Friday, August 26, 2022

I'm astounded

I have had a lot of good news lately but "wait, there is more". According to ResearchGate, a publication which tracks such matters, my academic publications are getting a lot of attention from other academics. They say that "Your Research Interest Score is higher than 95% of ResearchGate members". The score is mainly made up of citations.

Why is that surprising? Because I last published something in the academic journals back in the '90s. The general view of academic publications is that if it is more than 10 years old it no longer exists. But the advent of the internet means that someone researching a topic will usually do an internet search at some point and that will turn up something relevant regardless of date. So as long as your writings are online they are readily accessible. Most of my publications were written before the internet existed but I have made sure to put them online retrospectively. ResearchGate has them all. Being really old means that I can look a long way back.

And the fact that I have had so many papers published (250+) of course increases the likelihood that I will hit on something of interest to others.

But I mustn't get a big head about it all. I have kept some track of my citations and they mostly come from places like Pakistan and Poland -- not great sources of cutting edge academic endeavour

Another reason for humility is that my papers that other people cite are rarely the ones which I think are most significant or important. Instead people cite papers that are more technical or utilitarian. Still, it is nice to be still ahead of the pack even after 30 years. I did after all devote 20 years of my life -- from 1970 to 1990 -- to doing all that research and writing.

I have also now spent 20 years blogging -- from 2002 to 2022.

In all my writing I have aimed to say things that are informative or helpful to others and I think I have achieved that to a small degree. I do get "thank you" messages occasionally, which I appreciate.



Australia: Covid and miscarriage

‘No evidence Covid-19 vaccines cause miscarriage, despite Queensland doctor claim’, trumpeted the ABCFact Check and RMIT FactLab CheckMate. Unfortunately, that is not true.

The Queensland doctor is Luke McLindon, one of Australia’s leading fertility specialists. He has been collecting data on miscarriages in high-risk patients that he treats for infertility and recurrent miscarriage. Historically, the miscarriage rate has been 12 to 15 per cent. But comparing the period before and after the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommended Covid vaccinations for women at any stage during pregnancy, the miscarriage rate among his patients has more than doubled to almost 50 per cent. Disgracefully, Dr McLindon will not be able to continue his research because he declined a Covid vaccination and as a result his accreditation has been withdrawn, but he is not the only specialist who has identified a problem.

There is an ‘avalanche of data’ showing the Covid injections are not safe according to Dr James Thorp, an obstetrician gynaecologist and specialist in maternal foetal medicine in Florida. He wrote to the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynaecology about a study he completed documenting severe adverse outcomes in women of reproductive age and in pregnancy associated with the Covid injections including: an increase in menstrual irregularities, spontaneous abortion, and abnormalities in the foetus including malformations, cardiac arrest and death which he says occur in VAERS in statistically significant numbers and are corroborated by over 20 plus other independent sources.

Data is emerging elsewhere. The Lancet has just published a study of 5,936 pregnant Canadian women, which showed that only 7 out 339 (2.1 per cent) unvaccinated women had miscarriages compared with 258 out of 5,597 (4.6 per cent) vaccinated women. That’s an increase of 119 per cent in the rate of miscarriage in vaccinated women compared with unvaccinated women, just in the period up to 10 days after the second dose. Incredibly, this was obscured by the researchers who only statistically analysed the 83 miscarriages or stillbirths that occurred within seven days of the first jab. There were ‘an additional 175 individuals who reported experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth between the first Covid-19 vaccine dose and completion of the second survey (up to 10 days after dose two)’, more than twice as many as in the week after the first jab, but these miscarriages were left out of the statistical analysis, with no explanation as to why. In addition, only 3.2 per cent of unvaccinated women experienced a new or worsening health event, whereas 12.1 per cent experienced one after a second jab of Moderna. Why would the researchers fail to highlight the increased risk of vaccination during pregnancy, particularly with the Moderna vaccine? Perhaps because the lead author has been an investigator on projects funded by Pfizer, Moderna and other major pharmaceutical companies as have five of the other authors out of a total of 14.

A study of excess mortality in Germany by Christof Kubandner and Matthias Reitzner shows that in 2020, the observed number of deaths was close to the expected number but from April 2021, the observed number of deaths was two empirical standard deviations above the expected number in deaths in the age groups between 15 and 79 and a similar mortality pattern was observed for stillbirths, with an increase of about 11 per cent in the second quarter of the year 2021.

Lt. Col. Theresa Long, one of the US Army’s top flight surgeons and an expert on public health testified that in addition to strokes, clots, cancers and myocarditis, she has seen a number of adverse reactions related to reproductive health including testicular pain, menstrual irregularity, miscarriages and infertility.

What could be causing this? Dr Deirdre Little worked with the Brighton Collaboration on Vaccine Safety, a member of the WHO-led Vaccine Safety Net. She is concerned that rat studies published in May 2021 which supposedly demonstrate the safety of the Pfizer vaccine with regard to fertility did not include the histology reports of the rat gonads. Dr Little has been battling the Australian regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), for more than 12 months to see those reports but the TGA has repeatedly refused her request as has Pfizer. Both claim however that the reports show only that the vaccine is safe.

It’s hardly convincing. If the reports back up the claims of safety why not provide them? A report released by the TGA under Freedom of Information showed that the vaccine accumulated in rat ovaries at 48 hours post dose at more than ten times the concentration in other organs, with the exception of liver, spleen and adrenals. Does a similar phenomenon occur in the ovaries of females? Could it affect ovarian function? It is impossible to say without further research, starting with an examination of what happened in the ovaries of rats.

Dr Little highlights a disturbing report from 1993 which found that injected polysorbate 80, one of the mRNA vaccine excipients, has a proven association with ovarian toxicity in rats and its effects resemble those of diethylstilboestrol (DES), a drug used in pregnancy that was eventually linked to miscarriage, stillbirth, and breast, cervical and vaginal cancers.

Dr Little writes that what this means is that vaccines have been mandated which have been only provisionally approved, have been shown to concentrate in the mammalian ovary, have a statistically established safety signal for abnormal menses following vaccination, are also associated with post-menopausal bleeding, and contain a product similar to polysorbate 80, whose delayed effect resembles diethylstilboestrol toxicity to the ovaries and uterine lining when injected into rats, yet the TGA and Pfizer refuse to release the histology reports.

So is the ABC correct that there is no evidence that vaccines increase the risk of miscarriages? Certainly, if there is evidence, the regulator, the pharmaceutical company and the medical establishment is doing everything that it can to prevent it emerging. And yet in multiple places there are worrying signs for those willing to look.


Conservatives Shouldn’t Apologize for Healthy Skepticism of Big Government

“Conservatives need to get over their allergy to government action.”

That was the headline on an opinion column by Henry Olsen last week in The Washington Post. Olsen is not alone among conservatives in thinking so.

