I’ve another “must read” for you today. This article reports how a key ivermectin researcher was recorded confessing that he rewrote his report from originally being strongly favorable and supporting ivermectin use, and instead became neutral/negative, claiming insufficient evidence existed to support its use. The researcher admitted he made this very major change after pressure from his sponsors to do so – his sponsors being the major drug companies, via an intermediary. Keep this in mind – this is the researcher, himself, telling us this, in his own words, not someone else trying to over-interpret or imagine something. The gun can’t smoke more than it is in this case.
Oh, please keep reading the article after you get past that point. Later on, you’ll see mention of the coincidence – at the same time the researcher rewrote his report, his institution received a $40 million grant to fund study in the researcher’s key area of research. A happy innocent coincidence of timing, no doubt.
Once again, I ask the question that demands an answer : How many people are needlessly denying due to being denied access to ivermectin treatments? The answer, whatever it is, must number in the hundreds of thousands of people in the US, and in the many millions world-wide.
Not yet a similar sized scandal, but part of another growing issue – the one-sided love given to the awful, ineffective, and dangerous mRNA gene therapies that are incorrectly called vaccines, while no interest or resource is being allocated to promising real vaccines. Such as for example this story of a Texas group of researchers who have developed a regular type of apparently effective and safe Covid vaccine that is also very inexpensive to produce.
India has rushed to embrace it. So why not the US?
Sometimes I think that politicians really are as stupid as they appear to be. Such as, for example, the boasting from the current administration about how they have made Covid testing free because it will now be compulsorily covered by everyone’s (also compulsory, let’s not forget) medical insurance.
Yes, politicians go through their lives believing there is such a thing as a free lunch. Real people know differently. If any insurance company experiences increased claim costs, what do they do? They add their margin to the extra costs they are paying out, add a handling and administration fee, and then increase their premiums to reflect their increased costs. That is as unavoidable as is night following day.
So, about those free tests? Expect to see a change in your insurance rates. And – here’s the thing. Responsible people instinctively understand that, and take a moderate approach to using such things. Irresponsible people (who are probably getting their premiums paid for via a government subsidy program) don’t understand that. So you’ll end up paying for your tests and a share of other people’s tests, too. The government has not made tests free – for the almost half of us who still are net contributors to the government each year, our costs will increase more than if we had to buy tests directly.
There’s another point to do with testing too, and the confusing situation of it they will be free, or covered by insurance, or what, and how we get them. They remain in short supply. The government has 500,000,000 on order, which sounds like a lot, but that’s not enough even for two tests for every person (the recommended protocol is at least two tests). They are now trying to order another 500 million, but it is unclear how or when that will happen. Even with a billion tests, that is only three per person, and probably represents a month’s usage at the present high rate of perceived need.
The government is also looking at ordering a supply of “high quality” masks, but you can be sure the quantity of those will be laughably insufficient, too. See also our comments in the extra material below about mask life/reuse.
Amazing, isn’t it. At any random point in the last two years, you could find articles about the government acting to ensure a better supply of tests and masks. It has yet to ever happen.
Last week I mentioned how the claim of one million new US Covid cases on Monday of last week was a nonsense claim, even though essentially every media outlet in the world eagerly repeated it. This week, this article goes one higher, claiming 1.486 million new US Covid cases for this Monday. The actual number seems to be about 715,000 – less than half the number claimed.
The CDC and its mixed messaging continues to sap away its credibility. None of this should be rocket science, and that which is should have been clarified a year or more ago. But still the CDC struggles to come up with a coherent and consistent set of statements. It seems to now be saying people should get N95 or KN95 masks, but surely the CDC should know that a mask describing itself as a “KN95” mask is using a meaningless designator and could be of any efficacy, or none at all.
KN95 is a descriptor used by Chinese manufacturers, and it means “Trust us, we promise you this mask is as good as a real N95 mask, but we haven’t gone through the official certification process”.
Occasionally I see reports of some independent body testing KN95 masks and finding them woefully unsatisfactory. Why would the CDC recommend a type of mask that has no conformity to any type of quality control at all?
What pains me the most is how the CDC is full of “experts” who have trained and prepared, their entire life, for exactly this – a Covid type scenario, where an infectious respiratory disease becomes a global pandemic. But now it is happening, they’re acting as if it is all new to them.
One thing I’ve noticed in the “debate” about some of the more contentious aspects of our response to Covid is that the people on one side seem to be genuine good caring people who carefully and thoroughly explain their perspective and conclusions and recommendations. The people on the other side tend to be supercilious, and rather than explaining what they believe and why, demand their views be accepted because they are the experts and their opinions are based on “the science”, and never admit to being wrong, even when they flip and change their opinions drastically.
Of course, the poster child of “people on the other side” has to be Dr Fauci. This week he got into another contentious interchange in a Senate hearing, where apparently he was being embarrassed by some of the latest revelations about his involvement with what appears to be gain of function research leading to the Covid virus. (Be careful with this link – you can get banned from Twitter for posting it.)
His response – predictably and inevitably – was to describe the other people as morons.
Actually, proving the truth, yet again, of how you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time, an opinion poll this week shows that only 31% of Americans trust him these days.
Super-vaxxed Gibraltar is no longer quite so extremely embarrassing to the vaccination advocates. It dropped from third most infected country in the world to fourth in the last week.
In the major country list, plenty of changes in the top half, none in the bottom half. No changes in the death list.
France shot up the most active last week list, as did Australia too. The US fell off the bottom of the list, with a very slightly lower number of new cases than lowest placed Argentina.
