Friday, March 11, 2022

Victims vs. Vectors? The Ethics of Giving COVID-19 Vaccines to Children

Alma Golden

Fifty years ago, I began medical school. Through this half-century, I have provided, prescribed, promoted, and supported vaccine use. As a physician in retirement, I am fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19, as are my grown sons and three of my young adult grandchildren.

Vaccine development has a proud history that has prevented millions of children and adults from becoming the victims of infectious diseases. But are children’s COVID-19 vaccines now being used to prevent serious illness in children or as a vector control mechanism to protect adults?

I rejoiced as the Hemophilus influenza type b vaccine saved thousands of infants and children from death or serious disease caused by meningitis and sepsis. I followed the public health science that tracked data and research on the risks, costs, and benefits of vaccines to prevent chickenpox, rotavirus, and many other—now preventable—diseases.

The Hemophilus influenza type b, or Hib, vaccine was a classic study in recognizing and responding to a health threat in children. Data were collected on the frequency of hospitalizations, permanent disabilities, sepsis, meningitis, and death associated with Hib infection in infants and toddlers. Risk, benefit, and cost analyses were developed. Immunized children were monitored for efficacy and adverse effects, both short-term and long-term. The success of that vaccine is a win for nations as well as families.

The ethics of child vaccines should reflect the high standards like this, which have been used since the enactment of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act in 1986.

I know this well, as I practiced pediatrics through the turbulent era of rare but serious side effects associated with the pertussis vaccine, which a National Institutes of Health study concluded caused severe reactions in children such as seizures, hypotonic-hyporesponsive episodes, high fevers, and persistent crying.

This led to the passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which helps promote development of safe vaccines, addressed compensation for injured vaccine recipients, and simultaneously mandated tracking of vaccine distribution and adverse effects, leading to better vaccine programs and fewer preventable infectious diseases.

Twenty-four months of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has demonstrated that few healthy children infected with the virus become victims of severe illness and that those most likely to need intensive care already have previously diagnosed significant health conditions. Most children and youth experience a relatively short duration of illness with low rates of hospitalizations and few deaths. Children are a magnificently resilient group. They appear to develop robust natural immunity.

Although children can be asymptomatic spreaders, some studies indicate that transmission rates between children and within families are lower than between adults. School environments, with some precautions and good ventilation, are surprisingly safe places.

Based on how rapidly the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutates, it may be difficult to develop effective vaccines to keep pace with new mutations, such as the omicron variant. It is possible that youth have been blessed with the capacity to respond successfully, and much more rapidly, to these variants than the scientists who are manufacturing the vaccines.

Considering the above, what is the ethical framework for promoting widespread or mandated pediatric COVID-19 vaccination?

Recognizing that children make up a minuscule percentage of severe COVID-19 cases, why are so many health, education, pharmaceutical, and political leaders vigorously promoting pediatric vaccination? Where are the data-based risk-cost-benefit analyses to support their recommendations?

Local and systemic vaccine reactions occur in 30% to 60% of children 5 to 11 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, is rare in that age group but increases in teen and early adult years, especially for males, as noted in multiple countries. Only short-term observations inform our understanding of the vaccine in children and youth. Long-term efficacy and side effects need to be monitored.

In the setting of a highly infectious, highly prevalent virus that appears to be approaching an endemic state, much like colds or the flu, are children to assume the ethical burden of vaccination to protect the larger society when the resulting benefit to them may be minimal and the potential long-term risks and benefits are not fully understood?

If we are concerned that children would serve as the distributors of disease, much as a mosquito is for malaria, does that reduce the obligation of researchers, clinicians, and public health experts to analyze—both medically and ethically—the full spectrum of risks, benefits, and potential impacts of this vaccine on children? Are we fulfilling the medical, regulatory, and ethical standards that have developed since the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Program?

Children with chronic or immunocompromised conditions and/or who are living with close family members with such conditions should be vaccinated, but one must ask whether the promotion of universal child vaccination for COVID-19 is driven by the evidence-based risk of severe disease, death, or disability in children, or by fear and expediency to benefit adults.

In another 50 years, I wonder if historians will observe that we treated children as disease vectors rather than potential victims of a viral illness.


Even Mild Cases of COVID-19 Can Lead to Brain Changes

Mild COVID-19 cases were linked to changes in the brain, in a newly published study.

Approximately 785 people underwent a brain scan and about half later tested positive for COVID-19. All the participants got a second brain scan, including those who had survived the disease.

Researchers from the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging at the University of Oxford analyzed the scans and found the participants infected with COVID-19 had a reduction in the thickness of gray matter—which helps humans perform various functions such as making decisions—and other negative outcomes.

“Despite the infection being mild for 96% of our participants, we saw a greater loss of grey matter volume, and greater tissue damage in the infected participants, on average 4.5 months after infection,” professor Gwenaëlle Douaud, the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

“They also showed greater decline in their mental abilities to perform complex tasks, and this mental worsening was partly related to these brain abnormalities. All these negative effects were more marked at older ages.”

The paper was published in Nature following peer review.

The scans were taken from the UK Biobank, a large-scale medical database that contains information on approximately 500,000 UK residents.

Those whose scans were analyzed were aged 51 to 81. The reason the study did not include younger people is that all participants in the scanning were 40 or older, Douaud told The Epoch Times in an email.

The scans were taken on average 38 months apart.

Researchers said the two cohorts—people who ended up getting infected and people who did not—were similar in terms of age, sex, and many risk factors.

Participants also engaged in cognitive tests, and the infected group was more likely to experience cognitive decline by the time of the second test.

The brain changes ranged from 0.2 to 2 percent additional change in the infected group. ?


Researchers discover drug-resistant Covid in Australian patients

One of the main medicines used to combat severe cases of Covid-19 is causing the virus to mutate and there is a risk it could spread in the community.

If this happens, elderly and immunocompromised patients can’t be treated with the drug Sotrovimab.

Sydney University researcher Dr Rebecca Rockett studied 100 Covid patients in health care facilities in the Western Sydney Local Health District in New South Wales during the Delta outbreak between August and November 2021.

For four of the patients given the drug, the virus in their body mutated within six to 13 days and the treatment was no longer effective at containing the infection.