Across much of the right today, there’s more openness to having government do more in the economy. Olsen observes that there are significant constituencies in America, especially blue-collar America, who appear supportive of a conservative agenda that would involve more state intervention, whether in the form of industrial policy, tariffs, or more expansive entitlement programs.

The right, Olsen wrote, cannot ignore those trends if it wants to stay electorally relevant. That necessitates moving away from what he labels “market fundamentalism.”

Winning elections is very important. But to embrace a bigger economic role for government amounts to conservatives endorsing policies that would push the United States even further in social democratic directions that would undermine America’s long-term economic and political well-being.

Here’s the fact often omitted by contemporary conservatives friendly to more government economic intervention: The American economy is already awash with interventionist policies—so much so that, according to The Heritage Foundation’s 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, overall economic liberty in America has been in decline since 2008. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

The index ranked America as the world’s 25th-freest economy. Many of the countries listed ahead of it are European nations with strong social democratic traditions. Moreover, the index adds:

Government spending [in America] has amounted to 38.9 percent of total output (GDP) over the past three years, and budget deficits have averaged 9.0 percent of GDP. Public debt is equivalent to 127.1 percent of GDP.

That doesn’t sound like small government to me.

In fact, even with the extra state spending induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has been spending like a drunken sailor for quite some time—and using debt to do so.

Leaving aside the ruinous expenditure levels and notorious inefficiencies associated with interventionist policies, there are serious political problems associated with conservatives adopting more economically interventionist stances.

“There’s a middle ground,” Olsen asserts, “between government directing everything or nothing.” Alas, if there’s anything that 20th-century economic history shows, it is that once the state’s economic role moves beyond securing certain public goods—the rule of law, property rights, national security, public works, etc. (none of which are small endeavors)—the genie is hard to put back in the bottle.

The middle ground thus ends up not being an essentially market economy operating within a framework of the rule of law and intertwined in a robust civil society. Instead, it becomes a type of social democracy in which excessive state power is omnipresent throughout the economy.

That doesn’t mean that you eventually get a Soviet-style command economy. But you do find yourself encumbered with the rampant cronyism that infects so much of D.C. politics, and, more insidiously, what the great political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville described in his classic “Democracy in America” as “soft despotism.”

Soft despotism is a Faustian bargain between the political class and the public. It involves “an immense protective power,” Tocqueville wrote, in assuming prime responsibility for everyone’s happiness—provided that power remains “sole agent and judge of it.”

That power would, Tocqueville added, “resemble parental authority” and attempt to keep people “in perpetual childhood” by relieving them “from all the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living.”

That’s the deal that progressives have proposed to Americans for more than a century. And it has saddled America with social and economic disasters like President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which, as the economic historian Amity Shlaes illustrates in her book “Great Society,” wreaked havoc upon black America and the white working class.

In that light, there’s no reason to think that conservatives can devise an interventionist agenda that somehow avoids all of the problems—the one-size-fits-all mentality approach, the unintended consequences, the inability to address the non-material causes often central to social dysfunctionality, et al.— inseparable from such policies.

Faith in state intervention to effect positive economic and political change has also encumbered America with a vast administrative state. It’s no secret that these federal government departments, administrative bodies, and regulatory agencies are dominated by people ranging from indifferent to hostile to conservative ideas. Why would American conservatives want to affirm (let alone augment) the administrative state’s power by adopting economically interventionist programs?

Americans deserve better than having to choose between soft and hard versions of social democracy at election time. Nor should they have to put up with economic debates being reduced to who is willing to spend more.

If anything, American conservatives need to be more allergic to government economic intervention—not less.




Thursday, August 25, 2022

Fauci's lockdown legacy: Increases in cancer and drug overdose deaths, a mental health crisis, financial devastation and disruptions to education that left millions of kids behind

Dr Antony Fauci will step down from his post in December, and will leave behind the legacy of his support for COVID-19 lockdowns responsible for thousands of preventable deaths, disruptions to every day life that caused a nationwide mental health crisis, financial devastation for millions and stoppages in education that will impact the next generation for the remainder of their lives.

America's most recognizable public health official announced plans to step down from his post as director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Disease (NIAID) in December. The end of his near-40 year reign as the nation's top infectious disease expert was largely met with praise, but some experts say his legacy will be the devastation caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns he fervently supported throughout the pandemic.

Dr Marty Makary, a public health expert at Johns Hopkins University, wrote for Common Sense that the 'draconian policies' supported by Fauci - who served as chief medical officer for both President Trump and Biden - have left millions of Americans worse for wear.

When COVID-19 first erupted around the United States in March 2020, the novel virus caught officials on their backfoot. Little was known about the new threat and news of the devastation it had caused across China and much of Europe terrified millions stateside.

In a panic, many officials instituted lockdowns, closing schools, restaurants and all kinds of businesses.

As more was learned about the virus, it was realized that Covid was far less deadly than initially believed. A analysis of data from the CDC and Johns Hopkins found that the mortality rate of the virus had dropped as low as 2.8 percent in the United States by September 1, 2020.

It also became clear that while particular groups were at risk, the average person without significant comorbidities should worry about it as much as they do the common flu.

While some red states chose to reopen — and even blue states eventually came along by late-2020 - Fauci remained a fervent supporter for closures, capacity limits and mask orders around America — with little regard for the ancillary issues that arose as a result of these orders.

'To COVID-19 he brought a monomaniacal focus on vanquishing a single virus, whatever the cost — neglecting the damage that can follow when public health loses sight of the public's health,' Makary wrote.

'...What were the impact of those policies on millions of Americans? And what would the country look like now had our public health experts taken a different approach?'

Lockdowns and the fear of the virus perpetuated by officials led to thousands skipping out on routine medical treatments. As a result, the nation suffered a stark increase in deaths from cancer, Alzheimer's and other conditions — much of which could have been prevented.

Disruptions to every day social life led to a surge in mental health issues that has left the nation — which is already facing a massive shortage in therapists — in a lurch. Social isolation has also been named one of the leading drivers in the surge in drug overdose deaths recorded during the pandemic's first year — eclipsing 100,000 for the first time ever.

The closure of businesses caused a surge in employment, leaving Americans waiting in hours-long lines for food pantries. Policies enacted to keep families afloat during lockdowns are now in part to blame for the nation's staggering inflation.

Children may have suffered the most. Experts fear closing in-person education for virtual classes led to massive 'learning loss,' leaving them worse off for the rest of their academic careers. It also harmed the social development of millions, whose interactions with their peers went from the playgrounds to their phone screens.

The 'Covid deaths' left uncounted

Fear of COVID-19 led to many Americans refusing to seek out medical attention for certain issues, or to cancel treatments that were already underway.

In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on excess deaths from all conditions during the first year of the pandemic from March 2020 to 2021.

Generally, death figures within a country will stay the same year-over-year, with small miniscule changes due to population growth. The same ratio of people that die of cancer in one country in one year than did the year previous, for example.

While Covid was the leading cause of excess deaths, large increases in deaths caused by heart disease and dementia, among other causes, were also recorded during the pandemic.