In Europe, Serbia suffered the greatest increase in cases last week, with a 139% growth. Romania, Austria, Albania and Slovenia also all had greater than a 100% growth. At the other end of the scale, the UK had a wonderful 24% drop in cases, as did Greece. Slovakia dropped 12%. France rose 43%, and Germany rose an even higher 59%. Europe as a whole had an 18% increase in cases, a more moderate rise than has been the case for some weeks.
In North America, Canada is shaking itself free from its last surge, with a 15% drop in cases. Mexico is on the other side of the ledger with a 174% growth compared to last week’s count. The US had a 29% growth.
South Africa saw its numbers drop again, down another 27%, and Africa as a whole enjoyed a 7% drop. The world, overall, reported a strong 40% increase in cases, mainly due to strong increases in Asia. The worst affected Asian country was Israel – another super-vaxxed country, but experiencing a 207% rise in cases to a count of 25,435 cases per million people.
Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Andorra (326,512)||Andorra (373,112)|
|5||San Marino||St Barth|
|10||Lithuania (199,945)||Ireland (211,282)|
Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Czech Republic (233,801)||Czech Republic (238,582)|
|2||UK (204,822)||UK (218,724)|
|3||Netherlands (188,916)||France (202,152)|
|4||Belgium (186,844)||Netherlands (201,563)|
|5||USA (178,368)||Belgium (201,181)|
|6||France (170,747)||USA (195,332)|
|12||Italy (115,627)||Italy (135,194)|
Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Peru (6,027)||Peru (6,034)|
|2||Czech Rep (3,394)||Czech Rep (3,423)|
|3||Romania (3,095)||Romania (3,135)|
|4||Brazil (2,885)||Brazil (2,888)|
|5||Poland (2,628)||Poland (2,684)|
|6||USA (2,563)||USA (2,603)|
|7||Argentina (2,562)||Argentina (2,570)|
|8||Colombia (2,518)||Colombia (2,526)|
|10||Italy (2,295)||Italy (2,324)|
Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Ireland 27,979||France 31,408|
|12||Australia 12,407||Argentina 16,753|
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Items below include some apparently good news, albeit without any supporting details, researchers made a mistake, how many times can you re-use an expensive mask, mission creep with Covid case tracking apps, a herb with potential anti-Covid properties, US case numbers, hospital case count corrections, should we stop counting cases entirely, is Omicron not even as dangerous as the ‘flu, and an alarming shortage.
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6 thoughts on “Covid-19 Diary : Thursday 13 January, 2022”
The context of your comment about Dr. Fauci’s mumbling “Moran”, I believe, misrepresents it. Yes it is true it was mumbled and it was during a hearing on Covid. It had nothing to do with Covid; it was a Senator grandstanding to create the illusion of financial data being hidden.
It was said a truly stupid interaction with Senator Marshall. Something like this:
Marshall ‘you didn’t file your financial disclosure’
Fauci ‘yes I did, it is available’
Marshall ‘my office can’t find it’
Fauci ‘ it was filed correctly’ (side note several news outlet state they gotten it)
Marshall ‘why didn’t you do your disclosure’
Faaui ‘I did’
Repeat this stupid interaction of a senator refusing to accept an answer; his office failing to follow the correct process to get the disclosure document for many minutes.
He didn’t call other people “morons”. He referred to a single Senator as Moron and frankly if you watch the video of the hearing, while a rude comment, it was accurate.
Your “must-read” reference — and the blog it points to — omits a key point. Between the first meta-analysis published in January 2021 and the second, published in July, at least one instance — the researcher says more than one — of research fraud was uncovered. When the faked data from that study were removed from the meta-analysis, the results changed. The researcher says:
“However, we then found several examples of medical fraud in the clinical trials of ivermectin: some of the databases had been simply made up by unscrupulous doctors. When we filtered out all the poor-quality clinical trials, there was no longer any clinical benefit for ivermectin.”
That may be correct (and may not be, too), but if anything it adds to his culpability.
At the time of the recorded call, the researcher quite clearly said he was changing his conclusion, not based on any erroneous data, but on pressure from sponsors. That is the key must read point.
It was only some months later that erroneous data had been uncovered – he says in the article you link to, July. But, and not acknowledged, there had also been a deluge of more data that was positive in nature and valid in form. The researcher, trying to justify himself, claims that his January conclusion was based on bad data that was not known about at the time of his conclusion!
While he was happy to use this as an excuse – and the always gullible Guardian eagerly accepted it without question, he ignored and still ignores the growing weight of positive cases that had come in the ten months since his earlier conclusion.
If anything, his October claims are even more specious than the January ones.
I wonder when the conversation with Dr Lawrie took place. If before the well-publicized discovery of the alleged fraud in the famous Egyptian study, then of course you are correct.
I don’t know how you can say Covid cases in Canada decreased by 15% when PCR and instant tests aren’t even available to the average Canadian. We’re told that if we have symptoms, just assume we have Covid and isolate. The only statistics that are accurate are the rates of hospitalizations, which are still increasing.
Hi : I say that based on this data : https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/
That’s not to say you are wrong. It is merely to answer your question. Reported case numbers have never been exact, as I discussed today and on earlier occasions. But they’re at least a measure where the inexactness is more or less constant, most of the time, so if reported cases go up or down, generally that means real/true cases do the same.
Hospitalization stats are no better than reported case data. As I’ve been reporting, both NY and NJ are now admitting their hospitalization counts are almost double the true counts. Also, and this is probably relevant, hospitalization counts are a lagging indicator, case counts are a leading indicator. It will take a week or more from when cases are counted to when hospitalization numbers change to reflect that.