Samples of the mutated virus taken from these patients were able to be grown in a laboratory dish and this proved the new version of the virus was capable of spreading to others.

“The worrying thing is the fact that the virus was still viable and persisting in these patients after they develop the resistance,” Dr Rockett said.

“What we don’t want to see is that someone in the community develops resistance and they can pass that resistance to other people and that makes the drug ineffective, not just for that individual but for who they transmit the virus to,” she said.

Many of the patients in the study were severely immunocompromised and Dr Rockett said one theory about the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants of the virus was that they developed in such people.

“There are definitely cases in the literature where these patients with really immunocompromised conditions are given a lot of different therapies and could develop a number of mutations that can make the virus less more likely to evade current vaccines and treatment strategies,” she said.

This is a key reason this population of patients should be kept under surveillance, she said.

To keep control of the virus, doctors must undertake active surveillance of severely ill patients and identify treatment-resistant mutations earlier so they can be contained, she said.

The research team has not conducted experiments to determine whether current Covid-19 vaccines could combat the mutated virus that developed in these patients.

Sotrovimab is one of three key Covid-19 treatments called monoclonal antibodies that doctors were using to stop patients from becoming seriously ill.

These types of treatments are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses.

In January, the US FDA revealed that two of these treatments no longer worked against Omicron leaving Sotrovimab as the only weapon in the arsenal.

In another worrying development last month a Colombia University study that is yet to be peer reviewed found the cousin of Omicron – BA. 2 – had developed resistance to Sotrovimab.

This leaves recently approved treatments paxlovid, molnupiravir which are in short supply as the mainstay of treatment.




Thursday, March 10, 2022

The Alarming Trends in COVID Vaccine Side Effects

In mid-February 2022, the U.K. started rolling out the COVID jab for children aged 5 to 11. In the U.S., the shot has been recommended for this age group since October 2021.

The question raised in a Nick De Bois interview with Jamie Jenkins, former head of health and labor market analysis at the British Office for National Statistics (above), is ‘Why bother injecting kids this young?’ The risk COVID-19 presents to children is minuscule.

What’s more, the British Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) estimates that by the end of January 2022, 85% of children aged 5 to 11 already had natural immunity. Add to that the fact that the prevailing variant, Omicron, is far milder than previous strains, causing only mild cold symptoms in most people, including children.

Together, these three facts ought to make it clear that children don’t need this jab. A cost-benefit analysis by Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., and researcher Kathy Dopp, also shows the COVID jab actually increases children’s risk of dying from COVID infection. Children under 18 are also 51 times more likely to die from the jab than they are to die from COVID if not vaccinated.

Four Million Doses Required to Prevent a Single ICU Admission
An astounding statistic Jenkins does bring up is that 4 million doses must be administered to children, 5 to 11 years of age, to prevent a single ICU admission in this age group. Assuming two doses per child, that means 2 million children must take their chances with serious and potentially lifelong side effects to prevent a single child from requiring intensive care due to COVID-19. How is this justified? As explained in Jenkins’ website:

“JCVI has said that vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years who are not in a clinical risk group would prevent a relatively small number of hospitalizations or intensive care admissions. For a variant like Omicron, it would take around four million vaccine doses to two million children to prevent one admission to ICU.

For less severe illnesses, 58,000 child vaccinations would prevent one-child hospitalization. Children admitted recently to hospital with COVID had an average length of stay of 1-2 days. The Omicron wave saw no more children in hospital than before Omicron hit the UK.”

Pfizer Backs Off Shots for Children Under 5

While vaccine makers and health agencies have been pushing forward with COVID jabs for babies as young as 6 months, parents with children under 5 can, for now, draw a sigh of relief, as plans to roll out shots for the under-5 age group have been suspended, at least temporarily.

February 11, 2022, Pfizer withdrew its U.S. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application for children under 5. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Pfizer, they want to collect more data on the effects of a third dose, as two doses did not produce expected immunity in 2- to 5-year-olds.

Three days later, former FDA Commissioner and current Pfizer board member Scott Gottlieb told CNBC the EUA application was pulled because COVID cases are so low among young children that the shot couldn’t be shown to provide much of a benefit.

Considering you have to give the jab to some 2 million children to prevent a single ICU stay, it’s no wonder they can’t show effectiveness in studies that have just a few thousand children. Pfizer’s youth trial on 5- to 11-year-olds had just 2,268 participants, and only two-thirds of those received the real COVID jab.

However, the OpenVAERS team suspects there may be something far more problematic behind Pfizer’s withdrawal. In a February 21, 2022, email notice to subscribers, OpenVAERS stated:

“None of these explanations suffice because all of that information was known prior to Pfizer submitting this EUA to the FDA on February 1 [2022]. It makes one wonder whether adverse events in the treatment group might be the factor that neither Pfizer nor the FDA want to talk about?

So, we decided to look at reports of injury associated with COVID-19 vaccines in children 17 and younger. Remember, these shots have only been on the market for a short while and only children 5 to 17 are eligible. We created a separate page called Child Reports that will update automatically as new reports come in.

We were shocked by what we found — 34,223 VAERS reports in the U.S. in this age range, including infants harmed through transmission from the mother via breast milk, lots of reports of kids receiving shots who were too young (either the parents lied about their age or the doctor/pharmacy made a mistake with screening or dosing), and heartbreaking reports of myocarditis and death.”

Shocking Data From Israel Show Extent of Side Effects

While health agencies and mainstream media still insist that side effects from the COVID jab are “rare,” real-world data show a different story. An English translation of the report can be downloaded from Galileo Is Back on Substack. As noted in the report:

“On December 20, 2020, a vaccination program was launched in Israel using Pfizer’s vaccine for COVID-19. By the end of March 2021, more than half of the population had been vaccinated with two vaccine doses.

The decrease in immunity over time and emergence of new variants led to a renewed increase in morbidity in Israel in the summer of 2021. By the end of July 2021, a third shot of the vaccine (booster shot) was authorized for everyone who had received two shots and at least five months had passed from the second shot.