The CDC report found stark increases in deaths from heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's, cancer and diabetes.

These increases are directly attributable to reduced access to medical care. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that cancer screening was significantly reduced if not outright paused during the pandemic.

As a result, studies have found that while cancer diagnosis have decreased since the pandemic began the ones that are being found are more serious. This indicates that there are many more cases out there than being recorded, but only people suffering severe late-stage symptoms are coming in to be screened.

Cancer deaths in America rose by three percent in 2020, up to 686,054, according to official figures. The NCI fears that the many undiagnosed cases from 2020 will cause this number to increase further — especially for breast and colorectal cancers.

Lockdowns also caused disruptions in care for dementia, Alzheimer's and other cognitive issues.

The Alzheimer's Society warned in June 2020 — a few months into lockdown — that patients were experiencing 'shocking' declines in their condition and 'rapidly losing memory, speech, and ability to dress and feed themselves' as many could no longer receive treatment.

The Alzheimer's Association reports that deaths from the condition increased by 16 percent in 2021.

Disruptions to life left many isolated and turning to drugs

Covid lockdowns led to millions missing important family gatherings like birthdays and weddings, an entire graduation class never got to walk across the stage, and smaller weekly meetups that allowed people to see their loved ones were halted for months-on-end.

This had a disastrous impact on Americans' mental health.

A report published last year by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that the number of American adults reporting anxiety or depression symptoms surged from 11 percent in 2019 to 41 percent in 2021.

The younger a person is, the harder they seem to have been hit as well. More than half — 56 percent — of those between the ages of 18 to 24 reported feeling anxiety or depression, with 48 percent of 25 to 49-year-olds saying the same.

A CDC survey found that 19.9 percent of high schoolers — typically between ages 14 and 18 — had contemplated suicide in 2021, with nine percent even attempting the act.

This has led to a surge in Americans seeking out mental health care, leaving a nation already facing a massive shortage in mental health professionals facing a crisis.

'I can't refer people to other people because everybody is full. Nobody's taking new patients ... So I've never been as busy in my life, during the pandemic, and ever in my career,' Valentine Raiteri, a New York City-based psychiatrist told CNBC in February.

Experts fear the damage caused by the pandemic — and the lack of access to treatments — will last a generation. Millions who were afflicted by mental health issues during lockdown will never shake their symptoms.

In the most devastating examples, social isolation caused by the the virus led to substance abuse, with many dying as a result.

America suffered a record 99,098 drug overdose deaths during the first year of the pandemic — a figure that has since been smashed by the 107,622 in 2021 as a whole.

'Factors related to the pandemic, such as social isolation, stress, and decreased access to substance use disorder treatment and emergency services made [America's drug overdose] problem worse,' the Senate Republican Committee wrote in March.

Millions plunged into financial uncertainty — and a cost-of-living crisis

Lockdowns and business closures left business owners big and small scrambling, suddenly unable to stay afloat. There were layoffs en masse, leading to a surge in unemployment — with the national rate reaching 15 percent at one point in April 2020.

Job losses plunged millions into economic uncertainty. Staggering pictures of Americans lining up by the hundreds at food pantries and soup kitchens around the country made headlines.

To prevent full collapse as a result of the Fauci-supported lockdowns, the federal government reduced down interest rates, boosted unemployment payments and handed out stimulus checks to millions.

These policies sparked an inflationary crisis the nation is still reeling from. At its peak in June, Americans faced a 9.1 percent year-over-year inflation rate in June. A analysis from last month revealed that — at the time — American families were paying an average of $5,915 more per year on household items.

Inflation slightly contracted in July, falling to 8.5 percent but still a margin many American families cannot afford.

The analytics firm InMarket found that from October 2021 to June 2022 the amount of groceries being purchased at dollar stores had jumped 71 percent, a signal that Americans are willing to downgrade quality of food to make their dollars go longer.

John Micklitsch, Chief Investment Officer at Cleveland-based wealth management firm Ancora explained to Forbes how the lockdowns impacted inflation: 'It's largely due to a perfect storm of supply chain disruption from Covid, government spending to fill the economic void and a synchronized global recovery driven by vaccine rollout and economies re-opening.

'The pandemic is probably just the event that exposed over a decade of underinvestment in the global commodity supply chain and the vulnerability of "just-in-time" inventories to this sort of supply shock.'

Steven Saunders, an advisory with Round Table Wealth Management said: 'Prices are increasing simply due to a mismatch in the supply and demand of goods.

'Over the last 16 months or so, pandemic restrictions closed many factories and shipping routes around the globe, resulting in less availability of products.'

The children who were left behind

Weeks into the pandemic it became apparent that certain groups suffered little to no risk from the virus. For children in particular, infection was little more than a simple cold.

'Very early on in this pandemic, we knew that there was an extremely stratified risk from Covid,' Makary wrote.

'The elderly and those with co-morbidities were especially vulnerable, while children were extremely unlikely to get dangerously ill.'

Despite this, many schools remained closed to finish the 2019-2020 school year, and some even began the following fall semester remotely. Schools that did return often forced young children to remain masked all day.

Virtual learning is not as instructive as an in-person education. A study published in April found that students who attended school virtually lost one-fifth of a school year's worth of knowledge. Children who come from less-educated families struggled the most.

Fauci remained inconsistent on school closures throughout the pandemic's first year, first supporting them before vaguely waffling about needing to do so safely with masks and testing requirements.

A study published in January — using data from the U.S. and across the world — found that the closures led to increases in mental health issues, child abuse, substantial increases in screen time, jumps in childhood obesity and an overall drop in the well-being of children.

'There are strong theoretical reasons to suggest that school closures may have contributed to a considerable proportion of the harms identified here, particularly mental health harms, through reduction in social contacts with peers and teachers,' researchers wrote.

'Schooling occupies the greater part of students’ awake time during the week, and social mixing studies show that social contacts are higher during the week than on weekdays, most social contacts of children and adolescents are with same-age peers with a smaller degree with family, and that social mixing is reduced during school holidays.'

The isolation caused by these closures also helped fuel the mental health crisis striking Americans.

Schools requiring masks to reopen, which was found to have done little to prevent transmission of the virus, harmed children as well.

Around 40 percent of parents reported that their child suffered emotionally or mentally from having to wear a face-covering in class each day, according to a March study.

Despite this evidence, Fauci told Fox News this week: 'I don’t think it’s forever irreparably damaged anyone.'




Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Virtually no patients infected with either the BA.1 or BA.2 sublineages experienced symptoms or disease

Academic journal article below

COVID-19 Disease Severity in Persons Infected With Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 Sublineages and Association With Vaccination Status

Adeel A. Butt et al.

Infection with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is associated with less severe disease compared with the Delta variant.1-3 Two main Omicron sublineages—BA.1 and BA.2—have variable geographic distribution. In Qatar, BA.1 was initially predominant but was quickly replaced by BA.2 as the predominant sublineage. This study sought to determine and compare the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection among persons infected with these sublineages.


