioannou, an associate professor of virology at Rockefeller University.

The two variants arose around the same time and come from the same immediate ancestor strain. They have many mutations in common but there are also around 20 mutations that are different between the two variants. The differences between this variant and BA. 1 can be seen in the spike protein of the virus, Dr. Hatziioannou said.

Viruses mutate all the time and diversification within a variant is normal. The earlier Delta variant comprised more than 200 sublineages before it was replaced by Omicron, according to Francois Balloux, director of the University College London Genetics Institute.

Is the BA. 2 variant in the U. S.? Yes. The BA. 2 variant has been detected in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which provides estimates of the prevalence of various Covid-19 strains. The CDC’s estimates show that Omicron was likely responsible for 99.9% of Covid-19 infections in the week ending Jan. 22. The CDC said the prevalence of some other variants including BA. 2 was included in the Omicron tally.

Where else in the world has the BA. 2 variant been detected?

At least 40 countries have detected the BA. 2 variant, including the U.K., Denmark, India, Sweden, Singapore and the Philippines. It isn’t possible at this point to determine where the sublineage originated, according to the U.K. Health Security Agency.

The BA. 2 variant may be displacing the BA. 1 in Denmark, said Dr. Hatziioannou. “They’re identifying more and more cases of BA. 2 rather than BA. 1,” she said.

Is BA. 2 a Covid-19 variant of concern?

No. The World Health Organization designated Omicron the fifth “variant of concern” in November based on the risks posed by changes in its makeup and behaviour compared with other versions of the virus, including its increased infectiousness. It hasn’t given BA. 2 any designation, but has urged researchers to closely track and study the variant. Earlier variants of concern included Delta, which drove a wave of cases in the U.S. and elsewhere last summer, and Beta, which like Omicron was first identified in South Africa.

Other variants have remained variants of interest, meaning they have genetic changes that affect the way the virus works, according to the WHO. Lambda and Mu are variants of interest that sickened people in some parts of the world, such as South America, but didn’t outcompete variants including Delta in the U.S. and elsewhere.

What are the symptoms for the BA. 2 variant? Is the BA. 2 variant more severe than the Omicron variant?

It isn’t clear whether the BA. 2 variant behaves in materially different ways than the Omicron variant, which research has shown to be far more infectious than previous strains but also less likely to lead to severe disease in many cases.

In Denmark, one of the countries with high rates of BA. 2, an initial analysis by the government-run State Serum Institute showed no differences in hospitalisation for BA. 2 compared with BA.1.

Though BA. 2 continues to spread in different countries, the CDC said the variant was responsible for a very small share of recent Covid-19 infections compared with other circulating viruses in the U.S. and around the world. “Currently there is no evidence that the BA. 2 lineage is more severe than the BA. 1 lineage. [The] CDC continues to monitor variants that are circulating both domestically and internationally,” said the agency.

How is the BA. 2 variant responding to treatment and vaccinations?

Though it is too early to tell, Dr. Hatziioannou predicts the BA. 2 variant will be as resistant to monoclonal antibodies as BA.1. She said there are only slight differences on the spike protein of BA. 2 compared with BA. 1, leading her to conclude that they are likely to behave similarly. The monoclonal antibody treatment made by GlaxoSmithKline PLC may be effective in treating this variant because it has been successful in treating BA.1. Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. antiviral pills for Covid-19 continue to work against the original Omicron variant and may have similar effects against BA.2.

Researchers predict that there won’t be a significant difference in how vaccines hold up against BA. 2, compared with the original Omicron. Most of the mutation differences between the two variants occur outside areas of the virus that are important for immune recognition. Studies are under way to confirm this.