From data collection by medical teams or self-reporting by the public of side-effects in temporal proximity (passive monitoring), it appears that there is underreporting; therefore, it is important to identify side-effects in temporal proximity to vaccination with the booster in an active manner via a dedicated survey.

General goals: To determine the frequency of side-effects which appeared within 21-30 days from vaccination with the third Pfizer shot (booster) against COVID-19 among citizens above 18 years of age.

Specific goals: Examine the prevalence of side-effects in temporal proximity to the third shot grouped according to age and gender. Examine the time of onset relative to administration of the vaccine and the duration thereof, and to compare it with the side-effects of previous vaccines.”

In all, 2,894 people were contacted and 2,068 agreed to be interviewed (response rate: 71.4%). Of those 2,068 boosted individuals:

0.3% required hospitalization for an adverse event

4.5% experienced one or more neurological problems (2.1% of men and 6.9% of women), such as tingling or itching sensation, Bell’s palsy, vision damage, memory deterioration, hearing damage, convulsions, loss of consciousness and more

9.6% of women under the age of 54 experienced menstrual irregularities. Of those, “39% suffered from similar side-effects after prior COVID-19 vaccinations; however most (67%) indicated that the side-effects waned prior to the third vaccination and returned after receiving it”

26.4% of those with preexisting anxiety disorder or depression experienced a worsening of their symptoms

24.2% of those with preexisting autoimmune disorders experienced exacerbation of disease

Between 6.3% and 9.3% of those with preexisting high blood pressure, lung disease, diabetes and heart disease also reported that their condition was exacerbated after the third booster. A small number of women, but no men, also reported herpes infections (0.4% for herpes simplex infections and 0.3% for herpes zoster). Other key take-home’s from this Israeli report are that:

Side-effects are more common among women and younger people
1 in 10 women suffer menstrual irregularities

Neurological side effects typically don’t appear until about a month after the jab

In the majority of cases, the occurrence of a given side effect was not more severe after the third shot compared to the two previous doses. Put another way, the severity of side effects tends to be the same, regardless of the number of doses, so these finding can perhaps be applied to doses 1 and 2 as well

German Health Insurance Data Show Alarming Side Effect Rates
German health insurance data are also triggering alarms. Andreas Schöfbeck, a board member of a large insurance company called BKK ProVita, shared the data with Die Welt.

They analyzed the medical data of 10.9 million insured individuals, looking for potential COVID jab side effects. To their horror, they found 400,000 doctors’ visits could be realistically attributed to the jab. According to Schöfbeck, extrapolated to the total population of Germany, the total number of doctors’ visits attributable to jab side effects would be 3 million.

“The number that resulted from our analysis are very far away from the publicly announced numbers [by the Ministry of Health]. It would be unethical not to talk about it,” Schöfbeck told Die Welt, adding that the data are “an alarming signal.” As reported by Die Welt (translated from German):

“From January to August 2021 … around 217,000 of just under 11 million BBK policyholders had to be treated for vaccination side effects — while the Paul Ehrlich Institute keeps only 244,576 side effect reports based on 61.4 million vaccinated …

Thus, the number of vaccine side effects would be more than 1,000 percent higher than the PEI reports … With his analysis, Schöfbeck turned to a wide range of institutions — from the German Medical Association and the StiKo to the Paul Ehrlich Institute itself.

He said the figures were a ‘strong alarm signal’ that ‘absolutely must be taken into account in the further use of vaccines.’ His figures could be validated by the same data analyses of other health insurance companies, he says …

Since ‘danger to human life cannot be ruled out,’ he set a deadline of 6 p.m. Tuesday [February 22, 2022] to respond to his letter. As this passed, they turned to the public.”

Getting back to the issue of children and the danger we’re putting them in by giving them this shot, two autopsies of teenage boys who died within days of their COVID jabs revealed the shot caused their deaths. As reported by The Defender:

“The three pathologists, two of whom are medical examiners, published their findings Feb. 14 in an early online release article, ‘Autopsy Histopathologic Cardiac Findings in Two Adolescents Following the Second COVID-19 Vaccine Dose,’ in the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

The authors’ findings were conclusive. Two teenage boys were pronounced dead in their homes three and four days after receiving the second Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 dose. There was no evidence of active or previous COVID-19 infection. The teens had negative toxicology screens (i.e., no drugs or poisons were present in their bodies). These boys died from the vaccine.”

Histopathological examination revealed that neither of the boys’ hearts had signs of typical myocarditis. Instead, what they found were changes consistent with catecholamine-mediated stress cardiomyopathy, also known as toxic cardiomyopathy.

This is a temporary kind of heart injury that can develop in response to extreme physical, chemical or emotional stressors. Another common term for this kind of injury is “broken heart syndrome.” Hyperinflammatory states such as severe COVID-19 infection can also cause this kind of injury to the heart.

More details about the medical history of each of the boys and their autopsy findings are reviewed by Pam Popper of Wellness Forum Health in the video above. Curiously, neither of the boys had any symptoms of myocarditis before they died. One had complained of a headache and upset stomach. The other had not mentioned any symptoms. As noted by The Defender:

“This is extremely concerning. These boys had smoldering, catastrophic heart injuries with no symptoms. How many others have insidious cardiac involvement from vaccination that won’t manifest until they get a serious case of COVID-19 or the flu? Or perhaps when they subject themselves to the physical stress of competitive sports?

These findings suggest a significant subset of COVID-19 deaths in the vaccinated could be due to the vaccines themselves. Furthermore, it raises this question: How often does this condition exist in a latent form in vaccinated individuals?”

Myocarditis Risk in Young Men Is Not Rare

U.S. Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) data also raise questions about the risk of potentially lethal myocarditis, especially in boys. The following slide was presented during a June 23, 2021, meeting convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), to discuss the risk of myopericarditis.

As you can see, the observed rates of myocarditis and/or pericarditis for several age groups, and especially among males, are significantly higher than the expected background rate.

This is a loud and clear safety signal, yet the ACIP proceeded to recommend the shot to preteens and teens anyway, and in a public statement insisted that myopericarditis is “an extremely rare side effect” that “only an exceedingly small number of people will experience after vaccination.” How can they say that with data like this right in front of their noses?