The study was approved by the institutional review boards of the Hamad Medical Corporation, Weill Cornell Medicine−Qatar, and Qatar University. A waiver of informed consent was granted because of the retrospective nature of the data retrieval. This retrospective cohort study followed Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline.

Using the national COVID-19 database in Qatar, we identified all COVID-19 infections diagnosed between December 19, 2021, and February 6, 2022, in adults (≥18 years). We matched each patient with BA.1 infection with a patient with BA.2 infection, including by age, sex, nationality, comorbidities, and vaccination status. Additional analyses were conducted after excluding all persons with a prior documented infection and all vaccinated persons. The primary outcome was COVID-19 case severity, criticality, and fatality using the World Health Organization guidelines4,5 as assessed by trained medical personnel who reviewed the patients’ medical charts.

Based on national surveillance data, infections between December 19, 2021, and February 6, 2022, were classified as Omicron infections. The BA.1 sublineage infection was proxied as S-gene target failure (SGTF) using the TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit (Thermo-Fisher Scientific) while BA.2 sublineage was proxied as a non−SGTF.


From 24 301 total cases of BA.1 and 125 687 of BA.2, we were able to form 20 812 matched pairs of patients (median age [IQR], 35.0 [28.0-44.0] years; 47.9% women; 85.5% with no comorbidities). Of this final sample, 18.7% of patients were unvaccinated and 8.8% had received a booster dose in each group. Severe, critical, or fatal outcomes were recorded in 33 (0.2%) of patients with BA.1 and 36 (0.2%) of those with BA.2 (P = .25; Table 1). All patients with BA.1 and 35 of 36 (97.2%) with BA.2 were among those who had not received a booster dose (Table 1). In conditional logistic regression analyses accounting for exact matching, vaccination with 2 vaccine doses more than 3 months prior to infection (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.22; 95% CI, 0.13-0.36) or with a booster dose (aOR, 0.02; 95% CI, 0.00-0.14) were associated with a significantly lower risk of any composite severe, critical, or fatal outcomes. Prior natural infection was not associated with a lower risk of these outcomes (aOR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.04-2.14; Table 2); stratification by the sublineage yielded similar results.

We repeated the analyses after excluding those with prior documented SARS-CoV-2 infection and those who were vaccinated. The results mirrored our primary analyses, with a lower risk among the vaccinated, particularly among patients who had received a booster dose.


The findings of this study provide reassurances at multiple levels. First, 99.8% to 99.9% of patients infected with either the BA.1 or BA.2 sublineages experienced no symptoms or mild disease. Second, there was no difference in the severity of illness between BA.1 and BA.2 sublineages infections. Among individuals who had received a booster vaccine dose, only 1 person experienced any severe, critical, or fatal outcome.

This study’s data set was derived from the Qatar National COVID-19 database with complete polymerase chain reaction testing and vaccination records. Outcomes were obtained from individual medical charts by trained independent reviewers. However, BA.1 and BA.2 sublineage ascertainment was based on proxy criteria—presence or absence of SGTF using the TaqPath Kit.6 Some Omicron infections may have been misclassified as Delta infections, but this is unlikely because Delta incidence was low during the study.

In conclusion, SARS-CoV-2 infection with the Omicron variant sublineages BA.1 and BA.2 was rarely associated with severe, critical, or fatal disease. There is no discernable difference in severity of BA.1 vs BA.2 infections. Risk of severity is further mitigated by vaccination, particularly the receipt of a booster dose.


Fauci, a flawed figurehead

So farewell, Anthony Fauci, the unfortunate face of America’s pandemic response. Well, not so unfortunate – the doctor is stepping down as head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases this December, riding off into the sunset with a reported $350,000 per year golden parachute, the largest pension in US federal history.

Fauci has developed something of a reputation for baffling the public – whether it be for contradictory advice on the efficacy of masks or herd immunity or vaccines. Even his resignation announcement was confusing:

I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career… While I am moving on from my current positions, I am not retiring.

Fauci will be 82 in December. America’s gerontocracy just refuses to budge. In fairness, Fauciwasa pretty good doctor in his prime. Republicans tried to attack him over his handling of Aids, but his record on that public health crisis stacks up pretty well.

During the Covid pandemic, however, Fauci made the mistake a lot of experts made: he equated himself with the entire concept of science as a way of giving his pronouncements an aura of infallibility. ‘Irepresent science,’ he said, as a response to criticism after he repeatedly said his institute didn’t fund ‘gain of function’ virology research in Wuhan, when in fact it did.

Of course Fauci wasn’t the evil mastermind that so many deranged cynics say he was – even if he did dismiss the idea that Covid originated in a lab as a mad conspiracy theory when private emails suggested he may well have known otherwise. Maybe Fauci was just a lot like Donald Trump or Joe Biden: old, faltering, and heavily influenced by the people around him – someone who craved public approval above all. The boring truth about him probably isn’t that he is involved in any sinister conspiracy, it’s that he ignored evidence that didn’t help him and got swept along by a wider zeitgeist instead.

Much like Biden, Fauci perfectly represents that stubborn generation of Americans who have been running their country for decades. As their competence and faculties fade, their grip on power only tightens.He became head of NIAID at just 43, then held the role for almost 40 years.

Fauci appeared to enjoy being the main character of this pandemic rather too much. Commentators fawned over him when he looked so conspicuously uncomfortable next to Trump in those now infamous press conferences when the President rambled wildly about the virus.

Fauci fandom quickly reached cultish levels. The Mayor of Washington, DC said his birthday should renamed ‘Dr. Anthony S. Fauci Day’. He appeared on the cover of Time magazine twice. He also appeared on the cover of magazines such People, InStyle and others. But, like health experts almost everywhere else, Fauci simply pinballed from one official narrative to another. Often there was little to no change in the actual science, just a war-time sense that the public must be scared or reassured for their own good.

In February 2020, he warned that 20 per cent of Covid cases would require hospitalisation, a blunder (shared by many) that did more than anything to fuel the mass lockdowns of spring 2020. In March, Fauci criticised masks for the – accurate, it turns out – reason that face coverings don’t really do much other than make people ‘feel’ safer. He then said his real priority was saving masks for health workers. By summer, however, he had become a big masking fan. In May 2020, he said ‘I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing,’ By 2021, Fauci said that the bizarre practice of double masking was ‘common sense’.

At times, Fauci almost admitted that he was essentially making up health advice to manipulate the public into doing what he decided was best. For instance, when it came to herd immunity, Fauci said: ‘When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 per cent… Then, when newer surveys said 60 per cent or more would take it, I thought, “I can nudge this up a bit,” so I went to 80, 85.

But Fauci’s biggest blunder probably wasn’t anything specific he said about masks, or infection rates, or vaccines. It was his broader failure to speak scientific sense when he had the visibility and credibility to at least try. He could have pointed out that cyclical lockdowns for years on end were ineffective and unworkable, but he never really did. He could have called out the hypocritical idea that the Black Lives Matter protests or riots ought somehow to be exempt from social distancing regulations because they were politically fashionable. But he didn’t.