Based on this VAERS data, the rate of myocarditis is about 6.5 per 100,000 doses in 12- to 17-year-olds. Going back to where we started, 4 million doses are required to prevent a single child, 5 to 11 years of age, from being admitted to the ICU for COVID.

Assuming the rate of myocarditis in 5- to 11-year-olds is identical to that of 12- to 17-year-olds, we could potentially be looking at 260 cases of myocarditis for every ICU admission for COVID that we prevent. On the whole, the COVID jab provides only risk for children under 18, so there’s absolutely no justification for it.




Wednesday, March 09, 2022

How Vaccine Fanatics Fueled Vaccine Skepticism

The development of COVID-19 vaccines is one of the few successes during a pandemic that saw major failures in public health strategy and treatments. While the vaccines can’t prevent transmission, they have reduced mortality. Before the pandemic, there was almost universal trust in vaccines, and vaccine skeptics were a small but vocal minority.

With a life-saving vaccine during a major pandemic, one would expect more vaccine enthusiasm, but instead, it collapsed. What happened?

Ironically, the problem is vaccine fanaticism, which has caused vaccine skepticism, with problematic consequences extending beyond COVID-19 to trust in other vaccines. Vaccine fanaticism comes in many forms.

In their drive to increase uptake, the vaccine fanatics denied basic scientific facts, such as immunity provided by COVID recovery. This, despite numerous careful studies that showed that COVID-recovery provides better protection versus both infection and severe disease than the vaccine. Nevertheless, vaccine fanatics insisted that natural immunity shouldn’t “count” in the vaccine mandate schemes. By denying science, the vaccine fanatics created further public skepticism about the vaccines.

“If they’re lying about natural immunity, maybe they’re lying about vaccine efficacy,” many may have reasoned.

Despite lack of evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines could prevent transmission and mounting evidence in spring and summer 2021 that they couldn’t stop the spread of the disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci and others convinced themselves that COVID-19 could be conquered only if 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent, or more of the population was vaccinated. And when the vaccines didn’t live up to scientifically unproven promises, people’s trust in those who over-promised naturally collapsed.

In its pursuit of the impossible goal of COVID suppression by vaccines alone, public health vaccine fanatics induced many people to become skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccine’s benefits.

Public authorities espoused psychological manipulation to induce vaccine uptake. For example, in its April 2021 guidance on mask-wearing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave permission only to the vaccinated to doff the mask. Their reasoning was based on a mistaken belief that vaccinated individuals can’t spread the disease, but also as an inducement to get people vaccinated since mask-wearing is unpleasant.

Encouraged by public health officials, Krispy Kreme offered free donuts to the vaccinated. Some people may have wondered: “If they understood public health, they wouldn’t try to fatten people with donuts. Maybe vaccines are also bad for my health?”

When these tactics failed, the public health establishment embraced vaccine coercion. They instituted vaccine passports to exclude the unvaccinated from participation in civil life, including access to libraries, museums, and restaurants. The federal government went further, using its vast regulatory powers to mandate vaccines as a condition of employment. These coercive actions effectively cast the unvaccinated into second-class citizenship. As they watched the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike contract COVID-19, they undoubtedly began to wonder whether public health truly had their best interests at heart.

Some vaccine fanatics have adopted the repellant tactic of falsely labeling people they disagree with as anti-vaccine. For instance, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a tabloid-style slander that epidemiologists and vaccine experts at Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford are opposed to “mass vaccination.” How might readers interpret that statement? “Well, if Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford professors are against the vaccines, maybe I should be too.”

Such false claims fuel vaccine hesitancy by putting the BMJ imprimatur on the lie that medicine and epidemiology professors are anti-vaxxers, when they aren’t. This damages vaccine confidence.

Vaccine fanatics have politicized the vaccine, using it to paint political opponents as science-denying troglodytes by falsely claiming that they’re against vaccines. If a person trusts a particular politician that’s falsely accused of being against vaccines, that person may only hear the false accusation and therefore reject the vaccine. In a public health crisis, such political gameplay has devastating consequences. What should have been a bipartisan achievement of a vaccine being developed and deployed in record time during a pandemic turned into just another tool for a political food fight, fueling vaccine skepticism.

Like all medical interventions, vaccines have some risks, which must be acknowledged in risk-benefit analyses for different population groups. For example, when there were reports of an increased risk of blood clots in young women receiving the J&J vaccine, it made sense to give them a different vaccine while the reports were investigated. Instead, the CDC “paused” J&J vaccinations in all age groups, including older people, for whom it was clear that there was no excess risk and for whom the benefit of the vaccine was the largest. (The CDC fired one of us for opposing that pause in older people.)

Though the CDC later cleared the vaccine, the J&J vaccine uptake never recovered in the United States, with detrimental effects on less affluent, more rural, and other hard-to-reach populations for whom this one-dose vaccine was ideal and life-saving.

In their bid to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake, the vaccine fanatics have created a widespread movement of vaccine skepticism that didn’t previously exist. The consequences are dire not just for the COVID-19 vaccine but also for vital childhood vaccines. It may be too late for COVID-19, but regaining public trust is crucial to ensure the public’s confidence in other vaccines that are critical to the well-being of children everywhere.

In public health, it isn’t enough to be trusted by only half the population. Since widespread trust is essential, the only solution is for public health to eschew coercion and embrace its traditional principles. Public health should never again manipulate or deny authentic scientific results to manipulate the public’s behavior. It should dismiss practitioners who use public health as a weapon in a cultural or political war. It should reject slander, censoring, and ad hominem attacks.

Trust in vaccines can only be regained through honest, open dialogue, science-based policies, public education, long-term thinking, a strengthened vaccine safety monitoring system, and voluntary vaccinations. That is, it should return to the traditional principles of public health.


Alarming Warning About COVID Tests

The National Capital Poison Center reports on its website that many quick home COVID-19 antigen tests included a harmful chemical compound that may be dangerous to your children as well as you.

The chemical sodium azide is reportedly a preservative agent in fast antigen sets, consisting of BinaxNow, BD Veritor, Flowflex, as well as Celltrion DiaTrust.

Sodium azide, if ingested, can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, migraine, and heart palpitations.