Angry right-wingers now babble about arresting Fauci or suggest that his retirement is an attempt to dodge Congressional testimony after the midterms. Democrats, meanwhile, write mad children’s books about him. His fans and his enemies give him too much credit. In the end, Fauci didn’t actually create mask guidelines or impose lockdowns. He wasn’t doing any substantial work on creating or testing a vaccine. He just became the mascot for a kind of Covid mania. And he loved every second.




Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Ron DeSantis will save conservatism

Trump again with DeSantis as veep would be an unstoppable force

There is an inevitability to Ron DeSantis’ rise to power that terrifies Democrat leaders. He is not an unstable political storm, loitering off the coast in fits of distant thunder and light. There are plenty of populist noise-makers whose swift media rise whittles to nothing within the year. They either lack the political fortitude to survive or are set upon by well-organised mobs of censorial algorithms and aggressive media outlets that see ‘clicks’ in the demise of White House hopefuls.

DeSantis is the tide, waiting for the political forces to align in his favour. Challenging Trump would be as damaging as William usurping the Queen and so, unlike the raucous of his ‘never-Trump’ peers, DeSantis busies himself with the State of Florida. His patience is marked by victories in an ongoing culture war against malign progressive thinking. He has proven, beyond question, that strength of character and an abandonment of ‘polite’ acquiescence is key to protecting the nation’s children from predatory ideologies.

While limp conservative parties in Europe, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia paint themselves green and pick up the cross of Marxist ‘struggle’, DeSantis rests on the premise that fighting for traditional values is right – presently, historically, and for the future.

He rejects, outright, the notion of handing children over to the medical profession to be sliced and set on a permanent course of medical intervention. He refuses to follow Democrat Governors in allowing the State and education system to assume authority over the mental health of other people’s children – or to use children as an infant cheer squad to ‘affirm’ the feelings of activist adults who treat the school system as their personal therapy session.

Florida’s don’t say ‘gay’ bill – now law – caused all manner of uproar. In reality, all it did was reset the education system to the same state of normality that we grew up with where teachers were not allowed to indoctrinate children, either subtly or directly, into the adult ideas of gender and sexual orientation at primary grade levels.

Why would a responsible adult teacher wish to do this when there was never any need to?

A cursory look at the teacher Tik Tok culture reveals that in many cases, it is more about how the teacher ‘feels’ when their class parrots activist terms rather than the future mental health of those children.

Children under the care of activists frequently end up wrongly confused during an age where it is not uncommon for them to believe they are animals and superheroes. Imagination without maturity makes children naturally delusional – which is perfectly healthy so long as they are surrounded by responsible adults who allow ‘play’ within the boundaries of reason. They must and will grow out of the belief that they are ‘literally Batman’.

The Guardian writes:

"It [the Bill] was designed to do one thing and one thing only: terrorise LGBTQ+ people. Like Texas’s abortion bounty law, the don’t say gay bill gives parents the power to levy lawsuits against teachers or schools they believe contravene the deliberately broad law. The threat of being hit with a costly lawsuit means that it’s likely underfunded school districts will err on the side of caution and ask teachers to avoid saying or doing anything that could be possibly be construed as queer. Indeed, lawyers have already told teachers in Orange county public schools that they should be careful not to wear rainbows; avoid mentioning same-sex spouses or displaying any pictures of them; and ensure they remove safe-space stickers from their classroom doors".

To which parents in Florida would argue that their children have been wrongly terrorised by the previous inappropriate behaviour of teachers who felt it necessary to bring their personal lives and activism into the classroom where it wasn’t wanted, needed, or appropriate.

Under such attacks from the press, an Australian conservative party would have folded immediately, fooled by the emotive language, and been swiftly herded into reverse until they were not only agreeing with progressive demands but promising to ‘go further’.

No matter how much the activist class complain, it is Ron DeSantis who receives standing ovations and the support of fed-up parents. His Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Bill cleverly acronymed to Stop WOKE has infuriated Marxists because it prevents them from telling children they are ‘victims’ or ‘oppressors’ based on their skin colour, or inherently ‘sexist’ because they are boys.

It outlaws teachers suggesting that people are:

‘Inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; that people are privileged or oppressed based on race, gender, or national origin; or that a person “bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress” over actions committed in the past by members of the same race, gender, or national origin. The law defines such training as discrimination.’

Well, it’s about bloody time someone cut out the racist, sexist, Marxist garbage that indulges in the horrific folly of ‘original sin’ and sets in motion a perpetual tribal culture of struggle based on things that never happened to today’s people. In other words, the Marxists are furious that they cannot instil their personal grudges in the minds of innocent children and use them as child soldiers for the ‘revolution’ against capitalism that they desperately want despite showing no desire to go and live in one of the many communist countries on offer.

Instead of complaining about the law, the Left should have sat themselves down and asked why the hell they wanted to corrupt the minds of kids and destroy the peace of innocence to sate their old-fashioned collectivist politics that destroyed Europe last century.

Oh, the irony that the World Socialist Web Site calls this return to common sense ‘fascism’ when the shadow of fascism is exactly what the Left propose. Racial power movements like Black Lives Matter that practice racial supremacy under the raised fist of Marxism and have no place in any school, let alone a civilised society.

Bewilderingly, the courts are fighting to uphold racial discrimination by insisting that workplaces should be allowed to teach about ‘white male privilege’. Hopefully, they lose and racism is thrown out for good.

DeSantis has shown conservatives around the world that while their voter base may be too timid to oppose the fists, censorship, and bullying of progressive social warriors – they do not agree with what has happened to society. When they are given a choice to follow a true leader who has the courage to challenge the destruction of Western Civilisation, conservative voters line up, ready to vote.

Eventually, DeSantis will appear as an unstoppable red wave.


Are Conservatives Dumber Than Liberals?

This article goes back a few years but is still very relevant

It depends on how you define "conservative." The research shows classical liberals/libertarians are smartest of all.

Conservatives exhibit less cognitive ability than liberals do. Or that's what it says in the social science literature, anyway. A 2010 study using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, for example, found that the IQs of young adults who described themselves as "very liberal" averaged 106.42, whereas the mean of those who identified as "very conservative" was 94.82. Similarly, when a 2009 study correlated cognitive capacity with political beliefs among 1,254 community college students and 1,600 foreign students seeking entry to U.S. universities, it found that conservatism is "related to low performance on cognitive ability tests." In 2012, a paper reported that people endorse more conservative views when drunk or under cognitive pressure; it concluded that "political conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought."

So have social scientists really proved that conservatives are dumber than liberals? It depends crucially on how you define "conservative."