Now, Ohio, as well as Texas, issued a warning after seeing a rise in records related to sodium azide poisoning, in the very same 500 million Covid test sets that Biden sent to the American public.

An “increase in accidental exposures to a substance in these kits,” was reported by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. reported:

The substance is sodium azide, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Drug and Poison Information Center has seen a surge in calls about exposures to the chemical since more people started self-testing for COVID-19 at home.

“We started getting our first exposures to these test kits around early November,” said Sheila Goertemoeller, pharmacist and clinical toxicologist for the center. “It was, really, all ages.” The calls to the local center mirror what’s been happening nationally.

Sodium azide, often used as a preservative, is a liquid reagent in several of the COVID-19 test kits, she said. Ingesting it can cause low blood pressure, which can result in dizziness, headaches or palpitations. Exposure to it can also cause skin, eye or nostril irritation.

The Cincinnati Children’s based Drug and Poison Information Center has logged 38 cases of sodium azide exposure, with cases peaking in January. Adults exposed generally have experienced mild skin irritation, which can get worse if the area isn’t washed thoroughly, she said.

Nationwide Children’s Central Ohio Poison Center in Columbus also reported seeing an “uptick” in cases, as well, a spokeswoman said. The center did not immediately have a number of cases.

Last week, a cautionary notice was released by the West Texas Poisonous substance Center advising the citizens to read the directions prior to using any kind of at-home COVID-19 testing kits.

Local 12 additionally reported:

Sarah Watkins, medical director, for West Texas Region Poison Center, an Emergency Medicine Physician and medical toxicologist reported an increase of reports related to sodium azide poisoning.

“It has a chemical in it called sodium azide, which in large amounts can be really dangerous and even life-threatening,” Watkins said.

She said the majority of the calls made are from people who are not reading the instructions.

“We have gotten some calls here in the state of Texas about this,” Watkins said.

She said some people are putting the test swab in the solution and sticking it up their nose.

She said people are also confusing the substance for eyedrops.

“In-home covid tests, there is a dropper that comes in the test, and it looks a lot like eyedrops so it’s really easy to confuse with things that you’re supposed to put into your body,” Watkins said.

Watkins said sodium azide reacts on the body the same way cyanide does.




Tuesday, March 08, 2022

SARS-COV-2 Vaccines and Neurodegenerative Disease

Since December 2020, when several novel unprecedented vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 began to be approved for emergency use, there has been a worldwide effort to get these vaccines into the arms of as many people as possible as fast as possible. These vaccines have been developed “at warp speed,” given the urgency of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most governments have embraced the notion that these vaccines are the only path towards resolution of this pandemic, which is crippling the economies of many countries.

Thus far, there are four different vaccines that have been approved for emergency use for protection against COVID-19 in the US and/or Europe. Two (the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine) are based on mRNA technology, whereas the other two (produced by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca) are based on a double-stranded DNA recombinant viral vector. The mRNA vaccines contain only the code for the SARS-CoV-2 envelope spike protein, whereas the DNA-based vaccines both contain an adenovirus viral vector that has been augmented with DNA that codes for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The DNA-based vaccines have a certain advantage over the RNA-based vaccines in that they do not have to be stored at deep-freeze temperatures, because double-stranded DNA is much more stable than single-stranded RNA. But a disadvantage is that those who have been exposed to natural forms of the adenovirus have antibodies to the virus that will likely block the synthesis of the spike protein, and therefore not afford protection against SARS-CoV-2.

In this regard, the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine has a slight advantage over the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine because the virus normally infects chimpanzees rather than humans, so fewer people are likely to have been exposed to it. On the other hand, several studies have shown that viruses that normally infect one species can cause tumors if they are injected into a different species. For example, a human adenovirus injected into baboons caused retinoblastoma (cancer of the eye) in the baboons . So, it can’t be ruled out that the AZ vaccine could lead to cancer.

People don’t realize that these vaccines are vastly different from the many childhood vaccines we are now used to getting early in life. I find it shocking that the vaccine developers and the government officials across the globe are wrecklessly pushing these vaccines on an unsuspecting population. Together with Dr. Greg Nigh, I recently published a peer-reviewed paper on the technology behind the mRNA vaccines and the many potentially unknown consequences to health . Such unprecedented vaccines normally take twelve years to develop, with only a 2% success rate, but these vaccines were developed and brought to market in less than a year. As a consequence, we have no direct knowledge of any effects that the vaccines might have on our health over the long term. However, knowledge about how these vaccines work, how the immune system works and how neurodegenerative diseases come about can be brought to bear on the problem in order to predict potential devastating future consequences of the vaccines.

The mRNA in these vaccines codes for the spike protein normally synthesized by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, both the mRNA and the protein it produces have been changed from the original version in the virus with the intent to increase rate of production of the protein in an infected cell and the durability of both the mRNA and the spike protein it codes for. Additional ingredients like cationic lipids and polyethylene glycol are also toxic with unknown consequences. The vaccines were approved for emergency use based on grossly inadequate studies to evaluate safety and effectiveness.

Our paper showed that there are several mechanisms by which these vaccines could lead to severe disease, including autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative diseases, vascular disorders (hemorrhaging and blood clots) and possibly reproductive issues. There is also the risk that the vaccines will accelerate the emergence of new strains of the virus that are no longer sensitive to the antibodies produced by the vaccines. When people are immune compromised (e.g., taking chemotherapy for cancer), the antibodies they produce may not be able to keep the virus in check because the immune system is too impaired. Just as in the case of antibiotic resistance, new strains evolve within an infected immune-compromised person’s body that produce a version of the spike protein that no longer binds with the acquired antibodies. These new strains quickly come to dominate over the original strain, especially when the general population is heavily vaccinated with a vaccine that is specific to the original strain. This problem is likely going to necessitate the repeated rollout of new versions of the vaccine at periodic intervals that people will have to receive to induce yet another round of antibody production in an endless game of cat and mouse.