For an inkling of what some social scientists think conservatives believe, parse a 2008 study by the University of Nevada at Reno sociologist Markus Kemmelmeier. To probe the political and social beliefs of nearly 7,000 undergraduates at an elite university, Kemmelmeier devised a set of six questions asking whether abortion, same-sex marriage, and gay sex should be legal, whether handguns and racist/sexist speech on campus should be banned, and whether higher taxes should be imposed on the wealthy. The first three were supposed to measure the students' views of "conservative gender roles," and the second set was supposed to gauge their "anti-regulation" beliefs. Kemmelmeier clearly thought that "liberals" would tend to be OK with legal abortion, same-sex marriage, and gay sex, and would opt to ban handguns and offensive speech and to tax the rich. Conservatives would supposedly hold the opposite views.

Savvy readers may recognize a problem with using these questions to sort people into just two ideological categories. And sure enough, Kemmelmeier got some results that puzzled him. He found that students who held more traditional views on gender and sex roles averaged lower on their verbal SAT and Achievement Test scores. "Surprisingly," he continued, this was not true of students with anti-regulation attitudes. With them, "all else being equal, more conservative respondents scored higher than more liberal respondents." Kemmelmeier ruefully notes that "this result was not anticipated" and "diametrically contradicts" the hypothesis that conservatism is linked to lower cognitive ability. Kemmelmeier is so evidently lost in the intellectual fog of contemporary progressivism that he does not realize that his questionnaire is impeccably designed to identify classical liberals, a.k.a. libertarians, who endorse liberty in both the social and economic realms.

So how smart are libertarians compared to liberals and conservatives? In a May 2014 study in the journal Intelligence, the Oxford sociologist Noah Carl attempts to answer to that question. Because research has "consistently shown that intelligence is positively correlated with socially liberal beliefs and negatively correlated with religious beliefs," Carl suggests that in the American political context, social scientists would expect Republicans to be less intelligent than Democrats. Instead, Republicans have slightly higher verbal intelligence scores (2–5 IQ points) than Democrats. How could that be?

Carl begins by pointing out that there is data suggesting that a segment of the American population holding classical liberal beliefs tends to vote Republican. Classical liberals, Carl notes, believe that an individual should be free to make his own lifestyle choices and to enjoy the profits derived from voluntary transactions with others. He proposes that intelligence actually correlates with classically liberal beliefs.

To test this hypothesis, Carl uses data on political attitudes and intelligence derived from the General Social Survey, which has been administered to representative samples of American adults every couple of years since 1972. Using GSS data, respondents are classified on a continuum ranging from strong Republican through independent to strong Democrat. Carl then creates a measure of socially liberal beliefs based on respondents' attitudes toward homosexuality, marijuana consumption, abortion, and free speech for communists, racists, and advocates for military dictatorship. He similarly probes liberal economic views, with an assessment of attitudes toward government provision of jobs, industry subsidies, income redistribution, price controls, labor unions, and military spending. Verbal Intelligence is evaluated using the GSS WORDSUM test results.

Comparing strong Republicans with strong Democrats, Carl finds that Republicans have a 5.48 IQ point advantage over Democrats. Broadening party affiliation to include moderate to merely leaning respondents still results in a Republican advantage of 3.47 IQ points and 2.47 IQ points respectively. Carl reconciles his findings with the social science literature that reports that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives by proposing that Americans with classically liberal beliefs are even smarter. Carl further reports that those who endorse both social conservatism and economic statism also have lower verbal IQ scores.

"Overall, my findings suggest that higher intelligence among classically liberal Republicans compensates for lower intelligence among socially conservative Republicans," concludes Carl. If the dumb, I mean socially conservative, Republicans keep disrespecting us classical liberals, we'll take our IQ points and go home.

As gratifying as Carl's research findings are, it is still a deep puzzle to me why it apparently takes high intelligence to understand that the government should stay out of both the bedroom and the boardroom.




Monday, August 22, 2022

Lawsuits Coming for Entities That Don’t Change COVID Mandates After CDC Update: Lawyer

Entities with COVID-19 vaccine mandates that don’t pay heed to the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance will face lawsuits, a civil liberties lawyer says.

“We don’t have a new lawsuit in the works yet. But if we see that colleges and universities and public employers are not responding to the new CDC guidance the way that they should be, then we would certainly tee up a new lawsuit,” Mark Chenoweth, president and general counsel at the New Civil Liberties Alliance, told The Epoch Times.

The response to the updated guidance should be, at a minimum, a lifting of mandates for people who have recovered from COVID-19, he added.

Such people have a high level of protection against severe illness and death, according to a number of studies. Many studies indicate the protection is higher than that of the COVID-19 vaccines—including one study funded by the CDC.

The CDC issued updated guidance on Aug. 11, stating in part that risk for illness from COVID-19 “is considerably reduced by immunity derived from vaccination, previous infection, or both” and that “persons who have had COVID-19 but are not vaccinated have some degree of protection against severe illness from their previous infection.”

The public health agency rolled back quarantine recommendations for people, regardless of vaccination status, citing the high amount of immunity in the U.S. population from vaccination, prior infection, or both.

Since virtually all entities that have imposed mandates have cited CDC guidance, the entities won’t be able to argue they aren’t aware of the updated guidance, according to Chenoweth.

That means any institution that doesn’t alter or rescind its mandate in light of the update “is ripe for a lawsuit,” he said.

“Because the thing that the judges have said so far is that it was rational for these employers to follow CDC guidance, but now the CDC guidance is different. And if they’re now going forward with these mandates for example, against people who have natural immunity in the teeth of the CDC guidance on that question, then I think it’s going to be much harder for them to win even a rational basis challenge to their policies.”


The New Civil Liberties Alliance has brought lawsuits against Michigan State University (MSU), the U.S. government, Fairfax County Public Schools, George Mason University, and Rhode Island officials over mandates that the legal group says are illegal.

They have focused on how entities aren’t granting exemptions to people with proof that they’ve recovered from COVID-19.

While one of the cases won the plaintiff an exemption from the mandate, judges have ruled against many others, often tracing the mandates to CDC guidance.

“Plaintiffs have the burden of negating every rational basis that supports the MSU vaccine mandate, and the Court finds that they have failed to do so,” U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney, a George W. Bush appointee, wrote in February as he dismissed the suit.

“CDC guidance is clear: ‘[V]accination remains the safest and primary strategy to prevent SARS-CoV2 infections,'” he added. “In achieving MSU’s stated legitimate goal of protecting its students and staff from COVID-19, it was plainly rational, in July 2021 when MSU established the policy, for MSU to rely on CDC guidance and require its students and staff to receive the COVID vaccination.”

The CDC has long maintained that vaccination is superior to natural immunity, and urged people with natural immunity to get vaccinated, even though many studies show that natural immunity provides better protection than vaccination and some suggest that people who recovered from COVID-19 are at higher risk of side effects if they do get a vaccine.

Moreover, some experts say getting vaccinated after recovery doesn’t make sense because the increase in protection is negligible, though others say the increase is worth the risk.