Like the mRNA vaccines, the DNA vaccines are based on novel biotech gene editing techniques that are brand new, so they too are a massive experiment unleashed on a huge unsuspecting population, with unknown consequences. Both DNA vector vaccines have been associated with a very rare condition called thrombocytopenia, in which platelet counts drop precipitously, resulting in system-wide blood clots and a high risk of cerebral hemorrhaging [5]. This is likely due to an autoimmune reaction to the platelets, and it comes with a high risk of mortality. In the case of the AZ vaccine, this has caused over 20 European countries to temporarily pause their vaccination programs [6]. And the United States called a temporary halt on the J&J vaccine.......


There are many reasons to be wary of the COVID-19 vaccines, which have been rushed to market with grossly inadequate evaluation and aggressively promoted to an uninformed public, with the potential for huge, irreversible, negative consequences. One potential consequence is to exhaust the finite supply of progenitor B cells in the bone marrow early in life, causing an inability to mount new antibodies to infectious agents. An even more worrisome possibility is that these vaccines, both the mRNA vaccines and the DNA vector vaccines, may be a pathway to crippling disease sometime in the future. Through the prion-like action of the spike protein, we will likely see an alarming increase in several major neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, CKD, ALS and Alzheimer’s, and these diseases will show up with increasing prevalence among younger and younger populations, in years to come. Unfortunately, we won’t know whether the vaccines caused this increase, because there will usually be a long time separation between the vaccination event and the disease diagnosis. Very convenient for the vaccine manufacturers, who stand to make huge profits off of our misfortunes — both from the sale of the vaccines themselves and from the large medical cost of treating all these debilitating diseases.

Much more here:


More inaction needed in dealing with Covid

Despite concerns about the damaging side-effects of restrictions, the public outcry for action in many countries exemplified the urge to act. We acted under the precautionary principle, that the disease was uncharacterised, and it was better to act rather than not, even though we were unsure of the efficacy of such policies. To a certain extent it’s something we are still doing now.

Our hospital and city are experiencing their first real wave of Covid cases, and therefore all staff are required to wear N95 masks, visors, and other PPE. This intervention has gone a long way to immiserating the workforce, many of whom are less than happy at the prospect. Yet despite this, many staff are sick with Covid. This is not a call to stop wearing PPE, but rather a reflection of the fact that there are limitations to our interventions, and regardless of our best intent and fastidious care, people still get sick. This is mirrored around the world where divisions of ‘Covid’ and ‘non-Covid’ areas of facilities have been shown to be arbitrary as infections spread, and, despite the best PPE, staff in these hospitals are still contracting the disease.

Similarly on the issue of vaccination, many of us had hoped this would be a sterilising vaccine, where receiving it reduces an individual’s ability to transmit the virus in a meaningful way. Sadly, this doesn’t appear to be the case. Although the vaccines go a long way to reducing morbidity and mortality in certain populations, they achieve less than we had hoped. With this in mind, the value of denying individuals entry to the public realm on the basis of vaccination status seems less pragmatic, and more moralistic. Similarly for healthcare professionals.

On issues such as border closures, Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated that it is possible to keep a pandemic from the shores for a period of time, but at escalating costs. We must ask ourselves if this is worth the price. Those who are foreign-born feel this most acutely – being unable to see friends and family, including unwell relatives and attending important life events. A great deal of suffering has been caused and now we open our borders millions will catch Covid anyway, and many will die. In defence of the government measures, hopefully many fewer than would have without the vaccines. Ultimately, border closures are not a sustainable policy, and do not allow us to avoid a pandemic.

Of all these interventions, some have more merit than others, indeed, some are more justifiable than others. However, we should be honest about their limitations.

One casualty of the pandemic has been our attitude towards science and the interrogation of ideas. Sadly, it may be that the medical profession has done this to itself. By our compulsion to act, and our hubristic attitude to what we can achieve, we have perhaps been blind to our limitations. Indeed, the fact we have acted to dismiss and belittle people with concerns (some valid, some less so) about our interventions, makes us even less able to impartially appraise our recommendations.

The lack of humility not only fails to reflect our limitations, but undermines the basis upon which we practice. I fear this has only been exacerbated by making certain interventions mandatory, as it will be much harder to admit to ourselves either their limitations or side-effects, if they emerge. This will have damaging consequences to the enquiring scepticism necessary for scientific improvement.

Ultimately, after two years of aggressive interventions, it does not appear that we have a clear panacea. There has been no way to avert mass infections, no way to categorically protect ourselves, and, except for vaccinations, very few interventions with clear-cut efficacy. As health professionals, none of us truly believe that wearing masks and visors will prevent us getting Covid, and experiences from the rest of the world corroborate this.

The Covid virus is here to stay. We do not know how it will affect us in the long-run, but we should perhaps have the humility to appreciate that some of our interventions do not work as well as we would like.




Monday, March 07, 2022

Fauci’s New Actions Revealed After Seemingly Disappearing as COVID Narrative Disintegrates

The left’s favorite COVID scold, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been conspicuously absent from the national media for the last few weeks, and the outlets he has been relegated to seem to underscore the Democrats’ new strategy on COVID.

Deservedly or not, Fauci has been the face of the Democrat response to the coronavirus, scolding Americans to give away their freedoms for “safety” from the “pandemic,” demanding that we all must be masked — with two masks, even — advocating for our jobs to be shut down and citizens to be locked in their homes and screeching for our schools to be closed. But since early in February, Fauci has gone from appearing on multiple news outlets per day to being nearly invisible to the news-viewing public.

His sudden disappearance, though, seems to coincide with the emerging realization among Democrats that their constant stream of fear porn over the coronavirus is hurting them politically, and their newly inculcated fear that their laser-like focus on draconian COVID mitigation is going to cost them during the 2022 midterm elections.

Radio host Chris Stigall, for instance, recently noted that election consultants are advising the Democrats to “declare victory over COVID and move on,” and quickly usher in a return to normalcy — and conveniently just before the 2022 elections, too.

Democrats are suddenly warning each other in private to drop further COVID restrictions, to open schools and to end mask mandates.

In light of that bubbling undercurrent in Democrat electoral plotting, Anthony Fauci has suddenly been removed from the powerhouse news outlets and has been relegated to lesser-known blogs, publications and the odd Youtube channel.