Could Have Changed in 2021

Chenoweth said the CDC should have updated its guidance in 2021. “I think it’s remarkable that it’s taken the CDC this long to come around to admitting the science on this topic. The science was there at least a year ago when we started litigating the issue of whether or not folks with natural immunity should be subjected to vaccine mandates,” he said.

A CDC spokeswoman told The Epoch Times in an email that the update was based on having more tools such as treatments than were available in 2020 and “the reality that nearly the entire U.S. adult population now has some level of immunity, either due to vaccination, past infection, or both.”

“We also have a better understanding of who is at higher risk for getting very sick with COVID-19 and ways we can help protect them from severe disease. With more tools to protect ourselves and our communities from severe illness from COVID-19—like vaccination, boosters, and treatments—we have increased protection and flexibility for the future. CDC’s commitment to addressing COVID-19 is strong and as a nation, we continue to respond to evolving challenges and identify best practices related to COVID-19,” she added.

The spokesperson didn’t respond when asked why the guidance wasn’t updated in 2021.

Chenoweth said courts would be made aware of the new guidance, including the appeals court weighing the appeal in the MSU case. In another case, for Dr. Stephen Skoly Jr., a surgeon in Rhode Island, the update will be incorporated into an amended complaint


Approved versions of vaccines now Available for 1st Time in United States

A small number of Comirnaty and Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine doses have become available in the United States in recent weeks, according to court filings and U.S. health departments.

Vials of vaccines labeled Comirnaty started being available to members of the U.S. military in May and tens of thousands of the vials have since been ordered, according to military officials. Dozens of vials were spotted at a clinic in Alaska in June, according to a Coast Guard officer.

Several states, meanwhile, confirmed to The Epoch Times that providers are now able to order the vials.

Comirnaty is the approved version of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Spikevax is the approved version of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. Approval means drug regulators granted a biologics license application (BLA). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021 approved Comirnaty for adults 16 and older, and in January approved Spikevax for individuals 18 and up. Before that, the vaccines were available under emergency use authorization (EUA).

The differences matter due to federal law. A biologics license requires a higher threshold of evidence, and certain aspects of emergency clearance don’t apply to approved products.

Even after the approvals were issued, no approved versions were available in the United States, according to the vaccine makers and federal and state officials.

Military members, among others, have cited the unavailability of Comirnaty and Spikevax in legal actions against COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

One lawsuit, for instance, said that “the only currently available COVID-19 vaccines are authorized under EUA only, and therefore cannot be mandated.”

Thousands of Doses

U.S. regulators and health officials say the approved versions of the vaccines have the same formulations as the older versions, and that the versions are interchangeable. At the same time, the versions “are legally distinct with certain differences,” according to the letters of approval.

The FDA has declined to explain what that means, while a Pfizer spokesperson told The Epoch Times previously that it refers to the differences in manufacturing information included in the submissions for authorization and approval.

Military officials have defended the COVID-19 vaccine mandate despite Comirnaty and, later, Spikevax not being available by claiming that the older versions can be treated as if they’re the licensed versions, a claim challenged in legal cases.

They’re maintaining that position, but also asserting that objections to the mandate centered on the vaccines’ availability are no longer relevant.

“While it is the Defendants’ position that all EUA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech doses for adults are interchangeable for the purposes of the mandate to vaccine, in order to address Plaintiffs’ assertions they were unable to obtain a Comirnaty or BLA-manufactured doses, I wanted to confirm in writing that any of the Plaintiffs still subject to the mandate may receive the Comirnaty-labeled vaccine,” Amy Elizabeth Powell, a government lawyer, said in an email in June to lawyers for service members challenging the mandate.

At the time, over 35,000 doses had been obtained by the military, with 3,300 available at specific bases.

The disclosures that Comirnaty has become available were made in the case Coker et al v. Austin et al.

States have also recently been able to start ordering vials of Comirnaty and Spikevax for the first time.

The Delaware Department of Health has ordered 300 doses of Comirnaty, but has not administered any due to lack of demand, a spokesperson for the department told The Epoch Times in an email.

South Carolina received over 38,000 doses of Comirnaty and nearly 53,000 doses of Spikevax, and has enabled health care providers to order them from the state, a spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control told The Epoch Times in an email.

Providers in Arizona can also order the doses from the Arizona Department of Health Services, a spokesperson for the agency told The Epoch Times in an email, and some providers have already ordered some.

“There is supply to meet the demand. Because these vaccines are identical to the EUA-branded presentations, and because there are still large stocks available in the state, very few Spikevax/Comirnaty doses have been ordered,” the spokesperson said.

States order vaccines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which makes them available for no cost.




Sunday, August 21, 2022

Effects of lockdown could be causing more deaths than Covid

The effects of lockdown could be causing more deaths than Covid as nearly 10,000 more deaths than the five-year average are recorded, ONS data has found.

Released on Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics' figures for excess deaths in the UK has revealed that about 1,000 more people than usual are dying each week from illnesses and conditions other than Covid.

This makes the rate for excess deaths 14.4 per cent higher than the five-year average, meaning 1,350 more people have died than usual in the week ending 5 August.

Covid-related deaths made up for 469 of them, but the remaining 881 have 'not been explained'. Since the start of June, nearly 10,000 more deaths unrelated to Covid have been recorded than the five-year average, making up around 1,089 per week.

This figure is over three times the number of people who died from Covid, 2,811, over the same period.

ONS analysis takes into consideration the ageing population changes, yet still found a 'substantial ongoing excess'.

The Telegraph has reported that the Department of Health may have ordered an investigation into the concerning numbers as there is potential for them to be linked to the delays in medical treatment as a result of the ongoing strain on the NHS.

Lockdowns pushed back treatment for conditions including cancer, diabetes and heart disease, with the British Heart Foundation telling the publication it was 'deeply concerned' by the findings.

The Stroke Association said it had been anticipating the rise in deaths for some time.

Noting a 'disturbing' number of mental health conditions, undetected cancers and cardiac problems, chief executive of private GP service Doctorcall Dr Charles Levinson said: 'Hundreds and hundreds of people dying every week, what's going on?

'Delays in seeking and receiving healthcare are no doubt the driving force, in my view. Daily Covid statistics demanded the nation's attention, yet these terrifying figures barely get a look in. A full and urgent government investigation is required immediately,' he told the Telegraph.

Only last week England-wide statistics showed that emergency care standards in hospitals hit an all-time low, with over 20,000 patients facing a 12+ hour wait for medical treatment.

People with mild Covid are likely to be infectious for an average of five days, a new study estimates.

Only one in five people in the study were infectious before symptoms started, it was suggested.

According to the research, two-thirds of cases were still infectious five days after symptoms began, with a quarter still infectious at seven days.

The study, led by Imperial College London and published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal, is the first to reveal how long infectiousness lasts after coronavirus infection in the community.

Detailed daily tests were conducted from when people were exposed to the virus to look at how much virus they were shedding throughout their infection.

The findings indicate that lateral flow tests do not reliably detect the start of infectiousness, but can be used to safely shorten self-isolation.