Indeed, as The Post Millennial noted, Fauci’s news section of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases website shows only one appearance in March (by March 5), and a scant 14 appearances in all of February. That is a heavy contrast to previous months. In January, for instance, the NIAID news tracker shows that Fauci made 17 appearances and he clocked a whopping 41 in December!

It certainly appears that the Democrat powers that be have decided that the celebrated doc is now a has-been that they don’t want seen by the American people.

Meanwhile, mask mandates are being dropped even by deep blue states. At the end of February, California, Oregon and Washington state all announced pullbacks on masking to various degrees, according to the Wall Street Journal. And by the beginning of February, even Biden’s homes state of Delaware told citizens that masks were no longer necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control also made an about-face and said that most people can doff the masks and added that masks in schools are not necessary.

The CDC’s new guidelines even prompted a group of researchers to urge schools to dump mask mandates for kids altogether.

The end of masking is also amusing. After all, mask zealots claim without evidence that masks “prevent” people from getting COVID, but now these same people are saying that the numbers are down, so we can throw away our masks. But if masks work, shouldn’t they want to stick with them until the numbers approach zero? Why the sudden decision to dump the masks? “Election Day” seems to be the answer to that question.

With all this just coincidentally occurring in time for the 2022 elections, the timing is suspicious, indeed.

Meanwhile, the vaunted Dr. Fauci’s star is dimming, as he appears on obscure YouTube-style channels in a desperate bid to stay relevant. One would think that appearing with an unknown left-winger on the obscure vlog called “WokeAF” is not the optimal exposure he has become used to.

In case you don’t get that title, “Woke” is clear enough, certainly, but the “AF” stands for “as f*ck.” So, now Fauci has been relegated to appearing on video channels with curse words in their title!

That is quite a fall from grace.


Time to put the Covid pandemic behind us

Comment from Australia

While we can safely rule out Vladimir Putin as a contender for this year’s Nobel peace prize, he may not yet be out of the running for the Nobel prize in medicine. After all, the invasion of Ukraine has put a stop to Covid-19, or at least the interminable conversations about a waning pandemic.

Omicron may be ripping through Australia and New Zealand somewhat faster than a fleet of Russian tanks but it presents less danger to human life and limb. Putin has presented the world with something far more frightening than a coronavirus mutation: a hostile invasion of a sovereign neighbour that may yet trigger a wider conflict.

The rains saturating the east coast have provided further distraction from the Covid dark opera. And when even The New York Times runs the headline, “Get Out of Your Pyjamas, the Pandemic is Over”, it should be time to call it quits.

International data should give us the confidence to declare that Covid-19 is in its death throes, having accomplished its mission of infecting every community on Earth, even NZ, where daily case numbers per 100,000 people last week were higher than the peaks in either Britain or the US. Thankfully, however, just like everywhere else, almost nobody is dying. The number of active cases across the world has been steadily declining since its Omicron peak in late January. The stockmarket saw it coming. Shares in Moderna and BioNTech are a quarter of the price they were in August and Pfizer has lost around 20 per cent of its value since December.

Last week, the US Senate narrowly passed a resolution to end the state of emergency. Republican senator Ron Marshall from Kansas, who introduced the measure, described it as “a symbolic victory to our citizens that normalcy is around the corner”. Mopping up the executive overreach, however, may be easier said than done.

Few in positions of authority have mustered the courage to declare the pandemic over. The deadly Wuhan virus, which prompted the World Health Organisation to declare a pandemic, is extinct. Omicron is far less deadly. Yet there appears little appetite to review the pandemic status, suggesting there are those who prefer to keep it in place. The people resisting a return to normality are generally in positions of power and influence. They have profited from the pandemic either financially or through a rise in the sense of their importance.

They include many in the mainstream media who, with some honourable exceptions, have kept their fingers on the panic button, even as the risk to public health has declined.

Two weeks ago, former deputy chief health officer Nick Coatsworth told Chris Kenny on Sky News that the Omicron variant was “clearly not” as dangerous to healthy adults and children as influenza. “If you had to give me a choice between which one I would vaccinate (my children) against, every time I would be choosing influenza over a Covid-19 vaccine,” he said. “That’s how I feel about the difference in severity between the two.”

Coatsworth’s advice was based on clinical experience and data. Yet, as Kenny reflected in The Weekend Australian the following Saturday, most of the rest of the media ignored the story. Taking away our liberties came much easier to the elite than handing them back.

Countless rules, regulations and protocols that were put in place when the risk was perceived to be rising remain in place with no prospect of any immediate review. Worse still, many of the measures were put in place without an expiry date, even though the pandemic was bound to pass.

We should have known after 9/11 that rushed measures to deal with a perceived emergency are hard to remove.

The security guards who were put in place to patrol the walkway on the Sydney Harbour Bridge have been strolling pointlessly up and down 24 hours a day for more than 20 years. No one can remember why they were put there, let alone who has the authority to stand them down, but perhaps someone should find out.

Hopefully, the mask “protocol” (not a rule or regulation) in airports and on domestic flights will be scrapped some time before 2040, but you wouldn’t put your money on it. The measure was agreed by national cabinet in January 2021 and updated in October. Transmission of the virus aboard an aircraft is far rarer than most would imagine, thanks to high-back, forward-facing seats and constant fresh air pumped through highly efficient filters. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that a scrappy mask, carelessly worn, is any more capable of stopping the Omicron variant than a hapless security guard could stop a low-flying 737. Yet the rule remains in place, serving as yet another barrier to civilised human interaction and a burden on those required to enforce it.

The absence of open debate is perhaps the most troubling restriction of all. Coatsworth is not the only person to harbour doubts about booster shots for children or whether universal booster shots, not just for the elderly or others at high risk, is a sensible or proportionate policy.

Questioning whether we really need to ostracise the unvaccinated remains a taboo even as state authorities are considering when dismissed workers could be invited back into their jobs to fill the vacancies for skilled staff in health and education.

Last week, the NZ High Court recognised the new reality by upholding an appeal by unvaccinated police and members of the NZ defence force, declaring their dismissal to be unlawful.

The court found their dismissal was not “a reasonable limit on the applicants’ rights that can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. The expert advice before the court did not show that the dismissal of unvaccinated workers made “a material difference” to health outcomes in the era of Omicron.