The researchers recommend people with Covid-19 isolate for five days after symptoms begin and do lateral flow tests from the sixth day.

If tests are negative two days in a row, it is safe to leave isolation, they say. However, if someone continues to test positive, they should isolate while testing positive but may leave isolation 10 days after their symptoms began.

Current NHS guidance suggests that people should try to stay at home and avoid contact with others for just five days.

Study author, Professor Ajit Lalvani, director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections at Imperial, said: 'Before this study we were missing half of the picture about infectiousness, because it's hard to know when people are first exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and when they first become infectious.

'By using special daily tests to measure infectious virus (not just PCR) and daily symptom records, we were able to define the window in which people are infectious.

'This is fundamental to controlling any pandemic and has not been previously defined for any respiratory infection in the community.'

He added: 'Combining our results with what we know about the dynamics of Omicron infections, we believe that the duration of infectiousness we've observed is broadly generalisable to current SARS-CoV-2 variants, though their infectious window may be a bit shorter.

'Our evidence can be used to inform infection control policies and self-isolation guidance to help reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.'

The new study followed people who were exposed to someone with PCR-confirmed Covid in their home between September 2020 and March 2021 and May-October 2021, including some who were vaccinated and others who were not.

Samples from a total of 57 people were used, but the duration of infectiousness was only measured in 42 people. There were 38 people with a confirmed date of when their symptoms started and three were asymptomatic.

Professor Lalvani said: 'Self-isolation is not necessary by law, but people who want to isolate need clear guidance on what to do.

'The NHS currently advises that if you test positive for Covid-19 you should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, but our data suggest that under a crude five-day self-isolation period two-thirds of cases released into the community would still be infectious - though their level of infectiousness would have substantially reduced compared to earlier in the course of their infection.'

He continued: 'Our study finds that infectiousness usually begins soon after you develop Covid-19 symptoms.

'We recommend that anyone who has been exposed to the virus and has symptoms isolates for five days, then uses daily lateral flow tests to safely leave isolation when two consecutive daily tests are negative.'


Vaccine mandates no longer justified

For almost three years, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stubbornly refused to admit that infection with Sars-CoV-2 provides robust immunity which is broader and more enduring than vaccine-acquired immunity, even though this had been demonstrated in numerous studies.

It meant that people who had infection-acquired immunity – often healthcare workers – were still forced to get vaccinated or lose their jobs. Sometimes the consequences were disastrous. Bobby Bolin who had recovered from Covid was on a list for a double-lung transplant but was forced to be double vaccinated, and developed a pulmonary embolism and atrial fibrillation after his second Moderna shot which killed him.

On 11 August, with no explanation or apology, the CDC quietly made the long-overdue reversal and also belatedly recognised that vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission, saying that in its recommendations, it would no longer distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Combined these policy changes should spell the immediate end of vaccine mandates.

It was clear in 2020 that Covid is primarily a serious disease for the sick and the elderly. Data from NSW Health which, between 28 May and 30 July, was the first jurisdiction in Australia to provide some deaths by age, vaccination, and health status showed that only three people out of the 1,108 who died (0.3 per cent) over the nine week period were aged under 65 and healthy, and only 11 people who died (1 per cent) were aged under 65 and unvaccinated (all almost certainly seriously ill).

Hardly the pandemic of the unvaccinated that Gladys Berejiklian conjured up to scare the impressionable into getting vaccinated. As for being a burden and overwhelming the health system, only 11 out of 6,481 people hospitalised (0.17 per cent) and only eight of 591 people in ICU (1.3 per cent) were unvaccinated.

With such a tiny fraction of healthy, unvaccinated people of working age dying of Covid in Australia’s most populous state, during the worst three months of the pandemic, how is it possible that vaccine mandates are still in force in so many workplaces? Former Australian deputy chief health officer Dr Nick Coatsworth wrote in mid-July that there is ‘no longer a public health rationale for businesses terminating employees for failing to be vaccinated’. Yet some of the nation’s biggest employers –Coles, Woolworths, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank and SPC – are still forcing workers to get vaccinated or boosted.

In Ceduna, up to fifteen teachers at the Crossways Lutheran school are prepared to strike rather than get a booster or wear a mask all day and be tested daily. They want to know why they are being pressured to be triple-vaccinated when protection from boosters lasts only 20 weeks, you can still catch and transmit Covid, and vaccine injuries can be permanent or fatal. Who will compensate them or their families if they are injured or die, they ask.

It’s a good question. In Hobart, a police officer who was incapacitated with myocarditis after his Pfizer booster in November is fighting for compensation because the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management claims it isn’t liable even though it told staff they should get vaccinated, claimed the vaccines were safe, and made vaccination mandatory a month after the officer was injured.

With the CDC no longer distinguishing between vaccinated and unvaccinated, why are service members still being kicked out for not taking an ‘ineffective and dangerous experimental jab,’ tweeted Lt. Col. Dr Theresa Long this week, one of the top flight surgeons in the US Armed Forces. Dr Long is one of three military doctors who testified under oath that there was a massive increase in vaccine injuries in the Defence Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) in 2021 showing, for example, a 269 per cent increase in myocardial infarction and a 467 per cent increase in pulmonary embolisms.

If Dr Long’s conclusions are correct, they would explain why excess mortality is so high in Australia and other highly vaccinated countries. In the first four months of 2022, there was an increase in excess mortality of between 6,800 deaths (13 per cent) according to the AI and 8,500 deaths (17 per cent) , according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Either way it’s alarming. Excess deaths for the whole of 2021 were 3,400, yet just for the first third of 2022 excess deaths have increased by up to 150 per cent .

It’s going to get worse. More people died of Covid in July than at any point in the pandemic yet Covid deaths represent only somewhere between 43 per cent and 53 per cent of excess deaths in the first four months of 2022. What is causing the other deaths? Here’s a clue. Deaths from heart disease are up 11 per cent (1,400) and have been above the predicted baseline almost every week since March 2021, a week after the vaccine rollout started on 22 February. Deaths from other unspecified diseases are up by 11 per cent (1,390), continuing a trend observed since April 2021, a month after the vaccine rollout. There was also an increase of 10 per cent in coroner-referred deaths (+680) as well as increases of between five and 11 per cent in diabetes, dementia, and cerebrovascular disease.

A disturbing rise in excess mortality is occurring in many heavily vaccinated countries such as Portugal, experiencing its highest excess mortality in 100 years, Chile, and the US. Up to now doctors in Australia could not criticise any aspect of government management of the pandemic without putting their careers on the line. But in mid-July the left-leaning Victorian Branch of the Australian Medical Association called for a Royal Commission into the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and its muzzling of medical freedom of speech. This week the centre-right Australian Medical Professionals’ Society also called for medical free speech, consideration of scientific data in relation to vaccine mandates and legislative reform to protect the practitioner-patient relationship. With voices across the political spectrum calling for change perhaps an end to the tyranny of bureaucrats is at last in sight. .