In other words, the only justifiable redundancies are the dispensing of superfluous rules.




Sunday, March 06, 2022

Dodgy science behind British lockdown

Scientists did not have accurate Covid data when they predicted that 500,000 people could die if the UK took no action during the first wave of the pandemic.

Modelling from Professor Neil Ferguson and colleagues at Imperial College London published on March 16, 2020, predicted the NHS would be overwhelmed within weeks and a terrible death toll would arise if nothing was done to stop the spread of the disease.

Prior to the 'Report 9' paper, the Government's initial Covid strategy had been to 'mitigate' the spread and build up 'herd immunity' rather than suppress the first wave.

However, sticking to these plans – allowing the spread to continue but slowing it down with limited measures such as home isolation - would still have resulted in 250,000 deaths, according to Imperial’s mathematical model.

The stark modelling is understood to have single-handedly led to the decision to move away from herd immunity to a national lockdown on March 23.

But minutes from a SPI-M (Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling) meeting released to The Telegraph following a Freedom of Information request have shown that, a week earlier, the modellers remained 'uncertain' of case numbers 'due to data limitations'.

Modellers were still waiting for more comprehensive data on mortality from Public Health England and then best estimates on infection fatality rate, hospitalisation rates and the number of patients requiring ICU care were still uncertain.

The team is also understood to have believed that the modelling only showed 'proof of concept' that lockdowns could help deal with Covid, before warning that 'further work would be required'.

Following the release of its model, Imperial College held a press conference, followed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordering the public to avoid pubs, restaurants and non-essential social gatherings later the same day.

At the briefing, Prof Ferguson said new conclusions had been drawn as 'the last few days' had provided 'refinements' in estimates of intensive care and hospital demand.

Minutes now show, though, that SPI-M did not believe the data was complete.

The scientific paper published by Professor Ferguson and his colleagues on the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team was credited for persuading Boris Johnson's Government to ramp up their response to the coronavirus.

The paper, released on March 17, and titled Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand, predicted that the Government's original plan to 'mitigate' the outbreak instead of trying to stop it could have led to a quarter of a million people dying.

Using data from Italy and China, the scientists predicted how different Government measures would have different impacts on the outbreaks.

If no action at all had been taken against the coronavirus it would have claimed 510,000 lives, the team's report said. Had the Government stuck with their strategy of trying to 'mitigate' the spread – allowing it to continue but attempting to slow it down – with limited measures such as home isolation for those with symptoms this number would be roughly halved to 260,000.

If the strictest possible measures are introduced, the number of deaths over a two-year period will fall below 20,000, the scientists said.

Other points in the Imperial College report, titled Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand, included:

Lockdown measures could be brought back if the virus resurfaces after this epidemic is over

The coronavirus outbreak is worse than anything the world has seen since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic

Dramatic measures to suppress an outbreak carry 'enormous social and economic costs which may themselves have significant impact on health and well-being'

Virus transmission happens evenly – one third of cases are caught in the home, one third at work or school, and one third elsewhere in the community

People are thought to be infectious from 12 hours before symptoms start, or from four days after catching the infection if someone doesn't get symptoms

Patients who do get symptoms are thought to be 50 per cent more infectious than those who don't

People are thought to develop at least short-term immunity after catching the virus, meaning they can't catch it again

Approximately 4.4 per cent of patients need hospital care. 30 per cent of those need intensive care, and 50 per cent of intensive care patients can be expected to die, according to data from China

The average length of a hospital stay for a coronavirus patient is 10 days – eight days for those who recover quickly; 16 days for those who need intensive care

It comes after critics earlier described the coding used by Imperial as 'totally unreliable'.

John Carmack, an American developer who helped refine the code before the paper was published online two years ago, said some parts of the code looked like they were machine translated from Fortran', an old coding language.

After growing pressure, the Imperial team released their code, which simulates homes, offices, schools and people movement, and sceptics were quick to point out it was 13 years old.

Bob Seely, MP for the Isle of Wight, today described the the modelling as 'a national scandal'

On March 17, minutes show that the Department of Health wanted to ascertain whether Prof Ferguson had referenced other papers in the Imperial model.

The following day, both Imperial and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) were asked to renew their models ahead of a Sage meeting scheduled later the same day in which the idea of London-only lockdown would be reviewed due to rising cases.

Data continued to be uncertain throughout the remainder of the year, the minutes show, and on September 23 members said 'operational issues' with NHS Test and Trace had caused further problems and made it 'difficult to interpret trends in the data, and added further uncertainty to the modelling'.

They also show that NHS England was 'unwilling' to share timelines for the vaccine rollout, resulting in difficulty modelling the impact of the jab, while the following week modellers raised concerns over how different data streams were 'presenting conflicting messages' on how Covid was changing.

And models used by the Government for Covid Freedom Day on June 21 last year did not include the most recent figures on vaccine efficacy or Public Health England's weekly vaccine surveillance report.

Prof Ferguson described in December how he had become 'something of a marmite figure' as he admitted he 'made mistakes' and 'oversimplified things' during the pandemic.

The epidemiologist said while it had been challenging for most Western governments to act in a timely manner the science throughout the crisis 'had basically been right'.

However, he admitted he had 'made mistakes for which he apologised for'.

Prof Ferguson resigned from the government's scientific advisory group (SAGE) last year after claims emerged that Antonia Staats visited him at home - in breach of lockdown rules.

Imperial College said its team was 'always open about the uncertainty' of its modelling - especially during the early stages of Covid.

The modellers had been quick to raise concern about outbreaks in care homes and hospitals, while members agreed that 'transmission in healthcare is a significant contributor to cases in hospitals' and required further attention.

And speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Prof Ferguson said: ''I think the science we have done throughout this pandemic has basically been right, not absolutely every aspect but basically most of it.

'I suppose I didn't anticipate becoming the public figure I suppose I now am, something of a marmite figure if you put it like that.

He added: 'Half a million was if we did nothing at all which was never going to happen but quarter of a million was if we did plan B, if we just tried to flatten the curve.

'There, the point is, to give the population an assessment of the potential level of threat and in some sense the reason for doing that is to explain the need for certain measures.'